WSK

JEWISS CREATES HISTORY WITH RICCIARDO KART

KIERN JEWISS HAS STAMPED HIS MARK ON THE EUROPEAN KARTING CIRCUIT by winning the prestigious WSK Champions Cup race in Adria (Italy). 

The first race on the European calendar did not start smoothly for the 13 year old driver. He struggled for pace in testing and qualifying and was in doubt as to how this weekend would pan out.

Qualifying a lowly 40th out of 67 gave the youngster a lot of work to do to achieve the top step by the end of the weekend. Throughout the heats Kiern was the only driver to consistently make up 8 places every race.

A mistake in heat 2 left the driver with a broken front bumper; under new FIA ruling this meant he was awarded with a 10 second penalty dropping him back down the grid. Kiern’s pure desire to win didn’t let it stop him, he worked hard with the team to improve himself and as a result his pace began to match that of the leaders.

Starting P13 on the soaking wet Adria circuit left the young driver with a big task to fulfill. Carving his way through the field up to 8th in the first lap he became caught up in a 4-kart battle allowing the leaders to break away. Once Kiern passed the battling group he set about chasing the front pack down but with only a few laps left, the best could achieve was a 5th place finish.

For the main final this left a determined Kiern on row 5 starting P10, again giving himself some work to do. From the start he moved swiftly in to P7.

Once the youngster got into his rhythm, the Maidstone based racer began to pick the front runners off one by one, and quickly found himself in P2 chasing the leader.

Kiern made his move on the lead driver in his signature style, on the last lap with 3 corners to go, leaving the second place driver having no chance of making an attack.

The young superstar commented after the race – “I didn’t expect this at all coming into today. When I qualified 40th I wondered how I was going to find the pace. But I have to say the team did a great job. They worked with me all week and we finally did it, so a huge thanks to them.  Coming away with a win in my debut OKJ race is a fantastic feeling. But there is always room for improvement, so we must now work harder, again, as a team and see how the next round at Lanato goes”

Kieren Clark (MB Partners) added – “This just shows what Kiern is about. He might have been having a tough time at the beginning of the weekend but you can guarantee he will work as hard as possible to get to the front. His focus and determination is what sets him apart from the rest.

Kiern’s next race with the Ricciardo team will be at the Winter Cup, Lanato (Italy) 20th-21st February.

WRC

MEEKE, AL-QASSIMI AND BREEN UP FOR SWEDISH CHALLENGE

Three cars have been entered by the Abu Dhabi Total WRT at Rally Sweden (11-14 February). Following their impressive performance in Monte-Carlo, Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle will be joined in Scandinavia by Khalid Al-Qassimi/Chris Patterson and Craig Breen/Scott Martin. Each crew will have to negotiate different challenges at one of the most demanding, atypical events of the season.

The only full winter rally on the calendar, Rally Sweden is always eagerly awaited by fans of the WRC. The World Rally Cars are able to drift around the corners of the icy roads at speeds in excess of 160kph thanks to the grip afforded by the Michelin studded tyres. The crews and photographers love it here, as do the many spectators who brave the cold conditions to get a glimpse of their heroes on the stages. In Scandinavia, rallying is part and parcel of the local culture!

As the weather has been fairly mild for the last few weeks, conditions for the 2016 event look set to be very difficult. Even if temperatures drop dramatically and there is heavy snowfall, the snow banks lining the stages will in all likelihood remain too soft and the slightest error will almost certainly mean the crews having to dig themselves out of the snow.

Already in the limelight at the Rallye Monte-Carlo, the Abu Dhabi Total WRT will take another step forward this weekend in entering three cars at this round. On his sixth appearance in Sweden, Khalid Al-Qassimi will be the team’s most experienced driver. Winner of the prestigious Colin’s Crest trophy in 2008 – which rewards the longest jump on the Vargåsen stage, in memory of the late Colin McRae – the Abu Dhabi driver enjoys this event despite the fact it could not be any further removed from the deserts of the Middle East!

Having only competed in Sweden twice before, in 2014 (10th) and 2015 (7th), Kris Meeke is something of a novice here! Last year, the Northern Irishman produced a very strong performance since he was on course for a podium finish until he ran wide and got stuck in one of the famous snow banks on Finnskogen. This third appearance will therefore be devoted to gaining as much experience as possible for the future.

After appearing in Monte-Carlo for recce and to get used to the team’s way of working, Craig Breen will be contesting his first rally with the Abu Dhabi Total WRT. The Irishman is a big fan of the Swedish stages and knows that he has a golden opportunity to showcase his skills at the top level. Earlier in his career, Craig secured two category podium-finishes in Super 2000 cars (2011 and 2012). Two years ago, he scored points on his first competitive outing in a World Rally Car, as he finished ninth.

In line with the programme defined at the start of the season, the Abu Dhabi Total WRT crews will each have one day of pre-event testing, organised this weekend in the Hagfors region.

 

FORMULA 1

RENAULT SPORT RACING LAUNCHES RENAULT SPORT ACADEMY

Renault Sport Racing will continue Renault’s rich heritage of developing young driver talent with the formation of the Renault Sport Academy, which is tasked with finding future Renault Sport champions.
The Renault Sport Academy will utilise Renault Sport Racing’s various platforms and global motorsport structures in its quest to nurture new talent, involving the local Renault markets in seeking new drivers from their regions.
Four drivers are announced at the Academy’s foundation; reigning Formula Renault 3.5 series champion Oliver Rowland and from the ranks of the 2015 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 2.0 Alps winner Jack Aitken, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC winner Louis Delétraz and second-placed Kevin Joerg.
The drivers will be supported by Renault Sport Racing in their 2016 racing campaigns with Rowland contesting GP2, Delétraz racing in the newly named Formula V8 3.5 Series and Aitken and Joerg racing in GP3. Each driver will have tailored targets to meet for their motorsport progression.
The Renault Sport Academy is designed to nurture a driver within the Renault Sport Racing environment. An immersion programme in Paris will educate the Academy members in Renault Sport Racing’s core values and heritage. A thorough fitness schedule will include evaluations at Renault Sport Formula One Team’s base at Enstone throughout the year in addition to pre-season and mid-season fitness camps. There will also be an internship at Enstone to understand how the Renault Sport Formula One Team operates. The programme will be managed operationally by Mia Sharizman Ismail who has extensive motorsport experience including Formula 1, GP2, GP3 and numerous other categories.
Renault has an impressive record of finding the F1 stars of the future, with the likes of Robert Kubica, Lucas di Grassi, Pastor Maldonado, Heikki Kovalainen, Jérôme d’Ambrosio and Romain Grosjean being nurtured through previous Renault driver development programmes.

Frederic Vasseur, Racing Director, Renault Sport Racing

The Renault Sport Academy underlines the commitment of Renault Sport Racing to nurture young talent to develop the Formula 1 stars of the future. The motivation is not just altruistic; we want these drivers to become future Formula One World Champions and we are putting every tool at their disposal to achieve this aim.

Guillaume Boisseau, Brands Director, Groupe Renault

Renault has a terrific heritage in motorsport and this is something we are committed to continuing in the future. The Renault Sport Academy enables us to not only develop new talent but also ally this to the actual involvement of our local markets by making the process directly relevant in each country where Renault Sport is present and also giving us a larger catchment area to identify the drivers who will fly our flag at the highest echelons of motorsport in the future.

24 HOURS AT DAYTONA

DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY, 31 JANUARY 2016

– Under sunny Florida skies, 54 cars fittingly started the 54th edition of the Rolex 24 At Daytona® at 14.40 EST on Saturday 30 January. As the race began the teams and drivers set out to go the furthest in 24 gruelling hours. The iconic Rolex 24 At Daytona® is regarded by many as the toughest endurance race and is now referred to as ‘The Rolex’. This weekend’s race marked the 24th anniversary of Rolex’s Title Sponsorship, making a win even more poignant for those competing. After an action-packed race it was Rolex 24 At Daytona® newcomer, Pipo Derani, in the Extreme Speed Motorsports Honda HPD Ligier JS P2 that took the chequered flag, as well as motor sport’s most sought after award: an engraved Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona watch, revered for its legendary status, reliability and performance.

MAN AND MACHINE
Like any great endurance race, the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona® wasn’t without drama. There were 21 cautions, 11 of those before the 10-hour mark, but these only added to the excitement of the race, inaugurating the redeveloped Daytona International Speedway and beginning the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. With a high percentage of each lap spent at full throttle, the 3.56-mile circuit takes it toll on both the drivers and cars, demanding a unique combination of skill and concentration, as well as reliability and performance – the ultimate test of man and machine. This test proved too much for some, with only 43 of the 54 race starters making it to the finish line. The winning team, Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM), completed 736 laps of the circuit and the fastest lap, 1:39.192, was posted by Brazilian Pipo Derani from ESM, who set the fastest time at Roar before the 24 earlier this month.

RACE AGAINST TIME
The Saturday afternoon racing provided fans, both in the Grandstand and infield, with action early on. With just over 20 hours to go, the #0 Panoz DeltaWing Racing car, in the eye-catching United States of America livery, sustained serious damage when its driver Andy Meyrick drove into a stationary Prototype Challenge car at Turn 1, spelling an early and disappointing retirement for the team after an impressive start. The long-awaited Ford GT race cars, preparing to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, both encountered transmission problems during the early stages of the race, but eventually finished in 7th (#66) and 9th (#67) positions in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. At the six-hour mark it was Michael Shank Racing, with Oswaldo Negri Jr at the wheel, who led the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona®, but shortly after midnight, a blown engine forced another retirement from the front. That led to a tussle for the lead between the Daytona Prototypes, including the #5 Corvette DP of Action Express Racing; Scott Pruett doing his usual exemplary job and simultaneously chasing down a record-breaking sixth win here at Daytona, a record that would prove elusive this time around.

F1Weekly podcast # 697

CLARK AND NASIR BRING YOU ANOTHER PRE- F1 SEASON SHOW AS THEY MENTALLY PREPARE FOR THE 2016 FORMULA 1 SEASON AND OF COURSE A GLOBE SPINNING MOTORSPORTS MONDIAL. THE HOST ALSO WANTS TO GIVE YOU GOOD NEWS ON THE UP COMING RETROMOBILE SHOW IN PARIS…

ALPINE COMPETITION CARS AT THE 2016 RETROMOBILE SHOW!

This year’s Rétromobile show at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris, France, on February 3-7, will delight Alpine fans, since four of the French maker’s competition cars will be on display. They are a 1965 Alpine M65, a 1973 Alpine A366 single-seater, a 1976 Group 4 Alpine A310 and the Renault Alpine A442 B that won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1978.

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RALLYE MONTE CARLO HISTORIQUE

FOUR RENAULT CREWS FOR THE 2016 RALLYE MONTE-CARLO HISTORIQUE

Renault Classic has contested the famous Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique since 2011.

This year, Renault Classic has entered four crews in a variety of Renault 5 rally cars. The 2016 event starts on January 29.

Return of the 1981 Monte-winning Renault 5 Turbo

Jean Ragnotti, who turns 70 this year, has lost nothing of his celebrated acrobatic driving skills. This month, he is poised to return to the Rallye Monte-Carlo stages in the same Renault 5 Turbo he steered to victory on the wintry event 35 years ago. To mark the anniversary, the French driver’s car will once again feature the number ‘nine’ on its doors!

Meanwhile, fellow Renault Classic runners Michel Leclère, Alain Serpaggi and Christian Chambord will contest the event in Group 2 Renault 5 Alpine, a car that was fondly referred to as a ‘skateboard’ in its heyday.

Team Renault Classic will start the 2016 Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique in Reims, France, on January 29. The event ends in Monaco on Wednesday, February 3.
The four crews:

  • Car N°1 (Group 2 Renault 5 Alpine): Michel Leclère, winner of the Premier Pas Dunlop Coupe Gordini racing scholarship in 1969 which ultimately led to a drive in Formula 1. Michel’s co-driver will be François-Paul Forgeoux, a regular Monte-Carlo Historique competitor.
  • Car N°9 (Renault 5 Turbo): Jean Ragnotti will be co-driven by Michel Duvernay, winner of the 1981 French Renault Cross Elf Trophy and the Renault 5 GT Turbo Trophy in 1986.
  • Car N°12 (Group 2 Renault 5 Alpine): Alain Serpaggi, co-driven by Jean-Pierre Prevost.
  • Car N°19 (Group 2 Renault 5 Alpine):  Christian Chambord, co-driven by Patrick Fourestie.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast