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Archive for June, 2012

Nathan BlokCanada’s 2011 Formula 1600 Champion and current 2012 points leader, Nathan Blok, is proud to officially announce that Aurora Tool Company has signed on as associate sponsor.

Aurora Tools, is a 100% Canadian owned innovative tool company providing high quality, highly engineered tools and industrial MRO products to meet the ever-changing demands of the industrial market. As Canada’s best value in industrial tools, Aurora Tools offers a quality line of air tools, hand tools and a wide variety of shop equipment to meet the highest of demands. Aurora Tools products are available through its Canadian distributor partners coast to coast.

“The Aurora Tools team is very proud to be a new sponsor partner with Nathan Blok Racing”, said Brian Camacho, head
of Aurora Tools Division. “We hope to have a long and mutually beneficial relationship for many years to come.”

“I am very excited to welcome Aurora Tools to our team, and to be able to provide them with a platform to showcase their line of products”, said Nathan. “The 2012 Canadian Grand Prix was a perfect venue to begin our relationship. And if my success there is any indication Nathan Blok Racing and Aurora Tools can look forward to an exciting and prosperous future together.”

Nathan Blok, a multiple championship winning, open wheel sensation from Beachburg Ontario and current leader of the Formula 1600 Series, has many top accolades under his belt in his short time racing. Acknowledged as one of the most promising up and coming open wheel drivers to come out of Canada, Nathan’s accolades include extensive wins and top podium finishes with multiple championships under his belt. Nathans 2013 plans are to explore opportunities to race at a higher level that will challenge him differently than ever before. Potential plans are to advance to the Star Mazda Series and showcase his talent at a higher international level on his road to Formula 1.

For More info on Aurora Tools- Aurora Tools, is a supplier of industrial grade hand and air tools and is widely considered the best value industrial tool brand in Canada. For more information on Aurora Tools, please visit; www.aurora-tools.com

For More info on Nathan Blok-
www.nathanblok.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nathan-Blok-Racing/127635827282556

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Carlin’s British F3 squad will head back to Brands Hatch this weekend for the fifth round of the Cooper Tires British Formula Three International Series. Having made a strong start to the season, the team have a solid grasp on the championship standings with drivers Jazeman Jaafar, Jack Harvey, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Pietro Fantin and Harry Tincknell having all taken to the podium over the course of this year.

Currently sitting at the top of the 2012 championship standings, Malaysian driver Jaafar comes off the back of two successful race weekends in Pau and Rockingham both of which saw him take British F3 wins promoting him to the top of the standings. Not far behind him a great battle is developing between team mates Harvey and Sainz Jnr who are both within touching distance of toppling one another; while Fantin and Tincknell are locked together with the same tally of points.

Last time out the Carlin team took three wins out of three at the Rockingham Motor Speedway, also locking out the podium during the second race of the weekend. Harvey’s win in the third race became the biggest race winning margin of the year with the Lincolnshire native dominating the field to finish 22 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

Consisting of nine corners the 4.206km Brands Hatch GP circuit is a regular feature on the British F3 calendar, always providing great action for track side spectators. Having played host to Formula One in the past the circuit is now a well renowned training ground for the stars of tomorrow.

Sainz, Jaafar and Tincknell have already visited the Kent circuit once this year, when the shorter Indy track formed a round of the F3 Euro Series calendar in May.

Already a victor around the track this year in the F3 Euro Series Jazeman Jaafar said, ‘Racing at Brands Hatch is always a special event, it’s a great circuit and the atmosphere is always amazing. I love the track but the biggest challenge this year will be set-up because the track can often be wet in certain parts and dry elsewhere. But we know we have a good car so I’m looking forward to getting out on track.’

Carlos Sainz Jnr added, ‘I’ve never raced around the GP circuit before, only the Indy configuration, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the full track is like. I think we can do well this weekend, from what I know of the track it’s great so I’m hoping for a good race and to collect more valuable points.’

Coming off the back of a successful mid-season test around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Carlin’s GP3 team now look ahead to a weekend of racing around the Valencia street circuit. The next round in Spain marks the third event in a season where Carlin has already clinched points in every race season, with drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Alex Brundle and Will Buller.

Antonio Felix da Costa took a brilliant second place finish during the prestigious Monaco GP weekend last time out. The Portuguese driver has been on the pace all season and having secured pole position in Barcelona Felix da Costa has since gone on to clinch a podium position and is now lying in a strong fourth position in the championship.

Alex Brundle makes a return to the Carlin team after missing the final test due to prior Le Mans 24hr race commitments. Driving alongside his father, ex-Formula 1 driver and race pundit Martin Brundle, the 21 year old came eighth in his class during the historic race in France and now looks forward to re-familiarising himself with his GP3 car.

Having recently topped the final GP3 Series test of the season at the Valencia Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Buller looks ahead to the third race of the season. The Northern Irishman completed a comprehensive test with the team in Valencia where his time was unable to be beaten throughout the entirety of the two days of running. Buller has also been competing in the FIA European Formula Three championship where he has already taken a win and currently lies in fourth position in the championship.

Looking forward to the street race Buller said, ‘I can’t wait to get back out on track after what was a great test for the entire team in Valencia last week. We did a lot of work for the upcoming races throughout the two day test so I’m looking forward to continuing with our season’

The GP3 drivers will be on track for a 30 minute free practice session at 08.30 local time on Friday.

After an absence of three weeks the GP2 Series resumes this weekend in Valencia where the Marussia Carlin GP2 team will once again be hitting the track with drivers Max Chilton and Rio Haryanto as the 2012 season continues. Both Carlin drivers have scored points so far this season, with Chilton providing the team with its best ever finish in the championship after his storming drive to second position last time out in Monaco. Rookie team mate Haryanto has also been putting in some strong performances throughout the year.

The sixth round of the season will see the Carlin team descend on the Valencia street circuit – a semi-permanent track which makes the most of the views and roads around the city’s harbour area.

This will be the second and final street circuit that the championship visits this year. Both Carlin men have already battled around a twisty Monaco where Chilton take a stunning second place in the weekend’s sprint race. Chilton’s form sees him currently lying fourth in the driver standings.

Team mate Haryanto has been a solid runner in only his first season in the GP2 Series. The 19 year old from Indonesia has already gained a tally of 16 points which places him 15th in the overall standings – an impressive feat for his rookie year, having made the jump from the GP3 Series.

Looking ahead to this weekend Haryanto said, ‘I’m looking forward to Valencia this weekend, after a strong start to the season unfortunately I haven’t scored points in the last two events, so I’m hoping to pick up some more this weekend.

‘I’ve been in the simulator preparing for the race and I know the track well from having driven it last year in GP3. It’s a mixed track with slow corners in the first two sectors and high speed corners in the final sector. But it’s a track I like so I can’t wait to get back in the car.’

Track action will commence with practice on Friday at 12.00 local time.

Duvashen PadayacheeBrands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent hosts rounds 12, 13 and 14 of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series this weekend, 23rd/24th June, where Double R Racing will be bidding for its strongest set of results of the season so far.

Based just over an hour’s drive from the track, the Woking squad rightly considers Brands Hatch to be its ‘home’ venue and the whole team is looking forward to being back there for the second time in five weeks – having made a successful F3 Euroseries debut at the shorter Indy Circuit last month.

Double R’s National Class contender Duvashen Padayachee enjoyed his best, and most competitive, weekend of the season so far at Rockingham last time out where he won two of the three races, set fastest class lap in all three encounters and closed to within 16 points of the National series lead.

With his confidence the highest it’s been so far, the 22-year-old rookie from Sydney in Australia will face fresh competition at Brands Hatch in the form of experienced British F3 racer Adderly Fong who is to make his return to the championship in the National Class.

“Duvashen did a fantastic job at Rockingham, he was quick in all three races and was definitely the most competitive he’s been since the start of the season”, said Double R’s Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “If he can reproduce that level of performance at Brands GP, and be consistent with it, he’s definitely capable of taking more class wins.”

Fahmi Ilyas and Geoff Uhrhane, Double R’s representatives in the International Class, are currently 11th and 12th respectively in the top-tier of the championship. So far, Kuala Lumpur-born Ilyas’ best result is sixth place from the opening race of the year but he has been very close to equaling that on several occasions.

Category rookie Uhrhane has been getting quicker and more competitive with each outing at the wheel of his Dallara-Mercedes and the young Australian is beginning to edge ever closer to his more experienced team-mate’s pace. The Gold Coast driver has three top 10 finishes to his credit so far and will be hoping to claim a championship best next weekend.

“The F3 Euro outing we had with Fahmi and Geoff at the Indy Circuit last month went quite well and it was certainly beneficial for them to have some extra time in the car”, said Hieatt, “Obviously, the GP track is an entirely different prospect but the experience of the European round will be helpful to them. If everything runs smoothly in qualifying, they could both have their best weekend yet.”

Qualifying for rounds 12, 13 and 14 of the British F3 season will take place on Saturday, 23rd June, at 11.15 with the first race of the weekend following at 14.50. On Sunday, 24th June, round 13 will start at around 11.00 with round 14 getting underway at approximately 16.35.

2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series Driver Standings (after Rd11):
11th Fahmi Ilyas, 24pts; 12th Geoff Uhrhane, 5pts

2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series ‘National Class’ Standings (after Rd11):
2nd Duvashen Padayachee, 160pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Macaulay Walsh - ThruxtonScorpio Motorsport’s Macaulay Walsh delivered a sensational performance at Thruxton Circuit on Sunday, 17th June, by scorching to his second Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship podium of the season on his first ever visit to the challenging 2.35-mile Hampshire venue.

Northampton-based Macaulay, in only his first full season of single-seater racing, took no time at all to get up to speed and although qualifying didn’t go fully to plan, he sliced through from 12th on the grid into fifth place in round six before climbing the podium, from eighth on the grid, in round seven.

Securing a total of 45 points from the third event of the campaign, the 17-year-old consolidated his top four placing in the series standings and actually opened up an increased 23 point advantage over his closest rival.

“It’s fantastic to get back on the podium, we had two good races this weekend and although we didn’t quite get qualifying right, we got too much traffic to do a proper lap, it’s still worked out pretty well”, said the Mike Craig Electrical Products Limited and Piers Sexton-supported driver, “I’m really pleased with how well things are going, the team’s doing a great job.”

Despite having never been to Thruxton prior to this weekend, Macaulay was instantly on the pace in the short 15-minute practice to post the third fastest time behind experienced racers Scott Malvern and Josh Webster.

With confidence high for a similar performance in qualifying, a decision to hold back and push for times later in the session when the track’s grip was at its best didn’t pay off unfortunately when the Scorpio driver continually found his laps compromised by traffic.

Therefore lining up an uncharacteristic 12th for the first race, Macaulay produced a superb opening lap to climb into the top eight and then took sixth soon after to show what might have been possible had he started on the first couple of rows. Climbing into fifth on lap six, the Northampton racer pushed hard all the way to the finish – posting his best lap of 1m14.310 seconds on the final tour.

Starting an improved eighth on the grid for round seven, the youngster again made an excellent start to move immediately into the top five prior to the appearance of the Safety Car for several laps due to an early multi-car incident. At the re-start, Macaulay applied huge pressure to Jake Dalton and he made the breakthrough on the ninth tour to move into fourth.

Then, on lap 14, he gladly took third at the expense of former leader Malvern who dropped back after he and Webster got a little too close for comfort into the chicane. Maintaining third for the last couple of laps, Macaulay’s pace was continually strong and his fastest lap was again hugely impressive, a time of 1m13.912 seconds just 0.15 seconds shy of race winner Webster’s best.

Macaulay will be back in action in his Protyre Formula Renault BARC FR 2.0 car during the fourth event of the season, rounds eight and nine, which will take place at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire on 21st/22nd July.

Provisional 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings (after Rd7):
1st Scott Malvern, 182pts; 4th Macaulay Walsh, 140pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Kieran VernonKieran Vernon produced a pair of outstanding race performances during rounds six and seven of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship at Thruxton on Sunday, 17th June, to take Hillspeed back onto the category podium for the first time this year.

Having only made his return to competitive action last month at Rockingham with the Hathersage team, the 22-year-old was in supreme form as he sliced his way through the order from seventh and sixth on the grid respectively to post third and second place finishes.

So impressive has the West Chiltington racer been so far in 2012, with nothing in the way of testing Vernon is already eighth in the championship standings – only nine points shy of the top six – despite having contested just four of the seven races held so far.

“Kieran did an absolutely outstanding job this weekend”, said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “I didn’t realise before we arrived at the track he hadn’t actually been to Thruxton since he raced in Ginetta Junior several years ago. It’s been a fantastic weekend for him, he raced superbly and he’s shown precisely what he’s capable of. It’s great for everyone at Hillspeed to be back on the podium.”

Danish team-mate Jacob Nortoft, part of his homeland’s Dansk Automobil Sports Union young driver development programme, delivered two strong midfield performances on his debut at the fearsome 2.35-mile Hampshire race track to climb into 14th position in the championship standings.

Improving his pace throughout the race meeting, which packed free practice, qualifying and two races into just one day, the 18-year-old made excellent progress and concluded the event with a pair of 14th place finishes from the 24 car field.

“Jacob’s making great progress each time he’s in the car and we’re very pleased with the rate of development he’s showing”, said Ollerenshaw, “Thruxton is a very difficult track at the best of times, for a rookie like Jacob to come in, have no incidents and take away a good haul of points is as much as we could have asked. It’s been a very positive weekend for Hillspeed.”

Vernon’s qualifying performance was hampered after picking up some damage to his car, hence the seventh and sixth place starts. In race one, round six, he sliced his way into the top five on the opening lap and then took fourth on lap four at the expense of Mexico’s Jorge Cevallos. One lap later, the Hillspeed ace was into third after passing Jake Dalton and he remained there to the flag.

Nortoft, meanwhile, started 18th on the grid and after being shuffled down the order on lap one, he mounted a superb fightback to climb from 20th into 15th place. He then gained a further position post race due to a penalty for James Fletcher.

In round seven, Vernon was again inspired and rocketed into the top four off the start before moving into the podium placings on lap two. Following a six-lap Safety Car period, the Hillspeed racer was just a second shy of Josh Webster and Scott Malvern but an incident between the two leaders on the penultimate tour enabled Vernon to grab second. He also ended the race with the third best lap.

Nortoft slipped to 19th off the start but again made strong progress at the wheel of his FR 2.0 and on lap two he was into the top 15 after avoiding a multi-car collision at Allard which accounted for a total of four cars.

When racing resumed following the Safety Car period, the Dane took 14th on lap 10 and although he was pushed back a couple of places soon after, he regained the lost ground to take 15th at the finish. Once again, he profited from a post-race penalty, this time for Tom Oliphant, to take 14th on the amended classification.

Rounds eight and nine of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship will take place five weeks from now over the weekend 21st/22nd July at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire. Before then, Hillspeed will actually travel up to Croft next weekend, 23rd/24th June, for rounds nine and 10 of the Ginetta Junior Championship season.

Provisional 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings (after Rd7):
8th Kieran Vernon, 95pts; 14th Jacob Nortoft, 44pts; 20th Marcus Allen, 31pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Josh WebsterProtyre Formula Renault BARC Championship front-runner Josh Webster got his title ambitions firmly back on track at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire on Sunday, 17th June, with a richly deserved double podium – including his second race win of 2012.

Arriving at the 2.35-mile track third in the championship after dreadful misfortune at Rockingham last time out, the MSA Team UK driver enjoyed his most successful weekend of the season so far after sealing pole position for both races and then taking his podium tally for the year to five from seven race starts.

The Stowmarket 18-year-old also posted the fastest lap in race one, 1m13.656 seconds (115.15mph), and the combined haul of 62 points – the most of any driver this weekend – has lifted Josh to second in the championship.

“Thruxton has been 10 times better than Rockingham was”, said the Nine Group, Admiral Solutions & Support and Integra ICT-supported racer, “Starting off with the double pole position was great, the MGR guys did an awesome job with the car, and a win and a second place is almost as much as you can ask for. We’ve taken a big haul of points away so we’re definitely back in the title hunt now.”

Josh was expectedly strong in qualifying with a fastest time of 1m12.857 seconds (116.41mph), almost 0.3 seconds clear of his closest challenger, and a consistently rapid second best time of 1m13.057 seconds (116.09mph).

Leading away from pole position in round six, the Suffolk driver headed Scott Malvern for the first couple of laps but on the third tour at Goodwood the latter managed to edge ahead. Remaining glued to Malvern’s tail for the remainder of the race, Josh had to settle for second place – albeit with two bonus points for fastest lap – a mere 0.5 seconds adrift.

Determined to go one better in round seven, the MGR Motorsport racer led away once again and controlled the first couple of laps before the Safety Car was deployed on track following an incident at Allard.

At the re-start on lap nine, Josh continued to lead but Malvern got ahead on lap 12. Continuing to circulate nose-to-tail, everything changed again on the 14th tour when Josh moved back to the front following unfortunate contact between the two leaders at the complex.

“There was a bit of contact there near the end”, said Josh, “[Scott] Malvern was in front, we both braked together into the corner but then he stopped on the apex and I had nowhere to go. It’s unfortunate, I never like to have contact with anyone, but it was unavoidable and the race officials agreed with that.”

Josh now has a five week break from race action with rounds eight and nine of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC season set to take place over the weekend 21st/22nd July at Croft in North Yorkshire.

Provisional 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings (after Rd7):
1st Scott Malvern, 182pts; 2nd Josh Webster, 161pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey PHotography.

Seb MorrisSeb Morris battled extreme adversity at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire on Sunday, 17th June, during the third event of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship season to secure enough points to retain a coveted top three placing in the driver standings.

Leading the title race going into the weekend after an outstanding start to his maiden campaign in single-seaters, the 16-year-old’s plan to add more podiums and wins to his 2012 tally was abruptly halted when an engine problem in qualifying set the tone for a thoroughly frustrating race meeting.

Costing the Marford driver almost 1.5 seconds compared to his key championship rivals, the distinct lack of power on the straights led to highly uncharacteristic eighth row starts for both races – rounds six and seven.

Added to that, with all track action taking place on one day, Seb’s Fortec Motorsports team faced a monumental challenge to install a new engine into his car in time for the first outing. The mechanics worked wonders though to get the Ginetta Ambassador on track with literally seconds to spare.

Very much an exercise in damage limitation, The King’s School, Chester pupil overcame set-up issues to climb through the order superbly into the top eight but insult was added to injury when he was given a 10 second penalty for an ‘out of position start’, putting him back to 10th place.

Disappointed, but with time to fully set-up the car for round seven, Seb was determined to mount a top six push at the very least and by the end of lap one alone he was on the cusp of the top 10. Very happy with the car’s handling and pace, Seb pressed on and looked good for an impressive result but at the beginning of lap two he was caught-up in a multi-car accident at Allard – wrecking his race.

“It’s been a very tough weekend and it all started with the engine problems in qualifying, it all went downhill from there really”, said Seb, “Qualifying was badly compromised and although we scored some points in race one, the car wasn’t how we wanted it. The team did an amazing job to get me out there at all though, all credit to Fortec – the guys made a fantastic effort.”

He added: “Race two was a big disappointment. We had everything sorted with the car, it felt really good and we had so much pace. I made up a lot of places on the first lap and then I was right behind three or four cars battling over eighth through the first corner on lap two. They tangled, so I went wide to avoid it, but then I got hit by one of them and that was it – race over.”

Although rightly disappointed to depart Thruxton third in the standings, Seb is looking ahead to the next two rounds with a lot of confidence and aiming to put right the misfortune experienced this weekend. “We’ll come back stronger at Croft”, he added, “Everything that went wrong this weekend was out of our control, nothing we could do at all.”

There is now a five week break from action for Protyre Formula Renault BARC with North Yorkshire’s Croft Circuit hosting rounds eight and nine of the campaign over the weekend 21st/22nd July.

Provisional 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings (after Rd7):
3rd Seb Morris, 151pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Scott MalvernBarkingside Formula Renault race driver Scott Malvern had not even visited the ultra-fast Thruxton circuit in Hampshire as a spectator before last weekend but that didn’t stop him taking a race win first time out and he looked set to add a second until being hit controversially from behind by his closest championship rival.

cott made a clear statement of intent when he was fastest of the 28 cars in the 15 minute warm up session. He then set the 2nd fastest time in the 20 minute qualifying session, only bettered by the experienced Josh Webster now in his third season in the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship. It didn’t take long for Scott to pass Webster in race one and then maintain a fairly comfortable gap until the chequered flag to notch up his race victory and 5th podium in the six championship rounds held so far.

After a long safety car period in race two, Scott pulled off a near identical overtaking move on Josh to again seize the lead and looked to be in command as he set fastest lap. On the penultimate lap a move described by veteran commentator Brian Jones as “over ambitious” saw Webster run into the back of Scott sending him into a spin. Scott managed to keep the engine running and re-joined the track to recover to 5th place but with no laps left was unable to gain further places. Webster went on to win the race and with no race marshal reports filed escaped any punishment for his misdemeanour.

Scott commented afterwards “I had a really good car this weekend and I was pleased I was able to learn a circuit that was completely new to me so quickly. It was great to get another win under my belt and I was almost home & dry in race two when Josh ran into the back of me. It’s frustrating that he has benefitted from an unfair move and got away with it but overall it’s been a good weekend championship wise. I’m really looking forward to the next event at Croft next month”.

Scott who was 2nd in the championship at the start of the weekend to Seb Morris left Thruxton with a 20 point lead over Josh Webster. Morris who endured a difficult weekend drops to third in the standings.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.