The Grid.co.uk the national & club motor racing website - est1998
News Archive OCTOBER 2009
mail your news to firstname.lastname@example.org
IF RACE REPORTS LINKS REMOVED - FOLLOW 'Reports' LINK ON THE GRID above
Abarth 500 Trofeo GB - Chris Holmes, fresh from a successful year in Formula 4 which saw him take 8 race wins, was invited to take part in the Tropheo ABARTH GB Championship launch at Silverstone recently. The Abarth 500 Trofeo GB will be a new, one-make Championship in 2010, based on the successful European model. The series will be supporting a plethora of high-end motorsport, including the British rounds of such international series at the World Touring Car Championship and DTM, as well as the nation's foremost two-wheeled action, the British Superbikes. "I really enjoyed driving the car" said Chris after his first taste of the Abarth. "It is very different to anything I have raced before, but it did not take me long to feel quite at home. The weather made it tricky to really push the car, and to be honest the aim of the day was to just get a feel of what the Abarth and the Championship have to offer. I feel it's where I should be for 2010 and I am now looking at bringing together a sponsorship package to enable a full season. "The series is set to support some of the most prestigious events in the country with the highest class of race hospitality. This means in return for their support, I can offer potential partners an exciting package and as always I can promise to be gunning for the podium!".
Formula Renault UK Winter - Menasheh Idafar underlined his potential during Formula Renault UK Winter Championship testing at Snetterton on Friday setting an excellent fourth fastest on combined times. In the last of the 40-minute sessions on Friday, the 18-year-old produced a lap of 1m04.631 secs (108.72mph) on his final run to go second overall and the fastest of the Manor Competition drivers with around three minutes to go. With team-mate David McDonald and fellow front-runner Harry Tincknell – 2009 Formula Renault UK Graduate Cup Winner – just edging ahead by fractions of a second at the finish though, Menasheh slipped to fourth fastest but the end result was still extremely impressive, just 0.270 seconds shy of the outright pace. During this morning’s opening session, the Gulf Computer Services and Ortolan-backed driver was seventh on the timesheets with a time of 1m07.765 seconds (103.69mph). Then, in the second period, he improved to a superb third quickest, having been at the head of the times with just a few minutes remaining thanks to a lap of 1m05.151 seconds (107.85mph). Happy with his performance today, Menasheh commented: “My fastest lap in the last session could have been better as I made a small mistake but I’m very happy to be in the top four, especially as we only used one set of new tyres at the end. The car is good and I’m really enjoying it, now I’m looking forward to the start of the Winter Championship tomorrow.” Rounds one and two of the 2009 Championship will take place today Saturday.
WTCC - Gabriele Tarquini took his third consecutive pole with a storming lap of 1:37.666 making it five poles this season. Andy Priaulx qualified second with Jörg Müller third. The top three times were split by a mere 0.060 of a second. Title contenders Farfus and Yvan Muller will line up fifth and seventh respectively. Q1 - The top ten places remained relatively stable among the front runners with all five SEAT Sport cars setting competitive times along with the BMW cars of Priaulx, Müller and Farfus. The final two places were all to play for and it was Huff and Menu of Chevrolet who snapped them up. Hernández missed Q2 by 0.143 of a second taking 11th position on the grid with Coronel taking the Independent pole (12th overall).Thompson of LADA Sport was denied a Q2 spot by 0.206 and will line up 13th. Japanese drivers Nobuteru Taniguchi and Seiji Ara had a respectable qualifying. The former was just three tenths off the pace of his team-mate Porteiro who was 15th overall, while Ara's best lap was just two tenths off that of Wiechers-Sport companion D'Aste. Q2 - Throughout qualifying the BMW cars looked strong, therefore it was something of a surprise when Tarquini's last lap shot him to the top of the timesheet. Until then provisional pole was held by Müller who was demoted to third after Priaulx squeezed into second place but fell 0.050 seconds shy of being pole-worthy.Rydell took the fourth spot with Gené sixth, Monteiro eighth, Huff ninth and Menu tenth. All of the Q2 competitors set their best times on their last laps making for a suspense-filled couple of minutes.
Entries for the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Winter Cup with Michelin continue to grow with Darren Wilson the latest driver to register for the one-make series which takes place at Rockingham Motor Speedway on Saturday, 7th November. The 43-year-old racer from Newark,who finished 21st in his debut Clio Cup season, will be competing with 20Ten Racing, a brand new Clio Cup team based in Derby and headed up by Team Manager Simon Hunt together with Wilson. Wilson becomes the sixth driver to join the series along with Total Control Racing’s Sam Tordoff and Daniel Lloyd, Westbourne Motorsport’s James Colburn and Clio Cup newcomers Matthew Munson and Paul Plant who are both backed by Stancombe Vehicle Engineering. Wilson said: “I really enjoyed my debut Clio Cup season and managed to finish in all but one round. The winter series is a great way of keeping my hand in for next season but also to give the new team a taste of what to expect. We had always planned to set up a team at the end of the year after learning the ropes from an established team. We’ve already placed an order for a new Clio Cup car with the upgraded engine which, along with my current car, means we’ll have at least two entries for the 2010 championship.” This year’s Clio Winter Cup will be contested over just two rounds instead of the previous four in order to help the costs for both teams and drivers. Organisers are also offering a 5% discount from the 2010 ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin registration fee to all drivers who take part in this year’s Winter Cup.The series will still adopt the same format as used in recent years of 1x qualifying session and 2 x races with testing taking place on the Friday beforehand. Cars without the latest bodywork update, introduced during the summer, will also be allowed to compete.Registrations for the series will remain open until early November.
Asian Le Mans Series. Aston Martin Racing will start the inaugural round of the Asian Le Mans Series in fourth position from the second row of the grid. The qualifying time of 1m19.747s was set by Stefan Mücke and will be used to determine the starting position for both of the weekend’s races. The drivers had their first experience of the 13-turn, 2.3 mile (3.7 km) Okayama circuit earlier today during two one-hour practice sessions. Qualifying driver Mücke said: “This circuit is difficult for us. Our car is built for long fast straights at Le Mans and this is like a go-kart track with lots of slow corners. We had a few problems with the set-up during practice but the team made changes which improved the car for qualifying and I’m optimistic we will find a good balance for the race. “Fourth place is a little bit disappointing. It is what I was expecting, but I was hoping we would be able to find a couple more tenths. I’m looking forward to the race though and we have three hours to try and get the best from the car.” Team-mate Harald Primat commented: “The team anticipated this track would not suit our car so qualifying fourth was better than I expected. The traffic is not as bad as it usually is in the Le Mans Series races because we don’t have as many cars on track. We just need to find a comfortable position for the race and see what we can do.” In total 23 cars will line up to start race one which commences at 12:30 JST (GMT +9) on Saturday 31 October and is scheduled to run for 136 laps or a maximum of three hours.Live timing can be found at www.asian-lemans-series.com with races broadcast across Europe on Eurosport International.
Formula 3 - Jean-Karl Vernay got back in the winners circle in then final round of the F3 Euro Series, held last weekend at Hockenheim when he won in changeable conditions. Vernay also picked up a podium place in the penultimate round on Saturday when he crossed the line in third. Read report
Other News - Grand-Am racer Memo Gidley has won a Championship this year but not on four wheels. The Californian resident who races in Grand-Am and Karts has won the Super 800 class Championship in the DJSA Outlaw Jet Ski Series., taking 5 wins on his way to the title. Read report
GP2 Asia - The third season of the GP2 Asia Series opens this weekend at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi as part of the country's first ever F1 Grand Prix. The GP2 Asia Series had the honour of being the first racing cars to run at the new circuit for a pre-season test on October 23 and 24, and it was a chance for everyone to learn the long layout, test the lighting system and begin to put a little pressure on their rivals. Luca Filippi and MalaysiaQI-Meritus. com set the pace on both days, but with the top ten drivers setting times within a second of the Italian's best lap the stage is set for yet another epic battle for the title, the continuation of what is now a firmly established GP2 tradition. The 2009-2010 season will consist of four rounds (eight races in total): two in Abu Dhabi and two in Bahrain, with the final event taking place on March 13-14 in support of the Grand Prix. In line with the financial strategy implemented this year in GP2, the organisers put together a programme solely in the Middle East to keep costs in check and reduce budgets for the competitors.
V8 Utes - The ten year anniversary calendar has been confirmed for the 2010 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series protected by Armor All and will cover four States, one Territory and the land of the long white cloud. As tradition will have it the V8 Utes will be back at their inaugural Adelaide Parklands track at the Clipsal 500, 11 – 14 March to get the season started. V8 Ute Category Manager and SPHERIX, Partner, Mr. Bill West said, "We are extremely happy with the calendar and grateful to V8 Supercars for their continued support. I think it shows how far the V8 Utes have come as a category and it's great to know we are welcome back to our favourite tracks." For Round 2 they’re off to Winton Raceway, Victoria and then to the Hidden Valley track in Darwin. Northern Territory Major Events, General Manager, Paul Cattermole is please that the V8 Utes will be back in the Northern Territory on such a historic year. "It will be great to have the V8 Utes back in Darwin. They are a crowd favourite and we are happy to be a part of their ten year celebrations," he said. The Utes will then head for the Townsville 400 for Round 4 and after a 2 year interval the Series, will make a return to both L & H 500 at Philip Island, 10 – 12th September for Round 5 and the Super GP on the Gold Coast, 21 – 24th October for Round 7. (still subject to confirmation.) Before then they will return to that icon of Aussie car racing, Mount Panorama for Round 6 of the Series. The final round of the tenth year in V8 Ute Racing will be the Sydney Telstra 500 at the Sydney Olympic Park, 3 – 5 December 2010. Negotiations are also underway for an event in April at the Hamilton Street race. This will feature a combined field of New Zealand and Australian V8 Ute competitors in a 3 test race format for the Trans Tasman format.
WTCC - Yvan Muller topped the timesheet in testing at Okayama. The reigning champion's lap of 1:38.518 was 0.016 seconds faster than Augusto Farfus and 0.028 better than Tiago Monteiro's. Small margins covered the entire field in a close session as the top 13 cars were within one second. Andy Priaulx from Team BMW UK opened proceedings and improved his time on each of his first three flying laps. Despite holding the provisional fastest lap for the first ten minutes of the session, he was eventually placed seventh overall (1:38.835). All five SEAT Sport cars were within the top seven following a surge in the final three minutes. Rickard Rydell (1:38.694) and Gabriele Tarquini (1:38.807) shot up the rankings to become fourth and fifth fastest while Gené set the sixth best time (1:38.817). The top eight was rounded off by a 1:38.883 from Alain Menu of Chevrolet. James Thompson looked to be immediately on the pace in his LADA Priora after posting a time 0.980 slower than Yvan Muller's to place him 13th. Félix Porteiro was the leading Independent competitor (14th overall) followed by Stefano D'Aste (16th) and Japanese driver Nobuteru Taniguchi (18th).
Last Sunday Alessandro Zanardi put in another extraordinay performance, winning the "diversely able" category at the Venice Marathon.This was the first victory the BMW driver claimed since he started competing with handbikes."It was a great day for the 'cyclist' who is in me! I am extremely proud of this victory. First of all because, together with the friends of the Venice Marathon, we made good things for charities. And also because I set a new record for this race, covering the 42.196 km in 1h13:56. I actually reached the halfway point in less than 34 minutes, at the average speed of 39 kmh, which was quite an outstanding pace," Zanardi said.
Formula Renault - With just a couple of days remaining until the beginning of the Formula Renault UK Winter Championship, Menasheh Idafar got pre-event testing off to a great start at Snetterton on Wednesday, 28th October, the venue for the opening two rounds of the series. Joining his fellow Winter Championship competitors at the 1.95-miletrack, the outing marked the first of a run of three straight tests leading up to this weekend’s races. In dry conditions the Manor Competition driver lapped strongly and worked closely with team driver coach Danny Watts, the 2002 Formula Renault UK Champion. “It’s been another really good day, I enjoyed working with Danny and we made some really good progress”, said the 18-year-old, “The track was quite slow today and the conditions were very still, there was neither a headwind or a tailwind, so everyone’s times weren’t as quick as when we tested at Snetterton a couple of weeks ago. Everything went well though.” Menasheh was in action at Snetterton today with officially timed testing following tomorrow, Friday.
Robert Foster-Jones is gearing up to be a leading contender on his car-racing debut this weekend. The 19-year-old from Essex is already setting front-running times in testing for the Formula Renault UK Winter Series and looks likely to be among the leading group this Saturday (October 31) in the opening round. Foster-Jones, clinched the British KF1 Kart Championship less than two weeks ago and didn’t start his Formula Renault testing with Manor Competition until last week at Pembrey. On Wednesday at Snetterton, he was within a couple of tenths of a second of the fastest driver on old tyres. Manor team chief Tony Shaw said: “We’re keeping our powder dry with Robert and for now the important thing is to learn technique, so we’re just using very old tyres. I can’t wait to see what he does on new rubber! He’s a dream to work with - very determined, very good with the data analysis and has strong team-mates to push him, not that he needs much encouragement in that area! So far he shows the same level of understanding of the car as the top drivers we’ve run in the past. He just needs to learn certain techniques that are different from karting, and it takes time for those to become embedded, whether that be Robert Foster-Jones or Lewis Hamilton.” Foster-Jones said: “It’s extremely hard to go in and win straight away against experienced drivers, but it’s not completely out of the question. Having said that, I’d be really pleased with a top-five finish. I’m probably doing a bit better than I thought I would. I’ve just got to concentrate on high-speed turns and staying on the brakes into slower corners. And the Manor team are brilliant. Tony and the guys are very enthusiastic and I have to say my mechanic Dave Ball is Dave ‘on the Ball’! I’m really pleased with how it’s going so far.” Foster-Jones is one of the first drivers to be signed to Accelerate Driver Development, a race-driver-management stable created by Formula Woman founder Graeme Glew,
Formula 3 - In less than a month the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers’ Championship will be decided in the season finale at Sandown Raceway in Melbourne. As in 2008, this year’s Gold Star showdown will double as the Formula 3 SuperPrix event with series officials announcing format changes (Pending approval from CAMS) to enhance F3’s Grand Finale. Whilst the SuperPrix will retain the two race format, the first race will be shortened to 12 laps with the feature race extended to 22-laps. Both races will be for full championship points. Qualifying will also change, a special 35-minute session allocated to set the grid for the SuperPrix race. Following the format utilized by F1 and the V8 Supercars, the first 15-minutes will see all cars on track to qualify for grid position seven and back. After a five minute break, the top six cars will then take to the track in a high-pressure 10-minute ‘Quick Six’ to decide the first three rows. A standard, 20-minute session held earlier will set the grid for race one. For the third year running the fight for the Championship and Gold Star award will be fought out between Australia and Great Britain, with history to be made regardless of the eventual winner. Victorian Tim Macrow will seek to become one of a select group of drivers to have won multiple Gold Stars, whilst Cornwall, UK, driver Joey Foster will try and make it back-to-back titles for the Brits for the first time in Australian F3. The winner of the SuperPrix will once again receive the John Bowe trophy, inaugurated in 2007 to celebrate the open wheel successes of the Tasmanian Racing icon. The Superprix is on Nov 27 – 29 and features the last rounds of the Shannon’s Nationals for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series, Australian Manufacturers Championship, Commodore Cup National Series, Kumho Saloon Car Series and Shannon’s V8 Touring Car National Series. Race schedule
GP2 - Alexander Rossi will make his GP2 Asia series debut this weekend at ‘Yas Marina Circuit’ in Abu Dhabi. The 18-year-old from Nevada City, California, will drive for the Ocean Racing Technology (ORT) team, owned by former Tiago Monteiro. Rossi, the 2009 International Formula Master ‘Rookie Champion’ with 3 wins, completed 4 days of GP2 testing in October, 2 in Abu Dhabi last week and two earlier this month at the GP2 Main series test in Jerez as he prepares for BMW / Sauber F1 test, December 1-3rd. Alexander has been quite comfortable with the transition to the GP2 equipment and is looking forward to his debut this weekend supporting the Formula 1 finale. “The Formula Master was the proper training ground for GP2,” says Alexander. “The biggest difference between the two cars is the brakes. With the carbon brakes in GP2 you have to hit the pedal harder when you arrive at your braking point. Now that I found the limit, we are adjusting the car to my driving style. There is more power and speed, but so is the grip, the transition from an IFM car has not been that much. The big difference will be the heavy fuel loads at the race starts, pit strategy and tire wear. I am looking forward to the inaugural event at Abu Dhabi where I will have the opportunity to put everything together.” The GP2 Series will support the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which takes place at the new $400 million Yas Marina Circuit. Unlike other modern F1 circuits, it has relatively little run-off thanks to the innovative energy-absorbing Tecpro Barriers that line the racetrack. At one point on the 3.45-mile track the run-off area even extends underneath a grandstand; in another place the track passes under the circuit’s 5-star hotel and the pit garages are air conditioned to improve working conditions for the mechanics.
Superleague Formula - The 2009 Superleague Formula by Sonangol championship battle reaches its climax at Jarama next weekend when Liverpool and Tottenham go head-to-head for the title. Spurs’ Craig Dolby has played catch-up for most of the year but took points out of Kop star Adrian Valles’ league lead at Monza last time out to set-up their Spanish showdown. Here the pair discuss their chances ahead of the biggest weekend of their careers. Read Q & A
BTCC - Following an exciting HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship this year, where Jason Plato drove the RML Chevrolet Lacetti for Racing Silverline, taking his 300th BTCC start and his 50th career win. As a result of his endeavours this year, for the third time in succession, the BRDC has awarded him with the BRDC Silver Star. The Silver Star award first came to fruition in 1977, when former BRDC Club Secretary, Pierre Aumonier, advised the Board that an award equivalent to the Gold Star, first instigated in 1929 for the Member with the best racing results at International level, should be presented to the most successful Club member competing at the highest level in National racing. An impressive history of BTCC winners places Jason in good company, with former victors including John Cleland, David Leslie and James Thompson.
Karts - Strawberry Racing has announced its Rotax squad for 2010, a line-up of up-and-coming talent and championship-winning experience. In the senior ranks, the team has retained reigning Euro Max, Kart Masters champion and ABKC runner-up, Luke Varley. Also staying with the team is James Greenway and junior graduate, Barrie Pullinger. Joining them for the first time is the Tom Fawcett and Dutchman Mats Van Den Brand. Team Manager Warwick Ringham said, “We’ve had a terrific year with Luke and I’m really pleased that he’s chosen Strawberry for another tilt at the major domestic and international trophies next season”. He added, “After a very promising season in 2008 and a great start to this year at Zuera, James unfortunately suffered a serious blood infection at the second round and this put a big dent in his championship chances. He bounced back towards the end of the season and regained his form and speed to finish fifth overall in the Euro Max challenge. Barrie is already showing great pace in testing. His first race as a senior will be at PFi on 1 November, so we’ll see how he gets on with the big boys. It’ll be a big learning curve for him, but he’s up for the challenge so we’ll just have to see what happens”. Turning his attention to the team’s new additions, Warwick commented “Tom’s maturing into a cracking driver and I’ve been really impressed with his performances at home and abroad. His arrival is very exciting. Mats came over from Holland for a two-day test at PFi and it quickly became evident that he has the right combination of speed, attitude and determination, which made signing him an easy decision.” Warwick is also looking forward to working with the highly promising Jack Marshall and Henry Hunter. George Russell is also working with the team, as he makes the transition into Mini Max.
Club Racing - The fourth of the specially commissioned programmes to showcase the best of BRSCC racing will be broadcast on Friday 30th October, at 7.05pm on Motors TV as part of their UK Full Speed Racing show. The last of the series for this season features rounds of the Drivers Republic Caterham Roadsport A Championship and the BRSCC Formula Jedi Championship at Brands Hatch on Sunday 16th August. Motors TV can be found on channel 413 on the Sky platform and channel 545 via Virgin Media. The show will be repeated several times next week. The complete schedule can be found at MOTORS TV
FIA GT3 - HEXIS Racing AMR swept to its first major international title by winning the FIA GT3 European Championship by a comfortable margin over 2008 champions Ford GT Matech. In the drivers’ standings, the crew of Aston Martin DBRS9 No.3 comprising Thomas Accary and Julien Rodrigues are the new vice-champions of Europe, while Frédéric Makowiecki and Manu Rodrigues took a splendid 4th place. read report
Graham Nearn 1933-2009 - Graham Bradshaw Nearn, businessman, car enthusiast, family man and saviour of the Lotus Seven has died aged 76 (pictured with Colin Chapman left)…read more
LMA Euro Saloons - Tony Soper took a last gasp victory in the LMA Euro Saloon and Sports car Championship at Snetterton on Sunday. After falling back to eighth after apoor Start in his Hasrrier Soper pulled out the stops, seeting a new lap record in the process, to pip Andy Harvey’s Impreza on the run to the flag winning by a mere 0.025 secs. Read report
Grand-Am - Fresh from winning the inaugural 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona Driver Challenge presented by Sunoco, British champion Derek Johnston will test a Daytona Prototype on Nov. 3-4 at Virginia International Raceway as he begins his preparations for the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Johnston won a coveted driver's seat in America's premier sports car race by scoring the highest average points among registered drivers competing in the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series, the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, the Radical UK Cup and the SPEED sports prototype series in 2009. Johnston, 47 from Nottingham, has won the Radical UK Cup the past two years, in addition to winning Radical's European Masters championship. Johnston had the highest average score, based on race finishes, pole positions and fastest laps. As a result, he will have a funded seat in a Daytona Prototype at the Jan. 30-31 Rolex 24 At Daytona, the opening round of the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports CarSeries presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 and the kick-off event on the international motorsports calendar. He also will test at Daytona on Dec. 8-9, 2009, and Jan. 8-10, 2010. First, Johnston will test the No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Porsche Coyote at VIR, working with GRAND-AM Rolex Series veteran Guy Cosmo. The Daytona Beach-based team will also have its No. 90 Porsche Coyote at the session. "We will give him the opportunity to run many laps to see how he likes it," said team owner Troy Flis. "I think the Daytona Prototype will be a real good fit for him, coming from racing the Radical prototype, because both cars are similar. I think it's a real cool deal for Derek. He should get up to speed quickly, he just needs to get used to the greater weight of the Daytona Prototype." Prior to traveling to Virginia, Johnston will visit Daytona Beach, where Cosmo will take him around the Speedway. "I can't wait to get to drive a Daytona Prototype," Johnston said. "I've been watching plenty of videos, and it looks awesome. I just found out about testing at Virginia, so I'll be watching plenty of videos of that circuit. I can't wait. I hope it's like Rockingham in the U.K., because I'm quite good at Rockingham. This is a phenomenal opportunity, and I can't wait to get there and see the car and meet the teams." "The Roar Before the Rolex 24" test is set for Jan. 8-10, 2010 at Daytona International Speedway, when spectators are invited to watch competitors prepare for the 2010 season. Rolex Series competitors will also test at Daytona on Dec. 8-9, 2009.
Formula Renault Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship winner Dean Smith fulfilled his champion’s prize on Tuesday, 27th October as he drove a Formula Renault 3.5 car on the 3.321-mile Motorland Aragon circuit. The 3.5-litre, 425hp machine is used in the World Series by Renault, a Formula One feeder series that has seen Grand Prix winners Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel graduate in recent seasons. Competing with Comtec Racing, the 21-year-old posted the 10th quickest time out of 24 drivers with a time of 1m 44.727s – 1.118s off the fastest time of the day set by Kevin Magnussen (Pons Racing). Commenting after completing a total of 49 laps Smith said: “It was a fantastic experience driving this car, with a team like Comtec Racing. I started the session on really worn tyres which proved slow. These were then changed for new tyres but these still didn’t seem to be working at their best so the team changed them again and we began to find good pace. The afternoon session saw the track temperature drop and had me lapping among the top six drivers. “The team worked hard all day and every time they made adjustments I went quicker although we didn’t quite find a set up that exactly suited my driving style. They were really impressed with my consistency throughout the day though.” Smith added: “I still haven’t finalised my plans for next season yet but it is very likely to be a move into either European F3, GP3 or possibly into a World Series by Renault car.”
The 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB has enjoyed record levels of TV coverage, with 11 races broadcast live and a total live audience of up to 13.8 million viewers. The championship enjoyed superb race day coverage within the extensive BTCC programmes on ITV4, with 11 races broadcast live and a further four races recorded and shown on the same day to an average audience of 1.38 million viewers per programme. This alone delivered a total of 10 hours of race day coverage for the Carrera Cup. By the end of the year, 15 of the season's 20 Carrera Cup races will have been shown in the Motorsport UK series, which first runs on ITV1 and is then repeated on ITV4 and also shown on Men and Motors.But it was not just on television that the BTCC race meetings attracted massive audiences. Across the 10-event season, a total of 325,000 fans witnessed the action at close quarters and the Brands Hatch final attracted a huge 35,000-strong crowd to make it a record season for the Carrera Cup GB.
The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and P-UNO Motorsports TV have announced the SPEED Channel Latin America broadcast schedule for the 2009 races. SPEED Latin America will begin broadcasting races at 1-hour shows every Wednesday, beginning November 11. Two different races will air each Wednesday, with a repeat broadcast 3-4 days later. The final two events, the Grand Prix du Trois Rivieres from Quebec and the season finale from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, will air on Dec. 9, with a repetition on Dec. 13. Over the course of a month, SPEED Latin America will air 24 Star Mazda Championship broadcasts in more than 40 countries. Races will air with Spanish-language voice-over commentary, SPEED will provide commentary in Portuguese for the Brazilian market and there will be a SAP version in English as well.Los Angeles-based P-UNO Motorsports TV has a 5-year agreement to broadcast the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear in Latin America. P-UNO principals are Hector Cademartori, world-renowned motorsports artist and a journalist for 35 years and Pedro Serramalera, a long time racing enthusiast and also a driver in the Star Mazda Championship.
The GT Cup was at Brands Hatch over the weekend for the final two rounds of the 2009 season with Sarah Bennett-Baggs once again out in her BMW Z4M Coupe which had been purchased the day before the last event at Silverstone. Saturdays practice and qualifying sessions were carried out in torrential rain. In practice two, pushing hard, Sarah found the limit of the brakes which resulted in locking up and hurtling straight into the gravel trap at Druids forcing her to sit out the rest of the session. Two or three hours of gravel shovelling and a full wheelie bin later... the car was back out for qualifying. Sarah qualified a respectable p4 in class in the wet, behind the Class 4 Porsche 993 of Robert Koenig. Race 1 was on Sunday and fortunately the weather had improved overnight, the track had dried and the temperature climbed several degrees. Sarah got off to a good start but just couldn't catch the class 4 car of Robert Koenig even though he was in sight throughout the race and they were lapping in almost identical times. She had to settle for a p4 finish but was pleased with the lap times of low 53's, "Since the Silverstone rounds Butler Motorsport have done a complete set-up on the car and the handling is hugely improved". Just before Race 2 the team manager, Terry, discovered a fuel leak close to the rear wheel & brake assembly and deemed the car unsafe to drive for race 2 as a quick fix could not be found for the leak. "I was disappointed not to compete in the final race of the season, but I guess its better to be safe than sorry. At least the car is in one piece and ready for another season. With some winter work and some of Terry's magic this car could be a potential class winner - I would just like to say a huge thank you to my sponsors this season who have been incredibly patient with me changing cars three times in one season. It has been challenging at times, but I am very grateful for their support and have learnt a huge amount this year".
Superleague Formula title contender Craig Dolby warmed up for the season finale at Jarama with a visit to White Hart Lane, home to Tottenham Hotspur, on Saturday where he was given a rapturous welcome by the home supporters. The Spurs’ driver, who lies 49 points adrift of fellow Premiership side Liverpool in the Superleague standings, toured the stadium before heading for the trophy rooms and finally the main VIP lounge for lunch with sponsors and former players Allan Mullery, Pat Jennings and Martin Chivers. With 3pm fast approaching, Craig then took his seat for the first half of Tottenham’s Premier League fixture against Stoke City. Despite the Spurs domination, the match remained goalless at half time when Dolby made his way down to pitch level where he was presented to the 36,000 strong sell-out crowd and handed the trophy for his second position at Monza. Back in his seat, Craig’s vocal support continued only for Stoke to score against the run-of-play with just minutes remaining, eventually holding on to win 1-0. Craig said, “It was fantastic to be honest. I was really excited about going and when I was there it was just awesome. At half time when I went on the pitch a lot of the players came over, shook my hand and said they’d be watching the race on TV, including club captain Ledley King and fellow England International David Bentley. It’s great that they and the fans knew who I was and acknowledged what I was doing for Spurs. That’s given me a big boost for the last race. It was the first Spurs game I’ve been to actually. The crowd were mega and then we went and lost! Stoke had two shots on target the whole match and won 1-0. Hopefully they can pick themselves up and win the Cup game against Everton this evening.” Title rival Adrian Valles will hope to receive a similar welcome when he visits Liverpool’s Melwood Training Ground next Monday.
Formula 2 - Andy Soucek finished the Monday’s(26 Oct) official Formula 2 test at the top of the timesheets having set a fast 1:38.910s at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona. The Spaniard ran in the top five for most of the day setting his quickest time in the final 10 minutes of the last session. The champion's effort relegated Milo' Pavloviæ down to second after the Serbian had held top spot for much of the final hour. Robert Wickens made a final attempt to beat Soucek's time in the final moments, setting his quickest lap in the process. It wasn’t quick enough however and he had to settle for third fastest time. Julien Jousse ended up fourth having set the pace during the morning whilst Mikhail Aleshin improved late on to take fifth. The Russian recovered well following two spins earlier in the day and his effort was good enough to relegate Philipp Eng down to sixth. Debutant Tristan Vautier remained the star of the show finishing every session inside the top ten. The 20-year-old, who has won six Formula Palmer Audi races this year, settled for an impressive seventh at the end of the day. Kazim Vasiliauskas and Mirko Bortolotti were eighth and ninth, while Jason Moore rounded out the top ten after a productive day of set-up work for the Briton. Nicola De Marco was just outside the top ten and double race winner Tobias Hegewald had to settle for 12th. Jolyon Palmer moved up the order late on to claim 13th ahead of Sebastian Hohenthal. Soucek said: "I knew we had good pace but I wasn't expecting to be that fast. I am still really fired up for this weekend - people are maybe expecting me to just relax and take it easy but I want to win both races for the first time. There is a lot of work to do, but I am fully focussed on taking each session as it comes later in the week." Robert Wickens said: "I have had a really good day. We have accomplished everything and more in terms of our test programme and I am feeling really confident for the weekend. My best lap was set on the seventh lap with those tyres and I didn't use the boost so things are looking good for the weekend."
2009 Polo Cup Champion: Maciek Steinhof .he 23-year-old Pole is the new champion of the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup. By finishing the season finale at Hockenheim in fifth place, the driver from Cracow will enter the history books of Volkswagen's one-make cup as the last Polo Cup champion. In 2010, the popular junior racing series will be replaced by the new Scirocco Cup with Bio-CNG engine power.
Aussie V8s - Mark Winterbottom was in dominant form at Surfers Paradise over the weekend coming away with two wins and 2 second places from the four 150km V8 races at the Nikon SuperGP. This despite battling a glandular illness all week. Winterbottom started his weekend by placing his #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon on pole after the Top Ten Shootout on Saturday morning before taking victory in the opening 150km race, with the Holden Racing Team pair of Garth Tander and Will Davison in third. In the second race Winterbottom started on pole with Tander beside, however after a frenetic start Tander was able to take the lead and maintain that position through a safety car-free 34 laps to claim the victory. Will Davison was third. On Sunday after following TeamVodafone's Craig Lowndes across the line in the third race, ‘Frosty’ beat the Holden Racing Team's Tander and Jim Beam Racing's James Courtney in the final race. The points he collected, the most of any driver at the weekend, Winterbottom is now into fifth in the championship. "It is awesome to be back in the winners circle," said Winterbottom. "Yesterday was a great day as well. It's awesome. The Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon was really good all throughout the weekend and it is a credit to everyone in the Ford Performance Racing team to have a car that can finish all four races right up the front. It's been a very tough weekend that's for sure but to come away with it and finally break through for a win is really special."
The Haymans Electrical MINI Challenge saw some more scintillating racing with Queensland's Paul Stokell winning race one on Friday ahead of Western Australia's Nathan Caratti and Queensland's John Martin. Chris Alajajian, Paul Stokell and Ryan Hansford were the first three to take the chequered flag in race 2 on Saturday while the third and final race on Sunday saw another win for Alajajian ahead of Paul Stokell and Ryan Hansford.
GP2 - 2009 Euroseries 3000 Champion Will Bratt makes his debut in the GP2 Asia Series at the brand new Yas Marina Circuit this weekend as support to the 2009 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (31st October/1st November). Bratt joins experienced GP2 driver Roldan Rodriguez in the Party Poker Racing.com Scuderia Coloni squad. Will tested with Paolo Coloni’s eponymous team for the first time at Jerez in Spain earlier this month prior to winning the 2009 Party Poker Racing Euroseries 3000 title and his drive in GP2. Just days after clinching his championship, the 21-year-old returned to the cockpit of one of Coloni’s GP2 cars for a two-day test in Abu Dhabi on Friday and Saturday last week. His best performance came on the opening day where he was 11th fastest. “We’re not going into the weekend with unrealistic expectations”, said Will, “GP2 is incredibly tough with outstanding teams and very quick drivers. Every racer in GP2 is there because it’s the best feeder series for Formula One – we each have the same goal. I’ve enjoyed working with Paolo’s team so far during the first couple of tests and if we can qualify competitively on Friday and then have two consistent races I’ll be happy. We need to make sure we learn as much as possible this weekend and lay down some strong foundations on which we can build during the rest of the championship.” Practice will take place at 10.30, local time, on Friday with qualifying following at 14.55. Round one of the 2009 GP2 Asia Series will get underway at 11.00 on Saturday, 31st October over 33 laps. On Sunday the 22 lap second round is scheduled to commence at 13.30. Television coverage will be screened in the UK on Sky Digital and Virgin Media channel British Eurosport. Round one is currently scheduled to be screened at 12.00, UK time, on Saturday with round two set to be broadcast live at 09.30, UK time, on Sunday – check listings for further information.
Carrera Cup GB - Euan Hankey and Michael Meadows have been selected as the winners of the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholarship Programme. The two winners were announced today (Monday) and each driver will receive £50,000 to use as a significant element of their budget for the 2010 Carrera Cup GB season. A panel of expert judges selected Hankey and Meadows after a demanding two-day evaluation process at the Porsche Driving Experience Centre at Silverstone. Both drivers impressed the judges in and out of the car against very strong opposition from the other four finalists; Rory Butcher, Andrew Herron, Joe Osborne and Tom Sharp. "The standard was exceptionally high and it was a very tough decision to make," said Marion Barnaby, Carrera Cup GB championship manager. "Any one of the six finalists would have made a first class scholarship winner and the judges deliberated for a long time over their final choice. I'm really excited about seeing Euan and Michael on the Carrera Cup grid when the 2010 season starts next April." Euan Hankey; 22 from Somerset, has extensive single-seater experience up to F3 and tool part in some Formula Renault races at the end of the 2009 season. "I'm shocked, thrilled, exhilarated about being selected by Porsche, said Hankey. "I'm really surprised as I was the least experienced in terms of this type of car, but the judges have given me a chance. I'm really happy about it. Now I've got to get on with meeting teams and making a plan. It's unbelievable; I wanted to do this last year and now I can really make a career for myself in GT racing." Michael Meadows; 21 from Banbury, made the switch from single-seaters to GT cars and raced in British GT before taking the 2009 season out of racing to concentrate on his university studies. "I'm still shaking about the decision," said Meadows. "Now I'm just so happy to be recognised by Porsche as a good driver and a good ambassador. It's a huge deal for both of us. Euan and I raced together in junior single-seater categories and now we're going to be together again in a big boys' class. I can't wait for the new season. It's a very good feeling and now I know I'm on my way there. The standard of drivers in the Carrera Cup is very high and that's the benchmark."
ELF Renault Clio Cup - Recently crowned Clio Cup champion Phil Glew was on top form as he fulfilled his prize of a test in a Mégane Trophy race car at the 3.321-mile Motorland Aragon circuit on Monday, 26th October. The 26-year-old, who won the Clio Cup with Team Pyro, outshone fellow Clio Cup champions from all over Europe by setting the fastest time running with championship winning team McGregor by Equipe Verschuurs. Glew was among Clio champions from France, Belgium and Italy invited to test the 3.5-litre V6, 360hp car by Renault Sport Technologies, as a prize for his performance in the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin. Glew, who plans to move into BTCC next year, won an impressive 11 races to secure the title with three rounds to spare. In hot, sunny conditions, Glew began the first of two one hour 30 minute sessions on worn slick tyres yet continually lowered his lap times to finish just a fraction off Mike Verschuur’s pole position time of 2m 04.335s (154.7 kph average) and the quickest among the Clio Cup champions. Glew continued to impress in the second session around the newly-built Spanish track this time on new rubber as he became more accustomed to the rear-wheel drive Mégane Trophy. Commenting afterwards, Glew said: “It’s been a fantastic experience today and I’ve been really impressed by the Mégane Trophy which is just so quick and has so much more grip and downforce than the Clio Cup car. The paddle-shift gears took a bit of getting used to as did the steering-wheel mounted clutch but the rear-wheel drive didn’t present any problems as I am used to this from my previous racing experience. The team have also been impressed by my performance and I have to say a move into the Eurocup Mégane Trophy championship is something I would definitely consider! My immediate plans though still centre on competing in the BTCC next season. I’m still in talks with my sponsors but a move looks increasingly likely and I plan to start testing with a number of teams very soon.”
Formula Ford - Queensland’s Ash Walsh signalled his intentions for the 2010 Australian Formula Ford Championship at the Nikon Super GP on the Gold Coast, winning the final race and round aboard his Spectrum 011d in emphatic style. In a shortened five lap sprint, with rain falling on parts of the circuit from the third lap, Walsh crushed the opposition and cruised to victory by more than four seconds. “That was intense,” said a jubilant Walsh after the race. “We came here just looking to get some race miles ahead of next season, so the goal was to keep out of trouble and see what happens. The Spectrum was so good out there that we were able to take the race and round win. I’m still a bit rusty, so I can’t wait to do some more driving in the lead up to next year!” he enthused. “Ash did an outstanding job this weekend,” said Borland. “To come back into the category at the end of the season when all of the other guys have been racing and testing all year and beat them is a real achievement. As Ash said, we haven’t touched the car, so I am looking forward to getting into testing in preparation for next year.” Walsh has not driven a Formula Ford in about two years and hasn’t driven any racing cars in almost a year after a difficult 2008 season racing in Europe. “It’s a fairly common story. We had a crack at running overseas, but it didn’t work out,” Ash explained. “I started studying accounting and was planning on that as a career because I thought racing was no longer an option. I can’t thank Mike (Borland) and my Dad enough for the faith they have shown in giving me another shot at a racing career. This win is for them,” he added. Walsh’s goal is to use next year to work on securing the backing to move into the Fujitsu V8 Series in 2011. “That’s the plan now,” Ash said. “We simply don’t have the money to look overseas again. Actually, we need to find budget for next year in Formula Ford, let alone Fujitsu the year after. But we’re going to give it our best shot and see what we can piece together.”
Team USA Scholarship winners Connor De Phillippi and Brett Smrz have had a busy week since they made their European debuts at the Formula Ford Festival last weekend at Brands Hatch. They have taken part in the first rtest in the Grand Prix Shootout,(the winner gets a drive in the 2010 Formula BMW series in Europe) and visited GP2 team iSport International and the 2009 Le Mans Series championship-winning Aston Martin Racing/Prodrive organization. Next up is the Walter Hayes Trophy this weekend at Silverstone ..read more
Formula 3 - Some of Australia and New Zealand’s best up and coming young drivers have been had the opportunity to get a first taste of a Formula 3 car as used in the F3 Australian Drivers Championship. Thirteen young drivers were invited by Australia’s premier Open-Wheel category to a drive day at Winton Raceway on October 19th as part of the series continuing efforts to develop and build the category into 2010 and beyond. ..read more
FBMW - This weekend, Australian Formula BMW Junior, Chris Wootton heads to the penultimate event of 2009’s Formula BMW Pacific Championship at Okayama International Circuit in Japan (formerly known as Aida) after a solid effort to prepare himself for a weekend of competition. Unusually, the 20-year-old has had the opportunity to drive a racecar between events, last week completing a F3 Australia evaluation day at Winton Raceway in Victoria. It will be his first visit to the 3.703 kilometre circuit at the southern end of Japan’s largest island, Honshu, however many hours studying YouTube, laps on the PlayStation and rigorous physical training have the young Australian ready for the weekend ahead. From his research, Chris believes the circuit has limited passing opportunities, therefore qualifying well is going to be critical, particularly in the highly competitive FBMW Pacific ranks. Chris aims to build on his efforts at Singapore – where he was granted Series points equating to third in both races. He currently sits seventh in the table, with an eye to move into the top five by season’s end. There are two practice sessions which will allow him to become acquainted with the circuit and set up his car ahead of qualifying and the races.
Mini Challenge – Scott Bargwanna has taken the ROCK Energy Drinks MINI into second placing in the MINI Challenge Series after this weekend’s events at Surfers Paradise, with team-mates Sean Carter and BJ Cook enjoying solid debuts on the Nikon SuperGP circuit and Team Principal, Jason Bargwanna recorded just the second V8 Supercar pole in his career. Read report
Formula Renault 3.5 – Bertrand Baguette confirmed his right to the 2009 Formula Renault 3.5 title in some style at the Spanish Aragon track over the weekend winning both Saturday’s and Sunday’s races from 4th and 5th on the grid. Read report
Formula Renault - Third place in the final race of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season was enough for Epsilon Euskadi's Albert Costa to take 2009 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship. Antonio Felix da Costa driving for Motopark Academy won the race with BVM Minardi Team's Dean Smith second. The first race at the Spaninsh Aragon track was also won by Antonio Felix da with Costa second and Vergne third…read reports
Formula Ford - The final race of the 2009 Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship on the Gold Coast turned out to be this afternoon a cracker with Queenslander Ash Walsh taking the win of a shortened race after a battle with the New Zealand pairing of Mitch Evans and Richie Stanaway. Coming from third on the grid, Walsh kept pace with the Kiwis until Evans had a spin allowing him throught and into the lead as Stanaway fell back into the cluches of Nick Percat and Scott Pye. Read report
Karts - Jay Goodwin has won two Lewis Hamilton ‘True Grit’ award for his storming charges through the pack eclipsing all the other driver on the circuit in 2009. Out of the nine rounds on the 2009 calendar, Jay was twice presented with the ‘True Grit’ accolade – on the first occasion for gaining no fewer than 14 positions from 20th to sixth in the Kimbolton curtain-raiser back in April, and more recently for battling his way impressively up the order from 22nd into fourth in the Whilton Mill finale, a staggering 18-place improvement on his grid slot. No other Mini Max contender claimed the award more than once but Jay confessed to being slightly ‘annoyed’ as well as proud of the statistic that serves to betray his burning ambition to succeed. “If I can come through the pack from the back to finish inside the top six, where could I finish from sixth on the grid?” mused Jay, at 12 still one of the youngest and least experienced competitors in the class. “Obviously I’m very pleased to be the only driver to have won two awards in Mini Max, and it makes me happy that I’ve been able to prove my fighting qualities – especially considering we’ve not really had the best of luck this year. Lewis is a great inspiration and he started out racing in the same series as me – and he’s such a big name too, so that can’t do me much harm either, can it?” Indeed, Luck has scarcely been on Jay’s side with his qualifying efforts repeatedly stymied – at Rowrah a sticking throttle and then sticking brakes held him back, whilst his fuel tank fell off as he was looking quick when FKS visited Whilton last month. On a more positive note, pole in the Super 1 season-opener demonstrated just what he is capable of when all goes according to plan. Jay is now ready for a busy winter of testing and competition with his Evolution Racing team.
ETCC - James Thompson added another jewel to his already rich crown by clinching the FIA European Super 2000 Cup after a couple of hectic races at Braga on Sunday. After finishing third in the first race on a wet track, the Briton and his Honda Accord took the most out of the nearly dry asphalt in the second race and overturned the situation by jumping ahead of rivals Franz Engstler and Norbert Michelisz. The final result meant that there were three different manufacturers represented on the podium: Honda, BMW and SEAT. In five editions of the cup Honda is the fourth manufacturer to win the S2000 trophy after BMW, SEAT (twice) and Chevrolet. Thompson's victory, added to Harry Vaulhards points, also meant that Great Britain was awarded the Nation's Cup. Latvian driver Marcis Birkens (Honda Civic) won the Super Production cup, becoming the first Baltic driver to win an FIA ETCC title, while Carsten Seifer (Ford Fiesta) continued Germany's winning tradition in the S1600 cup.
Formula 3 - Manor Motorsport’s Spanish racer Roberto Merhi just missed out on victory in the final round of the Formula 3 Euroseries at Hockenheim today, Sunday, 25th October. Running on wet tyres on a drying track he lost a 8 seconds lead as his tyres started to go off in the closing stages of the race. On lap 18, Finland’s Valtteri Bottas finallky passed him and although a podium still looked on it all went wrong when he hit the kerb and broke his suspension four laps from the flag read report
ETCC - Hungarian Norbert Michelisz claimed pole position for the ETCC in Braga at the wheel of a SEAT León TDI car run by the SEAT Sport team. Again weather conditions were a factor, as the session began on a wet track that dried up towards the end. It was crucial therefore to choose the right moment to go for a quick lap. Michelisz himself opened hostilities with a lap of 1:29.202, but as time wore on pole changed hands 18 times amongst five drivers. Reigning S2000 champion Michel Nykjær ousted Michelisz early on with a 1:28.802, only to be demoted by James Thompson's 1:28.798, a time he improved to 1:28.675 later on. Franz Engstler then joined Nykjær and Michelisz setting fastest laps, until Thompson hit the track with 5 minutes left putting in two consecutive laps of 1:25.853 and 1:25.766. But it wasn’t over yet. Duarte Félix da Costa emerged on top with a 1:25.349, before Michelisz reclaimed the lead. They swapped places one more time until Engstler crossed the line in 1:24.898. Only a few seconds were left when Michelisz's last shot sopped the clocks at 1:24.821 enough for pole with 0.077 seconds ro spare! Bamboo Engineering team-mates da Costa and Harry Vaulkhard filled the second row for Race 1, with the Honda cars of Tomas Engström and Thompson behind them. Russian driver Mikhail Zasadych stole pole from Latvia's Marcis Birkens by 0.2secs while S1600 only competitor Carsten Seifert managed to avoid the last spot of the grid qualifying ahead of Nikolay Karamishev. Vincent Radermecker is the only competitor not to run as since yesterday morning the Maurer Motorsport crew have been trying to solve an electrical problem on his Chevrolet Lacetti that stubbornly refuses to start.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge - Saturday saw the launch of the new Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone. The new series will be open to any 911GT3 Cup car from 2008 and earlier and will be administered by the Porsche Club GB with official backing from Porsche Cars GB. The new series will replace the existing Porsche Open and will sit comfortably beneath the Carrera Cup GB, which will, as usual, be open to the current model 911GT3 Cup car. The format of the new series will be 12 races over six weekends, with races of 25-30 minutes. There will be no clashes with the Carrera Cup, so that teams with the current 997-model 911GT3 Cup car can field cars in both series. Additionally, drivers from the GT3 Cup Challenge can step up for selected Carrera Cup weekends if they are driving 997-model cars. The dates for the GT3 Cup Challenge will be the same as the Porsche Club Championship, which continues un-changed. GT3 Cup Challenge cars will run on the same Michelin slicks as the Carrera Cup GB. Geoff Turral from Porsche Cars GB introduced the new series before Steve Kevlin of the Porsche Club GB provided more details, including outline technical regulations. "Porsche approaches motor sport with a structure that is sustainable and we are in it for the long term," said Turral. "The GT3 Cup Challenge is the next tier down from the Carrera Cup GB and it links Porsche Club motor sport with the Carrera Cup." Among the teams represented at the launch was front-running Carrera Cup squad, Team Parker Racing. "I think it is a fantastic concept," said team boss Stuart Parker. "We're definitely going to support it and we have both 996 and 997-model cars available for customers." The GT3 Cup Challenge is an established concept across the world, with race series in Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and the USA. The British series is the seventh to be established.Karts - Jordan King produced a strong performance in the last round of the national Super 1 Series at Fulbeck to finish third and fourth in the two finals. But for the 'dropped scores' system Super 1 employs, Jordan's super-consistent season would have seen him end the campaign as British KF3 Champion. Read report
Formula Renault UK Winter Championship racer Menasheh Idafar continued his preparations for the forthcoming four-round series this week alongside Manor Competition team-mates Thomas Hylkema and Robert Foster-Jones at Pembrey in South Wales. Having made his track debut in Manor colours at Rockingham, where the final two rounds of the Championship will be held, during the previous week, 18-year-old Menasheh was out at Pembrey on Thursday for two-day test. Taking guidance from team driver coach Rob Bell on the first day and Adriano Buzaid on day two, 23rd October, the British-born Bahraini gleaned a vast amount of experience from both. This was especially true concerning Menasheh’s wet-weather driving technique which improved markedly throughout the second day. “I learned so much during this week’s test”, said the Ortolan and Gulf Computer Services backed driver, “Rockingham went really well but I think the last two days have been even more useful for me. My times in the dry and the wet were competitive so I’m really happy and it was great working with Rob again and also Adriano, their experience was a huge help.” The opening rounds will be held next Saturday, 31st October, at Snetterton with the final two rounds at Rockingham a week later. Before then, Menasheh will have a three-day test at Snetterton starting on Wednesday. pic Jakob Ebrey Photography
Karts - Jordon Lennox-Lamb was cruelly robbed of victory in the 2009 Bridgestone Cup at Garda in Italy when his engine failed following a dominant performance by the Bedford driver. pic Chris Walker/www.kartpix.net read reportFormula Ford - It is fast becoming an expensive outing for many of the Formula Ford teams competing in the final round of the 2009 Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship at Surfers Paradise this weekend. In the second race of the round, several incidents claimed the scalps of no less than four drivers who now face the task of rebuilding their machines in time for the third and final race tomorrow. Just two racing laps were counted in the shortened race which was eventually declared under the supervision of the safety car with young New Zealander Mitch Evans again taking the honours, ahead of his fellow national Richie Stanaway and Queenslander Ash Walsh. “Not the ideal way to finish a race but I’ll take the points!” Evans said, who has now secured second place in the 2009 championship, and a one-two for his Sonic Racing team with teammate Nick Percat already taking the title at Phillip Island last month. “Hopefully we can have a clean race tomorrow and finish the weekend with some good racing,” he added. Ash Walsh and Richie Stanaway provided a great spectacle for the early morning crowd in the opening laps as they jostled for second place, with Stanaway’s tenacity winning in the end before the first of the several safety car interventions. Local driver Chaz Mostert was the first casualty, retiring after the first lap with suspension problems – a result of yesterday’s accident with Nick Percat. Martin Swindells was next to go after losing control at turn one, tagging the wall and leaving the right side of his Spectrum seriously buckled and the tow truck called to clear the wreckage. On the re-start young CAMS Rising Star Nathan Morcom and Nick Simmons were involved in separate incidents also at turn one which led to the safety car again being deployed and the race ultimately called prematurely.
Jean Todt has been elected to be the new president of F1's governing body, the FIA. In a Hotel near the FIA's headquarters in Paris, the Federation’s almost 70 per cent of the votes went in favour of Jean Todt. The FIA stated that only 49 went to Ari Vatanen with12 abstensions
Mini Challenge – Decorug’s Paul Stokell won the opening race in the Haymans Electrical Mini Challenge at the 2009 Nikon SuperGP event on the Surfers Paradise Street circuit. Nathan Carratti was second in the Glory Team Racing’s car followed by John Martin in third. Scott Bargwanna was fourth.
Formula Ford - Mitch Evans won the first of three races in the Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship at Surfers Paradise today (Friday). Evans, starting rom pole, beat fellow New Zealander Richie Stanaway by a tenth of a second with Scott Pye crossing the line in third. Read report
Supercopa - Freddy Nordstrom Is Shunted Out Of The Latest SEAT Leon Supercopa Race. Freddy Nordstrom saw his great progress shunted off the track in the latest round of the SEAT Leon Supercopa championship in Spain. He had set some blistering times in testing in the run up to the fifth event of the season, which filled himself and the Advent Motorsport team with high hopes of a strong finish at the event held in Jerez, Spain. With qualifying disrupted by a long yellow flag period, Freddy’s 18th place on the grid didn’t reflect the speed he knew he had. As the 34 car grid lined up for the first of the weekend’s three races, Freddy was confident his pace would get him up the field. With the first race a seven lap sprint, he knew he had no time to spare. Within just 4 laps he had overtaken nine cars to run in 9th and sit on the bumper of 8th place for a strong points finish. This effort was to be for nought however as on the final lap, under yellow flags, therefore no overtaking at that point of the circuit, the car behind him tried to dive down the inside and in doing so crashed heavily into the front of Freddy. Serious damage was incurred punting Freddy off the track but thankfully unhurt. The team worked through the night but the damage to the steering proved terminal and Freddy was forced to retire from the rest of the weekend’s event. There is now a quick turn around for Freddy and the team with the final round of the 2009 Championship at Barcelona on 31 October-1 November.
Saloons – Andrew Gallacher won both Scottish Sports and Saloon races at Knockhill last Sunday driving his FWD Ford Focus. Second on both occasions was Gallacher’s team-mate Charlie Shaw in a similar car although the latter had to work for his result, In the first race Garry Watson in a Westfield gave Shaw a run for his money, the Focus only grabbing second late in the race on lap 9. Shaw then proceeded to open a small gap in the final lap to finish 0.9secs behind Gallacher , who had clearly lifted off in the dying stages of the race, but almost one and half seconds up on Watson. Tony Galloway in a Mitsubishi Evo was fourth with Francis Galashan’s Caterham CSR fifth Race 2 saw the both Gallacher and Shaw ‘run away and hide’ from the rest of the field. They eventually finished over 30 seconds ahead of third placed Tony who had taken third on lap 5 from Garry Watson. The Westfield driver had been running in a strong third place until half distance when he started to slip down the field ending up down in ninth at the flag. Francis Galahsan’s Caterham followed Galloway over the line some 4 seconds further up the road. He was closely followed by the SEAT Cupra of Andrew Morrison and Peter Taddei’s Fiesta ZT, the three cars separated by under 2 seconds.
Clio Cup - Organisers have received the first registrations for the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Winter Cup with Michelin which takes place at Rockingham Motor Speedway on Saturday, 7th November. Among the early entries is 20-year-old Sam Tordoff competing with Total Control Racing. The Leeds racer finished eighth overall, the highest placed rookie-racer in 2009. TCR team-mate Daniel Lloyd also joins the winter series along with 16-year-old James Colburn competing under the family-run Westbourne Motorsport. Registrations have also been received from two newcomers – Matthew Munson and 42-year-old Paul Plant, both run by Stancombe Vehicle Engineering. Organisers are also offering a 5% discount from the 2010 ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin registration fee to all drivers who take part in this year’s Winter Cup. This year’s Winter Cup sees a change from previous years with the series being contested over just two rounds instead of the previous four in order to help control costs for both teams and drivers. The series will still adopt the same format as used in recent years of 1x qualifying session and 2 x races with testing taking place on the Friday beforehand. Cars without the latest bodywork update, introduced during the summer, will also be allowed to compete. Last year’s series saw Irish racer Árón Smith take the overall honours with two wins and two second places to finish 21-points clear of PH Motorsport’s Philip House. Registrations for the series are open now and will remain open until early November.
- The 21st
and 22nd rounds of the FIA WTCC will take place on November
1st at Okayama International Circuit, Japan. This is the second
visit the championship has had to the track that winds up among
the green hills of Honshu island. In 2008 Japanese fans flocked
to the track in spite of very wet weather. BMW Team Germany's
Augusto Farfus set pole on a dry track, but with the Brazilian
and title contender Gabriele Tarquini involved in a first turn
incident, Rickard Ridell's SEAT León TDI took advantage and won
the first race from BMW’s Jörg Müller and Andy Priiaulx, thereby
securing the Manufacturers' Championship for the Spanish
Three local drivers will make guest appearances in the FIA WTCC event at Okayama, all at the wheel of BMW independent cars: Seiji Ara (Proteam Motorsport), Nobuteru Taniguchi (Wiechers-Sport), Masaki Kano (Liqui Moly Team Engstler). The latter has raced in the WTCC before while Ara and Taniguchi face their debuts in the series
João Paulo Lima de Oliveira will join SUNRED Engineering for the event in Okayama. The 28-year-old Brazilian is a favourite of Japanese motorsport fans, being a regular in the local championships since 2004. After claiming the South American F3 title in the Scholarship class at the age of 18, he moved to Europe to win the German F3 championship in 2003. The year after he settled in Japan, where he collected another F3 title in 2005. From 2006 he has taken part in both the Japanese Super GT and Formula Nippon championships, establishing himself as one of the fastest and consistent drivers. He claimed Super GT race wins sharing the wheel of Nissan Z and GT-R cars with Seiji Ara. The two of them will find themselves on opposite sides in the WTCC, as Ara will drive a Wiechers-Sport BMW.
YOKOHAMA will return home as the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) travels to Okayama, Japan, for the penultimate race weekend of the 2009 season on 1 November. Not only will YOKOHAMA be providing the control tyres for the WTCC, but in its continued commitment to motorsport, will also supply a range of teams competing in the inaugural Asian Le Mans Series, which is supporting the WTCC. In accordance with its environmental policy, YOKOHAMA will be using ‘green electricity’ in its tyre service area during the weekend while preparing cars for the track. With the aim of reducing the use of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions, YOKOHAMA has partnered with Japan Natural Energy Company Limited and has been issued with a green certificate worth 1,000 kWh of energy using natural resources.It is the second consecutive year that YOKOHAMA has used ‘green electricity’, generated by wind power, hydropower and biomass, at the Japanese rounds of the WTCC, as the fight against global warming is of high priority to the company across its business activities, including motorsport. Prior to next weekend’s WTCC rounds, YOKOHAMA will also be supplying the control tyres for the FIA European Touring Car Cup (ETCC), which takes place at Braga's Circuito Vasco Samerio, Portugal, on 25 October. It has supported the series consecutively since 2005 and will award prize money of EUR 165.000 across each of the three categories: Super 2000, Super 1600 and Super Production.
ETCC - James Thompson and Franz Engstler are among the favourite drivers who will be fighting to win the FIA European Touring Car Cup this weekend in Portugal, at Braga's Circuito Vasco Samerio. While Engstler will drive a BMW 320si run by his own Liqui Moly Team Engstler, Thompson will join the Hartmann Honda Racing in a Honda Accord. The level of the field of the Super 2000 class in the fifth edition of the ETC Cup is very good and promises exciting and close racing. Other contenders are double European Cup winner Michel Nykjær (Chevrolet Lacetti) who aims for a third consecutive title, SEAT Eurocup new champion Norbert Michelisz (SEAT León), Vincent Radermecker (Chevrolet Lacetti),Tomas Engström (Honda Accord), Harry Vaulkhard (Chevrolet Lacetti), Per Poulsen (Honda Accord) and a trio of very fast locals: Fèlix Duarte da Costa (Chevrolet Lacetti), José Monroy (Chevrolet Lacetti) and Francisco Carvalho (SEAT León).
Other News - Johnny's Herbert’s annual Charity karting Challenge will take place at The Raceway, Docklands, London on 29th November 2009. To date confirmed celebrities include Alex Brundle, Danny Watts,Louise Goodman, Johnny Mowlem, Scott Malvern, Jake Green, Sarah Playfair. The event will see 22 teams battling it out for 3 hours of heart stopping racing, with spectators right up close to the action. For more information visit http://www.johnnyherbertkarting.co.uk
Karts - James Singleton, after stepping up a level from Mini Max to Junior Max, produced a brilliant performance to finish on the podium in his first real outing at Shenington. In 2009 and aged just 13, James has already finished inside the top four outright in both national championships, Formula Kart Stars (FKS) and Super 1… read report
Russ Danzey, overcame both a cold and an accident(not of his making) to storm through from the back of the pack to record an impressive seventh-place finish in the final round of the national Super 1 Series at Fulbeck. Read report
Porsche Supercup - British racers Richard Westbrook and James Sutton will team up to race for Team SAS in the Porsche Supercup races supporting the F1 World Championship finale in Abu Dhabi (31 October/1 November). Team SAS, which is operated by British team Red Line Racing, will field two cars at the Yas Marina track as a build-up towards a full Supercup campaign and has will enter cars for Westbrook and Sutton in Abu Dhabi. Both drivers are former Porsche Carrera Cup GB champions, Westbrook having won the title in 2004 and Sutton in 2007. "It’s a new circuit for everyone," said Westbrook. "It’s going to be a great double-header for the Supercup and it’s going to be incredibly hot out there. It's great to be working with Simon Leonard and the guys at Red Line Racing again. Simon was instrumental in getting me into Carrera Cup GB in 2004 and winning the title. That really was the catalyst for me moving on up." Sutton added, "I really want to go and deliver two good results in Abu Dhabi. It was good experience for me learning Monza recently as a new track and that was a good confidence boost ahead of Abu Dhabi."
Carrera Cup GB - Ten drivers took the opportunity to drive a Porsche 911GT3 Cup car at Silverstone yesterday (Wednesday 21 October) during the Porsche Carrera Cup GB sampler session. The drivers, all of them new to the Carrera Cup GB, took part in an exclusive three-hour session on the Silverstone National circuit as they consider their options for the 2010 season. In addition, FF1600 racer pat Blakeney took to the track in a 911GT3 Cup car having won the inaugural Ian Taylor Trophy Race for Formula Ford 1600, which was held at Thruxton on Sunday 28 June. The race honoured the memory of Ian Taylor, who raced FF1600 at Thruxton in the late 1960s and early 1970s before climbing further up the single-seater ladder during a very successful career. His son James is the manager of the Porsche Driving Experience Centre and did some FF1600 racing himself in the early stages of his racing career. James was also able to sample the 911GT3 Cup car during the test day. "I've only ever raced single-seaters," said Blakeney after taking his prize drive. "Driving the Porsche was great fun and thoroughly enjoyable. It was very predictable and it certainly ticked another box for me." The final driver to take to the track was Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher. He has played the character of Andy Sugden since 1996 in the long-running soap and harbours an ambition to break into motor sport at some point.
Silverstone: fast and fun gifts for Christmas - Launching the ALL NEW Lamborghini Thrill - £99 Silverstone – The Home of British Motor Racing – has the perfect gifts this Christmas, providing a Thrill for everyone. Whether it’s treating yourself, a friend or family member, Silverstone’s new fun-filled Lamborghini Thrill and £99 Christmas Super Choice Voucher will add some four-wheeled festive cheer to this year’s Christmas stockings. Silverstone is welcoming the instantly recognisable Lamborghini Gallardo to its range of Driving Experiences at the venue. Motoring fans will get the chance to drive the stylish and high-powered Gallardo on sections of the world famous Grand Prix Circuit with expert guidance from Silverstone’s fully qualified instructors. Included in the £99 Silverstone Christmas Super Choice Voucher (available at this reduced price for the Christmas period only*), recipients will be able to choose from either a Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Rally, Single Seater, Lotus Exige or Ferrari Thrill. Silverstone’s Single Seater Thrill is the closest that many will ever get to driving a F1 car, providing a slick, super-quick taste of Formula racing behind the wheel of a real single-seater race car. However, for off-road fun, tackling the rally handling stage in a works-built Ford Fiesta ST 150, as part of the Rally Thrill, also comes highly recommended. All of Silverstone’s Driving Experiences** include tuition from highly professional instructors. For further information on the full range of Driving Experiences and Thrill packages available at Silverstone, visit www.silverstone.co.uk, or call 0844 3728 270. –
Australian Formula Ford - New Zealanders have snared the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s race one of the Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship at Surfers Paradise this afternoon(Thursday). 15 year-old Mitch Evans and 17 year-old Richie Stanaway were split by just 0.013secs in another incident-marred session. Evans fastest lap time of 1min 57.35secs was a remarkable feat considering he was driving with an injured hand courtesy of a Surfers Paradise tyre barrier. “I really couldn’t do much better than that today,” Evans said. “My hand was giving me a bit of grief and trying to control the car through some of the tighter sections without full strength was testing ... I’ve still got it on ice so hopefully by tomorrow it will be back to normal,” he added. Fresh from his stint in the German Formula Masters series, young New Zealander Richie Stanaway, who only arrived from Europe this morning, posted a 1min 57.36secs lap, two tenths (0.25secs) quicker than third fastest Ash Walsh. “That’s the fastest I’ve ever had to learn a circuit!” the 17 year-old joked. “24 hours ago I was in London! ... I missed this morning’s first practice session and just made it into the second ... it’s been a pretty full on day,” he added. “The car’s showing plenty of speed – and it wasn’t just a one off – it was quick out of the box lap after lap so hopefully we can maintain that for our races this weekend.” Spectrum driver Walsh rounded out the top three in qualifying. “I was pretty happy with the car ... it’s still a little unsettled in places so we’ll make a few changes overnight for the race and hopefully be able to give these young kiwis a run for their money,” he joked. Newly crowned champ Nick Percat will start from fourth place on the grid, with CAMS Rising Star driver Scott Pye in fifth. Round eight of the Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship continues tomorrow with race one at 3.45pm, followed by races two and three on Saturday and Sunday at 8.30am and 1.20pm respectively.
New Zealander Mitch Evans set the pace on the Gold Coast during opening practice for Round eight of the Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship at Surfers Paradise... but his 1min 59.50secs hot-lap came at a price. Evans was one of several drivers caught out by the unfamiliar circuit, with his Banklink Mygale bottoming out on the kerb at turn one causing him to lose control and spear into the tyre barrier. Such was the force of the impact, the steering wheel snapped off in his hands leaving him with a very sore wrist which is currently on ice. Hopefully it will heal in time for in the afternoon. Evans’ Sonic teammate, and 2009 Australian Formula Ford Champion Nick Percat, also came to grief causing significant damage to his No Fear Mygale, leaving the Sonic crew a frantic afternoon of repairs prior to qualifying. Tasmanian Ben Walter was the first victim to be claimed by the dusty circuit, sliding into the wall at turn ten on the first lap of the first session, leaving his Minda Motorsport Spectrum looking more like a canoe. The Minda team worked feverishly between sessions to rebuild the front end enabling Walter to get some laps under his belt in the second session. On a more positive note, recent returnee to the national championship Ash Walsh continued his run of good form, posting the second fastest time. Walsh, piloting his Muzz Buzz Spectrum was just two tenths (0.24secs) off Evans’ fastest lap in the incident shortened session. Synergy Motorsport’s Chaz Mostert finished third fastest.
Ginetta - YRC welcomes Yorkshire lass, Sarah Moore to the YRC crew. Sarah, 15 at the time, took the Ginetta Junior title in the last race of the 2009 season to become the first female championship winner on the British Touring Car series. A close-fought battle right to the end, she had a tight margin of only 7 points ahead of her nearest rival as she took to the grid. YourRacingCar.com bucks the trend of one large corporate sponsor, especially at a time when there are not many to go round. To ensure that the fans get real involvement and are part of a team, the YourRacingCar.com crew is encouraging to get behind Sarah as she takes on all-comers in the 2010 season to retain her title. Watch out Fulvio(Mussi, team’s current driver), Sarah's got her eye on your G50 seat in 2011! "Fulvio’s pleased we’ve added another girl to the team. He seems to think it makes for better team dynamics!" said Hannah James, Team Manager. "It’s great to have Sarah on board to take on the G40 challenge for the YRC fan sponsors. There’s no doubt she'll have a tough time in 2010 but I know she’s up to it. There are a lot of young racers out there with something to prove and everyone will be on new wheels. With the YRC fans and the crew backing her all the way, we're looking forward to making some history together." Lawrence Tomlinson, Ginetta Chairman said: “I am delighted that Sarah has chosen to defend her 2009 Ginetta Junior Championship title next year with Your Racing Car. The team already has a proven track record in the Ginetta G50 Championship and I’m sure that by working closely with Hannah James and Fulvio Mussi, Sarah’s already considerable talents will increase further. She really is the ‘one to watch’ in British motorsport and I look forward to seeing her in action in her new Your Racing Car Ginetta G40 car next season. 2010 memberships are on sale now at www.YourRacingCar.com
Club Racing - The third of the four specially commissioned programmes to showcase the best of BRSCC racing will be broadcast tomorrow evening, Friday 23rd October, at 7.05pm on Motors TV as part of their UK Full Speed Racing show. Tomorrow’s programme features rounds of the BRSCC Mighty Minis Championship and the Welsh Sports Saloon Car Championship, which were both shot at our South Eastern Centre meeting at Brands Hatch on Sunday 16th August. The series of programmes were produced thanks to the support of GRAND PRIX RACEWEAR, RICHARD EGGER INSURANCE and GAZ SHOCKS. Motors TV can be found on channel 413 on the Sky platform and channel 545 via Virgin Media. The show will be repeated several times next week. The complete schedule can be found at MOTORS TV
V de V – With GT, Tourisme, Sport Prototype, modern and historic, endurance and sprint, there should be something for everyone as the V de V cars return to Nevers Magny-Cours this weekend for the V de V Championnat de France Endurance VHC and the Challenge Funyo plus two 6 hours races for the Challenge Endurance Proto and the Challenge Endurance GT/Tourisme their penultimate round prior to the finale in three weeks time at Estoril. Read preview
Carrera Cup GB - The six young racing drivers selected as finalists in the second year of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholarship Programme completed a demanding two-day evaluation process at Silverstone on Wednesday(21 Oct). They now have an anxious wait until the announcement of the two scholarship winners for 2010, which will be made on Monday 26 October. Created and run by Porsche Cars GB, the 'Carrera Cup GB Scholarship Programme' provides £50,000 to each of two drivers to use as a significant element of their budget for the 2010 Carrera Cup GB season. The six finalists went through a rigorous two-day evaluation process at the Porsche Driving Experience Centre at Silverstone, including driving the 420bhp 911GT3 Cup car on the Silverstone National circuit. On the first day they took part in media exercises, fitness tests at Porsche Human Performance, panel interviews and a challenging fitness competition. In addition, the finalists were put through a Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS), which is the gold standard for bench-marking performance personality. Their scores were compared to those of Olympic gold medallists read more
The U.S. F2000 National Championship is to be revived by Dan Andersen, the co-founder and co-owner of the popular series back in the nineties. It will be sanctioned by the Indy Racing League. It will be known as the U.S. F2000 National Championship and will be run by Andersen Promotions, LLC, a new company owned by Andersen and his brother, John. Read more
Star Mazda - Within hours of the last race of the 2009 Star Mazda season where Adam Christodoulou clinched the title , the teams, drivers, crew and officials of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear gathered at the Chateau St. Julien winery in the Carmel Valley for the Series awards presentation ceremony. As well as the fully-sponsored 2010 Atlantic Championship drive won by Christoloudou as the Champion, there was $575,000 in cash and prizes for the top-15 finishers plus various other awards… full details
A1GP - The A1GP race at Surfers paradise this weekend has been called off . This means the first race in the series will now be held at Zhuhai in China in November
.GT Open - 2010 Calendar Unveiled. The 2010 season of the International GT Open will include eight events, which will keep the proven format of two 1-hour free practice sessions on Fridays, two 35-minute qualifying sessions and first race on Saturdays and second race on Sundays. The series will visit tracks around Europe with the Nurburgring included for the first time. GT Sport anticipates no major changes in the technical rules of the Super GT (GT2) and GTS (GT3) categories, ensuring thus regulatory stability for the fifth year in a row. The main development will be that the GTS (GT3) category will have its own separate set of rules, to be published shortly, but with no modifications in substance. On the commercial side, the growing interest from TV stations will certainly lead to an extended TV coverage, both live and delayed, throughout Europe and beyond. GT Sport will announce new agreements in due course. Jesus Pareja, CEO of GT Sport, commented: "We are actively working on the 2010 edition of the International GT Open and will pursue our policy of progressive growth based on regulatory stability and cost control, which is what GT competitors are asking for. We are pleased to announce today our 2010 calendar, which includes eight events in seven different countries, all on top-class circuits with premium venues, and we are delighted to add to the list a motorsports temple like the Nurburgring". calendar
Karts - Callum Bowyer achieved his first victory of 2009 in the last round of the national Super 1 Series at Fulbeck, dominating the entire weekend with wins in both heat races and both finals. What's more only a handful of days before the meeting Callum hadn't even thought he would be racing at all due to the funding having run out - but a benefactor kindly stepped in at the eleventh hour to enable him to compete, and he did so in style for a superb result...read report
And here’s one I raced earlier! - BBC TV's most famous Children's Programme, Blue Peter, has one of it's presenters making his truck racing debut at Brands Hatch in the the Truck Superprix next weekend (31 October/1 November). Andy Akinwolere will swap sticky-back plastic for a steering wheel in order to make his motor racing debut. Akinwolere will compete at the circuit on Saturday 31 October, piloting a five-tonne 1000bhp race truck – capable of accelerating to 100mph faster than a Porsche 911 – in the British Truck Racing Association Championship. In preparation for his racing debut, Andy has undergone an intensive training programme that included obtaining his HGV road licence. He also passed his entry-level racing licence test with the help of some one-to-one tuition from a team of Brands Hatch instructors. Akinwolere has received some expert advice too from eight-time British Truck Racing champion Stuart Oliver, who has been helping his Blue Peter protégé get to grips with the racing lines around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Stuart Oliver said: “When Andy and I first met I took him out as a passenger, and I was a bit concerned by how terrified he seemed during his first taste of a racing truck! However, once he got into the driver’s seat he picked up the basics very quickly. Andy is coming on leaps and bounds in his training, as he has listened to the advice I’ve been giving him and put it into action.” Stuart added: “Time will tell how Andy will fare on the big day, as a lot of his success will be down to whether he can cope with the pressures of racing. Practicing on the circuit can’t prepare you for the feeling of sitting on the grid surrounded by other trucks!” The Brands Hatch Truck Superprix takes place across two days – 31 Oct -1 Nov – and features the final 4 races of the season. Entry is free for Blue Peter badge holders under the age of 16, and the event will also include support races such as Pickup Trucks and Legends.Tickets for the Brands Hatch Truck Superprix on 31 October/1 November cost from £16 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. Blue Peter badge holders aged 16 and under also get in free. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or visit www.brandshatch.co.uk.
Fiestas - Peter Cruickshank and Tim Sleigh may have won the two Scottish XR2 races on Sunday at Knockhill but it was Ian Munro who came away with the Championship crown. When Jason Callaghan retired from the opening race after he was punted off on the opening lap by an unknown assailant, the title was in the bag for Munro. He still gave it his best in the final race battleing with Peter Cruickshank and Tim Sleigh before the latter named snatched the lead late on from race one winner Peter Cruickshank. Read report
Asian LMS - Aston Martin Racing will make its Japanese debut with the Gulf liveried LMP1 car at the inaugural round of the Asian Le Mans Series in Okayama. on October 31 and November 1 . Harald Primat (CH) (pictured left) moves from his usual seat in the 009 Aston Martin to join 007 regular Stefan Mücke (DE) and complete the driver line-up. “2009 has been a fantastic year,” said Aston Martin Racing Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell. “We have enjoyed great success all over Europe and now we head to Japan to compete in the first ever Asian Le Mans Series race.” They will face strong opposition inn Japan including a number of the team’s LMS rivals. There will be two further Aston Martins, a GT1 DBR9 from Hitotsuyama Team Nova and a Vantage GT2 from Team Hong Kong Racing. Mücke is thrilled to be racing in Japan: “I’m very excited, this will be my first visit to Japan. It is definitely going to be an interesting experience but one I’m looking forward to. It’s difficult to say if the circuit will suit the car as we haven’t tested there before so we will have to wait and see. “I’m partnering with Harald for the first time in Japan but as he is tall like me I think we will be able to find a comfortable driving position. The shorter three-hour format will mean qualifying is more important as the races will be more like sprints.” Team-mate Primat is also looking forward to racing in Japan: “I studied Japanese at Business School for two years prior to embarking on my racing career but I never actually made it to Japan so it will be good to finally visit. For me it doesn’t make too much difference if it is a three hour race or our usual six hour race – it will be a little bit more intense but we always race hard so it will be business as usual. I’m really enthusiastic about the race and the event in Tokyo, I’m feeling very motivated.”
Formula 3 - Sean McDonagh impresses in first F3 test with T-Sport at Rockingham. American McDonagh, who spent 2009 watching from the sidelines after his sponsors ‘jumped ship’, had a strong week preparing for next season. After a full day in the hands of Rob Wilson, Sean joined up with T-Sport, one of Formula 3’s most prominent teams, to spend two days testing at Rockingham.. Sean settled in well with the team saying, “T-Sport is an impressive team, and we worked very well together, we got a lot out of the car, it felt great to be here.” Russel Eacott of T-Sport said “For a driver who hasn’t been in the car for sometime, we were very,very happy with his performance, he was spot on race pace, making strong adjustments every time we asked for it.” As to 2010 sean said, “We’re working on all aspects of my driving, and talking with people about a run in F3 here in England. I’m really looking forward to this next step. “
British Formula 3: season review time - This season British Formula 3 more than lived up to its reputation as the most competitive national single-seater series in the world, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo clinching the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series title for Carlin Motorsport thanks to seven race victories and despite severe season-long pressure from the Hitech Racing team and its drivers Walter Grubmüller and Renger van der Zande. Ricciardo is the second successive champion for Carlin and Red Bull. His immediate predecessor, Jaime Alguersuari, moved into Formula 1 within nine months of taking the British F3 crown to become the youngest-ever Grand Prix driver. Daniel's title was also marked a super-successful season for Volkswagen, which returned to British F3 as an engine supplier after a 20-year absence. The season brought race wins for nine different drivers - Ricciardo, van der Zande, Nick Tandy, Marcus Ericsson, Grubmüller, Riki Christodoulou, Wayne Boyd, Adriano Buzaid and Max Chilton, first-timers all - and for six different teams: Carlin, Hitech, JTR, Raikkonen Robertson, Fortec and T-Sport. In the National Class there was a season-long fight for top honours between Daniel McKenzie and Gabriel Dias. The Brazilian was often quicker, but the British Fortec driver was the more consistent finisher and was a deserving title victor. Catch the TV season review package on Motors TV: Saturday 31 October @ 1905 ts on the F3 YouTube channel
Karts – Robert Foster-Jones took the British Super 1 Championship title at Fulbeck on Sunday after two exciting finals where both he and his rival for the Championship crown, Ben Cooper went wheel to wheel in both races. Foster_jones not only ‘raced the wheels off his kart’ he also used some smart tactics to back his rival into the pack thereby denying him the points he needed for the title..read report
Formula Ford – The Australian Formula Ford teams will be on the streets of Surfers Paradise this weekend for the final round of the Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship, to decide the minor placings in this year’s championship. Sonic Racing’s Nick Percat wrapped up the title during round seven at Phillip Island last month, but the battle for second and third places will go down to the wire in what’s sure to be another round of racing. Just 12 points separates Sonic’s Mitch Evans and Borland Racing’s Scott Pye in the chase for runner-up, with Synergy’s Chaz Mostert also in with a outside chance a further 20 points behind. “I’m really looking forward to this weekend now the pressure’s off,” Percat said “This circuit is not the sort of place I’d really want to be scrapping for a championship on … it’s actually going to be a bit of fun out there knowing I’m not racing for a championship,” the new champ added. New Zealander Mitch Evans will be looking to make it a one-two championship finish for Sonic Racing but will have his hands full with Pye and Chaz both fighting for the runner’s-up trophy. “We should see some pretty tight racing this weekend,” Evans said “None of us have driven this circuit before so we’re all starting with a level playing field so-to-speak … I guess a lot of it is going to come down to qualifying because it’s not the easiest track to pass on so being fast out of the box is going to be really important.” Scott Pye, fresh from the Formula Ford Festival in the UK, echoed Evans’ sentiments.“This is going to be a pretty tough event,” he said. “It’s not the sort of place you want to try a big passing move and not pull it off … there’s little room for error with all the concrete - so getting out in front early is going to be the key to a successful weekend,” he added. The Formula Ford’s have three races starting Friday and wrapping up on Sunday afternoon. Race three will be televised live on the Seven Network on Sunday afternoon from 1.30pm
ETCC - The fifth edition of the FIA European Touring Car Cup will take place on October 25th at Braga's Circuito Vasco Samerio. This will be the first FIA automobile event at the 3.0 km racetrack located 6 km North of Portugal's third largest city. Although the karting track nearby has hosted several international meetings, including FIA World Championships in 2000 and 2005, the racing circuit has only been used for national events so far. Read preview
British GT: A season reviewed - The 2009 Avon Tyres British GT Championship may have lacked the grid sizes seen in previous seasons but there was certainly nothing missing in terms of the quality of the racing on offer. Race after race provided a nail-biting finish and nine different driver pairings won rounds of the series. The outright British GT title went by a single point to twin brothers David and Godfrey Jones, who took three outright victories at the wheel of their Team Pyro-prepared Preci-Spark Ascari KZR1, and the championship was not decided until the final round. There were race wins also for the Mosler MT900, the Dodge Viper, the new and experimental Ginetta G50Z, the Ferrari 430 and its newest evolution, the Scuderia, and also for the Ford GT. While GT3 provided unpredictability and a host of different winners thanks to the championship's 'balance of performance' rules, there was less competition in GT4 and a clean sweep of wins for the Ginetta chassis, with champion Jody Firth and his driving partner, Nigel Moore, claiming the lion's share of them. Catch the TV season review package on Motors TV: Sunday 1 November @ 1905; view the repeats schedule here Or see the highlights on the British GT YouTube channel
FPA - Richard Plant claimed the 2009 Formula Palmer Audi Championship during a dramatic final weekend at Snetterton. Plant, Tristan Vautier, Kazim Vasiliauskas and Adam Foster were all in contention to win the title at Snetterton, and Vasiliauskas improved his chances by taking victory in the opening race of the weekend ahead of Plant. The Lithuanian closed the gap even further with a second place in race two, whilst Vautier and Plant could only manage seventh and eighth respectively. Foster was out of contention by the final race while Plant held a 5 point lead over Vasiliauskas with Vautier a further 10 points back. There was drama at the start of the final race when the top two clashed off the line. Plant made a great start from fifth but he had nowhere to go as a gap closed in front of him. Plant immediately braked and was hit from behind by Vasiliauskas. The Lithuanian suffered major damage to his front left wheel and crashed at the first turn, collecting Paul Rees and Bastian Graber in the process. Plant was able to continue as the safety car was immediately deployed. Felix Rosenqvist, who won race two, then led Jolyon Palmer at the restart of race three before they made contact at Riches Corner, both cars spinning in front of Tristan Vautier. As he tried to avoid them he was collected by Palmer and turned upside on the side of the circuit. Another red flag came out but Vautierm’s, who was completely unharmed, championship dream was over. The frenetic opening to the final FPA race of the season had handed Plant the championship as the Englishman eventually settled for eighth place in the restarted race while Rosenqvist went on to win.
Grand Prix Shootout - Chrissy Palmer has become the first driver to earn a place in the Final of this year’s Grand Prix Shootout at Pembrey following his victory in last weekend’s Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch. The category’s form driver coming into the weekend’s Festival, Palmer continued in the same vein that had seen him take two victories in the final meeting at Castle Combe. He started his Festival with a second in his opening heat before finishing first in both the semi-final and the final. Palmer said: “Obviously I’d like to think I could go along and win it but I’m just going to do the best I can. I drove a Formula Renault, which was the first time I’d been in a single seater, before competing in Ford so I’ve got some experience of slicks and wings. I’ve also been to Pembrey while in SAXMAX a couple of years ago so the track will be familiar. We’ve been looking at all sorts of options for next season and although a seat in Formula BMW Europe would be great, I’m not sure our budget would quite stretch that far. It’s why Grand Prix Shootout is such a great opportunity.” Grand Prix Shootout Managing Director David Fleming (pictured with Palmer) added: “The Formula Ford Festival is a world renowned event which pitches some of the most promising young drivers against each other. For that reason it was only natural for GP Shootout to offer the winner a place in our final as it demonstrates our intention to set the very best drivers from junior motor sport on the road to Formula 1.” Palmer will be joined at the Welsh venue by eight other drivers selected from the other hopefuls that have attended Grand Prix Shootout’s first round assessment days at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground throughout 2009. The nine finalists will have one last chance to impress a judging panel comprising, amongst others, USF1 chief Peter Windsor and F1 driver coach Rob Wilson, when they take to the track in a Raikkonen Robertson Racing-prepared Formula BMW Europe car. The eventual winner will then receive a fully funded drive in the 2010 series. Just two more first round assessment days remain – November 4/5 – for drivers bidding for a place in the 2009 Final on November 23-25.
F3000 - Will Bratt put in a Championship winning performance yesterday at Monza to take the 2009 PartyPokerRacing.it Euroseries 3000 title. Starting the race from sixth on the grid he carved his way through the field to second place to go level in the points with Marco Bonanomi. This meant that the Championship was decided on the number of wins and then second places with Will taking the crown courtesy of his result yesterday Read report
Formula Ford – Scott Fraser took full advantage of Rory Butcher’s absence from Knockhill on Sunday to record to well deserved victories at a cold and on occasion damp Knockhill. Leading both races from pole he was never headed as he swept to two fine wins ahead of Craig Brunton. In the opening race he was briefly challenged by Stuart Robertson before the latter had a momentary trip to the gravel before rejoining in fifth.This handed second to Brunton who fastened himself onto Fraser’s gearbox and stayed there for the duration. He had a brief look up the inside of Scotsman on several occasions but Fraser kept the door firmly closed, winning after 10 laps by half a second. Third was Alistair Dow who had been trailed by Jillian Shedden for most of the race before she went out on lap 9. This left fourth to Carol Brown who had been forced to start from the back after he car failed it’s ride height after practice. Nevertheless she put in a good drive to climb through the field getting fourth from Martin Pieraccini on lap 8. Fifth went to the recovering Stuart Robertson who also passed Pieraccini late on leaving the latter named to end his race in sixth, pic R Pascal 11/56 Motorsport
Classics - Russell Paterson was in a dominant mood at Knockhill yesterday(Sunday) winning both of the SMRC’s Classic Sports and Saloon car races in the final meeting of the eyar at Knockhill. His Morgan Plus 8 team-mate Andrew Smith kept him honest in both races coming in second just a few tenths of a second behind on both occasions. Read reportMini Challenge - In the FFDR Scottish Mini Cooper Cup on Sunday at Knockhill, Guest driver Robin Liddell won the first two races with a pair of lights-to-flag victories. In the opening encounter he was followed throughout by Vic Covey Jnr and Ken Thirwall,the three crossing the finish in line astern separated by a little over a second. In race 2 Liddell again led from the start with Covey hard on his heels, until 2 laps from the end. Covey then went off track to rejoin dead last. This handed second place to Mark Dyden with Thirwall third. In the final race Mario Loia led the first 6 laps before Michael Rowan slipped by followed by David Sleigh leaving Loia to fend off Thirwall for the remaining laps. At the flag Rowan won by just under a second with Sleigh still second and Loia third.
Scott Bargwanna will be back in action in the Australian Mini Challenge at the Nikon SuperGP in Surfers Paradise this weekend where he plans to move closer to the Championship leading DecoRug machines of Grant Denyer and Paul Stokell. Although he is 66 points adrift at the moment both the Decorug cars will be loaded with ‘success ballast on the Gold Coast. So with 60 points up for grabs in each race this looks like the perfect opportunity to close the gap. Joining Bargwanna and his team-mate Bj Cook in the Rock Energy team this weekend is 18 year old Sean Carter read more
Porsche Carrera Cup Italia - Fresh from finishing second in the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB, James Sutton made his debut in the Carrera Cup Italia at Monza over the weekend (17/18 October) and claimed a podium finish on his first experience of the famous Italian track. Sutton says that his results in the Carrera Cup GB this year opened the door for the fully funded drive at Monza. "The team had a spare car and offered me the drive; it was too good an opportunity to miss," he said. "With my success in Britain in 2009 they recognised that I'd be a good candidate." Despite having to learn the Monza track, Sutton finished fifth in the opening race and then third in the second race, setting the fastest lap of the second race in the process. "What I learnt in Carrera Cup GB this year stood me in good stead for battling with the top Italians," he said. "It was hard work learning the track against all the local drivers who know it so well. But it was a fantastic chance to learn Monza and I hope to be racing there in the Porsche Supercup next season." With drivers like Alessandro Zampedri at the head of the field, Sutton said that the racing was tough. "It is very, very competitive out there and the pace of the front guys is Supercup pace, so I was very pleased to be battling with them."
The Porsche Club GB brought its three motorsport championships, the Porsche Club Championship, Porsche Open and Porsche Speed Championship, to a formal close with an awards evening at the Hilton Puckrup Hall Hotel near Tewkesbury on the evening of Saturday October 17th. Champions and class winners from each series were honoured, with awards being presented by Steve Dolby of Michelin, long-term supporters of the club’s racing activities. The Porsche Open, being a series rather than a championship, still had two awards on the night, with Driver of the Year, based on results and a subjective element from the organisers, going to Mike Johnson. Unbeaten in class and a supporter of the Open all season, Mike was always in the thick of the action in his Class Three 911 SC. Mike wins a one-off drive in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB next season. The Spirit of the Series award for the Porsche Open went to Dave Whelan, who travelled from Ireland to contest each round of the series. The two winners will be the last in Porsche Open history as the series will be replaced by the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge in 2010. Jeremy Clark was awarded the Porsche Club Championship trophy, the reigning champion holding on to his crown, this time racing in Class Two and undefeated in class all year. Ben Demetriou claimed the Class One title – becoming the first driver in Porsche Club history to have won all three classes in different seasons. The team award for the Porsche Club Championship went to County Classics Racing Ltd. The Porsche Speed Championship title went to another driver who remained unbeaten all season, Graham Rose taking his second overall title from Class Four of the series in the 15th season of the well-supported series.
GTs - Official Aston Martin Racing Team – Hexis Racing is heading to Zolder, Belgium for the final round of the FIA GT3 Championship, hoping to win the Team and Driver titles. The team’s title chances were greatly improved last week after the FIA International Court of Appeal overturned an exclusion imposed at Oschersleben, reinstating six precious points for the DBRS9 driven by Thomas Accary and Julien Rodrigues. Hexis Racing’s DBRS9s have three victories and three podium finishes this season. Following the appeal, the team is back at the top with a 20.5 lead in the Team Championship and a 0.5 point lead in the Driver Championship. With two races of the season remaining there is everything to play for. Hexis Racing Team Manager Philippe Dumas commented: “We are all very happy and relieved that the FIA reached a fair decision, recognising that a simple clerical error made by the manufacturer when the DBRS9 was first homologated was just a mistake and that no performance advantage was gained. It is to Aston Martin’s credit that they resolved this situation and we are back in the hunt for the Championships.” David King, Head of Motorsport for Aston Martin added: “I am delighted that we can put this behind us and Hexis can focus their efforts on fighting for the prestigious FIA GT3 title on the track. I wish them the best of luck as they head to Zolder for the final races of the season.”
Team Motul-Autech and its star driver Benoît Tréluyer once again shone at Autopolis this weekend. After a podium finish at Fuji last month, Tréluyer climbed to the second step of the rostrum once more to strengthen the team’s position at the head of the championship standing read report
Formula Ford - Rory Butcher won the Formula Ford Festival Kent final at Brands Hatch today(Sunday). After winning his heat yesterday and his semi final earlier today Butcher held off his season long rival Scott Malvern to win by just 0.069secs whilst third went to Neville Smythe who was breathing down the leading pairs' necks just 0.129 off the winners time. In the Duratec final Chrissy Palmer came out on top ahead of Liroy Stuart and 2009 MSA FFord UK Champion James Cole.
F3000 - Will Bratt took a critical victory on Saturday at Monza in the PartyPokerRacing.it Euroseries 3000 Championship to move 2 points clear in the Championship with just one race to run. Bratt put in a series of quick laps to dominate the race from the front after starting from 4th on the grid. Read report
GT3 Asia – The GT3 Asian Championship was won and lost in the final race in Japan today. Melvin Choo claimed his second win at Autopolis making it a perfect 2 wins from 2 starts but it was Tunku Hammam who won the title but only just! His rival fro the title Francis Tjia had the title in the bag whilst running third late in the race until he inexplicably ttried to pass Frank Yu’s Ginetta. The pair touched, spun and thereby handed the title to Hammam. Read report
GT3 Asia - The finish of Round 11 of the GT3 Asia was incredibly close at the Autopolis Circuit in Japan on Saturday. Melvin Choo just sneaked over the line to win by a hairs breadth in his first race in the series ahead of the new Championship leader, Tunku Hammam after a great race. Read report
Karts - Jay Goodwin has banished his run of ill-fortune over the summer with a superb victory in his most recent outing at Kimbolton, thoroughly dominating the weekend from start-to-finish. Read report
Formula Renault - With just two weeks to go until the 2009 Formula Renault UK Winter Championship gets underway at Snetterton, Manor Competition has confirmed it will field a four-car line up. Bidding to add the 2009 winter title to the it’s 2009 Formula Renault UK driver’s crown they won with McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist Dean Smith, the team will benefit from the consistency of retaining David McDonald (pictured) and Thomas Hylkema alongside Manor newcomers Menasheh Idafar and Robert Foster-Jones. McDonald improved markedly throughout his debut season in Formula Renault UK this year, achieving three top four finishes and six other top 10 results en-route to 12th l in the championship. Dutch racer Hylkema, showed great flashes of pace throughout the main championship but bad luck didn’t allow him to show what he is capable of. Ending the season 16th in the standings, a career best top six finish during the penultimate event at Rockingham showed the speed is definitely there. British-born Bahraini Menasheh Idafar makes his return to Formula Renault with Manor having called time on his 2009 UK championship after the seventh race meeting of the season. Having already impressed during his maiden test appearances with the team, the 18-year-old has high hopes for a consistent campaign. Karting’s Robert Foster-Jones makes the step-up to cars with Manor from the ranks of the B4/Renault MSA Formula KF1 British Championship where he is currently in contention for the 2009 title – the decider taking place this Sunday, 18th October, at Fulbeck in Lincolnshire. Commenting on the line-up, team co-owner Tony Shaw said: “We’re very, very happy indeed to have secured such a strong four-car squad. We’ve managed to carry forward consistency from the main championship with David and Thomas while also bringing some fresh faces into the Manor fold with Menasheh and Robert. Testing with David, Thomas and Menasheh has been very promising so far while Robert will run with us for the first time next week when he’s concluded his commitments in karting. After such a strong championship-winning season this year, we’re really looking forward to the winter series.” The the 2009 Formula Renault UK Winter Championship starts at Snetterton on 31st October before moving to Rockingham a week later on, 7th November.
Formula Ford - The 38th BRSCC Formula Ford Festival takes place at Brands Hatch this weekend and with entry numbers up on last year and the weather forecast looking good it’s sure to be a Festival to remember. Having won the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain James Cole from Southport will be amongst the favourites but he will face a very stiff examination from American Josef Newgarden who ran Cole a close second in the championship. Newgarden impressed everyone last year winning the Kent Final in what was his first time at Brands Hatch. Another pair of season long protagonists will be highly fancied in this years Kent category. Rory Butcher and Scott Malvern were neck and neck in the Club Formula Ford National Championship with the champion still to be decided by a judicial hearing of Motorsport Ireland . In the Zetecs, Neil Tofts will offer a robust defence of the title he won last year and this time the Zetecs have their own final rather than as a class in the Duratec final.Supporting the Formula Ford s this year are the three categories of the well supported Sports 2000 Championship, our Cardinus sponsored Club F3 championship and the Competition Car Insurance Ford Fiesta Championship. The Fiestas, run by Ford racing UK , have produced fantastic grids for the Club all season and this weekend is no different with 40 lining up at Brands Hatch. For more info rmation about the Festival visit FORMULA FORD FESTIVAL
The latest pair of Team USA Scholarship drivers, Connor De Phillippi and Brett Smrz have completed their first test session at Brands Hatch, where they will make their European racing debuts in this weekend's Formula Ford Festival. De Phillippi and Smrz had their first look around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in identically prepared Ray GRS07/08 Formula Ford cars. "My first time out in the car went really well," said De Phillippi, who clinched this year's BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda at Lime Rock Park last Friday and Saturday. "I adapted to the car's characteristics quite easily, because they are quite similar to the Skip Barber car. It moves around a lot, although it is still very stable in the high-speed turns. Understeer seems to be a common characteristic, so adapting my driving to that will be the next step. Adapting to the H-pattern gearbox was a bit tricky, but for now the car is great. I'm just focusing on perfecting the track." On unofficial timing, De Phillippi was within a few tenths of the day's best times. Smrz was also close to the pace despite a brief trip into a gravel trap. "The car was a bit difficult to get used to," said Smrz. "It tended to have a lot of understeer, rather than a lot of oversteer. The Skip Barber cars tend to be more on the loose side, so it is something that I had to take some time to overcome." Both drivers enjoyed their first taste of Brands Hatch. "Paddock Hill Bend is quite some turn," exclaimed Smrz. "The first time I went through there, I didn't expect the drop to be quite as severe as it looked. Once you are in the car, it feels like a roller coaster. There is a compression at the bottom of the hill, and then it immediately starts to climb back up another hill. You definitely have to build your confidence." Formula Ford driver-turn-team owner Cliff Dempsey was impressed by the two Americans. "They're not going too bad," he said with characteristic understatement. "My first impressions are good. You keep sending me kids like this and I'll run them anytime, anywhere. They're great!" For more information, please visit www.TeamUSAScholarship.org.
Ford is to throw a lifeline to thousands of historic Formula Ford racers worldwide thanks to a decision to put the legendary 'Kent' engine block back into production. Engineering work has already begun at Ford Racing‟s Performance Parts division in the USA, with sales scheduled to start in 2010. The 'Kent' engine began its production life 50 years ago, and was the perfect choice of power unit when Formula Ford was created in Britain in 1967. Though the engine was superseded at the top level of Formula Ford racing in the UK in 1993, between 5000 and 7000 'Kent'-engined cars are competing around the globe and engine parts are becoming increasingly scarce. “Our parts division has many years of expertise in re-making blocks,” says Ford Racing Engineering Supervisor Andy Slankard, “and we are going to take our knowledge of modern techniques to remanufacture the 'Kent' block and improve its durability. Our aim is not to make performance gains but to strengthen it and to make the unit more reliable. “There are many thousands of 'Kent'-engined Formula Ford cars still racing around the world – particularly in the USA, which never adopted the Ford Zetec engine which replaced it in Europe – and we believe that the majority of owners of these historic machines will want to retain the originality of their car by using a genuine Ford engine.” The news is welcomed by Mike Norton, Motorsport Manager Ford of Europe: “It is fantastic news that the legendary 'Kent' engine is to be reborn.”
New Duratec 1600cc, 110 PS engine - Another alternative for Formula Ford owners is the launch of an all-new version of the Ford Duratec 1600cc engine, offering 110 PS. This engine is designed to complement the highly successful 155 PS Duratec unit, the engine which since its introduction in 2006 has powered Formula Ford back into the single-seater limelight. The new Duratec 1600cc 110 PS engine, which has been in development for the last 12 months, will be available from the end of 2009 with a price tag expected to be around £5,000. The new engine can be fitted into new Formula Ford chassis, or in older cars as a replacement for the 1600cc Kent or Zetec 1800cc engines. “The new power unit will be ideal for fitment in new chassis; it will be a stepping stone to the more powerful Duratec engines used in the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain and other series worldwide,” says Norton, “and the engine will be made available throughout world, from the US to Europe, Australia to Africa.” The highly robust and efficient 1.6 litre Duratec engine, as used in the Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta road cars, has proven a very successful race engine in Formula Ford championships around the world.
Club Racing - The BRSCC runs their eleventh and last meeting of the 2009 season at Oulton Park tomorrow(Sat). The meeting is dominated by a four hour Funcup race in the afternoon but there are also double headers for the BRS Recovery Ford XR Challenge and the Dunlop TVR Challenge. Both championships are still very much up for grabs; Simon Robinson(pictured right - pic Paul Williams), Paul Bishop and Michael Blackburn are all in contention for the XR2 crown, while Chris Flynn is favourite for the XR3i title but Marcus Riley and Chris Jones aren’t out of it yet. In the TVR’s the overall champion could still come from any of the three classes currently headed by Danny Winstanley, Andy Race and Tim Davies respectively. Full info rmation about the meeting can be found at: OULTON PARK FUNCUP RACDEAY
Championship winners - Paul Plant has won the Alfashop Alfa Romeo Championship) while Ben Seyfried took the Super Mighty Mini Championship title this year. Scott Malvern (BRSCC Club FF Midlands South Championship in association with Richard Egger Insurance) Ian Parkington (Creative LED Solutions Club FF North West Pre 90 Championship), Simon Kinsey (Creative LED Solutions Club FF North West Post 89 Championship), Brett Walter (LMA Euro Saloons & Sports Car Championship) Dan Denis (Avon Tyres Caterham Superlight R400 Championship) and Joe Fulbrook (VW Cup in association with Hankook Tyres). All of these drivers will be invited as guests of the BRSCC at their annual dinner dance & awards presentations evening on Saturday 20th February 2010 at the Holiday Inn, Stratford-upon-Avon
Motorsport Safety Fund's 2009 charity Christmas card - Few cars stir the blood of rally enthusiasts quite like Lancia's iconic Stratos, and the subject of the Motorsport Safety Fund's 2009 charity Christmas card will certainly rekindle memories of these mid-engined monsters barking their way through the forests of the RAC rallies of the '70s.The card's front cover features "Stratos in Dalby", a painting by Gary Milburn of Italian ace Sandro Munari opposite-locking his way through the famous Yorkshire forest stage during the 1974 event, on which he won his class and finished third overall. It is hard to imagine anybody with better credentials for such a depiction - Gary was born and still lives in Yorkshire . He is also a dyed-in-the-wool rally marshal, with no fewer than 25 consecutive RAC Rallies to his name. The card can be viewed at MOTORSPORT SAFETY FUND. Further examples of his art can be found at http://www.autoart-uk.com.The cards are priced at £6.50 for 10 (including envelopes, postage and packing); they are available from: Motorsport Safety Fund, Penny Farthing, Heythrop, Chipping Norton OX7 5TW.
LMS - Strakka Racing has signed Danny Watts on a long-term contract. Watts joined Strakka at the start of this season racing in the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours partnering Nick Leventis in the team’s Ginetta-Zytek. “I’m absolutely delighted to be continuing with Strakka after what has been a great first year with the team,It has been a very easy decision to make”., said Danny. Both drivers are now looking forward to getting back on track and testing for 2010 in the near future. read more
Karts - Fulbeck hosts the final round of the Super 1 season this weekend (17/18 October), and Strawberry’s Ben Cooper hopes to clinch the KF1 title at the Lincolnshire venue. First, second or third will be enough for Ben to seal the championship and, having finished on the podium seven times already this season, he has the points advantage over his nearest rivals. However, he and the Strawberry Racing personnel know that it will be very much a fight to the finish. Speaking prior to the event, Ben said “I’ve got to go to Fulbeck and finish third or higher in the first final to secure the championship, whilst Robert (Foster-Jones) and Mark (Litchfield) both need to win. But I’m not turning up just to finish third, I want to win.”This weekend marks the return of the historic circuit to the MSA calendar for the first time since 2002 and is the first time Fulbeck has staged the season finale. “I haven’t raced at Fulbeck for a few years,” Cooper says, referring to his time in the Rotax classes. “I expect the racing to be very tight and close, so I’m aiming to put it on pole and drive away into the distance.” The newly-crowned WSK champion adds, “I really want to win the Super 1 title – to be the best in Britain. It would be a fantastic achievement in my first year in KF1, not just for me but the team also. We’ve already had a great year but this (winning the S1 crown) would complete it perfectly.” Team Manager, Paul Spencer agrees that his strategy is simple, “It will be important for Ben to get out in front and disappear into the distance. That would be the perfect scenario but because we also have the points lead, we can afford to have a Plan B – avoid any trouble and try to bring the kart home in one piece.”
In the KF2 class, Chris Lock can improve on his current position in the table (4th). “The pressure’s off Chris,” Paul says. “I just want him to win the two finals. If he can do that, he can go to the last round of the WSK (at Lonato, Italy on 31 October/1 November) in a really positive frame of mind. I really do believe that he can do that.” Since the penultimate round (at Larkhall, in September), the Strawberry team has been working hard to make sure that nothing is left to chance. Paul says, “No more effort could possibly have gone in. We have all the optimum sprocket ratios and the engines have been prepared specifically for the characteristics of Fulbeck. We’ve saved the best ‘til last, as they say.” Timed Qualifying takes place from 1pm on Saturday and is followed by the first of two heats. Sunday will see the second heats run in the morning before the crucial finals get underway in the afternoon.
Formula 3 - All eyes will be on Aaron Steele this weekend when he gives an eco-friendly racing car, tipped by many as the future of motorsport, its world debut at Brands Hatch. WorldFirst Racing's futuristic Formula 3 car, fuelled by chocolate, steered by carrots and built partly from potatoes, will be trialled in competitive conditions for the first time as part of the Formula Ford Festival. It will race in the BRSCC Cardinus Formula 3 Championship, with Steele, a BRDC Rising Star and McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards finalist, behind the wheel. Until now, the sustainable car, developed by researchers at the University of Warwick, has only been put through its paces in private test sessions. Its race debut has attracted unprecedented interest from across the globe and on Tuesday (October 13), even appeared on BBC children's television show Blue Peter. Steele was given a seat fitting in the 'green' car at Lola's factory on Tuesday. James Meredith, project manager at WorldFirst Racing, based in the Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (WIMRC), said: "It's been very exciting to work on the project and important for our team to develop a working example of a truly 'green' motor racing car. The WorldFirst project expels the myth that performance needs to be compromised when developing the sustainable motor vehicles of the future."
This weekend, the 2009 ATS Formula 3 Cup season ends at the Motorsportarena Oschersleben with the final two rounds of the German series. Dutchman Stef Dusseldorp is in a confident mood as he needs just a single point to finish the season as best newcomer. So far Dusseldorp has scored 131 points with his Team Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara Volkswagen, while second-placed Markus Pommer (Dallara Mercedes) racing for Zettl Sportsline has 112 points. It’s basically a formality as the latter named needs to win both races, with his Dutch rival failing to score a single point. There are of course several other drivers hoping to finish third in the championship: Rafael Suzuki, Nico Monien and Markus Pommer to name but 3. The Brazilian leader with the Japanese name has 65 pointswith the two Germans Monien (56) and Pommer (53) holding second and third position respectively. Tom Dillmann is another driver on the move. In the previous two events, the experienced Frenchman driving for Team Neuhauser Racing took two wins, two poles and set two fastest laps. HS Technik Motorsport relies on the proven drivers Harald Schlegelmilch and Joey Foster who only just missed out on the Aussie F3 title this year.
Asia GTs - Frank Yu and Tunku Hammam took one fastest time each during the two GT3 Asia Free Practice sessions held today(Friday) at the Autopolis International Circuit forthe final two rounds of the GT3 Asia 2009 season. Wayne Shen leads the Championship by three points from Tunku Hammam and Francis Tjia who is in third a further point behind. W.Shen will have a hard task at aiming for the win as he has a 100kg weight penalty on his car. “I think with my weight penalty its going to be very difficult. The best strategy would be to drive as fast as I can and get as many points as I can. The rest is out of my hands” said W.Shen. . By the end of the first Practice session, the averagetimes were two minutes with Frank Yu, in his Ginetta G50 GT3, taking the lead with 1:58.213. Later in the day, as the track cooled the times were cut further. Malaysian driver, Tunku Hammam, in his Porsche 997 GT3 Cup S paving the way at 1:57.069. “It’s a very fast flowing circuit and it suits my driving style. I’m very pleased with the times” said Tunku. Christian Chia meanwhile will be looking to collect the GT4 category championship win. His main competitors will be the trio of Japanese drivers joining the series for the finale - Gen Emoto of Taisan International and the Direction Racing teammates Shogo Amamoto and Akira Mizutani.
Autosport International - Free Entry for BRSCC Memebers - If you love motorsport, Birmingham is the place to be in January as the Autosport Show returns to the NEC to celebrate its 20th anniversary, and BRSCC members can get in for free! Held between 14-17 January 2010, show-goers will get the opportunity to see Brawn GP driver and current F1 world championship leader Jenson Button, race car superstars Allan McNish and David Brabham, as well as a host of other drivers and motorsport personalities. The show is one of the few places where motorsport fans have the rare opportunity to get up-close and personal to their favourite drivers and see their cars away from the racetrack. From grass-roots karting to F1, every rung on the motorsport ladder is represented at the show. Catch up with all the latest news and technologies from hundreds of stands featuring the largest collection of motorsport trade and memorabilia available in the country. Visitors can also look forward to wheel-to-wheel racing and record-breaking stunts in the brand-new tri-oval layout Live Action Arena, providing not only a great new challenge for the drivers, but also an exciting new spectacle for fans. Show entry is complimentary to BRSCC members. To sign-up for your free ticket, please visit the trade registration page on the following link: www.registerbynet.com/shows/auto10link
GP2 - Ocean Racing Technology has invited Portuguese driver, Antonio Felix da Costa, to take part in the upcoming test at the Paul Ricard on November 10. In addition to da Costa, Ocean Racing Technology will also test Charles Pic, Christian Vietoris, Nelson Panciatici, as well as a fifth driver whose identity will be revealed in the near future. Tiago Monteiro justified the latest choice, made with Jose Guedes. "We've been following Antonio's career for some time now and he is certainly a driver that we would like to integrate into Ocean Racing Technology as he fits right in there with the profile we are aiming for. However, the GP2 Series car is very different to the one he was driving this year and this will allow him to have his first experience of the GP2 Series as well as of our team. It will help us to see how he comes to grips with the car and the team. We will also test other drivers. At the end of the process, we will be able to draw conclusions regarding what the best options for the team could be. We already said that we would like to race with a Portuguese driver and therefore the Paul Ricard session as well as the GP2 Asia Series will be decisive for our driver selection." Before the test at Paul Ricard, Ocean Racing Technology will head to Abu Dhabi in order to prepare for the start of the GP2 Asia Series, which will open its doors the following week on the same circuit.
WTCC - Yokohama announced that it will supply ECO racing tyres to the FIA World Touring Car Championship from 2010. The Japanese manufacturer has developed the ECO racing tyre using a revised mixture of oil and rubber that replaces with low polycyclic aromatic (PCA) the aromatic oil used so far, which will be banned in Europe from 2010. Orange oil - already used by Yokohama in its "DNA Earth-1" tyres for passenger cars - is also used in the production of the new ECO racing tyres. Orange oil makes the rubber flexible and improves grip, but with reduced environmental effects
The 56th Macau Grand Prix was launched yesterday at Macau; the event will include the WTCC's final meeting as well as the 27th edition of the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup and the 43rd Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix. During a crowded press conference held at the Fisherman's Warf Convention Centre, Engineer João Manuel Costa Antunes, coordinator of the Macau Grand Prix Committee, commented: "Sociedade de Jogos de Macau is once again the title sponsor of the FIA World Touring Car Championship - Guia Race of Macau. Since its inception in 2005, the FIA WTCC has been decided at Macau, and we are thrilled that this year we will once again play host to the title decider. We are also very pleased to welcome Macau drivers André Couto, Henry Ho, Joseph Rosa Merszei and Liu Lic Ka who will join the WTCC field for their home event."
Grand-Am - AIM Autosport and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season ended last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the team in sixth place in the Championship. AIM’s No 61 Ford Riley needed a good finish in the race to secure the position but sadly it was beaten into ninth place at the end, or so they thought. However the car in front of them in eighth was deemed to have jumped a restart and was subsequently given a time penalty moving the No 61 Ford Riley back to eighth position and with it enough points to move AIM Autsport to sixth overall it the Championship…read report
British GT - Exciting changes are to be introduced to the Avon Tyres British GT Championship. These changes have been designed to create new opportunities for competitors to join the grid. Key features for 2010 including the re-introduction of the Cup Class, changes to GT3 to allow all FIA GT3 homologated cars to compete, the introduction of the KTM X-BOW and Lotus 2Eleven to the GT4 class, a Challenge Cup for amateur drivers, presented by The Independent and several more…read on
Formula 3 - SG Formula’s good end-of-season form continued last weekend on their home ground at Dijon Prenois in the Formula 3 Euro Series. Andrea Caldarelli was once again fighting for podium places sadly just missing out in France finishing in fourth on Saturday in race 1. Unfortunately Sunday’s race didn’t go as well the Italian ending up in the barrier after getting taken out early in the race The 2009 F3 Euro Series ends in just over a week’s time at Hockenheim on 24-25 October. Read report
Masters Historic Racing and Yas Marina Circuit announce the Abu Dhabi Classic 2010. Yas Marina Circuit has joined forces with Masters Historic Racing to include five different types of racing categories in the Abu Dhabi Classic to be run on January 21-23, 2010, including the Masters regular 1970s Grand Prix cars and a spectacular grid of 1950s and 1960s Grand Prix cars. In addition, there will be races for the ground-shaking endurance World Sportscar Masters cars, which so captured the spirit of Le Mans in the late 1960s and early 1970s. “These are remarkable cars that have never before raced in the Gulf region, and combined with our Concours d’Elegance, exhibits by car clubs and other displays, will create an exciting new type of event,” said Yas Marina Circuit Chief Executive Officer, Richard Cregan. “Bringing these famous classic racing cars to the Emirate is part of our comprehensive programme to offer the UAE a broad range of the world’s top motor sports. On the track, spectators will witness some of the most sensational racing between cars of great historical importance. Off the track there will be fantastic entertainment and activities for a truly unique experience – it will be a great day out for family and friends to enjoy.” Classic car owners and car clubs in the UAE can join in the festival. There will be a broad selection of historic car races, Concours d’Elegance and displays by manufacturers and car clubs. A special feature of the Abu Dhabi Classic will be the combined races for GT cars of the 1960s and Le Mans cars of the 1950s. This will produce a grid of racing icons such as the GTs, Jaguar E-Types and AC Cobras pitted against prototypes of the ‘50s, the Jaguar D-Types, Ferrari Testarossas and Maserati 300s. Each grid will race three times over the weekend – including, in a first, a night race under floodlights. Masters Series Director Christopher Tate said: “We are thrilled to have developed this relationship with Yas Marina Circuit. The circuit itself, with its special variant for historic cars, and the entire facility, is the most impressive I have seen anywhere in the world. “
IFM - JD Motorsport's Vladimir Arabadzhiev enjoyed his first taste of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) this week in Pembrey thanks to the Chevrolet WTCC team. The Bulgarian was chosen by the team to test their race car, the Cruze, alongside regular driver Rob Huff, a reward for a top season within International Formula Master this year. As part of the test Arabadzhiev was given the chance to complete both a qualifying run and a run of 10 laps, he said: "To spend a day working with a WTCC's works team has been a great opportunity for me. It doesn't happen often that young formulae drivers are given a chance to explore other motorsports top disciplines, like touring cars, in such a professional environment. It was a very interesting experience, as it was quite unusual to drive a front wheel drive race car for the first time. The team was very helpful to get me comfortable in the car and build my confidence before giving me a new set of tyres to do a qualifying run before a ten-lap race run. Rob Huff was available to give me some tips regarding his car and this proved useful to improve my lap times. I wish to thank Chevrolet and IFM for giving me this opportunity." Although no times were recorded, Arabadzhiev is said to have set times within 0.7s of Huff, whilst the Bulgarian's race run saw him set a best lap just 0.3s behind Huff. Eric Nève, Chevrolet Europe Motorsport Manager, added: "One of the good things about the WTCC sharing racing weekends with the International Formula Master Series is the possibility to cooperate and to organise test sessions with their drivers, which allow us to look at young talents coming from single-seaters and allow a new generation of drivers to look for opportunities in the touring car scene. We are delighted to have Vladimir Arabadzhiev, a promising driver from one of the emerging European countries in motorsports, as the first IFM driver testing a Chevrolet and we are very satisfied with the extremely professional job he did during the test day."
FBMW - After an impressive second-place finish in the Formula BMW Pacific Series event in Singapore for Eurointernational, team owner Antonio Ferrari has invited Michael Lewis to race in Rounds 13 and 14 of the Formula BMW Pacific event at the Okayama International Circuit in Japan, October 31 and November 1. "Michael did very well in the Singapore event and I thought it would be good for him to have another opportunity to race with the Formula BMW Pacific drivers," said Antonio Ferrari. "This will help Michael prepare for next season as the Okayama International Circuit is a first-class facility and it will give Michael another chance to race with the competitive Asian drivers." Lewis has had an outstanding rookie season with the Eurointernational team in the Formula BMW Americas Championship where he earned the Rookie Driver Championship.
Karts - Jay Goodwin, who produced a brilliant performance in the final meeting of 2009 in the hotly-fought Formula Kart Stars (FKS) Championship to charge through the pack from 22nd to fourth - his second-best result at national level - in so doing claiming the Lewis Hamilton 'True Grit' award for the greatest improvement during the course of a race. Read report
A1 Grand Prix World Cup of Motorsports will revisit Zhuhai International Circuit on 15th November 2009. The last time A1GP was at Zhuhai in 2007 the sprint race saw Team China's driver Cheng Congfu finish in third place and got on the podium he received a wild applause from the 60,000 fans. The second race was won by A1 Team India's Narain Karthikeyan, showing that ZIC is a good circuit for Asian drivers. With A1 Grand Prix coming to ZIC again, Executive Deputy General Manager Mr. Stewart Tan states: "We are very happy A1 Grand Prix decided to visit ZIC again, although there is less than two months to the race from now, our entire staff will work hard to ensure everything goes smoothly. Since we already have experience with A1 Grand Prix, we are confident the race will run smoothly. I hope all the race fans will come to Zhuhai to cheer for A1 Team China." He also mentions that ZIC will fully co-operate with the promotions effort to drum up the race event in Zhuhai and the Pearl River Delta. A1GP Zhuhai, China round will be held from 13th to 15th November. Free practice will be run on 13th Nov, qualifying on 14th Nov and two races will be run on 15th Nov. For ticket information, please visit Zhuhai International Circuit (www.zic.com.cn) and A1GP.com websites.
GP2 - iSport have signed British racer Oliver Turvey for the upcoming GP2 Asia 09/10 season and GP2 2010 season. Runner up in the 2008 British International F3 Championship and former winner of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award, Oliver has been competing in World Series By Renault this year and will now make the step up to GP2 after testing extensively with iSport in Jerez last week
Formula Renault - Manor Competition’s Menasheh Idafar continued to do a good job during testing with the championship winning squad at Snetterton in Norfolk on Wednesday, 14th October – the Formula Renault UK returnee showing good pace in both wet and dry conditions. Menasheh returned to the scene of his last Formula Renault race outing and produced some highly competitive lap times to end the test very evenly matched with 2009 ‘Graduate Cup’ winner Harry Tincknell. With the track wet to begin and then drying as the day wore on, Menasheh thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and delivered an excellent performance to lay down some good foundations ahead of the first round of the 2009 Winter Championship scheduled for Snetterton on 31st October. “Today was very good “, he commented, “In the wet this morning we were really quick and the car felt fantastic. The traction was so good, the car turned in to the corners exactly as I wanted and we were able to do some really good lap times. In the dry, everything went just as well too. I’m really enjoying working with Tony and Sarah (Shaw – team co-owners) and all of the other guys at Manor. Rob (Bell), who has been coaching me this week, has done a fantastic job and I’ve learned a lot. There is still a lot of work to do before the Winter Championship begins but testing has started well so I’m really happy.” Pembrey will be the next stop on the winter testing schedule for Menasheh with two days planned a week from now.
Karts - David Brabham the newly crowned 2009 American Le Mans Series Champion has been named as a Special Ambassador for Malaria No More UK. With his new role confirmed Brabham has in name the charity as the principal recipient for his 2010 Celebrity Karting Challenge at Autosport International at the NEC Birmingham in January. David;s ALMS team Patrón Highcroft Racing, created the ‘Miles to End Malaria’ initiative that pledges $10 per mile from it’s 2009 American Le Mans Series season. read more
Russ Danzey, who overcame a costly engine failure to finish a superb third in the final standings of the 2009 Formula Kart Stars (FKS) Championship, however but for that engine problem he would have taken the runner-up spot! Read report
Bathurst 1000 - Troy Bayliss has endured a tough Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 debut with the three-time World Superbike Champion unable to finish the endurance race following a crash on the 59th lap of the 161 lap race at Mount Panorama. After qualifying 32nd, Bayliss' teammate Dean Fiore started the race and completed a double-stint with the regular driver of the #12 Commodore reporting fuel injector problems at the conclusion of his time behind the wheel. Bayliss completed one lap of the circuit before he was forced to return to the pits while the problem was rectified. Bayliss rejoined the race 30 minutes later before falling victim to the greasy conditions on the top of the Mountain which saw him hit the wall at Forrest Elbow. Despite the result Bayliss said he enjoyed his introduction into V8 Supercars and he is even more determined to look at competing in the world's most competitive touring car series in the future. "Bathurst is one of those events which has the potential to catch even the most experienced racer out and bring them undone. Unfortunately I only had limited time in the car over the weekend but Bathurst is an interesting place and given that it is one of the most famous and dangerous race tracks in Australia -- it was quite daunting to race around, " said Bayliss. "Dean [Fiore] started the race and was at the end of his double stint when he noticed that there was a problem with the fuel injector. He brought the car in and handed over to me and we had a few issues getting out of the box so the following lap I came in. Thirty minutes later I went back out again but it had just started raining and it was quite greasy at the top of the Mountain and I unfortunately came unstuck. There was very little damage to the car but given the problems we had experienced up until that point, we were unable to go on." The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 was won by Will Davison and Garth Tander. The event concluded the 2009 V8 Supercar endurance season.
GT - An appeal has been lodged by the Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile (FFSA) on behalf of Hexis Racing AMR against the decision of the National Court of Appeal of the Deutscher Motor Sport Bund e.V. (DMSB) on 3 September 2009 . This dates back to the FIA GT3 Championship race at Oschersleben on 21 June when the engine of Hexis Racing’s No.3 car was examined by the FIA Technical Delegate and found to be differed from its homologation and was excluded by the Stewards. Hexis Racing AMR then decided to appeal this decision to the German National Court of Appeal who subsequently confirmed the decision of the Stewards. Therefore Hexis Racing AMR will appeal the decision of the German National Court of Appeal to the International Court of Appeal.
Saloons - Andrew Caddell claimed his 2009 Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Championship two weeks ago at Miller Motorsports Park making him a two-time Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Series champion. Caddell successful defended his inaugural Mustang Challenge title despite fierce competition from Ted Anthony Jr. "We won the first race of the year, and then we struggled after that. After the Barber Motorsports Park and the 45th Anniversary of the Mustang, we took the car to the dyno and found that we were 12 horsepower down. We changed the motor, and once we did that, the rest of the season went great," said Caddell. "We won in New Jersey, we finished second at Laguna and then we finished the season off with another win. It was just a great year."
GP2 - The three leading pilots of the Euroseries 3000 by PartyPoker had a successful test in GP2 last week at Jerez. Fabio Onidi, Marco Bonanomi and Will Bratt took advantage of the test session in order to get acquainted with the GP2 Dallara and to hopefully impress the paddock with their performances. Onidi, the leader in the Euroseries 3000 standings, was with Scuderia Coloni on day 1, the only one in which the drivers have to start with new tyres. He started of with some long runs, in order to work on the pace. Things changed in the afternoon when Fabio started pushing and managed to improve his laptime, reaching 1'28"369. On the second and third dayWill Bratt joined the team using his first day to acclimatise himself with the car. On day 3 on a wet track Will was fifth fastest and first of the rookies while in the afternoon his engine blew just as he was starting his fast lap on fresh rubber. Despite this he set 13th fastest time (1'27"137). Marco Bonanomi was also on track on the third and last day of test and he also took time to familiarise himself with the GP2 car. He then proceeded to set 6th fastest time of the day in the afternoon on a 1'26"607.
Formula Renault - Menasheh Idafar returned to Formula Renault UK action for the first time in over two months at Rockingham on Tuesday, (13th October), as part of a test outing with Manor Competition. The 18-year-old, who last competed in the category during the seventh race meeting of the season in August, confirmed he will contest the upcoming Formula Renault UK Winter Championship with Manor, the team which took McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist Dean Smith to the 2009 driver’s title just over a week ago. The run marked the first part of a testing programme for Menasheh as he integrates with the team ahead of the winter series which gets underway on 31st October at Snetterton and concludes at Rockingham seven days later. Commenting on his return to Formula Renault UK, Menasheh said: “It was good being back in a Renault today. I enjoyed working with the team, learning how they do things and getting some good experience of Rockingham again before the winter series starts. Hopefully all of the other test days will go just as well for us.” Menasheh will be back on track with Manor Competition on Wednesday for a test at Snetterton with additional outings at Pembrey next week and then further runs at Snetterton and Rockingham during the week prior to each Winter Championship race meeting.
Carrera Cup GB -
announced for Carrera Cup GB Scholarship. The
six young racing drivers selected as finalists in the second
year of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholarship Programme have
been announced. Created and run by Porsche Cars GB, the 'Carrera
Cup GB Scholarship Programme' will provide £50,000 to each of
two drivers to use as a significant element of their budget for
the 2010 Carrera Cup GB season. The six finalists will now be
put through a rigorous two-day evaluation process at the Porsche
Driving Experience Centre at Silverstone on 20/21 October,
including driving the 420bhp 911GT3 Cup car on the Silverstone
GT Cup – Sarah Bennett-Baggs only just made it onto the grid for last weekend’s GT Cup races at Silverstone. On Wednesday last week she discovered that her usual car, an Aston Martin GT4, had been sold leaving her frantically searching for a replacement. This she duly found in the shape of a BMW Z4 M Coupe which was hastily prepared and readied for Saturday’s races. Despite all this Sarah not only qualified the car third in class but she brought it home in a fine fourth place in race one and an even more impressive third in race two. Read report
GT3 Asia will race for the first time at the Autopolis Circuit in Japan at the weekend (16-18 October) 2009 The track in the South West island of Kyushu will hold the final two rounds of the GT3 Asia Challenge for this year. There are 3 drivers in the hunt for the title. Wayne Shen, Tunku Hammam Sulong and Francis Tjia separated by just 4 points with W.Shen in the lead…read more
Clubsports - 2010 ADAC Cruze Cup: Motorsport for everyone. Race-prepped Cruze revealed at Motorsport Arena, Oschersleben. After a success of the Chevrolet Cruze in the World Touring Car Championship, ADAC Weser-Ems Clubsport will adopt a newly developed race-spec version of the same car for it’s in-house series. The Clubsport events have been taking place since 2006 with the motto "Motorsport for everyone,". The concept was to give members the chance to enter into affordable,low-maintenance and competitive amateur long-distance racing events. With this in mind ADAC Weser-Ems Clubsport have developed the Cruze Cup. At Euros 17,500 (plus VAT), the Cruze Cup is affordable, with basic mechanics making it a practical package for any owners who won't require extensive racing experience to maintain or run the vehicles. To prepare the car to DMSB / ADAC-specified regulations, Wiechers Motorsport has been contracted. Their many years in motorsports has helped them to prepare a special roll-cage and aero & performance package while keeping things simple enough to run with limited experience. Eric Nève, Manager Motorsports at Chevrolet Europe: "We are extremely happy that the ADAC has chosen the Chevrolet Cruze as the car for its Clubsport events as we believe it best fits the values of their concept: "motorsports for everyone."
Karts - This weekend sees the beautiful Italian city of Siena providing a stunning, historical backdrop to the Easykart World Finals. And this year's event marks the UK series' biggest entry, with twenty drivers taking to the track. Read preview
Atlantic - 2008 Atlantic Champion Markus Niemelä crossed the finish line third in the last event of the Cooper Tires presents the Atlantic series Powered by Mazda season. 3rd place is the second podium for Jensen Motorsport Team in the Atlantic Series. Niemelä, who started fourth, was later penalized two positions due to an incident with Simona De Silvestro in the first lap. Markus Niemelä: "Simona tried to pass me in the first lap going into Corkscrew chicane, we went side by side through the first part of the corner and I ran off the track in the exit. When I came back on track our cars touched and she hit the wall. This is very unfortunate as Simona was fighting for the title and my apologies for her and the Stargate team. Nevertheless I will not take the whole blame of the incident. We were both driving aggressively and this time it just didn't pay off and this is part of racing." In the Price Giving Banquet Niemelä received a significant American motorsports award -The Gilles Villeneuve Award, named after the legendary Canadian Formula One star and 1976 Toyota Atlantic Champion, is traditionally awarded to the driver in the series who posses extraordinary ability, star quality and who has distinguished himself through sportsmanship, dedication and perseverance in the face of disappointment. John Edwards was crowned as the 2009 Atlantic Champion ahead of Jonathan Summerton and Simona De Silvestro. Niemelä dropped down from 5th to 6th in overall points due to time penalty that followed the incident with De Silvestro in the opening lap of the last race.
Indycar - Franchitti’s second title: Dario Franchitti left the IndyCar Series following his 2007 championship looking for new challenges. He returned to the series this season learning the grass isn't always greener and those lessons helped him claim his second IndyCar Series title. "In '07 there was a lot of satisfaction in getting that one done," Franchitti said. "And now to come back from where we were a year ago, I think that's what makes it sweeter." Where he was a year ago was out of a job after his effort with Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team was shut down. A meeting at the IndyCar Series event at Detroit's Belle Isle led to dinner in Detroit where Franchitti agreed to contract terms written on a napkin that would see the 2007 champion drive for Ganassi's IndyCar Series team in 2009. In returning, Franchitti felt he could win races but not the title so quickly. "I didn't think I'd win five races and a championship in my first year back," Franchitti said. "I knew driving for Team Target, I'd have good equipment, it just a question of could I get back into it and compete at a level that I had (before)." But those fears were quickly cast away. The No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing team claimed the first of its five wins at Long Beach, the second race of the season. "From that second win at Long Beach, the winner in the second race at Long Beach, I knew we could get it done," Franchitti said. "If there were any regrets, I guess it was at Indy. We felt Scott (Dixon) and I had winning cars and we didn't execute, so it took us some weeks to make up for that." Wins followed at Iowa, Toronto Infineon and Homestead-Miami Speedway. "I'm just glad they invited me back to come and play," Franchitti said. "I really enjoyed it. I wanted to be part of the unified series, the places we get to race at and the people I get to race against and the cars I get to drive. It's pretty cool." And cooler was the site of his title-clinching win - Homestead-Miami Speedway, where Franchitti's good friend Greg Moore claimed his final victory in 1999. Moore was fatally injured in a racing accident at California Speedway later that season in the 1999 CART series finale. Franchitti was involved in the championship fight, but lost to Juan Montoya on a tiebreaker. ``I don't think of that as a day I lost a championship,'' he said. ``I think of it as a day I lost my best friend.'' Franchitti said he thinks of Moore often, but especially when he returns to Homestead. Had Moore still been here, Franchitti said in tribute, ``We'd have been racing for second. We wouldn't have seen him for dust.''
Star Mazda - Mazdaspeed driver Conor Daly had perhaps his best race of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where he finished fourth having started fifteenth on the grid. After being second fastest on Friday, Conor was a legitimate pole position contender, but he broke a front suspension pushrod after two laps on new tyres during Saturday's qualifying session. After an exceptional job by his Andersen racing team to replace the broken part in the pit lane, Conor had three minutes left in the session when he left the pit lane. However on his first flying lap, the gearbox broke which meant he would start from the 15th. By the end of the first lap he had passed four cars and was in the top ten by lap 3. He was ninth by lap 10 and closing on his team mate Richard Kent, who he passed on lap 14. By lap 25 he passed Brazilian Giancarlo Vilarinho for seventh in a move that used the dirt, the kerbs and all the run off available. After passing Canadian David Ostella for sixth he closed in on another teammate, Joel Miller. While looking for a way past both Miller and fourth placed Brazilian, Caio Lara, Miller and Lara collided at turn two. Conor then set out after third place but he ran out of time. His fourth place secured him third place in the season championship which paid, $50,000. "that was probably my most satisfying race of the season. The car was good, passing was hard and just wild and scary at times but from where I started, I have to be happy. Our mission was to secure third place in the championship and we did it" said Conor.
The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and P-UNO Motorsports TV have signed a contract with SPEED Channel Latin America to broadcast seven races of the 2009 STAR Mazda Series Presented by Goodyear championship. Seven of the Star Mazda Championships 13 races from the 2009 season are part of the package, including the season-opener at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Round 2 at Virginia International Raceway and Rounds 4 and 5 from the Mazda Formula X double-header at New Jersey Motorsports Park as well as Rounds 8 and 9 from the Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda double-header at Autobahn and Round 10, the legendary street race in Trois Rivières in Quebec. In total, SPEED Latin America will broadcast the Star Mazda Championship races to more than 40 countries (or territories), including all of the most important racing markets: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela. Los Angeles-based P-UNO Motorsports TV has a 5-year agreement to broadcast the Pro Star Mazda Series Presented by Goodyear in Latin America. P-UNO principals are Hector Cademartori, world-renowned motorsports artist and a journalist for 35 years and Pedro Serramalera, a long time racing enthusiast and also a driver in the Star Mazda Championship. The main targets of the project are three fold: to promote the series in Latin America, to inform drivers from that part of the world about the Star Mazda Championship and encourage them to further their careers by racing in North America, and to generate exposure for the sponsors of South American drivers in their home markets. "It's not all the races, but enough to give our audience south of the border a good idea of what this series is all about," says P-UNO co-founder Pedro Serramalera. "Furthermore, two of them (Sebring and VIR), will be world premieres since they have not been aired anywhere, yet. SPEED Latin America is planning to show each race at least twice every week, beginning in early November. We'll let everyone know as soon as we have the final schedule." The 2010 season will mark the 20th year of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, one of the most stable and successful open-wheel driver development series in North America. Both title sponsors are major global corporations and their contracts with the Series run through the 2013 season.
Formula Renault - Josh Mulholland from Northern Ireland and Bristol’s Dino Zamparelli shared the wins during a rain-lashed final meeting of the 2009 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship on Sunday, 11th October, at Thruxton while Hillspeed’s Ahmad Al Harthy clinched the runner-up spot in the Championship. read report
Omani Ahmad Al Harthy great performance, probably one of his best ever, at Thruxton gave the Hillspeed drivers the Champioship runner-up postion by just 1 point…read report
Josh Mulholland added a second victory to his 2009 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship tally yesterday at as wet Thruxton in Hampshire leaving him in fourth place in the points…read report
Atlantic - John Edwards has won the 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda with his fourth win of the season. Edwards,the youngest Champion in the history of the series, won the race at Laguna Seca from pole ahead of Jonathan Summerton by just over a second..read report
Formula 3 - Roberto Merhi put his Manor Motorsport Dallara onto the podium in the second of the weekend’s Formula 3 Euroseries races yesterday(Sunday) after a good fifth place finish in race 1 on Saturday at Dijon-Prenois. Jules Bianchi won the race and with it the Championship crown. Sam Bird finished Sunday’s race in second with Merhri third, the three cars separated by a little over a second. Saturday’s race was won by Christian Vietoris from Bianchi and Mika Maki.. Read report
Grand-Am - While Joao Barbosa and Hurley Haywood won Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports CarSeries presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season-ending Grand Prix of Miami, Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney finished fourth to capture their second Daytona Prototype championship. Barbosa passed Scott Pruett on the back straight with 28 minutes - or Lap 84 of 100 - remaining in the two-and-half hour race to score his first Daytona Prototype triumph, while Haywood - a late addition to the Brumos lineup - scored his first victory since winning a pair of races at Homestead and Phoenix in 2003. It’s a second Daytona Prototype championship for Fogarty and Gurney in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley. They finished six points ahead (337-331) of Pruett and Memo Rojas, who finished second in the No. 01 TELMEX Lexus Riley. Third was the Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley of Oswaldo Negi and Mark Paterson. Brian Frisselle and Max Angelelli entered the race second in the standings but finished seventh in the No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara. They finished the year third in the championship with 325 points. In the Acxiom GT’s victory went to Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards in the No. 07 Team Drinkin' Mate Pontiac GXP.R, while Leh Keen and Dirk Werner clinched the championship title with a third-place finish.
Bathurst 1000 - Garth Tander and Will Davison won the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 yesterday(Sunday) giving Holden their first win in Australia’s Great Race since 2005 when Marke Skaife and Todd Kelly triumphed. It was Tander’s second Bathurst 1000 victory and a first for Davidson. Jason Richards and Cameron McConville were second behind the winning Holden Dealer Team carr while Lee Holdsworth and Michael Caruso made it a 1,2,3 for Holden. "It's absolutely awesome. Words can't describe it," Tander said. "What a result for the team, absolutely fantastic. What a race for Holden and what a way to come back. We had a really fast car and did a really good job in the pit stops." The Holden teams of Greg Ritter and David Besnard, Mark Skaife and Greg Murphy were leading the race with jusat 20 laps remaining when the Ford of Dean Canto crashed on lap 141 forcing a safety car period. This sent the two leading cars into the pits for fuel handing the lead to Tander and Davidson who had already stopped for fuel three laps earlier.
Karts - Jordan King went over to Macau recently for the KF3 Asia-Pacific KF3 Championship and despite some heavy rainfall and a crumbling track he dominated the proceedings to copme away with the Asian Pacific Championship crown….read report
Superleague Formula Hitech-run Liverpool FC maintained its lead at the head of the Superleague Formula by Sonangol league table with two steady drives in the penultimate rounds at Monza last time out. Spaniard Adrian Vallés finished fourth and fifth in the two races, to give the team a 49 point advantage with two rounds remaining. Read report
Star Mazda - Adam Christodoulou won the season finale, the Rookie of the Year award and the 2009 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca yesterday(Saturday). Christoloudou’s main opponent in the Championship, Peter Dempsey failed to finish the race. The Expert Series title went to Chris Cumming after he finished 2nd-in-class and 11th overall. The Expert Series winner was Patrick O'Neill. Read report
ALMS - David Brabham has won the 2009 American Le Mans Series title after finishing third in the last race of the season at Laguna Seca yesterday. “The Patrón Highcroft team has worked so hard for so long and it’s absolutely fantastic to finally take the ALMS championship title,” said Brabham. “We’ve been up against some terrific competition all year - de Ferran is a quality team with excellent drivers so it really means something to beat them.” Gil de Ferran and is team-mate Simone Pagenaud won the race, an appropriate end to de Ferran's career as he has now intends to retire from the sport …read report
Indycar - Dario Franchitti won his second IndyCar Series championship by winning the Firestone Indy 300 on Oct. 10 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Franchitti and Target Chip Ganassi Racing used fuel strategy to beat second place Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske to the finish by 4.788 seconds. Franchitti's teammate, Scott Dixon, finished third. The top three finishers were the only drivers who entered the last race of then year with a chance at the title. Franchitti finished the season with 616 points, Dixon with 605 and Briscoe with 604. It was the second consecutive title for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, as Dixon won in 2008. Franchitti won his first season championship in 2007 with Andretti Green Racing. The three title contenders led 198 of the 200 laps. Briscoe took the lead on Lap 151, with Dixon in close pursuit, when Franchitti entered the pits for the final time on Lap 150. Briscoe and Dixon had stopped on Lap 144. Briscoe and Dixon then pulled away from Franchitti over the next 35 laps, as Briscoe led Dixon by .1850 of a second on Lap 187. Franchitti was the only other car on the lead lap, 23.8841 seconds behind Briscoe. But Briscoe and Dixon were forced to pit for fuel in the last eight laps, Dixon on Lap 192 and Briscoe on Lap 194. Franchitti was able to stretch his fuel over the last 50 laps for his fifth victory of the season, a career best. Franchitti's average speed was 201.420 mph, the second-fastest race in series history. It was the first caution-free race in series history. Said Franchitti: "Can you believe it? No, I can't. I can't. Like 2007, I just had to try to save some fuel and stay on strategy. And it just worked out. The Target car wasn't great early that first stint. Chris (Simmons, crew chief) and the boys made some changes. From the second stint on, we were right there. But we had lost so much ground. We were saving fuel. We were sticking to our strategy. The car was really good at the end. A win is a win. On the cool-down lap, I was thinking of my buddy Greg (Moore). I was in a championship fight 10 years ago, but it didn't matter because we lost him. This one is for him. It's been a hell of a year for the Target boys. I've got to thank Chip (Ganassi) for gving me a job."
Karts - Peterborough’s Callum Bowyer, snatched second place from under the noses of his rivals in the final standings of the 2009 Formula Kart Stars (FKS) Championship in the final meeting at Whilton Mill, courtesy of a brace of superb podium finishes. Read report
Indycar - Dario Franchitti took pole for the final race of the year at Homestead Miami ahead of Championship leader Scott Dixon, in second. Dixon leads with 570 points with Franchitti in second with 566 having closed to within 4 points courtesy of his pole position. Ryan Briscoe was third in quaifying just as he is in the title chase on 562 points. Who will win the title....who knows...?
Grand-Am - Mark puts the No. 61 AIM Ford Riley on the second row! . "My fastest lap didn't feel so quick because the rest were so on the limit!" With those words, Mark Wilkins described his qualifying run this afternoon that put the No. 61 Ford Riley on the second row for the fourth time this season. Wilkins was quick from the start of the session and quickly into the 1:13's and with a top five position. Mid way through qualifying, Mark slowed to get some space on track and with a gap, recorded the fastest time on his next hot lap - a 1:13.305 at 112.952 mph, moving to fourth place on the starting grid. Mark pushed for three more laps and but could not quite get to third, missing by just sixty-eight thousandths of a second. The No. 61 Ford Riley is just four-tenths of a second off the leaders time. "We made a few changes that worked great for us in qualifying" commented Mark. "But that meant the car was truly operating at its limit which gave me a moment or two. As it turned out though, the one lap I seemed to hang it out the most, felt comfortable and turned out to be our fast lap." He continued, "Now we will get the car set up for the race so that Burt can bring it home, hopefully on the podium." A good qualifying position for the No. 61 Ford Riley in this final race is also important in terms of AIM's chances to move up in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Championship. Currently sitting sixth, they need to finish just two positions ahead of their nearest rival to move into fifth place to repeat from last year. In 2008 Aim finished fifth overall having recorded three straight podiums including two race wins. "To repeat in fifth against some very tough competitors, is just a testament to how solid and consistent we have run this year" offered team principal Ian Willis. "While we have not reached the podium in 2009, we have finished every race except the Rolex 24 because we have avoided mechanical issues and mistakes that have cost us in the past." Willis continued, "But the season is not over yet - not until tomorrow, so we we still have a chance at a podium. It would be great to close out the year for the entire team a with top three result and we know that Mark and Burt will give it their all to make it happen."
ALMS - Title favourite David Brabham will start his last race of this year’s ALMS from the front row at Laguna Seca, California, after a thrilling qualifying battle saw the Patrón Highcroft star stop the clocks less than 0.01s off pole position. The 44 year-old was the first to show his hand in the 20-minute session by breaking the 1minute 11second benchmark to take the Patrón Highcroft Acura ARX-02a to the top of the timesheets. Acuras continued to dominate the session with just over0.2secs covering Gil de Ferran and Luis Diaz in the LMP2 Acura before Brabham pit with the third fastest time of 1:11.462. Brabham rejoined the battle for pole with 4 minutes remaining to set his best time of 1:11.298 to take second place. Pole position went to Brabham’s long-time friend and closest championship rival Gil de Ferran by just 0.092 seconds in what was his final career qualifying session. With a 21-point lead over de Ferran in the LMP1 championship battle, Brabham and the Patrón Highcroft crew are sitting strong to take the title which can be achieved by completing 70% of the four-hour race distance at Laguna Seca. Brabham commented: “It was yet another close qualifying session and battle between us and the de Ferran car, but it was nice for Gil to take his last pole position. I’m pretty pleased with second as I only got three laps in practice this morning because half of the Patrón Highcroft crew are suffering with flu and we decided to give the guys a rest. We went out in the second session and had a bit of a steering issue, so we made a small tyre pressure adjustment to get some more grip and it was a case of suck it and see for qualifying. “We’ll make a few more adjustments to the set-up but overall we are in good shape and certainly competitive. A front row start is exactly what we wanted and I’m looking forward to the race. We know what we need to do and we’re just going to go out there and do it.” For full qualifying results visit www.americanlemans.com
GP2 - Alexander Rossi took part in GP2 Series first official test also at Jerez , Spain last week, October 6 – 8th. He dtove for two teams; PiquetGP on Tuesday and DAMS on Thursday. Alexander got used to the car very quickly, grabbing the attention of many throughout the week. On Thursday morning Alexander held the top spot most the morning 3 hour session in wet and drying conditions, until mechanicals problems left him in the garage during closing 30 minutes. It was also a handy warm-up for his BMW / Sauber F1 Test also at Jerez now just 2 weeks away. Read more
Karts - Roy Johnson, who returned to Formula Kart Stars (FKS) in the final 2009 meeting at Whilton Mill and looked as if he had never been away, putting in a brace of superb performances right on the leading pace. Read report
Tom Harvey, whose progress in 2009 has been a great improvement from being a 'B' final competitor to a triumph in the last meeting on the 2009 FKS calendar at Whilton Mill, ending up fastest cadet all weekend - an amazing breakthrough. Read report
Reigning Kartmasters winner Ash Hand, took a superb win when he who defeated 2009 Formula Kart Stars Junior Max Champion and season-long rival Matt Parry to claim a famous victory in a last-gasp thriller in the final FKS round of the year at Whilton Mill...read report
Formula Reanult - Race winning team MP Motorsport has confirmed it will once again race in the Eurocup Formula Renault and the Northern European Cup in 2010 having ordered three brand new cars from Renault Sport Technologies. With Formula Renault championships across the world replacing the hugely successful FR 2.0 Tatuus chassis with the freshly designed Barrazi-Epsilon car from next year, MP Motorsport is already busy preparing with an intensive winter testing programme throughout Europe. The Dutch team has enjoyed success in recent events with podium finishes at the Nurburgring and in the Formula Renault NEC race meeting at Spa. Now, the Oudenbosch-based squad is keen to hear from interested drivers who would like to discuss testing opportunities and also the 2010 race programme in two of the continent’s most competitive one-make single-seater championships. Currently, MP Motorsport has lodged three entries for Eurocup and three more for the NEC. “We’re very keen to hear from any drivers interested in testing with us in Europe over the winter months, we have an intensive programme in place with a lot of running planned in Spain and Portugal to take advantage of the warmer weather”, said MP Motorsport’s Sander Dorsman. “It’s been a good season for MP Motorsport. We’ve had some great success with several podium finishes and now we’re looking forward to the last Eurocup race of the season in Spain at the end of the month before embarking on our winter testing schedule.” Next on the calendar for MP motorsport is the final Eurocup Formula Renault race meeting of the season which will take place at Motorland Aragon in Spain over the weekend 24th/25th October.
Grand-Am - In a season that has seen the team have consistent results, AIM Autosport is hoping for some of the magic they experienced last season and finally hitting the podium in 2009 with the No. 61 Ford Riley. Drivers Mark Wilkins (CAN) and Burt Frisselle (USA) have come on in the second half of the season finishing solidly in the top ten over the last six races but would really like to cap the season on a strong note and are targeting not just a podium, but the win."Everyone on the team has worked so hard this season" commented Wilkins. "The season started with a driver change and there have been some personnel changes on the crew, but this has been treated as opportunities, rather than problems for the team to work through. That has really shown in the latter half as everything has come together nicely and that has shown in the results. Now we just need to cap it with a win - or at least a podium as the payoff for all the team's hard work." Frisselle offered, "It was great to back in the seat with Mark and it has been a good season despite some ups and downs early on. The crew has done a fantastic job and now it is up to Mark and I to bring it home for them and end the season on a high." He continued, "The team is in a good position to finish strong in the championship against some very formidable competition and that is something we all should be proud of." Going into the final race, AIM Autosport sits sixth in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Championship but lie just three points back of fifth. The team finished fifth in 2008 and to finish back to back seasons top five overall would certainly position the team as a strong contender in the future. The Miami Grand Prix takes place on Saturday, October 10.
Atlantic - The battle for the 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda is coming down to a three-way fight between Simona De Silvestro (No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds), John Edwards (No. 36 Newman Wachs Racing) and Jonathan Summerton (No. 34 Newman Wachs Racing). De Silvestro currently leads by seven points over Summerton, 176-169, with Edwards another three points back. If either De Silvestro or Edwards take the title on Sunday it will make Atlantic Championship history. If De Silvestro wins she will become the first woman in 36 years of the Championship to take the crown. If the 18-year-old Edwards takes the title, he will become the youngest champion in series history. The current youngest champion was Michael Andretti who took the 1983 title at 20 years, nine months and 30 days of age. Read review
GTs - Jim Geddie will be out in action this weekend for the GT Cup meeting at Silverstone, racing a Porsche 996 GT3 Cup which will be entered by Apex Tubulars. He will then take part in the final round at Brands Hatch (Indy) two weeks later on 24th-25th October before heading back to the Kent circuit for the annual Britcar Night Race spectacle on 7th November.
Formula BMW Pacific has announced its 2010 scholarship winners; 17-year-old Australian Jesse Dixon, and Kotaro Sakurai, 15, of Japan. The scholarship includes a Euro 50,000 contribution towards the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific season, and enrollment in the Education and Coaching Programme, a comprehensive training course unique in the region. Jordan Oon,19, of Australia, Thailand's Sandy Stuvik, and South African Caleb Williams have been named as reserves, should either Dixon or Sakurai be unable to take up their scholarships. The annual Scholarship Trials offer young talent professional training and a thorough driver assessment from a team of BMW Motorsport professionals. The drivers judged to have the most potential for an international motorsport career as well as the motivation to work hard and succeed, are then offered a coveted Formula BMW Pacific scholarship.
GP2 - Will Bratt made a good impression during official GP2 Series testing at Jerez this week, the 21-year-old producing a strong pace on his third ever appearance behind the wheel of a GP2 car. Although his progress was halted early by a blown engine during the second afternoon of running, Will was still able to set 13th best time of the day with a lap of 1m27.137 seconds. He was also the fastest rookie during the rain-affected morning session with a 1m29.527, fifth quickest behind four GP2 regulars. Driving for the Italian PartyPokerRacing.com Scuderia Coloni team, Will bedded himself back in to GP2 machinery quickly during his first day on Wednesday, 7th Oct, having last run in one of the Renault-powered cars almost exactly one year ago. “It’s been great to be back in a GP2 car and although our running was affected by the hydraulic issue on the first day and then the engine failure on my final afternoon, I’m pleased with how things went in general and I think we were able to prove I deserve a place on the GP2 grid next year”, said Will. “To be fifth fastest on Thursday morning in difficult, wet conditions was fantastic – especially being the best of the rookies. In the afternoon I was 12th fastest on my first set of tyres, even though I lost time on my best lap. We were confident we could be in the top eight overall but before I was able to get a run on my last set of new tyres, the engine blew so that was the end of the day for us.” Next on the agenda for Will is the final event of the PartyPokerRacing.it Euroseries 3000 Championship which takes place on 17th/18th October, at Monza. Will is third in the standings, 6 points off the lead.
WTCC - FIA World Touring Car champions Yvan Muller and Andy Priaulx will both compete in the Race of Champions 2009, which takes place in Beijing on November 2-4. After Okayama on November 1st, they will fly to China’s Bird’s Nest Stadium,home to the 2008 Olympic Games where reigning WTCC champion Muller will be teamed up with another, still-to-be-confirmed, French driver . They will run in The ROC Nations Cup on Tue 3 November, before going for individual glory in The Race of Champions on Wed 4 November. “It is going to be a great experience to compete in China,” said Muller. “I have raced in The Race of Champions many times, and it’s always a lot of fun with the crowd so close to the action.” Three-time WTCC champion Andy Priaulx is aiming to become the first British winner of the event since Colin McRae ten years ago. Priaulx, who has driven in The Race of Champions since 2006, will return as a competitor who narrowly missed out on making the final for the past two years and will join F1 World Championship leader Jenson Button to race for Team Autosport Great Britain. “Having enjoyed competing in The Race of Champions at Wembley and Stade de France, as well as the ROC Legends event in Porto, I’m excited to see the track in Beijing, which I’m told is going to be bigger and better than ever before,” said Priaulx.
Three Japanese drivers will join the WTCC in their home event at Okayama; Seiji Ara, Nobuteru Taniguchi and Masaki Kano. While Kano is back with the Liqui Moly Team Engstler after taking part in two rounds of the 2008 WTCC at Okayama and Macau, Ara and Taniguchi are facing their maiden appearances in the championship. Ara, 35 years old from Chiba, will drive Wiechers-Sport's second BMW 320si alongside Stefano D'Aste. A very experienced long-distance racer, Ara is one of the only two Japanese drivers ever to have won the Le Mans 24 hours (in 2004 at the wheel of a Team Goh Audi R8). He is a race winner for Nissan in the competitive Japanese SuperGT series. Taniguchi, 38 years old from Hiroshima, will join Félix Porteiro at Proteam Motorsport for both the last race meetings, Japan and Macau. Like Ara, he is a SuperGT top racer (though in the GT300 class) and also boasts a couple of national titles in the Super Taikyu series
The Liqui Moly Team Engstler have confirmed their participation in the 2010 WTCC. "We are always looking at the future and take care of it in all our decisions," team manager Kurt Treml said. "We are pleased that Liqui Moly confirmed their support for 2010. Franz Engstler and I have been working together for nearly ten years and we always worked to build the team up step by step, with the aim to become one of the best touring car teams in Europe." The German outfit will run additional cars for Asian drivers in Okayama and Macau. "Our next goal is to run a second team in the WTCC featuring young Asian drivers. The Asian market is now ready for such a project and I hope that, with our experience and support from BMW and Liqui Moly, we can be successful," Treml unveiled..
McLaren Autsport Award – Formula Ford drivers fill three of the six finalist slots for the 2009 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, it was announced today by autosport.com. They are 2009 MSA Formula Ford Champion of Great Britain James Cole, his Jamun Racing team-mate from 2009, Chrissy Palmer, and the 2007 Formula Ford Champion, Callum MacLeod. The Formula Ford three will go up against Formula Renault racers James Calado, Adam Christodoulou and Dean Smith(see news below) at an assessment day at Silverstone next month. Sam Roach, Director of Formula Ford promoter RacingLine, said: "It's a fantastic achievement for James, Chrissy and Callum to make the final six of this award, which is the most prestigious in British motor sport, and a superb endorsement for Formula Ford as a breeding ground for the stars of tomorrow." It's the second time that 21-year-old MacLeod has been on the shortlist: he was on it in 2007 (along with Nick Tandy) after winning the British Formula Ford title, but both men lost out to Stefan Wilson. Cole, also 21, was crowned MSA Formula Ford Champion last week at Castle Combe. James won seven races on his way to the crown. Palmer, at 18 the youngest of the six finalists, was the 2008 Formula Ford Scholarship Class titlist and was, like Cole, a multiple race winner this season, with 5 wins. Their assessment next month will see them drive a variety of single-seater and saloon cars under the watchful eyes of a judging panel comprising 1996 World Champion Damon Hill, ex-F1 driver Anthony Davidson, McLaren's head of vehicle engineering, Mark Williams, DTM pilot Jamie Green, commentator Ian Titchmarsh, and Autosport men Marcus Pye and Kevin Turner. The finalists will also undergo a fitness test at Porsche's Human Performance Centre.
Dean Smith is celebrating today, Friday, after being named one of the six finalists for the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award. Off the back of winning the 2009 Formula Renault UK Championship last weekend at Brands Hatch the announcement marks the second time 21-year-old Dean has been put forward for the annual accolade which carries a prize package of £50,000, full membership of the BRDC and a test drive in a McLaren-Mercedes Formula One car. “It’s fantastic news I’ve been put forward as one of the finalists for the McLaren Autosport BRDC award again, it’s a tremendous honour and caps off an incredible year for us”, said Dean, “When we came back into Formula Renault UK having missed the first two races, it was always going to be a huge challenge to win the title but we always had the confidence and belief we could do it. I have to say a huge thank you to Manor Competition for giving me a fantastic car this year, taking seven wins and 15 podiums from 18 race starts tells its own story.” Following a track assessment at Silverstone next month and a fitness test at the Porsche Human Performance Centre. The winner will be revealed at the Autosport Awards ceremony in London on the evening of Sunday, 6th December.
Karts - The Karting Show is set to return to the NEC in Birmingham, from 14-17 January 2010, joining the celebrations surrounding the 20th anniversary of Autosport International. more
James Singleton, who triumphed in the final meeting on the 2009 Formula Kart Stars (FKS) calendar at Whilton Mill came within a whisker of pinching the Mini Max crown from under the noses of his two main rivals, in only his second season of karting!..read report
The Tony Kart Junior Racing Team retained it's WSK KF2 crown - with a round to go - at Zuera in Spain, last month. Ben Cooper came away with the Championship crown with a round remaining. Read more
Other News - The Australian Motor Sport Foundation (AMSF) has announced that Matthew Brabham and Jack Le Brocq have been selected for the CAMS Rising Star Program in 2010. Brabham, the 15 year old grandson of Sir Jack Brabham, began karting in 2001 and has claimed several state championship victories and podiums at national level. In 2009, the Queenslander made the transition into Formula Ford with immediate success, finishing second at the final round of the Victorian Formula Ford Fioesta Series at Phillip Island. Le Brocq, 17, will be alternating his overalls for a racesuit next year, as the Minda Motorsport apprentice mechanic joins Brabham in the Program. Le Brocq, from Victoria, has shown enormous potential in the Victorian Formula Vee Championship. With three round wins at state level and a second place at the Formula Vee national round at Winton in 2009, Le Brocq is eager to progress to the next level. The aim of the CAMS Rising Star Program is to identify and fast-track the development of young Australian drivers from the junior ranks to national and international competition through clearly defined and supported pathways.
Rolex Grand-Am series star Memo Gidley, got back on his winning form this past weekend at round #11 of the DJSA Outlaw jet ski race series this past weekend. “I have never ridden in conditions that changed so much from race to race,” said Gidley. “The water was so rough that in first practice I could not even hold my Muscle Milk Kawasaki SXR throttle wide open…on any part of the track! Then the waves started to lie down during the middle of the day…and then just as I got in a grove, it got rough once again for the final race…unbelievable!” Current points leader, Memo, started third for the first of three races. “I started third in the first race, and was trying to catch leader Jason Ward but just ran out of energy,” said Gidley. “I get so excited in the races that sometimes I forget to breath…which can be a problem for endurance!” In the second race, Gidley would start on the outside of the front row. “I knew on the start that I needed to be in front through the first merge of buoys to have a shot to beat Jason,” said Gidley. “I heard that they don’t call him Jason “The Psyco” Ward for nothing and I expected him to fight me for the lead very hard!” That he did as Gidley and “Psyco” Ward went side by side for nearly the entire first lap. “I was pushing so hard to stay in front that I would slide a couple of feet wide past the buoys,” said Gidley. “And I could hear Psyco on the inside of me and I new he didn’t earn that nickname for nothing…he was not going to back off!” Gidley held on to bring home the win in race #2 which would give him the pole position to start the third and final race. The start of the final race, Gidley jumped to the hole shot and although pressured, put his head down and was able to pull out slightly to grab the win. “Heading into the third race, I was tied with “Psyco” Ward for points and new that who ever won this race would win the overall,” said Gidley. “I pushed real hard the first two laps to try to build a little gap and was so happy to hang on for the win!” Gidley now has a commanding lead in the points with one race to go.
Club racing – Fiestas -The Competition Car Insurance Ford Fiesta Championship went to Lydden Hill in Kent for Rounds 11 & 12 last weekend and Nick Sanderson didn’t have an easy time. Problems with his brakes plus bumps and nudges from his fellow competitors all combined to leave him in fourth and fifth in the two races. His regular team-mate John Findlay was on his holidays so Kempster Ford Director, Ian Fletcher turned out in his car with the team running a third entry got guest driver Alan Donnelly. The final rounds of the season are to be filmed for television broadcast. NSR in association with Kempster Ford have completed a deal with Ford Racing K to cover the filming costs in return for exposure of their team and sponsors. DVDs will be available after the event. Race report
Formula Ford Festival - Some the brightest young driver talents from across the world will go head-to-head when the Formula Ford Festival arrives at Brands Hatch next weekend (17/18 October). Since its inception in the 1970s, the Formula Ford Festival has become the blue riband event on the British Racing and Sports Car Club’s (BRSCC) calendar and the event is well known for showcasing single seater stars of the future. As well as Formula Ford racing, a unique ‘eco friendly’ racing car that can be powered by chocolate, is steered with carrots and is built partly from potatoes will be competing in the BRSCC Cardinus Formula 3 Championship(pictured). The sustainable F3 machine has been created by researchers at the University of Warwick and will make its racing debut in the hands of 20-year-old racer Aaron Steele from Chatham. Aaron Steele said: “It’s a very good opportunity for me to further my career and it’s something I’m looking forward to immensely. The car certainly turns heads and it has attracted a phenomenal amount of interest. My target for the Brands Hatch weekend is to achieve a couple of podiums and from my experience of the car to date, that is definitely possible.” Tickets for the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch on 17/18 October cost from £10 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or visit www.brandshatch.co.uk.
VW Cup - Simon Elliott, the Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in the UK, is revving up for a full season on track in 2010 following a successful debut in the Volkswagen Racing Cup in association with Hankook. Elliott is hoping to take over at the wheel of the RacingLine-prepared Caddy TDI which has been raced by former VW Commercial Vehicles boss Peter Wyhinny for six seasons. "My two outings this year certainly made me realise that it's something I want to do," said Elliott. "My wife Kay has given me permission to do the full season next year, so I'm in discussions with Peter Wyhinny about taking over the van but the important thing is to get a high profile sponsor for the high profile Caddy Racer and I'm close to concluding that as we speak. I'm optimistic and would certainly like to be involved. It's taken me 48 years to find my new hobby, at a time of life when most racers are thinking of hanging up their helmets." Simon's racing career began at Silverstone in August. "The stimulus really was the Caddy racer; I guess I have to blame Peter Wyhinny for getting me interested. I watched him race the van a couple of times and then I went on a RacingLine track day, and they said 'you are all right at this, you should get your licence and see where it takes you'." Elliott took advantage of RacingLine's novice 'arrive and drive' programme, which leads a newcomer through every step of the process required to get them on to the grid, including licensing, training and passing the track test. RacingLine can also supply a fully race-prepared car. Adds Simon: "Fortunately I was near the back of the grid for my first race but I made the mistake of coming 11th, which meant that I was in the thick of things for race two. When you are in the middle of it all at the start it's really nerve-wracking.” Elliott sees a bright future for the Volkswagen Racing Cup: "The benefit to us as a brand with the van racing, and to Volkswagen as a group, is immense. It's great to see such an enthusiastic bunch of drivers and spectators, it's a superb championship."
Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 - Hi-Tec Oils Racing pairing Mark McNally and Tony Ricciardello are ready to tackle Mount Panorama as final preparations are completed for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in Bathurst, New South Wales. The duo is the first all-West Australian driver combination at Bathurst since Grant Johnson and Kerry Wade in 2003. McNally is one of 13 drivers making his Bathurst 1000 debut this weekend, but does have previous experience in the development-level Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series around the 6.213-kilometre circuit. Ricciardello, a six-time Australian Sports Sedan Champion, has four previous starts in the Bathurst 1000, as well as scoring second place in the Bathurst 12-Hour production car race earlier this year.
Troy Bayliss will make his V8 Supercar endurance race debut at one of the most demanding touring car events in the world, with the three-time World Superbike Champion set to get behind the wheel of a Paul Morris Motorsports-prepared Commodore for this weekend's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama. Bayliss had planned to make his debut at the L&H 500 at Phillip Island last month until a mechanical failure on a sighting lap forced him and co-driver Dean Fiore to watch the race from pit lane. Racing at Mount Panorama is the realisation of a dream for Bayliss, who said he remembers watching the race as a child. "I'm really looking forward to racing Bathurst," Bayliss said. "It's going to be a challenging weekend and even the top guys in the series rate the event as one of the biggest of the year. I guess for me it's going to be a huge learning curve having to become familiar with the grueling track and also the car at the same time. Given the circumstances I'm feeling quite prepared for the event. I would have liked a full day in the car at Phillip just to allow me to learn more about the category prior to Bathurst, however it wasn't meant to be. My goal is to get through the weekend and to get some miles in the car so I can take another step further in my goal of making the transition from two to four wheels." Fiore, will also make his debut in a V8 Supercar at Mount Panorama this weekend.
Victory in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 this weekend will give IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison a unique position in Australian sport. Never before have two members from the same family won a Bathurst 1000 and an Australian Grand Prix title. John Goss is the only individual driver to take a Bathurst victory (1974 and '85) and Australian Grand Prix title (1976 - Sandown). Along with his brother and fellow V8 Supercar driver, Will, a victory to either driver is sure to add to the legacy of their late grandfather Lex who scored four Australian Grand Prix titles, including 1958 at Mount Panorama. On that day Lex Davison's Ferrari beat home the likes of Stan Jones, Alec Mildren, Len Lukey and Bill Patterson. Known as Australia's first true motor sports hero, Lex Davison won the Australian Grand Prix in 1954 (Southport Qld), '57 (Caversham WA), '58 (Bathurst NSW) and '61 (Mallala SA). Lex Davison died in a practice crash at the 1965 International 100 at Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne. This weekend Alex Davison will be aboard the Stone Brothers Racing prepared IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Ford Falcon with Shane van Gisbergen. The experience of the three-time V8 Supercar Champions and 1998 Bathurst winners is sure to give the 29-year-old his best chance since his debut at Mount Panorama in 2004.
V de V – With the weather at it’s best in the Gard Region over the weekend of September 26-27, the Ledenon races for the FFSA V De V Championship had 3 quality grids and some great racing. All of which bodes well for the remaining rounds at Magny-Cours and Estoril. There were new winners in GT/Tourisme and Proto events while the ‘usual suspects’ in the VHC series confirmed their positiones in the standings. Read reports
Atlantic - Genoa Racing will miss the season finale of the Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. due to budget constraints, but it can still look back on a very successful 2009 season. "Laguna is a particularly expensive event for our team to attend, and unfortunately we just have no budget to do so," said Thomas Knapp, the team manager and chief engineer. "Our highest-placed driver in the championship, Frederic Vervisch, is fourth in the standings and the highest-ranked rookie, and he cannot make or lose any positions by competing in the season finale. We regret not being able to support the series by participating, but this season has taken a particularly heavy toll on our finances. We wish the championship contenders all the best as they head into the finale." Genoa Racing, one of the top teams in the series, fielded up to three cars this year in selected Atlantic events for Vervisch, James Winslow, Jonathan Summerton, Tonis Kasemets, Greg Mansell and Robert Wickens. The team had one victory, six other podium finishes and five additional top-five finishes in 11 of the 12 events.GP2 - International Formula Master title holders Fabio Leimer and Alexander Rossi showed their speed in the GP2 official test in Jerez this week by setting third and ninth fastest times overall. Reigning IFM champion Leimer showed some pace on his first outing with team Ocean Racing Technology, claiming the fastest newcomer lap time in yesterday afternoon's session as well as the overall third fastest lap of today(Thursday) on a 1:26.193. This season's IFM Rookie title winner Rossi also made an impact, posting the ninth quickest time in 1:26.740 with DAMS this afternoon. Rossi had been fastest rookie for most of the wet morning session until a hydraulic problem hindered his performance. The 17-year-old American ran in GP2 for the first time with Piquet GP on Tuesday 6th October. Both took part in test with 2007's Jérôme D'Ambrosio who consistently set times within the top five despite driving for three different teams. 2008 IFM title winner Chris van der Drift ran with Piquet GP today, setting 11th fastest time of 1:26.858,while his former IFM tea-mate Vladimir Arabadzhiev set a 1:28.059. JD Motorsport driver Josef Kral also made his GP2 debut this week, testing for Ocean Racing Technology and Piquet GP on Tuesday and Wednesday, setting the 16th fastest time in both afternoon sessions. "It's been really nice to go from IFM to GP2," said Leimer on this week's experience. "There is a big difference in horsepower, you go from 250-odd hp to over 600, which is a big step! But there is so much in common otherwise, like the clutch, the steering wheel and the downforce. It really helps. You could see both myself and Alexander [Rossi] were pretty fast today and that is because we're used to driving a car like this. The test itself went really well; we had areas that needed working on after yesterday morning's first run and we improved every time. This morning was good too, it was interesting to run in the wet and we found a great set-up for the afternoon, which gave us third fastest."
BTCC - The HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship has unveiled its 2010 calendar, with MotorSport Vision set to host four rounds across three circuits next season. Brands Hatch will host two BTCC meetings, the first of which will take place on the Grand Prix circuit over May Bank Holiday weekend (1/2 May). The Kent circuit will once again be the setting for the season finale on 9/10 October. The BTCC will also visit Oulton Park in Cheshire on 5/6 June and there will be a triple header meeting at Snetterton in Norfolk on 7/8 August. The calendar announcement follows a sensational 2009 season for the BTCC, which came to a head last weekend on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. A record 35,000 spectators flocked to Kent to see Team RAC BMW’s Colin Turkington clinch his maiden title, whilst Jason Plato became only the second driver ever to win three races in one day. For a limited time period, tickets are on sale at 2009 prices for the Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Snetterton BTCC events. Adult tickets are available from £23 and entry is free for children aged 12 and under, with grandstand seating now also on sale, Full Calendar
Star Mazda - After twelve races the fight for the 2009 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear has come down to the wire. There are two drivers and just one race in this weekend's Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and that’s where everything will be decided! Dempsey of Christoloudou? The former has the edge with a 15 point lead while the latter, already Rookie of then year, needs a win and Dempsey finishing lower than sixth, Read more
Karts - Harry Crawley triumphed in the final round of the 2009 Formula Kart Stars Championship at Whilton Mill at the weekend. The result not only secured Harry second place in the final Mini Max title standings, but also made him the most successful driver in the series in terms of race wins in 2009, with four victories from just nine starts - a superb achievement given that at only 12, Harry is younger and less experienced than most of his rivals. Read report
Carrera Cup GB sampler session announced. Drivers considering racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB in 2010 will have the chance to try the cars out during a special 'sampler' session at Silverstone on Wednesday 21 October. The Silverstone National circuit will be available from 2-5pm for Carrera Cup teams to offer test runs for prospective drivers. It will be an exclusive session, with only Carrera Cup cars on track. Any driver interested in taking part in the sampler session should contact email@example.com in the first instance for more details.
Ginettas - The fan-sponsored team YourRacingCar.com and their driver Fulvio Mussi smashed the lap record in the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup at Mussi’s local track Brands Hatch. He also picked up a superb sec ond place finish on his way to fourth place in the Championship. Read report
Sports - Mike Jenvey was the winner in the Sports 2000 Duratec race at Silverstone over the weekend. His Gunn TS6 came ver the line with a 4.248 second advantage over second placed Richard Johnson;s Van Dieman RF05. Third was Rupert Russell in a Van Dieman,RF95 - pic Dennis Goodwin
Formula Renault - CRS Racing will enter its current Formula Renault cars in the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship next year, in addition to running four brand new chassis’ in the 2010 Formula Renault UK Championship. The team has already signed Mitchell Hale for the 2010 BARC series. Mitchell, who turns 16 in December, will join CRS for its first assault on the BARC title, before progressing on to the full Formula Renault UK Championship in 2011. The team has watched him move from international karting into the Ginetta Juniors. “I first tested for CRS in Barcelona when I was 14 years-old and I know they’ve been watching me develop as a driver ever since then,” says Mitchell. “This will be a fantastic opportunity to progress through the Formula Renault ranks with the leading outfit on the grid. There is no better team to be with than CRS. I’m happy to be developing my single-seater craft in BARC. I then plan to step up to the main UK series – hopefully as champion – when I am 17.”
Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship team Hillspeed heads into the season finale at Thruxton Circuit this Sunday, 11th October, aiming for podium finishes for drivers Ahmad Al Harthy and James Theodore. With 64 points up for grabs over the course of the 12th and 13th rounds of the year, there’s everything to play for in terms of the driver standings with 28-year-old Al Harthy currently just four points shy of the Championship runner-up position. The Middle Eastern racer, who is supported by Oman Air, Oman Tourist Board, Sport Oman and Sultanate of Oman, has been a consistent podium challenger all season with four podiums already., plus he has only finished outside the top six on one occasion. Telford teenager Theodore is battling hard to conclude his first full season of car racing inside the top six. Heading to Thruxton the 17-year-old is 16 points shy of Don De Graaff but Kourosh Khani and Archie Hamilton are also likely to have a say in this particular scrap. Reigning Formula Renault BARC Winter Champion Theodore, who is backed by Liberty Properties came close to achieving his first podium of the year at Rockingham last time out, now he wants to make it stick on Sunday. Looking to the weekend, Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “Thruxton is always a circuit that provides good racing and we’ve gone well there before, Ahmad taking pole position last year for example, so hopes are high for a strong finish to the season. We have a great chance of clinching the Vice-Champion’s position with Ahmad but it’s going to be a tight battle. James has shown great pace this year but has been compromised by quite a bit of bad luck. Last time out at Rockingham he was well on course for his debut podium before an unfortunate spin and although he hasn’t had much running at Thruxton, we’re confident he’ll be quick.”
GTs- Both of HEXIS Racing AMR's cars picked up points in the FIA GT3 European Championhsip at the weekend. Held at Paul Ricard in the South of France the car of Thomas Accary and Julien Rodrigues won race 1 after a red flag stopped the race on lap 4 after an oil spill resulted in a 7 car pile-up. The Accary/Rodrigues DBRS9 was one of those cars but after the count-back they were declared the winners and awarded half-points(the race hadn’t reached half distance). In race 2 their team mates in the other DBRS9, Frédéric Makowiecki and Manu Rodrigues took 4th place after loosing the lead when they were hit by a stop-go penalty. Read report
Britcar - Sarah Bennett-Baggs was in action at the weekend, taking part in the Britcar 500 at Silverstone with Nicholas Mee Racing. After 6 hours of racing Sarah and her team-mates, Karsten Le Blanc and Christiaen Van Lanschott, brought their Aston Martin 4.7 GT4 home in 16th place aoverall and 4th in class. Read report
Saloons - Kevin Wendt took control of the latest round of the LMA Euro Saloons and Sports car Championship at Lydden Hill on Saturday. After loosing out to kevin Hayes SEAT Leon at the start he soon got his M3 in front to win his first ever race in the series. read report
Karts - Jack Barlow has been racing for barely two years and yet last weekend, he won the Formula Kart Stars championship in his first full season of competition at national level. Finishing the final race of the year behind his nearest rival Harry Crawley, he resisted the temptation to go for the lead, settling for second place and with it, the title. In doing so he showed a level of maturity that belies his age and experience - a star of the future perhaps? Read report
GP2 - Ten of the thirteen GP2 Series teams testing in Jerez, Spain, this week will field International Formula Master (IFM) drivers as the first official GP2 Series post-season test session gets underway. 2009 IFM Champion Fabio Leimer is spending two days with Ocean Racing Technology, whilst Rookie Title winner Alexander Rossi is taking to the track with Piquet GP today and DAMS on Thursday. Two of this season's IFM race winners Josef Kral and Vladimir Arabadzhiev are also present, with Kral sharing his testing time between Ocean Racing Technology and Piquet GP. Arabadzhiev is testing with the Piquet GP team too, as well as with DPR. Both previous IFM Champions are taking part; 2007 title winner Jérôme D'Ambrosio is testing with iSport International, ART Grand Prix and the Fat Burner Racing Engineering team over the course of the three-day test, whilst 2008 Champion Chris van der Drift will join the GP2 Series field on Thursday for a run with Piquet GP. 2007 IFM driver Johnny Cecotto is driving for Trident Racing today, with Series regular Filip Salaquarda replacing him at the team on Wednesday and Thursday. Fellow IFM regulars and former GP2 Asia team-mates Marcello Puglisi and Marco Bonanomi will also join the field on Thursday, driving for Durango and Party Poker Racing.com SC respectively.
Ginettas - Tom Ingram was back in action at the weekend at Brands Hatch in the 2009 Ginetta Junior Championship and despite missing several rounds over the summer due to a fiscal shortfall, he came away with two points finishes. read report
ALMS - David Brabham is setting his sights on finishing off the 2009 season in style by adding the American Le Mans Series title to his Le Mans 24 Hours victory, in the final round at Laguna Seca, California, on 10 October. Brabham’s team Patrón Highcroft Racing did a great job at Petit Le Mans where they had to totally rebuilt their Acura ARX-02a following Scott Sharp’s horrendous accident in Thursday practice which destroyed the car. Not only that Brabham, Sharp and Dario Franchitti brough the car home to extend their championship lead. This finish means the LMP1 title fight will run to the wire with Brabham holding a 21 point lead over the De Ferran Acura, although they just have to get the Patrón Highcroft car to complete 70% of the four-hour race distance at Laguna Seca to secure the crown. “To head to the final race of the season with a 21 point lead is a nice situation to be in but in some ways, when the fight is closer, it makes it easier. With only having to finish 70% of the race to take the championship, the risk can be that the mind relaxes a little bit, which could be potentially dangerous,” Said Brabham. “We’re heading into the final round with the same attitude as any race — we’re out there to win. When you concentrate on winning, your focus and concentration levels are high and you know exactly what you want to achieve. Laguna Seca is one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar and reliability will be a major factor, especially for us to ensure we get to 70% distance. We have good knowledge of what’s needed in terms of set-up as we were strong here last year when I took outright pole in the P2 car. Although the P1 is very different from the 2008 P2, it’s great that we have a brand new car after a fantastic effort by the Patrón Highcroft team to get us racing at Petit Le Mans. The car was competitive and reliable but obviously the guys will strip it all down and make sure everything is ok for the last race.” Brabham continued: “Obviously hopes are high for the last race of the season and it’s already been an incredible year for me, but adding the ALMS title to my Le Mans win would certainly be a great bonus.” The action at Laguna Seca for the Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patrón kicks off with practice on Thursday and Fridaywhile Qualifying takes place on Friday at 3.35pm local time with the race at 2.45pm on Saturday. Full live race audio is available online at www.radiolemans.com while live timing can be accessed via www.americanlemans.com
Formula Renault - More than 20 orders for the New Formula Renault 2.0 race car, which will make its competitive debut at the start of the 2010 season, have already been received by Renault Sport UK. Current UK teams Fortec Motorsport, Manor Competition, CRS Racing, Mark Burdett Motorsport and Hitech Junior are among those to have registered their commitment to the new car which features a new aerodynamic setup, seven-speed sequential gearbox and a 2.0-litre, 16v normally-aspirated engine.Orders have also been received from outside the current Formula Renault paddock including Clio Cup front-runners Team Pyro and leading Formula Renault BARC team Antel Motorsport. Antel Motorsport Team Manager Brett Parris, who currently drives in the BARC series but will pilot one of the new cars in 2010, said: “We’ve been working on a move into Formula Renault UK for a while but it made sense to time it with the launch of the new car as it will provide a level playing field for all teams. We intend to run three to four cars in BARC and two cars in UK and we’re confident we can get our cars running near the top in both.” Interest in the new car has also been received from former Formula Renault UK Team Manager Ian Barnwell (Team Firstair and Position 1) who is rejoining the series. Ian Barnwell commented: “I was really impressed with the new car when I saw it at Silverstone earlier this year and it was one of the reasons which prompted us returning to the series. It’s been nearly ten years since the current car was implemented so now is the right time for an all new one, not just a new bodykit. The car’s technical advances, such as the seven-speed sequential gearbox, will also put drivers in good stead as they progress to other championships.” The new cars are being built at the Renaultsport factory in Dieppe, France, with the first deliveries expected before the end of November.
The Hitech Junior Team rounded off the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship with sixth place and three top ten finishes at Brands Hatch at the weekend. Jordan Oakes, who took second place last time out at Rockingham, drove a storming second race in Kent to take sixth, while Tamás Pál Kiss and Nick Yelloly finished ninth and tenth in race one. Read report
Manor Competition’s Dean Smith took the 2009 Formula Renault UK Championship crown with a win in the penultimate race, the team’s seventh victory of the season. Tand their first title since Oliver Jarvis in 2005. “I’m absolutely over the moon”, commented Tony Shaw, “The team has worked unbelievably hard this year and Dean thoroughly deserves the championship, he’s an exceptional talent. It’s by no means been easy, especially with Dean only returning to the championship after the first couple of rounds had taken place, but that’s testament to the effort of the whole team. ..read report
Elf Renault Clio Cup - Andrew Herron’s Elf Renault Clio Cup campaign ended on a low note last Sunday. Running, as usual, up the sharp end of the grid, he qualified in 4th and 5th before it all went wrong. In the first race he was given a a drive-through penalty for starting ‘out of position’. To make matters worse he had just moved into second place! A track-rod failure in race 2 completed his miserable weekend, not the ending he was looking for! Read report
Cumbria’s Alex MacDowall finished his season in the Elf Renault Clio Cup by winning the penultimate round and following the Champion home in in the last race. It was his fourth race win of the year and it set the seal on his season and his runner-up spot in the Championship. Read report
Palmer Audi – Jolyon Palmer won the first of three Formula Palmer Audi races at the weekend beating Tristan Vautier to the line by just 0.614secs. Vautier responeded in the second race to win by 2.6 seconds from Kazim Vasiliauskas with Maxine Jousee third , 4 seconds off the winner. Jousse then won the final race from Emma Kimilainen by 1.89secs with Paul rees completing the podium in third. Pic Dennis Goodwin
Other news - Team GCR have been invited by The Stroke Association to take part in Supercar Saturday on October 24th at Castle Combe. They will take their Ginetta G50 with driver Tom Dunstan to the track where for a donation you can get strapped into the passenger seat and go for a spin round the track, If a Ginetta doesn’t suite there will be plenty of other cars around to pick from, including Viper GT3s, Radicals and exoticalike a Ferrari or two (including an incredibly rare 250 GT Lusso which we are told you can also go in for a fee!). Prices start from just £20.00 for a minimum of 5 laps and run from 9.00am to 4:30pm. This is a a great opportunity for all race fans to find out what it’s like on track on a real no-frills FIA GT car. BTCC driver Anthony Reid is also expected to be on hand to drive. More info from http://www.stroke.org.uk/fundraising/fundraising_events/castle_combe_2009.html
A brand-new organisation, designed to take drivers to the pinnacle of motorsport, was launched at Silverstone last week. Accelerate Driver Development, run by motorsport experts Graeme Glew, John Byfield (Chairman of Essentially Group) and Keiran Crawley, is selecting four drivers from the junior ranks. Each will benefit from more than 70 years of combined motorsport experience accumulated by the ADD team. ADD is negotiating with commercial partners to support the scheme, in return for which corporations and brands will benefit from association with the drivers as they rise to the top. Two of the four drivers have already been chosen they are Oliver Oakes, 21,former World Kart Champion has raced in Formula BMW,Formula Renault . He is expected to move into F3 or GP3 in 2010. Robert Foster Jones, 19, is set to take his first steps into car racing after a career in karts. He has signed for Manor Competition, 2009 Formula Renault UK Champion Dean Smith’s team, for this year’s Formula Renault Winter Series. Two more drivers will be announced soon. Graeme Glew, whose experience ranges from race-school operation to F1 commercial activities said: “Accelerate Driver Development is taking drivers who already have proved themselves in the lower formulae, and will take them through everything else that is crucial for a career’s development, from coaching to fitness, psychology to contract negotiation and most important sponsor acquisition. Drivers need good management and we already have two of the best young guys around on board.” John Byfield was formerly involved with the March F1 and Pacific F1 teams as a commercial and legal expert, managed Jenson Button and has recently, as chairman of Essentially Group, built up a global sports marketing and management company. Crawley is a former karting mechanic for Lewis Hamilton, the current UK importer for Zanardi Karts.
Ginettas - Sarah Moore made a little piece of history at Brands Hatch when she became the first female Champion in a BTCC Support race series. Sarah who went into the last race of the year in the 2009 Ginetta Junior Championship with Henderson Insurance with a 7 point lead brought her car home second to clam the title . Her rival for the crown Jake Cook spun while challenging for the lead dropping him down the order…. Read report
The New 2009 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup Champion Nathan Freke ended his superb season in the perfectr way yesterday by wiunning the last race of the season, his fifteenth victory of the year. …read report
Saloons - Isla Cox came out the overall winner of the Castle Combe Saloon Car Challenge on Saturday. Simon Norris had 'destroyed' everyone in the first race, winning by 25 seconds in his Mitsubishi Lancer evo with Gary Prebble second and Cox, who was the last of the un-lapped runners, third! She then however managed to turn the tables in the handicapped second race. Cox bringing her SEAT home in seventh to record the best overall time while Norris only came in a distant 16th but he still took second overall. The second race was won 'on the road' by David Mears in a Peugeot 205 GTi with the Audi TT of Tony Hutchings second
Clio Cup - Champion Phil Glew ended his 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin season as he started with a double podium during the final two rounds at Kent’s Brands Hatch GP circuit on 3rd/4th October . The 26-year-old Team Pyro racer claimed a lights-to-flag victory in round 20, the final round of the action-packed season, together with a second place in round 19 to finish the year on a high and secure the Entrant honours for his team. Total Control Racing’s Alex MacDowall, who has been Glew’s main rival throughout the series, also ended on a positive note with win in round 19 and a second place to finish as the Championship runner-up. The thrilling weekend also saw a maiden podium for Amery Motorsport’s Rob Gaffney, returning to the series after an absence, with third in round 19 while team-mate Dave Newsham picked up the remaining podium spot and finish fifth overall. With the season drawn to a close, attention now turns to the forthcoming Winter Cup series which takes place at Rockingham later in the year (7th November). Read report
Alex MacDowall finished his season with Total Control Racing as he started it, on the podium. After winning the first race of the weekend MacDowall chased 2009 champion Philip Glew hard in the final race at Brands Hatch to finish second, 0.320 seconds behind the winner. Histeam-mate Daniel Lloyd came home in seventh after starting fifteenth. TCR’s Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup squad ended the season with their drivers in third and fourth in the championship, Fulvio Mussi taking a fourth place in the final race while his team mate Carl breeze was eighth. ..read report
Daniel Lloyd’s rookie season in the ELF Renault Clio Cup ended with him just missing out on a top 10 place in the Championship by just 4 points. He had looked odds-on for the coveted tenth place before his opening race at Brands Hatch this weekend was rudely interrupted when he was ‘punted’ into the gravel at Druids. He did put in a strong drive in the second race to claim seventh from 15th on the grid but it was too little too late . ….read report
BTCC – Colin Turkington is 2009 HiQ MSA BTCC Champion - A record 35,000 spectators descended on Brands Hatch at the weekend (3/4 October) for the season finale of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship. Fans were treated to a thrilling trio of BTCC races, as the title fight went down to the very last round of the season in a three-way battle between the Team RAC BMW of Colin Turkington, VX Racing's Fabrizio Giovanardi and the Racing Silverline Chevrolet of Jason Plato. Plato clinched an historic hat-trick of victories, out-dragging Tom Chilton's Team Aon Ford Focus to the line by 0.015s in race one: the closest finish in British Touring Car history. After beating fellow title challenger Giovanardi in race two, Plato made a magnificent manoeuvre round the outside of Turkington through Paddock in the final outing of the day to take a trio of victories - becoming only the second driver in the modern touring car era to win all three races in one day. However, the weekend belonged to Team RAC's Colin Turkington, who clinched his first drivers' title with podium finishes in races two and three. The 27-year-old Ulsterman was overjoyed to finally secure the championship after such a closely fought finale. race report
Porsche Carrera Cup GB - Tim Bridgman won the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB during the final two races of the season at Brands Hatch (3/4 October), taking a maximum weekend score of 44 points to jump ahead of James Sutton and Tim Harvey in the final standings. Bridgman claimed the title for Team Parker Racing with two poles, two wins and two fastest laps to beat 2007 champion Sutton and 2008 champion Harvey to the title. "Going into Brands we were eight points back, and we set ourselves the target of maximum points. We achieved that," said the 24-year old from Stansted. "All season the championship has been the target," said Bridgman. "Stuart Parker and I have been so focused on winning this and so much work has gone in from everyone in the team. To achieve your goal is a fantastic feeling. It's 50% happiness and 50% relief. This has been my dream!" Bridgman paid tribute to the level playing field offered by the Carrera Cup and said that he loves driving the 911GT3 Cup car. " I have to thank Porsche for keeping such equal equipment," he said. "I can honestly say this is by far the most equal of any one-make championship I've raced in. That makes a big difference." Already, Bridgman has the Porsche Supercup as his target for next season. "Supercup is where I want to be. I've made no secret of that aim this season and I want to be racing on the international stage next year," he said. "I believe I deserve a chance and I've got a lot to offer."
Glynn Geddie and Glenn McMenamin both clinched titles in 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB during the final two races of the season at Brands Hatch (3/4 October). Geddie won the pro-am1 title after a superb weekend at Brands when he took an overall podium finish ahead of Tim Harvey and Michael Caine. The 19-year old from Aberdeen was in his first full season of racing and won the pro-am1 category in 10 of the 20 races with Team Parker Racing. "We've had so many ups ands downs this season and we've had some bad luck in the races," said Geddie. "After nearly stalling on the line for the final race I had to work hard, but we did what we needed to do. Next year I plan to be back in the Carrera Cup and move up to the pro category." McMenamin wrapped up his first season of racing by winning the pro-am2 category. The Milton Keynes racer only joined the series at Donington in May after getting his National A race licence and has been a pro-am2 front-runner ever since with Parr Motorsport. "My first ever race was this weekend a year ago in the Porsche Open and I was just happy to be out there on the grid," said McMenamin. "A year on, I've won my class in a major championship. I can’t really get my head round what I've achieved. It hasn’t sunk in yet." He won the pro-am2 category four times and saw off the challenge of Paul Hogarth to take the title. McMenamin is already working towards continuing in the series in 2010. "I'm very much hoping to be back in the Carrera Cup next year. There's nowhere else I really want to be racing," he said.
Robert Lawson(pictured above on right) capped off an excellent maiden season in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 3rd/4th October, with two more class podiums to narrowly miss out on the Pro-Am1 title – a battle he led going into the final event of the year. ..read report
Formula Ford - Spectrum driver Ben Norton capped off a fantastic year in his Wiltshire College prepared formula ford at the weekend with a runaway win in the Prestigious Castle Combe Carnival. After winning the 2009 Castle Combe FF1600 Championship with one round remaining, Ben concentrated his efforts on the Carnival and was rewarded with an eight second victory. On Ben's stunning year Mike Borland said "It is great to see how the College has come on as a team, and to be able to win such a competitive Championship is a credit to Haydn Earl, his teaching staff and the students.” The Combe Championship and Carnival wins add to Spectrum's most successful year overseas so far, with wins in the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain by Daniel Erickson, and the domination of the Scholarship class by Daniel Cammish, both drivers running out of Kevin Mills’ Gloucester based team. Borland commented “The team and drivers have been competitive all season. Congratulations to Dan on winning the Scholarship class in his rookie season; it would be great to see him back with Kev for a tilt at the Championship in 2010!” Mike Borland will travel to the UK this week for the Formula Ford Festival to help oversee the engineering of both Scott Pye and Daniel Erickson, and is happy to see them both back as team mates. "It will be fantastic to see two young Australian drivers who started with us giving their all at the Festival. Hopefully we can continue the winning ways,” said Borland.
Formula Renault UK - Manor Competition’s Dean Smith needed just one round to secure the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship during the final meeting of the season at Kent’s Brands Hatch GP circuit on 3rd/4th October. Smith cruised to a lights-to-flag victory in round 19 to give him enough points to secure the title and follow in the footsteps of previous Champions Lewis Hamilton (2003) and Kimi Räikkönen (2000). The 21-year-old also picked up a podium (third) in the final round of the single-seater series to round off an impressive weekend for the racer who now plans to move into European F3. Nearest rival Fortec Motorsport’s James Calado had to settle for the Championship Runner-up spot despite a lights-to-flag victory in round 20. The weekend also saw podiums for Fortec team-mate Oli Webb who finished second in round 19 with Mark Burdett Motorsport’s Jesse Krohn rounding off the podium honours in the round. CRS Racing’s Lewis Williamson claimed the final podium spot with second in round 20 and his best performance of his debut season. Team-mate Harry Tincknell was also able to wrap up the Graduate Cup title during the action-packed weekend. race report
Dean Smith finally won the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship crown on Sunday at Brands Hatch and he did it in style. Starting Round 19, the first of yesterday’s races, from pole he put in a perfect display to win ther ace and with it the Championship. He followed it up with a third place in the final round later on in the afternoon… read report
Porsche – The last ever Porsche Open race was held yesterday at Silverstone as the series will be replaced next year by the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge. Paul McLean and Peter Fairbairn sharing the formers 993 GT2 Evo each won a race…read report
Jez Clark claimed the 2009 Porsche Club Championship title with another two class wins in the final rounds at Silverstone – Clark ending the season undefeated in Class Two with a perfect score of 16 wins from 16 races. With dropped scores taken into account, Clark was 40-points clear of Class One champion Ben Demetriou in the overall championship table. Scott Kavanagh won Friday afternoon’s race, his first overall win and also the first for the 993 C2 model in the series, while Kevin Harrison took his first win of 2009 in Saturday’s round. Read full report
Formula Ford - James Cole has won the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain at the final meeting of the season at Castle Combe on Saturday. His closest rival American Josef Newgarden can no longer surpass Cole in the points even if his appeal against his exclusion in Round 22 is successful. Daniel Cammish clinched the Scholarship Class title. Chrissy Palmer meanwhile had a great day on the Wiltshire track winning both races while Josh Hill put in two superb drives from the back of the grid to take a third and a sixth place finish plus fastest lap in both races. Read report
The Formula Ford Carnival at Castle Combe had looked as though it would be a pretty straightforward affair for Andrew Jones, despite the wet weather. After dominating the earlier heat from Ed Moore and Steven Jensen and winning the opening race of the day in the Castle Combe Formula Ford Championship Jones looked a safe bet in the final. He duly set off into the lead followed closely by David Vivian, Moore, Jensen and Ben Norton and was edging away when it all went awry. As the field completed lap one Vivian got sideways going into Camp corner and as everyone behind tried their level best to avoid him they ended up going off or into each other and the tyre wall. Ed Moore’s car was out on the spot as were Bob Higgins, Steven Jensen and Keith Davey, various other cars subsequently left the track at various points(or had aleready done so in the slippery conditions) so out came the red flag. A lengthy clean up followed before the race got underway again. Jones was once more to the fore followed by Vivian, who had somehow escape all the carnage, then Ben Norton and Thomas Barrow. Within a couple of laps it was clear Jones wasn’t finding it as easy this time around and by lap 3 of the restart Vivian was passed followed soon afterwards by Norton’s Spectrum. The pair then made a break with Norton getting into the lead on lap 5, a lead he held to the flag. Vivian stayed in touch in second with Thomas Barrow coming home third. Fourth was Chris Acton ,Adam Higgins was fifth and Andrew Jones finally came home in sixth. After the race David Vivian was excluded thereby moving everyone up a place.
In the Universal Racing Services Classic FF2000 Championship race Tom Pope came out on top in his Van Dieman RF82, but only just as Josh Fisher came close to him in the latter stages but ran out of laps. After leading from the start Pope, who along with Fisher had opted for slicks on a drying track, had looked pretty secure up front once Ian Pearson’s early challenge faded, along with his wet tyres. However Josh Fisher clearly had other ideas. Coming from the back of the field Fisher made short work of the cars on grooved tyres moving to 12th by lap 3 , eighth by lap 5 and second by lap 9 and although Pope had a fairly decent lead at this stage, by the last lap it was jdown to just over a second.. As the pair crossed the line at the end of 11 laps it was 1.4 seconds. Ian Pearson was a distant third by this time , over 15 second behind while fourth was Andy Powell. In the 1600 race Steve Bell led from the start, through a safety car period at the end of the opening lap and on to the flag in his Royale RP29 winning by 112 seconds from Paul Sleeman’s Jamun.
GTs - Simon Norris won the Castle Combe Special GT Championship in assoc with savesomemoney.info on Saturday. His Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3 revelled in the damp conditions as he moved from 7th on the grid to take the lead on lap 5 from te Radical SR8 of Manhal Allos. Allos then latched onto his tail before he he endured a high speed crash into the tyre barrier at Camp Corner(pictured left), his car going in backwards at high speed. The driver jump out of the smoking car quickly enough but such was the impact that the Safety car was deployed to allow for the wreckage to be removed. At the restart Norris resumed in the lead followed by Guy Woodward's Jade 3 and Darcy Smith ‘s Nemesis RME98. Norris finally crossed the line to win with a little over a second in hand, Woodward was still second, 0.6 secs ahead of Smith who had a similar gap behind him to fourth placed Simon Tilling in a Radical SR3.
Saloons - Garry Prebble won the final round of the Castle Combe Saloon car Championship, his Mitsubishi Evo RS7 dominating the race. Barry Squibb was a distant second some 31 seconds behind in his Evo 9 while Brian Cox was third, a further 20 second behind. (all Castle Combe pics Richard Pascal 11/56 Motorsport)
Carrera Cup GB – Tim Bridgman is the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion after he won both race s today at Brands Hatch (Sunday 4 Oct). After winning round 19 this morning he followed it up with a second win this afternoon to pip James Sutton to the title by just 4 points. Glynn Geddie finished third overall to win pro-am1 title while Glenn McMenamin had already clinched the pro-am2 last month. Karl Leonard won pro-am2 in round 20 with a brilliant drive from the pits. Read report
Superleague Formula - Sebastien Bourdais continued his run of form from Estoril by winning the first Superleague Formula by Sonangol race at Monza on Saturday driving for Spanish side Seville. Sporting Lisbon’s Pedro Petiz took his and the club’s first win today in the second race with a lights-to-flag drive. Bourdais meanwhile came through to third after starting last to grab the Weekend Winner award for Seville. Craig Dolby came home in second position to add to his race 1 fifth place to finish the weekend third overall while Olympiacos’ Esteban Guerrieri was second thanks to his runners-up spot yesterday(Saturday) and fourth in race two today. Read report
ELF Renault Clio Cup - Front-runner Alex MacDowall claimed the runner-up spot in the Elf Renault Clio Cup on Saturday with a perfect win in the penultimate race of the year at Brands Hatch. Meanwhile his Total Control Racing team-mate Fulvio Mussi produced two of his strongest performances of the season during rounds 26 and 27 of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup claimed a fine second place in the second race of the day at Brands Hatch on Saturday. Read report
Ginettas - Nathan Freke fittingly sealed the 2009 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup title with a true champion’s performance at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Saturday, 3rd October – a brace of largely unchallenged wins handing the Kidderminster racer a deserved championship triumph. Read report
Tollbar Racing’s Jake Hill stole the headlines from Ginetta Junior Championship with Henderson Insurance title rivals Jake Cook, Sarah Moore and Aaron Williamson at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Saturday, 3rd October, with a spectacular winning return during round 19. read report
Porsche Carrera Cup GB - Tim Bridgman bagged a double pole position for the final two rounds of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Saturday 3 October 2009). Glynn Geddie took a tremendous third overall for both grids to head pro-am1, while Karl Leonard topped the pro-am2 times. Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) got the final weekend of his title bid off to a perfect start by taking two poles and, importantly, two more championship points. Next to Bridgman on both grids will be fellow title contender James Sutton (Red Line Racing) while championship leader Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) faces a tough race day starting with fourth and fifth places on the two grids. "That's perfect," said Bridgman. "Job done and I'm really, really happy. Pole here is very important," he added, after being around three-tenths of a second clear on both grids. Sutton, meanwhile, was relieved to jump up to second for both races after struggling somewhat on his first set of tyres. "We made a small change before the second run and it just clicked," he reported. Two third places overall was a great result for Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing), who topped pro-am1 to add two more points to his championship bid. The fourth and fifth grid slots were shared between Harvey and Tom Bradshaw (Team Parker Racing), as Bradshaw marked his 20th birthday with a very strong run. "That's not the result I wanted," said Harvey, who lost his best runs to a mix of traffic and red flags. Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance) was also hurt by the busy track as he bagged a pair of sixth places.The next three places on the grids were shared between Robert Lawson (JHR), Ollie Jackson (Motorbase Performance) and Lewis Hopkins (Red Line Racing), who were just over a second away from Bridgman's pole time. Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) took both pro-am2 poles from Paul Mace (GT Marques) as Paul Hogarth (IN2Racing) and Glenn McMenamin (Parr Motorsport) shared the third places.
The Porsche Carrera Cup GB is setting a new record at Brands Hatch this weekend (3/4 October) with the biggest grid in the seven-year history of the championship. With interest in the 2010 championship already running at an unprecedented level, a superb field of 27 cars will contest the final two races of the 2009 season on Sunday (4 October). The 20th and final race of the season is scheduled for broadcast live on ITV4 when all three drivers' titles are due to be settled. The 27-car field surpasses the previous record by four cars and comes at the conclusion of a fabulous season for the championship. Grids have been consistently strong all season and a total of 43 drivers have now raced in this year's championship."This has been a fantastic season for the Carrera Cup GB," said championship manager Marion Barnaby. "The teams and drivers have worked really hard to deliver such strong grids and exciting racing and we want to thank them all for supporting the championship. Next season already looks like it is going to set more new records!"
Superleague - Esteban Guerrieri scored his and Olympiacos’ first ever Superleague Formula by Sonangol pole position at Monza today after pacing Seville’s Sebastien Bourdais in the knockout final….read more
Karts - Russ Danzey has been putting his on-track skills towards a worthy cause by organising a charity karting day that helped to raise more than £3,000 for local life-saving organisation Neurocare – and the event was such a success that a second one is already in the pipeline for next year. Ten teams of four amateur drivers pitted themselves against each other in an hour-long battle of endurance around the challenging PF International circuit in Lincolnshire. “I did a couple of demo laps for them to show them what sort of lines they should be taking,” recounted Russ. “Of course it’s hard for karting rookies to come in and go up against some people who had done it before, but I think they all did quite well. I think the whole day went very well, to be honest. We raised some good money for Neurocare and had a lot of positive feedback from the drivers who took part. I think everyone just really enjoyed it.” Aside from the on-track action there was also an auction of various sporting. “It was my first event personally,” revealed Neurocare fundraiser Emma Douglas. “I only started at Neurocare six weeks ago, and this was the first project I had taken on for myself. It kind of ended up being my baby. The money raised will go into a general fund for various different projects that Neurocare is working on. One of the key ones at the moment is intraoperative monitoring equipment, which basically monitors a patient’s nervous system during surgery and is able to spot any damage that might be done. An awful lot of organisation went into the day, and I think it was a great success. The guys down at the track were fantastic and everybody who came seemed to have a really good time. It was perfect for us in terms of fundraising, and I hope it was beneficial for Russ too, because he is a great kid.” Neurocare is a dynamic, forward-thinking charity that funds ground-breaking research, pioneering projects, innovations and breakthroughs in medical care and cutting-edge equipment for people with head injuries and debilitating neurological conditions from brain tumours to strokes, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Motor Neurone Disease and Epilepsy. Neurocare is currently raising money for both Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the Neurosciences Department at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in the city, with the goal of making the latter the best in the UK in terms of facilities. The Hallamshire is the sole NHS hospital in the country with a 3D Sonowand scanner to treat brain tumours, whilst the epilepsy telemetry unit in Sheffield is the only one of its kind in Britain outside of London. For more information on Neurocare, please see www.neurocare.co.uk
Jay Goodwin, who after six weeks of head-scratching and off-the-pace outings caused by a bent chassis, has returned to form with a vengeance just in time for the final meeting of the Formula Kart Stars (FKS) Championship at Whilton Mill this weekend (October 3/4). Read report
Renault Sport UK have confirmed its plans for the 2010 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship following the introduction of the New Formula Renault 2.0 race car to the British championship-level UK series. From 2010, the outgoing Tatuus-built chassis from the UK championship will be eligible to race alongside the existing restricted engine car in the Protyre series. The two cars will compete in a one-class championship together with a privateer class for independently-run entries. The current BARC cars are technically close to the outgoing UK model except for body work and the use of a 35mm air restrictor plate to reduce power plus fixed gear ratios. Earlier this month, Renault Sport UK announced that the UK Championship is to feature a new car for the start of the 2010 season. With the current UK chassis now available to race in the club-level series, organisers are anticipating a high uptake as Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Promoter Simon North explains. “The BARC championship has grown into a proper feeder-series to the higher-level UK championship with almost ten of this year’s UK drivers progressing from it.” Adding: “By allowing the outgoing UK car to be used alongside the existing BARC car we hope to open up the series to even more drivers and teams and continue the championship’s reputation as one of the most affordable junior single-seater categories.” The move is also expected to increase the synergy between the two competitions with front-running UK team Fortec Motorsport intending to run four of its UK cars in the BARC series next year. The final two rounds (12 and 13) of the 2009 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship take place at Hampshire’s Thruxton circuit on Sunday, 11th October
Clio Cup - Organisers of the 2009 ELF Renault Clio Winter Cup with Michelin have announced new plans to make the series more cost effective to both teams and drivers. The series will now compete over just two rounds, instead of the previous four, which will both be held at Northamptonshire’s Rockingham Motor Speedway on Saturday, 7th November. The series will still adopt the same format as used in recent years of 1x qualifying session and 2 x races with testing taking place on the Friday beforehand. Cars without the latest bodywork update, introduced during the summer, will also be allowed to compete in a bid to swell grid numbers. ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin Promoter Simon North commented: “After talking to all our existing Clio Cup teams we felt that by limiting the series to just one circuit and two rounds it would prove more cost effective for teams but also potential drivers. “With six of last year’s competitors racing full time in the main 2009 championship, the series remains a fantastic opportunity for prospective new drivers for 2010 to gain some useful race experience and mileage.” Last year’s series saw Irish racer Árón Smith take the overall honours with two wins and two second places to finish 21-points clear of PH Motorsport’s Philip House. Registrations for the series are open now with a closing date of Wednesday, 14th October.
Superleague Max Wissel offered a timely reminder to his rivals that FC Basel hasn’t yet given up netting this season’s Superleague Formula by Sonangol title after recording the fastest aggregate time over the two free practice sessions at Monza on Friday. Read more
Carrera Cup GB - Tim Harvey set the testing pace ahead of the final two rounds of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Friday 2 October 2009). In a record 27-car field, Tony Gilham headed pro-am1, while Karl Leonard topped the pro-am2 times. With all three drivers' titles to be settled on Sunday, the stage is set for two dramatic races and the testing times showed how closely matched the leading contenders are. Harvey's best lap on new tyres in the afternoon session set the mark at 1m29.461s, but he then uncharacteristically ended the session in the gravel trap at Stirlings. Harvey (Red Line Racing) reported that a problem on the downshift pitched him off and the subsequent red flag brought the session to an early halt. "I love the circuit and the car felt good all day," said Harvey. "That's stage one of the weekend done and I think there is more time to come." A tenth of a second behind Harvey was Tim Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) who said that traffic cost him his best lap. "I had good first two sectors on new rubber, then hit traffic," he said. "It was going to be a low 1m29s lap." Just behind Bridgman came James Sutton (Red Line Racing), the third of the key title contenders. "It's taken a while to adjust to the circuit," said Sutton of his first experience of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in a Carrera Cup car. Fourth fastest overall was Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance), who also felt that he could have gone quicker. "I was on my first flying lap on a new tyre run when the red flag came out," said Caine. A superb fifth fastest overall and top of pro-am1 was Tony Gilham, to make it three cars from Red Line Racing in the top five. However, only a very late sponsorship deal allowed him new tyres for the afternoon test session. "We secured a tyre sponsor 20 minutes before I went out," said Gilham. "The car felt really good and there is more time to come." Sixth overall was Tom Bradshaw (Team Parker Racing) after a strong run in the afternoon, while pro-am1 championship leader Robert Lawson (JHR) was seventh from Jake Rosenzweig (Team Parker Racing). Rounding out the top 10 times were pro-am1 drivers Ollie Jackson (Motorbase Performance) and Derek Pierce (JHR). Pierce was tackling the Grand Prix circuit for the first time and ran well as he came back from a major accident at Rockingham two weeks earlier. Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) set the pro-am2 pace, but Paul Mace (GT Marques) was well in contention. "It was busy out there, but there is another half-second to come," said Leonard, after his first run on the Grand Prix circuit. Paul Hogarth (IN2Racing) was third in pro-am2, heading a close quartet of pro-am2 cars that also included Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance), George Brewster (Celtic Speed) and Glenn McMenamin (Parr Motorsport).
the WTCC cars are traveling to Asia
by sea for the final two events of the 2009 season, the
Chevrolet team continued their test and development programme of
the Cruze. Following the tests in Zolder with Nicola Larini and
Magny-Cours with Robert Huff earlier this summer, the Cruze ran
this week at Portimão's Autodromo do Algarve for a three-day
session, with Alain Menu at the wheel.
The Liqui Moly Team Engstler completed a test in Hockenheim with three Asian drivers. Alongside their regular WTCC entries - team principal Franz Engstler and Kristian Poulsen - the German team will field two additional cars in Japan and three in Macau. Masaki Kano from Japan and Henry Ho from Macau will race at Okayama, while Ho will be joined by his fellow countrymen Lic Ka Liu and Jo Rosa Merszei in Macau. Kano, Ho and Lic had the opportunity to test the BMW car in Hockenheim, taking advantage of Engstler's advice. Kano, who had raced for the team in last year's WTCC events at Okayama and Macau, knew the racetrack already and clocked good lap times. Ho and Lic started testing at the wheel of BMW 320i E46 cars, before switching to the new E90 models. The Asian programme means a huge effort for the team that shipped five cars to Japan and will fly a crew of 25 peopleFormula 3 - Tom Tweedie, the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship National Class Champion is to test with Team West Tec at Rockingham later this month…read more
The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily shared by 11/56 MotorSport or any of theGrid team