ROBERT WICKENS HAD A GREAT WEEKEND AT SILVERSTONE IN ENGLAND
When Robert Wickens of Guelph and Toronto swept last weekend’s World Series by Renault double-header at Silverstone in England, he did what no other racing driver had achieved since the series was started in 2005: he won both poles as well as both races – a spectacular achievement.
The 22-year-old Canadian, who’s the official reserve driver for the Marussia-Virgin Formula One team, leads the championship with 198 points, 34 more than second-place Jean Eric Vergne of France.
About his third and fourth victories of the season, Wickens said this:
“It feels fantastic to have a weekend like this. Hopefully we can keep this going. I set myself a personal goal of five wins this season so I’m getting close. It would be great to achieve that, but I’m focused on the championship. All in all it’s been an amazing weekend and with so many people here it had a fantastic atmosphere. I even spotted someone wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater!”
There was no admission charged for the Renault Formula 3.5 weekend, so an estimated 120,000 British racing fans turned out at Silverstone to watch the young Canadian dominate his class.
It’s wise for Wickens, 22, to focus on the title. He’s just missed winning championships the last two years and critics maintain that to reach Formula One, he’ll have to soon win a major European series.
He raced his way to the runner-up spot in the FIA F2 Championship in 2009, again a multiple race-winner, before tackling the 2010 GP3 Series. Another strong title-challenging campaign saw Wickens claim the runner-up position but more importantly, his 2010 efforts attracted the backing of Marussia Motors – Russia’s first supercar manufacturer and an owner in the Marussia Virgin Racing F1 team.
As test driver, he will attend all the remaining Grand Prix events that don’t conflict with his Formula Renault 3.5 Series commitments, which means he’ll be at Spa this coming weekend for the Belgium Grand Prix.
Round 8 of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, the penultimate race weekend in this year’s championship, takes place in France at the Paul Ricard Circuit on Sept. 17 and 18th
The 23rd Annual Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Induction Ceremony in downtown Detroit will take place Wednesday evening and see seven American racing legends enshrined. Racing pioneer Ed Winfield, sports car driver (and brewery heir) Augie Pabst, USAC champion and Indianapolis 500 driver Roger McCluskey, diverse drag racing legend Ed McCulloch, NASCAR icon Donnie Allison, Speedway motorcycle world champion Bruce Penhall and the legendary radio voice of the Indianapolis 500, announcer and broadcaster Sid Collins, will be inducted.
A Who's Who of U.S. motorsport will attend, led by Roger Penske whose delegation will include at least one of his drivers, Kurt Busch.
A new racing series will get the green flag this coming Friday night at Humberstone Speedway near Port Colborne. The Ontario Topless Sprints will feature sprint cars racing without wings and organizers are hoping for a significant turnout of cars from both side of the Canada-U.S. border. For more information, please visit www.ontariotoplesssprints.com.
Scott Goodyear sent news out about one of his sons this past week: “Michael's karting is going well. Running in three class championships at (Mark) Dismore's track this season. We have three races left to complete the championship. He has won one of the classes so far, leading in another one, and is third in points in the other. We have a couple of National Events coming up, then the final three Dismore races in October.”
Well done. Michael sounds like he's a chip off the old block, doesn't he?
And finally . . .
I don't know who that guy at the far right of the photo is, but the rest of the folks reflect the past and the future of auto racing in Quebec. At left is Jean-Paul Cabana, a legend in stock car circles in that province. Beside him is Richard (Dick) Foley of Montreal, first Canadian to race in the Daytona 500 back in 1959. At right is Andrew Ranger of Roxton Pond, who won the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race last weekend at Circuit Gilles-Gilleneuve. Oh, and the person between Ranger and Foley is Eva Foley, Richard's wife.