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April 2014

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iRacing TV

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The Team

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • 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.

M-Sport delays new Fiesta debut

February 26th, 2014

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M-Sport has decided against running its latest-specification Ford Fiesta RS WRCs in Mexico next week. The British team will test the parts further before their competitive debut instead. The facelifted Ford had been expected to run in Leon for the first time, but team principal Malcolm Wilson says there is more work to do before the parts can be fitted. Wilson told AUTOSPORT: “Unfortunately, the proposed facelift is not as simple as just adding a new front bumper – as some might imagine – and our designers and engineers have been working hard to ensure that everything is just as it should be. “We’ve been running the facelift on our test cars all season and recently discovered some issues we had not anticipated. “We’re eager to see the new-look Fiesta [...]

New WRC Fiesta to run in Mexico

February 25th, 2014

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M-Sport’s facelifted Fiesta RS WRC will run for the first time competitively in next week’s Rally Mexico. The new look has been seen in pre-event and development tests throughout the early part of this year, but next week’s first gravel rally of the season will give fans their first glimpse the 2014-spec Fiesta. M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson said: “We’re quite restricted on what we can do with the cars this season, but Mexico will be the first event for the facelift. “There are a few small bits and pieces which we’ve done on the car and we will keep doing through the year, but there’s really nothing major coming for this season.” The Fiesta R5 was homologated with the new front, but this is the biggest change to the [...]

Hyundai to field three cars in Portugal

February 21st, 2014

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Hyundai will field three i20s for the first time on round four of the 2014 World Rally Championship in Portugal in April. The team had been expected to stick to two-car line-ups for its WRC comeback season, running lead driver Thierry Neuville all year and rotating between Dani Sordo, Juho Hanninen and Chris Atkinson in the second entry. It has now announced that both Sordo and Hanninen will join Neuville for Portugal, with a team statement saying Hyundai made the decision as it was “eager to accelerate its learning curve”. The i20 has shown promising pace so far, with Sordo holding third in Monte Carlo before a technical problem intervened, and Neuville getting into the top six for a spell in Sweden. But accidents have limited its mileage. Neuville crashed [...]

VW: Mikkelsen can win this year

February 17th, 2014

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Volkswagen team principal Jost Capito says Andreas Mikkelsen is capable of breaking his World Rally Championship duck this season. The Norwegian ran at the front of the field throughout Rally Sweden earlier this month. Mikkelsen knows the Swedish event and its conditions well, and Capito says VW will have no qualms about giving him a green light to push that hard on future rallies where he is similarly confident. “He did a fantastic job learning last year and this year we said that where he is confident and he has done the rally a couple of times then he can fight for the podium,” said Capito. “Sweden was the first of these and I think he did a fantastic job, not just fighting for the podium, but also for the [...]

Neuville praises Hyundai’s progress

February 16th, 2014

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Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville has praised his new team for the pace the Korean firm has achieved with just six months of development of the i20 WRC. While neither Neuville or team-mate Juho Hanninen completed every stage on last week’s Rally Sweden, the Belgian said the pace they both showed reflected the work put in on the car at the team’s German base. “We have learned so much on the car and for the team,” said Neuville, who came within half a second of achieving a maiden fastest time for the i20. “There are a lot of positives to take from this. The basics are really impressive from what we have seen on the snow, a very difficult surface. “We have been very quick in some stages and this shows [...]

Kubica says Sweden was valuable

February 15th, 2014

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Robert Kubica says his first outing on snow provided plenty of experience, despite crashing three times on last week’s Rally Sweden. Kubica arrived in Karlstad after leading the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally, but he admitted round two was far harder than competing in the French Alps. “It is not harder than I thought it would be,” said Kubica, “I knew it would be hard, of course it will be hard. But, for sure, it was more difficult than Monte Carlo. “It was changing all of the time, but I have to learn to drive in these conditions and having the condition change so much is very good experience. “Normally I would need 20 days of testing to get such varied experience of driving like this.” Kubica leads the heroes of [...]

Citroen defends Meeke’s Sweden form

February 13th, 2014

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Citroen team principal Yves Matton has praised Kris Meeke’s Rally Sweden debut, pointing out that he fared better than Sebastien Loeb on his first snow events. Meeke was running sixth for much of last weeke’s event before an error dropped him to 10th on the final morning. Rally Sweden report “He did a very good job, in fact he did the perfect job if you look at his first result on this rally – he was better than Sebastien Loeb,” said Matton. Loeb retired from his first Rally Sweden when engine failure silenced his Citroen Saxo in 2001. The following year, his first attempt at the event in a Xsara WRC resulted in 17th place after a tough rally that included time-consuming trips off the road. While Loeb eventually went [...]

Rally Sweden denies it needs to move

February 12th, 2014

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Rally Sweden promoter Glen Olsson says he has no intention of moving the event north despite the lack of snow or ice on much of the 2014 route. The World Rally Championship’s only winter round was run mostly in temperatures above freezing and with very little snow cover on the Swedish stages. The opening day – run across the border in Norway – had better conditions, but still the drivers felt the roads were far from perfect and called for a move north to stages with guaranteed snow. Full Rally Sweden report Olsson ruled a change of location out. “If we go north to Ostersund, the weather is just the same – we have to go way, way north into the mountains and there aren’t many hotels up there…” he [...]

Vatanen’s son joins new WRC series

February 12th, 2014

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The Vatanen name will return to the World Rally Championship this season after Ari’s son Max was listed among the 12-strong field for the new Drive DMACK Fiesta Cup. Max’s father won his 1981 world title at the wheel of a Ford Escort before later driving for Peugeot and Subaru. Vatanen Jr said: “This is the best option for a young driver like me to get real WRC experience and progress my career. “The competition will be intense, but we will have the opportunity to impress people and aim for the fantastic prize drive.” Asked if he thought his surname would be an advantage or a disadvantage, the 23-year-old said: “It’s both, but OK, in the end I would say that it is more an advantage than a disadvantage. “The [...]

Sweden win key to Latvala title bid

February 9th, 2014

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Jari-Matti Latvala reckons securing victory on Rally Sweden was key to his chances of putting together a World Rally Championship title bid. Latvala drove a faultless rally to clinch the win – his second for Volkswagen and third in Sweden – and leapfrog team-mate and 2013 WRC champion Sebastien Ogier in the process. Ogier could only finish sixth after dropping out of the rally lead with an uncharacteristic error, and Latvala added another two more points to his tally with second on the powerstage to go five points clear at the top. He admitted to putting more pressure on himself to deliver in the wake of his team-mate’s season-opening Monte Carlo win, and believes reacting in Sweden was crucial to his chances of challenging for a maiden WRC win. “I [...]

Latvala extends lead with clean sweep

February 8th, 2014

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Latvala extends lead with clean sweep

Jari-Matti Latvala holds a strong lead ahead of the final loop of Rally Sweden after taking a clean sweep of stage wins at the start of Saturday. Latvala dominated the morning’s four stages to move 42.7s clear of Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen, who hit trouble on SS18. Mikkelsen, still in the running for a maiden World Rally Championship podium, had started the day 3.6s behind Latvala but damaged his front-right suspension on the second stage after cutting a corner. His Polo WRC’s air intake was blocked by snow as he went off-road, and he ended the stage with smoke emanating from the engine, but he regrouped with serious consequence. Follow Rally Sweden’s conclusion on Race Centre Live Mikkelsen’s attention thus turned to the Citroen of Mads Ostberg, who finished each [...]

Latvala leads, Mikkelsen closes in

February 7th, 2014

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Jari-Matti Latvala continues to lead Rally Sweden despite Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen clawing back time on the Karlstad superspecial. Latvala had built up a 4.8-second advantage over Mikkelsen on Friday afternoon, but his charging team-mate – seeking a maiden World Rally Championship podium, let alone victory – reduced that to 3.6s with the fastest time on Friday evening. Mads Ostberg still holds a firm grasp of third place in the lead Citroen, despite twice being baulked by M-Sport Ford driver Robert Kubica earlier in the day. The Norwegian extended his advantage over M-Sport pair Mikko Hirvonen and Ott Tanak on the superspecial to 19.7s. Hirvonen’s narrow lead in the intra-team team fight remains at six seconds. Kubica’s woes, allied to Juho Hanninen crashing his Hyundai, had elevated Kris Meeke to [...]

Tanak stunned by WRC return form

February 6th, 2014

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Ott Tanak said his shock day one performance on his World Rally Championship return in Sweden totally exceeded his expectations. Apart from a 40-mile test in the Ford Fiesta RS WRC he is using this weekend, Tanak had not driven a current World Rally Car since the end of 2012. The Estonian ended the opening day in Sweden in fourth place having set a fastest time and run third for three of the rally’s seven stages. “I didn’t expect this,” he told AUTOSPORT. “It’s been a very good day. This morning I was just keeping the car in the line and driving sensibly. “This is the first WRC event and the first event in a World Rally Car for my co-driver [Raigo Molder] – we weren’t so confident before the [...]

Tanak stunned by WRC return form

February 6th, 2014

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Ott Tanak said his shock day one performance on his World Rally Championship return in Sweden totally exceeded his expectations. Apart from a 40-mile test in the Ford Fiesta RS WRC he is using this weekend, Tanak had not driven a current World Rally Car since the end of 2012. The Estonian ended the opening day in Sweden in fourth place having set a fastest time and run third for three of the rally’s seven stages. “I didn’t expect this,” he told AUTOSPORT. “It’s been a very good day. This morning I was just keeping the car in the line and driving sensibly. “This is the first WRC event and the first event in a World Rally Car for my co-driver [Raigo Molder] – we weren’t so confident before the [...]

Ogier leads from Mikkelsen in Sweden

February 6th, 2014

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Sebastien Ogier leads Rally Sweden after stage four, but is under pressure from Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen. Just as Ogier began to edge away due to stage wins on Torsby and Kirkener, Mikkelsen struck back on the Finnskogen stage. He was quickest of all and reduced Ogier’s advantage from 8.6 seconds to just 1.6s. VW holds all the top three places at present, with Jari-Matti Latvala third. Latvala has been extremely frustrated with his performance in slower sections, but was able to regain time on Ogier on the faster SS4. He is 6.1s off the lead, and just 2.2s ahead of star returnee Ott Tanak. The Estonian has managed to keep his M-Sport Ford on the VW pack’s tail in his first WRC appearance since dropping out of the series [...]

Mikkelsen leads Rally Sweden

February 5th, 2014

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Volkswagen driver Andreas Mikkelsen set the fastest time on the opening special stage to take an early lead on Rally Sweden. The Norwegian (right) completed the 1.9km Karlstadt Super Special 0.8 seconds quicker than his reigning world champion team-mate Sebastian Ogier, who lost time by picking the wrong line in the early part of the test. Ogier was a further 1.4s quicker than World Rally returnee Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta RS). The Estonian, starting his first event since the 2012 Rally of Spain, prevented Jari-Matti Latvala making a VW clean sweep of the top three by just 0.2s. M-Sport Fiesta driver Mikko Hirvonen was fifth fastest, while fellow Fiesta driver Henning Solberg, starting his first WRC event since last year’s Rally Sweden, rounded out the top six. Hyundai drivers Juho [...]

Hyundai determined to bounce back

February 5th, 2014

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Hyundai is determined to bounce back from the i20 WRC’s double retirement in Monte Carlo with a finish on this week’s Rally Sweden. Both the Korean cars were eliminated on the opening day of the WRC’s 2014 curtain-raiser in the French Alps last month, but both factory cars were in the top seven times during yesterday’s pre-Rally Sweden shakedown. The team’s number one driver Thierry Neuville wants to erase the memory of his first-stage crash on the Monte with a solid finish in the snow this week. “The car felt good yesterday,” he said. “I will drive this rally at my own rhythm, at a speed I feel comfortable. “I can forget about Monte now; always when you go off, you can say: “If I was there, I could be [...]

Kubica: I won’t slow down

February 5th, 2014

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Robert Kubica says he won’t alter his approach to rallies, despite crashing on both of his World Rally Car outings so far. Kubica crashed twice during last year’s Wales Rally GB driving for Citroen, and also crashed while battling for the podium on last month’s Monte Carlo Rally. The Polish star will tackle snow for the first time in his fledgling rally career in Sweden this week and says he will continue to push hard in order to learn more about rallying. “You only learn to drive really fast by driving fast,” he said. “When you drive slowly many things never happen and you don’t learn. “My target one day is that I hope be able fight for the win and I need to discover those things in the way [...]

Meeke vows caution after early off

February 5th, 2014

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Kris Meeke says going off the road at Rally Sweden’s shakedown stage has underlined the importance of a sensible approach to the second round of the World Rally Championship. Meeke slipped into a snow bank on his second run at the 2.47-mile test. His factory Citroen was immediately pushed back onto the road by spectators, but had to be recovered back to service after incurring minor steering damage. “I ran wide in a fourth-gear right,” said Meeke “and that meant I couldn’t get the car turned into the next left. “We touched a rock or something in the snow and that hit something in the steering. “I think it did the [steering] rack or something in the [power steering] pump. Anyway, the steering went tight, so we stopped and got [...]

Ostberg fastest at Sweden shakedown

February 5th, 2014

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Mads Ostberg made the perfect start to Rally Sweden by setting the pace at Wednesday morning’s shakedown stage. The Citroen driver ended the 2.47-mile test close to Hagfors four tenths of a second faster than Volkswagen’s Jari-Matti Latvala. Ostberg was fastest through much of the morning, but remained cautious about the impact of possible condition changes. “It’s good,” Ostberg reflected after shakedown, “but now we have to see what the weather is going to be doing.” The unseasonably warm weather left many of the drivers taking a much steadier approach to shakedown in an effort to save their studded tyres, after gravel began to break through the icy surface. VW’s reigning World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier deployed such tactics and ended the session a lowly 12th fastest. Ostberg’s team-mate Kris [...]