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The latest news from the world of racing


Archive for June, 2009

Natalie raced in her 100th main in June in Quincy, IL. She has more than 270 finishes now (qualifying races, prefinal races etc).

Fittingly, it was her first time in a shifter kart. It took her a couple tries to get the standing start clutch brake gas gear thing in the right sequence, but in the main she got it right. She had good lap times and now will work on consistency and driving mechanics. The shifter kart is a very different style of racing. She was very excited at how well the main went. It was a great weekend and a new beginning with many great challenges to come.

To celebrate, a week later family and friends met up at 75TH Street Brewery in Kansas City and surprised Natalie with a little party. On display table was some racing memorabilia including a few choice trophy’s, her first set of racing shoes from when she was five and a battle scarred nose cone that was a victim at the Super Nationals in Las Vegas last November that everyone signed.

Tony Kart Australia RacePrep Team is ready to tear it up this weekend at the Cooloola Raceway for the 2009 Queensland Titles. Their chargers, Matt and Tyler Greenbury are looking to dominate their classes over the weekend.

Tyler Greenbury has put in some great work this year taking out the Senior Crown in the Leopard Light class at the National Titles earlier this year in Townsville. A great result for him as it was his first competition where he competed under the senior banner. This was also the first time in six years that a debutant senior has secured a national title. Backing up from his Junior National Title in 2007

He also holds steady in the National Pro Rotax Series where each competitor gains points and a rating to go to the World Titles later in the year. 38 countries will be represented at the World Titles which will be held in Egypt. Tyler drives for the Tony Kart Australia RacePrep Team. Tyler at the ripe old age of 16 is really stamping his mark on the senior arena. Tyler will compete in all three premiere classes this weekend, Clubman Light, Leopard Light and Rotax Light. Matt will compete in the Leopard Heavy Class. Matt Greenbury, a seasoned competitor with a wealth of experience returns to the Tony Kart Australia RacePrep Team to compete in the 2009 State Titles. Matt also has an impressive list of titles to his name including 2007 State and National Titles.

Matt placed 2nd in the 2008 NSW titles in Leopard Heavy and Rotax Heavy. At the 2009 National Titles he was in true contention to take out the title when he was shunted in the back end, he made his way back through the field to eventually take out fourth which in itself was a great result. Matt will certainly have his work cut out for him this weekend in Leopard Heavy with the likes of Kel Treseder and Nathan Mills also suiting up for the titles.

Team RacePrep drivers are amongst many local, state and national champions that will suit up for this weekend’s States Titles. The action will be amazing and the racing will be first class so we hope to see a lot of people along to enjoy the spectacle. The Queensland Titles will be held in Gympie at the Cooloola Raceway this weekend 4th & 5th July 2009.

Dwyer Idafar

Hillspeed’s Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship squad had a trying time at Oulton Park Island Circuit over the weekend, 30th/31st May, when a luckless qualifying run hampered the chances of Lee Dwyer and Menasheh Idafar during rounds seven and eight of the season.

Arriving at the Cheshire track on Saturday morning in buoyant mood after a good test day on Friday, the Hathersage based team’s drivers weren’t able to replicate the same level of pace in the scorching hot weather and ended the two 20-minute sessions disappointed with the outcome.

Nonetheless, a brace of strong drives into the midfield from Huddersfield teenager Dwyer and a solid top 15 finish for 18-year-old Idafar in the first of the weekend’s races – after being forced off track at Island Bend on lap one – did give the outfit a more positive conclusion to the fourth race meeting of the campaign.

Lining up an uncharacteristic 22nd and 23rd on the grid respectively, Idafar and Dwyer both climbed through the order well and took the chequered flag in the same order in 17th and 18th place, around two seconds apart. Post-race, Ollie Hancock and Dean Stoneman both received time penalties and so the Hillspeed team-mates were lifted up the finishing order into 15th and 16th position.

In round eight, Idafar – who qualified an improved 18th on the grid – was very unlucky to get caught up in a racing incident at Dentons on lap three and after receiving a tap to the rear of his car, his Formula Renault spun rearward into the barriers and an immediate retirement.

Dwyer, meanwhile, mounted a terrific climb through the order from 22nd at the start through to 15th place at the finish and sixth in the Graduate Cup. While the weekend’s results weren’t what the team had hoped for, team principal Richard Ollerenshaw remains positive ahead of the next race meeting a fortnight from now.

He said: “Obviously we’re disappointed with the way the weekend turned out as we had shown good pace in testing and looked well placed for some good results. Qualifying didn’t work out for us but for Menasheh to take a top 15 finish in the first race, after being forced out at the hairpin on lap one, was a great effort. In race two he was just very unlucky, it was a racing incident.

“This weekend was the first time Menasheh and Lee have driven a Formula Renault UK car in such hot conditions, the track temperature was around 35 degrees on Saturday and Sunday but that’s good experience they can now call on in the future. For Lee to go from 23rd to 16th in race one and then 22nd to 15th in race two shows two very solid performances which he should be pleased with.”

Hillspeed’s next track action will come on 13th/14th June at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire for the ninth and 10th rounds of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship.

Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK Driver Standings (after Rd8):
16th Lee Dwyer, 50pts; 21st Menasheh Idafar, 35pts

Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK ‘Graduate Cup’ Standings (after Rd8):
4th Lee Dwyer, 50pts; 8th Menasheh Idafar, 35pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Evesham based racing driver Cassey Watson will be testing the MG ZS Britcar at Wiltshire’s Castle Combe circuit this Thursday for college racing team Lunar Racing. Cassey is currently 2nd in the Mazda MX5 Championship and will be helping with important set up work for the team as they look to improve the car for the next round of the Britcar Production Championship.

Lunar Racing is an incredible initiative that allows College students to learn their craft at the top end of British Motorsport. It has been said it’s like a school football team reaching the premiership. College students built and maintain the car and even complete the ‘F1 style’ pitstops at the race circuit with tyre changes and refuelling.

Cassey is also hoping to help attract some much needed funding to the team to help achieve their dream of taking the course nationwide. She will be helping promote the team with the car at several MG events this summer, starting with the MG Festival in July at Silverstone.

Lunar Racing uses the excitement and challenge of motorsport to place Science and Engineering in a dynamic context. The heart of the Lunar Racing philosophy is to bring the classroom into the real world. This is why they compete in the professional motorsport arena.

Britcar is televised on Sky Sports and Motors TV and the team are lieing an incredible second in the championship after 3 rounds.

Edoardo Piscopo eventually cruised to a points finish in the first event of the brand-new FIA Formula 2 Championship. Edoardo made a quick start in practice at Autodromo Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. The Italian then qualified in 3rd and 6th row for the two races. “Practice went on really good – told Piscopo – even better than I expected. In Qualifying 1 I was quite satisfied by 7th place, while in the second session I was heavily conditioned by traffic. With such a soft tire, you only get one shot to the pole, and the fact that so many cars are covered by a small gap doesn’t help”

On Race1, the Williams JPH1 driven by Piscopo completed just a few kilometers, stopping with a mechanical problem. The second race brought Edoardo to a good comeback: he climbed up to 7th, then kept position until the finish “I faced a really hard luck on Race 1 as I was stopped by a problem. On Race 2 i managed to put together a decent recovery up to 7th place. I tried to find my way past Aleshin, but there was not enough speed differential for a move, especially at Valencia. Seventh place is a good start though. I’m confidently looking forward to the next event at Brno”

On Sunday Tyler Greenbury added another podium finish to his growing senior resume with a solid 3rd place in Round 1 of the Rotax Pro Tour held in Newcastle. With over sixty drivers competing in trying weather conditions this was an outstanding result, showing great tenacity in this national and international field. This is the first year he has competed in this karting class and he was the youngest in the field of competitors.

The Pro Rotax Titles is where each competitor gains points and a rating to go to the World Titles later in the year. 38 countries are represented which will be held in Egypt. Tyler’s team is Tony Kart Australia RacePrep.

Tyler and his support and mechanical team have been in solid preparation for the upcoming State Titles being held at the beginning of July. He will compete in the 3 premiere classes at the event. Clubman Light; Leopard Light and Rotax Light.

Having gone back to back with Junior National titles (2007 and 2008) Greenbury clinched the Senior Leopard Light 2009 National Title in a spectacular display of driving in February. This has been the first time in six years that a debutant senior has secured a national title. Greenbury displays driving skills far beyond his years.

Tyler’s team is also concentrating on his marketing and promotional activities as they feel his talent and driving savvy should see him compete eventually at a world title. With the current economy it is a hard call but it would be a real pity to see such a talent miss out on his dream. He is mature beyond his years, with a drive and focus to achieve his goals expected in an athlete much older. Having been in the sporting spotlight for such a long time he also has a wealth of media and sponsorship promotional experience.

Queensland Titles will be held in Gympie at the Cooloola Raceway in July.

Liam McMillan will be forced to miss the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship race meeting at Oulton Park this weekend, as his engine builder has failed to return any of his units that were to power his Maxtreme SEAT Toledo.

Engine problems have blighted all three of Liam’s BTCC race weekend’s so far this season, as a newly-built 16v Toledo engine expired at Brands Hatch and at Thruxton (both after just 40 miles of running), leaving the 19-year old driver from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire to struggle with an underpowered and older 20v unit on race day. He also had to use the 20v engine at Donington Park, despite it having clocked-up twice the recommended number of racing miles without a rebuild.

Liam’s dream of completing his maiden BTCC season look on hold, as French motorsport specialists Oreca has failed to return all three of his 16v engines – despite having them for a considerable amount of time.

Oulton Park is one of Liam’s favourite race tracks and he knows it well, having won all three races there in his SAXMAX title winning season in 2006. Despite having one of the oldest cars on the grid, Liam was hoping to go well at the Cheshire circuit and was aiming to get his Petronas Syntium/Cobra Engineering/EPM Technology/Proppa-supported Toledo into the top 10.

Liam said: “I’m bitterly disappointed to be missing Oulton Park. We sent our engines away in good time and in good faith to be rebuilt by Oreca, but they haven’t been returned. It hasn’t anything to do with myself or the Maxtreme team, but there appears to be an outstanding issue between Oreca and BTC Racing, the team who raced the Toledos last year and who we bought the cars off. We seem to be stuck in the middle of an on-going dispute and our engines, which we own, appear to being held as ransom. We have done all we can, and now it’s up to others to do the honourable thing.”