Motorsport News Roundup – 10th February

by Richard Geary

There’s been plenty of action and news in the world of motorsport this past week, here’s a quick round-up of all the latest:

Formula 1

Last weeks pre-season testing in Jerez for the 2014 campaign was arguably one of the most anticipated in F1 history, with the new look cars and 1.6 litre turbo-charged engines provoking a great deal of interest.

Red Bull had a disappointing pre-season run, after only managing to complete a total of 21 laps after four days due to reliability issues. The RB10 suffered massively from chassis cooling problems, and issues with Renault’s new engine, which also blighted the other teams using French manufacturer’s unit.

Renault-powered teams such as Toro Rosso (pictured) had a torrid time at Jerez (image by Leo Hidalgo)

Renault-powered teams such as Toro Rosso (pictured) had a torrid time at Jerez (image by Leo Hidalgo)

The other Renault runners, Toro Rosso and Caterham, only managed marginally better than Red Bull in terms of laps, with Caterham managing 76, and Toro Rosso managing 54, giving the Renault powered cars a total of 151 laps around Jerez. In contrast, the four Mercedes powered teams managed 875 laps combined, and Ferrari’s three teams managed 444 – despite Marussia not running until Thursday afternoon. While some issues are always expected in pre-season testing, with Renault’s competitors running so well, the French manufacturers are under-pressure to fix the problems with their power unit in time for testing in Bahrain on February 19 – 22.

The Mercedes powered cars had an excellent pre-season test, however, with McLaren’s 21-year-old Danish rookie, Kevin Magnussen posting the fastest lap of testing, and completing 52 laps.

Youngster Kevin Magnussen impressed in his debut testing at Jerez (image supplied by Leo Hidalgo)

Youngster Kevin Magnussen impressed in his debut testing at Jerez (image supplied by Leo Hidalgo)

Magnussen’s McLaren teammate Jensen Button made it four Mercedes powered cars in the top four, with Williams’ Felipe Massa in second, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in third, and Button in fourth.

British Touring Car Championship

Hot on the heels of Alain Menu’s BTCC return, two-time champion Fabrizio Giovanardi is returning to the series with Airwaves Racing. Giovanardi will be racing behind the wheel of the Airwaves Racing Ford Focus ST.

Giovanardi racing with VXR Racing in 2009 at Oulton Park, in a Vauxhall Vectra (image by Skully Collins)

Giovanardi racing with VXR Racing in 2009 at Oulton Park, in a Vauxhall Vectra (image by Skully Collins)

The return of the Italian driver means the 2014 season will host at least six champions, with Giovanardi joining Andrew Jordan, Matt Neal, Gordon Shedden, Jason Plato and Alain Menu.

Giovanardi has an impressive BTCC record, with back to back championship titles in 2007 and 2008, as well as 41 podiums and 24 race wins to his name in 122 appearances.

Rally

Volkswagen’s Jari-Matti Latvala has pulled clear of his competitors on the final day of Rally Sweden, winning all four stages and leading by 42.7 seconds over second placed Andreas Mikkelsen.

RallyCross

Volkswagen has joined forces with Andretti Autosport, and created a Volkswagen Beetle to enter into the Global RallyCross series. The new Beetle RallyCross car, nicknamed the ‘Super-Beetle’, is currently being shown at the Chicago Auto Show.

Tanner Foust will swap his Ford Fiesta for the VW Beetle (image by RX-Guru)

Tanner Foust will swap his Ford Fiesta for the VW Beetle (image by RX-Guru)

The all-wheel-drive ‘Super-Beetle’ will be driven by two-time GRC champion and co-star of Top Gear USA, Tanner Foust, in a Rockstar Energy Drink livery. Former NASCAR and Formula 1 driver Scott Speed will drive the second Beetle, sponsored by 7Up.

Le Mans

Two-time Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 podium finisher and Nissan Playstation GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez will be the first race driver for Nissan’s revolutionary ZEOD RC.

The ZEOD RC was first shown at Le Mans in 2013 as a concept (image by David Merrett)

The ZEOD RC was first shown at Le Mans in 2013 as a concept (image by David Merrett)

The ZEOD RC will be the first ever car to complete an entire lap of Circuit de la Sarthe (8.5 miles) on nothing but electrical power when it competes in this years Le Mans 24 Hours. The car combines electric motors with a 1.5 litre 3-cylinder engine producing 400bhp, and will be able to complete an entire lap on just electric power. While using the petrol motor, the cars battery will be recharged by regenerative braking.

MotoGP

Marc Marquez set the fastest lap during pre-season testing at Sepang. The 20-year-old Spaniard set a time of 1:59.533 in Malaysia on his Repsol Honda, 0.194 seconds quicker than six-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi.

England’s Bradley Smith was the 11th fastest in pre-season at Sepang on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3, while fellow Englishman Cal Crutchlow was 12th fastest on his Ducatti.

Sub editor: Callum Corbett

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