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Archive for August, 2012

Isaac TutumluThe Spanish driver of Kurdish heritage, at the wheel of his FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport´s car, was 17th fastest with almost thirty cars taking part this meeting at Spa-Francorchamps of the Porsche Supercup series.

Isaac Tutumlu has had a positive start of the penultimate meeting of Porsche Supercup today, during the event scheduled in Belgium. The Spanish driver of Kurdish ancestry has completed a good free practice session in rainy conditions, with a steady rain falling all the day.

Tutumlu posted a best lap of 2:46.320, putting him 17th in the free practice classification at the end of the day, with almost thirty cars participating. After finishing this first outing at Spa in 2012, Tutumlu explained that “my main concern was avoiding any kind of mistakes, keeping calm at the wheel, because there were tricky conditions and to damage the car wasn´t an option. At the beginning, we considered to stay in the box, because the forecast announces dry weather for tomorrow at 90%”. Anyway the feedback was pretty positive because “I have been quite fast, even we didn´t
use new wet tires in contrast to other drivers. Here new tires mean to improve your time almost two seconds, so we have a good pace so far. The engine is working smoothly after problems in Hungary, and it´s a good thing as well”. Finally, Barcelona´s driver added that “tomorrow is going to be a hard day, because surely I will have to cope with a dry track in qualifying. Anyway, I´m going to work as hard as always and I hope for similar conditions on Sunday, not that crazy weather seen earlier this year”.

The qualifying session, which is 30 minutes long, starts at 12.25 (CET).

Rio HaryantoRio Haryanto has taken the Marussia Carlin GP2 Team’s second consecutive pole position in a GP2 qualifying session, at a rain soaked Spa-Francorchamps circuit today. The GP2 rookie was the driver to beat throughout this afternoon’s 30 minute qualifying session, and was quickest from the outset. Team mate Max Chilton, who took pole last time out in Hungary qualified in 13th ahead of tomorrow’s Feature race.

Following torrential rain throughout Friday’s track sessions, conditions had deteriorated even further by the time the drivers took to the track for GP2 qualifying this afternoon. After a short delay of 10 minutes, it was Haryanto who led the drivers onto the track, and the young Indonesian wasted no time in setting an early benchmark to go quickest of all in the first few minutes.

Few drivers managed to get close to the Carlin driver’s time, and with 10 minutes of the session gone, Haryanto was over six tenths of a second quicker than his nearest rival.

Haryanto lost the top spot only briefly, after the drivers emerged from the pits with new wet Pirelli tyres. A handful of drivers including James Calado and Marcus Ericsson briefly went quicker, but Haryanto was able to respond immediately to take back provisional pole.

As the session entered the final minutes, several drivers improved, including Chilton who jumped up to 13th. Haryanto continued to hold the top spot however, and despite the rain falling in the final seconds the Indonesian set his quickest sector two time and the quickest sector three overall on his final flying lap.

At the chequered flag, the 19 year-old remained unbeaten to take his maiden GP2 pole position, and Carlin’s second in as many race weekends. Haryanto also takes four valuable points to add to his 2012 tally.

A delighted Haryanto said, “I’m really pleased with the results today. We were quick from the beginning and I’m very pleased for the team; the car was very nice to drive and I could really feel the grip. I was trying to drive as smoothly as possible and not make any corrections or mistakes. I think we were in the right place at the right time with the second set of tyres. I felt the grip fall away on the first set and I think we stopped at the perfect time to set the quickest lap on the new tyres before the rain started to come again. For sure it’s not going to be easy tomorrow, but I will do my best and we will work hard to have a good strategy. We will see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully it will be wet again!”

The GP2 Feature Race will take place at 15.40 local time tomorrow.

Photo by Daniel Kalisz / GP2 Media Service.

Benoit TreluyerAt the height of summer, Benoit Tréluyer has been treated to a torrent of personal firsts, starting at Silverstone and continuing in Moscow. Here, he recounts a week that will be forever synonymous with victory and premieres.

The final week of August 2012 will live long in the memory of Benoit Tréluyer who, in the space of just seven days, experienced a wide range of emotions. His first visit to the legendary Silverstone circuit was a winning one, simultaneously helping Audi score their maiden FIA World Endurance Championship Manufacturers’ crown and scaling the summit of the Drivers’ standings, before the Frenchman’s week of ‘firsts’ was completed with his maiden visit to Russia.

“Honestly, I did not realise that we could claim the title for Audi so soon,” says Benoit, reflecting on seven days that will remain forever etched in his memory. “We arrived at Silverstone with one goal: victory. This title is a logical step for Audi after spending more than ten years at the pinnacle of the prototype category and scoring eleven wins – if you count Bentley’s – at the last twelve Le Mans 24 Hours. It’s also a big ‘thank you’ to Audi for everything the company has done for endurance racing. Without them, the very existence of this world championship could not have been realised. When it happened, the emotions were a little restrained due to the limited numbers of team personnel present compared to Le Mans, because we are still developing the car. It won’t be until the end of the season that we really enjoy and celebrate this title. The championship is won but we are not finished. The goal now is to win the maximum amount we can by the end of the year. Everyone remains motivated and returned from England eager for further success.”

This was Audi’s fourth win of the season following the team’s success at Sebring, Spa and Le Mans. But it was a significant one for the Alençon native who had never won for the Ingolstadt firm outside of the 24 Hours.

“It was an important step for me,” Benoit confirms. “After two victories at Le Mans it’s true that I was keen to do well at other circuits. Alongside Marcel (Fässler) and André (Lotterer) we have been unlucky at races other than the 24 Hours, but Silverstone allowed us to put that right. While luck was not on our side at Spa, it certainly was at Silverstone. I couldn’t have hoped for a better conclusion to my first visit to this legendary track. Silverstone is the type of circuit that you dream of driving around, one that combines the history and individual character you also feel at Spa, Suzuka, Monza or Monaco. I was well prepared, had practiced on the simulator so as not to waste time memorising the circuit, and was not disappointed by the magic of the place.”

After six hours the icing on Benoit’s cake was seeing his name at the head of the Drivers’ world championship, another important milestone in any racer’s career.

“I won the F3 World Cup (Macau/Korea) but I have never been in a position to lead a world championship! Obviously that’s great but we remain focused. With André and Marcel, we have come a long way since scoring so few points in the first race. To take the lead mid-season is therefore very gratifying, but we know everything can turn around quickly.”

That’s especially true after the trio nosed ahead of the other leading Audi featuring Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen. It therefore promises to be an enthralling final four rounds in the race to be crowned drivers’ champions.

“I wish that our main rivals for the drivers’ championship title were from another team, but this is the way it is. We will do everything to avoid the sort of tension that could create a situation. For the moment all is going well. We always work together so perfectly. This cohesion is also what gives Audi such strength, something we must preserve even if, as we approach this season’s conclusion, the pressure inevitably begins to rise. We must be vigilant and ensure that the competition does not disturb this harmony.”

In two weeks the Frenchman’s fight continues at another iconic circuit: Interlagos.

“I have never set foot in Brazil and cannot wait to discover the famous Sao Paulo circuit,” enthuses Benoit. “Once again we are preparing meticulously because the competition will be even higher. We are taking each race as it comes, without thinking that too much is at stake. In order to win a title you must work hard to deserve it!”

In the wake of Silverstone, the double Le Mans 24 Hours winner travelled to Moscow for the Russian media presentation of the Audi S6, S7 and S8, as well as the launch of the new R8 GT Plus. And with that the curtain was brought down on his week of firsts. Next up comes the discovery of Sao Paulo’s famous Samba dance!

To keep up to date with Benoît on and off the circuit please visit www.benoittreluyer.com, follow him on Twitter @BenoitTreluyer and like his Facebook page.

Antonio Felix da CostaCarlin’s GP3 squad enjoyed a quick opening session ahead of this weekend’s penultimate round of the GP3 Series. Turning 21 today Antonio Felix da Costa was the highest placed man for the majority of the session however ended Free Practice, around the wet Spa-Francorchamps circuit, in second position. Alex Brundle remained in the top five for most of the running while William Buller also had a strong showing despite carrying damage to finish 12th in the tricky conditions.

The so-called unpredictable weather at Spa predictably showered the circuit with a rain storm before and during the early morning GP3 session; heading out on a wet track the difficult conditions immediately became clear with John Wartique heavily crashing into the barriers at Eau Rouge. Although fine himself, the damage to the barriers needed a significant amount of fixing which left the session under red flag conditions for 20 minutes.

When the track went green the conditions had improved vastly which saw the times begin to quickly fall – da Costa had been holding the top spot throughout the disruption. Buller was on the pace in the early laps however his car sustained damage which meant he was unable to get the most out of the improving track.

Da Costa kept his car at the top of the timings with two very quick laps in short succession. Team mate Brundle was lying in fourth however the two Carlin men were the first to take the chequered flag; last gasp laps from Tio Elinas and Conor Daly knocked da Costa to second and Brundle to fifth as the session came to a close. Buller held on to 12th place on the drying track.

Reflecting on the disrupted session da Costa said, ‘There was a big crash early on in the session which brought everybody back into the pits. I was the fastest car before the red flag and we stayed there afterwards too however I caught a little bit of traffic in my last two laps so lost the top spot, but I’m feeling confident going into tomorrow.

‘We’ve got to the stage where we know that the car is quick in each session we go out and I really enjoy driving it so I’m looking forward to hitting the track again!’

Photo by Daniel Kalisz / LAT Photographic.

OAK RacingGuillaume Moreau has returned to his home region of Le Limousin after spending the last two-and-a-half months recovering at specialist rehabilitation centre The Arch in Le Mans.

His violent accident at Circuit de la Sarthe during the Le Mans Test Day on June 3 caused severe trauma to his spinal cord that required two operations at the University Hospital of Angers. With the initial rehabilitation now complete, Guillaume will begin a new phase of recovery helped by the sports medicine department, headed by Dr Jean-Yves Salle, at the CHU Limoges.

Guillaume’s speedy progress at The Arch prompted doctors to cut short his stay, allowing him to return home and enjoy everyday life while continuing daily rehabilitation. Indeed, Guillaume is now walking, albeit without full fluidity, driving his car and even succeeded in cycling. The majority of his muscles have recovered their full movement in the timeframe expected by the medical team after his second operation, and in some cases even faster. And while complete sensitivity has not yet returned, the recovery process is continuing to follow a logical course that offers much hope for the future.

All of his energy has gone into this initial step of what will be a lengthy recovery process, but it is now vital that Guillaume spares some efforts while continuing rehabilitation to allow his body time to fully recover. It will only be after this phase that doctors can, at the end of the year, establish a prognosis for the level of ultimate recovery.

Guillaume Moreau, OAK Racing driver: “When I discover that I am not progressing fast enough, and feel that I have reached a plateau, I remember the diagnosis upon arriving at the hospital along with the wheelchair-bound future that had been predicted. But two-and-a-half months later I can walk, which is the first miracle. The aim of the surgeon who operated in Angers, Dr. Lucas, was to afford me an opportunity to get back in a racing car. December offers me a new target, when the first verdict will be given. I know that the road is still long and uncertain but I have the same objective as the surgeon. An accident like mine leads to much thought and awareness of, in particular, the question of safety which unfortunately requires accidents of this nature to take place in order for further advances to be made, but the passion is still there. I have also remained in very close contact with my team OAK Racing, with whom I have on-going exchanges.

“In the meantime, I am very happy to be back home and amongst familiar surroundings again. I will start rehabilitation at CHU Limoges, and in parallel can regain fitness thanks to my osteopath Patrick Jouhaud and my physical trainer Sophie Roulaud. Both have followed me for years and know me well. Theirs will be valuable support during this new phase, which might put my patience to the test!”

Jacques Nicolet, President of OAK Racing: “I am delighted that the quality of care he has received and his temperament as an elite athlete allowed Guillaume to shorten his stay in Angers and Le Mans, and return home sooner to Le Limousin, a region that matters so much to him. There he will rediscover on a daily basis emotional and sporting surroundings that will help aid his recovery. I also have great admiration and confidence in his fighting spirit that we see in life and on-track. Since the start his will has not ceased to surprise us all, including the nursing staff that have had to make a special effort to adapt to the extraordinary will of a patient who they have had to force to relax! He has demonstrated that the competition is not solely confined to the track and that current results suggest every outcome is still possible. For Guillaume this is the most important endurance race of his life and I know that whatever happens we will continue to team-up with him.”

Photo by Alexis Gourre.

Rupert Svendsen-CookDouble R Racing is delighted to confirm multiple Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series race winner Rupert Svendsen-Cook will drive for the squad during the eighth event of the season next weekend, 8th/9th September, at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in Northamptonshire.

Marking the Ipswich 21-year-old’s first appearance of the year in British F3, having finished fifth in the championship in 2011 with two victories and a total of nine podiums to his credit, the talented Briton will pilot the Mercedes-powered Dallara F312 previously raced by Malaysia’s Fahmi Ilyas.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have done a deal with Rupert to race with us at Silverstone”, said Double R Racing principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “He’s a very quick driver, a proven winner in F3 and fantastic to work with – we can’t wait to get out there next weekend.

“In testing last week Rupert was fast and liked the car so we’ve got high hopes for three strong races from him. The deal is currently just for Silverstone but we’d obviously like to run Rupert to the end of the season and also at Macau. We’re confident he’ll put Double R back where we should be.”

After one season in Formula BMW UK and two years in Formula BMW Europe, Svendsen-Cook graduated into British F3 in 2010 and made a sensational series debut at Oulton Park by winning only his second race. He went on to conclude his maiden campaign seventh overall.

Due to budget limitations he has only contested two races so far in 2012, in the European F3 Open, but starred on his maiden weekend in the category with a podium finish at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in mid-July. In the meantime, while not actively competing himself, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star has been working closely with Double R during the year as a driver coach.

Australian duo aiming for strong continuation to rookie season
Double R regulars Geoff Uhrhane and Duvashen Padayachee will continue their rookie F3 campaigns at Silverstone next weekend, in the International Class and National Class respectively, and the two ever-improving Australians will be aiming to continue that trend.

The team’s best result of the season so far, fourth place in round 15 at the Norisring in Germany, came courtesy of 21-year-old Uhrhane and while facing a massive step from Formula Ford into the aerodynamic-driven world of Formula 3, the Gold Coast driver has shown his undoubted potential.

Padayachee, meanwhile, has won five races in the National Class so far in his maiden season and will arrive at Silverstone second in the championship, just 34 points shy of the lead. Like his compatriot, the 22-year-old from Sydney has developed strongly throughout his debut season in Formula 3 and will be keen to add to his victory tally next weekend at the wheel of his Dallara Mugen-Honda.

“Geoff and Duvashen have both improved massively since the start of the season, and we’ve been making big steps forward with the car as well, so we’re very positive ahead of Silverstone”, said Hieatt, “Year one in F3 is always a huge learning curve but they’ve both done a great job so far.”

Following officially timed testing at Silverstone next Friday, 7th September, qualifying and round 24 of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series will take place at 10.40 and 15.15 respectively on Saturday, 8th September. Rounds 25 and 26 will follow on Sunday, 9th September, at 10.30 and 16.15.

2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series Driver Standings (after Rd23):
11th Fahmi Ilyas, 48pts; 12th Geoff Uhrhane, 30pts

2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series ‘National Class’ Standings (after Rd23):
2nd Duvashen Padayachee, 297pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Irish racecar driver Peter Dempsey will travel to Baltimore, Maryland this weekend for the penultimate Firestone Indy Lights race of the season. Following a tremendous turnout last year, the series is returning to the two mile, 12 turn street course for the second ever Grand Prix of Baltimore event. Dempsey, 26, conquered the challenge of the new course last season to qualify second for the race, missing the pole starting position by a hair. The Irishman ultimately finished ninth after encountering multiple challenges throughout the hour-long race.

Dempsey will return to Baltimore this weekend piloting the No. 9 TruFuel/Belardi Auto Racing car fresh off his most exciting race of the season in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. In a spectacle reminiscent of the 2011 St. Petersburg season-opener, the delightfully dicey driver charged his way from fifth to first on lap one, proceeding to lead the field for eight laps before a gearbox issue forced him to retire. After coming that close to his maiden victory in the series, Dempsey is fiercely dedicated to fighting for a win for Belardi Auto Racing and TruFuel at this weekend’s Baltimore Grand Prix.

“I’m really excited to be heading back to Baltimore this weekend,” stated Dempsey. “Last year, Baltimore was one of the best weekends of the year with it being a sold out event, so I’m really looking forward to having the fans come back in the gates and support the No. 9 TruFuel/Belardi Auto Racing car!

“Coming off a solid few races with the team, I feel like we have really shown what we can do. We are heading into the weekend with a lot of confidence that we can be competitive, we have really established a good relationship and everyone is working hard to get the best results for the team. I was fast last year and just missed out on pole in qualifying, so I really hope I can bring that speed back to Baltimore this weekend. It’s a little sad knowing that this is the last street course of the year and that the season is coming to a close, but I’m really looking forward to 2013.”

Though the Baltimore Grand Prix only marks Dempsey’s fourth ever race with Belardi Auto Racing, he and the team have gelled quickly and already proven they are among the top competitors in the Firestone Indy Lights Series. This weekend will also be the final street course of the season, one circuit style on which Dempsey thrives. Those factors combined with his thirst for a long-awaited victory in the series make Baltimore a highly anticipated event for the series standout.

The weekend will commence with a 45-minute practice session on Friday, August 31 followed by another practice session and qualifying on Saturday, September 1. The Firestone Indy Lights race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports on Sunday, September 2 at 12:30 pm EST, and live timing and scoring will be available on www.racecontrol.indycar.com.

For more details about the Baltimore Grand Prix, please visit www.raceonbaltimore.com.

To follow Peter’s progress, please go to www.indycar.com and www.peterdempsey.com.

Alexander RossiA mixed weekend at Silverstone saw Arden Caterham’s Renault 3.5 driver Alexander Rossi fighting towards the top of the grid, demonstrating the progress that Alexander and the team have made over the recent summer break that puts them in position to fight for race wins throughout the rest of the season.

After a successful first qualifying session, which ended with Alexander P3, the team felt confident for the weekend ahead with a car that was consistently on the pace. In race on Alexander had a fantastic start to take the lead but the rain soon began to fall. Alexander and Arden Caterham chose to stay out for one more lap before pitting for wet tyres but unfortunately the weather deteriorated significantly, claiming a number of victims in race one with standing water at turn 7 forcing Alexander and eight other drivers off track and ending their races early.

Saturday Qualifying One
Best time: 1:57:571
Qualifying Position: P3

Saturday Race One
Best time: 2:08:667
Finish position: DNF

Sunday Qualifying Two
Best time: DNQ – Mechanical
Qualifying Position: P25

Sunday Race Two
Best time: 1:44:417
Finish position: P5

The impact left Alexander’s team with only a few hours to repair his car in time for the second qualifying session but despite their best efforts he Alexander was unable to take part in qualifying for race two, leaving him to start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid in P25.

On Sunday Alexander drove an exceptional second race, gaining twenty positions and finishing in fifth place, securing ten more valuable points for his team.

Alexander Rossi: “On Friday we used a new engine after first practice and immediately found we were on the pace, ending the session three tenths off the leader. “Going into Saturday we were feeling very inspired and in a position to challenge for the front row in the first qualifying session. The morning qualifying was wet and we knew we had good pace in the wet and finishing third in qualifying and recording our second row two start since Monaco gave us great confidence for the weekend. For the race itself, the weather was dry as we lined up on the grid, but very variable as it started spitting rain as soon as the race began. Almost everyone was still on slicks as the track became increasingly wet on lap two and then at the start of lap three I took over the lead when Bianchi pitted for wets, however I was still able to find grip and pace on the dry line and using DRS the car felt great. The team and I decided to pit the following lap for wets if the weather deteriorated but when I arrived in turn 7 there was a massive amount of standing water, and under braking I hit a large puddle and eight other cars and I went off and into the barrier.

“This weekend the race format was different to normal with only four hours between Race One and Qualifying Two which meant that we were really pushed for time to get the car back up and running after the off. The team worked incredibly hard to get me out again, but we just didn’t have time and as I couldn’t take part in second qualifying I was then at the back of the grid for Sunday’s race.”

“For Sunday’s race the pressure was sort of off. Starting from the back of the grid meant I’d have the chance to overtake as many cars as possible and have fun doing what I love. My opening laps were good and I passed quite a few cars, but I got held up in traffic around lap six which allowed some of the leaders to break away which was obviously a little frustrating. However, once I was in clear air I could push. I used quite a bit of DRS in the middle stint running quick laps, so the last ten minutes of the race I was running quite low on DRS and beginning to lose the tyres so my aim was just to maintain position. When the guys ahead started fighting I saw there may be opportunities and I waited for them to make mistakes, which they did, and I ended up crossing the line in fifth which is a good result all things considered.

“Overall the car was very good and the team has proven throughout the entire weekend that we have a quick race car in various conditions and can now challenge for wins in the final races of the season. It’s a huge relief to know we can go to Budapest with the potential to fight for race wins, and work our way back up in the championship.”

Julian Rouse, Sporting Director Arden Caterham:
“Following the mid-season private tests we were pleased with the results from Friday’s free practice and feel we’ve really made a big step forward with the car. Although Alexander’s engine needed replacing following the first session on Friday, he and the car performed well during the second session and it was good to have two cars in and around the top six of the grid.

“In qualifying we felt comfortable in all weather conditions and although it was wet, the session went well and Alexander was competitive throughout. He put together his best lap towards the end, which is particularly difficult to do on these tyres as they generally only last for one or two laps, so he did brilliantly to qualify third on the grid.

“Race One was frustrating due to the typically changeable weather conditions of Silverstone. Everyone started the race on slicks, however it began to rain just one lap into the race, which made strategy very difficult for all the teams. As a group we took a decision on tyres that we felt comfortable with at the time, however the weather conditions deteriorated very quickly, more than we had anticipated. Unfortunately Alexander found himself in a situation on track where the conditions were simply un-drivable and it’s a real shame as he was looking extremely competitive and leading the race – obviously this also meant that we were the first car to come across the standing water at turn seven.

“In the crash Alexander didn’t do too much damage to the car, but as he was hit by a number of other cars there was substantial damage to his gearbox and engine. Despite the best efforts of the team, and due to the fact we only had a few hours to turn the car around ahead of the second qualifying session, we were unable to fix the car in time and had no choice but to continue working and start from the back of the grid.

“Race Two was an excellent result for everyone and it was truly deserved for the team. We had both cars in the top five, regularly posting fastest lap times and that was extremely pleasing for everyone. Alexander drove an absolutely fantastic race, very measured but also very decisive when he needed to be and he took every opportunity given. To come from 25th to 5th is an absolutely outstanding achievement and it really shows that the team has made good progress with Alexander’s help and support. He now has a competitive car and the opportunity to really showcase his talents, exactly as he did in today’s race.”

Isaac TutumluThe Spanish driver of Kurdish ancestry, after the summer break, is approaching a new meeting of the Porsche Supercup series at Spa-Francorchamps. The Ardennes-based track is a historical venue in motorsport and weather usually plays a key role.

Isaac Tutumlu is taking part next weekend in a new meeting of the Porsche Supercup, a championship celebrating its penultimate venue of the season at Spa-Francorchamps and once again with a strong entry list attending. Spa-Francorchamps is always a long-awaited event for every driver and for Tutumlu isn´t an exception. “I like spa-Francorchamps a lot, and fortunately I know it from recent years. In spite of it´s a long layout I´m almost sure that it´s going to be a closely-fought meeting with minimum gaps”, the FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport explained, adding that “we´ve repaired the engine after the problems hitting us in Hungary. There it had an oil leak, and I hope it perfectly works in Belgium. Spa-Francorchamps is very demanding for the engines, so a good one is very important and our results are depending on that”.

Also the Catalunya´s driver said that “the weather is usually very unpredictable at Spa-Francorchamos. Anyway I don´t think it´s going to be any sort of problem for me, because I´m competitive in rainy conditions and it could be an advantage even. My main aim is to increase my race pace as soon as possible on Friday. It´s worth mentioning that other drivers have raced during August the same Porsche Supercup, but my last time with the car was a month ago in Hungary. Anyway I feel confident because everybody at FÖRCH Racing is going to try his best to achieve good results”.

Finally, and from now on, Agencia CROA is going to manage Tutumlu´s motorsport career aiming for a clear target: to reach the highest possible level in motorsport. “I´m pleased working with Agencia CROA, because they will help me to improve faster my motorsport career towards the top. Currently the economic crisis is a big problem, with its experience being a boost for us”, Tutumlu finally explained.

At Spa-Francorchamos, free practice session is scheduled on Friday with qualifying session and race on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Bruno BonifacioBruno Bonifacio is currently leading the Formula Abarth International Series at his second year in the championship with Prema Powerteam. After having fought his way with team-mate Luca Ghiotto, he’s ready to fight for the big prize in the final stint of the season starting from Imola. As he prepares to go back on-track, he stopped by to answer a few questions.

Did you expect to be on top in standing at this point of the season?
“Honestly, yes. I worked really really hard this winter in the Formula Toyota Series in New Zealand and in testing, so we knew we would have had great potential and a real chance to fight for the top spots during the season”.

You will be battling with your team-mate Luca Ghiotto in the final few races. How is your relationship?

“We have a pretty good relationship and we have been used to work with each other since last season. We exchange information in testing and even though we fight on-track, there are absolutely no issues between us”.

Do you have team orders at Prema?
“We’re free to battle each other and definitely there are no team orders. I always try to play as clean as possible though, because making stupid mistakes between us would hand our rivals a great advantage. They are not that far from us in terms of the championship”

Do you see other potential contenders for the 2012 title other than Ghiotto?
“Costa is older than us and also has a lot of experience. I don’t expect him to back down easily. I noticed that Urrutia has been making big steps forward in the last few races. It’ll be a tough battle down the road to the final part of the season”

Did you already set some goals for the rest of your career?
“First of all I want to stay 100% focused on the Formula Abarth championships, and then I’ll think about the future. In the next few years I want to progress without overreaching myself. I learned a lot recently but I’m young, I’m still 17 and I’ve plenty of time to manage my future”.