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VOLUME 1 - ISSUE 3

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24th MAY 2011

WINTON WRAP

WARMING UP FOR WINTERNATS

16 DAYS TO GO

PLUS

JOHN FORCE RACING’S 200th WIN KAWASAKI’S MX MARCH CONTINUES KARTERS GO FATALITY FREE


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BRIGHT UNDER DARK SKIES AT WINTON Jason Bright took another outstanding race win in as many rounds at Winton Motor Raceway, whilst Jamie Whincup’s seemingly relentless charge to a third V8 Supercars Championship crown continued on with an emphatic victory on Saturday afternoon. The highlight of the weekend for the Castrol-backed teams was pole position for FPR’s Mark Winterbottom on Sunday. Frosty left it until the dying moments of the session under threatening skies to post the quickest time. Unfortunately for the Ford star – who turned 30 last Friday – he couldn’t continue that on, his car having no pace on the long runs. He did however post a solid result on Saturday, coming home in ninth placing. Winterbottom’s team-mate, Will Davison had a shocker of a weekend, just never coming to grips with the car from the time it was rolled out of the truck. Finishing 13th on Saturday, he was confident of a good race on Sunday before being turned around by Lee Holdsworth. This resulted in a multi-car pileup that put two fellow Castrol racers – Todd Kelly and Russell Ingall – out of the picture.

In Saturday’s 40-lap affair – Rick Kelly was the best of the green, red and white brigade – recording an astonishing fourth position after seemingly coming from nowhere. Behind him was Paul Dumbrell in the Bottle-O Falcon – who had one of his best performances of the season. Sunday was a tough day all round – many teams had called the tyre strategy incorrectly and went from being in good positions to poor when the soft tyres ‘fell off the cliff’ late in the 67 lap encounter. The best of the Castrol runners on Sunday was as low as 10th and that was Steve Owen in the VIP Petfoods machine. He drove a smart race to finish in the top 10. The standout though was Greg Murphy, who charged to 11th from last on the grid. Murphy was pinged for having a non-control wheel fitted to his Pepsi MAX Crew Commodore and was excluded from the qualifying session. He was running as high as seventh at one point early in the race before tyre life halted his progress. The V8 Supercars will next be in action at Darwin, June 17-19 – which will be quite a contrast to the cool of Winton Motor Raceway! Darwin is traditionally a favourite for teams and drivers given its favourable climate and unique atmosphere.

WINTON MOTOR RACEWAY RACE DIRECTION - CLOCKWISE TOP SPEED - 225 km/h AVERAGE SPEED - 131 km/h


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HIGHT TAKES 200TH FUNNY CAR WIN FOR JFR Robert Hight took an historic win at Topeka in Kansas – the 200th Funny Car victory in the history of John Force Racing. In fact, the JFR team was always going to set the milestone with his teammate – Mike Neff in the Castrol GTX High Mileage machine lining up for the Final. It was the 35th time JFR cars had raced off in Finals and the 14th time that a Force Ford had won at Topeka. Hight moved to third in the NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car points standings and it is the first time the Castrol and Auto Club of Southern California-supported driver has taken back to back victories. It wasn’t such a good weekend for the boss himself – defending Champion, John Force. Force was knocked out in the opening round of eliminations after qualifying in ninth placing. The milestone established by Hight for the Castrol-supported team prompted Jamie Allison – Director, North America Motorsports, Ford to commend the team in a public statement: “John Force Racing reaching 200 wins is such an incredible accomplishment and a milestone that will stand in NHRA history for many, many years,” Allison said. “John Force himself is such an icon of the sport, and someone whose success has stood the test of time. This 200-win mark is really a testament to his leadership, and it shows what a team can do when each person involved pulls in the same direction. All of us at Ford Racing are proud of them for reaching that incredible number of wins.”


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CASTROL KAWASAKI TEAM CONTINUE MX DOMINANCE Castrol-backed Monster Energy Kawasaki now sit in positions one and two after the fourth round of the Australian MX Nationals in Toowoomba, with Dean Ferris retaining his lead and Billy Mackenzie joining him at the top of the standings. Pro Lites rider, Phil Nicoletti overcame a first race DNF to finish second and first respectively in the remaining two motos, annexing fifth position overall. The riders had their work cut out for them thanks to a horrendously muddy Toowoomba track. Riding smart, Mackenzie and Ferris managed to stay upright throughout the four Pro Open motos and post solid results in each race. The fourth moto was the standout race for the team with Mackenzie and Ferris dominating the race to walk away with first and second respectively. Ferris wasn’t without his dramas though, in the second moto, he had a rock hit him in the right eye. After finishing fourth and receiving treatment on it, he carried on with limited vision to end the day third overall. Nicoletti returned after illness hit him at the previous event – and did it in style, qualifying over four seconds faster than anyone else in the field. The joy was short-lived though, as he came down at turn one in the first moto, only to be struck by another bike, cracking the water-pump on the green machine. He crossed the line first in the second moto, only to be relegated on protest post-race, however he struck back to take an emphatic win in the final moto of the day. The next round will be held on June 19 in Coonabarabran, New South Wales.


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KARTERS SUPPORT FATALITY FREE FRIDAY This coming Friday – May 27 – is the annual Fatality Free Friday, where motorists around Australia pledge that the nation’s roads go without an addition to the road toll for a 24 hour period. Many high-profile sports stars and celebrities are on board the program and several of the Castrol EDGE-supported CIK Stars of Karting drivers lent their support to the cause. One of those is Gladstone’s John Grother – who’s own life has recently been touched by road trauma. A competitor and friend, Norton Rogers was the victim of a road accident in North Queensland recently. “The loss of Norton really hit me hard, it made me think even more about road safety and always being aware of your surroundings while behind the wheel,” said Grother. “On a kart track you’re in a controlled environment, which is the safest place while driving at speed – unlike the road when you’ve always got to be prepared for the unexpected to happen. “Fatality Free Friday is a great cause and I encourage everyone to get behind the cause.” Fatality Free Friday is driven by high profile Brisbane radio host and driver trainer, Russell White: "We believe road fatalities and injuries are preventable and that all road users play a role in helping to improve safety in our communities and on our streets,” said White. “We welcome the support from the karting community. It’s great to see the next generation of drivers taking the pledge and helping to promote road safety.” With its continued focus on safety in the workplace and on the road, Castrol EDGE is in full support of the Fatality Free Friday initiative and you too can take the pledge online at www.fatalityfreefriday.com.au.


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CASTROL EDGE WINTERNATIONALS 2 WEEKS TO GO There are just two weeks to go until Willowbank Raceway comes alive with the colour and excitement of the 44th Annual Castrol EDGE Winternationals and this year promises to be one of the biggest yet. With over 500 entries, the event continues to be the largest drag race outside North America and every ANDRA Pro Series Championship will be decided at the event – including the ANDRA Top Fuel Championship. This year, the event will feature a media call at Parliament House in Brisbane, where Sport’s Minister, the Hon. Phil Reeves will get to experience the raw power of Top Fuel from the driver’s seat. In Brisbane City on the Thursday of event week (June 9), city-dwellers will be able to get up close and personal with the stars and cars of the ANDRA Pro Series as an all day public event will be held in Reddacliff Place (between Queen Street Mall and the Southbank Bridge) – famously known for its ‘big balls’ sculptures. One racer that will not be lining up at the Castrol EDGE Winternationals will be Castrol-backed Brisbane racer, Rocky Rehayem. Rehayem was involved in a huge incident at the last ANDRA Pro Series event at Sydney International Dragway. His Pac Performance Mazda 6 car turned hard right at the 1000ft mark in the Final of Super Compact and went head on into the wall at over 280kph. It then flipped onto its roof and then slid to a stop in a ball of flames. Fortunately, during the ordeal, Rocky was conscious and had the presence of mind to deploy the on board extinguisher which controlled the fire. The emergency crew was quick to respond, getting to the car just as it stopped sliding. Rocky suffered bruised ribs, a fracture to the L2 vertebrae in his back, lacerations in his groin and a stretched nerve in his left eye. Rocky is expected to make a full recovery from all injuries with plenty of rest and TLC, but sadly he won’t be part of the 44th Annual Castrol EDGE Winternationals.

UPCOMING RACES 5 june

MotoGP Catalunya Spain

5/6

NHRA Englishtown New Jersey

29/5

Formula 1 Monaco Monte Carlo

19/6

V8 Supercars Darwin NT

29/5

WRC

10/13

Winternats Willowbank Queensland

Argentina


Castrol Edge Australian Motorsport News Issue 3