The Rolex clock is ticking and race teams are preparing for another extraordinary three days of racing at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. From August 15-17, 550 of the world’s most rare and valuable race cars, ranging from a 1911 National 40 that raced at the inaugural Indianapolis 500 to the awesome ground shaking Can-Am machines from the 1960s and 1970s, will provide a colorful “history lesson come-to-life,” with a chapter added for featured marque Maserati. Celebrating its 100th year in grand style, the Iconic Italian marque will showcase its modern cars while the remarkable Maseratis of the past thrill race fans on the raceway.

Though motor racing today conjures up images of huge transporters hauling sponsor-logoed cars to the track, it wasn’t always that way. There was a time when race car drivers would drive their sports cars to the race venue, remove the spare tire and tools from the boot (trunk) and then affix a number to their MG, Triumph, Jaguar, Austin Healy or Porsche and spend the weekend racing it around a set course plotted on public roads lined with trees and enthusiastic spectators.  Places with names like Watkins Glen, Thompson, Sebring, Bridgehampton, Elkhart Lake and Pebble Beach became revered as sanctuaries of speed, and many who challenged these crude courses became heroes to young devotees eagerly awaiting the opportunity when they, too, could don a polo helmet and driving gloves and put their own machines to the test.

In 1950, the first Pebble Beach Road Race was organized at The Del Monte Properties on the Monterey Peninsula. The roads around the Lodge At Pebble Beach were chosen for their tight turns, which challenged the nimble sports cars of the time, and the original 1.8 mile course was essentially an irregular rectangle shape with only right hand turns. To add to the challenge, not all the roads were paved, and drivers had to adjust  their driving style through multiple laps to manage the quick two-lane paved road and then confront the sliding and dodgy braking on loose gravel. Close quarters made the event extremely dangerous not only for the drivers but also for the approximately 10,000 people who lined the roads to witness the excitement.

The magic of vintage racing today is that those historic cars of the 1950s as well as the gems that raced before and afterward can be viewed not in a stationary museum setting but actually racing with thunder, wheel-to- wheel, blasting down the straightaways and sliding through corners at race circuits around the world.

And it just so happens that the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, with its roots in the original Pebble Beach Road Races, has become the premier vintage race in the United States and one of the most revered vintage races in the world.  In addition to witnessing gripping action on the famous turns of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, race fans can view these cars up close in the paddock and speak with their owners and drivers who are happy to discuss their prized machines.

That first Pebble Beach Road Race was won by the immortal Phil Hill in a superbly modified Jaguar XK 120, and when he took the checkered flag, American race fans caught a glimpse of the man who would eventually become their country’s first Formula 1 World Champion. (Hill won this 100-mile race again in 1953 and 1954, driving Ferraris, and his son Derek Hill will drive a lone surviving Maserati Tipo 151 at this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.)

The cars that raced at the Pebble Beach Road Races were dangerous and the very narrow tree-lined roads ultimately led to tragedy in 1956 when Ernie McAfee lost his life after crashing his Ferrari, thus ending this very popular road race.   Watkins Glen and Bridgehampton both ended their road races because of similar incidents and began construction on purpose-built permanent race courses. The Monterey Peninsula also was awarded an 11-turn, 2.238-mile jewel of a road course, now called Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, on California’s beautiful central coast.

Rolex enjoys an historic and privileged bond with motor sport and has been Title Sponsor of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion since it was renamed in 2010. (From 2001-2009, Rolex sponsored the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races, which originally began in 1974, at this venue.)

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was established in 1957 by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP), a not-for-profit 501C(4) corporation. Each race season, SCRAMP donates its net proceeds to the volunteer groups that help put on the races.

F1Weekly podcast # 660

Clark and Nasir try to contain themselves on the results of the Hungarian Grand Prix , we bring you Motorsports Mondial and, 50 words from the F1W forum and…Some results from my favorite series!


photo- José-María López achieved a clean sweep at his home meeting in Argentina, with two race wins and one pole position.
– Yvan Muller, Pechito’s fiercest rival for the World Championship, secured two podium spots, while Sébastien Loeb finished 4th and 6th.
– López’s maximum points haul puts him 60 points clear of Muller in the overall standings.

The sun was blazing at the Autodromo Termas de Río Hondo, and the atmosphere hotted up further still when young Matias Rossi and his Citroën emerged victorious in the Turismo Nacional race held as a curtain raiser to the FIA WTCC.

Shortly afterwards, José-María López lined up on pole position on the grid for race 1. When the red lights went out, he made the perfect start and hit the first corner in the lead, closely followed by Norbert Michelisz, who had got the better of Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb in the opening tussle. As the laps went by, the gaps widened, although Muller was constantly under threat from Loeb.

After thirteen laps completed at a pace worthy of a qualifying session, Pechito López delighted the 40,000 spectators by crossing the finish line as the winner! The two other Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs finished third and fourth, behind Michelisz.

A few minutes later, the cars lined up for race 2. With the top ten from qualifying starting in reverse order on the grid, this second race promised to be livelier than the first!

And true to form, there was turbulence in the pack from the off. Sébastien Loeb dropped back three places, having failed to execute his starting strategy properly, while Yvan Muller opted for a cautious approach amid the traffic. All this proved to be to the benefit of Pechito López, who fought his way through the field to end lap 1 in seventh place.

The three Citroën drivers then enthralled the crowd with an exhibition of overtaking manoeuvres. The prize for pugnacity must surely go to Yvan Muller, who spent nearly three whole laps locked in a shoulder-to-shoulder battle with Tom Chilton. Sébastien Loeb impressed too, moving past Norbert Michelisz, but the crowd’s favourite was, of course, José-María López, who passed Rob Huff to climb into the lead with five laps to go.

Pechito held that lead to the end, and, exhausted and emotional, was given a triumphant reception by his fans for his twin victories. He was joined on the podium by Yvan Muller, who once again finished third. Sébastien Loeb finished race 2 in sixth place.


Yves Matton, Team Principal, Citroën Racing: “This weekend has been one of the most emotional in the history of Citroën Racing. He might not have shown it much, but Pechito was under enormous pressure; he was desperate to do well in front of his home crowd. He dug deep and became the first driver this year to record a perfect score. Yvan did everything he could to stay with him, but the gap in the World Championship standings is widening. That is not to say the rest of the season won’t be interesting, however, as there are new circuits for us to discover. This has been a great day to round off a week spent with Citroën Argentina, engaging in various marketing operations that used motorsport to further the brand’s commercial aims.” »

José-María López: “Some people may find it a bit too corporate to start by thanking everyone, but that’s just what I feel like doing right now. Without my family and without Citroën, I wouldn’t be here. I am proud to be part of Citroën Racing, and to have Yvan and Seb as teammates. My wealth of experience on this circuit helped me a lot, but I was worried about the starts, which remain a weakness for me. Thankfully, this time, everything went OK! Race 2 was really exciting. The car just got quicker and quicker and I managed to work my way up the field into first place. It’s been a perfect weekend, and there’s no place I’d rather have produced a performance like that.”

Yvan Muller: “You should never give up, but I have to acknowledge that José was quicker than me this weekend. Once I realised that, I had to limit the damage and try not to fall too far behind in the World Championship. The team did a brilliant job and I did my best to exploit the car’s full potential. I found race 2 quite fun, particularly my battle with Chilton!”

Sébastien Loeb: “Fourth and sixth isn’t a dream result, but I can take plenty of positives out of this weekend. I managed to work my way through the pack, with a more combative approach and some nice overtaking manoeuvres. All this is great experience for me, as I’m now focusing first and foremost on 2015. I’m nearly 100 points adrift of Pechito, so I consider myself out of the running for the title.”

1. José-María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
2. Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC)
3. Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
4. Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
5. Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic WTCC)
Fastest lap: José-María López (1’46’’456)

1. José-María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
2. Rob Huff (Lada Granta 1.6T)
3. Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
4. Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic WTCC)
5. Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic WTCC)
6. Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
Fastest lap: José-María López (1’45’’926)

1. José-María López: 310 points
2. Yvan Muller: 250 pts
3. Sébastien Loeb: 213 pts
4. Tiago Monteiro: 146 pts
5. Gabriele Tarquini: 121 pts

1. Citroën Total: 686 points
2. Honda: 454 pts
3. Lada: 247 pts

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Motorsports / DTM 6. race Red Bull Ring Spielberg


Marco Wittmann extends points’ lead with third season win

Spielberg. BMW driver Marco Wittmann emerged as the winner from an action-packed DTM race at Red Bull Ring. With his BMW M4 DTM, the 24-year-old won the sixth season round from his fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus and Timo Glock. Martin Tomczyk completed the success for BMW by finishing fourth. “I had a very bad start, which made the early stage of the race not particularly easy for me. I had to stay cool and I saved my tyres. There was plenty of action in front of me, but I didn’t see to much of it. Today, I was just really lucky,” a satisfied Wittmann said. In total, 47,500 fans attended the race weekend in Austria.

Timo Scheider was the best-placed driver with an Audi RS 5 DTM, finishing fifth behind the BMW quartet. “I got the best possible result out of this race. I started from 14th place and I can be really lucky with fifth position. Hopefully, this marks the turnaround in a season that has been very disappointing for me so far,” the Austrian-based driver said. His fellow Audi drivers Adrien Tambay, Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green were classified sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. For Green, the sixth round of the year was an emotional roller-coaster. After the Brit had taken the lead, he was given a drive-through penalty. The timing of the pit stop with tyre change for the 32-year old wasn’t in accordance with the regulations.

Mercedes-Benz driver Robert Wickens also had to take in a heavy setback. Throughout the first half of the race, the pole sitter was involved in an entertaining battle for first place with Augusto Farfus, until race control showed the Canadian the black flag. The reason: the Canadian had ignored a drive-through penalty that he had been given after race control found that he had impeded the upcoming Timo Glock when leaving his pit stall. Eventually, Christian Vietoris was the best-placed driver of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé in ninth place. “I had a good start into the weekend. We can not be satisfied with being the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in ninth place,” Vietoris said.

Thanks to his third victory of the season, Marco Wittmann extends his points’ tally to 95. Swedish driver Mattias Ekström remains Wittmann’s closest rival in the drivers’ standings, but for Ekström, the battle for his third DTM title will not be easy. After six of ten rounds, the Audi driver is 39 points down on his rival from BMW. The next race weekend will take place at Nürburgring, August 17 till 19.

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “We are proud and happy. After our clean sweep of the top three last year, we thought that it couldn’t be any better, but fortunately, we were wrong. Marco Wittmann drove an incredible race and the others also executed our strategy in a perfect way. Above all, we made the least mistakes today.”

Dieter Gass, head of DTM, Audi: “We didn’t lose the race today, but already in qualifying yesterday. Another factor was a communication problem, which was the reason that Jamie Green came into the pits one lap later than planned.”

Wolfgang Schattling, head of DTM management, Mercedes-Benz: “For us, it was a very disappointing day, because Robert Wickens certainly could have won the race today. Especially as things didn’t go too well in some races this year, this would have been an important success. We were totally surprised by the decision from race control. Initially, we thought of a mix-up that we still wanted to correct during the race. From our point of view, the penalty for Robert Wickens isn’t justified.”

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 8, race 2, Red Bull Ring (AUT)


Antonio Fuoco celebrates second season win

Season race: 23 of 33
Track: Red Bull Ring
Winner: Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam)
Pole position: Antonio Giovinzzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin)
Weather: sunny and warm

The 23rd season round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship provided plenty of action for the spectators at the 4.326 kilometres long Red Bull Ring. Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam) was able to decide the race in his favour, although he never led the field for one moment. For his second victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season, the rookie driver benefited from a 20 seconds’ time penalty for Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), who led throughout the race, due to an infringement of the safety car procedure. Eventually, Fuoco won from Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and national hero Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport). For points’ leader Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam), things didn’t go according to plan either; the French Lotus Formula 1 junior driver collided with Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and retired.

At the start, Antonio Giovinazzi took the lead from Tom Blomqvist. On the way to the first corner, the Brit had to slot in behind Antonio Fuoco and dropped back to third. On lap three, Jordan King (Carlin) and Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) collided, which ended with a spin by British driver King. As a result, the safety car was deployed for the first time in this race. Shortly after the restart, Dennis van de Laar (Prema Powerteam) spun, which caused the second safety car intervention in this 23rd season round. After the next restart, Esteban Ocon and Felix Rosenqvist tangled in the battle for fourth place. Both drivers retired. On lap 16, Richard Goddard (ThreeBond with T-Sport) spun after a collision with Roy Nissany (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and hit Sandro Zeller’s (Jo Zeller Racing) car in the aftermath. For Goddard and Zeller, the race was over.

Out in front, Antonio Giovinazzi still held on to the lead, but at the final restart of the race, he left a gap to the safety car that was too big and was given a drive-through penalty as a result. As he didn’t come in for this penalty during the remainder of the race, it was converted into a 20 seconds’ time penalty. Thus, the Italian lost his first place to compatriot Antonio Fuoco, who became the winner of the race. Tom Blomqvist was delighted with his second-place finish, Lucas Auer took the chequered flag in third place. Max Verstappen, Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing), Edward Jones (Carlin), Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam), Jules Szymkowiak (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Alexander Toril (ThreeBond with T-Sport) rounded out the top ten. For Spaniard Toril, tenth place is his best result in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship to date.

Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam): “I anm really happy and proud of this victory. After a good start, I was able to overtake Lucas Auer in the first corner and I was even second after the second corner. However, I had no chance against Antonio Giovinazzi, who was still in front of me; he was simply too fast. My engineer told me over the radio about the penalty for Giovinazzi, so I was aware that I had won as I crossed the line.”

Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “I feel really sorry for my team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi, because he was quick and would have deserved this success. My start wasn’t perfect and when I was between Lucas Auer and Antonio Fuoco in the second corner, Antonio was able to overtake me. I was left without a chance.”

Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport): “My start was okay, but I lost a few places in the first few corners. Then I was lucky that there were some incidents in this race and I benefited from some of them. Thus, I came home third. My car was already much better than yesterday, but we still have work to do. Nevertheless, I am happy with my podium finish in my home race.”




FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 - ARGENTINAThe Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs achieved their fourth qualifying 1-2-3 of the season at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit today.

José-María López shone in front of his home crowd, winning pole position with a perfect Q3 lap.

Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb will start race 1 from second and third places on the grid.

In the southern hemisphere, August is usually the month when the weather is at its wintriest, but temperatures were pushing 30°C at the Autodromo Termas de Río Hondo for round 8 of the FIA WTCC 2014!

In Friday’s first half-hour free practice session, José-María López clocked the fastest time, ahead of Sébastien Loeb. The man from Córdoba repeated the feat on Saturday morning, with the nine-time World Rally Champion once again in second place. In the third and final session, it was Yvan Muller’s turn to make his mark, relegating Pechito to second spot by just four hundredths of a second!

Once again, the qualifying session promised to be a breathtaking affair, with the three Citroëns all capable of claiming pole position. Q1 went off without a hitch for the three Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs, with all three drivers comfortably securing their spot in Q2.

Pechito López clocked the best time in the second qualifying session, improving on his performance from free practice. Just a few tenths of a second behind him, Sébastien Loeb and Yvan Muller also made it through to Q3.

Yvan Muller, the first Citroën driver out on track for his single timed lap, went quicker than both Norbert Michelisz and Tiago Monteiro, but the four-time World Champion was disappointed with his performance. A few minutes later, Sébastien Loeb fared no better.

In an ideal scenario for the sizeable Argentine crowd, José-María López was the last man to go. Pechito produced a faultless performance, notching up three consecutive purple sectors on his way to the fastest lap of the day, four tenths of a second ahead of his nearest rival.


Yves Matton, Team Principal, Citroën Racing: “It’s never easy racing at home; the expectations of the public and the media inevitably create extra pressure. And nowhere is that truer than in Argentina! Pechito has had a great weekend so far and he has been rewarded with pole position. Yvan and Sébastien are very close in terms of performance levels, but they weren’t able to produce a flawless lap in Q3. Nevertheless, the races are sure to be exciting!”

José-María López: “If there is one race you really want to do well in, it’s your home meeting, but to achieve that, you’ve got to work really hard to push yourself to your limits. Along with my teammates and my engineers, I managed to get better session after session and lap after lap. But even though I’d been the fastest driver up to that point, I didn’t know what to expect in Q3. We’ve often seen things change drastically at that stage, as happened at Spa-Francorchamps! My Citroën C-Elysée WTCC was perfect and I gave it my all, drawing on all my experience of this track. It was a great moment when I was told I’d won pole position. It was really emotional getting a result like that, especially with my family watching. Tomorrow is another day, though, and I’ll have to continue to improve to win.”

Yvan Muller: “We have been searching for the right setup all weekend, but I’m still having to cope with severe oversteering. In Q3, I lost the back of the car on the first bend, but managed to get it back again. After that, I was probably too cautious, and it wasn’t a great lap for me. We’ll see what I can do tomorrow. The start will no doubt be crucial.”

Sébastien Loeb: “I was really happy with my car, but I pushed a little too hard and made a mistake at turn number 9, which is probably the most difficult. It’s always difficult to know how aggressively to drive, particularly on the Q3 lap. The races will be interesting tomorrow, as there are real overtaking opportunities here. The track is wide and varied; I really like it.”


1. José-María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) 1’43’’766
2. Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) 1’44’’194
3. Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) 1’44’’310
4. Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC) 1’44’’408
5. Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic WTCC) 1’45’’174

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 8, Red Bull Ring (AUT)


Esteban Ocon secures first place on the grid in Styria

Season round: 22 of 33
Track: Red Bull Ring
Pole position race 1: Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: overcast

At the 4.326 kilometres long Red Bull Ring, rookie driver Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) claimed his twelfth pole position in the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship season with a lap time of 1:24.856 minutes. The 17-year-old Frenchman, who is supported by the Lotus Formula 1 team, completed his fastest lap of the undulating circuit in Styria 0.150 seconds faster than his main championship rival, Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:25.006 minutes). Tom Bomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:25.045 minutes) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:25.206 minutes) were classified third and fourth in first qualifying.

Qualifying remained thrilling until the final second: initially, Max Verstappen seemed to have secured pole postion, but just before the end, Tom Blomqvist and then also Esteban Ocon came to the fore. Ed Jones from the United Arab Emirates was also among the top four for a while. Eventually, the Carlin driver only ended up tenth-fastest, but he was still happy about a successful comeback after an absence of several weeks due to injury.

Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam, 1:25.353 minutes), backed by the Ferrari Driver Academy, and British driver Jake Dennis (Carlin, 1:25.367 minutes) were classified fifth and sixth. Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:25.454 minutes), the only Austrian in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship field, ended up eighth from Swede Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:25.473 minutes).

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “I am very happy with this pole position. Qualifying was by no means easy, because almost every driver managed to improve lap after lap. Therefore, it was important to get the best lap at the end, which I managed to do. Now, we have to try to keep our margin in the points’ standings and a pole position certainly helps in doing so.”

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast