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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.

Shedden wins in last-corner tussle

April 20th, 2014

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Gordon Shedden gave the Honda Civic Tourer its first British Touring Car Championship victory with a last corner effort in the Donington Park finale. Shedden was only sixth in the early stages, while Colin Turkington’s WSR BMW led comfortably from pole, even after a safety car period. But after a superb fight with team-mate Matt Neal and the Motorbase Ford Focus of Mat Jackson, Shedden closed on the second-placed MG6 of Jason Plato. The MGs started to struggle on the soft Dunlop tyre that all the runners were on for race three and Shedden dived by Plato into the chicane around two-thirds distance. At that stage, Turkington’s lead was five seconds and victory looked certain. But the BMW’s tyres started to go off and Shedden closed in. He arrived on [...]

Lopez flies from last to take win

April 20th, 2014

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Citroen’s Jose Maria Lopez produced a fearless, attacking drive from last on the grid to take a sensational second victory of the World Touring Car Championship season at Paul Ricard. The triple TC2000 champion was relegated to the back of the grid when a valve controlling an automatic fuel shut-off safety system was found to be non-functioning after qualifying. The Argentinean had already fought past Citroen team-mate and 10th-placed starter Yvan Muller by the end of the first lap to run seventh. Muller stayed in close pursuit of Lopez to finish second, 1.886 seconds adrift at the chequered flag. “I didn’t expect this,” said Lopez. “Obviously that makes it more satisfying than when you win from pole.” Watch Ricard highlights videos on the AUTOSPORT WTCC page Early leader Tiago Monteiro [...]

Tordoff beats Plato in race two

April 20th, 2014

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Sam Tordoff beat MG team-mate Jason Plato to win a dramatic wet second British Touring Car Championship race at Donington Park. Tordoff, with 36kg of success ballast compared to Plato’s 45kg, made a good start and was able to slot ahead into Redgate. In an action-packed race, there was little chance for anyone to challenge Tordoff in the early stages due to a number of incidents. James Cole’s United Autosports Toyota Avensis and Alain Menu’s BMR VW Passat both went off on lap one, Menu being narrowly missed by the midfield as he spun back across the pack. At the restart, Rob Collard – who had risen to third thanks to a fine start – spun off down the Craners, and a multi-car crash at Redgate put Rob Holland and [...]

Muller wins as Loeb charges to second

April 20th, 2014

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Yvan Muller scored his first World Touring Car Championship victory for Citroen at a damp Paul Ricard. Reigning WTCC champion Muller inherited pole position following the demotion of provisional pole-winner Sebastien Loeb and second-fastest qualifier Jose Maria Lopez due to problems with their automatic fuel cut-off systems in post-qualifying technical checks. Loeb and Lopez’s misfortune was offset by the Citroen’s performance advantage. Cheered on by a partisan home crowd, Loeb recovered to second position at the chequered flag, some 12.7 seconds behind Muller. Lopez lost time in a minor off-track moment at Turn 1 on the opening lap, plus door-banging antics with Tiago Monteiro, and was further delayed behind a stubborn Lada Granta driven by an inspired Rob Huff. The Argentinean would have to settle for fourth behind the factory [...]

Loeb and Lopez lose front row places

April 19th, 2014

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Citroen’s provisional front row qualifiers Sebastien Loeb and Jose Maria Lopez have had their qualifying times cancelled at Paul Ricard’s second round of the World Touring Car Championship. A problem concerning a valve on a safety cut-off system, which restricts fuel to the engine in the event of an accident or emergency, was found in post-qualifying technical checks on the C-Elysee cars of Loeb and Lopez. The valve was found to be functioning correctly on the similar car of provisional third-place qualifier Yvan Muller, who has been promoted to pole position. Loeb and Lopez are set to start from the back of the grid. Citroen press officer Marie-Pierre Rossi said: “We take safety extremely seriously, in rallying for example we carry an extra fire extinguisher, so there is no way [...]

Plato denies Shedden pole

April 19th, 2014

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Jason Plato took pole position for the first British Touring Car race at Donington Park. The top spot changed several times in the initial flurry, with Plato leading the way after the first runs with 1m09.460s in his Triple Eight MG6. Like most, Plato failed to improve on his later run as the track got dirty with people running off track, but nobody was able to better his early mark. “It wasn’t a perfect lap – I made a mistake at Redgate, but the rest of the lap was pretty sweet,” said Plato. Gordon Shedden did improve on his second run, but stayed second with 1m09.591s in the new Honda Civic Tourer. Sam Tordoff made it two MGs in the top three, just ahead of Colin Turkington’s WSR BMW. After [...]

Loeb scores maiden WTCC pole

April 19th, 2014

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Sebastien Loeb delighted the home crowd at Paul Ricard by opening his World Touring Car Championship pole position account. As expected the Citroen drivers occupied the top three positions in the decisive Q3 segment of qualifying. The nine-time World Rally champion’s single-lap Q3 run produced a lap of 1m29.527s, edging out race one winner Jose Maria Lopez by 0.092 seconds. Reigning WTCC champion Yvan Muller was 0.011s up on Loeb after the opening sector of his super-pole run, but he dropped off over the remainder of his lap to end the afternoon third. Loeb improved throughout the three-part qualifying session. After finishing 0.1s behind Muller in Q1, Loeb closed the deficit to 0.07s in Q2 before finally taking pole. Lopez complained of losing confidence with his C-Elysee in braking zones [...]

Tordoff tops Donington BTCC practice

April 19th, 2014

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Sam Tordoff led the British Touring Car pack during free practice at Donington Park. Aron Smith’s BMR VW Passat set the pace in the first session, recording two times faster than Gordon Shedden’s Honda Civic Tourer in second. Smith then dipped under the 1m10s barrier with a 1m09.874s in the second session. That compares favourably with Shedden’s 2013 pole time of 1m10.074s. But Tordoff’s Triple Eight MG6 then went even quicker, first recording a 1m09.794s, then leaving the benchmark at 1m09.684s in the final 10 minutes. Smith’s double BTCC champion team-mate Alain Menu failed to match the Irishman in either session, but ended up third quickest with 1m10.038s in FP2. Jason Plato made it two MGs in the top four, while Adam Morgan’s Mercedes improved in the final moments of [...]

Lopez sets pace in Paul Ricard test

April 18th, 2014

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World Touring Car Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez set the fastest time in the test for round two of the WTCC at Paul Ricard on Friday. Lopez produced his quickest time of 1m31.227s within the final two minutes of the half-hour test to demote fellow Citroen driver Sebastien Loeb from the top of the timesheets by 0.138s. Former TC2000 champion Lopez had set the initial pace thanks to a time of 1m32.158s. It took the Argentine’s team-mates until approaching the final third of the test to offer a response, when Loeb found in excess of a one-second improvement over his previous best time. Zengo Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz spilt up the C-Elysee trio, completed by Yvan Muller, and took top non-Citroen honours in third with two minutes left on the clocks. [...]

Rydell to make full-time WTCC return

April 16th, 2014

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Nika Racing has revealed that Rickard Rydell will spearhead its assault on the World Touring Car Championship next year. The Swedish outfit is running a Honda Civic for Yukinori Taniguchi on a part-time basis in the TC2 category of the series this season and now plans to join the main TC1 class in 2015. Using a Civic once again, the project is due to operate under the Honda Racing Team Sweden banner, with full co-operation from the Japanese manufacturer. Rydell, a former British and Swedish Touring Car champion, said he is relishing the opportunity to lead the all-Swedish team in the WTCC next year. “This project is one of great promise, and I’ll approach it with full dedication,” he commented. “The WTCC is highly competitive and lots of fun, and [...]

Citroen boss backs dual progamme

April 15th, 2014

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PSA chief executive officer Carlos Tavares has backed Citroen’s twin world title bid this season, despite the French car firm’s tough financial situation. Tavares, the most senior official in the Peugeot Citroen group, said he was happy with Citroen’s presence in both the World Rally Championship and the World Touring Car Championship, providing the firm remained competitive. “If we get results then plenty of people say they (both programmes) are sustainable,” Tavares told AUTOSPORT. “And if we don’t get results then plenty say they are not. I think [Citroen] has taken a very bold decision in 2014 and we will see by the end of it if it is fruitful. “If it is not, then we will address this.” Citroen dominated in its first WTCC outing at Marrakech last weekend, [...]

Giovanardi pins hopes on car changes

April 14th, 2014

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Returning British Touring Car champion Fabrizio Giovanardi believes improvements to his Ford Focus will allow him to move up the field at the Donington Park round this weekend. Giovanardi returned to the series for the season opener at Brands Hatch last month, but had a difficult weekend. The Italian believes revisions to the 2014-specification Motorbase machine will now allow him to improve on his Brands best of ninth. “This weekend will hopefully be better for us,” he said. “We had a big analysis of the car after Brands. “With the changes we have made for the set-up we should have a much more balanced car – especially in qualifying where we need to make the biggest improvement. “If you can get out in front in qualifying then that is 80 [...]

Bennani gets grid penalty for Ricard

April 14th, 2014

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Mehdi Bennani has been given a grid penalty for Paul Ricard for causing the Marrakech World Touring Car Championship start crash – and excluded from the race for being underweight. Proteam Honda driver Bennani came together with the ROAL Chevrolet of fellow front-row start Tom Coronel on the run off the line during race two on Sunday. Coronel’s car was sent into the wall and then collected by Yvan Muller’s Citroen, taking both out and jeopardising Coronel’s participation in the coming weekend’s second round at Ricard. Watch Marrakech mayhem videos on AUTOSPORT’s WTCC page “It started with a little tap, which isn’t a problem, but he kept pushing and started turning to the right,” said Coronel. “There was nothing I could do, I was merely a passenger in my own [...]

Loeb takes maiden WTCC victory

April 13th, 2014

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World Rally legend Sebastien Loeb completed a fairytale debut in the World Touring Car Championship by winning an action-packed race two at Marrakech for Citroen. The race was marred by a pile-up soon after the start, as front row men Tom Coronel and Mehdi Bennani clashed. Coronel’s Chevrolet hit the wall hard and then bounced back across the track, collecting Yvan Muller’s Citroen before hitting the wall hard again on the other side. The red flags came out, and there were amazing scenes as Coronel confronted Bennani, whose car had escaped with only minor damage, on the grid during a live TV interview. They ended up embracing despite each blaming the other for crash. At the restart, Bennani led from Tiago Monteiro and Loeb, who had picked his way through [...]

Lopez leads Citroen podium sweep

April 13th, 2014

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Jose Maria Lopez began his Citroen career with a victory in the World Touring Car season opener in Marrakech, leading a 1-2-3 for the French manufacturer. Once fourth starter Yvan Muller had out-braked ROAL Chevrolet racer Tom Chilton for third into Turn 1 away from the standing start, the three Citroen’s were unchallenged. Nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb remained within a second of Lopez throughout, but no overtaking attempts were forthcoming. Reigning champion Yvan Muller also avoided staging any bold passing manoeuvres on his illustrious team-mate to take the final step on the podium. Chilton enjoyed a lonely run to fourth, some 8.2s in arrears of the dominant Lopez. Impressing throughout the weekend, Dusan Borkovic took a fine fifth, ahead of factory Honda racer Tiago Monteiro. The Serbian’s passing [...]

Tarquini out of Marrakech WTCC round

April 12th, 2014

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Gabriele Tarquini will miss tomorrow’s opening round of the World Touring Car Championship in Marrakech after a practice accident. The 52-year-old’s Honda Civic was T-boned when trying to rejoin the track after overshooting the Turn 4 chicane by Gianni Morbidelli’s Chevrolet, which had straightlined the chicane and launched over a kerb before hittiing the Italian’s door on the driver’s side. The damage means the Civic could not be repaired for either qualifying or the race, but Tarquini praised the strict safety measures of the 2014 TC1 WTCC machines after escaping serious injury. “I have a bit of back pain because of the very strong side impact, but I am OK,” said Tarquini. “Due to the film or oil on the track, the track was very slippery. I locked the front [...]

Muller loses front row starting place

April 12th, 2014

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Yvan Muller has been stripped of his front row starting position for the World Touring Car Championship season-opener in Marrakech. The Citroen driver lost his laptime from the Q3 top-five qualifying shoot-out for failing to respect track limits after cutting the Turn 10 chicane on his single-lap flier. This means the four-times champion will be relegated two places on the starting grid for race one to fourth, dropping him behind team-mate Sebastian Loeb and ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet driver Tom Chilton. Fifth and final Q3 qualifier Dusan Borkovic does not benefit from the decision, as the Russian was black-flagged during the session for breaking the Q3 timing procedures. Borkovic went through a red light at the end of the pitlane, in a misguided effort to take to the track 30s behind [...]

Lopez gives Citroen debut pole

April 12th, 2014

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Former TC2000 champion Jose Maria Lopez gave Citroen a debut pole position for the opening round of the World Touring Car Championship in Marrakech. The Argentinean edged out reigning WTCC champion Yvan Muller by 0.018s in the series’ new staggered, single-lap, Q3 shoot-out qualifying format. Muller lost time towards the end of his lap by slightly cutting the penultimate chicane and being forced to slow on the exit. Sebastien Loeb looked set to beat Lopez’s effort when he was 0.084s up in sector one and 0.018s up on the sector two spilt. But he had to settle for third behind his team-mates to complete a dominant showing for the Citroen C-Elysee. “I knew that Yvan had made a small mistake, or a big mistake as I didn’t see his lap, [...]

Muller leads second Morocco practice

April 12th, 2014

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Yvan Muller emerged from a close contest with Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez to top the second World Touring Car Championship free practice session at Marrakech. Lopez’s effort of 1m43.500s moved the Argentine triple TC2000 champion half a second clear of Muller shortly after the mid-way mark of the half hour session. Reigning WTCC champion Muller waited until the final minute before offering a response. The Frenchman’s time of 1m43.437s edged out Lopez by 0.063s. As in Friday’s test, Citroen’s Elysee model locked out the top-three positions, with FP1 pacesetter Sebastien Loeb taking third spot. Tom Chilton was fastest non-Citroen in fourth. On his maiden outing for ROAL Motorsport, Chilton headed fellow Chevy Cruze runners and Campos team-mates Dusan Borkovic and Hugo Valente. The session was interrupted by a lengthy [...]

Honda shocked by Citroen pace

April 12th, 2014

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Honda engineer Giancarlo Bruno has admitted to being surprised at the performance advantage World Touring Car Championship newcomers Citroen have enjoyed in the early running at Marrakech’s opening round of the season. Citroen’s reigning WTCC champion Yvan Muller enjoyed close to a two-second advantage over the fastest non-Citroen in Friday’s test, and touring car convert Sebastien Loeb was 1.8s quicker than top Honda runner Mehdi Bennani in Saturday’s first free practice session. “I think this track is obviously is a little unusual, and it is still very early days, but we didn’t expected to see quite such a big gap to Citroen,” said Bruno, who is race engineer for Gabriele Tarquini. “The car has no big issues, and is running reliably, so we are happy on this. I think the [...]