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Archive for August, 2008

Dino ZamparelliGinetta Junior Championship points leader Dino Zamparelli made his long-awaited return to the top step of the podium at Knockhill Circuit in Scotland this morning, Sunday, 17th August, as he won the 17th round of the season from pole position.

The Bristol-based driver didn’t have it all his own way though as Daniel Lloyd held the lead of the race until a spin on lap 10 at Butcher’s, followed by a further off on the final tour, ended Lloyd’s podium chances and allowed Zamparelli through. The points leader crossed the line on lap 12 just under 2.7 seconds clear of Josh Hill in the end.

Lloyd had earlier been informed he would be given a 10 second time penalty due to what had been deemed a marginal jump-start. Therefore, the Huddersfield teenager knew he had to push as hard as possible to try and make a break at the front to extend his time advantage and lessen the impact of the time penalty.

In the end, Zamparelli took the victory – his eighth of the season – from Hill with Thomas Carnaby third, having started an uncharacteristic seventh on the grid following a tricky qualifying session. Dominic Pettit finished in fourth place, Fergus Walkinshaw was fifth and Alex Austin rounded out the top six.

Speaking immediately after the race, Zamparelli said: “That was definitely the result I wanted, I’m really, really happy. We’ve had a bit of bad luck lately but I believe in myself and I knew I could come back to the top. It was the best and most fun race I’ve ever had, I hunted (Daniel) Lloyd down and thought I was second but the pit-board said I was first.

“I still wanted to push though to get the fastest lap. I applied as much pressure as I could and made Lloyd make a mistake which allowed me to get through to the lead. From there, I was confident we could win the race.”

Starting on pole position, Zamparelli didn’t get away as well as Lloyd who made an excellent start – too good the officials would later declare – while George Richardson edged ahead into third ahead of Pettit, Hill slipping back behind Walkinshaw.

At the John R Weir Chicane, Pettit made his move to go back into the top three but both ended up off on the grass on the outside, making contact and losing places. It wouldn’t be the last time Richardson was in the wars either.

Into lap two, Lloyd led Zamparelli with Walkinshaw up to third, Hill fourth, Pettit fifth and Alice Powell in sixth position. Hill started his fightback through the SEAT Curves but while all the action happened at the front, title contender Carnaby was still down in seventh place.

Richardson, meanwhile, was in 10th after his lap one skirmish but on lap four at Real Radio Hairpin he ended up off the circuit again after yet more contact. About the same time, Lloyd’s team received news of his 10 second penalty and so he started to push even harder to try and build an advantage.

On lap eight, Pettit moved into fourth ahead of Walkinshaw at the hairpin but the talking point came on lap 10 when Lloyd had a spin, losing first place to Zamparelli and also slipping down the order. Carnaby, meanwhile, had been making great progress and was now in third place.

Into lap 12, Lloyd was sixth on the road but ninth overall on corrected times to include his penalty but the nightmare came at Scotsman Corner when the back end of his car snapped away and he was pitched into a heart-breaking retirement.

Along with pole position and the race win, Zamparelli also posted the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1m 03.996 seconds (71.51mph) – almost four 10ths of a second quicker than anyone else.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Oliver Turvey did the double for Carlin Motorsport today, as the team competed in round 18 of the 2008 British F3 International Series. The Racing Steps Foundation driver took the lead at the start as team mate Brendon Hartley struggled away from the line. Turvey went on to control the race and take his fourth victory of the season, as well as a nine point lead in the championship. Team mate Sam Abay suffered massive last lap disappointment, having looked certain to get his first podium of the season until a last lap incident put him out of the race. Jaime Alguersuari came home in sixth place, while Hartley finished ninth.

In a reverse of race one, it was Hartley on pole, with Oliver Turvey lining up second on the grid. As the lights went out, Hartley seemed to struggle to get away, allowing several cars to pass him off the line. Turvey meanwhile was leading the field to the first corner, with Marcus Ericsson closing in behind him in second.

Sam Abay made a lightening start from his sixth placed grid slot and was third by the end of lap one, while Jaime Alguersuari had made up one place in seventh. Having lost out badly at the start, Hartley was 11th as the field completed the first lap. With overtaking difficult around the 2.2 mile track, Hartley had little chance to make up further positions, but managed to pass Max Chilton for tenth place on lap three.

At the front of the field, Turvey had Ericsson just 0.5 seconds behind him, but withstood the pressure brilliantly to hold his position and set the fastest lap of the race on lap eight. Sam Abay was also under pressure, with Nick Tandy close behind challenging for the final podium spot. The 20 year-old Australian kept Tandy at bay, but on the final lap as the two jostled for position, Abay was tagged and spun off.

Just ahead, Turvey crossed the line to take his fourth victory of the season and take a nine point lead in the championship. The 21 year-old also sealed victory in the British F3 Challenge Cup, his point lead sufficient to hand him the title with four races remaining.

New championship leader Turvey said, “It’s been an almost perfect weekend, we have continued the form we had at Spa; we came here with a good car and found a good set up straight away. Carlin and my mechanics have done a great job so I have to thank them. To win both races here makes up for the disappointment of the second race at Spa. Brendon is usually very quick at the start so I’m not sure what happened to him, all I know is that I was into the first corner first and was able to control the race from there. Hopefully we can hold on to the championship lead for the last few races and win the championship in my first year.”

Team Principal Trevor Carlin had mixed feelings about the team’s performance adding, “Obviously Oliver did a fantastic job, he has driven brilliantly all weekend and is the man on form at the moment. It’s a great shame for Sam who drove an awesome race but was tagged by Tandy on the last lap, which took away what would have been his first podium. Brendon was unable to show his potential after a poor start, but I think both he and Jaime will be even more determined to win at Bucharest next weekend.”

Rounds 9 and 10 of the US Formula 2000 Championship at Road America did not go as planned for Anders Krohn and his team, Andersen Racing. Having to retire from race one in the first corner and starting 37th in the second race was not what they had hoped for. “It was a very difficult weekend for the entire team and myself. All we can do is learn from the races that just went by, and look forward to the next ones.” Said Krohn briefly following the completion of the Road America weekend.

Qualifying for Race 1 went well, and Anders managed to qualify on the front row with his factory Van Diemen car, missing pole position by a mere tenth of a second. “Qualifying was a massive draft battle. It was hard to find a position that would give you a draft all the way around the track, but I was lucky and found just that. It will be exciting to see what we can make of it in the race. The team is doing an excellent job with the car set-up, and hopefully my driving will be likewise.” Commented Krohn.

Race 1 started very well with the 41-car grid rolling down the long front-straight. Heading into turn one, Anders passed the polesitter through late braking, and looked set to grab the lead with an outside move around the corner. The last word was not said though, as the polesitter came back mid corner and squeezed Anders further to the outside, before eventually hitting and driving over his front right suspension, ending both their races in turn one. “Being taken out of the race on the first lap and in the first corner is not what I had in mind at all. I was off to a good start, and then I outbraked the polesitter for the lead. It’s a great shame that this had to happen, specially regarding the loss of championship points. We ha ve to handle with it, and I am sure we will come back strong tomorrow.” Said Krohn.

Qualifying for Race 2 seemed just like a continuation of Saturday’s luck, as Anders was involved in an incident while outbraking and passing a slower car. Anders was on the inside for turn 8, but the other involved competitor reportedly didn’t see Krohn in his mirrors prior to the pass, and turned in. This would end Krohn’s qualifying session before it had really got going, and he would have to start 37th for Sunday’s race. “It looks like we have a massive task on our hands for today’s race. My main goal for the race will be just finishing and hopefully bagging some points for the championship.” Said a slightly frustrated Krohn following qualifying for round 10 of the US Formula 2000 Championship.

Race 2 was to be a very dramatic race. Anders got off to a fantastic start once again, and over the first few laps he gained several positions each lap. But four laps into the race, the rear part of his front shock cover came loose and thereby blocking most of his frontal view. Passing was harder to do, but he still managed to get a couple of more positions in the bag when the safety-car was deployed. Following the restart, the two cars in front of Anders clashed, leaving Anders with nowhere else to go than the grass on the outside of turn three. With this, he lost five positions that he would have to make up later in the race. He did just that, and managed to finish the race in 12th, having advanced 25 positions in 10 green flag laps. “Today’s race was a compilation of hard charging, passing and moments that almost happened. I am glad for Andersen Racing and my sponsors that we were able to bag at least a few points for the championship chase.” Anders said after completing round 10 of the 14 round championship.

Anders Krohn still leads the US Formula 2000 Championship by a healthy margin, but the lead has been decreased. The Road America race weekend was not what Andersen Racing nor Anders Krohn expected, but in racing there will allways be ups and downs. “First of all I want to thank Andersen Racing for staying supportive and 100% focused during a difficult weekend like this. Special thanks goes to my mechanic and engineer, Chuck Lessick and Marc Maurini respectively, for pushing for perfection and always being able of getting my car back on track in perfect state. I would also like to thank my main sponsors Trallfa Industries, Colosseum Dental and Kruse Smith. They stay with me through both the good and bad, and luckily most of this s eason has been very good. In fact, this is the very first weekend this year that I haven’t won a race! I can’t wait to get to the next event now, and I feel certain we will be right up there once again, continuing to fight for race wins and the championship.”

Rounds 11&12 will be held at Mosport in Ontario, Canada on August 23-24.

Carlin Motorsport will take drivers from both its British F3 team and F3 Euro Series team to the RTL GP Masters of F3 Zolder this weekend. The British based squad, who are the only team to run cars in both the British and European championships, will be represented in Zolder by Red Bull duo Brendon Hartley and Jaime Alguersuari and Euro Series racers Rodolfo Gonzalez and Richard Philippe.

Hartley and Alguersuari have been two of the front runners in this year’s British F3 series, taking six wins between them so far this season. Hartley will be one of the only drivers in the field to have experience of both the British and European championships, having raced at the Nürburgring round of the Euro Series last month. It will also be the young Kiwi’s second visit to the Masters, following a successful debut last year that saw Hartley come home in an impressive fourth place.

Spain’s Jaime Alguersuari makes his debut in the F3 Masters this year, but has experience of the Zolder track from his time in Formula Renault Eurocup. The 18 year-old rookie has been one of the revelations of the 2008 season in Britain, taking a race victory in his first ever F3 event. Alguersuari’s consistent string of results means he currently leads the British F3 Series and is a strong contender for a podium finish at Zolder.

Carlin’s F3 Euro Series drivers will also be heading to Belgium next weekend, but it will be a new experience for both Richard Philippe and Rodolfo Gonzalez, who will make their first visit to both the Masters and the Zolder circuit.

F3 Euro Series driver Rodolfo Gonzalez said, “I’m really looking forward to this weekend, it should be interesting to see how we compare to the British guys. It’s my first time at the Masters, and I’m pleased to be taking part this year. I’ve never been to Zolder before, but I’ve heard that the track is very quick in some parts and technical in others, but I think we have enough time to get to grips with the track in practice. The team already have experience at Zolder so I’m feeling quite confident.”

British F3 racer Brendon Hartley added, “To be honest I’ve got quite high expectations this year, last year I finished fourth, so I’m aiming to improve and be on podium this year. The Masters is normally a real challenge for the British teams, but I think with the knowledge gained through Carlin’s Euro Series team and the way the team is performing in the British Series at the moment, we will be pretty strong.”

Team Principal Trevor Carlin added, “We want to measure ourselves against the best in Europe and the F3 Masters is still the premier European event at this level. For the first time this year, the team will be represented by cars from the British and the European championships. The F3 Masters is an extremely competitive event, which pitches the best drivers and teams against each other, but we are hoping to gain some advantage due to the work and knowledge gained through our F3 Euro Series team. The British squad are on a high after some fantastic results at Spa and by bringing together the knowledge of both the British and European teams, we will be aiming for the podium.”

Carlin Motorsport took a second victory at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium today, as Red Bull racer Brendon Hartley drove a stunning race to take his fourth victory of the season. The F3 rookie stormed to victory having dropped to fifth place at the end of one. Pole sitter and race one winner Oliver Turvey saw a flawless weekend come to an early conclusion when an engine problem left him stranded on the grid. Jaime Alguersuari completed a strong weekend to take fourth place while a first lap incident put Sam Abay into early retirement.

Taking his place in pole position for the second time, Racing Steps Foundation driver Oliver Turvey looked in good shape to repeat his race one victory, but as the lights went out Turvey’s car failed to get away, forcing all the cars behind him to taking avoiding action. From his third place grid slot, Sam Abay just managed to avoid Turvey and found himself immediately in a battle with Marcus Ericsson. Contact between the two at the first corner resulted in a puncture for Abay, who had a long drive back to the pits. Returning to the track with a new tyre, Abay’s race was effectively over, but the young Australian later showed his potential by setting the second quickest lap of the race.

Jaime Alguersuari had made a lightening start from his seventh place grid slot and was up to third by the end of lap one. Meanwhile behind him, having avoided the incident between Abay and Ericsson, Hartley had dropped to fifth place. Hartley was determined to make up the positions however, and had already passed Ericsson by the end of lap two. Next in Hartley’s sights was team mate Alguersuari, who he managed to pass for third place on lap five. Nick Tandy was the next driver ahead, and after a close battle, Hartley found a way through on lap eight.

By lap nine, the battle for the lead was between Hartley and Sergio Perez. As the duo crossed the line at the end of lap 10, the gap was down to 0.9 seconds, and as the cars came across the line to start the final lap, Hartley had closed the gap to just 0.2 seconds. With only half a lap remaining, Hartley stole the lead with a move around the outside into Les Combes to take the victory. Jaime Alguersuari added to his points tally with a fourth place.

Commenting on his fourth race win of the season, Hartley said, “Sam and Marcus had a bit of a coming together into the first corner, and I lost a lot of places trying to avoid that, but then I had the car to be able to push and get the places back. I worked really hard with my engineer after the first race and the car felt great today, I have to say the car was doing all the work for me. I have to thank the team, they’ve worked so hard since the last race at Brands Hatch and the car has been fantastic all weekend. I really enjoyed racing with Sergio, he’s a very fair racer and left me just enough room to make the move. I’m pleased to have put myself back in the running for the title. I think there will be probably be four or five drivers in with a chance of winning, so it’s going to be an exciting end to the season.”

Carlin director Martin Stone added, “This was a great result for Brendon, who raced very well and maturely to claw his way through the field to take a well deserved victory. It was a great pity for Oliver who has driven flawlessly all weekend that his race was ended through no fault of his own. Jaime also had a strong weekend and now leads the championship. Once again, we’ve seen the points standings close up, and the championship is still wide open.

Carlin’s British F3 team will next be in action for rounds 17 and 18 at Silverstone from 15 – 16 September.