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WRC

WRC France 2013

RALLYE DE FRANCE – DAYS 1 & 2
CITROËN TOP DRIVER: GILBERT LAYS THE GROUNDWORK

francejour1The first two days of the Rallye de France more than lived up to expectations. And although the popularity of the Alsatian event is undeniable, the same might be said of its unpredictable weather and changing grip. However, this didn’t prevent Quentin Gilbert from impressing on the seven stages contested, leaving Sébastien Chardonnet forty seconds adrift in second, with Keith Cronin completing the provisional podium in third place.

Thursday began with the shakedown in the morning and ended with the day’s only stage, held in the centre of Strasbourg. Sébastien Chardonnet, Quentin Gilbert and Stéphane Consani were the first to feature, forming the provisional top three in the WRC3 category. Behind them was Keith Cronin, who was held up by a car setting off ahead of him, and then Christian Riedemann, who damaged his rear suspension after a minor impact.

Hard or soft compound tyres? That was the real question of the day on Friday, with the weather playing havoc with the nerves of the drivers. Conditions would indeed prove to be a key factor when it came to managing the leg’s 116 kilometres of timed stages.

Showing an impressive level of control and maturity, Quentin Gilbert was the revelation of the day. The man from the Vosges won four stages, adapting his pace to the difficulties posed by the course.

“I really enjoyed it today and the DS3 R3 was perfect,” commented Quentin at the end of Pays d’Ormont. “We pushed when the conditions were suitable, but we had to take it easier in the trickier sections. All of which means we end the day in the lead, which we’re really pleased about. We also know there is still a long way to go in the rally and that the rain can make a big difference. It is up to us now to play our cards right to hang onto the lead.”

Second in the Top Driver standings, Sébastien Chardonnet wasn’t entirely satisfied with his day. He bemoaned a poor tyre choice and admitted that his team-mate had dominated proceedings today.

Keith Cronin holds the final spot on the podium despite making several minor errors this morning. A more consistent performance on the second loop enabled him to consolidate his position.

Christian Riedemann and Enrique Garcia Ojeda round off the top five. Although the young German’s DS3 R3 was hit by rear suspension problems following a minor impact on SSS1, “Kike” gradually learned how to handle the French roads and didn’t take any unnecessary risks.

CITROEN TOP DRIVER STANDINGS AFTER DAYS 1 & 2

1

 

Gilbert / Jamoul

 

Citroën DS3 R3

 

  1:16:37.9

2

 

Chardonnet / de la Haye

 

Citroën DS3 R3

 

      +40.4

 

3

 

Cronin / Clarke

 

Citroën DS3 R3

 

    +1:16.3

 

4 Riedemann / Vanneste Citroën DS3 R3       +2:11.2
5 Ojeda / Odriozola Citroën DS3 R3       +2:51.8

 

 

FASTEST TIMES

Day 1 – SS1: Chardonnet

Day 2 – SS2: Chardonnet – SS3, SS4 and SS5: Gilbert – SS6: Cronin – SS7: Gilbert

BEST PERFORMERS

Gilbert, 4 fastest times – Chardonnet, 2 – Cronin, 1.

LEADERS

SS1 to SS3: Chardonnet – SS4 to SS7: Gilbert

RETIREMENTS

Stéphane Consani: personal decision

Formula 1

Korean Circuit

HAMILTON ON TOP IN FRIDAY PRACTICE—

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg completed today´s free practice sessions for the 2013 Formula One Korean Grand Prix in first and third positions after a strong day of running. 

• The drivers completed a total of 103 laps in today´s three hours of running time, seven laps short of two race distances. 

• Nico conducted a single evaluation run of the team´s passive drag reduction device this morning in first practice. 

• Tyre evaluations and set-up fine-tuning were the order of the day, with both cars in the top four in both sessions. 

Nico Rosberg 
The track is really great and the small changes that have been made this year are good improvements, especially the pit exit which is now much better. Generally it seems that we had a good day but Red Bull is always very hard to beat. We were quite close to them today and I hope this will continue the whole weekend. My only concern after the long runs was graining on the front tyres, which is something we need to work on tonight and watch out for. We have brought also some new bits and pieces to Korea which are working well and leaves me optimistic for a strong result this weekend. 

Lewis Hamilton 
I was very happy with how the sessions went today and it´s the first time I can remember that second practice has really gone well for me. We haven´t changed anything but the day just went smoothly and all the processes with the team worked well. I love this track: it was clean from the start, it provides good racing on Sunday afternoon and it just gets harder and harder through the lap. You have the first sector which is good for overtaking, then you get more and more corners coming at you and those final two sectors are all about precision. You need a good downforce package, too, and the car is feeling good. We can still make improvements overnight, and I have some things I want to do with the set-up, but it´s been a good start for us. 

Ross Brawn 
We made a good start to the weekend with both cars today. We ran through the planned programme, evaluated our test items and got good long runs on both types of tyre in the afternoon session to give us plenty of data to pore through this evening. In terms of competitiveness, all the usual Friday caveats apply: we know only what fuel loads we ran, not those of our competitors, so tomorrow will show us where we actually stand. As always, we will work hard overnight to further improve the cars and build on this good start to the weekend. 

Pos Driver                Team                   Time        Gap    Laps
 1. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes               1m38.673s           31
 2. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m38.781s  +0.108s  30
 3. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m38.797s  +0.124s  32
 4. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1m38.844s  +0.171s  35
 5. Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1m39.114s  +0.441s  30
 6. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1m39.226s  +0.553s  34
 7. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m39.444s  +0.771s  31
 8. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1m39.757s  +1.084s  33
 9. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m39.774s  +1.101s  29
10. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1m40.006s  +1.333s  34
11. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1m40.007s  +1.334s  34
12. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes       1m40.152s  +1.479s  31
13. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari         1m40.186s  +1.513s  33
14. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari         1m40.210s  +1.537s  34
15. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m40.446s  +1.773s  30
16. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m40.552s  +1.879s  26
17. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1m41.117s  +2.444s  35
18. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault       1m41.289s  +2.616s  34
19. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault       1m42.461s  +3.788s  36
20. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault       1m42.798s  +4.125s  35
21. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth      1m43.108s  +4.435s  31
22. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth      1m43.441s  +4.768s  29

F1Weekly podcast # 638

Facundo-Regalia-Triunfo-GP3-Nurburgring

Clark and Nasir talk about the Singapore Grand prix, the effect of Kimi on Fernando Alonso and we have a special interview with GP3 driver Facu Regalia and 50 words from the Forum—

Facundo “Facu” Regalia (born 23 November 1991 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine racing driver. He competed in his first two Formula BMW seasons under a Spanish racing licence.

Karting:

Regalia began karting in 2006 and raced primarily in Spain for the majority of his career.

Formula BMW:

Regalia began his formula racing career in 2008 in the newly-created Formula BMW Europe with EuroInternational. He finished sixteenth overall in the championship, with nine point-scoring finishes and 60 points.

Regalia remained in the series for the following season but switched to Josef Kaufmann Racing. He improved to eighth in standings, taking thirteen points-scoring positions in sixteen races. In 2010, Regalia completed his third season, joining Eifelland Racing. He finished eighth in the championship for the second successive season, achieving his first podium at Zandvoort.[3]

Formula Three:

2011 saw Regalia move to the Italian Formula Three Championship, competing for Arco Motorsport.[4] He finished tenth in the championship with two podiums at Imola and Vallelunga.

In 2012 Regalia switched to the European F3 Open Championship, joining Campos Racing.

Auto GP World Series:

As well as his European F3 Open commitments, Regalia also participates in the Auto GP World Series with Campos Racing.

GP3 Series:

Regalia made his GP3 Series debut, in the fourth round of the 2012 season at Silverstone. He replaced Jakub Klášterka at Jenzer Motorsport.[7] In 2013, Regalia will be competing with ART Grand Prix.

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European Le Mans series

Alpine ELMS

– ALPINE CELEBRATES ITS RETURN TO MOTOR RACING BY SCOOPING THE 2013 EUROPEAN LE MANS SERIES TITLE!

– The Alpine A450 of Pierre Ragues and Nelson Panciatici secured the 2013 ELMS crown thanks to a score of three podium finishes, including outright victory in Hungary, 35 years after the Alpine A442b’s triumph at Le Mans in 1978 with Didier Pironi/Jean-Pierre Jaussaud.

– Signatech-Alpine claimed fourth place at the final round of the 2013 championship at Circuit Paul Ricard, France, after a drama-packed race. 

Alpine’s renaissance was marked by the brand’s return to motor racing and its maiden season was rewarded with the 2013 European Le Mans Series title.

Signatech-Alpine’s programme for the season was confirmed on March 8 and featured two primary objectives: June’s Le Mans 24 Hours and the European Le Mans Series. In the six months that have elapsed since that announcement, the Alpine A450 has produced a number of top performances, extending from a strong display at Le Mans – which earned the ESCRA Award for the best technical support – to the brand’s first title success of the modern era.

Just two weeks after its landmark victory in Hungary, Signatech-Alpine lined up for the start of the 3 Hours of Paul Ricard with the ELMS title in its sights, 39 years after its last European crown with Alain Serpaggi, Gérard Larousse, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Alain Cudini.

This weekend’s competition saw Pierre Ragues qualify the Alpine A450 on the second row before a cautious start to the race which led to the car initially trailing its chief rival for the championship. However, a lengthy pit stop for the latter enabled the Normandy-based driver to figure in fourth place during his 90-minute stint.

He then handed the car to his team-mate Nelson Panciatici who was forced to pit to change a defective steering wheel shortly afterwards. Overcoming that unscheduled stop, Nelson then successfully fought his way back up the order to clinch the title which came close to slipping from Alpine’s grasp…

Indeed, the N°36 Alpine A450 climbed from seventh place to claim fourth overall after improving its best race lap once again and despite one last pit stop which enabled Panciatici to complete the three-hour race with the pressure off. Fourth place was sufficient to clinch the 2013 ELMS crown for Alpine.

This title is a tremendous reward for a season which I believe was marked by panache, determination and professionalism,” observed Bernard Ollivier after the finish. “Ever since the start of the programme, we have been privileged enough to benefit from strong backing from the media and racing fans alike. We would like to dedicate this title to them. Perhaps it’s just a first step…”

I think we can say that Alpine is back,” observed Signatech Alpine’s Team Principal Philippe Sinault. “This team is like a family; a family which has worked very hard. It wasn’t easy because the programme got off to a late start and it took a little time to get everything into motion. It’s been a highly emotional ride, too. I would also like to congratulate Paul-Loup Chatin on his races which have earned him the title in his category. He was a firm believer in our project and I hope to see him become part of our LM P2 programme next year. It’s too soon to talk about 2014 but we are exploring the possibility of running two Alpine A450s at Le Mans as part of a broader programme.”

Philippe Sinault’s associate Didier Calmels added: “This title is the perfect reward for the hard work and sacrifices put in by Philippe Sinault. He has been the perfect leader and has always put the team first. His passion has undoubtedly lifted this programme with Alpine.”

The team’s drivers were also moved by the occasion, including Pierre Ragues who produced an impeccable season: “This is a very moving moment, and pretty incredible. We survived a few scares but the main thing is to have won the championship. This title showcases our level and we have made consistent progress. It’s time to celebrate our success which Signatech-Alpine deserves 100 percent!”

Nelson Panciatici added: “It was a drama-filled race which turned out to be quite difficult. I pushed as hard as I could during my first stint to move back up the leaderboard, but the end of the race was easier. Perhaps we were a little fortunate today but our sole objective was always the title. Everyone has worked extremely hard on this programme and today we form a real family, so this is a fabulous recompense.”

Like his elders, Paul-Loup Chatin had a dramatic race at Le Castellet, but Alpine’s ‘junior’ driver succeeded in coming second in the LM PC class to clinch the category’s title!

Tristan Gommendy was with Signatech-Alpine at Le Castellet to share the title celebrations. In addition to contesting the Le Mans 24 Hours with Pierre and Nelson, he carried out a significant amount of test work in the Alpine A450 in the course of the year.

2013 3 Hours of Paul Ricard – final positions:
1, Murphy Prototypes (Hirschi/Hartley), 93 laps
2, Morand Racing (Klien/Gachnang), +6.255s
3, Jota Sport (Turvey/Dolan), +21.691s
4, Signatech-Alpine (Ragues/Panciatici), +1m24.350s
5, Boutsen Ginion Racing (Kuppens/Kapadia), +1m38.954s. Etc.

Final 2013 European Le Mans Series standings (Teams)
1, Signatech Alpine (85 points)

2, Thiriet by TDS Racing (77)
3, Jota Sport (71). Etc.

Final 2013 European Le Mans Series standings (Drivers)
1, Nelson Panciatici and Pierre Ragues (85 points)

2, Pierre Thiriet (77)
3, Oliver Turvey and Simon Dolan (71). Etc

DTM

19 Mike Rockenfeller (D), Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM

Masterpiece on the North Sea coast: Mike Rockenfeller wins early 2013 DTM championship title—

Zandvoort. Mike Rockenfeller is the 2013 DTM champion. Second place at Zandvoort in The Netherlands was enough for the Audi driver to win an early drivers’ title in the most popular international touring car series for the first time in his career. Although his only remaining rival, Augusto Farfus (BMW) won the race at the dune circuit, the Brazilian was beaten in the battle for the title.

“I can hardly believe it. This is an incredibly heavy load coming off my shoulders. In such a moment, it is all coming back again: the early years in the DTM, how difficult it was and how hard I worked. Many thanks to all those who have made this happen,” said Rockenfeller, who is leading in the drivers’ standings prior to the season finale at Hockenheim (October 18 till 20) with 142 points and has an unbeatable margin of 26 points. This year, Rockenfeller’s consistency was the key to success: with his Audi RS 5 DTM, the 29-year old scored points in every race and won at Brands Hatch (GB) and the DTM premier at Moscow Raceway (RUS).

Rockenfeller’s fellow Audi driver Timo Scheider finished third at Zandvoort, scoring his first podium finish of the season. In ninth position, Gary Paffett was the best-placed driver of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. In total 41,000 fans attended the penultimate race weekend.

Farfus, who overtook fellow BMW driver Marco Wittmann in the opening stages of the race, scored his third win of the season. “I did my utmost and that was my goal. Hats off to Mike, he has done a great job. He has deserved the title,” Farfus said. At the start of the race, the 30-year old was attacked by Rockenfeller, but eventually clearly had the edge with his BMW M3 DTM and thus secured second place in the drivers’ standings early.

Swede Mattias Ekström (Audi) scored an impressive recovery. The two times’ DTM champion had started eleventh and finished fourth. Marco Wittmann (BMW), who had claimed his maiden pole position in the most popular international touring car series on the day before, finished fifth.

Gary Paffett, runner-up after the 2012 season, moved up into the point-scoring positions from twelfth on the grid and congratulated the new champion afterwards. “Congratulations to Mike, he has had a tremendous season. For me, it was rather disappointing, although our performance wasn’t bad,” the Brit commented.

The race at the dune circuit of Zandvoort was interrupted by a safety car phase after Dirk Werner (BMW) and Jamie Green (Audi) had collided on lap 38. The restart followed in the final lap of the race, allowing Rockenfeller to cross the finish line at racing speed.

Dieter Gass, head of DTM, Audi: “Congratulations to Mike, the Audi Sport Team Phoenix and the entire Audi team! Mike has wrapped up the drivers’ title early. Now, we are also on top in the manufacturers’ and teams’ standings. One really can’t hope for more. Mike is a worthy champion who didn’t make any mistakes under pressures today either. Timo Scheider covered his back and deserved his maiden podium finish of the season. Mattias Ekström’s recovery was sensational, too. Tonight, there are so many reasons to celebrate, and we will definitely do so.” 

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport director: “Congratulations to Audi and to Mike Rockenfeller. Personally, I am proud of Augusto, because he has done what he could. He has dominated today’s race, he couldn’t have done any more. In his second season, he is doing well and he is already so strong. There will be many championship titles coming our way and we count on Augusto. There are two titles still to be won, and that is what we will be aiming at in Hockenheim.”

Wolfgang Schattling, head of DTM management, Mercedes-Benz:“Congratulations to the entire Audi team and to BMW for winning this race. Unfortunately, for us, it was a weekend to forghet. Too bad, because we didn’t have a chance to interfere in the battle for the championship. Now, the focus is on the finale, where we want to bow out from this season with good results.”

 

Coronado Speed Festival

Coronado SF 1

The 2013 Coronado Speed Festival, held September 21-22 at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 with a full weekend of racing. www.F1weekly.com staff photographer Mike Greene was on scene to document this fantastic gathering of vintage race cars.

Overlooking the harbor and the San Diego skyline, The 2013 Coronado Speed Festival was held September 21-22 at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California.  The event celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 with a full weekend of racing cars of all kinds. 

As part of San Diego’s Fleet Week, the Speed Festival is one of San Diego’s most successful fundraisers for the military and offers a variety of pulse-quickening events.  This year, the Honorary Grand Marshal was Tony “A2Z” Adamowicz. His renowned career includes winning the 1968 Trans-Am Championship in the Milestone Racing Porsche 911. Adamowicz also won the 1969 Formula 5000 championship in his Gurney Eagle F5000, in which he made his Coronado Speed Festival racing debut in 2011.  Along with the nine racing groups of vintage race cars, the weekend also features as one of the seven stops in the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup circuit.

Coronado SF 2

The 1978 Lola T-333 of Brent Berge leads Erich Joiners' 1972 Porshce RSR through turns 8 and 9.
The 1978 Lola T-333 of Brent Berge leads Erich Joiners’ 1972 Porshce RSR through turns 8 and 9.
A 1968 Alfa Romeo GT Jr, driven by Anthony Rimicci, Jr.
A 1968 Alfa Romeo GT Jr, driven by Anthony Rimicci, Jr.
Michael Malone's 1965 Lotus Elan 26R gave the big cars something to think about (power to weight ratios), all weekend long.
Michael Malone’s 1965 Lotus Elan 26R gave the big cars something to think about (power to weight ratios), all weekend long.
The 1958 Porsche 356A owned and driven by Peter Smith of Del Mar.
The 1958 Porsche 356A owned and driven by Peter Smith of Del Mar.
1969 Porsche 911 locks it up a bit on the entry into turn 10
1969 Porsche 911 locks it up a bit on the entry into turn 10

 

HISTORY OF THE CORONADO SPEED FESTIVAL

In 1997, an innovative idea was formed – the idea to combine a racing event with an event to pay tribute to the nation’s military, and additionally get more exposure for the Navy within the community of San Diego.

The event would be called the Coronado Speed Festival, and vintage cars from around the country would race at Naval Air Station North Island, on a track that was created in days – a spectator-friendly 1.7 mile course, constructed on the runways and taxiways of the military base. Over the course of two days, race fans, San Diegans and other interested parties would watch different race groups zoom around the track, all while stepping back in time to enjoy auto racing’s rich history, with tours of the racecar pits and the ability to speak with the drivers of these unique machines. Car Enthusiasts can also visit the Car Club Corral, which shows off a variety of automobiles that range in age, make and model.

The first event took place in October of 1997. The Holiday Bowl, a non-profit organization whose mission is to generate tourism, exposure, economic benefit and civic pride for San Diego and its citizens by producing the nation’s most exciting bowl game and festival of events. The partnership seemed to be a perfect fit, not only in that the group and the organization’s mission were similar. The event then transitioned to be part of Fleet Week San Diego. Fleet Week is a US Navy, US Marine Corps, and US Coastguard tradition focused on honoring the men and women of the military.

It seemed to all involved at that time to be a great fit as Fleet Week San Diego has a direct connection to the military, and the Coronado Speed Festival is an event to pay tribute and honor the military. The event is still housed under Fleet Week San Diego, and is the marquee event of the month-long activities.

This 1967 Cobra was a beautiful thing to watch. Owned and driven by Lorne Leibel of Willowdale Ontario, Canada.
This 1967 Cobra was a beautiful thing to watch. Owned and driven by Lorne Leibel of Willowdale Ontario, Canada.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast