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  • 07 Aug
    导出博客文章Renault have set the target of claiming podium finishes within three years with
    the returning former champions braced for a rebuilding season in 2016. The
    French car giants formally launched their return as an F1 constructor at a
    ceremony in Paris and announced a new structure for the team formerly known as
    Lotus as well as the companys wider motorsport activities.But although Renault
    become just the third works team on the grid after Mercedes and Ferrari, they
    only completed their takeover in December and were keen to manage short-term
    expectations at Wednesdays car launch. The team has been given the goal to be on
    podium within three years, said Renault chairman Carlos Ghosn.Cyril
    Abiteboul, Renault Sports managing director, added: We have to be realistic
    about 2016. In some areas we are playing catch-up - its no secret that we missed
    the start of the new power unit regulations and Enstone needs a bit of TLC.This
    is a year to re-build relations… thats not to say that we will write off the
    year, but we are aiming to put everything in place for improved success in 2017.
    Craig Slater reports from Paris where Renault have unveiled the RS16 Although
    the three-year podium target might seem relatively modest given cash-strapped
    Lotus finished third at last Augusts Belgian GP, the Enstone team have not been
    regular front-runners since 2013 and Renaults V6 engine is down on power
    compared to Mercedes and Ferraris units.New race driver Jolyon Palmer believes
    Renault are right not to make any bold 2016 proclamations. Renault reveal 2016
    car New-look team the first to break cover with their 2016 challenger Its
    difficult to say at the moment [what the targets are] because were taking over
    from the Lotus team which were in a big mess at the end of last year, the
    British driver told Sky Sports News HQ.Everythings very positive about Renault
    now and the team, but first of all weve got to see where we are when we start
    testing in a couple of weeks. Reserve driver Esteban Ocon (left) joined race
    drivers Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen at the unveiling This is a rebuilding
    year. Everythings a little bit late and not planned as ideal. The long-term goal
    is very optimistic but well just hold fire on expectations for the moment and
    see where were going to be in a couple of weeks.Palmer was joined at the Renault
    launch by Kevin Magnussen, the 11th-hour replacement for Pastor Maldonado in the
    teams 2016 line-up after the Venezuelans deal fell through.The 2014 GP2 champion
    says he never had any worries that he might suffer the same fate as Maldonado
    and is excited to be a part of Renaults new era. Unlike Pastor Maldonado, Palmer
    has kept his seat since the change of team ownership I knew the terms when my
    deal was signed to be racing this year - it was either with Lotus or with
    Renault, Palmer said. The biggest anxiety I had is when we werent sure because
    Lotus were in a lot of difficulties at the end of last year.So when Renault
    signed their deal it was basically a lot of relief and a lot of excitement
    because there is so much they can do in Formula 1. Theyve got a great history
    and a lot of ambition to get back to the front, which is fantastic news for a
    driver like myself. Team Enstone: Two eras compared Renault era (2002-2009)
    Genii/Lotus era (2010-2015) Races 140 115 Wins 20 2 Win ratio 14.3% 1.7% Pole
    positions 20 0 Podiums 54 30 Average championship finish 4th 5th World titles 2
    Drivers & 2 Constructors 0 The first Barcelona test starts on Monday
    February 22 and the Sky Sports F1 Digital team will be providing live commentary
    from dawn until dusk on all four days of both Barcelona tests while Sky Sports
    News HQ will also deliver live updates from trackside. Every race live in 2016
    Sky Sports F1 brings you every race live in 2016. Fast and easy online upgrade -
    click here. Also See: Magnussen hails incredible return 2016 Renault breaks
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    . -- Timbers coach Caleb Porter didnt stray from
    his business-like approach to the season even after Portland downed the two-time
    defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy to gain crucial playoff position.
    NEW ORLEANS -- Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson wont rule out Big 12
    expansion plans affecting his own conference.Still, Benson called the Sun Belts
    planned membership perfect in terms of geography, and he stressed that he
    envisions a period of stability in which member institutions will enjoy budding
    regional rivalries and see their football programs prosper.I truly hope that we
    can focus on 2016, what we know, what we can control, what we can achieve -- and
    not get bogged down in speculation and rumors about conference membership,
    Benson said Monday in his state-of-the-Sun Belt address at the conferences
    annual preseason football media day. Obviously, if the Big 12 or SEC or ACC made
    that phone call to a Sun Belt president or chancellor, he or she would be
    foolish not to have that discussion.However, Ive said more than once that I will
    know that the Sun Belt has reached a level of sustainability and stability when
    a phone call comes from the president or chancellor of one of the Sun Belts peer
    conferences to a Sun Belt president or chancellor, and the answer will be, Thank
    you very much, but my university is very happy where we are. Thats exactly where
    I believe the Sun Belt is today.Football-only members Idaho and New Mexico State
    are leaving the Sun Belt after 2017. Coastal Carolina, now in transition from
    the NCAAs Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision,
    becomes a full football member in 2018. At that point, the Sun Belt will have 10
    teams in seven Southern states: Alabama (South Alabama and Troy), Arkansas
    (Arkansas State), Georgia (Georgia Southern and Georgia State), Louisiana
    (Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe), North Carolina (Appalachian State),
    South Carolina (Coastal Carolina) and Texas (Texas State).All you have to do is
    look at the map, Benson said. Its perfect, it works and we believe in long run
    it will allow the Sun Belt to grow and thrive and prosper.Stability is something
    the Sun Belt, now entering its 16th season as a Division I FBS conference, hasnt
    had in a while. Five teams -- North Texas, Middle Tennessee, Florida
    International, Florida Atlantic and Western Kentucky -- have left the Sun Belt
    since 2013. Since then, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State have
    joined, while longtime member South Alabama moved up to FBS in football and
    Coastal Carolina joined with its football upgrade now in progress.But Benson
    hopes the Sun Belt will begin a new era of stability by 2018, when the league
    aalso will host its inaugural championship game.ddddddddddddenson has said the
    conference likely would be split into two five-team divisions, with each
    division winner meeting in the title game. But as of Monday, he said the
    conference still has not decided whether it wants to go that route, or simply
    have every team play once -- meaning nine league games -- with the top two
    meeting in what would be a rematch for the championship. The difficulty with the
    latter option is that it would limit teams to three non-league games.Without
    finalizing it, it appears that we would be headed toward the divisions just
    because we have so many game contracts that go beyond 2018 that call for a
    fourth non-conference games, Benson said. If we made the decision to eventually
    go to a single division and play nine conference games, it would take several
    years to phase that in.This season, the Sun Belt will have tie-ins to five bowl
    games, with the newest being the Arizona Bowl in Tucson. The league also has
    agreements with the New Orleans, GoDaddy (Mobile, Alabama), Camellia
    (Montgomery, Alabama) and Cure (Orlando, Florida) bowls.Benson applauded member
    institutions for financial commitments in the form of stadium and practice
    facility improvements in recent years, and said those investments have paid off
    in the form of growing exposure and revenues for the league.While stopping short
    of getting into specifics, Benson said Sun Belt revenues have increased tenfold
    in the past three years, meaning that member institutions now receive
    distributions exceeding $1 million annually from the league.Benson also
    reaffirmed his commitment to a strategy he stressed a year ago of scheduling
    fewer non-conference games against BCS programs and more against peer
    conferences, even though that path effectively reduces individual programs
    revenues by cutting back on the number of big paydays they could get from
    playing at BCS schools.This season, the Sun Belt is reducing BCS opponents by
    two while playing two more non-league games against similar mid-major
    programs.That strategy is working, Benson said. Thats the model, thats the
    non-conference strategy that we need, to allow our football programs and our
    student athletes an opportunity to succeed, an opportunity to achieve, an
    opportunity to rise in standings, rise in the polls.---AP College Football: ' ' '