This weekend’s AirAsia Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island was the setting for not only some tremendous races but also the crowing of two World Champions in the shape of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo in the MotoGP premier-class and Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez in the intermediate Moto2 category. Despite Repsol Honda Team’s local hero Casey Stoner taking a dominant sixth win in succession in his final-ever home race, an error from the Australian’s teammate Dani Pedrosa and second place from Lorenzo was enough for the Mallorcan to be crowned 2012 MotoGP World Champion. It was Lorenzo that got the holeshot into turn one after a lightning start, with Pedrosa close on his tail in front of Stoner. Pedrosa was boisterous from the off and pushed past Lorenzo within a couple of turns as he tried to pull away. Local hero Stoner was soon all over Lorenzo and took him on the home straight heading into lap two. Shortly after there was huge drama as Pedrosa pushed too hard and lost the rear of his bike, with Stoner and Lorenzo closely behind. The Spaniard was able to remount, yet had to pit with the bike too damaged, leaving Lorenzo in a strong position to take the world title. As Stoner pulled away at the front in dominant fashion, an entertaining battle for third ensued being led by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, followed by teammate Andrea Dovizioso, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. In the meantime, Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison crashed out of the race, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards had to retire due to a technical issue. With 18 laps remaining Crutchlow was on a charge as he was lapping faster than Lorenzo, dropping off Dovizioso slightly, who had Bautista stuck to his rear wheel. Behind them, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi was leading a battle of the Desmosedicis ahead of Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham and Ducati’s Nicky Hayden. Stoner was leading at the front with Lorenzo and lonely second and Crutchlow a lonely third, yet Bautista, Bradl and Dovizioso were at each other’s throat throughout. With eight laps to go Speed Master’s Roberto Rolfo retired with a mechanical issue. Further afield and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró was tussling with teammate Randy de Puniet in their battle for CRT supremacy, with the two swapping positions frequently. With five laps remaining Dovizioso went past Bradl into fourth, whilst Bautista capitalised on this and also squeezed past the German for fifth. And two laps before the end the trio provided fairing-to-fairing action with Dovizioso leading into the last lap, and keeping this position until the line. Yet ultimately it was Stoner who made it six wins in succession at the Australian track on his final bow at his home circuit, with Lorenzo clinching his second premier-class title with one round to go – the only Spaniard to have more than one. Crutchlow put in a terrific ride as he stormed to his second ever GP podium, despite suffering from illness. Dovizioso was the first non-podium finisher, followed by Bautista, Bradl, Rossi, Hayden, Abraham, as well as Espargaró, who came out on top in the CRT battle with his teammate. The race was a huge draw for the Australian crowd as an estimated 53,100 fans descended on the track on Sunday, making the estimated three-day attendance a record breaking 122,470.
The first new manufacture to the V8 Supercar championship will unveil its Car of the Future (COTF) on Tuesday 30 October in Melbourne. The highly-anticipated release of the Altima COTF by Nissan will also be streamed live online via YouTube, giving fans in Australia and across the globe the chance to see the first glimpse of the spectacular race car. The unveiling of the Nissan Altima will be a historic moment for the sport of V8 Supercars, which has been the domain of purely Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores for the past two decades. Nissan Motorsport will campaign four Altimas in the V8 Supercars Championship starting in 2013 and will be powered by the quad-cam, 32-valve, production-based Nissan VK56DE engine that was unveiled in September of this year. Nissan will undertake two exciting and innovative online broadcasts to ensure that fans can be a part of this momentous occasion and share in Nissan Motorsport’s journey to the grid. A live feed of the Altima V8 Supercar unveil will be streamed via the Nissan Australia YouTube channel, YouTube.com/NissanAustralia, beginning at 10:30am AEDST on Tuesday 30 October 2012. Following the morning unveil, Nissan will then host a Google + Hangout On Air with driver and team Racing Director Todd Kelly, as well as the Altima V8 Supercar, from the team’s headquarters in Braeside, Melbourne at 5:00pm AEDST that evening. This online video conference will see Kelly provide an in-depth explanation of the Altima race car and offer fans the chance to ask questions about Nissan’s all-new, ground-breaking V8 Supercar. For a video promoting the unveiling of the Nissan Altima and the two live streamed events visit http://youtu.be/KFTuLELr1qo.
Corse Motorsport is the 2012 Radical Australia Cup champion team in only its second attempt at the one-make sports car category. The Wetherill Park, NSW, workshop prepared the SR3 of the series-winning driver, Neale Muston, who sealed the deal with one race remaining in the final round at Sydney Motorsport Park last weekend. Corse owner Mick Mitchell explained that the team took a conservative approach to give Muston the best chance of winning the Radical series on SMP’s 2.8km ‘North’ circuit. “Neale saved his tyres in qualifying, which probably cost him pole position for the first race, and he let Nathan Antunes take the win after Nathan jumped the start. “We thought Nathan would get a pitlane drive-through, but the stewards only gave him a five-second penalty – and Neale finished six seconds behind! “That fired him up for the second race, which he won by nine seconds and gave him an unbeatable lead in the pointscore with one race still to come.” Muston was poised to win the third race, but a driveshaft failed at the start. “The driveline takes a beating over the kerbs on the ‘North’ circuit link road, and one of the drive shafts looked like it might have a problem, so we changed it between races as a precaution,” Mitchell said. “For the replacement driveshaft to fail was unexpected, but sometimes that happens in racing.” Mitchell added that Muston’s win was all the more meritorious considering he missed one of the seven rounds. “Neale had to skip the second round because of business commitments, but he was clearly the dominant driver this year. “He was the overall winner at four of the six rounds he contested, and won races at the other two.” Mitchell considers Muston one of the best drivers he’s worked with since Corse Motorsport opened its doors in 1992. “Neale’s been racing for less than five years, but already he’s won three championship titles – and that could easily have been four or five if he’d been able to devote more time to motorsport. “He’s good enough to have made a career as a professional racing driver, but as a successful businessman he has the best of both worlds!” For his part, Muston acknowledged Corse Motorsport’s role in his series win. “I’ve been very happy with the results we’ve achieved this year, not only with the Radical but also with my Porsche 997 GT3,” he said. “We won 12 races from 16 starts in the Radical, which is a credit to the Corse crew’s superb preparation and pit work. “Mick’s management and strategic advice during race meetings was another key factor in our success. “Now I’m looking forward to racing next year with Number 1 on the new SR8 Radical, which is sure to be one of the fastest cars racing in Australia.” Corse Motorsport will field three of the 2.7-litre V8 sports cars for Muston, Nick Kelly and Ash Samadi in the 2013 Radical Australia Cup. A squadron of SR8s will race alongside the existing 1.5-litre four-cylinder SR3 models in a two-class series for the first time.
Toyota is the talk of the town in the racing world with the new 86 that was released in Australia earlier this year. The 86, along with the Subaru BRZ, are giving a fresh look to racing secean dominated by Commodores, Falcon’s, Evo’s and STi’s. Being a rear wheel drive four cylinder there are not many cars on the market that match in this class. The problem with this car being almost in a class of its own means it needs to find the right home to show off what it can do, and there is no place like Australia’s premier production car category, the Australian Manufactures Championship, to call home. In 2013 the Bendigo based Pedders Racing team will be hitting the track in their all new 86 race car and Grant Phillips will be taking it to the big guns in the series. The team will be supported by Toyota Australia but will be a standalone team working with the crew they have had in the 2012 championship. “The whole team is excited,” said Phillips. “We have been racing in an aging car in a lower class within the category and we now have the opportunity to take our business partners to a whole new level. “It’s a whole new level of racing and we have high expectations of ourselves after taking out class E of the AMC in 2011 which was our first year of national competition and having already secured class E for 2012 with one more race to run next month at Sandown Raceway in the Shannons Nationals.” The Pedders Racing Team have gained support over the past two years from sponsors and they are making the smart choice and jumping onboard as the team get their Toyota. Phillips is a Pedders store owner, Bendigo, and as we all know the Pedders brothers are very much into motor sport. Mark Pedder is the second driver in the Honda Works team and Scott is currently the CEO of the Australian Rally Championship and a distinguished rally driver in his past. With motor sport in the companies blood, the team are going to continue to receive sponsorship from Pedders Suspension. Pedders have been working on developing several suspension options for the new Toyota 86 for both street and track and there is no better way to developed parts than with motor sport. Bosch Australia have also remained with the team as have Whiteline Performance Products and the team will run on Michelin Tyres who will come onboard in 2013. Co-driver and Bendigo local business owner Andrew Turpie from J & A Light Freight can’t wait to be racing on the world’s best performance tyre in a car that is produced by the world’s number one car manufacture. To keep up to date with the Pedders Racing Team check out Australian Driver Magazine or head to the teams website, www.cvmotorsport.net or check them out on Facebook and Twitter.
The Snakes Racing Coffs Coast Rally was one event where the highest of highs and the lowest of lows were seen. Some drivers found out how hard the roads can bite while for another the championship was sealed. Jack Monkhouse, one of the competitors fighting it out with the Honda team for two-wheel drive wins, had his worst crash of his career, rolling his Nissan S15 Silvia a number of times and putting him out of the event. The weekend belonged to the leading, and only, works team Honda who finished the event one two and sweeting the deal Eli Evans and Glen Weston took the Bosch ARC Two-Wheel Drive Championship. Honda Australia’s Director and General Manager Sales and Marketing, Mr. Stephen Collins is thrilled to announce that Honda has also won the Manufacturer’s Title for 2012. “What a fantastic result for Honda and Evans Motorsport. Congratulations to Eli and Glen for winning the two-wheel drive championship. “Racing is all about teamwork. These victories are testament to the professionalism of our team at Honda, at Evans Motorsport and the hours of behind the scenes efforts from our partners at Mugen and J.A.S. What a great way to cap off our first year with the G2 Jazz,” Mr. Collins said. With one round left in the 2012 championship, Evans has scored enough points to claim their first overall championship win. “I’m over the moon to win the championship with one round still remaining,” said an excited Evans. “The Hondas did it again! We ran without any problems all weekend. What a fantastic racing machine these Honda Jazz have become.” Co-driver Weston added; “I’m very proud to have helped secure the championship for Honda and Evans Motorsport. Eli drove a superb and fault-free rally. If we keep this form up, I think that we will have a terrific shot at backing up this year’s championship with another one next year!” Team mates Mark Pedder and Claire Ryan also had a successful round, placing second outright for the weekend. They currently sit in second on the championship ladder and if they finish well in Victoria, could take second outright in the two-wheel drive championship. “We had our best result for the year,” Pedder said. “Bringing home a 1-2 for Honda was brilliant. The weekend was huge for Evans Motorsport with Eli and Glen securing the championship.” “I couldn’t be happier for Eli and Glen,” co-driver Ryan added. “They and the team truly deserve the win. Mark and I had a great weekend and are hoping for a 1-2 result for the year at Rally Victoria.” Evans praised his team mates; “To have Mark and Claire there with us on the podium for a 1-2 finish capped off an awesome weekend.” This year, the Bosch ARC ran two championships concurrently; a two and four-wheel drive series. Next year sees the introduction of a two-wheel drive only championship and the G2 Honda Jazz are well placed in this exciting new competition. The final round of the Bosch ARC for 2012 is Rally Victoria, November 15 and 16 in and around the forests of Warragul.