Tour de Corse 2018 Preview- Time for Tarmac!

It’s time for round four, and just four points separate Seb Ogier and Thierry Neuville at the top of the points table!


This year’s edition of this classic event has twelve stages totalling 333.48km over the three days, the longest stage being the 55.17 km for Vero – Sarrola – Carcopino run on Sunday and the shortest being the Piedigriggio – Pont de Castirla 2 13,55 km on Friday afternoon.


Friday sees the crews tackle stages that are in the middle of the island, with four stages, but a mammoth 126 km’s. On Saturday, they head to the northern park of the island and tackle the coastal roads, totalling a huge almost 140km’s of stages and then Sunday sees them head south west and the longest stage run and then the power stage.


Last year Kris led until he suffered a mechanical failure with his engine on Saturday afternoon and Thierry came through to take the win.


Seb Loeb is driving again for Citroen, with the second of his outings for this year, but bigger than that is the news that Elfyn Evans’ co-driver Dan Barritt is sitting out this one as he’s still recovering from the high-speed roll that happened in Mexico. Phil Mills’ will be stepping into co-driver seat. Yes, world rally champion co-driver to Mr Hollywood, Petter Solberg. He has been part of Elfyns’ gravel crew for the past five years, which makes him the ideal man for the job!

Tour de Corse Map 2018- Credit to Tour de Corse




8.00am: Shakedown (Sorbo Ocagnano)

6.30pm: Ceremonial start Bastia – Place Saint Nicolas



8.00am: Start in Bastia – Place Saint Nicolas

8.40am: Service A (Bastia airport – 15′)

9.50am: SS 1 – La Porta – Valle di Rostino 1 (49,03 km)

11.09am: SS 2 – Piedigriggio – Pont de Castirla 1 (13,55 km)

1.47pm: Service B (Bastia airport – 30′)

3.12pm: SS 3 – La Porta – Valle di Rostino 2 (49,03 km)

4.31pm: SS 4 – Piedigriggio – Pont de Castirla 2 (13,55 km)

7.01pm: Flexi service C (Bastia airport – 45′)



6.10am: Start of day 2 and service D (Bastia airport – 15′)

7.37am: SS 5 – Cagnano – Pino – Canari 1 (35,61 km)

9.18am: SS 6 – Désert des Agriates 1 (15,45 km)

11.08am: SS 7 – Novella 1 (17,39 km)

1.31pm: Service E (Bastia airport – 30′)

3.21pm: SS 8 – Cagnano – Pino – Canari 2 (35,61 km)

5.02pm: SS 9 – Désert des Agriates 2 (15,45 km)

6.39pm: SS 10 – Novella 2 (17,39 km)

8.10pm: Flexi service F (Bastia airport – 45′)



7.00am: Start of day 3 and service G (Bastia airport – 15′)

9.23am: SS 11 – Vero – Sarrola – Carcopino (55,17 km)

12.18pm: SS 12 – Pénitencier de Coti-Chiavari (16,25 km)

1.33pm: Finish (Ajaccio, avenue de Paris)

3.00pm: Podium (Ajaccio, place du Diamant)

Well, let’s hear from everyone!


M-Sport Ford WRT

Sébastien Ogier

“We’ve had a really positive start to the season – three events and two victories already under our belts. It’s great to see the progress we’ve made, and we’re keen to see that continue with the return to asphalt next week.

“With a lot of mixed conditions in Monte-Carlo, the Tour de Corse is the first proper Tarmac event of the year, and it’s nice to be back. We all know that the competition will be strong, but we completed a good test last week – finding a good feeling and discovering the optimum set-ups to deliver a strong performance

“As a Frenchman, there is always added motivation to do well at the Tour de Corse. Known as the Rally of 10,000 Corners, the name alone says it all and many sections of this island are made for rallying. A lot of the route is new this year, but the stages remain very technical with corner after corner demanding total focus and precision.

“It’s a beautiful island that I always look forward to visiting, and it would be fantastic to secure another strong result on French soil.”

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 -WRC Monte Carlo (FRA) – WRC 24/01/2018 to 28/01/2018 – PHOTO : @World

Elfyn Evans

“This is an event that I really enjoy, and we’ll be looking to maximise that next week. The speed is there, but I’ve not had the best start to the year and that’s something I’m determined to put right in Corsica.

“It won’t be easy without Dan, but his fitness comes first and it’s important that he has the time to make a full recovery for the rest of the season. Phil has stepped in, and I hope that we can push for a good result.

“Phil certainly knows his stuff. Other than Dan, he knows my pacenotes better than anyone and he’s certainly no stranger when it comes to winning rallies.

“This year’s route has a lot of new sections, but it’s still a technical challenge which is one of the things I really enjoy here. There’s quite a lot of variation amongst the stages – some are surprisingly smooth, but then there are those which are typically Corsican with abrasive Tarmac that twists through the mountains.

“It’s all about adapting to the conditions, and that will be the case even more so for us next week. We’ll have a fairly late running order which won’t be ideal, and we’ll need some time to get used to one another in the car as well.

“We’ll just have to see how it goes and do the best we can. I’ve had some good results here in the past, and I’m keen to see what we can do this year.”

Bryan Bouffier

“The Tour de Corse has long been one of my favourite events. The roads are amazing, but so is the island and so are the people who live there. It’s a fantastic rally and one that I look forward to every year.

“We had a good test last week where I found a good feeling with the balance of the car. Working together with the team, we were able to find some good solutions with the set-up, and I hope that hard work will show on the stages next week.

“Every time I return the FIA World Rally Championship the level is extremely high, but this year the competition is stronger than ever and there are so many drivers able to push for the top results.

“The specific challenge in Corsica is to be consistent through the long stages and to avoid mistakes. That is our goal and we hope to deliver some strong times so that I have the chance to do even more kilometres in this amazing car!”


Hyundai Motorsport

Thierry Neuville

“Tour de Corse is one of my personal highlights of the season. We have some good memories from this rally across the years; we have won twice, including last year’s WRC victory so I am hoping for another competitive weekend. We had an accident towards the end of the pre-event test but that won’t change our approach to this rally. We know it will be a close contest again, as there are many quick drivers. The long stages that are a particular characteristic of Corsica mean we have to keep focused at all times. It is a really demanding event for crews and teams but we’re determined to strengthen our position in both championships.”

2017 FIA World Rally Championship
Round 04, Tour de Corse – Rallye de France
06-09 April 2017
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Photographer: Sarah Vessely
Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Andreas Mikkelsen

“Corsica is a very special event, and our first true tarmac rally of the season. As a crew, you never really get any break during the stages; it’s a continuous corner-to-corner challenge that requires utmost concentration. It’s equally tough on the car as it is for the driver and co-driver. It is easy for the brakes to get warm so we have to adapt our driving style to save them for the really long stages. Tour de Corse is a beautiful rally and one I really enjoy.”

Dani Sordo

“I was pleased with our result in Mexico and I hope we can continue with this level of performance as we move onto the tarmac challenge of Tour de Corse. It is a rally I always enjoy, and which requires a very specific approach. With long stages held in the mountains, Corsica really is a classic tarmac event. It’s corner after corner, so we are always turning the steering wheel during the stages, which makes it a very physical event. Precise pace notes are crucial for a good performance. I can’t wait to get started!”


Toyota Gazoo WRT

Jari-Matti Latvala

“I have some good memories of Corsica from my win there in 2015. It is certainly an asphalt rally that I like. There’s a reason they call it the Rally of 10,000 Corners: if you find any straight that is longer than 100 metres, you know you are on the wrong island! You cannot really cut the corners so much and there is not so much gravel on the road, which makes it really enjoyable as you can just focus on the corners and the lines. We had a very, very positive pre-event test. The feeling was extremely good and I am very confident with the car. All of the teams should be quick in Corsica, but I really hope we are up there fighting for the podium places.”

Jari-Matti Latvala finished fourth last year on the roads around Corsica. Photo credit Toyota Gazoo WRT.

Ott Tänak

“We have been competitive on every surface so far this season. The team is working really hard to make sure that we can be reliable too. Now we just need to start taking some points back from our rivals. Last year my feeling in Corsica was quite good, so I want to have a strong result this time. The conditions on Rallye Monte-Carlo were very specific so it was difficult to take a lot, but we still went into our pre-Corsica test with some kind of idea which way we want to go. We had a proper two-day test and I think we went in the right direction: It feels like the car is performing well.”

Esapekka Lappi

“I have done Corsica a couple of times in the past in other categories, and I would say that it is completely different to any other rally. It is just corner after corner, without many straights to give us a rest. The schedule is also unique as we don’t have as many stages, but they are quite long. This will be my first time in Corsica in a World Rally Car, but I take confidence from the speed we showed in Monte Carlo. In fact, I am actually more confident this time because we managed to find a better set-up in the pre-event test. We tested in both damp and fully dry conditions so we should be ready whatever the weather.”


Citroen Abu Dhabi WRT

Kris Meeke

“The Tour de Corse is one hell of a challenge, with many difficulties, but I’ve always enjoyed racing here. We were very competitive here last year, although we have seen since the start of the season that everyone has made progress, but I hope we can still get among the frontrunners. Our pre-event tests, held on a wide variety of roads, were very productive. I get the feeling that we have progressed further on the dirty and bumpy sections. In any case, I came away from my test sessions pleased with the work done and I can’t wait now to get started!”

Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle led last year until Saturday afternoon. They’ll want to make the finish this year. Photo credit, Citroen Racing

Sébastien Loeb

“Having recently driven the C3 WRC on gravel, I got my bearings very quickly during our tests in Corsica, even though the road surface was different. I started with Kris’ basic set-up and settled upon something very close to his settings pretty quickly, but which suited me. The feeling was pretty good at the end of my testing days. We’ll have to wait and see where we stand in relation to everyone else. After our performance in Mexico, I hope we will be on the pace again, especially as I’ve always been comfortable on tarmac, not least in Corsica. In any case, it’s a place and an event that I have always enjoyed, even if it’s certainly not the easiest rally. The roads are apparently faster than when I last competed here, although there are still plenty of narrow, technical and bumpy stages, but they are all going to be new for me so it won’t be easy to make pace notes for the entire route.”

As a nice tribute to Henry Hope-Frost, the M-Sport team will be running with the hashtag #Fever and also the names of his sons on their cars.

Just a few days now then to the start of this iconic event. Who will win this year? Enjoy!

The Only Night Race of the Year: MotoGP Qatar- Part Two

For the second part of this preview for the MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar, we will look at Honda, who enjoyed a fantastic preseason, the contrast in Ducati, Aprilia’s promise, Suzuki’s resurgence and the continued rise of KTM.

The same cannot be said for Honda, who had an almost perfect preseason. Apart from a few, somewhat expected, crashes from Marc Marquez, and a few


from Dani Pedrosa (including two in one day in Qatar), the nine days of preseason testing were pretty much dream-like for HRC. Reigning World Champion Marquez was as fast as ever, especially in Sepang and Buriram, and his pace was backed up by Repsol teammate Pedrosa, who was fastest at the end of the Thailand test, and the third factory Honda of LCR’s Cal Crutchlow. Furthermore, rookie Takaaki Nakagami and Franco Morbidelli both had extremely impressive preseasons, particularly the Japanese. And Tom Luthi looked good too, especially considering he missed the Valencia test and a chunk of the winter thanks to the injury which cost him the Moto2 championship he sustained on Saturday at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Tom Luthi


All this points to the increased rideability of the 2018 RC213V compared to its predecessors, and this makes the prospect of beating Marquez to this year’s championship all the more daunting for his rivals. However, even the Honda had a bit of a struggle in Qatar, as has been traditional since 2015, with Marquez claiming the Losail International Circuit to be one of the more challenging for HRC. This is positive for the competition, as it shows there will be weak points through the season for everyone – Yamaha struggled in Thailand (at least, more than at the other circuits), Ducati too (at least in comparison to Sepang and Qatar), and Honda had a more difficult time in Losail.

With this in mind, it is perhaps time to say something which was the case last season from Mugello onwards – the Ducati is the best bike, or, at least the best all-rounder, especially with Andrea Dovizioso twisting the throttle. The Italian is without doubt in the best phase of his career, and it is worth remembering that last season his championship challenge only started in Mugello – this year it will begin in Qatar. Dovizioso is without doubt the biggest and most likely challenger to the crown of Marquez, and is probably the favourite for the win in Qatar, considering previous form as well as his pace in testing. In addition, it is hard to find a rider in the world who is happier with their life on and off track at the moment than Dovi, and that should make for a pretty lethal combination.

Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/ Ducati).
copyright: GEPA pictures/ Christian Walgram via redbull content pool

In contrast, Jorge Lorenzo’s preseason went from a lap record in Sepang to a plethora of unanswered questions in Qatar, via technical issues in Thailand. By no means is Lorenzo in the kind of hole he inhabited at the beginning of last season, but equally he is not completely comfortable with the GP18, particularly over a race distance. Still, the Spaniard remains sure that the GP18 is a step forward from last year, and that it is a matter of dialling the setup to his style to allow his to fight for victories.

The situation is slightly critical for Lorenzo, because of Danilo Petrucci’s form. The Italian came into 2018 knowing that in order to win he needed to adjust his style to better conserve the tyre, and so far in preseason it looks like he is doing that to some success. Petrucci is one of three satellite team riders who have a real chance of majorly upsetting the factories this season, along with Crutchlow and Zarco. His form in the second half of last season was stellar, and a continuation of that into this year will put him in the frame for victories. The reason this is a little bit alarming for Jorge is that it is Danilo who is trying to claim his seat in the factory Ducati squad. Although, it must be said that Ducati seem quite keen to retain their current line-up for 2019.

Of course, if Petrucci’s efforts to take the second Ducati for next season are in vein, the destination for the Italian will likely be Aprilia. The Noale manufacturer have a new engine arriving for this race, and the hope is that it will rectify to a large extent the RSGP’s biggest current flaw: acceleration. Both Aleix Espargaro and Scott Redding have been full of praise for the Aprilia’s chassis, but the complaints are the same as last season – that the bike does not have enough power low down, and is sluggish on corner exit. Last year, though, the Aprilia shone in Qatar, with spectacular tyre life, as Espargaro finished in sixth place just a few tenths behind Dani Pedrosa on the factory Honda. A repeat this season would be a welcome beginning for Aprilia, especially so soon after the death of Ivano Beggio, the man who gave the like of Rossi and Max Biaggi their chances, and also Ralf Waldmann, who won his last race – the incredible 250cc Grand Prix at Donington in 2000 – aboard an Aprilia.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the preseason, in a good way, has been the speed of Suzuki. They arrived in Thailand with a new fairing, and since then both Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone have had a good speed. Also, Iannone’s speed at last year’s Qatar round, before he crashed at least, was extremely good, and he qualified second on the grid (with debatable legitimacy). Whilst this could be a good sign for this year’s race, there are concerns from the riders, especially Iannone, about the GSX-RR’s race pace. They have four free practice sessions to sort out their problems, and if they can, they could be in the fight for the top positions this weekend.

Pol Espargaro
copyright: redbull content pool

Finally, KTM. Their preseason was interrupted by Pol Espargaro’s crash in Sepang which caused him to miss all of the Thailand test and the first day of the Qatar test. Even still, they managed to test a bunch of new parts, particularly with the chassis, and rectify the corner entry issues that arose in Sepang. Their signing of Tech 3 as a satellite team for 2019 puts them in a secure position with respect to the future, and so the factory can firmly focus on the development of the RC16 for this season, and continuing their progress towards the front. Remember Qatar last year? KTM were over thirty seconds off the win. Going into this season’s race in Losail, it would be surprising if they were further away than ten seconds, and it would not be a surprise to see at least one of the Austrian bikes was inside the top ten.

2018 is set to be an incredible season of MotoGP, and it all gets underway this weekend in Qatar – and it should be a thriller. Oh, and it might rain.

Beitske Visser for International Women’s Day 2018

As part of our marking of International Women’s Day, we talked to the
promising young Dutch racer, Beitske Visser, on her impressive karting
career, her brief spell at Red Bull, her new partnership with BMW and

Emily Inganni: What first got you into racing?
Beitske Visser: My father used to race in touringcars, and when I was 3 he did a 24h race in karting and I saw a little baby kart and since then I was asking for that kart. my parents found me a bit too young then but on my 5th birthday I finally got it and went directly to the track and started

EI: How did the racing community take to you as a woman? – Were you treated any differently?
BV: I have been in the racing world since I was 5 so I grew up in this world and it’s normal to me, for sure sometimes there are people thinking that I’m not as good just because I’m a girl but as soon as you show you are quick and up there they will respect you.

EI: After such a successful karting career, how did you find the transition to single seaters?
BV: There are a lot of new things you need to learn, but it’ll soon feel normal

EI: What did you learn from Red Bull and what’s it like seeing the likes of Carlos Sainz now in F1?
BV: I learned a lot there, they help you with everything you need also between the races, like physical training and simulator time

EI: You are now part of BMW’s junior programme; how does their programme differ from Red Bulls. How did it feel to win your first race for BMW in the GT4 Series last year?
BV: The main difference is that Redbull prepares you for formula 1 and BMW prepares you for GT, DTM or Formula E.
It was amazing to win in Barcelona, BMW worked very hard to prepare the GT4 and then this was the debut for the car in a race, so to win it immediately is an amazing feeling

EI: Do you have any special number that you like to race with?
BV: No, I don’t really mind the number, but I prefer not to have nr 13

EI: Was there ever a point where you thought you would have to give up racing entirely?
BV: At the end of every year there is Always some time that you don’t know what is going to happen next but I never had the feeling that I had to give up racing, I Always kept working hard to try and achieve what I wanted to race the next year

EI: What has been the best moment of your career so far?
BV: I don’t really have 1 best moment, There are quite a few moment in my career which are really good memories

EI: What’s your goal for 2018 and beyond? – Where do you want to get to?
BV: I can’t say jet what I’m driving this year but for the long term I would love to go to DTM or Formula E

EI: Finally, what advice do you have for anyone looking to start racing?
BV: Just keep enjoying what you are doing and then the speed and results will come

Rally Mexico 2018 Preview- Who will conquer the gravel?

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 -WRC Mexico(MEX) – WRC 08/03/2017 to 12/03/2017 – PHOTO : @World


The WRC heads for much warmer climes in Mexico after the snow and ice of Monte and Sweden! Thierry Neuville leads the championship after a brilliant drive last month. Seb will want to fight back on the classic stages that make this incredible event. Its held at over 2,200 metres, and this has a very big effect on engine performance, with every 1000 metres leading to a 10% loss of engine power.


Big news is that a certain nine-time World Champion will be making his return with Citroen in Mexico, but this does mean that Craig Breen will not be competing, and that is a shame considering his drive to second in Sweden. Last year, Kris Meeke won this rally and he’ll be hoping he can do the same again to get his season going. Certainly, the car will go a lot better this year with the handling problems sorted.


Toyota suffered last year as well, but with a whole event completed and a year to work on their car will almost certainly feature near the front with the combined talents of Jari-Matti, Ott and Esapekka.


Here’s the details then of the stages that await them!

Stagelocal time (mexico)gmt
Thursday 8th March
shakedown (Llano Grande)9:0015:00
Start day 1 (Leon)18:150:15
SS 1 – Monster Street Stage GTO (2,53 km20:082:08
End of day 121:383:38
Friday 9th March
Start day 2 and Service A (Leon – 15 min)9:3015:30
SS 2 – Duarte – Derramadero 1 (26,05 km)10:3316:33
SS 3 – El Chocolate 1 (31,44 km)11:2117:21
SS 4 – Ortega 1 (17,23 km)12:4118:41
SS 5 – Street Stage Leon 1 (1,11 km)14:0220:02
Service B (Leon – 30 min)14:4220:42
SS 6 – Duarte – Derramadero 2 (26,05 km)16:0022:00
SS 7 – El Chocolate 2 (31,44 km)16:4822:48
SS 8 – Ortega 2 (17,23 km)17:4123:41
SS 9 – Autodromo de Leon 1 (2,30 km)20:062:06
SS 10 - Autodromo de Leon 2 (2,30 km)20:112:11
Flexi Service C (Leon – 45 min)21:263:26
Saturday 10th March
Start day 3 and Service D (Leon – 15 min)7:3013:30
SS 11 – Guanajuatito 1 (30,97 km)8:3314:33
SS 12 – Otates 1 (26,37 km)10:1116:11
SS 13 – El Brinco 1 (9,98 km)11:0817:08
Service E (Leon – 30 min)12:4818:48
SS 14 – Guanajuatito 2 (30,97 km)14:2120:21
SS 15 – Otates 2 (26,37 km)15:3421:34
SS 16 – El Brinco 2 (9,98 km)16:4822:48
SS 17 – Autodromo de Leon 3 (2,30 km)17:3823:38
SS 18 – Autodromo de Leon 4 (2,30 km)17:4323:43
Flexi Service F (Leon – 45 min)18:330:33
SS 19 – Street Stage Leon 2 (1,11 km)20:262:26
Sunday 11th March
Start day 3 and Service D (Leon – 15 min)7:3013:30
SS 11 – Guanajuatito 1 (30,97 km)8:3314:33
SS 12 – Otates 1 (26,37 km)10:1116:11
SS 13 – El Brinco 1 (9,98 km)11:0817:08
Service E (Leon – 30 min)12:4818:48
SS 14 – Guanajuatito 2 (30,97 km)14:2120:21
SS 15 – Otates 2 (26,37 km)15:5421:54
SS 16 – El Brinco 2 (9,98 km)16:3822:38
SS 17 – Autodromo de Leon 3 (2,30 km)17:3823:38
SS 18 – Autodromo de Leon 4 (2,30 km)17:4323:43
Flexi Service F (Leon – 45 min)18:270:27
SS 19 – Street Stage Leon 2 (1,11 km)20:262:26

Let’s hear from the drivers then!

Hyundai Motorsport

2017 FIA World Rally Championship
Round 03, Rally Mexico
08-12 March 2017
Dani Sordo, Marc Marti, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Photographer: Sarah Vessely
Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Thierry Neuville

“We head to Mexico on the back of our fantastic win in Sweden, so our motivation and morale could not be higher. Mexico is a nice event and one that brings back good memories. I got my first podium there in 2013, and then scored Hyundai Motorsport’s first ever podium just one year later. The rally has a more relaxed atmosphere, and it’s generally a lot calmer for the drivers. We arrive a bit earlier than normal in order to acclimatise and adjust to the time difference. It is the first event of the year with higher temperatures – and altitude – making it a unique and enjoyable challenge.”

Andreas Mikkelsen

“Rally Mexico is an event I’ve done three times in the past. It’s a beautiful rally with stages that are similar from one season to the next, so we know them well. It is always a warm event, so we have to take extra care of the brakes. It is also quite a rough rally, which means it very easy to make a mistake. There is typically a lot of road cleaning, and with stages being held at altitude the engine is down on power, so it requires a slight change of driving style. After finishing on the podium in Sweden, our first one with Hyundai Motorsport, I’m ready to fight for another strong result.”

Dani Sordo

“I was pleased to see the team score its first win of the season in Sweden, and I am happy to be returning to the line-up for Rally Mexico. I have always enjoyed driving on the Mexican stages, which are lined with many passionate rally fans, who cheer and support us throughout the weekend. Road cleaning in Mexico can create a big difference between those first on the road and those behind. I hope we can benefit a bit from our position and compete near the front to help the team defend our manufacturers’ championship lead.”


Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Jari-Matti Latvala

“I always like going to Mexico and enjoying the warmth and the sun for the first time after the winter. The stages have sections that are very fast and sections that are very slow, and there are a lot of loose rocks off the line so you have to be precise with your driving. If we can finish on the podium that would be really good for the championship. It’s clear that the performance is there in the car. We had a good gravel test in Spain last week: of course, in Mexico it is going to be warmer but it is the best you can do in Europe at this time of the year. We had some updates to the suspension and I could feel that the traction and the grip under braking are better than what we had at the end of last year.”

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 -WRC Mexico(MEX) – WRC 08/03/2017 to 12/03/2017 – PHOTO : @World

Ott Tänak

“Rally Mexico will be my first event on gravel in the Yaris WRC. I have many new things to learn, but we had two days of testing in Spain last week which were very useful. We tried as many different things as possible, just to understand how the car reacted. The early feeling with the car on gravel is quite good: there are still some things to get used to and some things that we can develop. In Mexico we will have a better road position, starting fifth. The road sweeping has a big effect there, so this should help us. I have quite a bit of experience in Mexico now, so I feel comfortable going there and I think we have a good chance to fight for the top positions.”

Esapekka Lappi

“This will be the first time that I have competed in Mexico, although I did do the recce last year so I have some idea of what to expect. The surface is similar to the gravel roads in Spain, where everybody has done their pre-event testing, but I think the stages will be much rougher on the second pass. The altitude will also make a big difference: I have never driven those kinds of conditions where the air is really thin. It means there is less power from the engine, so you may have to drive in a slightly different way. I am quite happy with how my season has started and hopefully we can continue that in Mexico. The main target for me though has to be to do every stage and gain that experience for the future.”


Citroen Abu Dhabi WRT

Kris Meeke

“Mexico is a bit like Catalonia, one of the gravel rallies where we were pretty competitive last year. Since then, we have made further improvements to the C3 WRC, so I have high hopes that we can get among the frontrunners. Of course, a lot of our rivals had reliability issues related to the altitude last year and are bound to be a lot better prepared this time around. It’s definitely an event that I like: as the full power of the cars is not available, you have to be as clean as possible in your driving. I’m also pretty pleased with our recent tests. We seem to have made more progress, especially on the dampers in conjunction with Öhlins. That was Sébastien’s impression too. In any case, I’m really looking forward to it. We need to make the most of running seventh on the road on day one – that will be key in getting a good result.”

Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle during last years Rally Mexico. Photo credit, Citroen Racing

Sébastien Loeb

“This is a rally that I have always loved, so I have high hopes I will enjoy these stages in the C3 WRC, which is an exciting car to drive. Other than that, I have the same uncertainties as everyone else: although I hope to be more or less on the pace, I have no idea where I stand in relation to the other drivers, so I can’t wait to get started! You have to bear in mind that this is still the world championship! The other drivers haven’t stood still over the last few years… In any case, I’m pleased with the testing we did. I covered almost 500 kilometres in two days. I found the C3 WRC well balanced and I felt that it had improved again since my last test outing at the end of 2017. I have tried to give myself every chance by spending some time in a DS3 WRC beforehand to get the feeling and my reflexes back, and by watching some onboard video footage from previous rallies. 28% of the course is going to be new to me, compared with just 4% for the others, but that’s pretty positive because it is one of the events I still know best. However, my memories of the 72% that I have driven before go back six years, so I’ve done a little bit of work so that I don’t feel completely disorientated. I hope my position in Friday’s running order (11th) will help me to get my bearings because with the current regulations, you really need to have a good first day, otherwise your rally suffers.”


M-Sport Ford WRT

Sébastien Ogier

There’s always a special feeling when we return to Rally Mexico – because it’s where everything started for me 10 years ago! It was our first event in the world championship, and the story started with victory in the Junior WRC.

“Since then we added a couple of podiums and victories at the highest level which means that I obviously have Rally Mexico in my heart! We’ll for sure do our best to continue this love story with another strong result and are looking forward to the great Mexican atmosphere!

“This might be the first gravel event of the year, but it has its own unique character which sets it apart from the more traditional gravel rallies. The altitude is higher than anything else we experience throughout the year and the thinner air means a lot less power than we’re used to.

“Those conditions – linked with the pretty high temperatures – are practically impossible to reproduce in Europe which means we are counting even more than usual on the job done by our engineers in the climatic chamber to get the maximum performance.

“The loose gravel can also pose something of a challenge for the early runners and, even though we won’t be the first car on the road next week, there will still be a lot of fast drivers behind us. We need to try and stay as close as we can on Friday morning. Then, we can see where we are and push for the best possible result.”

Seb Ogier, M-Sport Ford. Photo credit MFORN Studio.

Elfyn Evans

“Rally Mexico is an event that I really enjoy. It’s such a colourful rally with a great atmosphere and we’ve done well there in the past. It’s one of those events where a clever run can deliver the results. You need to get the balance between speed and risk just right, and that’s exactly what we’ll be aiming for next week.

“When you think about this event two things come to mind – the heat and the altitude. We’ve got to get quickly acclimatised to the environment – both in terms of our physical fitness and our driving style. The thinner air can see the power reduced by as much as 20 percent so you’ve got to be tidy and keep the momentum through the corners.

“We’ll have a good road position, but that’s not without its challenges as there’s an added risk of rocks being pulled onto the racing line. We’ll need to stay focused and hopefully we can deliver a strong result to kick-start our 2018 campaign.”

Teemu Suninen

“Mexico is one of the special events on the calendar where we face some really extreme conditions. The weather is always warm, and the high altitude means that we feel the lack of oxygen. It has an effect on the drivers, but also on the cars with 20 percent less power than the more traditional gravel events.

“It’s a shame that the winter weather prevented us from testing, but that’s the way it goes sometimes and we will have to make good use of the Shakedown to get accustomed to the feeling of driving here in Mexico.

“It’s difficult to estimate our chances next week. I won the WRC 2 class here a few years ago, but this year will be completely different and I expect the competition to be really tough. I’ll try to concentrate on my own driving and then we will see where we are.”


After two rounds and two different winners, who could win this event? Road position will have a big impact on the kind of pace that the drivers will able to produce on the stages. Then there’s the thin air…. All the teams have done a lot of work to minimize the effects of this on these unique stages!


Billy Whizz – Billy Monger On His Return To Racing, Lewis Hamilton & More | Mobil 1 The Grid

Check out the newest video from Mobil 1 The Grid in which British F4 driver Billy Monger tells the story of his road to recovery, his dream of racing in F1 and the inspirational role both Lewis Hamilton and Alex Zanardi have had on his journey back into racing.

Billy on Lewis: “He’s made a big impact on me. When I was 8 years old, watching Lewis win World Championships, I wanted to be like him… I wanted to be an F1 World Champion. When I went to the British Grand Prix with him, he was everything I’d hoped he’d be. He was really supportive, he gave me as much as time as he could… He just encouraged me to keep going with my dreams.

Billy on the future: “The dream’s always been the same… the ultimate goal’s to become an F1 World Champion. Whether that’s possible now or not, I won’t know unless I try, so I’m gonna give it my best shot. If I make a difference to one person’s life who’s in a similar position to me, for them to go out and try a sport that they loved doing before but don’t think they can do now… If I just make that difference to one person, then everything I’m doing here is worthwhile.”

Make sure that you follow Mobil 1 The Grid:

McLaren and Ferrari launch 2018 challengers

Ferrari and McLaren have unveiled their 2018 cars in the usual array of colour, glitz and glamour.
Ferrari, who retain Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen as a driver line up, have gone for their familiar colour scheme of largely red for their SF71H, with white appearing on their sleek gearbox cover.
McLaren meanwhile remain in papaya orange, although their secondary colour has changed from black to blue with seemingly little reference to their change in engine suppliers

The Scuderia will be hoping to go one better than last season when Vettel was runner up to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in the race for the championship.

The new Prancing Horse features subtle aerodynamic differences around the rear of the car, with a longer wheelbase and larger, more aggressive extra pieces around the sidepods.

McLaren have undergone much wider aerodynamic and chassis changes to incorporate the Renault Power Unit after switching from Honda for this season, as Technical Director Tim Goss explains.

“There are two families of engine out there; the Mercedes and Honda concept, with the compressor at the front of the engine, turbine at the back, MGU-H sat in the vee; and the Ferrari and Renault approach, where the turbo-charger is at the back of the engine, and the MGU-H sits forwards into the vee.

McLaren Media

“ I’m actually quite a big fan of the Renault approach. Making the switch had a big impact on the installation of the engine. The advantage of the Renault layout means that we can push the engine forwards, but then you have the compressor at the back of the engine, so you’ve got to get the outlet pipes forward without impacting the packaging.

“We had to redesign the back of the chassis, the gearbox bell-housing area, the rear suspension, and the cooling layout. That was two weeks of intense effort to get right. So now we’ve got a really tidy packaging solution; the gearbox and rear suspension designers did an unbelievable job to redesign everything.”

With the Renault Power Unit upwards of a second per lap faster than Honda last year, McLaren expect their car to challenge for points and possible podiums.

Rally Sweden- Thierry and Hyundai Triumph!

On Sunday, Thierry and Nicolas had a good gap and just three stages to clear before they could take their first Swedish victory. The gap to Craig stood at just under 23 seconds and that meant he’d be able to just manage his pace.


The first stage of the day, Likenäs, saw another stage victory for Ott Tanak, with Lappi second fastest and Jari-Matti third. This allowed Lappi to take fifth place from Mads. Meantime, Craig closed a few seconds down on the leader and the gap was now 14 seconds. Rejoining after his troubles after yesterday, Kris spun again after clipping the inside of a snowbank.


The same stage was run later and this time Lappi took the stage victory, with Thierry second fastest and Craig, having made some changes to his notes with Scott was third, and with that increasing the gap over Andreas on the overall leaderboard a further three seconds to almost fifteen seconds. After setting such a good time, Lappi had now closed to just three seconds of Hayden! Could he snatch fourth on the last stage?


We had a bit of a wait for the last stage, which was set to run just after midday. The re-run of Torsby as the power stage saw Lappi once more at the top, with Seb, Andreas, Thierry and Ott completing the top five in the stage and taking the points for those positions.


Well, we had or top three overall and taking his and Hyundai’s first Swedish victory was Thierry, with Craig Breen finishing second after a superb drive to second, his best result yet! Andreas made it a Hyundai 1-3 double podium! Not only that, but Thierry took the lead in the driver’s championship and Hyundai also now lead the manufacturers championship for the first time ever.


Overall Classification- Rally Sweden

  1. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 2:52:13.1
  2. Craig Breen / Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +19.8
  3. Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +28.3
  4. Esapekka Lapp / Janne Ferme (Toyota Yaris WRC) +45.8
  5. Hayden Paddon / Sebastian Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +54.4
  6. Mads Østberg / Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +1:15.3
  7. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2:04.9
  8. Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2:52.2
  9. Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3:44.4
  10. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +8:45.4


Let’s hear from the drivers starting with the top three.


Thierry Neuville

“An incredible result! We had a disappointing start to the season in Monte-Carlo, but we didn’t let that get us down. We kept focused and targeted a strong result here in Sweden. We knew the competition would be tough for the win but we came here with the objective to bounce back, and we did that perfectly. We didn’t expect to take the lead so early in the weekend, so we have had to be clever to defend the gap at times, and then increase it when we could. I felt we deserved the win last year, but perhaps even more so this weekend. I was never going to push in the Power Stage because the victory meant too much to risk, so to come away with two extra points is great. We’re now leading the championship, so our 2018 campaign is back on track. Thanks to everyone in the team. We have many people working tirelessly every day behind the scenes to give us a competitive car, one with which we can fight for victories like this. This win is for all of them; it’s been a fantastic weekend for us.”

2018 FIA World Rally Championship
Round 02, Rally Sweden
15-18 February 2018
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Photographer: Austral
Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Craig Breen

“I’m absolutely on top of the world! It has been an incredible weekend. I have always really enjoyed this rally in the past, but I have to say that I surprised myself this weekend in that I was able to fight at the front throughout the race, without making any mistakes. I used to think that quick rallies weren’t suited to me, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. In any event, my C3 WRC was perfect here and it’s great to secure this result for the team – the guys have worked really hard for this.”

Craig and Paul scored their best ever result finishing second in Sweden. Photo credit Citroen Racing

Andreas Mikkelsen

“It is a fantastic feeling to be standing on the podium for the first time with Hyundai Motorsport. We have had a pretty solid weekend and enjoyed a clean final morning. I wanted to give a push in the Power Stage but it’s always a fine line as we definitely didn’t want to risk our podium. In the end, we took three points and third place overall, which is very encouraging. More than that, it has been an excellent weekend for the team as a whole, and our congratulations go to Thierry and Nicolas on a tremendous result.  It’s wonderful to be able to share in this success, and to see the team at the top of the championship, even at this early stage in the season.”


Here’s the rest of the drivers.


Toyota Gazoo WRT

Jari-Matti Latvala

“It has been a very hard weekend for me. We just lost so much time on the first day with our high starting position in the fresh snow and the heavy ruts. We changed the transmission for the final day and this improved the feeling compared to yesterday. The team did a very good job and the car was handling very well. It is both quick and reliable and that is important.”


Ott Tänak

“This has been a tough weekend. On Friday we faced some bad conditions and couldn’t have done much more. On Saturday our road position was slightly better, the pace was better as a result and we could win quite a few stages. Then today when the conditions were in our favour we could do some more good times. This was my first rally in the Toyota Yaris WRC with a gravel-style setup and we have learned a lot of things.”


Esapekka Lappi

“To get the Power Stage win and gain two places today has been very good. I’m really happy for the team as well: at least we got some kind of good result from this weekend. It means I’m not so disappointed anymore about what happened to me on Friday. It’s so easy to make a mistake here. Overall the whole rally was quite strong. I wasn’t expecting this kind of speed from my side, so I’m really looking forward to coming back here next year.”

Esapekka Lappi, Toyota Gazoo WRT. Photo credit Toyota


Hyundai Motorsport

Hayden Paddon

“An annoying end to what had been a generally positive weekend for us. It was just a small mistake in the Power Stage, which stalled the car and lost us too much time to defend our fourth place. It is what it is. We’re not in the championship hunt this season so whether it’s fourth or fifth doesn’t really matter greatly. We have plenty of positives to take away from the event and I am looking forward to continuing this trend in my next WRC event in Portugal. I’m happy to have been part of this competitive rally for the team and I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel.”


Citroen Abu Dhabi WRT

Mads Østberg

“I’m delighted with my return to the team. I wasn’t expecting to be able to fight for such a good position with the limited amount of miles we covered in testing. I hope that the team is pleased with what we have done with this first experience together. I know that with more time in the car, I can be even more competitive with the C3 WRC. In any case, I would love to drive it again soon!”


Kris Meeke

“It was a difficult rally for us. With our less than ideal position in the running order on Friday, I had trouble finding any confidence, which meant that we ended up being one of the first on the road on Saturday. I was nonetheless working hard to secure the point for tenth place when we nosed into a snow bank at low speed and damaged the turbo. It was really unlucky. I’m determined to bounce back, starting in Mexico. Out of the next four rallies, I have already won three of them and I was leading in Corsica last year as well.”



M-Sport Ford WRT

Teemu Suninen

“It’s been a difficult rally, but we’ve been improving a lot and learning a lot about how to drive these cars on this surface – because it’s quite different from the R5 cars. The target before the rally was to be somewhere between fifth and eighth, and we’re eighth so it’s okay. But of course, I was hoping for a bit more. We just need to improve the driving and learn more about how to be fast in these conditions.”


FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 -WRC Sweden (SWE) – WRC 15/02/2018 to 18/02/2018 – PHOTO : @World

Sébastien Ogier

“For years now, I have been fighting for different rules regarding the starting order. In the end, this is a World Championship and everyone tries to do their best and take every chance that there is to win points.

“At least on this stage [the Power Stage] we had the chance to score some points. I would have preferred to have come here with a realistic chance of fighting for the win or even a podium, but that was not possible from the beginning of this weekend.”


Elfyn Evans

“It’s not been the easiest of weekends. It’s probably fair to say that we were struggling for some pace through the early stages, but then when the puncture set us back we didn’t have any chance with the road position. It’s certainly not the weekend we wanted, so we just need to put it behind us and look forward to Mexico.”


Well, what an amazing rally we were treated to! A maiden victory for Thierry and Hyundai in Sweden, plus Craig Breen’s best ever result with second place. Also, Esapekka making up for his slip in Monte’s last stage with a very good drive to fourth!  It was great to see Hayden out there for the first time this year.

We’ve now got a break with Rally Mexico on the first weekend of March where Thierry and Seb will continue to battle. Will it just be them, or can Kris produce a drive like last year and bring himself into a title fight?

2018 FIA World Rally Championship
Round 02, Rally Sweden
15-18 February 2018
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Photographer: Austral
Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Drivers Championship Standings

  1. Thierry Neuville – 41
  2. Sébastien Ogier – 31
  3. Jari-Matti Latvala – 23
  4. Esapekka Lapp – 23
  5. Ott Tänak – 21
  6. Andreas Mikkelsen – 21
  7. Craig Breen – 20
  8. Kris Meeke – 17
  9. Hayden Paddon – 10
  10. Elfyn Evans – 8


Manufacturers Championship Standings

  1. Hyundai Motorsport – 54
  2. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC – 53
  3. Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team – 46
  4. M-Sport Ford World Rally Team – 43

Erstes Topteam 2018: Red Bull zeigt RB14

Daniel Clerihew/Red Bull Content Pool

Nach Haas und Williams präsentierte heute Red Bull als erstes Topteam, den neuen Einsatzwagen für die Saison 2018. Da Red Bull für ausgefallene Ideen bekannt ist, war es nicht verwunderlich dass alle Augen heute morgen vor einem ersten Shake Down in Silverstone auf den RB14 gerichtet waren.

Das erste was in das Auge fiel und ein großen Unterschied zum Vorjahreswagen darstellte, war die Lackierung: Ein mattes, futuristisches Design im schwarz/blauen Pixellook. Es ist eine radikale Änderung – doch bevor man zu sehr in Euphorie verfällt, sollte man beachten, dass das nur eine Lackierung für die Testfahrten in Barcelona ist. Der altbekannte Red Bull Stil aus Blau, Gelb und Rot wird wohl bereits nach den Testfahrten zurückkehren.

Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Es ist nicht das erste Mal, dass Red Bull mit einem solch’ ausgefallenen Design bei den Testfahrten auftritt – bereits 2015 sorgte das Team mit dem Cameolook für Aufsehen. Ob es am Ende wirklich was bringt, dass die Details vor der Konkurrenz verhüllt bleiben, wird man abwarten müssen.

Vom Auto selbst, ist die größte Änderung natürlich das Halo, welches gut an die Lackierung angepasst wurde und somit kaum sichtbar ist. Ansonsten wäre da noch die Vorderradaufhängung.  Diese wurde an jene von Mercedes und Ferrari angepasst, während das Loch in der Nase vom Vorjahreswagen geblieben ist. Aerodynamisch gesehen hat der RB mit dem Auto welches im Vorjahr präsentiert wurde, wenig zutun. Die Handschrift von Adrian Newey ist wieder erkennbar. Wirkte der Vorjahreswagen für Red Bull Verhältnisse fast schon nackt, sind nun wieder deutlich mehr Flügel zusehen. Damals startete Red Bull holprig.

Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

2017 stellte sich bekanntlich als Enttäuschung heraus. Sollte eine Aerodynamische Regelrevolution den Bullen eigentlich in die Karten spielen, verpasste man am Saisonstart den Anschluss.  Erst mit einem großen Aerodynamikupdate zum Spanien GP, schaffte es die Truppe aus Milton Keynes die Lücke zu Ferrari und Mercedes zu schließen. Doch dort war es bereits zu spät.

Ein weiterer Hauptgrund für die Performance 2017 war die schlechte Zuverlässigkeit – etwas wo sowohl Red Bull als auch McLaren von Renault für 2018 Besserung erwarten. Umso höher ist die Erwartung 2018, zumindest intern. Nach außen stapelt man nach dem Lehrjahr 2017 nun tief – Helmut Marko lies bei “Auto, Motor und Sport” verlauten, dass er nicht glaube dass RB 2018 bereits um die WM fahren wird. Ob das auch in Wirklichkeit so ist, darf bezweifelt werden.

Doch in einem hat er Recht: Auf Fahrerseite ist das Team bereits WM tauglich aufgestellt. Daniel Ricciardo wird erneut an der Seite von Max Verstappen fahren.  Der Vetrag des Australiers läuft am Ende der Saison aus, während Red Bull erst vergangenes Jahr den Holländer bis 2020 an sich bund. Der Vorteil dieser Fahrerpaarung ist zweifelsfrei der, dass beide vollkommene Alphatiere sind, während die Konkurrenz von Mercedes und Ferrari neben ihren Starfahrern mit Bottas und Räikkonen jeweils eine Art Nummer 2-Fahrer beschäftigen.

Interessant wird in dieser Saison auch die Motorenfrage: Renault gab laut Medienberichten bereits im Herbst 2017 der Chefetage von RB bekannt, dass man sie nicht 2019 beliefern werde – Mit dieser Frage in Hinterkopf haben die Bullen bis zum Sommer diesen Jahres Zeit, sich einen neuen Partner zu beschaffen – umso mehr hofft man auf einen Aufschwung von Honda mit Toro Rosso.


Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

All diese Faktoren dürften eine Rolle spielen, wie das Jahr für RB laufen wird. Wenn sie gegen Mercedes und Ferrari kämpfen, werden beide Fahrer glücklich sein.

Wird Red Bull es mit einer deutlich besseren und organisierteren Vorbereitung als im Vorjahr schaffen, von Anfang an an der Spitze mitzumischen, oder werden sie ein weiteres Jahr nur das Heck von Ferrari und Mercedes bewundern können? Die Zeit wird es zeigen.




Haas VF-18 First Look

While the F1 community has been keenly watching their social media feeds for their favorite teams’ 2018 car reveal dates and marking off the days until Williams Martini Racing’s announced reveal on 15 February, Haas F1 Team stole a march on everyone. In a delightful Valentine’s Day gift to fans, Haas revealed renderings of their 2018 challenger in a video tweeted at 10:01 AM Eastern time, along with accompanying press releases and web site updatesOne of the only hints of this upcoming reveal was found in an article published on 12 February in Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

Fans, analysts, and the media wasted no time poring over the images.

Although minimized in the initial renderings by being set against a dark background, the Halo fits well with the chassis. The airbox has been modified to accommodate the altered airflow, and there is a small, jagged screen just behind the front pillar of the Halo to influence airflow through the cockpit. Congratulations to Haas’s engineers, aerodynamicists, and designers for rising to meet the many challenges the Halo introduced and producing a good-looking solution.

The nose and front wing are more evolutionary than revolutionary in comparison to those on the VF-17, though clearly developed further. The nose vane shows continued development, and the sidepod vanes have become even more flamboyant along with the bargeboard.

Haas is already taking advantage of technical loopholes, and has included a small wing at the back of the restrained shark fin, above the exhaust. We will likely see similar aerodynamic features from the other teams.

Haas’s partnership with Ferrari shows through in the sidepod inlet design, though Haas’ designers have developed them in a different manner. The partnership with Ferrari open some interesting doors; Craig Scarborough points out that as Haas is using Ferrari suspension uprights, Ferrari won’t be going with a high top wishbone. It may be possible to extrapolate some of the other features on Ferrari’s 2018 car in a similar fashion, and it should be interesting to see what ideas the F1 community puts forth leading up to Ferrari’s 22 February reveal.

Haas F1 Team’s VF-18 is a good-looking machine. While it remains to be seen whether it will deliver on Gene Haas’s goal of being within a half-second of Ferrari, we can’t wait to find out.

All images courtesy of Haas F1 Team.

Would reviving the ToCA Computer Game series be a success?

Do you ever get the feeling of instant nostalgia? You hear a certain song or visit a certain place, and all these fond memories flood your brain. Well how about nostalgia for a video game?

Cast your minds back to 1997, and now renowned video game creators Codemasters release ToCA Touring Car Championship, a game based on the official 1997 season of the British Touring Car Championship. I get instant nostalgia whenever I play this game, the sound of the Super Touring era engines, the somewhat reassuring voice of Tiff Needell, and pure high octane racing.

The question being posed here is; would a reboot of this once iconic franchise bear any fruit?

The original game sold 600,000 copies in the UK and Europe, and helped propel Codemasters to huge success, with a huge stable of critically acclaimed racing games in its catalogue. These include the Colin McRae/DiRT series, the ToCA series, and of course the Formula One games.

The ToCA series was great, the first two games focused completely on the BTCC, offering you arcade modes, hilarious cheat modes, and an enthralling championship mode. While later additions to the series would expand and offer players the chance to test various racing series’.

The pitfalls of the first ToCA games were of course the limitations of software at the time. The PlayStation, god bless it, was revolutionary in the 90’s, but the graphics look a tad dated 20 years later. However with the new generation of gaming allowing for 4K resolution graphics, there’s so much scope for a hugely immersive BTCC themed game.

There are many junior categories under the ToCA name, such as British F4 and the Ginetta Junior Championship. Imagine a career mode where you start at the bottom, in F4, fighting for the championship while being in the same paddock as the likes of Matt Neal, Jason Plato and Colin Turkington?

Having to work up through the junior categories, impressing the big teams and working your way to the BTCC? The Formula One games are proof that Codemasters can do an immersive and rewarding career mode. Should they be able to obtain the licence to the ToCA series again, it could prove to be a hugely successful game.

That all sounds great right? But the counter argument of this is; is there any need or demand for it?

People who have fond memories of the original ToCA games are crying out for a revival of the beloved series, myself included. But with PC games such as iRacing and rFactor facilitating ‘mods’ to create any racing series they want to, does it render the need for a standalone BTCC game pointless?

There are various ‘modifications’ to these games available, even one which replicates the 1998 season perfectly, with faithfully restored cars and updated graphics. Check out this video of the ‘mod’ in action by ‘sim racing’ YouTuber Jimmy Broadbent.

Another possible issue is the global draw. Codemasters’ Formula One games are so successful because F1 is a globally watched sport, while Touring Cars are watched all over the world, thanks in part to the World Touring Car Championship, it is nowhere near as watched as the ‘pinnacle of motorsport’ that is F1.

In spite of these possible drawbacks, the British crowd would lap up a game where they can throw these souped-up road cars round Donington, round Thruxton, round Rockingham with the hope of being BTCC champion.

With the aforementioned career mode, and the ability to play online with friends, two things which the old ToCA games didn’t have, Codemasters could really resurrect the vintage franchise in a brilliant way!

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