British Formula One stars Jenson Button and David Coulthard today visited Lydden Hill – home to the British round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy – as both drivers tested a pair of Supercars as part of a BBC F1 feature which will be aired later this year.  Button, whose father John competed in rallycross in the 1970s, spoke of an “unbelievable experience” while Coulthard acknowledged the huge talent of World RX drivers.

Button took a trip down memory lane as he took to the wheel of a 1974 VW Beetle – similar to the car that his late father used to race in the British Rallycross Championship. He later swapped to drive a JRM Racing prepared MINI RX Supercar while 13-time Grand Prix winner David Coulthard took to the track in the Citroen DS3 RX Supercar that Britain’s Liam Doran currently uses in World RX.

“Today has been a mega experience and completely different to what I am used to,” grinned Button after jumping out of the JRM MINI. “You need a huge amount of skill to drive these cars – on your own it’s scary enough, never mind going up against another four or five other drivers!  World RX is an exciting Championship and it’s great to see the sport growing again like it was in the eighties both in the British and on the world scene. Everybody racing in single-seaters or in circuit racing regards rallycross as very professional and a lot of fun.”

The 2009 Formula One Champion also took a moment to reminisce about his childhood as Button spoke fondly of the time he spent as a child in the rallycross paddock: “I grew up with rallycross – I used to watch my dad racing back in the mid-eighties and I used to love hearing the car. I would not have become an F1 World Champion if it hadn’t been for my dad and the grassroots of rallycross – that was where I caught the motorsport bug.  Today has brought back some really nice memories but since then, I’ve also enjoyed watching World RX on TV. I remember seeing the footage from the Finnish round of the Championship last year and today confirmed just how great it is in real life too.”

BBC F1 commentator Coulthard is no stranger to World RX having gone head-to-head with Petter Solberg in a Marklund Motorsport Polo RX Supercar at last year’s Race of Champions.

“Rallycross is highly skilled – the drivers have to deal with an ever-evolving mix of asphalt and gravel that changes from lap to lap. I have tremendous respect for rallycross drivers, because there are just so many more variables,” explained the Scotsman, who also attended last year’s Norwegian RX round in Hell.

Coulthard echoed Button’s comments about the growth of the sport admitting he’s a big fan of RX.  “I think it’s a great Championship and it’s fantastic to try rallycross which has made me appreciate how skilled the guys are at driving these cars. It’s great to see that the Championship is growing so much too.  I’ve watched it a bit in the past year but you can’t play at this sport – it has serious world-class competition.  I’d absolutely recommend anyone to come along and watch rallycross – the racing is fantastic and being here in person is the only way you can truly appreciate the skill of the drivers and the power of these terrific machines.”

Round nine of the FIA World Rallycross Championship – the Bretagne World RX of France – takes place at Loheac in France next week (4-6 September).



INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 24, 2015) – INDYCAR announced that driver Justin Wilson, who enjoyed success in multiple motorsports series during a two-decade professional career, died today from a head injury sustained in the Verizon IndyCar Series race Aug. 23 at Pocono Raceway. He was 37.

“This is a monumentally sad day for INDYCAR and the motorsports community as a whole,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Justin’s elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility – which is what made him one of the most respected members of the paddock. As we know, the racing industry is one big family, and our efforts moving forward will be focused on rallying around Justin’s family to ensure they get the support they need during this unbelievably difficult time.”

Wilson was struck by debris from a single-car crash on Lap 180 of the 200-lap race on the 2.5-mile triangular oval. Wilson was attended to by the Holmatro Safety Team and airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pa.

A native of Sheffield, England, Wilson recorded seven career Indy car victories – the most recent in 2012 at Texas Motor Speedway – and eight pole starts in 174 races. He totaled 711 career laps led, including two in the Aug. 23 race. He competed in Formula One in 2003 with Minardi and Jaguar, and his initial F1 points were scored that year in the U.S. Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. He co-drove a Michael Shank Racing sports car entry to the overall victory in the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2012.

Wilson, a road cycling and mountain biking enthusiast, also was an ambassador for dyslexia, a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading that challenged him as a youth. He often would speak to groups at the racetrack and visit schools near INDYCAR race venues.

Wilson is survived by his wife, Julia, and two daughters. His younger brother Stefan is an accomplished race car driver who has competed in the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights. Funeral arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, a fund has been set up for Wilson children. Donations may be sent to: Wilson Children’s Fund, c/o INDYCAR, 4551 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222.



Lotus F1 Team returned to the Formula 1 Grand Prix podium for the first time since the US Grand Prix in 2013 thanks to a superb drive from Romain Grosjean in today’s Belgian Grand Prix. Despite a five-place grid penalty, Romain delivered an exceptionally measured performance including setting a race fastest lap. Romain’s joy was tempered by a second lap retirement for Pastor after his car lost drive. The cause is currently being investigated. Romain’s result means Lotus F1 Team return to fifth position in the Constructors’ Championship.
Romain started from P9 on the grid on his qualifying soft tyres, changing to new soft compound tyres on lap 9 and scrubbed mediums on lap 21.

  • Pastor started from P7 on the grid but was forced to retire on the second lap after his car lost drive.

Romain Grosjean, P3, E23-04
“Today’s result is wonderful. It’s good for the team and for myself of course. Yesterday’s good qualifying result put a smile on my face but today was an unbelievable race. Everything came together when it mattered during those 43 laps. I drove with my heart today and pushed 100 % throughout the race. I did some great overtaking manoeuvers and was really pushing to catch up and hopefully overtake Sebastian Vettel – of course it was bad luck for him to have had the tyre issue at the end. We were really trying to go for the podium this afternoon and I felt very emotional during the last lap of the race! It’s a great feeling today.”

Pastor Maldonado, DNF, E23-03
“We had been doing a great job this weekend, especially yesterday. The car was feeling very good, very competitive and I had a good race start. We had an issue with the drive of the car which the team are investigating. I’m disappointed about the issue we had today but that’s racing sometimes. We are keeping focussed for the next race now and Romain has shown what is possible. I love Italy and Monza so I’ll be doing everything I can for a strong result there.”



Ferrari was attempting a unique one-stop strategy in the Spa F1 race, with Vettel changing from softs to mediums on lap 14 and then running to the finish on lap 43.

He was fending off Romain Grosjean for third place on the penultimate lap when his right rear tyre gave way on the Kemmel Straight.

A furious Vettel said he could have been badly injured had the tyre blown at Eau Rouge.

“Things like that are not allowed to happen,” he told the BBC.

“If it happened 200 metres earlier, I’m not standing here now, I’d be stuck in Eau Rouge.

“I don’t know what else needs to happen.

“I tell you what’s upsetting. What’s upsetting for one thing is the result. We deserved to finish on the podium.

“The other thing, like I said, if this happens earlier…

“[Tyres are] a theme that keeps coming around, that nobody is mentioning, but is unacceptable.”

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg had a tyre blow approaching Blanchimont during Friday practice.

Although Pirelli said that failure was due to an external cut in the tyre rather than a structural failure, Rosberg remained skeptical.

Vettel said he shared his countryman’s concerns.

“What was the answer [from Pirelli]? The same as every time: ‘yeah, well there was a cut, debris, there might be something wrong with the bodywork, the driver went wide’,” said Vettel.

“If Nico tells us he didn’t go off the track, then he didn’t go off the track.

“Why should he lie to us?

“It’s the same with me, I didn’t go off the track, just out of the blue the tyre explodes.

“If this happened earlier then I’m f****d.



Trident’s Luca Ghiotto records third win of the season at Spa-Francorchamps

Was this the drive of a future champion? Trident’s Luca Ghiotto produced a stunning win today at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. He did it the hard way by passing his title rivals from fourth on the grid to pocket a very-well deserved victory. ART Grand Prix’s and Mercedes backed Esteban Ocon also drove a great race to finish second with his teammate Alfonso Celis. Jr collecting his debut podium in third.
Arden International’s Aleksander Bosak started the race from reverse pole. The Polish driver was slow away at the start with Campos Racing’s Alex Palou taking full advantage to go straight into the lead.
All eyes were on the battle between the trio of ART Grand Prix cars as they raced wheel to wheel at the start. Ocon, from sixth on the grid first got the better of Ghiotto and Marvin Kirchhöfer and then made the move stick on Celis. Jr. The Frenchman looked fired up going from sixth to second on the opening lap and was determined to make up for losing yesterday’s win after a time penalty.
Race 1 winner Emil Bernstorff was one of the first retirements as he came into the pitlane for a premature end to his weekend. On lap 3, Bosak who had dropped a handful of places at the start, ran wide with a puncture and ended his race in the barrier. A loose wheel from his Arden International car made contact with the front left of Matthew Parry’s Koiranen GP car, resulting in damage to his machine. Parry was out of the race with both drivers able to climb out of the car.
As a result of this, the safety car was deployed and once the action resumed, Series leader Ghiotto looked on a mission: The Italian soon picked off Celis. Jr for third after a super re-start, but there was more action to come after an incident between Kirchhöfer and Carlin and Ferrari Academy Driver Antonio Fuoco. The German had tried to pass the Italian on the inside and contact was made, Fuoco then spun in front of the remainder of the field and was collected again by the ART Grand Prix star who was unable to avoid him. Unfortunately for the dicing duo their race was over with both drivers ok.
The safety car was deployed due to the debris on track and once the track was clear, Ghiotto made his next bold move, this time on his nearest title rival, Ocon for second place. The Italian knew what he had to do as he began to hunt down race leader Palou. He reeled the Spaniard in one lap later to snatch the lead and pulled a small deficit.
Ocon didn’t want to let his main competitor out of his sight and he quickly got past Palou to move back into second place. The Campos Racing driver soon fell into the clutches of Celis, Jr who passed the rookie for the final podium place on offer on the penultimate lap.
As the chequered flag was waved, Ghiotto claimed victory by a mere 0.8s from Ocon, with Celis. Jr enjoying his maiden podium success. Jenzer Motorsport’s Matheo Tuscher posted his best result of the campaign with fourth after passing Palou on the final lap, with Alex Fontana (Status Grand Prix), Artur Janosz (Trident) and Ralph Boschung completing the top eight.
Ghiotto has now extended his lead in the Drivers’ Standings to 28 points after pocketing a further two points for fastest lap. Ocon is second on 126 with his teammate Kirchhöfer on 113. In the Teams’ Standings, ART Grand Prix holds top spot on 258, Trident are second with 175 and Arden International are third on 158.



 Alexander Rossi has claimed his first win of the year in this morning’s sprint race at the Spa Francorchamps circuit, dominating his rivals after taking the lead on the first lap and controlling the pace throughout to bring home a 1-2 for Racing Engineering with Jordan King ahead of Mitch Evans.
King made a good start from pole when the lights went out, but Rossi’s getaway was even better: the pair led Nathanael Berthon and Julian Leal into La Source, with Stoffel Vandoorne making a strong start and taking the outside line to get by Evans, Sergey Sirotkin and Artem Markelov as the field headed down towards Eau Rouge: Rossi was pushing hard and, when King was slightly unsettled on the kerbs at Les Combes, the American grabbed the lead.
Behind them Leal was struggling as his rivals lined up to claim his position, with Vandoorne the first of many to mug the likeable Colombian on the Kemmel straight: the Belgian was determined to repeat yesterday’s performance and put himself in a podium position by dispatching Berthon on lap 10, but Evans was following the McLaren tester everywhere he went and was equally keen to take down the series leader if he had a chance.
The pair were soon closing on King, who had followed his teammate all race long and could almost taste the champagne for his first podium: with Vandoorne closing in his mirrors he asked the team to direct Rossi to pick up the pace, but the American was using all of his experience to look after his tyres for when it really counts, the final few laps.
With 5 laps to go Arthur Pic beached himself in the gravel, prompting a brief virtual safety car period: Evans slightly missed the restart, fortuitously allowing Vandoorne a bit of crucial bit of space which he used when a lock up into the Bus Stop chicane saw the local man run wide. But Evans made up for his slow reaction and was soon on the Belgian’s coat tail, forcing him to defend hard at Les Combes a few laps later before finally making it stick at the same corner on the final lap.
As the flag dropped Rossi claimed his first win of the season, King bagged his first podium in the series and the pair gave Racing Engineering a 1-2, Evans grabbed RUSSIAN TIME’s second podium of the weekend, and Vandoorne had to make do with P4 after his win yesterday. Markelov claimed more points with 5th after yesterday’s podium, with countryman Sirotkin mugging Berthon at the final corner and Alex Lynn stealing P8 from Sergio Canamasas on the last lap of the race.
Vandoorne will still be satisfied with his weekend racing at home: the Belgian now leads Rossi by 233 points to 128, with Rio Haryanto and Sirotkin both on 109 points ahead of Lynn on 86 in the drivers’ championship, while ART Grand Prix still lead the teams’ championship on 281 points, with Racing Engineering closing in to 170 points ahead of Campos Racing on 148, DAMS on 147 and Rapax on 128 points ahead of the next round in Monza in just two weeks time.

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