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Six NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chiefs were fined during the Richmond International Raceway event. Crew chiefs Luke Lambert (no 2 car), Danny Stockman (no 3), Trent Owens (no 30), Jimmy Elledge (no 31), Ernie Cope (no 33), and Mike Shiplett (no 38) have all also been placed on probation until December 31, as have the above teams’ car chiefs – Phil Gould, Robert Strmiska, Shannon Rursch, Ronald Hornaday III, Paul Balmer and Christopher Meyers. The transgressions

were specifically the use of unapproved front bumper covers that were discovered at opening day inspection. FINE: $10,000 each

The Tech 1 Racing Formula Renault 3.5 car driven by Jules Bianchi in the formula’s season opener at Aragon was disqualified from the race – and a second place finish – after it was found to be running with elasticated washers in its differential stack, as opposed to the ‘plain’ items mandated by Renault Sport Technologies. The team will appeal the decision. PENALTY: exclusion

Drayson Racing plugged in to FIA Formula E

Lord Drayson has told Racecar Engineering that his team is committed to racing in the all- new FIA Formula E Championship for electrically-powered racecars. Drayson, who has been a champion of the electric car racing cause for some time and was to compete in the stalled EV Cup series, says the Formula E championship is now the most viable chance to kick start electric car racing. ‘The status of Formula E

is that the FIA is strategically committed to it. It’s recognised that there is a need for this kind of racing. It has set up a commission to establish Formula

E and the target is to have the first race at the end of next year,’ Drayson said.

He also said the Formula

E regulations will allow for engineering innovation: ‘There’s very much an open rule book to encourage innovation. It’s going to be an open series with a limitation on the battery cells – they can only have 300kg cells – but there’s freedom on aerodynamics and drivetrain, and they will be very high performance cars. They will have a top speed of around an F1 car, but with not as much downforce, so lap times should be around, or slightly better, than an F3 car,

with short races – 15, 20 minutes – on street circuits.’ Drayson says the fact that

these quieter cars will be ideal for street racing might be one of the new formula’s major selling points: ‘Not many cities want to hold a motor race with all the noise and pollution-type issues, and that’s where electric really scores. So the discussions that have taken place with a number of cities, which include London, New York and Monaco, have all been very positive.’ Drayson Racing is currently

testing much of the technology for its Formula E car in its Lola B12/69 EV LMP.

US company clutches UK base

American motorsport parts company, Competition Clutch, is opening a dedicated UK sales office and logistics centre. Competition Clutch has teamed up with industry leading logistics provider, Universal Automotive, and will set up shop at the latter’s Kidderminster, Worcestershire base – a state-of- the-art, 40,000sq.ft, computer- controlled facility. Dan McCarny, sales manager

for Competition Clutch, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to offer our UK customers a dedicated call centre and customer service team, as well as the fact that by working with Universal, we can increase our inventory of parts and improve our speed of delivery. This is a great partnership for us that will allow us to build on the success and hard work of our existing UK dealer network.’


What could a Champion’s League-winning football club get out of backing a Formula 1 team? It’s the question that’s been taxing race and footie fans alike since the inking of the deal between Chelsea and Sauber in April. ‘Sponsorship has been way beyond space

on the car for a long time,’ says motorsport sponsorship guru, Brian Sims. ‘Say a race team’s season starts in March, then runs through to October. A sponsor can only really get their mileage in that period and not in the off season. So what Sauber and Chelsea have

done does not surprise me, and the potential is there for them to do an awful lot with branding and all sorts of things… Instead of twice the amount of publicity they probably get three times the amount, so the two combined offer a huge opportunity.’ As to whether any money has changed hands, neither Sauber nor Chelsea would say, but it’s worth noting that the soccer club is getting around £40m’s worth for the prime spots on the car – while Sauber has pointed out the Chelsea brand will be seen in territories most Premiership teams simply cannot reach: ‘The football club benefits from F1’s television reach which, compared with the Premier League, is much higher and more international, particularly in the Asian and Latin American markets.’ Then again, Roman Abramovich has a few

pounds to spend and Sauber is rumoured to be up for sale. Pure speculation, of course.

July 2012 • 87 The Competition Clutch

range includes motorsport and fast road clutch kits, discs and flywheels. The range has already found favour in the UK, being the first choice of many drag racers and drifters, as well as being specified as a control part for one-make racing series. Universal Automotive are also

the logistics partners for well- known names such as Denso, Brembo and Monroe.

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