Superbike World Championship – UK

Two solid podiums

By making it twice to the podium in Donington, Jonathan Rea further increased his overall lead. The Kawasaki rider now has sixty-four points more than his closest opponent in the overall standings.

The Races

If the first step of the podium escaped him this time, Jonathan Rea did not attend the British stage of the Superbike World Championship in vain. The reigning world champion took second and third places instead. «I was able to lead for a few laps in the first race before I had power control problems,» said the Kawasaki rider.   «The second race was difficult for other reasons. Everyone was very aggressive during the first few laps and I ended up with cramps in my arms that preventing me from keeping in contact with van der Mark.» Third on Saturday afternoon, Tom Sykes had to be satisfied with a sixth place the day after. The Kawasaki rider had made it to the Donington podium for each of the last seven years… «I lacked grip in the first race and made a bad choice of tires for the second,» he said. Finishing second in the second race, Toprak Razgatlioglu made it to his first podium in the premier-class category. The Pucetti team rider became the first Turk in history to score a top three in the World Superbike. In Supersport, Sheridan Morais was ninth while Hikari Okubo fell in the fifth lap.

The Championship

Mission accomplished for Jonathan Rea. The championship leader wanted to leave Donington with a lead of more than fifty points over Chaz Davies, and now sixty-nine points separate the two candidates for the world championship title. Tom Sykes is fourth in a tie with third-placed Michael van der Mark, who had a twin-win in England. In Supersport, Sheridan Morais has moved up a place, and is now fifteenth. Japan’s Okubo lost one, and is now nineteenth.

The Background

Tom Sykes now holds the absolute record for the number of pole positions in the World Superbike. In Donington, his favourite track, nicknamed by his «Doningtom», the Brit chalked up his forty-fourth Superpole. In late February, in Australia, Sykes equalled the record held by Troy Corser. Now is alone out in front. In a nod to history, Roger Burnett, the man who signed the first pole position in Superbike, in 1988, on the same Donington circuit, was the person who awarded the former world champion his new trophy. Of the thirty-four victories he has in the class today, Tom Sykes has won nine on the English track.  «To win this record at Donington is just amazing,»  said Jonathan Rea’s teammate. «In my country, in front of my supporters, my friends and my family… I am also very proud to have obtained forty-four Superpoles with Kawasaki. I have always paid a lot of attention to that criterion because it means you’re the fastest rider on the grid. Clocking up the fastest time in a qualifying session requires a lot of concentration. You have to be able to get the best out of your gear, go from flat calm to full speed in a snap. You have to have the right feeling with your bike from the start lap, heat your tires properly and trust your equipment blindly to push its limits. Go harder into the bends, accelerate sooner… It’s a very exciting exercise.» 

Another WRX podium for Sébastien Loeb & Team Peugeot Total at Silverstone

WRX Round #4 – Silverstone, 26-27.05

Nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb has kept up his impeccable record of finishing somewhere on the podium at every final in the World Rallycross Championship this year, underlining his consistency as well as his speed at the wheel of the PEUGEOT 208 WRX. His 3rd place on the Silverstone podium helped the Team PEUGEOT Total driver to consolidate his runner-up spot in the championship.

Sébastien Loeb, the winner last time out in Belgium, had a consistent run throughout the weekend and highlighted his pace with a podium finish. With 2 second places in qualifying and a win in the semi-final, he put in another fighting performance in the 6-lap final after falling behind at the start, adding another hard-earned trophy to his collection: 4 podiums in 4 FIA World RX competitions so far this season.

Kevin Hansen was classified 6th in the final after an adventurous day: nonetheless it was an event where the Swedish youngster really turned a corner by making it into the final for the 1st time this year. Unfortunately, he picked up a puncture over the massive jump of Silverstone that deprived him of any result – but the team’s ‘junior’ showed plenty of speed and potential from start to finish.

Timmy Hansen had all the speed but none of the luck at Silverstone. A frontrunner from the very beginning of the weekend, showing his talent consistently throughout qualifying and even winning a heat on Saturday, the Swede was stopped in the semi-final by a puncture that meant he was able to go no further. Timmy is the only driver to have won a heat in each of the 2018 World RX rounds so far.

Team PEUGEOT Total has now been on the podium with at least one car on every round of the championship. The PEUGEOT squad currently stands 3rd in the Team Championship – just 1 point behind 2nd while Sébastien Loeb secured his 2nd place on the Driver’s Championship.

TEAM PEUGEOT TOTAL - WRX SILVERSTONE

QUOTES…

Bruno Famin, PEUGEOT SPORT Director
« It’s good that we’re here with another podium and the speed is clearly there. The drivers and cars have been performing well, but obviously we had a tricky final day, along with some other competitors. Finishing third is good but finishing third when you had the chance to win is not that good! We need to look carefully into the cause of the punctures that affected both Timmy and Kevin today, which even deprived Timmy of a place in the final. It’s a shame as Timmy has won at least one race in every round so far, which shows his consistency everywhere. Kevin has also demonstrated his potential once more, as he did in Belgium, while Seb has delivered us another strong result. It’s very close between the top three teams but we’re right in the middle of that fight. So in the end we’re happy, after a nice weekend at the SpeedMachine Festival. We now go back to the factory, and we will have just one week to analyse and set up the car again for the next round.»

Sébastien Loeb, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #9
« It was a great battle in the final. I had a bad start as there was a lot of grip and I nearly stalled the engine; so then I was sixth after the start and I needed to find a way to pass! Luckily, I took the joker lap at just the right time and then that helped me to make up some places. So I think I had a really good final run, despite the really bad start! In six laps, there are not many opportunities to make up places if you have a problem. But I’m really happy, it’s our fourth podium in a row and it couldn’t be much better. The result, I think, could be a bit better for us here, but I’ve had a lot of fun all year: we have enjoyed fierce battles but really fair battles, and there are three manufacturers fighting so closely. »

Timmy Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #21
« I prefer to look at the positives from this weekend rather than dwell on the negative from today: we were really fast from start to finish and I know that we had the potential to win. I think we have more or less everything in place now apart from a bit of luck! In the semi-final the wheel just came down on its own, so nothing we could do. But I still enjoyed the weekend and the highlight for me was my win in qualifying, which shows exactly what we are capable of. Whenever you have a bad result as a driver it’s normal to feel depressed for a little bit, but it’s not going to last for very long. I know we have a great car and I’m going to come back fighting hard on the next round in Norway. »

Kevin Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #71
« This weekend has been one that really turned a corner for me. We tried lots of different things in terms of set-up and I discovered some things that I know are going to be really useful in the future. The result was that I was in the final for the first time this year – the fifth time of my career that I have gone to the final. Of course, the road to get there today was a bit strange: in the semi-final there was a big accident and I had a big hit that meant the steering kicked back and I felt that my shoulder dislocated a bit. That didn’t distract me though: when you’re driving you don’t think about these things, and anyway, it sort of popped back in again on its own! It was a pity that the wheel broke over the jump in the final, but that doesn’t take anything away from a great weekend for me. »

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #4/12

1. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON / Volkswagen Polo R – 105 pts
2. Sébastien LOEB / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 91 pts
3. Andreas BAKKERUD / Audi S1 – 83 pts
4. Mattias EKSTRÖM / Audi S1 – 80 pts
5. Petter SOLBERG / Volkswagen Polo R – 80 pts
6. Timmy HANSEN / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 71 pts
7. Niclas GRÖNHOLM / Hyundai i20 – 52 pts
8. Kevin HANSEN / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 41 pts
9. Janis BAUMANIS / Ford Fiesta – 35 pts
10. Timur TIMERZYANOV / Hyundai i20 – 34 pts
11. Robin LARSSON / Ford Fiesta – 30 pts
12. Guerlain CHICHERIT / Renault Mégane RS – 29 pts
13. Kevin ERIKSSON / Ford Fiesta – 25 pts
14. Jérome GROSSET-JANIN / Renault Mégane RS – 25 pts
15. Tommy RUSTAD / Volkswagen Polo R – 9 pts
16. Grégoire DEMOUSTIER / Peugeot 208 – 5 pts
17. François DUVAL / Audi S1 – 4 pts
18. Oliver BENNETT / BMW Mini Cooper – 3 pts
19. Mark HIGGINS / Peugeot 208 – 1 pt
20. Hervé “KNAPICK”-LEMONNIER / Citroën DS3 – 0 pt
21. Anton MARKLUND / Volkswagen Polo R – 0 pt
22. Joaquim SANTOS / Ford Focus – 0 pt
23. Mário BARBOSA / Citroën DS3 – 0 pt
24. Tamás KÁRAI / Audi A1 – 0 pt
25. Andrew JORDAN / Ford Fiesta – 0 pt
26. Ma QUINGHUA / Ford Fiesta – 0 pt

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #4/12

1. PSRX Volkswagen Sweden – 185 pts
2. EKS Audi Sport – 163 pts
3. Team PEUGEOT Total – 162 pts
4. GRX Taneco – 86 pts
5. Olsbergs MSE – 55 pts
6. GC Kompetition – 54 pts


NEXT ROUND
Next up, the FIA World Rallycross Championship is going to Hell! The famed Norwegian venue hosts the next round of the series from June 9-10, close to Trondheim on the west coast. The 1.019-kilometre Lankebanen circuit, made up of 63% asphalt and 37% gravel, always attracts huge crowds thanks to its high speeds and spectacular turns, while Sebastien Loeb was a podium finisher last year. The entry for the race, the most northerly stop on the calendar, is always impressive – so it’s another great chance for PEUGEOT’s driving stars to shine.

MotoGP World Championship – French Grand Prix

Double podium for the Marc VDS riders

Second and third at the finish of the Grand Prix de France, Álex Márquez and Joan Mir gave the Marc VDS team its first double podium of the season.

 

The Races

After the disappointment of the Spanish Grand Prix, the Marc VDS team took the lead during the Moto2 World Championship event held in Le Mans. Álex Márquez and Joan Mir finished second and third in the Grand Prix de France, making it their first twin Grand Prix podium in the intermediate category. Sixth on the grid, Álex Márquez rode the entire race hot on the heels of the future winner, Francesco Bagnaia. Determined not to repeat the error he made in in Jerez, the Spaniard did not tempt fate, preferring to secure a place on the podium, as he had done in Qatar and the United States. In third place, Joan Mir was in the spotlight for scoring his first Moto2 podium. A podium that heralds others. In MotoGP, Franco Morbidelli is back in the points by passing under the checkered flag in thirteenth position. Victim of a fall in the warm-up, Tom Lüthi had to settle for sixteenth place.

The Championship

Taking advantage of his third podium of the season as well as the mistakes made by Pasini and Baldassari, Álex Márquez has moved back to third place in the Moto2 championship. Mir, for his part, remains seventh, but he is only ten points behind the fifth place, Pasini, and only four points behind Virgo in sixth place. In MotoGP, Morbidelli occupies fifteenth place as we end the first third of the season.

The Background

On the podium of his fifth Grand Prix in the Moto2 category, Joan Mir confirmed on the Bugatti circuit that he had the right stuff alright. Like Marc Marquez and Maverick Viñales before him, the Majorcan has not taken long to become one of the strongmen in the intermediate category of the world speed championships. Eleventh in Qatar, seventh in Argentina, fourth in Texas … Joan Mir could certainly have continued his progression on the Jerez circuit if he had not fallen ill during the Spanish Grand Prix. The reigning Moto3 world champion did not slow down for very long. At Le Mans, fourth on the starting grid, he fought it out in the first laps with the two KTMs of Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder before catching up with Francesco Bagnaia and Álex Márquez. Third under the checkered flag, the Spaniard can now concentrate on getting his first success in Moto2. One thing is certain, he should not stay long in the intermediate category. Honda and Suzuki are already making eyes at him for his services in MotoGP.

The C3 R5 also passes its “Gravel” licence !

Stéphane Lefebvre and Gabin Moreau held the lead on eight of the twenty stages contested this weekend and equally claimed a stage win as they showed that the C3 R5 also has the potential to become the new benchmark in the category on gravel. Ultimately third overall in the WRC2 on the car’s maiden outing on this surface, they went very close to doing even better…

As gravel is the surface on which most of the world rally championship is contested, this round was very important for Citroen in terms of its customer racing strategy. The brand can therefore take satisfaction this evening from having seen the C3 R5 – the new flagship model of its range – enjoy a successful debut on the demanding roads of Rally de Portugal, which caught out many other crews this weekend. After winning the first proper stage, the 26.73km-long SS2, works driver Stéphane Lefebvre confirmed that he meant business and he ended Friday’s morning loop with the WRC2 class lead, 27.5s clear of his pursuers. The afternoon proved to be more difficult, however, with a puncture on SS5 resulting in damage to a brake hose on SS6, and the talented young Frenchman dropped back to third place. Stéphane refused to be beaten, however, and his persistence was rewarded when he moved back into the overall lead on day two’s opening stage. He then increased his lead to 49.4s over the second-placed driver by the end of Saturday morning’s loop. But another puncture on SS14 then proved costly: the wheel locked, resulting in a broken transmission on Amarante, the longest stage of the rally (37.60km). Once again, Stéphane Lefebvre showed great strength of character and skill to hold onto third place. He even managed to finish the race in style. Determined not to give up, the 26 year-old Frenchman made up 31.3s on the category’s second-placed driver on Sunday’s leg, over a competitive distance of just 51.53km, ending up 17s shy of the runner-up spot. All of which suggests that he has already established a strong – and effective – bond with C3 R5!

WHAT THEY SAID

 

Pierre Budar Citroën Racing Team Principal
« Obviously, we had been hoping for a slightly better outcome in terms of result, because we had the speed to aim higher. But there are several reasons to be pleased, not least the reliability of the car, which had no technical issues on its maiden outing on gravel. Stéphane picked up a stage win and he also held the category lead for several stages, so that shows that the C3 R5 is also well designed for this surface. In any case, I’m very pleased with the way in which Stéphane managed his race. It was a consistent and mature performance, and we are now going to keep working on improving and fine-tuning the set-up of the car.»


Stéphane Lefebvre
« It was an especially difficult Rally de Portugal this year, particularly on Friday afternoon’s loop, but the C3 R5 handled very well on its debut on this surface. It was important to rack up the miles on this first outing, so we didn’t take any unnecessary risks. Unfortunately, however, we still had two punctures, without which we would have recorded an even better result. But the potential is definitely there and that augurs well for the future, with the planned fine-tuning of the set-up. »

 

Points finish for Bird in Berlin

Press Release – Berlin, 19th May 2018

British racer Sam Bird secured a points finish during today’s Formula E Berlin E-Prix to keep up his title challenge and remain second in the drivers’ standings with just three rounds left to play out.

Held at the city’s former Tempelhof Airport, the 2.375km circuit – one of the longest on the Formula E calendar – saw both Bird and Lynn show strong pace in the day’s earlier practice sessions and, come qualifying, Lynn finish ahead of Bird to line-up eighth.

As the lights went out, Bird got the better start to shuffle up the order with Lynn losing ground in the early stages. With the race distance at 45-laps, and with high temperatures to contend with, energy consumption would prove crucial for all drivers, with Bird and Lynn having to manage this throughout.

 

After the mid-race pit stops, Bird was running eighth before being able to get the jump on Jerome D’Ambrosio in the later stages to close out the race in P7. Lynn too was able to make ground in the second stint with some confident overtakes but was unable to work his way into the points.

« Today was about maximising our potential and we were able to do just that and come away with yet more championship points on a challenging track,” said Bird, adding:   « Our qualifying pace was ok but our race pace was always going to be tougher, so it’s good to come away from this event still in the title hunt.»

Lynn said:   « For sure, this result wasn’t the one we wanted but there’s still positives to take. We’ve got some work to do between now and the next race and I’m looking forward to getting back in the seat.»

Sylvain Filippi, DS Virgin Racing’s Chief Technology Officer, commented:   « The Berlin Tempelhof Circuit is always a challenging one for drivers and the team. Sam was able to optimise the car’s performance today with Alex working hard on energy management. It’s great Sam was able to pick up yet more championship points and maintain his title push and, for sure, we’ll look at where we can improve and come out stronger at the next race in Zurich.»

DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan Pinon added:   « The results of the Berlin E-Prix are, of course, not up to our usual high standards. Sam retains his second place in the drivers’ standings though, and therefore is still in championship contention. We must now work even harder to prepare for the next race in order to continue our championship fight.»

The next Formula E race takes place in Zurich on June 10.

FIA Formula E Berlin E-Prix – Results

1. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, (25, P, FL), 45-laps
2. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, (18), +6.758s
3. Jean Eric Vergne, Techeetah (15), +12.894s
4. Sebastien Buemi, Renault e.dams (12), +17.282s
5. Oliver Turvey, NIO Formula E (10), +19.620s
6. Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing (8), +24.586s
7. Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing (6), +34.610s
8. Maro Engel, Venturi Formula E (4), +37.814s
9. Andre Lotterer, Techeetah (2), +44.359s
10. Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing (1), +45.931s
16. Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing, +53.000s

Drivers’ standings (after 9 rounds)

1. Jean Eric Vergne, 162pts
2. Sam Bird, 122pts
3. Felix Rosenqvist, 86pts
4. Daniel Abt, 85pts
5. Sebastien Buemi, 82pts
14. Alex Lynn, 17pts

Teams’ standings (after 9 rounds)

1. Techeetah, 205pts
2. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, 161pts
3. DS Virgin Racing, 139pts
4. Mahindra Racing, 108pts
5. Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 96pts

 

Sebastien Loeb wins, Timmy Hansen third! Double podium for Team PEUGEOT Total in WRX

WRX Round #3 – Mettet, 12-13.04

Team PEUGEOT Total driver Sébastien Loeb went flat-out in the PEUGEOT 208 WRX to take victory in Belgium! The 9-time World Rally Champion demonstrated his skill and talent by racing to victory in both his semi-final and a nail-biting final. Loeb was joined on the podium by his Team PEUGEOT Total team-mate Timmy Hansen, who was 3rd overall. The strong result helps Team PEUGEOT Total move up to 2nd place in the World RX Teams’ Standings with Loeb closing in on the Drivers’ Championship lead.

Mettet Sunday 03

Sébastien Loeb secured good finishes in Q1 and Q2 on Saturday. He got into trouble in the challenging conditions of Q3 on Sunday morning, as he found himself in traffic with limited overtaking opportunities. He was then able to bounce back and eventually ended up 4th overall of the qualifiers. The Frenchman delivered an impressive performance to win in semi-final 2 and claim pole position for the final. There, he continued his momentum, making the most of his 600-horsepower PEUGEOT 208 in a hard-fought battle to take his 1st World RX final victory of 2018. This great result promotes him to 2nd position in the Driver’s Championship.

Timmy Hansen made a flying start at Mettet with 3rd and 2nd positions in Q1 and Q2 respectively. On a roll, he scored the top spot in Q3, 7th in Q4, and ended up 2nd overall of the qualifiers. On pole position in semi-final 2, he got violently pushed at the start by Bakkerud and dropped to 6th in the first lap. This kick-started Hansen’s heroic fight-back, with the PEUGEOT 208 WRX ace storming through the field. His 3rd position finish was enough to put him into the final, where he again carved his way from 6th at the start to 3rd at the finish line – the 1st podium for him this season.

Kevin Hansen put on a great display of his talent throughout the weekend, delivering some promising performances and great times in Q1 (5th) and Q2 (6th). He started Q3 in strong form – grabbing the holeshot with his distinctive yellow PEUGEOT 208 WRX – and led all the race, however a costly mistake on his joker in the final lap – he stalled the engine – meant he ended-up 15th. In 10th position in Q4, and overall 9th out of the qualifiers, he got his ticket for his 1st semi-final of the 2018 season. He started semi-final 1 from behind, and, even if he did not manage to get his seat to the final, he once again proved that he has what it takes to race within the best.

After 2 second places in Barcelona and Montalegre, this double PEUGEOT podium and Sébastien Loeb’s win, is a great reward for the Team PEUGEOT Total crew. Behind the scenes, mechanics and engineers have been working hard to launch this new competition programme in World RX, right after a stunning 3rd victory in a row on the Dakar Rally in January.

Mettet Sunday 07

Quotes…

Bruno Famin, PEUGEOT SPORT Director
« It’s a good result and it is exactly what we are working for. Overall the weekend has been very interesting. All the main teams were very close and our drivers did a very good job to stand out. We saw that all the heats, the semi-final and the final had very intense fights, especially with the changing weather conditions on Sunday. We made good choices with the setup and the drivers have been able to find their way. It was very tough with all the incidents at the start of the semi final and the final. I am very happy about the result because it shows the level of performance of the team. We have been working hard since the beginning of the season. It’s great to see Team PEUGEOT Total winning at the 3rd race of the season: we are a bit ahead of our schedule, but this is good for the team.»

Sébastien Loeb, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #9
« It’s my 2nd win ever in my World RX career, and the 1st one this season! We already had 2 podiums so far, so it’s really great to keep up the momentum and now win here. It’s a nice achievement and I’m really happy for all the team. They deserved it! To be able to bring them the 1st victory is a real pleasure. In the final, I thought that Mattias had already ‘jokered’ before and that I was fighting for 2nd. Then in the last corner he took the joker and I won! I didn’t expect it, so it was an incredible feeling. The track here in Belgium is really challenging: you need to be very precise and even a little mistake is difficult to control. It’s just so demanding every lap, every corner. To be honest, we didn’t really know what to expect at the beginning of the season: what the level of all of the teams would be. We have had some small developments and finally here we are in the game, and in the middle of an intense fight with all of the other manufacturers. It’s really enjoyable to be able to be at the front. »

Timmy Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #21
« Obviously when you start on pole you’re not expecting to see yourself last, and when I had a spin in Turn 1 in the semi-final I still thought that it was possible to come back because everyone still had to do the joker and we were fast. When I finally went for the joker I came out in 6th position and the guys in front had already done their joker. For one second, I thought that it was over, but I found a few places to overtake everywhere: as soon as one little gap opened I took it! From there, I was happy just to get to the final! I started 6th and exited the first corner 2nd behind Seb, and I was chasing him through all of the final. We ‘jokered’ together and Petter came out in between us. I think Team PEUGEOT Total has really earned this victory and the double podium. You have to remember it is actually a new team and they are doing an impressive job. There are so many new people; it is only the 3rd race we have done together and we already have a great result. »

Kevin Hansen, PEUGEOT 208 WRX #71
« I think the weekend has been really good. After the crash I had last year, it took some time to get my confidence. Throughout this weekend I could feel the car getting better and better which helped me to keep building my pace. Overall I am very happy. Going into the semi-final was nice, and now that the first 3 races are done I am looking forward to getting into the mid-season, digging deep and trying to push for even better results. I can’t wait to visit Silverstone: it is a new track for everybody and I think that our car will suit the track very well. »

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #3 /12

1. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON / Volkswagen Polo R – 75 pts
2. Sébastien LOEB / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 66 pts
3. Petter SOLBERG / Volkswagen Polo R – 65 pts
4. Andreas BAKKERUD / Audi S1 – 61 pts
5. Timmy HANSEN / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 59 pts
6. Mattias EKSTRÖM / Audi S1 – 59 pts
7. Niclas GRÖNHOLM / Hyundai i20 – 37 pts
8. Janis BAUMANIS / Ford Fiesta – 32 pts
9. Guerlain CHICHERIT / Renault Mégane RS – 27 pts
10. Timur TIMERZYANOV / Hyundai i20 – 27 pts
11. Robin LARSSON / Ford Fiesta – 26 pts
12. Kevin HANSEN / PEUGEOT 208 WRX – 26 pts
13. Kevin ERIKSSON / Ford Fiesta – 15 pts
14. Jérome GROSSET-JANIN / Renault Mégane RS – 15 pts
15. Grégoire DEMOUSTIER / Peugeot 208 – 5 pts

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #3 /12

1. PSRX Volkswagen Sweden – 140 pts
2. Team PEUGEOT Total – 125 pts
3. EKS Audi Sport – 120 pts
4. GRX Taneco – 64 pts
5. GC Kompetition – 42 pts
6. Olsbergs MSE – 41 pts


NEXT ROUND
The next round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place at Silverstone, in England: the home of the British Grand Prix! Following the opening round at Barcelona, this is the 2nd venue of the year at a Formula 1 track. But it’s very different in character, and because it’s brand new, nobody should have a real advantage in terms of prior knowledge. The teams just got the opportunity to sample it at the IMG pre-season test in March, and PEUGEOT, with Sebastien Loeb, won the first round of the British Rallycross Championship there earlier this season.

8 Hours of Slovakia

The SRC came close

In trouble on an overheated track, the Kawasaki SRC riders had to settle for a ninth place at the finish of the Eight Hours of Slovakia, the third round of the 2017/2018 World Endurance Championship.

After their first outing on the Slovakia Ring, the Kawasaki SRC team had no reason to celebrate. «We discovered a fast circuit, physically and technically, » said Gilles Stafler, «but above all an extremely abrasive and demanding track for the tires. » With an allowance limited to twenty tires, the riders of the Kawasaki SRC team had to limit their test riding as much as possible. «And we did the qualifying sessions with two new tires, » added the team manager. «Hence our fifth position on the starting grid. » That did not stop Randy de Puniet from taking his first stint in the leading group, and even taking first place ahead of the GMT Yamaha and the FCC team’s Honda. Unfortunately, trying to stand up to machines with better tires, the former Grand Prix rider crashed just before passing the handlebars over to Jeremy Guarnoni. The minor fall without any injury to man or machine made the Kawasaki no.11 fall back in the rankings. «Anyway, » adds Stafler, «it was too hot for our tires early in the race. And we just weren’t good enough on our first three stints. » Coming back to fifth place, the Kawasaki SRC team once again dropped out of the top ten because of a fuel outage after the fifth hour. In the end, Randy de Puniet, Jeremy Guarnoni and Julien Da Costa, Gines’s replacement after he was injured at Le Mans, managed to cross the finish line of the Slovakia Ring in ninth position. A place that is now also theirs in the World Endurance Championship.t du monde d’Endurance.

Superbike World Championship – Italy

Rea without rivals

Winner of the two races held on the circuit of Imola, Jonathan Rea once again did brilliantly in Italy. The Championship title-holder increased his overall lead while Tom Sykes returned to the podium.

The Races

«It’s certainly my best win of the season. » On Sunday night, Jonathan Rea was thrilled. Winner after setting out ninth on the starting grid, the three-time world champion made a powerful impression again in Italy, quickly catching up with leader Chaz Davies. Second after four laps, Rea took control of the race nine laps later. Then he flew away. At the finish, more than four seconds separated him from the runner-up. The day before, the Kawasaki rider started from pole position and then led from first to last lap. Tom Sykes also shone in Italy. Second Saturday, the former world champion again made it to the podium on Sunday afternoon, this time on the third step. «Despite the engine problems I’m happy with my weekend, » commented Sykes’ teammate on arrival. «We are back in the loop again .» In Supersport, Sofuoglu gave up his last race for fear of another injury even though he had scored the third fastest time during the free practice sessions. Hiraki Okubo crossed the finish line in tenth place.

The Championship

With a new twin win that brings him closer to a new record, Jonathan Rea is heading for a fourth world championship title. After five races, the Kawasaki rider now has a forty-seven point lead over Chaz Davies. Tom Sykes has gained three places. The Brit has come back to third place in the Superbike overall rankings with one hundred and thirty-seven points. In Supersport, Morais keeps sixteenth place while Japan’s Okubo has gained ten places. He is now eighteenth in the overall classification.

The Background

Kenan Sofuoglu finally did not compete in what should have been his one hundred and twenty-sixth and last World Superbike race. Having never completely recovered from his pelvic fractures following his crash at the end of the 2017 season, the five-time world champion decided to retire at the end of the Italian event organized on the Imola circuit. After clocking up the third fastest time in the qualifying session, Sofuoglu gave up the start of what should have been his farewell race. Too many emotions no doubt for the Kawasaki rider. At 33, the Turk is bowing out with a record that is unlikely be equalled in the near future. With five world championship titles, Kenan Sofuoglu made it eighty-five times on the podium, including forty-three times to the highest step. To this can be added his thirty-four pole positions and his one hundred first lines. «Twenty years ago, I started my racing career with the sole aim of riding one day in the world championship,.» Kenan said at Imola. «Since then I have won five titles, which is more than I ever dreamed of doing. It’s time for me to retire, but I did not want to do so without thanking one last time all those who have always been there to encourage and support me.»

GCK fights against the odds at Mettet RX

13th May, Mettet, Belgium

Round 3 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Jules Tacheny circuit in Mettet was an emotional weekend for GC-Kompetition as both GCK Mégane R.S. RX were introduced to the 27,000-strong Belgian crowd in quickly changing conditions with Guerlain Chicherit finishing in 5th in the sem-finals and Jérôme Grosset-Janin just missing out on the semi-finals as he ended up on his roof having been pushed into the inside barrier in Q4.

GCK Belgique

Blinding sunshine on Saturday was not the only thing heating the track as Guerlain was squeezed by Kevin Hansen into the wall on the first corner, resulting in him finishing Q1 in 12th, whilst Jérôme finished in 10th trying to find his pace.
Q2 left team GCK with mixed emotions as Guerlain powered his Megane R.S. RX to second place in his race, finishing in P7 overall, whilst Jérôme suffered an early puncture, which meant he finished in P15 overall.

Sunday saw a turn in weather and thus luck for Jérôme in Q3, having shown significantly improving pace in the warm up, which he finished in P5, and a strong P6 in Q3 later, he was 11th overall.
Guerlain showcased his increasing confidence as he put down a strong race performance in Q3 which would’ve had him finish in top 5 until contact with Kevin Hansen, who unfortunately stalled
on the racing line through the joker on the final lap, left Chicherit with a broken suspension arm and in P12 overall.

Jérôme’s race weekend finished with the GCK Mégane R.S. RX on its roof as Mattias Ektröm pushed him into the inside barrier on the first corner of Q4, leaving Jérôme naturally frustrated, although luckily unhurt.
As the weather turned worse for Q4 and the teams were having to make all-deciding calls on tire choices, Guerlain fought on slicks, coming in just behind François Duval who managed to race a strong race on wets, finishing in 12th overall and just making the semi-finals.

Guerlain lined up on the outside of row 3 in the second semi-final against Sebastien Loeb, Timmy Hansen, Andreas Bakkerud, Timur Timerzyanov and Janis Baumanis.
A solid start avoiding an early crash had Guerlain in good position to take the joker first and put him in 3rd position; a tough fight and an unfortunate driver error saw him finish 5th behind Loeb, Bakkerud, Hansen and Baumanis.

GCK

Guerlain Chicherit commented: «We had a very mixed weekend with some frustrating moments, whether caused by others or ourselves, as in the semi-final with a couple of personal errors on my side. But we also had some really good moments and key learnings – our debriefs show
improvement across the board and we can now focus on the finer details. As is the case in racing, the good follows the bad, so bring on Silverstone »

Jérôme Grosset-Janin added: «It feels great to be back here in Belgium and share this experience with the massive Belgian crowd.
Although I had some frustrating moments over the weekend, I am happy with the experience I will be walking away with.
The car is more and more effective and I can’t wait to get back in it in Silverstone.»

 

DS Virgin Racing set to continue title bid in Berlin

Press Release – Versailles, 11th May 2018

All-electric Formula E series heads to Berlin on Saturday, May 19 for round nine

DS Virgin Racing in second place in both teams’ and drivers’ standings with four races remaining

British team hoping to ‘raise a toast’ of its own on race day during Royal Wedding

 

Whilst the Royal Wedding celebrations for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are in full swing, the DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team will be hoping to raise a toast of its own on May 19 during the Formula E Berlin E-Prix.

The race, held at Tempelhof Airport in the German capital, coincides with the couple’s big day, with the British racing team – complete with two British drivers – aiming to come away with a crown of their own.

The team are already enjoying their strongest season to date lying second in the teams’ standings with driver Sam Bird also in second spot in the drivers’ championship. Another strong result for Bird will see him narrow the gap to title rival Jean-Eric Vergne, whilst team-mate Alex Lynn, competing in his rookie Formula E season, will also be looking for a strong result to help bolster the team’s points tally. The Berlin E-Prix, the ninth of 12 races this season and the fourth time the city has held an E-Prix, takes place on a 2.375km, 10-turn purpose-built circuit at the former international airport.

Speaking ahead of the event, Sam Bird : « I’m really looking forward to the Berlin race. The championship is nearing its closing stages, so we know every point is vital. I’m certainly not thinking about the title at this stage and will just approach this race like I would any other. Hopefully we can get another strong result for me and the team.»

Lynn said : « We’ve had a couple of frustrating results recently, but we know the pace is there and we’ve been working hard in the simulator to prepare ourselves for the event which will be another new track for me. The team and I are feeling confident and hopefully we can come away with some good points. »

Team Principal Alex Tai commented « The season has gone from strength to strength for us and we’re really looking forward to continuing this momentum in Berlin. Germany has a great motorsport heritage and the crowds are always really enthusiastic. Lying second in both the teams’ and drivers’ standings is a fantastic position to be in with four races remaining, and hopefully the Royal Wedding won’t be the only thing we’re toasting come race day. »

DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan Pinon added: « After the strong performance the team has achieved with our DSV-03 since the beginning of the season, the target in Berlin is definitely the victory. Last year, both cars were in Superpole on the Saturday and the Sunday. We have worked a lot on the simulator to get ready to deliver the best possible performance. We continue to aim for both championship titles at the end of the season.»

 

 

DRIVERS’ STANDING

1. JEAN-ERIC VERGNE 147 POINTS
2. SAM BIRD 116 POINTS
3. FELIX ROSENQVIST 86 POINTS
4. SEBASTIEN BUEMI 70 POINTS
5. LUCAS DI GRASSI 58 POINTS
ALEX LYNN 17 POINTS

TEAMS STANDINGS

1. TECHEETAH 188 POINTS
2. DS VIRGIN RACING 133 POINTS
3. AUDI SPORT ABT SCHAEFFLER 114 POINTS
4. MAHINDRA RACING 107 POINTS
5. PANASONIC JAGUAR RACING 88 POINTS