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April 2015

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iRacing TV

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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.
  • 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 iRacing.com 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
    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.

  • 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
    Contributor

    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 iRacing.com 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
    Contributor

    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.

  • David Moulthrop
    NASCAR Contributor

    David Moulthrop is an award winning motorsports photo journalist and has covered auto racing since the mid-seventies. While he is most well known for his NASCARimages he has also covered F1, American Road Racing, and IndyCar on a regular basis. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and online news sites including, National Speed Sport News, Area Auto Racing News, Auto Racing USA, Stock Car Magazine, Sprint Cup Dateline, and Jayski. David joined the iRacing team in 2004 as a contract photographer and became iRacing's Laser Scan Project Manager in 2005.

  • 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
    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.
  • 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.

Meeke’s Argentina lead shrinks

April 25th, 2015

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Kris Meeke’s Rally Argentina lead dwindled to just over half a minute following a spin and a subsequent cautious stage on Saturday morning. Although Meeke continues to lead team-mate Mads Ostberg in a Citroen one-two, he was only eighth fastest on leg two’s first two stages. He had a spin on the Capilla del Monte to San Marcos test and then drove conservatively on the following San Marcos to Characato test. Ostberg therefore eroded the Northern Irishman’s lead from 1m08.4s at the start of the day to just 32.6 seconds after the morning loop. Jari-Matti Latvala holds third, but only by a much-reduced 14s margin thanks to an off on Characato that allowed Dani Sordo to close in. The Hyundai driver had been set to produce the best time on [...]

Wilson furious with WRC officials

April 25th, 2015

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M-Sport World Rally Championship team boss Malcolm Wilson has declared himself “disillusioned” over officials’ decisions on day one of Rally Argentina. Wilson’s team expected lead driver Elfyn Evans’ SS2 time to be adjusted after he was slowed in Thierry Neuville’s dust for six miles as the Hyundai rejoined following a wheel-change. Stewards have sometimes been willing to adjust delayed drivers’ stage times in such circumstances in the past, but the organisers felt no change was necessary for the Welshman. There was further frustration for Wilson when WRC2 frontrunner Yurii Protasov was hit with a 15-minute penalty for driving less than a mile on three wheels while he tried to find somewhere to repair his stricken Ford Fiesta RRC after SS3. Having damaged the right-rear of his Fiesta, Protasov ran 500 [...]

Latvala won’t try to catch Meeke

April 25th, 2015

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Jari-Matti Latvala has admitted he will not take risks to try to catch Rally Argentina leader Kris Meeke, having fallen to third at the end of Friday’s leg. After suffering a transmission fault on his Volkswagen Polo R WRC and seeing the gap to the leading Citroen mushroom to more than a minute, Latvala conceded he had to be sensible. “I need points for the championship, that is sure,” he told AUTOSPORT. “With the gap bigger than a minute, it’s tough. “He will be hard to try to catch and if I try to make that time back then I have to take risks and I can’t do that. “I need to get to the finish.” Latvala is currently a distant sixth in the world championship, 62 points behind leader [...]

Meeke takes large lead into Saturday

April 24th, 2015

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Kris Meeke holds a comfortable lead after the first full day of Rally Argentina, with only eight World Rally Cars still in the event. Meeke increased his gap to second placed man Jari-Matti Latvala on the Agua de Oro to Ascochinga test, after the Finn had made inroads into the Northern Irishman’s lead on the final stage of the morning. The Citroen driver then matched his VW rival’s times through the first two splits of the Villa Bustos-Tanti stage, before Latvala dropped time in the third thanks to a front differential issue. With Latvala losing another half-minute to his problem on the superspecial that ended the day, Meeke goes into Saturday with an advantage of 1m08.4s. His team-mate Mads Ostberg took over second place on the final stage thanks to [...]

Meeke takes lead as Ogier retires

April 24th, 2015

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Kris Meeke holds a narrowing Rally Argentina lead after a dramatic first morning of stages, as reigning World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier retired with suspected engine trouble. Mads Ostberg had looked like the man most likely to capitalise on Ogier’s retirement on the rally’s first full-length stage, but he lost time around the halfway point of the Ascochinga test with an intermittent engine issue, similar to the one he suffered in Monte Carlo. Instead, it was Ostberg’s Citroen team-mate Kris Meeke who came through to take the lead, but a puncture on SS3 meant his advantage immediately fell to just 15.3 seconds, down from 32.7s. Jari-Matti Latvala – the sole remaining frontrunning Volkswagen – emerged as the closest man to Meeke after the second stage, setting a blistering time, 10.2s [...]

Ogier leads Argentina superspecial

April 23rd, 2015

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Sebastien Ogier topped Thursday’s Rally Argentina curtain-raiser, heading exactly the same top three as Wednesday’s shakedown stage. Ogier was one of the later World Rally Car runners and usurped long-time stage leader – and Volkswagen team-mate – Andreas Mikkelsen, with a time of 2m32s around the 1.7-mile Villa de Merlo test. Mikkelsen looked to have scored the top spot courtesy of his earlier start time. The stage around the small town of Merlo proved to be increasingly dusty, with some drivers struggling with visibility and with finding a suitable line to take. Ogier’s stage partner Kris Meeke scored second, although he set the same time as Mikkelsen with a 2m32.2s. Last year’s Rally Argentina winner Jari-Matti Latvala was a further tenth back in fourth. Dani Sordo led the Hyundai challenge [...]

Mud forces Rally Argentina changes

April 23rd, 2015

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Images courtesy of wrc.com Rally Argentina organisers have been forced to cut short the longest stage of this week’s World Rally Championship round after crews struggled to get through mud on the recce. Saturday’s San Marcos-to-Characato test has had the first nine miles chopped out, shortening what would have been the rally’s showcase stage to 26 miles. The area was hit by storms in February, with a third of the region’s regular rainfall (12 inches) falling in 12 hours. While repair efforts were carried out, more recent rain made the roads near impassable. The second stage on Friday has also been tweaked, with half a mile taken out of the Villa Bustos-to-Tanti test, but it’s Saturday’s stage which comes as the biggest disappointment to the organisers. At its expected 35 [...]

Why WRC running order row has cooled

April 23rd, 2015

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Sebastien Ogier’s reaction to the 2015 World Rally Championship running order rules was so bad that he nearly left the series – yet so far he’s done just fine this year. Twelve months ago, the Frenchman was genuinely thinking about chucking the towel in. The world and world motorsport’s governing body were, apparently, against him. Winning from the front, he predicted, would be impossible this year. If it snowed in Sweden on Thursday night, forget him winning. As for Mexico… are you having a laugh? Result? He won them both. His Mexican save was one of the most impressive drives in the recent history of the World Rally Championship. Ogier should have been completely mullered first into the stages, but cooler than expected conditions offered a window of opportunity. He [...]

Kubica withdraws from Argentina

April 21st, 2015

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Robert Kubica has withdrawn from this weekend’s Rally Argentina to restructure his new World Rally Championship team. The ex-Formula 1 driver established the RK World Rally Team to run his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, with support from Italian squad A-Style, on the eve of the 2015 season after parting company with M-Sport. He will miss Argentina but intends to return to the following round in Portugal after completing a reorganisation. Kubica on his rapid-but-tough start to the 2015 season “This has been a very difficult decision to take,” Kubica said. “We have always planned to compete in Rally Argentina and although part of the team, including the car, is already on site, it was necessary to skip this event. “It is a real challenge to compete in the World Rally [...]

Nine-stage Corsica WRC route agreed

April 20th, 2015

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A compromise has been reached on the route for October’s Tour of Corsica – the French island’s first World Rally Championship round since 2008. Corsica returned to the WRC schedule in February after Alsace was unable to source funding to maintain the country’s Strasbourg-based world championship leg. The Corsican organisers soon came into conflict with WRC Promoter over its plans for a radical route, however. David Evans: The row that spotlights WRC’s identity crisis Initial talk of a five-stage event with a 45-mile opener on Friday October 2 and two further tests of similar length on both the Saturday and Sunday has been canned. Instead, France’s WRC round will include nine stages – three on each day, varying from nine to 28 miles. WRC Promoter’s main concern with the original [...]

Budget not behind new Hyundai’s delay

April 16th, 2015

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Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan has denied that the decision to delay the arrival of its new i20 World Rally Championship challenger is budget-related, and says it will be ready to win from the outset. There had been speculation that cashflow restrictions were at the bottom of the Frankfurt-based squad’s decision to deliver its new car in 2016, rather than this season. One source close to the team said: “I don’t think there’s any doubt about the budget being in place and the scale of the budget, but there has been some talk about the way and the speed the cash is flowing from Korea to the team in Germany.” Nandan emphatically denied such suggestions. “This decision is in no way related to the team’s budgetary situation and relates exclusively [...]

Skoda launches its new R5 rally car

April 15th, 2015

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Skoda Motorsport launched its long-awaited Fabia R 5 in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, and will focus on the World Rally Championship’s WRC2 class with the new car. The car, which was homologated by the FIA earlier this month, was unveiled at a test track close to the Skoda factory in Mlada Boleslav. Jan Kopecky will give the car its competitive debut at Rally Sumava Klatovy in Czech Republic next weekend. Reigning European Rally champion Esapekka Lappi will lead Skoda’s main effort in WRC2, with other programmes running in the Czech Republic and the Asia-Pacific series. But there will be no factory campaign in the ERC, which Skoda has dominated in recent years – taking Juho Hanninen, Kopecky and Lappi to back-to-back titles from 2012-14. It also won the Intercontinental [...]

Hyundai delays new WRC car to 2016

April 10th, 2015

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Hyundai has delayed its new World Rally Championship i20 until 2016 and canned plans for the next car to be a three-door version. The team had intended to run a three-door coupe i20 for its next generation World Rally Car and had scheduled its debut for the second half of this year. Road car production problems have now diverted those plans significantly. A five-door New Generation i20 WRC will replace the current car, but not until the 2016 Monte Carlo Rally. Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan said: “We had hoped to introduce the new car later this season but unfortunately an issue with the homologation schedule – related to production of the three-door road version – will delay our programme. “We have therefore opted to continue focus on the five-door [...]

New Hyundai might wait until Germany

April 3rd, 2015

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Hyundai has set its sights on replacing Volkswagen at the top of the World Rally Championship as soon as its new car arrives later in the 2015 season. The German-based, Korean manufacturer team is rumoured to be readying the new generation i20 WRC for Rally Germany, the scene of its first ever world championship win last season. Team manager Alain Penasse says the expectation is to beat VW immediately when the new car arrives and not to bring it out until it is ready to do so. “When we bring the new car, we want to beat our competitors – or should we say competitor, as we are already ahead of the Citroen and Ford with our current car,” he told AUTOSPORT. “We were a little bit surprised with the [...]

Young Finn gets Toyota WRC test role

March 31st, 2015

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Toyota has added Finish rising star Teemu Suninen to its junior driver programme and the test roster for its new World Rally Championship contender. The 21-year-old has only contested one round of the WRC – Rally Finland last year, where he won the WRC3 category (pictured below) on his debut in a Citroen DS 3 R3T prize drive. Suninen joins 27-year-old Frenchman Eric Camilli as a Toyota junior driver. The pair will work alongside Toyota test drivers Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastian Lindholm on the Yaris WRC development programme ahead of its 2017 debut, and on other cars in the Japanese firm’s rally stable. “Toyota has such a strong reputation and history in rallying; it’s a great honour to be selected by TMG to be a part of their return,” said [...]

VW fears Latvala title hopes are over

March 27th, 2015

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Volkswagen team principal Jost Capito has admitted Jari-Matti Latvala’s World Rally Championship title aspirations could be over already this season. Capito said that the German squad remains 100 per cent behind the Finn, but he fears the 62-point gap between Latvala and series leader Sebastien Ogier could be too big to bridge. While Ogier’s second title defence couldn’t have started better, Latvala has struggled to keep pace with his team-mate, going off the road on the last two rallies. Capito admitted Latvala’s mistakes in Sweden and Mexico were understandable as he chased the Frenchman. He told AUTOSPORT: “For his [Latvala's] championship, being this many points behind Seb is quite… well, the championship… it might be over, huh? “Anything can happen. He will not give up and we will not give [...]

Block won’t appear in WRC in 2015

March 25th, 2015

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Gymkhana star Ken Block will focus his attentions on Global Rallycross this season and will not compete in a single World Rally Championship round for the first time since 2009. Block’s rallying outings will be limited to a brace of domestic events in New Zealand and two Rally America rounds alongside his GRC commitments. His decision also means he will not contest any World Rallycross rounds in 2015. In addition to his competition programmes, Block will launch his Gymkhana Eight film and carry out demonstration runs in the modified Ford Mustang he ran in Gymkhana Seven. “I’m really excited about my race calendar for 2015,” said Block. “Just like last year, I feel really lucky to be able to have such a diverse race calendar. “I’m looking forward to competing [...]

Ogier: WRC can’t aim for total safety

March 25th, 2015

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Ogier: WRC can’t aim for total safety

World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier has called for a balanced approach to any potential safety changes in response to Ott Tanak’s dramatic crash into a lake during Rally Mexico. Tanak’s M-Sport Ford sank to the bottom of a lake after he went off the road on the first full day of the most recent WRC round. The Estonian and co-driver Raigo Molder were able to swim to safety, and M-Sport remarkably got their Fiesta back into the rally for the last leg. While concerned by Tanak’s crash and the response time to the accident, Ogier underlined that risk is inherent in the sport. “We are doing rallying,” Ogier told AUTOSPORT. “There will always be places where it is not good to go off. “Take the [Col de] Turini [on the [...]

Finland’s Ouninpohja stage to return

March 20th, 2015

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Rally Finland organisers have produced the most challenging route in recent years, which includes the return of the famous Ouninpohja stage. The 2015 route also includes 100 miles of competition without service on the opening day. The Thursday night forest stages have been removed from the itinerary for the July 30-August 2 rally, with just a single run through the city-centre Harju stage planned for 2015. Last year’s opening day allowed for a 30-minute service mid-way through what was also a shorter day of running. This time around the cars will get to the Himos stage – itself extended for this year – where the teams will offer only fresh tyres for the afternoon loop. It’s during Friday that Ouninpohja will be run twice in its traditional 21-mile form. Ouninpohja: [...]

Ogier: Running order still a problem

March 19th, 2015

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World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier still expects the new running order rules to cost him wins this season, even though he overcame them to win last time out in Mexico. Before the start of the third WRC round of the season, the Frenchman ruled out a podium finish, believing that running first on the road on Friday and potentially Saturday would be too much of a handicap in the gravelly conditions. In the end, he cantered to a third win of the season and fifth straight victory in the WRC. But Ogier thinks that won’t be the case in places like Sardinia. “Without using the soft tyres on the first day, the result in Mexico just wouldn’t have been possible,” he said. “Wait for some rallies like Sardinia where we [...]