Eriksson flies to Monza pole

Koiranen GP’s Jimmy Eriksson fastest in GP3 qualifying in Italy
An exciting qualifying session in Monza for Round 7 of the 2014 GP3 Series saw Koiranen GP’s Jimmy Eriksson secure his second pole position of the season. The Swede was three tenths faster than ART Grand Prix’s Dino Zamparelli with Nick Yelloly for Status Grand Prix in third.
The thirty minute session was run in dry and sunny conditions with home favourite Riccardo Agostini first to lap in the 1m39’s. Fellow compatriot Kevin Ceccon was next to top the times before Series leader Alex Lynn took control of the timesheet by six tenths.
Lynn was first into the 1m38’s with Zamparelli rising to P2. The Carlin and Red Bull Junior ace lit sectors two and three in purple as the drivers returned to the pits at the midway point of the session for a second set of Pirelli rubber.
Eriksson jumped up to second quickest with Ceccon third before Yelloly posted the fastest time of the session with a 1:38.536 to take provisional pole by one tenth. He was joined by his teammate Richie Stanaway with the green and black squad locking out the front row, but as ever with Monza, the times tumbled furiously in the final minutes. Eriksson shot to pole with Zamparelli up to second whist the three time GP3 winner Lynn was on a hot lap in his pursuit to take the coveted pole.
Unfortunately for the Brit, there were yellow flags at Turn 11 after Alex Fontana had spun into the gravel, therefore Lynn had to back off and settle for sixth position, just behind his closest title rival Stanaway. At the chequered flag, Eriksson celebrated pole position as he hopes to reignite his title hopes, with Zamparelli enjoying his best qualifying with second. Yelloly, Emil Bernstorff, Stanaway, Lynn, Robert Visoiu, Marvin Kirchhöfer, Patrick Kujala and Dean Stoneman completed the top ten.
Race 1 takes place later today at 16:20 local time as the quest for supremacy continues.
Stoffel Vandoorne (ART Grand Prix)


Vandoorne storms to second pole

ART Grand Prix man leads the charge in Monza
Stoffel Vandoorne has claimed his second consecutive pole position with a spectacular late run with no reply from his rivals in this afternoon’s qualifying session in Monza: traffic and a yellow flag put the McLaren test driver on the top spot with a time of 1:31.707, ahead of this morning’s fastest driver Arthur Pic and Mitch Evans.
With heavy clouds hanging low over the dry circuit as the pitlane went green, the entire grid was immediately on track to take advantage of the conditions while they could. Pic set the first competitive time ahead of DAMS teammates Stéphane Richelmi and Jolyon Palmer at the five minute mark, with first Evans and then Vandoorne soon slipping past to sit just behind the Frenchman on the timesheets.
Palmer fought back to P2 before the drivers returned to the pits for fresh rubber, but it was clear that the fight was not over: on his return Evans came within 0.008 of Pic’s top spot before Vandoorne set a spectacular lap two tenths quicker than Pic and returned to the pits, confident that pole was his. Pic found traffic on his hot lap, and Palmer took to the inside kerb running into Parabolica in a desperate attempt to get by his rivals and improve his time, but when the yellow came out for stationary cars with a minute remaining the session was effectively over.
Vandoorne took the top spot by two tenths from a very disappointed Pic and Evans, who in turn led Palmer, Raffaele Marciello, Simon Trummer, Richelmi, Felipe Nasr, Julian Leal and André Negrao, all of whom will fancy their chances in tomorrow’s feature race.

F1Weekly podcast # 662






A sunny day in Grantham, England, poured more sunshine into the rapid and rising career of 14-year old Enaam Ahmed. In the fourth and final round of the ultra-competitive CIK-FIA European Junior Karting Championship, held at the PF1 circuit, the London lad took control of his championship destiny by winning the pre-final race in Ricky Flynn Motorsport prepared FA (as in Fernando Alonso) kart.

Leading from La Conca

Ahmed signaled his intention for championship glory from the start of the season in May at La Conca karting circuit in Italy. After stepping on the third step of the podium in pre-final, he stormed to victory in the final event of the weekend over two young American drivers who would stay in the championship hunt throughout the season; Logan Sargeant, the Boca Raton racer was second, and Devlin Defrancesco, also from Florida, was third.

Victory gave Ahmed lead in the championship. The elated but exhausted young driver said after the race, “It was a really tough race. It was long and tiring, physically as well as mentally. The heat did not help. My opponents were very close, there was no relief. I was as happy as was exhausted.”

Mick Jr, son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher, was placed seventh in the final race at La Conca.

The second round of the championship trail took the young guns to Zuera in June, the longest track of the season in the Aragon region of Spain. Ahmed kept the championship charge in top gear by taking third place in the final race after an amazing recovery and improving 15 positions. Second was fellow Brit Daniel Ticktum, Swede Anton Haga was the winner.

Kristianstad in Sweden hosted the penultimate round of championship in July. It was the only event where Ahmed did not make a podium appearance, but importantly for his championship hopes, he still finished ahead of his American challengers. The race winner was Italian Lorenzo Travisanutto, Dutch kid Bard Verkroost was second with Mick Jr third.

The focus now was on the final event of the 2014 CIK-FIA European Karting Championship (Junior) at the English PF1 circuit on August 31. Going into the final round Ahmed led the standings with 53 points. Ticktum was second on 48 points. Defrancesco third with 46 points. Mick Jr was fourth on 43 points.

With intense pressure bearing down on him from several contenders, Ahmed was in a winning class of his own throughout the weekend. Early Sunday morning he won the Warm-up Pre final after setting the fastest lap of the race.

In the Pre final he started seventh for the 11-lap race and was in second after only three laps. He relentlessly pursued race leader, German pole sitter David Beckmann, and grabbed the lead on lap 9.

The grand finale was a 19-lap event with Ahmed on pole position, and sharing the front row with him was Beckmann. Mick Jr, hoping to carry on the family tradition of championship success, qualified on the second row in fourth.

Ahmed led the first five laps before Beckmann took the lead and the same lap saw his fellow German, Mick Jr, also pass Ahmed for second. On lap 9 Ahmed sailed past Mick Jr and the next lap he moved past Beckmann for the race lead.

On lap 14 Russian racer Alexander Vartanyan took the second spot from Beckmann and mounted a challenge for the lead. He closed the gap to Ahmed on the penultimate lap to .2s but Ahmed was not going to be denied his race and championship victory on home turf. His teammate Max Fewtrell also joined him on the podium after passing Beckmann on lap 16. On the final lap Beckmann was pushed back to fifth place by American Juan Correa.

Earlier in the year Ahmed also aced the WSK Super Master Series in the Junior category.

F1 Weekly will feature on our next podcast an interview with Enaam Ahmed, recorded last month at Oschersleben karting circuit where he was competing – and extended his lead – in the German Championship.

– Nasir Hameed

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Nico Rosberg  bahrain

F1Weekly podcast # 661

Clark and Nasir are all over the Belgian Grand Prix, we have Motorsports Mondial with the King, Tech Talk with Tim and special interviews with Jos and Max Verstappen


Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton met today in the boardroom of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS headquarters in Brackley to discuss the events of the Belgian Grand Prix.During this meeting, Nico acknowledged his responsibility for the contact that occurred on lap two of the Belgian Grand Prix and apologised for this error of judgement.

Suitable disciplinary measures have been taken for the incident.

Mercedes-Benz remains committed to hard, fair racing because this is the right way to win world championships. It is good for the team, for the fans and for Formula One.

Lewis and Nico understand and accept the team’s number one rule: there must be no contact between the team’s cars on track.

It has been made clear that another such incident will not be tolerated. But Nico and Lewis are our drivers and we believe in them.

They remain free to race for the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship.

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image More than two months after the team’s last appearance at Belgium’s Geko Ypres Rally in June, the Peugeot Rally Academy kicks off the second part of its 2014 ERC campaign in the Czech Republic where two Peugeot 208 T16s will appear in the hands of Craig Breen and Kevin Abbring, along with a Peugeot 208 R2 for Stéphane Lefebvre. The Peugeot squad will be targeting a seventh win for the Peugeot 208 T16 this season on this hugely popular event.


The Barum Czech Rally Zlin… a top FIA ERC fixture…

The 122 crews registered for the 44th running of the Czech event, round eight of the 2014 ERC, features almost 238 competitive kilometres divided into 15 special stages. The entry list includes 208 T16s for Craig Breen and Kevin Abbring, plus a 208 R2 for Stéphane Lefebvre. In addition to the Peugeot Rally Academy trio, Christopher Ingram and Gino Bux are also taking part in 208 R2s with backing from Peugeot UK (which was behind Kris Meeke’s programme in the Peugeot 207 Super 2000 in 2009) and Peugeot Belgium Luxembourg (also active in the IRC and ERC over the years) respectively. Bruno Magalhães, who secured one of the 208 T16’s first outright successes on the island of Madeira, will be in the Czech Republic, as well. image


Craig Breen’s sights set on title…

Craig Breen and Scott Martin are third in the provisional ERC standings and will be out to narrow the 48-point gap that separates them from the current leader, Finland’s Esapekka Lappi. The Irishman is reputed for his speed on asphalt and his aim is to notch up his second victory of the year after his triumph on March’s Acropolis Rally. He will have the benefit of his previous visit to the Czech rally in 2011. After what has been a studious break for everyone at the Peugeot Rally Academy, Craig and Scott will be able to count on the work put in over the summer to make the 208 T16 an even more reliable and competitive package. They have been seeded number one and fully intend to honour that status by figuring at the top of the leaderboard at the finish in Zlin on Sunday evening. image


Kevin Abbring eager for revenge

After coming close to winning in Ypres where he emerged ahead of the Belgian classic’s multiple winner Freddy Loix, Kevin Abbring has his sights on a top result this weekend. He came second in the Acores and, along with his co-driver Sebastian Marshall, has consistently challenged for victory each time out this season. They certainly have the ability and speed required to get their score off the mark in the Czech Republic. image


Stéphane Lefebvre: in a strong position for the FIA ERC Junior title!

Stéphane Lefebvre currently sits second in the FIA ERC Junior standings, a single point short of fellow 208 R2 runner Jan Černý, and his objective in the Czech Republic is to move to the top of the table. The Frenchman and his co-driver Thomas Dubois have already won the category in the Acores and in Ypres and hope to make it three in a row in Zlìn. Stéphane is perfectly familiar with the 208 R2 with which he has secured 32 fastest times, but he won’t be able to afford to make any mistakes against his direct rival who will be competing on home soil. Chris Ingram/Gabin Moreau and Gino Bux/Eric Borguet are respectively third and fourth in the provisional FIA ERC Junior standings in their respective 208 R2s. The Peugeot UK- and Peugeot Finance-backed Englishman is a quick up-and-coming youngster whose association with the 208 R2 promises to reap rewards very soon. Gino Bux, too, benefits from support from a Peugeot subsidiary, namely Peugeot Belgium-Luxembourg, and he stands out as another potential podium finisher, as he demonstrated in the Acores. The seven other 208 R2 drivers on the entry list include Andrea Crugnola who came second behind Stéphane Lefebvre in Ypres. image


The 208 T16 en route to another win in 2014?

The 208 T16 has already collected six wins this season (two in Italy with Paolo Andreucci, two in Denmark with Christian Jensen, one in Portugal with Bruno Magalhães and ERC success for Craig Breen in Greece). It has also provided an eloquent demonstration of its speed with a score of 28 stage victories in the ERC (Breen: 13 / Abbring: 15) and is a serious contender each time out. Victory in the Czech Republic on Sunday would see Peugeot Sport’s latest challenger join the 206 WRC (2002, in the hands of Renato Travaglia) and the 207 S2000 (2007, Nicolas Vouilloz / 2008, Freddy Loix) on the list of Barum Czech Rally Zlìn winners. image


Drivers quotes:

Craig Breen: «It’s great to be back in the company of everyone at the Peugeot Rally Academy for the Barum Czech Rally Zlìn. It’s been some time since our last outing together in Ypres and I can’t wait to get back in the 208 T16. I did this rally in 2011 and it really is a one-off event, with extremely narrow, but fast and bumpy stages. Changeable weather frequently adds to its complexity and there is likely to be a close fight for the top places, not only between the leading ERC drivers, but also between the local crews who are very quick. Scott [Martin] and I will just try to give it our very best shot.» image


Kevin Abbring: «I have fond recollections of this rally because I won the two-wheel drive class here in 2010. I believe it has changed a bit since then, though. If the weather is dry, it will probably be a delicate exercise because of the changes in grip levels but I think it will be exciting because the stages flow nicely. If it rains, it will be more complex because there is a great deal of black-top asphalt which can become as slippery as ice, and it’s the sort of hazard that is difficult to note. There are always a lot of spectators and the atmosphere is incredible, but it could turn out to be one of the toughest rounds of the championship.» image


Stéphane Lefebvre: «This is my first attempt at the Barum Czech Rally Zlìn. My sights are set on the FIA ERC Junior title so I will need to win. My main rival will probably be Jan Černý because it’s his home event and he is leading the championship. We’ll do our best to match his pace and hopefully beat him!» image


Provisional championship positions:
1 Esapekka LAPPI (Skoda Fabia Super 2000) 118 points – 2. Sepp WIEGAND (Skoda Fabia Super 2000) 78 points – 3. CRAIG BREEN / SCOTT MARTIN (PEUGEOT 208 T16) 70 points – 4. Vasily GRYAZIN (Ford Fiesta Super 2000) 53 points – 5. Kajetan KAJETANOWICZ (Ford Fiesta R5) 48 points – 6. Robert KUBICA (Ford Fiesta RRC) 39 points – 7. Ott TANAK (Ford Fiesta R5) et KEVIN ABBRING / SEBASTIAN MARSHALL (PEUGEOT 208 T16) 38 points  etc…

Wednesday (August 27): recce
Thursday (August 28): recce / scrutineering and documentation
Friday (August 29): qualifying / test s/ start ceremony / Zlìn super-special
Saturday (August 30) and Sunday (August 31): 2014 Barum Czech Rally Zlìn





  • Stéphane Lefebvre and Thomas Dubois claimed a third Junior WRC win at Rallye Deutschland in their DS3 R3, adding to victories secured in Portugal and Poland.
  • The podium was completed by the German Christian Riedemann and the Frenchman Quentin Giordano.
  • Stéphane Lefebvre will have the chance to wrap up the title and secure a WRC2 programme for next year in a DS3 R5 on home soil, at the Rallye de France on 2-5 October.


Ten crews had been entered for this, the fourth round of the season. The rally saw the return of local hero Christian Riedemann, alongside co-driver Michael Wenzel, and the WRC debuts of Eric Camilli and Mohammed Al Mutawa, two drivers taken from Citroën Racing’s talent finding programmes.

At his home round, Christian Riedemann got off to the best start on Friday morning. Leader throughout the first loop, the German lost ground to the French pair of Stéphane Lefebvre and Eric Camilli after collecting a twenty-second penalty (for arriving late at the midday service exit time control).

On his first appearance in the World Championship, and having competed fewer than twenty rallies in his young career, Eric Camilli made a very strong impression as he took the lead after SS5. However, the following morning, the Frenchman went off the road during the first run on the 42 kilometre-long Panzerplatte Lang (SS10). Stéphane Lefebvre reclaimed first place, ahead of Christian Riedemann, Martin Koci, Quentin Giordano and Alastair Fisher.

The top two continued to extend their lead over the rest of the field, whilst Martin Koci also went off on Panzerplatte Lang 2 (SS14). Stéphane Lefebvre ended day two almost a minute clear of Christian Riedemann in second. Quentin Giordano and Alastair Fisher were over four minutes back after picking up punctures. Simone Tempestini, Kornel Lukacs, Mohammed Al Mutawaa and Federico Della Casa rounded off the overall standings.

The top of the leaderboard remained unchanged after Sunday’s final leg. Stéphane Lefebvre controlled from the front to secure a third win in four events. He finished ahead of Christian Riedemann. Quentin Giordano grabbed a third consecutive podium finish as held off Alastair Fisher, Simone Tempestini and Kornel Lukacs to take third place. Mohammed Al Mutawaa and Federico Della Casa retired with the finish in sight.

Thanks to this new win, Stéphane Lefebvre has strengthened his position at the top of FIA Junior WRC standings. He is now 29 points clear of Martin Koci. Quentin Giordano, Christian Riedemann and Alastair Fisher are bunched together, less than ten points behind Koci. In the Nations Trophy, France leads from Slovakia, Germany and Great Britain.

The next round is the Rallye de France Alsace, due to be held on 2-5 October.


Stéphane Lefebvre: “I’m very pleased to have taken my third win in four events. This was my first rally in the DS3 R3 on tarmac. We were among the frontrunners from the word go. And when we moved into the lead, we were able to control the gap. It was important to pick up some points after our mistake in Finland.”

Christian Riedemann: “I feel a little bit frustrated by this result. We were too cautious on Saturday on Panzerplatte by driving the stage without checking the splits. And it was difficult to make up the time lost after we were handed the twenty-second penalty for arriving at the time control late after changing the gearbox. However, we showed that we could compete with Stéphane Lefebvre. I hope I can take my revenge at the next round in France.”

Quentin Giordano: “This is our third podium running in the Junior WRC. We drove well to hold off our main rivals. I’m very pleased with this result, which enables us to consolidate our third position in the championship. I’m really looking forward to the next round, at home, at the Rallye de France.”

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