Wednesday 30 May 2018

Kevin Hansen: "This weekend has been one that really turned a corner for me."

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media
Kevin Hansen classified 6th in the final. He 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.

“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," said Hansen"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." 

Kevin got caught up in the semi-final first corner incident involving Petter Solberg and Johan Kristoffersson. "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," says Hansen. "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,” he concluded.

Timmy Hansen: "We were really fast from start to finish and I know that we had the potential to win."

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media
Timmy Hansen had all the speed but none of the luck at Silverstone. The Swede was stopped in the semi-final by a puncture that meant he was able to go no further. 

A frontrunner from the very beginning of the weekend, showing his talent consistently throughout qualifying and even winning a heat on Saturday.

“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," said Hansen. "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."

Timmy is the only driver in the field to have won a heat in each of the 2018 World RX rounds so far. Timmy Hansen has only lacked luck thus far. He has shown strong and consistent pace in his Team Peugeot Total 208 RX Supercar. 

"I still enjoyed the weekend and the highlight for me was my win in qualifying, which shows exactly what we are capable of," said Hansen. "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," he adds. 

Sébastien Loeb: "I’m really happy, it’s our fourth podium in a row and it couldn’t be much better."

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media
Sébastien Loeb, the winner last time out in Belgium, had a consistent run throughout the weekend and highlighted his pace with a podium finish in the final. 

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.

“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!," says Loeb. "Luckily, I took the joker lap at just the right time and then that helped me to make up some places."

"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," he adds.

The Team Peugeot Total 208 RX Supercar has shown consistent pace throughout the opening rounds of championship and sometimes even quicker then both PSRX Volkswagen Sweden and EKS Audi Sport. The team have not introduced any updates to the car yet due to the tight schedule between races. 

"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,” concludes Loeb.

Sébastien Loeb moved up to second in the drivers' standings, 14 points shy of defending champion Johan Krisoffersson. While Team Peugeot Total are currently third in the teams' standings just 1 point away from second place EKS Audi Sport. 

Johan Kristoffersson: "I’m becoming much more of a Sunday person."

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media
Johan Kristoffersson extended his lead at the top of the table with a third win from four races at World RX of Great Britain. The Swede wasn't far off the pace on Saturday, but felt more comfortable in his PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo R Supercar on Sunday.

“I don’t know what it is about me and Saturdays this season; it looks like I’m becoming much more of a Sunday person. But I don’t mind this – the final is on Sunday!," said Kristoffersson. "Yesterday was quite tricky, it wasn’t the perfect day, but we weren’t far away. We were in the battle. Today Q3 and Q4 went really well, it was great to be leading into the semis. But then things got quite interesting…"

Both PSRX Volkswagen Sweden drivers qualified for the semi-final with Johan on pole and Petter Solberg alongside him in third. Petter and Johan touched going into the first corner. The race was then stopped. Petter Solberg later retired in the semi-final with mechanical issues.

“Even before the start of the semi-final I had a problem with the radio in the car. I couldn’t hear the spotter, we found a way to fix this, but it was a little bit of a stress. And then we got to the first corner, I didn’t make such a good start, I touched with Petter and then I was straight to the barrier. For sure, this was not the plan!," says Krisoffersson“For the re-started race, everything was OK."

Johan went on to win the semi-final and then dominated the final. "There was a little bit of work to do before the final, but I have the best team in the world to do this work – they were fantastic. I don’t know what it was, but it didn’t feel like I had the perfect pace in the first half of the race and Andreas [Bakkerud] was right with me. In some places it was so slippery, I just had to be really precise and careful," he adds.

“For the second half, I said to myself: “OK, just put these laps together…” I did that and it worked. I did the joker on the final lap and it was perfect."

The win in Silverstone is Johan’s first on British soil, means he moves 14 points clear at the top of the table. Despite a tough semi-final, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden also extends its advantage to 22 points.

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Petter Solberg: "It always hurts a little bit more when it’s a collision with one of your team-mates"

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media

PSRX Volkswagen Sweden dominated the first ever visit to Silverstone with Petter Solberg leading on Saturday night. Both Johan [Kristoffersson] and Petter progressed into the semi-finals in first and third respectively. 

First and third on the grid meant the two drivers would share the front row of the first semi-final. The unfortunate happened when both drivers touched on the run down to Turn 1. The race was then RED FLAGGED and repairs were carried out on Petter's Polo R Supercar, but he later retired due to mechanical issues. 

“It’s so tough to stop like this in the semi-final. We had a good car for the weekend, we were leading overnight and everything was looking good for the final. What happened with Johan was really one of those things, but it always hurts a little bit more when it’s a collision with one of your team-mate," said Solberg.

PSRX Volkswagen Sweden can draw positives from the Cooper Tires World RX of Great Britain, after a strong showing from both drivers throughout the race weekend.

 “What we can say is that the team has done a fantastic job, the car was so quick here all weekend. Even when the grip was harder to find on Sunday, we still made the Polo work," said Solberg. "It’s a shame, it would have been fantastic to keep the run going and to make another final, but it didn’t happen."

“Hey, this was a tough Sunday for us, but still the team is extending its lead. OK, I have dropped back a little bit, but now we move on and we look forward to Norway. I’m going home," Solberg concludes. 

Pernilla Solberg, PSRX Team principal: "One of the real positives is the co-operation we made between the organisers, the FIA and all the teams."

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media
Petter Solberg and Johan Kristoffersson touched going into the first corner in the semi-finals. The race was stopped and, while Petter’s car was repaired in lightening-quick time on the grid, he retired with a technical issue later in the race.

Petter showed real pace in his PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo R leading the standing on Day 1 of competition, the event leading up to his retirement was unfortunate. However, there were a few positives to come out of the incident.

“One of the real positives to come out of the situation in the semi-final is the co-operation we made between the organisers, the FIA and all the teams. After the incident involving one of the other cars in Belgium, we were all working to make a better system with the red flag and today we saw the results of all that work," said Pernilla Solberg

"Everybody did a great job, the race director and everybody – we had real clarity on what was happening and how much time we had to work on the car."

Niclas Grönholm: "We still have a lot of work to do with the car."

For the fourth time this year, both GRX Taneco cars made it through to the semi-finals and Niclas Grönholm qualified for the final at Silverstone. 

The goal was clear: a place in the semi-finals. Having finished sixth and seventh in qualifying, Niclas confirmed his eighth place in the standings to take a spot on the second row, with Timur just behind on the third row.

I was lucky,” said Grönholm, looking back on the semi-final. “Timmy Hansen buckled his wheel, so I grabbed third place and made it into the final.”

Timur on the other hand was not all that happy with his weekend leading up to Sunday. 
“I’m not pleased with this weekend’s results. I should be able to make better times, I should be faster," said Timerzyanov. "I don’t know what happened. I feel like I gave it my all but my peak speed isn’t what it should be. But I won’t give up! I know I can do better than that.”

Niclas Grönholm qualified for the final and looked like a contender for third place, but ultimately had to make do with P5. Niclas was the first driver in the final to take the joker lap in hope of running quicker in clean air, but lost time to the leading pack. 

“I gave it my all. I was closing in on Sébastien Loeb but it just wasn’t enough this time. I made a few mistakes in the last lap so missed out on a podium place," said Grönholm. "But it was a really good weekend for us and making it to the final for the second time shows how far we have come. That said, I know we still have a lot of work to do with the car.”

“I’m really pleased and pretty proud of what the team has achieved this weekend. We’re heading in the right direction and getting better with every race," said Pinomäki, GRX Taneco Team Manager. "It’s been a difficult period, with one race after another, and we haven’t had time to focus on the car’s development, but I hope we can do a bit more work before Norway to be even more competitive and build on our momentum.”

Mattias Ekström: "We can be satisfied because we have made progress."

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media.
EKS Audi Sport driver Andreas Bakkerud made the step onto the winners’ podium for the first time in 2018 after finishing second in the final. Mattias Ekström finished in fourth place.

For the third time this year, both EKS Audi Sport drivers qualified for the final. Starting alongside each other on the second row, Bakkerud held a much better line running into turn one and in doing so secured second place behind Johan Kristoffersson. The opening first few laps saw Bakkerud glued to the rear of Kristoffersson but missed out on victory by a mere 0.859 seconds.

Ekström behind the leading pair. After the joker lap, he was passed by Sébastien Loeb and ultimately had to settle for fourth place. “I didn’t realize that Loeb was so close behind me, which is why I stayed on the normal racing line,” said Ekström. “There was no jackpot for me today, but we took a good haul of points. And of course the podium for Andreas is fantastic. Our fight in the first corner was fair. Overall as a team we can be satisfied because we have made progress. Our starts are now more consistent.”

Bakkerud made his fourth appearance in the final on his fourth start for EKS Audi Sport. “It feels great to be on the podium for the first time with my new team and Audi,” said Bakkerud. “The pressure on me has now dropped. First I had to familiarize myself with the new car, but I’ve now achieved this thanks to the fantastic support from the entire team."

"I look forward confidently to the rest of the season, because now my favorite race tracks are looming on the horizon and my home race in Hell,” he adds. 

Monday 28 May 2018

REPORT: Kristoffersson claims victory at the Cooper Tires World RX of Great Britain.

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media
REPORT BY - FIA World Rallycross Media

Johan Kristoffersson extended his FIA World Rallycross Championship points lead by scoring victory at the Cooper Tires World RX of Great Britain as part of the inaugural Speedmachine Festival at Silverstone.

PSRX Volkswagen Sweden’s Kristoffersson claimed a maximum 30 points from the British event in his Volkswagen Polo R by finishing top of the Intermediate Classification, winning semi-final one and the final, as EKS Audi Sport’s Andreas Bakkerud finished second and Team Peugeot Total’s Sebastien Loeb recovered from a slow start in the final to finish third.

Kristoffersson’s win coupled with a strong performance from team-mate Petter Solberg in qualifying, despite the Norwegian retiring from semi-final one, increases PSRX’s lead in the World RX Team’s Championship.

“In the final it was super high grip on the start line so I had to slip the clutch, but I managed to get a good launch. From then on, I was just trying to drive as fast as I could. Andreas [Bakkerud] was really on my tail all the way – he found some good speed in between the semi-final and the final and was really fast,” said winner Kristoffersson. “It’s so easy to make a mistake out there so I just tried to take it steady and then for the last three laps I tried to put my best laps together and after the joker lap I came out first. It’s awesome.”

Bakkerud passed EKS team-mate Mattias Ekstrom in the first corners of the final to secure a second place finish in his Audi S1. “This feels great, it really does. The car has been there all year, it just takes time to get used to everything when it’s new,” said Bakkerud. “The feeling is that I’m confident going into Norway, Sweden and the rest of the Championship on tracks I’m more familiar with. Speedmachine has been a great event and I think all the fans have really enjoyed it. We’ve met a lot of new people here this week – I asked them many questions and they really enjoy rallycross.”

For Mettet RX winner Loeb, his Silverstone result was this fourth consecutive podium of the season, the Frenchman overtaking Ekstrom in the final. “I did a really good final I think, with just a very bad start so then it’s complicated in six laps to recover that. I was sixth on the entry to the first corner, I had to find a way to pass the other cars. I took the joker lap at the right time and could push very hard,” he said. “Then when Mattias [Ekstrom] took the joker I arrived behind and was able to brake inside for the first couple of corners, it was a good run. I’m very happy. The Championship is really exciting this year and we are three manufacturers, six drivers fighting and I don’t know who will win – it’s really interesting. I enjoy it a lot.”

Ekstrom scooped the Monster Energy Supercharge Award for having the fastest reaction away from the start line in the final and finished fourth, ahead of GRX Taneco’s Niclas Gronholm and Team Peugeot Total’s Kevin Hansen, the former FIA European Rallycross Champion slowed on the final lap of the race with a problem.

The inaugural Speedmachine Festival hosted 27,250 spectators over the weekend, where fans enjoyed the frantic World RX action along with street food, a range of live music and manufacturer drive experiences on Silverstone’s Formula 1 circuit.

Just missing out on a place in the World RX final was Norway’s Tommy Rustad, racing an Marklund-HTB Racing Volkswagen Polo on his return to World RX and GC Kompetition’s Jerome Grosset-Janin who finished fourth in semi-final one and two respectively. Olsbergs MSE’s Kevin Eriksson, Team Peugeot Total’s Timmy Hansen and GRX’s Timur Timerzyanov also qualified for the semi-finals but didn’t make it into the final. British heroes Andrew Jordan and Mark Higgins endured a challenging weekend and finished 16th and 20th.

Sweden’s Oliver Eriksson won the second round of the RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires to move into the lead of the standings. America’s Conner Martell finished second and Norway’s Sondre Evjen completed the podium finishers.

The Speedmachine Festival also hosted the first round of Americas Rallycross, with the final being won by Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross’ Tanner Foust ahead of team-mate Scott Speed. Britain’s Liam Doran completed the podium, with Subaru Rally Team USA’s Patrik Sandell fourth.

Stuart Pringle, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Ltd commented: “Speedmachine has delivered everything we wanted; fantastic World Rallycross racing, great music and food. We’re looking forward to making Speedmachine even bigger and better for next year.”

Paul Bellamy, World RX Managing Director for IMG, concluded: “What a fantastic weekend. The feedback we have had from the fans has been reward for all the hard work put in by everybody involved since we launched Speedmachine a year ago. Congratulations to Johan Kristoffersson and PSRX Volkswagen Sweden for claiming victory in such a closely-fought event, with three manufacturers represented on the podium. We can’t wait for the rest of the season and building on the Speedmachine concept for 2019.”

Sunday 27 May 2018

2018 Monaco Grand Prix: Post Race Press Conference TRANSCRIPT.


1 – Daniel RICCIARDO (Red Bull Racing)
2 – Sebastian VETTEL (Ferrari)
3 – Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes)


(Conducted by David Coulthard)

Sebastian, as you’ve got your helmet off first, we’ll let Daniel celebrate with your old team Red Bull Racing. You’re sixth podium finish here, but not the result you were looking for. You just didn’t have the pace today?

Sebastian VETTEL: I think we had the pace but it was a tricky race. I think Daniel had the answers at all times. First stint I could follow him fairly easily and then he started to push just, I think, when Lewis started to pit. Then he was a bit stronger there and I couldn’t follow. I was going through the tyres fairly quick. Next stint was a bit the same. I think he had a problem half way through with his MGU-K. I think towards the end I picked again but at the re-start I just didn’t have much confidence in the tyres and I lost quite a lot, otherwise it would have been nice to keep the pressure on until the end.

Daniel Ricciardo, you win in Monaco. How do you feel?
Daniel RICCIARDO: Ah… good. I think I can show more emotion today than yesterday. Two years in the making this, so I finally feel like the redemption has arrived. We had problems. I don’t know how much the radio broadcast, but we had a lot to deal with during the race. I think it was before half way, I felt a loss of power and I thought the race was done and we got home just using six gears. Thanks to the team we got it back. I’m stoked.

We did have the radio played into our broadcast. We were with you in the cockpit. We knew you were driving wounded. This was reminiscent of Schumacher in Barcelona, stuck in fifth gear. You managed it superbly so that must make it even more sweet?

DR: There were a few doubts that came in mid-race, but yeah, just… we won Monaco! Feels good, feels good. Thanks everyone for the support. There were a lot of Aussie flags on the in-lap, so thanks everyone. Awesome.

Soak it up. Lewis Hamilton: difficult weekend. You mentioned after qualifying it was about damage limitation. You still gave it you all out there but that was the best you could get today – third place?

LH: Well firstly, a big congratulations to Red Bull and to Daniel, they did a great job this weekend. Ultimately they were the quickest all weekend and we knew that would be the case. Yeah, it would have been nice to be second, but I did everything I could. But it was an interesting race. Well, I believe it was an interesting race.


Q: (Frédéric Ferret – l’Equipe) Daniel, in the past with Red Bull we have seen victories celebrated by jumping into the pool and jumping in the harbour. What will you do?

DR: As I said, the pool looked a little bit worse for wear yesterday, so maybe the harbour is cleaner – and it’s higher, so maybe more fun.

LH: You’ve got to do a good jump where you land flat and make that slap.

DR: A belly flop?

LH: Yeah, a belly flop. Can you do a belly flop? The belly flop challenge. Everyone has done a back flip and a normal jump. You gotta do a belly flop.

DR: Well, belly flop, maybe I’ll try a front flip, which could be a back slap.

LH: Or the pike. Have you heard of the pike? It’s when you jump and land on your back.

DR: No.

LH: Come on!

DR: Maybe we’ll have a pool party. Maybe we can start drinking early.

Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action and Speedsport) Daniel, you didn’t need anything else to go wrong but when the VSC came out, were you thinking good news or bad news?

DR: I saw the debris in the chicane I think it was. I didn’t really want anything. I was just like “let’s get this race finished”. It had already felt long enough. I was glad it was a VSC and not a Safety Car, because I thought having less power, with the problems, I would have been vulnerable on a re-start. Again, it’s hard to overtake here, so if I got good traction out of the last corner and blocked into Turn 1 I still think I would make it difficult for Seb but I didn’t feel like becoming vulnerable in the last few laps. We'd already done 72 or something. I wasn’t excited to see it but yeah, in the end it helped me as Seb seemed to lose time behind it, but it just made the last few laps go a bit longer.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – Globo It’s time for celebration for sure, but concerning the next race, Daniel, mainly for you, it’s a certain of completely characteristics, do your performances relate to the track or have you really made a step forward on your car?

DR: For sure the circuit helps us. As I said, I was using six gears pretty much the whole race, didn’t touch seventh or eighth. I think all weekend anyway we’re not really using eighth, so I think it shows that even with an extreme loss of power our chassis still works really well. Fortunately this isn’t a power circuit, so I think the circuit certainly helped us here. It’s proven again we have a really good chassis. Montreal, we’ll see. I think we’re back on the hypersofts. It looked like our degradation was better than the others today. Montreal is more of a power circuit. If our chassis is working well and being kind on tyres we may see ourselves fighting again but as always this circuit leans towards our strengths. As I said in Italian earlier, we’ve all got two victories between us this year, I wouldn’t have thought that coming into February so that’s pretty cool and we’ll try and keep it going for now.

Sebastian, Montreal?
SV: yeah, it’s a different track. Tyre choice I guess is the same, so we’ll see. Obviously a bit more straightforward in terms of racing and overtaking than here, but yeah, we’ll see. Two weeks now to prepare and look into our strengths and our weaknesses. Then we’ll see where we are. It’s a different track, yeah it’s quite smooth on tyres, hence the tyre choice, so I don’t know. I think we’ll all be there. As you’ve seen, in the first six races it’s been really close, which is good for us, because going into Sunday, you never know and you’re in the mix and in the fight, so looking forward.

Lewis, Montreal?
LH: They answered it pretty well, not really much more to say. It’s going to be fun. More fun than this race, I think.

Q: (Andrew Benson – BBC Sport) Two questions, one for Daniel and then one for everybody. Daniel, you’ve got an engine upgrade coming for Canada which is supposed to be pretty good. Can you be a title contender? And then, the wider question. A couple of years ago, or a bit more, you three were all instrumental in getting Pirelli to change the tyres, so they could be raced on and pushed on. Today, we saw you lapping four, five, six seconds off the pace for pretty much the entire race. How do you feel about that?

DR: I think it’s a natural question after a victory. I think I got asked after China if it means we’re in the title hunt. We’re still… I think Lewis still has a pretty good buffer on me, so we’re still on the outside of that. It’s not impossible but not really at the forefront of my mind yet. But, even if it was, I’m not going to change obviously the way that I’m driving or trying to attack. So, yeah, Montreal will be interesting. Try to get a few more podiums but yeah, we’ve got to probably prove on at least one other circuit before the summer break that we can win again. And then maybe we’re a nice little outside chance. For tyres, yeah, I think today, because it’s a tight circuit, you’re able to take the piss a little bit with going slow. I mean, there were times I was really cruising but, y’know, the circuit allows you to do that because it’s hard to overtake but I don’t think we’ll be able to maintain that kind of rhythm on a circuit like Montreal or something. So, I think it’s more circuit-dependent – but I’m glad they’re bringing the hypersofts again. When we pitted early, I thought it was maybe even looking like even a two-stop race – but obviously we could control the pace. But, as I said, on a different circuit I think today would probably have been a two-stop.

Seb, anything to add on the tyres?
SV: No, I don’t want to answer. Sorry.

Lewis, anything to add on the tyres?
LH: erm… except for we were probably just cruising around from lap six, maybe. Literally cruising. So it wasn’t really racing.

Q: What did you learn from the hypersoft this weekend, going forward to Montreal? Do you think it’s a tyre you’re going to be able to push hard for a whole stint in Montreal?

LH: I have no idea if it will be more or less in Montreal. I don’t know. I guess there’s less hard core corners so probably it will go a little bit further. Yeah, Daniel did a great job today so super happy for him but ultimately we were turned down and just cruising around to make sure we got to the end. I don’t know if that was exciting for you guys to watch. If it is, no problem.

Q: (Jacquelin Magnay – The Australian) At the end, Christian Horner mentioned Michael Schumacher’s race in Barcelona where he finished and won after difficulties. I’m just wondering what that meant to you when he mentioned that, and can you just take us through your roller coaster of emotions during the race?

DR: I don’t really know how to… Obviously it’s a compliment towards me and my race. I don’t really know… so much went on, I guess, for me in that race, trying to figure out what was going on. It’s hard to kind of let it all sink in, once it’s done. Even now, I don’t know, it feels weird that I did get that win but obviously I will take the compliment.

Obviously it’s a long weekend here with the practice on a Thursday, it stretches the weekend an extra day so it’s a long week. There’s obviously a lot of hype – I mean I love it, it is the most fun weekend of the year but it is pretty draining so even today it was long and the race obviously starts an hour later now – an hour and ten minutes later. Yeah, you’re just trying to like control everything until the moment of the race. I kind of wish the race was at ten in the morning so we could just get it done already. Going through all that and then finally starting, getting a good start, that was really the key moment and then obviously, as I mentioned, the problems I had, that obviously threw a lot of doubt in my mind for a few laps. Every lap I got by with no extra problems was a little victory so happy to see the chequered flag.

Q: (Christian Menath – Motorsport First part of the question is for Daniel: can you explain a bit how you drove around that problem? Was it only deploying the energy or was it also harvesting and did you have any problems with the temperatures in the car because of the rear brakes and so on? And for Sebastian, second part, you probably saw the lights flashing when the K didn’t work for Daniel. Did you change anything to put a bit more pressure on him, did you have any strategy for that?

DR: Yes, obviously I had a lot less power so that was the obvious thing, but then, yeah, the rear brakes got really hot so I went I think six or seven percent forwards with the brake balance. That’s a lot. Maybe we go one or two percent change during the race, at least, for us, so we had to go a long way forwards and I have to lift a lot before braking to save the brakes and put less energy through them. The pace was slow, for the power, the pace was slow to manage the tyres and then the pace was slow because I was managing brakes. Hence why it felt like a very long race but obviously we got it home.

SV: Yeah, not really. Obviously I saw the issue and I was also told by radio and that’s when I started to push, but as soon as I got too close or closer then I struggled to stay there and never got in range, especially at the exit of the tunnel, I was always too far (behind) to try and get close. I had the DRS a couple of times but obviously the track makes it quite difficult which is a bonus if you are ahead but with all the problems he had, he was still quicker than us.

Q: Daniel, is this your most satisfying victory?

DR: I think it’s… give it two days, probably and I look back on the weekend as a whole, I think it was definitely my best weekend and the most satisfying. Right now, there’s still a lot to process but as I said, once it all settles I think yeah, I could probably say that. You know the race itself… it’s a different race to a China. China obviously got everything going and got the adrenalin going and whatnot but as a whole this is probably the best weekend of my career.

Q: (Scott Mitchell – Autosport) After a weekend like this where you’ve dominated, winning in difficult circumstances today, would you say that your stock as a driver has never been higher than this?

DR: I guess. We’ll see. We’ll see what the others think. I can’t pay myself but for sure I feel I’ve done a really good job the first six races and as I said, we’ve all got two victories so yeah. Lewis is being nice.

LH: I’ll negotiate for him.

DR: What cut will you take?

LH: We can negotiate.

DR: If Lewis finishes at the end of the year he can maybe step in as my manager.


Saturday 26 May 2018

2018 Monaco Grand Prix: Post-Qualifying Press Conference Transcript


1 – Daniel RICCIARDO (Red Bull Racing)
2 – Sebastian VETTEL (Ferrari)
3 – Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes)



Q: (Scott Mitchell – Autosport) Daniel, the Red Bull has been very strong here this week, but just how good was the car here today and how were you able to harness the strengths of the package here?

Daniel RICCIARDO: It’s been good all weekend. Every session we’ve been quicken. It’s a bit like 2016; we came into this race knowing we had a legitimate chance to fight for pole. Just knowing how the car has performed in the first few races and knowing if it got hooked up around here then for sure we knew we could be here. We didn’t really change much on the car all weekend, it was kind of one of those pretty smooth ones and we could just build up to it and obviously find my rhythm and have some fun. I love this place and it’s obviously a pleasure to drive in a 1m10s, it’s a lot of fun. It’s been awesome, the boys have done a good job. The team. There are some girls in the team as well!

Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action and Speedsport) Daniel, what happened to Max shows how quickly this place can bite. Was that at the back of your mind or were you able to clear your mind and just go for it?

DR: It’s always in the back of your mind here, I guess, because the risk and reward is very real and that was proven this morning. It’s one of those things… it’s there but it is at the back of your mind, because to be fast you can’t think about those things. Knowing we had obviously a great package all weekend… we need to push it but I don’t think we need to overdrive it. The car has been performing well. It’s just hitting your marks and just trying to keep it clean I guess. We’re all pushing each other, particularly Max and myself in the same time. It’s no surprise that these things can happen and, as I said, when we’re lapping 1m10s 1m11s there’s no room for error.

Q: (Lennart Wermle – Bild) Daniel, who were talking to on the phone directly after qualifying? I was wondering who you were talking to there? 
DR: Do you know or not? No. OK. It was the boss, Dietrich. It was nice.

Q: (Frédéric Ferret – l’Equipe) What kind of guarantees do you have for your tyres tomorrow?
DR: Come on. Next question. They’re cool, yeah. We’ll be fine, there’s no rain tomorrow, we’re OK.

Q: (Christian Menath – Question for Seb and for Lewis. Do you think it was the general DNA of your cars why you didn’t have a chance against Red Bull here or do you think if you had got everything right, the set-up, the perfect lap, you would have had a chance?

Sebastian VETTEL: I was pretty happy. I think there is always the feeling that there is a little bit but I don’t think we were a threat to Daniel’s time today. So, I think you always look back and think ‘here and there’, especially around this place, but well done to Daniel, he owned the qualifying session. For us, I think, we were playing around with the set-up quite a bit trying to squeeze out everything because we knew we had to if we wanted to have a word for front row and for pole. I think we put ourselves in a good position. I think they looked strong yesterday, they looked strong this morning, I think we got as close as we could and now we see what we can do tomorrow?

Lewis, your thoughts?

How was the session for you?
LH: It was a good session. We knew we wouldn’t be quickest here. We did the best we could and the car was in a good place, just a little bit off them really.

Were you pleased with your lap?
LH: My first Q3 lap… I was happy with my last one. I was 0.27s but I lost it in the middle and the last sector so naturally not happy with that. That wouldn’t have been enough anyways for pole but it would have made a difference, obviously I would have been second. Am I happy about that? No, but it’s a long race tomorrow. I gave it everything I could and you can’t always get it perfect. The good thing is the car is in one piece and I can live to fight another day.

Q: (Scott Mitchell – Autosport) A question for Seb and Lewis. Obviously, the unique characteristics of this circuit means that it doesn’t necessarily translate from here to other places. With that in mind, does it make missing out on pole here today easier to take, knowing that it’s a special circuit and won’t necessarily be repeated elsewhere?

SV: I think it was expected that Red Bull will be quick here. I think they have a strong car, they have more downforce than everybody else. I think in terms of drag or efficiency, maybe they’re not the best, so at this track, y’know, we knew that they will be strong. Other tracks, I think we have to look at ourselves, y’know? I think Barcelona we know we weren’t where we want to be. Going forward, Canada, will be different again. The think is, for us, that have potential in the car. We need to make sure we unleash it and we improve. Then, I think, I don’t need to answer your question, or these questions. For today, no doubt, Daniel was the best man out there. He deserves the pole and no matter whether his package was maybe a little bit better or a little bit worse, he did the job. That’s what it’s about here.

Lewis, the pace of the Mercedes elsewhere, does that make today an easier pill to swallow?
LH: Like I said, we knew what was going to happen this weekend. So… it still doesn’t feel great but it’s just one race, so…

Q: (Ben Hunt – The Sun) Question to Daniel and Lewis. On Thursday, there was some questions about the legality of the Ferrari ERS system. I just wondered if there’s any feelings amongst you two, whether you think it’s legal. Are you happy with the investigation, the answers that you’re being given by the team?

DR: Don’t know about it. Yeah. I don’t. Probably because I haven’t been reading anything. Particularly since Thursday, just been focussed on trying to put myself here, in this position. So, I’m sure the team know about it – but they haven’t bogged me down with that information at the moment.

Lewis, anything to add?

DR: Do you know about it?

LH: I keep my ear very close to the ground, for sure. I know what’s going on.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – To all drivers. Come back to the subject of tyres, changing the approach. What expectations do you have for the hyper tyre from Pirelli? And also, Daniel, having around 40hp less than your competitors, were you afraid at the end in the Q3 that you could lose your pole position?

DR: No, I knew the first lap in Q3 was pretty good. I felt it was enough but obviously you never know – but it was a relatively clean lap. So yeah, for sure the chassis works well around here and we don’t have maybe as much power in qualifying but we’ve still got enough around here to get it done. So that feels good. The tyres. Thursday seemed mixed for everyone. Some people suffered a lot of graining with the front. We didn’t do a very long run but what we did, it was OK. So, I’m OK for tomorrow. I feel confident. I think we’ll still be able to one stop. I think everyone will make it happen. Yeah. It’s good.

Sebastian. Anything to add on the tyres?
SV: Well, I mean this is a track where we put the least energy on the tyres. So, I think it’s normal the softer the tyres, the better it is for us. We have more grip. Yeah, we saw, as Daniel said, in practice that maybe the tyre’s not meant to last super-long. So, I’m sure if you put it on a normal race track it’s fun for probably half, or one lap – but after that it will be difficult. But I don’t know. The tyre choices now, going forward, when will be have the hypersoft next time, I’m not sure. Is it in Canada? Canada is quite smooth on the tyres so it makes sense. Yeah.

Lewis, your thoughts on the hypersoft tyre.
LH: It’s OK.

You guys experimented with the ultra in Q2.
LH: That wasn’t the greatest either.

Do you think a one stop is possible tomorrow, as Daniel suggested?
LH: I think that’s the target, which I think is not very good here. They should make us use multiple ultrasofts, or hypersofts. One stop is always a boring race. Especially on a track where you can’t even overtake. So, it adds more excitement to it. I’m sure we’ll do one stop tomorrow. The other tyres could probably go a long way.

Q: Your thoughts on the hypersoft?
LH: It’s OK.

Q: You guys experimented with the ultra in Q2.
LH: Yeah, that wasn’t very good.

Q: Do you think a one stop is possible tomorrow, as Daniel suggested?
LH: I think that’s the target which I think is not very good here. They should make us use multiple ultrasofts… hypersofts. One stop is always a boring race, especially on a track where you can’t even overtake, so it adds more excitement to it. I’m sure we’ll do a one stop tomorrow. Yeah, I think the tyres could probably go a long way.

Q: (Fred Ferret – L’Equipe) To Seb and Lewis, you’ve won Monaco outside the pole, what would your mind set tomorrow? Would it be a waiting game during the race?

SV: Well, jump Daniel at the start.

DR: Preferably don’t jump, like over me. That would hurt.

SV: No, no. I mean it’s a long race. If you look at the race, then it’s nearly impossible to overtake, we know that, but it’s still one of the most fascinating races because things can happen. It doesn’t mean that they do happen but they can. Rain is not forecast, I guess, for tomorrow but who knows? It’s going to be a long race, a lot of laps, easy to do a small mistake which goes without noticing or can be very costly. I think the plan is to – as I said – make a good start and then settle into the race. Keep the pressure up until the end.

Q: Lewis, tomorrow, do an even better start? What’s your plan?
LH: To catch this one, to catch this guy, that’s my goal. Switch places with him.

Q: (Christian Menath – Motorsport Seb, the first lap in Q3, did you have any specific mistake there or was it just a bit easygoing, well, just to set a time on the board?

SV: I don’t know what the others did but I did two times one lap and in Q2 I tried a little bit but it didn’t work so for Q3 I think I knew what I had to do and yeah, I was happy with the first lap, not so happy with the beginning or with the feel for the tyres throughout the lap. I think today I was – I would say sensitive but it was important for me to feel the car, the tyres switching on. In the last run I definitely felt it was a bit better so I had a cleaner lap and more trust and that’s where the extra time is usually coming from. The lap before wasn’t bad but I could do better, I knew it and I was pretty happy with the last one I had.

Q: (Tomasz Kubiak - Daniel, do you look forward to a race when you don’t have to think about passing with your teammate?

DR: I only heard passing your teammate, is that what you said? What was your question?

Q: do you look forward to the race more when you haven’t got to worry about passing your teammate?
DR: I don’t know. It’s not a bad question. We’ll move on. At least you laughed, you got your kick out of it. No comment.

Q: (Scott Mitchell - Autosport) Daniel, because Red Bull’s been so strong this week, how much of it has been a mental, psychological battle between you and Max, just trying to get the upper hand before qualifying? Obviously he ended up paying the price for it on his side but how important was it just to be the number one guy basically?

DR: Obviously you’re aware of your teammate’s speed and everyone’s speed but for me, from the start of the weekend, I guess a battle with myself, wanting to be the quickest from the start and trying to reach my personal goals for the weekend. Obviously, yeah, we were close throughout all the sessions but yeah, I don’t know if it’s… it could be a psychological battle if an opponent sees it that way but for me personally I just wanted to see my name on top and just try to keep that momentum going from the start.

Friday 25 May 2018

Peugeot Total aim to score as much points as possible with unchanged car in Silverstone.

PHOTO CREDIT: Team Peugeot Total
Fresh from a victory in Belgium 10 days ago, Team Peugeot Total heads to England and the legendary Silverstone circuit: also known as ‘the home of British motorsport’. 

The Silverstone circuit was previously used for the World RX pre-season test and media day in March, so the drivers already have some limited experience of it. 10 days prior to that, Sébastien Loeb also won the opening round of the British Rallycross Championship there, which he contested as a practice event, along with Timmy Hansen, who finished 2nd. The 0.972-kilometre track is very technical and consists of 40% asphalt and 60% gravel.

Bruno Famin, Peugeot Sport Director
“Our goal at Silverstone remains unchanged: we want to score as many points as possible in both the teams’ and drivers’ championships and make as much progress as we can up the classifications. The cars are also unchanged: we have the same specification as we did in Belgium, which worked well. Silverstone is of course very different: the track is slow. We have a small experience there but no real reference, so it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. The Silverstone round is being held as part of the Speedmachine Festival, with concerts and other entertainments planned, so we look forward to seeing how rallycross fits in with this interesting new concept organised by the promoter, and see if we can attract new people around motorsport competition.”

Sébastien Loeb [Championship Standings: 2nd place - 66 points]
“I’m feeling very positive after our win in Belgium and obviously the target is to continue on the same trajectory. I competed on the Silverstone track before, but the level of competition will be higher this weekend and also it was practically snowing back then, so I do not think you can really compare it! At any time of year, you can never predict the weather in England, so we have to be prepared for anything. The track itself is quite slow, which is a pity as I think there was space to make some faster sections as well, but we will take everything as it comes and just do our best as always, with the simple aim of improving our position in the championships. It’s the same for everybody.”

Timmy Hansen [Championship Standings: 5th place - 59 points]
“While Silverstone is nothing like any of the other tracks we’ve raced on, we’ve been quick in Barcelona, Montalegre and Mettet – which are all very different to each other – so there’s no reason to think that we can’t be quick in Silverstone too and fight for the win. The key thing I think will be to find good traction out of all the slow corners. We’ll see what the circuit is like when we get there – hopefully in a bit better condition to when we were there before – but the main thing is that it should be a really cool weekend with the Festival as well, so I think everyone will have a good time. I’m looking forward to getting there.”

Kevin Hansen - Independent Driver [Championship Standings: 12th place - 26 points]
“I’ve only tested at the Silverstone circuit, but I can say that it’s certainly very different to anything else: it’s very technical with most of the corners taken in second gear. The start-finish straight is really the only place where you get to open the car up a bit: the rest is mainly 90-degree corners and hairpin bends. I really enjoy the challenge of mastering different circuits though and I feel that I’ve learned a lot this year – about myself as well – so I’ll be walking into Silverstone with a big smile on my face! I’ve come close but not quite had the results I wanted so far: I think Silverstone could mark a real turning point. With another new circuit coming up later this year, at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, Silverstone will be an interesting learning opportunity for all of us about how to tackle a new venue.”

Niclas Grönholm: "I’m confident and I’m sure we can put in a good performance in Great Britain"

The World RX of Great Britain will be raced on a brand new circuit comprising 60% dirt and 40% asphalt. At 972 metres long, it is the shortest track so far this season. 

“We were unable to take part in pre-season testing at Silverstone, unlike our rivals. They’ll have a slight advantage over us in that respect," said Grönholm. "However, I’m confident and I’m sure we can put in a good performance in Great Britain." 

Grönholm started from the back in Semi-Final 1 at the World RX of Belgium and finished in fourth place, but that was not good enough to earn him a spot in the final. 

"Our results weren’t satisfactory in Belgium but we’re heading in the right direction. We are gaining confidence in the car but it can be tough against the factory teams," says Grönholm. "Obviously the aim is a place in the final and, before that, to qualify for the semi-finals, at the front of the grid if possible to give us the best possible chance of a good result.”

Timur Timerzyanov receives VISA to race at the World RX of Great Britain.

Timur Timerzyanov is raring to go racing after securing a visa to participate in round 4 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Silverstone this weekend. 

Earlier this week Timur said: “I’m a bit worried at the moment as I’m not sure I’ll be able to compete in the race. I’m still waiting for my visa. We hope it’ll all work out and I can take to the Silverstone track."

Timur took to Twitter yesterday saying: "Good news! I got UK Visa and in a hurry to Silverstone!!! See you there!"

Last time out in Belgium, Timerzyanov made it into the second semi-final and finished sixth after a spin and a spin at the start. 

Timur is now looking forward to the race weekend ahead. "I feel ready and am raring to go! The British round has always been a tough one for me, but this is a brand new track," said Timerzyanov." 

"It’s a chance for a fresh start, even though we’re at a slight disadvantage, not having been able to take part in the pre-season test sessions. We’ll still do our utmost to get the result we want," he adds.

Thursday 24 May 2018

PREVIEW: 2018 Cooper Tires World RX of Great Britian

The FIA World Rallycross Championship ventures to pastures new this weekend (25-27 May) with the series’ first-ever visit to the iconic Silverstone Circuit for Cooper Tires World RX of Great Britain, round four of the 2018 season.

The first international rallycross event to take place at the ‘Home of British Motor Racing’, the race weekend sits at the heart of the much-anticipated Speedmachine festival, which will combine phenomenal world championship racing with headline live music, Esports, drifting and the unique opportunity for attendees to get behind the wheel of a performance car and drive the world-famous Silverstone Formula 1 circuit.

Set against the backdrop of the Silverstone’s landmark Wing building, the brand new track – purpose-built for World RX – has been designed to ensure spectators don’t miss a moment of the racing from its viewing spots. 

Cooper Tires World RX of Great Britain boasts a capacity Supercar entry of 25 drivers, including three homegrown racers in Andrew Jordan, Mark Higgins and Oliver Bennett.

PSRX Volkswagen Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson leads the World RX points race heading to Silverstone but faces a renewed challenge from Sebastien Loeb, who scored his and Team Peugeot Total’s first win of the 2018 season last time out in Belgium to close the leading margin to nine points. Petter Solberg is a further point behind in third position, ahead of EKS Audi Sport pairing Andreas Bakkerud and Mattias Ekstrom, while Timmy Hansen in the second factory Peugeot follows. After three rounds, only 16 points cover the top six drivers.

In addition to the 15 permanent drivers, ten round-by-round entries will take to the start at Silverstone. Local favourite Jordan makes his latest World RX of Great Britain appearance at the wheel of an MJP Racing Team Austria Ford Fiesta, the 2013 British Touring Car Champion eyeing a repeat of his hugely popular podium finish on home soil in 2014. 

Three-time British Rally Champion Higgins is set for his World RX debut in an Albatec Racing Peugeot 208 having made the switch to rallycross this year, while Bennett in the XITE Racing MINI Cooper S makes his third World RX outing of the year in front of his home fans.

Ma Qing Hua will write history as the first Chinese driver to start a World RX event driving a second Team Stard Ford Fiesta entry, while current European champion Anton Marklund appears in his eponymous Marklund Motorsport VW Polo alongside 2015 European champion Tommy Rustad in a sister Marklund – HTB Racing machine. 

Former British Rallycross Champion Ollie O’Donovan flies the flag for Ireland in a Ford Fiesta, while Frenchman Herve “Knapick” Lemonnier returns to World RX action in a Citroen DS3 and Hungary’s Tamas Karai competes in a Karai Motorsport Audi A1.

Andrew Jordan, MJP Racing Team Austria, said: "I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of one of these brilliant 600BHP beasts this weekend and do my country proud in the first-ever World RX event to take place at Silverstone. Together with Speedmachine, it’s going to be a very special weekend and I’m sure fans are going to absolutely love it! I’m confident myself and MJP Racing Team Austria can really take the fight to the World RX regulars this weekend and give the home fans something to cheer about!"

World RX Managing Director for IMG, Paul Bellamy commented: “We are immensely proud to bring World RX to such a world-class facility as Silverstone for the first time and to do so with a capacity entry list brimming with rallycross talent should make for fantastic racing. Few venues in motorsport are as iconic or historic as Silverstone, so to be competing here on an all-new rallycross circuit purpose-built for this event is a hugely exciting moment for the championship. Moreover, we’re delighted to be launching Speedmachine here. We set out with the intention of creating a new kind of festival that appeals to every type of event-goer, whether they’re seeking high-quality sport, live entertainment or exhilarating activities, all with world championship motorsport at its heart. We're also delighted to launch ARX this weekend at Silverstone and especially pleased to give European fans a rare chance to see the mighty Subaru Rally Team USA and Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teams in action. It is going to be a truly unforgettable weekend.”

Americas Rallycross Championship (ARX)
The all-new Americas Rallycross Championship will make its debut at Silverstone. The new series features many of the world’s foremost rallycross stars, including drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed along with other big draw contenders Patrik Sandell, Chris Atkinson, David Higgins, Liam Doran, and Timo Scheider. Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross and Subaru Rally Team USA will look to bring their national success overseas, giving European fans a rare opportunity to see their cars and drivers.  The ARX Champion of Speedmachine will be crowned live on the ARX Rallycross Facebook page, free to air for all viewers. 

RX2 International Series 
The closely-contested RX2 series continues at Silverstone following a dramatic season-opener in Belgium where Ben-Philip Gundersen claimed victory. Gundersen leads the championship battle from Vasiliy Gryazin and Sondre Evjen. British champion Nathan Heathcote will seek a strong result on home soil after a tough opening round saw his weekend end with a roll in Q4.

SOURCE: FIA World Rallycross Media