SamBird

GP2


SamBird

Bird bags pole in Spa—

RUSSIAN TIME driver quickest in qualifying– 

Sam Bird is a happy man: the Brit was quickest in today’s qualification in Spa pocketing his first pole position of the season with a laptime of 1:56.957 set in the first ten minutes of the session. Fabio Leimer and James Calado completed the top 3.

The session opened under blue skies and on a dry track which meant all twenty-six drivers could put their Pirelli Soft tyres to the test of the Belgium track. Johnny Cecotto set the early pace, but Marcus Ericsson bettered the Venezuelan’s time to claim top spot. Calado improved as well and went four tenths quicker than the Swede. It was then Leimer’s turn to go fastest, one tenth better than the Brit 

However, Bird put his head down and found the extra pace to sit pretty at the top of the timing sheet with a laptime two tenths quicker than the Swiss. At the mid-session and as the drivers returned to the pits for a fresh pair of rubbers, Bird, Leimer and Calado were still top three ahead of Alexander Rossi and Jolyon Palmer. 

When the action resumed, Leimer improved slightly, but not enough to dethrone Bird who bagged pole at the chequered flag. Calado was unable to better his personal best and remained third. In the final stages of the session, Marcus Ericsson managed to move up to P4 ahead of Rossi. Nathanaël Berthon, Palmer Stéphane Richelmi, Sergio Canmasas (who will be dropped ten places following a grid penalty picked up in Budapest Sprint Race) and Felipe Nasr completed the top ten.

 

Spa-Francorchamps – Qualifying

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Sam Bird RUSSIAN TIME 1:56.957 9
2. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:57.156 9
3. James Calado ART Grand Prix 1:57.404 9
4. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1:57.538 9
5. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:57.578 11
6. Nathanaël Berthon Trident Racing 1:57.588 10
7. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1:57.691 9
8. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:57.802 10
9. Sergio Canamasas EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:57.804 11
10. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:57.839 10
11. Robin Frijns Hilmer Motorsport 1:57.881 10
12. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1:57.924 9
13. Tom Dillmann RUSSIAN TIME 1:57.950 10
14. Mitch Evans Arden International 1:58.271 11
15. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:58.384 11
16. Dani Clos MP Motorsport 1:58.385 11
17. Johnny Cecotto Arden International 1:58.419 10
18. Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax Team 1:58.463 10
19 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Hilmer Motorsport 1:58.534 8
20. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:58.618 10
21. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:58.789 9
22. Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:58.803 10
23. Vittorio Ghirelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:58.831 10
24. Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix 1:59.022 13
25. Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 1:59.253 10
26. Ricardo Teixeira Trident Racing 2:17.528 3

 

Conor Daly fastest in Free Practice in Belgium

GP3


Conor Daly fastest in Free Practice in Belgium

Daly sets the early pace in Spa-Francorchamps—
 
ART Grand Prix’s Conor Daly fastest in Free Practice in Belgium—
 
Following the four week break, GP3 Series returned to action at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium for Round 6 of the 2013 season. The 45 minute session got underway in warm temperatures with glorious blue skies at a circuit notorious for its changeable weather conditions. There is one change to the driver line-up for this weekend with Alexander Sims stepping in at Carlin to replace Eric Lichtenstein this weekend.
 
The ART Grand Prix duo of Jack Harvey and Facu Regalia led the que of 27 drivers onto the track as the field completed their first laps on scrubbed Pirelli tyres. Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas was first to clock a time in the 2m08s until Koiranen GP’s Kevin Korjus bettered his time by a mere 0.032s.
 
Finnish teammate Aaro Vainio broke into the 2m07s barrier and held P1 for a large chunk of the session. As the drivers returned to the pitlane for a new set of rubber, it was Dino Zamparelli who lit up the timing screens in purple and shot to P1, over one second faster than Vainio.
 
The times tumbled in the final ten minutes with Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer Motorsport) claiming top spot until Series leader Ellinas became the first driver to lap in the 2m05s to reclaim back P1. MW Arden’s Carlos Sainz flew to the top of the timesheets in the dying moments but the session was to belong to American ace Conor Daly who went a tenth faster with seconds remaining.
 
At the chequered flag the top ten finished as Daly, Sainz, Nick Yelloly (Carlin), Daniil Kvyat (MW Arden), Ellinas, Lewis Williamson (Bamboo Engineering), Sims, Regalia, Melville McKee (Bamboo Engineering) and David Fumanelli (Trident).
 
Qualifying takes place at 09.45 CET tomorrow morning, who will get the vital four points for pocketing pole and what will the weather bring, wait and see!
 
 
Free Practice
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Conor Daly
ART Grand Prix
2:05.341
13
2.
Carlos Sainz
MW Arden
2:05.461
13
3.
Nick Yelloly
Carlin
2:05.584
16
4.
Daniil Kvyat
MW Arden
2:05.618
14
5.
Tio Ellinas
Marussia Manor Racing
2:05.694
15
6.
Lewis Williamson
Bamboo Engineering
2:05.764
13
7.
Alexander Sims
Carlin
2:05.987
15
8.
Facu Regalia
ART Grand Prix
2:06.044
15
9.
Melville McKee
Bamboo Engineering
2:06.060
13
10.
David Fumanelli
Trident
2:06.158
15
11.
Alex Fontana
Jenzer Motorsport
2:06.167
17
12.
Patric Niederhauser
Jenzer Motorsport
2:06.206
15
13.
Dino Zamparelli
Marussia Manor Racing
2:06.490
13
14.
Adderly Fong
Status Grand Prix
2:06.593
17
15.
Jimmy Eriksson
Status Grand Prix
2:06.841
16
16.
Robert Visoiu
MW Arden
2:06.963
13
17.
Giovanni Venturini
Trident
2:06.982
15
18.
Josh Webster
Status Grand Prix
2:07.504
16
19.
Aaro Vainio
Koiranen GP
2:07.639
10
20.
Luis Sa Silva
Carlin
2:07.848
15
21.
Kevin Korjus
Koiranen GP
2:07.889
12
22.
Samin Gomez
Jenzer Motorsport
2:08.540
17
23.
Patrick Kujala
Koiranen GP
2:09.261
11
24.
Emanuele Zonzini
Trident
2:09.262
15
25.
Jack Harvey
ART Grand Prix
2:09.512
9
26.
Carmen Jorda
Bamboo Engineering
2:09.852
16
27.
Ryan Cullen
Marussia Manor Racing
2:11.925
14

 

Stefano Coletti leads the way in Spa

GP2


Stefano Coletti leads the way in Spa

Stefano Coletti leads the way in Spa—
 
Monegasque driver back on top in free practice—
 
GP2 Series leader Stefano Coletti set the quickest laptime of today’s free practice session in Spa-Francorchamps. In the dying minutes, the Monegasque driver edged James Calado out of the top spot with a time of 1:58.386, a shy five hundredths quicker than the Brit. Fabio Leimer completed the top three.
 
The 2013 GP2 season resumed this morning in Belgium after a four week summer break. The session opened in cool temperatures and on a drying track following morning-long drizzle. The twenty-six drivers fed to the track as the pitlane opened on the Hard compounds. Alexander Rossi was quick to set the early pace, but it was Robin Frijns who was the first driver to break under the 2min barrier. The Dutchman who is back at the wheel of the Hilmer car this weekend improved on Rossi’s laptime by nine tenths. Frijns went even quicker on his following attempt and lapped the 7.004km track in 1:59.126.
 
At mid-session, Leimer found some extra pace to set a laptime of 1:58.581, half a second quicker than Frijns. Calado was also on a mission and moved up to P2 but he was dropped to third after Stéphane Richelmi improved on the Brit’s laptime. With ten minutes left on the clock, Calado put his head down and claimed the top spot going one tenth quicker than the Swiss, but in the dying minutes Coletti was able to go even quicker and finished the session at the top of the timesheet.
 
Behind the top three, Tom Dillmann was once again quick and claimed fourth ahead of Frijns, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, Richelmi, Marcus Ericsson, Julian Lean and last race winner Nathanaël Berthon. The forecast expects that it should be dry for today’s qualifying session, but the weather is never predictable in the Ardennes…
 
Spa-Francorchamps – Free Practice
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
1:58.386
12
2.
James Calado
ART Grand Prix
1:58.445
10
3.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
1:58.581
11
4.
Tom Dillmann
RUSSIAN TIME
1:58.864
11
5.
Robin Frijns
Hilmer Motorsport
1:58.903
11
6.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Hilmer Motorsport
1:58.987
12
7.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:59.057
10
8.
Marcus Ericsson
DAMS
1:59.131
10
9.
Julian Leal
Racing Engineering
1:59.168
11
10.
Nathanaël Berthon
Trident Racing
1:59.201
12
11.
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:59.405
12
12.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:59.407
12
13.
Sam Bird
RUSSIAN TIME
1:59.447
12
14.
Sergio Canamasas
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:59.500
13
15.
Mitch Evans
Arden International
1:59.575
9
16.
Johnny Cecotto
Arden International
1:59.650
11
17.
Dani Clos
MP Motorsport
1:59.685
12
18.
Vittorio Ghirelli
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:59.748
12
19
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:59.753
10
20.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:59.891
11
21.
Jolyon Palmer
Carlin
2:00.162
12
22.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
2:00.278
11
23.
Daniel Abt
ART Grand Prix
2:00.290
9
24.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
2:00.375
11
25.
Rio Haryanto
Barwa Addax Team
2:00.407
11
26.
Ricardo Teixeira
Trident Racing
2:01.300
10

 

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powers his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3 WRC through the shakedown in Germany.

WRC


Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powers his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3 WRC through the shakedown in Germany.

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powers his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3 WRC through the shakedown in Germany.

AL QASSIMI RISES TO WRC CHALLENGE IN GERMANY-

 Emirati driver tackling stern test of adaptability in Abu Dhabi Citroën on return to action-

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 22nd August, 2013: After a difficult build-up to Rallye Deutschland, the UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi is facing a stern test of his adaptability this weekend in one of the most awkward rounds of the World Rally Championship. 

The ninth of 13 rounds in this year’s WRC series is also the first asphalt event of the season, and adding to the high degree of difficulty is the fact that the 371.92km of special stages spread over four days are run across three different types of sealed surfaces. 

“This is a very challenging event, and if your concentration drops for a moment it can catch you out,” said Al Qassimi, before leaving the ceremonial start in Cologne this afternoon (Thursday) alongside British co-driver Scott Martin in his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3. 

“You have to have to be able to adapt quickly as the surface changes from one section to another. At the same time, while there are some very fast sections, there are also some extremely narrow and difficult stages, so it’s going to be an interesting weekend.” 

The rally’s first two stages were following later, the second of these being run in darkness in front of a large part of the estimated 200,000 spectators who will follow the action up to the finish on Sunday afternoon. 

After initially fearing he would miss his first tarmac rally for almost two years because of a hand injury, Al Qassimi is hoping the expertise of the Citroën team has put his Abu Dhabi-branded DS3 in perfect shape for its maiden journey on asphalt, despite limited time this week for testing 

Following him some time later into yesterday’s shakedown over a 4.55km section between Konz and the municipality of Kommlingen was young Emirati driver Mohammed Al Mutawaa, making his WRC debut alongside Stephen McAuley in an Abu Dhabi Citroën DS3 R3 2WD.

 

Having won his big chance with Abu Dhabi Racing at a selection programme last November, Al Mutawaa is experiencing his first tarmac rally this weekend and wants to learn from every competitive kilometer.

 

Over the next three days Rallye Deutschland revolves around Trier, with 14 more Special Stages to be negotiated before the survivors reach the finish on Sunday. 

Williams F1

Formula 1



Williams F1

Q&A WITH PAT SYMONDS - 

Q: You have recently been appointed Chief Technical Officer of the Williams F1 Team – what does this new challenge entail?

Firstly, I think it’s a great team. The facilities are top class, we have a huge number of talented people and yet the results on the track are not a reflection of the quality we have. So I think my challenge is to analyse why this is happening, make the changes that are needed to empower the people and really get the focus in one direction: performance.

Q: What does it mean to you to join the Williams F1 Team?

Funnily enough I was reminded the other day, by a good friend, that many years ago when I was at Renault I was quoted as saying that the only other team in Formula One that I would work for was Williams. It’s taken me a long while to get here, but now I’m here I’m very happy to be.

I’ve been here in Grove for a couple of days now and the first thing that strikes me is how welcome I’ve been made. I’ve over 500 new names to learn and I need to learn my way around the place so it’s a bit like the first day at school!  I’m impressed by what I see though: the facilities are fantastic; I know a lot of the people are very good and I feel confident.

Q: What does it mean to now be working alongside Sir Frank Williams – who has previously been one of your biggest rivals?

Frank has always been a fierce competitor but one that always competes with a lot of honour and dignity. Sometimes I beat him, sometimes I lost to him but I always had the utmost respect for him. I’m really thrilled that now we can combine our efforts to beat our competitors.

Q: Looking back at your career – you have worked with many outstanding drivers – who has been the most interesting to work with so far?

The most interesting are not always the most outstanding and I’ve met many who were very interesting over the years! I’ve always enjoyed working with every driver in different ways. I’ve worked with many outstanding drivers from Senna, Schumacher, and Alonso but if I had to pick one, I do have a special place for Michael (Schumacher). He is obviously a super talent, he very much thinks like an engineer and yet he’s also a really great person, so I definitely have a soft spot for him.

Q: From what you have seen, what do you think about the team’s current driver line-up of Pastor Maldonado & Valtteri Bottas?

So far I have really only seen them from the outside. I was able to spend time with both of them on my second day at Grove and what I can see is that they are both extremely committed and determined to see the team progress. I’m looking forward to working together with them to achieve greater success. They strike me as intelligent and committed drivers so let’s give them some equipment to show their talent.

Q: Your 30 year Formula One career has seen you achieve success with some of the sport’s most accomplished teams and drivers. With 32 race wins, four Drivers’ World Championships and three Constructors’ World Championships – what would you say was your proudest achievement to date?

I always say my best race is my next one. I’m not really a person that tends to look backwards very much but if you ask me specifically then the mid-90s with Michael and mid-2000s with Fernando, where we had a lot of dominant wins, of course I’m proud of those achievements. But in a different vein, I’m equally proud of the non-racing aspects. The work I’ve done building up various teams and people. It’s nice to see some guys who worked with me when they were very young now in senior positions at various teams. I certainly enjoy the mentoring and development of people.

Q: What do you hope to bring to Williams and how do you think your working style can benefit the team?

My primary aim is to bring success back to the team and I will be very singular in my focus to achieve that. I want the people who are working with me to enjoy that success and be an integral part of bringing Williams back to where I think it should be. It will take time to analyse what is happening and improve things but it’s up to me to facilitate this process.

Q: Coming into the team at this stage, can you make a difference this season or will your focus be on next year?

There are developments going on for the remainder of this season. We have new parts coming to races as far out as Korea and beyond. They are not things I’ve had influence on but I can see them in the development programme. I hope we can look at some smaller details from the wind tunnel to improve things over the coming races and I’ll be looking at the operational side too. Fundamentality focus has to be much more towards 2014 as it’s an immensely difficult programme, the most difficult we have had to tackle for a long while. The FW36 is well underway and I think it’s important I get my influence onto that. However, my influence will be much more on process rather than detail, so I hope that pays off and leads to the sort of structure that can lead to on-going success for the team.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - British Grand Prix - Practice Day - Silverstone, England

Formula 1


Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - British Grand Prix - Practice Day - Silverstone, England

2013 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix Preview - 
 
Dr Mallya, despite a difficult couple of races the team remains fifth in the standings. What is the focus going forward?
We are approaching the second part of the year in the same way we approached the first half. We know the car is mechanically sound and the drivers have been happy with it, so we need to unleash its potential. Getting on top of the new tyres is certainly a challenge and an area we are focussed on, but it’s the same for everyone. With nine races to go and a close battle in the championship it’s vital that we are competitive on all tracks.
 
Do you feel confident that the team can recapture its form in time for Spa?
Tyres have played a very important role this year from race one onwards. We were on top of the tyre game up until Silverstone and then in Germany and Hungary we have struggled with the new tyres. We need to get on top of that and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to. We just need time and I’m quite optimistic that we will come back strong.
 
Spa is a track that always seems to suit this team. What are you expectations for the weekend?
Spa is a track that we love! As I have said, the car has to be competitive on all tracks, but if I concede that Hungary was not ideally suited to us, by the same token Spa and Monza have traditionally been our stronger tracks. So that gives me a little bit of a morale boost in saying that once we are on top of the game, we should restore our competitive position.
 
 
Paul on Spa
Paul Di Resta gets ready for the second half of the season.
 
Paul, how was your summer break?
It was very good! I had the chance to put in a bit of training, relax and spend time with my family and friends at home. It was important to make sure I come back stronger for this second part of the season. It’s going to be a very important period and I wanted to make sure I can face it in the best condition and with my batteries fully charged.
 
After some difficult races before the break, are you and the team ready to bounce back?
I don’t want to let this Championship get away from us. We started off really well and there is no reason why we can’t keep doing that. We have missed some opportunities lately and that allowed our rivals to close in, but I have faith in the team and I know everyone is working hard for the races ahead.
 
So are you confident for the second half of the season?
We need to get the car working for us like before. In Budapest it was difficult to drive, but sometimes you get those tough weekends. Since then we have regrouped and analysed the previous races properly and hopefully this weekend will be a fresh start. We usually do well in Belgium and everyone is determined to get back to the situation we had at the start of the year when we seemed to be punching above our weight.

Adrian on Spa
Adrian looks forward to his favourite race of the season.
 
Adrian, are you feeling refreshed from your summer break?
We travel so much during the year so it’s nice to have a quiet period to just stay at home and relax. I spent most of the time in Switzerland and did quite a lot of training. I’m coming back feeling fresh and ready for the big challenge we have in the second half of the season.
 
You always say that Spa is your favourite track so you must be looking forward to this weekend…
I think it’s the favourite for most drivers. It’s a real pleasure to drive there and I’ve had some good results. The high-speed corners are a really nice challenge and there are lots of overtaking opportunities. Plus, there is always the unknown of the weather and a good chance of rain.
 
How are you approaching this weekend?
It is important we regain the speed we showed earlier in the year. We are going towards some tracks that should suit our car better and it’s important that we get back to scoring points at every race. I am ready to do my part by taking the opportunities when they appear and helping the team move forward. I have good memories of Spa and I would like to add some more.

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