F1Weekly podcast #669

Clark and Nasir wrap up another great Formula One season and great news for our friends at Peugeot!


Potrero de los Funes, San Luis; 30 November 2014. The Argentine Super TC 2000 Championship came to an end, and Peugeot was crowned with the three disputed championships: Drivers, Teams and Brands. Stunning claws and heart showed the Lion that led by Nestor “Bebu” Girolami managed to lift its second crown in the category, after the feat achieved by Juan Maria Traverso that 12 November 1995 aboard his Peugeot 405. Regarding the 12th round of the championship played at the International Circuit of Potrero de los Funes and in a final without the series, where the classification had taken place last Thursday 27, #PeugeotLoJackTeam made history through the work of Ulises Armellini.

The difference in points with which Girolami came to the event over Leonel Pernia, the second, kept him calm all weekend because finishing within the 1st to 10th position inclusive, would make the driver from Isla Verde be the champion. And that happened. After an intense and demanding race, locked at times due to the safety car interruption, the strategy proposed by the DTA went smoothly, “Bebu” knew how to care for the integrity of his 408, arriving in seventh place (after he would be fourth because of the exclusions) and became the fair winner of the title in the 2014’s season. Agustin Canapino, the other lion that came with concrete chances of winning, made it clear that the development of his car was the right one, showing competitiveness during the 21 laps. The driver form Arrecifes came to climb from the 8th step up to podium position, but was eventually excluded by the CDA due to the repetition of dangerous manoeuvres on the cars of Leonel Pernia (Fluence) and Mariano Werner (Linea). Meanwhile, in his farewell from #PeugeotLoJackTeam, Julian Santero started from the fourteenth place, fighting at times for the tenth position with Matias Rossi (Corolla), but on the last lap, he received a blow from Norberto Fontana (Cruze) that let him relegated and ended fifteenth. image


The professionalism, dedication, commitment and confidence are just some of the adjectives that back “Bebu’s” career and the numbers throughout the season speak for themselves: Three wins (200 km of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe street track day and night races), four pole positions, five podium finishes and four lap records (Buenos Aires, Santa Fe day and night races and San Juan). This 25-year-old youth became the 34th winner of the category (including TC 2000 and STC 2000). The Team Championship was also in dispute last Sunday, and remained at home for the French team; the #PeugeotLoJackTeam was “Number 1″ with 426 points. With these achievements, Peugeot Sport Argentina fulfilled the goal set at the start of the racing year being absolutely satisfied with the work done by each member of the DTA team.

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Sahara Force India to use Toyota Motorsport GmbH Wind Tunnel

Sahara Force India is pleased to announce that it will use the wind tunnel facilities of Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany, as the nominated site for all aerodynamic testing in 2015 and beyond.
Sahara Force India’s wind tunnel facilities in Brackley, United Kingdom, will remain operational and available for external customers.
Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “The decision to use Toyota’s facility in Cologne is indicative of our ambitions to continue as a competitive force in Formula One. It’s one of the most significant decisions in our history and gives us access to what is regarded as one of the finest wind tunnels in the world. We have used the facility previously on an ad hoc basis and we are aware of the advantages of basing all our aerodynamic research in Cologne. It will strengthen our approach and give us a solid base to build upon for the years to come.”


FIA WEC – Davide Rigon ends the season with podium and Constructors’ title for Ferrari

Memorable season final for Davide Rigon, paired with team-mate James Calado and AF Corse. After the Six Hours of São Paulo, scene of World Endurance Championship’s last round, a stunning jackpot is now completed, thanks to Ferrari’s victory of Constructors’ title, after Team and Drivers’ titles (of the team-mates Bruni-Vilander ), already celebrated in Sakhir, one race in advance.

On the demanding track of Interlagos, the 27-year-old Venetian driver together with all Amato Ferrari’s staff have shown up on track with the only goal to give Maranello team’s hands the title of GT Constructors. The win came at the end of a sensational race, finished with the safety car, because of a terrible accident that involved the Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 of Webber and Ferrari #90. Davide has ended his first season as Ferrari official driver in FIA World Endurance Championship with a fourth consecutive podium – the fifth of season – bringing the Ferrari 458 LMGTE-Pro number 71 in third place and ahead of the team-mates. “It’s been an incredible weekend. We had the Constructors’ title for Ferrari GT as the only goal. Together with this goal, also the last podium of the season is arrived, at the end of a tight race“, Davide Rigon says. “I’ve always liked a lot Interlagos circuit, because it’s old-style, with a good mix of elements. We knew we had worked well and that the title would be within our reach. It’s the perfect end of an exciting season. I have to congratulate all the mechanics and engineers of AF Corse and, above all, Ferrari. Celebrating such an important victory on a world stage with the colours of the Prancing Horse is sensational, unique”, Rigon concludes.

Perfect end of the season for Davide, AF Corse and Ferrari, and I send them my most sincere congratulations for scoring the perfect hat trick of world championship. Winning Constructors’, Team and Drivers’ titles in such a selective and important contest as FIA WEC championship is really incredible. And they have succeeded”, the manager Giovanni Minardi says. “Racing on tracks already known, Davide has been able to give his best, bringing his contribution. Five podiums, including four in the last four rounds, are an important reward. Victory missed, but, thanks to the experience gained this year, it will be the goal of 2015”.

Next Saturday, December 6th Davide will fly to the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit, in Abu Dhabi, in order to attend Ferrari World Finals.


Rubens Barrichello Wins Stock Car Title in Brazil

Former Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello has won his first stock car title in Brazil.

The 42-year-old Brazilian finished third in Sunday’s season-ending race in Curitiba to secure the title in his second full season in the series. Barrichello finished eighth in the drivers’ standings last season.

It was Barrichello’s first title since he won the British Formula 3 championship in 1991.

The Brazilian driver ended his F1 career after the 2011 season and raced in the IndyCar Series in 2012.

Barrichello raced for a record 19 years in F1, finishing second in the drivers’ championship in 2002 and 2004 with Ferrari, both times behind seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.

Barrichello won 11 races in F1 and holds the record for most starts with 322.



After a superb fightback and a nail-biting finale, Khalid Al Qassimi and Chris Patterson won the Dubai International Rally in their DS3 RRC.

- Ten years after his first MERC title, the Abu Dhabi driver wins the FIA Middle East Rally Championship* again.

- The DS3s completed a clean sweep in Dubai, as Mohamed Al Sahlawi secured victories in the 2WD and Junior categories.

The quickest driver on the stages on day one, Khalid Al Qassimi nonetheless ended the first leg in second overall after being handed a penalty for a false start. With a deficit of 6.8s to make up on the leader, the DS3 RRC driver was determined to go after the win that would secure him the MERC title.

The day’s leg featured three stages, each run twice. As some sections has been used in the opposite direction on the opening day, the sandy roads winding through the Emirati desert had broken up significantly.

Despite pushing hard all the way and setting the fastest time on SS8, the first loop didn’t go quite according to plan for Sheikh Khalid, who lost a few seconds to the leader. The gap edged above the ten-second mark, but Khalid’s hopes remained intact: “The changes we made to the set-up yesterday evening moved us in the right direction, but I feel that I still lack a bit of traction. I know when and how I am losing time! But the engineers are very resourceful and we are going to keep working on the set-up. I hope that will help me to make up the time. Everything is still possible: there are still three long stages to go.”

And indeed, on SS10, the DS3 RRC was some 6.1s faster than its rivals. On the following test, Khalid Al Qassimi claimed another stage win to grab the overall lead by just four tenths! And so, more than ever, it would all come down to the final stage of the season! At the end of Mileiha, a 26km-long stage, the tension was incredible. In spite of a slow puncture, Khalid and Chris set the second fastest time on the stage, a tenth off the lead pace. It didn’t take long to do the maths: the rally and the title had been won by just 3/10ths of a second!

“We did the right thing in refusing to give up. With everyone in the team, we have battled hard for this result,” emphasized a delighted and emotional Sheikh Khalid at the finish. “It’s a fantastic result for Citroën, which wins this international rally title for the first time. With each rally, we have improved and adapted the DS3 RRC to the specifics of the Middle East. This weekend, once again we made a great deal of progress and that excites me, looking ahead. It has also been a great occasion for the United Arab Emirates, a few days before celebrations of our national day begin. I really wanted to win, both for the team and for my country.”

The 2WD (two-wheel drive) standings were dominated by the DS3 R3s. Leader since the start of the rally, Mohamed Al Mutawaa lost two minutes after rolling his car on SS9. Mohamed Al Sahlawi inherited the lead before going on to claim his first win of the year, ahead of Al Mutawaa and Saeed Bintouq. Mansoor Bel Helei also made it to the end of this, the final round of the season.

“Congratulations to Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi for winning this title with flair,” added Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal. “It was also his first win with the DS3 RRC, and that is just rewards for the work that everyone has put into this project over the last two years. When Citroën Racing decided to enter the MERC, we knew that it would be a huge challenge, competing against drivers and teams that are experienced in this championship. With each rally, we have tried to get the absolute maximum out of the DS3 RRC, which is closely derived from the WRC. We’ll be looking to defend this title next year!”


Ghiotto quickest on final day in Yas Marina
Luca Ghiotto and Antonio Fuoco set the pace on third day of post-season testing

Trident’s Luca Ghiotto posted the fastest time on the third and final day of post-season testing at the Yas Marina circuit with a 1:55.134. Ferrari Academy driver Antonio Fuoco led the way in the morning session.
The test got underway in hazy and humid conditions. Riccardo Agostini returned to the paddock with his team Hilmer Motorsport and was first to lap in the 1m56’s. Ralph Boschung for Jenzer Motorsport lapped quicker to take the top spot before Mitch Gilbert (ART Grand Prix) dipped into the 1m55’s to go P1.
Agostini stopped on track early on which caused a brief halt to proceedings and when the action resumed, Boschung returned to the top of the standing. At the midway point of the session Fuoco put in a flier to end the session heading the timesheet with Spaniard Alex Palou a few tenths off in P2. There was a second red flag when Kourosh Khani stopped at turn 13 in the Hilmer Motorsport car.
At the chequered flag the session belonged to Fuoco. Palou, Boschung, Matt Parry, Gilbert, Alfonso Celis. Jr, Jimmy Eriksson, Seb Morris, Luca Ghiotto, Edward Jones and Jack Aitken completed the top ten.
After GP2 had run their first session of the day, GP3 returned to the track for their final track time of 2014. Fuoco again was an early pace-setter; before Matheo Tuscher led the way, but it was Fuoco who was first to dip into the 1m55’s in the afternoon. Eriksson and Jones also shot to P1 as the clock ticked down, with the merest of gaps separating their laptimes: 0.001s – with the Carlin driver having the edge.
Ghiotto lit up the timing screen to head to the top of the timings with Fuoco a tenth off and Tuscher two tenths off respectively. The chequered flag was waved marking the end of the test. Ghiotto led Fuoco, Tuscher, Jones, Eriksson and Boschung. Aitken, Palou and Gilbert rounded out the top ten.
The test session has brought the curtain down on the 2014 GP3 Series Season, dates for pre-season testing and the calendar will be unveiled in due course.

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