British F3

Latifi Spa 2013

LATIFI SNATCHES DOUBLE POLE, AS CARLIN TAKE A QUALIFYING 1-2-3 – 

Carlin’s Nicholas Latifi led home a mighty Carlin 1-2-3 in this afternoon’s Cooper Tires British F3 International Series qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps, the Canadian driver finished two-tenths ahead of Jordan King who was a tenth ahead of Jann Mardenborough, and was also the holder of the second fastest time, taking pole position for race three on Saturday. National class pole went to CF Racing’s impressive young Chinese racer Sun Zheng. 
 
The Ardennes was basked in beautiful sunshine this afternoon and Latifi took off immediately where he left off in free practice, setting the pace with a 2:16.735. This provided his rivals with a challenging time to beat, and his team-mates King and Mardenborough would soon emerge as his closest rivals.
 
As the session progressed King went quickest of all with a 2:16.295, but a final run from Latifi produced a time of 2:15.542, which was good enough to ensure he took a maiden pole position for tomorrow’s first race, before his second best time saw him double that record. King will start both race one and the final race of the weekend from second on the grid.
 
Just over four tenths separated the top three finishers, and Mardenborough, who finished third in both free practice sessions, continued his impressive efforts with a lap of 2:15.972. The time ensures he starts on the second row for race one and race three in what is a busy weekend for the young Nissan GT Academy racer; as Mardenborough will also race in the Total 24 Hours of Spa in the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
 
Behind the Carlin drivers it was Double R Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Fortec’s Felipe Guimaraes who brought the main challenge. Giovinazzi’s 2:16.372 good enough for fourth in race one, Guimaraes’ 2:16.630 giving him a row three start. Positions are reversed for race three with Guimaraes ahead of his Italian rival by ten thousandths of a second.
 
Championship leader Will Buller had a tough afternoon in his Fortec Dallara – Mercedes, the young Northern Irish racer showed glimpses of the pace that took his to two wins here in 2011, but his efforts, a 2:17.672, were only good enough for seventh in race one, and a 2:17.793 resulting in sixth for the final race.
 
Columbian Tatiana Calderon sparkled in the Belgian sunshine, a sixth place for race one and eighth for race three, coupled with a consistent performance throughout free practice will give the Double R driver cause for cheer. Team-mate Sean Gelael qualified eighth for race one and seventh for race three. 
 
The National class was dominated by Sun Zheng’s Neil Brown Engineering powered Dallara F311. From the outset the Chinese star was comfortably ahead of West-Tecs two Australasian chargers, Chris Vlok and Jordan Oon. Zheng will start from class pole for both race 1 and race 2, ninth overall; a positive test session at Anglesey boosting his confidence and understanding of Formula 3 machinery. 
 
Quotes: 
 
Nicholas Latifi, #1 Carlin – Dallara – Volkswagen (International Class Pole) 
“I confused myself with that lap, I didn’t realise I was in the 15’s with my time, I thought I was in the 16’s, and I was frustrated, but then when I realised what my time was, I was very happy. It’s great to get a pole position, we have really good pace here this weekend and I’ m confident of having a good first race. It was amazing result for the team, a 1-2-3 for both races is huge.”
 
Sun Zheng, #87 CF Racing – Dallara – NBE (National Class Pole)
“We’ve done a lot of testing before coming here, I’m still getting used to the car. Silverstone wasn’t very good for us. We didn’t get a chance to test properly so we were worrying about set-up a lot, but I’m feeling prepared, the team feel prepared; it’s very good and we look ok for tomorrow. I’m not sure if we can get ahead of anyone in front  of us, but I’ll try to follow them and learn from them. My target is to come to the International class in the future, so it will be great to experience racing against those cars.”
 
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
 Provisional qualifying times / Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) / 25 July 2013
 
Leading International class runners

1  Nicholas LATIFI / CDN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  2:15.542

2  Jordan KING / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  2:15.865

3  Jann MARDENBOROUGH / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2:15.972

4  Antonio GIOVINAZZI / ITA, Double R Racing Dallara-HWA Mercedes  2:16.372

5  Felipe GUIMARAES / BRA, Fortec Dallara-HWA Mercedes  2:16.630

 
National class

1  Sun ZHENG / CHI,  CF Racing Dallara-NBE  2:18.832

2  Jordan OON/ AUS,  Team West-Tec Dallara-Toyota  2:21.290

3  Chris VLOK / NZL,  Double R Dallara-Toyota 2:22.728
 
Third-race grid: Latifi – King – Mardenborough – Guimaraes – Giovinazzi – Buller – Gelael – Calderon – Zheng – Oon – Vlok

WTCC

WTCC Citroen 2013

CITROËN C-ELYSÉE WTCC TAKES ON THE WORLD’S CIRCUITS – 

A month after confirming that it would be entering the World Touring Car Championship in 2014, Citroën can now reveal the model that will be driven on the circuits by Sébastien Loeb. The Citroën C-Elysée WTCC will be the very first vehicle to be designed in accordance with the new regulations, currently being prepared by the FIA for the category next year.

On 26 September of last year, at the opening of the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Frédéric Banzet, Yves Matton and Sébastien Loeb announced that Citroën was considering taking part in the World Touring Car Championship. A few minutes earlier, the C-Elysée had just been unveiled for the first time to the world’s media. Ten months on, these two events come together again with the release of the first pictures of the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC!

Benefitting from the best of the Brand’s expertise in terms of style, development and quality, the Citroën C-Elysée is a C-segment saloon aimed principally at high-growth, international markets such as those in Latin America, the Mediterranean region, China and Russia. Widely acclaimed by customers, the Citroën C-Elysée is already 30% ahead of its initial sales target, with 30,000 orders placed.

“Choosing the C-Elysée as the basis for our WTCC car reflects very clearly our determination to use racing as an active means of supporting our commercial development,” emphasized Frédéric Banzet, CEO of the Citroën Brand. “With rounds in Latin America, Morocco, China and Russia, the WTCC race calendar is genuinely global, and it will be a real advantage to run a C-Elysée, a key driver of our growth, in front of large crowds of enthusiastic motorsport fans.”

“From a strictly technical perspective, the choice of a three-box saloon body was ideal in terms of aerodynamics. C-Elysée was therefore the perfect choice,” added Xavier Mestelan-Pinon, Citroën Racing’s Technical Director. “Apart from this aspect, we were able to install the various components fairly easily. Insofar as this is our first track racing car, we constantly had to ask ourselves questions about the relevance of our choices, but that’s what makes this a particularly exciting challenge.”

Firmly anchored to the tarmac on its 18-inch wheels, the C-Elysée WTCC is quite simply formidable. Featuring an integrated aerodynamic splitter, the front bumper accentuates the radiator grille with its prominent double chevron. The widened front and rear wings lend the car’s bodywork a decidedly racing feel. At the rear, the stylish rear wing will ensure that the car hugs the track.

Under the bonnet, the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC is powered by the same 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged engine as the DS3 WRC. With a wider booster flange, power output is now close to 380bhp. The car comes with a front-wheel drive transmission, controlled by a six-speed sequential gearbox.

After making its first track outing a few days ago, the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC has now begun a programme of development tests. The car will make its first public appearance at the Frankfort International Motor Show (12-22 September).

Formula 1

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - British Grand Prix - Practice Day - Silverstone, England

Sahara Force India looks forward to Hungarian Grand Prix, the tenth race of the 2013 season…
 
Vijay’s Vision
Team Principal, Dr Vijay Mallya, looks back on the first half of the season.
 
At the halfway point of the season how would you sum up the first nine races?
I think the first nine races have probably exceeded the expectations we set ourselves over the winter. The first mission was to start the year well and that’s what we’ve done. In fact, it’s been our best start to a season ever: we’ve shown good pace and had some excellent races. At the same time we recognise that we haven’t made the most of all the opportunities and we’ve had our fair share of bad luck. But I prefer to focus on the positives and there’s no doubt that the VJM06 is the best car we have ever produced and I’m proud of the hard work from everyone in the team.
 
What are the objectives for this weekend?
The priority remains the same as the Silverstone test: to get better understanding of the new Pirelli tyres. That’s been a key factor in our strong performances so far this year so we need to make sure we continue to deliver good tyre management. As a venue, the Hungaroring has not traditionally been our strongest track. Paul scored points a couple of years ago and it’s important to add some more to our tally this weekend.
 
What about your goals for the second half of the year?
I would expect the remainder of the season to be more competitive than the first half of the year. We’ve seen the progress of McLaren, especially in Germany, and it’s clear we have a big fight on our hands to beat them in the remaining races. Toro Rosso have also looked more competitive recently so I think we will see tight grids and very close racing all the way through until the final race in Brazil.
 
 
Paul on Budapest
Paul, Budapest brings us to the halfway point of the season. How are you feeling ahead of the weekend?
I’m feeling positive. At the start of the year it would have been hard to imagine that we would be fifth in the championship after nine races, but that’s what we’ve achieved. Every part of the team is working well and that’s been the key. There have been some missed opportunities, but we’ve always recovered well and been able to keep the momentum going.
 
What memories do you have from your previous visits to Hungary?
I’ve always enjoyed going to Budapest since I first visited in 2010 when I was the team’s third driver. It’s an historic city and I usually stay very close to the river in the centre. It’s full of interesting places and great restaurants. My racing memories are mixed, but the 2011 race was an exciting one on a damp track. I finished seventh – which was my best finish in Formula One at the time.
 
Tell us about the challenge of the track?
It’s very demanding physically and mentally because you are nearly always in a corner. The layout feels more like a street track and all the corners flow into each other so you need to find the rhythm of the track and build your confidence with each lap. By the time the track is fully rubbered in it feels very satisfying to drive.
 
How do you rate your chances for this year’s race?
There’s no reason why we can’t be competitive. The big unknown is the new Pirelli tyres. It’s a big challenge for all the teams to try and get on top of them quickly. It’s hard to say if they will impact on the performance level of the teams, but we will go into the weekend with the same approach and then target Q3 on Saturday and points on Sunday.
 
Adrian on Budapest
 
Adrian, the Hungarian Grand Prix is your 100th race in Formula One. How does it feel to reach this landmark?
It’s hard to believe how quickly time goes by! It’s a big milestone, for sure, but in the end it doesn’t really change anything. My goals remain the same as when I started my first event and that’s to win races. I still love the sport and I hope I can continue to drive these amazing cars for a long time.
 
What memories do you have from your previous visits to Hungary?
I’ve always enjoyed this event. It’s the mid-way point of the year just before the holidays and the weather is usually very nice. But it’s one of those places where I’ve not had much success. I’ve never scored points in Budapest so that’s the first objective this year.
 
Tell us about the challenge of the track?
It’s very tight and twisty and there are not many places where you can catch your breath, apart from the pit straight. It’s dusty, too, and the track takes a while to clean up on Friday during practice. We usually run with maximum downforce there because after Monaco it’s the slowest circuit on the calendar.
 
How do you rate your chances for this year’s race?
It’s difficult to say because it’s the first race with a new tyre construction. The track is tight and we need to qualify well because there are not many opportunities to overtake.