Technoparc Antares, Le Mans
At an event at their new facility in Le Mans, DS Automobiles Team Mathershaw have announced that French mobile phone and telecommunications provider SFR will become the title sponsor of the team from 2019. The news comes after lengthy discussions, and the deal is believed to be the first of a number of new partnerships for the team to add to existing arrangements.
Arthur Lapierre spoke to the assembled media: "We are very pleased to announce that SFR will become our title sponsor from 2019, with them also becoming official telecommunications partner and providing the satellite communications technology for the team between the track and our new facility here at the Technoparc. As two forward facing and innovative companies, we feel the partnership between DS Automobiles and SFR will prove very fruitful indeed."
Additionally, rumours are abound that the team have been working with Michelin with a 2018 spec car ahead of the brand's potential return to the FV grid in 2019, though when pressed, Lapierre simply stated they would support Michelin's return to the sport, while a spokesperson for Michelin declined to comment.
Felix Beyer will replace Tumo Kinnumen at Koenigsegg Team Holmqvist for the upcoming Bahrain V-Prix, with the team citing the Finn had been dropped for his 'unbelievably stupid actions' last time out at Indianapolis.
Allar Kangur took a hard-fought victory in the United States V-Prix one year on from his maiden win. The Estonian was followed home by Will Hoskins who shone in the wet conditions. The Brit held second early on during the wet conditions and judged the weather correctly later in the race to hit the front once again. Puccio Giodano was third after recovering from a poor weekend, the Italian keeping his car on the road. The same however could not be said for Adrien Simon who spun off while battling Hoskins for the lead, leaving him fourth. He did extend his lead in the championship however, after his rival Nathaniel Powers lost his rear wing.
Formula Virtual fan and Scuderia Stars team principle Ahmed Cheema has announced his intentions to attempt to enter the Formula Virtual series next year with his team "Cheema FV Racing". Cheema has been seen at various V-Prixs and has been rumored to be interested in a spot for some time.
Cheema commented, "For sure, Formula Virtual is where you want to be. It's the highest form of motorsport and one of the best sporting events to take place. I've found it quite enjoyable to be running a team in IndyVirtual but I think going to FV would be the next step. The series is also in its best phase, with a very close top field, and the battle between Downton, Mathershaw, Franklin and Ocelot has been exciting to say the least. I think now would be the best time to join it."
Cheema also said a bit about the team itself, "We've been preparing for sometime, we have a whole design team and a car. We're in this for the long run, if we won't get in next year we'll keep on trying to join and improve the team. We have some sponsors and Shell have been kind enough to supply us fuel. We have also been in talks with Ocelot and the FCA ans they have also kindly agreed to supply us with Ferrari engines next year if we get in. We don't want to go into this under prepared and are pushing to the maximum."
After the presentation Cheema and a group of engineers pulled the covers off a concept livery on a current generation car. Time will tell if the team an make their way into the sport, especially with many other people interested. It is fair to say however that the 13th (and possibly more) spot on the grid will be hotly contested.
Much like practice yesterday, torrential rain affected qualifying for the 2018 United States V-Prix, however today it wasn't enough to stop championship leader Adrien Simon heading the field by a whopping nine tenths of a second to claim his third pole position of the season.
Viktor Östberg has topped a session for the first time in his career after making the best of the atrocious conditions during practice at Indianapolis to end up just under half a tenth ahead of Klaas van Snelheid.
Good morning FV fans and welcome to Indianapolis, USA ahead of this weekend’s United States V-Prix, round twelve of the 2018 Formula Virtual season. Joining us in today’s Thursday press conference; on the back row we have Arthur Lapierre of DS Automobiles Team Mathershaw and Dylan Lopez of Lopez FV Team. On the front row are Kaz Armos from Meteor International FV Team, Adam Blocker from FIRST Motorsport, and Adrian Arnello of Arnello Ronson & Milner Autosport. Welcome everyone.
Adrien Simon stormed to his fourth win of the season to retake the lead of the championship ahead of Nathaniel Powers, who started on pole but finished second. The Frenchman jumped the British two-time Formula Virtual champion in the pit-lane during their first stops and never looked back after that, winning by a hefty margin. Puccio Giodano took his first podium since France with third, ahead of Klaas van Snelheid who was fourth after not making the soft tyre strategy work. Allar Kangur, who entered this race with ninety-three points from the last four races, retired with an engine failure, hampering his title hopes.
Nathaniel Powers has taken pole position for the 2018 Canadian V-Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in a closely fought session, only 6 hundredths of a second ahead of team-mate Klaas van Snelheid, handing Downton a 1-2 for the start of tomorrow's race.
Third went to Puccio Giodano, the Ocelot driver again showing strong pace after his fastest time in practice. Adrien Simon returned to the fold after sitting out practice, and seemed not to miss a beat around the circuit he has triumphed twice at, taking fourth but only a single tenth of a second away from pole. Enrique Ruiz was fifth, with Allar Kangur, Ryota Yoshida and Olen Inman ensuring the top 8 was completely filled with the four highest ranked teams in the constructor's standings.
Ingram and Holmqvist line up in formation on rows 5 and 6, while Phoenix continue their recent form with 13th and 15th, themselves, Lopez and North Star all sharing 13th to 18th. Finally, FIRST, AMR and Meteor are line astern occupying the final three rows on the grid.
Full times and classification:
AMR today confirmed that Felix Beyer, who has driven for the team since it's inaugural race, will be leaving the team from the Canadian vPrix onwards, while development of next season's AMR power unit appears to be in jeopardy.
Puccio Giodano came out on top when the chequered flag fell on practice for the Canadian V-Prix, but with the top five separated by less than a tenth of a second, qualifying tomorrow is anyone's game.
Ahead of today’s Canadian V-Prix free practice session, DS Mathershaw have confirmed that Belgian test and development driver Thierry Xylander will participate behind the wheel of Adrien Simon’s car. He will also be present in the United States V-Prix practice, this time using Allar Kangur’s car in a bid to improve data correlation between simulation and real life.
Arthur Lapierre commented on the move in the paddock this morning: “We are excited for Thierry to enter the Canadian and United States V-Prix in free practice. As part of his role as test and development driver, we have brought him to the North American leg of the calendar for data correlation purposes at two very unique circuits, as well as for driver performance assessment after what has been an impressive VWRS season so far. As such it makes sense for him to participate in both races in this part of the season.”
While this is not Xylander’s first appearance in a Formula Virtual session, it is the beginning of an increased role in the team for the Belgian, who leads the VWRS with four rounds to go.
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