WTCC – T.Chilton: “I was strong where I needed to be strong”

Sport news

Tom Chilton, Sébastien Loeb Racing, Opening Race winner
Thed Björk, Polestar Cyan Racing, Main Race winner
Rob Huff, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Opening Race runner-up, Main Race third
Tiago Monteiro, Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team, Opening Race third, Main Race runner-up

Turning first to Tom Chilton and your first win of the season after what was a fantastic battle with your countryman Rob Huff. Just talk us through that?

It was a fantastic race. I’m so happy for the team, Sébastien Loeb Racing. They’ve worked so hard towards this and it couldn’t have happened at a better time as it’s nice to get a win early on in the season. Rob Huff next to me, he’s British and knows how to fight hard on a race track. He’s a world champion and he’s never easy to keep behind. But he’s also smart and knew if we started tangling too much we’d have the whole train right up our chuff and that makes it a whole lot harder around this circuit in particular because of all the slipstreaming. We both pulled away and raced very well in the Opening Race and I’m absolutely over the moon.

How hard was it to keep Rob behind you during those closing laps because it was getting really close?

I was strong where I needed to be strong, which was exiting the Parabolica because one of the best overtaking places is Turn 1, which was actually my slowest corner. But it doesn’t if you’re slow right on the apex because there’s nowhere to go, you can do an old Anthony Reid special and put your foot on the break and they hit you up the back because there’s nowhere to go, which we did once, actually. And that was it. Everywhere else I was fairly strong. But I’m just sitting here a bit frustrated because I didn’t finish the Main Race because of a mechanical but that’s motorsport.

So what actually happened in the Main Race?

Well I haven’t lifted the bonnet up yet but it feels like it’s either a driveshaft or gearbox, which has let go, sadly, because that’s really hurt me in the WTCC Trophy points as well so I’m now one point in P2 and not first any more so that’s frustrating. But that’s motorsport and sometimes these things happen.

Turning next to the other race winner today, Thed Björk. Now you’ve won an Opening Race before but this was the big one, your first Main Race victory, which means we’ve now had four winners from the first four races. That race looked like something else so what was it like from your perspective?

For me it probably was one of my best races ever actually. I felt completely relaxed and just had to perform and use what I had in the car and from the team and it felt really good. I just have to practice the starts a bit but after that I was chasing Tiago. I knew I had to be on his tail to see if something happens but I got the pass already, on lap two or three I don’t know but it was early on. It felt really good and I had the speed. It was an amazing race to drive here at Monza and I was just enjoying it, really, really well, actually. I’m really happy and the team is super-happy. This is what the team said we had to do but it’s not so easy although it felt really good.

There looked like being two moments of big pressure for you in the race when you dropped out of the lead at the start and when the safety car was deployed. Were there any moments when you thought this isn’t going to be your day?

No. No way. When I took the lead and could make a gap, the safety car came out I just decided I was never going to let him pass. I felt really good and just continued what I did before and that felt really nice.

When you got out of the car after the race you were embracing a number of team people including Yvan Muller. What did he say to you and what difference has he made to you?

You know I really enjoy working with Yvan and the experience he brings to the team. It’s actually a great honour for us to have his experience. I am really lucky for this and the team and we’re very happy. He’s really nice to work with. I didn’t expect that when I cam to the championship because I did not know Yvan but he’s been growing as a person all the time and I’m really lucky to be able to get the experience that he has, it’s just pieces and bits of it. He’s made a big improvement for us.

Turning next to Tiago Monteiro. While you didn’t win a race this weekend, your championship lead is still intact and it’s 13 points advantage over Thed. But before the start you were talking down your prospects but your performances in the races suggested otherwise. What was the difference?

I was actually quite confident before the start because the race pace was good in race one and that gave me quite a lot of confidence. After a good start I thought maybe we can do something this weekend. Obviously Thed was very fast and we could see that right away, especially in sector two as he was in qualifying. I tried to pull away nevertheless and I pushed really hard, which forced me to make a small mistake exiting Ascari. He took advantage of it but for the whole race I don’t think I could have held him so congratulations to him and the whole team, they were really strong this weekend. From our side we did talk down about this weekend before coming here but coming out of Monza with two podiums is much better than we expected. I’m so happy about the engine evolution, how everything came together. We can really fight at the front at such a high-speed race track, which was never our strong point. It’s motivating for the rest of the season for sure. We have to keep our head down because we have strong competitors here and it’s never going to be easy. But I take two podiums, no problem.

And there’s a really good championship battle in prospect with four winners from four races. What do you think of the wide-open nature of the championship right now?

It’s exactly like we said at the beginning of the season, it looked like it was going to be very wide open and as you can see by the number of changes on the podium there are a lot of possibilities for the championship. It’s great I am leading and taking a little bit more points this weekend. But there’s still a long way to go and a lot of strong people capable of being strong consistently and that means nothing is done so we have to take every single point for sure.

Turning to Rob Huff and in that Opening Race you were putting a lot of pressure on Tom Chilton. He’s given us his version of the race but what was it like from your perspective, was there a point when you thought you could get him for the lead?

It was a great race and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Once I got past Esteban [Guerrieri] I got my head down and it helped, obviously, with Norbi [Michelisz] and [Mehdi] Bennani having a bit of a moment together. I think I managed to get up to Tom in about a lap and a half so we knew we were strong. But as Tom said he was strong enough in the places he needed to be. The middle sector we’ve been strong all weekend and we proved that again in race two. We could really close the gap to Tiago and to Tom in race one. But unfortunately when you’ve got the same material as somebody else you’re fighting with and, as Tom said, he was strong exiting the last corner, you just can’t get close enough to be able to mount a move. But it was a strong fight and a fair fight. I was just worried about scoring points. I started P8 so to find myself in P2 I was very happy. And then obviously the second race again was strong for us. The Hondas have definitely got stronger in a straight line because they were pulling away from me on the straight. But, again, it was a fair fight although I never really got a chance to get alongside him. Again sector two I could close right up but out of Ascari he would just pull away down to Parabolica again. But I’m happy. For my championship starts here this weekend after the disaster of Marrakech. To come away with two podiums is testament to the team’s hard work so a huge thank you to them.

Hungaroring is next and, apart from Macau, it’s perhaps one of your most favourite venues you could say. Is that the circuit where we will see first the win from you?

I don’t know, we’ll just take the points. At the end of the day it’s a long championship and we’ve scored really well this weekend. If we can continue to score like this, it will be a very happy Huffy at the end of the year. At the end of the day I like all the circuits we go to. It’s a good variation of tracks and, ultimately, the car is strong at all of them and hopefully we’ll find some weaknesses from the other teams.

Questions from the floor

To Tom Chilton and Rob Huff from Andrew Abbott ( The compensation weight will be recalculated this weekend. We don’t know what that will yield but how much are you looking forward to potentially having a lighter car?

Two thumbs up from us because obviously a lighter car is a faster car. At the moment we seem to be struggling right outright in qualifying just ever so slightly and the weight distribution will massively change our car and we’ll be a lot faster at Hungary and I think both me and Rob will be quite excited about that.

I’ll just echo that. At the end of the day the lighter the car, the faster the car and the longer the tyres last. Around here we don’t really struggle with tyre wear too much but somewhere like Budapest we do hugely. I’m not sure how much it’s going to change but it’s going to change a bit an of course we’ll take every bit as we can.

World Touring Car Championship

Race of Italy WTCCWTCCWTCC, Touring car, Race of Monza, FIA, motorsportSEASON 2017SportCircuit1SportWorld Touring Car ChampionshipCircuitWTCCSEASON 2017Race of Italy WTCC00Monday, May 1, 2017 – 8:10amMonday, May 1, 2017 – 8:10am Source:

Cycle Torque Magazine’s May Issue, 2017

Welcome to the May issue of Cycle Torque, which features BMW’s latest crop of large capacity sportsbikes and tourers – K 1600 GT, S 1000 RR, S 1000 R and the S 1000 XR.

We also fang around the ACT in Yamaha’s adrenaline-pumping, paddle shifting side-by-side, the YXZ1000R SS SE.

Make sure you check out the Winter product feature which has plenty of ideas to beat the cold snap.

Cotton lampoons cruisers, can Rea be the first to win three on the trot? Flack talks to some legends and Smarty has Red Mist – watch out, it’s contagious!

We also have links to watch four new episodes of Cycle Torque TV. Keep an eye out for us on Foxtel (Aurora, channel 173).

Hope you enjoy the issue.

The post Cycle Torque Magazine’s May Issue, 2017 appeared first on Cycle Torque Magazine.


New Bontrager XC and Trail wheelsets debut at Sea Otter Classic

For 2017, Bontrager has added new Trail and XC wheelset options at an affordable price point.

Scour the internet long enough and most will agree that a carbon wheelset is the best upgrade you can make to your current mountain bike. Unfortunately, that upgrade is also typically the most expensive. With some wheelsets costing more than the complete bike you just purchased, it’s a tough pill to swallow even knowing it’s the best bang for your buck.

Bontrager sent us a set of the Line Pro 30’s pre-embargo for a firsthand look before they were officially released to the masses at Sea Otter Classic 2017. The Line Pro 30’s consist of 29mm internal and 36mm outside diameter hoops. They are molded from Bontrager’s Optimum Compaction Low Void (OCLV) pro carbon, which is optimized for weight, strength, and durability.

The Rapid Drive 108 hub (Shimano 10/11 speed or SRAM XD driver) is laced in with 28 front and rear DT Swiss Aerolite 14/17 gauge spokes and Alpina alloy locking nipples. To no surprise, the Rapid Drive hub offers 108 points of engagement utilizing a six pawl design and 54-tooth drive ring for durability and easy servicing for all those that enjoy getting some grease under their fingernails. The Rapid Drive 54 hub is the same design only instead of six pawls, it uses three.

First Impressions

The Line Pro 30’s have been mounted on my singlespeed for only a short while; however, I am really happy with the wheelset thus far. The wide rims help create a more voluminous profile of the 2.35” tire and allow me to run lower pressures without fear of bottoming out the rim. Lower pressure, more traction, more confidence, more fun!

Bontrager seems to have found that happy place between stiff and compliant for these carbon rims. They provide that instant responsiveness and predictability that many of us have grown to love without being so overly stiff they shoot jolts through your body on every root or rock.

The Rapid Drive 108 hub hums along at a reasonably audible level—it is certainly louder than a DT Swiss 240 but not quite as conversation-killing as an Industry Nine or Chris King. For a hub that offers 3.3 degrees of engagement, I really didn’t notice much resistance in terms of drag in the first few initial rides. Typically, I have found that other high-engagement hubs tend to have a bit more drag before they start to bed themselves in and settle.

As of today, I have only had the opportunity to run these on my local singletrack, which are hard-packed fast rolling inner city trails. However, I intend to put these wheels through the ringer in central Pennsylvania’s gnarly rock gardens at this year’s Transylvania Epic Stage Race as well as this weekends cross-country race at Big Bear Lake Trail Center in West Virginia. Big Bear is also the home to our new Dirt Fest West Virginia event in July. I’m looking forward to seeing how well they hold up over the long haul.

Look for a full review of the Bontrager Line Pro 30’s in an upcoming issue of Dirt Rag, just don’t forget to subscribe!

Line Pro 30 TLR

Line Elite 30 TLR Line Comp 30 TLR Kovee Elite 23 TLR


$600 $300


27.5” – 1539g

29” – 1608g

27.5” – 1708g

29” – 1794g

27.5” – 1978g

29” – 2080g

27.5” – 1606g

29” – 1690g

OCLV Pro Carbon Rim

Aluminum Rim Aluminum Rim OCLV Pro Carbon Rim

29 mm ID / 34 mm OD

29 mm ID / 34 mm OD 29 mm ID / 34 mm OD

22.5 mm ID / 29 mm OD

Rapid Drive 108 hub

Rapid Drive 108 hub

Rapid Drive 54 hub

Rapid Drive 54 hub


Superyacht Video: Oceanco’s 110m Jubilee on Sea Trials

Launched in February 2017, mega yacht Project Jubilee is the largest ever built in the Netherlands. This head-turning vessel was built by the bespoke shipbuilder Oceanco and designed by Igor Lobanov. Jubilee is now undergoing her first sea trials in Rotterdam, where she was photographed by Dutch Yachting.

Jubilee on her first day of sea trials. Photo- © Dutch Yachting & @thenauticallady

Mega Yacht Jubilee on her first day of sea trials. Photo- © Dutch Yachting & @thenauticallady

Below is the video of  Jubilee being transported on her first sailing trials in Rotterdam.

The naval architecture of Jubilee was developed by Azure Naval Architects. The superyacht world still awaits the official photos of her interior design, which was created by Sam Sorgiovanni.

110m Mega Yacht Jubilee on sea trials. Photo- © Dutch Yachting & @thenauticallady

110m Mega Yacht Jubilee on sea trials. Photo- © Dutch Yachting & @thenauticallady

Holland’s largest yacht to date, the 110.1m: 360’11” Jubilee, left the Oceanco shipyard in Alblasserdam this morning for its first day of sea trials. Photo- © Dutch Yachting & @thenauticallady

Holland’s largest yacht to date, the 110.1m: 360’11” Jubilee, left the Oceanco shipyard in Alblasserdam this morning for its first day of sea trials. Photo- © Dutch Yachting & @thenauticallady

Mega yacht Jubilee is truly unique, as she boasts some incredible features, such as a large pool deck with an aquarium, a huge beach club, a helicopter operating deck, and lavish accommodation for 30 guests.

M:Y Jubilee - Oceanco. Sea trials. Photo- © Dutch Yachting & @thenauticallady

M:Y Jubilee – Oceanco. Sea trials. Photo- © Dutch Yachting & @thenauticallady

Oceanco mega yacht Jubilee on sea trials. Photo- © Dutch Yachting & @thenauticallady

Oceanco mega yacht Jubilee on sea trials. Photo- © Dutch Yachting & @thenauticallady

After sea trials, Jubilee is expected to cruise the Mediterranean this summer.


Quick takeaways from Richmond: So what’s up with the commitment line penalties?

Consider our Takeaways feature to be the home of our random and sometimes intelligent musings. Sometimes the post may have a theme. Sometimes it may just be a mess of unrelated thoughts. Make sure you tweet us your thoughts after the race or email your post-race rants via the link in the signature line below.

• Let’s get this out of the way: Sunday’s race at Richmond might have been the most entertaining race of the 2017 season. The track provided multi-groove racing for the entirety of Sunday’s race as drivers were forced to use nearly every inch of the pavement in Richmond’s four turns to find the fastest way around the track.

But the takeaway from Sunday’s race isn’t going to be how NASCAR would be better served with more races that provide racing like Richmond does. It’s going to be about a minor NASCAR rule that was violated by many drivers throughout the race.

[Related: Joey Logano wins at Richmond]

Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick were each penalized for commitment line violations. Busch and Truex’s were by far the most high-profile. Busch was penalized on the final set of pit stops on Sunday while Truex was docked during the penultimate caution of the race.

The pit road commitment line at Richmond is just to the inside of turn 4. The yellow line runs from the bottom of the banking across the apron to the inside wall. At the bottom of the banking just inside the apron is an orange box painted on the track that serves as the outside barrier for the commitment line. Its role is defined clearly in NASCAR’s rule book and is different from 2016, when drivers were told that just their two left-side tires had to be to the inside of the box.

The rule was also explicitly stated to drivers before Sunday’s race. Make sure you get all four of your tires inside of the box, otherwise you’ll be penalized. While Busch and Truex (along with Bowyer and Patrick) cut it close, they pretty clearly violated the rule.

Busch, who said on his radio that he was to the inside of leader and eventual race winner Joey Logano, clipped the box as he dove to pit road. He also wasn’t to the inside of Logano either. After the race, he remarked to Fox that it was a “balls and strikes” call. Hmm.

Truex, meanwhile, had to attempt to get to pit road while going to the outside of a safety truck that was inexplicably parked in the middle of turns 3 and 4 when the pits were open on the next-to-last caution. While the two cars behind him that also went to the outside safely made it inside the commitment box, it’s fair to wonder why NASCAR had the pits open with the truck in such a precarious spot.

All four drivers had to serve penalties for their violations. Since Busch and Truex’s came under caution, they had to start at the back of the field for the ensuing restart. Busch finished 16th while Truex was 10th.

“Well my take is I knew I was really pushing the issue there but the field got all jammed there because of that safety vehicle on the race track and I had to go outside around that thing and when I knew – I knew pit road was open and we were pitting and I’m sure I could jerk that thing left as hard as I could and get to pit road without crashing [Kurt Busch] was on my left side and I guess my right sides were on the box but not completely under,” Truex said. “I thought the rule was two on or under the box, but obviously the call was that we were illegal and had to get a penalty so I don’t know what the deal is there. They changed the rule I think last week on how it is and I still thought it was if you had four at least on or under the box you were good but I don’t know. It is what it is. We were going to finish about tenth either way.”

It’s easy to argue that NASCAR was too heavy-handed in penalizing Busch and Truex because they came so close to making it inside the commitment box and it’s a minor rule. And while that sentiment may be understandable, it’s also wrong. If it’s a rule, it needs to be enforced. Can you imagine the outcry if NASCAR liberally interpreted a clearly-defined rule in the rulebook? Especially if the sanctioning body reiterated the rule to its participants before the race?

[Related: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s day goes south after contact with Jimmie Johnson]

It’s like arguing that a runner in baseball should be automatically out when stealing second if the ball beats him to the base. The fielder still has to apply the tag to the runner before he touches the base for the runner to be officially out. If the ball beats the runner but the fielder is late with the tag, the runner is safe. It’s a black-and-white call, just like the pit road commitment rule is.

If you want to make a coherent argument against the existence of the rule, we’ll certainly listen. Though we’re not sure what improvements NASCAR could make to it except attempting to find a way to make the box more visible.

It’s similar to when NASCAR started enforcing its rule that drivers pitting under caution couldn’t pass the pace car. Enforcement of an existing rule only becomes an issue if the enforcement isn’t consistent. And we’ve yet to find evidence that NASCAR hadn’t previously enforced the commitment-line rule correctly through the first eight races of 2017.

But just because NASCAR enforced a rule correctly Sunday doesn’t mean everything is positive. It’s incredibly easy to see how something like this can taint NASCAR’s 10-race playoffs later in the season. The only reason NASCAR’s Phoenix pit penalties didn’t affect the Chase in 2016 was because Truex was already eliminated and Johnson had already advanced to the final round.

This sport has a tendency to have obscure rules come up at some of the most inopportune times and this is yet another example.

• Erik Jones finished last after hitting the wall because of a flat tire on lap 5. The tire went flat because of contact with Kasey Kahne on lap 1 as Jones ran out of real estate off turn 2.

“I guess they were three-wide. I was on top and just got ran into the fence right on lap one and that’s unfortunate,” Jones said. “I mean, it’s 400 laps – I just wish there was a little bit more patience at times. It’s frustrating – I was just trying to get this race going and work.”

Jones’ gripe is legit. Look at the space between Kahne and Danica Patrick to his inside compared to the space between Kahne and Jones and the wall. The two are the black cars behind Denny Hamlin’s FedEx car.

• Daniel Suarez ended up finishing 12th after he was 32nd and multiple laps down with less than 100 laps to go.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!