DS TECHEETAH announces Tatiana Calderón as test driver for the ad diriyah e-prix in-season test

DS TECHEETAH is delighted to announce that Tatiana Calderón will drive the DS E-TENSE FE19 at the in-season test on Sunday 16 December in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, following the inaugural E-Prix in the Kingdom.

Tatiana has successfully competed in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship for three seasons in 2013 to 2015 and later in the GP3 series from 2016. She was announced as a Formula 1 test driver in 2018 and drove a Formula 1 car for the first time a couple of weeks ago, following the Mexican GP.

“When the promoter approached us about the opportunity to offer a test session to a talented female racing driver at the first in-season test, we jumped at the opportunity. We immediately started thinking about drivers that would be suitable for the test, and Tatiana was on top of our list. She’s incredibly talented and we think she will do a stellar job at the test with the experience she is able to bring. It’s also very exciting to be able to showcase the wonderful world of Formula E with a first-hand experience of testing the DS E-TENSE FE19 on track. I’m hoping that it will give her a taste for the series and I hope to see her racing in Formula E in the near future,” said DS TECHEETAH Team Principal, Mark Preston.

“I’m incredibly eager to test the DS E-TENSE FE19 in December. Formula E is a really exciting space and it’s great to be able to get a sense of the series through the test. It will be the first time that I will drive a fully-electric racing car on track, so I’m curious to find out how I will have to adapt my driving style to drive the car in the most efficient way. I’m thrilled to be working with DS TECHEETAH following their successful results last season and I’m looking forward to helping them with their work at first in-season test,” said DS TECHEETAH Test Driver for the Ad Diriyah E-Prix, Tatiana Calderón.

Elf, a Total Brand, Partners KTM Tech3 for MotoGP and Moto2 World Championship Racing

Paris, November 20th, 2018 – The 2019 season will see the beginning of a new partnership between two legendary French names of motorcycle racing as Total, with its Elf brand, and KTM Tech3 join forces in the MotoGP and Moto2 world championships. This new three-year partnership is just as exciting and stimulating for the oil major as it is for the Grand Prix team.

Backed by its expertise and know-how in racing fuels and lubricants, Elf will support the Tech3 team next year in its new challenge alongside Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM. Tech3, led by Hervé Poncharal, will be responsible for helping to develop KTM motorcycles in its role as a junior team. The rider line-up comprises Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin in MotoGP and Marco Bezzecchi and Philipp Öttl in Moto2.

Present on the Grand Prix circuit since 1973, Elf has always seen racing as a fantastic testing ground. The brand has contributed to the development of new technologies throughout all of its seasons on the track. This pioneer spirit and quest for high performance made Elf the natural partner for the trailblazing Tech3 team and KTM, which joined the MotoGP and Moto2 grids two years ago to develop new projects.

Pierre-Gautier Caloni- Vice President, Total Competition & Sponsoring explains : “We are very pleased to announce that Total, via its Elf brand, will partner the KTM Tech3 team next year in both MotoGP and Moto2 racing. Behind the Tech3 team is a man – Hervé Poncharal – with whom we are very excited to be working. When he founded his team 30 years ago, Hervé Poncharal created an operation that has become a benchmark and a symbol among motorcycle Grand Prix competitors. The Tech3 team’s dedication and professional attitude set the example – and for good reason. With Tech3, we will also have the opportunity to work with KTM, a young and ambitious manufacturer who is also European leader in the motorcycle market. I am certain that together we will obtain results that match our potential while continuing to develop our products and know-how.”

Hervé Poncharal, KTM Tech3 Team Manager adds : “For a team like Tech3 that is involved in MotoGP and Moto2 racing, it’s an honor to sport the Elf logo – especially since we’re French. I am truly very pleased to join forces today with a legendary name in motorsports. Beyond the brand and its history, I’m also talking about the technology and quality of the products that have built Elf’s reputation. More than a new partnership, this is a coming home, since Elf was Tech3’s partner in 1995. That was the year Jean-Philippe Ruggia and Olivier Jacque raced for us in the 250 cc class. Later on, in 2001 and 2002, we moved up to the premier class with Elf’s support. Most of all, Elf’s special fuels and lubricants will help us raise the bar as we begin a new adventure with KTM. For Tech3, 2019 will be exciting in more ways than one.”

MotoGP World Championship – Valencia Grand Prix

Two “Rookies of the Year”

Franco Morbidelli in MotoGP, and Joan Mir in Moto2 have both finished the season with the title of best rookie rider. A just reward for the Team Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS.

The Races

he only bad thing about the last Grand Prix of the season was the weather. From the first day of the free practice sessions to the race, the rain laid down the law. Making it difficult to avoid the pitfalls of the Ricardo Tormo circuit. In MotoGP, neither Franco Morbidelli nor Tom Lüthi made it to the finish. Both fell before the race was interrupted because of the excessive level of water on the track. And neither could take the second start. Morbidelli was in fifth place when he fell, Lüthi was seventeenth. In Moto2, while Joan Mir left the race in the first lap, Álex Márquez managed to notch up his sixth podium of the season on his home turf. The Spaniard could have won the race if he hadn’t fallen ten laps from the finish. Fortunately, he was able to get up again and took third place.

The Championship

Franco Morbidelli has finished his first season in MotoGP with 50 points and fifteenth place overall. Tom Lüthi has finished the year without scoring any points. In Moto2, thanks to his latest podium Álex Márquez managed to take fourth place in the championship with 173 points. Joan Mir ranks sixth with 155 points on the clock.

The Background

While the Team Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS didn’t savour the sweet taste of success this year, the track record for the 2018 season has been largely positive for the Belgian team. In MotoGP and in Moto2, Marc Van der Straten’s riders have won the title of “Rookie of the Year”. In the premier-class category Franco Morbidelli outshone his teammate Tom Lüthi, as well as Hafizh Syahrin (his most serious contender), Takaaki Nakagami and Xavier Simeon. “To finish as best rookie rider was my goal at the beginning of the season,” said the Italian Moto2 World Champion in 2017. “It’s not been easy, I’ve had a lot to learn and there were plenty of pitfalls. Having succeeded in doing my job is the best way to thank and say goodbye to my team.” In Moto2, Joan Mir also dominated his contenders in the Rookie of the Year race, namely Bo Bendsneyder, Joe Roberts, Jules Danilo and Federico Fuglini. The only rookie to have made it to the podium this season, next year the Spaniard will race in MotoGP.

Signatech Alpine Matmut continues its streak of podium finishes in Shanghai

  • Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Pierre Thiriet finished on the podium for the fifth time in as many races this season in the 6 Hours of Shanghai.

  • At the conclusion of a parcelled race, Signatech Alpine Matmut is now second in the LMP2 category of the World Endurance Championship.

  • The entire team will now use the winter break to retake the championship lead at the 1000 Miles of Sebring on March 15, 2019.

Delayed several days due to a technical problem with its Paris to Shanghai flight and forced to make an unexpected stop in Siberia, all the members of the team managed to show up in time, helped by some rivals in the FIA World Endurance Championship paddock.

The French squad was on top form straight away under very capricious skies at the Shanghai International Circuit. After trying several aerodynamic configurations and the two types of rain tyres on Friday; the sun made a surprising return the next day.

Thanks to the intense work put in during the three free-practice sessions, Nicolas Lapierre set the fastest time in the LMP2 category. The n°36 Alpine A470 however, had to settle for fourth place in qualifying as Pierre Thiriet got caught out in his learning of the Chinese circuit in dry conditions.

Heavy down pours fell on Shanghai on Sunday. The race began behind the safety car and was red flagged after 15 minutes. Nicolas Lapierre and his rivals had to wait an hour before the action resumed. The Frenchman still moved up to third place before being surprised by the hellish conditions prior to another stoppage.

Once again, the race restarted behind the safety car, which stayed on circuit longer than planned because some drivers lost control of their cars due to aquaplaning on the start/finish straight! The team then chose this moment to readjust its strategy according to the weather.

The team’s effort paid off with Nicolas Lapierre moving back up to second place before handing over to André Negrão, shod on intermediate tyres. The Brazilian driver’s first stint was marked by another safety car period and the return of the rain before he was relayed by Pierre Thiriet just before hour five.

In the still difficult conditions, the two drivers continued to share the driving duties giving it their best as the light rapidly diminished. Moving back up to fourth, Pierre Thiriet finished the job as he avoided the final dangers of this race and stroke back as the Alpine A470 crossed took the chequered flag in third place.

 

Quotes

Philippe Sinault, Team principal Signatech Alpine Matmut
“It was a very difficult race both for the nerves and tactics. Nicolas got a good start before the first interruption. In order to anticipate an eventual definitive red flag, we adapted our strategy before readjusting it because the weather was forecasted to improve a little. As the rain began to let up, tyre pressures played a role and André stayed in contact while Pierre did his best as he discovered these conditions on this track. Pierre was back in the car for the end of the race to reach his minimum time behind the wheel and to secure a well-earned top three result for the entire team. This fifth podium is a satisfaction. We knew that the Shanghai round would be tough, our main rivals were racing on home soil. We are now 10 points behind and there is still a long way to go in the championship with two big coefficient races. We are still in the battle and every point will count!”

 

Nicolas Lapierre
“The conditions made this race extremely difficult. We had to gamble on strategy and we did a good job. My pace was a little off at half-distance, but there was plenty of speed and we had to push hard to reach this third place. We will now make the most of the break to retake the championship lead right away.”

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André Negrão
“With the several interruptions, I think we got the best result we could today. It was very hard to find the right pace and maintain it. I switched to the intermediates just as the track was beginning to dry, but the rain intensified again and I preferred to drive carefully to avoid losing a lot of points. It will all be to race for next year and we will continue to battle just until the 24 Hours of Le Mans!”

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Pierre Thiriet
“It was a very nervous time in the car between the extreme conditions and the mediocre visibility! I believe we did the business avoiding the numerous pitfalls. Although we will arrive in Sebring in second place in the championship, we can be proud of the work we put in over the week. The team made no mistakes with strategy or pit stops. It is a positive outcome and we will give it everything we’ve got at Sebring.”

6 Hours of Shanghai – LMP2

1. Jackie Chan DC Racing n°38 109 laps
2. DragonSpeed n°31 + 13.013s
3. Signatech Alpine Matmut n°36 +53.375s
4. Jackie Chan DC Racing n°37 + 1 lap
5. Racing Team Nederland n°29 + 9 laps
6. Larbre Competition n°50 + 11 laps
NC. TDS Racing n°28

FIA LMP2 Teams Trophy 

1. Jackie Chan DC Racing n°38 – 112 points
2. Signatech Alpine Matmut n°36 – 102 points
3. Jackie Chan DC Racing n°37 – 98 points
4. DragonSpeed n°31 – 73 points
5. Racing Team Nederland n°29 – 47 points
6. Larbre Competition n°50 – 46 points
7. TDS Racing n°28 – 30 points

An end of season on the up!

Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT secured its fifth podium of the season in Australia, this time thanks to Mads Østberg and Torstein Eriksen, once again illustrating the team’s improving form in the second half of the year.

Having grown up on Scandinavia’s roller-coaster roads, Mads Østberg has often been partial to rallies held on flowing, fast roads and Australia is certainly one such event. Despite being short of competitive racing since Wales Rally GB, his last WRC outing, the Norwegian wasted no time in reminding everyone of this as he grabbed the rally lead with a stage win on SS3 – Sherwood (26.68km), the longest test on Friday’s leg, and held onto first place until the end of the day. A first leg during which Craig Breen also produced an impressive performance. Second behind his team-mate on the first run on Sherwood, the Irishman claimed the stage win on the second pass, thus confirming the undeniable balance of the C3 WRC on this road surface, which remains difficult to reproduce in European tests. A talented former kart racer, Craig also showed his assurance on the two runs on the super-special stage, held mainly on tarmac, ending the opening leg in second position. Unfortunately, the race took a different turn at the start of day two, initially with a minor issue with the throttle sticking open, then a small but costly mistake that damaged the rear suspension and dropped down him to tenth place. Meanwhile, Mads tried to keep his charging rivals at bay, eventually relinquishing the overall lead after the third stage (SS11) on day two. Despite completing his first run on the evening’s super-special stage (SS17) in the rain, unlike two of his direct rivals for the podium, his perseverance and commitment were rewarded, as he remained within striking distance of the podium at the end of Saturday’s leg. In fourth place, just 20.3s behind the driver in front, he still had a chance going into the final leg with heavy showers expected to produce extremely testing conditions. The slippery, tricky conditions put paid to the hopes of two of the world title contenders, but Mads – at one with his C3 WRC on a road surface that was more like an ice rink in places – held his nerve. He initially put himself out of reach of any possible comeback from the driver behind him, before then benefiting from a racing incident to move up into third position on the penultimate stage. He therefore claimed his second podium of the year, after finishing as runner-up in Finland. His performance enabled Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT to grab a top-three finish for the fifth time this season, after podiums in Sweden (2nd), Mexico (3rd) and Finland (2nd) and winning in Spain. Meanwhile, Craig Breen and Scott Martin ended the rally in seventh position.

WHAT THEY SAID

THREE QUESTIONS FOR PIERRE BUDAR, CITROËN RACING TEAM PRINCIPAL

How would you assess this final outing of the season?

« Clearly, we’re pleased with this new podium, following on from our win in Spain. In particular, we had an excellent opening leg, making the absolute maximum of our good road position, with our cars holding the top two positions at the end of day one. Although things didn’t go quite as well on Saturday with a few mistakes, Mads nonetheless managed to stay within striking distance of the podium. We knew that, given the type of stages contested on Sunday and the weather forecast, anything could still happen on the final leg. Whilst the treacherous driving conditions caught out several crews, Mads showed his confidence in the C3 WRC, producing an extremely solid performance to seize third place. I think it’s no less than the team deserved. The guys didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the week, despite the ten-hour time difference, which is always difficult to overcome. »

What is your analysis at the end of the 2018 season?

« Obviously, we have had our fair share of highs and lows. I would say that the second half of the season was quite a bit better, with our podiums in Finland (2nd) and here, plus our win in Spain. In fact, I would like to take this opportunity to state my heartfelt thanks to both Mads and Torstein as well as Craig and Scott, for their support this season. They have always given everything and made a substantial contribution to turning things around in the second half of the season. We’ve also established strong ties with them this year. An underlying trend has been established in the team’s way of working, and I think that means we can look forward to 2019 in a more confident and relaxed frame of mind. Although we are still undergoing transformation, and to complete this we need to keep working hard and improving further, things are gradually being put in place and are certainly heading in the right direction. »

2019 is almost upon us…

« Indeed, there is no real let up in sight. As soon as we get back to Europe, we are going to prepare to start testing again with our new crews, so that they can get a feel for the C3 WRC and we can continue its development. We have known for some time that we are going to work together but now it is about to become very real and the prospect of actually taking action is a source of great motivation for the whole team! »

HIGHLIGHTS

On Friday, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT enjoyed the perfect leg, with its two C3 WRCs at the top of the leaderboard for the first time this season.

In starting eighth and eleventh on the road and with the weather staying dry in the end, Craig Breen and Mads Østberg were very well placed to perform well on the Australian roads, which were expected to clean significantly. However, they weren’t the only ones in this situation and yet it was the Norwegian who emerged in the lead on Friday evening, followed by his Irish team-mate, just 6.8s adrift. The pair’s showing proved their competitiveness and that of their car at this event. The performance was all the more impressive for the Red Army in that Mads spent five of the opening day’s eight stages in the lead, reflecting his consistency among the frontrunners. Meanwhile, Craig gradually climbed the standings, grabbing third place with a stage win on the second pass on Sherwood (26.68km), the longest stage of the day. He maintained his good form, however, on the final two super-special stages to snatch second place at the close of day one.

MotoGP World Championship – Malaysian Grand Prix

Morbidelli nears the mark

By finishing twelfth in the Malaysian Grand Prix, Franco Morbidelli has consolidated his position as leader in the “Rookie of the Year” ranking in the MotoGP category. There is only one race left for the Moto2 World Champion.

The Races

Only nineteenth in the qualifying session on a wet track, Franco Morbidelli managed to climb back to twelfth place before taking the checkered flag of the Sepang circuit. “The weekend was complicated by the weather, but we did a good job with the team,” said the Italian, fighting it out for a long time with Aleix Espargaro. Once again Tom Lüthi was just short of the points by finishing sixteenth, hot on the heels of Bradley Smith. In Moto2, Alex Marquez showed his stuff during the practice test sessions by winning his third pole position of the season. The race was more difficult for the Spaniard. On a good pace until mid-race, he then had to hand over. He finished seventh. Joan Mir, who was on the podium in Australia, has never felt in top shape with his Kalex. “I tried everything, but I couldn’t do better than tenth place,” he said on arrival.

The Championship

Now with fifty points, Morbidelli remains in the fourteenth place overall. The Italian is ahead of Hafizh Syahrin by ten points in the race for “Rookie of the Year”. In Moto2, Alex Marquez has taken over fifth place in the Championship from Joan Mir. Two tiny points separate the two riders of Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS. The last round in Valencia will be decisive.

The Background

A graceful looser, Alex Marquez did not fail to congratulate Francesco Bagnaia and the SkY VR46 team at the finish of the Malaysian Grand Prix. By finishing third in a race won by his team-mate Luca Marini, the Italian has succeeded Franco Morbidelli this year in the Moto2 category. “They have had a great season,” said the rider for the Team Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS. “On our side, we’ve been missing that little extra we needed this year to be more competitive. We have now one race left in Valencia, on my home turf, and I hope to do well. Then we’ll have time to prepare the 2019 season with a new bike.”