May 22, 2015

Porsche Supercup Qualifying in Monaco

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There is no F1 on Friday in Monaco, but the Supercups were qualifying for the championship's second race after Spain's season opener.

Here's the official PR from Porsche:

Jaap van Lagen goes full risk to claim pole position

Stuttgart. On the legendary street circuit of Monaco, Jaap van Lagen (Fach Auto Tech) from the Netherlands clinched pole position for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race on Sunday. Lapping the circuit in 1:35.691 minutes, the seasoned Porsche racer beat Austria’s Philipp Eng (Market Leader Te
am) to the first grid spot by almost a tenth of a second. “I’m so happy. Pole position in Monaco is fantastic. My car ran perfectly. I was just two centimetres away from flying off at one point,” said van Lagen. Christian Engelhart (MRS GT-Racing) from Kösching in Bavaria takes up race two of the season from position three. Lining up alongside
him on fourth is Ben Barker (MOMO-Megatron Team Partrax) from Great Britain. Barcelona winner Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East) starts from position five ahead of Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner).

After dominating Thursday’s free practice, Eng looked certain to be pole sitter until shortly before the end of the qualifying session. Van Lagen, however, put in a last ditch effort on the twisty circuit with his 460 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to top the time sheet of the 27-strong field.
Van Lagen stated: “At times I was running second, but I noticed I could do more. On my second set of tyres I really let it rip and planted my car on position one.” Van Lagen won the traditional Porsche Cup, a competition run separately to Porsche’s brand trophy series to determine the best Porsche private driver worldwide, and this weekend races for the Swiss team Fach Auto Tech. This is the same squad that Earl Bamber, the champion of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, drove for in 2014. Thanks to his successes that year, Bamber subsequently received a contract as a Porsche factory driver.

The Porsche pilots headed out on to the 3.340 kilometre street circuit in brilliant sunshine. Given that the qualifying result on this circuit is vitally important due to the very few overtaking possibilities, the tension amongst the drivers was tangible. Eng appeared slightly disappointed with position two. “Generally, the first grid row is good. But second on the grid in Monaco is not so great because the track is pretty dirty there. Now I have to see what I can do in the race.”

Porsche Junior Matteo Cairoli (I/Market Leader Team) kept his cool and posted the seventh quickest time as a rookie. “Unfortunately I had someone in front of me on my flying lap. My car ran beautifully, and I would certainly have done better if I’d had a free run,” explained the 18 year old. Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/VERVA Lechner Racing Team) starts from eighth. “I’m annoyed with myself because I made a mistake and touched the barrier and had to call it a day after only six laps. The only upside is that I start the race on fresh rubber,” analysed de Phillippi. Porsche Junior Sven Müller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East) drove the ninth quickest time: “In my fastest lap I touched the guardrail and it damaged the front of my car. My session was over after just five laps.”

The race on Sunday over 16 laps is broadcast live by Sky Deutschland from 9.30 hours. On Eurosport, the race is aired on Tuesday from 23 hours.

Qualifying Monaco
1. Jaap van Lagen (NL/Fach Auto Tech), 1:35.691 minutes
2. Philipp Eng (A/Market Leader Team), 1:35.788
3. Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing), 1:35.928
4. Ben Barker (MOMO-Megatron Team Partrax), 1:35.949
5. Michael Ammermüller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East), 1:36.096
6. Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner), 1:36.204
7. Matteo Cairoli (I/Market Leader Team), 1:36.355
8. Connor de Phillippi (USA/VERVA Lechner Racing Team), 1:36.635
9. Sven Müller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East), 1:36.661
10. Robert Lukas (PL/Förch Racing by Lukas Motorsport), 1:36.726

May 21, 2015

Hamilton really, really wants to win in Monaco.


Of course everyone wants to win in Monaco because it's like Wimbledon: a step above the rest in prestige.

But Lewis, let's be honest, has not been very good on the streets of the Principality.

May 18, 2015

Lamborghini made Chris Harris eat his words.


Celebrity auto journalist extraordinaire Chris Harris was pretty smug towards Lamborghini at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year:

You can't argue with Harris' second point. Fair to say the vast majority of Lambos are owned by a very specific type. But then, you could make that argument with any supercar couldn't you?

For every Manuma there are a thousand Lambo kids and whole publications are dedicated to Supercar fail schadenfreude.

But the inherent understeer thing? I think the video of a new Aventador lapping the ring sub-7 minutes  clearly calls bull on that.

If your Lambo understeers it's probably due to the sheer weight of all the gold chains messing with the balance.   Remove gold,  get a proper alignment and this becomes possible:

You want a more detailed analysis of the Lambo's lap? Head over to BTG and read it from the local experts.

Watch Moto GP riders pass each other 15 times in 2 laps.

(Photo: Repsol)

Because Moto GP

Marc Marquez and Andrea Iannone swapped positions an amazing 15 times in the closing stages of the 2015 French Moto GP race at Le Mans.

The Honda and Ducati riders were scrapping for fourth in a race which was dominated by Jorge Lorenzo from championship leader Valentino Rossi. Third place went to Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.

Strange seeing Honda off the podium and Marquez off balance and down in the points. You almost have to wonder if Honda's F1 effort might in some way be weighing on their Moto GP development this season.

Of his game or not, Marquez did put on a hell of a show with "Crazy Joe" Iannone. Marc eventually built enough of a gap and finished fourth.


May 16, 2015

Nürburgring 24 Hours Live stream on YouTube


Vodafone will show off the speed of its LTE network with a broadcast,  live from the 2015 ADAC Nurburgring 24 Hours, via SIM cards installed in number  of cars and even a drone.

Vodafone promises not only networked cars but data from drivers wearing special race suits capable of measuring their pulse and stress levels.

Can Vodafone deliver HD signal live over cellular from inside cars speeding around the Green Hell straight to You Tube?  I'm guessing they figured it out:

The live stream starts a 9AM EDT    Go HERE for details

May 15, 2015

F1 proposes to cut costs with refueling and faster cars.


The Formula One Strategy Group has been meeting to propose changes aimed at ensuring the sport's future sustainability in the face of crushing costs and fan grumbling.

This is what they have come up with:

"The Formula One Strategy Group met yesterday in Biggin Hill to exchange views on the current challenges that F1 faces. Besides the statuary members of the Group, representatives of the engine manufacturers were also invited.

The Strategy Group members have debated a number of levers aimed at improving the show. An initial series of measures has been voted:

For 2016:
– Free choice of the two dry tyre compounds (out of four) that each team can use during the race weekend
For 2017:
– Faster cars: 5 to 6 seconds drop in lap times through aerodynamic rules evolution, wider tyres and reduction of car weight
– Reintroduction of refueling (maintaining a maximum race fuel allowance)
– Higher revving engines and increased noise
– More aggressive looks

A few other measures have also been discussed but require further investigation before they can be implemented:
– A global reflection on race weekend format
– Measures to make starts only activated by the driver without any outside assistance

Furthermore, in light of the various scenarios presented by the independent consulting company mandated by the F1 Strategy Group, at the initiative of the FIA, to work on the reduction of costs and following a constructive exchange, a comprehensive proposal to ensure the sustainability of the sport has emerged.

The Strategy Group member Teams have committed to refine it in the next few weeks, in consultation with the other teams involved in the championship. On the engine side, it has been decided that stability of the rules should prevail in consideration of the investments of the manufacturers involved in the sport and to give visibility to potential new entrants. The allowance for a 5th engine to be used during the 2015 season has been rejected.

This constructive meeting between the FIA, FOM and the Teams has allowed paving the way for the future of the championship. All parties agreed to work together with an intention to firm up these proposals and submit them to the approval of the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council of the FIA as soon as possible for implementation."

The idea of cost reduction and the re-fuelling seems typically F1 nutty as does making Pirelli offer all four tire compounds for every race, but what are your thoughts?

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