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Tuesday, Sep 23rd

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British Grand Prix 2012: Alonso pips Webber to Pole; Schumacher third; Button eliminated in Q1

fernando_alonso_silverstoneFernando Alonso snatched pole position at Silverstone beating Webber and the rain in the process. The championship leader proved to be a master in the changing conditions in the final session of qualifying to take his first pole position since Singapore 2010. Mark Webber missed pole by a hair as he joined Alonso on the front row ahead of a resurgent Michael Schumacher in a rain hit qualifying session.

With conditions the way they were, times were going to tumble as the racing line evolved which meant that the fastest times would come at the fag end of the session. The intermediates were the ideal tyre for the drying conditions and Ferrari had the early pace with Alonso setting an incredible 1:52.5 over a second faster than any other car with Massa playing shotgun in 2nd place. Webber briefly took the lead but Alonso pipped him by just under 5 hundredths of a second to take his 22nd pole position in F1.


Alonso dominates Final Practice session at Silverstone, Top 10 separated by less than a second

Fernando Alonso bounced back after a disappointing Friday to finish on top of the time sheets with a 1.32.167 lap to nose ahead of the closely pursuing McLaren of Jenson Button in Free Practice 3 at Silverstone. Button appeared to be getting his season back on track as he was just a tenth down on the Ferrari driver. Sebastian Vettel was the meat in a Lotus sandwich with Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen, 3rd and 5th fastest respectively.

The 1 hour session began under perfect racing conditions as largely blue skies reigned over the Northamptonshire circuit. This gave all the teams a golden opportunity to evaluate their latest upgrades and hone set-ups on Pirelli's hard (silver markings) and soft (yellow) dry tyre compounds.


Hamilton fastest in soaking wet Friday Silverstone Practice, Mercedes duo show strong pace

Lewis Hamilton provided the only ray of light in an otherwise gloomy practice session on Friday, as the Briton topped the timesheets at Silverstone with a 1.56.345 lap. Kamui Kobayashi in his Sauber was closest to Hamilton as he ended the day 2nd fastest with a 1.56.474 lap to finish ahead of the quick Mercedes duo of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg who were 3rd and 4th fastest. Mexican Sergio Perez rounded off the top 5 with a 1.57.493 lap.

With Silverstone's micro-climate grabbing Practice One headlines things took a turn for the worse in Friday's second practice session. The poor weather conditions were a massive stumbling block for the teams who struggled to evaluate their Silverstone-spec updates in a comprehensive manner.


Nick Heidfeld contests Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as guest driver

Nick Heidfeld competes in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup for the first time. The ex-Formula 1 driver's debut in the world's fastest international one-make race series is one of the highlights of the Supercup's 20th anniversary season that will be celebrated from 20-22 July in Hockenheim. At the invitation of Porsche AG, Nick Heidfeld drives one of the 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup sports cars at the seventh Supercup race of the season.

"It is a great new challenge for me to compete against all the Porsche specialists in the Supercup. I'm aware that it won't be easy to match the pace of the front-runners, and that's exactly what makes this task so exciting," says Nick Heidfeld. From 2000 to 2011, the 35-year-old from the German city of Mönchengladbach competed for top teams like BMW, Renault, Sauber and Williams. Over the course of his career he climbed the podium 13 times. In the Formula 1 World Championship, he concluded the 2007 season in fifth place, in 2008 he finished sixth. Heidfeld celebrated his first major sports car success this year at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After a very strong performance he secured fourth for his best-placed privateer team.


Giedo van der Garde and Caterham F1 Team Confirmed for City Racing Rotterdam on 26th August

Caterham F1 Team has confirmed that Reserve Driver Giedo van der Garde will be taking part in the City Racing Rotterdam event on 26th August in Holland. Both the Caterham F1 Team race drivers have taken part in previous City Racing events, with Heikki Kovalainen driving a Renault F1 car in 2008 and Vitaly Petrov also in a Renault F1 car in 2010 in the Netherlands' largest Formula 1 event.

Giedo is delighted to be taking part in such a big event in front of his home crowd: "For years I have been following City Racing Rotterdam and I'm delighted that the organization has invited Caterham F1 Team and me to take part. I will make sure that the huge crowd will not be short of excitement! Last weekend I took part in the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England and I am looking forward to showing all the fans the Caterham F1 Team car and we will make sure we put on a spectacular show."


René Rast extends points' lead with clear win in Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland

René Rast remains in formidable form at the halfway mark of the Carrera Cup Deutschland. Driving for the Team Deutsche Post by tolimit squad the German won both the race on Saturday and Sunday's 80 kilometre event on the Norisring in Nuremberg. Heading off on a wet and extremely slippery track after heavy rainfall with very little grip, Rast put in an inspired performance over the 34 race laps. At the flag of the ninth meeting this season, he held an impressive 17.8 second advantage over the second placed Frenchman Kévin Estre (Hermes Attempto Racing) – an incredible gap in Germany's one-make series that is run with identical, 450 hp 911 GT3 Cup race cars.

Behind Rast, the race for the other podium spots was even more suspenseful. For a while it seemed that Jaap van Lagen had third place safely under his belt, until in the closing phase Norbert Siedler clocked much better lap times. In the last hairpin of the last lap, the Konrad Motorsport pilot from Austria pulled alongside the Dutchman from FE Racing by Land-Motorsport. The fight between the two was literally decided at the finish line: There, Norbert Siedler, who had finished second in Saturday's race, saw the flag by a nose in front of Van Lagen's 911 – and clinched third place by a mere 0.013 seconds.


Lights to flag victory for René Rast in hot and turbulent race at Nuremberg

Fortune favours the bold – and today that was René Rast. Taking off from pole position into the race on the Norisring in summer heat, the German made a catapult start to snatch the lead – while behind him a chaos in the first corner threw many prominent victims out of the race. With a lights-to-flag victory in 35 degree temperatures at the eighth race of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, Rast (Team Deutsche Post by tolimit) reclaimed the points' lead in Germany's fastest one-make race series. Second place on the 2.3 kilometre Nuremberg race track went to Norbert Siedler (Austria, Konrad Motorsport) ahead of Britain's Sean Edwards (Team Deutsche Post by tolimit).

Right now in the Porsche makes cup series, everyone is chasing René Rast. In 2008, the 25-year-old celebrated his maiden championship title in the Carrera Cup. In the last two years he has secured championship honours in the international Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup – and now leads both the Carrera Cup and Supercup at halftime in the season. Already in qualifying, Rast set two untouchable top times on the short city course also putting him on pole for tomorrow's ninth race.


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