Swiss racer, Niki Leutwiler and French teammate Julien Schell picked up full points following excellent wins in both races of the SPEED EuroSeries at the Brands Hatch GP circuit last weekend. The Pegasus Racing Honda Ligier JS53 ran faultlessly all weekend to deliver its drivers to the top step of the podium for rounds 3 & 4 of the series having claimed pole position in the CN category for race 2.
The team deserve great credit; following problems in the build up to race 1 which saw the car arrive late in the assembly area following a frantic last-gasp gearbox change. Starting from second in the class, both racers held their nerve to steer the car to the win – a first victory in SPEED for the amiable Leutwiler and results which take Niki and Julien to the top of the points standings.
A double-win in the invitation category on its debut in SPEED EuroSeries racing by the Gibson Motorsport CN chassis saw a new manufacturer announce its presence on the sports prototype scene with immediate impact as drivers Dan Gibson and Tom Bradshaw (pictured below) put in great performances to take honours at Brands Hatch.
Running in the invitation category as late entrants to the 2013 championship the car, built over the last 18 months to the FIA’s CN specification, was on pole position for both races despite a strong challenge on track from the Pegasus Racing Ligier JS53 of Julien Schell and Niki Leutwiler and the RLR Msport JS53 of Jean-Lou Rihon and Jono Coleman.
The AD Team Tiga entries again demonstrated an impressive commitment to the spirit of the formula. Team principal and Le Mans stalwart Mike Newton was at the wheel with experienced racer, Alan Bonner. The pair were driving the TIGA A chassis and began the weekend with the innovative rear wing set up which first appeared on the car at the opening rounds in Hungary. Following race 1, Newton and the Orex team made the call to completely remodel the rear end, reverting to a more conventional wing design for race 2, a decision which improved the car’s performance.
In the second team car, Alex Champkin paired up with Australian Roman Krumins. Alex is a young racer of note and fared well in his first step up from Clubman racing whilst Roman had travelled from Australia to race having seen the series advertised on the RaceCarsDirect.com website. Roman spent the week with the team, helped out in the workshop and was delighted to make it onto the podium at Brands Hatch.
More details to follow…
Main photo by Darren Hurrell – www.drhurrell.co.uk
Richard Fearns will run his Radical SR8 in the invitation category of the SPEED EuroSeries at Brands Hatch on the Grand Prix circuit on July 27/28.
The entry, run under the Studio42 banner, will be the first time since 2010 (when the series was a UK-based entity) that vehicles other than CN sports protos have competed in the SPEED EuroSeries and will be the chance for an intereststing comparison of the chassis as the series looks at evololving the 2014 format.
“I’m pleased to welcome Richard onto the grid at Brands. We had him involved in SPEED UK a few years ago and he was an active member of the field and having the SR8 included on the entry will be a very interesting experience. We’re currently working on a feasibility study for an expanded European sports prototype and GT4 series in 2014 and the Brands race will give us a good benchmark. I’m hopeful of adding more cars into the invitation class over the next few days before entries close.”
Studio 42 is a Hot Yoga and Pilates studio in Reading, run by Richard’s wife Lilli. Hot Yoga is practiced by many sportsman for increasing core strength & flexibility. Studio42’s customers include members of the England Hockey and Football teams as well as Reading football team players. 2014 Wimbledon Champion, Andy Murray, is a devoted Hot Yoga practitioner.
The new Gibson GH-19 chassis, the first CN sports prototype from the Gibson Motorsport factory known for it’s Clubmans cars under the Nemesis brand, has been entered for the final 3 events of the 2013 SPEED EuroSeries season with Dan Gibson and Tom Bradshaw set to drive at the next races on the Brands Hatch GP circuit (27-28th July).
The Gibson chassis was first announced in 2012 and following a long gestation period has impressed in recent tests and will be a welcome addition to the SPEED grid with veteran race engineer and designer, Rob Bicknell, helping the Gibson Motorsport squad having been with them when father and son Paul and Dan Gibson raced the car he designed some years ago.
“Its been a lot of graft to get the car on track but we’re delighted to be able to include the Gibson on the SPEED entry list for Brands Hatch,” says Oli McCrudden form SPEED.”Dan and Tom are both strong drivers who have been active participants in sports proto racing so the car is in capable hands and we look forward to watching the development continue over the remainder of the season.”
The event runs at the Kent circuit on 27 – 28th July. For more details see the Event page.
With just over a month to go before Rounds 3 & 4 of the SPEED EuroSeries, entries are showing a new raft of names including Australian racer, Roman Krumins, who will travel from Down Under to compete on the iconic Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit behind the wheel of one of the TIGA CN cars.
Krumins, third in Formula 3 Australia National class in 2010 and with several years national competition in Formula Ford and other racs, will be one of several pilots in the TIGA camp as the team fields 4 cars, with the Orex branded WFR chassis which won the championship in 2010 now part of the team’s stable.
Oli McCrudden, SPEED Organiser: “TIGA has been working hard to generate interest in their chassis and clearly that effort is paying dividends with Roman committing to the race. Its an admirable effort and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to the paddock in Kent in July.”
The grid for the meeting is looking to be strong with several extra players from the world of Radicals and Sports 2000 racing joining in the Invitation Class to add to many of the regular SPEED CN cars. More details to follow…
Driver info: Roman Krumins www.rkmotorsport.com
Following discussions with teams, manufacturers and drivers, the SPEED EuroSeries calendar has been reshaped in line with competitor requirements.
The new look schedule will feature an 8 race, 4 meeting championship with runs at Brands Hatch, Dijon and Spa making up the series following the opening 2 rounds at the FIA World Touring Car Championship event at the Hungaroring in May.
Oli McCrudden, SPEED coordinator: “The constructive meeting we held recently indicated that there is a clear desire for the series to continue. The specific points that were made clear included a desire for a series of events consolidated around more northern European venues and sticking with the traditional SPEED 2-race format.”
The Brands Hatch event will replace the Nurburgring meeting originally included on the calendar. The German organisers, under schedule pressures at their busy event, had been forced to reduce the SPEED content to 3 x 20 minute sessions and required the series to join with another championship on track, neither of which would fit in with the championship’s FIA regulations.
“Its a shame not to be at the Ring but circumstances dictate the change and we will aim to run a full programme there in 2014,” continued McCrudden. “The UK organising clubs extremely supportive in looking to help the SPEED EuroSeries. We worked with our friends at the BRSCC in looking at a Donington potential but ultimately the competitor response was not string enough. We included a meeting at Brands Hatch on the calendar at the start of the season and will maintain that on our schedule as rounds 3 and 4. The Brands Hatch GP track is fantastic; it is one of those great circuits of the world. It gives the UK teams an important opportunity to race in front of their home crowd and is accesible for our European teams.”
The planned Navarra event has also been cancelled at the teams’ request. “The Navarra organsers were offering a fantastic opportunity to race in a new location at a high quality facility and we will certainly work to get there in 2014, but clearly the challenge for 2013 is to focus on traditional race venues in established markets for teams and manufacturers,” said McCrudden.
The Brands Hatch event schedule will see qualifying and Race 1 take place on Saturday 27th July, with a second race on the Sunday. Testing is available on Friday 26th July booked through the circuit.For more information, visit the MSVR website. Click here.
Alessandro Latif and Ivan Bellarosa (Honda Wolf) won both races in front of an electrifying crowd of tens of thousands at the FIA WTCC event at the Hungaroring as the SPEED EuroSeries got under way for 2013.
Despite a disapponting entry, the SPEED machines were beautifully presented and the huge Hungarian crowd that was in attendance for local WTCC star Norbi Michelisz appreciated the spectacle. IN qualifying, the Wolf was challenged by the RLR Msport Honda Ligier of Simon Phillips and Rob Garofall. The latter mounted a challenge to the Bellarosa lap times having not been in a car for over 18 months and showed why he is a driver to be reckoned with. Julien Schell (Pegasus Racing Honda Ligier) and Niki Leutwiler were also keeping the Wolf in their sights during qualifying but ultimately the 2012 Champion prevailed. Behind the three leading protagonists, the second Pegasus Ligier of the excellent Amandine Foulard and returning Gentleman racer, Belgian Jean-Lou Rihon vied for position with the Dean Stirling/Matt Draper and Garry Findlay/Fraser O’Brien Tigas. O’brien was making his debut in the series.
Race 1 was a 90 minute affair which saw strong battles between the drivers with the front there cars seeing the ‘pro’ drivers starting the race. After the driver changes, youngster Latif was charged with teh task of maintaining the lead and his lap times remained impressively steady to secure his first podium visit in SPEED. The Wolf pairing were joined on the podium by the two Ligiers of Phillips/Garofall and Leutwiler/Schell. Leutwiler made a fantastic effort to chase down Phillips after the driver change, closing at over a second per lap but as the cars drew alongside each other on the start-finish straight with just 10 minutes remaining, the Swiss racer span out of the fight at turn 1 and had to settle for third.
In race 2, Latif lead the first half hour when he changed to Bellarosa. After that the Wolf was not challenged for the lead and whilst entertaining races were had throughout the field, the same drivers made the podium – with Schell and Leutwiler ahead of Garofall and Phillips this time.
With a Euro 10,000 prize fund offered by the Series organisers and suppliers, all drivers went away with a win bonus on their accounts.
Full results and details on the Hungaroring event page on the SPEED website.
Some familiar faces will be on the SPEED EuroSeries grid at the Hungaroring this weekend when the championship kicks off as part of the huge FIA World Touring Car Championship event.
Rob Garofall, a previous winner of the UK SPEED Series, will be at the wheel of the RLR Msport prepared Ligier JS53 alongside anotehr former SPEED UK racer, Simon Phillips. Garofall was a runner up in the inaugural Daytona Challenge in 2010 when he narrowly missed out on a Daytona drive prize when his car failed at the last race of the season. Phillips, part of the Norma UK outfit in 2009-10 seasons, went on to race in the RLR LMP2 ELMS entry in 2011 alongside Garofall and Barry Gates.
Elsewhere, Simon Phillips’ former Norma UK teammate, Jean Lou Rihon, will be joining racy lady Amandine Foulard as the pair take to the track in the Pegasus Racing Ligier JS53 – one of two cars run by the outfit this weekend. The other will be driven by former SPEED EuroSeries race winner, Julien Schell who partners with Swiss ace, Niki Leutwiler.
Last year’s Champion, Ivan Bellarosa, will this season run with his Wolf driving with young star in the making, Alessandro Latif. The pair have already competed in other races this season and collected honours so should be one to watch. Other racers expected are Stef Romecki and Dom Cauvin.
SPEED EuroSeries competitors will be based in the pit box garages at the Hungaroring event. The box is included in the race entry fee.
There will be 2 – 3 cars per garage.
Access details and timetable will follow in due course.
Example of Hungaroring garage layout shown below:
SPEED EUROSERIES KICKS OFF AT HUNGARORING WITH €10,000 PRIZE FUND BOOST
The SPEED EuroSeries will offer a €10,000 prize fund for the first event of the rescheduled 2013 season at the WTCC meeting at the Hungaroring on 3-5 May.
The overall winner in Hungary will collect €2000, with €1500 for second and €1000 for third. Other prize monies are available (see details below). There is an even bigger prize fund for the end of season awards making this the best rewarded SPEED EuroSeries ever.
SPEED EuroSeries Hungaroring Prize Fund
|Highest places sporting (amateur) drivers
|Highest placed lady driver
|Highest placed non-carbon car
|Second placed non-carbon car
|Third placed non-carbon car
These awards will be made for the results of Race 2 on Sunday May 5th at Hungaroring.
“Following the decision to cancel the planned Monza event we sat down with our partners including the very enthusiastic Eurosport Events who run the WTCC events and they really want to have our sportscars running to broaden the event offering. Together we have been able to put this excellent prize fund on the table to attract the best possible grid. We want to run a slimmer calendar this year with an even more attractive overall prize package with an even better budget and including a LMP2 test drive and with two brand new Honda K20A engines, one for the outright points winner and one for the earlier class victor. Remember we also have the fabulous Sunoco Daytona Challenge open to SPEED competitors which was won last season by our reigning champion, Ivan Bellarosa,” says Oliver McCrudden, CEO of SPEED EuroSeries organiser World Sports Car Organisation.
The SPEED EuroSeries will commence at the WTCC event at the Hungaroring 3-5 May.
The event will run over 3 days with SPEED competitors having 2 x 60 minute free practice sessions on the Friday followed by a 60 minute qualifying sessions and 90 minute race on Saturday. The Sunday will see another 90 minute race take place before the main WTCC event.
“Following the decision to cancel the planned Monza event we sat down with our partners including the very enthusiastic Eurosport Events who run the WTCC events and they really want to have our sportscars running to broaden the event offering. Together we have been able to put an excellent prize fund on the table to attract the best possible grid, the details of which will be communicated next week. We will run a slimmer calendar this year with an even more attractive overall prize package including a LMP2 test drive and two brand new Honda K20A engines for the winner overall and the class winner for earlier chassis machines. We also have the fabulous Sunoco Daytona Challenge open to SPEED competitors which was won last season by our reigning champion, Ivan Bellarosa,” says Oliver McCrudden, CEO of SPEED EuroSeries organiser World Sports Car Organisation.
Timetable, hotel partners and information regarding garages will be issued next week (commencing 08/04/13).