Category Archives: General

INDYCAR

Ha claims NTT P1 Award as title contenders qualify in top sixert

MONTEREY, Calif. (September 21, 2019) – Like father, like son at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Twenty years after Bryan Herta won the third of his three consecutive Indy car poles at this 11-turn, 2.238-mile permanent road course, his 19-year-old son Colton won his first Laguna Seca pole here Saturday in qualifying for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.

The younger Herta, who also is trying to win the NTT IndyCar Series rookie-of-the-year award, captured his third pole of the NTT IndyCar Series season and will lead the 24-car field to the green flag.

RESULTS: Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey qualifying

Following his father’s footsteps at this track clearly was meaningful to Herta, who lives with his family in Valencia, Calif.

“Yeah, it obviously means a lot with the family history,” he said. “Fifty percent of (my father’s) Indy car wins came here. It means a lot to kind of keep on the family tradition.”

Herta showed pole-level speed throughout the weekend, yet he wasn’t convinced he would capture the NTT P1 Award as practice transitioned into qualifying Saturday.

“Honestly, going into (morning practice) I thought maybe we lacked a little bit, and we didn’t have quite as big of a gap (to others),” he said. “We were (seventh) and we needed to find a little bit of time, so I was going to be happy to make it into the Fast Six. That would be an improvement, but we got there and we led every (qualifying) group we were in.”

Herta’s pole-winning lap in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying was 1 minute, 10.1405 seconds/114.867 miles per hour, scoring him a bonus point that could be important in deciding a pair of season winners. Herta might need it to win the rookie award, a championship contender might wish he had it to claim the Astor Challenge Cup.

Herta’s pole also came shortly after he was confirmed to join Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport for 2020. Sunday, he will try to earn his second career NTT IndyCar Series race win after becoming the youngest winner in series history March 24 at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. He also will try to win a race here as his father did twice (1998 and ’99).

FORMULA 1

LECLERC GRABS POLE IN SINGAPORE!!

Leclerc secured a hat-trick of pole positions to put his Ferrari at the front of grid for tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix.

Formula One’s man of the moment continued his dazzling form under the thousands of bulbs that light up the Marina Bay Street Circuit to see off Lewis Hamilton’s late salvo by just 0.191 seconds.

Sebastian Vettel had been on provisional pole, but he was forced to abort his final run and will start from a disappointing third, with Hamilton splitting the Ferraris.

Leclerc will now be the favourite to secure his third consecutive victory with every pole-sitter, bar Vettel two years’ ago, going on to take the chequered flag here. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen lines up from fourth with Valtteri Bottas fifth for Mercedes.

Ferrari’s machinery was not expected to suit this slow-speed venue, but Leclerc’s fine performance provides them with every chance of securing their third win since the summer break.

DTM

Power summit: all eyes on Japanese at Hockenheim DTM finale

  • Making history: SUPER GT marques Honda, Nissan and Lexus set to challenge Aston Martin, Audi and BMW
  • Formula 1 & SUPER GT champion Jenson Button to make DTM debut
  • Fantastic promotion: free entry for fans of Japanese car culture
Jenson Button (GBR) © GTA

The 2019 DTM season finale (4-6 October) at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg will mark the first, much-anticipated summit between the world’s two biggest GT and Touring Car championships.
For the very first time, cars from Asia’s hugely popular SUPER GT series will compete alongside DTM’s manufacturers in a historic, unifying event at Hockenheim.

SUPER GT manufacturers Honda, Nissan and Lexus will join DTM regulars Audi, BMW and Aston Martin, with 2009 Formula 1 world champion and reigning SUPER GT champion Jenson Button (GBR) spearheading the driver line-up from Japan.

Ronnie Quintarelli (ITA) / Tsugio Matsuda (JPN), Nissan GT-R © GTA

In a further boost for the event, DTM organisation ITR has created a unique opportunity to provide free entry to the weekend for German fans of exotic Japanese car culture.
For this promotion, ITR has collaborated with the organisers of ‘Reisbrennen’– a major international meeting for Japanese car owners, tuners and race fans. Over 2,000 members of the ‘Reisbrennen’ community have already confirmed their attendance at Hockenheim, where they will gain free admission to the north grandstand B (while stocks last – register via DTM.com)

‘Japanese village’ and special car park for tuned Japanese cars

Jenson Button (GBR), Honda NSX-GT © GTA

As an additional extra, 100 owners of particularly stylish, highly tuned Japanese cars will exhibit their vehicles on high-profile VIP parking spaces behind the south grandstand. This area will feature a special ‘Japanese village’, complete with Japanese speciality food stalls and sales areas for Japanese tuning- and car-components.
To prepare for the joint-event, the three Japanese SUPER GT squads will be permitted two one-hour test sessions at Hockenheim on Thursday afternoon (October 3). As a major incentive, Hockenheim organisers are offering ALL fans free admission on this German public holiday to the south grandstand G.

Several SUPER GT champions to make their DTM debuts

In addition to the three cars from Honda, Nissan and Lexus, no fewer than five SUPER GT drivers are set to contest the Hockenheim race weekend.

Jenson Button (GBR) will drive his Honda NSX-GT at Hockenheim. In his 17-year Formula 1 career, he scored 15 Grand Prix wins and 50 podium finishes. He joined the SUPER GT series in 2018, racing for the Kunimitsu team, winning the title alongside team-mate Naoki Yamamoto (JPN) in his debut season.

Nick Cassidy (NZL) / Ryō Hirakawa (JPN), Lexus LC500 © GTA

Nissan and Lexus are each bringing two drivers to Hockenheim, with the intention that they will contest one race each.

Nissan intends to field Ronnie Quintarelli (ITA), SUPER GT’s most successful champion, with four drivers’ titles; and Tsugio Matsuda (JPN), a two-time champion who partnered Quintarelli in 2014 and 2015. The 2017 SUPER GT champions Nick Cassidy (NZL) and Ryō Hirakawa (JPN) are set to race for Lexus.

F1Weekly podcast # 804

CLARK AND NASIR TALK UP THE SIANGAPORE GRAND PRIX AND THE LIKES OF LCH FIGHTING WITH MAX OR PERHAPS LECLERC DOES IT AGAIN!…WE SHALL SEE…

Thoughts from Charles Leclerc.

“Singapore is maybe the toughest track for us drivers physically, just because of the heat and the humidity. It’s always a special place to go, because it’s a night race. I really enjoy driving at night and somehow, it feels a lot quicker than it does during the day. It’s just a unique weekend and I am really looking forward to being there.

After two positive weekends in Belgium and Italy, the race in Singapore doesn’t look as good on paper for us, because of the very different circuit layout, featuring lots of of slow corners and fewer straights. It might be a more difficult weekend for us, but we will give our all to have a good result.”

Play Podcast: 09-18-19f1weekly804.mp3

DTM

The power of two: Rast powers to second DTM title

  • René Rast secures second DTM title with third-place finish at Nürburgring
  • Audi driver now on title par with Paffett, Wittmann, Scheider and Ekström
  • Jamie Green wins after thrilling duel with Robin Frijns

Audi driver René Rast (GER) was crowned 2019 DTM champion after finishing third in Sunday’s Nürburgring race, throwing the title beyond the reach of his closest rival.

After taking pole and victory in Saturday’s race, Rast looked increasingly assured of sealing the title at the penultimate round of the series after securing a front-row starting place. Chief rival Nico Müller (SUI) would start from 14th.

Rast becomes the seventh driver in DTM history to win more than one title, joining fellow double-title winners Mattias Ekström (SWE), Timo Scheider (GER), Marco Wittmann (GER) and Gary Paffett (GBR).

Jamie Green (GBR), Audi

Only Klaus Ludwig and Bernd Schneider (both GER) have won more than two titles. Rast celebrated his second crown in only his third full season in the DTM – earlier than any other driver before him.

Lucky seven: Audi dominates second race on Sunday, equalling record

Sunday’s race at the Nürburgring turned into another Audi demonstration run, including matching an earlier record achievement.

Jamie Green (GBR) started from pole position and dominated the race, beating fellow Audi driver Robin Frijns (NED). For Green, it was his first win since the 2017 season finale. The Briton becomes the seventh driver to win a DTM race in 2019, and led home an Audi septet that was completed by Loïc Duval (FRA), Jonathan Aberdein (RSA), Nico Müller (SUI) and Mike Rockenfeller (GER).

Robin Frijns (NED), Audi

The finishing order meant that Audi today equalled a record established by BMW at Zandvoort in 2015:  a clean-sweep of the top seven finishing positions.

Disillusion for BMW and Aston Martin

BMW could only secure three points-scoring positions after a disappointing day for the Munich marque. Philipp Eng (AUT) flew the flag for BMW with his eighth-place finish while Timo Glock (GER) finished ninth and Bruno Spengler (CDN) came home 10th. Once again, Daniel Juncadella (ESP) was the best-placed Aston Martin driver, 12th across the line.

In spite of the early deciders in the battles for the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles going the ways of René Rast and Audi, there is still everything to play for in the teams’ classification during the season finale at the Hockenheimring (4-6 October). Audi Sport Team Rosberg (Rast/Green) has a margin of just 32 points over Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (Müller/Frijns)

WRC

DOMINANT C3 WRCs CONSOLIDATE THEIR LEAD!

Sébastien Ogier – Julien Ingrassia and Esapekka Lappi – Janne Ferm secured two stage wins apiece as they tightened their stranglehold of the rally to end day two first and second overall, following another dominant performance that saw them increase their advantage over the chasing pack.

Featuring two of the slowest and most technical stages of the weekend as well as Kizlan, a new and very fast speed test (contested at an average speed of almost 110kph), today’s 109.80km-long leg looked like it would be extremely challenging once again. Conditions were all the more testing for the fact that ground temperatures reached 50 degrees Celsius.

In such extremely hot conditions, and despite there being a hard, very sandy base on the roads, you had to be very confident in your ability to look after your tyres in order to gamble on taking three medium compound and two hard Michelin tyres, from so far down the running order (ninth). And yet that was exactly the approach adopted by Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia this morning. It paid off immediately as the French crew claimed their first stage win of the weekend on Yesilbelde (33km), having spent more than twenty-five minutes combining serious pace and expert tyre management in the C3 WRC!

With their rivals more than a minute behind, the six-time world champions focused on adopting a rhythm that would enable them to minimise the risks as much as possible on these very rough roads. Sébastien and Julien added another stage win on the second pass on Yesilbelde, taking over from their team-mate at the top of the leaderboard. They remained there at the end of the day and head into tomorrow’s final leg very determined to complete what would be an excellent overall team performance and a good result for the championship.

With a tyre package favouring hard compound tyres (four, plus one medium), Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm also impressed on the morning loop. They claimed two consecutive second fastest times, then a stage win (SS10), all done without taking any unnecessary risks in the C3 WRC. Aware of the need for the Citroën Total World Rally Team to secure a one-two finish tomorrow, they pursued the same rhythm in the afternoon, enabling them to keep out of trouble. They Finns managed to score another stage win on the repeat of Kizlan and although they lost the overall lead to their team-mates after stalling on SS12, they still remain way ahead of their nearest challengers.

The Citroën Total World Rally Team members will now get to work on the C3 WRCs – once again incredibly reliable – to ensure the Citroën crews make it through the 38.62 kilometres of timed stages left to complete tomorrow.