Adrien Simon’s DS Mathershaw car will be entered under the DS Automobiles Team Vaillante banner for the French V-Prix to celebrate 60 years of the Michel Vaillant comic series. The series is centred around the fictional Vaillante team with their lead driver Michel Vaillant and their adventures around the world racing in various championships.
Adrien Simon was visibly excited during the press conference: “Ever since I was little, I always wanted to race in motorsport, and as a Frenchman, one of the things that first inspired me was the Michel Vaillant comics. It is truly an honour to race under the Vaillante banner, and I want to thank everyone involved for making this happen.”
Team principal Arthur Lapierre was just as pleased: “We’re extremely happy to be running this special livery. In the French-speaking world, Michel Vaillant is a cultural icon, and like Adrien, it was something I grew up with – though I must admit I can remember the first book in the series, but only just! We wanted to make this special, and as part of the commemoration, all of Adrien’s side of the garage will be decorated as DS Automobiles Team Vaillante. We must thank the Formula Virtual organisation for allowing us to do this, and we also think the fans will really enjoy seeing something new on the track!”
Allar Kangur will remain in the usual red car of the DS Mathershaw team for France, with Adrien returning to the normal livery for round 6 and beyond.
Charlotte, North Carolina – FIRST Motorsport have announced a mid-season driver change in a press conference outside of the team’s factory in Charlotte today. Here is a full transcript of the press conference.
In attendance: Adam Blocker, FIRST Motorsport Team Principal
Oleksandr Zozulya, FIRST Motorsport Driver
Seth McCormick, FIRST Motorsport Technical Director
Meteor management have announced that both drivers Stuart Harrison and Johan Halvosen will leave the team by mutual agreement at the end of the coming season
The stewards have taken the time to carefully review the race incidents reported from various camera angles. The following results for each inquiry have been concluded.
The Ocelot team principle has respond back to Formula Virtual CEO Nic Morley following his earlier comments about introducing a budget cap to the sport. ''Now I see how spending 3 million a race can be seen as a budget cap but what I meant was allowing every team to be given the same amount of money to start off with, say every team starts with 25 million to develop their car, i think this would be more level than having it roll on every year as we've seen the bigger strand teams stay at the front because they have so much cash.''
Sure Downton have been behind a few seasons back but that's only because they have been saving their cash for a season of being at the front, the difference is sure all teams can do this but what I was trying to say was why not have every team start with the same amount of utilities and cash? So it's a surprise to see so many different teams be in a shout for the world title rather than say DS, Franklin who have been at the front since the series inception because they have the cash from previous championships.''
''Meaning that when fighting for a title its not for the sake of cash but because of the honor of having your name remembered in a part of history. I personally would just like to see what the series would be like if we gave every team the same resources and we saw the skills of the drivers rather than it be determined by how much cash a team has. Call it crazy but I guess the best analogy for my idea is that the sport is currently capitalist and I'd like to see it turn more towards a socialist structure.''
''However with that said, I think Nic has been doing an excellent job with running the series and admire him for what he has done for both us and the sport.''
Paddock rumours in the wake of the Chinese V-Prix suggest North Star have been in contact with a number of drivers throughout the field, as schism continues to develop between their current drivers Judson Sikes and Aleksy Nowosinki.
Ocelot team principle Rai Miyamoto has expressed his opinion on FV introducing a budget cap. 'I think that this is something that is necessary in the sport as we've had the same 3 or 4 teams pretty much monopolize the sport to their advantage due to the length they have been in the sport. Which in turn has made newer teams struggle, yes we saw FIRST score a podium but this I belive had more to do with luck, and of course some teams have moved forward but I'm talking about a level playing field for everyone where the fans have no idea who'll come up on top. Now that to me sounds far more exciting than the same crop of drivers and teams.''
''Now you can argue that maybe we should do more to try and move up since our rivals have managed this but we don't have the same amount of resources, we aren't as big as everyone seems to think, not to discredit the guys or anything but I seriously think the series needs to look at trying to implement this as the gap in terms of development between the big teams and smaller is an ocean rather than a pond.''
''I hope to see something like this added to the sport by Nic Morley our CEO. As I honestly think we have a more exciting series in our hands if everyone was given the same resources rather than it being who has the largest pocket.''
In a recent press statement, Harry Westwood has slammed the team principal Jamie Franklin for his treatment of an issue in the Chinese V-Prix this weekend.
The midfield team boss had this to say;
"Listen, Ruiz is arguably one of the best drivers on the grid, and Franklin, love them or hate them, are a highly efficient team that have fought for the championship every year they've competed, for a fifth season now. It's why I was so disappointed to find Jamie and Enrique hiding behind a 'gearbox issue', Ruiz simply made a mistake and the car was showing no signs of struggling prior to Ruiz's mistake. It was his mistake, and he needs to own that mistake. The best drivers always look to better themselves, not shift the blame. As for Jamie, well. He's the principal of the most successful team in FV history. We've seen him display a cut throat attitude toward Jochem, a young talent himself, after just two bad performances, yet is happy to create excuses for Ruiz. I believe Franklin are talking a pile of bull****, and it's quite disappointing to see. Both Jamie and Enrique should be working on what Ruiz did wrong, not cowering behind made up excuses."
Dylan Lopez revealed today that James Harding spent the night in hospital due to concussion, caused from the crash including Harding, Karl Beckenbauer and Aleksy Nowosinki. The crash is still under investigation.
Although he was released from hospital on Monday afternoon, the team will be taking no risks with him if he isn't up to scratch to race at the French V-Prix on May 7. Reserve and FV2 driver Viktor Ӧstberg is on standby, and may have to step up from the junior series opening round if Harding is not eligible to race.
Lopez staetd that, "Currently I think it's about a 60/40 chance for Harding to race in France. Thankfully the 2 week break will allow him to go home, rest and recover before we go to the next round of the championship, so we are hopeful he can get up for the race weekend."
The team are expected to take up as much time as they need before making a decision next week at the Paul Ricard Circuit.
Klaas van Snelheid followed up his maiden win last weekend in Japan with his maiden pole position ahead of tomorrow's race in China, but there were shocks aplenty behind him as Arden Hutchinson qualified third for FIRST and Adrien Simon crashed out of qualifying.
Less than seven hundredths of a second separated the top three drivers in practice for the Chinese V-Prix as Adrien Simon led Klaas van Snelheid and Enrique Ruiz.
Lopez have confirmed reserve driver Viktor Ӧstberg will be given his first opportunity to drive the 2017 car during practice at the Chinese V-Prix. He will take the place of James Harding who is currently being reviewed after his incident with Judson Sikes in Japan.
Ӧstberg last drove an FV car when Lopez gave him the 2016 machine during the YDT at Jerez in December. After 2 days of running, he ran a respectable 11th fastest overall in a car that dropped off the face of the earth after Harding snagged the team's first pole position in Round 3.
Ӧstberg revealed he was 'delighted and thankful for the team' after they chose to continue with him over Drake Davies going into 2017 as the sole remaining youth academy driver, while Davies now rides in IndyVirtual for Aggies Racing. It is expected Ӧstberg will get the opportunity to compete in practice at various races during the season.
Rumours did arise that Ӧstberg would race in Japan for Wagner after his crash in Malaysia, but the 2015 champion proved himself fit as he went on to finish 5th in the race, hence continuing his streak along with Carson Davenport, Tumo Kinnumen, and Adrien Simon as drivers who have competed in every race since the series began in 2013.
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