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Team Mitsubishi Ralliart soups up Tritons for 2024 AXCR

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart struggled to keep up with the rival Toyota Fortuners at the 2023 Asia Cross Country Rally, preventing them from repeating their victory with Chayapon Yotha. For 2024, the team will upgrade their Mitsubishi Triton to better withstand Thailand’s elements to bounce back.

The 2024 Triton features a new six-speed sequential transmission, unlike the manual of the previous model. The tread size has been increased from 1,570 millimetres at the front and 1,565 mm at the rear to 1,730 mm on both sides. Although both the 2023 and 2024 cars have the same 4N16 intercooled turbocharged engine and surrounding system, it has slightly less displacement at 2,439 cubic centimetres, lower by three. The four-wheel-drive system is upgraded from Mitsubishi’s Super-Select II 4WD System to a full-time 4WD. Rigid leaf springs no longer make up the rear suspension as the truck now uses rigid four-link coil springs, which is intended to help the vehicle better absorb hits on dirt roads.

Other elements remain unchanged such as the overall dimensions of 5.32 m long by 1.995 m wide with a 3,130 mm wheelbase. ENDLESS is providing ventilated brake discs with monoblock calipers and pads, operating alongside the seventeen-inch wheels from WORK and Yokohama’s GEOLANDAR M/T G003 tyres.

The truck underwent approximately 800 kilometres of testing at Khao Yai National Park in late June.

“Last year, we tried for a second consecutive victory with the all-new Triton, which had just gone on sale, but we were unable to bring out its full potential, ending in third place,” said team director and two-time Dakar winner Hiroshi Masuoka. “With this year’s Triton, we have made major improvements primarily to driving performance and rough road handling, further enhancing our four-vehicle team as we aim to reclaim our position as champions.

Tibau Team forms first all-woman Spanish truck team

Tibau Team will enter the Baja España Aragón with a trio of countrywomen in the cockpit of one of their IVECO PowerStars. María Helena Tarruell Tibau will lead the first Spanish all-woman truck team as driver, while Jaqueline Ricci and Rebeca Aramburu will respectively serve as navigator and mechanic.

Tibau is the niece of team owner Rafael Tibau, a longtime Dakar Rally veteran who has driven both competition and assistance trucks at the race. 2023, where he retired in a truck, marked his seventh Dakar as a competitor but thirty-second at the event as a whole. He continued his support role for the 2024 edition as the team fielded three trucks for Manuel Borrero, Jordi Eseve, and Pep Sabaté.

Helena entered the adjacent Dakar Classic in 2021 as the co-driver of a Toyota HDJ80 Land Cruiser driven by Pere Barrios, a metallurgist and Tibau family friend. The duo finished tenth overall, seventh in the H1 category, and fourth in H1.5. While it is her only Dakar as a competitor to date (though she has continued as part of a crew with TH-Trucks Team), she hopes the new truck programme will eventually compete in the Dakar Rally proper.

Ricci has called the shots in both the FIA European Baja Cup, the larger FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies (predecessor to the current World Rally-Raid Championship), and even the premier Silk Way Rally in Russia for drivers like Enrique Reyes, Toto Ramos, Miguel Angel Valero, and David Spranger. In 2020, she finished runner-up in the Spanish Cross-Country Rally Championship’s side-by-side class, which she followed up with another second the following year in Bajas.

Aramburu is primarily a drift competitor. In 2018, she became the first woman to win an event in the Spanish Drifting Championship.

Drivers drown at Italian Baja, Joao Dias leads survivors

Everyone arrived in Italy with hopes of building more momentum towards the FIA European Baja Cup. Many left more drenched than an Olympic swimmer.

The Italian Baja, second round of the 2024 season, took competitors through a multitude of river beds and muddy water crossings. Consequently, attrition was especially high with only four of the ten Ultimate cars and just three of six SSVs reaching the finish.

Although it is the premier subcategory, T1+ cars struggled with only one reaching the finish. Benediktas Vanagas had a hydrolock in his Toyota Hilux’s engine after water got into the system, leaving him stranded on an eyot until his team could pull him out. Stefan Carmans‘ Red-Lined REVO T1+, a new vehicle to the European Cup, suffered a litany of issues that began with the starter failing on the first stage, then the power steering the next, and time expiring on the last.

João Ferreira‘s Mini was the only T1+ to complete the race in second, nearly six minutes behind Manuele Mengozzi. While this entrenched him atop the points standings, he certainly would have liked to close that gap or even leave with the win instead. Ferreira won both Selective Sections on the final day but lost too much time during the first leg to a battery problem.

Andrea Schiumarini‘s rear-wheel-drive Century CR6 also experienced setbacks but managed to join Mengozzi and Ferreira on the class podium. Magdalena Zajac was the only other Ultimate finisher.

Ricky Brabec, Skyler Howes to race Vegas to Reno together

Ricky Brabec will look to add a fourth Vegas to Reno victory to his hat and will have a familiar face to help him in the form of fellow American rally raider, two-time V2R winner, and Monster Energy Honda Rally Team colleague Skyler Howes. The two will share a Honda CRF450 Rally, which they ride in the World Rally-Raid Championship, for the race.

Being W2RC team-mates means they already work together to some degree while still competing against one another. On the other hand, sharing a vehicle means teamwork is what matters, and as good friends outside of their rally obligations, the two are already more than familiar with this. In March, Brabec and Howes split time in a Honda Talon 1000R to win the UTV Pro Normally Aspirated Class at the Mint 400’s Limited Race; the former then won the Mint’s Motorcycle Race with Preston Campbell.

Brabec has been enjoying a renaissance 2024. Besides his double victories at the Mint, he won the W2RC-opening Dakar Rally for the second time as part of a dominant showing for Honda. Even after skipping the second and third rounds of the season, he added another victory at the Desafío Ruta 40 to make him two-for-two in the W2RC and only nine points back of Hero’s Ross Branch for the title with one round to go.

Howes joined Honda in late 2023 after departing Husqvarna. Following a slow start to his tenure as he crashed out of his first two starts for the outfit, he recorded back-to-back top fives at Portugal and Argentina; he sits eighth in points.

Both riders used to enter the V2R solo, with Brabec winning in 2014, 2017, and 2020 while Howes claimed the 2019 and 2022 editions. Brabec held off Howes to win the 2020 race, then Howes overcame a qualifying crash to add his second V2R crown two years later.

Tamara Molinaro, Tommi Hallman named Hydro X Prix Championship Drivers again

Extreme E will call upon familiar faces to be the testers and reserves at this weekend’s Hydro X Prix as Tamara Molinaro and Tommi Hallman will serve as the Championship Drivers. The duo served in the same capacity at the 2023 race weekend.

Molinaro has been involved with or Extreme E since the middle of the inaugural season n 2021, frequently being called upon to replace female drivers who are unable to race at the last minute. She made her competition début in 2022 for XITE Energy Racing, initially on a substitute basis before becoming a full-time driver, then returned to her reserve duties in 2023. Molinaro was called upon again for that year’s Island X Prix II by McLaren after Emma Gilmour’s injury, then reunited with former fellow Championship Driver Andreas Bakkerud at JBXE for the Copper X Prix.

Her best career finish is a second at the first Island X Prix in 2022 with XITE.

Hallman is an up-and-coming rallycross prospect who has enjoyed success in a litany of series including RallyX Nordic, Nitrocross NEXT, and the FIA World Rallycross Championship’s RX2e class. He made his début in the lattermost championship with a bang when he won both of his starts in 2023, while also claiming six victories in the 2022/23 Nitrocross NEXT campaign.

The Finn is set to race in Nitrocross’ new NEXT EVO category, an electric vehicle like the FC1-X that its premier Group E uses but with elements from the existing NEXT car, for SET-LOENBRO. 2024/25 will be his first full-time campaign racing in America.

Amanda Sorensen joins JBXE for Hydro X Prix

Amanda Sorensen will make her return to Extreme E at this weekend’s Hydro X Prix, driving for JBXE alongside Andreas Bakkerud.

“It’s great to be back in the championship competing for JBXE at the team’s home race in the UK,” said Sorensen. “I am excited to be back racing in Extreme E, and to join the JBXE team. I had a really strong event the last time we raced in Scotland and it would be fantastic to repeat and get on the podium again.

“The main thing, though, is to put in a strong performance alongside Andreas and get the team moving up the standings.”

Sorensen spent the 2023 season with Chip Ganassi Racing as part of an all-American lineup alongside RJ Anderson, finishing fifth in points with two third-place runs in the Sunday Hydro X Prix and the Saturday Island X Prix I. The team shuttered operations at the end of the year.

In the meantime, she has been focusing on other disciplines like drifting. In June, Sorensen became the first woman in Formula DRIFT history to record a podium finish when she placed runner-up in Pro Spec at Old Bridge Township. Her experience also includes Nitrocross SxS and Championship Off-Road, the latter including competing in the Red Bull World Cup at Crandon last September.

3 Talking Points from the 2024 British Grand Prix

The 2024 British Grand Prix delivered a fascinating weekend, with three teams fighting it out at the front for victory.

Lewis Hamilton was the winner, marking his first victory since the back end of the 2021 season in Jeddah, while Max Verstappen came home second, getting past Lando Norris in the latter stages. George Russell started on pole position and was in control of the race, before changing conditions and a car issue saw him fall down the order and eventually retiring.

Oscar Piastri spent time in the top two, before McLaren F1 Team opted not to do a one stop, leaving the Australian out on intermediates, dropping him down to fifth. Although he managed to repass Carlos Sainz Jr. a poor call once again cost him at the British Grand Prix.

Nico Hülkenberg was the star of the show, finishing sixth for MoneyGram Haas F1 Team and clawing them back into the fight for sixth in the Constructors Championship and moving them within four points of Visa Cash App RB, who only managed to secure a singular point through Yuki Tsunoda.

In this piece, we’re taking a look at 3 talking points from the British Grand Prix and what they mean going into the upcoming 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix.

“Not Making the Right Decisions”: Norris Rues Strategy Errors That Cost Him British GP Victory

Lando Norris admitted he didn’t make the “right decisions” as once again fell short, finishing third in the 2024 British Grand Prix.

Despite having a poor start, Norris passed Championship rival Max Verstappen during the first stint, and began to show great pace with track conditions changing from dry to wet. Not only did the McLaren F1 Team driver overtake the Oracle Red Bull Racing driver, he was making up ground on George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, who were comfortable in the lead during the dry.

Strategy calls and poor decisions ultimately cost Norris the race after he was leading during the wet conditions, with teammate Oscar Piastri in second. The team opted to stay out a lap later than Hamilton, and once the McLaren driver had dived into the pits, Hamilton had gained an advantage, which saw him come out ahead.

Not only did McLaren box too late, they also chose to put Norris on the soft tyre. Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team were forced to put Hamilton on the soft compound, but Norris had a new medium available and looking at Piastri’s pace on that tyre towards the end, Norris could’ve easily won the race but instead found himself unable to hold off Verstappen and moving down to third.

Photo: McLaren Media Centre

Hamilton’s experience was evident when managing the soft tyre to the end, while Norris fell foul once again of poor decision making from himself and McLaren, while Piastri was once again a victim of a poor strategy call around Silverstone.

“Really Disappointing”: Russell Reflects on Crushing Silverstone DNF

George Russell suffered a heartbreaking DNF at his home race, after leading in the opening stages from pole position at Silverstone.

Russell was aiming for back-to-back wins after winning a dramatic Austrian Grand Prix a week earlier and after looking controlled in the opening stages and set for victory in front of his home crowd, changing conditions and a car issue saw Russell fall down the order and eventually retire from the Grand Prix.

Russell’s teammate and fellow compatriot Lewis Hamilton took victory at the 2024 British Grand Prix, marking his first win since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, but not only is it an important win for Hamilton, it’s the second win for Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, perhaps indicating a change in fortunes for the Silver Arrows after a tough few seasons.

Speaking to F1TV, Russell said: “It’s really disappointing, everything was under control in the beginning in the dry, then very challenging conditions in the damp, I started to lose some power and next thing I had to retire the car, so pretty disappointing.

“For sure we’ll take the positives, the cars fast and we’ll have more opportunities but to retire from any race is disappointing let alone your home race, especially when we had a shot at least a podium today.”

Kristoffersson Does The Double In Höljes

Reigning champion Johan Kristoffersson picked up where he left off as the 2024 FIA World Rallycross Championship got underway at the “Magic Weekend” in Höljes, Sweden. The six-time world champion dominated in dreadful conditions to take his second win of the weekend, and his 42nd overall career victory.

Racing in the wet in Sweden. Credit: @World / Red Bull Content Pool

Niclas Grönholm, who narrowly missed out on a place in the final on Saturday, took second place in his electric PWR RX1e. Third place went to fellow KMS – HORSE Powertrain driver Ole Christian Veiby, who overcame a stall at the start of the final to claw his way back to a podium position. Kevin Hansen came fourth for Hansen World RX Team, with Gustav Bergström and Timmy Hansen rounding out the standings.

Race Reports

The “Battle of Technologies” certainly looks likely to provide some scintillating racing as we head through the 2024 season. While Kristoffersson won both of his heat races in his internal combustion engine (ICE) Volkswagen Polo KMS 601 RX, it was electric power that brought victory to Kevin Hansen and Sondre Evjen in their heat races. However, it was Grönholm, the fastest driver in any heats on Saturday’s opening round, who sat second behind Kristoffersson in the intermediate standings after the heats.

Niclas Grönholm was the greatest threat to Kristoffersson on Sunday. Credit: @World / Red Bull Content Pool

As the semi-finals approached, the heavens opened. With an absolutely sodden track, visibility for anyone not in the lead became nigh on impossible. This was not a problem for Kristoffersson, who successfully launched away in his semi-final and dominated the race, finishing an astonishing 12 seconds ahead of the competition. Meanwhile, chaos reigned behind him, with all of the drivers missing turn 5 on the first lap due to the atrocious conditions.

2019 world champion Timmy Hansen commented that the wet conditions favoured the ICE cars, explaining that the electric cars struggled under braking, largely due to their added weight. As a result, for the electric cars it was a case of surviving to proceed to the final. Indeed, four out of six cars in the final were electric, with Klara Andersson, heroine of the first day of world rx action, narrowly missing out on a place.

Hamilton Opens Up after Emotional British Grand Prix Win

Lewis Hamilton opened up after winning the 2024 British Grand Prix and taking his first victory in 946 days.

Hamilton returned to the top step of the podium with an excellent drive at Silverstone in Round 12 of the 2024 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The seven time world champion hadn’t won since taking the chequered flag at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix but has finally taken his 104th win after a tough few seasons with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team.

Both Hamilton and his race engineer Peter Bonnington were clearly emotional at the end of the race, with both brought to tears over the team radio after the 39-year-old held off challenges from Max Verstappen, George Russell and Lando Norris throughout the race to win.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, Hamilton said: “It’s surreal. My heart is racing. 

“I had so many amazing times here in the past but when I came across the line, something released in me that I have been holding onto for a long time. It was the most emotional end to a win I have ever experienced. I always wondered why I never cried! You see Rubens Barrichello crying and I was like ‘that doesn’t happen to me’ but it hit me hard.”

2024 British Grand Prix: Hamilton Returns to Winning Ways at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton returned to winning ways at the 2024 British Grand Prix, taking his 104th win and the ninth at Silverstone.

Hamilton last won a Formula 1 race in 2021, taking victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix but returns to winning ways just a week after Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team took their first victory of the season thanks to George Russell at the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen came in just behind the home hero, almost catching up to the seven time world champion but finishing just over a second behind. Lando Norris, who was leading the race at one point, was holding onto second place before Verstappen got past with just a few laps to go, meaning he had to settle for third.

It was heartbreak for Russell, who was leading the race for the entirety of the dry stint at the start of the race after qualifying on pole the day before. The two-time race winner was forced to retire with a water pressure issue, destroying his chance of a podium or potentially even a race win at his home Grand Prix. 

Pierre Gasly was forced to retire before the race even started, boxing on the formation lap. Once the race got underway, Russell got away well, with Hamilton staying behind his teammate. Norris had a shaky start and fell behind Verstappen despite staying ahead of the Dutchman through the first few corners. Alex Albon lost a few places on the start after Nico Hülkenberg ran wide, causing Fernando Alonso to take evasive action turning into Albon, who almost lost the car and hit Logan Sargeant. 

“Questionable Program”: Ricciardo Blames Team Tactics for Q2 Exit

Daniel Ricciardo has questioned Visa Cash App RB’s decision making after a disappointing showing in Q2 that will see him start fifteenth. 

Ricciardo has been in good form recently, on an upwards trajectory, beating his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, in the last three races and scoring points in two. Despite being head of the midfield a few races ago, RB have dipped in performance falling behind MoneyGram Haas F1 Team, who qualified sixth on the grid with on of their cars on Saturday. 

Ricciardo felt the timing of his laps in Q2 were wrong and traffic in the final corner ahead of his final lap meant he was left with little chance of lifting himself from fifteenth, let alone getting the top ten shootout for the third time this season. The 34-year-old was quick in Q1 too, getting through to the second part of qualifying inside the top ten.

Speaking to F1TV, Ricciardo said: “Honestly, Q2 we need a talk about it and figure it out because at the time it didn’t make much sense to me, but you also can’t have drawn out conversations as time is of the essence. 

“Both runs I felt like our plan was well off and at the end we’ll struggling to get our lap in, so creating enemies at the last corner overtaking – I hate doing it, but I’m being told to do it so we get a lap.

Hülkenberg Eyes Points after P6 Qualifying Result at Silverstone

Nico Hülkenberg was one of the stars from qualifying for the 2024 British Grand Prix and will start sixth for Sunday’s race.

The German driver credited MoneyGram Haas F1 Team as they delivered yet more upgrades, which ultimately allowed Hülkenberg to secure the team’s best qualifying result of the season. It wasn’t an easy session though, Hülkenberg’s Haas teammate, Kevin Magnussen was out in Q1 and it could’ve been a similar story for him too after a red flag left him last with only one chance to get a lap in.

As we’ve come accustomed to though, Hülkenberg delivered for Haas and set the American team up for a good result on Sunday.

Speaking to F1TV, he said: “We managed to take the momentum and tailwind from last weekend into this one and I think the updates we introduced yesterday in FP2 did the rest and really had an affect. 

“I felt good with those upgrades straight away, which is very good as that isn’t always the case so good job to the team and very happy about that.

Pérez Frustrated after “Letting Team Down” with Q1 Exit at Silverstone

Sergio Pérez suffered another early exit in qualifying after being knocked out in Q1 at the 2024 British Grand Prix.

The Oracle Red Bull Racing driver will start the race in Silverstone down in nineteenth after losing the car at Copse in Q1, leaving himself stuck in the gravel. Reports suggest the Mexican driver is once again under pressure at the Championship leaders, despite only signing a new deal a few races ago. This qualifying result won’t have done anything to relieve those pressures either as he was out-qualified by both Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda in the junior team, Visa Cash App RB for the fourth time in six races.

Speaking to F1TV, he said: “It’s very frustrating, I let my whole team down. I was one of the first  to put on the slick tyre and at point I needed all the temperature I could get and as I was approaching Turn 9 and shifted down I locked up the rears, which put me off the track. 

“It was completely sinked in water out of 9. I ended up trying to keep it straight but lost the car. The tyres were so cold and I just got caught out by the conditions.

“I was trying to get out [the gravel] but once you’re there it’s really difficult. It’s frustrating. It hurts to let your team down in that way, especially because we’ve had a really strong weekend up until now and unfortunately we didn’t get to show the full pace.”