WEC



FIA WEC – Davide Rigon ends the season with podium and Constructors’ title for Ferrari

Memorable season final for Davide Rigon, paired with team-mate James Calado and AF Corse. After the Six Hours of São Paulo, scene of World Endurance Championship’s last round, a stunning jackpot is now completed, thanks to Ferrari’s victory of Constructors’ title, after Team and Drivers’ titles (of the team-mates Bruni-Vilander ), already celebrated in Sakhir, one race in advance.

On the demanding track of Interlagos, the 27-year-old Venetian driver together with all Amato Ferrari’s staff have shown up on track with the only goal to give Maranello team’s hands the title of GT Constructors. The win came at the end of a sensational race, finished with the safety car, because of a terrible accident that involved the Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 of Webber and Ferrari #90. Davide has ended his first season as Ferrari official driver in FIA World Endurance Championship with a fourth consecutive podium – the fifth of season – bringing the Ferrari 458 LMGTE-Pro number 71 in third place and ahead of the team-mates. “It’s been an incredible weekend. We had the Constructors’ title for Ferrari GT as the only goal. Together with this goal, also the last podium of the season is arrived, at the end of a tight race“, Davide Rigon says. “I’ve always liked a lot Interlagos circuit, because it’s old-style, with a good mix of elements. We knew we had worked well and that the title would be within our reach. It’s the perfect end of an exciting season. I have to congratulate all the mechanics and engineers of AF Corse and, above all, Ferrari. Celebrating such an important victory on a world stage with the colours of the Prancing Horse is sensational, unique”, Rigon concludes.

Perfect end of the season for Davide, AF Corse and Ferrari, and I send them my most sincere congratulations for scoring the perfect hat trick of world championship. Winning Constructors’, Team and Drivers’ titles in such a selective and important contest as FIA WEC championship is really incredible. And they have succeeded”, the manager Giovanni Minardi says. “Racing on tracks already known, Davide has been able to give his best, bringing his contribution. Five podiums, including four in the last four rounds, are an important reward. Victory missed, but, thanks to the experience gained this year, it will be the goal of 2015”.

Next Saturday, December 6th Davide will fly to the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit, in Abu Dhabi, in order to attend Ferrari World Finals.

STOCK CARS BRAZIL



Rubens Barrichello Wins Stock Car Title in Brazil

Former Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello has won his first stock car title in Brazil.

The 42-year-old Brazilian finished third in Sunday’s season-ending race in Curitiba to secure the title in his second full season in the series. Barrichello finished eighth in the drivers’ standings last season.

It was Barrichello’s first title since he won the British Formula 3 championship in 1991.

The Brazilian driver ended his F1 career after the 2011 season and raced in the IndyCar Series in 2012.

Barrichello raced for a record 19 years in F1, finishing second in the drivers’ championship in 2002 and 2004 with Ferrari, both times behind seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.

Barrichello won 11 races in F1 and holds the record for most starts with 322.

MERC



KHALID AL QASSIMI CLINCHES WIN AND TITLE!

After a superb fightback and a nail-biting finale, Khalid Al Qassimi and Chris Patterson won the Dubai International Rally in their DS3 RRC.

- Ten years after his first MERC title, the Abu Dhabi driver wins the FIA Middle East Rally Championship* again.

- The DS3s completed a clean sweep in Dubai, as Mohamed Al Sahlawi secured victories in the 2WD and Junior categories.

The quickest driver on the stages on day one, Khalid Al Qassimi nonetheless ended the first leg in second overall after being handed a penalty for a false start. With a deficit of 6.8s to make up on the leader, the DS3 RRC driver was determined to go after the win that would secure him the MERC title.

The day’s leg featured three stages, each run twice. As some sections has been used in the opposite direction on the opening day, the sandy roads winding through the Emirati desert had broken up significantly.

Despite pushing hard all the way and setting the fastest time on SS8, the first loop didn’t go quite according to plan for Sheikh Khalid, who lost a few seconds to the leader. The gap edged above the ten-second mark, but Khalid’s hopes remained intact: “The changes we made to the set-up yesterday evening moved us in the right direction, but I feel that I still lack a bit of traction. I know when and how I am losing time! But the engineers are very resourceful and we are going to keep working on the set-up. I hope that will help me to make up the time. Everything is still possible: there are still three long stages to go.”

And indeed, on SS10, the DS3 RRC was some 6.1s faster than its rivals. On the following test, Khalid Al Qassimi claimed another stage win to grab the overall lead by just four tenths! And so, more than ever, it would all come down to the final stage of the season! At the end of Mileiha, a 26km-long stage, the tension was incredible. In spite of a slow puncture, Khalid and Chris set the second fastest time on the stage, a tenth off the lead pace. It didn’t take long to do the maths: the rally and the title had been won by just 3/10ths of a second!

“We did the right thing in refusing to give up. With everyone in the team, we have battled hard for this result,” emphasized a delighted and emotional Sheikh Khalid at the finish. “It’s a fantastic result for Citroën, which wins this international rally title for the first time. With each rally, we have improved and adapted the DS3 RRC to the specifics of the Middle East. This weekend, once again we made a great deal of progress and that excites me, looking ahead. It has also been a great occasion for the United Arab Emirates, a few days before celebrations of our national day begin. I really wanted to win, both for the team and for my country.”

The 2WD (two-wheel drive) standings were dominated by the DS3 R3s. Leader since the start of the rally, Mohamed Al Mutawaa lost two minutes after rolling his car on SS9. Mohamed Al Sahlawi inherited the lead before going on to claim his first win of the year, ahead of Al Mutawaa and Saeed Bintouq. Mansoor Bel Helei also made it to the end of this, the final round of the season.

“Congratulations to Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi for winning this title with flair,” added Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal. “It was also his first win with the DS3 RRC, and that is just rewards for the work that everyone has put into this project over the last two years. When Citroën Racing decided to enter the MERC, we knew that it would be a huge challenge, competing against drivers and teams that are experienced in this championship. With each rally, we have tried to get the absolute maximum out of the DS3 RRC, which is closely derived from the WRC. We’ll be looking to defend this title next year!”

GP3



Ghiotto quickest on final day in Yas Marina
Luca Ghiotto and Antonio Fuoco set the pace on third day of post-season testing

 
Trident’s Luca Ghiotto posted the fastest time on the third and final day of post-season testing at the Yas Marina circuit with a 1:55.134. Ferrari Academy driver Antonio Fuoco led the way in the morning session.
The test got underway in hazy and humid conditions. Riccardo Agostini returned to the paddock with his team Hilmer Motorsport and was first to lap in the 1m56’s. Ralph Boschung for Jenzer Motorsport lapped quicker to take the top spot before Mitch Gilbert (ART Grand Prix) dipped into the 1m55’s to go P1.
Agostini stopped on track early on which caused a brief halt to proceedings and when the action resumed, Boschung returned to the top of the standing. At the midway point of the session Fuoco put in a flier to end the session heading the timesheet with Spaniard Alex Palou a few tenths off in P2. There was a second red flag when Kourosh Khani stopped at turn 13 in the Hilmer Motorsport car.
At the chequered flag the session belonged to Fuoco. Palou, Boschung, Matt Parry, Gilbert, Alfonso Celis. Jr, Jimmy Eriksson, Seb Morris, Luca Ghiotto, Edward Jones and Jack Aitken completed the top ten.
After GP2 had run their first session of the day, GP3 returned to the track for their final track time of 2014. Fuoco again was an early pace-setter; before Matheo Tuscher led the way, but it was Fuoco who was first to dip into the 1m55’s in the afternoon. Eriksson and Jones also shot to P1 as the clock ticked down, with the merest of gaps separating their laptimes: 0.001s – with the Carlin driver having the edge.
Ghiotto lit up the timing screen to head to the top of the timings with Fuoco a tenth off and Tuscher two tenths off respectively. The chequered flag was waved marking the end of the test. Ghiotto led Fuoco, Tuscher, Jones, Eriksson and Boschung. Aitken, Palou and Gilbert rounded out the top ten.
The test session has brought the curtain down on the 2014 GP3 Series Season, dates for pre-season testing and the calendar will be unveiled in due course.

Formula 1



Susie Wolff Appointed Official Test Driver for the 2015 Season

Williams is pleased to announce that Susie Wolff will be stepping up to the position of Official Test Driver for WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING for the 2015 Formula One season.
In this role Susie will be driving the Williams Mercedes FW37 in two FP1 sessions and two test days during the 2015 Formula One season. She will also be conducting extensive simulator testing to help in the ongoing development of the FW37 and FW38. This new role builds on Susie’s three seasons as Development Driver for Williams which culminated in driving the FW36 during FP1 at the 2014 British and German Grands Prix. This saw her become the first female driver to drive in a Grand Prix weekend for two decades. The team is currently evaluating a number of drivers to replace Susie as Development Driver.
Speaking about her new role Susie Wolff said; “This is another step in the right direction for me. I am delighted Williams are recognising my progression, hard work and that it is performance that counts. Williams is at a very exciting stage in its history and we are moving into 2015 with fantastic momentum, I’m proud to be part of the team. I’ll be using my position to work closely with Felipe and Valtteri to make sure that the FW37 builds on the strong performance shown by the FW36.”
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal of WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING added; “We are delighted to have Susie continuing with the team next season in this new role. She continues to impress us with her strong technical knowledge, the feedback she delivers and the performance when she drives the car both on the track and in the simulator. She has steadily increased her time behind the wheel since she joined us in April 2012 and her appointment as Official Test Driver was a natural progression. We have a very strong and stable driver line-up for 2015 and this will be a key asset as we look to build on a positive 2014 season.”

GP3



Ceccon fastest on day one of post-season testing

Jenzer Motorsport’s Kevin Ceccon and ART Grand Prix’s Andrea Pizzitola lead the way
Italian ace Kevin Ceccon posted the quickest laptime of the day: a 1:55.501 set in the morning. French rookie Andrea Pizzitola topped the times in the afternoon session with a 1:55.832, narrowly beating Mitch Gilbert in the Arden International car.
The morning test session opened up in glorious conditions at the Yas Marina Circuit for day one of post-season testing. There were plenty of new faces and many drivers testing a GP3 car for the very first time as the pitlane was frenetic with activity with everyone keen to get on track.
Frenchman Pizzitola was fast out the doors for ART Grand Prix with Carlin’s Ed Jones in second and Ferrari Academy driver Antonio Fuoco in third. Jenzer Motorsport’s Kevin Ceccon went P1, but Pizzitola lapped a tenth quicker to re-take his place at the head of the timings.
The Italian found more pace to shoot back up to the top of the timesheet, 0.060s his advantage over Pizzitola. At the midway point, Jones and Arden International’s George Russell demoted Pizzitola to fourth as the positions below them remained fairly static with the best times being set early on in the session.
There was one red flag near the close of the morning test when Jenzer Motorsport’s Raoul Hyman stopped at Turn 7; however the action resumed with three minutes remaining.
At the chequered flag, Ceccon led Jones, Russell, Pizzitola, Trident’s Luca Ghiotto, Patrick Kujala (Arden International), Christopher Mies (Hilmer Motorsport), Ralph Boschung (Jenzer Motorsport), Mitch Gilbert (Arden International) and Matt Parry (Status Grand Prix).
Following GP2’s turn on track, GP3 returned for their afternoon session. The test was briefly halted when Trident’s Alex Palou spun, the Spaniard was able to continue and action resumed. Pizzitola set the early pace, first to lap in the 1m55’s in the afternoon session, with Gilbert hot on his tail.
Fuoco’s Koiranen GP car stopped on track causing a short interruption to proceedings but once the track was green Palou set the fastest first sector to go P3, with Mathéo Tuscher (replacing Ceccon for the afternoon test) in fourth.
With half an hour left on the clock, the session was red flagged when Carlin’s Matt Rao made contact with the barrier at turns 3-4. The track became live again with just five minutes remaining and at the chequered flag Pizzitola edged out Gilbert by a mere 0.053s. Palou, Tuscher, Russell, Artur Janosz (ART Grand Prix), Parry, Alfonso Celis. Jr (Status Grand Prix), Ryan Cullen (Koiranen GP) and Boschung completed the top ten.
Day two of testing will run at the same local times: 09.00 – 11.30 and 15.00 – 17.30 (GMT+4).
Yas Marina – Day 1: Morning

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