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January 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.

Top-class cars back to F3 Masters

January 27th, 2015

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The Masters of Formula 3 race at Zandvoort will be run for F3 European Championship cars this year. The Dutch circuit has announced a new September date for the 25th running of the Masters, which was held last year for national F3 cars running the older-spec engines. That was because the proximity of the European F3 round at Moscow Raceway meant it would have been impossible for teams to contest both events. Race winner Max Verstappen drove a German F3 Cup-spec car to victory in a one-off outing for the Motopark team. The new Masters date of September 20 ensures it is comfortably after Zandvoort’s European F3 round, so competing in the race will not result in a breach of regulations that prevent competitors running on a circuit that has [...]

Lotus protege Sorensen in Carlin move

January 27th, 2015

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Lotus Formula 1 junior Marco Sorensen will race for Carlin in GP2 this year, the team has announced. The Dane, who added a part-season in GP2 to his third campaign in Formula Renault 3.5 last year, took his maiden victory on the F1 support bill with MP Motorsport at Sochi in October. “I am hugely excited to be joining Carlin in GP2 – the team has a great reputation and I feel I have some unfinished business in the series,” said the 24-year-old. “Together I expect us to be aiming for top results. We’re focused on working hard now to prepare for the season ahead and the first tests in Abu Dhabi [on March 9-11].” Team boss Trevor Carlin added: “Marco is undoubtedly a very quick driver and in the [...]

German F3 series axed for 2015

January 23rd, 2015

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Organisers of Germany’s national Formula 3 championship have been forced to pull the plug on the series for 2015. With grids ranging between nine and 13 cars in 2014, leading teams Motopark, Van Amersfoort Racing and Performance Racing were all known by AUTOSPORT to be keen on the merger proposed by British F3 teams group FOTA. But German series organiser Formel-3-Vereinigung acted in the interests of its smaller teams by rejecting the plan and continuing to push ahead with its own series. However, a statement issued on Friday by F-3-V stated that it had been unsuccessful. “The entire board of the F-3-V regret to have to take this step and will make an effort to support young F3 drivers in Germany and to revive German F3 in the near future,” [...]

Marciello moves to Trident for 2015

January 23rd, 2015

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Ferrari junior driver Raffaele Marciello will switch from Racing Engineering to Trident Motorsport in GP2 this season. The Italian, who finished eighth in the championship as a rookie last year, is already confirmed as Sauber’s test and reserve driver in Formula 1 for 2015. “I am absolutely delighted with the agreement reached with Trident,” said the 20-year-old. “I have been able to feel their trust and interest straight away and I really appreciated their attention towards me and my driving style. “I know there is a lot of work to do but, thanks to the support of Ferrari, I think we have what it takes to succeed.” Team principal Maurizio Salvadori said that it was particularly special to sign a top Italian talent. “By reaching this agreement I can say [...]

Gasly completes GP2 test dominance

November 29th, 2014

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Red Bull protege Pierre Gasly completed a dominant week of Abu Dhabi GP2 testing with DAMS by setting the pace in both Saturday sessions. The Formula Renault 3.5 runner-up, who told AUTOSPORT earlier this month that GP2 was his preference for 2015, contested the final part of this season with Caterham and did not manage to score. But he has proved unstoppable with champion team DAMS in post-season testing, heading all three days of running at Yas Marina. Gasly was half a second clear of the field in both Saturday sessions. European Formula 3 champion and Lotus Formula 1 junior Esteban Ocon was second in the sister DAMS car in the afternoon, while Jordan King – testing for MP – had been next best in the morning. Both Ocon and [...]

Russell keen on European F3 move

November 28th, 2014

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McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award finalist George Russell could graduate to the Formula 3 European Championship in 2014. The BRDC Formula 4 champion originally targeted a full-time move into the Formula Renault Eurocup after a race-winning wildcard appearance in the category’s Jerez finale. Russell, 16, is now evaluating a move straight to F3 instead. “In F3 you get two practice sessions, qualifying and three races,” he said. “It’s massive at the moment and seems to be where all the big boys are looking. “It’s going to be a difficult choice but the good thing is we’ve got the options.” Russell has also not ruled out a jump to the Formula 1-supporting GP3 series after a strong test debut in Abu Dhabi on Thursday with Arden International, part of his prize for [...]

Gasly fastest in Abu Dhabi GP2 test

November 27th, 2014

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Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly topped the first day of post-season GP2 testing at Yas Marina on Thursday. The Formula Renault 3.5 runner-up set the pace in the cooler evening session, edging out 2014 star rookie Stoffel Vandoorne to take top spot. McLaren junior Vandoorne, who tested the Formula 1 team’s Honda-powered car earlier in the week, was the pacesetter in the first session, being the first driver to dip under the 1m50s mark. Gasly and Mitch Evans joined Vandoorne in the 1m49s before the end of the session, but the leading times tumbled when the cars took to the track again later in the day. While Vandoorne initially continued to set the pace under the Abu Dhabi lights, Gasly beat his new benchmark three quarters of an hour into [...]

Vandoorne takes fourth straight pole

November 21st, 2014

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McLaren Formula 1 protege Stoffel Vandoorne claimed his fourth consecutive GP2 pole in qualifying for the series finale in Abu Dhabi. His Yas Marina performance immediately halved the eight-point gap to Felipe Nasr in his quest to overhaul the 2015 Sauber F1 signing for second in the GP2 standings. Nasr starts fifth. Vandoorne put his ART car on top with a 1m48.736s during the first runs, before being pushed back to fourth behind DAMS duo Jolyon Palmer and Stephane Richelmi plus Russian Time man Mitch Evans when the final pole shots began. Champion Palmer’s provisional pole time of 1m48.187s was six tenths faster than Vandoorne’s initial effort, but the Belgian still squeezed ahead by 0.099 seconds. Although the frontrunners backed off to cool their tyres before trying one last time, [...]

Vandoorne leads GP2 finale practice

November 21st, 2014

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McLaren Formula 1 test driver Stoffel Vandoorne began his bid to beat 2015 Sauber racer Felipe Nasr to the GP2 runner-up spot with the fastest time in Abu Dhabi practice. While Jolyon Palmer has already wrapped up the GP2 title, Nasr is only eight points ahead of series rookie Vandoorne for second place. Vandoorne led the way in Friday’s opening session, clocking a 1m50.437s lap for ART to beat DAMS’ Stephane Richelmi by 0.075 seconds. DAMS held a one-two for a spell with Richelmi and Palmer, but they were first demoted, then separated, as Arthur Pic slotted his Campos entry into third. Johnny Cecotto Jr completed the top five ahead of Nasr. Ferrari and Red Bull proteges Raffaelle Marciello and Pierre Gasly were next up in seventh and eighth, followed [...]

Verstappen: No regrets over Macau

November 19th, 2014

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Max Verstappen says he left the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix with no regrets, despite his crash in the qualifying race costing him a shot at victory. An impressive recovery from the back of the grid to finish seventh, with the fastest lap, showed that the Toro Rosso-bound Dutchman had the pace to fight for the win. But when asked if that sensational charge through the field meant it was even more frustrating what happened on Saturday, Verstappen told AUTOSPORT: “I don’t look back at what happened any more. “These things happen and, for my first year in Macau, I think I did a good job. “We did the fastest lap and, if I didn’t make the mistake [on Saturday], then for sure we had the chance to win.” Verstappen’s [...]

ISR leaves FR3.5 for GT programme

November 18th, 2014

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ISR is to withdraw from Formula Renault 3.5 to focus on GT racing in the Blancpain championships in 2015. Igor Salaquarda’s team won FR3.5 races with Esteban Guerrieri, Daniel Ricciardo and Sam Bird during its five years in the category, but only fielded a single entry for Jazeman Jaafar this season. It also had an exploratory GT programme when it entered an Audi R8 LMS ultra in the Spa 24 Hours. Salaquarda said ISR would now move fully into sportscars, starting with next month’s Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi. “Looking to challenging future goals has always been in the DNA of our team and at the end of this year’s campaign we decided to focus exclusively on a very high level project in GT racing, which means stopping our [...]

Ferrari protege Fuoco to test GP3

November 18th, 2014

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Ferrari protege Antonio Fuoco has been lined up for a possible move to the GP3 Series in 2015. The 18-year-old Italian, who won two races in this season’s Formula 3 European Championship with Prema Powerteam, will test for three different teams in the Abu Dhabi test that takes place after this year’s GP3 finale. Fuoco will run with ART Grand Prix, Carlin and Koiranen GP. A move to GP3 would split Fuoco from fellow Ferrari Driver Academy member Lance Stroll – the reigning Italian Formula 4 champion is likely to graduate to F3 next year with Prema. FDA chief Luca Baldisserri told AUTOSPORT: “GP2 is very good preparation for Formula 1, and it could be good for him to race in GP3 to get used to the Pirelli tyres.” Baldisserri [...]

Prema confirms Dennis for 2015

November 17th, 2014

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Prema Powerteam has confirmed it has signed Jake Dennis for the 2015 Formula 3 European Championship, as predicted by AUTOSPORT. Dennis, the 2012 McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award winner, raced for Carlin in his F3 rookie season this year, finishing ninth in the championship with three podiums. He will continue to be backed by the Racing Steps Foundation. “It’s where I want to be, for sure,” Dennis said of his switch to Prema, which has taken Esteban Ocon, Raffaele Marciello, Daniel Juncadella and Roberto Merhi to the last four Euro F3 titles. “I learned an awful lot in my rookie season and am extremely grateful to all those helped me along the way. “I now look forward to returning to the series with Prema which has a fantastic pedigree in F3. [...]

Ocon says crash cost him Macau win

November 17th, 2014

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Formula 3 European champion Esteban Ocon reckons he would have been on course to win the Macau Grand Prix if he had not clashed with Tom Blomqvist at Lisboa on the first lap. The pair banged wheels as they turned through the right-hander, with the collision breaking Ocon’s left front suspension. Unable to steer his car, Ocon then ran off into the barriers at San Francisco bend, taking Blomqvist with him and triggering a spectacular pile-up that brought out the red flags. Ocon said the situation was particularly annoying because he felt set-up changes to his car had given him what he needed to win. “I did everything I planned to do,” Ocon told AUTOSPORT. “I did a great start. “At Mandarin I was on the outside to get a [...]

Dennis linked to Prema seat

November 15th, 2014

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Briton Jake Dennis is heavily tipped to switch to Prema Powerteam for the 2015 Formula 3 European Championship. Dennis, the 2012 McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award winner, was a podium finisher with Carlin this season, but sources indicate that he will make the change to Italian squad Prema, which has run four consecutive Euro F3 champions. It is believed that he will continue to be backed by the Racing Steps Foundation, which has supported his career since he began car racing in 2011, winning that year’s Intersteps title and the 2012 Formula Renault NEC crown with Fortec Motorsport. AUTOSPORT’s top 10 European F3 drivers of 2014 Dennis missed this weekend’s Macau Grand Prix with Carlin after negotiations were opened with another team, which AUTOSPORT understands to be Mercedes-powered Prema. Prema boss [...]

Arthur Pic stays with Campos for 2015

November 14th, 2014

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Arthur Pic will remain with the Campos team for the 2015 GP2 season. Frenchman Pic joined Campos for this season, as the Spanish team returned to the category after an absence of six years. Pic took his maiden win in the Hungaroring sprint race and is currently seventh in the standings with one round to go. “I am delighted to be extending my partnership with Campos Racing into next season,” said Pic. “We have taken tremendous strides together in 2014, which is particularly encouraging given that I am a GP2 rookie and they are returning to the championship. “I also have an excellent relationship with [team principal] Adrian Campos and the whole crew, so there is a mutual desire to succeed which made it natural to stay together for a [...]

Rosenqvist claims Macau GP pole

November 14th, 2014

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Formula 3 veteran Felix Rosenqvist claimed pole position for the Macau Grand Prix, his fifth attempt on the category’s greatest race. Rosenqvist signalled his intentions with fastest time in Friday’s free practice, and his Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes leapt to the top of the qualifying order with seven minutes to go when he set a storming time in the long, sinuous middle sector. The Swede’s team-mate Lucas Auer had been the first to topple Tom Blomqvist from his overnight pole position, before F3 European champion Esteban Ocon quickly knocked Auer off the top spot. With Ocon and Max Verstappen serving a two-place grid penalty, this was still enough for Auer to take pole, but Rosenqvist demoted him just after midway through the session and then went faster still to beat Lotus [...]

Rosenqvist quickest before crash

November 14th, 2014

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Felix Rosenqvist topped final free practice on the second day of Macau Grand Prix action with the quickest time of the weekend to date. The Swede had just had two new tyres fitted to his Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes when he moved to the top of the order, only to crash on the next lap at Maternity and cause the only red flag of the session with nine minutes remaining. Rosenqvist explained that he had found great grip through the opening right-handers on to the mountain section, only to be caught out when the left-hander at Maternity proved more slippery than expected. Jordan King was second fastest, the Briton looking very fast on the mountain part of the course as he placed his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen quickest of those who remained on [...]

Blomqvist tops first Macau qualifying

November 13th, 2014

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Tom Blomqvist claimed provisional pole position for the Macau Grand Prix as he headed Antonio Giovinazzi in a Jagonya Ayam with Carlin one-two. Blomqvist was at the top of the times for most of the session, with he and Giovinazzi moving further clear of the opposition with four minutes remaining. Although Giovinazzi trimmed the gap again on his last hot lap, Blomqvist got the verdict by 0.115 seconds. Blomqvist was on a faster lap right towards the end when he made a mistake at Fisherman’s Bend, bringing his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen into the pits. “I’ve got a quick team-mate in Antonio so we’ve got good references to work from,” said Blomqvist. “The car’s good but I think we can improve. I was finding time towards the end also – there’s no [...]

Ocon, Verstappen get Macau penalties

November 13th, 2014

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Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon have both been handed two-place grid penalties for the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix. The pair are among the pre-race favourites for victory in the category’s blue ribband event after their success in the F3 European Championship this year. However, both were judged to have passed a red light and missed weight checks during Thursday morning’s opening free practice session. They will be moved back two places on the grid for Saturday’s qualifying race. TOM’S driver Sam MacLeod has also been handed a one place grid penalty for crossing the pit exit line.