CALLUM LLOT QUICKEST ON DAY TWO AT VALLELUNGA
On the second day of the official FIA Formula 3 European Championship test at Vallelunga, Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:27.728 min) set the fastest lap time. Behind the Briton, Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark, 1:27.765 min) secured second position on the time sheets, followed by Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:27.859) and Alessio Lorandi (Carlin, 1:27.884min). The best rookie was Anthoine Hubert (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:27.962 min) who set the fifth-fastest lap time at the 4.085-kilometre long Autodromo Piero Taruffi.
Other than on the first, wet day of testing, teams and drivers had the chance of testing under blue skies, in brilliant sunshine. Ilott was the one to make the best use of the perfect conditions and consequently, nobody was able to set a faster lap time than him at the circuit located not far from Rome. “We were able to complete our scheduled programme, today and that was of major importance. The fact that I was the quickest in the end is nice but anything but crucial. The lap times only count in the first qualifying session of the season, at Le Castellet,” said Ilott.
Behind Ilott and Sérgio Sette Câmara, was the first FIA Formula 3 European Championship newcomer Pedro Piquet. The Brazilian who switched to the European series as two-time Brazilian Formula 3 Champion already familiarised himself well with the FIA Formula 3 EC. “For me, the biggest change is the fact that I have to very carefully warm up the tyres. In Brazil, we raced on very soft tyres that were at working temperature virtually right away. Apart from that, adapting wasn’t too difficult. Nonetheless, the level is clearly higher than in Brazil. The best Formula 3 drivers race in the FIA F3 European Championship and you quickly realise that this is the case.”
Right behind Piquet, Alessio Lorandi finished fourth, with Anthoine Hubert and Ryan Tveter (Carlin, 1:28.021 min) finishing fifth and sixth respectively. “Both my team and I learned quite a lot, today,” said local hero Lorandi who would love to be regarded as one of the favourites. “But we have to wait for the season kick-off at Le Castellet to find out if this really will be the case.” The positions seven to ten were secured by Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam, 1:28.022 min), Arjun Maini (ThreeBond with T-Sport, 1:28.085), Joel Eriksson (Motopark, 1:28.151) and Niko Kari (Motopark, 1:28.187).
CLARK AND NASIR HAVE MARCH MADNESS MEANING…FORMULA 1 TESTING IS HERE!!! OF COURSE WE HAVE MOTORSPORTS MONDIAL AND ANOTHER GREAT INTERVIEW THIS TIME WITH HARRY TINCKNELL…
Harry Tincknell is an official “factory” Nissan NISMO LM P1 FIA WEC race & development driver. In 2015, the young Briton made his LM P1 debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours and finished third in the five-race European Le Mans Series competing for JOTA Sport for a second consecutive year. Harry is one of the most exciting racing talents to come out of the UK in recent years.
Ambitious, fresh and undeniably talented, he is a mature, confident sportsman, extremely passionate about his driving career. Articulate and media-astute, Harry values his own ‘brand’ just as much as that of his sponsors and partners. He also not only produces results on track, but is at ease in front of the camera, delivering brand messages through interviews, product placement and other activities.
Harry Tincknell is a dedicated racer, training to a strict fitness programme, and playing sport to remain mentally sharp and physically alert. Harry also understands the complexities of modern racing and racecar engineering, in order to work successfully as part of a team and relay feedback productively to his engineers.
For a driver so young and with such a career ahead of him, Harry has an exceptional level of experience and knowledge. He is eloquent, expressive and as comfortable delivering off-track as he is behind the wheel.
LOEB GOES RALLYCROSS
Nine-time World Rally Champion, racing driver, and Dakar adventurer Sebastien Loeb will join Team Peugeot Hansen to contest a full season of the FIA World Rallycross Championship this season, which starts in Portugal on 15 April and ends up in Argentina on 27 November.
Loeb will be Timmy Hansen’s team mate in a two-car squad this year, driving the 550-horsepower 208 WRX Supercar: something of a contrast to the 350-horsepower 2008DKR beast that he drove through the pampas of South America in January, leading the Dakar on his first attempt until the halfway point of the epic 10,000-kilometre event.
Having racked up more rally championships and wins than any other driver, this latest move to rallycross confirms the 42-year-old driver’s status as the king of off-road driving.
“I’m very excited by this opportunity to participate in the full Rallycross Championship for the first time,” said Loeb.
“Over the years I have been fortunate to participate in some truly amazing racing, but rallycross – with the sheer power and the competiveness of the PEUGEOT 208 WRX, plus the intense nature of the competition – will be something very special. The car and the strategy for this type of racing is completely new to me, so I have a lot to learn, but I hope I can be competitive pretty soon.”
While Loeb (#9) will once more be a rookie compared to his teammate Hansen, he has already won the rallycross medal at the 2012 X-Games in California and also took part in his home round at Loheac, France, in 2013.
“Last season we proved that we had the potential to perform in the series with Hansen and Davy Jeanney,” said team principal Kenneth Hansen.
“By adding Loeb to the equation, we will be even stronger. Rallycross is one of the hardest disciplines to dominate, with no room for mistakes. Loeb has incredible capacity to adapt and I have no doubt that he will be a strong challenger.”
Hansen and Loeb will form a formidable line-up, with the aim of bringing home both the team and driver titles this year.
Hansen commented: “I’ve looked up to Sebastien Loeb throughout my entire life: I even met him once to get his autograph. So to work with him now is like a dream come true for me.
Before the start of the season, Sebastien and Timmy were put to the test in Hansen’s home country, over a challenging ice track on a frozen lake in Are, Sweden. Watch the team battle it out on this unique rallycross playground right here.
WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING TEST REPORT DAY THREE
Chassis / Engine: FW38-02 / PU106C Hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Weather: Warm and Dry
Maximum air & track temps: 19ºC / 25ºC
It has been another productive day. It was good to have Felipe in the car. We are all still learning, as is he. Valtteri has been at track to give us a hand and the drivers have been chatting about their feelings and it has been pretty positive. We have essentially been doing a lot of reliability work today. We did a race simulation with Felipe which we are quite pleased with and now we are pushing on with more performance work to end a fairly solid day. We had to finish slightly early due to an inlet system issue which we are investigating to make sure we are ready to continue our programme on the final day of the test tomorrow.
Today was a good day doing 109 laps, and spending time trying to understand the FW38 for the first time. It is always nice to drive the car and understand areas that are better than the old one, but also keep working on understanding what there is to improve in terms of set-up. There is definitely a lot to do to get the car where we want it but I had a good feeling, and I am sure we are just at the beginning of many improvements. At the very end of the day, unfortunately I had to stop due to an issue in the power unit. We couldn’t finish the programme but we were very close, missing only the final few laps.