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Wednesday, Jul 23rd

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Motorsport

European GP Free Practice Wrap: Vettel blazes ahead to be fastest on Friday, Top 15 cars covered by a second

Two time defending European Grand Prix winner and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel threw down the marker on a supercharged Friday practice session at Valencia where the top 15 cars on the time sheets were separated by less than a second.

Vettel though was quick to play down the importance of being top of the charts on Friday, and shared, â€œWe have tried some new parts on the car today, but the lap times have not really allowed us to have a fair conclusion of them yet. It was important to have a clean practice today and I’m happy with what we did. The conditions will change again for Sunday I think; it was a bit cooler today, which will make a difference. It’s close between the teams and it’s not yet clear what the right strategy is for Sunday, hopefully we can make a step forward tomorrow.”

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Q&A with Toyota Racing Team President Yoshiaki Kinoshita

TOYOTA Racing arrived at the Le Mans 24 Hours for its very first race expecting a challenge for its new TS030 HYBRID prototypes. A fine qualifying effort saw the #7 of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima take fifth place on the starting grid, but #8 managed even better. Anthony Davidson, who shared the car with Stéphane Sarrazin and Sébastien Buemi, took third place in qualifying to set up a dramatic race.

Throughout the opening hours, the two TOYOTA Racing cars used their hybrid system - which recovers energy under braking, stores it in super capacitors and releases it under acceleration for a significant power boost - to fight at the front of the field.

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European GP Feature: Past & Present

After a brief visit to the Americas, the Formula One travelling circus returns to Europe and specifically HRT’s home country for the 2012 Formula One GP of Europe this weekend. Historically the European GP was an honorary title, created by the FIA’s predecessor and first awarded to Monza, home of the Italian GP in 1923. The European GP has been staged at five different circuits - Nurburgring, Brands Hatch, Jerez, Donington and at present on the streets of Valencia. The European GP is often the turning point in any Formula one season and a testament to this fact are the intensely fought races over the years.

Historical European GP’s

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Audi R18 e-tron quattro with Williams Hybrid Power Technology Makes History at Le Mans

The Audi R18 e-tron quattro, supported by Williams Hybrid Power's (WHP) innovative electric flywheel technology, has won the 80th running of the 24 hours of Le Mans and in the process made history as the first hybrid powered vehicle to finish on the podium.

2012 saw hybrid vehicles race at Le Mans for the first time, with WHP's electromechanical hybrid flywheel system assisting to power the Audi #1 and Audi #2 to first and second place respectively. The 24 hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest and most gruelling endurance race, taking place annually since 1923 on France's Circuit de la Sarthe. The two Audi R18 e-tron quattro's dominated the race from start to finish, only relinquishing the lead once for a few laps on Saturday night. The two hybrid cars fought a close run battle throughout the night during which the lead changed several times before the Audi #1 car driven by Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer emerged victorious.

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Chandok takes excellent 6th place at Le Mans 24 hours race

Indian racing star Karun Chandhok has created history by becoming the first Indian to finish the historic Le Mans 24 Hours race as his JRM Team crossed the line in an exceptional 6th position. Chandhok, along with team-mates David Brabham andPeter Dumbreck delivered faultless performances to finish the race on the team’s very first attempt at the world’s largest motorsporting event, with over 400,000 fans in attendance through the week.

David, the 2009 Le Mans winner, took the start in the team’s Honda HPD ARX-03a LMP1 car and immediately gained a place from the starting slot of 11th. The Australian set a consistent pace to hold 10th position overall before handing over to Karun Chandhok just after 17:00.

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Porsche claims podium spot at the Le Mans 24 hour race

Less than four minutes were missing for Porsche to clinch its 99th class win at the Le Mans 24 Hours. With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the IMSA Performance Matmut team, Frenchman Nicolas Armindo, Raymond Narac and Anthony Pons had led the field just a few laps before the flag dropped on the 80th running of the long distance classic in the Sarthe. But in the final minutes, tyre damage robbed the 2011-spec 911 of all hopes for victory. Nevertheless, the joy over second place was huge for the French Porsche customer team.

"For our team and partners, Le Mans is the most important race of the year," said team owner Raymond Narac. "To have finished second with such a great team effort is a success that we will all savour for a long time. Thank you also to Porsche for the unbelievable support." Nicolas Armindo said, "We focused all our work on this race. Achieving class victory at the dress rehearsal in Spa was wonderful, but it's nothing compared to the feeling of climbing the podium here in Le Mans."

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Mixed fortunes for Parth Ghorpade in race 2 & 3 of opening round of Formula Pilota Championship 2012

Upcoming Indian racer Parth Ghorpade had a tough day at the Shanghai International Circuit in Races 2 & 3 of Round 1 of the 2012 Formula Pilota Championship. The young Indian, who finished in second place in Race 1, had a DNF in Race 2 and finished in 5thplace in Race 3. Race 2 ended for Ghorpade at the end of the first lap when he collided with fellow Indian Raj Bharath as the latter spun in front of him. Race 3 saw Ghorpade drop down to 3rd place at the start and finished in 5th after struggling with an electric problem.

Ghorpade was disappointed with the finish to the weekend but was optimistic about the season ahead. Ghorpade commented, “Not a very good day for us after struggled with an electric problem since the morning. In Race 2 Raj (Bharath) spun off at the end of the first lap and unfortunately collected me forcing me to retire. In Race 3 I lost a position at the start and was running third till I lost power on the straight. I was lucky to finish in 5th position as the longer the race the more positions I would have lost. I am satisfied with my pace over the weekend and look forward to the rest of the season as I feel we can challenge for more wins.”

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