Cumulative Bahrain test stats breakdown and recap

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There was a bit more to draw from the four-day Bahrain test than the four-day Jerez test earlier this winter. For one, you had all 11 teams in Bahrain, and this test would ideally provide an opportunity for teams to sort out the initial niggles and move onto further race simulations and pit stop practice.

Some teams got there, and others did not. Let’s get to the numbers:

For the week, Mercedes-powered teams racked up nearly double the mileage of their two engine competitors. Combined, 2,322 laps were completed over four days:

  • Mercedes: 1,147 (238 Wednesday, 306 Thursday, 342 Friday, 261 Saturday)
  • Renault: 619 (95 Wednesday, 201 Thursday, 209 Friday, 114 Saturday)
  • Ferrari: 556 (149 Wednesday, 169 Thursday, 144 Friday, 94 Saturday)

However, a further look inside those numbers reveals Ferrari isn’t as behind as you’d think. While Mercedes runners swept the top five in times, Ferrari was best of the rest, and both Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen completed over 100 laps each. They were the only non-Mercedes team to have achieved that mark, as both Mercedes’ and McLaren’s pairs of drivers also hit the mark.

Ferrari’s cumulative numbers were also dragged down by the fact it only has three teams, compared to four for Renault and Mercedes. And one of the three for Ferrari, Marussia, completed only 29 laps in what was a seriously testing week for the Anglo-Russian team.

Here’s the team lap breakdown:

  • Williams-Mercedes: 323 (Valtteri Bottas 171, Felipe Nasr 87, Felipe Massa 65)
  • Mercedes: 315 (Nico Rosberg 174, Lewis Hamilton 141)
  • McLaren-Mercedes: 296 (Jenson Button 169, Kevin Magnussen 127)
  • Ferrari: 287 (Fernando Alonso 161, Kimi Raikkonen 126)
  • Caterham-Renault: 253 (Marcus Ericsson 102, Kamui Kobayashi 83, Robin Frijns 68)
  • Sauber-Ferrari: 240 (Esteban Gutierrez 151, Adrian Sutil 89)
  • Force India-Mercedes: 213 (Nico Hulkenberg 137, Sergio Perez 76)
  • Toro Rosso-Renault: 139 (Jean-Eric Vergne 77, Daniil Kvyat 62)
  • Red Bull-Renault: 116 (Sebastian Vettel 73, Daniel Ricciardo 43)
  • Lotus-Renault: 111 (Pastor Maldonado 85, Romain Grosjean 26)
  • Marussia-Ferrari: 29 (Max Chilton 21, Jules Bianchi 8 )

Williams led the overall combined lap chart, although those numbers are a bit skewed with Valtteri Bottas’ 55 laps on Friday counting only as in-and-out laps for pit stops, with no official time registered.

Still, the Finn’s 116 laps on Thursday were the most by any driver on one day over the course of the week, and coupled with third driver Felipe Nasr’s 87 laps Saturday, it turned into quite a successful test for Williams despite the fuel system issue that halted their Wednesday.

At Red Bull, the situation is in fact, bad. Lotus nearly outran the four-time defending champions in terms of total laps, and that’s after missing most of Wednesday and missing the Jerez test entirely. It seems that during this week’s test, more mechanical issues have halted Red Bull’s progress, and they’ll have a major thrash between now and Thursday in Bahrain.

When you shift to lap times, again, they don’t mean too much. But ordinarily you wouldn’t be seeing Sebastian Vettel, Adrian Sutil and Romain Grosjean as low as they are. They were among those with the lowest lap counts for drivers, and additionally ran earlier in the week, when less rubber had been laid down and times were at their slowest.

The combined times breakdown is below:

Combined times, total laps, best session:

1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 33.283s, 174 Laps, Session 4
2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m 34.263s, 141, Session 3
3. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren-Mercedes, 1m 34.910s, 127, Session 2
4. Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes, 1m 34.957s, 169, Session 4
5. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India-Mercedes, 1m 36.455s, 137, Session 2
6. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1m 36.516s, 161, Session 2
7. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 36.718s, 126, Session 4
8. Felipe Massa, Williams-Mercedes, 1m 37.066s, 65, Session 3
9. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber-Ferrari, 1m 37.180s, 151, Session 3
10. Valtteri Bottas, Williams-Mercedes, 1m 37.328s, 171, Session 2
11. Sergio Perez, Force India-Mercedes, 1m 37.367s, 76, Session 3
12. Felipe Nasr, Williams-Mercedes, 1m 37.569s, 87, Session 4
13. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus-Renault, 1m 38.707s, 85, Session 4
14. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso-Renault, 1m 38.974s, 62, Session 3
15. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-Renault, 1m 39.837s, 43, Session 4
16. Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham-Renault, 1m 39.855s, 83, Session 2
17. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault, 1m 40.224, 73, Session 1
18. Adrian Sutil, Sauber-Ferrari, 1m 40.443s, 89, Session 1
19. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso-Renault, 1m 40.472s, 77, Session 4
20. Romain Grosjean, Lotus-Renault, 1m 41.670s, 26, Session 2
21. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham-Renault, 1m 42.511s, 102, Session 2
22. Max Chilton, Marussia-Ferrari, 1m 42.511s, 21, Session 2
23. Robin Frijns, Caterham-Renault, 1m 42.534s, 68, Session 1
24. Jules Bianchi, Marussia-Ferrari, no time, 8, Session 4

Additionally, here’s a look at how many laps each driver did per day with their best time. All are 1 minute ahead of the number (i.e 1:33.283, 1:36.965, etc.):

TIMES (BY LAPS)
Driver  Saturday        Friday          Thursday        Wednesday       Laps
ROS	33.283	(85)			36.965	(89)			174
BOT			NT (55)	        37.328	(116)			171
BUT	34.957	(66)	34.976	(103)					169
ALO					36.516	(97)	37.879	(64)	161
GUT			37.180	(96)	40.717	(55)			151
HAM			34.263	(67)			37.908	(74)	141
HUL					36.455	(59)	36.880	(78)	137
MAG					34.910	(46)	38.295	(81)	127
RAI	36.718	(82)	37.476	(44)					126
ERI	45.094	(4)	42.130	(98)					102
SUT	NT (7)						40.443	(82)	89
NAS	37.569	(87)							87
MAL	38.707	(59)	39.642	(26)					85
KOB	43.027	(17)			39.855	(66)			83
VER	40.472	(19)			40.609	(58)			77
PER	39.258	(19)	37.367	(57)					76
VET					40.340	(59)	40.224	(14)	73
FRI							42.534	(68)	68
MAS			37.066	(60)			NT (5)		65
KVY			38.974	(57)	44.346	(5)			62
RIC	39.837	(15)	40.781	(43)					43
GRO					41.670 (18)	44.832	(8)	26
CHI			46.672 (4)	42.511	(17)			21
BIA	NT (5)						NT (3)		8

In case you missed anything from the week in Bahrain, here’s a link to all Bahrain test-related posts on MotorSportsTalk:

Heather Lyne, Dennis Erb Jr. make history in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series

Lyne Erb Outlaws Late
Jacy Norgaard / World of Outlaws
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More than two decades in the making, the pairing of Heather Lyne and Dennis Erb Jr. produced a historical milestone in Dirt Late Model.

Last month, Erb and his long-time crew chief Lyne won their first World of Outlaws Late Model Championship and with this achievement, Lyne became the first female crew chief to win in a national late model series. Their journey together goes back 21 years and tells the story of hard work, persistence and belief in oneself.

After a career-best season with the World of Outlaws, Erb and Lyne secured the points championship at US 36 Raceway in Osborn, Mo. with three races remaining in the season. The consistency and success of their season came down to pinpoint focus. Lyne and Erb are a team of two living out a David vs. Goliath tale. In order to be as successful as possible this year the duo knew they had to do as much as possible with the resources they had.

“It’s always a challenge when you only have two people, both at the racetrack and at the shop,” Lyne told NBC Sports. “I also work full time, so during the day, Dennis has to do a significant amount of work so that when I get down there I can start working and maintaining. It’s planning ahead. It’s having that system in place and making sure that you’re prepared ahead of time.

“When you have a problem at the track, making sure you have all that stuff ready so it’s a quick change and not a lengthy process to make a repair. We had zero DNFs in the World of Outlaws, we had only one DNF out of 96 races [combined among all series].”

Dennis Erb clinched his 2022 championship before the World of Outlaws World Finals. Jacy Norgaard – World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Taming Time

This was not an easy feat. Between a full travel schedule and Lyne’s full-time job as an engineer, time comes at a premium. What they lack in time and resources they made up for in patience and planning.

“We buckled down, and we got all the equipment that we needed back, motors freshened, and things of that nature,” Lyne said about the mid-point of last season. “We were able to keep up with that. We just had a higher focus. I tried to reduce my hours at my day job as much as I possibly could while still maintaining what I need to get done at work. I got rid of a lot of the other distractions and got a more refined system in place at the shop.

“We did certain tasks on certain days so we had time to recover. We were on the road a little bit more, as opposed to coming home to the shop. So we had to be more prepared to stay out on those longer runs. It was just really staying on top of things a little more. It was a heightened sense.”

This was Lyne and Erb’s fourth full season with the Outlaws, but they’ve been on the road together for the last 21 seasons starting in 2001. Their partnership began with Lyne’s bravery. When one door closed, she was quick to open another. In 2001, Lyne’s dad was ready to stop racing. Her mother wanted to regain her weekends, but Lyne knew this was her life path and wasn’t prepared to lose it.

“I’ve always been a tomboy at heart,” Lyne said. “I watched racing with my dad. Growing up he watched NASCAR. In high school, I got tired of playing at the lake house, so I went to the local dirt track and fell in love with it. I just couldn’t get enough. It took a year for me to convince my dad to come to the track with me. He finally did and we sponsored a car that year, the following year he started to race limited cars. He ran hobby stocks and limited late models.”

At some point, Lyne and her father’s level of commitment drifted apart.

“He did it for about five years,” Lyne said. “And then my mom said: ‘I’m done racing. I want my weekends back. It’s just not fun anymore.’ I wasn’t ready to hang up my wenches and Dennis raced out of the same hometown so I, on a dare, went down and introduced myself; told him if you ever need any help, I’ll drill out rivets, I’ll help wash, whatever you need. Twenty-one years later here I am.”

Heather Lyne became the first female crew chief to secure a national touring late model championship in 2022. Paul Arch / World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Breaking Through

Lyne entered a male-dominated job in a field that is also male-dominated – and where there were few examples of women creating these places for themselves. In this way, Lyne became a blueprint for other women as they strive to find a place for themselves in racing and in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) overall. She has her mother to thank for providing a strong role model, her father for sharing her passion, Erb for taking a chance on an unknow entity and most importantly herself.

“I was raised to believe that I can do anything, I want to do, as long as I put my heart and soul into it.” Lyne replied when asked about role models in the sport growing up. “My parents did not raise me to have that limitation. But from a racing role model perspective, I went in there completely green and just introduced myself to Dennis, the fact that he was brave enough to take that risk and bring a girl to the racetrack. Someone he didn’t know at all speaks volumes for him.”

Lyne and Erb have learned how to survive and succeed with each other on the road. They do this by leveraging decades of combined experience and an ability to adapt to the everchanging landscape of dirt late models. Next year the World of Outlaws visits nearly a dozen new tracks and Lyne sees it as an opportunity for continued success.

“I just want to do it again,” Lyne says going into next season, “I’m looking forward to the competition, I always do. I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t competitively driven.

“There are some new tracks on the schedule that I’m looking forward to trying for the first time that I haven’t been to myself,” Lyne said of the 2023 season, “Dennis seems to do well on those first timers. We won out at Marion center, we finished second at Bloomsburg. We have a good solid notebook of information to tackle them over the last three years with these rocket race cars that we’re running. It’s good to have that information and leverage it to try some new things.”