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January 2015

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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, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for
  • 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 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.

  • Brooks Westfall
    Silver Crown Writer

    I've been sim racing since 2011 when I joined iRacing. I've jumped to many different sims, including rFactor, Richard Burns Rally, and the famous NASCAR Racing 2003. I picked up a copy of NR2003 with my birthday money when I was only 9, but was limited to a keyboard and a controller. After reciving a G25 for Christmas in '11, I've loved sim racing and the community iRacing has. I hope to end up writing for a car magazine or website in the near future, and intend on attending university to accomplish that.
    Aside from my career in sim racing and the real world, I hope to have my own small, yet functional race team soon with the purchace of a go kart. Since I'm currently residing in Maryland, I don't have a wide range of racing to choose from. My only options on a small budget are drag racing or kart racing. After the completion of my senior year in high school next year, I hope that inRacing News and other affiliates will help my dreams of writing for Road & Track become a reality!

  • Jeff Jacobs

    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 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

    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 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

    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.

  • Tom O'Leary

    Tom is an 18-year old student from London, UK. Tom started sim-racing quite recently, although his passion for motorsport started at an early age, watching BTCC since the late 90s. Tom has since then expanded his interests in motorsport, watching Le Mans 24hr (and endurance racing as a whole) as well as the DTM, F1, and since starting to write about the NASCAR iRacing Series - NASCAR!

    Tom appeared on the sim-racing scene by trying out rFactor, rFactor 2 and then iRacing - where he spends most of his time racing in the Star Mazda Series where he has claimed third and then second overall in the two full seasons he has competed. On the oval side, Tom has completed a few races in the NASCAR Class C (Fixed) although he most enjoys the road side. Tom is an active member of Friction Racing, a team which focuses on the Star Mazda and the Williams-Toyota FW31, with the aim of reaching the Pro Series - and the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series.

    In his personal life, Tom spend time with his girlfriend (they have been together for two years) and likes a variety of games and has started to livestream his races/gameplay on Twitch, to give an insight to his approach to racing and gaming.

  • 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 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.

Toyota poised to announce WRC return

January 28th, 2015

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Toyota’s future in the World Rally Championship will be decided on Friday, when the Japanese manufacturer announces its motorsport programme for the coming season. The announcement is set to be made at 1pm Tokyo time (4am UK), with a WRC return in 2017 expected to be confirmed. Toyota has not competed at rallying’s highest level since 1999, when it pulled the plug on its Corolla WRC in favour of a Formula 1 programme. The company’s current main motorsport programme is in the World Endurance Championship, which it won in 2014 with Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi. Toyota has talked with increasing enthusiasm about coming back to the WRC but has not previously set out a timetable for its return. Japanese media reports suggest a major commitment to the WRC will [...]

Loeb and Ogier praise Kubica’s pace

January 28th, 2015

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World Rally champions Sebastien Ogier and Sebastien Loeb have praised Robert Kubica’s speed on last week’s Monte Carlo Rally. The Polish ex-Formula 1 driver posted the second highest number of fastest times in the French Alps and stunned the WRC fraternity with his ability to come to terms with Pirelli tyres after just two days of testing. Kubica’s rally was spoiled when he went off the road on the first stage and a subsequent electrical fault forced him out on the road section back to Gap. But after rejoining he took a string of stage wins, including topping the rally’s longest stage by 33 seconds. Ogier said: “He did a good job, he was fast in a lot of the stages and showed he is capable of the fight. “But [...]

Ogier secures Monte Carlo victory

January 25th, 2015

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Sebastien Ogier cruised to a second consecutive Monte Carlo Rally victory as Volkswagen locked out the podium at the opening round of the 2015 World Rally Championship. Once freed from a phenomenal battle with returning nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb on Friday when the Citroen man hit a wall, Ogier was in cruise control ahead of team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen. The double champion led by 1m45s at the start of Saturday and though Latvala cut that by over a minute on the penultimate day, Ogier pushed his margin back out to 58s by the end of the rally. Latvala did at least trump his Polo WRC team-mate on the powerstage with the third-best time, gaining a point as Ogier was restricted to fourth. Mikkelsen held on to third [...]

Ogier leads, Loeb and Meeke quickest

January 24th, 2015

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Sebastien Ogier will take a lead of 43 seconds into the final day of the Monte Carlo Rally after the Citroens of Sebastien Loeb and Kris Meeke were quickest on Saturday afternoon. Ogier had his advantage cut by more than 20s by Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala across the two stages, while the third Polo WRC of Andreas Mikkelsen remains a comfortable third. Double World Rally champion Ogier took a deliberately conservative strategy on SS11 and SS12, dropping only a couple of seconds to Latvala on the short Prunieres – Embrun route before losing exactly 20s on the long and challenging Sisterton – Thoard run. A short stretch of ice in the final quarter of that stage cost Ogier most of his time to Latvala, who seemed shocked to have reduced [...]

Kubica stars, Latvala closes on Ogier

January 24th, 2015

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Sebastien Ogier was happy to let his ample Monte Carlo Rally lead dwindle on an icy Saturday morning, while Robert Kubica comfortably outpaced everyone. The day’s opening Prunieres – Embrun stage was cancelled due to excessive spectator numbers in the final miles, so the following Lardier et Valencia – Faye stage was the only one run on the loop. At 32 miles, it was also the longest of the rally, and featured several unpredictable patches of ice and snow amid mostly dry asphalt. Kubica, who began the day only 28th overall after various delays on Thursday and Friday, chose super-soft Pirellis for his RK Ford and set an incredible pace on the stage. He was 33.4 seconds faster than second-quickest Kris Meeke, and 1m49.5s faster than rally leader Ogier’s Volkswagen. [...]

First Saturday Monte stage cancelled

January 24th, 2015

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The first stage of Saturday’s leg of the Monte Carlo Rally has been cancelled for safety reasons. The 12-mile Prunieres – Embrun stage was due to commence the day’s action at 9.16am local time, but was called off shortly before the start. Very large numbers of spectators had congregated on the stage, particularly in the closing miles, and organisers were concerned that safety could not be guaranteed if a car went off the road. The cancellation reduces Saturday’s first loop to just one stage, Lardier et Valenca – Faye, which is the longest of the event at 32 miles. Prunieres – Embrun is scheduled to be repeated on Saturday afternoon. Sebastien Ogier leads the rally by 1m45s over Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala after Sebastien Loeb’s victory bid came to an [...]

Ogier takes lead after Loeb error

January 23rd, 2015

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Sebastien Ogier moved into a clear Monte Carlo Rally lead on Friday afternoon after Sebastien Loeb lost six minutes when he damaged his Citroen’s suspension. World Rally Championship returnee Loeb had begun the loop by re-extending his lead over Ogier, who had closed the gap from 28 seconds to just 3s during the two stages before service. Despite his stud-less tyres seemingly being wrong for a stage that featured unexpected ice levels, a surprised Loeb was quickest on SS6 and inched his advantage back up to 6s. But on the muddier stages that followed, the momentum was all with Ogier, as Loeb’s 14th position in the running order hampered his pace. Ogier’s Volkswagen swept into the rally lead for the first time on SS7, where he outpaced Loeb by 14s [...]

Loeb just leads from Ogier

January 23rd, 2015

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Sebastien Loeb’s lead over Sebastien Ogier shrank to just three seconds after a tense morning of Monte Carlo Rally stages, while a delayed Robert Kubica was the pacesetter. With Ogier third on the road (behind the Rally2 cars) and Loeb 14th under the new-for-2015 running order system, the two arch-rivals encountered very different stage conditions. At first it was Citroen driver Loeb who benefited, and the returning World Rally Championship legend increased his lead from 13s to 28s with the fastest time on the morning’s opener. But then the roads swung back in Ogier’s favour. With the early fog clearing and ice patches melting, the main factor became the level of mud dragged onto the stages by the early runners. Loeb lost 4s to Ogier on SS4, then a full [...]

WRC plans in-car split times ban

November 26th, 2014

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World Rally Championship crews will no longer be given in-car split times from 2015 as the FIA seeks to increase unpredictability. Teams can currently supply drivers with split times – sent to the car via a text message – during stages to help them judge gaps to their rivals. FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen believes this is damaging the WRC’s spectacle and wants harsh punishments. “What we’ll try to achieve is that they don’t control the drivers so much,” he said. “When the top drivers get big gaps they start to cruise and control the gap and this takes away the interest. “Of course we cannot police this 100 per cent, but the consequence will be a big enough deterrent. “If you get caught, you can be excluded from the [...]

Loeb back to WRC for Monte Carlo

November 24th, 2014

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Nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb will return to the series for 2015′s season-opening Monte Carlo Rally. Loeb will drive a Citroen DS 3 WRC in an effort to promote the DS brand – but the team has emphasised this is a one-off outing for the man who has won on seven of his 10 Monte starts. The French legend ended his full-time WRC career as champion at the end of 2012 before contesting four events last season, bowing out at home in France. “I have to say that I haven’t hesitated one second when I was offered [the chance] to compete at the 2015 WRC season’s opening round with the DS 3 WRC,” said Loeb. “Daniel [Elena, co-driver] and I have a special story with Monte Carlo Rally, which [...]

Meeke retains Citroen WRC drive

November 18th, 2014

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Kris Meeke will stay on as a Citroen driver for the 2015 World Rally Championship. The Northern Irishman, who has scored four podiums and led Rally Germany in his debut season in a DS3 WRC, will contest a full programme with co-driver Paul Nagle. “It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to continue to work together,” said Meeke. “Since the end of last year, Citroen Racing has given me the chance to prove my worth. “This first full season has been spent learning about the WRC. “In the second half of the year, I was able to show part of my potential. “There’s room for improvement, but I now have some decent foundations to build on next year, in order to keep progressing. “With experience, everything becomes that bit easier. I [...]

Crash drops Latvala out of contention

November 15th, 2014

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Jari-Matti Latvala is out of contention for Rally GB victory after going off the road while chasing Sebastien Ogier on Saturday’s opening stage. Latvala was closing on his Volkswagen World Rally Championship team-mate on the first splits of the Clocaenog East stage, but then made a mistake under braking and slid into a ditch. “I was trying. I had a very, very good stage up to that point,” said Latvala. “I really, really pushed, I wanted to fight for the victory. “It was really slippery and I thought it would be fine. “I stalled the engine under braking, and then I tried to turn and to restart the car but it did it really, really fast and we were into the ditch and got stuck.” Spectators helped Latvala get back [...]

Ogier still under pressure from Latvala

November 14th, 2014

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Sebastien Ogier remains under pressure from Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala for the Rally GB lead at the end of Friday’s stages. Latvala was quickest on three of the four stages that made up the Friday afternoon loop of the 2014 World Rally Championship finale. His initial pace on the opening Gartheiniog stage more than halved the nine-second lead that Ogier had established in the morning, but the champion pulled away again on the following Dyfi stage. Although Latvala could not make quite the same progress on Hafren Sweet Lamb or Maesnant, only beating Ogier by a few tenths each time, he did end the day within 6.6s of the leader. The VW pair are now over a minute clear of the rest of the field, with Mikko Hirvonen up to [...]

Ogier takes early lead in Rally GB

November 14th, 2014

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Sebastien Ogier holds the early advantage in a battle with Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala after the first loop of Rally GB stages. VW’s third driver Andreas Mikkelsen was Ogier’s main rival on the World Rally Championship finale’s opening stage, but went off into a ditch and damaged his steering on SS2, forcing him out of leg one. That left Ogier looking comfortable as he edged further clear of Latvala, before the Finn struck back by winning SS3. Ogier was slightly quicker again on SS4, leaving them 9.5 seconds apart heading for service. While the remaining VWs are in a class of their own in the muddy conditions, the battle for third place is extremely close. Mads Ostberg holds the position in his Citroen, 4.5s ahead of Mikko Hirvonen’s M-Sport Ford. [...]

Mikkelsen tops Rally GB shakedown

November 13th, 2014

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Volkswagen driver Andreas Mikkelsen posted the fastest time at Thursday morning’s Wales Rally GB shakedown stage. Mikkelsen was three tenths of a second faster over the two-mile Clocaenog stage than his fellow Polo drivers Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, who were tied on second quickest, ensuring Volkswagen a clean sweep for the German manufacturer. The Norwegian completed four runs in the test and clinched the scratch time on his third attempt. “It’s a good morning,” said Mikkelsen, who used to live in Ruthin, the venue for remote shakedown service. “I have good memories of this place and these roads. I love this rally, it’s like another home event for me. I really want to go well here.” Mikkelsen is chasing his maiden WRC win in Wales this week, but will [...]

Hirvonen keen to leave as top non-VW

November 13th, 2014

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Mikko Hirvonen says finishing his final World Rally Championship season as ‘best of the rest’ will be a satisfying way to head into retirement after this weekend’s Rally GB. The M-Sport star announced last week that this event would be his WRC farewell. He won in Britain in 2007 and is keen to sign off with a second success. But Hirvonen acknowledged the dominant Volkswagens would be hard to beat, so is also keen to defend his 16-point cushion over Citroen’s Mads Ostberg for fourth in the championship. “Wales is always one of the best and this week I would love to win, but I think the Volkswagen boys will be tough to beat,” he said. “With the titles sorted, everybody is coming to GB ready for a big fight. [...]

Tuthill 911 refused Rally GB entry

November 12th, 2014

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Richard Tuthill’s Porsche 911 RGT has been withdrawn from Rally GB after the FIA refused to sign off on modifications needed to run the car in gravel trim. Tuthill gave his 911 its World Rally Championship debut in Germany in August before handing it over to Francois Delecour for the Rally of France last month. While the car is homologated to run on asphalt, the different suspension required for gravel stages is not homologated. Tuthill flew to Geneva late last week in the hope of convincing the FIA’s technical department, but they stood firm. FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen is sympathetic towards Tuthill’s plight and wants to make sure a framework is in place for the 911 RGT to run on the dirt next season. “It’s a pity this hasn’t [...]

VW ‘nervous’ about 2015 WRC car

November 12th, 2014

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Volkswagen technical chief Francois-Xavier Demaison says he is “more nervous” about the 2015 iteration of the all-conquering World Rally Championship Polo than its predecessors as expectations are so high. VW has won 21 of the 25 WRC rallies it has contested since beginning the Polo programme, only losing once this season. It has already wrapped up second straight titles for itself and lead driver Sebastien Ogier this year. Demaison said the new car would be no more than 20 per cent different to the current Polo, but he admitted he felt more pressure for next season’s evolution. “I am more nervous with the new car,” he said. “When we started with the current car, we did not really have pressure – we had a three-year plan to be champions. “The [...]

Young drivers get Toyota WRC test

November 11th, 2014

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Toyota Motorsport has given five young rally drivers tests in its Yaris WRC and GT86 as it continues to build towards a potential World Rally Championship return. Recently crowned Junior WRC champion Stephane Lefebvre and Peugeot Sport driver Kevin Abbring were among the five. Tests were also given to 2013 JWRC champion turned World Rallycross competitor Pontus Tidemand, Rally Finland WRC3 winner Teemu Suninen and French JWRC runner Eric Camilli, who was fourth in last weekend’s European Rally Championship-concluding Tour of Corsica. Skoda’s ERC champion Esapekka Lappi was invited to the test, which took place close to Rome, but was not given permission to attend by his employer. The drivers were tested on both gravel and asphalt in the Yaris WRC and TMG’s R5 category rear-drive GT86. A source said: [...]

WRC running order change approved

November 5th, 2014

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The World Rally Championship-leading driver must run first on the road on the first two days of every 2015 WRC round, the FIA has confirmed after a Wednesday afternoon vote. There had been speculation in the service park that the move could be vetoed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council due to its unpopularity with some drivers, notably two-time world champion Sebastien Ogier, and following the rejection of more radical 2015 WRC proposals. But following an electronic vote of its members on Wednesday afternoon, the WMSC has ratified the change and it will come into play from the Monte Carlo Rally next January. An FIA statement said: “The running order for FIA World Rally Championship events will be in championship order for Friday and Saturday. “On Sunday, P1 and [...]