“Launching my 2014 racecar in Brabham livery inspired by the first F1 car my Dad drove, on the straight named after my grandfather back in 1976 and circuit where my family’s had so much success, is just mind blowing. The car looks fantastic and the long-awaited unveiling today gets my season off to a great start. I haven’t raced the Indy circuit before but I’m confident that I can be quick here. I’m hungry for my first Formula Ford win and it would mean so much to get my 2014 campaign underway in the best possible way this weekend.
“I’m looking forward to racing at Snetterton again. It doesn’t seem like it was a year ago that I made my Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup debut there, after working through the night to finish building the car. I’ve come a long way since then, with the highlight so far naturally my first series podium at Brands Hatch, but I hope to add a few more of those to my CV by the end of the year. I went straight into qualifying on my first outing at Snetterton last year, so I just had to run the car straight out of the box. I’ve developed the car with Century Motorsport a fair bit since then. I’ve had just one testing day at Snetterton and I hope to get in another before next weekend. Track knowledge should certainly help me from this point forward, as we will now be visiting circuits on which I’ve raced the Ginetta G55 before, which gives me a little more confidence. I quite like the 300 circuit and I head there with an open mind to do the best I can, but we’ll see how things go.”
“With the break in Scott-Eklund Racing’s American campaign, I return to the FIA European Rallycross Championship with great enthusiasm, confident of delivering a big result in Belgium. Tony Bardy Motorsport has worked very hard on the car. The guys quickly found and resolved the problem we had in Dreux, while thanks to Scott-Eklund Racing’s on-going partnership with TiAL Sport we bring back some encouraging technical innovations from the US. I’m very confident that we head to Belgium with a competitive package. I want a step on the podium, that’s for sure, and I’ll be disappointed if I don’t achieve that. Depending on how things go, we might also contest what’s billed as the biggest European race, at Lohéac (France) in September.”
I am really pleased with my performance overall today. I went into this meeting with an open mind and that definitely helped me. It was important for me to be on the pace from the outset and by the second practice session I was lapping within two tenths of the leader and I kept that pace pretty much all day. It was great to be battling at the front of the field and my race craft has certainly improved to do that. I gained some great experience, which is all good preparation for my next event, Kart Masters at PF International in August.
I’m really looking forward to contesting the X Games LA 2012, it will be my first time and naturally it will be a new challenge, but racing in America has been a dream for a long time so racing with the top names in Global Rallycross alongside some of the biggest names in other extreme sports will be an exciting experience.
I’m really looking forward to racing my self-built Ginetta G55 at Croft for the first time. I enjoyed racing there in my Ginetta Junior days, but that was over three years ago, so it will be good to get to grips with the 2012 car in practice next Friday. I was relieved to get two points-scoring results at Oulton Park, but once again things could have gone more smoothly. I always push myself to do better at every round but luck hasn’t really been on my side. We’ll be doing all we can to ensure we get a trouble-free run at Croft. The championship fight is fairly close in the mid top 10, so I just need to get back to top five finishes to climb back up the table. At Croft it will be important to get a clean first lap, especially through the first chicane, and with a short 10 lap race for round 12 getting a good start will be key. The car felt much better at Oulton Park with the new differential and I’ve got a feeling that the new set-up will really suit the car and my driving style at Croft.
It’s a relief to get two points-scoring results here at Oulton Park, but that doesn’t take away the disappointment of today’s result due to the drive-thru penalty. I don’t agree with the judgement but there’s nothing I can do to regain what should have been a top six result. We had a good look at the car and data after yesterday’s power issue which was caused by a faulty oil pressure sensor, so it was a relief to have that fixed and the car running much better. Now I just have to put this race behind me and look forward to the next rounds at Croft.
Of course, it’s good to get some points back on the board here at Oulton Park, but it would have been nice to have a trouble-free race for a change. I started to experience power loss from lap two, that’s why three cars went sailing past on the back part of the track. I couldn’t do anything to defend my position. Although I managed to set improving lap times I wasn’t able to push as much as I would have liked or challenge for position. We need to have a look at the car and data to see what the problem is, but I’m sure that we can solve it to ensure we take another strong points-scoring finish tomorrow.
“It’s a great feeling to finally get on-track ahead of the first Global Rallycross Championship round. I’m really pleased with the car’s performance during the five test runs today and it’s great to see the fruition of our recent development work. The car gets better and better with every session and although we are yet to experience the full course set-up, we are positive ahead of the big event. Racing here at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway, it finally feels like my dream is coming true. You can already get a measure of the atmosphere that will be here on Saturday night.”
“Today’s test has proved extremely positive for the Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3. All of the developments since our last test three weeks ago are working perfectly. We have some small adjustments to make, but we already know where we are going with the set-up for Friday’s final test and seeding session. Andy was very strong today, with our private timing showing him as fastest on several runs, so we are very pleased with our progress.”
“We’ve been waiting to get to this point for what seems like a very long time, when in fact we’ve created the team from scratch in little more than four months. It’s been a monumental effort to deliver a year’s work in a fraction of the time and we’ve coped with obstacles every step of the way and only come out stronger. I am so proud of what my team has achieved. I know we have the best group of professionals married with fantastic facilities at our US base, and it’s a great feeling to be heading into the first event as a multi-national team joining together for the first time. The Saab 9-3 is on solid form. We made positive gains throughout two pre-season tests and the latest development parts from Trollspeed have already run extremely well on dyno testing. Of course, the sessions on Tuesday and Friday will give us vital track time. Everything is new to us, from the jumps to the all-tarmac surface. Even the race formats, but we’ll be taking it all in our stride. Overall it’s going to be an amazing experience, not just to compete in our first GRC round but to soak-up the atmosphere at Charlotte Motor Speedway. I can’t wait.”
“I am very happy with the level of preparation on the car. We’ve conducted two extensive tests and completed very positive testing on the dyno. We know that the Saab 9-3 and Andy are both strong and we are 99% ready. The only thing we cannot prepare for is the two jumps at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but everyone should be in the same situation. With two jumps every lap, that’s 16 jumps per race, they are going to be a big factor. The first Global Rallycross round will be a great spectacle for the crowds. For the drivers, the most important thing will be getting a clear run through Turn 1 to keep any damage to a minimum. Andy is 100% ready for this. He’s a strong driver who can hold his own against a super field. No-one’s going to settle for second and we’re aiming for the top.”
It was a very positive test but we also found some slight problems relating to running in 95 degree temperatures for the very first time. In France it was just 75 degrees and the conditions here are more intense, but naturally more akin to what we’ll face during the season. That’s exactly what the test was for and all part of the positive learning curve. The car was instantly better overnight with the improvements made and the changed gear ratios, running around half a second quicker straight out of the box. We managed several stints through the day and went quicker every session. We will undertake more testing prior to Charlotte and already know what modifications we need to make to gain more advantage.
Overall it proved a successful test and the car responded positively to the vast majority of changes we made. All the changes we made to the geometry of the car are more suitable to Charlotte Motor Speedway, and replicating the circuit layout where we sorted all the gearing and changes ahead of the first round later this month, was invaluable. We completed around 50 laps and gathered a lot of data which will aid us considerably at our next test.
It was a pretty disappointing weekend to be honest particularly after the results we had in Lydden Hill, when we left Kent optimistic of a top three finish here. Things started off fairly well in practice but we had a recurring turbo problem all weekend, which we’ve been unable to resolve. Although that was no excuse, it did mean we didn’t have quite the pace to qualify straight into the A Final as we’d hoped, but I still managed to get into the B Final, which was a pretty good performance considering the problems we had. Naturally I had to make a move on Tanner to take second place to give me any hope of getting through to the A Final, and unfortunately I hit the side of his car, which cost me a good finish.
I’m gutted with today’s result. I couldn’t avoid aquaplaning at Noble, the same patch of water caught out several other drivers, including Carl Breeze. I just happened to hit a dirt mound and that caused the damage. The team did a fantastic job to rebuild the car and I’m grateful for everyone’s efforts. It was a shame I wasn’t classified in the results but I was just short of the 80 per cent race distance. I was on good form this morning and confident of a third-place finish. If I’d achieved that in round eight I would have had a good chance of taking back-to-back podiums.
After such a strong qualifying session this morning I was hopeful of scoring another podium finish for round seven,” said Walkinshaw. “The car felt great, we just worked on correcting a bit of understeer I was experiencing through the fast corners. The rain eased off around lunchtime, so we went for a completely dry set up and it wasn’t the right way to go. The car wasn’t too bad early on but by the halfway point the understeer was horrendous because the car was too stiff. I adapted my driving as best I could and held on to fifth to get some good points. If the rain returns tomorrow as forecast I hope to be back in with a chance of a podium finish.
Although I’m a little disappointed with the results, I’ve learned a lot during my first Rotax Max club meeting at Whilton Mill. I’m gaining confidence and starting to push into the top 10. Heat 1 started well and I could have got my first top five finish, but I lost consistency towards the end of the race and perhaps didn’t make the most of the opportunities that came my way. Although it didn’t show in the result, I got everything together for the Final. I was comfortable in 11th place and optimistic that I could improve my position. The last lap move didn’t pay off but at least I kept fighting until the last turn. I’m going to keep focussing on improving my performance, race craft and race preparation so I’m quick from the first race of the day and I think doing some more UK club events will help me to do that.
Scott-Eklund Racing is currently an unknown commodity in Global RallyCross but we’re not here to make up the numbers. After round one we will have hopefully proved we’re a front-running team. To do that we need to ensure we are as prepared as possible. The French test was my first time in the car and it went very well. The aim in Florida will be to get more seat time and ensure the car can maintain performance running in higher ambient temperatures. I’m sure the ability to reconstruct elements of the Charlotte Motor Speedway GRC track will only put us in good stead. It’s great to be one step closer to a dream come true. I can’t wait for the US race shop to come alive and work for the first time with our new American team members. We’ve done a year’s work in four months to get to this point. Everyone has worked around the clock but there’s a great energy in the team. It’s fantastic to see everything falling into place.
With less than one month to go until Charlotte, everything is finally building to the start of the season. Our US base at Pompano Brach will be fully operational next week and we should be able to achieve a lot at the Florida test. Anything we can do to replicate the circuits is sure to help us, particularly to evaluate our top speed and cornering capabilities. We can’t replicate the jump, but we can pretty much do everything else and play a little with the set-up. Everything is completely new to us. It’s been flat out from the beginning, so now we are just looking forward to getting the car set-up and ready for the first round.
I know the car goes really well at Thruxton. I was quickest in the last session of the TOCA test at the beginning of the month which was great, especially considering we only finished rebuilding the car that morning. After Donington Park, we have hopefully resolved any mechanical gremlins left as a result of the Brands Hatch accident. Donington Park was all about ironing out those problems while salvaging championship points, and although we didn’t get the set-up quite right it takes nothing away from our rebuild achievements. I haven’t raced much at Thruxton but I’m confident that we have a strong set-up. I also like the track, so I’m hopeful of taking another podium finish. It will be important to stay out of the first lap chaos that will inevitably unfold at the Complex and the Chicane. If we can do that we have a strong chance of doing well.
We had a very strong package last time at Lydden; the car was great and the tyres proved up to the job, despite the fact that the conditions were far from ideal. Overall we were very happy with our performance as we showed we had the pace, not only in qualifying and in the three heats but in the A-Final too, so we have to work towards getting a top three finish at Dreux. The conditions should be a lot better than we had in Kent. The only real problem we had was in the final with the track being so rutted, it was hard to find a line into the first corner. In France I expect track conditions to be a lot easier. We had Scott-Eklund Racing’s first test there last month with the Saab 9-3 in which I’ll contest the GRC this season and the weather was much kinder, so hopefully we can get a good result under our belts on Sunday to really kick-start our championship campaign.
I feel a bit robbed of a fourth place finish today as I’m sure I could have kept Carl [Breeze] behind me for another lap. Overall, though, it’s good to get three strong points-scoring finishes in the bag. The Century Motorsport crew did a great job to get the clutch fixed for round six, helping me to take those 20 points. We’ve come a long way with the car since qualifying yesterday morning, it was more settled in the last race and I was able to push, which gave me confidence. I feel much more positive heading into the next championship rounds.
Today was all about salvaging some championship points and leased to have achieved that. It’s been a frustrating time since Brands Hatch. We showed that the car had good pace out of the box from the rebuild at Thruxton, but since then it’s been one thing after another. It’s been a relief to get some consistent running time today. I got a great start but the car didn’t feel right on the front end. I didn’t have the confidence to push in the early stages and I decided to play it safe. It took a while for the car to settle and get the front tyres up to temperature, but then I was able to push and regain ground. I had a good go at taking Jamie [Orton] for seventh place but without the front-end of the car gripping as I would have liked it wasn’t worth the risk