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Category: Formula Ford Australia

Chelsea AngeloVictorian teenager Chelsea Angelo has taken her maiden victory in Formula Ford with a daring last gasp pass during the third round of the Victorian Formula Ford Championship at Sandown Raceway today.

In a field that included several drivers with National championship experience the 16 year old Evans Motorsport Group ‘Young Gun’ pounced after a late-race safety car and passed Tom Grech with a bold manoeuvre at the second last turn and held on to the lead in the run to the flag.

The win comes in Angelo’s fifth Formula Ford meeting and hot on the heels of her lap record breaking performance at Phillip Island last month.

Starting from position six for the third race of the meeting Angelo ran within the lead pack for the race distance before the appearance of a safety car turned the race into a one lap dash to the flag.

A tight tussle between the top six drivers ensued and Angelo maintained composure to move from fifth to first in the final lap, making a forceful and opportunistic move on Grech to take the victory, the first for a female in Australian Formula Ford competition since Leanne Tander won at Phillip Island in 2000.

The hard work that Angelo has put in over the last 12 months is paying dividends and she credits the work she does with her driver coach, Evans Motorsport Group’s Dunlop Series driver Kristian Lindbom.

“It’s great to finally get a win on the board and I really need to thank the Evans Motorsport Group team and especially Kristian who has been a great help in getting me up to speed,” said a delighted Angelo after the race.

“We had the pace to get a victory at Phillip Island last round so to come away with my first victory here is pretty special.”

“We’ve still got a couple more meetings in the championship so we’ll be working hard to get another win or two on the board by the end of the season.”

Chelsea AngeloYoung Victorian female Formula Ford prodigy Chelsea Angelo has finished on the podium and secured the class lap record during the first race of round two of the Victorian Formula Ford Championship at Phillip Island Raceway today.

The 16 year old, in just her fourth meeting in Formula Ford competition, took advantage of the newly surfaced seaside circuit, and perfect weather, to eclipse the lap record previously held by 2011 Bathurst winner Nick Percat by a whopping 1.6 seconds. Percat’s record had stood since 2007.

Angelo had to fight back to the leading pack after running wide through the final turn early in the race and finished less than two tenths of a second behind the winner, her Evans Motorsport Group team mate Thomas Randle.

With two more races tomorrow Angelo is looking forward to pressing for her maiden victory in the Formula Ford ranks which would make her the first female driver since Leanne Tander to take a win in Australian Formula Ford competition.

Nathan MorcomFew racing drivers win on debut at the legendary Mt Panorama – but for Nathan Morcom last weekend it was just “blowing out the cobwebs”.

The 20 year-old Sydney driver had gone to the iconic venue with the main aim of learning its daunting 6.2km length on his first appearance.

But he ended up taking the chequered flag!

Morcom drove a Spirit WL08 in the Formula Ford 1600 support races at the Bathurst 12-hour meeting.

It was a precursor to his next Mt Panorama start, which will be in a major national championship series, to be confirmed soon.

“Prior experience at any circuit is important, but especially at Mt Panorama because it’s a public road and you can’t practise there all year round,” he said.

“I hadn’t raced at Mount Panorama before, so I took the opportunity to learn it before the national championship round.”

Despite not having driven a Formula Ford for more than two years, Morcom qualified fifth fastest of the 31 FF1600 drivers, many of them Mt Panorama veterans.

He finished second in the first two races, all the time lowering his lap times as his experience increased.

In the third and final race, Morcom took the fight up to race leader Jonathan Venter, and near the end of the fifth lap he grabbed the lead in a daring move through The Chase.

It was perfect timing, because seconds after he crossed the Start/Finish line to begin lap six, the Safety Car came out following a crash on another part of the circuit.

He duly led the field around what turned out to be the final lap behind the Safety Car, taking the win!

Morcom capped off the win with a fastest race lap more than eight-tenths of a second quicker than the next best.

Afterwards he said that his primary goal was to prepare for his return visit to Mt Panorama, but the victory was a bonus.

“To be honest I wasn’t expecting to win this weekend,” he said.

“I mainly wanted to blow away the cobwebs and be confident here, because next time I’ll be in a faster car against some of Australia’s top drivers.

“At least I know the way around Mt Panorama now!”

Morcom thanked his sponsors, Rondo, Direct Plasterboard Outlet and Racer, for supporting his 2013 racing program.

Results – Formula ford 1600 RACE 3 (6 laps/37.3km)

1. Nathan Morcom (2008 Spirit) 22min. 36.5414sec.

2. Jonathan Venter (2011 Spirit) 22min. 38.3512sec.

3. Brett Francis (2002 Van Diemen) 22min. 38.6239sec.

Photo by Mpix.

Chelsea AngeloEvans Motorsport Group’s “Young Guns’ Formula Ford program is nearly at capacity with the news that Chelsea Angelo and Liam McAdam have re-signed with the team for 2013.

Team Owner Josh Evans, who recently completed a merger of his operation with Greg Murphy Racing, was delighted to have the promising young drivers continue their development with the team.

“It’s fantastic to have both Liam and Chelsea continue with us next year,” said Evans.

“We’ve had a great response from potential drivers in both our Dunlop Series cars and in the ‘Young Guns’ Formula Ford program which we run.

“That interest in the career pathway that we have developed through the merger with GMR is exactly what we wanted to achieve and I’m really pleased with the interest that is being shown.

“Chelsea and Liam have done a great job this year and will continue with us in 2013 where they will run the full Victorian Championship and a few rounds in the National Championship.

“There’s one more spot left in the program for next year and we’re looking at drivers for that position at the moment,” he said.

Peter Karagounis and Greg Holloway will also continue with EMG in 2013.

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.

Chelsea AngeloThe Evans Motorsport Group has finished off the 2012 Victorian Formula Ford Championship with a strong showing at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit last weekend.

Promising ‘Young Gun’ Chelsea Angelo made her race debut at Phillip Island and although using the meeting primarily as a warm up for a full assault on the 2013 series was immediately competitive.

Angelo qualified in seventh and, despite a puncture in Race One, finished with a seventh and two sixths in a large and highly competitive field that included a number of regular Australian Championship competitors.

Angelo was happy with her weekend, but was already thinking of her next outing and where she could improve.

“I was a little cautious on a few occasions where I could have grabbed a position if I’d have been a little more forceful,” Angelo said.

“But it was my first race meeting and I’m here to learn so overall I’m very happy with the results.

“I know there are some areas where I can be quicker next time so I can’t wait to get back in the car and race again.”

Team boss Josh Evans was elated with his young charge and the speed and maturity she had shown.

“Throughout the whole year with us Chelsea’s attitude has been fantastic,” Evans said.

“She has great natural talent but in addition to that she knows that she’s here to learn – you can’t fault her application and the work she puts in.

“She made some great passes but was also a little cautious at times, still she learns quickly and will benefit greatly from the experience.

“We’re looking forward to seeing her continued development over the next 12 months.”

Of the other Evans Motorsport Group drivers, Jayden Wallis, Greg Holloway and Peter Karagounis had steady weekends.

Wallis qualified in an encouraging fourth position but was hit from behind during Race One and suffered some suspension damage. From there he drove well to make his way back to tenth in the final race of the weekend.

Holloway was making a comeback to racing after a couple of months out of the driver’s seat while Karagounis was racing in his first meeting in a Formula Ford.

Both drove steadily and improved their times dramatically over the course of the weekend’s three races.

Jack LeBrocqJack LeBrocq has secured the 2012 Australian Formula Ford Championship for Mygale after a dominant weekend at Bathurst’s famous Mt Panorama circuit.

LeBrocq took his Minda Motorsport/CAMS Rising Star Mygale SJ12a to his third victory in three races to secure the round victory and gain an unassailable lead in the 2012 Championship.

This morning’s second race of the weekend was held in damp conditions and LeBrocq drove away from the pack in the opening laps before maintaining his lead as the race came to a close.

LeBrocq only had to finish in front of his main title challenger Mathew Hart to claim the series and he simply drove away from the field in the final race of the weekend to claim the title.

The 2012 Series marks Mygale’s sixth Australian Championship win and the first back-to-back win for a manufacturer in the series since 2005.

Le Brocq’s title backs up the second position he scored in last year’s point score.

“It’s an awesome feeling to win the Championship, especially getting it done with a round to spare,” Le Brocq said.

“It’s a great honour to join the list of Formula Ford champions. Most of those guys are now in the V8 Supercar pit lane, and that’s where I want to be.

“To win it with a three-peat at Bathurst at such a big meeting is a pretty special feeling.

“It’s hard to stay ahead with the slip stream around here, so to be able to pull away and take the wins was an achievement.”

The Championship victory was the first for the Bruin Beasley led Minda Motorsport squad who switched to the Mygale chassis last year.

LeBrocq also wins a test in Mygale’s Formula 3 chassis for being the leading Mygale driver in the series.

Andre HeimgartnerThe present 2011 New Zealand Formula Ford Championship leader, Andre Heimgartner, today took his first ride onboard the Team BRM prepared, Mygale SJ09A, ahead of Round 1 of the Australian Formula Ford Championship at the Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide next week, March 17-20.

Heimgartner, 15, will fill the seat, vacated by Josh Burdon who was originally entered in the #31 car, racing alongside South Australian, Tom Goess. This will also be Andre’s first attempt at the Australian Championship, yet it won’t be his first drive on Aussie soil after competing with the Evans Motorsport Group in the Victorian
Formula Ford Championship in 2010.

Mallala Motorsport Park was today the scene of Andre’s initiation into the Team BRM stable. Being the only Formula Ford at the test day, it gave him a true opportunity to flex his talent, and display what he as to offer as one of the young stars of motorsport.

With Heimgartner able to blitz the time sheets in his first test, it has established a firm foundation ahead of the Clipsal event in a little over a week. Andre was ecstatic at his opening test, saying at the end, “I am truly happy not only with the car speed, but the professionalism of Team BRM, and this early pace will set me up well for Clipsal.

Andre HeimgartnerAndre was able to lap the 2.6km South Australian circuit in a time of 1:11.3 by the days completion, which is said to be 5 tenths quicker than drivers in the past. Team BRM Team Principal, Mark Rundle said following the test, “We are really pleased at the fantastic effort of Andre in his first practice, with poor conditions, the times eclipsed anything first expected”, Rundle further went on to say, “He (Andre) was quicker than anyone had ever been in the past, in the same position, and with him being so comfortable with the car and team, we are confident of a strong result at the Clipsal”

This weekend, will also see Heimgartner battle it out in the decider for the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship, which, if won, will see him go down as the youngest ever winner of a Formula Ford Championship in the World.

The association between Andre and Team BRM is one that comes with strong history, as the last 3 New Zealand Formula Ford Champions have raced with the Adelaide based outfit.

While future rounds of the Australian Championship for Heimgartner are undecided at this stage, his sole aim is to gain strong results at the Clipsal 500, and to continue to improve his exposure and build on some already strong grounding as a 15 year old star and future champion of World Motorsport.

Nick PercatFollowing on from Phillip Island and Nick Percat’s emphatic victories in races 18 and 19 of the Australian Formula Ford Championship, we now prepare to celebrate one of the all time great open wheel drivers in Australian motor racing history. It’s with these victories in which Percat sealed the 1st place trophy with 4 races remaining.

Some of the statistics achieved in 2009:

  • MOST POINTS IN THE 40 YEAR HISTORY = 371 (2ND TIM BLANCHARD 346)
  • 3 POLE POSITIONS (EQUAL MOST IN 2009)
  • 12 RACE WINS
  • PODIUM RESULT IN 20 OUT OF 23 RACES
  • FINISHED EVERY RACE
  • CAREER WINS IN NATIONAL FORMULA FORD = 22 (HIGHEST BY 5 WINS)

The racing on the streets of the Gold Coast was always going to be slightly muted for a few reasons, one being that the Round would only decide who was to come 2nd, so it became in sporting terms, a dead rubber.

Nick explains some of the highlights of the weekend, and his thoughts on becoming the 2009 Champion.

“Well our weekend was a pretty low key affair having already done the business at Phillip Island. So it was just a matter of trying to keep it off the walls during the races and see if we could get Mitch the second place in the Championship, which we did!”

“The final race for me in a Formula Ford was a pretty exciting one, with rain coming almost on queue as we rolled out on the track, and I love racing in those difficult conditions so to charge from 5th to 2nd in such a shortened race was a great way to sign off!”

Percat leaves Formula Ford with a record that could stand for some time, and a future full of opportunities.

“I’d dearly love to have a crack overseas again, I got a taste for it with my Festival win last year, and my driving style seems to suit the European way of thinking! If the right deal came along I would have to have a serious look at it. Its slightly frustrating seeing guys I have raced with and beaten doing say World Series Renault next year, but given the chance I’d love to show what I could do in the new GP3 feeder series in 2010″

While racing overseas is an option, currently Percat’s Brains trust are putting the final touches to Nick’s 2010 Fujitsu Series Assault.

“2010 isn’t 100% locked in yet, but I’d have to say that with the support from my current backers in Walkinshaw Performance and No Fear we should be able to sign off on something soon…. It would be nice if we could find another backer to get us over the line, but I am not the only one looking for financial support right now, so we will have to wait and see! Hopefully my form book is worth something!!”

Nick would like to thank the following for his 2009 Championship campaign:

  • NO FEAR
  • SONIC MOTOR RACING SERVICES
  • WALKINSHAW PERFORMANCE
  • CASTROL AUSTRALIA
  • MYGALE
  • REVOLUTION RACEGEAR

To sum up the massive year that was 2009, we leave you with the often quoted comment by the youngest of Percat fans…

“Dad I want a photo with the angry car!!”

The “angry car” and the driver with NO FEAR will be back on the track soon….

Andre BorellAndre Borell and Master Electricians Racing are looking to finish the 2009 Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship in style. With the championship already decided with Nick Percat having taken the 2009 crown – the Nikon SuperGP on the Gold Coast may not be a series decider – but will still be an exciting event with everyone looking to stamp their authority on the streets of Surfers and signal their intentions for 2010.

Andre Borell started his preparation for the Nikon SuperGP by racing on the streets of the Gold Coast in a different disciple recently – the ITU Triathlon World Championships. Andre stunned his competitors by placing 2nd in the Male 20-24 SprintMan category. Andre loved the event, intending to compete in the world famous Noosa Triathlon in November. “It’s a great sport, I love it. I didn’t expect to place on the podium on the Gold Coast. I had a really bad swim, but recovered on the bike and blew them away on the run. I intend to get into it a lot more – the fitness benefits translate directly to how you feel physically in the Formula Ford”.

With his full attention now turned to the Nikon SuperGP, Andre intends to go one better than his Triathlon performance come October. “We are making some massive changes to the car for meeting. The circuit is all about braking and power-down. We are fitting new brakes as well as redesigning the suspension geometry to make the car better in these two areas, especially power-down. That is where we have struggled all season. It’s a big move, and it will either pay dividends or be a disaster. It’s all or nothing here – win it or bin it. Actually I’ll be happy with a Top-5, but that doesn’t sound as cool” said a jovial Borell.

With Master Electricians confirmed to be staying on board for 2010, Andre also hopes to have a strong showing so that he can carry some momentum into the 2010 Australian Formula Ford Championship. Andre explains his decision, and his affection for Formula Ford: “Why would you race any other category? It’s second only to V8 Supercars in terms of professionalism and on-track competitiveness in Australia. Racing Formula Ford again is a no brainer, you can’t race at a higher level in this country unless you are in a V8. Next year we will have more resources, new equipment, and we are going for the Title”. Borell however remained tight lipped on his exact plans for 2010, including team and chassis choices. “We’ll announce that in good time…” said the 22-year old.

With his SuperGP and 2010 Formula Ford plans so ambitious – Andre Borell and Master Electricians Racing are faced with a very steep mountain to climb, but the evidence so far indicates they are up to the task. Andre is also up for nomination to win an entry into the GRAND PRIX SHOOTOUT competition held in the UK – make sure you head www.driverdb.com/drivers/33514/ and register your vote.

Andre is supported by Master Electricians, simPRO, Extreme Safety, Wizzard Concrete, Xtreme Racing, PM Lubricants and Powerade. For more information please visit www.andreborellmotorsport.com