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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.

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 [...]

Tougher Rally Mexico planned for 2016

March 16th, 2015

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Rally Mexico organisers are looking to make next season’s event even tougher than the 2015 version – which caused carnage on the opening day. The front-running field was decimated amid challenging conditions on the central American event earlier this month, but rally director Patrick Suberville is considering revisions which could include a 50-mile stage on the route. “Two years ago we made the decision to make this an endurance event,” Suberville told AUTOSPORT. “The teams are coming a long way down here to Mexico and we want to make it worth their while with some great long stages.” At 250 miles, the 2015 rally was one of the longest on the WRC calendar and while Suberville is not necessarily looking to increase the overall distance, he does want to raise [...]

Citroen backs under-fire Meeke

March 13th, 2015

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Citroen management refused to criticise Kris Meeke’s third mistake in as many 2015 World Rally Championship events, insisting he has its full backing. Deputy team principal Marek Nawarecki told AUTOSPORT the team would be working with the Northern Irishman in an effort to get to the bottom of the issues which caused his latest mistake in Rally Mexico last week. “Each driver is doing his best and the team is committed to supporting our drivers to achieve the results,” Nawarecki said. “We cannot say after three rallies that this position is somehow different. We need to find a solution, to find a way to improve things. Maybe the cost would be to have some less speed, or some not so good results. “We saw he did the best time on [...]

Tanak seeks WRC safety restructure

March 12th, 2015

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Ott Tanak has called on the FIA to make changes to its organisation, following his crash into a lake on last week’s Rally Mexico. The Estonian feels the time has come for the governing body of world motorsport to consider change, and bring in a former top-line competitor to guide them on improving safety on the WRC stages. Speaking to AUTOSPORT shortly after he and co-driver Raigo Molder emerged unaided from their sinking Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Tanak identified recently retired WRC event winning co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen as the man for the job. Lehtinen won 13 rallies alongside Mikko Hirvonen between 2002 and 2014. “In the championship there are plenty more places like this and Jarmo is the guy who has the most experience of us – he should be [...]

Ogier leads, battle rages for second

March 8th, 2015

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Sebastien Ogier is on the brink of Rally Mexico victory as Mads Ostberg and Andreas Mikkelsen continue to engage in a fierce fight for second behind. The double World Rally champion’s advantage remains more than a minute after a dominant Saturday in which nearest rival Jari-Matti Latvala dropped out and his next two adversaries became preoccupied by their own squabble. Ostberg and Mikkelsen beat Ogier on the second running of Otates, but the Frenchman took his third and fourth stage wins of the day either side of that to continue what he called a “perfect rally” and retain complete control heading into Sunday’s final trio of stages. Behind, the fight for second remains fraught. Mikkelsen halved the deficit to Ostberg on Ibarrilla before Ostberg’s SS16 victory nudged the gap back [...]

Tanak’s car repaired after lake plunge

March 7th, 2015

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Tanak’s car repaired after lake plunge

Image courtesy of wrc.com M-Sport has repaired Ott Tanak’s Ford after its crash into a lake on Friday ready for it to rejoin Rally Mexico for Saturday’s stages. The Ford Fiesta RS WRC spent almost 10 hours submerged at the bottom of a lake after Tanak went off on the Los Mexicanos stage and ended up in the water. Only after the second running of the stage in the afternoon could work begin to retrieve the car and bring it back to service for assessment. M-Sport changed the car’s gearbox, fuel tank, turbo, cooling package, boost control valves, electronic components, brake components, front and rear suspension components plus a number of cosmetic components, repaired the engine block and drained the engine of excess water, in a process completed in three [...]

Kubica to resume rally on Saturday

March 6th, 2015

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Robert Kubica will return to Rally Mexico for Saturday, after crashing when poised to take the rally lead on Friday morning. Kubica was 11.4 seconds faster than rally leader Sebastien Ogier after just seven miles of the El Chocolate stage, which he had begun only four seconds down on the World Rally champion. But Kubica then clipped a bank and later rolled. “We had a good feeling in the long stage, everything had gone well in the previous stage and I was happy,” he told AUTOSPORT. “But it was very slippery. We had good grip on the braking, but very poor lateral grip and it was hard to know where the surface was changing. “When we came to a right-hand corner over a crest, the grip level had changed and [...]

Tanak could rejoin after lake crash

March 6th, 2015

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Image courtesy of wrc.com Ott Tanak could rejoin Rally Mexico on Saturday, once M-Sport has retrieved his Ford Fiesta RS WRC from the bottom of the lake into which he crashed. The Estonian went off the road near the start of the Los Mexicanos stage on Friday morning and ended up sinking. He had damaged the steering on the car at the corner before and was powerless to stop it rolling off the road and into the water. Tanak admitted he and co-driver Raigo Molder were lucky to escape the crash. But they are both keen to restart on Saturday, if M-Sport can get the car back to service and running again. Image courtesy of wrc.com “It’s important to get back out there,” Tanak told AUTOSPORT. “It would be good [...]

Ogier leads after wild morning

March 6th, 2015

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Sebastien Ogier leads a dramatic Rally Mexico despite being adamant that doing so would be impossible given that he was first on the road. The World Rally champion has been helped by incidents for many of those who had been best-placed to upstage him on Friday, while the whole rally was interrupted on the day’s first stage by a bizarre accident in which Ott Tanak’s M-Sport Ford sank to the bottom of a reservoir. Tanak rolled off the road less than two miles onto the day’s Los Mexicanos opener. His Fiesta landed wheels first in a reservoir and immediately sank. Tanak and co-driver Raigo Molder able to escape safely. With communication lost and the car underwater and not visible to following crews or the organisers’ search helicopter, a worrying wait [...]

Tanak escapes Mexico reservoir crash

March 6th, 2015

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Ott Tanak and co-driver Raigo Molder escaped unhurt when their M-Sport Ford crashed into a reservoir on the first full-length stage of Rally Mexico on Friday. The Estonian rolled off the road just under two miles into the Los Mexicanos stage on the Friday morning. Their Fiesta landed in the reservoir and was completely submerged within 30 seconds, the crew reckon. Tanak and Molder were able to escape before the car sank, with Molder managing to retrieve his pace notes intact. M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson said: “Our first priority is the crew and we’re enormously relieved that they’re OK.” Mystery had surrounded the incident at first, with the submerged Ford completely disappearing from following crews’ view and all radio communication lost when it went into the water. Kris Meeke, Hayden [...]

Ogier doubts he’ll even be on podium

March 6th, 2015

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Sebastien Ogier’s only chance of a Rally Mexico podium will come if his rivals hit trouble, the World Rally champion insists. Ogier was fastest at the pre-event shakedown stage on Thursday – beating everybody by 2.2 seconds over the 3.4-mile test – and leads after the evening’s superspecials, but he says that means nothing once the rally proper gets started. The championship leader runs at the front of the field for the two longest days of the event, when the points standings decide the start order, meaning he will get the worst of the dusty road conditions. He admitted he had spent longer than ever trying to find a compromise with the set-up of his Volkswagen Polo R WRC. “For me even to be on the podium I think the [...]

Ogier holds early Mexico lead

March 6th, 2015

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Sebastien Ogier leads Rally Mexico after two Thursday night superspecial stages. The third round of the World Rally Championship got under way in spectacular fashion with the Frenchman standing on top of his Volkswagen Polo R WRC waving a Mexican flag to thousands of fans at the stunning Guanajuato ceremonial start. The crews went straight into the first stage around – and under – Guanajuato city, with the all-asphalt test running through a 300-metre tunnel. Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville was quickest on the half-mile dash that opened proceedings, but the Belgian was forced to give best to Ogier when the action moved back towards Leon for SS2. The second stage was a three-mile mixed-surface superspecial, running the cars side-by-side. Ogier edged Neuville in their race to take the overnight advantage, one [...]

Corsica proposes controversial route

March 3rd, 2015

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The organisers of the Tour of Corsica have been encouraged to rethink the route they have proposed for the island’s World Rally Championship return this year. The event has been recalled to the WRC from the European Rally Championship for 2015 after funding problems for the previous Alsace-based Rally of France. AUTOSPORT has learned that Corsica’s first WRC status event since 2008 could start with a 35-mile stage on Friday night (October 2) and then run just five or six further tests – each of around 30 miles – over the weekend. Manufacturer and competitor opinion on the route is split, but the promoter is understood to be far from happy at losing a full day of competition and the potential to make a meaningful television programme from day one [...]

Kubica: Sweden one of my best rallies

March 2nd, 2015

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Ex-Formula 1 racer Robert Kubica believes he made one of the biggest steps forward in his World Rally Championship career last time out in Rally Sweden. Kubica took stage wins for the second event in succession in his RK World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC and his performance was in marked contrast to his last crash-filled visit to Sweden. The Pole would have been running in the top five had it not been for a broken driveshaft on the opening day and an overboosting turbo, which landed him a five-minute penalty and left him 19th overall. “This was one of the best rallies for me,” Kubica told AUTOSPORT. “It’s a shame we had the [transmission] problem because without this we could have had a very nice – and unexpected [...]

WRC pushing for Chinese round in 2016

February 28th, 2015

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China’s return to the World Rally Championship next season is a priority for the series, according to organiser WRC Promoter. A Chinese event based close to Beijing is expected to be observed as a candidate rally this season with a view to returning the WRC to the Far East for the first time since the last Rally Japan in 2010. The manufacturers have cited China as the country they most want to see back on the calendar and promoter Oliver Ciesla is keen to deliver on that next season. “China is one of our objectives and we have invested quite a lot in making this happen,” Ciesla told AUTOSPORT. “What we have achieved so far is that we see the sporting federation is very much prepared to have a WRC [...]

Neuville wants more from Hyundai

February 26th, 2015

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Thierry Neuville has called on his Hyundai team to redouble its efforts with the i20 WRC despite already being second to Sebastien Ogier in the 2015 World Rally Championship. The Belgian came within 6.4 seconds of securing victory in Sweden earlier this month, but last year’s Rally Germany winner said that hike in speed came from him rather than the car. The full story of an incredible Rally Sweden “I had a positive feeling from the event – it was impossible to stay ahead of both Volkswagens and I have to be proud of what we have done, but we always want more work,” Neuville told AUTOSPORT. “We know that everybody is doing their best in the team at the moment, but we need more improvements to be closer to [...]