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JUNE 2014

CANADIAN FORMULA 1 REVIEW MONTREAL SERVES UP ANOTHER TREAT FOR THE FANS

DAVID CROFT INTERVIEW AN INTERVIEW WITH THE VOICE OF FORMULA 1 ON SKY SPORTS F1 CHANNEL

PLUS

ALL IS FINE BETWEEN LEWIS AND NICO THE story of one of the most successful friendships in motor sport

Formula One | IndyCar | BTCC | WRC | NASCAR | GP2 | Interviews | Previews | Statistics | Historic Racing | dtm


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EDITORS NOTES

W

ow, where is this year going? I can’t believe I am writing my notes for Issue 4 already.

Last month was a very successful month for Pit Lane Reporter. At the time of writing this we have had over 42,000 downloads of the magazine and we still have ten days of the month to run. To put that into perspective, Issue one had 29,000 downloads, issue two grew to around 34,000 so we have well and truly gone to another level now, on target for 60-70,000 for Issue 3. This had a lot to do with our cover star Pippa Mann. Pippa managed to complete the Indy500, raising loads of money for breast cancer research. Well done to Pippa and thank you for all the coverage you gave to our magazine too. I am writing this shortly after the weekend in which we saw the Monaco GP, The Indy 500 and the NASCAR Coke 600. A fantastic weekend of motor sport. We witnessed a media scrum following qualifying for the Monaco GP, this was due to the Mercedes, so-called ‘Team Mate Bust Up’. The rest of the media seemed to focus on this one negative issue, however, in keeping with a positive attitude, we have a special feature in this issue looking at their friendship. They are one of the most successful friendships in motor sport and that needs to be celebrated. The Indy 500 had a fantastic nail biting end. If you didn’t see the race, I won’t spoil the fun. Head on over to Eric Hall’s brilliant coverage of the race in this magazine. We also have a great review of the Coke 600 in NASCAR by Travis Barend, alongside

his other regular features. I’d like to formally welcome aboard Annika Gocke, a very talented writer who is covering DTM for us. This month, she has written a comprehensive Introduction to DTM (The German Touring Car Championship). Adam is back having covered the Blancpain GT series at Brands Hatch for us. He also brings us up to date with BTCC. Bruno, our WRC expert gives us his run down from Rally Italy. Katy looks at the goings on in GP2 and GP3 covering some great races in Monaco and Barcelona. Brynmor is back to feed our minds with historic racing news. I don’t know about you, but I love seeing all these ‘oldschool’ cars back racing. There is also Kiril with part 2 of his Aerodynamics feature. I know from feedback, that a lot of people loved the first part as he explained a very complex science in an easy to understand way. The month ahead is yet again a busy one, especially with the British Grand Prix coming up. Read our preview inside this issue. In the meantime, there is another packed magazine for you all to enjoy. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate all the nice comments we keep getting. Spread the word and let’s build to 100,000 readers this time. Greetings in Speed Phil Woods

No part of this magazine may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form – electronic, mechanical or physical – without express prior permission and written consent of the publisher. Contributions are invited and when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and addressed envelope. Manuscripts should be typewritten. No responsibility can be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during transmission or in the editor’s hands. In the absence of an agreement the copyright of all contributions, literary, photographic or artistic, belongs to The Pitlane Reporter. The Publisher accepts no responsibility in respect of advertisements appearing in the magazine and the opinions expressed in editorial material or otherwise do not necessarily represent the views of the Publisher. The Publisher cannot accept liability for any loss arising from the late appearance or non publication of any advertisement. Information about products and services featured within the editorial content does not imply an endorsement by The Pitlane Reporter. © 2014. The Pitlane Reporter.

Published by MFO Publishing (UK) ltd. www.pitlanereporter.com 4

contents 6 9 12 15 20 22 28 33 35 38 40 41 41 43 48 51 53 55 57 59 64 68 71 73 76 79 81 84

Meet The Team Letters Page Lewis & Nico - The Most Succesful Friendship Monaco GP Review British GP Review Canadian GP Review David Croft Interview Indy 500 Review IndyCar Rewind Pippa Mann - After The Indy 500 Looking Ahead in IndyCar The Montoya Report Upcoming Events in IndyCar An Introduction to DTM Ellen Lohr Interview NASCAR Update 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class Announced GP2 Monaco Review GP3 Barcelona Review WRC Itally Rally Review Tony Gilham/Team Hard Interview Aerodynamics Made Simple - Part 2 Historic Racing CSCC Historic Super Tourer Series Feature Blancpain GT Review BTCC Round Up Everyday Driving Column Special Edition Prints From Gary Drew

Ellen lohr interview Page 40

super tourer feature Page 73

monaco gp review Page 15 www.pitlanereporter.com 5


MEET THE TEAM

TRAVIS BAREND - NASCAR JOURNALIST

Travis is a Public Relations student with a strong passion for NASCAR racing. Whether it is through the PR field or as a journalist, Travis dreams of having a career in NASCAR one day. Through his own blog, TracksideChatter. com, Travis showcases some of his writing while also giving other aspiring journalists an opportunity to contribute. Additionally, he is a writer for Speedwaymedia.com as well asNASCARTheGame.com. You can follow Travis on Twitter @TracksideTravis to keep up with his writing and his take on everything NASCAR.

ERIC HALL - INDYCAR JOURNALIST Eric, based in Indianapolis, has been an IndyCar fan for his entire life and has been independantly covering the series since 2011. His blog, anotherindycarblog, has been at the core of his coverage for the past four years along with contributing to a number of online outlets as well. His love for motorsport and IndyCar history and unconventional way of writing his “from the fan’ perspectives has garnered a small, but strong following. Eric can be found at the track during most of the summer and looks to bring the readers behind the IndyCar catch fence in 2014 Eric can be contacted at eric@pitlanereporter.com

Travis can be contacted at travis@pitlanereporter.com

KATY McKONNACCHIE - GP2, GP3 & DTM Katy, currently a media student, has been a Motorsport fan for as long as she can remember. When she isn’t studying, she can be found watching anything from Formula 1 to World Series by Renault or over on her blog sharing her passion for Motorsport with other fans. Over the course of year Katy will be bringing you updates and features on GP2, GP3 and DTM. Katy can be contacted at katy@pitlanereporter.com

BRUNO KEISER - RALLY JOURNALIST Hello rally fans all over the world! Matchbox cars are my very first childhood memories. Since then I´m hooked on speed, cars and powerful engines. Later I became a car mechanic and in my last “normal” job, I worked for the Swiss air force as a jet engine engineer. My passion for rally (and motorsport in general) has grown together with the burning desire to capture speed and passion with my camera. In autumn 2010, I made a meaningful decision: All or nothing! I quit my job, sold everything I had (incl. my beloved Lotus Elise) and bought an old motorhome. I added everything needed to live in it permanently. Fully packed, with a budget for only one year and my beloved cat “Megi”, I left my family and friends on April 4, 2011, heading for my new life as a motorsport photographer in Finland.Since then I´m living my dream in my 14m² on wheels…

ADAM JOHNSON - BTCC JOURNALIST

Chief BTCC corrospondent for Pit Lane Reporter, and unashamed fan of the series since 1998. I cover touring car racing on these shores and around the world, with a penchant for noise, spectacle and a good underdog story. With the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series growing, it’s exciting times for stock car racing in Europe, and I cover the European stock car scene in detail. Away from motorsport I’m a Media Writing student at University of Greenwich, uni radio presenter, and I love rock music and the sport of roller derby. Adam can be contacted at adam@pitlanereporter.com

Bruno can be contacted at bruno@pitlanereporter.com

KIRIL VARBANOV - TECHNICAL JOURNALIST IT engineer (at Experian - yes, we sponsor Williams), Formula 1 TV commentator, BBC TopGear Bulgaria columnist, F1Technical.net site editor. Blogger and avid petrol head. Independent consultant and crossfit-er. Excyber cop and sound engineer.On the F1 side (which I assume it’s the most interesting part), I’m a co-host of the national F1 TV show, so I’m a media person. I’m fascinated by the technical details, but most of all in aerodynamics, which has been my passion for 14 years. I have a column in the Bulgaria Top Gear’s print issue (the largest auto magazine here), as well as online articles for AutoBild Bulgaria.

BRYNMOR PIERCE - HISTORIC RACING JOURNALIST From the age of three I was taken along to various race and rally meetings with my late dad, the passion (some may call it an obsession) stems from him!! I’ve been fortunate over the last nearly 20 years to compete at most levels of rallying within the UK as both a driver and co-driver , currently you’ll regularly find me on British National events occupying the co-driver’s seat. That said throughout my life I have always had a passion for Historic’s, indeed the passion extends to Historic racing too and upholding a family tradition we’ve not missed an Oulton Park Gold Cup since it’s inception. I look forward to bringing you news and views from across Historic Motorsport in the UK. Should anyone have anything they wish me to cover please do get in touch!! Brynmor can be contacted at brynmor@pitlanereporter.com

Kiril can be contacted at kiril@pitlanereporter.com

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ANNIKA GOCKE - DTM JOURNALIST Annika, based in Germany, has been an accreditated F1 and DTM journalist in the past. She has been writing for almost two years and gained experience at speedmagazin.de as well as motorsport-magazin.de. Annika is an educated specialist in media and information services. She is passionate for racing and will be concentrating on DTM

WE’VE GOT MAIL

Annika can be contacted at annika@pitlanereporter.com

get in touch - letters@pitlanereporter.com.

missed an issue? check out the back library

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Dear Pit Lane Reporter

Hi Andrew

Great magazine. I love most of the content but there is one thing that confused me about Issue 3, you covered virtual racing, but it seemed very specific to the Baltic countries. Virtual racing is a worldwide craze and I think you should talk about it in a bit more of a broad sense. If I am being honest, I don’t think the article did the sport justice. I know I sound like I am complaining, but I assure you I love everything else about the magazine. I would like to read more about virtual racing in future issues though.

Thank you for the compliments, I am sure my fellow writers will be pleased with the kind words. I have to admit that the Virtual Racing thing was something very new to us and we weren’t sure how it would be received by our readers. The response has been mixed. Not surprisingly, our readers in the Baltic area seemed to enjoy the article, but elsewhere there have been one or two groans. Whilst the writing was good, I certainly take on board the criticism that it was too focused on a particular region. We are actively exploring options at the moment to try and bring it back with a more global feel in the near future. Keep reading the magazine for updates.

Thank you Andrew Bristol (UK)

Regards Phil Woods

Dear Phil

I’ve written a feature this month solely down to all the publicity surrounding the incident at Monaco. It’s all kicked off again in Formula One. For the last I read so many articles where people were focusing few years it was Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel on the one negative moment in their many years arguing and falling out. Now its Nico Rosberg and as friends and close competitors; I felt the urge Lewis Hamilton. Is this something that happens to write an article about the positive aspects of when two team mates are fighting so close on the their relationship, the successes they have shared. track? What are your feelings about all this? Is it All this far outweighs the minor issues that seem good or bad for the sport? How will it affect the to have surfaced recently. I will answer your final team? Could this throw a bad light on the two driv- point though. No, I don’t think fans will dis-assoers? Will fans dis-associate themselves from them? ciate themselves from the drivers just because of a minor disagreement. Thanks for your email and I hope to see you at Spa, my favourite race of the Philippe year. Kortrijk (Belgium) Hello Philippe

Kind Regards

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Dear Editor

the nation celebrating his third win.

What is all this milk business at the Indy 500? I have never seen anything like that before and it doesn’t really look as pleasant as spraying champagne everywhere. The sight of the winning driver pouring milk on his head may just haunt me for the rest of my life! It would be interesting to find out why this was done though.

An Indiana dairy executive saw the historic image and promised that there would always be a bottle of milk in victory lane. Save for the post war years of 1947-1955, milk has been awarded in victory lane ever since. Today, drivers are offered a choice of Whole, 2 percent or skimmed; the dairy industry was unaware that Mr. Meyer had drank buttermilk in 1936 and offered plain milk 1937 to inaugurate the historic tradition.

Many thanks in anticipation Sarah Greene Kamloops (BC) Canada Hi Sarah

The bottles of milk are stored in guarded coolers during the race. And those bottles of milk have become as important a trophy for capturing victory as having the winning drivers face emblazoned on the Borg-Warner Trophy.

I may be the editor of the magazine but I’m not as qualified as Eric Hall, our IndyCar expert, to It is worth noting that Brazilian orange grove owner and operator Emerson Fittipaldi Initially drank answer your question. So over to you Eric...... orange juice after his victory in 1993. Sometime The tradition of awarding milk to the winner of the after the victory celebration, Mr. Fittipaldi took the Indianapolis 500 can trace its roots back to 1933 traditional drink of milk, but that did not save him when Louis Meyer won his second Indy 500. The from embarrassment. The crowd at Milwaukee, the young driver requested a bottle of buttermilk; a next race on the CART championship trail, made childhood favourite and the drivers preferred drink Mr. Fittipaldi aware of their disapproval of his during his racing days. Mr. Meyer captured victory actions in victory lane with loud “booing” during again in 1936 and again requesting buttermilk in driver introductions. victory lane. However, there was a photographer who captured the moment on film; that image Eric Hall became the front page photo in newspapers around Dear Sir/Madam I was wondering whether you are planning on having any coverage on how Robert Kubica is doing? I know that a lot of my friends are missing him being involved in Formula One. We would all love to find out a bit more about his rehabilitation and also how he is doing in his new rally role. David Cantwick Oxford (UK) Hi David

I was speaking with Bruno (our WRC journalist) a couple of days ago, and asked him if he would be willing to write an article on Robert. I mentioned that fans of F1 would be keen to know. Bruno has said that he will write a feature on Robert for publication in the July or August issue. He did also suggest that in the meantime, anyone keen on finding out how he is progressing could go to the official WRC website (www.wrc.com). I hope that answers your question. Pass on the news to your friends and keep your eyes open for the feature soon.

No need to call me sir and definitely not madam! Thank you Only kidding. I pulled this letter out and thought that this was ideal to print. It may appear for a Phil Woods moment that some of our readers are psychic when I look at the content and replies.

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Dear Stand-In Editor Max

Hi ET

How does it feel to be working in such a high pres- It’s really tough. Tony Gilham is a good boss. He does tend to get a little bossy at times, constantsure industry like motor sport? ly shouting out “Put some clothes on, I’m sick of Yours faithfully seeing that darned naked green body.” I do love the guys at Team Hard and Maximum Motorsport though. Enjoy the magazine. ET Plentiful wishes Max (the Alien)


lewis and nico a succesful friendship

BY PHIL WOODS

Battling at the very pinnacle of motor sport are two old friends, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Once again they are team mates and are 1st and 2nd in the Formula One Drivers Championship.

T

he press have been focusing on an apparent and stamped their intentions on a successful future in rift between the two recently, blaming the the sport. pressure of a championship. The two drivers have been friends and team mates before. In this article we will focus on the past, looking at how two of the most talented drivers in the world grew up together. This is the story of one of the most successful friendships in motor sport. Nico Rosberg, the son of former World Champion Keke Rosberg first became team mates with Lewis back in 2000. At that point Nico was 14 years of age and had been racing in karting since he was 10. Lewis Hamilton was 15 years old when the two started driving for the same team, MBM (or Mercedes-Benz McLaren), in the Formula A Championship. That season they proved to the world what an outstanding partnership they would be. Lewis Hamilton won the championship with Nico Rosberg finishing in 2nd place. They may have been competing for a championship, and quite possibly full of teen hormones, but the youngsters took the world of motor sport by storm

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In 2004 both Nico and Lewis competed in the Formula Three Euroseries. Nico Rosberg entered the competition in 2003 with Lewis joining a year later. The 2004 season saw Nico beat Lewis in the championship by just two points. They finished 4th and 5th respectively. Lewis was racing for Manor Motorsport and Nico raced for the family team, Team

Rosberg. Yet again, the two friends were near the top of the pile in their category. There was one event when they became really close, just not in the way they had perhaps wanted. In Macau, Rosberg crashed out and took Hamilton with him. A small blip in a pretty good season for the pair.

his partner be for the 2007 season? It wasn’t to be Nico Rosberg, instead his friend, Lewis Hamilton would become a rookie joining a big team. That season Nico continued to drive for Williams. In 2007, the records started to fall for Lewis Hamilton, at one point becoming the youngest ever leader of the world championship. Finally the two friends had reached the very In 2005 Nico Rosberg made the step up to the newly top level of motor sport, having followed each other formed GP2 series, a series set up as a stepping stone more or less step for step along the way. to Formula One. He raced for ART Grand Prix and took the title in his first season at this level. Mean- 2008 saw Lewis Hamilton win the world championwhile, Lewis Hamilton moved over to reigning Eu- ship with McLaren. Nico Rosberg also managed to roseries champions, ASM. He won 15 out of his 20 achieve his first podium in F1, finishing 3rd in the races (he actually won 16, but was disqualified at Spa), Australian Grand Prix. Later in the season, Nico manand took the title at a canter. Nico’s success in 2005 led aged to crash into the back of Lewis Hamilton in the to him getting a dream move to Williams in Formu- pit lane, this was in the Canadian GP and therefore he la One, the team his dad won a world championship was given a ten place grid penalty for the French GP. with 24 years earlier. Nico also managed a great 2nd place under the lights in Singapore, keeping Lewis Hamilton behind in 3rd 2006 saw Lewis make the same move as Nico had a place. This was as good as it got for the German, as he year earlier, as he took Rosberg’s seat at ART Grand finished the season in 13th position. Prix and then he proceeded to win the championship in impressive style once again. Would he be following In 2009, otherwise known as the ‘Brawn GP Year’, Nico his friend to the very highest level in motor sport? Rosberg had a solid season, scoring points in almost every race for Williams. Lewis Hamilton couldn’t repNico Rosberg’s first season in F1 meant that he licate his championship winning success of 2008 and would be racing in a Williams, not expected to finished in 5th, two places above Nico. fight at the front of the field. He started well with a fastest lap in his first race at Bahrain, he also man- In 2010, the domination of Sebastian Vettel and aged to get himself into the points, making himself the Red Bull’s began. Lewis Hamilton was racing in the youngest ever points scorer in F1. The rest of a McLaren that was slowly moving down the peckthe season was less successful, he scored 4 points. ing order. Nico Rosberg joined the newly formed That may seem a small amount, but he was only 3 Mercedes F1 team, following the purchase of champipoints behind the more experienced Mark Webber. ons Brawn GP. He would race alongside the returning superstar Michael Schumacher. Nico managed once again to show his skill as a top driver by finishing the championship ahead of his more experienced team mate. Lewis Hamilton managed to finish the season 4th ahead of his team mate and fellow Brit Jenson Button.

Due to Rosberg’s obvious speed and flashes of brilliance in 2006, it was rumoured that bigger teams were interested, one of which was apparently McLaren. At that time McLaren had Fernando Alonso waiting as the (apparent) number one driver, who would www.pitlanereporter.com 13


2012 bought Nico Rosberg his maiden Formula One win. He gained pole position in China and turned that into a truly dominant win, finishing 20 seconds ahead of second place Jenson Button. Lewis Hamilton finished 3rd in that race, joining his friend on the podium. Anyone watching that podium celebration will tell you that it was clear to see the pleasure Lewis got from seeing his friend on the top step.

In 2013 Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg once again joined up as team mates. Lewis left McLaren, the team he had been with since he was very young in one form or another. He joined up with his friend at a team that he truly believed would once again bring him success. They certainly had a fast car for qualifying in 2013, but couldn’t match the Red Bull’s race pace. Nico Rosberg finished the season in 6th place with an impressive 171 points. Lewis Hamilton managed 4th place with 189 points. Just 18 points separating the two after a long season. 2014 looked good for Mercedes and the pairing of Hamilton and Rosberg. The new regulations meant that Mercedes had a head start by being an engine supplier and a manufacturer. It was clear they had done the best job, and so far have won every single grand prix (correct prior to Canada). Lewis has managed 4 wins and Nico has managed 2. Nico has won in Australia and Monaco (Monaco for the second year in succession). Lewis has won in Malaysia, Bahrain, China and Spain. Nico Rosberg leads the drivers’ championship by just 4 points from his friend Lewis Hamilton (again, correct prior to Canada). Mercedes, deservedly lead the championship by a huge margin of 141 points. It is inevitable that Mercedes will win the championship; it is also likely that one of these two long term friends will win the drivers title. Which one? We will have to wait and see.

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monaco GP REview

Too many members of the press are focusing on the negative side of one or two incidents during this high pressure season for them both. Having read this, I hope you can see that after 14 years of racing together, a few small disagreements are unlikely to cause a massive rift in what is one of the most successful pairings motor sport has ever seen. You are watching Formula One history in the making, focus on the positive’s and watch a great battle between pals.

BY PHIL WOODS

Monaco, Mercedes, Mates Meltdown and Marussia Qualifying

doing, and Rosberg kept his pole position. Lewis was visibly fuming, but refused to say too much to the media. Despite this, it was obvious what Lewis he most important qualifying session of thought. Personally, it is hard to tell, the only thing the year, became the most controversial that concerns me is Rosberg’s use of the steering wheel as Nico Rosberg grabbed pole in front of in the lead up to the lock up, and how different that Lewis Hamilton in the most unusual of was to normal. Was there a fault or did he do it on circumstances. purpose? That is probably a question only Mercedes can answer with any truth. I personally have to accept Qualifying went pretty much as predicted until a the FIA’s findings. frantic final few minutes in qualifying session 3. Nico Rosberg was just 0.059 seconds ahead of his team Behind the two Mercedes (I’m saying that phrase a lot mate Lewis Hamilton, with Lewis just starting his this season), were the ever-improving Red Bull cars, final hot lap. Then as Rosberg approached Mirabeau Daniel Ricciardo, yet again out-gunning his more he seemed to battle with his steering before locking experienced team mate, Sebastian Vettel. up on the entry to the corner and driving straight into the run off area. Yellow flags were immediately waved, Then in 5th and 6th were the two Ferrari’s. I probably and stayed out as Rosberg began to try and reverse don’t need to tell you who was 5th, but in case of any back to the race track. Lewis Hamilton was a tenth up doubt, it was Alonso. Raikkonen was 1.4 seconds off on Rosberg in the first sector before he saw the yellow the pole position time in 6th position. flags, he then had to abort his lap and accept second place on the grid. The rest of the top ten was made up of the two Toro Rosso’s in 7th and 9th, Jean-Eric Vergne taking the Following the qualifying session, the stewards called better position of the two. Kevin Magnussen put his Nico Rosberg in to see them, there was a definite McLaren in 8th and Sergio Perez closed out the top 10 difference of opinion between commentators and in the Force India. journalists, some thinking it was on purpose, others believing it was an accident. The FIA studied the data The Mercedes incident wasn’t all that the stewards and said they could find no evidence of any wrong

T

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had to look at in a busy session. Perez and Gutierrez were involved in one issue, another was Maldonado being impeded by Kvyat (yes, you read that right, Maldonado was the victim this time).

The Race

More than any other circuit on the Formula One calendar, Monaco is the one where pole position matters most. This was proven as Nico Rosberg The Caterham of Marcus Ericsson ran into the managed to hold off Lewis Hamilton to take his Williams of Felipe Massa at Mirabeau. Ericsson second consecutive win in the principality. got himself into trouble for a clumsy move, a move that meant Massa could not take part in Q2 due to a As is the nature of the track, Lewis Hamilton was damaged car. only given a couple of opportunities to pass his team The stewards couldn’t give a grid drop to Ericsson, as mate. The first went by in a blink of the eye, as Rosberg he was at the back anyway, so they made him start made the better start and came out of the first corner from the pit lane. unscathed. The second opportunity came on lap 25. Adrian Sutil hit the barrier at the chicane and came Row 9 of the grid was made up of the two Sauber’s, to a standstill. The safety car came out and most cars having another poor qualifying session and went into the pits. Hamilton had to wait until Rosberg row 10 had a pair of Marussia’s in front of the had finished his stop before going in. We heard on only Caterham of Kamui Kobayashi at the back. the radio shortly after that Hamilton had wanted to

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go into the pits a lap earlier, if he had, then he would move, again proving why he is one of the best drivers out there right now. have taken the lead in the race, for sure. Following the second safety car period, Kimi Raikkonen was running behind the Caterham of Kamui Kobayashi in 13th. Kimi passed the Caterham on the run towards Rascasse. Jules Bianchi, in the Marussia took the opportunity to pass Kobayashi too, almost barging the Caterham out of the way, the Just a few laps into the race, Sebastian Vettel lost two cars touching twice. Having made that overtake, turbo boost, meaning he dropped down the order at Bianchi managed to put in a few good laps to ensure an alarming rate. He then had to retire from the race, that he emerged in front of Jean-Eric Vergne when continuing his rotten luck this season. It’s hard to feel the Toro Rosso had to pull in for his drive-through sorry for someone who has dominated for the last four penalty. seasons, but I think I do in some way as he is having the kind of luck his old team mate, Mark Webber had Bad news was to follow for the flying Frenchman, so much of. On his team radio he started to sound off he was told that he would have a five second penalty to the team, but managed to bite his tongue, giving us added to his time. Earlier in the race he was given a another piece of radio gold, “I guess you’re doing your five second stop-go penalty and Marussia called him best” came the shout, among all his frustration. in under the safety car. Rules state that the penalty cannot be taken under a safety car. He knew that the Ricciardo benefited from his team mates demise, then time would be added on at the end of the race. he gained third place back following an altercation between Max Chilton and Kimi Rakkonen. Chilton Bianchi then had some luck on his side, Vergne ran into the Ferrari during a second safety car period, suffered an exhaust failure, Magnussen had a loss of meaning Kimi had to pit and his race was effectively power and Bottas had a power unit failure. All this promoted Bianchi up to an unchartered 8th position ruined for Marussia. Could they be on for their first ever Nico Hulkenburg pulled off the move of the day as points? Jules had to keep calm for a few more laps he planted his Force India down the inside of the yet. He did that and managed to pick up 8th, even McLaren of Kevin Magnussen at Portier, not the most after the added 5 seconds he would finish a net 9th common overtaking spot. It was a brave and audacious and gain a well-deserved and long awaited 2 points A casualty of a bad start was Red Bull’s, Daniel Ricciardo, who found himself dropping down from third to fifth behind his team mate Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen who had a fantastic get away off the line in his Ferrari.

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for Marussia. Everyone at Pit Lane Reporter would like to congratulate the team on their success. Towards the end of the race, Hamilton started to fall back from Rosberg and then came a very unusual radio call, “I can only see out of one eye.” Apparently he had something in his eye and this led to a massive loss in time. Ricciardo started to close down Hamilton, but fortunately for Lewis it cleared up and he managed to stick it out until the end. Rosberg went on to take the victory, with Hamilton second. Another 1-2 for Mercedes as they continue to dominate. Nico Rosberg takes over at the top of

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the drivers’ championship by a few points and the battle now heads to Canada, a circuit that will suit...... yes you’ve guessed it, Mercedes. Expect a massive gap at a circuit that promotes top speeds.

monaco GRAND PRIX results

Team Performance of the Day

Position

Marussia

Driver of the Day

Jules Bianchi (for keeping calm in unchartered waters)

Name

Team

Nationality

Points

Laps

1

Nico Rosberg

25

2

Lewis Hamilton

18

3

Daniel Ricciardo

15

4

Fernando Alonso

12

5

Nico Hulkenberg

10

6

Jenson Button

8

7

Felipe Massa

6

8

Romain Grosjean

4

9

Jules Bianchi

2

10

Kevin Magnussen

1

11

Marcus Ericsson

0

12

Kimi Raikkonen

0

13

Kamui Kobayashi

0

14

Max Chilton

0

15

Esteban Gutierrez

0

ret’d

59

16

Valtteri Bottas

0

ret’d

55

17

Jean-Eric Vergne

0

ret’d

50

18

Adrian Sutil

0

ret’d

23

19

Daniil Kvyat

0

ret’d

10

20

Sebastian Vettel

0

ret’d

5

21

Sergio Perez

0

ret’d

0

22

Pastor Maldonado

0

ret’d

0

www.pitlanereporter.com 19


BRITISH GRAND PRIX pREVIEW

I

t’s nearly here, one of the most exciting events on the sporting calendar anywhere in the world. The British Grand Prix at Silverstone takes place from 4th July to 6th July, an event that rarely disappoints.

Having been lucky enough to spend time with Caterham during the 2012 British Grand Prix, I have first-hand experience of what this event means to people. It brings fans from far and wide, filling the stands and any spare ground for all three days. Fans are at the race track from

T

he fastest lap set during a grand prix was set by Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari, completing the lap in 1:30.874. The lap record is held by Sebastian Vettel, who qualified with a 1:29.615. Both of these times were done in the 2010 season.

 

The DRS zones for this year’s race will be on the Pit Straight and Hangar Straight. There is a good 420 metres run up to the first corner, which should make for a decent battle into turn one. Silverstone is one of the faster tracks on the F1 Calendar and the uncertainty with the weather means it never fails to serve up a great race. The times for practice, qualifying and the race itself are as follows:

www.pitlanereporter.com 20

BY PHIL WOODS

early on Friday morning, taking in the atmosphere and enjoying practice sessions as if it were the race itself. This year, Lewis Hamilton is in a car that is far and away, the best on the grid, and the British fans will be in their element hoping for a home victory. Uniquely, this year, you may well be able to hear the noise of the fans over the sound of the engines. Imagining the atmosphere if a British driver is out front leaves me with goose bumps already. The race this year will continue to follow the new Arena Circuit developed in time for the 2010 season. Look at all the famous corners and straights in the diagram below.

Friday 4th July 2014 Free Practice One – 10:00 – 11:30 (BST) Free Practice Two – 14:00 – 15:30 (BST) Saturday 5th July 2014

Free Practice Three – 10:00 – 11:00 (BST) Qualifying – 13:00 (BST)

Sunday 6th July 2014 The Race – 13:00 (BST) The weekend has even more to offer motor sports fans, as it has a full support package, with the GP2 and GP3 teams racing and there is even a run out for the Porsche Supercup. www.pitlanereporter.com 21


canadian GRAND PRIX REVIEW

BY PHIL WOODS

With 3 minutes to go in the session, Chilton was in 16th and was close to getting his Marussia through. That would have been another reason to celebrate after their points finish in Monaco. Perez had a spin but managed to keep his car out of the wall and, with one minute to go, Maldonando pulled off the track with a mechanical issue in his Lotus, ending his qualifying. Then with just 16 seconds to go, the Caterham of Ericsson went for an excursion into the close Canadian walls. This bought out a pointless red flag; the session didn’t restart for obvious reasons. The only driver who may have felt hard done by was Chilton in the Marussia, who was on an improved lap. If he had managed to finish it, he may have got through to Q2. I guess we will never know.

to make it through. Mercedes saved the best until last, as they went 1st and 2nd in this session, Hamilton slightly in front. It was a surprise to see both Force India’s going out, Hulkenberg in 11th and Perez in grid position 13.

qualifying 3 Q3 was going to be two separate battles; one between the two Mercedes drivers and the other between everyone else.

The session finished with Hamilton on top. No one even got close and he wasn’t even on the fastest tyre when he set that lap either.

qualifying 2

qualifying

Qualifying

A

qualifying 1

Qualifying 1.

beautiful sunny day in Montreal meant that Today’s Q1 would start with only 21 cars. The Sauber this year’s qualifying session would be very of Gutierrez didn’t have enough time to recover from different to last year. the spin in free practice 3. So before anyone went on track, we knew who would start in 22nd on the grid In last year’s rain-hit qualifying, a Williams driven by (baring any penalties of course). Bottas found itself in 3rd on the grid, a position that was a shock for everyone in 2013. This included Wil- The first fast time set in this session was an impressive 1:16.6 by Nico Rosberg in the silver arrow. He was liams themselves, who were having a torrid season. followed by the impressive looking Williams of Felipe Personally, I love the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. I like Massa, who was 0.272 seconds behind in 2nd. Lewis the high speed aspect of sector 3, the tight hairpins Hamilton’s first lap ended with an off at the 1st corner, round this street circuit. It’s a track full of contrasts, meaning he would have to abandon that lap and try the cars hitting speeds well in excess of 200 MPH at on his second. He did, and managed to beat Rosberg’s some points, then at others, slowing down to 35 MPH. time by 3/100th’s of a second. Once again showing It also gave us one of the best races in history back in how close these two guys are. 2011, a race won by Jenson Button after twice coming from very last place. We were also greeted by the I was predicting a cut-off point of 1:17.3 for getting news, just prior to qualifying, that Canada had been into Q2, so when Hamilton managed a 1:15.7 it cerawarded a new 10 year deal to host F1 at this circuit. tainly turned my head, and probably a lot of other peoples too.

www.pitlanereporter.com 22

Q2 was kicked off by Nico Hulkenberg who put in a 1:16.623. This would have been good enough in Q1, but the feeling was that you needed a faster time to get through into the top 10 shoot-out. Felipe Massa was the next one to put in a time, managing a 1:15.773 which was followed up by Bottas who also got into the 1:15’s. Early on in this session, Williams were 1 and 2. This looked good for their qualifying session. After having so much wet qualifying this year, Williams were finally able to show their true pace.

The line-up included: 2 Mercedes, 2 Red Bulls, 2 Williams, 2 Ferrari’s a McLaren and a Toro Rosso battling it out for pole. The first hot laps gave Rosberg a provisional pole after putting in a fantastic time of 1:14.946. Lewis Hamilton came in just behind by a fraction on a 1:15.014. All the cars went out for a second flying lap. Kimi Raikonnen chose to go out for his lap earlier and got himself caught up in the traffic of cars on an out lap. Bizarre decision by either Ferrari or Kimi there. He will start the race in 10th.

Jenson Button, hero of 2011, could do no better than 9th today although he did beat his team mate Magnussen who will start in 12th. Vergne impressed getting his Toro Rosso up to 8th on the grid, and then Alonso came in 7th (not 5th for a change). Ricciardo was next in 6th, getting out-gunned by Vettel on the other side of the garage, as Sebastian pulled of a great Unusually both Mercedes were slower than the lap to grab 3rd on the grid. The two Williams came in Williams. Some of my more technical friends believed 4th and 5th, with Bottas being the best qualifier of the that Mercedes may have been playing a tyre strategy at pair on this occasion. this early stage. The team knew that they would have to start on the tyres they had used for their fastest lap The final seconds came down to which Mercedes in. With just 1 minute to go, Sebastian Vettel was in would take pole position. Rosberg was the first to 13th position and in need of a good lap. Fortunately cross the line with a 1:14.8. Hamilton would cross for Red Bull, he managed to deliver one just in time the line last of all, but unfortunately for him, he had www.pitlanereporter.com 23


a couple of scruffy moments which meant he missed into the next race in Austria. out on pole by 7/100th’s of a second. Extremely close. It took 8 laps to restart the race. As they got under way Race day is likely to produce a closer racing between again, Hamilton failed to get past Vettel and Rosberg the two silver arrows than we had in Monaco. This protected his lead. Sergio Perez pulled off a great move circuit has many more overtaking opportunities; it on Jenson Button further down the field. also has parts of the circuit (like Monaco) where a simple mistake can change everything. I, for one am A lap later and we had the first of a number of engine looking forward to what promises to be a great race. problems, Ericsson had to retire his Caterham as it was clearly poorly. This wouldn’t be the end of the retirements, as you will see.

the race

By lap 10, Hamilton had managed to pass the Red Bull Yet again, Canada serves up a treat. In 2011, we of Vettel in the DRS zone on the long back straight. It witnessed one of the greatest Formula One races of was inevitable that this would happen and a case of all time, and then on Sunday 8th June we had another when not if. classic. The first of the leading pack pitted on lap 14 with People have been talking about this race as a forgone Ricciardo coming in for Red Bull. It was obvious that conclusion, another easy 1-2 for Mercedes, but it he was going to try the undercut on Vettel. He was also didn’t turn out that way, even if the first stint in the very frustrated as he couldn’t get past the Williams of race it kind of felt like it might. Bottas on pure pace. A lap later, Williams reacted and pulled in Bottas to cover the Ricciardo move. At the start, Lewis Hamilton got off the line better than Nico Rosberg, but his attempt at a pass was halted as The undercut didn’t work as Vettel pitted a lap later. Rosberg virtually barged his team mate off the track at Massa pitted on lap 18 and didn’t come out in clean turn 2, allowing Sebastian Vettel to jump up into 2nd air. This meant that he struggled to make up places. place. Lap 19 - it was the leaders turn to pit. Nico Rosberg comes in first and Hamilton stepped on the gas to try and produce a lap that could help his chances of taking the lead. It didn’t happen, so the move now needed to be done on track. For the next five laps Hamilton started to eat into Rosberg’s lead and it looked as if we may be in for some action between the two championship rivals. On Lap 26, under pressure from Hamilton, Rosberg took to the escape route on the final corner, this allowed him to keep the lead and extend it. He ended that lap with a fastest lap of the race. This bought about one of the most controversial points of the race. Many The excitement began on Lap 1. For the second race in pundits suggested that Rosberg should be punished, succession we had a safety car at this very early point but the stewards decided that a final warning was of the race. Following the euphoria in Monaco a week more appropriate. By the spirit of the rules and the ago, Marussia had a very different race this time, both sport, Rosberg did gain and therefore perhaps should cars not able to complete one lap. Max Chilton lost have been penalised. We did see a good pass on this control of his rear end and found himself connecting lap as Massa overtook his old team mate Alonso. I can with his team mate, Jules Bianchi. This would be imagine that there would have been a pretty large grin the first time in 26 races that Max Chilton would under that helmet. I suspect Rob Smedley may have not complete a race, a fantastic record gone in such liked that move too. dramatic fashion. The stewards decided that it was Chilton’s fault and that he would take a grid penalty Vettel was now being caught by Bottas, the Williams www.pitlanereporter.com 24

was a heck of a lot faster on the straights and it would Ricciardo managed to take second place from Perez only be a matter of time before a pass would be made. with a fantastic move - A really great advert for close Williams were sniffing a podium here. racing in Formula One. Four cars were battling it out for that podium. It’s been a while since Formula One On lap 38, Ricciardo overtook his team mate in the pit had been so close. stops. The undercut hadn’t worked earlier in the race, this time Ricciardo’s side of the garage got it right and On lap 68, Rosberg couldn’t hold off Ricciardo any he moved ahead. longer; he had no answer for the Red Bull as he relinquished the lead. Then, on lap 39, it was clear that both the Mercedes had slowed down, they were lapping considerably slower With just one lap to go, Perez had an issue on the pit than anyone else. Were they saving fuel or did they straight and started to come across the front of Massa, have a problem? A lap later, we could see Hamilton all trying to correct his car. Then Massa touched the back over the rear of Rosberg, was this problem affecting the of the Force India and a horrendous crash ensued German more? It was then clear from radio messages leading to both cars being well and truly out of the that they did indeed have a problem and a serious one race. It’s just great news that both drivers were ok. at that. It turns out after the race that they had lost all power from the Hybrid system, giving them a net loss The safety car came out to finish the race after this of 160bhp (around two family hatchbacks!). incident, ensuring that Red Bull won their first race of the season and the dominance of Mercedes took On lap 44, Williams told Massa to stay out and move a back seat for the weekend. Ricciardo won his first to a one-stop strategy. Thinking that they could take grand prix, Rosberg came in 2nd, nursing his car over advantage of the problems at Mercedes, Massa and the finish line. Vettel came in third, rounding off a Williams were now sensing a win was on the cards. great day for the Milton Keynes team. Jenson Button finished in 4th place, quietly creeping up the order in It was then the turn of the Mercedes cars to pit during the final stint. lap 45, their second pit stop of the race. As they pit, Massa goes ahead. A lap later and Hamilton pits but A great race, one that will live in the memory of fans comes out ahead of Rosberg, the lead didn’t last long for quite a while. What will happen next? We will have though as Hamilton’s car was billowing with smoke to wait and see when the cars line up for the return of from the rear brakes. He had brake failure and needed the Austrian GP. to retire the car. This was related to the issues the team were having with both cars. How long could Rosberg last? Nico Rosberg (for managing 2nd place with a very By lap 55, Rosberg was still ahead, seeming to manage sick car) his issues well, as Perez had stopped catching him. Perez was instead being caught by the Red Bull’s.

Driver of the Day

Team of the Day

Massa had pitted a second time, mainly because Hamilton retired and he saw a chance of making up places with a brand new set of tyres. He came out in Red Bull (back to winning ways again and at their 7th, but by Lap 57 he passed Bottas who went wide worst circuit) at the chicane and also took Hulkenberg in a battle down the straight. He was now 7 seconds behind the lead and firing on all cylinders. A few laps later and Massa had closed the gap to less than a second and was behind that leading pack. If he could pass those cars he would have a chance of a win. Unfortunately on lap 64, Massa was about to make a move on Vettel but had to back out to avoid a crash.

www.pitlanereporter.com 25


canadian GRAND PRIX results

Position

www.pitlanereporter.com 26

Name

Team

Nationality

Points

1

Daniel Ricciardo

2

Nico Rosberg

18

3

Sebastian Vettel

15

4

Jenson Button

12

5

Nico Hulkenberg

10

6

Fernando Alonso

8

7

Valtteri Bottas

6

8

Jean-Eric Vergne

4

9

Kevin Magnussen

2

10

Kimi Raikkonen

1

11

Sergio Perez

0

ret’d

69

12

Felipe Massa

0

ret’d

69

13

Adrian Sutil

0

Lapped

14

Estaban Gutierrez

0

ret’d

64

15

Romain Grosjean

0

ret’d

59

16

Daniil Kvyat

0

ret’d

47

17

Lewis Hamilton

0

ret’d

46

18

Kamui Kobayashi

0

ret’d

23

19

Pastor Maldonado

0

ret’d

21

20

Marcus Ericsson

0

ret’d

7

21

Max Chilton

0

ret’d

0

22

Jules Bianchi

0

ret’d

0

www.pitlanereporter.com 27

25

Laps


unsung heroes of motorsport part 2

BY PHIL WOODS

formula one commentator david croft

This month our look at unsung heroes of motor sport features David Croft. David (or ‘Crofty’) is the voice of Formula One for the Sky Sports F1 channel.

C

rofty, is the lead commentator for race weekends, working alongside the experienced Martin Brundle. It’s the work that both David and Martin do, that helps the everyday person enjoy Formula One, and without them, the sport would not be enjoyed as much as it is. Like all motor sport, F1 goes far deeper than a driver and a car. Understanding what is happening on track, keeping up to date with the upgrades and technical differences in the cars is just part of the reason that we need good quality commentators.

celebrating just 4 days after this magazine is released). He has been working as a commentator since the mid-1990’s, initially working for BBC Three Counties Radio, then moving to 5Live. His early career took in football, athletics and other sports, before his move to Formula One in 2006. He took over from Maurice Hamilton as BBC 5Live’s voice of the sport. David’s voice is now instantly recognisable to most sports fans; his knowledge of the sport second to none. He joins Bob A Baker as a true unsung hero of motor sport. I only hope that we have shown his true worth in this feature and interview.

We managed to catch up with David on his travels to Montreal for the Canadian GP. In this interview we get an insight into his life, his affection for the sport and we see his lighter side too, as he doesn’t dodge some The main reason that we have chosen David as an of the more potentially embarrassing questions. It was unsung hero of motor sport is the essential role he certainly a pleasure speaking with Crofty, I hope that plays in F1, He is not the main focus of the media, he people enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed asking is not the one jumping up and down on the podium, the questions. he rarely gets coverage in the mainstream media, yet without him, how much would you understand about Here is David Croft; Formula One. Phil Woods - In you’re early career you covered David is 43 years old, born in June 1970 (in fact, other sports, like football and athletics. In 2006 you we should wish him a happy birthday, as he will be started commentating on Formula One (for BBC 5 Live Radio), how much more planning and research www.pitlanereporter.com 28

PW - What is it like to be away for around 10 months of the year? Travelling the world but being so far from your family. It must take some huge commitment David Croft - I’m not sure how much more planning from both you and your family. I do for Formula 1 as opposed to other sports that I’ve covered. To me it’s always a continuous process, and you want to make sure you’re as fully prepared as you can be, whatever sport you’re covering. What I would say about F1 though is that the regulations are constantly evolving so you can never rest on your laurels and think you know everything. So you’re always kept on your toes and that’s no bad thing do you have to do to cover something as complex as Formula One?

Phil Woods - For you, when does one grand prix finish and the next one begin? Let’s take the Monaco GP to the Canadian GP this year as an example. Do you get any rest at all? (I’m thinking about the race DC - It has its advantages. I love travelling and reviews and post-race work for the F1 show and other seeing different places so it’s wonderful to be able to such things) combine that with a career that I quite frankly have to pinch myself to believe I’m doing sometimes. But the downside as you can imagine is when you’re away from your family for long periods. Sadly though, it’s part of the job but it’s easier to cope with now that we have FaceTime and Skype. I’ve got four children, two of which are grown up and two are under the age of 7, but it’s lovely to be able to talk to them and see what’s going on back at home, and it’s lovely for them to see what their Daddy is up to. What I would say though is that without the support of my family and in particular, my wife, there’s no way I could do the job I do. So they deserve a massive thanks for letting me get David Croft - Well that’s a bad example as I managed on with what I have to do, knowing that eventually we to spend a few days in the South of France with my will have plenty of time to spend with each other once wife after the Monaco Grand Prix. Trust me, the work the season is over. finished as soon as we went off air. But normally there’s no real break for me between races as I always PW - Have you always been a fan of Formula One? spend at least a couple of hours a day reading through What is your earliest memory of the sport? the latest news, or catching up on any copies of F1 Racing or Autosport that I haven’t managed to finish. DC - I have and I used to love watching Murray Walker Depending on when I fly out to a race though, and as a boy. I remember Piquet and Salazar squaring up what my schedule is, I ramp up the research at the for one of the most pointless fights ever seen in sport start of race week and spend a couple of days in my after Piquet had gone for an opportunist gap into the office at home prepping for the next Grand Prix. For chicane at Hockenheim. I say pointless as they both Canada I flew out on the Tuesday as I’m filming a still had their crash helmets on, talk about handbags couple of items on Wednesday in Montreal, so my at ten paces! I was 12 at the time, certainly woke me main research was done on the Friday and Monday up from my horizontal position on the sofa. I also before I flew out. You do get rest and my schedule, remember John Watson winning the British Grand as hectic as it appears, is nowhere near as busy as the Prix the year before that and cheering him on to a team’s mechanics and engineers who seem to have terrific win. I was a bit of a fan of Wattie’s so it was been working around the clock since the end of last really lovely that I managed to get him to come and season. They’re the real unsung heroes of the sport. join me in the commentary box in Singapore a few years ago. We had a top weekend I can tell you, and a www.pitlanereporter.com 29


few good nights out too!! PW - What has been the most difficult race for you to commentate on, and why? DC - Obviously my first race, Bahrain 2006, was a bit of a shock to the system, I was on my knees at one point, literally, but never stopped smiling. Was that the most difficult though? Probably not, but I’m not sure what the most difficult race has been. No one race is ever the same and they can all be pretty tough in their own way, but that’s why you prepare and do your research. Certainly Canada in 2011 was a tough one, but mainly because it chucked it down for four hours and at one stage we weren’t sure if we’d ever get going again. At least Karun Chandock and I had a little break for a news bulletin half way through; we both needed a wee desperately. PW - You’ve commentated on so many overtaking moves in your F1 career. If you had to pick one overtake, what would be, in your opinion, the most memorable? DC - Blimey, that’s another tough one. I remember the first corner in Melbourne in 2007 when a young rookie by the name of Lewis Hamilton swept past his team mate at the start. Now that was a move, a statement of intent and to go past Fernando Alonso at the start of your very first Grand Prix, what a way to make your mark. That was a move that neither me, Maurice Hamilton (who was alongside me in the commentary box), or anybody that witnessed it, will ever forget.

PW - You and Martin Brundle seem to have good chemistry between you. What do you believe it is that makes this partnership work so well? DC - Well thank you for saying that. I’d known Martin for several years of course by the time we started working together, but I didn’t know him that well and he didn’t know me that well either. But right from the start we both enjoyed each other’s company, and still do. It helps that Sky have also allowed us to be ourselves and never demanded we commentate a particular way or tell us what we have to say. That freedom allows us to be ourselves, basically two guys who love F1 talking about F1, which forms the basis of what you hear. We never take ourselves too seriously too and if you ever popped into the commentary box just before we get going you wouldn’t believe that we were about to launch into a live broadcast.

PW - A bit of a light hearted question for you now. PW - How important do you think it is to have at least What is the funniest mistake you’ve ever made whilst two people in the commentary box covering the race? commentating on F1 and, just so you are not the only one embarrassed here, what about the funniest DC - Vital, and it’s not just two people in the mistake a co-commentator has made whilst working commentary box. Both Martin and I are indebted with you? to the help we get from Mark Hughes at every race. He’s the third man in the team and will talk to both DC - Not embarrassed at all, it still makes me grin. It Martin and I during the race making sure we’re across was Monaco a couple of years ago. I was in full flow, everything and that nothing gets missed. He’s also got enjoying the race and I started to get very excited as a brilliantly childish sense of humour as well which Button and Perez (I think it was) were slugging it out makes three of us. We’re all big kids at times! But for on track. Suddenly Martin starts pointing at the screen the commentary that you hear, of course you need but the life of me I couldn’t work out why or what he two people. It could get very dull with just one person was trying to tell me until a few moments later I saw the talking and both Martin and I are aware that not every ‘Replay” graphic at the top of the screen and realised race is the most exciting you’ve ever seen, so if the that I was getting very excited and commentating on action has gone into a bit of a lull, we’ll find a way to something that happened a few minutes later and that keep the viewer entertained. we’d already seen!! By this time Martin is grinning from ear to ear and to be fair so was I. Totally didn’t www.pitlanereporter.com 30

realise it was a replay, only thing you can do is laugh at yourself for being such a complete doofus. And what was lovely was that I got a stack of tweets from people who said they fell about laughing and thought it was brilliant that a commentator could get so wrapped up in the moment that he didn’t realise. Embarrassing? Well yes, but it still makes me laugh and it’s all part of live TV.

explain this in the article for those not Twitter Literate) #AskCrofty. What type of questions are you looking for? How many questions do you get on a race day?

DC - I’ve no idea how many questions we get in total as, sadly, there are far too many for me ever to answer them all. So one of Sky’s interactive producers back in the UK will filter what they think are the best questions and I then answer as many of them as I can. PW - It’s so important that commentators are For me I’m not after a specific type of question, just knowledgeable about the latest regulations, latest news interesting tweets and questions that add to the debate and rumours within the sport. How do you keep up at the time or start a new debate. with everything? Do you have a team of researchers or do you have to do all this yourself? PW - We are previewing the British Grand Prix in this issue. Tell us what you like best about the British DC - I try to keep abreast of everything, but as you Grand Prix? suggest yourself, there’s an awful lot to keep abreast of. So luckily we do have a couple of guys that provide DC - What is there not to like about the British Grand us with some pre-race stats which I use as the basis of Prix? Even when it’s raining, Silverstone is still one my own research. They also have a list of tables and of the great tracks in the world; seriously quick too. recent form that you might see stuck on the wall of the Who wouldn’t want to stand on the outside of Copse, commentary box. or Maggots/Beckets and marvel at what a Formula 1 car can do at high speed. I went to the driver test there last year with my son Daniel who was 5 at the PW - When you get spare time, what do you like to time and spent a day sitting and watching the cars, the do with it? perfect way for a father and son to spend a few hours, we loved it. DC - Sleep! I’m quite boring really. Seriously, I try to spend time with my family and friends and catch PW - If you could drive any car around any track, up on all the things I miss when I’m away. Date night what would your choices be and why? with Mrs C is a must when I get back from a race. To try and keep fit I go running, and of course if West DC - A Lotus E20 at Paul Ricard, again! I had the Ham are playing and I’m not at a race track then you’ll pleasure of driving it a few days ago and I’m still find me and my sons in the stands cheering them on. buzzing at the experience. What I’d like to do now though is to go back and have another go. You’ll PW - If you could pick out one race weekend to advise be able to see how I got on soon when we show the a fan to put on their bucket list, which one would it be footage, what a truly brilliant day and thanks to Lotus and why? and their IRace programme for allowing me to fulfil a dream of mine and drive an F1 car. DC - That’s such a difficult one to answer as every race offers a different experience. But for me, you shouldn’t PW - I’d love to know, how do you manage to find ever miss the unique atmosphere of Silverstone or stats so quickly during the commentary Do you have Monza, and you should make the trip to Spa as it’s certain stats about drivers and teams that you hope still an awesome track. But for a weekend experience, will fit in or do you have everything at your fingertips Singapore is magnificent and like Abu Dhabi offers and have to be very quick at finding things? Or is it a much more than just the racing for the fans. If you’re searchable database? after an F1 party with music and racing then either of these two would suit you down to the ground. For the DC - I have my wall paper in the commentary box, I bucket list though, you’ve got to go to Monaco really, think it’s about 8 sheets of A4 with various stats and I never stop smiling from start to finish at what is for form tables on it but I rely mainly on a double sided us, one of the busiest weekends of the season. sheet of A4 which has notes on every team and driver, and my track map with corner speeds and general info PW - You run a twitter hashtag (don’t worry, I’ll about the circuit. I have to write my notes out myself www.pitlanereporter.com 31


as it helps me remember the information more easily. The trick is not to write too much, as you’ll never remember it, and more importantly you won’t find the info quick enough if you’re searching for a stat that you know you’ve written down somewhere. PW - Where are the best and worst commentary boxes you have had to work in?

you’d like to say to the readers of this magazine about life as a commentator? DC - All I’d say is that it’s an absolute pleasure to be able to do the job I do. I never imagined when I started in journalism that I’d be this lucky and that I’d end up commentating on a sport I love for a leading sports broadcaster like Sky.

indy 500 REVIEW

BY eric hall

DC - China’s the best, great view and lots of space to work in. I’m sad to say that Silverstone isn’t brilliant as you’re above the garages on the main straight and you can’t see a huge amount of the pit lane or the track. As for the worst commentary box, our first year in India will take some beating - a building in the middle of the paddock with no windows, now that was an interesting weekend.

I’m currently reading a super book by Jeff Burger called ‘Springsteen on Springsteen’. It’s a collection of interviews that Bruce has given from the start of his career to the present day and perfect reading for an old Springsteen nut like myself. But there’s a quote that really struck a chord with me. Bruce was asked what advice he’d give to a young Bruce Springsteen knowing what he’s knows now. And he said “I’d tell him to approach his job like, on one hand, it’s the most PW - How do you feel knowing that millions of people serious thing in the world and, on the other hand, as if are hanging on every word you say at every race? Does it’s only rock and roll. You have to keep both of those it make you nervous or do you just get on with it and things in your head at the same time.” never think about it? Which is exactly what I try to do, Martin’s the same, DC - Blimey, I hadn’t thought of it that way, cheers, I’m maybe that’s why we get on as well as we do. Never nervous now!! In all seriousness, you’re always aware forget that people are inviting us into their homes that as a commentator you’re in a very privileged week after week but also never forget that rock and position and that it’s your job to help people understand roll feeling, it’s the greatest feeling in the world and for and enjoy the action they’re watching. I’d be a liar if I me, this is the greatest job too. said that that didn’t make me nervous occasionally but nerves are a good thing and the day you stop getting The British Grand Prix is live on Sky Sports from nervous is the day you start getting complacent, and 4-6 July. Sky Sports is the only place to watch all complacency is not what the audience deserve. 19 Grand Prix live, part of an unrivalled summer

of sport including international rugby union, Test

PW - Thanks Crofty, It’s been great to talk to you. I’d cricket, US Open tennis and The Ryder Cup. like to give you the final word. Is there anything else

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The 98th Indianapolis 500

O

ne short night after Simon Pagenaud captured the win at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, teams were back on the track the very next morning at 11am practicing for the upcoming Indianapolis 500. Sunday was a slow day at The Speedway; possibly to the teams’ misfortune as most of the following week of practice was marred by heavy central Indiana spring time rain. Even given the rain, teams took to the track during the week of practice to log as many valuable miles as possible. However, some teams were not as worried with simply turning laps because the race-day forecast was considerably warmer and drier than anything the teams had experienced that week. The main talking point during practice was how NASCAR star Kurt Busch was getting along trying his hand at an IndyCar and ultimately the Indy 500. He was attempting to compete in “The Double”, or racing 500 miles in an IndyCar, hopping on a private jet to Charlotte, North Carolina, and taking the wheel of his

stock car to log an additional 600 miles. The feat has only been attempted by three other drivers: Robby Gordon, John Andretti and Tony Stewart; the only man to complete all 1100 miles in one day. Fortunately for Busch, he made his mistake early in the week by sheering the right side of his car off after impacting the wall on the exit of Turn 2. He would not be the only rookie to meet the wall as British driver Jack Hawksworth also caused major damage to his car late in the week. Both drivers walked away uninjured, and both teams would be able to provide a chassis for the drivers to compete in qualifying and eventually the race. The second weekend in Indianapolis would be an updated take on Time Trials for The Indy 500. The traditional Pole and Bump day were usurped for a leaner and meaner schedule that placed pressure on drivers to complete two on the edge qualifying runs. Points were awarded this weekend, so every driver was wheeling their chassis as hard as they could. Ed Carpenter clinched the pole with an average speed of 231.067 miles per hour with Juan Pablo Montoya taking the second fastest speed with a 231.061 four lap average. Unfortunately for the Colombian, www.pitlanereporter.com 33


he did not post his time in the pole shootout so he was relegated to a P10 starting position. The race itself started slightly subdued. As this was the hottest day of the month that teams had taken to the track, drivers were relearning their cars and not putting themselves into any undue danger early in the race. As the pace picked up, the lead group started to define itself. Helio Castroneves, who was chasing his fourth Indy 500 win, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Carlos Munoz were able to generate a gap from the chasing pack. Even if the gap was only one or two car lengths, that would need a very good machine to even attempt crossing the gap. The pace was furious for the first three quarters of the race as it went uninterrupted by a single caution flag for a record 149 laps. The first caution was brought out by Charlie Kimball who unceremoniously met the Turn 2 wall. That caution set off a string of incidents and making the run to the end more of a sprint than a marathon. It was really a race of two halves: the first 149 that were run clean, fast and caution free laps, and the final 50 where 21 of the laps were run under yellow flag condition through four caution periods s. To give the fans a chance to see a sprint for the finish and the drivers a chance to fight it out amongst themselves, IndyCar chose to fly the red flag and stop the race during the final caution on lap 191. The move was praised by fans and media alike, this writer was in attendance as a fan and

www.pitlanereporter.com 34

appreciated the chance to see a green flag finish. The Holmatro Safety Team was able to repair the damage to the SAFER Barrier that was caused by Townsend Bell’s collision in Turn 2. Bells car had already been crippled after he initiated contact with Ed Carpenter and James Hinchcliffe; causing the third caution of the day on lap 176 as the two drivers were collected by the wall with Bell being able to race on. Once the green flag fell, it was very clear that the race was on between Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Marco Andretti , who had been a contender all day, took out too much down-force on his final stop and couldn’t hold enough speed through the corners to keep up with the lead two.

indycar rewind

BY eric hall

Hunter-Reay and Castroneves proceeded to engage in a spirited battle for the lead during the final six laps of The Memorial Day Classic. The two drivers swapped the point no less than four times in their fight to the checkered flag. It is hard to explain how hard these two veterans were fighting; neither pilot gave an inch but the fight was clean and respectful. It would be Ryan hunter-Reay made the winning pass around the outside of Helio Castroneves on the final lap entering Turn 1, where the racecars are touching 240 miles per hour. The Brazilian was nipped in a photo finish at the historic Yard of Bricks by a mere 0.0600 seconds; the second closest finish in the history of The 500.

grand prix of indianapolis

T

he inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis which was held on the modified road course within the confines of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was a complete success even if it was marred by the starting grid collision. A wet qualifying session scrambled the grid as Ryan Hunter-Reay collided with the wall in the closing minutes of the session to bring out a red flag. And in turn, losing his fastest two laps and locking the starting field in before drivers had a chance to make a final run for the pole position.

and frantic. Teams attacked track differently with some choosing to maximize speed on the extremely long straights with low down-force, while others chose to crank a little bit more wing into the chassis in a bid for cornering efficiency. The varying strategies meant drivers were rising through the field, as well as falling depending on tyre and fuel strategy.

British rookie Jack Hawksworth capitalized on the early caution and found himself in the lead for most of the first half of the race. Unfortunate pit strategy Sebastian Saavedra was the lucky driver, as he was and full course yellows that did not fall his way sitting in P1 when the red flag came out. However, ultimately ruined his day, relegating him to a P7 finish. the start of the race did not go as well for the young Colombian driver. Once the lights extinguished, Oriol Servia led most of the closing laps of the race, Saavedra stalled his car and was plowed into by both but he also had to make a late race stop for fuel and Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin. All three cars were relinquished the lead to eventual winner Simon destroyed, and a lengthy clean-up process ensued. Pagenaud. This win, the third of Pagenaud’s career, was a warning to the big teams: the little guys are a Once the race finally got going, the action was fast force to be reckoned with. www.pitlanereporter.com 35


Belle isle at detroit race one

But Saturday would not be his day. He faded after his final pit stop and was unable to regain contact with the leaders before the checkers fell.

After four full course caution periods and a myriad of pit strategies, the race would come down to an 11 Just one short week after The 500, teams and drivers lap shootout between Will Power with Graham Rahal unloaded for the first doubleheader weekend of chasing. The young American flying the National the year hosted by the Belle Isle Street Course in Guard colors was unable to make any progress as Will Detroit, Michigan. The qualification procedure Power cruised to the win, his second of the year. for race one was the standard F1 style knock out qualifying, while the race two procedure was a simple fastest first from Sunday morning practice times.

Belle isle at detroit race two

Race two in Detroit would prove to be a race with a different look. The race started with a quick full course caution for the Will Power initiated pile up that disabled the cars of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson. Saturday’s race winner was penalized for the contact with a drive through penalty. The drivers were able to attack a long period of green flag racing once the Holmatro Safety Team cleaned up the single car incident of Sebastien Saavedra on lap Both races this weekend were a traditional Indy style nine. James Hinchcliffe fought valiantly at the front of rolling start and ultimately much cleaner that the the field, but was unable to regain his position after his unfortunate standing start witnessed in Indianapolis. pit stop, while Will Power also flashed briefly to the lead. Race one was punctuated by full course cautions and radically varying tyre and fuel strategy. Firestone Helio Castroneves fought back to P1 by lap 28 after Racing provides two compounds to the Verizon starting his run in P15 just 15 laps prior. The animated IndyCar paddock during road and street events. Brazilian spent the remained of the race in P1, The softer “red sidewall” compound was simply too relinquishing the point only for a single lap during pit soft for the Belle Isle circuit as drivers experienced exchanges. No other driver was able to even challenge massive graining. Most teams tyre strategy involved Castroneves who drove a clinical race and clinched minimizing the time spend on the red alternate his third win at the temporary street course. tyre in favor of the “black sidewall” primary compound. The more robust rubber was able to take the abuse from the unfavorable racing surface.

field, and requires the drivers to use the entire width of the racetrack instead of pinning themselves to the white line along the bottom of the track. There is no ideal setup like there was with the previous generation chassis; it’s all about getting the car close and sending the driver out to earn their money.

range of handling characteristics throughout the night. Drivers started the race with massive understeer and finished the race fighting oversteer conditions. Teams and drivers worked all night to stay on top of changing track conditions.

Through the entire 248 laps, the race was dominatWhat we witnessed that Saturday night was strong ed by Ed Carpenter, Will Power and the Ganascars staying up front and anyone running less than si duo of Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon with 100 percent was quickly relegated to a lapped run- Juan Pablo Montoya charging from the back of ner. There were only three cautions during the 248 the field. The drivers were able to communilap oval event. Marco Andretti lost his Honda en- cate the changes needed and race engineers were gine in remarkable fashion with big fire and heavy able to provide the answers needed to the drivers. smoke bringing out the first caution. He would be the first of three Honda runners to suffer an en- It was a question of maintaining the gap as Will Powgine failure with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Takuma er spent most of the night pacing the field with other Sato retiring on laps 136 and 238 respectively with drivers hanging on and just trying to stay in contenSato bringing out the final caution of the night. tion until the end. The final caution of the night set up a three lap shoot out with Will Power taking new tyres An on-track disagreement between Justin Wil- as there were only six cars on the lead lap. son and Sebastien Bourdais led to both men fight- Ed Carpenter was able to hold off Juan Montoya and a ing for the same piece of asphalt on the racetrack hard charging Will Power to notch his third win of his and ending with both cars meeting the Turn 4 career and the second win of the year for Ed Carpenwall, necessitating the second caution of the day. ter Racing, adding to this year’s victory in Long Beach by team road course driver Mike Conway. As the race starts in the late afternoon and runs into the night, the chassis experience a huge

texas motor speedway

Saturday was a marginally messy day on track as drivers didn’t follow the usual mantra of double header weekends: save the equipment on Saturday so we can finish strong on Sunday.

Highlighting the diversity of the Verizon IndyCar Series, Texas Motor Speedway welcomed the paddock to the big oval in Texas for round eight of the championship. The wheel-to-wheel adrenaline-fueled style of racing that was produced by the old IndyCar Helio Castroneves was able to survive the early chassis, (the same kind of racing that fatally injured race carnage and control the pace through Dan Weldon), has been replaced with something the early and mid-stages of the race. There more akin to sustained 200 mile per hour road racing were four different leaders due to pit strategy action. before Helio found his way to the front again. The DW12, in its third year of service, allows teams to make differing setup options than the rest of the www.pitlanereporter.com 36

www.pitlanereporter.com 37


pippa mann in the indy 500

by phil woods

on track and we just kept digging all afternoon long. “I was definitely happy with the pace of the Susan G. Komen car today, and I spent a lot of time learning more about the DW12 around the Indian¬apolis Motor Speedway in traffic, and time learning about the adjustments that I need from the car during the pit stops. All of that stuff is really positive information that goes in my data bank going forward, and it makes me feel much more confident about coming back here in the future.

out there and exceed our 400 lap target for the month, to raise funds and aware¬ness for Susan G. Komen in the fight against breast cancer. It’s been an absolute honour to carry the Susan G. Komen Running Ribbon this month.”

Mann’s pink car has completed a total of 484 laps since Opening Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and there is still time to contribute to the campaign via the pledge site which closes at midnight tonight. For more information on the campaign, please visit “In terms of the literal laps we were able to run, www.RaceWithPippa.com. obviously with this car it was important to go out there and keep running laps for an entirely different, The feature above is with thanks to Palindrome Sports secondary reason. I’m really pleased we were able to go and Pippa Mann.

As you all know, Pippa Mann was our cover star for Issue 3. Here, we follow up our well received interview with a look at how she got on during the race.

P

ippa finished the 98th running of The the leaders, re-joining the race in 31st position. Indianapolis 500 in 24th place, after a strong run from the Briton, marred only by a problem Mann was intent not to interfere with anyone else’s race, so took a few laps to filter back in properly and pit stop in the early stages of the race. resume her previous race pace. Once up to speed, Mann and the ‘No. 63 Susan G. Komen Dale Coyne Mann was comfortably lapping with those cars Racing machine’ started from 22nd position, on the running in the top 15, despite being down the order inside of row eight, as the field of 33 lined-up to take after her second pit stop. She fin¬ished the race in 24th position, her second-best Indy 500 result to date. the green flag on Sunday afternoon. Speaking about the race, Mann said: “Overall I think I have to come away fairly content with how our afternoon went today, and I’d like to thank the entire Dale Coyne Racing team for all their hard work this month. Obviously it’s always tough to have a difficult Just over the 50-lap mark, the team called Mann onto pit stop but I’m really glad the wheel didn’t come off pit lane for their second re-fuel and tyre change, but and the safety nut did its job. When we got back to pit as she re-joined the track it was clear that the left rear lane the nut actually did its job a little too well and the wheel was not secure. Mann immediately returned to crew struggled to get that wheel off, but it just proves pit lane where the crew were waiting to ad¬dress the that the safety measures were doing what they were issue, however a lengthy delay in getting the left rear supposed to! The #63 Dale Coyne Racing crew really wheel off the car caused Mann to drop several laps to hung in there and didn’t give up. They got me back out As the 500-mile race got underway, Mann quickly settled into a good pace and was running in a comfortable 23rd position after the first round of pit stops.

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looking ahead in indycar

J

une presents IndyCar teams and drivers a much welcome break after five straight weekends of points paying action. Some teams will take the opportunity to rest, but most will be deep in oval testing at The Milwaukee Mile, Iowa Speedway and Pocono Raceway. Even with a few weeks off, the paddock never sleeps. The IndyCar circus will hit the street and parking lot circuit around Reliant Park in Houston, Texas for the second doubleheader of 2014. The Reliant Park Street Circuit Is a tight and extremely bumpy track built into the parking lot and access roads to the stadium where American Football team ‘The Texans’ call home. Each year, the rough surface presents an even more challenging puzzle in terms of setup decisions for the drivers. The surface is so undulating that in 2013, Helio Castroneves dropped out of the race due to a damaged gear box after impacting the racing surface. Traditional street course thinking will not lead to a drivable machine; the setup window is very narrow for the Dallara DW12, so teams will have to find the sweet spot that will allow drivers to survive the track as well as the competition. Visiting Houston in late June will present another problem for everyone involved: the heat. Average high for that time of year is about 93C and 75% humidity. The race will green flag in the hottest part of the day, so teams and drivers will be subjected to the brutal Texas heat and sun. And they will have to do it twice that weekend, as Houston will be the second doubleheader weekend of the year. With a full distance and full points paying race on both Saturday and Sunday, everyone will need to be prepared for the sweltering conditions so no mistakes are made late in the second race. Survival is usually the mission objective for race one of a doubleheader weekend. Drivers must keep their nose clean, stay out of trouble and stay away from the concrete barriers to minimize the time needed to prepare the car for race two. Keeping the stress and repairs low so the crews are focused for race two will be as important as maintaining physical conditioning for the weekend, The street races have been rather unpredictable this year with many of the smaller teams posting very good results. Mike Conway, driving for Texas Motor Speedway winners Ed Carpenter Racing, has already notched a win this season on the streets and will be a threat all weekend long. Simon Pagenaud, the other small team driver with a 2014 win, is always dangerous on the streets. But, as with nearly every week, when the weekends are at their roughest, Team Penske, Ganassi Racing and Andretti

www.pitlanereporter.com 40

by eric hall

the montoya report

by eric hall

Autosport always seem to find good results where others falter. Continuing the alternating road and oval scheduling strategy, IndyCar will unload at one of the most unique oval track in North America; Pocono Raceway, also known as “The Tricky Triangle”. The track boasts a 3,740 foot long front straight and three distinctive corners, modeled after three historic American oval racing facilities. Turn 1 has 14 degrees of banking, similar to the defunct Trenton Speedway in Trenton, New Jersey. Turn 2 is a 9 degree sweeping left hander modeled after Indianapolis Motor Speedway and finally, turn 3 has a slight 6 degrees of banking modeled after The Milwaukee Mile in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Pocono was built for IndyCar racing, and its designers took inspiration from the most influential open-wheel racing facilities of the era to create a temple of speed for the open-wheel demons that call Indianapolis home. Unfortunately, after years of instability and infighting, IndyCar racing left Pocono Raceway for over 20 years before triumphantly returning in 2013. The race has been extended to 500 miles for 2014 and is part of the IndyCar Triple Crown. A collection of the three 500 mile races on the schedule: Indianapolis, Pocono and the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. All these races pay double points to the competitors. These 500 mile races on wide open super-speedways present an intense challenge for the pit crews. Any kind of slight wobble in the pits will mean huge swathes of track position lost to competitors. Only the most well prepared teams will be in position to race for the win. 500 miles of racing also means many more opportunities for both the pit crew and driver to make a race ending mistake. Look for the same players from The Indy 500 to be strong here. The tracks are very similar, in that crushing speed will always be at a premium. However, given the three different types of banked corners that drivers will be navigating, race engineers and drivers will have to compromise on the car setup. Teams will not be able to make the car perfect in all corners. One or two corners will be sacrificed to find more speed in one or two others. Plus, given the extremely long straight, teams will have yet another tough decision regarding down-force settings on the car. Both Houston and Pocono will represent important championship events as we are headlong into the season. If a driver wants to have a chance to make a run for the championship, performing well on double header weekends and double point triple crown events will be of the upmost importance.

Slowly but surely, Juan Pablo Montoya is regaining his footing in the open-wheel world, if only on the ovals. Juan has still struggled on the road and street courses, unable to match the early season P4 finish at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

C

His incredible performance on the ovals is not a huge surprise. His NASCAR experience has made him the most experienced oval driver in the series, and that experience shows. It is worth noting he was fast on the ovals during his CART days as well, racking up 8 oval Almost the opposite has been true. The P4 at Long wins in just two years of competition in CART in 1999 Beach was backed up with a P12 and P13 finish at the and 2000 and one attempt at The Indy 500 in 2000. Detroit street course doubleheader. A P15 at the season opening round on the St. Petersburg street course The relatively poor performance on the natural tercompletes his street circuit record for the year. rain road courses has been most puzzling considering his vast Formula 1 experience on just such tracks. In The two natural terrain road courses of Barber Mo- fairness, his Grand Prix of Indianapolis was ruined torsport Park and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he punted Graham Rahal into the wall and had Grand Prix track have yielded only even worse re- to serve a drive through penalty. However, he also sults with a P21 and a P16 finish respectively. Where stalled at the start and could never really come back Juan Montoya shined has been the two ovals. He has from his low starting spot. racked up a P5 at The Indy 500 and a P3 at Texas MoHe was caught out by a poorly timed caution at Barber tor Speedway. Motorsport Park and was unable to regain the lap onventional wisdom would dictate that Juan would be fastest on the natural terrain road courses first, with increased skill on ovals next and street courses trailing behind.

www.pitlanereporter.com 41


he lost on the yellow flag pit stop exchange. He was turning top ten times at both events, but just couldn’t turn his pace into quality results. IndyCar strategy is different from both Formula 1 and NASCAR, so he is still learning both on and off the track. Street course racing in IndyCar is a whole other animal than anything he has experienced. These tracks are not the annually repaved F1 palaces that he knew in his earlier years. Drivers race on the same city streets that the public drive to work every day on. Most circuits have never been repaved which means the track is punctuated by manhole covers, oddly cambered roads, poor and changing surface conditions and all the paint, grime and dirt that is found in heavily populated metropolitan areas. Any veteran IndyCar driver will tell you that street racing

is a learned skill. On the ovals, Juan has had a number of poor starting positions, but has been able to race his way to the front through strategy and outright pace. In his post Texas press conference, Juan stated that he is having more fun now than he has had in a long time in a racecar. His comments make sense considering his quality results on the ovals, and being in one of the best cars of the evening at Texas Motor Speedway. Although he is slowly relearning what IndyCar racing is, Juan Pablo Montoya still has quite a long journey ahead of him to be the type of contender he not only wants to be, but also sees himself as. If he continues his slow march of progress, there is no reason to think he won’t see victory lane before the end of the year.

dtm - the formula 1 of touring car racing by annika GOCKE

D

TM stands for Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (German Touring Car Masters). DTM cars are not actually `Touring Cars` according to the International Sporting Code (ISC). (ISC is a set of rules which are valid for all auto racing events that are governed by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). The vehicles used in DTM are actually racing cars like Formula 1 cars or prototypes. This difference was further emphasised in 2012 when paddles on the steering wheel were introduced, replacing the hand gear which was found in the cockpit centre before.

Audi RS5 is a modified car as well as the Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. The DTM race cars are equal and yet they have a huge number of identical items including air jacks, alternator, brake callipers, brake dics, carbon brakes, clutch, dampers, driveshaft, DRS, electronics, fuel, fuel cell, gearbox, loom, monocoque, powersteering, propshaft, safety cell, tyres, tyre warmer and the rear wing.

engines The main area where manufacturers can compete is in engine design and build. Although build materials and components are the same, the engines produced are not. DTM is currently using V8 engines with a cylinder bank angle of 90 degrees, a maximum displacement of four litres and a maximum of four valves per cylinder are permitted. They deliver approximately 480 hp.

generating excitement

UPcoming events in indycar 28,29 June - Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston - Reliant Park Street Course 6 July

- Pocono IndyCar 500 - Pocono Raceway

12 July

- Iowa Corn Indy 300 - Iowa Speedway

www.pitlanereporter.com 42

DTM is also using a Drag Reduction System (DRS) as well as two tyre compounds to make races more   interesting and to make sure we get to see more The first DTM Champion in 1984, BMW driver Volker overtaking manoeuvres. Strycek said: “DTM is an optimally and professionally managed and organised race series. It’s the Formula You will probably be familiar with DRS from its use 1 of touring-car racing.” DTM currently consists of in Formula 1. DRS was introduced to DTM in 2013 three manufacturers: Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Each and allows a higher top speed to be achieved for a manufacturer has four teams with two drivers each. short time. You can recognize an activated DRS when The exception is Mercedes with only seven drivers the rear wing position changes - it looks as if the rear this year. wing is falling down. The rear wing will be coming

cars BMW is the only team to bring a completely new build car into the 2014 season - the BMW M4. The

back up when it’s inactive. DRS must not be enabled during qualifying, yellow flags, when the safety car is deployed or when the use of rain tyres is permitted.

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ity’ of the races. The current change to just one mandatory pit stop is to put the fans in a better position to keep track of how the order in the race develops.“ Limitations to reduce costs

limitations to reduce costs

There indeed is a cost limitation which means there are two spare engines per manufacturer. Each engine must be used at a minimum of four events. Testing is limited to 20 days a year.  

drivers

hankook tyres

Hankook, the DTM Partner for tyres provide three different tyres: - a standard tyre (marked with a white line) - a softer option tyre, introduced in 2013 (marked with a yellow line) - rain tyres (marked with a blue line)

DTM currently has seven former Champions on the grid:

- Mike Rockenfeller (Audi,) who won in 2013 - Bruno Spengler (BMW, champion in 2012) - Martin Tomczyk (BMW, champion in 2011) - Paul di Resta (Mercedes, champion in 2010) - Timo Scheider (Audi, champion in 2008 & This season, the option tyre can only be used for 2009) a maximum of 50 percent of the race distance. The - Mattias Ekström (Audi, champion in 2004 & sporting regulations clarify exactly the number of 2007) laps it can be used for. (Pit Lane Reporter will keep - Gary Paffett (Mercedes, champion in 2005). you updated for each race). Following a safety car period, drivers running on option tyres at that time are You can also find former F1 drivers on the grid: allowed to continue for six laps until they finally have to change the tyres. Even if this means they’ll be using - Paul di Resta, who became a F1 test driver it for more then 50 percent of the race distance. in 2010 before signing a contract as a regular

  ITR chairman Hans Werner Aufrecht explains “to maintain the interest, we gave some thought to how we might make our races even more attractive. The introduction of DRS and the option tyres of our partner Hankook in 2013 was motivated by our aim to see more overtaking manoeuvres on track. The result may have been a bit too successful, as the large number of position changes came at the expense of the ‘readabilwww.pitlanereporter.com 44

driver, competing for Force India from 2011 to 2013.

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Gary Paffett became a F1 test driver in 2006 for McLaren and is currently racing in DTM as well as testing in F1.

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Timo Glock was driving in F1 from 2008 to 2012, first for Toyota, afterwards for Virgin/ Marussia before joining DTM in 2013.

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Vitaly Petrov was the first Russian to drive in F1 from 2010 to 2012 and also became the fist Russian DTM driver in 2014.

In fact DTM has 23 drivers on the grid in 2014. ITR chairman Hans Werner Aufrecht said: The record number of champions underlines the extraordinary appreciation our series enjoys in driver circles.The attraction of DTM increases year by year. The drivers feel in good hands here, as they know that they secured

their drive solely by their competitiveness and are The main race on Sunday starts at 2.30pm. DTM uses adequately paid for their efforts.“ (other than in some standing start procedures with the starting grid lining up in offset rows. The start is preceded by a formation Series including Formula 1) lap in grid positions (overtaking prohibited) where drivers warm up their tyres and brakes to operating Race weekends temperature. The DTM race calendar 2014 contains 10 races, six in Germany, one in Hungary, one in Russia, one in The duration/distance of the races is normally about Austria and one in China. The main action on track 70 minutes/ 190 kilometres. The distance will be has been shortened to Saturday and Sunday leaving converted into a defined number of laps and specified the Friday to the supporting events such as Formula 3 for each event. If it appears that the specified number European Championship, Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup of laps will probably not be completed by the race and Porsche Carrera Cup Germany. The race weekend leader within an elapsed time of 75, the last race lap at Lausitzring (in the east of Germany) will feature the will be indicated by the Race Director by showing Superbike IDM motorbikes for the first time. the board “Last Lap” to the race leader at the line. The leader will be shown the chequered flag when he On the Saturday, DTM has a 90 minutes free crosses the line at the end of this lap. practice session, usually followed by the Qualifying at 02.40pm. The Qualifying format features a new Points system multi-stage mode in 2014. The drivers compete for their grid positions in three sessions (Q1 to Q3). In Points for places one to ten of a DTM race are awarded Q1 of the ‘shoot-out’ all 23 drivers have 13 minutes to according to the 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 system. complete an optional number of fast qualifying laps. There are no void results or additional points for the The quickest 18 drivers qualify for session two and pole position or fastest race lap. the slowest five occupy grid positions 19 to 23. In Q2 the drivers chase for fastest times in 11 minutes. The Performance Weights quickest eight drivers move up to the third session and the others occupy grid positions nine to 18. In Q3 In 2014 DTM introduced performance weights to the drivers again have 11 minutes to secure the pole ensure equal opportunities. Therefore, at the season position. opener at Hockenheim, the vehicle weight of 1,110

race weekends

points system

performance weights

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Special offer for fans

One of the key characteristics of the DTM is its well-balanced field. In 2012 new Technical Regulations were introduced that resulted from a unique colDTM has the reputation of being “the most fan-friend- laboration between the manufacturers involved in the ly touring-car series.“ Their advertising slogan is series, the German motorsport authority DMSB and “drivers for touching“, and you are indeed able to get ITR e. V. In 2012 and 2013 each manufacturer won in touch with the drivers if you buy a paddock ticket. races. This ticket allows you to attend a pit walk, several signature sessions and visit the DTM show stage. Where This equality of opportunity is a characteristic which and when signature sessions are at each race weekend Japan will experience this year too in SUPER GT can be found in the schedule on www.dtm.com. Ad- events. As part of a co-operation with the DTM, their ditionally there’s an own “event programme“ at each first vehicles, built using the same regulations as the race track as well as “smaller events“ organised by the DTM cars - will be fielded there this year. For next manufacturers themselves - I can’t say more than that year there’s a race weekend planned, at which DTM without spoiling things. For example: At the start of and SUPER GT race cars will be competing togeththe season there was a special “fan party“ at Hocken- er. And when a new series in America is launched heim on the occasion of 30 years of DTM including which is planned to happen by 2017 - we’ll be seeing a current and former DTM drivers. unique scenario: touring car races based on identical Technical Regulations on three different continents.

special offer for fans

 kilos is raised by ten 10 kilos to 1,120 kilos. Depending if that would cause the stops to be made outside the

on the results achieved, a manufacturer has to add a prescribed window. Refuelling is no longer permitted maximum of 10 kilos or reduce the weight of all cars (since 2012). by a maximum of ten kilos. The mmaximum upload or unload per race is five kilos. The maximum difference Safety in weight is 20 kilos. The DTM driver cockpit is surrounded by an The rules for adding or decreasing performance innovative combination of a unified monocoque weights are shown above. If all three manufacturers and cage. Each DTM car is also equipped with crash are represented in positions one, two and three the structures on both sides as well as front and rear, and weight distribution for the subsequent race remains wearing the HANS system (Head and Neck Support) unchanged. has been mandatory since 2002. Note: There has never been a fatal accident throughout Pit stop window the DTM history.

safety

dtm goes international

closing words Hans Werner Aufrecht “We met with the manufacturers to think about what we could do for the crowds to make the races easier to read. With the new regulations we have achieved this goal as the course of the races will be more transparent for the spectators. Any motor racing series with seven champions on its grid has to be exciting. With DTM, this is the case“.

associations

Associations

Above all there is of course the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile.) DTM as a race series has to register with the FIA and has to follow the FIA guidelines. The national representatives of the FIA are Deutscher Motor Sport Bund (DMSB) who are Germany’s motor racing governing body. And last but not least we have ITR e V(Verband für Internationale Tourenwagen-Rennen) who organize The number of mandatory pit stops has been reduced international touring-car races. They are right-holder for the 2014 season. and promoter of the DTM as well as responsible for organising the DTM race weekends. Furthermore the Only one mandatory pit stop (instead of two in the ITR unites all heads of motorsport of the manufacturers past) has to be completed in the middle third of the as members of the executive Board. Currently, they race. All four tyres must be changed. are Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich for Audi, Jens Marquardt No mandatory pit stops are allowed during a safety for BMW and Toto Wolff for Mercedes. Decisions are car period. After the safety car period has ended, the taken by them and approved by the DMSB. drivers have five more laps to make their stops even www.pitlanereporter.com 46

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ellen lohr interview

by annika GOCKE

becomes an important topic again from time to time. This victory is part of my history just like it is part of the motorsport history of Mercedes, as well as all the victories achieved for Mercedes with this car - this also counts for me“. PLR - Did you enjoy today’s atmosphere? “I was surprised at the number of spectators around the circuit. Simply fantastic! This is a nice event for us as Mercedes ambassadors, especially because the ‘old group’ meets up. This includes everyone who started a race in the past. We are all here. All of us a bit older in body but not in mind, including spokesman Rainer Braun who also made comments about ‘the old days’. This feels like a school trip for me, really crazy. It also seems very odd to be driving with Bernd Schneider as my team mate”. events, but I also compete in the European Truck Racing Championship. We’ve got races on every PLR - Do you think there are any parallels between second weekend. I always take a look at the results then those former races and Saturday’s race? so, yes, I do follow DTM. I watch it on TV whenever possible, but must confess that this rarely happens. It is quite a long time since I attended an actual race”. PLR - The general view of the fans is that DTM drivers are ‘too quickly penalised for unnecessary, small things’ nowadays. What do you think?

When you think of ‘30 years of DTM’, you also think of Ellen Lohr - the only woman at the very top.

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2 years ago - on 24 May 1992 - Ellen Lohr secured her maiden DTM win in Hockenheim. Altogether, Lohr contested 144 races and secured 302 points. No other woman was able to achieve anywhere near her success. Over the years Lohr proved that she is a versatile driver, competing in formula and touring cars as well as off-road. In the last weekend in May, she was racing in a Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5 16V Evo II at Historic Trophy Nürburgring. During this classic weekend she was teamed up with five times DTM champion Bernd Schneider and journalist Robert Tomitzi (Motorvision TV.) Another famous car from back in the days was the Mercedes-Benz 220 SE “Fintail“ which was driven by former DTM driver Jörg van Ommen (1994 and 1995 runner-up to Bernd Schneider) who teamed up with journalist Michael Bräutigam (Motorsport aktuell). During the weekend, Lohr shared her adventures and experiences with Pit Lane Reporter. PLR -Did the Mercedes-Benz 190 E Evo II remind you of your old DTM race car?

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“Yes indeed, it reminded of my old DTM race car and the silhouette of the Evo II matched. But the Evo II is of course not a DTM car, it’s far from it. The Evo II is well-equipped as standard. However, it is very astonishing what this car was able to achieve in its series back in the days. Simply incredible. In addition it reminds me that I once drove a DTM race car, also remembering the victory which

”No, you can’t compare these races. Today was completely different. We had two sprint races on Nordschleife in the past where you always gave 100%. When it comes to endurance racing, you sometimes wait longer to overtake because the opponent might not have noticed you. The old DTM meant endless infights and the fans truly loved it. There’s nothing else like this anymore although the GT cars at the front of the field are facing tough battles during the 24hour race (at Nürburgring, editor’s note.) Anyway, today was still different. Besides, I think that sprint races with high-bred racing cars, uniquely provide an awful lot of action as well as close door-to-door fights”.

“Nowadays it’s not only about ‘oh - dangerous manoeuvre, time penalty’ but also ‘oh - lost flap, nothing works anymore.’ It was different for us and it was considered a ‘contact sport.’ I had contact earlier when I drove the Evo II side by side with another driver. I also gently pushed someone who didn’t notice me because I knew the car would be ok. Today’s cars are different which is a shame. I don’t like these exaggerated penalties for a ‘bit of rowdiness’ – which, within limits of course, is part of the game. We are racing for the fans, and fans should have fun. Certainly in my personal opinion, a bit of a ‘rumble‘ gives the fans more fun“. PLR - Would you agree to the media reports claiming that the DTM victory 1992 was your highlight or do you have another highlight in your career?

(thoughtful) “There are quite a few. The victory is certainly one of the most memorable events, even if PLR - Are you currently watching DTM races? I was not aware of it at the time because I - of course - wanted to celebrate more victories. In the end I “Yes, I am watching DTM races but often I am away was able to achieve more podium places, but not myself during the weekends. This happens a lot at the further victories. I have to admit that I don’t measure moment, because not only do I attend a lot of historic highlights with success. Sometimes - if you compete www.pitlanereporter.com 49


in a Rally for example - you are able to set one fastest time but the whole Rally may be messed up. To you, it was awesome, and that is what remains in my memory. To be honest: my personal emotional highlight was the weekend at Salzburgring 1987, when I finished second in DTM. I raced in Formula Ford at Salzburgring 1987 Not many people know that, during that meeting, I also drove an Alpina BMW in three DTM races. I did not finish the first race, came fifth in the second, and second in the third race. On the Saturday I became German champion in Formula Ford and on the Sunday second in DTM. Looking back, this was much more dramatic. There is nothing comparable today for young drivers and it would absolutely impossible to achieve“.

Women still don’t enjoy a high reputation yet. What do you think could be the reason for this?

PLR – What did you enjoy most during the years?

This was followed by a period where female drivers were used for ‘marketing’ purposes. Of course, marketing is important and being a woman is often our unique selling proposition. Benefits can be gained from this. However, there were many women who unfortunately didn’t possess any racing talent and were in a car because of their sponsor. This effectively destroyed what we had built up in the first place.

“I will celebrate my 30-year racing anniversary next year. Every experience is part of it. I remember much of what I did. Whether it was DTM, Formula 3 before that or even karting. Actually everything. There were things where I might have thought ‘ok, this was less exciting’, but overall I have always been lucky to be where the fun was. I am currently in truck racing which is awesome. There are a lot of spectators and a lot of action. It’s a great series. But I also enjoyed offroad racing like Dakar Rally or German Rally Championship. I guess I was able to remain in motorsport for 29 years because I didn’t commit myself to one particular type of racing. I tried almost everything and thus remained fresh. Everything was always new - new impressions - new ideas - new possibilities. And although it all relates to motorsport, there are big differences”. PLR - Motorsport is known as a ‘man’s world.’

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“I would say that there are different phases. When I entered motorsport quite a number of girls were involved, particular in karting and also were driving Formula Ford (the first junior formula class in those days). But this was a time when ambitious girls and young women with prospects in motorsport had obstacles put in their way. You had to fight hard in this very tough business and only a few made it to the top. Those who did fight hard became very successful nationally and internationally. This includes for example Jutta Kleinschmidt, Claudia Hürtgen or even myself.

Since then everything came together and indeed there were fast female drivers who managed to get into DTM but then simply ‘banged their heads against a brick wall’ there. They did plenty of test kilometres but no woman was given the number one status within the team. You can’t become champion without this, it is as simple as that. There are still female drivers in this position– as well as talented newcomers too whom I wish the best of luck. I hope they will continue in the sport and are able to move forward, but it is very difficult”.

nascar update

by travis barend

NASCAR has one of the longest and most grueling seasons in all of professional sports. Arguably the toughest part of the year is the summer stretch, which features some of the most demanding tracks, races, and weather conditions on the circuit.

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fter wrapping up the race weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, where Denny Hamlin went to victory lane, the Sprint Cup Series moved to Kansas for the 11th race of the season.

Joining the field of all-stars was Clint Bowyer, who won the Sprint Showdown, (the final race to earn a spot in the All-Star Race), the night before. Second place finisher AJ Allmendinger also transferred to the main event. Josh Wise won the Sprint Fan Vote, giving his low budget team the opportunity to participate in While Kevin Harvick led much of the night, it was the special race. Jeff Gordon who held the top position late in the race. Harvick managed to close the gap to within only a After the lineup was set, the race, featuring five segfew car lengths in the final corner, but was unable to ments separated by mandatory cautions, took center complete the pass. Gordon became the ninth different stage. The average finish of each driver in the first four winner in the first 11 races of the season. segments (all 20 laps each), determined the lineup of the field as they entered pit road for a mandatory fourAfter Kansas, the focus on the championship faded tire pit stop before the final 10-lap segment. slightly. Next up was the Sprint All-Star Race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, featuring only winners Carl Edwards and Jamie McMurray won the race from 2013 and 2014 who were eligible to compete for off of pit road, therefore earning themselves the top a $1 million prize with no championship points on the two positions on the final restart. After the green flag line. waved, it was McMurray, passing Edwards, who took www.pitlanereporter.com 51


advantage of clean air to win the race and a $1 million award. The following week, the focus returned to the championship battle and also to the greatest day in all of motorsports. After F1’s Monaco Grand Prix in the morning and IndyCar’s Indianapolis 500 in the afternoon, the drivers of the Sprint Cup Series moved from the couch to their racecars for NASCAR’s longest race: the Coca-Cola 600. While most NASCAR drivers watched the full day of racing from afar, Kurt Busch was much closer to the action, racing in IndyCar’s biggest race. Busch, who crashed his open-wheel car in practice earlier in the week, took team-mate Marco Andretti’s backup car to an impressive sixth place finish. After making it back to Charlotte in time for his day job, Busch struggled to run up front, eventually blowing an engine and scoring a 40th place result. Earning the win was Jimmie Johnson, who became the 10th different winner in 12 races. Johnson, the defending Sprint Cup Series champion, led 164 of the 400 laps, more than any other driver. The six-time champion was just getting warmed up. The following week at Dover International Speedway, Johnson earned his ninth win at the 1-mile concrete oval. This time, Johnson led more than half of the laps to win his second race of 2014. Johnson’s teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. continued the winning ways for Hendrick Motorsports a week later

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at Pocono Raceway. As race leader Brad Keselowski slowed late in the race behind the lapped car of Danica Patrick in an attempt to drop debris off of his grill, the No. 88 of Earnhardt took the lead. Keselowski stayed within striking distance of Earnhardt in the final laps, but the Hendrick driver was too strong in clean air. Earnhardt’s Pocono win makes him the fourth driver to win two races this season, along with Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano.

NASCAR 2015 HALL OF FAME CLASS ANNOUNCED

In the Nationwide Series, the No. 54 Toyota team, driven by Kyle Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. in a split schedule, has been a dominant force. At the Iowa Speedway, Hornish captured his first win of the season in his second of seven scheduled races. At Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kyle Larson was the man on top of the Nationwide Series competition. The full-time Sprint Cup Series rookie and part-time Nationwide Series driver scored his second career series win. A week later, the No. 54 Toyota was back in victory lane with Kyle Busch behind the wheel. Busch led 124 of 200 laps to pick up win number three this year in the Nationwide Series. Busch’s dominance has continued in the Camping World Truck Series as well. Busch has won his last three races on the schedule at Kansas, Charlotte and Dover. At Texas Motor Speedway (when Kyle Busch was in Pocono for the Sprint Cup Series race weekend), Matt Crafton took the checkered flag.

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ay 21 was vote day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where hours of heated and passionate discussion led to the announcement of the 2015 class. In total, a 53-member voting panel and an additional fan vote led to the decision.

When the votes were tallied, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France announced the five members of the sixth class. For the first time in Hall of Fame history, drivers took up all five spots. First announced was Bill Elliott, a 44-time winner in NASCAR’s highest series. Ranking 16th on the all-time wins list, Elliott is also the 1988 Cup Series champion. Elliott, the father of current Nationwide Series driver Chase Elliott, is a two-time champion of the Daytona 500 and a three-time Southern 500 winner. He is also a 16-time recipient of the Most Popular Driver Award. He has won the award more than any other driver to date.

by travis barend races, he still finished third in the standings that year. Lorenzen is also a two-time winner of the Daytona 500 and the World 600 (now known as the Coca-Cola 600). The first African American driver to race full time in NASCAR’s premier series and the first to win, Wendell Scott, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Having a 13-year career in NASCAR’s top level, Scott posted 147 top-10 finishes and one win in 495 starts. He was also a 100-time winner at local tracks before racing in NASCAR’s premier series. Part of Scott’s legacy continues to this day with the Drive for Diversity Program, which develops multicultural and female drivers throughout the industry.

Also earning a spot in the Hall of Fame is Fred Lorenzen, a driver considered today as one of NASCAR’s first superstars. Racing only a limited schedule, Lorenzen never competed in more than 29 of the 50 plus races in a season. Despite that, he earned incredible numbers, winning six races in 29 starts during the 1963 season. While missing 26 www.pitlanereporter.com 53


Two-time premier series champion Joe Weatherly is the next driver to make the Hall. Winning back-toback titles in 1962 for team owner Bud Moore and in 1963 driving for nine different teams, Weatherly is also a 25-time winner in NASCAR’s premier series. Additionally, he won 101 races in NASCAR’s Modified division as well as a championship in 1953.

won the championship in 1960, winning six races.

Brian France also announced the recipient of the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Winning the award was Anne Bledsoe France, the wife of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. Anne took care of the financial end of the business serving as the Secretary and Treasurer Rex White was the fifth and final driver announced of NASCAR and eventually took the same role at for the next class. Finishing in the top five for nearly International Speedway Corporation when Daytona half of his 233 premier series races and outside International Speedway opened in 1959. the top 10 only 30 percent of the time, White is a 28-time winner, who was especially skilled at The 2015 class will be officially inducted on short tracks, winning only two of his races on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. speedways larger than a mile in length. White

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last time out monaco gp2

BY KATY MCCONNACHIE

RACE 1 – Palmer Beats Monaco Madness To Claim Win

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olyon Palmer found himself victorious in Monaco after he recovered from a slow start and made it through three Safety Cars and a rather lengthy red flag, ahead of RUSSIAN TIME driver, Mitch Evans and Carlin driver Felipe Nasr. It was Evans who had a tremendous start and managed to lead into the first corner whilst Palmer did his best to keep his teammate Stéphane Richelmi behind. This allowed Evans to pull a gap ahead of the two Dams drivers but, despite his effort, it was a Safety Car that allowed the pack to bunch back up, leaving Palmer right behind Evans. Facu Regalia stopped his to go, collided with the Brazilian, leaving no way for car along the harbour. anyone else to pass. The race was red flagged and eventually restarted behind the Safety Car, with all Evans managed to keep Palmer at bay at the restart cars pushed back into order on the grid. but it wasn’t enough for the pace that the British driver seemed to have and before long, Evans was overtak- Once the cars were free to race, Palmer got to work en at Ste Devote. and began to produce fastest lap after fastest lap and Only 12 laps into the race, both Arden cars collided with André Negrao spinning, leaving no room for Russian driver, Artem Markelov who, with nowhere

built a 9-second gap from second place man, Evans. His efforts were ruined when another Safety Car was deployed after a fight between Julian Leal and Raffaele Marciello ended with the Colombian driver in the wall after trying to pass the Italian into the new chicane.

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to take advantage and slipped into 2nd ahead of the Indonesian driver. In the other Trident Cecotto was close behind the Caterham, whist further behind, it was a close call for Tio Ellinas when he touched the wall at Massenet, losing his front wing. It wasn’t such luck for Felipe Nasr who was forced to retire from the race at the Mirabeau with a front right puncture. The Safety Car was brought out when Artem Markelov’s car came to a complete halt at Beau Rivage Palmer was back in control of the race when but the removal of the RUSSIAN TIME car meant that Vandoorne finally came to pit and the victory was the Safety Car period was short and soon they were in his hands, with Evans and Nasr close behind him. racing again around the tight streets of Monaco. Cecotto settled just outside the podium with his teammate Canamasas behind him. Arthur Pic was the After pushing early on, Cecotto’s tyres were suffering, highest finishing rookie once again finishing in 6th and a large line of cars formed behind the Venezuelan driver. Campos Racing’s Arthur Pic being the first in after starting from 14th. Hometown hero Stéphane Richelmi finally crossed the newly formed train line behind the Trident car. the line to claim his maiden GP2 victory, and where Despite his suffering, Cecotto remained in 4th, holding else would be better than at home on the streets of off the much faster Frenchman, Pic, who finished 5th Monaco? It was victory for the Dams driver ahead ,very closely followed by Mitch Evans’s Feature Race of Trident’s Sergio Canamasas and Caterham’s Rio winner, Jolyon Palmer and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs after being held up by the Trident driver. Haryanto. The action resumed with 15 laps to go and Stefano Coletti was ready to make an overtake on Sergio Canamasas, passing him into La Rascasse for 6th. A lap later the Monegasque driver was all over the back of Felipe Nasr and managed to pass the Brazilian going into the same corner. All his hard work was soon to be undone when he collided with Trummer at La Rascasse, ending both their races, much to the disappointment of the home town boy.

RACE 2 – Hometown Victory For Hometown Hero Richelmi It was from Pole Position to chequered flag for Richelmi who had a brilliant start. Haryanto had a great start and was right with Richelmi on the first lap. Into Ste Devote, it was wheel-to-wheel between both drivers, but knowing there was no chance of getting though, the Caterham driver gave way allowing Canamasas

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It was an absolute ‘dream come true’ for Richelmi to finish in 1st at home, claiming: “It’s really exciting and now I want to take the time to realise what happenned and enjoy.” At the end of the weekend, Jolyon Palmer continued to lead Drivers’ Championship, extending the lead he has over Nasr who has 57 points, Cecotto is in 3rd with 49, Julian Leal on 47 and Arthur Pic in 5th with 40 points to his name.

last time out barcelona gp3

BY KATY MCCONNACHIE

RACE 1 – Maiden Win For Lynn

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ace 1 saw Alex Lynn achieve his maiden GP3 win, taking victory ahead of Koiranen GP’s Jimmy Eriksson and Status Grand Prix’s Richie Stanaway. Alex dominated Saturday in his opening GP3 race weekend, as he took maximum points after snatching the fastest lap as well as the top step in Barcelona. The day hadn’t started as planned for Carmen Jorda after she stalled on the pre-grid, meaning she was forced to start from the pitlane. It was also a dodgy start to the race for Marvin Kirchhöfer after he ended up stalling on the second pre-grid but the rookie was lucky enough to take his place on the front row once he had got going again.

Lynn made a clean start whilst Kirchhöfer tried to pressure him as they approached the 1st corner but then ran too deep into Turn 1, forcing him to cut the corner and costing him a number of places whilst Stanaway and Eriksson took full advantage of the rookie’s mistake. Eriksson took great advantage of the wheel-to-wheel battles between Stanaway and the Kirchhöfer that followed and managed to sneak his way into second place. Emil Bernstorff dumped his Carlin into the gravel trap on the first lap, but he wasn’t the only one to have bad luck on the first lap when the Trident pair of Roman De Beer and Victor Carbone brought an early end to their race after making contact. Whilst a number of drivers saw their races end early, out front, Lynn opened a gap of 1.5s over Swedish driver, Jimmy Eriksson, lighting up the timing sheets as he did. After his first lap mistake into Turn 1, Kirchhöfer began to close down on 3rd place man, Patrick Kujala whilst the rest of the pack behind them began to settle. Eriksson wasn’t going to allow Lynn to run away with the lead and began eating into the Carlin driver’s times by a tenth of a second per lap but Lynn remained cool headed and continued to set the fastest times. www.pitlanereporter.com 57


Further back, Nick Yelloly was battling with Jenzer Motorsport driver, Matheo Tuscher for a vital 8th place which would guarantee reverse grid pole for the second race on Sunday. Despite his best efforts, Yelloly lost out and the Swiss driver remained ahead of the British driver to take that crucial 8th.. Alex Fontana had been battling well with Patric Niederhauser for the final point but when it came to the chequered flag, he lost out.

Patrick Kujala and Nick Yelloly made contact at Turn 1, and whilst Yelloly was able to continue, it was a premature end to the Finnish driver’s race. As well as the action between Kujala and Yelloly, Kirchhöfer and Erikkson were having wheel-to-wheel battles, Kirchhöfer coming out on top before they continued to battle throughout a large part of the race.

A spin for Trident driver, Denis Nagulin saw him Alex Lynn was the star of the day and took victory come to a halt on track, bringing out the Safety Car. after driving a calm race, remaining untroubled from During the Safety Car period, Race 1 winner Alex lights out, giving him the lead in the Championship. Lynn and Alex Fontana decided to gamble and pitted After the race, Lynn said: “The result was exactly what for a set of wet tyres. It was a gamble that didn’t pay dreams are made of. It’s been a perfect weekend so off with the two of them failing to finish in the Top 10. On the restart, Stoneman kept his cool and remained far.” Following Race 1 in Barcelona, the stewards issued in the lead. Santiago Urrutia a 20 second time penalty as well as 2 penalty points for overtaking under yellow flag Alfonso Celis Jr made contact with Pal Varhuag conditions meaning that the Koiranen GP dropped meaning the two of them ended their race in the gravel trap at the midway point. from 20th to 21st place. In the closing stages of the race, Zamparelli found himself under pressure from Kiwi driver, Richie Stanaway but managed to hold him off and hold onto a debut podium finish. Zamparelli wasn’t the only one under pressure in the closing stages. Tuscher began to push Stoneman but couldn’t take the victory from him.

rally italy sardegna review

BY bruno keiser

RACE 2 – Wet Conditions No Problem

It was impressive race for Carlin’s Emil Berstorff who finished 8th after battling his way through the field from 24th. Patric Niederhauser missed out on a Top 8 finish but pocketed two points for taking the fastest lap as he had finished in the Top 10. At the end of the weekend, Lynn continued to lead the Drivers’ Standings with 31 points, Stanaway behind It was a good weekend for the British drivers in GP3, him with 23 and Eriksson in 3rd with 22 points. when Dean Stoneman took on the difficult Spanish conditions to take the second race victory in Sunday’s Race 2. He finished ahead of Race 2 poleman Matheo Tuscher and ART Grand Prix driver and fellow Brit, Dino Zamparelli. Tuscher started on Pole after he took 8th place in the first race of the weekend and managed to hold off Stoneman, Zamparelli and Eriksson on the first lap. A magnificent overtake on Lap 2 from Marussia Manor Racing driver, Stoneman, saw Tuscher move into 2nd. After his move, Stoneman did his best to pull away from the Swiss driver, but was unsuccessful and Tuscher continued to stick close to the British driver. www.pitlanereporter.com 58

` a perfect 10 5.6 - 8.6 were the dates of the sixth round of the World Rally Championship. Teams and drivers were invited to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia for the Italian round of the season.

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ast year, Sébastien Ogier won the rally in a VW Polo R WRC on Michelin tyres with an average speed of 89.99 km/h. This declares the rally (officially called Rally Italia Sardegna) to be the fourth slowest event of the year. Only Monte Carlo, Argentina and Mexico are slower due to their special characteristics such as snow and ice in the French sea alps or high altitudes in Central/ South America. The cause of this relatively slow average speed is the narrow and winding roads involved. With the serious risk of getting lost in the dust trails, the rally organizer increased the start interval from the normal 2 up to 3 minutes. The location of servicepark was also moved from Olbai (used in previous years) to the west of Alghero.

Actually, this is quite a bad decision as the stages haven’t changed. This means that drivers now face 500km road sections to the other side of the island. The fact that the cars leave service park before 7 a.m. and won’t be back before 9 p.m. doesn’t attract spectators to visit the rally headquarter at all. That’s why the service area felt a bit like an abandoned playground when I was there. That’s definitely not the direction to go, dear rally organizers! We remember, Citroën’s Mads Östberg had to stop in Argentina to avoid any risk of further damage to his injured thumb. On Thursday morning he sat in his car again first time since his accident and didn’t feel any discomfort. “My thumb is working and I am www.pitlanereporter.com 59


out by privateer drivers Martin Prokop – who ran as high as third earlier in the day, Henning Solberg in his Ford Focus RS WRC and the WRC 2 Fiestas of Rajhi Al Yazeed and Nasser Al-Attiyah.

saturday

Kris Meek suffered a broken alternator and was stranded in the same stage with a flat battery. Then it was the Hyundai team’s turn. First Thierry Neuville stopped with damaged suspension, which he managed to fix himself, but lost over 23 minutes before he could continue. Leading Finn Hänninen ended his rally spectacularly. A mistake during the recce The super special stage on the same day ended with led to a missing pace note and he overturned the car Mikko Hirvonen as first rally leader but with only a after a high-speed crash which felled a 30cm thick slight margin of 0.2 seconds ahead of Hyundai-ace tree. Driver and co-driver were unhurt; more proof of how safe modern world rally cars are. Neuville and Volkswagen’s champion Ogier. ready!” According to the motto: the last shall be first, it was Robert Kubica who was fastest on the 4.33 short shakedown. “The grip was much better than expected”, he said with an eye on his soft compound tyres. A promising start for the former Formula 1 ace who has lived in Italy since he was 13.

friday The first two stages on Friday morning saw two different rally leaders. Belgium’s Thierry Neuville took most benefit from his late starting position and set the fastest time in the opening stage. Hyundai team mate Juho Hänninen topped the leaderboard with a perfect run through SS3, followed by Neuville and a surprisingly fast Martin Prokop. The dramas began on stage four, or to be more precise, shortly after the stage end. “I stopped the car to take my helmet and HANS-system off for the road section and routinely check the tyre pressures. Everything seemed to be normal but suddenly flames came from the back of the car.” explains a shocked Hirvoen. “We used three fire extinguishers but could only watch the car being totally burned out.” While writing these lines, M-Sport is still investigating what caused the fire that caused the loss of 500,000 uninsured Euros.

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Third placed Martin Prokop nearly hit a safety marshal and was too shocked to go flat out for the rest of the stage. Jari-Matti Latvala gained the most benefit from his opponent’s troubles. After losing brake fluid from the front right earlier in the morning,and starting from sixth position, he found himself leading the rally at the stage end. Mads Östberg climbed up to second, followed by Prokop, Mikkelsen and Kubica. Road sweeper Ogier completed the top six before the remote service in Buddusó and the afternoon loop. The same four stages were now cleared of loose gravel and the fastest guys of the season took advantage of that. The French Volkswagen driver climbed up to second after improving dramatically on the cleaner road. At the end of day he was impressively second with a time loss of only 22.7 seconds to his leading Finnish team mate Latvala. Third place was held by Norwegian Östberg who was already thinking of driving carefully to bring home precious points for the manufacturer’s championship, after Meek’s early out. Andreas Mikkelsen brought his Polo home to Alghero in fourth place while Robert Kubica and young Elfyn Evans completed the top six. The top ten was rounded

him to be rmore than 2 minutes later at the time control than expected. “It was my mistake” admitted a visibly disappointed Latvala afterwards; goodbye rally lead, welcome position 3. Someone´s bad luck is another’s good luck, and Volkswagen-ace Ogier gained a comfortable lead of 1:40.2 minutes by the end of the day. Norwegian rocket Östberg climbed up to second, ahead of the next two Polos with Latvala and Mikkelsen who suffered a damper failure after a big hit this morning. The impressive Welshman Evans still retained fifth position more than a minute ahead of Czech’s Martin Prokop. His rally turned into pure torture from a back problem that first manifested itself on Saturday afternoon and just got worse. A trouble free Henning Solberg was happy with his seventh place and Robert Kubica found himself in 8th position after he gained a five minutes penalty for missing the last stage.

All eyes were on the duel between rally leader Latvala and his number one pursuer Sébastien Ogier. These eyes were distracted for a short time when Robert Kubica parked his Fiesta WRC in SS12 with a wheel less than needed. But the rally leader wasn’t untroubled: A red warning light on his dashboard, indicating an engine temperature of 132°C, forced him to switch the engine mapping from stage- to road mode. With much less power than normal, he stalled the engine in a hairpin and lost even more time before the red warning light surprisingly went off and the engine temperature seemed to be normal again. Later on the team confirmed a malfunctioning temperature sensor as the source of Latvala’s troubles. An Ogier on maximum attack closed the gap to 12.3 seconds. Mads Östberg was intent on keeping storming Latvala behind him. In order to defend the slight margin The second pass of the 59.13 monster stage “Monte of 21.3 seconds, he made a clever tyre choice with Lerno” with its famous “Mickey’s jump” provided crosswise mounted two softs and two hards. That the story of the day: After only a few kilometres into choice allowed him to extend the gap to Latvala by the stage, the leading car jumped out of the ruts and another 3.2 seconds. “I was too cautious”, said the the resulting impact with a rock damaged a rear disappointed Finn after SS14 who was still trying to wheel. This necessitated a wheel change and caused finish second after his mistake the previous day.

sunday

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Reigning champion Sébastien Ogier was cruising like a Sunday driver to secure his fourth victory this season. With more than one and a half minutes advantage in his pocket, he saved tyres and checked the pace notes for the upcoming power stage. Most of the other drivers followed the champion’s example and did exactly the same. Only Jari-Matti Latvala kept on pushing for second place though he ran out of kilometres. Maybe the pressure on Östberg will lead the Norwegian into an error?

Rally Team Haydon Paddon and co-driver John Kennard showed a solid performance during the whole rally with some very promising stage times. Engine misfires on day two cost him a better classification. No championship points was a poor reward for a strong first outing in a world rally car. I raise my hat!

I’ll give you the answer now - No, Östberg was clever enough to manage to stay in front of the flying Finn who gained 2 extra points for the second fastest time in the power stage. The maximum points went to Andreas Mikkelsen and his new/old co-driver Ola Floene. The last remaining extra point was won by the rally winning crew, Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia. This power stage result gave VW its 25th one-two-three stage finish since it entered the WRC in 2013. Congratulations for this impressive performance!

(Here you can embed the rally result AND the championship standings!)

Behind the faultless French man finished a troublefree Östberg claiming to be the cheese in the VW hamburger. “To be second is fantastic, we wanted a podium place and we did it. A fantastic weekend!” “I tried everything but maybe I demanded too much from my tyres”, concluded Latvala after streaking a stone wall near the stage end. Mikkelsen in fourth position was followed by a mature Elfyn Evans in fifth, who held the flags high for the M-Sport team after Hirvonen’s early out. “I’m very happy with my progress, that was a solid job”, said the confident youngster. Martin Prokop’s “no pain no gain” mission was rewarded with a solid sixth position as best privateer. Henning Solberg and Austrian co-driver Ilka Minor claimed seventh and Robert Kubica’s 8th place demonstrates his self-confidence on gravel before his home round in Poland.

With Ogier´s 20th career win, he´s leading now the championship clearly with 138 points with Latvala on the runner up spot with 105 points.

A personal note beside the rally: Volkswagen Motorsport director Jost Capito’s idea to add some spice to every rally has found acceptance from the other team bosses. But what’s it all about? Capito thinks that the winner of a rally shouldn’t be the one who was leading the rally for the entire weekend. Instead, the second placed driver battles head-onhead against the rally leader in the final stage of the rally. Calculations will be made how much quicker the leader was per kilometre during the previous days and according to that he will get a small advantage. For example the rally leader was 0.2 seconds faster during the entire rally and the power stage is 4 kilometres long, he starts the head-to head duel with an advantage of 0.8 seconds. So the second placed driver still has a chance to win even if he was, let’s say, 1 minute behind the previous day’s leader. The battle continues with positions 3rd against 4th, 5th against 6th and so on but only for the top ten drivers. In every case, each driver can win or lose only one position. Capito thinks this is the future TV format of a rally’s last day. I say this sounds too much like rally cross and is against the true meaning of rally. What do other rally fans think? Let me know... High octane greetings

New Zealand’s newest member of the Hyundai World Bruno

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tony gillham of team hard interview

by phil woods

In 2011, former cage fighter turned racing driver, Tony Gilham began his career in the British Touring Car Championship. At that point he raced with 888 Racing and Geoff Steel Racing.

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n 2012, Tony set up his own team, calling it Team HARD. The team could be recognised by their very distinct pink and green livery. Team HARD bought the Honda Civic that Gordon Sheddon had earned 2nd place in the championship the previous season. The highlight for fans of Team HARD was undoubtedly the pole position for the reverse grid at Thruxton that season. Unfortunately his car got damaged and he had to retire from that race.

Team HARD. Tony Gilham works with BMR and was able to witness Aron Smith winning a championship race at Oulton Park, in the car built by Team HARD. A victory that shows hard work pays off. Going back in time to 2006 season, Tony raced in the VW Cup. It is that championship which has attracted Tony and Team HARD for the current season. The team are very real title contenders this season. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Tony Gilham again for a chat. Here is an interview with one of the hardest working and nicest guys in motor sport.

During 2012, I spent some time with Tony Gilham and the Team HARD crew. I was a guest in the garage for the race weekend at Snetterton, and then met up with them again at the season finale at Brands Hatch. I Phil Woods - Last time we spoke, you were racing got to see, first hand, the hard work and commitment yourself in the BTCC, now it seems your main focus has switched to the VW Cup, in which you are chamthat the team put into BTCC and racing in general. pionship contenders. Can you tell us a little bit about They had a dream of getting their small team to the the decision to move your focus? front of the pack. Unfortunately a Team HARD car never quite made it, that is until now. Team BMR have Tony Gilham - The focus hasn’t changed, it just apbeen racing with a VW Passat CC originally built by pears in the public eye that we are more involved in www.pitlanereporter.com 64

the VW Cup than anything else.

ren is working with me to help reintroduce the Team HARD name back in to the BTCC and hopefully for In recent years, there have been aspects of the VW myself to be back behind the wheel and build from Racing Cup set-up that could have been made better, where we left off. There will always be a number of so this season our aim was to implement that. Our in- rumours, especially in the Motorsport world, but unvolvement in the BTCC has helped the team focus and surprisingly very few have any truth in them. address those things that needed improvement. Phil Woods - Exciting times are ahead for everyone Team HARD, for the time being isn’t involved in the at Team HARD, especially following the recent anBTCC. That said, many of our staff from the past few nouncement of a partnership with Maximum Motorseasons are still involved, but with other teams. We are sport and Steward Lines. Can you tell us a little bit working towards Team HARD returning to the BTCC about the plans the team have for the future in this in the near future, but like a lot of things, everything new collaboration? has to fall in to place. Tony Gilham - There are some very exciting times ahead for the Team and I am very grateful to be part of that. We are always looking for ways to grow, improve and develop together as we have to be on top of our game at all times. Maximum Motorsport are a very successful team in their own right and Stewart Lines is a very capable driver. The connection is based on marketing and business development so we will work together moving forwards to see where we can help each other both on and off track. Phil Woods - You offer an amazing opportunity for talented drivers out there. You run a Scholarship that gives the winning driver a fully funded season racing in the VW Cup. It’s a fantastic thing to do, something that needs to be done more and more in motor sport. Phil Woods - There has been a lot of talk on forums First of all, I am sure my motor sport colleagues, readand blogs about Team HARD and its ownership and ers of this magazine and other fans would join me in involvement in the BTCC. I for one, cannot stand ru- saying a big thank you for creating such an opportunimours, could you perhaps explain the position clearly ty. Secondly, what inspired you to do this? so our readers know the truth? Tony Gilham – Last year, Team HARD was basically a brand only, and we were known only by that name. Now has it become a company as we look to the future. Gary Allen is the director of the company and comes with a wealth of experience of business development. I am working with Team HARD to help with marketing and growth with my ability to bring in sponsors and drivers to the team. There were a number of staff connected with the Team HARD name last year and we collectively built and ran the four NGTC cars; namely the 2 Vauxhall Insignias and 2 VW Passat CC’s. The cars were always owned by investors and now Warren Scott has purchased all of the cars and equipment from said investors and is running them with some new and existing Team HARD personnel with his Team BMR. I work with BMR to help where I can with the team and if the truth be known, War-

Tony Gilham - As I’m sure most people know, I have been very lucky with my racing as most of the time I have had the support of my family friends and some very good sponsors. It is the culmination of all of those people that have enabled me to race as I haven’t been able to fund it myself. It is for this reason that the www.pitlanereporter.com 65


Scholarship came about as I wanted to give the op- camp. portunity to someone and hopefully find some new young talent for the team with a view to seeing them Also only this weekend was with the VW Passat CC one day become a BTCC driver. achieved its 1st ever win in the BTCC. It was our idea to use this model of car due to my connections with We ran a scholarship in 2012 and the amount of tal- VW and I am so proud to have put the team together ented drivers that we assessed was overwhelming. that originally built this car. Team BMR have added to I, for one, am always looking to help young and up- the development of the Passat CC this season and it coming drivers get on track, as I know how to pursue was a very proud moment for all involved to see it take a career in Motorsport. We are still working with a its 1st of hopefully a number of wins in the future. number of drivers from our scholarship programme and they have all gone on to have some success on Then obviously there was my return to racing at the track. The inspiration for me was the growing number recent Silverstone GP round in the VW Cup which of under-funded drivers out there with the amazing has completely restarted my desire to return to the potential to be a top racing driver. BTCC at some point, as I believe I have unfinished business. Phil Woods - Tell us a bit about each of your drivers? (You have 6, I believe) What do you see as their main strengths? And what are their prospects in the immediate future? Tony Gilham - I work very closely with all of our drivers and do my best to help them both on and off track. We work very well as a team but, sometimes we work one on one, as each individual has their own needs. Phil Woods - I always seem to ask this question in interviews, but it interests people to hear the differing views. How has the economy in the UK affected the ability to get sponsorship to enable to run a team? Has the recent growth in the UK made it any easier? Tony Gilham – I’m not sure that the UK economy has affected sponsorship. I believe that there are sponsors out there; it’s just a matter of finding them. It is so easy to offer a sponsorship deal to somebody and take their money in return for a sticker, but businesses want more than that. I think it’s what we can offer them that makes it so appealing, hence why I have had some of my sponsors for several years. Value for money is the key factor in any such sponsorship deals and the ability to maintain a sponsor once you start a working relationship.

Howard Fuller- I have been involved with Howard and his racing career for the last 3-4 seasons. He has undoubted talent and is the nicest guy you could ever wish to meet. He has unbelievable potential to go to the very top given the right opportunity and can be more than a match for anyone in terms of raw pace. A clear championship contender and proven race winner but unfortunately lady luck has not been on his side this season so far.

Phil Woods - Team HARD have started the season well. What has been the highlight for you so far?

Tom Barley- Tom was runner up on our scholarship and we have now worked very closely together for the last 2 seasons. Tom is the complete package as a racing driver. By that I mean his professionalism, appearance, ability and attitude are exactly what is needed to be a success. Tom will openly admit that he doesn’t have the single lap pace of some but he is Mr consistent and he does not make mistakes. That is the making of a Champion. Tom is eager to learn and has developed very quickly because of his self-belief and approach to racing.

Tony Gilham - Tom Barley’s 1st ever VW Cup podium with 2nd place at Rockingham has to be up there as well as seeing the new team gel so well. It is very important that there is a good team spirit within the

Kieran Gallagher- Kieran has had a very fast track experience and introduction in to the Motorsport world. He is developing as a driver but I feel that maybe it has worked against him that things have happened so

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quickly. Nonetheless Kieran has the ability to develop in to a successful racing driver. We need to work on his concentration levels and we have already spoken about this. There is no doubting he can be quick, we just need to now slow things down a little to get the best out of him. He can be a race winner in the future given the right management and direction. Last time out at Silverstone was Kieran’s best showing and now we will be looking to build on this going forward.

has the ability to be a champion and race winner if we can turn his enthusiasm in to pure dedication then we will unearth a hidden gem. Phil Woods - In motor sport, plans have to be made as early as possible for the upcoming seasons. 2015 may seem a long way away for most people, but can you tell us what your plans and hopes are for next season?

Tony Gilham - For 2015 we are looking to continue Simon Rudd- Simon is very much in the mould of building on our presence in the VW Cup and also Tom Barley and that should be taken as a compli- look to other championships to introduce the Team ment. He is a very talented racing driver and has no HARD name. Also there is the ambition to get back in previous experience in FWD and saloon car racing. In to the BTCC and finish what we started. Building four saying that, his rate of development so far this season NGTC cars was a massive achievement for the team has been very impressive and every time we go out he and I feel we need to prove ourselves as a force to be finds time and improvements. The driving techniques reckoned with at every level of Motorsport. are very different from what he is used to and this is now the only thing to work on as we look to move Phil Woods - You got back into the hot seat at Silverfurther and further up the grid. He is a little hard on stone at the beginning of the month. How did it feel to himself at times but that is the makings of a winner as get back into competitive action yourself? he always wants to do better. Tony Gilham - It felt amazing to be back.(see link for Graham Perkins- Graham has taken part in a num- my blog and review.) ber of track days and only made his racing debut last http://www.team-hard.com/news/number-34-reyear in the VW Cup. He has the bravery and commit- turns-to-the-track ment to be very quick and now we just need to refine that to turn it in to quicker lap times. Having little or Phil Woods - Are we likely to see the Team HARD no tuition to date I feel that if we can get the time to- colours in any other format of motor sport in the near gether, we can work on the aspects needed to build on future? the raw talent and get to a level where we can then see how far up the grid we can get. Tony Gilham - Without a doubt we are looking to continue to grow, develop and improve as a team. The Darelle Wilson- Darelle has been racing for a num- team HARD colours will be seen for sure. ber of years but, like many, always on a very limited budget. He has the potential and understanding to be Phil Woods - Is there anything else you’d like to say to a very successful driver in the VW Cup and beyond. the fans of Team HARD? The amount of time working on the cars has helped massively when it comes to driver feedback when he Tony Gilham - We have an unbelievable following is behind the wheel. He too can be a race winner given and very loyal group of supporters. Without them we the right package to work with and I’m sure we will be would not even exist. I personally will always make seeing plenty more from him in the near future. time for each and every one of them as they are responsible for the team being successful. We are basiAndy Wilmot- Andy is a personal friend, the 1st cally a family team from top to bottom and that insigning ever for Team HARD and the most underrat- cludes all of our fans. We are so grateful for all of the ed driver I have ever worked with. Unfortunately that support over the years and long may it continue. is his own doing as he has been a journeyman somewhat and raced so many different cars. I believe that Thanks to Tony Gilham for giving up his has hampered his overall progress to the top. I have time to talk with us. We wish you all the best always said that if we can get him to concentrate fully he can also be more than a match for anyone. This is for the rest of the 2014 season and also for where the approach and attitude gives you the final the future. few tenths needed to be a top level racing driver. He www.pitlanereporter.com 67


understanding aerodynamics by KIRIL VARBANOV part 2

eddies and vortices, while at low ‘Reynolds number’ the flow is laminar (usually smooth flow). ‘Reynolds number’ as a measure is very useful for aerodynamic engineers who are trying to match data produced by wind tunnels testing with real track data. This is also one the very possible reasons for data correlation mismatch (a popular topic in F1 world) - the ‘Reynolds number’ is different on a wind tunnel scaled-down model and real car, because the boundary layer is different.

Glossary - G to V

GURNEY FLAP (WICKERBILL) - The term originates back in the 1970’s when American Dan Gurney began fixing this small device at the trailing edges of the wings on racing cars. It is a really effective way of increasing the downforce of a wing at the expense of inducing a small drag. Typically the ratio is 8% more downforce for a 3% increase in drag.

The formula is simple: where: • v = is the mean velocity of the object relative to the fluid (m/s) • L = characteristic linear dimension, (travelled length of the fluid) (m) • mu = is the dynamic viscosity of the fluid (Pa·s or N·s/m² or kg/(m·s)) • u = is the kinematic viscosity (v = mu / p) (m²/s) • p = density of the fluid (kg/m³) Hence: Laminar flow: Re < 2000 Transitional flow: 2000 < Re < 4000 Turbulent flow: Re > 4000

Original concept: deus1066, Model remix: F1 Framework

laminar flow

slat

SLAT This is part of multi-element wing which is installed ahead of the leading edge of the airfoil, below the main element. It’s there to create more efficiency and downforce. See picture below - a typical aircraft install; imagine it reversed for a race car.

– (sometimes known as streamline flow) occurs when fluid flow is in parallel uninterrupted layers. Main characteristics of laminar flow are smoothness (the lack of swirls or vortex formations), steady velocity and hence stable pressure gradients.

lift to drag ratio

LIFT TO DRAG RATIO – (often abbreviated to L/D ratio or simply Ld) – It is the amount of lift (or downforce) generated by a wing or vehicle, divided by the drag it creates moving through the air. The ratio is made up of lots of different components and F1 engineers are always trying to achieve higher downforce at lower drag coefficients, which is usually a result of a balancing act - in either setup or the design stage.

pitch sensitivity

PITCH SENSITIVITY

While in motion, certain aerodynamic forces act on a race car. The magnitude of those forces is commonly known as pitch movements, and the ability of the car to cope with them is known as pitch sensitivity. That ability is directly related to the way the car feels and handles, for example sudden and excessive diving nose when braking.

Original concept: deus1066, Model remix: F1 Framework

STRAKE

strake

A flat plate body fixed to race car in order to control and direct airflow (falls under the general category of Flow conditioners).

reynolds number

REYNOLDS NUMBER

‘Reynolds number’ can be frequently seen when solving fluid dynamic issues, just as well as characterize different flow modes, such as laminar or turbulent flow. It is generally a ratio of inertial to viscous forces. For example, at high ‘Reynolds number’ the flow is turbulent, characterized by unstable formations, such as www.pitlanereporter.com 68

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turning vanes

TURNING VANES

The turning vanes on the picture below are rather Mclaren style, as opposed to the L-shaped from Red Bull and recent 2012 Ferrari incarnations. Turning vanes serve similar purpose to bargeboards, but are usually smaller in size. They started as very simple elements, like the ones highlighted with blue below, but have turned into increasingly complex in the recent years, given the strong aerodynamic profiles of modern Formula 1 cars.

historic racing

BY brynmor pierce

VENTURI

venturi

Here we will talk about both the effect and the tube, named after the Italian physicist Giovanni Battista Venturi. The Venturi effect is a jet effect per se. in a tunnel the velocity of the fluid increases as the cross sectional area decreases, which is accompanied with a decrease of the static pressure. In Formula 1 Venturi effect is closely related with underbody aerodynamics. This used to be handled through shaped channels (before flat floors) which aimed to accelerate the air and hence create low pressure areas. See the picture below and imagine how and where this can be applied in a race car. Again, the blue areas are low pressure ones and red are high.

‘Continuation’, an inoffensive and fluffy word that couldn’t possibly rub anyone up the wrong way.

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owever in the present world of Historic racing there’s an undercurrent of people who are strongly against it. Why you may ask?

Well two iconic British manufacturers have announced during the last 9 months that they intend to make very limited production runs of two of their most loved (and rarest) race cars. Step forward Lister Cars and Jaguar.

Image credit: http://www.symscape.com

F1 Aerodynamics – Parts 1 and 3 of the Glossary can be read in the May and July editions of ‘Pit Lane Reporter’ www.pitlanereporter.com 70

enabled the quite legitimate build of several period perfect GT40’s. However the GT40’s differed in that they used 1960’s parts, as far as anyone seems aware in the case of the ‘E’s’, all parts are brand new manufacture….

Now should you be in the fortunate position to buy one of these vehicles (E-Type rumoured to be around the £1million GBP mark) you’ll be able to gain an FIA Historic Passport. This in its simplest form means that the car complies with the original specification Late last year Lister announced that they would resume for the model and gives access (should your entry be manufacture of their Lister ‘Knobbly’, based on the accepted or you are invited), to some of the biggest same design underpinnings of a D-Type engine, with historic meetings around. the added bonus of chassis manufactured to the latest It’s this issue that is ruffling feathers. Whilst it’s true FIA safety standards. that race cars are re-built / built to better than new, Early in May this year Jaguar announced their their intrinsic basis is still 40+ years old…so there intention to build 6 ‘unused’ chassis numbers for you are on the grid with 20 other multi million pound their lightweight ‘E’ Type. These 6 vehicles will be classic vehicles…oh and A.N.Other in his brand new built to their original standard, with full FIA safety E-Type Lightweight?? Claims of ‘unfair advantage’, ‘not sporting’ and the word ’replica’ mentioned in compliance. It’s nothing new, some DB4 Zagato’s were built in the hushed tones abound on various forums at present. late 80’s and indeed during the mid-1990’s a treasure Those 20 other vehicles will mostly have some period trove of original Ford GT40 parts were found which provenance and a certain traceability which will be www.pitlanereporter.com 71


regularly discussed at the bar of an evening and no doubt add value at time of sale. Whilst in reality even back in the day, manufacturers raced the cars once, swapped chassis numbers from shell to shell, crashed/ cut up, and swapped some registration numbers. This was an accepted practice at the time but one which is largely forgotten about now.

years old? They’ll sound and look the same, and have the same Castrol R smells emanating from them.

This brings us neatly back around to where we started and you can ask yourself a question, does it really matter? Would you rather drive a vehicle which is 100% brand new with provenance or be whisked off on a mythical journey of heritage and story for an original As fans I can’t imagine any of us would have an issue 60’s one……personally I’d be happy with either and with another 6 E-Types, heck from the trackside who can’t wait to see them on track very soon. of us could even tell which was new and which was 50

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super tourer feature

BY brynmor pierce

Sytner, Harvey, Gravett, Hoy, Rouse, Soper…Cleland

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find it hard to read those words without the sound of Murray Walker’s excitable commentary of the late 1980’s British Touring Car Championship filling my mind. These were the times of Group A racing, a battle of Ford vs BMW with an interloper in the name of Vauxhall using the strange points system to their advantage battling around the UK. The sight of a pack of Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth’s piling into the Craner Curves at Donington, with the nose of a cheeky BMW M3 or two peeking out from the Ford onslaught. 550 bhp, flames flickering from the side exit exhausts and the deep rasp of the Cosworth vs the high pitched revving of the M3’s. As we know these gave way in 1991 to a new set of rules which outlawed the Cosworth, but brought in over the next 7 years manufacturers such as Honda/ Volvo/Mazda/Toyota and Peugeot as well as Ford and BMW still being around….the super touring era was with us….packed grids, packed spectator stands and exciting door to door (and regularly wing to wing/ door to wing, you get the idea) racing.

made their way into club racing saloon series but there was no one place where they could compete together against their old adversaries. Around 2 years ago the HSCC took notice of owner’s requests and set into motion the wheels for a revival of those times. The initial race at the 2012 Silverstone Classic saw a rather eclectic mix of cars with the emphasis on the late 80’s. From that start it gathered momentum in 2013 with more and more of the older drivers appearing and some very iconic cars, last year’s Oulton Park Gold Cup even saw Tim Harvey using his old Labatt’s RS500 (his three wheeling antics were a sight to be seen).

Of course all those years of racing and rule changes left a large selection of cars languishing in owners/ teams garages. Some became thunder saloons, others www.pitlanereporter.com 73


The interest that the public have shown hasn’t been lost on the powers that be, some handy timing with the Carrera cup support races not on the schedule saw an invite to the modern era BTCC at Oulton Park over the weekend of 7th and 8th June. The initial entry list saw 29 cars pencilled-in to appear, a number only 3 down on the main BTCC field.

It’s fair to say that aside from the main BTCC cars it was the varied entry of this era drawing the crowds, indeed interest was so high that it was hard for the crews to get through the paddock to qualifying. Some of the pictures will I’m sure give a flavour and from a personal perspective I’ve never seen a qualifying day so busy at the Cheshire circuit.

Further down a battle royale was ensuing; a real strong start saw Neil Gerrard in the Nescafe Laguna move up to 4th (having started in 7th) by the end of lap 1 and by lap 3 he was up to 3rd....sadly several cars started to fall by the wayside including the beautiful ex Steve Soper M3 of Mark Smith after 10 laps. Where a touring car field gathers, drama is never far away and indeed on lap 3 Patrick Watts overcooked things at Knickerbrook dropping from 8th to 13th in one fell swoop. It’s fair to say Patrick’s fight back was one of the highlights of the race from then on, eventually getting back to 11th.

to flag’ victory for James Dodd, with Cleland finishing 90.79mph). By comparison, the modern era quickest second some 3 seconds back. time was Colin Turkington with a 94.08mph lap. The real drive of the race came from one of the past stars in the form of Patrick Watts. Starting 8th on the grid he put some great moves on those ahead moving up to 6th at the end of lap 1 ,and 4th by the end of lap 2, a position he held to the finish. Fastest lap in the race went the Stewart Whyte Honda finishing 3rd and getting a 92.89mph fastest lap (up from his race one

So that’s it now for the Super Tourers until their next round at the Silverstone Classic and after that it’s the Oulton Park Gold Cup. It’s a series that’s definitely got legs, but the lack of parts and fragility of some cars is no doubt playing its part in races. We’ll let you know how Silverstone goes at the end of July.

This is a real testimony to how evenly matched the cars are on a circuit configuration that is not conducive to overtaking. Further down the field a great battle was going on between the David Jarman’s Primera, Keith Butcher’ Primera and Alvin Powell’s Mondeo (they were literally nose to tail) these crews finishing10th/11th and 12th respectively. A little way behind them was the amazingly driven 1970’s Zakspeed re-creation Escort of Mark Wright. Possibly the drive of the race was Stewart Whyte, a nightmare in qualifying saw him start at the back, but a measured drive and some decisive overtaking saw him hustle his Accord to 6th at the flag.

So the June 7th saw a fractionally depleted field form for the Oulton Park/BTCC support round of the HSCC super tourer series. It was run on the full International circuit with the fearsome Shell Oils banked hairpin. Sadly no fire breathing RS500 Cosworth’s this time as appeared last year; instead we had a field of 922000 spec super tourer’s including 5 E30 M3 BMW’s (the iconic shaped ones). Race 1 qualifying resulted in pole for the star veteran John Cleland in one of his old Vectra’s nearly half a second in front of James Dodd’s Honda Accord. Row two saw the Alfa 156 of Neil Smith line up alongside the second Dodd family car of Graeme Dodd in a Primera. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the top 8, keeping in mind the late 90’s power houses was the ex-Tim Harvey M3 of Max Goff in 7th. Another name from the past was Patrick Watts bringing his Peugeot 406 into 11th....so to the race.

The overall lead changed on lap 3 with James Dodd passing Cleland and that was how it stayed to the finish, a repeat of the Gold Cup race last August. Incidentally the Super Tourers quickest qualifying was around 82mph, the quickest modern era BTCC car was 94mph....but visually you couldn’t tell them apart.

The second race, which had been due to take place mid-afternoon on Sunday (being televised live on A downpour half an hour before the start saw some ITV), was put back to last race of the day. The grid wet patches remain in what were incredibly humid formed up in the main based on the results of Race 1. temperatures. As expected the Cleland / James Dodd It has to be said that the race was slightly processional, one/two shot off from the rest, pulling out nearly 4 a mix of the nature of the circuit and the understandaseconds over the field by the end of the 1st lap. ble desire not to bend precious metal and saw a ‘lights www.pitlanereporter.com 74

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Blancpain GT Report Bleekemolen & Bentley In Britain

BY adam johnson

2014 truly is the year of sportscar racing series merging, and the growing pains which occur when bringing multiple series, contracts and fanbases under one umbrella - just ask IMSA how hard it can be, and how easy it can be to mess it up.

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lancpain have taken the FIA GT series under its wing for 2014, making it into the Sprint Series as an opposite to the flagship Endurance Series format. And seeing both series racing in the same country within a week of each other was a good chance to compare both side by side, now that they have been combined into a strange overall points system.

Blancpain Sprint Series - Brands Hatch, UK, 18th May First up was the Sprint Series, with all references to the old FIA GT Series swept conveniently under the rug. Bringing this series under the Blancpain umbrella gives an interesting dilemma in terms of scheduling; obviously they wouldn’t want to clash or take away from the well-established Endurance Series, so in countries where the Endurance Series already race, the Sprint Series can explore alternative venues. Enter from stage left: Brands Hatch. An elevating, www.pitlanereporter.com 76

undulating, rollercoaster of a racetrack which in a previous era hosted World Sportscar Championship racing but hasn’t seen premier international sportscar racing since the mid-90s. Maybe it’s because overtaking is an actual challenge, or the layout isn’t completely flat with runoff areas stretching off for miles in every direction? Whatever. I was just pleased to see toplevel sportscar racing back at one of the finest circuits in the motorsport world - and my home circuit. Not that I’m biased, of course.

What this also meant is that we had the traditional Brands Hatch bundle through Paddock Hill and into Druids on the first lap in both races, and it doesn’t matter if it’s BTCC or F1 racing there - there’s no hiding place, as outside-pole man Maximillion Gotz found out. The distinctive snub nose of the #84 Mercedes SLS edged ahead of polesitter Laurens Vanthoor as the lights went out, but Vanthoor ran wide and dropped the shoulder of his Audi R8 LMS, biffing Gotz down to 4th as Jeroen Bleekemolen snuck into 2nd in the Grasser Racing Lamborghini. An early McLaren spinner and the over-aggressive Rene Rast forgetting he wasn’t in a touring car and ruining a tire on his R8 in the process kept interest up until the pitstops around the half-hour mark, which coincided with Alex Zanardi proving he is human after all; after spinning on the front straight, a failed attempt at recovery beeched him in the gravel. Thankfully, he would have happier times later in the day on his return to the site of his double gold-medal win at the London 2012 Paralympics.

behind them, Giorgio Pantano in the #60 McLaren jumped up to 5th place, but sadly wouldn’t stay there. Overall the second race largely lacked the interest of the first - any race where you find yourself wishing for a NASCAR-style debris caution in the late stages isn’t going in the ‘classics’ folder anytime soon. A pattern swiftly became familiar; outside of pitstops and the start, the drivers seemed more often than not to be happy with their lot. Unless your name is Alex Zanardi, who clearly wasn’t happy with his blotted copybook in Race 1 and was on a mission - a mission which concluded with an excellent top5. It was so nearly an excellent race for BMW as a whole, with Valdeno Brito looking to go one better for BMW Team Brasil after another excellent pitstop. Unfortunately, it was too good, and he was pinged for a pitlane infringement, meaning the podium places reverted back to as they finished in race 1 - Lambo ahead of SLS ahead of Brazilian BMW. Blancpain Endurance Series - Silverstone, UK, 25th May There was no escaping the feeling that the Sprint Series was nothing more than a warm-up for the main event up at the ‘home of UK motorsport’ (TM). Perhaps inevitable given the Endurance Series being an established series, which also meant we were treated to a crammed grid of 44 cars compared to the Sprint Series’ puny 18. Most shockingly of all, we had a ProAm driver on pole in Eric Dermont after a brilliant lap by co-driver Franck Perera in mixed conditions in qualifying.

The resulting safety car cranked the tension up nicely, with the Grasser crew nabbing the lead in turning their car over to Hari Procyzk, and conversely Vanthoor and co-driver Cesar Ramos having a stinker with Audi WRT, rejoining 4th. This put Nicky Mayr-Melnhof 2nd, but not for long; not with Maximillion Buhk in tow. A superb move on the outside under braking for Paddock put the SLS crew up to 2nd, and a tense off-track excursion at Graham Hill Bend put MayrMelnhof in the jaws of the BMW Team Brasil duo Sergio Jimenez and Matheus Stumpf, who pounced for their chance at glory; Jimenez and co-driver Caca Bueno were visibly delighted at a 3rd place finish after What this did mean however was that an amateur a baptism of fire in 2013, following home Procyzk and driver had to lead away the raging 40-plus field on Buhk in an entertaining race 1. Sunday, and that went about as well as an old dear leading away a herd of boy racers at the traffic lights The front three spent most of the first lap of the main in Dartford. Dermont’s lead lasted all of the first race communicating in braille, to not much avail - straightaway before being mugged, and from there www.pitlanereporter.com 77


it was a steady tumble down the order. Not quite as swift a demotion as the poor Triple 8 BMW team; the successful BTCC stalwarts had a brutal introduction to Blancpain racing as Ryan Ratcliffe suffered a puncture at speed on the approach to Copse in a spectacular crash involving airtime, barriers and a sign being wiped out.

BTCC: Independent’s Day at oulton park

BY adam johnson

This wreck led to a bizarre scenario where many drivers were penalised for ‘improving under yellows’, including the then-2nd place driver Guy Smith in the #7 Bentley, who was at the time hunting down the lead #98 McLaren of Alvaro Parente. The runaway winners of Round 1 at Monza weren’t having it their own way this time; once the battleship Bentley was curbed (despite many protests from Smith), the sister #99 car of Kevin Estre kept a steady gap before co-driver Kevin Korjus stormed past Gregoire Demoustier, the new #98 driver powerless to prevent this lead change. This being a Blancpain Endurance race, beyond 5th on back was anybody’s guess, but one name was rising back up the charts - Andy Meyrick, having taken over beastly Bentley from a furious Smith, he was getting down to serious work, and eventually caught and repassed the #98 McLaren having failed to do so earlier. Even with the mighty efforts, a non-ART winner was still a long shot, but then crucially with 42 minutes to go the #128 Aston Martin crashed hard, bringing a safety car intervention. Suddenly the gap from 1st to 2nd shrunk to nothing, and final Bentley wheelman Steve Kane smelt blood from Andy Soucek, and the ART strategy of using an early lead to coast home in the final hour was blown to pieces. Soucek sought brief solace in using some lapped cars to build a seven second lead, but it was to no avail - the Bentley helicopter gunship was unstoppable on home turf. In just its second race, the Bentley team can feel rightly proud of sweeping to a convincing victory.

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I may have hinted in previous articles that familiarity is starting to breed contempt in the BTCC ranks.

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ot that the series isn’t lacking for doorslamming action (well, more on that later), but it is starting to get quite wearisome to be typing out the same names driving the same two cars (Honda or MG) when reporting on the sharp end of the order. So what a refreshing treat then to see the independents taking all the headlines, and whilst one team in particular isn’t exactly unfamiliar with success in the BTCC, some of the other teams grabbing the spotlight have been long overdue their day in the sun. Or, this being British summer, their day in the cloud and rain. A long line of cars lapping a lengthy, technical circuit and struggling to find overtaking opportunities, leads to the commentators hoping for a safety car, and me wondering when this boredom will be over. Normally these are phrases I’d use to describe an F1 race, and it pains me to use them in relation to a BTCC race. But that’s exactly how most of the day and particularly Race 1 panned out. With the race pretty much all over half a lap in once Colin Turkington had protected his lead from pole position, teammate Rob Collard had

charged into 2nd ahead of Jason Plato, and Rob Austin had valiantly tried to improve his 5th place starting spot to not much avail. It was really strange to watch the monster grid trail around the circuit in single file like a classic car parade, and when Alain Menu, Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan all start mid-pack and make absolutely zero progress, you know something is badly wrong. The strangest thing was that it felt like all drivers were desperately trying to race hard, but just couldn’t no matter what they tried. All good for Turkington, Collard and Plato, who completed the podium, but less so for everyone else. Thankfully, Austin took it into his own hands to make Race 2 more interesting from the start - by being slow. So after a ripper start where he mugged Plato and Gordon Sheddan, it quickly became clear that he didn’t have any of the pace of the latter two. So as the two BMWs again cleared off in line astern, fans grabbed the popcorn, but even compressing the field did nothing to spark proceedings into life. This inevitably led to frustration, and the old stager Menu took it into his own hands, only to fail miserably with a rubbish move down the inside at Knickerbrook Chicane on Fabrizio www.pitlanereporter.com 79


Giovanardi. Gio had been complaining in Race 1 of came home to break Team BMR’s duck in 2014. the racing being boring - presumably this wasn’t the way he wanted it to be livened up. Then Jack Goff went side-by-side with Dave Newsham out of Old Hall, and as wheels and panels locked Newsham ended up spearing off into the barriers. Thankfully he was OK, although the car was very much second hand, and in the ensuing safety car intervention we had a bizarre situation unfold. Collard, having run a comfortable 2nd all race long, slowed too early for the safety car, letting Austin past. Austin then ceded the position back to Collard, but by now the safety car was out on track and so the overtake was considered to be done under safety car. So having defended 3rd all race long, Austin was suddenly awarded 2nd on a technicality. None of this bothered Turkington, who swept to two wins from two for the day. And in the end, the day’s action felt frustratingly flat and devoid of action; and that pains me to say as a BTCC fan since 1997. But zero lead changes during all three races says it all - it was fairly dire. Can we blame the stricter track limit rules? I’m not sure, as they certainly haven’t affected racing previously so far this year. Can we blame tightened driving standards? That’s a dangerous game to play, as the BTCC is trying to shake off this image of just being glorified destruction derby, and I’d hate to see battles for the win decided by wrecking. None of the penalties handed out this weekend were entirely unjust, and the V8 Supercars proves that strict rules on contact can still create excellent touring car racing. The finger mostly has to be pointed at the layout: Oulton Park’s long International layout which the series was returning to The reverse grid draw plonked Aron Smith on pole, for the first time since 1996 made the lap too long, and Mother Nature threw a wildcard into the mix with too technical and essentially reduced overtaking a massive shower, followed by blue skies at race start, opportunities down to one spot; Lodge Corner. With leaving a soaking wet track rapidly drying out. As it the cars all so relentlessly equalled out, this layout left transpired, outside-pole sitter Tom Ingram’s hopes absolutely no quarter for potential mistakes, chances of a debut victory were shot down in flames with a and battling, which was a real shame. I can only see the nightmare start and a mechanical failure, and Neal, series reverting back to the previous slightly shorter Goff and Hunter Abbot were all scattered around the layout next year, as that worked well in previous years run-off areas at Old Hall - all after just one lap. 2nd place here, and the International layout remaining for GT really wasn’t the charm; Mat Jackson promptly fell off and motorbike racing. at Cascades on the restart, then Collard skidded across the Knickerbrook chicane and turned the position Nevertheless, let us not denigrate a day in the sun for over to Shedden. The drying track and reversed grid the independents. Three top-5s for Rob Austin Racing positions were at least creating some interest at last, is exactly what the out-of-luck owner-driver needs and it also saw the return of Plato getting involved in after a miserable season so far, and Team BMR have scrapes. Firstly with a 50/50 incident with Collard at been knocking on the door of a breakthrough win Lodge which saw Collard facing the wrong way having all year. The key now is momentum, and with Croft attempted to shut the door on Plato far too late, then suiting the West Surrey Racing BMWs, that seems to a bump ‘n’ run on Turkington at Shell Hairpin which be in Mr Turkington’s favour. I wouldn’t say the old was subsequently penalised in post-race. Meanwhile, order is finished just yet...but it would be nice if this Shedden had nothing for Aron Smith, who gleefully weekend wasn’t a one-off. www.pitlanereporter.com 80

” r e n w O r a C a f o e l c y C e f i The L

Phil Woods

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n twenty years as a driver I have noticed one thing all car owners have in common: they have a guaranteed life cycle from the time they get their license to the day they have their license revoked (or perhaps I mean the day they should have their license revoked). You may not believe me right now but wait until you’ve read the evidence.

Next comes the boy/girl racer stage. They buy another hatchback around the same age, but this time they make sure it has a 1200cc engine, a power horse by their standards. This time they dress it up like a little girl dresses a doll, trying to make it look pretty and fast. The cars end up so low down that they struggle to get over speed humps and they have exhausts the size of the driver’s head. You’ll spot these cars by the way The life of a car owner begins when they pass their they make a noise akin to that when you get a hole driving test at whatever age the government see fit in your exhaust, as those 1200cc engines hardly make (Americans make you wait, the Indian government the music of a V8. somewhere in the middle and the British can’t wait to fill the roads). The first car is always the cheapest to Then comes the sensible stage, the married-withinsure, usually a small hatchback around seven years children time of a driver’s life. Here comes the people old with an engine no bigger than those used in lawn carrier. You know the sort, the vehicle that is no bigger mowers, the type of car you often see sticking to every on the inside than a standard Ford Focus or Vauxhall/ speed limit rigidly, like it’s a target rather than a limit. Opel Astra. It’s taller though, perfect for those really tall children you’ve just had. You will recognise these cars by their stupid names like Sharan, Lucida, Estima and Zafira. They also, more often than not, have children staring out of the back window waving at strangers (whatever happened to ‘stranger danger’?) Now the children have grown up and flown the nest, it’s time for the midlife crisis car – the time when you start to drive around in convertibles allowing your www.pitlanereporter.com 81


newly-formed jowls to shake attractively in the wind. During this time you are statistically more likely to buy a sports car, such as a Lamborghini Gallardo or, more often than not, one of those Volkswagen Porsche things. This is the point at which people look and think, “I didn’t imagine he would more of a prat than when he had his 1200cc Corsa at 19 years old, but he’s gone and proven me wrong.”

a-pensioner stage of car ownership. This is when you buy a brand new car, usually made by Fiat, Ford or Honda. You drive everywhere at 40mph, regardless of whether you are on a road with a 60mph speed limit or a 30mph limit. You wind up everyone on faster roads and then annoy the police on slower roads, making you annoying to absolutely everyone. This is the stage when you really should have your license revoked, just before… The final part of a car owner’s life cycle, that time when you revert back to the beginning with a smallengined ‘sensible’ car, one with the horsepower of a pony. You’ll buy the smallest car available on the market and still struggle to see over the steering wheel due to body shrinkage. Haven’t these people heard of cushions? You can spot these tiny drivers a mile off, and even when this is literally the case you get closer very quickly as they go at least 10mph under the speed limit, everywhere!

When you’ve got over trying to attract women (or men, because ladies have midlife crises too) that are half your age, you move onto the old-but-not-quite-

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That’s the life cycle of a car owner. You know it’s true! Where are you in the process?


limited edition prints by gary drew

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his is an exciting opportunity to own some unique and exciting artwork from the exceptional Gary Drew. Part of a set of 11 pieces, one for each Formula One team, these are each limited to 250 copies. These are ideal for motorsports fans and art lovers alike. Each print is priced at ÂŁ25.00 plus ÂŁ3.49 postage and packaging , and can be ordered individually or alternativly you can subscribe to the print releases for ÂŁ50 per month for five months and you will receive the whole collection of limited edition prints, one of which will be free of charge. When they are gone, they are gone, so click on the link below to place your order before they are all gone!

order now > www.pitlanereporter.com 84


Pitlane Reporter - Issue 4