FOCUS ON MOTORSPORT

MCBW. wk22. jh motorsport monaco

MCBW. wk22. jh motorsport monaco

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Motorsport

Fox set to race former Formula Ford star’s car

Gawcott’s Dan Fox will race the Dave Morgan Motorsport-owned Van Diemen RF90, raced in period by Neil Cunningham, at Brands Hatch this weekend in the second round of the Champion for Brands Formula Ford 1600 series.

Fox has been a regular in the Brands Hatch category over the last couple of years driving cars for the Buckingham-based Team Fox Racing, but with the team’s latest car not ready for competition until the beginning of August, Fox has entered into agreement to hire Morgan’s Van Diemen for the next two Champion of Brands meetings.

The Van Diemen was driven during its British championship assault in 1991 by Neil Cunningham, and Cunningham - regarded as one of Formula Ford’s finest ever drivers - drove the car in his final race at Donington Park in September before being forced to retire as a result of developing Motor Neurone Disease.

Fox said this week: “The plan is to give the car a quick run around Mallory Park ahead of travelling to Brands just to make sure everything is all right.

“I am looking forward to driving the car especially as it is a car with good history and was the car that Neil drove in his very last race.”

The Champion of Brands forms part of a meeting organised by the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC), with this CoB race being the second of four rounds held this season.

Endurance series

Barff ready to race at his home track

Whitfield’s Rob Barff will be in action at Silverstone this weekend driving a McLaren MP4-12C GT3 for Von Ryan Racing in the Blancpain Endurance Series.

The former Le Mans 24-Hour Race driver, well known for his television work, will form part of a driver line-up for the team that will tackle the British round of the three-hour endurance series.

Barff said this week: “It is always good to race in an international GT race in Britain, especially on my home track.”

GP3 Series

Stockinger takes his maiden GP3 win

Marlon Stockinger (below) drove to victory in round four of the 2012 GP3 Series in Monaco on Saturday, leading the second race of the weekend for the cars from pole position.

Driving for the Silverstone-based Status GP team, the victory was Stockinger’s first career GP3 triumph.

While Stockinger kept his cool at the head of the field, others behind caused mayhem as the race was twice interrupted by the Safety Car after both Will Buller and Conor Daly experienced upside down moments. The latter, which saw the former Walter Hayes Trophy winner catapulted into the debris fencing on the exit of the tunnel, after a collision with a slower car, saw the race halted due to barrier damage.

Stockinger said: “It was just about making the start work and remaining consistent. Around here, you also need a little bit of luck and I am glad it worked out in the end!

“I was just glad to bring the car home and do this for my team, all of them did a great job. The car was so nice to drive and I also got fastest lap which is a few extra points so really happy about that.

“It was a great weekend, I couldn’t have asked for more.

“So many times when you start on pole, you think you mustn’t let the pressure get to you so I would be wrong if I didn’t say I wasn’t thinking about the prestige of the event and the previous winners who have won here in F1, GP2 and now GP3. But at the end of the day I stepped up and took victory!”

Stockinger headed home Antonio Felix da Costa and Daniel Abt who completed the podium.

The previous day Stockinger had finished eighth in the opening GP3 race of the weekend won by Aaro Vainio.

The fast Finn now leads the GP3 points standings as the cars head for Spain and the next rounds of the championship on June 23-24.

Stockinger’s Status GP team-mates, Alice Powell and Kataro Sakurai, didn’t feature so strongly in the results. Powell on her Monaco debut scooped a best of eleventh, whil Sakurai’s best effort was 13th.

Le Mans

Testing times ahead for Le Mans teams

Teams and drivers contesting the 2012 Le Mans 24-Hour Race will be in action on the French track this weekend when the pre-race test takes place on Sunday.

The day is the only chance that competitors have to sample the part-public road course ahead of the race event itself.

Sunday’s sessions will go along way to giving an indication of form prior to the start of race qualifying on June 13 and the race itself on June 16.

Silverstone’s ADR-Delta arrive in France as the leaders of the LMP2 division of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), and the squad are looking for a solid run throughout the test to gain valuable data about their Oreca 03-Nissan car.

John Martin, Tor Graves and Robbie Kerr are nominated as the drivers for the race and hopes are high for another strong showing.

Graves said this week: “Le Mans is such a big race and to be part of it is very exciting indeed.

“I am really looking forward to the experience and I am sure we will all learn so much during the test.”

Whittlebury’s Strakka Racing will field their LMP1 car for Danny Watts, Nick Leventis and Jonny Kane. The car will carry a patriotic colour scheme in the colours of the Union Flag, and the team are proud in this jubilee year to be the only entrant fielding an all British driver line-up.

Thornborough’s Danny Watts said: “This is the big one.

“This year will be a great year for competitors in the Le Mans 24-Hours.

“It is the biggest race in the world and we hope that the test will allow us to be in a position to challenge for an overall victory.”

Brackley’s Anthony Davidson, a member of the Peugeot team last year, will return to Le Mans for Toyota.

The Japanese manufacturer is returning to endurance racing and the WEC with its new TS030-Hybrid prototype.

Davidson will share driving duties with former F1 racer Sebastien Buemi and previous Peugeot team-mate Stephane Sarrazin.

Brackley will also be represented by Karun Chandhok, who will make his Le Mans track debut on Sunday.

Another former F1 driver, Chandhok will drive a HPD ARX-03a for the JRM team. His partners in the car will be 2009 race winner David Brabham and Peter Dumbreck.

Marc Gene will test for the Audi Sport team on Sunday but is unsure if he will start the race on June 16.

The former University of Buckingham student won the Spa 6-Hours a few weeks back for Audi Sport in their R18 car along with Romain Dumas and Loic Duval.

Gene is currently the reserve driver for the German marque, and will only race if Timo Bernhard, the driver he replaced at Spa, is not fit enough to drive at Le Mans following a crash in the United States some weeks back.