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News Archive  August 2013

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15/09/2013

 IF RACE REPORTS LINKS REMOVED - FOLLOW 'Reports' LINK ON THE GRID above

On holiday until 11 Sept, sorry no news from26 August

26-08-11

Maserati Trofeo World Series:  Javier Ibrán adapted well to the new challenges in the Maserati Trofeo World Series as the championship resumed at Sonoma, California. Despite  being  his debut at the track, Ibrán, driving his Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo, was 11th and 10th respectively in practice on Friday, spending his time in learning the Sonoma layout. He improved his lap for qualifying, posting a 1:43.729 in Q1 and a 1:42.916 in Q2. In race on Saturday, Ibrán ended up 11th, improving for race two with 10th place. “I was trying to keep my 9th place but I couldn´t manage to do it, and another driver passed me. Anyway my race was quite good but I´ve to improve on the chicane, because I´m struggling at this part of the track”. Finally, in race 3 a  one hour event, Ibrán had another good performance, batt battleing with rivals and finishing 10th in Trofeo class and 13th overall. “Our weekend here was quite difficult, because it was my debut, and races saw many safety cars deployed, a circumstance not that loved by drivers. It´s a track with tricky parts and you need time to learn them. I´m quite happy with results here anyway, and I like this track! It´s an unknown track for European people but nice to discover. My adaptation wasn´t easy but I found it exciting and amusing”, he pointed out at the end.

Rallycross: Albatec Racing is preparing for the most important event of the year, the Rallycross De Lohéac in Brittany, over the weekend of August 31/September 1. The fledgling team, headed by Team Principal and lead driver Andy Scott, will be joined by World Rally Championship driver Kris Meeke, the duo piloting a pair of two-litre, 16 valve Peugeot 208s at arguably the best-attended event on the 2013 schedule.  read more

GP3: Facu Regalia delivered another strong performance with ART Grand Prix at Spa where the Argentine driver clinched his 5th podium of the season and extended his lead in GP3  Series. Regalia, after taking third place on Saturday, started sixth on the grid in race 2 on Sunday looking for a top-five finish once more. After taking fourth at the start he soon moved up to third, where he remained for the rest of the race. Now with 115 points he is leading the rankings by ten points from his teammate Conor Daly. “I made a good start, it was a shame because Sims blocked me. Otherwise I might have been second or even first at this point. Fortunately fourth place was a good place to be at the beginning and later I moved to third. Ellinas couldn´t score points today, so it was another interesting fact for our title chances. It was a good weekend for us, because we´re leading the series now, increasing our gap from race one to race two”, Regalia said. But with two rounds still ahead, Argentina´s driver is already focused on “Monza. We´re leaders but it isn´t enough, we want to win the championship. But there are four remaining races, so nothing is decided. Anyway we´re strong and are on our way to the title, anyway just keeping our hard work we´ll manage it to do. I want to keep my lead at Monza and maybe increase our advantage there, to arrive to UAE with our rivals as far as possible”.

GP2: British racer Adrian Quaife-Hobbs drove a mature and controlled GP2 race at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday, to finish third and clinch his second podium finish of the season. His result comes after a scorching drive through the field in Saturday’s race, from 19th to tenth, on only his second appearance in the number 22 car of Hilmer Motorsport. After a lengthy summer break since the last race in Hungary, during which Quaife-Hobbs had been working closely with the team to understand the new car, he arrived at the Belgian track in confident mood. His expectations of a good finish were boosted by the sixth fastest time in Friday’s free practice, just behind team-mate Robert Frijns.  more

F2000 Champion of 2013 Tim Minor fell to third on an early race restart, but was back in front a few laps later and took his ninth win of the season to close his Championship campaign in the season-ending race at Summit Point. Minor passed Kyle Connery and Santino Ferrucci and pulled a large gap to take the top step of the podium. Ferrucci took second place ahead of HP-Tech teammate Roberto Lorena. With a sweep of the weekend, Minor closes an F2000 season he totally dominated, sweeping three of seven doubleheader weekends and winning races at every track on the schedule in his Ski Motorsports No. 88 Citation.  Pic Dennis Valet   read report

Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Michael Meadows completed a dominant weekend in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with victory today (Sunday 25 August) in round 14 at Knockhill. While Meadows led from the front, Dan Lloyd fended off a determined challenge from Dean Stoneman to take second and Dan De Zille drove a storming race to win Pro-Am1.  read report

Daniel Lloyd made a very well deserved, and long awaited, return to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship podium at Knockhill in Scotland on Sunday, 25th August, with third place in the first race of the weekend and an improved runner-up spot in round 14. Absolutely determined to take some silverware back home to Huddersfield, particularly after two luckless events at Croft and Snetterton, the Team Parker Racing driver produced a pair of superb race performances at the challenging Fife track to climb back into the championship top four.    read report

IZOD IndyCar Series: Schmidt Hamilton driver Simon Pagenaud fought to the front of the field at the Go Pro Grand Prix at Sonoma yesterday, taking a fifth-place finish.  , while Tristan Vautier overcame contact on multiple occasions to finish 12th. IZOD IndyCar Series rookie Tristan Vautier started from 14th  and negotiated numerous restarts to bring his No. 55 Angie's List Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car oline for a 12th-place finish.  Read more

Lucas Luhr and Josef Newgarden finished the Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma 22nd and 24th respectively, after a streak of unfortunate luck fell on the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing two-car squad. Luhr started his first ever IndyCar race from the 24th position. The 34-year-old Germany-native, driving the No. 97 SFHR/RW Motorsports car, was in 17th place when an engine fire ended his day short of the chequered flag.  Read report

Ginetta Jnrs: Jamie Chadwick clinched a deserved Rookie Trophy victory during Round 14 of the 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship on Scotland’s undulating Knockhill Circuit, while older brother Ollie finished just off the podium in 4th (24-25 August). Read report

BTCC: Colin Turkington fired himself further into championship contention after taking two wins in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill, before a technical infringement in race three saw the Ulsterman disqualified from a vital fourth place. The 31-year-old won the opener after making his way by the Audi of pole-sitter Rob Austin in the early running. The eBay Motors racer subsequently streaked away from the chasing pack to claim his first ever BTCC victory at the Scottish circuit and he duly doubled up in race two. Turkington’s second win was far more routine as he cruised to an impressive lights-to-flag victory ahead of Austin and local hero Gordon Shedden, who both reversed their positions from the first race. Scotsman Shedden seemed set to build on his big points haul in race three but ad insthe faced pain. While running in fifth place the reigning champion’s Honda Civic caught fire due to an engine failure, much to the dismay of the tens of thousands of home fans. He wasn’t the only championship contender to endure disappointment, however, as Turkington was excluded from fourth place when his car was found to have exceeded the maximum boost allowance. The main benefactors from Shedden and Turkington’s respective woes in the final contest were the championship’s top two, as Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan produced a flawless drive to claim a commanding victory ahead of Honda Yuasa Racing's Matt Neal and eBay Motors’ Rob Collard – the latter scoring his first podium of the 2013 season. Austin rounded off his best weekend ever in the BTCC with a fourth place finish, whilst Daniel Welch also produced his highest result of the season with sixth. Sandwiched between them was MG KX Momentum’s Jason Plato who had earlier claimed a fourth and a seventh from the opening races to keep his championship hopes alive. Neal maintains his lead in the Championship while Jordan edged closer after his victory, he is just six points behind the three-time champion. Shedden and Turkington are separated by three points in third and fourth respectively.  pic Dennis Goodwin

Scuderia Vittoria has hailed its KX Akademy driver development programme as a success, after former KX recruit Mike Bushell made his debut in the Dunlop MSA BTCC at Knockhill yesterday. Bushell joined Scuderia Vittoria’s KX Akademy ranks in the Renault UK Clio Cup in June. Funded by KX Energy Drink, the KX Akademy is a bursary programme designed to assist young, talented drivers in their ascent up the motorsport ladder.  Having raised his profile and developed as a driver during his term in the KX Akademy, Bushell tested IP Tech Race Engineering’s sole NGTC-spec Chevrolet Cruze at Snetterton last week, before making his BTCC racing debut with the Andy Neate-led squad over the weekend. “Scuderia Vittoria was delighted to welcome Mike Bushell aboard for what has been an exciting phase in the KX Akademy,” said Scuderia Vittoria Director, Danny Buxton. “It was a great chance for him to demonstrate his ability to brands like Tesco, as well as former double BTCC Champion Jason Plato, and it’s a testament to the effectiveness of the KX Akademy that Mike has had the chance to race in the BTCC. With plans to expand Scuderia Vittoria's already successful operations in the entry-level Michelin Clio Cup and the Saxmax Championship, we are proud to provide young, prospective

25-08-13

Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup: Scotsman Fergus Walkinshaw delivered one of the best performances of his FW Motorsport team’s debut Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup campaign at Knockhill today (Sunday) with sensational seventh and sixth place finishes amid some of the closest races of the season so far. pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography  read report

F1600: Jake Eidson closed his 2013 F1600 Formula F Championship Series title-winning campaign with a decisive victory at Summit Point in the season finale race that turned into an all-out battle between four cars for the win. Eidson took the lead with a few laps to go and managed lapped traffic coming to the flag to take his record-breaking seventh victory of the year by mere inches over Aaron Telitz and Adrian Starrantino. Ayla Agren was fourth. Eidson clinched the title with a third place drive on Saturday at Summit Point, and with Sunday’s win, has victories in seven of 12 races, taking wins at every track except VIR, where he finished second both days. Pic Dennis Valet  read report  

Porsche Carrera Cup GB :  Michael Meadows scored a resounding victory in round 13 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill today (Sunday 25 August) to take control at the head of the championship. While Rory Butcher and Dan Lloyd chased Meadows home, Dan De Zille battled hard to win Pro-Am1.   read report

Formula Ford: “My hardest race”: that’s how Dan Cammish described his 20th straight victory in the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain at Knockhill this morning after being given a run for his money all the way to the chequered flag by Nico Maranzana.Maranzana’s Jamun Racing Mygale made a copybook start from pole position - Nico’s first pole in Formula Ford - and the young Argentinian led JTR driver Cammish for 14 of the 25 laps before championship leader Dan’s greater experience came into play. pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography   read report

Sam Brabham continued his impressive Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship podium run on Scottish soil this weekend, clocking up his third outright series podium amid another hat-trick of visits to the Scholarship rostrum at Knockhill. The recently turned 19 year-old headed into his debut at the Fife circuit with a solid qualifying performance to place fifth, fifth and fourth fastest across the respective classifications, despite only learning the track in Friday practice. With drama on the opening lap of round 19 triggering a lengthy safety car period while debris was cleared from the track, the race got underway on lap eight when Brabham did well to avoid a spinning third-placed Jayde Kruger to move up from fifth to fourth. In the 10 remaining minutes, the JTR driver pegged back the 1.4-second gap to Harrison Scott to mount an awesome last lap move into the Seat Curve for third overall, securing another place on the outright podium and Scholarship second in the process. more

Rallying: After a long and tricky rally, Carlos Fessman was jubilant having finished his first ever WRC Tarmac event in the top three of the WRC 2 Production Cup in the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. Driving a Ralliart Italy-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, he had a difficult Day Four but was pleased to be fighting for the Production Cup win until the very end. The Venezuelan was surprised by his own performance on Tarmac and pleased to be able to tackle the many and varying challenges the Trier-based event threw at him: “If I reflect on the event, it’s a shame that I lost time yesterday stopping to help another crew, because without that I really could have fought to win the Production Cup, but I know that safety is important in any sport, so I don’t regret my decision. This is just the beginning of my career on Tarmac and this rally already exceeded my expectations, so in the end I can’t be anything except happy with my result!” Ralliart Italy Team Manager Bruno De Pianto is encouraged by Fessman’s performance and feels positive looking ahead to the Tarmac events later this season: “Carlos really impressed me this weekend. None of us knew what to expect. We didn’t have time to do a pre-event test and we knew he hadn’t got much experience on asphalt, but he seemed comfortable with his car and the roads from the start. To navigate all the stages successfully on your first outing at Rallye Deutschland is no mean feat and Carlos stayed calm and in control throughout. Without the support of Venezuela and their Ministry of Sport none of this would have been possible and we’re very grateful for the opportunity they’ve given both Carlos and Ralliart Italy.”

GP3: Facu Regalia is till in the clinched another podium finish in the international GP3 Series at Spa yesterday. After a difficult qualifying sessio, when nothing seemed to  work as expected – he set  8th fastest time.  Fortunately his the race his performance was much improved. At the start he managed to overtake two cars followed by Yelloly on the outside to moved to 5th in the first lap when the Safety car was deployed after a crash. Once the race resumed, Regalia had to fight hard to keep his place. Later the Argentine driver managed to avoid a clash involving Sainz and Harvey that m ovedd him to third place. With Championship leader Tio Ellinas down in 8th, Regalia moved to first in the overall points table. “I feel so happy, and after a difficult qualifying session when we weren´t where expected. My start was very good, overtaking two cars and later Yelloly on the outside. To keep my fifth place wasn´t that easy because Korjus and Sims were quite strong, meanwhile my target was not to be far from Sainz and Harvey”, Regalia explained. After safety car period, “it´s when the incident involving Harvey and Sainz happened. It wasn´t easy because I wasn´t far behind. I could avoid debris on track, always a problem with punctures. When I was third, I knew it was a great result because, with Ellinas 8th, lead was mine”. For tomorrow, “this result is another morale boost. Let´s see how tomorrow´s race goes because rain could be an unexpected guest. It could mean another very difficult race for everyone. As I said this morning it´s important to race with a clear mind”.  

F1600: Adrian Starrantino took home 50 points in an outstanding photo finish at Summit Point to win the race, but it was Jake Eidson that clinched the 2013 F1600 Formula F Championship Series title with a careful third place drive. Starrantino spent the 20-lap race locked in a duel with Aaron Telitz, and managed to beat the 21-year-old to the line by millimeters as the two went side-by-side for most of the last lap. For Eidson, it wasn’t another win, but a third place finish gave him the points gap he needed to clinch the 2013 title with one race left on Sunday at Summit Point for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing in the No. 10 Spectrum/Honda. It’s a repeat Championship for the Capes, who had their No. 10 car drive to the title in 2012 as well.  Pic Dennis Valet  read report  

Formula Ford: Dan Cammish triumphed for the 19th time in the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship this afternoon at Knockhill, the JTR Mygale driver holding his nerve through an extended safety car period and making a lightning getaway at the restart to outfox the pursuing Jamun car of Nico Maranzana.Maranzana, who qualified second on the grid alongside pole man Cammish, had been right on the championship leader’s tail on the opening lap and looked poised to make a challenge for the lead. Alas for the Argentinian, his opportunity was robbed from him by the appearance on track of the safety car while debris was cleared up.The safety car was on track for five laps, and at the restart Dan used all his experience to make a clean break from Nico. By the lap’s end he was a second clear and he extended his advantage to 2.4s by the chequered flag to claim win 19 and the modern-era record for the most wins in a single Formula Ford season. pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography   read report

Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup: Scotsman Fergus Walkinshaw showed promising pace on his FW Motorsport team’s race debut at his homeland circuit of Knockhill  on Saturday, in the first of three Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup battles at the Fife circuit this weekend. The 22 year-old once again proved to be a frontrunner in qualifying; topping the timesheets early on, a top-five time looked a certainty until midway through the 20-minute session. Walkinshaw had just posted a purple sector time, ranking fastest through sector one and three tenths of a second up on his previous best time, when the session was red flagged and he had to settle for eighth place.  pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography   read report

IZOD IndyCar Series: Sonoma Raceway's permanent road course in mountainous northern California has proven year in and year out to be one of the trickiest circuits on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. Both of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing's (SFHR) drivers agree that the 12-turn, 2.385-mile road course is tough to master.  SFHR's full-time driver Josef Newgarden will start Sunday's race from the 17th position, after a 1:19.0094sec (108.671 mph) lap. Newgarden's teammate Lucas Luhr will start his first ever IndyCar race from 25th place, with a 1:19.9805 secs (107.351 mph). Newgarden believes there is still more room for improvement. "We started the day a little off from where we wanted to be, but it really came together well in the second half of qualifying," he said. "It was actually a little surprising to me and I really just didn't use the (Firestone) red tires enough. Normally that's not the case, and normally I feel pretty good about the run that I do but I feel like I just did not hang it out enough, and we actually had more to use. "I don't think we were a (Firestone) Fast 6 car but I really think we could have transferred into the top 12 and had a better starting place for tomorrow. We really were not far off that benchmark though. It gives me a lot of courage for tomorrow. I think we can really run a solid race and have great points. I'm really proud of everyone and I'm looking forward to maximizing what we can tomorrow."  Luhr, who has driven 70 laps since Friday's first practice, is also looking forward to Sunday's 85-lap race.  "I think we made overall improvements and got at least a little bit closer, but we are still not there," Luhr said. "It's difficult and it's the first time for me qualifying and then experiencing the (Firestone) red tires so I had no idea how much more grip there was and how much I could use and I really only got one shot at it. Now that we have the practices and everything out of the way I am just looking forward to the race and getting into race mode."  The high elevation changes on the hilly road course create challenges that both drivers are learning to handle. "The low grip itself and the wind changing conditions are tough," Luhr said. "One second it's one direction, one second it's another direction, but at the end of the day everybody is feeling the same thing and you just have to find a way of dealing with it."  Newgarden added, "Passing is also going to be tough here. It's very difficult to pass but judging by what we did at Barber Motorsports Park earlier in the year, where it's also really hard to pass (started 22nd and finished 9th), I have complete confidence in our ability to get to the front. I'm looking forward to having a clean day and hopefully scoring good points."

Simon Pagenaud earned the 10th starting spot and rookie Tristan Vautier qualified 14th at Sonoma. Pagenaud rolled out in Group 1 of knockout style qualifying and posted the second-quickest time of his group. In Round 2 the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car was 10th fastest with a lap of 01:18.3787 at 109.545 mph.  "I'm happy because we made huge improvements this week to get the HP car in the 10th starting position," Pagenaud said. "The really positive point is that we have a fantastic race car and it is incredibly consistent. We just have to find what the other guys have found in pure grip level. Apart from that the car was really nice to drive and the balance was great."  IZOD IndyCar Series rookie Tristan Vautier qualified for the Go Pro Grand Prix in Group 2, and he narrowly missed advancing to Round 2 by two tenths of a second. His quickest lap of 01:18.3141 at 109.635 mph in the No. 55 Angie's List Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car earned him the 14th starting position. "I'm disappointed with starting 14th in tomorrow's race but I also think we did a good job because the car felt really good to drive," Vautier said. "We just couldn't quite find enough to advance from our group. We were definitely in the tougher qualifying group though because our speed would have been more than good enough to advance out of the first qualifying group. We're just missing a little grip, but overall we've improved the Angie's List car so much since we got here." Looking forward to race day for the Go Pro Grand Prix, Vautier believes tyre management will be key. "Tire degradation is going to play a huge part in the race tomorrow, so we're going to be focusing on that tonight," he said.

Rallying: Carlos Fessman was pleased to hold onto second place in his Ralliart Italy run Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X in the WRC 2 Production Cup after an eventful Day Three at ADAC Rallye Deutschland. The Venezuelan started this morning’s loop locked between Ricardo Trivino and Marco Vallario respectively in first and third in the Production Cup standings. He finished the day in the same position, but his rivals had switched theirs. First Fessman lost nearly a minute and half on SS9, the first stage of the day, when he stopped to help a fellow competitor allowing Vallario to move in front and dropping the Ralliart Italy driver to third. However, Trivino then started to lose time on the afternoon loop allowing both Vallario and Fessman to move past him. The three drivers lie in 41st, 42nd and 43rd overall with only 40 seconds dividing them. Fessman needs to make up under 10 seconds to take the victory in the Production Cup on his first WRC Tarmac event and is delighted with his progress this weekend: “_It was a long and tough day. I really enjoyed it and feel I’m improving stage-by-stage, but there's a new challenge every corner! I’m happy to be second, but it’s a pity I lost nearly a minute and a half when I stopped to help another crew on SS9, because victory would have been in my sights! Still we’ll try our hardest tomorrow and hope for the best.”

24-08-13

F2000: Tim Minor, the 2013 F2000 Champion, started from pole and easily led every lap at his home track to take the win in the first of two Summit Point races for the F2000 Championship Series season finale weekend. Minor delivered another victory for his Ski Motorsports team in the No. 88 Citation as David Grant and Santino Ferrucci completed the podium ahead of WISKO Racing teammates Federico Mosconi and Kevin Kopp.  Pic Dennis Valet   read report

Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Michael Meadows set a searing pace in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill during qualifying today (Saturday 24 August) as he stormed to a double pole position with the fastest Carrera Cup laps ever recorded at the Scottish track. However, in a very competitive qualifying session, Meadows (Samsung Smart Motorsport) was always under attack and it was local hero Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) who bagged second place on both grids, with a best lap only 12-hundredths of a second slower than Meadows. Dean Stoneman (Redline Racing) made an impressive Knockhill debut to take third for both races, matching Butcher on second best times for the second grid. In a session interrupted by a red flag, after Dan Lloyd (Team Parker Racing) spun into the gravel, Meadows really attacked the pace on his second set of tyres to grab pole for round 13 with a mighty best of 50.445s. He duly took his 2013 tally to 12 poles from 14 rounds. 
Less than a third of a second covered the next four cars in an incredibly hard-fought session, with Butcher and Stoneman chased by Lloyd and Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing). In Pro-Am1, Victor Jimenez set the pace from his Redline Racing team mate Dan De Zille and George Brewster (Celtic Speed).  
Michael Meadows (Samsung Smart Motorsport) fastest overall: “That’s great pace and I’m really happy with our overall speed. Now I need two good starts for the races as it is tough to overtake here. I’ve always had good races with Rory.” 
Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) second overall: “I finally got a couple of good laps in at the end of the session. I knew I had it in the car, but I didn’t think we’d do it so late in the session. I’m happy with that at my home track and it’s the fastest I’ve ever gone here. Now I just want to get a good start.”
Victor Jimenez (Redline Racing) first in Pro-Am1: “Today was much better and I was pushing 100% on the second set of tyres. I’m in front of one of the Pro drivers and that is very important to me.” 
Dan De Zille (Redline Racing) second in Pro-Am1:“After missing testing yesterday, I’m happy with qualifying. I’m half a second off Victor in Pro-Am1 and that’s the target. That was the first time I’ve driven the car here and I’m in the hunt. This is one of my favourite tracks.”
 Round 13 grid:Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows 50.445s; 2 Rory Butcher 50.573s; 3 Dean Stoneman 50.704s.  Pro-Am1 category: 1 Victor Jimenez 51.378s; 2 Dan De Zille 51.839s; 3 George Brewster 52.135s 
Round 14 grid: Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows 50.557s; 2 Rory Butcher 50.722s; 3 Dean Stoneman 50.722s. Pro-Am1 category: 1 Victor Jimenez 51.568s;
2 Dan De Zille 52.068s; 3 George Brewster 52.205s

F1600: Aaron Telitz and Paul Alspach made it an all WISKO Racing Mygale/Honda front row during qualifying for the F1600 Formula F Championship Series at Summit Point. A full rain day dealt drivers and teams a challenge for the opening weekend of the season finale for the Series. Schedule changes due to the weather system led to a late afternoon qualifying session on a drying race track that produced lap after lap of quicker times for F1600 drivers. For Telitz, the Championship contender takes three bonus points for pole and hopes to make up ground from third place in the points. The 21-year-old was recently named a finalist in the Team USA Scholarship shootout and hopes to build upon his sole victory of the season that came with a daring last lap pass on two cars at Road Atlanta in May.  Pic Dennis Valet  read more

GP3: Facu Regalia finished 8th fastest with a lap of 2:06.044,at Spa seven tenths slower than the fastest lap in practive for Round 6 of the GP3 series. The ART Grand Prix driver started the session on used tyres before switching to new ones to set his fastest lap. “At the beginning I had to cope with a difficult car to drive, because tires wear was an issue. Anyway it was an interesting time on track because we could test two or three things before to do a qualifying simulation for tomorrow. We have to improve two or three small details, mainly in sector two, very important here. Maybe we have room to improve in first and third but our conclusions were interesting. Now it´s moment to work with the team to prepare tomorrow´s qualifying session”, Regalia said. Tomorrow, “surely we´ll race in dry conditions in qualifying, so we need to be competitive there. Then, in race, forecast announces rain”.

F2000: A late afternoon qualifying session for the F2000 Championship Series at Summit Point on a drying race track with lap times tumbling saw local expert and 2013 F2000 Champion Tim Minor grab the pole position at the very last opportunity in his No. 88 Citation for Ski Motorsports. Minor took the pole ahead of Kyle Connery, in the No. 91 Van Diemen while David Grant, in another Van Diemen, for Polestar Racing Group was third. Minor clinched his first F2000 title at the last event which took place at Mid-Ohio after a dominating season. But before his run-away 2013 streak started, Minor had one F2000 win to date, and that came at Summit Point in 2009. The veteran racer may have more laps around Summit Point than anyone else in the F2000 paddock. He also has more poles than anyone else in 2013, taking yet another WISKO Pole Award at Summit Point on Friday.  Pic Dennis Valet  read more

Rallying: After six tough stages through the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, Carlos Fessman still lies second in the WRC 2 Production Cup in his Ralliart Italy-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, having extended his lead over third-placed Marco Vallario to 45.9 seconds. Showing a steady improvement stage-on-stage, the Venezuelan was surprised by the challenges thrown up by the German Tarma, but tried to adapt as quickly as possible: “It was especially difficult this morning when it was wet in places and the roads were slippery, but I tried to maintain a sensible approach. I don’t have any real asphalt experience, so I made a few small mistakes, but overall I was very happy to hold second in the Production Cup and give myself a better margin over third.” The mixed conditions and tight hairpins provided a unique test, but Fessman followed his strategy of driving safely through the stages focused on getting to the end of the rally. Today will present a new challenge as the ex-professional basketball player takes on the 41km Panzerplatte stage. “It’s the first time a Venezuelan driver has ever competed in ADAC Rallye Deutschland and Panzerplatte is a very popular stage with spectators. I can’t wait to take my Mitsubishi out on the stage in its Venezuelan colours and fly the flag for my nation. I really want to make Venezuela and its Ministry of Sport proud.” Team Manager Bruno De Pianto continues to be impressed by Fessman’s progress and hopes tomorrow is another good day: “Carlos has completed all eight stages so far unperturbed. This is quite impressive for a driver in conditions he’s never met before and with such little Tarmac experience. From the first moment, he said he had a good feeling on the asphalt stages and I think this bodes well for the future and the Tarmac rounds later in the season. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.” 

IZOD IndyCar Series :Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced on Friday that it has re-signed with Honda as its engine supplier for the 2014 IZOD IndyCar Series season. Honda Performance Development will supply SPM with 2.2-Liter V6 engines as it pursues the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship next year.  Honda tallied its 200th win in Indy car competition at Pocono Raceway in 2013, and continues to be a race winning contender at each Indy car race. Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports scored its first win with Honda-power at Race 2 in the Indy Dual in Detroit with Simon Pagenaud at the wheel. "On behalf of fellow team owners Ric Peterson and Davey Hamilton, we are extremely pleased to have inked our deal for the future with Honda this early in the process," team owner Sam Schmidt said. "We are confident in their plan moving forward and believe that their package will be capable of competing for wins and the championship in 2014. This is also a testament to the commitment by all of our commercial partners and team members to maintain continuity and loyalty."   In 2014 Honda engines will utilize a twin turbocharger system, along with other improvements, in the first scheduled major revisions to the 2.2-liter, direct-injected V6 engines since their debut in the 2012 season."Since returning to full-time Indy car competition in 2011, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has compiled an impressive list of results, including five podium finishes, the team's first Indy car win with Simon Pagenaud at Detroit and a second-place finish at the recent Honda Indy 200," said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development. "This year in particular, the team has been impressive, adding a second car for Indy Lights graduate Tristan Vautier and with Simon (Pagenaud) currently ranked fifth in the driver's championship standings. We believe Sam, his partners Ric Peterson and Davey Hamilton, and the rest of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team will continue to develop into one of the top teams in the series.  We look forward to continuing our association, adding more race victories and championships along the way." 

23-08-13

Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Michael Meadows headed the times in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill during testing today (Friday 23 August) as rain affected the afternoon session. Rory Butcher and Dean Stoneman led the chase of Meadows while George Brewster made it a good day for the Scots by topping Pro-Am1. A dry morning session allowed Meadows (Samsung Smart Motorsport) to set the standard for the day when he was the only leading driver to use new tyres in the first test session. His best lap of 50.588s was fractionally quicker than the 2012 pole time of 50.597s set by Ben Barker to establish the fastest Carrera Cup lap at Knockhill. Circuit expert Butcher (Celtic Speed) was second fastest, while Stoneman (Redline Racing) was only marginally slower ahead of his first race at the Scottish track. Daniel Lloyd (Team Parker Racing) was right on the pace of Butcher and Stoneman, while join championship leader Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) was fifth from James Birch (Samsung Smart Motorsport). In Pro-Am1, Brewster (Celtic Speed) set a fine standard to edge category leader Victor Jimenez (Redline Racing) back to second. While pushing for a good lap late in the second session, as the track started to dry again, Jimenez slid off into the gravel at the hairpin. Dan De Zille (Redline Racing) missed testing due to work commitments, and will go straight into qualifying on Saturday. Michael Meadows (Samsung Smart Motorsport) fastest overall: “We took new tyres in the morning session and I think we caught everyone out there. We’re quicker than last year’s pole time and that’s the best official Carrera Cup lap here.” 
Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) second overall: “It’s all good and I’m happy with the pace on older tyres. In the second session I was on a warm-up lap on new tyres when the rain started.”
George Brewster (Celtic Speed) first in Pro-Am1: “I didn’t use new tyres today. We made one or two changes to the car for the afternoon session and have got a fairly neutral car, which is what you want round here. We made an early decision to end the second session when the rain started.”

Formula Renault: Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic will host the penultimate race meeting of the 2013 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup season next weekend, 31st August and 1st September, where series front-runner Raoul Owens aims to climb into the championship top six. Having made outstanding progress in recent rounds, racing to his maiden category podium last month at Spa and adding further points finishes three weeks ago at Assen, the Cape Town-based youngster is relishing his first races in Eastern Europe. Currently eighth in the championship ahead of rounds 12, 13 and 14, the Mark Burdett Motorsport driver has been one of the stand-out performers of late and is determined to make a return to the podium in the Czech Republic. “I’m really looking forward to being back in the car next weekend, we’ve been getting stronger and stronger as the season has gone on so we’ve got pretty high hopes for Most”, said the Bright Spark Ventures backed racer, “We’ve got a really good chance of leaving there in the championship top six, we’re only five points away as it stands, so that’s the main aim. Most is a new track for me, so there’s obviously going to be a lot to learn, but we’ve got some good track time on Thursday and Friday before the weekend properly gets underway, so hopefully we’ll be able to find a good set-up. I’m confident the team will do a great job, as they have all year.” As has been the case at the majority of Formula Renault 2.0 NEC events this year, huge crowds are expected for next weekend’s triple-header – particularly with Formula Renault running as support to the Czech round of the hugely popular FIA European Truck Racing Championship. Pic Chris Schotanus/Essay Produkties

Renault UK Clio Cup :Organisers of the Renault UK Clio Cup have confirmed the first batch of fourth generation Clio Cup race cars – which will debut in the UK series in 2014 – have all been sold. Highlighting the popularity of the Dunlop MSA BTCC support category, and the support of existing teams and drivers, the first run of cars which have been made available for the UK market have all been snapped-up. Former championship-winning team Total Control Racing has ordered two cars, as has race-winning squad Scuderia Vittoria, with JHR Developments purchasing one Renault Clio from the first batch and existing drivers Finlay Crocker, Ronnie Klos and Simon Belcher each buying one of the brand new 1.6-litre turbo-charged cars. Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography  Read more

The FIA World Touring Car Championship will undergo significant evolution in terms of technical and sporting regulations in 2014. Here is a summary of the main topics that will feature in the final version of both the technical and sporting regulations that will be submitted for approval to the World Motor Sport Council.  Read more

The first WTCC cars have arrived in the United States after a long journey from Argentina. The remaining cars are due to arrive this weekend. The 29 containers packed with cars and the teams’ equipment left the Autódromo of Termas de Río Hondo three days after the races, on August 7. The trucks arrived at Buenos Aires Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini International Airport the following day. The loading of two Atlas Air cargo planes began on Friday August 9 and the first aircraft took off to San Francisco International Airport 5 days later, while the second due to leave on August 14, is currently grounded due to technical problems. Its departure has been re-scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday. Final trucking to Sonoma is due to start on Tuesday, September 3.

WTCC driver Mehdi Bennani was among the Moroccan personalities awarded decorations by His Majesty the King of Morocco Mohammed VI on his 50th birthday. The King, accompanied by his sons, the Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan and Princes Moulay Rachid and Moulay Ismail, presided at a reception in the Rabat’s Royal Palace and bestowed Wissams – a decoration that is only awarded to people who accomplish exceptional feats – on a number of Morocco’s  celebrities: writers, authors, actors, directors, artists, musicians and sportsmen. Among the latter, Bennani was awarded with the Wissam Al Alaoui together with M. Nasser Abdeljalil, the first Moroccan to climb on top of the Everest, and Paralympics Games golden medallists Amine Chentouf and Najat El Garaa. “I am overcome by excitement. This is the most important decoration a Moroccan citizen may aim at. And to be bestowed by the King himself was the utmost honour and a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life. This also provided additional motivation to try and fight for the WTCC title in the years to come,” a delighted Bennani commented.

Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup : Fergus Walkinshaw and his FW Motorsport team made a detour to Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance’s (SCAA) Perth Airport base yesterday (Thursday) to help launch the ‘text to donate’ campaign ahead of this weekend’s BTCC event at Knockhill. While contesting the latest rounds of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup, Walkinshaw is championing Scotland’s only charity air ambulance’s call for motorsport fans to support the service, launched in May 2013. With tens of thousands of motorsport enthusiasts set to attend the Fife circuit, the 22 year-old racing driver is urging fans to text ‘SCAA 01’ to 70070 and donate £5 to help meet the charity’s £29,000 weekly fundraising target. Just 100 donation texts will fund one life-saving mission. SCAA has already demonstrated its indispensability with its many deployments across Scotland during its first months of operations – over 110 missions in 13 weeks. It works alongside the Scottish Ambulance Service, currently increasing the helicopter air ambulance capacity by 50 per cent during daylight hours, covering the Scottish mainland and some outlying island communities. Walkinshaw, the Motorsport Advocate for the Association of Air Ambulances, commented: “It was great to visit the airbase for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance to launch the ‘text to donate’ campaign for the Knockhill BTCC event. When we arrived the helicopter had been tasked to a time critical emergency in the West of Scotland, highlighting just how busy this publicly funded service is. The demand for air ambulances in Scotland is projected to rise from 3,500 to 6,000 missions per year by 2020 with no additional state funding. SCAA provides a vital service 10 hours a day, seven days a week, and it needs our help to sustain that service. The ‘text to donate’ campaign is a really easy way that motorsport fans can support SCAA. Thousands of people will be at Knockhill and if a fraction of them text to donate £5 we could save a lot of lives across Scotland.” Thanks to support from Knockhill, race goers can visit the SCAA charity stand located in the Trade Area on the approach to the Hairpin throughout the race weekend, or for further information visit www.scaa.org.uk

V8 Supercars: Evans Motorsport Group, the Cerebral Palsy League and Seymour Whyte Constructions have joined forces to increase awareness of those living with mobility challenges. In a show of support the Evans Motorsport Group team will fly the Cerebral Palsy League banner this weekend, having provided space on their V8 Supercar to provide valuable exposure for the charity. Seymour Whyte Constructions Managing Director and CEO Mr David McAdam, wanted to showcase the charity's 'Metal for Mobility' program to motorsport enthusiasts. "Seymour Whyte first joined forces with Cerebral Palsy League through 'Metal for Mobility', a program that proves mutually beneficial to businesses that require collection and disposal of scrap metal," said McAdam. "Metal for Mobility not only raises revenue for mobility impaired adults and children through equipment and early intervention programs, it also encourages industrial recycling, sustainability, and promotes a positive team culture on our project sites. With so much metal involved in motorsports, what better way to promote this worthy initiative and the incredible work the Cerebral Palsy League undertake in our communities." Keep your eye on the track and watch for the Cerebral Palsy League brand during the Dunlop V8 Supercar Development Series sessions on the Evans Motorsport Group/Ozstaff car driven by Daniel Gaunt. Cerebral Palsy League is a non- profit organisation that provides vital support to more than 5,000 children and adults with cerebral palsy and physical disabilities.

Rallying: Carlos Fessman took to the opening two stages on his first WRC Tarmac event yesterday in Rallye Deutschland. He completed both tests in his Ralliart Italy run Mitsubishi and reach the overnight halt second on the WRC 2 Production Cup leader board. The Venezuelan was pleased with his speed on Day One and felt he had a good rhythm, but understands that the rally is long and that this was only the beginning: “I had a good day. I tried to improve throughout, but it wasn’t easy, because I didn’t have the chance to do a pre-event test. I’m happy with my pace though. I know it’s a tough event with more challenges to come, but I’m delighted to be second in the Production Cup at the moment and very pleased to be representing Venezuela as their first driver ever to compete here in Germany!” The first two stages presented an interesting challenge, especially with SS2 being run in the dark, but Fessman took the opportunity to learn: “On SS1, one kilometre from the end main  I lost some time when I stopped to let another car pass and lost between 10 and 15 seconds. On SS2, just after the middle of the stage, I lost some time because I slid a little on some loose gravel, but luckily I managed to control the car. That said, this did make me slow down and focus on arriving back to service safely.” With Fessman’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X safely in the overnight parc fermé, Ralliart Italy Team Manager Bruno De Pianto reflects on a positive opening day: “Carlos did a great job today. He took on guys in the Production Cup with much more Tarmac experience and was right on the pace. We were very pleased with his times. He really did Venezuela proud! With 333 kilometres left to run there’s still a big challenge ahead, but I’m confident that Carlos is up to the task and as always we’ll do our very best to help him any way we can.”

Endurance Racing: Audi is facing a big challenge at round four of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Brazil on September 1. Having claimed four victories so far,  including the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro is unbeaten this year. The squad of Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich and Chris Reinke, Head of LMP, is aiming to continue this theme on the track at São Paulo. The 4.309-kilometre circuit in the south of Brazil’s biggest city poses a challenge to any race driver. In addition, the drivers have to get used to the direction of travel as the circuit is driven counter-clockwise, neck muscles in particular feel the strain. Whereas the conditions for the two Audi driver squads are equally challenging.  Loïc Duval (F), Tom Kristensen (DK) and Allan McNish (GB), following their Le Mans victory have a 30-point advantage. Their team-mates – the reigning World Endurance Champions Marcel Fässler (CH), André Lotterer (D) and Benoît Tréluyer (F) – are the runners-up, trailed by the drivers’ team of challenger and last year’s winner Toyota, with just one point less. Lucas di Grassi (BR), who a year ago celebrated his debut with Audi Sport at Interlagos and mounted the podium in third place on his debut at Le Mans, is supporting Audi in his home country of Brazil. As planned right from the beginning of the season, the race driver, who hails from São Paulo, is not part of the group of registered drivers at the overseas races but will be communicating his impressions of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro to media, VIP guests and spectators on location.  Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):  “On achieving the success at Le Mans, Audi celebrated its fourth sports car victory in the 2013 season. That’s a nice string of success but I’m sure that we’ll still be seeing a very thrilling battle with our competitor Toyota this year. Naturally, we’re aiming to win in Brazil this year too. We’ve prepared well for the second half of the season and are all very motivated to clinch strong results in the remaining rounds.” Allan McNish: “ I’m now looking forward to the race in Brazil. The picture that presents itself there might be different than in the first races that were held on fast, fluid tracks. At Interlagos, many very slow corners are awaiting us. Toyota will be a strong rival, so we need to clearly improve compared to last year. The engineers have improved our hybrid system, which particularly helps us in accelerating out of the last turn. A solid grasp of the situation when overtaking GT vehicles is important too.”

Aston Martin Racing is signing a technical partnership with bt Bremsen Technik GmbH, the racing and high performance brake pads specialist, in order to benefit from the premium Pagid RS range and technical support it can provide for Aston Martin Vantage GTE, GT3 and GT4 race cars. The partnership begins in time for the ‘flyaway’ rounds of the FIA WEC, the Six Hours of Sao Paulo on 1 September. Bremsen Technik GmbH (bt), a wholly owned subsidiary of brake friction specialist TMD Friction, will supply parts and support to each of the five Aston Martin Racing cars contesting the championship.“We’re looking forward to working with one of the world’s leading brake pad manufacturers”, comments Warren Jones, Technical Partner Manager at Aston Martin Racing.We have works and customers cars competing at the highest levels; from our Vantage GTE in the FIA World Endurance Championship to the Vantage GT3s and GT4s competing in major championships around the world. We therefore need to partner with manufacturers who expect the same premium standards that we do. This is why Pagid RS is the right fit for us.” “We are thrilled to develop and test our state-of-the-art brake components with Aston Martin Racing, who take our brake pads to the very competitive edge”, adds Olaf Schwaier, Managing Director of bt Bremsen Technik GmbH.

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Ginetta Jnrs: Ollie and Jamie Chadwick head north of the border to Knockhill for Rounds 13 and 14 of the 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship (24-25 August). The ultra-competitive Ginetta-run championship for aspiring young racers aged between 14 and 17 is a prominent fixture in Knockhill’s headlining Dunlop MSA BTCC weekend. Ollie has prior experience of the undulating 1.27-mile circuit – located approximately 20 miles from Edinburgh and is hopeful that the second half of the season will see a reversal in the bad luck that has dogged his 2013 campaign to date.The Tetbury-based racer has led six of the last 12 Ginetta Junior races – more than any other driver, except points leader Harry Woodhead – and has enjoyed five podium finishes. Commenting while making preparations, Ollie said: “I feel that I’ve been very competitive this year and really should have been challenging Harry (Woodhead) for the championship title. Unfortunately, a couple of errors on my part, car failures and some other drivers’ errors have cost me results. Mind you, I’ve had plenty of overtaking practice – I’ve performed more than 70 passes this year. I know I can be fast and I know I can win. I just need an incident-free race.” Meanwhile, this will be Jamie’s first visit to Knockhill. The 2013 Ginetta Scholarship winner, the youngest competitor at just 15 and the only female in the championship is now being mentored by Aston Martin British GT racer and local man, Jonny Adam, having previously been tutored by ex-touring car racer Chris Hodgetts. Jamie explained: “I’m looking forward to attacking Knockhill. We did a test on Wednesday and it’s a real ‘rollercoaster’ ride. I’ve had some frustrating races recently and my car has had a niggling performance issue. Fortunately, my JHR Developments team has found the cause, so I’m hopeful both the car and I will be on top form. Working with Jonny (Adam) has been great and has given me added confidence. Let’s just hope it all goes to plan at the weekend - it would be great to do well in front of a Scottish crowd.”  pic Jakob Ebrey Photography

GP3: Facu Regalia will be back in action this weekend at Spa when the GP3 Series get back underway after its summer break. The ART Grand Prix driver is having an extremely positive season so far, taking his debut win in the series at the Nürburgring after finishing on podium at Valencia and Silverstone.  His results to date mean he is lying second in the Championship just one pooijt behind the leader, Tio Ellinas from Cyprus.  At Spa-Francorchamps Regalia is looking to get back on podium and if possible, to take the lead. “This vacation time was really good to take a rest, because I had chances to spend time with family and friends. But now they´re over, I´m already focused on racing, and if I can, I will try to repeat or even improve my past result. I´ve been working recently both mentally and physically just to be ready for my next battle at Spa-Francorchamps, I want to arrive there at 120%. I like Spa-Francorchamps a lot, in fact I guess every driver loves it! Anyway it´s a very demanding and difficult track with technical bends and a small mistake may leave you with no options”, Regalia explained. After several weeks away from driving he is eager to get back behind the wheel. “I´m looking forward to driving my car once again. My team, ART Grand Prix, have always been competitive there, so our car should be quite good there. After struggling with tyre problems in Barcelona, we managed to counteract Ellinas´ lead, and now I´m second overall. My target is to finish on the podium to see Argentine colours there, and if it´s being first even better. There´re three rounds left, Spa plus Monza and Yas Marina. We´ve to do four good races in Belgium and Italy and in this way keeping alive our options for title in the UAE. We must avoid mistakes because we approach our decisive moment this season”.

Maserati Trofeo World Series: Javier Ibrán will be racing in the Maserati Trofeo World Series this weekend in the USA at Sonoma, (formerly Sears Point). This Maserati Trofeo World Series is part of the support race package to the  IndyCar Series. Ibrán, who has been  improving over the course of the season, has finished into top-ten several times despite this being his debut year.  “I´m so excited about racing in the United States, it´s going to be an incredible experience. For me, as previously with other tracks in the calendar, Sonoma is a completely new track but I know big crowds are expected for this event. Atmosphere will be great and people have incredible motorsport knowledge here. Last but not least to be on track with IndyCar Series is another strong point, I guess plenty of activity at Sonoma track”. His planning for this weekend is quite similar to previous events, “to learn this track as soon as possible. To make your debut at an unknown track is always a handicap, but I´ve watched on-board videos and it looks suitable for my driving style. I´m going to try my best and clinch good results for my sponsors even when it´s a difficult challenge”.

Historics: With only a month to go until the the Spa 6-Hours, now is the time to confirm entriesinto one of the five Masters Historic Racing grids taking part this year. As always it’s lining up to be a great 'must-do' meeting with a fantastic atmosphere.  There are a few final spaces left on offer in the  races as follows:   
•       FIA Masters Sports Cars - the 7th round of this FIA Championship offers a 60 minute feature race on Sunday morning. Only 5 spaces left!•       Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT– the 90-minute GT race, a fitting finale for the 6-Hour weekend.  
•       CanAm Interserie Challenge – open to the CanAm monsters and the ‘slicks and wings’ Sports Prototype cars from the 60s to the 80s. 
•       Top Hat All Series  – a one-hour race open to an eclectic mix of cars GT and Touring cars from the 60s and 70s. Last few spaces available for this one! 
•       FIA Masters Historic Formula One – a double-header of 25-minute races for 3-litre F1 cars.  Entries are in the mid-20s already, but there is always room for more at Spa!
There is a Thursday Test Day for all cars that can comply with 107dba noise regulations, but if your car is noisier there is the chance to test on the Wednesday via the circuits own test day. 

Rallycross: Wigan racer Tony Lynch has his sights set on the championship lead as the Monster Energy MSA British Rallycross Championship returns to Lydden Hill in Kent this weekend for the sixth round of the year. Tony goes into the Bank Holiday Monday meeting sitting in a share of third place in the BMW Mini class on the back of his fourth podium finish of the year last time out at Maasmechelen. That result in Belgium came after Tony and his Lucas Oil Team Geriatric team were forced to bounce back from a clash in the final heat of the weekend that left his car with damaged suspension – with the team winning a race against time to ensure he was able to take his place in the final. With the team able to carry out more extensive repairs back at base following its return from Belgium, Tony now makes the long trip south seeking to better the third place finish he secured at Lydden Hill during the opening round of the year back in March. That podium came despite Tony only confirming his entry into the BMW Mini class at the eleventh hour, and with more experience of the car now under his belt, he heads into the weekend optimistic about his chances. “Although we didn’t get the win we hoped for last time out in Belgium, we were able to close the gap to the championship leader and maintained a strong position in the standings,” he said. “Although we are equal third in the standings, we’re only eight points away from top spot, and it is imperative with three rounds to go that we pick up some big points – especially as we have dropped scores to take into account. Lydden Hill is one of my favourite circuits so it’s the ideal place for me to really push on this weekend and get the kind of result we need to put us firmly in the championship fight.  The pressure is on as we can’t afford a bad result in these final three rounds and I’m confident that we can come away from this weekend with some strong points on the board. I can’t wait to get started.”

The 2013 Le Mans 24 hours for Karts will be the first event on the new international track built by the ACO beside the Alain Prost circuit. The greatest endurance race in the world for karts takes palce next weekend, starting at 15:00hrs on 31 August.  The Group 1 KF karts are the favourites with their 2-stroke 125 cc engines without gearboxes putting out 34 bhp. The Sodi, Tony, Kosmic and Energy chassis and the Parilla and Vortex engines will battle for victory. The Group 2 regulations are identical for the chassis and Le Cont tyres the difference being that their engines must come from a makes’ cup. At Le Mans the Rotax Max power unit is a must. The biggest-selling kart engine in the world develops 30 bhp, and thanks to its reliability it has powered some of the karts which have finished in the top 3 in the last three runnings of the event. Nine chassis manufacturers are represented in this class. One team stands out in each of the two categories. Sarthe RTKF1 has won the first three 6-hour races of the season counting for the French Endurance Championship and the Euro Endurance Series. The local team has again put its trust in the Sodi chassis powered by the Parilla engine tuned by the Boulineau brothers. Its line-up consists of four drivers who won the 2012 24 Hours in its colours: Charles Fiault, Antoine Lepesqueux, Antoine Poulain and Sodikart works driver, Anthony Abbasse.  The Eure Technikart team is in a similar situation as it has also racked up three victories in Group 2 in 2013. It will enter the same Kosmic-Rotax and the same winning drivers in their category (second overall last year). To get onto the topmost step of the podium Maxime Lemonnier, Andrew Deberne, Jean Letard and Arnaud Kankelj will have to beat the KFs and win outright, a feat which no Rotax Max has achieved so far! Like Tom Kristensen, the 24 Hours for Karts have their own Mr Le Mans. Since June Wilfrid Lecarpentier has one victory less than his Danish counterpart. He will be gunning for his ninth win with the La Manche Kart mag Tony-Vortex squad. The team set up by Jacky Foulatier, the event’s promoter, won in 2006 and covered 2004 km, a record that stills stands! The British enthusiasm for the event hasn’t waned, with Martin Pierce and Sean Babington, Brands Hatch Screenvyn (Kosmic-Rotax) has two international kart stars in its line-up. London Kookelj and the Belgian contingent will also be out to leave their mark. Guillaume de Ridder, former Belgian champion, French runner-up and 3rd in the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours is back,  as is  Christophe Adams, king of the Rotax Master and DD2 in Belgium and in France will be one to watch. Provisional entry list - Provisional timetable
pics: Kartmag

Endurance Racing: Nissan's inaugural "gamer-to-racer" Lucas Ordóñez has been appointed as the official test and development driver of the Nissan ZEOD RC programme - the unique electric race car that will debut at next year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Launched at Le Mans in June this year, the Nissan ZEOD RC will make its race debut at next year's 24 Hours event. It will hit the track for the first time next month for testing with Spaniard Ordóñez entrusted with the development duties for the car. The 28-year-old won the inaugural Nissan PlayStation GT Academy competition in 2008 and has gone on to become one of the star Nismo Athletes with Le Mans 24 Hours podiums, a championship win in the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and a third place recently at the Spa 24 Hours.In addition "It's unbelievable. After working with Ben Bowlby and the guys developing the Nissan DeltaWing for Petit Le Mans, it's really amazing to have this great news," Ordóñez said."To work again with this group and to be part of this project for Le Mans is amazing. To actually start from the beginning of the project is just a dream for me. I'm really looking forward to working with the team to develop all the new technology in the ZEOD RC and to develop the car on track. It's a unique experience. I really like to learn from engineers, learn from teams and learn about new products like this because we get to do so much testing. That's what I need as a racing driver right now. I've been proud of my pace competing against all of the other drivers but now it's time to go one step higher in my career in developing the ZEOD RC." The first chassis for the Nissan ZEOD RC was recently completed and final construction of the unique car is currently underway. When it runs for the first time next month, the ZEOD RC will be in full electric-only mode. Nissan is testing a number of electric drive-train solutions during the development of the car before locking in the package for next year's Le Mans endurance classic. "I was very impressed when I worked with Lucas last year at Petit Le Mans and I'm looking forward to working with him again," said Ben Bowlby, Nissan's Director of Motorsport Innovation.Maybe it is the fact he was a university student before he entered the GT Academy programme but he had an enormous hunger for information and data and wanted to know more and more about the car. On track he was incredibly smooth and consistent and it really is hard to believe he has only been racing professionally - in fact - racing anything at all - for only five years."

Rallying: Ralliart Italy welcome back Carlos Fessman for his third consecutive event of the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). The Venezuelan will once again take to the stages in a DMACK-shod Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X prepared by the Milan-based team. However, this time he will tackle the German Tarmac on his first ever asphalt event in the WRC. The ex-professional basketball player will be flanked by a new Portuguese co-driver Hugo Maglhaes. With three Production car World Rally Championship titles under their belt, Ralliart Italy is well-prepared to use their experience to make Fessman's latest challenge run as smoothly as possible. After a premature end to his event in Finland, Fessman is determined to complete every stage of ADAC Rallye Deutschland, which begins today with the Ceremonial Start in Cologne followed by SS1 and SS2: "I felt immediately comfortable on the Tarmac. In Venezuela we mainly compete on gravel, but we did a good recce and I was pleased with my Shakedown times - I was on the pace of other Group N cars I use as a benchmark. For my first ever stage on asphalt, this was really encouraging! I'm quite confident that I can get a good speed during the rally in some places. Of course, the critical test for any driver at Rallye Deutschland is Panzerplatte, so I really hope to see that stage and see how I perform! It's my first time in Germany and it's a really beautiful country, so I can't wait for the rally. My grandfather was German, so it's quite special to be here - and fantastic to be competing again in the WRC!"  Ralliart Italy Team Manager Bruno De Pianto was pleased with Fessman's performance on Shakedown and is looking forward to the event: "We didn't know what to expect when we arrived, because this will be Carlos' first competitive outing on asphalt, but he seems to have a good feeling in his Mitsubishi. He was happy after recce and immediately surpassed his target pace on Shakedown. Of course, the rally is long and Germany's a fast and tricky event, but Carlos has a sensible strategy and wants to get as much experience as possible ahead of the other Tarmac events later in the season in France and Spain!"

Auction in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, which includes a number of Motorsport items. Macmillan do so much for Cancer patients and their relatives, so please check it out!

21-08-13

Masters Historic Racing is expanding into America by acquiring the operations of Historic Grand Prix Inc, America’s historic Formula One organiser. The new American organisation will continue to organise events at America’s iconic circuits as well as canvassing organisers and HGP members to get their feedback. The organisation will be provisionally run from the Masters existing UK office, with a satellite office in the USA, organising the events under the Masters Historic Racing umbrella. Going forward the American series will be called Masters HGP. The move confirms Masters Historic Racing as the leading, and largest, promoter of historic Formula One racing worldwide. After its own successful series of races, run over many seasons, Masters was appointed to run the FIA Historic Formula One Championship in 2013. The acquisition of HGP operations allows Masters to run events in America as standalone races or as rounds of the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship in future seasons. Ron Maydon of Masters said: “I am delighted to be able to announce this news which underlines Masters’ commitment to historic Formula One racing around the World. Historic Grand Prix Inc is the only series concentrating on historic F1 in America, and we want to build on that hard work and enhance the image of historic F1 further. With one set of regulations in operation across both continents, we are hoping that it will promote more European drivers to race in America and vice versa. I’d like to pay tribute to James King, Phil Reilly and Rebecca Evans for all their hard work in the past and their confidence in Masters to allow us to take HGP forward into the future and look forward to personally meeting the drivers and car owners at future events.” HGP Director, James King, said: “Having shared values and standards with Masters for many years, Rebecca, Phil and I are very pleased to pass the torch to Ron and his proven, enthusiastic Masters Team. The HGP car owners, drivers and teams, as well as Formula One fans and the entire historic motor sport community, will benefit from this exciting development”

IZOD IndyCar.Series: It may be against the nature of Frenchmen Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier to spend the better portion of a week in Sonoma Raceway's wine country and not visit a winery, but the Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports (SHM) and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) teammates have a much larger task at hand in conquering the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. Pagenaud is coming off of a second-place finish in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. He currently sits fifth in the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship, 27 points back from fourth position and 103 points behind championship leader Helio Castroneves. "I always want to win and I go into every race weekend with the mindset that winning is a possibility with the No. 77 HP car and team," Pagenaud said. "We came very close in Mid-Ohio, and we need to maximize points this weekend in Sonoma because time is running out." The 2.385-mile permanent road course in Sonoma is famous for its elevation changes and roller coaster feel, which Pagenaud will attempt to navigate with ease.  "The elevation changes are very different than any other race track I've ever been on," Pagenaud said. "There is no margin for error, and the tarmac has a different grip level than what we usually have. It's also not forgiving because there is only one racing line. It's so easy to make mistakes and go off course, and I can't afford any this weekend."  Rookie Tristan Vautier, driving the No. 55 Angie's List Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone car, drove at Sonoma Raceway in 2011 for Pro Mazda competition. He also tested at the track with SPM earlier this season. "I love these types of road courses with fast, smooth corners and big braking zones where you really get to feel the full potential of the IndyCar you're driving," Vautier said. "Finding success this weekend will depend on adapting the car at this track to my driving style as much as we can."

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) will head west this weekend for the Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma. The young team is eager to deliver results with a two-car team for the first time in 2013. Full-time driver Josef Newgarden will be joined by five-time American Le Mans Series (ALMS) champion Lucas Luhr, and together SFHR hopes for success.
"It's a huge opportunity to have Lucas (Luhr) in the car," Newgarden said. "I think it will be great for the team in general. He is quick, knowledgeable, experienced and he is going to be an incredible asset to the team. It will be a big help for myself to try and help push forward. I'm really looking forward to working with him. Luhr believes he will also benefit from Newgarden's behind-the-wheel experience in an IndyCar. "It is for sure a help to have a guy around you that's done this the whole year," Luhr said. "Someone who knows the team and knows how the race weekend itself will play out. It's a totally different format than sports car racing and everything for me is an unknown until I get there. For the team I think it's good to have four eyes compared to two. I think two drivers feel more than one can, and that's a general benefit for the entire team -- two drivers giving their comments, sharing information, and collecting different kinds of data." Newgarden and Luhr got a glipse of the 2.385-mile road course last week in an unofficial test. "Driving in an IndyCar for the first time was nothing totally unexpected," Luhr said. "I didn't have too much seat time, but for the amount of driving I did I feel quite comfortable already. I don't know every reaction the car is going to make, but that just comes with more laps. Overall I'd have to say I'm very positive from my first impression." The 34-year-old German will drive the No. 97 SFHR/
RW Motorsports Honda-powered entry, is looking forward to gaining more knowledge from Wednesday’s test at Sonoma Raceway."After Wednesday's test it's going to be a lot better and a lot more comfortable for me," Luhr said. "[Last week] I avoided traffic because it was my very first time in the car." Both Newgarden and Luhr believe the 85-lap race will be physically demanding. "It will be physically tough in Turns 3A, 3B and 6," Luhr said. "That's where you really feel the downforce on the car and where the steering gets heavy. It takes a little time to get used to, but I'm used to the downforce level and the braking performance from LMP1 in ALMS, so it isn't anything shocking. The track is slippery and it's a tough one to master," Newgarden added. "It's very technically challenging. It's a great venue though, which makes it a fun weekend and a tough weekend at the same time."

F2000: With Tim Minor the 2013 F2000 Champion, the Masters Class veteran would like nothing more than to sweep his home track as F2000 heads to Summit Point to end the 2013 season with rounds 13 and 14. The West Virginia location is the site of Minor’s first overall victory in 2009 before he ran away to the 2013 Championship. Elsewhere, the fight is on for second in the points between Kyle Connery and David Grant – who continues to look for his first F2000 Championship Series win.  Minor remains the hands down favorite for wins at his home track, as the veteran has been fast all year in the No. 88 Citation, won more races than anyone else, more poles, and has already clinched the title. He is also the only driver in the field with a past pro win at the track and has a home-field advantage after a season of setting lap records at most of the track’s visited on the calendar. Enter the younger generation, many of whom could play spoilers as video games and fast reflexes let the likes of Santino Ferrucci, Roberto Lorena, Kyle Connery and more learn race tracks in mere minutes. Connery led laps at the track in 2012, although that was in a downpour. While Connery has won races this year, both Lorena and Ferrucci have been quick and their HP-Tech team took a win at Summit Point on the way to the Championship in 2012. The teammates from Ft. Lauderdale-based HP-Tech are still searching for their first wins in their rookie year in the category. While Lorena sits fourth in points, and could catch Grant with a bit of help, he needs to protect his position from Steve Bamford, who rounds out the top five on a string of strong finishes in the No. 71 Van Diemen. Bamford will again get the added benefit of more laps than anyone, as he contests both F1600 and F2000 sessions at the 10-turn two-mile road course. Tied for sixth in points are WISKO teammates Federico Mosconi and Kevin Kopp. Kopp finished on the podium at his home track in 2012. Ferrucci is eighth in points, a result of missing the opening six races, but being ultra-fast since joining the Series at Watkins Glen. One of the more unique weekends on the 2013 schedule, F2000 will share Summit Point with the ultra-competitive F1600 Series, and a group of professional motorcycle road racers.

F1600: With 10 races down, and two to go, the F1600 Formula F Championship Series will decide its 2013 Champion this weekend during the season finale at Summit Point. Jake Eidson holds a commanding Championship lead in his No. 10 Spectrum/Honda for Cape Motorsports, the defending Series Champions, but has not quite clinched the title despite a record-breaking six wins and counting. Rival Adrian Starrantino, driving for Bryan Herta Autosport, is still within reach.  A quick look on top of the season point standings shows Eidson with an 83 point lead, and with 110 points up for grabs over two races at Summit Point, he is control of his own density. Per Series regulations, once the two lowest point scores are dropped, Starrantino closes to 54 points within Eidson, making things a bit more interesting. Aaron Telitz, third in points for WISKO Racing, in the No. 13 Mygale/Honda, is exactly 108 points back from Eidson, and would need more than luck to take over the points lead. Similar to 2012, the Championship comes down to Cape Motorsports versus Bryan Herta Autosport, and Spectrum versus Mygale, with both cars featuring Honda power. Fast and daring, Paul Alspach, Steve Bamford, Jim Goughary and Ayla Agren are all still looking for their first wins of 2013, after running competitively at Mid-Ohio just two weeks ago. While Bamford nearly won at Road Atlanta in May, Alpsach has been inching forward with each session for WISKO Racing, running very well in the rain at Lime Rock. Agren has had a pole and podiums, and continues to search for her first Series victory. Meanwhile, Goughary won at VIR in 2011 and looks to return to victory lane in his Van Diemen/Honda.Of course, the Championship fight continues down the list, as Bamford continues to fend off Alspach, Agren, Goughary and Art Foster for fourth place. The top five pay out at the Series awards banquet. Lew Cooper may factor in as well, as his Polestar Van Diemen/Ford was in contention for the win during both races at Mid-Ohio with F2000 and Atlantic stand-out David Grant behind the wheel. One of the more unique weekends on the 2013 schedule, F1600 will share Summit Point with theF2000 Series, and a group of professional motorcycle road racers. The name of the game at Summit Point may be survival based on the amount of track time on tap. Friday, August 23, is literally non-stop, with four F1600 practice sessions and qualifying sessions for races 1 and 2 at 10:30 and 4:05 local time. Saturday and Sunday both feature a 7:30 warm-up and 11:00 race, followed by a banquet on Sunday night to conclude the 2013 F1600 Championship Series campaign.

Saloons: The CNC Heads Sportsand Saloons were in action at Oulton Park on Saturday and although the skies threatened the weather held fine. This allowed Simon Allaway to unleash his V8 powered Esprit to its full potential and take another win over former Champion Robert Spencer by just over six seconds.  Read report

Formula 3: ADD Motorsports driver Mitchell Gilbert put on a season’s best performance to finally secure his first points in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The 18-year-old was delighted with his form at Nürburgring that saw an eighth place finish and his most complete weekend this year.  The Twickenham racer believes he has now turned the corner after a difficult start since stepping up levels.  And he has vowed there’s a lot more to come from him during the remainder of the season. read report

20-08-13

NASCAR: AJ Allmendinger finished a three-race road-course sweep for the Penske Ford Nationwide team on Saturday by dominating the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 on the way to a 1.16-second victory. Allmendinger also won for Penske earlier in the year at Road America in Elkhart Lake, and defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski won in Penske’s No. 22 Nationwide car at Watkins Glen. And there was other big Ford news on the Nationwide side of things as Sam Hornish Jr. finished third in the race and regained the series point lead. Marcos Ambrose finished seventh in the No. 9 Ford, and Trevor Bayne was ninth in the No. 6 Mustang. For Allmendinger, the win meant he was race 2 and won 2,  “I can’t say enough about this team and this car,” said Allmendinger, who led 73 of the 94 laps, including the final 31. His Mustang had enough power to easily hold off second-place Michael McDowell through a green-white-chequered finish as the race was extended four laps by a late-race caution. “The last 20 laps the car was so good I was just saving fuel,” he said. “With two to go, I would have expected McDowell to move me out of the way, so I knew I needed a gap on the restart. I got through the first couple of corners and was good.” Allmendinger had a two-second lead over McDowell in the closing laps of the race and was an instant away from sealing the win in regulation when the day’s final caution sent the race into overtime. But the additional laps and the final restart were no challenges for Allmendinger. Jeremy Bullins has been the crew chief for all three Penske Racing wins on road courses this year. “It’s a testament to this company, to Roush Yates [Engines] power, to our fuel mileage and to this guy (Allmendinger) sitting right here,” Bullins said. McDowell said Allmendinger was clearly at the head of the class all day. “He really had the car to beat us today,” he said. “At times, we thought we could have a shot at him. I definitely didn’t want to start on the outside for that last restart. I didn’t really have a chance at him.” Hornish ran near the front all day and raced through some tight traffic on the closing laps to nail down third. He now leads second-place Elliott Sadler by 13 points at the top of the standings.

BTCC: Andrew Jordan says that the Pirtek Racing team faces a tough challenge when the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship heads north of the border to Knockhill (24/25 August) for the annual race weekend at the spectacular Scottish track. The visit to the three-dimensional Knockhill track near Dunfermline makes up rounds 19, 20 and 21 as the championship enters the final third and a typically all-action run in to the 2013 title. However, life is going to be even tougher than usual for Andrew as he will have to take a six-place grid penalty after qualifying: the result of receiving three reprimands over on-track issues this season. Added to the penalty weight his Honda Civic will carry in Scotland, it could mean a long, tough day on Sunday at a track where overtaking is notoriously difficult. After a fabulous 2013 season to date for Pirtek Racing, Andrew is firmly in the battle for the overall title, holding second place just nine points behind leader Matt Neal. Former champions Gordon Shedden, Colin Turkington and Jason Plato are next up, so Andrew is right in among the biggest names in the BTCC. Andrew’s team mate Jeff Smith holds ninth overall in the driver standings, while Pirtek Racing holds third in the HiQ Teams Championship and has a very healthy 39-point overall lead in the Independents Team Trophy. Meanwhile, Andrew leads the Independents Trophy by 34 points with Jeff holding joint fourth in the Pirtek Racing Honda Civics. “We need to qualify as high as possible as I really want to start in the top 10 for the first race,” said Andrew. “However, the weight will hurt us in qualifying. We clearly need to make progress from where we start, given the grid penalty. The racing at Knockhill is always close and if we could get three top six finishes, that would be a great result. I need to get some good points, but stay out of trouble as well. Plus, the weather is often another factor at Knockhill.”  pic Dennis Goodwin

The MG KX Momentum team drivers Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff say that this weekend’s rounds of the 2013 Dunlop MSA BTCC at Knockhill in Scotland are the perfect place to kick-start their push for wins. Both Plato and Tordoff are fighting in the top six of the championship and the track in Fife will give them a good platform to hunt for more glory on the three rounds that take place on Sunday. Plato has already won four times this season while Tordoff took his breakthrough first victory last time out at Snetterton. Plato thinks that the 1.2-mile layout on the Scottish hillside is one that will play to his strengths. “Knockhill is a great circuit because it is undulating and it flows really nicely,” says the former champion. “There are crests and lots of blind corners. That means you have to attack the circuit while trying to be as precise as possible to be on the right lines. At some of the turns, if you are slightly off-line at the entry, then it is magnified all the way through and you are in real trouble on the exit. That makes it a compromise because you have to be committed and attack, but you also have to think about leaving a little margin for error. That makes it perfect for me. Those elements, plus the fact that the fans can get so close to the action, makes for a really good atmosphere.” For Tordoff, it will be a return to action since his first win folk and the Yorkshireman says that he is not prepared to rest on his laurels. “It was an amazing feeling, but once you have had one victory, you want more,” he says. “I am aiming for three really strong races. I have learned in my opening few weekends in the BTCC that it is important to score highly in all races over the weekend. I have had some bad luck recently that has meant I have had at least one race where I have struggled. I need to put that behind me and work on my consistency, so that is the aim this weekend.” The compact nature of the circuit at Knockhill means that surviving all three rounds will be the first priority. MG KX Momentum team principal Ian Harrison said that reaching the flag was the most important thing. “It is a circuit that can be a bit of a lottery – and that’s not just because of the Scottish weather,” explains Harrison. “It is so tight that the field tends to stay closely grouped together and that can lead to contact. Keeping out of trouble is the first job, and then you can think about attacking the race. It is always hard to know what to expect at Knockhill, but we will go there with our usual attitude of aiming for big points from all three races from both of our drivers.”   pic Dennis Goodwin

Formula Ford: Impressive Formula Ford racer Thomas Randle will be looking to emulate past success when he heads to Winton for the next round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship this weekend. On his first visit to the rural Victorian circuit earlier this year Randle took a race win, a feat made all the more impressive considering it was his first ever meeting in a racing car. Now with six meetings under his belt and a podium in the last Australian Championship round at Queensland Raceway the teenager will be aiming for another victory around the twisty Winton track. "My first meeting at Winton was great. To get a race win in our first meeting was probably a bit of a shock but we've been pretty competitive all year and that has continued as we moved into the national series," Randle said. "My first two national rounds were at tracks I'd never seen before so I'm really excited to get back to Winton and see what we can do at a track I've done a fair few laps around. "The Evans Motorsport Group team have been really great to work with and if all goes to plan our Volvparts Mygale should be right on the pace this weekend." And after missing the Championship's opening round Randle admits that he'll be going all out for the win rather than looking for points this weekend. "I suppose the advantage is that I don't have to worry too much about Championship points and can push a bit more than some of the other guys. "After skipping the opening round of the Championship we aren't really in the chase for the title but instead we'll be trying our best to grab a few race wins before the end of the year. With Winton being our test track there's no better place than here to try and grab our first national series victory," he said.

V8 Supercars: Daniel Gaunt will take over the Evans Motorsport Group ex-FPR Falcon for the remainder of the 2013 Dunlop V8 Supercar Series, stepping into the Ozstaff-supported car for the first time at Winton this weekend. Funding issues have forced talented rookie Kristian Lindbom to the sidelines for this round. "We were very happy with the job that Kristian did for us but as much as he's been working really hard to get the money together to complete the season the commercial reality is that it's very hard to secure funding at this time," said team boss Josh Evans. "The main game teams are finding it difficult so a Dunlop Series rookie is always going to be behind the eight ball. "Kristian's an important part of our team, he'll be working with us this weekend and we'll work hard with him to try and get him back in a car for Bathurst and Homebush. Gaunt, who spent time in the V8 Supercar Championship with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, competed in the opening rounds of this year's Dunlop Series with Eggleston Motorsport. Gaunt and Evans have worked together previously - Gaunt winning the 2003 Australian Drivers Championship with Evans as his mechanic. "Luckily we've been able to slot Daniel in for the rest of the season," said Evans. "It's nice that he's seen the potential that we have here and that we've been able to come to an agreement with him in a pretty short timeframe.He's got a fair bit of experience and he's a very talented driver so we'll be hoping that he's on the pace straight away this weekend."

GP2 racer Jolyon Palmer aims to continue his winning form at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend (23-25 August), after scoring his first victory of the F1-supporting series’ 2013 season at Hungary last time out. The 22-year-old Carlin driver leapt to eighth place in the standings following a strong weekend in Budapest. Victory in the Feature Race meant that he headed into the series summer break high on confidence. Jolyon will be aiming to better his grid position of fifth at last year’s qualifying session on the Belgian track. However he is aware that weather always plays a vital role at the Ardennes forest-based circuit. “I’m looking forward to getting back in action at Spa after the summer break,” Jolyon said. “I’m very confident on all four remaining tracks and after winning at Hungary last time I’m very eager to add another at Spa. We will have to see how the weather plays out as usual there and strategy will be important and very open again, but we should definitely be in the mix whatever happens.”  Full coverage of rounds 15 and 16 of the 2013 GP2 season at Spa-Francorchamps will be available on Jolyon's official website www.jolyonpalmer.com, while TV coverage of all sessions will be available on Sky F1's HD Channel.

Radicals: It was a double celebration for the Brentwood based Mectech squad on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, after Lewis Plato secured a winning double in Saturday’s Radical Clubmans Cup, which was followed up by another double for Bradley Smith in the SR3 Challenge.  Read report

As well as celebrating yet another double victory in the Radical SR3 Challenge at  Silverstone, Bradley Smith had a double reason to celebrate. Having only started car racing in 2011 after distinguished karting career, the Billericay driver won the Radical Clubmans Cup in 2012. Having graduated to the  SR3 Challenge for 2013 he has so far only suffered one defeat and currently heads the SR3 Challenge points table with four rounds remaining. It was this success that brought Bradley to the attention of the Silverstone based British Racing Drivers Club, which have now included him in their Rising Star Scheme for young drivers under the age of 24.

Tom Jordan and Alex Kapadia came within two laps of their first Radical SR3 Challenge win at Silverstone over the weekend . Unfortunately an opportunistic lunge from a rival tipped Tom into a spin dropping them out of contention. Said rival was later penalised, moving Tom and Alex onto the podium in a disappointing third.  Read report

Grand-Am: Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas continued to fight for a fourth consecutive GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype driver’s championship by posting a runner up finish at Saturday’s inaugural Rolex Sports Car Series race at the Kansas Speedway. With three top-five finishes in the last three races the CGRFS duo has moved to sixth in the standings. With only five points separating the top-six positions in the championship Pruett and Rojas join Starworks Motorsports co-drivers Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow as the top BMW powered drivers in the title battle.  Coming to Kansas, Starworks Motorsport had won the two previous races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Road America, but had a disappointing evening in the Sunflower State.  Brickyard Grand Prix winners Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow finished 11th in the No. 2 BMW Riley and dropped to third in driver points. Teammates Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer, winners at Road America, finished sixth in the No. 8 machine. Team Sahlen equaled their performance in Detroit by posting a double top-10 finish with the No. 42 BMW Riley (seventh) and the No. 43 BMW Riley (tenth). With two races remaining in the season, BMW stands second in Manufacturer points and CGRFS continues to hold the lead in the Team championship. In the GT class, Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana finished seventh in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport M3. Billy Johnson and Michael Marsal finished eighth in the No. 93 machine, dropping from sure third place finish on the last lap to change a leaking tire. Standing fifth, Dalla Lana is the top BMW driver in GT points.

Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge: A second-place finish in Street Tuner and six additional top-10 finishes across both classes highlighted BMW’s story in the inaugural GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Kansas Speedway. In the Grand Sport class Fall-Line Motorsports continued its season of consistent finishes, with the No. 46 BMW M3 taking the chequered flag in fourth and the No. 48 M3 finishing seventh. The No. 46 has two wins to its credit this season at Watkins Glen International and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The No. 96 Turner Motorsport M3, a winner this year at the Circuit of the Americas, finished fifth. In the Street Tuner class, the No. 23 Burton Racing BMW 128i finished second to (unofficially) keep BMW at the top of the ST Manufacturer standings and move co-drivers Terry Borcheller and Mike LaMarra back into the lead in Driver points. BimmerWorld Racing and RACE EPIC/Murillo Racing turned in three top-10 finishes with the No. 81BMW 328i in fifth, the No. 82 328i sixth and the No. 56 328i eighth respectively.

Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup: Although Kelvin van der Linde’s winning run finally came to an end, the South African national anthem was still to be heard around the Nürburgring after race two of the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup. van der Linde’s compatriot Jordan Lee Pepper claimed his first win of the season in a thrilling second race on Sunday. The overall standings in the only natural gas-powered one-make cup in the world currently resembles something of a South African championship: van der Linde now leads with 228 points, ahead of his compatriot Pepper (168). Starting race two from pole position, Pepper led from start to finish to complete a stylish victory. As stipulated in the regulations, the top eight from Saturday’s opening race started the second race of the weekend in reverse order. Pepper spent almost the entire 14-lap race successfully fending off the attention of Germany’s Manuel Fahnauer under the grey Eifel skies. Fahnauer’s second place sees him climb to third in the overall standings. Just as it did yesterday, third place went to Kasper H. Jensen from Denmark. The duel at the head of the field was not the only thrilling entertainment for the spectators in the grandstands: the entire field produced excellent race action and numerous overtaking manoeuvres. Kelvin van der Linde, who had won the last four races on the trot, had worked his way forward from eighth on the grid to fourth in the race, but then made a rare mistake. The 17-year-old winner of race one at the Nürburgring ultimately had to settle for seventh place. He was followed over the line by the two flying ladies, Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (Sweden) and Michelle Gatting (Denmark) in eighth and ninth. Gatting’s display was particularly impressive. She fought her way from the very back of the grid to finish in the top ten. Visiting the circuit for race two was Germany’s Lukas Schreier, who was involved in a dramatic crash in the opening race. He was released from hospital on Sunday morning with light concussion and bruising.

19-08-13

Clio Cup: It has been a busy few weeks for Upwell racing driver Jake Giddings as he continues to race around Europe in different racing series. The nineteen year old was in action at Snetterton in the Renault Clio cup UK and also the Ginetta GT5 challenge at Brands Hatch and Spa. The Renault campaign could have been better with a blown engine on the first fast lap of the 30 minute qualifying session led to Giddings not posting a time and ending up last on the grid for both of the weekends races, and causing a race against time for the Finesse Motor sport team to replace his engine in time for the first race. Jake battled bravely up the 24 car field to post results of 14th and 15th in the highly competitive championship, results that were hard to take after being one of the fastest drivers on the official test day. After a trip to Spa Francorchamps in Belgium and taking a second place finish in the Ginetta GT5 challenge Jake used his rear wheel drive experience to good affect taking another two second places at Brands Hatch on the grand prix circuit driving west midlands based team Total Control Racings Ginetta G40, turning some heads with his driving style and missing out on the top step of the podium by nine hundreths of a second.Jake’s schedule now takes him to Rockingham in the Clio Cup in September for its penultimate meeting of the season

Formula BMW Talent Cup:  With the final test races completed and all the theory modules passed, the drivers in the 2013 Formula BMW Talent Cup are ready for the highlight of their season, the “Grand Final”. Part of the DTM weekend in Oschersleben (DE) from 13-15 September, the Motorsport Arena will host three races, with BMW financing the overall winner for a season in a higher-level single-seater racing series in 2014. A final four-day course at the Hungaroring allowed BMW’s international team of instructors to put the finishing touches to the twelve participants. The course focussed on revising all the content, which had been covered since the start of the programme earlier in the year. Technical know-how, knowledge of the rules and race strategies were run through one last time, the mental and fitness training was spruced up, and the drivers brushed up on the final modules of the media coaching, which formed an integral part of their training. Two test races at the 4.381-kilometre Hungaroring saw Kaan Önder (TK) and Nico Menzel (DE) emerge  triumphant. Dirk Adorf, BMW works driver and head instructor: “We have a thrilling finale in store. The final event showed once again just how evenly balanced the field is. Over the course of the year, all the participants have made remarkable progress in their personal development – both on and off the track. That once again shows how effective the comprehensive training concept of the Formula BMW Talent Cup is. I am already looking forward to an exciting finale in Oschersleben, and wish all the drivers every success.”  
Result of test race 1: 1. Kaan Önder (TR), 2. Nico Menzel (DE), 3. Jules Szymkowiak (NL), 4. David Droux (CH), 5. Michael Waldherr (DE), 6. James Allen (AU), 7. Florian Stüger (DE), 8. Bar Baruch (IL), 9. Michael Wolf (SA), 10. Vivianne Mainusch (DE). 
Result of test race 2: 1. Nico Menzel (DE), 2. Jules Szymkowiak (NL), 3. Bar Baruch (IL), 4. Kaan Önder (TR), 5. James Allen (AU), 6. Florian Stüger (DE), 7. Vivianne Mainusch (DE). Michael Wolf (SA), Michael Waldherr (DE), David Droux (CH).
more information at www.formula-bmw.com.

GT Cup Championship: Following a successful collaboration working with Mission Motorsport at Silverstone, competing in the GT Cup Championship (17-18 August), Chevron Cars is now ready to head to Laverstoke Park Farm on invitation to CarFest South. pic D J Binsted Read more

Auto GP: Roberto La Rocca made an immediate impact and was racing right at the front on his debut in the 2013 Auto GP World Series at the Nurburgring in Germany last weekend (August 16-18). The Venezuelan pilot, who had been racing in Formula 3, got the chance to make the step up to Auto GP after impressing in a recent test and despite his lack of experience he was a very promising eighth in practice in his Comtec By Virtuosi-run car. He then set the twelfth quickest time in qualifying, only a couple of tenths off a place inside the-top ten, before proceeding to run strongly in the two races.  Read more

Leading AUTO GP team Manor MP Motorsport made a richly deserved return to the podium at the Nurburgring in Germany on Sunday, 18th August, thanks to a remarkable drive to third place, from the back of the grid, by Dutch racer Daniël De Jong. Although the Westmaas-based squad’s AUTO GP campaign this season has been beset with some misfortune, 21-year-old De Jong showed the pace and performance which has always been there and added more silverware to the second place finish he achieved in Morocco back in April.  Pic Auto GP   read report

Radicals: The more obstacles thrown in the way of Bradley Smith’s dominance, the stronger he seems to get. The Billericay driver had a poor qualifying session at Silverstone by his own high standards, but still managed to secure  yet another double win over the weekend, as his march to the Radical SR3 Challenge continues. Read report

Raw Motorsports new boys Matt Allison and Philip Broad both joined Jeremy Ferguson on the podium after the first of the Radical SR3 Challenge races on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit over the weekend, following on from Steve Burgess’s third place in the Radical Clubmans on Saturday.  Read report

Sutton Coldfield’s Andy Cummings and co driver Bradley Ellis were on the pace again as the Radical SR3 Challenge moved on to the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. They just missed out on a podium finish in the first race, but car maladies left them struggling in race two after Bradley had led the first half.  Read report

The plan was to try a new tactic as the Radical SR3 Challenge arrived on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, Belfast teenager Paddy McClughan was going to run solo in the first race and then Northampton’s Max Robinson would take over for the second race.In the first wet qualifying session Paddy secured eighth place, but more importantly was over five seconds off pole position. Despite being his home circuit Max had little experience of it, particularly in the rain. “I did two laps only in testing so was fairly pleased with my time and I am sure there is more to come as I get more confidence,” said Max.  read report

Formula 4: Charlie Robertson raced to the seventh podium finish of his debut season in single-seaters during round 16 of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 17th/18th August, hot on the heels of being named a British Racing Drivers’ Club ‘Rising Star’. Invited onto the club’s prestigious young driver programme – which sets out to identify the cream of UK motor racing talent – following an interview on Friday evening at its Silverstone base, Whyteleafe driver Charlie went on to deliver three consistently strong race performances across the weekend.pic Jakob Ebrey Photography    read report

Championship front-runner Seb Morris retained second position in the BRDC Formula 4 standings at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 17th/18th August, after racing to his seventh podium of the year in round 18 of the season. As the title battle reaches a crucial stage, with only six races now remaining in the 2013 campaign, the 17-year-old Ginetta Ambassador was happy to round-out the sixth event of the season back on the rostrum. He was, though, somewhat frustrated after believing he had the chance to take his maiden F4 race victory in Sunday afternoon’s encounter. pic Jakob Ebrey Photography    read report

Chipping Norton’s SWR celebrated a jubilant homecoming to Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 17th/18th August, by claiming a podium finish in each of the event’s three BRDC Formula 4 Championship races – including a second victory in as many race meetings for Matty Graham. Graham’s peerless lights-to-flag win from pole position in round 16 on Saturday, added to second place in Sunday’s 18th round, enabled the County Durham teenager to rocket from seventh in the driver standings into the top four. His podium tally for the year now stands at five, four of which having been secured over the course of the last five races.  pic Jakob Ebrey Photography  read report

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship makes its annual visit to Knockhill, Fife, this coming weekend (24/25 August), with tens of thousands of fans set to support local hero and reigning champion Gordon Shedden. A pivotal point in the BTCC season, Knockhill is set to host one of the largest sporting events in the country over the bank holiday weekend. A huge partisan crowd is expected at the tight and twisty circuit, with many more traveling from far and wide to see the biggest motor racing championship in the UK first hand. pic Dennis Goodwin  Read more

BRDC Rising Star: David Pittard has received a significant boost to his racing career having been named a British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) 'Rising Star'.  Adding to his already impressive racing career so far, the current Britcar MSA British Endurance Class 4 Champion is delighted to be part of such an illustrious club, and honoured to be awarded Rising Star status. "It is a great honour to have been selected for BRDC Rising Star status," commented David. "The Club has such a great heritage, and when you look through the list of members you realise just how lucky you are to be a part of it." "The BRDC do so much for Silverstone and British Motorsport. The support I will gain from being a part of the Rising Stars programme will be a fantastic boost to my career going forward. I am going to grasp this opportunity with both hands and not let go!" The BRDC Rising Star Scheme is an invitation only programme open to racing drivers aged 24 and under. Scouted from trackside, BRDC Rising Stars has a proven track record of selecting only the best individuals - including that of non other than the 2008 Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton.  David's final race of the 2013 season at Donington Park will see him displaying the prestigious BRDC Rising Star roundel upon his Ginetta G40.

Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli:  After a mid-season break the chase for the 2013 Porsche Club Championship crown is back on at Castle Combe this coming Bank Holiday Monday, August 26th, with John McCullagh and Tom Bradshaw heading the title chase. Each has dominated their class this season, with Class Two points leader McCullagh holding a slender ten point advantage in the overall standings over Class One pace-setter Bradshaw, and the pressure is on both drivers to continue their run of success at Combe.Bradshaw has taken six out of eight overall race wins to date this season in his rapid Hartech Boxster S, but goes into Combe with a small increase to his minimum weight reflecting the pace of the car in recent races. Last driver to beat Bradshaw was Paragon’s Mark Sumpter after an inspired tyre change in a wet Silverstone race saw him drive through the field in two laps. Winner of both races at a damp Combe last season, Sumpter and team-mate Adrian Slater should be in the mix this coming Monday. Pete Morris is another who usually goes well at Castle Combe and he chased Sumpter home in both races last season. Fellow 996 C2 racer Mark McAleer is another to have gone well there before and has been a consistent front-runner so far this season. McCullagh has won his class in every race bar one this season, and was only defeated by an electrical problem on his 968 CS on that occasion. A former works rally driver, McCullagh is unfazed by wet weather, and if this Monday is at wet as last year should be well up in the top ten overall. Mark Koeberle is second in the class points, and traditionally has always gone well at Combe, while Stuart Ings, third in class will be keen to go well at his local circuit. The 20-minute qualifying session is at 08.45 on Monday morning, with the two 25-minute races at 13.00 and 16.40. As first race of the day, the Porsche field will form up on the grid prior to the lunch break in order to provide a static display for the usual large Castle Combe crowd.

DTM: For the first time in his DTM career, Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) climbed onto the top step of the winner's podium: in the round 7 of the 2013 DTM. After 47 laps at the 3.629 kilometres long circuit, he crossed the finish line in first place. Augusto Farfus (BMW), who had started from pole position, finished second at the Nürburgring, 2.158 seconds down on Wickens. Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) rounded out the podium in third place. DTM points' leader Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) finished fourth to extend his lead in the drivers' standings. After seven races, he has 106 points. Christian Vietoris is second in the drivers' standings with 71 points from Robert Wickens (70).  Read more

Thanks to a clever strategy of Audi Sport Team Phoenix and keeping a cool head Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller was able to extend his lead in the overall standings to 35 points at the Nürburgring. Following a turbulent opening lap with numerous slips, spins and contacts, the safety car was deployed – and at that point in time Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM was running at the end of the field after having to evade a rival in turn one. Audi Sport Team Phoenix opted for a risky strategy that in the end paid off. The team called Rockenfeller to the pits for switching to rain tyres while the safety car was still deployed. On optimal tyres, ‘Rocky’ managed to battle his way forward from 20th place to the front of the field within just five laps and to achieve an advantage of nearly half a minute. Despite having to make an additional pit stop on account of the strategy, it was enough to take fourth place and another twelve points on a drying track. These points are particularly valuable as his fiercest immediate rivals, Bruno Spengler (BMW) and Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz, did not finish in the points. 

Formula 3: Double R Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi secured his third points finish of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season at the Nurburgring in Germany today, Sunday, 18th August, with a tremendous drive into the top 10 from 18th on the grid.  The third race of the weekend, round 21, was also a successful one for team-mate Sean Gelael, the youngest competitor in the championship, who took the best finish of his maiden season in the blue riband F3 category with 13th position – having started 23rd on the grid.  Read more

This weekend, things couldn’t have been much better for Italian Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam): at the Nürburgring, he won all three races of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. However, he wasn’t the only driver to shine in the Eifel.
One of them was Luis Felipe Derani (Fortec Motorsports who climbed onto the podium for the first time this season in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. On Saturday, he took the chequered flag in second place, on Sunday, he came third and scored a pair of podium finishes for his team Fortec Motorsports for the first time after a long spell. Most recently, team-mate Félix Serrallés (Fortec Motorsport) had scored a pair of second places at Hockenheim in early May. For Derani, the seventh race weekend went according to plan, too. In the Eifel, he scored more points than in the 18 races held before this season and moved up from 14th to ninth place in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings. “Prior to these races, we have been working a lot on the car and it was worth it. But now, we can’t sit back and relax because of what we have achieved, we have to continue working into this direction,” Derani said with a view of the future.  Like Derani, Alexander Sims (ThreeBond with T-Sport) also scored a pair of podium finishes in the Eifel. Sims, who made his comeback in Formula 3 at the Norisring, was particularly happy for his team: “These two podium results have shown that the T-Sport team and the ThreeBond Nissan engine have great potential.”  Rrunner-up in the drivers’ standings, Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) was less happy, the Swede scored only 27 points from the three races. Together with Marciello’s three wins, Rosenqvist is now 72.5 points behind.

Jordan King will head into the final three rounds of the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship fortified by the knowledge that he is capable of threatening the front-runners during his maiden campaign in F3 – after twice taking the chequered flag within a whisker of the podium at the Nürburgring.  read report

17-08-13

DTM: BMW driver Augusto Farfus claimed the third pole position of his DTM career at the Nürburgring today. In the final qualifying, the Brazilian set a fastest lap time of 1:23.296 minutes. “This pole is a dream. We had a hard day today and we worked a lot on the set-up of the car, because the track provides very little grip. After that, the car was great to drive, but tomorrow’s race will be long. I want to score many points, the championship is too far away,” the 29-year old said.  With a time of 1:23.445 minutes his team-mate Marco Wittmann claimed second place. There will therefore be two BMWs on the front row of the grid on Sunday. Miguel Molina ended up third as the best-placed Audi driver, only six thousandths of a second down on Wittmann. “I am very happy, that was a great qualifying for me. This season, we had many hard days, so being able to challenge for victory is all the more beautiful for me. A lot of things can happen in the race tomorrow. In the DTM, every day is different, but I am looking forward to the race.” With fourth place, Edoardo Mortara confirmed Audi’s strong performance.  The fastest Mercedes-Benz driver, Gary Paffett was classified fifth. “This year, it is very difficult. When you achieve a perfect lap, you are in front, but it can be the other way round very quickly. Today, we lacked the necessary speed, so fifth place is quite good,” he said.  Points’ leader Mike Rockenfeller (Audi was sidelined after the second qualifying. the Audi driver was nine thousandths of a second too slow and will be starting from eleventh. “It is quite simple: we were too slow. That is too bad, but in the previous races, we have moved up to the front even from further down the order. Moreover, we have to see what the weather will be doing tomorrow,” the 29-year old said.

Formula 3: After claiming three pole positions on Friday, Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) went on to take the first victory of the weekend in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the Nürburgring. He won from Alexander Sims (ThreeBond with T-Sport), who crossed the line 6.147 seconds behind the Italian with Swede Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) third. In the drivers’ standings, Marciello extended his lead to 34.5 points from  Rosenqvist. Marciello started the race from pole and dominated throughout. In the opening stages, he already pulled clear from the rest of the field and drove to an undisputed victory.  Positions behind Marciello were taken pretty quickly, too.  Sims ahead of Rosenqvist, followed by Jordan King (Carlin) as the best-placed rookie, Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam), Luis Felipe Derani (Fortec Motorsports), Michael Lewis (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Félix Serrallés (Fortec Motorsports). There was a fierce battle for ninth place with, initially Sven Müller (ma-con) holding sway before he went off on lap 18, after which Red Bull junior driver Daniil Kvyat (Carlin) took over. Raffaele Marciello,  “My car was very fast and consistent today. Then it is always easy to drive a good race. I don’t know why things weren’t going that well at Norisring, but perhaps it was down to the fact that it was very hot there. Here, things were going better again and I am very happy with that.” Alexander Sims , “Having won the reversed grid race here at Nürburgring last year, I am happy with this second place. This result particularly shows how good the T-Sport package and the ThreeBond Nissan engine really are. The race itself wasn’t very spectacular. At the start, I tried to get past Raffaele, but after that, he was simply faster than me.”

GT: 2012 GT Academy Winner Steve Doherty joins the Skullcandy Nissan Altima team and Patricio Jourdain in the #34 car for the SFP Grand Prix in Kansas City, Kansas this weekend.  Doherty won the second NISSAN GT Academy US competition in 2012, beating out an intensely competitive field of more than 400,000 online gamers and the final 16 on track in NISSAN's popular reality TV series. The 30 year-old Doherty, a mechanic by trade, has always had a love of cars and started racing at a young age on ovals in a front-wheel drive car in his hometown of Plainfield, IL.  He discovered a passion for road racing while playing Grand Turismo and barely missed making the first round of NISSAN's GT Academy in 2011.  He came back with a vengeance the next year to win after a year of practicing every day, and accomplished his goal of taking home the red helmet. Jump forward to 2013, where Steve has seen his dream come true by winning the reality competition and undergoing a three-month driver development program beginning last September.  Doherty has now represented Nissan on three continents, taking part in endurance races in the Nissan 370Z GT4 and NISMO GT-R GT3, including the 24 Hours of Dubai and the Blancpain Endurance Series in Europe. His first professional race on home soil came recently at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in the Pirelli World Challenge Series, where he won the hard charger award behind the wheel of a NISMO 370Z. "I've been a fan of Grand-am for many years, so I'm excited to be here this weekend and back in a front-wheel drive car. Thanks to NISSAN and the Skullcandy Team for inviting me to Kansas." said Doherty

Super GT: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. And NISMO have unveiled the new-for-2014 rules' compliant GT500-class spec SUPER GT machine, the "Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500.” From 2014, cars in the GT500 class of SUPER GT will be developed based on the same new technical regulations (except for engine-related regulations) as the DTM (German Touring Car Championship), ensuring that the battle among SUPER GT machinery will be intensified. NISMO, responsible for the motorsport activities of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., has developed the Nissan GT-R to meet these new rules. Development of the car, which underwent its initial shakedown at the end of July, was unveiled earlier today and will be displayed and conduct a demonstration run at Round 5 of the SUPER GT series at Suzuka Circuit on August 17 and 18. Further details, including participating teams, will be announced at a later date.In addition, the 2014-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 is scheduled for exhibition and demonstration runs at the NISMO FESTIVAL, to be held at Fuji Speedway on Sunday, December 1st. Event details about the NISMO FESTIVAL will be posted on the NISMO website (http://www.nismo.co.jp) as soon as they have been decided.

Historics: Echoes of the 1986 1000km of Spa, where the Jaegermeister Porsche 962 driven by Thierry Boutsen (B) and Frank Jelinski (D) sped to victory, will come alive over the hills of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend. Thanks to a full restoration by Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), this iconic racecar runs in its Spa-Francorchamps configuration for the first time in 25 years. The appearance of the 962 is part of a special Porsche weekend at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The weekend display will include the North American debut of the latest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – 2014 edition – and four significant 911 based race cars from the Porsche Museum: the Porsche 911 GT1 driven by Alan McNish/Stephane Ortelli/Laurent Aiello in 1998; the original Porsche 935 78 “Moby Dick” Martini Racing car; the 1977 Porsche 935 2.0 “Baby,” which ran only two races – one of them a win for Jackie Ickx at Hockenheim and a 1972 “Martini” 911 RSR 2.1 Turbo. The cars will in the garage area and will also make exhibition laps, which will be on the track this Friday from 4:20 – 4:40 PM (Pacific) and Sunday from 4:00 – 4:20 PM (Pacific), plus Saturday at 4:20 PM during the Porsche 911 celebration laps marking 50 years of the 911. Joining the cars will be Vic Elford, Hurley Haywood, David Donohue and Jeff Zwart. The 962 restoration, in the famous #17 Jaegermeister livery, 962 chassis #117 from Weissach, was also victorious at the Nurburgring Supercup event. Walter Brun drove to victory over a great field of Porsche 956 and 962 prototypes in 1986, beating Hans Stuck, Danny Sullivan, Jo Gartner, Franz Konrad and others. This Jaegermeister 962 restoration started in 2006 when the components came to PMNA in boxes, with many missing. The company restored the engine and transmission at that time, but the rest of the car remained in apart until the current owner decided to contract PMNA to do a complete restoration. Original drawings for the car were obtained from Germany, and technical experts were consulted both inside and outside the company. Parts were sourced from all over the world; some were even remanufactured by PMNA.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is reserved for three days of historic racing while the rest of California’s Monterey Peninsula hosts a cornucopia of indulgent events for car lovers of every kind. This morning, before practice got underway for 500 cars entered in weekend racing at the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion, a magical thing happened in the sunshine at the track. 
For the first time in 10 years, the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance presented by Rolex included a lap around Laguna Seca as part of its traditional course that traces portions of famed 17-Mile Drive and traverses the nearby mountains and canyons of Carmel Valley. The annual driving event, which this year included over 200 elegant, oftentimes jaw-dropping, examples of automotive history in motion, is inextricably linked to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, another Classic Car Week event. The Tour also underscores the early history of Pebble Beach and its popular Pebble Beach Road Races held on the narrow cypress-lined town roads—both paved and non-paved--from 1950 to 1956. When the road races came to an end after a fatal accident, it spelled the beginning of “Laguna Seca” as a new, safe haven for road racing. Now, over five and a half decades later, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca maintains a reputation as one of the most challenging circuits ever, with 2.238 miles of racetrack, including the renowned “Corkscrew,”. One of this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion participants, John Harden (Oklahoma City), remembers competing in the Pebble Beach Road Races as if they were held yesterday. “My first race was in 1953 when I competed in the Pebble Beach Road Race along the 17-Mile Drive.  When I got back from the Korean War I bought a brand new MGTD.  While I was taking some courses at Stanford, I saw an ad in the newspaper for the Pebble Beach Road Races, and it was $50 or $75 for the entry, so a few friends of mine and I sent in the money.  I borrowed a polo helmet, folded the windscreen down and headed out to race.  It was kind of scary, because back then the spectators were all sitting along the edge of the road, and there were a lot of trees lining the course, but it was fun, and that is how it all began.” Harden explained that after competing in over 1,000 races (in the U.S., Argentina and Mexico) since then, his race hereon Sunday, when he drives his 1963 Genie MK VIII in Group 4A (1960-1968 Sports Racing USRRC Cars), will be his very last. “I feel fortunate that my health is reasonably good and I am still able to do this in spite of the fact that these hips and shoulders aren’t mine,” said Harden, who will be 82 years old in January, “but there comes a point when every driver needs to hang it up. I think it is fitting that my last race is held here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “  For more information about the individual events please visit: www.pebblebeachconcours.net

signatureevents.peninsula.com  www.mazdaraceway.com/rolex-monterey-motorsports-reunion

16-08-13

Formula 3: For Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam), qualifying for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the Nürburgring couldn’t have been better. The Italian, the leader in the Championship, claimed all three pole positions of the race weekend. In the first race, Alexander Sims (ThreeBond with T-Sport), one of two drivers to use a ThreeBond Nissan engine, will be starting next to him. In race two, Marciello will start alongside his main title rival Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport). In the third race, he will share the front row of the grid with Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam). Marciello: “The three pole positions here are important because overtaking at this track isn’t easy. Now, I only need a good start in each of the three races and then anything can happen. My car is fast and consistent over the entire race distance. In spite of the three fastest times, I am not thinking of the championship yet, I am rather working from one race to another. I want to try to score the maximum result from each of the three races and then the rest will come automatically.”

Lotus Festival: The glory days of Formula 1 will be recalled at Brands Hatch this Bank Holiday weekend (24/25 August), as several magnificent race machines will return to the Grand Prix circuit for the annual Lotus Festival. Classic Team Lotus, which maintains many of the original cars on behalf of their owners, will be providing demonstration runs during the Sunday of cars originally driven by Grand Prix greats Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx. It’s 50 years since Clark won Team Lotus’ first world title, and the Type 25 that powered him to glory will be on display during the event. Also celebrating a golden anniversary in 2013 is the Lotus Cortina which won  championships in both Britain and Europe. Former drivers Jack Sears, who drove the car in late season races on route to the 1963 BTCC, and Sir John Whitmore, 1965 European Touring Car Champion with an Alan Mann-prepared Lotus Cortina, are both expected to be attending the event. The weekend’s race programme also features racing from the Lotus Cup Europe and Lotus Cup UK championships, which includes entries from the factory’s Elise, Exige and Evora cars, plus the popular Elise Trophy series. Lotus owners from across the continent and even as far as Australia are expected to travel to the event. Examples of almost every car from the marque will line the circuit, and many will take to the track for a special parade on Saturday. This will include a collection of Esprits, with a timeline of the James Bond-starring supercar. Lotus Cars and Motorsport will also have a presence at the event, with cars on display and taking to the track including the T125 F1-style trackday car, Evora and the brand new V6-powered Exige S Roadster.The event also features racing from other marques, action on the rally stage from Lotuses, with visitors also able to enjoy a sideways ride in one of the venue’s specially-prepared cars. Tickets for the Lotus Festival at Brands Hatch on 25/26 August are available from £18 with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or visit www.brandshatch.co.uk

Formula 3: This weekend, the battle for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship title will be continued at the Nürburgring. At the 3.629 kilometre version of the Eifel circuit, Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) wants to close the gap to championship leader Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam). With 18 of the season’s 30 races contested, the Italian holds a 24.5-point lead over the Swede. There are of course other drivers in the battle for points, podiums and race wins.  Marciello and Rosenqvist were successful last year at the Nürburgring . both taking a podium. Marciello was runner-up, with Rosenqvist coming third. Alexander Sims (ThreeBond with T-Sport) also has fond memories of the Eifel circuit. Last year, he raced at the Nürburgring as a guest driver and claimed the only win of a ThreeBond-Nissan engine in the Formula 3 Euro Series. Sven Müller (ma-con) also is confident aheqad of the three race this weekend. In 2012, the German secured a second place behind DTM driver Daniel Juncadella. This year, however, the 21-year-old still is waiting for his first podium, although he has, he finished fourth three times. His team-mate André Rudersdorf, the youngest of the three Germans in the event this weekend, secured his best FIA Formula 3 European Championship result to date at the Norisring by finishing ninth. While Lucas Wolf made for the only podium of a German driver by taking the chequered flag at the Red Bull Ring in third.  Rudersdorf “I’m looking forward to the races at the Nürburgring as this circuit has got a lot of tradition and as it is my home circuit. I’m living just an hour from the Nürburgring and so, a lot of friends and acquaintances will attend the event to support me. It goes without saying that this support represents an extra dose of motivation. When it comes to the racing, I’ve set myself the goal to improve consistently and make the best possible use of what I’ve learned. If this would be enough for securing top-10 results and adding more points to my tally, in this extremely competitive field, I would be rather happy with my first season on this high level.” pic Dennis Goodwin

Formula Ford: Top-level Formula Ford racing returns to the Knockhill circuit next weekend (24/25 Aug) after a three-year absence from Scotland, with the traditionally large crowd which gathers for the annual north-of-the-border BTCC meeting assured of a thrilling time as Dan Cammish’s rivals bid to halt his spectacular run of success.JTR Mygale driver Cammish, 24, has won all 18 races so far and his grip on the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain is now so secure that only a major misfortune can deprive him of the crown. One more victory will see him beat Scott Malvern’s 2011 modern-era record for the most race wins in a season.  Read more

Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup: FW Motorsport team owner and driver, Fergus Walkinshaw will be flying the colours for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) on his native home circuit return, as Knockhill hosts the Scottish leg of the BTCC on 24-25 August. While continuing his team’s Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup campaign, the Scotsman is asking BTCC fans to support Scotland’s only charity air ambulance. By texting ‘SCAA 01’ to 70070, BTCC fans can donate £5 to help meet the charity’s £29,000 weekly fundraising target. Just 100 donation texts will fund the fuel for one life-saving mission. Launched in May 2013, the charity air ambulance has already flown over 100 missions from its base at Perth Airport, covering a wide variety of emergencies. The service’s main strength is responding in time-critical situations, or where a patient faces a lengthy and uncomfortable transfer to hospital by road ambulance, and it can fly patients to all major receiving hospitals in Scotland. Walkinshaw will visit SCAA’s Perth Airport base next Thursday ahead of the Knockhill race weekend. He commented: “It’s great to be working with Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance while racing at Knockhill. The SCAA provide a vital service across Scotland, but it costs £1.5 million per year to run and receives no government funding. I’m hoping Ginetta and BTCC fans will support SCAA and text to donate £5 to help keep saving lives across Scotland.”
Walkinshaw returns to his homeland track equipped with his own sportscar team for the first time next weekend. Walkinshaw is determined to regain lost championship points following a disappointing last outing at Snetterton. Although forced to record two non-finishes due to a loss of power with a Ginetta loan engine, the FW Motorsport team installed and tested a rebuilt engine within five days of the Norfolk event. Now ready to race again, and Knockhill ranking among his favourite circuits, Walkinshaw is aiming for a return to form.: “I always enjoy racing at Knockhill and to be at my native home event with my own team means a lot. We ran out of luck at Snetterton, but we’re determined to bounce back stronger with the rebuilt engine and put in some strong finishes in Scotland.”

WTCC: The Honda Civic will receive 10 extra kilos for the next WTCC races at Sonoma, while the SEAT León will lose 10 kilos compared to the previous event at Termas de Río Hondo. Following the calculations based on the lap times set in Russia, Portugal and Argentina, the Chevrolet Cruze remains the reference car and will have the maximum compensation weight of 40 kilos once again. Because their gap from the Chevrolet was reduced from 0.7 seconds to 0.6, the Honda cars will run with 10 kilos of compensation weight, while they had none in Argentina. The BMW cars will carry no extra weight, while the SEAT and LADA cars will benefit from a reduction of their minimum weights by 10 and 20 kilos respectively. Weight difference should make a significant impact at Sonoma because of the racetrack’s elevation changes. Compensation weight Sonoma
+ 40 kg : Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T
+ 10 kg : Honda Civic S2000
± 0 kg : BMW 320 TC
- 10 kg : SEAT León WTCC
- 20 kg : LADA Granta                

Mehdi Bennani and a bunch of his fellow WTCC competitors will take part in the  First Grand Prix International El Jadida next week. The event, organised by the Club Flamme des Sports Mécanique under the aegis of the Fédération Royale Marocaine des Sports Automobiles, will take place on a street circuit in the port city of El Jadida, that lies on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. Bennani will be joined by Yvan Muller, Rob Huff, Tom Coronel, Stefano D’Aste and WTCC permanent safety car driver Bruno Correia; they will all take part in three Midget races, one on Saturday 24 August and two on Sunday 25 August. The event has been organised in support of the Moroccan Government’s campaign against the accident on the road and the FIA Action for Road Safety.

Michel Nykjær who currently lies second in the WTCC Drivers’ Championship, will take part next week in the Grand Prix Denmark at Jyllandsringen. The event counts as the fourth round of the Danish Thundersport Championship that is reserved for V8-powered American cars such as Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger. “I will switch from the 330 bhp of the front-wheel drive Chevrolet Cruze that I use to drive in WTCC to the 450 bhp of the rear-wheel drive DTC cars. I won’t be easy, especially as I have to fight against the likes of John Nielsen, Jan Magnussen and Casper Elgaard. I will be pleased to make the top five,” Nykjær commented.

Porsche Carrera Cup GB: It could not be closer in the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup GB as the teams and drivers head north to Scotland for rounds 13 and 14 at the fabulous Knockhill track (24/25 August). The top two drivers are absolutely level at the head of the points in the mighty 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup cars. Knockhill will be a big weekend in the battle for the 2013 title as Michael Meadows (Samsung Smart Motorsport) and Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) head to Scotland all square at the top of the points. Following rounds 11 and 12 at Snetterton earlier in August, the two key players are tied with eight races to run. However, back in mid-June Meadows had a healthy 23-point lead. A series of dramas, largely not of Michael’s making, has allowed Gelzinis to erode that margin and Knockhill is traditionally a track that throws up surprises and dramas, so there is everything to play for. However, this is far from a two-way contest. Dean Stoneman (Redline Racing) is close enough in third to capitalise should either of the top two falter, while Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) is the local ace and is overdue a first win of 2013. Rory was in strong form last time out at Snetterton and would love nothing more than to win on the track owned by his family. Dan Lloyd (Team Parker Racing) completes the championship big five and the Carrera Cup Scholarship racer is another driver due a turn in fortune. James Birch, team mate to Meadows in the Samsung squad, completes the Pro category and is getting quicker and quicker as his experience grows. In Pro-Am1, Spanish racer Victor Jimenez (Redline Racing) is having a superb season and is now over 60 points clear in the title race. However, he is racing very hard to fend off team mate Dan De Zille who has got quicker and quicker across the season. Dan may have to miss Friday’s testing due to a new job and could have to jump straight into qualifying. Adding further quality to the Pro-Am1 category is Edinburgh’s George Brewster (Celtic Speed), who will be aiming to make it two Scots on the podium.

Knockhill’s  annual visit of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB next weekend, is where Daniel Lloyd aims to get his season fully back on track and mount a bid for some long overdue silverware on his return north of the border. Having finished on the podium at the tight and twisty 1.27-mile Scottish venue during his maiden season in the category last year, the Huddersfield-based Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholar wants a repeat at the very least – especially coming off a recent run of misfortune. After taking five podiums from the first eight races of the current campaign, including a memorable victory at Thruxton in early May which started a run of four straight top two finishes, the 21-year-old then experienced luckless events at Croft and Snetterton. Even so, the Team Parker Racing driver heads to Scotland fifth in the championship but knows two consistently strong podium finishes, and a suitably big points haul, will be of paramount importance if he is to get back on terms with the top three in the standings. “We keep saying we’re going for podiums every weekend, hopefully this time it’ll come true and we’ll get back to how things were during the first part of the season”, said Daniel, “It has been tough over the last few rounds but I’m sure we’ll have the pace to be at the front at Knockhill.” While recent results have disappointed the West Yorkshireman and cost him vital points, as well as championship position ultimately, Daniel is as focused, committed and determined as ever to steer his Porsche 911 GT3 to some well-deserved top three finishes. “Knockhill can be harsh on the Porsche with the huge kerbs, they’re not ideal for the car but I do enjoy racing there”, he added, “There are a couple of places to try and pass, your best bet though is to try and push someone into a mistake – which is always the case in Porsche anyway. It’s a fun track to drive, I’m looking forward to it and confident we can get back on the podium.” pic Malcolm Griffiths

Hillclimb: This Kop Hill Climb (September 21-22) will be celebrating this year’s event with some of motorsport's most recognisable icons. The world recording breaking Napier-Railton one of the most famous names in motorsport history will be attending this year’s Kop Hill Climb courtesy of the Brooklands Museum. John Cobb commissioned the Napier-Railton to be built by Thomson and Taylor based at the Brooklands Track in 1933 to break world speed records and by 1935 it became the fastest vehicle to lap Brooklands Outer Circuit at 143.44 mph, a record never beaten.  The Napier-Railton encapsulated the spirit of the era, an era when Speed was King and records fell in its wake. It took big engines to deliver the pace to take records and few come larger or more famous than the Napier-Railtons 24 litre, twelve cylinder Napier ‘Lion’ aero engine, 502 bhp behemoth.  Static, the gleaming Napier-Railton is enough to captivate such is its pull, but Kop Hill seeks to enthral, so spectators will be treated to the sight and raucous sound of this legend in action as it takes to the famous hill over the weekend in a titanic legend vs. legend battle.   The Kop Hill Climbs grassroots atmosphere mean spectators will be extremely close to the action and while the run will no doubt be quick the memories will last a lifetime!    Read more

V de V: The motorsport complex of Motorland Aragon will host the next round of the V de V Endurance Series 2013. Under the FIA International Series label, the series is back on the road visiting European circuits for the second part of the championship. The endurance racing format is what made the reputation of all the V de V Sports Series  For the GT & Prototype class, Motorland Aragon will be a chance to take part in a long and demanding endurance race. The V de V Endurance Series race weekend will also be see two cpmpetitive sprint challenges; the Funyo and the Single Seater series. Seven sprint races of 20 minutes long, 3 for the Single Seater and 4 for the Funyo. The main event is of course the GT/Touring and Prototype class for a 12 hours endurance race. The race start will be given at 1:00PM on Saturday  After such a marathon the changes in the standings should be interesting! Both GT/Touring and Prototype grids  are filled with a great number of participants offering a good mix of amateur and professional drivers, it’s what makes the V de V Endurance Series more and more attractive each year.  Over a 12 hours race, several things can go wrong and for the drivers, managing both the driving time and their rest period will be crucial.

15-08-13

Historics: Felsted-based racing driver Michael Lyons continued his outstanding run of success in the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship at the Nurburgring in Germany over the weekend, 10th/11th August, with two superb wins in the 41st staging of the AvD ‘Oldtimer’ Grand Prix event. Hot on the heels of a remarkably successful outing at the Silverstone Classic two weeks ago, where he also claimed a double victory, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) ‘Rising Star’ once again shone at the wheel of his RAM Williams FW07 – his maiden historic F1 wins at the Nurburgring. Pic: Charlie Wooding Read report

The Masters newsletter covering their races from the Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nurburgring can now be viewed by clicking here The next event of 2013 is on 30 August to 1st September at the Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix.  Masters is taking four grids to the second running of this event this year: the 5th rounds of the FIA Historic Formula One and FIA Sports Car Championships, a 90-minute race for the Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT and new standalone race for the Pre-66 Touring Cars.  Pic: Charlie Wooding

GT: At the start of 2013, Chevron Cars Ltd introduced Mission Motorsport to the GT Cup Championship with the aim of building awareness for the charity through the sport.  Since the opening race weekend in April, Mission Motorsport branding has appeared on all entrants’ cars at each round of the GT Cup, and it will continue to do so at Silverstone, Snetterton and then Donington which will be the season finale. Along with three Chevron GTs gracing the grid at Silverstone (17-18 August) – driven by Jordan Witt, David Witt and Darren Nelson – Chevron Cars will also have two service personnel as beneficiaries of Mission Motorsport supporting the Crewe based outfit throughout the weekend in the works team garage. David Witt, owner of Chevron Cars Limited, commented: “As a team, we are looking forward to not only returning to Silverstone to race but also to ramping up the amount of involvement Chevron has with Mission Motorsport. In our garage, both Dean Williams and Dean Morris will be with us, shadowing our mechanics responsible for overseeing the GT3 and GT4, which Jordan and I will be driving respectively. Darren [Nelson] will also be in his Chevron GT4 and after a double podium at Oulton Park, I’m sure we’ll have some healthy competition between all the Chevron contenders!”  Former Army Major, Adam Marchant-Wincott, Relationship Manager at Mission Motorsport, said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity that Chevron is offering Mission Motorsport in relation to the GT Cup series. Our aim as a charity is to provide vocational experiences that offer hope and a bright and exciting future for wounded, injured and sick personnel. And I certainly think working with Chevron ticks that box for our beneficiaries.”  Pic: D J Binsted

World Endurance Championship:  Following a successful start to the 2013 season, Aston Martin Racing will continue to run five Gulf-liveried Vantage GTEs in the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), starting with the fourth round of the series, the Six Hours of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 1 September. The Banbury-based team heads to the five ‘fly away’ rounds of the championship with its sights set on the flawless performances that will be required to reach the top step of each podium with its three GTE Pro cars and two GTE Am cars. In the Pro class, the #97 Vantage GTE will once again be piloted by Aston Martin Racing’s long-standing works drivers Darren Turner (GB) and Stefan Mücke (DE), who finished third in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June after leading the race into the final hour.  read more

F2000: Two more F2000 Championship Series races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course produced a pair of top five finishes and more progress for HP-Tech Motorsport’s rookie F2000 drivers. Santino Ferrucci finished fifth in both races while teammate Roberto Lorena brought home a sixth and passed half the field on Sunday to finish 13th.  Read more

Avon Tyres British GT: It was a case of what might have been for Tom Sharp in the latest round of the 2013 Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Brands Hatch, with luck once again deserting the IDL Racing with CWS team in a race that they led outright at one stage.An encouraging performance last time out at Snetterton, where Sharp and his team-mate Colin White took their best result of the season so far, gave them high hopes for the two-hour enduro around the iconic Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.   Read more

Porsche Carrera Cup GB: The next coverage of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB in the Motorsport UK series will be broadcast on Tuesday 20 August on ITV4, on the night of Sunday 25 August on ITV1 and will also be shown on ITV4 on Saturday 24 August.The hour-long Motorsport UK programmes will again cover all of this season’s Carrera Cup GB action. The story of round 11 at Snetterton will feature in this programme. 
Motorsport UK will be broadcast as follows:
Tuesday 20 August at 4.55pm on ITV4
Saturday 24 August at 7.25am on ITV4
Monday 26 August at 2.15am on ITV1

Auto GP: Dutch motor racing team Manor MP Motorsport is to take part in the high-profile VKV City Racing event in Rotterdam this Sunday, 18th August, with former Formula One racer Jos Verstappen providing demonstration runs in one of the squad’s AUTO GP cars. With support from Trust, the leading value-for-money brand for digital lifestyle accessories for computers and mobile communications devices, the 41-year-old from Montfort in The Netherlands will undoubtedly prove a star attraction at the prestigious annual showcase, having raced with several teams including Benetton, Tyrrell, Stewart and Minardi. “I am really looking forward to being part of such a fantastic event, the City Racing festival has really grown in Rotterdam over the last few years and it’s a great chance for the Dutch fans to see some amazing racing cars up close”, said Verstappen, “It’s going to be great joining up with the guys at Manor MP Motorsport too and a lot of fun showing what the AUTO GP car can do.”  Situated in the heart of Rotterdam, the ‘City Racing’ concept has proved massively popular since the inaugural event back in 2005. Attracting a wide variety of cars from a variety of disciplines, alongside the appearance of Manor MP Motorsport there will also be demonstration runs from the likes of the Caterham F1 Team with its driver, Giedo van der Garde.As an extra bonus, Trust is running a competition on its Facebook page – anyone who ‘likes’ the page www.facebook.com/Trust.International will be entered into a contest to win an exclusive VIP package for the VKV City Racing festival.

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge: SERKET Racing driver Mark Llano faced the challenging Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. as part of the dual GRAND-AM /  American Le Mans Series weekend. The doubleheader was a preview of what the future of sports car racing will look like as next season introduces United SportsCar Racing - the combination of the current ALMS and GRAND-AM Series. The Road America event marked the first time both series, with seven individual classes, were part of the same race weekend. And SERKET Racing was in the middle of it all.  Read more

Michelin Clio Cup: Global tyre giant Michelin has agreed a new three-year deal with Grovewood Sport and the British Automobile Racing Club to remain the headline sponsor of the Michelin Clio Cup Series until at least the end of 2016. As interest soars for the club-level category, which was introduced onto the British racing scene earlier this year, promoter Grovewood Sport isn’t resting on its laurels and is raising the bar by turning the series into a fully-fledged championship for next season with a planned 12 round calendar. Moves are also being made to prepare the Clio Cup Series for a class split with the creation of the newly titled Michelin Clio Cup Race Series, for third generation racing Clios, and the Michelin Clio Cup Road Series, for race-converted Clio Renaultsport 197 and Clio Renaultsport 200 roadcars.  With the arrival of the brand new 1.6-litre turbo-charged fourth generation racing Clio in the sister Renault UK Clio Cup from next year, an influx of the third generation cars are expected to find a new home in the Michelin Clio Cup Series. As such, Renault UK Clio Cup teams Scuderia Vittoria and 20Ten Racing – which already field drivers in the Clio Cup Series – have confirmed their continued support of the category. Fellow squads, such as JHR Developments, Finesse Motorsport and 2012 Renault UK Clio Cup champions Team Pyro, are also planning to enter cars in the club-level series. Competitors currently racing in the Michelin Clio Cup Series are also giving a big thumbs-up to the planned direction for 2014, with multiple race winner Luke Herbert very supportive of the move to become a full championship. He is also looking to potentially expand his family-run team. As well as the changes to the structure of the category for 2014, the inaugural champion of the Michelin Clio Cup Race Series next year will win a free registration into the flagship Renault UK Clio Cup for the following season. In the Road Series, Michelin will supply two Pilot Sport 3 tyres, worth £200, to the competitor setting the fastest class lap in each race

Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy: This week saw the conclusion to the Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy 2013 UK National Final, at Silverstone. Six of the UK’s fastest and talented PlayStation racers emerged victorious from a field of 24. They have kept alive their dreams of being trained to become a real life Nissan racing driver, as they look to win the highly acclaimed virtual-to-reality European competition. Now in its fifth year, a formidable entry list of over 765,000 gamers from around Europe entered the 2013 competition, with the UK leading the way by drawing in over 148,000 entries via the online Gran Turismo®6 qualifying round. The first stage of this year’s National Final took place on Monday evening ,12th August, in the BRDC Clubhouse at Silverstone. The 24 UK qualifiers completed a series of Gran Turismo® gaming challenges in the virtual versions of the Nissan GT-R and 370Z. Day two saw them reduced to 18 following another round of Gran Turismo racing. The field was further reduced to 12 for the final phase of the UK Final with a sequence of tests that measured the attributes of a modern day racing driver. Featuring real life auto test driving skills in a Nissan Juke Nismo, a gruelling combination of fitness tests along with media interviews, competitors gained points for each contest, determining which six UK representatives progressed to the 2013 GT Academy International ‘Race Camp’.At the end of the second day, Adam Suswillo, Shane Ward, Mark Ridout, Martin Hefferon, John Foster and Neil Williams were announced as the winners and they can now look forward to returning to the epicentre of British motorsport in September, where they can expect a baptism of fire during the 2013 GT Academy Race Camp. Only one of the six UK representatives will progress to the European Final where they will face the leading competitors that have qualified through the 18 participating European countries. The overall European winner of GT Academy 2013 will undertake a comprehensive Driver Development Programme to prepare them for the ultimate prize of a full season’s racing in a 500+ horsepower Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 race car.

Karts: It was a case of ‘so near and yet so far’ for RL Racing Department at the recent Kart Masters (2/4 August). Team owner Steve Armstrong watched his talented squad of youngsters deliver a string of fantastic individual performances - but once again, crashes robbed his UK-based drivers’ chances of greater glory.   read more

Protyre Formula Renault: MGR Motorsport netted its maiden single-seater championship at Rockingham (11 August), when Chris Middlehurst sealed the 2013 Protyre Formula Renault title with 2nd place at the Northamptonshire track. It was Middlehurst’s 13th podium of the season, ensuring that the MGR driver secured overall victory with one round remaining and emphasising his dominance of the series. “Chris has been the most outstanding driver of the season,” said team owner Mark Godwin. “Six wins, four pole positions and five fastest race laps are testimony to this. After narrowly missing out on two titles with Matt Mason (Intersteps) and Josh Webster (BARC Renault) last year, I am delighted that Chris has finally delivered our first championship victory. I’m sure it will be the first of many and we are already preparing to wrestle back the lead of the F4 championship, this coming weekend at Silverstone.” He added: “It’s an amazing feeling and all the more sweet we’ve done it here, at Rockingham. Last year we had an awful weekend at Rockingham with Josh losing so many points through no fault of his own. It really couldn’t have been any worse, so we wanted to do it here – it’s absolutely fantastic to have won the championship so early.” Pic Paul Davies/PDPhoto   Read report

13-08-13

Formula 3: Cameron Twynham adapted quickly to an unfamiliar car to finish on the National Class podium in each of last weekend’s three British Formula 3 races at Brands Hatch (10/11 August). The 17-year-old European F3 Open regular swapped his usual Dallara F308 chassis for the newer F312 model at the Kent venue, where he was making a second British F3 appearance of the year following a podium treble at Silverstone in May. Still adjusting to his new Team West-Tec car, Twynham qualified third for the opening race but was immediately able to snatch P2 when the pole-sitter failed to get away from the grid. After applying pressure to the leader and remaining within one second of top-spot for much of the race, he would eventually settle for a runner-up finish.  Read more

Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge: David pittard was in action last weekend in the solid start for the first race of the weekend Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Brands Hatch GP circuit. After getting boxed in at the start of race 1 Pittard found himself in seventh before recovering to fourth at the flag. Unfortunately he was handed an exclusion from the results due to a technical infringement with his tyre allocation. In the second race contact from behind caused him to spin across the circuit dropping to eighteenth place.  After a lengthy Safety Car period to clear the remaining debris, there wasn’t much time remaining as the lights went green, however Pittard set about picking off his competitors and managed to cross the line tenth. In the final race he finally got on the podium in third after the second placed driver was handed a thirty five second penalty.  Read report

NASCAR: Brad Keselowski took his fourth and Penske’s eighth win of the season at Watkins Glen in the NASCAR Nationwide Cup at the weekendfor Penske Racing. Four different drivers have accounted for Penske’s eight wins this season: Keselowski (4), Joey Logano (2), Sam Hornish Jr. (1) and AJ Allmendinger (1).This victory also marked the ninth NNS triumph for Ford in 2013 and 205th all-time.

ALMS: Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf rolled to their fifth consecutive American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón victory on Sunday at Road America, holding on after a strong challenge by the revolutionary DeltaWing LM12 in its best showing to date. The race featured a pair of ALMS milestones. The DeltaWing led for the first time – leading twice for 16 laps – while the SRT Viper took its first factory-backed victory since New Year’s Eve in 2000 when Dominick Farnbacher and Marc Goossens won a tight GT battle in the No. 91 Viper GTS-R. It was the 17th factory-backed victory for Viper. Katherine Legge put the No. 0 DeltaWing LM12 into the overall lead on lap 20, and then led for eight laps before giving way to Luhr’s No. 6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03c. Co-driver Andy Meyrick regained the lead during pit stops, and also led eight laps before being passed by Graf in the Canada Corner with 51 minutes remaining. Legge and Meyrick took third in class and were fifth overall – running at the finish for the first time this season.  Read report

BMW Team RLL suffered its second consecutive uncompetitive race, finishing seventh and eighth in Sunday’s 2.45-hour American Le Mans Series Orion Energy Systems 245 at Road America. Bill Auberlen and Maxime Martin finished seventh in the No. 55 Z4 GTE after starting from the seventh grid position. John Edwards and Dirk Müller started from the ninth spot and finished eighth in the No. 56 machine. The result dropped Müller from the lead to a three-way tie for second place in the driver’s championship. Sunday’s finish was disappointing for BMW Team RLL following fifth and sixth place finishes in the last round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formally Mosport) and having won the GT class at Road America in three of the previous four ALMS seasons. “We made a particularly good call to get the No. 56 on dry tires as soon as we could,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “It gained us the lead, but as the track dried and the speeds picked up, great strategy was no substitute for a 10 kph top speed disadvantage. As much as Road America is my favorite racetrack, I’m looking forward to tracks with shorter straights. “

Grand-Am:The SpeedSource Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel team scored their sixth straight Grand-Am GX class win with Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez in their #00 VisitFlorida.com Racing Mazda6 to extend the manufacturers championship points lead for Mazda. . The #70 Castrol Edge Mazda6 of Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long qualified on the pole and led early before being delayed with a power-steering problem.  The middle part of the race was led by the BGB Motorsports Porsche before Miller closed in on Spencer Pumpelly and took the lead with under five minutes remaining in the two hour and 45 minute race.

Starworks Motorsport won the team’s second consecutive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory with BMW Power at Road America. It was the first career Daytona Prototype win for No. 8 BMW Riley drivers Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer. The duo completed 70 laps in the two-hour, 45-minute race on the classic 4.048-mile circuit, averaging 102.974 mph. Starworks teammates Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow finished 14th and continue to lead the driver point standings. Three-time Daytona Prototype driver co-champions Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas finished fourth in the No. 01 CGRFS BMW Riley. CGRFS and Starworks Motorsports are 1-2 respectively in Daytona Prototype Team standings. Turner Motorsport finished first and third in the GT contest with Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana racing to their third win of the season. Auberlen prevailed in a grand battle during the closing stages of the race after Dalla Lana started the No. 94 BMW M3 from a career-best outside front row starting position. Michael Marsal and BMW Motorsport driver Maxime Martin finished third in the No. 93 machine. It was Martin’s second race ever for Turner Motorsport and first ever race at Road America. The win was number 27 in Auberlen’s stellar career and ties him with Memo Rojas for second in career Rolex victories.

Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge:At the end of the day on Saturday, having the fastest car on the track and the weekend's two fastest drivers wasn't quite enough to win the fuel strategy battle at the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) race at Road America, but it was close. "If the race had been one more lap we would have won it," said Rick Kulach of Nissan Motorsports of the team's third place finish. "The winning car ran out of gas on its cool down lap and the second place car was in the same boat. I couldn't be prouder of the Doran team and both drivers, BJ (Zacharias) and Bryan (Heitkotter).  They ran an awfully strong race in the Nissan Z." Heitkotter, the 2011 GT Academy US champion, put the car on pole Friday and started the race by opening up a two second gap after thirty minutes and fending off all challengers through several yellow flag restarts over the race's first hour. "The car was a rocket," said Heitkotter. "I hadn't driven it in a year, but slipping into that seat made me realize how Kevin (Doran) and the team continually work to make it better every time out. It's a real pleasure to drive such a well prepared race car." Veteran racer Zacharias made his way up through the field, but a strategic fuel splash with about an hour to go dropped the car back to 16th. In his charge back to the front he set fastest race lap by almost a full second, besting V8-powered Aston Martins, Mustangs and Camaros in the process. "The team correctly called that there would be more green flag racing in the second half of the race than in the first, so they brought the Z in for a shot of fuel with about 55 minutes left," said Kulach. "As teams used up their tires and got low on fuel, we started marching up through the field, but the Aston and the Porsche had just enough left at the end. It was an exciting race, no doubt about it." The same team moves to Kansas Superspeedway next weekend to try to move up two steps on the podium in the next round of the CTSCC.

All three Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3s scored top-ten Grand Sport finishes in Sunday’s 2.5-hour Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race. David Donohue, substituting for Bryan Sellers, paired up with Mark Boden to finish fifth in the No. 46 M3. Charles Espenlaub and Trent Hindman finished seventh in the No. 48 machine and Al Carter and Hugh Plumb finished tenth in the No. 45 car.  In the Street Tuner class BMW teams raced to a second consecutive sweep of the podium to keep BMW at the top of the ST Manufacturer point standings. This weekend the top step of the podium went to Tyler Cooke and Gregory Liefooghe in the No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i. On Friday, Cooke had driven the No. 81 machine to his first career ST pole position. The No. 56 RACE EPIC/Murillo Racing BMW 328i of Jesse Combs and Jeff Mosing finished second, (unofficially) moving the duo to the top of the ST driver point standings. The No. 80 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i of Connor Bloum and Greg Strelzoff finished third. “This was a brilliant Saturday for BMW racers,” said Gordon McDonnell, BMWNA  Motorsport Manager. “Congratulations to Brendon and Scott for their first career Rolex win and to everyone at Turner Motorsport for their first GT class double podium. A second consecutive 1-2-3 finish in Street Tuner is outstanding and further validation for the legendary BMW 3 Series as one of the best all-round cars in the world.” In less than one week, BMW racers in both the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and Rolex Sports Car Series will be back in action at the Kansas Speedway.

ADAC GTMasters: Callaway Competition delivered a spectacular performance last weekend, winning both ADAC GT Masters races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Rebounding from early-season poor outings at Spa and Sachsenring, Callaway conducted arduous testing during the summer break and have found the correct setup with the new Yokohama tyres. For the third time in series history, Callaway Competition posted a double victory. On Friday, the Diego Alessi/Daniel Keilwitz Corvette Z06.R GT3 team qualified on pole for Saturday’s race, Alessi’s 15th pole in the series. Callaway Competition’s Wirth/Hohenadel qualified second. In the second session, Alessi/Keilwitz took second for Sunday’s race, just 0.145 seconds behind the first place Ford GT GT3. In race 1 Diego Alessi/Daniel Keilwitz led from the start, apart from the mid-race pit stop,  and stayed there, ahead of Kechele and Schwager’s Ford GT GT3 and the Porsche 911 GT3 team of Farnbacher and Frommenwiler, Alessi setting fastest lap in the process,a 1:31.289. On Sunday Callaway’s Alessi and Keilwitz Corvette led the entire race. Starting in second Daniel Keilwitz passed Dominik Schwager’s Ford GT GT3 at Turn 2 and never looked back.  Keilwitz, then Alessi, held off a persistent challenge by the Polarweiss team of Buhk and Götz in their Mercedes SLS AMG GT3. In the Gentlemen classification, first place went to Callaway Competition’s Z06.R GT3 of Remo Lips and Lennart Marioneck just ahead of two Porsche 911 GT3 R’s.Currently, the Alessi/Keilwitz Callaway Competition team is in second place in the ADAC GT Masters Drivers’ Championship points standings, just one point off first place. Callaway drivers Remo Lips and Toni Seiler are in third and fourth place, respectively, in the Gentlemen Classification while Callaway Competition is fourth in the Teams’ Championship. Next up for Callaway Competition is the ADAC GT Masters race weekend at Lausitzring, on August 30 – September 1.

Formula E: Gil de Ferran, a two-time IndyCar National Champion and Indianapolis 500 race winner, has joined the FIA Formula E Championship as an Official Ambassador. Debuting in September 2014, Formula E is the world’s first fully-electric racing Championship competing in city-centre circuits worldwide. The 45-year-old Brazilian, who boasts more than two decades of top-level motorsport experience gained both on and off the track in Formula 1, IndyCar and the American Le Mans Series, will act as an advisor to the new Championship focusing on further enhancing the race format. In addition, de Ferran will also be an official spokesman for Formula E, particularly in North America, where interest in the series remains high following the recent announcement that leading IndyCar outfit Andretti Autosport will field a two-car team. “Electric vehicles are undoubtedly playing an increasing role in the transportation landscape worldwide and as such, electric car racing will provide the perfect platform to help accelerate the development of relevant technologies and showcase the potential in an exciting way,” said de Ferran. “The FIA Formula E Championship is the leading global initiative in electric car racing and I am thrilled and honoured to be able to lend my expertise to this exciting and ground breaking endeavour

Scottish Motor Sports, the new strategic body representing the interests of both two- and four-wheel motor sport in Scotland, has secured funding from sportscotland to recruit a full-time Development Officer.  The MSA and the Scottish Auto Cycle Union (SACU) founded SMS in 2011. The group provides a single channel for the sport to communicate with the Scottish Government and its associated agencies, such as sportscotland, Event Scotland and Visit Scotland.  Reporting to the SMS group and acting as an integral part of the SMS manage­ment team, the role of National Development Officer will be to: Lead and manage the Development function of SMS, taking responsibil­ity for the creation of a new SMS Strategic Plan Shape the strategic direction of Scottish Motor Sports at senior manage­ment, local and grass roots levels.  Provide impetus to vital development priorities and  maximise the benefits to both four- wheel and two-wheel motorsport of strong partnerships at national, regional and local levels. “This is an exciting time to be involved with motor sport in Scotland,” said Tom Purves, SMS Chairman and a non-executive Director of the MSA. “Initially we wanted to demonstrate the significance of the sport to our country and I am delighted that as a result sportscotland has subsequently supported our funding application. The role of the Development Officer is now a critical one; he or she will be required to work with us in establishing what the sport needs in Scotland and how best that can be achieved. If we get this right, it will have a significant impact on our sport and all its participants.”  Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland, added: “We are delighted to have supported Scottish Motor Sports with an investment of £40,000 to create a De­velopment Officer role. Scotland has a proud motor sport history, and this posi­tion will help the next generation of champions to flourish, as well as providing a solid base from which to progress the sport to another level.” The full job description and application form can be found at www.scottishmotor­sports.co.uk/news   For further information, follow @SMS_Scotland on Twitter or download the SMS brochure here: www.msauk.org/uploadedfiles/SMS_brochure.pdf

Silverstone Classic: The record breaking 2013 Silverstone Classic will be on  ITV4 at 21:00 on Thursday 15 August.Last month’s extravaganza confirmed the event’s status as ‘the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival’with an unprecedented 1113 entries contesting 24 races covering the full spectrum of motor sport history including F1, GT, single-seater, touring and sportscars from much-loved bygone eras. The one-hour ITV4 programme features much of the on-track action as well as putting the focus on the enormous number of classic cars on display. It also covers many of the other attractions that make the annual Silverstone Classic such a special spectacle. Whisper Films – the production company co-owned by David Coulthard and Jake Humphrey – had the task of squeezing all this into a single show. Among the record crowd savouring the spectacular event were five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell MBE, three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart and veteran commentator Murray Walker OBE ­– and interviews with all three are included in the programme. For those unable to make a date with ITV4 on Thursday evening further opportunities to watch the Silverstone Classic are available with repeats being screened on ITV4 at 09:00 on Sunday 18 August, 20:00 on Wednesday 21 August and 20:00 on Monday 9 September. The show will also be broadcast over Christmas and will be available on ITV Player.  pic Dennis Goodwin

Driver training: When it comes to building a career in motor racing Greg Woodrow knows more than most. As a champion Karter and Formula Ford driver and now as the importer of Mygale's race-winning Formula Ford and Formula 3 cars he's seen many a talented driver come and go. And he has personally experienced many of the ups-and-downs that can go with a lifetime involved in motorsport. Now, in an effort to help young drivers move from Karting into circuit racing, and to help them avoid many of the pitfalls that have befallen plenty of talented drivers in the past, Woodrow and his team have launched Race Academy. Race Academy will consist of a series of inexpensive, one-day seminars around the country that will aim to educate drivers moving from Karting into circuit racing, and to dispel a lot of the rumours that exist around the move into cars. Woodrow has been involved in the formative years of many of these driver's careers so he knows how some have struggled through different stages of their developmental years. Race Academy's aim is to help drivers progress through the ranks in an effort to reach the pinnacle of motorsport in Australia and beyond. "The FIA, CAMS and the AMSF are doing an amazing job of building a pathway for our young drivers, but the drivers need to be aware of the opportunities," said Woodrow. "We've been around long enough to know that Formula Ford is one of the most important steps in any drivers career," Woodrow said."Too many people out there don't have all the facts they need to make an informed, calculated decision on whether they can make the move into Formula Ford and beyond. We can categorically say that it is nowhere near as restrictive as some people out there would have you believe - so why not come along, learn about it first-hand and avoid the wealth of bad information out there being sprouted by people who don't have all the information. For years my organisation has been all about developing the next generation of motor racing champions and we're really proud to be able to launch Race Academy and to make the transition from karts to cars a little easier for those who are serious about making a career from the sport," he said.

12-08-13

F2000: John LaRue took his first F2000 Championship Series victory in the No. 17 Citation, finding a way past Tim Minor in the closing stages of round 12 at Mid-Ohio. Minor would finish second and officially clinch the 2013 F2000 Championship Series title with two races remaining on the schedule. The Ski Motorsports driver marks his first F2000 Championship with a dominating season full of wins and podiums. David Grant completed the podium for Polestar.  “It’s been a great season, I can’t thank my crew enough and the people that helped and supported us. Quicksilver and Hoosier, and many more. It’s been incredible, we’ve had a good run and been consistent. We drove the car we had and I congratulate John, he drove a great race. It’s fun to race with people like this, it’s a great group of individuals,” said Minor.  Minor becomes the first ever Masters Class driver to win the overall F2000 title.  . pic Ryan Wise   Read report

F1600: Jake Eidson led the most laps and, most importantly, came out on top after a spectacular 18-lap shootout with two other cars at Mid-Ohio in round 10 of the 2013 F1600 Formula F Championship. Championship leader Eidson swept the weekend in the No. 10 Spectrum/Honda for Cape Motorsports, fighting off David Grant’s No. 0 Polestar Van Diemen/Ford and Adrian Starrantino’s No. 98 Mygale/Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport. The three cars were never more than a car-length apart for the entire green-flag race, and represented three top teams, and three different chassis, along with both Series engine options. Grant’s weekend, his first ever in a Formula F car, marks the best performance by a Ford since 2011. For Eidson, it was the sixth win of the season, putting him ever closer to the 2013 F1600 title with just two races to go at Summit Point at the end of August. pic Ryan Wise   Read report

Protyre Formula Renault. Chris Middlehurst was crowned 2013 Protyre Formula Renault Champion at Rockingham in Northamptonshire this afternoon, Sunday, 11th August, after securing his 13th podium finish of the season with second place in round 14 – enabling the MGR Motorsport driver to wrap-up the coveted title with two races to spare. After a truly outstanding season, which has included six wins, four pole positions and five fastest race laps, the 18-year-old’s success also marks the first ever championship victory in any category for Mark Godwin’s Bardon-based MGR squad. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography  read report

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge GB: Justin Sherwood maintained his perfect winning record in this year’s Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Great Britain with a double victory in rounds seven and eight of the championship at Rockingham (10/11 August). Steven Liquorish once again proved to be Sherwood’s closest challenger and secured two second place finishes while there was a podium apiece for Peter Kyle-Henney and Kelvin Fletcher.  Read report

APR Volkswagen Racing Cup: A brace of breathtaking APR Volkswagen Racing Cup events at Brands Hatch yesterday (Sunday) brought deserved race victories for JWB Motorsport driver Nick Beaumont and, in a photo finish to race two, KPM’s Martin Depper. Aaron Mason bagged a pair of second-place finishes to all but seal his bid for the championship title. Mason now enjoys a 64-point lead over his closest rival and to guarantee the crown he needs only a top-seven finish in one of the two Donington Park races which will conclude the championship in October. Pic Dennis Goodwin  read race report 

Martin Depper and Stewart Lines’ lurid green Sirocco’s continued where they had left off at Spa last month. Martin climbed onto the top step of the podium in race two, with Stewart third in both races in the VW Racing Cup at Brands Hatch over the weekend..  Read more

Avon Tyres British GT: Aston Martin Racing partner team Beechdean AMR won the seventh round of the 2013 Avon Tyres British GT Championship yesterday (11 August) as Andrew Howard (GB) and Jonny Adam (GB) stormed their V12 Vantage GT3 into the lead from second on the grid, eventually beating the rest of the field by nine seconds after two hours of racing. The weekend started well for the pair, who also contest the Blancpain Endurance Series in the V12-powered Aston Martin, when Adam qualified the car in second position. Things only got better from there when team-owner Howard fought past the pole sitter on Graham Hill Bend before racing away to a healthy lead.  Pic Dennis Goodwin  read report

Middle Eastern racing driver Ahmad Al Harthy produced a star performance during round seven of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, 11th August, to help the Oman Air Motorbase team claim a seventh place points finish – from 20th on the grid. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography  read report

Declan Jones once again demonstrated his pace during the fifth event of the 2013 Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Brands Hatch at the weekend. Unfortunately his race in the Century Motorsport-run Ginetta G50 GT4 that he shares with Zoe Wenhatheir didn’t go to plan. Zoe started and was running third until she spun off into the gravel. That incident dropped her back and when Declan took over for his stint, he set a series of fastest laps, in between two trips to the pits - including one for a small fire around the diff. Nevertheless they still finished and took valuable points to keep them second in the British GT4 Drivers’ Championship, now 27.5 points off the leaders (118.5 points versus 146 points). Declan also took the fastest lap, which was some consolation, and proof of his undoubted speed. Pic: Matt Brookes, HERO Energy read more

Scottish motor racing outfit Ecurie Ecosse powered by Black Bull and drivers Oliver Bryant and Marco Attard picked up their third British GT Championship podium of the season at Kent’s Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on Sunday (August 11) to move up to second in the championship. The squad’s Barwell Motorsport-run BMW Z4 GT3 enjoyed its last competitive outing at Austria’s Red Bull Ring for round three of the European Le Mans Series with drivers Ollie Millroy, Andrew Smith and Alasdair McCaig three weeks ago. With the team’s focus now switched back to its British GT programme, the UK event was an opportunity to score more valuable championship points.  Read more

Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge front-runner Oli Basey-Fisher enjoyed a dream outing at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, where he sealed an outstanding hat-trick of race victories in rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the season. Doing the power of good for his championship position, the trio of results – added to bonus points for the fastest lap in each encounter and pole position for the first two races – mean the 18-year-old from Great Finborough is now third in the standings and a mere three points shy of the series lead. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography  read report

Hopes were high as Gary Duckman returned to the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Brands Hatch, having missed the last rounds at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. But a first lap incident in race one left the EJM team with plenty of work to do, and after taking ninth place in the second race, the weekends aim of a top six finish was achieved in the finale.  Read more

Total Control Racing continued its podium-finishing momentum in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, with Jake Giddings taking a double rostrum…although he was desperately unlucky not to claim his maiden win. Team-mate Callum Pointon, meanwhile, delivered another excellent showing for the Wednesbury team and posted a season’s best finish of fifth place during the final encounter on Sunday afternoon, round 18, as he gets ever closer to the podium placings himself in his first year of car racing. . Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography  read report

Michelin Clio Cup: Races five and six of the inaugural Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre brought yet more wins for Luke Herbert (Chichester) at Rockingham International Super Sportscar Circuit over the weekend, 10th/11th August, taking his tally of victories for the season to five. While the end result may have been the same as it has for all but one race this year, Herbert did have to work harder than ever to see off the threat of ever-improving first time podium finisher Andy Jordan and seasoned campaigner Peter Felix in both encounters. Norway’s Tommy Ostgaard maintained his unbroken run of wins in the ‘Roadcar’ class but, like Herbert, he had to fight for it – particularly in the opening race on Saturday which delivered a monumental three-way battle with Sam Randon and Jake Honour.  Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography  read report

Scuderia Vittoria’s James Weston once again narrowed the gap to the established leaders in the Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre, taking a brace of fifth places from Rounds 5 and 6 on Rockingham’s International Super Sportscar Circuit (10-11 August).  Read report

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge: Both the Wisconsin weather and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Round 10 proved unpredictable on Sunday at Road America course during the doubleheader weekend. Master Classman Craig Duerson of NGT Motorsport jumped into a four car shoot out for the lead as soon as the green flag dropped, and swept ahead of the younger competitors in the last third of the race to capture the lead just before a final caution flag flew to land his first series victory under yellow conditions. And while Duerson ultimately claimed the Platinum Cup win in a final brilliant move, GT3 Cup Challenge stars Madison Snow of Snow Racing/Wright Motorsports, Sloan Urry of EFFORT Racing, and Duerson's NGT teammate Angel Benitez Jr., never made it easy. The trio kept the leader honest depite the wet conditions and swapped positions repeatedly throughout the rain-shortened race with Benitez Jr eventually claiming second.  Read report. 

Cooper Tires Prototype Lites: Round 10 of Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda competition on the twists and turns of the 14-turn Road America saw Performance Tech driver Ryan Booth master the winding ribbon of asphalt as he led flag-to-flag in his No. 18 Mazda powered Élan DP-02. "The race went pretty well," Booth said. "Got another win back-to-back which is pretty cool first time this year. Performance Tech just gave me an awesome car all weekend. It was spot on, just kept getting better and better time stayed the same. I just can't be happier, and can't thank those guys enough." Second was Comprent Motor Sport's Sean Rayhall after a fight with Booth's teammate Daniel Goldburg, Master Classman Jon Brownson and JDC Motorsport's Mikhail Goikberg.   Read report

The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin participants were back in action at Circuit de Trois-Rivières for the second race of the double header on Sunday. The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars took the green flag for a second 45-minute sprint in sunny conditions with WTCC driver Darryl O'Young making a guest appearance in the No. 69 SpeedMerchants entry. At the start he led the field away to lead all the way to the flag.  Behind Chris Green, JF Laberge and David Ostella battld e for the points with Laberge passingGreen on the first lap for second position. He held it until Lap 10 when Green reclaimed the spot and then pulled away, maintaining the position until the chequered flag.  Read report. 

Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin rookie and series points leader David Ostella entered this weekend with a goal of leaving with his points lead intact. This is not an easy task for even the most seasoned of drivers at Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. Ostella began his weekend with second-place in Race 1 on Saturday, following that up with the third step on the podium yesterday. Read report

Formula 3: Jordan King has ensured that he will go into the 2013 British Formula Three International Series season finale as the man to beat in the chase for the crown, after storming into the championship lead following a strong showing in the penultimate meeting at Brands Hatch. Taking two podiums and a fourth place in the three races, King now leads the Championship by 21 points with one event remaining. . Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography  read report

Italian teenager Antonio Giovinazzi secured his fourth and fifth podium finishes of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, to remain in the coveted championship top three for Double R Racing. Finishing in third position during round seven on Saturday afternoon, before adding an excellent runner-up spot in round eight on Sunday, the rapid Dallara-Mercedes driver made it a happy return to home territory for Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt’s Woking-based team. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography  read report

Grand-Am: The No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari 458 Italia with drivers Kenny Wilden and Jeff Segal finished just off the podium in fourth place in the VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at Road America, after a hard-fought effort with other GT class cars.  Wilden started fifth in the No. 61 Ferrari, almost immediately after finishing the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race less than an hour before the start of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race. Wilden got a great launch on the start to jump into third place by the end of the first lap.  Their colleagues Emil Assentato and Anthony Lazzaro in the  No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing with Ferrari 458 Italia finished seventh.   Read report

Formula 4: Seb Morris is relishing the prospect of returning to action at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit this coming weekend, 17th/18th August, as he bids to move back to the top of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship standings…and claim his maiden race victory of 2013. As the most consistent driver in the single-seater category, the is currently second in the title race, just 16 points shy of the series lead, with six podiums to his credit. Although a first F4 win has so far eluded him, Seb has been a front-running threat throughout the first five race meetings and he believes the recent progress made with his Hillspeed car will reap rewards on the championship’s return to Northamptonshire a few days from now. Silverstone’s 3.66-mile Grand Prix Circuit proved a very happy hunting ground for the Ginetta Ambassador at the beginning of the inaugural F4 season back in April, Seb taking a hat-trick of memorable podium results to claim the early initiative in the championship fight. Added to that, during the most recent event at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago, the Abbey Gate College student was the happiest he’s been all year with the pace of his MSV F4-013 car. “I’m looking forward to Silverstone immensely”, said the Welshman, “The car has moved on massively since the start of the season so we’re feeling really confident ahead of next weekend, especially as we went so well at Silverstone at the first round. Considering we started the opening weekend eighth on the grid for the first race and still came away with two seconds and a third, I’m quite excited to see what we can do this time. We need to get some points back and the aim is definitely to try and take the championship lead and get our first win – it’s been a long time coming. If we qualify better than we have been, the wins will come.”   pic Dennis Goodwin

Formula BMW Talent Cup:  With four weeks to go until the Grand Final in Oschersleben, DTM Race Director Sven Stoppe (DE) visited the Formula BMW Talent Cup class of 2013 at the Slovakiaring (SK) to help with its preparations for the highlight of the season on 14th-15th September. Stoppe delved deeper into the race regulations that will apply at the season finale. “There are a lot of rules to consider. Not only during the final races in Oschersleben, but also before and after,” said Stoppe. “The drivers are already well versed in the valid German circuit regulations. Despite this, detailed questions keep cropping up, and they must be clarified before such an important event as the final. Over the course of several training sessions, we intensified the participants’ knowledge of the rules and analysed videos with practical examples, in order to make the rules in question crystal clear.” Three final races will be held in Oschersleben, with BMW financing the overall winner for a season in a higher-level single-seater racing series in 2014. Another focus of the course in Slovakia was performance and enhancement coaching, which was run by Professor Dr. Dieter Hackfort from the Bundeswehr University Munich (DE). “The priority at the Slovakiaring was to develop and test the mental programme for a competitive situation,” said Professor Dr. Hackfort.  “The transfer from simulator to racetrack worked well. The drivers have now received some extra tips on how to develop their mental performance ahead of the final in Oschersleben.”  The drivers were also able to put what they have learned into practice in three test races on the Slovakiaring. Jules Szymkowiak (NL) claimed two wins with Kaan Öner (TK) winning the third race.

Mini Britannia, the one-day classic competition tour modelled on Tour Britannia, has moved dates to Saturday 5 October rather than the intended September date. “During the Silverstone Classic weekend many of our regular competitors asked me to consider moving the date,” said event director Alec Poole. “So we have moved to Saturday 5 October, as there is just too much going on in September. I have spoken with all of our venues, the MSA, our backroom personnel and others involved, and have managed to get a thumbs’ up from all. Indeed, if anything, the change to the October date seems to suit everyone better.” Mini Britannia will give regular competitors some early autumn fun and new competitors the chance to sample this type of event. To encourage newcomers, a completely new route will be used, with the start at Battersea in London. The outline schedule opens on Friday evening, 4 October, for documentation. Mini Britannia will start on Saturday morning for a full day of action. Key attractions will include special stages at Dunsfold Park, the home of BBC Top Gear, the Mercedes-Benz World track at Brooklands and an excellent drivers’ stage at Farnborough Airport.
Like its big brother, Mini Britannia will comprise Competition and Regularity categories and will run on asphalt roads. Following the format of Tour Britannia, crews in the Competition event will tackle a series of asphalt special stages, while the Regularity competitors will follow the same route with straight forward average speed tests on the same stages. The category is simple to follow without tricky navigation or timekeeping. Regularity entrants are fully fledged competitors, but competition licences are not necessary.More details about Mini Britannia can be found at the event website: www.tourbritannia.com

Historics: Jaguar Heritage Racing is celebrating a double win at this weekend’s AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, with Alex Buncombe successfully campaigning both the C-type and E-type on the Grand Prix circuit. Saturday’s Gentleman Drivers Race, featuring period GT race cars built before 1965, saw Alex beat off stiff competition in a very close 50-minute race.  Despite Alex qualifying in pole position, he saw his advantage snatched away as he got stuck behind other entrants on the grid and ultimately had to start from the pits. He soon got back to the front of the pack and went on to win in the race-proven 1961 E-type, which carries the registration: ‘1196 WK’.   Jaguar Heritage Racing’s second victory of the weekend came on Sunday in the Two Seater GT race (1960/1961 with Le Mans start), which Alex won in a C-type once owned by Formula One legend Juan Manuel Fangio. Alex said: “What a fantastic weekend for Jaguar, and for me personally.  I won the E-type Challenge race here in 2012, so to come back this year and win again is extremely satisfying, especially in the circumstances where I lost my pole advantage to congestion on the grid.  The victory in the C-type was equally as sweet, and I feel very privileged to be part of this great Jaguar Heritage Racing team in such significant historic race cars.” The Jaguar Heritage Racing team also entered a Mk II, which raced on the Friday in the AvD Historic Marathon on the Nordschleife, finishing third in class after 210 minutes of racing.Le Mans 24 Hours winner Andy Wallace featured in the Mk II driver line-up and said: “It was my first time racing on the Nordschleife, so I’m very pleased with our performance on Friday.  The opportunity to race on this historic circuit in such a beautifully prepared Jaguar Mk II was fantastic and I enjoyed every minute.  The rest of the weekend belonged to Alex, and all credit to him for some really fantastic finishes.  Jaguar race cars have a very special place in my heart, and I feel very privileged to continue racing these legendary vehicles – they never fail to astound, and that goes for drivers and spectators alike.”

11-08-13

F1600: Jake Eidson led every lap from pole position to take a record-breaking fifth win in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series in round nine at Mid-Ohio. Eidson adds to his Championship lead with just three races to go in the No. 10 Spectrum/Honda for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing. David Grant finished second in the Polestar Van Diemen/Ford in his first F1600 start ever, while Paul Alpsach was third for WISKO Racing in the No. 66 Mygale/Honda. Eidson eclipsed the previous season-win records in the F1600 season, which stood at four wins, with his fifth victory of the season. With three races to go, the aspiring racer can add yet more first place trophies to his collection as he looks to manage his Championship lead with one more race at Mid-Ohio and a doubleheader remaining at Summit Point in two weeks.  Pic Ryan Wise read report

F2000: Kyle Connery took his fourth win of the 2013 F2000 Championship Series at Mid-Ohio, fighting his way to the point and eventually holding off Championship leader Tim Minor. Connery keeps the title fight alive another day, and takes a few points back off Minor’s huge lead with just three races to go, including round 12 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday. John LaRue finished third ahead of David Grant as the top four cars were nose-to-tail for most of the race.  While John LaRue led from the pole in his Citation chassis, an early race incident between Kevin Kopp and Tim Paul set up a restart that allowed Connery a chance to move up through the pack after falling as low as fifth. Once the No. 91 Van Diemen from CC Autosport and James Lee Racing found the lead, Connery never relinquished, leading the last few laps in a sprint to the finish that saw the top four cars duke it out on every lap. Pic Ryan Wise read report

Formula Renault: Weiron Tan made it four straight race wins in the Protyre Formula Renault Championship during the first outing of the weekend at Rockingham in Northamptonshire on Saturday, 10th August, with an exemplary lights-to-flag performance.   After dominating the earlier pair of qualifying sessions to take pole position for all three races at the venue’s 1.94-mile International Super Sportscar Circuit, the Malaysian 18-year-old was unchallenged in round 12 on his way to a colossal eight second winning margin. The Fortec Motorsports driver also comfortably posted the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1m18.945 seconds (88.46mph).  pic Jakob Ebrey   read report

The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series matched the illustrious reputation of the Porshe 911 GT3 Cup car with a caution-free Race 1 at Circuit de Trois-Rivières as the IMSA Development Series made its debut at the track in the 44th edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. The 1.5-mile, 10-turn circuit is the first temporary street course that any Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge series has raced on in North America. In its opening competition, the drivers lit up the record books with historic performances and the veteran drivers' expertise was on full display. Jean-Frederic Laberge in Platinum Cup and Carlos de Quesada in Gold Cup both set new race lap records in the 45-minute sprint. Laberge of GT Racing took the chequerd flag for the second consecutive time this season, regaining his brilliant form of 2012. Laberge got a jump on polesitter Chris Green in Lap 1, and held onto the lead for all 40 laps.  Read more

Like many of his fellow Canadian competitors today, Maple, Ontario-native David Ostella is no stranger to the tight confines of the circuit at Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. The experience would prove helpful the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series and the first in North American Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge competition. Ostella entered the weekend with a plan to protect and extend his Series points lead at the legendary circuit - perfection of laps. After starting fourth, that's exactly what the 21-year-old did for 40 laps, after he and two other competitors passed polesitter Chris Green on the first lap of the race.  The points leader held onto the position while Green pressed him hard for the next 20 laps. Ostella surrendered the position to Green on Lap 21, but Green couldn't hold on for long, getting involved in some deep braking issues with Ostella's SpeedMerchants teammate Darryl O'Young in Turn 6.  Ostella grabbed the second-place spot and held onto it until the finish. Green would ultimately finish eighth after pitting for a tire change. more

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge: No one could ever accuse the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Series of being dull, lackluster and uninviting. Saturday's feature race at Road America proved that point as a field of 33 911 GT3 Cup entries not only took the flag for Round 9 of series competition, but they virtually blasted through it.   Madison Snow of Snow Racing/Wright Motorsports "kicked it up a notch" from his BBS Pole position at the start of the race, and cleanly captured not only the Platinum Cup race win, but set a new race lap record of 2:13.444 in a heated battle with EFFORT Racing's Sloan Urry. Snow's performance was solid and consistent as he swapped positions twice with Urry in what can best be described as a wild and chaotic ride as two full-course cautions kept nerves taut and tensions high until the chequered flag fell on the 45-minute sprint.  Read report

Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda: An early race start at Road America on Saturday morning made for a hectic race for the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda competitors as 22 Élan DP-02 entries tackled the longest course on their schedule for Round 9 of series competition. Sean Rayhall of Comprent Motor Sports led the field to the green flag after a record qualifying lap during yesterday's session, followed closely by Ryan Booth and his No. 18 Performance Tech entry, but as the field approached Turn 1, a brilliant pass by Booth put him into the lead position, and kept him there until the chequered flag put him on the top step on the Lites 1 podium.  Read report

10-08-13

Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda: "Bigger is always better" seemed to be the motto of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series on Friday, as the largest field this season focused on pushing their Mazda powered Élan DP02 entries to the limit as they qualified on the longest road course they face this race season at the historic Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Ultimately, twenty-one prototypes found their pace on the 4.048, 14-turn road course to set the grid for Rounds 9 and 10 of the Series. It was current points leader Sean Rayhall with Comprent Motor Sports  who ultimately claimed the Cooper Tires Pole Award with a new qualifying lap record.  Ryan Booth(pictured) and Performance Tech racing kept the pressure on Rayhall the entire session with consistent lap times and speeds that were a mere fraction off of Rayhall's record breaking lap time of 2:04.990. The two are still within sight of one another in the points championship with only 26 points separating them at the halfway point this season. Read more

Grand-Am: The No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari 458 Italia will start fifth at Road America in Saturday’s VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 with drivers Kenny Wilden and Jeff Segal. Round 9 of the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, the timed 2-3/4-hour Wilden qualified sixth on Friday but will advance one position as another car had its time disallowed after scrutineering. Wilden turned a top lap time of 2:12.647 (109.862 mph) in the Ferrari and will start the No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Ferrari in tomorrow’s race. Closing driver Jeff Segal will drive the No. 61 to the finish. A truncated qualifying session did not allow the No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Ferrari to replicate its third place pace in the morning practice session, but did allow new driver Wilden a chance to run his first laps in the car.  Read more

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama: The twists and turns of one of North America's most historic and significant road courses welcomed the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama on Friday as series veterans and aspiring professionals alike tackled the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course in qualifying.  Teams and drivers fine-tuned their setup and lap times to push their 911 Porsche GT3 Cup cars to the limit in order to to set their positions for Rounds 9 and 10 of the series, which will take place this weekend alongside the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series/American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón doubleheader. Snow Racing/Wright Motorsports star Madison Snow chased perfection set the fastest time in the 30-minute qualifying session, capturing the BBS Pole Award with a time of 2:12.643. Sloan Urry in his Effort Racing entry pushed his No. 20, 911 GT3 Cup entry as hard as he could, but ultimately didn't have enough for Snow, and settled for second.   read more

As the F1600 Championship Formula F Series challenges Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for another two rounds this weekend, it was points leader Jake Eidson on top of the time sheets after two practice sessions on Friday. The four-race winner took a victory at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago and easily paced both practice sessions in the No. 10 Spectrum/Honda for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing.  Eidson was solidly out in front, and also ran more laps than anyone else during Thursday twilight testing in the rain. On top of his Saturday win in July, Eidson recovered in the second race to drive from last to second in just 30 minutes a day later. The aspiring racer has a moderate points advantage over Adrian Starrantino and Aaron Telitz and can easily control his own destiny with just four races to go through the season finale at Summit Point on August 25. Both sessions, however, featured a newcomer in second position on the time sheets, with F2000 regular and 2012 Atlantic Championship Series title winner David Grant turning some quick times. Grant will become the second driver in the field this weekend to race in both series along with Steve Bamford. It was Grant’s first time ever in a Formula F car, and the veteran driver only made the decision to run both Series on Tuesday, as the No. 0’s regular driver Lew Cooper was unable to make the event for Polestar Racing Group. Grant, furthermore, marks the first Ford-powered car with his F1600 Van Diemen chassis. Championship contender Aaron Telitz was third quickest in the afternoon session after leading most of the last round at Mid-Ohio in July in the No. 13 Mygale/Honda for WISKO Racing. Rival Adrian Starrantino, who came together with Telitz on the last lap at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago, was fourth fastest in the Mygale/Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport ahead of Norwegian teammate Ayla Agren, before the second WISKO Racing entry of Paul Alspach. Along with Eidson, Starrantino and Telitz are the only other drivers to win races this year. With pole positions won by those three, along with Agren. Bamford posted the seventh best time in the early afternoon session as temperatures rose at the road course. Bamford, of course, is doing double-duty as usual and also racing in the F2000 Series.Art Foster, in the No. 21 Spectrum/Honda, and Jim Goughary, in the No. 7 Van Diemen/Honda, and Sam Chastain, in the No. 97 Mygale/Honda completed the top ten. For Chastain, Friday was a day to forget as the Bryan Herta Autosport driver had the car lock up with gearbox problems in the morning practice and only got a handful of laps in before going off course in the afternoon 25-minute session. Session results are available here.

Two F2000 Championship Series practice sessions at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course led to a lap of 1:23.825 by Championship leader Tim Minor, well under the existing track record. Minor’s No. 88 Citation was fastest in the afternoon session ahead of fellow Citation driver John LaRue, who was quickest in the morning with a 1:24.109. HP-Tech driver Santino Ferrucci was third quick in the afternoon practice sprint.  For Minor, a strong weekend will clinch his first F2000 title with four races to go, of which two are happening this weekend at Mid-Ohio. The points’ leader commented that he is here to win, and spent the few days home between Mid-Ohio doubleheaders changing the clutch in the Ski Motorsports entry. LaRue was also quick on the time sheets – both in the morning and afternoon, and could be poised to bounce back after a strong qualifying performance two weeks ago which was followed by a disqualification. While the Masters Class veterans were fast, 15-year-old American Ferrucci was in the top three in both sessions, and led all of twilight testing in the rain on Thursday night. Ferrucci’s No. 10 Van Diemen won at Mid-Ohio in 2012, and the aspiring racer is still looking for the top step on the podium after top five results in all four of his F2000 starts thus far since making his season debut mid-year at Watkins Glen. Kyle Connery’s No. 91 Van Diemen was fourth fastest on the afternoon time sheets, as Connery and Minor split race wins at Mid-Ohio in July. Connery is marking his third straight weekend at the road course, having competed here in the Pro Mazda Championship between the F2000 weekends. The American remains the only other driver besides Minor to win a race in 2013, and has three victories on the year, with wins also coming at Lime Rock Park and Watkins Glen. Rounding out the top five and picking up considerable speed from the morning session was the second HP-Tech entry for Roberto Lorena, from Brazil. The squad is back to two cars this weekend as their third driver, Jose Montiel, had travel issues coming from Venezuela. Polestar Racing Group’s David Grant followed in sixth place, quickly adapting back to the downforce and power of the F2000 Van Diemen after posting an impressive second fastest time in the F1600 morning practice session. WISKO Racing teammates Kevin Kopp and Italian Federico Mosconi were seventh and eighth, with Tim Paul marking the ninth fastest practice time in both of Friday’s 25-minute sessions. Steve Bamford, also doing double duty in the F1600 Series like Grant, completed the top ten in the No. 71 Van Diemen for Rice Race Prep. Both Metrik chassis posted nearly identical times in the morning and afternoon, as Keith McCrone and Tim Dunn picked up nearly a second and a half in laptime between the two sessions. Session results are available here.

09-08-13

DTM: Round seven at the Nürburgring (August 16-18) is the next up for the DTM just as the title chase starts to heats up. With 100 points still up for grabs Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller travels to the Eifel with a 27-point advantage. ‘Rocky’ grew up just half an hour away from the ‘Ring’ so  both he and Audi Sport Team Phoenix, who have their base at the Nürburgring, are looking forward to the event with eager anticipation.. The race at the Nürburgring ranks among the classic events on the calendar and the DTM has had numerous gripping races there, including six Audi victories since the comeback in 2000. The proximity to the famous Nordschleife and the enthusiasm of the fans make the round in the Eifel on of the highlights of the season. This is particularly true for Audi’s Timo Scheider and the aforementioned Rockenfeller, who grew up near the circuit and for whom the Nürburgring is their home track. Following Rocly’s second victory of the season in Moscow, he travels to  his home round with an advantage of 27 points over the reigning Champion Bruno Spengler. Audi Sport Team Phoenix, which runs both Rockenfeller and Miguel Molina, only has to cross a road to get from its base in Meuspath to the paddock.  Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “The success at Moscow, where all four of our drivers scored, was good for the whole squad. You can really feel how hot the guys are to up the ante at the Nürburgring. Our team has won an amazing six DTM races in the Eifel, including our first ever victory in the DTM. Now, scoring the seventh victory at the seventh round of the season would be a perfect fit.”  

Formula 4: Title challenging BRDC Formula 4 Championship racer Charlie Robertson is keeping his fingers crossed for a problem-free outing when the category revisits Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit next weekend, 17th/18th. Rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the campaign could well be the most crucial races of the 16-year-old’s rookie campaign in single-seaters, having encountered a series of issues recently which have hit his championship placing. As a one-time leader of the F4 standings, Charlie is hungry to climb back up the points after slipping to fifth at Brands Hatch. Although the event was his lowest scoring of 2013, due to several problems, he still managed to secure his sixth podium of the year in round 13.. “Brands Hatch was a tough weekend, and disappointing too, so I’m really determined to put all of that behind me and focus on picking up as many points as possible at Silverstone”, said the Surrey teenager, “We really need a minimum of three podiums if we can next weekend, I need to pull as many points back as possible on Jake [Hughes] at the top of the championship. It’s been a very strong first season so far, the guys at HHC [Motorsport] have done a fantastic job with the car and we’ve had the pace all year. Unfortunately, we have had more than our fair share of problems but I’m still confident we can fight for the title over the last nine races. Absolutely anything can happen.” The Investigo-backed racer made a strong start to his F4 bid during the opening three rounds at Silverstone. From there, he secured his maiden single-seater podium in round four at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit and capped a sensational weekend with his first victory in round six. Since then, despite a run of bad luck, he has added podiums at every event.  Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography

BRDC Formula 4 Championship team SWR is plotting a victorious return to its ‘home’ track, Silverstone, a week from now when category arrives back in Northamptonshire for the sixth event of 2013. Based just 45 minutes down the road in the Oxfordshire town of Chipping Norton, SWR is determined to add to its tally of three race wins next weekend. Karting graduates Jack Barlow and Matty Graham have both tasted the victor’s champagne this year and go into rounds 16, 17 and 18 holding fourth and seventh position, respectively, in the driver standings. As far as team success goes, the highlight so far for SWR was the remarkable one-two finish last time out at Brands Hatch, where Graham headed home Barlow, the first team in BRDC Formula 4 to achieve the feat. “Brands Hatch was a great weekend for the whole team, the one-two result was absolutely fantastic and a real reward for all of the hard work and effort everyone has been putting into SWR’s maiden season”, said Walkinshaw, “We can’t wait to be back at Silverstone, it’s always good to be racing close to home and having been so strong there at the start of the year, we’re feeling confident.”  Notably, Barlow claimed his maiden win at Silverstone’s GP Circuit during the first weekend of the season before adding another victory at Oulton Park. Graham, of course, will arrive at SWR’s local track on the crest of a wave after claiming his first car racing win just a fortnight ago and backing it up with another top three result in the subsequent race, round 15. The 17-year-old, from County Durham, also climbed the podium during round three at Silverstone back in April so confidence is running high for the return there.Chinese driver Zou Sirui, who completes SWR’s three-car line-up, is seeking his first top 10 finish of the year and with knowledge of the 3.66-mile GP track from the first race meeting of the year he will be aiming to utilise the experience to his advantage. Sirui’s best result of the season so far has been 14th position, a finish he matched at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, but the Far East racer is determined to break into the top 10 sooner rather than later. Due to his Chinese licence, though, Sirui is ineligible to score F4 championship points. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography

Indy Lights: After finding himself the best part of two seconds off the pace, Jack Hawksworth admitted that a podium finish was a miraculous outcome to the Firestone Indy Lights Mid-Ohio 100 – but that is exactly what he delivered as a combination of good old-fashioned grit and fighting spirit saw him make inroads into the championship lead. Read report

Pirelli World Challenge:  Hopes for a successful doubleheader for Pirelli World Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course never materialized for Taggart Autosport and the Lotus USA entry of Jim Taggart. A strong performance from Lime Rock Park would not be repeated, with an unpredictable host of external issues limiting the team throughout the weekend. Read more

Grand-Am: Canadian Indy Car and road racing star Alex Tagliani will partner reigning GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT co-Champion Jeff Segal in the No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Autosport Racing with Ferrari 458 Italia at next weekend’s inaugural GRAND-AM Road Racing SFP Grand Prix at Kansas Speedway, August 16 – 17. Tagliani will be filling in for regular No. 61R.Ferri/AIM Ferrari driver Max Papis who was previously committed to the NASCAR Nationwide race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The announcement aligns Quebec-native Tagliani, one of Canada’s top racing stars of the last two decades, with fellow Canadians Remo Ferri and AIM Autosport team principals Ian Willis and Andrew Bordin for the first time. "It's not every day that a driver has the chance to drive a red Ferrari in racing, and doing it for R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport means even more,” Tagliani said. “I have a great respect for Ian as an engineer and Andrew, whom I raced against. They have been long-time friends on and off track. Driving Remo's car is a great opportunity and an honour for a Canadian-born driver with Italian heritage. Remo is such a passionate guy for motorsports and I can already feel a great vibe in this team.” Read more"It's not every day that a driver has the chance to drive a red Ferrari in racing, and doing it for R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport means even more,” Tagliani said. “I have a great respect for Ian as an engineer and Andrew, whom I raced against. They have been long-time friends on and off track. Driving Remo's car is a great opportunity and an honour for a Canadian-born driver with Italian heritage. Remo is such a passionate guy for motorsports and I can already feel a great vibe in this team.” Read more

On Saturday the Road America Circuit plays host to the Grand Am championship featuring four ferraris. Craig Stanton returns to the wheel of the second Scuderia Corsa car after driving with the team at Watkins Glen, he is partnered by Ferrari Challenge North America driver Chris Ruud. “I am excited to be back with Scuderia Corsa,” said Stanton. “Chris and I have worked together for a long time in Ferrari Challenge and I am honoured to support him in his first pro-race.” The Scuderia Corsa team is completed by Alessandro Balzan - who currently stands third in the drivers’ championship - and Leh Keen in the #63 car. Jeff Segal and Max Papis will drive the #61 R. Ferri / AIM Motorsport car. Emil Assentato and Anthony Lazzaro, who currently sit joint forth in the championship complete the Ferrari lineup in their AIM Autosport Team FXDD #69 car.

British GT: It is another busy weekend of racing for the extremely successful Ferrari 458 GT car. Cars are in action at Brands Hatch in the UK for the British GT Championship and over in America at Road America for the Grand Am and American Le Mans Series championships. At Brands it’s the fifth round of the seven part British GT Series that now features five Ferrari. Joining the ranks is the FF Corse entered car driven by South African Gentleman driver Jacques Duyver and young British driver Charlie Hollings. The pair will race in the GTC category as Duyver continues to gain experience ahead of a potential full attack on the championship next year. The second FF car is driven by Gary Eastwood and Rob Barff. AF Corse have two cars in the race the #29 car for Spa 24 Hour winners Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin and the #13 car for John Dhillon and Aaron Scott. Mtech complete the line up with the #41 car for Derek Johnston and Jake Rattenbury.
The championship will remember driver Allan Simonsen at the weekend - the long time British GT and former Ferrari driver was killed at the wheel of his Aston Martin at the Le Mans 24 hours. The front row of the grid will be left clear and a 60 second roar of engines will remember his life and racing career. The cars will also run modified door panels in honour of this incredibly popular driver who still stands 12 in the championship. The two hour race runs on Sunday from 13:40 BST.

ALMS: On Sunday, Road America plays host to round six of the American Le Mans Series, the two hour 45 minute race begins at 2pm ET. Leh Keen is back in action with Team West / AJR / Boardwalk Ferrari driving with Townsend Bell. After missing the previous, Canadian round of the series due to accident damage, Risi Competizione is looking forward to its ALMS return with Olivier Beretta and Matteo Malucelli at the wheel.

Super GT: Alex Buncombe and Jann Mardenborough both made their Japanese track debuts on the opening day of the SUPER GT official test, held at Fuji Speedway on August 6- 7. Driving the NDDP Racing-entered Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, the pair of NISMO Global Driver Exchange drivers was immediately on the pace, setting quick times within their first handful of laps behind the wheel of the GT300 machine. Alongside the day's regular driver Kazuki Hoshino, the visitors both got repeat stints at the controls of the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, a machine similar in every way to the car they campaign in the Blancpain Endurance Series and FIA GT Series - except, of course, for its tires. When queried, each of the pilots commented on the difference in the car's behavior on the Yokohama rubber found on the SUPER GT car. The morning's dry but muggy conditions continued after lunch, eventually giving way to rain at the very end of the day's running. Both successfully completed their rookie tests and despite their unfamiliarity with the track and the  tyres, both posted lap times within a second of the top time on the day. Alex Buncombe: "For myself and Jann this is really a warm-up for the Fuji Sprint Cup in November. We're here basically to settle in to the car, the circuit and the team - and see how it goes from there. The car is the same as the one we drive in Europe, apart from the tires - and that makes a huge difference. The general feel of the tire is very, very good. A little better than what we're used to, actually. I'm really impressed with the way the whole program here is run to be honest; it's really professional." Jann Mardenborough: "Ever since watching Japanese motorsport videos I've always wanted to come here. To be able to come here and race here in the future is absolutely incredible. There's so much technology here it's just amazing - and everybody's been really nice as well. The track is also amazing. I've done plenty of laps here on the Gran Turismo so I know which way it goes, and driving the GT300 car, it's nice to compare it to the European car. On the Yokohama tires it is pretty different; the front end of the car is a lot more positive. When they're new, you can lean quite a lot on the tyre here."

WTCC: Following the announcement that Yvan Muller will join Citroën Racing next year, RML thanked the French driver for his four successful years with the team in WTCC. Ray Mallock, RML Chief Executive said:  “Naturally everybody at RML will be sorry to see Yvan go at the end of this year – he has been a key supporter and a perfect ambassador for RML over the very enjoyable years that we have worked with him. However, we appreciate this will not have been an easy decision for him to make and we fully support Yvan in his move and wish him the best of luck for the future. I am tremendously proud of our achievements.” Muller echoed: “This has been a very difficult decision for me to make. RML has allowed me to win many races and conquer two World Championship titles.  We’ve worked incredibly hard together for the past four seasons and these have been years of great personal satisfaction for me. I would like to thank everybody in the factory for giving me confidence and I hope that our successes together over the years have put RML firmly on the sporting map.” Speaking about the future Mallock said: “Our short term goals are clear; we are focussed on ensuring our 2013 campaign ends on a high note, with another World Title for Yvan and the team. In the longer term RML Group will continue to bring success in which ever formulae it competes in, and we hope to return to the new-specification 2014 WTCC, one way or another.”

José María ‘Pechito’ López’s victory in WTCC’s second race at Termas de Río Hondo last Sunday was the first for an Argentine driver in a World Championship after exactly 27 years.
The latest one dated back to 3 August 1986, when Oscar Larrauri won the World Sportscars Championship’s Silk Cut Trophy at Jerez de la Frontera in a Porsche 962. López was also the first non-European driver to claim a WTCC victory since Augusto Farfus won the second race at Macau in 2009. The Argentine driver's success was the third for Wiechers-Sports in WTCC, following Stefano D’Aste wins at Salzburgring and Suzuka last year.

The Racing Steps Foundation (RSF) and the Motor Sports Association (MSA) are delighted to announce the extension of their partnership for a further three years to develop young British motor sport talent. Having supported the MSA as its official ‘educational partner’ since 2009, the RSF has played a significant role in the growth of the MSA Academy, which has already provided training and development for more than 170 young British drivers. In addition, the Performance Master Classes, created in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, have allowed a series of short seminars to be delivered free of charge to young drivers at various championship meetings across the country. These Master Classes, presented by trained MSA coaches, provide a great opportunity to impart basic guidance and information to drivers at the start of their careers and stress the importance of maintaining education alongside their motor sport commitments. The extension of the contract takes the RSF / MSA relationship to the end of the 2015 season, allowing the governing body to press forward with its ambitious plans to overhaul the approach of motor sport towards talent identification and development. MSA Chief Executive, Nick Bunting: “We are grateful for RSF’s continued support and vision, which initially enabled the MSA Academy to progress and develop in its early years. This extended contract will assist the MSA in leading the direction of the sport in this vital area; in the next three years we will see a significant shift in the way motor sport views the progress of its young drivers through the various stages of their careers.” RSF Founder, Graham Sharp: “Great Britain is a beacon not only of extraordinary technical creativity on the race track, but also outstanding driving talent. We are pleased to be able to extend this important partnership with the MSA Academy and look forward to seeing increasing results that will help to sustain this nation’s peerless international record.”

08-08-13

Pacific Formula 1600: After yet another successful weekend of podiums and top-5 finishes in Rounds 9 & 10 of the 2013 Pacific Formula 1600 Series at Buttonwillow Raceway in Southern California, Lynx Racing Academy drivers remained at the track to begin testing of the new Toyo tyres that will become the series spec tyre at the next event.  In qualifying for Round 9 on Saturday, the second row of the grid was all Lynx Racing, with teammates Alex Keyes' No. 32, and Andrew Evans' No. 19 side-by-side in their Spectrum/Hondas. With temperatures approaching 100 plus degrees Fahrenheit the field set off on the pace lap for the 11:15 am start.  As the Formula F1600 group took the green flag both Evans and Keyes made excellent starts and stormed to the front as the field headed to the first turn.  From there it was a heated, nose-to-tail battle between the top five drivers in the series.  Evans made a strong move to pass his teammate on lap eight, and from there build a lead and take a strong third place finish, with Keyes finishing fourth.  Read more

07-08-13

Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge: David Pittard is hoping to give his local supporters further cause to celebrate this weekend as the Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge heads to the Kent based circuit of Brands Hatch. Currently sitting third in the Championship after a troublesome outing at the Belgium circuit of Spa Francorchamps, the 21 year old is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of his Nationwide Driver Supply sponsored Ginetta, and regaining the ground lost to his Championship rivals last time out. “I haven't had the chance to race on the Brands Hatch GP circuit, so am really looking forward to driving what is regarded as one of the best circuits in the UK and the World" similed David. “We have managed to secure some additional funding to allow us to complete a full days testing on the circuit before race day, which is really great news. Previously pre-race testing was something we only managed to take part in for the first two meetings of the year! “The weather forecast looks a little bit mixed on Sunday, so that presents an interesting challenge if it is wet as there hasn’t been a wet race all year. After a disappointing round at Spa, and with all the hard work the Nationwide Driver Supply team have put in since, I am looking to bounce back with 3 good results, putting the pressure back on the Championship leaders."

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada:  Only two events remain in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series 2013 season, which means only four races separate frontrunners David Ostella and Chris Green for the keys to a Porsche 991. This weekend drivers battle it out on Circuit de Trois-Rivieres for the first time since the inception of the series with each competitor hoping to be one step closer to the Championship and a one-year lease on the new Porsche 991, compliments of Porsche Canada.  This season the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series make its debut at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres with the 1.5-mile street circuit hosting Rounds 7 and 8 as seven teams attempt to master the tricky 10-turn course. SpeedMerchants' Ostella leads the Platinum Cup standings with 104 total pointswith two wins and three podium finishes. The 21-year-old's consistent performances have propelled SpeedMerchants into the top of the team championship standings as well.  Green of Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports has seen the top step of the podium twice this year and has three podium finishes for a total of 97 points. With only seven points separating Green and Ostella, he is well within striking distance for the championship. Green's latest victory came at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Round 6 of the 2013 season. " Ostella expressed. "There's no making mistakes at this course. There are no run offs, no grass and the pressure is on to run perfect laps. I love that you have to run it perfectly. Having been here before will help because we won't get much time on track before qualifications, same as in Indy Lights. I'm in it for the championship. I'll be focusing on staying ahead of Chris [Green] and running smoothly. I want to race clean and take care of the car.It's a small place with crazy fans," Ostella said. "They love to cheer on their Canadian drivers and hype us up. I love the atmosphere and can't wait to get there." Masters contender Marco Cirone proves age is only a number, as he is third in the Platinum Cup standings. Cirone's four fourth-place finishes put him up with the youngsters in the total standings.  "I really like this track because it's a street circuit Tim Sanderson, representing Fiorano Racing for Joanne's House, leads the Gold Cup standings with four wins this season, but Carlos de Quesada is knocking on the door in second place, just six points behind Sanderson.  

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge: Call it  the "Garage Mahal", or simply immaculate - the Kelly-Moss Motorsports race facility has acquired many nicknames over the years. Tucked in the Madison, Wisconsin countryside, the 55,000-square-foot operation includes everything from state-of-the-art engine and chassis dynos to a full-service fabrication shop. This weekend Kelly-Moss Motorsports will head 107 miles northeast to celebrate a quarter century since its inception at a track with a few nicknames of its own. Elkhart Lake's Road America is the Disneyland of road courses in North America, and welcomes the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Series for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patrón doubleheader. The crew considers the 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit its home track, just two hours away from the facility, and expects to perform well with four entries in Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2013 season.  Read more

Historics: Jaguar will be at the 2013 AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring this weekend, demonstrating not only its glorious motor racing past, but also showcasing innovation through technology and design with one of five C-X75 prototype hybrid supercars cars on static display in the main paddock area on site.  The Nürburgring has witnessed many Jaguar race victories over the years, most recently Jaguar Heritage Racing taking the chequered flag in the E-type Challenge race at last year’s Oldtimer Grand Prix.  In 2013, Jaguar Heritage Racing driver Alex Buncombe achieved four victories in European classic races whilst driving a C-type once owned by Formula One legend Juan Manuel Fangio.  At the Oldtimer race, Alex will team up with Jaguar’s 1988 Le Mans 24 hour race winner Andy Wallace and German journalist and racing driver Roland Löwisch. This new team of drivers will compete in a Jaguar MK II in the AvD Tourenwagen Trophäe on the challenging Nordschleife, which was a gruelling endurance race for high performance saloon cars of the 1950s and 60s. The innovative Jaguar C-X75 hybrid supercar on display in the paddock, can hit 100mph from standstill in less than six seconds and has a top speed of 220mph from its 502bhp, 1.6-litre turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine. The C-X75's two electric motors add a further 390bhp, for a combined output in excess of 850bhp. Although the decision was taken in 2012 that the C-X75 would not enter production, it showcases for Jaguar's ing expertise in lightweight vehicle construction and is the ideal test-bed for innovative research into high-performance, low-emission powertrains.

With over one month still to go until the 2013 Goodwood Revival (13-15 September) gets underway, virtually all remaining admission tickets have now been sold, with Saturday admissions selling out in July during the Festival of Speed, and all Sunday tickets now sold-out as well. A very limited quantity of Goodwood tickets do remain available for Friday 13 September, although with all other days now sold-out, these are also expected to sell-out within the next few days.  All grandstands and camping also sold-out some weeks ago. With a record Revival attendance last year of 148,000, Lord March - the event’s founder – once again took the bold decision to cap advanced ticket sales for this year to ensure the Revival remains a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all Goodwood visitors, without too much crowding.  The huge early demand for the Revival will ensure that those lucky enough to have tickets are set for a truly enjoyable and memorable weekend. For remaining Friday tickets and further information for the 2013 Goodwood Revival can be found on the Goodwood website (www.goodwood.com/motorsport/), or via the Ticket Hotline as follows:
Telephone: +44 (0)1243 755055

Michelin Clio Cup: Scuderia Vittoria’s James Weston is managing his own ambitions for Rounds 5 and 6 of the burgeoning Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre on Rockingham’s Sportscar Circuit (10-11 August). The Tunbridge Wells-domiciled racer has been methodical in his approach to his maiden season in the new-for-2013 Clio Cup Series, steadily honing his driving technique. Weston has shown real signs of improvement and this is reflected in his results, having already broken into the top five and achieved multiple Class 4 victories. However, the 25-year old is reluctant to overstretch himself and is simply looking for consistency when the Michelin-backed Clio Cup Series resumes on Rockingham’s 1.94-mile International Super Sportscar Circuit this weekend. “I cannot wait to get back in the car at Rockingham,” said an enthused Weston. “It’s a new track and there will be a lot of learning to do, so I’ll be looking to get as much seat time as possible to emulate the top five results I’ve already achieved this season. I think podium finishes are a bit unrealistic right now because I’m not sure what to expect from the circuit. Having studied some data, it looks less technical than Snetterton and I think rhythm will be the key to achieving a couple of solid results.” Weston added: “Because I can’t test between events, I use the first couple of sessions just to acclimatising to the car and track – this puts me at a disadvantage because it’s time that could be spent improving lap times and honing setups. I decided to run a hand car wash during the break to raise some funds for a set of testing tyres. Fresh tyres for qualifying and the races should put me in a stronger position. I’m all for using a bit of initiative, even if it means getting burnt to a crisp while washing an endless queue of cars!”  pic Jakob Ebrey

WTCC: Citroën has recruited Yvan Muller as part of its World Touring Car Championship team. The French driver, a three-time world champion, will drive one of the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC cars in 2014. Muller a 3 times Champion(in 2008, 2010 and 2011) has broken every record going, from race wins and points scored, to the number of pole positions. He currently leads the 2013 Championship and looks like adding his fourth championship crown at the upcoming Sonoma meeting in September. Yvan, a native of France's Alsace region, is an ideal choice for Citroën. Yves Matton, Managing Director of Citroën Racing. "We have set ambitious goals for our new challenge in WTCC, and the arrival of a driver as experienced as Yvan will help us to make rapid progress. He has shown this season that he is at the peak of his powers and that his thirst for wins has never been greater. He will also be an excellent point of reference for Sébastien Loeb. The two men are from the same region and have known each other for a long time. Their mutual respect will create a natural cohesion within the team." Having worked with five manufacturers during his touring car career, Yvan Muller is highly motivated by this latest challenge: "It will be a real honour to represent Citroën Racing from 2014. As a rally fan, I have always followed Citroën and Seb’s victorious seasons in WRC with interest. It’s fantastic that a brand with such a terrific record is getting involved in a category where it still has everything to learn. This isn't the first time I have joined a team that doesn't have a lot of experience in the discipline it is racing in. It’s nice to be able to go beyond my role as a driver by offering the benefit of my knowledge and making an active contribution to building a successful team."  Read more

F1600: Americans Jake Eidson, Adrian Starrantino and Aaron Telitz are locked in a three-way fight for the 2013 F1600 Formula F Championship Series title with just four races to go. The three aspiring racers take their talents back to Mid-Ohio, where both Eidson and Starrantino won just two weeks ago, and where Telitz led until just two corners to go on Sunday afternoon before contact with Starrantino.  The contact between the race leaders resulted in a monetary fine for Starrantino’s Bryan Herta Autosport team and his No. 98 Mygale/Honda, but did not take points away from the young racer. While versions of events differ, Starrantino was able to come away with the win, while Telitz settled for a broken car and lost valuable Championship ground. The No. 13 WISKO Racing camp will be looking to rebound to their form that saw Telitz go from third to first on the last lap at Road Atlanta in May. But before the drama at Mid-Ohio, Eidson cruised to his fourth victory of the season and fourth in a row on Saturday afternoon in the rain. The Spectrum/Honda driver for Cape Motorsports marked his third straight rain run-away drive, and inched out what is now a 29-point Championship lead for the defending F1600 title winning team. The season has unfolded in momentum shifts, with Starrantino sweeping VIR, Telitz winning at Road Atlanta, and then Eidson going on a four-race win streak prior to Starrantino’s last lap ordeal at Mid-Ohio. The key to the Championship may have started two weeks ago, who had Mid-Ohio figured out, but as races developed and the weekend unfolded, all three of the drivers vying for the title were very fast at the road course, all leading laps and separating themselves from the rest of the pack. Elsewhere, Steve Bamford is coming off a podium at Mid-Ohio in race two, and won the June Sprints, and could factor in near the front of the field. As could Telitz's WISKO teammate Paul Alspach, who has been inching toward the front of the field since joining the Series in May at Road Atlanta. Jim Goughary was back on form too, hanging around the top five last time out, while Sam Chastain and Ayla Agren, two additional entries from Bryan Herta Autsoport hope to rebound after tangling in round eight after running in the top five. pic Ryan Wise

Renault UK Clio Cup: Ash Hand returned from the summer break raring to go again as the Renault UK Clio Cup resumed for round six at Snetterton last weekend – and he duly confirmed his early-season promise by cracking the top five for the first time in his fledgling car racing career. Hand had concluded the opening half of the campaign with a brace of sixth-place finishes at Croft in June, and he headed to Snetterton eager to build upon that momentum in the Clio Cup. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography  read report

Mini Challenge: Chris Smiley bounced back from the disappointment of Oulton Park to score a dominant victory in the opening race of the Mini Challenge over the weekend at Castle Combe.  Chris Smith’s race one result may have been damage limitation, but the wet conditions gave him the chance to thrive and he ended his 11-race wait for a victory in emphatic style.  Costal Racing’s Shane Stoney won the Cooper Class in both races. Read more

Kart Masters, the self-styled British Grand Prix of karting, is renowned for the fierceness and high-calibre of its racing. Its winner-takes-all nature means that every competitor raises their game in a bid to win the coveted ‘GP’ number plates.So it would be understandable for a driver to select a lesser event at which to return to racing. Not Joe Reilly, though. The former Junior Max Super One champion and Formula Renault BARC star-turned mechanic with Strawberry Racing, made a stunning comeback at PFi last weekend (3/4 August).   Pic: Chris Walker / www.kartpix.net      Read more 

06-08-13

F2000: Two more races at Mid-Ohio this weekend signal the race to the end of the 2013 F2000 Championship Series. With just four rounds to go, Tim Minor’s huge Championship lead is nearing the point of a Championship clinch, and the F2000 veteran is well within range of securing his first title during rounds 11 and 12 at Mid-Ohio. Minor is coming off a win and second place back-to-front drive just two weeks ago at the same track. The veteran and his Ski Motorsports Citation chassis now have seven wins on the season and are essentially in control of their own destiny. The man lying second in points, Kyle Connery, also won at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago, making it three wins for the year. Connery will need a lights-out last four races in the No. 91 Van Diemen and a lot of luck to take the title away from Minor. Elsewhere, after a string of strong finishes, David Grant is still hunting for his first F2000 Series victory for Polestar and sits third in points ahead of Roberto Lorena, who clawed back some ground on Grant, thanks to a DNF from the 2012 Atlantic Champion in round 10. Another contender for race wins may be Santino Ferrucci. The 15-year-old was sitting first on a restart at Mid-Ohio in the rain, but couldn’t capitalize on a wet race track coming to the green flag. He spun out of the lead, and a day later, put the No. 10 Van Diemen for HP-Tech on the pole position. Ferrucci, in four starts, has finished fifth, fourth, third and second. A fifth start happens for the young American this coming Saturday. With the weather forecast still a question mark, rain at Mid-Ohio produced one of the most bizarre F2000 races ever in round nine – with cars cycling from the front, to the back, and back to the front in a 30-car field in just a 30-minute race on a super-slick and slow race track. The entry list will also note the return of the R-Sport Metrik chassis team for Keith McCrone and Tim Dunn. In addition is Tim Paul, who sat out of the last rounds and ran strongly at Watkins Glen in June. Sitting just points apart in fifth, sixth and seventh in the Championship - Federico Mosconi, Steve Bamford, and Kevin Kopp - Mosconi's teammate, are all vying for a top five Championship slot and hope to improve upon their Mid-Ohio performances from July, where Steve Bamford was the only one of the three able to finish in the top five in either race. pic Mike Eakin

Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre: Rockingham’s International Sportscar Circuit will host the burgeoning Michelin Clio Cup Series with Protyre for the first time this weekend, 10th/11th August, where Luke Herbert and Peter Felix will be the men to beat going into the fifth and sixth races of the season. With three wins to his credit from the opening four races, a memorable double during the category curtain-raiser at Snetterton in May and a further success during the opening encounter at Croft in July, Herbert has been the dominant force up to now in both qualifying and race conditions. Felix though, who drives for the EPM Technology/20Ten Racing squad which is owned by team-mate Darren Wilson, delivered a superb lights-to-flag win in the second Croft race to claim his maiden success in the Clio Series. pic Jakob Ebrey Photography    Read more

The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Series returns to the states for rounds 9 and 10 at  Road America this weekend. The 4.048-mile, 14-turn track is the longest road course teams will see this season, and one of the most majestic tracks in North America. Located in the Wisconsin countryside, many drivers enjoy gazing at the 640 acres of landscape on cool-down laps, but there will be no time for sight-seeing during the two on-track battles this weekend. Nine teams will attempt to dominate the course with the infamous "Kink" at the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón double header this weekend, with current Championship leading team Performance Tech running five entries. Performance Tech currently has 144 points, followed by Comprent Motor Sports in second (141) and JDC Motorsports in third with 126 points. Read more

Round 7 of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park included a photo finish between current Platinum Cup leaders Angel Benitez Jr. and Madison Snow, tied with 114 points each. Now the IMSA Development Series heads to Road America located in picturesque Elkhart Lake, Wis. The 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit presents a new challenge for drivers as it is the longest track participants will face this season. Read more

The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Challenge GB switches focus to the Rockingham in Northamptonshire this weekend for the fourth of six double-header meetings for the 420bhp racing Porsches as used in the Carrera Cup GB up to 2009. To date it has been a perfect season for Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) who has been unbeaten across the first six races to take a 16-point championship lead. Sherwood has not put a wheel wrong so far and will now head to Rockingham aiming to extend that mighty sequence to eight races. With drivers counting the scores from their best five of the six race weekends, Sherwood has a handy cushion but he would love to finish the season with a perfect 12 victories. The man most likely to upset Sherwood’s plans is his team mate Steven Liquorish, one of the most experienced Porsche racers in the championship. The Oxford racer has finished second to Sherwood in all six races to date and would love nothing more than to see the chequered flag before his team mate. Liquorish has taken three pole positions to date, so his pace is clearly very strong. Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher has made a big jump up the racing ladder this season to join the GT3 Cup Challenge and showed excellent pace last time out at Croft when he scored a brace of podium finishes to record his best weekend of the season to date. Fletcher races with Redline Racing, one of the leading teams in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. Racing newcomer Peter Kyle-Henney has been the revelation of the opening three race weekends, taking three podiums for Parr Motorsport. Having previously taken part in track days and speed events, Kyle-Henney has raced superbly despite his lack of prior racing experience, although he will head to Rockingham seeking to make up for a mixed weekend at Croft. Back for a second season in the GT3 Cup Challenge is Yorkshireman Guy Riall (Almara Racing), and he showed ever-improving pace last time out at his home track of Croft.

Avon Tyres British GT Championship race winner Ahmad Al Harthy travels to Brands Hatch this weekend for round seven of the 2013 season where the Oman Air Motorbase driver is confident of challenging for yet more silverware. Fresh from his maiden experience at the Total 24 Hours of Spa just over a week ago in the Blancpain Endurance Series, where the Omani’s team unfortunately had to retire early on after contact from a rival, the 31-year-old is relishing the prospect of reuniting with British GT team-mate Michael Caine. So far in Ahmad’s maiden year of endurance racing, he and Caine have enjoyed some excellent results in the heavily subscribed British series despite the pairing being handicapped by a hefty weight penalty due to their relative levels of motor racing experience. The highlight has been a first victory at the wheel of the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Center-liveried Porsche 997 GT3R during round five at Snetterton in Norfolk in mid-June. Ahmad and Caine are fourth in the championship – a mere seven points shy of the lead. “It’s incredibly close in the championship ahead of Brands next weekend, every point scored is going to be crucial with only four races left”, said the Muscat racer, “We didn’t come into this season with any expectations, my first year in GT racing is all about learning and adapting to endurance racing, so to be fourth in the championship at this stage is fantastic. After taking our first win at Snetterton, we really want to keep pushing for the podium and I’m confident we can. Michael has been driving superbly all year, as I always knew he would, and the guys at Oman Air Motorbase have done an incredible job with the car – it’s been a joy to drive.” With experience of the Brands Hatch GP Circuit, Ahmad can focus on obtaining the best set-up possible during the two, one-hour practice sessions ahead of the 120-minute seventh round of the season. “I’m really looking forward to racing on the Grand Prix Circuit again, it’s such a fantastic track and demands a lot of commitment”, he said, “British GT is so competitive this year, there are so many driver and car combinations capable of winning, but we’re feeling confident. The extra ballast we have to carry will hurt us in qualifying, as it has all year, but in the race we should be strong.”   pic Jakob Ebrey Photography

Asian Le Mans Series: AF Corse’s #77 car triumphed in the first Asian Le Mans Series race held at the Inje Speedway in Korea winning the GTC and finishing second overall. After a torrential downpour at the start of the three hour race, the cars were forced to spend the first eight laps of the race behind the safety car. However as the track dried quickly the Ferrari showed its pace and the trio of Steve Wyatt, Andrea Bertolini and Michele Rugolo triumphed in the first race of the season. Ferrari also topped the podium in the GTE class with the Taisan Ken Endless’ car driven by Japanese duo Kamui Kobayashi and Naoki Yokomizo. The second round of this four race series takes place at the Fuji circuit in Japan on the 22nd September.

Porsche Mobile 1 Supercup/VLN/Carrera Cup Deutschland:  Over the past few weeks it’s been one ring after another for Kevin Estre starting with Germany. At the Norisring on the eve of Bastille Day he scored his fifth win of the season in the German Porsche Cup, which he followed up with another class victory on the Nordschleife in the VLN Series. This year Lady Luck didn’t smile on him at the Hungaroring on which he started from pole in 2011 and finished 1st in 2012. However, his fourth place in the race, a curtain-raiser to the Hungarian Grand Prix, has kept him in the running for a top-3 finish at the end of the season in the Supercup. Read report

WTCC: The LADA Sport LUKOIL drivers endured a tough race in round eight of the World Touring Car Championship, held in Argentina. For the first time, two LADA Granta cars were in the top six after the warm-up: Michael Kozlovskiy in fourth and James Thompson in sixth. Unfortunately, some technical problems on James’s car – caused by contact during the race – didn’t allow him to repeat this result when it counted. Michael had to start both races from the back of the grid after his qualifying times were disallowed, but was able to make use of the overtaking opportunities that this circuit offered.  Read report

BTCC: MG KX Momentum drivers Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff both experienced the highs and lows of motor racing in the sixth meeting of the 2013 Dunlop MSA BTCC at Snetterton last weekend. Tordoff got proceedings off to a glowing start with his maiden touring car victory in the opening race, and he was tracked across the line by his team-mate Jason Plato to score the KX Momentum team’s second one-two lock out of the year. However, their plans were derailed after that as Plato suffered a fuel pump problem in race two and was forced to retire while Tordoff, saddled with 45kgs of success ballast, suffered from braking problems and dropped down the order. In the final race of the day, Plato rolled dramatically after an accident on the opening lap while trying to avoid a clash ahead of him. Tordoff powered from 18th on the grid through to fifth place to bank some more points. For Plato, it was a frustrating time. “We came here expecting big results, and ended up with lady luck dealing us a very poor hand,” he said. “I am annoyed with the failure in race two because it was a part mandated by the championship that broke – it’s nothing to do with the team or anything we can control. The crash in race three was one of those things, I was trying to avoid a crash and that caused me to go off the road. It looked dramatic and I will be a bit sore for the next few days but I am ok. It is going to make things a big uphill battle in terms of the championship now, but I am not going to stop fighting. Motor racing isn’t meant to be easy.” Tordoff’s maiden win was taken in great style in race one, and he says that it has given him a real lift as the championship is in its second half. “Winning in the latter part of the season was my target. I have done that now, and the next plan is to win consistently. I am over the moon about it,” he said. “Suffering in race two with the brakes put us on the back foot for race three, but we bounced back with all the lessons we had learned over the two-day test recently. I am confident we have an edge on soft tyres now, and fighting up to sixth rescued something. We can go forward from here.” While a number of the dramas were out of the team’s control team principal Ian Harrison said that he was disappointed. “In race one, we did what we should be doing,” said Harrison. “That was an indication of our potential but races two and three fell apart. You can’t help but feel that we were very unlucky with the incidents that happened but the shining light was Sam’s first win and another one-two. All we need to do now is to make that a more consistent performance.”  pic Dennis Goodwin

Super GT: The next phase of the NISMO Global Driver Exchange will see Jann Mardenborough and Alex Buncombe head to Fuji to take part in the SUPER GT Official Test at Fuji Speedway today and tomorrow. Both drivers will then go on to compete at the Fuji Sprint Cup (formerly JAF GP) at Fuji this November. Mardenborough is the 2011 winner of GT Academy who is now competing in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship and recently claimed a podium finish in a Nissan-powered LM P2 car at the Le Mans 24 Hours and been part of an 'All-Gamer' line-up that took a Pro-Am podium at the Spa 24 Hours in the No.35 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3. "It is an amazing opportunity for me to have the chance to race in Japanese SUPER GT," said Mardenborough. "I have raced at Fuji many times on Gran Turismo 5 so I can't wait to go there for real and sample that long pit straight and there is a long right-hander that also looks a lot of fun.  Before I started racing in 2011 there were three places that I always wanted to go: Dubai, USA and Japan. I've done the first two and now I get to go to Japan and I get to race there too. I will be racing GT300 but it will be good to get a close look at the GT500 cars too as they look so exciting! I would love to race regularly in Japan at some point in my career so this opportunity is very important for me."  Buncombe has played a key role in the success of GT Academy since 2008.  He has mentored all of the GT Academy winners and helped to guide them through the steep learning curve of Nissan's driver development program.  Already a winner in the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 car in 2013 he is keen to get his hands on the GT300 car at Fuji. "These are exciting times for me as I have never even been to Japan, let alone raced a SUPER GT car," said Buncombe. "I've been watching people like Michael Krumm compete in GT500 on television for years now and it looks so good. It's the pinnacle of GT racing so naturally I have wanted to have a go for a long time.  I know the GT-R GT3 car inside and out so I am particularly interested to see how it performs on the Yokohama tires."

Ginetta Jnrs: Will Palmer continued his run of podium finishes at Snetterton last weekend in the Ginetta Junior Championship. Things started well with pole for the two races but a slow getaway in race 1 saw Will fall to tenth at the first corner, however he quickly fought back through to third by the end of the opening lap. Clearing the chasing pack, he went on to take his sixth podium of the year. Race two saw Will fall to third behind the fast starting Ollie Chadwick and Harry Woodhead before passing both on lap three.  On the final lap with Jack Mitchell and Woodhead in close attendance, Will defended into the first corner, before Mitchell took the inside line for Montreal and both Woodhead and Tom Jackson followed him through. Determined to salvage a podium position, Will attacked as they exited Bentley Straight. However an over-ambitious move by Tom Jackson at the last corner forced Will off track, relegating him to seventh place. Read report

Karts: Dan Zelos has made it three trophies in as many years at Kartmasters, the blue riband outing on the British karting calendar, as a gritty effort secured him the runner-up spoils on a day when up to 13 competitors looked to be in with a shout. Zelos has been a regular podium-finisher in the Mini Max class in 2013, currently lying second in the British Championship standings with one round remaining. That meant he headed to PF International in Lincolnshire confident about his prospects. Pic: Chris Walker / www.kartpix.net Read more

Connor Hall’s domination of Mini Max looked under fire as his rivals staged a fightback at the beginning of last month’s (27/28 July) sixth round of the Super One championship. By Sunday evening however, it was normal service resumed and the Strawberry star is now the 2013 champion in waiting. Pic: Chris Walker / www.kartpix.net Read more

Some people really will go to any lengths to raise money for BEN, the automobile industry charity, but a team of four experienced go-karters set a new standard when they entered the famous Le Mans 24 Hour Kart Race. Covering an equivalent distance which would have taken them all the way from Lands End to John O’Groats, they generated £10,000 in sponsorship for BEN in completing well in excess of 1,300 laps of the track. The team share a common bond in that they all work in the automotive industry and therefore appreciate the support services BEN provides to colleagues, and their dependents, in times of need. They are also grateful to Manheim, BCA Auctions, Fleet Assist and Aston Barclay Auctions, their main sponsors, all of whom also backed the team in 2012. Mike Smith, Team Captain of Racing4BEN summed up the experience: ‘Driving that sort of distance in a comfortable saloon car would be tiring but 1 ¾ hour stints in a go-kart is about as far removed as you can get. It’s an effort just getting out of the kart, everything seizes up, your bruises have bruises and you know you’ll be doing it all again in a few hours!’ ‘Knowing you’re raising over £10 per mile for an amazing charity is a great motivator though and we are all determined to make it three in a row next year and raise a lot more money for BEN.’ He added. The full team are; Mike Smith, Duncan Metcalfe, Alan Green and Kris Jackson. Kelly Neal, BEN Events & Exhibitions Manager commented on the achievement: ‘Having raced a kart for 30 minutes in one of our organised BEN events I know just how uncomfortable those machines can be. On behalf of everyone at BEN and the thousands of people we help each year I would just like to say thank you for an incredible achievement.’

05-08-13

BTCC: MG KX Momentum Racing driver Sam Tordoff secured the first victory of his BTCC career in Sunday’s opener at Snetterton, before the Hondas of Andrew Jordan and Gordon Shedden claimed a win apiece in races two and three respectively. Proving something of a Snetterton specialist, having won there previously in both the Clio Cup and Carrera Cup, Tordoff stormed to his maiden BTCC pole position on Saturday and then duly backed-up his pace with a commanding lights-to-flag victory in race one. Jordan won an action-packed race two while in race 3 Shedden and early leader Turkington touched while racing for position. Turkington spun down the order as Shedden nipped through to take a comfortable win. Pic Dennis Goodwin Read more

Honda Yuasa Racing continues to lead all three of the main Championships in the Dunlop MSA BTCC after another fine weekend for the Honda Civic at Snetterton. Due to the turbo boost equalisation system in the series, Honda Yuasa stars Matt Neal and Gordon ‘Flash’ Shedden found the going tough in qualifying. Shedden managed to pull out a great performance to go third fastest, but championship leader Neal was limited to 11th, hampered by a fuel issue. In race one, reigning champion Shedden chased the leading works MGs and finished right behind Jason Plato to take third, while Neal battled his way to ninth. Things improved for Neal in the second encounter, in which several clashes damaged or delayed many cars. Shedden was one of those involved, after contact with the Pirtek Racing Civic of Andrew Jordan, but Neal drove superbly to come through to second.He pulled a fine move around the outside of Aron Smith at Montreal, to give himself the inside for the Palmer left-hander, to snatch the runner-up spot on the final lap. “I was relieved to get to the end,” said Neal. “I’m amazed to be on the podium from where I was. I got a good result partly through a little bit of racing and partly by staying out of the carnage.”
It was Shedden’s turn to stand on the podium in race three. He pressured early leader Colin Turkington before muscling past with some contact at Agostini at half-distance. He then pulled clear to take his third win of 2013. “To leave on a high is excellent, but it’s only because of the misfortunes of others,” reckoned Shedden. “The car’s good and I’m doing my best to stay out of trouble but it keeps finding me!” Neal clashed with Dave Newsham on lap one, but again recovered well to finish eighth and keep himself at the top of the drivers’ standings. “Andrew has had a win and Flash has had a win so that’s two victories for Honda,” said Neal. “We’ve increased our leads in the manufacturers’ and teams’ championships, I’m still leading the drivers’, and Gordon is now more in it too. They have to look both ways now instead of one.” Shedden added: “Matt’s had a cracking weekend. Even when he hits trouble he’s still scored points.” The Snetterton results mean that Honda Civic drivers are now first, second and third in the BTCC table, Neal leading from Jordan and Shedden.  Pic Dennis Goodwin

Andrew Jordan and his Pirtek Racing Honda Civic were at the heart of a day filled with action and high drama during rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton (4 August). With a fantastic drive to victory in the second race and a gritty performance while coping with carbon monoxide fumes inside the car in race three, Andrew ended the day just nine points behind championship leader Matt Neal. Pic Dennis Goodwin Read more

DTM: At the first ever Russian DTM race, Mike Rockenfeller (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) and Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) took a one-two victory for Audi  . Rockenfeller,’s second success of the season extended his lead in the Championship to 27 points. On the new race track, roughly 80 kilometers north-west of Moscow, Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM and Mattias Ekström in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM set the pace right from the start. After 74 laps, the two Audi drivers had a ten-second advantage over the BMW of Augusto Farfus, who just managed to hold onto third place ahead of Adrien Tambay in another Audi RS 5 DTM.  DTM Race report

Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup: Carl Breeze and Mark Davies took a win apiece for Total Control Racing during the sixth event of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup season at Snetterton 300 Circuit over the weekend, 3rd/4th August, to increase the Wednesbury squad’s 2013 tally to seven victories. Snetterton local Breeze, who resides in Kings Lynn, began the race meeting with the runner-up spot in round 15 on Saturday afternoon before soaking up immense pressure in the first of Sunday’s encounters, round 16, to claim a very popular ‘home’ success. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report

Three years after first competing there, Tom Ingram finally succeeded in breaking his Snetterton curse as he sped to his sixth victory of 2013 with a flawless lights-to-flag victory in the opening encounter He followed that up with a second place behind his closest rival Carl Breeze in race2 and third in race 2.  Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report

Ginetta Jnrs: Ollie Chadwick achieved a dramatic podium finish in a drama-filled Ginetta Junior Championship race at Snetterton. Race 1 on Saturday saw Ollie take his Ginetta G40  into the lead at the start, unfortunately a tap from Jack Mitchell at Montreal spun Ollie and demoted him to last. A determined comeback saw him eventually recover up to 4th. In Race 2 another good start gave Ollie the initiative during the opening laps ahead of Harry Woodhead until on Lap 3 Will Palmer made a move around the outside of both of them at Montreal. A scintillating battle ensued before an overheating engine blunted Ollie’s performance dropping him to 6th. By nursing his car  he stayed in touch with the leaders before a brilliant last gasp overtake into the final corner gave him a deserved 3rd. Sister Jamie drove a measured first race to enter the final lap in 4th and in sight of the Rookie Trophy, before being tapped into a spin by Jack Mitchell – who was later penalised – to finish in 9th. Performance issues reappeared in Round 12 on Sunday and she couldn't make an impression on the top ten runners and ended up in 11th.  Read more

Formula Renault: Mark Burdett Motorsport’s Raoul Owens continued his points scoring momentum in the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) at Assen in The Netherlands over the weekend, to maintain eighth place in the driver standings – just five points shy of the top six. Posting a best finish of seventh in round 11 on Sunday, having taken eighth position in Saturday’s encounter, the Cape Town-domiciled Briton was strong throughout the event. Pic: Chris Schotanus/Essay Produkties  read report

With only two race meetings remaining in the 2013 Protyre Formula Renault Championship, time is running out for anyone to try and halt Chris Middlehurst and his relentless march toward the title. Rockingham will host the penultimate event of the campaign this coming weekend, 10th/11th August, where the MGR Motorsport driver will arrive for rounds 12, 13 and 14 holding a remarkable 98-point lead in the championship. Even when the category’s ‘drop score’ ruling is taken into account, which states each competitor has to deduct their single worst result of the season from final totals, Middlehurst still enjoys a cushion of 82 points. Should the season-long series leader depart Northamptonshire next weekend with an advantage of more than 68 points, he will have sealed the crown. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography   Read more

WTCC: Local hero ‘Pechito’ López re-wrote the history books during the WTCC visit to Argentina over the  weekend. In 2005, Duncan Huisman became the first driver to win a WTCC round at his first attempt, but López doesn’t have anything like the experience of Huisman had in Touring Cars and so López’s victory in Race 2 at Termas de Río Honda was truly the first WTCC win by a ‘rookie’ driver. For a while, it looked as though Yvan Muller might score back-to-back wins, but after taking maximum points in Race 1, the RML Chevrolet driver was handed a drive-through penalty in Race 2 after making contact with Tiago Monteiro while the pair were battling for second place. Monteiro’s teammate Gabriele Tarquini gave the Castrol Honda team something to celebrate by finishing second in Race 2, while a delighted Pepe Oriola recorded a pair of podium finishes and so collected a healthy points haul from the trip to South America. In the Championship standings, Muller now has a massive 132 point lead ahead of Michel Nykjær, with Tarquini in third place. Nykjær meanwhile extended his lead in the Yokohama Trophy to nine points after the two races in Argentina, ahead of the British pair of James Nash and Alex MacDowall.  Read more

Two contact-strewn WTCC races in Argentina on Sunday cost Alex MacDowall a shot at his eighth 2013 Yokohama Independents Trophy podium – although a double points score did enable the British racer to retain his top three placing in the class title battle.  In the thick of the action during both encounters at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo the Carlisle driver took a best result of fourth in class in round 15 before adding sixth in round 16.    read report

IZOD IndyCar Series: Taking advantage of a multi-car team's ability to run different race strategies, Chip Ganassi Racing's Charlie Kimball played the role of "hare" to perfection on Sunday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, leading a race-high 46 laps between three pit stops to score his first IZOD IndyCar Series race victory in the Honda Indy 200. Many other front-runners, including his teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti plus Team Penske's Will Power and pole qualifier Ryan Hunter-Reay, went into fuel-conservation mode early in the race, attempting to run the 90-lap distance on just two pit stops. But Kimball and eventual second-place finisher Simon Pagenaud elected to run flat-out from the start to the chequered flag, and that proved to be the winning strategy for Honda's seventh race win of 2013, tying it with Chevrolet.  Read more

Simon Pagenaud started eighth in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio and fought a spirited battle for the lead with Charlie Kimball before bringing the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car home in second. Pagenaud led 14 laps on the way to his second podium finish at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in as many years.  "It was a good race with the HP car," Pagenaud said. "Obviously we started with a pretty bold strategy starting on the Black Firestone tires. We knew we had a very consistent car, but the goal was to come back to the leaders at the end of the first stint, and then we knew the car would be fast on the next set of Red Firestone tires."   read more

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) brought determination, fight and focus to the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, but luck was not on the team's side. Driver Josef Newgarden finished the 90-lap race in 23rd place, after a mechanical issue on the right rear of the car slowed their progress and dropped them back from an 18th at the start. "Things just didn't go our way today," Newgarden said. "I think we worked really hard and we had good pit stops. We just had an unfortunate incident with the rear of the car. It's just tough when you have days like these, but I think we have a great group of guys and we'll sort it out and move on to the next race." Though the incident proved to be out of the team's control, the pit crew worked as quickly and efficiently as possible to fix the problem."The boys did a super good job," Newgarden said. "They were incredibly fast in the pits with figuring everything out and getting me back on the track. I love driving for this team. Yes, it was a tough day, but those days come and go." 

Renault UK Clio Cup:  Scuderia Vittoria redeemed itself at Snetterton, with Stefan Hodgetts surging to a sensational second place in Round 12 of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup after a tumultuous start to the weekend (4 August). The first race of the weekend saw Hodgetts, starting from  eighth on the grid, become a casualty of the traditional first-corner skirmish, damaged tracking forcing him to eventually retire. His team-mate Devon Modell,, finished Round 11 as the lead Scuderia Vittoria driver in sixth place. The resilient youngster drove a mature and considered race, staying out of trouble to cross the line in sixth ahead of his KX Akademy-backed team-mates Ant Whorton-Eales and Mike Bushell.  Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography  Read more

Simon Belcher took his Masters Cup podium tally into double figures during the latest outing of the Renault UK Clio Cup season at Snetterton over the weekend, with a brace of second in class finishes in rounds 11 and 12. Going into the sixth race meeting of the championship with a 15-point lead in the Masters Cup, the defending title winner departed the East Anglian track an enhanced 23 points clear at the top of the class standings thanks to his ninth and 10th podiums – despite a less than straightforward weekend. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report

Rob Smith was very unlucky to miss out on a pair of top 10 finishes at Snetterton  having shown excellent front-running pace in rounds 11 and 12 of the season. Although the unfortunate victim of contact in the opening race on Saturday afternoon, while running in 10th place overall, the Total Control Racing driver salvaged a hard-fought top 12 finish in Sunday’s outing but it could have been so much more – having been as high as seventh position early on. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report

Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Huddersfield’s Daniel Lloyd continues to try and shake-off the bad luck which has so far blighted the middle part of his Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship campaign after a character building outing at Snetterton 300 Circuit over the weekend. While claiming important championship points for a competitive top four finish during round 11 of the season on Sunday morning, where he ran within just 0.2 seconds of fastest lap pace, the Team Parker Racing driver was forced to retire from an action-packed 12th round with a broken driveshaft.  Read report

APR Volkswagen Racing Cup:  The challenging Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit plays host to the latest rounds of the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup on Sunday (11 Aug) - races which could prove crucial to the outcome of the championship. With only October’s Donington Park rounds remaining on the calendar following the double header in Kent, Brands Hatch offers points leader Aaron Mason a chance to clinch the drivers title with two races in hand.  Read more

Formula Ford: 16 year-old Queenslander Liam McAdam hasn't taken the traditional route to Formula Ford. Instead of the years of karting that most of the Formula Ford racers, McAdam had limited outings in Superkarts and Formula Vee before taking the plunge into the junior open-wheeler category late last year. Now with a maiden Australian Formula Ford Championship round under his belt McAdam is looking to future events with confidence. The Evans Motorsport Group(EMG) 'Young Guns' program member raced in the third round of the AFFC at Queensland Raceway last weekend and acquitted himself well despite his limited racing history, spending the majority of the meeting inside the top ten. "It was definitely a step forward from the Victorian State Series that I've been running in so far," said McAdam. "But I didn't ever feel like I was out of my depth or not competitive. That's a credit to the team at Evans Motorsport Group and their 'Young Guns' program. I've been working really closely with Kristian Lindbom who is my driver coach and he is great at getting me to understand what the car needs and how I need to drive it." Lindbom, who drives an EMG Falcon in the Dunlop V8 Supercar Series, works closely with the 'Young Guns' program that also includes Queensland Raceway podium placegetter Thomas Randle and female racer Chelsea Angelo. "The three drivers we have in the 'Young Guns' program this year have been really great to work with," said team boss Josh Evans. "They are all talented and working really hard to achieve their motorsport goals and we couldn't ask any more of any of them. Liam has done really well so far. He doesn't have all those years of karting behind him so the program has been especially beneficial in getting him up-to-speed so quickly. He did a great job at Queensland Raceway and the experience he gained will prove invaluable as we head into the second half of the year."The three EMG 'Young Guns' will all be in action during the next round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship at Winton next month. Angelo will make her debut in the national series, while McAdam and Randle will be looking to back up their Queensland Raceway performances with more strong results.

IMSA Masters Championship: After nearly five years out of the cockpit, Craig Duerson is taking his first season with the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Series by storm. He currently leads the Platinum Masters Championship with 140 points after eight rounds. The St. Pete, Florida native got back in the racing groove after his wife Chris bought him a Skip Barber Racing School program for their 10th wedding anniversary. As a kid, Duerson raced motorcycles, but put a hold on racing for a career as an endodontist.  "Endodontist" does not typically scream thrill-seeker or adventurist, but Duerson lives life on the edge in his neon orange and silver Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car when not performing root canals. "It's my first year in the series, first time driving a sports car, so it's a big challenge," Duerson said. "I like the challenge of driving a heavy car." Duerson picked up five wins and two second-place finishes so far this season. His main competition, Kasey Kuhlman, is just five points behind and has three wins. The nose-to-tail battles with returning series drivers is something that enticed Duerson to join the IMSA Development Series. "The series does a great job with the program and with the tracks they choose to go to," he said. "Overall it's quite competitive which is good because the competitiveness is probably what I like the best."  Choosing to join NGT Motorsport, a five-entry team currently in the hunt for the team Platinum Cup championship. "The team chemistry is super easy going," Duerson said. "We have good communication, good relationships and I can tell the team what I need the car to do differently and they do it."  The 49-year-old swept the Masters podium with back-to-back wins at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, moving into eighth place in the Platinum Cup standings. His next challenge will be at Road America for the Orion Energy Systems 245 August 9-11. 

GT: JR Motorsports (JRM), constructor of the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 race car, is inviting teams and drivers to test and evaluate at Paul Ricard. Drivers and engineers considering GT3 programmes next season have the opportunity to test the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 at Paul Ricard between 26th-29th August. The test, organised by car constructor JR Motorsports (JRM), will provide substantial seat time in the car that currently tops both driver and teams’ Pro-Am championships in the Blancpain Endurance Series. As a circuit used in the Blancpain, GT Tour and International GT Open series, JRM selected Paul Ricard as a highly relevant track that also allows existing GT3 drivers to benchmark the car against their previous outings. Eligible for all FIA GT3 spec series including British GT, VLN, GT Tour, FIA GT, ADAC GT Masters, International GT Open and Blancpain Endurance Series, the JRM-built Nissan offers strong performance with some of the lowest running costs for GT3 car. Crucially for a race car driven by both professional and amateur driver alike, JRM has focused on making it user-friendly, reliable yet highly competitive. “A string of podiums across Pro and Pro-Am classes and a top 10 finish in the Spa 24 Hours underline the performance the Nissan offers in some of the most fiercely contested GT championships,” says JRM Group’s executive director James Rumsey. “The test will highlight to professional and amateur drivers how competitive and predictable the car is, together with the extensive technical support we offer all our customer teams.”

Other News: The Honda NSX prototype lapped the 2.4-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, just prior to the running of the Honda Indy 200, showcasing the steady progress being made toward the planned 2015 launch of Honda’s next-generation, mid-engine supercar. Ted Klaus, Chief engineer of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. said: “With leadership from our R&D and manufacturing teams here in Ohio, we are developing a next generation sports car that will be equally at home on the street and on the race track, so it is natural for us to showcase the prototype vehicle here at Mid-Ohio. It is exciting for us to see the prototype running on track, reflecting the great progress we’re making toward the 2015 global launch of the NSX, as we engineer a new sports-car experience for customers around the world.”  Targeting next-generation supercar dynamic capabilities with advanced environmental performance, the NSX will be powered by a mid-mounted, direct-injected V-6 engine mated to Honda’s Sport Hybrid SH-AWD®(Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) system. Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® is an all-new, three-motor high-performance hybrid system that combines torque vectoring all-wheel drive with advanced hybrid efficiency through the use of three electric motors – one motor integrated with the V6 engine and its all-new dual-clutch transmission (DCT) driving the rear wheels, and two motors driving the front wheels. The system enables instant delivery of negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering to achieve a new level of driving performance unparalleled by current AWD systems.Global development of the NSX is being led by engineers at Honda R&D Americas, Inc., in Raymond, Ohio. The next-generation sports car will be produced in nearby Marysville, Ohio, using domestic and globally sourced parts, at the newly established, state-of-the-art Performance Manufacturing Centre, now under construction. 

Cyclothon UK returns to Brands Hatch next month (Thursday 5 September), one year on from the Paralympic Road Cycling events at the Kent venue. It will be the third running for the charity event that offers a challenge to both solo and team cyclists. The 12 hour endurance team relay road cycling race will take place on the Grand Prix circuit, which formed much of the Paralympic course in 2012. The challenging nature of the track, complete with hills and sweeping bends, has received glowing praise by both Paralympic riders and previous Cyclothon competitors. Once again the event will be contested by a host of sporting celebrities. Organiser Victor Ubogu will be joined by fellow international rugby players, and a friendly rivalry between British territories is expected to feature. Victor will be joined on the Team Bulldogs with Englishmen John Hall, Mark Regan and Lee Mears. Scotland’s Team Jocks features Craig Chalmers, Scott Hastings, Gavin Kerr and Doddie Weir, whilst Alix Popham and Colin Charvis will take the lead for Team Dragons, which also features Welsh players Lloyd Burns and Iestyn Thomas. With hundreds of international caps between them, supporters will be keen to see who still has the stamina and cycling power to lead their Home Nation side to victory. The Welsh contingent will be boosted by weather presenter Sian Lloyd, Vice President of Abigail’s Footsteps charity. Saddling up for the first time at the event, Sian has forecasted a “really sunny enjoyable day”. In addition to the challenges on track, Cyclothon offers a ‘luxury event’ experience at Brands Hatch, with pit garages, hot showers, changing rooms, breakfast, lunch and dinner, free massage, mechanical support, high value prizes and the chance for all riders to mix with sporting stars. The organisers are also encouraging local businesses and schools to come to the event to cheer on the sporting celebrities and charities that are taking part. Entry is free for all spectators and the event will run for 12 hours from 7:30am until the award presentation ceremony on the podium at 7:30pm. Registration to compete in the event closes on Friday August 16th. Those wishing to enter a team or solo ride can book by calling VU Ltd on 0871 871 5300. For more details visit www.cyclothonuk.com or follow updates on twitter @cyclothonuk

04-08-13

Renault UK Clio Cup: Local hero Josh Files re-opened a healthy points advantage at the top of the Renault UK Clio Cup standings during round 12 of the season at Snetterton 300 Circuit today, Sunday, 4th August, with an immaculate victory on home soil. Taking his second win of 2013 with an outstanding drive from pole position, the Team Pyro racer was unchallenged throughout and eventually took the chequered flag by almost four seconds – even though he coasted across the line as he celebrated the success!  Added to second place in round 11 on Saturday, 3rd August, Files’ faultless performance at the head of the field today earned him the ‘BuyOils.co.uk Driver of the Event’ accolade. With the addition of bonus points for the fastest lap of the race, he has extended his championship lead to 13 points – six points when the category’s ‘drop score’ ruling is applied. It was also his seventh Graduate Cup win.  Pic Jakob Ebrey  read report

Formula Ford: Dan Cammish edged ever closer to the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship crown at Snetterton today, winning both of the day’s races to add to the victory he scored in Norfolk yesterday. In so doing, Cammish equals the record for the most number of wins scored in a single Formula Ford season, established by Scott Malvern in 2011. Pic Jakob Ebrey  read report

Sam Brabham claimed his second outright Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship podium finish in round 18 at Snetterton today (Sunday). The solid third place result also secured second in class and the 10th Scholarship podium of Brabham’s impressive debut season. The 18 year-old opened the triple-header race weekend with one of his strongest and most consistent qualifying performances yet, clocking in fourth for all three rounds at the Norfolk circuit. But, forced to record his first non-finishes of his single-seater career, Brabham was denied the chance to challenge for another string of podium finishes. His round 16 hopes were cut short when, despite a lightning start to place him in the fight for second, a slipping clutch led to retirement on lap six. Then, in race two, the JTR racer was robbed of a comfortable Scholarship lead, and third overall, when a water hose clip failed causing the engine to overheat on lap four.  Read more

Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Jonas Gelzinis won round 12 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Snetterton today (Sunday 4 August) to remain level with Michael Meadows at the head of the championship standings. Gelzinis burst ahead off the line and when Meadows flat-spotted a tyre on the opening lap he had to concentrate on fending off Butcher rather than attacking Gelzinis.  Gelzinis also won round 11 earlier today  in a race that started in dramatic style when poleman Michael Meadows was penalised for a false start. Meadows (Samsung Smart Motorsport) recovered from a drive-through penalty to finish fifth as Dean Stoneman (Redline Racing), Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) and Dan Lloyd (Team Parker Racing) ran close in the battle for second. In Pro-Am1, Victor Jimenez (Redline Racing) scored a resounding win after his team mate Dan De Zille was sidelined at the start with driveshaft failure.  Read report

Late Model V8 Super Cup: Remember ASCAR? Most of the stock cars from the long gone Rockingham based series have found new homes in the Late Model V8 Super Cup. When the ASCAR series was enjoying its heyday, a couple of the cars were made with passenger seats for the purposes of rookie training and scaring the pants off unsuspecting punters. West-tec Racing’s two seater ASCAR has turned up in the unlikely hands of Dutch BRL promoters Raceway Venray. Though it is still used for scaring people on Raceway Venray’s heavily banked half mile oval, it has also been promoted to actual racing. The two seater car is one of 11 ASCARs entered in the Late Model V8 Super Cup races at the Dutch track on the 17th and 18th of August. The car will be piloted by British driver Kelvin “Rowdy” Hassell, but he is unlikely to be taking guests out for the races.   Pic: Raceway Venray.

Renault UK Clio Cup: Paul Rivett scorched to an unchallenged three second victory during round 11 of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup at Snetterton 300 Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 3rd August, following an outstanding lights-to-flag drive from the front row of the grid. Making a terrific getaway, the Names.co.uk/Stancombe Vehicle Engineering driver beat pole position qualifier, and championship leader, Josh Files away from the line to open a clear lead into the first corner, Riches, and he concluded a storming first lap almost two seconds to the good. Thereafter controlling the race, Rivett headed home Files – who managed to retain the series lead by a single point courtesy of the bonus score for setting the fastest lap – comfortably to take a faultless fourth win of the campaign. Fortunately, the chequered flag fell just before the arrival of heavy rain. Adding some extra fun to the podium celebrations, Rivett donned a cardboard cut-out mask sporting the face of team principal Colin Stancombe, who isn’t at Snetterton this weekend due to clashing commitments, as a cheeky tribute to the incomparable team boss.  Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography   Read report

Formula 3: Should he go on to win the 2013 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, Tim Macrow will likely look back at Queensland Raceway round as the one where it all came together.  Macrow jumped to the biggest lead of the season after a dominating performance this weekend that saw him win three races, score pole position, a lap record and all bar one championship point available. It was the most dominant and complete performance of the season and has stretched his lead over John Magro to 37 points, with two rounds remaining. Nick Foster (Mygale) finished second today and Jordan Oon third to complete a 1-2-3 sweep for Team BRM this weekend. Jon Collins(pictured) broke through for his debut win in the Forpark National Class after an epic battle with teammate Todd Hazelwood, which saw the pair wheel-to-wheel through turn one at 200km/hr on more than one occasion today. Collins was perhaps the only person smiling larger than Macrow at the conclusion of today’s hostilities, having put an emphatic stamp on the championship with two rounds to go.  pic Nathan Wong  Read report

Ginetta GT Supercup: FW Motorsport has regrettably withdrawn Fergus Walkinshaw’s #91 Ginetta G55 from the remaining rounds of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Snetterton, today due to a potentially terminal engine issue. The Chipping-Norton team worked around the clock on Friday night to replace the 3.7-litre engine after an unresolvable issue was detected following official testing. Despite the outfit’s outstanding efforts to ensure Walkinshaw was on the grid for round 15 yesterday, the 22 year-old team owner/driver then battled with a significant loss of power on the loan engine throughout the seven-lap race. After a thorough examination of both the data and the car, including checking the catalytic converter, fuel pump, spark plugs, fuel pressure and flow, no problems were detected. Walkinshaw took to the grid for round 16 on Sunday morning, but with the car still underpowered and losing places lap after lap, FW Motorsport had little choice but to withdraw the car. Walkinshaw commented: “It’s obviously very disappointing to withdraw the car halfway through the race weekend, but with the significant power issues we are still suffering with the loan engine it would be a destructive decision to continue. Although the #91 car won’t be joining the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup grid this afternoon, we will be loaning out the car’s radiator to help fellow competitor Dan Norris-Jones continue his campaign. We have a bit of a gap in the BTCC calendar before the next rounds at Knockhill, and we will be back in battle for the team’s native home rounds.”  FW Motorsport will return to Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup action at Knockhill, Scotland, 24-25 August.

FW Motorsport put in an outstanding effort to ensure that team owner/driver Fergus Walkinshaw was able to take all-important championship points for 11th place in round 15 of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Snetterton on Saturday.
The fledgling Chipping Norton-based outfit worked through the night, with barely two hours sleep, to change the Ginetta G55’s 3.7-litre engine after a problem was detected following official testing at the Norfolk circuit yesterday. The four-strong team completed the rebuild with just minutes to spare, allowing 22 year-old Walkinshaw to join the qualifying session on Saturday morning. With the car running straight out of the box, the team owner/driver completed the necessary installation laps before managing to post a few flying laps and clock in a respectable 10th. Despite a strong start from the fifth row for the first of three GT Supercup battles this weekend, it soon became clear that Walkinshaw could do little to retain ninth place. Suffering from a lack of power out of the slower turns around the 2.99-mile circuit, Walkinshaw was powerless to truly mount a race charge but managed to cling on to 11th place to claim important championship points. Read more

WTCC: Yvan Muller, driving an RML Chevrolet Cruze, will start from pole position in today’s first race at Termas de Río Hondo – the fifth consecutive time the French driver has qualified on pole. Alongside Muller on the grid will be his teammate Tom Chilton, with the two Honda Civic cars of Norbert Michelisz and Gabriele Tarquini on the second row and another Chevrolet Cruze – the Tuenti Racing Team car of Pepe Oriola – in fifth place. Tenth fastest was the BMW 320 TC of the Argentine driver ‘Pechito’ López, that will start from pole position on the top-ten reverse grid for Race 2. The first of tomorrow’s races is scheduled to start at 14.20 local time (19.20 CET) with Race 2 at 16.20.   read more

In qualifying at the Termas de Rio Hondo track in Argentina, LADA Sport LUKOIL drivers James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy qualified in 12th and 18th places respectively. Nonetheless, James will start Race 1 from 11th place due to an engine change for Honda driver Tiago Monteiro. Consequently, Monteiro will start the race from the back of the grid under the WTCC rules. James will start Race 2 from 12th place. Unfortunately it was an unlucky day for Mikhail Kozlovskiy, whose qualifying results were cancelled for breaching parc ferme regulations, where any work on the car is forbidden. Mikhail will start both races from last position. James Thompson said:” This is a very interesting track. It’s the same overall length as Porto – 4.8 kilometres – but the layout is very different and the track is extremely wide. The surface is a bit slippery as the track hasn’t been used for some time and there’s some dust on the surface too. So we’re expecting a nice fight. I’m a bit disappointed with our result so far as we’ve been consistently in the top 10 during free practice. I think we had one or two small technical or set-up problems in qualifying because the car was actually slower than it had been in the morning. But I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of this before the actual races. Anyway, we need to look at the positives: we’re consistently in Q2 now and I’m actually pretty optimistic about tomorrow’s race. There are plenty of overtaking opportunities and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into them from the very beginning!” Mikhail Kozlovskiy added: “Of course I’m disappointed by the results from qualifying, but now I must concentrate on tomorrow’s race and use all the opportunities that this track presents. It’s very wide and fast and I think we can use various tactics to make up some positions here. I feel very confident at this circuit, as in Free Practice 2 I was 12th, which shows our potential. I think we will be able to fight for some positions and overtake tomorrow, despite not starting from such a great position.”

Indycar: Qualifying for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio for teammates Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier exemplified the need for perfection at the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course. After advancing convincingly out of Round 1, both drivers narrowly missed the Firestone Fast 6. Pagenaud will roll off the starting grid from eighth, and Vautier will start 11th. Pagenaud was second quick in No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car during the first qualifying round. "I'm very happy with the car," he said. "I think we found what we needed to because the car is incredibly fast."  In Round 2, Pagenaud was held up by other traffic on his flying lap. His lap of 1 minute, 5.9412 seconds at 123.273 mph was good enough to start eighth. "We just missed the Firestone Fast 6 because we got held up in the last corner on the final run," he said. "I have to say the competition is just fierce here. We're definitely fast enough to be up there so we'll take eighth today and have a strong race tomorrow." Tristan Vautier, driving the No. 55 Angie's List / Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone car, advanced out of Round 1 of qualifying with the fourth quickest lap of his group. In Round 2, Vautier's quickest lap of 1 minute, 6.3379 seconds at 122.536 mph landed him in the 11th starting position. "It's been a tough stretch of races for us lately so we were happy to advance out of the first group," Vautier said. "Unfortunately the second round didn't go as we were hoping. I knew I had to push it a step further to make the Firestone Fast 6 but I made a few little mistakes." Throughout practice, the 13-turn road course has proven trying.  "The tires are designed not to last that long so if you make a mistake on your flying lap you're in trouble," Vautier said. "The car was good though and I'm very happy to have Angie's List on board starting this weekend. Overall our qualifying effort was improved and we'll be ready to race to the front tomorrow."  Pagenaud echoed Vautier's sentiment. "The tough thing this week has been that the track changes every day after it rains each night," Pagenaud said. "It keeps gripping up at the end of the day and then we'll be back to being slick each morning. We've been having to make so many adjustments for that and I want to thank the HP team because they've been right there each time." Ryan Hunter-Reay won pole for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. He will be followed to the green flag by Will Power and Scott Dixon. Broadcast coverage of the race begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. For the latest team updates, follow @SPMIndyCar on Twitter.

The sun finally peaked through the clouds at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course just in time for the start of the IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying. Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) driver Josef Newgarden turned a lap of 1 minute, 6.5334 seconds at 122.176 mph, and will start from the 19th position in Sunday's race. "We didn't quite get the additional speed that we wanted this afternoon, but we know what we want to do tomorrow and we should have a great race car," Newgarden said. "We are always good in the races, the guys are always good at stops, so we should be just fine. I'm looking forward to the race." The 22-year-old driver enjoys the challenge of passing his opponents on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. "Mid-Ohio is a place you really have to get the strategy right," Newgarden said. "You have to figure out what you want to do with pit stops because that's an area where you can pass people and find an advantage. It's hard to pass people on pure pace here, but it's definitely doable."  The Ohio weather has been unpredictable this weekend, but the forecast looks to be dry for Sunday's 90-lap race -- and for Newgarden, the sunnier the better. "I'm glad that it's hopefully not going to rain the rest of the weekend," Newgarden said. "I love the rain, but this track is super slippery so it gets tough around here when it's wet. Tomorrow should be a great sunny day, I'm sure we will have lots of fans, and it should be a good show."  For the latest updates from the No. 67 SFHR Dallara/Honda/ Firestone car, like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing on Facebook and follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Instagram

Rally Finland: The Ralliart Italy technicians worked into the night to prepare José Alexander Gelvez’s car for Day Three of Rally Finland. Their hard work paid dividends when Gelvez successfully navigated through all eight of the Day Three stages to finish second in the WRC 2 Production Cup: “It was a very difficult rally. It’s very fast and we’ve had to face all kinds of different challenges. The first day was harder than the others as I was learning the stages. We wanted to try and improve all the time. Today in Ouninpohja, I saw all kinds of other cars having problems, so I focused really hard just to stay on the road and finish the rally, which was our goal from the start. It was great to end the event third in the Production Cup I have to thank Ralliart Italy and all the team, because they always gave us a car in the best shape possible to tackle such a tough rally!”   Carlos Garcia Fessman also undertook the 130 kilometre Day Three challenge, but unfortunately wasn’t as lucky as his teammate. After a strong start to the event on Days One and Two, Fessman approached the Day Three stages at his usual measured pace, focused on reaching the end of the event unperturbed. However, after a strong first loop, the iconic Ouninpohja stage claimed Fessman on his second pass. A butterfly jammed causing the engine to cut out and the ex-professional basketball player’s event came to a premature end. Fessman was disappointed to leave the competition on the penultimate stage when lying third in the WRC 2 Production Cup. However, he has a positive attitude and now looks ahead to Rallye Deutschland and the new challenge of the WRC Tarmac: “After having a great weekend, we were improving stage-by-stage. We knew that Finland was a difficult and fast rally, but everything seemed okay. However, suddenly during the second pass of Ouninpohja we had a problem, which took us out of the race when we only had a few more kilometres left to make. That’s rally! My co-driver and I tried to fix the problem, but we couldn’t finish the stage. However, we’re pleased to have improved our stage times during the event. This proves we’re growing as a crew. Now we are looking forward to starting to prepare our next rally in Germany.” Team Manager Bruno De Pianto was sorry to see Fessman retire at the last minute, but pleased that Gelvez reached the end of his first ever European event successfully: “It’s been a fantastic rally with the guys. Having Alex in the team has been great. He and Carlos are very good friends and have a very professional attitude, which creates a really great atmosphere in the team. They and Venezuela are very welcome additions to the Service Park. Now I can’t wait to see what happens in Germany!”

03-08-13

DTM: Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller has claimed pole position for the DTM premiere in Russia while  Swede Mattias Ekström was second. Augusto Farfus from Brazil took third place with his BMW M3 from fellow BMW driver and defending champion Bruno Spengler. Gary Paffett was the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in seventh. Unexpectedly, qualifying was stopped after the third of four qualifying heats. A flying ban in the airspace over Moscow, issued at short notice, allegedly due to a flight from Russian president Vladimir Putin was the reason that the rescue helicopter was no longer allowed to start. Therefore, qualifying was stopped early and the classification was made according to the order after the third heat. “Of course, that is curious. But I was first before and I remain first. I have pole and that obviously makes me happy. When in Rome, do as the Romans. Let’s wait and see what the weather will bring and what other surprises we will have in Russia,” Rockenfeller said after the third pole of his DTM career. Third-placed Farfus also showed himself very happy with qualifying in the north-west of Moscow: “We have made some changes to the car that have paid off. The gap to the others was very small. In the race, it will certainly be very close at the start. The thing is to get out of that in a good way.” Brit Jamie Green (Audi) and German Dirk Werner (BMW) will be starting fifth and sixth into the maiden DTM race in Russia. The 2005 DTM champion, Gary Paffett, ended up seventh with the DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. “Of course, I am not happy with the result. A goal was to become the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver and that worked out. The other goal, being up front, didn’t,” Paffett said. The three Mercedes-Benz drivers Pascal Wehrlein, Daniel Juncadella and Christian Vietoris rounded out the top ten in eighth, ninth and tenth place. For the first time since his DTM debut, ex-Formula 1 driver Timo Glock failed to make it into the second qualifying heat and will be starting from 17th place. Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) from Canada, who finished second at Norisring, had to make do with 18th place on the grid. In the drivers’ standings prior to the race on Sunday, Rockenfeller (Audi) is leading with 69 points from Spengler (BMW) with 67 and Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) with 55.

Formula Ford: Dan Cammish brushed aside a challenge from Harrison Scott at the start of this afternoon’s 16th round of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain to secure his 16th consecutive victory for the JTR team and extend his points lead. The Yorkshireman led all the way from pole position to chequered flag to beat Scott to the line by five seconds. Said Dan: “It was perfect, sweet 16. Harrison got a really good start - I thought mine was good but his was even better - but he didn’t want to get brave and try to take me around the outside of turn one, so I was able to make a break and control the race from there. Happy days.”  Pic Jakob Ebrey  read report

Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Michael Meadows stormed to two pole positions in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Snetterton today (with a monster lap in the closing minutes of the session. The very closely matched trio of Jonas Gelzinis, Rory Butcher and Daniel Lloyd filled the next places while Dan De Zille topped Pro-Am1 and Will Goff headed Pro-Am2. In a session that got faster and faster as it progressed, Meadows (Samsung Smart Motorsport) blasted to the top of the times on his final flying lap with a time that put him seven-tenths of a second clear of the field. Before Meadows set his stunning time, the top four drivers had been covered by a tenth of a second, but Meadows moved the benchmark on with a big attack on his second set of tyres. Gelzinis (Juta Racing) will start second for both races while Butcher (Celtic Speed) and Lloyd (Team Parker Racing) each took a third and a fourth place. In Pro-Am1 it was a great session for Dan De Zille (Redline Racing) who took both poles ahead of his team mate Victor Jimenez, while Pro-Am2 racer Will Goff (Goff Racing) chased the Pro-Am1 drivers. Michael Meadows (Samsung Smart Motorsport) first overall:
“When I went over the line and saw 52.8s I was celebrating. I’m mega happy because I found 1.1s on my second set of tyres.” Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) second overall:
“That is okay after the summer break and no testing. On the first set of tyres I learned how to drive the car and I could maybe have found four-tenths more on the second set of tyres, but Michael’s time is perfect.” Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) third overall for round 11:
“I was adjusting to the different grip levels from testing yesterday. We didn’t test here before the race weekend, but I felt that I really hooked up the sectors on the second set of tyres.”  
Dan De Zille (Redline Racing) first in Pro-Am1: “That was okay. I missed the slot in the first session but the track was getting quicker and quicker as the session went on. I know Snetterton pretty well and that’s my first double pole in Pro-Am1.”  Victor Jimenez (Redline Racing) second in Pro-Am1: “The balance of the car is very good and I’m getting more feeling with the car. But De Zille is very strong today.” Will Goff (Goff Racing) first in Pro-Am2: “It was okay, but I could have gone quicker. I’ve got a problem with the clutch or gearbox on the downshift.”

Renault UK Clio Cup points leader Josh Files secured a dominant double pole position at Snetterton 300 Circuit this morning, Saturday, 3rd August, during qualifying for rounds 11 and 12 of the season – although it wasn’t a completely straightforward session for the Team Pyro driver.  Topping the timesheets with a best lap of 2m09.677 seconds (82.42mph) to claim the race one pole by an impressive 0.4 seconds, Files’ second best time of 2m10.094 seconds made it a superb double at his ‘home’ track.  Earlier in the half-hour session, on two separate occasions, Files had his best times expunged after being adjudged to have exceeded track limits. His pace, though, was evident throughout and he will be joined on the front row for both encounters by chief title rival Paul Rivett. Rivett, who hardly got any meaningful running during testing on Friday after sustaining a broken gear linkage on his Names.co.uk/Stancombe Vehicle Engineering car, was 0.1 seconds faster than Westbourne Motorsport’s James Colburn who secured third on the grid for both races alongside Pyro’s Alex Morgan. Row three for this afternoon’s 11th round will be headed by JHR Developments’ Josh Cook who out-qualified the incredibly evenly matched trio of KX Racing with Scuderia Vittoria drivers – Ant Whorton-Eales shading team-mate Mike Bushell by a mere 0.015 seconds with testing pace-setter Stefan Hodgetts eighth, just 0.007 seconds further back. Pyro’s Ash Hand, the fastest of the car racing rookies, was an excellent ninth ahead of Scuderia Vittoria’s Devon Modell, while the Masters Cup pole was taken by JHR’s Lee Pattison in 11th overall. Behind Files, Rivett, Colburn and Morgan on the round 12 grid, Bushell was fifth on second fastest times ahead of Whorton-Eales, Hand, Hodgetts, Modell and Cook.  Local racer Jake Giddings wasn’t able to post a lap time after his Clio suffered an oil leak during the opening minutes of the session, resulting in an early red flag stoppage. Scuderia Vittoria’s Finlay Crocker also encountered problems with a broken gear lever. full report

WTCC: Following the WTCC drivers’ first outing at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit, it was the Chevrolet Cruze of Yvan Muller that set the fastest lap time (1:49.878) in the half-hour Testing session. Muller’s RML teammate Tom Chilton was second quickest (1:50.246), with the Castrol Honda Team’s Civic of Gabriele Tarquini third (1:50.349) and Rob Huff fourth in the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport SEAT León (1:50.430). The top seven places were covered by a fraction over a second, with three Chevrolets, three Hondas and Huff’s solitary SEAT occupied those seven places. The best of the BMW drivers was Tom Coronel, who was tenth fastest (1:51.096) behind the LADA Granta of James Thompson (1:50.954) while the Argentine driver ‘Pechito’ López was an impressive eleventh quickest (1:51.131) in the Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC. The 4.8km track caught out several drivers during this first session: Fernando Monje spun his SEAT at Turn 2 and Franz Engstler’s BMW performed a similar manoeuvre at Turn 10 shortly afterwards. With around three minutes of the session remaining, Chevrolet cars of James Nash and Pepe Oriola made contact at Turn 10, with Oriola spinning as the result of the collision.
Saturday will see the WTCC field take to the track for two thirty-minute Free Practice sessions, before the two-stage Qualifying begins at 15.45 local time (20.45 CET).

The WTCC drivers were impressed with the Termas de Río Hondo circuit during Friday’s test session. Yvan Muller: “I think it’s a really nice track, very interesting and with a good rhythm to it. It’s very flat and still a bit dirty in places, but for sure it’s one of the best tracks of the season. It’s probably the circuit where there will be most overtaking, as it’s very wide and there are lots of places to pass off-line. I did a little bit of preparation about the track before I left home, but only five minutes or so. I prefer to see it for myself!”  Tiago Monteiro: “It’s an interesting track – very flowing and quite technical, quite fast and wide so there are a lot of possibilities to take different lines. You pick up the general aspects of the track quite quickly, but the fine-tuning will take some time as there are so many different lines available. It’s very dirty with sand on the surface and work still going on; the wind brings more sand across the track and it’s very slippery, but it’s the same for everyone. Generally, the first impression is very positive. It will give a good show because there is so much room to pass.”  Robert Huff: “I’m really impressed. I think it’s a great track and I think it’s going to give some really good racing. It’s a wide, wide circuit, there are lots of places where you can overtake and it has probably the longest straight we’ll see this year – something like 1.2km – so there’ll be plenty of slipstreaming opportunities. It’ll be a tough weekend for sure, there are so many unknowns and so many variables that you have to get right. Everyone is learning; the weather is changing all the time and one lap can be clean and dust-free and you come around again and you can see the dust from where someone’s gone off. I love these really challenging tracks that are sent to test us.”  Tom Coronel: “It was certainly interesting – from the outside, it looked a lot more grippy! It felt like it was wet and the tyres looked like they were completely new at the end of the session. The circuit has a good flow, but it’s easy to make a mistake and so in the races I think there will be lots of overtaking. There are a lot of corners where you’re braking into the corner so it’s very easy to lock the front tyres. The corner just before the straight is very nice – at the moment, it’s a big lift for me but I think it should be taken flat so you then gain the speed for the rest of the straight. I think if you start from P1 in race 2, you will only have the benefit for one lap as it’s so easy to overtake here. The grip level will improve because of the rubber level and the lap times will improve by at least one and a half, maybe two seconds.” James Thompson: “I think it’s a beautiful circuit; probably the smoothest circuit I’ve ever driven on – it’s like driving on glass. Obviously, with it not being used it’s very slippery off-line and so you have to be very careful to be consistent from lap to lap. It’s a short lap, but I think it’ll make for some entertaining racing. We’re starting to be more consistent with the car this year and we’re in the top ten after testing. Our understanding of the car is much better and this extra thirty minutes of testing is very important for us. Preparation is key, but knowing the intricacies of your own car is vital to knowing how to deal with whatever the track throws at you.”

After his first outing in a WTCC car, local hero ‘Pechito’ López was enough impressive. The driver from Córdoba posted the eleventh fastest lap in today’s test session at the wheel of his Wiechers-Sport BMW. “It was a good first experience,” he said. “I tried to adapt myself as quick as possible and I was able to run without problems and with no big mistakes. We have been quite competitive, and I’m happy. The impression of the car was a bit different from what I expected. It’s a nice car to drive, but you must be very clean and smooth in driving it. It will take a little bit more to me for being fully used to it. But I felt already quite comfortable. I knew about the power, about 100 bhp less than the Super TC2000 cars. I thought I could get more from the tyres, but of course I need to know how to use them.”

IZOD Indycar: Sponsoring its sixth driver in the past six years of the Indy 500 wasn't enough speed for fast-growing Angie's List. The national consumer review company has signed on for another five IndyCar races this year. Angie's List has announced it will sponsor Tristan Vautier's No. 55 car in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston and in the season finale at the MAVTV 500. Vautier drives for the renown Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team.  "Everyone at Schmidt Peterson has a great spirit and drive to excel that we love to see," said Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks. "We're excited to follow Tristan through the season, and we expect to see Angie's List green at the front of the pack."  The relationship between Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Angie's List began at the 2013 Indianapolis 500 when the company sponsored the No. 81 car driven by Katherine Legge.  She qualified for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on Bump Day after turning less than 30 laps in the car before her qualifying attempt and finished 26th. "Angie's List stepped in at the perfect time this past May to help us put the No. 81 car on the starting grid for the most famous race in the world," said team owner Sam Schmidt.  "Our team grew drastically before the start of this season to include a second IZOD IndyCar Series entry with Tristan Vautier," he said. "Welcoming a nationally known partner like Angie's List shows that we'll continue to grow."  Angie's List, headquartered in Indianapolis, has sponsored drivers in the Indy 500 since 2008. 

Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Dan Lloyd was the man on top of the times in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Snetterton during testing today (Friday 2 August). Dean Stoneman led the chase of Lloyd, while Dan De Zille and Will Goff headed Pro-Am1 and Pro-Am2 respectively. The day’s opening test session was a wash out after a huge thunderstorm swept across the track, flooding the track in places and even knocking out the circuit power supply. In the few laps possible before the session was halted, Dean Stoneman (Redline Racing) set the fastest time, though championship leader Michael Meadows (Samsung Smart Motorsport) elected to not venture out. In contrast, the weather had improved considerably for the afternoon session and the track was soon fully dry. However, all the drivers reported that the track was dirty from the earlier flooding and much of the rubber laid down in recent weeks had been washed away. Dan Lloyd (Team Parker Racing) fastest overall: “It was fully dry for the second session but there were still muddy patches about and it was quite tricky in places. That’s a really good start to the weekend but its tomorrow that counts. It’s all good.”  Dean Stoneman (Redline Racing) second overall:
“It was muddy out there, but I had a sensible run on new tyres. I was two-tenths up on my next lap, but then I got onto the grass. The car looks good with my new sponsor Bike-It!”    Dan De Zille (Redline Racing) first in Pro-Am1:  “I’m quite happy with that. We tested here a few weeks ago in the high temperatures and that was a useful day.” Will Goff (Goff Racing) first in Pro-Am2:
“I only just got here in time for the second session. Work is manic at the moment as the harvest has started on the farm and it has been very busy over the last couple of weeks.”

Dan De Zille is the sixth Porsche Carrera Cup GB racer of the 2013 season to win a set of tyres as part of Michelin’s long-standing support of the championship. De Zille’s name was drawn from a hat ahead of rounds 11 and 12 at Snetterton this weekend (3/4 August). Former single-seater ace De Zille joined the Carrera Cup GB at the start of the 2013 season as he switched his focus to sports and GT cars and has made excellent progress as he adapts to the new challenge. He is racing with Redline Racing and is now established as one of the leading contenders in the Pro-Am1 category where he is battling with team mate Victor Jimenez. Having been the control tyre supplier for the Carrera Cup GB since the championship was created in 2003, Michelin is once more supporting the teams and drivers with the award of a complete set of slick racing tyres at each event. Before the start of testing at each race weekend, a name is drawn from a hat to receive the tyres, with a value of more than £1200. 

Rally Finland: Carlos Garcia Fessman and José Alexander Gelvez set out on Friday morning with the target of successfully completing all nine of the day’s Special Stages. While Fessman set off at a steady pace, it was Gelvez who showed continual improvement in his stage times throughout the morning. Unfortunately, just as Gelvez was finding his rhythm, disaster struck. Approximately 3km after the start of SS12 he entered a slow left hairpin, lost control of the rear of the car, skidded and slipped into a ditch. His Mitsubishi survived the incident relatively unscathed, but he was a prisoner to the Finnish ruts and unable to get back on track. That said, Gelvez’ll be back out on the stages tomorrow morning and ready to get more vital kilometres of experience under his belt: “I’m looking forward to restarting tomorrow morning. My target is to get through all of tomorrow’s Special Stages without any troubles and work on my driving technique ready for the future.”  Meanwhile, Fessman had a steady and uneventful day, learning the Finnish stages and practising his driving technique. He was pleased to have completed 193 competitive kilometres of Rally Finland unperturbed and is looking forward to another hard but enjoyable day tomorrow: “I’m feeling more confident about tomorrow. I’m trying to get more and more experience of the Finnish roads by taking care of the car and focusing on getting to the finish.”  Team Manager Bruno De Pianto was disappointed that Gelvez was unable to continue after such a promising start to the day, but overall pleased with the performance of the two drivers: “Finland is a really tough rally and lots of drivers in the field fell foul of the tricky stages today. I’m really pleased Carlos made it through without any troubles and with the condition of both the cars at the end of the day. I’m sorry for Alex, but I could see this morning that he was already learning and improving a lot. They are great ambassadors for Venezuela and I hope that tomorrow will be another positive day for them and the team.” 

02-08-13

Renault UK Clio Cup: Stefan Hodgetts continued his excellent recent form during official Renault UK Clio Cup testing at a storm-hit Snetterton 300 Circuit today, Friday, 2nd August, to edge out series leader Josh Files (Norwich) at the top of the timing screens by just 0.017 seconds.   Hodgetts, who goes into rounds 11 and 12 of the season at the Norfolk track this weekend equal fourth in the championship with three wins from the last five races and an unbroken run of five straight top two finishes, posted the best time of the day in changeable conditions during session one – lapping in 2m11.589 seconds (81.22mph). “I don’t think anyone can take anything from today to be honest”, said the pace-setting KX Racing with Scuderia Vittoria driver, “In the sort of conditions we had, you’ve got championship contenders who don’t want to risk too much, so you don’t get a clear picture.It’s nice to be fastest, better than struggling, but the times from today are unrealistic of how it’ll be tomorrow. Josh [Files] and Paul [Rivett] will be up at the front, as will we hopefully. It’ll be the same as usual I’m sure.”  pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read more

Formula 3: Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit, Double R Racing’s ‘home’ track, will host rounds seven, eight and nine of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series next weekend, 10th/11th August, where the front-running team aims to continue its fantastic winning momentum. Claiming victories during the first two events of the British F3 campaign with rapid Italian rookie Antonio Giovinazzi, one at Silverstone and another at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, the Woking squad is determined to make another visit to the top step of the rostrum on home soil. Ahead of the three Brands Hatch rounds Giovinazzi is an excellent third in the championship standings and only three points shy of the runner-up spot, having scored heavily in each of the six races contested so far. British F3’s youngest competitor, 16-year-old Sean Gelael, is fourth in the title race for Double R with an impressive tally of three podiums to his credit. Starring at Silverstone during the season-opening event with two rostrum visits, the Indonesian added another top-three finish during the first of the Spa encounters. Colombia’s Tatiana Calderón, also in her first season in the British championship, makes it all three Double R team-mates in the top five and is just eight points shy of Gelael. Although yet to secure her maiden podium, the 20-year-old has a best finish of fourth place and, like fellow Dallara-Mercedes drivers Giovinazzi and Gelael, has scored strongly in every round so far. “We’re really looking forward to being back at Brands and especially on the Grand Prix track, it’s a great circuit and a real test for the drivers”, said team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “Antonio has had a great run so far in British F3, he definitely has the pace to take another win next weekend and Sean and Tatiana are both capable of being on the podium. “Combining British F3 with our [FIA Formula 3] European Championship campaign is certainly paying dividends, even though the two categories run on a different tyre the extra experience and seat time in the car has been vital for all three drivers. Their progress has been clear to see, we’re all aiming for another strong weekend at Brands.” Although next weekend’s action will be the first for the Double R trio on the full Grand Prix Circuit, they did run on the shorter Indy Circuit layout when the FIA Formula 3 European Championship visited the Kent venue in May – an event where Giovinazzi secured the team’s first series points.  pic Jakob Ebrey Photography

Club Racing: After a rare weekend of inactivity, the BRSCC roars back into action this weekend with a pair of two days meetings. The North Western Centre is back at Anglesey for the second time this season for an 18 race programme on the Coastal circuit . The meeting features a mixture of saloon and sportscars, and is bolstered by two guest championships from across the Irish Sea. Full details of the meeting can be found at ANGLESEY RACE WEEKEND

Meanwhile, down south at Brands Hatch the South Eastern Centre is gearing up for their first race meeting of the 2013 season, and it is one that will certainly keep them busy! Twenty-three races will be run during the two days with around 250 drivers taking part. The latest entry list and timetable can be found at BRANDS HATCH RACE WEEKEND

Sue Whitlock, one of the UK’s most experienced marshals sadly passed away recently, after a long, long fight against various strains of cancer. Sue was born into a 'motor racing' family, and was soon marshalling at Silverstone. Together with ger husband Chris, Sue became part of the John Davallou/Richard Cuene Grandidier marshalling team at Le Mans, establishing the first ever all-British marshalling post at La Sarthe!  Together, Sue and Chris marshalled at five Le Mans 24 Hour races, thirteen Nurburgring 24 Hours, five Spa 1000 kms and regular visits to Zandvoort, sometimes three of four meetings there each season. Sue was also an efficient administrator for the BMMC for many yaers and only recently stood down from the role. You can find an indepth obituary at SUE WHITLOCK

Carfest: The BRSCC has once again been appointed by Brands Events Ltd to help run the motorsport demonstration activities at this summer’s two CarFest events. This year, CarFest North will be at a venue we are very familiar with, Oulton Park in Cheshire, and starts this coming Friday. Although our ever busy North Western Centre will be on duty at Anglesey this weekend, Liz Goodrich from HQ will be travelling to Oulton Park to assist the MSV team. CarFest South then takes place at Laverstoke Park Farm, Hampshire, from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25thAugust. Both of these extremely prestigious events are raising money for a very worthy cause – BBC’s Children in Need and both events will include a Hill Climb demonstration of speed, featuring some of world’s finest super cars.The CarFest events are the brainchild of Chris Evans and for full details of these great family days out visit www.carfest.org  

Karts: The Energy Corse team has continued its quest for victory and the last few weeks have been very fruitful. With the title of Vice European KZ2 Champion claimed by Joel Johansson and a new triumph for Dorian Boccolacci in WSK. In 2013, the Energy Corse driver has won not only the Euro Series, but also the Master Series!  Read more

The APR Volkswagen Racing Cup is the latest championship to join the growing number adopting Drift Innovation’s Drift HD Ghost in-car cameras as a benefit for competitors and race officials.From the next rounds of the championship, later this month at Brands Hatch, cars in the series will be equipped with the new system. The Drift HD Ghost in-car cameras are a vital tool for the competitors, who can study their laps to try to spot where they can improve their lines, to championship organisers, who can use the footage to investigate accidents and complaints about driving standards, and also to the championship’s film producer, HayFisher, which can use dramatic in-car sequences in its highlights shows broadcast on Channel 4 and Motors TV. The Drift camera scores over its rivals in a number of areas, says championship manager Matt Walker of Volkswagen Racing UK: “The Drift HD Ghost is small and light and, unlike some other cameras, it has a built-in viewfinder, so you can accurately line it up. It also features a rotatable lens, so you can choose the sort of shot you want, a start/stop remote control and, best of all, it’s wireless and you can view the footage on your iPhone or Android device. The Drift HD Ghost has already proved itself as a vital tool for drivers and for the championship, and we are delighted to be partnering with the company.” For more information about Drift Innovation, visit driftinnovation.com

Rallying: Both Ralliart Italy drivers Carlos Garcia Fessman and José Alexander Gelvez were delighted to complete all stages on Day One at Rally Finland. Less concerned about their times than learning how to tackle the Finnish gravel, they were pleased to get 45.51 kilometres under their belt before they move to even faster stages today. The Venezuelan pair’s times were very close throughout the day. Fessman had the added experience of competing in a Ralliart Italy Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X at Rally d’Italia. However, he and his countryman were inseparable on the first day of competition and incredibly they finished on exactly the same time of 35 minutes 22 seconds! Their day was uneventful until SS3. While both men had been disappointed to hear of Latvala’s misfortune on SS2, they were even more shocked to find the flying Finn sandwiched between them on the stage! Next target for Fessman: don’t get overtaken by local hero and long-time works driver Latvala. A next to impossible challenge in normal conditions, Latvala’s handicap gave Fessman a fighting chance and stay ahead of the Finn, which he did. “I was waiting at the stage start, ready to see Alex [Gelvez] pull up behind me and then I saw a white car. I realized it was Latvala and at first the feeling was good, but then I was scared. I had to concentrate very hard in that stage to make sure he didn’t catch me and it was the best stage I did all day!”  Gelvez was pleased to experience such an iconic event and hopes to improve throughout the weekend: “Rally Finland is a totally new event for me. It’s important to explain that we come from a country without rallies, but which is starting to have rally drivers. We are ambassadors. We want to make Venezuela proud, but it’s also all new to us. The most difficult thing here is the high speed of the stages and managing to keep calm and in control in fifth gear and with the jumps. I feel safe though, because I know we have a really good car prepared by Ralliart Italy.”

WTCC: Eurosport commentator and touring car expert Martin Haven’s column. Termas de Río Hondo preview - Pastures new -  So it begins; the Cold War of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, when drivers and teams have to readjust from the frantic schedule of race, repair, travel, race to the month-long gaps between events. Read more

Rally superstar and nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb had his first test in the brand new Citroën C-Elysée WTCC car at the Val de Vienne circuit in France last week. He talks about his switch to the WTCC.  Read more

Current leader of the Japanese Super GT Championship, Takuya Izawa, will compete in his home event of the WTCC, at Suzuka on September 22.

F2000: Expanding to three cars for Mid-Ohio and the rest of the 2013 season, HP-Tech Motorsport saw more success during rounds nine and ten of the 2013 F2000 Championship Series season.  Newcomer Santino Ferrucci built on his Watkins Glen momentum with a second place and a pole position, while Roberto Lorena and Jose Montiel put in solid drives for the defending Championship team. Ferrucci would take home a fifth and second place result in the team’s No. 10 Van Diemen, also grabbing pole position for race two at the very last second of qualifying.  Read report

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BTCC: MG KX Momentum drivers Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff (pictured) say they are ready to go on the attack to in the  2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship as the series reconvenes at Snetterton this weekend. The pair had a successful test at the circuit recently and Plato says the secrets uncovered during the extra running mean that the team is able to go on the front foot for the remaining rounds. “We’ve made progress in all areas with the car – in terms of handling, how we use the tyres and getting the most from the softer Dunlop rubber that we have to use this year. I am full of confidence,” said the two-time champion.“By the end of the weekend, everyone’s going to be drinking a can of KX whoop-ass, which I am hopefully going to be able to hand out. We have the tools to do the job and we are going to get it done.” Rookie Tordoff is aiming to break his victory duck in the BTCC and he reckons that this weekend could give him the perfect platform to get  into the winner’s circle for the first time. “Snetterton has always been kind to me,” explains Tordoff. “I have won there in Renault Clios and Porsches, and the testing session has given me lots of confidence. The mileage was vital and I am sure that we will be quick straight out of the box.I think that the work that we have done on the soft tyre is going to reap real rewards. We have taken steps to make it suit the car and that’s going to pay off. I am full of excitement over the second half of the year.” MG KX Momentum Racing head Ian Harrison thinks that now is the time to hammer home any advantage that the duo has.“Testing is all well and good, and we had some positive mileage, but it is all about what happens when the points are on the table,” says Harrison. “We have to take all of the things we have learned and make sure we turn them into solid results.This is the time of the season when you can make a real difference. We are going to Snetterton full of anticipation but we must make that count and land the big results. That is what I expect from both of my drivers.”  pic Dennis Goodwin

WTCC: LADA Sport LUKOIL drivers James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy will take part in round eight of the FIA World Touring Car Championship this weekend, from 3-4 August. The race takes place in Argentina, the first time that the WTCC has raced in the country.  The circuit is located in Termas de Rio Hondo, in the Santiago del Estero province, 1300 kilometres from the capital Buenos Aires. The 4.8-kilometre circuit was inaugurated in 2008 and has already hosted motorbike and national car races. But the WTCC round will be the very first international event of this stature to be held at the track. Read more

DTM: The appeal court of the German Motor Racing Association, DMSB, have confirmed the disqualification of Audi driver Mattias Ekström from the DTM race held on 14th July at the Norisring. In addition, the court decided that the fifth round of the season won’t have a winner. On Tuesday in Frankfurt/Main, the court dismissed the appeal of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline against the decision of the stewards but also decided that no other driver will move up in the rankings. So, Canadian Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) will remain in second position and will be the best-placed driver from the Norisring race. The reason given for not moving the positions of any other drivers is  because Ekström didn’t enjoy an advantage in the race, his car met the regulations so whe won fair and square.  The disqualification is due to Ekström’s violating parc-fermé rules defined in paragraph 44 of DTM’s sporting regulations. This regulates - inter alia - that no materials or substances may be added or removed prior to the vehicle’s post-race scrutineering. However, TV pictures showed water being poured into pocket of the driver’s race overall prior to the weighing.  “It’s good that the DMSB appeal court has closed this case as we now can look ahead to the coming race held this weekend at the Moscow Raceway without having to deal with an unsettled situation. Now we again fully focus on the sport and look forward to our debut race on Russian soil,” said Hans Werner Aufrecht, Chairman of DTM rights holder and promoter ITR e.V. And Jürgen Abt, Abt Sportsline Team Principal, added: “In the spirit of the sport, we respect and accept the decision of the DMSB appeal court.”

IZOD IndyCar:: The beauty of watching IndyCar racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course lies in the juxtaposition of the natural landscape against the screaming engines and cutting edge technology of the Dallara DW-12 cars. Just like the track, Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier have gone back to the basics to prepare for the Honda Indy 200 on Sunday, Aug. 4. IZOD IndyCar Series rookie Vautier used his recent break from the IndyCar schedule to turn his first-ever laps at Mid-Ohio in an F1600 series car. Vautier used the weekend of racing in the junior series to familiarize himself with the track since many of his competitors in the IZOD IndyCar Series have been racing there for decades. "The goal for me running at Mid-Ohio in F1600 was to help me hopefully get up to speed quicker when I come back here in an IndyCar," Vautier said. "It was totally back to grassroots for me and reminded me of my junior formula years racing, which I loved. It's just simple, pure racing." A quiet race weekend without TV cameras or media was also refreshing for the rookie. "I just went out there and drove, and then we came in and worked on the car, and nothing else," Vautier said. "It was such a relaxed atmosphere and that was very refreshing." 

Simon Pagenaud, driving the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car, is reminded of home when he drives at Mid-Ohio. "Mid-Ohio is very much like my home track in France," Pagenaud said. "It's a beautiful track in the middle of nature, and I really enjoy camping there. I've also had a lot of success there which doesn't hurt my impression of the track!" Pagenaud started and finished third in last year's Honda Indy 200, and is hoping to move up a few spots on the podium in Sunday's 90-lap race. "This is a track that a lot of drivers and teams know very well, so you have to be perfect," Pagenaud said. "If you want to have a decent result here you know that you have to execute perfectly." The 29-year-old Frenchman sits fifth in the championship and is hoping to make up ground on the leaders this weekend at the technically challenging track. "Your car needs to be able to roll a lot of speed out of the corners and you have to be very confident coming out of those corners," he said. "It's also tricky to send the car out on the tarmac and then switch to the grippy patches. We're entering the final part of the season too so now is the time to score some big points!" The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, August 4th will be shown on NBC Sports Network at 2 p.m. ET. 

Historics: The Masters newsletter covering their races from last weekend’s Silverstone Classic is now available online. Please click here to view. Masters Histroic racing would like to thank those who supported them and helped to provide such fantastic grids and great racing.  The Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nurburgring is the next Masters meeting in just seven days’ time – hopefully  the Eifel weather will be kind. Following the German visit the last  three events of 2013 are:
Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix (30 Aug – 1 Sep) - Masters has four grids taking part this year: F1, Sports Cars, Pre-66 GT and Touring Cars. 
Spa Six Hours (20-22 Sept) - a regular favourite in the historic calendar! 
Jerez Historic Festival (11-13 Oct): the former home of the Spanish GP is the new venue for the end-of-season event Joining the Masters will be FIA Lurani Trophy, HGPCA and Iberian Historic Endurance.  

The Total Spa 24 Hours started well for Hexis Racing. Alvaro Parente put in a masterly first stint, avoiding the chaos on the first time through the Raidillon when Alessandro Pier Guidi’s Ferrari spun in front of the pack!  He reached Les Combes in third position, running in the top three for the the first hour. Fate however had other things in store for the French team. The no: 7 McLaren MP4 12C lost 18 laps due to a broken alternator cable connection while the similar no:107 was stuck in the pits for eight laps after the brake pedal jammed. The team worked hard to fix these issues and soon both cars were back on track. Sadly in the 7th hour of the race, Alexander Sims collided with another car at the bus stop, badly damaging the cared. Back  in the pits the team started the repairs but the more they dismantled the car the more they realised that it was seriously damaged forcing retirement. The second car meanwhile kept running, gaining places on a regular basis. 49th after three hours, it climbed back into the top 30 at the mid-point.  However by 5am it too had retired.pic: Antonin Grenier  Read Romaine Didier’s report

Formula 1: Charles Pic was back in GP action last weekend in Hungary but before that he attended the Festival of Speed for the first time and was impressed…read more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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