Tag Archives: Monza

WEC

FROM POLE POSITION TO VICTORY: ALPINE’S AMERICAN DREAM!

FROM POLE POSITION TO VICTORY: ALPINE’S AMERICAN DREAM!

The Alpine A460s were in sparkling form in qualifying, with home hero Gustavo Menezes and Nicolas Lapierre annexing the first pole position of the season for the N°36 Signatech-Alpine by almost a full second! In the hands of David Cheng and Nelson Panciatici, the sister N°35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine entry similarly achieved its best grid position to-date for a six-hour race as the pair lapped fifth-quickest in LMP2.

The green flag dropped at 5:00pm on Saturday under the stifling Texas sun, with an air temperature of more than 35°C. On the opening lap, the N°44 Manor snatched the initiative at the head of the LMP2 field, with the two Alpine A460s in hot pursuit. Roberto Merhi, Nicolas Lapierre and Nelson Panciatici proceeded to put on a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle worthy of a grand prix around the spectacular Circuit of the Americas until ten laps in, when the N°36 Signatech-Alpine reclaimed a lead that it would not subsequently relinquish.

After 45 minutes, Lapierre passed the reins to team-mate Stéphane Richelmi, who produced a double stint as day turned into night. Although it never dipped below 30°C, the temperature did cool off slightly as humidity levels reached almost 70 per cent.

These conditions unsurprisingly took a physical toll on the drivers, with Panciatici being forced to abandon a planned double stint early on in the race. Suffering from dehydration, the Frenchman found himself having to hand over to Cheng before being taken to the circuit’s medical centre to recover.

The Baxi DC Racing Alpine was then struck by further misfortune at the beginning of Ho-Pin Tung’s second stint behind the wheel. A heavy impact with a kerb prompted a return to the garage to change the front end of the car and its front suspension, but following a swift 17-minute repair job, Ho-Pin and David brought the N°35 car safely home in eighth place in-class.

At the same time, the N°36 Signatech-Alpine was continuing to lap the Circuit of the Americas with metronomic consistency. Following Richelmi’s double stint, Menezes and Lapierre maintained an equally strong rhythm to establish an advantage of a full lap over their closest pursuers.

Menezes was afforded the honour of finishing the race on home turf, and as he completed his final stint, the Californian could scarcely contain his emotions as he crossed the finish line to win in front of family and friends.

The result enabled the N°36 Signatech-Alpine trio to stretch its lead in the championship table to 38 points, with the N°35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine remaining in ninth position.

The next race on the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) calendar will take place at Fuji in Japan on October 14-16.

Bernard Ollivier, Deputy Managing Director of Alpine: “What a race! It is easy to forget with the success we are enjoying that this is still only our first season running the Alpine A460s, but it is obvious that we are continuing to make progress every time out. We set the tone in qualifying in Texas by claiming our first pole position of the season. In the race, the entire team produced a flawless performance, and it is a source of immense pride to see Alpine win in the United States. With a perfect display of panache, the Signatech-Alpine drivers have increased their overall championship lead once again, meaning the pressure is most definitely on the shoulders of those trying to catch up. As for the Baxi DC Racing Alpine, we are convinced that its consistent improvement will soon yield the kind of result its crew is so clearly capable of.”

DTM

EDOARDO MORTARA SCORES HIS THIRD WIN OF THE SEASON AT THE NÜRBURGRING

A good start and a perfect strategy were the keys to success for Edoardo Mortara’s third race win of the current season. The Audi driver won the 14th DTM race of the season at the Nürburgring in a dominant way and thus moved up to second in the drivers’ standings. Lucas Auer, who had started from pole position with his Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, finished second from BMW driver Marco Wittmann. With his third place, the latter defended his lead in the drivers’ standings. The race weekend at the Nürburgring attracted 72,500 spectators.

“That was a great Sunday race,” Mortara summed up the day at the finish. “Our car is running in a great way, even though we weren’t able to show that yesterday. Of course, I am very happy with today’s result.” At the start, Mortara was already able to make up two positions and move up into fourth place. With a long first stint and after a quick pit stop on lap 28, he rejoined the race immediately behind Auer. Seven laps later, he took the lead and then drove an undisputed victory home. It was the 50th DTM race win for the Audi Team Abt Sportsline from Kempten in the Allgäu.

Auer, who crossed the finish line 3.726 seconds behind the winner, finished 3.800 seconds clear of third-placed Marco Wittmann. The latter still saw his podium finish under threat as Mattias Ekström came very close on the final lap. However, Wittmann managed to bring his position home with a margin of 0.323 seconds. The BMW driver was accordingly delighted: “At the end, it was really close, but I am happy with the race. The early pit stop certainly was a slight disadvantage. All in all, however, it was a nearly perfect weekend for me and for my team RMG.”

In the DTM drivers’ standings after 14 of 18 races, Marco Wittmann remains in the lead with 170 points. Edoardo Mortara is now second with 137 points, followed by Robert Wickens (120 points), who dropped to third. Finishing 14th in the race on Sunday, the Canadian failed to score any points, just like Jamie Green (119 points). Following a collision with Gary Paffett, Green had to come in for a drive-through penalty and only finished 17th.

The 15th and 16th race of the DTM season will be held at the Hungaroring near Budapest, September 23-25.

FORMULA 1

RED RACING FRIDAY PRACTICE AT SINGAPORE

MAX VERSTAPPEN
First Practice Session: 1:45.823, Position: 1, Laps: 25
Second Practice Session: 1:44.532, Position: 3, Laps: 29
“It was a positive day for us and we can be happy with the balance of the car. For FP2 we weren’t fully there but we know what areas we need to work on and improve. But the car felt good, we are more or less there and we had a good start to the weekend. The tyres worked really well as well, I was happy with the ultrasofts, there was quite a difference between them and the supersofts. I think it will be an interesting battle between us, Mercedes and Ferrari, and I’m looking forward to it.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO
First Practice Session: 1:45.872, Position: 2, Laps: 27
Second Practice Session: 1:44.557, Position: 4, Laps: 26
“This circuit is always difficult. You’re pushing the limit on a street circuit and you want to be comfortable in qualifying so today is the day to experiment. I had a bit of a spin and touched the barrier but the car was more or less okay. It’s hot, it’s tricky and everything is a little bit on the edge here for sure, but to find a few tenths on this circuit can be quite easy, because there are so many corners and with the tyres overheating in the last sector you can lose or gain a lot. We still feel that we can get a little bit more speed out of the car so that’s what tonight is for. Even if we find a few small things, then they will hopefully add up to quite a bit of lap time here tomorrow.”

ROBERT KUBICA BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A RENAULT SPORT R.S. 01 AT SPA NEXT WEEKEND!

A new page in the history between Robert Kubica and Renault will be written at Spa-Francorchamps. The Polish driver will get behind the wheel of a Renault Sport R.S. 01 at round five of the 2016 Renault Sport Trophy. He will team alongside Christophe Hamon in the Renault Sport Racing car with the Duqueine Engineering team.

Robert Kubica: “I quickly felt at ease at the wheel of the R.S. 01, and even on a twisty track like Ales its qualities were immediately evident, especially the stopping power granted by the carbon discs. I was impressed by how late into the corner you can brake and by the absence of body roll, even when you push to make the most of the available grip. I look forward to driving it at Spa, where all the downforce the car can generate will also come into play.”

FORMULA 1

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

16-18 SEPTEMBER
MARINA BAY STREET CIRCUIT
ROUND 15 OF 21
A modern-day classic despite its unusual timings as a night race, Singapore has become a popular stop for the Formula One paddock. Due to the high humidity the drivers lose up to three kilos in sweat during the race, so preparation is vital to maintain concentration amidst the looming street circuit barriers. The race’s susceptibility for safety cars makes it one of the longest of the season, and it often finishes close to the FIA’s two-hour time limit. Traction and car stability are vital for a good lap time due to the bumpy nature of the circuit but unlike other street circuits, overtaking is possible.
For Singapore, Pirelli have made available the soft, supersoft and ultrasoft tyres.
Pat Symonds
The move from Monza to Singapore is one of extremes, going from the lowest downforce and drag circuit of the season to a street circuit where emphasis is on high downforce and good mechanical grip. Singapore presents many unique challenges, not least of which being that it is a night race. It does however, also bring some advantages; being so close to the equator we can quite accurately predict the ambient and track temperatures. The circuit puts a premium on low-speed grip and traction. It also has a high braking demand with certain areas requiring good ride to maintain mechanical grip. It’s a circuit we have performed reasonably well on in recent years, so we look forward to collecting some strong points as we continue our championship battle.
Valtteri Bottas
We’re back into the flyaways with Singapore, one of the most challenging race weekends on the calendar. That track has so many corners, so as a driver to complete the perfect lap in Singapore it’s quite tricky. But it’s really rewarding when you do. Personally, I do like the challenge. It’s a night race and in terms of how much you need to focus, it’s probably the most difficult track after Monaco. There’s no room for mistakes. It’s extremely hot, which makes it much more physical for the driver and hard on the car. It’s a very unique and cool looking grand prix.
Felipe Massa
Singapore is one of the few night races that we have, together with Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. It’s a very difficult race. It’s very humid and so hot; a tricky race for everybody and one of the hardest on the calendar. That said, I really enjoy racing there and it’s a very rewarding track. It’s always a good feeling racing in Singapore.

F3 EURO CHAMPIONSHIP

MAXIMILIAN GÜNTHER TAKES REVENGE AND WINS FROM LANCE STROLL

Event: 08 Nürburgring
Session: Race 3
Track: Nürburgring / Germany
Pole position: Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam)
Race winner: Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: sunny, 20.7 °C

Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) scored his fourth victory of the season in the 24th race of the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The German finished ahead of his Canadian team-mate Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam), who was second. The 17-year-old junior driver of the Williams Formula 1 team still retains the lead in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings. With six races remaining, he is 68 points clear of his rival Günther, by two years his senior, and 148 points ahead of Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam). In bright sunshine at the 3.629 kilometres long Nürburgring sprint circuit, Finnish rookie driver Niko Kari (Motopark) finished third.

At the start, Maximilian Günther benefited from his pole position and immediately took the lead. Behind Lance Stroll, Red Bull junior driver Niko Kari moved up into third place with a courageous manoeuvre under braking for the first corner. In the order of Günther, Stroll, Kari, Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing), Cassidy and Joel Eriksson (Motopark), the front runners completed their laps of the Nürburgring until the finish.

The battle for the positions further down in the top ten was slightly more exciting. Brazilian Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark), a member of the Red Bull junior team, worked his way up during the 26 race laps from 13th on the grid to finish eighth, behind Briton George Russell (HitechGP). The two rookie drivers Anthoine Hubert (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Ben Barnicoat (HitechGP) rounded out the top ten.

Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam): “I drove a clean and good race and I am really happy with this victory in one of the few races we have in Germany. I was in control throughout the race and I managed to extend my gap more and more. This victory is the third race win of this weekend for Prema, a nice birthday present for our team principal René Rosin.”

Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam): “All in all, my weekend was very successful with a pair of victories and a second place. In this race, I was having problems with the rear tyres, something I never had before. Nevertheless, it was enough to finish second.”

Niko Kari (Motopark): “My start was really good. All the others turned towards the inside in the first corner, but I opted for the outside line. It certainly was a little bit of a risk, but it paid off and I was able to claim third place. Then, I wasn’t able to move up any further, Maxi and Lance simply were too fast for me.”