FORMULA E

Antonio Felix da Costa wins eventful Buenos Aires ePrix

Antonio Felix da Costa clinched victory in an action-packed Buenos Aires ePrix ahead of e.dams-Renault’s Nicolas Prost and China Racing’s Nelson Piquet Jr.

The Amlin Aguri driver kept clear of trouble and slowly made his way into the lead as his rivals fell by the wayside. Both polesitter Sebastien Buemi and championship leader Lucas di Grassi retired with suspension failures at the fast Turn 8 and 9 chicane.

Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld looked favourite to win in the closing stages but a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane scuppered his chances.

Da Costa, who missed the opening round in Beijing, progressed up the field from eighth on the grid to collect the full 25 points.

Prost managed to steer clear of the battle between Daniel Abt and Jaime Alguersuari in the closing stages, an over-optimistic move by the Audi Sport ABT driver sent the Spaniard into a spin. Abt was out on the spot, but Alguersuari managed to limp his car home in fourth.

Piquet picked up his second consecutive podium despite being held behind the red light and losing a lap in the pitlane during the safety car period.

The Qualcomm Safety Car was deployed after Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandhok also fell victim to broken rear suspension at the Turn 8 and 9 chicane. Piquet wasn’t the only driver to be effected by the confusion as a number of drivers had to pass the safety car to unlap themselves.

Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was part of the lead group but he picked up a drive-through penalty for ignoring the pit exit lights.

Bruno Senna, who was one of the FanBoost winners, finished fifth ahead of a feisty Jean-Eric Vergne who damaged his nosecone in the fight for the final podium spot.

Da Costa’s team-mate Salvador Duran clinched four points in eighth ahead of Heidfeld in ninth. Dragon Racing’s Oriol Servia rounded out the top-10 positions while Formula E debutant Marco Andretti came home in 13th place.

Before the race all the drivers, teams and the Formula E Championship together with the City of Buenos Aires, Argentinean authorities and the FIA President Jean Todt gathered on the grid for a minute silence to pay respect to the victims of the dramatic terrorist attack which happened in Paris earlier this week.

The race attracted a sell-out crowd of around 20,000 who also witnessed the first round of the Formula E School Series, which was won by Lucas Gambante representing the Antonio Bermejo school.

FIA Formula E Championship – Buenos Aires ePrix (Rd 4) – Race results:

1. Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Aguri, 48:52.100
2. Nicolas Prost, e.dams-Renault, +5.354s
3. Nelson Piquet Jr, China Racing, +8.552s
4. Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing, +11.148s
5. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, +11.535s
6. Jean-Eric Vergne, Andretti, +11.535s
7. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, +13.617s
8. Salvador Duran, Amlin Aguri, +14.724s
9. Nick Heidfeld, Venturi, +15.464s
10. Oriol Servia, Dragon Racing, +19.334s
11. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, +28.973s
12. Ho-Pin Tung, China Racing, +37.858s
13. Marco Andretti, Andretti,+1 lap
14. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT, +2 laps
15. Jerome d’Ambrosio, Dragon Racing, +2 laps
16. Jarno Trulli, Trulli, DNF
17. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT, DNF
18. Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault, DNF
19. Michela Cerruti, Trulli, DNF
20. Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing, DNF

FORMULA 5000

F5000 Drivers Association Race Schedule Announced

 Rochester, MI — The Formula 5000 Drivers Association has announced its 2015 Revival Races schedule. Continuing on the success of prior years, this four-race series will be held at tracks in Wisconsin, California and Texas from July through November.

Above: The Formula 5000 Drivers Association’s 2015 Revival Races schedule will include Wisconsin’s Road America, two events at Laguna Seca in California, and a grand finale at the Circuit of the Americas in little ol’ Texas. Some 40 cars are expected at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

(photo: The Formula 5000 Registry).

The highlight of the series is participation at the 2015 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “With an expected grid of more than 40 Formula 5000 race cars coming from Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand and various regions of the US, we look forward to some excellent racing and giving fans a great show,” said F5000 Drivers Association president Seb Coppola.

Coppola noted that such a large group of F5000 cars has not competed at Laguna Seca in 40 years. The last professional F5000 race there happened on October 12, 1975. Mario Andretti won it in a Lola T332 now owned by Zak Brown, who plans to race it at Laguna.

Race dates and venues include:

July 16-19

The Hawk with Brian Redman at Road America

August 8-9

Monterey Pre-Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

August 13-16

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

November 4-8

SVRA Vintage National Championship at Circuit of the Americas

The U.S. Formula 5000 Drivers Association was established to promote the restoration, presentation, registration and racing of historic Formula 5000 racecars. The Association organizes vintage racing events and other activities for its members, and also manages a registry of Formula 5000 cars.

Find out more at www.F5000Registry.com.

DAKAR

 WALKNER ON A CHARGE AND TERRANOVA DOES IT AGAIN!

Chilecito, the January 6th, 2015

Being a debutant does not necessarily mean being slow. In any case, KTM Matthias Walkner gave a fine demonstration of speed to pick up his first stage victory on the Dakar, whilst in the car category Orlando Terranova enjoyed his second success in two days.

After finishing eighth on his very first special on the Dakar, then 6th on the longest special of this year’s edition between Villa Carlos Paz and San Juan, Matthias Walkner decided to take the quickest route to his first stage victory on the Dakar. The Austrian three times MX1-MX3 world champion was in the leading trio at CP2 before going into overdrive, leaving the discipline’s specialists in his wake and writing the first entry on his roll of honour for the King of all rallies at the finish in Chilecito. This performance puts him definitively among the riders to keep an eye on, whilst Marc Coma is being closely watched by all his rivals. After losing more than ten minutes the previous day, the title holder staged a comeback, finishing only 40 seconds behind Walkner.

More importantly, he gained one minute back on Joan Barreda who did not tempt fate and instead made sure of a solid third place to consolidate his leadership in the general standings. Toby Price finished fourth on the stage, to confirm the rookies’ good form, ahead of Barreda’s nearest rival in the general standings, Paulo Goncalves. Alain Duclos put in a fine performance at the end of the stage to put his Sherco in sixth place, whilst the rest of the French contingent is struggling, with in particular the 16th and 21st places of the Yamahas ridden by Michael Metge and Olivier Pain. Laia Sanz, the leading lady, enjoyed a noteworthy performance, finishing 17th on the day’s stage.

A regular occupier of the places of honour, today Lucas Bonetto accomplished his finest stage on a quad, having started in fifteenth position this morning. The Argentinean won in front of his home crowd thanks to a dazzling end to the special, after having trailed Sebastian Halpern at CP2 by three minutes, before beating him by 58 seconds at the finishing line. 2’14 behind the winner, Rafal Sonik took advantage of the mishaps suffered by Ignacio Casale to open up a lead in the general standings.

After crashing at the end of the special on Monday, Orlando Terranova had no intention of leaving his team-mate Nasser Al-Attiyah to effortlessly lead the rally. The Argentinean, who has good knowledge of the tracks in his region, produced a sterling effort in the second part of the special after having reached CP1 with a similar time to Giniel de Villiers and Al-Attiyah. In the end, he clawed back almost two minutes on the Toyota driver and more than four minutes on the Qatari general standings leader. This battle was joined by Alrajhi Yazeed who is taking part in his first Dakar and who now occupies a very impressive fifth place in the general standings.

As for the Peugeot team, Carlos Sainz seems to be getting the hang of the new car and improving in performance terms with the day’s fourth place, four minutes behind the day’s winner, even if the Spaniard is still far from being in an ideal position to battle for victory in Buenos Aires, trailing Al-Attiyah by almost 20 minutes in the general standings. Stéphane Peterhansel is also climbing back up the standings even if the Frenchman did lose almost ten minutes to Terranova today, whilst his former team-mate Nani Roma finally put his mishaps behind him with sixth place this Tuesday evening in Chilecito. Third in the general standings this morning, Bernhard Ten Brinke lost 30 minutes and drops down to 8th place.

6th on the first stage and then 3rd on the second, Airat Mardeev has continued his progression with a first stage victory on the Dakar 2015, enabling him to take the lead in the general standings. The Kamaz driver managed to open up a gap of almost two minutes over a second Kamaz driven by Andrey Karginov, the winner in 2014, and a gap of 4’30 over the ever consistent Gerard de Rooy. In the general standings, Mardeev now boasts a lead of eight minutes over his main rivals.

FORMULA 1

Jean-Pierre Beltoise has died at the age of 77

Ex F1 driver and Monaco Grand Prix winner Jean-Pierre Beltoise has died at the age of 77 after suffering two strokes.

A veteran of 87 grands prix between 1967 and 1974, Beltoise was a talented driver who made the transition from a successful motorcycling career to race cars at the age of 26. A nasty accident at Reims a year later broke his limbs in 16 places and resulted in him permanently losing some mobility in his left arm. Nevertheless, he was back on track a year later in 1965 and took the Formula 3 title for French team Matra.

He made his grand prix debut in 1966, winning the Formula 2 class at the German Grand Prix, and first competed in a Formula One car at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix, although failed to qualify. In 1968 he was signed up for a full season in F1 for Matra and scored a podium at the Dutch Grand Prix.

He stayed at Matra until 1971 when he was replaced as the No.1 driver by Chris Amon before having his racing licence suspended for six weeks after he was blamed for causing Ignazio Giunti’s fatal accident at the Buenos Aires 1000kms sports car race.

In 1972 he moved to BRM where he recorded the single win of his career in torrential conditions at Monaco, putting in a courageous and skilful drive in inferior machinery to take the British constructors’ final victory. However, it was the standout result in an otherwise underwhelming season as BRM struggled to produce a consistently competitive car. He remained in F1 as a race driver for another two years with BRM, scoring his final podium at the 1974 South African Grand Prix.

He later tested for Ligier in F1 but his competitive outings were limited to French touring cars, rallycross and ice racing.

DAKAR

Renault Duster Team already in the top 5 at Dakar Rally

The Renault Duster Team made a sensational start to the 2015 Dakar Rally. The Emiliano Spataro/Benjamín Lozada crew ended the first leg in fifth place, alongside some of the top specialists of the legendary off-road Rally, held in South America.

Emiliano Spataro and Benjamín Lozada produced a fantastic performance on Sunday’s opening leg of the 2015 Dakar Rally. Driving the Renault Duster entered by Renault Argentina, with the support of Renault Sport Technologies, the South American crew reached Villa Carlos Paz in sixth position, before gaining an extra place after a penalty was handed to Nasser Al-Attiyah. They therefore hold fifth place overall, less than minute behind the leader, Orlando Terranova, and only fourteen seconds adrift of second place, whilst also ending the leg ahead of some very accomplished drivers, such as former winners Carlos Sainz and Stéphane Peterhansel.

This is the best result recorded by the Renault Duster Team at this stage since its debut in 2013. Last year, José García and Mauricio Malano were ninth overall after the first leg.

García and Malano, in the second Renault Duster, also made a good start on Sunday in Argentina. However, held up by poor visibility and difficulties in overtaking the cars ahead of them on the road, they ended the first leg in 37th position, less than 14 minutes off the lead.

 

Overall standings after the first leg, Buenos Aires – Villa Carlos Paz – Dakar 2015

1. Terranova – Graue (Mini) 1:13:12

2. Gordon – Campbell (Hummer) +0:42

3. De Villiers – Von Zitzewitz +0:50

4. Holowicz – Panseri +0:54

5. Spataro – Lozada +0:56

37. García – Malano + 13:55

The two Renault Duster crews will resume their journey on Monday, heading from Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan, covering a total of 625 kilometres, with 518 kilometres of timed stages.

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