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EVENT COUNTDOWN

ALBERT PARK

12-15 MARCH 2015

Slide king savouring four-wheel debut

People often talk about close racing in motorsport, but until you have seen motorcycle speedway competition up close you simply won’t understand the real meaning of the term.

Australia’s Jason Crump is one of those master craftsmen, and the three-time world speedway champion hurtles his 75hp single-cylinder machine around a 200-metre track just millimetres away from his competition – and did we mention the bikes don’t have brakes?

F1 practice 3: Hamilton fastest, Vettel in a spin

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton has topped the timesheets in Saturday afternoon’s third and final practice for the Qantas Australian Formula One Grand Prix, the hour headlined by off-track excursions for world champions Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher.

Hamilton set his benchmark time of 1min 25.681secs with just 60 seconds of the hour-long session remaining, edging Albert Park first-timer Romain Grosjean of Lotus by 0.077secs.

LeBrocq to benefit from F1 insight

In 2012, Australian Formula Ford Championship driver Jack LeBrocq is part of an exclusive group of 18 young drivers from around the globe, as a member of the FIA Institute’s Young Driver Excellence Academy.

Before starting his 2012 season with victory in Race 1 at the 2012 Formula 1 QANTAS Australian Grand Prix, LeBrocq was selected for a spot in the unique program.

Baird leads from go-to-whoa in Carrera Cup

Craig Baird’s perfect Carrara Cup campaign has continued at the 2012 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.

Baird led from start to finish in today’s eight-lap race around Albert Park, cruising his way to a 1.5831-second victory over fellow New Zealander Jonny Reid – a carbon copy of race one.

With clear air in front of him, Baird also set the fastest lap of the race (1:58.9425) en route to his fourth successive Carrera Cup victory around the grand prix layout.

Hart scores Formula Ford breakthrough

Mathew Hart has joined the illustrious list of race winners in the Australian Formula Ford Championship, taking out Race 2 at the 2012 Formula 1 QANTAS Australian Grand Prix.

The Synergy Motorsport driver qualified on pole position on Thursday and finished second in Friday’s opening race, but went one better in a Safety Car-affected second race.

Hart was part of a three-car battle at the head of the field, fighting for top spot with Race 1 victor Jack LeBrocq and Garry Jacobson.

Maria de Villota has a dream.

Standing at the back of the Marussia F1 team's garage, dressed in racing overalls and hooked into their communications system, she is trying to make that dream reality.

The noise is deafening. The engines rev, but her ears are protected by the 'bins' that feed her all the information passing between drivers and engineers.

For this serious, hazel-eyed 32-year-old Spaniard, there is no satisfaction in landing a role as test driver and possible reserve for German Timo Glock or Frenchman Charles Pic, himself a rookie.

No flies on JEV

Is Daniel Ricciardo the natural successor to fellow-Aussie Mark Webber in the most prized seat in Formula 1 – at Red Bull Racing?
One man with the potential to scupper those plans is Ricciardo’s own current team-mate, French rookie, 21-year-old Jean-Eric Vergne. ‘JEV’ has a motorsport CV that closely mirrors Ricciardo’s.

Like the West Australian, Vergne is a British Formula 3 champion, and like Ricciardo, he’s been brought to Formula One through Red Bull’s Driver Academy run by former racer and motorsport consultant Dr Helmut Marko.

How your team fared - Friday

Ferrari

Result:

FP1 – Alonso P4, Massa P18

FP2 – Alonso P4, Massa P7

Report:

Alonso gave us a wet-weather master-class at various times during the day, the highlight a pulse-quickening moment out of Turn 16 on his final flying lap in the first session; meanwhile Massa, under pressure in 2011, didn’t help his cause with an off at Turn 9, mistiming his braking and putting two wheels on the grass, that beached him in the gravel trap.

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