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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.

Kiss clinches maiden Auto GP win

April 19th, 2014

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Tamas Pal Kiss claimed his maiden Auto GP victory after benefitting from a strong performance on his first set of tyres at Paul Ricard. The result gives Zele Racing its first victory since last April, when Luciano Bacheta achieved a reversed-grid win in Marrakech. The former GP3 winner finished a comfortable 6.2 seconds clear of a tight battle for second involving last weekend’s winners Markus Pommer and championship leader Kimiya Sato. On worn rear tyres, rookie Pommer soaked up the pressure from Sato to secure the position by just over half a second. Sato had an unsettled start to the race when his Euronova machine failed to pull away from his front-row grid slot on the formation lap. He eventually got going but incorrectly recovered his original starting position, rather [...]

Pommer charges to maiden win

April 13th, 2014

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Former Formula 2 race winner Markus Pommer took victory in the reversed-grid Auto GP race in Marrakech. Driving for reigning champion team Super Nova, the German started from pole position, after finishing eighth in Saturday’s opening race of the season. Pommer made no repeat of his poor race one getaway when his engine went into safety mode. Despite the attentions of Andrea Roda on his inside, Pommer led into Turn 1 and once established in the lead quickly extended a 5.7-second lead over Roda’s Virtuosi team-mate Sam Dejonghe inside four laps. That advantage was transferred into a 23.6s margin of victory over race one winner Kimya Sato. Tamas Pal Kiss recovered from two pitstops to charge up to third for Zele Racing. Eurotech racer Kevin Giovesi was once again in [...]

Sato wins Auto GP season opener

April 12th, 2014

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Kimiya Sato won an incident-packed opening race of the 2014 Auto GP season in Marrakech. The Euronova driver took the chequered flag 12.5 seconds ahead of team-mate Michele La Rosa, whose car is being run under the MLR71 by Euronova banner. Only six cars completed the 22-lap race and such was the rate of attrition that gentleman drivers La Rosa and Guiseppe Cipriani both claimed their maiden podium finishes. “It was not an easy race,” said Sato. “We had some luck today, but it was not easy to stay out of trouble as I had to be very careful with the brakes.” Polesitter Kevin Giovesi led Zele Racing pairing Sergio Campana and Tamas Pal Kiss into Turn 1. Front row starter Markus Pommer had been unable to pull away cleanly [...]

Giovesi takes maiden Auto GP pole

April 11th, 2014

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Kevin Giovesi and series newcomer Eurotech enjoyed a perfect start to their Auto GP campaign by securing pole position for Saturday’s opening race of the season. The Italian was 0.157s faster than Auto GP debutant Markus Pommer to claim a long-expected maiden Auto GP pole. Giovesi took three front row starts in 2013, at Silverstone, Mugello and Brno, during an impressive second half of the year for Ghinzani. Pommer set the fastest time in the first segment of Auto GP’s revised split qualifying format. Free practice pacesetter Sergio Campana final lap, started moments before the chequered flag, hauled the Italian from sixth to third. Campana will be joined on the second row of Saturday’s race by his Zele Racing team-mate Tamas Pal Kiss. Campos GP2 driver Kimiya Sato starts fifth, [...]

Sato adds Euronova Auto GP programme

April 7th, 2014

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Campos GP2 driver Kimiya Sato will renew his relationship with Euronova Racing in Auto GP alongside his primary campaign this season. The Kobe racer finished runner-up in last year’s Auto GP drivers’ standings for Vincenzo Sospiri’s team. AUTOSPORT revealed last week that former Sauber Formula 1 reserve driver Sato will dovetail a return to Auto GP with the GP2 activities that will remain his focus for the year. His Auto GP outings are intended to assist both Euronova and Sato’s gentleman driver team-mate Michele La Rosa, whose car will be run under the MLR71 by Euronova banner. The opening Auto GP meeting of the season takes place in Marrakech this weekend. Sato scored a double podium at the Moulay El Hassan street circuit in 2013. 2014 Auto GP line-up so [...]

Pal Kiss breaks Valencia lap record

April 1st, 2014

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Series returnee Tamas Pal Kiss broke the unofficial Auto GP lap record at Valencia on the series’ opening day of collective testing of 2014. Pal Kiss’s fastest lap of 1m21.480s was two seconds under the Valencia Auto GP lap record set by recent Rapax GP2 signing Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in 2012. Former GP3 race winner Pal Kiss is benefitting from more orderly preparations to his season than in 2013. The Hungarian was left on the sidelines through lack of finance, before finally securing a late deal to join Auto GP for round three of the championship at the Hungaroring. Campos GP2 driver Kimiya Sato claimed second on the timesheets for MLR71, run by his former team Euronova Racing. Former grand prix driver Taki Inoue, who is assisting the 2012 Auto GP [...]

Fourteen drivers for Auto GP test

March 31st, 2014

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Auto GP has secured a field of 14 cars for its first 2014 pre-season test at Valencia on Tuesday and Wednesday. Reigning champion team Super Nova will run Canadian Gianmarco Raimondo and German Markus Pommer alongside its already confirmed 2014 signing Michela Cerruti at the test. Prior to participating in four GP2 races for Trident last year, Raimondo was runner-up in the 2012 European Formula 3 Open championship. Sometime Formula 2 man Pommer, who had secured a GP3 seat with Russian Time before the team’s restructuring forced a change of plan, returns to single-seaters after contesting last year’s Porsche Supercup. Fellow Norfolk team Virtuosi UK will field cars for Slovenian Richard Gonda and Dutchman Sam Dejonghe, who starred in Indian-based MRF series over the close season. Andrea Roda has agreed [...]

Puma 3 to run Giovesi, Spinelli

March 31st, 2014

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New Auto GP team Puma 3 M-Sport will run series returnee Kevin Giovesi and karting graduate Loris Spinelli for its debut campaign in the championship. Puma 3 has been created over the winter by Jaime Pintanel and ex-Formula 1 designer Sergio Rinland. It will receive technical support from the Eurotech operation set up by former Durango GP2 team boss Ivone Pinton. Giovesi won two races on the road in Auto GP last season, including his series debut at Silverstone, but lost both to penalties. The 20-year-old Italian still finished sixth in the championship for the Ghinzani team, despite missing the opening six rounds, and also contested several GP2 events with Lazarus. “This season I will be starting the series from the first race, and with a new team,” said Giovesi. [...]

Campana switches to Zele for 2014

March 22nd, 2014

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Sergio Campana will switch to Zele Racing for this year’s AutoGP championship. The 27-year-old has won four times since moving into the series in 2012, the year after he clinched the Italian Formula 3 title. Victories at Monza, Marrakech and Mugello helped him finish third overall last year with Ibiza Racing. “I have known Michael [Zele, team owner] for some time and we work along the same lines,” Campana said. “When I did a guest start for them at the US race in 2012, I finished on the podium off the cuff. It clicked immediately. “Since then, both I and the team have developed further and we started talking about 2014 at the official test in Jerez last year. “I am sure that we can have a great 2014 season [...]

Kiss stays on with Zele for 2014

March 21st, 2014

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Zele Racing has confirmed that GP3 race winner Tamas Pal Kiss will remain with the team for the forthcoming Auto GP season. Kiss joined the category for his home event at the Hungaroring last year for Italian team MLR 71. A switch to Michael Zele’s eponymous team next time out at Silverstone yielded a podium, and the Hungarian continued at Zele for two further meetings. “It’s good to be back at a place where you know people,” said Kiss, who had been linked to a potential move to rival Virtuosi UK in 2014 after testing for the Norfolk-based outfit over the close season. “My expectations are high, because the cooperation with the team was already very good last year. “From what Michael told me, they have gained more experience and [...]

Imola, Estoril join Auto GP calendar

March 8th, 2014

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Auto GP organisers have confirmed the series’ 2014 calendar, with a return to Imola and maiden trip to Estoril completing the eight-round schedule. The championship, which will receive live television coverage on Eurosport and support the World Touring Car Champion, DTM and European Le Mans Series, had previously left two spaces to be confirmed when the provisional calendar was announced in January. Imola last featured on the calendar in 2010 but has been slotted in for June 28-29, before the Spielberg and Nurburgring races, instead of becoming the penultimate meeting as was expected. The first Auto GP meeting at Estoril will double as the season finale on October 18-19, in conjunction with the ELMS round. 2014 AUTO GP CALENDAR Date Venue Alongside April 1-2 Valencia test April 12-13 Marrakech WTCC [...]

Euronova to run MLR71 Auto GP team

February 21st, 2014

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Italian gentleman racer Michele La Rosa has entrusted his MLR71 Auto GP entry to Vincenzo Sospiri’s Euronova Racing team for 2014. La Rosa will drive under the MLR71 by Euronova banner, as all technical and logistical operations will be run from Euronova’s base in Forli. “I’m very pleased to announce this partnership with Euronova,” said La Rosa. “For me it makes perfect sense as it means I can concentrate solely on racing knowing that the management of the team is in excellent hands. “I’m very happy to continue my co-operation with Coloni Motorsport and the Auto GP family and am working hard on my physical preparation in anticipation of the Valencia test.” La Rosa has run a team in the championship for the past two seasons. MLR71 scored a single [...]

Roda stays in Auto GP with Virtuosi

January 22nd, 2014

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Andrea Roda will continue at Virtuosi UK Racing for a second season of Auto GP. The Italian is the first driver to sign up for the 2014 series. Team director Andy Roche is confident Roda will make further progress this year. “Having re-signed Roda is a great opportunity,” he said. “We showed that we can get good results together and I’m sure that he’ll be showing all his full potential this year.” Roda’s best results in 2013 were two fourth places, contributing to his 12th position in the drivers’ standings. His best opportunity of the season came in Marrakech, where he was disputing the lead of the reversed-grid race with compatriot Antonio Spavone when the pair clashed wheels, sending Spavone into the barriers. Roda was awarded a drive-through penalty, a [...]

Valencia pre-season test for Auto GP

December 14th, 2013

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Auto GP will stage a pre-season test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia on March 26-27 of next year. Teams and drivers entered for the 2014 season will have a chance to sample aerodynamic upgrades that were tested on a development car at Vallelunga last month. Series sponsor Kumho is also set to introduce a new tyre compound.

New Swiss team to join Auto GP grid

November 16th, 2013

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New Swiss outfit Team Spirit will join the Auto GP field for 2014. The team has been created by Giuseppe Fogola, an advertising and catering entrepreneur who has previously been involved in karting and Italy’s Formula Azzurra series. “This is one of the best championships available both for how much it offers to the drivers and for the great conditions in which the teams can operate,” said Fogola Eight teams fielded Auto GP squads during the 2013 season, which ended with former GP2 and Formula 3000 squad Super Nova taking Vittorio Ghirelli to the title after a battle with Kimiya Sato, Sergio Campana and ex-Formula 1 racer Narain Karthikeyan.

Auto GP schedules additional test

November 9th, 2013

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Auto GP has scheduled an additional two-day test to take place at Vallelunga at the end of November. The test, which will run on November 28-29, will be the first time the category has visited the Italian circuit and is the result of teams requesting extra running. Series partners Kumho Tyres and Zytek will be present to administer technical assistance. The championship ran an initial two-day test at Jerez on October 28-29, which was supposed to be its last official on-track activity for 2013. Meindert van Buuren set the pace on the opening day while Hungarian Tamas Pal Kiss topped the second.

Kiss ends Jerez test on top

October 29th, 2013

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Tamas Pal Kiss topped the second and final day of Auto GP testing at Jerez, in what was the last official on-track activity for the category in 2013. The Hungarian’s fastest time of 1m30.158s was recorded in the morning session, but the Virtuosi UK driver confirmed his strong form by also emerging quickest in the afternoon. Kiss was the only driver to dip under the 1m31s mark in the afternoon session, thanks to a lap of 1m30.828s. Monday pacesetter Meindert Van Buuren again impressed. The Dutchman fell just 0.043s short of Kiss’s benchmark time in the morning to end the day second fastest for Super Nova. Former GP2 driver Kevin Giovesi reunited with Ghinzani, his regular Auto GP team from this season, and claimed third fastest. Reigning Auto GP champion [...]

Van Buuren tops Jerez Auto GP test

October 28th, 2013

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Meindert van Buuren topped the first day of Auto GP’s post-season test at Jerez on Monday for Super Nova. The Dutchman was driving for the British squad – which won this year’s teams’ championship – for the first time after racing with Manor MP Motorsport in the series. Van Buuren’s fastest time of 1m31.776s was posted in the morning session. Formula 3 European Championship graduate Tatiana Calderon ended the morning second fastest and best of the rookies. The Colombian, fielded by Virtuosi UK, was just 0.4s adrift of van Buuren. Michela Cerruti took third in the morning session for Super Nova, having spent the year in series as diverse as European F3, Auto GP and Italian GT. Formula Abarth champion Alessio Rovera handled the step up to 550bhp capably and [...]

F3 graduates set for Auto GP test

October 25th, 2013

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Several Formula 3 graduates will test Auto GP machinery at the championship’s official post-season test at Jerez, which starts on Monday. Ghinzani Motorsport has confirmed 23-year-old Australian Jordan Oon, who lies fourth in his domestic F3 series with a round to go, for the two-day test. “It will be the first time for me with a 550-horsepower car,” said Oon, who beat highly-rated Formula Renault racer Oscar Tunjo to a win in Formula BMW Pacific in 2010. “I’m also very excited to work with Ghinzani Motorsport, one of the most successful teams in Formula 3 and Formula 3000.” Zele Racing will field the top two drivers in the European F3 Open’s secondary ‘Copa’ division; Slovak Richard Gonda and Briton Cameron Twynham. “Testing at Jerez is the best possible way to [...]

Karthikeyan to contest Auto GP opener

March 21st, 2013

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Karthikeyan to contest Auto GP opener

HRT Formula 1 refugee Narain Karthikeyan is set to continue his career in single-seater racing after securing a late deal to contest the Auto GP series opener with Austrian team Zele Racing. AUTOSPORT understands the former Jordan and HRT grand prix driver could expand his deal and race in the full eight rounds of this year’s series.