Aug 31

Sao Paulo WEC Notebook

Dagys_ 2013_1588731TOYOTA DEBUTS NEW AERO — In a bid for its first victory of the year, Toyota has rolled out with an updated aero package for its solo TS030 Hybrid this weekend in Sao Paulo. The Japanese manufacturer’s high downforce package features modifications to the front wheel arches, engine cover and wing, aimed to better suit the upcoming stretch of races on the FIA World Endurance Championship calendar.

“It’s bodywork that’s suited to the requirements in terms of aero efficiency of this track,” Toyota Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon explained. “Basically, some additional drag but a lot more downforce. This is what we need. Even though there’s a very long straight, you have a lot of low speed corners. Here, you need downforce, not only for pure performance but for consistency.”

According to Vasselon, development of the high downforce kit began before Le Mans and went into production shortly after, prior to a recent two-day test at EuroSpeedway Lausitzring.

So far, the package has seemed to have payed dividends on the high-speed and technical 15-turn, 2.676-mile Interlagos circuit, with the No. 8 entry of Stephane Sarrazin, Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi posting the quickest time on Friday.

Aug 31

Crutchlow Rallies After Rough Saturday Practice

British rider Cal Crutchlow rides his Yamaha Tech 3 during MotoGP practice at Silverstone. (Photo: Getty Images)

British rider Cal Crutchlow rides his Yamaha Tech 3 during MotoGP practice at Silverstone. (Photo: Getty Images)

MotoGP hard man Cal Crutchlow bounced back from a terrifying 140 mph crash to qualify third fastest for his home Grand Prix set for Sunday at Silverstone.

Crutchlow secured his place as rookie sensation Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) scored his fifth pole position of the season.

Aug 31

Marquez Rockets To Pole Position At Silverstone

For 2013, the British round of the championship has been moved from a June date to this August-September weekend. Amid bright sunshine in the English countryside, lap times dropped dramatically courtesy of warmer afternoon temperatures.

Marc Marquez’s remarkable effort sees the Spaniard clinch his fifth pole of the season and third in five Grand Prix weekends, beating Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) by just over one tenth of a second while third-placed Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech3) was a further six tenths in arrears; however this came after two separate crashes for Crutchlow during third practice this morning. The top five was completed by LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, who was the final rider within one second of the pole position time – a new qualifying record.

Aug 31

Marquez Leads FP3 As Crutchlow Crashes Twice

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

As is always the case in Free Practice 3, the top ten riders for Q2 were decided by virtue of their combined best lap times since the start of Friday. Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) posted his personal best this morning, reducing the overall leading pace to 2’02.485 on his first premier class visit to Silverstone. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo – who had been fastest on Friday – was demoted to second, one and a half tenths down, with LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl third and just 19 thousandths in arrears of the reigning World Champion.

Fourth was GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, who had taken pole at Silverstone last year, whereas Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa was fifth but the only rider in the combined top ten to have delivered his best lap on Friday. Sixth was Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso from Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi, with the top ten being completed by Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro (CRT leader).

Aug 30

IndyCar Institutes New Pit Lane Rules After Dixon, Power Mixup

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Nothing is going to change the damaging penalty that Scott Dixon received for inadvertently making contact with Will Power’s Team Penske pit crew last Sunday.

The mishap did, however, prompt IndyCar to install new rules involving drivers and the safety of pit crew members.

Dixon was on his way to victory at Sonoma when he received a drive-through penalty with 15 laps to go for clipping a tire in the left hand of a member of Power’s crew. The incident occurred when Dixon’s Honda left his pit directly behind Power’s Chevrolet.

Dixon was livid after finishing 15th, claiming the pit crew member intentionally got in his way. His stance mellowed Friday — to a degree.

“I’m obviously not as angered. I’d probably take back some of the words I used,” Dixon said. “But still, I think the guy was incompetent, not paying attention, and we don’t need that on pit lane. He’s going to cause somebody else harm. I still feel he should be removed from pit lane or some kind of penalty inflicted on him.”

The new rules instituted Friday addressed that concern, and clearly defined where pit crews should stand during the race.