JANOSZ FASTEST ON DAY ONE IN VALENCIA
RED BULL ON THEIR BAHRAIN RESULTS
LANCE STROLL TAKES VICTORY IN LE CASTELLET SEASON OPENER
Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) got his second season in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship underway to the best possible start. In the first race of the year at the 3.841 kilometres long Circuit Paul Ricard, the 17-year-old Canadian beat his team-mate Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam) and took victory. British driver George Russell (HitechGP) claimed third place, finishing ahead of the best-placed rookie driver, Ben Barnicoat (HitechGP) in fourth. The winner of the first race of the season, Lance Stroll is also the first points’ leader of the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship.
Having started from pole position, Lance Stroll initially had to hand the race lead to Nick Cassidy. However, he already claimed back the lead on lap two and held on to it until the finish of the race after 25 laps. 21-year-old Cassidy was able to follow his team-mate, but didn’t have a chance to mount a successful challenge.
Behind the Prema Powerteam duo, George Russell finished third. The 18-year-old Brit had a better getaway than rookie driver Niko Kari (Motopark), who was third on the grid, and moved up into third place on the opening metres of the race. After a collision with his team-mate Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark), the Fin lost even more ground and went on to finish his maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship race in eighth place.
Ben Barnicoat, Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam), the second-best rookie driver Joel Eriksson (Motopark) and Ralf Aron (Prema Powerteam), who collected the trophy for the third-best rookie, filled the positions between Russell and Kari. After entertaining battles in the midfield, Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing) claimed the final point-scoring positions by finishing ninth and tenth respectively. Ilott did so after impressive progress, because he had to start from the back of the grid following an engine change after an issue in testing on Thursday.
Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam): “This was a good start into the season, both for myself and for the team. However, we have worked hard over the winter to achieve this. My start of the race didn’t go to plan, which certainly was also due to the fact that the track wasn’t entirely dry yet. That was too bad, because I always had very good starts during testing. Fortunately, only Nick got past me and when he made a mistake at the end of the first lap, I was able to overtake him again.”
Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam): “For me, the first few metres were very good, although my starts over the winter had been terrible and I wasn’t too confident about my starts either. Unfortunately, I made a mistake when shifting at the end of the opening lap and hence I lost the lead again. After that, overtaking proved to be difficult, even though my car was really good. This weekend, conditions are changing all the time, but the team always had the right answer.”
George Russell (HitechGP): “I managed to move up into third place at the start, but I was left without a chance against the two Prema drivers. They were simply quicker and thus also deserved the first two places. However, I feel slightly sorry for Nick, because he was faster than Lance, but had to let him get past in the opening stage of the race already. Personally, I am happy with my third place, especially as my tyres degraded heavily in the second half of the race. Both for me and for my team HitechGP, this is the first time at Le Castellet and the team has done a great job.”
CLARK AND NASIR BRING YOU OUR SEVEN HUNDREDTH ATTEMPT AT DOING A MOTORSPORTS PODCAST, WE HAVE ANOTHER EPISODE OF LOOSH ON THE LOOSE! AND AN INTERVIEW WITH TALENTED AND BEAUTIFUL USF2000 RACE CAR DRIVER AYLA AGREN.
Ayla has been driving since she was 7 years old. She started driving go-karts and has competed in the World, European, Dutch, German, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian Championships. In addition, she also competed in the European leading karting series called WSK. 2012 was her first season in Open Wheel racing, where she competed in the Skip Barber summer series, bringing home 4 podiums.
Just from looking at her, you may think that Ayla Agren is no different from your typical 21 year old girl. But behind the blonde hair and blue eyes lies a burning desire to be the best, no matter what it takes. No ordinary teenage girl would leave the comfort of home to go over 5,000 miles away and pursue the sport of professional auto racing, unless there was a true desire, and talent, to make it to the top.
In addition to her talent on track, Ayla is also a full time student and will commence her last year of University this spring. She also works with several organizations in Norway to educate youth on defensive driving.
THE 2016 WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINS AT THE PAUL RICARD CIRCUIT,a happy hunting ground for the Citroën Total. For the final season of its track racing adventure, the two-time World Champion team is lining up two Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs on the grid, with José María López and Yvan Muller the men at the wheel. The Argentine and the Frenchman, who between them have claimed six of the last eight titles awarded in the competition, will be looking to continue their winning streak!
As in 2014, the FIA World Touring Car Championship gets under way at the majestic Paul Ricard Circuit. After a four-month hiatus, which the teams spent fine-tuning their cars, the moment of truth has come!
By winning 92% of the pole positions and 81% of the races contested over the last two seasons, Citroën Total has made itself the team to beat. As the aggressive new livery of the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC shows, the team will be fighting hard to retain that status in 2016!
To do so, they will have to overcome regulations designed to handicap the reigning World Champion manufacturer. The Citroën cars will carry 80 kg of ballast in the first two meetings of the season, before a rebalancing based on results. Other changes that will force the team to adapt its strategy include the reverse grid for the opening race and the MAC3 (“Manufacturers Against the Clock”) contest to be held after qualifying.
Over the winter, the engineers and drivers worked on some subtle technical improvements. The most visible are in the car’s aerodynamics, with a redesigned front end. Citroën Racing is also counting on its finely honed knowledge of the car and the range of setups available, as well as the healthy rivalry between José María López and Yvan Muller, to help it fulfil its potential. More than ever, team spirit will be crucial to success!
Team spirit is a quality shared by the drivers of the three cars competing for Sébastien Loeb Racing. In his second season in a Citroën C-Elysée WTCC, Mehdi Bennani will be setting the standard for Tom Chilton and Grégoire Demoustier. All three will be competing in the WTCC Trophy, which is for private drivers only.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY
Yves Matton (Team Principal, Citroën Racing): “With several big-name drivers switching teams and a new manufacturer in the mix, this FIA WTCC season looks set to be open and closely contested. We are delighted about that, but we will still be aiming to claim as many wins as we possibly can and to retain our Manufacturers and Drivers titles! Our team also has a new look, with two official Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs and three private cars. Alongside Pechito and Yvan, we will be counting on Mehdi, Tom and Grégoire to notch up plenty of points, both in MAC3 and in the races. Results in testing aren’t the be-all and end-all, but it is worth noting that we did clock the seven fastest times over eight sessions in Vallelunga. That was doubtless no accident, but testament to the work the whole team put in over the winter. I hope we leave the Paul Ricard Circuit with a convincing result: in other words, a win!”
José María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC No. 37): “I’m really excited about beginning a new season. It’s one of my favourite times of the year! After all the work we have done in recent months, the slate has been wiped clean and we can’t wait to see how we measure up against the competition. The only thing I know for sure is that we have put in some great work. But we’ll have to wait for qualifying, when everyone will put on new tyres at the same time, to get a real idea of the hierarchy. The 80kg of ballast will certainly be a big handicap, and might cost us over a second a lap on some circuits. It’s going to be tough, but we’re prepared for it. I am also really happy to be starting the season in France. It’s like a second home meeting for me! The team has fond memories of Paul Ricard, having won all four races we have competed in here. My win in 2014, when I recovered from last place, remains one of the best of my career!”
Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC No. 68): “I haven’t competed for four months. That’s too long for me! I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of my Citroën C-Elysée WTCC for a racing weekend. We don’t know yet how good our rivals are, but we will definitely suffer during the first two meetings. Any predictions at this stage are based solely on speculation. A win might be hard to achieve, but we need to do the best we can and see how the pecking order stands. Like the whole team, I am always enthusiastic about coming back to Paul Ricard. In the eighties, I used to come and watch the F1 Grand Prix from the stands, and this is where I took part in my first single-seater race back in 1988! Since then, I think I’ve driven on every track layout and in every kind of car!”