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March 2015

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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, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for
  • 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 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.

  • Brooks Westfall
    Silver Crown Writer

    I've been sim racing since 2011 when I joined iRacing. I've jumped to many different sims, including rFactor, Richard Burns Rally, and the famous NASCAR Racing 2003. I picked up a copy of NR2003 with my birthday money when I was only 9, but was limited to a keyboard and a controller. After reciving a G25 for Christmas in '11, I've loved sim racing and the community iRacing has. I hope to end up writing for a car magazine or website in the near future, and intend on attending university to accomplish that.
    Aside from my career in sim racing and the real world, I hope to have my own small, yet functional race team soon with the purchace of a go kart. Since I'm currently residing in Maryland, I don't have a wide range of racing to choose from. My only options on a small budget are drag racing or kart racing. After the completion of my senior year in high school next year, I hope that inRacing News and other affiliates will help my dreams of writing for Road & Track become a reality!

  • Jeff Jacobs

    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 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

    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 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

    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.

  • Tom O'Leary

    Tom is an 18-year old student from London, UK. Tom started sim-racing quite recently, although his passion for motorsport started at an early age, watching BTCC since the late 90s. Tom has since then expanded his interests in motorsport, watching Le Mans 24hr (and endurance racing as a whole) as well as the DTM, F1, and since starting to write about the NASCAR iRacing Series - NASCAR!

    Tom appeared on the sim-racing scene by trying out rFactor, rFactor 2 and then iRacing - where he spends most of his time racing in the Star Mazda Series where he has claimed third and then second overall in the two full seasons he has competed. On the oval side, Tom has completed a few races in the NASCAR Class C (Fixed) although he most enjoys the road side. Tom is an active member of Friction Racing, a team which focuses on the Star Mazda and the Williams-Toyota FW31, with the aim of reaching the Pro Series - and the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series.

    In his personal life, Tom spend time with his girlfriend (they have been together for two years) and likes a variety of games and has started to livestream his races/gameplay on Twitch, to give an insight to his approach to racing and gaming.

  • 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 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.

Courtney leads V8s after Adelaide win

March 1st, 2015

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James Courtney claimed an early V8 Supercars championship lead with a hard-earned victory in the main leg of the series’ Clipsal 500 opener in Adelaide. Holden Racing Team driver Courtney withstood huge pressure from Tekno’s Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander in the second HRT entry to win Sunday’s 78-lap race at the long-time Australian Grand Prix Formula 1 venue. Reigning champion Jamie Whincup had dominated Saturday’s opener and shrugged off a last-minute safety car restart, but then finished only 21st in race two after a puncture. He was fourth in the finale, despite a last-lap collision with Chaz Mostert in which the Ford driver was collected heavily by James Moffat. Those results leave Whincup fifth in the standings at present. Fabian Coulthard won race two, having been third behind [...]

Hamilton rejects #1 as ‘irrelevant’

March 1st, 2015

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Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has decided to stick with his permanent #44 race number for his title defence this year, because #1 is “irrelevant” to him. Rules were introduced ahead of last season requiring all F1 drivers to pick a permanent race number to carry throughout their careers, as part of a drive to give them a distinct identity in the eyes of fans. Drivers must carry the same number from season to season, but are permitted to switch to #1 if they win the world championship. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel wore #1 last year with Red Bull, but has switched to his chosen #5 after failing to defend his crown. Hamilton had the option to put the #1 on his Mercedes this year, after winning his second world [...]

Magnussen wanted 2015 Le Mans drive

February 28th, 2015

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Kevin Magnussen wanted to race alongside his father Jan in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours after missing out on a Formula 1 race seat with McLaren. After learning that he would be relegated to a reserve driver role in F1 to make way for Fernando Alonso, Magnussen explored the possibility of joining his father in Corvette’s factory sportscar programme for the June showpiece event. However, it was too late for the younger Dane to find a seat. “I asked my dad if he would ask Corvette if there was an available slot,” said Magnussen after his first day of F1 testing in 2015 at Barcelona. “That would be cool to do, team-mates with dad at Le Mans to try to win class, but they had already signed drivers for [...]

Hamilton puzzled by set-up problems

February 28th, 2015

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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes is trying to understand why he and team-mate Nico Rosberg have felt uncomfortable in their car over the past two days of Formula 1 pre-season testing. Mercedes’ pace has shocked F1 rivals at the Barcelona circuit this week, but both drivers have complained about the set-up of the car. Hamilton spent much of his final day of pre-season testing in the garage while Mercedes crosschecked changes to the car, but he still managed to top the times. The reigning world champion suspected a shift in circuit conditions might account for the drivers’ discomfort, but he said the team was investigating. “It wasn’t particularly a spectacular day,” Hamilton said. “I put the lap together, but the track was quite slow compared to the first day. “We’re trying [...]

Hulkenberg surprised by new car

February 28th, 2015

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Nico Hulkenberg believes that Force India’s start with its late 2015 car has gone better than the team could have expected. The VJM08 only hit the track halfway through the second day of the final pre-season test, but Hulkenberg managed more than 200 laps in just a day and a half of running. When asked if the team expected the car to run so reliably from the off, Hulkenberg said: “No, I think that’s a surprise, even to me. “It’s very good that we brought it here and pretty much just shook it out like this. “It’s a surprise to me and the team – to everybody, and obviously it’s what we needed.” Hulkenberg admitted that the late debut will inevitably hold the team back in some areas, but he [...]

New parts fixing Red Bull weaknesses

February 28th, 2015

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Daniel Ricciardo says new parts added to the Red Bull at this week’s final Formula 1 pre-season test at Barcelona have helped address the car’s weaknesses. World champion Mercedes was better prepared for 2014′s major F1 technical regulations change, taking 16 race wins, while previously dominant Red Bull had to settle for three victories. However, the team gave itself the shortest build-time yet for a new F1 car this season, after locking down its final design as late as possible. And while pre-season testing started badly at Jerez as issues with the Renault engine hampered progress, the team’s fortunes have improved over the two Barcelona tests. Ricciardo, who completed 128 laps on Saturday, said: “I think we have a lot of potential. “We’ve added a few bits to the car [...]

McLaren expects flyaways to be tough

February 28th, 2015

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McLaren racing director Eric Boullier believes it may take until the start of Formula 1′s European season before the team can get fully up to speed. On the back of further reliability problems at Barcelona on Saturday – with an oil leak stopping Kevin Magnussen after 39 laps – McLaren is well behind schedule. And Boullier reckons that the team may not be able to show what it is fully capable of until after the first flyaway events. “We will not be as ready as we would like but we will do our best,” said Boullier about the state or readiness for the first race. “We have covered most of the issues, and we have covered most of the systems. “The positive is that everything is working as per design [...]

Mercedes fastest again with Hamilton

February 28th, 2015

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Mercedes flexed its muscle ahead of the new Formula 1 season again on Saturday, as Lewis Hamilton topped the times on the penultimate day of testing in Barcelona. Having spent the first half of the afternoon in the garage as the team applied what it called an ‘experimental’ set-up, Hamilton finished with a soft tyre lap faster than Williams and Ferrari achieved on super-softs. When he initially emerged on the medium tyre just before 3pm, the world champion lapped within a second of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen’s super-soft efforts, which were set amid a flurry of qualifying simulations before lunch. Hamilton’s first taste of F1′s 2015 soft rubber yielded a 1m23.262s, just 0.386s shy of Massa’s morning time, but there was more to come. On his second run, Hamilton [...]

Grand Prix Predictor 2015 launched

February 28th, 2015

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The AUTOSPORT Grand Prix Predictor returns with a brand new look for 2015. The most popular fantasy game of its kind, made by the same people that bring you, the Grand Prix Predictor is free to enter, easy to use and highly addictive. Players from all over the world compete in a global league for race-by-race prizes by forecasting the top 10, and more, in every grand prix during the 2015 season. Enter the 2015 Grand Prix Predictor now Now in its fifth year, more than 100,000 people have signed on to play the game since 2011. The Grand Prix Predictor features private leagues, which allow you to play against your friends, as well as driver fan leagues. There is a Facebook app version of the game as well [...]

WRC pushing for Chinese round in 2016

February 28th, 2015

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China’s return to the World Rally Championship next season is a priority for the series, according to organiser WRC Promoter. A Chinese event based close to Beijing is expected to be observed as a candidate rally this season with a view to returning the WRC to the Far East for the first time since the last Rally Japan in 2010. The manufacturers have cited China as the country they most want to see back on the calendar and promoter Oliver Ciesla is keen to deliver on that next season. “China is one of our objectives and we have invested quite a lot in making this happen,” Ciesla told AUTOSPORT. “What we have achieved so far is that we see the sporting federation is very much prepared to have a WRC [...]

Massa tops day three morning in Spain

February 28th, 2015

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Felipe Massa set the pace for Williams on the penultimate day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, edging out Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. The Brazilian fitted a set of super-softs and lit up the timing screens with a 1m23.262s on a three-lap run, as most teams started to focus on qualifying simulations. Massa ended the morning with 44 laps on the board, 0.014s clear of Raikkonen’s super-soft lap. However, Massa’s time was half-a-second slower than Nico Rosberg’s Barcelona test-leading time, which was set on the softs on Friday in the Mercedes. It was a busy morning for Massa, who did six short runs of five or six laps on the mediums before single runs on the softs and super-softs. Raikkonen and Ferrari lost some time to an electrical problem, which combined with [...]

Logano tops controversial qualifying

February 28th, 2015

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Joey Logano followed up his Daytona 500 victory last weekend by taking pole position for the second NASCAR Sprint Cup round of the season at Atlanta. The Penske Ford driver edged reigning champion Kevin Harvick by 0.131s in the final segment of qualifying on Friday, while Jamie McMurray and Denny Hamlin completed the second row. “In pratice we were faster on our second run, so I knew that the grip would stay in the tyres for at least two runs,” said Logano. “I didn’t know about the third run, but apparently [the grip stayed] for the third run also. “It was probably right at the limit, though. Probably the next run would have taken a pretty big jump down.” BIG NAMES FAIL TO RUN The other major talking point of [...]

Button says 100 laps felt like 1000

February 27th, 2015

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Jenson Button says completing over 100 laps for McLaren-Honda in Friday’s Formula 1 test at Barcelona felt “like 1000 laps”, because of the repeated troubles it has endured so far. The Woking-based F1 squad has suffered a spate of engine problems since testing began at Jerez last month, while the team has also had to rest returnee driver Fernando Alonso following the Spaniard’s crash at Barcelona last Sunday. A hydraulic problem on the Honda engine ruined McLaren’s first day of this week’s final pre-season test, but on Friday Button managed to clock the team’s highest lap tally so far. The 2009 world champion completed 101 laps before a minor electrical problem stranded the car at the exit of Turn 7 with only a few minutes of the session left to [...]

Mercedes ‘unbelievably quick’ – rivals

February 27th, 2015

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Mercedes is way ahead of the Formula 1 field according to its rivals, following Nico Rosberg’s scintillating lap in the final pre-season test at Barcelona. The German clocked a 1m22.792 on the soft tyres, which was 0.7 seconds quicker than the previous best set by Williams’s Felipe Massa on the same tyre on Thursday. It was also 1.2s faster than Massa’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas managed as he took second to Rosberg on Friday at the Circuit de Catalunya. When asked about Rosberg’s lap time, Bottas said: “It’s pretty quick. I think everyone was a little bit surprised. Everyone knew they were quick, but they were very quick. “I don’t know how much fuel they run or how much they took out of the engine but for sure they are still [...]

Hulkenberg: Good debut not enough

February 27th, 2015

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Nico Hulkenberg says that a “remarkable” debut outing for the new Force India Formula 1 car is still not enough to make up for lost time ahead of the season. Delays in the building of the VJM08 have meant his team’s 2015 challenger only hit the track at Barcelona on Friday – giving the team just two more days of running before the Australian Grand Prix. Despite getting an encouraging 77 laps under his belt on Friday, Hulkenberg knows that there is little chance for the team to make up for such a late start with its car. “The reliability seems to be quite OK because out of the box we did 77 laps in an afternoon,” he said. “That is a good job and quite remarkable. “But we have [...]

More to come from Mercedes – Rosberg

February 27th, 2015

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Nico Rosberg hinted that there is still more to come from Mercedes after he set the fastest lap of Formula 1 pre-season on day two of the final Barcelona test. The German, who finished runner-up in the title race last year, clocked a 1m22.792s on the soft tyres, which was 0.7s quicker than the previous best, set by Williams’s Felipe Massa on the same tyre on Thursday. But despite the impressive time, Rosberg said he still feels unsettled with the car’s set-up. “Today was a difficult day because even though the numbers looked like they were in the right place, actually the set-up was far away from where it needed to be,” Rosberg told reporters after the day’s running. “I don’t really understand that. The whole day we have been [...]

Cup car stolen en route to Atlanta

February 27th, 2015

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The Team Xtreme Chevrolet that Travis Kvapil was due to drive in this weekend’s Atlanta NASCAR Sprint Cup race has been stolen on the way to the event. Kvapil revealed on Twitter that the car was taken from outside the team’s hotel in Morrow in the early hours of Friday morning. It was in a trailer attached to a pick-up truck at the time, having travelled separately from Xtreme’s main hauler as adverse weather during the week led many NASCAR teams to alter their arrangements for getting from their workshops to Atlanta. The #44 Xtreme Chevrolet had finished 32nd in last weekend’s Daytona 500 (pictured) with Reed Sorenson.

Regalia makes FR3.5 switch

February 27th, 2015

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Former GP2 driver Facu Regalia will join Zeta Corse for his debut season in Formula Renault 3.5 this year. The Argentinean was eventual champion Daniil Kvyat’s closest title challenger in GP3 two seasons ago, before graduating to GP2 with Hilmer Motorsport in 2014. Regalia parted company with Hilmer after the fourth round of the season at the Red Bull Ring in June. “Following seven months of intense work I can confirm my participation in World Series by Renault,” said Regalia, whose CV also includes campaigns in Auto GP, European F3 Open and Italian F3. “It is another season racing in Europe and it’s fantastic to join such a Formula 1 feeder series with Zeta Corse. “It is an opportunity, and we must do everything in our power to seize it, [...]

Rosberg puts Mercedes clear out front

February 27th, 2015

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Nico Rosberg set the fastest lap of Barcelona Formula 1 testing so far on day two of the final test, while McLaren finally got some good mileage on the board. World champion team Mercedes fitted soft tyres to its car for the first time in pre-season testing late in the afternoon and Rosberg produced a 1m22.792s. That lap was 0.7s quicker than the previous best, set by Williams’ Felipe Massa on the same tyre on Thursday, and 1.2s clear of Valtteri Bottas in the Williams who was his nearest challenger today. Rosberg was also one of six drivers to complete 100 laps or more on a day when teams spent much of their time focusing on long runs and race simulations. Despite a late stoppage out on track, which brought [...]

Honda set for WTCC power boost

February 27th, 2015

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Honda’s factory World Touring Car Championship Civics will get another power boost this season after a restrictor break allowed at the beginning of 2014 failed to deliver the necessary performance. For much of the season the Civics were well beaten by Citroen’s fleet of works C-Elysees, though in-season development reduced the gap and helped Mehdi Bennani win in China and Gabriele Tarquini in Japan. “Last year we were able to fit a bigger air restrictor [enlarged from 33mm to 36mm] but this did not raise our power so much,” said Daisuke Horiuchi, Honda’s large project leader for Civic WTCC development. “For this year we have changed our engine’s compression ratio, making it higher, and we have altered the exhaust system to make for a smoother exit of the exhaust gases. [...]