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News Archive  April 2010

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08/05/2010

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30-04-10

Formula 3: Menasheh Idafar got the second race weekend of his Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series career off to a great start at Silverstone’s Arena Grand Prix Circuit today, Friday, 30th April, after emerging as the quickest National Class runner.  During the second of today’s pair of sessions, easily the quicker of the two outings, the T-Sport racer lapped with a  time of 1m55.127s to head the  National Class entry – and Virgin Racing F1 Team test driver – Luiz Razia by 1.4 seconds. Current National Class Championship points leader James Cole was a further half a second shy. In session one, Menasheh made a solid start to the day with a best time of 1m57.109s which at that point placed him as the top National Class competitor by four 10ths of a second. The 19-year-old commented: “It’s not been a bad start to the weekend at all and we should have been quicker really as I lost about half a second on my fastest lap. The wind this afternoon caused some understeer but overall I’m happy with how everything has gone. It’s always good to be fastest in class, hopefully we can go as well over the next two days!” pic Jakob Ebrey photography

GTs: Lucas Ordoñez will contest the full 2010 European GT4 Cup in a Nissan 370Z GT4 car. The  Spanish  driver  was the winner of PlayStation® and Nissan’s first GT Academy competition in 2008. He went on to drive in the Dubai International 24 Hour Race alongside Johnny Herbert as his prize, with his impressive performance earning him a full season’s drive in the 2009 European GT4 Cup. Racing alongside British driver Alex Buncombe, the pair finished a close second in the drivers’ championship but managed to secure the teams’ title for the PlayStation Nissan Team, run by RJN Motorsport.  Today  (Friday)  he  lined  up again at Silverstone to practice for the start of the European GT4 Cup series. For the opening race, Lucas will be back in the 2009 350Z car he shared with Buncombe while RJN Motorsport complete the build of his 2010 370Z GT4 car. He will, however, run in the distinctive new yellow livery of the PlayStation Nissan Team. Another difference is that Lucas  will  drive  on  his  own  in  2010,  while  Buncombe  partners  this  year’s  winner  of  GT  Academy,  21-year-old Frenchman Jordan Tresson in a yellow 370Z.

Avon Tyres British GT Championship leader Matt Griffin says he can't wait to get on track at Knockhill next weekend (8/9 May) for rounds three and four of the series - even though he and his MTECH Racing team-mate Duncan Cameron know only too well that the Scottish circuit is one which can bite.   Read more

Ginetta G50 Cup : Frank Wrathall is the man to beat in the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup as the teams head to Brands Hatch this weekend. Wrathall’s Team Dynojet car has proved to be the fleetest so far this season with Frank bagging two wins at Rockingham last time out. He heads to the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit with a lead of 18 points in the championship over Carl Breeze (TCR). Breeze was another winner at Rockingham and worked hard to keep Wrathall behind him and will be one to watch this weekend.  Opposition to the top two in the championship comes from Tom Sharp (IDL) who lies third in the standings after a consistent start to his championship campaign. His overall pace isn’t on a par with Wrathall’s or that of Breeze but Sharp is experienced in these cars and knows how to keep out of trouble. The Hetherington brothers have shown well this season and Benji lies fourth, brother Freddie 11th. If Hetherington Snr can find a shade more speed he will be a big threat to the top two in the championship, while Breeze’s TCR team-mate Joachim Ritter will be one to watch as the Danish-born driver gets faster all the time. Another improver is Adam Morgan in the second Dynojet car in his maiden Ginetta G50 season, while Chris Dittman and Stephen Tyldesley have shown impressive pace, too. The unofficial coupe des dames is headed by Rachel Green although the former Caterham champion has been pushed hard by former Formula Renault racer Alice Powell who has looked impressive in her first season in sports car racing. pic Jakob Ebrey photography

Ginetta Jnrs: Goudhurst’s Jake Hill heads the Ginetta Junior Championship as the teams head to his local circuit, Brands Hatch, for rounds five and six this weekend. Hill arrives at his home track with a slender seven-point lead over Tom Ingram, both of them having been race winners this season. Hill took a win at each of Thruxton and Rockingham while Ingram won at Thruxton in the season-opener after Hill made an error. The third winner of the season is Tom Howard who scored victory in the first Rockingham race but Tom is a distant sixth in the championship. He needs a consistent weekend to score well and haul himself back into contention. Reigning champion Sarah Moore hasn’t adapted to the new G40 as she did the original G20 and is a lowly 11th in the championship although Sarah will be keen to return to form at the scene of her 2009 title success. Her mantle of quickest girl has slipped to Louise Richardson who has been mighty in the first four races to lie third in the standings behind Hill and Ingram.The other half of the Moore family, Sarah’s brother David, is fifth and is capable of running at the front although a coming-together between him and Sarah at Rockingham didn’t win him any friends. Alex Austin needs a shade more pace to match that of the front-runners but should use his experience to good effect here, while Seb Morris has done an impressive job in his first season in car racing. The Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit is not for the faint-hearted but expect Morris to be in the mix this weekend.

Formula Ford: Ryan Simpson managed to fend of a flock of fast Queenslanders to set the early pace in Round 2 of the Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship at Queensland Raceway today(Friday). The Parramatta Smash Repairs Mygale driver finished the day’s final practice session marginally ahead of championship leader Chaz Mostert and teammates Nick Foster and Geoff Uhrhane.  Read more

FIA GT: ICSport CEO Christian Bouas announced a new partnership recently that will see ICSport, Veritas, Emblem Racing,Oliver Pla, the reigning LMS LMP2 Champion, as well as all the drivers of ICSport, come together. It was during the Top Marques Monaco supercar show, on the 15th of April, that all four entities formed a partnership which will be initially centred on Olivier with the Veritas’ road and race car. The German car manufacturer has the ambition  of entering the FIA GT1 World Championship in 2011 with the Veritas RSIII Coupé which will be launched at the Nürburgring July 9-11. To achieve this goal they will rely on the platform that ICSport will provide them, especially their drivers. Founded in the middle of last century, Veritas is a prestigious car manufacturer, associated with elegance and motorsport. It was back in 1947 that the company took its first national title at Hockenheim. Today, Veritas is based at the Nürburgring, and it is here that the project will start on July 9 when the first meeting of members from ICSport, Emblem Racing and Veritas will take place. A program for a World Tour will include the presentation of cars and the organization of the three partner companies and two days of testing with ICSport.  course. “World Tour Calendar will begin on 9-11 July at the Nürburgring followed by 1-3 Sept Silverstone, 23-24 Sept Marbella inSpain, 14-16 Oct Abu Dhabi , Nov (TBC) Sepang and 28-30 Nov Ice track in Finland

Formula Renault UK: Kieren Clark had his first race in the Formula Renault UK’s new car last weekend at Rockingham and despite limited time in the car prior to the race he brought it home in 17th and 14th place in the two races.   Read report

Karts: Tom Harvey  was cruelly denied a well deserved victory in the second round of the 2010 Super 1 Series at Larkhall in Scotland when he was ‘punted off’ in the closing stages of the final.  Nevertheless he clearly demonstrated his title credentials by closing to within three points of the championship lead.  Read report

Silverstone  Circuits  Limited,  and  its  owner  the  British  Racing  Drivers’  Club  (BRDC),  unveiled and launched the new Silverstone Grand Prix circuit on Thursday. His Royal Highness the Duke of York, KG, UK Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, formally cut the ribbon to open a major new section of track that represents the first stage of a multi-million pound investment in the Home of British Motor Racing. As part of the launch ceremony, His Royal Highness helped to inaugurate the new 3.66 mile circuit in the passenger seat of the Santander two-seat Grand Prix car driven by former World Champion, and President  of  the  BRDC,  Damon Hill OBE. On track at the same time were David Coulthard, driving a Red  Bull Formula One car, and the motorcycling father-and- son combination of Ron and Leon Haslam, representing the worlds of MotoGP and World Superbikes. During the ceremony, His Royal Highness the Duke of York was invited by Damon Hill to become an honorary member of  the BRDC and commented: “I am very pleased to accept the honorarymembership from the BRDC, but perhaps not qualified to do so. I am here because high performance engineering  is  a  major contributor  to the United Kingdom economy and that engineering prowess is regularly on display in the highest level of motor sport that takes place at Silvertsone. I am delighted to be here. The future, I hope, continues to be rosy, not only for Silverstone and motor sport, but for the UK’s high performance engineering sector.”  

29-04-10

Fiesta Championship: Another solid weekend for the NSR / Kempster Ford team with John Findlay taking two more top ten finishes with the pace to run at the front. His second race was spoiled by a troublesome gearbox, but John left the circuit reasonably satisfied with his weekend’s efforts. Ian Fletcher was out  for the first time this year in the team’;s second car and picked up a ninth and an eighth place finish in the two races. The team’s third driver James Byrne struggled due to a lack of testing however; but he will take the lesson forward for the next rounds at Cadwell Park on 5th / 6th June.  Read report

The European Late Model Series was back in action with the first of this season’s long races, the CAMSO Cup.  Sixteen cars would start the first of the day’s three races, with Rodger Twikler taking his first debut win.. Race two saw 2009 Champion Gary Ellis take the laurels but it was Jean Vasseur who claims the CAMSO cup.  Read report

FIA GT: After Abu Dhabi, HEXIS AMR headed to Silverstone for this weekend’s second leg of the FIA GT1 World Championship. As Jean-Denis Delétraz has withdrawn for personal and professional reasons, Thomas Accary will take his place alongside  Frédéric Makowiecki’ . Silverstone will also mark the start of the FIA GT3 European Championship, fwhere HEXIS AMR have entered two cars. Frédéric Makowiecki and Manu Rodrigues will drive the DBRS9 #1 while the DBRS9 #2 will be tamed by Thomas Accary and Luc Paillard, who has just signed with the team.  pic V Images

BTCC: Following on from a luckless outing at Rockingham last weekend, Alex MacDowall aims to deliver at least three points finishes at Brands Hatch this Sunday, 2nd May, during the latest installment of the 2010 Dunlop MSA BTCC. In only his second ever BTCC qualifying session at Rockingham he set  third fastest time, after that Alex’s weekend dipped somewhat  when all three races resulted in difficulties. An erroneous tyre choice for the rain-affected fourth round of the season meant the Silverline Chevrolet racer could do nothing to avoid a slip down the order to an eventual finish of 12th place. After matching that result in round five, he was unceremoniously shunted out of round six.“Rockingham was disappointing in the end but we proved how quick we can be during qualifying and that’s the level of performance we’re aiming for again this weekend”, said the 19-year-old, “The team has done a fantastic job for me so far, it’s a real privilege to be racing the Chevrolet Cruze in the BTCC, and I’m sure we’ll be strong at Brands Hatch.” Graduating to the UK’s biggest motor racing series after a successful tenure in the one-make ELF Renault Clio Cup, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star has certainly turned heads in the BTCC since signing to partner ex-champion Jason Plato in the RML-run Silverline Chevrolet squad. At the 2.3-mile Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in 2009, Alex rounded-off his final year of Clio Cup racing with a win and a second place during the two races. With proven ability at the world famous Kent track, his aim will be to convert that experience into three top performances this Sunday.

Superleague Formula: CJ Motorsport have called upon Franck Perera to drive the Flamengo car in the Superleague Formula by Sonangol round at Assen, Netherlands, on May 14th to 16th. It will be a return to the Series where he  raced  AS Roma at Estoril in 2008. Perera brings with him a wealth of experience including Formula Renault 2.0 in 2003 and F3 Euro Series in 2006. In 2007 he was in  Atlantics in the U.S. taking 3 wins. He then moved to the Champ Cars, sadly, Champ Car’s days were numbered and he finished 6th in their last ever race. CJ Motorsport Director Serge Celebidachi: “Franck is an exceptional talent and he has proven in the past what he is capable of in a Superleague Formula car, or in any car for that matter! Duncan Tappy did a really good job for us at Silverstone and put Flamengo on the podium, so he will be back for sure in future rounds. In the meantime, he will support Franck from the sidelines, as will Bruce Jouanny, in the true spirit of what we are doing” Franck Perera: “I’m really happy to be back. I have raced in many different Championships and I have to say that this is one of my favourites. I even turned down a drive in IRL to be available for Superleague Formula. The car is seriously good, the driver line-up is really competitive, the fans are amazing and the whole team behind the Superleague do an amazing job.”

Karts: Jordan King looked odds-on for victory after setting pole position in the second round of the 2010 Super 1 Series at Larkhall only for an engine failure to deny him in the first final. However this set the scene for a charge up through the field from  the back of the grid in the second.  Read report

FBMW: Facu Regalia left the last Formula BMW Europe test session of the winter pleased with the development of his car and expects to be among the fastest in the first race of the year at Circuit de Catalunya in less than two weeks. This week test was different from the earlier ones as the drivers had just one day on track rather than the usual two. Facu Regalia ended the test satisfied with his Eifelland Racing car’s set-up. “With old tyres we had some problems with the front end, but, when we put on the car new rubber, we made some modifications in the Mygale that worked very well, something that makes me very pleased”, he explained.  “The lap times were meaningless. There was so much traffic on track, something that made very hard to get a clear lap. When I was on new tyres I found many cars in my flying lap and I had to overtake them, something that cost me a second. However, I made a lap time similar to my teammate”. Regalia’s next drive will be in Spain fro the opening round on May 7-9.

Porsche Carrera Cup GBThe first TV coverage of the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup GB will be broadcast in the Motorsport UK programme on ITV4 at 5pm on Tuesday 4 May, on ITV1 on the night of Sunday 9 May and will also be repeated on ITV4 on Saturday 8 May.  
Motorsport UK will be broadcast as follows: Tuesday 4 May at 5pm on ITV4, Saturday 8 May at 10.25 on ITV4 and Monday 10 May at 2am (approx) on ITV1.  Motorsport UK can also be watched at itv.com and is available for viewing for 28 days after the initial broadcast date

28-04-10

Grand-Am: The Doran team with drivers Memo Gidley and Dion Von Moltke, turned their race around with the help of some yellow flags in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16. After suffering tyre problems in the #77 McDonalds/PR Newswire Daytona Prototype  in the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway the pair came back from a lap down to take eighth at the flag. Needless to say  Gidley then  headed for  the airport to catch a rplane to California and his Jetski race in the  DJSA Outlaw series.    Read report. 

Formula 3: F1 test driver Luiz Razia is the latest driver to join the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series. The 21-year-old Brazilian will make his debut this weekend (1/2 May) at Silverstone at the wheel of a Motul Team West-Tec Dallara in the National class. Razia's inclusion boosts to 26 the grid for rounds four, five and six of the championship. Also on the Silverstone roster is Taiwanese racer Kevin Chen, who will partner Adderly Fong in the Sino Vision Racing team, and Indonesian Rio Haryanto, who will make his debut for CF Racing with Manor. Three invitation class cars from ART Grand Prix are joining the pack also. Motul Team West-Tec's John Miller said of Razia's signing: "It's purely a one-off race outing at the moment, although Luiz has a continuing test programme with us. He is taking the opportunity to learn the new Silverstone Arena circuit. "The car was competitive at Silverstone in the recent test [when it was driven by Swede Marcus Ericsson, another driver learning the track] and we think Luiz ought to go well. Hopefully we will see the car out on a regular basis with another driver soon."Razia's National class opposition at Silverstone comprises the two T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Hondas of Menasheh Idafar and James Cole. Razia was South American F3 Champion in 2006 and has gone on to claim race victories in GP2. He is the test and reserve driver for new F1 team Virgin Racing.

Formula 2: Will Bratt makes his first ever visit to the Marrakech street circuit in Morocco this weekend, 1st/2nd May, when the second event of the 2010 FIA Formula 2 Championship gets underway.  Making a strong debut a fortnight ago at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, the 22-year-old is currently fifth in the standings but is actually tied on points with fourth placed Dean Stoneman. Marrakech is the only street circuit visited by the Formula 2 Championship and its inclusion on the 2010 calendar marks the first ever visit of F2 to Morocco. Rounds three and four of the season also see F2 join the FIA World Touring Car Championship for the first time this year. The 2.82-mile circuit is situated in the Agdal district of the North African country and is certainly unique, featuring several long straights which should promote plenty of slip-streaming opportunities into the tight chicanes and notorious final corner hairpin. “I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s event, it’s always good to go to a new track and with none of the drivers having raced an F2 car there before we should all be on a pretty level playing field”, said Will. “At Silverstone we made a decent start to the season, I wasn’t completely happy with our pace but we scored some good points, especially considering the limited testing I had before the event. In Marrakech it’ll be very important to get as much track time as possible during the Friday practice sessions to set ourselves up well for qualifying.”

The FFSA V de V championship were at Mugello in April and first to see the chequered flag was Ferrari No 1 of Anthony Beltoise and Thierry Perrier! Second came the Lichtner-Hoyer/Eckert/Seefried driven Porsche 997 Cup car who put in a fantastic performance, fighting their way up to second. Third  went to the Lamborghini Gallardo of Giroix/Valentini/Fatien , which took victory in GTV2. After them came Baudinière and Proust’s number 48 Porsche 996 RSR and the number 65 Porsche 997 Cup S driven by Martinet/Tremblay/Champeau. In the Proto Endurance Challenge the  leader for three quarters of the race was Rosier and Guillet-Arnaud whose well-deserved victory slipped away due to technical issues. The race was won by reigning champions Mondolot and Zollinger, ahead of their surprising Palmyr teammates, Menahem and Faggionato    Read report

Karts: Callum Bowyer turned around his weekend, despite tyre issues, in the second round of the 2010 national Super 1 Series at Larkhall. to come away with a third and a fourth place,, results that  keep him in the hunt for the title.  Read report

Kevin Susilo has this year made his debuit in European Karting and now this young Indonesian, who races in the KF2 category,  knows his DR-Parilla kart  very well. His goal is to reach the top as quickly as possible. In order to do that, he will benefit from the advice of Italian Danilo Rossi, who was five times karting Word Champion. Rossi recently launched his own brand of karts, DR, which Kevin drives.. “I know that the team is doing the maximum for me and this pushes me to do likewise”, Kevin pointed out. “But I have just made my debut in KF2 and this is not the easiest category. Many drivers are more or less on the same level. One or two tenths plus or minus can make you gain or lose many places. You cannot relax, ever, and you always have to try and go as fast as possible. The same is true in the pack. There is always a rival who puts you under pressure. It’s an excellent school of life, though. For the time being, I keep improving and I have demonstrated that I can beat drivers more experienced that I am. I am going to continue like that”  Kevin Susilo does not lack determination and has already shown well on several occasions.In March, at the Andrea Margutti Trophy in Castelletto di Branduzzo, a circuit South of Milan, he reached the final phase and demonstrated how better he is in the rain. The following week, he did even better in Lonato, at the second round of the WSK. After a clean race during the qualifying heats, where he landed three times in the top 10, he finished 14th out of 84. ”I was immensely pleased with this result and it was a great disappointment to be forced to abandon the pre-final and then the final. I had a real chance to re-enter the top 10”. . Next he is off to Germany and the Wackersdorf circuit, for the debut of the European KF2 Championship

Described in the pre-race press release as the ‘Shanghai of the North,’ last weekend’s second round of the Easykart UK Championship at Teesside Autodrome certainly matched its Chinese counterpart’s recent Grand Prix for excitement, drama - and of course, rain. Admittedly the downpour was brief, but it served to ratchet up the tension in the heats before holding off for the finals.   Read report

Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup : Maciek Steinhof (Poland) decided the first race of the world debut of the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup with innovative bio natural gas power in his favour. After eleven laps at the Hockenheimring the last champion of the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup prevailed against junior driver and pole-sitter Kris Heidorn (Germany)  and ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle (GB). At the thrilling inaugural race featuring the first ever use of a push-to-pass system in a touring car one-make cup the other Legend Cup entrants made their mark as well with Frank Biela (Germany) seventh, the two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz (Spain) twelfth and former F1 driver Jacques Laffite (France) 17th,

Jetta TDI Cup : Ryan Ellis managed a perfect start into the Jetta TDI Cup season. The experienced campaigner won both rounds of the American "touring car school" at the Virginia International Raceway and thus took over command in the championship. The runner-up by a narrow margin in both races was the Mexican Juan Pablo Sierra Lendle. In Saturday's race AJ Nealey completed the podium; on Sunday Jake Thompson was third.

Skip Barber : Pigot and Dorrbecker Take Skip Barber National wins in rounds 5 and 6  at VIR  after two great races that saw battles for the lead go down to the  last laps. Several drivers came into the race weekend with struggles behind the scenes to overcome. In a Skip Barber Regional Finale race in Sebring two weeks ago, Dennis Trebing broke a bone in his hand and entered the race weekend with a temporary cast. The cast did little to impede his performance, placing in the top five for both lapping sessions, the practice session, and both qualifying sessions. English drivers Daniel Lloyd and Isaac Lyons were stranded overseas due to the Icelandic volcano ash still in the European skies. Daniel Lloyd and his father managed to book flights to America, only to almost miss their flight due to a traffic accident. Isaac Lyons made it to the track in time for the first qualifying session, only to have the airlines lose his luggage (which was eventually found). Despite the loss of track time and the less than ideal travel schedule Lyons qualified in the sixth position for round five.  Race report

27-04-10

Porsche Carrera Cup GB:  Brands Hatch GP Circuit is the setting for rounds five and six of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB this weekend (1/2 May), with a capacity 28-car field set to do battle at the track. Coming straight after Rockingham, the attraction of racing on the Grand Prix circuit has drawn a 28-car field set to top the previous record of 27 911GT3 Cup cars. With four wins from four races so far, Tim Harvey has seized the early advantage during a stunning run of form, but Michael Caine has taken the fight to Harvey every time out and is determined to stop Harvey winning again at Brands. In the two Rockingham races, less than a second split the pair after nearly half an hour of racing and Caine knows that he has the pace to beat Harvey, particularly if he can qualify on pole. However, this is far from a two-horse race as a gaggle of young racers are shaping up to challenge them as the season develops. Notable are the three drivers from Team Parker Racing, Euan Hankey, Glynn Geddie and Stephen Jelley. Hankey has claimed 3 podium finishes from 4 races, while Geddie took a big step forward at Rockingham to bag his first podium of the season as Jelley chased him home. Other challengers in the pro category include Tom Bradshaw, Charlie Bateman and Michael Meadows. In the pro-am1 category, Ollie Jackson has made a superb start to the season with three wins from four races, but he faces several contenders, led by Tony Gilham. Newcomers Jonas Gelzinis ,Ahmad Al Harthy and Archie Hamilton all add to the quality in pro-am1. Once again, Gelzinis will have to learn the track during Friday's two test sessions, but his pace over the early races shows that the 22-year old Lithuanian is a fast learner. Meanwhile, in pro-am2, the top four drivers are proving very evenly matched. Mark Hazell and Glenn McMenamin have both won this season, while Steve Parish is moving ever closer to the top of the podium. Arriving at Brands, Hazell has a single-point lead over Parish in the points' table, with McMenamin chasing hard after a classy victory in round four at Rockingham. George Brewster (is right there too, while teenager George Richardsonis getting quicker with every race.

Tim Harvey will bid to extend his unbeaten run in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB when the championship continues this weekend (1/2 May) at Brands Hatch. Harvey, lead driver for Red Line Racing, has won all four races to date to take an early 12-point lead in the championship and reckons he's never had such a good start to a racing season during his 28-year career. "Without a doubt it's the best start to a season I've ever had," said the Oxford-based racer. "It's been almost the perfect start. Apart from the point for fastest lap in three races, I've got a maximum score. It may look easy from a results point of view, but it isn’t easy and we've worked very hard. But that makes it even more satisfying." Harvey is the most successful driver in the eight-year history of the Carrera Cup GB and has now contested 128 Carrera Cup races, winning 28 of them and taking a podium finish in another 63. "Winning is infectious and you get used to it," said Harvey. "I'll try and keep it going as long as I can. I'm very comfortable in the car and I'm very happy with my driving this year; I think it’s better than it has been for a while. It's rare that I start the season at this level and it does make a difference. I done quite a lot of competition on two wheels over the winter, as I usually do, but I think I've come into the season sharper and fitter."Now comes one of his favourite tracks, the stunning Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch. "Brands Hatch GP is a wonderful circuit and a real favourite of mine," said Harvey. "I grew up around Brands and I've stood all round the circuit as a small boy in shorts watching racing from as young as five years old. I had my first ever race there in 1983 and it is my motor racing home." 

British GT: Local interest will be running high at Knockhill next month (May 8/9) when the Avon Tyres British GT Championship roars north of the border for the third and fourth rounds of the 2010 season. For not only is the championship's G4 class headed by Fife driver Rory Butcher, several Scottish racers are planning to join their countryman on the grid. They include Aberdeen father-and-son team Jim and Glynn Geddie, who will make their British GT debuts at the wheel of a Team Parker Racing 997-type Porsche in the GT Cup division of the series. They will go head to head against Edinburgh-born Porsche driver John Gaw and his team-mate Phil Dryburgh, another Scot. For Geddie Junior, this season is a toe-in-the-water campaign ahead of a planned assault on the top-level GT3 class of British GT in 2011. "We are here this year to learn about British GT," says 19-year-old Glynn, "and hopefully next year we will be back with the latest GT3 Porsche and challenging for the championship." BRDC 'Rising Star' Geddie is dovetailing his British GT campaign with an assault on the UK Porsche Carrera Cup; last year he won that championship's Pro-Am 1 division, claiming two class victories at Knockhill along the way. Their big challenge at Knockhill will be to dislodge the GT Cup class machine of Gaw and Dryburgh from its class leading position. Their Porsche, fielded by Production Glassfibre with Kinfaun Racing, was on superb form in Easter's opening rounds at Oulton Park, finishing 11th and eighth overall in respective races. For Butcher - also known as 'Rory the Racing Driver' - the Knockhill rounds are a real home match(his dad owns the track!), and a chance for him to show the sort of form which netted the 23-year-old the Scottish Formula Ford Championship crown last year. At Oulton, Butcher and his driving partner Benjamin Harvey scored a class win and a second-place finish in their prestigecarleasing.co.uk with ABG KTM X-Bow, and they tie for the overall class lead with Cheshire-based Speedworks Motorsport Ginetta crew Christian Dick and Jamie Stanley. "Oulton was a great result for all of us," said Rory, "and hopefully we can use a bit of local knowledge to our advantage at Knockhill." Championship manager Benjamin Franassovici is hopeful that some more Scottish drivers will be lured to the Knockhill grid: "We have a lot of interest in the GT Cup class from Scottish teams, so I am hopeful there will be some strong competition there."

BTCC: Brands Hatch is gearing up for an almighty battle when the Dunlop MSA BTCC arrives at the circuit this May Bank Holiday weekend (1/2 May) for 3races on the Grand Prix circuit. The Bank Holiday showdown marks the BTCC’s return to the circuit following a thrilling 2009 season finale, in which Chevrolet’s Jason Plato became only the second driver in history to win all three races in one day – edging out Tom Chilton’s Ford Focus in the closest race finish in BTCC history!   Fans’ favourite Plato returns in 2010 with a factory-backed Chevrolet Cruze and is a strong contender for victory after setting the quickest time around the Indy circuit in pre-season testing. However, with seven different manufacturers on the grid including a pair of factory supported Honda Civics for former champion Matt Neal and BTCC race winner Gordon Shedden, competition will be incredibly tight when the series reaches Brands Hatch.  Among the front-runners this Bank Holiday are local hopes Airwaves BMW, who are based down the road from Brands Hatch in Wrotham. The squad is on flying form after scoring their first ever 1-2 finish in the season opener at Thruxton with drivers Mat Jackson and Steven Kane. There will also be strong challenges from Team Aon Ford Focus duo Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole, and WSR BMW’s Rob Collard – who is currently locked in a war of words with Matt Neal after the pair were involved in a controversial clash during the opening round.

Shaun Hollamby – Bringing the VW Golf back into the BTCC after two decades. Former Brands Hatch instructor Shaun Hollamby and his Thurrock-based AmD Milltek Racing team made history in 2010 when they brought the Volkswagen Golf back into the BTCC after an absence of more than twenty years. Although Hollamby considers this season a ‘learning’ year as the team works on increasing the car’s reliability and performance, the Golf has already attracted a cult following among BTCC fans.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship ‘new boy’ Alex MacDowall came away from  Rockingham on Sunday, 25th April, rather battered after three bruising races left him with two 12th places finishes and a retirement after he hit by Dave Pinkey’s Vectra in the final race. Read report

Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship leader Scott Malvern says he will be fighting fit for the Knockhill rounds, held on 8/9 May, despite injuring his ankle in a freak paddock accident. Malvern was literally swept away with an awning by a mini-tornado at the Whilton Mill kart track last week. The gust swept him and the awning clear over a van and about 20ft in the air; fortunately Scott landed on his feet. "We had finished putting up the awning and I was standing inside it, finishing off, and suddenly there was what my brother describes as a mini cyclone," said Scott. "It picked the awning up and me with it. It went up and over the van and took me about 50ft down the road. I hit someone else's van as I came down, which slowed me down a bit, and I landed on my feet. I am unbelievably lucky to be honest because I dropped from quite a height." Scott was taken to hospital for checks and advised that had he landed on any part of his body other than his feet he could have been seriously injured. He suffered a bruised ankle and feet but is recuperating quickly.  Read more

FBMW: Facu Regalia will be at Spa-Francorchamps tomorrow, Wednesday for his last Formula BMW pre-season test.  The test session wasoriginally  scheduled for April 13th and 14th, but a problem in the Blanchimont tunnel meant that the session had to be postponed. Regalia will now get the chance to run his car at one of the most famous circuits in the world. “I want to use this test session to prepare the race that will be held in this circuit at the end of August. Besides, I intend to put the car in good shape for the Montmeló weekend, where I expect to arrive in good form to start the season”, he said.

Formula 3: Adrian Quaife-Hobbs finished top rookie in just his third Formula 3 race when he took fifth place in the first of two F3 Euroseries races at Hockenheim on Sunday. The 19 year-old finished seventh in the second race despite spin when fighting for sixth.  Read report

Chris Gilmour, the 2008 F3 National Class champion and 2004 outright runner-up, will return to the outright class at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit next week behind the wheel of a recently-purchased, ex-Fortec Racing Dallara F307 Mercedes racer. The car, taken to Australia by Queensland sports car racer Steve Morcombe, is an ex Greg and Leo Mansell machine from British F3 before being imported to Australia in 2008. Gilmour Racing, headed by Chris’ father Errol, purchased the car recently and has spent until now thoroughly preparing the car for its return to the track next weekend. read more

Formula Renault UK:  Manor Competition’s Will Stevens took his third podium finish of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Rockingham over the weekend. Coupled with his fifth place in Round 3, Will heads for Brands Hatch this weekend third in the points.  His team-mate Lewis Williamson, followed Stevens in both races to come away with sixth and fourth leaving him in fourth spot in the championship.   Read report

Atech Grand Prix’s Tamás Pál Kiss has moved into the lead of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship points table after the Hungarian took victory and second place in the two rounds at Rockingham. Swiss Filipino Marlon Stockinger took his first FR podium, narrowly missing out on a second in race two but Briton Nick Yelloly was denied a podium finish when he was sidelined with a clutch problem.  Read report

Asia Racing Team’s Sandy Stuvik  from Thailand and Hong Kong’s Luca Ferigutti shared the spoils in the opening Formula Renault 2.0 Championship races at Zhuhai last weekend. It was Stovik’s debut  in single seaters and he not only won but took pole position as well .  read report

Ginetta Jnrs: Tom Ingram kept himself in contention in the 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship with a piair of fourth places after a consitent display at Rockingham over the weekend. He could just as easily ended up on the podium in race 2 but a coming together with Louise Richardson late in the race resulted in a 1 place penalty for Ingram dropping him from third to fourth.  Read report.

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Formula Renault UK: Atech GP’sTama’s Pa’l Kiss has hit the top pf the Championship table in Formula Renault UK after taking a win and a second place at Rockingham this weekend.  Harry Tincknell  repeated the feat by winning and finishing second  as well. Marlon Stockinger secures his maiden podium with a third palce in Round 3. Meanwhile  Alex Lynn continued to dominate the Graduate Cup with two more wins making that 4 wins from 4 starts.   Read report     Rockingham pix: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Elf  Renault Clio Cup: It was double lights-to-flag wins for Inverness racer Dave Newsham at Rockinghan over the weekend in the  Elf Renault Clio Cup.TCR’s  Mike Robinson makes also  picked up a couple of podium finishes whilst  James Colburn made his first visit to the podium.    Read report

F2000: Daniel Erickson’s supporters have the chance to win a Formula Ford track day, a Ferrari road tour and a Snowy Mountains holiday – but they have to act quickly. The three prizes are part of the Sydney driver’s latest fundraising campaign to help him continue racing in the American F2000 Championship Series. Each draw has only 100 $20 tickets, and about half of them are already sold. Returning to the USA is a matter of ‘unfinished business’ for Erickson, who stunned the F2000 Championship Series regulars by almost winning the first two rounds at Virginia International Raceway on April 9-10. He qualified on pole position, finished second by 0.213s after mis-timing his first ever rolling race start in Round 1, and led all the way in Round 2 until a loose spark plug lead less than three laps from the finish dropped him to 10th place. he third and fourth F2000 Championship Series rounds are at Road Atlanta on May 6-8. “Even though it was my first F2000 race meeting, on a circuit I hadn’t seen until the Thursday test day, I’m still disappointed at missing out on those two wins,” Erickson said. “Now I’m determined to show everyone that Virginia wasn’t a fluke.” Erickson isn’t daunted by the prospect of racing yet again on an unfamiliar track. “I’m used to racing on circuits for the first time, having done it most of last year in British Formula Ford,” he said. “Road Atlanta would be another new experience, but unlike at Virginia I’d be familiar with the car!”

Porsche Carrera Cup GB:  Redline Racing’s Ahmad Al Harthy had another strong outing in 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Rockingham over the past weekend picking up  two fourth place finishes in the Pro-Am 1 Class. It could have been even better but for an unfortunate ‘off’ in race two when Ahmad was inadvertently ‘tagged’, probably cost him a podium finish.    Read report

Team Parker Racing’s Euan Hankey and Glynn Geddie both scored podium finishes in the second round of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham Motor Speedway. Somerset man Hankey and Scotsman Geddie each took a third place from the two races, while Leicester racer Stephen Jelley claimed a fourth, the best result yet of his short Carrera Cup career.  Read report

Formula 3: Alexander Sims Euro F3 season took a blip at the weekend when he was forced into retirement in Round 3 after a first lap accident eliminated him  form the race. This non-finish meant he would start race two from the back of the grid and although he put in a scintillating drive to move up to sixth, mechanical gremlins intervened dropping him to eighth at the flag.   Read report

Ginetta Jnrs: Tollbar Racing’s Jake Hill moved back to the top of the 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship points table at Rockingham in Northamptonshire yesterday afternoon, (Sunday),  thanks to a dominant victory in Round four.   Read report

Team Parker Racing endured a tough weekend in the Ginetta Junior Championship at Rockingham, but Chris Swanwick and Adam Bonham both battled to a pair of top-10 finishes in each race. Swanwick took a seventh and an eighth place while Bonham scored a seventh and a 10th. Novice Finlay Ratcliffe drove the team’s other car to 18th position in both races, running lap times just off the pace of the top 10.  read report

Ginetta G50 Cup: Total Control Racing’s Carl Breeze and Dynojet’s Frank Wrathall took a win apiece during the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup at Rockingham on Sunday,. Wrathall ‘s win takes him well clear in the points while Breeze ‘s victory was his first since the middle of last year.  Read report

Carl Breeze made a welcome return to the top step of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup podium for Total Control Racing during the fifth round of the 2010 season on Sunday  and backed the result up with an excellent second place in round six later in the day. One of the team’s ELF Renault Clio Cup driver s, Mike Robinson enjoyed the best weekend of his career with a brace of podium finishes to move into the top three in the championship ahead of team-mate Sam Tordoff.  Read report

SEAT Supercopa: Last weekend (16-18th April) saw Freddy Nordström make the trip to Valencia for round one of the Spanish SEAT Supercopa Championship. Having enjoyed a successful pre-season test at Brands Hatch just one week before, Freddy was eager to get back behind the wheel.  Read report

BTCC: Matt Neal and Jason Plato shared the spoils in Sunday’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rounds at Rockingham. Neal won both races one and three in his Honda Racing Team Honda Civic but Plato, the winner of race two in his Silverline Chevrolet Cruze, now leads the points from Neal as the Championship heads for Brands Hatch next weekend. Neal, was suitably delighted with his wins, his first double victory since 2006.  All in all it was a good day for him and his team, winning race 1 by a comfortable margin over his team-mate Gordon Shedden to give the Honda Racing Team a 1-2 result. Plato was satisfied with his days work but says his team needs to keep pushing development of its Cruze. His victory in race two was the 54th of his BTCC career and also the first for Chevrolet's Cruze model in the championship, although he only just managed it after a determined late charge from Robert Collard's WSR BMW. Elsewhere the Sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Motorsport team claimed second with Paul O'Neill behind Neal in race three. Airwaves BMW driver Steven Kane took third-place finishes in races two and three elevating him to third behind Plato and Neal in the title race. Chevrolet/RML retains its lead in the Manufacturer/Constructor table as does Airwaves BMW in the HiQ Teams' Championship. Airwaves has also taken over at the top of the Independent Teams' standings from Sunshine.co.uk.

Formula Renault 3.5 Two points finishes made for a bright start to Nelson Panciatici’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series season at Motorland Aragon on a weekend where just staying on the circuit was a task that proved impossible for most. read report

DTM: Garry Parfett won the opening round of the DTM at Hockenhjeim leading a Mercedes 1,2,3 4 over the line behind him came Mercedes teammates: Bruno Spengler, Jamie Green and Paul di Resta, only 2.251 seconds separating the fourth-placed di Resta from the winner. Mike Rockenfeller was the first Audi home in fifth.

Auto GP: Vladimir Arabadzhiev won the second AutoGP race at Brnot with Adrian Zaugg second just 0.5secs behind. Zaugg,s tatring from pole was beaten away at the start by Arabadzhiev who then held the lead throughout.  Luca Filippi won the first ever Auto GP race, the chose an early pit-stop on lap 4 and with a clear track put in some wquick times to regain the elad as the rem,ainming runners all made their pit-stops. Edoardo Piscopo and Fabio Onidi  completed the podium

25-04-10

Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Archie Hamilton, 19, from  Basingstoke, continued to make made progress in his second Porsche GB event. Although his first podium eluded him, he made real progress in his bid to emulate his Le Mans winning grandfather’s sportscar success. Qualifying went well with two runs on new tyres and after studying data from practice Archie was well prepared. On his first outing he did a 1:21.8, improving to a 1:21.4 on his second run. Race one was frenetic with a record 27 car grid heading into the first corner. Archie made a good start and was fighting with Glynn Geddie for seventh place,  when he tried the outside line but ended up getting pushed wide onto the grass and losing four places. After getting back on track he was then held back by a slower car which try as he might he couldn’t pass and get back up with the pack ahead. Despite this Archie took the chequered flag fifth in class and just one place from a top ten finish. The second race was more of a challenge with a first lap spin on coolant putting him at the back of the field. Undaunted, Archie put in a good recovery driver despite steering damage incurred when he came into contact with another car during the first lap incident. Lap by lap Archie moved up the leader board, and although his car was unable to replicate his earlier pace he gained 15 places to finish 10th overall and fifth in class.  Archie Hamilton: “Overall it’s been a positive weekend. I’ve notched up another two race finishes. I know I can qualify well now. I’ve learnt more about how to use the traffic to my advantage and how to stay out of trouble. I’m definitely going to Brands Hatch with more confidence. I know I can be quick and have made progress so I’m happy.”

Tim Harvey completed a perfect start to his season by making it four wins in a row in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham today (Sunday 25 April) in round four of the championship. Ollie Jackson (Addison Lee Motorbase) completed a perfect weekend with a second pro-am1 victory from Tony Gilham (Collins Redesign Racing), while Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing) clinched pro-am2 glory from Steve Parish (Addison Lee Motorbase). Jackson took the 'driver of the weekend' award, while Motorbase Performance was confirmed as the 'team of the weekend'. read report

Ginetta G50 Cup: Dynojet’s Frank Wrathall extended his lead in the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup with an assured victory during the fourth round of the season at Rockingham on  Saturday (24th April).  Read report    Rockingham pix: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Ginetta Jnrs: TJ Motorsport pairing Tom Howard and Louise Richardson locked out a stunning one-two result during the third round of the Ginetta Junior Championship at Rockingham this afternoon, Saturday, 24th April, following a thoroughly entertaining and enthralling eight-lap encounter.  Read report

Clios: Total Control Racing enjoyed a fantastic start to the second event of its 2010 motorsport campaign at Rockingham on, Saturday, 24th April, with podium success in both the ELF Renault Clio Cup and Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup.Celebrating a highly impressive double-rostrum finish for Sam Tordoff and Mike Robinson during round three of the all-action Clios, the Wednesbury team also tasted podium glory in round four of Ginetta G50 with a strong second place finish for seasoned campaigner Carl Breeze.  Read report

Grand-Am: Burt Frisselle brought the Pacific Mobile No. 61 Ford Riley across the line in second place for the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway. This is AIM Autosport's first podium in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 since taking a third-place finish at Infineon Raceway in August 2008 and Burt's first podium in the series since 2004. Read report

Karts: Jack Hawksworth, the only British driver competing in round three of the 2010 WSK Euro Series around a circuit at which he had anticipated he and his team might struggle, Zuera in Spain, Jack performed brilliantly to take two excellent fifth place finishes from 25th after qualifying. Read report   pic Chris Walker/www.kartpix.net

Jay Goodwin challenged the leaders in his latest national outing of 2010 in the Super 1 Series at Rowrah in Cumbria - all he needs now is for a little luck. Read report

 Tim Harvey completed a hat-trick of early season wins in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham on Saturday (24 April) in he third round of the championship. Harvey led from the start and fended off the challenge of Michael Caine to extend his championship lead.Ollie Jackson (Addison Lee Motorbase) scored an emphatic pro-am1 victory from Tony Gilham (Collins Redesign Racing), while Mark Hazell (JHR) made it a hat-trick of wins in pro-am2 from Steve Parish (Addison Lee Motorbase). Read report

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Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Tim Harvey claimed a double pole position in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB during qualifying at Rockingham today (Saturday 24 April) for rounds three and four of the championship. Ollie Jackson (Addison Lee Motorbase - pictured)) headed pro-am1 with a mighty performance that put him in the top four overall for both races, while Mark Hazell (JHR) and Steve Parish (Addison Lee Motorbase) shared the top times in pro-am2. Harvey (Red Line Racing) went straight out of the blocks onto pole for the opening race with a lap that was nearly four-tenths of a second clear of the rest of the 27-car pack. "Four-tenths on Michael Caine is quite a nice gap," said Harvey. "The set-up is working really well." Harvey then turned in a second best lap that was strong enough to secure pole position for race two.Caine (Motorbase Performance) will start both races from second on the grid, despite a big scare when he clipped the wall on the exit of the flat out Turn One. "My first run was ruined by a red flag and then I clipped the wall and knocked the tracking out," said Caine. Third fastest for the opening race was a tremendous result for Jackson. "I got the most out of the tyres and I'm well chuffed with that," said Jackson, who topped pro-am1 for both races. Stephen Jelley (Team Parker Racing) set fourth and third best times. Carrera Cup Scholarship driver Euan Hankey (Team Parker Racing) and Tom Bradshaw (JHR) were fifth and sixth fastest for both races. Archie Hamilton (Red Line Racing) was well inside the top 10 overall and second in pro-am1 to Jackson for both races. Another great effort from Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) put him third in pro-am1 on his first visit to Rockingham, while Tony Gilham (Collins ReDesign Racing) was fourth in pro-am1 for the opening race from his first flying lap, but then spun into the gravel on his second flying lap. That means he will start the second race from the back of the grid.It was very close in pro-am2 as Hazell and Parish each claimed a pole position. For the opening race, Hazell was just five-thousandths of a second ahead of Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing), with Parish third. However, for the second race, Parish heads McMenamin and Hazell.

Star Mazda: In preparation for the upcoming oval test at ORP Team Apex drivers Jorge Goncalvez and Joao Horto got the opportunity to test in a Ford Focus Midget owned by Steve Lewis of Nine Racing. The test was conducted at the Indianapolis Speedrome were some of auto racing's greatest drivers have raced including A.J. Foyt, Darrell Waltrip, Michael Waltrip,John Andretti, Johnny Rutherford, Lloyd Ruby, Gary Bettenhausen, Mel Kenyon, Bobby Allision and Tony Stewart.On hand for the test were Team Apex Technical Director Louis D’Agostino and Driver Coach Rod MacLeod along with Nine Racing Team Manager Glenn Martin and USAC Midget Champion Billy Wease. “Both drivers quickly adapted to the new feel of a front engine car and started to clip off excellent lap times here at the Speedrome facility,” said Glenn Martin , Nine Racing Team Manager. “We were able to secure past Speedrome USAC Midget Champion Billy Wease to help instruct the drivers on the technical aspects of turning left and getting quickly up to speed. It was a fun experience for them and they learned fast.” “I was very impressed with both drivers as they adapted extremely well to the oval and the different handling characteristics of a midget” said Rod MacLeod.Both drivers are looking for forward to the upcoming official Star Mazda test at O’Rielly Raceway Park on May 5th and 6th.

Formula Renault  Arthur Pic confirmed that he is a serious title contender in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championship by qualifying on the front row and on pole for the first rounds of the 2010 season. On Saturday and Sunday, the Tech 1 Racing driver was involved in a fierce battle for victory but came away with nothing.. read report

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Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Michael Caine ended Friday’s test top of the time sheets in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham ahead of this weekend’s races. Ollie Jackson (Addison Lee Motorbase) headed pro-am1, while Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing) topped pro-am2. Caine (Motorbase Performance) set the best lap of the day during the morning session as the teams acclimatised to a revised compound of Michelin slick tyre. "It's a good start to the weekend for the team," said Caine. "But I thought there was more time to come from everybody." Second fastest was Stephen Jelley (Team Parker Racing), who ran strongly at the scene of his two BTCC victories in 2009. Third fastest was Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing), who spent much of the day working on set-up to match the new tyre compound. Euan Hankey (Team Parker Racing), Tom Bradshaw (JHR) and Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing) packed out the top six, and all were confident of increasing their pace in qualifying. Bradshaw was on a better lap when a red flag interrupted his run. Seventh fastest overall and top of pro-am1 was Jackson, but his major rival Tony Gilham (Collins Redesign Racing) was only a tenth of a second slower, with pro category racer Michael Meadows (Red Line Racing) splitting them on the final testing times. Third in pro-am1, with another strong performance was Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing), while Archie Hamilton and Ahmad Al Harthy were fourth and fifth for Red Line Racing.In pro-am2, Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing) set the pace with an impressive 15th place overall. His excellent pace left him nine-tenths of a second ahead of double Thruxton winner Mark Hazell (JHR), with Steve Parish (Addison Lee Motorbase), George Richardson (Motorbase Performance), George Brewster (Celtic Speed) and Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport) all close on time for what promises to be another fine pro-am2 contest.

The Juta Racing team completed a 26-hour over-land trek from Lithuania to get to Rockingham for this weekend's Porsche Carrera Cup GB races when all flights were cancelled last week. With European flights in turmoil following the eruption of the Icelandic volcano, the Lithuanian team had no choice but to do the journey by road to ensure that they arrived at Rockingham in time for Friday's test session. Neither driver had even seen Rockingham before, so they needed to learn the Northamptonshire track in testing.With the team truck based in the UK for the season, a five-man crew, including racer Jonas Gelzinis, drove across Europe in a mini bus. They left in the early hours of Wednesday morning and the 1400-mile drive from Lithuania took them through Poland, Germany, Holland, Belgium and France to arrive in the UK at 7am on Thursday."We took it in turns to do the driving and get a little sleep," said team manager Audrius Gelzinis. "It was a good journey and we arrived on schedule." They will now stay in the UK until after the Brands Hatch races next weekend, before some of the crew will fly home and two of the mechanics drive the mini bus back to Lithuania.

Porsche Carrera Cup GB : Ahmad Al Harthy has secured support of highly prestigious partner Oman Air for his 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship campaign. As part of the agreement, the Muscat based driver – who achieved two podium finishes on his debut in the championship three weeks ago – will act as an ambassador for Oman Air and will also receive continued support throughout 2010 from Oman’s Ministry of Sports Affairs. Breaking new ground throughout his motor racing career, the 28-year-old is the first Arab driver to compete in Porsche Carrera Cup GB and prior to this year’s switch to sportscar racing he was the first Omani to compete in single-seater competition.  “It truly is an incredible privilege for me to be an ambassador for Oman Air and the Ministry of Sports Affairs – their support is absolutely essential and I aim to achieve as much success as possible for my country in Porsche Carrera Cup GB this year”, said Ahmad. “I am so proud to be able to fly the flag for Oman in such a prestigious and competitive category. The UK is the true centre of world motorsport, so achieving good results in Porsche Carrera Cup GB is very important to the development of my racing career. I want to take this opportunity to thank Oman Air and the Ministry of Sports Affairs for their vital support.” Based at Muscat International Airport, Oman Air is the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman and is the flagship company of the country’s civil aviation sector. Renowned for its excellence in service, outstanding hospitality and exceptional safety record, Oman Air is at the forefront of global aviation. Ahmad is back in action this weekend, 24th/25th April at Rockingham.   pic Jakob Ebrey Photography     For all the latest news visit www.ahmadalharthy.com 

Formula Renault: Asia Racing Team's Formula Renault 2.0 team is heading to the Zhuhai circuit in China this week, for the first race of the 2010 season the non-championship "AFR Championship Spring Race". Thailand's duo Sandy Stuvik and Tin Sritrai will be making their single seaters debut this weekend, while Hong Kong's Luca Ferigutti makes a return to the series he raced last season. It was at Zhuhai that Asia Racing Team's Luis Sa Silva clinched the eighth victory for the team in 2009. After that weekend in October 2009, where he took two podiums, Luca Ferigutti,  will be again eyeing a top three finish. The Switzerland native will lead the ART attack at the team's home track. The white and red-brown #27 car will be again sponsored by Dubey and Schaldenbrand Watches and MagicGoal. Tin Sritrai, crowned double Asian Karting Open champion last season, moves up to cars in 2010 and is looking for a successful first single seater appearance this weekend. Sandy Stuvik, 15, is one of the most promising drivers in Asia. Stuvik has been winning everything there was in go-karts on the way up, and he has excelled in Thailand's tin-tops last year. The Formula Renault winter testing times tells us Stuvik will be aiming high for his single seater baptism. The first event of the season kicks off with Free Practice on Saturday 23 April. Saturday 24 April features the Qualifying in the morning and the Race 1 after lunch. The second 10-lap race will take place on Sunday 25 April.

 GT Academy : Jordan Tresson has been announced as the winner of GT Academy 2010. The 21-year-old Frenchman completed a short head-to-head test today on Silverstone’s new Grand Prix circuit against friend and rival Luca Lorenzini. The pair drove five flying laps each in the 420bhp Nissan 370Z GT4 race car that Tresson will now campaign in the 2010 European GT Cup series. Since the pair made it through the various stages of the competition they have had an intensive six-week period where  they have racied at various UK club races each weekend to qualify for an International C Race Licence. Both obtained their licences last weekend and headed to Silverstone for the test session to decide who would win the ultimate prize. First up was Lorenzini, and drama as he went off the track at Woodcote corner. Jordan then delivered a series of quick laps that left the decision clear- cut for PlayStation Nissan Team boss Bob Neville. “I never imagined I would end up here when I was on my PlayStation back in December,” enthused Tresson, an automotive  engineering  student  from  Villers La Montagne in Northern France.  “This is amazing. Racing a full season in the GT4 class is an incredible opportunity thanks to Nissan and PlayStation. I wanted to believe it was possible and I know I did a good job last weekend at Snetterton, but you never know. At the moment I just feel like my body is here but my mind is not! This has always been my dream.”  Jordan’s first race in the European GT4 Cup is at  Silverstone on 2 May.

Karts: In KF just like in KZ, Energy karts have collected a long series of victories at the latest international meetings, both in Italy and in Spain. The Italian chassis has proven to be very effective and has allowed drivers from the Energy Corse Team to make it onto the podium at all kind of circuits in variable weather conditions. read report

This weekend (24/25 April), Easykart heads to Teesside for one of the most popular races on the calendar. Featuring a combination of fast straights, tight corners and two, enormous-radius bends (one of which is semi-banked) it is reminiscent of the Shanghai GP circuit and last year produced great racing and physically punished those who weren’t in tip-top shape. Read more 

Evolution Racing kart pilot Harry Crawley, has, after just two meetings at Junior Max level in the Super 1 Series,  established himself as the leading class 'rookie' and a genuine title contender in one of the toughest championship in Britain.  Read report  

FIA GT: The FIA GT1 World Championship became reality on the Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit. French team HEXIS AMR got their GT season underway by putting one of their Aston Martin DB9s front row at the end of the qualifying practice but sadly neither car  made it to the finish of the race.  Read report.

AutoGP: It was a really intense day in Brno for the debut of the Auto GP season, with the teams on track for three hours of testing to prepare themselves for this weekend. Team and drivers took full advantage from this chance to get acquainted with the cars and with the track, using the first session as a "toe in the water".  After three hours, Edoardo Piscopo was the man of the day with the best time of 1'43"141. The italian driver topped sessions two and three, keeping at bay Giorgio Pantano. The SuperNova driver was very careful in the first two session, but he was able to push when it was needed, in the last minutes of the last session with new tyres, he was just 3 hudredths away from Piscopo's time. Duncan Tappy was third, after topping the first session in the morning. With third the Brit completed a good day for DAMS. Behind him was Fabio Onidi, just 0.002 behind and 0.3 ahead of Jan Charouz. After the Charouz-Gravity Racing driver, the pack was very compact, with Grubmüller, Filippi, Leal, Reid, Tambay and Zaugg all incredibly close.

The FIA WTCC is about to resume after a one month break following the cancellation of the second event of the season that was due to take place at Puebla, Mexico, on April 21st.The 3rd and 4th rounds of the season will be held on May 1st in Morocco, on Marrakech's street circuit that will host the championship for the second consecutive time. The 4.5-km racetrack traced out in the hotel district of Agdal, which lies only a few chilometres South of the Medina, Marrakech's historical centre, has been slightly modified compared to last year. This has made it possible to get the Grade 2 FIA homologation in order to host the  FIA Formula 2 Championship that will complete the weekend's programme.In 2009 the WTCC Race of Morocco brought back international racing to North Africa fifty years after the last Formula One Moroccan Grand Prix was held at Casablanca in 1958.Those races marked the first successes for the new Chevrolet Cruze car. After claiming pole position on Saturday, Rob Huff won the first race from the SEAT cars of Gabriele Tarquini and Jordi Gené.In the second race Nicola Larini scored Chevrolet's second victory of the day, crossing the line with a slim margin on Yvan Muller's SEAT and Huff.  

200 guests from several countries attended yesterday, the WTCC presentation organized by Eurosport in collaboration with Motorsport-Total.com. The event was held in Germany, at the Munich Marriott Hotel. After the opening speech delivered by Bernd Daubenmerkl, CEO of Eurosport Media GmbH, KSO General Manager Marcello Lotti said: "The 2010 season has just started, but we are already working for the future. We are in negotiations with a number of Manufacturers who are interested in joining the championship over the next two years. We are aiming to expand to new countries like Argentina, Indonesia and China.  And last but not least we are willing to open the door as soon as possible to new eco-friendly technologies like natural gas and hybrid. I am very much looking forward to the next months, as we intend to lay the foundations for the future of WTCC."Among the many guests who enjoyed the Marrakech-style dinner after the interviews and debates, were the Manufacturers representatives: Eric Nève of Chevrolet, Mario Theissen of BMW Motorsport and Joán Orus of SEAT Customers Technologies.

22-04-10

The 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear season-opener at the 12 Hours of Sebring gets a double premier airing this weekend on HDnet.  The 1-hour high-definition broadcast, sponsored by VISITFLORIDA, will air at 5:00 pm (ET) Saturday, April 24 and again at Noon (ET) on Sunday, April 25.  HDnet reaches approximately 17 million homes in the U.S. The first race of the new season features 23 drivers battling wheel-to-whee.  Thanks to the partnership between MAZDASPEED and VISITFLORIDA (the state's official tourism development corporation), select races of the 2010 Star Mazda Championship Presented By Goodyear will be televised, including four LIVE HD broadcasts.  The five race weekends and seven races that constitute the VISITFLORIDA Cup include: Sebring  March 19, New Jersey Motorsports Park, June 26-27 (Doubleheader), Autobahn Country Club, July 31-August 1 (Doubleheader), Mosport I August 28, and Road Atlanta, October 1. The New Jersey and Autobahn doubleheaders will be live .  InCountry is the lead syndication affiliate for telecasts who will air all shows, nationally, beginning approximately 30 days after each race.  Each race will have multiple rebroadcasts.  InCountry's key is channel 344 on BASIC DirecTV and channel 230 on Dish Network.  Star Mazda Championship races will also be broadcast internationally.  Schedule information can be found at www.MazdaRacing.tv

Grand-Am: Just over a week ago, the Doran Team with drivers Memo Gidley and Dion VonMoltke, drove the #77 McDonalds car to have its best finish in five years, crossing the line fourth at the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park.  “Last week’s race at Barber was great for the Doran Team,” said Gidley. “There is nothing like a good finish to pump everybody up.  I am very happy and proud of everybody that is part of the McDonalds effort.” Because of that finish and its consistent runs so far this year, the #77 McDonalds car now heads to the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 series race, the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway tied for fifth in the team standings.  “The best thing about the last finish is that it was no fluke,” said Gidley. “We were strong at Barber previous years, just as we were strong at VIR last year.  I am excited to hit the track and think we are going to have another great weekend.” After Saturdays race, Gidley, is once again grabbing a red-eye flight back to CA so that he can make round #2 of the DJSA Outlaw Jet Ski Series race at Camp Far West in Wheatland, CA.  “People thought I was crazy to race the double last weekend, so I thought I would do it again!” said Gidley.  “I will admit, with all the travel and lack of sleep, it was grueling.  But grueling is what makes you stronger and I like the challenge.”  Gidley, who is the 2009 DJSA Super 800 class champion, was bumped up to the Super 850 Expert Class this year and finished fourth in the last race.  “Fourth place in my last race at Salt Springs was awesome because of the super rough water and much stiffer competition,” said Gidley. “I have been training really hard and have high expectations for myself this year in the DJSA Championship…I’m excited to hit the next race and show what I can do!”  This weekend’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Bosch Engineering 250 is Saturday April 24th at Virginia International Raceway. The race kicks off at 12:00 Saturday with full coverage on Speed starting at 2:00 pm EST.

Karts: CRG and Maxter had the starring role in Spain on the Zuera circuit for  the third round of the WSK Euro Series 2010. On Sunday afternoon victories for Michelle Gatting in KF2 and Max Verstappen in KF3 saw both move into contention for titles.  Read report 

Tom Fawcett dominated last weekend's 2nd round of the British Super 1 championship at Rowrah, winning back-to-back final and taking the series lead into the bargain.   Read report          Pic: Chris Walker/www.kartpix.net

Silverstone will be celebrating the first event to be held on its new Grand Prix Circuit by opening up the track to cyclists over the Silverstone Supercar race weekend (30 April / 01 May / 02 May). Cycling the circuit will be free of charge  to all holders of a Silverstone  Supercar qualifying, race day or weekend ticket. Anyone without an event ticket can join the cycle ride at a cost of just £5, payable either in advance or on the day. Access to the Grand Prix Circuit for cyclists is available throughout the weekend at the following  times:  18:30  -  20:00hrs  on  Friday  30  April;  18:30  -  20:00hrs  on  Saturday 01 May; and at 18:30 - 20:00hrs on Sunday 02 May. For further information, or to book Silverstone Supercar or cycle ride tickets, visit www.silverstone.co.uk or call 0844 3728 260.

Masters Series: The Entry Form for the Oldtimer Grand Prix at Nurburgring is now available to download on line from the Masters Website. Taking place over the weekend of August 13-15, the Oldtimer Grand Prix is one of the longest running and biggest historic events in Europe . You can book your grid slots from today into one or more of the following Masters races at the Oldtimer Grand Prix in mid-August:   Grand Prix Masters, two races each as usual,  World Sportscar Masters, two 30 minute races on the GP circuit,  There is also an additional Masters race for 2010 - a 40 minute race with pit stop, for the Gentleman Drivers pre-66 GT cars on the GP circuit on the Sunday Appendix K pre-66 GT and Touring cars – The Masters Series has reserved places for Masters members – run on the long Nordschleife circuit in the AvD Historic Marathon, 210 minutes on the Friday.  www.TheMastersSeries.com

Fiesta Championship: Mountune Performance have joined with  the Kempster Ford/Nick Sanderson Racing team as 'Technical Partners'. Mountune will aid The Team’s th technical aspects of the Duratec racing engine, and provide insights into race engine set-up. As Mountune have an illustrious history with Ford in motorsport - they supplied the Sierra RS500 BTCC engines that won Robb Gravett his title and developed the original Focus RS WRC engine that powered Colin McRae in 1999 and 2000. Their latest project is the design, build and development of the LPG-powered BTCC Team Aon Ford Focus ST's of Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole. Speaking from the Kempster Ford/Nick Sanderson Racing Team headquarters in Heywood, UK Operations Director, Ian Fletcher said: 'I am extremely happy and excited to be able to say that Mountune Performance have agreed to join The Team as Technical Partners. Mountune's experience with Ford race engines, and the 2.0 Duratec unit in particular, will prove invaluable as we progress through the season. This announcement is the culmination of many months of meetings and discussions, not to mention the navigation of several rather large hurdles that were put in our way! We are now ready to begin our partnership this weekend at Snetterton.' Mountune Performance will also be providing the recently developed Ford Approved 350 BHP upgrade to the team Focus RS. Kemster Ford’s drivers, ST19 James Byrne, ST33 John Findlay and ST44 Ian Fletcher are back in action this coming weekend at Snetterton.

Formula Ford: This weekend’s round of the Queensland Racing Drivers Championship at Queensland Raceway will provide a form guide for Round 2 of the Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship, with 12 national series drivers set to compete. The event will feature many of the front-runners in this year’s championship including Round 1 podium finishers Chaz Mostert, Nick Foster and Ryan Simpson, while Ash Walsh, Nathan Morcom, Adam Graham, Ben Jurczak, Andre Borell, Geoff Uhrhane and Jon Mills will also compete. National Series rookies Shae Davies and Zac Shonberger will use the event to prepare for their debut. read more

Sepang International Circuit has announced the appointment of Motorsport Asia Limited (MAL) as series organiser of the Malaysian Super Series 2010.  read more

Skip Barber. As the drivers of the 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda head north from Sebring to Virginia International Raceway for Round 5 and 6 of the season, Mother Nature could have a bigger than expected affect on this weekend's results. After supporting the ALMS at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Skip Barber National is part of a full weekend of racing at VIR, featuring the Bosch Engineering 250 for the Grand Am Rolex Sports car Series. MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver Spencer Pigot looks to defend his championship lead from the likes of Dennis Trebing, the first two-time winner this season, first-time winner at Sebring Isaac Lyons and recently crowned Southern Race Series champ Ashley Freiberg. Three to watch this weekend include  Ashley Freiberg , the first woman to win an overall Skip Barber Race Series championship at the recent Southern Race Series finale at Sebring.  Nick Andries returns to Skip Barber after a one-off Star Mazda race in his hometown of St. Petersburg, hoping to capitalize on his experience as he resumes his quest for the 2010 title. Another driver making progress is Scott Anderson. Anderson, the 2009 SCCA Rocky Mountain Division National Spec Racer Ford Champion and Rookie of the Year, has shown steady progress this season as he learns both the tracks and the cars. Two other to watch this weekend, assuming they make it, are Irishman Isaac Lyons and Englishman Daniel Lloyd, second and eighth in points respectively. Both being based in Europe, the air traffic chaos caused by the ash cloud from the volcano in Iceland may determine whether or not they make it to the track or not.

SEAT: Duarte Félix da Costa aiming for Seat Eurocup title. Runner up in  the 2009 Portuguese Touring Car Championship, the 24 year old driver together with Sowhat – Management, has decided to sign with Zengo Dension Team for the Seat Leon Eurocup, a series he raced in back in 2008. 2008. “After a very positive year racing in Portugal, coming back to race in International series was part of my plans and the proposal of Zengo Dension Team was undeniable, plus the fact that they are 2009 Eurocup Champions which gives me confidence to fight for wins. I’m very motivated to attack the title together with Zengo”, he said. The series starts on 23 May at Monza  and has six double race weekends.  Da Costa will also race at Portimao in July in the Supercopa: “The most important thing at the moment is the relation with the team, I have been recently at Budapest on the workshop and I was very impressed with Zengo, and I felt that they are very confident and enthusiastic about the new season and that gives me even more confidence. I know the level of this series is very high but the spirit is the same between me and the team, win mentality.”, concluded the touring car race winner. Zengo Dension Team will be involved with three cars. The Hungarian Team owned by Zoltan Zengo joined the WTCC this year with Norbert Michelisz in a Seat Leon TDI.

FBMW: The Formula BMW test at Zandvoort presented Facu Regalia with an unforeseen problem in the shape of an engine blowing in the day’s first hour. Despite this he came away reasonably happy. he Spanish-Argentinean tested on both Tuesday and Wednesday at the Dutch circuit but the aforementioned mechanical problems restricted the Eifelland Racing driver from as many laps as he would have liked.  A productive first day saw him set sixth best lap, even although he had some difficulties twith his new tyres. On Wednesday more mechanical glitches put his plans on hold as the problems kept on coming. To start with his handling was all awry forcing him back to the pits where a bent suspension arm was diagnosed. This fixed he was back out on track,. “I’m not happy with the times, but the car’s handling is at the best level. When we put new tires, a car broke its engine leaving the track full of oil, and I couldn’t take advantage of them. Though, with all these circumstances, the team felicitated me, because with old tyres I was always among the five fastest drivers and I was faster than my team-mates”, underlined Facu after completing the second day of testing.

Formula 3: Silverstone’s brand new Arena Grand Prix Circuit configuration proved to be a very happy hunting ground for Formula 3 rookie Menasheh Idafar on Wednesday, 21st April – the National Class runner ending the official test seventh fastest overall on combined times.Performing consistently throughout the three sessions, the T-Sport racer recorded a best of 1m54.239 (115.52mph) during the final period to conclude the outing some 2.5 secs ahead of National Class points leader James Cole. Starting the day very well indeed with a time of 1m55.857 seconds (113.91mph) to go 10th fastest overall, the 19-year-old improved by six 10ths of a second in session two with a lap of 1m55.245 seconds (114.52mph). As high as third quickest on the timesheets during the final period, where with 14 laps he completed the fewest of any of the competitors in session three, Menasheh ended the run a highly creditable sixth fastest. Rounding out the day seventh overall, he certainly prepared well for the next three Cooper Tires British F3 International Series races with a dominant National Class showing.“I’m really happy with today’s performance, the whole test went well and to finish the last session in the top six overall was really good”, said the British-born Bahraini, “It was important to have a good test before the Silverstone races but to be as strong as we have today was great. It was good to drive the new Arena track for the first time, I like it and I hope we can have some success there.”

21-04-10

Formula 3: Japanese driver Daisuke Nakajima set the pace in testing today (Wednesday) on the new Silverstone Arena Grand Prix circuit, the Raikkonen Robertson racer lapping the Northamptonshire track - which is set to get its race christening from the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series next weekend (1/2 May) - a tenth quicker than his nearest rival, championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne. Read more

Formula Renault BARC: Mitchell Hale has shot to the top of the Formula Renault BARC Championship standings after a sensational win in the opening round at Brands Hatch last weekend. Hale, 16 years old, backed up his win in the first race with a third place in race two.  “It was good fun,” he said. “I always knew we were going to be quite quick because we were fastest in the official test before the race meeting. But I also knew that qualifying is very hard in Formula Renault and that overtaking is very difficult.”That is particularly the case on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, but Hale made some superb overtaking moves. In the first race, he qualified second but took the lead with a brave manoeuvre at Paddock Hill. “The guy in front made a mistake at the previous corner and was defending into Paddock,” said Mitchell. “But I just moved further to the inside and dived in front – I’m pretty sure I had two wheels on the grass!” Hale qualified on pole position for race two, but due to tyre rubber being put down on the circuit from other races he had too much grip off the startline and stalled. That put him well down the order, but he pulled off even more overtaking moves to take third place. “I overtook three cars and someone else went out with a mechanical problem, so that was great for me. I was really fast and catching the leading two. I literally caught them on the last lap but ran out of time to make any more moves.”  Hale was delighted with his maiden weekend in single-seater racing cars. “I like the cars a lot more than the Ginetta Junior sportscar I raced last year. They’ve got more power and far more grip, and that suits my driving style quite a bit better because it’s closer to karting, where I raced before last year.”

AutoGP: The opening round of the inaugural Auto GP campaign will be live on Motors TV this weekend after the Channel tied up an exclusive deal with the new championship.The announcement comes hot on the heels of news that the cable and satellite motorsport-specialists have become the home of live FIA GT3 and International GT Open coverage, joining an impressive live bill which also includes the FIM World Motocross and British Rallycross championships, selected ALMS and V8 Supercar races as well as the groundbreaking Motors TV Live Race Day club motorsport events. All six of this season’s Auto GP rounds will be broadcast in full on Motors TV with at least one of Sunday’s races scheduled to be live, while the other will be replayed as-live later in the afternoon. In some cases, both races will be live. The championship enters its first season under the Auto GP banner in 2010 after being known as Euroseries 3000 for the past four years. Using first generation A1GP single seaters, the low-cost formula is intended to allow up-and-coming racers a chance to test their skills against more experienced rivals. This season features the likes of Duncan Tappy and Adrian Tambay, who will pit their wits against ex-F1 and IndyCar driver Giorgio Pantano, Jan Charouz, Alvaro Parente and former Euroseries 3000 champion Luca Filippi. Competition will be fierce with each aiming to claim a share of the €200,000 prize fund available at each round.  The opening round of this season’s Auto GP championship comes from Brno in the Czech Republic this Sunday (April 25). Race one is live on Motors TV at 10am with the second delayed but in full at 4pm.

Trofeo Abarth 500: Thames’ driver Cassey Watson managed to pull out the stops and drive around a fever and her competitors to finish a highly creditable 9th on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit last weekend in the second round of the Zing Trofeo Abarth 500 GB series. The 18-year-old, who was suffering from a fever prior to the race, qualified 13th, then put in a great performance to finish both races in 9th position whilst fending off the chasing pack.  Watson set the second fastest lap during Saturday’s qualifying on cold tyres, before eventually slipping back down the grid no helped by her illness and it’s effects. However she was pleased that she was able to finish the session.“My sponsors pay to see the car on track, and my team work extremely hard to make sure the car is at it’s best, so I personally wanted to do my best for them - both during qualifying and during the races” explained Watson. “I was really looking forward to racing again at Silverstone, so it’s frustrating that I wasn’t feeling 100 per cent.  However, I view the experience in a positive way on the basis that it has given me more track time in the car.  What’s more, there’s five weeks ‘til the next race meeting at Cadwell Park, so it gives me the chance to learn more about the car between now and then,” she added.Stefan Hodgetts, driving his first race in the Trofeo Abarth 500 GB, set the fastest lap of 2:10.830 to claim the top step of the podium for Saturday’s  race, while Ben Winrow won on Sunday.

FPA: Maxime Jousse tops FPA test day, the Frenchman edging out Aaron Steele and Nigel Moore at Snetterton. Jousse set the pace during the official Formula Palmer Audi pre-season test yesterday, in the overboost enabled session at the end of the day. His time of 1:05.440s was enough to edge out Aaron Steele by just 0.020s. Ginetta-backed racer Nigel Moore completed the top three order as he continued to improve with every session. Matt Bell and Jordan Williams set identical lap times in fourth and fifth, with Jordan setting the fastest non-boost time of the entire day. The young Briton was the quickest driver overall ahead of the final 30 minutes of running, but his flying overboost lap was ruined after he was baulked by a slowing car. Howard Fuller's morning pace was good enough for sixth at the finish, ahead of Spaniard Ramon Piñeiro. Ash Davies jumped several places up the timesheet in the closing stages, with the Welshman grabbing eighth in the final few minutes. Melroy Heemskerk hailed his test experience as a 'good learning curve' after he ended the day in ninth, ahead of Italian Giuseppe Cipriani. Vincent Beltoise and James Thorp completed the order. The top ten drivers were separated by less than a second.

The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge makes it’s debut race appearance at Virginia International Raceway for round three of the 2010 championship this weekend. A road racing fan favourite, the Bosh Engineering 250 event will also feature the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and a host of support events including the Mustang series on Sunday afternoon. The 2010 Mustang Challenge season kicked off in March at Homestead Miami with a 2 races that saw Jason von Kluge win two from two to gain an early edge in the standings.  But the battle for the Miller Cup trophy is far from over with a 8 rounds remaining. Colorado's Dan Aweida, who had an outstanding race-long battle with George Winkler at Homestead, scored 3rd and 4th in the opening rounds to go second in the points entering the VIR weekend. And just four points back from Aweida is Tony Buffomante, with Pratt Cole and George Winkler tied for points behind him. The 3.27-mile natural terrain circuit outside of Danville, Virginia features a little bit of everything for the Mustang Challenge racers. The circuit in rural Virginia is a challenge that the drivers relish with corners that reward patience (Oak Tree) and bravery ("Climbing Esses" and "Roller Coaster") in equal measure. "I've run at VIR before and I think it's a really fun track," said von Kluge ahead of the weekend. "Homestead was a perfect weekend for me, and hopefully I can do the same thing again at VIR. I just can't wait to get back there and see how it goes."

Karts: In Spain, at the third round of the WSK Euro Series, Beitske Visser overcame the difficulties inherent in this sport to climb on the podium again. Read report

Indycar: Hunter-Reay prevailed in the breakneck Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - a race slowed by a lone full-course caution holding off Justin Wilson by 5.6031 seconds to give Andretti Autosport its first victory since 2008 at Richmond (Tony Kanaan). "It was the most fun I had in a race car because it was handling so well," said Hunter-Reay, who is the first American to win at Long Beach since Andretti in 2002. "My mom is out there today. She passed along recently and this race is for her. Over the last couple of laps I said 'This is for you, Mom.'" Said Andretti: "I love this place. It's where I got my first win as a driver (1986) and where I got my first win as a sole owner." Hunter-Reay became the first American driver to win an IZOD IndyCar Series race since he won in July 2008 at Watkins Glen, which was his first career victory. Will Power, the championship points leader and pole sitter, finished third in the 85-lap race on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn circuit. He heads to the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway on May 1 having extended his lead to 42 points over teammate Helio Castroneves (130). Hunter-Reay is third (129) and Wilson is fourth (125).

20-04-10

GT Cup: Silverstone hosted the  opening two rounds of the GT Cup last weekend and Sarah Bennett-Baggs was out in the Adrian Flux BMW Z4 M Coupe in Class 3. In the opening race she finish 4th in Class while in race 2 a couple of spins, one on somebody else’s oil, saw her finish in 8th  after leading her class early on.  Read report

Saloons: Peter Davies’ Caterham made it two wins out of three, as the CNC Heads Sport Saloon Championship made its annual trip to Mallory Park. It was far from easy however as Simon Allaway’s Esprit threw away a growing lead with a late spin at Shaws Hairpin.  Read report

Formula Renault: BRDC Rising Star, Kieren Clark has announced a last minute entry into this weekend’s Formula Renault UK race, 24-25 April at Rockingham. Kieren will again be racing with Loughborough based Scorpio Motorsport, the team that took him to last year’s 2009 BARC Formula Renault Championship. “I’m delighted to be able to be in this weekends race, having missed out on the first rounds at Thruxton” said Kieren. “It has all come together very late, and at this stage it’s only for this weekend, but we are discussing the rest of the season with quite a few people, so hopefully we can demonstrate what we can do at Rockingham and encourage other organisations to come and work with us. It will be the first time I’ve driven the car seriously, it’s a new lighter and more powerful car, with much more aerodynamic grip than the previous year’s car. It’s also equipped with a seven speed sequential gearbox, so that will be fun. It will put me at a bit of a disadvantage to the guys with testing, and the first races under their belt, but that gives me something to aim at.”

Grand-Am: Check out Memo Gidley’s stunning drive at the start of this year’s Rolex Daytona 24 Hour race a few weeks ago.  Overcoming treacherous rain conditions, and even a broken windscreen wiper, Gidley proved why he is one of the top drivers in the series by bclimbing from 11th to 1st in less than 8 laps against a top quality field of drivers.  Ride on board and see Gidley came out on top. CLICK HERE FOR THE AMAZING VIDEO!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd6hBD506MU

FBMW: Facu Regalia and Eifelland Racing will be at Zandvoort this week where he will have his last Formula BMW pre-season test. The beginning of the season is fast approaching and the young Spanish-Argentinean driver will be fine tuning the car over the next 2 days at the Dutch circuit. Just before he began his trip to the Dutch circuit Facu said “I left Silverstone very happy with the set-up we achieved in the second day of testing”. To Zandvoort the eighteen years old driver goal is clear: “I want to take advantage of these two last days, as the weather forecast says it will be two good days. Besides, Zandvoort it is the type of circuit that I enjoy, very technical and without traps that allow the drivers to improve their times”. The season gets underway at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 7-9 as part of the support package for the Spanish GP.

Karts: Nyck De Vries was in Spain at the Zuera circuit, near Saragossa racing in the Super FK category of the WSK Euro Series and took his third second place of the Championship.  Read report 

Silverstone has secured the Red Bull Pro Nationals motocross championships, the Red Bull X-Fighters Jams and trials legend Dougie Lampkinas part of its entertainment package for the  MotoGP  2010  AirAsia  British Grand Prix on 18-20 June. Silverstone will host the fourth round of the 2010 Red Bull Pro Nationals on a specially designed track. Four races, along with practice and qualifying sessions will provide plenty of off-road action when Valentino Rossi and co. aren’t tackling the new 3.666 mile Grand Prix Circuit. The Red Bull X-Fighters will also be performing  six spectacular ‘X-Jam’  freestyle motocross shows during the MotoGP weekend. The London show of the X-Fighters 2009 World Tour sold out in just two hours, and with a number of the world’s leading FMX riders set to feature at Silverstone, their high-flying acrobatic displays are guaranteed to be just as popular. The Silverstone crowd will also see stunt shows from the Dougie Lampkin MBE. The 12-time Trials World Champion is renowned for his skills and tricks on two wheels and will be making a number of  appearances. Advance tickets start from just £15. For further information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.silverstone.co.uk, or call 0844 3750 500.

19-04-10

Formula 3: Alexandre Imperatori made a strong start to his 2010 Japanese F3 campaign at Suzuka last weekend after scoring a podium finish for the Toda Racing team in what was the partnership’s first foray into the premier C-Class. Read report

Formula Renault BARC:  Successful opening rounds of 2010 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship  at sun-soaked Brands Hatch. Mitchell Hale secured his maiden win along with podium to lead drivers’ standings while Euan Hankey claimed victory in thrilling round two.read report  

Hillspeed’s James Theodore got his 2010 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship campaign off to a bittersweet start at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit over the weekend, 17th/18th April, after being robbed of two potential race victories read report

Eurocup Formula Renault: Dutch teenager Daniël De Jong helped MP Motorsport make an excellent start to the 2010 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Alcañiz, Spain, over the weekend, 17th/18th April, by securing his maiden podium finish during a rain-affected first round of the year. read report

SMRC Classics: Stan Bernard got the Scottish Motor Racing Clubs’s Show on the road on Sunday at Knockhill by winning the first race of 2010. In wet and cold conditions the Scottish Classic and Sports Saloons kicked off the new season with a full grid of 26 cars. Bernard looked on course for a second win in race two until Andrew Smith got by in the closing stages.   Read report

SMRC Fiesta Championship: Veteran racing driver Ian Forrest made a triumphant return to the Scottish XR2 Championship on Sunday 18 April winning the XR2 class in the opening round. Starting in wet conditions from pole, Forrest was led into the first corner by Tim Sleigh after thye latter made a better start. Behind Forrest was Wayne MacCauley then Peter Cruickshank followed by the rest of the pack.Lap 2 and Forrest was into the lead and away. Sleigh tried hard to stay with the former Touring car racer and he did indeed close in as the got amongst the traffic late on but Forrest was not to be denied and took the win. Sleigh was followed home in third by MacCauley, the three cars separated by just 0.5secs at the flag! The race was won by Rory Bryant driving a Fiesta ST, who despite the ST cars starting 10 seconds behind the main grid of XR2’s, managed to overhaul the entire field by lap 7,  thanks in part, to the wet weather. Second, also in a ST was Andrew Allan, some 8 seconds adrift of the winner, while Geraint Jones was third and Tony Galloway was Fourth. Forrest was fifth on the road, the first of the XR2s with Sleigh sixth. Race two, this time in the dry, didn’t go quite so well for the ex-BTCC man. Both Sleigh and MacCauley swamped him at the start while Peter Cruickshank also made a great getaway, moving up from fifth to challenge Forrest for third.By lap three Cruickshank had demoted Forrest and set off after the two leaders who by this time were a couple of seconds up the road.  For the remaining laps the leading cars remain pretty static, although MacCauley hounded Sleigh for the full ten laps he couldn’t get by, eventually crossing the line 0.114 secs behind the winner. Cruickshank kept third, still 2 seconds off the front while Forrest brough his car home fourth, 8 seconds off the pace. Chris Phillip was fifth with Dave Collville and Martin Buchan  sixth and seventh. Bryant won the ST battle once again, finishing in 13th on the road, followed by Andrew Allan and Geraint Jones.

Legends: In the Grattan and Hynds Legends Championship at Knockhill Ross Mickel looked the ‘Man most likely’ in the first two heats only loosing out on the later stages. In then first race he was passed with two laps remaining by Ben Mason while in the second he was denied by Colin Atkinson and Graham Gauld with just a lpa to run. The final saw Mason comeout on top from Atkinson and David Hunter.

Clio Cup: Former single-seater racer James Dixon will make the switch to the 2010 ELF Renault Clio Cup at Rockingham this weekend, 24th/25th April, after agreeing a deal with Total Control Racing.  The team, which already fields a brace of Clios on the BTCC support package for Sam Tordoff and Mike Robinson, is delighted to have agreed terms with Dixon who will have his first run with the team during a brief test at Mallory Park this Wednesday. “We’re obviously very pleased to have signed James, he was quick in Formula Renault and we’re sure he’ll be a strong addition to the team alongside Sam and Mike”, said TCR team principal Lee Brookes, “It’s great for us to be back up to three cars and we’re all looking forward to fighting for some good results at Rockingham this weekend.” Dixon, who works as a race instructor for the MotorSport Vision group commented: “I’m really looking forward to making my tin-top debut in Clios next weekend and I’m very thankful to have the opportunity of racing with such an established and professional team as TCR. It’s going to be a big new learning curve for me but I want to take full advantage of the opportunity and apply what I have learned in single-seaters. I’ve no doubt Rockingham will be a tough weekend as Clios is so competitive but I can’t wait to get started – it’s great to be back racing.”

Graham Mulholland, 36, from Derbyshire, will race alongside Darren Wilson at 20Ten Racing in the Clio Cup. The 2 new drivers now see the grid size increase to 17 ahead of this weekend. Former 750MC Stock Hatch racer Mulholland, who finished fourth in the series last year, said: “I know Darren Wilson and Simon Hunt at 20Ten Racing from my Stock Hatch days and they invited me to take a test at Mallory Park. It went really well and before I knew it I was racing at Rockingham! This year will be a steep learning curve for me as I’ve never raced on slick tyres before or used a sequential gearbox but I’m really looking forward to it.”   Championship Promoter Simon North added: “We’re delighted to have two new drivers join us in the TOCA paddock and after two thrilling races at Thruxton we’re looking forward to more of the same at Rockingham.”

Indylights: In Firestone Indy Lights, James Hinchcliffe led all 45 laps in the Grand Prix of Long Beach to score his first career victory in the series. Hinchcliffe held off Charlie Kimball by .8370 secs. Series points leader J.K. Vernay finished third. Hinchcliffe held off Kimball on three restarts over the last 14 laps of the race to ensure victory. Sebastian Saavedra came fourth.  Tonis Kasemets finished sixth in his first Firestone Indy Lights start while Rookie Philip Major finished a career-best seventh. His previous best was 10th at Barber. Hincliffe said: "It feels like it has been a long time coming. We had a couple of close calls last season, and starting from the pole in St. Pete didn't work out for us. All weekend long, the Team Moore Racing car was great, and I owe a huge thank you to all of the boys. To get a first win out of the way and another pole is huge. Basically, it was a perfect weekend for us, and to do it here in Long Beach, at one of the staple events on the IndyCar Series calendar, is phenomenal. Congrats to Charlie and J.K., as well. They had a great race. We had a really good rhythm and pace, and then I kept seeing those yellows come out, but we had a great car on the restarts. Today was about not making mistakes, and it was great to have the pole for today's race. Today's win was also a relief. There was a lot of pressure last year to win a race and we didn't get that done, so that weighed heavily on my mind all through the offseason. It was a huge relief and hopefully the first of many."

Formula Renault: After his win on Saturday in the first race, Kevin Korjus (Koiranen Bros Motorsport) drove to victory again in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 at the Motorland Aragon circuit. Following an eventful race, the Estonian crossed the finish line ahead of Hugo Valente (Tech 1 Racing) and Bart Hylkema (Koiranen Bros Motorsport). Korjus leaves Spain as the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship leader.  Read report

Formula 2: Philipp Eng resisted a spirited challenge by Jolyon Palmer to clinch his first victory of 2010 in the Formula 2 Championshiop at Silverstone. The Austrian crossed the line just 0.8 seconds ahead.  Palmer has taken his maiden win in Formula Two in the opening race with a lights-to-flag victory. Read reports.

Will Bratt picked up a sixth and a fifth on the weekend’s two F2 races at Silverstone. Sunday, 18th April. Read report      Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography

GP3: Oliver Oakes has joined Atech CRS for the new GP3 Series which will support F1 starting at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 8/9.  Oakes, aged 22, joins the team after a successful test at the Catalunya track, near Barcelona, earlier this month. He had offers from several GP3 teams before opting for Atech CRS, which is a joint venture between the successful British Atech GP and CRS Racing squads. Oakes’s career in cars had unfortunately stalled. He was one of a group of Red Bull junior drivers to be victims of a cull of the team’s young-driver programme, and his comeback British Formula 3 campaign with Carlin Motorsport in 2009 was aborted due to contractual difficulties. Since last autumn, Oakes has been taken on by the new Accelerate Driver Development management group, run by motorsport experts Graeme Glew, John Byfield and Kieren Crawley, a trio with a combined total of more than 70 years’ experience in the sport.  “We have spent the past couple of months negotiating and testing with GP3 teams,” said Oakes. “Last week at the Barcelona test I felt both me and the Atech team made a lot of progress, so this is the team I will be relaunching my racing career with!” Atech team principal David Hayle added: “We have been chasing Oliver for some time to drive with our team, and last week in Barcelona we made some good progress with him. He has had a lot of bad luck in the past couple of years, so we are expecting him to be up there in what will prove to be an extremely competitive championship.”

Heritage GT: The father and son team of Grahame and Oliver Bryant were victorious in the HGTCC Sunday enduro race on Silverstone’s GP circuit. They won in fine style despite a determined challenge from John Dickson in his orange Ram Cobra starting from the back of the grid.  Read report

The Cooper Tires British F3 grid is set to gain another talented young British driver next month when Alexander Sims joins the field for the championship's Silverstone rounds. The 22-year-old, currently riding high in the F3 Euro Series, will make his British F3 debut as part of a three-car squad entered by French-based team ART Grand Prix. Another additional driver hoping to be at Silverstone on 1/2 May is Taiwanese pilot Kevin Chen, who is scheduled to join Chinese driver Adderly Fong in the Sino Vision Racing team but who is currently grounded in China and will almost certainly miss Wednesday's vital Silverstone test session. Sims, who won the second round of the F3 Euro Series at Le Castellet earlier this month to take second in the standings, is thrilled to be adding the Silverstone races to his schedule: "I'm extremely excited. It's a chance to try something new and will be a real challenge both for myself and for the team." Sims will be the third TEAM UK driver, alongside Carlin's James Calado and Fortec's Oli Webb, on the British F3 grid. Sims' ART team-mates at Silverstone will be Mexico's Esteban Gutierrez and Frenchman Jim Pla.Another Frenchman, Jean-Eric Vergne, leads the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series thanks to his twin early-April wins at Oulton Park for the Carlin team.As for Chen, it's a nervous time for him and for Sino Vision team boss Chris Churchill: "We have signed Kevin for selected races, but of course he is stuck in China. He was due to join us at the test on Wednesday at Silverstone but we just don't know when he will be able to get here."

Porsche: James Sutton, the 2008 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion, will race in the Carrera Cup Italia this season in a deal that he hopes will also take in two or three rounds of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup. Having only concluded the deal today (Monday 19 April), James now faces the prospect of driving to Italy in time for this weekend's opening race at Misano. With no flights operating at present, Sutton has managed to book a channel ferry crossing for Tuesday night and will then drive 952 miles through Wednesday and Thursday to be at Misano in time for the race weekend. "It’s very competitive out there, but the package is good for me," said Sutton. "We all want to make a really good job of the Italian series and do as well as we can in the Supercup races and then hopefully progress into the Supercup full time in 2011." He will race with the team from Centro Porsche Padova."There is the possibility of doing two or three Supercup races this year, depending on how the sponsor feels we are progressing and with a bit of luck, if I can persuade them, that will include Silverstone. The Supercup is still my target and I believe that is the ambition for the team as well. That has been my aim since the start of 2007 when I first raced in Carrera Cup GB."Sutton, who raced with team at Monza at the end of 2009, says that racing in Italy brings its own challenges. "The language is a problem as my Italian is shocking at the moment," he said. "Learning the circuits is another big challenge as I’ve really kept my career to Britain so far. It’s taken me outside my comfort zone a little bit, and I’m finding that side of it so enjoyable. The heat is another issue to cope with. In the Italian summer it’s going to be similar to the Abu Dhabi Supercup race I did last November."The 17-race schedule includes eight double-header meetings and a 50-minute race at Imola. "That will be a another new challenge for me," said Sutton.

18-04-10

SMRC:Charlie Shaw dominated the opening 2 races of the SMRC's Sports and Saloon Car Championship at Knockhill today(Sunday). Starting the first race from pole position the Ford Focus driver simply drove away from the opposition in the wet, pulling out over 10 seconds on second placed Peter Taddei’s Fiesta ZT by lap 4. Colin Simpson’s Marcos Mantis had held third early on just ahead of Aaron Ellington’s Caterham R500, before a spin at the foot of Duffus Dip on lap 5 dropped the Mantis down the field. Ellington then moved into third before he too went off at the hairpin late on handing the final podium position to Robert Drummond’s Escort Cosworth. Shaw continued on his merry way eventually winning by 33 seconds from Taddei. Race two saw more of the same, although Taddei did lead the opening lap after getting the jump on Shaw at the start.  Run this time in the dry, Shaw again made short work of the opposition passing Taddie by lap 2 and winning comfortably once again. Taddie kept second as before but he was kept in sight by Garry Watson’s Westfield in third, so he couldn’t afford any slip-ups. Fourth went to Simpson with Drummond fifth.  

ALMS: David Brabham, defending American Le Mans Series champion, returned to the top of the 2010 points table after an epic battle on the streets of Long Beach, California, delivered Highcroft Racing’s first outright win at the historic street circuit and the honours for the inaugural outing of the newly combined LMP class.  Read report

Aston Martin took its third consecutive podium of 2010 at the 36th running of the Grand Prix of Long Beach crossing the line in second place. Drivers Adrian Fernández (MX) and Harold Primat (CH) drove on the limit throughout the 100 minute dash, in a race that was plagued with yellow flags and a brush with the tyre wall. Aston Martin Racing, normally conditioned to compete in long endurance epics, ran the 007 car with maximum down-force to cope with the incredibly tight bends at the 1.968 mile tree-lined circuit.  Read report

FIA GT: Official Aston Martin customer teams, Hexis Racing AMR and Young Driver AMR, came away from the first round of the new FIA GT World Championship in Abu Dhabi with a great deal of experience after a difficult pair of one hour races. Read report 

17-04-10

SMRC Classics: Classics racing returns to  Knockhill tomorrow(Sunday)this season. With a tremendous variety of cars and several new competitors. Entries are up to 35 so far which compares very well with the same meeting last year when there was 25. Another 12 are also looking to join later in the season!  With so many cars the Championship could split after May, with Classes A & B and C & D running separate races.  In  Class A  Harry Simpson is tipped to bring in a Davrian while new racer, Ian Daltry  is joining in an Alfa Sud. Strong Class A contender last year, Colin Beveridge will sadly miss the opening meeting due to engine failure at the last Test. Class B sees Tim Reid entered in his new Marcos GT and John Marshall is expected to join in a Mk2 Escort. Another new entrant will be ex Rally driver David Scott in  a Porsche 924. Joining Class C is Ray Boyd in a 3 litre Porsche 911 and Mario Ferrari with, appropriately, a Ferrari 308 GTB/M coming in at the May meeting. Russell paterson will return with a 3.5 or 3.6 litre Morgan +8 while Grant Allan’s Porsche 911 has been re-built with a more powerful race engine. Finally in Class D there will be V8 competition from  four 3.9 litre Triumph TR8’s, including race newcomer and ex rally man Shonny Paterson, challenging Andy Smith’s Morgan. Sportscar racer Warren Dunbar will be  joining the Classics in a Jaguar XJS in Tom Walkinshaw livery while Derek Hastings is hoping to come back to the championship with a Porsche 928 in May as is Roy Smith with a 5 litre Pirhana Capri. Entry List  http://www.smrc-uk.com/competitors/classics/classics.php

British GT: The Craig Wilkins/Aaron Scott GT3 Racing Viper is set to return to the Avon Tyres British GT Championship fray at Knockhill next month following a successful shakedown test at Silverstone today (Fri). The car was badly damaged in a high-speed qualifying shunt at Oulton Park and had to miss the championship's opening rounds. It's fully restored to heath now, says Wilkins: "The Viper is all back in one piece. We need one strategic part to arrive from the USA, which we hope will be here in time, and Knockhill will be the start of our season. I expect you'll find that my fastest qualifying time will be set on my last lap; I'll be extremely sheepish, because I fully intend the car to start both races, that's for sure. "The damage could have been a lot worse. It wouldn't have been wise to race it at Oulton Park until we had fully investigated all the components which could have been damaged. It had had a big impact. The Viper was running fine today and we are all happy." Knockhill's rain-affected eighth round of the 2009 Avon Tyres British GT Championship brought Wilkins and Scott their second race win of the season, following that which they scored at Spa-Francorchamps in the Kingsbury Jig and Tool-backed Viper.Wilkins and Scott were not the only Oulton Park casualties: reigning champions David and Godfrey Jones also left Cheshire point-less after mishaps with their Preci-Spark Ascari in both the first and the second round. They too are hoping to get their seasons back on track in Scotland.The championship is led by MTECH pairing Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron thanks to their twin Oulton wins; there's a four-way tie for the lead in the G4 class between Speedworks Motorsport Ginetta pairing Christian Dick/Jamie Stanley and ABG/prestigecarleasing.co.uk KTM X-Bow drivers Rory Butcher and Benjamin Harvey. Knockhill's third and fourth rounds of the championship are scheduled for 9 May.

ALMS: Long Beach, Aston Martin Racing put in a stunning performance on the first day of the Grand Prix of Long Beach being the quickest car in the first practice session and qualifying on pole position from a field of 36 cars for tomorrow’s second round of the American Le Mans Series. Drivers Adrian Fernandez (MX) and Harold Primat (CH) are competing in their third race this year with Aston Martin Racing. In the morning practice, Fernandez (MX) posted the fastest lap in 1m15.112s, a full 1.370s faster than the second placed LMP1 car. In qualifying, amongst a comparative field of petrol-powered cars, Fernandez posted the quickest lap time of 1m13.213s in the Lowe’s sponsored 007 car, 0.072 seconds ahead of the second-placed LMP1 car. In a session that was red flagged once and with plenty of traffic to cope with, the team strategically chose their time for a quick lap. As the pit lane went green close to the end of the session and with a quick exit from the pits, Fernandez was able to negotiate the 1.968 mile circuit free of traffic. Team Principal, George Howard Chappell said: “We’re obviously very pleased with pole position, it was a tough challenge from the second placed car but Adrian did a super job and the Michelin tyres were fantastic.” Fernandez said:” It’s awesome to qualify on pole and especially at Long Beach as I have a lot of friends here and this place means so much to me. It’s my first time here with the Aston Martin team and we knew that it would be tough against the LMP2s. I was right on the limit with my quickest lap. We have a tough challenge tomorrow but I hope we can make it our first win of the year.” Primat said: “The car felt good straight away but the track is quite bumpy as it is a street circuit, so we are pleased with this result. We made some minor modifications in the second practice and I think we have a good and reliable car for tomorrow’s race.”

Carrera Cup GB: A 27-car field will line-up at Rockingham over the weekend of 24/25 April for rounds three and four of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. With at least eight potential race winners and great battles for the pro-am1 and pro-am2 categories in prospect, it should be a great weekend of racing at the challenging Speedway. The fact that Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) emerged with a double victory in the opening weekend of the season at Thruxton came as no surprise. The changeable weather and the unique high-speed challenge of the Hampshire track played into the hands of the most experienced driver in the championship and he duly delivered a faultless performance. In the opening race, Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance) made it a one-two for the old guard, but it was the pace of championship newcomer Euan Hankey (Team Parker Racing) that was the big story of the second race.In his first weekend of racing out of a single-seater, Hankey was mighty as he harried Harvey all the way to the flag. "If that’s the pace that Euan has at this stage of the season, it’s going to be hard work,” said Harvey on the podium. Clearly Hankey, one of the Carrera Cup GB Scholarship winners for 2010, is going to be a big force to be reckoned with. Caine is always in the hunt for race wins while Tom Bradshaw showed strong pace at Thruxton with the JHR squad. Added to the strong pro category are Scholarship racer Michael Meadows (Red Line Racing), former BTCC winner Stephen Jelley (Team Parker Racing) and Charles Bateman (Motorbase Performance), while Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing) has lots of natural talent and will be eager to put a fairly frustrating Thruxton weekend firmly behind him. The competition continues in the pro-am1 and pro-am2 categories. Ollie Jackson (Addison Lee Motorbase) and Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing) are the two most experienced drivers in pro-am1 and they took a win apiece in Hampshire. However, two drivers new to the Carrera Cup really made their mark with podium finishes at Thruxton. Ahmad Al Harthy (Red Line Racing) from Oman has good UK experience from Formula Renault, but has now switched to the Carrera Cup and impressed everyone with his pace over the opening weekend of the season. Meanwhile, Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) from Lithuania has never seen any of the UK tracks, but made very rapid progress at Thruxton. In Pro-am2 Mark Hazell (JHR) had the dream start to the season with a double win, but twice he had to deal with a big challenge from Steve Parish (Addison Lee Motorbase). Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing) and George Brewster (Celtic Speed) were right there as well, while young George Richardson (Motorbase Performance), Paul Hogarth (IN2Racing) and Bob Lyons (Celtic Speed) add still further to the front runners in pro-am2.

Karts: To think that Luke Whitworth has only been karting for a handful of months is quite extraordinary. Extraordinary, that is, given that on his British debut in Formula Kart Stars (FKS), the young Rotherham driver twice finished inside the top 15 up against a whole host of far more experienced adversaries. pic: Chris Walker/www.kartpix.net,    read report

19-year old Jack Hawksworth shone through the spray when the heavens opened in the prestigious CIK-FIA European Championship curtain-raiser at Sarno in Italy recently, to charge through the field from 13th on the grid to a superb second place at the chequered flag, in so doing keeping himself firmly in the hunt for one of the greatest prizes in international karting. Read report 

16-04-10

Other News: Cadwell Park has carried out resurfacing work at Hairpin and Park Corner approach as part of circuit owner MotorSport Vision's ongoing development of track facilities for competitors and trackday participants. More than two hundred tonnes of Prixmat surface material, well known for its high performance friction surface qualities, has been laid over three thousand square metres of track surface at two key sections of the circuit: the approach to Park Corner and the Hairpin bend on the Woodland circuit configuration. The resurfacing work, which was completed in one day by a 15-strong crew, follows a major development project at Cadwell Park earlier this year to extend the run-off area along an 80 metre stretch of Barn Corner. The combination of the increased run-off area and smoother track surface will offer Cadwell Park 's riders and drivers an even greater level of protection, whether they are competing at the Louth venue or taking part in a car or bike trackday.Cadwell Park circuit manager Jon Rush said: "In addition to the Barn Corner run-off extension work, this resurfacing project is the latest part of our ongoing track maintenance and improvement programme. We've got one of the busiest race calendars in Cadwell Park 's history this year and the circuit is now looking better than ever."  For information on 2010 events at Cadwell Park call 0870 950 9000 or visit www.cadwellpark.co.uk.

Indylights: Two weeks after his victory in the streets of St Petersburg, Frenchman J.K. Vernay dominated both qualifying and the race on the verdant Barber Motorsports Park circuit in Alabama. The driver from Villeurbanne has now opened up a big lead in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship.  Read more

WTCC: Three Moroccan drivers will join the FIA WTCC event at Marrakech, in addition to their fellow countryman and championship regular Mehdi Bennani.Thanks to the support of the Fédèration Royale Marocaine de Sport Automobile (FRMSA), Ismaïl Sbaï, Youssaf El Marnissi and Larbi Tadlaoui will compete under the banner of "Morocco Team" at the wheel of three identical Chevrolet Lacetti cars run by the Swiss outfit Maurer Motorsport.The three drivers are very popular with local fans. Last year Sbaï (29-year old from Tanger) and El Marnissi (34 from Al Hoseima) teamed up to give Morocco the Legends Cars World Championship. Together with Tadlaoui (33 from Casablanca) they also claimed the National Racing Championship for Clubs. 

For the second consecutive year the Moroccan National Tourist Office (MNTO) will be the Event Presenting Partner of the WTCC Race of Morocco.As title sponsor, the Moroccan tourism organisation will benefit from premium visibility on TV, on-site and on the internet. In addition to being incorporated in the event's logo, the MNTO brand will also appear on banners around the circuit, the press conference and podium backdrops, the grid girls' outfits and the license plates of all WTCC cars."We are proud to renew our support to the WTCC Race of Morocco. The quality of this world-scale event's organisation and its major media exposure reveal the capacity of Morocco to take up huge challenges, requiring an impressive commitment in terms of human resources and logistics. The event brings an unprecedented economic and touristic opportunity, especially concerning jobs creation and the promotion of Morocco as an attractive destination. Once again, the city of Marrakech demonstrates its capability to offer a wide range of tourism facilities and high-quality welcoming to the visitors, to host big international events and to position itself as a key touristic destination," said Hamid Addou, Managing Director of the Moroccan National Tourist Office."This cooperation will enable the Moroccan National Tourist Office to benefit from the WTCC's powerful multimedia platform, on-air, online and through event sponsorship and will contribute to positioning Morocco as a highly sought-after tourist destination. We are even more pleased to have MNTO return to the WTCC in 2010 as they are a long standing partner of the Eurosport Group," stated Jacques Raynaud, Vice-Chairman of Eurosport Group and Eurosport Events.

AutoGP: Duncan Tappy will race for DAMS alongside Edoardo Piscopo in AutoGP. The French team choosing experienced drivers for its line-up with a view to getting good results from the very first event. Auto GP’s Enzo Coloni: "We are happy to have a British driver in our championship, and most importantly that he's a very talented one. Duncan already showed what he is capable of, and we're sure that he has found the right package with DAMS and Auto GP. He already knows the car, and there's no doubt that he will be very fast straight out of the box". Duncan Tappy: "I'm very excited about racing in Auto GP and to be with such a great team as DAMS is a fantastic opportunity. I loved my time in the car with A1 Team GB and can't wait to get on track at Brno. The main thing for me is to have a full racing season ahead if me, which hasn't been the case for the last two years. I am confident that the certainty and continuity will translate into success on track and I want to give another big thank you to my management company CJ Motorsport for making it happen, as well as to Mr Driot and everyone at DAMS and Enzo Coloni at Auto GP for welcoming me into their Championship".

SuperNova officially confirmed its line-up for the 2010 championship, it’s cars will be driven by Giorgio Pantano and Jonny Reid. Jonny Reid, from New Zealand, has been one of the best A1 GP drivers, racing in the series from 2005 to 2008. In three seasons, racing with Team New Zealand, he got 7 wins and was runner-up in 06/07 and 07/08. Jonny has a good relationship with SuperNova, who ran the Team New Zealand car. Giorgio Pantano: "I'm really happy to be racing with SuperNova. They are a top team, and I know them well because we raced together in GP2. I chose Auto GP because I think that this was a great idea from Coloni. In this days, finding huge budgets is something difficult, so having the chance to earn money thanks to the results on track is something interesting for all the drivers. I think that Auto GP can be watched from two different sides: for a young driver is a good possibility to gain some experience, because you can really learn a lot driving such a car at this high level. For an experienced driver like me, it's a great chance to race as a Pro thanks to the prize money". Jonny Reid: "I'm stoked to be racing for Super Nova in Auto GP. I'm looking forward to racing on the brilliant European circuits that make up the calendar. I have fond memories of winning in Brno with A1 Team New Zealand, which was engineered by David Sears Motorsport. I'm excited for the strong and competitive season ahead".

Nurburgring 24 hours: Team BMW Motorsport is just one month away from the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring, .Nordschleife. On Wednesday a press conference in Cologne marked the beginning of the countdown to this classic event. With 18 overall victories to its name, BMW will have two BMW M3 GT2 race cars charged with continuing the brand's success in this endurance race. BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen says: "This race is very special. The Nordschleife is probably the most challenging circuit in the world. It cast a spell on me back in my youth. This made it all the more satisfying to win there many years down the line. The fans are fantastic and create a unique atmosphere. Only those who can cope with the changing conditions and avoid the pitfalls can be successful at this classic." The experienced team, under the leadership of Team Manager, Charly Lamm, is looking forward to returning to the Eifel Mountains. "ADAC Nordrhein has established a true festival of motorsport at the Nurburgring," he says. "The race track is simply sensational, and the event is very popular with the fans. It is great to be involved again."  BMW can count on a strong team of drivers. Jorg Muller (DE), Augusto Farfus (BR), Uwe Alzen (DE) and Pedro Lamy (PT) will alternate at the wheel of the no. 25 BMW M3 GT2. The second GT sports car, will be driven by Dirk Werner (DE), Dirk Muller (DE), Andy Priaulx (GB) and Dirk Adorf (DE). The 24-hour race at the Nurburgring will get underway at 15:00hrs (CEST) on 15th May 2010.

15-04-10

Grand-Am: Doran Racing had their best result in five years this past weekend with the #77 McDonalds car in round #3 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16. On Saturday during the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama drivers memo Gidley and Dion VonMoltke brought the car homein fourth place.  After that Gidley flew to Salt Springs Reservoir at Copperopolis, CA  for the DJSA Jet Ski Series race #1 on Sunday where he would end up fourth overall in the Super 850 Expert class final. Read report

LMS: While awaiting the arrival of the new Norma-Judd, Pegasus Racing entered its Courage-AER in the Le Castellet 8 Hours, the opening round of the 2010 Le Mans Series. Iits three drivers Julien Schell, Jean-Christophe Metz and Frédéric Da Rocha collected the points that went with seventh place in the LM P2.  Read report

Club Racing: With the 2010 season just a couple of weeks old it has been a promising start for several BRSCC championships. The Bookatrack.com Caterham Superlight R300 Championship got the ball rolling at the BRSCC organised Superleague Formula meeting at Silverstone over Easter weekend with a grid of over 30 cars. Back at the same circuit a week later Caterham Roadsports (A & B), Caterham Supersports, Euro Saloons and Formula Jedi all provided encouraging entry lists in the late twenties/early thirties, while at our Northern Centre Cadwell Park meeting on the same weekend Mighty Minis produced 24 starters, many of whom were making their racing debuts. Also out for the first time last weekend was the BRSCC run Ma5da MX-5 Championship who raced at the Brands Hatch MGCC meeting. They carried on where they left off last season with a very impressive entry of  57 MX-5’s. This required the cars to be split into 3 groups of 19, with two groups running in each race creating a 38 car grid. Start as you mean to go on!

Richard Egger Insurance, the associate sponsors of the BRSCC’s Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 Southern Championship, has announced that they will now be known as REIS with immediate effect. General Manager Phil Barnard explained the rationale behind the new identity, “With Richard Egger now retired we wanted to show that it’s very much business as usual – the same knowledgeable team, the same excellent service but a new era so it’s the perfect time to change the name to REIS. We are also delighted to continue to support the BRSCC’s Formula Ford Southern Championship in addition to our backing for a wide range of club motorsport across all disciplines.”

The BRSCC has retained its two hospitality suites at Brands Hatch for the new season and these are available for rental at all meetings. Both suites are on the first floor of the Brabham Stewart Centre and overlook Paddock Hill bend. The suites are equipped with a refrigerator, a microwave oven, a fan, a full set of crockery/glassware and offers excellent views of the Indy circuit. Both suites are also equipped with a 42" Plasma TV with a feed to the official timing screens. The plasma has full connectivity so it can also be used to play presentations from a lap-top or computer games. The suites also have the race commentary 'piped' in. The suites are easily accessible from the paddock/pits and provide an ideal way of entertaining current or potential sponsors, or family and friends. Exclusive use of a suite comes with 28 tickets and 14 car park passes for each day.  For pricing & further info rmation please contact Dominic Ostrowski on 01732 783141 or dominic@brscc.co.uk

The 2010 OSS Championship, which started at the Silverstone BRSCC Midland Centre meeting on the 10th April, has announced the signing of Itchy Feet as title sponsor for the new season. Itchy Feet are the UK ’s premier American Motorhome dealer and announcing the partnership CEO Eric Randal said “We are delighted to have our name associated with this dynamic championship”. OSS co-ordinator Alan Jenkins added “The involvement of such a quality sponsor and the addition of some prize money can only help raise the profile of the Championship. Myself and my fellow organiser Steve Griffiths are delighted to welcome Itchy Feet aboard”. After a very encouraging first season as a series OSS has been granted championship status by the MSA for 2010. More than 53 competitors took part in the series last year so OSS will be looking to build on that initial success this campaign. More info rmation about the American Motorhomes imported by Itchy Feet click here ITCHY FEET

A new book is currently being researched, covering the life of John Willment (1928-1997) and JWA (John Willment Automobiles) as well as many other projects in which John was involved.  The book project enjoys the full backing and consent of the Willment family.Many well known drivers raced and enjoyed success in JWA prepared cars.  The list is almost a "who's who" of 60's racing - such luminaries as David Hobbs, Jacky Ickx, Brian Redman, Jackie Oliver, Frank Gardner and twice F1 World Champion, Graham Hill, to name but a few. Further information on John Willment's many and varied activities is sought to ensure that the book accurately reflects the life of a gifted and very talented engineer.  Any past or current owners of Willment cars, former team members, drivers, colleagues and officials who were involved with John or JWA are invited to submit any relevant stories, anecdotes or photos for possible inclusion in the book. Photos will of course be returned.  In the first instance, please contact JWA.Racing@Hotmail.com

The BRSCC’s Annual General Meeting for end 2009 takes place on Tuesday 20th April, starting at 8pm. The venue is the Holiday Inn- Rugby- Northampton, M1 Jct 18, Crick, Northants NN6 7XR.

Mazda X5: A family from Maidenhead, Berkshire, are in pole position for the Guinness Book of Records after competing together in last weekend’s Mazda X5 race meeting at Brands Hatch (10/11 April). For 21-year-old Chloe Edwards, her sister Jade (20), and their grandfather Jim Edwards senior, 63, not only was the race meeting a family affair, it is also reported to be the first time that three separate generations of the same family have competed in the same one-make race event. With over 90 cars and 112 drivers registered for this year’s championship, the 2010 Mazda MX5 series is already over subscribed, and is the largest one make, single class championship in the UK. Up against a strong field of experienced drivers, Chloe Edwards topped the family leader-board to to record very creditable 8th, 10th and 12th place finishes from the three races.  Sister Jade was less fortunate however, picking up a puncture in one race and a collision with another car in a second of her three races.  Meanwhile Jim Edwards senior, who is at least 35 years older than many of his rivals, finished in a very respectable 10th, 12th and 17th.. Commenting on this momentous family occasion, Chloe Edwards said: “There’s not many people that get the opportunity to race against their father, let alone their sister and grandfather in the same race. I can even remember sitting at the dinner table was I was just four years old listening to my Dad [Jim Edwards] and Grandfather talk about racing cars, so to actually race against one of them 17 years on is quite something. What’s more, to finish 8th out of a tough field of 32 drivers – and having only sat in the car twice before the race – it fills me with confidence going into the next race meeting at Snetterton later this month,” added Chloe. With her father Jim Edwards also registered to the series, Chloe confirmed that there’s a possibility of having three family generations on the track at the same time later in the season, one for the media and any prospective sponsors to sign up to.

GP3: The chequered flag has dropped on the final pre-season test at Barcelona, and in a last minute push MW Arden snatched the top spot from ART Grand Prix. So far the test at Circuit de Catalunya has been dominated by ART's Esteban Gutierrez, until the final session that is. Danish driver Michael Christensen went quickest in the afternoon with a 1:37.716 for MW Arden, just 0.05secs ahead of Gutierrez. Renger van der Zande was third for RSC Mucke Motorsport with a 1:37.913 while just behind in fourth was Carlin driver Dean Smith(see below). Fifth was the second MW Arden car of Miki Monras, just behind Smith with a 1:37.926. Eight different teams covered the top ten places, with Status GP's Daniel Morad sixth, followed by Pal Varhaug for Jenzer Motorsport. Morad's teammate Robert Wickens was 8th ahead of Manor driver James Jakes. Rounding out the top ten was Ollie Oakes take Atech CRS GP's first top ten finish. Julian Rouse, Team Manager MW Arden: "It's obviously really positive for us to finish the last test so competitively, especially as the first event is back here so shortly. ART have been so competitive, so it feels good to finally go quicker than them at a circuit on the GP3 calendar." GP3 will be back on track in Barcelona for the opening round of the Series on May 08th -- 09th.

Dean Smith overcame seriously limited track time on the final day of GP3 Series pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday,(14th April), to set fourth fastest time during the last session of the two-day test. Marking only his second outing in his Carlin-prepared car, the Racing Steps Foundation and Tomax-backed driver delivered an extremely impressive account of himself with a 1m37.918 seconds – just 0.2 seconds shy of the best of the session. Although his preparations were hindered by a major electrical problem, Dean managed to end the two days an excellent sixth fastest overall on combined times.“Considering the amount of time we lost with the electrical problem, I’m really pleased with our pace and I’m sure we’ll be at the sharp end of things when the championship gets underway”, said the Wolverhampton racer, “Carlin did a fantastic job to get to the bottom of the problem and although we only ran for about the last hour and a half yesterday afternoon, we were really quick. I know where we could have gained the extra couple of 10ths of a second we needed to be fastest so that’s important. We’re definitely moving forward each time we’re out in the car, I’m pushing as hard as I can and so is the team. We’ve all gelled really well and although GP3 is packed with fast drivers and great teams, I’m confident we have what it takes to be consistently strong.” On day one of the Barcelona test, Tuesday, 13th April, the track was damp during the morning which gave Dean his first experience of GP3 in wet conditions. Emerging as the best of the rookies, he posted the fifth fastest time of 1m38.925 seconds. Edging closer to the outright pace during session two, he improved to a lap of 1m38.016 seconds – less than 0.1 seconds away from second position.

Formula Renault: Thomas Hylkema heads to Rockingham Circuit next weekend, 24th/25th April, hoping to challenge for his first podium finish of the year during the second event of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship. After two incident-packed races at Thruxton a fortnight ago, the 21-year-old is currently equal 10th in the standings but he’s aiming much higher at Rockingham – the venue of his best main championship finish in 2009. The Manor Competition racer was comfortably on the pace at Thruxton, lapping fifth fastest during the round two qualifying session, and only two luckless races prevented him from scoring more heavily at the season-opener. Thomas is confident that with his ever-improving speed, will result in a strong outing next weekend. “I am quite confident looking ahead to Rockingham, we’re back at a track for the first time where we actually tested the new car pre-season and my aim is to equal the best pace I showed at Thruxton”, said the Delft-based driver, “If I am able to do that, and we don’t have any bad luck, then I’m hopeful we can convert that pace into a podium. I like the heavy braking at Rockingham but it’s a track where you’re not really able to build too much momentum – unlike Thruxton. It’s very hard to set-up the car well, you have to compromise for the twisty middle section and the fast corners, but I know the team will do a great job.Thomas added: “Last year at Rockingham we were really strong and I took my best finish of the season with a very competitive top six result. I know we can be quick there again this year and the top three is definitely my aim. If I can equal my pace from last year, I’ll be happy, but I want a podium and that’s what I’ll be pushing for.”

BTCC: Alex MacDowall is aiming high for the second event of the 2010 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham on 24th/25th April, with a maiden podium finish squarely in his sights. Although only debuting in the BTCC a fortnight ago at Thruxton, he produced a tremendous performance for the ‘works’ Silverline Chevrolet team. Off the back of an excellent set of results during his debut – three points scoring finishes with a best of sixth,  the BRDC Rising Star feels his Chevrolet Cruze should be every bit as competitive at Rockingham’s 1.94-mile Circuit. “I’m really looking forward to Rockingham, the Chevy should go well there as we’ve got a strong engine for the fast, oval turns and I think the car will be well balanced through the infield so we should have a good overall package”, said the 19-year-old. The aim for my debut at Thruxton was to get three points finishes from the three races. We did that, so now I’m aiming higher. I really do think a podium is realistic, and it is the team’s local track, so that’s what I’ll be pushing for.”  Alex team RML won at Rockingham last year with Jason Plato. “The team has done well at Rockingham in the past and I’m sure the package will be strong again”, added Alex, “Silverline Chevrolet has done a fantastic job for me so far, I’m getting more and more comfortable with the car and learning with every lap. If I can improve on my Thruxton results I’ll be really happy.”

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Charity: Paul Mace is supporting the Young Hearts Charity this season through his racing programme in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. Mace, boss of the GT Marques team, will contest the pro-am2 category in selected races alongside the team's lead car in the hands of Alex Martin. The charity is very significant to Mace and his wife Leanda, from Tylers Green in Buckinghamshire, as their second son Luke needed heart surgery when he just a few days old. Now, Luke is a healthy three-year old, but the experience left Mace keen to support the fund-raising work of the charity. "I'm helping to raise awareness of the charity through my racing this season," said Mace, who ran his car in its new livery in the opening weekend of the season at Thruxton over Easter. Unfortunately, an accident sidelined him in the opening race while leading the pro-am2 category.Young Hearts, which is run by volunteers, was set up by parents of heart children to offer a listening ear and to make a difference in the life of a heart child and their family. The charity, which is centred on the John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital at Oxford, provides advice, support and information, as well as funds to purchase equipment and arranges social events for the children and their families. Heart disease affects one in 100 children and is the most common abnormality. Some children may never need surgery; some one operation and others may need several. More details about the charity are available at www.younghearts.co.uk

Kirkwood Hospice is to benefit from the support of Huddersfield-based racing driver Daniel Lloyd, the 18-year-old having pledged to donate a proportion of any winnings accrued on track during the course of 2010 to the registered charity. Competing in the American-based BF Goodrich/Skip Barber National Championship presented by Mazda this season, Daniel has already made an excellent start and is currently equal eighth in the driver standings. Ahead of the third event at Virginia International Raceway later this month, Daniel will not just be aiming for his first podium, he will have the added incentive of trying to secure the best results possible to benefit the hospice. “Kirkwood Hospice does an unbelievable job in my local area for people suffering from awful illnesses and I feel it’s important to do my bit to help boost awareness of the work the hospice does and to also try and raise as much money as I can through my racing”, said Daniel, “None of us know when we, or our family and friends, might need the help and support of a hospice – the service Kirkwood provides is absolutely essential.”  The Huddersfield based hospice provides vital, specialist care for people across the Kirklees area who are living with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, late-stage heart failure and severe lung disease. Fully respecting the wishes and needs of each individual, Kirkwood’s aim is to help its patients achieve the very best quality of life possible. Alongside treatment for the physical symptoms of any given illness, the hospice also offers emotional and spiritual support and families, friends and carers are offered further assistance and help during the period of a patient’s illness and in bereavement. During the coming year alone, Kirkwood Hospice needs to raise almost £3.5 million from voluntary sources to help achieve the £4million annual operational budget required – just 20 per cent of the total amount is covered by local Primary Care Trusts. It is thanks to the efforts of local fundraisers and the generosity of donors that Kirkwood Hospice is able to continue to provide its services, free of charge, to the people of Kirklees. For more information regarding the charity and the vital work it does, please visit www.kirkwoodhospice.co.uk

V de V : After the opening round at Jarama in March, the V de V Series is off to the superb Italian track at Mugello for two six-hour races, the V de V Challenge Endurance GT/Tourisme and the V de V Mugello 6-Hours. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and Mosler, some of the world’s leading GT constructors occupy the first four places prior to Mugello. Christophe Bourret and Pascal Gibon won the opening event in their Porsche 997 RSR  read more

ALMS: David Brabham is ready to do battle on the streets of Long Beach, California, this weekend for Round 2 of the American Le Mans Series. Currently second in the title standings, the reigning LMP1 champion has his sights on victory and closing the four-point deficit to return Highcroft Racing to the top of the table.With the challenging Long Beach street circuit ranking among Brabham’s favourite tracks, Brabham is looking forward to stepping up to the championship fight with teammate Simon Pagenaud. Sebring proved an impressive first outing for Brabham and the new Highcroft Racing driver line-up, where the team dominated practice and qualifying only to lose their five lap class lead due to a small electrical fire. Their ability to swiftly recover and salvage points for second place could well prove a decisive factor as the 2010 season unfolds.“With the new LMP category and rules, we won’t know until after Long Beach how close the class adjustments will make the cars,” said Brabham. “It’s the first race of its kind, so we have to go through the motions and see how things work out. We’ll have better comparisons of our competitors after this weekend and I’m sure, if there is still a big gap between cars, the Series will address that to ensure we can have some good close racing.” Armed with the Honda Performance Development factory-backed ARX-01c for 2010, Brabham already has sound knowledge of the car from its evolution of the ARX-01b, the chassis in which he took a breathtaking first class and LMP2 victory for Highcroft Racing in 2008, narrowly missing out on the category title. “I really like street circuits and Long Beach has a fantastic history — it’s one of my favourite places to go and tracks to drive. The town’s people really get behind the event, which makes the atmosphere so much better. It’s just a great place to race.” Brabham will be taking time out of his Long Beach schedule on Thursday, April 15, to share with troubled teens his personal Quick Tips on Winning in Life, at Los Angeles’ Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services Center. Within his role with Racers Who Care, Brabham will be supporting children and teens with psychological and emotional impairments.

Mini Challenge: Reigning Mini Challenge Champion Luke Caudle just fell short of a hat-trick of wins in the opening rounds at Rockingham, when Chris Panayiotou clinched his maiden victory in the final race last weekend.   Read report

Karts: A place on the front row at one of the top European karting Championships was an excellent start for Beitske Visser at Sarno in Italy.  Racing in the KZ2 category (125cc gearbox engines) she took second at the end of March in Lonato in the WSK Euro Series. Last Weekend she tackled the International Circuit of Naples, in Sarno setting the best time in practice. She followed this up in qualifying with second fastest time. "Knowing that I would start from the first row in the qualifying heats, with so many drivers (75), well ... that was great. But I also knew that I'd have more pressure on me. Then I found myself in front of the lights, with no reference point ahead of me! But it was a good feeling". Beitske concluded the heats, winning one, before rain began to fall just before the final and her podium dreams slipped away. "I like driving in the rain, but it got really difficult in Sarno because grip conditions changed too fast. I felt at ease at the beginning of race 1, but the track dried and my adjustments were no longer suitable. In race 2, we changed our rain tyres with the slick ones, by the track grip was not the same as in the morning. The chassis was more difficult to drive, so I focussed on maintaining my place". But Beitske did collect her first points, thanks to her 11th and 13th places. "I have a good pace going and I have gathered more experience" she concluded.

GT: A new world challenge for HEXIS AMR - 6 manufacturers, 10 events, 12 independent teams, 24 fast cars, 1 winner. On April 16th and 17th a new chapter in motorsport history will begin, the first FIA GT1 World Championship. The first race at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, about 5,000 kilometres from the HEXIS AMR headquarters. HEXIS AMR, the only French team, will line up two Aston Martin DBR9s with four French-speaking drivers: The #9 for Frédéric Makowiecki (F) and Jean-Denis Delétraz (CH) and #10 for Clivio Piccione (MON) and Jonathan Hirschi (CH). Races will be broadcasted in live on www.gt1live.tv

ALMS: Robertson Racing travels to Long Beach, California, this weekend for round two of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron hoping to build upon a character-testing weekend at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring three weeks ago. The Atlanta-based squad’s unique Ford GT – very much a fan favourite of the GT2 class – will be threaded between Long Beach’s concrete wall-lined city streets by David Robertson and David Murry, the two drivers who finished ninth there last season. Meanwhile, the team’s third driver, Andrea Robertson, skips this one hour 40 minute race owing to its short duration but will be back for Laguna Seca’s six hour enduro next month. The past three weeks has seen the Roush V8-powered GT stripped and rebuilt for Long Beach. Andrew “H” Smith, Team Manager: “12 hours around Sebring beats up most stuff and although we haven’t stripped the car down to its bare shell, all four corners and the engine transmission have been fully serviced and made ready to go again. As Long Beach is a street circuit, there won’t be much room for error. There’s also very little time to do much prep work which is the biggest issue. But we have been there twice before with the car so we’ll have a reasonably well sorted set-up.” David Robertson, team owner and driver: “The enthusiasm and excitement I feel for this race comes from the fantastic history of street circuit racing at Long Beach going back to the days of F1 and all that has taken place there since. The fans’ enthusiasm is contagious and they are also very knowledgeable. I enjoy getting a visit from them in the paddock. Long Beach is a real challenge due to its narrow track with concrete walls all around it. It is a balancing act – you must push as hard as you can but you know you cannot make a mistake or you will be out of the race. If you go off there is no way you’re going to be continuing. But you can't be too careful else you’ll be too slow.” The race gets underway on Saturday, April 17 at  4.40pmace.

F2000: A loose spark plug lead has cost Daniel Erickson victory in the second round of the American F2000 Championship Series. The 22 year-old Sydney driver was leading comfortably with less than three laps remaining at Virginia International Raceway when his Van Diemen suddenly went onto three cylinders. After that, Erickson was literally powerless to stop his pursuers catching and passing the ailing race car. He finished 10th while the race was  won by American Cole Morgan. Despite his disappointment he said that many positives had come from his flying visit to the F2000 Championship Series.“Of course I was gutted to lose what looked like a certain win today, but more importantly I’ve proved to myself – and hopefully to others – that I’m capable of winning in a highly competitive ‘development’ openwheel formula. I started both races from pole position, set a new qualifying lap record, finished second in the first race by half a car-length after mis-timing my first ever rolling race start, and had the second race won until a spark plug lead came loose. That's in a formula and on a circuit that I’d never seen, let alone driven, until the Thursday before the race meeting, and against drivers with considerable experience in F2000 and at Virginia International Raceway.After this weekend and my successful Formula Star Mazda test last December, I have no doubt that I could fight for the F2000 Championship Series title – or any other ‘development’ openwheel championship.” Erickson said that he learned a valuable lesson from being outjumped at the start of Saturday’s race. “In the first race I waited until the starter waved the green flag, which is what we’d been told to do at the drivers’ briefing, but by then the guys around me were already into it.Obviously 'waved' means different things to different people! Today I jumped on the throttle as soon as I saw the green flag, and didn’t give the others a chance to pass me into the first corner. I drove the first few laps as hard as I could to open a couple of seconds’ lead, and then kept the pressure on to maintain the gap. Everything went smoothly until lap 12, when the engine made a terrible noise as I went up the hill before Turn 10.At first I thought there must be a serious engine problem, and I was ready to pull off the track straight away or into the pits at the end of the lap. But it was only a loose spark plug lead, so the engine kept going on three cylinders.”  Erickson said that coming so close to winning both races has given him extra motivation to contest further rounds of the 2010 F2000 Championship Series. “I know now that I can take it up to anyone in this year’s F2000 Championship Series. “I just hope that I can come back to America for the remaining rounds, because there’s some ‘unfinished business’ to take care of,” he said.  Erickson will take in the IndyCar and Indy Lights rounds at Long Beach next weekend before returning to Australia to continue his efforts to secure funding for his 2010 racing program.

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GT Cup: This weekend sees the opening rounds of the GT Cup Championship at Silverstone. Where thanks to long term sponsors Adrian Flux Insurance Services Sarah Bennett-Baggs will be out contesting her BMW Z4 M Coupe in Class 3 for the first of the 16 round series. Sarah makes a return to the series in the car she competed the last few rounds of 2009 in, but sporting a new bright livery and under the new 2010 Championship rules she will be in Class 3. The car has been subjected to an extensive winter rebuild by Butler Motorsport, the managing team who will be fielding a three car line-up including a BMW E46 in Class 2 driven by James McAllister and a BMW GTR M3 V8 driven by Don Grice. "I am really looking forward to the races, more than ever, the feel of the new car is amazing, Butler Motorsport have done a fantastic job over the winter and have transformed it into a little BMW racing bullet" Sarah The GT Cup starts this Saturday with practice at Silverstone GP circuit with a 50 car line-up over 3 classes. Races are 25 minutes long at 14.30pm and 17.35pm on Sunday.

Dunlop Sport Maxx Cup: Experience and a well sorted car saw Adrian Churchill collect a winning hattrick, in the opening rounds of this years Dunlop Sport Maxx Cup at Rockingham. Jordan Tresson and Luca Lorenzini kept him honest in their Nissan 370Z’s, the former following him home in the first race,1.6 seconds behind while the latter was second in race 2 and 3 .7 and 1.6 seconds back respectively  Read report

The BRSCC Euro Saloon and Sports Car Championship in association with Arrowpak International got underway at a warm Silverstone last weekend. Round 1 of the Championship saw  Tony Soper start the  season with two race wins while Class wins went to for Kevin Wendt, Peter Challis, Paul Horton, James May, Gary Whitehead (x2) and Brett Walter (x2). All this leaves Soper and Walter as the early leaders in the championship.  Read report

Formula Vee: The Execuline Motor Insurance Formula Vee Championship was in action at Zwartkops last weekend and it was Symm Grobler who won the opening encounter by just 0.184 of a second, ahead of Peter Hills and Jannie Geyser Snr . The second heat saw victory go to Zaahir Essa, from Grobler and Trevor Bland but not until Peter Hills had gone off after he was momentarily blinded by the sun. read report

LMS: Phil Quaife made an immediate impression on his debut in the Le Mans Series as he helped CRS Racing clinch a fine fourth place GT2-class finish in the opening round of the 2010 season at Paul Ricard.  Read report

Formula 2: Jolyon Palmer ensured he ended the final pre-season test of 2010 at the top of the timesheets after a series of blistering laps in the closing stages of the day. Palmer's late surge meant fellow Briton Dean Stoneman had to settle for second spot, with Johan Jokinen and Philipp Eng close behind. The result completes an impressive pre-season for Palmer, who also topped the morning session today and the first day of testing at Snetterton. Times quickly tumbled in the final session as the overboost facility - which gives drivers an extra 55bhp for six second spells - was actuated, and several drivers occupied the top spot as the session progressed. At the midpoint it appeared Philipp Eng had done enough to clinch the fastest lap, the Austrian setting a 1:37.198s. In the final ten minutes Eng dropped to fourth, however, as Palmer, Stoneman and Jokinen all managed to trump his initial benchmark. Behind Eng, a trio of British drivers accounted for fifth through to seventh as Will Bratt, Tom Gladdis and Jack Clarke ensured all five Britons finished inside the top seven. Bratt posted his fastest time, a 1:37.313s, on his final tour of the circuit, pipping Gladdis to fifth spot by just over 0.02secs, whilst Clarke edged out Nicola De Marco by just 0.024s to claim seventh. Behind De Marco, Russia's Sergey Afanasiev and Romanian Mihai Marinescu completed the top ten. Armaan Ebrahim finished 11th, missing out on a top ten berth by just two thousandths of a second - the narrowest gap in the entire field. Jolyon Palmer said: "It has been another really good day and this one is probably more important being as we have an event here at the weekend. Having topped three of the four sessions today, I am certainly more confident this year and I am pushing a lot harder. I really want to win this weekend now and I think it's possible. Prior to pre-season I would have been happy getting a few podiums but now I feel I can aim higher than that."

Charity: As part of the FIRST NATIONAL CHARITY BALL held in March at The Coal Exchange, 20 year old european saloon car racer Nick Jones offered, as an auction prize, hot-laps around Llandow Race Circuit in his Belgium Renaul-Sport Clio Cup car and a classic D-Type Jaguar Le Mans racer to four lucky people. Simon Dolley from Ponprennau in Cardiff and three of his work mates joined Nick and Helen Lloyd, from The Alzheimers Society, on Saturday 10th April for a day to remember. Everyone had a great time. Simon and his friends were amazed at the speed the Clio had, not just down the streights but through the cormers as well. All came away realising the skill needed to drive a race car at speed. "I wasn't pushing it either" said Nick. "I was probably using about 80% of the cars potential". "What a buz" and "He didn't even slow down for the corners" were just some of the comments. Due to a small oil leak if was unsafe to other racers to take the D-Type on the circuit. But Nick didn't dissapoint. Between sessions on the track, he took Simon and is mates "for a quick spin" on the road (all within the speed limited of course). Nick said "I am very pleased to have been able to help The Alzheimer's Society in this small way". "The work they do is so important in gaining an understanding of this condition and in supporting sufferers and carers" he added.

LMS: Andrea Belicchi, Jean-Christophe Boullion and Guy Smith took their Rebellion Racing Lola-Rebellion onto the podium in the LMS * hour race at Paul Ricard on Sunday. The sister car driven by Nicolas Prost and Neel Jani finished in 11th place overall and 7th in the LMP1 class. Read report

Formula 2: BRDC Rising Star Will Bratt produced a strong performance during official FIA Formula 2 testing at Silverstone on Monday, 12th April, to end the outing fifth fastest overall. Just four days away from the season curtain-raiser at the 3.2-mile Northamptonshire track, Will’s debut,, the Banbury racer continued to acclimatise to his Audi-engined Williams JPH1B with a best of 1m37.313s with his final lap of the day. Will started the test strongly with a top five lap of 1m38.119 s in the morning, just 0.4s shy of the quickest times. Running in fourth as the second session neared its conclusion, he slipped to fifth during the closing seconds when Jack Clarke nipped ahead. During lunch, the F2 mechanics identified a problem with the turbo charger on Will’s car, caused by a cracked manifold. The replacement meant he missed a large chunk of the 90-minute session and was only able to complete a handful of laps.  “I’m reasonably happy with the way today has gone, it was unfortunate we had the problem with the cracked manifold but the mechanics did a great job to sort that out for me”, said Will, “To be in the top five for the majority of the day was good. Obviously I’d have liked to be quickest, but I’m fairly satisfied with the performance. We did have some problems with understeer throughout the morning but by the end of the day we’d managed to pretty much eliminate that. There’s still plenty to learn about the F2 car, hopefully we’ll make more progress over the weekend and make a strong start to the championship.” The first race of the weekend is timetabled to take place at 11.35 on Sunday, 18th April, with the second at 15.35. 

Star Mazda: Movie stars and race cars are pretty much the norm for the Long Beach Grand Prix… except this time its drivers from the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear up on screen, and the graduation of Star Mazda standout, Joel Miller, to the ranks of Indy Lights with the Andersen Racing team. Driven To Race, showing at the Art Theatre of Long Beach (2025 E. 4th St. / 562-438-5435) on Thursday, April 15 at 2:00 pm and again at 9:00 pm, is a feature-length documentary film that follows eight ambitious young male and female drivers from around the world (including Joel Miller) as they compete in the Star Mazda Championship.  Read more

Radical UK Cup: Phil Keen and Derek Johnston shared the victory spoils in a dramatic UK season opener in the Radical UK Cup at Rockingham. The races were held in most perfect weather conditions saw Keen beat Johnston to the flag in race 1 by just over two tenths of a second . Racce 2 saw Johnston go one better and take a more comfortable win over the SR8 of Roger Bromiley/Shaun Balfe with 10 seconds in hand.  Read report

Radical Club Cup: Darren Luke showed a clean pair of heels to his rivals, with two lights to flag victories in the opening Radical Club Cup rounds at Rockingham. Jomathan Wright provided the main opposition finishing second on both occasions. Read report

Autosport Young Guns: Finnish karting ace Leopold Ringbom had the honour of taking victory in the inaugural Young Guns race at Rockingham, after misfortune struck leader Josh Webster as he was about to start his seventh lap.  Read report

GT Asia: This past weekend of 10th-11thApril, marked the beginning of the GT3 Asia and the GT4 Asia Cup 2010 season, when drivers and teams from the two series turned up at the Sepang International Circuit for a joint preliminary test session.  Read more

Karts: Jay Goodwin was one of the potential leading contenders in the 2010 curtain-raiser for Formula Kart Stars (FKS and if circumstances ultimately contrived to deny him the results his pace so clearly deserved, his potential suggested there will be considerable cause for cheer over the balance of the campaign.  Read report

12-04-10

Porsche Racing: Brands Hatch hosted the opening rounds of the 2010 Porsche Club Championship on Saturday April 10th, and the Kent circuit witnessed two exciting races that saw 2007 champion Mark McAleer start the season with a pair of outright wins.   Read report

Jim Geddie claimed victory in the opening two rounds of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, the long-time Porsche supporter winning the inaugural races in the new series at Brands Hatch on Saturday 10th April. The Scot used his pace and experience to stay clear of the field, with Stephen Ritchie putting on a strong display on his race debut to take second in both races.   Peter Smallwood claimed both Class Two victories in his 996 GT3 Cup.   Read report

F2000: Cole Morgan beat Remy Audette to the line as he took advantage of Daniel Erickson’s misfiring engine to win his first F2000 race since 2007 when he  won the Championship title. Aussie Erickson had led from pole, pulling out a two second lead while Morgan and Audette battled over second. However with just 3  of the 14 laps left to run the Zetec engine in Erickson’s car picked up a misfire dropping him way down to tenth handinmg the victory to Morgan. Fabio Orsolon was  third with Saturday’s winner Victor Carbone fourth.  Read report

Grand-Am: The Pacific Mobile No 61 Ford Riley of AIM Autosport may have only finished eighth in the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park. However the team aren’t disappointed as the performance was there and but for a blown tyre when fighting for fourth place they could have been on the podium.  To top it all the Pacific Mobile No 61 Ford Riley led sixteen laps and was amongst fastest cars on the circuit, reasons to be cheerful!  Read report.

LMS: The Strakka Racing trio of Jonny Kane, Nick Leventis and Danny Watts took the honours in LMP2 with a superb win at the opening round of the 2010 Le Mans Series. The team’s Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-01c led from pole to the flag at the inaugural Paul Ricard 8 Hours on Sunday taking fastest lap in the process.  Read report.

Adrian Fernández (MX), Stefan Mücke (DE) and Harold Primat (CH) drove their Aston Martin 009 LMP1 over the line in second in the LMS eight hour race at Paul Ricard on Sunday. It was the team’s second successive podium this year clearly demonstrating the V12 car’s pace, reliability and durability.  Read report

The new Le Mans Series season has started on a very positive note for RML AD Group, with a first round podium in the Paul Ricard 8 Hours for Mike Newton, Thomas Erdos, Andy Wallace and the team’s Lola B08/80 HPD.  Read report

The latest development of the Audi R15 TDI has won its race debut at Le Castellet. This latest version of Audi’s diesel racing car ran the entire distance without a hitch and after eight hours Dindo Capello and Allan McNish held a five-lap lead over the Lola-Aston Martin of defending champion Stefan Mucke, Harold Primat and Adrian Fernandez. The race has been flawless for the German team, as Allan McNish explained: "This is very special because this is the first victory of a new car I think we equaled the record -- with the R8, the R10 and the R15 we took the victory at the very first race. We had good grip and the car was nice to drive. The race was tough because we didn't test so much."

JMW Motorsport’s  Aston Martin GT2 driven by Rob Bell and Darren Turner didn’t have an easy time at Paul Ricard. Their race ended prematurely when the fuel pump packed up but before then they did show that the pace of their Aston Martin V8 Vantage was there and it bodes well for thje future   read report     pic Peter May / Dailysportscar

OAK Racing Team Mazda France enjoyed an excellent start to its 2010 season at the opening round of the Le Mans Series; the 8 Heures du Castellet. The Magny-Cours-based team ran at the front of the LMP2 field for much of the race with the #35 Pescarolo-Judd of Guillaume Moreau and Richard Hein, finishing a superb second on the same lap as the winning car. Meanwhile, the #24 machine of Matthieu Lahaye and Jacques Nicolet just missed out on a podium place, finishing fourth and on the same lap as RML’s third placed Lola coupe.  Read report

Indylights: J.K. Vernay, starting from the pole in the No. 7 Lucas Slick Mist/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, held off Charlie Kimball by 1.1542 seconds to win the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on the 2.38-mile Barber Motorsports Park. Vernay, who won the season opener on the temporary St. Petersburg street circuit two weeks earlier, takes a 33-point lead over Kimball in the Firestone Indy Lights championship standings heading to Long Beach. Kimball, driving the No. 26 Levemir FlexPen car for AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport, recorded a career best finish. Sebastian Saavedra was third with Martin Plowman. Vernay - "I was trying to take care of my tires early in the race and at the end, I was able to push and the car was still very good at the end of the race. Everybody did a great job and I'm very happy. We tried some small changes for the race. It was warmer than this morning. We had to take care of the tyres, the engine and the chassis. My engineer did a great job with the setup and the crew did a great job. I couldn't be happier. Charlie Kimball) was in front before the start line and that's why he let me overtake him on the second lap Charlie was really fair and it was very good race." Charlie Kimball: "I'm happy points wise. Points mean prizes at the end of the year and the NO. 26 Levemir FlexPen car ran great. It bodes well for next week at Long Beach. I came off the brakes going full throttle and it came out of the corner as I expected it to. When (Vernay) went, I don't know if he lifted or dragged the brake, but he fell behind pretty early. I can see why (the officials) up top would say that, but it was a good, clean start. I will have to talk to the officials and see what they saw up top." The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues April 18 with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on the streets of Long Beach, Calif.

Indycar: Helio Castroneves won for the first time on a road/street course race since August 2008, taking the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union at Barber Motorsports Park. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner inherited the lead when Marco Andretti had to pit for fuel eight laps from the end of the 90-lap race. Castroneves held off Scott Dixon by .5703 of a second, then thanked the spectators for attending the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama with his trademark celebratory fence climb in Turn 9. Dario Franchitti, the reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion, finished third. Castroneves also denied teammate Will Power of a series-record third consecutive victory to start the season. Power, the polesitter who had to pit for the final time on Lap 63 (dropping him to seventh), moved back to fourth and retains the championship points lead by 32 over Castroneves (104). Franchitti is third (94) as the series heads to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 18.

Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship team Hillspeed has signed Alice Powell to race with the squad during the 2010 season alongside James Theodore. The 17-year-old made her single-seater debut in the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship last year with Manor Competition. During that first season, Powell secured a pair of top 10 finishes and was sixth overall in the Graduate Cup class. Eyeing a switch to the more cost-effective Formula Renault BARC Championship for 2010, Powell has opted to join category front-runners Hillspeed after a pair of successful test outings, the latest last Friday, 9th April at Silverstone. As part of the deal the car will be engineered by Sarah Shaw, co-owner of Manor Competition. Highly respected throughout national single-seater racing, Shaw has a superb record of success in Formula Renault BARC having previously engineered Hywel Lloyd and Richard Singleton to championship glory. She also took Dean Smith to the 2009 Formula Renault UK title. Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw commented: “Obviously, we’re delighted to have Alice on board alongside James (Theodore) for the 2010 season, it’s an excellent line-up and we’re sure they’ll work very well together. In the UK championship last year, Alice proved what a highly capable driver she is. She has a very good chance indeed of doing well in BARC this season. Powell said: “Hopefully it’s going to be a good season. I’m delighted to have signed with Hillspeed and to have a quick team-mate like James (Theodore) is great. What makes everything even better is to have Sarah (Shaw) from Manor Competition linking-up with the team to engineer my car – it can only help boost my chances.”

Formula 3: Adrian Quaife-Hobbs got his 2010 season off to a good start with a storming drive through the field from 11th to sixth in the opening round of the 2010 Formula 3 Euroseries at Paul Ricard this weekend. The Tonbridge racer, along with his Motopark Academy team-mates, was penalised for an engine change between qualifying and the race, dropping him down the grid.
Despite that, the 19 year-old, making his debut in the series, drove a superb race gaining three places on the opening lap. Later in the race Valtteri Bottas was awarded a drive through penalty elevating Adrian to seventh.Over the closing laps Adrian closed up to Jim Pla and a superb slipstreaming move on the final lap allowed him to surge ahead and into sixth place which he held to the flag. The weekend’s second race featured a reverse grid and saw Adrian line up third. A fantastic getaway allowed him to get the jump off the line, entering the first corner in second place. However his progress was short-lived as over the course of the remaining laps as he slipped to ninth at the flag. “It was an eventful opening event particularly on a circuit that is unknown to me and the team,” said Adrian. “We struggled for pace all weekend and the team worked hard to try and resolve it. And I’m sure we’ll be back on pace next time out in Hockenheim.  “But to get sixth on my debut in F3 isn’t bad. To be the quickest of the Motopark drivers is also a good result for me personally and I’m confident of being able to improve on sixth place next time out.”

11-04-10

F2000: Australian rookie Daniel Erickson made it two VIR poles, setting a time during qualifying for race two of the F2000 weekend at VIR that no-one else could get near. The 22-year old broke the lap record yesterday and was 0.3s slower today, but 0.4s up on Remy Audette in second. For Erickson, it will be another rolling start. In race one, having never done a rolling start, Erickson fell victim to Victor Carbone, who went on to win his first race by two-tenths over the Australian.“I have to give credit to the team, they’ve done a great job,” commented Erickson, who is driving for Primus Racing and adds three additional bonus points towards the national title. “As far as the star tthis time around, I’ll have to do it right.” Audette, second in the #21 Audette Racing Van Diemen. “It was an odd session because I kept coming up on slower cars,” Audette said. “The car was good and we missed one additional quick lap at the end because we thought the checkered flag was out.”Yesterday’s winner Carbone will start third next to Jonathan Scarallo in the R-Sport entry. 2007 Champion Cole Morgan and Fabio Orsolon will be on row three.Rounding out the top ten were Phil Lombardi, Tim Kautz, Tim Minor and Tom Fatur. A last-second deal put 22-year old Chris Keller in the #83 Van Diemen for the day. It was Keller’s first time ever in an F2000 car, and first time at VIR in three years. He ended up in a respectful 23rd out of the 33 car grid, and found three seconds compared to yesterday’s times. “It’s tough rebuilding a car overnight,” Keller commented. “We didn’t even have time to put a setup on it, so now it’s time to make a couple real adjustments before the race.”

LMS: In a thrilling first half of the first ever Le Mans Series race at Castellet, the Aston Martin 009 LMP1 car is currently running in second position. Official Aston Martin Racing partner Signature Plus continues in fifth overall. In a spectacular start by Stefan Mücke (GER) who left the grid from third place; a battle between the two front running diesels ensued. Stefan quickly negotiating past both front runners by turn three, stormed into the lead holding it for the following two laps before predictably settling into third. The advantage of the factory diesels was clear on the long Mistral straight. After 40 minutes a puncture forced Mücke into the pits placing the car in fifth as it returned to the race. He fought his way back up to third and as the second placed diesel had a longer than expected pit stop, Mücke ended his 1h40 stint handing over to Adrian Fernández (MX) in second position. Fernández had a trouble free 1h40 stint holding second place handing over to Harold Primat (CH) who is currently driving the 009 car which has now completed 126 laps. Mücke said: “I had great grip right from the beginning allowing me to get off the grid quickly. A couple of mistakes by the lead cars allowed me to pass them both letting me lead the race for a time. The speed differentiation on the straight returned me to third. The car has been running really well and I’m really looking forward to my second stint.” Fernández said: “It’s slippery out there and there is a lot of pick-up on the tyres, but we maintained good speed despite a demanding drive. The main aim was to stay ahead of the competition.”  The JMW Motorsport Vantage GT2 experienced a minor electrical fault and retired after 65 laps, but showed exceptionally good pace in their debut race. The 8 Heures du Castellet will conclude at 19:00 (CET) on Sunday 11th April 2010. Live timing will be available from www.lemans-series.com and live race coverage with Radio Le Mans at www.radiolemans.com.

Karts: Tom Harvey took a superb second national victory in the MSA Cadet class in the opening meeting of the 2010 Formula Kart Stars (FKS) Championship at Rowrah in Cumbria - a result that puts him second in the points and establishes him as a potential title contender this year.  Read report  .

F2000: Victor Carbone led every lap at VIR on his way to taking his first career F2000 Series victory over Australian rookie Daniel Erickson by two-tenths of a second. Carbone, driving for Alegra Motorsports in his second F2000 season, timed his start beautifully from the outside of the front row, taking advantage of pole sitter Erickson, who had never done a rolling start before. Erickson would fall back to third, only to reel the Brazilian in from 1.8 seconds away as the two ran nose-to-tail for the closing laps in a thrilling start to the 2010 F2000 Season. Read report

A last second deal has put 2008 Formula Ford National Champion Chris Keller in a Van Diemen for Sunday’s F2000 race at VIR. The 22-year old from New Jersey will pilot the #83 entry usually driven by Masters Class competitor Charles Finelli, who has given the opportunity to the young hopeful. Keller is most remembered for his daring last lap pass in the final corner to win the Run-Offs at Topeka in a Swift DB-6. “Everything about this weekend has been kind of last minute,” said Keller. “To drive on Sunday last minute is going to interesting. It’s going to be my first session ever in that race car, and it’s going to be qualifying, and it’s my first time at VIR in three years. “ The entry is supported by Amato Construction, Finelli’s race team – Fat Boy Racing and Williams Racing Developments.

Formula 3: Alexander Sims got his 2010 Formula 3 Euroseries title campaign off to a winning start at Paul Ricard in the south of France over the weekend by claiming a dominant race victory during the second round of the season this morning, Sunday, 11th April. Read report

Tom Tweedie came away from the Tasmanian F3 Superprix with the Championship lead in the Australian F3 Championship after taking his second victory of the weekend after a superb RACE at Symmons Plains.   Read report

LMS: The 2010 Le Mans Series season is off to the best possible start for Strakka Racing, with an emphatic class pole from Danny Watts in the team’s HPD ARX-01c. His impressive performance came after three sessions of free practice during which the Strakka entry dominated LMP2, and this was reflected in a pole time of 1:44.989 that was more than two seconds clear of the field. Strakka Racing | Paul Ricard LMS Round 1 | Photo: John Brooks“I’m absolutely delighted for everyone at Strakka, and all the other people associated with the project,” said Piers Phillips, Team Manager. “This is the team’s reward for six months of hard work, not only by the personnel at Strakka, but also for all those involved in the development of the car, including HPD (Honda Performance Development), Wirth Research and Michelin. It’s the perfect start to the year.” Danny had just three laps in which to meet the expectations of everyone watching from the team garage, but he managed it in one. “I knew I had only a small window of opportunity, so it was important to get a clear lap right from the start,” he admitted. The timing was perfect, and having held back in the pitlane until the session was eight minutes gone, he emerged into a traffic-free period and was able to make his first flyer count. “I was surprised when I saw the lap time, but the grip level the car gave from the Michelin tyres was absolutely fantastic. The car does everything you ask of it, and more. Having a car that performs as well as this just makes the job so much easier.”

As the Aston Martin Racing Team races in the 8 Heures du Castellet this afternoon(Sunday 11 April), Harold Primat (CH) talks through a lap of Paul Ricard: “You accelerate up the pit straight and then you’re straight into hard braking and down to third gear for the left-right chicane called Verriere. You need to mind the kerbs and get on the power as early as you can while you exit the right-hander. “After a short straight you brake deep into the corner for the next right-hander, which is followed by quite a long left. It’s all rather tight in this part of the circuit, but it’s about to get a lot tighter as then you’re into the first hairpin, which we take in first gear.  “It’s a quick trip up to through the gears, exiting in second or third, because then we go to what is one of the most crucial corners of the track: l’Ecole. You need a good drive off there in order to launch yourself onto the Mistral straight: I normally short shift to fourth heading into this corner in order to have good stability as I accelerate out of it. So we’re onto the legendary Mistral straight where, depending on our set-up, we’ll be hitting a top speed of somewhere between 300 and 320 kph. That’s actually a bit slower than the speeds we will reach on the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans , but it’s the closest we come to it. At the end of the straight, we come to Signes: my favourite part of the circuit but a place where you have to be incredibly careful. We keep it in sixth, but lift at the end of the straight before putting the power back on again, to really drive the car round the corner. You need to ensure that your car is as stable as possible round here, as if you bottom out too much that can be enough to make you go off. Following a short straight you brake hard into the double Beausset right-hander, which you take in fourth gear. This is a big stop, as you’ve been in sixth for so long at this point, and it’s also a very tricky corner as it tightens all the way, forcing you to apply more and more steering lock. You can really feel the G-forces at work and it helps to have some padding on the left side of your headrest! After the Beausset corner there is quite a technical section of track where you really have to get the car to flow properly. Coming out of the Bendor corner it’s fine to use a bit of the kerb, you sweep through a long right-hander in fourth gear, and then it’s down to third or second for La Tour. Finally, we have the Virage du Pont at the end of the lap: another tight hairpin that is extremely important as it sets you up for the start-finish straight. You have to approach the Virage du Pont as far to the left as possible, in order to open out the corner, but in our car it’s very hard to see the apex because of the sidepods. Do all this exactly right for the next eight hours, and then you’ll have some idea what the 8 Heures du Castellet will be like for us!”

RML AD Group’s Thomas Erdos set a best of 1:47.491 in qualifying for today’s Paul Ricard 8 Hours to claim fourth on the LMP2 grid for Round 1 of the 2010 Le Mans Series. The result fell a little short of the team’s hopes and expectations after quicker times in practice, but ahead of the longest race yet scheduled for the Series, being on the second row is likely to be of small consequence. “We are a little surprised not to be quicker,” conceded Phil Barker, Team Manager at RML, “but at the end of the day, we’re right behind pole, and in the grand scheme of an eight hour race, ten metres on the grid is neither here nor there. The greater concern is what happens after those lights go out and the race starts.” Having been second or third in the faster practice sessions, the indications were strong that the team could hope for a similar result in qualifying. In the end, however, Brazilian Thomas Erdos had been unable to replicate his earlier pace. “The balance of the car had changed just enough since the previous practice session to prevent Tommy from getting the best out of the car,” explained Barker. “He also had difficulties with traffic, and it just wasn’t meant to be.”  

10-04-10

LMS: Three Aston Martins qualified at the sun soaked Paul Ricard Circuit in France with the 009 LMP1 car securing third position. Official Aston Martin Racing Partner, Team Signature Racing qualified in eighth with the JMW Vantage GT2 achieving 5th in class. The 009 Aston Martin ran without trouble with the team strategically choosing their time for a quick lap. Stefan Mücke (DE) who piloted the 009 found himself in traffic initially, but shortly before the chequered flag, posted a 1m42.354 lap only 0.722s behind the second-placed diesel car. Mücke said “I am pleased with this result. I had a bit of traffic on the first timed lap, but had a clearer run nearer the end. We will only make minor modifications to the car now before the race – it feels very good at the moment.” The 8 Heures du Castellet will get underway at 11:00 (CET) on Sunday 11th April 2010. Live timing will be available from www.lemans-series.com and live race coverage with Radio Le Mans at www.radiolemans.com

Qualifying Positions

Pos.

Car No.

Class

Drivers

Time

Make

1

4

LMP1

Panis/Lapierre/Sarrazin

1m41.195s

Peugeot

2

7

LMP1

Capello/McNish

1m41.632s

Audi

3

009

LMP1

Fernández/Primat/Mücke

1m42.354s

Aston Martin

4

6

LMP1

Ayari/Duval/Andre

1m42.685s

Oreca

5

13

LMP1

Belicchi/Boullion/Smith

1m43.435s

Lola

Rebellion Racing starting from the third row of the grid. Jean-Christophe Boullion and Neel Jani secured 5th and 6th place on the starting grid for tomorrow's 8 hours of Le Castellet race.Leaving the pits 8 minutes prior to the end of the session, Jean-Christophe set his quickest time on his third flying lap. Jean-Christophe Boullion, "I think I got the maximum out of my car. There were a couple of very small mistakes, but they didn’t cost me much time, I lapped faster than I expected before the session began. I wouldn’t have been able to catch the car in front of me. I had a clear track and achieved a quick « almost perfect » lap. My grid position reflects the car's pace at this stage. " Neel Jani ventured out on track earlier in the session and encountered some traffic on his early laps. He nevertheless put in a great performance to secure the 6th place on the grid alongside his teammate Jean-Christophe Boullion. Neel Jani: "We did not find the same balance in the car that we had this morning. I could not push as hard as I wanted and some LMP2 cars made me lose some time during my early laps. I am a bit disappointed by the result of the qualifying session. We will continue our setup work during tomorrow's warm-up. We have a good card to play in tomorrow's race. " The start of the race will be on Sunday, April 11 at 11 AM for 8 hours of racing with a scheduled finish at 7 PM.

F2000: Australian rookie Daniel Erickson took pole for today’s F2000 race at VIR with a new track record at 1:54.496, three tenths up on the rest of the field. It was only Erickson’s third day in his Primus Racing Van Diemen/Zetec. The former British Formula Ford driver waited until the very last second to bump Brazilian Victor Carbone off the pole. Read more

Karts: Ash Hand produced one of the best performances to make it a superb double victory in the opening meeting on the 2010 Formula Kart Stars (FKS) calendar at Rowrah.  Read report

Formula 3: Tom Tweedie won his first ever Australian F3 race with a superb drive at Symmons Plains in Tasmania. Starting from third on the grid, Tweedie moved up to second on the opening lap when poleman Ben Barker went wide at the hairpin and stopped. Tweedie then homed in on leader Andrew Waite, passing him late in the race to take his debut victory.   Read report

F2000: 2007 F2000 Champion Cole Morgan se the fastest lap during practice for the opening rounds of the 2010 F2000 Championship Series at Virginia International Raceway yesterday(Friday). His time of 1:55.6 to top the time was just under a tenth of a second faster tyhan second placed Daniel Erikson. Remy Audette(pictured) and his  Alegra Motorsports teammates Fabio Orsolon and Victor Carbone were next up.  Read more

LMS: As the Aston Martin Racing Team prepares for the 8 Hours of Castellet in the south of France ready for Sunday’s endurance special, works drivers Adrian Fernández (MX), Stefan Mücke (DE) and Harold Primat (CH) answer questions about the upcoming race:  read Q & A

Other News: N.Technology have unveiled a new division called N.Technology Iberia driving skills as well as budding racing drivers looking for professional training. N.Technology Iberia will also use its Algarve Motor Park location for corporate activities such as launches, including car, motorbikes and other products. A dedicated Customer Service team will deal with servicing historic cars and motorsport activities for N.Technology clients. A Tuning branch will also be developed, focusing on restyling and customising private cars. Additionally, N.Technology Iberia's commitments are set to include the organisation and promotion of the Portuguese Racing Weekend as well as the management of various karting activities. Further on, they will focus on partnering manufacturing clients in testing and development programmes for vehicles within Europe. Mauro Sipsz, N.Technology "It's a great opportunity for our Group. I am sure that the agreement will be fruitful for all the parts involved and I really want to thank Autodromo do Algarve, Municipality of Portimao as well as our Portuguese partners. In this moment we are concentrating on the Porsche Panamera S project; we are more than ready to finalise further agreements in the future." 

09-04-10 

LMS: Three Aston Martins will contest the 8 Hours of Castellet this weekend, 10-11 April at the opening round of the Le Mans Series.The Aston Martin Racing 009 LMP1 car will be driven by Adrian Fernández (MX), Stefan Mücke (DE) and Harold Primat (CH), while Signature Racing’s LMP1 Aston Martin will be driven by Pierre Ragues (FRA), Franck Mailleux (FRA) and Vanina Ickx (BEL). In the GT2 class, JMW Motorsport will compete a Vantage GT2 with drivers Darren turner (GBR) and Robert Bell (GBR). Official Aston Martin Racing Teams Signature Racing and JMW motorsport will be racing their new Aston Martins competitively for the first time at the inaugural eight-hour race at the Paul Ricard circuit in France . It is an important warm-up for all the three teams who will be contesting the Le Mans 24 Hours, which takes place from 12-13 June. Paul Ricard will always have a very special place in Aston Martin Racing’s history, as in March 2009 it was where the team’s LMP1 car ran for the first time. More recently, Aston Martin Racing took part in the pre-season Le Mans Series test there last month, together with Aston Martin’s Official Partner teams. The circuit was also a test venue for Aston Martin when it campaigned the DBR9 to GT1 class victory at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008. Although it can be arranged into 167 different possible configurations, the most famous part of the Le Castellet track is its 1.8-kilometre Mistral straight, making it the perfect place for Aston Martin Racing to prepare for the flat-out demands of the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans .The 8 Heures du Castellet will get underway at 11:00 (CET) on Sunday 11th April 2010. Live timing will be available from www.lemans-series.com  and live race coverage with Radio Le Mans at www.radiolemans.com.

Karts: James Singleton overcame numerous problems in his heat races to charge up the order from 44th in the intermediate rankings to a superb seventh-place finish in the opening round of the 2010 Euro Max Rotax Challenge at Salbris in France - taking the chequered flag ahead of the reigning World and British Champions into the bargain! Pic: Chris Walker/www.kartpix.net     Read report   

F Renault: Official pre-season testing for the 2010 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship saw Fortec Motorsport’s Mitchell Hale top the timesheets on Silverstone’s National circuit on Thursday, 8th April. The 16-year-old former Ginetta Junior racer posted a best overall time of 55.571s (106.17mph ) during the test – 0.192s ahead of nearest rival and team-mate Joseph Reilly. Hillspeed’s James Theodore, returning for his second season, went third quickest overall with SWB Motorsport’s Luke Wright and 17-year-old Alice Powell, who raced in the National-level Formula Renault UK series last year, rounding off the top five. In glorious sunshine, 16 drivers took to the 1.64-mile circuit for the morning session. Hale, Reilly and Powell all posted strong times early on as did 18-year-old Theodore. Hale eventually went quickest for the morning but the session also saw good times from Josh Webster, running with Fortec Motorsport, and Antel Motorsport’s Matthew Parry. After lunch Hale, Reilly, Theodore, Wright and Powell all went to the top of the timesheets with Webster and Parry again looking quick. The second session also saw Anglo Motorsport’s Kasper Krogh (Denmark) set quick times along with returning driver Kourosh Khani racing with Welch Motorsport. The session though belonged to Hale who set the fastest time of the day on new tyres on his 28th of 41 laps run. Commenting on his performance, Hale said: “I’m really pleased with how things have gone as we’ve been quick all day. Fortec Motorsport have done a great job with setting up the car and it also helps having a quick team-mate in Joseph Reilly, along with my coach Danny Buxton passing on his experience.” The opening rounds of the 2010 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship take place at Kent’s Brands Hatch Indy circuit on 17th/18th April.

WTCC: Last Monday at the Circuit Park Zandvoort, reigning WTCC Independent champion Tom Coronel launched his autobiography entitled "20 years to the limit". The book, written with the assistance of Dutch journalists Coo Dijkman and Rick Winkelmann, tells of Coronel's first twenty years in motorsport, from the 1990 Easter Monday Trophy at Zandvoort, when he made his debut in the Dutch Citroën AX GT Cup, until last year's victory in the FIA WTCC's Independents' Trophy.  

The Marriott hotel group has renewed its sponsorship agreement with the FIA World Touring Car Championship for 2010, with an option for 2011. The deal, first signed in 2007, will see Marriott continue as Official Hotel Partner of the WTCC and receive increased visibility as part of this endorsement, including event title sponsorship of the Race of the UK at Brands Hatch (18 July). As part of this year's package, the brand "Courtyard by Marriott" - one of Marriott's largest brands will get sponsorship visibility during the first half of the season, while the Marriott umbrella brand will be predominantly displayed in the second half of 2010.Jacques Raynaud, Vice-Chairman of Eurosport Group and Eurosport Events, said: "Marriott has been a faithful series partner of the WTCC for the past three years and we are very excited about continuing our relationship with such a prestigious group. With the WTCC, we are able to provide our partners with a unique 360° multi-territory communication and marketing platform and we look forward to generating even more brand leadership recognition for Marriott and its brands."

F2000: The opening day for the 2010 F2000 season at VIR saw five test sessions, with 30 cars on track practicing for this weekend’s two races. Some 35 cars are expected for the first race with new drivers, teams, returning drivers swapping places all making it an interesting day for the paddock. The F2000 Championship Series at VIR gets underway with official practice today, Friday, with qualifying and racing on both Saturday and Sunday    read more

Karts: 3MKEvents organised the first SWS (SodiWSeries) Grand Final in Paris on the RKC circuit. With drivers from 12 countries taking part the event was a great success helped by some great per­formances,the latest karts, an international group of drivers and a good atmosphere. Christopher Lefevre, the winner of the SWS final, commented: “There was a lot of pressure, especially during the final race, because all participants were more or less on the same level. The pace was very high during both days of racing, you had to remain focussed every single minute, it was closely fought. SODI RX 250 is a wonderful kart, both powerful and effective. I had already raced competitively, but the SWS formula suits me perfectly because it is not expensive, it is fair and I can go on with my studies”. Gildas Mérian, Sodikart’s president,added, ”We are very satisfied. We now have an open future for SWS after the success of season 1 and of its grand final. We have created the first real connection between the world of leisure karting and the world of races. That’s really the formula we lacked to make competition accessible: a full season, with many races, costs little more than 1,000 €. We have proven that high-level karting can go hand in hand with leisure. Our success is founded on coo­peration with partner circuits, which implemented a win-win formula for everybody! We hope that in 2010, over 10,000 drivers from all over the world will enter the event, thereby transforming the SWS into the greatest event in the history of karting”.  Many drivers from all over the world gathe­red in Cormeilles to see the SWS in action and they were not disappointed. Nobody doubts that many more will join the SWS in 2010. “With the SWS, our relationship with customers has completely changed”, ex­plains a German SWS kartdrome manager. “They are very motivated, they want to attend all the races and they are determined to do well in world standings. Now, there is a real competition spirit in leisure karting and that gives us much more work. During the final race, I felt more like a team manager than a track owner. Drivers in our circuit are already talking about next edition… What an extraordinary loyalty driver!”

08-04-10

Historics: British racers Martin Stretton and Matthew Watts top the entry for the opening two rounds of the 2010 Historic Formula 2 Championship at Hockenheim over the weekend of 17/18 April. Defending champion Stretton has stepped up to a 2-litre March 742, having won the 2009 title in his 1600cc March 712. Watts , meanwhile, continues with his ex-Norman Dickson March 772 having won races regularly through the 2009 season. The F2 Trophy will be contested over a schedule of 12 races at six major historic race meetings. All six tracks on the calendar have a period Formula 2 history, including Brands Hatch GP, which hosts the British rounds on 3/4 July. As before, the F2 championship caters for both 1600cc and 2-litre Formula 2 and Formula Atlantic cars produced from 1967 to 1978. The 22-car field includes drivers from seven countries and six manufacturers, with nine 2-litre cars and 13 1600cc cars. New to F2 will be Historic F1 racers Richard Meins (March 762) and Peter Wuensch in the ex-Eddie Cheever Ralt RT1. Peter Meyrick (March 782) is another leading contender, while Japanese racer Katsu Kubota (March 712) tops the 1600cc field. "This is a great start to the F2 season," said Grahame White of the Historic Sports Car Club, the managers of the championship. "It is very encouraging to have a 22-car entry for Hockenheim with a number of new drivers and new driver and car combinations."For more details about the HSCC, please visit www.hscc.org.uk

DTM: BBC F1 commentator David Coulthard will step back behind the wheel of a racing car again in 2010 after confirming that he will compete in the DTM German Touring Car Championship, which makes its only UK visit to Brands Hatch on 3/4/5 September. Coulthard, who retired from Formula One in 2008, notched up thirteen Grand Prix victories during his fifteen year career in the world championship and he also holds the record as the British driver with the highest number of F1 points to his name.'DC' will race a 2008 spec Mercedes, joining three fellow Scot Paul di Resta who will run latest 2010 machinery. Coulthard said: “I have always enjoyed the exciting DTM races, both as a TV viewer and at the race tracks, and I am sure that I will feel the same now as a driver. I am, of course, aware of the fact that racing within this competitive field will be very challenging in the beginning. However, I am a racer who looks forward to the competition. I particularly look forward to returning to racing with my long-time friends at Mercedes-Benz and I am proud to be at the same time an ambassador for ‘Wings for Life’, the spinal cord research foundation of Red Bull.” Tickets for the DTM at Brands Hatch on 3-5 September cost from £24 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or visit www.brandshatch.co.uk.

Formula Ford: A grid of 27 cars from six different chassis manufacturers, drivers from 11 nations and close race action with winning margins measured in hundredths - those are the statistics from the opening rounds of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain which underline the healthy state of the country's favourite single-seater series. Oulton Park's Easter trio of races were the first for the Ford championship's new Dunlop radial tyre, and the results were spectacular: in the first round, Jamun Racing's new signing Scott Pye shattered the circuit's two-year-old lap record by in excess of half a second. Scott Malvern, championship leader and the round two victor for Cliff Dempsey Racing, praised the new tyre: "The best thing about them, I think, is that they don't really go off too much; there's not a big drop-off - they stay consistent from as soon as you scrub them in all the way to the end of 100 laps and there's no loss of performance. That helps keep costs down too." Championship manager Sam Roach, of RacingLine, was delighted by all aspects of the opening meeting of the Formula Ford season. "To see 27 cars arrive at Oulton to qualify at the start of the fourth season of the Duratec engine-era Formula Ford was a real pleasure," he said. "That's four more cars than we had at the start of 2009 and six more than in 2007 and '08. Two of the three races were won by margins of less than 12 hundredths of a second, with five different drivers from different five teams, driving four different sorts of chassis, taking podium finishes - it doesn't come any closer or more competitive than that, and it all bodes fantastically well for a vintage season." The thrilling opening rounds can be seen on Motors TV from next Saturday, 17 April, and will be aired on Channel 4 also, on Sunday 25 April. The championship's next rounds are at Knockhill on 8/9 May.  Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Formula 2: Will Bratt made a good start to his FIA Formula 2 Championship career at Snetterton this week during the official test on his maiden run at the wheel of the Williams JPH1B car. The 21-year-old, who moves into F2 after contesting the recent GP2 Asia Series, enjoyed his debut and is happy with the progress made at the Norfolk track. Marking the first official test of 2010, Will produced a consistently showing on Tuesday and Wednesday,6-7th April, and ended with a best lap of 59.230 seconds – just 0.7secs shy of the outright pace. On day one, he was second fastest during the last session and on day two, he was second again in the rain-affected final run. Will’s performance was all the more pleasing as his did most of his running on a single set of tyres. In addition, he chose not to utilise the ‘overboost’ facility when it became available – which provides drivers with an additional 55bhp – during the wet final session on Wednesday but still managed to be second fastest in session. “I’m pretty happy with our first test in the F2, I enjoyed it and I think we laid some good foundations over the last couple of days which we can build on at Silverstone next week”, he said. “Unfortunately we didn’t have chance to benefit from our final new tyre run as it started raining just as I got out on track but I’m happy with our pace, especially considering we ran on the same set of tyres for the majority of the test and didn’t use the boost when it was available in the last session.” Will added: “F2 is certainly shaping up to be very competitive this year and I’m delighted to be part of such a fantastic championship. Jonathan Palmer and Williams have done a terrific job, the car is great and very enjoyable to drive. To race in F2 this year is absolutely the right decision at this point in my career.” Pic: James Bearne Photography

FBMW: Facu Regalia ended the latest Formula BMW Europe test at Silverstone the fastest driver in his team, Eifelland Racing. The Spanish-Argentinean driver spent much of the two days carrying out set-up work with on eye on the start of the championship at Circuit de Catalunya in less than a month. The eighteen year old was happy with the developments made which had improved the handling. “I leave Silverstone with confidence. The car is much better, be it in the qualifying set-up or in the race set-up. The car is efficient and competitive, something that leaves me confident for the season.”, said Facu, adding, “We still have one more test to do, which will help us to evolve a little more. I’m very happy with way we have been evaluating the car”. ON Wednesday he was the tenth quickest. “We are still working in the car’s set-up and we didn’t go for a time. In my best lap I made a small error that cost me some time and, which prevented me to be among the fastest”. Besides, the timesheet wasn’t very reliable: “Some drivers used at Becketts a line outside the track to do their times and I, as all the drivers of the team, decided to drive within the circuit limits so we could prepare in the best way the Silverstone weekend”. The next test is at Zandvoort on April 20-21st.

GP3: Dean Smith is to graduate to the GP3 Series this year after signing a deal with British team Carlin. In an agreement which only began to materialise within the last couple of weeks, the 22-year-old becomes Carlin’s first driver for the inaugural season of GP3, which will run alongside GP2, as support to the FIA Formula One World Championship in Europe. Dean’s move has been made possible thanks to financial backing from the Racing Steps Foundation and driver management company Tomax. “This deal is an absolute dream come true for me”, said an elated Dean, “Even though I won Formula Renault UK last year, and then the McLaren Award, we were struggling to put together a race deal for this season. Then we got the call from Carlin a couple of weeks ago and everything has now fallen into place which is incredible. None of this would have been possible at all without the Racing Steps Foundation, Tomax, Carlin and the support of RSF ambassador John Surtees so I am hugely grateful to all of them for giving me such an amazing, potentially career-changing opportunity. It’s going to be a very tough season as there are some extremely talented teams and drivers on the grid for the first season of GP3 but I know Carlin will give me a very competitive package and I’m looking forward to working with the team this year. It’s an exciting prospect to be involved in a brand new championship, especially on the F1 support package, so I intend to make the most of it.” Dean made his GP3 test debut with Trevor Carlin’s team last week at Paul Ricard, producing an excellent performance during his maiden run. Posting the 11th quickest time on the first morning, Dean improved to eighth fastest on the final afternoon.  pic: GP3 Media Service/LAT

Clio Cup:  YourRacingCar.com (YRC) and their Elf Renault Clio Cup car were in action at Thruxton last weekend along with their dedicated ‘fan-followers’ and driver Fulvio Mussi. After problems in qualifying Fulvio drove well to make up six places in the first race and finish fifth. In race 2 he took  five places on the first lap before an over-enthusiastic attack on the fastest corner of the track sent him and his YRC Clio across the grass and through an advertising hoarding!. This resulted in an unscheduled pit stop to remove debris, although he did return to the fray albeit well down the field. Pic: Mark Gledhill     Read report.     

Karts: The opening two rounds of the revamped Formula Kart Stars Championship took place in atypical Easter weather at Rowrah last weekend with rain restricted to Friday and Saturday morning and the sun even making an appearance on Sunday. One hundred and twenty entries across four classes were treated to extended races and, for the first time, sector times thanks to the latest innovations from Supersport Timing and Championship sponsors Tag Heuer. Read report

GTs: Silverstone is preparing to host its first major international event on the new Grand Prix Circuit in just over three weeks time. Featuring the FIA GT1 World Championship, Silverstone’s Supercar weekend on 1-2 May, will christen the new section of tarmac. As the finishing touches are being made to the new track layout (3.666 miles in length), British driver Darren Turner, who drives for the GT1 Young Driver AMR team and lives a short distance from Silverstone, comments, “I think all of the drivers will be looking forward to trying out the new curves at Silverstone! A lot of thought has gone into the design of the layout and it’s great for GT1 World that we will be the first major championship to sample the new Silverstone. “As a British driver I know Silverstone like the back of my hand so it will be interesting to experience the new section; working out the lines and its subtleties and how it flows into the rest of the track. Aston Martin is historically very strong at Silverstone. Although we have new regulations and a new championship I hope the package remains competitive and we can get a good result.” This is the fans’ first chance to get a glimpse of the new Arena Complex, which is the main feature of Silverstone’s new Grand Prix Circuit. In addition to the FIA GT1 cars, the event will also feature the FIA GT3 European Championship, GT4 European Cup, and the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series. All categories will be racing on both days (1-2 May), with the FIA GT1  World  Championship  holding  a  qualifying  race  on  Saturday  afternoon and its Championship race on Sunday. All tickets to the event include access to grandstand seating, free parking, a wealth of off- track entertainment and free entry for children aged 15 and under(if accompanied by an Adult). Advance tickets to the Silverstone Supercar event start from as little as £10. For further information, or to book tickets, visit  www.silverstone.co.uk  or  call 0844 3728 260. *  Entry  for children aged 15 year  and under is free of  charge.  

Truck Racing: Brands Hatch will host the mightiest racing machines on its 2010 calendar when the family-oriented Truck Superprix rolls into the West Kingsdown circuit next weekend (17/18 April). Headlining this festival of truck racing action will be the five tonne powerhouses of the British Truck Racing Championship, which boast 1000bhp and are capable of reaching speeds of up to 100mph – lapping the Indy circuit in under one minute.British Truck Racing has produced one of the country’s most successful club motorsport talents, as reigning champion Stuart Oliver has nine national titles to his name – more than Michael Schumacher in Formula One – and will be continuing his campaign for an unprecedented tenth trophy in 2010.There will also be plenty of local support for brothers Graham and Steven Powell, who will be competing alongside Oliver in the headline event. Graham, who lives in Aylesford, currently leads the Class B standings after clinching double victory in the season opener at Pembrey two weeks ago, whilst Steven – who also competes in Class B and scored a podium finish at Pembrey - runs a busy transport café in West Kingsdown. As well as the British Truck Racing Championship, there will be support races including NASCAR-style Pickup Trucks, Legends Cars and the Dunlop Motorsport News Saloon Car Championship, featuring successful West Kingsdown racer Rod Birley. Tickets for the Brands Hatch Truck Superprix on 17/18 April cost from £17 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or visit www.brandshatch.co.uk.

07-04-10 

The F2000 Championship Series heads to VIRginia International Raceway this weekend for the opening rounds of the 2010 championship. More than 30 cars are entered for the double-race weekend representing four different chassis manufacturers and two different engine configurations. A field of young hopefuls and established veterans make up an ultra competitive grid. Read more

Fiesta Championship: Nick Sanderson Racing (NSR) got their Competition Car Insurance Fiesta Championship season underway recently at Lydden Hill but unfortunately without their star driver. NSR Director, Nick Sanderson, is currently working in Vietnam and so the team rented one of its NSR/Kempster Ford Fiesta STs to James Byrne who would partner regular driver John Findlay. It turned out to be an an encouraging start for Findlay who picked up an eighth and a sixth place finish while James performed very well in his first outing in the car taking sixth in race 1 and eleventh in race 2. The team’s other driver, Ian Fletcher, who was unable to make this meeting due to work commitments, will return for his 2010 debut at Snetterton.   Read report

FF1600: Ben Norton’s defence of his Castle Combe FF1600 title got off to the perfect start. After Ben qualified on pole he then set the fastest race lap as he romped to an 11.6 second victory in the 12 lap race. This year Ben is once again driving the Wiltshire College Spectrum 011, aboard which he secured the 2009 Championship. He is joined in the College team by rookie Oliver White. A third Spectrum 011 joins the Combe FF1600 ranks this year, with Kevin Mills Racing fielding an entry for Steven Jensen. The Spectrum trio signalled themselves as pacesetters, with Ben and Oliver claiming the front row and Steven securing 5th in qualifying. With Ben’s lights to flag win being the highlight, the opening race of the season saw Oliver unfortunately involved in an incident which resulted in a DNF, whilst Steven opened his season with a strong 5th place. Borland Racing Developments congratulates the three drivers and their respective teams on a strong start to what promises to be another successful season for the Spectrum chassis at Castle Combe.

The 2010 European Late Model Series got underway with a bang at Warneton Speedway on Easter Weekend, with new cars, new drivers, and some extremely close racing. After a hard weekend of racing, including delays due to rain, Jean Vasseur, Kelvin Hassell, Shane Brereton, Jos Jansen and Xavier Vandermeersch all took turns on the top step of the the podium.  Read report     Pic by Teuf Teuf Team.

Super GT 500: Benoit Treluyer, the 2008 Super GT champion, didn’t even have a chance to get his overalls wet with perspiration at Okayama last weekend after co-driver Satoshi Motoyama, having started seventh, was pushed off the track with just 15 laps gone. “Satoshi was maintaining a good rhythm at the beginning of the race when, suddenly, he was squeezed by a competitor who was trying to overtake him” said Benoit. “They touched. It is a shame as had we made progress with the set-up and it would have been interesting to see how the tyres could perform. That’s it, this is motor racing!”  read report

FBMW: Facu Regalia completed his first day of testing yesterday(Tuesday) in Formula BMW at Silverstone and was satisfied with the results. He now hope to use these to be amongst the fastest drivers in the second day of testing today.  Facu Regalia worked on setting up the car with his team Eifelland Racing, with one eye on the opening round of the FBMW Europe series at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 7-8. In the morning, all the drivers had the opportunity to do a race simulation and Regalia was no exception, setting seventh fastest lap, the fastest of the Eifelland Racing drivers. At the end of the day, Facu  said: “I would prefer to be nearer the top. However, we used just one set of tires, and the others teams used up to three. Besides, in my flying lap there were a red flag and, when I went to the track again, the tires’ temperature drop off and lost grip”. However, the Spanish-Argentinean youngster had some positive reflexions from his first day at Silverstone: “I think that, if it doesn’t rain tomorrow, the tyres that I didn’t use today can help me to reach the top positions. I want to find that half a second that is escaping from me and we, me and the team, are working flat-out to find it”.

Richard Bradley (18/SIN/Eurasia Motorsport) rounded off a perfect Formula BMW Pacific debut weekend on Sunday taking a second pole-to-flag victory at the Formula 1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix. The rookie crossed the line with an impressive margin of almost four seconds, and set the fastest lap of the race on the way. Colombian teenager Oscar Tunjo (Meritus) put in a superb performance during what was a thrilling 10-lap race, getting by Guest driver Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr (15/Eurointernational) on lap 9 to claim 2nd. Behind him though, an epic, last-lap battle for 3rd was taking place between Formula BMW Pacific Junior and Bradley's Eurasia Motorsport team mate Kotaro Sakurai (15/PHI), and Sainz Jr, with the Japanese racer diving past the Red Bull Junior on the final turn before the flag. Bradley also scored an emphatic win in the opening round with a faultless run from pole to chequered flag.  The UK-born Singapore driver got a superb start off the line and never looked back, building up a comfortable lead at the front and controlling the race for the full 10 laps. Carlos Sainz Junior also didn't put a wheel wrong on the way to second place in his first Formula BMW race. Malaysia's Fahmi Ilyas (18/MAS/E-Rain Racing), who made a last-minute team switch on Friday and finished 3rd in the Rookie Cup last year, took the final podium place.  With a perfect score of two pole positions and two victories, Bradley, now dubbed 'The Dominator' by his team, tops the table with a 12 points over Tunjo. Zimbabwean Axcil Jefferies (15/Motaworld Racing) is third.

Porsche: The new Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge has its opening rounds at Brands Hatch this weekend, the Kent circuit seeing the first two races in the exciting new series run by the Porsche Club GB and providing a home for any racing Porsche GT3. The traditional home of the dramatic 400bhp-plus GT3 Porsches has been the Porsche Carrera Cup, and the GT3 Cup Challenge is designed to complement that series and cater for GT3s past and present that have been eligible for that series. Class One features the very latest 997 GT3s, with Carrera Cup racer Paul Hogarth, first driver to win in a 997 GT3 in a Porsche Club race, facing stiff opposition, including the always aggressive and competitive Jim Geddie. Other 997 are out in the hands of Bertie Carruthers, Stephen Ritchie and Thomas Boettcher. Class Two is the for the older 996 GT3s, with notable entries from Stephen Doyle and Peter Smallwood, the latter having made his race debut with the club in his 996 at Silverstone last October, and now intending to complete his first full season of motorsport. The GT3 Cup Challenge is a Porsche Concept used in nine other locations, with the UK joined by regions Japan , Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia in starting up their series in 2010. The UK is only one of four locations world-wide to feature the both Carrera Cup and GT3 Cup Challenge running in tandem, the two UK series complementing each other and where possible offering Carrera Cup drivers the opportunity to sample circuits in the GT3 Cup Challenge prior to the Carrera Cup rounds there taking place.Qualifying for the opening rounds is at 10.35 on Saturday April 10th, with the two races scheduled for 14.15 and 17.20. 

Brands Hatch is the venue for the opening two rounds of the 2010 Porsche Club Championship this coming Saturday, April 10th, with a host of former overall and class champions on show. Reigning champion Jeremy Clark makes his Class One debut after taking both the 2008 and 2009 outright titles, but faces former champions Mark McAleer and Tom Segrue, as well as past Class One champion Pete Morris in what is a well-subscribed and competitive top class. Clark is on an unbeaten run of class victories stretching back to May 2008, but for the first time finds himself in a 968 CS, as opposed to the 944s he has raced until now, and chasing outright victory at the front of the field. Competition will be tough, with regular 968 drivers such as McAleer determined to stamp their authority on the class from the start. The bumper Class One entry is dominated by the well-sorted front-engined 968s, but other Porsche models will be in the mix, with Kevin Harrison and Marcus Carniel always in the thick of the action in their 964 C2s. Harrison is always quick off the line, as he demonstrated at Brands last year by leading into the first corner from the second row of the grid, the rear-engined Porsches always string at the start of the races.  Others to watch for will be former Class One champion Pete Morris, back for the season in his distinctively liveried 968, and also Porsche Club returnee Mark Sumpter, back in the 911 Carrera he raced with the club back in 1994.Class Two belongs to the 944 S2s, the model with which Clark had so much success in 2009, with Chris Dyer and Cieran Brewer heading the entry.In a busy day’s racing, the Porsche Club runners qualify at 09.45, with two races on the Brands hatch ‘Indy’ circuit scheduled for 12.15 and 15.55.

Bill Fulton has been given a boost for his first ever race in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series Presented by Mission Foods in Tasmania this week. The Launceston businessman has purchased the vehicle that won the Carrera Cup Asia title last year and will use it on his racing debut in the Porsche series at Symmons Plains in the Shannons Nationals on April 9-11.  Fulton said. "I haven't had a lot of running in the car at Symmons Plains - I've probably only done about 20 laps - so we are looking for a consistent weekend without any problems and get some laps under my belt." Fulton is an experienced competitor, having raced a 700-plus horsepower Nissan in the local Targa GT Championship recently as well as occasional forays into Production Car and one-make racing. Fulton added. "I'm looking forward to putting up a good showing at the weekend. We might then do another round later in the year before looking to 2011. It (the GT3 Cup Challenge) looks to be a great series." Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge competitors will be seeking dry conditions next weekend following a torrentially wet first round at Bathurst in February. Leading the 16-car field across Bass Straight will be the reigning Champ, Matt Kinglsey, who will be looking to make up for lost ground after a lap one crash with Sven Burchartz that saw him leave the mountain with zero points. 2008-winner Burchartz also failed to score at Bathurst but has had success in a Porsche GT3 Cup Car at Symmons plains in the past, winning the 2008-round en-route to his title victory. Along with Fulton, two other drivers will make their series debut at Symmons Plains. South Australian Gary Dann will step behind the wheel of his Type-997 GT3 Cup Car whilst added international flavour will be welcomed in the form of Dutch-Chinese driver Danny Cho, who will join Yuey Tan in a two-car McElrea Motorsport squad. Meanwhile, Queenslander Ray Angus will likely return to his existing Type-996 mount for the Tasmanian round after his newer model car was damaged at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne recently. Angus will add spice to the Porsche 'race within a race', looking to mix it up with fellow 996-class drivers Terry Knight and Indiran Padayachee.

06-04-10

Abarth 500: Thames’ driver Cassey Watson helped make history at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend, when she took part in the first ever Abarth 500 race series in the UK. The highly anticipated series, which runs with British F3 and British GT, saw 18-year-old Watson qualify 10th of the grid (5th row) on Saturday (3 April) in a time of 2:01.403 on Saturday.  Leading the pack was former Clio Cup champion Ben Winrow, who notched up a best time of 1: 56.394.  Despite her limited testing, Cassey was quick to demonstrate her talent in the first race (round 1) by clawing back six places to fourth position on lap 3.  Sadly however, she finished eighth, but with clear signs that both driver and car have more to give, which bodes well for the rest of the season. “When you look at the drivers who have registered for the GB series, it’s clear to see just how competitive this series will be,” explained Watson.“Overall, I thought there were a lot of positives to take from Saturday’s race, particularly as it’s only the fourth time I have been out in the car, and the first real opportunity I have been able to drive in dry conditions. I’m pleased that I managed to record a best time of 2:00.320, which is over a second faster than my best qualifying lap time.  But I know that I have more to give and, with a bit more testing and tweaking to the car, I feel that there’s good scope to make up the additional couple of seconds over the course of the next race meetings at both Silverstone (17/18 April) and Cadwell Park (22/23 May) to place me in sight of the leading pack,” added Watson. On Monday, tyre problems caused by the hard chicanes at Oulton Park dropped Watson to 10th place at the flag, despite holding sixth place for some of the race after qualifying 8th on the grid. Advent Motorsport driver Gareth Howell won both inaugural rounds of the Zing Trofeo Abarth 500 GB to currently top the driver championship.

VW Racing Cup: Didge Dziurzynski opened his account in the 2010 VW Racing Cup in fine style yesterday (Monday) at Oulton Park, driving his West End Precision Golf GTI to a win, a second place and a new lap record. Thanks to these the 26-year-old from Bournemouth now leads the Fuchs Lubricants-backed championship by 10 points from the winner of the second race at  Oulton Park, Derby-based Golf GTI pilot Peter Felix. Read report

British GT: It was a superb start to the Avon Tyres British GT Championship season at Oulton Park for the MTECH Racing team, whose drivers Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin guided their Ferrari 430 Scuderia to a brace of victories over the Rosso Verde Ferrari of Allan Simonsen and Hector Lester. And in the two action-filled races, there were G4 class wins for Speedworks Motorsport's Ginetta, driven by Christian Dick and Jamie Stanley, and for the Prestige/ABG KTM X-Bow of championship debutants Rory Butcher and Benjamin Harvey.  Read report

The Speedworks Motorsport Ginetta G50 was victorious at Oulton Park on Easter Monday, in the opening round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship. Driven by team owner Christian Dick and Jamie Stanley the Northwich-based car led the opening race of the season with Stanley behind the wheel chased by the KTM X Bow of Ben Harvey/Rory Butcher. The lighter KTM, running to international Supersport regulations, was ideally suited to the fast corners at Oulton Park but the Ginetta had greater power and a fascinating duel developed in the second stint. Stanley handed over to Dick who inherited a healthy advantage but Butcher in the KTM hacked away at the deficit and sneaked past for the lead. Dick was in determined mood and retook the KTM and spent the final laps making the G50 as wide as possible to score victory. After a fierce fight the two cars crossed the line just 0.436 sec apart. Two more G50s scored points with the Century Motorsport car of Vibe Smed/Nathan Freke fourth and Joe Osborne/Osman Yusuf (Joe Osborne Racing) fifth. Danish girl Smed started in Freke’s car, the former Porsche racer having her first race in a Ginetta and turned in a steady opening stint before Freke took over. The eigning Ginetta G50 champion had missed qualifying as he was at Thruxton running cars in the one-make G50 Cup but was quickly into the groove as he moved the car back into contention. Osborne took over from Yusuf but was handicapped by a stop-go penalty of one second as the team hadn’t served the regulation pit stop time. That dropped a furious Joe to fifth in class.Race two was another Ginetta/KTM duel as Dick and Butcher went head to head in the opening stint but the fleet X Bow pulled out a gap despite an oily track surface. That left Stanley with over 20 seconds to pull back in his stint but it proved too great a deficit and the Fox-backed car finished second in class with Jamie and Christian ending the weekend as joint championship leaders. Nathan Freke suffered problems with an oil leak and retired while a steady drive from Osman Yusuf brought Joe Osborne’s car home fourth in class, reigning European GT4 champion Osborne having enjoyed a great dice with Freke early in the race.

Formula Ford: Scott Malvern won the second round of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain today at Oulton Park to accelerate into the championship lead, with Scott Pye stealing the show in round three to clinch his second win of the weekend. Read report

Star Mazda: In partnership with Team Apex, FAZZT Race Team have announced  that Maryeve Dufault will drive in 3 Star Mazda Series events in the 2010 season. Maryeve will begin her season testing a Midget for the first oval Star Mazda test at O'Reilly Raceway Park on May 5-6 and then run the ‘Night Before the 500’ on May 29 at O'Reilly Raceway Park. Following that will be Iowa Speedway with IRL on June 20 and Trois-Rivieres on August 15. "Interest in helping Maryeve get her racing career moving forward is very high, and we are pleased to have put together the Star Mazda tests and races that coincide with the IndyCar Series as well as a Canadian event," explained team COO Jim Freudenberg.  "Our sponsorship plans for Maryeve came together quite quickly and we are excited to announce she will be joining Team Apex Racing to run her car for this three race program.  We will be announcing her sponsors in the coming weeks."  Maryeve, from Quebec, has an racing experience in karting, Formula Jim Russell, Skip Barber, Formula BMW, Star Mazda and a stint testing in F3 in the UK.  "I am really excited to get back in the race car again and I am so grateful for the support of the FAZZT Race Team in putting this program together," said Maryeve.  "I've had experience in the Star Mazda Series and with sponsor support I am looking forward to having a competitive ride and a good opportunity to hone my racing skills.  I got the chance to watch the team in action today, and they look very professional and they seem to have an experienced group supporting the drivers." Team Apex Technical Director Louis D’Agostino said, “we are extremely excited and flattered that Fazzt has chosen Team Apex to assist them in the development of Maryeve and look forward to her first test”

Grand-Am: First stop this weekend for Memo Gidley is the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 series race, the Porsche 250 Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.  Second stop the DJSA Jet Ski Series race #1 at Salt Springs Reservoir Sunday at Copperopolis, California. Memo and new co-driver Dion VonMoltke, and the Doran Racing Team head to Barber Motorsports Park after two past years of what if’s in the Porsche 250 event.  The 2008 race saw the Doran team as one of the fastest cars in practice, only to suffer an engine fire halfway through the race.  Last year, Memo qualified the McDonalds car fourth, but a bad pit call saw the #77 car go down a lap early.  Gidley then drove the car at the end of the race, passing every car in the field to get a lap back, setting second fastest race lap in the process. Sadly he ran out of laps before he rea\ched a podium finish! “We have had two years at Barber where we absolutely had the car to win the race,” said Gidley. “Unfortunately, being fast is only one detail of what it takes to win a race.  We really need to have a mistake free race to give us a shot at the end and that’s our mindset going in to this weekend.” Gidley and Dion have one race driving together.  “Dion showed at Homestead that he has really good speed in the car,” said Gidley.  “And what I like about him even more is that he is really motivated about preparing himself to drive.  Every time I call him he is either going or coming from the gym and I’m excited by that commitment and can’t wait to see what we can do together at Barber.” After Saturdays race in Alabama, Gidley will then drive to Atlanta to catch a flight to California for the season opening DJSA Outlaw Jet Ski series race.  “I had a great year and won the DJSA Championship in the Super 800 class last year and one of my rewards from the series was to bump me up to a faster class!  But frankly, having stiffer competition just motivates me even more to be the best I can be.”

Formula 3: Cooper Tires British Formula 3 racer Menasheh Idafar secured his National second class victory in as many races at Oulton Park on Easter Monday, 5th April, but any hopes of a hat-trick of wins were dashed when he was forced to retire in the final round. Read report

Leading drivers in round two of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship will be looking to capitalise on an unexpected potential bonus points haul at Symmons Plains this weekend. The series heads across Bass Straight with the two leading drivers in the Gold Star points’ battle – Mitch Evans and Ben Crighton  not down to race. The situation should allow drivers like Ben Barker (Team BRM  Dallara F307) and Tom Tweedie (Team Tom Supporters Club F304) to get ‘one up’ on their competition before they return at Phillip Island in May. Whilst work commitments will keep Ben Crighton in New Zealand, Wakefield Park winner Mitch Evans is utilising a School break to test with a leading team in Europe. The 15-year-old was forced to juggle his School holiday with the overseas testing opportunity, and it unfortunately clashed with the Symmons Plains. His car will still be on the grid however with fellow Toyota Racing Series frontrunner Andrew Waite, from Auckland, who will make his F3 debut at the event. Waite finished fourth in the 2009/10 TRS championship and tied with Evans for second place in the final round held recently at the Taupo Circuit. He also has some experience of Australian racing having contested several Australian Formula Ford Championship races in 2008-9. Evans will be back at Phillip Island on May 1-2. Evans leads the series on 46 points from Crighton on 35. Tom Tweedie is third on 28 with Ben Barker fourth, 24 points. The addition of Waite to the field, along with the  young Tassie driver Josh Burdon and Queensland charger John Margo adds further depth to the field set to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of racing at Symmons Plains.

GP3 Series returned to the South France and Paul Ricard for a second official test this past week. With two days of testing planned  plus an additional 30 minute qualifying shootout after the morning session on the second day to allocate the race numbers for the 2010 season.  On Day 1 Rossi was second quickest, 0.01s behind his teammate Gutierrez. On Day 2, Twenty six drivers took part in the qualifying shootout and it was Rossi who earned the top spot and the number 1 for his Dallara Renault and numbers 2 and 3 for ART Grand Prix. Searching for clear laps on a traffic filled lap, Rossi would not be denied the top spot, posting a lap 0.4s quicker than his nearest rival and the only driver to break the 1m19s, with a time of 1:19.927. Alexander Rossi: "Having the opportunity to drive for ART makes my job as a racing driver that much easier. At the end of each test we are able to look back at an exponential curve in terms of improving the car and driving styles. From the moment that I began working with this team it has been all about maximizing opportunities to achieve victories and at this point, I feel that we are on the right track. There is always more to find, but day by day we are checking the boxes and this gives me incredible confidence for the season." Returning to the circuit Thursday afternoon,Alexander battled it out with teammate Esteban Gutierrez to retain the number one position, with Rossi posting a time of 1:20.784 and Gutierrez a close 2nd at 1:20.873. Rossi: "Esteban and I have been competitors for quite some time and we have a lot of experience racing each other. He is quick and has the same equipment, so he is most definitely my closest my competitor this year and this has been proved at the last two tests. We push each other very hard on and off track, but are still able to have a good relationship inside the team. The atmosphere within ART is really good right now and I look forward to building on this at the next test in Barcelona."

The brand-new GP3 Series will join the Motors TV programme schedule in 2010 as the ‘High Speed Television’ channel plans to screen two-hour highlights after each round of the single-seater series. Using Dallara chassis and Renault powerplants, the one-make formula will remain loyal to the principles of performance, cost-control, entertainment, safety and preparation that have made GP2 such a huge success. The eight-round, 16-race inaugural season will feature seven events supporting F1’s European-based Grands Prix, including races at the Valencia Street Circuit, Silverstone, Spa and Monza. Motors TV, Europe’s only TV channel solely dedicated to motorsport, can be found on Sky Channel 413, Virgin Media 545 in the UK.  GP3 Series – Round 1 at Barcelona – Monday 17 May at 9.15pm.

LMS: OAK Racing Team Mazda France finished its preparations for the start of the season with two test days at Magny-Cours only a few days before the opening round of the Le Mans Series at Paul Ricard HTTT on 11 April. The test was a first opportunity to try out the team’s two LMP2 cars’ new aerodynamic evolutions, the fruit of the development work undertaken and tested in the wind tunnel this winter in partnership with the design office of Pescarolo Sport. These have a double objective. First to get the car to conform to the new 2010 rear bodywork regulations and second, to explore new avenues to find additional downforce and reduce drag.  François Sicard, Team Manager: “Once again the weather conditions at both test days didn’t allow us to work as planned on the aerodynamic set-up, but the short periods of time we had on a dry track have nevertheless confirmed the efficiency of the various evolutions we have made. The three drivers that attended, Guillaume Moreau, Matthieu Lahaye and Jacques Nicolet, drove the prototypes one after the other and came out of the cockpit with similar feedback and great enthusiasm, even before the engineers had started to really work on the set-up. In fact the car has gained a lot of downforce, which gives the front wheels more grip and more driveability. Even though the Magny-Cours circuit does not have the same characteristics as Paul Ricard, the two test days have been a good rehearsal, but, in the three free practice sessions, it will be necessary to make sure we enter qualifying in good shape, find the right balance and a good straight line speed on the Mistral straight. We have done everything we could during the winter to start the season as we finished it in 2009 in Okayama. We have chosen the best ingredients and we have prepared them the best we can. Our package is excellent: Pescarolo chassis which has proven their reliability, Judd engines which are well known and proven within the industry, Dunlop tyres whose performance and fine tuning with our LMP2 cars is developing and improving with our partnership and fast and enthusiastic drivers! We can be confident, but we will know during this first eight-hour race if we have worked well.”

Fresh from a podium finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida last month, Aston Martin works driver Harold Primat is targeting a strong start to his European season next weekend as he heads for the Paul Ricard 8 Hours. Primat shared an Aston Martin LMP1 prototype with Adrian Fernandez and Stefan Mucke at the ALMS opener in Florida and will again team-up with the Mexican and the German for the first round of the European-based Le Mans Series. A strong field at Paul Ricard will including a works Audi R15 TDI and a Team Oreca-run Peugeot 908 HDi, but after a hugely encouraging performance at Sebring, Primat heads to the south of France in confident mood. “It was a very positive sign that the car was extremely reliable in Sebring,” Harold said. “It is a credit to the team that we had a trouble-free race, because that is an impressive achievement at an event that is so hard on the car. We will approach the Paul Ricard race in exactly the same way. This event is eight hours long, so reliability could well be a key factor in the final result and, after how well the team and the car performed in Sebring, I think that plays in our favour. Sebring was a key part of our preparations for Le Mans, and that continues at Paul Ricard. Our objective is to continue working on reliability and developing the car and the tyres ahead of the 24 Hours in June.” One aspect of the race will be dealing with traffic as a 41-car grid descends on the circuit. “There are two long straights at Paul Ricard which will help with slower traffic, but there are also some tighter, twisty sections, that will be an important challenge during the race as I can foresee the prototypes getting trapped behind the GT cars at those parts of the track and losing a lot of time. Managing traffic is a major part of sportscar racing and that will be no different in this race. Adrian, Stefan and I are all working well together and we also have a great relationship with our engineers, so we will push as hard as we can to get the best possible result for the team and continue our important preparations for Le Mans.”

Carrera Cup GB: Euan Hankey became the first Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholarship winner to feature on the overall race podium when he took a third and then a superb second place in the opening two rounds of the championship at Thruxton on Sunday (4 April). The 23-year old from Taunton is racing for Team Parker Racing and has marked himself as a fresh new contender for the Carrera Cup GB after battling with standard setters Tim Harvey and Michael Caine during the first two races of the year. In round two, Hankey split Harvey and Caine and pushed Harvey all the way to the flag. "It's going to get harder and harder," said Harvey of the prospects of battling with Hankey over the balance of the season's 20 races. "Euan was all over me in the second race and certainly kept me honest. It was a fantastic weekend and I'm absolutely over the moon," said Hankey as he reflected on his first two races away from single-seaters. "I never thought this would happen in my first weekend in the Carrera Cup and my first races in a GT car. I wouldn't be here today with the Carrera Cup Scholarship. Porsche has given me so much support." Hankey said that racing the 911GT3 Cup car around the Hampshire track presented a big challenge. "I've thoroughly enjoyed driving the car and it is seriously tough," he said. "It's very hot in there and I can't imagine what it will be like in the summer. The older guys are going to take some beating because I was really pushing. I got some muscle pump-up in my right arm over the last four laps and I had to change gear with my left hand, which wasn't ideal. By then I wasn't focusing on getting ahead of Tim; I was concentrating on keeping Michael behind me. So I'm planning to get a bit fitter." Now, Hankey is looking ahead to rounds three and four at Rockingham (24/25 April). "Hopefully I can keep on learning and go one better in the next round," he said.

05-04-10

F2000: While the F2000 Championship Series has become a home for aspiring drivers looking towards the top tiers of open wheel racing, it has also become one of the most competitive playing fields in the country for veteran drivers. For 2010, Masters Class drivers have flocked to the series to race against one another and some of the best up-and-coming talent in a field of more than 30 open-wheel cars representing multiple chassis and engine combinations. Read more

Formula 3 : Following Jean-Eric Vergne’s first-round victory in the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series, Carlin's French driver gave his title aspirations some credence with a  second win today at Oulton Park in round three. To complete his team Carlin Motorsport's weekend, one of the team's rookie racers, Rupert Svendsen-Cook, won round two.  Read report

The MG Trophy Championship kicks off its 2010 season at Brands Hatch on the 11th April with two races both of which have . Theopening rounds are sponsored by 2009 champion Chris Bray’s vehicle bodywork repair business, Finishline UK and Chris will be returning to defend his title against most of the 2009 runners to defend his title. Championship Co-ordinator Pete Macwaters is pleased to announce that the championship will be supporting the ‘Help for Heroes’ charity and all the cars will be displaying ‘Heroes’ stickers all season. The club also has 9 new drivers ..read more

BTCC: Silverline Chevrolet’s Alex MacDowall made an excellent start to the his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship career at Thruxton. The Carlisle teenager finished all three of the opening rounds taking a seventh, sixth and ninth places respectively. Read report

Fabrizio Giovanardi won two of the three races in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship opener at Thruxton yesterday(Sunday). The third race was a debut victory for Steven Kane in the Airwaves BMW. The first race was predictably drama-packed with the two Honda Civics of pole-sitter Gordon Shedden and Matthew Neal challenging hard during the early laps. The two Honda Racing Team cars both suffered tyre deflations before mid-distance, Neal limping to the pits,eventually finishing 12th while Shedden's Civic left the circuit at more than 125mph, hitting the trackside barriers. This handed second place to Jason Plato in his Silverline Chevrolet Cruze while Mat Jackson completed the podium places in third for Airwaves BMW.  Giovanardi then made it two wins out of two with a dominant victory from pole in the second race ahead of  Plato who made the most of his front row starting position to take second at the start. Paul O'Neill (Sunshine.co.uk) led the chase in the early laps but he was caught and passed by Neal's Honda Civic in the closing stages. Neal then mounted a challenge on Plato, the pair clashing(predictably!)at the Club Chicane, Plato spinning back to fourth position behind a delighted O'Neill, while Neal grabbed second spot. Race three saw the top nine finishers from race two starting in reverse order. Rob Collard (WSR BMW) led away from pole position chased by the two Airwaves BMWs of Steven Kane and Jackson with Neal hot on their heels. The Honda racer was quickly by Jackson and, at the end of lap six, tried an even more audacious move around the outside of both Kane and Collard at the Club Chicane. Contact seemed inevitable - the Civic struck the leading BMW, destroying the hopes of both drivers. This controversial incident left Kane and Jackson clear to score an emotional one-two victory for Airwaves BMW with Plato fending off late challenges from first Giovanardi and then Shedden to complete the podium.  

Clio Cup: JHR Development’s Lee Pattison and Team Pyro’s Dave Newsham took a win a piece during the opening rounds of the 2010 ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin at  Thruxton on 3rd/4th April.  Racing in his third season, 35-year-old Pattison picked up his first win in the series since 2008 in round two. Dave Newsham, who finished fifth in 2009, scored a lights-to-flag victory in Saturday’s opener to move top of the points table thanks to a fourth place in round two. The weekend also saw winners in the championship’s two new classes – the Graduate Cup for drivers aged under 23 and the NGK Masters Cup for those aged over 35. Sam Tordoff (pictured) and Newsham picked up the respective honours in round one with Jake Packun and Pattison enjoying the silverware in the second round of the 20-race season. Read report   All Thruxton pics Jakob Ebrey Photography

Ginetta G50 and Clio Cup : Carl Breeze got his Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup season up an running at Thruxton with his first podium finish to add to his fifth spot on Saturday. This coupled with another third place in the final round on Sunday, places him third in the Championship. His team made Sam Tordorf, running in the ELF Renault Clio Cup also took two podiums. The Leeds-based racer, embarking on only his second season of car racing added a third place yesterday(Sunday) to his second on  Saturday. read report 

Rob Huff delivered two more memorable race performances during the second and third rounds of the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup at Thruxton in Hampshire today, Sunday, 4th April, to make it three wins from three starts.  read report

Ginetta Jnrs: Tom Ingram achieved his break-through car racing victory at Thruxton in the Ginetta Junior Championship. After securing his drive with Hillspeed at the last hour, Tom went on to fight back from an early spin in his opening race to take his and Hillspeed’s first win in the series ..read report   Ingram's team-mate at Hillspeed, Seb Morris, making his car racing debut, came away from Thruxton with a very respectable 12th and 14th place finish.  read more

Jake Hill took a largely unchallenged first win of 2010 during the second round of the Ginetta Junior Championship at Thruxton earlier today, Sunday, 4th April, and in doing so also moved to the top of the driver standings. read report

Team Parker Racing made a strong showing on it’s debut in the Ginetta Juniors with Chris Swanwick taking second place at Thruxton. Swanwick, Adam Bonham and Finlay Ratcliffe all drove for the team on its first move into the series, for 14 to 17-year-old drivers.  Read report

Formula Renault UK:  Manor Competition’s Will Stevens moved to the top of the championship standings after two impressive performances including a race win during the opening rounds of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Thruxton on 3rd/4th April. The Surrey teenager, now in his second season, took a lights-to-flag victory during Sunday’s round two followed by a second place in the weekend’s earlier opening round which marked the competitive debut of the New Formula Renault 2.0 car.Atech GP’s Tama’s Pa’l Kiss meanwhile was the winner of Saturday’s round one in which the Hungarian battled through the rain, and the field, to claim his maiden victory. The weekend also saw podiums for Steven's Manor team-mate Lewis Williamson who took second in round two while CRS Racing’s Harry Tincknell enjoyed a double podium with two third places ..read report

Atech Grand Prix won the opening round of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Thruxton with Tamás Pál Kiss taking his and the team’s maiden Formula Renault victory.  Nick Yelloly made another of his lightening starts to move up into sixth from tenth while Marlon Stockinger rounded out the top ten to also gain valuable championship points.  read report

Thomas Hylkema made his first start in the Formula Renault UK Championship and qualified an excellent fifth for Round 2 after loosing out to the weather in the first session. He ran up with the leaders until a couple of incidents dropped him down the field but he showed enough to mark him out as a potential front-runner in the future.. read report

Superleague Formula: Craig Dolby continued his winning ways in Superleague Formula on Sunday by following up his win in the morning with an excellent fourth in race 2, from 17th on the grid. He completed his weekend later in the day by winning in the Super Final and the €100,000 prize.  read report

Alvaro Parente was one of the main contenders in the Superleague Formula by Sonangol’s first round, leaving Silverstone with his team Futebol Clube do Porto, in second place in the Championship table.  read report

The Atech Grand Prix-managed AC Milan car of Yelmer Buurman came home second in the opening round of the Superleague Formula by Sonangol at Silverstone on Sunday. The flying Dutchman was denied the chance of a repeat in race two however when the clutch bleed hose burst ending his race. There was frustration also for reigning champions Liverpool FC as James Walker spun out of third place in the opening round which ended his race. The Jerseyman lined up on pole position for the reversed grid- race two but was forced to retire while lying second with a loss of drive following the mandatory pit stop. The weekend had started well for the Silverstone-based team with both cars easily qualifying through to the quarter finals on Saturday. In the semi finals the Liverpool FC car went head-to-head with FC Porto, the English club narrowly missing out on a potential front row start, eventually lining up third. Despite the set-back on its home track, the David Hayle-led team, which clinched the title last season for Liverpool with Adrian Valles, remains positive and confident ahead of the next rounds of the championship, at Assen next month. “It was a disappointing end to the weekend after such a positive start,” said David Hayle.  “Both James and Yelmer are very quick and able drivers and they showed their pace through practice and qualifying and into the races. Unfortunately apart from Yelmer’s second place the results were not there today and we must look to the next rounds to get our championship bid back on track.”

Carrera Cup GB: Tim Harvey did the double on Sunday in the Porshce Carrera Cup GB at Thruxton, winning both . races. Ollie Jackson claimed the pro-am1 spoils, with Mark Hazell taking two wins in pro-am2.   read report

Oman’s Ahmad Al Harthy made a truly sensational debut in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Thruxton on Sudnay 4th April. After qualifying second in class (Pro-am 1) he finished second in his first ever sportscar race and behind experienced race Tony Gilham. He then followed this up with an excellent third in race 2.   read report

Team Parker Racing’s Porsche Carrera Cup GB rookie Euan Hankey made a superb start to his Sportscar career at Thruxton. The Carrera Cup Scholarship winner picked up a second and a third place on Sunday and missed out on a race win behind experienced racer Tim Harvey by less than a second.    Read report

SPEED:  Drivers Club take their second win of the season at Silverstone to add to their victory  two weeks ago in the opening round of the European VdeV Championship at Jarama. Simon Dolan and his coach, Drivers Club founder Sam Hancock were victorious in the UK SPEED Series.     read report

04-04-10

Superleague Formula: Craig Dolby won the opening race of the weekend this morning for Spurs after (Sunday) taking the lead from fourth on the grid on the opening lap. Passing Porto's Alvaro Parente, Liverpool's James Walker and pole man Max Wissel, driving for FC Basle, he swiftly opened up a 12 second lead by lap 6, winning comfortably.  read report

Ginettas: Tom Ingram made a superb start in the Ginetta Junior Championship scoring both his and his team, Hiispeed’s , first ever victory in the category at Thruxton yesterday, Saturday, 3rd April. After only securing the drive with the team recently Ingram showed he has what it takes  claiming the first win for as the brand new Ginetta G40 car.  Read report     pic Jakob Ebrey photography

Danbury’s George Murrells scored victory in the opening Ginetta Challenge race of the season although just one of the two races was run, the second being declared null and void after an early red flag.  Read report

World Touring Car Championship race winner Rob Huff made a huge impact on the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup at Thruxton on Saturday, 3rd April, by taking a clear race victory during the first round of the 2010 season at the wheel of the Dynojet-prepared ‘guest car’. Read report      pic Jakob Ebrey photography

Clio Cup: Total Control Racing’s Sam Tordoff came within just 0.395 seconds of winning the opening round of the 2010 ELF Renault Clio Cup at Thruxton in Hampshire today, Saturday, 3rd April, the 20-year-old racer taking an excellent second place finish in tricky, damp conditions.  Read report     pic Jakob Ebrey photography

Formula Ford: Australia's Scott Pye made a superb start to his Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain campaign with victory from pole position on his debut at Oulton Park on Saturday. Second was Scott Malvern 5 seconds behind while third went to Dan Cammish    Read report

Formula 3: Menasheh Idafar made the perfect start to his Formula 3 career at Oulton Park in Cheshire today, Saturday, 3rd April, by taking National Class victory during the opening round of the 2010 Cooper Tires British F3 International Championship. Read report     pic Jakob Ebrey photography

Superleague Formula: FC Basel opened the 2010 Superleague Formula by Sonangol season with a giant killing-performance at Silverstone as the 12-times Swiss League champions took pole position for the first of Sunday’s three races at the British circuit. Max Wissel, was in impressive form during the one-lap knockout stages of qualifying, using his wet weather-prowess to good effect to beat Lyon, Tottenham Hotspur and FC Porto to net the club’s first ever Superleague Formula pole.  In the quarter finals he defeated Lyon’s Sebastien Bourdais, who had been fastest of everyone in the groups, then knocked out home favourite Craig Dolby of Spurs in the semis before beating FC Porto’s Alvaro Parente to pole in the final. Parente will start tomorrow’s race on the outside of the front row. The second row will be an all-Premier League affair after strong performances by Tottenham and Liverpool. Last year’s championship runner-up, Dolby, was his usual spectacular self for Spurs in the quarter finals as he beat fellow Brit Duncan Tappy in the Flamengo car, while Liverpool’s new signing, James Walker, made an impressive debut for the Anfield club to survive a tough qualifying group and then come from behind to beat Sevilla’s Marcos Martinez in his quarter final. Spanish driver Martínez can be proud of his series’ debut after a strong display in the group stages to leave him sixth on the grid alongside Tappy in fifth, but Bourdais wasn’t as happy after his quarter final defeat to Wissel, particularly as his time of 1:34.432 was fastest of all in the groups. He will start tomorrow’s race on the outside of row four, alongside the other losing quarter finalist, AC Milan. The depth of quality on the 2010 grid was highlighted in the group stages of qualifying as ex-Formula One drivers Robert Doornbos (Corinthians), Narain Karthikeyan (PSV Eindhoven) and Franck Montagny (Bordeaux) all went out. Davide Rigon, who returns to Superleague Formula this season after helping Chinese club Beijing Guoan to the inaugural title in 2008, also failed to go through, ending the Group B session in the gravel trap at Abbey as he pushed to make the cut when the first drops of rain began to fall. Pics Dennis Goodwin

Alvaro Parente was in great shape in the qualifying of the 2010 Superleague Formula by Sonangol’s first round putting the Futebol Clube do Porto’s single-seater in an excellent second place. The qualifying session started on a dry track and it these conditions that the Portuguese driver was the fastest in his group. With the rain falling, he beat Yelmer Buurman, in the quarter-final, and James Walker, in the semi-final, meeting Max Wissel in the final. It looked like Parente could beat the FC Basel driver, being faster in the first sector, but a small mistake in the second prevented him tfrom snatching pole.  

British GT: A battle is in store in Easter Monday's Oulton Park opening rounds of the 2010 Avon Tyres British GT Championship, with reigning champions David and Godfrey Jones and their Preci-Spark Ascari set to start round one from the pole and the Rosso Verde Ferrari 430 Scuderia of Allan Simonsen and Hector Lester on top spot for round two.  Read more 

03-04-10

Formula3: Jean-Eric Vergne made a dream start to his Cooper Tires British F3 International Series career at Oulton Park,today(Saturday), the Frenchman dominating qualifying and the opening race of the Easter weekend. The 19-year-old Carlin pilot led round one all the way from the pole, through a safety car interlude, and on to a 3.5-second victory over local hero Oli Webb.   Read report

Carrera Cup GB: Tim Harvey got his Porsche Carrera Cup GB season off to a perfect start with a double pole in qualifying at Thruxton today (Saturday 3 April). However, Tom Bradshaw and Michael Caine were right with the 2008 champion during a wet qualifying. In pro-am1, Ollie Jackson also bagged a double pole, while in pro-am2 Pace twice topped the grid sheets. Rain just before the start of qualifying sent everyone out on wet tyres and many of the best times were set in the early laps. Initially, Bradshaw (JHR) held pole, but a big push by Harvey (Red Line Racing) grabbed the place by six-thousandths of a second. It was nearly as close for the grid for race two, decided by their second best laps, where Harvey was 26-hundredths of a second faster than Bradshaw. In both races, Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance) and Euan Hankey (Team Parker Racing) completed the top four grid positions. "It was tight," admitted Harvey. "I knocked the front splitter off on the first run and I was concerned about missing the best of the conditions. It's good that the grid is so close, but it's going to be a guess on set-up if the races are dry." For Bradshaw, it was his best Carrera Cup qualifying performance to date. "That's better," said Bradshaw. "It was that greasy that slicks were never an option." However, over the second half of the session, many drivers tried slicks rather than carrying on with wets. The slick times were well adrift of the best times on wet tyres. Caine had started the session on worn wets and suggested that had been the wrong call for the best of the track conditions. "It probably should have been new wets," he said later. But with the top 10 for race one covered by six-tenths of a second, the top of the grid is extremely evenly matched. Another great battle is in prospect in pro-am1, where Jackson (Addison Lee Motorbase) claimed pole for both races from the impressive newcomer Ahmad Al Harthy (Red Line Racing). "I'm a bit disappointed not to be further up overall," said Jackson, while Al Harthy continued his good progress as he gained more experience of the car. "I needed to repeat my performance from testing and I did," said the Oman racer. A tremendous performance to take third in pro-am1 for both races came from Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing), who belied his very limited experience of Thruxton to get faster and faster through the session. Archie Hamilton (Red Line Racing) and Tony Gilham (ReDesign PHB Racing) completed the top five in pro-am1.Another double pole came in pro-am2 as Mace (GT Marques) headed the category. "I could see that the rain was easing, so I came in, cooled the tyres and went again," said Mace of the run that took him to both poles. Leading the chase of Mace was a closely matched trio comprising George Richardson (Motorbase Performance), Steve Parish (Addison Lee Motorbase) and Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing). "I'm over the moon with that," said teenager Richardson. "It's coming together every time I get in the car."

Superleague Formula by Sonangol 2010 kicked off in anger at Silverstone yesterday as the opening free practice sessions of the new season got underway. And it was AS Roma’s Julien Jousse who had the honour of drawing the new campaign’s first blood after recording the fastest time during a second session that included the day’s only dry running. The Frenchman lapped Silverstone’s Grand Prix Circuit in 1m36.819s to see off Sevilla’s new Spanish signing Marcos Martinez by 0.254sec. The championship’s newest club Bordeaux celebrated its debut with the third fastest time, although their ex-F1 driver Franck Montagny ended the session nearly two seconds slower than countryman Jousse. Max Wissel was next up for FC Basel, ahead of Olympique Lyonnais’ winter signing Sebastien Bourdais, local favourite Craig Dolby and Tottenham Hotspur, PSV Eindhoven’s Narain Karthikeyan and FC Porto’s Alvaro Parente.Chris van der Drift (Olympiacos) and Tristan Gommendy (Galatasaray) completed the top ten with reigning champions Liverpool finishing 11th courtesy of their Superleague Formula newcomer James Walker. The morning session saw Dolby go fastest, although his 1m46.585s effort in damp conditions was nearly ten seconds shy of Jousse’s lunchtime pace. Afternoon practice meanwhile turned into a total washout after a heavy downpour put paid to any meaningful track time. Two drivers confident enough to try their luck however were Jousse and Corinthians’ Robert Doornbos, although both ended up undamaged in the gravel trap.Qualifying begins today at 14.15 local time ahead of Sunday’s two 45 minute races and five-lap Super Final. The action is live on ESPNon Sunday, Race 1: 11.10 - Race 2: 14.10 - Race 3: 15.10   -  pic Dennis Goodwin

Carrera Cup GB: Tim Harvey ended the day on top of the time sheets in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB during testing at Thruxton on Friday for the opening two races of the season. Ahmad Al Harthy (Red Line Racing) headed pro-am1, while Thruxton newcomer George Brewster (Celtic Speed) topped pro-am2. On a rain-hit day, Harvey (Red Line Racing) was on the pace at the right moment as three laps at the start of the second session was the day's only dry window for the 25-strong Carrera Cup field. "I was trying to do a race run," said Harvey as rain swept across the Hampshire track once more. "But the car feels good in the wet and the dry. There's more grip at Thruxton than anywhere else when it rains."The first test session was abandoned due to standing water after heavy rain, but a revised timetable allowed two 30-minute sessions later in the afternoon. With the track still wet but drying, the revised first session delivered representative times as Caine and Harvey used their experience to set the pace, with Caine ahead by one-thousandth of a second. "The car was fine; we did a limited amount of running as the track was changing all the time," said Caine. However, the three dry laps in the afternoon would decide the time sheets and Caine didn't set a time before the rain arrived. Instead, second overall was Michael Meadows (Red Line Racing). "We were at the front of the queue for the session and got the extra lap in," said Meadows. "But there was rain on the screen from the start." Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing) was third in the dry running. In pro-am1, Ollie Jackson set the first session pace for Addison Lee Motorbase, lapping a quarter of a second faster than Tony Gilham (ReDesign PHB Racing). "I'm quite happy with that; I'm glad the standing water was gone," said Jackson. But it was Al Harthy who jumped ahead in the early laps of the second session as he drove his Porsche at Thruxton for the first time. "I pushed from the start; I had to find out how the car was in the dry," said the Oman racer. In pro-am2, Mark Hazell (JHR) set a cracking pace to head the wet times from Paul Mace (GT Marques) and Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance). "The wet is a great leveler," said Hazell, after using his experience of Thruxton to good effect. In the second session, Brewster jumped to the top of the category in the brief dry spell. He had missed the re-arranged first session, so his pro-am2 leading time came from his first three laps of Thruxton. "I've never been here before, and there's a bit more to go it it's dry." Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing) was second in the final positions.

FBMW: Next week Facu Regalia will be at Silverstone for the third pre-season test of 2010 for Formula BMW Europe. After the diabolical weather(snow!) at Monza and illness at Montmeló, the youngster wants some good results in Britian. The Hispano-Argentinean driver arrives in the UK looking for plenty of track time  in his Eifelland Racing prepared machine. “In the last few days with the guys from the team and I have been preparing me physically so I can be at Silverstone at my best shape”, said Facu.  “After the snow that cancelled the second day of testing at Monza and the health problems that prevented me to be in the track in the first day of the Barcelona test, I want that, at Silverstone, everything goes according to plan”.  One positive for Regalia from Spain, where despite not managing many miles, he was among the fastest. “It wouldn’t be strange if it rains in one of the test days, but I hope that we can end the week with set-up program almost done, because BMW suspended the Spa-Francorchamp test after the known problems with a tunnel”, concluded the Eifelland Racing driver.

02-04-10

GP3: McLaren Autosport BRDC Award Winner Dean Smith delivered an impressive performance on his GP3 Series test debut in France this week after joining British team Carlin for a two day outing at the 3.85km Paul Ricard HTTT Circuit. The 22-year-old, from Wolverhampton, made an immediate impact during the first day of the test on Wednesday, 31st March, by emerging as the fastest rookie driver from the morning run. Posting a best lap of 1m21.764s, he ended the opening session a very promising 11th quickest. Although only completing seven laps in the afternoon due to an electrical problem Dean hit back strongly on Thursday. Setting 12th fastest time of 1m20.962s in the morning, an effort which proved to be his best of the whole test, he went on to set a 1m21.118s during the final afternoon. Concluding the last session inside the top eight, Dean was only just over 0.3s shy of the pace. “For my first time out in a GP3 car, to be on the edge of the top 10 during the first session and then top eight out of 29 drivers during the final afternoon isn’t too bad at all – I’m quite pleased with how everything’s gone in all honesty”, commented Dean, “Considering we missed the first afternoon with the electrical fault, I think we can all be happy with the progress we made and what we achieved. The GP3 car has a huge amount of grip, much more aerodynamic grip than a Formula 3 car and it’s much quicker through the corners. I really enjoyed working with Carlin over the last couple of days and I know we definitely had the capability to be in the top four.”  Dean is yet to reveal his plans for 2010 but GP3 is a highly attractive option should he secure a race deal.  Pic: GP3 Media Service/LAT.

WTCC: Following the cancellation of the season's second event in Mexico the FIA WTCC is looking forward to resuming in Marrakech on May 2nd.This will be the second time the championship has visited Morocco with its fast 4.5-km circuit winding along the boulevards of the Agdal hotel district, in the Southern outskirts of Marrakech.Compared to last year, when it was inaugurated, bringing international auto racing back to Morocco after half-a-century, the racetrack has been slightly modified. The two chicanes on the long Avenue Mohammed VI straight have been redesigned to make them faster and safer. 

The Chevrolet Cruze racing car that takes part in the FIA World Touring Car Championship is currently being exhibited for the first time to the USA public.The white-and-blue machine is placed in the centre of the stage of the Chevrolet stand at the New York International Autoshow that opened on Thursday, April 2nd at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on the 11th Avenue, Manhattan. The show will go on until Sunday, April 11th. The exhibition of the WTCC Cruze is part of the promotional actions organised for the launch of the Chevrolet's saloon to the American market.

Karts: Tom Harvey warmed up in perfect fashion for the beginning of his 2010 Formula Kart Stars (FKS) challenge at Rowrah this weekend, by triumphing against the odds at Whilton Mill.  Read report   pics Chris Walker/www.kartpix.net

Beitske Visser from Holland has just celebrated her 15th birthday and is already at a high level in International karting. She is now in the KZ2 category with powerful 125cc gearbox engines. “On track, I do not think much about the fact that I am a girl. My goal is to win, so I have to beat all the other drivers, whoever they are”. Her international season started on 7 March, at the WSK Euro Series round held in Southern Italy at the Andrea Margutti in Castelletto di Branduzzo, against many KZ2 specialists. In timed qualifying she claimed pole position. “Unfortunately, I had to abandon the final race and that spoiled my weekend”, she regretted. But Beitske Visser did not brood over her disappointment for long and went to the second meeting of the WSK Euro Series with her motivation increased at Lonato. Her progress in qualifying allowed he to achieved a first result with third in the KZ2 pre-final. She also set the fastest lap and took a place in the final race! “In Holland, in Belgium or at the Rotax Winter Cup, I have already had a chance to climb on the podium. But to do it again at this level, well, it is even more rewarding. I am very happy with this second place and I would like to thank the Intrepid official team and Tec’Sav for the work done so far. It is very encouraging for the future”.

01-04-10

Skip Barber:  Daniel Lloyd has a new sponsorship agreement with leading UK postal operator TNT Post – part of global giant TNT Group. The Huddersfield 18-year-old, who is currently competing in America in the BF Goodrich/Skip Barber National Championship presented by Mazda, will carry TNT Post branding on his race car and crash helmet throughout the 2010 season as part of the deal. Confirming the agreement, managing director of TNT Post in the North, Andy Goddard, commented: “We are very happy to support such a bright, young sporting talent. Daniel has already proven he is one of the UK’s top young racing drivers so we’re delighted to help support his first season of racing in America. TNT Post is known for its quality of service and efficiency, leading us to a shared goal with Daniel: to be the best.”  Speaking on his new deal Daniel said: “I’m obviously delighted to be involved with TNT Post and I want to thank it for the support. I’m very proud to have such a fantastic brand associated with my racing this season and I aim to deliver as much success as I possibly can throughout the course of the year.”

Formula Renault: MP Motorsport’s Daniël De Jong produced his most impressive performance of the 2010 pre-season during Formula Renault 2.0 NEC testing at Hockenheim this week, the Dutchman leading the way during four of the 10 track sessions and never finishing outside the top eight. During two days he set a best lap of 1m38.605s on Monday, 29th March, to lead the way by almost 0.4s from his closest rival, experienced Formula Renault competitor Luciano Bacheta.On Tuesday De Jong went quickest with a 1m38.633s to follow on from a series of consistent front-running performances during Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 testing in recent weeks. Team-mate Karl-Oscar Liiv recorded the 13th fastest time of 1m40.242s on the opening day, just 0.2s outside the top 10, the Estonian was 13th again on Tuesday, albeit with an improved lap of 1m39.321.  MP Motorsport’s Finnish rookie Kalle Kulmanen, meanwhile, had a mixed outing at Hockenheim after being unable to run on day two due to illness. On Monday though, he produced a solid time of 1m41.562.  Speaking on his performance De Jong said: “I’m very happy, it was great to be first on day one. During my new tyre run on Tuesday I was blocked, for sure I think I could have been fastest again on the second day. Hockenheim is a great circuit, the stadium is a nice part and I think it’s a good place for racing with lots of slip-streaming and overtaking opportunities.All through practice in Eurocup and NEC we’ve been in the top 10 while last year I was battling to be in the top 20 so I’ve improved for sure. If we can start the season in the top 10 and then fight for the top five and, hopefully, the podium, I’ll be happy.”  

MP Motorsport consistently competitive in Spain and France. During Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 testing at the Motorland Aragon facility in Alcañiz, Spain, last week, De Jong was again inside the top six and headed the timing screens on day one with a best lap of 1m57.591. Improving by 0.6s during the second day, he posted an overall quickest time of 1m56.942 and ended the test ninth fastest on combined times. Liiv(pictured left) and Kulmanen progressed well at Motorland and gained good experience, the former lapping in a very competitive 1m57.699. Kulmanen produced a best effort of 1m58.392 during the final session on day two, the 18-year-old rookie continuing his steep learning curve. Magny-Cours in France was the venue for testing the week prior and De Jong led the way for MP Motorsport with the seventh fastest time overall, a lap of 1m37.471. Liiv was just half a second shy of his team-mate, the 16-year-old lapping with a time of 1m37.926, while Kulmanen produced a quickest lap of 1m39.70. Rounds one and two of the 2010 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship will take place just over two weeks from now, 17th/18th April, at Motorland Aragon in Spain. 

Superleague Formula: Alvaro Parente is at Silverstone for the opening round of the 2010 Superleague Formula by Sonangol this weekend with his team Futebol Clube do Porto. “Yesterday, I had the first contact with the team, something that allowed me to meet the mechanics and the engineers. Today, I’m doing the seat and preparing tomorrow’s test”, said Parente.  With a long season ahead, the Portuguese driver is excited to defend his home club. Futebol Clube do Porto, though he knows that his opponents will give him a hard time. “I’m very motivated and eager to race again, after some showings in the GP2 Asia series. This car is completely different from the GP2’s and, with the actual line-up, I foresee an interesting and disputed championship. It will be good to meet again old opponents and ex-Formula 1 drivers”, he said.  He knows Silverstone well and will begin testing today(Thursday), working to adapt his single-seater to his style. “This is a track that I enjoy and where I raced many times. Tomorrow, we will to develop the car so that it can handle the way I like during the weekend. The championship is very long, it has twelve events, and my goal is to be champion”.

GP3: Canadian Robert Wickens has set his sights on becoming the first GP3 Series champion after signing with Status Grand Prix. "GP3 is a very good fit for me because we're at F1 Grands Prix and it'll be a great way to highlight myself and show I'm ready to step to F1 in 2011," said Wickens, who was runner-up in the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2009. Wickens drove with Status GP in the inaugural series test at Paul Ricard with the 280hp Renault-powered Dallara earlier this month, and confirmed that it was the right way to go for him and his sponsors, which include Canadian surf and skateboard clothing manufacturer Sitka. "Having driven the GP3 car with Status it made me even more eager to find the necessary funding to participate," said Wickens. "It's been a big effort by many people in Canada, and I'm also very grateful to Status GP for showing faith in me. Together we're targeting nothing less than the championship." The move sees him re-united with Silverstone-based Status GP, which ran Wickens in the A1 Team Canada entry during the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, when he became the series' youngest ever winner on the Durban street circuit. "

Wickens and his Status GP team mate Daniel Morad filled two positions in the top 6 in testing at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit in southern France on Wednesday, the team successfully worked through a series of set-up programmes, as its three Renault-powered Dallara cars covering over 1000 kilometres before new Pirelli tyres were bolted on at the end of the day to set a quick time. Wickens ended the day fourth fastest overall while Morad had been in the top five until he was knocked down to sixth overall in the dying moments of the day, but the GMH Motorsport-supported driver was encouraged with his time of 1m21.2s that indicated his potential for the season ahead. Third Status driver Ivan Lukashevich, who is a part of the Marussia Motors Driver Development programme, continued his progress in adapting to the 280bhp car, going half a second quicker than he did in the previous test at Paul Ricard, despite a radiator problem curtailing his fastest run on new tyres at the end of the day.

Karts: CRG continued it’s excellent start to the season at the second meeting of the WSK Euro Series, in Lonato. Once again  achieving a high level of competitiveness in both KF and KZ. Max Verstappen in KF3, Norman Nato and Jonathan Thonon in KZ1 showed off Maxter's colours on the podium, while Michelle Gatting missed out on a  podium by a hair's breadth in KF2. read report

Anthony Abbasse's Sodi chassis literally dominated KZ1 in Lonato at the second meeting of the WSK Euro Series. From practice to the final race, Sodi gave its top driver the best possible package. With a Sodi BV chassis perfectly adapted to every track condition and a TM engine at the top, Anthony was able to focus solely on his race performance and produce a  great victory ..read report

Strawberry Racing began the defence of it's Euro Max crowns in fine style with a 1-2 in senior Max and 1st and 3rd in the junior category, at Salbris last weekend  full report

Indylights rookie J.K. Vernay took his first win in the series on his debut at the street circuit of St. Petersburg, Florida last Sunday. In the opening race of this year’s Championship the weather had a big part to play with rain soaking the track at the start  while all the drivers were still on slicks . Just keeping the car in the straight line was a challenge and Vernay’s team-mate James Winslow even lost control on the parade lap, although he did recover to finsish seventh. After the start, which saw a considerable amount of’carnage, the race was stopped allowing everyone to switch to wet tyre. At the restart Vernay took the lead and was never headed, dominating the remainder of the event, leading 31 of 35 laps. The victory for Vernay was the fourth for his team Sam Schmidt Motorsports in St. Petersburg, and their 31st overall.  Read report  

Formula Ford: Rookie Ben Jurczak,16, of Forest Lake in Queensland, displayed pace well beyond his experience at the first round of the 2010 Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship, supporting the QANTAS Australian Grand Prix. In only his 3rd CAMS racing event, Ben qualified in 10th position for race one last Saturday afternoon. As the race unfolded, Ben kept moving forward and was soon up to 5th place. Unfortunately he got caught out under brakes and found himself beached in one of the gravel traps, ending his race with a couple of laps to go. Ben explained “I got a good run on the guys in front of me and thought I might be able to make a pass into the next corner. As I pulled out to pass, I noticed we were coming into a yellow flag area, which means I can’t overtake and there could be something on track. When I got on the brakes, I was on the dirty part of the track and locked up; it was as simple as that. I didn’t want to take anyone else out or hit the wall, so I was able to keep it straight and run off into the gravel trap. We’ve got no damage to the car, which is great!” Ben’s engineer Mike Borland was impressed with the rookie’s performance. “Ben’s pace all weekend has been fantastic. It’s a real shame for him not have finished the race, but even then he showed great presence of mind and car control to avoid contact,” he said.Ben heads to his home state when the next round rolls into Queensland Raceway. “I started my kart racing career at Willowbank, so I’ve spent lots of weekends racing karts a few hundred metres from the circuit. Like most tracks this year though, I’ve never driven on the car racing circuit, so we’ll see how we go!” he enthused.

Ash Walsh was pleased to come away from the opening round of the 2010 Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship, held at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit, just nine points off the leader. He explains “We knew this would be our toughest round of the season for a number of reasons, including the fact that our strongest challengers for the championship all raced at the GP last year.” The weekend started very well, with Walsh setting the 2nd fastest time in the only practice session. Ash ended qualifying in 9th position after a difficult 20 minute session. “Starting the first lap of quali, I found myself leading a bunch of cars and didn’t want to simply drag them around in my slipstream. Unfortunately, by the time I found some clear track space, the best of the new tyres was used. But we’re in the top ten and we can race from there,” said an upbeat Walsh.The team discussed some setup changes for the race and Ash was able to make his way through the field, running as high as 3rd in the opening laps and fighting in a pack of three cars for most of the race. It was the most entertaining dice in the field and as a result, featured strongly as part of the Channel Ten telecast. Ash took a hard fought 4th to bank a good haul of points to start his season. “That was a tough race!” he said afterwards. “The car is quick but this track is surprisingly bumpy, especially in the braking areas. I don’t think we were as strong there; but 4th is a great start and we can fine tune the setup for race two.” The small changes made for the final race seemed to work well and Ash was eagerly looking for a way past a very defensive competitor in the first two laps. The race was then red flagged and abandoned when Ash’s team mate Caleb Rayner crashed heavily after receiving contact from another car. “The changes we made were good. We were really strong under brakes and I’m sure we would have been able to move forward. But they had to stop the race to attend to Caleb; that was a big hit and it is a relief to hear that he is ok,” Ash commented. “Overall I’m happy with the weekend,” said Walsh. “The car is straight and we’re in a good position with points. I’m looking forward to the next round, which is my home track at Queensland Raceway.”

 

 

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