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Category: Karting

MuizzuddinIt was definitively a bitter sweet weekend for Muizzuddin Musyaffa Abdul Gafar, who missed the podium finish in the first round of WSK Champions Cup at the Muro Leccese’s “La Conca” circuit.

11-year-old Malaysian emerged as one of the fastest in the 60 Mini class. He set the sixth time in the qualifying – with 44 drivers on track – 0.196 down the lap record. Muizz claimed the second place in the first heat, then finishing sixth in the second, but moved to the back of the grid when he came wide with the slick tires at the first bend and went off in the last Saturday manche, due to the wet/dry conditions.

Recovering to third in the pre-final race, the young Gamoto Racing team’s driver continued in good shape, eventually scoring the fourth final place.

The next and last WSK Champions Cup round is scheduled in less than a week on the same Italian track.

Liz HallidayLiz Halliday will make her Autosport International Karting Challenge debut later this week (Friday 10 January) as part of the only all-female team to contest 2014’s event.

Halliday, the most successful female driver in American Le Mans Series history, is a regular visitor to the Autosport International Show thanks to her British Women Racing Drivers Club (BWRDC) commitments but has never taken part in the three-hour endurance race, which is held annually at the NEC in Birmingham.

Five of Britain’s fastest ladies will line up alongside Liz in a team that features Alice Powell, Zoe Wenham, Jamie Chadwick, Tiffany Chittenden and Louise Richardson.

A total of 25 entries will vie for the Dan Wheldon Karting Trophy in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, a cause close to Liz’s heart.

“This will be my first time contesting the Autosport event, and when I was told money raised would benefit the Alzheimer’s Society it wasn’t something I could turn down,” confirmed Liz. “My late father, Don Halliday, who was a great racing driver in his time, sadly suffered with the disease for many years, so I have first-hand experience of its debilitating effects. Yes, the race will be a bit of fun for everyone involved but, for me at least, it will have an added dimension.”

As well as contesting this year’s race, Halliday will also be appearing on the BWRDC stand during Saturday morning’s Gold Stars award ceremony, which recognises the club’s outstanding young talent.

“This will be my sixth year as a Gold Stars mentor and during that time the club has gone from strength to strength,” added Liz. “It’s great to see so many talented women drivers competing well and getting recognised, and that’s something we’re hoping to prove a bit more during Friday’s kart race.”

Any members of the public wishing to take part can still reserve their places by contacting Baz Scott: 07971017737.

For more information about the event follow @DWKartingTrophy on Twitter and like www.facebook.com/DanWheldonKartingTrophy. You can donate to the Alzheimer’s Society by visiting www.justgiving.com/dan-wheldon.

Chris DymondGT and sports car ace Chris Dymond takes an impressive 2nd place on karting return nearly 10 years after he left the sport.

Dymond’s return to karting also marked his debut outside of the traditional 100cc classes in which he competed for 12 years throughout the UK and Europe.

For this one off event Dymond competed in the 250 National class which use a motorcycle engine and gearbox. Known as “super karts” these machines are capable of reaching speeds exceeding 150mph and will out accelerate a Formula 1 car to 100mph!

Competing with the Jade karts team for the weekend, an outfit run by the father of Dymond’s team mate during his championship winning 2010 season in the Radical UK cup, Dymond was quickly up to speed, finishing 2nd and 3rd in the heat races proceeding the final.

Dymond lined up in second place on the grid for the final with team mate and multiple British champion Ross Allen third. A poor start by Dymond saw him drop right down the order as the pack headed to the first corner. However Dymond embarked on an incredible come back drive and by lap 4 of the 12lap final was already back into the top three and catching the second placed kart, five laps from end Dymond was up to second but leader Allen was some 8 seconds ahead leaving Dymond to bring the kart home in an impressive 2nd place on his debut.

“This was something I’ve always wanted to do, watching them was always impressive but driving them is something else! I didn’t really know what to expect, I knew they’d be fast but the sensation when you put your foot down is just incredible and it just keeps going! I’ve had a great time this weekend to come away with a trophy is nice but the performance was great especially having been away for so long. I think I oiled up at the start and it just bogged down but carving back through the pack was really fun. Big thanks to Mark (Allen) for the opportunity, we’ve spoken about doing this for a while since I raced with Ross in the Radical in fact, and when the chance came up I jumped at it” Commented Dymond after the race.

You can follow Chris via Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter: @C_Dymondracing
Facebook: www.facebook.com/chrisdymondmotorsport
For latest news www.CHRISDYMOND.co.uk

Photo by Pixelero

MuizzMuizzuddin Musyaffa (Gamoto Racing Team) could not hope for a better outcome at the end of the first two days of competition. The young Malaysian talent today finished second in both qualifying heats, raced for the second round of the WSK Master Series which is taking place right now at the International Circuit of Naples, in Sarno.

The Asian boy, driver in the 60 Mini, made up of an uncertain Friday. Muizz, in fact, performed well in the qualifying, scoring the second fastest time and being the first of his group. Then, however, the result suffered from two contacts during the first heat, finishing sixteenth. This result affected the overall performance.

Tomorrow (Sunday), in fact, in the pre-final, Muizz will start from the sixth row (eleventh) of the grid.

Photo by cunaphoto.it.

At the final round of the DAMC Karting Championship, three young drivers walked away with the coveted DAMC Formula Gulf 1000 Young Driver Award. This entitles them to a test drive with GulfSport Racing, the region’s premier racing team.

Rotax kart racers Alexandre Silanine, Piers Pakenham-Walsh and Philippe Valenza were awarded a fully funded test drive in a Formula Gulf 1000 single seater racing car which will take place on April 7th afternoon at the Dubai Autodrome.

Valenza had won the Final, Pakenham-Walsh crossed the line in second place and Silanine was third. Post race, Pakenham-Walsh was excluded as his transponder had fallen off his kart. Nevertheless, all three extremely talented young racers have been given the opportunity to experience life in the fast lane.

Formula Gulf 1000 operates as a world-class driver development series and has attracted many of the best young drivers from the Middle East and South East Asia including Caterham F1 Academy driver Wei Ron Tan.

With the 2013 Formula Gulf 1000 Championship concluding on the 29th March, GulfSport are organizing a non-championship event which is open to experienced racers looking to try a single seater race car on 18/19th April at the Dubai Autodrome. Details on request from info@gulf-sport.com

Muizzuddin MusyaffaMuizzuddin Musyaffa Abdul Gafar is ready for an other exciting weekend, in the International “Andrea Margutti” Trophy at the Lonato track, Italy.

The youngster Malaysian driver, after having scored his first sensational podium in the WSK Euro Series last Sunday claiming the 2nd place, aims at the top again in 60 Mini.

The event, promoted and sanctioned by Parma Karting, will feature more than 200 international-level drivers from many different countries, ready to succeed in the roll of honour to Giancarlo Fisichella and Robert Kubica, winners of the 1990 and 1999 editions.

The 24th “Andrea Margutti” Trophy will officially kick-off on tomorrow, Friday 8th March, with the timed free practice.

RampantChristine Moss has motorsport at heart. Her father is none other than multiple motorsport champion Terry Moss so it is perhaps fitting that she has a good understanding of what South African motorsport is about and what kart racing needs.

To get the ball rolling she has launched a extension to her Design, Marketing and Promotions Empire thus being Rampant Rok, an initiative to grow and promote karting in South Africa. She looked beyond borders and embarked on an initiative to bring foreign drivers to South Africa.

Less than a week before the opening round of the Engen Supa Kart National championships at Port Elizabeth on 02 March she sent out an invite around the world. The idea was to host a few drivers in round 2 of the Engen Supa Kart championship in Cape Town. However with less than 48 hours before race day she received a phone call from Singapore where it was suggested that they should also compete in the opening round.

Miss Moss is not one to pass up an opportunity and within 24 hours she had her first driver approved by motorsport authorities in both countries and on a plane to South Africa; the pressure was on. Now, with only 13 hours until touch down, she needed a team set-up to house and run Morghan Loganathan. In typical Moss tradition, not only did she do it, but she took it a notch higher than the norm.This is a line that stands out when I think of Christine. “Woman can multi task and oh boy can she; setting up a team, running a team, organizing, promoting and running an event, it’s not a task for the faint hearted.”

At midday on Thursday Morghan and multiple South African & World kart champion Wesleigh Orr landed in Port Elizabeth and were whisked off to the circuit. It was raining and the kart was set up for the wet and to accommodate the lanky Singaporean. From the outset the foreign driver showed courage by wanting to head out on slicks.

Much to Moss’ amusement she found this entertaining until she realized he was deadly serious. “Are you kamikaze? was her first thought! Nonetheless he duly headed out on wets, proving promising to the eye, differently fearless, and setting a pace that, had it have been a race, would have netted second place.

Friday dawned dry and he had to get used to the dry track. By Saturday, he was exhausted but managed to hang in there.

Race 1; he botched the start, not realizing the circuit is altered for the start, however he caught up and hung on to the pack.

Race 2; this time he quickly moved up the order but fell back after a mistake only to repeat the process.

Race 3, he had a steamy start making his way to the front bunch. A bit of argy-bargy saw him get knocked back but undeterred; he made his way up but lost out again.

All in all he achieved what he came here for. He learnt an immense amount, and hung onto the premier class. Most of all he enjoyed racing in South Africa and was impressed with the high standards.

On Sunday, he sampled South Africa’s legendary wildlife with a visit to the lion park where he had opportunity of playing with lion and tiger cubs.

This is just the start, there is more install for round 2, Christine sure has heads rolling for round 2, her vasbyt, determination and a vision to succeed, is proving worthy with the world knocking on her door, a week in and 3 countries already in her bag , she is pulling strings fast to make space for more.

Lotus F1 Junior TeamLotus F1 Team is proud to announce its roster of drivers for the newly launched Lotus F1 Junior Team. The seven drivers announced today will be supported by the team in all areas of driving skills, physical fitness, health and nutrition, social and mental development, business ethics and principals, as well as PR training.

The seven drivers will contest within a variety of motorsport championships from the World Series by Renault Formula Renault 3.5 Series through the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 to KF category karting.

Eric Boullier, Team Principal, Lotus F1 Team;
“Lotus F1 Junior Team takes our previous i-Race Professional young driver academy and builds on it to be more closely aligned with the Formula 1 team and all the benefits brought by this association. We have announced seven highly talented drivers, many of whom will be competing against their fellow team-mates from the programme. We’re offering an in-depth and highly beneficial training regime which should encourage these drivers to develop and perform at their very best. Motorsport can be very daunting for young drivers, particularly everything that occurs away from the track, so we hope to give our drivers the very best preparation possible for their future careers.”

The 2013 Lotus F1 Junior Team
Marco Sørensen, 22, Denmark, FR 3.5 with Lotus World Series Team
Marlon Stockinger, 21, Philippines, FR 3.5 with Lotus World Series Team
Alex Fontana, 20, Switzerland, GP3 with Jenzer Motorsport
Oscar Tunjo,17, Colombia, Eurocup FR 2.0 with Kaufmann Racing
Esteban Ocon, 16, France, Eurocup FR 2.0 with ART Junior Team
Alexander Albon, 16, Thailand, Eurocup FR 2.0 team TBA
Dorian Boccolacci, 14, France, Go Kart International KF category with Energy Corse

Q&As with the 2013 Lotus F1 Junior Team Drivers

Marco Sørensen – Denmark – World Series by Renault

How did you come to be involved with the Lotus F1 Team Junior programme?
At the end of 2011 I was contacted by Gravity Sports Management and the Charouz team to take part in a World Series by Renault test. The deal was that I had to be quickest for them to take a closer look at me which was tricky as it was a big step up from Formula 3, so it’s great to be here and I think this association with the team can only be good for my career in terms of exposure to the top levels of motorsport.

What are your targets for this season in World Series by Renault?
I had some bad luck last year where mechanical issues ended my race whilst in the lead which meant P5 in the championship when it could have been more. At the end, it all comes down to results; if you don’t perform then you won’t progress, so I’m hoping for a bit more good fortune this year and am looking forward to taking on a new challenge with the Lotus F1 Junior Team.

Marlon Stockinger – Philippines – World Series by Renault

How significant is joining the Lotus F1 Junior Team programme to your career?
It’s a great feeling to be associated with such a prestigious team. If you look back through the years as Benetton and Renault you can see that this team knows how to win championships, so to be surrounded by that heritage is a big honour for me. I really want to make the most of it and am looking forward to wearing the team colours with pride.

It’s a big year for you making the step up to World Series by Renault; what are your thoughts heading into the season?
Of course, every driver wants to win, but I understand it’s a big step moving into a new category so learning is the most important thing. Starting with testing, I need to take in as much as I can and from there it’s all about consistency and building a strong platform to progress through the ranks. I’m aiming to make a good start and develop as much as I can as the championship progresses.

Alex Fontana – Switzerland – GP3 Series

Being part of the Lotus F1 Junior Team must be a big boost to your ambitions?
Definitely! I haven’t been part of a management programme before and it’s always tough for a young driver to find the backing and experience to help you progress. Being part of Lotus F1 Junior Team will definitely help to give me those things and it’s great to have people really behind you, pushing you to do the best you can. I’m really looking forward to the season ahead.

This will be your first full year in the GP3 Series; what are you looking for from your debut season?
I competed in a couple of races last year alongside the FIA Formula 2 championship and managed to take P4 in Spa, so I have had a good introduction to the championship already. This year the cars have changed slightly and will have a bit more power so it’s not going to be an easy transition, but my aim is to prove my ability over the course of the season and hopefully move on to the GP2 Series or World Series by Renault next year. If you want to get into Formula 1 – which is the ultimate target for any young driver in single-seater categories – then these are the ideal stepping stones to the top level.

Oscar Tunjo – Colombia – Formula Renault 2.0

What does being a member of Lotus F1 Junior Team mean to you?
It’s a big motivation. Just being at Enstone, walking around the factory and learning from all the team members who have such huge knowledge of their respective areas is fantastic. On top of that, I’ve been working with people who have coached so many world class drivers over the years and their experience is something that has made a big difference to me already. It’s a privilege to be part of the team.

You’re competing in Formula Renault 2.0 for the third year in 2013; what’s the aim for the season ahead?
I had a solid start in 2011 but 2012 was a tough year for me, so now I’m even more determined to come back and push for the championship. I feel like I have all the elements in place to make a strong challenge, so my goal is to be consistently at the front of the pack in every session; taking podiums and hopefully as many wins as possible along the way. My motivation is higher than ever to perform as part of the Lotus F1 Junior Team programme.

Esteban Ocon – France – Formula Renault 2.0

How does it feel to be part of the Lotus F1 Junior Team?
I’m familiar with Enstone having been with the Gravity Sports Management programme for the last four years, but it’s great to be associated with a team at the top level of motorsport. I’m trying not to think too much about the link to Formula 1 as it’s important to focus on what you are doing now and not look too far into the future, but I think for any young driver that must be the ultimate goal.

You’ll be taking on the Formula Renault 2.0 series for the second season in 2013; with your debut done and dusted, what would you be happy with this year?
Winning the championship has to be the goal; even if I can’t win every race, I want to be one of the drivers at the front all the way through the season. Last year I learned that consistency is the key, so my aim is to be up there fighting from start to finish.

Dorian Boccolacci – France – KF2 Karting

You’ve been coming to Enstone since the beginning of 2012; how have you enjoyed it so far?
It’s great to be part of the team; being at the factory is a real experience and to be surrounded by people who have worked with the best drivers in the world means I have the best people to learn from. Seeing what another French driver, Romain Grosjean, has achieved with the team has also been a big inspiration to me and so to be part of the setup at Enstone is a big thing for me.

You’re competing in the KF2 World Karting Championships this year; what are your aims for the year ahead?
The goal is always to win, and if you can’t win every time then to pick up the maximum points possible through the year is the most important thing. I managed to break into the top five in the World Championships last year, so the target is to be right at the front this season.

Alexander Albon – Thailand – Formula Renault 2.0

What does the Lotus F1 Junior Team programme mean to you?
It’s great to be a part of this programme. Being at the factory in Enstone is an amazing experience and I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from my time there. Hopefully this will give me an even better chance to progress over the course of the season and put me in good shape for the future.

You’ll be tackling Formula Renault 2.0 for the second year in succession in 2013; what’s the plan for the season ahead?
Last year was a very tough one for me, so I’m almost thinking of this as my first real season. The first step will be to improve my consistency and take regular points finishes. With that baseline I’ll then be looking to push towards the top five, the podium and eventually race wins, but the priority is to take things step-by-step and develop a good solid platform to progress. Last year didn’t give me much of an opportunity to see where I stand, so I’m really looking forward to being able to show what I can do.

Max ChiltonMax Chilton’s former karting boss says Marussia’s new star will shine. Now the countdown to the first F1 Grand Prix of 2013 has begun, Max Chilton’s former karting boss is toasting his former protégé’s graduation to the Marussia race seat.

Steve Armstrong, owner of the hugely successful RL Racing Department team, guided 21-year old Chilton from his formative days competing in club events at Buckmore Park, right the way through to podium success in Europe.

“I am absolutely thrilled for him,” said Armstrong speaking from his HQ at the internationally renowned PFi circuit in Lincolnshire. “Max thoroughly deserves his opportunity. Even as a youngster he was very focused about where he wanted to be ultimately and he dedicated himself to achieving it. Now he’s done it and I am really proud of him.”

The pair first started working together in 2002, when Armstrong worked for the Scholartech outfit. From these early beginnings, Max progressed from Cadet into Junior TKM and a year later he dovetailed TKM with JICA. It was in the latter class that he really began to make a name for himself, as Steve recalls: “I remember the Champions Cup race in Rome was one such highlight. Max won the first final and took 2nd in the following race. He completed the year as a seeded driver in both the Super One classes and as a works Maranello driver.”

Aged 14, Chilton moved to the T-Car championship for two seasons before switching to the British F3 series.

“Education played a big part in his life. So Max didn’t quite do the same amount of racing that many of his contemporaries did. His beating many of them to an F1 race seat highlights his ability. I saw his potential during our time together in karts and he’s such a nice kid too. We still speak regularly, so it is good to know that he remembers his roots and those who have played their part on his journey from karting to the Grand Prix grid. Now he’s got his chance, I’m sure he will grab it with both hands and he will impress many people, including F1’s bigger teams.”

For more information about racing with RL Racing Department, call Steve today on 07843 586 416 or contact him via accounts.rlracingdept@live.co.uk. For all the latest team news, go to www.rlracingdepartmentltd.com

Photo by Chris Walker/Kartpix.

 

 

Hillspeed Ginetta JuniorFormula Kart Stars racer Josh White has scooped a subsidised prize drive in the 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship with multiple title-winning team Hillspeed after emerging as the successful candidate from a scholarship ‘shoot-out’ featuring 12 of the best young competitors from the ranks of FKS.

Run as a joint venture between Hathersage-based Hillspeed, Formula Kart Stars and Ginetta Cars, the assessment put each of the shortlisted racers through their paces at the wheel of a Ginetta G40 ‘Junior’ car at Anglesey Circuit in North Wales – with 16-year-old White coming out on top.

Impressing a judging panel comprising 2010 Ginetta Junior Champion and former FKS ‘Old Boy’ Tom Ingram, 2011 Ginetta Junior title winner and current Ginetta Ambassador Seb Morris, Ginetta Cars’ own Mike Simpson and Hillspeed driver coach Matt Shawyer, Ilkley ace White is now busy preparing for his graduation to car racing.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the incredibly high standard and quality of drivers taking part in the Hillspeed and Formula Kart Stars assessment, said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “We were only really able to select a winner after lengthy deliberation between the judging panel, there was a lot of promising talent on display and all involved did a terrific job.

“The judges took into account a wide variety of factors – it wasn’t about simply choosing the fastest driver on the day. Previous experience was a consideration, along with how well each of the drivers developed throughout the event and how well they reacted to instruction from the coaches.”

Ollerenshaw added: “We’re very much looking forward to working with Josh in 2013, he made some exceptional progress throughout the assessment and displayed a lot of potential. He’s most certainly a deserving winner and I’d like to take this chance, on behalf of everyone at Hillspeed, to thank all at Ginetta Cars and, of course, Carolynn Hoy and the team at Formula Kart Stars.”

White, who has been racing in the Junior Max class of the Formula One Management-backed FKS series this year, has an impressive CV with the highlight being championship victory in Mini Max in 2011. In the same season, he was also third in the ABkC ‘O’ Plate and fourth in the Kartmasters British Grand Prix. The Yorkshire youngster made his karting debut in 2006 in Cadets.

Reflecting on the assessment, FKS Executive Director Carolynn Hoy commented: “I am delighted to hear that, once again, our drivers have done us proud by displaying their talent behind the wheel of a Ginetta Junior.

“I was sure the competition for top spot was always going to be tight and would like to congratulate all the drivers on their performance. I am confident that Josh will continue to impress Hillspeed in 2013, and wish him and the team the best of luck in their championship campaign.”

Brands Hatch Indy Circuit will host the opening weekend of the 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship on 30th/31st March.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.