Skip to content

Driver Database News

The latest news from the world of racing

Archive

Archive for October, 2012

Evans Motorsport Group + Greg Murphy RacingLeading Formula Ford outfit Evans Motorsport Group has finalised its merger with 2010 Dunlop V8 Supercar Series Championship winning team Greg Murphy Racing.

The merging of the two proven and well-resourced organisations will ensure that the restructured team continues to be competitive in both Formula Ford and the Dunlop V8 Supercars Series in 2013 and well into the future.

EMG team owner Josh Evans was delighted to confirm the formalisation of the merger and announced that leading corporate executive and company director David McAdam has been appointed as Chairman of the group.

“David is a highly experienced company director with a strong background in managing engineering and technical organisations and has supported the group in this strategic development,” Evans said.

“He has been instrumental in completing the financial structuring for the merger and garnering the backing of the current team members and supporters.

“With David’s appointment as Chairman we have created an even stronger corporate and management team and a secure financial platform and with the combined infrastructure we now have an exceptional base for the long term success of our drivers and employees.”

The team will operate from the current GMR premises, which includes a state-of-the-art engineering facility and a fully equipped engine building and dyno shop. The key personnel at GMR will remain after the merger and GMR team boss Kevin Murphy will also stay on and act in an advisory role to the Board of Directors.

The new team will create an enduring pathway in talent development by creating a seamless transition from their Formula Ford program through to the V8 Supercar Series.

New Chairman of EMG, David McAdam is looking forward to his new role and buoyant about the future of the organisation.

“With the combination and passion that comes from the merger of the two organisations and the strong cultural alignment of the teams we are confident that current and future EMG drivers will be a force to be reckoned with in the Australian motorsport field,” McAdam said.

Plans for the 2013 season are well progressed with leading 2012 specification V8 Supercars and technical alliances being secured, locking in the team’s technology advantage for the long term.

Shahaan EngineerRacing as part of a grid of drivers where 95 percent of the competition had at least two years of track experience in cars, Mumbai-born Shahaan Engineer enjoyed an amazing debut season in single-seaters in the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC).

Finishing the campaign as the highest placed car racing rookie, the 17-year-old Indian driver was seventh overall in the championship standings – from more than 50 entrants – in the category’s most competitive year since its inception.

His tremendous run this year was all the more impressive when considering European Formula Renault is the toughest single-seater class at 2.0-litre level and over the last couple of years, for drivers of requisite ability, it has also proven to be the penultimate stepping stone to Formula One.

Shahaan demonstrated clear natural talent and speed in his rookie season, with the highlight of a maiden pole position and double podium finish all coming in one weekend. At the opening event, Shahaan stunned the paddock with a top three qualifying performance, from 39 drivers, at the Hockenheimring in Germany, at which point he was just 16-years-old and the youngest driver in the series.

The major highlight of the year, though, came at Zandvoort in The Netherlands where, soon after he had celebrated his 17th birthday, the Fortec Motorsports driver took his first ever pole position with a storming lap before adding a magnificent set of back-to-back podiums.

Ending the season with a top five finish at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, from 36 drivers, Shahaan’s efforts were all the more impressive as he was one of only two drivers to have never tested or raced at the circuit previously. In addition, he had the pressure of having to learn the seven kilometre track and its many corners during the 15-minute qualifying session.

Proving no obstacle to the youngster, he made his way forward from 16th on the grid to end the race in a lofty fifth position. Finishing the year just a few points shy of the coveted championship top five, he regularly punched above his weight by outperforming numerous second and third year drivers.

“After an amazing season in the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup with Fortec, I really want to take the chance to thank again the whole team – especially Ben Salter my race engineer and Jack Howard my mechanic, for providing me with a perfect car all season”, said Shahaan, “With my first year behind me, I really am looking forward to 2013.”

While Shahaan would have relished the opportunity to race in the MRF Challenge series, which began at the weekend as support to the FIA Formula One World Championship’s Indian Grand Prix, the first two events clash with his post-season Formula Renault 2.0 testing schedule in Europe.

Keep up-to-date with Shahaan’s latest news at www.shahaan.com follow him on Twitter @ShahaanEngineer and also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ShahaanEngineer.

Photo by Chris Schotanus/Essay Produkties.

It is definitely not being the best time of the year in the SUPER GT championship for Andrea Caldarelli. After the issues experienced at Autopolis, the Pescara-based man suffered from bad luck again at Motegi, as a differential issues stopped his run on lap 25. In the recent collective test held at the venue, the 22-year-old Italian had proved in tin-top form by ending up in 2nd, but once back running for race weekend, the car did not respond like the LEXUS TEAM KeePer Kraft expected. After a tough practice session, Caldarelli could not do better than 12th in qualifying which, on the other hand was an improvement from the latest round at Autopolis.

In qualifying, the team found a good way to set-up the car with the dry but conditions changed on Sunday as the Honda-owned circuit was hit by the rain. Caldarelli drove the car at the start as usual and recovered from 12th to 7th in prohibitive conditions, highlighting his car control skills. TEAM KeePer Kraft decided for a late stop to enable him chase the sister car of Team Tom’s, but the aforementioned differential problem forced Andrea to the sidelines as well as team-mate Yuji Kunimoto, who couldn’t even get behind the wheel.

Andrea Caldarelli
“I’m a little bit sad for how the race ended up. We haven’t had reliability problems during the season but this time, in the final round, a differential issue stopped our race, which could have brought us some really positive results. I think that points would have been in our frame as we demonstrated in the middle part of this season. There have been a lot of great results in 2012 as both the team and I proved able to work in the right direction. Despite the fact that I was a rookie, I managed to deliver the engineers with some valuable feedback in order to solve the problems we had on the wet at Autopolis. That was also thanks to the support of Bridgestone. The season is over, but luckily I will be back driving my LEXUS SC430 in November’s Fuji Sprint Cup. We can’t wait to be getting the rewards we missed here at Motegi”.

En su primera participación este año en la Copa de España de Resistencia el piloto madrileño cuajó una gran actuación en el Jarama, tanto en la Clase 1 con el SEAT León Supercopa compartido con Jaime Carbó como en la Clase 2 con el Hyundai Coupe con Raúl Castilla como compañero. Precisamente en la Clase 2 subieron por partida doble al podio en la clasificación Coupe.

José Manuel De los Milagros ha cuajado un gran fin de semana en el Circuito del Jarama, el trazado donde se ponía el punto y final a la temporada 2012 de la Copa de España de Resistencia, un certamen en el que participaba por primera vez este año el doble campeón de la Clio Cup española. De los Milagros era de la partida en la Clase 1 con un SEAT León Supercopa inscrito por RCA Racing, donde compartía las labores de pilotaje con Jaime Carbó, y también en la Clase 2 con un Hyundai Coupe junto a Raúl Castilla.

Con el SEAT León Supercopa, y emulando las grandes actuaciones cuajadas en 2011 por De los Milagros, cuando se impuso en la carrera de Montmeló del CER además de ganar su categoría en las 24 horas de Barcelona, era noveno y octavo en la primera y segunda sesión de entrenamientos libres respectivamente, con unas mejores vueltas de 1:45.278 y 1:44.551. En los entrenamientos de clasificación, disputados también durante la jornada del sábado, el madrileño marcaba un fantástico 1:42.196 que le ponían quinto en la primera sesión mientras su compañero Carbó con un 1:47.677 calificaba en la séptima línea de parrilla. En la primera carrera, donde De los Milagros tenía la responsabilidad de tomar la salida, la dupla de RCA Racing estuvo entre los ocho primeros en todo momento llegando a rodar incluso en posición de podio absoluta justo antes de ceder el testigo a Carbó, quien llevaría el coche a meta en duodécimo lugar. Para la segunda, Carbó realizaba el primer stint emontando varias posiciones en las primeras vueltas. Cuando De los Milagros se subía al coche, el SEAT León Supercopa del madrileño era uno de los más rápidos en pista, siendo finalmente séptimo de la clasificación.

“Estoy muy contento, porque cuajamos una gran actuación durante todo el fin de semana. Especialmente quiero destacar la actuación de Jaime, que mejora cada vez que sale a pista y que rayó a gran
altura en ambas carreras. La competencia era durísima, puesto que tan sólo nuestro coche y otro de los SEAT León eran especificaciones Supercopa. Pese a ello, y algunos problemas con las pastillas de frenos durante las dos carreras del domingo, terminamos en sexta posición de D5 en la segunda prueba e incluso Jaime pudo vencer en la clasificación Juan Fernández”, comentaba al finalizar el día el experimentado piloto de turismos.

Con respecto al fin de semana en la Clase 2, la experiencia fue también sumamente positiva. En los entrenamientos libres la sexta y octava posición hacían ser optimistas de sus posibilidades posteriormente en los entrenamientos oficiales y las carreras. Con un tiempo de 1:50.487 de los Milagros ponía el Hyundai Coupe en noveno lugar y como el mejor de los coches coreanos, pero sin embargo los comisarios anularían los tiempos de ambas sesiones por repostar fuera del periodo establecido para ello. Saliendo desde la última posición en ambas carreras, la dupla de pilotos madrileños terminaría décima y decimoséptima en las dos carreras, mientras en la clasificación de los Coupe fueron primeros y terceros.

“Ha sido un placer, como en el caso de Jaime, compartir coche con Raúl. Ha tenido una progresión muy buena todo el fin de semana, rebajando en dos segundos su mejor tiempo por vuelta. Las dos carreras nos obligaron a atacar al máximo, después de que nos anulasen los tiempos de entrenamientos y saliésemos últimos en ambas. Redondear nuestro trabajo subiendo al podio en la clasificación de los Hyundai fue también un excelente premio a nuestra actuación”, concluía diciendo De los Milagros.

Ryan VerraThere are those who are wired for speed and Ryan Verra readily admits he’s one of them.

“It’s a craft like anything else, except you’re going a lot faster,” explained the Calgarian. “Your heart beats at 170 beats per minute. It’s a stressful time and the fear and the adrenaline is what keeps you sharp. But you have to stay calm, so it’s kind of a back and forth thing.”

Verra, an entrepreneur trained in mixed martial arts, is most interested these days in improving his status as race car driver. This past week, he was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — the sport’s mecca — taking part in the Mazda Road to Indy Test in order to impress the folks at Afterburner Autosport so that he can join that team for the upcoming USF 2000 season, which begins in March 2013.

“They invited me to come down and I wanted to take the opportunity for USF 2000, which is a step to Indy Car,” he noted. “I put in 20 races this year and hope to do the national class in 2013.”

Last season, he caught a ride with TTM Racing for the Formula 1000 championship series.

“I’m just moving on to something faster, bigger audience, bigger crowd,” Verra, recently turned 30, noted. “There’s nothing like it. It gets your brain going, even after a race, you start thinking different, things are sharp. I’m not married; I don’t have kids, so I’m able to pursue something like this. It’s good to have a goal for motivation . . . the speed is kind of addicting.

Read more at Calgary Herald.

Photo by IMS Photo.

Irish racer Ryan Cullen is the latest signing to the 2013 Toyota Racing Series. The 21-year old racer is coming south with his sights set on some tough competition on challenging, unfamiliar circuits and will contest the TRS championship with New Zealand-based team M2 Competition.

Cullen says New Zealand’s home-grown premier race series has gained a reputation in the northern hemisphere for being a place where rising race stars can hone their race-craft and sharpen racing skills in a short but intense five-week, fifteen race format. After showing early promise in karting, Cullen arrived in the British Formula Ford series this year and fought his way through to sixth in his rookie appearance with three podium finishes along the way.

With that series now complete, Cullen aims to race with Status GP in the GP3 Championship next year. He is engaged in a series of track tests in other categories which – along with his TRS campaign – will help define the next step in his northern hemisphere racing career.

“I am doing four days of official post-season GP3 tests with Status GP this week at Jerez in Spain and will continue in Portugal in early November. I have done two days British Formula 3 testing, with more planned in late November and early December, and then it’s into TRS in January,” he says.

Cullen will be joined by the 2012 Toyota Racing Series champion, Nick Cassidy, who is also testing for Status this week at the Jerez GP3 session.

With the northern hemisphere circuits closed for winter, Cullen says he is looking forward to the Toyota series and the intense racing experience it offers. He knows he will have to arrive as prepared as possible with a competitive mindset.

“Coming from the northern hemisphere I am relying on completing some limited simulator work to get to know the circuits. I know I’m going to have to get to grips with that fairly quickly and be prepared to learn quickly. I am going down to NZ because I know it will be tough. You never get an easy win in the southern hemisphere in any competitive sport,” he says.

Graduates of the 2012 TRS have made quite a name for themselves in UK and European championships this year and the endorsements of some of these racers helped drive his decision to commit. In particular Jordan King and Josh Hill enthusiastically recommended TRS to Ryan and his father Patrick, who will also travel to New Zealand for the series. Cullen’s GP3 tests are with the Status GP team, which has strong links with Mark Pilcher and Jonathon Moury of M2 Competition. Pilcher says for Status, the opportunity to see drivers placed in a high-pressure short-duration championship during the northern hemisphere winter is invaluable. M2 Competition has confirmed it is planning to run five cars in the 2013 championship.

Toyota Racing Series category manager Barrie Thomlinson says the 2012 series delivered young racers like Ryan into a range of championships in Europe and the UK and many of them have gone on to produce some impressive results.

“We welcome Ryan onboard and hope that he enjoys his TRS experience and his time spent here in New Zealand as so many have over the past eight years. We are extremely proud that several of last year’s international and local competitors have already confirmed they will return which is a fantastic endorsement of the benefits the series has on offer.

They will be joined by a new group of talented young rookies with some exciting announcements to follow in the coming weeks, and of course we are always keen to talk to all interested drivers about TRS,” says an enthusiastic Thomlinson.

Fresh off the back of the final round of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Carlin’s race winning team remain in Barcelona for two days of official testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. Joining the team will be 2012 British Formula Three International Series team mates Jazeman Jaafar and Carlos Sainz Jnr. Both drivers had a strong year in the junior category with Vice Champion Jaafar coming close to clinching the title during the final round of the season.

The past season has seen the team tackle the challenges of a brand new car with two rookies at the helm in the form of Kevin Magnussen and Will Stevens. Carlin now look ahead to this week’s first post-season test in Barcelona just days after the conclusion of the 2012
Formula Renault 3.5 Series, where both Carlin drivers took strong points in Saturday and Sunday’s races.

Malaysian racer Jaafar spent the 2012 season competing in the British Formula Three International Series where a strong year – which saw him take three British F3 wins and 15 podiums – ensured that he finished as Vice Champion. Going into the final weekend Jaafar was still in with a shot at winning the title however after three close fought races he missed out by just 13 points to his Carlin team mate Jack Harvey. Jaafar has tested the previous generation of World Series machinery however this will be his first taste of the new generation Formula Renault 3.5 car.

Having also competed in British F3, Carlos Sainz’s race packed year has seen him eligible for points in a total of three championships. Sainz spent the year combining his British F3 programme alongside the F3 EuroSeries and the FIA European Formula Three Championship – taking podiums in all three championships along the way. However tough competition and bad luck during the races led to a difficult year for the Red Bull Junior. This will also mark Sainz’s first time testing the more powerful new generation FR3.5 car.

Looking ahead to testing the car, Jafaar said ‘I’m really looking forward to driving the new car, I’ve tested the old generation Formula Renault 3.5 car and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. The car has a lot more power and downforce than the previous one and even more so than the British Formula Three car.

‘I’m looking forward to continuing with a team where it feels as though I’m testing with family.’

Sainz Jnr added, ‘It’s going to be great to test such a fast car for the first time. I’ve spent the year working with the team so I know how well they work together. It’s my home track and I’m in a great car so what more could I want? I’m going to enjoy the test but most of all learn as much as I can.’

Archie Hamilton has received a late call-up to drive for Konrad Motorsport this weekend in the inaugural City Challenge GT Race. The 21 year old from Basingstoke will drive a Porsche 911 GT car in a Porsche 911 GT3 car for the event held on a closed street circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan. Baku, the capital city, is located on the west, Caspian Sea, coast.

Saturday sees a thirty minute sprint race for each of two drivers separated by just 20 minutes for any repair while on Sunday there will be a 60 minute race with a driver change and compulsory tyre change. Archie’s partner is yet to be confirmed but is expected to be a driver with significant Porsche driving success.

The City Challenge GT driver line-up includes ex F1 and CART racer Jacques Villeneuve, Le Mans winner Jos Verstappen, DTM champion Bernd Schneider. Other Brits driving are expected to include Nick Tandy and Rob Bell.

Archie’s team for the weekend, Konrad Motorsport, is owned and run by Franz Konrad and has a long and successful career including winning the Porsche Supercup title and prides itself on being a private team that has established itself as competition for major manufacturer-backed squads.

Archie Hamilton: “This drive is a fantastic opportunity and a real surprise to get a call from one of the top Porsche teams in the world. I’m very grateful to Franz Konrad for having faith in my abilities. It is a real honour to be driving for such a prestigious team. I hope to learn a lot from them and repay them with a strong performance. The track will be new, but that will be the same for everyone. My aim is to be mentally ready so that I can make the most of every bit of practice to learn the track and car to the best of my ability in the time we have.”

The races take place on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th October.

Maxi PrototypeDue to requests from several European teams competing in the thriving CN prototype category, the organizing committee of Maxi Endurance 48, in collaboration with the Spanish Automobile Federation, will authorize a new category for CN prototypes. These vehicles must conform to Art: 259 Technical Regulations for Production Cars Sport CN 2013. with the exception of the fuel tank capacity which will be limited to 45 litres for the 48h event.

This means that now the fight for outright victory in the 48h, is also open to these exciting sports protptype. Considering the speed potential of the CN in respect to the Maxi GT category, the organizing committee has made the decisión to limit the capacity of the fuel tank of the CN cars to ‘level the playing field’. This new category will be called MAXI PROTOTYPE.

For more information on the MAXI ENDURANCE 48H please visit http://maxiendurance48.com/ or contact press@maxiendurance48.com.

Lucas OrdoñezLucas Ordonez, is a Spanish driver with an international racing career, and is used to participating in the best endurance races around the world. He speaks about Maxi Endurance 48.

Hi Lucas, as a driver with experience in endurance racing, what do you think of Maxi Endurance 48?
L.O. The first time I heard about Maxi Endurance 48, I thought this was going to be crazy! If 24 hours of racing are demanding, 48h will be extremely challenging for both the team and for the mechanics. I love challenges and thrills, so for that reason I believed and supported this project from the beginning.

Would you like to participate in a challenge like this and why?
L.O. I would love to for various reasons. For several years I have been an official Nissan driver competing in the most prestigious international races (Le Mans, Nurburgring 24h, Dubai, Spa24h …) and this race would be an amazing experience and a challenge . Teamwork during 48h race is the key and that’s what I like.

What do you like most about this race?
L.O. The first thing that attracts me is that the race is going to be held in Spain. In the 4 years competing for Nissan I have never competed at home and it would be very special. The atmosphere will be unique, the number of drivers per car, the mechanical challenge attracts me a lot and the strategies. The driver´s costs are another incentive to participate, with more drivers, costs will be shared, so among the prizes and a lower cost than a 24h race, make this race very attractive worldwide.

Lucas OrdoñezWhat do you think would be the best strategy?
L.O. The strategy will be as in any other endurance race but doubled, the tyres and fuel consumption. Above all it will be important to take good care of the mechanical aspects of the car. Navarra´s circuit will be very demanding on the brakes for example, so the team with fewer pit stops for replacement of parts will be favorite.

Do you think the mechanic of the car is a handicap or with a proper care, it does not have to be a problem?
L.O. In endurance we always say that “anything can happen in 24 hours.” Everything depends on the way of driving, to measure the life of the parts to function properly. The more you work on your car to know and understand how does it works, it will be the car to beat.

I imagine you have talked to a lot of drivers and teams about Maxi Endurance 48? What is the feedback from people in the industry?
L.O. 48h??? Its amazing! That’s what some international drivers told me. For a driver it is a fantastic opportunity.

Lucas, tell us about your plans in the short and medium term.
L.O. As you know I am Nissan official driver since I won the Nissan GT Academy in 2008. This year I have competed in four 24h races (Dubai, Nurburgring, Le Mans and Spa). Besides I am test driver in Delta Wing. And I also compete in ELMS with Nissan LMP2 Greaves. I drove in the WEC 6h at Silverstone with Martin Brundle and now I am at Petit Le Mans (USA) driving the Delta Wing.

Thank you for your time and hope to see you at Maxi Endurance 48.
L.O. I hope and encourage all who love motorsport and endurance, to try this very special and unique event. I am sure that the challenge and the prize money will attract many drivers, this is what we need, incentives like this to make the race profitable for the best in each category!

About Lucas Ordoñez: Lucas, competed for several years in the National Karting but after several years competing he could not find the budget to continue his career. In 2001 he left competition behind to focus on his studies. After several years of inactivity, he joined the GT Academy with PlayStation 3. Out of 25,000 participants from all over Europe, he managed to win the European final held at the British circuit of Silverstone.

After winning the GT Academy. He joined Nissan as official Playstation driver, driving in the 2009 24h of Dubai and the FIA GT4 European Cup where he finished second. In 2011 he finished second in the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After a busy season he took the drivers ILMC title in the LMP2 class.

For more information on the MAXI ENDURANCE 48H please visit http://maxiendurance48.com/ or contact press@maxiendurance48.com