F1Weekly podcast # 742


Charles Leclerc (born 16 October 1997) is a Monégasque racing driver and a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy. He won the GP3 Series championship in 2016 and the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2017.He will drive for Sauber in the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Leclerc was a childhood friend of Jules Bianchi and began karting at the track managed by Bianchi’s father in Brignoles. Like Bianchi, Leclerc joined the ARM management company headed by Nicolas Todt.

Leclerc has two brothers, Lorenzo and Arthur. His father, Hervé, also raced cars, driving in Formula 3 in the 1980s and 1990s, and was well respected in karting. He died, aged 54, in 2017

In 2012, at the wheel of an ART GP Kart, Charles won the WSK title, as well as finishing runner-up in the European and World championships.

In 2013, Charles was again runner-up in the European series and finished second in the Under 18 category with the Fortec Motorsport team, with whom he was also second in the 2014 ALPS Championship.

He was best rookie on his Formula 3 debut in 2015, racing with Van Amersfoot Racing, finishing fourth in the championship. In 2016, he joins the Ferrari Driver Academy, as well as racing in GP3 for ART Grand Prix, with another role as development driver for Scuderia Ferrari. He won the Formula 2 Championship in 2017.

He will drive for Sauber in the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship.




Jean Ragnotti, known as “Jeannot” is one of French people’s favourite rallyand circuit racing drivers. His career and long list of wins, such as his victory in the world rally championship in the Tour de Corse in 1982, are intimately connected with Renault.

« Friday 7 May 1982, 3.43 PM – “Rain tyres, yes”, Jean-Marc Andrié, my co-driver, repeats into the radio transmitter, in a monotonous voice so as not to disturb my driving. He is asking the technical team to get the tyres ready.

The Tour de Corse, dubbed the rally of 10,000 bends, covers three days of racing along 1,600 kilometres of roads with 1,200 kilometres of time trials. This landscape of hairpin bends includes no straight longer than 80 metres. Events like that would sound crazy today, when no car rally is as long and has more than six time trials a day.

By the end of the second day of racing, we reach the assistance point located three kilometres from the final time trials of the day. The sky is grey, and clouds are coming over. An army of mechanics surrounds the Renault 5 Turbo. There are 15 of them, led by François Bernard, Renault Sport’s technical manager. I’ve known those guys for years. We had celebrated winning the Monte Carlo Rally the year before, thanks to the agility of the Renault 5 Turbo, which is really so fun and easy to drive. They have my complete confidence. I would never interfer with their work. I know they are doing their best, and giving 100%. During the few minutes it takes to change the tyres — and they also use that time to top up the fuel — I try to relax, I make jokes. Then Jean-Marc and I are off again.

I listen to his — very precise — notes warning me about obstacles. The tone of his voice grows sharper as we approach a tight corner or a bump. I know what I have to do because we function very well as a team. Now a shower of rain starts to fall. We were definitely right to have had the rain tyres put on. Jean-Claude Andruet, the clear favourite in the race in his Ferrari 308, with whom we had been neck and neck since the start and who arrived a few minutes behind us, hadn’t done the same. He couldn’t make up that fatal delay over the rest of the rally. I’ve been smiling since the start of this Tour de Corse. Everything’s going fine. Jean-Claude was on my tail until I crossed the finish line the next day. In fact the race went so well that I can’t tell you much more about it. That’s to be expected, because when you have no problems in a race, there’s not a lot to say about it afterwards… » Interview by Anaëlle Correc.


R5 – Tour de Corse (1982)

The Renault 5 Turbo, nicknamed “Queen of the rallies” was equipped with a centrally mounted four-cylinder (1397cc) turbocharged rear engine delivering 285hp.


SCRAMP Awarded Prestigious FIA Members Heritage Cup for Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

during the FIA Prize Giving at Versailles on december 8 2017 – Photo Jean Marie Hervio / DPPI

Gill Campbell, center, accepts the FIA Members Heritage Cup on behalf of SCRAMP in recognition of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion event. (photo credit: Jean-Marie Hervio)

MONTEREY, Calif., December 11, 2017 — The FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), the world’s premier motorsport governing body, awarded world championship trophies at its annual gala and prize giving ceremony Dec. 8 at the Palace of Versailles. Among the trophy presentations was the FIA Members Heritage Cup, which was bestowed to the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) in recognition of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

SCRAMP’s Gill Campbell accepted the presentation from FIA President Jean Todt and U.S. FIA dignitary Nick Craw during the all-star ceremony. This is the first time the FIA Members Heritage Cup has been awarded to an event in the United States.

The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion was nominated by Craw as an example of an organization that maintains the highest standards of authenticity and preservation in the cars that are accepted and in the dedicated and superb organization of the event that attracts worldwide appeal. This year, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion eschewed a featured marque and instead celebrated the 60th anniversary of Laguna Seca. More than 500 race cars competed and the paddock display was capped by the Racing Through the Decades display that featured 12 significant race cars and bikes with ties to the iconic road course, including the Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa that Pete Lovely drove to the inaugural race in 1957.

“To have 28 international FIA representatives (one from each country) vote and recognize SCRAMP for such an honor is testament to the passion and professionalism of SCRAMP staff, volunteers, sponsors and the County of Monterey,” remarked Campbell. “It is through the dedication and enthusiasm from each participant who shares his or her cars on the track and in the paddock that makes the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion so special internationally.”

The highlight of the annual gala show was the presentation of the FIA Formula One World Drivers’ Championship Trophy to Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver lifted the World Championship trophy for the fourth time in his career, a remarkable feat that puts him level with French Formula One legend Alain Prost and his great rival for this year’s title, German driver Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

“Recognition from international peers is humbling,” added Campbell. “And to receive such an honor in our 60th anniversary year and before more than 800 of the world’s motorsports elite in attendance will never be forgotten.”


Australian squad AMAC Motorsport confirm Blancpain GT Series Asia entry

>Macpherson and Porter to campaign Lamborghini Huracan GT3
> Season 2 set to include championship’s first Australian team

AMAC Motorsport will become the first Australian team to compete in Blancpain GT Series Asia next season after confirming its Lamborghini Huracan GT3 will contest all six events, starting at Sepang on April 14/15.

The squad, owned by Andrew Macpherson (hence the name, AMAC), has been an Australian GT Championship regular since 2010. During that time it has run a Mosler, Porsche and the Lamborghini that will now compete at the likes of Suzuka, Fuji and Shanghai.

Macpherson, who is also one half of AMAC’s Blancpain GT Series Asia driver line-up, finished eighth in this year’s Australian GT Endurance standings. He’ll be partnered in 2018 by domestic GT racer Benjamin Porter who has previously contested the Bathurst 12 Hour with AMAC.

Lamborghini was one of five manufacturers to claim an outright GT3 victory during Blancpain GT Series Asia’s inaugural campaign, while Huracans also finished second and third in the Am Cup standings.

“AMAC Motorsport is looking forward to an exciting 2018 season racing our Lamborghini Huracan at the six best circuits in Asia,” said Macpherson. “SRO has built a great series with excellent media coverage that attracts large Asian and worldwide audiences. We can’t wait to represent Australia on the international stage.”

Team manager Steve Bugatto added: “AMAC Motorsport are excited to be a part of Blancpain GT Series Asia’s 2018 season. Bringing our Lamborghini Huracan from Australia to the best tracks Asia has to offer, and running with the best teams from across the continent, represents a fantastic opportunity to experience a new motorsport environment. Both our drivers, Andrew and Ben, are eager for the 2018 season to begin at Sepang in April.”

AMAC’s news follows hot on the heels of Craft-Bamboo Racing confirming its three Porsches – two GT3s and one GT4 – will continue to compete in Blancpain GT Series Asia next season.

Further team and driver announcements are expected shortly.



Palestinian drift racing star Noor Daoud has spent her adult life breaking down barriers in the world of sport and she is only getting started.

She launched her motorsport career in 2009 when she took part in a speed test, graduating to the high octane world of drifting two years later.
Noor Daoud Noor Daoud, 2017, Dubai, United Arab EmiratesNot content with excelling behind the wheel, she is also a personal trainer and engages in a spot of Muy Thai Boxing and skydiving for good measure.

Growing up on the occupied West Bank, she credits her strong mother with giving her the courage to confound Arab society’s expectations at every turn.

She revealed, “I always knew I loved cars. I have a very supportive Mum. I used to take my Mum’s car and go drift (on supermarket car parks and land within range of Israeli guns).

“People say, ‘Why do you do this? You should do something better. You should get married, for example’.

“I do boxing before any race, it gets me focused. When I put the helmet on, I feel me and the car are one.

“I am a personal trainer because I love to help people achieve their goals.”

Her high profile has also helped her and a like-minded group of women called the ‘Speed Sisters’ blaze a global trail including a recent award-winning documentary.

Manager Maysoon Jayyusi, along with drivers Daoud, Mona Ali, Marah Zahalka and Betty Saadeh, formed to compete against male drivers in souped-up BMWs, Volkswagens and Datsuns.

She added, “We’re one team – we love and support each other. We’re Middle-eastern girls representing Palestine, so it wasn’t easy for us to form a team and to race.

“Many people didn’t want me to go into this sport, I endured a lot of negativity, but I never gave up and I never will. It’s my life, my passion, the only thing that really makes me happy. I believe that if someone wants something bad enough, they will achieve it.”


2018 Features Include Motor Cars of the Raj,
Rollston Coachwork, OSCA and Tucker

The next Pebble Beach Concours — the actual competition held annually on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links—won’t take place until Sunday, August 26, 2018. But the competition for that elusive golden ticket—the invitation to show an automobile on that long, famed swath of green—is now underway.PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (November 30, 2017) — To car collectors around the globe, it is something akin to Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. It is rare and hard to come by — and the competition for it can often be fierce. It is an invitation to show an automobile at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Entry applications are being sent to many recent participants. Well-connected restorers and auctioneers, marque historians and experts are also being polled for the whereabouts of specific automotive gems. But anyone with a car they believe is concours-worthy can ask to be considered—and fully a quarter to a third of the invitations go each year to cars with owners that have never before shown a car at the Concours.

The receipt of an invitation is not a matter of luck, of course. The selection process is not a lottery; it involves a thorough vetting process.

Hopeful owners often begin by sending a simple description of their car to [email protected] These submissions are quickly reviewed and discussed, and although many owners receive a gentle decline, those with automobiles that merit a more careful and complete look are sent a formal application, which is due in early January.

Each year the Concours agrees to formally vet about 1,000 cars. Members of the Concours Selection Committee, a group of 15 automotive experts guided by Concours Chairman Sandra Button, spend the early months of the year researching these cars, sometimes even visiting them to ascertain their authenticity and condition. Each car is then discussed during a two- or three-day Selection Meeting in the spring.

Ultimately about 200 cars are invited to compete at Pebble Beach.

“We want to make certain each car shown here gets its due,” says Button. “Regrettably, that means we have to turn away many great cars. Sometimes they deserve to be here, but they don’t fit into the features and classes we are highlighting that year. Perhaps we feel they might shine more brightly another year.”

The 2018 Concours will feature Motor Cars of the Raj, Rollston Coachwork, OSCA, Postwar Custom Citroën, Sporting Vintage Cars and Tucker. Organizers also promise another surprise (or two or three!) to be unveiled in the spring.

Cars with a history tied to India. Most of these cars were sold into India when they were new, during the period of British rule, and many remain there.
Rollston was among the finest coachbuilders of the Classic Era, often building one-of-a-kind bodies on chassis built by Packard, Minerva and others.


Car enthusiasts have increasingly recognized the style inherent in many postwar custom-built Citroëns.
The 2018 Vintage class will focus on early sporting cars built from 1916 to 1924.
Founded in 1947 by three of the Maserati brothers, OSCA built sports racing cars that competed on road and track through the ensuing two decades.
Seventy years back Preston Tucker created the torpedo-shaped sedan that bears his name. Just 51 Tuckers were made and 47 are known to exist today.

Photos by Kimball Studios, Vincent Desmonts and Brian Henniker (courtesy of Gooding & Company).

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