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Archive for July, 2008

Jonathan Bomarito

Jonathan Bomarito got his first season Victory in the fourth race of the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season at the Rexall Edmonton Indy doubleheader on Friday evening.

Driving the No. 26 Discount Tire machine for Mathiasen Motorsports, Bomarito stalked polesitter James Hinchcliffe throughout the race before making his move in Turn 1 with eight laps remaining to take the lead. A late full-course caution set up a one-lap shootout, but Bomarito managed to hold off a charging Markus Niemela to take the victory by 0.691 seconds. So far this Atlantic season the Californian, one of the most popular American Racers, was quickest in the final pre-season test session (his first with Mathiasen team) at MSR Houston, started on Pole in Long Beach and got a Championship Point for most improved positions in Mont-Tremblant. It was Bomarito’s third career Atlantic race victory and moved him from seventh to fourth in the championship standing s. It was also the first Atlantic victory for Mathiasen Motorsports, coming in the team’s 36th series start.

“The race was very difficult, but smooth in the same sense,” Bomarito said. “I had a decent start and from there, I was just kind of hanging onto the coattails of James (Hinchcliffe), letting him tow me around the track a bit and let things pan out till I was able to get past him. That was a nail-biter right there at the end to see that full-course caution come out. I think I had a two-second lead with five minutes to go or something like that and it was gone just like that but we managed to hold on for the win. Big thanks to the Mathiasen Motorsports team and (owners) Ray and Leslie (Mathiasen). I’m excited for everybody. I’m looking forward to getting more Poles and Podiums as the season continues so we can put the Discount Tire car at the top of the Championship. And I also wanted to thank Charles Barrett of the Speed Pro Agency for bringing Discount Tire on board for the season.”

Photo by High Octane Marketing

Daniel LloydHuddersfield’s Daniel Lloyd has his sights set on nothing other than race victory when the Ginetta Junior Championship visits Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire next weekend, 26th/27th July, for the 15th and 16th rounds of the 2008 season.

Having already visited the top step of the podium during his debut year of car racing action, and with several other rostrum results to his credit, the 16-year-old arrives at the undulating and challenging 2.23-mile track a week from now third in the championship standings, proof in itself of his remarkable first season since graduating from karts.

“Oulton Park is a great circuit”, said the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Stars of Tomorrow Scholarship Winner, “I think it’s a bit like Croft in as much as there are some technical sections that you need to get just right. As being we went very well at Croft, I’m confident the same should be the case at Oulton next weekend.

“It’s another home event for us really. I don’t live all that far away, so I’m aiming to put on a good show and fight for some more wins. There’s still a chance we could win the title but I’m more focused on winning as many races as possible. If we can do that, the championship will look after itself.”

Daniel enjoyed a promising test run at Oulton Park last month on a busy day for the West Yorkshire ace, which started with his final GCSE exam. He’s confident next weekend’s races will bring two excellent results as he bids to close down second placed championship runner Thomas Carnaby and series leader Dino Zamparelli.

Lloyd ecstatic after maiden Ginetta G50 test Following last weekend’s Ginetta Junior Championship action at Snetterton in Norfolk, Daniel had the opportunity to enjoy his first ever test run at the wheel of one of Ginetta’s outstanding G50 race cars during an outing on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.

Produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Leeds-based marque, the Ginetta G50 is a purpose-built thoroughbred British racer which bridges the gap between one-make sports-car racing and GT competition. Powered by a 3.5-litre, V6 Ford engine, the G50 produces around 300bhp.

Currently in the midst of its first season of action as a one-make category on the British Formula 3 International Series and Avon Tyres British GT Championship race package, examples of the G50 also compete in British GT itself.

Viewed by Daniel as a serious option of where to further his motor racing career in 2009, the G50 Championship is going from strength to strength at the moment. To that end, he jumped at the chance to test a G50 – the experience leaving him completely exhilarated and hungry for more!

He said: “The test was absolutely mint. The G50 is an awesome car, the power and the grip is incredible and obviously much more than I’ve been used to in the Ginetta Junior Championship. I thoroughly enjoyed the day.

“It was the first time I’d ever been on the full Grand Prix track too, I’ve only ever had a short run on the Stowe Circuit so that was another first for me. It was a fantastic day and, whatever happens in the championship battle, I think the G50 test will go down as one of the high points of my year.”

Returning to his current commitments in the Ginetta Junior Championship, Daniel will take part in free practice ahead of the Oulton Park race meeting at 16.00 a week today, Friday, 25th July. On Saturday, 26th July, qualifying is expected to get underway at 12.30 with round 15 of the season timetabled to commence at 17.25.

The 16th round of the championship will follow on Sunday, 27th July, at approximately 16.20 and is scheduled to be screened live on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4 as part of the afternoon-long broadcast from Oulton Park.

In further news, Daniel has unfortunately been excluded from the results of the 12th round of the season at Croft following an appeal by series leader Zamparelli. Contact between the pair resulted in Zamparelli retiring from round 12 with broken steering and although adamant it was simply a racing incident, Daniel lost his points for the win.

Taking into consideration the amendment to the race order, Daniel remains third in the driver standings but is now 81 points shy of second placed Thomas Carnaby.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

As rounds 7 and 8 of the US Formula 2000 Championship came to a close, Anders Krohn once again proved he was the quickest driver in the field, after having won the first race at the very technical Mid Ohio Raceway and stormed through the field to take fourth in the second race. Anders continues to pull away in the championship battle.“It was a special weekend where we dominated race one, but starting at the back of the field in race two prevented us from repeating the feat.” Anders said.

Qualifying for Race 1 went according to plan for the Andersen Racing crew and Anders Krohn driving the No.9 Van Diemen race car. Anders was able to set a fast lap a full seven tenths up on the next competitor, and also crushed the previous track record with his time of 1m24,909sec. Said Krohn just after qualifying “In the first part of qualifying I was not happy with my car, but after some changes in the pits, I managed to put one quick lap that no one could match.”

Race 1 went Anders’ way as he managed to stay in the lead through two safety-car periods, and won the race by 2,5 seconds in a two lap dash to the checkered after another full course caution was completed. Multiple accidents were the cause of the safety-car periods, and only a handful of green flag laps were driven. “This is one of those races you just need to complete, but don’t enjoy too much. Winning is allways good and we showed our pace by pulling out huge gaps after every full course yellow, but sitting behind the safety-car for the majority of the race is never fun.” Anders commented after winning his fifth race of the season.

In Qualifying for Race 2, rain fell hard and Anders put on the rain tires for the first time in his Formula 2000 career. However, the stint was short lived when he made an unusual mistake and went off track. Therefore, he did not get any laps in, and would have to start towards the end of the field in the second race of the Mid Ohio weekend. “It was a stupid mistake, and I want to apologize to the team. With the mistake already done, now I just need to focus on doing a good job in the race.” A clearly disappointed Krohn said.

Race 2 was to become one of the most entertaining races of the season as Anders had his work cut out by having to start 29th on the grid. Quickly after the green flag dropped, Anders started working his way through the field with impressive speed and passing moves. Half way through the race he was up to 9th when the safety-car was put on track. Going green again, Anders made his way up to 4th and quickly caught the leading trio. But unfortunately as he was ready to attack the lead pack, the checkered flag fell and he had to settle for 4th. It was an impressive showing by Anders Krohn, storming through the field to gain 25 places in 10 green flag laps. “This was the most fun race I have ever driven! I pushed 100% every inch of the race, and we made it all the way up to fourth. I made some good passes early on, and kept going. It’s a shame we didn’t have three or four more laps.” Ended Krohn, who also set the best race lap almost a second clear of anyone else.

Another impressive weekend completed for Anders Krohn, who is sponsored by Trallfa Industries, Colosseum Dental and Kruse Smith. He is pulling away at the top of the Championship and now has a 102 point gap to the nearest rival.

Next up for Anders Krohn is a symposium with IndyCar team Rahal Letterman Racing, where he will meet Bobby Rahal and several of his key staff. “It’s a good opportunity for me to learn and get feedback from the very top of motorsports. I enjoyed my last meeting with them, and I look forward to the upcoming one. It can help me a lot for the future, so I am thrilled to get this opportunity.”

Rounds 9&10 of the US Formula 2000 Championship will be held at famous Road America in Wisconsin on August 2-3. He will then be seeking to further extend his points lead in his rookie season of Formula 2000 racing. “I would like to thank my sponsors once again for supporting me through this adventure. They make it happen, and I appreciate it beyond words. Now I want to prove their support right once again, by doing a good job at Road America.” Said Anders Krohn.

Riki “Christo” Christodoulou moved back in to second place in the Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship after claiming two thirds plus an 11th place in the latest races at Snetterton last weekend (12-13 Jul).

“Christo”, who celebrates his 20th birthday on Tuesday (15 Jul), began the weekend 50-points in arrears but now lies 28-points behind the series leader with six races remaining in the 20-race championship.

The postponed Croft race from six weeks ago was run at Snetterton on Saturday evening with Riki starting the 16-lap race from pole-position in his Alpinestars and British Car Registrations sponsored Fortec Motorsport machine. “Christo” was slightly slow away at the green light and was second at the first corner while an accident behind him brought out the Safety Car for the opening two laps. At the re-start, Riki dropped to third entering the first corner a position he then comfortably held to the chequered flag having also set the fastest lap – for the second consecutive race.

“I didn’t make the best of starts and then lost a place as the race went green again,” said Riki. “I just couldn’t close the gap to the two leaders and although it was disappointing to only finish third after starting from pole, another couple of points for the fastest lap combined with my cousin Adam, the championship leader, non-scoring after a first corner accident, helped me to dramatically reduce the points gap.”

“Christo” lined-up on the front row of 20-car grid for Sunday’s opening race – Riki deprived of his second “pole” of the season by just 0.19secs with a minute remaining in the time trials around the 1.95-mile Norfolk track – and went on to again post third place and fastest lap in the 18-lap race.

Riki commented: “I’m a little frustrated. The ‘sweet spot’, when I’m able to set fast lap times, is coming in too late into the race by which time I’m too far behind the leaders to close the gap significantly.”

“Christo” began race three from third place – knocked off the front row with just over a minute to run in qualifying and just 16pts behind cousin Adam in the title race. But Riki made a poor start, momentarily stalling the engine and was engulfed by almost the entire field, completing the opening lap in 18th place. He ultimately recovered to 11th place at the chequered flag.

“Stalling was a stupid mistake and I feel gutted – it’s the first and last time that will happen!” reflected “Christo”. “I felt sick watching almost the entire field pass me on the grid as I re-started the engine. I then just got my head down and clawed back as many places as possible.

“Although I’ve closed the gap in the championship, I’m massively disappointed not to have scored at least one win at Snetterton – I haven’t maximised the opportunity that I gave myself with good testing and grid positions. However, everything is still to play for in the title race and I’m doubly determined for some big scores next time out.”

Jota Sport secured their first-ever Porsche Carrera Cup GB pole position and saw both their drivers stand together on the podium in what was an eventful weekend for the Kent-based team at Snetterton.

Race 1
Having set pole position by two hundredths of a second, Londoner Hancock led away from pole. He fought to hold off a charging Tim Harvey in the opening stages but lost his lead on the fifth lap when he was badly baulked whilst lapping a back-marker. As Harvey nipped past, Sam also came under pressure from Charles Bateman, but held him at bay to take second place at the chequered flag. Quaife started seventh, having seen his qualifying session ruined by traffic, but charged through the field to third. A superb first lap saw him go fourth, and although he dropped to fifth later in the race, he was on hand to claim a podium place after Tim Bridgman and Bateman came together in the dying laps.

Race 2 A race littered with incident saw Hancock starting from fourth and holding position off the line. On lap 2 he made a move on third placed Bateman at Riches, but contact put Bateman into the barriers and Sam onto the grass. Having dropped down the field to eighth, he fought back well to claim fourth at the finish. Quaife started eighth but suffered a clutch problem on the grid. Having fought his way back through the 18-car field, he was up to sixth when he had to pit with a puncture after being hit by Sarah Franklin. Once again he fought back, but saw his progress halted when a late Safety Car period ruined his race, forcing him to settle for ninth.

Team Principal Sam Hignett: “We’re all delighted to have taken our first pole position and it’s yet another sign that the team is moving in the right direction and constantly improving.”

Sam Hancock: “Whilst it’s frustrating not to have turned my first pole position of the season into a win, it’s been a good weekend overall. Apart from Tim Harvey, who has driven brilliantly, I’ve outscored all the other championship contenders and feel that collectively we’ve made some real progress.”

Phil Quaife: “I don’t seem to be having much luck at the moment, although I was happy to have taken a podium in race 1. In testing on Friday I was second quickest but after getting stuck in traffic in qualifying it was hard to recover. However the car felt good and now I’m looking forward to the next round at Oulton Park.”

British single-seater star Sam Bird achieved his maiden Formula 3 Euroseries podium at Zandvoort on Saturday, 12th July, during the ninth round of the season – the result proving to be the high point of the weekend for Manor Motorsport.

Japanese racer Koudai Tsukakoshi remains the Dinnington squad’s best placed driver in the championship standings in 10th position but a terribly unfortunate weekend at the Dutch venue for the Honda Racing supported ace saw him forced out of both races.

During qualifying on Friday, 11th July, Bird produced by far the best effort of his debut season in F3 Euroseries with the fourth quickest time of 1m 32.372 seconds (167.856 km/h) while Tsukakoshi was just two places further back with the sixth best lap of 1m 32.539 seconds (167.553 km/h).

Niall Breen was 13th on the grid, again another promising run, with a time of 1m 32.851 seconds (166.990 km/h) while Kazuya Oshima had a less satisfying session and could only manage 23rd on the grid with a lap of 1m 33.315 seconds (166.160 km/h).

Bird didn’t make the best of starts to round nine on Saturday but somehow held on to fourth position where he remained to the chequered flag. Although fifth position changed at various points, in the end Yann Clairay became Bird’s closest challenger.

Tsukakoshi moved up to fifth place early on after a drive-through penalty was served on Dani Clos when he was adjudged to have made a jump start. However, the Manor star was forced to retire on lap 15. Countryman Oshima, meanwhile, showed good race performance and climbed through the order very well to finish a highly creditable 14th.

Breen’s ninth place was well deserved but, frustratingly, it meant he just missed out on the reverse grid pole position for round 10. Racing well, the Irishman took the chequered flag just three 10ths of a second shy of eighth placed Robert Wickens – the Canadian instead the driver who was set to start Sunday’s encounter from the top spot on the grid.

After the race though, winner Nico Hulkenberg was excluded from the results due to his car being underweight – therefore, it moved Manor’s finishers up one place each meaning Bird secured his first F3 Euroseries podium and Breen took pole for round 10.

Unfortunately for Breen, the start of Sunday morning’s encounter proved to be a disaster as contact with Wickens sent the Irishman flying into the pitwall and into a bitterly disappointing retirement. Tsukakoshi’s race was also ended prematurely once again when he was taken out after being hit by Edoardo Mortara.

Bird ended the race in sixth place, where he started, while Toyota Development Programme star Oshima had a much better run and climbed through from 13th on the grid to eighth at the finish.

“We’re delighted for Sam that he’s achieved his first podium, he was strong all weekend and hopefully this is the start of a good run of form”, said Manor Motorsport team boss John Booth, “We’ve had some awful luck this year, including this weekend. Hopefully at the Nurburgring we’ll see good finishes for all four cars in both races.”

The 11th and 12th rounds of the 2008 Formula 3 Euroseries will take place at Germany’s Nurburgring a fortnight from now on 26th/27th July.

Full replays of this weekend’s ninth and 10th rounds of the campaign from Zandvoort will be screened on cable and digital satellite channel Motors TV at 23.00 tonight, Monday, 14th July. Check listings for details of additional re-runs.