Sunday, 31 May 2009

Formula Two Valencia - Robert Wickens Takes Victory Again

Robert Wickens took a lights to flag victory in the second race of the FIA Formula Two Championship in Valencia this afternoon capping a perfect weekend for him.

Italian Mirko Bortolotti finished in second, with 19 year old Austrian Philipp Eng taking the final podium position.

There was disappointment for Swiss female racer Natacha Gachnang who tangled with Alex Brundle on the opening lap - causing her immediate retirement.

Jolyon Palmer was tapped into the gravel and retired from the race on lap one and Lithuanian Vasiliauskas went off after making contact with Jousse in a battle for eighth place. He later returned to the circuit at the back of the field, but was still able to clock up the fastest lap of the race. Definitely one to keep an eye out for in future races.

Henry Surtees finished 12th.

FIA F2 Round 2 - Valencia, Spain Results

1st - Robert WICKENS (CAN) - 25:22.024 - 17 laps
2nd - Mirko BORTOLOTTI (ITA) - 25:27.935 - Gap +5.911
3rd - Philipp ENG (AUS) - 25:29.905 - Gap +7.881
4th - Andy SOUCEK (ESP) - 25:30.639 - Gap +8.615
5th - Nicola DE MARCO (ITA) - 25:31.804 - Gap +9.780
6th - Mikhail ALESHIN (RUS) - 25:33.731 - Gap +11.707
7th - Edoardo PISCOPO (ITA) - 25:35.625- Gap +13.601
8th - Carlos IACONELLI (BRA) - 25:38.640 - Gap +16.616
9th - Tobias HEGEWALD (GER) - 25:40.850 - Gap +18.826
10th - Julien JOUSSE (FRA) - 25:43.601 - Gap +21.577

BTCC Oulton Park - Colin Turkington Takes Double Victory

Team RAC driver Colin Turkington took victories in both races one and two at a sunny Oulton Park today putting himself within two points of current BTCC Championship leader Matt Neal.
James Thompson continued his good run following on from Donington taking a lights to flag victory in race three.
In race one Turkington lead home Jason Plato in second whilst youngster Jonathan Adam of Team Motorbase continued to outshine his more experienced team mate Rob Collard taking the third step of the podium.
The highest placed Vauxhall in race one was driven by Fabrizio Giovanardi. The top six was rounded out by an improving Stephen Jelley in P5 and Adam Jones in P6.
In race two, Turkington was joined on the podium by Giovanardi in second and Plato in third. The Vauxhalls showed much better in race two. Matt Neal took fourth and Andrew Jordan sixth. Jonathan Adam had another strong result in fifth.
In race three Team Dynamic's James Thompson lead home the two Vauxhalls of Andrew Jordan and Matt Neal.
It seems to me that Andrew Jordan is mixing it very well with his more senior Vauxhall team mates despite the short period of time he has spent in the BTCC especially when compared to how Tom Chilton performed when he was in the same position a couple of years ago.
Rob Collard improved on his race one and two performances with a fourth place. Plato finished in fifth and Giovanardi in sixth
The next BTCC rounds (13-15) will be at Croft over the weekend of 13th/14th June.

BTCC 2009 Drivers' Championship (after Oulton Park rounds)

1 - Matt Neal - 111
2 - Colin Turkington - 109
3 - Fabrizio Giovanardi - 92
4 - Jason Plato - 87
5 - Rob Collard - 78
6 - James Thompson - 74
7 - Adam Jones - 51
8 - Andrew Jordan - 47
9 - Mat Jackson - 41
10 - Jonathan Adam - 41

F1 Budget Cap Latest - FOTA Teams Sign Up For 2010

As reported previously in this blog, Williams F1 have already signed up for the 2010 F1 Championship.

Now the remaing nine FOTA teams have submitted their entries for 2010, despite their previous threats to boycott Formula 1 if the proposed FIA budget cap was pushed through.

FOTA issued a statement on Friday afternoon (29th May) stating that all its members would commit to F1 through to 2012 – provided they receive guarantees about the sport’s future governance, and that the FIA accepts FOTA's modifications to the controversial budget cap proposal.

The announcement could signal a breakthrough in the long-running dispute between FOTA and the FIA.

FOTA have insisted that a new Concorde Agreement be signed by all parties by June 12th. This is the date when the FIA has indicated it will publish the list of confirmed participants in the 2010 season.

FOTA is seeking a formal contract to give greater stability over the rule-making process, having been unhappy with the way recent rule changes were pushed through the FIA World Council, bypassing teams and other stakeholders represented on the F1 Commission.

In return for such guarantees, FOTA members will pledge their allegiance to F1 for the next three years.

FOTA’s other major proviso concerns the technical regulations to be adopted for 2010, which it says must be based on this year's rules subject to the amendments it has proposed in a submission to the FIA.

These amendments are believed to include a phased introduction of the budget cap and measures to ensure prospective new teams can compete in the higher-spending initial year.

The FOTA statement said: “All FOTA teams have today submitted conditional entries for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship. FOTA confirms all its members’ long-term commitment to be involved in the FIA Formula One World Championship and has unanimously agreed further and significant actions to substantially reduce the costs of competing in the championship in the next three years, creating a mechanism that will preserve the technological competition and the sporting challenge and, at the same time, facilitate the entry in the F1 championship for new teams. These measures are in line with what has been already decided in 2009 within FOTA, achieving important saving on engines and gearboxes".

“All FOTA teams have entered the 2010 championship on the basis that: 1) The Concorde Agreement is signed by all parties before 12th June 2009, after which all FOTA teams will commit to competing in Formula One until 2012. 2) The basis of the 2010 regulations will be the current 2009 regulations, amended in accordance with proposals that FOTA has submitted to the FIA.”

“All FOTA teams’ entries for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship have been submitted today on the understanding that (a) all FOTA teams will be permitted to compete during the 2010 Formula One season on an identical regulatory basis, and (b) that they may only be accepted as a whole".

All ten of the current teams on the F1 grid have now declared their intention to compete in next year's championship which will be expanded to thirteen teams (26 cars).

We understand that applications have been received from Prodrive (run by former BAR boss, Dave Richards), Campos Racing of Spain, the much vaunted Team US F1, Lola and Litespeed who currently run in F3 but have just teamed up with Mike Gascoigne for their F1 program.

It has been reported in the British press that Ecclestone has initimated that in view of the fact the 2010 grid is now oversubscribed some existing F1 teams may be replaced by new entrants to the sport.

All will be revealed on 12th June.

Robert Wickens Takes First Victory in Formula Two

Canadian Robert Wickens, a member of the Red Bull Junior Team, has won the first Formula Two race to take place in 25 years after a lights to flag victory in Valencia.

Carlos Iaconelli was second and Lithuanian Kazim Vasiliauskas was an impressive third after starting from P9 on the grid.

Henry Surtees finished seventh and Alex Brundle eighth.


1st - Robert WICKENS (CAN) - 37:03.621
2nd - Carlos IACONELLI (BRA) - 37:07.491 Gap +3.870
3rd - Kazim VASILIAUSKAS (LIT) - 37:08.862 Gap +5.241
4th - Mikhail ALESHIN (RUS) - 37:12.175 Gap +8.554
5th - Julien JOUSSE (FRA) - 37:13.543 Gap +9.922
6th - Mirko BORTOLOTTI (ITA) - 37:14.525 Gap +10.904
7th - Henry SURTEES (GBR) - 37:14.940 Gap +11.319
8th - Alex BRUNDLE (GBR) - 37:15.947 Gap +12.326
9th - Nicola DE MARCO (ITA) - 37:16.534 Gap +12.913
10th - Sebastian HOHENTHAL (SWE) - 37:17.597 Gap +13.976

Saturday, 30 May 2009

BTCC Oulton Park - Plato on Pole

Jason Plato has taken a last minute pole position for tomorrow's round 10 of the BTCC at Oulton Park.
His team mate and fellow Chevrolet Lacetti driver Mat Jackson starts in P2 with Team RAC's Colin Turkington in P3.
Adam Jones has qualified a very creditable P4 in his SEAT Leon. Motorbase's Jonathan Adam took P5 outqualifying his much more experienced team mate Rob Collard in P9.
Reigning BTCC Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi was best of the three Vauxhall qualifiers in P6.
Youngster Andrew Jordan in P8 outqualified current Championship leaderMatt Neal in P10.

The second Team RAC of Stephen Jelley has qualified in P7.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Williams Suspended from FOTA

It has been announced that Williams have been temporarily suspended from FOTA - the Formula One Teams Association - following their unilateral decision to sign up for the 2010 F1 season as was reported in this blog earlier in the week.

Frank Williams said "FOTA’s decision, although regrettable, is understandable. However, as a racing team and a company whose only business is Formula 1, with obligations to our partners and our employees, submitting our entry to next year’s championship was unquestionable. In addition, we are legally obliged under our contract with FOM and the FIA to participate in the world championship until the end of 2012.”

Williams it would seem is one of the few gentlemen remaining in F1 and not one to go scurrying off to court at the drop of a hat (unlike our Italian friends).

Formula 2 kicks off at Valencia this weekend

After an absence of 25 years, the new FIA initiated Formula Two championship will kick off in Valencia this weekend (29th - 31st May).

In June 2008, the FIA announced that MotorSport Vision (MSV), operators of the world famous Brands Hatch circuit, had won the tender to supply chassis and engines for the 2009 Formula Two Championship.

The Championship will comprise of eight events in Europe between the months of May and November taking place at famous circuits including Valencia, Brands Hatch and Imola.

There will be two races per weekend - each will be 110km long (around 40 minutes) - with the second race to include a mandatory pit stop. Two 30-minute practice sessions and two 30-minute qualifying sessions will precede both races.

The cars have been designed and built by Williams Grand Prix Engineering and are powered by a 1.8L turbocharged Audi engine giving 400 BHP rising by a further 50 BHP when a boost button is deployed. The cars are expected to reach speeds in excess of 180 mph.

The Championship has been conceived by the FIA as a way for talented young drivers with a limited budget (season cost = £ 195,000) to race in a top level series and showcase their skills.

The international field consists of 25 drivers with an average age of only 21 years. Three sons of former F1 drivers are included in the line up - Henry Surtees (son of former F1 World Chamion John), Alex Brundle (son of BBC F1 commentator and former driver Martin) and Jolyon Palmer (son of MSV owner and former F1 driver Jonathan).
For more information about the Championship, please click here

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Castroneves Takes Third Indy 500 Victory

Team Penske driver Helio Catroneves has taken his third career Indy 500 victory after starting from pole and leading the race for sixty six laps.

An excellent second place went to Brit Dan Wheldon who had started from a lowly 18th on the grid. Third place on the podium went to Danica Patrick.

Wonder how long it will be before we see a female driver in F1? Maybe if the much vaunted US F1 team joins the circus they will give Patrick or maybe Sarah Fisher a run out. It would be an interesting PR/media angle if nothing else....
Scot Dario Franchitti finished in 7th place dropping back from his original P3 qualifying position.
Rookie driver, Mike Conway from Kent aquitted himself well in his first Indy 500 race going the full distance, finishing in 18th place after starting from 27th on the grid and also overcoming injuries sustained in the pre-race build up.
Former F1 driver Justin Wilson crashed out on lap 160 and was classified in 23rd place.
For full race results please click here.
The 2010 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for 30th May.

Jenson Button Makes It Five Wins out of Six in Monaco

Jenson Button has continued his winning streak by taking a lights to flag victory at the Monaco GP. He has now won five of the six Grand Prix so far this year.

Although it may sound churlish and unpatriotic, the season is in danger of going stale (as it often did in the Schumacher era) if one driver continues to dominate.

I am hoping that one or (preferably) more of the other drivers, maybe Vettel or Barrichello or even Mark Webber, will snatch a victory or JB will encounter some unreliability to even out the playing field and spice things up a bit.

Compare the 2009 F1 season - two different winners to date - with this year's BTCC season - seven different winners in seven races.

Going back to the Monaco GP..... Button's Brawn GP team mate Rubens Barrichello came second and in third place, scoring Ferrari's only podium finish to date, was Kimi Raikkonen.

The Ferraris do finally seem to have picked up a bit of pace after their worst season start for decades.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

F1 Budget Cap Latest - Williams Confirm 2010 Entry

FOTA, (The Formula 1 Teams Association) has upped the ante in their dispute with the FIA by again calling for the proposed 2010 £40m budget cap to be revoked as a pre-condition of their continuing to participate in the Championship.

Following several meetings at the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend, FIA president Max Mosley indicated that agreement on a budget cap was close, although he did admit that it may not come into effect until 2011.

The view of FOTA is that they are best placed to decide on and implement any necessary cost cutting exercises rather than having them forced upon them by the FIA.

The deadline for entries to the 2010 season is on Friday (29th May). Whilst all the teams are keen to maintain a united front in talks with Mosley, Williams F1 lodged their application for 2010 on Monday (25th May).
Williams stressed that it felt duty-bound to honour undertakings it had given to compete in F1 through to the end of 2010 but had no intention of leaving FOTA.

Mosley has initmated that the FIA may be willing to compromise over the implementation of the budget cap by treating 2010 as a transitional year with changes gradually fased in before coming into full effect in 2011.

It remains to be seen whether an agreement will be reached before the Friday deadline.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Formula 1 Budget Cap Row Rumbles On (and on)

There has still be no resolution to the Formula 1 budget cap row despite further talks in Monaco today (Friday) between the teams, Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley of the FIA.

Earlier in the week an injunction from Ferrari to stop the planned budget cap was kicked out of court.

Ferrari are being even more up the own arse than usual this week making some very scathing comments about the "quality"of the new teams vying to join the F1 Championship next year. (These teams include prestigious and highly experienced companies such as Lola).

According to Ferrari it will be more like GP3 next year than F1.

Perhaps it has escaped their attention that they are being soundly whipped this year by a two bob team by the name of Brawn GP?

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't McLaren, Williams and umpteen other teams start from scratch with limited budgets before growing to where they are now?

In the latest twist Ferrari are threatening legal action as they say they were given a right of veto over technical changes in 2005. Ecclestone is hinting at a possible counter claim against Ferrari for breach of contract should they quit the sport before 2012.

Further talks are planned for Saturday......

Nico Rosberg Fastest in Monaco Practice Session 2

Williams Nico Rosberg has set the fastest time in the second practice session for Sunday's Monaco F1 Grand Prix.

Throughout the season so far Rosberg has been consistantly fast during Friday practice sessions but unfortunately has not been able to carry this speed into qualifying on Saturdays or the race on Sundays.

There are rumours that he is getting frustrated with the Williams Team. Lets hope Patrick and Frank can get the issues with the car resolved soon so that he can show his talents. Maybe a good result is on the cards this weekend.

The two McLarens of Hamilton and Kovalainen are showing improved pace round Monaco with Hamilton second fastest behind Rosberg.

The Brawns are also fast again with Barrichello quicker than his team mate Button in both practice sessions.

Could it be Rubens turn to take the win this time following his disappointment in Spain? All will be revealed as the weekend progresses.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Indy 500 Starting Grid

The starting line up for the Indianapolis 500 has been settled.

As reported previously on this blog, Scot Dario Franchitti has qualified in P3 for this Sunday's Indy 500. Other qualifiers of interest to British fans are former F1 driver Justin Wilson in P15, Dan Wheldon in P18 and youngster Mike Conway in P27.

Conway did well to qualify following an accident at an earlier Indy 500 practice session.

Highest female qualifier is Danica Patrick in P10.

For full details of the starting grid please click here

Some food for thought for Ecclestone and Co..... starting prices for tickets at the Indy 500 are only US $ 20!

Due to Ecclestone's insatiable greed for ever bigger profits, ticket prices in Formula 1 are getting out of the reach of the average hard working motor sports fan.

Imagine how many new fans could be attracted to the sport if gate prices at the British Grand Prix started at onbly £ 20 or £ 30?

BTCC: Thompson does the double in the wet at Donington

Despite rumours circulating beforehand that the circuit would not be ready in time, Donington Park was able to host rounds 7-9 of the BTCC over the weekend of the 16th/17th May.

James Thompson who has recently joined Team Dynamics had an excellent weekend with wins in the first two races and a sixth place finish in the third.

After winning race one, Thompson became the seventh different winner in as many races this season. A clear indication, as if one was needed, of how close the racing is in the BTCC.

Race one was heavily rain affected. The experienced Thompson was able to move into the lead after a slow start from young Andy Jordan who had inherited pole position from his VX Racing team mate Giovanardi. The Italian clocked the fastest time in Saturday qualifying but was dropped to the back of the grid due to a technical issue with his car.

Thompson managed to maintain the lead through to the end of the race and was followed home by Jordan (2nd), Neal (3rd) and Collard (4th).

There were very creditable performances from Harry Vaulkhard finishing in 5th and Jonathan Adam in 6th.

In race two, the rain abated and Thompson lead away from the start maintaining that position through to the chequered flag. The two Vauxhalls of Championship leader Neal and reigning champion Giovanardi finished second and third respectively.

Jason Plato in the Chevrolet Lacetti came in fourth, followed by Colin Turkington in the BMW and Plato's team mate Matt Jackson in sixth.

Race three started with another downpour but the track later dried. Rob Collard in the Team Airwaves BMW made a lightning start and opened up an early lead which he held through to the end of the race.

Turkington took second place with Plato in third - his first and only podium finish of the weekend. Matt Jackson took fourth spot followed by Giovanardi and Thompson in sixth, putting him in contention for the Championship even at this early stage of the season.

Next rounds - 10 to 12 - Oulton Park 30th/31st May

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Dario Franchitti Third on the Grid for Indy 500

Scotland's Dario Franchitti has qualified third on the grid for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 which will be run on 24th May.

Pole position for the 93rd running of the historic race was taken by Brazilian Helios Castroneves and P2 by Aussie Ryan Briscoe.

Castroneves set an average qualifying speed of 224.864 mph.

This year marks the centenary of the construction of the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 200 lap, 500 mile Indy 500 race has been run since 1911, only interrupted briefly by war. Between 1950 and 1960 the race counted towards the Formula 1 World Championship.

Now Renault & Red Bull Threaten to Quit F1 - Crisis Talks in London Tomorrow

Following the recent announcements from Toyota and Ferrari, Renault and Red Bull Racing have also now threatened to pull out of Formula 1 if radical changes are not made to the proposed 2010 budget cap.

In an effort to resolve the dispute, Formula 1 teams are due to meet Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone at a London hotel on Friday.

FIA boss Mosley, has attempted to railroad through a "voluntary" budget cap of £40m for the 2010 season. Teams opting for the budget cap would be allowed greater technical freedom than those operating outside the arrangement.

Whilst it is clearly imperative that the untenable levels of spending in Formula 1 are reigned in, at the same time it is absolutely non sensical to have cars from different teams operating under different technical regulations.

Teams wishing to enter the 2010 season have until the 29th May to submit their applicationsd.

With barely two weeks to go to this deadline the teams and the FIA are playing a high stakes poker game - as usual with scant regard to ordinary F1 fans.

Clearly with half the grid threatening to pull out of the 2010 season some form of compromise solution will have to be hammered out over the next few weeks and months.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Ferrari threaten to quit F1 in 2010

Following the recent announcement of Max Mosley's proposed 2010 Formula 1 budget cap, Ferrari have today threatened to quit the sport if it is not rescinded.
This is clearly an idle threat.
The plain fact is, Ferrari needs Formula 1 and Formula 1 needs Ferrari.
Love them or hate them, Ferrari is an essential element of any Formula 1 season.
Ferrari may, as has been mooted in the past, try to set up or join a rival manufacturers championship. However, in the current financial climate do they really think this could be achiveable bearing in mind the costs involved in setting up a new championship from scratch?
On a practical note, Ecclestone has exclusive deals with all the circuits currently used for Formula 1 grand prix races so finding suitable venues (apart from tracks owned by Ferrari) would be difficult.
Do they think the public would really be interested in watching a race series with a handfull of different cars on the grid?
Mosley and Co would be cutting off their noses to spite their faces too if Ferrari were to pull out after more than half a century. Television audiences would plummet and ergo advertising revenues.
As is usual in Formula 1 nowadays the last people to be considered by either the F1 teams or the sport's governing body are the fans who ultimately pay their inflated wages!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Button wins at Spanish GP - Barrichello Spits the Dummy!

Britain's Jenson Button drove his way to victory number four of the 2009 F1 season at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday beating his Brawn GP team mate Rubens Barrichello into second place.

Barrichello had outpaced and passed Button at the start of the race to take the lead and on his planned three stop strategy should have won the race. During the race Brawn GP decided to switch Button from three stop to a two stop strategy enabling him to take the victory.

On the BBC F1 coverage you could clearly see Barrichello was bemused to find himself in second place when he clearly thought the win had been in his grasp.

Post race Barrichello was quoted as saying he would "hang up his helmet" immediately if he had any suspicion that Ross Brawn was favouring Button. Brawn has denied showing any favour to either of his two drivers.

It must seem like deja vu to Barrichello after playing Patsy to Michael Schumacher for all those years at Ferrari - same team boss - same scenario - just a smaller pay packet!

L2F's view is that Rubens is being paranoid. Ross Brawn has been around too long to put all his eggs in one basket when there are still twelve races left to run.

Button is clearly on a roll at the moment but cast your mind back to earlier in his career when things weren't running so smoothly for him - for example his time at Renault when the perma tanned one had to give him the hurry up or the is he going to Williams or isn't he debacle.

A few DNF's here and there or a slip up or two for Button and Barrichello could still have his day. They should both keep an eye on young Vettel of Red Bull too.

By the way L2F tip - Barrichello for victory at Silverstone.......

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

FIA Boss Max Mosley's Son Alexander Found Dead

Alexander Mosley, the son of FIA boss Max Mosley has been found dead at his home in Notting Hill, London earlier today after a suspected drug overdose.

Metropolitan Police detectives are currently investigating whether the 39 year old restaurateur's death was an accident or suicide.

It is suggested that Alexander may have been a recreational drugs user.

Williams Taking an Interest in Adam Carroll

Following his triumph at the A1 GP at Brands Hatch last weekend and excellent performances for Team Ireland throughout the season, we hear rumours that Patrick Head of Williams F1 is taking a keen interest in Adam Carroll's career.

Maybe he will get a chance to test for Williams at some point next year - watch this space!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

A1 GP Brands Hatch - Double Victory For Carroll Seals Title For Team Ireland

Adam Carroll converted his two Saturday pole positions and Brands Hatch lap record into two victories today at the same time clinching the A1 GP 08/09 Championship for Team Ireland.

In the morning sprint race, Carroll had initially lost the lead to Team Mexico's Salvador Duran off the start but was later able to regain the lead following his mandatory pit stop.

Narain Karthikeyan for Team India who had started from seventh on the grid made up ground to evenutally take second place. Duran took a well deserved third step of the podium.

Team New Zealand's Earl Bamber had a coming together with the Team Lebanon car at Paddock Hill Bend putting them both out of the race.
The final results of the sprint race were as follows -

1. Ireland (Adam Carroll), 16 laps

2. India (Narain Karthikeyan), +7.230s

3. Mexico (Salvador Duran), +12.340s

4. USA (JR Hildebrand), +12.689s

5. Portugal (Filipe Albuquerque), +13.018s

6. Netherlands (Jeroen Bleekemolen), +13.783s

7. Australia (John Martin), +15.208s

8. Switzerland (Neel Jani), +22.220s

9. France (Nicolas Prost), +22.945s

10. Italy (Vitantonio Liuzzi), +27.062s

There was a lot of support for Team Ireland today at Brands Hatch and even the Red Devils showed their goodwill!

In the feature race, Carroll had it sown up from start to finish - a classic lights to flag victory.

Narain Karthikeyan of Team India and Frankie Cheng of Team China crashed off at Paddock Hill Bend at the start of the race.

Jeroen Bleekemolen of Team Netherlands, who had a very good weekend overall, finished the race in second place with Neel Jani of Team Switzerland in third.

Dan Clark for Team GB finished in seventh place after fending of Team Australia's John Martin for a large part of the race.

The final results for the feature race were as follows -

1. Ireland (Adam Carroll), 49 laps

2. Netherlands (Jeroen Bleekemolen), +10.156s

3. Switzerland (Neel Jani), +13.564s

4. Monaco (Clivio Piccione), +14.293s

5. Portugal (Filipe Albuquerque), +16.484s

6. Mexico (Salvador Duran), +21.810s

7. Great Britain (Dan Clarke), +23.409s

8. Australia (John Martin), +24.493s

9. Italy (Vitantonio Liuzzi), + l lap

10. France (Nicolas Prost), + 1 lap

L2F junior had an enjoyable but very tiring day and looks forward to more A1 GP action at Brands Hatch in the new season!

A1 GP Brands Hatch - Team Ireland in the Box Seats - Double Pole & Lap Record for Carroll

Team Ireland have put themselves firmly in the box seats to win the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport title for the 08/09 season following today's qualifying session at Brands Hatch.

Adam Carroll smashed the Brands Hatch lap record to take pole for both the sprint and feature races which will be held on Sunday.

The new Ferrari powered A1 cars are 2-3 seconds per lap faster than the Lola-Zytek A1 cars used in previous seasons.

Team Mexico's Salvador Duran qualified second in the sprint race while Team Monaco put in an excellent performance to take that in the feature race

Team Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen continued his good form qualifying third for both the sprint and feature races despite having an eventfull morning practice session.

Shortly after having set the fastest practice time, he braked too late and went off at Druids. Being a good sport he assisted the marshalls with the recovery of his car - can you imagine an F1 driver doing that?

The top ten qualifying positions for each race are as follows -
Sprint Race qualifying result:
1. Ireland (Adam Carroll), 1m11.615s

2. Mexico (Salvador Duran), +0.038s

3. Netherlands (Jeroen Bleekemolen), +0.377s

4. USA (JR Hildebrand), +0.379s

5. Portugal (Filipe Albuquerque), +0.425s

6. New Zealand (Earl Bamber), +0.493s

7. India (Narain Karthikeyan), +0.494s

8. Switzerland (Neel Jani), +0.597s

9. Indonesia (Satrio Hermanto), +1.043s

10. Australia (John Martin), +1.130s

Feature Race qualifying result:

1. Ireland (Adam Carroll), 1m10.902

2. Monaco (Clivio Piccione), +0.183s

3. Netherlands (Jeroen Bleekemolen), +0.244s

4. Switzerland (Neel Jani), +0.436s

5. France (Nicolas Prost), +0.641s

6. New Zealand (Earl Bamber), +0.731s

7. Australia (John Martin), +1.028s

8. China (Congfu Cheng), +1.278s

9. Portugal (Filipe Albuquerque), +1.368s

10. India (Narain Karthikeyan), +1.495s

L2F will be at Brands Hatch for both races on Sunday together with Mrs L2F and L2F junior.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Team Netherlands Fastest in Second Practice at A1 GP Brands Hatch

The final Championship deciding round of the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport is taking place at Brands Hatch this weekend.

Three countries - Ireland, Portgual and Switzerland are vying for the title honours which will only be finally decided after the feature race on Sunday afternoon.

The closing round of the season was due to have taken place in Mexico but had to be cancelled due to the swine flu epidemic.

L2F senior was at Brands Hatch today and can report that the new Ferrari powered cars are very impressive and sound great!

In the final Friday practice session, to the delight of the travelling Dutch fans, Team Netherlands topped the time sheets.

Their car was driven in that session by Jeroen Bleekemolen. The Team Ireland car piloted by Adam Carroll was second fastest followed by former Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan for Team India.

It will be interesting to see if Karthikeyan can replicate this performance again in qualifying for Sunday's race.

Last yearKarthikeyan snatched victory in the feature race at Brands Hatch.

Friday final practice session top ten positions and lap times -

1. Netherlands (Jeroen Bleekemolen), 1m12.1002.

2. Ireland (Adam Carroll), +0.503s

3. India (Narain Karthikeyan), +0.584s

4. Monaco (Clivio Piccione), +0.698s

5. USA (JR Hildebrand), +0.698s

6. Portugal (Filipe Albuquerque), +0.703s

7. France (Nicolas Prost), +0.868s

8. New Zealand (Earl Bamber), +0.892s

9. Australia (John Martin), +1.192s

10. Switzerland (Neel Jani), +1.192s

Meanwhile, Team Great Britain who were off the pace all day could only manage eleventh fastest.

Hopefully they will be able to squeeze some extra performance from the car in time for Saturday's qualifying.

Friday, 1 May 2009

End to a busy month - Jenson wins in Bahrain / BTCC action at Thruxton

April came to a close with plenty of action both on and off track.
Jenson Button picked up his third win of the season at last weekend's Bahrain GP joined on the podium by German wunderkind Sebastian Vettel and Toyota's Jarno Trulli.

Lewis Hamilton in the much improved McLaren came in fourth - his season's best to date.

Meanwhile in the latest BTCC rounds at Thruxton, James Thompson made a welcome return to the series action with Team Dynamics sporting another of his decidedly dodgy hair dos!!

(Fortunately his driving makes up for it so we can forgive him)
The VX Racing team scored a 1-2-3 in the first race with Giovanardi leading home Matt Neal and young Andrew Jordan.
Colin Turkington took victory in race two after a closely fought battle with Giovanardi while Matt Jackson, debuting in an RML Chevrolet had an excellent win in race three.
Off track, McLaren received their expected rap across the knuckles - a suspended race ban. Ron Dennis's recent departure from the scene would appear to have been sufficient to appease the F1 hierarchy.
Today the FIA have announced their planned £ 40 million spending cap for the 2010 season which they hope will lead to up to an additional six cars joining the grid. Several teams including McLaren and Williams have already raised concerns.
No doubt this one will rumble on over the next few months!