F1Weekly podcast # 733

CLARK AND NASIR DUST OFF THEIR CAMPING CHAIRS AND SIT DOWN FOR A CHAT ABOUT THE HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX RESULTS AND THE F1W FAMILIA VACATION PLANS. WE ALSO WANT TO POINT OUT THAT MIKA HAKKINEN WILL BE AT MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA RIGHT HERE IN F1W’S BACK YARD!!

Mika Häkkinen To Drive Iconic McLaren M23 at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

 McLaren ambassador Mika Häkkinen will delight fans when he gets behind the wheel of Emerson Fittipaldi’s 1974 world championship-winning McLaren M23 at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on August 17-20. Häkkinen is filling in for Jenson Button, who was originally slated to drive the McLaren M23.

“The Flying Finn,” 48, drove 130 Grands Prix for the McLaren team between 1993 and 2001, winning 20 of them, and taking two Drivers’ World Championship titles (1998 and 1999). Häkkinen’s on-track battles against Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher have become part of Formula 1 folklore, and Häkkinen therefore endures as one of the sport’s most iconic, ironic, laconic and popular superstars.

The event, held at the similarly iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, represents all that is good and glorious about classic motorsport, with more than 550 historic entries on the race card for the weekend. Häkkinen is scheduled to make a pair of 15-minute exhibitions each day that will begin on Friday, August 18, at 12:50 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. and Saturday, August 19 at 12:30 p.m. and 3:50 p.m.

“Though we were looking forward to having Jenson Button at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, we are delighted that a driver of Mika’s caliber is able to take his place,” said Gill Campbell, Senior Vice President of Event Operations at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Formula 1 is the pinnacle of racing advancement, and Mika will be able to showcase a car with great racing history during his spirited exhibition laps. Fans will surely enjoy the link between past and present during the exhibitions and throughout the event. Thank you to McLaren for making this happen.”

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BRITISH FORMULA 3

BRDC BRITISH FORMULA 3. THE ACEMAN AHEAD BY A CENTURY.

London-based F1Weekly friend, Enaam Ahmed, extended his lead in the 2017 BRDC British F3 to an impressive 106 points over Carlin teammate James Pull.

The series saw action this past weekend in the Kent countryside at Brands Hatch, racing at the full grand prix course. There are three races per round and this was Round 6 of 8.

Brands Hatch is the home of first grand prix win of “our Nige” way back in 1985. Over the weekend it was the scene of young, talented and aspiring F1 drivers battling to get noticed by those looking for the next big thing. One of them is Enaam Ahmed.

At F1Weekly we are pleased and proud to spot many young talented drivers for the last 10+ seasons. From Alexander Rossi and Esteban Gutierrez while they were battling in Formula BMW, to Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas from their time in F3. Each of them graduated to F1.

Enaam Ahmed appeared on our racing radar when he was splashing to success in the cut-throat world of European karting. Winning five championships in his final karting season, 2014, led to high expectations in single seater racing. And E-delivered.

In the 2017 British F3 season, Enaam started with perfect score, winning all three races in the opening round at Oulton Park. Victory in race 2 was very special as he came through from eighth on the grid to take the chequered flag.

His winning ways continued in the second round, taking victory in the opening race of the weekend at the Rockingham roval. Mayhem on the opening lap, not of his own making, forced him to take evasive action which dropped him to the back of the field. He got into the points by the end of the race and was classified 8th. Same scenario and result in the final race of the weekend, only this time Enaam went off the track while trying to battle his teammate James Pull for third place.

Round 3 was in Lotus country, Snetterton in East Anglia. Another strong weekend for Enaam, pair of wins and sixth place finish in the second race helped in advancing his championship lead.

His win tally after three rounds was 6 from 9 starts.

Silverstone, “The Home of British Motorsports”, welcomed the British F3 drivers for Round 4. Enaam added to his points total by appearing on the podium twice (2nd & 3rd) and a fifth place finish.

From Silverstone the championship travelled to Spa-Francorchamps for Round 5. Victory in race one eluded Enaam by just one second, but he made up for it by winning the remaining two races of the weekend at the fabled Belgian circuit set in the Ardennes forest.

Round 6 was back in Britain at Brands Hatch this past weekend. Enaam enjoyed a comfortable 82-point lead over Toby Sowery after Spa. Winning pole position for the first race of the weekend gave Enaam an excellent opportunity to extend his already substantial lead in the championship. He led the race from the start but heavy downpour midway through the race made the track very slippery and several drivers went-off. The carnage brought the red flag out and the race was over a few laps earlier, giving Enaam his ninth win of the season.

Enaam was back on the top step of the podium in the final race of the weekend. His 10th  victory and third place finish in the second race has given the London lad a 106-point lead over James Pull with only two rounds remaining.

The race winner and championship leader in his own words, “I was pushing hard every lap as you have to be on it every lap. I was trying to get the fastest lap and be as consistent as possible. I’d like to say a big thank you to Trevor (Carlin) for letting me drive his car this year and everyone who came down to support me.”

The series will go back to Snetterton at the end of this month and the final round will be at Donington next month.

We look forward to Enaam Ahmed and the F1Weekly flag on his Tatuus F3 machinery fly to championship success come September.

A winning tune.

– Nasir Hameed

All photos courtesy of www.britishf3.com

BRITISH GT CHAMPIONSHIP

MINSHAW/KEEN AND MOORE/NICOLL-JONES OVERCOME THE ELEMENTS TO CLAIM BRANDS HATCH POLES

Minshaw/Keen and Moore/Nicoll-Jones overcome the elements to claim Brands Hatch poles

Barwell Motorsport’s Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen mastered wet conditions at Brands Hatch earlier today to claim pole position for tomorrow’s penultimate round of this season’s British GT Championship. Elsewhere, Academy Motorsport’s decision to switch to slick tyres on a drying track helped Will Moore and Matt Nicoll-Jones secure top spot in a fiercely contested GT4 qualifying session.

Macmillan AMR’s James Littlejohn and Jack Mitchell line up on the overall front row after lapping a combined 2.7s slower than Minshaw and Keen, while Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell’s Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren fell 0.132s shy of toppling Nicoll-Jones and Moore’s Aston Martin.

The heavy rain that fell just before this afternoon’s opening session ensured wet tyres were essential for both 10-minute segments.

Championship leader Minshaw, who could seal the title with a round to spare this weekend, was immense in the worst of the conditions as he continually thwart James Littlejohn’s attempts to claim provisional pole.

The Barwell Lamborghini improved on each of its first three laps before Littlejohn’s Macmillan AMR Aston Martin finally overhauled the Huracan. But Minshaw wasn’t finished and circulated quicker again on consecutive laps to establish a 0.718s advantage ahead of the GT3 Pro session.

Liam Griffin also improved late on to vault Barwell’s second Huracan up to third ahead of TF Sport’s Mark Farmer who initially looked like posing the biggest threat to Minshaw. Richard Neary put the Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing Mercedes-AMG fifth, while Rick Parfitt Jnr – whose Bentley is notoriously tricky in the wet – finished sixth.

MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA

RACING THROUGH THE DECADES FEATURE DISPLAY AT ROLEX MONTEREY MOTORSPORTS REUNION ENCAPSULATES 60 YEARS OF MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA 

MONTEREY, Calif., August 4, 2017 — Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion attendees will have the chance to gaze upon 60 years of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca racing history in the paddock on August 17-20. A special Racing Through the Decades feature display will showcase 12 prominent racing vehicles with history at the iconic circuit.

The contrast will be prevalent with the first and most recent winners at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca being displayed across from one another. The 1956 Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa that Pete Lovely drove to victory at the inaugural Laguna Seca event, the Pebble Beach Road Races in 1957, and the 2016 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 that Alvaro Parente won the Pirelli World Challenge event in last October will bookend a dozen chapters of motorsports in the Monterey Peninsula under one tent.

The display will include a 1956 Porsche 356A Carrera that competed in the last Pebble Beach race, a 1963 Shelby King Cobra, a 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 302, a 1973 Porsche 917/30, a 1983 March Indy Car (the first to win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca), a 1985 Porsche 962, a 1993 AAR Toyota Eagle, a 1999 BMW V12 LMR, and a 2005 Audi R8, all with unique ties to the 2.238-mile circuit. Fans will also be able to get up close and personal with Wayne Rainey’s 1989 Yamaha YZR500 that he rode to a win at the 1989 U.S. Grand Prix, his first of three consecutive victories in Monterey.

Located in the paddock, fans will have a chance to see the race cars that helped make Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca famous (and vice versa) during the prestigious event where 550 race cars of historic provenance will do what they were designed to do – race – throughout the weekend during a hallmark of the acclaimed Monterey Classic Car Week.

“The yearlong celebration of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s 60th anniversary is brought to life in the Racing Through the Decades feature display that we are thrilled to share at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,” said Gill Campbell, Senior Vice President of Event Operations of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “The visual element illustrates the history and importance of the race track and the privilege we have had in hosting some of the greatest cars and drivers in all of motorsports.”

FORMULA 1

VETTEL WINS IN HUNGARY FERNANDO FINISHES SIXTH

Vettel drove to victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix, staving off handling problems and charges from both his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton to convert his pole into a win.

Vettel had been visibly slower than both the two chasing cars but Ferrari chose not to pull him over in favour of Raikkonen and it was the right call as passing proved almost impossible at the Hungaroring. Raikkonen finished in second and Hamilton ultimately in fourth having given the third place spot he had inherited from his Mercedes team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, back to the Finn at the end.

“I am over the moon,” Vettel said. “It may not have looked like it but it was a difficult race. I had my hands full from the start. Something went wrong. The steering started to go sideways. Towards the end it came back when I had a cushion but I had to stay focused the whole race.”

The Spaniard, whose contract expires at the end of the season, said following Hungarian GP qualifying that he would make a final call on his own future by September – a decision that will almost certainly be influenced by the plans McLaren puts in place for 2018.

“I’m happy we have showed a little bit of performance and I think it will make our relationship better.”

GP3

ALESI DOMINATES RACE 2 IN BUDAPEST

Frenchman leads Trident 1-2-3-4

Giuliano Alesi has backed up his Silverstone Race 2 victory with a lights to flag win in this morning’s GP3 Series Race 2 at the Hungaroring, taking the lead at turn 1 and controlling the pace all the way to the flag to lead Trident’s first 1-2-3-4 ahead of Ryan Tveter, Kevin Jörg and Dorian Bocolacci.

The race got underway with gloriously sunny conditions, and when the lights went out polesitter Tveter made a good getaway and pushed across the track to cover teammate Jörg: unfortunately the American ran too deep at turn 1 to cover the Swiss driver, handing the inside line to Alesi who shot through and into the lead ahead of the pair and Boccolacci as they headed down to turn 2.

Further back Nirei Fukuzumi spun at turn 3 and Leonardo Pulcini ran deep at turn 4, forcing both men to return to the pits, but up ahead Alessio Lorandi was determined to ruin the Trident party and overtook Boccolacci at the final turn before tearing off after the leading trio. But the pace at the front was to prove too much for him: the Italian ran wide over the huge kerbs at turn 11 on lap 7 before stopping with a puncture a few corners later.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast