Lotus Racing made its F1 Championship debut at the 2010 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, with drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli finishing in fifteenth and seventeenth place respectively. The CEO of Lotus Racing is Riad Asmat, with Mike Gascoyne as the technical director. The team’s drivers are Italian Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen of Finland, with Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy as test driver. The Lotus T127 chassis is powered by a Cosworth CA2010 engine, with Bridgestone supplying the tires.
While the name Lotus may be a familiar one to racing enthusiasts, Lotus Racing is not a resurrection of the original Team Lotus that was so prominent on the F1 scene between 1954 and 1994. It is a new team that is an initiative of the Malaysian Government to promote national unity, and is backed by a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs, including Proton (the owner of Lotus Cars and the connection to the original team), Tune Group, Sepang International Circuit, Naza Motors, the Automobile Association of Malaysia, and the Motorsports Association of Malaysia.
Lotus Racing was a late entry into the 2010 F1 Championships, and pulled out all the stops to have its cars on the grid for the first race of the season. Having successfully completed their debut event, the future looks promising for this new team, with a legendary name.
Born in Kraków, Poland, on 7 December 1984, Robert Kubica has the distinction of being the first Polish driver to compete in Formula One racing. Kubica started his racing career by competing in the Italian Formula Renault 2000 and Formula Renault 200 Eurocup in 2001. He progressed to Formula Three and continued to build his reputation as a competitive and consistent driver, winning the Renault World Series in 2005.
The year 2006 proved to be a turning point in Kubica’s career as he was appointed as Formula One reserve driver with BMW Sauber. He went on to replace Jaques Villeneuve for the final six races of the season, thereby becoming the first Polish driver to compete in the sport. Claiming third place in the Italian Grand Prix, he became the first driver to finish on the podium within his first three F1 races since Villeneuve achieved this in 1996. It was confirmed at the end of the 2006 F1 season that Kubica would be driving for BMW Sauber for the 2007 season.
Kubica started off well in the 2007 season, consistently achieving point scoring finishes. However, at the Canadian Grand Prix Kubica had a serious accident, resulting in his car rolling across the track, striking a wall and landing on its side. Considering that he had been subjected to a peak G-force of 75G when his car hit the wall, he escaped with relatively minor injuries of a concussion and sprained ankle. It did, however, result in him being unable to compete at the 2007 US Grand Prix, where test driver Sebastian Vettel took the wheel. Kubica was back in action for the French Grand Prix where he finished in fourth place, going on to achieve a fourth place finish for the British Grand Prix as well.
Retained by BMW Sauber for the 2008 season, Kubica soon established himself as a serious contender for the title, taking the first pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix, and notching up second place finishes at both the Malaysian and Monaco events. It was on the June 8, at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix that Kubica achieved his first F1 victory. Having started second on the grid, he soon passed Lewis Hamilton, who was in the lead. On leaving the pits after the first pit stop, Hamilton crashed into the back of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, putting both cars out of the race and leaving the field open for Kubica who had been in the pits at the same time. Kubica won the race, joking that it had been his good fortune that Hamilton had not crashed into him seeing as he was alongside Raikkonen when the incident happened. Kubica finished the season fourth in the drivers’ championship.
Following the excitement and success of 2008, the 2009 season proved to be disappointing, with the new BMW Sauber F1.09 underperforming all the way. Robert Kubica managed to earn a second place in Brazil, which boosted his points, but he started to look for an alternative team for the 2010 season. With BMW announcing plans to withdraw from F1, Kubica signed with Renault in October 2009 for the 2010 season, with Russian driver Vitaly Petrov as his team-mate. No doubt fans will be watching the career of this talented young driver very closely as the 2010 season progresses.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, on May 23, 1972, Rubens Barrichello has been steadily carving a name for himself in the annals of F1 history since his rookie days in 1993. He finished third in the 2009 F1 championship as a driver for the Braun GP team, and has scored the fourth highest points total in Formula One history, as well as being in second place for total races finished in the points. Barrichello will be driving for Williams F1 in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship season.
Rubens Barrichello made his F1 debut in 1993 at the South African Grand Prix for the Jordan team, scoring his first points in Japan that same year. Still with Jordan, in 1994 he finished sixth, scoring his first podium at the Pacific Grand Prix with a third place. Signing with Stewart for 1997, Barrichello claimed a second place at Monaco and finished 13th in the Driver’s Championship for both 1997 and 1998. In 1999 Barrichello had his best season with the Stewart team, finishing seventh with 21 points.
In the year 2000 Barrichello signed with Ferrari as second driver, claiming first place at the German Grand Prix, notching up 62 points for the season and finishing fourth in the drivers championship. 2001 saw Barrichello strengthen his position as a world-class driver with 10 podium finishes and third place in the drivers championship, while in 2002 he took three pole positions, four victories and ended the season second in the drivers championship in what was described as Ferrari’s most dominant position to date.
Continuing as second driver for Ferrari, in 2003 Barrichello achieved two race wins, claiming fourth position in the drivers championships and proving to be an excellent teammate for Michael Schumacher. Barrichello continued with his winning streak in 2004, scoring four pole positions, two first places and an additional 12 podium finishes, claiming second place in the driver standings for the season. The 2005 F1 season saw Ferrari struggle to keep up with the pace, and after claiming second place at Melbourne, the opening race of the season, Barrichello went on to score at seven races, finishing in eighth position that year.
Driving for Honda in 2006, Barrichello appeared to experience some difficulty in adapting to Honda machinery, with teammate Jenson Button outperforming him overall. He finished the 2006 season in seventh position. The following two years proved somewhat disappointing with the poor performance of Honda’s RA107 car resulting in Barrichello failing to score any points for the 2007 season. He did, however, manage to score 11 points in 2008 and achieve a podium finish at Silverstone.
The 2009 F1 Championship season saw Rubens Barrichello being consistently outpaced by his teammate Jenson Button. However, two wins near the close of season resulted in Barrichello finishing third overall. At the end of the 2009 season, Barrichello announced his move to the Williams F1 team for the 2010 season. Currently Barrichello is the most experienced driver on the grid, and if the season progresses without any mishaps, he is set to become the first driver in F1 history to reach 300 Grand Prix entries and 300 starts which he should achieve by the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix.
One of the most influential figures in American auto manufacturing history, and developer of the iconic Cobra, Mustang and GT-40 sports cars, Carroll Shelby, will make a rare public appearance in Boulder at the Shelby American Collection’s 13th Anniversary Holiday Party.
The Shelby American Collection’s 13th Anniversary party features a silent auction of Shelby American memorabilia and an autograph session with Carroll Shelby.
Carroll and the Shelby American Team achieved success after success with the 289 and 427 Cobras, the Cobra Daytona and the Shelby Mustangs and the GT40’s. Victories piled up rapidly and in 1965, Shelby American won the F.I.A. World Manufacturers GT Championship, the only U.S. car company to do so.
Tickets are $125 per person and is limited to 350 guests. Ticket deadline is November 26th. Register by mail or fax using the form found at www.shelbyamericancollection.org. For more ticket information call: 303-516-9565.
Date: 5 December 2009
Venue: Shelby American Collection, 5020 Chaparral Court
City: Boulder, Colorado
Country: United States of America
With their eyes on Corona Rally Mexico, Rally of Nations, great drivers continue to confirm their presence in Guanajuato, Mexico. Now it is Sweden’s turn to sign up two of their international drivers, Per-Gunnar Andersson and Patrik Sandell—Junior champions in 2004 and 2006 respectively—who will proudly bear their country’s flag, and who have already said they intend to win.
Having visited Mexico twice already—in 2005, when he took second place in the Junior category, and again in 2008, when as official driver for the Suzuki WRC team he was forced to drop out of the race—PG Andersson is familiar with the route of Corona Rally Mexico, something that will certainly make a difference in the Rally of Nations, which sticks largely to the previous route.
Twelve victories in the Junior category and one championship set the Swede up to drive a Suzuki WRC car in 2008, when the Japanese company first tested the waters in this, the ultimate category. Despite being his first year, Andersson managed two fifth places, a testament to his great driving skills.
“We are going to Mexico to win; Sandell and I will make a very strong team”, said Per-Gunnar.
As for his teammate, with four victories in the WRC Junior category and one championship in this same category to his name, Patrik Sandell, has expressed a strong desire to win on Mexican soil.
Sandell is currently competing in the World Rally Championship’s Production category, where he is in third place overall, having won in Norway and Cyprus.
Team director Anders Dawidson thanked Mexico for its initiative in this event. “For a long time, we have lacked a team in Rally events, and now, two of our best drivers have been given this chance to make the podium”, commented Dawidson.