Porsche Club GB to host festival at Brands Hatch

The Porsche Club GB will host a new festival event at Brands Hatch, Kent, on 21 September. It will include racing, displays and demonstrations of both classic and contemporary Porsche sportscars.

The Brands Hatch Festival of Porsche will be the Club’s premier national event for this year. In addition to on-track action, the venue is expected to be surrounded by all types and ages of Porsche, from the 356 of the 1950s to the very latest plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder.

Porsches at Brands Hatch

The Brands Hatch Festival of Porsche coincides with the 40th anniversary of the 911 Turbo, and a special celebration of this model will form part of the festivities. A dedicated parade of over 60 examples of the 911 Turbo from the 1970s to the present day will take to the track on the Sunday afternoon.

With Porsche returning to the top LMP1 class at Le Mans this year, there will also be a sports car endurance racing theme. In support of this, the Porsche Museum will be showcasing a number of its precious exhibits from Stuttgart. Porsche is the most successful marque at Le Mans with 16 outright wins, and two past victors will be dropping in at the Festival. The 1987 Porsche 962 and the 911 GT1 from 1998 will line-up in a pit lane display, and other iconic racers will join them in the activities.

In addition to famous cars, a number of Porsche personalities will also take an active part in the event. Leading the on-track action will be former Porsche works race drivers and Le Mans winners Derek Bell, MBE, and Richard Attwood.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV completes Asia Cross Country Rally for second year

A Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid electric four-wheel drive SUV, entered and managed by the Two & Four Motor Sports rally team supported by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, successfully completed the FIA-certified Asia Cross Country Rally 2014 (AXCR) in its T1E class (electric vehicle class).

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The team completed the rally in 19 hours 17 minutes and 12 seconds for the total driving distance of 1986km over rough terrain, winning first place in the class and 14th place overall. The Outlander PHEV, completing the rally for the second year in a row, proved its reliability, durability and all-terrain ability. It also demonstrated the durability of the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) powertrain even under severe road conditions.

Rally Car Overview

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV rally car used the competition-modified suspension from last year’s race car as well as raised ground clearance with the drive battery placed higher for improved off-road performance. The car’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) integrated vehicle dynamics control system was tuned for competition use to provide better traction. Other modifications included the fitting of a roll cage and underbody skid plate, the use of lighter bonnet, tailgate and interior parts, and additional sealing and a snorkel for water crossings. Apart from these changes, the car competed using the ‘almost’ the same Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) powertrain and mechanical parts as the standard production model.

Result Breakdown by Race Leg

The Outlander PHEV won its class for the second year in a row. Overall standing by leg:

Prologue Run (9 August): 11th place overall in the Prologue Run time trials from Pattaya, Thailand.

Leg One (10 August): First day of full competition, 13th place overall.

Leg Two (11 August): Battling Thailand’s deep ruts and muddy and boggy trails the Outlander PHEV finished 12th overall.

Leg Three (12 August): Race moves from Thailand to Cambodia, towards the Angkor Wat World Heritage site. This leg featured comparatively flatter terrain where the Outlander PHEV could take advantage of the high torque of its electric motors and S-AWC which led to a step up to 11th place overall.

Leg Four (13 August): Progress to 9th place overall in this leg which started from Angkor Wat.

Leg Five (14 August): This gruelling leg was the longest and featured deep ruts. Lack of high ground clearance forced the Outlander PHEV to avoid much of the second half of the course, falling to 15th place overall.

Leg Six (15 August): The last leg starting from Phnom Penh featured a flat high-speed course, finishing 2nd in the leg and recovering to finish 14th overall.

Audi celebrates 24-hour wins

Audi is celebrating a hat-trick of wins in 24-hour races in one year, for the second time.

Having scored a 13th Le Mans 24 Hour race victory with the hybrid diesel Audi R18 e-tron quattro, Audi has gone on to win the Nürburgring and Spa 24 Hour races with the Audi R8 LMS ultra GT3 this summer.

Audi R18 etron quattro

Audi R18 e-tron quattro

At Le Mans in June, Audi’s victorious hybrid sportscar used 22% less fuel per 100 kilometres than the winning 2013 R18 e-tron quattro. Since the TDI era began in racing in 2006 – when Audi became the first manufacturer to win at Le Mans with a diesel-engined sportscar – there has been a 38% reduction in fuel consumption.

In 2014, Audi also celebrates 25 years of TDI technology in its road cars. At the 1989 Frankfurt motor show, Audi presented its ground-breaking 100 TDI, the first ever direct injection turbo diesel with fully electronic management. The latest ‘ultra’ models champion efficiency in the A4, A5, A6 and newly-revised A7 Sportback model ranges with engines that all comply with EU6 emissions standards.

Up to 67.3mpg is achievable on a combined cycle in A4 and A5 TDI ultra versions, corresponding to CO2 output as low as 109g/km. Despite impressive thrift, performance is very much business as usual – 0-62mph is accounted for in 8.3 seconds in the 163PS A4 Saloon and A5 Coupe on the way to a 140mph top speed.

In the executive class, A6 Saloon and Avant models featuring the particularly frugal 64.2mpg 190PS TDI ultra unit can be ordered in any specification without restriction, from SE up to the extensively equipped Black Edition.

After LED headlights with matrix beam technology had made their way from the Audi R18 e-tron quattro into production cars a year ago, the new Audi laser light was the most recent innovation to be tested at Le Mans and is now initially available to customers as standard in a limited edition model – the new Audi R8 LMX. Notable as the fastest ever road-going R8, the 570PS V10 super sports car blasts past 62mph in just 3.4 seconds and on to a 198mph top speed.

With 13 victories in 16 events, Audi has increased its Le Mans success rate to 81 per cent. No other car manufacturer in the history of the race that has been held since 1923 has clinched such a large number of winners’ trophies in such a short time. With also a second place at Le Mans, Audi has now achieved 31 top-three finishes in the twice-around-the-clock French race since the Company’s 1999 debut.

Just a week after Le Mans, an R8 LMS ultra set a new distance record in the Nürburgring 24 Hours around the infamous 15.16-mile Nordschleife, otherwise known as the “Green Hell”. For the first time ever, the winning car covered more than 2,500-miles – the victorious Audi completing 2,507.3 miles in the German race. A further two of the V10 mid-engined GT3 class sportscars were placed in the top-10.

More recently, the German manufacturer repeated its 2012 domination of winning the three main 24 hour motor races in Europe when an Audi won the Spa 24 hours in Belgium. In a battle involving 11 marques and 60 participants, the R8 LMS ultra prevailed for the third time in four years in the classic race in the Ardennes that celebrated its 90th anniversary this year. A further two Audi sportscars finished inside the top-four.

Audi R8 LMS

Audi R8 LMS

The Audi R8 LMS race car’s current sporting record includes 23 international championship titles worldwide after only five years of competition. An impressive tally of seven overall wins in 24hr races (2 at the Nürburgring, 3 at Spa, 2 at Zolder), three overall wins in 12 hour races (2 at Bathurst, 1 in Hungary) and three Macau GT Cup wins have been achieved.

The next WEC race is at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas next month (20 September).

2-3 for Audi at the Nürburgring

A double podium for Audi in the DTM: At the Nürburgring, Mike Rockenfeller (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) and Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) in front of 80,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) clinched positions two and three.

The seventh DTM race of the year was decided right at the start. While Edoardo Mortara on the more slippery inside dropped from second to third place, Mike Rockenfeller was able to improve from third to second place behind the quickest in qualifying, Marco Wittmann. These positions remained unchanged up to the finish. 1.2 seconds behind Wittmann, ‘Rocky’ in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM crossed the finish line in second place, followed ten seconds later in third place by Edoardo Mortara in the Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM.

Audi at the Nuerburgring

“I’m happy about second place,” said Mike Rockenfeller after having clinched his so far best result in his DTM home race. “‘Thank you’ to Team Phoenix and Audi. Marco Wittmann controlled the race. I only came a bit closer towards the end. Maybe I could have grabbed him if the race had lasted five laps longer. But you’ve also got to accept that he was simply stronger than we were this weekend.”

Rockenfeller and Mortara were the only two Audi drivers to convert their good grid positions into points at the Nürburgring. Adrien Tambay in his Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM dropped to 16th place in the starting commotion and in the end, in eleventh place, barely missed scoring a point. Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg advanced to fourth place after the start, but was subsequently relegated to position 15 after his Audi had been damaged in several incidents of body contact.

The other four Audi drivers had to park their Audi RS 5 DTM cars early following collisions. Mattias Ekström was hit by Timo Glock’s BMW right on the starting lap, with the rear suspension of his Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM being damaged in the incident. Miguel Molina suffered a puncture in a contact at the start and had to park his Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM after just four laps as well. Timo Scheider’s AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM on lap seven was pushed into the Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM of his brand colleague Nico Müller by Mercedes driver Robert Wickens. Both Audi drivers had to retire shortly afterwards.

“Having two drivers on podium in the DTM is basically a good result,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “Congratulations to Mike (Rockenfeller) and Edo (Mortara). Obviously, it’s not satisfactory that only these two managed to make use of their good grid positions. There were a couple of scenes today we need to carefully look at again. Losing four out of eight cars due to collisions is painful.”

Wittmann claims fourth win of the season at Nürburgring

Marco Wittmann (DE) took full advantage of his pole position at the Nürburgring (DE), producing an outstanding performance over 49 laps to secure his fourth win of the current DTM season. Wittmann held onto the lead at the start, and gradually pulled away from his rivals over the following laps. After the mandatory pit stop, during which he switched from prime to option tyres, the young German re-joined the race at the head of the field in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM. Wittmann went on to claim the 63rd DTM win for BMW Motorsport and the manufacturer’s 15th since returning to the DTM in 2012. The 24-year-old also clocked the fastest lap time of 1:23.175 minutes en route to presenting BMW Team RMG with its fifth win in the seventh race of the year – and at the team’s home race in the Eifel Mountains.

In the Drivers’ Championship, Wittmann has now pulled 64 points clear of his closest rivals with 120 points to his name. BMW Team RMG has now amassed 159 points, thanks to Wittmann’s win and seventh place for Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM), and now leads the team competition by 67 points. BMW also tops the standings in the Manufacturers’ Championship with 302 points.

Marco Wittmann at Nuerburgring

As well as the two BMW Team RMG drivers, Martin Tomczyk (DE) also finished in the points in the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM. Unlike Wittmann and Martin, the BMW Team Schnitzer driver started on option tyres and then worked his way through the field into eighth place in the second half of the race. The same tactic did not quite come off for Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M4 DTM), António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM) and Joey Hand (US, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM). They narrowly missed out on a top-ten finish, coming home 12th, 13th and 14th.

Timo Glock (DE) fell well down the field after an early collision with Gary Paffett (GB, Mercedes), leaving him no chance of a points finish in the Deutsche Post BMW M4 DTM. He eventually had to settle for 17th. Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol Edge BMW M4 DTM) lost valuable ground through a collision with Jamie Green (GB, Audi) and ultimately retired after 36 laps.

DTM standings after 7 of 10 races

Drivers’ Championship.

1. Marco Wittmann (120 points), 2. Mattias Ekström (56), 3. Edoardo Mortara (56), 4. Mike Rockenfeller (53), 5. Bruno Spengler (42), 6. Christian Vietoris (41), 7. Maxime Martin (39), 8. Adrien Tambay (36), 9. Augusto Farfus (33), 10. Timo Glock (33), 11. Jamie Green (28), 12. Robert Wickens (27), 13. Miguel Molina (26), 14. Paul di Resta (24), 15. Martin Tomczyk (24), 16. Timo Scheider (19), 17. Pascal Wehrlein (15), 18. Daniel Juncadella (10), 19. Nico Müller (10), 20. Joey Hand (7), 21. António Félix da Costa (4), 22. Gary Paffett (4). 

Team Championship.

1. BMW Team RMG (159 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt (92), 3. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (82), 4. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (72), 5. BMW Team Schnitzer (66), 6. Original-Teile Mercedes AMG (65), 7. BMW Team RBM (40), 8. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (38), 9. BMW Team MTEK (37), 10. Euronics / Free Man’s World Mercedes AMG (31) , 11. gooix Mercedes AMG (15), 12. Petronas Mercedes AMG (10). 

Manufacturers’ Championship.

1. BMW (302 points), 2. Audi (284), 3. Mercedes-Benz (121).

Solberg becomes first double winner in world Rallycross

Norway’s Petter Solberg took a sensational lights-to-flag victory at the World RX of Canada on 9 August to become the first driver to win a round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy held outside of Europe. The PSRX driver also becomes the first double winner in RX this year. Volkswagen Marklund Motorsport’s Anton Marklund and Team Peugeot-Hansen’s Timur Timerzyanov finished second and third respectively, both drivers securing podium spots for the first time this season.

Solberg RX Canada

Staged at the Trois Rivieres street circuit as part of the annual Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres (GP3R) motorsport festival, the seventh round of World RX attracted crowds of more than 30,000 people to watch 18 flame-spitting Supercars and nine RX Lites cars in the Intercontinental Cup.  Three Canadian stars also helped draw a passionate home crowd as F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, former IndyCar star Patrick Carpentier and multiple Canadian Rally Champion Antoine L’Estage took to the all-new RX circuit.  Villeneuve was denied a place in the semi-finals after a fuel tank issue meant he was forced to withdraw but Carpentier wowed the crowds on his World RX debut, reaching the final and eventually finishing sixth.

“I am so, so happy right now but it hasn’t been the easiest day,” admitted Solberg who has extended his lead at the top of the standings by 20 points thanks to three heat victories, plus a win in both the semi and the final.  The former WRC World Champion, who was also awarded the Monster Energy Super Charge Award, added: “The morning didn’t start so well – we had similar problems to Belgium but the mechanics worked really hard on the car and I want to credit this win to my team.  I wouldn’t be here without them – they work harder than anyone.  It’s always been my dream to become the first person to win two World Championships and now that dream is getting closer but there are still five races to go and this sport is tough. I’d also like to thank the Canadian organisers – it’s fantastic to come to a new event, they have done a great job.”

Marklund was a model of consistency over the weekend after never finishing outside the top five in all the heats.  The 21-year-old went on to win his semi-final to qualify on the front row of the final alongside pole starter Solberg.  “This has been a lot of fun,” grinned Marklund at the press conference. “I’ve managed to score points all day and driving down the long straight at speeds of around 190kmph is just amazing.  Usually rallycross events are over two days so this has been a big challenge for my team to work over one day and they have done an amazing job. It’s also really good for VW to have three out of four cars in the final and now we’re tied with Olsbergs MSE in the manufacturer standings too – it’s been a great weekend for the whole team.”

After what can only be described as a torrid four heats for Timur Timerzyanov, the Russian defied all odds to reach the final where he drove a mature race and secured a well-deserved third place for Team Peugeot Hansen. The reigning European Rallycross Champion commented: “It’s fair to say I’ve had an active day: I’ve been fighting against rails, tyres… but somehow I made it to the final! I need to work on my driving style but for now I’m really happy and I hope this is the first of many podiums in the second half of the year.”

Two punctures for Reinis Nitiss proved costly for the Ford Olsbergs MSE driver who narrowly missed out on a semi-final spot after qualifying 13th at the end of the heats.  However, retirement for Joni Wiman before the semi-finals opened the door for Nitiss, as first reserve, to enter the semi in which he finished third.  Nitiss progressed to the final and eventually finished fourth but the lack of points gained from the heats means he drops behind VW Marklund’s Topi Heikkinen in the overall standings.  Heikkinen rounded off the top five at RX Canada.

Arguably one of the most impressive drives of the event was that of local driver Patrick Carpentier who made his RX debut in the event.  Carpentier, a former NASCAR and IndyCar driver, proved a natural talent despite having only one short test ahead of the race. “I can’t explain how happy I am to have made it to the final,” beamed the French Canadian. “Before today my only aim was to reach the semis and to be in the final in front of such an amazing home crowd on my RX debut is more than I could ever have hoped for.”

Monster Energy World RX Team’s Henning Solberg and Davy Jeanney both reached the semi-finals but a stall for Solberg on the start line saw the Norwegian denied a spot in the final. Jeanney was close to finishing in the top three in his semi but a final lap tussle saw the Frenchman lose out on the chance of reaching his first final this year.

After two heat race wins Villeneuve was on course for a spot in the semis but a heavy landing wreaked havoc with the fuel tank on his Albatec Racing prepared Peugeot 208 Supercar and forced the French-Canadian to retire. Britain’s Andy Scott made the final 12 securing crucial points for the Scottish-based team.

Vermont-based squad Subaru Rally Team USA impressed on its debut in World RX as three-time European Rallycross Champion Sverre Isachsen was on the pace throughout all four heats.  The Norwegian reached the semis but finished fifth, one place behind Olsbergs MSE driver Andreas Bakkerud who also missed out on a spot in the all-important final.

In the RX Lites Intercontinental Cup Swedish rally driver Patrik Sandell took the win, with Kevin Eriksson securing the runner-up spot.  F1 commentator and accomplished rallycross driver Julien Febreau took the third spot on the podium after an impressive debut in an RX Lites Car. The Frenchman commented: “It’s amazing to come here and take a win – the competition was really tough, the field was full of very talented young drivers but I’m delighted to have made the final and it’s even better to finish in the top three.”

Round eight of the FIA World Rallycross Championship will return to European soil as the World RX crews prepare for the hugely popular French RX event which will be staged in Loheac from 6-7 September.

For the full breakdown of results from Canada, please visit www.rallycrossrx.com/results

DRIVER POINTS AFTER ROUND 7, WORLD RX OF CANADA

  1. Petter Solberg, 155 points
  2. Topi Heikkinen, 135 points
  3. Reinis Nitiss, 133 points
  4. Andreas Bakkerud, 113 points
  5. Anton Marklund, 111 points

TEAM POINTS AFTER ROUND 7, WORLD RX OF CANADA

1.   Volkswagen Marklund, 246 points
1.= Ford Olsbergs MSE, 246 points
3.  Team Peugeot-Hansen, 185 points
4.   PSRX, 147 points
5.   Monster Energy World RX Team, 83 points
6.   Albatec Racing, 25 points

1000 lakes, and a podium for Kris Meeke

  • Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle produced a series of remarkable performances throughout Rally Finland to secure third place in their DS 3 WRC
  • The Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team consolidated its second position in the World Rally Championship standings
  • The next event on the calendar, the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, will be contested on tarmac during 21-24 August

The short but tricky final leg of Rally Finland saw Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle confirm their third place. Never out of the top three from the very first stage, Kris held firm on Ruuhimäki and Myhinpää – driving at an average speed of close to 132km/h – to rack up his third podium in 2014, after Monte-Carlo and Argentina.

In addition to the fifteen points earned at the end of the rally, the Brit also picked up an extra point by finishing third in the Power Stage.

Citroen 1000 Lakes

Leading from start to finish in his DS 3 R3, the Slovakian Martin Koci secured his first win in the FIA Junior WRC. He finished ahead of the Frenchman Quentin Giordano and the Australian Molly Taylor, the first woman to claim a podium finish in this category.

A change of scenery awaits the crews in less than three weeks’ time. They return to tarmac roads at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, from 21 to 24 August, for the season’s eighth round.

Kris Meeke: “This podium is even more special than the others. We kept in touch with the leaders throughout the two days. We then protected our position, but we ended the rally less than a minute behind the winner. I know we’ve still got some work to do before we can really challenge for the win. But for the time being I’m happy with third place and the experience acquired for the future. Next year, I hope I can fight to do even better.”

Marek Nawarecki (Citroën Racing Deputy Team Principal): “This podium rounds off a fine Finnish campaign for Citroën after Mads Østberg won the Helsinki Rally Battle. It was a very important event for the team and Kris produced a superb performance, combining consistency and speed. He managed to make the most of the experience acquired in 2013 and the pre-rally testing. The rest of the season should be more favourable for Citroën. It’s down to us to make use of all the work that has been done to date.”

Speedy Gonza-López

  • José-María López achieved a clean sweep at his home meeting in Argentina, with two race wins and one pole position
  • Yvan Muller, Pechito’s fiercest rival for the World Championship, secured two podium spots, while Sébastien Loeb finished 4th and 6th
  • López’s maximum points haul puts him 60 points clear of Muller in the overall standings

The sun was blazing at the Autodromo Termas de Río Hondo, with the atmosphere further heating up when young Matias Rossi and his Citroën emerged victorious in the Turismo Nacional race, held as a curtain raiser to the FIA WTCC.

Shortly afterwards, José-María López lined up in pole position on the grid for race one. When the red lights went out, he made the perfect start and hit the first corner in the lead, closely followed by Norbert Michelisz, who had got the better of Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb in the opening tussle. As the laps went by, the gaps widened, although Muller was constantly under threat from Loeb.

Citroen Lopez

After completing thirteen laps at a pace worthy of a qualifying session, Pechito López delighted the 40,000 spectators by crossing the finish line as the winner. The two other Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs finished third and fourth, behind Michelisz.

A few minutes later, the cars lined up for race two. With the top ten from qualifying starting in reverse order on the grid, this second race promised to be livelier than the first.

There was turbulence in the pack from the off. Sébastien Loeb dropped back three places, having failed to execute his starting strategy properly, while Yvan Muller opted for a cautious approach amid the traffic. All this proved to be to the benefit of Pechito López, who fought his way through the field to end lap one in seventh place.

The three Citroën drivers then enthralled the crowd with an exhibition of overtaking manoeuvres. The prize for assertiveness must surely go to Yvan Muller, who spent nearly three whole laps locked in a shoulder-to-shoulder battle with Tom Chilton. Sébastien Loeb impressed too, moving past Norbert Michelisz, but the crowd’s favourite was, of course, José-María López, who passed Rob Huff to climb into the lead with five laps to go.

Pechito held that lead to the end, exhausted and emotional, he was given a triumphant reception by his fans for his twin victories. He was joined on the podium by Yvan Muller, who once again finished third. Sébastien Loeb finished race two in sixth place.

Yves Matton, Team Principal, Citroën Racing: “This weekend has been one of the most emotional in the history of Citroën Racing. He might not have shown it much, but Pechito was under enormous pressure; he was desperate to do well in front of his home crowd. He dug deep and became the first driver this year to record a perfect score. Yvan did everything he could to stay with him, but the gap in the World Championship standings is widening. That is not to say the rest of the season won’t be interesting, as there are new circuits for us to discover. This has been a great day to round off a week spent with Citroën Argentina, engaging in various marketing operations that used motorsport to further the brand’s commercial aims.”

José-María López:“Some people may find it a bit too corporate to start by thanking everyone, but that’s just what I feel like doing right now. Without my family and without Citroën, I wouldn’t be here. I am proud to be part of Citroën Racing, and to have Yvan and Seb as teammates. My wealth of experience on this circuit helped me a lot, but I was worried about the starts, which remain a weakness for me. Thankfully, this time, everything went OK. Race two was really exciting. The car just got quicker and quicker and I managed to work my way up the field into first place. It’s been a perfect weekend, and there’s no place I’d rather have produced a performance like that.”

Yvan Muller:“You should never give up, but I have to acknowledge that José was quicker than me this weekend. Once I realised that, I had to limit the damage and try not to fall too far behind in the World Championship. The team did a brilliant job and I did my best to exploit the car’s full potential. I found race two quite fun, particularly my battle with Chilton.”

Sébastien Loeb:“Fourth and sixth isn’t a dream result, but I can take plenty of positives out of this weekend. I managed to work my way through the pack with a more combative approach and some nice overtaking manoeuvres. All this is great experience for me, as I’m now focusing first and foremost on 2015. I’m nearly 100 points adrift of Pechito, so I consider myself out of the running for the title.”

Audi drivers score with recoveries

  • Four Audi RS 5 DTM cars in the points at the Red Bull Ring
  • Scheider, Tambay, Ekström and Green capture places 5 to 8
  • Green loses podium chance due to communications problem

As expected: The Red Bull Ring at Spielberg (Austria) guarantees particularly spectacular DTM races. 47,500 spectators (throughout the weekend) saw gripping duels, strange incidents and, in spite of a difficult starting base, four Audi RS 5 DTM cars in the top eight.

Following the first half of a season that was less than perfect for him, Timo Scheider had a reason to cheer for the first time this year. The two-time DTM Champion had started on the softer option tires and within just a few laps worked his way forward from grid position 14 to join the pack at the front. In the AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix, after 47 laps, he crossed the finish line as the best Audi in fifth place – trailing the winner by only 6.666 seconds.

“Advancing from 14th place to fifth in the race is a great feeling for me and the squad,” said the two-time DTM Champion. “We had enough trouble and problems in the first five races. I hope that we’ll be able to turn this around now and to have fortune on our side in the second half of the season.”

Audi at Spielberg

Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) and Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, both Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) treated the Austrian crowd to impressive recoveries as well. Tambay, like Scheider, had started on option tires and from position 20 on the grid advanced to sixth place. Ekström had started the race on harder standard tires and was ultimately the best driver using this strategy. The Swede made up ground from grid position 15 to seventh place and thus maintained his second place in the overall DTM standings.

Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg was the tragic hero of the day. The Briton had been the only driver to make it into the top ten in qualifying and was in contention in the group of front runners from the outset. Up to the race’s midpoint, he was running in front of the subsequent winner Marco Wittmann. However, due to a communications problem with his pit crew Green switched from option to standard tires one lap too late. As a result, the Audi driver, while leading the race, was forced to pit for a drive-through penalty and in the end had to settle for eighth place.

In eleventh place, Miguel Molina in the Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM missed scoring a point by only 0.410 seconds. Title defender Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM dropped to the back of the field in the early stage. After switching to option tires, he was the quickest man in the field, advanced to 13th place and with 1m 25.266s (182.647 km/h) set a new DTM track record.

Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM) and Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM) received drive-through penalties for failing to sufficiently reduce speed under yellow flags. They finished in positions 16 and 19.

“Following yesterday’s qualifying, we couldn’t necessarily expect to bring four cars into the points,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport, summing up the race. “Today, the performance was right. Mike Rockenfeller drove the fastest race lap, Jamie Green battled for the podium, and Timo Scheider, Adrien Tambay and Mattias Ekström advanced from positions at the far rear of the field to finish in the top seven. It’s a shame that Jamie lost the chance of a possible podium due to a communications error with his pit crew. As a result, it was easy for BMW to bring Marco Wittmann to the front and to provide him with a major advantage in the championship. In two weeks from now, at the Nürburgring, we’ve got to regain our old strength in qualifying.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “It’s great that this year even more spectators traveled to the Red Bull Ring than last year. That speaks for the popularity of the DTM in Austria. I think that no-one regretted having attended this event because the fans got to see a turbulent DTM race. Our drivers, too, contributed their fair share to this and, in view of yesterday’s qualifying session, four Audi cars in the top eight are a decent result.”

Dieter Gass (Leiter DTM): “At first glance, the result looks like damage containment. If, following the qualifying result, anybody had told us yesterday that we’d have four Audi cars in the points today we’d have been relatively pleased. But in Jamie Green’s case, a lot more would definitely have been possible. There was a communications problem between him and his team and he drove one lap too many on option tires. As a result, Jamie deprived himself of the chance to battle for the podium. He definitely had the potential to do so.”

Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM), 5th place
Tires: option/standard
“Following a difficult Saturday, I at least had a positive effect – that I managed to advance with the same time as Gary Paffett: I took that as a stroke of luck. Advancing from 14th place to fifth in the race is a great feeling for me and the squad. We had enough trouble and problems in the first five races. I hope that we’ll be able to turn this around now and to have fortune on our side in the second half of the season.”

Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM), 6th place
Tires: option/standard
“This was one of my best races. I hadn’t expected much from grid position 20, not even by starting on option tires. It was a tough race; my car was very good and really fast. We made no mistakes and overtook a few cars. Our pit stop was superb too. Many thanks from me to the whole team because we extracted a good result from a difficult situation.”

Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM), 7th place
Tires: standard/option
“A few points are always good. But I’m definitely a bit disappointed. Our pace in the race today was insufficient – that’s the only thing that matters.”

Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM), 8th place
Tires: option/standard
“It was very disappointing to have received a drive-through penalty, which costs about 16 seconds here. That threw me out of the battle for a top position. I still finished in eighth place in the end; it’s good to have still scored points. I battled for victory, ran on option tires one lap too many – I paid the price for it.”

Miguel Molina (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM), 11th place
Tires: standard/option
“I think we drove a good race. But starting the race on option tires would definitely have been the better choice. I was able to overtake a few cars in the beginning – that was the most important thing. Now we have to continue to work hard and understand what happened yesterday in qualifying. If we do, then things will be going better again in the next race at the Nürburgring. In eleventh place, we just barely missed scoring points here. But as I said, we need to continue to work hard.”

Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM), 13th place
Tires: standard/option
“A very frustrating weekend. It already started in qualifying, where I could have squeezed out more. Then you try to gamble a little with the strategy. We started on standard tires, hoping that the safety car would be deployed, but it wasn’t. In the race, I lost a lot of time with Félix da Costa, who slowed everybody and pushed me onto the grass. I didn’t think that was very clever on his part. In the end, I had a good pace but that doesn’t help after having lost a lot in the beginning. We’ve got to make sure that we’ll manage a good qualifying session again at the Nürburgring.”

Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM), 16th place
Tires: standard/option
“It was a difficult race. I’m disappointed because I’d been confident especially before this race weekend. We were too slow during the whole weekend. Plus, there were some special decisions by the stewards of the meeting …”

Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM), 19th place
Tires: option/standard
“Actually, the strategy was really good. The pace was there on both types of tires. The only problem was the start. I wasn’t so optimistic in that respect because we had a problem with the clutch – that immediately caused me to lose a few places. But afterwards, I advanced really well. Until I received a drive-through penalty for allegedly having driven too fast under yellow. Although I can see absolutely no reason for this: I completely lifted. But because a lap before I’d overtaken two cars in this sector, I apparently wasn’t half a second slower under yellow. Following the penalty, my race was practically over. Whether or not the penalty makes any sense like this is anyone’s guess. Today, points would have been possible. In the end, I finished where I started: I’m disappointed!”

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “It was a difficult race. The starting base was bad. We weren’t able to make up ground on our option tires anymore and are still pleased to have finished in the top ten with two cars. We need to do some analysis now and work on having a better pace in qualifying in order to improve again in the next races.”

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “Bringing both cars into fifth and 13th place from grid positions 14 and 17 wasn’t so bad. We tried both strategies: starting on option tires and on standard tires. In the end, starting on option tires proved the right choice when looking at where Timo (Scheider) finished. In ‘Rocky’s’ (Mike Rockenfeller) case, things went wrong in the beginning, we lost so many places and time. It was impossible to recover that at the end, although he still drove the fastest race lap. I’m happy for Timo that he broke his duck here and was the best Audi driver.”

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): “It was a shame. We actually had a good starting base with sixth place in qualifying. Nico (Müller) had a problem with the clutch, which didn’t exactly strengthen his self-confidence. He was running far at the rear of the field after the start. Then he received a drive-through penalty. It was difficult for him to drive so slow on option tires under yellow. We’ve got to take another close look again to see if this was justified. Jamie (Green) drove a good race. Shortly before the pit stop, there were some communications problems; that’s why we pitted a lap too late. That’s what he received a drive-through penalty for – that was a real shame.”

Finnish Celebrations: Volkswagen driver Latvala triumphs in WRC home event

  • Emotional third season win for Latvala/Anttila in dramatic rally
  • Beaten by just 3.6 seconds: Ogier/Ingrassia take second place
  • Volkswagen poised for victory in all three championship categories ahead of Rally Germany

A great day for Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, a great day for Volkswagen, and a great day for Finland: for the first time in four years, a Finnish duo triumphed in their home event in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), giving their compatriots reason to celebrate with abandon. Latvala/Anttila won ‘their’ rally in the Polo R WRC in what proved to be a veritable thriller all the way to the finishing line, clinching victory over their teammates Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) by just 3.6 seconds. Volkswagen’s excellent team success in the toughest rally of the year was rounded off by Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N) finishing in fourth place overall. Volkswagen has therefore equalled its best team result to date in the WRC, which it set at Rally Argentina in May. The rally known as ‘Formula 1 in the forest’ marks the twelfth consecutive rally win for the Wolfsburg-based team, and is also its eighth win in the current season. Ahead of Rally Germany, Volkswagen therefore is poised to clinch all three WRC championship titles – for the manufacturer, the driver and the co-driver.

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

“It’s been a fantastic weekend at Rally Finland,” said Dr Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development, who was in Finland to support the Volkswagen team. “Both Jari-Matti Latvala and Sébastien Ogier dominated 25 of the 26 special stages and the final day of the rally couldn’t have been more exciting. There was no knowing who would actually win the rally until they finally crossed the line. The Power Stage once again demonstrated what the team and the Polo R WRC are capable of. We are very happy with the result in Finland and congratulate Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila on this huge success in front of a home crowd.”

Recipe for success: good self-confidence and a healthy dose of ‘sisu’
The Finnish word ‘sisu’ is the most accurate way to describe the key to Jari-Matti Latvala’s success in his home event. ‘Sisu’ is said to be untranslatable, but can be loosely translated as power, stamina or tenacity, and also intransigence or fighting spirit. And Jari-Matti Latvala demonstrated all of these during Rally Finland. On the second day of the rally, Latvala, who is second in the championship, dominated the proceedings in the morning, but had something of a setback in the afternoon. Having hit a large pothole during the 20th special stage, a damaged brake line left him with no braking power on the front right-hand wheel, which caused him to lose around 27 seconds of his lead. Latvala therefore tackled the final three special stages on Sunday with a very slim lead of just 3.4 seconds, and demonstrated not only his driving skills, but also his mental strength.

Since the start of the 2014 season, Jari-Matti Latvala has also been drawing on the support of mental trainer Christoph Treier. Latvala was therefore relaxed during the special stages in his home event, in spite of the huge public expectations and his extremely high motivation. And this resulted in success, with Latvala/Anttila securing 14 of the 26 possible fastest times in the rally.

Prestige duel to the very last metre: Latvala vs. Ogier
Rally Finland, which is considered to be the mother of all WRC rallies, was very much all about Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila and their Volkswagen teammates Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia this year, with 25 of the 26 possible best times being scored by one or the other of the two Volkswagen duos. The only rivals who were able to keep pace were Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (GB/IRL, Citroën), who picked up one fastest time and finished in third place overall. The Latvala vs. Ogier duel narrowed to a difference of 3.7 seconds ahead of the final Power Stage, and was then reduced further to 3.6 seconds at the finishing line.

On multiple occasions during their high-octane duel, Latvala and Ogier hit a top speed of 200 kilometres per hour, at which point their speed was kept in check by the speed limiters. With countless jumps, some as far as 60 metres, and also plenty of blind hill crests and corners, the WRC drivers had to deliver maximum precision. And for the 38th time in the history of the WRC, a rally was won with a margin of less than ten seconds.

Great success, part two: match point for Volkswagen ahead of home event in Germany
Thanks to its one-two victory in Finland, Volkswagen has extended its lead in the manufacturers’ standings in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) to 175 points over their closest rival Citroën. This therefore gives Volkswagen its first match point ahead of the brand’s own home event, Rally Germany: if it succeeds in defending a 172-point lead, the manufacturers’ championship title will go to Wolfsburg for the second year in a row. The German rally could also be a decider in favour of Volkswagen in the drivers’ standings too: following Rally Finland, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have a lead of 121 points over the best non-Volkswagen duo, Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (N/S, Citroën). If they still have a lead of 112 points after Rally Germany, it will definitely be a Volkswagen duo who will celebrate victory in the drivers’ and co-drivers’ standings. Ogier/Ingrassia are currently in the lead on 187 points, followed by their teammates Latvala/Anttila (143 points) and Mikkelsen (95 points).

Facts, facts, facts: actual and potential records
With Rally Finland now over, Volkswagen has racked up a total of 19,996.66 kilometres during 391 special stages since it joined the WRC with the Polo R WRC in January 2013. This is equivalent to driving half way round the globe – at a rally pace, of course. During this period, Volkswagen has scored 269 fastest times and a total of 618 top-three times. Volkswagen has celebrated victory 18 times out of 21 WRC rallies, twelve of which it has scored in succession across two seasons. And by winning in Finland, Volkswagen has matched the previous best of eight wins in the same season, which Citroën achieved in 2011. For Volkswagen, the eighth rally of the season gave it its fifth one-two win of the year, and the seventh such win overall. Jari-Matti Latvala celebrated his 44th podium finish in the WRC, twelve of which he has achieved with Volkswagen. It was also his eleventh outright win, and his fourth such win in the Polo R WRC.

The icing on the cake: bonus points for Volkswagen drivers in the Power Stage
To date, Volkswagen has picked up Power Stage bonus points on 37 occasions – in the 20 Power Stages held so far. In addition, Ogier/Ingrassia gave Volkswagen its 15th consecutive Power Stage win in Finland. Latvala, the winner of the 2014 Rally Finland, has won five Power Stages in his WRC career, two of which with Volkswagen. Ogier meanwhile has a tally of 15 Power Stage wins, eleven of which with Volkswagen. And Mikkelsen also has one Power Stage win to his name, a victory he scored in the Polo R WRC.

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“I think the fans and also we will remember this Rally Finland for a long time to come. I may not have won, but it was still a fantastic final with a great battle all the way to the very last second. Congratulations to Jari-Matti and Miikka, who really deserved this win in their home country. They were simply unbeatable this time. I already knew this morning that reducing their lead would be difficult. When you drive almost an entire stage at full speed, you can’t even make good a 3.4-second deficit if the driver in front doesn’t make any mistakes. Julien and I took all the risks we could in the penultimate stage, but Jari-Matti matched our pace. Overall, it’s been a fantastic weekend and I’m perfectly happy with the points we scored for coming second in Finland.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“This win in Finland is a very special moment for Miikka and me. We last managed to do this in 2010, and this win feels twice as good considering our disappointing result last year. I had a good feeling in the Polo R WRC right from the start of the rally, and the car was set up perfectly once again. So a big thank-you to my team for their excellent work. And I would, of course, also like to thank all the fans who supported Miikka and me throughout the rally here in Finland. This win was a tough cookie, though. We were in a bit of a predicament on Saturday evening when we were no longer able to use one of our brakes. Nevertheless, we didn’t give up and we kept on fighting. I’m really very happy about this result.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“Once again, Rally Finland was a very special rally, and is considered to be one of the most demanding rallies in the WRC calendar due to its particular traits. Ola and I are therefore very happy with fourth place. From Saturday, we were in a comfortable position overall, with a good time buffer to hold off our closest rival. We were therefore able to tackle the final day in a controlled manner, but we still wanted to attack during the Power Stage in order to be in with a chance of scoring a few bonus points for the championship. In the end, we finished in fourth place, but are happy with our performance overall. Congratulations to Jari-Matti and Miikka on winning Rally Finland. They very much deserved to win.”

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“To my knowledge, there’s no one in the service park who doesn’t think Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila deserved this emotional home victory. I’m especially delighted for them today because they worked hard for this success and achieved it on the basis of immense willpower – in spite of some minor setbacks. We experienced the best Jari-Matti Latvala of all time, with an entirely new attitude towards rallying – highly focused, but relaxed at the same time. He was in his own world while he was driving and only his teammate Sébastien Ogier was able to keep up with him to the end. Andreas Mikkelsen likewise drove brilliantly and clinched fourth place in this highly demanding rally – fantastic. This one-two victory gives us the opportunity to secure the manufacturers’ championship title before the end of the season during Rally Germany. And we would obviously like to do that in style, preferably with a rally win. We have to make up for last year’s result at home. And Jari-Matti Latvala has shown us here in Finland how to win in front of a home crowd in spite of pressure and huge expectations.”

And then there was …
… a very loud wake-up call. All the teams’ drivers were awoken by a fire alarm at the central hotel for Rally Finland on Sunday morning. The high-pitched alarm was set off by Luis Moya, two-time world champion alongside Carlos Sainz, who now works in the Volkswagen team. Moya put a slice of bread in the toaster, then forgot about it, and the toaster was soon churning out smoke and turning his toast into charcoal. It cannot, however, be confirmed as to whether Moya really did say “For Heaven’s sake, Carlos, please turn the toaster off”.

FIA Rally World Championship (WRC),
Rally Finland – Final Results

1.   Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen 2h 57m 23.2s
2.   Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen + 3.6s
3.   Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (GB/IRL), Citroën + 50.6s
4.   Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N), Volkswagen + 1m 52.5s
5.   Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN/FIN), Ford + 2m 49.7s
6.   Juho Hänninen/Tomi Tuominen (FIN/FIN), Hyundai + 4m 29.0s
7.   Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (GB/GB), Ford + 5m 25.8s
8.   Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (NZ/NZ), Hyundai + 6m 17.8s
9.   Henning Solberg/Ilka Minor (N/A), Ford + 12m 07.0s
10. Karl Kruuda/Martin Jarveoja (EST/EST), Ford + 14m 44.7s

FIA Rally World Championship (WRC),
Rally Finland – Power Stage Results

1.   Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen 3m 16.0s
2.   Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen + 0.1s
3.   Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (GB/IRL), Citroën + 2.1s

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Overall Standings
Drivers’ Championship

points
1.   Sébastien Ogier 187
2.   Jari-Matti Latvala 143
3.   Andreas Mikkelsen 95
4.   Mads Østberg 66
5.   Mikko Hirvonen 62
6.   Kris Meeke 54
7.   Thierry Neuville 46
8.   Elfyn Evans 42
9.   Martin Prokop 31
10. Henning Solberg 26
11. Juho Hänninen 20
12. Bryan Bouffier 18
13. Robert Kubica 12
14. Ott Tänak 10
15. Benito Guerra 8
16. Hayden Paddon 8
17. Chris Atkinson 6
18. Pontus Tidemand 4
19. Jaroslav Melichárek 4
20. Nasser Al-Attiyah 3
21. Lorenzo Bertelli 2
22. Matteo Gamba 2
23. Craig Breen 2
24. Yuriy Protasov 2
25. Jari Ketomaa 1
26. Khalid Al-Qassimi 1
27. Karl Kruuda 1
28. Dani Sordo 0

Manufacturers’ Championship

points
1.   Volkswagen Motorsport 305
2.   Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT 130
3.   M-Sport 106
4.   Volkswagen Motorsport II 94
5.   Hyundai Motorsport 88
6.   Jipocar Czech National Team 34
7.   RK M-Sport WRT 21
8.   Hyundai Motorsport N 12

* provisional