CROFT CIRCUIT

Rock singer set to rev up the volume at Croft Nostalgia Weekend

  • Rock great Brian Johnson to race Mini at popular retro-flavoured motoring festival
  • Return to his roots for AC/DC front man, who first witnessed motor racing at Croft in mid-1960s
  • Fifth Croft Nostalgia Weekend revving up to be best yet

As if there were not already enough compelling reasons to visit Croft Circuit’s Nostalgia Weekend (2-3 August) with its irresistible blend of fast cars, wheel-to-wheel racing, vintage music and dress and fabulous funfair, a special guest is now set to rev anticipation into overdrive.
 
Legendary AC/DC front man Brian Johnson is a late addition to the sparkling Nostalgia Weekend line-up. The man famous for such rock anthems as ‘Highway to Hell’, ‘Back in Black’, ‘Hells Bells’ and ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ will take to the circuit in the Historic Touring Cars class behind the wheel of a 1964 Mini Cooper that he purchased late last year after driving it in his television series ‘CARS THAT ROCK WITH BRIAN JOHNSON’.
 
A self-confessed ‘car nut’ whose first experience of high-octane action came at Croft when he went to watch an MG race at the North Yorkshire venue in the mid-1960s, the Florida-based Englishman – originally from Tyne and Wear – has been competing in historic events in the United States and Europe for the past couple of decades.
 
Brian has appeared as the ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ on cult BBC motoring show ‘Top Gear’ and sat top of the leaderboard for most of 2013. He also competed in the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona – finishing an eminently respectable 12th in the Daytona Prototype class in a Riley-BMW – and Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge.
 
In 2009, Johnson released automotive autobiography ‘Rockers and Rollers’, which includes a section on Croft. Having played a formative role in his motor sport intoxication, the singer admits it will be enjoyable to finally make his competitive bow at the North East’s premier circuit.
 
“I was 17-and-a-half when I got my first car – a Ford Popular, sit-up-and-beg style and with only three gears,” he recalls. “That August, I was in my home village of Dunston near Gateshead with not much to do, when somebody said there was racing on at Croft – so on a rainy day and with just one windscreen wiper on this Popular, myself and two friends headed down there. We drove straight past the lady on the gate because we couldn’t afford to buy tickets…
 
“Having got my initial taste of live motor racing at Croft, I jumped at the chance to race at the Nostalgia Weekend. I was recently one of the drivers in a Porsche 911 that finished first-in-class and 20th overall at the Le Mans Classic, but it’ll be quite a departure from that car’s big fat tyres and rear wing to the little Mini I’ll be driving this weekend!
 
“As a circuit, Croft is a complete step into the unknown for me and I’ve been told it’s quite a challenge, so I’m fully expecting a big learning curve and to get my backside royally kicked by the Nostalgia regulars! Hopefully, the test day beforehand will help me to get up to some kind of speed ahead of the racing – it should be a fun weekend and I’m really looking forward to it.”
 
Johnson continues to keep very busy and is hard at work recording a new album, preparing for an upcoming world tour and shooting a second series of his ‘CARS THAT ROCK’ TV documentary for Discovery’s Quest channel. Croft circuit manager Mike Cantelo revealed his delight that the rock icon has made the time to fit the well-attended Nostalgia Weekend into his packed schedule.
 
“Just when I didn’t think this year’s Nostalgia Weekend could possibly get any better, to receive a ‘phone call from Brian Johnson saying he plans to come along and compete was just incredible!” he enthused. “I was a bit star-struck, I must confess, and I reckon spectators will be more than a little in awe when they see a rock legend out on-track here at Croft this weekend.
 
“Brian is clearly a complete petrol-head, and I’m sure he will have a fantastic time not only racing his Mini in the Historic Touring Cars class, but also seeing some of the superb classic racing and non-racing machinery we’ll have here at the weekend. A tremendous addition to an already magnificent line-up!”
 
Tickets for Croft’s Nostalgia Weekend cost just £13 for Saturday entry, £18 for Sunday or £23 for a weekend pass and can be purchased on the gate. Accompanied children aged 15 and under go free.
 

FORMULA 1

DANIEL RICCIARDO WINS THE HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX

“Winning this today, it honestly feels as good as the first. It sank in a lot quicker this one, so crossing the line today I knew what was going on a bit more and it’s like I could enjoy it immediately rather than it being delayed, it was awesome. To have to pass guys again to win the race, as I did in Canada, makes it a lot more satisfying, knowing that we did have a bit of a fight on our hands – you beauty! In this environment now I feel, I am a different driver and in a way a different person, a different sportsman than I was last year. I’ve got a lot more belief in myself and it’s cool, I definitely feel like I belong here now and I’ve got confidence; obviously we’ve converted two races into wins this year so far and I think that confidence is showing. I’ve got some friends from Australia here this weekend, so the plan was to always have a few drinks tonight, so I think we’ve got an excuse to now!”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A fantastic grand prix and the performance by Daniel today was truly sensational. Starting in wet conditions, he benefitted from being a little bit further back and being able to get in for slick tyres at the first safety car and then really managed to make his strategy work on the soft tyres through the next stages of the race. We knew we’d have to make a final stop, which would put us behind Alonso and Hamilton who were trying to get to the end. But he closed the gap down quickly and then, with some fantastic overtaking manoeuvres in the last five laps, pulled off a dramatic victory to achieve the second in his career and our second this season. Sebastian’s afternoon was much more frustrating. Unfortunately, after a good start and some good battles, he got the call at the same time as Daniel to pit after the Caterham had an accident, but was too far round the last corner to make it into the pit lane. He then had to stop under the safety car which meant he lost some places. He was making progress but then had the spin and managed to avoid the pit wall, but he flat spotted his tyres and then had a problem at the restart. It was then a question of damage limitation, trying to run the hard tyres to the end of the race and he did a phenomenal job to keep Bottas behind him.”

GP3

Arden International’s Patric Niederhauser victorious in Hungary

He’s back! The smile could not have been bigger for Swiss ace Patric Niederhauser who climbed to the top step of the podium today at the Hungaroring. The Arden International ace made a fantastic start to steal the lead and claimed his third win of his GP3 career, his first rostrum of the 2014 season. ART Grand Prix’s Dino Zamparelli was second, with Niederhauser’s teammate Jann Mardenborough third.
Zamparelli started from reverse pole but the Brit didn’t make the best getaway – Niederhauser in third made a lightning one to edge in front to sneak into the lead. Mardenborough from the front row also made a good start, with Zamparelli trying to claw back the lead going into Turn one. All three braked hard but it was Niederhauser who exited the turn in front with Zamparelli and Mardenborough duelling for second position.
Zamparelli fought back to move up to second on lap one with Niederhauser leading the Brit by just over half a second. Yellow flags were waved at turn 5 on lap three after Santiago Urrutia spun and his Koiranen GP machine had to be removed.
Series leader Alex Lynn held fourth which a charging Robert Visoiu hot on his tail. Lynn reduced the deficit to Mardenborough in third with a thrilling three-way battle developing which became the main focus of the race. Niederhauser started to pull away, increasing his lead to just over two seconds with his teammate falling ever closer into the clutches of the Carlin and Red Bull Junior driver.
The battle for P6 was also on: yesterday’s race winner Richie Stanaway (Status Grand Prix) had moved up two places and saw off the advances of Dean Stoneman (Marussia Manor Racing) and Carlin’s Emil Bernstorff during the midway point of the race.
With three laps remaining, Lynn mounted his attack on Mardenborough, he attempted an overtake going into turn one but backed off and waited to see if he could seize the opportunity elsewhere on the lap.
Bernstorff had been hounding Stoneman in the final laps and passed him before the chequered flag to snatch seventh. The joy and relief was clear for all to see when Niederhauser crossed the line to celebrate his best result of the campaign ahead of Zamparelli. Mardenborough held on under huge pressure from Lynn for the final spot on the podium, with Visoiu, Stanaway, Bernstorff and Stoneman collecting the final points on offer.
Lynn remains on top in the Drivers’ Standings going into the summer break. The Carlin star has 134 points compared to Stanaway, Eriksson, Bernstorff and Kirchhöfer who are on 103, 85, 85 and 80 respectively.
Carlin continues to hold the advantage in the Teams’ Standings on 233, with Status Grand Prix on 177 and ART Grand Prix on 144.
GP3 will return to action at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps on the 22-24 August 2014.
Budapest – Race 2
Driver
Team
1.
Patric Niederhauser
Arden International
2.
Dino Zamparelli
ART Grand Prix
3.
Jann Mardenborough
Arden International
4.
Alex Lynn
Carlin
5.
Robert Visoiu
Arden International
6.
Richie Stanaway
Status Grand Prix
7.
Emil Bernstorff
Carlin
8.
Dean Stoneman
Marussia Manor Racing
9.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
10.
Patrick Kujala
Marussia Manor Racing
11.
Nick Yelloly
Status Grand Prix
12.
Roman De Beer
Trident
13.
Alex Fontana
ART Grand Prix
14.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
15.
Mathéo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
16.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
17.
Sebastian Balthasar
Hilmer Motorsport
18.
Luis Sa Silva
Carlin
19.
Riccardo Agostini
Hilmer Motorsport
20.
Nelson Mason
Hilmer Motorsport
21.
Ryan Cullen
Marussia Manor Racing
22.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
Status Grand Prix
23.
Christopher Höher
Jenzer Motorsport
24.
Mitchell Gilbert
Trident
25.
Carmen Jorda
Koiranen GP
Not Classified
 
Santiago Urrutia
Koiranen GP
 
 
Fastest Lap : Mitchell Gilbert – Trident : 1 :31. 758 on lap 6

GP2

Vandoorne flies to victory in Budapest

McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne delighted both ART and his F1 supporters with a crushing display of dominance in this morning’s sprint race in Budapest, taking the lead at the start and pulling away over the next 28 laps to easily lead home title rivals Jolyon Palmer and Williams tester Felipe Nasr to put himself third in the drivers’ standings.
The result was set up when the lights went out: Vandoorne had a solid start from P2 to edge into the lead despite a great start from Nasr, who followed the Belgian through poleman Nathanaël Berthon at turn one with Daniel Abt, Palmer, yesterday’s winner Arthur Pic, Conor Daly (courtesy of a tremendous start from P13) and Marco Sorensen behind them.
Palmer was showing his customary raciness, clinically dispatching Abt at turn one next time by and then holding off a strong fightback, and dispatching Berthon in the same manner a few laps later, with Adrian Quaife-Hobbs echoing the move on Sorensen just behind them. The Series leader was then on Nasr’s tail and was clearly not in a mood to hang about: he dived up the inside despite the Brazilian’s best efforts, returning the love on the exit and was through for P2.
Unfortunately for most of the other drivers, the usual problems with overtaking on the tight, technical circuit meant that, despite most of the field circulating nose to tail, there didn’t appear to be any way to get by, particularly as they were trying as much as possible to save their tyres to get to the flag.
But Vandoorne had no such problems: the Belgian ran at his own pace, setting fastest lap on the final tour to win at a cantor from Palmer, who was struggling with his tyres in the closing laps but just held off Nasr for P2. Behind them Berthon drove a strong race to hold off almost race long pressure from Abt for P4, with Pic resisting pressure from Daly for more points for 6th after a tremendous weekend for the Frenchman, and Quaife-Hobbs rounding out the points paying positions.
Palmer leads Nasr by 192 points to 149 as the grid departs for the summer break, with Vandoorne up to third with 109 points ahead of Cecotto on 100, Coletti on 96, Evans on 92 and Pic on 70 points. DAMS lead the way in the teams’ title from Carlin, 233 points to 215, with ART Grand Prix on 135, Racing Engineering on 125 and Trident on 122 as the grid takes a break before returning at Spa Francorchamps in a month’s time.
Budapest – Sprint Race
Driver
Team
1.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
2.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
3.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
4.
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
5.
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
6.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
7.
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
8.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Rapax
9.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
10.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
11.
Marco Sorensen
MP Motorsport
12.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
13.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
14.
Rene Binder
Arden International
15.
Julian Leal
Carlin
16.
Jon Lancaster
Hilmer Motorsport
17.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
18.
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
19.
Tom Dillmann
EQ8 Caterham Racing
20.
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
21.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
Not Classified
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
André Negrao
Arden International
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
Fastest Lap: Stoffel Vandoorne (ART Grand Prix) – 1:32.541 on lap 28

FORMULA 1

2014 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING

Nico Rosberg took pole position during qualifying at the Hungaroring this afternoon, while a fuel leak saw Lewis eliminated in the Q1 phase without setting a time.

• Nico took his sixth pole position of the 2014 Formula One season – his third in a row after Great Britain and Germany
• MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS has now taken 10 pole positions from 11 races so far in 2014
• A fuel leak and subsequent fire for Lewis during his warm-up lap in Q1 prevented him from setting a time
• The team has yet to determine the extent of damage incurred by chassis F1 W05 Hybrid/05 and its component parts
• A full investigation will be conducted into the cause of the problem in parc ferme

Nico Rosberg

That was a very tough Qualifying session today – especially with the rain at the beginning of Q3. It’s difficult to judge which braking point is best in changing conditions so I was a bit over the limit at times – especially into Turn One. I was lucky there, but in the end I nailed the last lap so I’m quite happy to be starting from pole. On the other side, it’s a real shame for Lewis and the team. I know how much it hurts to have technical failure where there is nothing you can do as a driver. We need to sort out the reliability issues but I know that tonight there will be great team effort to fix his car – just like in Hockenheim where the whole garage pitched in to help rebuild it. It takes away a bit of the excitement when there is no gloves-off battle because that’s what we are here for. But tomorrow is a long race and I’m sure that Lewis can get another good result.

Lewis Hamilton

I can’t really believe it today, there was just nothing I could do. There was an issue with the car as I was coming out of the second to last corner and then the engine just cut out. I thought we could get it back to the garage but then I looked in my mirrors and saw the whole rear end was on fire and that was it. Now we need to see what damage has been done to the car tonight and see whether the gearbox or engine needs to be changed. It’s getting to the point where it’s beyond bad luck now – as a team, we need to do better. Tonight, I need to somehow find the way to turn this into a positive for tomorrow, then build on that going into the race. It will be a very difficult afternoon as it’s one of the hardest circuits to overtake on. But these things are sent to try us and how I come out of it is going to be the most important thing.

SEBASTIAN VETTEL: “After Q2 I thought if we got everything right then we might have been closer to the Mercedes at the end than we were. Nico’s lap was very strong and it’s difficult to match them. But let’s see tomorrow, a lot of things can change if it rains and it may do tomorrow. We just have to focus on ourselves and, if we get a chance, try to make a pass, but the Mercedes is quite a bit quicker than us on the straights. The nature of the circuit here suits us more than it did in Germany, but we’re still quite far off the pace of the Mercedes.”
Valtteri Bottas: We are maybe a little surprised. We knew Red Bull were going to be really quick here, also Ferrari, and Mercedes like always. The nature of the track, in theory, for us is not the best but we have worked well as a team and brought updates that have worked well. We’re still missing some grip compared to some others cars but today was a good day for us. Third and sixth on the grid gives us a chance to get some good points tomorrow.

GP3

Stanaway storms to first pole in Budapest

Kiwi Richie Stanaway claimed his maiden pole position in GP3 today, narrowly edging out Series leader from Carlin, Alex Lynn by a mere 0.035s. Nick Yelloly also from Status Grand Prix was in third making it an excellent start to proceedings for the green and black outfit.
Hot temperatures set the scene for the thirty minute qualifying session at the Hungaroring for Round 5 of the 2014 GP3 Series. ART Grand Prix’s Dino Zamparelli was the first driver to lap in the 1m33’s to go P1 by almost half a second with his teammate Alex Fontana his nearest rival.
There were small spins for Sebastian Balthasar, Mathéo Tuscher and Riccardo Agostini with all drivers avoiding contact with barriers, thus able to continue. Red Bull Junior team driver Lynn had set the fastest sector one but at the midway point of the session the Brit was in an unusual position of a lowly P24. His nearest rival in the Series Jimmy Eriksson was only place higher in qualifying at the midway point but got his head down and the Swede shot up to P3.
The Status Grand Prix duo of Yelloly and Stanaway went P2 and P3, with the Brit two tenths off Zamparelli’s best effort. Marussia Manor Racing’s Patrick Kujala rose to P2 whilst Zamparelli further improved on his quickest lap to increase his advantage at the head of the timesheet.
It was all change at the top over the next few minutes with Arden International’s Robert Visoiu posting the best lap, until Lynn jumped from P24 to provisional pole, a tenth faster than the Romanian. There was more excitement to come though with Stanaway setting the fastest time of the session in a 1:33.553.
With 2 minutes and 55 seconds left on the clock the session was red flagged when Alfonso Celis. Jr stopped after contact at with the barrier at Turn 5 and his car was in a dangerous position. Roman De Beer had also spun in a separate incident. Fontana had been on a flier on that lap and had to back off for the red flag with many others driver facing the same predicament on their push laps.
The drivers formed a large queue in the pitlane as they were eager to get back onto the circuit for one final attempt in the fight for pole. Yelloly lit the middle sector purple to move up to P3 but the session would belong to Stanaway at the chequered flag.  Behind Stanaway, Lynn and Yelloly were Visoiu, Zamparelli, Emil Bernstorff, Patric Niederhauser, Fontana, Kujala and Marvin Kirchhöfer.
Race 1 takes place later today at 16:20 local time as the quest for supremacy continues.
Qualifying – Budapest
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Richie Stanaway
Status Grand Prix
1:33.553
15
2.
Alex Lynn
Carlin
1:33.588
13
3.
Nick Yelloly
Status Grand Prix
1:33.679
13
4.
Robert Visoiu
Arden International
1:33.729
13
5.
Dino Zamparelli
ART Grand Prix
1:33.771
13
6.
Emil Bernstorff
Carlin
1:33.807
14
7.
Patric Niederhauser
Arden International
1:33.873
13
8.
Alex Fontana
ART Grand Prix
1:33.894
13
9.
Patrick Kujala
Marussia Manor Racing
1:33.975
13
10.
Marvin Kirchhöfer*
ART Grand Prix
1:34.076
13
11.
Luis Sa Silva**
Carlin
1:34.084
13
12.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
1:34.124
14
13.
Jann Mardenborough
Arden International
1:34.231
13
14.
Mitchell Gilbert
Trident
1:34.253
12
15.
Santiago Urrutia
Koiranen GP
1:34.265
14
16.
Dean Stoneman
Marussia Manor Racing
1:34.308
12
17.
Roman De Beer
Trident
1:34.327
13
18.
Riccardo Agostini
Hilmer Motorsport
1:34.346
13
19
Mathéo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
1:34.420
13
20.
Nelson Mason
Hilmer Motorsport
1:34.450
13
21.
Pal Varhaug*
Jenzer Motorsport
1:34.545
13
22.
Sebastian Balthasar
Hilmer Motorsport
1:34.569
13
23.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
Status Grand Prix
1:34.821
10
24.
Christopher Höher
Jenzer Motorsport
1:35.776
12
25.
Ryan Cullen
Marussia Manor Racing
1:35.915
13
26
Carmen Jorda
Koiranen GP
1:38.632
14
*Issued with a 5 place grid penalty following an incident in Hockenheim Race 2
**Issued with a 5 place grid penalty following an incident in Budapest Free Practice