Team HRC Jeremias Israel Dakar 2015

Five riders will line up on the new factory Honda CRF450 RALLY; Joan Barreda (Spain, 31), Paulo Goncalves (Portugal, 35), Helder Rodrigues (Portugal, 35), Jeremias Israel (Chile, 33), and Laia Sanz (Spain, 28).

This new Team HRC will set off for the Rally OiLibya du Maroc, on October 3rd in Erfoud (Morocco) in order to prepare for the world’s most difficult and challenging off-road event: the Dakar Rally which begins on 4th January 2015 in Buenos Aires (Argentina). The two week long 9,000 kilometres Dakar crosses Argentina, Bolivia and Chilean territories, and takes in all kinds of terrain, concluding on the 17th January in the Argentinian capital.

Joan Barreda, Paulo Goncalves and Helder Rodrigues have participated in several rounds of the 2014 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. This season, Paulo Goncalves, current World Champion, has won the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the first round of the Championship, and Joan Barreda has won the Sealine Qatar Rally. Goncalves is currently in second place, and will be in the running for the title in Morocco. New additions to the team are Chilean Jeremias Israel and Dakar’s female-class winner Laia Sanz.

Team HRC’s aim is to win the Dakar; the most prestigious and gruelling off road motorcycle race in the world. An exceptional work bench for the bike, which subsequently will become tomorrow’s mass-production model.

The staff members are led by Large Project Leader Katsumi Yamazaki, General Manager Martino Bianchi, and Team Manager Wolfgang Fischer.

Team HRC welcome KH-7 as new partner of the Team in the Dakar Rally Project.

What they said

Martino Bianchi, general manager HRC: “This new Team HRC has enormous potential. It combines the best virtues of different drivers for a winning team. We’ve shown that we are a winning team, and so we can only win “The Rally”. The Dakar rally it’s more than a race: it’s the mother of all rally-raids. It’s an adventure, and it’s a great challenge. The race 9,000 km and is full of traps, but the prestige for the winner is enormous. And that will be our main goal. We’ll start 2015 with the intention to win the Dakar, with our talented team with so many assets, and with a great bike.”

Joan Barreda: “We will fight for the victory in the Dakar, is our target! The last Dakar was very intense, very hard, difficult day after day, but we were always ahead and never give up despite accidents or set-backs. We showed that we have a bike capable of winning and a team that works for it. Honda wants to win and hopefully this year we can make it in first. We have all worked hard to achieve this main objective.”

Helder Rodrigues: “Since we started the project at the end of 2012, we have been constantly improving. The CRF450 RALLY is a really marvellous/excellent bike. HRC has done an extraordinary job on this bike. Recently, we have performed some tests, and it has been much more competitive and reliable. It is lighter and more powerful. We have the best weapon to fight for the win, I’m certain.”

Paulo Goncalves: “As you said, there are a lot of different kinds of terrain and it’s incredible how you are always in control of the Honda CRF450 RALLY. It’s very small, powerful and easy to ride. It’s the best bike I’ve ever had and I’m sure it was an important element in becoming world champion. It’s a fantastic bike and if I could, I’ll marry her!”

Jeremías Israel: “What I can say? I’m very happy and proud to form part of an organisation like Team HRC. I would never have dreamt of being here. These riders are the best in the rally-raid world and the bike is marvellous. It’s like a real Moto GP bike created for the desert.”

Laia Sanz: “Last year I rode the best bike that I have ever ridden, and I was able to get some good results. This year, the bike is better and there will be more pressure, but I will continue to do my best on the tracks and try to help the Team HRC to reach the goal for this race. I will join the Team in Morocco for my first world round race and I hope everything goes well.”

Photo: HRC
Source: HRC

September 25, 2014 Dakar Rally

Pure Michigan 400

Following more than a year of extensive collaboration with stakeholders throughout the industry, and with a keen eye towards the future, NASCAR has finalized and delivered to teams the 2015 racing package for all three national series.

“This race package represents a lot of hard work by NASCAR, the race teams, the drivers, our manufacturer partners and Goodyear,” said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR senior vice president of innovation and racing development. “We’ve remained committed to constantly looking at our racing, and the work that has been done has been aimed at getting a rules package delivered to the race teams as early as possible.”

Highlighted in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series changes for 2015 are nearly 60 enhancements, including adjustments to the power train, aerodynamics and chassis that are designed to work in concert to deliver drivers more flexibility and teams more adjustability. Fans are expected to benefit from closer racing and more opportunities for drivers to pass on the track.

“We have had fantastic racing so far in 2014,” Stefanyshyn said. “We remain committed to constantly looking to improve it. Our fans deserve it and our industry is pushing for it. That will not stop with the 2015 package; the development will continue over many years to come.”

NASCAR will institute a shorter rear spoiler in its 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series package, which also includes a reduction of engine power, lower rear differential gear ratios and an optional driver adjustable track bar.

Based on the success of group qualifying formats, which were introduced in 2014 for all national series, NASCAR also announced that group qualifying will be utilized for the first time for the Daytona 500.

Additional changes for the 2015 rules include the elimination of team-facilitated private testing, with race teams being instead invited to participate in NASCAR / Goodyear tests throughout the season. NASCAR also will work alongside Goodyear to introduce rain tires should conditions warrant during road course events in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2015.

“We’re very pleased with the rules package and what it will do for our racing,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “We’re confident it will continue to generate great racing, along with continuous safety improvements.

“The work alongside our industry has been unprecedented. We’ve had great dialogue with our drivers and teams, our manufacturers and Goodyear, allowing us to build greater efficiencies into the 2015 rules package. We’ve met our goal of delivering rules to teams with time to prepare for next season and we’re seeing the benefits of an updated process for developing our rules paying dividends. It will only continue to improve.”

September 23, 2014 NASCAR

Lucas-di-Grassi-Formula-E

History was made this weekend as the world’s first ever fully-electric single-seater race took place in Beijing, marking the successful season opener of the FIA Formula E
Championship. The race – Beijing Evergrande Spring ePrix – was held on a spectacular temporary race track built around the city’s iconic Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium and was won by Audi Sport Abt’s Lucas di Grassi.

Some 40 million are believed to have watched the race worldwide on television with 75,000 attending on site and one billion social interactions recorded around the race.
Brazilian di Grassi stole victory after race-leader Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault) and Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld touched on the final corner of the final lap in the battle for the lead, sending Heidfeld into a spectacular crash which he walked away from unharmed.

Andretti driver Franck Montagny finished runner-up nearly three seconds adrift of di Grassi with team-mate Daniel Abt crossing the line third, only to later have it taken away from him after failing short of the required 28kw power consumption usage. Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was eventually promoted to claim the final place on the podium. Lucas di Grassi said: “Firstly, I’m happy Nick [Heidfeld] is ok and it shows how safe these cars are. I didn’t see what happened myself. The win is like a dream come true. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. The team did a great job all through practice and qualifying, yes we made a few mistakes but overall I’m extremely happy to be the first ever winner of a Formula E race.”

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E said: “Two years ago the FIA had a vision of creating a championship which has close racing, entertainment and sustainability at its heart. This weekend, that vision became a reality. To see 20 fully-electric cars racing towards the first corner was a very special moment for me and for everyone involved. We truly believe this weekend marks a new era of motorsport that embraces sustainable mobility and we are incredibly grateful to all our investors, teams, drivers, partners, event operators, personnel, and of course the FIA, for helping us make this such a success. Of course, I’d also like to congratulate Lucas di Grassi on being the first Formula E winner.” He added: “What is more important to us is that Formula E is the biggest digital race in the world with real racing. We’re proud to announce that during this ePrix we’ve had a live worldwide television audience of 40 million, 75,000 people on site and more than one billion social interactions.”

Formula E is the FIA’s new fully-electric single-seater championship designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans. Competing entirely on city-centre circuits all over the world, it uses cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph (225kph). Its 10 teams feature some of the leading international names in motorsport including Alain Prost and Michael Andretti, along with high-profile environmental supporters including Sir Richard Branson. Meanwhile, it’s driver-line up boasts an array of former Formula One stars such as Jarno Trulli, Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi, Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna – nephew of the great Aryton. Organisers hope the new series will also help increase the interest in electric vehicles and promote sustainability, as well as accelerate the technology available which, over time, will filter into the road-going electric vehicle market.

Round two of the new Formula E series takes place in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on November 22 2014.

Source: FIA Formula E
Photo: FIA Formula E / LAT

September 16, 2014 Formula E

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Williams Advanced Engineering is the official battery supplier for the inaugural season of Formula E, the world’s first fully electric racing series. Managing Director Craig Wilson introduces the technology, its development history from Formula One, and the company’s pedigree in energy efficient performance technologies.

Q: What sort of experience made Williams Advanced Engineering the chosen company to design and manufacture the Formula E batteries?
CW: Williams has a history of developing various forms of energy storage technology that dates back to the introduction of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) into Formula One in 2009. Williams was one of the only teams to design and manufacture a complete KERS unit entirely in-house, and we developed both battery and flywheel based variants. Not only did we race our KERS system in Formula One for three seasons, but through the establishment of Williams Advanced Engineering we started developing new variants for commercial use. To date our technology has been used in Le Mans winning racing cars, a hybrid supercar with Jaguar, and buses to name a few. The Formula E battery has taken the learning from our previous projects and scaled up the batteries to create one of the most sophisticated ever made.

Q: What are the technical highlights of the battery?
CW: We have designed the battery to meet specific technical specifications mandated by the FIA and Spark Racing Technologies. Fundamental requirements were a 200kg cell weight limit, a 1000V maximum allowed bus voltage, a 200kW peak power limit and maximum usable energy of 28kWh.

We have had to produce a component that is 100 per cent consistent from one team to the next, with each battery lasting for an entire season with no loss of power or performance. We therefore designed a battery with some excess stored energy levels that stayed within the FIA regulations. The series aims to showcase the evolution of battery technology over the next few years and these technical specifications provide a starting point from which to build on.

Q: What have been the key technical challenges?
CW: The chassis had already been designed when Williams Advanced Engineering joined the programme, so we had a strictly defined dimension or “box” that we had to fit the battery into. This created a challenge for packaging and installation that needed to be overcome from the start. The next challenge was in ensuring that the battery received sufficient cooling. Thermal management is at the core of the design because temperature defines the performance parameters in almost all racing cars and our battery is no different.

Q: How long did Williams Advanced Engineering have to design and manufacture these batteries?
CW: The timescales have been very aggressive. We joined the project in June 2013, so have had a little over 12 months to design and build batteries for the 40 cars that will race, along with a number of spares. This has been challenging, but as a Formula One bred organisation we are more than used to dealing with truncated development timescales. We had a working prototype in six months, and started full manufacture of the batteries in March this year. We were approached because Williams Advanced Engineering was considered agile and experienced enough to design such a sophisticated battery in time for the start of the race series.

Q: What kind of safety features have been considered?
CW: Safety has been a core consideration from the very beginning. The battery is a structural element of the car and has to withstand the rigours of close street racing. The battery has become the first to complete FIA crash testing and has also met UN regulation 38.3 for the safe air transportation of lithium ion batteries – crucial given the global nature of the series.

Q: What support will Williams personnel supply at the race track?
CW: We will have a number of personnel at the races this season whose job is to work with the teams to ensure the proper operation of the batteries and provide support should any technical issues arise.

Q: What role can motorsport play as a proving ground for the next generation of electric vehicle technology?
CW: Motorsport has always been a fantastic way of validating the next generation of technology. It is about pushing the boundaries of what we currently have in a bid to gain a competitive advantage. Take Formula One – this year’s power units are highly innovative and that technology will be filtered down into road cars in the future.

Formula E is no different. These batteries are very unique and they will be tested to the absolute limits by teams in a harsh environment. The same goes for the other elements that make up the electric powertrain. We can use Formula E as a means of improving storage density – having more energy within the same weight – charging times and life span and this learning will trickle down into regular electric vehicles.

Source: Williams Advanced Engineering
Photo: Media FIA Formula E

September 10, 2014 Formula E

IndyCar Mid-Ohio 2

A week after celebrating its Verizon IndyCar Series driver and entrant championships in Southern California, Team Penske principals marked the organization’s 400th victory in all forms of motorsports in the stock car race at Richmond, Va (win via Brad Keselowski).

“For me it’s a special time,” team owner Roger Penske said. “I think we said that when we moved everybody under one roof (in Mooresville, N.C.), where we could cross-pollenate. We moved people from NASCAR to INDYCAR and vice versa, even over-the-wall guys. That’s been an opportunity.”

Penske entered Indy car competition in 1968, which was preceded by the Trans-Am Series (1967) and the SCCA Can-Am Series and United States Road Racing Championship (1966). It entered NASCAR competition in 1972. The team also competed in Formula One from 1974-76 and the American Le Mans Series from 2005-09.

Team Penske, which earned five Verizon IndyCar Series victories this season (three by series champion Will Power, one each by Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya) has the most IndyCar Series wins (55) since the 2004 season. Chip Ganassi Racing has 52. Team Penske is the only team with a victory in each of those seasons.

Ryan Briscoe earned Team Penske’s 300th win in June 2008 at the Milwaukee Mile. Power wrapped up the 13th Indy car championship for Team Penske at Auto Club Speedway on Aug. 30.

Source: IndyCar PR
Photo: IndyCar Media

September 9, 2014 IndyCar, NASCAR

Chilean driver Jorge Bas Viguera claimed an historic win at Circuit Paul Ricard, after defeating Piero Longhi for the overall victory of the sixth round of the F2 Italian Trophy. Bas started fifth after finishing second in the first race, but quickly jumped to third place on the first lap of the race, and shortly after he captured the first place, spot that he kept until the checkered flag even after strong attacks from Longhi in second place. With his results, Bas earned two victories in his category, Formula Abarth, that he leads with 175 points over 160 from italian Alessandro Perullo.

The next round of the F2 Italian Trophy is scheduled for March, 26 at the historic Autodromo Internazionale di Monza.

More over at Racing5.cl (Spanish)

September 1, 2014 F2 Italian Trophy

GoBowling.com 400

With his win at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night, Kasey Kahne became the 13th winner of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season – and the 13th member of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Matt Kenseth finished second at Atlanta, and though winless, has accumulated enough points throughout the regular season to guarantee himself a spot in the Chase.

Fourteen Chase spots are now taken, assuming those 14 drivers all attempt to qualify at Richmond.

Two berths remain.

Here are the Chase clinch scenarios for Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway, the regular season finale (7:30 p.m. ET on ABC, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

If there is a repeat winner, three winless drivers would make the Chase – one of which would be Kenseth. If there is a new winner, two winless drivers would make the Chase – one would be Kenseth (if Kenseth is not the new winner).

Any current winless driver who wins at Richmond, and is in the top 30 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver points standings, clinches a spot in the Chase.

Only Ryan Newman controls his own destiny, no matter who wins at Richmond. If there is a repeat 2014 winner (or a Kenseth victory), Newman is guaranteed a spot in the Chase if he finishes 41st or better; or 42nd with at least one lap led; or 43rd and the most laps led. If there is a new winner (that is not Kenseth), Newman is guaranteed a Chase spot with a finish of 18th or better; 19th and at least one lap led; or 20th and the most laps led.

Greg Biffle controls his own destiny if there is a repeat winner. If there is a repeat 2014 winner (or if Kenseth or Newman win), Biffle is guaranteed a spot in the Chase if he finishes 22nd or better; or 23rd with at least one lap led; or 24th and the most laps led. If there is a new winner (that is not Kenseth or Newman), Biffle needs to out-point Newman by 19 points and stay ahead of Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson.

Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson are the only other two drivers who can clinch a spot in the Chase without a victory.

The following drivers can only make the Chase with a win at Richmond (and a top-30 spot in the standings): Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Brian Vickers, Marcos Ambrose, Casey Mears, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Stewart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett, David Gilliland, David Ragan and Cole Whitt.

NASCAR’s 10-race postseason kicks off Sept. 14 at Chicagoland Speedway (2 p.m. ET).

Source: NASCAR PR

September 1, 2014 NASCAR

Will Power IndyCar Champion 2014

Will Power earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship with a ninth-place finish in the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

Power, who entered the 18th race of the season with a 51-point lead over Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, had been the championship runner-up in 2010, 2011 and 2012. It was the ninth consecutive year that the series champion was determined in the season finale.

“It’s 15 years of hard work. I was crying as I crossed the (finish) line,” said Power, who finished 62 points ahead of Castroneves. “It’s surreal. It’s just a fantastic way to finish the season.”

Power provided Team Penske its 13th Indy car championship and the first since 2006 with Sam Hornish Jr.

“Tonight showed everyone the strength of our team,” said team owner Roger Penske, who has won the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race 15 times.

Tony Kanaan, the 2004 series champion, won the 250-lap by 3.6750 seconds over Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and 2013 champion Scott Dixon.

Kanaan was the 11th different winner of the season, which tied the Indy car single-season record set in 2000 and matched in 2001. Ed Carpenter, who won at Auto Club Speedway in 2012 and was runner-up in 2013, placed third and Juan Pablo Montoya finished fourth.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Kanaan, who claimed his first victory since the 2013 Indianapolis 500. “We had a team meeting this afternoon and (team owner) Chip Ganassi said if you win you can brag about it for seven months.”

Castroneves, who started from the pole and led 41 laps, was assessed a drive-through penalty for a pit lane entry violation on Lap 218 that put him a lap down. He finished 14th in the race and second in the championship for the fourth time in his career.

“It’s another second, but well done to Will,” said Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner. “It stings a little bit, but it motivates me to come back stronger next year and win a championship.”

Source: IndyCar PR
Photo: Chris Owens, IndyCar Media

September 1, 2014 IndyCar