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SEPTEMBER 28 2011 13
motorsport-news.co.uk motorsport-news.co.uk SEPTEMBER 28 2011 13
“Hiley won the opener at Pembrey” Kit Car action, p30
Pembrey” at opener
Pit stops to return for GT Supercup The Ginetta GT Supercup will continue to run pit stop races in 2012 after a successful first event at Rockingham ten days ago.
The series introduced a mandatory pit stop during its second race at the Corby track. During the halt teams had to change at least two wheels on the cars before they were allowed to rejoin the race.
This weekend at Brands Hatch the series will revert to running three 20-minute sprint races. Ginetta’s Stewart Linn said the pit stop format would return at Silverstone on October 15: “It got a great reception from all the teams and drivers.”
Morris has an action plan for Ginetta battle Welshman SebMorris says that keeping a cool head will be vital to his chances of securing the Ginetta Junior Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend. Hillspeed star Morris goes into the penultimate rounds at the Kent track with a 133-point lead over closest challenger, Scottish racer Charlie Robertson. He leads by 105 points after dropped scores are taken into account. The series awards 35 points for a race win, so Morris only needs to outscore Robertson by six points in the first race to wrap up the crown with three races to spare.
“I’ve got to approach the weekend differently and temper mydriving because there’s a lot at stake,” said the 15-year-old from Chester, who has won 11 races this year. “I’ve gone to every round so far this year needing to win, but now I have to think of the championship instead of taking silly risks. Getting awin in the first race will take the pressure off but the field is tight. If I have a chance to win I’m going to take it but I won’t be going all-out when coming home fifth will do.”
Indian outing for Renault racer Powell Reigning Formula Renault BARC champion Alice Powell is the latest Briton to join the MRFFormula grid for the support race to the Indian Grand Prix onOctober 30.
Powell, 18, who is racing in Formula Renault UK this year for Manor Competition, has joined the Walkinshaw Performance team for the one-off outing at the NewDelhi track in India.
She tested one of the Ford Duratec-powered Van Diemen cars at the Chennai circuit last week. She said: “I’m interrupting a holiday but it’s a great chance because the series is offering a £32,500 prize fund, so it’ll be worthwhile for a shot at that.”
Mazda is eyeing a factorybacked British GT assault
Mazda linked to a GT4 programme with the MX-5 model in British GT Championship MazdaMotors UKcould be lining up a campaign in the British GTChampionship next season with amodified version of its newMX-5 racer.
The Japanese marque is keen to expand on its current racing programme in Britain and has targeted the GT4 class as a possibility. Mazda currently runs amanufacturer backed programme in the MSA Production GTNChampionship. The firm has entered twoMX-5s this year alongside LeMans squad Jota Sport, which has developed the roadster. Mazda will run three tweaked MX-5s in this weekend’s Britcar 24 Hours event. The cars feature a revised aerodynamic kit and engine upgrades. MazdaUK’s PR
director Graeme Fudge said the updated two-litre 275bhp machines could form the platform for aGT4 racer.
“We’re assessing our options for 2013 and British GT is high on our list of priorities,” Fudge told Motorsport News. “GT4 is where we’d like to be. It’s a step up from what we’re doing now and would bemuchmore attractive to both sponsors andMazda as a brand. TheMX-5 wouldn’t take much work to be on the pace. Around Silverstone we’re currently a few seconds off the GT4 cars. The cornering speed is on a par but we struggle with terminal velocity. We’ve devised a new partially flat floor, rear diffuser and front splitter, which should reduce our lap times.”
PASSPORTS FOR RACE CARS
All racing cars within the UK will be required to adopt Vehicle Passports from 2013 under new rules from the sports governing body, the Motor Sports Association.
The MSA’s race committee rubber-stamped plans to introduce new Vehicle Passport logs at its recent general meeting. The rules mean that owners of circuit racing vehicles will have to apply to the MSA for a Vehicle
Passport to chart the condition and history of their car. Each passport will cost around £34 and remain valid for the life of the vehicle.
The passports will start to be introduced in 2013, with new championships being the first to make the logs mandatory. The MSA wants all active cars in the UK to comply within the following five-year period.
The race committee’s chairman
Ian Watson said: “The idea behind the scheme is to make every car more traceable, both in terms of competition history and for scrutineers.
“Such documentation is already commonplace in some European series and within a number of countries worldwide. It has worked successfully in UK stage rallying and speed events, so it should be a good thing for racing to adopt.”
The MSA’s technical director John Symes added: “The process needs to be implemented in steps because it would be impossible to sort through perhaps 5000 applications at once.
“It will be a tool for scrutineers to pass information from one session to the next to ensure a car’s safety remains up to scratch. They are also seen as valuable as a means of recording the outline history of a vehicle.”
Whorton-Eales: wants power
Ace will step up
Rising star Whorton-Eales will gun for Mini Challenge title in 2012
Rising tin-top star Ant Whorton-Eales has set his sights on the Mini Challenge title after sealing his graduation to the series’ toplevel R56 JCW class next year. Whorton-Eales last week tied up a deal with leading team ExcelR8 Motorsport to step up to one of the 220bhp turbo machines next season. The 17-year-old has starred in the series’ lesser-powered Club Class this year, winning the category in 17 out of 19 races so far this year. Whorton-Eales impressed on his debut in the Renault Clio Cup at Rockingham ten days ago. He scored a best finish of seventh for the Scuderia Vittoria team, despite having only driven the car for the first time during Friday testing.
Former Saxmax champion Whorton-Eales said: “My plan has always been to do two years in the Challenge and the R56 is such a competitive class.
“I tested [former champion] Luke Caudle’s car earlier in the year and the grip it had in the corners was amazing.
“My run in the Renault Clio Cup was great experience because I’d never raced on slicks before, or driven anything that powerful.
“I believe we can have the pace for the top three in the Mini Challenge.”
Engine tweaks set to boost F3 Cup entries
MSVF3Cuporganisers hope that a change in the series’ engine regulations can boost grids for the 2013 season.
From next year the series will accept cars fitted with both the newer Speiss OPCandToyota 3SGE-SXE10 powerplants. The series formerly only allowed engine specifications produced up to 2004.
The Speiss engine is widely used within European club competition while the Toyota unit is the mandated powerplant for the European F3 Open series. Organisers have already opened the class up to accept cars built as late as 2007, andMSVRevent director David Scott said the extra flexibility in engine rules can entice more cars. “Both engines come highly recommended and offer a longer life between rebuilds, which should cut running costs,” he said.
ROUNDTHE BEND WITH...
ROB WHELDON Age: 30 Lives:Evesham,Worcs RobWheldon is a multiple karting champion and ex-Radical test driver who has driven every version of the car.He still competes in the Radical UK Cup and is in third place with one round remaining.
Racing wasn’t planned: Although Wheldon started out in karting and was a multiple champion in series like TKM and Kartmasters, he never thought he’d graduate to cars. “When I was karting in the British and European championships the costs got phenomenal. Also, to try and go car racing involves a lot of money and nobody was willing to back me. I had quit racing at that point and never intended on putting my boots back on. I could have gone back to karting but when I started out I wanted to make a career in racing. I just felt like I had got to the end of the path.”
He got a Radical offer: Having quit karts Wheldon started working as a mechanic for BTCC team JS Motorsport. When it folded he got a job at Radical and shortly after he started racing again. “It was more by luck than anything else,” said Wheldon. “One of my friends Ian Woodcock, who ran another Radical team, had a smashed up old Clubsport car and said that if I fixed it in my spare time then he’d pay for me to race. I used to work on it in the evenings after work and some friends would help too. I had an understanding boss Phil Abbott, who helped out when he could.”
He won his first race: “I qualified on pole and won both races at Snetterton in 2005,” said Wheldon. “But one of my best races was at Donington just a few weeks ago after having only been in the car for five laps and then breaking lap record in the race. That was a good feeling.”
He wants more: Having been a part of the Radical set up since 2005, Wheldon feels that there is still a lot more to achieve. “I’m getting recognised as one of the quicker drivers,” said Wheldon. “But I’m also setting my own team up called Raw Motorsports and that will be up and running for next year. My aim is to race at Le Mans.”
Wheldon has Le Mans goal