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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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Riches Edges Chastain at Mosport

by Paul Slavonik on March 24th, 2015


After a much needed break during Week 13, Season 2 of the 2015 V8 Supercars Americas series roared to life at Canadian Motorsport Park in Ontario, Canada. The start of Season 2 brings with it a few changes to the mechanical setups of both the Ford Falcon and the Holden Commodore but, most notably, also brings about the arrival of the pre-race qualifying format. As decided by the majority of the community, the V8 Supercars series will now have a round of qualifying just before the race starts so that qualifying and racing will be done in a single session. Strategically, this changes-up things for the drivers. Gone are the days where setting a fast qualifying lap would carry you through the week. Now, drivers must focus on [...]

Plato leads BMR one-two in test

March 24th, 2015

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Jason Plato led new British Touring Car Championship team-mate Colin Turkington as the Team BMR Volkswagens topped the series’ official pre-season test at Donington Park. Plato, who has switched to the BMR CC after three years in the MG line-up, outpaced 2014 champion Turkington by just 0.006 seconds. The 2001 and ’10 title winner’s best time of 1m10.249s was set just before rain hit the Leicestershire track, and he survived a late flurry of track activity when the circuit dried to remain on top. “We’re in good shape,” said Plato. “We know we are. The car isn’t as driveable as I want it to be, it’s a bit nervy, but there’s lots left in it.” After an intensive pre-season programme, BMR’s VWs look to have made a significant step forward [...]

WSR to run as BTCC constructor

March 24th, 2015

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The British Touring Car Championship-winning WSR team will run as a constructor in 2015, competing alongside the factory MG, Honda and Infiniti outfits. Fielding a trio of BMW 125i M Sports, Dick Bennetts’ team won four titles in 2014, with Colin Turkington’s drivers’ championship and outright team honours accompanied by both independents’ crowns. WSR has now been classified a constructor by the series, rather than independent, due to its customer relationship with BMW, and will run Andy Priaulx, Sam Tordoff and Rob Collard in the manufacturers’/constructors’ class. Last month, as part of AUTOSPORT’s look into the importance of manufacturer entries to the BTCC, Bennetts said it would be unfair to classify WSR alongside Honda and MG because it was “100 per cent independent”. Series director Alan Gow, though, believes WSR [...]

Infiniti misses Donington BTCC test

March 24th, 2015

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The new Infiniti British Touring Car Championship team is not taking part in the series’ official pre-season test at Donington Park because its cars are not ready. Infiniti’s manufacturer effort in the BTCC was launched last year in association with the Support Our Paras charity, with Derek Palmer Jr and Richard Hawken set to drive two rear-wheel-drive Q50s. One of the cars was pushed onto the grid at Donington for the group photograph but a parts supply problem means the team does not intend to take part in the test, which started on Tuesday afternoon. Despite the delay, team principal Derek Palmer Sr said he was confident both cars would be on the grid for the season opener at Brands Hatch on the first weekend of April. “We’ve been held [...]

Hamilton to make BTCC debut at Croft

March 24th, 2015

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Nicolas Hamilton, the younger brother of Formula 1 world champion Lewis, will contest selected British Touring Car Championship rounds this season in an AmD Tuning Audi S3. The 22-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and raced in the BTCC-supporting Renault UK Clio Cup in 2012 and 2013, will contest five of the championship’s 10 rounds in the ex-Robb Holland car. He will make his BTCC debut at Croft on June 28, having been granted a guest entry by series boss Alan Gow, and will also drive at Snetterton, Rockingham, Silverstone and the Brands Hatch season finale. “It was such a distant goal,” he told AUTOSPORT. “We had so much work to get going, it’s great to now finally be in a position to be competing. “I want to be as prepared [...]

WSR: BTCC rule changes ‘will hurt’

March 23rd, 2015

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WSR boss Dick Bennetts is concerned the British Touring Car Championship regulation changes for rear-wheel drive cars will have an unfair impact on his title-winning team’s performance in 2015 The engines in the WSR BMW 125i M Sports and Rob Austin Racing Audis are positioned further back than their FWD counterparts due to the different drivetrains, which makes them lighter over the front axle. Last October, TOCA announced it had tweaked the regulations so RWD cars carry the championship’s mandatory ballast box as far forward as possible in 2015. Bennetts is concerned about how much this will peg back the BMWs, and believes the change is based entirely on Colin Turkington’s results in 2014 rather than the actual performance of the rear-wheel-drive machines. “The weight distribution will hurt us compared [...]

Menu misses out on full-time BTCC drive

March 23rd, 2015

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Double British Touring Car champion and multiple World Touring Car race winner Alain Menu says he is still keen to prolong a career that has spanned 23 years in tin-tops. The 51-year-old Swiss raced a Team BMR Volkswagen in the BTCC last season, but has accepted that he will start the 2015 campaign on the sidelines. BMR has recruited reigning champion Colin Turkington and record race winner Jason Plato to drive its CCs in 2015, alongside Aron Smith and team owner Warren Scott. “For sure I’m not going to do a full championship, but we’ll see if anything happens for later in the year,” he told AUTOSPORT. “I was only interested in doing something in the BTCC or the WTCC.” Menu was edged out of the WTCC when, after an [...]

Hynes out of BTCC to focus on Manor

March 18th, 2015

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Marc Hynes will not return to the British Touring Car Championship in 2015 as he focuses on the revival of the Manor Formula 1 team. The 1999 British Formula 3 champion made his BTCC debut last year and finished 18th in the points in a Triple Eight-run, privately-owned MG. Hynes worked as head of driver development for the Marussia F1 team before its financial troubles and says his involvement in the management of the outfit as it returns under the Manor name is his immediate priority. “F1 takes over your life,” he told AUTOSPORT. “I really enjoyed the BTCC last year and would definitely want to be back in it. “Right now, though, F1 is the focus and we just need to get the team back up and running. “I [...]

Neal: New Honda Type-R worth the wait

March 17th, 2015

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Matt Neal believes Honda’s brand-new Civic Type-R will make the manufacturer’s late start to British Touring Car Championship testing worth the wait. The Team Dynamics operation successfully completed its maiden test with its new BTCC challenger at Brands Hatch on Tuesday, less than three weeks before the first round of the 2015 season. Bad weather meant the Type-R, which had originally been slated for a media day unveiling next week at Donington Park, did not run until after lunchtime. Neal completed the majority of the running in the afternoon, with team-mate Gordon Shedden performing back-to-back runs in the 2014 Civic Tourer before sampling the new car for the first time late on. Triple champion Neal said the late start to testing was largely down to the availability of parts for [...]

New BTCC Honda breaks cover in test

March 17th, 2015

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Honda’s 2015 British Touring Car Championship challenger has broken cover at Brands Hatch. The new Civic Type-R replaces the history-making Tourer of 2014, which became the first estate car to win a BTCC race when Gordon Shedden triumphed at Donington Park. Shedden, the 2012 champion, has been retained alongside triple title winner Matt Neal for another season and both drivers were present as the new car appeared for the first time at a collective test at the Kent track on Tuesday. It had originally been slated to be revealed at the series’ media day at Donington Park on March 24. Shedden had suggested the team might start the season with the Civic Sport but Honda’s UK factory supplied Team Dynamics with a Type-R last year and the car has been [...]

Ambrose steps back from V8 return

March 17th, 2015

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Two-time V8 Supercars champion Marcos Ambrose has stepped back from his full-time drive with DJR Team Penske, just three events into his return to the series. After nine years in NASCAR, Ambrose returned to Australia to lead the new joint venture between Team Penske and Dick Johnson Racing, starting the 2014 season finale in Sydney. As the team’s sole driver in 2015, and aboard the new FG X model Ford Falcon, Ambrose has found the going tough in the opening two events and subsequently requested to be “temporarily relieved” from the drive. Ambrose qualified 24th and finished 16th in the two Saturday races at Adelaide’s season opener, but he appeared to make a breakthrough for Sunday’s longer race, qualifying ninth and finishing 12th. During last weekend’s non-championship event alongside the [...]

Motorbase to miss opening BTCC rounds

March 16th, 2015

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British Touring Car Championship race-winning team Motorbase will miss at least the first half of the 2015 season due to a lack of funding. The team lost title sponsor Airwaves at the end of last year, a deal that paid for double champion Fabrizio Giovanardi to race one of its cars in 2014, and has struggled to replace that funding. Motorbase, which has competed in the BTCC since 2006, winning 12 races, was also tasked with developing a new EcoBoost engine for this campaign and Bartrum said the decision to skip the opening rounds was not taken lightly. “It is with regret that I have to announce that Motorbase will not be competing in the BTCC for the first half of this season,” said Bartrum. “I and the rest of [...]

Emerson Takes V8SC S1 Title; McKnight Takes Season Finale

by Paul Slavonik on March 12th, 2015


Wrapping-up what has been nothing short of a remarkable season which included 21 wins and 24 pole positions out of 25 starts, veteran V8 Supercars driver John Emerson of Team TTL claimed the Season 1 championship with 1890 points. A dominating force from the start, there were only a handful of drivers who were able to keep pace with Emerson throughout the season. One such driver was Beau Cubis who completed the season in second with 1817 points. Oftentimes fighting alongside Cubis was his former teammate, Ian Ford, who claimed the final step of the championship podium with Marlon McMullen and Tony Autridge rounding out the top-five. A win for Holden With Season 1 bringing the first ever Holden vs. Ford battles to iRacing, Emerson’s championship win also gives [...]

Tordoff: BTCC switch led to ELMS deal

March 11th, 2015

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British Touring Car Championship race winner Sam Tordoff’s switch to a rear-wheel-drive BMW for 2015 made his entry into the international sportscar arena possible. Tordoff, who has moved from the Triple Eight MG squad to drive one of West Surrey Racing’s BMW 125i M Sports, revealed that he would not have contemplated the additional programme in the European Le Mans Series with the JMW Ferrari GTE team if he had still been racing a front-wheel-drive MG 6. “This is something I have wanted to do for a few years, but it wouldn’t have been possible if I was still racing the MG — I didn’t want to be going back and forth between front and rear-wheel-drive,” he told AUTOSPORT. “A few things had to align to make allow this to [...]

Lines replaces Wood in Houseman squad

March 11th, 2015

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Volkswagen Racing Cup frontrunner Stewart Lines will drive Houseman Racing’s Toyota Avensis in the British Touring Car Championship this season. The former motocrosser has raced in the Mini Challenge and Renault Clio Cup UK since making a switch to four-wheeled racing in 2007, and replaces 2013 Jack Sears Trophy winner Lea Wood in the Houseman Avensis. Wood has taken on a senior role within the team and will help mentor the 50-year-old. “I’m thrilled to sign for Houseman Racing and to be part of the BTCC,” said Lines. “I know I’ve got a steep learning curve to get used to the unfamiliar NGTC machinery, but I’m confident that with some good solid track time, I will soon adapt to the new car and prepare to race in this illustrious championship.” [...]

Borkovic raced against doctors’ advice

March 9th, 2015

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Honda privateer Dusan Borkovic raced in Sunday’s opening round of the 2015 World Touring Car Championship in Argentina in spite of medical advice to the contrary, it has emerged. Six-foot-nine Borkovic drove a Chevrolet Cruze last year, but switching to a Honda Civic has brought unexpected packaging problems. Owing to the configuration of the Civic’s bulkhead, the pedal box cannot be adjusted enough to accommodate his legs comfortably. Borkovic has reported suffering numbness in his legs within just a few laps, and qualified outside the top 10 for both races in the opening round at Termas de Rio Hondo. He finished 11th in the first race, claiming points in the Yokohama Trophy for independent runners, but spun out of the second in the closing laps. “Borkovic, in spite of the [...]

New Honda to launch on March 24

March 9th, 2015

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Honda will reveal its 2015 British Touring Car Championship challenger at the series media day later this month, and has retained champions Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden for another year. The Team Dynamics-run factory entry is set to confirm the return to a hatchback Civic after a year with the estate version of the car, with the new challenger to be unveiled at Donington Park on March 24. Three-time champion Neal and Shedden return for a sixth successive year as team-mates to try and deliver the Japanese marque’s first BTCC crown since Shedden’s 2012 triumph. “We’ve shown over the past few seasons that we’re never afraid to push back the boundaries and come up with something different and new that really engages the fans,” said Shedden. “The Civic Tourer was [...]

Loeb holds off Lopez for victory

March 8th, 2015

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Sebastien Loeb scored a tenacious victory over Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez in the second World Touring Car Championship race in Argentina, scything through from eighth on the reversed grid. In a chaotic opening lap at Termas de Rio Hondo, polesitter James Thompson made side-to-side contact with fast-starting Stefano D’Aste at the first corner. D’Aste then spun off on oil at Turn 2 while the Lada cruised into retirement; a cracked front suspension part was to blame. This might have benefited those immediately behind on the grid, but Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini took to the grass in an unsuccessful bid to pass front-row starter Tom Coronel, and fifth-placed starter Tom Chilton was swallowed up in the onrush of Citroens. Ma Qing Ha broke through from seventh on the grid to lead [...]

Lopez leads Citroen domination

March 8th, 2015

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Defending champion Jose Maria Lopez won the opening race of the 2015 World Touring Car Championship in Argentina from Citroen team-mate Yvan Muller. Sebastien Loeb finished third, 7.5 seconds behind the winner, to complete a Citroen 1-2-3. Lopez earned the win courtesy of a hard-fought opening lap. He was slower away from the start than Muller and was second into the first corner, but then edged his team-mate onto the dirty side of the track for the following bend. “We touched a little bit,” said Lopez. “He gave me a bit of space but it was very on the limit. “This race was going to be difficult because we had very similar pace.” Having reclaimed the lead Lopez built a gap of up to 2.5s, which diminished slightly in the [...]

Huff shocked by pace of new Vesta

March 7th, 2015

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Lada driver Rob Huff called the performance of the new Vesta a “genuine surprise” after going quickest in first qualifying at the World Touring Car Championship opener in Argentina. Changing track conditions, caused by increasing ambient temperatures and several races from the national series sharing the bill, made for slower times in qualifying than during the morning’s second practice session. As the factory Citroens struggled in the early part of Q1 Huff went fastest of all, outpacing Mehdi Bennani’s semi-works C-Elysee by 0.162s. Though Huff’s car developed a misfire and he slumped to 11th place in Q2 as the Citroens regrouped, team-mate Thompson will start from pole position in race two after setting the 10th fastest Q2 time. “The first [qualifying] run we did was on old tyres, and that [...]