BTCC

Snetterton enjoyed three action-packed BTCC races in perfect conditions
Snetterton enjoyed three action-packed BTCC races in perfect conditions

Tordoff, Jordan and Shedden share the spoils – 

Neal maintains championship lead after thrilling BTCC event at Snetterton… 

MG KX Momentum Racing driver Sam Tordoff secured the first victory of his BTCC career in Sunday’s opener at Snetterton, before the Hondas of Andrew Jordan and Gordon Shedden claimed a win apiece in races two and three respectively.
 
Proving something of a Snetterton specialist, having won there previously in both the Clio Cup and Carrera Cup, Tordoff stormed to his maiden BTCC pole position on Saturday and then duly backed-up his pace with a commanding lights-to-flag victory in race one.
 
Plato followed Tordoff home to secure MG’s second one-two finish of the season, whilst Shedden had to fend off late challenges from both Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan to secure the final podium position.
 
While the first contest was relatively incident free, the final two races provided enough drama to last a whole season.
 
Jordan won an action-packed race two after he passed Turkington when the two made contact late on. Matt Neal blasted from ninth on the grid to finish second, and the ever-improving Ford Focus of Aron Smith took the first podium of the season for the Motorbase-run squad.
 
Plato had led the early running before his car ground to a halt with an engine problem, but his day was to take an even bigger twist in the final showdown. Fighting his way through the order on the opening lap of race three, his MG6 spun wildly on the run down to Hamilton before making heavy contact with the barrier, which tipped his car into a dramatic barrel roll. The two-time BTCC champion walked away unharmed from the spectacular incident although his championship hopes were obviously dented.
 
The drama continued after the restart and when Shedden honed in on early leader Turkington, the pair touched while racing for position. Turkington spun down the order as Shedden nipped through to take a comfortable win. The Scotsman’s victory proved to be the second success of the day for the Dunlop Sport Maxx Soft tyre after Jordan’s earlier race win.
 
Airwaves Racing enjoyed its best race of the season so far as Irishman Aron Smith took his second podium of the day behind team-mate Mat Jackson, who scored his first rostrum of 2013 with second place.
 
Honda Yuasa Racing’s Neal maintains the championship lead after his podium and a further two top ten finishes. Jordan is now nine points in arrears with Shedden a further 13 points adrift. Turkington has moved into fourth ahead of the MG pairing of Plato and Tordoff, who will feel they could’ve made more of their superior performance in Norfolk. Honda extended its points advantage over MG in the Manufacturers’ standings.

Lea Wood claimed the first ever hat-trick on wins in the Jack Sears Trophy as his Vauxhall Vectra ran faultlessly throughout, whilst his main class rivals suffered myriad of issues.  

Sam Tordoff said: “The first one is always special. I knew that if I got away well I’d have a great chance of winning and thankfully I did. A one-two is great for the team and it feels like I have ticked an important box with this maiden win.”
 
Andrew Jordan said: “It was a frenetic race win. Colin was driving very very well, defensively but fair, and then he made a little mistake. I put my car up the inside – he closed me down a little bit and I couldn’t go anywhere else. It was a great race and a good win, but it’s typical of Matt Neal to come through to finish second, so I only got a few points back on him.”
 
Gordon Shedden said: “It was a nice way to finish. It looked like it was going to be a tough weekend, and that’s how it turned out. It’s always good to finish on a high, and it’s just reward to all the effort that Honda and Team Dynamics have put in to try and get our little Civic on the case this weekend.”
 
Mat Jackson said: “Everybody at Airwaves Racing has worked really hard to get to where we’ve got to, and it’s all credit to them for the results this weekend. We’ve turned a corner – we’re back. We’ve obviously found something in the car, and for a change I’m really looking forward to the next round!”
 
Aron Smith said: “It’s unbelievable – this is the weekend our efforts deserved and it’s like our championship has finally started. The pace Mat and I had all weekend shows that all the work that we’ve put in is now starting to pay dividends, and we now have a package that can challenge at the front. I’m sure it made for some entertaining TV, but it was certainly frantic in the car!”

2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Snetterton race results:

Race 1
1 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 12 Laps
2 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +2.514
3 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +3.564
4 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +3.829
5 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +4.313
6 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +8.908 

Race 2
1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 14 Laps
2 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +2.770
3 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +3.467
4 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +4.158
5 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +6.822
6 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +7.207
Race 3

1 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 15 Laps
2 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +3.090
3 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +10.656
4 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +11.995
5 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +12.578
6 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +12.991 
Championship Standings:
1  Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 256

2 Andrew Jordan(Pirtek Racing) 247
3 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 234
4 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 219
5 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 206
6 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 182

For full results from the weekend, click here.

Penalties:

Andrew Jordan received two penalty points for an incident relating to driving standards in race two

Gordon Shedden received three penalty points and a £500 fine for an incident relating to driving standards in race three

DTM

Motorsports / DTM: german touring cars championship 2013, Race at Moskau, Moskau Raceway

Mike Rockenfeller wins successful DTM premiere in Russia – 

Moscow. A great debut for the DTM in Russia. The first event of the most popular international touring car series attracted 45,000 fans to Moscow Raceway over the weekend. On Sunday, spectators cheered for a dominant victory by German driver Mike Rockenfeller with his Audi RS 5 DTM. After 74 laps, the Audi driver, who had started from pole position, crossed the finish line with a margin of 1.3 seconds from his fellow Audi driver Mattias Ekström, who finished second, and thus secured the historic maiden DTM race win in Russia. Augusto Farfus also stepped on the podium for finishing third with his BMW M3 DTM. Driving a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Gary Paffett was classified fifth behind Audi driver Adrien Tambay.

With his second victory of the season, Rockenfeller extended his championship lead from defending champion Bruno Spengler (BMW), who remained without points for the first time this year after his 19th place finish. Now, 29-year old Rockenfeller has 94 points, 27 more than Spengler (67). Gary Paffett (57) is third. “When you want to become champion, you have to score many points. That is what we did today. At Norisring, I was too slow, but today, everything was spot-on. A weekend couldn’t be better. First pole, then the race win,” ’Rocky’ said about the third victory of his DTM career. 

For many laps, Rockenfeller and Ekström were involved in a duel for the lead. However, Rockenfeller didn’t make any mistakes and eventually came out on top. Moreover, he had lapped his main rival Spengler twice during the race. In the closing stages, third-placed Farfus defenfed his position from a charging Tambay. “My third place isn’t bad at all. We have had some difficult weekends, but here in Russia, things went well,” was the Brazilian’s verdict about the premiere in the outskirts of Moscow.

Fifth-placed Paffett wasn’t unhappy with his result. “We had to make the best of our seventh place on the starting grid and we have succeeded. The duel with Jamie Green was clean and fair. For the first event in Russia, this was really good. Everyone involved has done a fantastic job. The grandstands were full and the track was great,” Paffett said. 

Audi’s new signing Jamie Green scored points by finishing sixth, just like Joey Hand and Dirk Werner (both BMW), Timo Scheider (Audi) and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) in seventh to tenth place.

Defending champion Spengler had a rather unfortunate race. “Miguel Molina ran into my car at the beginning and thus, my chances in the race were gone. I have tried everything, but the car was too much damaged. Sometimes, races end in a different way than one had expected,” the Canadian said.

The seventh season round will take place on the Nürburgring, August 18th.

Dieter Gass, head of DTM, Audi: “For Audi, the DTM premiere in Russia couldn’t have been any better. First and second place, five of our cars in the race and now a clear points’ lead for Mike Rockenfeller, who, just like Mattias Ekström, has driven an absolutely perfect race, although the two got caught up in traffic time and time again. The race was held in front of a great crowd and the Audi RS 5 DTM clearly was the strongest car here at Moscow Raceway.”

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “This first race here was a great success with a great echo from the spectators. I am very happy for Augusto and with Joey and Dirk, we had two more drivers in the top ten. Of course, Bruno had a tough time. I hope that this doesn’t affect his chances in the championship too much. We really have to push hard at the Nürburgring.” 

Wolfgang Schattling, head of DTM Management Mercedes-Benz: “Today certainly wasn’t our day. It already showed in qualifying that we didn’t do as well as our competitors at this track. However, Gary has shown a great performance and achieved the best possible result for us.”

WRC

Citroen Finland winner 2013

CITROËN TOP DRIVER – RALLY FINLAND – DAY 3 KEITH CRONIN WINS IN STYLE- 

The season’s most spectacular rally more than lived up to its reputation. Difficult and demanding in equal measure, the Finnish course rewarded the most daring and skilled crews. In the Citroën Top Driver, the DS3 R3s of Keith Cronin, Sébastien Chardonnet and Jussi Vainionpää made up the podium in the WRC3 category.

For this, the third round of the Citroën Top Driver championship, the nine crews competing in Rally Finland tackled an unusual course, a great learning experience for all drivers. The combination of ultra quick stages, endless jumps and tough weather conditions, which left the roads slippery, meant that those drivers with tenacity, good turn of speed and sound analytical capabilities were rewarded.

Keith Cronin and Alastair Fisher became involved in an enthralling battle right from the word go. Throughout day one, the two drivers from across the Channel took it turns to impress although Fisher edged ahead, finishing the first six stages with a 9.2 second lead over his main rival. The next day, the pressure got the better of the British driver, who went off on “Palsankylä 1”. Keith Cronin took over as race leader at that point, a position he held until the end of the rally, also finishing as best performer with eight stages wins. The icing on the cake for the Irish driver is that he now leads the Citroën Top Driver standings by three points from Sébastien Chardonnet.

“We’re really pleased with this win, which takes us into the lead in the competition,” said a delighted Keith. “This is the first time we have competed at Rally Finland but we really had a good feeling on these roads which are still very special. The DS3 R3 was perfect and fast and we can’t wait for Germany to begin the series of tarmac rallies. We’re going to give it our best shot to hold onto our position as leader.”

Runner-up overall, the Frenchman Sébastien Chardonnet had a tough first day but managed to mount a significant comeback on day two, completing the eight stages with some flair. Fighting with local driver Jussi Vainionpää, he gradually moved ahead of the Finn, establishing a clear lead in second sport, a position he would hold until the end of the rally. Although no longer the leader of the Citroën Top Driver standings, the Côte d’Azur-based driver admitted he was pleased with his work in the land of a thousand lakes:

“It’s true that the start of the race was complicated for us, but we then found a good feeling in the car and the DS3 R3 was really great. The aim is clear in any case, we’ll be trying as hard as possible to retake the lead in the competition, starting at Rallye Deutschland!”

The surprise package of the weekend, Finnish driver Jussi Vainionpää enjoyed an intelligent race. He drove consistently, not taking any unnecessary risks on a course featuring many tricky sections. He finished third overall, a fine performance on his first rally in a Citroën DS3 R3.

Simone Campedelli finished just outside the top three, and could be pleased with his performance in Finland. After a testing start to the season, the Italian driver enjoyed a controlled race, whilst also winning two stages and fighting for third place until the last few kilometres. Meanwhile, the Frenchman Quentin Gilbert was less fortunate. Hampered by technical problems and missing a corner on the first run on Ouninpohja, he still made it into the top five at the end of three days of racing and remains third overall in the Citroën championship standings.

Stéphane Consani rounded off the standings in the Finnish round of the Driver and admitted afterwards that it was a weekend that he would rather forget about. After suffering a double puncture on Himos 2, he went off on the eleventh stage and had to rejoin under Rally2 rules. In the end, he finished the points by taking sixth place.

In the Teams’ championship, Top Teams still lead the standings, followed by Charles Hurst Citroën Belfast and Delta Rally Team.

 

FINAL PROVISIONAL OVERALL STANDINGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

Cronin / Clarke

 

Citroën DS3 R3

 

   3:06:35.4

2

 

Chardonnet / de la Haye

 

Citroën DS3 R3

 

+1:14.5

 

3

 

Vainionpää / Juntunen

 

Citroën DS3 R3

 

+2:43.1

 

4

 

Campedelli / Fappani

 

Citroën DS3 R3

 

+3:08.1

 

5

 

Gilbert / Galmiche

 

Citroën DS3 R3

 

      +9:04.7

6

 

Consani / Veillas

 

Citroën DS3 R3

 

    +44:23.0

 

 

FASTEST TIMES

Day 1: SS1 to SS3: Fisher – SS4: Cronin – SS5: Fisher – SS6: Vainionpää

Day 2: SS7: Fisher – SS8 to SS10: Cronin – SS11: Chardonnet – SS12: Cronin – SS13: Campedelli – SS14: Cronin – SS15: Vainionpää

Day 3: SS16: Vainionpää – SS17: Cronin – SS18: Chardonnet – SS19: Consani – SS20: Campedelli – SS21: Gilbert – SS22: Cronin – SS23: Consani

BEST PERFORMERS

Cronin, 8 fastest times – Fisher, 5 – Vainionpää, 3 – Chardonnet, Campedelli and Consani, 2 – Gilbert, 1.

LEADERS

SS1 to SS7: Fisher – SS7 to SS23: Cronin

RETIREMENTS

Alastair Fisher: Minor off on SS8

Stéphane Consani: Off followed by puncture on SS11 / Rejoined under Rally2 rules on Day 3

Christian Riedemann: Technical problem on SS14. Retired before SS15.

Federico Della Casa: Retired on SS14 (water in the engine) / Rejoined under Rally2 rules on Day 3

Retired on SS21 following minor off

 

CITROEN TOP DRIVER STANDINGS AFTER RALLY FINLAND

1. Cronin : 51 points

2. Chardonnet : 48 pts

3. Gilbert : 36 pts

4. Bouffier : 27 pts

5. Riedemann : 25 pts

6. Campedelli : 18 pts

7. Vainionpää :15 pts

8. Fisher : 13 pts

9. Consani : 6 pts

10. Parli : 4 pts

TEAM STANDINGS AFTER RALLY FINLAND

1. Top Teams : 84 points

2. Charles Hurst Citroën Belfast : 76 pts

3. Delta Rally Team : 33 pts

4. Saint Eloc : 31 pts