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Archive for June, 2006

Ryan Dalziel came home a disappointing 16th in last night’s tenth round of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, the ‘Brumos Porsche 250′ hosted at the Daytona International Speedway, Florida.

The 24-year-old Scottish racer was behind the eight ball as soon as he took control of Pacific Coast Motorsports’ #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley on lap 44 of 70 having witnessed his team-mate, American Alex Figge, out-brake himself at the Bus Stop chicane burying the front-nose of the Daytona Prototype in the dirt, subsequently ripping it off and forcing a three-lap green flag pit-stop just eight laps into the 250-mile race.

While the Pacific Coast Motorsports pit crew performed admirably to get the #89 Pontiac Riley back out on-track as fast as they could, the time spent languishing in the pits for the repairs cost Figge and Dalziel any hope they might have had of taking their fourth straight top-ten finish in the Rolex Sports Car Series.

Figge had started the race in 11th after qualifying had been cancelled due to a communication problem between race control and track safety officials. Down on track time, Figge broke the top-ten five laps in to the 250-mile event only to wipe-out the team’s chances of a strong finish with his off-track incident three laps later.

Ryan at least gained a lap back when he took control but despite enjoying a competitive car the damage had already been done and he came home 16th at the checkered flag, two-laps down on the race-winning #76 Krohn Racing entry driven by Jorg Bergmeister and Colin Braun.

Disappointed with the outcome of the race Ryan commented:

“The only positive we can really take away from tonight’s result is the speed in the car. We ran with the overall winners in terms of lap times but we didn’t get the opportunity to compete with them. Usually we get a couple of full course cautions in these races but tonight, just as we needed them to help us out a little, they failed to appear in what was a pretty clean race. We’ll put this behind us and move on!”

After a busy June, Dalziel gets set to enjoy a month-long break before returning to the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series in the ‘Porsche 250′ at Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama, 28th-30th July.

Full results and championship standings can be found online at: www.grandamerican.com

Bryce WashingtonADRAD Racing’s Bryce Washington will head to this weekend’s third round of the 2006 Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup Australia championship looking for revenge.

The 22-year-old Adelaidian won’t be out to take revenge on another driver, however, instead the South Aussie will be aiming to get one back on luck itself.

Washington’s #54 ADRAD Radiator Experts Porsche GT3 Cup Car has been the midst of some entirely unfortunate events this year despite the team showing front-of-field pace in each outing to date this season.

A lap one, race one crash at the Clipsal 500 – where Washington was sandwiched between another car and the unforgiving concrete barriers – was followed by a heartbreaking suspension failure whilst sitting second in the opening race at Wakefield Park’s second round a month ago.

Fortunately for Washington two wins in the competitive Australian GT Championship – a series in which he is the defending champion – have kept both the driver and ADRAD team more than motivated.

This weekend’s third round of the all-Porsche series will be held at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway, Washington believing that it will be the circuit to finally kick start his now belated championship campaign.

“I think it can be a very strong round for us,” Washington said.

“We tested up there recently and it went very well. I really think this can be the round where we can finally get a good result this season.

“I think I am driving at pretty close to my best. I was really pleased with my performance at Mallala’s GT round and I think that we will be right up there this weekend.

“A top five is the target and a very realistic aim.” He said.

The 997 GT3 Cup Cars that make up the Carrera Cup field could potentially lap Darwin’s 2.88km Hidden Valley circuit quicker than the headlining V8 Supercars, Washington believing that the round will witness a level playing field amongst the contenders this weekend.

“The Carrera Cup Championship hasn’t been to Hidden Valley in two years, so no one will have much of an advantage going into the round,” he explained.

“It is a really good circuit and one that I enjoy. I wouldn’t want to come off and hit anything, but it’s always good to come up here.

“The big challenge for me will be to adapt to the different car as quickly as possible,” he added, following his recent outings in the older-model 996 Cup Car in the GT Championship.

The Carrera Cup-specification Porsche Washington will drive this weekend lacks the Anti-lock brakes of the team’s GT car, however it does add a sequential gear shifter and more power and grip.

“We went very quickly at Wakefield Park, which was one week after the Phillip Island GT championship round, so I can’t see us having too many problems.” Washington added.

Hidden Valley will be the scene of three, 15-lap races that will make up the third round of the WPS Carrera Cup Championship this weekend.

ADRAD Racing is proudly supported by the ADRAD Radiator Experts Network, AdAir, Koyo Radiators, Buik Motor works, BCG Cleaning supplies and Abbott Printers and Stationers.

After more than one month of intermission, the Formula 3 Euro Series championship returns on track at the English circuit of Brands Hatch for the fourth meeting of the series.

This is the first time that the championship following the DTM, the famous German Tourism category with the participation of Audi and Mercedes, races in English territory. This will be an important meeting, the only one in England, where drivers will fight on an Indy style configuration track. The organizers have chosen this particular configuration in order for the spectators to stay in contact with the cars and in order to guarantee more show.

The weekend will be preceded on Thursday of two collective test sessions where the objective will be to optimize the cars’ set up. Very motivated and willing to go on track again, are our drivers, Spanish Alejandro Nunez, Irish Ronayne O’Mahony and Portuguese Joao Urbano. In this period the team never stopped and continued working on the cars’ set up. The weekend’s format will remain unchanged as regards of the previous meetings.

“In this last period engineers and drivers have worked a lot on solving the problems appeared during the first races. The work done is considerable; we now just have to confirm this technical progress. This race outside the German territory gives major importance to our series that visits overall four countries of the old continent” said Angelo Rosin, Team Principal of the Vicenza based Team, before departing for Brands Hatch.

The results can be followed “live” on the championship’s site www.f3euroseries.com and slightly delayed inside our webpage.

http://www.premapowerteam.com

Anders KrohnAnders Krohn’s first kart-weekend of 2006 is over, and no results could have been better. ”I had some expectations as to be in the top when returning to karting, but not expectations as to win everything there was!”

Krohn started off his 2006 karting campaign with the national championship that was held June 24th and 25th. Krohn went on to win qualifying, heats, prefinal and final, but says the tension was high at every start. ”I havent done the ICC starting procedure since october last year and it was hard to get the starts to work as the gear ratio was really long at the norwegian Klepp Kart Ring.” Anders is however happy with the outcome and results of the weekend, beeing crowned as national champion 2006 in the king class, ICC.

It’s now the third time that Krohn has become national champion, with the two other years being 2003 and 2004. ”Last year it felt as if I was robbed from the title as I punctured two tires in the prefinal, only to start 17th in the final and then finish 2nd.”

July 15th-16th, Krohn will continue his seek for success in the JTCC. ”We are working hard on developing the car at the moment, and hoping to improving results with no more crashes nor technical failures.” JTCC is now entering its fourth race weekend and Krohn is currently in 10th place. ”I want to improve my position in the championship, but I think it will be made possible after further development on the car. Now I`m just looking forward to rounds 7 and 8, and want to do my best there!” Krohn ends.

Anders Krohn.com pressrelease
Follow constant news at www.anderskrohn.com

Dan Wheldon, winner of the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 Indy Racing League® (IRL) IndyCar Series Driver’s Championship, has reached a sponsorship agreement with Mitchell Rubber Products, Inc., a company with global affiliations, specializing in rubber compound mixing and molded rubber products for the automotive, construction and agricultural industries. Wheldon and Mitchell Rubber Products will work together over the course of the season on marketing initiatives and promotional campaigns surrounding Dan’s racing in the IRL.

“I’m excited to announce this sponsor relationship with Mitchell Rubber and I’m proud to know that they’re behind me this season,” said Wheldon. “Mitchell Rubber supports racing and those that make racing possible. I want to be associated with those who understand motorsports and those who are passionate about excelling and winning. That’s what you get with Mitchell Rubber…And that’s who I want in my corner.”

“Racing is in our blood,” said Brent Brush, Sales Manager of Mitchell Rubber Products and its affiliated company, Mitchell Global, LLC. “We were looking for a way to grow our business and mix it in with our racing passion. Many of us at Mitchell Rubber Products race, at some level and we wanted to show our support and commitment to the automotive manufacturers involved within the sport. By personally sponsoring IRL Champion Dan Wheldon, we felt that it is a great way for us to show our support.”

After capturing the Indianapolis 500 crown and the IndyCar Series Championship last season with Andretti Green Racing, Wheldon decided to join Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2006. In the first race with his new team, Wheldon took the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway to record his tenth career IRL victory. Looking to repeat as champion at the 2006 Indianapolis 500, Wheldon dominated and led 148 laps, only to see his chances dashed by a tire puncture with 16 laps remaining. He is currently fourth in the 2006 IndyCar Series points standings. Last season, Wheldon rewrote the IRL record books, posting six race wins in 17 events and breaking the league record for most wins in a season. He also captured race wins in four of the first five races of the year for the first time in IRL history, and his ten career victories place him tied for second all-time in the IRL after only three full seasons.

The business now conducted by Mitchell Rubber Products, which specializes in rubber compound mixing and OEM production of molded rubber products for the automotive, construction and agricultural industries, has been operated by three generations of the Mitchell family, since the commencement of that business in 1939. Based in the City of Industry, in Southern California, Mitchell Rubber Products has recently expanded it’s commodity base through the formation of Mitchell Global, LLC, a sister company to Mitchell Rubber Products, whose primary focus is that of supplying “complementary commodities”, such as automotive glass, hoses, seats to their existing Mitchell Rubber Products automotive, construction and agricultural customer base. Mitchell Rubber Products’ product, customer and manufacturing base is worldwide in its scope, with affiliations and strategic relationships in the United Kingdom and the Peoples Republic of China, as well as within the United States. For more information on Mitchell Rubber Products, please visit www.mitchellrubber.com.

Rodolfo AvilaMacanese racing prospect Rodolfo Avila preserved his National Class fourth position in weekend’s fourth round of the British F3 International Series at Mondello Park, Ireland

The 2.17 miles of the Mondello Park Circuit, just 25 miles from the Irish capital Dublin are not easy for any driver and the double qualifying session was far from good. Avila claimed fourth and sixth National Class grid positions for the two races.

“I dislike the circuit – it’s very bad for Formula 3 cars – and I never felt comfortable at the wheel. In the first Qualifying was raining and I did a mistake and went off. Race Director let me return to the track with 5 minutes to go so it was impossible to avoid the end of the grid”, he held.

There were no dramas in the Qualifying 2 and Avila set the fourth position in the grid. In the first race, Avila did an outstanding start and came into the top-3 of the class. But after a safety car period on lap two, Macau driver entered in the pits to repair the front wing and lost his hopes to repeat GP Pau podium.

“I hit Cristiano Morgado in the first corner and went to the pits to check my front. When the race restarted I recovered some positions but I hadn’t time to go further. The result was the achievable”, said Performance Racing Asian driver.

The second race at Mondello was less successful for Avila. He finished in fifth of National Class after lapping on third position.

“It was a disaster. It was extremely difficulty to manage the car. I’m very disappointed because we weren’t quick all weekend. We know we could have strong race pace. Anyway I feel confident for the next races. I’m looking forward to the next race in Snetterton, where I want to be on the top again”, concluded the driver sponsored by Macau Government, Rio Casino, Hotel Fortuna, Macau-Slot.com, BNU, Gain Well Group, Tong-Lei, CESL-Asia, PAL – Asia Consult, RP MACAU, CTM, Tsingtao Beer, Fat Siu Lau Restaurant, PT Asia and Sujika Crafts.

The next round of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series will be in three weeks time, at Snetterton in Norfolk (July 15/16)

For more information: www.rodolfoavila.com

Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dan Wheldon, the 2005 Indianapolis 500 champion and the 2005 IndyCar Series champion, has been nominated in the “Best Driver” category for the 2006 ESPY Awards presented by ESPN. The nomination is Wheldon’s second consecutive in the category and comes on the heels of his record-breaking 2005 Indy Racing League season, in which he captured six victories in 17 races.

“I am excited to be nominated again for the Best Driver category at this year’s ESPY Awards,” said Wheldon. “Even though I didn’t manage to pick up the award last year, it was a great experience to be among so many talented athletes. The drivers nominated in my category are all exceptional competitors, and it is an honor to be recognized with them.”

Following his dominating 2005 IndyCar Series season, Wheldon joined Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2006 and promptly kicked off the season with two wins for his new team. He joined Target teammate Scott Dixon and Nextel Cup driver Casey Mears to capture the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and then in his first IRL race of the year, he took the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the second consecutive season. Currently ranked fourth in the IndyCar Series standings, Wheldon has posted four Top-5 finishes and five Top-10 finishes in 2006. His 10 career victories in the Indy Racing League place him second on the all-time list behind Sam Hornish Jr. after only three full seasons.

Also up for the ESPY “Best Driver” award are: IRL driver Sam Hornish Jr., Nextel Cup drivers Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson and NHRA Top Fuel driver Melanie Troxel.

Fans can vote online at http://espn.go.com/espy2006/index.html.

The winners will be announced at the 2006 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 12. ESPN will broadcast the 14th Annual ESPY Awards on Sunday, July 16. Coverage begins at 9 p.m. EDT.

James KoundourisSupabarn Supermarkets Team drivers James and Theo Koundouris have again showed their class leading pace following last weekend’s fifth round of the 2006 Speed Energy Drink Australian GT Championship at Mallala Raceway in South Australia.

Only some unfortunate circumstances and on track incidents stopped the two Canberra-based drivers scoring their best ever finishes in the competitive championship, in an eventful weekend that saw both Dare Coffee Shots / Supabarn Supermarkets Porsche GT3 Cup Cars in the thick of the action.

Both drivers qualified strongly in one of the tightest sessions held this season, James placing his #69 Dare Coffee Shots entry on the front row of the grid for the first time this year.

His time of 1m09.6340 was well inside the existing practice record at the 2.6km circuit an hour outside of Adelaide, and saw him under half a second behind defending series champ Bryce Washington’s similar Porsche.

“I thought that a 1m09.6-lap would have been enough, so Bryce’s lap must have been special,” James said following the 20-minute session.

At his first look at the tricky Mallala Circuit, Theo placed his #19 Supabarn Supermarkets / Dare Coffee Shots Porsche 6th on the grid, sixth tenths behind his brother and well within striking distance of the leaders.

A frantic opening lap of the first, 20-lap race saw James shuffled to third at the end of lap one, a position he held until First Crick’s Dodge Viper and then David Steven’s Ferrari were able to slip by.

After running nose to tail for a number of laps, James and Theo inherited one extra place when Stevens Ferrari spun on lap 14, the pair settling into the strong fourth and fifth positions, respectively, that they held to the line.

After running in such close proximity for the opening race, Theo and James came just a little too close on the first lap of race two, the #69 entry sent to the back of the field after contact from behind in the first corner.

The pair collided after Greg Crick and David Wall made contact in front, both James and Theo forced to brake hard in what was a typical first corner ‘concertina’ that ended with James spinning off the circuit.

“Everyone was nose to tail, Crick and David (Wall) had a coming together in front and James and I both had to get on the brakes hard,” said Theo.

“I just gave James a tap and it was enough to turn him around.”

“Theo just hit me from behind and I spun,” agreed James.

“I drove as hard as I could to get back to fourth place – I couldn’t have gone any harder.”

With Theo holding third for the entire race, the spotlight was placed on James as he charged through the field to come from last to an eventual fourth place finish within 20 laps, getting past a host of extremely competitive cars in the process.

Theo’s third place result was his third race podium of the season.

The Third, and final, 20-lap affair was yet another action packed encounter typical of the championship this season.

Theo’s #19 entry again ended third, but was forced to work hard for the position after a slight mistake at turn one slipped the GT3 from third to eighth at the end of the first lap. Theo finished just a tenth ahead of David Wall at the line in yet another strong result.

“I made a slight mistake and it cost me four or five positions,” Theo explained.

“If that didn’t happen I think the result would have been even better, but it was a pretty good weekend overall. I hadn’t been in the car for a couple of months and it was my first time at Mallala. The pace kept getting better as the weekend progressed and as we made changes to the car.”

James’ #69 Porsche had an even more drama-filled run, unavoidable Contact first with Stevens and then Washington earning him a black flag and a subsequent Drive through penalty.

Driving with a bent steering arm and a battered car, James brought the Dare Shots entry home in an eventual 7th position to cap off an action packed weekend.

“It was a disappointing weekend, because we had the speed to win but we weren’t able to capitalize on it,” said James.

“If things had gone differently we could have challenged Greg in the final race because we certainly had the speed.”

The next round of the Speed Energy Drink Australian GT Championship is presently scheduled for August 19-20 at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, in Victoria.

Bryce Washington and Greg Crick have staged an almighty battle for outright honors in this weekend’s fifth round of the 2006 Speed Energy Drink Australian GT Championship at Mallala Raceway.

The pair – the two top contenders in the championship battle since the opening round – traded race wins, fastest laps and even a side-by-side finish in a ferociously competitive round at the 2.6km South Australian circuit today, Washington scoring his second round victory of the season after taking two of the three races.

Washington convincingly won this morning’s opening 20-lap encounter, before a late race flourish from Crick in the second saw the pair go side by side to the line in a thrilling finish. The final margin was .0161s after Crick was forced to avoid a lapped car as the two crossed the line.

A fifth place finish on rapidly diminishing rubber in the third race was enough to give the local driver overall honors by just four points.

“I had the guys on the radio during the final race saying ‘don’t loose any more positions’!” Washington said.

“The Tyres were gone and I was also having dramas selecting gears which is why a couple of cars were able to pass me coming onto the start finish straight. I dropped to sixth but when Koundouris got a black flag I got back into fifth place and that was enough.

“It’s been a really good weekend and it’s nice to take home the first place trophy.” He said.

Championship leader Crick had a competitive day, biding his time early in each of today’s races before an all out attack on Washington. The Viper then jumped to the lead off the start in the third race, eventually winning by three seconds and doing enough to secure second overall.

“If I had been on the money Friday I think we would have had a better chance today,” Crick said.

“I was really happy with the car, it was very good. We’ve finally found a rear tyre that can last the entire race which meant we were able to challenge strongly all day today.

“We made some changes to the suspension between each race and it kept getting better and better. It’s been a good weekend and we haven’t lost too many points in the series.” He said.

Third overall was David Wall, who took his Porsche RSR to second, fifth and fourth-place results in the three races, respectively.

An off in the final race after a coming together with James Koundouris saw the young New South Wales based driver charge back through the field to narrowly miss the race podium.

“We made some changes overnight because the car wasn’t as fast as we would’ve liked in qualifying,” he explained.

Theo Koundouris lead home the Canberra-based duo this weekend, Brother James in the wars in the second race after being served with a drive through penalty thanks to a ‘driving incident’ that saw him come into contact with Washington, and then Wall in the northern hairpin.

Ferrari driver David Stevens survived a 225kph spin in the second race to finish fifth overall, once again proving the potential of the still-wingless Ferrari F430 Challenge.

Stevens’ off came at the high speed kink at Mallala today, the car spinning at high speed before the Brennan IT Driver was able to recover to an eventual sixth for the race.

“I was pulling out to pass a lapped car and because the car still doesn’t have the aero it got loose and around I went,” said Stevens.

“The car is very quick – If I can keep it on the island for an entire race I think it will be even better!” he smiled.

Stevens had some reward for his weekend’s efforts – second in the final race and a new Mallala Lap record for the category, the new benchmark of 1m09.7070 set in the opening race.

Local driver Graeme Cook (Container Solutions Porsche GT3 Cup Car) used his home circuit knowledge to his full advantage this weekend to score 7th overall today, beating Sven Burchartz (M+K / Sonic Porsche GT3 Cup Car) by a solitary point. Shaun Juniper and Max Twigg completed the round top ten.

Greg Crick continues to lead the Speed Energy Drink Australian GT Championship following today’s fifth round, leading Washington 431 – 382 points as the series heads to its next scheduled round at Phillip Island in late August.

For more information head to www.gtchampionship.com.au

Ben ClucasBen Clucas now holds a full Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship round’s worth of points over his nearest rival after winning today’s fourth series round at Mallala Raceway in South Australia.

The British driver lead home a record setting field under inclement skies today, Winning the first 20-lap event ahead of Tim Macrow and the second over nearest championship rival Michael Trimble in yet another near faultless display.

Clucas won the first race after staging an intense battle with Tim Macrow for a majority of the 20 Laps, both drivers matching and then bettering each others best times, Clucas eventually shaving 3 tenths off the old lap record to leave it standing at a scorching 1m04.3218.

After making a stunning start and leading early, Michael Trimble slipped back to finish an eventual third after suffering a punctured radiator towards the end of the race.

The Victorian had better luck in the second encounter, however, leading until the 13th lap when Clucas passed heading into turn three. A one lap dash to the flag following a safety car was not enough for Trimble, who finished just over a second behind the leader.

Clucas scored 43 of a potential 44 points today, and now leads the championship by the latter margin at the series’ half way point – essentially giving him an entire round up his sleeve.

“It was difficult to pass here today,” Said Clucas, whose John Deere / ESWA Radiant Heating Team BRM Dallara has won seven of the eight races held to date.

“My car was strong into turn three so I didn’t show Michael my cards in race two until he got slightly held up by a lapped runner, which is when I was able to get him and eventually win.

“It’s been a great weekend. One day we’re going to get a perfect score of 44 points from a round but I’ll take this!” he said.

“The lapped car was bad enough for Ben to get a run and pass me,” said Trimble, who added 27 points to his tally driving his #10 Astuti Motorsport / King Springs Dallara.

“The car was good in the second race but it wasn’t enough. It’s frustrating to be second again and also to have had the hole in the radiator in the first race.”

Scud Racer Tim Macrow gave the Melbourne-based team their best ever finish by scoring second in race one today, Macrow backing up with a third place in the second, despite a broken exhaust that sapped the car of power, and tied Trimble for the weekend.

“I’m happy with the weekend, but a bit disappointed with the final race because I was closing on the other two,” he explained.

“If we hadn’t broken the exhaust I think it could have been very interesting. I’m happy with the weekend overall and I think we can carry it on for the remainder of the year.

“From here on in I can’t see why we cant to every track and be on the money.” Macrow said.

Behind the leading trio Queenslander Chris Gilmour scored fifth and fourth place finishes respectively, taking his #17 StyroMax Dallara to another haul of championship points to jump both Leanne Tander and Chris Alajajian to move into 4th on the Gold Star table.

Tander had a strong run in the opening race before a clutch failed in the second five laps from home, sending the #42 Fleetcare Tandersport entry into the sand trap at the final hairpin and bringing the safety car onto the circuit.

A three car battle for Kumho Tyres National Class honors was staged between Ricky Occhipinti, Stuart Kostera and Tim Berryman today, two different winners emerging after a dramatic class battle.

Kostera dominated the opening race, but stalled at the start before the second event that dropped him behind the field.

After storming his way back through into the top ten, a late race altercation on the restart dropped the #70 PHR Scuderia car back to third place to give the former Formula Ford race winner a strong Australian Formula 3 Debut.

Class leader Occhipinti struggled with setup woes today, but maintains a 74 point lead over Tim Berryman heading into the series fifth round.

Scud Racing backed up their outright podium with their first ever Trophy Class 1 – 2 this afternoon, Bill Maddocks and Lauren Gray scoring the result in the second race after Graeme Holmes won the first.

Holmes collected the turn eight wall on the final lap of today’s second race prior to the restart, damaging the rear of his F398 Dallara. Gray still maintains a 15-point lead in the trophy championship.

The fifth round of the 50th Anniversary Australian Drivers Championship will be held at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway in two weeks time, July 8 – 9.

For more information please visit www.formula3.com.au