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Cameron TwynhamUp and coming British racing driver Cameron Twynham will enter the new season as a BRDC Rising Star after his breakthrough 2013 campaign was recognised by the British Racing Drivers’ Club.

The Market Harborough teenager is currently preparing to move into the top tier of Euroformula Open (formerly European F3 Open) with the same Team West-Tec squad that helped him finish runner-up in last season’s Copa Class.

The 18-year-old follows in the footsteps of Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton in gaining the distinction after being scouted by a member of the ‘Rising Stars Panel’. Indeed, the scheme has a track record of promoting only the most promising individuals, with Twynham’s selection coming just three months after he was added to the MSA Academy.

What’s more, Twynham will carry the BRDC Rising Star’s instantly recognisable blue roundel on his car throughout the 2014 season.

“The Rising Stars news came as a bit of a shock; I didn’t know anything about it until I received a letter in the post asking me to attend an interview,” admitted Twynham. “I’d like to think they chose me for my performances last season. 2013 went really well, and it will be very important to use the BRDC Rising Stars title this year. It will certainly be an advantage in terms of networking, as we will have a much better idea of who to speak with, and I think it will be good for my career overall.”

Unwilling to rest on his laurels, Twynham was busy preparing for the upcoming season in Jerez, Spain, last weekend where he gained valuable mileage in the Dallara F312 chassis he will campaign this year.

Further testing takes place at Paul Ricard next Friday (February 28) ahead of Twynham’s first competitive outing of the year just a day later when the Euroformula Open Winter Series begins. The former French Grand Prix venue has proven a happy hunting ground before, with the Brit scoring his maiden F3 victory there in 2013.

“I was really happy with how testing went, though we still need to work on the set-up. We are constantly improving, but there is a lot more to come. The F312 chassis is totally different, and it will take some getting used to how it handles in the corners.

“That said, I think we can instantly be on the pace at Paul Ricard. And hopefully we can make the podium again, just as I did in my first F3 race there in the 2013 Winter Series. Of course winning, like we managed in the main series’ opening round last season, would be even better, but it’s important to bear in mind that we’ll be treating it as a test session to prepare for the new season. We’ll be doing a lot of work between now and the first race to ensure we are in the best possible position for the opening Euroformula round in May.”

Following the conclusion of the two-round Winter Series at Paul Ricard and Barcelona (14/15 March) Euroformula Open travels to the Nurburgring in Germany for its opening event on May 2-4.

Seb MorrisFormula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup racer Seb Morris has today, Monday, 3rd February, been confirmed as the latest addition to the Caterham Racing Academy – meaning the 18-year-old will compete in 2014 with the full support of the Caterham F1 Team’s driver program.

Seb, from Marford near Wrexham, makes the step-up to Formula Renault 2.0 NEC this year with Fortec Motorsport after becoming Vice-Champion of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship in 2013 with Hillspeed.

Ending last season with one win and nine other podiums, he was also selected as a finalist for the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award. Outside the cockpit, Seb works with Jack Wills as one of its ‘Young Britons’ and as an ambassador for TAG Heuer.

Mia Sharizman, Head of Caterham Racing Academy, commented: “Seb is another outstanding addition to our list of Academy drivers. His talent speaks for itself and we are very pleased to be able to provide him with the full range of support available to all our Academy drivers as he makes the step up to Formula Renault NEC. He will be a strong contender for championship honours this season and, if, as we firmly believe he will, he fulfills his promise, the UK will have another serious motorsport talent to back.”

Seb added: “Joining the Caterham Academy is pretty huge for me. Matt Parry [2013 Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Champion] is someone I look up to, and who I had a real battle with in the McLaren Autosport Awards.  I am following his footsteps this year, both as a Caterham driver and in NEC and I am looking to win it as Matt did.  To be part of an F1 team, with all the support and knowledge that brings, is a massive step forwards for my career.”

Seb’s motorsport career began in 2007 when he started racing karts aged 11. By 2010, he had progressed to the Ginetta Junior Championship where he showed his ability and became the youngest ever podium finisher and Winter Series Champion at 14-years-old. In 2011, Seb won the main Ginetta Junior title and was also awarded the Welsh Young Driver of the Year accolade.

In 2012, Seb was selected as a member of the Motor Sports Association (MSA) Academy and was also named a British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star. He moved into single-seater racing in the UK based Protyre Formula Renault Championship and finished the season as the highest placed rookie and third overall. He followed this by becoming the Winter Series Champion.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey PHotography.

Tristan NunezUntil age eleven, he thought he would follow his father’s path and become a professional tennis player. Then he discovered karting, and Tristan Nunez had a new passion – one which has carried him in amazing leaps to the top of the his chosen trade.

Several karting championships led to a Skip Barber title and a test in an IMSA Lites car, which led to a full-season ride, which led to Nunez becoming the youngest sports car champion in history at age 16 – which led to rides in the top-tier professional ALMS and Rolex, which led to becoming the youngest winner in those series – while still in high school.

Now just turned 18, Nunez has reached the next level in his career – a very, very elevated level.

The young driver has been chosen as one of four Mazda SpeedSource factory drivers who will pilot the brand-new Mazda/SpeedSource LMP2 SkyActiv diesel in the Tudor United Sports Car Series Prototype class—the fastest class of sports cars on the continent.

The young driver understands what a rare honor it is to be chosen as a factory drive so early in one’s career.

Nunez received the news officially while driving for Mazda at the TUSC Roar Before The Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, Jan. 3–5 and “almost broke down in tears—that’s just a dream come true,” he said a few hours after the announcement. “It’s one step closer to my big dream, which is racing at Le Mans.”

Mazda might well take Tristan Nunez to Le Mans, if not this season, then soon. “Because it’s a brand new car we need to develop it,” he said. [Mazda’s] view is, if they’re going to go to Le Mans they want to win it. If we are going to go to Le Mans we want to be prepared for it.” Starting with the Roar Before the 24, he has been part of that preparation.

Read the full story at Epoch Times.

Photo and article by Chris Jasurek, Epoch Times.

Seb MorrisSeb Morris, one of the 2013 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalists and a British Racing Drivers’ Club ‘Rising Star’, will compete in the ultra-competitive Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) this year it can be officially confirmed today, Monday, 20th January, after finalising a deal with reigning champion team Fortec Motorsport.

Welsh 18-year-old Seb, from Marford near Wrexham, will embark on his first season of European level competition in single-seaters off the back of a strong year in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship where he concluded the campaign as Vice-Champion.

With three car racing titles already on his CV, in Ginetta Junior and Protyre Formula Renault, Seb is now aiming for a championship challenge in Europe.

“I am very pleased to be racing with Fortec and especially in Formula Renault NEC”, he commented, “It promises to be a fantastic season of racing on some of the world’s most famous tracks, such as Monza, Spa, Nurburgring and Silverstone.”

Seb, one of Jack Wills’ Young Brits and an ambassador for TAG Heuer and Ginetta Cars, will start his 2014 campaign on 12th/13th April at Monza in Italy with his home event following on 24th/25th May at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit. The seven weekend season will end on 20th/21st September at Germany’s Nurburgring.

Photo by Haymarket/LAT.

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

Alice Powell and Sportsman of the Year, Bradley SmithAlice Powell came away from the Oxfordshire Sports Awards as Sportswoman of the Year, for Oxfordshire. Alice faced stiff competition from Team GB athlete, Hannah England, who is British number 1 in the 1500m, and Izzy Taylor, an equestrian. However, the judges put Alice on top.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic year on the racetrack, with her first ventures into British Formula Three. These including a 2nd-place finish in the MotorSport Vision Formula Three Cup, and racing in the opening round of the 2013 British Formula Three Championship season at Silverstone.

With Formula 1 ambitions and vocal support from the likes of Prime Minister David Cameron – MP for her home constituency of Chipping Norton – the sky is the limit for Alice. The recognition from the Oxfordshire Sports Partnership with this award is a measure of Alice’s achievements this year, and demonstrates that she is certainly on the right track to success.

Photo by RP Photography By Design.

Cameron TwynhamCameron Twynham will graduate to the European F3 Open Championship Class in 2014 after agreeing a deal to remain with Team West-Tec.

The 17-year-old from Market Harborough, who finished runner-up in the same series’ junior Copa Class this year, has taken the logical decision to stay with the highly successful British squad for his first full season aboard Dallara’s newest specification Formula 3 car, the F312.

Remaining with the Corby-based outfit – the most decorated in F3 Open history – also offers Twynham the potential to contest selected FIA Formula 3 European Championship rounds, as well as the blue riband Macau Grand Prix at the end of the year.

And it’s those opportunities, as well as his and the team’s existing rapport, which ultimately swayed the MSA Academy ace to challenge for the outright F3 Open title.

“We spent a long time weighing up all the options out there but came to the conclusion that a year of learning the new car in a winning environment that I’m already accustomed to was the best bet for 2014,” confirmed Twynham. “It will be Team West-Tec’s eighth year in F3 Open and they’ll be coming off the back of a championship-winning campaign, so there’s absolutely no question marks over their experience or pedigree. The fact that I’ll be working with the same engineers and staff is also a big bonus. All the pieces are in place for a successful season.”

Importantly, Twynham can call on existing knowledge of the newer chassis when he begins testing ahead of next season:

“I drove the car at the Brands Hatch British F3 round earlier this year and also during a couple of test sessions, so it won’t be completely alien to me. But even though I already feel comfortable there’s still a pretty big step between the Copa and Championship classes, which I’ll need to prepare for initially. We’re still aiming to win the title in our first season, though. I’m feeling confident.”

Team Principal John Miller, who oversaw Twynham’s title challenge this year, added: “We are delighted to re-sign Cameron for 2014. He was the pick of the rookie Copa drivers this season so it was always a priority of ours to retain him. After such a successful year in 2013, with the team winning 11 of 18 F3 Open races, we are putting together a very strong line-up for 2014 and I’m sure Cameron is going to be challenging at the very front of the field with Team West-Tec. I know everyone is really looking forward to that.”

Following a comprehensive pre-season testing schedule Cameron’s F3 Open title bid will begin at the Nurburgring in Germany on May 2-4.

Sandy StuvikA dramatic weekend in Barcelona for the European Formula 3 Open Championship decider, saw Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik struggling with car problems during the Friday practice, missing out the first free practice session due to an oil pressure problem.

Then in the Saturday morning qualifying session, Stuvik was fighting a huge over steer in the car and could only manage a season worst P8 starting position for the race. Without enough time to change the ride height of the car, he would have to work around the over steer problem for the race.

The race started late in the afternoon at Barcelona Circuit and Stuvik went from P7 on the grid back to 8th on the first lap, before he again starting clawing his way up the field. In the end he took the checkered flag in fifth position, with his championship rival Jones, winning the taking over the championship lead.

In the meantime it emerged that Jones had raced at the Barcelona Circuit only 2 weeks ago, in direct contradiction with F3 rules, which prohibits testing on championship circuits. A protest was subsequently filed and accepted for hearing by the organizer committee at a later date.

For Sundays race Stuvik’s car set up was modified for a lower rear ride height before qualifying and finally the young Thai driver again had a car he could race with and managed P2 position in the qualification, just one tenth behind Jones in P1.

For the final race of the season the Thai driver had an unusual slow getaway from the grid and dropped to 5th position, before quickly getting past the drivers in front and up to 3rd position. Jones was out in the lead, but pushed his tires hard in the opening part of the race, too hard as it would soon emerge and with graining tires he started dropping backwards, first getting overtaken by Alex Cougnaud and soon after by Stuvik. By the end of the race the Thai driver was in second place and Jones had dropped to 5th place. Frenchman Alex Cougnaud, also from RP Motorsport, won the race.

The summary of the season is that the Thai racer Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik has the most points, 267 vs Jones 256 points, but the championship will be decided on only 14 of the 16 races and since the Thai driver has finished every single race in 5th place or higher, he has to drop valuable points. On the net points list Jones leads with 256 vs Stuvik 247 points. The championship therefore remains undecided until after the protest hearing against Jones, by the Formula 3 tribunal, in the end of November.

Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik races for Thailand and is sponsored by The Pizza Company, Singha Corporation, Dacon Inspection Services, the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand and Sports Authority of Thailand.

Cameron TwynhamUp and coming British racing driver Cameron Twynham ended his European F3 Open campaign as Copa Class championship runner-up last weekend thanks to a ninth podium of the year at the Barcelona season finale.

The 17-year-old went into the event with only an outside chance of overturning the 13-point deficit that would have landed him the title, and was ultimately forced to settle for second in the standings after the opening race on Saturday.

Twynham had put himself in contention to fight for a much-needed victory during morning qualifying by going third fastest. But unlike his rivals, the Team West-Tec driver had used just one set of tyres during the session, ensuring he would start the afternoon’s race on completely fresh rubber.

Initially that bold decision looked like paying off, with Twynham setting fastest lap of the race in his pursuit of the leaders. However, the newer tyres soon began to fall away – inexplicably far quicker than those used by others during qualifying – leaving the MSA Academy driver powerless to finish any higher than fourth in class.

With the championship mathematically out of reach, the Market Harborough racer focused on securing second place in the standings, which was now under threat from race one winner Tommaso Menchini whose team frequently use Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for testing. Sensing the danger, Twynham again qualified strongly in third directly behind the Italian, before pulling off an exceptional passing manoeuvre around the outside of the final hairpin on the opening lap of Sunday’s race.

Despite the high rate of tyre degradation, which produced lap times some five seconds slower than qualifying, Twynham was still shadowing the leader at half-distance when he was hit from behind by Menchini, forcing him wide at one of the final corners. While his Dallara F308 was fortunate not to sustain terminal damage, the compromised exit saw Cameron lose crucial momentum and second position.

Thereafter Twynham was more than content to protect his third place and the six points that would secure his runner-up position in the standings.

“We all really struggled with the tyres this weekend,” explained Twynham. “Considering we’d used the same set throughout qualifying I was very confident of making up the difference on fresher rubber in Saturday’s race, but the grip levels just fell away after five or six laps. The car lost its balance and I was really struggling towards the end to just stay on track. It wasn’t a great way to concede the title but the tyres were gone.

“On Sunday we essentially had nothing to lose, and I was going along very well in second when I was hit from behind. The contact was enough to break the rear wing and part of the floor, and forced me to run wide, lose momentum out of the corner and get passed along the main straight. After that it was important to sit tight and make sure of third, especially as the tyres were again getting past their best.”

Despite just falling short of the Copa Class title, Twynham was nevertheless pleased with his season’s work.

“It was always going to be tough this weekend as, even if I’d won both races, the championship leader was probably going to need a non-score,” he added. “He’s raced here several times before so that was unlikely, and in any case that’s not the way I’d like to have won it. Finishing second is still a fantastic achievement, especially considering the difference in experience between the champion and me, not to mention the rest of the field. I’ve learnt a lot and will be taking that, as well as all the positives, into next season.

“Congratulations to Richard [Gonda] though: he’s had an excellent year. I’d also like to thank Team West-Tec and my coach Ollie Millroy, as well as my commercial partners and family for their hard work throughout the season.”

An excellent record of 16 podium finishes and two victories from 23 races* in his first year of F3 competition has proven Twynham’s credentials as a star of the future. Now, with the help of his family and partners, he will spend the next couple of months assessing his options for the 2014 season.

*Full season of European F3 Open and selected British F3 rounds.

Photo by www.fotospeedy.it

Jono LesterKiwi endurance driver Jono Lester has narrowly missed out on winning the 2013 Super Taikyu Series by just 6.5 points, after a podium finish at the final round of the Championship at Autopolis, Japan.

Needing a race win to secure his maiden title victory, 23-year old Takapuna resident Lester was confident of his chances alongside Super GT Champion Tatsuya Kataoka (JAP) and Fariqe Hairuman (MAL) in the PETRONAS Syntium Team Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 #28.

Practice and qualifying were held in beautiful autumn conditions at the mountainous Fukuoka circuit, which is situated high above sea level on Kyushu Island.

Securing third on the grid in qualifying, it was clear of the strength of the Nissan GT-R contingent who locked out the front row of the grid.

Alongside Lester in fourth were his title rivals and team mates Dominic Ang and Melvin Moh in the sister Team PST machine, with strong performances also from Audi, Porsche and BMW close in behind.

In a case of déjà vu, the team awoke to heavy rain and thick, low hanging fog on Sunday, much like in 2012 where the final round of the championship was abandoned due to dangerous weather.

Despite delays, the race was reduced to two hours and eventually got underway behind the safety car. Strategy saw Kataoka and Hairuman both pit immediately, meaning Lester would complete the race ‘solo’ in the horrid conditions.

When green flag running commenced, it became clear of the strength of the Nissan GT-Rs who galloped away at the head of the field. Lester was left to hold down the final podium spot, and finished in third position.

With car #1 finishing in fifth, the title was secured by just 6.5 points over the #28 of Lester, Kataoka and Hairuman.

“It hurts to come this close and fall short, but we didn’t deserve to win the race today,” Lester admitted.

“The Nissans didn’t put a foot wrong. Their pace was incredible and they were deserved victors. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved this season despite a few hiccups at Motegi and Fuji. In hindsight, those two mechanical incidents cost us dearly.”

In an impressive record in Japan’s Super Taikyu Series, the PETRONAS Syntium Team wrapped up their sixth consecutive championship at Autopolis and another 1-2 for good measure.

“It really is an impressive feat for the team to have achieved such a run of success, and every member of the team can be proud of playing a part in it.

“Dato’ David Wong has been a visionary of Asian motor racing with an unparalleled record and he in particular should be proud. I thank him for the opportunities he’s presented me and look forward to many more successful seasons together.”

Jono Lester would like to extend a special thank you to his key partners for their support in 2013, including Vortex Racewear, Lero Global, R Redpath Limited, OPTI-Flex, Fastway Couriers, Robbie Bird Wines, CRC MotorNews.co.nz, Mako Networks, iSign it, Sony New Zealand, Sony Xplod, ThrillPledge and Webdesign.

With the 2013 season now drawing to a close, Lester is looking ahead to next year with an exciting calendar of motor racing planned.

More details about Jono and his career can be found at www.jonolester.com, or by following ‘Jono Lester’ on Facebook, @jonolester on Twitter and @jono_lester on Instagram. Join the conversation using the hashtag #flyingkiwi on social media platforms.

Follow the action from your smartphone by downloading the free Jono Lester app, simply by visiting http://jonolester.appguppy.com from your iPhone or Android device.

Photo by PETRONAS Syntium Team.