Jost Capito, head of Volkswagen Motorsport, has said he’s sceptical of the motives behind Sebastien Loeb’s entry into the iconic Rallye Monte Carlo in January 2015, the opening round of the 2015 World Rally Championship (WRC) season. Of course, Loeb’s no ordinary retired rally driver. He’s the most celebrated WRC competitor in the sport’s history and the most successful FIA driver to date. So, I can understand Capito’s trepidation…Loeb 2105 monte carlo

Why has Loeb decided to enter the Rally Monte-Carlo 2015? He popped the winners’ Champagne bottle seven times from his ten entries to the event. That’s some record.

As Mr Capito points out, the rules for 2015’s WRC starting order for rallies sort of favours Loeb. This will be determined on Championship standings, and that means that Capito’s boys Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, having finished a fantastic first and second in the Championship in 2014, will start rather low down the list of WRC team entries. But, a reverse order will be applied for the final day of the rally and then Ogier and Latvala will be in optimal positions for an attack on the leader board.

In terms of mind games, Capito’s already scored something of an own goal for his team. Ogier’s now going into the rally on the back foot. And Rally Monte Carlo takes no prisoners no matter the number on their car doors. Gingerly, Latvala and Ogier will need to negotiate the icy, snowy and muddied asphalt twists and turns. All the while, Loeb – in Mr Capito’s mind – will be pulling out minutes and minutes over his rival – to coast to the rally finish while starting the first Read the rest of this entry »

Marquez makes history

Posted: 25th November 2014 by admin in MotoGP, Videos
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Lewis Hamilton won his second world championship with victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as reliability problems hit team-mate Nico Rosberg. Abu Dhabi GP 2014

Rosberg –who  took a crucial pole position as he comfortably beat team-mate and title rival– dropped behind Hamilton at the start and then suffered an ERS failure halfway through the race which saw him drop through the field. Hamilton was then able to manage his pace at the front to take his 11th victory of the season and secure the title regardless of where Rosberg finished.

In the end Rosberg was lapped by Hamilton two laps from the end and crawled home in 14th place.

Felipe Massa was second after threatening to take his first win for Williams, capitalising on the Mercedes problems to lead for a number of laps. With Hamilton nursing his car, Massa was able to put on supersoft tyres for his final stint and attempt to close an 11s gap to Hamilton, eventually finishing 2.5s adrift.

Valtteri Bottas recovered from a poor start to finish third and give Williams its first double-podium finish of the season, while Daniel Ricciardo delivered an impressive performance to finish fourth having started the race from the pit lane.

While Rosberg started from pole position – and needed to win with Hamilton third or lower to take the title – it was Read the rest of this entry »

F1 Brazilian Grand Prix 2014

Posted: 9th November 2014 by admin in Formula 1
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  • Rosberg wins by just 1.4s, Massa third at home race  Rosberg winner F1 Brazilian Grand Prix 2014
  • Hamilton spin proves costly when pushing for lead
  • Rosberg cuts gap to 17 points ahead of Abu Dhabi finale

 

Nico Rosberg feels his victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix is a “big step in the right direction” as he bids to beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and win the 2014 F1 Drivers’ title.

Rosberg dominated proceedings at Interlagos and the win was just what he needed after Hamilton had won the last five races in succession.

The result closes him to within 17 points in the title race, and with double points in Abu Dhabi, the season finale later this month, it is all to play for, although if Rosberg wins there and Hamilton is second, it won’t be enough for the German to claim the crown.

“I am very happy with the whole weekend and have been feeling comfortable in the car,” Rosberg said on the podium. “I was able to attack and also control the gap to Lewis in the race. That worked out great.

“I am very, very happy, especially [to win here] in Brazil. The atmosphere is fantastic.”

Speaking in the post-race press conference, Rosberg admitted that Read the rest of this entry »

Hirvonen retires from WRC

Posted: 6th November 2014 by admin in WRC
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Mikko Hirvonen has announced he will retire from the World Rally Championship following next weekend’s 2014 season ending Wales Rally GB. Four-time World Rally Championship runner-up Mikko Hirvonen announces he will retire from the series at the end of the 2014 season.

The Finn, who made his WRC debut on the Rally GB in 2002 at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza, has gone on to make 162 starts over a career spanning 12 years, notching up 15 wins and 68 podiums in that time.

Considered Sebastien Loeb’s closest rival during his dominant WRC years, Hirvonen finished runner-up to the Frenchman on four occasions – three times as a Ford driver and once more when he moved to Citroen.

However, having made a return to M-Sport Ford for 2014, Hirvonen has now decided to call time on his career in order to concentrate on his family life.

“I have so many incredible memories from the last thirteen seasons,” he said. “I have had the chance to achieve my childhood dreams! I have travelled all around the world, met some fantastic people and have loved every rally and every fight that I have had with some exceptional drivers. I won some and I lost some but, for sure, I will look back on these moments to the end of my days with a great big smile on my face.”

“Throughout the many years of my competitive career, I have focussed on myself a lot. Rallying has taken up a large part of my life and the pace of the calendar has always been fairly unrelenting. I have enjoyed absolutely every minute of it and although I still love driving now, I would also like to concentrate more on other important things which are part of my life, like my children and my family. There are many areas that I have not yet explored and I’d like to give myself the chance to try new experiences.”

“Like anyone who loves motorsport, I’m not only a fan of rallying! I have always liked to Read the rest of this entry »