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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.

Meeke: Ireland should bid for WRC

April 16th, 2014

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Citroen World Rally Championship star Kris Meeke says the Circuit of Ireland should be the event to take Ireland back to the World Rally Championship. While appreciating the effort taken to land a place on the European Rally Championship calendar, Meeke said this week’s Belfast-based event should set its sights higher. Meeke’s home island has been included in the WRC twice before, when Rally Ireland ran in 2007 and 2009. The Dungannon driver says the time has come for its return. “Being a little bit selfish, the World Rally Championship is where I’m at right now and the chance to drive my home roads in the WRC would be awesome,” said Meeke. “Rally Ireland was fantastic and an incredible job from the people to get the world championship there, but [...]

WRC teams to hold crisis talks

April 9th, 2014

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World Rally Championship teams will meet with the WRC Promoter organisation before the end of the month to hammer out an agreement to their current dispute. The two parties sorted what was described as a side issue on the Rally of Portugal, when the teams were denied video footage and the promoter was, in turn, denied interviews with the drivers. The forthcoming meeting is now seen as the crunch point in the argument. Prior to last week’s Faro-based event, the teams had been close to signing a contract for this season, but as one senior source put it: “Last week smashed that and [agreement] is now further away than ever.” The date and location for the meeting has yet to be decided on, but both parties are determined not to [...]

Hyundai gives Sordo Argentina seat

April 8th, 2014

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Hyundai has granted Dani Sordo’s request to be part of the team’s Rally Argentina line-up, with Juho Hanninen moving aside for the next round of the 2014 World Rally Championship. The Spaniard had not been scheduled to appear for Hyundai again until August’s Rally Germany, but said after the Rally of Portugal – when he took the i20′s first stage win – last weekend that he was baffled by his absence from the Argentina roster. “I don’t know why I’m not going to Argentina – I have a lot of experience there and a lot of fans,” said Sordo. Hyundai team manager Michel Nandan put Sordo’s omission down to his lack of confidence on gravel after poor form on such events for Citroen in 2013, but was open to adjusting [...]

Rally of Portugal seeks new location

April 8th, 2014

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Rally of Portugal organisers are working on a plan to move the event north for next season, despite a successful Algarve event last week. Officials are touring 14 regions in the north of the country this week, trying to secure finance for the 2015 event. A source close to the rally, which has been housed in Faro since its World Rally Championship return in 2007, told AUTOSPORT: “We are making a roadshow this week. “We will tour the north meeting with 14 different mayors to see if they are interested and have the money to bring the rally back to the north. We want to take it back. “We would not base the event from Porto, there is not support there, but it would be north of Lisbon.” The north [...]

Ogier increases lead in Portugal

April 5th, 2014

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Sebastien Ogier increased his lead on the Rally of Portugal to over 38 seconds after a strong run through the second loop of stages on Saturday afternoon. He began the day’s final tests with a slender 2.4-second advantage over Mikko Hirvonen, who received a notional time for the stage prior to the interval, which was neutralised after M-Sport team-mate Ott Tanak caused a road block. Ogier won again after the interval – giving the Volkswagen Polo R WRC its 200th stage win since its debut on the 2013 Monte Carlo Rally – before going on to complete a hat-trick of stage victories, while rally rival Hirvonen suffered tyre issues. The Finn struggled all afternoon, complaining of a lack of grip as his rear tyres began to wear down to the [...]

Ogier holds narrow lead in Portugal

April 4th, 2014

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Sebastien Ogier holds a narrow lead at the end of an action-packed first morning of the Rally of Portugal, while Dani Sordo gave the Hyundai i20 its first World Rally Championship stage win. The Spaniard benefitted from the lead cars sweeping the loose gravel off the racing line in the first two stages and posted the quickest times in both to take the rally lead. His position at the top was short-lived, however, as he was unable to match his stage-winning speed in the final test of the morning, which he finished 19.4s off the ultimate pace, set by Jari-Matti Latvala. While Sordo dropped to fifth overall, Ogier was able to reclaim his place at the summit of the event having finished in the top four in all three of [...]

Ogier wins Portugal superspecial

April 3rd, 2014

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Sebastien Ogier began the Rally of Portugal on top as he set the quickest time on Thursday evening’s superspecial. The reigning World Rally champion was 1.3 seconds quicker than Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala on the short opening Lisboa stage. VW filled the top three places, with Andreas Mikkelsen one of the early pacesetters and slotting into third place. Hyundai took best of the rest honours as Thierry Neuville put the i20 fourth, ahead of Citroen’s Kris Meeke and M-Sport’s leading driver Mikko Hirvonen The full-length stages commence on Friday morning. Leading positions after SS1: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Ogier VW 2m52.7s 2. Jari-Matti Latvala VW +1.3s 3. Andreas Mikkelsen VW +2.2s 4. Thierry Neuville Hyundai +2.9s 5. Kris Meeke Citroen +3.6s 6. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport Ford +4.3s 7. [...]

Downpours disrupt WRC Portugal recce

April 2nd, 2014

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The recce for this week’s Rally of Portugal had to be altered following heavy rain on the stages inland from the Algarve. Torrential rain brought about the cancellation of the recce of the Ourique and Santana de Serra stages on Tuesday, forcing the crews to practice those two tests on Wednesday’s shakedown day. The heavy rain has stopped and the forecast is brighter into the event now. A spokesperson from the event said: “There is still some mud around, but the flooding has gone from the stages. “There might be some small rain around in the next couple of days, but nothing like what we have seen.” Michelin has postponed its tyre recce until Thursday in an effort to ensure it offers the drivers the most up-to-date information possible. Initial [...]

Ogier takes Fafe Rally Sprint win

March 29th, 2014

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World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier took victory in the Fafe Rally Sprint, in the Frenchman’s first outing in the Portuguese event. The now traditional, but non-championship, warm-up for Portugal’s round of the World Rally Championship takes place in the northern heartland of the country’s rally fan base, and once again spectator figures passed the 100,000 mark for the single-day event. Ogier, who was forced to miss last year’s event due to illness, won the three-mile stage by half a second from M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC man Ott Tanak. The crews were given a couple of qualifying runs before the final shootout. Ogier sacrificed one of his early runs to thrill the crowd with some mid-stage donuts. “That was amazing,” he said at the finish. “The fans here are about the [...]

FIA won’t keep Toyota waiting on rules

March 26th, 2014

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World Rally Championship Commission president Carlos Barbosa says the FIA will not keep Toyota waiting for key details of key technical regulation changes. The Japanese firm has made plain its intention to wait for the 2017 World Rally Car rules to be set before deciding on its future plans in rallying. While Toyota began testing a Yaris WRC in Italy last week, the former multiple world champion has yet to cement its decision to return to the WRC. “Toyota is waiting,” said Barbosa. “They knock on the door and they will come to Finland to see more. They wait to know what is the car. “New manufacturers want to come. But they need to know what is coming in 2017 and they need to know now – they want to [...]

Photos: Toyota tests new Yaris WRC

March 21st, 2014

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Pictures have emerged from Toyota’s first test of the Yaris WRC in Italy this week. The Japanese firm’s first World Rally Car in 14 years has been tested on four different gravel roads in Tuscany. The Yaris test car, which features a Global Race Engine developed at Toyota’s motorsport facility in Cologne, has been driven by Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastian Lindholm. Motorsport Italia, the team which formerly ran Mini’s WRC effort, has completed the test work on behalf of Toyota Motorsport. Prior to this week, the Yaris had only completed shakedown running on asphalt. The Italian mileage offers the Japanese firm the first real idea of how the car works and sources close to the test admitted the Yaris had impressed. “It kept on running, there didn’t seem to be [...]

VW impressed by Hyundai form

March 21st, 2014

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Volkswagen technical chief Francois-Xavier Demaison has applauded Hyundai’s efforts in achieving a World Rally Championship podium so early in the i20 WRC’s life. Demaison’s Polo R WRC stormed the world championship last season, winning on only its second outing. It went on to claim victory in 10 of the 13 rounds last year, with Sebastien Ogier taking the title at a canter. Hyundai’s i20 WRC scored its first top three when Thierry Neuville finished third on Rally Mexico earlier this month. How beer saved Hyundai’s first podium “From what they have done in six months, they have made a good car,” said Demaison. “I have been impressed with what they have achieved in quite a short time.” Volkswagen spent 18 months developing its Polo, while Hyundai took a third of [...]

VW questions Mikkelsen over crashes

March 14th, 2014

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Volkswagen team chief Jost Capito has questioned the number of accidents Andreas Mikkelsen had on last week’s Rally Mexico. Mikkelsen ripped a wheel off his Polo R WRC on the third stage of the Leon-based event and then rolled out of action on the second day. Capito said: “He had a difficult rally. If we see the split times, he was going too fast and when it happened he said he was not going too fast. “So we asked ‘why are you crashing then?’ “But he has shown that he is not scared, which is good.” Mikkelsen, who arrived in Mexico on the back of his World Rally Championship career-best second overall in Sweden, said he would be investigating his performance in central America. A dramatic Rally Mexico, and how [...]

Ogier debated ceding points lead

March 11th, 2014

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Sebastien Ogier admitted that he briefly considered allowing Jari-Matti Latvala to retain the World Rally Championship lead at the end of Rally Mexico. Ogier’s win, with Volkswagen team-mate Latvala in second, thrust him past the Finn to the head of the points. He could have remained behind even while winning the rally overall however had he backed off on the power stage and let Latvala claim the maximum three-point bonus for winning the live TV stage. A dramatic Rally Mexico, and how beer saved Hyundai’s first podium Under this year’s WRC rules, the championship leader has to run first on the road on the first day of events, a factor that hampered Latvala in Mexico as he slipped back to fifth place while sweeping the layer of loose gravel away [...]

Neuville ‘stayed calm’ amid drama

March 10th, 2014

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Thierry Neuville said he managed to remain calm during the post-Rally Mexico drama that nearly cost him the Hyundai i20′s first World Rally Championship podium. After completing the final stage in third overall, behind only the dominant Volkswagens, Neuville’s car developed a radiator leak. Had he not made it back to the official finish in the service park in Leon, he would have lost his podium finish, but he managed to nurse the car back – at one point pouring beer into the radiator. “We had a small hole in the radiator and we fixed it and got back on time,” said Neuville. “It was very stressful but we stayed calm. “On the road section we had to wait for more than 20 minutes and we had 34 kilometres to [...]

Ogier leads after chaotic first day

March 7th, 2014

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Sebastien Ogier ended an action-packed first day of Rally Mexico with a strong advantage as Mads Ostberg faltered and Robert Kubica rolled out of fourth. Volkswagen man Ogier trailed erstwhile rally leader Ostberg by 3.3 seconds after the first five stages but turned that into a 26.1s advantage after the second quintet. Four stage wins helped the 2013 World Rally champion to move clear of his Citroen rival as Ostberg failed to settle into the same rhythm as he found in the morning. Ogier immediately cut his advantage to 1.2s with victory on SS6, before Ostberg tumbled out of the rally lead on SS7 when he dropped 17s and handed Ogier a 13.7s buffer – one the latter extended gradually over the next few stages as Ostberg continued to drop [...]

Ostberg grabs early lead in Mexico

March 7th, 2014

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Mads Ostberg established an early lead over Sebastien Ogier on the first morning of Rally Mexico. With the championship-leading Volkswagens of Jari-Matti Latvala and Ogier having to run first on the very dusty roads, those behind had a chance to make a break on Friday. At first the VWs’ running order position actually proved advantageous, as dust hanging in the still morning air caused visibility issues for those behind. But by SS3 Citroen driver Ostberg, running third on the road, was in the lead, and he soon extended a 6.6-second lead. Some of that advantage was squandered when the crew forgot to take the road-section radiator masking off their DS3 before the short Bicentenial Park stage that completed the loop. Forced to go carefully to avoid overheating the engine, Ostberg’s [...]

Ogier fastest, Tanak stars on opener

March 7th, 2014

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Sebastien Ogier holds the early Rally Mexico lead after topping Thursday night’s Guanajuato street stage. The slippery asphalt stage, just 1.01km in length, is an anomaly on the otherwise all-gravel itinerary, but always attracts an enormous crowd of fans. While world champion Ogier set the pace for Volkswagen, the star of the night was Ott Tanak. After his impressive fifth place on his World Rally Championship return in Sweden, Tanak moved down to WRC2 for Mexico to begin his main programme for the year, but beat all the World Rally Cars bar Ogier on the Guanajuato streets, with a time just 0.3 seconds off the VW. That denied VW an early one-two, with Andreas Mikkelsen pushed back to third ahead of Kris Meeke’s Citroen and points leader Jari-Matti Latvala in [...]

Latvala tops Rally Mexico shakedown

March 6th, 2014

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Jari-Matti Latvala made the perfect start to this week’s Rally Mexico with the fastest time on Thursday’s pre-event shakedown. The World Rally Championship leader was 1.1 seconds faster than second-placed man Kris Meeke over the 3.8-mile stage, just north-east of the rally’s Leon base. Latvala’s Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier was third quickest, two seconds off the quickest Polo R WRC. Latvala said: “I’m happy with that. I know that it will be tough for me to open the road on this rally, but I have to put this from my mind. “Many times we saw Sebastien Loeb win rallies and championships opening the road. It can be done if you don’t let it affect the mind too much. My feeling is good.” Mexican rookie Meeke impressed with his speed – [...]

Hyundai adds Paddon to WRC line-up

February 27th, 2014

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Hyundai has added Kiwi Hayden Paddon to its burgeoning list of drivers for the 2014 World Rally Championship. The 26-year-old will drive an i20 WRC on seven rounds this season, including the series’ sole visit down under for Rally Australia. Paddon’s car will be entered under the banner of Hyundai Motorsport N, in the same way that Andreas Mikkelsen’s Polo R WRC is entered under the moniker of Volkswagen Motorsport II. The 2011 Production class world champion will test the i20 WRC for the first time in April. “It’s an incredible opportunity to be part of the team in these very exciting times,” said Paddon. “It’s a chance that we are ready for and are going to work very hard to make the most of to meet the targets and [...]