Caterham cleared to race, confirms Leal for Silverstone test

Leave a comment

The FIA stewards have cleared Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson to take part in the British Grand Prix tomorrow despite neither driver posting a time within the required 107% limit.

In a rule brought back to F1 in 2011, drivers must lap within 107% of the time set by the fastest driver in Q1. It has only been used twice in the past four seasons, with HRT missing both the 2011 and 2012 Australian Grands Prix because of the rule.

In qualifying today, Kobayashi and Ericsson could only post a time that was around 109% of Rosberg’s, meaning that they failed to make the cut. However, this rule is only enforced when the drivers are too slow in the dry, and the wet session meant that the times were far from representative – as exemplified by Williams and Ferrari.

The stewards confirmed that the drivers had “set satisfactory times in practice at this event”, and both will be able to race on Sunday.

Caterham has also confirmed this evening that GP2 driver Julian Leal will take part in next week’s test session at the British Grand Prix alongside Rio Haryanto and Will Stevens.

“I am very excited about my first Formula 1 test and I would like to thank Caterham F1 Team and everyone who has helped make this opportunity possible,” the Colombian said. “I’m having a good weekend at Silverstone already and am now fifth in the GP2 Championship after a strong race on Saturday.

“As I’m racing on the same circuit this weekend as I’ll test on next week that’s obviously a benefit but there is clearly a big step up to F1 from GP2, particularly in terms of the infrastructure I will be working with on track.

“With that in mind my main goal is to learn as much as I possibly can and help the team work through the program they set – I know I will be given all the help and advice I need, now I just want to get started!”

Tequila Patron to end ESM and IMSA partnerships after 2018 season

Photo courtesy of IMSA
1 Comment

Earlier on Monday, Tequila Patron, a long-time sponsor in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, both at the team level – they have a long standing partnership with Tequila Patron ESM – and the series level, announced that they will be ending their sponsorships at the end of the 2018 season.

After sponsoring Highcroft Racing in 2008 and 2009 in the American Le Mans Series, Tequila Patron and ESM formed a partnership in 2010 to launch their own team. Since then, they have scored overall wins in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, and the Petit Le Mans. They have also competed internationally, in both Prototype and GT categories.

“On behalf of the entire Extreme Speed Motorsports organization, it has been an honor to represent such an amazing brand for the past 13 years,” said team co-owner Scott Sharp via a team release.

“I have the deepest gratitude for all of (Patron CEO and ESM co-founder) Ed Brown’s support. Together we have tackled various challenges, won races at each step, and built ESM into such an incredible team. Simultaneously, it has been thrilling to watch Ed and his team build the Patrón brand in a meteoric fashion and along the way become an icon in the motorsports world! We will miss not carrying the now infamous green and black livery, but the same passion for excellence will remain!”

IMSA President Scott Atherton also expressed gratitude toward Patron for their long-time involvement.

“IMSA and Patron Spirits have enjoyed a fantastic partnership for more than a decade. Tequila Patron rose through the IMSA ranks, from a high-profile team sponsor with Patron Highcroft Racing beginning in 2008, through its entitlement sponsorship of the Patron GT3 Challenge starting in 2009, and its presenting sponsorship of the American Le Mans Series beginning in 2010,” Atherton detailed.

He continued, “Tequila Patron continued in a prominent position as the American Le Mans Series merged with GRAND-AM to create the new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and has been our entitlement partner for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup since 2014 in addition to its longstanding support of the Tequila Patron ESM race team and its pair of Nissan DPi race cars.

“All associated with IMSA – competitors, promoter partners, series officials and fans – will miss the iconic Tequila Patrón brand next year. On behalf of IMSA, we thank CEO Ed Brown and Tequila Patron for all they have done over the many years to help us grow IMSA and the sport as a whole. We’re more proud than words can express to have counted Tequila Patron among our family of premium brand partners.”

Team co-owner Scott Sharp, in a story posted on SportsCar365, asserted that the ESM team has every intention of continuing in 2019.

“We’re working on a number of options,” Sharp said. “Obviously I think we’ve singly got the best team we’ve ever had, personnel-wise. Having been refining over the years and making selected additions, we’ve gotten ourselves to be super strong. The goal is keeping everyone together. We’re working through a few different options that will hopefully allow us to do that.”

Follow@KyleMLavigne