Former Caterham chief Abiteboul joins Renault

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Following the sale of Caterham F1 Team earlier this week, former team principal Cyril Abiteboul has returned to Renault as Managing Director.

After a difficult five years of racing, Malaysian businessmen Tony Fernandes sold the team earlier this week to a consortium that was advised by former Spyker and Jordan man Colin Kolles. Ex-Minardi driver Christijan Albers will work as team principal, with the changes taking immediate effect.

Abiteboul joined Caterham in 2012 to head up the F1 team for Fernandes, but when news broke about a potential sale, it seemed likely that he would be returning to Renault to work with its engine supply. Today, Renault Sport confirmed the news and the resignation of former president Jean-Michel Jalinier.

“The Renault Group regretfully announces the departure of Mr. Jean-Michel Jalinier, President and Managing Director of Renault Sport F1, who has decided to exercise his right to retirement for personal reasons,” a statement from the French marque read.

“From July 3, Renault Sport F1’s new President will be Mr. Jérôme Stoll who will take on the role in addition to his current responsibilities as Chief Performance Officer and Group Sales and Marketing Director.

“Mr. Cyril Abiteboul has been appointed to fill the newly-created position of Managing Director of Renault Sport F1, reporting to Mr. Jérôme Stoll.”

Caterham took to Twitter to wish Abiteboul the best of luck in his new role.

Although Caterham is now under new management, its future is still far from certain. For Abiteboul, his task will be to get Renault back up to speed after a difficult start to the season that has hampered its clients.

Continental Tire named exclusive provider for Red Bull Global Rallycross series

Image courtesy Continental Tire
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Red Bull Global Rallycross will have new rubber going forward in the 2018 season.

Continental Tire the Americas on Tuesday announced a multi-year partnership with GRC starting with the upcoming racing season.

Continental Tire will be the exclusive tire provider for Supercars, GRC Lites and Polaris RZR this season. Electric vehicles will be added to the mix starting in 2019.

“Continental Tire is an industry leader in technical tire development,” Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne said in a media release. “Their experience in developing tires that work in both pavement and non-pavement situations, as well as their ability to develop race tires for a wide variety of vehicles, tracks and circumstances make them the ideal partner.

“As the official tire supplier for the Red Bull GRC series, they will bring a new level of excellence and high performance to the events.”

This will be Continental Tire’s first foray into Red Bull GRC competition. The season opener is set for May 19-20 in Louisville, Kentucky.

GRC, Supercar and GRC Lites cars will use one compound while a second compound/tire will be developed for the Polaris RZR side-by-side class.

“We’re thrilled to add Global Rallycross to our motorsports portfolio,” said John DeSalle, president of Continental Tire Motorsports. “We’re looking forward to providing a tire that will give the fans the great racing they expect while also making it fun for the drivers.

“This series is action-packed and we can’t wait to get on track!”

The 2018 GRC season will be composed of 12 events across eight events and will be televised on NBC.