New South Wales Kart Championship

There is a certain anticipation in the air and karters are a little more excited about the last New South Wales Kart Championship under Karting Australia’s regime scheduled to be held in Lithgow this weekend.

Spirits have not been dampened by KA’s apparent inability to supply its usual sets of prize tyres to the State Championship podium winners. Instead - there’s a new kinda buzz around town!

Karters in NSW are coming out of the woodwork to contribute their expertise, their weekends and their license fees towards rebuilding the sport they almost lost. Some members have even been checking out clubs to move their membership away from those clubs that voted to stay with KA. They may not have had their voice heard - but their wallets can walk!

Some have even been encouraging their fellow states to come and join the fun.... because that is what Karting should be! FUN!

As we all know, the voice of the karter is strong and will no longer be silenced, penalised or priced out of the sport that has been in families for generations.

We look forward to this weekends racing and moreover look forward to bringing the fun back to racing.

“THE OTHER END OF OUR SPORT” SPEAKS OUT

It appears Mick Doohan’s reference to the “other end of the sport” in Karting Australia’s latest Full Throttle Publication, continues to highlight the division and preference Karting Australia has been giving to the “elite” and “privileged”.

Grass-root karters have been experiencing the squeeze since Karting Australia’s CEO launched his Strategic Plan in 2016 to create sustainable growth in a “niche” sporting market and “define elite driver development pathways” ensure development and/or improvement of “the financial position of Karting Australia” and the “overall Karting Australia brand and image”.

Jaguar wants regular Formula E podiums in 2018/19

The Jaguar Racing Formula E team has set “a very clear goal” to score regular podiums across the 2018/19 season in a bid to build on its season four achievements.

Jaguar has enjoyed impressive gains since it joined the all-electric series in season three, managing more than four times the amount of points it achieved in its maiden campaign to lift itself from the bottom of the teams’ championship and up to sixth in 2017/18, as well as claiming a first pole position and podium.

Heading into season five, which marks the introduction of the all-new ‘Gen2’ car, the British manufacturer has fully developed a new powertrain in-house for the first time in its new I-TYPE 3 challenger – which also features over 800 new components.

“We’ve been very pragmatic about our journey and the next step is moving from a regular points-scoring team to a regular podium team,” Jaguar team principal James Barclay said.

“That’s what we need to be getting towards, so we are a team that’s able regularly fight and put ourselves in a position to be on the podium. That’s our very clear goal.”

Jaguar has retained its driver line-up consisting of Nelson Piquet Jr and Mitch Evans for season five, with season one champion Piquet insisting the team is still “playing catch up” compared to its rivals.

When asked by Crash.net what he feels is possible for Jaguar in season five, Piquet said: “We’re going to take a step forward. We don’t know how much the other teams are going to take forward but we’re playing catch [up] at the moment.

“I don’t know if it will take one, two, or three seasons to catch them but at the moment we are playing catch up.

“The jump from season one to two was very easy because the powertrain they had in their season one was a last-minute thing they did, so the closer you get to that 100 percent efficiency it gets harder to get close.

“That little last percentage is very hard to get. We are going to do a step forward but we don’t know what the other teams are going to do.”

Piquet believes Jaguar can compete for the teams’ championship in 2018/19 providing it can pull off its target of fighting for regular top five finishes and podiums. 

“If we have the same step again next year, it’s going to put us in a very good position,” he said.

“To fight for a championship you always need to be in the top five, then your consistency will make you win a championship.

“If we can always be fighting in the top five that will put us in contention to win the championship and that’s what we will try to do.”

“I just want to see Jaguar at the top," Evans added. "I know how hard the team has worked behind the scenes.

"We have had two years in the championship, the first year was tough for us coming in as a new team but we made a huge step last year.

"I really want to see both of us at the front and then take it to the other manufacturer’s for the championship."

Six compound target for Michelin @ Aragon

Michelin is hoping for another 'clean sweep' of all six tyre compounds being chosen for use in Sunday's Aragon MotoGP race, as occurred last time at Misano and last year at Aragon.

The French manufacturer will again offer soft, medium and hard compounds for its front and rear slick tyre options. The fronts will feature a symmetric compound layout, while the rears have a harder left shoulder to manage the 10 left corners versus 7 rights.

"The track is very technical and last year we saw all six compounds used in the race – as was the case last time out in Misano – and that is the same target we have for here this season," said Piero Taramasso, Michelin Motorsport's Two-Wheel Manager.

Michelin is hoping for another 'clean sweep' of all six tyre compounds being chosen for use in Sunday's Aragon MotoGP race, as occurred last time at Misano and last year at Aragon.

The French manufacturer will again offer soft, medium and hard compounds for its front and rear slick tyre options. The fronts will feature a symmetric compound layout, while the rears have a harder left shoulder to manage the 10 left corners versus 7 rights.

"The track is very technical and last year we saw all six compounds used in the race – as was the case last time out in Misano – and that is the same target we have for here this season," said Piero Taramasso, Michelin Motorsport's Two-Wheel Manager.

"It is always Michelin’s intention to supply tyres that can be used by all riders, teams and manufacturers to give them optimum performance at every race and this is something that is very important for us.

"We aimed to create a competition environment within a single make series and we believe we have done that, and it makes it a real challenge for all the riders at the races to make the best and most informed choice, which in-turn has led to more exciting and close racing.”

Should rain make an appearance this weekend, Michelin's wet tyres will be available in soft and medium compounds, front and rear.

“We had some very mixed weather at Aragón last year, which seems to have been the case for the last few races, so we are hoping for more consistent conditions this weekend,"  Taramasso said of the weather.

 

 

 

Toto Wolff would be ‘overwhelmed’ to see Pascal Wehrlein return to F1

Toto Wolff would be “overwhelmed” to see Pascal Wehrlein make a return to Formula 1 in the future following confirmation of German driver’s exit from Mercedes’ motorsport programme at the end of the season.

Wehrlein moved into F1 in 2016 as the leading member of Mercedes’ junior programme after winning the DTM title the previous year, but was without a seat for 2018 after being replaced at Sauber by Charles Leclerc.

Unable to find an F1 seat, Wehrlein returned to DTM for the 2018 season, but will cut ties with Mercedes at the end of the year by mutual consent.

Mercedes also has junior drivers Esteban Ocon and George Russell on its books, prompting its motorsport boss Wolff to openly consider the future of its young driver programme.

“There are many reasons why we started the junior programme,” Wolff said. “One, that we felt that we wanted to help talent that didn’t have the means to make it through the ranks and Mercedes was helping Pascal from the very early days.

“I met him when he was 16 at the Norisring and we had a great journey together, from the ADAC to F3 then DTM, and we’ve invested time and money.

“The same with George Russell and Esteban Ocon but we are coming to a point that we haven’t got a junior team, and if you are lacking possibilities to place them then you need to either think of reducing your driver programme and releasing somebody or changing the strategy.

“We are at the crossroads at the moment. We are going to see how it plans out with George and with Esteban, and then decide how we continue.”

Wehrlein has been linked with one of the vacant seats at Red Bull B-team Toro Rosso for 2019, leading to Wolff being asked if it would be “heartbreaking” to see him race for “the doctor’s squad” next year, referring to Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko.

“Obviously we felt also together with Pascal that this was the best outcome for him. My opinion of him is still very high and it looked like that we could be possibly blocking his future career,” Wolff said.

“This is not what we wanted, and he also felt that he needed to do it on his own and give it a go on his own.

“I would be overwhelmed and happy if he on his own would find his way into Formula 1 or a professional racing career.”

Ferrari team to continue to fight

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has sent out a rallying cry to his team and is confident the Italian manufacturer will continue to fight in the Formula 1 world championship despite the deficit growing in Singapore.

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel now face a 40-point gap to F1 world championship leader Lewis Hamilton after a frustrating race where ‘boredom was the winner’ according to a post-race team release.

As Hamilton secured victory, Vettel lost out to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the pit stop phase to see the Dutch driver skate ahead into second place.

With Vettel in third at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, the German driver has clinched victory just once in the past five races, with Hamilton winning the other four, to see the F1 championship points gap grown to its largest all year.

Despite his team’s frustrations, Arrivabene is hopeful of a fightback over the final six races starting in Russia – an event Mercedes has dominated at with four consecutive wins since Sochi’s arrival on the F1 calendar in 2014.

“Despite the result, not all is lost,” Arrivabene said. “Now, calmly and with determination, we will tackle the remaining six races, fighting all the way to the end.

“The winner deserved the victory. After Sebastian overtook Verstappen, we went for an aggressive strategy, trying for the undercut on the Ultrasoft tyres.

“Unfortunately, during the one lap that would prove to be crucial, we found ourselves behind another car and so we were unable to run at a fast-enough pace.”

Ferrari has also lost significant ground in the F1 world constructors’ championship with Mercedes stretching out its lead to 37 points.