F1Weekly podcast # 556

F1weekly podcast number 556

Special Interview with Barrie Thomlinson of the Toyota racing series New Zealand.

Barrie has been involved in Motorsport since his school days with experience on both sides of the fence in race car preparation in NZ and the USA and of course behind the wheel. Club rallying and Formula Vee provided Barrie with his grounding before moving on to several successful years in Formula Ford and Formula Atlantic (NZ’s then premier single seater class).

After a break from competition Barrie returned to the sport making his mark in both the NZ 2.0 Litre Touring Car Championship and Dunlop Centennial Cup driving the ex-Ford Motorsport Telstar. His first outings in the Telstar saw him win three of four rounds and secured him the 1997 Dunlop Centennial Trophy.

Later in the season he went on to finish 3rd in the NZ Street Skills Series. Since then he has driven for Geoff Shorts Husqvarna/Collingwoods Telstar and International Motorsports BMW 320i.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/03-01-12f1weekly556.mp3]

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: kvracing

RUBENS BARRICHELLO TO DRIVE FOR KV RACING TECHNOLOGY

KV Racing Technology announced today that Formula One legend Rubens Barrichello and IZOD IndyCar superstar Tony Kanaan, who often refer to themselves as “brothers”, will both contest the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season for the team.

“I was at Sebring when Rubens first got into an Indy car.  The smile when he got out of the car was a great moment and lasted for three days.  Rubens ended up the fastest at the end of the test, showing the speed he is capable of and his experience setting up a car.  Teamed with his “brother” Tony Kanaan this is going to be an exciting and successful season for the drivers, the team and the fans,” said KVRT co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven.  “

Jimmy Vasser, the V in KVRT said.  “We are very excited to have both Rubens (Barrichello) and Tony (Kanaan) competing for our team in 2012.  Rubens is going to be a great addition and last year Tony, once again demonstrated his leadership abilities and his proven ability to compete for wins and the championship.  The addition of Rubens and the return of Tony along with E.J. (Viso), gives KVRT a very strong driver line-up and one I am sure can compete for podium finishes and race wins.  I would also like  to thank all the sponsors for making this deal possible and KVRT General Manager Mark Johnson for his tireless work getting all the parties together.”

Barrichello, whose Formula One career spanned 19-years (1993 – 2011), is the most experienced driver in Formula One history with 322 starts out of 326 races entered.  The 39-year-old native of Brazil was the runner-up in the Formula One championship in 2002 and 2004.  He has earned 11 victories, 14 pole podiums, 68 podiums performances, 106 top-five finishes and172 top-10 showings.  Barrichello, despite his vast racing experience, will now become a rookie in the IZOD IndyCar Series, entering his first season in U.S. based open-wheel competition and starting a new chapter in his career.

“I am thrilled, it is something very new to me,” Barrichello said.  “I need to thank everyone involved, especially Tony because he has been involved for a long time.  I would also like to thank my sponsors, BMC, Embrase and Locaweb for their help.  This is a new experience, but I am very very happy.  With all my experience I will start as a rookie, but I think I will get better as the year progresses.  My main thing is to be an addition to KV Racing Technology.  They have been doing very well and Tony brought the team to a different level last year, so I hope with my contribution we can build on this and take the team to another level.  I am extremely happy and have a big smile on my face.”

Motorsports Mondial

Another great day for Esteban at Jerez on day 2 of testing.

Different tire compounds and aerodynamic settings were the tests Esteban Gutierrez carried out during the second day of official GP2 training sessions. 

In the morning, Gutierrez and French team Lotus GP had a training session where the Mexican made 30 laps with a best lap time of 1:25.193, to place himself second fastest. 

“We were trying the different tire compounds that we have; there is one hard and one soft compound and that difference makes the car to react to different behaviors, so this morning we tested both compounds one after the other to see how the car reacted under the same conditions of track and settings.

In the afternoon session there were two race simulations which turned out to be very productive for Esteban and the team, as they were able to analyze how car #10 behaves and to draw conclusions from data to be better prepared for season 2012.

“In the afternoon we decided to run the race simulations with both tire compounds again to be able to assess the balance of the car, as there is a lot of work put into setting the car for qualifying while the race settings are completely different.

“Everything was quite normal and we still have some work to do because we had tire degradation, especially on the rear tires, and we have to work to improve that”, he added.

The driver – who is also a reserve Formula One driver – has one more day at the circuit of Jerez de la Frontera, in Spain, where he will continue working on the aerodynamic settings, which are not restricted for qualifying, but they are for the races.

“Last year aerodynamic settings were restricted but that limit has been removed for qualifying and practice this year, although it remains effective for the race.

“By using more downforce you have more grip which affects the balance of the chassis and you have to work to have one car setup for qualifying and another one for the race”, he remarked.