“The Distortion of Sound” documentary by HARMAN wins Gold Dolphin at Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards

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Film is an eye-opening expose of the current state of sound quality, and the war that is being waged to improve audio quality. 

STAMFORD, CT – HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE:HAR), the premier connected technologies company for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, today announced that it was awarded with a Gold Dolphin at the prestigious Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards for its “Distortion of Sound” documentary in the “Streaming” category. The annual Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards honour the world’s finest corporate films, online media and TV documentaries, in one of the most important film centres of the world: Cannes, France.

“The Distortion of Sound” is one of 152 award-winners in a multitude of categories and stood up to nearly 800 award entries from all over the world. The Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards were founded in 2010 and have become one of the top festivals for corporate films worldwide. Jury members include several Oscar and Emmy Award winners.

The award-winning documentary “The Distortion of Sound” is about the decline of sound and how technology has changed the way we listen to music. The film was produced by HARMAN and captured comments from members of the recording industry about their concerns with the lack of realism that digitally compressed music offers. The cast includes 27-time Grammy Award winner Quincy Jones, famous Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer, Mike Shinoda of world-famous rock band Linkin Park, guitar legend Slash, and rap icon Snoop Dogg.

“We are proud that the jury recognised how the film is awakening people to the need for a better sound quality in our everyday life,” explains Ralph Santana, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer, HARMAN. “We are dedicated to waging the war against the distortion of sound in the digital age, and through the film we hope everyone recognises what they are missing and how to bring emotion back to music, no matter where they listen to it.”

Pre-Fuji Q&A with technical director Jay Davenport

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Strakka Racing is heading to the Fuji Speedway for the first time since the 2012 season, Jay Davenport – the team’s technical director – previews the event

Constructed in the early 1960s, Fuji Speedway is a mecca of Japanese motorsport made famous by its mile-long pit straight featuring the backdrop of Mount Fuji. Now in its fifth configuration, the Toyota-owned circuit was a mainstay on the World Sportscar Championship’s calendar in the 80s and has been a key round of the World Endurance Championship since its inception in 2012, attracting the largest crowds outside of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

What’s the team’s overall feelings prior to leaving for Japan?

It’s been a few years since Strakka has been at Fuji Speedway, last time the team raced there was in the FIA WEC’s inaugural season back in 2012, so we’re all looking forward to returning. Danny (Watts) in particular has a smile on his face, he loves driving there and almost snatched pole in the LMP1 privateer class last time.

What are the key characteristics of the Fuji Speedway that you have to prepare for?

The famous pit-straight comes to mind, but it’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that’s the most crucial part of the circuit. There’s so much to be gained in the final sector, which is very technical and the long right-hander at Turn 4 wears the left-side tyres so much that we tend to run an asymmetrical camber. It’s a smooth track so we can make the most of that through optimizing the ride height and making the most of the kerbs!

So what do you expect from the Dunlop rubber this time round, having had them for a few events now?


We feel we have a deeper understanding of them now, especially after CoTA. We’ll be running the Dunlop Medium and Medium Plus compounds throughout the weekend. The Gibson is pretty light on its tyres so we’re hoping to gain an advantage from that. Cooler temperatures in region surrounding Mount Fuji should fare better for the Gibson.  Nick Leventis, Jonny Kane and Danny Watts all have experience driving at the Speedway during the WEC’s inaugural season too, something we were missing from CoTA.

What’s the strategy for the weekend and the race?

Well Fuji is pretty unpredictable when it comes to weather, so we have to keep that in mind. The long-range forecast suggests we may see showers, but it can change in an instant, just look at the event two years ago when the WEC made the trip: sunny one day, torrential rain and mist the next!  One thing we do know is that Jonny (Kane) will be in the car for Qualifying this time round. He really likes the track. He’ll get extended running throughout Practice to ensure he’s at his best for the Qualifying session.

How about the competition, who do you think will be the biggest challenge to beat this time round?

Jay Davenport

The Ligiers are really strong and will continue to be, but we all think the Oreca 05 is still the car to beat. The 05 is such an efficient car and should be good down the pit-straight too. If the rain does come down though, all bets are off!

The fans at Fuji tend to be a talking point, as they’re so passionate and there are so many of them. Does that provide any extra motivation?

Definitely, it’s the biggest crowd of the year outside of Le Mans, and that makes a huge difference. It feels like a big event from what I’ve seen and that will get us all working that little bit harder to impress our fans. The drivers always say you can feed off 50,000+ people in the grandstands. I can’t wait to see the Strakka fans at the autograph sessions, we have no doubt there will be some after our history racing with Honda and DOME.

The on-track action for the WEC teams runs from the 9th-11th of October, with the race starting at 11am local time.

Falken’s new Silent Core technology to reduce tyre-generated drive-by and cabin noise


A new tyre manufacturing process has enabled Falken Tyre to reduce drive-by noise by up to ten decibels and cabin noise by four decibels.

Quieter tyres that minimise distraction noise and in-cabin drone have been developed by Falken Tyre. While cars are getting quieter, tyres can still generate a notable amount of drive-by noise. Air inside the cavity vibrates and resonates, causing vibrations and therefore sound to be transmitted through the vehicle and into the cabin.

Falken Tyre, together with its parent company Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), has developed a patented solution called Silent Core, which reduces noise thanks to a layer of innovative ether-polyurethane foam material that’s applied to the inside of the tyre carcass. Absorbing sound, the double-humped foam layer can achieve drive-by noise reductions of up to ten decibels compared to standard tyres and can also decrease cabin noise by up to four decibels. Testing to date has shown that tyre performance is not affected and Silent Core lasts for the duration of the tyre’s lifetime.

The production process is now mature enough for series production and the Silent Core product is undergoing a pilot phase with a well-known automotive manufacturer, with other brands also having expressed keen interest.

“Silent Core is a very simple yet extremely effective solution to the reduction of drive-by and cabin noise created by the tyre,” says Andreas Giese, Product Planning Manager at Falken Tyre. “We’ve received a significant amount of interest from automotive

manufacturers about this new technology, which is cheaper and easier to implement than electronic technologies. Initial reports from the pilot test are positive and we’re looking forward to seeing the Silent Core technology progress.”

Third podium of WSR season for Ellinas at Le Mans

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Strakka Racing’s double race-winner makes third visit in as many race meetings to Formula Renault 3.5 Series rostrum

Tio Ellinas secured yet more Formula Renault 3.5 Series silverware during round 15 of the season at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit in France on Sunday, 27th September, with a fighting third place finish in the second race of the weekend.

Having qualified on pole position for Strakka Racing, the Cypriot led away at the start and maintained his place at the front into the mandatory pit-stops after a brief Safety Car period. Although missing out on the chance to challenge for victory after all of the pit visits played out, third place still marked a very strong result and consolidated a top six championship placing.

“We had a great start to today after an amazing qualifying”, said Ellinas, “The balance in the race wasn’t quite the same and the Safety Car spoiled our advantage a bit. Still, third was very good points and I’m pleased to be on the podium for the third meeting running. I’m looking forward to Jerez now.”

Arriving at Le Mans off the back of the team’s first ever one-two result last time out at the Nurburgring in Germany, hopes were high of continued success during the penultimate event of 2015. Ellinas produced an exceptional performance in round 15 qualifying to take pole position by almost half a second, his best lap a time of 1m20.648 seconds (186.8 km/h), while team-mate Gustav Malja ended the session 13th quickest.

Making an excellent start to the race, Ellinas led away through the first sequence of turns and although only a few tenths of a second ahead of Tom Dillmann over the course of the first five laps, the Strakka driver remained unflustered. Due to an incident further back in the order, the Safety Car was deployed at the beginning of lap six which corresponded with the scheduled opening of the mandatory pit-stop window. After the re-start on the eighth tour, Ellinas led away again and then pitted for his stop at the end of the lap. Malja meanwhile, who held 14th position prior to the Safety Car, made his stop a lap later than his team-mate from eighth place.

When the order settled around mid-distance, albeit with the lead three cars still to pit, Ellinas held fourth position with Malja in the top 10. Hopes of a bid for victory didn’t work out, though, with Ellinas having to settle for a nonetheless strong third after Egor Orudzhev and Matthieu Vaxiviere emerged ahead following their pit visits.

Under huge pressure from Dean Stoneman throughout the second half of the race, Ellinas kept his rival at bay to claim the third podium of his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 campaign. Malja, meanwhile, moved up into ninth position on lap 16 and remained there to the finish sandwiched between newly crowned Formula Renault 3.5 Series Champion Oliver Rowland and Nyck De Vries.

“The second race was pretty good”, said Malja, “Before that we struggled a bit for pace but we learned a lot from the first race and the set-up for race two was really good. Now, we’re already looking for the Jerez preparation and to bounce back there.”

In round 14 on Saturday, 26th September, Ellinas started fifth on the grid while Malja lined-up in 10th position, just 0.4 seconds separating the team-mates in race one qualifying. Unfortunately, at the start of Saturday’s contest, Ellinas didn’t get away from the line cleanly and slipped back to the tail of the top 10 with Malja also edged back to 12th position. Quickly moving back into 11th place on the first lap, Malja closed up behind Ellinas initially before the gap opened back up and with 10 laps complete the pair were split by roughly 2.5 seconds. As the race progressed, positions remained unchanged although Malja did begin to come under some pressure from Nicholas Latifi as the race approached mid-distance.

Following a pit visit and retirement for Latifi, Andre Negrao became the new threat but Malja comfortably saw off his rival to hold 11th position to the chequered flag. Ellinas finished the encounter in a clear 10th place but due to a time penalty for Matthieu Vaxiviere, the Cypriot was elevated into ninth spot. While Ellinas maintains sixth in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series standings with 113 points, Malja ended the Le Mans weekend ninth in the title race on 69 points. In the team championship, Strakka Racing is fourth with 182 points.

The final two races of the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 Series will take place at Jerez in Spain over the weekend 17th/18th October.



STAMFORD, CT – HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE:HAR), the premier connected technologies company for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, announced that star French soccer/football player Raphael Varane, who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the French National team as a central defender, will serve as a Global Brand Ambassador for JBL®.

Beginning in September 2015, Varane will participate in global marketing and brand awareness programs for JBL’s portfolio of audio products across consumer lifestyle, professional audio and automotive audio.

Varane was named one of the ten most promising young players in Europe for 2014 and also recognized among the three-man shortlist for the World Cup ‘Best Young Player’ award. His tenacity, precision and standout performance were evident when he represented France in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and embodies the quality and superior performance JBL stands for within the audio industry and beyond.

JBL Raphael Varane

“Raphael’s energy, creativity, and passion for excellence make him an ideal athlete ambassador for the JBL brand,” said Ralph Santana, Chief Marketing Officer of HARMAN. “He is well respected globally for his commitment to performance under extreme conditions and his technical precision on the field – qualities that are synonymous with the JBL and HARMAN brands. Just as Raphael brings excitement to the game of soccer for fans, JBL impassions audiophiles with a superior listening experience. We’re thrilled to have Raphael as part of our ambassador team.”

“As a professional athlete representing an entire nation on the field, every game needs to be my best game yet. There are many things that inspire me and help me focus during practice and as I prepare for a big game. My coaches, team mates, family, and music are among my top sources of inspiration to train and perform my best.” said Raphael Varane. “Music is a motivator for me and helps to bolster my energy and concentration as I prepare to play. JBL delivers amazing sound quality through their many products and are a perfect fit for my active lifestyle. I’m thrilled to join their brand ambassador program in an effort to share my passion for music and HARMAN products with others who use music to thrive.”

Varane joins a striking lineup of global figures serving as HARMAN brand ambassadors, including fellow soccer/football and World Cup champion, Jerome Boateng; two-time NBA All-Star, Damian Lillard; NBA All-Star and 2015 MVP, Stephen Curry; GRAMMY® Award-winning rock bands Maroon 5 and Linkin Park; global musician, producer, artist and humanitarian Quincy Jones, Indian film composer, record producer, musician, singer and philanthropist AR Rahman; and international piano superstar and United Nations Messenger of Peace Lang Lang. 

“As one of the World Cup’s ‘Best Young Players,’ Raphael is on a fast-path to greatness in European sports and is already a role model among his fellow athletes and to soccer fans around the globe,” said Michael Mauser, President of HARMAN Lifestyle Audio Division. “We are excited to match Raphael’s passion, commitment and performance, as well as his use of music as a source of inspiration.”

About Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane was born on April 25, 1993 in Lille, France, and is a professional soccer/football player for Spanish Club Real Madrid and the French National team as a central defender. He was recently named one of the ten most promising young players in Europe for 2014 and also recognized among the three-man shortlist for the World Cup ‘Best Young Player’ award. Raphael was part of the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Raphael Varane has been represented by VIP-Consulting since 2011, and managed by Frank Hocquemiller, his exclusive image rights agent.

Autofarm’s founder ticks one off his bucket list with entry at Porsche Rennsport Reunion


Josh Sadler will travel 5,400 miles to race at the world’s largest Porsche event with his Autofarm-prepared 911

BICESTER – Having competed for close to 50 years, revered Porsche specialist Josh Sadler is making the 5,400 mile trip to California to race at the Rennsport Reunion, ticking off a key item from his bucket list. Sadler 73, will race the factory prototype Porsche 911 he has owned as ‘a box of bits’ for over thirty years, before finally assembling and restoring the car in 2013.

The Autofarm-prepared Porsche 911

The Autofarm-prepared Porsche 911

Rennsport Reunion is the world’s largest gathering of Porsche race cars, drivers and enthusiasts and is held at the historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “This event is iconic in the Porsche world and I simply had to do it before I got too old. It was on my bucket list and one I really wanted to tick off,” says Sadler. “I was fortunate to gain an entry and thought I’ll crate up the car and do it!” Sadler will race in the Eifel Trophy on Saturday 26th September and expects a steep learning curve. “I have never been to Laguna Seca and don’t have an XBox to practice on. I’m sure we’ll work out which way it goes and have a bit of fun.”

Sadler is ticking one off his bucket list with trip to US

Sadler is ticking one off his bucket list with trip to US

HARMAN on board of the new Ferrari 488 GTB Spider


The new Ferrari 488 GTB Spider features premium JBL by HARMAN audio for best-in-class listening experience – even at top speed

International Motor Show (IAA), Frankfurt, September 16, 2015 HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE:HAR), the premier connected technologies company for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, brings its engineering excellence to the new Ferrari 488 GTB Spider, which features a state-of-the-art JBL professional premium sound system. Ferrari unveiled this new two-seat sports car at the IAA 2015 and together with HARMAN highlights the thrilling combination of speed and sound.

The premium-branded JBL Professional sound system delivers immersive sound into the interior of the vehicle through a total of 12 speakers and a 1280-watt, 16-channel JBL Professional Class-D high-performance amplifier – creating rich and powerful sound with excellent dynamics, even when the car is traveling at speed – which it will, thanks to its new 670 HP biturbo engine.


QuantumLogic Surround (QLS)

To enrich the superb sound of the JBL PRO system, the Ferrari sports cars will also feature QuantumLogic Surround, which gives audio tracks a controlled sound quality by introducing revolutionary new audio algorithms to extract signal streams and impulse responses from the original recording. Individual voices and instruments, as well as embedded reverberant spatial information, are identified and then re-authored into a precise multi-channel soundstage. And to guarantee a best-possible fidelity, it has also Auravox Tuning on board for a best-in-class listening experience and maximum aural immersion.

Commenting on the premium JBL PRO audio system in the Ferrari 488 GTB Spider, Michael Mauser, President Lifestyle Division, HARMAN, commented, “Ferraristi expect the best of the best, be it the engine or the audio system. So we at HARMAN have aimed at providing a best-possible sound experience, so the audio system will sound as great as the car.”


Lone Star Le Mans beckons for Strakka Racing

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After debuting its Gibson 015S chassis at the Nürburgring, Strakka Racing heads to the USA for the start of the fly-away stretch of the WEC season, where it will tackle Circuit of the Americas for the first time.

Strakka Racing travels to Austin, Texas next week, hoping to convert the Gibson’s head-turning pace into a win against its LMP2 rivals. Drivers Jonny Kane, Danny Watts and Nick Leventis will have to get acclimatised to the circuit quickly though, as the trio have no prior experience at the 3.4-mile circuit.

“The simulator work we have done back at base is key for all three of us really,” says Kane. “We knew going into this season that the three of us hadn’t driven at Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) before, so being able to spend extensive time working on learning the track before the event has helped us get ready.

“Our sim enables us to go out at a new circuit, or a circuit we don’t know well and immediately have braking points and lines through corners to build off.”


Strakka Racing founder Nick Leventis has spent time testing at the circuit before the weekend as extra preparation for the event this weekend, hoping to gain an advantage over the five other COTA rookies in the LMP2 class.

Since opening back in 2012, Circuit of the Americas has held rounds of Moto GP, Formula One, the Tudor United Sports Car Championship and X Games. Popular with drivers for its tricky undulations, COTA makes for some spectacular racing on its mixture of medium and low-speed corners.


“I can’t wait to get on track,” says driver Danny Watts. “I’ve seen races at the track on TV and have always wanted to tackle that iconic hill leading to Turn 1; it looks steep on screen, so I can’t imagine what it’s like when you’re actually there driving!”

On-track action for the WEC teams runs from the 17th to 19th of September with the race starting 17:00 local time on the Saturday in Austin, Texas.




Ansible Motion’s chief designer shortlisted for BEEAS Awards


Bob Stevens

Hethel’s Bob Stevens selected as finalist for prestigious British Engineering Excellence Awards

Hethel-based design engineer Bob Stevens has reached the finalist stage of the British Engineering Excellence Awards. Stevens, a designer at leading simulator manufacturer Ansible Motion, located at the Hethel Engineering Centre, was nominated for the coveted British Design Engineer of the Year award.

The award, now in its sixth year, recognises engineers capable of creating innovative designs within strict commercial limits. Stevens was responsible the concept design, R&D and product development of Ansible Motion’s driver-in-the-loop simulators that are increasingly relied upon by car makers and motorsport teams around the world. The company recently opened its R&D Centre at its base at the Hethel Engineering Centre. The award also seeks to recognise engineers who work to promote engineering in the broader community. Since 2009, Stevens has mentored groups of Year 9 (13-14 year old) and Year 12 (16-17 year old) schoolchildren under the Engineering Development Trust (EDT) programme as well as hosting multiple work experience placements for schoolchildren looking to learn about design and manufacturing.

“It is a real privilege to get to the finalist stage,” says Stevens. “It is great that the awards also seek to recognise the importance of promoting the value of engineering to future generations. Facilities such as Hethel act as an incubator for technologies such as our Driver-in-the-Loop simulators and it’s equally important we nurture young talent in the same way.”

The winners will be announced at a gala lunch at the Hurlingham Club, London, on 29th October.


Strakka Racing back to winning ways on home soil at Silverstone

Cypriot star Tio Ellinas secures emotional maiden Formula Renault 3.5 Series victory with dominant lights-to-flag drive in round 10


Silverstone-based Strakka Racing celebrated a truly sensational first win of the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 Series campaign at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit today, after an exceptional performance from Tio Ellinas.

From pole position, his first in the championship, Ellinas made a faultless launch from the line and went on to build an incredible lead of 14.5 seconds just over halfway into the contest.

Controlling the action throughout, making no mistakes, the 23-year-old went on to secure a memorable, and very emotional, first win in his debut season in the category – a success he dedicated to his late grandfather who sadly passed away two weeks ago.


“It’s amazing, it was amazing from the beginning, I’m grateful to the team,” said an elated Ellinas, “I want to dedicate this win to my grandfather because I lost him two weeks ago – this one is down to him and I hope there will be many more for him too.

“From the beginning it was a great start, good off the line, and then I was trying to build up a gap to the others. Lap by lap it was getting better and better. As I said, I’m grateful to the team – Silverstone is our home race and for me it’s like my home race. For me, this one is something special. For tomorrow the plan is to be P1 in qualy and do the same again!”

Swedish team-mate Gustav Malja also produced an impressive drive in the second Strakka car, moving up from ninth on the grid to finish in sixth position – having run as high as fifth at one stage.

Both drivers have climbed the championship standings, Ellinas now in seventh position with Malja in ninth place. In the team standings, Strakka – which is based just a stone’s throw from Silverstone down the A43 – has moved back into the top four.

“Today went OK, I climbed up to sixth but I felt the car had more potential,” said Malja, “I would like to thank and congratulate the team. I look forward to doing it again tomorrow.”

Starting the event superbly in officially timed practice on Friday, 4th September, Ellinas posted the fastest time of all and went on to deliver the same level of performance in qualifying to bag his first Formula Renault 3.5 Series pole position.

Producing a best time of 1m41.858 seconds (208.2 km/h), he took Strakka onto pole at its home track by 0.2 seconds. Malja, meanwhile, ensured both Strakka cars would begin race one of the weekend inside the top 10 with a time just 0.6 seconds shy of Ellinas’ pole lap – the Swede beginning the contest in ninth.

After his great start, Ellinas led by a full second at the end of the opening lap and as the group behind battled he reeled off a series of fastest lap times to scorch into the distance.

Over 10 seconds to the good after just eight laps, his lead was a remarkable 14.5 seconds by the start of lap 12 and, thereafter, he sensibly focused on making no mistakes to ultimately win by eight seconds after 24 laps.

Malja climbed into eighth on the opening lap and although edged back to ninth on lap five by Egor Orudzhev, the Swede moved back into the top eight on lap 11 when he passed Tom Dillmann on the run down Hangar Straight.

Passing Nicholas Latifi on lap 12 to move into seventh, Malja quickly broke into the top six a lap later at the expense of Orudzhev and then moved up into fifth place on the 16th tour with an impressive move into Village to pass Jazeman Jaafar.


Retaining fifth until three laps from the finish, Malja was edged back to sixth by the recovering Dillmann where he then stayed to the flag on lap 24.

Qualifying for round 11 at Silverstone GP Circuit will take place at 09.00 in the morning, Sunday, 6th September, with the big race following at 12.30 – the day’s action will be screened live in the UK on BT Sport with additional coverage on British Eurosport.