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August 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.

  • 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.

  • David Moulthrop
    NASCAR Contributor

    David Moulthrop is an award winning motorsports photo journalist and has covered auto racing since the mid-seventies. While he is most well known for his NASCARimages he has also covered F1, American Road Racing, and IndyCar on a regular basis. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and online news sites including, National Speed Sport News, Area Auto Racing News, Auto Racing USA, Stock Car Magazine, Sprint Cup Dateline, and Jayski. David joined the iRacing team in 2004 as a contract photographer and became iRacing's Laser Scan Project Manager in 2005.

  • 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.

Tanak must raise game again – Martin

July 29th, 2015

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Ott Tanak will have to take another step up to repeat his Poland World Rally Championship podium in Finland this weekend, says his multiple WRC rally-winning countryman Markko Martin. Estonian driver Tanak finished third and challenged for victory in Poland earlier this month. DAVID EVANS: How Tanak went from underwater to on the podium Martin said the M-Sport star was at a disadvantage arriving in Jyvaskyla this week without as much knowledge of the roads or the machinery beneath him as his rivals. Tanak has only started Finland once in a World Rally Car, in 2012. He did not compete at all in 2013, before returning in a Ford Fiesta R5 last season. “The other thing which Tanak will find a bit tricky is the extra speed from the World [...]

Rally GB under threat from China

July 29th, 2015

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The World Rally Championship has been warned against emulating Formula 1′s pursuit of new markets over heritage, with European events including Rally GB threatened by moves to return to China. WRC Promoter’s Oliver Ciesla said GB was one of four current rounds that will have to fight for a 2016 calendar place. “We have a clear mandate from the FIA, from the manufacturers that we want to go global with the calendar and China is one of the first prospects to do that,” he told AUTOSPORT. “We have nine rallies [under agreement] and we are in the position that we have more events than we have capacity. “We don’t really have a process to deal with this, so we have to see how we handle it. “France, Germany, Britain and [...]

Citroen rules out Loeb Corsica return

July 23rd, 2015

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Citroen team principal Yves Matton has dismissed speculation that Sebastien Loeb could make his World Rally Championship return on this year’s Tour of Corsica. Sources close to Citroen admitted a second WRC outing of the season for Loeb had been talked about in the team’s Versailles base, but the Frenchman’s World Touring Car Championship commitment made it all-but impossible to make it to Corsica in time for his home event in October. “Corsica is impossible for him,” said Matton, “Shanghai [WTCC] ends Sunday night and the recce starts in Corsica on Monday morning and Concorde is not flying any more…” Citroen chief wants Loeb back in the WRC While the Chinese WTCC round has ended French rally fans’ hopes of seeing the nine-time champion in a DS 3 WRC for [...]

VW promises Latvala’s seat is safe

July 15th, 2015

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Volkswagen has given Jari-Matti Latvala its complete backing as the Finn looks to find some form from an increasingly desolate 2015 World Rally Championship season. The Finn has endured his worst first-half performance since 2007, posting only two podiums from the first seven rallies. In the last round in Poland, he crashed on the final stage while chasing Ott Tanak for third place, having struggled to find the right set-up with the Volkswagen Polo R WRC throughout the event. Latvala’s team-mates Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen finished first and second. Team principal Jost Capito said the team’s support would not waiver for the second half of this year or into 2016. “We will talk about what happened,” Capito told AUTOSPORT. “There is no question about his place in this team [...]

Kubica wants quick future decision

July 14th, 2015

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Ex-Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica will decide his future before the end of August, and is not ruling out leaving the World Rally Championship to return to circuit racing. Kubica made the last-minute move to establish his own RK World Rally Team at the start of this year, but has been forced to overhaul the squad after the partnership between Italian outfit A-Style and his own team became unworkable. The Polish star is adamant he will not face a similar race against time to put his 2016 programme in place. “We need to start thinking about next year very soon,” he said. “I do not want to be in this situation again. “It is not so easy to come to rallies with no testing and not knowing what is going [...]

Suspension focus in major M-Sport test

July 13th, 2015

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M-Sport will focus on suspension improvements during a major pre-Rally Finland test of its new Ford Fiesta RS WRC, in the hope of getting closer to World Rally Championship wins. Ott Tanak battled with the Volkswagen for victory in Poland on the last WRC round and finished third. He believes it will be possible to unlock further speed from the Fiesta during the planned six days of running in Finland this month. “It’s difficult to beat the Volkswagens, but what we can do is go to Finland and do our job again,” said Tanak. “The test will help us find more stability and traction in the car. “I think we can also work on the tyre wear as well.” Tanak: From underwater to the podium M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson [...]

Meeke’s Citroen future in jeopardy

July 13th, 2015

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Kris Meeke’s Rally Argentina victory has been wiped out by recent crashes and his Citroen World Rally Championship seat is at risk for 2016, says team boss Yves Matton. Meeke rolled on the shakedown ahead of the last WRC round in Poland and also went off the road in Italy in June. “This cannot happen,” Matton told AUTOSPORT. “I am not ready for any excuse when you went off in the first stage in Sardinia and the shakedown in Poland, there is nothing I can accept as an excuse. “When you are driving at this level, you can’t make mistakes as important as that. “I know that Kris has some excuse or something that he is using to explain why it has happened and I don’t say this is not [...]

Ogier endorses new WRC car concept

July 11th, 2015

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World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier has backed the FIA’s plans for the next generation of World Rally Cars. Friday’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council agreed the principles of technical and homologation requirements for the new cars and Ogier believes the changes will be a positive move. “As a racing driver you are always looking for more performance,” the Frenchman said. “I think the larger wing and new aerodynamics will give the car a bit more downforce, more grip and more speed going into the corners. “This is also good for the show, because the extra power will definitely make the driving more spectacular for the fans. And it will also make the car look a bit more aggressive with a wider body. “I am really looking forward to [...]

‘Dynamic’ 2017 revamp for WRC cars

July 10th, 2015

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World Rally Cars will be faster, wider and more aggressive in appearance following the FIA World Motor Sport Council’s decision to approve the principles of technical regulations for 2017. As expected, WMSC did not sign off on firm rules or homologation requirements in its meeting in Mexico on Friday. Those details will come following further discussion between the governing body’s technical department and the WRC manufacturers. The FIA’s communication: “The intention behind the new regulations is to produce a car with a far more dynamic and distinct appearance that exhibits character and diversity.” Engine power will be increased to 380bhp, from a current notional figure of 300. The turbo’s restrictor will be increased from 34 to 36mm, helping produce that hike in power more cost effectively. Boost pressure will run [...]

Citroen boss wants Loeb back in WRC

July 10th, 2015

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Sebastien Loeb could still win a 10th World Rally Championship, according to Citroen team principal Yves Matton – who plans to talk to the French superstar about a WRC return. Loeb has a long-term ambassadorial contract with Citroen, but his deal to run in the World Touring Car Championship is up at the end of the year. Matton will be discussing the options for the 41-year-old Alsatian soon and more WRC action is one possibility. “The main weakness of the World Rally Championship is that, for the moment, you only have two drivers who are able to be champion or to win events on a regular basis and one of them is doing the championship [Sebastien Ogier] and the other is in World Touring Cars [Loeb],” said Matton. Loeb made [...]

Hyundai building R5-specification i20

July 9th, 2015

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Hyundai will have a World Rally Championship WRC-2 specification i20 ready to compete by the middle of next season, with testing expected to start later this year. Despite already being committed to building a new i20 WRC, the Alzenau-based team received a request from Hyundai’s Korean HQ for the brand’s motorsport programme to be more engaging around the world. To be built to R5 regulations, the resulting new car will be eligible for the European Rally Championship and a host of domestic championships. “I think customer activity is very important,” Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan said. “The World Rally Car is only for the WRC and a couple of other championships around the world. “The only category of car you can run all around the world is R5, so it’s [...]

Makinen confirmed as Toyota team boss

July 7th, 2015

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Four-time World Rally champion Tommi Makinen has been confirmed as the team principal of Toyota’s new WRC effort. Toyota Motor Company president and CEO Akio Toyoda, will take on the role of team chairman, named Makinen in his new role on Friday morning. Toyoda’s announcement made no mention of Toyota Motorsport GmbH’s Cologne base, although TMG – TMC’s wholly owned motorsport subsidiary – is understood to have been sidelined in the new deal. “I am very happy and excited to have Tommi Makinen heading up our WRC team,” said Toyoda. “I first met Tommi in 2013. At that time he was my instructor, helping me improve my driving technique. “In the end, he taught me a lot more; he showed me the appeal of rallying and the relationship between vehicle [...]

Makinen to be Toyota WRC team boss

July 6th, 2015

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Tommi Makinen is expected to be announced as team principal of Toyota’s new-look World Rally Championship effort on Tuesday. The four-time WRC champion has been linked to Toyota since building a private GT86 rally car for Toyota Motor Corporation president and CEO Akio Toyoda last year. Makinen has remained close to Toyoda since and sources in Japan say the Finn’s new deal will be inked in Nagoya this week. He has run Tommi Makinen Racing, building and selling Group N Subarus, for a number of years. Toyota Motorsport GmbH – TMC’s wholly owned motorsport subsidiary – is understood to have been sidelined in the new deal. Nobody from TMG was available for comment when AUTOSPORT contacted Cologne, but sources within TMG say the company will continue with its development programme [...]

Ogier fends off Mikkelsen in Poland

July 4th, 2015

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World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Ogier stabilised his Rally Poland advantage over Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen at 5.6 seconds with two stages remaining after a shortened afternoon loop. Mikkelsen threatened the reigning WRC champion all day without ever overhauling him for first. Issues with spectators cancelled the afternoon’s opener, which Mikkelsen said compromised the tyre strategy he had planned for the loop. He fought back by winning the following Wieliczki stage, and with Ogier only sixth fastest the gap came down from 7.2s to 5.8s. But Ogier was then boosted by his road position on the day’s final full-length stage. The VW man has been critical of the new-for-2015 start position rule, but it worked to his advantage on Swietajno as the dust he threw up impacted on the visibility [...]

Citroen to quit WRC or WTCC in 2017

July 2nd, 2015

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Citroen will withdraw from either the World Rally Championship or World Touring Car Championship in 2017. The French firm has won 17 driver and manufacturer titles since entering the WRC in 2000, has dominated the WTCC for the last 18 months, and will continue in both championships until the end of 2016. Citroen CEO Linda Jackson insists no decision has been taken yet about which will continue beyond that. “For 2016 we have our two disciplines: world rally and world touring,” Jackson told AUTOSPORT. “I can safely say to you that we are reviewing the decisions and for 2017 nothing has been decided. “But, we have made the decision that Citroen will only be officially involved in one discipline for 2017.” Its DS brand will enter Formula E later this [...]

How Ireland could regain WRC slot

July 1st, 2015

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The Circuit of Ireland’s chance of becoming a World Rally Championship round in 2016 appear to be improving amid the possibility of a calendar reshuffle next season. While much of the schedule of rallies will remain unchanged, there is increasing potential for a gap to arrive, allowing Ireland – currently a European championship event – to return to the world calendar for the first time since 2009. The Circuit of Ireland has enjoyed strong ministerial and financial support from the Northern Irish government and that is set to continue into next season, presenting WRC Promoter with a viable plug-and-play solution should a calendar spot come available. China and Abu Dhabi – the other countries tipped for WRC spots – are believed to be looking less likely for 2016, and there [...]

FIA will examine running order row

June 26th, 2015

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The FIA will closely examine the World Rally Championship’s current running order regulations at the end of the season, says its president Jean Todt. World champion Sebastien Ogier has complained about the new-for-2015 rule which forces the championship leader to run first on the road on day one and two – instead of just day one, like last season. Todt visited the Rally of Italy earlier this month, where he talked with the leading drivers. “The regulations are the same for everyone – we know that some drivers are complaining and some are happy with them,” Todt told AUTOSPORT. “It does not look to be having an impact on the classification of the championship at the moment. “Moreover, it has been agreed by all stakeholders that a point will be [...]

Mikkelsen pens new Volkswagen deal

June 22nd, 2015

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Andreas Mikkelsen has secured a long-term extension to his Volkswagen World Rally Championship contract. The decision maintains an unchanged VW WRC line-up as Mikkelsen’s team-mates Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala are also on long-term deals. He will continue with co-driver Ola Floene. Mikkelsen has yet to win in the WRC, where he has driven VW’s third Polo since the fourth round of its comeback season in 2013, but has finished on the podium nine times. Team boss Jost Capito is confident the 26-year-old Norwegian’s first victory is not far away. “We have enjoyed a lot of success together in the last two years, and this season, and are confident that it is only a matter of time until Andreas and Ola claim their first win,” said Capito. “We are impressed [...]

WRC drivers to meet over SOS system

June 18th, 2015

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World Rally Championship drivers will meet with FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen to clarify the situation over the cars’ onboard ‘SOS’ button following the Lorenzo Bertelli controversy in Portugal. There had been mounting concern from the drivers in the series following comments made by WRC Commission president Carlos Barbosa surrounding an incident on last month’s Rally of Portugal, where Bertelli’s call for help after an accident went unanswered. Barbosa insinuated that Bertelli had misused the system, telling AUTOSPORT: “He wanted us to stop the stage so his mother could fly in in the helicopter and pick him up so he didn’t have to wait. “That might be how it works in Italy, but that’s not how we do things here in Portugal.” WRC champion Sebastien Ogier felt Barbosa’s comments had [...]

VW boss: ‘Endurance’ not right in WRC

June 17th, 2015

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Volkswagen team principal Jost Capito has called on the FIA and event organisers to justify ‘endurance’ events in the World Rally Championship. Capito declared the 350-mile road sections that featured on some days of last week’s Rally Italy as excessive for a modern WRC round. “We talk about the endurance element, but what is endurance?” Capito told AUTOSPORT. “Is it a 500km [310-mile] road section? That is nothing to do with endurance. “To make a rally long with long road sections is stupid, it’s nothing to do with competition – it’s just wasting time for everybody. “We have service at six in the morning and it’s completely and the same at midnight.” DAVID EVANS on Rally Italy’s ‘endurance’ stance Rally Italy co-ordinator Antonio Turitto defended the itinerary as crucial to [...]