FORMULA 1

WILLIAMS MARTINI BELGIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS
ROUND 13 OF 21
The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is one of Formula One’s most iconic and revered. The extreme climb through Eau Rouge with clouds of spray hanging between the trees of the Ardennes forest is one of the sport’s most memorable sights. Spa is one of precious few circuits to retain the magic of its original form through a modernised and shortened layout, thanks to sweeping elevations around legendary sections of road at Eau Rouge, Pouhon and Blanchimont. The 7km lap is perhaps the most treasured of the season for the drivers. Williams has won three times at Spa with Nigel Mansell claiming the 1986 race, followed by Damon Hill in 1993 and 1994.
For Spa, Pirelli have made available the medium, soft and supersoft tyres.
Pat Symonds
The first thing to say is that we expect dry and warm weather all weekend which is not typical of the conditions that we tend to see in Spa. The circuit itself is quite interesting with high power and drag sensitivity favouring low drag and powerful power units. Top speed is particularly important, so most cars are set-up with low drag, compromising speed in sector two to give them better opportunities to overtake into turns five and 18. Teams also tend to run cars quite stiff as you need good change of direction and whilst Eau Rouge is no longer a difficult corner, you still need to be cautious with ride heights to ensure the car doesn’t bottom-out there. Spa places high demands on tyres. In typical cool temperatures we would expect to see front graining at the start of the weekend with more even front and rear wear by race day. We are back to medium, soft and supersoft compounds which we have plenty of experience with this year, which combined with the 7km lap, means we expect to see most cars on two-stop strategies. Spa is a circuit which should favour us and our target will be to challenge from the start to get some good points.
Valtteri Bottas
This is definitely one of my favourite tracks, mainly because of the high speed corners. It’s extremely enjoyable to drive. It’s normally quite a good track for us, the only thing with Belgium is that the weather can be quite unpredictable across the weekend. It’s definitely one of the best circuits in the world so I’m really looking forward to going back. We were on the podium there in 2014, so that’s a good memory. I’ve also had quite a bit of success in Belgium with Formula Renault, Formula 3 and GP3 so it’s always one of the best tracks to go to for me.
Felipe Massa
Belgium is one of the best tracks in Formula One. Most of the drivers love the old style, including me. I’m really looking forward to having a great race at Spa. It’s a place that can be wet and dry pretty much at the same time, so I hope it will be a good weekend for us and that we have a fantastic race. It’s always a pleasure to race there and feel the car perform at one of the best tracks in the world. I’ve got great memories from Belgium – I’ve been on the podium and I won there in 2008. It’s definitely a place I always enjoy visiting and a great pleasure to race around.

LAGUNA SECA

HISTORIC ROLEX MONTEREY MOTORSPORTS REUNION AT MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA

The 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca exceeded expectations once again as one of the premier anchor events of the annual Monterey Classic Car Week.
A record four-day total of 70,525 spectators joined in the incredible celebration of motorsports history at the raceway where so much of it has been made over the past 60 years. From featured marque BMW celebrating its 100th anniversary to the 50thanniversaries of Can-Am and Trans-Am, and from the 1911 National Speedway Roadster to the 2001 BMW M3 GTR, it was both the visual and auditory overload experience race fans have come to expect and appreciate during the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

A 60-minute show of the event is scheduled to air Thursday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m. Eastern on The Enthusiast Network (TEN).

The 2017 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, to be held during Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s year-long 60th anniversary celebration, have been set for Aug. 17-20. The featured marque will be announced in the coming months.

CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE

1936 LANCIA ASTURA NAMED BEST OF SHOW AT THE 66TH PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (August 21, 2016) — The 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance concluded with first-time entrant Richard Mattei lifting the top prize high overhead soon after his 1936 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet was named Best of Show at the prestigious competition.

When the award was announced, it took Mattei a moment to grasp the accomplishment: “I was just happy to be an entrant at Pebble Beach—and now to get an award, and not just one, but three!” His Lancia won its class before competing for Best of Show, and it was also named the Gwenn Graham Most Elegant Convertible.
The cabriolet was once owned by guitarist Eric Clapton, who declared it to be “the most fun I’ve had off stage and out of bed.” Pininfarina later purchased the car for its collection and it remained there for decades.
“This Lancia is a true combination of speed and style,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “Pinin Farina took a fantastic car and added many spectacular attributes, including a power top, curved side glass windows and the unusual basket-woven trim. This car is sport and luxury embodied.”
Mattei purchased the Lancia in 2009 and spent about six years restoring it. Asked what he found most compelling about the car, Mattei referenced the car’s mechanical sophistication and its ability to exhibit two different personalities: an aggressive stance with the top up and a more relaxed and elegant style with the top down.
The Pebble Beach Concours competition drew 228 cars from 16 countries and 30 states to the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. It also raised over $1.75 million to help people in need. Through the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, the primary charitable partner of the Concours, these charitable funds will benefit over 80 local charities.
There were many strong contenders for Best of Show this year. Final nominees included a 1938 Delahaye 165 Figoni & Falaschi Cabriolet owned by the Robert M. Lee Automobile Collection and shown by Anne Brockinton Lee of Sparks, Nevada; and a 1931 Stutz DV-32 LeBaron Convertible Victoria owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini III of West Orange, New Jersey.
The 67th Pebble Beach Concours takes place on Sunday, August 20, 2017, and features will include Isotta Fraschini, Lincoln Centennial, and American Dream Cars of the 1960s. The 68th Pebble Beach Concours will be held on Sunday, August 26, 2018, and will include a special class for Significant Cars of India.

MOTORSPORTS MONDIAL

60 YEARS ON THE ETOILE FILANTE AND THE DAUPHINE TREAD ON AMERICAN SOIL AGAIN.
60 years on, the Etoile Filante and the Dauphine tread American soil again

The Renault Etoile Filante* has returned to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, where, six decades ago, in August 1956, it famously clocked up a speed of 308.9kph to establish four new world records, two of which stand to this day.
Meanwhile, to celebrate the American career of the Renault Dauphine, which is also celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, Renault Classic dispatched a Dauphine to the Bonneville Speed Week (August 13-19) where Nicolas Prost established a new class record**, proving that passion has no age!

*For further information about the Renault Etoile Filante: http://bit.ly/1AOLOj7
** Record established by Nicolas Prost in a Renault Dauphine. The Frenchman was officially clocked at 76.541mph on the morning of August 14, 2016, following technical scrutineering. The 956cc-engined car (N°9561) beat the existing CGC record (Classic Gas Coupé) for cars made between 1928 and 1981 and an engine capacity of between 754cc and 1,015cc.

BTCC

EXPERIENCE PAYS OFF AT KNOCKHILL

Plato, Neal and Jackson take win apiece as Tordoff extends advantage

Jason Plato and Matt Neal showed their younger rivals the way with a Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship win apiece at Knockhill, before Mat Jackson scored his fourth victory of the season in the final race.

Three top five finishes for Team JCT600 with GardX driver Sam Tordoff was enough for him to extend his advantage at the top of the standings.

Pole-sitter Plato celebrated his 500th BTCC race in style by taking a commanding lights-to-flag success in the opener, becoming the 11th different winner in this incredible season so far.

The Silverline Subaru BMR Racing driver built a strong gap over the first half of the race, before Team IHG Rewards Club’s Jack Goff began reeling him in. Plato’s advantage was then completely eradicated by a safety car period, but he managed the remaining racing laps with consummate ease to claim a staggering 95th career victory. Goff and Colin Turkington completed the podium positions.

Triple champion Neal then clinched a Knockhill classic as the Halfords Yuasa Racing driver stormed through from eighth on the grid to win race two at the Fife track.

Neal gradually made his way up the order while Subaru battled BMW for supremacy at the head of the pack.

Long-time leader Plato began to struggle late on as he backed up the chasing pack behind him. Tordoff and Turkington traded second position on several occasions, but neither could make a move by the defending Plato.

Honda man Neal nipped past both Turkington and fourth placed Goff after the pair made contact on the exit of the final hairpin, and when Plato strategically held up Tordoff again on the penultimate lap Neal eyed his opportunity to blast into the lead.

You could have thrown a blanket over all three cars as they shot across the line to start the final lap, and when the dust settled it was Neal from Tordoff and Plato taking the podium positions.

Jackson produced his own memorable defensive drive in the final encounter, as the Motorbase Performance driver fended off a gaggle of cars to claim his fourth win of the season.

It was status quo in the opening laps as initially, Jackson led the squabbling duo of Rob Collard and Turkington. That scrap spilled over on lap eight as Turkington’s Subaru tapped Collard’s BMW into a lurid slide. Further contact ensued as the damaged Team JCT600 with GardX car straightened out, and both cars were fired onto the grass and out of contention.

This brought Tordoff, Plato and home hero Gordon Shedden into play as Ford battled BMW, Subaru and Honda. The quartet remained inseparable throughout the remainder of the race, but any attempts to make a pass were always quickly rebuffed.

The leaders were covered by just 1.2 seconds as the chequered flag fell, with Jackson celebrating the win ahead of Tordoff and Plato.

In a day that was largely dominated by the aforementioned marques there was still a top six finish for the Toyotas of Tom Ingram and Rob Austin, whilst the other Motorbase Ford of Andrew Jordan took a best of sixth in race one.

The fallout from a frenetic day of action sees Tordoff now leading Neal by nine points in the race for the championship. Collard, Shedden, Jackson and Plato also remain in close contention.

WSR/Team JCT600 with GardX top both the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ standings, whilst Jordan/Motorbase head the respective Independent Drivers’ and Teams’ tables.

MG Racing RCIB Insurance driver Ashley Sutton leads the Jack Sears Trophy, although honours in that class went to Mark Howard at Knockhill.

The entire BTCC community, including all 31 drivers, paid their respects to inaugural champion Jack Sears, who passed away last week, with a minutes silence prior to Sunday’s action.

F1Weekly podcast # 709

CLARK AND NASIR PREPARE FOR THEIR SUMMER VACATIONS WHILST THE HOST HAS TO ADMIT  LCH IS CLOSING ON ANOTHER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. WE HAVE A GREAT MOTORSPORTS MONDIAL AND THIS WEEKS GOODY BAG IS AN INTERVIEW WITH RICKY COLLARD.

Ricky Collard is a British racing driver. He started his racing career in karts in 2006, finishing fourth in the British Cadet Championship in 2009, sixth in the Kartmasters British Grand Prix KF3 category in 2011, and eighth in the U18 Karting World Championship in 2012. That season he also made his car racing debut in the Ginetta Junior Championship.[2] He competed in the 2015 MSA Formula Championship (British Formula 4), having finished seventh in the 2014 British Formula Ford Championship the previous year.[1] He took six wins and finished 2015 as runner up in the MSA Formula Championship to Lando Norris, graduating to the BRDC British F3 Championship in 2016 with Carlin Motorsport alongside Norris.[2] He is the son of Touring Car racer Rob Collard and the grandson of Hot Rod racer Mick Collard.

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The Premiere Motorsport Podcast