ERJ staff report (TP)
Weekly round-up from the world of racing – reports on Falken ... Acorn Zenises ... Mercedes /Hankook ... Continental ... Pirelli
Falken Tyres secured its best finish ever at the 2014 Nürburgring 24 Hour race last week with fourth overall. After starting 19th, drivers Peter Dumbreck, Wolf Henzler, Martin Ragginger and Alex Imperatori drove a “clean and consistent” race to become the only Porsche to finish in the top 10. With good weather throughout the race, the pace was “frenetic” and the Falken-shod Porsche 997 GT3-R was able to first climb into the top five after eight hours, moving into fourth an hour and a half before the finish.
The Acorn Zenises Motorsport team participated in the second round of the British Drift Championship at Scotland’s Knockhill circuit in Fife last week. The team, consisting of racers Mark Lappage and Ian Waddington, has been expanded in 2014 to include new academy driver, Kelian Woods. With 40 drivers vying for only 16 final day positions, Woods, in just his second event, qualified in first place in the ‘Pro’ class and now occupies third position in the drivers’ table.
Mercedes-Benz has continued its winning streak at the Norisring. On the track in the heart of Nuremberg, Robert Wickens won round four of the 2014 DTM season and secured the 11th victory in a row for the Stuttgart automotive manufacturer on the circuit. The pilots took up the race in the rain on wet tyres supplied by exclusive DTM tyre partner Hankook, but as the circuit began to dry they switched to the ultra fast Ventus Race Plus options slicks.
Continental will supply five teams in the 101st Tour de France that starts in Leeds, UK on 5 July. The three-week Tour has 21 stages, covers 3,656 km, and will feature 198 riders. There will be two rest days, and the race finishes on 27 July with the traditional final stage on the Champs Elysées in Paris. Five out of the 22 teams are again using Continental equipment. The BMC Racing team, Lotto-Belisol, Lampre Merida, and Orica-GreenEdge teams were already riding on Conti tires. But in 2014, they will be joined by the Spanish Movistar team.
Formula One heads to Silverstone 3-6 July, and Pirelli is preparing for a track well known for being one of the fastest of the year, putting a high-energy load through the tires. Weather is usually variable – making it difficult to rationalise data obtained in free practice with the actual race conditions. Pirelli has nominated the two hardest tires in the range, P Zero orange hard and P Zero White medium. The winning strategy last year was two stops. Sebastian Vettel completed two stints on the medium before a final stint on the hard, to win the race for Red Bull, from third on the grid.
More to follow ...