FIA JUNIOR WRC

A THIRD WIN FOR STÉPHANE LEFEBVRE

WRC DEUTSCHLAND 2014

  • Stéphane Lefebvre and Thomas Dubois claimed a third Junior WRC win at Rallye Deutschland in their DS3 R3, adding to victories secured in Portugal and Poland.
  • The podium was completed by the German Christian Riedemann and the Frenchman Quentin Giordano.
  • Stéphane Lefebvre will have the chance to wrap up the title and secure a WRC2 programme for next year in a DS3 R5 on home soil, at the Rallye de France on 2-5 October.

 

Ten crews had been entered for this, the fourth round of the season. The rally saw the return of local hero Christian Riedemann, alongside co-driver Michael Wenzel, and the WRC debuts of Eric Camilli and Mohammed Al Mutawa, two drivers taken from Citroën Racing’s talent finding programmes.

At his home round, Christian Riedemann got off to the best start on Friday morning. Leader throughout the first loop, the German lost ground to the French pair of Stéphane Lefebvre and Eric Camilli after collecting a twenty-second penalty (for arriving late at the midday service exit time control).

On his first appearance in the World Championship, and having competed fewer than twenty rallies in his young career, Eric Camilli made a very strong impression as he took the lead after SS5. However, the following morning, the Frenchman went off the road during the first run on the 42 kilometre-long Panzerplatte Lang (SS10). Stéphane Lefebvre reclaimed first place, ahead of Christian Riedemann, Martin Koci, Quentin Giordano and Alastair Fisher.

The top two continued to extend their lead over the rest of the field, whilst Martin Koci also went off on Panzerplatte Lang 2 (SS14). Stéphane Lefebvre ended day two almost a minute clear of Christian Riedemann in second. Quentin Giordano and Alastair Fisher were over four minutes back after picking up punctures. Simone Tempestini, Kornel Lukacs, Mohammed Al Mutawaa and Federico Della Casa rounded off the overall standings.

The top of the leaderboard remained unchanged after Sunday’s final leg. Stéphane Lefebvre controlled from the front to secure a third win in four events. He finished ahead of Christian Riedemann. Quentin Giordano grabbed a third consecutive podium finish as held off Alastair Fisher, Simone Tempestini and Kornel Lukacs to take third place. Mohammed Al Mutawaa and Federico Della Casa retired with the finish in sight.

Thanks to this new win, Stéphane Lefebvre has strengthened his position at the top of FIA Junior WRC standings. He is now 29 points clear of Martin Koci. Quentin Giordano, Christian Riedemann and Alastair Fisher are bunched together, less than ten points behind Koci. In the Nations Trophy, France leads from Slovakia, Germany and Great Britain.

The next round is the Rallye de France Alsace, due to be held on 2-5 October.

QUOTE, UNQUOTE

Stéphane Lefebvre: “I’m very pleased to have taken my third win in four events. This was my first rally in the DS3 R3 on tarmac. We were among the frontrunners from the word go. And when we moved into the lead, we were able to control the gap. It was important to pick up some points after our mistake in Finland.”

Christian Riedemann: “I feel a little bit frustrated by this result. We were too cautious on Saturday on Panzerplatte by driving the stage without checking the splits. And it was difficult to make up the time lost after we were handed the twenty-second penalty for arriving at the time control late after changing the gearbox. However, we showed that we could compete with Stéphane Lefebvre. I hope I can take my revenge at the next round in France.”

Quentin Giordano: “This is our third podium running in the Junior WRC. We drove well to hold off our main rivals. I’m very pleased with this result, which enables us to consolidate our third position in the championship. I’m really looking forward to the next round, at home, at the Rallye de France.”

FORMULA 1

RICCIARDO HANGS ON FOR ANOTHER WIN WHILST ROSBERG IS IN TROUBLE AT MERCEDES AND BOTTAS CONTINUES TO IMPRESS.

DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: WINNER! Start Position: 5th
“You know everyone was saying we didn’t really have a chance around here, but I think we had some really good pace today and surprised ourselves. It feels a bit surreal, but another win is very cool, very cool. It was difficult staying out at the end of the race. When you’re the leader as well you always feel like you’re the most vulnerable when it comes to a pit stop or not, but Simon my engineer came on the radio and said I think it’s 11 laps left, can these tyres get to the end? And I said I think I can keep more or less this pace, and we were able to, and then on the last lap I found a couple more tenths, so I was having a bit of fun then! There’s been a lot of good things about the win today, obviously the last two came from a more aggressive style of race, but today was more calculated and it was nice to win under different circumstances.”
Nico Rosberg: That was a tough race. We had the pace to win today but the incident cost us a top result, so I’m really disappointed because for the team it was a bad day. As drivers, we are here to entertain and to show the fans a good time, so our duels are always on the limit. I regret that Lewis and myself touched, but I see it as a racing incident – just as the stewards did. I was quicker down the straight and went to the outside as the inside line was blocked. I gave it a go and, after we touched, I realized that my front wing was damaged and thought that was it. In the next second I saw that Lewis also had a problem, which was very unfortunate for him and for the team. We sat down quickly after the race but there will be some more meetings to be held in to avoid races like today.
Valtteri Bottas: Our pace was solid today and a lot better than in qualifying, with some good battles with the Ferrari’s and Red Bull’s, and I think third was probably the right result. I was stuck behind slower cars at the beginning which made the first stint difficult, but I managed to make my way past cars when it was needed and that was important for my race. We came into this race aiming for a podium and it is very satisfying to achieve that after an up and down weekend with tricky weather and Felipe being very unlucky today with debris.

GP2

Nasr storms to sprint victory

Williams F1 test driver Felipe Nasr was untouchable on his way to an easy win in this morning’s sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps, easily taking the lead at the start of the race and pulling away at will, claiming his fourth victory of the season from Johnny Cecotto and title rival Jolyon Palmer.
The win was set up at the start when the Brazilian made a sharp getaway from fifth as the lights went out: ahead of him poleman Daniel Abt made a decent start but fellow front row starter Artem Markelov struggled on the damp side of the circuit, holding up the second row enough to give Nasr a clean run up the inside at La Source for the lead ahead of Abt, Palmer and a fast starting Cecotto.
Abt and Palmer were fighting hard along the Kemmel straight and entered Les Combes together: the Briton went straight while the German wobbled, losing positions to his rivals behind him and allowing Cecotto to get onto Palmer’s rear wing, with the inevitable overtake coming after taking advantage of the tow on Kemmel next time by to claim P2 and a clear view of Nasr up front.
Behind them André Negrao, who had made a strong start from P9 on the grid to put himself up to fifth in the race, soon had the Mitch Evans / Stoffel Vandoorne train on his tail looking for a way through: the Kiwi driver made a brave pass at Blanchimont on lap 7 to take the Brazilian’s position, with the McLaren test driver taking the inside line at Les Combes next time through to resume battle with Evans.
Back at the front Cecotto was pushing hard to challenge Nasr, but it was clear that the Brazilian was protecting his tyres for use at the end of the race: Nasr was able to push wherever he needed and was untroubled by the Venezuelan’s best efforts, easily claiming the win by 5 seconds over Cecotto, with Palmer another 2 seconds back but just holding off a hard charging Evans, who eased past a struggling Abt out of Eau Rouge on the final lap. The German had just enough left to hold off Vandoorne for fifth, with a spectacular drive by Stefano Coletti being rewarded with P7 from P24 on the grid, ahead of Negrao in the final points position.
Palmer’s weekend was tough by the standards of his year to date but he still maintains the lead in the drivers’ championship ahead of Nasr, with the gap reduced now to 210 points from the Brazilian’s 178, with Vandoorne’s third place under pressure from Cecotto, 135 points to 127, with Evans on 110 points and Coletti on 98. In the teams’ title DAMS are holding on in the lead ahead of Carlin, 251 points to 244, with ART Grand Prix in 3rd on 161 points from Racing Engineering on 155 and Trident on 149 ahead of the next round in Monza in two week’s time.
Spa-Francorchamps – Sprint Race
Driver
Team
1.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
2.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
3.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
4.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
5.
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
6.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
7.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
8.
André Negrao
Arden International
9.
Tom Dillmann
EQ8 Caterham Racing
10.
Julian Leal
Carlin
11.
Marco Sorensen
MP Motorsport
12.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
13.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
14.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
15.
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
16.
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
17.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
18.
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
19.
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
20.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
21.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Rapax
22.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
23.
Rene Binder
Arden International
Not Classified
Sergio Canamasas
Trident
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
Jon Lancaster
Hilmer Motorsport

Fastest Lap: Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (Rapax) – 1:58.432on lap 13

GP3

Lynn holds off Stanaway in Spa Race 2

Series leader and Red Bull Junior Team driver Alex Lynn faced one of his biggest challenges of the season today, resisting the determined efforts of Status Grand Prix’s Richie Stanaway until the chequered flag in an epic battle. The Brit was victorious, extending his advantage in the Series, with his nearest title rival Stanaway second. ART Grand Prix’s Alex Fontana was third.
Race 2 was run under sunshine but in damp, foggy and chilly conditions. Lynn made a good start from his reverse pole, with Stanaway and Fontana retaining their positions behind. Nick Yelloly (Status Grand Prix) was doing his best to find a way past Jann Mardenborough (Arden International) for P4, whilst Jenzer Motorsport’s Pal Varhaug lost two places at the start to P6.
After lap one, Lynn had built a 1.8s margin back to Stanaway in second, as the two traded fastest laps early on with the deficit changing each lap. Pressure mounted on Fontana in third after he ran wide at Les Combes, giving Mardenborough the change to hunt the Swiss driver down. Spa Race 1 winner Dean Stoneman lost a place at the start after Emil Bernstorff had passed him in a brave move through Eau Rouge and several laps later, the Marussia Manor Racing driver returned the favour to take eighth.
On lap five, Patric Niederhauser crashed out of the race at turn five after starting from the pitlane.
The two at the front began pulling a large lead of over 11 seconds to Fontana in third, however drama was to come when race leader Lynn made a small error, losing control of his Carlin machine in a slide, which allowed Stanaway to sniff a chance of the lead and the Kiwi grabbed it. Lynn soon retaliated and passed the Status Grand Prix driver a few corners later, with Stanaway forced deep losing some time to his Series rival.
Varhaug out-braked himself under huge pressure from Dino Zamparelli, which allowed the ART Grand Prix driver through, as well as Bernstorff with Stoneman ready to attack. Stanaway reeled Lynn in for another attempt of snatching the lead, but it wasn’t to be and the Brit increased the margin to the Status Grand Prix driver to three seconds in the closing laps.
Luis Sa Silva crashed at the top of Eau Rouge on the final corner which was covered by yellow flags as Lynn came home to take the chequered flag and pocket his first race two victory in the Series. Stanaway and Fontana completed the rostrum, the Swiss driver bagging two extra points for fastest lap which was achieved on his final tour.
Mardenborough, Yelloly, Bernstorff, Zamparelli and Varhaug took the final points, with Stoneman being denied the final point in a fantastic tussle with the Norwegian up until the finishing line. Lynn (153 points) holds a commanding advantage to Stanaway in the Series (121) with Yelloly, Bernstorff and Eriksson on 95, 91 and 85 points respectively.
Carlin top the Teams’ Standings on 248, with Status Grand Prix next up on 216 and ART Grand Prix in third on 181. It’s not too long to wait for GP3 to return to action, Round 7 of the GP3 Series season takes place at the historic Monza in Italy on 05-07 September.
Spa-Francorchamps – Race 2
Driver
Team
1.
Alex Lynn
Carlin
2.
Richie Stanaway
Status Grand Prix
3.
Alex Fontana
ART Grand Prix
4.
Jann Mardenborough
Arden International
5.
Nick Yelloly
Status Grand Prix
6.
Emil Bernstorff
Carlin
7.
Dino Zamparelli
ART Grand Prix
8.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
9.
Dean Stoneman
Marussia Manor Racing
10.
Nelson Mason
Hilmer Motorsport
11.
Kevin Ceccon
Trident
12.
Riccardo Agostini
Hilmer Motorsport
13.
Ryan Cullen
Marussia Manor Racing
14.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
15.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
Status Grand Prix
16.
Mathéo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
17.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
18.
Santiago Urrutia
Koiranen GP
19.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
20.
Robert Visoiu
Arden International
21.
Patrick Kujala
Marussia Manor Racing
22.
John Bryant-Meisner
Trident
23.
Luis Sa Silva
Carlin
Not Classified
 
Carmen Jorda
Koiranen GP
Patric Niederhauser
Arden International
Sebastian Balthasar
Hilmer Motorsport
 
 
Fastest Lap : Alex Fontana– ART Grand Prix : 2 :07.448 on lap 13