OzRacingWrap - Weekly wrap 20 February 2016 Posted on 20 Feb 16:28

Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo unveil a new look 2016 livery

Ahead of the start of Formula 1 preseason testing Red Bull Racing have unveiled the RB12, sporting a striking new livery.

Ricciardo indicated he was hungry to get things underway in Melbourne in early March “There’s always a buzz in F1 at this time of year and launching the new car livery, race wear and a new team look, as we did today, gets the season started in a fun way. 

“It’s pretty cool to be with PUMA, they’re a brand that gets who we are and you can see that in the product designs revealed today. 

“It’s a bit of an understatement to say I’m excited to drive the new car next week – I can’t wait! We’ve got a pretty intense few weeks of testing ahead but I’m up for that and I’m definitely hungry to get racing in Melbourne.”

 

New Winton Surface to be put to test by V8 Supercars

For the first time since a new surface was laid, V8 Supercars will get a shot at testing the new surface during a test day on Monday 22 February 2016.

With 19 V8 Supercars having the track as their nominated test track there should be plenty of action for fans who head to the Northern Victorian track.

Apart from the V8 Supercars there will also be teams from the Dunlop development series taking part meaning there should be 35 V8’s will be in action.

Track times are expected to tumble as a result of the resurfacing and also the re-profiling of turns 10 and 12.

Entry to the track will be via a donation with the proceeds going to Burranbuttock Hay Runners, who deliver hay bales to drought stricken areas.

Matt Brabham joins 100 Day countdown to Indy 500. 

Brabham with former pole-sitter, Ed Carpenter, multi Indy 500 winner, Helio Castroneves and fellow IndyCar young gun, Josef NewgardenDue to make his Indy 500 debut this year PIRTEK Team Murray Chevrolet IndyCar pilot, Matt Brabham joined in the celebrations to mark the 100-Day Countdown to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 today in the Indiana city.

As part of the events the 21-year-old stood alongside three-time event winner, Helio Castroneves, former pole-sitter Ed Carpenter and fellow American young gun, Josef Newgarden as officials celebrated the 100 days to go milestone at the Indiana Statehouse.

“100 days to go...it adds a new level of intensity to the program,” said Brabham. “The entire PIRTEK Team Murray outfit has been working overtime to get ready and now you can say the countdown is really on.

“When the days get down to milestones like this, you know the clock is ticking - I’m confident the guys will be ready for action and to be honest, I just can’t wait to get myself in that racecar and start the testing program.”

Team Owner, Brett Murray said arriving at the 100 day milestone adds a new level of intensity.

“Without doubt the pressure is on us,” said Murray - affectionately known as ‘Crusher’ in the industry. “With 100 days to go we’re really pushing to get all the elements in play and it really reinforces how quick this is coming up.

“We’re working night and day to find additional partners to join PIRTEK on our program. We’re putting together one of the most exciting programs ever to go to Indy with one of the most dynamic young talents in the world in Matt Brabham.

“The team we’ve put together around Matt is second to none - starting with our technology partner - KV Racing Technology - who won the race in 2013,” Murray added. 

“It’s great that IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway see the value in PIRTEK Team Murray and Matt - along with his family’s story of starting three generations in the race to include us in all the activities in and around Indianapolis - particularly this momentous day.

“We think the fans will love our Countdown from 100 and hope that we will have plenty along for the ride come the Month of May when we start our quest at the Angie’s List Grand Prix and then get into the practice and qualifying for the 500 itself.”

You can keep up with Brahmas daily photos update over at the teams instagram account www.instagram.com/teammurray61.

Preston Hire Racing and Lee Holdsworth look for strong debut

Holds worth at the launch of his 2016 CarThey may be the newest V8 Supercar team but Preston Hire Racing is not ruling out a top 10 at the season opening Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.

The team has confirmed that Australia’s leading specialist Preston Hire will be the naming rights sponsor as owner Charlie Schwerkolt heads out on his own for the first time.

“This is a dream for me to do my own show, I probably didn’t think it would ever happen but it feels really good,” Schwerkolt said.

"I am very proud to confirm Preston Hire as our naming rights sponsor for 2016. We couldn’t go racing without them, they are really good people and a great Australian company, they are in for a big year ahead. 

“It’s Lee’s time to shine now," Schwerkolt continued. "We are giving him everything he needs, a new car, his own team - there are no other drivers for him to beat so it’s all about him."

The Preston Hire Racing team are aiming to finish every race, remain consistent and achieve their best throughout the whole season.

Schwerkolt has recruited both experience and credibility in team manager Jeff Grech and firmly believes he has picked the right man for the job.

“Jeff is the one, I have the best group of people I possibly could, I have hand picked all the staff and they are all very pumped,” he continued.

“To get back with Triple Eight is great, their gear is fantastic and we just want to provide the best car and backup support to Lee possible. 

“We are going to do our best, whatever it is; we are independent and small if there are problems we can sort them quick without any red tape,” Schwerkolt added.

For his part Holdsworth, who is coming off receiving the Drivers Driver awards in V8 Supercars last year, he is looking forward to racing in 2016 

“I’m really excited about the opportunity, we couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people, we have a very good package to work with, good equipment to work with and there’s no reason why we shouldn't end up with some good results,” Holdsworth said.

"It’s exciting to be in a Triple Eight-built car, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do my whole career - I’m feeling confident but it might be a massive challenge getting on top of potentially a different driving style.

"I want to do as well as I can, if we can come out in the top 10 after Clipsal I think that would be a good start to the year and we could build on it from there,” Holdsworth added.

The team also confirmed that Holdsworth would be joined by Karl Reindler in the 2016 Endure Cup rounds.

Quit Target West to lick off with Perth City Launch

The 2016 Targa Rally Season is about to get underway and it will all kick off with a mini show and shine event in Perth’s Barrack Square next Friday 26 February.

The event will open to the public at 10 a.m and fans will be able browse the vehicle displays from classic Mustangs to brand new Mercedes AMG’s.  

Targa West event director Ross Tapper says with the addition of a new championship series, the Quit Targa Cup, and new events to the season calendar - there is a lot for the tarmac rallying fans and community to look forward to in 2016. 

“We have the foundations of what should be a fantastic year,” says Mr Tapper.

“Our event’s portfolio has increased this year to four Targa events: Targa South West, Targa Bunbury Sprint, Targa West and Targa City Sprint. We’re also excited to announce the renewal of our sponsorship with Healthway for a further two years, and the addition of the AMG Targa Tour touring category.

“Targa events are not only great for spectators, but is also accessible to those who would like to be involved in motorsport.

“We encourage families to take advantage of the vehicle display being amongst vibrant city tourist destinations of the Bell Tower and the new Elizabeth Quay, and spend the morning or afternoon exploring the area.”

The Targa events are part of the Quit Targa Cup, which is an 11 round series incorporating the McRae Rallysprint events held at Perth Motorplex, and the Shannons Busselton Sprint held on the Busselton Foreshore April 23. 

The vehicle display will be open from 10am to 7:30pm behind the Bell Tower in Barrack Square on Friday 26 February and is a free event.

Build Up begins for New Zealand Targa Season

The 2016 Targa season will kick off in early March (5-6) with a new look two day event in Pukekohe called Targa Bambina.

For the last several years the event has been a single day event and 2016 marks the return to the full schedule.

Targa New Zealand event director Peter Martin says change is inevitable in the fast-paced world of motorsport event management, hence a number of tweaks to the 2016 Targa schedule.

After two years as a three-day event in May, Targa Rotorua reverts to two days (May 14-15). And after 21 years, the flagship Targa New Zealand has a new, earlier, date (starting on Wednesday October 12 rather than Monday October 26), and a new, streamlined, four (rather than six) day competition format.

Martin is also introducing a new 'classic class' to the concurrent but non-competitive Targa Tour at the Targa Bambina event and says the response - to all the various changes including that one - has been overwhelmingly positive.

"It's as if people were waiting for us to do something," he says. "For some the issue has been budget, but for most it's been more a matter of time. Time away from work and/or time away from  their family.

"By identifying that and fine-tuning our events to suit we've won back some regulars who we haven’t seen for a while, as well as making it easier for those who have always wanted to 'do a Targa' to take the first step."

The event is on tack to have over 50 starters, with 40 across various competition classes. 

Le Brocq gets new sponsor for tile at Dunlop Series

Le Brocq with his new GoGetta FalconProdrive racing have announced that Jack Le Brocq will be bolsters in his new Dunlop series drive with the support of equipment funding company GoGetta. 

Le Brocq will drive the number 5 Falcon as part of the teams two car assault on the development series.

"It's great to have GoGetta on board with me this year," he said. 

"We're hoping for a successful year after seeing what PRA have achieved in the recent past, in both the V8 Supercars and Dunlop Series categories.

"The FG X is going to be a great car to drive and it'll be fantastic to share the journey and hopefully some success with GoGetta." 

Team Principal Tim Edwards said the team had high hopes for Le Brocq this season "He is a talented driver who has proved that he can compete at the front of the field so hopefully we will see the GoGetta brand on the front row of the grid across the season."

 

Ogier wins in Sweden

Sebastien Ogier (FRA) performs during the FIA World Rally Championship 2016 in Karlstad, Sweden on February 14, 2016It was a start to finish victory in the snow for Sebastian Ogier, his third victory in the only pure winter rally on the WRC schedule.

His previous previous victories were in 2013 and 2015.

In addition to the victory he picked up the full bonus point for winning the final power stage.

That leaves him with the maximum points after the first two rounds.

Two wins from the first two rallies – it can’t get any better. Yesterday was a little bit too crazy and I took risks like I had never done in my life,”said Ogier, who survived a massive sixth gear slide.

A holed radiator gave Paddon cause for concern after the Power Stage 

“Conditions were terrible at the beginning of the week but the organisers did an impressive job so that we had a good rally.” 

Behind Ogier was New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon, matching his best result on his debut in the new Hyundai’s new i20.  It also made him the first non European driver to finish on the podium in Seeden.

Rounding out the podium was Mads Ostberg in a Ford Fiesta RS.

Next up for the WRC field is the gravel rally of Mexico.