Tag Archives: Nicolas Prost

Formula 1

2013 F1 Young Driver Test - Day 1

LOTUS F1 YOUNG DRIVER TEST DAY ONE…

Nico Prost completed the first day of running at the Silverstone Young Driver Test by setting the eighth fastest time of the day in the team’s E21. Nico ran through a programme of aerodynamic assessments over the course of a glorious day of sunshine at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Davide Valsecchi will take over tomorrow with Nico returning to the car on Friday in a change to the original programme – which had seen Kimi Räikkönen set to take the wheel – made following clarification of FIA rules stipulating that race drivers would be unable to test anything other than tyres.

Fast Facts:
Track: Silverstone, England, 5.9km
Chassis: E21-03
Weather: Sunny, ambient 20-28°C, track 29-46°C
Programme: Aerodynamic data logging, upgrade assessment, latest tyre evaluation
Laps Completed: 72
Classification: P8, 1:34.810
Interruptions: Minor delays in morning for niggle rectification

What’s Next?
The Young Driver Test continues tomorrow with Davide Valsecchi in action.

Nico Prost:
“It was a very positive day where we completed everything in the itinerary. We only ran with the hard tyres today; focusing on comparison assessments of the latest parts for the car as well as aero work which meant we didn’t make any setup changes. Considering this our pace was pretty good. I’m happy that I’ll be running again on Friday when hopefully we’ll be able to look for a bit more performance, but the important focus of this test is to complete a programme aimed at putting Kimi and Romain in the best position to be able to win the Hungarian Grand Prix.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“Nico got our programme off to a strong start with fast and consistent laps all day meaning we have plenty of data to analyse overnight. We had a few niggles to sort in the morning, but were soon in our stride running with large aero-logging rakes and other data gathering equipment. We’ve evaluated some new updates which are looking promising and we have a good initial impression of Pirelli’s latest tyres. Tomorrow is Davide’s turn on driving duties and we expect another strong day of running. Looking to Friday, in a change to our original plan, we will now run Nico again. Once the details of what race drivers were allowed to do here became apparent, we would have only been able to conduct a very limited programme with Kimi. By running Nico again we can build on the work already carried out and hopefully be in the best position to develop the E21 ahead of Budapest.”

12 Hours of Sebring

Audi sebring 2013

AUDI TAKES THE 12 HOURS OF SEBRING.

After 12 hours of intense racing, the winners of the 61st Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring were greeted by fireworks as they crossed the finish line at Sebring International Raceway.  America’s oldest circuit is also one of the world’s most challenging, in part owing to the flat and featureless landscape.  Long straightaways, tight corners and switchbacks contribute to driver fatigue making concentration paramount to staying on the bumpy track which itself generates tremendous stress on the suspension and produces a skittering effect under braking.   A handful of laps on this track requires skill and talent, 12 hours of racing on it demands superior endurance from both driver and machine.

After trading first and second throughout the race with their teammates in the #2 car, the #1 Joest Audi R18 e-tron Quattro, that had started from pole position, took the P1 win by a mere 7.68 seconds.  Winning driver Benoit Treluyer (Alecon, FRA) shared the car with Marcel Fassler (Gross, SUI) and Oliver Jarvis (Burwell, GBR).  The #2 car, driven by Lucas di Grassi (MON), Tom Kristensen (DEN) and Allan McNish (GBR) finished second.  Taking third, five laps behind the leader, was the #12 Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60 driven by Nicolas Prost (Fechy, FRA), Nick Heidfeld (Monchengladbach, GER) and Neel Jani (Jens, SUI).

“For me, a fantastic week and a fantastic couple of months,” said Jarvis with a nod to his GT win in January at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the #24 Audi R8.  “It’s been a fantastic start to the year for me.  I could never have dreamed of this. To win at Daytona was unexpected, but to come here and win again is a dream come true.  It was a privilege to be invited to race here.  When I got the call I put the phone down and started jumping.  I’ve had two races in America and two wins.  I hope to come back in the future.”

Fassler, who had earned the pole during qualifying, noted that winning the pole was a great thing, but that it was just one lap compared to a 12 hour race.  “The Race is always quite tough,” said Fassler.  “To leave Sebring as a winner is a great feeling.  Sebring is well known in Europe and to win a big race is good for a driver.”

Treluyer, who brought it home tonight, gave credit to his co-drivers.  “Marcel did a really great job on the pole position and Oliver did a great job through the night…he pulled away, and I just had to keep the gap.”

In the P2 class the victory was also claimed by the pole starting car.  The #551 Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-03B, driven by Scott Tucker (Leawood, Kan.), Marino Franchitti (Edinburgh, GBR) and pole winner Ryan Briscoe (Sydney, AUS), finished ahead of their teammates in the  #552 car driven by Tucker, Ryan Hunter-Reay (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Simon Pagenaud (Montmorillon, FRA).  Third in class was the #41 Greaves Motorsport Zylek Z11SN with the driving team of Tom Kimber-Smith (Reading, GBR), Christian Zugel (Holmdel, N.J.) and Eric Lux (Williamsville, N.Y.).

With Tucker driving stints in both the #551 and #552 cars, he takes home not only two trophies, but also a Rolex watch which each driver in the five class-winning cars were presented.  Additionally, he is the fourth driver in the race’s history to win the 12 Hours of Sebring four years in a row. 

The PC class win went to the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports entry driven by David Cheng (Samamish, Wash.), Mike Guasch  (Pleasant Hill, Calif.) and David Ostella (CAN), followed by the #8 BAR1 Motorsports car driven by Kyle Marcelli (CAN), Chris Cumming (CAN) and Stefan Johansson (Los Angeles, Calif.).  The #500 Performance Tech Motorsports car driven by Tristan Nunez (Boca Raton, Fla.), Charlie Shears (Houston, Texas) and David Heinemeier Hansson (Chicago, Ill.) took the third spot on the podium.

Oliver Gavin (Northhamptonshire, GBR), Tommy Milner (Leesburg, Va.) and Richard Westbrook (London, GBR), in the #4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, edged out the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia driven by Gianmaria Bruni (Rome, ITA), Olivier Beretta (Monte Carlo, MON) and Matteo Malucelli (Meldola, ITA) for the win in the GT class.  Taking third in class was  the #17 Team Falcon Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR driven by Wolf Henzler (Nürtingen, GER), Bryan Sellers (Atlanta, Ga.) and Nick Tandy (Bedford, GBR),

“It certainly seemed like we were making it harder for us than we wanted to at times,” said Gavin.  “We had some issues with the car and got a lap and a bit down and then we got a penalty for something, I’m not entirely sure what, but that cost us 60 seconds.  The crew were absolutely fantastic today, but more so Tommy and Richard drove fantastically, especially Tommy at the end of the race, he was amazing.  He put so much pressure on the Ferrari that towards the end the Ferrari made a mistake and we took the lead.  It was an amazing 12 hours of us never giving up. I’m delighted for everybody at Corvette Racing.”

Tommy Milner acknowledged that the team was off to a great start to the season.  “I’m still a bit lost for words.  After my first stint we were about a minute behind the Ferrari and I wasn’t able to close the gap much but when we made our next two pit stops our Corvette crew did an absolutely incredible job.  I think the first one was about 20 seconds and the second one was 10 seconds.  After the first one it gave me so much confidence I just kept pushing, it was an unbelievable finish.”

Richard Westbrook said that it was clear from the beginning that they had a good car.  “When I had the problem with the dashboard it put us two laps down, but after a few yellow flag periods and great driving stints by these two guys we got back on the lead lap and of course thanks to those two great pit stops we managed to get in the lead.  At one point I was concerned because we weren’t getting the expected yellow flag periods and in fact I think we had, at one point, five hours of green flag running and it was then that I felt maybe this is just not going to be our day.  Then came the amazing pit stops and Tommy’s great driving at the end.  On the balance of things I believe we deserved this win, we did it the hard way.”

Eleven Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars ran in the GTC class with the win going to Alex Job Racing’s #22 car driven by Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), Jeroen Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo, MON) and Dion von Moltke (Coral Gables, Fla.).  Nelson Canache Jr. (Caracas, VEN), Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Ga.) and Brian Wong (Newport Beach, Calif.) were second in the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsorts entry, followed by Henrique Cisneros (Miami, Fla.), Marco Seefried (Wemding, GER) and Sean Edwards (MON) in NGT Motorsport’s #30

Motorsports Mondial

 

Photo: renaultsport

ALAIN PROST AND DACIA LEAD 2011/2012 TROPHEE ANDROS TITLE CHASE

The setting for the Trophée Andros dropped in altitude this weekend with a visit to Saint-Dié des Vosges, in eastern France. The battle for victory was as thrilling as ever, however, and the big crowd saw Alain Prost pull out a gap over Jean-Philippe Dayraut after beating his title rival in both races. That said, Benjamin Rivière boosted his championship hopes with a strong run in the Vosges Mountains. There is very little in it between these three drivers ahead of next weekend’s last round at Super Besse (Auvergne).

The Trophée Andros regulars were greeted by mild temperatures and non-stop rain. Despite being refrigerated, the Geoparc circuit in Saint-Dié des Vosges featured very little ice and, given the weather conditions, each driver was allocated eight tyres instead of the usual six.

Indeed, the chief difficulty for the Dacia runners was the lack of wintry conditions. “Our car is designed to race on ice, not asphalt,” observed Alain Prost. “Unfortunately, there was practically no ice left after free practice. It’s the same for everyone, I know, but it’s a shame that this winter’s Trophée Andros will be settled on asphalt given how close it has turned out to be.”

Alain Prost, Evens Stievenart and Nicolas Prost preferred not to take any risks during free practice in order to save their tyres as much as possible. However, Nicolas Prost and Evens Stievenart lifted a little too much during the first qualifying run, while Alain was halted by transmission trouble after his first flying lap.

It wasn’t the ideal start to Race 1, but the three drivers succeeded in bouncing back in Q2. Despite carrying 40kg of ballast, Alain Prost notched up the fifth-best time, with Evens and Nicolas following in eighth and 12th places respectively, which is how the Race 1 finales ended for the Dacia trio. Sixth place in the final standings enabled Alain Prost to pull out a small gap over his main rival for the title, Jean-Philippe Dayraut. “It didn’t end too badly because it’s never good to start with a technical problem, although it’s the first time that has happened to us this season. True, Benjamin Rivière picked up a lot of points, but it was important to finish ahead of Jean-Philippe.”

The action continued with Race 2 on Saturday evening, and the challenge was once again to be as competitive as possible through the puddles which were all that remained of the ice. Both qualifying sessions were fiercely fought affairs and the win only escaped the Dacia Lodgy Glaces by a few hundredths of a second. Evens Stievenart was third, Alain Prost fifth, and his son Nicolas eighth.

Nicolas survived his finale unscathed, but the bill-topping clash in which Alain and Evens starred was much more aggressive, and the Dacia drivers’ rivals didn’t hesitate to indulge in a little door to door contact. The contest ultimately produced the season’s eighth different winner, while Alain Prost completed Race 2 in fourth spot, followed by Evens Stievenart (7th) and Nicolas Prost (8th).

Although Alain Prost arrived in St-Dié equal on points with Jean-Philippe Dayraut, he will go into the last round level at the top of the table with Benjamin Rivière. That promises a breath-taking end to the series, although each driver’s two ‘least good’ results will be subtracted from their final scores, a rule which, on paper, isn’t favourable to the chances of Alain Prost and Team Dacia.

Alain Prost: “It’s great to be in with a chance for the title at Super Besse, even though the scoring system promises to make it difficult for me. We will do all we can to win but it’s a shame that the championship will be settled on this type of circuit. I am a little disappointed by the way today’s finale unfolded because the behaviour of our rivals was over the top. You’ve got to salute Benjamin Rivière’s performance this weekend, though. He’s got a strong car and he’s a good driver. So ‘bravo’ to him! Super Besse will be complex. We will just try to win and see how the points work out afterwards. It’s good for the spectators that the decision has gone down to the wire.”

Evens Stievenart: “The conditions weren’t much fun, even though the first race didn’t go too badly for me given that I was carrying 60kg of ballast. We were competitive for Race 2, but a few mistakes, especially during the finale, cost me a podium finish. Alain’s fate is no longer in his hands, so it will be necessary to win at Super Besse and hope that our opponents have a poor weekend. Nicolas and I will consequently have a key role to play. A one-two-three finish would be ideal and give us a good chance of clinching the title.”

Nicolas Prost: “It wasn’t an ice race. It was all asphalt, so managing our studs wasn’t easy. I ended both races inside the top 10 and I was able to match the pace of the front-runners. That’s a positive to take away from the weekend. Now, we just need to score a strong result at Super Besse. The level of the championship is very high and it’s been close all season. The best way to help my dad is to keep working together as we have done all year. It’s going to be very close…”

 

Motorsports Mondial

A STRATEGIC VICTORY FOR ALAIN PROST AND HIS SON FOR TEAM DACIA LODGY GLACE

The foundations for Dacia Lodgy Glace’s maiden Trophée Andros win in the Principality of Andorra were laid in two phases. Alain Prost gave an early hint of his speed when he posted the fastest time during the first race’s first qualifying session at the Pas de la Case ice-racing circuit. However, he decided to spare his tyres during the second session. He ended up second in the first race before going on to claim a brilliant victory in the weekend’s second race. The Frenchman’s points haul in Andorra has promoted him to second place in the provisional Trophée Andros standings. The consistent Evens Stievenart also picked up points, while Nicolas Prost continued his rapid apprenticeship of the championship.

A week after the season’s curtain-raiser at Val Thorens, last weekend saw the epicentre of the Trophée Andros switch to the Principality of Andorra in the Pyrenees Mountains. The conditions were suitably icy but, as ever, the way track conditions evolved over the weekend played a decisive role, as did the way the drivers managed their respective allocations of six tyres (compared to eight tyres in previous years) for the meeting’s two races.

The weekend got off to a flying start for Team Dacia when Alain Prost topped the timesheets in free practice. The four-time Formula 1 world champion and two-time Trophée Andros winner then went on to dominate the first qualifying session. He was the only driver to lap in less than 45 seconds and he ended up more than a second clear of his closest chaser. Evens posted a top-five time, while the track was new to Nicolas Prost in a car with four-wheel steering.

Thanks to the coefficient system applied when a driver wins the first qualifying session of the first race, Alain Prost and Team Dacia were sure of coming at least second in the opening race, so it was decided to take a strategic approach to the second session by using it to bed in tyres for the second race. The results of Saturday morning’s finale confirmed that this was a judicious choice, since Alain Prost’s overall performance bagged second spot, while Evens Stievenart and Nicolas Prost were eighth and 19th respectively.

There was less ice on the track for Saturday afternoon’s action, but Alain Prost was in a more favourable position than his rivals in terms of tyres, suggesting that his earlier strategy was perfectly founded. The ‘Professor’ was second in the second race’s first qualifying session but he kept his best tyres for the second session when he was impressively quick on each of his four laps to finish almost two seconds clear of his closest rival. Nicolas emerged in fifth place, proving that the two-time Trophée Andros Électrique winner is a quick learner.

A surefooted run in the finale enabled Alain Prost to take the win and notch up Dacia Lodgy Glace’s maiden Trophée Andros success. Second place in the first race and victory in the second has also put the Frenchman squarely in the running for the title, since he is now second in the provisional order, just one point short of the current leader. Nicolas Prost was a remarkable ninth overall, followed by Evens Stievenart (10th), which meant that all the Team Dacia drivers came away from the team’s successful visit to Andorra with points. Round three will take competitors back to the French Alps for next weekend’s trip to L’Alpe d’Huez.

Alain Prost: “I think victory was possible in the first race, but we decided to spare our tyres. The decisive moment was winning the first qualifying session on Friday, which meant I was sure of finishing at least second. In terms of championship points, we preferred to finish each race in second place rather than win the first race but risk finishing way down the order in the second race. Having two cars was a big advantage this weekend because we were able to evaluate different solutions thanks to Nicolas and Evens. This is Dacia Lodgy Glace’s first win, but it was above all a great team effort. Finishing second and first won’t happen often this year. After last week’s trip to Val Thorens, where we finished just shy of the win, we have already made up ground. The fight is on!”

Evens Stievenart: “I globally felt less comfortable this weekend because I’m not perfectly at ease on bare asphalt. I didn’t bed in my tyres too much and that proved costly for both races. I’m very happy for Alain, though. His win is great for team morale and we traded a lot of data. My thoughts are now turned to the race at L’Alpe d’Huez which is a track I really enjoy.”

Nicolas Prost: “I learn something each time I drive the car. My tyres were in excellent shape for the second race and I was perhaps happier with the track conditions. It was very nice to post the fifth fastest time in the second qualifying session for the second race. I didn’t think I would find myself in an “Élite Sup” finale so soon. That’s a big confidence booster for the rest of the season, especially after dad’s win. It was a good weekend all round for Team Dacia.”