Ilott maintains 100 per cent points-scoring run with a podium at Spa

Callum Ilott Logo


Ferrari Academy Driver Callum Ilott secured his sixth podium of the GP3 2018 season at the sixth round Belgian Grand Prix held this weekend. Alongside his third place in Sunday’s sprint race, Ilott also finished sixth in Saturday’s encounter and has collected points in every race so far this season. In spite of the consistency, Ilott felt he could have done a better job this weekend.

“I know I should be satisfied with my results because consistent point scoring for the championship is important but I know I could have delivered more,” explains Ilott.  “A collection of small errors, contact and a bit of bad luck on track all played their part and I feel some points and positions were left on the track.”


Friday’s qualifying saw Ilott finish sixth, only 7/100ths behind Anthoine Hubert in second position over a two minute four second plus qualifying lap time. Ilott’s shot at pole on the last lap initially looked on; “Frustratingly on the last push lap I had such a good first sector that it meant I got too close to the car in front, so I just didn’t optimise the rest of the lap. I still have more to perfect in qualifying.”

Cool and damp conditions for Saturday’s race saw some of the drivers struggle to get away cleanly. Into La Source, Ilott found himself almost at standstill as he and his teammates were backed up behind Pedro Piquet who failed to accelerate cleanly on the run down to Eau Rouge. “After I had such a good getaway, a slow start ahead checked my momentum, and then I was pretty unlucky with the track position after that.  Sticking to the outside is the safest option at La Source as there is plenty of room should you need it but it was like a traffic jam and I found myself down to eighth.”

Ilott soon dispatched Giuliano Alesi to be seventh before mounting an attack on team mate Nikita Mazepin on Lap Two at Les Combes. “I got alongside Nikita but on the exit, he ran wide forcing me off the road and airborne. It was lucky I was able to continue,” says Ilott.  “Some car damage and a speed deficit to the Trident cars meant closing the gap was tough.”


Visibly struggling to match the pace of his rivals, Ilott persevered but couldn’t close the gap as the remainder of the 17 lap race ticked down until, with three laps to go, he was able to get past fellow Brit Jake Hughes to finish sixth.

Overnight, changes were made by the ART team in a bid to improve relative performance to Trident. Following a delayed start, due to mist hanging over the circuit, Ilott made a good getaway from third to move into second at Turn One and set about chasing pole sitter Joey Mawson. By lap two and without the aid of DRS, Ilott was alongside the leader heading to Les Combes. Again, Ilott was involved in contact with Mawson forcing him into the run off area and over the kerbs. “The car was really good after the overnight tweaks, and I knew the other ART cars would be stronger and would soon be attacking, so I wanted to get past Joey early on. Waiting another lap for the DRS may have been more sensible but I knew I was quicker and I could see the gap,” claims Ilott.


Having lost momentum with his trip over the kerbs, Ilott then lost two places as his two team mates got by. Undaunted, Ilott charged back and by lap four was in third and closing in on Jake Hughes. By lap seven, Ilott overtook Hughes to go second. As the laps ticked by, Ilott increasingly came under pressure from Hubert in third and just two laps from the end, the French driver was able to get past using DRS with the pair holding station to the flag.

“It feels like the weekend has been more about damage limitation but in reality it was solid points and just a number of minor factors that cost some ground to my nearest challengers,” concludes Ilott. “We remain second and well within reach of the championship. It’s just a week until the next race at Monza, in effect, my second home race and I will be fighting back.”



HARMAN Leads the Way in Active Listening

harma a samsung company

A recent study commissioned by HARMAN reveals contemporary listening habits and provides compelling evidence of the benefits of conscious listening

BERLIN – August 30, 2018 HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets has commissioned an in-depth consumer research study1 on the how and why of contemporary listening habits as well as the benefits of listening to music. The study’s results confirm the positive effects of focused listening and show the extent to which modern listeners desire to not only listen more, but to listen better.

In today’s fast-paced lifestyle and ever-changing sonic environment, much of what people hear is more noise than it is sound: appliances, machines, traffic, construction, sirens… The European Union has estimated that ambient city noise is responsible for lowering the quality of life of 25% of those living in Europe. But the problem is a universal one: amid the cacophony of everyday life, are people losing the ability to listen?

Listening is much more than an automatic process, but rather a skill that can be learned, honed and mastered. In a world where stress has become an epidemic, where anxiety and depression are rife, many people feel increasingly less connected to others and less connected to their inner selves, despite the unprecedented connectivity that modern technology provides.

Helping people fully appreciate the power of music is an essential part of what HARMAN stands for—and that begins with raising awareness of the importance of conscious listening. For over 70 years, HARMAN has been delivering exceptional sound in the studio and on the stage, at home and on the go through a portfolio of legendary audio brands that keep pace with today’s lifestyle, providing people with the highest quality listening experience possible and ensuring the time they spend listening is the most gratifying it can be.

“HARMAN understands the positive effects of active listening and has dedicated its legacy to it. When done consciously, listening has clear, quantifiable effects on the listener, many of which are profoundly beneficial. Active listening centres us in the moment, enhances our connections with others, and enables us to appreciate what we hear. We should all want to become better listeners,” said Michael Mauser, President, Lifestyle Audio at HARMAN.

HARMAN - Active Listening Survey 2018

Music matters
Music is not just background noise; listening to music is extremely important to people. Over 70% of listeners across the US, the UK, France, and Germany reported listening to music on a daily basis. For 44% of respondents, music is viewed as a necessity in their everyday lives, while over half see music as a pleasurable option—an impressive total of 94%.

Listening habits have changed
Modern listeners are short on time, always on the move, and prone to multi-tasking. Their fractured listening habits reflect the pace of the modern lifestyle. Listening to an album from start to finish has been replaced by an impatient “snacking” approach in which listeners skip from track to track. Almost 70% of respondents reported listening to single tracks either selected individually or in a compilation, while 38% of respondents said they need less than one minute when listening to a track for the first time to decide whether or not they like it.

A desire to listen more
Connectivity, portability, and the web have revolutionised listening habits; never before has so much music been so readily available. And yet, despite the unprecedented accessibility to music, many listeners yearn for more: more peace, more freedom from the rush of modern life, more “me time” to experience music undisturbed. Around 40% of respondents said that they used to spend more time listening to music than they do now, and 66% plan to dedicate more time to listening to music in the next 12 months.

Consciously listening to music has real benefits
Music has proven physiological, psychological, and cognitive benefits: 65% of respondents said that music makes them feel happy; 57% said that it makes them feel more positive. Music strengthens social bonds: close to 70% of respondents agree that music helps relax the atmosphere while socialising. Music helps listeners to connect with themselves and others: 62% of the sample overall agreed that music helps them to connect with their inner self, while close to 50% agreed that music helps them connect with their family. Music can improve productivity as well: of those who agreed that listening to music at work could help improve performance, 53% said it kept them stimulated, while just over a third said they feel more motivated to perform better at work.

We can learn to listen
Despite the frenzy of today’s high-speed, connected lifestyle, people can learn to move from passive hearing to conscious listening—an active process that involves true presence. Some people are born with a “musical ear,” while for others it is a process of gradual comprehension and familiarisation. Having better audio equipment can create a marked difference in how music is enjoyed: at least 4 in 10 respondents believe that using good audio equipment would motivate their passion for listening.

Listeners seek crystal clear, authentic sound
Not everyone feels they are getting the most out of their music: almost 3 in 10 respondents feel they are not. Having sharper sound from their device was the most frequently mentioned factor that could help enhance respondents’ listening experience (USA: 62%, UK: 54%, France: 51%, Germany: 39%). Many people would be willing to pay for an improved sound experience. Respondents would be most willing to pay more for “crystal clear sound,” followed by “immersive surround sound,” with 48% and 46% respectively providing a rating of 8 or higher (on a scale of 1-10). When thinking about the sound experience respondents desired, authentic sound emerged as the most important factor.

Notes to Editors

1 The Harman Art of Listening Consumer Research study was conducted by FutureSource Consulting Ltd in July 2018. A total of 5,073 interviews were carried out online in France, Germany, the UK, and the US. The breakdown of interviews was as follows: 1,027 in France, 1,020 in Germany, 999 in the UK, and 2,027 in the US. All questionnaires were localised to the country and conducted in the local language.

Falken agrees sponsorship deal with Atlético de Madrid

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Tyre brand Falken has agreed a sponsorship deal with the successful, tradition-steeped Spanish football team Club Atlético de Madrid for the 2018/19 season.

The Spanish club occupies the second position in the UEFA ranking, they are the current champions of the UEFA Europa League and have just won the UEFA Super Cup in Tallin, Estonia.

The partnership includes standard sponsorship rights with hospitality, presence in the Club’s sponsorship area, promotional activities, branding and visibility in the Wanda Metropolitano at all the Club’s home matches in LaLiga and the Spanish Cup.

Falken expects this partnership to help the brand increase its visibility in international markets and address its target audience. In addition, the partnership will be used to implement dealer activations.

Iñigo Aznar, Atletico de Madrid Commercial Director, commented about this cooperation: “We are keen to work with Falken as Atlético de Madrid sponsor for the current season. It is one of the world’s most recognised brands in its sector and reinforces the Club’s commercial internationalisation strategy. We hope this is just the start of a long-term partnership over the coming seasons.”

“The cooperation with Atlético de Madrid is a central ingredient of Falken’s sports activities,” said Markus Bögner, Managing Director and COO at Falken Tyre Europe GmbH. “With its popularity and attractiveness in Spain and the whole world, this outstanding Club promises us above all an enormous brand visibility.”

The new G-Class focuses on driving enjoyment with Falken on- and off-road tyres

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Tyre manufacturer Falken will be supplying tyres for the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class from May onwards. The new luxury SUV, which had its world premier at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January, is fitted with Falken Wildpeak A/T AT3WA and Euroall Season AS210 in size 265/60R18 as original equipment.

The requirements from the tyres on the G-Class are high. The Falken Wildpeak A/T AT3WA and the Euroall Season AS210 have passed the endurance test on the proving grounds of the South German car manufacturer with confidence and are now used on the G-Class.

As well as the durability and long life required for the off-road sector, the Wildpeak A/T AT3WA is also an alternative for on-road driving. The all-terrain tyre features excellent traction on loose surfaces as well as very good driving stability, and it impresses with its quietness, even at higher speeds.

Developed for use all year round, the Euroall Season AS210 is primarily suited to on-road driving. With its M+S label and the snowflake symbol, the tyre can be used during winter in snowy and icy conditions. Its predecessor, the Falken AS200, already impressed Autobild Allrad testers. “High aquaplaning safety, good grip on wet surfaces, very quiet and an acceptable price” are the Falken Euroall Season AS200’s strengths that convinced the Autobild Allrad testers, who awarded the tyre with the test grade “good” (07.2016).

Christian Stolting, Key Account Manager for Falken Tyre Europe GmbH, commented on the G-Class order: “For us, the approval to fit the new G-Class with Falken as original equipment is a very special seal of quality and recognises that we constantly strive for high performance in both development and in production. Of course, we will continue to expand our collaboration with Mercedes-Benz.”

The Falken brand stands for excitement and presents itself in action and lifestyle environments, among others. “Being original equipment on the new G-Class gives our Falken brand an additional boost. Our tyres have already proven their performance in various off-road rallies. It doesn’t matter what terrain – we are already looking forward to seeing the new G-Class in action,” adds Markus Bögner, Managing Director and COO.

Ilott takes maiden GP3 Series win

Callum Ilott Logo

Ferrari Junior Callum Ilott, secured his first win in the GP3 category with an emphatic Sprint Race victory at his team’s home track, Paul Ricard this weekend.

Coupled with a points-paying eighth in Saturday’s race, Ilott leaves the French Grand Prix venue fourth in the standings.

“Getting my first GP3 sprint win, at ART’s home race, somehow feels like the right thing,” says Ilott. “Big thanks to ART as the car felt really good and so I was able to showcase a little more of what’s possible.”

“The weekend didn’t go exactly to plan,“ continues Ilott, “So it’s a real bonus to take a win on the second weekend in the Championship and my first GP3 win with the FDA.”




Starting from pole position, Ilott was outpaced by a fast-starting Pedro Piquet into Turn Two. Ilott followed closely and waited until the Beausset corner to pounce back. With a confident move diving to the inside, Ilott was back ahead and pulling away by the end of lap one as Piquet defended from Mawson.

“I was expecting to get a better start than I did. I had a bit of an issue managing the clutch which was overheating. So I didn’t get the best getaway,” explains Ilott. “Although Pedro initially got ahead, he looked like he was struggling with his tyre temp. I sat tight and then in the second fastest corner of the track I held it on the inside (or outside) and I had enough traction to get past. From there, with the clean air, I focused on building a gap.”

“Having opened the gap to Pedro, that made it easier to deal with the degradation so I crossed the line with a comfortable three-second lead.”

Sunday morning’s race, ahead of the French Grand Prix, followed Saturday’s encounter where Ilott ultimately finished in eighth, which converted into the pole position for Sunday’s outing.

“Our strategy didn’t play out as we’d planned on Friday and Saturday,” says Ilott. “An imperfect quali session from me, meant I was starting P7.  After another tricky getaway, I was managing tyres and looking to use DRS later in the race. Frustratingly, just as I was about to push forward, the DRS was totally disabled and that was that. I got passed my teammate Jake, and then I tried everything I could to pass Mawson ahead of me without the DRS, but it wasn’t to be.  I hear it was quite entertaining to watch.”

“Ultimately though, finishing eighth after the stewarding decisions later in the day, gifted me an opportunity to turn the weekend around.  In racing you take the luck when it comes your way so I made sure I made the most of it.”

The next two weeks now see Callum competing at two tracks at which he has won in F3, kicking off with the Red Bull Ring in Austria, before his home race at Silverstone just one week later.

“Although we are now moving on to tracks where I haven’t tested the GP3 at all, I do know them well,” remarks Ilott. “I always enjoy taking a win at the Red Bull Ring, so I am looking forward to next weekend.”


Falken Motorsports enters both Porsche and BMW in a further four VLN endurance races

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Porsche and BMW return to the Nordschleife

Falken Motorsports has confirmed it will enter both its BMW and Porsche in a further four of the seven remaining VLN races in the 2018 season. After Falken’s BMW and Porsche both finished the Nürburgring 24 Hours Race in the top 20 last month, the drivers have now set their sights on achieving more success in the German endurance race series.

 Falken’s proven driver roster will stay in place for the VLN races; the Porsche will be driven by Austrians Klaus Bachler and Martin Ragginger, alternating with Porsche works drivers Sven Müller and Dirk Werner, while Falken mainstays Peter Dumbreck and Alexandre Imperatori will share the BMW, with support from Stef Dusseldorp and Jens Klingmann.

 The VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring regularly attracts average grids of 170 race cars, competing on one of the world’s most challenging racetracks – the Nürburgring Nordschleife.


23 June 2018

60th ADAC ACAS H&R Cup

Falken BMW: Imperatori/Klingmann

Falken Porsche: Bachler/Werner

18 August 2018

ROWE 6 Stunden ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen

Falken BMW: Imperatori/Dusseldorp

Falken Porsche: Müller/Werner

22 September 2018

58th ADAC Reinoldus-Langstreckenrennen

Falken BMW: Dumbreck/Dusseldorp

Falken Porsche: Müller/Ragginger

20 October 2018

43rd DMV Münsterlandpokal

Falken BMW: Dumbreck/Klingmann

Falken Porsche: Bachler/Ragginger

The Bespoke Group Announces Partnership with Automotive Specialist Agency, Elan PR

Banstead, UK, 20th June, 2018 – Specialist PR and marketing corporation, The Bespoke Group, has announced a partnership with leading automotive and motorsport PR agency, Elan PR, to further strengthen the group’s vertical market expertise.

The strategic collaboration with Oxfordshire-based Elan PR, which manages media relations for automotive-associated brands including Falken Tyres and Harman, will enable synergistic opportunities for the group’s growing client base.

According to The Bespoke Group’s managing director, Ben Dodson, the partnership is particularly relevant to those companies served by the group’s disruptive/emerging technologies-focused firm, Incus.

“The automotive market continues to be a key focus area for a number of Incus’ clients operating within fields such as 3D printing/additive manufacturing, hospitality, energy storage and renewables to name a few,” he says.

“We’ve worked closely on previous projects with Elan PR that enabled us to add impetus to some of its PR campaigns by drawing on the specific technology expertise of our own clients, and vice-versa,” adds Dodson.

These thoughts are echoed by Nick Bailey, managing director of Elan PR: “The mutually-beneficial harnessing of specific client technologies is where Elan PR sees this collaboration proving especially advantageous,” he comments.

“Additionally, the capability for Incus to draw upon our specialist expertise in automotive and motorsports, and our opportunity to access its extensive knowledge of the wider manufacturing market, makes for a great fit,” Bailey concludes.

The Bespoke Group’s strategic collaboration with Elan PR complements its existing offering, which comprises two flagship international PR and marketing companies – leading graphic arts agency, Bespoke, and the aforementioned disruptive/emerging technologies-focused firm, Incus.

Local woman kicks off 1000-mile journey to raise money for Brain Tumour Charity

Daisy Sadler


Banbury resident, Daisy Sadler, has started an arduous journey from Banbury to Edinburgh and back, using just a Gypsy top waggon, her two faithful Belgium draft horses and dog Tad, to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity.

Daisy, who will travel roughly 50 miles a week via the UK’s minor road network, expects her one-thousand-mile trip to take five months to complete.

Inspired by the tragic story of Imogen Whitby, a local two-year-old who died of a brain tumour in January 2017, Daisy is hoping to raise funds for The Brain Tumour charity; Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 years in the UK.

Daisy, who lives in Lower Tadmarton just outside Banbury, has been involved in draft horses since the early 1990s, and currently runs Sydney’s Exploditions, a horse and carriage service for the North Oxfordshire area, available for special occasions, such as weddings, village fetes and children’s birthday parties.

Daisy’s Belgium draft horses, Olive, 13 and half-brother Arthur, 11 weigh nearly two tonnes between them, and have lived with Daisy since they were imported from Germany in 2013.

This is not the first time Daisy has travelled across the country via horse and cart, in 2015 she travelled from Banbury to the Lake District, a trip which took 10 weeks to complete. Since then she has been keen to plan her next adventure, however unfortunate setbacks included Daisy’s battle with pneumonia in 2017, and surgery for horse Arthur to treat a deep-seated hoof abscess in 2016.

Geraldine Pipping, The Brain Tumour Charity’s Director of Fundraising, said: “All of us at The Brain Tumour Charity were deeply moved by Imogen’s story and by her parents’ determination to help others following their terrible loss. It is a fierce reminder of why we have to find a cure for brain tumours, which kill more children in the UK than any other form of cancer. We are hugely grateful to Daisy for raising awareness and vital funds for brain tumours, so that young lives are saved, and more families are spared the heartache caused by this devastating disease.

“We receive no government funding and rely entirely on voluntary donations and gifts in wills, so it’s only through the efforts of supporters like Daisy that we can work towards our twin goals of doubling survival and halving the harm caused by brain tumours.

“Daisy is taking on an incredible and unique challenge. We wish Daisy, Olive and Arthur, lots of luck on their epic journey and we’ll be cheering them on every step of the way.”

The Brain Tumour Charity is the UK’s largest dedicated brain tumour charity, committed to fighting brain tumours on all fronts through research, awareness and support to save lives and improve quality of life.

Since its inception The Brain Tumour Charity has committed £35.6 million to pioneering research and has been instrumental in reducing childhood diagnosis times from 13 weeks to just 6.5 weeks through ‘HeadSmart’ it’s UK-wide national symptom awareness campaign. HeadSmart has two aims: to save lives and reduce long-term disability by bringing down diagnosis times.  It continues to campaign to increase awareness among GPs and healthcare professionals and to reduce diagnosis times even further. The charity is currently supporting over 20,000 people though support and information services.

Daisy started her journey on Sunday 22nd April and is currently making her way through North Oxfordshire. Followers can track Daisy’s progress via Facebook (search: Syds Plods Go North) and donate via or text ‘SYDS73’ followed by the donation amount (i.e. SYDS73 £5) to 70070.

Falken Celebrates Two Top-15 Finishes at the Nürburgring 24-Hours

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The ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race at the Nürburgring last weekend once again proved to be the toughest of endurance challenges. The Falken team overcame extreme weather conditions to complete the iconic race with both cars finishing within the top 15 from a starting grid of 146 entrants.

Porsche factory driver Sven Müller ensured an early advantage for himself and team-mates Klaus Bachler, Martin Ragginger and Dirk Werner, with an astounding top-30 qualifying time of just 8:09.522 minutes in the Falken Porsche 911 GT3 R to take second place on the grid.

The Falken BMW M6 GT3, piloted by drivers Peter Dumbreck, Stef Dusseldorp, Alexandre Imperatori and Jens Klingmann, achieved a qualifying time of 8:13.963 and started from 21st place.

The first few hours saw the Falken Porsche within striking distance of the top spot until the weather conditions took a turn for the worst in the early hours. Heavy rain created extremely slippery track conditions, preventing both vehicles from performing to the best of their abilities around the notorious Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Track conditions continued to deteriorate as the morning went on, as parts of the track dried while others remained waterlogged. Just hours before the end of the race, competition was put on hold for 90 minutes due to heavy fog.

The final result saw both Falken vehicles finish within the top 15. Final driver Müller made it to ninth place with the Falken Porsche 911 GT3 R, while Dumbreck achieved 15th place with the Falken BMW M6 GT3. Away from the track, main sponsor Falken entertained the crowds with a drift show and drift taxi rides.

Falken - 2018 Nurburgring 24 Hours - BMW M6 GT3

Podium success for Ilott on GP3 debut


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Barcelona – Ferrari Academy Driver Callum Ilott kicked off his 2018 season with a podium on his debut in the GP3 Series Championship

Ilott, racing for the first time for ART Grand Prix, took a third place in Saturday’s Feature race; the curtain-raiser to the FIA F1 race weekend at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.  Combined with a seventh place in Sunday’s wet sprint race, Ilott now sits fourth in the championship.

“Coming into the weekend, my goals were to learn as much as possible about the car in race conditions, whilst banking the points,” says Ilott. “To finish my first main feature race on the podium, first-time out was a good feeling.”

Ilott, who made a good getaway from fourth, had moved up to third on the first lap and then proceeded to hunt down his team mate Hubert. Having closed the gap, Ilott passed Hubert on lap 12 to take second place on the run down to the first corner.


“Once I  moved up to third, I focused on consistently closing the gap on Anthoine and with DRS and maybe using slightly more of the tyres in the first half of the race, I closed in and passed him.  The tyres did drop off just at the end, so it became a little harder for me, and Anthoine regained the place,” explains Ilott. “But it was good clean racing which is what it’s all about and we both enjoyed the tussle. I learned a lot about the tyres and working with the dirty air behind a car in a race setting, which is a big contrast to when you are testing.”


“A podium for my first race is a solid start to the season and hopefully I can show more of my true pace next time out.”

Sunday’s reverse grid race saw the drivers face mixed tracks conditions and Ilott got away well from the lights on the greasy track. “The wet sprint race was always going to be more challenging with me not yet knowing how the GP3 car behaves in those wet race conditions,” explains Ilott. “In hindsight I should have pushed harder initially.  The plan to save the tyres for a later push backfired unfortunately, what with the multiple safety cars. Then the combination of the set up and the rapidly drying track meant I just didn’t have the traction at the end of the race. There are definitely things I would have done differently, but the key is to learn from the mistakes and build from here.”


“There’s lots more to come as I build my knowledge of the GP3 car and it’s a long season ahead,” says Ilott. “It’s good to finally be back racing after such a long winter. The tracks we have coming up next are where I have won before and plan to do so again.”

The next round of the series will again support the FIA F1 World Championship and take place at Paul Ricard in France next month.