Portugal Rally

CITROEN JUST OUTSIDE TOP 3

 The DS3 WRCs finished in fourth and seventh places in Portugal. Kris Meeke was part of the leading trio for a long time, and only on the final day he did give way to the Volkswagens. Victory went to Jari Matti Latvala followed by Sébastien Ogier.

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A closely-fought battle

Winner in Argentina, Kris Meeke confirmed he is the man in form at the moment by fighting at the front throughout the whole rally. First of all, he was involved in a superb battle with Jari Matti Latvala for victory, especially on Saturday morning. Then he fought off Sébastien Ogier’s comeback but had to give way on Sunday morning when an anti-roll bar broke: he finished fourth. Østberg-Andersson suffered turbocharging problems, but managed to bring home the points that went with seventh place.

Monopoly

Despite the pressure from Kris Meeke’s DS3 WRC the Volkswagens monopolised the podium with victory going to Jari Matti Latvala from Sébastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen. In the overall classification Sébastien Ogier has increased his lead and now has 42 points in hand over Andreas Mikkelsen.

Yves Matton (Citroën Racing manager):

We can be pleased with this result. The DS3 WRCS were competitive and we were fighting at the front for more than two days. In addition we’ve pulled away from our pursuers in the manufacturers’ general classification and consolidated our second place. It’s a good omen for the next part of the season.”       

Next round: Rally Italy (11-14 June)

Monaco Grand Prix

Infiniti Red Bull Racing at the front!

In a race marked by Verstappen’s huge shunt, Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo finished just outside the top 3 (4th and 5th). Rosberg scored a surprise victory.

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Monaco suits the RB11

Daniel Ricciardo put on a scintillating performance in the closing laps of the race. He had a top-3 finish in his sights before handing back his fourth place to Daniil Kvyat in respect of the team’s strategy. 

Not as bad as it looked

Max Verstappen’s accident was both violent and spectacular and fortunately he wasn’t injured. By the way, the Dutch pushed Romain Grosjean out of the Top 10.

Rosberg seizes his chance

The German took advantage of a very odd decision by Mercedes to bring in Hamilton, who had a comfortable lead in the race, during the safety car period. Thanks to the fact that Vettel managed to slip past the British driver, Rosberg has reduced Hamilton’s lead even further in the world championship. 

Daniil Kvyat (Infiniti Red Bull Racing):

Our bet consisted of letting Daniel pass to clinch a place on the podium as he had fresh super-soft tyres, but he didn’t manage so he gave me back my fourth place. It’s been a very positive day for me as I scored my best result in Formula 1. I’ll let you guess the next step!

 Next round: Canada GP (June 7)

Germany Grand Prix

Kings of the Ring

 The Citroën C-Elysée WTCC wins twice on the legendary Nürburgring’s Nordschleife.

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 A hat trick to start

José María López wins the first race ahead of Sébastien Loeb and Yvan Muller. The Argentinian world number one has won every race 1 from the beginning of the season. 

One-two to conclude

Whatever the reverse grid, Yvan Muller and José María López took the best on all their rivals over a second lively race to offer twice the Citroen Total team. 

A significant advance

José María López now has 50 point lead over Loeb in the standings, ahead of Yvan Muller that length. In the Constructors’ Championship, Citroën Total has 115 points over Honda. 

Linda Jackson (CEO – Citroën):

“I’m delighted with my first weekend on the ground with Citroën Racing. First of all, of course, I must pay tribute to the team’s excellent results on the track. A treble and a double are just reward for the hard work of a team of passionate professionals. I was also impressed by the sheer talent of the group of drivers assembled by Yves Matton, particularly on this circuit! The Nürburgring and the Nordschleife are renowned in the motorsport world, so Citroën can be proud that its C-Elysées have come out on top here.”

 Next meeting : Russia (5-7 June)

Hungary Grand Prix

Citroën falls on a tough rival!

 After Lopez and Muller scored a double in the first heat, the C-Elysées were beaten in the second one by national Hungarian star Norbert Michelisz.

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Lopez opens up a gap

Thanks to a stunning start from third place in the first heat, the Argentinean scored his third win of the season increasing his lead over his team-mates and rivals in the championship even further. 

Pole for Muller

The Alsatian put an end to Lopez’s domination in qualifying. Unfortunately, he made an average start in the first race, which condemned him to second place as overtaking on the tight Hungaroring is well nigh impossible.

A top-3 with no Citroëns!

For the first time in ages there were no Citroëns in the top 3 in race 2 won by Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic Zengo) from the Chevrolet Cruzes driven by Coronel and Valente.

Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Director):

“We knew it was going to be a difficult weekend as we had to carry 60 kg ballast on the twistiest circuit of the season. Overall, we’re satisfied with this weekend and we’re already looking ahead to the Nürburgring, which will be one of the highlights of the championship!”

Next round: Nurburgring, Germany (15-17 May)

Italian Grand Prix (Imola)

A perfect weekend

Finishing first and second of the two races held on the Imola circuit, Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea made no bones about their intentions in Italy. The same thing applied in the Supersport category with a new victory for Kenan Sofuoglu who, like Jonathan Rea, increased his lead in the overall standings.

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The Races

To say the two Kawasaki riders dominated the Italian round of the Superbike World Championship would be an understatement. At Imola, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes left their opponents with crumbs to eat. Leading from the start, they finished the first race almost wheel to wheel although it was shortened by half as a result of a fall that required the intervention of the emergency response teams. The second round followed virtually the same scenario, with Tom Sykes clinging on lap after lap in the wake of his teammate before accepting defeat. “It’s difficult to find the words to describe what I feel,” confided Rea at the finish line. “I’ve never been in this kind of situation, and I feel like I’m living on a cloud, even if this is the result of the excellent work we did over the winter with the team.” Second in both of the day’s races, Tom Sykes was also satisfied with his weekend, even if victory has continued to remain outside his grasp since the beginning of the year. “We made further progress,” said the Brit. “Jonathan is riding really well right now, but I feel better and better and the season is not over yet.” In the Supersport category at Imola Kenan Sofuoglu won the thirtieth victory of his career in the discipline after another duel with Jules Cluzel. After qualifying for the front row of the starting grid, Marco Faccani crossed the finish line in fifth position.

The Championship

With his new twin-win, the fourth of the season, Jonathan Rea now has an eighty-seven point lead in the standings. Tom Sykes has moved up to third place, twenty-five points behind Leon Haslam. In Supersport Kenan Sofuoglu now has a thirty-seven point lead over Jacobsen while Marco Faccani has gained two places. He is now ninth overall.

The Background

If he’d known what lay ahead at the start of the year when he first rode the ZX-10R, Jonathan Rea would no doubt have signed earlier with Kawasaki. Since his arrival in the KRT team, the Brit has gone from success to success. Out of the first ten races of the season, the championship leader has already won eight, and finished second in the other two. At Imola, Rea celebrated his one hundred and fiftieth race in the Superbike World Championship with another twin-win. In so doing, he has equalled the number of wins (22) of his teammate Tom Sykes, and has become the seventh rider in the discipline to chalk up eleven podiums in a row. A triumph for a rider who, if he continues at this rate, should hold the world champion crown well before the end of the season.

 

Spanish Grand Prix

CONSISTENT FINISHES IN THE POINTS

Ricciardo and Grosjean again racked up top-10 finishes in Spain where Rosberg scored his first victory in 2015.

 

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Hamilton’s run halted

After four pole positions on the bounce Lewis Hamilton lost out in qualifying to his team-mate. The next day Nico Rosberg was unbeatable in the race and closed the gap to the world no. 1 to just 20 points.

Undercut

Lewis Hamilton got the upper hand over Sebastian Vettel in the pits by changing to a 3-stop strategy compared to the two scheduled for the Ferrari driver, who had made a better start than the reigning world champion!

Consistency pays off

Daniel Ricciardo drove another solid race and took the chequered flag in seventh place in his RB11. Behind him in eighth came Romain Grosjean who clinched his third top-10 finish in a row. Both are now in the first 8 in the title race.

Romain Grosjean (Lotus F1 Team):

“I lost fourth gear during the race, which made things very difficult. It set me a tough challenge: it’s good to be in the points yet again and we can be proud of this result.”

 

Next round : Monaco (24 May)

 

Spa-Francorchamps 6 hours

TOP 5 FINISH FOR SIGNATECH ALPINE

The Alpine A450b’s steady race was crowned with a fifth-place finish in LM P2 in which victory went to Jota Sport. In the blue-riband LM P1 category the no. 7 Audi scored its second win on the bounce.

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Good points!

After the Silverstone incident the Signatech Alpine team was out to put its mind at rest. Mission accomplished as it scored its first points in the LM P2 category in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship. Nelson Panciatici, Paul-Loup Chatin and Vincent Capillaire were fifth on the grid and throughout the race they oscillated between fourth and sixth places in what was a consistent drive. The podium was out of reach, but Signatech achieved its main objective before the big one in the Sarthe.

Jota Sport steals the limelight!

A surprise! The # 8 Jota Sport Gibson driven by Simon Dolan, Mitch Evans and Harry Tincknell clinched a dominant victory in LM P2 in front of the no. 28 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 and the no. 43 Sard Morand Morgan.

Audi racks up win no. 2!

Although the Porsche was quicker Audi’s superior strategy paid dividends helped by the talent of no. 7’s driver line-up of André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer. The #18 and #17 Porsches completed the podium in that order.

Aston Martin back on top

There was a ding-dong battle in GTE Pro with the no. 99 Aston Martin driven by Alex McDowall, Fernando Rees and Richie Stanaway coming out on top.

Philippe Sinault – Signatech Alpine Team Principal): “We’ve achieved the aim we set ourselves for this event even though we have the potential to do even better. Overall, it’s been very positive as we scored our first points in the WEC and finished the race without any reliability problems. Although we’ve still got work to do before Le Mans we’re ready to take up this challenge.”

Grand Prix of Spain (Jerez)

Rabat returns to the podium

After a difficult start to the season, Tito Rabat made it back to the podium at the Spanish Grand Prix. The Moto2 World Champion title-holder finished third, while in MotoGP Scott Redding started scoring points again after a great fight to the finish.

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The Races

It took three Grand Prix for Rabat and the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team to get the hang of the new Kalex chassis. After trouble at the first overseas events, the defending champion regained his place in Jerez, starting with a sumptuous pole position before making it to his first podium. After starting in the lead before letting Germany’s Folger overtake him, Rabat seemed destined for second place until Rins crashed into him while trying to overtake him in the last corner. Tito had to sidestep and Zarco seized the opportunity to take second place. Ninth to take the chequered flag, Alex Marquez confirmed the progress he’s achieved by making it to the top ten for the first time this season. In MotoGP, Scott Redding once again suffered from the heat. The Brit, despite inheriting a new chassis for the Spanish Grand Prix, struggled to find the grip that would have allowed him to feel comfortable on the scorching hot track in Jerez. After fighting it out with Barbera, Viñales, Hernandez and Petrucci, Redding finally finished thirteenth.

The Championship

Thanks to the three points he scored in Jerez, Redding has moved up one place in the MotoGP championship standings, and is now twelfth. In Moto2, Rabat took advantage of his third place to move up to seventh place while Marquez is now fifteenth with fourteen points on his scoreboard.

The Background

If Assen is the only circuit in the championship to have figured on the Grand Prix calendar since its creation in 1949, Jerez is second in MotoGP seniority. The Andalusian track has been hosting the Spanish Grand Prix since 1987, and it has never failed to be a major event. “Jerez is always a very special race,” says Michael Bartholemy, the manager of the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team. “The Spanish Grand Prix usually marks the return of the championship to Europe, and there is always a party atmosphere with a large audience of fans.”Surrounded by hills, the twisting circuit in Jerez is also perfect for bullfights right up to the finish. In 1996, Mick Doohan was booed by a mob-like crowd after making Alex Crivillé crash at the last corner. And it was in exactly the same spot that Valentino Rossi hit Sete Gibernau before winning in 2005, and Marc Marquez hit Jorge Lorenzo two years ago to make it to the second step of the podium.