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Archive for the ‘ linkage ’ Category

Linkage April 7, 2013

Posted April 7, 2013 at 3:18 pm F1600 Series, Indy Lights, linkage, Skip Barber Comments

Carlos Munoz dominated today's 40-lap Indy Lights race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. (photo: IndyCar.com)

Carlos Munoz dominated today’s 40-lap Indy Lights race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.
(photo: IndyCar.com)

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing development driver Kyle O’Gara confirmed he will make his Indy Lights debut with SFHR and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports during the Freedom 100 in Indianapolis.

Open-wheel standout Jake Eidson made history this weekend by claiming his third-consecutive Skip Barber Racing Series title; winning the Winter Championship. Eidson will join Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing for a two-year development program running the F1600 Formula F Championship in 2013 and USF2000 in 2014. Make sure to read JOWT’s interview with Jake from last December.

Take a quick glance at the new Skip Barber Formula 2000 MZR car during a winter test at Road Atlanta.

Conor Daly will drive in the Indy 500 this year! Daly will pilot the No. 41 machine for A.J. Foyt Racing.

Indy Lights drivers just finished up their weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. Take a tour of the 17-turn, 2.38-mile road course with Peter Dempsey, courtesy of EFCN’s Track Walk. In the race, Carlos Munoz avoided a repeat of St. Pete; this time earning a wire-to-wire victory after dominating practice and qualifying. The margin of victory stood at 5.0684 seconds with Jack Hawksworth finishing runner-up and Gabby Chaves completing the podium. The real action was the battle for fourth between Sage Karam (who held the spot),Peter Dempsey (6th), Jorge Goncalvez (5th), and Juan Pablo Garcia (8th). Garcia, who ended up with a drive-through penalty resulting from contact with Karam, had a stellar race conserving his tires until the end of the 40-lap event. Check out the rest of the results and the full box score here.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.



Posted August 24, 2012 at 9:37 am linkage Comments

Star Mazda drivers Zach Veach and Bruno Palli recently sampled Indy Lights machinery; Veach with Andretti Autosport and Palli with Juncos Racing at at Putnam Park.

There has been lots of interesting reads on the various options and rumors surrounding a new Indy Lights package. Here are a few: Autoweek hints at the Deltawing, MotorAuthority, eFormulaCarNews (see Aug. 10 entry), SPEED’s Marshall Pruett confirms Dyson Racing as a contender with the “Hulman” car.

The USF2000 National Championship just wrapped up a weekend at Road America with Brabham taking over the points lead following a “blocking” penalty issued to Spencer Pigot. Brabham won the first two races before Scott Anderson claimed his second race win of the season (from pole) in the final race of the tripleheader weekend. The victory came just weeks after Anderson claimed his first win at Mid-Ohio. Zachary Houghton of IndyCarAdvocate.com recently wrote a nice piece on Anderson.

Matt McMurry, a talented up-and-comer in the Skip Barber Summer Series, recently completed a two-day USF2000 test with Belardi Auto Racing at Gingerman Raceway. Take a ride with him here, noticing his “slow” hands during steering input. The 14-year-old race driver earned podiums in his first two Skip Barber race weekends (Road America and Laguna Seca).

In other testing news, the USF2000 National Championship will be offering the Skip Barber Winter Series champion (Jake Eidson) and Summer Series Champ the opportunity to test a USF2000 car at the second annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Oct. 10-11.

Also, a select winner from the Rock Island Grand Prix — the world’s largest go-kart street race — will be awarded entry into the 2012 Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout.

In F2000 Championship news, Group-A Racing has signed Brazilian standout Gustavo Rizzo for Summit Point. Rizzo competed in five race weekends last year prior to being sidelined by injury at Mosport.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.


Linkage 5/14

Posted May 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm linkage Comments

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a linkage update and there has been a fair amount of news lately. Here’s some of the latest.

Despite a point-deduction penalty following the season-opening races in F2000 Championship competition, Robert La Rocca remains the driver to beat winning the Series’ first four races.

Meanwhile David Grant is off to a pretty solid start in the newly formed Atlantic Championship Series having won both races this past weekend at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA.

In the Toyo F1600 Championship — formerly the Ontario Formula Ford Championship — Michael Adams proved he was ready for the next step by winning the opening race at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Adams won the B-class championship in 2011). Shane Jantzi won Round 2, edging Adams by 0.128 seconds after the duo exchanged several bids for the point.

Mazda Road to Indy scouting combine winner Bobby Kelley is off to a fast start in the Pacific F2000 Series, sweeping the opening two rounds at Willow Springs. He was fast in Rounds 3-4 too, but the blistering- fast Ian Lacy emerged from retirement to steal the show — and both wins — at Miller Motorsports Park.

World Speed Motorsports Rising Star Award winner Niki Luna sampled a FormulaSPEED2.0 car at Infineon last month.

Team Moore pilots Gustavo Yacaman and David Ostella led 17 Indy Lights drivers in a May 11th test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The gap from 1st to 17th was less than 7/10s of a second. Needless to say, the Freedom 100 should be extremely entertaining.

Conor Daly earned his first career GP3 victory in Race 2 at the Circuit de Cataluyna. With that one out of the way, I’m sure we’ll see many more. Nice work Conor!

American Alexander Rossi turned laps in the Caterham Formula One car this past weekend during the Spanish Grand Prix practice. Congrats Alex!

For those heading to the Indy Lights — err INDYCAR — race at Iowa Speedway, make sure to read Pressdog’s 2012 Guide to Des Moines.

And last, but not least, if you’re interested in learning more about karting or simply how to get involved in the sport, jump over to eKartingNews.com and read the staff’s latest project titled ‘Entry Level Karting.’ The first official installment should be live next week. Go Karting!

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.



Posted November 16, 2011 at 6:45 pm linkage Comments

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Linkage post and there has been several newsworthy items this fall. Here’s a look at some of the latest.

Team USA Scholarship drivers Trent Hindman and Neil Alberico wrapped up the 2012 edition of the European adventure with heat wins, fourth-place finishes in their semi-final races, an unlucky DNF (Alberico) and a sixth-place result (Hindman) in the Walter Hayes Trophy Grand Final at Silverstone. Get the race-report details here.

Or, better yet, read the Team USA driver blogs. You can read Neil Alberico’s here and Trent Hindman’s here.

The USF2000 National Championship plans to open up the National Class in 2012 to allow SCCA Formula Enterprise cars. In the official release, Dan Andersen says, “We will be working on revisions to our current rules and technical regulations to ensure parity.” It will be interesting to see how closely matched the cars are in 2012. Either way, the move is sure to boost car counts.

Tony Johns over at PopOffValve.com penned an interesting piece about bloggers, journalists, and the relentless race for the scoop. Plus, he mentions hockey so it’s definitely worth a read …as is all his work over there.

In the karting world, Nyck de Vries won his second-consecutive World Championship in KF1 at Suzuka. The talented Dutchman will likely be heading to Formula Renault next season and has already been selected as part of the McLaren Young Drivers Program. Aside from winning the championship, de Vries topped everyone in the fourth and final race of the weekend to seal the crown in style.

It’s that time of the year again. Time for the SKUSA SuperNats. This year’s edition (XV) will see record-breaking entries. I regret to inform you that I won’t be making the trek this year (see last year’s coverage here), but I will have a photographer on hand so expect some great photos. In the meantime, there is plenty of good reading out there. Jump over to eKartingNews.com to read David Cole’s previews in class-by-class format: S5, TaG Jr., TaG Cadet; S2; TaG Sr.;  KF2; KZ2; and S1.

Aside from all the cash rewards up for grabs this weekend, drivers will also have the opportunity to win a test in the World Speed Motorsports’ FormulaSPEED 2.0 racecar and three-day racing schools from Skip Barber Racing.

Skip Barber Racing began its Winter Series last weekend with some impressive numbers (and competition). Talented karter Nick Neri won Race 1 while up-and-comer Jack Mitchell Jr. showcased his talent by topping the competition in Race 2.

The Formula Car Challenge Winter Series opened its schedule last weekend with Zach Veach winning the Pro FM class and Mike Anderson notching the Formula Mazda sweep at Infineon Raceway. If you’re not familiar with the Formula Car Challenge take a peak at this video.

Bryan Clauson has earned another IndyCar scholarship for winning the USAC National Drivers Championship. While Clauson is eager to make the Indy 500 next year, I’d like to see him do a full-season in Indy Lights or an oval-only Lights season while running road course events in Star Mazda.

Speaking of Indy Lights and IndyCar rides, Josef Newgarden recently sat down with IndyCar.com for a Champion Chat. For more reading on Newgarden, check out David Malsher’s latest feature on Racer.com

Robert Wickens is proving quick in his early Formula One tests. Not that anyone sane has ever had doubts.


For up-to-date news and views on junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.



Posted June 7, 2011 at 7:29 pm linkage Comments

The perks for running the F1600 Formula F Championship Series just got better for up-and-coming drivers.

Last week, F2000 Championship team Alegra Motorsports offered the top-finishing F1600 driver, aged 21 or younger, a chance to test its F2000 car at season’s end. While the Series is a long way from being chock full of young drivers, this prize is certainly a push to make it one.

F1600 competitor Bill Valet won last weekend’s Race 1 at Watkins Glen International. Tim Kautz took the checkered flag in Race 2. On the F2000 side, Canadian Remy Audette showed his mettle by winning back-to-back races extending his championship lead.

For anyone wondering, the most exciting event of the upcoming weekend will likely be the Formula Tour 1600 race at the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Speaking of F1 and Canada, some pretty big news (albeit not surprising news) surfaced this past week: Canadian Robert Wickens was named reserve driver for the Marussia Virgin Formula One racing team. The well-deserving and talented 22-year-old is just one broken leg away from his dream. If I had to bet, his time will come sooner rather than later. Congrats Robert.

Top American shifter kart driver Gary Carlton has provided everyone with a detailed look at life overseas in his latest driver diary on eKartingNews.com; Read it here.



Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm linkage Comments

For those who haven’t heard, 21 American drivers will be heading to the La Conca karting circuit in Murro Leccese, Italy to represent Team USA in the 2010 Rotax Grand Finals on Nov. 15-21.  Several  of the drivers attended a two-day test at Ocala Grand Prix earlier this month in preparation for their trip to Italy.

By all reports, the test was incredibly successful. The drivers turned 3,177 laps, used 28 sets of tires, burned 70 gallons of fuel, while sharing set-up information and comparing data. A test of this magnitude has never been completed prior to Team USA’s participation in the Rotax Grand Finals. It’s great to see this kind of dedication and it should pay off in November.

Here’s the Team USA roster:

Cody Hodgson
Troy Castaneda
Nathan Mauel
Andy Dunne
Mitch Carey
Derek Wang

Rotax Junior
Ethan Ringel
Andrew Palmer
Nick Neri
Alessandra Madrigal
Louie Pagano
Dore Chaponick Jr.
Ashley Rogero

Rotax Senior
Stepanova Nekeel
Sam Beasley
Jesus Rios Jr.
Daniel Formal
Victor Pedrosa

DD2 Masters
Henry Malukas
Todd Ulmen
Jim Busby

In other news, Indy Lights competitor James Hinchcliffe awarded Nicholas Latifi the 2010 Hinchtown.com Canadian Karting Award. As a prize, Latifi will receive a free entry into the Bridgestone 3-day Racing School and a watch. Not sure how the watch will help his racing career, but at least he will be able to check his lap times.  Regardless, it’s nice to see “Hinch” giving back to Canadian karting talent. Latifi will be part of Team Canada’s Rotax lineup for the November stop in LaConca, Italy. The Canadian team looks to have a really solid roster for 2010.

Here’s some big news… American Gabby Chaves – who recently completed a very successful GP3 test with ART Grand Prix was crowned 2010 Italian F3 Rookie of the Year. Chaves continues to be a driver to watch. He will likely make the jump to GP3 next season, but I wouldn’t mind see him returning to Italian F3 for a championship run.

The Team USA Scholarship drivers Spencer Pigot and Felix Serralles are getting set for the upcoming Walter Hayes Trophy, set to take place Nov. 6-7 at Silverstone. The two recently sampled a Cliff Dempsey prepared Duratec Formula Ford. For more on Team USA, make sure to read some of my past coverage here.

Connor De Phillippi, who won the 2009 Walter Hayes Trophy as a member of Team USA, plans to run a USAC Midget at Irwindale Speedway sometime next month. Nice move by De Phillippi to continue diversifying his skill-set.

More later.



Posted September 21, 2010 at 12:06 pm linkage Comments

Edoardo Mortara was crowned F3 Euro Series Champion last weekend in Oschersleben after finishing sixth. Valtteri Bottas crushed the competition on Saturday and Jim Pla won his first F3 Euro Series race on Sunday.  It’s fitting that Mortara won the championship after finishing runner-up last season, plus it’s nice to see Volkswagen earn the crown.

Ben Anderson is reporting that FBMW-Europe standout Jack Harvey will graduate to British F3 next season with the help of the Racing Steps Foundation.  I’m not sure if we’ll see him there or not, but it probably wouldn’t be a bad move for the talented 17-year-old.

This is fun: Daniel Zampieri – 2009 Italian F3 Champion – wasn’t allowed to start Saturday’s WSR race at Silverstone because he overtly complained about ISR’s Filip Salaquarda blocking him during qualifying. ISR team owner Igor Salaquarda took exception to the complaint and was booted from the circuit for the weekend and fined 2000 Euros for his part in the incident.  Zampieri returned on Sunday and finished sixth, two spots behind Filip Salaquarda.

Numerous forums are boasting a release stating 2009 USAC Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Henry Clarke will join Davey Hamilton Racing for his Indy Lights Rookie Test at Kentucky.  A follow-up email has been sent out, but I haven’t received official confirmation.

Nyck De Vries won the KF2 CIK-FIA World Championship at the Spanish circuit Zuerva over the weekend thanks to a last lap pass.  Just last month, the young 15-year-old De Vries was able to claim the top spot in Super KF on North American soil via the WSK World Series stop at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Alan McCallum won the NASA Formula Mazda National Championship last weekend at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.  Patrick O’Neill claimed the Pro Formula Mazda National Championship.

Golf icon Fuzzy Zoeller – who won the Masters in his first appearance – will sponsor the Indy Lights season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway with his Vodka company: Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka. It’s unclear, at this point, if podium finishers will attempt to spray vodka or champagne at the event’s conclusion.



Posted May 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm linkage Comments

A linkage post is long overdue and there has been a fair amount of news out there lately…

The GP3 Series made its debut this past weekend in Barcelona.  Canadian Robert Wickens leads the drivers’ championship after the first two rounds, he finished 2nd and 4th .  Fellow North American, Alexander Rossi won Race 2 by a huge margin and sits fourth in the current rankings – just three points shy of the lead.  Pal Varhaug won the first race and is currently second in the standings with Mexican Esteban Gutierrez in third.  Looking at the current points, there are three North American drivers in the top-five, not a bad start to the season.  LJ Hutchins over at BritsonPole.com put together a solid GP3 race report – you can read it here.

Originally, I wasn’t planning to cover GP3, due to time constraints, but given the quality of the field, the current entry numbers and the number of North American drivers competing in the series… you will likely see quite a bit more GP3 coverage on JOWT in the coming months.

In an effort to better understand the European feeder series, Tomaso over at NoFenders.net put together a brief summary of several junior formula series.  Plus, he was kind enough to link to me – so the least I can do is return the favor.

Doug Patterson of OpenPaddock.net has expanded his coverage to include the ‘Road to Indy’.  You can read his USF2000 Early Season Report- here and his Star Mazda Championship Early Season Report – here.

Spencer Pigot, who currently leads the 2010 Skip Barber National Championship, made his Ontario Formula Ford Challenge debut last weekend at Mosport.  Despite horrendous weather, Pigot won his first-ever race in the Series and managed to finish second in Race-2 – while driving without third gear.  He is actively pursuing the necessary funding to continue in the series.



Posted April 1, 2010 at 10:57 am linkage Comments

Look for my F2000 Championship Preview to be posted sometime in the next few days.  In the meantime, check out their tentative 33 car entry list.

The Skip Barber Karting Scholarship will return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the 2010-2011 Karting Shoot-Out.  The last time it was held there, (2005) it rained for three straight days.  Applications are due by September 30, 2010.

Last year’s Indy Lights’ champion J.R. Hildebrand tested an IndyCar yesterday with Andretti Autosport at Barber Motorsports Park.  Unfortunately, the test left J.R. wanting even more.  I know I’m not alone in hoping someone provides him that opportunity.

Frederic Vervisch, who competed in the 2009 Atlantic Championship, was back in a car last weekend for the first time since last October.  The 23-year-old Belgium driver had the opportunity to test a World Series by Renault car with Interwetten.  His results weren’t great but I was just glad to hear his name announced again.  He was one of the most impressive drivers in the Atlantic Championship last season and I truly hope he can land a solid ride for 2010.

Canadian driver Robert Wickens signed with Status Grand Prix this week for the 2010 GP3 season.  It’s nice to see him find a home after being dropped by Red Bull last season.

For those that haven’t already read it, make sure to stop over to BritsonPole.com and read Andy Darley’s piece on Indy Lights competitor Martin Plowman.  Good stuff.

EFCN’s Rob Howden had the opportunity to chat with Rob D’Amico and Michele Rahal last weekend during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.  If you haven’t listened to the interview, make sure you do.  It sounds like the new IRL CEO Randy Bernard is taking a sincere interest in karting, which is the best news I’ve heard in a long time!

Lastly, for those that missed it, here is my latest piece on PopOffValve.com: The Ladder Report: March 30 Edition.



Posted February 22, 2010 at 3:09 pm linkage Comments

Well, we lost a couple more standout open-wheel drivers to the tintop world today as both John Edwards and Adam Christodoulou have committed to running a Newman-Wachs/SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 in the 2010 Grand-Am GT class.

The IRL has released their IndyCar entry list for the open test this week at Barber Motorsports Park.

Notable additions to the test could be Simona De Silvestro as the HVM car features the familiar #78 with a TBA note next to it.  Doug Patterson, of OpenPaddock.net, has his doubts about Simona’s presence though.

Matt Chamois of The Other Side is reporting that Conquest (who also has a TBA note next to their name) will field Mario Romancini in 2010. Romancini was extremely impressive in Indy Lights last season and would be an excellent addition to the IndyCar field for 2010.

I will post the Indy Lights entry list when it becomes available.

For those that haven’t already noticed, I’ve been asked to contribute over at Tony Johns’ IndyCar blog: PopOffValve.  I will be writing a weekly or biweekly feature entitled The Ladder Report which, for now, basically summarizes the week’s junior formula news.  If you haven’t been over to Tony’s blog… I highly recommend that you out click on this link and give it a read.  You won’t be disappointed.

On the international scene, it was announced earlier today that Formula BMW standout Gabby Chaves will drive in the 2010 Italian Formula 3 Championship with Eurointernational.  The 16-year-old American won the 2009 FBMW-Americas title.

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