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WTCC


CITROËN’S MA QING HUA MAKES MOTORSPORT HISTORY!

wtcc20140608063- With a magnificent performance at the Moscow Raceway, Ma Qing Hua has made history as the first Chinese driver to win an FIA World Championship race.
– José-María López was the other star of the day’s proceedings, winning race 1 after starting from pole.
– Sébastien Loeb and Yvan Muller also enjoyed podium success at the Russian circuit. At the end of the weekend, the overall standings remain unchanged, with López leading from Muller and Loeb.

The first race got underway at the very start of the afternoon, in splendid sunshine. Starting from pole position, José-María López took the right options and succeeded in holding off Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro to reach the first corner in front. After Tarquini and Monteiro collided, Citroën’s Argentine driver emerged as the leader, with Tarquini and Loeb in hot pursuit. Back in fifth place, Yvan Muller wasted no time in moving past Tiago Monteiro. The two drivers continued to battle it out, a tussle that benefited Tom Chilton.

Out in the lead, José-María López managed to open up a gap of a few lengths, going on to record his fourth race win of the season. Despite always being on the lookout for the slightest opportunity, Sébastien Loeb eventually had to settle for third place, behind Tarquini. Yvan Muller reclaimed fourth spot by overtaking Chilton on the last lap. In his first FIA WTCC appearance, Ma Qing Hua kept pace with the best, finishing in sixth place after overtaking Norbert Michelisz and then Tiago Monteiro.

As soon as the podium ceremony was over, the mechanics set about preparing the cars for race 2, which was scheduled straight after the first. José-María López was left stranded on the grid due to a problem with his gear shift. Despite starting from the front row, Ma Qing Hua reached the first corner in third place, behind Valente and Michelisz. Yvan Muller got off to an excellent start, but went into a spin after he was hit by another driver. The four-time World Champion ended lap 1 in ninth position, just behind Sébastien Loeb.

Very quickly, a battle developed between Michelisz and Ma. The two drivers regularly found themselves door-to-door, before the Citroën man pulled ahead for good just before the halfway mark. At that point, Valente was serving a ‘drive through’ penalty, as his wheels had not been fitted in time on the grid.

The race was just as exciting in the chasing pack, with Yvan Muller producing a remarkable recovery. The driver of C-Elysée WTCC n°1 made his way through the field into second place, just behind Ma Qing Hua. The Chinese driver held off the veteran with aplomb, and was the first man to the finish!

After seeing off Gianni Morbidelli, Sébastien Loeb also made progress through the pack. He snatched fifth place from Michelisz at the last corner.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

Yves Matton, Team Principal, Citroën Racing: “I think the races at the Moscow Raceway were particularly captivating for the crowd, with plenty of hard- and fairly-fought battles. Before the season started, I set the team the target of all our drivers winning a race. We have now met that challenge, with Ma Qing Hua adding his name to the list of winners. The first win by a Chinese driver in an FIA World Championship race is an historic moment, which is likely to boost China’s interest in motorsport in general and in WTCC in particular. This has been a really positive weekend for us, with all four of our drivers producing solid performances, and all of them making it onto the podium.”

José-María López: “Even after starting from pole position, I didn’t feel comfortable, as I knew that the Civics would make a strong start. Once again, I didn’t get away brilliantly, but I managed to cling on to the lead. I then attacked hard to pull away. It’s always satisfying to win a race like that, when you are rewarded for a good performance. I wasn’t quite as successful in race 2, but that happens. I’ll leave Moscow with the same lead in the championship standings, so it’s been a positive weekend for me.”

Ma Qing Hua: “First of all, I’d like to thank every member of the team, who did everything they could to help me make quick progress. It wasn’t easy arriving in the middle of the championship, and we’ve worked really hard to make sure I was up to the task. The races were pretty lively. I had to fight hard to move up the field, particularly to get past Norbert Michelisz. I hope that I can continue in the same vein in the future.”

Yvan Muller: “After a frustrating time in qualifying, I managed to limit the damage by scoring as many points as Pechito. It’s a shame I was hit by another driver at the start of race 2, as I could have won it. I came back at Ma at the end of the race, but I would have needed a few more laps to try and get past him.”

Sébastien Loeb: “I spent the first race on the tail of Gabriele Tarquini, but he just didn’t slip up at all. So I ended up third, which is a good result. In race 2, I made a mistake and dirtied my tyres, but I attacked hard to recover. Fifth place isn’t the ideal result, but it does earn me some valuable points.”

CLASSIFICATIONS

RACE 1
1. José-María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
2. Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic WTCC)
3. Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
4. Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
5. Tom Chilton (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1)
6. Ma Qing Hua (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
7. Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic WTCC)
8. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1)
9. Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC)
10. Rob Huff (Lada Granta 1.6T)
FL: José-María López – 1:40.148

RACE 2
1. Ma Qing Hua (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
2. Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
3. Mehdi Bennani (Honda Civic WTCC)
4. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1)
5. Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
6. Tom Chilton (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1)
7. Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC)
8. Gianni Morbidelli (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1)
9. Hugo Valente (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1)
10. René Munnich (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1)
FL: Hugo Valente – 1:40.742

DRIVERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1. José-María López 209 pts
2. Yvan Muller 168 pts
3. Sébastien Loeb 161 pts
4. Tiago Monteiro 105 pts
5. Gabriele Tarquini 96 pts
12. Ma Qing Hua 33 pts

MANUFACTURERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Citroën Total 502 pts
2. Honda 333 pts
3. Lada 165 pts

Nico Rosberg Canada 2014

Formula 1


2014 CANADIAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton took first and second place respectively in qualifying for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix.

– Today’s result gives the team its seventh pole position and fourth front row lock-out of the season
– The result also gives the team a third consecutive one-two in qualifying after the Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix
– Nico claimed his third pole position of the season, edging his team-mate by just 0.079 seconds
– This marks the 24th pole position for the Silver Arrows in Formula One

Nico Rosberg

It´s been a great weekend so far and I´m really pleased with how I have been able to improve my set-up from session to session. Even before Qualifying we made some quite big changes and they worked out perfectly. So I am very happy with starting from pole tomorrow. That was very important as there aren´t many opportunities to overtake here, particularly if you are in the same car. I think it will be a battle between the two of us out there tomorrow as the gap to the other cars was quite big in Qualifying today and also on our long runs on Friday were strong. This is a such a good track here in Montreal and the fans create a special atmosphere so I hope we can put on a great race tomorrow for them.

Lewis Hamilton

Nico did a fantastic lap but it wasn’t the greatest qualifying session for me because I went wide a couple of times on my lap, in turns six and eight. It was very close, with just eight hundredths of a second in it, but Nico did the better job this afternoon. It’s great for the team that we have a one-two on the grid but I am expecting it to be a tough race: it’s not that easy to overtake here, especially in the same car and with Nico being so close on pace. I will do what I can tomorrow and we will be trying to score as many points as we can. I also want to say something about this amazing weekend in Canada. It’s one of the best races of the year, especially because of the fantastic fans who make the atmosphere something special. We love coming here and I hope we can put on a great race tomorrow.

Toto Wolff

It was a really exciting qualifying session, seeing how closely the two drivers were matching each other all the way through. They are pushing each other so hard and, between every part of qualifying, they were looking at overlays of their laps, checking the data and trying to find every little advantage. Nico delivered a perfect Q3 and actually did two laps fast enough for pole position. Lewis lost some time in the middle sector of his final lap and finished less than a tenth behind, which just goes to show there is no room for error when two drivers are fighting on such a high level. It feels like the other teams will give us a hard run tomorrow so it won’t be an easy race. But the priority, like always, is to make sure a Silver Arrow wins.

Paddy Lowe

That was another very close qualifying between Nico and Lewis. They were pushing each other right the way through each of the three sessions but, in the end, Nico put together better laps in Q3 and took pole by just eight hundredths of a second. It was great to get another all-Mercedes front row and to have both drivers performing at such a high level. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we’re hoping for dry weather and looking to get through what is always a very tough race. Tyres, brakes and managing fuel consumption will be the big challenges.

wtcc20140607068

WTCC


MOSCOW RACEWAY (07-08 JUNE 2014) – QUALIFYING
LÓPEZ STAMPS HIS AUTHORITY

FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 - MOSCOW RACEWAY- José-María López, who has led the FIA WTCC standings all season, picked up his second pole position of the year at the Moscow Raceway.
– Sébastien Loeb also made it into the top 5, clocking the fourth-fastest time. Yvan Muller, meanwhile, will start race 1 from sixth on the grid after narrowly missing out on a place in Q3.
– In his first FIA WTCC outing, Ma Qing Hua kept improving throughout the day. After recording the ninth-fastest time in qualifying, the Chinese driver will start race 2 from the front row of the grid.

Unlike at previous meetings, the drivers only had one hour of free practice to get to grips with the track. Yvan Muller used his experience from last year to clock the fastest time in each of the two sessions. Most of the drivers were sorely lacking grip and there was plenty of slipping and sliding at the most challenging corners of the Russian circuit.

It didn’t look like there was any prospect of conditions improving, after a thunderstorm soaked the track an hour before qualifying was due to start. But the sun came back out so quickly that the track was dry by the time Q1 got underway. By the end of the first twenty minutes, the four Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs had all won a place in Q2 by making it into the top 12.

The second session was much more closely-contested. José-María López clocked the best time, 4 hundredths of a second ahead of Gabriele Tarquini. Sébastien Loeb also secured a spot in Q3, with the third-fastest time. Yvan Muller, however, made a few minor errors, struggling to get a clear lap in. He was in fifth place with just a few seconds to go, but Tiago Monteiro ousted him at the last! After finishing the session in 9th place, Ma Qing Hua has secured himself an excellent starting position for race 2: the driver of C-Elysée WTCC n°33 will start from the front row.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

Yves Matton, Team Principal, Citroën Racing: “Race after race, we are seeing qualifying get closer and closer. Today, more than ever, you really had to produce a perfect lap to win pole position, and that’s what Pechito López did. Sébastien Loeb, meanwhile, didn’t have a good Q3 and was pushed back into fourth place. Unfortunately, Yvan Muller wasn’t able to make it through to the final qualifying session, but he did enough to give himself a chance of points in both races. The other thing I’m really happy about is the performance of Ma Qing Hua. He kept on getting better and he can set his sights on a podium spot in race 2.”

José-María López: “I didn’t expect to find myself in pole position, particularly after free practice! I was a little bit nervous, because this is a very demanding circuit and I don’t know all the ins and outs of it yet. There are some corners where it is hard to judge how the car is going to handle. I made progress by looking at the data from my teammates and I felt like I made a real breakthrough at the start of Q1. We all work together and we share information openly.”

Sébastien Loeb: “The car was sensitive to drive and I tried to attack too much. In Q3, I think I must have made at least one error per corner! I could definitely have done better, but it’s still a creditable result.”

Yvan Muller: “What can I say? I’m annoyed with myself! I made two little mistakes at the start of Q2 and I didn’t manage to clock a convincing time. My tyres were gone, but I carried on to make sure I got a top-ten time. Then Tiago Monteiro produced a great lap and snatched 5th place off me. That’s racing…”

Ma Qing Hua: “It was a good start for me in my first race with Citroën Racing. The conditions changed a lot from one session to the next. I think that is particularly difficult for me due to my lack of experience. I ran into a lot of traffic in Q2. Without that, I could have done better. But I’m in a good position for race 2, so it’s a positive result.”

QUALIFYING RESULTS
1. José-María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) 1’38’’651
2. Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic WTCC) 1’38’’877
3. Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic WTCC) 1’39’’166
4. Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) 1’39’’580
5. Tom Chilton (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) 1’39’’698
6. Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
7. Mehdi Bennani (Honda Civic WTCC)
8. Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC)
9. Ma Qing Hua (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
10. Hugo Valente (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1)

LCH Canada 2014

FORMULA 1


2014 CANADIAN GRAND PRIX – PRACTICE

The first practice sessions for the seventh race of the season took place today at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal.

– Lewis Hamilton set the best lap of the opening day, with Nico Rosberg posting the second fastest time
– Both sessions saw the Silver Arrows separated by less than two tenths of a second
– The threat of rain in the afternoon resulted in a higher than average quantity of laps being completed in the morning
– Both cars ran trouble-free, allowing the team to focus on set-up work for the weekend ahead

Lewis Hamilton

It felt pretty good out there today but we’ve still got improvements to make and there is more to come from the set-up and balance tomorrow. This is quite a technical circuit which is all about the kerbs and apexes; you have to have a car that reacts well to the bumps. You’re always trying to find the limit so we’re not quite where we want to be yet. The Ferraris looked quite close today and the rest of the field seemed closer in general but hopefully not too close! It’s very hard to overtake here so pole position is important. Nico looked very quick today as well so I have my work cut out for sure. We’ll find out everyone’s pace in qualifying tomorrow afternoon so let’s wait and see what happens.

Nico Rosberg

That was a great day and I felt very comfortable in my Silver Arrow. This morning, we worked on some different things with the brakes which didn’t quite work out so we had to change that this afternoon. It was much better for the second session so I’m quite happy now with that. But I’m still a tenth off the quickest time so I’ll work hard with our engineers tonight to find that extra pace. It’s a unique track here and it’s very difficult to hit the kerbs just right. It was also great to see so many spectators here already today and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.

Toto Wolff

It was an interesting day which threw up some surprising conclusions. One of our biggest jobs will be to analyse and understand why the option tyre didn’t perform as well on our car in comparison to the prime and also how to manage graining on the option during the race. It is a short lap here, which closes up the field anyway, but it feels like Ferrari might be pushing us harder this weekend. We will need to get every detail right to deliver our potential in the race, so there’s plenty of work still ahead of us this evening.

Paddy Lowe

Today we focused on doing our homework for the race, looking particularly at tyre performance and fuel consumption. This is one of the most challenging circuits of the season in terms of fuel consumption and how we best use the 100 kg race fuel allowance. The threat of rain meant we ran more laps than usual in the morning session, including some high fuel work, before a more normal afternoon of short and long runs on low and high fuel. The car ran fine but we seemed to struggle a little with the option tyre, which did not deliver as much lap time as we had expected. This may open up some interesting strategies for qualifying.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Barcelona, Spain

F1Weekly podcast # 656


Nasir and Clark have a fun discussion over the Grand Prix de Monaco, we have an outstanding Motorsports Mondial and of course 50 words from the F1W forum.

Here is an F1W bonus: Interview with Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg looks to extend his run of points finishes this weekend.
Nico, you’ve scored points in six out of six races in 2014. You must be pleased with that… 
It’s my best run of results in Formula One and I’m really enjoying the racing. I’ve said many times that consistency is our strength and we showed that again in Monaco with another fifth place. Monaco was not our strongest track, or our weakest track, but we still brought the car home for a great result.
What about those final laps in Monaco. How tough was it to hold on to fifth place?
It was such a hard race. There was pressure from behind and my tyres were gone. Just keeping the car out of the wall was difficult. So it was a big relief to keep Jenson behind. I was shouting over the radio when I crossed the finish line because it was such a satisfying result for everyone in the team.
Looking ahead to Montreal what are your expectations?
It’s difficult to say how we will perform in Montreal. In theory it should be one of the better tracks for us, but things change from race to race. It’s good that we have the soft and supersoft tyres again because I think the softer tyres are more suited to our car. As an overall event the Canadian Grand Prix is one of my favourites because of the buzz around the city and the unusual track. To get a quick lap you need good top speed, a car that can attack the curbs and you also have to be brave enough to get close to the walls.

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LEMANS

LE MANS



FERNANDO ALONSO TO START 24 HEURE DU MANS

A little over a week remains until the start of this year’s 24 Heures du Mans. Last weekend’s test day on the 13.629km Circuit de la Sarthe enabled most of the 56 competing teams to hone their preparations for motor sport’s most famous endurance race.

No 24 Heures du Mans is ever banal, but this year’s 82nd edition promises to be particularly engrossing. First and foremost, the quest for supremacy in LM P1 has reached fever pitch with a wide open three way battle forecast. Defending champion Audi, despite an impressive three car roster including Loïc Duval, Marcel Fässler and record nine-time winner, Rolex Testimonee Tom Kristensen, will face a stringent title defence owing to the determined challenges of rival manufacturers and drivers.

LEMANS13js_4302

Toyota has made an impressive start to the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship (winning both races in the lead up to Le Mans). During last weekend’s test day, Toyota also recorded the fastest lap time (set by Swiss driver Sébastien Buemi in 3:23.014) and its two cars topped the time sheets. The signs are encouraging for a first win in LM P1 by the Japanese manufacturer. The return of Porsche, after a 16-year absence from the prototype class, has also grabbed its share of headlines. At the test day, Porsche’s best-placed car finished fifth – behind the two Toyotas and Audi cars #1 and #3.

Each of the three manufacturers has selected a different technical approach for the 2014 race from choice of engine and fuel to aerodynamic package. Engineers have been given a creative licence to find the winning solution, taking into account the nature of the race which includes moments of dense traffic, changeable weather conditions and seven hours of night-time driving.

One factor all nine LM P1 teams face is the new regulations governing fuel efficiency. Teams are required to consume 30% less fuel than in the past, a measure which adds a new layer of intrigue to the race and has been embraced by engineers and drivers alike. “30 per cent is a big gain we have to achieve so we try to find a little bit everywhere: on our driving, the engine and the aerodynamics,” explained Toyota driver Nicolas Lapierre, part of the fastest team on test day. “We have to look at all of the data and try and understand where we can save a little bit more fuel.”  

Eighteen cars will contest the LM P2 class, 28 in the GTE classes; nine in Pro, 19 in Amateur. 168 drivers from nearly 30 countries will take part. France is the most represented country (37 drivers), followed by the United Kingdom (27) and the United States (18). The LM P1 class contains eight former race winners.

The 15:00 CEST start on Saturday 14 June will be conducted by two legends of the sport. Recently retired Allan McNish, three-time winner of the race, will serve as Grand Marshal while Fernando Alonso, two-time Formula 1 world champion, will have the honour of unfurling the tricolour start flag.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans was founded and is organised by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). Rolex has been Official Timepiece since 2001.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast