Category Archives: News

PEBBLE BEACH

BEST OF SHOW

1931 BENTLEY 8 LITRE GURNEY NUTTING SPORTS TOURER Shown by The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (August 18, 2019) — Every August, the history of the automobile rolls onto the competition field of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where, this year, 216 classic cars from 17 countries and 31 states represented the evolution of the automotive dream.

Among the cars chosen to participate in this premier automotive pageant of elegance and innovation was the 1931 Bentley 8 Litre Gurney Nutting Sports Tourer of The Honorable Sir Michael Kadoorie of Hong Kong, and it was presented with the prestigious Best of Show award at the Concours on Sunday.

As the golden ribbon was placed upon the windshield alongside ribbons garnered for the car’s class win and completion of the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, Sir Michael expressed his gratitude for the award and the car.

“The Centennial of Bentley may have played a role in this award,” he said, “but the 8 Litre is the ultimate W. O. Bentley–era automobile. This is the car that represents Bentley at its finest, and I have been very fortunate to have a car that has this elegance and finish, and that the Pebble Beach Concours feels is worthy.”
Sir Michael hopes and imagines W. O. Bentley was looking down on the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach, feeling proud of his accomplishment and his company’s centennial celebration. “This is a high I have not known before,” he said.

“This Bentley exudes strength and confidence, and that translates into elegance,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “Yes, this is a fast, strong, sturdy car, but it also has perfect proportions, a stunning stance, and a boldness that draws you to it. When you drive it, it does everything you ask of it.”

David F. MacNeil’s 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Coupé

The race for Best of Show this year featured other strong contenders, including Richard and Melanie Lundquist’s 1938 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Figoni & Falaschi Teardrop Cabriolet; David F. MacNeil’s 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Coupé; and The Keller Collection at The Pyramids’ 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Erdmann & Rossi Special Cabriolet.

On this occasion, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance raised more than $2 million for charity. Through the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, the primary charitable partner of the Concours, these funds will benefit more than 80 local charities, impacting the lives of more than 10,000 children annually in Monterey County.
Jay Leno, comedian, actor, producer, and host of Jay Leno’s Garage, who led the charity drawing during the Concours Awards Ceremony, raised more than $100,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County by offering tours of his garage. He has now raised more than $800,000 for Concours charities.

Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, realized more than $76 million at the annual Pebble Beach Auctions this weekend. The stars of Friday’s auctions were the 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider which sold for $9,905,000, and the 1975 Ferrari 312T, which garnered attention with a final sale price of $6,000,000. Saturday’s stars included the 1931 Studebaker Special Indy Car, which set a new auction world record when it sold for $1,105,000, and the 1939 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 Coupe, which hammered at $2,755,000.

The 70th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, August 16, 2020, and will celebrate 70 years of Pebble Beach Concours Best of Show winners, Pininfarina, and Porsche 917s. For more information on the Pebble Beach Concours visit www.pebblebeachconcours.net.

BTCC

SAM TORDOFF TOPS THE TIMES SHEETS AT THRUXRON

• Yorkshire ace secures second BTCC pole of 2019 at Thruxton

• Support series get race action underway at Hampshire speedbowl

• Sunday tickets available on the gate from £34; under-12s admitted free

Sam Tordoff will start on pole for Round 19 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship after a blistering lap around Thruxton’s famous sweepers as Britain’s premier motorsport series rolled into town once again.

The Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance star topped the times at the Hampshire speedbowl for the second occasion this season, having blitzed the field with a new lap record on the BTCC’s first visit to the track earlier in the campaign.

This time around, Tordoff posted an impressive 1:15.876s to pip the Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall of Jason Plato by just 0.014s while Dan Cammish will line up third on the grid after an impressive effort in his Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda.

There was also a feast of on-track action served up by the rest of the TOCA package as fans were treated to six thrilling support races around the 2.4-mile circuit, whetting the appetite for a packed 10-race programme on Sunday.

BTCC Fans and crowd

Tordoff struggled in the first practice session at the famous WWII airfield but gradually got to grips with his Civic Type R at a circuit that has often favoured Honda machinery in the past, with the Yorkshireman pulling out all the stops to seal pole.

“It’s quickly becoming my favourite track and we’ve given ourselves such a good chance for tomorrow,” said Tordoff.

“I should have won here in May and would have were it not for power steering failure. I’ll be looking to put that right tomorrow.”

Fan-favourite Plato ran Tordoff close, having caught the eye last time out at Snetterton when tussling with former team-mate Ash Sutton, and the 51-year-old is sure to give as good as he gets when the lights go out tomorrow.

With Cammish third and the Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes of Adam Morgan fourth, just ahead of Bath-born Josh Cook in his BTC Racing Honda, spectators are sure to see some fireworks on lap one.

Hampshire local Rob Collard will line up tenth in his Vauxhall, one place ahead of championship leader Colin Turkington while the Northern Irishman’s closest rival Andrew Jordan will start 13th in his BMW 330i M Sport.

Elsewhere, Carter Williams became the eighth different winner in British F4 this season during the series’ first race of the weekend, while Sebastian Alvarez strengthened his title challenge with a solid runners-up finish.

Josh Skelton received maximum points in the single-seaters’ second outing of the day ahead of Tommy Foster while Alvarez banked another podium with third.

James Hedley took the honours in the opening Ginetta Junior race – his fourth victory of the campaign – ahead of Zak O’Sullivan and Lorcan Hanafin while it was O’Sullivan’s turn to triumph in the second race ahead of Will Martin and Hedley.

Max Coates held off Jack Young to win in the Renault UK Clio Cup and Will Burns profited from Harry King’s last-lap puncture to pinch the first Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 Supercup Championship race of the weekend.

F1Weekly podcast # 800

CLARK AND NASIR CELEBRATE NUMBER 800 THIS WEEK, IF YOU HAD ASKED ME IN 2005 HOW LONG ARE WE INTENDING ON DOING THIS PROGRAM I WOULD HAVE SAID A COUPLE OF MONTHS OR UNTIL FERNANDO RETIRES FROM F1! AND NOW WE GO ON…

HISTORY RETURNS TO LONG BEACH!

Long Beach, CA — Next April 18-19, Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach fans will get a double dose of nostalgia when the Historic Formula Atlantic Challenge, featuring open-wheel race cars from the 1970s and 1980s, lights up the track for a doubleheader weekend.

The twin 20-minute races will run Saturday, April 18 along with the IMSA WeatherTech Championship race and Sunday, April 19 — the same day as the NTT IndyCar Series race — with practice and qualifying on Friday.

The Formula Atlantic series ran at Long Beach from 1978-82 and 1989-2008 as one of the premier “feeder” series to top-level open-wheel racing. Drivers including Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti, Willy T. Ribbs, Danny Sullivan, Al Unser Jr., Jimmy Vasser and Jacques Villeneuve all raced at Long Beach as they worked their way up through the FA ranks. Two former Formula Atlantic drivers, Keke Rosberg and Villeneuve, became Formula One World Champions, while 1979 Long Beach Grand Prix winner Gilles Villeneuve was also a Formula Atlantic graduate. Several other Atlantic drivers were Indy Car champions over the years. The Rosberg, Villeneuve and Rahal cars — along with many others — are expected to be in the race field at Long Beach.

The historic 2020 event at Long Beach will be sanctioned by the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA).

Play Podcast: 08-13-19f1weekly800.mp3

FORMULA 1

MAX HAS A NEW NUMBER TWO!

LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Toro Rosso rookie Alexander Albon will replace Pierre Gasly as Max Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate from the next race in Belgium until the end of the season, the Formula One team announced on Monday.

Under-performing Gasly will go in the other direction, taking British-born Thai driver Albon’s seat at the sister team where the 23-year-old Frenchman started out before being promoted at the end of last year.

The Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is on Sept. 1, the first race after Formula One’s August break.

“Red Bull are in the unique position of having four talented Formula One drivers under contract who can be rotated between Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso,” Red Bull said in a statement.

“The team will use the next nine races to evaluate Alex’s performance in order to make an informed decision as to who will drive alongside Max in 2020.”

The switch-around marks a meteoric rise for Albon, who was racing in Formula Two last year and seemed destined for a future with Nissan in the all-electric Formula E series before Red Bull stepped in.

The energy drinks brand had dropped him from their young driver programme in 2012 but he has seized the second chance they gave him.

Albon in the wet

Last month’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim was Albon’s first wet F1 race and he now finds himself in a winning car after just 12 grand prix starts.

Being up against Verstappen will be a tough challenge, with the sport’s youngest ever race winner the on-form driver and seen as a champion-in-waiting.

The Dutch 21-year-old has won two of 12 races this season and is third overall on 181 points while Gasly, the 2016 GP2 (now F2) champion, has struggled with just 63 points.

To add to his embarrassment, the Frenchman has been twice lapped by Verstappen.

Honda-powered Red Bull are third in the constructors’ standings but need both drivers finishing consistently high up to have a chance of overtaking Ferrari, who are 44 points ahead of them in second place with champions Mercedes far in front.

Team principal Christian Horner expressed his frustration at the most recent race in Hungary in which Verstappen started on pole position and finished second to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton with Gasly only sixth.

“The start wasn’t great, the first lap wasn’t great and we shouldn’t be racing Saubers (the Alfa Romeo cars) and McLarens,” he said. “We need him to be racing Ferraris and Mercedes. The problem is he’s not in the mix at all.”

W SERIES

JAMIE CHADWICK WINS INAUGURAL W SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP

Today, on a sunny afternoon at the legendary Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, UK, 21-year-old Jamie Chadwick (UK) won the first ever single-seater series for female drivers only, the 2019 W Series championship.

Having started from pole position, following a scintillating lap in the dying minutes of this morning’s qualifying session, she took the lead at the start of this afternoon’s race ahead of Alice Powell (UK), who had qualified alongside her on the front row. Poor Esmee Hawkey (UK), having qualified a brilliant third, stalled at the start and ended up last on lap one. Third on lap one therefore was Emma Kimilainen (FIN), who had been quickest in both the wet and the dry in yesterday’s free practice sessions but had qualified only fourth this morning.

Jamie, Alice and Emma circulated at the front for the first 10 minutes, in close formation but in line astern, the three of them mastering the testing twists, turns and undulations of the famous Kentish racetrack with impressive speed and precision. Then, essaying a bold and opportunistic manoeuvre on the championship leader, perhaps figuring that she would not wish to risk her championship by resisting too stoutly, Alice hurled her car inside Jamie’s on the entry to Paddock Hill, ran wheel to wheel with her into the downhill compression then up the hill to Druids, and made her move stick as the two cars ran around that slowest corner on the circuit. At the same time Emma lost no time, no time at all, and also managed to pass Jamie, demoting her to third.

“The victory champagne tasted very, very good today. I had a tough middle of the season, but to bounce back to be second in Assen and first here at Brands Hatch in front of my home crowd has been incredible – it’s been a truly wonderful day

Alice was now in the lead, but Emma was close behind. In third place was Jamie, her championship rival Beitske Visser (NLD) now just behind her in fourth. The British spectators who had risen to their feet to cheer Alice taking the lead now gasped audibly as they realised that the battle for the championship was now very much on.

With 10 minutes to go, the Safety Car was deployed as a result of a spin by Miki Koyama (JPN), who was having a somewhat chaotic race, and that closed up the field for the final charge to the line. Miki’s car took four minutes to be moved to a place of safety, leaving just six minutes remaining of the allocated 30 (plus one lap) when the message came “Safety Car in this lap”. As Alice led the field into Clearways and the Safety Car peeled into the pit-lane, she cleverly bunched up the field then nailed it onto the straight, expertly establishing a lead over Emma that she would never lose.

“Even so, I was happy to start the race from fourth – not too far back – and I had a good start. I knew I had the pace to race for the win. I had really good pace just before the Safety Car, I was planning to push for the win at the end, but Alice did the restart really well – she blew me away actually – and that was the end of it really.

Emma therefore had to settle for second place but, just behind her, as so often this season, Jamie and Beitske were now running nose to tail, the flying Dutchwoman determined to wrest third place from her British rival despite the fact that doing so would not be enough to change the championship standings. Nonetheless she managed it, taking the final podium position with just three laps to go. Jamie therefore finished fourth, the first time this season that she had failed to record a podium finish, but it was not important: she had done enough to be champion, and that was all that mattered.

Fifth was Fabienne Wolhwend (LIE), having driven another typically competent race, while sixth and seventh, having battled each other hell for leather throughout, were Vicky Piria (ITA) and Jess Hawkins (GB); the six points that Jess thereby scored were enough to lift her from 14th in the championship to joint 11th with Sabre Cook (USA), who finished ninth today, thereby earning them both (ie, Jess and Sabre) positions in the all-important top 12, guaranteeing them both participation in the championship next year. Eighth today was Marta Garcia (ESP) and 10th, the last of today’s points scorers, was Sarah Moore (UK).

The top 12 drivers in the championship who are therefore guaranteed participation in next year’s W Series are: Jamie, Beitske, Alice, Marta, Emma, Fabienne, Miki, Sarah, Vicky, Tasmin Pepper (RSA), Sabre and Jess.

DTM

THREE LIONS – WITTMANN LEADS HOME TITLE FAVOURITES IN TENSE BRANDS HATCH THRILLER

Wittmann wins from Rast and Mueller as top three in title standings stand atop Saturday podium
Drama-galore: Wittmann thrills with four-car scrap into Paddock, and Rast’s last-lap bid for victory falls short by just 0.3s
All three DTM manufacturers – Aston Martin, Audi and BMW – all in the hunt for victory
By the tiniest of margins, BMW’s Marco Wittmann (GER) took victory in the DTM’s opening race of the Brands Hatch weekend, ahead of Audi drivers René Rast (GER) and Nico Mueller (SUI).

Paul Di Resta (GBR), Aston Martin

The race teetered in several directions as each of the DTM’s three manufacturers battled for supremacy around the classic Kent circuit. Ultimately, Wittmann triumphed – by 0.3s – after Rast relentlessly chased him down on the final time, reducing the gap to the leader by five seconds.

Wittmann’s victory and pole position enabled him to narrow Rast’s championship points’ lead: Rast remains in the lead, with 178 points from Müller (151 points); Wittmann sits third, on 146 points after achieving the maximum of allocation 28 (25 for the win; 3 for pole) for the third time this year.

Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW

Audi’s Müller maintained his points-scoring consistency – collecting points in the 11th successive race. No other driver has managed to score in every race of 2019.

Elation, frustration, deflation: Di Resta leads, but is hit by penalty, retirement

Paul Di Resta, who won the Sunday race at Brands Hatch back in 2018, became an unlikely contender for victory on Saturday. From fourth on the grid, he made a perfect start to lead into Paddock Hill Bend. In fact, his start was deemed too perfect – race control awarded him a five-second pit-stop penalty after judging that he has jumped the start.

Before serving the penalty, however, the Scot led commandingly, pulling clear of the chasing Wittmann, and offering fans a tantalising glimpse at what might be possible once the R-Motorsport Aston Martin effort is fully refined. His afternoon ultimately went unrewarded when he was forced to retire with an engine issue late into the race.