Tag Archives: Hameed

EFR 2.0

Win caps perfect day for Stoffel Vandoorne…

Stoffel Vandoorne (Josef Kaufmann Racing) recorded his third victory of the season to round off an ideal day in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. The Belgian took advantage of the retirement of his closest title rival, Daniil Kvyat (Koiranen Motorsport), to seize control of the championship and move 24 points clear of the Russian. Mikko Pakari (Fortec Motorsports) and Jordan King (Manor MP Motorsport) came second and third respectively to secure career-first podium finishes.

Stoffel Vandoorne kicked off the day by claiming his fifth consecutive pole position. In doing so, the RACB National Team driver set the fastest Formula Renault 2.0 lap on the circuit with a time of 1:42.411. The Belgian shared the front row with surprise package Mikko Pakari (Fortec Motorsports), with Jordan King (Manor MP Motorsports) and Daniil Kvyat (Koiranen Motorsport) starting on the second row.

Stoffel Vandoorne got away perfectly to lead from Mikko Pakari. Behind them, however, Daniil Kvyat and Oliver Rowland enjoyed a less than ideal start, with the pair colliding before the end of the first lap. Russia’s Kvyat was forced to retire as a result, but his British rival was able to rejoin the race, albeit at the back of the field. The safety car then came out to allow the stewards to intervene. Stoffel Vandoorne led at this stage, followed by Mikko Pakari, Jordan King, Nyck de Vries (R-Ace GP) and Alex Riberas (Josef Kaufmann Racing).

The race order remained unchanged when the action resumed, with Stoffel Vandoorne upping the tempo and recording the fastest laps of the race to pull away from his rivals. With the race leader out of sight, Mikko Pakari turned his attention to containing Jordan King, Nyck de Vries and Alex Riberas. Further back, Norman Nato (RC Formula) headed up a second group, followed by Oscar Tunjo (Tech 1 Racing) and Melville McKee (Interwetten.com Racing).

Without ever really looking troubled, Stoffel Vandoorne cruised home to take his third win of the season. The victory, combined with Daniil Kvyat’s retirement, means he now holds a 24-point lead at the top of the championship. Mikko Pakari finished second for his first podium finish in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, an experience shared by Jordan King, who came third. Nyck de Vries and Alex Riberas completed the top five.

What they said:

Stoffel Vandoorne: “I knew after collective testing that we were capable of taking pole position. I succeeded and, what’s more, Mikko Pakari qualified ahead of Daniil Kvyat. After that, all I had to do was start well, as Daniil was going to have to take risks. During the race, I chose my pace and stayed consistent. Twenty-four points may seem like a lot, but you mustn’t forget that Daniil Kvyat had a 27-point lead before the Nürburgring, and I finished that weekend at the top of the championship. So it can all change very quickly.”

Mikko Pakari: “It’s my first year in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and I’m learning with every race. I’m very happy with my qualifying performance. I couldn’t get near Stoffel in the race, so my goal was to hold on to second place, which was important for the team and for me.”

Jordan King: “I had too much wheel spin at the start. So I found myself in a very lively group, and Kvyat and Rowland both overtook me. I moved back into third after their collision. After that I caught up with Mikko, but I never had even the slightest chance to overtake him. I’m just pleased with this first podium finish.”

Motorsports Mondial

Team AirAsia driver set the pace in day 1 of final 2011 pre-season testing in Barcelona

The GP2 Series paddock gathered this week at Circuit de Catalunya for the final 2011 pre-season testing. The thirteen teams have two days to prepare before the opening round in Istanbul in three weeks time.

Sunshine and a dry track welcomed the twenty-six cars this morning. The first half hour of the session was pretty quiet as drivers took to the track in order to complete installation laps. Julian Leal was the first one to set a laptime for Rapax, but it was Jolyon Palmer at Arden International who set the early pace. Carlin’s Max Chilton soon improved his countryman’s personal best and moved to the top of the timesheet. At the halfway mark, Davide Valsecchi at Team AirAsia broke the 1:30 barrier and went quickest, one tenth ahead of Romain Grosjean at Dams while GP3 Series Champion Esteban Gutierrez moved into P4. The Lotus ART driver improved further on his following lap and ended a shy 0.06s behind Valsecchi. The Italian’s domination of the timesheet was short-lived however as Barwa Addax’s Charles Pic put his head down and edged Valsecchi out of the top spot by 0.04s. The Frenchman’s laptime remained unbeaten until the chequered flag with Valsecchi and Gutierrez rounding out the top three.

As the afternoon session started, it was Valsecchi who set the early pace. But just before the one hour mark, Lotus ART’s Jules Bianchi went top, improving the Italian’s laptime by 1.9s. From then on, the rest of the field’s mission was to close the gap with the Frenchman. It started with Sam Bird at iSport, but soon after that, rookie Kevin Mirocha at Ocean Racing improved and moved up to P2. In the following minutes, it was Chilton who got the nearest to Bianchi’s laptime – 0.6s closer. It was then Grosjean and Gutierrez’s turn to move up to P2 and P3 respectively, four tenths from Bianchi’s personal best. In the final hour, Luca Filippi at Super Nova found some extra pace to knock the Lotus ART driver off the top spot while Scuderia Coloni’s Michael Herck went P3. The Romanian lost a position to Valsecchi when the Team AirAsia man improved his laptime with thirty minutes left on the clock. On his following lap, the Italian went even quicker, which was enough to take control of the timesheet. As the drivers started a string of fast laps, a red flag briefly interrupted the proceedings. After the pitlane reopened, the top ten remained unchanged. A second red flag with five minutes left on the clock halted everyone’s last efforts. The session was green flagged one last time, but Valsecchi’s fastest laptime stayed unbeaten.

Motorsports Mondial

Motorland Aragón – Race 1

Alexander Rossi drives to victory in style.

This opening race of the season in Formula Renault 3.5 Series had it all: Suspense, passing manœuvres and comebacks. The rookie Alexander Rossi (Fortec Motorsport) took his chance to shine and take his first victory in the category. The American crossed the finish line ahead of Robert Wickens (Carlin) and Nelson Panciatici (KMP Racing). All of which can only bode well for the season ahead!

As we have now come to expect, Saturday is the day when the light aerodynamic configuration is used. The first qualifying session of the year was a thrilling one, with twenty-two drivers all within the space of a second. Robert Wickens claimed the first pole position of the season, after a hard-fought battle with Alexander Rossi. With a lap in 1’42’’901, the Canadian posted the fastest ever time ever recorded in qualifying at Motorland Aragón, making the Formula Renault 3.5 Series the fastest category to have run at the circuit.

Robert Wickens got off to a flyer, but ran wide in the first bend. Starting from the second row, Daniil Move took advantage of the mistake. The Russian thus took control at the front of the race ahead of Alexander Rossi, Robert Wickens, Kevin Korjus (Tech 1 Racing) and Albert Costa (Epic Racing). In the main field, Anton Nebilitskiy (KMP Racing) came into contact with Arthur Pic (Tech 1 Racing) and was thrown into a roll. The two drivers escaped unharmed, but the safety car was nevertheless called out to allow the two stricken cars to be cleared from the track.

After four laps behind the safety car, the restart was given with Daniil Move retaining his first place ahead of Alexander Rossi and Robert Wickens. Alexander Rossi was however looming very large in Daniil Move’s mirrors, while Kevin Korjus ran wide. The winner of the 2010 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 title was passed by Albert Costa, Nelson Panciatici then Walter Grubmuller (P1 Motorsport).

Daniil Move was holding firm under the constant attacks from Alexander Rossi, who was himself coming under threat from Robert Wickens. Albert Costa, having shaken off Kevin Korjus, took advantage to regain contact with the lead trio. The battle between these four, with Nelson Panciatici lying in wait ready to pounce, went on for several laps. Meanwhile, the crowd were holding their breath in suspense and on lap 11 Alexander Rossi finally found a way through at the end of the pit straight. This put the American out front, with twenty minutes of the race to run, ahead of Daniil Move, Robert Wickens and Albert Costa. Costa himself was passed on the next lap as the result of an incisive move from Nelson Panciatici.

Once out front, Alexander Rossi pulled away unrelentlessly. Behind him, Robert Wickens finally got the upper hand over Daniil Move to move up into second. Daniil Move slipped back several places as a result of the move as Nelson Panciatici and Albert Costa took their opportunity to get past. The lead four then remained unchanged until the finish. Daniil Move finally finished in fifth, just ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne (Carlin), who started from back in 15th place.

Alexander Rossi: ”My start wasn’t ideal, so I have to work on that. After the Safety Car peeled off, I attacked Daniil Move several times, but he didn’t make any mistakes. I finally found a way through in the pitlane straight by making sure I was where I needed to be. It was a close call with the pit boards, but I knew they would get out of the way! I then opened out a gap and everything went well from there. I didn’t necessarily expect to win my first race quite so soon.”

Robert Wickens: ”I made an error from the start. I braked a bit late, expected a bit more grip than there turned out to be and ran wide. I then bided my time waiting for the right moment behind Daniil and Alexander. We were very close and anything could have happened. In all, it was quite a frustrating race as I felt I had the right setup to win.”

Nelson Panciatici: “After starting from sixth, I didn’t think I was going to make it onto the podium. It’s a very good result. It’s a perfect start for me working together with KMP Racing and confirms the good form we’ve been showing since the start of the weekend.”

Motorsports Mondial.



Turning a new leaf: Talented Romain Grosjean, the Swiss-promoted-as-French driver, is set to break into the top tier of motor racing this season. He will compete in the GP2 series which starts in Barcelona this weekend, and is also reserve and test driver for Renault.

Grosjean will go against Japanese rising star Kamui Kobayashi who just raked in the GP2 Asia title. Both will face a fresh breeze in the form of yet another German sensation, Nico Hulkenberg, who is managed by Willi Weber and will drive for Nicholas Todt’s ART team.

GP2 is F1’s official feeder series and every champion since the series was inaugurated in 2005 has found a berth in a Grand Prix team, Giorgio Pantano from 2008 being the only exception.

The spec series features Renault-powered Dallara chassis.

Snapshot from Sunday


Green with envy: Adam Carrol gave Team Ireland victory in the World Cup of Motorsport, the A1GP series, in a dominating fashion. The ex-GP2 race winner won both the sprint and feature races from pole position in the season finale at Brands Hatch, located in beautiful Kent countryside in England.

Neel Jani, last year’s Champion, gave Team Switzerland second place this season and Team Portugal was third with Felipe Alburquerque.

JR Hildebrand from Sausalito in northern California finished an impressive fourth on his debut in the sprint race for Team USA.


Rossi Rules: The Doctor checked in with his first win of the season in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jererz. Local hombre Dani Pedrosa was second on a Honda with Australian Casey Stoner third for Ducati. Rossi re-takes the lead in the championship from teammate and pole sitter Jorge Lorenzo; the young Spaniard crashed three laps from the end.


 Moroccan Menu: FIA sanctioned World Touring Car Championship made a stop in Morocco for the first time. Briton Robert Huff and Italian Nicola Larini were in Cruze mode and gave Chevrolet their first and second wins of the season. The double header event was staged through the streets of Marrakech. The photo shows their Swiss teammate Alain Menu.


Mark this Aussie: 19-year old Daniel Ricciardo from Perth has now won three of the four races in the 2009 British F3 Championship. Sunday’s victory at Silverstone puts him well ahead in the championship with 68 points over second place Nick Tandy on 40 points. Opening race of the weekend was won by debutant Dutch driver Renger van der Zande.

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Post card from Bahrain.

 Post card from Bahrain


Welcome aboard. F1 had a busy schedule to start the 2009 season. The Gulf Air Grand Prix of Bahrain was round 4. Five races in four weeks. Time for some serious in-flight service on way to Europe.


Mark Weber was steaming like a Red Bull. The driver from down under got screwed by Sutil in qualifying.


Motivation in Manama. Jean Alesi. French flair with Sicilian blood and temper. The Ace of Avignon once drove for Ferrari, and once upon a time won his only Grand Prix race in Canada on his birthday.


Robert Kubica. In the ultimate fuming machine. The BMW Sauber is a sorry sight these days. The Pole and his teammate were the last classified cars on Sunday.


Jenson Button, man who was Hungary for a win for over hundred races. Now he has three wins and a second from four races in 2009. He will return to the sands of Arabia for the November season finale in Abu Dhabi.



My name is Luca. I live on every floor. El Jefe of Ferrari is scratching his head over his team’s worst start to a season since the constructors’ championship was started in 1958.