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February 2015

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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.

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 [...]

WRC faces another 2015 plan FIA veto

November 5th, 2014

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The FIA World Motor Sport Council could veto the World Rally Championship Commission’s proposal for the 2015 WRC running order. Plans for a radical revamp of the WRC format were recently abandoned after failing to garner FIA support. An adjustment to the running order regulations remains on the agenda, with a proposal for the cars to run in championship order on the first two days of events next year rather than just the opening day as is presently the case. The seeded drivers would then run in reverse order, giving the best stage conditions to the rally leader, on the final day, whereas at present this is adopted for the second day as well. WRC champion Sebastien Ogier is vehemently against the proposed change as it gives the points leader [...]

Sordo gets expanded Hyundai deal

November 4th, 2014

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Hyundai has re-signed Dani Sordo for an expanded World Rally Championship programme in 2015 and ’16. The 31-year-old Spaniard’s exact campaign for next year has not been confirmed but he will tackle at least 10 rallies, most likely the European round before contesting the full 2016 campaign. Sordo, who has done six WRC rounds with Hyundai this year, will partner the Korean team’s number one driver Thierry Neuville. “I am delighted to be continuing my partnership with Hyundai Motorsport following a very successful debut season working together,” said Sordo. “We have shown great promise with the Hyundai i20 WRC this year and we will never forget the one-two result at Rallye Deutschland, which was a truly special moment. “It is a great team of dedicated, passionate individuals and I look [...]

Ogier ‘disturbed’ by WRC future rows

October 27th, 2014

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World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier says he became so dispirited by the debate over the future of the series that it damaged his motivation during the 2014 season. Ogier secured his second straight WRC title with victory in last weekend’s Rally of Spain. The 2014 WRC season has been dominated by the series’ promoter’s efforts to introduce a radical format revamp – a push that finally ended earlier this month when it became clear that the FIA was unlikely to change its stance after rejecting the initial proposal. Volkswagen driver Ogier admitted that the turmoil around the WRC had played on his mind. “I had some difficult moments this season,” he said. “I was a bit weak mentally, I was disturbed by the future of the sport, and my motivation [...]

Latvala trims Ogier’s lead in Spain

October 25th, 2014

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Sebastien Ogier saw his Rally of Spain lead trimmed on Saturday morning, as title rival Jari-Matti Latvala reduced the gap by eight seconds with a trio of stage wins. After a tough opening day of the rally, Latvala seemed much more at home on the tarmac stages of the second day, knowing that he needed to put pressure on Volkswagen team-mate Ogier in order to keep his slim World Rally Championship title hopes alive. Latvala began by taking a second out of Ogier’s lead on SS8, before finding a further two seconds on the next stage – but it was the final test of the loop where the Finn made the biggest dent, reducing Ogier’s advantage by another 5.3s. That puts Latvala 28.3s adrift of the reigning champion with three [...]

Ogier stretches lead in Spain

October 24th, 2014

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Sebastien Ogier will take a lead of over 35 seconds into the second day of Rally of Spain, as nearest rival Thierry Neuville dropped out of contention with a puncture. Ogier began the second stage of the Friday afternoon loop with a lead of 9.9s after narrowly winning the first, and had his advantage slashed to just 4.6s on SS6 by Neuville, who set a blistering pace to win the stage. But a puncture for the Hyundai driver on the very next stage cost him over two minutes, which, combined with a devastating time by Ogier, allowed the reigning champion to stretch his lead by a whopping 32 seconds. Jari-Matti Latvala started the day in seventh, and despite being comprehensively outpaced by Ogier was able to climb all the way [...]

Ogier leads as rivals struggle in dust

October 24th, 2014

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Sebastien Ogier leads the Rally of Spain despite running first on the gravel roads, as his main rivals were left furious over dust levels and poor visibility. Drivers had warned on Thursday that the combination of hot, still weather conditions and low early-morning sun was likely to cause visibility issues in dust clouds on the first full loop. Ogier was adamant that clearing the loose gravel from the surface by running first on the road was going to be a much bigger penalty for him than running in his dust would be for those that followed. But it was Ogier who emerged in the lead after stage four, 8.4 seconds clear of Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville. Ogier’s Volkswagen team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen and title rival Jari-Matti Latvala are back in fifth [...]

VW keeps Ogier, Latvala, Mikkelsen

October 23rd, 2014

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Volkswagen will retain Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen for its factory World Rally Championship team into 2015. The WRC’s dominant squad had been in protracted contract renewal negotiations with world champion Ogier in particular, but announced new deals with its trio of drivers just before shakedown for this weekend’s Rally of Spain. Team boss Jost Capito said: “We currently have the three best rally drivers in the world on our books. “Continuity is an important factor in any success in motorsport, and I am delighted to have been able to extend our cooperation with Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen. “Together with their co-drivers, all three are an essential part of Volkswagen’s overwhelming success in the World Rally Championship, and we are sure that we will enjoy [...]

Capacity entry for Rally GB

October 22nd, 2014

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Rally GB has attracted a capacity entry for the first time in its 15 years of running in Wales. Next month’s 2014 World Rally Championship finale will run with the maximum 160 crews starting the international and national events, prompting organisers to run a reserve list – something that has not been required on the event this century. “Running a reserve list is a very nice problem to have,” said Rally GB managing director Ben Taylor. “But I wouldn’t say I’m surprised by the number of entries coming. “I think it’s a fair reflection on the interest and enthusiasm we have seen in the last five or six months. I’ve been out on national rallies and talked to people and the resurgence is there on all levels. “Wales Rally GB [...]

Mikkelsen to ‘go crazy’ for first win

October 20th, 2014

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Andreas Mikkelsen says he is ready to go crazy in an effort to land his first win on the final two rounds of the World Rally Championship. Mikkelsen’s runner-up spot in France put him virtually out of reach on the bottom step of the season-long podium. The Norwegian says he will go to Spain and Wales with no pressure and ready to push harder than ever to break his WRC duck. “I really wanted third place and it’s now more or less sorted,” he said, “the pressure is off on the last two rallies. “I can let myself go, push harder and go a little bit crazy. It would be fantastic to win a round.” Mikkelsen impressed himself with his performance in France, given his lack of recent asphalt practice. [...]

WRC chiefs reject Powerstage idea

October 16th, 2014

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The format of the World Rally Championship will not change for next season, following Thursday’s crunch meeting between the FIA and series stakeholders. FIA president Jean Todt attended the WRC Commission meeting in Geneva, where an overhaul of the Powerstage – which meant dividing the time difference by a factor of 10 and grouping the crews together in a four-car shoot-out – was discussed. Having been rejected by the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in September, the proposal did not secure support and will not be put forward to the next WMSC meeting in December. WRC Promoter’s Oliver Ciesla confirmed his firm’s idea will not go any further. “It has become apparent that the proposal is not mature enough to gain a majority,” he told AUTOSPORT. “We will continue to [...]

Rally GB could test WRC shootout idea

October 15th, 2014

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The 2014 World Rally Championship-concluding Rally GB next month could be used as a test event for WRC Promoter to demonstrate its radical new Powerstage plan. The proposal was unanimously rejected at last month’s World Motor Sport Council despite receiving unanimous backing from the WRC Commission. FIA president Jean Todt will meet with the WRC Commission to review the proposal, which focuses on closing up the competition by making a single second worth only a tenth of a second in gaps reset for the last stage, in Geneva on Thursday. Feelings will be running high in the meeting, with WRC Promoter and the manufacturers passionately in favour of a move that Todt is believed to be entirely unconvinced about. WRC Promoter chief Oliver Ciesla hopes Britain’s round of the WRC [...]

Neuville keen for Ogier as team-mate

October 13th, 2014

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Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville says he would relish the challenge of having Sebastien Ogier in the same team as him, if the World Rally champion was to leave Volkswagen. Neuville believes Ogier’s contract with VW is not sorted for next season and he would like to pitch himself against the Frenchman in equal machinery. This year Hyundai has rotated between Dani Sordo, Juho Hanninen, Chris Atkinson, Hayden Paddon and Bryan Bouffier for Neuville’s team-mates. “I want somebody who is strong, we need a good atmosphere but we need somebody who will challenge me and the team to push ourselves to the limits – that way we will go up,” Rally Germany winner Neuville told AUTOSPORT. “I would like somebody for all 13 rallies rather than changing all the time. “That [...]

Prodrive tests new VW Golf rally car

October 7th, 2014

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Prodrive has begun testing an all-new Volksagen Golf rally car. The two-litre-engined Golf went through a systems check at MIRA last week and began testing in earnest in Wales on Tuesday. It will not be eligible for the World Rally Championship and Prodrive says it has been built for a bespoke market. The Golf, which was driven at the test by Terry Kaby, will compete for the first time next month. Prodrive Motorsport managing director John Gaw said: “This is a very exciting project for us. It’s something we’ve been working on for around six months. “Clearly, it’s not a World Rally Car because of the engine, but the rest of the Golf is built entirely to the spirit of a World Rally Car. “The transmission and suspension are all [...]

Latvala extends lead in France

October 3rd, 2014

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Jari Matti Latvala continues to lead Rally of France, extending his lead over Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen with a brace of stage victories on Friday afternoon. Latvala saw his already slender lead whittled down to just two tenths as Mikkelsen took a second stage victory of the rally by 0.5s on SS4. But Latvala responded to the threat to his lead in fine style over the course of the following two stages, taking 4.3s out of Mikkelsen on SS5 before finding a further four seconds on SS6. That gives Latvala an advantage of 8.5s over Mikkelsen with just the evening stage in Strasbourg city centre left to run on Friday. Citroen’s Kris Meeke has consolidated his grip on the bottom step of the podium, failing to match the pace of [...]

Ogier hit by gear-shift sensor problem

October 3rd, 2014

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The part which cost Sebastien Ogier his chance to celebrate a second World Rally Championship title at home has been traced to a gear-shift sensor. The Volkswagen team has changed both the sensor and the gearbox at lunchtime service today. Ogier dropped 8m26.1s through the morning loop, although four of those minutes came from a penalty after he checked into SS3 four minutes too early. Ogier, who knew that victory and second place on the powerstage would be enough for him to be crowned on Rally of France for the second season in succession, said: “My rally is completely over now. “All I can do is wait for the powerstage and try to do something there, but that’s a long wait.” Describing the problem which hit his Polo R WRC [...]

FIA unveils plans for GT Cup in rallies

October 2nd, 2014

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The FIA has announced plans to make GT cars a more permanent fixture in rallies with the new-for-next-year R-GT Cup. The five-round series, which starts with January’s Monte Carlo Rally, will also include the German round of the WRC along with three ERC counters (Ypres, Valais and Corsica) in an all-asphalt calendar. Marc Duez was the first driver to compete in the WRC driving an R-GT car when he drove a Porsche 911 on this year’s Monte Carlo. Britain’s Richard Tuthill became the first driver to finish a WRC round in an R-GT car when he took a Rally Deutschland class win with his 911 GT3 in August. FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen said: “We have been working closely with our technical department for some time to see how we [...]

Latvala tops France shakedown

October 2nd, 2014

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Volkswagen driver Jari-Matti Latvala’s decision to take a fourth run at this morning’s Rallye de France shakedown stage netted him the fastest time on the two-mile test. The Finn won the stage by 1.2 seconds from Citroen’s Kris Meeke, with Latvala’s team-mate Sebastien Ogier and Hyundai’s Dani Sordo third, half a second down on the Northern Irish DS3 WRC. Latvala said: “When I went to me pre-event test for France, there was some understeer with the car and there were some things I wanted to try this morning. “I have got really good confidence with it now. The shakedown was good.” Latvala’s last asphalt outing in Germany ended in disappointment when he crashed out of a comfortable lead. He says he is determined to make up for that mistake in [...]