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March 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.

  • 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.

Smedley: Williams has work to do

March 30th, 2015

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Williams has to develop the whole car package and improve operations if it is to remain a Formula 1 frontrunner, according to performance chief Rob Smedley. Valtteri Bottas finished the Malaysian Grand Prix 70 seconds behind Ferrari’s race winner Sebastian Vettel in fifth, with the Finn’s team-mate Felipe Massa sixth. The team ended 2014 as the second-fastest outfit on merit behind world champions Mercedes, however the race in Malaysia highlighted the fact it has arguably dropped behind Ferrari to third. “We need to develop the whole package from the back,” said Smedley. “We just have to keep pushing on and make sure we are developing at a faster rate than them.” Williams struggled with tyre management in the hot conditions at Sepang and were forced into doing three pit stops [...]

Wolff admits Vettel win a ‘wake-up call’

March 30th, 2015

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Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says Sebastian Vettel’s victory for Ferrari in the Malaysian Grand Prix was a “wake-up call” to his team. Hot temperatures hampered Mercedes’ form at Sepang, where track temperatures peaked at 62C, while Ferrari was able to manage its tyres well. As a result, Vettel beat Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on outright pace, securing Ferrari’s first win since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix and confirming its status a key rival for Mercedes this season. How Vettel stole Hamilton’s thunder It ended a run of eight straight grand prix wins, which stretches back to last year’s Italian Grand Prix. Wolff admits that he was surprised by how quickly Ferrari appear to have closed the gap. “We didn’t expect it to happen at that pace,” said [...]

Montoya beats Power to victory

March 29th, 2015

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Juan Pablo Montoya held off Penske team-mate Will Power to open the 2015 IndyCar season with a victory in St Petersburg. Power had been in command for much of the afternoon before conceding the lead to the ex-Formula 1 racer during the final round of stops. Montoya tried to capitalise by opening a gap, but the need to conserve fuel and tyres forced him to back off and allowed Power to close down what had been a four second lead in just a few laps. The battle between them was intense but short: Power made an optimistic move with a handful of laps to go, Montoya shut the door (and damaged Power’s front wing in the process), and then finished the job by making quicker work of the lapped traffic [...]

Force India drivers: Penalties unfair

March 29th, 2015

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Force India Formula 1 drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg both felt their penalties for collisions in the Malaysian Grand Prix were undeserved. The pair were given 10-second time penalties in quick succession late in the Sepang F1 race, after Perez had tangled with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean and Hulkenberg clashed with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat. Grosjean expressed fury at Perez’s driving over the Lotus radio after they came together while he was completing an outside-line pass on the Mexican. But Perez said there was little he could do to avoid hitting the Lotus. “To be honest I couldn’t avoid it at all, it was just a racing incident,” he said. “I tried my best to avoid him but it’s a very fast corner and you are just so on [...]

Wolff: Pace not strategy was problem

March 29th, 2015

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Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff thinks it would be wrong to blame his team’s Malaysian Grand Prix defeat on the early stop for new tyres under the safety car. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were powerless to prevent Sebastian Vettel taking his first win for Ferrari on a day when their rival was faster. But although the early stop to change tyres did not help, Mercedes insists that was not key to it losing the race. “It is always easy afterwards to regret and say in hindsight we could have done this or that better, but we are taking these decisions together,” said Wolff. “We haven’t done any strategic mistakes in the last two years and this is why it doesn’t make sense to point the finger to a [...]

Mercedes blames strategy and balance

March 29th, 2015

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Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg blamed poor strategic choices and balance problems for the Mercedes Formula 1 team’s defeat by Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel in the Malaysian Grand Prix. Mercedes chose to pit both of its drivers during an early safety car period, which resulted in problems with traffic and tyre degradation. According to the team’s two drivers, it was those factors that stopped them from keeping Mercedes’ winning streak alive. “It was the plan from before the race, if safety car came on that lap then we would box,” explained Rosberg, who dropped from third to ninth following that first stop as several midfield drivers joined Vettel in staying out and he lost further time queuing behind Hamilton. “We didn’t expect so many to stay out, and we didn’t [...]

Vettel defeats Mercedes in Malaysia

March 29th, 2015

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Sebastian Vettel ended his and Ferrari’s Formula 1 win droughts as he beat Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to victory in a thrilling Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. The German chose to stay out during an early safety car period and assumed the lead. Vettel then made a two-stop strategy work while Mercedes did three stops with Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. It proved to be the wrong call for the world champion team as neither Hamilton nor Rosberg had the pace, tyre longevity or enough laps to catch and pass Vettel in the final stint. It was Ferrari’s first victory since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, and Vettel’s first since that year’s season finale in Brazil. Hamilton retained the championship lead on 43 points, with Vettel three points adrift and Rosberg, who [...]

Stevens to miss Malaysian GP

March 29th, 2015

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Will Stevens will miss the Malaysian Grand Prix after the Manor Formula 1 team was unable to cure the fuel system issue that stopped his car running in qualifying. The Briton had got within 107 per cent of the leading pace at times during practice, but had to sit out qualifying due to a problem that team boss John Booth said would have to be investigated by engine supplier Ferrari. Manor then announced an hour before the start of the Sepang race that it had not been possible to fix the problem overnight. The revived team will therefore make its first start in its new guise with just one car for Roberto Merhi, who was given dispensation to race despite not getting within the 107 per cent mark in qualifying. [...]

Williams: Tyre error cost positions

March 28th, 2015

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The Williams Formula 1 team’s disappointing performance in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix was a result of not operating the tyres correctly, according to performance chief Rob Smedley. Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were seventh and ninth fastest respectively, although the Finn will move up a position thanks to Romain Grosjean’s two-place grid penalty. While Smedley was not explicit about the nature of the team’s error, both drivers indicated that tyre pressures were too high, leading to overheating problems. Smedley admitted that this was “more than likely” the problem that led to the lead Williams being 2.639 seconds off Lewis Hamilton’s pole time. “The main problem is that we haven’t operated the tyre correctly,” said Smedley when asked by AUTOSPORT about the tyre troubles. “Certainly, there’s enough evidence of [...]

Hamilton denies Rosberg blocked him

March 28th, 2015

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Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says that he was not blocked by Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix. On his second run, Hamilton set a fastest first sector but then appeared to be held up by Rosberg on the approach to Turn 7, which is two thirds of the way through sector two. The Briton subsequently backed off. His lap on his first run was still good enough to take pole, with Rosberg third behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. When asked directly if he was blocked by Rosberg, Hamilton said: “No. I decided to take the second lap. “My first sector was quickest and then I bailed out. “I had traffic, I had people in front of me. There were quite a few cars ahead. [...]

Verstappen: Rain saved brake problem

March 28th, 2015

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Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen says a braking problem would have prevented his star Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying performance had it not rained. The 17-year-old qualified a strong sixth for the Sepang race but said he was losing time in every braking zone in the dry Q1 session. “I was really happy that it started to rain in Q2 so that I had the chance in Q3 in the wet,” he said. “That’s what I like and I was very confident that it would be a good qualifying. “My lap was quite good, although I was still struggling a bit with the brakes in the high braking zone and that cost me P5.” The Dutchman said he and the team would have to work hard to find the [...]

Raikkonen blames bad timing

March 28th, 2015

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Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen blamed his failure to reach the third Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying session on bad timing. While his team-mate Sebastian Vettel headed the queue of cars out of the pitlane at the start of Q2 at Sepang as teams tried to pre-empt the expected heavy rain, Raikkonen was the fifth car out. He took to the track behind Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson. “I tried to overtake Ericsson because he was in front of me,” said Raikkonen, who had been Mercedes’ closest rival in all three practice sessions. “But at the last corner I couldn’t slow down because there were other people pushing me forward. “We just got the timing wrong. That’s how it ended up.” With heavy rain preventing anybody from improving after their first [...]

Ricciardo: RBR ‘night and day’ better

March 28th, 2015

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Daniel Ricciardo says there is a “night and day” difference in the way his Red Bull Formula 1 car behaves at the Malaysian Grand Prix, thanks to improvements from Renault. After a troubled season opener in Australia, Ricciardo claims that a dramatic step forward in driveability has transformed his car’s potential. That improvement was key to helping him qualify fourth at Sepang in the rain-hit session on Saturday. “I guess it’s always a little bit more tricky in the wet, but I can’t really complain,” said Ricciardo. “I think from where we are now compared to Melbourne it is night and day different. “It’s still not perfect but we’ve made the best step we can ask for in a two-week period. “If we can keep building on that then I [...]

Grosjean given two-place grid penalty

March 28th, 2015

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Lotus Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has been given a two-place grid penalty after Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying. The 16 drivers who made it into Q2 all raced to the pitlane exit ahead of the session’s start in a hurry to get a clear lap in before it began to rain. Grosjean was adjudged to have jumped the queue and overtaken illegally in the pit exit on his way out. He went on to qualify eighth, so his penalty drops him to 10th on the grid. A stewards’ statement said the punishment was because “the driver did not leave the pitlane in the order of his arrival”. Heavy rain did arrive just after drivers finished their first Q2 flying laps, prompting a half-hour delay before the track was dry enough [...]

Manor drivers get permission to race

March 28th, 2015

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Manor Formula 1 duo Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi will be allowed to race in the Malaysian Grand Prix despite failing to set fast enough times in qualifying. Stevens was unable to run at all because of a fuel system problem, while Merhi’s best lap was 0.4 seconds adrift of the 107 per cent of the fastest Q1 time that is required. However, with both drivers having produced laps at other times over the weekend that were within the 107 per cent limit, the stewards have allowed both of them into the race. An FIA statement confirmed the drivers would be allowed to compete because they had “set satisfactory times in practice at this event.” According to team principal John Booth, it was Mercedes deciding to run mediums in Q1 [...]

Alonso: Q1 exits will stop soon

March 28th, 2015

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Fernando Alonso has faith that McLaren will not be qualifying at the back of the grid for much longer, despite more frustration at the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Spaniard and team-mate Jenson Button were knocked out in Q1 – and were only saved from being slowest by the presence of Manor. But although the result is not any better than Australia, the team is encouraged by the improvement in pace that has allowed it to get within striking range of the cars in front. “Obviously after Australia we knew more or less where we are and actually we are much better than what we thought before coming here in Malaysia,” said Alonso. “But it is the way it is. “We are underperforming a lot and we need to improve, but [...]

Palmer’s Friday debut set for China

March 27th, 2015

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Reigning GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer will make his Formula 1 free practice debut with Lotus at the Chinese Grand Prix next month. The British driver signed a reserve driver deal with the team earlier this year, where it was announced that he would take part in “a significant number” of free practice sessions through the season. Palmer, who drove the team’s E23 during pre-season testing, said: “I am really pleased that I will be back in the car for practice in China. “It will be my first Formula 1 session on a grand prix weekend and I’m really looking forward to it. “I’ve never raced on the Shanghai circuit before so there is plenty of homework to do but I will make sure that I’m fully prepared for it.” Lotus [...]

Analysis: Ferrari’s eye-opening pace

March 27th, 2015

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The Ferrari Formula 1 team showed strong long-run pace during Friday practice that, if repeated on Sunday, could allow it to challenge Mercedes in the Malaysian Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen’s headline laptimes caught the attention, as he ended both sessions in second place and exactly 0.373 seconds off the fastest Mercedes. But it is the Finn’s long-run on medium tyres in the Friday afternoon that suggests the car potentially has the pace to race with F1′s dominant force. Raikkonen completed a run of nine flying laps on the medium-compound Pirelli, setting an average laptime of 1m45.080s. By comparison, Lewis Hamilton averaged 1m45.070s over six laps and Nico Rosberg 1m45.313s over seven laps. Even more impressive is when you look at comparable length runs, by taking Raikkonen’s averages over six and [...]

Manor drivers expect to qualify

March 27th, 2015

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Manor Formula 1 duo Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi are confident their car has the pace to qualify for the Malaysian Grand Prix following its track debut in practice. After failing to leave the garage in Australia, Stevens and Merhi were finally able to get some mileage under their belts on Friday at Sepang. Stevens’ best practice time was within 107 per cent – the margin required in Q1 to ensure qualification – of pacesetter Lewis Hamilton’s lap, raising the Manor duo’s confidence. “Judging from today, we were inside by one second,” he said. “I would like to think as a group we can improve overnight and tomorrow. “If you had to ask me now, would I think we would be outside [the cut-off]? I would say no, as we [...]

Alonso: McLaren making big progress

March 27th, 2015

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Fernando Alonso believes McLaren has made ‘big’ progress with its Formula 1 car after he returned to the cockpit in Malaysia on Friday. The Spaniard had not driven since his pre-season testing crash at Barcelona, having been forced to miss the season opener in Australia. But following McLaren being on the back row in Melbourne, the progress shown at Sepang has lifted his confidence that steps are being made. “It’s much better,” said Alonso of the McLaren-Honda package. “To be honest, the experience I had in winter was a lot of problems in the car. “After four or five laps we would have to stop and change something. “Today we ran 45 laps with zero problems and everything went as we predicted. “We were 4.6 seconds behind the pole position [...]