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Racing

Today's the day! Lando becomes Baldo

It’s the day that Lando Norris has been dreading: his lovely locks are getting shaved off. Absolutely everyone but him has been looking forward to it.

The McLaren driver, a constant ray of light in these dark times, is streaming what is sure to be a lovely transformation from 5pm BST on his Twitch channel.

This all stemmed from a charity stream last Saturday, where over $2million was raised in total. Lando himself said that if the donations from his stream surpassed $10,000, he would shave his hair off.

Lo and behold, an anonymous $700 donation ensured that this wonderful moment will be happening.

A huge thank you to everyone who tuned in last night and donated towards #TwitchStreamAid, and the fight against COVID-19. Over $12,000 was raised in total!

Didn't get to watch? The below clip sums it all up perfectly.
Good luck, Lando 😉 pic.twitter.com/R042IBNxK5

— #L4NDO (@TeamL4NDO) March 29, 2020

And, it appears people really do want to see the hair fall to the floor…he raised $12,000 in total.

Not only has Lando being raising money for charity, but he and McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz have also become the first Formula 1 drivers to take a pay cut.

Fair play to both of them.

But now, back to more immediate matters, make sure to head on over to Lando’s glorious Twitch channel at 5PM BST to see the hair come off.

Today's the day. @LandoNorris becomes Baldo Norris! #F1 pic.twitter.com/D9IKlGSPXT

— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) April 2, 2020

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Auto News

Find of the Day Supplemental: 16V GLI Trophy with Only 13,000 Miles

First, the bad news. This mint 1989 Jetta GLI Trophy Edition is located in Canada. Thanks to a certain c-word virus, American readers are physically prevented from getting to it right now. But given the current situation, I’m sure you could work something out with the dealership.

The good news is that despite being sold in Montreal and currently living outside of Toronto, Canada’s salt appears not to have affected this car in the least. Rust is hard to spot if there is any and the interior appears to be in as good shape as the exterior.

The close-ups show a nick or two on the trim, but it’s kind of stuff you could have reasonably missed at the dealership in 1989, never mind 2020.

The Trophy trim means that it comes in Midnight Blue with black bumpers and trim, as well as a front air dam and some plastic fender flares. It also comes with “Trophy” decals on the rear quarter and Wolfsburg fender badges. The 15-inch BBS rims are factory and cover disc brakes all around. It was powered by VW’s 16-valve 1.8 liter engine and made 123 hp from the factory that runs through a five-speed manual transmission.

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Racing

No Le Mans test day for first time since 2010

The rescheduled Le Mans 24 Hours in September will not have an official test day, race organiser the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has confirmed.

The ACO has decided against running the test day, which normally takes place two weekends before the race, for multiple reasons, according to its president, Pierre Fillon.

He explained that it had been forced “rethink our priorities” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has already resulted in major changes to the world motorsport calendar.

The 24 Hours motorcycle endurance race on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit has been put back from April to September 5-6.

Fillon said that “holding two major events within three weeks of each other is a challenge” and that it was necessary to “sacrifice the test day”.

He explained that there was also a desire not to “overtax” competitors in what is likely to be a crowded schedule for the FIA World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series after the resumption of racing.

Fillon pointed out that “the test is not as old as the race and has been skipped on many occasions”.

“We’ve never been faced with a situation like this before,” he added. “An unprecedented situation calls for exceptional measures.”

A full schedule for Le Mans week is due to be announced at a later date, while the ACO is due reveal whether the postponed Spa round of the 2019/20 WEC will be rescheduled and a revised calendar for the 2020/21 season in early April.

The Le Mans test day was a regular part of the international sportscar schedule in the 1960s and early 1970s. It made a short-lived comeback in the 1980s before returning in 1993, briefly becoming a competitive pre-qualifying event.

The only years since then that it did not take place were in 2009 and ’10, when it was cancelled as a result of the economic downturn. It returned in 2011 with a date at the end of April, before moving back to its slot two weeks prior to the race.

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Racing

The day Senna, Brundle and Bellof made their F1 debuts

The 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix was the opening round of that year’s Formula 1 World Championship and was remarkable for the quintet of rookie drivers making their debuts. Most notably, it marked the maiden grand prix starts for Stefan Bellof, Ayrton Senna and Martin Brundle – as well as the less heralded Philippe Alliot and Francois Hesnault.

(Click on the arrows on the images above to scroll through them)

Of the bunch, Senna qualified highest – the future three-time world champion taking 17th on the grid, albeit over 5s off the pole time, but ahead of Toleman-Hart teammate Johnny Cecotto. 

Brundle, whom Senna had beaten to the 1983 British Formula 3 title, would line up two places behind in 19th in his normally aspirated Tyrrell-Ford. Hesnault was 20th in his Ligier-Renault, with Bellof 23rd in the second Tyrrell, and Alliot beating RAM-Hart teammate Jonathan Palmer to the final spot on the 26-car grid – although he was over 9s away from the fastest qualifying time.

Ayrton Senna, Toleman TG183B

Photo by: Sutton Images

In the race, Senna was the first to drop out, his debut lasting only eight laps before suffering a turbo failure. Bellof made it little further, out on lap 11, with Alliot (dead battery) and Hesnault (overheating) retiring after 24 and 25 laps respectively.

Brundle – who would go on to score nine podium finishes in a lengthy F1 career – was the only rookie to see the chequered flag, finishing fifth on the road. However, the Tyrrells would later be disqualified from the entire championship for various technical infringements, including the use of lead shot in a water tank as ballast during races.

Tragically, Bellof would lose his life in a Porsche Group C sportscar crash at Spa-Francorchamps a year later, an accident Brundle witnessed from the pitlane.

“Bellof was wild, but he wasn’t the crasher that some people seem to remember him as,” Brundle told Autosport. “I was about to jump in the Jag and saw that accident up at Eau Rouge as it happened. His accident was clearly a big one, but it didn’t look horrific.

Stefan Bellof, Thierry Boutsen, Porsche 956

Photo by: Motorsport Images

“I didn’t look at it and think that my F1 team-mate was dead, but at that time in sportscar racing there was ‘what’s going to happen next?’ feeling. It was the same feeling that we all had over the Imola weekend in 1994 [when Senna was killed] and the weeks that followed.

“There was obviously a lot more energy involved than was apparent from where I was standing. From what I understand, he didn’t stand a chance.”

Hesnault, who went on to race for Brabham, was most notable for being entered in a third Renault to carry an on-board camera in the 1985 German Grand Prix. F1 journeyman Alliot amassed over 100 starts (but scored only seven points) for RAM, Ligier and Larrousse, although he once subbed for the banned Mika Hakkinen at McLaren in the 1994 Hungarian GP. 

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Racing

Live updates from day two of the second F1 test

It is the penultimate day of F1 testing as we return to the Circuit de Catalunya for the fifth day of pre-season. Time to crank up the engines?

All times local (Morning session begins at 0900 and ends at 1300; Afternoon session runs from 1400 to 1800). Manually refresh to update the page.

Day five timesheet: To follow…

0830: Hello and welcome back to the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona for day two of the second test. Only 16 hours of track time remain before teams will pack up and head for the season opener in Australia. The first four hours will begin at 0900 local time.

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Racing

Kubica ends first day of second F1 test on top

Robert Kubica ended the opening day of Formula 1’s second week of pre-season testing at Barcelona on top, as second-placed Max Verstappen’s late spin brought out a red flag.

Kubica’s 1m16.942s time, set during the morning session on a set of the C5 tyres, was out of reach for the drivers participating in the afternoon – in which only Haas’s Romain Grosjean carried over from the morning. 

Having suffered from a spin early on in the session at the last chicane, Kubica bolted on the softest tyre compound to post his quickest time of the day – which withstood the afternoon’s siege as the focus shifted to race simulations. 

Taking over from teammate Alex Albon for the afternoon, Max Verstappen was the fastest man in the final four hours of running, vaulting up to second on the overall timesheets with a 1m17.347s lap on C3 tyres. 

Verstappen then locked up at Turn 10 with five minutes left on the clock, and was unable to get going once again – remaining stranded on the run-off to trigger the final red flag of the day. 

The afternoon’s running had been largely incident-free before that, with most drivers conducting a flurry of long runs on the harder compounds to simulate race mileage. 

AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat also came to a halt at the end of the session, albeit in unrelated circumstances to Verstappen as he stopped next to Turn 4. 

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez got within a tenth of Verstappen on the same C3 compound with 20 minutes to spare, while Kvyat similarly late lap prior to his stoppage was good enough for fourth overall. 

Pierre Gasly filed in behind teammate Kvyat despite only managing 25 laps in the morning session, having been stranded in the garage with a loose pipe aboard his AT01 car. 

He was just one-hundredth of a second ahead of Alex Albon, who also had very little running in the morning, having suffered with suspension problems. 

Lewis Hamilton recorded 89 laps in the morning – with the best among those a 1m17.562 – to slot into seventh ahead of Lance Stroll, who continued Racing Point’s impressive testing pace and led a portion of the pre-lunch running. 

Valtteri Bottas took Mercedes’ total lap count of the day to 179, ending the day ninth, while Sebastian Vettel shook off an early spin at Turn 8 to complete the top 10. 

Vettel’s excursion prompted the first red flag of the day after the Ferrari driver kicked up a hefty amount of gravel onto the circuit, while the second came courtesy of Nicholas Latifi – who had to pull over at the exit of turn 9. 

Latifi later divulged that his Williams had suffered from an oil systems problem, which curtailed his running for the day before George Russell took over for the afternoon. 

Grosjean racked up the most laps of the day with 107, although Mercedes completed the most miles of the day overall. 

Session results

Pos. Driver Team Engine Time Laps
1 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:16.942 53
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda 1:17.347 84
3 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes 1:17.428 84
4 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda 1:17.456 61
5 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 1:17.540 25
6 Alexander Albon Red Bull Honda 1:17.550 29
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 1:17.562 89
8 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes 1:17.787 43
9 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Mercedes 1:18.100 90
10 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Ferrari 1:18.113 84
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault Renault 1:18.214 53
12 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 1:18.221 46
13 Charles Leclerc Ferrari Ferrari 1:18.244 80
14 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 1:18.300 48
15 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:18.535 59
16 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:18.670 107
17 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:18.826 57
18 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:19.515 51
19 Esteban Ocon Renault Renault 1:21.542 74

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Racing

Live updates from Day 3 of F1 testing in Barcelona

Welcome to the final day of the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Pink Mercedes on day one, Lewis Hamilton’s steering wheel on day two, what will day three bring?

All times local (Morning session begins at 0900 and ends at 1300; Afternoon session runs from 1400 to 1800). Manually refresh to update the page.

Day 3 timesheet: to follow…

0845:  Day 3 line up: Mercedes: Valtteri Bottas (am) / Lewis Hamilton (pm); Ferrari: Charles Leclerc / Sebastian Vettel; Red Bull: Max Verstappen (am) / Alexander Albon (pm); McLaren: Lando Norris (am) / Carlos Sainz Jnr (pm); Renault: Esteban Ocon (am) / Daniel Ricciardo (pm); AlphaTauri: Daniil Kvyat (am) / Pierre Gasly (pm); Racing Point: Lance Stroll; Alfa Romeo: Antonio Giovinazzi; Haas: Romain Grosjean (am) / Kevin Magnussen (pm); Williams: Nicholas Latifi

0830:  Hello Formula 1 world, welcome back to Barcelona for the final day of the first pre-season test. It’s flown by! The track light will go green in 30 minutes. Stay tuned…

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