The Grid.co.uk the national & club motor racing website - est1998
News Archive May 2011
mail your news to email@example.com
IF RACE REPORTS LINKS REMOVED - FOLLOW 'Reports' LINK ON THE GRID above
Ginetta Jnrs: Seb Morris has been the man to beat in the Ginetta Junior Championship, which heads to Oulton Park this weekend. Five wins out of six races is an impressive start to the season in any category but when it is in the school of hard knocks that is the Ginetta Junior Championship, it is even more remarkable. Seb Morris (Hillspeed) has been the star of the 2011 series and will be aiming to continue his winning ways here this weekend, especially as George Gamble (TJ Motorsport) defeated him in the first of Thruxton’s two races. To lose a 100 per cent winning streak was bad enough, but to lose it by 36-thousandths of a second was pretty galling!Morris has been so successful that he has a 76-point lead in the title race but his rivals will be eager to narrow that gap this weekend. Thruxton winner Gamble will be the man most likely to, and after steadily working his way into contention, the Nottingham-based 14-year-old will be after a second win of the season.Privateer Max Coates lies third in the championship, 15 points behind Gamble, and two third places at Thruxton have moved him back into contention after a quiet start to his season. Others to look for include Tom Howard (Tollbar Racing with WIRED) who is using his experience from last season to score good results, while the HHC Motorsport cars of Charlie Robertson and Mikey Day have both been rapid in their rookie drivers’ hands. Robertson was quick at Donington but was frustrated to get caught up in an incident with Struan Moore in race two at Thruxton, although that gifted team-mate Day a maiden top six finish. They will be joined this weekend by Patrick McClughan who moves from the Kelvin Jones Motorsport team. The Ginetta G40, in detuned form for the teenage drivers, is the ultimate motor sport classroom and with a six-speed sequential gearbox for 2011 and a new track-designed tyre, the championship is refreshing itself all the time. One thing remains though: great racing. pic Jakob Ebrey Photography
Ginetta GT Supercup: Tom Sharp’s winning streak in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup came to an end at Thruxton and his lead is under pressure as the championship heads to Oulton Park this weekend. Three races at the high-speed Thruxton circuit last time out should have allowed Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup leader Tom Sharp (IDL) to increase his championship lead. Instead, he struggled through the weekend with just one podium finish to cheer about. Tom, a real revelation in the early races, had spoken about how his driving style suits the new-for-2011 Ginetta G55 better than its predecessor, the G50. However, his tyres couldn’t live with the demands of Thruxton and he lost pace with the leaders in all three races. That meant that after six wins in six races, Sharp had to watch other faces appear atop the podium: Carl Breeze won races one and three for TCR and Adam Morgan backed up his G50 win at Croft last season by scoring honours in race two for Ciceley Racing. Sharp, meanwhile, elected to run three new tyres for the final race and copped a five-place grid drop for each new tyre. He started stone last but tigered up to third. All three are potential winners this weekend, as is reigning Ginetta Challenge Champion George Murrells (Optimum Motorsport), while National Hot Rod hero Colin White scored a popular outright podium by finishing third at Thruxton.Against the new G55s are the older G50s where Tom Ingram (Plans Motorsport) has a 60-point lead over Jody Fannin (Team Pyro) with the score five: two in favour of Ingram. Jake Hill (Optimum Motorsport) and Andy Richardson (Richardson Racing) are the other winners in a very competitive class, while Aaron Williamson (FML) can’t be discounted. Louise Richardson will be aiming to be back to full speed here after her car was badly damaged in a startline crash at Thruxton, while Robert Gaffney (Meridian Motorsport) is after a maiden win, too. pic Jakob Ebrey Photography
Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Oulton Park is the setting for rounds seven and eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup over the weekend of 4/5 June. With a field of 24 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup cars on the grid, the pair of Carrera Cup races will make a mighty spectacle and it is James Sutton (SAS/Redline) who heads to Cheshire with a useful points’ lead after the opening six races. With a clean sweep of podium finishes this season, including a double win last time out at Thruxton, Sutton has gone 19 points clear at the head of the points. But he knows it is too early to start thinking about the title and is just determined to carry on chalking up strong finishes. Three drivers currently stand out as the major challengers to Sutton and any of them could be on top at Oulton Park. Both Euan Hankey and Stephen Jelley concluded late deals to race for the Parker with Juta squad this season, but were both right on the pace from the opening rounds at Brands Hatch, where they shared the race wins. Hankey won again at Donington Park and they now head to Oulton Park with the clear target of stopping Sutton extending his points’ lead at the head of the championship. The other member of the current big four is Michael Meadows, team mate to Sutton at SAS/Redline and, like Hankey, one of the 2010 Carrera Cup Scholarship winners. Meadows showed by winning at Donington Park that he is now firmly established as a Carrera Cup pacesetter and will be as eager as Hankey and Jelley to peg back Sutton’s advantage. In the strongest Pro line-up the championship has ever enjoyed, other leading contenders include promising youngsters Richard Plant and Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing), the rather more experienced Michael Caine (Nationwide/Motorbase) and current Carrera Cup Scholarship racer Ben Hetherington (Oman Air/Redline), who is aiming for a strong showing on his home track. Meanwhile, young single-seater ace Kieran Vernon joins the grid with the Nationwide/Motorbase squad in the car driven by Tim Harvey over the opening races. Currently fifth overall and a clear leader in the Pro-Am1 category is Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing), and the rising star from Lithuania is now aiming for an overall podium finish as well as more Pro-Am1 success. Four Pro-Am1 victories from six races have taken Gelzinis to a 39-point lead in the category and he was spectacularly fast at Oulton Park a year ago. However, three drivers in particular are fighting hard to match the pace of Gelzinis. Leading the chase of Gelzinis is young Scot Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) after an excellent start to his debut Carrera Cup season and he was the closest threat to Gelzinis last time out at Thruxton. Butcher knows Oulton Park from his single-seater racing and should be strong, while Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman Air/Redline) is also having a great season in Pro-Am1. Al Harthy will be buoyed by a recent trip to the Dijon circuit where he contested two rounds of the Carrera Cup France and immediately showed front-running pace. The fourth of the prime contenders in Pro-Am1 is Derek Pierce (Team Parker Racing). In Pro-Am2 the title race is finely balanced just now as Andrew Shelley (Redline Racing) heads George Brewster (Celtic Speed) by a single point and they have shared the wins so far with Brewster taking four wins to the two of Shelley over the opening six races. Other leading runners in Pro-Am2 include Keith Webster (Redline Racing), Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport) and Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance).
Tim Harvey has created an opportunity for a new driver to join
the Porsche Carrera Cup GB
this season by stepping down from driving for the remaining UK
races. It is confirmed that Kieran Vernon now joins the
Motorbase Performance team and, under Harvey's guidance, will
compete in his first Carrera Cup race this Saturday, 4 June, at
Oulton Park. Harvey, the most successful driver in the history
of Carrera Cup GB with 35 wins and 106 podiums, continues his
involvement with the championship. He will compete in the
Porsche Carrera World Cup race at the Nürburgring in June and
will represent his team and sponsors at every remaining UK race,
while also providing driver coaching to Vernon. Vernon was
selected for a Porsche scholarship in 2011 but unfortunately was
unable to fully meet the scholarship terms and conditions to
start the season yet following Harvey's decision, and with
Motorbase support, Vernon can now finally begin his career in
the Porsche Carrera Cup and continue running the Number One car
MR2 Series: David Pittard went to Castle Combe yesterday for the MR2 Racing Series and came away with two wins from two starts, despite some pretty wet conditions. Read report
Formula Renault BARC: Having secured a superb second place only two weeks earlier at the Monoposto 2000 race at Brands Hatch, racing against fast F3 cars, the young Iranian driver, Kourosh Khani was full of confidence for rounds three and four of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC championship and it was well justified for he came away with his first [podium finish. Read report
VLN: Le Mans Series frontrunner Phil Quaife continued his foray into the VLN Endurance Series at the Nurburgring Nordschleife last Saturday with a second place finish in the SP10 class. The Kent-based racer enjoyed a flawless weekend at the notoriously difficult ‘Green Hell’ in Germany to make it two podiums in as many races alongside co-driver Adam Christodoulou and new addition to the squad Andreas Möntmann. Starting from second, Quaife belied his inexperience at the 12.93-mile, 150+ turn venue to produce an excellent opening stint that kept his Bonk Motorsport-run, GT4-spec BMW M3 in victory contention. Christodoulou and Möntmann where similarly competitive but a late splash and dash fuel stop would ultimately end their hopes of catching the leading Aston Martin.Phil Quaife: “It was a great weekend all round so a big thank you to the team, Adam and Andreas. This was only my third visit to the Nordschleife and understandably it’s a place that demands experience, so I was delighted with the overall performance and my pace in the race. Because of its length a 90-minute stint only amounts to about eight laps, which isn’t many to learn such a demanding circuit! But I definitely feel like I’m making progress so next time I'd like to be pushing for the win.“From the team’s perspective it was a relatively straightforward weekend. The car was competitive from first practice on Friday and ran faultlessly throughout the event. But you can take nothing for granted at the Nordschleife which is notorious for its fast, narrow sections.” Quaife returns to the Nordschleife for round five of the VLN Endurance Series in a fortnight’s time, before rejoining his CRS Racing outfit at Imola for the upcoming Le Mans Series/Intercontinental Le Mans Cup event on 1-3 July.
GP2: Venezuelan racer Rodolfo Gonzalez was competing last weekend in the Monte Carlo GP2 races racing for Trident Racing, with the GP2 races supporting Formula1. With less than a week between the last races at Barcelona the teams and drivers were busy with all activity starting a day earlier on Thursday. Read report
Formula Renault BARC: Callum Bowyer is making good progress in his first year in car racing, and that was never more in evidence than at Oulton Park last weekend, where he finished an excellent fifth in the first race on Saturday, his best result so far. Read report.
Renault 3.5: Daniël De Jong made a good impression during the latest round of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in Monaco at the weekend, 28th/29th May – the event signifying a landmark moment in the Dutch racer’s career as he competed at an FIA Formula One World Championship event for the first time. Read report
GP3: Following weeks of uncertainty regarding his 2011 motor racing plans, Dutchman Thomas Hylkema is delighted to confirm his return to competitive action after finalising a deal with Tech 1 Racing to race in GP3. Despite having missed the first two events of the season, Thomas’ agreement with French squad Tech 1 means he will contest the six remaining race meetings on the GP3 calendar. His debut will come over the weekend 25th/26th June at Valencia in support of the European Grand Prix. “This is a magnificent opportunity for me”, he said, “I’m so excited to be making my race debut in GP3 and especially with such a strong and dynamic team as Tech 1, they’ve already shown what they can do this season so I know I’m in the right place to learn. Everything has come together very quickly. For a while we weren’t sure what would be happening this year but this opportunity is a fantastic one – GP3 is exactly where I wanted to be this year and I’m absolutely delighted to be on the grid for the rest of the season. I want to say a big thank you to my family, management and sponsors for making this deal happen.” Although having made a handful of test outings in GP3, Thomas knows he faces a very steep-learning curve with the first two race meetings of the season already completed. That said, he believes the Tech 1 Racing team will afford him the best chance of developing strongly with the Toulouse squad already a race winner and multiple podium finisher this year. “There’s a lot for me to get adjusted to, especially with all of the other drivers having experience from the first two race meetings”, he added, “One of the biggest changes for me is the move from Michelin tyres, which I’ve been on in Formula Renault for the last three years, to Pirelli. I obviously got some understanding from the tests I did over the winter though so that will have helped.” His first test outing with Tech 1 will come during the officially timed GP3 Series test in Hungary this week, 1-2 June.
Star Mazda: Connor De Phillippi, started from the pole, led from flag-to-flag to win Round 3 of the 2011 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, the 85-lap 'Night Before the 500' at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. It was the California driver's second victory of the season driving the #11 Team Pelfrey / Justice Brothers Products / Trademark Garage Floors Mazda, De Phillippi crossed the finish line two hours late due to a rain delay, but still with 2.4 seconds in hand over his Team Pelfrey teammate Nick Andries of St. Petersburg, Fl, who started from the outside of the front row in the #81 Team Pelfrey / Lithionics Battery / GS610 Brake Fluid / Trademark Garage Floors Mazda. Andries started from the pole in St. Pete and finished 2nd in Round 2 at Barber Motorsports Park. Read report
JK Racing Asia Series : Lucas Auer stamped his authority at the Sepang International Circuit after winning Round 5 and 6 of the JK Racing Asia Series on Sunday. The EuroInternational driver was a league above the rest as he conquered both races and extended his lead in the standings with 116 points. Irfan Ilyas of Petronas Mofaz Racing was second in both once again while team mate Nabil Jeffri finally enjoyed a podium finish after managing the third spot in Round 6. Meritus GP’s Afiq Yazid had earlier taken the same position in round 5. read report
Formula Renault BARC: Josh Webster is the new points leader of the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship following Round 5 and 6 Oulton Park on Saturday, 28th May. On a day in which both races were affected by red flags, the 17-year-old Fortec Motorsport driver was in superb form and became the first competitor to take more than one win so far this year with a clear victory in a weather-affected fifth round. With Webster heading home team-mates Kieran Vernon and Archie Hamilton, Fortec achieved its second podium lock-out of the campaign. He then went on to finish second in round six behind Kourosh Khani, the star of the round, his maiden category victory and entering the record books as the first Iranian in history to win in Formula Renault. Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Josh Webster delivered an outstanding performance on his first ever competitive appearance at the challenging Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire on Saturday, 28th May – the teenage star taking his second win of the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship and, with it, the series lead. By far the best weekend of the season so far for the 17-year-old, Stowmarket-based Josh remained fantastically well composed despite red flag stoppages in both rounds five and six to claim victory in the opening encounter, along with the fastest lap, and a strong second place in race two. Reads report
Reigning Protyre Formula Renault BARC champions Hillspeed battled hard through an incredibly tough third event of the 2011 season at Oulton Park on Saturday, 28th May, during which Zaamin Jaffer and Howard Fuller traded places in the driver standings. Indian-born Jaffer, who is embarking on his first season of ‘slicks and wings’ action this year, ended rounds five and six of the campaign eighth in the championship chase after securing seventh and ninth place finishes in the two races. Fuller, also a full-season rookie in Formula Renault BARC, was caught-up in an incident during the opener which led to his second non-finish of the year but a good run to 10th in round six maintained a spot in the coveted championship top 10. Read report
Zaamin Jaffer continued to rack up the points during the latest two rounds of Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship action at Oulton Park on Saturday, 28th May – the talented Indian racer having moved into eighth place in the driver standings as the season reaches mid-distance.Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
At the season mid-point, Archie Hamilton (20, Basingstoke) has moved up to second in the Championship after stepping back on the podium at Oulton Park. Read report
Matt Mason endured a mixed day in Rounds Five and Six of the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship, the MGR Motorsport driver recovering from a big accident in race one to take his first top six finish in car racing in race two. Read report
Hector Hurst suffered another frustrating weekend in the latest rounds of the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship around Oulton Park, with a red flag and then contact by a rival ruining his first race when he looked set for a strong finish. Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
GT Asia: It was a thrilling end to the opening race for the 2011 GT Asia Series at the Asian Festival Of Speed where defending champion Dilantha Malagamuwa took the victory for Sri Lanka . It was not an easy race as second placed Tunku Hammam Sulong had a strong qualifying session and took pole position; a position he held on to for most of the race. The duo kept close to one another and were at some points separated by just a tenth of a second. Read report
After a successful year with the Series in 2010, Graham London has confirmed to extend their support for GT Asia in the 2011 season. This year, the exclusive watchmaker will, at the end of the Season, present the outstanding collector’s timepiece - the Graham Mercedes GP Edition.“It is indeed an honour to once again be associated to a strong brand like Graham London. Their link to the Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team only shows the level of exclusivity and prestige associated with the brand. We would like to extend our thanks to the team at Graham London and DKSH for this continued support for the Series” said David Sonenscher, CEO of Motorsport Asia. The Series’ best finishers, Champion, Second and Third placed overall along with the Champion in the GT4 Class and the GTM Class will all receive a Graham Special Racing Collection ‘Mercedes GP’ watch each during a special year-end celebration. The season opener for the GT Asia Series, with rounds 1 & 2 will be held this weekend during the Asian Festival Of Speed. The Series will then remains in Malaysia for rounds 3 & 4 held in conjunction with the Super GT before heading to three circuits in Japan. The 2011 Season will end with the final two Championship rounds during the Macau GP.
Asia Touring Cars: The qualifying round of the 2011 Asian Touring Car Series got off to a flawless start during the Asian Festival of Speed at the Sepang International Circuit. A wet track played havoc for the qualifying round of the GT Asia Series which was held just before, but the track dried perfectly to let the Touring Cars run on slick tires, with some cars matching the times of the more powerful GT cars that posted their times in the wet. Read report
BTCC: The challenge of the Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire is the next destination for Andrew Jordan and Pirtek Racing this coming weekend of 4/5 June in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. As well as attracting one of the biggest and most enthusiastic BTCC crowds of the season, Oulton Park is a fabulous drivers’ circuit and its fast corners and blind crests make it one of the toughest on the schedule. Not surprisingly, Andrew rates it as one of his favourite tracks on the BTCC calendar. The season resumes after a four-week break since the previous races at Thruxton and the Pirtek Racing squad will head to Cheshire riding high after a mighty start to the season. With five podiums in the last six races, including overall victory at Donington Park, Andrew is right in the title hunt after the opening nine races. He currently lies fourth in the overall drivers’ points, third in the Independents’ Trophy for drivers and Pirtek Racing is a close second in the Independents’ Team Trophy. Andrew is being backed up by Jeff Smith in the other Pirtek Racing Vauxhall Vectra, and despite this being Jeff’s first season in the BTCC, he is already chalking up consistent top 10 finishes. Together, Andrew and Jeff are battling for the Independents’ Team Trophy and head to Oulton Park just five points behind the leading team. “Oulton is a great circuit,” says Andrew. “It has some high speed corners and you’ve really got to hang on to the car. But I think brakes on the turbo cars will be the big issue, as you are braking really hard three times on every lap. We’re the strongest Independent team taking it to the big teams and we’re racing to make sure we get points all the time. I think we can really challenge for the Independents’ title.”
JK Racing Asia Series : Lucas Auer overcame the unpredictable Malaysian weather to end a perfect day with two pole to flag wins in the JK Racing Asia Series during the Asian Festival Of Speed today. Auer’s second win of the day saw him finish 6.224 seconds ahead of Malaysian Irfan Ilyas of Petrona Mofaz Racing with Akash Nandy of www.Meritus.gp third. “I had a good start. The car did consistent times till the end of the race and it was good,” said Auer. “It’s been a really good day. Rain or shine the car is just good.” Said Auer. Read report
Grand-Am: AIM Autosport and primary Sponsor GAMMA88 have extended their relationship for a further three races this season. The fuel and oil supplement manufacturer is pleased with the results of its two-race sponsorship and is eager to do more. GAMMA88 will return as the primary sponsor of AIM’s BMW-Riley Daytona Prototype for races at Road America, Watkins Glen International and Montreal. As a new company, GAMMA88 needed to gain awareness and AIM Autosport has been a key component in that strategy. At the same time, however, costs must be kept in check and, based upon available budget, sponsorship was limited to three select races. AIM is working to find sponsorship to fill out the remainder of the season, but has elected not to enter the Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park and Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International. In addition to exposure at tracks and in media coverage, GAMMA88 utilized their sponsorship to gain attention during a promotion at TA’s Richmond Travel Center in Alton, Va. and the race car was displayed at NASCAR’s Richmond Sprint Cup race. “This was a great experience and we look forward to being back for more races this year,” said Rich Simeone of GAMMA88. “As a relatively new company, we are doing what we can to pick this sponsorship up for future races. I’m extremely happy that GAMMA88 will return for three more races this year,” said Chief Engineer and AIM Autosport Principal, Ian Willis. “This reinforces that our program is an effective way for GAMMA88 to strengthen its brand and accelerate its growth in the fuel and oil supplement market. We’re confident that we can continue to deliver results with GAMMA88 and grow the program next year.” Pic Bob Chapman/Autosport Image
Asian Festival of Speed: Series leader Lucas Auer got off to a winning start after claiming a pole to flag victory in Round 3 of the JK Racing Asia Series held in Malaysia during the Asian Festival Of Speed. The EuroInternational driver crossed the chequered flag in 24:03.671s, ahead of local drivers Irfan Ilyas of PETRONAS MOFAZ Racing and Afiq Ikhwan Yazid of www.Meritus.GP who came in second and third respectively.Ilyas crossed the line 3.136 seconds later while Afiq clocked 24:10.170 in a keenly contested affair. read report
Karts: Luke Whitworth produced a determined performance to grab his first national podium finish of the 2011 campaign in the second outing of the Formula Kart Stars (FKS) Championship at Three Sisters near Wigan and he hopes it will be the first of many. Buoyed by a brilliant breakthrough victory at PF International and a spirited showing to snatch the runner-up spoils at Buckmore Park in the weeks leading up to the event, Luke had even more reason than usual to look forward to the resumption of FKS hostilities given that he had been unable to compete at Three Sisters in 2010 due to a broken arm. Pic Chris Walker/www.kartpix.net read report
Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup : Britain’s Daniel Lloyd faces yet another fresh challenge next weekend, 4th/5th June, when the 2011 Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup resumes for the second and third rounds of the season at the recently rebuilt and renamed Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. The 19-year-old, from Huddersfield, delivered a sensational debut performance in the DTM-support category during the championship curtain-raiser at Hockenheim last month and is currently second in the standings after a memorable maiden weekend in VW Sciroccos. Dominating qualifying to secure pole position by 0.6 seconds, Daniel went on to take a well deserved second place finish in the race itself and is aiming for more podium success in Austria just over a week from now. The 4.3-kilometre (2.67-mile) Red Bull Ring, formerly known as the A1 Ring and, before that, the Österreichring, will be a new experience for all of the VW Scirocco R-Cup drivers so the playing field should be as level as possible going into the event. “I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be up there like we were at Hockenheim, I didn’t know the track and we still did a really good job so everything is the same for me on that front”, said Daniel, “I don’t think any of the others should really have any experience of the track this time. That wasn’t the case in Germany but, even so, we still managed to have a really strong weekend.” Marking the first ‘double-header’ of the season, only half-points will be available during round two next weekend – as was the case at Hockenheim – as part of a move by Volkswagen Motorsport to ensure no driver starts the year with a significant advantage. In round three though, maximum points will be up for grabs for the first time making it the most important race yet of 2011. With the finishing order of the first encounter setting the grid for the second though – with the exception of the top eight which will be reversed – anything could happen! Daniel adds: “You can’t start holding back and playing tactics so early in the season so I’ll go out and give it my all in the first race and then see what happens for race two. One thing we will have to be sensible with though is tyres, it’ll be really important to look after them. I have had a look at the track on the i-Zone simulator and it does seem quite tricky, it should be a great challenge.”
AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK race winner James Dixon is confident of making a return to the top step of the podium at Cheshire’s Oulton Park next weekend, 4th/5th June, when the 2011 season resumes following a five week hiatus. The 21-year-old, from Stockbury in Kent, heads into rounds seven and eight of the championship prepared for a tough challenge but having secured two race wins so far in 2011, along with a further podium, he is currently second in the driver standings.In addition to his runner-up spot in the overall points table, the ABP Heating, Weidmuller and The Art of Decorating-backed racer also leads the inter-championship ‘Graduate Cup’ battle by six points having secured three class wins so far. While the previous event at Thruxton in Hampshire wasn’t quite the success James had hoped for, he still managed to pick up fourth and sixth place finishes in the two races to keep the pressure on points leader – Paul Rivett. “I’ve had a great start to the season and it’s only going to get better”, said James, “I have a strong car beneath me for Oulton and I’ve got a lot of faith we can come back to our winning ways. I’ve only been competing in Clios for just over a year now but the team and I have achieved so much. I am ready for the tough fight for the championship, I think my mind is stronger than ever and I have no pressure on me – I just want to win. I know if I want to be racing next year I need the results. I’m aiming for a top drive in BTCC next year and I will do everything I can to succeed in the Clio Cup and try and secure the funding I need to make the step-up.” pic jakob Ebrey Photography
The DTM returns to Austria and to the Red Bull Ring. With a market share of 5.5 percent (2010) Audi is the most successful premium brand in Austria. Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich was born in Vienna. The two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider lives in Austria. And in Red Bull Audi Sport has a strong Austrian partner. These are four good reasons for Audi to shine at the DTM’s grand Austrian comeback at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on June 5. Mercedes-Benz driver Bruno Spengler travels to the Austria leading the championship but breathing down his neck are four Audi drivers, Mike Rockenfeller, Martin Tomczyk, Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider. All four Audi drivers have be the track before. Zandvoort winner Rockenfeller remembers the track from his Porsche Carrera Cup days while Tomczyk, Ekström and Scheider all raced there when the DTM last visited the track in 2003. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Everyone’s looking forward to the third round at the Red Bull Ring. The race track is really special and has always made for a good atmosphere. I’m convinced that we’ll experience that again. There will be a test day so we’ll be able to prepare a little for the track, which is equally important for everyone. The victory at Zandvoort has given the whole squad a good motivation boost. We all want to return from Austria with a good result."
Ginetta Jnrs: Oulton Park Island Circuit will be the venue for the Ginetta Junior Championship next weekend, 4th/5th June – and local driver Seb Morris is bidding to make it a happy homecoming as he strives to increase his already substantial points lead. Over the course of the first six races the 15-year-old has been sensational with five victories and one second place giving him a very healthy 76-point cushion at the head of the championship. Although his undefeated streak came to an end during round five at Thruxton almost four weeks ago, Seb missing out on the win by a mere 0.036 seconds at the chequered flag, he hit back superbly in round six with yet another success and new lap record to confirm his pace and prowess. With Oulton Park’s sweeps and challenging corners always providing spectacular racing, the Liberty Properties Plc and Legat Owen-backed driver is really looking forward to his ‘home’ event where his desire for victory will be stronger than ever. Of paramount importance though will be the Hillspeed racer’s quest to further extend his outstanding championship lead. “I really am looking forward to Oulton Park”, said the 2010 Ginetta Junior Winter Champion, “It’s always great being at your home circuit and, hopefully, we’ll have plenty of local support. As I’ve said since the start of the season, I want to win every time I race – and I really want to win at Oulton – but the most important thing right now is the championship, we need to keep building that lead.”
BTCC: Silverline Chevrolet’s Alex MacDowall aims to close some “unfinished business” at Oulton Park next weekend, 4th/5th June, when the Dunlop MSA BTC makes its annual visit to the north-west of England. Carlisle-based Alex, who is currently eighth in the driver standings ahead of the first of two ‘home’ events for him on the 2011 calendar, came extremely close to achieving his maiden BTCC victory during the corresponding race meeting last year. Starting the third of the weekend’s races from pole position, a driveshaft failure while leading robbed him of a potential victory – something he aims to rectify next weekend at the picturesque 2.2-mile parkland track. That said, the 20-year-old knows the task will be even harder this year with the well-documented performance advantage held so far by the turbo-charged Hondas, Fords and Vauxhalls in comparison to his normally-aspirated 2.0-litre Chevrolet Cruze. He commented: “I feel like I have unfinished business with Oulton Park, I was robbed of a win last year due to the broken driveshaft. I think in qualifying we will be closer to the turbo cars than we have been so far this year but they will still be hard to beat.I should have qualified on pole at Oulton last year by 0.4 seconds so if I can produce a lap time like that again, I think I have a good chance of being on the front row. The Chevrolet Cruze is the best overall package on the grid and Oulton is the most demanding track on the calendar. My aim for the weekend is to try and end up seventh in the championship – we’ll be pushing as hard as ever.” Having scored in seven of the nine races contested so far this season, the hugely talented Cumbrian has been a consistent front-runner but he’s hungry for a return to the podium. The closest Alex has been so far was during round six at Donington Park in mid-April when he finished fourth. Despite starting on pole position, the speed advantage of the turbos was simply too much to overcome. pic Dennis Goodwin
Fredy Barth claimed victory in the GT4 class during the second round of the Blancpain Enfudrance Series, last Sunday at Navarra, Spain.The Swiss driver shared a Lotus Evora car run by the Lechner Racing Team with fellow countrymen Lorenz Frey and Rolf Maritz. After setting pole position, they fought for victory with the Lotus Evora driven by Piscopo and Nigel Mansell's sons Leo and Greg, and the Nissan 370Z of Buncombe-Tresson-Ward. Eventually Barth, Frey and Maritz won the race with a 2-lap margin.
Eurosport Events announced the Hungarian National Tourist Office
as the Event Presenting Partner of the WTCC Race of Hungary that
is hosted by Budapest's Hungaroring next weekend.
Reigning WTCC champion Yvan Muller keeps on training for his future participation in the Le Mans 24-Hours of cycling that will take place on August 20 and 21.In order to improve his form, Muller took part last Sunday in "La Gianoise" race that brings the competitos to climb on the Swiss mountains for 40 kilometres and up to 1080 metres. He managed to complete the race in 2 hours and 16 minutes, improving his last year's time. This Sunday he will pedal around the Leman lake for a total of 180 km.
Formula 3: Argentinean driver Facu Regalia concluded Italian Formula 3 test at Misano despite problems with a set of tyres which restricted his running. Regalía lapped eighty-eight laps at Misano, accumulating important mileage, but the aforementioned tyres prevented more running, as he explains: “It was a set of tyres which we used at Fraciacorta during free practice session, and which was faulty and it explains why we suffered there. It did we had just a set of used tyres, and two new ones, but we were saving these ones for the end”. Finally Regalia, driving his Dallara-FPT Racing, set a best time of 1:31.945. “We had set-up problems in fast corners, where you can really improve your time. I couldn´t accelerate as soon as I would wish, as my car was suffering from oversteer but anyway I am confident to solve these issues”,
Radicals: Bradley Ellis is setting his sights on adding another Brands Hatch podium finish to his already impressive home track record, on June 4&5, as the Kent circuit hosts the latest rounds of the Radical UK Cup. The 23 year-old, who hails from Croydon and lives in Hinckley, made a welcome return to the Radical podium at the last championship round with second at Oulton Park, adding to his 2007 tally of eight race wins and podiums in the popular sports car series. Ellis will be aiming to go one better to take his first Supersport class win of the season on home soil and improve his championship chances as he lies fifth in the title fight entering the Brands Hatch double-header event. The Grand Prix circuit has proved to be a happy hunting ground for Ellis - he has stood on the rostrum at what is also one of his favourite European tracks in virtually every category he’s ever raced there. Most notably, the last time Ellis raced at Brands Hatch in 2007 he earned a small place in motor racing history; double race victory in the Team RPM Dodge Viper not only helped seal the British GT championship crown but also recorded the manufacturer’s first British GT3 win. He also snatched the spoils in the Team RPM Porsche 996 during the 2006 British GT battle. Ellis returns to race on home ground for the first time in four years in the Supreme Racing Radical SR3 alongside teammate Andy Cummings. The new partnership has gone from strength-to-strength so far this season, with the second place Supersport class finish at Oulton Park scored in only the fourth championship round racing together. Contesting his first Radical season, Cummings is sure to rise to the latest challenge of learning yet another track without the luxury of pre-event testing as he makes his Brands Hatch debut. But with Ellis’ unrivalled experience and expert tutelage at his disposal there’s every possible podium chance. “It’s been quite a while since I’ve raced at Brands Hatch. I always get such great local support whenever I race there so of course it would mean a lot to add another win or podium to my race CV,” said Ellis. “Our Oulton Park podium was well timed as it gives us an extra confidence boost heading into my home event. We actually just missed out on taking the Supersport class win last time out, so Andy and I will be working really hard to build on that form. It’s really important that we continue to clock up the championship points at Brands Hatch. There’s quite a gap to the front runners in the title fight but I’m pleased with our progress so far and, at the end of the day, it’s all about consistency. It should be a great double-header race weekend – I’m really looking forward to it.”
Le Mans: Olivier Lombard will join Greaves Motorsport for the Le Mans 24 hours and the rest of the 2011 Le Mans Series. Team Principal, Tim Greaves, explained. “Olivier was one of the drivers who enquired about a drive for us for the 2011 Le Mans 24 hours. However, at that time we had just decided to retain Tom Kimber-Smith for the big race but I kept in contact with Olivier. Subsequently, an opportunity arose to share a drive with Kevin Weeda in one of our Radical SR8s at Spa. Olivier was very impressive; in the short time he had in the SR8, he qualified third and posted the third fastest lap time in the race. The quality of drivers in the Radical field is very high, especially at the sharp end of the grid. With Gary Chalandon leaving the Team, Olivier seems a good choice to replace him as he was also available for the rest of the season.We have a strong driver line up for the 24 hour race and one of the best teams in the pit lane. Now we have to deal with all the other challenges that the big race with throw at us!”
New 2.5-minute 2D and 3D film premiering during Saturday’s Champions League Final brings the experience of endurance racing for Audi vividly to life. The incredible feats of physical and mechanical endurance behind Audi’s decade-long dominance of the Le Mans 24-hours have been brought to life in a 3D film narrated by Allan McNish. Part of a new multi-million-pound campaign created for Audi UK by advertising agency BBH, the two and half minute film will be shown in traditional 2D and 3D formats, the latter marking a first for the Audi brand in the UK. It is intriguingly entitled “A Day in the Life of an Audi Driver”, and will premiere on Saturday 28 May immediately before the kick-off of ITV’s live coverage of the Champions League Final between the Audi-sponsored clubs Manchester United and Barcelona at Wembley as well as in 3D on Sky’s live coverage. It will subsequently feature in cinemas nationwide alongside the final “Harry Potter” film. Collective audiences will amount to at least 20 million viewers. Very appropriately, the presenter is none other than Allan McNish, two-time Le Mans winner and current Audi „factory“ driver. He explains how Audi’s dedication to perfection, encapsulated in the brand’s philosophy of “Vorsprung durch Technik” (advancement through technology), exceptional planning, team work and the driver’s remarkable skill and physical prowess have helped the German manufacturer win the 24 Heures du Mans race nine times in the last 11 years.
Club Racing: Close to 100 drivers will do battle on track at Croft Circuit this weekend (28-29 May) when no fewer than 18 races take place as part of a non-stop programme of saloons, single-seaters and sportscars. The North East’s motor sport venue just outside Darlington will be hosting a National Championship fixture for the BARC, featuring two races each for BMWs, Legends, Clubmans and both classic Formula Ford 1600 and Formula Ford 2000 single-seaters. Furthermore, there will be a number of drivers from across the Croft region targeting strong results. York’s Mike Cutts, a front-runner in the Darlington & District Motor Club’s Northern Saloons & Sportscars series, will be looking for glory in the BMWs. Middlesborough’s Daniel Gibson and Sheffield pair Chris Hart and Peter Harper are all entered for the Clubmans category. Leeds’ Peter Chippindale plus James Buckton (Harrogate) and Paul Walton (Bingley) contest the FF2000s and FF1600s respectively while York’s Dominic Spurr takes on the Legends field. The on-track action on Saturday starts with qualifying at 9.30am followed by ten races starting from midday. Sunday also starts with additional qualifying, again at midday followed by eight more races from 1.30pm. Admission for adults is just £12 per day (payable on the gate) with entry for children aged 15 and under FREE. Car parking is also free and all admission includes access to the race paddock enabling the public to get a close-up look at the cars as they are being worked on as well as a chat with many of the competing drivers over the weekend.
Formula Renault BARC: James Theodore will make his long-awaited return to action in the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship at Oulton Park this coming Saturday, 28th May, having agreed an 11th hour deal with MTech Lite.The 19-year-old, a Motorsport Engineering student at Oxford Brookes University, has been struggling to secure the budget to continue his single-seater career since finishing third overall in the category last year. During the last couple of weeks though, Theodore has been able to acquire enough funding to allow him to race in rounds five and six this weekend and to also contest the season finale at Silverstone in October where Formula Renault BARC will support the British Touring Car Championship.As part of his preparations for a return to the track Theodore – who will also compete at Oulton Park in support of Cancer Research UK – was given the opportunity earlier this week to enjoy a run on the GP3 Series driver development simulator of crack-squad MW Arden. “It’s brilliant to be back”, he commented, “We’ve been working really hard to try and get money from here and there and we’ve now managed to secure enough contributions to do this weekend at Oulton and then the final rounds at Silverstone which will be prime coverage with the BTCC.“We’re not home and dry yet with the funds for the other two events at Croft and Thruxton but, to be honest, it’s a relief to be back out at all so I’m really looking forward to this weekend. MTech has done a very good deal for us – I can’t wait to get in the car now and see what we can do.” Team principal Dave Moore said: “We’re obviously really happy to have James on-board, he’s had budget issues but has managed to get a few people behind him now which is great. His experience will definitely help push us all on. James Thorp has been fantastic so far this season but we’re hoping he and James Theodore will push each other on more and help put MTech on the map.”
GT Asia: Ford GT3, Porsche GT3R 2011, Ferrari F458, Lamborghini LP560, Lotus Exige, Aston Martin N24, these are some of the luxurious supercars featured in the Season Opener of the GT Asia Series this 28-29 May 2011 weekend. 25 cars will line up the grid during the Asian Festival Of Speed weekend with drivers from around the region eager to get back behind the wheel after a long break between the seasons. For the first time, the GT Asia Series will also incorporate the Lotus Super Cup Asia and showcasing the Lotus Exige S AM-01. Read more
Le Mans: OAK Racing has completed the driver line-up for its #49 LMP2 OAK-Pescarolo, the team’s fourth entry at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with Lotus Renault GP F1 reserve driver Jan Charouz joining Nicolas De Crem and Shinji Nakano. The 23-year-old Czech racer returns to Le Mans with the team looking for similar success to 2010 when, at the wheel of OAK Racing’s #35 LMP2 car, he finished second in class and seventh overall with Matthieu Lahaye and Guillaume Moreau in the 78th edition of the race. François Sicard, OAK Racing’s Managing Director, says that adding Charouz to its driving strength was an easy decision to make as the team. “Jan Charouz was an obvious choice to be one of the drivers selected for the #49 car,” Sicard said. “In view of his performances in the #35 LMP2-car last year, his 2009 Le Mans Series title and of course his single-seater career path, Jan is a quality candidate. This will be his second successive year with OAK Racing and he will have a crucial role to play as he represents continuity in the team alongside newcomers Shinji Nakano and Nicolas De Crem. We’re hoping to do as well as, if not better, than last year with the support of this international crew!” Meanwhile, Charouz is delighted to be returning to OAK Racing. “I am very happy to participate in such a famous race as the Le Mans 24 Hours again this year,” said Charouz. “It’s an honour for me to drive the OAK-Pescarolo LMP2 prototype in this race. Like last year I will be with OAK Racing which is a very professional team capable of preparing a winning car. My team-mates are quick, experienced drivers and I am convinced we’re capable of a good result. The Le Mans 24 Hours is a great event and I’m looking forward to it very much.”
Karts: James Singleton took everything that was thrown at him in the second round of the 2011 Formula Kart Stars (FKS) Championship at Three Sisters near Wigan, including a bout of Chicken pox. However he rose above it all, sealing a superb double victory and firmly laying down the gauntlet to his British title rivals. Pic: Chris Walker/www.kartpix.net Read report
Sam Brabham showed improved pace in only his second Formula Kart Stars event competing at national level despite a challenging double-header race weekend at Three Sisters, near Wigan, competing in the Junior Max class. Demonstrating steady progress throughout rounds three and four of the premier junior karting series, the 16 year-old from Henley tackled the Three Sisters circuit for only the second time in his karting career, having raced just one club meeting there a few weeks prior. Despite missing out on Friday practice due to sitting his GCSE exams, he impressed with improved pace by qualifying just 0.5 seconds off pole position for round three. However, with the Junior Max class one of the most fiercely fought categories and under one second covering the entire field, that time placed him 23rd. The closeness of qualifying gave some fore-warning of how tight the racing would be. Sam’s progression saw him inevitably embroiled on the cusp of the midfield melee but his improving form unfortunately was not rewarded with reflective results. Sam recovered from a torrid time in Saturday’s heats to record his best race finish of the weekend with 17th place in the round three final. His character-building weekend continued on Sunday when he suffered from a lack of straight-line speed which affected his performance in the heats. Although changes to the kart gearing helped the situation it remained an issue and Sam did well in the round four final to battle from the back of the grid to finish 18th. “It was a challenging second Formula Kart Stars event but I have learned some very valuable things this weekend and my qualifying performance showed how I am achieving my goal of getting quicker at every event,” said Sam. “Of course, at this level the competition is tough and we unfortunately didn’t get the results we were hoping for. But I am learning so much about myself, as well as my race craft, at every round. I am trying to take everything onboard and my confidence is gradually growing. Most importantly, I’m enjoying my racing so I’d like to thank everyone for their support in helping me get on-track.”
He had been threatening it for quite some time, but that only went to make Ryan Anderton’s breakthrough success on the British karting stage all-the-sweeter, as the highly-rated Somerset racer produced a sublime performance to triumph in the second round of the Formula Kart Stars (FKS) Championship at Three Sisters near Wigan. Pic: Chris Walker/www.kartpix.net read report
The top step of the podium was beginning to escape Beitske Visser a bit too often. At 16, the Dutch girl is more determined than ever to reach the goals she has set for herself, year after year, race after race. She has provided ample proof of it by winning again in KZ2 at the meeting of the BNL Karting Series organised in France at Ostricourt. With two pole positions and three victories out of four finals, Beitske Visser (Praga-TM) staged an impressive performance on 21 and 22 May. Read report
Historics: The biggest grid of racing E-type Jaguars ever seen anywhere in the world will make a fantastic spectacle as the 50th anniversary of the iconic model is celebrated in style during the Silverstone Classic (22-24 July). Two of the weekend’s races will be for the E-type Challenge, including a race in a prime slot on Saturday evening. With 68 cars now registered for the series, it is hoped that a capacity grid of 58 cars will start the races, with over 60 cars on track during qualifying. The Challenge covers five events, with the Silverstone Classic races being by far the biggest grids of the season as well as the only magical double-header race meeting on the calendar. The new-for-2011 series is managed by the HSCC in conjunction with Jaguar Heritage and is supported by JD Classics. The whole Silverstone Classic weekend will have a strong E-type element, with more than 700 road-going E-types on display on the infield and will then take to the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in a Guinness World Record parade on Saturday. The entry list for the E-type races is full of talented and determined racers and includes Michael Quinn, grandson of Jaguar co-founder Sir William Lyons. Quinn has raced regularly in Classic Formula 3 cars, but will now race in the model that was masterminded by his late grandfather. One of the pre-race favourites is Jon Minshaw, who has been one of the most successful E-type racers of the last decade. “For someone who loves racing E-types as much as I do, you couldn’t want for better. I’ve been racing E-types for 12 years now and it is still my favourite race car,” said Minshaw. “It will be very competitive at the front. Gary Pearson will be quick and one of the biggest challenges will be my younger brother Jason. We’re already winding each other up about it.” To make it a major family occasion, Jon and Jason’s father Alan (now 76 years old) will also be on the grid, challenging for the class for standard cars.
Saloons: After his strong debut in the MSV Team Trophy race at Snetterton earlier this month, Dan Brigham has been asked to contest the next round at Donington, and hopefully set right the technical wows that prevented him from a podium finish last time out. Following a strong performance, D&S Motorsport team boss John Chambers approached Dan as the obvious choice to continue in the teams title assault.“We all worked hard at Snetterton and it was a great disappointment to us all when the car failed to finish” commented Dan. “ I left Snett itching to set the record straight, but thought I would have to wait till later in the year when the Trophy headed to Brands. It was a real surprise when John said he would like to run me at Donington as in previous discussions the seat had been taken” In addition to the Team Trophy races this season, Dan is working hard to secure a budget to compete in the second half of the prestigious Brit Car Endurance Championship. “Ultimately, GT racing is where I want to be and the Brit Car Endurance Championship is the logical next step. There are a couple of drives on the table, but first and foremost we need to secure the budget!”
Club Racing: David Coulthard visited a Club MSV car trackday at Brands Hatch last week, to discover how accessible it is to get a foot in the door in motorsport. The Scotsman, 40, filmed a feature for the BBC's F1 programme, which will be aired during the European Grand Prix to promote National Motorsport Week on 25 June - 3 July. National Motorsport Week is an initiative from the MIA and MSA to encourage newcomers to the sport, whether they are drivers, spectators, engineers or marshals, something which Coulthard supports." Britain is the centre of the universe of motorsport. There is so much history and heritage here and success with British engineers and design and racing drivers and all the rest of it and we need to keep feeding that" said Coulthard. "This (National Motorsport Week) creates a very accessible opportunity for people to go into racing which in the past wasn't there. Typically motorsport was an expensive pastime and I think this (a car trackday) makes it a very affordable opportunity." Coulthard was impressed with the Trackday Taster Session concept from Club MSV, which offers novice drivers the chance to enjoy 20 minutes on circuit in their own car for just £25: "I think it's a great initiative to get people out on track and into motorsport" he said. Anyone that thinks they are Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button can take their own car out on track and find out if they have driving talent or not. The road is not the place to do that, but the race track is, and for £25 you can do that at the MSV circuits. I would never have thought you could do this. I literally could have driven down here in my M Class or my GL Mercedes, paid my money, put my crash helmet on and driven that car around the race track. If you're a fan of motorsport you get to drive iconic race tracks like Brands Hatch, the home of the European and British Grand Prix in the past, and you can find out if you actually have car control and put your money where your mouth is." Coulthard also took to the track in a Porsche 944 that has been purchased and prepared for trackdays by the Club MSV team, as part of a project to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of trackdays. The progress of 'project Porsche' has received regular coverage in Track Driver Magazine. "The Porsche is very well engineered I can tell you! It's not 'move over Sebastian Vettel' fast but it is a race-prepped machine, stripped out and with a roll cage in and I think it highlights how accessible it is to be out on the racing track." To find out how you can take your car on track at Brands Hatch, Cadwell Park, Oulton Park, Snetterton and Bedford Autodrome, contact Club MSV on 0843 453 9000 or visit www.clubmsv.co.uk.
Historics: Racing a historic car would be considered the chance of a lifetime for many people, but for Roger Wills it’s just the start of a busy weekend. At this year’s Masters Historic Festival, taking place at Brands Hatch from Saturday 28 to Monday 30 May, Roger will be driving a car in all fifteen races! The New Zealand-born and Moscow-based financier can usually be found racing modern GT cars but has a soft spot for historic events, as evidenced by his extensive fleet of classic cars. However, even Roger’s collection has fallen slightly short of requirements and he has rented a Van Diemen Formula Ford car for the Champion of Brands FF1600 race. The classics that Roger will be racing range from a 1961 Mini Cooper to a pair of Formula One cars from Lotus and Williams. In between can be found a Lotus Elite, BMW CSL and a Russian Gaz Volga that was built especially for F1 driver Vitaly Petrov to race at Goodwood. The Masters Historic Festival features racing from the great cars of the last 60 years and includes events for Formula One, Sportscars, GTs and Touring Cars. There will also be track demonstrations from more modern Formula One cars and car club parades and displays. As if entering every race wasn’t enough, two of Roger’s collection will be taking part in the Sports Racing Masters event. With up to two drivers sharing each car, Roger will jump out of his McLaren and into an Elva at the pitstops to complete the race! Looking forward to the weekend Roger said, “it will be busy that’s for sure, but it is also par for the course. Weekends like this one are rare for me and so I like to maximise the time available. I’ll be tired by the end of the weekend but it will be great fun.” Tickets for the Brands Hatch Masters Festival are available in advance until Wednesday 25 May from £17 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. To book, call 0843 453 9000 or visit www.brandshatch.co.uk.
AFOS: Asia’s biggest motorsport event, the Asian Festival Of Speed, is opening its doors to Car Clubs from around the Region for the annual AFOS Car Club Gathering. What started out as a way to give back to the motorsport enthusiasts through special invitations have now become an annual side attraction for the spectators. Those that attend the races at the Asian Festival Of Speed will also get the unique opportunity to walk through an array of cars from the different clubs participating in the AFOS Car Club Gathering. The first year the Car Club Gathering was done, it was supported by one of the largest convoys ever seen in Malaysia with various different clubs participating and causing a ‘little bit’ of traffic jam heading into the circuit. As the years went by, more and more clubs expressed their interest to be a part of the gathering leading to a turnout of exactly 1,000 cars by forty car clubs from around Malaysia last year. “In the beginning we thought, its really hot in Sepang and every year, these car club guys will come in droves to watch the races. So in 2008 we decided, the grandstand is big enough so lets get the cars to park in it. This gave the Car Club members a special privilege that no others can get, as a thank you for their support” said David Sonenscher, CEO of Motorsport Asia. “And now, this gathering is used as an opportunity for the different car club members to catch up with one another and what better way to do it than during a race weekend” he continued. Adding to the atmosphere are some drivers who bring along trophies that they have won in the past to display in front of their cars whilst other clubs and their members display club paraphernalia and photos from past convoys or gatherings. “This year, it took less than one week for almost 20 Car Clubs to confirm their attendance and most have told us that they have already added us to their calendar as a ‘must do’ event every year. “Some of these car clubs even have large convoys with their members to the circuit. Last year, we had an impressive convoy from the Volvo club members where they brought with them a beautiful chronological array of cars from the classics to the brand new” continued Sonenscher. This year, the Asian Festival Of Speed will feature three FIA-Sanctioned race Series, Rounds three to six of the JK Racing Asia Series, Rounds 3 & 4 of the Asian Touring Car Series and the Season Opener of the GT Asia Series. Pic: www.afos.com
ALPS Championship: It is often difficult to have a repeat performance on a street circuit like Pau where even the smallest error can be so unforgiving. Yet that is what Paul Loup Chatin, the “Euroformula Volant 2010’ managed to do when he stepped on the podium for the second time over the weekend. Already 3rd on Saturday in Race 1 despite running a high fever, Paul Loup started Race 2 on Sunday with the every intention of doing as well if not better. Starting from 3rd on the grid, the young Tech 1 team driver immediately grabbed second before opening a gap to his closest pursuer. There he stayed and to finish second behind eventual winner Javier Tarancon. Paul Loup explained: “I had good rhythm but I slackened the pace around mid-race and Javier just took off. He has more experience in handling this type of race and it made all the difference. I am, however, very satisfied with my weekend in Pau because I was on the podium twice and I’m properly back in the championship. It’s really encouraging for what’s to come, the next stage is to try to rise to the top step.” Chatin is now 4th in the provisional points table of the ALPS Championship and is still has a chance at 2011 title. Laurent Fradon, Director of Euroformula is optimistic for the future: “Paul Loup is decidedly at home in the streets of Pau and had a faultless performance throughout the meeting. His two podiums put him back in the race for the title. He just keeps getting better every time he goes out and he’s ready to win in the next ALPS challenge. We’re really pleased with his performance and his approach to the race, we weren’t mistaken when we chose him.” The next ALPS Championship meeting will take place on the Red Bull Ring in Austria on the 11th and 12th June.
Karts: Josh White annihilated the opposition in rounds three and four of the British Formula Kart Stars (FKS) series at Three Sisters in Wigan last weekend, taking maximum points to move into the lead in the battle to become the 2011 MiniMax FKS Champion. Read report
Samuel Oram-Jones put in a steadfast performance in rounds three and four of the 2011 British Formula Kart Stars (FKS) series at Three Sisters in Wigan last weekend and his team finally overcame an elusive problem with his kart. Read report
Star Mazda; Tristan Vautier was one of 5 drivers on the time sheet surpassing the existing lap record in Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear testing at the Milwaukee Mile over the weekend. Vautier, the current Championship leader, set the quickest time of the series' official test, driving the #5 JDC Motorsports / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais Mazda, on his 44th lap. His time of 27.489 sec (103.961 mph) for the one mile oval, was almost half a second faster than Richard Kent's pole time of 27.971 (128.705 mph) from the last Star Mazda race held at this track in 2009. read more
Super GT: Benoît Tréluyer maintained his Super GT Championship lead at Okayama last weekend after overcoming his Motul AUTECH-run Nissan GT-R’s weight handicap to score an excellent fifth place finish. Following victory in the opening round at Fuji last time out, the Frenchman arrived in Okayama betting on an audacious strategy after being lumbered with an extra 40 kilograms of success ballast. “We knew it would be impossible to fight for victory so decided to focus our attention on tyres throughout free practice as we searched for the best possible balance on the harder compound,” said Benoît.Those tactics placed greater emphasis on race pace than qualifying performance so it was no surprise to see the Nissan GT-R end up 12th on the grid.“Our priority was race set-up which clearly made our task more difficult in qualifying. We missed Q2 by 0.1 seconds which was a bit disappointing as we still thought we might be slightly more competitive!” But while Tréluyer and team-mate Satoshi Motoyama had to settle for the sixth row, they would at least benefit from selecting their preferred tyre compound for the start which offers a potentially significant advantage. “I took the start and was careful to preserve the tyres during the opening laps in the hope they would last longer,” Benoît explained. The strategy worked perfectly and despite managing the wear rate, Benoît still had enough pace to scythe through the field during his stint, climbing from 12th to fifth before handing over to his Japanese team-mate. The pit-stop sequence ensured Motoyama rejoined seventh but he picked up two more places before the finish as those ahead were slowed by a combination of mechanical issues and a drive through penalty. “We finally finished in fifth place. But honestly, taking into account the ballast we had onboard, as well as the engine’s slight lack of power which is hurting us at the moment, we were expecting much worse. On top of that, we maintained the championship lead with 26 points.”
GP3: Round two of Adrian Quaife-Hobbs’ GP3 season brought a step forward in terms of pace but a mechanical issue in qualifying hindered Adrian’s grid position. With competition so close it was difficult to overtake and a start problem in race two meant results were not as positive as indicated by the fast lap-times. Read report
Dean Smith secured his first GP3 Series podium of the year at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on Sunday, 22nd May, with a very well driven third place during the FIA Formula One World Championship support category’s fourth round of the season. Lining up second on the grid for the 16-lap encounter, having finished seventh during round three on Saturday, 21st May, the Wolverhampton racer unfortunately slipped to third off the start but held his position convincingly throughout to secure his, and the Addax Team’s, first GP3 silverware of 2011. Pic GP3 Media Service/LAT read report
GP2: Venezuelan Rodolfo Gonzalez, racing in GP2 for Trident Racing, was at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain over the weekend, where he battled hard to finish strongly in the top 10 of race 2 after a crash at the start of the race brought out the safety car. Read report
Karts: At the third meeting of the WSK Master Series in Val Vibrata in Italy, Beitske Visser's performance were a lot like the weather : nice but changing! On both Saturday and Sunday, qualifying raised the Dutch girl's hopes but unfortunately the KZ1 final races left her with a bitter taste in her mouth, especially the second one, when rain made its appearance. Read report
Formula 3: In the Grand Prix de Pau, the third race of the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy, Marco Wittmann (Signature) claimed a dominant lights-to-flag victory. He is the first German since Jörg Müller in 1996 to win the prestigious Grand Prix de Pau. On the 2.76 km street circuit at the foot of the Pyrenees, Spaniards Roberto Merhi (Prema Powerteam) and Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam) battled for second place with Merhi just coming out on top. The 20-year old remaining the points’ leader in the F3 International Trophy. Wittmann took the lead from pole and was able to pull a gap at the start of the race and drive a lights-to-flag victory. Behind him, the two Spaniards Merhi and Juncadella were in a tight battle for second place with , eventually, Merhi’s better start giving him the advantage and allowing him to take the chequered flag just ahead of his compatriot. Behind the two, Daniel Abt (Signature) was almost able to close up to the Spanish duo in the closing stages. The German ended up fourth from Carlos Muñoz (Signature). Marco Wittmann : “What a weekend! I have won the Grand Prix de Pau, I have driven the fastest race lap and I had pole position. It couldn’t have been any better. I can hardly find the words to describe what it means to have won this prestigious race in the home country of my team Signature.” Roberto Merhi: “My start was really good and I was able to overtake Daniel in the first corner. In the second half of the race, I had many problems with degrading tyres. I hardly had any grip left and I had to defend my position from Daniel. But I knew: when I wouldn’t make a mistake, I would keep my second place.” Daniel Juncadella: “After I was third at the start, I decided t save my tyres first. As a result, they were still relatively good at the end of the race. I was quicker than Roberto and I have tried to force him into making a mistake, but he didn’t make one."
James Winslow leads the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship after taking two race victories at Winton Raceway in Victoria at the weekend. For the British 2008 Gold Star champion it could have been even better however, set to start the final race of the weekend from pole , it was unfortunately cancelled due to severe weather conditions. A large storm shrouded the Winton circuit approximately 60 minutes before the start of the final race, with the downpour and lack of light forcing race officials to cancel the race. Whilst that cancellation allowed Winslow to take an early title lead, it also stopped any opportunity for his nearest rivals to challenge the former champion after failing to take the chance to do so in the earlier race. As a result, Winslow holds a narrow lead in the Gold Star championship over R-Tek team-mate Bryce Moore and Chris Gilmour ahead of the series’ next round at Hidden Valley Raceway in June.pic Dirk Klynsmith / Graphic DAK Photos Read report
German driver Marco Wittmann claimed pole position for the 70th Grand Prix de Pau, the third race of the new FIA Formula 3 International Trophy. The Signature driver completed his fastest lap of the 2.76 kilometres short trackin 1:10.572 s, 0.095 seconds fasterr than Carlos Muñoz (Signature), who was second with Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam) third with a 1:10.833 while his compatriot Roberto Merhi (Prema Powerteam, 1:10.), the current points’ leader followed in fourth place. After the first half Merhi topped the time sheets, but failed to retain his position. After initially Daniel Juncadella outpaced him and soon after that Juncadella’s time was beaten by Wittmann and Muñoz. Daniel Abt (Signature, 1:10.998 minutes) and Laurens Vanthoor (Signature, 1:11.043 minutes) completed the success for the Signature team by ending up fifth and sixth respectively. The difference from pole-sitter Wittmann to sixth-placed Vanthoor less than half a second. Marco Wittmann: “I am really happy being on pole position for my maiden race at Pau. We had a good basic set-up and I am feeling very well at this circuit. In first qualifying, I was still slightly behind my team-mate Carlos Muñoz, but I knew that I still could go faster.” Carlos Muñoz: “I was still on top after first qualifying, now I am second, just behind my team-mate Marco Wittmann. Having had many problems in qualifying for the first rounds of the Formula 3 Euro Series, I am now really happy with second place.” Daniel Juncadella: “After sixth place in qualifying, I was slightly angry. Therefore, I am all the more happy and relieved to be third. Tomorrow, the start will be the key to success as overtaking is very difficult here.”
Karts: Team Arcadius Sports won the 2nd Help for Heroes Karting event at Buckmore Park on Saturday 21st May 2011 in the annual event supporting wounded servicemen and women. The charity was established in October 2007 and to date has raised over £96m. The Arcadius Sports team comprised of Nathan Wright and James Fletcher who both compete in the Formula Jedi series together with Ollie Millroy who is currently 3rd in the UK Formula Renault series and Jordan Hill who competes in Club 100 Karting. The 3-hour endurance event raised almost £8,000 in 2010 for Help for Heroes and hopes to raise a similar amount from the 2011 event. The team finished 6 laps ahead of their closest rivals. Reading based driver Nathan Wright commented: “We had a fantastic time at this event which was a lot of fun and supporting a fantastic cause. It is a while since I have been at Buckmore Park and some of the racing was quite fierce out there today! This is the first time we have entered Karting for Heroes and we hope to be able to support this event in the future” Arcadius Sports is pleased to support this event and would like to thank all four drivers for their participation and Hydraquip for organising this event
Formula Ford: Matt Brabham has taken his first Australian Formula Ford Championship round victory with a stunning drive at Winton Motor raceway today. The Sonic Mygale driver was untouchable during the wet race three to secure the round win ahead of teammate Cameron Waters and CAMS Rising Star Jack LeBrocq. Brabham started the weekend with a bang taking pole position and his first race victory on Saturday, before consolidating his position with fifth in race two and victory in the final event. Read report
GP3: The pace for the Atech team in Saturday’s qualifying session and race one was the best of the season by a long way, but circumstances went against the Leicestershire team. Marlon Stockinger qualified in third place, putting in an excellent lap, but was later excluded for a minor technical infringement and started the race from the back. Nick Yelloly and Zoel Amberg qualified 11th and 24th respectively. A jump start added to Marlon’s woes and so he finished 26th while Nick, having made his way through to 8th and with a reverse grid pole start for race two in his sights, slid back through the field as his tyres degraded and his lap times dropped. Zoel made the most progress for the team by gaining eight places through the race to finish in 16th position.Nick Yelloly: “I had my best qualifying of the year with 11th which was a pretty strong effort and I could have done better if I hadn’t made a mistake. I know I have potential to be higher. We talked about set-up and went for similar to qualifying which was good for getting up to eighth on the first lap. Then the pace went. It was so bad I slipped back and couldn’t even defend. It was like driving in the rain. We will sort it for tomorrow’s race. “ Marlon Stockinger: “Obviously the exclusion has been a big down for us but at least we know we have the pace. Tomorrow is a new day. I did a very good lap, it could so easily have been a bit better, I've really worked on my qualifying and in only my 2nd GP3 event I managed to put the car on the 2nd row.” Zoel Amberg: “It was a good race – difficult with tyre problems and everyone is so similar with pace. It’s difficult to overtake but I managed to get some positions on the start and first lap and then later overtaking on the straight and around the outside.” Team Principal David Hayle: “I feel for Marlon because today’s decision has overshadowed a fantastic performance and the minor technical infringement on one side of the rear floor gave no performance advantage. In the race he had the same pace as the race leaders so a podium would have been achievable. All three drivers have shown that we have good pace. Nick was capable of being near Marlon in qualifying and Zoel’s race performance was very good. We just need to work on qualifying to get him higher up the grid for the start. ”
James Winslow last started a Formula 3 race on the
streets of the Gold Coast
in October, 2008 – a race he won. Today he returned to the
Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship in the way he exited
it more than two years ago – on top of the results sheet. The
British ace dominated today’s opening race at Winton after
jumping pole sitter John Magro at the start and leading from
start to finish. A series of lap-record breaking laps early in
the race established him a comfortable three-second buffer over
Magro in the first half of today’s 14-lap affair; a margin he
wouldn’t lose. Winslow’s victory was his ninth career win, and
the first ever for the R-Tek motorsport squad that this year has
entered two cars in each of Formula 3’s two classes. Read
Formula Ford: Matt Brabham has taken his first Australian Formula Ford Championship race victory during round two at Winton Motor Raceway. The grandson of Sir Jack Brabham dominated the first race of the weekend from pole position to lead home a Team Sonic white-wash with Garry Jacobson and Cameron Waters second and third respectively. read report
Star Mazda: Being fast on a road course or street circuit is an admirable - and necessary – quality in a driver intent on accelerating their career down the Mazda Road to Indy. But you'll never have that career unless you can dive into a turn with the gas pedal flat on the floor, wheel-to-wheel with another car and just inches from the ultimately unforgiving concrete wall of an oval track. And then do it again a few seconds later. And again. And again. And again… until the world becomes a howling tempest in a teapot and the turns just keep on coming, seemingly forever. When you can do that, when you come to enjoy it, to view it as an exercise in strategy rather than a test of courage, that's when you can hope someday to rise to the pinnacle of open-wheel racing and take center stage at the biggest race of all… the Indy 500. Read more
GP3: The GP3 team took to the Catalonian track for the second event in the calendar on Friday. Both of the free practice sessions were interrupted by yellow flags which made putting good laps together problematic. Atech CRS GP drivers Nick Yelloly, Marlon Stockinger and Zoel Amberg finished the day in 18th, 19th and 22nd respectively. Britain’s Yelloly ran the highest of the drivers, taking the fourth fastest time earlier in the day. All three drivers are capable of putting in faster times given a yellow-flag free track and the team is confident of better positions on the time sheets from tomorrow morning’s qualifying session. Nick Yelloly: “I was running well in the first session but then made a mistake and repairs cost me some time. I only had one clear lap in the second session because of the flags and by then my tyres had already gone. I’ve definitely got potential in qualifying so long as I have clean air.” Marlon Stockinger: “Today was quite tricky. We only had ten laps in each session and so there was a lot to try to do with little time. We know that there is more time to come so I’m hoping to find some from the car and myself in qualifying.” Zoel Amberg: “It was not bad in the first session but in the second I had a lot of under-steer. We are looking at the set-up tonight and I hope to be better in qualifying tomorrow.” Team Principal David Hayle: “Because of the series rules, drivers must be careful not to put in faster times with yellow flags out which attracts race penalties so the sessions today were very difficult. The balance on the new Pirelli tyre is different from the test and the team is adjusting set-up overnight. We know that the drivers are capable of making the top ten – if we put the fastest sector times together we should be looking at being in the top six. Hopefully things will go more smoothly tomorrow and the drivers can show what they are capable of.”
Formula Ford: Mygale driver Cameron Waters has finished on top of the time sheets at Winton Motor Raceway during practice for round two of the Australian Formula Ford Championship. The Mildura-based driver was quickest in the morning session, producing a time that was not bettered throughout the day. Friday's practice sessions were dominated by Team Sonic with Nick Foster and Matthew Brabham finishing second and third fastest just behind Waters."The car was really really good this morning, but the track changed a lot in the second session and we didn't react to it," said Waters who was fourth fastest in the afternoon."Still, I'm pretty happy with the start to the weekend and I'm really looking forward to qualifying tomorrow because I think we'll be very strong." Foster was consistent across the day, placing second in both sessions and was relishing being back in his Mygle. "It's great to be back in the car after a couple of months away from racing and it's nice to be at Winton where we always get plenty of laps across the weekend," Foster said."The track changed a lot during the day, but it was a good result for the team with Sonic cars first, second, third and fourth and for us with second, so I think it will be a good weekend." Brabham returned to the national Formula Ford series this weekend, having stepped back to focus on his year 12 studies this year. "I'm really enjoying working with Team Sonic and I think we've proved so far that it can be a good relationship. I made the decision to step to the state series this year to focus on school, but it is nice to be competitive against the national guys straight away this weekend." Local Shepparton driver Garry Jacobson was fourth fastest, ahead of Synergy Motorsport drivers Shae Davies, Mathew Hart and Liam Sager. National Series debutant Jordan Lloyd was eighth ahead of Adam Graham and Jack LeBrocq.
The first round of the 2011 Australian Formula Ford Championship was recently held at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. Catch all the action as Australia's future stars take to the track over two races on the streets of Adelaide this Saturday on SpeedTV. Plenty of thrills and spills resulted in the first round signalled the start of another exciting season as the drivers began the championship with a bang. This Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday, (21-23 & 25 May) at 5:30pm, 4:30am, 12:00pm and 11:00pm AEST (check your local guides). The Australian Formula Ford Championship hits the track again on May 20-22, for Round 2 of the series at Winton Motor raceway in Victoria.
Formula 3: Bryce Moore surprised even himself as he topped practice for round one of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship for the CAMS Gold Star today at Winton Raceway, in Victoria. Prior to the round the 19-year-old from Perth had completed just two, 10-lap sessions at Winton in 2009, and only one day in his R-Tek Motorsport Dallara F307 car at Mallala – but that didn’t stop him from setting the quickest ever lap recorded by a Formula 3 car at the 3.0km circuit. Moore headed Magro Motorsport / Team BRM driver John Magro and former Gold Star champion James Winslow in today’s combined times, little more than a tenth of a second separating the trio. “It’s very early days but I’m pretty happy with the way today went,” Moore said. “I didn’t expect to be that quick, especially against guys like James Winslow, Gilmour and Steel Guiliana, who was the next big thing in Karting. It’s a strong field and it’s great to be competitive against it. I just wanted to come here and be competitive so to do that kind of a time on old rubber was unexpected.” Earlier in the day, John Magro showed he would be a force to be reckoned with after topping the first practice session with a low 1m16-second lap that proved he would be right on the money this weekend. James Winslow had a strong return to Aussie soil, despite feeling the after-effects of a 16,000km trip that took him all the way from Indianapolis – where he has been racing in the Indy Lights series – to Winton. A slight misfire in the second session didn’t give the eight-time F3 race winner a chance to improve in the second session however his time in the first showed it didn’t take long to adapt to the lighter, less powerful but more nimble Aussie wings and slicks racer. Approaching his 100th start, Queenslander Chris Gilmour was fourth, just ahead of Forpark Australia F3 Scholarship pacesetter Steel Guiliana, who was fifth and first of the F304 Dallara’s. Steel’s R-Tek team-mate Josh Burdon only completed one lap of the second session after a suspected fuel pump issue restricted his Dallara to just the one lap, whilst Queenslander Ben Gersekowski continued his learning process and logged plenty of laps, despite battling with an understeer issue in his BF Racing / Vic’s timbers entry.
Formula Renault BARC : Oulton Park Island Circuit hosts the fifth and sixth rounds of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship next Saturday, 28th May, and as the 2011 title battle reaches its midway point things couldn’t be much closer. With four winners from the first four races and just 17 points covering the championship top five, it’s anyone’s guess who will leave the picturesque parkland track in the box seat as the season rapidly develops into a real classic.James Thorp (Evesham, Gloucestershire) continues to lead the driver standings following last weekend’s outing at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit. Despite a second place finish in round four though, the MTech Lite racer wasn’t all that satisfied so he’ll be aiming to get back on the winning trail.Dino Zamparelli (Bristol) surged into title contention at Brands, largely thanks to his first victory of the season in round four, and is now just 11 points adrift of Thorp. The Antel Motorsport racer is one of the most experienced of the front-runners and this could well come into play at one of the UK’s most challenging circuits. Kieran Vernon (West Chiltington) added his name to the list of winners with a tremendous drive under pressure from Fortec Motorsport team-mate Josh Webster (Stowmarket, Suffolk) during round three. He’s a little way off the championship leaders though due to a non-finish in round four, caused by a spectacular excursion off the circuit when his throttle stuck open.Webster is the other of the four winners and after the disappointment of a non-finish himself during the season opener at Donington Park, two strong finishes at Brands mean he’s only six points adrift of Zamparelli. In between those two in the points table are Archie Hamilton (Hook, Hampshire) and Steven Durrant (Oxford), each having started the season with four consistently good performances. One of the highlights of the second weekend of the season was a maiden category podium for London-based Kourosh Khani (Ealing), the first driver from Iran to ever stand on a Protyre Formula Renault BARC rostrum. With confidence high, he’ll be challenging for more silverware at Oulton. pic Jakob Ebrey Photography
VLN: Team Peugeot RCZ Nokia continued their winning ways with a third successive podium in last weekend’s (May 15) VLN race at the Nürburgring, making the Peugeot RCZ 2.0 HDi FAP the most successful diesel-powered model currently running in the championship. After six demanding hours at the wheel, the Kumho-shod entry of Bohrer, Caillet and Nett finished second in class and the similarly slick-tyred car of Cochet, Premat, Perez and Ayari came home a fighting fourth – only narrowly missing joining their team-mates on the rostrum.Said a happy Michael Bohrer: “Both cars again ran without any problems, requiring no work from our pit crew apart from refuelling and driver changes.” An equally enthusiastic Stéphane Caillet commented: “We have increased the track and camber which, in combination with the Kumho tyres, has gained us a few valuable seconds per lap.” Bohrer achieved the fastest qualifying time of the team, circulating the white RCZ in 9:53.677 minutes. The team’s very realistic ambition of class victory in the 39th Nürburgring 24 Hour race on June 23-26 has been further bolstered by the signing of Le Mans LMP1 star Bruce Jouanny – he will join Alex Premat and Jonathan Cochet in the ‘professional’ car. A good personal friend of his two team-mates, Jouanny will contest rounds four and five of the VLN championship in order to qualify for the 24 Hour race. Said Kumho’s European Motorsport Manager Steve Thompson: “Bearing in mind their excellent results to date and their strong driver line-up, the RCZ team have given themselves an excellent chance of achieving their goals in the 24 Hour race. We are very much looking forward to the event.”
MR2 Championship: David Pittard, 19 will get the chance to showcase his talent and current dominance of the Silverstone Tyres MR2 Championship in front of some of the most influential people in Motor Sport when he supports the FIA Formula Two Championship at Brands Hatch on the 23rd-24th July. "I am really excited to race at such a prestigious meeting as F2. " Said Pittard "Not only that, but racing on the GP circuit in front of a huge crowed is going to be a major highlight for me." The races, which form rounds 7&8 of the 14 race calendar, will adopt a slightly longer 20 minute format and be preceded by an equally longer practice session around the Kent circuit. "I am very confident we can come away from Brands with 2 more wins, just like we did in the opening rounds last month" grinned a confident Pittard. "I will make sure I am at my very best to give my fans and supporters 2 more wins in front of the massive crowds! I cant wait!" David is already working tirelessly on generating his race budget for next season, which should see him progress up the ladder into the British GT & F3 supported VW Cup Championship.
Rounds 3&4 of the Fuchs Titan Race, MR2 Racing series moves to the Wiltshire circuit of Castle Combe on 30th May with David hoping to extend his championship lead. The Brunel University student will be hoping to get the better of the fast and bumpy Castle Combe circuit and secure another maximum points weekend before the championship moves to Snetterton at the end of June. "I'm really focused and determined to perform at Combe. I've never raced there before but I've tried to find as much about the track as possible and be as prepared as I can be." said David. "The car wasn't at its best last time out at Brands, and I am sure I wont be able to secure 2 wins at Combe unless we make some improvements" commented David. “Its imperative that we start to use the tyres better. Combe is very hard on the car and without a good set-up we could find ourselves going backwards very quickly! I've increased my training as the track will be very physical on the drivers. I hope to continue the teams run of great performances which reflects the amount of hard work they have put in. Combe can't come soon enough!" David and the Montana Motorsport Team are in action on the 30th May for one 15 minute practice and two 15 minute races.
Silverstone Classic: Jo Wood has achieved a childhood ambition and become a fully fledged racing driver … with a little help from 13 times Grand Prix winner David Coulthard. Coulthard was on hand to give Jo a few tips before the organics entrepreneur hit the track to successfully complete her race driving test and obtain an official licence to compete. She will make her racing debut at the 2011 Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge, which will take place on Saturday 23 July at the world’s biggest classic car racing festival. The Celebrity Challenge will see an all-star line-up going head to head in 130mph Morgan V6 Roadster sports cars around the famous Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, raising funds for the Cancer Research UK ‘Bobby Moore Fund’. So what was Coulthard’s advice for the racing novice? “The most important thing for Jo to do is go out there and enjoy herself - and don’t try and win the race on the first corner,” said the BBC’s F1 commentator. “Patience is sometimes a good thing in a racing car. Great respect to her for having a go though. She seems to be really up for the challenge so I hope she does well.” Jo’s keen to master her opposition; her ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ partner Brendan Cole will be lining up on the grid alongside her, and Wood is keen to teach her dance tutor a lesson or two. “Watch out Brendan Cole, because the tables are turned!” she warned. “Brendan told me off for driving too fast last time he was in a car with me, so he knows I’m going to be giving it my all. I love speed and I think I’m a pretty good driver,” she continued, “but I know this will be quite a big challenge. There’s a lot to get to grips with when you’re out on track, but I’m really looking forward to it … and it’s great to know we’ll be doing some good and raising money for the Bobby Moore Fund whilst we’re having fun.” Other famous faces confirmed for the event include Heston Blumenthal, Charley Boorman, ‘Comedy’ Dave, Jonny Saunders, Neil Fox, Luther Blissett, Lord Charles Brocket, Rick Parfitt Jr, Neil Primrose and Paul O’Duffy. Last year’s Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge raised over £25,000 for the Bobby Moore Fund and the celebrities are aiming to beat that target in 2011.
BTCC: There are now just two weeks to go before the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship arrives at the Oulton Park for the next three races of the 2011 season on Sunday 5 June. With its undulations and blind brows, Oulton is one of the most picturesque circuits on the calendar and has a reputation for attracting big crowds. The first nine races of the 2011 BTCC season have already produced five different winners, Matt Neal, Jason Plato, Andrew Jordan, Mat Jackson and Gordon Shedden. And it is former double Champion Neal who leads the way in the title race. In fact this year’s visit to Oulton could prove decisive. Plato is regarded as something of a master of Oulton and it will be fascinating to see if, in his normally aspirated Silverline Chevrolet Cruze, he can overcome his turbocharged rivals such as Neal and Shedden in their Honda Civics, Jackson’s Airwaves Ford Focus and Jordan’s Pirtek Vauxhall Vectra. Certainly defending Champion Plato needs strong results ,for although he already has three wins in 2011, he languishes back in sixth in the standings after two sizeable crashes. Indeed, it is his arch rival Neal, himself with three wins to date this season, who leads the championship table from Jackson and another of the young rising stars, James Nash, in his Triple 888 with Collins Contractors Vectra. Lancashire duo Frank Wrathall and Tom Boardman will also be keen to repay the home support. Already being touted by some as a future champion, 24-year-old Wrathall has graduated to the BTCC with his own Dynojet team in a Toyota Avensis. Boardman will arrive at Oulton on a massive confidence high after he achieved his and his family-run Special Tuning Racing team’s first outright podium finish at Thruxton. Tony Hughes – whose Hughes Safety Showers company is well known in the region – will also be hoping to make progress at his local circuit in his Toyota which is run by Stockport team Speedworks. While the BTCC headlines at Oulton on 5 June, there’s also an assortment of support – Ginetta Juniors, Ginetta GT Supercup, Porsche Carrera Cup. Adults can purchase trackside tickets from just £24 in advance and admission for children aged 12 and under is FREE.Members of the public can book tickets by visiting www.oultonpark.co.uk or calling the hot line 0843 453 9000.
Though Robert Dahlgren's normally-aspirated Volvo C30
was outpaced by the turbo cars in Monza, the Swedish driver and
Volvo Polestar Racing were satisfied after the Italian event.
"It was our best race weekend so far looking at the steps we
have taken forward with the car," said Dahlgren. Christian Dahl,
Managing Director of Volvo Polestar Racing explained: "It was
very useful for us to complete both races and we have got loads
of new data to analyze."
Kristian Poulsen and Norbert Michelisz shared victories at Monza in the Yokohama Trophies, with Darryl O'Young claiming one third and one second. The battle for the top positions in the Trophy is incredibly close. Poulsen has scored three race wins so far in his Liqui Moly BMW 320 TC, one in each event, and managed to build a small gap; the Dane leads with 45 points, 12 ahead of the trio formed by Michelisz (Zengö Dension Team BMW), Darryl O'Young (bamboo-engineering Chevrolet) and Javier Villa (Proteam Racing BMW) who have won one race apiece. Poulsen's team mate Franz Engstler has been very consistent so far and lies fifth, 21 points behind the leader, but still did not manage to win a race. Other drivers have proved to be competitive, but lacked luck so far, like Michel Nykjær and Fredy Barth (both SUNRED SEAT) and Mehdi Bennani (Proteam Racing BMW) who scored only a few points in Monza.
Other News: The first Ferrari Store on Spanish soil was officially opened this week at number 44 Paseo de Gracia in the heart of Barcelona. Watched by a large crowd of Ferrari enthusiasts, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro drivers Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and Marc Géné cut the ribbon on the new Store. Also present at the opening was Lorenzo Bassetti, the General Manager of ARP, already a partner of Ferrari with numerous other stores. Alonso and Massa’s arrival received a rapturous welcome from the tifosi gathered outside. At the end of the ceremony, the drivers posed for the dozens of photographers and TV cameras covering the event. However, before leaving for the circuit, they also met with the media and a select number of Ferrari clients inside the Store, but stopped off to sign autographs and greet the delighted fans that had been waiting for them since the early hours of the morning.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has announced that Brands Hatch will hold the Road Cycling events for the London 2012 Paralympics, which will take place from 5-8 September next year. Brands Hatch is the final venue to be unveiled in both the Olympic and Paralympic line-up, joining prestigious confirmed host locations such as Wembley Arena, Wimbledon and Lords Cricket Ground. Riders will race around a course that starts and finishes at Brands Hatch and encompasses both the circuit and local roads surrounding it. The announcement of Brands Hatch as a Paralympic venue pays homage to the circuit's cycling roots, as it first developed in the 1920s as a grass track cycle racing venue. Requirements for the Paralympic Road Cycling event are very precise, as the course has to be suitable and challenging for a wide variety of disability groups. The route must include challenging bends or technical sections, with an adequate road width to allow for bunch sprints in the finish straight.
Le Mans: The Audi R18 TDI, with which AudiSport Team Joestcontests the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 11/12, is thefirst Audirace car to be developed with the aid of thenew climatic wind tunnel. Since the beginning of 2008 the climatic wind tunnel completes the Audi Wind Tunnel Centre in Ingolstadt. It creates temperatures between minus 25 and plus 55 degrees Celsius and allows engineers to generate freezing cold and blisteringly hot wind speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour. The simulation of sunlight and rain are also possible. The new LMP1 is Audi’s first closed Le Mans sports car since the R8C in 1999. "The climatic wind tunnel is an example of the extensive cooperation with Technical Development (TE)," explains Dr. Martin Mühlmeier, Head of Technology at Audi Sport. "The TE develops constantly and as part of TE Audi Sport is allowed to use these resources. Conversely, our colleagues from production development benefit from our findings from motorsport." Work on the R18 TDI in the climatic wind tunnel focused on three areas: optimised airflow through the cockpit, the windscreen and testing the windscreen wiper. "In this case we can rely on the findings from the climatic wind tunnel - it’s a great benefit to have such an extremely high quality tool available," says Christopher Reinke, Technical Project Leader for the R18 TDI. "The results of everything which we have tested in the climatic wind tunnel up to now have been confirmed during testing on the race track." In the climatic wind tunnel ventilation of the closed cockpit was optimised to such an extent that the R18 TDI will manage without air-conditioning at Le Mans. As this costs both weight and power the engineers were happy to exclude the use of such a system. The deposit of rain water or solid materials such as sand, rubber pick-up and stones was also simulated. "We made many valuable discoveries in this area on the full scale car in the climatic wind tunnel and modified several things and especially in the airflow area," says Dr. Martin Mühlmeier. "The reflective film on the roof was also validated with findings from the climatic wind tunnel. These are all important details to guarantee a good climate around the driver in the cockpit." The silver film helps to prevent the cockpit heating up too much due to the solar radiation. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) regulations stipulate that the cockpit temperature must not exceed 32 degrees Celsius when driving if the maximum ambient temperature is 25 degrees. If it is warmer the cockpit temperature may climb by a maximum of seven degrees. The R18 TDI complies with these strict requirements thanks to extensive work in the climatic wind tunnel. The new Le Mans sports car’s single-arm windscreen wiper was also developed in the Audi Wind Tunnel Centre. "This subject is not as trivial as it would perhaps appear," says Dr. Martin Mühlmeier. "We do indeed have experience from the DTM. However, the windscreen wiper is hardly ever used here. Also, a DTM car reaches 250 km/h and not 330. The demands on the windscreen wiper are considerably higher at Le Mans." Fogging and soiling of the complexly formed windscreen which, in contrast to a production car, is curved in not just one direction but two, is manufactured from plastic and was also tested in the climatic wind tunnel. The screen is heated to prevent fogging. For possible soiling a three-stage plan was developed which, subject to the level of soiling, allows for simple wiping, wiping with detergent or the removal of one of several layers of rip-off films. Windscreen soiling is one of the concept specific disadvantages which a closed Le Mans sports car brings. However, as a result of work in the Audi climatic wind tunnel the disadvantages were minimised as much as possible.
2011 marks the 20th anniversary of Mazda’s victory in the 24-Hours of Le Mans. In 1991, Mazda became the first and only Japanese car manufacturer to win the race – completing 362 laps at an average speed of 127.62mph. In celebration of this anniversary, and at the invitation of the event organisers, the Automobile Club de L'Ouest (ACO), Mazda will demonstrate the winning Mazda 787B on the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France on Saturday, June 11, before the 2011 race begins. The 79th 24-Hours of Le Mans is scheduled to start at 15.00 hrs (local time). Mazda plans to hold the demonstration of the 787B racecar at 12.30 hrs. In addition, the 787B will also take part in the Driver’s Parade through the Le Mans city centre on Friday June 10. The Mazda 787B became the first and only Japanese car, and rotary-engine car to win the 24- Hours of Le Mans. Jointly developed by Mazda and Mazdaspeed, the organisation that managed Mazda’s racing programme, the 787B featured a chassis designed to meet Group C technical regulations and was powered by a four-rotor rotary engine that produced 700ps. Due to a change in the race regulations, 1991 was to be the last year that a rotary-engine car could participate at Le Mans. So, exploiting this last opportunity, after 17 years of effort, Mazda finally realised its long-held dream to take the overall victory at Le Mans. This victory was not Mazda’s alone, it was the result of many years of hard work by Mazdaspeed, the drivers (England’s Johnny Herbert, Belgian Bertrand Gachot and German Volker Weidler), suppliers and the many others involved.
Formula Renault BARC: It is easy to forget that Callum Bowyer is still only four races into his car racing career and yet he is already be knocking on the door of the top ten.Having demonstrated race pace only to be eliminated from both encounters on his single-seater debut in the 2011 Formula Renault BARC Championship curtain-raiser at Donington Park three weeks earlier, Callum headed to Brands Hatch for round two with the principal goal being simply to see the chequered flag. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography read report
There might not have been a great deal of overtaking in the second meeting of the 2011 Formula Renault BARC Championship around Brands Hatch’s Indy Circuit, but if there was a move to be made, Russ Danzey ensured that he was the man making it, with a charge through the field from the very back of the pack. Having claimed a top ten finish on his Formula Renault BARC debut with the Mark Godwin-run MGR Motorsport outfit three weeks earlier at Donington Park Russ headed to Brands Hatch in optimistic mood. pic Paul Davies Read report
Formula Renault: Atech Reid GP continued its run of success in testing for the 2011 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship at Snetterton on Wednesday, with championship leader Tio Ellinas leading the way in two of the four sessions at the Norfolk track. Dan Wells, in only his second appearance with the Cardiff-based team, was an impressive fifth fastest in session four and overall just ahead of a superb performance by fellow Briton Oscar King who posted the sixth fastest time in the final session to finish sixth in the combined times. Tio Ellinas: “I was very happy with the morning sessions, it’s always good to be fastest! In the final session I just got pipped by Lynn who got a tow, which gave him an extra four tenths of a second. Apart from that though it was a good day, and I’m generally very happy with our pace again today and looking forward to the next rounds.” Dan Wells: “I’m relatively pleased with today, I didn’t get the best run on new tyres but made good progress throughout the day. We had a few gearbox issues, left over from Thruxton, but managed to resolve those by the end of the day, so I leave here quite positive ahead of the next rounds, which are on my favourite track. I won’t predict anything for Oulton Park but I’m certainly hoping track knowledge will be on my side and help me get into the top half of the grid.” Oscar King: “I’m happy with the day overall, I had a bit of an off in the first session, which damaged the front wing, giving me lots of front downforce but pretty edgy in the corners. Things improved throughout the day although I really feel we should have been even quicker than sixth as I didn’t have the perfect set-up for the new tyres. I’m looking forward to Oulton now, it’s my favourite circuit, but I have no expectations ahead of the race weekend.” Team Principal David Hayle: “It was a pretty straightforward test today, no problems, and it’s very encouraging to see Dan and Oscar right up there in the top six. We’ve got used to seeing Tio at the top of the times now but it’s still always good to be fastest in two of the sessions which means we head into the next rounds feeling confident. Dan and Oscar drove particularly well today, they are both so inexperienced and to be fifth and sixth so early in the season will be a great boost to them and increase their chances of a strong finish when we head to Oulton Park next month.”
Historics: A feast of legendary Formula One cars will demonstrate on track at this year's Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch on Spring Bank Holiday weekend (28-30 May), which takes place on the full Grand Prix circuit on the Sunday and Monday. Topping the bill will be Damon Hill's World Championship-winning Williams-Renault FW18 from 1996. Hill won eight races on his way to the title that year, chased all the way by team-mate Jacques Villeneuve. Damon Hill's tenure at Williams will be forever associated with his rivalry with German Michael Schumacher and a range of cars celebrating his Benetton team from that period will also be on track. The 1992 and 1993 Benetton cars that were designed by Ross Brawn, now of Mercedes F1, helped develop Schumacher into a Grand Prix winner and eventual World Champion. Before Schumacher joined the team they had former World Champion Nelson Piquet on their driving strength and his 1990 car is another of those taking part in the demonstrations. Finally the era of Turbo cars in 1985 will also be represented, and fresh from running Ayrton Senna in his first year of Formula One, the Toleman team's profile was sufficiently raised to enable them to attract sponsorship from Benetton. Later in the season the famous Italian fashion house bought the team, which still survives today as Lotus Renault F1. In addition to these wonderful cars, the Masters Festival also features racing from Formula 1 machinery from the '60s to the '80s, courtesy of the Grand Prix Masters series, plus World Sportscar Masters, as raced at Le Mans , and many other historic championships. Tickets for the Masters Historic Festival, are available from £17 for adults with free admission for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or visit www.brandshatch.co.uk
With less than a month to go before the starting lights go out on 2011 Tour Britannia, the organisers are looking forward to a bumper entry.As one of the UK’s premier race tours on the classic racing calendar, Tour Britannia has long established itself as a must-do annual event among its enthusiastic competitors.Taking place over the long weekend of 17-19 June, this year’s course will take in Pembrey, Castle Combe and Silverstone race circuits and Prescott Hill Climb together with numerous other tarmac stages. The 2011 competitors will also be the first to use the newly-unveiled pit facilities at Silverstone, a month before the Formula One grid arrives for the British Grand Prix.The widespread appeal of Tour Britannia is also reflected in the strong cross-section of entries including everything from a Mini Cooper and MGB up to a Ferrari 250GTO and no less than five Porsche 911 RSRs. As well as the serious cars and serious racing however, despite its growing popularity the Tour Britannia entrants continue to enjoy a unique sense of camaraderie throughout the event which is reminiscent of racing and rallying in the 1950s and 1960s.Prices for the 2011 Tour Britannia start from £2585 for a car and two people and further details are available from www.tourbritannia.com
Porsche Club Championship: Pete Morris and Andy Purdie took the wins at Donington Park in the Porsche Club Championship on Sunday May 15th – previously unbeaten Mark Sumpter having to settle for a pair of podium finishes and the sight of Paragon team-mate Purdie wining on his return to the series. Another returnee was 2010 Class One champion Marcus Carniel, this time out in a Class Two 944 S2 and taking both wins and finishing well up in the top ten. Read report
Porsche GT3 Cup: Oly Mortimer claimed both wins at Donington Park on Sunday May 15th as the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge made its first visit to the East Midlands circuit, the young Scot chased home by Grame Mundy in each race, Yucel Ozbeck bagging a pair of thirds to round out the podium finishers. Read report
Radicals: The Marks Electrical Radical team came away from Oulton Park with three podium finishers, Mark Smithson and Stuart Moseley had taken victory with their SR3 in the first Radical UK Cup, before finishing third in the rain affected second race. The pair now have both the overall and class lead in the UK Cup.But Mark also found time to fit in a Clubmans Cup round, and grabbed second place on the last lap. Read report
With three outright podiums from four races at Oulton Park, the 360 Racing squad had cause to celebrate. John Stanley and James Swift were third in both Radical UK races, but the champagne was flowing too for novice Tony Wells, who took his maiden victory in the first Clubmans Cup race. Read report
FIA GT1: French team Hexis AMR scored their second FIA GT1 world championship victory of the season at the Sachsenring in Germany over the weekend. Their no. 3 Aston Martin DB9 of Stef Dusseldorp and Clivio Piccione qualified on the outside of the front row and looked set to repeat its Abu Dhabi success until it was punted into the gravel trap in the first corner. However all was not lost for Hexis as their second car driven by Christian Hohenadel and Andrea Piccini was able to take uphold the team’s honour to win the race with two and half seconds to spare. Read report.
SEAT León Supercopa : When Max Goff visited Dijon-Prenois for the third outing of the 2011 French SEAT León Supercopa Championship, only al run of ill-fortune meant that Goff,the fastest driver in the field over the course of the weekend ,left with just a single top ten finish to his name. read report
Renault 3.5: After challenging start to Round 3 of World Series by Renault Championship in Monza , Italy , American driver Alexander Rossi ended the weekend with a very strong drive to second place and climbing his way back up to 2nd place in the World Series by Renault Championship standings. read report
The third challenge of the World Series by Renault Championship took place for the first time alongside a round of the FIA WTCC Championship at Monza. Nelson Panciatici and his KMP Racing team all arrived full of determination but in the first free practice on Friday the performance wasn’t there. After checking and testing everything on Panciatici’s car there was no improvement. the KMP team led by Bruno Besson decided after the first qualify session to change the engine and get rid of any possible doubts. With time in short supply they had to forgo the first race to ensure they wouldn’t miss the second qualifying session which was only a few hours after the finish of race 1. Starting 19th, courtesy of their problems, the KMP Racing team found a definite improvement as Nelson was finally able to set some good times. After a chaotic start, where several drivers pre-empted Nelson, he found himself down below 20th before climbing back up the ranks to 7th position, taking 3rd best lap time in the process. Nelson Panciatici: “It was a difficult weekend because we were far from imagining such a sequence of events, the whole team was outstanding and I want to thank them. It paid off in the end because I had an incredible car for the second race, I overtook a dozen cars and a few more laps would have been even better, I really enjoyed myself.” If the Team Manager of KMP Racing, Bruno Besson, was disappointed, he still has confidence because: “the great race Nelson performed shows our real potential but it’s frustrating to see that we can be in the front positions and then everything goes wrong this weekend. We were looking for grip the whole time and we’re as perplexed by this as the results were good during the winter trials when Nelson and Anton Nebylitskyi were very fast. Nevertheless, we leave Monza on a high note and it bodes well for the future. The whole team is gunning for a battle to the end!”
Formula 3: Race one of the 2011 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship this weekend at Winton Raceway will be a special one for Queenslander Chris Gilmour. After eight years of experiencing the highest of highs and lowest of lows the sport has to offer, the Brisbane real estate entrepreneur will celebrate his 100th championship race at the weekend and believes he is better prepared than ever. Read more
Karts: Easykart’s annual visit to Dorset’s Clay Pigeon has to be one of the most popular on the calendar. The circuit is a gem and last season provided spectators with thrilling racing.Cadet - The Cadets provided good racing on Teeside and it was Matthew Round-Garrido who won. He drove terrifically to claim his maiden win. Lucas Blakely shone at the first round, but ultimately didn’t enjoy the result his performances deserved, although he picked up an excellent 3rd at Middlesbrough. Just ahead of him was opening round winner, Sam Faulkner. Novice driver Callum Croxon demonstrated his potential with an excellent 5th and will be well worth watching to see how he builds on this promise at Clay. In the Juniors promoter John Vigor admitted that the Teesside encounter had not been without both drama and controversy. It resulted in Tom Thickpenny’s disqualification for being just 200 grams underweight - and a bizarre incident involving Toby Sowery, AJ Morris, a back-marker, a marshal plus a yellow and a black flag, almost overshadowed what had been another pulsating race. Sowery had been leading by a country mile but was reeled in by eventual winner James Lay, with the impressive Cadet graduates Ronan McKenzie and Zack Nickson in close attendance. Despite the confusion caused by Sowery’s alleged passing of the tail-ender under a waved yellow and subsequent black-flag, E-Plate holder Lay ran out a worthy winner, with McKenzie maintaining his excellent run of form with 2nd. All this only serves to make the prospect of a straight fight between this quartet and a supporting cast including Will Stowell and Morris all the more exciting. In the Lights Joe Paterson repeated his 2010 feat, by winning the corresponding fixture in the North East last month. “Joe loves a big, fast, open track,” observes Vigor. “Now he’s won again, will this season be different?” He will have the current points-leader Terry Langley in his sights. In the Heavy category “Barnaby has a fight on his hands,” commented Vigor after Will Smith showed the reigning Champion the way home on Teesside. Both are now equal on points and traditionally very quick round the Dorset track. Michael Roots’ strong start to the season continued in round two and he will be ready to pounce if either of the leading duo suffers a bad day in the office. Jim Rainbird is now getting to grips with Easykart and looks set to go from strength to strength. Vigor singled out newcomer Neil Fisher for special mention after he performed heroics on his debut.
The historic Le Mans La Sarthe complex will once again echo to 24 hours of racing when the Karting Le Mans 2011 event descends on the Circuit Karting Alain Prost on October 15th/16th, 2011. Commemorating the 40th anniversary of when the legendary Steve McQueen hit the film screen in the epic movie, Le Mans, the unique 24-hour kart race offers the rare chance to battle for the race spoils on hallowed tarmac. Supported by Autosport, TAG Heuer and the Daily Telegraph, 46 teams of eight drivers will compete in the event which is expected to attract not only 24-hour race veterans but teams from across the global business community. Competing with identical equipment, the new Biz Kart twin engine GX160 Pro Kart will be the chariot of choice across the weekend, which starts on Friday, October 14th, with signing on, drivers briefing, track walkabout and practice. Entrants will also be entertained with a glamorous reception on Friday evening, providing an ideal opportunity to business network while getting to know fellow competitors. Each team will be housed in their very own pit garage, complete with mechanical backup from experienced karting engineers. Full hospitality throughout the event will be supplied, including hot food and drinks. Offering an unadulterated 24 hour adrenalin rush, Karting Le Mans 2011 offers the ideal corporate entertainment or team building experience while marketing opportunities with quality hospitality packages and circuit branding opportunities are available, as well as the chance to support an important fundraising event for Help for Heroes. This unique event is staged by industry leader Teesside Karting, which over the last 30 years has been pushing the boundaries and constantly improving the karts and racing concept with over 120 24-hour races staged across the world. Widely renowned for its professionalism, the company is the only organisation permitted to run independent races at Le Mans under the sanctions of the ACO (Automobile Club De L’Ouest). The green flag will fall at 13.00 hours on October 15th. Each team entry comprising of eight drivers costs £5,000, which includes trophies for the top three teams, goody bags, souvenir photographs and comprehensive hospitality throughout the weekend for every participant. For further information visit the event website at www.lemans2011.co.uk, call +44 (0)1642 231117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Formula BMW Talent Cup : The first driving experience event under the auspices of the Formula BMW Talent Cup took place last weekend at the race track in Gross Dölln near Berlin. Over the course of three days, the young drivers sat inside a race car from morning till evening under the watchful eye of seasoned instructors. “The focus of this first on-track event was on teaching the basics of driving,” explains chief instructor Pat Blakeney. The British expert knows what he’s talking about: for almost 35 years Blakeney has himself been competing out on track, taking five British titles in Formula racing. During the debriefing following the driving exercises he homes in on each individual driver. Remember to shift up when you reach the red line, make use of the whole track, try out different lines when you go into a corner – these are some of the tips he hands out. Blakeney is ably assisted by Niklas Königbauer, who spent two years driving in the Formula BMW ADAC Championship before studying vehicle engineering. “Particularly at the outset of a motor racing career, proper coaching plays a crucial role. The Formula BMW Talent Cup programme, which is geared to educating the young drivers, is unique,” says the 26-year-old coach. Also numbering among the team of experts is longstanding Team Manager Albert Hamper, who as technical director gives the young talents in Gross Dölln their first insights into data analysis. The on-site programme is complemented by fitness trainers from the company Sense, who also look after Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, among others. A peppering of reaction and concentration exercises ensures participants remain on their toes mentally as well.. The Formula BMW Talent Cup races start in Sturup, Sweden, from 17 to 19 June. Over the coming months, participants in the Formula BMW Talent Cup will continue their theory and practice training. On the agenda are media training, fitness and mental coaching, while six events will see them out on the track in a Formula BMW. The event venues are in Germany, Sweden, France, Spain and Portugal and the season ends with the Grand Final against the backdrop of the DTM in Oschersleben. The winner of the Formula BMW Talent Cup will be awarded a season in a professional junior Formula series such as the ATS Formula 3 Cup, financed by BMW Motorsport.
Silverstone Classic: This year’s Silverstone Classic (22-24 July) will make history as the event will be the first to take full advantage of both the national and international pit complexes at Silverstone. Some grids will be housed in the spectacular ‘Wing’, the brand new Formula 1 pit complex built between Club and Abbey Corners, while others will be in the traditional national pit complex at Woodcote Corner. A fleet of Route Master buses will be on hand to ferry visitors between the two sites. Both buildings are required as the move to racing on the exciting new Grand Prix circuit means that the event will feature even bigger grids than ever before. The headline numbers are sensational; over 800 racing cars, more than 1000 drivers and grids of up to 58 cars on the new Silverstone Grand Prix circuit make the Silverstone Classic the world’s biggest and arguably best celebration of classic racing. The weekend is a remarkable journey through the development of the racing car; from the bold and brave machines of the 1930s to the DFV-engined Formula 1 cars of the 1970s and early 1980s and the stunning Group C sports cars of the 1980s and early 1990s. Further massive diversity is provided by races for period touring cars, classic sports and GT racers of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. read more
Ginetta Challenge : HHC Motorsport enjoyed its most competitive weekend of the season in the Ginetta Challenge with its cars being pace-setters in the races at Snetterton on Sunday.Ben Anderson started from the front row but a spin early on dropped him down the field . However he then put in a storming recovery driove to claim third spot at the flag. Read report
GP3: Adrian Quaife-Hobbs completed a successful maiden F1 test at the wheel of Marussia Virgin Racing’s MVR-02 Formula One car on Sunday, completing 146 kms of the Idiado proving ground in Spain. As part of the Marussia Virgin Young Driver programme, the 20 year-old helped the team in its first straight-line aero test carrying out detailed evaluation work with the updated aerodynamic package, which was introduced at the last round in Turkey. The test was carried out with a view to extracting maximum performance from the car from next weekend's Spanish Grand Prix onwards. Adrian visited the team’s Sheffield base for a briefing and seat fitting on Thursday and flew out early on Saturday morning for Sunday’s test, declaring the run a dream come true. “It was an incredibly special day for me,” said Adrian. “Driving a Formula One car is what every young driver dreams of from the moment you start racing, and it has been fantastic to finally experience that. I completed many runs for the team and helped them to collect a lot of data. I can’t thank Marussia Virgin Racing enough for this amazing opportunity, as it really allows me to gain experience and see how a Formula One team works. Experiences like this only make you hungry for more and it’s exciting to get a taste of what the future could hold.” Team Principal John Booth, was equally happy with the team’s first straight-line aero test and Adrian’s performance. “Congratulations to Adrian on a very impressive debut in the Marussia Virgin Racing MVR-02 today. It really is extremely rewarding to put these young guys in the car and see how they respond to such an opportunity. He acclimatised well to the car and developed a strong rapport with the engineers and mechanics, so he should feel pleased with his first day’s work in a Formula One car. “Overall it has been a very productive test for us, with the Idiada proving ground providing us with excellent conditions with which to test the updated package that we introduced at the last race. As we might have expected in its debut outing, we experienced a few teething problems in Istanbul and this test has provided us with the opportunity to understand more of the potential of the developments. We’re looking forward to seeing further signs of progress in Spain next week.”
Le Mans: Former Formula One driver Tiago Monteiro will replace the injured Matthieu Lahaye at the wheel of OAK Racing’s #15 LMP1 during this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours on June 11/12. The 34-year-old, who will partner Guillaume Moreau and Pierre Ragues, enjoys an impressive racing CV that covers many different motorsport categories. A regular in FIA World Championships, Monteiro scored one podium during his two seasons of Formula One with Jordan Grand Prix before switching to the World Touring Car Championship where he continues to enjoy great success with SEAT. The Portuguese ace can also count on recent prototype racing experience having contested the Le Mans 24 Hours and LMS in 2009, while a year earlier he became team boss of GP2 outfit Ocean Racing Technology. OAK Racing will nevertheless miss team stalwart Lahaye who is still recovering from injuries sustained during a qualifying accident for the 1000km of Spa-Francorchamps on May 6. It will be the first time the team has contested Le Mans without the Frenchman driving one of its cars.
Radical UK Cup: Manhal Allos secured victory in the first of the two UK rounds at Oulton Park, when both of his closest rivals received stop go penalties for pitstop infringements. But Allos’ chances of a double were dashed, when rain and red flags intervened, declaring Rob Wheldon and David Thorburn’s SR3 victorious. Read report
Radical Club Cup: James Abbott took his second win of the year in the second Radical Club Cup race at Oulton Park, but had to play second fiddle to novice Tony Wells in the first loosing out b y less than a second at the flag. Read report
Formula Renault BARC: Hector Hurst endured a disappointing weekend in Rounds Three and Four of the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship at Brands Hatch. After two frustrating qualifying performances, the Scorpio Motorsport driver suffered a start line incident in race one, forcing him into retirement, before recovering for a twelfth place finish in race two. Read report
Matt Mason is ‘satisfied’ after another solid weekend in the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship, which saw him take two strong points finishes in Rounds Three and Four at Brands Hatch, making him the top rookie in the 2011 championship standings. Read report
Indian racing star Zaamin Jaffer produced a pair of a consistently strong race performances at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit over the weekend, 14th/15th May, during the latest two rounds of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship to conclude the event 10th overall in the driver standings. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Formula 3: Gary Thompson made a good start to his Japanese F3 Championship bid at Suzuka last weekend where the 18-year-old showed strong pace to record a podium finish, before claiming fastest lap during a spirited race two comeback drive. The Aviation Display-backed Dubliner qualified an excellent third in the National Class for both races at the Japanese Grand Prix venue and again demonstrated his turn of speed in the weekend’s opening round. Read report
Formula Ford: Dan de Zille ranks 5th in the Formula Ford Championship title chase despite being shunted off at Snetterton. Engine problems during testing prefaced aseries of dramas that unfolded for Dan last weekend at Snetterton. It took a late engine change to give Dan the pace he needed, ready with only minutes to go before qualifying for him to gather up the pieces and qualify in a respectable 8th position. Read report
Mini Challenge: It was honours even between reigning Champion Lee Allen and 2009 Champion Luke Caudle in mixed weather conditions at Oulton Park. Wells pipping Allen to the post in the opening dry race while Allen took the honours in the second wet race. Read report
British GT: Josh Wakefield had high hopes that he could continue his great partnership with Jake Rattenbury in the 2 hour Avon Tyres British GT race at the newly created Snetterton 300 circuit layout. He was again driving a Ginetta G50, run by Century Motorsport, in the GT4 class. Pic By Chris Roberts/WiderViewPhoto.com Read Josh’s and Jakes’s report
Porsche Carrera Cup France : Oman Air Racing Team driver Ahmad Al Harthy enjoyed a highly successful showing at Dijon-Prenois on Sunday, 15th May, by securing a pair of fifth place finishes on his competitive debut in the Porsche Carrera Cup France Championship. Read report
BTCC: Former BTCC driver Jeff Allam will return in his role as ‘Driving Standards Advisor’ for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship from the series’ next round at Oulton Park (5 June) onwards. Allam, who won 16 races during his BTCC career, will be at each event to assist and advise the Clerk of the Course when investigating on-track incidents. He previously carried out the same advisory role with the BTCC in the mid-late Nineties. “I’m delighted that Jeff has again accepted my offer of this role,” said BTCC Series Director Alan Gow. “The amount of very competitive teams and drivers in our championship is fabulous but inevitably can lead to an increased workload, particularly with matters concerning on-track incidents. “Therefore Jeff’s highly regarded input will not only bring a respected driver’s perspective to the table, but also help us to provide a more efficient decision-making process at the event.”
Renault 3.5: Daniël De Jong delivered by far the best performance of his maiden season in the ultra-competitive Formula Renault 3.5 Series at Monza over the weekend, 14th/15th May, as the home of the Italian Grand Prix hosted the third race meeting of the 2011 championship. Read report
After taking pole on Saturday and having been involved in an accident, Brazilian Cesar Ramos had better luck on Sunday in the final race of the double round of the World Series by Renault at Monza. Starting in the ninth place of the grid, the rookie Fortec Motorsport driver crossed the finish line in fourth place. Ramos was also second among rookies and took the podium for the category. Australian Daniel Ricciardo, test driver of Toro Rosso Formula 1 Team, won the race with Alexander Rossi second. "Today, it was very good. I started well and I won some positions. It was very important to achieve these points to the championship”, said 21 years old driver. "Yesterday, I started on pole, but (Robert) Wickens crashed in my rear car and unfortunately I have to retire”. Ramos will race the next round in Monaco on the 28th May. The category will make the preliminary of Formula 1. "It will be a different weekend. But I'm excited. It is a dream race in Monaco and we will work to go out there with a good result."
Ginetta: Sean Huyton won both races in the Fuchs Ginetta Challenge on the new Snetterton 300 circuit after two inspired drives in his Academy Motorsport-run Ginetta G40. Read report
Formula Renault BARC: Kieran Vernon and Dino Zamparelli took their first wins of 2011 at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on Sunday, 15th May – making it four winners from the opening four rounds in the ultra-competitive Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship. Vernon’s richly deserved round three success marked his landmark maiden victory since graduating to Formula Renault BARC at the start of the season. For category returnee Zamparelli, his first win of the year rocketed him into second place in the driver standings – up from fifth in the table. Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography read report
Archie Hamilton put in a strong performance at the second round of what is turning out to be an ultra-competitive Championship and despite frustration at not being able to overtake retained third position in the Championship standings. Read report
Josh Webster took his second podium of the 2011 season at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit over the weekend, 14th/15th May, to move into fifth place in the driver standings – just 17 points shy of the series lead. Josh was unfortunate to miss out on pole position for round three by the tinniest of margins – a mere 0.005 seconds – and that proved to be the determining factor in the first of the weekend’s races. Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography read report
Two largely uneventful Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship races resulted in a mixed bag of results for Hillspeed’s trio of drivers at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit over the weekend, although Howard Fuller and Zaamin Jaffer both managed to make progress. With a competitive fifth place finish in round three on Sunday, backed-up with a top eight result in round four, 18-year-old Fuller shot up the championship order into seventh position. Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Asian Abarth Series: Jenzer Welch Asia Racing has entered the brand-new Formula Pilota China series, which uses the European Formula Abarth car, for this year. The team is a collaboration between Switzerland’s Jenzer Motorsport, whose drivers currently lie first and second in the Formula Abarth European Series, and British engineer Andy Welch, a long-time associate of the Jenzer team. Jenzer Welch Asia Racing is fielding a three-car team in the series, which starts at Guangdong on July 2/3 and moves on to the Chinese Grand Prix circuit of Shanghai (July 23/24 and August 20/21), then Ordos (September 3/4), Zhuhai or Guangdong (TBA) , before finishing with a race weekend expected to be at Malaysian GP venue Sepang (November 26/27). Each of the six rounds will feature testing on Thursday, free practice on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and then two races, with one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The champion and best Asian driver each win a free Ferrari Driver Academy Stage run by the Ferrari Formula 1 team. The highest-placed Jenzer Welch Asia Racing driver will win a free private test day with Jenzer Motorsport’s European Series team. The series is open to drivers born before January 1 1997, with an International C licence. The carbon-composite monocoque chassis are constructed by Tatuus, which produced all Formula Renault cars from 2000-09 and Formula Master from 2007-09. The cars will run on Yokohama tyres. The team already has two drivers. Romanian Robert Visoiu will dovetail his Formula Pilota China campaign with efforts in the European and Italian championships, while 14-year-old Swiss Matheo Tuscher is taking advantage of the series’ admission of drivers at an earlier age than they can compete in Europe. Team manager Andy Welch said: “China is an emerging nation, not only in world affairs but in motorsport. All the major categories are competing there, and so for aspiring professionals they are good tracks to experience, especially at such a young age. It can also be a good forerunner to racing Formula Abarth in Europe, and there are plenty of extra testing opportunities.”
VW Cup: Reigning champion Steve Chaplin and rapid front-runner Aaron Mason made it four different winners from the first four rounds of the 2011 Volkswagen Racing Cup with FUCHS Lubricants at Snetterton over the weekend (14/15 May). Marking the championship’s first visit to the new ‘300’ circuit configuration, the racing was as unpredictable as ever, although Chaplin, Mason and Steve Wood filled the podium for each encounter. Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Formula Ford: Following on from his victorious start to the weekend at Snetterton on Saturday, Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain star Scott Malvern added two more outstanding wins at the Norfolk track yesterday to lift his tally for the year to seven wins from nine races. Australia’s Geoff Uhrhane held the upper hand after qualifying for JTR, but it was the Duratec-powered Jamun Racing Mygale of Malvern which dominated in race conditions to lift him to within just four points of Jeroen Slaghekke’s championship lead. Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
The 2011 Australian Formula Ford Championship swings back into action this weekend at Winton Motor Raceway for round two of the championship. After an interesting first round at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, which saw Tom Williamson take his first national round victory, 21 cars will head to the Victorian circuit to do battle once again. Sonic Motor Racing Services driver Garry Jacobson(right) will be hoping a strong result on home turf after an impressive start in Adelaide. The Shepparton based driver moved to the championship winning squad this season and already feels comfortable in the Mygale chassis. "It's always nice racing at Winton, it is about as close as I come to a home race, but there's not much advantage out there because everyone does so much testing at the circuit," Jacobson said. "I'm really enjoying being part of Team Sonic, they're such an amazing outfit and it really brings out the best in you as a driver. Clipsal really gave me some confidence to know that I can run towards the front, so I'll be aiming to continue that trend this weekend." While it may be Jacobson's home turf, Williamson heads to the event full of confidence after his surprise victory in round one. The Borland Racing Developments driver stayed out of trouble in Adelaide and was rewarded the championship lead. “The result at Clipsal was a bit of a surprise, but we always knew going into the weekend that if we stayed out of trouble then we would be in the running for a good finish," Williamson said. “It's nice to have the first win on the board so early in the season, so I can focus on having a consistent run at every event. Winton should be a strong round for me, Ash Walsh won the event last year with Borland Racing Developments and I don't think there is any reason why I can't do the same thing this year." Seven Victorian drivers will be in action across the weekend, including Mildura based teenager and one of the championship favourites Cameron Waters. Waters will be looking to make up for a disappointing first round where a crash cost him a certain round victory. The Australian Formula Ford Championship will take to the track for the first time on Friday morning ahead of races on Saturday and Sunday.
Formula3: Menasheh Idafar faced a catalogue of problems during the eighth and ninth rounds of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Snetterton 300 Circuit on Sunday, 15th May, but he came away with a great deal of credit after showing superb pace. Prevented from mounting a points challenge during round seven on Saturday when forced off the circuit due to contact, the Dallara-Volkswagen driver had more difficulties during both of Sunday’s encounters but did emerge from round nine with the third fastest lap of the race. Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series championship leader Felipe Nasr continues to hold a tight grip at the head of the driver standings following the conclusion of the third event of the season at Snetterton 300 Circuit on Sunday. Off the back of a strong second place finish in round seven on Saturday, his sixth podium of 2011, the 18-year-old Brazilian had a less straightforward time on day two. Pic: Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Dutchman Bart Hylkema continues to dominate the Rookie Class of the 2011 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series after securing his seventh and eighth victories of the season over the weekend, 14th/15th May, at the new Snetterton 300 Circuit. Although suffering the disappointment of a non-finish in the second of the event’s three races, through no fault of his own following multi-car contact, the T-Sport driver departed Norfolk on Sunday evening with a very healthy 58 point lead in the class standings. Read report
Grand-Am: AIM Autosport’s BMW-Riley sponsored by GAMMA88 finished ninth in the Daytona Prototype class of the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway yesterday afternoon. The team overcame a series of problems during the the race and appeared to be headed to a good result, but with less than 40 minutes remaining, the car slid of the track, impacted a tire wall and lost several laps stuck in the wet grass. Read report
WTCC: Rob Huff walked out of Monza with two more victories and a gap of 36 and 41 points respectively over his team-mates Yvan Muller and Alain Menu, and an early claim on the world title. Huff achieved something that had only been done twice before since WTCC was launched: a double win in the same weekend. The two previous occasions were in 2005 with Jörg Müller at Magny-Cours and in 2007 with James Thompson at Valencia. Huff also took the most out of the supremacy the Chevrolet Cruze cars showed on the fast Monza circuit. He also managed to stay calm and not crack under the relentless pressure that Muller and Menu put him under. Over the 18 laps of the two races, Huff did not commit the slightest mistake, never opened the smallest gap and always kept the most favourable line. Chevrolet might have outpaced the rest of the field, but the races in Monza were far from boring. Competition between the SEAT and BMW drivers was exciting. Tiago Monteiro, Norbert Michelisz and Kristian Poulsen were the stars among the pursuers, while bad luck disappointed Gabriele Tarquini and Tom Coronel. As for Robert Dahlgren, on the fastest track in the WTCC calendar, he could do nothing to close the gap between his normally-aspirated Volvo and the turbo cars. His actual season will kick off when the team make the switch to the new engine. In the meanwhile, it is not hazardous to predict that the following races may contribute to further heat up the atmosphere at the Chevrolet team.
Formula 2: Will Bratt did as much as he could to salvage a pair of points-paying finishes during the third and fourth rounds of the 2011 FIA Formula 2 Championship at Magny-Cours in France over the weekend, a difficult event in which the 23-year-old battled significant set-up problems. Read report
FIA GT: The FIA GT1 World Championship was on German soil this weekend, at the Sachsenring circuit. A track lay-out which favoured the Ford GTs of the Marc VDS Racing team, confirmed twice on Friday by Maxime Martin and his French team mate Fred Makowiecki, who clocked up the fastest lap times during practice. They then went on to win the qualifying race on Saturday before it all went ‘pear-shaped on Sunday in the Championship event. Read report
Radical UK Cup: Bradley Ellis took his first Radical UK Cup Supersports podium of the season yesterday, Saturday, scoring second in class in the round four race battle at Oulton Park. The 23 year-old racer recorded his best result of the season so far after a disappointing DNF in round three earlier on. The second place sees Ellis’ welcome return to the Radical podium following his healthy haul of eight wins and top three finishes scored when he last raced in the popular series back in 2007. Partnered with a new teammate for 2011, Andy Cummings who is relishing the challenge of his first year contesting the Radical UK Cup, the Supreme Racing duo have gone from strength-to-strength with every race outing. Read report
DTM: Mike Rockenfeller finally scored his maiden DTM victory in his 44th race in the category . In the second round of the DTM Championship at Zandvoort, the 27-year old Audi driver from the German village of Neuwied started from third place on the grid and after 44 laps and a perfect pit stop strategy he crossed the finish lineto claim that all important first win. “I am relieved. Hockenheim was very frustrating after a good qualifying and the poor race. Fortunately, we have found the problem and solved it. The result was a good qualifying and a great race. Today, the foundation was the start, plus two excellent stops and a good pace”, an overjoyed Rockenfeller said. Read report
Formula 3: Marco Wittmann (Signature) claimed victory in the third race of the Formula 3 Euro Series at the Zandvoort, making the German the first Signature driver to win a race this year. Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport) crossed the line second while Nigel Melker, the winner of the first race of the weekend, was the best-placed rookie in third. Points’ leader Roberto Merhi (Prema Powerteam) continued scoring points by finishing fourth. He is now 23 points clear of Wittmann, who is second in the standings. Wittmann only had to fight for his lead in the opening stages, when he was attacked by Rosenqvist. The German successfully held off the Swede’s attacks and took his first race win of the season. Even though Rosenqvist and Melker were able to keep up with Wittmann throughout the race, they weren’t able to put him under enough pressure to change the outcome of the race. Behind fourth-placed Merhi, and Daniel Abt (Signature) was happy with his fifth position. Daniel Juncadella retired early. Thus, he lost his second place in the drivers’ standings to race winner Wittmann. Rosenqvist and Melker also overtook the Spaniard in the drivers’ standings. Marco Wittmann: “My start was good, but I had a lot of work defending my first place against Felix in the first few laps. It seems that the Mücke cars were quicker in the opening stages. Then, I was able to pull a slight gap and to keep it. All in all, today was a good day for us.”
Kimiya Sato (Team Motopark) also secured the first victory
for the Team Motopark in the 2011. Gianmarco Raimondo (Team
Motopark), who started into the race from pole position, crossed
the line in second and completed the 1-2 for the team from
Oschersleben. Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport) finished
third. For the Swede, this was already the second podium finish
of the weekend. Points’ leader Roberto Merhi (Prema Powerteam)
ended up fourth and extended his margin over runner-up Daniel
Juncadella (Prema Powerteam) to 27 points.
Formula Ford: Scott Malvern made it four wins from the last four races with a masterful performance on Saturday at the newly revised Snetterton 300 circuit during round seven of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain. Edging the Jamun Racing driver ever closer to series-leading team-mate Jeroen Slaghekke, the result - including a bonus point for the fastest lap (a new circuit record of 1m 53.525s) - means Ilford-based Malvern is now only 18 points shy of the Dutchman. pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Formula 3: Formula One aspirant Felipe Nasr secured his sixth podium from seven race starts at the new Snetterton 300 Circuit on Saturday afternoon (14 May) to markedly increase his Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series lead to almost 50 points. The Brazilian 18-year-old, who utterly dominated qualifying at the East Anglian track, finished a fighting second during the day’s seventh round of the 2011 season and in doing so also posted a brand new outright lap record for the 2.97-mile track of 1m40.103 seconds (106.77mph). pic Jakob Ebrey Photography read report
Menasheh Idafar continued to underline his impressively strong pace at the new Snetterton 300 Circuit on Saturday, 14th May, after setting the seventh fastest race lap during a battling recovery drive in the first of the weekend’s three Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series races. pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Porsche Carrera Cup France: Ahmad Al Harthy made a fantastic start to his first ever race weekend at the hugely challenging Dijon-Prenois circuit on Saturdayby qualifying seventh fastest for both of tomorrow’s Porsche Carrera Cup France races. The 29-year-old, more regularly a front-runner in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship, is making only his second ever race appearance in mainland Europe this weekend as a way of gaining more race experience during a five-week break for the UK series. Having delivered a strong showing in testing on Friday Ahmad headed into qualifying this afternoon confident of a good run and he delivered well with a time of 1m20.715 seconds in the first session – placing him just 0.6 seconds away from the front-row of the grid. Improving his pace in session two, the Oman Air Racing Team driver lapped in 1m20.464 seconds to get within half a second of the top two. Getting quicker with every outing, Ahmad has high hopes of a consistently strong showing tomorrow – both to secure two good race finishes and also represent his country well on the European stage.
WTCC: Chevrolet's Rob Huff is still undefeated in this season's qualifying as he claimed today his third pole position out of three events. The championship leader posted the fastest lap in Q2 at Monza, outpacing his team-mates Yvan Muller and Alain Menu; the latter managed to recover third position just as the chequered flag was waved. Yokohama Trophy competitor Norbert Michelisz set the fourth fastest lap, ahead of Tiago Monteiro and Darryl O'Young.Q1 - Tom Coronel posted the fastest lap of 1:59.907 with two minutes left on the clock. The Dutchman demoted Norbert Michelisz to second as the Hungarian youngster had previously completed a lap of 1:59.961.Tiago Monteiro ranked 10th in the session with the time of 2:00.549 and won pole position for todays second race. Rob Huff (9th with 2:00.515) will complete the front row. The following drivers qualified for Q2: Coronel, Michelisz, Poulsen, O'Young, Menu, Bennani, Muller, Tarquini, Huff and Monteiro. Javier Villa and Pepe Oriola were the first two drivers excluded from Q2 as they qualified 11th and 12th respectively. Q2 - The three Chevrolet drivers took the track as soon as the pitlane opened to play the splipstreaming game chased by a bunch of SEAT and BMW cars. Muller set a provisional pole of 1:59.131 followed by Michelisz (1:59.458) and Monteiro (1:59.574). On his second flying lap Huff improved to 1:59.034, beating Muller's time by less than one tenth of a second. Later on Menu clocked a 1:59.433 that gave him a last-gasp third place.Michelisz, and Monteiro were classified fourth and fifth with O'Young sixth after he aborted his last attempt for driving too wide at the Parabolica.Gabriele Tarquini's hopes were jeopardized when the window of his left door broke apart shooting splinters of glass inside the cockpit. The Italian driver underwent medical checks at the track's infirmary to be sure that his eyes were unscathed.
Karts: Sam Brabham is set to contest the third and fourth rounds of the Formula Kart Stars series, on May 21-22, and heads to the Three Sisters circuit, near Wigan, with Ellis Clowes & Company Ltd confirmed as a valued new sponsor. Sam impressed on his Formula Kart Stars debut at the opening Rowrah rounds last month, already mixing it in the mid-field of the fiercely competitive Junior Max class, to finish on the cusp of the top 15 in round two. Already demonstrating promising potential racing with the Project One team, the 16 year-old from Henley-on-Thames has secured fresh backing from Ellis Clowes in perfect time for only his second event in Formula Kart Stars, the UK’s premier training ground for aspiring racing drivers. Specialist Lloyds Insurance Broker, Ellis Clowes has evolved from the well-respected TL Clowes company, the leading provider of professional and personal insurance services to the motor sport industry for more than 30 years. Experts across the entire spectrum of insurance risk management and associated insurance products, Ellis Clowes represent a world class client base, from individual competitors and teams to championship organisers and governing bodies across every major motor sport championship around the globe.The perfect sponsorship partner for Sam as he starts to climb the motor racing ranks, Ellis Clowes joins Liberty International UnderwritersTM (LIU) and Grand Privé in supporting his progression to national championship karting following impressive results at club level.
ILMC: Larbre Competition scored their first Intercontinental Le Mans Cup podium finish of the season in Belgium last weekend at the 1000km of Spa-Francorchamps. Julien Canal, Patrick Bornhauser and Gabriele Gardel took their Corvette C6R to third position in the GTE-Am category despite being delayed by a puncture in round two of the global endurance series read report
4Two Cup: Sarah Franklin got her 4Two Cup Season off to a blinding start last weekend when she over took five cars on the opening lap of the first of two races at Donington to take the lead. Sarah then held onto the lead, having a huge battle with Howard Kayman in the process. He did get past her on one occasion but not for long Sarah to immediately re-took the position on the inside of the craner curves! She then held onto first place all the way to the chequered flag, taking her first ever win! pic Marc Waller Read report
Grand-Am: AIM Autosport’s BMW-Riley sponsored by GAMMA88 has qualified fifth for today’s Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. Mark Wilkins drove the car during this afternoon’s 15-minute qualifying session and had posted just four laps when the session was ended early after a car stopped on the track. Mark’s lap of 1m 45.761s translates to 111.307 mph (179.131 km/h) around the 3.27 mile (5.26 km) road course.The fifth-place start is AIM’s best of the season so far and the team is optimistic of a strong result tomorrow. However, fifth was slightly disappointing after the team’s GAMMA88 car ranked third in opening practice and then topped the charts in the second session. “Fifth is a good qualifying result for the team,” Mark said after his qualifying run. “The track temperature changed a lot from practice and we knew we had to make changes to keep the car planted, but we went a little bit too far. We’re going to have a great car for the race,” he continued. Mark’s co-driver, Burt Frisselle added, “Excellent balance.I’m very happy with everybody’s effort today,” he said. “We worked really hard to make the car better and that’s paid off with great balance. I think we can make our tires last longer than the competition and that could help us achieve a great result tomorrow. Although it’s our best qualifying position of the season, I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t roll off the trailer a little quicker, considering our pace here last year,” said Chief Engineer and Team Principal, Ian Willis. “I’m quite confident that we have a good car for the race if it’s dry. If it’s wet, we will have to learn all about the Continental rain tire.”
Renault 3.5: Brazilian Cesar Ramos will be back this weekend in the circuit of Monza, place of his great achievement by winning the Italian Formula 3 in 2010. This time the challenge will be in the World Series by Renault. In October last year, Ramos has won the last race of the Italian championship in this track and achieved the title. As a prize he also won a test with the Ferrari F-1 Team, which was held in December. The Brazilian expects that the good retrospect in the circuit could be repeated now in the new category."The expectations for Monza are very good. It's a track that I love and where I've been always competitive. I´ve already did pole positions, won races, got podium finishes in F-3 and Formula Renault”, said Ramos. In first round of the season last month in Alcaniz (Spain), the Brazilian went very well, did a pole and was fourth in the 2nd race. Two weeks ago, at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), the weekend started perfectly, with Cesar scoring the best time in free practice, but ended without the expected results, after some problems. "We need to recover the points lost in Spa. We run in Monza during a private test. On occasion, it was very cold and the result was not so good. But now the weather is better and the team also conducted more developments on the car. I believe we will be competitive", added the young
The BRSCC’s busy Midland Centre head back to Donington Park today for the second weekend running. Last week they were organising a Britcar meeting but this weekend it is back to ‘Club’ business with a packed two day meeting on the National circuit featuring 20 races. A full preview of the meeting, plus the entry lists and timetable can be found here DONINGTON PREVIEW
You may have read recently in the press that one of the BRSCC biggest clients, Caterham Cars Ltd, have been bought by Team Lotus Enterprise. The BRSCC up with Caterham’s Motorsport Manager Simon Lambert to ask how he sees the change in ownership impacting on the already very successful motorsport operation he runs at Caterham. You can read the interview with Simon here CATERHAM MOTORSPORT
Next month will mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Steve Bell who was tragically killed during a Mini Se7en race at Silverstone. In memory of his father, Dan Bell is organising two charity events on Saturday 18th June with all proceeds to go to the MOTORSPORT SAFETY FUND. The first event will be a 2 hour Karting Endurance Race at the Bayford Meadows near Sittingbourne , Kent , followed by a party in the evening at The Robin Hood pub on nearby Blue Bell Hill. Dan would like to see as many of Steve’s family, friends, colleagues, associates and competitors attend as possible. The Karting entry will be at cost and the ticket price for the evening will be £10 per person, which includes the entertainment and food. For full details please contact Dan Bell at email@example.com
Fiesta Championship campaigner Gordon Tomkins was also in charity mode last month when he swapped his trusty ST for a pair of running shoes to take part in the London Marathon. It was the first ever marathon for the Oxshott based driver who was inspired by watching the TV program "Marathon Man" which featured Eddie Izzard running over forty marathons almost back to back. Gordon thought he should at least attempt to run one and raise much needed funds for the Shooting Star Children's Hospice in Hampton . To checkout how Gordon got on click here TOMKINS' MARATHON
Northern Formula Ford competitor Dave McArthur will unfortunately have to miss a couple of rounds of the Avon Tyres backed championship in the middle of the summer as he will be far too busy driving a Vauxhall Agila to Mongolia! Up to 500 cars will be lapping the famous Goodwood Circuit on the 23rd July. However, instead of setting lap records, these cars will be doing a lap of honour before starting one of the most epic and perilous adventures of modern times; the Mongol Rally. Dave and his three team-mates will set out cover the 16,000 miles of mountain ranges, deserts and areas of conflict to Ulan Bator , the capital of Mongolia . Short of being a great adventure, the Rally is a massive charity event, with all teams raising a minimum of £1000 for a multitude of charities, which in Dave’s case are The Christina Noble Foundation (CNF) and The Meningitis Trust. For any further information and to make a donation please visit the team’s website at: MONGOL ADVENTURE
The former Managing Director of the Royal Horticultural Halls, René Dee, has written a book that covers 100 years of event history at the famous London venue. Chapter 7 of the book, which is the product of 10 years of painstaking research, covers the first BRSCC Racing Car Show held in the RHS Hall in 1960 and the 4 subsequent Shows. The book will be published in early July, but from now until the 1st June, it can be pre-ordered via the pdf here http://www.phillimore.co.uk/acatalog/Subscriberleaflet.pdf This uniquely offers the opportunity of having your name printed in the book on publication, as well as a very good pre-publication discount of £10 off the RRP of £30.
FORPARK AUSTRALIA F3
a driver development program that of will award a
deserving young driver $50,000 towards a F3 Australian Drivers
Championship Gold Star campaign in 2012, is rapidly gaining
momentum with young Tasmanian driver Josh Burdon confirming he
will tackle the series this year. Burdon will drive for R-Tek
Motorsport, the team where he made three round (nine race)
starts in the 2010 season and will join Steel Guiliana and
Queenslander Ben Gersekowski as challengers for one of the
richest prizes in Australian motorsport. Forpark Australia
scholarship competitors will be judged by an independent panel
based on not only their raw speed and race results, but also on
all facets that make up a ‘complete’ racing driver including
engineering feedback, media skills and public interaction.
Karts: Ryan Anderton might have been denied the kind of result he deserved in the second round of the 2011 Super 1 Series at Shenington – but far more significantly, he proved that he has the talent and the pace to win at the highest level in the country. read report
It was business as usual for Prima Racing in the second round of the 2011 Super 1 Series at Shenington, with an utterly dominant double podium lock-out in the Super Cadet class and some starring performances from the team’s quintet of Comer Cadet combatants. Read report
Porsche Carrera Cup GB:
The second programme in the dedicated television coverage
of the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB will be broadcast in the
Motorsport UK programme during the afternoon of Tuesday 17 May
on ITV4, on ITV1 on the night of Sunday 22 May and will also be
shown on ITV4 on Saturday 21 May.The Motorsport UK series, which
features hour-long programmes, is covering all of the Carrera
Cup GB action again this season. Round three of the season at
Donington Park will feature in this programme.
Endurance Racing: The Nürburgring will host the racing debut of Lexus’s full hybrid CT today(14 May) when the luxury hatchback lines up on the starting grid for a gruelling endurance race.Primed by Gazoo Racing, the motorsport specialists responsible for the racing Lexus LFA, the CT is competing in the Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy, contested over six hours on one of racing’s most daunting circuits. Almost 200 cars are expected to line up for the start. Competing in the SP4 Class, the GAZOO Racing CT, like its road-going sister CT 200h model, features Lexus Hybrid Drive, but with a higher capacity 2.4-litre petrol engine instead of the usual 1.8 unit. The batteries and hybrid system are identical to the road car. At start-up and under braking, the race car uses just its electric motor, producing zero tailpipe emissions and using no fuel. The combustion engine seamlessly takes over at higher speeds with the electric motor providing extra power when accelerating and at racing speeds.Throughout its operation, the Lexus full hybrid system intelligently selects the most appropriate power source and also captures energy through regenerative braking to charge the battery, which in turn powers the electric motor.Thanks to Lexus Hybrid Drive, the GAZOO Racing CT will require less fuel and will emit lower levels of CO2 and harmful NOx than any equivalent petrol or diesel race car.Lexus remains the only car manufacturer to compete in major endurance races with full hybrid cars, starting with the Lexus RX 400h which contested the Nürburgring24 Hours in 2005. The GAZOO Racing CT driver line-up features three experienced pilots: Kumi Sato, a female racer who competed in a Lexus IS 250 in 2008; Masahiko Kageyama, who previously supported Toyota’s vehicle development programme; and MinoruTakaki, who is responsible for production vehicle development.
Obituary: Total Control Racing is deeply saddened to report the sudden and untimely passing of much loved team director Graham Pearce. Following a short battle with cancer, Graham sadly passed away on Sunday, 8th May. He leaves behind loving wife Theresa and devoted children Ainee and Gordon. Graham was a very well known and highly respected member of TCR for the past 13 years and a pivotal character in the team's outstanding success. Mainly becoming a force in the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK, the team has also enjoyed huge success in a variety of other one-make saloon car categories such as the SEAT Cupra Championship and Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup. "We're all shocked and deeply saddened by Graham's passing, he was a true gentleman and a hugely important part of TCR", said team principal Lee Brookes on behalf of the Wednesbury squad, “He was very well known throughout the paddock, always offering a smile and a great sense of humour. "It's easy to say at a time like this how wonderful someone was but the fact is Graham was an incredible person and a fantastic friend to everyone at TCR. He was a thoroughly charming man. All our thoughts and prayers are with Graham's family at this heart-breaking and deeply distressing time. Our heartfelt condolences go out to them all – Graham will be very sadly missed by everyone associated with TCR.”
Britcar: Sarah Bennett-Baggs and Jensen Lunn were back out in their Adrian Flux sponsored BMW E46 M3 at Donington on the weekend where the duo managed to score their first podium of the season coming 2nd overall in the 3rd round of the Britcar Production Championship. Pic Mick Herring read report
Karts: After an extremely solid performance in the 2011 Super 1 Series curtain-raiser at PF International, William Taylforth demonstrated that he is a genuine challenger for British title glory this year with his maiden podium finish on the national karting scene in round two at Shenington. Pic Chris Walker/www.kartpix.net read report
GP3: Adrian Quaife-Hobbs will get his first taste of F1 power when he carries out testing duties for the Marussia Virgin Racing F1 team at Idiada, Spain on Sunday. The 20 year-old GP3 racer competes for the sister Marussia Manor Racing GP3 team and as part of the Marussia Virgin Young Driver Development Programme will carry out approximately 300 kms evaluating the body work of the car used in the first three races of 2011. Thereafter he will evaluate the new and updated car in preparation for the remaining rounds of the Formula One World Championship. Adrian will visit the Sheffield workshop on Thursday for a briefing and seat fitting prior to flying out early on Saturday for Sunday’s test which gets underway at 9am. The Tonbridge racer is relishing his first outing in an F1 car and quick to thank the team for the opportunity. “I’m very much looking forward to driving an F1 car for the first time and must thank the Marussia Virgin Racing team for the faith they have shown in me in allowing me to carry out aerodynamic testing in their new car. “It’s a great opportunity to get the chance to drive an F1 car as the team carries out computerised design testing with the new car. We’ll be testing lots of aero parts and I’m really proud to be playing a part in it. Doing aero testing there is no pressure to perform but it will give me a great opportunity to see how the F1 team works.” Following the test, Adrian will return to racing action in the next double-header rounds of the 2011 GP3 Series which take place over the weekend of 20-22 May at the Catalunya circuit in Barcelona, Spain.
LMS: Pegasus Racing won its category again in the Spa-Francorchamps event but this time the success was obtained in very different conditions to the team’s victory at Le Castellet. Unlike many others, Germans Micro Schultis and Patrick Simon, and Frenchman Julien Schell kept out of trouble throughout the 1000-km race. Thanks to their consistency they saw the flag in second place behind a car that was subsequently disqualified for a technical infringement. They inherited victory, and this has helped the team from Strasbourg to consolidate their position as leader in the championship. Read report
Audi has been a successful participant in customer racing since 2009 with the R8 LMS. quattro GmbH builds the racing models at its motorsports factory in Heilbronn-Biberach. 35 units are currently being raced worldwide by customer and importer teams. “The R8 LMS is the first race car from Audi developed specifically for customer racing,” says Werner Frowein, Managing Director of quattro GmbH. “The car allows our customers to also experience the sporty genes of the R8 family on the race track.” The R8 LMS is entered in 17 race series and numerous individual races in 2011 in the hope of expanding on its successful record of seven titles and 65 wins so far. quattro GmbH is responsible for the construction and further development, and also for sales and technical support for the customer and importer teams. “Around 250 hours of work go into every Audi R8 LMS,” says Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Customer Racing. “Perfection is very important to us.” The customer racing model is based on the aluminium body of the Audi R8. Since 90 percent of the components are identical, it comes from the body shop of the R8 production shop in Neckarsulm. The only difference is that the R8 LMS is also equipped with a safety cell designed specifically for racing. Weight plays an important role in motorsports. Except for the doors and the roof, which are made of aluminium, the entire outer skin of the Audi R8 LMS is made of carbon fibre. To save even more weight, the body is not painted, but rather coated only with a cathodic dip coating (CDC). The race car is then assembled at the customer racing factory at the satellite site in Heilbronn-Biberach, roughly five kilometres (three miles) from the Audi site in Neckarsulm. Synergies are exploited here, as well. Audi developed the production version of the R8 as a pure sports car. As a result, a little more than half of the parts are used in the racing version without modification or with only slight modifications. The V10 engine is also largely identical to the production version. “That gives it unrivalled durability,” says Liebchen. By the same token, the lessons learned from racing flow back into series production. The coilover suspension of the R8 GT comes from the customer racing model – yet another example of the transfer of know-how between motorsports and production. The concept will be expanded in the near future, with a modular customer racing programme offering interested buyers a model lineup featuring new vehicles beginning in 2012 and significantly expanding the classes and types of races in which Audi customer race cars can enter. The Audi TT RS, which made its debut as an endurance racer during testing on the North Loop of the Nürburgring in 2010, is the first step down this road.
Audi contests the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a closed car for the first time since 1999. Aerodynamic efficiency was the focus of attentions during development of the new Audi R18 TDI because it plays an even larger role at Le Mans than in the past. "A closed car is not necessarily more efficient," stresses Dr. Martin Mühlmeier, Head of Technology at Audi Sport. "Race cars designed to generate very high downforce levels, in Formula 1 for example, are also very efficient ‘open’ designs. If you want to go in the direction of low drag or must, like now at Le Mans with the engine power being reduced and the circuit characteristics still dominated by long straights and high speed, then a ‘closed’ car is more efficient than an ‘open’ one." Read more
Silverstone Classic: Silverstone’s comprehensive catering facilities will be enhanced by the addition of Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts at this summer’s Silverstone Classic (22-24 July). Based right at the heart of the festival on the Village Green area, Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts will be providing festival-goers with beautiful freshly prepared food. "I've been cooking for large catering events since I was a kid, so now I'm really proud to introduce Jamie Oliver's Fabulous Feasts. Our only focus is to make sure that our food lifts the event. We want to take the experience to another level and make it as memorable as it can be,” said Jamie Oliver who established Fabulous Feasts with event catering and fresh produce expert Nigel Harris.
Radical UK Cup: Bradley Ellis is revving up for the next Radical rounds on Saturday, May 14, at Oulton Park, Cheshire, as the championship fight returns to the UK after its first international outing at Spa Francorchamps last weekend. Ellis will be hoping to continue his consistent championship progress in the third and fourth Radical UK Cup rounds this weekend following promising results so far with new teammate Andy Cummings. With no championship points up for grabs at Spa, the Supreme Racing duo opted to limit tyre-wear yet managed to bounce back from a tricky qualifying session to deliver a 12th place Supersport finish in race one. Dramatic set-up changes to control understeer on the Radical SR3 left the pair hopeful of making the most of Ellis’ seventh place grid slot for race two but that was cancelled following an incident in qualifying for the Spa 1000km. Despite that disappointment, Ellis believes significant steps forward with the set-up leave them in good stead as the championship battle resumes at Oulton Park where the 23 year-old Croydon-born ace will be aiming for his first class podium. “I’m really pleased with how the season is going so far,” said Ellis. “We’ve already recorded respectable results, which is great especially considering I haven’t raced in the series for four years and this is Andy’s first Radical season. I think we were on for a shot at a class podium at Spa, but there’s little we could do about the race being cancelled. In any case, there were no championship points on offer so it would mean a lot more to achieve a podium at Oulton Park. Oulton is a great circuit. It’s a track I enjoy and I’m sure Andy will quickly get to grips with the Radical around there. Every time we race we are making massive progress on all levels, from Andy’s valuable race experience to the set-up of the car. It would be nice to get our first class podium and we go to Oulton with that intention, but to do that we have to keep concentrating on perfecting our race package. If we continue our rate of positive progress the results will naturally follow, so I’m really looking forward to it.” Qualifying for rounds three and four of the Radical UK Cup will take place at 09:05 and 09:25 on Saturday, May 14, before Cummings tackles only his third ever Radical race start at 12:15. The lights will go green for race two at 16:00 as Ellis embarks on his mission to take his first class podium of the season.
Porsche Carrera Cup GB :Drivers from the Porsche Carrera Cup GB have just completed two days of training ahead of the Porsche Carrera World Cup on the Nürburgring Nordschleife (Saturday 25 June). The drivers spent Monday (9 May) at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone learning about the challenge of the Nordschleife from track expert Lucas Luhr, and then switched to The Race Centre on Tuesday to spend time learning the track on simulators. “The Nordschleife is a very special track and it is very quick,” said Luhr as he talked around a lap of the 14-mile track. “It is not like any other race track and you have to find a fluent, easy rhythm. One of the most important things is to know where the changes of surface are. It is challenging and it is the best circuit in the world. But never underestimate the Nordschleife.” The German ace has completed more than 1000 racing laps of the famous track. Current Carrera Cup GB championship leader James Sutton, who has never yet been to the Nurburgring, said it was a very useful two days. “It is a lot to take in and it should be an incredible experience,” said Sutton. “The experience that Lucas Luhr has of the track has been really useful for us.” 2011 race winners Euan Hankey and Stephen Jelly both recently visited the track for the first time. “It is the most incredible track I’ve ever seen and I just wish I’d gone there earlier. I can’t wait for the race,” said Hankey. “I think it is a fantastic opportunity,” said Jelley. “It’s going to be very hard but it is great to have the chance to race there.” Up to 25 competitors from the Carrera Cup GB and the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Challenge will contest the race, which runs prior to the start of the 39th ADAC 24-hour race. It will run over a distance of six laps, approximately 95 miles, and more than 250,000 spectators are expected to watch the race. The Porsche Carrera World Cup forms the season highlight of Porsche’s 18 brand trophy series worldwide. This race counts as a round of several other national Carrera Cups, including Germany and Scandinavia. The entry for the race will be divided into two classes: the 911 GT3 Cup with 3.6-litre engines from 2007 to 2009 model years (400 to 420 hp) and the 3.8-litre versions of the 2010 and 2011 model years (450 hp).
Karts: For Felix Nilsson, the South European Trophy in Varennes-sur-Allier had a special importance. Organised in France by the CIK/FIA - the International karting federation - this meeting was intended to select the group of candidates admitted to the next European Championship, this summer. It was a mission accomplished for the Swedish young driver, who did not take long to join some pof the best drivers in KF3. Read more
It had been coming for quite some time so when Matty Graham finally banished the run of ill-fortune that has dogged him throughout 2011 to streak to success in the second round of the national Super 1 Series at Shenington,it was very welcome and arguably the most impressive triumph of his burgeoning career. pic Chris Walker/www.kartpix.net Read more
Castle Combe: There is just one month to go until the next exciting Castle Combe “Action Day” – the Classics and Sports Cars Action Day, happening at the heritage-rich Wiltshire circuit on Saturday 11th June. The popular, historic 1.85-mile circuit has been hosting Action Days for three decades now from its base in the beautiful Cotswolds. And each bespoke “Action Day” event attracts a plethora of outstanding circuit cars, motor clubs, trade stands and big crowds – whilst also giving club members the chance to experience the speedy circuit at full tilt, firsthand, at great prices, from just £30 (£35 on the day). As well as thespecial set sessions for classic cars, modern sports cars and the special cherished car sessions on circuit, new for this 2011 Classics and Sports Cars Action Day event, are Escorted “Club Parade” lap runs. These sessions give a unique opportunity for club drivers, and their families, to safely lap the circuit at 40-mph behind the Castle Combe pace car. They are bespoke for each group of classic and sports car marque and all include a pose for a group photograph on the start-finish straight, to record the auspicious occasion. The track is also used for another gigantic parade lap at lunchtime, the “Giant Classic Cruise” – where every car in the paddock is invited to join in a show lap for the drivers, passengers and crowds alike to soak up the unique Castle Combe classic atmosphere. Last year, more than 200 vehicles took part – making it one of the many highlights of the event. Also new for 2011 is a dedicated paddock area for individual owners of classic “tax exempt” cars (pre-1973). And, running alongside the Action Day in a separate area of the paddock (with its own parking and costing £10 to enter separately), is an exciting Classic Car and Automobilia auction, run by Richard Edmonds (www.richardedmondsauctions.com). Tickets for the fabulous family car and circuit enthusiasts event are only £8 in advance, plus 50p P&P/credit card charge, or £10 on the gate, on the day, with under 16s going free of charge, and with discounts available for track time and admission for car club exhibitors (accepted clubs and groups get free admission tickets, free display space, the ability to join in the lunchtime cruise and can also purchase track time at specially reduced prices). For more information on the Classics & Sports Car Action Day visit www.castlecombecircuit.co.uk.
GT Academy: Britain’s best console racers have competed head to head to win a chance to become a real life racing driver. After completing a series of races on the hugely popular Gran Turismo®5 game and a series of other challenges, the two places to represent the UK at the international final went to 19-year-old Jann Mardenborough from Cardiff and 29-year-old James Hudson from Bromley. The ultimate prize is a seat in a Nissan 370Z at the Dubai 24 hour international endurance race.Jann and James will now join the other 28 International finalists at the ultimate five day ‘ Race Camp’ in June, Participants will have the chance to develop new skills through an intense series of driving along with both physical and mental aptitude tests. GT Academy, a partnership between Nissan and Sony Computer Entertainment, provides a platform to see if it is possible to successfully take a car racing gamer from the virtual world into the real world of racing cars at a high level. The first winner in 2008, Lucas Ordoñez, is continually proving how successful this competition can be with not only success in the FIA GT4 championship but has now secured a seat at the 2011 Le Mans 24 hour race in the Signatech Nissan LMP2 team. To celebrate this fact, the 2011 International Boot Camp will commence at Le Mans 24 hour race and then proceed onto Silverstone for the five day work out.
Moto GP: With the AirAsia British Grand Prix (MotoGP) just a few weeks away (10 – 12 June), Silverstone has confirmed that Grand Prix legend Mick Doohan will be attending on both the Saturday and Sunday, and he’s looking forward to meeting the fans. After visiting the Isle of Man for the 2011 TT races, five-time World Champion Doohan will be heading to Silverstone where fans will be able to meet the popular Australian at autograph and Q&A sessions. Doohan will also be making appearances on the main entertainment stage on both days of the British Grand Prix. Commenting ahead of his first visit to Silverstone, Doohan said “I plan to hop over to Silverstone for the MotoGP race right after the TT to catch up with some old mates and meet some of the race fans. I’ve never visited the place before and with all the new work they’ve been doing to the track and the pits it all looks pretty cool.” Doohan dominated the then-500cc premier class during the 1990s, winning five consecutive World Championships from 1994 to 1998. The 1997 season was notably his most successful year as the Australian won 12 of the 15 races.
The Volkswagen Racing Cup with FUCHS Lubricants heads to Snetterton this weekend for the latest instalment of Britain’s best-supported national saloon race series. For not only is the track completely new, having undergone a multi-million-pound redesign over the winter, but there will be new cars on the grid, with returning drivers and a few car swaps in addition. One of the new machines will be the all-new Caddy Racer, which was too fresh-from-the-box to make the grid at Oulton Park last month. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles boss Simon Elliott will be at the wheel of the 2.0-litre petrol turbo-engined Caddy. The championship battle is currently tied at the top of the points table between 2008/’09 Champion Joe Fulbrook, whose turbocharged Bora claimed the 12th race win of its career at Oulton, and James Walker, who won the other Oulton encounter at the wheel of a newly built KPM Golf GTI. Walker will be back in his regular Golf GTI - which he raced to the top four in the championship last year - while his Oulton race-winning machine will be taken over by racing returnee Mark Howard, the 1993 Renault 5GT Turbo Champion. Just 10 points behind the leaders is the reigning champion, Steve Chaplin, whose ‘Herbie’-liveried Beetle placed third in both of the opening rounds. The new circuit layout may just suit the Beetle, an example of which has not won a race at Snetterton since 2001. The twin victor at Snetterton last year was Peter Felix, who went on to run Chaplin close for the championship, but the Derby driver endured a torrid time in the opening rounds of this season with only a single fourth-place finish to show for his troubles. Richard Walker - truck racing champion dad of James - has won twice at Snett, in 2007 on his championship debut and in ’09, and was on strong form at Oulton in another KPM Golf. Steve Wood’s return after a two-year absence has gone well and the Gloucestershire driver holds fifth in the championship. AWM team-mates Aaron Mason, Tim Snaylam and Martyn Walsh and their Golf GTIs hold top-nine championship slots, with P10 held by the youngest driver in the field, Zoe Wenham, who has just celebrated her 17th birthday. Snetterton is set also to play host to the return of SEAT Cars UK MD Peter Wyhinny; he will drive the only non-Volkswagen in the field, the Leon Cupra. pic jakob Ebrey Photography
Intersteps Championship: It was honours even between the three Fortec Motorsport team mates at Snetterton. Alex Walker took the victory spoils in the first race, with championship leader Jake Dennis victorious in the second. But as they clashed in the third race of the weekend, it was Ed Jones who picked up his first win. Read report
Saloons: Adrian Churchill was in championship winning form again at Snetterton, with his Courtenay Sport Vauxhall Astra VXR taking victory in all three Dunlop Production Car Trophy races. Read report
ILMC: Victory looked like a distinct possibility for the Audi R18 TDI of Benoît Tréluyer and his team-mates André Lotterer and Marcel Fässler in round two of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup at Spa-Francorchamps last Saturday, before issues ultimately left them fifth. Read report
Phil Quaife was denied a maiden podium finish in the Le Mans Series during last weekend’s second round at Spa-Francorchamps, when co-driver Klaas Hummel was the innocent victim of an accident with just six minutes remaining. Quaife produced a fine display in qualifying to put the CRS Racing Ferrari 430 he shares with Dutchman Hummel and fellow Brit Adam Christodoulou third on the grid in the competitive LM GTE Am category for the six-hour race at the iconic venue. Read report
Alps Championship: The “Euroformula Volant” 2010, Paul Loup Chatin, took part in the second leg of the Alps Championship last weekend at Imola. In race one he stepped up onto the third step of the podium after a clean fight for victory. In the second race an early spin saw him drop to the back of the field where he stages a storming recovery driver to sixth at the flag. Chatin still some misgivings after he broke his anti-roll bar with his second set of new tyres, preventing him from improving his position in qualifying so he had to be satisfied with a 3rd and 4th place on the grid for the two races.After the first race, Paul Loup started the second race with high ambitions. Held up behind 3rd place he tried to make a quick pass in order to stay up with the leaders. Unfortunately when he made his move, Paul Loup found himself on the dirt and spinning out. Rejoining the fray in last place, more than 10 seconds behind the final car, he recovered to 6th place. Paul LoupChatin: “Even if I lost some precious points in the second race, I still have every chance in the championship. We’re very competitive and the championship has a way to go. This second podium boosts my confidence and the times I made in the race bode well for the future. I hope to climb on the podium again for the next race which will run on the PAU track and rise some more in the general ranking of the championship.” Laurent Fradon, Director of Euroformula was also very satisfied: “Paul Loup again showed all his qualities this weekend, most notably when he moved up from last to 6th position and scored more points in the championship. He has the essential mind set to hope for a career in motorsport. Victory isn’t far away and I think he’ll be able to make it a reality in the next races.”Next meeting for Paul Loup Chatin on 23-24 May at Pau where his heart will be set on reaching the top step of the podium.
Croft Circuit near Darlington yesterday showcased the line-up of high-profile motor sport it has in store for the North East region in 2011 – starting with the all-action MCE. Ticketing information is available from Croft’s website www.croftcircuit.co.uk or by calling 01325 721815 while admission to every event for accompanied children aged 15 and under is FREE. All admission includes open access into Croft’s race team paddock – enabling public to mingle with the stars of the show. Those in attendance at Croft yesterday included Michael Laverty who, riding for the Guisborough-based Swan Yamaha team, will be challenging for his first win of the season in front of what is expected to be a mammoth BSB crowd this weekend. Joining him were two of the rising stars of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Frank Wrathall and James Nash. Wrathall wowed onlookers with his brand new Dynojet Toyota Avensis race car, while Nash, currently third in the standings, was on hand to provide a driving masterclass at the wheel of a Vauxhall Vectra akin to the car he races in the BTCC. Both will be in action during the BTCC’s race weekend at Croft in just over a month’s time on Father’s Day weekend, 18-19 June. Thriving Leeds sportscar manufacturer Ginetta also demonstrated its rumbling V6-powered G55 model that features in the supporting Ginetta GT Supercup series which races at BTCC events.From historics, Whitley’s Bay’s Richard Evans (1979 March Formula Atlantic), Harrogate’s Peter Lanfranchi (1961 Jaguar E-type) and Barrow in Furness’s Andy Yool (1972 Ford Escort) gave a taste of what’s in store for fans come Croft’s much anticipated Nostalgia Weekend (6-7 August).A terrific selection of World War II machinery – including a rare Auster reconnaissance plane – added further colour thanks to the Military Vehicle Trust organisation (see www.croftmilitary.co.uk) that is instrumental in piecing together the off-track line-up of entertainment during the Nostalgia event. Indeed, the two-day festival will attract large displays from a wide variety of classic cars and motorbikes for the public to savour – including 50 E-type Jaguars which will be present to celebrate the golden anniversary of what is one of British motoring’s most iconic cars. Furthermore, Croft yesterday also confirmed a fourth major headline event at its circuit in 2011 – a stage of the R.A.C Rally, one of the world’s most revered competitive historic car rallies on Saturday 3 December.
Formula 3: New South Wales driver Steel Guiliana completed just his second ever test of a Formula 3 racing car last week. The 19-year-old from Gosford, looks set to race with R-Tek Motorsport in the 2011 F3 Australian Drivers Championship, challenging for the Forpark Australia F3 Scholarship that awards the winner $50,000 towards a championship-class drive the following season. uiliana is a successful Karter both in Australia and abroad and also raced in the competitive Formula BMW Asia series – but will return to Aussie shores this year driving an F304 Dallara. He tested at Mallala last Friday, completing more than 80 laps of the Adelaide circuit and lapping competitively on a new tyre run at the end of the day. Guiliana’s inclusion in the 2011 grid ensures a host of young Aussie talent set to take the starter in two weeks time after three years of championship domination from international drivers, primarily from the UK. Steel said that he was ready for the Formula 3 challenge. “I built up speed over the course of the day, Ian and the R-Tek guys were very patient as I worked into it and by the end of the day I was really pleased with how it went,” he said. “I always start slowly while you learn a new car and a new track, before building up your speed as the day goes on. I was really impressed with the team and the way they worked, and the opportunity to drive both their cars (with different set-ups) was also really good. I was pretty comfortable in the car and it felt like a good building process for the year. The track dropped off towards the end of the day when we put new tyres on but the team was happy with the times I was doing. It’s as much about getting the pace out of me now, but I’m confident that will come.” Guiliana said that the opportunity to secure funding for the future was part of the appeal of racing in the Forpark Scholarship this year – as well as the opportunity to race a Formula 3 car at an affordable budget. “I Loved the F3 car, it’s unbelievable,” he enthused. “At the moment there is a lot going for the National Class. It’s the right step for me to go into an F304 car and race for the Forpark Scholarship, which is a great concept and really supports young drivers. We haven’t put pen to paper yet but it will happen, and we’re looking forward to doing some more testing and then going to Winton for the first round and working out where we stand.”
Also testing at Mallala was Irish driver Lee Farrell, who tested the sister R-Tek F304 in an effort to ‘dislodge some of the rust’ after a year and a half out of the seat. Farrell completed 30 laps on old tyres but worked down to consistent and competitive times by the end of his run. The Irish driver is close to securing his budget for the season where he anticipates racing for the Gold Star with a new team to Formula 3 competition. “We’re in a race to get the budget sorted for Winton, but I’m doing everything I can do make it happen. Running on Friday was as much a chance for me to get my eye back in as it was to show my backers how serious I am about winning the championship this year. “I’ve got to thank R-Tek for giving me the chance to do some laps, and hopefully we can announce our plans this week ahead of round one.” The Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship for the CAMS Gold Star begins at Winton Raceway on May 19-21.
Next weekend sees the start of the Italian Formula 3 season at Franciacorta, It is Facu Regalia´s first season racing in Formula 3, and after a positive pre-season with Team Ghinzani Facu he is optimistic about the first race. After all his work over the past months where he has got used to driving a Formula 3 car, now it is the moment to implement it in official racing. “I concluded my pre-season trainings really happy, both for the work done by the team as for mine. I gained confidence driving my Dallara-FPT, because I learnt new things at technical level. My results were good, always among the fastest drivers. Of course they were private trainings, and we don´t know what and how other teams were testing, but I got a good feeling”, he explained. Autodromo di Franciacorta, at 2.5kms, is where many of the teams test and is therefore well known to most of them. For this meeting, “we have to be focused and to continue in the same line. I look forward, I received tips from my team-manager, engineer and mechanics and which I am taking in account”, added Regalia.
F2000: Nathan Morcom has had ‘one of those weekends’ in the third and fourth rounds of the American F2000 Championship Series at Road Atlanta. After his debut win in the series at Virginia International Raceway last month, Morcom could only salvage a fifth placing from the weekend’s two races. Car problems and a minor driving error dashed the 19 year-old Sydneysider’s chances of maintaining his Rookie of the Year lead and improving his second overall position in the ultra-competitive US ‘development’ openwheeler series. pic Kniffin Photography read report
Grand-Am: AIM Autosport’s BMW-Riley sponsored by GAMMA88 will be displayed at the TA Travel Center near Richmond, Va. on Wednesday (May 11). From 2–6 pm, the team will stop at TA’s Richmond Travel Center on I-95 at exit 89 in Ashland to display its car on the way to compete at the upcoming Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway. AIM’s striking GAMMA88 sports car—the real race car, not a show-car replica—will be available for close-up viewing and several crew members will be on hand to answer questions about the car and the racing series. Race fans will also have the opportunity to meet driver Mark Wilkins who is always happy to chat and sign autographs, while GAMMA88’s spokesmodels will happily answer questions, distribute information and pose for photographs with the race car.Those who join the GAMMA88 Club will receive a free 30-day supply of the fuel-saving, emission-reducing supplement. Admission discounts for the upcoming race will be given out and ten lucky people will even win free weekend passes. Once everything is packed away after the event, the team will continue its journey to the race track for the May 13–14 event. Round four of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, the Bosch Engineering 250
Ginetta: The new Snetterton 300 will play host to the Ginetta Challenge this weekend with two cracking races expected on the new circuit. Two storming races at Oulton Park on Easter Saturday were the perfect way to kick off the new-look Ginetta Challenge. There are now two classes of car, with a number of the older G20s racing for the own class title against the younger closed-top G40s, and that produced battles all through the field in Cheshire. Wins were split between Mark Davies (Optimum Motorsport) and Academy Motorsport’s Sean Huyton, although it is the consistent Clive Richardson (Colards Motorsport), with two second places, who heads the title race. The tree surgeon is just a point clear of Huyton who drove a storming second race at Oulton to take a win, while former Renault Clio racer Mike Robinson (TCR) lies third after a brace of third places.Race one winner Davies is the man who needs to make up ground at Snetterton. Two years ago when he won the G20 title, he had a pattern of winning one race and then having a drama, not always self-induced, in the second. History repeated itself at Oulton as he was part of a gaggle of cars too wide for the track at Island Bend and it was the Yorkshireman who was spat out of the pack and on to the grass. As a result, he is 23 points away from the leader.Others to watch in the G40 contest include HHC Motorsport’s Richard Sykes and his team-mate Phil House who had a miserable second race which ended early when a fuse blew, plus impressive Junior graduate Ryan Ratcliffe (Piranha Motorsport) and team-mate Scottish racer Rory Bryant who showed impressive pace in race two.The older G20s still provide excellent racing and Gary Simms (Optimum Motorsport) returned to the cars in style at Oulton Park by bagging two wins, despite a gearbox problem in the second race. Matt Flowers is his closest pursuer although Stuart Pearson will be in the mix as well after a race win in 2010.On the new Snetterton 300, slipstreaming and overtaking will be a feature race-long. Get set for some tremendous action.
Britcar: The Mazda MX-5 GT secured its second podium finish of the race season in the two hour Britcar Production GTN Championship 2011 at Donington Park circuit on Sunday. This puts the Mazda second in its class in the championship standing. Qualifying on Saturday saw the Mazda Financial Services and Motul backed Mazda MX-5 GT placed eighth in class on the grid.On race day, competition rivals Seat Leon, Ginetta G50 and Lotus Elise were no match for the handling, agility and performance of the 850kg Mazda MX-5 GT.Owen Mildenhall started the race and by the mid race handover he had climbed through the field to fifth in class. Mark Ticehurst continued to push for places, finishing the race third in class.Also entered by Mazda was a standard MX-5 in the production class - driven by Mike Wilds, Former F1 Driver and Mark Hales, freelance journalist - which finished fourth in class.“Fine tuning the transmission software and adding a new traction control system before the race at Donington improved the drivability of the car, as well as handling. With further developments in the pipeline we will see more improvements in performance for the Thruxton race in June,” commented Graeme Fudge, PR director, Mazda UK.
Historics: The 50th anniversary of the Jaguar E-Type is marked with a strong entry for the Masters Festival this Bank Holiday weekend (28-30 May) at Brands Hatch. Included in the E-Type entries for the Gentlemen Drivers race are former British Touring Car driver John Clark, GT Champion Nathan Kinch and historic racing stalwarts Martin Stretton and Gary Pearson, who will be racing one car with his brother John, plus another in the same event! Also present will be fellow historic racer Chris Scragg. With the enduring popularity of the E-Type, described by Enzo Ferrari as the “world’s most beautiful car” undiminished, the grid for the two-hour endurance race will feature newly-prepared cars as well as long-established racers. They will need to make a pitstops in the race, which includes driver changes, recalling the classic GT encounters from the car’s heyday.Also present amongst the E-Types are classic Cobras, Bizzarinis, Austin Healeys, TVRs and Lotuses, including a 1964 Elan once raced by Grand Prix driver and team owner Jackie Oliver. As well as being one of the most expensive and mouth-watering grids assembled, it is also expected to be highly competitive.The Masters Festival also features a varied schedule of races featuring some of the most evocative cars from the post-war era, which includes Formula One, Sportscars and Touring cars as well as an Interseries Revival race – where the cars from the world’s best racing series would feature on the same grid. Tickets for the Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch on 28-30 May are now on sale from £17 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or visit www.brandshatch.co.uk
FIA GT: Nissan’s historic success in yesterday’s GT1 World Championship Qualifying Race in Portimão was followed up by further domination in today’s Championship Race, as the German pairing of Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm claimed victory in the no.23 JR Motorsports, and Jamie Campbell-Walter and David Brabham, in the no.21 Sumo Power GT, secured an excellent third place. Read report
This last weekend the Portuguese circuit of Portimao welcomed the third round of the FIA GT1 World Championship, and the start of the European FIA GT3 competition, which Maxime Martin was thoroughly looking forward to, as he was competing in four races over a period of two days! Unfortunately both in GT1 and GT3, the young Belgian’s assignment was to be a pretty complicated one. read report
Porsche Club: Donington Park hosts round five and six of the 2011 Porsche Club Championship on Sunday May 15th, and so far one driver has done all the winning – Mark Sumpter unbeaten with four race wins to date in his trusty 911 SC. Championship leader Sumpter has been chased hard by the leading 968 CS drivers, with Ben Demetriou twice second at Brands Hatch and Pete Morris and Mark McAleer each taking that slot at Croft. Sumpter’s victorious 911 is due to be replaced by the 964 C2 his Paragon outfit is building up, and any delay in getting his new mount up to pace will see his rivals closing in the points chase. The Class One battle at the front of the field has been tightly fought, with other drivers to watch for including Kevin Harrison, always strong in his 964 in the early laps, Miles Maserati, on the podium at Croft, and Andy Purdie due to make his debut in a second Paragon 964. Reigning champion Chris Dyer heads the Class Two line up, his 944 S2 often well up in the top ten and the handling of the 944 should suit the twisty first part of the Donington lap. Anthony Oliver chased Dyer hard at Croft, but the 2010 winner is so far unbeaten in class this season. Stiffer opposition is expected at Donington with 2010 Class One champion Marcus Carniel due to return in a 944 S2.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge makes its first visit to Donington Park this Sunday, May 15th, the series providing a racing home for the 400BHP racing Porsche GT3s formerly eligible for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and similar series across the world. The opening rounds at Brands Hatch in April were dominated by Oly Mortimer, but the young Scot retired from round three at Croft while chasing the experienced Nigel Rice, before then taking second behind Rice in the second round at the North Yorkshire venue. Mortimer’s Croft non-finish promoted Graeme Mundy to the head of the points table for the Driver of the Year award, Mortimer now second with the consistent Steve Liqourish third. Simon Blackley took his first podium finish at Croft, while another driver to watch is Yucel Ozbek, who has raced Porsches on the continent but is learning the UK circuits. Peter Smallwood took the 2010 Driver of the Year crown and has now stepped up to Class One in a 997 GT3, taking on his 2010 title rival Bertie Carruthers. The GT3 Cup Challenge concept forms part of Porsche’s world-wide racing activities, the UK only the second country to run both Carrera Cup and GT3 Challenge series. The international Porsche Supercup heads the Porsche GT3 series pyramid, with several nations or regions holding a Carrera Cup, and the GT3 Challenge then existing in other areas, or supporting the Carrera Cup as now happens in the UK .
ILMC: Just a few weeks ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Peugeot recorded an encouraging one-two at Spa-Francorchamps, after an enthralling six-hour race. Alexander Wurz, Anthony Davidson and Marc Gené clinched the win in the No.7 car ahead of car No.8’s drivers, Franck Montagny, Stéphane Sarrazin and Nicolas Minassian, who had started back in 48th position on the grid. Team Peugeot Total thus took another giant step forward in its preparation for Le Mans. read report
Audi Sport Team Joest experienced a roller-coaster ride of emotions on the new Audi R18 TDI’s race debut at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium): After a perfect qualifying session and a great showing in the early phases of the race the three Audi R18 TDI cars occupied positions three, four and five. read report
OAK Racing’s difficult Intercontinental Le Mans Cup weekend did at least conclude on a positive note at Spa-Francorchamps where the #35 LMP2 scored solid points with sixth in class that helped maintain its second place in the ILMC standings. The brand new LMP2, produced by OAK Racing’s in-house Design Office, confirmed the potential already demonstrated at Sebring and was an encouraging performance ahead of June’s Le Mans 24 Hours. Read report
After an incident filled race, Greaves Motorsport managed to bring the car home in 8th place in LM P2 class to score valuable points at today’s Spa 1000 Kilometres. There were quietly confident expectations for the Zytek Z11SN – Nissan driven by Karim Ojjeh, Gary Chalandon and Tom Kimber-Smith when the car lined up on the grid in 5th spot at the classic Belgian track.These hopes were dented early during Tom’s opening stint. After a good start he was forced to make a pit stop to cure a tyre issue which put the car out of synch with the rest of the class. The team switched to a slightly harder compound Dunlop and this change allowed Tom to run at a fast pace and the balance of his stint was without incident. Read report
The Nissan-powered TDS Racing Oreca took the victor’s spoils at the 1000kms of Spa. Nissan power also took second place with the Boutsen Energy Racing Oreca and fifth place for Signatech Nissan, driven by Nissan’s GT Academy graduate, Lucas Ordonez and his team-mates Franck Mailleux and Soheil Ayari. Nissan was pipped to the post in qualifying when the Honda-powered Strakka car took pole position. Nissan soon regained the upper hand when the race began and all four Nissan-powered cars jumped the Honda with Ayari taking the lead. The Signatech Nissan team opted to double stint Ayari before Lucas jumped aboard. Just before he pitted from the lead, Soheil had contact with a BMW and when Lucas took the wheel he felt that the steering wasn’t as it should be. “I opted to pit again so that the team could check that everything was okay,” explained Lucas. “They did some fast work on the car and sent me on my way and I was soon able to get back in the groove and put in consistently good lap times. The traffic is very hard to deal with here as on one side you have the Audis and the Peugeots and on the other the GT cars. There is a lot to deal with but each time I race I learn more.” The traffic caused problems for a lot of the cars today, not least the Greaves Motorsport team whose Zytek Nissan suffered damage that put the car in the garage for 45 minutes. For Signatech Nissan the result today was disappointing after the team took second at round one in Sebring. The fact that Franck Mailleux took fastest LMP2 race lap shows that the pace is still red hot and bodes well for Le Mans. Team boss Philippe Sinault knows his team is capable of the top results and this is always the target for his team. “It was all looking good at the start,” said Phillipe. “Lucas felt a vibration when he took over from Soheil so when he came in we changed the steering rack just to be safe. It’s good Le Mans training for the mechanics! Lucas’ times were good and he was on used tyres so he is doing a good job. We are of course disappointed not to win as we know we have the package to deliver the top results. Now we focus on Le Mans!”
Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship racer Ahmad Al Harthy is delighted to announce the participation of the Oman Air Racing Team in the latest round of the French national series this coming weekend, 14th/15th May, at Dijon-Prenois. The Muscat-born racer, who is currently third in the Pro-Am 1 Class driver standings in the British championship is relishing the opportunity to compete for only the second time in his career in mainland Europe.Branching out into mainland Europe is extremely significant for Ahmad, not just for his sporting ambitions and experience but perhaps even more importantly for the commercial opportunities it will bring for his sponsors – Oman Air, Nawras, National Bank of Oman, Brand Oman, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs and Oman Ministry of Tourism. “This is a fantastic opportunity for me, for the Oman Air Racing Team and for Oman as a whole”, said Ahmad, “We will do the very best we can on our first visit to Dijon, I can’t wait to get on track.” Ahmad’s first experience of Dijon-Prenois will come on Friday, 13th May, with the drivers enjoying three, one-hour test sessions. An additional practice will take place on Saturday, 14th May, ahead of qualifying for both encounters.
Formula Renault: Macau owned Asia Racing Racing had mixed feelings after the weekend 's AFR Series Rounds 1 and 2 at the Zhuhai International Circuit. Championship contender Chi Cong Li battled a mysterious electrical problem to finish 2nd in both races. However in race 1 he was penalized for a jump start which dropped him to, sixth. Meanwhile his teammate Thomas Chow managed to complete his first ever race. Read report
GP3: Adrian Quaife-Hobbs had a frustrating start to his GP3 campaign after a broken starter motor in the weekend’s opening 15-lap race effectively ended his chances of capitalising on his pre-season testing form. Adrian went into the opening rounds of the 16-race series buoyed by a scintillating pace in Barcelona in which he topped the time sheets. However race 1 didn’t go according to plan, a stater motor problem saw him pushed off the grid and forced to start the race from the pit-lane. He then incurred a drive-through penalty for the grid infringement but still he drove a strong race to make up six places crossing the line 24th. read report
Dean Smith received an 11th hour call-up to Spanish GP3 squad Addax at the weeknd for the races in Turkey. In the first outing on Saturday Dean was robbed of a seventh place finish, and front-row start for the second encounter, after having to avoid potential contact from behind into Turn 12. Instead, he crossed the line in ninth but still ended both races as the best placed Addax Team driver and second highest finishing Briton. Pic GP3 Media Service/LAT Read more
LMS: After a very strong race, the two cars of Rebellion Racing, Lolas-Toyota #12 & #13 finished in 7th and 9th place in the Spa 1000 km.. The y missed out on getting the first petrol car home due to damaged bodywork, damage that forced both cars to lose precious time in the pits. Nevertheless, Rebellion Racing scored valuable points for both ILMC and LMS championships. First petrol car on the grid was the Rebellion Lola-Toyota #12, Nicolas Prost starting the race from the 3rd row. After his first scheduled pitstop, Nico had to stop again to replace the rear-end of the car after a contact with a GT in Eau Rouge. With total commitment, both Prost and his co-driver Neel Jani, were able to recover to 7th overall, half a lap behind #16, which was the first petrol car. Starting from the back of the grid, Andrea Belicchi, in the second Rebellion Lola-Toyota #13, had a very good opening double stint and went from 50th to 11th place. Jean-Christophe Boullion took over and continued the effort but was forced to stop twice due to official marshall's decision to repair the left rear end of the bodywork of the car. At the end of the race, #13 was passed by a recovering Peugeot #9 and finished in 9th place. Read report
F2000: Kyle Connery made it two wins at Road Atlanta, hunting down Masters Class driver Tim Minor and passing him on the last lap with two corners to go to take his second F2000 Championship Series win in two days at Road Atlanta, and second win in three-ever races. Chris Livengood, Remy Audette and Jonathan Scarallo completed the top five . Connery, a rookie, lost the lead at the start as Minor passed the front row going into the first corner. Minor stretched his lead to some three seconds before Connery ran fast lap after fast lap, eventually catching Minor in the 18-lap race. From there the two exchanged the lead back and forth as the laps wound down before Connery snatched victory on the final lap. Pic: KniffinPhotography.com Read report
Formula Ford: Unpredictability and excitement are the key elements of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain, and those factors will be heightened next weekend (14/15 May) when the Ford-backed series visits the all-new Snetterton circuit in Norfolk for the first time. The old Snetterton was all about high-speed slipstreaming but the new circuit - which retains the former layout’s long straights - adds a further mile of challenging bends to the mix and is certain to play havoc with the form book as the Duratec-powered Formula Ford heroes get to grips with their new playground. Read more
Radical UK Cup: Bradley Ellis delivered another impressive Radical UK Cup performance around the Spa Francorchamps circuit, narrowly missing out on a top 10 finish after setting a blistering race pace as the second fastest car in the Supersports category. The sportscar racer, however, was unable to show his full potential in the Supreme Racing Radical SR3 due to the second round being cancelled on Friday afternoon. Undertaking his first ever full Radical UK Cup campaign alongside new teammate Andy Cummings, Ellis had an encouraging season start at Silverstone. After recording a top 10 finish and missing out on the Supersport podium battle thanks to a puncture, hopes were high for the 23 year-old to shine at Spa. Although the first international outing on the Radical calendar, as no championship points were on offer the team sensibly took the decision to limit tyre wear.After setting a steady pace in practice, the pair took on fresh tyres for qualifying but rather than improving their pace the new set produced significant understeer, which dramatically affected their lap times.With a drastic set-up review required overnight, Cummings took the challenge of starting race one on Friday morning without the privilege of a test run. Regardless, he took on the task with impressive ease. Cummings nailed only his second Radical start to charge from 20th in class and 40th on the overall grid to gain three places on the opening lap before a safety car period halted his progress. When racing resumed for just three laps, Cummings continued to master the new set-up to take a further slot before pitting from 16th in class. Despite his usual elongated pit stop as a Pro driver, Ellis joined the fray without losing class position, 30th overall amid the 50 car grid, and set about clawing back the big gaps which had naturally developed throughout the field. Immediately setting a blistering pace, the former British GT Champion consistently clocked up lap times some 4-5 seconds quicker than his fellow Supersports competitors. Second fastest in class only to one other car who had the luxury of a clear track, Ellis rapidly picked his way through the mid-field to move up to 12th in category. Ellis was about to mount his assault on the top 10 pack as the clock ticked down to the closing stages of the 40-minute enduro. He was hopeful of taking at least a few more places when the race leader nipped past at the final chicane to take the chequered flag, thereby robbing Ellis of a final lap charge by fractions of a second. After such a notable drive recovering from a disappointing qualifying session, Ellis was ready to make the most of his seventh in class grid slot for race two. Unfortunately the opportunity never arose due to a serious accident during qualifying for the Spa 1000km which caused the session to be red flagged and all subsequent racing to be cancelled.
F2000: Kyle Connery notched his first F2000 Championship Series win, taking the lead from his second place starting position at the drop of the green flag at Road Atlanta and leading all 18 laps in his second ever F2000 start. Remy Audette, the Championship points leader, recovered from a bad start, and running as low as seventh, to finish second with Tim Minor, Robert La Rocca and Nathan Morcom rounding out the top five. “It was a great race, I got a clean start and once I realized I was leading I just put my head down,” said Connery, who sat on pole at the season opener but failed to start the race after a massive qualifying crash. Connery added two bonus points to his day’s take as he set fastest lap around the 12-turn, 2.54 mile race track, and missed out on taking pole by just eight thousandths of a second. Pic: KniffinPhotography.com read report
Kyle Connery won pole for this afternoon’s final F2000 race of the weekend at Road Atlanta, lowering the track record in the process with a lap of 1:25.042 around the 2.54-mile road course. Connery is coming off his first career win, which happened on Friday at Road Atlanta as he led all 18-laps in the third race of the 2011 season. Chris Livengood will start alongside Connery as the two Americans also made contact during the qualifying session. “It’s great to get pole and the track record. It’s compounding on what we did on Friday”, said Connery, who sits fourth in the points standings, and notches his second pole of the year. “We made a change halfway through the session and put more rear wing in the car, which really helped the balance. As for making contact with Chris, there was slower traffic and I managed to get clipped and got into him,” the rookie added. Tim Minor qualified third ahead of Championship points leader Remy Audette, who leads the standings by 24 points over Robert La Rocca, with another point back to Australian Nathan Morcom in third. Angel Benetiz rounded out the top five after missing yesterday’s race due to a qualifying crash.Robert La Rocca was the first of the RFRs, driving for HP-Tech. Jonathan Scarallo followed in seventh ahead of Gustavo Rizzo, Nathan Morcom and Ardie Greenamyer.Morcom saw limited track time in the early morning practice as a gearbox problem struck the #2 Primus Racing Van Diemen.
Intercontinental Le Mans Cup : Whilst attempting a qualifying lap for the second round of the ILMC, the 1000 km of Spa, #15 OAK-Pescarolo pilot Matthieu Lahaye suffered a major off this afternoon following contact with a Formula Le Mans car. The Frenchman was between the Bruxelles and Pouhon corners of the famed circuit when the incident occurred. On his second flying lap at the time, the 26 year-old LMP1 driver made heavy contact with the Armco barrier, causing the race director to call an immediate halt to qualifying. Lahaye had already set the 8th fastest time of the session when he left the track.He was subsequently transferred to the Peltzer-la-Tourelle hospital in Verviers. Despite the magnitude of the accident, his physical condition is not cause for serious concern, with initial medical reports proving reassuring. Tonight, the thoughts of the team are with Matthieu.The OAK-Pescarolo #15 prototype held together well, despite the violence of the impact, fulfilling its key role of protecting the driver. Unfortunately, the team will be unable to repair the most significant damage to the car in time for the race, meaning Guillaume Moreau and Pierre Ragues will be unable to contest tomorrow’s 1000 km of Spa.Nevertheless, OAK Racing will be represented by the #35 OAK-Pescarolo LMP2 of Andrea Barlesi, Frédéric Da Rocha and Patrice Lafargue, who will be seeking a return to the podium following their superb third place finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Formula Renault: Russ Danzey graduated from a successful karting career into cars midway through 2010 with a promising entry in the Autosport Young Guns Championship,. Now however Russ has stepped up a gear by moving to Formula Renault BARC with the recently-founded, Mark Godwin-run MGR Motorsport outfit .pic Jakob Ebrey Photography read more
British GT: Jake Rattenbury is looking forward to the 2nd meeting of the British GT championship on the new Snetterton 300 circuit sharing a Ginetta G4 sportscar with Josh Wakefield, racing for Century Motorsport. They lead the G4 class in British GT after the first two races at Oulton Park.Looking back at the previous meeting Rattenbury commented “The Oulton Park weekend was an eye opener, and after a brake issue was solved by Nathan Freke’s Century Motorsport crew, it eventually turned out well. In qualifying we were on the back foot as we didn’t have enough time to learn in qualifying how to get the maximum from the car!” With Century Motorsport boss Nathan Freke having won the 2009 Ginetta G50 Championship (which is the type of car that Rattenbury is driving) they have an excellent driver coach who is still competing in 2011 in the Ginetta GT Supercup championship using the Ginetta G55. This is also been developed as a GT3 car and an example is being raced by the team in 2011. Looking ahead to the next race at the Snetterton 300 circuit on Sunday 15th May, which is a 2 hour race, Rattenbury commented “For Snetterton both myself and Josh are feeling confident after testing on the Snetteron 300 circuit in the Ginetta G4 car, with it performing well, and with a big boost after ending the Oulton Park weekend on a high, we knew we will have good pace and be ready for next weekend’s race. As championship leaders our pitstop will now be 72 seconds long as we have an extra 15 seconds for winning the last. pic Chris Roberts/WiderViewPhoto
Josh Wakefield is looking forward to the 2nd meeting of the British GT championship on the new Snetterton 300 circuit sharing a Ginetta G4 sportscar with Jake Rattenbury, racing for Century Motorsport. They lead the G4 class in British GT after the first two races at Oulton Park. Looking back at the previous meeting Wakefield commented “The Oulton Park weekend was a real struggle, but it eventually turned out well after a brake issue was solved and smoothed out. In qualifying we were on the back foot which meant we could not push the car as hard as we wanted, because we were not that comfortable and did not have enough time to learn ing qualifying how the car would behave!” At the start of Race 1 we got a good start with Rattenbury at the wheel and after a smooth driver change Wakefield worked his way up to third place but was quickly caught up by a KTM X-BOW, which seemed to be too quick to be in our class so the Wakefield/Rattenbury Ginetta G4 ended the race in 4th in class! At the start of Race 2 Wakefield made a great start to the race, working our way up to third place in class, after a major crash the safety car was deployed. Wakefield took advantage when the pitstop window opened, while the safety car was on circuit, to pit and handed over to Rattenbury. He soon caught the back of the pack again as the safety car had come in and our rivals decided to pit. Rattenbury then sailed on to have a 50 second lead in 1st place, but he suffered a gearbox problem where he could only select 3rd and 4th gear. The Lotus Evora who was running second soon caught them up with 2 laps left, and overtook on the last lap and finished 5 seconds clear of us. But Rattenbury knew that they had been overtaken by the Lotus under a yellow flag. At the end of the race, drivers Wakefield & Rattenbury were greeted by the series co-ordinator to tell them that the stewards had seen the illegal overtake and so they had won the race, as the Lotus had been given an 8 second penalty! This meant after the opening two rounds that they lead in the G4 class in the in the championship.Looking ahead to the next race at the Snetterton 300 circuit on Sunday 15th May, which is a 2 hour race, Wakefield commented “For Snetterton both myself and Jake are feeling confident after testing on the Snetteron 300 circuit in the Ginetta G4 car, with it performing well, and with a big boost after ending the Oulton Park weekend on a high, we knew we will have good pace and be ready for next weekend’s race. Also with Snetterton giving me good results on the circuit, with the last 2 years in a row scoring podiums, I hope it will treat us well this round.” pic Chris Roberts/WiderViewPhoto
LMS: RML AD Group has been forced to withdraw from Round 2 of the 2011 Le Mans Series at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium following a serious accident in Free Practice on Thursday. Mike Newton was driving the team’s Honda Performance Development HPD ARX-01 when the car was clipped into a spin by one of the leading LMP1 diesel prototypes.The session was instantly brought to a close while marshals and the circuit’s medical staff attended at the site of the accident. Despite the severity of the impact, Mike remained conscious for most of the time, and was taken immediately to the circuit medical centre for a preliminary examination. “Mike hasn’t got any lasting injuries from the accident,” said a relieved Phil Barker, Team Manager at RML. “He is bruised and shaken up, but we have to be very grateful that there wasn’t anything more serious. He’ll be feeling very sore for a few weeks, and the microphone hit him in the face, so he has some cuts and bruises, but he should make a full and fairly swift recovery.” “We would like to extend our thanks to the marshals, doctors and staff here at the circuit medical centre for their fast and very professional action, and also to the specialists at Verviers. Mike underwent a series of tests and scans to his head, neck, chest, abdomen, lower back and right leg. Thankfully, there was nothing broken and no internal injuries. They released him late last night and he was back in the hotel by just after ten.” pic Marcus Potts/CMC Read more
F2000: Jonathan Scarallo took pole for Primus Racing at Road Atlanta for the first race of the F2000 Championship Series doubleheader by a narrow eight thousandths of a second. Scarallo, from Hauppauge, New York, ran a lap of 1:25.308 around the 12-turn track to take his first pole since Elkhart Lake last year, where he scored his first and only F2000 win. “I was hoping we’d be on pole by more than just eight thousandths, but it’s a humongous improvement from VIR,” said Scarallo, who left the first two races of the season in Virginia a distant 18th in the point standings. It’s a great start with the bonus points but the race is what matters, there is more room for improvement so we are going to make some changes.” Scarallo was the first of three American drivers in the top three, rookie Kyle Connery, from Florida, will line up on the outside of the front row, while Chris Livengood, Pennsylvania, was another few hundredths of a second behind. Pic KniffinPhotography.com Read report
One of the worst kept secrets in the F2000 paddock, the #24 Alegra Motorsprots RFR/Zetec, officially turned some of its first laps on Thursday with Brazilian Fabio Orsolon behind the wheel. “Alegra worked very hard to put the new car together for this race and I am really thankful for their work and for the opportunity to drive the new car,” said Orsolon, making his first start since Mid-Ohio in 2010. Orsolon drove the full season for Alegra in 2009 and came back for a sophomore season in which the team won the title last year. He will lend some veteran guidance to Alegra’s two rookies, Gustavo Rizzo and Angel Benetiz, both in the Van Diemen chassis. Read more
The FFSA V de V series was in action last weekend at Le Mans last weekend. In winning all three of the weekend’s Funyo Challenge races, Marc-Antoine Dannielou didn’t drop a single point to his pursuers in the title race. In the Proto Endurance race, Olivier Porta and Damien Delafosse gave IRS and Wolf France their first win of 2011. There were also wins for Simon Gachet in the singleseaters, the Porsche of Gibon and Bourret in the GT/Tourisme and Jacques Nicolet and his son Pierre in the VHC French Endurance Challenge .pic Seb Warlet read race report
Ginetta GT Supercup: Ginetta GT Supercup championship leader Tom Sharp made the best of a difficult weekend with a spectacular drive from the back of the grid to salvage a podium finish in the final race at Thruxton. After qualifying on Saturday Sharp lined up in 4th place on the grid and was looking for some further podiums to consolidate his championship lead. The first race on Saturday afternoon saw Sharp drop back in 4th place for the first part of the race as he got used to a different setup. Once he had got a handle of the handling around the high speed Thruxton circuit he started to reel in the top three racers but couldn’t quite make the decisive overtake to get on the podium. In race two on Sunday morning Sharp made a better getaway to make a four way battle for the lead, but with the nature of the quick & abrasive track his tyres started to go off and so the grip went which meant he only managed an 8th place finish. After taking a grid penalty for fitting four new tyres to his G55 due to excessive tyre wear in race one and two, Sharp made quick progress through the field to finish the weekend on a high despite having to start 16th.“I think we’ll call this a result”, he said, “Taking the grid penalty and starting last was a pretty big gamble but we didn’t really have a choice. There was nothing left on the tyres from the previous race so we had to do it. We’re not sure why we’ve struggled so much, there’s a fundamental problem somewhere on the car – probably a failure of some sort we’re not aware of yet. We still have a substantial points lead but we’ll be looking to build on it at Oulton with another three wins!” The next races in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup championship will be at the Cheshire circuit of Oulton Park on June 4th & 5th. pics Chris Roberts/WiderViewPhoto
Rallycross: Westhoughton-based racer Tony Lynch will seek to extend his advantage in the Swift Sport Rallycross series when the Quaife MSA British Rallycross Championship heads to Blyton this weekend for the annual Night Race (7 May). In a change to the usual weekend format, free practice and qualifying will take place late on Saturday afternoon with the racing action then running well into the night under floodlights at the Lincolnshire circuit. Tony and his team, Team Geriatric, head to Blyton on the back of a winning start to the 2011 season at Lydden Hill, where Tony saw off the challenge of a bumper Suzuki grid to secure the first victory of the year. Tony makes the trip to Blyton seeking to win for the second successive season after his maiden victory in the Suzukis came in the corresponding event in 2010. “Winning last season at Blyton was fantastic although we got a bit of luck as the race was red-flagged and we won after the restart,” he said. “I’m keen to take another win this season but without needing a second chance, and I’m going to Blyton keen to try and repeat the performance I put in at Lydden Hill in round one.I know it won’t be easy as I think Dave Bellerby is still the quickest driver out there in the Suzukis, but we showed we can beat him at Lydden Hill and the whole team will be working hard to do it again this weekend. Leading the championship at this point in the year is nice, but we have to push hard to make sure we’re leading when it really matters at the end of the season.”
Formula 3: Runaway points leader of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series ‘Rookie Class’, Bart Hylkema, is focused on extending his unbeaten run of six straight victories when the championship resumes at Snetterton 300 Circuit in the east of England next weekend, 14th/15th May. Just under two weeks ago at Oulton Park, the 21-year-old dominated proceedings at the wheel of his T-Sport engineered Dallara Mugen-Honda as he did at Monza during the opening event. Heading into rounds seven, eight and nine, the Dutch racer is 58 points clear of Japanese driver Kotaro Sakurai and although the recently revised Snetterton 300 Circuit will provide another fresh challenge Bart is confident of a successful weekend. “I’m really looking forward to Snetterton, we’ve had a great start to the season and things couldn’t have gone much better to be honest”, he commented, “Next weekend will bring another new track for me to get to grips with but I’m sure we’ll be up-to-speed pretty quickly. Of course I want to try and take all three class wins again but the bigger goal is to get as close as possible to the A Class cars to mix it with those guys. With a bit more experience and more time in the car I’m confident we can get there – and hopefully that can begin at Snetterton.” Although having taken all six Rookie Class victories so far, Bart is only able to count five of them in his points total. This stems back to round one at Monza where Sakurai made contact with the rear of the Delft-based driver’s car. Requiring a lengthy pit-stop to rectify the damage, Bart returned to the track to take the win but his completed race distance was deemed insufficient to score by officials. Even so, the Geothex, TORO, Club Car, Ditch Witch and Annika Schultz Communications backed racer’s record in 2011 speaks for itself. So far in his debut year in F3, Bart has impressed with his pace and application and he’ll be looking to make even bigger strides forward as the season rolls on.Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography
The FIA WTCC heads to Monza for the third meeting of the season
next weekend. The event at the Autodromo Nazionale, is a
traditional one for the World Touring Cars.Monza hosted the
championship's inaugural event back in 2005 and then continued
to be home to the WTCC Race of Italy until 2008 and again from
2010, after being temporarily replaced by Imola in 2009.
The Compensation Weight system comes into force for the first time this season at Monza. The system determines the running weight of the cars on the basis of lap time calculation. The best lap times of the two fastest cars of each model in qualifying and the two best lap times of the two fastest cars of each model in both races are averaged. The calculation is based on a three event rolling average, being applied after the first two events. The compensation weight has been determined by the lap times set in Brazil and Belgium. The Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T was indentified as the reference model and will receive a compensation weight of 40kg in addition to the minimum weight. Both, the SEAT León TDi and the BMW 320 TC won't have any compensation weight added, while the Volvo C30 and BMW 320si will have 20kg deducted from its minimum weight. These weights may change, should SEAT and Volvo cars switch to the 1.6 turbo engine. In this case they would receive the maximum compensation weight as per art. 79 B5) of the Sporting Regulations.
DTM: Audi has a busy schedule this month. The DTM season opener at Hockenheim last week, the debut of the Audi R18 TDI at Spa this weekend followed by the next DTM race at Zandvoort on May 15. Audi has fond memories of the DTM’s Dutch round. The y have always been strong on the track in the dunes along the North Sea coast in the past. Particularly Audi’s showing in 2008 when the four current-specification Audi A4 DTM cars of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline occupied the top four places and the best Mercedes-Benz finished with more than a 20-second gap. In 2009 (pole position for Oliver Jarvis) and 2010 (pole position for Timo Scheider) Audi again set the benchmark at Zandvoort. That it was a Mercedes-Benz driver - Gary Paffett - who won nonetheless still upsets the Audi squad. The Hockenheim season opener has shown that the Audi A4 DTM apparently harmonizes well with the tyres of the new DTM supplier Hankook. The two-time DTM champions Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider both lived up to their leading roles by clinching positions two and four. And both are regarded as absolute Zandvoort specialists. Ekström has already won there three times while Scheider took pole n an equal number of times and is now set on finally claiming his first victor at the track. Martin Tomczyk, made a strong initial showing for Audi Sport Team Phoenix and has has previously won at Zandvoort (in 2007). Mike Rockenfeller and Oliver Jarvis struggled with the set-up of their cars at Hockenheim but both have carried out analyses of the data together with their vehicle engineers and aim to show at Zandvoort that they are sitting in two current Audi A4 DTM cars for a good reason. Particularly so as they have a strong team-mate in Miguel Molina who in last year’s A4 was very quick at Hockenheim yet again. Filipe Albuquerque and Edoardo Mortara paid dearly on their DTM debuts at Hockenheim. Team Director Arno Zensen (Audi Sport Team Rosberg), however, continues to be fully convinced of having two uncut diamonds in his team. Mortara was in a class of his own in the Formula 3 Euro Series at Zandvoort last year. And last but not least there is Rahel Frey,the young Swiss not only thrilled the paddock with her charm at Hockenheim but she also put in a solid performance. So, all nine Audi racers can hardly wait to start from the grid at Zandvoort. They want to deliver a similar amount of action as they did at Hockenheim and capture the top of the standings for Audi.
Karts: According to their country of origin, KF2 & KF3 drivers moved either to France, in Varennes-sur-Allier, or to England, in Brandon, to discover the new CIK/FIA South and North European Trophies. But the main goal of these two meetings was most of all achieving the qualification for the final phase of the European Championship, to be held in Zuera (Spain) in July. And finally there were 6 drivers on CRG chassis who accomplished the task. Read report
Silverstone Classic: The world’s largest classic motor racing festival has been launched in spectacular style. In front of 250 journalists, photographers and film crews, the 2011 Silverstone Classic burst into life yesterday (4 May) as some of the 800 cars expected at the event took to the track in glorious spring sunshine. Event Director Nick Wigley revealed that this year’s event – marking the 21st anniversary of the first classic racing festival at Silverstone – will be the biggest and best yet. “The numbers are astonishing. We will have more than 1,000 competitors racing more than 800 cars spanning the full spectrum of motor racing history right up the nineties. We are promised a number of exciting cars that are seldom seen racing in the UK including a newly restored black and gold JPS Lotus 72 grand prix car while an awesome Lancia Martini LC2 Group C sports car is due to star in an atmospheric dusk race on the Saturday.We are planning two special races celebrating the 50th anniversary of the glorious E-type Jaguar, with up to 58 examples starting one of the headline races on Saturday evening. ” he said. Under the banner ‘Rocking and Racing’, the three-day event promises a feast of entertainment for race fans and their families. There’s a full programme of 22 races for all manner of historic and classic machinery over the weekend – and there’s a celebrity charity event in identical race-prepared Morgans featuring star names from TV, radio and music – while the evenings are packed with live music: three top tribute bands on Friday followed by classic acts Suzi Quatro, 10cc and Wishbone Ash on Saturday.On Sunday, spectators will be encouraged to take things a little easier and bring a picnic to the paddock while listening to the Amadeus Orchestra, Tetra Electra and Tenors Un Limited.Best of all it’s ‘access all areas’ – the displays, the live music, the fun fair and, of course, grandstand seats for the racing are all included in the entry ticket.
A host of celebrities were on hand at Silverstone race track yesterday to launch the 2011 Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge. The Celebrity Challenge, which will take place on Saturday 23 July at the world’s biggest classic car racing festival, will see an all-star line-up going head to head in 130mph Morgan V6 Roadster sports cars around the famous Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. Celebrity drivers including Heston Blumenthal, Brendan Cole and Charley Boorman attended yesterday’s launch along with their Team Manager, legendary DJ ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris. The two top drivers from the 2010 Celebrity Challenge, musicians Rick Parfitt Jnr and Neil Primrose from rock group Travis, were also on hand to renew their rivalry. Other famous faces confirmed for the charity fundraising event include Comedy Dave, Jonny Saunders, Neil Fox, Luther Blissett, Lord Charles Brocket and Paul O’Duffy. Further names will be announced in the lead up to the race. Last year’s Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge raised over £25,000 for the charity and the celebrities are aiming to beat that target in 2011. Charley Boorman is best known for his exploits on two wheels, but the actor and adventurer is looking forward to making his car racing debut at this year’s event. “I am more into my bikes really and I can fall of those quite well so I am sure I can crash this!” Charley laughed. “As they say ‘if you ain’t crashing you ain’t trying!’ Seriously, though, I had a brush with cancer last year so I know how important it is to look out for these things and that’s why I’m so happy to be here and to be raising funds for such a good cause. I’d obviously like to beat all the other guys but I’m sure that will never happen. It’s fantastic to be involved, though, and I’m sure it will be an incredible day.” Stephanie Moore MBE, Bobby’s widow and founder of the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK, was also at the launch and said: “The Silverstone Classic race is going to be a wonderful event with all the sounds and smells of bygone motor racing eras. The Morgan is an iconic British sports car and I am delighted that the celebrities will be racing them to raise money for the Booby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK. The money raised by the Bobby Moore Fund has already made a huge difference to the lives of people diagnosed with bowel cancer. However, there’s still a lot more work to do. My hope is that by increasing awareness and helping to fund vital research many more lives can be saved from this terrible disease in the future.”
Ginetta GT Supercup: Kidderminster’s Nathan Freke was competing again last weekend in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup races at Thruxton, supporting the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.After issues at both Donington Park & Brands Hatch Freke was determined to get three podium finishes at the fastest race circuit in the UK where tyre wear would be a big factor. pic Chris Roberts read report
Ginetta Jnrs: HHC Motorsport’s two Ginetta Junior Championship drivers are reflecting on impressive speed but frustrating results after their debut at Thruxton on Monday. Both Charlie Robertson and Mikey Day ran competitively in the one-make field but were frustrated by some bad luck. Charlie was affected in qualifying when he had to take evasive action of a spinning car. Having taken to the grass, the radiators filled with grass and the car began to overheat which blunted his pace and hence he started race one from 10th on the grid. On his debut at the Hampshire circuit, 14-year-old Charlie worked his way up to sixth place at flag, while Mikey worked his way up from 15th after qualifying to 12th.With circuit knowledge increased, and their confidence boosted by two good results hopes were high for Sunday’ second race. Robertson started 10th and Day 15th, but Charlie was a star in the opening laps as he tigered his way up the field. By lap five he was up to sixth place and was charging after Struan Moore, but drama befell the HHC Motorsport driver when Moore made a mistake at Brooklands. Faced with the prospect of hitting his rival or taking to the grass, Robertson opted for the grassy option and was delayed as he recovered the road. When Moore had a second drama at the Chicane, Charlie was delayed once again and his work was undone – he came home a frustrated 10th but had proved his speed and ability to carve through the field cleanly and effectively. While Robertson was having troubles, Mikey Day was enjoying his most competitive race to date as he wriggled his way up the field. He had a storming first lap and picked of a gaggle of cars ran on the tail of Robertson early on. When Charlie had his moment, Mikey was able to uphold the team’s honour by fighting his way into the top six and was just two-tenths of a second away from bagging fifth place, a great way to make his Thruxton debut.HHC Motorsport’s Charlie Kemp said: “We had a solid weekend. Both Charlie and Mikey raced really well but it was shame that we qualified out of place, which inevitably puts you in the midfield pack. Both of them proved they cane race well and learn new circuits effectively so we are looking to be even closer to the front next time out at Oulton Park.”
Formula Renault BARC : Just over a week remains until the third and fourth rounds of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship take place at Brands Hatch and if the season-opener at Donington Park was anything to go by, expect the unexpected. The first event of the season had some fantastic racing and a grid of more than 20 cars. At Brands on 14th/15th Mayqualifying will be of utmost importance. MTech Lite’s James Thorp heads the standings by a healthy 13 points after taking a maiden championship race victory and an excellent second place at Donington. His closest pursuer is Steven Durrant , who delivered a career best effort last time out but will be looking to go even better at Brands. The RPD motorsport driver achieved a third place in round one and then backed it up with one of the drives of the weekend in round two – scything his way through from 15th on the grid to fourth at the finish. Fortec Motorsport’s Archie Hamilton will arrive at Brands Hatch third in the points table, just four adrift of Durrant and the same number ahead of team-mate and series rookie Kieran Vernon, both having made it onto the podium at Donington. Josh Webster secured a tremendous win during round one, from the second row of the grid, but the 2010 Winter Series Champion wasn’t able to add to his tally in the second encounter after his car ground to a halt on the 13th lap as he exited Redgate and Hollywood. Dino Zamparelli is fifth in the standings, one place ahead of Webster, and although a solid haul of points was taken from Donington by the former category race winner, the weekend wasn’t all he wanted. He’ll be aiming to put his Antel Motorsport-run FR 2.0 on the podium at Brands. pic Jakob Ebrey Photography
VLN: Having gained an encouraging podium place in the opening round of the 2011 VLN Series, ‘Team Peugeot RCZ Nokia’ powered their Kumho-shod RCZ 2.0 HDi Sport Coupes to a dominant 1st and 2nd in class in round two at the Nürburgring last weekend (April 30).It was the German Michael Bohrer who placed Peugeot No.545 on pole for the category with a best lap of 9:55.224 minutes, and he and his team mates Stéphane Caillet and Jürgen Nett who achieved the victory – averaging 137.777 kph (circa 86.1 mph) over the four hours of the event. The second-placed Peugeot No.546 of Alexandre Premat, Olivier Perez and Guillaume Roman was just over three minutes adrift at the end of the race.Former F3 Euro Series, DTM and Le Mans competitor Premat was using the race to prepare and qualify for the 39th Nürburgring 24 Hour event in June, for which the team’s aim of a class win now looks more than feasible. The 29 year old Frenchman commented, “I was very positively surprised by the grip, torque and acceleration of the RCZ on such a technical circuit.” Jürgen Nett, who achieved the fastest lap for the class of 10:05.103 minutes, was also quick to praise, “I must congratulate the team for the race strategy and our tyre partner Kumho for the S700 slicks. During my eight 14-mile laps, the times varied by no more than two seconds.” Stéphane Caillet reported, “The balance of our Peugeot RCZ is just a dream.”Said Kumho’s European Motorsport Manager Steve Thompson, “This team is clearly fully into its stride already and it’s very encouraging to learn how well our tyres our working and how well the cars handle on them.”
Formula 3: The re-introduction of the Formula 3 Trophy Class will allow more people to race at the highest level of ‘wings and slicks’ racing in Australia for lower costs in season 2011. The return of the F3 Trophy is part of a continuing effort by series’ organisers to lower costs and enhance value for competitors, moves that have included the reduction of entry fees by almost $1000 per round from last year and the introduction of a $50,000 Scholarship for young drivers to progress their career. The class caters for Dallara F397/8 and F399/00/01 chassis and that meet all current Formula 3 technical regulations. Earlier models are no longer permitted to enter the championship due to their out-dated crash standards including a lack of the high chassis sides found on later cars that protect drivers’ heads and necks during an accident. Drivers over the age of 35 or under the age of 21 with no prior F3 experience are eligible to enter the class. This should offer young drivers a means of entering the championship at an even more affordable entry point to gain experience before moving into the National / Scholarship or Championship (Gold Star) classes. Young drivers will be allowed four entries in the F3 trophy before they are required to step up to the more outright competition (be it in an F304 or F307 specification vehicle), whilst drivers over 35 have no limitations to their entering the F3 Trophy. The class is also designed to assist owner / drivers who own Formula 3 cars but might not have the budget to compete at anything other than state-level racing. F3 Trophy Class competitors will fight for their own point score and trophies at each round; however will not score points towards the F3 Australian Drivers Championship. As a result entry fees are dramatically lower making it as affordable as club-level racing whilst potentially racing at high profile Events like the Winton, Darwin and Tasmania V8 Supercar rounds, or at key circuits like Phillip Island and Eastern Creek. F3 trophy competitors will still get many of the same benefits including support from series suppliers and sponsors, plus exposure and coverage like every other competitor. “The F3 Trophy is designed to offer them a cost-effective way of racing at the national events at club racing prices,” said Formula 3’s Richard Craill. They will race for their own trophy and own point score, and have an entry point if they are a young driver looking to learn the ropes of racing a Formula 3 car. They can start in an older car – which naturally costs less to run – and get the experience so they are competitive when they enter the Scholarship or the championship class. We are also very aware that there are plenty of owner-drivers out there who are racing their cars at state level whilst maintaining them in Formula 3 specifications. For a long time many of these competitors have noted and discussed the naturally higher cost of competing in a national championship – now that apparent reason to stay away has been removed we hope some of them come out to play. This move is as much about bolstering our fields to ensure we put on a great show for fans everywhere as it is opening the series up to as many people as possible – and catering to the demand from our customers who have requested lower costs. The 2011 Championship is made up of great tracks and great events and we can’t wait to welcome them to the series again.” The Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship for the CAMS Gold Star begins at Winton Raceway on May 19-21.
ILMC: The 1000km of Spa-Francorchamps, which this season unites both the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) and Le Mans Series (LMS) grids, will serve as a competitive test for Benoît Tréluyer and Audi’s R18 TDI ahead of next month’s Le Mans 24 Hours. Belgium’s classic sportscar race will be the only ILMC event other than Le Mans for the Frenchman, who last weekend won 2011’s opening Super GT championship race at Fuji, Japan. “Above all, the race is a dress rehearsal ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours where we intend to shake the car down and continue preparations within the team. The most important area will be slipping back into well honed habits and reacquainting ourselves with the engineers and mechanics. Communication, pit stops and on-track traffic management; these 1000km are going to be the first and only opportunity to conduct a competitive test before Le Mans.” Of course, should the opportunity arise, Benoît and his team-mates Marcel Fässler and André Lotterer will challenge for victory even if this is not the overall objective set out by Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.“Spa’s combination of fast and tight curves offers a good layout on which to fine tune our set-ups and preparation. While the La Source hairpin and final chicane are quite tight, the rest are perfect.”The Ardennes event will also play host to the first confrontation under race conditions between the trio of new Audi R18 TDIs, which made a strong impression at the Le Mans 24 Hours Test Day on April 24, and Peugeot’s 908. But Benoît is keen to stress that the rivalry’s resumption will not interfere with the team’s principle objectives.“We have a plan to follow and won’t be looking at what others are doing. Obviously, like all fellow drivers, I will be checking the lap times when I climb out of the car to see where we are. But I know the team will not get distracted!”It’s an Audi team that Benoit has come to increasingly admire the more time he spends in its company.“The team never drops its level of performance and is not prepared to rest on its laurels. One gets the impression that it fights for its reputation every time it joins the track! In addition, this year’s Audi R18 TDI programme carries with it a lot of ambition. Last season the team won the Le Mans 24 Hours but not the ILMC as, intrinsically, the competition was faster. With the R18 TDI, Audi wants to win in style.”
GT: McLaren GT, a new race car manufacturer which brings together the expertise of McLaren Racing, McLaren Automotive and CRS Racing, has unveiled its GT3 car and plans for a 2011 development programme. The new McLaren MP4-12C GT3 will be the first McLaren car built for FIA* GT series racing since the McLaren F1 GTR finished production in1997. The 12C GT3 is based on the new MP4-12C high-performance sports car and a team of engineers, designers and test drivers with vast experience in Formula 1 and GT racing has been assembled to undertake the process of adapting the carbon chassis-based 12C to racing specification. Read full story
At Monza for the first long-distance race in HEXIS AMR’s history, one of the team’s two Aston Martins led the race for a long time, and the second DBRS9 was in with a chance of a podium finish with ten minutes to go to the flag. In both cases, the team’s hopes were dashed by mechanical problems, but this performance spoke volumes - the French squad, the current FIA GT1 World Championship leader - is not in the Blancpain Endurance Series just to make up the numbers. HEXIS AMR is now embarking on a 3 week journey that will take the team travelling from its base in France to Portugal and then Germany for two rounds of the world championship, before tackling the second Blancpain endurance event of the season at Navarra in Spain. Read report
Next for Hexis AMR are three weekends of racing in May. The 3rd round of the FIA GT1 World Championship in Portimao gets things started this weekend in the Algarve (7/8 May), where HEXIS AMR should find itself on a circuit where it can use the data gathered last season. The Aston Martin isn’t really at home on bumpy surfaces although HEXIS AMR scored a sixth place in Portugal last year. The no. 3 DB9, driven by Clivio Piccione and Stef Dusseldorp, currently lying second in the championship, will have to carry 25 kilos of ballast. Third-placed drivers Christian Hohenadel-Andrea Piccini, in the no 4 car, will have 10 kilos. A week later they will have the 4th round of the FIA GT1 World Championship at the Sachsenring (14/15 May). HEXIS AMR will have experience of a round in the ADAC GT Masters (German GT3 Championship) from 2008 when the team took victory with Frédéric Mackowiecki and Christian Hohenadel. Finally on May 21-22 there is the 2nd round of the GT3 Pro Cup –Blancpain Endurance Series at Navarra in Spain. Unlike the Sachsenring HEXIS AMR is entering its Aston Martin DBRS9 GT3s on a circuit that it knows well from GT1. In 2010, Fred ‘Mako’ and Yann Clairay finished second in the world championship round the track and this year the latter has become part of the team’s endurance squad. “Navarra will once again be a great test session for the team, which is competing in its first season in endurance,” says Dumas. “Our aim is to see our two cars at the finish after three hours’ racing.”
Formula 2: Magny-Cours, the former home of the French Grand Prix, will host the second event of the 2011 FIA Formula 2 Championship next weekend, 14th/15th May – but Banbury’s Will Bratt might not make it onto the grid due to a budget shortfall which is threatening to de-rail his season after just one event. The 23-year-old, who is currently sixth in the driver standings and the highest ranked Briton after two runner-up spots at Silverstone three weeks ago, is confident of success at the Nevers circuit but desperately in need of additional funding to help him continue his front-running challenge. After taking a fantastic second place finish in round one, having started third on the grid, Will was unfortunately unclassified in the second encounter – despite finishing second on the road – due to a penalty for inadvertently missing black flags. These were shown when race officials adjudged him to have explored the limits of the track at Stowe Corner a little too much for their liking. Missing out on vital points proved a frustration for the 2009 Euroseries 3000 Champion but with good past experience of Magny-Cours, including a terrific recovery drive to third place during his memorable title winning campaign in F3000 a couple of years ago, he’s looking ahead positively. That said, without extra financial backing the Oxon driver could well see his 2011 season grind to a halt in the coming days – potentially robbing the championship of one its most exciting racers and unique characters. “Finishing second on the road in both Silverstone races showed what we’re capable of, even though we were mysteriously down on straight-line speed. We need to analyse the data fully to see how we can improve that and then we should be even more competitive.”, said Bratt, “I’m confident, if we can find enough budget for next weekend, we’ll be right up there fighting for wins and podiums. The clock is ticking but we’re doing everything we can to be on the grid in France.” pic FIA Formula 2 Championship
Formula Renault: With forty-seven cars on the track during the collective practise, the main difficulty for the drivers of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 was to find a clear lap and hope there weren’t too many red flags, which was sadly not the case due to the conditions. This made it particularly difficult for the rookies like the “Euroformula Volant 2010”, Paul Loup Chatin. The qualifiers were divided into two groups and the TECH 1 driver set 7th fastest time in his group putting him in 13th place on the grid for race 1. Red flags interupted the first race and Jean Loup was only able to get in two quick laps which spoiled any chances he had of moving further up the field. Paul Loup finally crossed the finish line in 10th place, and with it a point in the championship.For Sunday’s race, the scene was pretty much identical with another 13th place on the starting grid, a good fight that saw him rise to 7th before dropping to 9th as the race reached it’s finish but it was two more points which puts Jean Loup 15th in the Championship. Paul Loup Chatin remains positive and determined to progress in the ranks: “Even though this weekend wasn’t easy, it was beneficial for me because I gained more experience which will count toward the next races. I just hope to keep working well with my TECH 1 team who support me a lot. It’s the only way to get close to the podium in a championship like the EUROCUP where the level is very high, as much for the drivers as for the teams! I can’t wait for the next challenge.” Euroformula is also full of confidence, as their Director Laurent Fradon says: “Paul Loup successfully finished both races and scored without any fouls and not giving anything away on the track. It’s all panning out as we hoped, we expect to see him on the podium in the second part of the Championship, for the moment he’s taking his apprenticeship very seriously and intelligently because each race finished allows him to perfect his experience even more quickly. Our student has all the cards to succeed, up to him to use them. Paul Loup Chatin has a busy programme ahead which will allow him to show his best. Paul Loup will take part in the second round of the ALPS Championship at Imola this weekend before returning to Monza for the Eurocup Championship on the 14-15 May.
Porsche Carrera Cup GB: The first programme in the television coverage of the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB will be broadcast in the Motorsport UK programme on ITV1 on the night of Sunday 8 May and will also be shown on ITV4 on Saturday 7 May. The Motorsport UK series, which features hour-long programmes, is covering all of the Carrera Cup GB action again this season. Round two of the season at Brands Hatch will feature in this programme. Motorsport UK will be broadcast as follows: Saturday 7 May at 8.55am on ITV4 and Monday 9 May at 2.55am on ITV1
Business: Norfolk Business Club, Go Race Events and Spirit Motorsport are all playing a part in driving Norfolk’s economy at the Holiday Inn at Norwich Airport earlier this week(3rd May). The Norfolk Business Club covers a ride range of organisations from one man bands to multi-nationals, who benefit by Developing new business, Sourcing suppliers and taking part in training workshops.Go Race Events provided a state of the art simulator based on a 2011 FIA Formula 1 spec racing car, while Spirit Motorsport, the Wymondham based FIA F2 and Sportscar Team took to leading driver Dan Laddiman along as well. Laddiman, 2009 UK Radical SR3 set a bench time for members of the Norfolk Business Community to try and beat.
Audi accompanies its motorsport involvement in the 2011
season with two new Apps for the iPhone and iPad. The 2011
version of the "Audi Sport" App for both the iPhone and iPod
Touch is available as an update to download for free from the
App Store in time for the Audi R18 TDI prototype’s race debut in
the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) at Spa this weekend. The
App gives journalists and fans the opportunity to be permanently
up-to-date even when they are travelling.In 2010 race reports,
results, photos, sound bites and videos were already standard
content for the Audi Sport App, which can now claim more than
40,000 downloads. The latest version is not only adapted to suit
the brand’s new motorsport look. It also offers numerous new
functions and features such as an expanded“Live Ticker”that
actually shows which driver is at the wheel during endurance
races, 360 degree images of the race cars, interactive
introductions to the race tracks and wallpapers. Accredited
media representatives can take part in the popular Audi DTM
sweepstakes when on the move, view media appointments and order
TV footage. The App was also adapted to the iPhone’s retina
Monoposto 2000: Kourosh Khani battled hard against several more powerful Formula 3 cars in his Formula Renauilt in the Monoposto 2000 race at Brands Hatch last weekend. Despite this lack of horsepower compared to his rivals he still came away with a superb second place. Pic: Yunus Amiere Read report
F2000: Canadian Remy Audette, coming off a dominating win at VIR, leads a competitive 31-car F2000 Championship Series field at Road Atlanta this weekend for Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2011 Series, supporting the popular Formula Drift tour. For Audette, it will be the only new and unfamiliar track of the year for his Audette Racing team as he comes off his third career F2000 win. pic Valet Read more
Nathan Morcom was an unknown quantity before the opening two rounds of the 2011 F2000 Championship Series at VIR last month, but it will be a different story at rounds three and four at Road Atlanta next weekend. Morcom stunned everyone by winning the rain-affected first round. It was the 19 year-old Australian’s F2000 debut, and his first race meeting at the high-speed 5.3km VIR road course. Morcom’s decision to keep his Rondo Van Diemen on slick tyres after rain started falling during an early safety car period raised eyebrows along the VIR pitlane, especially when several rivals pitted to change to wet-weather tyres. But his gamble paid off when officials red-flagged the race before the wet-tyred runners could recover their lost ground. Morcom’s performance in the second round, when he charged from the tail of the field after a first-corner incident to finish eighth was equally impressive. In fact, he probably would have wound up several positions higher if not for an overheating engine that slowed his pace at half-distance. “If anyone had told me before VIR that I would win one of the races, I’d have thought they were joking,” Morcom said. “When it rained during the first race, I decided that my best chance was to try to hang on with dry tyres – I’ve driven wet races in karts on slicks, so I it wasn’t a totally unfamiliar situation. I was lucky that the officials stopped the race when they did, though, because the guys on wets would have caught me on the next lap for sure! In the second race there wasn’t much I could do except drive off the track after another driver fed me a wheel in the first corner. I was disappointed when my engine started overheating at half-distance, but happy with how I managed to come back through the field up to that point.” Heading into Road Atlanta as the leading rookie and second overall in the pointscore, Morcom has his sights set firmly on top-three results in both rounds. “I’m approaching next weekend with more confidence than at VIR, because at least now I have some experience racing an F2000,” he said.“Of course, driving at Road Atlanta for the first time, and with only one practice day instead of the two at VIR, puts more pressure on me to get on the pace quickly. “My goal for the race meeting is two podium finishes, but I’ll go for wins if they’re possible,” he said.
Formula 3: Ireland’s Gary Thompson will make a one-off appearance in Germany’s national Formula 3 championship at Spa this weekend as his preparations for a tilt at the 2011 Japanese F3 title continue. The 18-year-old Dubliner received the invite from revered junior single seater outfit Motopark only last weekend to contest the ATS Formel 3 Cup’s second round of the season at the classic venue. With testing opportunities limited, Thompson jumped at the chance to gain some valuable seat time ahead of the opening round of the Japanese championship, which remains his primary focus in 2011. Indeed, the Dallara F307 chassis in use this weekend is the same type as his SGC by KCMG team will campaign throughout the year in Japan. Although it will be the Aviation Display and Cebu Pacific Air-backed teenager’s first experience of competitive German F3, he has visited the famed Ardennes circuit before, during Formula BMW testing two years ago. Rivals will also be wary of Thompson’s reputation in the series’ spec-F307 chassis with which he smashed the Valencia lap record during German F3 testing there in December 2010. Gary Thompson: “It feels like a long time since I was last in the car so to get this late invite to contest one of Europe’s most competitive F3 championships couldn’t have come a moment too soon. Having said that, I’m aiming to be competitive straight away even if the circuit is one of the most demanding out there. While I haven’t raced in German F3 before, we did join the big group test at the end of last season in Valencia with another of the championship’s teams and ended up breaking the lap record, so we should be there or there abouts.” Following this weekend’s two races, Thompson will head to Suzuka for the start of his Japanese F3 title challenge on May 14/15.
Karts: Ryan Anderton might concede that the 2011 curtain-raiser in the Formula Kart Stars (FKS) Championship at Rowrah was something of a ‘crazy weekend’ – but it was one from which he emerged with his best-ever finish at national level and his British title-challenging credentials firmly intact. read report
LMS: Rebellion Racing has nominated Mathias BECHE as the team’s reserve driver for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours race. The 24 years old Swiss driver is not scheduled to race for Rebellion Racing this year, but will be on standby in case any of its previously announced Le Mans drivers is sidelined.Mathias Beche is driving an LMP2 for TDS Racing in this year’s Le Mans Series, he was LMP2 polesitter at the Le Castellet LMS opening round. The team has been watching Mathias’ career since he had a one day test with Rebellion Racing in the winter of 2009 when he drove the team’s Lola-Judd LMP2 at Estoril after he had finished second in the LMS Formula Le Mans championship that year. Mathias Beche commented : “I am very pleased to have been chosen by Rebellion Racing to be their reserve driver for Le Mans 24 Hours. As a Swiss driver I am very proud that a Swiss first class team as Rebellion Racing have placed their trust in me.I chose a career in endurance racing and this appointment is another step forward to the LMP1 class which is my goal after proving my skills in Formula Le Mans and in LMP2. “
The second round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) will serve as a dress rehearsal for this years Le Mans 24 Hours. For the first time this season, the Team Peugeot Total line-up will feature all three official Peugeot 908s and its nine works’ drivers. With just six weeks to go till Le mans the recent test day held on 24th April offered Team Peugeot Total the chance to acquire important data necessary to ensure it arrives at Le Mans with the best possible car set-up. The second race on the ILMC calendar is traditionally seen as an opportunity to fine-tune the team’s preparations. The three Peugeot 908s and the nine drivers therefore have two targets: prepare for Le Mans without taking any risks and pick up ILMC points, as stressed by Olivier Quesnel, Peugeot Sport Director: “The ILMC season got underway with a podium spot at Sebring, after an intense 12-hour race. The conditions were perfect to prepare for our main target of the year, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We will be working in the same conditions that we’ll have in Le Mans. The ILMC is an important goal for us; however, we are not going to go after the race win at any cost, just a few weeks away from Le Mans. Above all, we need to make it to the end of the 1,000 kilometres of Spa-Francorchamps with all three cars intact and collect as much information as we can during the race. If we manage that, Peugeot will undoubtedly come away with a serious haul of points.” Unbeaten here since 2007, Team Peugeot Total was especially successful in 2010, recording a one-two at the 1,000 kilometres of Spa-Francorchamps. The race was won by Sébastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud and Pedro Lamy, followed by Franck Montagny and Stéphane Sarrazin in second. This year, the official driver line-ups are identical to those of 2010:Peugeot 908 No.7 - Anthony Davidson, Marc Gené and Alexander Wurz, Peugeot 908 No.8 - icolas Minassian, Franck Montagny and Stéphane Sarrazin and Peugeot 908 No.9 - Sébastien Bourdais, Pedro Lamy and Simon Pagenaud. In addition to the three official factory cars, there is also a fourth Peugeot racing, run by Team Oreca. The fourth car is last year’s Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, but rebuilt to meet the new 2011 specification. This car is the current championship leader thanks to the race win at Sebring and will run with the driver team of Lapierre-Duval-Panis.
Larbre Competition’s preparations for next month’s Le Mans 24 Hours continued at the French circuit on April 24 where the team’s #50 Corvette C6-ZR1 topped the GTE A class times in both morning and afternoon sessions. Their official partnership with GM Racing saw Jack Leconte’s outfit run factory drivers Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta, as well as integrating a selection of American team engineers, at the event’s official Test Day. On the other side of the garage, Larbre Competition’s second entry – a Porsche 997 GT3 RSR driven by Christophe Bourret, Pascal Gibon and Jean-Philippe Belloc – completed an excellent day for the team by ending up third and second fastest of the morning and afternoon GTE A class runners. Jack Leconte, Larbre Competition Team Owner: “As early as our first year of activity with GM Racing, Larbre Competition, which has built up an enviable reputation over the past decade, was invited to become an integral part of the manufacturer’s 2011 ILMC development programme. Last February we were invited to a joint track test at Sebring so our drivers could familiarise themselves with the new C6-ZR1, before all our technical staff spent two weeks in New Hudson, MI, acquiring the skills and data needed to maintain the Corvette.In addition to this, and in view of our Le Mans experience, we quickly established a contract to support the works team for its Le Mans 24 Hours preparation. Dual cooperation was established by both companies on the technical, human and financial sides in order to exploit in the best possible way the date of the Test Day which could have created logistical problems with the Long Beach ALMS race and Nogaro GT Tour round.The operation was a complete success as numerous elements have been verified and validated, all of which should aid our challenge come June during the twice-round-the-clock enduro. Larbre’s staff are already well integrated within the Corvette family just three months after first arriving. I am very satisfied by this partnership with one of the three biggest car manufacturers on the planet. All that remains is to obtain results on the track, something Larbre is continually committed to achieving. Indeed, we head to the Ardennes this weekend hopeful of doing just that.” Larbre Competition enters the second round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup this weekend at the famous circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. The #50 Corvette C6-ZR1’s crew, as during the 12 Hours of Sebring and six remaining ILMC rounds, is composed of Patrick Bornhauser, Julien Canal and Gabriele Gardel.
FIA GT: International motorsport is once again the focus for the engine care experts STP through an alliance with the Italian AF Corse team, and the young British driver duo of Daniel Brown and Glynn Geddie. 40 years since STP last officially competed in Europe, when Ronnie Petersen piloted the STP March 711 to second place in the 1971 Formula 1 World Championship, the fuel additive giant is returning to the tracks in the FIA GT3 European Championship. As part of STP’s first official involvement in a European-based series, the unmistakable STP oval will appear on the AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia GT3 driven by the all-British line-up and the Championship’s youngest driver duo of Daniel Brown (19) and Glynn Geddie (20). Having been involved in the British GT Series in 2010 with the Chad Racing Ferrari F430 Scuderia GT3, STP’s progression into Europe is a return to the forefront of motorsport outside the USA, following a rich and successful history across many formulae, from F1 to NASCAR, Indy to World Land Speed Record breaking. STP’s long-held premise to deliver the ultimate in engine efficiency and performance has led to a racing history steeped in success, and the association this year with AF Corse of Piacenza, Italy, who can point to their own successes since formation in 2002 – including four consecutive team titles from 2006 in the FIA GT2 Championship. Equally driven to succeed will be the youngest driver duo on the GT3 grid, with both 19 year-old Daniel Brown, and 20 year-old Glynn Geddie bringing significant experience and success from former race series that belie their years. Brown’s performance in the 2009 British GT Championship in a Mosler, earned him a seat with Chad Racing for 2010 and the title of BRDC (British Racing Drivers Club) Rising Star. Glynn Geddie finished the 2010 British GT Championship as runner-up, adding to a CV of successes in the ultra-competitive Porsche Carrera Cup GB series.
Charity: On Thursday 5 and Friday 6 May, Intercontinental Le Mans Cup drivers Neel Jani from Rebellion Racing and Lucas Ordoñez from Signature Nissan, will be hosting a ‘Virtual Gran Turismo®5 Challenge’ at Spa Francorchamps 1000km to help raise money for the Japanese Red Cross Tsunami appeal. The ‘Tsunami Appeal Virtual Challenge’ originated from Twitter messages linked to the 2011 Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy, the European racing competition that uses the GT5™ game to find a real-world racing driver. Whilst GT Academy is only open to gamers without previous racing experience, tweets were also sent to sports car drivers from around the world to discover who are the quickest professional drivers on GT5. The challenge on Twitter inspired Neel Jani from Rebellion Racing and his teammate Guy Smith to lay down the gauntlet to the inaugural winner of the 2008 GT Academy - Lucas Ordoñez. In just three years, the 26-year-old from Spain has graduated from console racer to Le Mans 24 Hours driver. Both Jani and Ordoñez came up with the idea of using the occasion to help raise funds for this worthy cause. As part of the build up to this weekend’s race at the famous Spa circuit, on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 May, motor sport fans will be invited to visit the Spa Entertainment Village, where they can donate €10 to race against Intercontinental Le Mans Cup drivers on the GT5 race seats. The public will pit their wits against the pros over two laps on the PlayStation 3 virtual Le Mans La Sarthe Circuit. Fans will also be invited to make a charity donation to complete virtual laps of Spa Francorchamps using Com’In Sport Motion simulators. Rebellion Racing driver Neel Jani said: “For sure this is a great idea and it makes sense to get the drivers to come together so we can do our part to make a difference to the Tsunami Appeal.“We hope many of the drivers and teams will dedicate time and support to this noble cause of the Red Cross Appeal for Japan. We have support from SpeedChills and partnered with PlayStation and Com’In Sport who will be able to make the ‘Tsunami Appeal Virtual Challenge’ a reality with their gaming simulators.” Signature Nissan driver Lucas Ordoñez commented: "This weekend's event to support the Japanese Red Cross will be impressive. We aim to raise as much money as possible for this worthy cause. The people of Japan are still being affected by the horrible events of March 11th. We expect many drivers will taking part, including the Audi, Peugeot, Lola and Oreca drivers as well as my teammates from Signatech Nissan. This will be a unique opportunity for motor sport fans to have a chance to race against their favourite driver on GT5.”Motor sport fans can find out more about the Virtual Challenge by visiting: http://www.facebook.com/TsunamiAppealVirtualChallenge
Ginettas: In race one on Saturday of the Ginetta GT Supercup, G50 Class competitor, Jody Fannin lost touch with a group of G50’s when a recovering G55 briefly got in his way but clawed his way back and passed Rob Gaffney with a move around the outside of Noble on lap 6 then made the same move on Louise Richardson two laps from the end, to finish fourth. In race two on Sunday Jody was part of a five car train for second place. With the swapping of places it became a battle for third after the second placed car got away from the group. After biding his time for a few laps the MSA Academy student got a run through Noble and went up the inside of Rob Gaffney into Goodwood, then immediately passed Andy Richardson for third on the exit. He managed to get away and held the podium to the end. Finally in race 3 he narrowly avoided a massive startline shunt by jinking left, but suffered a badly cracked windscreen and had his left wing mirror knocked off by debris. The scrutineers allowed him to take the restart as long as he ran with his visor down, so after a long delay, the depleted field took the restart. In an uneventful G50 race, Fannin finished third for another podium after struggling with worn tyres. Full report
VLN Endurance Championship : Phil Quaife scored a podium finish on his debut at the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany at the weekend, finishing third in the SP10 class of the VLN Endurance Championship.Home to the German Grand Prix until 1976, the legendary 12.93-mile track, is notoriously difficult for any racing driver to master, but having driven strongly in Friday’s practice session and Saturday’s qualifying, Quaife was immediately on the pace of his class rivals during the four-hour event.In a field of more than 200 cars, Quaife shared a Bonk Motorsport-run, GT4-spec BMW M3 with his Le Mans Series co-driver Adam Christodoulou and drove faultlessly during his pair of one-hour stints, bringing the car home at the finish in a fine third place. read reportGP3: British racer Adrian Quaife-Hobbs heads into this weekend’s opening GP3 double-header rounds in Istanbul as a top contender for victory after a successful pre-season test which saw him head the time sheets last time out. The 20 year-old will contest the European Grands Prix support series with Marussia Manor Racing, and at the final test in Spain, was consistently up at the front, ending the final day fastest of the 30-car field. During the winter months Adrian underwent all the official tests in preparation for the 16-race series, which kicks off in front of the Formula One fraternity on Saturday afternoon. Adrian, who embarks on his second year in GP3 knows it will be a tough fight ahead but remains confident of a strong performance in 2011. “Last time out in Spain we had three very good days concentrating on developing the car from what we learned at the previous test at Silverstone and Paul Ricard where we concentrated mainly on race simulation,” said Adrian. “In Barcelona we did a mixture of runs from one lap to race distance and we were quick, finishing day three first and by a good margin. I’ve been to Istanbul before obviously but never actually raced there as we had a driveshaft problem last year. However, we had a strong qualifying then so I know what to expect. We’re a month earlier this time round, and the conditions are cooler so the tyres will last longer which in qualifying could be a major factor. We’ve got to take confidence from the last test, to end up fastest is a good way to start the race season, so now I can’t wait for the first race this weekend in Istanbul. It’s time to put our testing progress into action in the races.”
LMS: Rebellion Racing heads to Spa-Francorchamps for the 1000 km of Spa, second round of both the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and the Le Mans Series. The Swiss team will face extremely strong competition at Spa, which is the last "dress rehearsal" before next month's Le Mans 24 Hours with seven diesel-powered cars being present, including three factory Peugeots and three factory Audis, as well as the regular ILMC and LMS competitors. With nearly 60 cars taking the start of the race, traffic will add more spice to the challenge of Spa. With a good season debut, strong reliability from the new RV8KLM Toyota engine, the introduction of a brand new aerokit and upgrades during the Le Mans 24 Hours test day, Rebellion Racing is heading to the Belgian Ardennes with confidence. The #12 and #13 Lola Toyota powered Rebellion Racing cars will aim for strong placings amongst the "factory" cars, in order to score maximum points for the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and Le Mans Series championships.Rebellion Racing is currently second in the LMS Teams’ classification, one point behind the leader, after achieving a double LMP1 podium at the 8 Hours of Le Castellet. Rebellion Racing is fourth in the ILMC Teams’ classification, the first petrol team classified behind Peugeot’s and Audi teams after the 12 Hours of Sebring race. Bart Hayden, Rebellion Racing Team Manage r:“We are very much looking forward to seeing how our cars perform at Spa with the new aero package, the longer wheelbase, new front suspension and wider front tyres provided by Michelin. We will be facing most of the regular ILMC and LMS rivals in the same race event with six factory diesel-powered cars, but we're all feeling confident and upbeat as we head to Spa-Francorchamps, we will concentrate on our own race to target the best position overall. After Le Mans 24 Hours test day, we will have a race to compare the equivalence between diesel and petrol engines. We hope that the ACO will have a close look at the data that all the cars are recording for them, to make the right decisions for next month’s Le Mans 24 Hours.”
After thousands of kilometres testing, including the recent test day at Le Mans, the new Audi R18 TDI is ready for its first race. At the 1000-kilometre race at Spa on May 7, Audi Sport Team Joest will perform its "dress rehearsal" for the Le Mans 24 Hours. The racing debut of a new race car is always a very special event and Audi Sport has good experiences in this regard. Since 2000 every new sports prototype of the brand with the four rings has won its first race. In 2000, 2006 and 2009 Sebring in Florida (USA) was the venue of the respective debut victories of the R8, R10 TDI and R15 TDI models. The updated R15 TDI, internally designated as "R15 plus," won its maiden race as well, at Le Castellet (France).Now Spa-Francorchamps is the track to see the debut of the latest LMP1 sports car made by Audi which turns the company’s ultra-lightweight technology into a visual experience and which is equipped with a new type of ultra-compact V6 TDI engine. The circuit in the Belgian Ardennes region is seen as particularly demanding and therefore well suited as the "dress rehearsal" for the season’s pinnacle at Le Mans on June 11/12. Audi Sport Team Joest learned a lot at Spa-Francorchamps last year as a month later, Audi celebrated a one-two-three result with the R15 TDI and broke the 39-year distance record. The squad led by Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich would again like to decide the "dress rehearsal" in its favour, given that the 1000-kilometre race at Spa-Francorchamps is also the second round of the newly incepted Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC).At Spa speed and reliability will not be the only crucial factors as a massive 60-car entry comprising of sports prototypes and GT vehicles have entered the race. Consequently, the 7.004-kilometre track will be extremely packed.
BTCC: Andrew Jordan and Pirtek Racing were right in the centre of the action at Thruxton (30 April/1 May) during the third meeting of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Two more podium finishes have put Andrew into fourth overall in the drivers’ championship and a close third in the Independents’ Trophy. Read report
Karts: Overall, the CIK-FIA South European Trophy - the first of this kind - organised in France by the FFSA and ASK Varennes, proved to be a highly successful event, both from a sporting and a from a fans point of view. The top performances of French driver Enzo Guibbert, who won in KF2, and of Esteban Ocon, second in KF3, added a special touch to the event and proved the worth of French drivers in the international arena. Read report
Formula Renault: Jordan King took what he described as ‘a big step forward’ in the third outing of the 2011 Formula Renault UK Championship at Thruxton, by vying for pole position in qualifying and battling for the podium in both races. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography. Read report
Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship team Manor Competition had a mixed outing at Thruxton Circuit over the weekend, 30th April/1st May, during the third event of the 2011 season – potential podium finishes for Alice Powell, Jordan King, Josh Hill and Ollie Millroy all going begging. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Saloons: Robert Spencer managed to retain his 100 per cent record this season, but his Stuart Taylor Locosaki was pushed all the way to the flag by a determined Danny Keenan, as the championship made the trip to Leicestershire for its third round. Read report
Super GT; The first round of the 2011 Super GT had symbolic value for teams, drivers and fans of Japan’s premier motorsport championship and Benoît Tréluyer scored victory with authority, sobriety and humility during a race that marked a new beginning. On Sunday, standing on the podium of the ‘Fuji 400kms’, there were no national anthems or champagne. Having come to offer an exciting spectacle and be part of the healing programme for Japanese fans who are just beginning the recovery following the recent terrible tsunami which plunged the nation into mourning, the drivers gave a lot of themselves without expecting anything in return. Read report
Charity: Spring Bank Holiday fever was in full swing at Brands Hatch last Thursday (28 April) as over 100 vehicles set off from the Kent circuit to take part in the 2011 Scumrun charity car rally, raising money for children’s charity Dreams Come True. A whole range of vehicles were present at the launch party for the Scumrun, which challenges teams to navigate through Europe in a car they have purchased for £500 or less. The limited budget still allowed a generous amount of car however, with machinery including BMWs, Audis, Toyota Celicas, a Mazda MX-5, Porsche 944 and a Fiat Coupe taking part. There were some more unusual vehicles amongst the line-up too, such as a fire engine, a Tellytubby-carrier – enjoying its third Scumrun outing – a London taxi and a look-a-like of its New York cousin. Even the competitors embraced the party spirit, with four nuns piloting the American cab and one couple dressing up as Prince William and Kate Middleton in celebration of the royal wedding.The event was created to raise more than £100,000 for Dreams Come True, a charity that helps seriously and terminally ill children. Martin Neal, Events Manager at Dreams Come True, commented: "This is a brilliant event and we can't believe the different vehicles and fancy dress. The money will reduce our waiting list and have a massive impact on the many children in need of an unforgettable experience. We’re very pleased." The rally headed off into France early on Friday morning, with the drivers not knowing their destination until the morning of each leg, and was completed successfully on Monday 2 May.
Renault 3.5: American driver, Alexander Rossi fights to bring home more important championship points from second round of World Series by Renault at Spa-Francorchamps. Rossi had a great start to the first race, making up three places by Eau Rouge. He was also able to take advantage of an incident at La Source and make pass on Ricciardo to take P7 before the yellow flag came out on lap three. He then closed in on Daniil Move but was unable to find the momentum to pass and so took the chequered flag as the first rookie in P7. Race 2 saw him struggled with car set-up, lining 15th on the grid before producing another solid performance to finish 7th again . read report
Nelson Panciatici fought hard for 3rd place right up to the last lap of race 1 in the Renault 3.5 series at Spa, eventually crossing the line in 5th position. In race 2 a problem with his gear selector delayed him during his pitstop and he finished a very disappointing 10th . read report
FIA GT1: It was a weekend to forget for Nissan during the second round of the GT1 World Championship in Belgium, but three weeks on, and with plenty of time to reflect on exactly what went wrong at Zolder, both teams running the Nissan GT-R in this year’s series are confident of making amends as the race series moves to the Portimão circuit in Portugal’s Algarve region this weekend. Zolder saw three of the four Nissan GT-Rs on the grid failing to complete each of the weekend’s two main races, with the no.23 JR Motorsports driven by Michael Krumm and Lucas Luhr the only Nissan to finish in both instances. However, with a belief that Portimão should be more suited to the GT-R’s strengths than Zolder, and history on its side – last year saw the pairing of Krumm and Peter Dumbreck drive the no.23 Sumo Power GT to victory in the Qualifying Race – optimism is strong amongst the Nissan ranks. Portimão should represent an altogether different challenge to the 50+ years old Zolder. At 4.692 km (2.915 miles), the track is almost half a mile longer than its Belgium based counterpart, and houses several more turns (18 to Zolder’s 10). Speaking ahead of the weekend, Michael Krumm said: “It was fantastic on both a personal and team level to win the Qualifying Race at Portimão last year, and a repeat of that should be the very least that the Nissans are aiming for this time round. The competition is strong and we will have to get everything perfect to win as usual, but we will be optimistic about getting a good result. “Portimão should suit the GT-R’s strengths better than in Belgium, as Zolder requires a lot of traction out of slow corners, giving cars with a mid-engine setup a weight balance advantage. In Portimão the corners are taken at much higher speeds, something the GT-R is absolutely brilliant at. Overall, it is a great track – with its big elevation changes it’s like a mini Nurburgring, and it's not only a great pleasure to drive there, it’s also a big challenge for the drivers and the cars. There are not many modern tracks with such unique characteristics.” Enrique Bernoldi, driver of the no.20 Sumo Power GT alongside fellow Brazilian Ricardo Zonta, added: “Zolder was disappointing, but, on a personal level, not any more so than Abu Dhabi, where our car lost the race in the pits when we were leading. Now we have to try and put everything together and fight for the win – if Ricardo and I manage to have a little bit of the luck that we’ve been lacking in the first two races of the season, then I think that’s a very realistic goal. Portimão is a track of a high standard, alongside the likes of Abu Dhabi and Silverstone, and a place where it’s a pleasure to race. The fast corners, long straights and relatively gentle breaking throughout should really favour the Nissan GT-R this time around.”
DTM: Hockenheim. Canadian Bruno Spengler has made his first mark of the 2011 DTM season. Having claimed pole position on Saturday, the 27-year old Mercedes-Benz driver took a dominant lights-to-flag victory in the season opener at Hockenheim. “I am very happy and I am looking forward to celebrating together with my team today.The start of the season is already very good, but there are still many races to come and one has to remain realistic”, the race winner said. A three-way battle for the remaining podium positions between Swedish Audi driver Mattias Ekström, Ralf Schumacher with the AMG Mercedes C-Class and Timo Scheider (Audi) just before the end of the race provided a thrilling finale. In spite of problems on his car, Ekström still had the upper hand with a margin of 187 thousandths of a second and ended up second. Schumacher claimed his maiden podium finish in his 33rd DTM race. “I am very happy with second place. Due to my broken hand, I ran out of power towards the end of the race and I am very happy that I was able to hang on to my position. Too bad that my wife and our newly-born son Mats couldn’t be here”, Ekström said after the race. Ralf Schumacher also came to the post-race interview with a wide grin on his face. “I thank Mercedes-Benz and my mechanics for their patience. For them, things weren’t always easy. Finally, I have made it onto the podium”, the satisfied German said and added: “Keeping up with my fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers always has been my goal and it still is. Now, I am on the right way to do so.” In fourth place, two times’ DTM champion Scheider only just missed out on a podium finish, but still managed to score five points in the ’ standings. He was followed home by his fellow Audi driver Martin Tomczyk in fifth place, making Tomczyk the best placed driver of a 2008-spec car. British driver Gary Paffett put in a great recovery drive,. Following an error in qualifying, Parfett had to start from the back of the 18 car grid, but after 38 laps he finished sixth ahead of his fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers Jamie Green and Maro Engel. DTM 2011 In the drivers’ standings, Spengler is leading with ten points from Ekström (8 points) and Schumacher (6 points). The second DTM race weekend of the year takes place at Zandvoort in The Netherlands from May 13th till 15th.
BTCC: There was a plenty of action at Thruxton on Sunday, as the Hampshire Circuit hosted the third meeting of the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. There was a good reason for the Silverline Chevrolet team to celebrate when Jason Plato drove a perfect race from second on the grid to take victory in the third of the day’s races, after a frustrating start to the day. Meanwhile, his young team mate Alex MacDowall fought off a nasty illness to bring home valuable points for the team in all three races. The first race of the day proved the performance disparity between normally aspirated and turbocharged cars, adding to controversy over whether or not the cars running turbos should be restricted. It took its toll on Plato, who despite driving hard suffered a puncture to his nearside front tyre, leading to a dramatic exit into the tyre wall and yet more bodywork repairs for the hard-working team at RML. “The organisers of the series promised equality, but it was difficult to see that here this morning,” said Plato. “I had to drive each lap like it was a qualifying lap, and that’s not strictly fair.” But the team’s fortunes improved in the second of the day’s races, MacDowall building on a solid 10th position in Race One to finish 8th overall, with Plato just ahead in 7th. But it was Race Three where the Cruzes really shone. Despite the obvious power advantages of the turbocharged cars, Plato drove a perfect race, pulling into the lead straight from the start line and fending off an early challenge from Mat Jackson’s Ford Focus to lead the entire race. “It was tough out there today and I think the series organisers have to look long and hard at the disparity between turbo and S2000 cars before the next round,” added Plato. “But it’s great that we still came away from Thruxton with a victory for our fans and for the team.”Meanwhile, young gun MacDowall put in another solid performance despite his illness, bringing his Cruze home an impressive 8th overall.
Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship racer Alex MacDowall has moved into the top eight of the driver standings following the third race meeting of the 2011 season at Thruxton – the Silverline Chevrolet driver notching up points finishes in all three races on Sunday, 1st May.Recording a best result of seventh place in round eight, and with it a bonus point for the fastest lap of the race – a time of 1m19.195 seconds (107.09mph), the 20-year-old from Carlisle also scored for 10th place in round seven and then rounded-off the event with an eighth position in round nine. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Ginetta Jnr: Former kart star Declan Jones took his best result to date at Thruxton last weekend in rounds five and six of the 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship. The Liverpool-based youngster improves upon first-ever top-ten Ginetta Junior finish and secured a ninth place in the latest rounds of the series. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Ginetta G50 Cup: Barely 36 hours before official practice for the third round of the 2011 Ginetta G50 Cup at Thruxton, Walker Logistics stepped in to save the day for championship leader Tom Ingram by pledging to sponsor him for the meeting – and the young High Wycombe driver repaid that faith with an impressive performance taking three wins from three starts. Read report
Clio Cup: James Dixon edged ever so slightly closer to the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK championship lead at Thruxton on Sunday, 1st May, despite being disappointed with fourth and sixth place finishes in the weekend’s two races. Taking a healthy combined points total of 40 away from rounds five and six, the Kent driver now goes into a five-week break in the championship calendar within 21 points of former double Clio Cup champion Paul Rivett at the top of the driver standings. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup : Daniel Lloyd enjoyed an outstanding debut in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup during the opening round of the season at Hockenheim in Germany on Saturday, 30th April – the teenager qualifying on pole position and going on to finish a richly deserved second overall in his first race in the series. Delivering sensational pace from the off, the 19-year-old Briton, who competes in the Junior Cup class as a championship novice, scorched to the outright pole with a best lap of 1m57.603 seconds – a massive 0.6 seconds ahead of his closest rival. pic Volkswagen Motorsport Read report
Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup front-runner Carl Breeze notched-up his second race victory of the 2011 season at Thruxton on Sunday, 1st May. Breeze’s victory in round nine, added to Saturday’s round seven win, means he is now within 48 points of the championship leader Tom Sharp. Read report
Cicely Racing’s Adam Morgan and Total Control Racing’s Carl Breeze took a win apiece at Thruxton on Sunday, 1st May, to add an injection of some much needed competition into the championship battle in the 2011 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup. With IDL’s Tom Sharp unstoppable during the first six races of the season, this weekend’s action in Hampshire brought that to an abrupt end as tyre issues caused the points leader problems in all three races.Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Clio Cup: TCR’s AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK front-runner James Dixon finished sixth during Sunday’s sixth round of the 2011 season and although disappointed not to have been able to challenge for a podium this weekend, he ended the event within 21 points off the championship lead. Read report
Ginetta Jnrs: Seb Morris returned to the top step of the Ginetta Junior Championship podium during round six of the season at Thruxton on, Sunday, 1st May, following a tremendously close battle with round five winner George Gamble. In almost a carbon copy of Saturday’s race at the Hampshire track, the two young racers – aged 15 years and 14 years respectively – dominated proceedings with Morris making amends for a rare mistake on day one which brought an end to his faultless winning streak. Undoubtedly the class of the field all weekend, Morris and Gamble were never separated by more than a second throughout the day’s nine lap encounter . The turning point came on lap seven when Morris steered his Hillspeed-run Ginetta G40 into the lead in the middle of the complex. Holding on for the final couple of laps, Morris also grabbed the bonus point for the fastest lap of the race – a new Thruxton lap record of 1m30.969 seconds (93.23mph). For TJ Motorsport’s Gamble second place, a mere 0.4 seconds adrift, capped a stunning weekend for the car racing rookie.Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Seb Morris recorded his fifth race victory of the 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship season at Thruxton yesterday, Sunday, 1st May, to maintain a very substantial cushion at the top of the driver standings – 64 points following rounds five and six of the campaign. The 15-year-old, from Marford near Wrexham, was unsurprisingly in a position to fight for the wins in both races this weekend at the 2.35-mile track and although just missing out on victory during Saturday’s encounter, Seb hit back brilliantly on Sunday to return to winning ways.Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Reigning Ginetta Junior champions Hillspeed celebrated race-winning success once again at Thruxton on Sunday, 1st May, with 15-year-old Seb Morris securing his fifth victory from six outings to increase his lead in the driver standings to a huge 74 points. Read report
Australian Formula Ford
Board member and team owner Michael Ritter has hit back
at claims that young drivers need to go to Australian Formula 3
to learn how to drive a V8 Supercar properly. "It's complete
rubbish and far be it from me to criticise another category, but
the facts are irrefutable something like 90 percent of the
drivers in V8 Supercars today came from Formula Ford," Michael
Ritter said. "And they will continue to come from Formula Ford
because it's the category that refines car control better than
any other, and that provides the most competitive racing of any
type in the country. It's been doing it for 40 years and there's
a reason for that it's relevant, affordable and is viewed by
everyone in V8 Supercars as the unofficial training ground for
its stars of the future. Formula Ford is the only category where
you'll see team owners and key management hanging over the fence
watching. I think that says it all." Ritter was clearly annoyed
by the Formula 3 claims. "There are seven former Formula Ford
Champions in the 2011 V8 Supercar Championship field, and two
more in the Fujitsu series and as far as I know, no more than a
handful in either championship has even raced a Formula 3 car.
Formula Ford is regularly fielding 22+ cars at every national
championship round and given that Formula 3 is, apparently,
struggling to field more than 10 cars, I think claims that they
are resurgent are somewhat wide of the mark." Owner of Sonic
Motor Racing Services, which fields teams in both the Australian
Formula Ford Championship and the Fujitsu V8 Supercar
Championship, Ritter has extensive experience and the
credentials to know what it takes to become successful in both
Porsche Carrera Cup GB: James Sutton completed a perfect weekend in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Thruxton on Sunday 1 May, when he won round six to take a 19-point lead into the five-week spring break in the calendar. In another action-packed race, Jonas Gelzinis completed a double win in Pro-Am1, while George Brewster won Pro-Am2 with a commanding drive. Read report
Four podium finishes represented another convincing weekend for the Team Parker Racing drivers in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Thruxton. Parker with Juta drivers Euan Hankey and Stephen Jelley each claimed a second and a third place, with Hankey promoting himself to the runner-up position in the championship standings after six of the19 races. Team Parker Racing-run Carrera Cup rookies Richard Plant and Sam Tordoff bothhad a good weekend as well, the pair both taking a pair of top-10 finishes. From the Dextra JD Pierce by Parker team, Derek Pierce produced a great result with a heroic drive to finish third in the pro-am1 class in the opening race. Read report
Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship racer Ahmad Al Harthy celebrated another Pro-Am 1 podium finish, his fourth of the season, at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire yesterday, Sunday, 1st May, to end the weekend third in the class driver standings. Maintaining his excellent record of finishing on the rostrum at every race meeting so far, the Oman Air Racing Team star produced a highly competitive performance during the afternoon’s sixth round to back-up a very hard-fought fourth place Pro-Am 1 finish in the earlier outing, round five. Read report
Formula Renault UK: Atech Reid GP secured double podium glory at Thruxton on Sundayy, with Tio Ellinas notching up a sixth consecutive top three finish in the 2011 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship and Oscar King taking third in the Graduate Cup. Dan Wells had a steady run on his first race weekend for the Cardiff-based team, posting consistent lap times just shy of the leaders’ pace, to take eighth.Ellinas made a good start at the lights to hold position into the first corner and some quick thinking by the Cypriot allowed him to avoid a three-car collision at the Complex to move up to fifth. Thereafter he chased down and passed three cars to move into second on lap six, which he held to the flag. Read report
Porsche Carrera Cup GB :Porsche Carrera Cup GB: James Sutton topped an absorbing round five of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Thruxton today (Sunday 1 May) when he countered a determined challenge from Euan Hankey as battles all down the field made for a superb race. Jonas Gelzinis took the spoils in Pro-Am1 ahead of Rory Butcher, while Pro-Am2 victory went to Andrew Shelley after a big contest with Keith Webster. Read report
Omani racer Ahmad Al Harthy continued his impressive form in the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship by qualifying third fastest in Pro-Am1 at Thruxton Circuit yesterday afternoon, , 30th April, ahead of tomorrow’s fifth and sixth rounds of the season. Off the back of a truly memorable and history-making weekend at Donington Park a fortnight ago, where he secured his first Pro-Am 1 victory and therefore became the first Omani to stand atop a Porsche Carrera Cup GB podium, the 29-year-old from Muscat intends to add to his tally of three rostrums from the first four races when racing resumes on Sunday. “Overall I’m happy with my performance today”, said the Oman Air Racing Team driver, “We start third in class for both races tomorrow which is where we need to be to fight for more podiums and to continue our great start to the season. The races will be long and it’s going to be so important here to look after the tyres. I had that in mind during qualifying, the drivers who look after the tyres the best should be better off in the races so we’ll see what happens. I think we have a good set-up for tomorrow so I’m looking forward to it.”
Ginetta GT Supercup: Carl Breeze thoroughly dominated the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup action at Thruxton on Saturday, 30th April, to finally end Tom Sharp’s six-race winning streak and also climb into second place in the championship standings in the process. Untouchable in qualifying, Kings Lynn racer Breeze sealed pole position by an outstanding 0.6 seconds ahead of closest challenger Nathan Freke and his dominance was such he required just one real flying lap in which to do so. When the lights went out at the beginning of the seventh round of the season, the Total Control Racing driver fended off the early attentions of quick-starting third place qualifier Adam Morgan and from that point on controlled the race from the front – winning by over five seconds. In the G50 Class, reigning Ginetta Junior Champion Tom Ingram won again to increase his points lead to 40 with a tremendous performance. Qualifying on the class pole, a superb eighth fastest overall, the Plans Motorsport driver raced through to a stunning G50 victory in the overall top five.Embroiled in a fantastic class battle for most of the race with the impressive Aaron Williamson, Ingram managed to break clear of his rival around mid-distance and got ahead of G55 runner Colin White on the penultimate tour to cap a truly outstanding day’s work Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography read race report
Total Control Racing’s Carl Breeze utterly dominated the first day of action in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Thruxton on Saturday, 30th April, by scorching to a comfortable pole position in qualifying and backing it up with a tremendous lights-to-flag victory. Marking the championship front-runner’s maiden success of 2011, the result has lifted Kings Lynn based Breeze into second in the driver standings and by virtue of his fantastic drive he will also line-up on pole position for the first of Sunday’s two races at the 2.35-mile track.Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
Clio Cup: TCR’s podium success in the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK continued at Thruxton on Saturday with car racing rookie Tom Grice taking a hard-earned third place finish, heading home team-mate James Dixon just eight 10ths of a second further behind. Read report
Formula Renault UK: Atech Reid GP secured its fifth consecutive podium finish in the 2011 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship with second place for Tio Ellinas in Saturday’s opening race at Thruxton. Starting from row two, the Cypriot moved into second place at the Complex, and crossed the line just one and a half seconds off the leader, to maintain his championship lead. Read report
Ginetta Jnrs: Ginetta Junior Championship rookie George Gamble secured a fantastically hard fought maiden car racing victory at the ultra-fast Thruxton Circuit on Saturday, 30th April, bringing an end to runaway points leader Seb Morris’ early season domination. As in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup sister championship, Saturday’s Ginetta Junior action marked the end of a winning streak – in this case that of Morris who won each race at Brands Hatch and Donington Park during the previous two events. Gamble’s win was by the slimmest of margins, a true photo-finish with only 0.036 seconds splitting the TJ Motorsport driver and Hillspeed’s championship leader. With nothing between the two youngsters throughout the 12 lap encounter, Gamble capitalised on a couple of rare mistakes for Morris and the result places him as possibly the youngest ever winner of a circuit-based car race in the UK – aged little over 14 years and nine months. Pic Jakob Ebrey Photography Read report
The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily shared by 11/56 MotorSport or any of theGrid team