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G2G, Young’s docked 25 points for window violations

Thursday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series penalty report brought some unwelcome news for G2G Racing and Young’s Motorsports as two of their trucks each have been docked twenty-five points in the driver and owner championships, interestingly for the same violation.

All four were docked for breaking clauses B and C of Section in the rulebook, which states window nets must meet SFI 27.1 regulations; such standards are set by the SFI Foundation, with 27.1 specification tests requiring nets to prevent a steel ball of approximately three inches in diameter from passing through it and can withstand being hit by a 175-pound (79.37 kg) bag. Besides meeting specs, they must not be used two years after they were manufactured.

The #12 and #20 of Young’s Motorsports were penalised for the violation at Kansas Speedway, where Spencver Boyd and Nick Leitz respectively finished twenty-sixth and twenty-first. A week later at Darlington Raceway, both G2G Racing trucks of Dawson Cram and Brennan Poole were impacted; Cram finished thirty-fifth in the #47 while Poole was thirty-sixth and last in the #46, both with mechanical failure.

Crew chiefs Bradley Means (#12), Joe Lax (#20), Timothy Silva (#46), and Daniel Killius (#47) have all received fines of USD$5,000 (€4,640.30).

G2G intends to appeal the penalty.

Aston Martin with ‘a little way to go’ to Contend Against Red Bull – Dan Fallows

Dan Fallows says the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team still have a fair way to go to catch up and compete with Oracle Red Bull Racing and fight for overall race victories.

Aston Martin have started the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season strongly, with Fernando Alonso scoring podium finishes in four of the opening five events of the year, the only exception being the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

However, Red Bull have been the dominant team across those opening events, with the wins shared between Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez, and it is this domination that means Aston Martin have a lot of work to do to be genuine race win contenders.

“We do we need to sort of consider where we are relative to the Red Bull,” Aston Martin Technical Director Fallows is quoted as saying by “But I think there are areas we believe where we’re relatively strong.

“Also, we have to optimise our car for every particular circuit, which means that sometimes there may be aspects of whether it’s low-speed, high-speed corners, which aren’t quite as strong as some other competitors.

Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill Climb in the United Kingdom

The Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill Climb is one of the most prestigious and popular mountain rally races held in the United Kingdom. Here's an overview of this iconic event:

  1. Location: The Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place at the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, England. The hill climb course is set within the estate's grounds and features a challenging route with twists, turns, and varying elevations.

  2. History: The Goodwood Festival of Speed was first held in 1993 and has since become a prominent event in the motorsport calendar. It attracts a wide range of participants, including racing drivers, historic vehicles, modern supercars, and motorcycles.

  3. Hill Climb Course: The hill climb course at Goodwood is approximately 1.16 miles (1.87 kilometers) long. It starts at the bottom of the estate and winds its way through the scenic parkland, including stretches of open road and tight corners. The course offers spectators excellent vantage points to witness the thrilling action up close.

  4. Participants: The event showcases a diverse range of vehicles and participants. You can expect to see iconic racing cars, classic cars, concept cars, supercars, and motorcycles from various eras of motorsport history. Renowned drivers, including Formula 1 champions, rally champions, and Le Mans winners, often participate in the event.

Jordan Taylor joins Kaulig for Portland Xfinity

Jordan Taylor‘s NASCAR adventure takes him to the Xfinity Series where he will make his début at Portland International Raceway on 3 June, driving the #10 Chevrolet Camaro for Kaulig Racing.

Taylor is a three-time IMSA champion and factory driver for Corvette, with whom he won the GTLM class at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 2021 24 Hours of Daytona. Four rounds into the 2023 season, he and team-mate Antonio García sit fourth in the GTD Pro standings with a pair of runner-up finishes. He placed third in the 2022 points with a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

In March, Taylor entered the Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas as a replacement driver for the injured Chase Elliott. After qualifying an impressive fourth, he was spun on a late restart and relegated to twenty-fourth.

“I am really pumped to make my first Xfinity series start with Kaulig Racing, a team that has shown it can dominate at road courses,” said Taylor. “I’ve been fortunate in my racing career to compete at so many different tracks, and I’m looking forward to checking Portland off my list.”

Although COTA marked his first time racing in NASCAR, he has long been a favourite in the stock car world. Taylor also serves as the driver coach for NASCAR’s 24 Hours of Le Mans Garage 56 project, working alongside Jenson Button, Jimmie Johnson, and Mike Rockenfeller as they prepare to race a modified Cup car there.

Finke Desert Race impasse ends with Motorsport Australia approval

Despite being Australia’s most prestigious off-road event, the fate of the Finke Desert Race was left in the air amid a coroner’s investigation into the death of a spectator at the 2021 edition. After a lengthy deadlock, Motorsport Australia has agreed to provide a permit to allow four-wheel vehicles to take part provided safety protocols are improved.

Approximnately thirty-five kilometres before the finish line at the 2021 Finke Desert Race, Patrick Byrne‘s trophy truck went off course and hit a group of spectators who were standing within two metres of the track. 60-year-old Nigel Harris, who was photographing the event, was killed instantly while two others were injured including Byrne’s co-driver. The rest of the leg was cancelled for bikes.

A coronial inquest was launched last week amid assertions that FDR organisers had improper safety measures in place. Jodi Truman, the counsel assisting the coroner, also called the risk of spectator death under said conditions “extreme”, while a spectator being hit by a vehicle received a “high-risk rating” and overall safety was “medium risk”. A safety advisor for Motorsport Australia also noted in 2018 the lack of safety teams specifically for attendees.

The situation prompted Motorsport Australia, who sanctions the cars, to renege on approving a permit for the 2023 race to go ahead. On the other hand, Motorcycling Australia gave the green light for the bikes.

On Thursday, Motorsport Australia released a statement saying that “[d]iscussions relating to the required permit for the Auto (car) section of the 2023 Tatts Finke Desert Race are ongoing between the Finke Desert Race Committee and Motorsport Australia, with the support of the Northern Territory Government. The Finke Desert Race Committee hopes to reach a resolution soon. The outcome of the final decision will be communicated as soon as possible.”

Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix Cancellation Called to Avoid Creating ‘Extra Burden’ on Italian Authorities Says Stefano Domenicali

The FIA Formula 1 World Championship announced on Wednesday afternoon that the 2023 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix would not go ahead, due to severe flooding in certain areas of Italy.

The statement explained that the decision was called “because it is not possible to safely hold the event for our fans, the teams and our personnel and it is the right and responsible thing to do given the situation faced by the towns and cities in the region.”

Formula 1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali and FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, have shared their sympathies amid the current disaster.

“It is such a tragedy to see what has happened to Imola and Emilia-Romagna, the town and region that I grew up in, and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the flooding and the families and communities affected,” says Domenicali.

“I want to express my gratitude and admiration for the incredible emergency services who are working tirelessly to help those who need help and alleviate the situation – they are heroes and the whole of Italy is proud of them.

Formula 1 Cancels Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix Due to Poor Weather Conditions

On Wednesday 17th May 2023, the FIA Formula 1 World Championship released a statement explaining their decision behind the cancellation of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at the Imola circuit that was scheduled for the weekend.

As the paddock prepared for the start of a triple header of races, recent weather conditions in Italy have caused concern for the fans and staff that would be attending the track. The decision to cancel the race altogether comes after severe flooding has been seen in the Emilia-Romagna regions, with several videos being shared online of streets being filled with water as high as the cars parked there.

“The Formula 1 community wants to send its thoughts to the people and communities affected by the recent events in the Emilia-Romagna region. We also want to pay tribute to the work of the emergency services who are doing everything they can to help those in need”, claimed the Formula 1 statement.

“Following discussions between Formula 1, the President of the FIA, the competent authorities including the relevant Ministers, the President of the Automobile Club of Italy, the President of the Emilia-Romagna Region, the Mayor of the City and the promoter the decision has been taken not to proceed with the Grand Prix weekend in Imola.

“The decision has been taken because it is not possible to safely hold the event for our fans, the teams and our personnel and it is the right and responsible thing to do given the situation faced by the towns and cities in the region. It would not be right to put further pressure on the local authorities and emergency services at this difficult time.”

Alfa Romeo’s Alunni Bravi: “Every one of us has been working hard in the time since Miami”

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, the Team Representative of Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake, says everyone within the Hinwil-based squad have been working extremely hard to improve the performance of their C43-Ferrari ahead of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas has not scored points since taking eighth place in the opening weekend of the season in Bahrain, whilst team-mate Zhou Guanyu has only scored two points thanks to a ninth-place finish in Australia.

Alunni Bravi says the team know they were lacking with performance with their car in the opening spell of the season, but they will be bringing some more updates to the car this weekend at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in a bid to turn around their fortunes and allow both Bottas and Zhou to battle for top ten finishes.

“We head to Imola looking forward to another step in terms of performance,” said Alunni Bravi.  

“Every one of us has been working hard in the time since Miami: the home team in Hinwil has invested considerable time and resources into getting some important upgrades ready in time for this race and it will be crucial to evaluate them and extract the most out of them to gain some competitiveness.”

Bottas Hopeful for Imola Improvements: “The team has been flat out working on the car”

Valtteri Bottas is hopeful Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake can turn around their fortunes this weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as he bids to score his first points since the opening weekend of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season in Bahrain.

Bottas has belief in his team that they can turn around their season and return to the battle for the top ten, and he has seen for himself the work the engineers and mechanics have been doing behind the scenes to improve the performance of the C43-Ferrari.

The Finn enjoyed his best weekend of the 2022 season at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, a result that proved pivotal as they battled for sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship, and he hopes for an improved performance this weekend.

“I am really looking forward to getting back on track in Imola: the team has been flat out working on the car and we are bringing new parts for our car here – hopefully they’ll help us to make an improvement and get back in the fight for points,” said Bottas.

“It is also one of our two home races of the season, and to do well for ourselves and Alfa Romeo in front of our home crowd would be great. I have good memories from last year in Imola: it was our best result of 2022 and one that proved to be very important by the end of the season.

Haas’ Guenther Steiner: “The upgrade which we brought to the race track is working”

Guenther Steiner admitted the Miami Grand Prix was an extremely busy one for the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team, with the Miami International Autodrome weekend the first of three home races for the youngest team on the grid during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.

Steiner, the Team Principal at Haas, was able to see Kevin Magnussen secure a top four starting position in Miami before the Dane secured a point for tenth place in the race, while team-mate Nico Hülkenberg was also able to show flashes of good pace.

Haas brought an update to Miami that appeared to improve the performance of the car, and with another small update coming for this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, hopes are high that the team are moving up the pecking order in the tight midfield battle this season.

“It was the busiest race ever for MoneyGram Haas F1 Team,” said Steiner.  “All our partners, sponsors, on-track action and all that was happening seemed to be the most eventful race weekend since Haas started.

“All in all, it was a very good weekend. Everybody seemed to be happy, the Miami Grand Prix put on a good show for the fans, for the teams, and we got a point.

Kevin Magnussen: “I’m hopeful to continue the strong form and score some points”

Kevin Magnussen was able to score a top ten finish in the Miami Grand Prix for the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team, a result that he felt could have been better after starting fourth on the grid.

Despite losing six positions from where he started, Magnussen was still happy to be able to bring home a point for Haas in one of the team’s three home races during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, with the upgrade they brought to the VF-23 for the Miami International Autodrome appearing to be working well.

“The Miami Grand Prix was a very good weekend for us,” said Magnussen.  “Of course, we only got one point but surely one point is better than none and what we always strive to do is get into the top 10 and score points at every weekend, and we managed to do that.

“On a more general note, the car was strong all the way through the weekend and the upgrade that we brought for this race seemed to be working pretty well so it looks like we’ve made a step forward, which is very positive. Furthermore, it was great to have a good result in front of our home crowd and our partners. All in all, it was a fun event.”

This weekend sees the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, and Magnussen is happy to be back at the circuit with his aim to break into the points for a third time this season.

Thomas Kongshoj plans Dakar return in 2024 and beyond

In January, Thomas Kongshøj became the first Dane to run the Dakar Rally on a bike in over a decade. Having signed a five-year contract with Joyride Race Service, he intends to return to the race in 2024 onwards. In an interview with Claus Vesterager Martinus of Danish menswear site Kaufmann, he recounted his career leading up to his Dakar début and plans for the future, whch includes potentially racing on four wheels.

“I have been tinkering a bit with the idea of ​​driving the Dakar Rally in a car,” said Kongshøj. “I’ve gradually started to test the possibilities in practice.”

Kongshøj hails from a decorated motocross and enduro background, having won nine domestic enduro championships and even the Swedish national title. In 2021, he began dabbling in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship (predecessor to the current World Rally-Raid Championship) and finished fourth in class in his maiden start at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

The outing was enough to earn him a spot in the 2022 Dakar Rally via the Road to Dakar programme, which rewards outstanding racers with no prior Dakar experience, and he deferred it to 2023. According to Kongshøj, it cost him 200,000 Danish krone (€26,858) to afford the seat with Joyride.

Upon starting the 2023 Dakar Rally, he became the first Danish rider to race the event since Jes Munk in 2011. Things got off to a slow start when he crashed and broke four ribs on just the second day of the race. Continuing with painkillers, he finished twenty-second overall in Rally2 with a best daily performance of twenty-first in Stage #13.

Jonathan Savel eyes Dakar Rally debut in 2024

Jonathan Savel hopes to take on the Dakar Rally for the first time in 2024, particularly by throwing himself in the deep end and competing in the Malle Moto class.

Known as Original by Motul at Dakar for sponsorship reasons, Malle Moto is regarded as the most difficult category of the Rally as riders compete on their own without assistance from teams and are limited to certain supplies.

Savel mainly races in Belgian Endurance-Cross, the domestic enduro bike championship of his native Belgium, with a decade of experience. He finished twenty-fourth in the 2022 standings alongside brother Sébastien Savel.

So far into 2023, he has placed much of his training on the Hellas Rally Raid that begins this weekend. Held in Greece from 21–28 May, the Hellas Rally Raid is an amateur event that riders can use to gain further experience ahead of more serious endeavours. Savel will compete on the #9 KTM 450 RR in the FIM 3 category; he is one of sixty-three entrants in Malle Moto.

Following Greece, his main focus will be the Rallye du Maroc on 12–18 October. As the final round of the World Rally-Raid Championship, the Moroccan event will basically serve as a final test for Savel, whose entry will be in the Road to Dakar classification.

Tyler Reddick loses 10 points for Darlington penalty

Tyler Reddick is the latest NASCAR Cup Series driver to be docked points for vehicle infractions. On Tuesday, NASCAR announced Reddick has received a ten-point deduction after his #45 23XI Racing Toyota Camry was found to have an unsecured ballast during inspection prior to qualifying for the Darlington Raceway round.

The infraction broke Section of the rulebook stipulating that “[a]ny and all ballast added to the vehicle must be secured inside a ballast container(s) […] Additional ballast containers will not be permitted to be added to the chassis.”

Crew chief Billy Scott was kicked out for the rest of the weekend and the #45 team was not allowed to select their pit stall. Team performance director Dave Rogers served as Reddick’s interim crew chief as he finished twenty-second.

Reddick had also failed pre-qualifying inspection the week before at Kansas, doing so twice and losing his car chief Michael Hobson.

Credit: NASCAR

Due to its denseness, ballast can pose a safety hazard if it falls out of a car during a race. Ryan Blaney received the same penalty as Reddick at the 2020 Southern 500, incidentally also at Darlington, while larger punishments can be applied if the ballast issue occurs mid-session.

Pirelli’s Isola Excited for Introduction of New Qualifying Format for Formula 1 at Imola

The 2023 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will see the first test of a new Qualifying format, with each of the three dry weather compounds supplied by Pirelli Motorsport to be used across the three segments.

The first part of Qualifying will see all twenty drivers mandated to use the hardest compound available, which for this weekend will be the C3 compound, while Q2 will see the fifteen drivers who advance switch to the medium C4 compound.

Those who advance to the top ten shootout will then be allowed to use the soft compound, this weekend the softest available to the teams, the C5.  The change to the format also means a reduction of available sets across the weekend for each driver from thirteen to eleven.

“The first round of the 2023 season in Europe will feature two important innovations in terms of tyres, both aimed at improving the environmental sustainability of our sport,” said Mario Isola, the Motorsport Director at Pirelli. 

“The first centres around qualifying: at Imola we will be testing a new regulation that requires teams to use a different type of compound for each of the three sessions, with the hards fitted for Q1, the mediums for Q2, and the softs for Q3.