Tag Archives: Rotax

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: SaharaForceIndiaFormula1team

Sahara Force India F1 Team Academy drivers take their first step towards F1

The Sahara Force India F1 Team Academy stepped up a gear this month as the team’s three young Indian racers, Arjun Maini, Tarun Reddy and Jehan Daruvala began their European karting careers.

The three youngsters are competing in the British Super One Championship, Britain’s premier kart championship incorporating the KF3 Class MSA British Championships for juniors.

KF3 is an international CIK class using a medium power 125cc water-cooled engine with an electric self-starter and centrifugal clutch. With a standard chassis, single rear brake and bodywork, the karts are capable of producing speeds of up to 115km/h. It’s the ideal proving ground for aspiring racers and has helped produce numerous Formula One stars, including current Sahara Force India racer, Paul Di Resta.

Arjun, Tarun and Jehan’s 2012 KF3 Academy programme will be managed on behalf of Sahara Force India by Ricky Flynn with karts painted in the familiar colours of the Indian flag. They will have legendary kart champion, Terry Fullerton, as their mentor and driver coach, while Louis Di Resta, father of Paul, will help coordinate the project. Together they bring vast knowledge and experience of karting at the highest level.

As the winners of the One From A Billion hunt, Arjun, Tarun and Jehan all carry high expectations on their shoulders. The Academy initiative was designed to identify and nurture young Indian talent to prepare them for careers as future Formula One drivers. Having impressed the judges with their driving ability, fitness levels and media skills, the three teenagers now have the chance to race in one of the most competitive karting championships in Europe.

Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director of Sahara Force India: “Last year we started the search across India and identified three extremely quick and hungry youngsters who now have a great opportunity ahead of them. With a comprehensive development programme mapped out, the Sahara Force India F1 Team Academy will continue to nurture their talent as they take the first steps on a journey that will hopefully lead to Formula One. I will watch their progress with great anticipation.”

Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India race driver: “I was one of the judges during the team’s talent hunt last year and saw the kids through every stage of the competition. All three have impressed me with their speed and commitment, so I think they have the potential to go a long way. I started out in karting when I was seven years old and I believe it is the best preparation for a career in single-seaters. The UK is well known for having some of the best karting championships around so it’s an ideal proving ground for the boys.”

Meet the Class of 2012

14-year-old Arjun Maini was the winner of the One From A Billion hunt last year. Originally from Bangalore, he has six years of karting experience under his belt having competed in India’s Rotax Championship. As a keen sportsman he also excels at table tennis.

Tarun Reddy is also 14 years old and lives in Chennai. Like Arjun, he has raced in the Rotax Kart Championship and enjoys keeping fit by playing sports including squash. Having impressed the judges with his speed and determination last year, he was selected as the first runner-up of the One From A Billion hunt.

Jehan Daruvala is the youngest of the three Academy racers at just 13 years of age. A resident of Mumbai, he has karted extensively over the last three years and raced in the CIK FIA World Championship last year. An impressive performance in the finals of the talent hunt saw the judges award him the position of second runner-up.

Round One

The first round of the season took place at PF International Circuit near Grantham in Lincolnshire last weekend. In mixed weather conditions the boys were unable to break into the top ten of the final, but gained valuable experience of racing in the wet – their first race in such conditions. The boys will look to deliver a more competitive showing in the remaining six rounds of the series, starting at Whilton Mill Circuit near Daventry, UK, on 12th of May.

Motorsports Mondial

Red Line oil karting Championship Race #4 Recap – Near record turnout, strong Senior Rotax field

Another fantastic day at the Jim Russell Karting International Center where a near record turnout of eighty three drivers turned out for Round #4 of the Red Line Oil Karting Championship. The Senior Rotax, Rotax Masters and TaG race groups all had the largest fields. The Senior Rotax class may have had the deepest field of talented Rotax drivers that have run at the track in years. The racers had to deal with the very technical Reverse Sprint track configuration, a layout which some drivers love and others struggle to get the speed they need.

Feature Race: GoPro TaG race group

With two GoPro Hero HD cameras up for grabs, thirteen karts took the track for some competitive and exciting racing. The two Senior TaG karts and the two Junior TaG karts would battle to see who would win one of the GoPro HD cameras and the winner of the nine kart strong IAME TaG class would take home the second GoPro HD camera. In Qualifying, Larry Fraser (Sr TaG) took the pole ahead of JP Cadoux (Sr TaG) followed by the Jr TaGs, Mason Filippi and Austin Thomas along with the top IAME TaG drivers next with Don Rocci and Ben Schreiner in fifth and sixth . In the first Pre-Main, four drivers lost the race before the end of the first lap including Fraser and Filippi. JP Cadoux took the win ahead of Thomas with Rocci and Schreiner in third and fourth. In the second Pre-Main, Fraser took the win ahead of Cadoux followed by Filippi, Thomas, Rocci and Schreiner. In the Main, three strong drivers had to start deep in the pack due to problems in the heat races and this made for some exciting racing. Cadoux took the lead early but Fraser challenged hard and then took the lead. Ten laps into the race, Fraser spun after he ran through some on-track debris allowing Cadoux by for the overall win and Sr TaG class win. Thomas held third throughout the race with Filippi needing to get by four other karts before he could challenge for the Jr TaG win. Mason got up to fourth place and closed the gap on Thomas to just two tenths of a second but ran out of time to be able to make a pass attempt.

In the IAME Cup race features “spec” gearing to keep competition close and costs down. This class has seen a lot of growth and now, half way through the season, the field is becoming very strong. Don Rocci held the lead for most of the race to take his third class win of the year with Ben Schreiner taking a strong second with Bryce Guzman moving up two spots to take the third by the end of the tough fifteen lap race. The GoPro Hero HD Cameras went to JP Cadoux and Don Rocci for their efforts.

Rotax Masters

The Masters class had their largest turnout of the year with thirteen entries. Cameron Evans pulled off the hat trick by taking the pole and winning both the Pre-Mains and the Main. Like wise, Jerry Pretti was second to Evans in Qualify, along with all three races. The real battle during the day was for the third place positions. In qualifying, Ken Santos was third followed by Scott Ripslinger and Bob Hurst. In the first Pre-Main, first year racer Santos got shuffled back after the start with Ripslinger taking a solid third followed by Hurst and Chris Rossi. In the second Pre-Main, Ripslinger again took the third spot followed this time by Geoff Wise and Hurst. In the Main, Evans and Pretti quickly pulled away from the field with four karts battling for the third and last podium spot. Ripslinger, Hurst and Wise battled back and forth all race but a charging Berry Lee came up to challenge these three and picked them off on by one until he had the third place spot. In the end, Evans took the win followed by Pretti, Lee, Hurst and Ripslinger.

Rotax DD2 and DD2 Masters

The lone DD2 class was driven by series promoter Steve Cameron who ran his third different class in the series to see how the classes work and to help develop the series. Steve had to get used to the paddle shifting that is used on the DD2 karts, but soon adapted to the “formula car” feel. Taking the pole was Michael Ostrowski ahead of Andre Eriksen and David Palic. Cameron had transponder problems in qualifying and had to start sixth. In the first Pre-Main, Ostrowski pulled away from the field early with Cameron working his way through the field. Eriksen and Cameron battled late in the race with Cameron getting by but not having enough time to catch Ostrowski. In the second Pre-Main, again Ostrowski took the early lead with Cameron battling through the field to take second less than one second back with Eriksen third and Palic fourth. In the Main, Eriksen got into the lead early from his third place starting spot and held the position until Cameron made the pass for the lead. Ostrowski’s power was not the same as in the Pre-Mains and he had to settle for the third spot. Dave Moody got by Palic and drove his tail off to stay in front of Palic. In the end, Cameron took the race win and the DD2 class win. Eriksen took the second overall and the DD2 Masters class win followed by Ostrowski with Moody coming in fourth overall, third in DD2 Masters.

80 Masters

With seven drivers in the field, Charles Hastings took the pole ahead of Tom Nelson and Roger Cornwall who was sporting a new chassis. In the first Pre-Main, Nelson took the lead early and held on for a narrow win ahead of Hastings and Cornwall. In the second Pre-Main, Hastings launched from the standing start taking the lead at the drop of the green and took the win with Nelson in close pursuit, Cornwall third. In the Main, Hastings again took the lead, Nelson started to have problems and had to finally drop out after six laps. Cornwall took over the second spot and stayed within sight of the leader but could not get any closer than two seconds of Hastings. In the end, Hastings took the win, Cornwall second and an inspired drive by Geoff Provo earned him the third place spot.

Senior Rotax

A field of fifteen karts gave Senior Rotax its largest field of the year. New additions to the field were Matt Meech from San Diego, former series drivers Jake Mottaz and Matt Powers along with TJ Fisher, Bronson Eggert and former Tag driver Eddie Johnson and a rare entry from 2005 national Senior Rotax champ, Wes Phillips. In qualifying, series regulars Kiel Spaulding, Niki Luna and Carlos Calderon took the first three spots on the Pre-Main grids followed by Powers, Meech and Phillips. In the first Pre-Main, Spaulding controlled the pace of the race right from the start and went on to a one second win. Behind Spaulding though was spectacular racing with Calderon, Luna, Meech, Eggert and Phillips all battling hard for position, but all finishing in the early order. In the second Pre-Main, Spaulding again pulled out to a convincing win with the battle behind heating up with Calderon taking second over Luna followed by Meech, Powers and Jake Mottaz. Mattaz having to start from the rear of both Pre-Mains due to no time in qualifying. In the Main, Spaulding took the lead at the start with Meech making a strong move in turn one to move from fourth to second, a position he would not give up for the fifteen laps of the race. Luna, Calderon and Powers all put the peddle to the metal for the third spot, Phillips had a problem on lap four and had to retire. Meanwhile Mottaz was moving through the field as if on a rail. In the end, Spaulding took the win, Meech second, Luna third and Mottaz made it up to fourth (Mottaz also took the fastest lap of the race) with Calderon taking the fifth spot.

Junior Rotax-KPV2-KPV1

In the Qualifying, four Jr Rotax karts lead the two KPV2 karts followed by the lone KPV1. Southern California’s racer, Enzo Mestre took the pole position ahead of Zack Dante, Will Preston and Maxx Marian, the KPV2’s of Jaden Conwright and Tommy McCarthy and the KPV1 of Alex Hudson. In the first Pre-Main, the veteran Mestre took the early lead and was never headed with Marion moving up to take the second spot followed by Dante, Preston, Conwright, McCarthy and Hudson. In the second Pre-Main, Dante swept around the outside of turn one to take the early lead but the experienced Mestre made a strong pass on lap three and went on to the win with Marian again moving up to take second, followed by Preston, Dante, Conwright, McCarthy and Hudson. In the Main, Enzo took the lead at the green and was never headed on his way to an eighth second win. Marian was in control of second for most of the race with Dante closely on his tail. Zack made his move with a couple of laps from the end to take over the runner up spot and held on to it all the way to the checkered flag. Marian had to settle for third and Preston in fourth. In KPV2, Conwright took the win over McCarthy with Alex Hudson taking the KPV1 win. Alex has been the lone KPV1 this year, but he is on a mission. He plans to run Mini-Max next year and is using the race track time to get to know each track configuration so he is better prepared for 2012.

Rotax Masters Light

Andrea Delfanti took the pole ahead in the six kart field, followed by Mary Beth Wilson and Stephan Gaudreau. In the first Pre-Main, Delfanti took a convincing win over Wilson and when Gaudreau and David Carlisle tangled, Michael Riyanto came home in the third spot in his first Rotax race. In the second Pre-Main, Delfanti took the early lead, but this time Wilson stayed close the entire distance. Delfanti took the win, Wilson second, less than a second back and David Carlisle working past Gaudreau for third. In the Main, Delfanti and Wilson again took off and left the field behind. The two past class champs drove fast and hard with Wilson putting intense pressure on Delfanti, hoping to force a mistake, but no mistakes by Delfanti! It gave him the win with Wilson less than three tenths of a second behind with David Carlisle again out dueling Gaudreau to take the third spot.

Sanzaru Games mini-Max

With the field at seven karts due to two regulars missing from this event, the day was still far from quiet for this class. In Qualifying, Michael Michoff took the pole ahead of visiting Illinois driver Ethan Tyler and Toni Breidinger. In the first Pre-Main, Tyler took the lead at the start followed by Michoff. But at the end of the first lap, Tyler threw a chain and the six karters right behind had to scatter to avoid him. This put Annie Breidinger into the lead with Michoff chasing to make that lead. On Lap seven, Michoff had problems and was forced to park it, leaving Annie in the lead with Wilson Skjerven just behind her and Horatio Fitz-Simon in the third spot place. In the second Pre-Main, Michoff was leading the field around for the start but when his brake rotor failed he was once again forced to park it. Tyler then assumed the pole and drove into the lead through turn one with Annie Breidinger right behind. Tyler could not be caught thus he went onto the win, with Annie in second and Sister Toni Breidinger third and Wilson fourth. As they lined up for the Main, it was Annie on pole, Wilson next to her, Tyler third, Michoff sixth. After the fall of the green a tight field of karts shuffled into turn one, Wilson and Tyler ended up hooked together at the exit as the rest of the field raced away. A very disappointed Wilson got going but was far behind and Tyler was broken down and had to be pushed to the fence. Annie took the lead for several laps with Michoff staying right behind and Horatio holding third. At mid race, Michoff made a pass on Annie and drove on to his third win in a row, Annie coming home second with Horatio fighting off a race long challenge from Toni Breidinger to take his first podium finish. Even though Wilson Skjerven was far back, he did leave everyone the fact that he had his best speed of the year and is a real challenger for the podium.

125 Stock Moto – SKUSA S2 and S4

With six of the ten karts being the quicker S2 karts, there was much anticipation for a good S2 battle by the end of the day. Brett Buckwalter continued his qualifying dominance by taking the pole ahead of Jason Toft with Daniel Langon in third. The top S4 again was Jim Inglebright in seventh followed by David Arnstein in eighth. In the first Pre-Main, Buckwalter took the lead at the drop of the flag and was never headed with Toft staying close, followed by Langon and Neil Joseph. In S4, Inglebright came home first with Arnstein in second and Nick Galante in third. In the second Pre-Main, Toft took the lead at the start but Buckwalter quickly got by going on to his second win of the day. Trying hard to stay up with Buckwalter, Toft spun and had to re-enter the track way back eventually coming home seventh overall. Langon took over second and made a charge coming home two seconds down on the leader while Joseph took third. In S4, Inglebright came home first, Galante second and Arnstein third. In the Main, Buckwalter again took the lead at the drop of the flag. Toft had to work his way up from fourth and made quick business of Joseph and Langon so he could put the pressure back on Buckwalter. The two top S2 drivers drove the wheels off their karts lap after lap but Toft just could find the extra speed he needed to challenge Buckwalter. In the end, Buckwalter took the win, Toft second and Langon a solid third. In S4, Inglebright completed a clean sweep of the class results with a fifth place overall finish and a four second class win over David Arnstein who came home sixth overall with Galante eighth overall.

Motorsports Mondial

The Red Line Oil Karting Championship will shift gears and use the tight Sprint track configuration for round two on Sunday, May 1st at the Jim Russell International Karting Center. The GoPro featured class will be 80 Masters, where the race winner will take home a GoPro HD Hero Camera.

Several classes will feature some very close and competitive racing. The Rotax Senior class with nine strong drivers in the field last month should again highlight a very competitive race with several drivers taking a shot at de-throning round one winner Carlos Calderon. First time 80 Masters winner Charles Hastings should expect a strong challenge from at least three other past winners including defending class champ Tom Nelson. Look for a battle royal in the Sanzaru Games Rotax Mini Max class where competive racing was experienced by all ten drivers last month. Expect Michael Avansino, Michael Michoff and Scott Huffaker to once again fight for the win and $50 in cash. Second and third places will take home $30 and $20, respectively. Mini Max class sponsor Sanzaru Games will be awarding cash prizes all season long. With seven drivers, the ‘club’ IAME TaG class started the season with good driver interest and competitive racing. With nine drivers, the SKUSA rules based S2 and S4 race group not only saw good numbers for the season opener, but also provided some outstanding racing.

Saturday practice is available from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm with pre-race registration also available at Saturday. Entry fee for the race is $100 plus $10 for transponder rental, $10 for pit passes and $50 for Saturday practice. Sunday’s schedule starts at 8:20 am with the first heat taking the green flag at 10:45 am.

Spectator information: With a second event at Infineon Raceway on this race weekend, all spectators, crew and drivers must go to the old Jim Russell building to buy a pit pass and to sign in for the karting event. Your wrist band will admit you into the raceway. When you pull into the Infineon Raceway entrance, look to the right and you will see the Red Line Oil Karting Championship sign with the arrow pointing to the right. Park next to the brick wall and go behind the wall to the old Russell building.

For additional information about the Red Line Oil Karting Championship, visit: www.redlineoilkarting.com or www.norcalrotax.com.



California to Cairo

Troy Castaneda’s Egyptian Expedition

Twenty year-old Troy Castaneda recently scored an impressive top five finish in the Rotax World Final Championship. The finals are held in a different country each year.

Venue for the 2009 finals was the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh.

Competing against over 200 drivers from 60 plus nations, Troy made it to the pre-finals where the top 34 racers competed for the final event. But his race was over before the opening lap was completed, thanks to an over-aggressive move by another driver resulting in damage to his kart and radiator.

As the first retirement in the pre-final Troy was left starting last on the grid for the main event. Rest of the story is best told by his blog on www.troycastaneda.com and is posted below with kind permission of Troy, who had to walk like an Egyptian for cash…

Having to repair the broken parts in less than a couple hours seemed like no problem until Troy and his mechanic realized that they had to pay in cash for the parts… Troy ended up having to run in his driving suit and shoes to find a nearby atm. He was able to find one across the street, but could not get his card to work. He then ran to another hotel down the street, but was faced with the same problem. Castaneda ran back to the track looking for help. With only 15 minutes left until he needed to be in parc ferme, Troy was running out of options.

There was a bank about a mile away in which he ended up taking a taxi to get to it. By the time he got what he needed and was heading back to the track, it was time for him to be at the grid. Running back to the pits with the parts needed for the repair, Diego quickly assembled everything and they made it to parc ferme just in time; the gates closed right behind them.

With a full field of the best drivers from around the world, Troy had his hands full. He had a decent start and at the end of lap 1, he was already in 28th place. His charge to the front was nothing short of a miracle; passing karts lap after lap. He was setting lap times that were consistently 2 tenths faster than the leaders. At the end of the 24 lap Rotax World Finals main event, Troy finished an impressive 5th place.

“I can’t believe it. I just focused on taking advantage of every passing opportunity,” explained Troy. “As soon as I caught up to someone, I would pass them right away. At the end of the race I had no idea what placed I finished until I got to the scales. I just want to thank everyone who helped me get here; this was a fantastic experience and I learned a lot. I’m looking forward to next year! Thank you!”

Troy is supported by Bariani Olive Oil, April Phillips Design Works, De Anza Services, The Studios, Motorsport Services and Marin Karting.