BTCC

OnslowCole

Andrew Jordan flies at Thruxton…

23-year-old Honda Civic driver claims fourth pole position of his BTCC career after late lap at Thruxton

Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan claimed the fourth pole position of his BTCC career after a blistering last gasp qualifying lap at Thruxton today (4 May). Jordan continued his run of qualifying in the first three positions at each round so far this season and also starting from the second row or higher at Thruxton in each of the last four years. 
 
The 23-year-old – second in the current driver standings – waited until the final minute to set the ultimate pace that eclipsed the Honda Yuasa Racing pair of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal.
 
Shedden looked set to secure his second pole position in as many rounds after an early dash of 1:16.894s saw the Scotsman dip under Jordan’s pole time from 2012. Both he and team-mate Matt Neal ran in tandem during the early laps, looking to gain a slipstream advantage at the high-speed Hampshire circuit, but Neal had to wait until a later run to force his way up the order into third.
 
MG KX Momentum had to settle for fourth and fifth with Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff respectively, but the team is still confident for race day tomorrow as both cars were carrying significant success ballast owing to their positions in the championship standings.
 
An exciting battle to get inside the top six ensued throughout the 30-minute session, as Jeff Smith, Tom Onslow-Cole and Frank Wrathall traded places on several occasions. It was Smith that eventually made the place stick, but the Pirtek Racing driver’s session ended off track after he ran wide at the ultra-fast Church corner and lost control of his Honda Civic. 
 
Onslow-Cole produced an impressive performance in his VW Passat to hold off Wrathall’s Toyota for seventh. Dave Newsham and Colin Turkington rounded out the top ten – the latter completing a speedy spin that dislodged the windscreen from his BMW 125i M Sport just after he’d crossed the line to set his fastest time of the day.
 
Adam Morgan’s Toyota Avensis lines up on the sixth row of the grid after he pipped the Airwaves Racing duo of Aron Smith and Mat Jackson.
 
The battle for top spot among the Jack Sears Trophy runners ended in success for Joe Girling in his Chevrolet Cruze after a great late effort put him ahead of Lea Wood’s Vauxhall Vectra and James Kaye’s VW Golf.
 
All the action from rounds 7, 8, and 9 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship taking place at Thruxton tomorrow (Sunday 5 May) will be screened live on ITV4 from 10:45.

Andrew Jordan said: “The car was fantastic and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I was relaxed after the win at Donington and I love it here. I was really hanging on during the lap but it was a lot of fun. The timing wasn’t planned to be honest – it was tight to get the lap in. The car is great so it was down to me just to get the best out of it. We were carrying quite a bit of weight too as we’re second in the championship so we have to be really pleased with that.”

Gordon Shedden said: “I am looking forward to race day. I think I started 19th here last year after some problems so I’m much happier to be up the front. I am really happy with the balance we have in the car, and we’ll have our elbows out to go racing tomorrow. We need to close the points gap on the leaders and I think we’re in good shape to do that.”

Matt Neal said: “I thought we had the front row locked out with Honda Yuasa but at least we got beaten by another Honda – and it was still a Honda 1-2-3. It’s great to start near the front tomorrow and tyres will be critical. What you can’t see on the TV is that we’re always drifting through the fast stuff here and when you get to the edge of the circuit with no run-off curbs or anything, it’s a long way to the banking. It always makes for some good racing when you come to a great circuit like Thruxton.”
 

2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Thruxton – Qualifying
 
1. Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing): 1:16.527
2. Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing): +0.270
3. Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing): +0.367
4. Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing): +0.518
5. Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing): +1.032
6. Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing): +1.041
7. Tom Onslow-Cole (PPCGB / Kraftwerk Racing): +1.263
8. Frank Wrathall (Dynojet): +1.296
9. Dave Newsham (Speedworks Motorsport): +1.391
10. Colin Turkington (eBay Motors): +1.485

DTM

Motorsports / DTM: german touring cars championship 2013

The two times’ DTM champion is back – pole for Timo Scheider…

Hockenheim. The 2013 DTM season has started. With his Audi RS 5 DTM, Timo Scheider was fastest in qualifying for the season opener at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. The 2008 and 2009 DTM champion will be starting from pole position on Sunday. The 34-year old completed his lap of the 4.574 kilometres long track in 1:35.918 minutes and thus ended ahead of Brazilian Augusto Farfus (BMW) and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz), who were second and third respectively.

For Scheider, it is already his eleventh pole in the DTM. “I am extremely happy. This is a perfect start into the season. Today, we have achieved a really good lap. Let’s wait and see how many good laps we can do in the race on Sunday,” Scheider said after qualifying, which started on a wet track after continuous rain. However, conditions improved steadily and the asphalt dried out towards the end.

Farfus, who will be starting alongside Scheider from the first row with his BMW M3 DTM, was also very upbeat with his qualifying result: “That was a difficult qualifying with changeable conditions. I got it together quite well and I am very happy with second place. Tomorrow, it will be exciting, especially with the new features, the option tyres and DRS.”

With his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Christian Vietoris came within 0.276 seconds of the fastest time of the day. Vietoris said: “We didn’t know where we are. I am happy with the result. The team has done a great job. In the final qualifying heat, I pushed, but unfortunately, Augusto and Farfus pushed a little bit more.” 

For Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz), qualifying ended with disappointment. For the first time in his DTM career, the Canadian made it into the final heat of the four-heat qualifying, but then, in the battle for first place, he crossed a white line of the track limit with all four wheels of his car, after which he was disallowed his lap time by race control. Fifth-placed Swede Mattias Ekström (Audi) was followed by the two title contenders of the previous year, Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) and DTM champion Bruno Spengler (BMW) in sixth and seventh place respectively. “Seven was my starting number in 2012, so the result is not that bad when you look at it this way,” Spengler said with a smile. 

The youngest driver in DTM history, Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-Benz), showed an impressive performance. In his first-ever DTM qualifying, the 18-year old ended up eighth.

The DTM is booming and even three times’ Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel took the opportunity to watch first qualifying of the year from up close at the track. Like his fellow F1 drivers Nico Rosberg and Nico Hülkenberg, Vettel witnessed the qualifying premiere of Timo Glock (BMW), in which the ex-Formula 1 driver ended up in 15th place. “It is too bad that we didn’t end up more to the front. I felt really well in the car, but we have to learn to understand the tyres, especially in wet conditions,” said Glock. 

On Sunday, two technical novelties will be used in the race for the first time. The Drag Reduction System (DRS), which allows the driver to temporarily adjust their rear wing from the cockpit and thus increase their top speed, as well as the option tyres, which differs from the regular DTM tyre with a softer rubber compound and allows for 1 to 1.5 seconds faster lap times for a while. 

The first race of the season covers 42 laps and 192.108 kilometres and starts on Sunday at 13:30 hrs (CET). ARD is already broadcasting live from 13:15 hrs.

F3 EC

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 3, race 1, Hockenheim (D)

Raffaele Marciello dominates in the rain…

Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) was unbeatable in the seventh season round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The Italian, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, could even afford himself a spin at the rain-soaked 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg and still won with a margin of 14.834 seconds from Félix Serrallés (Fortec Motorsports). Tom Blomqvist (Eurointernational) was classified third. With his fourth season victory, Marciello extended his lead in the drivers’ standings to 57.5 points.

From pole position, Raffaele Marciello already took the lead at the start and returned from the first lap with a margin of over five seconds already. In the process, he also benefited from a spin from Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam) in the first corner after the start, after which the Austrian dropped back to ninth. Second-placed Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam) also spun on the opening lap and dropped to the back of the field. On the first lap already, Félix Serrallés emerged as the main rival of Marciello. That was not to change during the 19 laps of the race, the Fortec driver finished second in spite of pressure from Tom Blomqvist. 

Behind the drivers on the podium, Sven Müller (ma-con) ended up fourth in the rain race as the best-placed German in the 29-strong field. Halfway through the race, he overtook Harry Tincknell (Carlin) and safely brought fourth place home. For Müller, this was his best season result to date in his home race. Josh Hill (Fortec Motorsports) finished sixth ahead of Auer and Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), who is still second in the drivers’ standings. William Buller (ThreeBond with T-Sport) and guest driver Daniil Kvyat (Carlin) rounded out the top ten. 

Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) 
“Personally, I don’t care whether I am driving in the rain or on a dry track. However, I think that our car is particularly good in the rain. I had a hairy moment when I spun at the first corner. I was lucky not to hit the wall and to continue without any problems. I have a pretty comfortable lead in the drivers’ standings, but the season is still long and nothing has been decided yet.”

Félix Serrallés (Fortec Motorsports)
“It was a good race and I am very happy with my maiden podium finish of this year. I reckon that we, as a new team in the series, first had to get used to the tyres. Now, we definitely are working into the right direction. Nevertheless, Raffaele was much too fast for me today.”

Tom Blomqvist (Eurointernational)
“I am happy with third place. Of course, I was slightly lucky as well that two drivers spun in front of me. After that, I think that I was slightly faster than Félix, but I didn’t find a way past.”