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BTCC



CROFT LAP RECORD SMASHED AS COLIN
TURKINGTON TAKES POLE

Five former champs in top five grid slots

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship leader Colin Turkington has obliterated his own qualifying lap record on his way to securing pole position for tomorrow’s opening encounter at Croft. The eBay Motors driver scored his sole BTCC pole position of 2013 at the Yorkshire venue and he repeated the trick in some style this time around.

Turkington tussled for top spot with the MG of Jason Plato and Honda Civic of Andrew Jordan in the early running, but things changed again after a mid-session stoppage, which was caused when the spinning VW of Alain Menu dislodged a stack of tyres.

Portadown-based Turkington was already heading the order but he went on to cement the position with seven minutes to go. A fastest first sector was followed by another in the mid-section of the circuit, and when the timing screens went purple for a third time Turkington’s breathtaking time of 1:23.246s was confirmed – more than 1.2s quicker than his 2013 effort.

Such is the development throughout the competitive BTCC field, combined with the new-for-2014 Dunlop tyre construction, that the top 13 drivers all dipped under last year’s lap record.

Plato took second just as Honda Yuasa Racing joined the battle after what had been a fairly anonymous Saturday for the team up to that point. Gordon Shedden pipped his team-mate Matt Neal by just over a tenth as the manufacturer-backed duo produced a second row lock out ahead of Jordan, making it five former champions in the top five positions.

Rob Collard continued his rich vein of form as he backed-up his two podiums at Oulton Park with an impressive sixth in qualifying here. Collard relegated FP2 pace-setter Sam Tordoff down to seventh by just 0.014s, who in turn shuffled the Mercedes of Adam Morgan into eighth. Morgan had actually looked set to produce a potential front-row lap earlier in the session but his effort was scuppered by the aforementioned red flag midway through his flyer.

Alain Menu and Rob Austin completed the top ten positions with the latter having to bounce back from two sizeable accidents in the earlier practice sessions. To make matters worse Austin also lost his initial fastest lap due to a track limit infringement, as did Aron Smith, who eventually had to settle for 11th.

The four Ford Focuses struggled throughout with Mat Jackson’s 15th being the highest placed ‘blue oval’ machine on tomorrow’s grid. Dave Newsham, Fabrizio Giovanardi and Jack Clarke could only manage 16th, 18th and 23rd respectively.
 

Colin Turkington said: “It was a really good lap, especially when you consider that I was carrying a passenger beside me in the form of success ballast,” enthused Turkington. “To be honest the weight hasn’t been much of an issue, our car is so well balanced that I can carry it and put it to the back of my mind. The guys in the eBay Motors team have given me a really good car – it’s getting faster at every race meeting and I’m really enjoying driving it at the moment.”

Jason Plato said: “That was the best I could do. We didn’t have the best run-ins for qualifying with the issues this morning which meant that we perhaps hadn’t quite built the perfect rhythm up. That said there’s no more than a tenth left on the table. It’s just the way it is – weight corrected we’re miles off the pace and with the package we’ve got that’s just how it is. With the BMW now 18 months into its development it’s reached the point where their package – weight distribution, longitudinal engine, rear-wheel drive etc makes it a better package. I’m just grumpy I’m not in a rear-wheel drive car – it’s going to be a case of racing for second tomorrow for us. That’s what happens when you get a great driver (Turkington) in a car with an advantage.”

Gordon Shedden said: “That was a cracking lap – when I saw the delta on the way round I had no idea where it came from and I’m still not quite sure! At least it was enough to stick us on row two, but I’m still a little bit disappointed because the car that’s on pole by quite a margin has 45kgs of ballast. You never know what happens in race trim – it’s going to be difficult and I’ll be pushing 100 per cent as always, but on weekends like this it’s especially important to remember that points mean prizes and we’ve got to score a bag full tomorrow again.”

Matt Neal said: “As a team, I’m happy we’ve locked out the second row. For me personally I was a little disappointed, I was hoping for a bit more without any weight on board, so it’s a bit of a double edged sword. It’s definitely a lot better than Oulton where I had an extra digit in my starting position so it’s a step forward. Tomorrow Colin is going to be quick off the line, but we shouldn’t forget that historically the BMWs also take time to get heat into their front tyres. If we can all get into the back of him and give him something to think about then we’ll have a race on our hands. We’re all focusing on Turks, but there’s a few more BMWs and Audis dotted around that we need to keep an eye on too.”

 

2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Croft – Qualifying

 
1.    Colin TURKINGTON (eBay Motors): 1:23.246s
2.    Jason PLATO (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save): +0.370s
3.    Gordon SHEDDEN (Honda Yuasa Racing): +0.522s
4.    Matt NEAL (Honda Yuasa Racing): +0.626
5.    Andrew JORDAN (Pirtek Racing): +0.635s
6.    Rob COLLARD (eBay Motors): +0.732s
7.    Sam TORDOFF (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save): +0.746s
8.    Adam MORGAN (WIX Racing): +0.867s
9.    Alain MENU (Chrome Edition Restart Racing): +0.936s
10.  Rob AUSTIN (Exocet Racing): +0.983s
FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 6, race 1, Norisring (GER)

F3 EURO CHAMPIONSHIP



Max Verstappen also wins at Norisring

Season round: 16 of 33
Track: Norisring
Winner: Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing)
Pole position: Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport)
Weather: sunny

Following his triple victory at Spa-Francorchamps, 16-year-old Dutchman Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) continued his winning streak at the 2.3 kilometres long Norisring. The son of ex-Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen won the action-packed 16th season round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship from Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) and Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport). With his fifth win of the season, Verstappen moves up into second place of the drivers’ standings, he is currently 106 points down on the leader, Lotus F1 junior driver Esteban Ocon.

The race at the Norisring in Nuremberg had plenty of action. On the opening lap, Mitch Gilbert (Fortec Motorsports) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) collided and triggered a chain reaction. After that, Giovinazzi had to turn into the pits, just like Jules Szymkowiak (Van Amersfoort Racing). Dennis van de Laar (Prema Powerteam) retired.

Racing resumed after three laps and Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) stayed in the lead from Esteban Ocon and Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin). Soon after that, Blomqvist damaged the front wing of his car and came into the pits for a replacement. Thus, he lost his third place to Lucas Auer. After Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam) and Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing) collided, the safety car was deployed for the second time.

Esteban Ocon used the second restart of the race to claim the lead, but the Frenchman only held on to the top position for a brief while until Max Verstappen overtook him. After Tatiana Calderón (Jo Zeller Racing) had hit the wall and Antonio Giovinazzi failed to steer away from the car of the only lady racer in the field, the safety car was deployed for the third tme. Just before the end of the race, Jordan King (Carlin) provoked the fourth and final safety car intervention as he lost the front wing of his car on the track.

After 37 laps, Max Verstappen won from Esteban Ocon, Lucas Auer, Nicholas Latifi (prema Powerteam), Jake Dennis (Carlin), Felix Rosenqvist, Roy Nissany (kfzteile 24 Mücke Motorsport), Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3), Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Tom Blomqvist. Israeli Roy Nissany and Indonesian Sean Galeal scored their best results of the season to date.

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 6, race 1, Norisring (GER)

Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing): “In the battles during the early stages of the race, I had almost ruined the nose of my car. After that, I found a good pace, I was able to close up to the two drivers in front of me and then I also managed to overtake them. After that, I could control the race. My car was great and winning at the Norisring is fantastic.”

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “My start was good, I slotted in behind Felix Rosenqvist. After the second safety car intervention, I overtook Felix and led the race for a while until Max overtook me three laps later. My speed wasn’t very good that is something we now have to work on. After Tom Blomqvist ran into the back of my car, I was worried initially that my car could be damaged, but fortunately, things worked out well for me.”

Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport): “My start was okay, I was able to keep my position. When Tom Blomqvist turned into the pits to get a new front wing, I was third. Later on, I was in a nice battle with my team-mate Felix Rosenqvist in which I managed to come out on top.”

DEREK HILL, A TIPO151, AND OTHER DELIGHTS

MOTORSPORTS REUNION



DEREK HILL, A TIPO151, AND OTHER DELIGHTS

American race driver Derek Hill, son of World Champion Phil Hill, will strap himself behind the wheel of the lone surviving Maserati Tipo 151, of which only three were ever constructed, to race in the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 14-17 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Maserati is this year’s featured marque and will officially celebrate its 100th anniversary at the motorsports gathering.

Entered by Fratelli Auriana Racing from the collection of Lawrence Auriana, the Tipo 151 has been fully restored. Since its restoration, chassis 151.006 has competed in three successive Goodwood Revivals and last year in the 2013 Le Mans Legend. This will be the car’s first visit to Monterey and the challenging 2.238-mile road course.

The Tipo 151 will complement Maserati’s centennial display and provide a dynamic addition by having its pit crew working on the car throughout the weekend to keep it in race-ready condition.

Visitors also will see many other significant Maseratis that were responsible for propelling the Italian marque onto the racing scene. Iconic Tipo 60s and 61s, nicknamed the Birdcage, will be running as will the sleek 300S and 450S models that once competed in the famed Mille Miglia, Nurburgring and other punishing races. Additionally, the first-ever 4CL that Maserati produced in 1939, which was originally raced by factory drivers Luigi Villoresi, Carlo Felice Trossi and Franco Cortese, will be racing in Monterey.

““We are working closely with the Centennial team from Maserati North America and in Italy,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “True Italian car enthusiasts won’t want to miss this event because of what they will only be able to see here on track and strolling through the paddock and marketplace. This is what makes the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion so special, seeing cars in motion that are normally housed in museums.”

Indeed, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion has often been likened to a museum that springs to life each August on the Monterey Peninsula, and this year is no exception as 550 historic and period-correct race cars have been accepted to compete in 15 race groups over the four-day gathering. U.S. entries will be joined by cars from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

The oldest car accepted is Brian Blain’s 1910 National 40. Sporting 100 horsepower, the National was driven by Charlie Merz in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 held in 1911, finishing seventh at an average speed of 70.36 miles per hour and in so doing, collecting $700 in prize money.

On the opposite end of the race group spectrum is Mazda’s 1992 RX-792P GTP (chassis 001), which is one of two prototypes that competed in the 1992 IMSA GTP championship. Price Cobb and Pete Halsmer were the original factory drivers to pilot the entirely new 720-horsepower car against the established Eagle Toyotas and factory Nissans.

The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is one of the cornerstones of the renowned Monterey Classic Car Week and the largest event held annually in the scenic coastal community.  Visitors worldwide descend on the area to enjoy historic cars in action at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion competitions such as Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and a plethora of additional supporting activities that comprise the internationally acclaimed motoring week.

Renault_59439_global_en770X480

FESTIVAL OF SPEED



RENAULT AT THE 2014 GOODWOOD

FESTIVAL OF SPEED

Renault will parade its amazing breadth of creativity at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Renault will exhibit a wide-ranging array of competition cars of extraordinary variety, and a series of concept cars that shine a glamorous light on the brand’s dazzling future. A celebration of Renault’s 37-year long commitment to Formula 1, highlights of Alpine’s mighty motorsport history and an impressive display of concept cars are part of the company’s substantial presence at the Festival in 2014.

- Renault’s creative drive is amply demonstrated by landmark vehicles from its sporting 115-year history, including the sensational 1978 Le Mans-winning Alpine A442B, the 1977 Groupe B Alpine A310 rally car, the enormous and extraordinary-looking 1926 Renault 40CV ‘des records’, a 1902 Renault Type K that was one of the world’s earliest racing cars, four Formula 1 show cars and the Formula E Spark-Renault SRT_01E. The F1 cars include Alain Prost’s carbonfibre chassis’d RE40, which won four times during the 1983 season, almost netting him the championship.

- The creative force around Renault right now is showcased with a truly arresting array of concept vehicles and the production models that have sprung from them. These cars are part of the ‘Renault, designed for life’s colourful journey’ theme that is driving the company’s impressive product creativity today. They include the Twin’Run concept and the exciting, all-new rear-engined Twingo that it inspired, which makes its first UK appearance at the Festival. Also displayed are the DeZir and the Clio that grew from it and the Captur crossover in both its concept and production forms. In addition, there’s a design studio model of the intriguing Frendzy and the full-size version of the colourful and cleverly configured R-Space concept. Equally diverting are Renault’s truly original all-electric ZOE supermini and Twizy.

- Drivers include René Arnoux, Oliver Webb (fresh from his podium with the Alpine A450 in the LMP2 class at Le Mans last week), Michel Leclere and Julien Piguet

- Goodwood will also host the UK debut of the new Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy-R driven by Laurent Hurgon who set the record lap time for a production front wheel drive car at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in just 7’54’’36 in May with this car.

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 6, race 1, Norisring (D)

F3 EURO CHAMPIONSHIP



Norisring stages FIA F3 European Championship season half-time event

Venue: Norisring
Track length: 2.3 kilometres
Lap record FIA F3: Felix Rosenqvist 2013 (0:48.306 minutes)
Distance: 42 laps

Just a week after having mastered the demanding Formula 1 circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, a.k.a. the Ardennes Rollercoaster, the young Formula 3 drivers now will have to face a completely different challenge: Nuremberg’s Norisring – a street circuit and with a length of 2.3 kilometres the shortest track on the FIA Formula 3 European Championship calendar. Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3) have particularly fond memories of Nuremberg. While the Swede won one of the races of the 2013 Norisring meeting and made it to the podium in the other two, Puerto Rico’s Serrallés secured two Norisring podiums in 2012.

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 2, Hockenheim (GER)

Both Rosenqvist and Serrallés must score as many points as possible, this weekend. With 15 races contested, the Swede holds only sixth position in the championship and Felix Serallés has to settle for being only 11th. Last weekend in Belgium, however, the 21-year-old Puerto Rican and his Team West-Tec F3 – a newcomer team on the FIA Formula 3 European Championship grid – demonstrated their potential and came very close to securing a podium.

Meanwhile, three of the top-five positions in the championship are held by extremely competitive Formula 3 rookies. France’s Lotus F1 Junior Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) is the championship leader, with the experienced Briton Tom Blomqvist following 94 points behind in second position. Rookie Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) won all the three Spa-Francorchamps rounds and consequently leaped to third place. With a total of four race wins, the Dutchman overtook Austria’s Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) who is tied for points with Verstappen. Italian Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam), a Ferrari Driver Academy protégé, holds fifth place and is the third rookie among the five top-placed drivers. All the three rookies are going to contest their first races at the Norisring while Blomqvist and Auer already know the circuit located in the heart of Nuremberg.

Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport): “The Norisring layout looks easy but racing here is anything but a walk in the park. Furthermore, the racing is that close – particularly in the qualifying sessions –, that the slightest mistake can cost you numerous positions. On the positive side we’ve got the fact that the Norisring offers overtaking opportunities. I’ve got fond memories of this venue as the 2013 race meeting went really well, for me. In the years before I had my problems with the track but last year I realised that consistent work can pay off and helps you to even deliver at tracks that you believed to not suit you. My goal for the coming weekend: wins and many points to reduce my deficit in the championship.”

Nico wins Austria 2014

Formula 1


2014 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX – RACE

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton took a hard-fought one-two victory this afternoon at the Austrian Grand Prix to make it six one-two finishes in the opening eight races of the season – a feat only achieved once before in Formula One history. And Valtteri Bottas gets his first podium.

- Nico claimed his third win of the season and eighth consecutive podium after starting third on the grid.
- Lewis finished second after gaining seven places, securing the team´s sixth one-two finish in the 2014 season
- Both drivers ran two-stop strategies, running a tyre choice of option/prime/prime
- Seven of the top ten were powered by Mercedes-Benz and this was win 106 for Mercedes-Benz power in Formula One

- Weather – Warm and dry
- Temperatures – Air: 23-25 °C, Track: 43-50 °C

Nico Rosberg

That was an amazing weekend for us here. It was so great to be back again in Austria – for me, it felt almost like being at my home race in Germany! This is a great track, with amazing fans and at the end also with a great result for us. I have to thank the team for a great car and a perfect strategy. We chose the aggressive way to pit earlier and to overtake the Williams that way and that worked out quite well. We had to look after our brakes, which was a big job for the whole race. Also this worked out perfectly for me. Before the weekend, my target was to extend the lead in the championship, which I achieved. So I can be quite confident before the next home race for our team in Silverstone. A great job also from Williams, they were the second force today. Congratulations to them.

Lewis Hamilton

After what happened yesterday in qualifying, today was all about damage limitation for me, so I´m as happy as I can be with a P2 finish. I have had the pace in the car all weekend here but I wasn´t able to capitalise on that, so getting second place from a bad weekend is pretty good, I guess. I had a rocket start – it´s something we´ve be working hard on all year and it was one of the best I´ve ever had. You can´t ever plan what´s going to happen but I managed to put the car in all the right places and climb to P4 by the end of the first lap. We were managing the brakes a lot today, because I was in traffic for most of the race and it was the most important thing to bring the car home, so that was a real balancing act. But the strategy worked really well for me to get into second position, then I tried to start pushing Nico – but he didn´t make any mistakes and I didn´t have the chance to overtake. The guys did a fantastic job today to get us another one-two and the fans here in Austria have been insane. Next race is in Silverstone and all the positive energy from my home fans; it will be a special time and I´ll be going all out for the win.

Valtteri Bottas
 It’s difficult to explain how I feel right now. That was the best champagne I’ve ever tasted. All the hard work that the team puts in shows in moments like this. I had one pitstop that really put in me in the fight and that changed my race, so well done to the boys for that. I had put in a good lap before that and so I got in front on Felipe and from there I could manage my pace with the cars in front. Having both cars score good points is what we wanted and so third and fourth for the team is a great result. There are still two places to go up the podium, but for now we will enjoy this moment.
Toto Wolff

A fantastic result for us here in Austria and we are just delighted to get a one-two finish today. The race was all about management: managing the brakes because this is such a tough circuit for them, and also looking after the Power Unit to make sure we didn´t have any repeat of the problems in Canada. Nico and Lewis did an incredible job – a controlled drive from Nico, where he let the race come to him and let our strategy play out, which worked really well; then a really typical dynamic drive from Lewis, who just did an amazing first lap to climb from 9th to 4th. After that, the guys pushed each other hard but we made sure to bring the cars home, too. It´s a great day for the team to take another one-two finish and congratulations, too, to our partners at Williams, who made it four Mercedes Benz engines in the top four this afternoon.

Paddy Lowe

We woke up this morning knowing that we had a big job to do today given our less than ideal qualifying positions. We had a lot of work to do with the strategy to get the cars to the front. Both drivers had great starts and a good first lap, particularly from Lewis which meant we were in P3 and P4 after lap one. Behind the scenes we were doing a lot to manage the condition of the car during the race, at the same time as running a strategy to overtake the Williams, who looked to have very strong pace today. To finish where we did is a credit to the whole team. Well done to Williams for getting P3 and P4 and congratulations to Mercedes-Benz for securing seven out of the top ten positions with no retirements at this particulary demanding circuit.

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