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Archive for September, 2012

Isaac TutumluImportant meeting for Isaac Tutumlu with teams and manufacturers taking part in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters competing in Valencia this weekend. The Spaniard driver of Kurdish heritage is working on his chances for joining the series in coming years.

Isaac Tutumlu keeps working on his professional motorsport career for the forthcoming years and, after participating recently in the Porsche Supercup, World Touring Car Championship and, two weeks ago, in the Endurance Trophy IberGT, he has travelled this weekend to Valencia. But this time he isn´t racing but to meet the main manufacturers and teams from Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, one of the most important motorsport championships around the world. Tutumlu, who posted the fastest lap ever for a Porsche-built car at Circuit de Valencia two weeks ago, keeps improving his career achievements step by step.

“This weekend is really worth for my professional career, even when I´m not racing this time. My development as a racing driver is steady and more and more teams are watching me. In Valencia I have a number of meetings with current manufacturers and teams from DTM. It´s an attempt to know better this championship, one of the most important ones now,. Maybe only Formula 1 is catching more attention nowadays”, Tutumlu said, adding that “there are three very strong manufacturers officially involved: Mercedes, Audi and BMW. And there are prospects indicating that it is getting even stronger in the future”.

Tutumlu, who is 27 years old, finally explained that “I have no doubts DTM is one of my goals, and I would like to join the series. Now it´s the moment to work as hard as possible and then consider our options in two or three years time. I am backed by Kurdistan, my sponsors and Agencia CROA, and everyone is very important for me. I appreciate their effort and to tell them I´m going to try my best to be successful in motorsport”.

Jack Harvey has closed the gap in the championship standings with a dominant win for Carlin in race one of the weekend at Donington to jump to second in the points table. The Racing Steps backed driver took a lights to flag victory ahead of team mate Jazeman Jaafar who retains the championship lead by one point. Pietro Fantin put in an impressive performance to finish sixth, while Harry Tincknell crossed the line in eighth.

Starting from pole position, Harvey made the most of his grid slot and made the perfect getaway and was followed of the line by Jaafar, while third placed man and championship rival Felix Serralles dropped back from third to fourth behind Alex Lynn. Fantin lost one place to Hannes van Asseldonk and dropped to sixth, while Tincknell had held onto eighth.

Over the opening laps, Harvey managed to pull out a small gap, while Jaafar initially had Lynn in his mirrors. Fantin was also having to defend, with Pipo Derani putting him under pressure for sixth. Derani passed Fantin on lap two, but the Carlin man stayed close to the Fortec driver in a tussle that would prove the highlight of the race.

The order remained unchanged for several laps, as Harvey pulled out a three second gap on his team mate and Jaafar managed to ease the pressure with a gap from third placed Lynn.

Behind them Fantin was keen to make back sixth place, and was close enough to Derani down the straight to try a move at Redgate on lap 14. The Carlin driver couldn’t quite make a move stick though, and bided his time, slotting back into sixth place. On lap 16, Fantin’s perseverance paid off as he passed his compatriot for sixth place, while team mate Tincknell had also closed in on Derani.

As the race entered the final stages Harvey had opened up a healthy gap and was controlling the race at the front, while Jaafar was managing to keep Lynn at bay. Released from behind Derani, Fantin was flying and pulled away from the Fortec driver to set the third fastest lap of the race, while Tincknell was still running in eighth.

At the chequered flag Harvey took his sixth victory of the season by four seconds, Jaafar took a solid second place to maintain the championship lead by one point. Fantin crossed the line sixth and Tincknell eighth.

Speaking about his win, Harvey said, “I thought that was an important race to win, I know that sounds obvious but after Silverstone it was nice for me personally to go out there and do the job and eliminate any doubts people may have had. The team couldn’t have done any more, it was a great race. It’s a good result, but there’s still two more races to go and the reverse grid race will be very important, as it has been all year.”

Harvey pulled the number eight out of the bag for tomorrow’s reverse grid race, meaning Tincknell will start from pole, Fantin will start third, Jaafar seventh and Harvey eighth.

Jack Harvey has shown his intentions ahead of this weekend’s Cooper Tires British F3 championship battle by taking pole positions for race one and three of the weekend at Donington. The Racing Steps driver will be joined on the front row for race one later this afternoon by Jazeman Jaafar, whose second fastest lap was second quickest. The Malaysian was third fastest overall, putting him third on the grid for Sunday’s Feature race, while Pietro Fantin was fifth overall and Harry Tincknell sixth.

Despite some grey clouds overhead, conditions remained dry for this afternoon’s qualifying session. Jaafar, Tincknell and Harvey were all pace setters in the very early stages of qualifying, until Fortec’s Serralles went quickest ten minutes into the session.

Harvey was one of the first drivers to pit for new tyres with 20 minutes still remaining and entered the pits from P2 on the timing screens. Tincknell also favoured a similar strategy pitting just as Harvey returned to the track. Points leader Jaafar meanwhile stayed out longer than his team mates, and instead pitted with 15 minutes still to go.

Making the most of his new tyres, Harvey was soon back up to pace and took provisional pole just 0.005 seconds quicker than Serralles with 12 minutes to go. Jaafar was still a few laps behind him in his tyre cycle and remained fourth overall.

Running a similar strategy to Harvey, Tincknell was on the pace and went quickest, but Harvey bettered his time with his next lap. With eight minutes still on the clock Jaafar improved, as did Fortec’s Alex Lynn to go second and separate Harvey and Jaafar on the timing screens.

In his Racing Steps Foundation liveried car, Harvey was still improving and went quicker again to confirm his place at the top, while Jaafar was third and Tincknell fifth although the Devon born racer was in the pits with suspected damage. Fantin meanwhile was seventh.

As the tyres passed their optimum level of performance Harvey’s effort would remain unbeaten, with the Carlin man setting several laps good enough for pole. With the drivers fastest laps overall setting the grid for race three, Harvey will take pole with Jaafar just behind him in third. Fantin improved in the final stages and will start fifth while Tincknell will start sixth.

With driver’s second fastest laps setting the grid for race one later today, Harvey will again take pole, alongside team mate Jaafar in second, Fantin in fifth and Tincknell in eighth.

Reflecting on his session Harvey said, “It’s a good start for us, it’s nice to bounce back after the controversy of Silverstone, having won the appeal and to take two poles here. I’m focussing on carrying that momentum into the races. Obviously this is just the first part of the story, but we’ve done the best we could so far.”

Team mate Jaafar added, “There’s still some room for improvement but we’re pretty close. There’s three long races ahead of us. I’m just taking it one race at a time. We’ll see where we are at the end.”

Race one of the weekend will take place at 17.10 later today.

It was a day of severe weather and dramatic conditions for Carlin’s Formula Renault 3.5 team as they undertook both a wet qualifying and race with Kevin Magnussen and Will Stevens in Paul Ricard today. The early morning qualifying session was delayed due to bad conditions which also blighted this afternoon’s race; however Magnussen made his way up the field to finish sixth while Stevens had another great start to finish the race just outside the points in 11th.

The early morning qualifying session today was delayed as the track was deemed too wet and windy to drive on. The session did get underway however it was called to a halt with the conditions not improving. The order of the day was to get a quick lap in early in the session, unfortunately yellow flags and track conditions made getting the optimum lap very difficult.

As qualifying progressed the track became greasier as it dried giving very few opportunities for drivers to move up the grid. However Stevens was one of the few who was able to, and he took the flag in 18th position. Team mate Magnussen had been lying in the top 10 for the majority of the session however as the times fell he took the flag in 13th.

With just a few minutes before the race began the weather took another turn for the worse with rain falling over the circuit. A quick change to wet tyres before heading to the starting grid and both Magnussen and Stevens were ready for what was inevitably going to be a tricky race.

As the lights went out both drivers had good starts and handled the ever changing conditions well. By the end of the first lap Magnussen had made his way up to ninth and a quick starting Stevens was in 11th. However as the race continued the track developed further with the positions at the front of the grid changing on a lap by lap basis.

For Magnussen and Stevens they were able to hold their positions in the race well. However in the final few minutes the rain fell heavier again seeing a couple drivers spin out of their positions and fall down the grid. Magunssen benefited from this and a great overtaking move on a struggling Robin Frijns saw him make up another position to come home in sixth. Team mate Stevens was just outside of the points after another strong race to finish 11th.

Kevin Magnussen said of the day’s action, ‘Qualifying was a little difficult for us this morning and I was disappointed to not have been higher up the grid. My start wasn’t the greatest however those around me lost positions and I could take the advantage and take places in the first lap. Towards the end of the race Robin [Frijns] was struggling so I was able to take a further position from him. It was a case of not taking any risks and just settling into the rhythm to take a good finish and more points.’

Team mate Will Stevens added, ‘Qualifying was tricky for everyone today – we hadn’t driven here in the wet and I didn’t get a lot of running yesterday anyway. The race was tough; I had a good start which I’m pleased with but the conditions were difficult despite the pace being good. Towards the end when the rain fell heavier it was a case of just concentrating on bringing the car home.’

Takuma SatoTakuma Sato will make his sports-prototype debut with OAK Racing at the FIA World Endurance Championship rounds in Asia this October when the team returns to the LMP1 class following its switch to Honda Performance Development engines.

Now contesting the IndyCar Series with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Sato is best known for an F1 career that spanned 92 appearances between 2002 and ’08.

And the 35-year-old Japanese ace has now been lined up to contest the WEC’s final two rounds at Fuji (13/14 October) and Shanghai (27/28) aboard the Onroak Automotive designed and built #15 OAK/Pescarolo LMP1, which is now powered by HPD’s proven AR6-LMV8 powerplant.

The team’s regular LMP1 drivers Bertrand Baguette and Dominik Kraihamer will also return to the car’s cockpit alongside Sato in Asia after completing the British, Brazilian and Bahraini rounds aboard the #35 Morgan 2012 LMP2.

Sato drove the car during a shakedown at Magny-Cours circuit in France yesterday (Thursday) where the new HPD engine and OAK LMP1 chassis were tested together for the first time. A further full day of running is scheduled for Friday when Sato will have more time to familiarise himself with the car.

While the majority of OAK Racing’s staff are currently in the Middle East for this weekend’s Six Hours of Bahrain, the LMP1 team will use their time in France to thoroughly evaluate the new prototype package, which includes an optimised aerodynamic set-up for the long straights at Fuji, before travelling to Japan where a further test session is planned for October 10.

Takuma Sato: “Working with OAK Racing is an opportunity that has really excited and motivated me. I’ve spent my entire career racing single-seaters and obviously the LMP1 feels different to those, but my initial impressions are very good and I am thrilled by this whole new experience. I’ve known Seb [Philippe] for a long time, since he was racing in Japan actually, so it will be great to work with him again and that gives me a lot of confidence in the team.

“Thursday was only a shakedown of the OAK-HPD LMP1 package but everything went to plan. As well as the new engine the team has an updated aero package to evaluate, so there will be plenty of work to get through on Friday and then during testing at Fuji on October 10. I’ve got a lot to learn before the race but I am really looking forward to the weekend and seeing the very enthusiastic Japanese fans. The team will receive a great following there and it will be fantastic to race in front of my home crowd again.”

Sebastien Philippe, Team Manager: “I am delighted that Taku will be joining us for the Asian races. We first met in 2000 when we were both F3 drivers for Honda so I have first-hand experience of just how quick and talented he is. On top of that he’s a really nice guy to have around the garage so I have no doubts that he can make a significant contribution to the team and our LMP1 programme.

“As for the shakedown, everything has so far run smoothly. The Design Office has worked very hard to adapt the car in preparation for installing the HPD engine. We are all looking forward to seeing the results in Fuji.”

Photo by PAB/Bernard Bakalian.

OAK RacingLate efforts from both Olivier Pla and Dominik Kraihamer helped OAK Racing lock out the second row of the LM P2 class grid for round six of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Six Hours of Bahrain tomorrow.

The team had high hopes of picking up their second pole position of the WEC season after topping all three free practice sessions, but eventually had to settle for third and fourth places behind the Starworks Motorsport HPD and ADR-Delta Oreca-Nissan.

Pla had been quickest in final practice earlier today but required a late flying lap of 1m52.368s to move the #24 Morgan-Nissan 2012 LM P2 up to third on the grid, a time just 0.083sec shy of the front row. From there the Frenchman, along with team-mates Matthieu Lahaye and Jacques Nicolet, will be hopeful of notching up a second podium in as many races following their third place finish in Brazil.

Meanwhile Kraihamer, who set the fastest time in practice two last night, was a constant threat at the top of the timesheets but also required a late flying lap as others around him improved. In the end the Austrian finished less than 0.3sec behind Pla in fourth. He, along with Bertrand Baguette and Alex Brundle, will now be looking to make up for the disappointment of missing out on a near-certain second place at Interlagos with another strong drive tomorrow.

Sebastien Philippe, Team Principal: “Considering our free practice pace we are a bit disappointed with the qualifying result. The team made no mistakes and both drivers were excellent but the Starworks car was too far away today. Having said that, second place was definitely possible. P3 and P4 is much better than our recent qualifying form though so we’re well set to take advantage of our fast and consistent race pace tomorrow.”

Olivier Pla, #24 Morgan 2012 LM P2: “I was expecting a bit more to be honest. It took me a long time to bring the tyres in, which is why the car was quicker towards the end of the session. Most of this race will be run in the dark and last night we had great consistency and pace throughout the stint, so P3 isn’t such a bad place to be starting.”

Dominik Kraihamer, #35 Morgan 2012 LM P2: “I concentrated on finding a rhythm and was able to steadily work down to the quick final time. I know there’s more pace in the car as I wasn’t pushing 120% due to my inexperience here. I’m starting the race tomorrow and am confident that we have excellent consistency over our longer runs, so a good result is certainly possible.”

The Six Hours of Bahrain begins at 16:00 local time tomorrow.

Photo by Clement Marin/DPPI.

It was a day of mixed fortunes for Carlin’s Formula Renault 3.5 team in Paul Ricard today during collective testing in which Kevin Magnussen was the man to beat during the afternoon session, lying near the top of the time screens throughout the hour and a half test. However team mate Will Stevens found his afternoon disrupted after an engine related electrical problem left him sidelined and unable to complete a flying lap.

As the day’s running got underway Magnussen was forced to sit out the first 20 minutes following a post-race penalty handed to him last time out in Hungary however a red flag period during this time also brought the rest of the field into their respective garages. Stevens, who had already been out on track and set a handful of flying laps, joined his team mate in the garage before re-taking to the track and lying in 23rd place as the times began to fall.

When Magnussen was able to join the track he quickly began to move his car up the order however a right rear puncture briefly brought him back in to the pits. With the damaged tyre replaced he was then able to put in a flying lap to place him in 11th before dropping to 13th place as a second red flag period disrupted the session. In the latter stages Stevens was laying down rubber in the pit box and completing the test schedule in ahead of the rest of the weekend.

With Magnussen back on track he once again began moving up the order as the time began to count down, and when the chequered flag fell he crossed the line in fourth overall; while team mate Stevens was 25th.

For second practice Magnussen was once again immediately on the pace, his first flying lap was quick enough to see him head the field and stay there for the opening laps. Stevens however was unable to make his way out on track after an engine related electrical problem left him in the garage while the team worked to resolve the problem.

Meanwhile Magnussen was still making great progress and getting faster with each lap. Despite briefly losing position to Alexander Rossi, Robin Frijns and Antonio Felix da Costa the Carlin man was quick to take the place back in the last 10 minutes of the session where he stayed as the days running came to an end.

Stevens, who had spent almost the whole afternoon test in the garage, was able to get back out on track with just a few minutes to go however as a result he was unfortunately unable to set a flying lap during the session.

Reflecting on the day Kevin Magnussen said, ‘We had a good pre-season test here earlier in the year so we knew that the pace would be good. Overall today was a good day for us, we were quick in the morning session despite not completing a lot of laps and in the afternoon we were fastest to begin with and we were able to keep getting faster as we continued.

‘We’re looking likely to see rain this weekend but I’m hoping for a dry qualifying session tomorrow because I’m feeling confident with where the car is after today. Overall, I’m feeling good heading towards the rest of the weekend and I’m keen to get the win I missed out on in Hungary!’

Charlie RobertsonOnly four races now stand between Charlie Robertson and his bid to claim the 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship title and ahead of rounds 17 and 18 of the season at Silverstone next weekend, 6th/7th October, the series leader is focusing on maintaining his excellent run of consistency.

With five straight podium finishes from the last five races, including three victories, the 15-year-old has opened-up a 23 point advantage at the top of the driver standings and as the championship fight reaches crunch-time, Charlie knows continuing the recent momentum will be crucial.

“So far, the second half of the season has been really strong for us and we’ve scored a lot of points but it’s still pretty close in the championship and one bad result could change everything”, said the Whyteleafe-based youngster, “I still intend to go out there at Silverstone and try and win both races but the main thing is to keep finishing on the podium and picking-up as many points as we can.”

At Silverstone’s 1.64-mile National Circuit last year, which hosted the final event of the 2011 season, the HHC Motorsport driver enjoyed podium success on his way to securing the Vice-Champion’s spot in the title standings at the tender age of 14.

One year on, the Investigo and Ria Capital Markets-backed youngster has his sights set one place higher and two more podiums next weekend would go a long way to putting him in a strong position ahead of the season finale at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on 20th/21st October.

One important factor going into the final four rounds of the campaign will be the impact of ‘drop scores’ with each driver having to deduct their weakest two results from their final totals. Charlie currently has 28 points to subtract which means his ‘net’ lead is slightly reduced to 17 points.

“Silverstone is going to be so important”, added the Caterham School pupil, “We need to try and maintain the lead we’ve got and if we can increase it then that’ll be even better. I’m sure the championship will go down to the final race of the season and with drop scores as well you’re never sure what’ll happen.

“We know we’ve got a good car and we were competitive at Silverstone last year so I’m feeling confident and really looking forward to it – it’s always one of the biggest race meetings of the year with great crowds. Hopefully we can keep our good momentum going.”

Following officially timed testing on Friday, 5th October, free practice will take place at 10.25 on Saturday, 6th October, with qualifying at 14.45 and round 17 scheduled to start at 17.05. Round 18, which will be screened live on ITV4, in High Definition on ITV4 HD and streamed live online at the www.itv.com/btcc website, will take place on Sunday, 7th October, at 13.45.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd16):
1st Charlie Robertson, 432pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Daniel LloydWith only four races remaining in the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship, Daniel Lloyd is focused on gaining as much experience as possible during rounds 17 and 18 of his maiden season at Silverstone next weekend, 6th/7th October, after a tough event at Rockingham last time out.

Remaining in Northamptonshire for the penultimate race meeting of the campaign, the Huddersfield 20-year-old is looking to bounce-back strongly and aims to use the final four rounds of the championship as a positive springboard into the 2013 season.

Having become a race winner in his first year of sportscar action, the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholar has certainly shown he has what it takes to be a consistent front-runner in the series and going into the two Silverstone races he is sixth in the championship, 23 points clear of his nearest pursuer.

“I’m looking forward to Silverstone, especially as Rockingham was so disappointing, and I’m hoping we can just have two consistent races and pick up some good points”, commented the TNT Post, TSD, Creechurch Private Wealth, Propack and TPA Yorkshire-supported racer, “It’ll be important to bounce back strongly so hopefully it’ll be a smooth weekend for me and the team.”

Daniel, of course, will be the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholar in 2013 as well after the manufacturer took the unprecedented step mid-season of choosing to extend its hugely successful scholarship into a two-year programme for the first time. Therefore the West Yorkshireman is focused on continuing to learn as much as possible during the remainder of his rookie year.

“It’s important to keep gaining as much experience as possible, you always want to go into the winter off the back of some strong results to keep the confidence high”, he added, “It’s been a good season overall and the main thing now is to consolidate that over the last few rounds. I really want to use the Silverstone races, and the final ones at Brands Hatch, as a real springboard into next year.”

Officially timed testing for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship’s visit to Silverstone will take place next Friday, 5th October, with qualifying for rounds 17 and 18 following at 12.55 on Saturday, 6th October. Race one of the weekend will begin at 09.00 on Sunday, 7th October, with race two, which will be screened live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD, set to get underway at 15.45.

Follow Daniel on Twitter @Daniellloyd23 and for the latest news visit www.daniellloydracing.com

Photo by Malcolm Griffiths.

Facundo RegaliaArgentina´s driver, after clinching his first victory in the series at Hungaroring, is going to Monza next weekend, where his goal is to repeat similar performance at the wheel of his Dallara F312 fielded by Campos Racing.

Facu Regalia will take part at the penultimate round of the European F3 Open in 2012, a meeting scheduled at Monza next weekend. The Argentine driver is back to the seat of his Dallara F312 lined up by Campos Racing after winning his first race in Formula 3 earlier this month during the meeting in Hungary. His resounding victory there is boosting his morale for next round and he is looking forward to fight for pole positions and podiums once again and in this way to improve his 5th place in the overall classification.

“We´re approaching next round really motivated, both Campos Racing and me. Finally we managed to claim that win what a wish long time ago, and we weren´t able to get it until then. In Hungary everything perfectly worked and there are four races left, and we will try our best to repeat in the remaining events starting at Monza. This venue is a really quick one, demanding low drag and downforce levels, and I´ve been competitive there since my debut in motorsport”, Regalia explained. He added that “maybe Monza is an easier track to overtake other cars. So your starting grid position isn´t as important as Hungaroring for instance. But we are focused on completing two good qualifying sessions and then to fight for two strong results in both races. Our win at Hungaroring proved as well that our work is being quite good and help us to continue working in the same direction. On Friday we want to check how fast RP Motorsport drivers are, because they have been pretty competitive at tracks such as Spa-Francorchamps or Paul Ricard. Anyway we are ready to face the challenge”.

There are three free practice sessions scheduled on Friday at 09.00, 11.30 and 14.55 respectively. Q1 is taking place at 10.25 on Saturday with race one starting the same day at 17.10. Finally, on Sunday, Q2 starts at 09.00 and race two is set to begin at 12.45. Both races, showed live on www.f3open.tv, consist of 16 laps.

Follow everything concerning Facu´s career in motorsport, please check his profiles on Facebook and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Facu-Regalia-2010/286971396026 and @facuregalia.