WTCC

A WIN FOR LOEB DESPITE THE DOWNPOUR

FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 - SLOVAKIA– With rain falling throughout the day at the Slovakia Ring, the 7th and 8th races of the FIA WTCC were disrupted by the weather.

– The first race was stopped before the finish due to adverse track conditions. Sébastien Loeb, who had got the better of José-María López at the start, notched up his second race win of the season.

– As the showers intensified in the late afternoon, the second race was cancelled.

Unlike qualifying, which took place in blazing sunshine, the races at the Slovakia Ring always looked like being a particularly wet affair. Heavy showers soaked the track from mid-morning onwards. The Citroën Total mechanics adapted the setup of the C-Elysée WTCCs accordingly, in time for the first race at 1.15 p.m.

Starting from pole position, José-María López fluffed his start, whereas Sébastien Loeb got off to a flyer and was leading by the first corner. López was just about hanging on to second position, ahead of Norbert Michelisz. Yvan Muller also found himself in trouble when the red lights went out, dropping down to fourth. He then picked up a drive-through penalty for moving before the start.
With better visibility than his rivals, Sébastien Loeb was able to open up a lead over José-María López. After serving his penalty, Yvan Muller rejoined the race in 14th position. He provided some entertainment in the chasing pack by overtaking first Borkovic, then Bennani, Munnich and Valente.

This brilliant recovery was cut short, however, when the safety car was brought out. There was simply too much water on the track, and the officials decided to bring the race to a halt by raising the red flag after 9 of the planned 11 laps. As more than 75% of the full distance had been completed, full points were awarded.

After a brief period of respite, the showers returned with a vengeance in the late afternoon. Race 2, scheduled for 5.45 p.m., was cancelled just a few minutes before the start.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

Yves Matton, Team Principal, Citroën Racing: “Seb got off to an exceptional start and that’s what earned him his second win of the season. Pechito didn’t take any risks, knowing that second place would still stand him in good stead in the championship. Yvan’s chances, however, evaporated at the start. The rain had become heavier and heavier and the race could not reasonably continue, so the race officials did the right thing. The decision to cancel race two was also understandable. We saw all afternoon how hard the track was to drive on, and a race contested in those conditions wouldn’t have been much of a sporting spectacle.”

Sébastien Loeb: “Pechito was very strong from the start of the weekend and I didn’t think I would be able to beat him! I got off to an excellent start and was leading by the first corner. As I had the best visibility, I was able to attack to open up a bit of a gap. Then the rain got heavier and it became very dangerous. The grip was changing hugely from one lap to the next and drivers were aquaplaning almost everywhere. It was a good decision to bring out the safety car – I was even struggling to keep up with it – and then to stop the race. This win gives me valuable points and a boost to my confidence after a difficult weekend at the Hungaroring.”

José-María López: “I didn’t get a good start. It’s really been a weakness for me all season, and I have to keep working hard to improve. But in those conditions, second place was a good result. I tried to attack to keep up the pressure on Seb, but I had trouble anticipating the aquaplaning because I couldn’t see where the big puddles were. I think the race had to be stopped. It was impossible to drive in those conditions.”

Yvan Muller: “I made a mistake at the start. My car moved forward a metre, then I stopped, before setting off again when the red lights went out. I knew I was going to get a drive-through, and I didn’t attack until I received the penalty. I rejoined the pack and managed to gain a few places and pick up a point. The officials made the right decision in stopping the first race and cancelling the second one.”

STANDINGS

RACE 1
1. Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
2. José-María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) +1’’105

3. Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC) +2’’435
4. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +4’’081
5. Tom Chilton (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +5’’205
6. Gianni Morbidelli (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +6’’026
7. Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic WTCC) +6’’960
8. Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic WTCC) +7’’410
9. Rob Huff (Lada Granta 1.6T) +8’’359
10. Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) +9’’457
Fastest lap: Sébastien Loeb (2’18’’193)

RACE 2
Cancelled

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: DRIVER STANDINGS
1. José-María López: 138 points
2. Sébastien Loeb: 113 pts
3. Yvan Muller: 109 pts

4. Tiago Monteiro: 71 pts
5. Gabriele Tarquini: 52 pts

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: MANUFACTURER STANDINGS
1. Citroën Total: 323 points

2. Honda: 204 pts
3. Lada: 131 pts

Formula 1

2014 SPANISH GRAND PRIX – RACE

Lewis Hamilton achieved his fourth victory of the season today with Nico Rosberg finishing just 0.636s behind in second place.

– MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS took the first one-two finish for a team at the Spanish Grand Prix since 2009
– Today’s result marks a fourth consecutive one-two finish for the team; a feat last achieved by Mercedes-Benz in 1955
– Lewis began the race on option tyres, stopping for a second set of options on lap 18 and primes on lap 43
– Nico also started on options, switching to primes on lap 21 and then back to options on lap 45

Lewis Hamilton

It’s fantastic to get my first win here after eight attempts and it’s really difficult to put that feeling into words right now. We have our bosses from Mercedes-Benz here today and it’s great for the team that we were able to give them a one-two finish. In all my career, I’ve never before had a car or a performance gap like this. Nico drove a fantastic race and I struggled to keep him behind, but I just managed it at the end. I had the same problems with the car this afternoon that I found yesterday in qualifying: I couldn’t attack the corners properly because of snap oversteer and that’s where Nico was catching me. I’m just so proud of this team: we are looking very strong and I’m enjoying every moment and every step of the way. There’s still a long way to go this season, though, so we are staying humble, getting our heads down and working hard. I still have a bit more time to find from the car because it’s very, very close with Nico, so I have to keep working on that. But it’s a great feeling to be leading the championship.

Nico Rosberg

The race was so close at the end today and with one more lap, I could have tried to overtake Lewis for the first time. My start was bad. It is a weakness that we have and we will try to improve. Once it was clear that I was in second place, we chose to go with the slower strategy using the prime tyres in the middle stint to get a shot at Lewis at the end when I was on the options. It was very close but not quite close enough so naturally I’m disappointed but I can take a lot of positives from this weekend. We have an amazing car and my pace was really strong here so I just need to find an extra little edge to capitalise on. The next race is Monaco which is not only my home race but has some great memories from my victory there last year. 

Toto Wolff

That was a fantastic afternoon of sport. We have two incredible drivers who are capable of fighting until the last corner of the last lap to achieve success. That was the case again today and they were incredibly closely matched in spite of running different strategies in the race. Their battle is so intense and so close that I am sure it will carry on all the way to the final race. We will savour this victory tonight and enjoy our success – but from tomorrow, our focus is on Monaco. We had a very strong result there last year and our target will be to improve on that this year.

Paddy Lowe

Both cars made a great start and got through Turn One cleanly without incident. From then on, it was all about some incredibly close racing between two drivers, with an hour and a half of constant work between them and their engineers to try and find any possible edge. It’s great to watch both sides of the garage working so well to get the best for their driver. Lewis and Nico both delivered great drives and to see a gap of 0.6s after 66 laps of flat out racing just about sums it up. I would like to thank all the team in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart for the huge effort that went into creating such a competitive car at this pivotal and very difficult race of the season. We are now looking forward to Monaco which brings some very different challenges for us to tackle.

F3 Euro Championship

Tom Blomqvist takes victory from rookie driver Esteban Ocon

Season round: 8 of 33
Track: Pau
Winner: Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin)
Pole position: Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: wet track, rain in the first part of the race

Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) claimed victory in the eighth season round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 2.76 kilometres long street circuit of Pau in the south of France. On a wet track at the foot of the Pyrenees, he ended up ahead of rookie driver Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam), who was slowed down by a bent suspension. After a thrilling finale, Jake Dennis (Carlin) finished third as the second-best rookie driver in the field. With his seventh podium finish of the season, Lotus F1 junior driver Ocon extended his FIA Formula 3 European Championship points’ lead (146 points), followed by Tom Blomqvist with 92 points.

Due to the weather conditions and a wet track, the field got underway behind the safety car with Esteban Ocon as the pole-sitter. After five laps, the green flags were out and Ocon maintained his lead from Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing). On lap twelve, Max Verstappen, who had lost ground on Ocon and Rosenqvist, spun out of third place and into the Armco barriers, putting an end to his race. Soon after that, Felix Rosenqvist closed the gap to Ocon. As he attacked the Frenchman for the lead, the two cars slightly tangled, the Swede spun and retired as well. After Tatiana Calderón (Jo Zeller Racing) and Felipe Guimarães (Double R Racing) had collided and Edward Jones (Carlin) had parked his car alongside the barrier following a spin, the safety car was deployed once again.

After the restart, Esteban Ocon immediately came under pressure from Tom Blomqvist, who managed to overtake the rookie soon after that. On the two remaining laps, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship points’ leader managed to keep Jake Dennis, Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Dennis van de Laar (Prema Powerteam) at bay. The Frenchman defended his second place until the end in spite of a bent suspension following contact with Felix Rosenqvist’s car. Mitch Gilbert (Fortec Motorsports), Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3), Roy Nissany (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Hector Hurst (Team West-Tec F3) finished in sixth to tenth place. British driver Hurst scored his first-ever FIA Formula 3 European Championship point.

Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “I am really happy to have won this race. It was the first time for us on a wet track this weekend and just staying on the track was particularly important. During the safety car phase, I initially thought that I was third. Although Esteban had an obvious damage on his car in front of me, overtaking him after the restart wasn’t particularly easy.”

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “I am a little bit disappointed, because a better result would have been possible. I slightly damaged my suspension by running too hard over the kerbstones and later on, Felix Rosenqvist hit that wheel to make the problem worse. Therefore, I had no way to keep Tom behind me after the restart.”

Jake Dennis (Carlin): “This was my first time driving a Formula 3 car on a wet track and I reckon I didn’t do too bad. At times, keeping the car on the track wasn’t easy. Scoring my maiden Formula 3 podium finish on a street circuit like here in Pau is simply great.”

GP2

Nasr sprints to first victory Brazilian claims maiden win

Felipe Nasr has finally taken a monkey off his back by claiming his maiden GP2 victory with a fine run to the flag in this morning’s sprint race in Barcelona, setting up the win with a strong start before eking out a gap from Jolyon Palmer and Tom Dillmann.
Poleman Dillmann made a decent start, but fellow front row starter Tio Ellinas struggled to get off the line, opening a gap for fast charging Rio Haryanto and Nasr, who slotted in behind the Frenchman into turn one, with the Brazilian picking up another position at the next corner. Unfortunately for the Indonesian he ran off a few corners later, promoting Palmer and Arthur Pic in the process, as the race started to take shape.
Dillmann couldn’t deny his rivals next time round, with Nasr and Palmer quickly sliding through before commencing a personal battle for the lead which was to last for most of the race, while behind the top four Julian Leal and Mitch Evans squabbled between themselves while keep an eye on yesterday’s winner Johnny Cecotto and Stéphane Richelmi.
With tyrewear high at this circuit the field drove as conservatively as possible without giving their rivals a sniff of their position, but it was only a matter of time before they started to fade: Palmer had a big lock and couldn’t quite stay with Nasr, who cruised for the last few laps for his maiden win. Dillmann held on to round out the podium, while Pic had a quiet time for fourth place, with Leal picking up more points behind him. Unfortunately for Evans, the race was just too long: the New Zealander’s tyres gave out and he was forced to retire with 2 to go, promoting Cecotto to P6 ahead of Monegasque pair Richelmi and Stefano Coletti.
The result saw Palmer extend his lead in the championship to 70 points, from Leal on 48 Nasr on 42, Cecotto on 29, Pic on 26 and Stoffel Vandoorne on 25 points, while Carlin lead the teams’ championship by 90 points to 83 over DAMS, with ART on 33 points, Trident on 29 and Campos on 26 points ahead of the next round in Monaco.
Barcelona – Sprint Race
Driver
Team
1.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
2.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
3.
Tom Dillmann
Arden International
4.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
5.
Julian Leal
Carlin
6.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
7.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
8.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
9.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Rapax
10.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
11.
Tio Ellinas
MP Motorsport
12.
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
13.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
14.
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
15.
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
16.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
17.
Facu Regalia
Hilmer Motorsport
18.
Sergio Canamasas
Trident
19.
Daniiel De Jong
MP Motorsport
20.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
Not Classified
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Rene Binder
Arden International
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
Simon Trummer
Rapax
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
Fastest Lap: Daniiel De Jong (MP Motorsport) – 1:34.261 on lap 6

GP3

Stoneman holds off Tuscher to win Barcelona Race 2
Marussia Manor Racing’s Dean Stoneman claims maiden GP3 victory
British driver Dean Stoneman delivered the goods in tricky conditions in Sunday’s GP3 Race 2 in Spain. Rain fell before the start of the race and it was the Marussia Manor Racing driver who made a stunning overtake on Jenzer Motorsport’s Matheo Tuscher on lap two and held off the charge from the Swiss rookie until the line. Dino Zamparelli for ART Grand Prix enjoyed his maiden rostrum finish in the category.
After rain fell overnight and around an hour prior to the race starting, the Circuit de Catalunya track was damp with threatening clouds looming overhead. Tuscher started from reverse pole and all 27 drivers started on the slick Pirelli tyre.
At the start, Tuscher held his lead with Stoneman, Zamparelli and Jimmy Eriksson (Koiranen GP) in tow. However the Brit in second had all eyes on the lead and made a brave and successful manoeuvre on the Swiss driver to sneak into P1. In the early laps, Stoneman tried to pull an advantage but Tuscher remained close on his tail.
Patrick Kujala made contact with Nick Yelloly (Status Grand Prix) and the Finn retired at turn one where as Yelloly was able to continue. There was action throughout the field with Marvin Kirchhöfer making a move on Eriksson – the two apparently glued to each other for a large part of the race producing some exciting racing.
The safety car was deployed following Trident’s Denis Nagulin spinning and stopping on track. After a few laps, the pack bunched together ready for the re-start and Stoneman held his nerve to remain in front. In the meantime, Race 1 winner – Alex Lynn and ART Grand Prix’s Alex Fontana decided to take a chance and pitted for the wet tyre under the safety car. It was a gamble that didn’t pay off with the pair finishing outside of the top ten.
At the midway point of the race, Alfonso Celis Jr (Status Grand Prix) touched Pal Varhuag (Jenzer Motorsport) – the duo both ended their race in the gravel – whilst Carlin’s Emil Bernstorff was busy storming through the field. The Brit started the race from down in P24 and finished an impressive P8.
Zamparelli was under huge pressure from Richie Stanaway (Status Grand Prix) in the closing stages but the Brit resisted the Kiwi’s efforts to hold onto a debut podium. In the final few laps (a race which finished under time – not full race distance) – Tuscher began to harass Stoneman for the win and the two were locked together but it was Stoneman who stormed to victory in Spain.

Behind Stoneman at the chequered flag, completing the top eight point’s scorers were: Tuscher, Zamparelli, Kirchhöfer, Eriksson, Yelloly, and Bernstorff. Patric Niederhauser just missed out on a top eight finish but pocketed two points for fastest lap since he finished within the top ten.

Lynn continues to lead the Drivers’ Standings on 31 points with Stanaway in second on 23 and Eriksson in third on 22. It’s all very tight in the Teams’ Standings with ART Grand Prix on 34, one point ahead of Marussia Manor Racing who have a one point advantage over Carlin.
The second round of the GP3 Series will be at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria – a brand new venue – catch us in action on 20-22 June 2014.
Race 2
Driver
Team
 
 
1.
Dean Stoneman
Marussia Manor Racing
2.
Matheo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
3.
Dino Zamparelli
ART Grand Prix
4.
Richie Stanaway
Status Grand Prix
5.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
6.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
7.
Nick Yelloly
Status Grand Prix
8.
Emil Bernstorff
Carlin
9.
Patric Niederhauser
Arden International
10.
Luis Sa Silva
Carlin
11.
Robert Visoiu
Arden International
12.
Adderly Fong
Jenzer Motorsport
13.
Santiago Urrutia
Koiranen GP
14.
Jann Mardenborough
Arden International
15.
Beitske Visser
Hilmer Motorsport
16.
Ryan Cullen
Marussia Manor Racing
17.
Victor Carbone
Trident
18.
Alex Lynn
Carlin
19.
Alex Fontana
ART Grand Prix
20.
Ivan Taranov
Hilmer Motorsport
21.
Roman De Beer
Trident