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Archive for July, 2006

Rodolfo Avila’s hopes of turning his British F3 International Series fortunes around this weekend at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium were delay to the next event of the championship. Macanese racing prospect had a frustrating weekend. A disastrous “pit-stop” in the Race 1 and a battery problem in the Race 2 slammed his chances to repeat GP Pau podium.

In the Qualifying 1 Avila couldn’t take the maximum from the new tyres on the session beginning and #38 Dallara-Mügen Honda qualified fifth of the class for the first race. Friday’s qualifying session (Qualifying 2) saw Avila cement his top-five pace and once again he was involved in the battle for National Class top positions.

Macanese motorsport biggest hope ended up setting the fourth fastest time. Two seconds faster than he was in Qualifying 1.

In the first race Avila couldn’t start worst. The rain arrived to the European circuit and many drivers decided to change the tyres in the warm-up lap. Avila thought that was the perfect moment to do the same but a shattering “pit-stop” would ruin his race. At the end 19 years old driver crossed the finish line on fifth after a lonely race in the back.

“In the “pit-stop” the rear tyres were collocated in the wrong position. My crew had to change them twice. I lost almost 2m30s and the first half of the race the track wasn’t full wet. To be honest I thought my race was very bad. When my team told me it was OK I was surprised. I did most of the race without seeing a single car in my front! I saw one when I passed my team-mate Ricardo Teixeira and another when I caught Kudzak but not enough time to overtake him!”

Second Race saw Macau SAR driver starting very well and consolidating a good third position. By the half way point Avila wouldn’t benefited from the Safety-Car period because his single-seater’s battery power wouldn’t be sufficient to complete the race. “I made a good start and was happy with the way everything was going. But when the Safety-Car appeared I felt that my car wasn’t pushing as before. I came into the pits and it was the end. No battery. The battery was gone.”, explained the driver supported by Macau Government, Rio Casino, Hotel Fortuna,, 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 British F3 International Series will be in two weeks time, at the illustrious Silverstone Grand Prix circuit (August 12/13) in England. The young Macanese Motorsport embassador in Europe currently sits fourth in the British F3 National Class Driver Standings with 89 points.

Podium? No!

Jul 30

Yesterday, July 29th, Anders Krohn finally got his first podium of the season in race two with a great and hard fought 3rd place. However, the joy was shortlived as Krohn was disqualified only minutes later. ”I still don’t get my head around how they can do this!” was Krohns first reaction after the race.

On Friday practice, technical problems emerged and while session one was destroyed due to electrical problems, session two was stopped with brake-problems. Qualifying was therefore no big success, and Krohn finished in 8th.

Race one and the rain was poring down. Krohn took an undramatic 6th place on the flooded track. ”When I passed for 6th, the gap to the leading group were may seconds, so I decided to stay calm and secure 6th place.”

Race two however was to be something of another dimension. Krohn got off the start in 3rd place, and finished the race in the same position. But the race wasn’t that easy. Whilst struggling to keep up 3rd place, Anders was blue flagged. (Blue flag is only given to the drivers caught by one or more laps and mean they have to slow down and let the other drivers past). ”It must be the first time in history that someone figthing for 3rd place gets the blue flag. It’s according to the rules, only allowed to blue flag a driver caught by one or more laps, and I was some metred behind the leaders!” After the finish, Krohn was ready to celebrate, but instead was called to the judges. Disqualified for ignoring the blue flag! ”They said to me that they gave me the blue flag because the drivers behind me was quicker and I wouldn`t let them past. So therefore, when I ignored the blue flag they disqualified me.”

”I fought clean the whole race through, and didn`t do anything wrong! I was pushed by the drivers behind the entire race, but they never got by me, and when they complained to the judges, I was disqualified.” Krohn says disappointed. Last race in Sweden, Krohn got a 2nd place taken away from him, and now also a 3rd taken away. Anders Krohn ending with the words ”Something insn`t quite right.”

Anders pressrelease
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As every year, both races at Norisring demonstrated to the abundant crowd a great show rich of emotions and unexpected results. In this occasion Prema obtained its first seasonal point with Joao Urbano, who also saw vanish the chances of a certain podium finish in the late stages of Race 2. The weekend had started with free practice session where our drivers, Spanish Alejandro Nunez, Irish Ronayne O’Mahony and Portuguese Joao Urbano finished respectively thirteenth, twenty-first and twelfth.

Unlucky was the qualifying session, where in the last minutes our drivers couldn’t find traffic free laps. Our best performer was Urbano who obtained the fourteenth position immediately followed by Alejandro Nunez and O’Mahony in nineteenth position. In race 1 Joao managed to obtain the first seasonal point. Author of a careful and aggressive race he finished in eighth position, which awarded him with the pole position for the second race. Satisfying eleventh place for Ronayne O’Mahony, who continues improving in this difficult championship.

Unlucky was on the other hand Alejandro Nunez, who was forced to retire at mid race due to a contact with an opponent, which made him lose the opportunity of starting the second race from a better position. In race 2 Joao was a protagonist until a few laps from the end when he braked too late at the first curve and had to say goodbye to a possible and deserved podium finish.

Seventh position for Alejandro Nunez who started the race from the twenty-first position and arrived almost in the points zone. Twelfth position finally for the Irish Ronayne O’Mahony.

Angelo ROSIN, Team Principal of the Vicenza-based Team: “I am very displeased for the absence of results. All the team had done a very good weekend. Joao was unlucky he couldn’t obtain a deserved result. Nevertheless we still have to stay concentrated and continue the hard work.”

Formula Renault 2.0 Italia

This last weekend as already anticipated, the Formula Renault 2.0 Italia Championship went back on track at the Santa Monica International Circuit of Misano Adriatico for the sixth meeting of the Italian series. Very elevated temperatures made the drivers and Teams work even harder as the conditions were really difficult.

Even so, once again our drivers were among the protagonists of the race, without optimizing the qualifying results, a point where we still have to improve. On Friday during the free practice session our best driver was the French Italian Edoardo Mortara who obtained the fourth best chronometric result. Martin Plowman finished with the eighth position followed by Dutch Henki Waldschmidt in sixteenth position, victim of some problems with his brakes, that didn’t allow him to exceed this position.

The qualifying session determinated the starting grid for both races based on the f astest and second fastest lap. In Race 1, Edoardo started from sixth position, followed in ninth place by Martin Plowman and in eleventh by Henki Waldschmidt. On a circuit where overtaking is not easy, our drivers tried to gain as many positions as possible but while trying they were also involved in some contacts that made them lose a few positions. Under the chequered flag our best performer was Martin Plowman who finished in seventh position followed in ninth by Edoardo Mortara and in eleventh by Henki Waldschmidt.

In the second best lap classification during the qualifying that determinated the grid of Race 2 Martin Plowman signed the fifth time, followed by Henki Waldschmidt in sixth and Edoardo Mortara in seventh position. In the Race, Martin Plowman performed a very good start and managed to overtake an opponent so as to finish in fourth position. Unchanged were the positions for Henki Waldschmidt and Edoardo Mortara who finished the race in the same starting positions.

Grazia TRONCON, Team Manager of the Vicenza-based team: “Two races in the points for our drivers. However, once again the qualifying conditioned our potential. We now have to concentrate more on the qualifying sessions in order to start in better positions on the starting grid.”

There is an old saying that suggests that the tougher the challenge, the stronger you’ll become after it.

If there is any truth to that, then BMS Motorsport driver Samantha Reid can tackle the remaining rounds of the 2006 Australian Formula Ford Championship feeling stronger than ever following a tough third round at Queensland Raceway last weekend.

Reid, driving her #42 BMS Motorsport Van Diemen RF03 entry posted consistent results at the 2.8km circuit outside of Ipswich, continuing to gather circuit and setup information in what is a learning year for the 19-year-old Adelaide based driver on the national Formula Ford schedule.

Despite a difficult-to-drive car Reid was still able, however, to achieve her pre-event prediction of a top-twelve finish after scoring 11th in the third of three races – held in sunny conditions Sunday afternoon.

With a large majority of the entrants in this year’s Formula Ford Championship utilizing the Ipswich circuit as a test facility, the weekend proved to be a tough one for Reid as the BMS Motorsport team fought to develop the best setup for the circuit with the limited track time on hand.

After spending Friday’s practice sessions learning the bumpy, demanding circuit and developing setup, Reid posted an improved time in qualifying to place the #42 entry 16th on the competitive grid.

Staying on track throughout the three races would prove to be the key to scoring a strong result at the round, as a number of off track excursions and crashes from a good portion of the field meant that the attrition rate was high throughout the weekend.

Reid finished 13th in the first race, avoiding the drama around her to run as high as 12th by lap 7 before settling into her final finishing position on the eighth of 12 laps.

Reid followed up on Sunday with 14th in the second race, before scoring a strong 11th in the finale in a consistently improving performance.

“It was a really tough weekend right from the outset,” said Reid.

“The car was at it’s best for the entire weekend for about the first two laps of the final race, after that it went off quite badly which made things difficult.

“We probably didn’t make as big a change as we should have for the final race which is why the car was only good for a little while.

“When it was good I felt like I could really race with everyone else and I think a top ten would have definitely been on the cards. It was hard to be confident with the car when it was so hard to drive, which is really frustrating.” She said.

“We are making progress, however, and I think that we will keep getting better as the season goes on. It’s very much a learning season for us to gather as much data and knowledge as possible.” She added.

Despite the tough weekend on track, Reid said that the new relationship with AutoFocus Marketing – that saw her debut a new Oakley driving suit and test-drive the new Leatt brace head and neck support safety device – got off to an excellent start.

“The Leatt Brace was really comfortable to wear and got heaps of attention from a lot of the competitors in the paddock, and the new driving suit was also really comfortable.” She said.

The next round of the Australian Formula Ford championship will be held at Sydney’s Oran Park Raceway on August 11 – 13.

Rodolfo AvilaRodolfo Avila travelled to Snetterton circuit in England on the weekend for the fifth round of the British F3 International Series. The Macanese racing prospect consolidated his 4th place in the National Class points standings in Norfolk’s event.

Qualifying saw Avila place 6th for race one. The #38 Dallara-Mügen Honda had a fuel-pump problem after ten laps and Avila hadn’t many chances to improve his best time. The Macau driver found few extra tenths in the second qualifying session to grab place 4th for race two, albeit with seven minutes left, Avila spun and ended up stuck in a dangerous position on the track. The officials hauled out the red flags and stopped the session but no damages for the Performance Racing Europe Asian car.

In race one, the Macanese didn’t made a great start. The poor rear end grip really started to upset the handling of Avila’s car. He worked hard to keep the frontrunners pace and could manage to get 4th position after taking Martin Kudzak’s position with two laps to go. Commenting on the race, Avila said: “I didn’t get a good start. I couldn’t get the maximum grip of the tyres and was struggle to find my opponents pace in the beginning of the race. It was an exciting race as I had a big fight with Kudzak. I understood I could overtake him so I pushed harder but he was defending his position very well. The in the “Esses” I saw a chance and didn’t miss the opportunity”.

Race two saw Avila in troubles to get the rivals pace in the opening laps until the safety car was deployed on lap 9. At the re-start, the 2003 Asian Formula Renault Champion started to recover the lost positions again. Unfortunately he couldn’t repeat first race result and crossed the finish line in the 5th position.

“I didn’t make an ideal start again. It was very tough to drive fast. The car was oversteering and understeering. I’m slightly disappointed and it is frustrating what is happening now. Anyway I believe we (me and the team) can go beyond this and return to the podium very soon. I’m looking forward for the next race in the mythic track of the 2006 schedule”, explained the F3 driver sponsored by Macau Government, Rio Casino, Hotel Fortuna,, 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 races at the Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix circuit in Belgium on the 28th and 29th July, where rounds 11 and 12 of the series mark the mid-point of the championship season.

Between July 15.-16th newly crowned National karting-Champion Anders Krohn drove rounds 7 and 8 of the JTCC. The results were not representative as to what could have been the outcome. ”There is nothing more to say than that it’s incedible how much can happen!” says Krohn.

Pre-race practice started on Thursday prior to the races, but Krohn only got 2 out of 4 sessions due to technical problems. On Friday however, it proved better for Krohn and he felt confident before qualifying. ”In the qualifying I had too much air pressure, so instead of getting a top 4 qualifying, I had to settle for 8th.”

Race 1 went ok for Krohn and he finished 6th without much to say about the race. The Second race was red-flagged after a huge crash in which also Anders was involved. ”I flew sky-high after hitting a bump on the outside of the track, and then regained at the last spot.” The race was red-flagged. After the restart, Krohn was a great 2nd before recieving a Drive-through penalty for apparently having changed lanes before the red lights were turned off. ”When I came out of the pits again, I was in last place. To make things even worse, when I was catching some of the backmarkers, my ignition proved faulty so I had to drive slowly to the end of the race.”Krohn says.

”It`s absolutely bananas out there!” is Krohn`s basic summary of the JTCC-weekend and season so far. ”To make things even worse, it seems as if I am in a steam of bad luck where I haven`t capitalized on my speed once.” Next race in the JTCC calendar is Norwegian Våler, July 29th.

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Ben Clucas has continued his remarkable run of dominating form in the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship after winning today’s fifth championship round at Eastern Creek Raceway, Near Sydney.

Clucas won the two races today, lead every lap and set both fastest laps to extend his already massive championship margin to 60 points after five rounds.

The British driver lead from the outset in the first, 14-lap race this morning to win by five seconds, and won the second race by a similar margin again leading the entire duration.

Today’s successes were Clucas’ eighth and ninth of the season, the Team BRM driver already topping 2005 champion Aaron Caratti’s 2005 tally of eight wins in a season.

“The car has been fantastic all weekend and I was able to get two very good starts, which is where I struggled at Phillip Island and Mallala,” Clucas said.

“I was a bit cautious in the first couple of laps but then I was able to put my head down and extend the margin.

“I was pushing very hard to get the fastest lap in race two and I was able to get the extra point on the last lap. It’s still not a perfect 44 points for the weekend, but it’s not bad!” he said.

Tim Macrow and Michael Trimble were once again the Englishman’s two closest contenders, Trimble (#10 King Springs Astuti Motorsport Dallara) and Macrow (#25 Scud Racing Dallara F301) both scoring third and second place results respectively.

The pair had a close battle in race one, Macrow chasing the Astuti driver hard for a majority of the event only falling short on the final few laps.

Macrow took the most points out of the weekend by virtue of his pole position scored yesterday, the first for longtime F3 outfit Scud Racing. Trimble (146 points) and Macrow (118) sit second and third in the championship and are split by just 28 points with three rounds to go.

“The car wasn’t good early in race one, but it was better for the second,” Said Macrow.

“Both of my starts were terrible but I made a couple of passes (in the second race) and got back into second place. We had a hole in the radiator at the end of race two so I couldn’t chase down Clucas.“It’s a good result – we would have loved to have won after the performance yesterday but we are very consistent and are scoring more points.”

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Formula Renault 2.0 Italia

As we write this press release, the cars registered in the Formula Renault 2.0 Italia Championship are on track at the German circuit of Hockenheim for the free practice sessions of the fifth meeting of the Italian series.

This is the second time that the Italian championship goes to Germany in order to race for an event of its calendar, after the precedent in 2004. A difficult circuit, host of the Formula 1 German Grand Prix, that will test Teams and Drivers in certainly spectacular races judging by the various overtaking points of this circuit.

Today, are in schedule three free practice sessions that will help preparing for the qualifying scheduled for tomorrow morning. On Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning will be held the two races. The Team as always will put at disposal for its drivers, the French Italian Edo Mortara, Dutch Henki Waldschmidt and English Martin Plowman, all its experience so as to make the most of the potential.

Angelo ROSIN, Team Principal of the Team: “This is a very interesting weekend, at one of the most important European circuits. It will be important to make the most of the three free practice sessions and to be ready for the qualifying. In Germany will also be important the weather conditions, not always optimal. The Team and the drivers have worked hardly during this last period and we are expecting important results from now on in the next races of the season.”

Once more, here at Brands Hatch the results of the Team Prema were poorer than expected. A series of unfortunate conditions didn’t allow our drivers, the Spanish Alejandro Nunez, Irish Ronayne O’Mahony and Portuguese Joao Urbano, to concretize the potential at disposal.

During the pre race period all the Team’s technical staff had worked hardly in order to give to the drivers the important improvements for them to gain a few classification positions. During the first free practice session, the performance of Alejandro who finished tenth, very close to the top 5 was very good. Ronayne O’Mahony finished eighteenth, whereas Joao Urbano didn’t exceed the nineteenth position after committing a mistake and damaging the car. The incident occurred in the final stage of the first free practice session and caused his nonparticipation in the second free practice in the afternoon.

In the afternoon the Team’s work continued with Alejandro Nunez obtaining the fourteenth place followed by Ronayne O’Mahony in twenty-first place. On Friday another hour of free practice before the qualifying session which determined the starting order of the race. In this last exercise, traffic and set up problems didn’t allow our drivers to exceed the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-second positions respectively with Ronayne O’Mahony, Alejandro Nunez and Joao Urbano.

Race 1, completed by a distance of 56 laps reminded a parade with no emotions. Not one overtaking was achieved and the arrival classification respected the starting order of the race. Unfortunately, this is due to the circuit’s characteristic that doesn’t possess any real overtaking points. On Sunday however, was held the second race that saw Alejandro, Joao and Roynane respectively finish at fourteenth, fifteenth and twenty-third places.

Angelo Rosin, Team Principal of the Vicenza-based Team: “It has been a really very difficult weekend. I was convinced that here at Brands Hatch it was possible to obtain positive results. Nevertheless, we have to continue our work, confident of returning to the expected positions.”