Richard's F1

What *really* happened in Monaco: Day 1

The Monaco Grand Prix is known as one of the most glamorous events on the global social calendar, and a definite chart topper in the Formula 1 season. 'A sunny place for shady people' they say, and with the multimillion dollar yachts, billionaires making deals and supercars the norm, you can see why...


I had the fortunate of reporting for Richard's F1 - my third ever Grand Prix as an internationally accredited reporter - at the Monaco GP this year, and I had absolutely no idea what to expect honestly.  My plane arrived on the Friday before the GP weekend and the events that unfolded over the next few hours make up one of my favourite traveling tales to date...


I arrived in the French Riviera exhausted but pumped: I had driven three hours from a tiny place in the Netherlands to the Hague and then on to Amsterdam, dropped off the rental car (that had served me so well on the Autobahn, thank you VW) and caught the flight to Nice.

A friend had told me I could stay at an apartment she had sorted in Nice, so accommodation was sorted - or was it? Logging onto the airport wifi informed me that in fact the girls had changed plans and were staying at a villa in Monaco.  Armed with the new address and instructions to message them on arrival, I picked up my new chariot, a turbo Astra.  The two gentlemen helping me with the hire car were lovely, but were interestingly very quick to correct me when I asked if they were from the area.

"Oh no no no, I am from France," one said.  "Monaco is weird. The people are weird, their cars are weird, the lifestyle is weird... you'll have fun though. Enjoy your time here!"

Cheers! My thoughts were joyful as I sped off.


What a drive! Honestly, television does not do the difficulty of navigating that street circuit justice. Driving to Monaco that night gave me a tiny taste of the adrenalin rush the drivers get for 78 laps...

Almost the entire trip almost was on the edge of the cliffs with winding streets and tiny lanes; the blind corners and fast cars are an intoxicating combination. I drove the hell out of that Astra and thought to myself: 'Welcome to Monaco girl. You've made it!'.

It was only when I arrived at the villa that I realised I would need to find a place to park, and unlike places in suburban Australia, not every house has a dedicated car parking spot. Furthermore, streets are not just straight, up and down and grid like - they wind in and out, up and down and across the landscape in an insane manner, meaning my semi-logical mind lost all sense of direction almost as soon as I passed the address.  I did a couple of laps of the suburb looking for a park and eventually capitulated, parking about a couple of kilometres away.

An easy few kilometres... or so I'd thought.

Walking back to the villa, I got completely and utterly lost.

Completely lost. To the point I eventually started going up random streets in the hope I would see something I recognised, and up and down stairs for the faint chance of a spark of inspiration. I couldn't find any wifi for a map, and didn't want to ask anyone - because what kind of non-shady person is up at this time of the night?! At one point I tried to retrace my steps but didn't want to pass by a bunch of guys who were lingering outside a shop...I'd passed them once and if I walked by again it would be obvious I had no idea where I was going.  Dilemma!

After a stroke of luck and a healthy amount of internal praying that I stumbled across the right street after about an hour of walking.  Success! I skipped to the door... and stopped.  There were about 8 different villas for the one address, and I had absolutely no idea which one the girls would be staying at...

Not one to be dissuaded, I perched on the steps in front of the villa and began searching for a wifi connection, which I eventually found (after paying an exorbitant fee, naturally).  My phone was inoperable overseas, thank you Telstra, so I was dependant on the Weefee connection.  I sent off some messages, confident that I would now be all sorted, and waited.


I decided to make a couple of calls via Skype and Viber.


Oh dear, I thought. Hmm...

By this point, I'd reached the early hours of the morning and it was quite cold. People were starting to return from their night out, and I was running out of viable solutions.  Hmm...

I googled the nearest hotel and was glad to see it was noted as an 'affordable option'.  Trundling over, I pressed the doorbell and the guy at reception reluctantly buzzed the glass door open.

"Englay?" I asked, hopeful.

His face grew even more unimpressed.

"A leetle."

"Is there any chance you have a room for the night sir?"

He looked at me, eyebrows up.  "Miss, it is impossible! 500 Euros a night, but we have nothing. Very very busy until Sunday."

500 Euros! My goodness.

"Can I use your phone then?"

"Oh no miss, impossible, impossible. Try Olypmica, they may have a room."

I picked up my luggage and shuffled out. No way was I trying another hotel.  What were my options? Well, I was running out of battery on my phone, so option one was to head back to the car and charge the baby.

A seed of thought formed as I made my way to the silver beast.  I sat in the driver's seat and pushed the back all the way down.  There was enough space, I thought. Let's just have a nap...

I slept in the car! Never have I had to do anything like this before, and it was ironic that I was slumming it in the ritziest place on earth...



Three hours later I woke up, freezing my rear end off. Although the place is sunny during the day, the temperature drops significantly overnight and my Australian body was not able to handle it.  Heater on full blast, I scrubbed my eyes and contemplated the next step.

If I had checked the wifi, I would have seen my friend message and say the doors of the villa were open. I missed her message by about ten minutes though, and drove again to Nice.  Again, through the crazy awesome roads - stopping briefly to check out the view - and found a parking spot right out the front of the Nice apartment I was originally to stay at.

As luck would have it, it too was in a set of blocks so I had no idea which to choose. Too much effort I thought, and put my mind to the next dilemma.

Where to have a shower?!

Tired, not-very-fresh and in need to head to the media center in a few hours, I needed a shower stat.  However, apparently these are not a readily available commodity in Nice.  I wandered around the streets with my luggage (again) looking for a hotel or a place which would work.

Zip. It seemed like everywhere was closed at 5.30 am...but seriously?! How could this be!

I walked into a bar (the only place open!) and remembered that in French, shower was 'doosh'.

"Doosh?" I asked the lady behind the counter hopefully.

She looked at me puzzled, and replied in French.  A few minutes later, we came to the conclusion that there was no place I could get a doosh nearby.

Le sigh.  What's a girl to do...

It was almost 7am, so attention turned to the stomach.  The bakery in front of the apartment was open and smelt inviting, so I walked in and the baker was a Muslim lady. Success!

"Madam, do you speak Arabic?" I asked, remembering that there was a large population of Arabic speakers in France.


Double Success! I asked in Arabic whether she knew where I could have a shower.  She didn't, but asked the other customers in the bakery.

A lovely old lady behind me quickly replied in French and the Muslim baker turned to me.

"You can have a shower at her house, she said you're welcome to!"

I couldn't believe my ears!


She nodded, and said some more in French.

"Je parle un pue," I said quickly, emphasising the 'un pue' - only a little French. She nodded and motioned for me to follow her.


The apartment was tiny: a single bed, a desk and a sink, adjoined by a tiny bath, but I felt so incredibly grateful. Nicole, her name was, and she opened the doors of her home to me. I had a steaming hot shower, got changed into my Monaco outfit and we sat together in front of a French kids TV show, making broken conversation. She had two kids and a grandchild and was a former French Professor at the University of Cannes.  An accident that had damaged her head meant she was no longer able to work, but she seemed happy and laughed at my terrible attempts speak her language.  She made me tea and breakfast, with a loaf of bread that looked like it came out only on special occasions. I felt so incredibly blessed to have been invited into her home, and found it ironic that it was those with the least to give who gave it most readily...

"What do you like?" I asked, "Qu'est ce que tu aimes?"

She laughed.

"Smoke cigarettes!"


I left Nicole's house on a cloud and after lots of hugs and kisses.  I returned to the car, keyed in the address in Monaco and began to make my way to the media centre...

You'd think that is where the drama ends, but of course not.  The rest however, is for another post...



Being trackside is one of the world's best feelings... It has been too long since I have written; long enough for it to be too embarrassing to even excuse.  So, instead, I shall regale you with some photos...

I've found myself blessed again with the opportunity to attend a Grand Prix as a journalist for  First Malaysia, then Barcelona and now...Monaco! It has been an absolute honour really, and I do not know how to do the experience justice...

I wrote about walking along the track for the website, and some of the photos are worth sharing.  Check it out by clicking here...

There is also an epic backstory to this trip, but that is for after the race ;) Hope you're watching!


Marcus Ericsson Interview - Richard's F1

Hey all! Check out my first interview with a real Formula One driver, Marcus Ericsson. A rookie on the grid with Caterham, Richard and I had a chat to him yesterday to see how it's all going... Read the piece on the site here!

Screenshot 2014-03-28 14.23.41

Richard's F1: Ecclestone dramas could derail F1

Check out my piece on Bernie Ecclestone's drama on Richard's F1 here!


F1 Chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is once again in the news regarding his financial affairs, with a British MP calling for a ‘Serious Fraud Office’ probe into the billionaire.

The call by Labour Party MP Emily Thornberry comes as the civil case against him for $100 million in damages concludes in London’s High Court in a few weeks’ time.

 F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Previews

The results of such an investigation combined with the results from the courts may have the potential to loosen the tycoon’s almost four-decade-long grip on the sport.

The MP commented: “We cannot just walk away from this case. It does seem to me that we have a duty to investigate this. What is the Serious Fraud Office for if not for investigating cases like this?”

Ecclestone has been embroiled in a number of accusations across a variety of affairs over the past few months. This most recent case alleges he made corrupt payments to a German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky, to undervalue F1’s commercial rights owned by the BayernLB group and allow him to maintain control even after it was sold to the private equity group, CVC Capital Partners.

CVC has stood by Mr Ecclestone through all of the court dramas, however its co-founder Donald MacKenzie did not rule out firing the Chief if he was found guilty.

Ecclestone denies this and says that in fact he was a victim of blackmail, alleging that Gribkowsky in fact threatened to report Ecclestone to the British tax authorities over false accusations of tax evasion. Although Gribkowsky called it a bribe and was jailed for eight-and-a-half years for the corruption, the F1 Chief continues to deny this version of events.

In July last year, German authorities made noises about having the billionaire on trial but have yet to decided if he will take the stand. Furthermore, Ecclestone faces damages claims from a firm in the US, Bayern LB, as well as proceedings in Switzerland.

Ecclestone has also indicated that he would step aside if convicted in Germany.

What do you think? Does it matter that the F1 Chief has doubts over his financial credibility and actions? Is this just part of the F1 world that we accept or just turn away from and pretend doesn’t exist?

More importantly, where does that leave F1 if Bernie is removed from his post?

See more on Richard's F1!

Richard's F1 Comment: F1 boring in 2014? Not a chance…

Check out my opinion piece on Richard's! 

So it would seem the F1 online world is abuzz with the news that Sebastian Vettel – a four-time World Champion, no less – fears that Formula 1 will lose its ‘excitement’ in 2014.

Firstly, it has to be said that the epitome of ironic is that Vettel – the man who has spent most of the last four years at the front of the pack, relegating most fights to ‘who will get second place’ – is complaining about F1 becoming boring.

That aside…

Vettel’s comments were made at the AUTOSPORT Awards ceremony on Suday night:

Read on at Richard's!





Film Review: ‘Rush’

You all know I deeply, deeply love motorsport.  So when the opportunity to check out the newest Formula 1 cinematic masterpiece came along, I jumped at the chance! Check out my review of 'Rush', released earlier this month, with Josh Kruse (a fellow journo at Richard's F1)!


Check out the original review (and the awesome website in general!!) at Richard's F1 or by clicking here...



The intake heaves, urgently drawing every inch of air and oxygen into the cylinders.

The camera zooms in, past the smooth movements of the pistons, while your senses are overwhelmed by the roar of the intake.

The new Formula 1 film, Rush, is an adrenalin filled, cinematographic feast. It is a motion picture that should, and will be appreciated by fans of the sport, but you don’t have to love the world of Formula 1 to appreciate this particular piece.

Ron Howard’s Rush is set in the 1970s, two conflicting personalities progress through Formula 3 to Formula 1, where they would create one of the most extravagant and memorable seasons Formula 1 has seen. It’s a story that can literally tell itself.

Rush focuses on the infamous rivalry of Austrian and British drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt during the early 70’s. It is an era that as young Formula 1 fans, neither of us had heard and read much about, but was truly brought alive by actors Daniel Brühl (Lauda) and Chris Hemsworth (Hunt) on the big screen. The atmosphere of the 1970s racing world – no safety, loads of scantily clad women and drivers with actual (visible) personalities – was so convincing, we felt nostalgic for an time we had never even experienced.

Lauda is the man whose methodical and meticulous approach to his career earned him the success he yearned for in Formula One. Lauda is a perfectionist, involved in every aspect of the car and tunes his ride to faultlessness. Niki, unlike James, calculates and plays the odds consistently.

Hunt is the glamorous English playboy whose fearless bad-boy persona makes him irresistible to women. He, on the other hand, lives like he drives: emotionally with no holds barred and little regard for logical details like odds and risk. He is chaotic, charismatic and larger than life.

The events of the 1976 World Championship make for heart clenching watching: Lauda’s harrowing crash, his painful – truly painful – recovery and Hunt’s desperation for the title are all depicted brilliantly.

Neither driver is a hero or a villain, although the film makes you love and hate both in equal measure. These were two very different men with wildly different motives for racing who were eventually brought together by the sharing of a title and the development of a mutual respect.

The casting for Rush could not have been better. Hemsworth does a fantastic job of playing the party boy role, while Brühl’s spectacular depiction of Lauda is remarkably accurate down to the accent, earning high praise from Niki Lauda himself.

The excitement of engines roaring to life before they take on the graveyard, The Nürburgring, will send deep chills down the spines of F1 fans, as they know of the unfortunate events that occur. Although one step ahead of us, Howard makes the entire scene so tense you’ll be gripping the arm rest waiting for it to happen. Then it does, Lauda’s Ferrari suffers a mechanical fault and smashes into a barrier, the car erupting into a ball of flames as the fuel tank is punctured.

Cue Hans Zimmer.

A well-balanced mix of cinematography and musical composition make Lauda’s fiery crash entrancing to watch. You’re so absorbed by the emotional scene that’s supplemented by a dramatic orchestra it becomes easier to picture the real event.

It’s not just this scene where Zimmer’s musical talent presents itself; all throughout the film the music that accompanies it is outstanding. Not since the amazing compositions from Antonio Pinto’s work in Senna have we rushed home (pardon the pun) and bought the soundtrack.

There are times where Hollywood steps in and depicts Lauda as the villain and Hunt as the hero, but you must remember that this is a movie, not a documentary.

Of course there will be those who lived through the era who remember the events of the day, and the relationship between the two drivers quite differently. That is not the point of Rush.

What you do have is a film that brings to life the beauty of the sport, the excitement of the race and the tension of the personal drama. It gives an inkling as to why people like us crave the race weekends, why the screams of a V8, V10 or V12 make our hearts beat a flurry. It is a film about the exquisiteness of the sport that we all love, and for that Ron Howard and all his team should be duly thanked.

Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award RUSH (out of a possible five)


RUSH is currently in national release in Australian cinemas. Check your local cinema for listing and session times.

Postscript: It is sad that on writing this piece, the news that Sean Edwards, a Porsche professional driver involved in the making of Rush was killed at Yassmin’s home racetrack, Queensland Raceway. Our thoughts are with his family, and it is a sombre reminder that even though we think the dangerous days of motorsport have past, it is still a sport that occasionally draws blood in the worst way possible. RIP Sean.

V8's: The New Kids Take Out the Block!

It was a fantastic weekend of motorsport with the V8's and the F1 both throwing up some lovely surprises.

Read my reviews of the weekend V8 races at Richard's F1!


The New Kids Take Out the Block!


It was a day dominated by the youngsters, with the Kiwi teenager Scott McLaughlin taking out the first race of the Sunday, and 21-year-old Chaz Mostert winning the second race at the Coates Hire Ipswich 360.

The comfortable wins by these two rookies is definitely a sign of things to come and shows us all that the series is in good hands!

The first race of the morning started with Championship leader Jamie Whincup and Fujitsu Racing GRM’s Scott McLaughlin on the front row. A good start from McLaughlin saw him taking the lead, with Mostert in second briefly before being overtaken again by Whincup.

See more at Richard's F1 here!


Whincup wins at Ipswich SuperSprint!


The Queensland Raceway track has been dominated by the Red Bull Racing’s Holden team for the last few years, but it is usually the veteran Craig Lowndes at the top of the podium. This wasn’t his Saturday, though, as the Saturday 60/60 SuperSprint race win was taken decisively by his teammate Jamie Whincup.

For the first time in four years, 30-year-old Whincup converted pole position at Queensland Raceway into a win, stretching his championship lead to 131 points from Lowndes who came in fourth. Behind Whincup was rising star rookie Scott McLaughlin in the Fujitsu GRM Commodore and Ford Performance Racing’s Mark Winterbottom came in third.

Read more here!



V8s: 2013 Chill Perth 360 Preview on Richard's F1

Are you excited about this weekend's V8 round  in Perth? Check out my preview of the Chilli Perth 360 on Richard's F1 here! A few of my recent posts on Richard's F1 are also worth checking out - Shell 'shells' out for DJR, and Nissan finalises its enduro line up!

Enjoy the weekend all!

V8s: Tasmania Microsoft 365 wrap up on Richard's F1!

So it was a good weekend for the V8s and particularly Brad Jones Racing's Fabian Coulthard who won two out of the weekend's three races! I've written wrap ups of race two and three on the trusty Richard's F1 site: you can find the link to race review two here (Bright's Drought Over), but here is what I wrote for the final...

Fabian Coulthard has become the first two-time winner of the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship season

Kiwi driver Fabian Coulthard sealed the deal at the Symmons Plains track yesterday taking advantage of a late safety car appearance, chalking up his second V8 win at the Tasmania Microsoft Office 365 in race three for the weekend.

 The Lockwood Racing Holden driver also won the 60/60 Super Sprint race on Saturday and, coming off fine form over the Albert Park weekend, converted the speed into Championship points.

Coulthard pipped Ford driver Mark Winterbottom three laps from the finish followed by James Courtney in the HRT Holden. The Drivers’ Championship lead is still in Jamie Whincup’s hands however, who came in fifth under the rear wing of Jason Bright in the BJR Holden. Will Davison, Jonathon Webb, Scott McLaughlin, Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander rounded out the top ten places.

Coulthard was naturally pretty stoked to claim his first two official wins this weekend.

“We got three fake ones at the Australian Grand Prix and it’s great to get one under the belt,” the New Zealander said. “We came in confident after the performance at the Grand Prix. You can’t ask for much more and the team did such a great job today.”

It was a well fought race, with lots of action for viewers.  It almost ended tragically in fact, with the young Scott Pye crashing head-on into the wall in the final stages of the race.

It has been reported an issue with the brakes (i.e. they failed!), but fortunately Pye is fine and amazingly walked away with only sore joints. The Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport rookie said there was no warning before the brakes went.

“I’d been pumping (the brake pedal)… but I pumped it and it went to the floor, so there was nothing I could do… My eyes were dragged to that Armco wall and I knew I was going in.

“I saw the Armco wall took some of that impact and got pushed back. It’s a freak accident; it’s one of those things,” he lamented.

Pye slams into the barriers after his brakes failPye will be out of contention for the Auckland race this weekend, but the team are hopeful they will be back for Perth.

“A big hit like that puts such a shockwave of force through the chassis that I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s stuff that’s damaged at the back of it,” team owner Lucas said afterwards.

“Until we have it back to an absolute shell we’re not going to know the extent of the damage.

“New Zealand is definitely out of the question but touch wood we’ll have it back for Perth.”

Subsequently, the race was temporarily halted behind the safety car and restarted with only a few laps to go. It was the race’s second restart after the full course yellows were brought out earlier in the race to clear the rear diffuser of Tim Slade’s Mercedes on the track.

Various cars took damage throughout the race that they will have to carry over or repair in the next few days before they head off across the seas to the New Zealand meet. Todd Kelly battled issues throughout the race and stopped quite early on Lap 20 with another engine failure in his Nissan Altima.

Lowndes, who was hoping to break the record for all-time wins, didn’t have a spectacular weekend and finished in eleventh place.

Jonny Reid from Wilson Security Dick John Racing, praised the format of the race nonetheless.

“The race format was really good and I’m sure the fans enjoyed it. The racing was absolutely crazy in the early laps of both legs with cars running door to door and some big dust clouds where cars were spearing off.”

We wish all the drivers and their teams the best of luck in getting their gear across for the next meet in only a few days! Stay tuned for more V8 news from!

Photos via V8Supercars Media.

V8s Re-post: 2013 Tasmania 365 Preview

It's that time of year again, V8's season! I've been writing for the awesome website, Richard's F1, and here is re-post one of the most recent articles - a preview of this weekend's Championship round, the Tasmania 365.


2013 Tasmania 365 Preview

Not too far from the picturesque town of Launceston, Tasmania lies the scene of the next V8 Supercar series showdown, the Symmons Plains Raceway. The short racetrack will be hosting Race 3, 4 and 5 of the Championship, the Tasmania Microsoft Office 365.

This weekend will be the first time the series will host the new 60/60 Super Sprint race format, which is designed for more exciting racing – perhaps V8′s version of 20/20 cricket.

It could also prove to be a historic race for Craig Lowndes, who if he wins, will break Mark Skaife’s all time record of 91 race wins. Skaife has in fact asked permission from Channel 7 to leave the commentary box early and be the first to congratulate the driver if he does manage the feat.

Let’s hope for a big weekend of exciting racing then! Don’t know what to expect? Continue reading below…

The Circuit

2013 TASMANIA MICROSOFT OFFICE 365  Symmons Plains Raceway Circuit Map

Date: 5-7 April 2013
Venue: Symmons Plains Raceway, near Launceston, Tasmania
Lap Length: 2.410km
Race Lap Record: 51.4713s, Rick Kelly (Holden Commodore VE) – 2009
Event Schedule: Free Practice Session 1 (lower 50% in points table) Fri 11:00-11:30
Free Practice Session 2 (all drivers) Fri 12:15-12:45
Free Practice Session 3 (all drivers) Fri 13:30-14:00
Free Practice Session 4  (all drivers) Sat 09:35-10:05
Race 1 Qualifying Sat 11:50-12:10
Race 1 Heat 1 (25 laps, 60km) Sat 14:45-15:15
Race 1 Heat 2 (25 laps, 60km) Sat 15:40-16:10
Race 2 Qualifying Sun 10:10-10:25
Race 2 Qualifying Top-10 Shootout Sun 10:35-10:50
Race 2 (42 laps, 100km) Sun 14:05-14:50
Race 3 (42 laps, 100km) Sun 16:30-17:15
Past Winners: Will Davison (Ford Falcon FG) 2012 (Race 1)
Jamie Whincup (Holden Commodore VE) 2012 (Race 2)

The Symmons Plains circuit is a short and narrow strip at 2.41km, on which drivers will be clocking an average speed of 167km/h. The top speed is usually around the 270km/h mark, however the fast track is quite hard on brakes and we will see a lot of middle pedal action over the weekend.

The best overtaking spots are the notoriously slow and tight hairpin at turn four, known as Brambles hairpin, as well as the left turn at the end of the back straight. As one of the slowest turns (if not the slowest), it is proving a concern for a few of the series newcomers, including Nissan, as explained below.

Rewinding to 2012

The 2012 event was run in a two-race format, and the Ford Performance Racing duo of Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom claimed a team 1-2 after a late-race scrap for the lead in Saturday’s 59-lap race.

Polesitter Winterbottom had been shuffled down to third place in the opening laps, and used the compulsory pit stop to leapfrog ahead of second-placed Jamie Whincup in the TeamVodafone Holden.

Winterbottom then set about chasing down his teammate, who started to lose pace as a right-leg cramp set in, but he was ultimately unable to find a way past. The pair crossed the finish line 0.6 seconds apart, while Whincup fended off a late-race challenge from Shane van Gisbergen in the Stone Brothers Ford.

Sunday’s race was staged over 84 laps, and Whincup merrily won is despite suffering a dramatic spin in the early stages of the race.

Teammate and polesitter Craig Lowndes led the early proceedings before the first round of pit stops, but he suffered a rare blunder shortly after, tagging new leader Davison at the hairpin and breaking his front-left suspension.

Davison struggled with the handling of his car thereafter, and surrendered the lead to Winterbottom and Whincup, who head recovered from his earlier spin and was now chasing down the Ford.

A new racing format

The new and exciting Super Sprint format, debuting at Tasmania the Saturday, consists of two separate 60km halves, with a 15 min half time break. Sunday’s schedule includes two 100km races (all with no refuelling).

With the Super Sprint format, the grid position during the first half will be decided by qualifying, while the position on the second half depends on the car’s position at half time.

The field will have to tackle side-by-side restarts this weekend...The second half of the race will also see a side by side rolling start, and points and podium results will be awarded after this race.

With the short length of this track and the high risk of small mistakes sending drivers to the middle or back of the pack, this format will definitely spice things up and hopefully provide some interesting racing and results.

The format has been a talking point among the drivers for some time now.

“I’m not sure how the double file re-starts will go, especially at Symmons Plains where the front straight is like one big corner and not a whole lot of room to manoeuvre into Turn 1 and 2. That could provide some action, but hopefully we’re in front of that,” James Moffat, driver for Team Norton Nissan said.

“The format is going to be interesting,” added Ford Performance Racing driver Mark Winterbottom.

“The fact we stop mid-race on Saturday and then do the rolling re-start poses a lot of unknowns. It will be trial and error for everyone and there has been a lot of talk around the new 60/60 Super Sprint so until we do it we can’t really judge how it changes the racing.”

Facts, Stats & Predictions

It must be said that Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes, given their form in the previous two races and their history on this track are sure favourites to take out this weekend’s podium. Given the track though and the new style of racing on Saturday however, anything is possible.

The Symmons Plain’s meet should also provide an opportunity for a few of the manufacturers to either consolidate or improve their position. Ford Performance Racing for example, need to better their performance of the season so far, with Will Davison frustrated at his team for only having one place in the top 14 in the table. The Nissan Altimas, having done well in the first two races, are concerned about the effect of the Symmond Plains hairpin (the slowest corner on the calendar) on their capacity to race well.

How will the field cope on the slowest corner on the V8 Supercars calendar?“The thing that is probably worrying me the most is the hairpin at Symmons Plains,” confirmed Nissan Motorsport team co-owner, technical director and driver Todd Kelly.

V8 Supercars reports that Kelly even suggested the perfect lap in qualifying would struggle to net a top 10 time for the new Altimas because the Nissan VK56DE V8 engine is lacking the meaty torque curve of its Ford and Chev push-rod rivals.

The horsepower deficit in general is likely to hurt both newcomers, with the track consisting of a number of long straights and requiring all and any extra power. The underpowered Nissan and Erebus AMGs are likely to take some pain…

Another issue of note includes the possibility of carnage with the second half of the Super Sprint’s rolling start. This is even more of an issue this week with the back to back races across the seas as explained in our previous story. If a car is too damaged over this weekend, it might be more than just one race the team will have to forgo…

In all, it looks set to be an action-packed and intriguing weekend in Tasmania – make sure you keep visiting for all of the latest news and analysis from Tasmania!

Youth Without Borders

V8s: Chevrolet could race in Texas

I wrote this post originally for Richard's F1 - check it out here!


Exciting times for the V8 Supercars! Following the unveiling of the Austin 400’s race format of Ultimate Sprints on Wednesday, there is now talk of Chevrolet joining the fray as an unofficial manufacturer over the May event!


A spokesperson for Holden Motorsport said that: “A firm decision on its marketing plans with Chevrolet for Texas is yet to be made and that nothing is currently being ruled out.”

The Chevrolet link can be made a number of ways and has been done before by the parent company, General Motors. It is particularly timely as well, considering that the Holden VF commodore will soon be available in the United States, under the Chevrolet SS badge.

Previous cases of rebadging include Todd Kelly’s Commodore VE in Bahrain as the Chevrolet Lumina, and Rick Kelly’s rebadging as a Buick a couple of years earlier in 2005 when the series made its brief foray to China.

Rebadging makes business sense, as the cars are then marketed as exports in that nation. This is likely part of the campaign to introduce Holden to the States, after the rebadged Aussie sedan debuted in at the NASCAR Daytona Speedway earlier this year. Shipments of the Commodore to the US are penned to begin in November.

The Car Of The Future Holden Commodore has already been sent to the southern states of America to market the race, and is already dressed up in Chevy bodywork.

The 28 cars will compete over a weekend in four races of 100km each, two on Saturday and Sunday respectively. The reported crowd estimate is 87,000; however with no major local star looking likely to compete, as well as the NASCAR All-Star weekend and the Indianapolis 500 qualifying action all over the same few days, it might be a tougher sell than expected.

For comparison, last year’s debut Formula 1 race drew crowds of 265,000 over the three days – meaning around 88,000 a day. However a recent two day Grand-Am meet just garnered 27,000.  The V8s will likely fall somewhere in between.

Interestingly for the Australians, this might be a way past the 2016 manufacturing deadline.  Mark Reuss, head of GM in North America, has indicated Holden could keep building the new VF Commodore beyond 2016 if US demand takes off.

“That’s a champagne problem to have. I’m sure the guys at Holden can find a way to keep building it if they had to. General Motors and the guys at Holden can be very resourceful,” he said

Commodore fans will be hoping the Americans love their V8 beast more than ever!

Youth Without Borders

Joining the Richard’s F1 Team!


I am excited to let you all know that I am now a writer with the fabulous motorsport blog, Richard’s F1!

Richard's F1

Check out my intro here…and I look forward to seeing you on the site!

Yassmin will be taking over the reins of our already very popular V8 Supercars coverage from our journalist Geoff Burke, who will be freed up to assist in more Formula 1 feature article writing.

Additionally, Yassmin will also contribute a host of feature and media review articles, which she will be looking to share with our many readers worldwide.

Images from Richard’s F1