The Super Special Scotiabank and Coca-Cola Street Stage

July 6, 2009 by  
Filed under News

To add to the fantastic quality and spectacle that is guaranteed by all the drivers who have confirmed their participation in the Corona Rally Mexico, Rally of Nations edition, the Organizing Committee has introduced speed stages that will surely be a great attraction for the audience, and which include the Super Special Scotiabank Stage in the competition’s itinerary, to take place at León’s race circuit, the Autódromo, as it has done during previous editions of WRC. In addition, a road race stage, the Coca-Cola Street Stage, is to take place for the first time in the city of León.

Once again, León’s race circuit will be the setting for a display of rallying at its highest level, where this coming July 10th, 11th and 12th, the venue will host speed stages involving head-to-head races, in which two cars will start out at the same time, competing to their maximum capacities against each other and against the clock, given that this stage is an integral part of the rally.

Under the name “Super Special Scotiabank Stage”, this phase of the rally will be played out over a 2.21 km route. On Friday 10 and Saturday 11, this route will run twice, starting at 3:00 p.m. on both days. On Sunday, July 12th, there will be only one run, starting at 10:00 a.m., so the Organizing Committee suggests the audience should arrive early because of the various side events that will be taking place.

Entrance to the race circuit costs 80 pesos in the general area, 150 pesos in the stands overlooking the straight, and 300 pesos in the marquee area. Tickets can be bought on the day at the ticket offices or beforehand via the web site, at www.rallydelasnaciones.com, where you can buy and print an e-ticket, which will be good for access, without any need to change it for a pre-printed ticket.

As for the Coca-Cola Street Stage, this will, without a doubt, be quite a novelty, since it is the first time that the Organizing Committee has tried such a thing. The stage consists of a 1.87-km route along the street that divides the Explora Park and Poliforum facilities and the Nou Camp Soccer Stadium.

In this stage, cars will set off one by one, in a race against the clock to be held on Friday, July 10th and Saturday 11th only. On Friday, things will start at around 10:30 a.m., and on Saturday, under the name “Powerade Street Stage”, at approximately 10:50 a.m. It is important to mention that this event will be free of charge.

Safety measures will be very strict and there will be public areas available, though with limited capacity, as well as special areas to accommodate authorized photographers, cameramen and journalists.

Didier Auriol and Brice Tirabassi Sign Up for France

July 3, 2009 by  
Filed under News

The Corona Rally Mexico continues to register world-class drivers. Now, Didier Auriol and Brice Tirabassi have joined forces to form Team France. Each with an impressive record of championships to his name, the two have confirmed their presence in Mexico and expressed their desire to compete in this Rally of Nations, an event they praise for its innovative format.

Didier Auriol is one of the key French names in the rallying world, having been World Champion in 1994 and achieving six victories in one season in 1992, a record that remained unbroken until 2005, when his fellow countryman, Sebastien Loeb, achieved ten.

Having competed for 16 years in the ultimate world rally circuit, Auriol has 20 victories to his name, placing him in seventh place on the list of winning drivers in the World Rally Championship, just behind other major names such as Sebastien Loeb, Marcus Gronholm, Carlos Sainz, Colin McRae, Tommi Makinen and Juha Kankkunen.

Auriol Claimed: “The concept of competing for a nation is a great idea, it gives an extra motivation because you represent your country just like an athlet at the olympic games. On top of that it’s a kind of “flash-back” in the motorsport history when the cars had their country’s color:red for italy, blue for france and so on. About the rally itself I am really looking for it because both Sebastien Loeb and my co-driver Denis told me about the fantastic mountain stages, the very compact route and the beauty of the area, specially Guanajuato. Even if I am not competing so much anymore I have still a strong motivation to win and to bring together with my team mate Brice Tirabassi the best possible result for the french squad.” He finished.

His co-team member in Team France, Brice Tirabassi, is not far behind him, which guarantees a first-rate team. Champion in France in 2002 and World Junior Champion in 2003, Tirabassi has won rallies in his category in Monte Carlo, France and Cyprus.

The 32-year old driver has made it clear that, despite his being this his first rally in Mexico, he has no intention of becoming an also-ran, and expressed how much he is looking forward to enjoying the event and Guanajuato, based on the excellent comments he has heard about both.

Auriol and Tirabassi have praised the format of the event, assuring a worldwide success, where they hope to bring victory to their country.

Final Race of 2009 Jetta TDI Cup Announced

February 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Features

Up until now only nine of the ten events for the 2009 season of the Jetta TDI Cup had been announced. Now Volkswagen of America, Inc. has finally announced the last host in the series of races – Miller Motorsports Park. The track, which is located in Salt Lake City, is set to host Round Three of the event from May 15-17.

The 2009 Jetta TDI Cup is SCCA Pro Racing-sanctioned and fans already know that they can expect top racing from this fantastic auto racing event. Clark Campbell, the Motorsport Manager for Volkswagen of America, Inc., said: “I’m very pleased with the addition of Miller Motorsports Park to our schedule, as it is an excellent circuit to host one of our events. In addition, this race helps us broaden the geographic reach of our series in hopes of spreading the word about the many benefits of clean diesel performance and technology.”

This is only the second season of the still new and young Jetta TDI Cup and it is scheduled to begin at Virginia International Raceway on April 24. The racing action is always exciting since it sees 30 young, undiscovered and unproved drivers take to the track to compete in a series of ten different events on as many as eight different road courses around the country. There is no way of telling what will happen or who will come out on top. The prize money is good, with the series champion taking $100 000 home with him, while each and every driver also gets to earn a Pro Racing license from the SCCA by the end of the season. Drivers are aged between sixteen and twenty-six and the resulting explosion of talent and skill is nail-biting to watch. Competitors in the race are also aware that it is a great opportunity to kick-start their racing careers and they take it very seriously.

Kyle Novak, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup SCCA Program Manager, noted that the 2009 Jetta TDI Cup season would see these young drivers competing on some of the most challenging and illustrious road courses in North America. He said that these circuits would be a “test of driving ability” and that the result of this would be that “drivers will be equipped with the skills necessary to launch their careers in racing.” He added that the events provide “great exposure because they’ll often be racing alongside some of the best road course drivers and teams from Grand-Am and ALMS.” The 2009 Jetta TDI Cup is certainly not one to be missed so start making your arrangements now!

Spa Francorchamps

February 9, 2009 by  
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Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps of Belgium has been described by many as the world’s top motor racing circuit. Host of the renowned Formula One Belgian Grand Prix as well as the Spa 24 hours race, Spa-Francorchamps winds its way along the magnificent Ardennes mountains. A wonderfully challenging course with the famed Eau Rouge complex, the Spa-Francorchamps Formula One circuit is thoroughly enjoyed by F1 drivers and spectators alike.

It was in 1920 Jule de Thier and Henri Langlois Van Ophem came up with the idea of forming a race track in the quiet village of Francorchamps. A triangular circuit was designed along the roads that joined Francorchamps, Malmedy and Stavelot and the new racing circuit of Spa-Francorchamps was set-up for racing in August 1921. Only one competitor registered so the circuit had to be inaugurated by motorcyclists. But 1922 presented a different scenario as motorists began racing on the new track. The exciting 24 Hours of Francorchamps race was established in 1924, and it was also in that year that the Belgian Grand Prix was held at the circuit. The European Grand Prix took place at the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps in 1925. Antonio Ascari in his Alfa Romeo gained the victory that year.

World War II brought a stop to racing at Spa-Francorchamps which became the scene of the famed Battle of Bulge. Fortunately though, racing came back to the F1 circuit in 1947. As time progressed the Spa race track was considered too fast. In 1960 Chris Bristow and Alan Stacey were killed on the track. Jackie Stewart began a campaign to improve safety at Spa-Francorchamps and for a time the Grand Prix was rather held at Nivelles circuit. 1973 was also marred by the death of 3 drivers during the Spa 24 Hours. It was then decided that the track would be redesigned. Finally in 1983 the Spa-Francorchamps was permitted to host F1 again. Today it plays a major part in the world championships.

Spa-Francorchamps F1 circuit has had several modifications over time. Presently it covers a distance of 6.968 km or 4.333 miles with 21 turns. Guiding drivers through the beautiful Ardennes, it is possible to reach speeds greater than 330 km/h. The most impressive section of the Spa-Francochamps circuit is the renowned Eau Rouge/Raidillon combination. Following the La Source hairpin the skilled F1 drivers head down a straight where they hit a steep uphill with left-right-left corners and a blind summit.

The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps was not included on the 2006 Formula One calendar as certain improvements were not yet made due to financial problems. However the circuit was back on the 2007 calendar, and continues to host the annual Formula One Championship event.

Spanish Grand Prix

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Spanish Grand Prix is held annually at the outstanding Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Forming a part of the Formula One championship, the Spanish Grand Prix is attended by large crowds of eager F1 fans. The Circuit de Catalunya certainly provides the ideal setting for a day at the races, with convenient facilities and excellent views of the thrilling Formula One Action.

In October of 1986 the Catalan parliament decided to begin construction on Barcelona’s very own international racing circuit. Following the purchase of a suitable piece of land, work started on the impressive circuit in 1989. The first ever Spanish Grand Prix to be held at Circuit de Catalunya took place in 1991 in the month of September. It was a very exciting race indeed, with Nigel Mansell taking first place.

This is just the recent history of the Spanish Grand Prix though. In fact, racing began in Spain right back in 1908 with the Catalan Cup. A permanent oval was opened at Sitges in 1923. On 28 October 1923 the second Spanish Grand Prix was held (the first had been a decade earlier). The original Spanish Grand Prix did not take place according to the standard Grand Prix formula at that time, its rules were more like those used for touring cars. The next Spanish Grand Prix was only held in 1926. After years of war the F1 World Championship came to Spain in 1951. For some time the Spanish Grand Prix alternated between the F1 circuits of Montjuic and Jarama. Spanish Grand Prix had a revival in 1991 when Circuit de Catalunya was opened. In no time at all the new circuit in Barcelona became a popular testing ground. Today it remains the host of the Spanish Grand Prix.

Circuit de Catalunya’s 15 grandstands ensure that there is plenty of place for spectators during the Spanish Grand Prix. Large screen televisions around the circuit provide outstanding views of all the fast action. Plenty of public transportation is available to arrive at the Grand Prix on time. Certainly, if you have the opportunity, you don’t want to miss the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Spanish Grand Prix at Catalunya consists of 65 laps around the 4.727 km circuit, totalling 307.324 km. The circuit’s lap record is held by Michael Schumacher who set it in 2004 at 1:17:450. Spanish racing hero Fernando Alonso was the 2006 winner of the Spanish Grand Prix. Following is a list of other winners: Kimi Raikkonen (2005, 2008); Michael Schumacher (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004); Mika Hakkinen (1998, 2000); Filipe Massa (2007); and the most recent win going to Jenson Button (2009). The 2010 Spanish Grand Prix is set to take place on 7-9 May, so don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy one of the world’s most exciting sports, in one of the world’s most hospitable countries.

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