MOTORSPORT -  DAKAR 2014 PART 2

Following the confirmation of the presence of the Chilean rider Ignacio Casale (winner take-all in Quads in the Rally Dakar 2014) on this Dakar Series event that will take place in Peru, another multiple winner of the most difficult rally raid in the world will grace the new edition of the DesafioInca with his presence. The Spanish driver Nani Roma has officially confirmed that he will line up, together with the MINI team, in search of the big trophy. So, last year’s winner of the Rally Dakar in Cars will be there fight it out over the dunes of Peru, which make the Desafío Inca one of the most important and demanding tests in the world.

In one of the biggest years in his driving career after authoritatively winning the Rally Dakar 2014 in Cars after 10 years (he had already won the Bikes title in 2004), Nani Roma has set himself a new challenge within the Dakar Series in South America. The dunes of Peru, recognised worldwide for the tremendous demands they make on competitors and their machines, have been chosen by Roma to make his appearance in the tournament this season.

As Roma says, “It’s an attractive race because Peru, where I raced two years in the Dakar, is a country and type of terrain I really like. It’s an opportunity to take on the dunes again, those wonderful lands and deserts. Our objective is always to win. The important thing is to have a good race, compete well and try and achieve the objective. We’re here with the idea of lifting the trophy. It’s never easy to win a race like this one, but we’ll pull out all the stops.”

The Spanish driver will arrive in Peru with the MINI team confident of doing the job that will take him to the top of the podium. Roma knows the dunes of Ica because he crossed them when he took part in 2012 and 2013, when Peru was part of the Dakar Rally route and where he has the best memories of the fans’ enthusiasm. If he does win the event, it will be another victory in a Dakar Series tournament for Nani after his triumph in the Desafío Ruta 40 last year in Argentina.

“The Desafío Inca is key to our preparation for the next Dakar Rally because there are many dunes, a lot of sand, and it is hard to find races which only have dunes in them. So, I think that being able to drive on this terrain in difficult stages, in the open desert, is great training for us to test new things on the car. It’s really interesting for us to be there,” the Spanish driver adds

With his presence, the Desafío Inca already offers strong, demanding competition between 11th and 14thSeptember, in which the two 2014 Dakar Rally champions in Quads and Cars confirm the high level that will be seen in Ica. Nani Roma has officially said ‘yes’ to the invitation and will line up for the great Peruvian race. The Desafío Inca continues to attract great international-class competitors.

Source: Prensa Desafío Inca

Photo: DPPI, ASO

July 30, 2014 Off-Road

Juan Pablo Montoya Toronto

INDYCAR continues testing and evaluation of three mechanisms that either independently or in unison could be utilized to reduce the incidence of Verizon IndyCar Series driver hand and wrist injuries.

James Hinchcliffe drove his No. 27 United Fiber & Data Andretti Autosport car with a steering damper fitted during a 20-car test July 24 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to gauge any handling and steering affects. In June, it was installed in the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing car driven by Charlie Kimball at Sebring International Raceway during a test day for the same purposes.

The hydraulic damper is basically a shock absorber, which counteracts the transfer of energy to the driver’s hands in high G force-load impacts. It would work in concert with deformation of suspension parts, which disperses the energy. INDYCAR commissioned Dallara Automobili to design and build the damper, which initially was tested on its simulator in Italy.

“I think it’s important for INDYCAR to continue the research and see what’s the best option,” said Ryan Briscoe, driver of the No. 8 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing car, who suffered a fractured wrist in a race incident at Toronto in July 2013. “I really love the fact that the Indy car does not have power steering because it separates it from other series. You have to be strong and fit to drive an Indy car. The steering damper might be the best option; you have wheel-to-wheel contact or impact (with concrete walls on some road/street circuits or the SAFER Barrier on ovals) and nothing bends on the race car and you feel all that shock comes through the steering wheel.”

INDYCAR director of engineering/safety Jeff Horton said controlled impact testing with one-quarter of a chassis’ suspension is the next evaluation step.

“I think Indy car racing is so exciting in part because you see occasional wheel-to-wheel contact but it doesn’t put you out of the race,” Briscoe added. “In those occasions when you have impact and the wheel slips out of your hands, the injuries aren’t coming from when you’re holding onto the wheel it’s when the wheel smacks your wrist.”

A wrist/thumb brace adapted from motocross could be the answer, and INDYCAR safety consultant Dr. Terry Trammell is working with multiple manufacturers to fine-tune a brace that fits the dexterity requirements for Verizon IndyCar Series drivers. The latest iteration will first be tested with a driver on the Honda simulator in Brownsburg, Ind.

“It’s a whole new concept because no one has ever done it,” Trammell said. “The idea is to make it small enough and light enough and flexible enough for drivers to push all the buttons on their steering wheel, and with a thin covering that would protect their wrists. The thumb is the most frequently injured part of the hand, and designing a brace that keeps the thumb at normal excursion but not any further has been a challenge.

“The ideal one would be what a jouster wears to hold the pole so it doesn’t rip out of his hand. They figured that out in medieval times that it took the load off of thumb and wrist. It just happened to be made of metal.”

A complement to both systems might be energy-absorption material covering the steering wheel. INDYCAR recently conducted baseline testing of each driver’s grip strength to aid in development of materials for testing.

“As they grip the steering wheel they would still have that connection to the racetrack but any loading beyond that the material would provide a cushion,” Horton said. “We could tune that foam to whatever grip strength wanted. It’s just another piece in the chain to mitigate the forces coming back through the steering wheel.”

Photo: Shawn Gritzmacher – IndyCar Media

July 29, 2014 IndyCar

Ken Block earned the second win of his Red Bull Global Rallycross career in Saturday’s race at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Block, driving the #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST, earned the victory on a mostly dirt course over Subaru Rally Team USA’s Sverre Isachsen and SH Racing Rallycross driver Nelson Piquet Jr.

“For me, most of my career has been on gravel and dirt,” said Block. “We were very quick to get the car set up right, to get my Ford Fiesta out to the front and from there be able to find the right lines. The gravel gives us so much more of an opportunity to find different lines and try different stuff. The track constantly changed, and I love that.”

For Piquet and Block, Charlotte marked their second podium finishes in two weeks, as both drivers also made their way to the podium at last weekend’s Volkswagen Rallycross NY. Despite having to race in the last chance qualifier, Piquet, a Charlotte native also extended his provisional championship lead to 46 points over Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross driver Scott Speed.

“It was good to spend a weekend here at home and see friends and family,” Piquet said. “I saw a lot of friends that I made last year in NASCAR around, and it’s good for them to see a new world and more open sport. The weekend had a lot of ups and downs—coming in with the points lead, we tried to eliminate all the risks we had, but until the final it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. We were just up and down and running around.”

Results from Red Bull Global Rallycross Charlotte are as follows:

1. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
2. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
3. Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
4. Joni Wiman, #31 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
5. Scott Speed, #77 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo R
6. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
7. Steve Arpin, #00 Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
8. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo R
9. Brian Deegan, #38 Rockstar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST
10. Austin Dyne, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta
11. Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo
12. Emma Gilmour, #27 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo
13. Patrik Sandell, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST

Provisional point standings are as follows:

Nelson Piquet Jr., 227
Scott Speed, 181
Steve Arpin, 164
Joni Wiman, 162
Ken Block, 155

Source: Red Bull Content Pool

July 28, 2014 Global RallyCross

Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400

With Juan Pablo Montoya on the racetrack (he finished 23th), Jeff Gordon won his fifth Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Gordon drove a superb race, leading 40 of the 160 laps and passing Kasey Kahne, who led the most laps (70) on a crucial restart with 16 laps to go.

“God! I finally had the restart of my life,” Gordon shouted into his radio mic, recalling the move just 15 minutes earlier that launched him past Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne on Lap 144 of 160 in Sunday’s marquee NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Twenty years removed from his victory in the inaugural Brickyard 400, Gordon finished 2.325 seconds ahead of Kyle Busch who with teammates Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth finished 2-3-4 in the 20th Sprint Cup race of the season.

The win was the 90th of Gordon’s career, third-most all-time, his second of the season and, of course, his record fifth at IMS, breaking a tie with teammate Jimmie Johnson for most Cup wins at the Brickyard. The win also clinched Gordon a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, assuming he attempts to qualify for the remaining six races of the regular season. Also, Gordon is the first driver in any series to win five races on the legendary 2.5-mile oval that has played such an integral role in the history of motorsports in the United States.

“I’m not very good on restarts and wasn’t very good today, but I finally got the restart of my life today when it counted most,” said Gordon, who gave Chevrolet its 12th straight Cup victory at Indy. “Once I got clear, I was thinking like, ‘I can’t believe this is happening now…’

“I was trying so hard with 10 (laps) to go not to focus on the crowd,” added Gordon, who increased his series lead over teammate and ninth-place finisher Dale Earnhardt Jr. to 24 points. “Every once in a while, I’d glance up there and I could see the reaction. I was trying not to let it get to me and not think about it too much. And yet you can’t help it.

“It’s such a big place and such an important victory and a crucial moment in the season and the championship, and those emotions take over. I have my kids here. There’s nothing better, especially at one of the biggest races, to have your family here. … This one is for all those fans throughout the years and all weekend long. They’re saying ‘We believe you can get number 5.’ We got number 5—yes!”

 

Results

1. (2) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 160, $434376.

2. (12) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 160, $373781.

3. (27) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 160, $307890.

4. (13) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 160, $303751.

5. (9) Joey Logano, Ford, 160, $266806.

6. (10) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 160, $231130.

7. (15) Kyle Larson #, Chevrolet, 160, $226675.

8. (1) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 160, $230288.

9. (23) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 160, $196255.

10. (17) Austin Dillon #, Chevrolet, 160, $228891.

 

Photo: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images

July 28, 2014 NASCAR

Citroen WTCC Marrakech

For Citroën Racing, its drivers, and the whole FIA WTCC, the meeting at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo will be a special one. To understand why, we need to go back to last year, when the World Touring Car Championship visited Argentina for the very first time. Touring car racing is an extremely popular sport in this vast country, with three professional series: Super TC2000, Turismo Carretera and Top Race. The WTCC’s first visit was a major event, which captured lots of interest and drew large crowds.

José-María López, already considered something of an icon by motorsport fans, took part in the meeting on a one-off basis. Despite driving a car that was not as competitive as it might have been, the man from Córdoba pulled off the impressive feat, winning race two. Yvan Muller had taken one step closer to his fourth world title by coming out on top in the first race.

Pechito’s performance caught Yves Matton’s eye. A few weeks later, in the utmost secrecy, the Argentine driver was test-driving the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC. His enthusiasm, impressive turn of speed and valuable technical input convinced the Citroën team to appoint him as their third official driver for the 2014 season.

Less than a year later, the driver of car number 37 is returning to Termas de Río Hondo as championship leader, a position he has occupied since the very first qualifying session of the season in Marrakech on 12 April. With five race wins under his belt, José-María López can now harbour realistic hopes of becoming motorsport’s first Argentine World Champion since Jean-Manuel Fangio won his fifth and final F1 title in 1957.

 

What they had to say

José-María López: “When I used to race in Argentina, I would compete in as many as 44 meetings a season. So I couldn’t wait to get back in my C-Elysée WTCC again. Unlike most of the European circuits, I know the Termas track very well, and I have always done well here. That said, I think it will be close with Yvan and Seb again. We’re going to have to fight hard, as we have in every race this season.”

Yvan Muller: “The Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo is an interesting circuit to drive on. It’s fast, and there are overtaking opportunities. I have to continue to produce really good weekends like I did at Spa-Francorchamps to try and close the gap on Pechito. We have a habit of saying that there’s still a long way to go until the end of the season, but it’s getting closer all the time.”

Sébastien Loeb: “Coming to Argentina is always a huge pleasure. The welcome we get from the crowd is incredible. It’s really great to see so many people who are crazy about motorsport. I have great memories here, with eight WRC wins, and I hope to add some more in the WTCC. I need to keep improving, especially in the pack, where you have to overtake at the start of the race.”

 

Source: Citroën

July 27, 2014 WTCC

GP Spanien 2013

Mexico will have a Formula 1 Grand Prix for the first time in 23 years, as Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that Mexico City will host a race from 2015. Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez will be restyled in order to receive the World Championship. Is the same venue that hosted the last Mexico Grand Prix, back in 1992 with victory for Nigel Mansell.

Mexican drivers were obviously delighted to know the news. “It’s great, I’m so happy,” said Sergio “Checo” Pérez. “Since I left my home at 13, 14 years, I never raced in Mexico. I never raced in my home country. Now to go back after so many years and race actually in Formula One is great. They’ve been really pushing for so many years, since I came to Formula One four years ago. The spirit of the fans is massive back home. It’s great for my country, for all the fans back home and I’m sure you all will be surprised at how good the event will be. I’m just very proud and excited. It’s great that we can confirm that we will have a Mexican GP next year.”

Esteban Gutiérrez agreed with his countryman Pérez: “I have good feelings about it, because all these years that Mexico has been involved in Formula One with obviously first Checo getting to Formula One and now myself, we are two in Formula One, and I think this is a great step to have a Grand Prix. It’s really a dream come true for many of us. I had the chance to race once in Mexico City, back in 2008, when we did the world finals of Formula BMW. It was a great experience. I think it was an introduction to what it can be, obviously very, very small by comparison but now we will be able to going into the biggest thing in Mexico and to really share with our fans, with our supporters, to share with them physically the sport.”

Photo: Sauber Motorsport AG

 

July 27, 2014 Formula 1

Chaleco Lopez Desafio Guarani

Francisco “Chaleco” López has won the first edition of the Desafío Guaraní rally in Paraguay. The chilean rider dominated the race, as he won the first two stages, the only two that were able to be run after rains and storms affected the conditions of the road in Ciudad del Este and Encarnación, cities that hosted Stages 3 and 4 of the rally. “Because of the weather and after agreeing with the riders, we decided not to run the bikes,” said Pablo Eli, Director of the Race.

“I think the most important was the safety of the riders. The truth is that we wish to run more but we know it is very dangerous. We came to test the new bike, regain confidence and managed to win the two stages we did so we’re very pleased, “said “Chaleco” López and added:” Running with these conditions is very dangerous because it is a red floor with mud, the bike can not pull at high speeds, it can become a sure hit. Today we spent many scares in the link stage, with several riders commented the same, and therefore I think the best decision was not to race. ”

Pablo Quintanilla from Chile finished second and David Casteu from France ended up third. Patricio Cabrera, the third rider from Chile in the race, finished 24th after retiring in Stage 1 because of clutch problems.

 

July 24, 2014 Off-Road

Viktor Rempel Desafio Guarani

Viktor Rempel from Paraguay won Desafío Guaraní’s third stage in the Car category after rally authorities decided to cancel the stage for Bikes and Quads. With that, Francisco “Chaleco” López goes into the final, 211 kilometer, stage with a comfortable advantage over countryman Pablo Quintanilla: Over 15 minutes separate the two chilean riders that are fighting for the top spot in Bikes. In Quads 4×2, Sergio LaFuente leads and in Quads 4×4, Leonardo Martínez has the edge over chilean Sebastián Palma, with a difference of over 6 minutes. In Cars, Juan Manuel Silva keeps the lead, but after a mistake in the stage, Marcos Bulacia from Bolivia has closed in within 6 minutes and 42 seconds of the argentinian. All gets decided tomorrow in the Encarnación – Encarnación loop.

July 24, 2014 Off-Road

Reggie Wayne Colts Ed Carpenter IndyCar

Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter had a key role in helping Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne arrive at training camp in style.

The two-time Indianapolis 500 pole sitter and four-time race winner drove an Indy Racing Experience two-seater as the Colts star made his customary grand entrance to training camp at Anderson University.

“I want one of these,” Wayne said after climbing out of the back seat of the car, which typically gives rides at Verizon IndyCar Series racing venues. “I enjoyed every little bit of that. It was fun. I’m a guy that likes speed, which is one way to get that speed in me.”

He and Carpenter got in the car at the exit off I-69 and made the five-mile drive to the college campus.

Carpenter, a Colts season ticket holder, said he didn’t hesitate when asked to take part in the event, which has seen Wayne arrived to camp in a helicopter, dump truck, military convoy and even in a bus that was full of kids.

“I feel privileged and honored to be asked to bring Reggie,” Carpenter said. “At first I was kind of hoping we had a police escort so we didn’t have to stop at lights. It was kind of cool stopping at lights and being parked next to people. I think people figured it out pretty quick. I think (Reggie’s) helmet was a dead giveaway. We had quite a ride.”

Wayne, a six-time Pro Bowler, was wearing a racing helmet painted like his Colts football helmet and blue firesuit during the ride to camp. He hopes to use it again by taking another ride in the two-seater, this time at speed around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Ed and his crew are an outstanding group, a first-class organization, like the Colts,” Wayne said. “They did a great job of setting it up for me. I’m truly appreciative. I thanked them infinitely for making this happen. This is by far my favorite.”

 

Source: IndyCar PR

Photo: IndyCar Media, Brian Simpson

July 23, 2014 IndyCar

Francisco Chaleco Lopez Desafio Guarani

Francisco “Chaleco” López Contardo is on a roll. The chilean rider won his second stage in a row in the Desafío Guaraní rally which is being held in Paraguay. López won the stage Asunción – Ciudad del Este, which was the marathon stage without assistance for the bikes, by beating countryman Pablo Quintanilla for 6 minutes. López now leads Quintanilla by 15 minutes and 18 seconds and David Casteu, who was penalized today after going too fast on a controlled section, by 16 minutes and 57 seconds.

Sergio LaFuente from Uruguay leads the Quad 4×2 category, Leonardo Martínez took the point over Sebastián Palma in the Quad 4×4 category and argentinean Juan Manuel “Pato” Silva leads in cars.

Photo: Prensa Desafío Guaraní / shakedownteam.com

July 23, 2014 Off-Road

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