F1weekly podcast # 484

Rubens Barrichello in the FW33 Valencia

F1weekly podcast number 484

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed and…

Special Repeat interview: Clive Chapman.

Valencia F1 test times – day three: 3 February.

Pos Driver               Team                   Time       Gap    Laps
 1. Robert Kubica        Renault                1m13.144s           95
 2. Adrian Sutil         Force India Mercedes*  1m13.201s  +0.057  117
 3. Jenson Button        McLaren Mercedes*      1m13.553s  +0.409  105
 4. Mark Webber          Red Bull Renault       1m13.936s  +0.792  105
 5. Felipe Massa         Ferrari                1m14.017s  +0.873   80
 6. Timo Glock           Virgin Cosworth*       1m14.207s  +1.063  114
 7. Pastor Maldonado     Williams Cosworth      1m14.299s  +1.155  101
 8. Sergio Perez         Sauber Ferrari         1m14.469s  +1.325  104
 9. Michael Schumacher   Mercedes               1m14.537s  +1.393  110
10. Sebastien Buemi      Toro Rosso Ferrari     1m14.801s  +1.657   73
11. Narain Karthikeyan   HRT Cosworth*          1m16.535s  +3.391   63
12. Jarno Trulli         Lotus Renault          no time             38

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Motorsports Mondial

Oscar Presentation


Master and Speedster

Cali Express. From Kuala Lumpur to Kaufmann’s

Oscar Andres Tunjo is running ahead of schedule. Departing his native Colombia at a young age, he was tearing the kart tracks all over the world. At age 14 he picked up second place in the 2010 Formula BMW Asia series with a stunning maiden win over Sainz Jr in Singapore. For 2011 he is changing from Asian to European tracks and will race with mega-successful Josef Kaufmann Racing in the Formula Renault Euro Cup.

F1 weekly is pleased to present his journey so far. Enjoy the ride and the reading.

Q: You are 15-years old and have been around motorsports for 12 years, what got you hooked into this sport at the tender age of three?

A: My parents have always been working with car dealers, when I was nearly 2 years old I moved one of the cars and crashed it into a wall, so my parents gave me a go-kart for my 3rd Birthday, I jumped in the kart and since then start my racing career.

Q: Colombia has produced quite a few accomplished drivers; Montoya, Guerrero and Saavedra, are you satisfied with opportunities available in your country for young drivers to show case their talents?

A: I’m very happy and proud to represent my country all over the world, I have a lot of support from my fellow Colombians and this gives me a boost to push harder every day in my racing career to take our flag to the 1st step of podium.

Q: You have worked with Martin Hines, the Guru of karting world; how important was working and learning from him?

A: Martin is a very good friend of me and my family, he has helped us a lot during my racing career, I learn the competiveness from Martin and the way he works with his drivers, for me he is the best go kart driver of all times with his world titles in the 250cc category.

Q: What was the highlight of your karting career?

A: I have many good memories from karting, I made the pole position in the world finals at Easykart at age 11 in the 100cc category with special permission from Birel to compete as under age. I was in the top 5 of best drivers of world in KF3 category with MGM Birel Motorsport from Mauro Pozzi who is a great person.

Q: From Cali to Kuala Lumpur; what made you decide to move to Malaysia to start your single-seater career?

A: We stopped racing karts by middle of 2009 when we decided to move and begin testing Formula BMW in Malaysia with Meritus Racing, I have been living around the world with many countries, always in company of my manager and brother Gonzalo Tunjo, while my parents work hard in Colombia for me to be able to continue my racing career as we don’t have a lot of money.

Q: You placed second in the 2010 Formula BMW Asia championship, what were the highs and lows of the season?

A: My debut in Formula BMW Pacific at the F1 Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, when I had the opportunity to met Mr. Bernie Ecclestone and he told me that F1 need a Latin American with talent who can be a different driver. That event I finished in the podium in front of F1, I had the visit of Mr. Eric Boullier who is the director of Lotus Renault F1 team, he has been following my carrer since then and that inspires me to work even harder to achieve my goals each time.

Q: Great battle with Carlos Sainz Jr to win your first race in Singapore; how much confidence did you gain scoring your maiden win?

A: I was waiting for my win a long time, and I think we deserved it with the team, after winning in Singapore I got more confidence and we had very good meetings in Japan and Macau where I was always at the front of the grid.

Q: How will you compare the street circuit of Singapore to Guia in Macau?

A: The Singapore circuit is great, especially when we qualified at night on Saturday, the atmosphere is amazing. One of the best events in F1 I believe, I was dreaming on winning there because it was in front of F1 and in 2009 I had the opportunity to assist with team to watch the F1 Grand Prix and F. BMW races.

The Grand Prix of Macau, it’s an amazing event if you compare with F1, because it’s the world Championship of Formula 3 and the best drivers in the world want to win the event. The circuit is incredible, I worked on simulator really hard and got the pole position point for the event which was really good for me as It was my 1st year there. It’s my favorite circuit so far as it’s very demanding on driving and you have to be focus every single second during the lap.


Dressed for success. On and off the track

Q: Your success made you ‘Sportsman of the Year’ in your country with an award from the President; what does this mean to you at such a young age?

A: I won the first award of Sportsman of the Year when I was 8 years old and won the Spanish karting championship, and know because I did a very good year in Formula BMW Pacific and the youngest to achieve this great result with 14 years old approved by FIA, it’s an honor for me to be elected for the award and it pays for the hard work from my family to keep me racing in the highest level in the world.

Q: You were based in Malaysia, very different environment from Latin America, how much of an adjustment and culture shock was that for you?

A: Malaysia, it’s a beautiful country, very organized and I had the opportunity to live there for 2 years, I have very good memories and friends in Malaysia, I had the opportunity to be with the Malaysian President and Prime minister.

In each country I live with my brother we do the same during the day, I have the fitness training each day 2 times 4 hours per day in total, I work on the simulator in the circuits I compete, we have a mental training routine as its very important for my career when you want to be at best level to compete.

Q: Have you developed a taste for spicy South Asian food and what is your favorite dish from that part of the world?

A: I quite like it now, I always eat with Peter Thompson, a great friend of mine and Meritus GP owner, he took me to eat spicy food and a dish call chicken Mackawala, after 2 years there you begin to like Asian food.

Q: Did you look at other series before deciding on Formula Renault Euro Cup?

A: Our plan was to compete in Formula BMW Pacific and jump to Formula BMW in Europe with one year experience in Asia, BMW Motorsports  trusted me giving us a great opportunity to compete at a young age in Asia and the category was very good for young drivers to be with the F1 events, that’s why my manager got in contact with Joseff Kaufmann racing and we have build a great relationship with the team.

Q: Main difference between Formula BMW and Formula Renault machinery?

A: The car it’s a lot faster than the BMW, we have the paddle shift in the steering wheel, a lot more down force that you can feel in the corners and brake later than the F BMW, the new car it’s amazing, I’m loving it and I cannot wait for our first race in April.

Q: Depth of competition will be much greater on European tracks what are your goals for 2011?

A: My main goal in Europe it’s to be very competitive and fight for the championship this season, it’s not easy as there will be many good and experienced drivers like Robin Frinjs F. BMW Europe champion, Will Stevens, Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat, Come Ledogard and many more that will make this category one of the highest level and the one to watch in Europe this year.

Q: Where do you expect to see the biggest improvement in you as a racing driver at the end of this season?

A: I want to improve in my results, my main objective is to learn a lot during this year and to be able to fight for victories to take the Colombian flag to the 1st step of the podium.

Q: What made you decide to race with Josef Kaufmann Racing?

A: Kauffman Racing has a great history with a lot of experience, we tested for 2 days in Motorland and we have built a very strong relationship with the team. The environment is great and I feel at home. Josef knows a lot about setting the car, working with the driver and Lars is great with the data, most important is that they have passion for what they do and they want to win as much as I want this year and we will work hard to achieve our goal this season.

Q: Josef Kaufmann himself was a racing driver what do you want to learn most from his racing experience in your rookie year?

A: I want to learn from him many things as he has a lot of experience, setting the car, as it’s very important for driver to know and help with the setup of the car.

Q: Where will you be based in Europe during the racing season?

A: I will be based in Madrid, as we want to work with the Latin people in Spain to accompany us during the race meetings, we want their support and to bring as many Colombian flags as we can to the race events.

Q: Your favorite track and Formula 1 driver?

A: My favorite race track where I have race at moment is Macau, and from Europe that I have work on simulator is Spa in Belgium.


Q: What is your advice to young drivers who want to make a career in motor racing?

A: Motor racing requires many dedication, discipline and hard work from the driver and the family to support him, the best way is to be at the highest level in Europe since Karting, and then go step by step.

Q: Please tell us about the Oscar Tunjo Foundation?

A: We are currently working on it, I’m working on the message to all the young people of my country to practice sports or any kind of art or talent in their free time, and the parents to support their children because they are the future of our country. I have been advising young people in schools during conferences where I talk about my life working for one dream – to get to F1 and win the world title.

– Nasir Hameed

Greetings and percolated regards.

For more information please visit www.oscartunjo.com

Motorsports Mondial

Nelson Panciatici joins the KMP Racing team

Nelson Panciatici has joined the Franco-Russian KMP Racing team for the World Series by Renault Formula 3.5 championship.

Having spent a year  with Lotus Junior Racing, the French driver, 22, Spanish vice-champion of Formula 3 in 2008, is ready to step into the fray and fight for the title.

“I improved all through last year and I learnt a lot. I feel pretty confident now that I can go for the title this year,” says Nelson Panciatici.

“To start with, I’m going to have to win some races. To be a KMP Racing driver gives me that opportunity and I’m going to work hard to maximise my chance of success. I got to appreciate the quality of the team’s work during the winter trials and I’ve already picked up a few “tricks” with regards to the car’s performance.  Even though you never know how a new season is going to pan out, I feel quietly confident.

Not only do I have technical staff who know the discipline, I also have Bruno to give me sound advice. It is a real bonus to have an ex-pilot at the head of a team because they know what we need to go fast. I’m going to make the most of this opportunity and I want to thank the team for putting their trust in me.”

Bruno Besson, Team Manager of the KMP Racing team, says : “I followed Nelson’s progress closely all of last year and he fits our ethos perfectly. We got to know each other better during the winter trials, he’s a “winner” and I like that quality. Nelson has the skill to finish in the top three of the Drivers’ Championship. However, it is a very competitive championship and one can lose ten places for a small one or two tenths of a second in the qualifiers. Hard work and success will be key to take the title.”

Nelson Panciatici has applied himself really hard physically and mentally to prepare for what could be a landmark season. His main objective will be to win the title, how he gels with the team will be decisive to get to pole position, without which one cannot hope to win!

For more information on Nelson Panciatici, please visit: www.nelsonpancia.com

Motorsports Mondial

“EUROFORMULA VOLANT” 2011

Following the success of their first edition, the directors of EUROFORMULA have decided to renew the experience and perpetuate the “EUROFORMULA VOLANT”.

Beyond training courses and other activities linked to the single-seater, the role of a driving school is to spot new talent and award a bursary to the winner.

To take part in the « EUROFORMULA VOLANT » 2011 selections, students must not have won any “Volants” nor been classed in a single-seater, prototype or bucket-seat championship, in the previous three years.

They will need to make a financial contribution of € 1490 and there will be an additional € 990 for semi-finalists only.

The “EUROFORMULA VOLANT” will take place over four seasons of two days bringing together 8 to 12 drivers, with an intensive course on “Renault Formula” cars. Eight to 12 drivers will then be selected to take part in the semi-final on the CHÂTRE circuit.

The top 5 will race in the final and the winner will be awarded a bursary of € 60,000.

He will go up on the leader board with the young Paul Loup CHATIN whose performance we will follow with great interest throughout the season.

The EUROFORMULA driving school, created in 1997, is the legacy of the PRIVILÈGE FORMULA SCHOOL. It has trained more than                20,000 students. In among the multitude of existing establishments, this school is today’s last real single-seater driving school in France with its own teaching methods and competition training department as well as a club exclusively for experienced students.

www.euroformula.com

Motorsports Mondial

R31 Launch: BLACK TO THE FUTURE

The world’s media got their first glimpse of Lotus Renault GP’s 2011 challenger this afternoon as the R31 was presented in the pit lane of the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo.

Robert and Vitaly joined Gerard Lopez (Chairman of LRGP) and Eric Boullier (Team Principal and Managing Director) to pull back the covers and present the car the team hopes will continue the squad’s push towards the front of the grid.

“For Genii Capital and Lotus Renault GP, the 2011 season will be the one in which we achieve our aims,” said Gerard Lopez. “We now have 100% ownership of the team, and we’re tackling the coming championship with the intention of continuing to do things our way – but always with humility. I would like to welcome Lotus Cars, a new ambitious title sponsor with us for the long term. Renault and Total have also chosen to accompany us again in this adventure and we thank them for their valuable contribution. Our aim for 2011 is to continue our march towards the front of the grid, seize the slightest opportunity and do better than last season in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. We feel we are well prepared for the challenge ahead.”


Eric Boullier echoed those sentiments and paid tribute to the enormous effort back at the team’s base in Enstone: “All the hard work over the winter has been focused on delivering a big improvement for 2011. The result is a car with more than 92% new parts compared to the R30. But technical innovation isn’t the only key to performance. Since last year, we have reviewed all our internal processes and our overall efficiency has now improved by 15%. That means we should be more competitive than last year, on the track and at the factory.”

Technical Director, James Allison, explained how the team approached the design of the R31: “Words like ‘aggressive’ and ‘innovative’ are very much in vogue in Formula 1 at the moment, but where the R31 is concerned we feel those adjectives are appropriate. It’s true to say that the car has been designed in an ambitious manner and a quick glance at the layout will confirm that its entire concept differs considerably, not just from last year’s car, but from any car this team has ever produced.”

Both Robert and Vitaly were enthusiastic as they got acquainted with their new car and eager for the season to get underway.

“After a long winter break you always feel ready to jump back in the car,” explained Robert. “At the moment it’s difficult to know just how competitive our package will be, but the engineers have decided to go for an innovative design, which is good.”

Vitaly added: “It feels exciting to be starting my second year of Formula 1 and I can’t wait to try this beautiful car for the first time tomorrow. Now that I have a year of F1 experience behind me, I feel more confident and ready to deliver. I’m determined to do well and fight hard for this team.”

The team’s new third drivers were presented as well, with Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean adding further strength to the team’s driver line-up. The team’s reserve drivers (and members of the LRGP Academy) were confirmed as Jan Charouz, Ho-Pin Tung and Fairuz Fauzy (who was unable to attend the launch due to his GP2 Series commitments).

The team also welcomes two important new partners in SunCore and Sibur, while Genii Capital promotes its Business Exchange platform through more significant branding on the car.

Motorsports Mondial

Ganassi takes Daytona Glory!

With 23 hours logged at the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona it would be natural to assume the drivers would be looking to preserve their equipment in order to make it to the finish, but here at Daytona International Speedway it is the exact opposite.  With four DP cars in the hunt for victory, and only one hour left to race, anything can happen as the contenders fight through traffic in pursuit of the lead, occasionally swapping paint while doing so.  The fight intensifies as time runs out and it becomes do-or-die for the front runners.

Among the 18 DP entries, the #02 Telmex/Target BMW Riley had set the pace and led the race since 12:50 pm.  Giving chase was the #9 Action Express Racing Porsche/Riley followed closely by the #01 Target/Telmex BMW Riley, with the #23 United Autosports car also in contention.

“Before I got in the car I discussed what might be our best options,” said Scott Pruett (Sacramento/Auburn, Calif.) of his last stint in the #01 car.  “We knew we had a strong car but you cannot really over think things, you just have to get in the car and go as fast as you can.  All we did as drivers is keep that car as clean as possible.  If you look at it now you will see an immaculate race car even after racing for 24 hours, that’s what it takes to win.”

“This is the big race of the year and everyone comes here to win,” said Pruett having just become a four-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner (1994, ’07, ’08, ‘11).  “We had the lead toward the end and all we had to do is run smart.  Our car is very fast coming off a yellow-to-green flag.  I was glad that Grand-Am was able to go to green at the end.  I hate when a race finishes under yellow, it’s just a big disappointment for the fans.  I pushed as hard as I could on that last lap.  It takes a team effort and the team starts off by our boss Chip Ganassi and of course the mechanics.  There is so much effort and energy given before we even come here.  The #01 car has finished every lap at the Rolex 24 At Daytona for the last five years so that gives a true testimony for what the Ganassi organization is all about.”

Sharing the driving duty in the winning #01 car was Memo Rojas (Mexico City, Mexico), Graham Rahal (Columbus, Ohio/Indianapolis, In.) and Joey Hand (Sacramento, Calif.).  Rahal was eight years old when his father, Bobby Rahal, won the 1981 Rolex 24 At Daytona.  “I grew up looking at Dad’s Rolex and trying to imagine having one of my own.  I never imagined I would have one so soon.”

Capturing the attention of all in attendance was the remarkable come-from-behind performance in the GT Class as the #67 TRG Porsche GT3 went from starting the race in last position, to take a convincing lead in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.  The pole-winning qualifying time of driver Andy Lally (Northport, N.Y./Dacula, Ga.), which set a new lap record, had been disallowed after qualifying.  As the 24-hour endurance challenge went on, it was rumored that the clutch on the #67 car had become problematic, causing the drivers to lift a bit early going into turn one and the bus stop chicane – adding to the drama of the GT race.

“The big problem of course was the matter of losing the clutch with 17 hours to go in the race and that makes things very difficult as you can imagine,” said Lally about the problems with the #67 car.  “What it means is there cannot be any mistakes made.  If you spin out for some reason and have to be towed back to the pits you’re going to lose three or four laps and you might as well just pack it up and go home because your race is done.”

In the end, the lead was converted to a win for the team that included drivers Brendan Gaughan (Las Vegas, Nev.), Wolf Henzler (Nuertingen, Germany) and Spencer Pumpelly (Arlington, Va./Suwanee, Ga.).

“It’s an incredible thing that we did. . . to drive so many hours without incident and shifting gears without a clutch,” said Lally.  “We actually had to knock it out of gear and then match the revs of the engine with the speed that the rear tires were going in order to get the car into gear and to do that for so long is amazing.  It was pretty tricky but we all seemed to figure out how to do it.  This is absolutely the greatest feeling there is to win the Rolex 24 At Daytona.”

For many, and two in particular, the 49th edition of this classic 24-hour endurance race was a watershed event.

“It’s been my dream to be on the podium at the Rolex 24 At Daytona,” said actor Patrick Dempsey who was overwhelmed with emotion after taking the podium with a third-place finish in the GT class driving the #40 Mazda RX-8.  Dempsey was making his fourth career appearance in this edition of the legendary endurance race, having seen his previous best-finish last year with a sixth.  His post-race remarks included joking that he would be retiring from the television show Gray’s Anatomy as a result of his performance here so that he could race more frequently.  “Now there’s a headline,” he said before seriously addressing the contributions of the rest of his team.  “This is a team sport,” said Dempsey.  “We have a lot of people who made it possible for us to be here.”

“This 24-hour race went down to the green white checkered flag,” said Italian racer Max Papis who resides in Miami, Florida, after finishing third in the DP in the #9 Action Express Racing Porsche Riley.  “In my 17 years at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, I never thought I would see it.  For sure, to open the season like this…I’m enjoying a lot what we’ve done today.  To me it was one of the best races I’ve ever been part of.”

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast