Championship ready to rumble in Perth

Australian V8 Supercars, Fiasco Sports

The V8 Supercars Championship is set to take off, with the series ready to race at the Perth 400 held at Barbagallo Raceway. 

Fabian Coulthard. Photo: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images AsiaPac

With the championship well underway and the Perth weather putting on a good show, the V8 Supercars drivers are race ready for the fifth round of the series.

Fabian Coulthard is looking like the favourite for the race win tomorrow in his Brad Jones Racing Holden, finishing fastest in both Practice 1 and Practice 3.

Volvo youngster Scott McLaughlin has also set the pace, finishing Practice 2 on top by one-quarter of a second.

Current championship leader Mark Winterbottom finished inside the top six in all three sessions, being in a consistent position to extend his championship lead in his Ford Peformance Racing Falcon.

Ford Performance Racing’s other drivers Chaz Mostert and David Reynolds are also looking on the money, finishing inside the top ten in all three open-practice sessions today.

Local driver Garth Tander struggled today on home soil, finishing a best of 13th position in Practice 1.

Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney was taking it up to Coulthard in the opening session, missing the fastest lap by only 0.0075s.

The first Mercedes driver was Will Davison, finishing in fifth in Practice 2.

Tomorrow’s race will see the split qualifying and race format, with two qualifying sessions and two 100km races, which can be seen live on Channel Seven’s coverage of the V8 Supercars Championship.

Written by Loren Hazelwood @LorenHazelwood

– See more at: http://fiascosports.com/championship-ready-to-rumble-in-perth/#sthash.0P97J9XB.dpuf

Australian Ambrose gets hit with 25k fine

Australian V8 Supercars, NASCAR, On The Record

535aab90556c7.image

Photo: Sangjib Min

Sprint Cup NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose has been fined $25,000 for punching fellow driver, Casey Mears, after an on-track altercation in last Saturday’s Toyota Owners 400 at the Richmond International Raceway in Virginia.

Mears was fined $15,000 after pushing and intimidating the Australian, enticing Ambrose to punch him in the face , after a disagreement about the result of a large crash.

Mears talked to Fox Sports 1’s Race Hub and said he and Ambrose are okay.

“At the end of the day, none of that should ever happen,” Mears said.

“But in the heat of the moment, when you get out of your race car, and some stuff just happened that you didn’t like, we started going at each other, and before we knew it, it escalated very quickly.”

Ambrose finished the race in 18th, alongside Mears in 19th place.

Both drivers have been put on probation until May 28, with neither suffering suspension for the post-race incident.

Ambrose, a former V8 Supercar champion, is known for his fiery attitude at the racetrack after having a similar altercation with New Zealand driver Greg Murphy at the Bathurst 1000 in 2005.

In an exclusive interview in 2012, a NASCAR journalist asked Ambrose if he had any regrets.

“Anything I regret? Yeah. There was this guy in Australia – Bathurst 2005 – and he took me out of the race.

“We had a bit of a shouting match, and I regret I didn’t punch him.”

Murphy later watched the video of Ambrose in America punching Mears.

“I didn’t think he had it in him,” Murphy said.

“Maybe he saw a picture of my head on Casey Mears’ shoulders, who knows?

“He obviously got a big shove from Casey for whatever reason that moved him aside and that was enough to get him riled up.”

Ambrose and Mears will come head-to-head at the next Sprint Cup race held at Talladega this weekend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbsE2weoQ4w (video courtesy of Fox Sports)

Aussie Ambrose Hit with 25k Fine

Australian V8 Supercars, NASCAR, Spultured

Ambrose

Our Tassie Devil driver Marcos Ambrose, currently racing on circles in NASCAR, has been fined $25,000 for punching fellow driver Casey Mears after a massive stock-car style crash in Richmond, Virginia.

Not only was Mears suffering from a black eye, he was also hit with a 15k fine after pushing and riling-up the Aussie, enticing Ambrose to crack Mears in the face.

Mears said in an interview though that’s its all good with Ambrose, but that he’ll never forget being punched in the face.

Ambrose still managed to finish the race in 18th, alongside Mears in 19th place.

Both drivers have been put on probation until May 28, with neither drivers suffering suspension for the post-race incident.

Ambrose, a former V8 Supercar champion, is known for his fiery attitude at the racetrack after having a similar altercation with New Zealand driver Greg Murphy at the Bathurst 1000 in 2005.

In 2012 Ambrose was asked if he had any regrets in his career and said, “anything I regret? Yeah. There was this guy in Australia – and I regret I didn’t punch him.”

Greg Murphy was also fiery and when he saw the footage of his old rival smashing a guy in the face in America, Murphs didn’t think he had it in him.

“Maybe he saw a picture of my head on Casey Mears’ shoulders. Who knows?”

The Talladega event (Talladega nights? Yep, we all though it) is this weekend; let’s see if Ambrose and Mears can shake and bake it out.

Check out Ambrose getting a hook-in on Mears:

Jason Richards Memorial win goes to Winterbottom

Australian V8 Supercars, Fiasco Sports

Mark Winterbottom has claimed the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy after beating Scott McLaughlin to the finish line in Race 13 of the V8 Championship. 

Mark Winterbottom is the second winner of the JR Trophy. Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / photosport.co.nz

Ford Performance Racing’s Mark Winterbottom became the second winner of the prestigious Jason Richards Memorial Trophy, after taking two race wins at Pukekohe Raceway for the fourth round of the V8 Supercars Championship.

Winterbottom defeated young-gun Scott McLaughlin, overtaking McLaughlin in pit-lane to win Race 13 of the championship.

Chaz Mostert also gained his first podium with Ford Performance Racing, finishing in third place with his new team.

Despite McLaughlin taking two pole positions over the weekend, he was unable to grab a win in front of his home New Zealand crowd like last year.

Front-row starter Tim Slade qualified second for Race 13, but due to a clutch failure the Supercheap Auto Commodore only managed 21st.

Craig Lowndes championship also took a beating, with the Red Bull racer only finishing in 20th position.

Shane van Gisbergen fell shy of another podium finish in front of his home finishing fourth, with Michael Caruso, Jason Bright, Will Davison, Rick Kelly and V8 Champion Jamie Whincup rounding out the top ten.

Winterbottom was also able to grab the championship lead after Saturday’s race results, with the number 5 Falcon driver currently in first to Craig Lowndes by 107 points, with Fabian Coulthard third and Holden Racing’s James Courtney fourth.

“What an awesome race, the car was really good,” Winterbottom said.

“I had a bit of a bodgy start and trucked on through…

“A 100 point lead, that’s cool! I wanted to lead going out, not just halfway through.

“I feel honoured to win [the JR trophy].”

The next round of the V8 Supercars Championship will see the drivers head to Barbagallo for the Perth 400, on the 16-18 May.

Race 13 results

Position Car Driver Team Car
1   5  Mark Winterbottom Ford Pepsi Max Crew  Ford Falcon FG
2  33  Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing GRM  Volvo S60
3   6  Chaz Mostert Ford Pepsi Max Crew  Ford Falcon FG
4  97  Shane Van Gisbergen Team Tekno VIP Petfoods  Holden Commodore VF
5  36  Michael Caruso Norton Hornets  Nissan Altima
6   8  Jason Bright Team BOC  Holden Commodore VF
7   9  Will Davison Erebus Motorsport V8  Mercedes E63 AMG
8  15  Rick Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing  Nissan Altima
9  14  Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing  Holden Commodore VF
10   1  Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia  Holden Commodore VF
11 222  Nick Percat Walkinshaw Racing  Holden Commodore VF
12   2  Garth Tander Holden Racing Team  Holden Commodore VF
13  16  Scott Pye Wilson Security Racing  Ford Falcon FG
14  22  James Courtney Holden Racing Team  Holden Commodore VF
15   4  Lee Holdsworth Erebus Motorsport V8  Mercedes E63 AMG
16 360  James Moffat Norton Hornets  Nissan Altima
17  55  David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team  Ford Falcon FG
18  18  Jack Perkins Team JELD-WEN  Ford Falcon FG
19  23  Russell Ingall Repair Management Aust Racing  Holden Commodore VF
20 888  Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia  Holden Commodore VF
21  47  Tim Slade Supercheap Auto Racing  Holden Commodore VF
22  21  Dale Wood Team Advam/GB  Holden Commodore VF
23  34 Robert Dahlgren Valvoline Racing GRM  Volvo S60
24   7 Todd Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing  Nissan Altima

By Loren Hazelwood @LorenHazelwood

– See more at: http://fiascosports.com/jason-richards-memorial-win-goes-to-winterbottom/#sthash.AhRGTwFW.dpuf

Are broadcasting rights killing motorsport?

Australian V8 Supercars, Fiasco Sports, Film and TV, Formula 1, MotoGP

With media deals happening in every category for 2015, are these new pay-TV deals pushing fans away from the sport?

Broadcasting rights all point towards Fox. Photo: Fox Sports

With a sport that costs a lot of money to run with the fancy bodywork, complicated engineering and the drivers that are paid by the millions, there is also the media side of racing that costs channels millions each year, resulting in major series of motorsport no longer available free-to-air.

MotoGP is one category with a faint future on free-to-air, with fans purchasing a Foxtel sports package to watch their favourite rider or constructor win the world championship.

Network Ten are currently in their final year of televising the MotoGP, but will only retain full live coverage of the MotoGP until the end of 2014. Fox Sports are broadcasting every Moto2, Moto3 and MotoGP practice, qualifying and races live in 2014.

Marc Marquez in MotoGP. Photo: Fox Sports

Another broadcasting amend includes the new contract in V8 Supercars, with Seven losing the rights to Network Ten, Foxtel and Fox Sportswith only six of the races in the 2015 championship to be available on free-to-air channels.

Former TEN CEO and current CEO of V8 Supercars James Warburton signed the new broadcasting rights deal, including a $241 million media deal with Foxtel, Fox Sports and Network Ten for all media rights including $196 million cash and $45 million of advertising, making this deal the biggest in V8 Supercars history.

The new deal means that only the Adelaide, Townsville, Sandown, Bathurst, Gold Coast and Sydney V8 rounds will only be shown free-to-air.

“This is a tremendous and significant deal for our sport,” Mr Warburton said.

“It is a great boost to our amazing race teams and fans and will lead to unprecedented coverage on multiple platforms for our sport, never before seen on such a scale.”

Mark Warburton. Photo: V8 Supercars

Formula 1 is set to stay on free-to-air with the coverage supported by Network Ten, the only major motorsport category worldwide not under the Fox banner in 2015.

Currently on free-to-air channels in Australia, only the Formula 1 and V8 Supercars are shown live to racing fans.

Other categories shown within free-to-air are broadcasted a week or so later, including ONE HD’s coverage of the World Series Sprintcars, Australian Rally Championship and NASCAR.

Fans have expressed concern about the new broadcasting rights, stating it is another expense they cannot afford.

After interviewing fans at Winton Raceway during the V8 Supercar event at the Winton 400, most said they were outraged and disappointed about spending money every month to watch motorsport.

Nothing yet has been confirmed towards the coverage for motorsport after 2015.

By Loren Hazelwood. @LorenHazelwood

– See more at: http://fiascosports.com/are-broadcasting-rights-killing-motorsport/#sthash.W2qBiesK.dpuf

Holdsworth holds the silverware for maiden Erebus win

Australian V8 Supercars, Fiasco Sports

Lee Holdsworth has stolen the show at Winton Raceway, claiming Erebus Motorsport’s first maiden win in Race 2, with Fabian Coulthard scoring the Race 1 victory. 

 

Team owner Betty celebrating on the podium with Holdsworth (right) and Coulthard (left)

 

After a long year of engine development and no sponsorship, the team at Erebus Motorsport have finally claimed a well-deserved win with Lee Holdsworth taking the top-step on the podium in a thrilling Race 2.

 

Fabian Coulthard took the Race 1 victory, and battled with Holdsworth throughout the entire race, with his tyres starting to fade away with six-laps to go.

 

Holdsworth passed Coulthard with three laps to go, Coulthard just making his way onto the podium after Ford Performance Racing driver Mark Winterbottom passed Coulthard with one lap to spare.

 

It was a hard day at the office for Volvo favourite Scott McLaughlin, who failed to finish Race 1 due to mechanical failure, and finish at the rear of the pack in Race 2, despite leading one quarter of the 100km race.

 

Another record was broken for rookie driver Dale Wood, who claimed his first podium finish in the V8 Supercars series finishing third for Race 1.

 

The first race at Winton Raceway endured no drama until McLaughlin stopped on the middle of the enfield, with the safety car being introduced into the race.

 

After the first safety car, drama unfolded with young gun Chaz Mostert being forced wide on the exit of turn one, spinning and involving both Tim Slade and James Courtney in the incident.

 

Another incident was caused at turn six on the same lap, involving Nick Percat and David Reynolds.

 

The two incidents caused another safety car, which later saw Todd Kelly endure engine dramas, causing a yellow flag.

 

Coulthard took the chequered first after a safety car filled race, closely followed by Shane van Gisbergen and Wood taking his maiden podium in third.

 

Race 2 was a sprint to the finish, with the 100km race safety car free.

 

McLaughlin got the jump on Coulthard at the start of the race, with Holdsworth following closely behind the front duo.

 

The S60 Volvo of McLaughlin’s was forced to pit early on in the race, with McLaughlin giving his lead to Coulthard.

 

It was a sprint to the finish line and a true testament to had the best tyre strategy, with Holdsworth making the jump on Coulthard with few laps to spare.

 

Holdsworth took the Race 2 victory, with Winterbottom second, Coulthard third and David Reynolds following close by rounding out the top four.

 

Race 3 will feature a 200km format to complete the Winton 400.

 

Written by Loren Hazelwood. @LorenHazelwood

– See more at: http://fiascosports.com/holdsworth-holds-the-silverware-for-maiden-erebus-win/#sthash.j9oBipfs.dpuf

Successful Wet Practice at Winton Raceway

Australian V8 Supercars, Dunlop Development Series, Film and TV, Todd Hazelwood Racing
Todd Hazelwood after Practice 1

Todd Hazelwood after Practice 1

In the challenging Winton conditions and wet weather playing its part, South Australian Todd Hazelwood managed to sneak his way into the top 15, finishing combined practice in position 14 with a lap time of 1:26.1324.

“Really happy with how practice unfolded today, we have good car speed and I’m really enjoying the challenging conditions at Winton,” Hazelwood said.

“In Practice 1 we tried a few things with set-up, but the Winton surface had changed a lot since the team ran here last which also caught out many drivers up-and-down pit lane.

“The second session we had really good car speed, but unfortunately the way the session unfolded caused us to post the two fastest laps when both red flags were out in the session.”

With the teenager finishing inside the top 15, this enables Hazelwood to run in Qualifying with Group 2, being a great advantage for the 18-year-old.

“Really pleased that we are inside the top 15, as this really hurt us for Round 1 at Clipsal.”

“Knowing that we have good car speed and that we are in a good position makes me feel confident that we can be inside the top ten for Race 1.”

The South Australian is currently sitting outside the top ten of the Dunlop Series Championship in 11th position on 153 championship points.

The Dunlop Series will be running alongside the V8 Supercars this weekend at the Winton 400 as a support category, with the Dunlop Series set to hit the circuit for Qualifying tomorrow morning at 9:55 (Group 2).

Race 1 will also be telecast live tomorrow at 3:15pm (AEST), check your local guide for further details.

Winton 400
Saturday (5 April)
9:30: Qualifying 1 Group 1 (15 minutes)
9:55: Qualifying 1 Group 2 (15 minutes)
15:15: Race 1 (25 laps)

Sunday (6 April)
13:15: Race 2 (25 laps)

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 8.54.45 PM

Hazelwood Eager for Round Two at Winton

Australian V8 Supercars, Dunlop Development Series, Todd Hazelwood Racing
Todd Hazelwood testing at Queensland Raceway, preparing for Round 2

Todd Hazelwood testing at Queensland Raceway, preparing for Round 2

AFTER having a successful start to the Dunlop Series season at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, Todd Hazelwood is ready to continue his championship at the second round of the series at Winton Raceway this weekend.

The 18-year-old had a successful test day last Saturday at Queensland Raceway with Matt Stone Racing, with the teenager making the most of the bad weather getting great wet practice.

“The test day was great for the team and myself, at first it didn’t look like we would get any dry running in, but after three sessions the sun was out and the track was in good condition to do some fast laps,” Hazelwood said.

“I learned a lot throughout the day, it was great to understand how the car handles in the damp conditions and to finesse my technique throughout the rest of the day.

“There is still a lot of room for improvement, I need to continue to learn as much as I can to give myself the best opportunity to succeed this year.”

The South Australian is currently sitting outside the top ten of the Dunlop Series Championship in 11th on 153 championship points.

The Dunlop Series will be running alongside the V8 Supercars this weekend at the Winton 400 as a support category, with the Dunlop Series set to hit the circuit for the first time Friday morning at 10:35am local time for Practice 1.

Winton 400
Friday (4 April)
10:35: Practice 1 (40 minutes)
12:35: Practice 2 (40 minutes)

Saturday (5 April)
9:30: Qualifying 1 Group 1 (15 minutes)
9:55: Qualifying 1 Group 2 (15 minutes)
15:15: Race 1 (25 laps) – telecasted live AEST (Channel 7/7Mate)

Sunday (6 April)
13:15: Race 2 (25 laps)

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 8.54.45 PM

Red Bull top practice in Tasmania

Australian V8 Supercars, Fiasco Sports

Red Bull Racing Australia drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup managed to blitz the rest and finish the three sessions on top, looking strong for tomorrow.

V8 Supercars are set to rumble for qualifying tomorrow morning. Photo: Ross Marsden

V8 Supercars are set to rumble for qualifying tomorrow morning. Photo: Ross Marsden

Craig Lowndes and Red Bull teammate Jamie Whincup managed to stay on top throughout the three practice sessions today, looking a competitive force for this weekend’s Tyrepower Tasmania 400 at Symmons Plains Raceway.

Despite Whincup having a power steering pump failure in Practice 1, the champion topped the final session of the day presenting a lap time of 51.33, with Lowndes only .02s off his teammate.

Although Whincup was quickest in the final session, the #888 Commodore of Lowndes was able to top the first two practice sessions, with an overall fastest lap of 51.31.

Whincup wasn’t the only driver to endure power steering issues today, with crowd favourites Volvo, also enduring a power steering “binding” issue, with the team at Garry Rogers spending the whole day trying to resolve the issue, and David Wall was only out in Practice 2 for five laps before his Dick Johnson Racing Falcon suffered from power steering issues.

Other drivers looking strong for the weekend include Ford Performance Racing’s Chaz Mostert, last year’s race winning team Brad Jones Racing, Nick Percat from Walkinshaw Racing and Nissan’s Michael Caruso with all of the drivers sitting within the top three at some time in the sessions today.

The V8 Supercars will hit the Symmons Plains circuit for back-to-back 10 minute qualifying sessions tomorrow morning at 11:30am local time, for the official second round of the 2014 championship.

Written by Loren Hazelwood @LorenHazelwood
– See more at: http://fiascosports.com/red-bull-top-practice-in-tasmania/#sthash.undOxBio.dpuf