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April 2014

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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.
  • David Judson
    Contributor

    29 years old, Dave Judson lives in Mentor, Ohio. Dave has grown up with racing, watching his father win races and championships at the local go-kart track as a youngster and continuing his love of racing while watching NASCAR, Indycar, Formula 1 and sports cars.
    Judson has enjoyed a successful sim-racing career of his own in the IZOD Indycar iRacing Open and Fixed Setup Series. He has race wins to his credits as well as the Division 1 Championship of the Open Series in Season 1 of 2013 and the Overall Championship of the Fixed Series in Season 3 of 2013.
    Dave has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and is looking to expand his horizons by writing for inRacingNews.

  • Matt A Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Kingsbury lives in Fairfield, Connecticut where he currently attends Sacred Heart University. He is a fan of any form of racing, from NASCAR to IndyCar, Formula 1, and especially endurance racing. The summer of 2013 saw Kingsbury attend IndyCar's return to Pocono Raceway as well as the ARCA race at Pocono which Corey Lajoie won and got some pictures (including the accompanying mug shot) in Victory Lane thanks to his aunt!

  • Raymond Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Ray Kingsbury is a motorsport enthusiast and full-time university student, born and raised in Connecticut. He started his own racing career in BMX, riding bicycles competitively on the state level. In eight years he claimed the state championship and was ranked nationally before moving away from the sport. This void of activities led him to rediscover sim-racing in the form of NASCAR Heat. After a championship in the game's most competitive league Kingsbury started focusing full-time on his involvement in Live for Speed. There he founded Last Lap Motorsports which today has more than 20 members worldwide.

    When a few Last Lap Motorsports members decided to give iRacing.com a chance to feed their desire for more oval racing, Ray teamed with his brother Matt, Nathan Lamothe and newcomer Jimmie Jones to enter the ETV! Live Team Series and claimed the title after a dominating performance at Watkins Glen. To this day the team continues in both Live for Speed and iRacing.com and Ray still takes much delight in his own sim-racing career. A reporter for his high school newspaper before moving to university, Kingsbury keeps-up his writing activities by contributing to iRacing News.

  • 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.

  • Jordan Hightower
    Contributor

    Jordan began sim-racing in 2005 with the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season sim and then joined the iRacing community in June of 2008. He hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas where he is currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, after which he plans to attend the University of Arkansas to earn his MBA. Although he enjoys watching and playing basketball, most of Jordan's focus is on motorsports, particularly NASCAR: "Anything that burns gas and goes fast, I like."

  • Scott Kelly
    Contributor

    Born and raised in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, Scott Kelly has had a love for motorsports ever since his father did the right thing by introducing auto racing into his life. No longer able to quench his need for speed by spectating NASCAR races on TV and watching dirt track stars slide around local tracks, Kelly eventually picked-up sim racing in his teens, wheeling cars found in Ratbag Games' "Dirt Track Racing" and "World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars" while also becoming introduced into multiple Papyrus sim-racing series. Joining the iRacing ranks in late 2011, Kelly set his sights on the short track racing he was familiar with, focusing on the sprint car, while also driving the Legends and street stock in multiple iRacing.com leagues.

    Kelly brings not just his enthusiasm for racing to the highest-rated motorsports simulation, but also his B.A. degree in English; he covers the action seen in the iRacing.com Sprint Car Series, while also placing the spotlight on various leagues within the service. Enjoying his start to a career in motorsports journalism, Kelly also doesn't mind visiting victory lane from time-to-time.

  • George Wood
    Contributing Writer
    After beginning his racing career with go-karts at age seven, George then turned wrenches on street stocks until he could finally turn the wheel. Following the successes of his friends and family, George has since retired from real-world racing, where he is now a science and mathematics faculty member for several local community colleges. When George isn't grading laboratory reports or iRacing, he is performing at bluegrass festivals in the Northeast, making fishing lures, playing golf, and rooting for his beloved Baltimore Orioles.
  • Chris Hall
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Chris Hall has been writing since the nineties and moved into motorsports reporting in 2005, covering series such as ALMS, British GT, FIA GT, Le Mans and 2CV racing for Full Throttle magazine, Motorsport.com, The-Paddock.net, GTGateway.com, L' Endurance and, of course, inRacingNews. During 2008 and 2009, he worked with the RSS Performance Porsche Carrera Cup Team (and former British GT(C) champions) as a data engineer for a variety of drivers and models of 997s.
  • 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.
  • Dylan Sharman
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in Adelaide and we moved-out for Angle Vale for a few years until I was about 7 years old, when we moved to the Barossa Valley where I live now. I'm 19 years old and currently traveling back and forth weekly as I'm studying for a Diploma of Furniture Design and Technology.

    I've always had a love for racing as my close family did some racing and we were always out at the local dirt track. I joined iRacing back in 2010 and slowly but surely got the hang of it as this is my first experience with sim racing and am loving it each time I race. I've won two SK Modified titles (almost had three in a row but finished P2 in 2011 S4), an iRacingNews Challenge championship (2012 S1 Mazda) and was also an AustralAsian Intel GT Series Finalist.
  • 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.

Crutchlow forced to miss Argentina

April 22nd, 2014

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Ducati MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow will miss this weekend’s race in Argentina after it emerged that the injuries he sustained at Austin were worse than originally thought. The Briton was diagnosed with a dislocated little finger after crashing during the Grand Prix of the Americas, but further medical checks revealed that the finger was also fractured, requiring surgery. Crutchlow had been expected to be fit to ride in Argentina, but the pain in his hand means he cannot use the front brake properly so he will be replaced by Ducati test rider Michele Pirro. “I’m very sad to let the team down like this because I was really looking forward to racing in Argentina,” said Crutchlow. “Unfortunately I’m still feeling too much pain in my right hand, my knuckles are [...]

Marquez wins as Yamahas hit trouble

April 13th, 2014

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Marc Marquez led a dominant Honda one-two in an Austin MotoGP race that proved a disaster for the works Yamahas. Andrea Dovizioso got Ducati back on the podium for the first time since September 2012 as he took third behind the second Honda of Dani Pedrosa. But the factory Yamahas were only eighth and 10th after problems for both Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo’s issue was a gratuitous jump-start. The double world champion shot forward so early that he decided his only option was to accelerate away and try to build a lead before the inevitable ride-through penalty, which he took at the end of lap one. Marquez had caught up to Lorenzo’s tail even before he dived for the pits, and was unstoppable thereafter. The world champion extended [...]

Marquez storms to Austin pole

April 12th, 2014

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Marc Marquez cruised to his second consecutive pole of the 2014 MotoGP season after breaking the lap record in qualifying at Austin. The practice pacesetter was once again on a different level to the rest of the field and went to the top of the timesheets on his first lap, where he remained until the end of the session. The reigning champion beat his previous track lap record on his second tour of the circuit and continued to improve which each lap. His best was saved until the last when he produced a blistering 2m02.773s, smashing the previous time by 0.273 seconds. Dani Pedrosa was the only rider within 0.3s of his Honda team-mate, while LCR’s Stefan Bradl underlined his practice pace in qualifying and completes an all-Honda front row. [...]

Marquez completes practice sweep

April 12th, 2014

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Marc Marquez completed a clean sweep of all three Austin MotoGP practice sessions with another blistering performance on Saturday morning. The current world champion produced a lap of 2m03.046s, just 0.025 seconds shy of his own track record, in the final moments while running on the harder rear tyre, while those pursuing him posted their quickest times on the softer option. Stefan Bradl moved up the order on his final run and finished ahead of Dani Pedrosa, who had Andrea Dovizioso in close company, the Ducati rider only 0.005s adrift in fourth. Bradley Smith rounded off the top five and initially bumped his Tech 3 team-mate Pol Espagaro out of the top 10 positions for automatic promotion to Q2. But the 2013 Moto2 champion was able to find gains and [...]

Marquez continues to dominate

April 11th, 2014

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Marc Marquez continued to set the pace at Austin after going quickest in the second Friday practice session for MotoGP’s Grand Prix of the Americas. The reigning world champion quickly retook his place at the top of the timesheets with his first flying lap of the session and comfortably remained there until the chequered flag. His best time of 2m03.490s came early on in his second run and nobody could come within a second of beating it through the latter half of the session. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso showed good pace and managed to pip Marquez’s Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa for second in the final few minutes, with Andrea Iannone just 0.046 seconds behind in fourth on the Pramac Ducati. Valentino Rossi continues his impressive start to the season and was [...]

Edwards to retire from MotoGP

April 10th, 2014

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Colin Edwards will retire from motorcycle racing at the end of the 2014 MotoGP season. The 40-year-old American was a double world champion in Superbikes before moving to MotoGP in 2003. “I had a few conversations with my kids and my wife, and there are some things I miss,” said Edwards as he announced his decision at Austin ahead of this weekend’s race. “I need to be home a little more. “When we started testing, I didn’t really see the improvement that I wanted to see. “And we’re changing riding style for these new bikes, and I’m 40 years old, it wasn’t really working – as soon as you get into the intense moments, you go back to your instincts, and my instincts are to ride the bike a bit [...]

Rossi: Austin will prove return to form

April 9th, 2014

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Valentino Rossi believes he needs to ‘confirm’ his return to the front of the MotoGP field in this weekend’s Austin race to show his Qatar pace was no one-off. The seven-time MotoGP world champion began the 2014 season in impressive form, going wheel-to-wheel for victory with reigning champion Marc Marquez in Qatar in a fight that went down to the final lap before going in favour of the young Spaniard. Rossi parted company with long-time crew chief Jerry Burgess – who helped mastermind his impressive run of success – at the end of 2013, arguing that he needed a change to help improve his motivation and performance after his form faded during last year’s campaign. Though his Losail performance suggested he had been rejuvenated, Rossi noted that in 2013 a [...]

Crutchlow hampered by electronics

March 24th, 2014

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Cal Crutchlow revealed he rode to sixth in MotoGP’s Qatar season-opener despite a significant electronics failure. The Briton, who immediately parked his bike after limping to the chequered flag, said his problems began when his transponder failed on lap five. That meant the electronic mapping, which helps to control a multitude of factors including power delivery and traction control, moved out of sync with his actual position on the track. “From lap five onwards we had an electrical problem,” Crutchlow explained. “The transponder wasn’t working, the dash switched off and the bike began to behave strangely. “The electronic settings were destroyed; how I managed to make the line I don’t know. I’m surprised I finished.” Qatar MotoGP race report: Marquez denies Rossi Despite the issues, which Crutchlow stressed were not [...]

Crashes shook confidence – Marquez

March 23rd, 2014

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Marc Marquez admits the crash-strewn start to this year’s Qatar Grand Prix threw his confidence and convinced him to adopt a cautious early approach to his MotoGP title defence. The Spaniard, riding just six weeks after suffering a broken leg that wrecked his pre-season, was behind both Jorge Lorenzo and Stefan Bradl when they crashed while leading, on laps one and eight respectively. Marquez, the only rider to select Bridgestone’s harder rear compound, says he modified his style accordingly, which in turn allowed him to push harder and prevail in his late battle with Valentino Rossi. “So many riders crashed, you could lose the front end so quickly,” he said. “I chose the harder rear and was a bit worried in the beginning; honestly I lost confidence. “I had some [...]

Starting 10th deceptive – Rossi

March 22nd, 2014

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Valentino Rossi says his fourth row starting berth for MotoGP’s season-opener in Qatar disguises the ‘good step’ he has made compared to 2013. The Italian, who insists the first six races of 2014 will determine his future in the sport, did not qualify lower than ninth during last year’s campaign. While ostensibly he therefore went backwards at Losail, Rossi says his pace has actually improved and that his lowly starting spot is down to the rest of the field closing up. “I’m not very satisfied because I am just in 10th,” Rossi said. “But I am only half a second from pole position and my lap time is not so bad – it’s seven tenths faster than last year for me so we made a good step. “I have improved [...]

Bautista amazed to beat Open rivals

March 22nd, 2014

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Alvaro Bautista admits he had expected to be fighting for the second row of the Qatar Grand Prix grid given the pace of the Open bikes during MotoGP practice. The Spaniard will start Sunday’s season-opener from second, having held top spot until the final seconds, when Marc Marquez edged ahead by just five hundredths of a second. Rather than disappointment at missing out, Bautista said a front row had exceeded his expectations given the pace of his Open rivals, particularly Aleix Espargaro. Under this year’s rules, Open bikes can use a softer compound rear tyre, which proved a significant benefit in the build up to qualifying. “During practice we saw all the Open class riders, with the softer compound, at the front,” Bautista said. “We expected maybe the first row [...]

Espargaro continues Qatar domination

March 21st, 2014

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Espargaro continues Qatar domination

Aleix Espargaro completed a clean sweep of Qatar practice by heading Andrea Iannone in the third session ahead of this weekend’s MotoGP season-opener. The Spaniard, quickest in the previous two sessions, set a 1m54.773s to finish more than four tenths of a second clear of the rest of the pack. Behind Iannone, Alvaro Bautista and Andrea Dovizioso locked out the top four as the Factory riders, unable to use the soft compound available to all other entrants, struggled for outright speed. Honda’s defending champion Marc Marquez was the best placed in fifth, with Jorge Lorenzo seventh and Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa ninth and 10th respectively. Bradley Smith managed to split Marquez and Lorenzo despite crashing heavily and wrecking his Tech 3 Yamaha at Turn 5 early on. Cal Crutchlow [...]

Espargaro sets new Qatar benchmark

March 21st, 2014

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Espargaro sets new Qatar benchmark

Aleix Espargaro maintained his remarkable start to the 2014 season by once again heading the field in second practice for the Qatar Grand Prix. The 24-year-old, who went fastest in yesterday’s first session, once again spent the majority of the session at the top of the timesheets. While his halfway mark would not be beaten, he ended the session in emphatic style by breaking through the 1m55s barrier for the first time this weekend. Espargaro ready to take on Factory outfits for outright win That left him three tenths clear of Andrea Dovizioso and Alvaro Bautista, and little more than two tenths of a second off Jorge Lorenzo’s 2013 pole time. The latter Spaniard once again struggled, and could be seen frequently complaining about his bike’s traction – an issue [...]

Espargaro tops first practice session

March 20th, 2014

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Aleix Espargaro continued his storming start to 2014 by topping the first practice session of the year in Qatar. The Spaniard, riding Forward’s Open class Yamaha, dominated the early part of the session and then surged clear once more as times improved in the final minutes. His final effort, a 1m55.633s, put him almost half a second clear of a chasing pack led by satellite Factory riders Alvaro Bautista, Bradley Smith, Andrea Iannone and the pacesetter’s brother Pol. The younger Espargaro, riding just two weeks after breaking his collarbone in testing at the Losail track, was the final rider to get within one second of the pace. Espargaro ready for giantkilling act The factory riders never came close to hitting the front. Defending champion Marc Marquez, riding in his first [...]

Welsh track confident of MotoGP date

March 20th, 2014

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The developer behind the proposed Circuit of Wales insists the track can take Britain’s MotoGP round away from Silverstone but conceded the project depends on such a deal being agreed. Construction of the planned £300m Ebbw Vale venue had been planned for early 2014 but will not begin until a marquee event has been confirmed. The British MotoGP round has long been eyed by project boss Michael Carrick, chief executive officer of the Heads of the Valleys development company, but the proposed Welsh venue’s viability was questioned last week by BBC Wales’ Week In, Week Out programme. In addition to highlighting concerns over its 6000+ job creation estimation, it claimed that the lack of confirmation of a deal from MotoGP promoter implied doubt over its chances of bringing grand prix [...]

Espargaro ready for giantkilling act

March 19th, 2014

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Aleix Espargaro says he is ready to take on the MotoGP Factory riders for outright victories with Forward’s Open class Yamaha. The pace of Espargaro’s bike has been one of the sensations of pre-season testing, as it regularly got among the works Hondas and Yamahas at the front of the field. As an Open class runner, Forward gets 24 litres of fuel per race rather than 20, and can also use softer tyres. Asked if he felt he could take on the likes of Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez for race wins, Espargaro replied: “This is the million dollar question. “For sure it’s going to be almost impossible. Really, really difficult. “We know that over one lap with the soft tyre, we can be competitive. But in the test in [...]

Lorenzo: Marquez the 2014 favourite

March 19th, 2014

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Jorge Lorenzo has tipped arch-rival Marc Marquez as a narrow favourite for the 2014 MotoGP title. Honda rider Marquez edged Yamaha man Lorenzo by just four points at the end of last year’s epic championship battle. “The championship is going to be even tighter than last season was,” said Lorenzo, as his Yamaha squad unveiled a new title sponsorship deal with Movistar in Qatar on Wednesday. “At the beginning Marquez just begins as the favourite contender. “Afterwards I guess Dani [Pedrosa] or me are in a good position but also Valentino [Rossi] who is even hungrier than in 2013.” Although Marquez is still recovering from a broken leg sustained when training on a dirt-bike last month, Lorenzo does not think this will hold him back significantly. “Regarding Marc’s pace we [...]

Marquez admits he will need patience

March 18th, 2014

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Marc Marquez admits he will have to patient at the start of his MotoGP title-defence in Qatar this weekend, as he is still some weeks from full fitness. The world champion broke his right leg while training on a dirt-bike in Barcelona in mid-February. Marquez had a final pre-event check-up with MotoGP surgeon Dr Xavier Mir on Monday and learned that his recovery was on course, but not yet complete. “Yesterday morning I visited Doctor Mir to check that everything was progressing correctly,” he wrote in a blog for his Honda team’s title sponsor Repsol. “After a few tests, we saw that everything was going as planned and in a few weeks I will be fully fit again but we have to be patient and assume, obviously, that I’m still [...]

Dovizioso: Ducati gains will show in Qatar

March 18th, 2014

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Andrea Dovizioso is confident he can get Ducati near the front of the grid for MotoGP’s 2014 season-opening Qatar Grand Prix this weekend. After a poor start to pre-season testing, the now Audi-owned squad made encouraging progress through the build-up, controversially switching to Open class status along the way. Although Dovizioso suspects the race will still prove tough for Ducati, he reckons he can show the team’s speed at Losail. “I am very satisfied with how the winter tests went, because we managed to improve more than we expected,” said the Italian, who started fourth in Qatar last year but only qualified in the top six once in the final 13 races of 2013 as Ducati faded. “Now the GP14 is easier to handle and by making a few changes [...]

Aleix Espargaro ends testing on top

March 9th, 2014

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Espargaro brothers Aleix and Pol were first and second on the final day of 2014 pre-season MotoGP testing, but the latter ended the session with a broken collarbone. The younger Espargaro sustained the injury in a late crash at Turn 6. He will fly to Barcelona for surgery on Monday, 10 days before practice begins for the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix back at the Losail track. Aleix Espargaro was just 0.033 seconds quicker than his brother as he set the overall pace on Forward Racing’s Open class Yamaha for the second time in three days. Both Tech 3 bikes were in the top three, with Bradley Smith third. The Briton also had a crash, as did satellite Honda riders Stefan Bradl (twice) and Alvaro Bautista, plus Avintia’s Hector Barbera. All [...]