European Race Round 8

Nico Rosberg wins inaugural grand prix in Baku ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Force India’s Sergio Perez as Lewis Hamilton finishes 5th after engine troubles.

19/06/16

Magnussen to start from pit lane

Renault’s Kevin Magnussen will start the race from the pit lane due to the team changing his gearbox and set up changes as well.

Tyre choice

Nico Hulkenberg, Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson will start on the Soft compound tyre while everyone else will start on used or new Supersoft tyres.

Race

The lights go green and Nico Rosberg leads everyone safely through turn 1. He leads ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez with Lewis Hamilton in 10th. Not everyone has survived turn 1 with Esteban Gutierrez being hitting Nico Hulkenberg with Gutierrez losing a part of his front wing.

Lap 3, Valterri Bottas passes Daniil Kvyat for 8th place into turn 2 with Lewis Hamilton following through with an overtake down the main straight on lap 4. Lap 5, Bottas now overtakes Max Verstappen into turn 1 with Hamilton again following through into turn 2. Lap 6, Daniel Ricciardo has fallen behind race leader Nico Rosberg and has now got Sebastian Vettel right behind and has been overtaken into turn 1. Max Verstappen pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. At the end of lap 6, Ricciardo pulls into the pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. This confirms that both Red Bull drivers are on a 2 stop strategy.

Lap 7, Daniil Kvyat pulls into the pits and retires due to a suspension failure. Lap 8, Kimi Raikkonen pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. Lap 11, Lewis Hamilton passes Valterri Bottas into turn 1. Lap 12, Nico Rosberg sets the fastest lap of a 1:49:907 and now has a gap of 24 seconds back to Hamilton. Lap 13, Raikkonen is under investigation by the stewards for crossing the whit line at the pit lane entry. He is currently in 8th place and has been awarded a 5 second time penalty.

Lap 15, Lewis Hamilton pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. Kimi Raikkonen, after being awarded the 5 second time penalty, overtakes Nico Hulkenberg round the outside into turn 1. Lap 16, Nico Rosberg leads ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Sergio Perez and Valterri Bottas. The top 4 have not stopped for a fresh set of tyres. Lap 17, Sergio Perez pits from 3rd and appears ahead of Lewis Hamilton on the Soft tyre. Lap 19, Raikkonen is now on a charge and overtakes Daniel Ricciardo into turn 1 and is up into 4th place. Lap 20, Valterri Bottas pits and goes onto the Soft tyre with Sebastian Vettel pitting the next lap onto a set of Soft tyres as well.

Max Verstappen also pits on lap 21 but goes onto the Medium tyre. Lap 22, race leader Nico Rosberg pits from the lead and rejoins in 1st with a set of Soft tyres. Lap 23, Daniel Ricciardo pits and also goes onto the Medium tyre like team-mate Verstappen. Lap 25, Nico Rosberg leads ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Sergio Perez, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Valterri Bottas, Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg.

Lap 28, Kimi Raikkonen lets team-mate Sebastian Vettel through into 2nd place. Lap 29, Felipe Massa pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. Lap 31, Lewis Hamilton has been hit with an ERS problem. Hamilton is experiencing lower than maximum electrical deployment. He is losing a significant amount of time on the straights. Lap 32, Carlos Sainz has pulled over in the run off area at turn 1 with suspected suspension problems. The same with team-mate Daniil Kvyat who retired earlier.

Lap 34, Lewis Hamilton has been on the team radio trying to get his Mercedes team to tell him what is wrong with his car. Mercedes cannot tell the reigning world champion what to do due to the radio restrictions. Lap 39, Nico Rosberg leads ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and lewis Hamilton. Lap 41, Pascal Wehrlein pulls off to the run off area at turn 1 and responds to the team saying “I have no brakes.” Lap 43, Fernando Alonso is told by his McLaren Honda team that they are going to retire the car as the problem is getting worse. We do not know what the problem is but it sounds serious. Lap 44, having solved his ERS problem, Lewis Hamilton is flying having found the right button to press on his steering wheel.

Lap 46, Sergio Perez is within the needed 5 seconds behind Kimi Raikkonen who still has the 5 second penalty for crossing the white line at the pit lane entry. Lap 48, Daniel Ricciardo overtakes Nico Hulkenberg into turn 1 and up into 7th place. Lap 50, Max Verstappen overtakes Hulkenberg into turn 1 and into 8th place. Lap 51, Sergio Perez has now overtaken Kimi Raikkonen into turn 1 and has now rightfully gained 3rd place. Lap 51 Nico Rosberg wins ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez.

Race result

1.Rosberg  2.Vettel  3.Perez  4.Raikkonen*  5.Hamilton  6.Bottas  7.Ricciardo  8.Verstappen  9.Hulkenberg  10.Massa  11.Button  12.Nasr  13.Grosjean  14.Magnussen  15.Palmer  16.Gutierrez  17.Ericsson  18.Haryanto  DNF Alonso, Wehrlein, Sainz and Kvyat.

Raikkonen* was given a 5 second time penalty for crossing the white line at the entry to the pit lane.

 

 

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European Qualifying Round 8

Nico Rosberg takes pole position ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo as a scrappy session including a crash in Q3 sees Lewis Hamilton starting 10th.

18/06/18

Perez carrying a hefty price

Force India’s Sergio Perez crashed in practice 3 and had to take a 5 place grid drop for changing his gearbox as it had to much damaged for Force India to use it in Qualifying and in the race. Perez has been quick this weekend so far and this grid drop would affect in qualifying.

Q1

Carlos Sainz is the first car out on track and sets a bench mark time of a 1:47:237. Lewis Hamilton comes round for his first lap and smashes Sainz’s lap of a 1:44:259. Nico Rosberg, who has been well of the pace of Hamilton so far this weekend, beats Hamilton’s time and goes quickest on a 1:44:136.  With 10 minutes to go, Haas’s Romain Grosjean has been wide twice on his lap and reports back to the team of possible brake problems. With 8 minutes to go, Rosberg leads, now on a 1:43:685 ahead of Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. With 6 minutes to go, both Ferrari cars of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen head on for their first laps. With under 1 minute to go, McLaren Honda’s Jenson Button is in danger of being knocked out and has one final lap to save himself. He has not done it and backs off in the middle sector and doesn’t sound happy on team radio. Nico Rosberg is quickest ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez.

Out: Palmer – 22nd, Magnussen – 21st, Ericsson – 20th, Button – 19th, Wehrlein – 18th and Haryanto – 17th.

Q2

Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez is the first car to start a a lap and sets a 1:45:349. With 10 minutes to go, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg spins but manages to keep it on the track and carriers on. Nico Rosberg posts the quickest lap of the session with a 1:42:520. With 5 minutes to go, Rosberg is 1st, Sebastian Vettel is 3rd with Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo 8th and 9th are close to being knocked out. Hamilton locks up at turn 7 and only has one final lap to save himself. His final lap is good enough and posts the 2nd quickest time pushing Romain Grosjean out. Nico Rosberg is quickest ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez.

Out: Nasr – 16th, Gutierrez – 15th, Alonso  – 14th, Sainz  – 13th, Hulkenberg – 12th and Grosjean – 11th.

Q3

Daniel Ricciardo is the first to set a lap on a 1:45:228. Sergio Perez comes round on a very quick 1:43:515. Another mistake by Lewis Hamilton with 6 minutes to go, he locks up and goes wide and causes Nico Rosberg to slow down. With 3 minutes to go, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton sit 8th and 9th with Sergio Perez on provisional pole position. That’s it, one mistake too much and Hamilton’s scrappy session comes to an end by hitting turn 11 and damaging his front right suspension. The red flag is out just as Nico Rosberg posts his first lap and it’s good enough for provisional pole position with a 1:42:758. The session is stopped with 2 minutes and 5 seconds to go as the crane lifts Hamilton’s car off the track. Hamilton’s car is removed and the session is started again for only one flying lap. But not Rosberg, he does not go out again as he and Mercedes are confident with his lap. Daniel Ricciardo is the only car to improve and goes 3rd.

Top 10: Hamilton – 10th, Verstappen – 9th, Bottas – 8th, Kvyat – 7th, Massa – 6th, Raikkonen – 5th, Vettel – 4th.

Top 3: Ricciardo – 3rd, Perez – 2nd and Rosberg 1st.

Qualifying Results

1.Rosberg  2.Ricciardo  3.Vettel  4.Raikkonen  5.Massa  6.Kvyat  7.Perez*  8.Bottas  9.Verstappen  10.Hamilton  11.Grosjean  12.Hulkenberg  13.Alonso  14.Gutierrez  15.Nasr  16.Haryanto  17.Wehrlein  18.Sainz*  19.Button  20.Ericsson  21.Magnussen*  22.Palmer

Perez* dropped 5 places due to his gearbox change after his crash in practice 3.

Both Sainz* and Magnussen* have been given a 5 place grid drop for unscheduled gearbox changes after qualifying.

European GP Preview

The 2016 season sees Azerbaijan become the latest addition to the Formula One calendar to host a grand prix and hold the title of the European GP.

17/06/16

History of the European GP

Baku becomes the latest circuit to add to the calendar this year just two years after Russia in Sochi. The European GP has had many hosts in F1 including places at : Aintree, Caesar’s Palace, Detroit, Dallas, Indianapolis and Istanbul. Many drivers and teams come into this weekend facing the unknown having never raced or been on the track. Teams will be trying different set-up ideas as the track has been compared to Monza in Italy.

Many questions face the teams this weekend including: How long will the tyres last? How much fuel saving will drivers do? And how many times will the Safety Car make an appearance.

Track facts

  • Laps: 51
  • Circuit length: 3.732 miles
  • Race distance: 190.171 miles
  • Lap record: N/A
  • Corners: 20

Hamilton on a roll!

Lewis Hamilton is currently is a roll with 2 consecutive GP wins in Monaco and in Canada. Hamilton’s teammate, Nico Rosberg says that he is not phased bu the points difference which was 43 and it is now 9 just after two grand prix’s. Who will have the advantage this weekend?

What can Baku produce?

All the drivers and teams enter this weekend not knowing what to expect in qualifying and in the race. Overtaking will be big on the long straight from turn 19 to turn 1. I’m sure we will see the Safety car at one point or two.

Qualifying is on Saturday the 18th and the Race on the 19th of June.

After Round 7 Standings

After the Canadian grand prix, Nico Rosberg leads the Drivers Championship and Mercedes lead the Constructors Championship.

14/06/16

Drivers Championship

  1. Nico Rosberg 116 points
  2. Lewis Hamilton 107 points
  3. Sebastian Vettel 78 points
  4. Daniel Ricciardo 72 points
  5. Kimi Raikkonen 69 points
  6. Max Verstappen 50 points
  7. Valterri Bottas 44 points
  8. Felipe Massa 37 points
  9. Sergio Perez 24 points
  10. Daniil Kvyat 22 points
  11. Romain Grosjean 22 points
  12. Fernando Alonso 18 points
  13. Nico Hulkenberg 18 points
  14. Carlos Sainz 18 points
  15. Kevin Magnussen 6 points
  16. Jenson Button 5 points
  17. Stoffel Vandoorne 1 point
  18. Esteban Gutierrez 0 points
  19. Jolyon Palmer 0 points
  20. Marcus Ericsson 0 points
  21. Pascal Wehrlein 0 points
  22. Felipe Nasr 0 points
  23. Rio Haryanto 0 points

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes 223 points
  2. Ferrari 147 points
  3. Red Bull 130 points
  4. Williams 81 points
  5. Force India 42 points
  6. Torro Rosso 32 points
  7. McLaren 24 points
  8. Haas 22 points
  9. Renault 6 points
  10. Sauber 0 points
  11. Manor 0 points

The European grand prix weekend takes place in Baku  for round 8 on the 17th – 19th of June.

Canada Race Round 7

Lewis Hamilton wins ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Williams Valterri Bottas as Nico Rosberg finishes 5th after a slow puncture and a spin.

12/06/16

Rain ahead?

There are spots of rain forming on the track and driver visors. Its windy and cold and the chance of rain is just 40%.

Tyre choice

Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen are starting on the Soft tyre with Jenson Button and Rio Haryanto starting on the Super Soft tyre.

Race

The lights go green and Sebastian Vettel gets a great start from 3rd, jumps Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg and leads into turn 1. Hamilton and Rosberg are side by side as they enter turn 1 with Hamilton on the inside, they both touch and Rosberg momentary takes to the grass and by the end of lap 1, he’s 10th. Vettel leads ahead of Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Valterri Bottas. Lap 6, Rosberg is now right behind Nico Hulkenberg in 8th. While the gap from Vettel in front to Hamilton behind is only 1 second.

Lap 9, there is a train of cars forming behind Fernando Alonso including team-mate Jenson Button, Romain Grosjean and Carlos Sainz. Lap 11, Button has has come to a stop on the back straight at a marshal post and their is fire coming from back of the McLaren Honda car.

Interesting pit strategy from Ferrari at lap 11 when they pit Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen and both go onto the Supersoft tyre. Lap 12, Hamilton now leads ahead of Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel and Valterri Bottas. Lap 17, Vettel is right behind Ricciardo and Verstappen and overtakes Ricciardo into turn 10. Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean, Daniil Kvyat and Jolyon Plamer pit and all go onto the Soft tyre. Not Palmer though, the Renault pit crew push the car into the garage and into retirement.

Lap 18, Sebastian Vettel overtakes Max Verstappen into turn 13 and is up to 2nd. Lap 21, Verstappen pits and goes onto the Soft compound tyre. More importantly, Verstappen appears out ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Lap 22, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg pit and both go onto the Soft tyre. In his efforts, Ricciardo has not jumped Raikkonen and has appeared behind him. Lap 23 and 24, both Williams cars of Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas pit for the Soft tyre. Lap 24, race leader, Lewis Hamilton pits and goes onto the Soft tyre.

Lap 31, Kimi Raikkonen now has Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas and Nico Rosberg right behind him. Lap 34, Raikkonen has had enough of these tyres and pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. Lap 36, Sebastian Vettel has a 10 second gap to Lewis Hamilton in 2nd. Vettel needs a bigger gap to have a really good chance of catching Hamilton at the end. Lap 37, Vettel pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. Now he has to chase down Hamilton if he wants to win. Felipe Massa pulls into the pits and retires for Williams on lap 37. Lap 39, Daniel Ricciardo pits and he is told the reason for why he had to pit was that the he a slow front right. Which is the first stage of a puncture.

Lap 46, Max Verstappen pits and goes onto the Ultrasoft tyre. Lap 50, Sebastian Vettel has slowly closed the gap to Lewis Hamilton in front and the gap now is just over 5 and a half seconds. Lap 52, Nico Rosberg pits and goes onto the Soft tyre after a slow right rear puncture. Lap 55, Rosberg has caught and now passed Daniel Ricciardo into turn 13. Lap 56, Sebastian Vettel has still got a 5 second gap to race leader, Lewis Hamilton. Lap 58, Rosberg has now overtaken Kimi Raikkonen into turn 13 and is up to 5th. Lap 62, Rosberg is now under 1 second behind max Verstappen in 4th. Lap 69, Rosberg is desperately trying to overtake Verstappen and tries to go round the outside of Verstappen into turn 13. But Rosberg gets a couple of wheels on the grass and half spins across the chicane. Lap 70, Lewis Hamilton wins ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Valterri Bottas.

Race result

1.Hamilton  2.Vettel  3.Bottas  4.Verstappen  5.Rosberg  6.Raikkonen  7.Ricciardo  8.Hulkenberg  9.Sainz  10.Perez  11.Alonso  12.Kvyat  13.Gutierrez  14.Grosjean  15.Ericsson  16.Magnussen  17.Wehrlein  18.Nasr  19.Haryanto  DNF Massa, Palmer and Button

 

Canada Qualifying Round 7

Lewis Hamilton takes pole position ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel as Torro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz crashes heavily into the “wall of champions” in Q2.

11/06/16

Magnussen unable to take part in Qualifying

Near the end of practise 3 today, Renault’s Kevin Magnussen crashed heavily into the barriers at turn 7. Magnussen went to put on the power, he lost control of his car and was quickly shunted into the wall. That brought the end of the session which saw Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel quickest. Magnussen will start at the back of the grid spare chassis after damaging several parts of his car.

Q1

Clouds cover the circuit and some drivers are taking two laps to warm up their tyres and set their lap. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen sets the banker lap of a 1:18:550. Nico Rosberg then goes quicker on a 1:14:001. He then comes round again and smashes his personal best and sets a 1:13:714. With 4 minutes to go the session, the gap from 11th to 16th is very close to being put in the drop zone.  With 2 minutes and 10 seconds to go, Manor’s Rio Haryanto hits the wall at turn 4 and has a right rear puncture. He trundles round the circuit and comes to a halt at a marshal post on the long back straight. Nico Rosberg end the session quickest ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.

Out: Magnussen – 22nd, Haryanto – 21st, Nasr – 20th, Ericsson – 19th, Wehrlein – 18th and Palmer – 17th.

Q2

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg sets the bench mark time of a 1:17:808. With 12 minutes to go, Carlos Sainz has hit the “wall of champions” and has brought out the red flag. The session is stopped at 11:52 minutes to go. The marshals and the recovery truck clear up the debris and Torro Rosso car. The session is started again and Lewis Hamilton posts the quickest lap time of a 1:13:076. The final laps are in and a small lock up for McLaren Honda’s Jenson Button going into turn 10 costs him a Q3 appearance. Lewis Hamilton ends the session quickest ahead of Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo.

Out: Sainz – 16th, Grosjean – 15th, Gutierrez – 14th, Kvyat – 13th, Button – 12th and Perez – 11th.

Q3

Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo sets the first competitive lap of a 1:13:521. Lewis Hamilton comes round and beats Ricciardo’s lap and goes quickest on a 1:12:812. Hamilton leads from Nico Rosberg, Max Verstappen Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. Cars are in the pits preparing for their final runs but Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa are out on track, out of sync and posting their times. The final runs are in and Vettel improves to 3rd, Ricciardo beats Verstappen to 4th and Rosberg’s messy final run can’t top Hamilton’s lap.

Top 10: Alonso – 10th, Hulkenberg – 9th, Massa – 8th, Bottas  – 7th, Raikkonen – 6th, Verstappen – 5th, Ricciardo – 4th.

Top 3: Vettel – 3rd, Rosberg – 2nd and Hamilton – 1st.

Qualifying Results

1.Hamilton  2.Rosberg  3.Vettel  4.Ricciardo  5.Verstappen  6.Raikkonen  7.Bottas  8.Massa  9.Hulkenberg  10.Alonso  11.Perez  12.Button  13.Gutierrez  14.Grosjean  15.Kvyat*  16.Palmer  17.Wehrlein  18.Nasr  19.Haryanto  20.Sainz*  21.Ericsson*  22.Magnussen*

Kvyat* and Ericsson* were given 3 place grid penalty’s after Monaco due to incidents on track.

Sainz* given a 5 place grid penalty for changing his gearbox after crashing in Q2 after the one he used wasn’t in great condition.

 

 

 

Canada GP Preview

Can Daniel Ricciardo fight back? Is Lewis Hamilton’s championship charge on? Can Ferrari turn around a disappointing first 6 races with a win at Canada? How will McLaren Honda fare this year at Canada?

09/06/16

History of the Canada GP

The circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is one of my favourite races on the F1 calendar. The track held its first race in 1978 and it was by Gilles Villeneuve, the only Canadian to win the Canadian GP to date. The circuit is narrow and is protected by concrete walls. Mistakes are often so the Safety car make a regular appearance. The circuit has played host to some incredible and unpredictable races.

One key corner on the track is the final chicane which features the notorious “Wall of Champions” on its exit.The “Wall of Champions” was named this after the race in 1999 where Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve all crashed during the race. Since then, the wall has also claimed other driver including Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel.

Maiden wins at Canada

  • Gilles Villeneuve (1978)
  • Lewis Hamilton (2007)
  • Robert Kubica (2008)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (2014)

Track facts

  • Laps: 70
  • Circuit length:
  • Race distance: 305.27 km
  • Lap record: 1:13:622, Rubens Barrichello, 2004
  • Corners: 14

Most Wins

Michael Schumacher has the most wins round here win 7 spanning from 1994 to 2004. Lewis Hamilton has 4 wins round here including his maiden win in 2007. He also won in 2010, 2012 and in 2015. Out of the current grid, except Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo have also won here won here once each.

Ferrari and McLaren are tied with 13 wins each here with Ferrari’s last win in 2004 and McLaren’s last win in 2012. Williams are next on 7 wins with their last win back in 2001. Red Bull have only 2 wins here with both in 2013 and in 2014.

Ricciardo on a mission!

The last two grand prixs have not gone Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo way. Ricciardo qualified 3rd in Spain and when both Mercedes cars of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton crashed out, he took the lead. Red Bull split strategies on both Ricciardo and Max Verstappen which saw Verstappen eventually winning the race. Ricciardo ended up a distant 4th place after a puncture only a couple of laps before the end. Ricciardo came into Monaco with the B-spec Renault power unit and fastest in practice 2. He took pole position ahead of Hamilton and Rosberg. Hamilton and Ricciardo battled but when Ricciardo came into the pits, his tyres were not ready. He was left there until his mechanics brought out and fitted his tyres. He finished 2nd behind Hamilton. Ricciardo took his maiden win here in 2014, can he win here on Sunday?

Ferrari have to step up!

So far this season, Ferrari have been so far disappointing. If its their fault or not, it has been a bad start to the season. We were given so much hope during and after pre season testing that the Italian squad would be able to challenge Mercedes nearly all the time. So far that has not worked. Ferrari have only gotten both cars of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen twice to the finish out of 6 races. Ferrari were heavily criticised after the Spanish GP where Raikkonen finished 2nd and Vettel 3rd. They really should have done better considering that both Mercedes cars collided on the first lap. But they didn’t and Raikkonen ended up behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Can Ferrari turn around their form and win at Canada?

Change in form for McLaren?

McLaren Honda endured one of their worst performances of the year here at Canada last year. Both cars of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button retired and both were told to save fuel frequently during the race. So far this year, results have improved including Alonso’s 5th place at the last race in Monaco. For Canada, Button and Alonso will run an updated Turbo charger. Honda have spent two development tokens this weekend and have 12 tokens remaining to use for the rest of the season.

Qualifying is on Saturday the 11th of June with the Race on Sunday the 12th of June.