Aldermaston Grand Prix circuit

There was sad news for those working in the British nuclear sector last week, when it was announced that there will be 500 job losses at AWE Aldermaston.

However, there may be hope on the horizon for the minions of Aldermaston, for the aerial photograph provided by the BBC clearly indicates that the former RAF Aldermaston airfield is the perfect location for a Grand Prix circuit.

The prospective layout sketched above suggests a mix of slow-speed 90-degree corners and long-straights, with a high braking and traction requirement. Particularly exciting is the long main straight, which resembles that at Macau, including a flat-out kink leading onto a long, wide stretch which eventually funnels into the heavy-braking area for a tight hairpin. Rather like Turn 1 at the Cleveland airport circuit in the USA, this would, no doubt, become a key overtaking spot.

One imagines wisps of tyre-smoke mixing with the gaseous tritium discharges, as the drivers battle it out, wheel-to-wheel. Happily, with the lower noise emissions of contemporary Formula 1, there seems little chance of triggering an unexpected criticality in one of the facilities, but in such an event the odd blue flash would simply add to the razzmatazz of the event.

The nearby town of Tadley might seem an unlikely host for a round of the World Championship, but in some respects it is not dissimilar to parts of Azerbaijan, which will feature on the Formula 1 calendar for the first time in 2016.

Source: mccabism

Bridgestone: Marquez takes victory in spectacular season opener in Qatar

Marc Marquez got his MotoGP™ World Championship title defence off to the perfect start after the Repsol Honda rider emerged victorious from a closely-fought contest with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Starting from pole position, Marquez traded places with Rossi at the front of the field numerous times throughout the twenty-two lap race, before Marquez made the race-winning pass in the final stages to take the chequered flag by 0.259 seconds. In third place at the Qatar Grand Prix was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who crossed the finish line 3.370 seconds after his teammate.

The track temperature for the race was the coolest recorded over the whole race weekend, with a peak recording of just 20°C which brought with it a spike in humidity levels. This resulted in many riders commenting after the race that grip levels were lower than the Warm Up session four hours earlier. Although conditions were quite cool, only two riders selected the soft compound front slick, with the rest of the grid opting for the hard compound front slick. For the rear tyre, only race-winner Marc Marquez selected the hard compound rear slick for the race, and the medium compound rear was by far the popular choice, with fifteen riders selecting this option. Seven of the eleven Open-class entrants selected the soft compound rear slick for the Qatar Grand Prix.

Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department: “That was a fantastic way to start the season; it was great to see riders from so many different teams fighting for position in the opening half of the race. Congratulations to Marc Marquez and Honda on winning the first race of the season, and well done to Valentino for pushing him all the way to the finish line. Every session this weekend was closely-contested, culminating in a thoroughly exciting race which I am sure was appreciated by MotoGP fans all around the world. I hope this trend of close racing continues for the rest of the season, starting with the Grand Prix of the Americas in three weeks’ time”

Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “The 10pm start for the race in Qatar means we had cool and humid conditions for the Qatar Grand Prix, and listening to the comments from riders after the race, it seems this reduced the grip levels compared to the Warm Up session. As expected we had big variation in tyre strategies for the race, with all our front and rear slick options being utilised. I am happy to see that Marc was able to be so competitive on the hard compound rear slick, we made a big development with this option late last year for improved edge grip and the race result today showed it’s a viable race option for this year.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner: “I’m very happy with the victory as I didn’t expect this result. I felt better physically yesterday but I still had a question mark over how I would go in the race. I chose the hard rear tyre so I was a bit cautious at the start of the race, but then it was ok so then I decided to push. The battle with Valentino was very exciting and we swapped positions many times, last year he came out on top but this year it was my turn. I hope to have many more nice battles like that this year.”

Top 20 moments of 2013, #12: Marc Marquez, the rookie champion

Being a rookie in any sort of racing is often a tough task, but 20 year-old Marc Marquez didn’t let that phase him as he claimed the 2013 MotoGP World Championship in commanding style.

Marquez got a quick start to his successful season in the very first round at Qatar. He nabbed a third place finish after battling with his idol Valentino Rossi on his Honda.

It only took two races for … Keep reading


Goodbye Allan McNish

Britain’s Allan McNish has announced his retirement from top-level motorsport today.

Allan began racing in Formula Ford, climbing up through the formula ladder towards Formula one. He moved to Sportscars in 1996 claiming his first Le Mans 24 hours victory in 1998 for Porsche in the 911 GT1 alongside Stéphane Ortelli and Laurent Aïello.

Moving to Toyota with the GT-One in 1999 and finally to Audi in 2000. Allan won the American Le mans series for Audi in 2000 at the start of a long relationship with Audi Sport, Initially testing with the R8R and entering competitive endurance racing for Audi with the Audi R8.

Allan made his Formula One debut with the new Toyota racing team in 2002, becoming test driver for Renault F1 in 2003.

Returning to Sportscar racing with Audi for 2004. Allan would celebrate success with Audi’s R8, R10 TDI, R15 and R18 Prototypes over his career claiming two further Le Mans 24 Hours victories. Two further American Le Mans titles and Four Sebring 12 hour victories cementing his name firmly in the history books of endurance racing.

Allan McNish in 2013 won the World Endurance championship and was finally officially a World Champion alongside Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval.

Allan speaking to AUTOSPORT upon his retirement annoucement:

“You have to get out at some point and everything lined up to make this an extremely good time to do it,” McNish told AUTOSPORT. “Everything has fallen into place.

“I have won pretty much everything I wanted to and I ticked the last box with the world championship.

“It is good to do it now with the change over to the new car and new rules, which would have required a big commitment.

Allan McNish sportscar career details.

Le Mans 24h winner in the LMP1 class 2013.
FIA World Endurance champion 2013.
3 overall victories at the le Mans 24
4 Sebring 12 hour victories
2 Petit Le Mans victories
3 American Le Mans Series titles

Thanks for all the memories and providing the world with some fantastic racing over the years. Enjoy your retirement Allan.

Vial Formula1blog

Audi: Collect trophy, start testing new R18 e-tron

Only a week after the World Championship winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro race car’s last run in a race, its successor is ready to hit the track. Tests of the new LMP1 sports car, which has been kept under wraps up to now, commence today on the U.S. race track at Sebring (Florida).

Audi Sport’s new R18 development started in 2012. The roll-out took place in the early fall of 2013. Starting today, the next-generation Audi R18 e-tron quattro is being tested on the race track where all new Le Mans prototypes of the Audi brand have had to prove their worth: at Sebring.

“We’ve reached a crucial stage in this project,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “After building the first prototype, testing on various race tracks is now taking center-stage. The tests are mainly focused on achieving high mileage, coordinating the highly complex hybrid drive systems and working out an efficiency-optimized total package that has never before been as complex as this one.”

Audi has won the manufacturers’ and drivers’ classifications in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) for the second time in succession and the Le Mans 24 Hours for the twelfth time this year.

Audi R18 etron 2014 c600

The FIA honored the title winners of the FIA racing series in Paris on Friday night. Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich accepted the trophy for the successful title defense of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

The Audi factory drivers Loïc Duval, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish were honored as driver World Champions. All three attended the gala evening at Luc Besson’s ‘Cité du Cinéma’ together with their partners – Allan McNish appropriately clad in a Scottish kilt. The runners-up in the World Championship, Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer, represented Audi at the FIA ceremony held in honor of the winners as well.

“Our whole squad achieved everything early this year that was to be achieved,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “After the success at Le Mans we won both WEC titles and made a very good showing in all the races. We can be very pleased with this season.”

Allan McNish was happy too:

“Even in karting I battled for a World Championship. I then drove in the Formula 1 World Championship but didn’t have a real chance. Now, in my third motorsport discipline with the sports cars, the World Championship title worked out.”

Audi WEC champion 2013 c600

Loïc Duval won the title right away:

“This was my first full motorsport season with Audi. The Championship win in a season in which we also won Le Mans is an overwhelming feeling.”

Tom Kristensen summed up the season in these words:

“After finishing a World Championship in karting as the runner-up I’ve now won a World Championship with Audi. In doing so, we defeated last year’s World Champions. Loïc, Allan and Audi Sport Team Joest were brilliant.”

Thanks Formula1blog