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.”


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


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.”


Rock singer set to rev up the volume at Croft Nostalgia Weekend

  • Rock great Brian Johnson to race Mini at popular retro-flavoured motoring festival
  • Return to his roots for AC/DC front man, who first witnessed motor racing at Croft in mid-1960s
  • Fifth Croft Nostalgia Weekend revving up to be best yet

As if there were not already enough compelling reasons to visit Croft Circuit’s Nostalgia Weekend (2-3 August) with its irresistible blend of fast cars, wheel-to-wheel racing, vintage music and dress and fabulous funfair, a special guest is now set to rev anticipation into overdrive.
Legendary AC/DC front man Brian Johnson is a late addition to the sparkling Nostalgia Weekend line-up. The man famous for such rock anthems as ‘Highway to Hell’, ‘Back in Black’, ‘Hells Bells’ and ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ will take to the circuit in the Historic Touring Cars class behind the wheel of a 1964 Mini Cooper that he purchased late last year after driving it in his television series ‘CARS THAT ROCK WITH BRIAN JOHNSON’.
A self-confessed ‘car nut’ whose first experience of high-octane action came at Croft when he went to watch an MG race at the North Yorkshire venue in the mid-1960s, the Florida-based Englishman – originally from Tyne and Wear – has been competing in historic events in the United States and Europe for the past couple of decades.
Brian has appeared as the ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ on cult BBC motoring show ‘Top Gear’ and sat top of the leaderboard for most of 2013. He also competed in the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona – finishing an eminently respectable 12th in the Daytona Prototype class in a Riley-BMW – and Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge.
In 2009, Johnson released automotive autobiography ‘Rockers and Rollers’, which includes a section on Croft. Having played a formative role in his motor sport intoxication, the singer admits it will be enjoyable to finally make his competitive bow at the North East’s premier circuit.
“I was 17-and-a-half when I got my first car – a Ford Popular, sit-up-and-beg style and with only three gears,” he recalls. “That August, I was in my home village of Dunston near Gateshead with not much to do, when somebody said there was racing on at Croft – so on a rainy day and with just one windscreen wiper on this Popular, myself and two friends headed down there. We drove straight past the lady on the gate because we couldn’t afford to buy tickets…
“Having got my initial taste of live motor racing at Croft, I jumped at the chance to race at the Nostalgia Weekend. I was recently one of the drivers in a Porsche 911 that finished first-in-class and 20th overall at the Le Mans Classic, but it’ll be quite a departure from that car’s big fat tyres and rear wing to the little Mini I’ll be driving this weekend!
“As a circuit, Croft is a complete step into the unknown for me and I’ve been told it’s quite a challenge, so I’m fully expecting a big learning curve and to get my backside royally kicked by the Nostalgia regulars! Hopefully, the test day beforehand will help me to get up to some kind of speed ahead of the racing – it should be a fun weekend and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Johnson continues to keep very busy and is hard at work recording a new album, preparing for an upcoming world tour and shooting a second series of his ‘CARS THAT ROCK’ TV documentary for Discovery’s Quest channel. Croft circuit manager Mike Cantelo revealed his delight that the rock icon has made the time to fit the well-attended Nostalgia Weekend into his packed schedule.
“Just when I didn’t think this year’s Nostalgia Weekend could possibly get any better, to receive a ‘phone call from Brian Johnson saying he plans to come along and compete was just incredible!” he enthused. “I was a bit star-struck, I must confess, and I reckon spectators will be more than a little in awe when they see a rock legend out on-track here at Croft this weekend.
“Brian is clearly a complete petrol-head, and I’m sure he will have a fantastic time not only racing his Mini in the Historic Touring Cars class, but also seeing some of the superb classic racing and non-racing machinery we’ll have here at the weekend. A tremendous addition to an already magnificent line-up!”
Tickets for Croft’s Nostalgia Weekend cost just £13 for Saturday entry, £18 for Sunday or £23 for a weekend pass and can be purchased on the gate. Accompanied children aged 15 and under go free.



“Winning this today, it honestly feels as good as the first. It sank in a lot quicker this one, so crossing the line today I knew what was going on a bit more and it’s like I could enjoy it immediately rather than it being delayed, it was awesome. To have to pass guys again to win the race, as I did in Canada, makes it a lot more satisfying, knowing that we did have a bit of a fight on our hands – you beauty! In this environment now I feel, I am a different driver and in a way a different person, a different sportsman than I was last year. I’ve got a lot more belief in myself and it’s cool, I definitely feel like I belong here now and I’ve got confidence; obviously we’ve converted two races into wins this year so far and I think that confidence is showing. I’ve got some friends from Australia here this weekend, so the plan was to always have a few drinks tonight, so I think we’ve got an excuse to now!”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A fantastic grand prix and the performance by Daniel today was truly sensational. Starting in wet conditions, he benefitted from being a little bit further back and being able to get in for slick tyres at the first safety car and then really managed to make his strategy work on the soft tyres through the next stages of the race. We knew we’d have to make a final stop, which would put us behind Alonso and Hamilton who were trying to get to the end. But he closed the gap down quickly and then, with some fantastic overtaking manoeuvres in the last five laps, pulled off a dramatic victory to achieve the second in his career and our second this season. Sebastian’s afternoon was much more frustrating. Unfortunately, after a good start and some good battles, he got the call at the same time as Daniel to pit after the Caterham had an accident, but was too far round the last corner to make it into the pit lane. He then had to stop under the safety car which meant he lost some places. He was making progress but then had the spin and managed to avoid the pit wall, but he flat spotted his tyres and then had a problem at the restart. It was then a question of damage limitation, trying to run the hard tyres to the end of the race and he did a phenomenal job to keep Bottas behind him.”

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