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March 2015

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iRacing TV

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The Team

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 iRacing.com World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden
    Contributor

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon iRacing.com and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel
    Contributor

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

Bottas backs team orders stance

March 31st, 2015

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Valtteri Bottas believes he and Williams Formula 1 team-mate Felipe Massa have proved they can be trusted to race without team orders after their Malaysian Grand Prix battle. Massa lost fifth to Bottas in their late dice at Sepang, which included near-contact at the first corner and ended when the Finn pulled off an outside-line move on the Brazilian through the long, fast Turn 5 on the penultimate lap. Williams was involved in a team orders controversy at the same event last year when Massa declined to follow a request to let Bottas past to attack Jenson Button’s McLaren for sixth. But this year it allowed them to resolve their battle between themselves. “It was really good to get the green light from the team to allow us to race,” [...]

Manor denies it can’t run both cars

March 31st, 2015

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The Manor Formula 1 team insists there is no reason why it cannot run both its cars at the same time, following speculation over Will Stevens’ Malaysian Grand Prix absence. Having solved the software problems that prevented the revived F1 squad appearing in any of the sessions at the first race of the season in Melbourne, Manor took to the track for the first time in 2015 at Sepang. But it only fielded Roberto Merhi in qualifying and the race after team-mate Stevens’ car developed what Manor described as a “complex fuel system problem” in final free practice on Saturday. The team said it had deliberately avoided running both cars simultaneously in practice to minimise the risk of making operational mistakes. When Stevens – who had been its quicker driver [...]

Hamilton’s BTCC deal ‘a huge thing’

March 31st, 2015

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Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says it is a “huge thing” for his brother Nicolas to be contesting selected rounds of the British Touring Car Championship this season. Nicolas, 22, who has cerebal palsy, will contest five of the championship’s 10 rounds, making his debut at Croft on June 28. “My brother has grown up with motorsport around him,” said the Mercedes F1 driver. “He got dragged around to all the karting races from the time he was born. “He’s worked very hard from a time where there was not a lot hope he would be walking to getting out of wheelchair and taking a few steps. “Now he is competing in a class where no one else has the same difficulty as him, so it’s twice as hard [...]

Ferrari: Passing Mercedes was unlikely

March 31st, 2015

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Ferrari’s Formula 1 technical director James Allison says it is unlikely that Sebastian Vettel would have been able to pass Lewis Hamilton on track to win the Malaysian Grand Prix. Vettel took the lead of the race by staying out during an early safety car period, while Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg – who were running first and third – made early pitstops. How Vettel stole Hamilton’s thunder Both Mercedes drivers lost a significant amount of time passing slower cars after the restart, allowing Vettel to build a lead that Hamilton then couldn’t close in the final stint of the race. “I think we were probably a bit quicker than Mercedes in race,” said Allison. “We saw that when Mercedes were in traffic that was slower than them, they [...]

Young Finn gets Toyota WRC test role

March 31st, 2015

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Toyota has added Finish rising star Teemu Suninen to its junior driver programme and the test roster for its new World Rally Championship contender. The 21-year-old has only contested one round of the WRC – Rally Finland last year, where he won the WRC3 category (pictured below) on his debut in a Citroen DS 3 R3T prize drive. Suninen joins 27-year-old Frenchman Eric Camilli as a Toyota junior driver. The pair will work alongside Toyota test drivers Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastian Lindholm on the Yaris WRC development programme ahead of its 2017 debut, and on other cars in the Japanese firm’s rally stable. “Toyota has such a strong reputation and history in rallying; it’s a great honour to be selected by TMG to be a part of their return,” said [...]

Tincknell rejoins Jota for ELMS

March 31st, 2015

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Nissan factory LMP1 driver Harry Tincknell will return to the Jota Sport team for the full five-race European Le Mans Series this season. The Briton was part of the team’s LMP2 class-winning line-up at the Le Mans 24 Hours last year, and has been recalled after ex-Formula Renault 3.5 and GP3 driver Nick Yelloly was unable to take up his seat. Tincknell, who drove in last week’s official ELMS test with Jota, will share the team’s Gibson-Nissan 015S with Filipe Albuquerque and Simon Dolan. The trio finished second together in last year’s ELMS. Tincknell’s return to Jota for the ELMS opener on the undercard of the World Endurance Championship event at Silverstone next month has been made possible by Nissan’s withdrawal from the first two WEC rounds. Jota team boss [...]

Vaxiviere tops Aragon 3.5 test

March 30th, 2015

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Lotus Formula 1 junior driver Matthieu Vaxiviere set the fastest time in both sessions of the first day of the final Formula Renault 3.5 pre-season test at Motorland Aragon. Vaxiviere recorded a fastest lap of 1m41.331s in the morning session, before improving to 1m40.635s in the afternoon. “This morning, we did a good job with our race settings before fine tuning the set-up for fast laps,” said Vaxiviere. “We wanted to put in a time on new tyres at the end of the session. It turned out good and confirms our potential on this track. “Our primary satisfaction lies in the step we’ve made with the new regulations, especially concerning the DRS. “Tomorrow will be more important, we need to correctly prepare the car in low-downforce configuration [mandatory for Saturday [...]

More garages and 60 cars for Le Mans ’16

March 30th, 2015

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An increase in the number of pits at Le Mans to allow 60 cars to start the 24 Hours is on course to be completed in time for next year’s race. The organiser of the 24 Hours, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, had looked at increasing the number of pit garages from the current 56 for this year’s event. It decided to delay the plans in order to build four more garages in one go, which should now happen for 2016. ACO president Pierre Fillon told AUTOSPORT: “To build more pits at the end of the pitlane, we need to reorganise the paddock, in particular where we have parc ferme. “That is why we had to wait and build four new pits for next year rather than one or two [...]

Yelloly gets Hilmer GP2 test seat

March 30th, 2015

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Nick Yelloly will test Hilmer Motorsport’s GP2 car after parting company with the Jota Sport LMP2 squad prior to his planned European Le Mans Series campaign. The GP3 and Formula Renault 3.5 race-winner carries out simulator duties for the Force India Formula 1 team, which has an alliance with Hilmer in GP2. The test in Bahrain from Wednesday to Friday will be 24-year-old Yelloly’s first run in GP2 machinery. “Firstly I would like to thank Franz Hilmer for making the call to get me out to Bahrain to test in GP2 with Hilmer Motorsport,” he said. “It is a great opportunity and I really can’t wait to jump in the car on Wednesday morning and to work with the whole team. “It will be my first time in the GP2 [...]

Schneider joins Blancpain Sprint field

March 30th, 2015

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DTM legend Bernd Schneider is set to contest the first three rounds of the Blancpain Sprint Series with the new GT Russia Mercedes squad. The Mercedes ambassador and test driver, who has been a regular in long-distance events aboard the German manufacturer’s SLS AMG since 2011, is confirmed for this weekend’s BSS opener at Nogaro and the Zolder round in June and is hoping to race in the British round at Brands Hatch in May. The 50-year-old will share the GT Russian Team Mercedes entered in the Pro-Am class with former German Formula 3 Cup racer Alexey Karachev. “Alexey has found some sponsors, who want me to do some races with him to help him a little bit,” five-time DTM champion Schneider told AUTOSPORT. “It should be for the first [...]

Smedley: Williams has work to do

March 30th, 2015

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Williams has to develop the whole car package and improve operations if it is to remain a Formula 1 frontrunner, according to performance chief Rob Smedley. Valtteri Bottas finished the Malaysian Grand Prix 70 seconds behind Ferrari’s race winner Sebastian Vettel in fifth, with the Finn’s team-mate Felipe Massa sixth. The team ended 2014 as the second-fastest outfit on merit behind world champions Mercedes, however the race in Malaysia highlighted the fact it has arguably dropped behind Ferrari to third. “We need to develop the whole package from the back,” said Smedley. “We just have to keep pushing on and make sure we are developing at a faster rate than them.” Williams struggled with tyre management in the hot conditions at Sepang and were forced into doing three pit stops [...]

Qatar battle one of my best – Rossi

March 30th, 2015

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Valentino Rossi says his last-lap Qatar Grand Prix battle with Andrea Dovizioso was among the greatest of his MotoGP career. Seven-time champion Rossi overcame Dovizioso’s Ducati by a tenth of a second at Losail on Sunday night, inching out enough of an advantage on the infield on the last lap to fend off the Ducati’s straightline speed advantage on the run to the flag. “I put this battle at the top of my career,” said Rossi. “Dovi rode in a very clever way, but he was also very strong. “He knew that he could win so he gave the maximum. He was aggressive. “I think the best moment was braking for Turn 1, Dovi overtook me from outside, he went wide, he came back, but he stayed on the inside [...]

NASCAR revises superspeedway qualifying

March 30th, 2015

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NASCAR has announced a new procedure for superspeedway qualifying in the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series after the crash-marred session at the Daytona 500. Superspeedway qualifying has been a contentious issue since NASCAR abandoned its previous single-car format for a Formula 1-style group knockout system last year. Due to the importance of drafting to a fast lap on the large tracks, drivers held back in the pits to try to avoid running in the slowest position at the front of the pack, resulting in farcical last-minute scrambles and random results. The chaos then escalated at Daytona when a multi-car pile-up in qualifying put some drivers’ participation in the 500 in doubt, leading to the system being branded “idiotic” by Clint Bowyer. From the next superspeedway race at Talladega in May, [...]

Wolff admits Vettel win a ‘wake-up call’

March 30th, 2015

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Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says Sebastian Vettel’s victory for Ferrari in the Malaysian Grand Prix was a “wake-up call” to his team. Hot temperatures hampered Mercedes’ form at Sepang, where track temperatures peaked at 62C, while Ferrari was able to manage its tyres well. As a result, Vettel beat Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on outright pace, securing Ferrari’s first win since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix and confirming its status a key rival for Mercedes this season. How Vettel stole Hamilton’s thunder It ended a run of eight straight grand prix wins, which stretches back to last year’s Italian Grand Prix. Wolff admits that he was surprised by how quickly Ferrari appear to have closed the gap. “We didn’t expect it to happen at that pace,” said [...]

Confidence to attack back – Montoya

March 30th, 2015

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Juan Pablo Montoya says his confidence is now fully restored after admitting that parts of his IndyCar comeback season with Penske in 2014 were “painful”. The ex-Formula 1 racer opened the 2015 IndyCar campaign with victory in St Petersburg on Sunday, defeating champion team-mate Will Power in a late-race fight. Montoya had finished fourth in the standings last season on his return to single-seaters following a seven-year stint in NASCAR that followed his shock mid-season exit from McLaren and Formula 1 in 2006. But he admitted that his driving was uncharacteristically tentative in 2014 and it has taken until now to restore his racecraft. “I’ll tell you what’s the big difference between myself last year and this year,” he said. “Last year going to the restarts, I was thinking ‘don’t [...]

Boss warns Ferrari to stay realistic

March 30th, 2015

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Ferrari must stay realistic about its goals for the 2015 Formula 1 season despite a shock win in the Malaysian Grand Prix, according to team principal Maurizio Arrivabene. Sebastian Vettel took a stunning win for the Scuderia at Sepang on Sunday as rival Mercedes did not have the pace nor tyre longevity to challenge him. ANALYSIS: How Ferrari stole Mercedes’ thunder It was Ferrari’s first victory since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix and added further evidence that the Italian team has made a good step forward this season, following a winless 2014. The team, which has undergone a change of management, is now halfway to achieving its target of two race wins for the year, with 17 races still to go. However, Arrivabene remained cautious about Ferrari’s potential for the [...]

Alonso: McLaren pace ‘nice surprise’

March 30th, 2015

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Fernando Alonso said the pace of his McLaren-Honda Formula 1 car during the Malaysian Grand Prix was “surprisingly good”, as the new package showed promise before engine problems. Returning to the cockpit for the Sepang race after his pre-season testing crash, Alonso mixed it with the Force Indias during practice and while neither he nor team-mate Jenson Button advanced from Q1 – only outqualifying Roberto Merhi’s Manor – Sunday represented a step in the right direction after a disastrous Australian Grand Prix. Before his race ended with an ERS cooling issue on lap 21, the Spaniard spent the bulk of his time behind Sergio Perez’s Force India, amid what was essentially the midfield group after most drivers pitted during the early safety car period. Asked if progress had been made, [...]

Bottas laments his ‘worst first lap’

March 30th, 2015

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Williams driver Valtteri Bottas described his first lap of the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix as possibly the worst he has ever had after he dropped from eighth to 14th. The Finn had some wheelspin off the start and a little contact at Turn 1 before squabbling for position for the rest of the lap. However, he fought his way back through the field and pulled off an impressive pass on team-mate Felipe Massa in the closing stages to claim fifth position, behind the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers. “It was a pretty nice race but my first lap was maybe the worst first lap I have ever had,” said Bottas. “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and had a little contact in Turn 1 as well. [...]

SMP’s new LMP2 car makes debut

March 30th, 2015

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SMP Racing’s new BR Engineering LMP2 coupe, which will race at the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the European Le Mans Series, made its track debut on Sunday. The Russian entrant’s BRE-Nissan BR01, which is named after team owner Boris Rotenberg, was given a shakedown on Paul Ricard’s training circuit on Sunday before moving onto the full track for one hour of running in the evening. Team sporting director Sergey Zlobin, who won the WEC LMP2 title with the team last year driving an ORECA, completed the first laps before Nicolas Minassian took over. SMP team principal Benjamin Durand told AUTOSPORT: “It went well for the first test of a new car and we managed 100km yesterday. “Sergey and Nic were pretty happy with the handling of the car [...]

Strakka content ahead of WEC LMP2 return

March 30th, 2015

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The as-yet-unraced Strakka Dome LMP2 coupe is “in the mix” ahead of the start of the World Endurance Championship, according to team boss Dan Walmsley, after testing at Paul Ricard. The Nissan-engined Strakka Dome S103 completed more than 600 miles over the two days of the official WEC test at Ricard on Friday and Saturday, posting the fifth-quickest time in class with Danny Watts driving. “We ran an honest programme, showed our pace and got through what we needed to,” Walmsley told AUTOSPORT. “We were happy with our speed and think we are ready for the first race at Silverstone, though as a team we need to brush up on procedures because we haven’t raced for so long.” Asked if he thought the Anglo-Japanese car can challenge at the WEC [...]