Motorsport News - 28 September 2011
10 SEPTEMBER 28 2011 motorsport-news.co.uk
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Watts: Ginetta man Former British Touring Car Championship ace and now historic competitor Patrick Watts will take part in the Ginetta GT Supercup races at Brands Hatch at the wheel of the guest car, the G55.
Turkington’s day In more tin-top to Ginetta news, former British Touring Car Championship winner Colin Turkington will tackle the longest race of his career at Silverstone this weekend when he joins marque owner Lawrence Tomlinson. Michael Simpson and Matt Nicoll-Jones in the Britcar 24 hours race at the wheel of a G55. The Northern Irishman tested one of the cars at Silverstone last week .
Owens’belated title Mini Miglia ace Endaf Owens finally secured the title he has been chasing for 12 years, following a double win at Croft. “I have only done three or four full seasons and was runner up a couple of years ago. I can’t believe I have actually won it, though,” he said.
Spark stays Seven up Paul Spark retained his Mini Seven crown at Croft on taking victory in the second race after his rivals collided on the final lap. “I will be back for the hatm trick next season,” he vowed.
Nash shines in GT4 British Touring Car Championship convert James Nash made a superb start to his British GT career when he took a class win in a Lotus Evora with Phil Glew at Donington last weekend. The pair won the GT4 division. Nash was substituting for Ollie Jackson, who had to miss the race for personal reasons.
Levett’s VW Cup run European truck Racing star Chris Levett made his car debut in the VWCup at Donington Park last weekend in a Golf GTi run by Slidesports Racing. The car is run by Mark Jenkins, who is the brother of Levett’s truck racing rival, David Jenkins. “I had never driven a front-wheel drive car before, even on the road. The hardest thing was the view of the track, because you see the corners ahead much earlier in a truck,” he said. He placed sixth and eighth in his two races.
Dennis bags crown Jake Dennis clinched the Intersteps title at Croft with two wins from the weekend’s three races. He is planning to graduate to Formula Renault in 2012 and could appear in the category before the end of the season.
Dalton debuts Karting racer Jake Dalton made a successful debut in the Intersteps Championship at Croft, with a sixth and two fifths in his Falcon Motorsport car. His only previous car experience was the 2CV 24 hours alongside father Richard and a one-off FF1600 race at Oulton Park earlier this year.
Cruze will pack extra ballast
ByMatt James Reigning British Touring Car champion Jason Plato says Saturday’s qualifying session at Brands Hatch will be the most important of the season.
The Chevrolet Cruze driver lies 24 points behind the Honda Racing Team pair of Gordon Shedden andMatt Neal heading into the penultimate meeting of the season and says that pole position is vital to maintaining his bid.
“I need pole to stand a chance of winning the opening race,” Plato said. “After that, life becomes tough with the extra ballast and it’s going to be extremely hard to fight the Hondas, but the race one win is the platform for the weekend.” Despite a prolific record on the 2.6-mile grand prix layout, Plato says that he thinks the configuration will be tough
Plato: it ain’ t ov er ’t il it’ s ov er normally-aspirated “Our him. for for him. “Our normally-aspirated car excels on combinations of corners, such as we had at Rockingham, but we don’t have any of those at Brands Hatch and there are plenty of places where the Civics will be stronger than me.
“As long as it’s mathematically possible to win the championship, I’m not going to stop pushing, but I think it’s out of myhands,” Plato added. “The Hondas need to have failures or crashes for me to stand a chance, and I really can’t see that happening.”
New rule could reduce British F3 team sizes
British Formula Three teams could be limited to running four cars in each class of the series from next year under new plans put forward by the Formula Three Teams’ Association.
FOTAwants to impose a limit on the number of cars teams are allowed to run in the series next year to even out the field. Under the new regulation, squads will be able to enter up to four cars in both the International and Rookie classes.
FOTA’s Peter Briggs said: “It’s something we’ve been working towards for a few years now because teams have started to get too big and it puts a lot of smaller teams off joining the series. We’d like to see a greater variety on the grid, so running four cars per team in each class is more than enough. The rule isn’t approved yet but it is something we’re hoping to include in the regulations from 2012 onwards.”
Newrule would limit team sizes
Carlin currently runs six cars in F3’s International Class. Team chief Trevor Carlin said: “I think it’s a lot of hot air. Organisations like the Red Bull Junior and Racing Steps Foundation trust us to run their cars so that would take up a large percentage of our seats under the new rule.
“We bring in exciting drivers to the series because they want to race for the title-winning team. We’d never break any regulations, but, if it was enforced, we’d have to look at options for ways of running more cars because we have a lot of interest ahead of next year.”
PLATO : QUALIFING
Chevy ace says bid requires pole slot
BritishTouring Car Championship After 24 of 30 rounds POS DRIVER TEAM
1 Matt Neal
Honda Racing Team Civic T
= Gordon Shedden Honda Racing Team Civic T
3 Jason Plato
4 Mat Jackson
5 James Nash
6 Andrew Jordan
Silverline Chevrolet Cruze
Airwaves Racing Ford Focus T 159
Triple Eight Vauxhall Vectra T
Pritek Racing Vauxhall Vectra T 124
BTCC on the Brands Hatch GP circuit Wins over the last ten years POS DRIVER WINS
1 Jason Plato
2 Matt Neal
= Tom Onslow-Cole 1 = Tom Chilton 1 = Mat Jackson 1 = Dan Eaves 1 = Rob Collard 1 = James Thompson 1 = Alain Menu 1
Plato: a Br ands tr ack master
Tandy:ending season in UK
Tandy in Motorbase line-up for UK runs Porsche Supercup ace Nick Tandy will contest the final four rounds of the British series.
The former F3 race winner, who is also leading the German Carrera Cupwith two rounds to go, will link-up with Motorbase Performance for two races at Brands Hatch this weekend. Hewill then drive for the team at Silverstone onOctober 15/16.
Team boss David Bartrum said that the development skills of Tandy, 26, would help him re-establish his Carrera Cup GB squad as a leading force on the grid.
“We have struggled a bit in Porsches this season, with TimHarvey walking away from the series andMichael Caine progressing to the British Touring Car Championship. Nick is going to push us to the front and he is a great guy to work with. If ever there was a perfect Motorbase driver, Nick is it.”
Tandy said: “The run will be mostly for development work on the car. It won’t be a huge change for mebecause the cars are almost identical spec to the German Carrera Cup cars, which also use the steel brake option. It’ll be good fun to race in a British series again.”
Triple Eight considers life without Vauxhall
Former series dominators Triple Eight Engineering will commit to the newNext Generation Touring Car rules for 2012 and could run a car other than aVauxhall for the first time in its history.
TheNorthamptonshire-based team, which was formed in 1997, ran Vauxhall products as the firm’s factory outfit until the company withdrew in 2009. It has continued to field the Vectra model this year, fitted with a bespoke BTCCTOCA two-litre turbocharged engine, for
James Nash, Tony Gilham and Aron Smith but team head Ian Harrison said hewas already investigating other marques.
The cut-price Next Generation Touring Car rules, where cars feature a number of controlled parts, will come fully on stream in 2013. “The NGTCregs are the future of the BTCCand perhaps the future has come quicker than we thought,” said Harrison. “We’ll look for the right type of car with the dynamics to be competitive.”
Triple Eight may dropVectra
Sources suggest the squad will field a second Vauxhall Vectra at Brands Hatch this weekend and British GT racer Ollie Jackson may be at the controls, although Harrison refused to confirm or deny this.
although he said they were yet to determine which car to use.
Pirtek in Next Generation move but keeps mum over choice of car Pirtek Racing team will switch to full-specification Next Generation Touring Car machinery for 2012. Although details are limited on the team’s programme, driver Andrew Jordan confirmed last week that the squad would switch,
Jordan, awinner in 2011, said: “I can’t go into much detail about which car [will be chosen] but our Vectras are for sale. We should be able to make an announcement in about two weeks’ time.
“The NGTCcars that have appeared this season are now starting to come on strong – the signs were there even before the mid-season break. They’re only going to develop even more between now and next season. You cannot afford to sit still.”
MAGNUSSEN WINS IN BRITISH F3 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> PAGE 22
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‘Robinson claimed his second Trophy win’
‘Robinson claimed his second Trophy win’ FF1600 at Kirkistown, p28
CATERHAM SERIES MOVED TO 2013
The forthcoming Caterham SP/300.R series has been postponed following manufacturing delays.
Caterham bosses have decided to shelve the series, which was due to run on the SRO-organised British Formula Three/GT package next season, until 2013. The delay comes off the back of unforeseen delays in manufacturing and testing the SP/300.R, which is Caterham’s first newly designed car for 17 years.
Caterham’s motorsport manager Simon Lambert said: “We sold 15 cars ahead of next season but the interest we’ve had has been staggering and we simply cannot build that many cars and organise the series in time for next year. Wewantmore time to conduct development before shipping the car to customers.
“We decided that wewant the cars and the series to be perfect so the sensible movewas not to rush things and instead postpone the series for a year. SROhas been understanding and we look forward to joining the F3/GT package in 2013.”
Caterham’s sports-racer series will now start in 2013
Live TV round mooted for Brit GT next year Formula Three star bags Daytona prize drive Teams enthused by Duratec scheme
The British GT Championship could hold a race live on TV next year.
Series organisers have approached broadcaster MotorsTV about the possibility of adding a live broadcast to the championship next season. Although the 2012 British GT calendar has yet to be decided, series manager Benjamin Franassovici said the current format of the series would suit a live programme.
“British GT is at a level now where we have enough cars and a high enough profile to warrant adding something like live TV for a round,” he told Motorsport News.
“Our races now take place on one day so it’s ideal for a TV schedule. We could either have two one-hour broadcasts or maybe feature one of the longer two-hour races. It would be a great tool for making the series more attractive for sponsors and new drivers.”
Felipe Nasr has won a race seat worth £250,000 in next January’s Daytona 24 Hours after clinching the Sunoco Rolex at Daytona Challenge contest last weekend.
The reigning British Formula Three champion landed the prize seat in the twice-around-theclock event in Florida by securing pole position for the F3 races at Donington Park last weekend.
for points awards contest The positions pole results, race pole and laps, fastest and him put Brazilian the for of reach the beyond challenger, closest
Javier racer Britcar Morcillo.
The contest awards points for race results, pole positions and fastest laps, and pole for the Brazilian put him beyond the reach of closest challenger, Britcar racer Javier Morcillo. Nasr, 19, is the first F3 driver to win the contest.
is 19, Nasr,
F3 first the to driver
F3 ace Nasr: Florida beckons
Radical UKCupracers Derek Johnston and Ross Kaiser claimed it previously.
“It’s an amazing boost to my year because I was never really thinking about it, but to race at Daytona will be amazing,” said Nasr. “It’s something completely different from anything I’ve done before. I’ve never thought about sportscars, but I’m a big fan of
American motorsport and it it and motorsport American doesn’t get much bigger bigger much get doesn’t for Racing Daytona. than than Daytona. Racing for 24 hours will be strange.
strange. be will hours 24
to what know don’t “I
will I sure I’m but expect,
fun.” of lot a have
“I don’t knowwhat to expect, but I’m sure I will have a lot of fun.” Nasr will have his first first his have will Nasr run during a test day at at day test a during run
Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama
Alabama in Park
17/18. October on onOctober 17/18. The identity of of identity The that team the him run will the team that will run him has yet to be announced.
be to yet has announced.
Malvern out to conquer Formula Ford series and Festival in same season Scott Malvern has set his sights on becoming the first driver for three years to win both the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain and the Formula Ford Festival in the same year. Malvern wrapped up the British championship title with two wins and a second place at Donington Park last weekend. The result puts the Barkingside racer clear of closest rival Nick McBride with three rounds still to go.
October 8/9, but says he could sit them out to save his budget in orderto contest the Festival at Brands onOctober 15/16.
The 21-year-old is scheduled to take part in the final three races of the season at Silverstone on
“It’s an amazing feeling to win the championship,” said Malvern, who has scored a record 17 wins this season. “At the start of the year we knewwe’d be in contention for the title but nobody could have dreamed of the year we’ve had. Jamun has given me the perfect car and our set-up has given me quick pace right through the races with no drop-off from the tyres.
Malvern is bidding to maintain winning form with Festival success
“I’d like to do Silverstone but my focus now is on the Festival. I’d love to win it because the win always escaped mewhen I did the Kent section of it.”
The last driver to win both the British title and the Festival in the same year wasWayne Boyd for Jamun in 2008.
Leading British Formula Ford teams have thrown their support behind the British Racing and Sports Car Club’s newClub Duratec concept, which is set to form a new series next year.
The BRSCC is due to start the class as a home for the current Duratec Formula Ford machines, which will be replaced by the new FIA-approved Ford chassis in the MSAFormulaFord Championship of Great Britain. Although the Duratec cars will still be eligible for the British championship in the National Class next year, they will in time be phased out completely by the newmachines.
The Club Duratec initiative will use the existing chassis and engines and the BRSCC is reviewing cost cutting options such as cheaper tyres and control parts such as suspension items.
Cliff Dempsey said: “I think the series is a great idea, but it has to be slower and cheaper than the British championship to find its place. We should run the cars with engine restrictors and onAvon ACB10 tyres. Then we could run new drivers to gain experience and simply modify the car lightly to take it back to the British championship when they’re ready.”
JamunRacing head TonyMundy added: “It would be a great feeder class for the British championship and the teams already have the cars and equipment ready. The Duratec engines have proven bullet proof reliability so would be ideal for privateers to run.”
Duratec may form new series motorsport-news.co.uk SEPTEMBER 28 2011 11
THE VOICE OF NATIONAL RACING
MATT J AMES “People ask if the animosity is staged. It isn’t”
TEmnity between Neal (right) and Plato is no act he British Touring Car Championship reconvenes at Brands Hatch this weekend and the scuffle between Matt Neal and Jason Plato should have people flocking through the gates. Brands usually pulls in a big crowd thanks to strong promotion from the circuit, but even its PR team couldn’t have stirred up this level of interest. Neal stepped from his Honda Racing Team Civic Rockingham to confront Silverline Chevrolet Cruze driver Plato after an on-track crash during the qualifying session, and the pair remonstrated with each other right in front of the ITV4 cameras.
I was quite taken aback that the first question that a number of people asked me last week when we were discussing the incident, was it whether it had been ‘staged’. Having listened back to my tapes from Rockingham, you can tell that there is nothing false about the proclamations made by either Neal or Plato during or after the incident.
They were both fined £1000 afterwards and received a suspended six-place grid penalty for the remainder of the year – not a sanction either of them would have taken lightly given the delicate balance of the title fight.
The reason it was such a big story is because Neal and Plato are still the box office draws in the series, with apologies to Gordon Shedden and Mat Jackson (who are creeping on to the radar, but have a couple of seasons yet to go to reach the level of the championship’s most prolific competitors).
For Neal and Plato, without each other, there would only be half the fight. While they may not be able to countenance each other’s company, in a strange way they need each other to be on the grid and in the fight.
There is genuine animosity between the pair and that will serve to spice up the six-race title run in. Don’t think for a moment that this isn’t real because each is desperate to finish ahead of the other. It’s nice that the focus of the British Touring Car Championship – which has been blighted with moans and complaints about the parity of the turbocharged, non-turbocharged and Next Generation Touring Car machines – is back on the drivers. All the public really want is a no-holds barred fight on the track and given the recent events, there certainly is one this season.
The next instalment this weekend will probably feature less off-track animosity, but lets hope that the extra fans who will click through the turnstiles on Sunday will have an feast of on-track action.