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12-15 MARCH 2015

Tough task for tail-enders

Two teams face a fight to make it to the grid on Sunday…

by Matthew Clayton

While Red Bull and McLaren hogged the limelight on Friday at the Qantas Australian Grand Prix, there were some long faces at the tail-end of the paddock.

Backmarkers Marussia Virgin and HRT both endured horror days to kick off their second season in Formula One.

Virgin’s drivers Timo Glock and rookie Jérôme D’Ambrosio weren’t able to record times within 107 per cent of the session-best laps set by Mark Webber and Jenson Button in practice one and two respectively.

Skaife: Porsche Like an Open-Wheeler

Reigning Bathurst 1000 Champion Mark Skaife says his Porsche Carrera Cup debut at the 2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix has reminded him of his open-wheeler days.

Before becoming a legend of V8 Supercar racing, Skaife was an open-wheeler king, winning three Australian Drivers’ Championships in Formula Holden.

This weekend, Skaife has added another category to his impressive CV, with his first run in the Porsche Carrera Cup.

Horner Happy with Red Bull Pace

Defending champion Red Bull’s chief Christian Horner was happy with his team's domination of opening practice - and Mark Webber's late lap to be the first man under the 1:27 barrier at Albert Park and outpace team-mate and champion Sebastian Vettel. 

Horner said: "It is always difficult to know what everyone is doing, but that was a very good lap from Mark and a very good time. I think we are happy with the first session and we have a lot of good data now - the circuit is cleaning itself up all the time so I expect it to get faster and faster.

Maddison in all his extreme glory

The standard description of Robbie Maddison is ‘Aussie daredevil’, and it’s not hard to understand why.

After all, he has made a name for himself testing his outer limits and those of his motocross bikes in a series of one-off ‘misadventures’, which have propelled him into the pantheon of adventure sport practitioners.

And there’s still a lot more to come, we are told, in a variety of different locations. Antarctica perhaps? Don’t bet against it.

Shunt ends Porsche Race

Jonny Reid has taken out the first race of the re-born Porsche Carrera Cup at the 2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix – in trying circumstances.

The race ended under the Safety Car, after Michael Patrizi crashed heavily in the closing laps.

Porsche Passes Crash Test

Michael Patrizi will be back in action in tomorrow’s second Porsche Carrera Cup race despite crashing out of this morning’s first race.

Patrizi was fighting for third place when he lost control of his 997 Cup Car on the exit of Turn 12, spinning into the wall at high speed.

While the car looked completely ruined, further inspection by McElrea Racing – the team that Patrizi races for – has revealed that it is fixable for tomorrow’s race.

“Yeah, we’ll fix the car for race two,” said team boss Andy McElrea.

Start your engines for the 2011 Lexus Celebrity Challenge

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation and Lexus Australia are pleased to announce the complete field for the 2011 Lexus Celebrity Challenge.

This stellar line-up consists of a mix of sport, TV and radio personalities plus five lucky promotional winners that all have one thing in common…winning!

This sentiment rings true for singer Brian McFadden, “It’s not very often you are given the chance to be part of such a race and I’m certainly not doing this just for fun – I’m doing this to win!”

Taking to the grid this year will be:

Alonso - The Start of a New Formula One

Double world champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari said 'a new Formula One' will be unwrapped here in Melbourne this weekend when Sunday's Australian Grand Prix bursts into action.
After the introduction of a clutch of new rules and a new tyre supplier, the 29-year-old Spaniard believes the spectacle and the sport will be so much changed it will seem to be 'all new' when the curtain rises on the new season.


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