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Archive for August, 2006

Atte MustonenKoiranen bros. Motorsport and Atte Mustonen have agreed to go their separate ways for the remainder of the season.

The team understands that the offer Atte recently received opens a lot of possibilities for his future racing career, and will not stand in his way.

Koiranen bros. Motorsport enjoyed many successes with Mustonen in the past two years. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Atte for that, and to wish him all the best for the future.

The team is currently evaluating the options for the remainder of the current season, and going ahead with the plans already made for the winter and also 2007.

www.koiranenbros.net

Rodolfo AvilaMacanese promising racing driver Rodolfo Avila was full of hopes for this weekend British F3 meeting at Brands Hatch but Kent’s circuit was one of the toughest rounds this season for him. Although the Two heavy crashes on Westfield Bend shattered a possible first-class weekend result. Beside the unfortunate round Rodolfo Avila held National Class fourth position and expanded his advantage for the fifth after scoring a fourth and a fifth position in yesterday races.

Qualifying for the young Macanese was hampered by a massive crash in Westfield Bend on his 1st Qualifying session. In three hours the Performance Racing mechanics did a colossal effort to recuperate the almost ruined Dallara F304-Mugen Honda and Avila could register a time on the 2nd Qualifying session. “My team did an excellent job to recover the car just in time. Unfortunately I hadn’t many chances to make a proper qualifying time and with many red flags in the second qualifying I struggled to get my pace up. I lost precious track time because of the accident”, commented Avila. He would start from the end of the grid in the both races.

Life is not easy when you start from the back of the grid and it is too difficult to pass around the Brands Hatch GP circuit but Macau SAR motorsport ambassador wanted to show that he can do it. In Race 1, Avila pulled off a spectacular move at the start to vault to fourth National Class position. Then he attacked the third position but “in the middle of the race I felt my car was loosing grip so I did my best to keep my fourth position and it wasn’t an undemanding mission”.

In Race 2 Avila’s car was fitted with three old tyres (as three new tyres were destroyed on the 1st Qualifying accident) and Avila couldn’t get his opponents pace. In the end #38 entry would finish the race on the Westfield Bend barriers. “After the Safety-Car period I did a really good restart and was pushing to get closer to the other competitors. On the exit of Westfield corner I run a bit wide and went on the kerb when my car bottomed out and just drove straight into the tire wall”, explained the driver sponsored by Macau Government, Rio Casino, Hotel Fortuna, Macau-Slot.com, BNU, Gain Well Group, Tong-Lei, CESL-Asia, Profabril – Asia Consult, RP MACAU, CTM, Tsingtao Beer, Fat Siu Lau, PT Asia and Sujika Crafts.

Avila’s European adventure continues on the 16th/17th September, in the third-final outing of the 2006 series. The Macanese racing prospect will travel to Mugello in Italy for rounds 15 and 16.

www.rodolfoavila.com

Anders KrohnIn last pressrelease, Anders Krohn ended with the words ”exciting”, and now we get the answer to why he said just that. Anders is entered for this years CIK-FIA World Cup for Super ICC (September 2nd and 3rd, broadcasted live on Eurosport 2), a race he also entered last year with success.

”I am absolutely chuffed to have been given the chance of a drive in the Super ICC World Cup. Last year was great when I managed to finish 17th with a punctured tyre, and this year, my main aim is to improve my result.” The World Cup will be Krohn’s second race in the Super ICC cateogory, a tough task as most drivers are factory drivers. The race will be held in Belgium at Mariembourg, a track which Krohn has never visited earlier. ”I am so ready for the race, I just cannot wait!” Krohn says.

Wednesday morning at 6am he is leaving Norway and heading for Belgium. Krohn is driving with Zanardi Holland, the same team that served him on last years World Cup as well as Constructors Cup. ”The team is just amazing, and to make it possible for me to compete in this race, they have got a main sponsor for the event. Feroce, a dutch clothing brand has made it all possible as well as support from CRG Holland. I can’t be thankful enough.”

With that said, Anders Krohn is ready for his first international karting-event this year. ”International karting is really tough, and it doesn`t give anything for free. Thats what I like about it.” are Anders` ending words.

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

Last weekend on the circuit of Nurburgring was held the sixth meeting of the Formula 3 Euro Series. During this event all the Team wanted to acknowledge the progress done in this period.

Unfortunately two contacts in the first stage of Race 1 excluded two of our drivers, Spaniard Alejandro Nunez and Italian Paolo Nocera, compromising a good starting position in Sunday’s race.

Our other driver Irish Ronayne O’Mahony is in continuous progress and race after race continues to perfection his chronometric results.

The weekend started on Thursday with two free practice sessions called “Pre-Event Test” where teams and drivers had the occasion to optimize the set up for the difficult circuit of Nurburgring. The balance was positive considering the amount of tests performed by our drivers. Our best driver was Alejandro Nunez who positioned in 14th place followed in 15th by Paolo Nocera and in 20th by Ronayne O’Mahony.

The following day was held a one hour free practice session followed by the qualifying session in late afternoon which determined the starting order of race 1. Our best driver was Alejandro Nunez who obtained the twelfth time followed by rookie Paolo Nocera who was classified in fourteenth position. Eighteenth time for Ronayne O’Mahony.

Race 1 finished early for two of our drivers who after a good start were almost in the Top 10 positions due to a contact with opponents in the early stages of the race. Alejandro, after a front nose change re-entered in the race nevertheless distanced from the group while Nocera was forced to retire with the front suspension damaged. Fourteenth position for Ronayne O’Mahony who certainly did a good race.

On Sunday was held the second race which was certainly very interesting for the crowd present in the grand stands. All three drivers gained important positions after starting with dry conditions and a vigilant first part of the race. O’Mahony was ninth, Nunez was twelfth and Nocera was fifteenth. An unexpected rain was the main key of the race. The asphalt was slippery and didn’t forgive the errors of many drivers and the presence of the safety car permitted Nocera to re-enter in the box in order to substitute the tyres as two other opponents did. Nunez and O’Mahony remained on track with the slick tyres but the conditions were really difficult. For Nunez a contact with an other driver and for O’Mahony a spin were the motives of an early race finish. On the other hand Nocera finished in twelfth position, not using at maximum, due to inexperience, the most favourable conditions.

Angelo Rosin, Team Principal of the team: “The debut of Paolo Nocera in this difficult category was very positive. The young Italian committed a few errors due to his inexperience and didn’t manage to obtain what he has the potential for. Unfortunate was Alejandro Nunez who compromised a result in race 1. Finally Ronayne O’Mahony’s performance was positive and race after race he continues to improve. Now we have to prepare at best for the next meeting scheduled for the first weekend of September on the Dutch circuit of Zandvoort.

Century 21 RacingAfter dominating the early stanza of the 2006 STS Turbo Australian Performance Car Championship, Century 21 Real Estate Racing faced a trying time last weekend at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in their quest for this year’s title.

The team – led by driver Gary Holt and their proven Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution – took a solid points lead into the round last weekend at a circuit that was expected to suit the plethora of V8-powered HSV and FPV entered vehicles in the Performance field.

Sydney based Holt, the proprietor of Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway, took the aim of scoring as many championship points as possible into the weekend, the fourth of seven scheduled rounds this year.

The weekend looked good early on, Holt placing the #21 car third on the grid in the sole, 30-minute qualifying session held Saturday morning. What was more promising for the team was both that Holt was significantly quicker than he qualified at the circuit last season, and less than one-tenth of a second from pole position.

Race one, a 10-lap sprint held Saturday afternoon, saw Holt bring the Century 21 car home third, less than two seconds behind the leaders James Phillip and Peter Floyd – Both driving V8-powered cars.

Holt was an astounding five positions higher at the finish than any other turbocharged, 4WD car proving the consistent pace shown from the team at all types of circuit.After running third for the early stages of Sunday’s first race – the second for the weekend – a damaged tyre dropped Holt down the order in the final four laps to an eventual seventh position at the line. The third-fastest race lap was a small consolation.

Holt was caught in the thick of the racing in the third and final race, recovering from his race two dramas to score seventh position and more points.

The combined results – a third and two seventh place finishes – saw the Century 21 Lancer placed fifth overall for the round, scoring 50 points.

“The weekend was what we expected with the parity in the series,” Holt said following the weekend – his toughest of the year to date.

“But to be honest the car went quicker than perhaps we expected. We were faster there than last season which is always a positive, but unfortunately the Tyres just couldn’t keep up with the pace and we struggled with that all weekend.

“We were also loosing six or more car lengths down the straight because of the parity situation.”

“To maintain a 43 point lead in the championship is very much a positive. The racing was very close and competitive at Phillip Island but to still be in front is good.”

The next round of the championship will be held at South Australia’s Mallala Raceway, a happy hunting ground for the Sydney team and driver in the past.

“We will be looking to go back to Mallala and do what we did a few years ago –score pole, a lap record and win the round.” Holt said.

“Our Century 21 Real Estate Lancer is very strong there and I think that we will be competitive once again.”

The fifth round of the STS Turbo Australian Performance Car Championship will be held on September 15 – 17.

Ben ClucasBen Clucas has placed one hand on the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship trophy following yet another day of domination at Phillip Island today.

British driver Clucas, driving his Team BRM Dallara F304, needs to score just 10 points in the remaining two championship rounds to wrap up this year’s Gold Star Championship after scoring two wins, two poles and a fastest lap today for an additional 43 points on top of his already impressive tally scored this season.

Clucas lead from the outset in both races today, using clear track to build a buffer in each event to win the first by six seconds and the second race by over three.

The two wins today take Clucas’ 2006 win tally to 11, equaling a six year old record currently held by Paul Stephenson.

Clucas has also bettered a season record for the most championship points ever scored in a single season, his current tally of 249 taking him past the existing record set by Aaron Caratt last season of 242.

“It’s been a really great day, the car was fantastic.” Clucas said.

“I was at 100% the entire second race because Leanne was closing in for a while there. I really just wanted to build as big a gap as possible both times out to make sure that I was able to hold the lead if I got held up in traffic.”

Fleetcare Tandersport driver Leanne Tander had her career best weekend, scoring 27 points for the weekend thanks to third and second-place results today.

Tander worked her way into third place in race one after a slow start, pressuring Clucas in the early stages of race two this afternoon before finishing just over three seconds behind after 14 competitive laps.

“I’m happy with the weekend, but as a driver you always want to be that one place higher,” Tander said today.

“When I was fourth or fifth it was a bit harder to get to the front, but now we are much closer to the lead I’m a bit disappointed that I couldn’t run with Clucas in the second race.

“Having said that it’s been a good weekend and we have definitely made progress.” She said.

Whilst Tander posted her career best performance, Queenslander Chris Gilmour will head into his home round in two weeks time coming off the back of his strongest performance of the year.

After making his customary good start in race one, Gilmour finished fourth in the race before overhauling Michael Trimble in the second race to finish a delighted third – his best result since introducing his current car at the start of the season.

Tim Macrow had a disastrous day, running strongly in the first race before a cracked piston ended his weekend abruptly after the ninth of fourteen laps, ruling him out of taking his pole position spot he scored for race two.

“It’s really disappointing, but we have had to stretch the engine out for as long as possible. I would have rather that it went yesterday but that’s the way things go.” Macrow said.

Astuti Motorsport had a difficult day, Michael Trimble scoring second and fourth-placed finishes respectively whilst newcomer Andy Knight bounced back from a weekend of new-car electrical dramas to finish a strong fifth in the finale’.

Stuart Kostera continued his learning curve this weekend thanks to a pair of top seven positions; whilst Matt Sofi also scored his first championship points of the season thanks to a sixth-placed run in race one.

Ricky Occhipinti has closed to within eight points of securing the inaugural Kumho Tyres National Class championship thanks to another perfect run today, the Geelong based driver scoring two wins, two poles and a pair of fastest lap times to inch closer to the National crown.

Tim Berryman (#33 Delta Agribusiness) finished second in the final race, whilst John Boothman scored his first points of the season with a strong run today.

Scud Racing driver Lauren Gray continues to lead the Kumho Tyres Trophy Class despite another clean sweep from Graeme Holmes, Rod Anderson and Bill Maddocks both remaining in the championship hunt.

The championship battle will now head north to Queensland, with the penultimate round of the Gold Star chase set to be held on Fathers Day weekend, September 2 – 3.

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

clucas-and-macrow-qualifying-showThe Long-running Ben Clucas and Tim Macrow Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship qualifying battle has continued today at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Victoria.

The battling pair has split the pole positions in today’s two sessions respectively as a 15-car field readies for this weekend’s sixth round of the Australian Drivers Championship to be held at the high-speed 4.46km circuit south of Melbourne.

A similarly strong run by Leanne Tander saw her score a Formula 3 career-best result in the opening session when she placed her #42 Fleetcare Tandersport Dallara F304 on the second position for tomorrow’s first race.

Out in front, however, it was a similar story as the one that unfolded at Mallala and Eastern Creek recently, with Macrow and Clucas split by mere hundredths of a second in the second session today.

The pair have traded times for a number of sessions this year, making for incredibly close qualifying sessions and also replicating the race two qualifying results seen at Eastern Creek recently.

“I’m really happy with the time,” Macrow said following the second session today, where he topped Clucas by just .02 of a second.

“It was a huge lap; I was really on the limit and had a bit of oversteer at the top of Lukey Heights. The best thing is that there was probably another few tenths in it so things are looking great for tomorrow.”

The qualifying-one top four of Clucas, Tander, Michael Trimble and Macrow were separated by just .07s, one of the closest qualifying results in the series history.

Session standout Leanne Tander’s performance marked her best effort since joining the championship almost a year ago; missing out on the pole by less than .02s in what has been a revitalized performance this weekend from the Melbourne-based driver and team.

“I am very happy,” said Tander.

“We tested last week and I think it has really given us a lot more confidence in the car this weekend. I have much more confidence in what the car is doing on track and giving feedback to the team.

“I’m confident that the car will be a good race car this weekend,” She added.

“We practiced well yesterday and put together fast, consistent runs so I think the car will be good tomorrow. It will be nice to be able to race with Ben and Tim at the front.”

Astuti Motorsport driver Michael Trimble netted a pair of fourth and third place results in today’s two sessions, respectively, both times never far from the leading pace.

“I don’t know what it is, but we just seem to be missing something that everyone else has,” Trimble said.

The championship contender’s new teammate this weekend endured a tough day, New Zealand driver Andy Knight battling electrical problems with the team’s recently imported car.

After a trouble free run yesterday, Knight scored 10th and 12th-placed results today and will be looking to charge through the field tomorrow to race with the leading group of cars.

Queenslander Chris Gilmour rounded out the top five in each session today but professed himself satisfied with a stronger performance this weekend as his family-run team continues to come to grips with his SnatchIT.com.au Dallara.

Ricky Occhipinti was another to battle setup dramas today yet still managed to score a pair of Kumho Tyres National Class pole positions this weekend, further extending his class lead over year-long rival Tim Berryman.

“We just went backwards between sessions today,” Occhipinti said.

“I know that the car has the pace to run with the leading group of cars so it’s really frustrating for us. We’re doing it without any data from the car so it’s hard to work out what’s going wrong. We’ll aim tomorrow to score as many points in National Class and see if we can get closer to the championship.” He said.

Berryman (#33 Delta Agriculture Dallara) and John Boothman completed the National Class top three today.

Graeme Holmes (#21 Demountables Dallara F398) scored both poles in Trophy Class today, ahead of youngster Lauren Gray and Rod Anderson in each session.

The Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star fight will continue tomorrow for a pair of 14-lap races.

For more information head to www.formula3.com.au

f3Leanne Tander has shown that she will be a force to be reckoned with in this weekend’s sixth round of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star following today’s two practice sessions at Phillip Island.

Tander, driving her #42 Fleetcare Tandersport Dallara F304 – Spiess, was third in this morning’s opening session and topped the afternoon session in chilly conditions at the 4.6km circuit south of Melbourne.

The strong results today mark the first time that the 25-year-old driver has topped a session since joining the championship full time this year – both team and driver showing that they are coming to grips with the high speed nature of the cars.

“I’m really happy with the day,” Tander said following practice two.

“It’s the first time that we have been able to come to a track and be right from the first session. We haven’t been able to do that before and it’s great that it’s all starting to come together.

“Although there is a long way to go this weekend I think it proves that we are stepping up to the mark. I know I can replicate this pace in the race on Sunday but the key will be doing it in qualifying tomorrow.” She said.

Local driver Michael Trimble was strong early in the day, taking his #10 King Springs Astuti Motorsport Dallara to the quickest time in first practice before posting 3rd best time – although less than two tenths from pole – in the second outing.

“The car wasn’t bad today,” Trimble said.

“We are making a couple of changes but we know where the speed is. We had a really good test here Wednesday and learnt a lot about the car so there is no reason why we cant have a good weekend.”

Trimble’s new teammate, Kiwi driver Andy Knight, impressed in his first official outing in a Formula 3 car, placing sixth fastest in the opening session today less than a second from the quickest lap – set in the session by Trimble.

Knight, who has extensively raced Formula Ford, Formula Toyota and Formula Ford 2000 in the United States earlier this year, was enthusiastic about his experience to date.

“The cars are great to drive. In ways they are similar to a lot of the other things I have driven just with more grip, more power and more speed.” He said.

“I’m happy with the way things are going today.”

The cold climate of Victoria’s springtime may not be much like his native Queensland, but StatchIT.com.au driver Chris Gilmour posted a hot performance today, taking his newly sponsored F304 Dallara to strong early results in practice.

“The ‘snatch it mobile’ was really good today,” said Gilmour

“We made some changes between rounds and this is the closest that we have been to the pace this season.

“There are a few more changes we can make overnight to make the car better but I’m really enthusiastic about the weekend.”

Tim Macrow (Scud Racing) and championship point’s leader Ben Clucas each took a turn near the top of the times today and both look set to be quick this weekend.

Geelong’s Ricky Occhipinti topped the National Class bunch today driving his Formula-Uno-Racing Dallara F301, whilst Tim Berryman spent the day coming to grips with the circuit in what is just his first visit to the circuit in his brief Kumho Tyres Formula 3 career.

Graeme Holmes looks set to continue his rapid advance on the Kumho Tyres Trophy Class lead held currently by Lauren Gray after comfortably topping both sessions today.

Two, 20-miunute qualifying sessions will be held tomorrow to decide the starting order for each of the two respective 14-lap races to be held Sunday.

For more information about the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship head to www.formula3.com.au

Rodolfo AvilaMacau’s budding racing star Rodolfo Avila took a double 4th place at Silverstone this weekend. In England the Performance Racing’s Asian driver result keep him secure in 4th position of British Formula 3 International Series National Class.

Qualifying saw Avila place 4th for Race 1 and Race 2. The #38 Dallara-Mügen Honda is fighting for top-3 of National Class again after three complicated and inauspicious rounds. “After a disappointed Thursday practice, in Qualifying 1 we showed that we are back on the top again. Qualifying 2 times could be better but I opted to keep the tyres for the second Sunday race”.

In Race 1, held in wet conditions rather than the dry weather in which he qualified, Rodolfo Avila had been extremely unlucky and paid high for opponents big mistakes. “It was a tough race and the luck determined the final result. And I hadn’t any luck this year! I started quite well but I spun on the first corner. When I was climbing positions Championship Class’s Keiko Ihara did another foolish move and hit me hard in the back. Anyway when I was making progress in the classification again the “Safety-car” came out. I was in a good position to secure a podium result but Invitational Class’s Basil Shaaban just hit me in the rear on the restart lap. It was a shame because I’m sure I could get a podium here”.

The Race 2 was less turbulent for the driver supported 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. “I did one more nice start and held the 3rd position. The first laps went very well. I was pushing hard. After four laps I felt my left tyres weren’t working perfectly anymore and I lost two positions and altered my race pace. I did my best and I overtook Martin Kudzak near the end. It was a funny race! Now we should work hard to improve the team’s performance for the next four rounds”.

Macanese F3 driver will travel to Brands Hatch in Kent for rounds 13 and 14 on the 26th/27th August. Rodolfo Avila is eager to return to National Class podium.

Koiranen bros. Motorsport’s sudden lack of results continued, this time in Anderstorp, where the penultimate event of the Formula Renault North European Championship took place.

The Saturday qualifying session was somewhat disappointing for the team, with Atte Mustonen not being able to repeat the great pace he showed in Free Practice, and managing no better than 7th position on the grid.

Tomi Limmonen had lost a lot of track time due to numerous off-track moments during the Free Practice sessions, and suffered the consequences, qualifying 21st.

New recruit Mika Mäki, who joined the team from Formula BMW just for this event, qualified in an encouraging 15th position, and showed that with a little more testing he could have been in the Top 10.

Race 1 got under way under wet conditions, and in the early stages it looked like a good result would be possible. Atte was up to 6th and battling hard in a group of 6 cars, Mika was 11th, and Tomi 13th after passing 8 cars in the first few laps! Unfortunately all drivers were caught out by the tricky track conditions within a few laps. Mustonen and Mäki abandoned the race, whereas Tomi managed to finish in 14th place.

The early retirements meant that Atte and Mika could not post a fast lap during the race, which would determine their starting position for Race 2. Thus, they started 11th and 18th , with Tomi in between in 15th position.

Race 2 saw a repeat of events, this time with Atte and Tomi abandoning after going off the track. Mika did well and crossed the line in 11th place. Unfortunately he was later disqualified for having overtaken another car under yellow flags.

There is now a 3 week break before the next event in Donington Park, for the Formula Renault Eurocup.

www.koiranenbros.net