Vet­tel feels not done yet de­spite Hamilton’s lead

THE MO­TOR­SPORT LAP/ Jonathan Rea clinches fourth World Su­per­bike ti­tle and look: Porsche Mo­tor­sport’s birth­day gift

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - Mo­tor News Re­porter

Fer­rari’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel isn’t ready to give up the fight de­spite fall­ing to 50 points be­hind his Mercedes ri­val Lewis Hamilton af­ter Sun­day’s Rus­sian For­mula One Grand Prix in Sochi.

“I wasn’t a ge­nius in maths, but I was clever enough to pay at­ten­tion to make it up my­self,” said the German when asked whether he could feel the cham­pi­onship slipping away af­ter Hamilton led a Mercedes onetwo in Russia.

“It’s not get­ting easier if we lose points. “I still be­lieve in our chances; yes, ob­vi­ously it’s not get­ting big­ger if you fin­ish be­hind but who knows? It takes one DNF (non-fin­ish) and then all of a sud­den things look dif­fer­ent,” he added.

“Ideally two — which I’m not wish­ing on Lewis but you never know what hap­pens. So we need to stay on top of our game which maybe we haven’t been com­pletely this week­end: make sure that from where we are now, we fo­cus on winning the last races.”

Hamilton has now won eight times this sea­son, and five of the last six races, while Vet­tel — on five wins — opened the cam­paign strongly but has faded due in part to er­rors made by him­self and the team.

The German now has 256 points to Hamilton’s 306, with five races re­main­ing.

Ja­pan is up next, fol­lowed by Texas and Mex­ico, be­fore Brazil and the fi­nale in Abu Dhabi.

Vet­tel won his first ti­tle with Red Bull in 2010 af­ter over­haul­ing a 31-point deficit in the last six races, while in 2012 he took his third crown de­spite hav­ing been 44 points adrift of his then­clos­est ri­val Fer­nando Alonso at one point. Jonathan Rea clinched his fourth World Su­per­bike ti­tle in suc­ces­sion at the French round on the week­end.

The North­ern Ir­ish­man has dom­i­nated the sea­son, winning 13 races and wrap­ping up the cham­pi­onship with two rounds still to go.

Winning Satur­day’s first race at the Magny Cours cir­cuit en­sured the Kawasaki ZX-10 rider claimed an unas­sail­able lead in the stand­ings, but there wasn’t too much time for cel­e­bra­tion as there was Sun­day’s race to run, which he promptly won as well.

Rea has now made it eight con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries in a row, match­ing the best World SBK winning streak since Troy Bayliss did the same back in 2006. Rea is also the first SBK rider to win four con­sec­u­tive ti­tles. English­man Carl Fog­a­rty took four in the 1990s but not in suc­ces­sive years.

Rea won Satur­day’s race one ahead of his Kawasaki team­mate Tom Sykes, with Xavi Fores (Du­cati) third.

The cham­pion took Sun­day’s race af­ter a close-fought bat­tle with Du­cati’s Chaz Davies, with Michael van der Mark (Yamaha) com­plet­ing the podium. Porsche has un­veiled a new 935 race car fea­tur­ing a body rem­i­nis­cent of the leg­endary Porsche 935/78 of 40 years ago.

Based on the street-le­gal 911 GT2 RS, and pow­ered by the same 515kW 3.8l six-cylin­der turbo en­gine, this dis­tinctly non­street-le­gal com­pe­ti­tion ve­hi­cle will be pro­duced in a lim­ited run of just 77 units.

The German car maker calls it a birth­day present from Porsche Mo­tor­sport to fans all over the world. The car isn’t ho­molo­gated for any racing se­ries but is geared to­wards club­sport events and pri­vate train­ing on race­tracks.

Like its his­toric pre­de­ces­sor, most of the body is car­bon-fi­bre re­in­forced poly­mer (CFRP). Pay­ing trib­ute to the Porsche 935/78 Le Mans race car which was nick­named “Moby Dick” due to its elon­gated shape and white base colour, it has an ex­tended rear, a huge tail wing, and iconic Mar­tini liv­ery.

The car comes with a safety cage and racing bucket seat with a six-point safety har­ness, with a se­cond seat for a pas­sen­ger avail­able as an op­tional ex­tra.

Power is trans­ferred to the 310mm wide rear wheels via a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch trans­mis­sion.

The new Porsche 935 can be or­dered for à701,948 (R11.6m).

Lewis Hamilton (right) won the Sochi race in con­tro­ver­sial style af­ter his team-mate Valt­teri Bot­tas (left) was forced to let him pass by Mercedes.

Jonathan Rea cel­e­brates be­ing num­ber one for the fourth con­sec­u­tive time.

‘Moby Dick’ is re­born in the new Porsche 935 track car.

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