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14th January 2012, 09:51
This is going to be a cracker of a year for Sportscars and GT racing. Toyota back at Le-Mans. Hope Audi can get back to speed with the Pugs to give them good fight over race distance with more speed.

Status GP announce Lola LMP2 programme

Status Grand Prix will this year develop an LMP2 sports car programme following its decision to acquire a new 2012 specification Lola B12/80 Coupe. The Silverstone based team will take delivery of the car in the coming weeks and is currently finalising its 2012 test and race programme with the ultimate goal of competing in the full FIA World Endurance Championship in 2013.

This ambitious sports car project will be developed alongside Status GP’s existing GP3 Series activity, the team having been a championship contender and regular race winner in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons. The sports car project will not affect the team’s commitment to its GP3 single-seater programme, being operated from expanded premises by a dedicated crew of experienced sports car engineers and technicians.

Status GP has previously been the technical partner operating both GT1 and LMP2 cars on a sub-contract basis, competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2006 and 2011 and also running cars in FIA GT and Intercontinental Le Mans Challenge events, but this is the first time it will field its own entry. Announcements concerning key technical partners and driver line up will be made when the 2012 programme is finalised.

“This is a significant step for the team and perfectly complements our important GP3 activity as we seek to develop parallel racing programmes up to World Championship level in the future,” said team founder Mark Gallagher. “We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Lola over the last eight years and believe this is an exciting time to enter the world of sports prototype racing. There are more automotive manufacturers coming into the sport, the European and American Le Mans Series have paved the way for the creation of the FIA World Endurance Championship, while sponsors and drivers are recognising the benefits of competing with these superb cars at prestigious events around the world.”

‘We are delighted to welcome Status GP into the Lola LMP family,” said Martin Birrane, Executive Chairman of the Lola Group. “Although a new entrant to sports cars, the relationship between Status and Lola goes back to the first year of A1GP in 2005. Like Lola, Status GP shares a determined and professional approach in the business of going racing and have proved to be winners in both A1GP and GP3. We very much look forward to a long and successful partnership with them on the global sports car stage.”

Status GP was founded in 2005 and won the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport for Ireland in 2009, the culmination of four seasons in the powerful single seater category. The team graduated to GP3 for the series’ inaugural season in 2010, achieving 4 wins and 8 podiums to finish 2nd in both the Driver and Team standings. It was again a championship contender in 2011 with 6 podiums including victories in Turkey and Italy. Status GP’s major shareholder is Teddy Yip Jr, whose father ran the famous Theodore Racing team, and the management team includes former F1 and Le Mans driver/team coordinator David Kennedy.


14th January 2012, 09:53


It's going to be an action-packed year

We’ve already seen a number of positive announcements centered around the ALMS, and there is plenty more still to come! Starting this week you can expect a wave of news regarding the numerous areas in which the Series will grow this year. Here's a sneak peek to get the buzz going…
1. Look for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida to be one of the greatest sports car races in history, as the 60th anniversary of Sebring will also feature the debut race of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

2. Look for a brand new, manufacturer-backed team in GT: two cars with unprecedented sponsorship activation from an existing Series marketing partner.

3. Look for the unique DeltaWing LMP to hit the track for the first time.

4. Look for absolutely terrific battles to continue in all three ALMS Prototype classes; LMP1, LMP2 and LMPC. Exciting newcomers to the Prototype categories will include Conquest Endurance, Dempsey Racing and Black Swan Racing bringing new chassis and engines into the Series. LMP1 champion Dyson Racing and Muscle Milk Pickett Racing are both returning with new cars; Pickett with a new HPD LMP1 and a new LMPC entry as well. Level 5 is back in LMP2 for a full season championship run.

5. Look for the debut of the new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR to challenge BMW, Corvette and Ferrari in ALMS’ white-hot GT competition. Spearheaded by Flying Lizard Motorsports, Team Falken Tire and Paul Miller Racing, the new model Porsche is stunning in appearance and seems to be well-equipped to take on returning GT champs BMW in the world’s most competitive form of sports car racing.

6. Look for a beautiful new venue to fill out the 2012 calendar of 10 ALMS races.

7. Look for four LIVE ALMS races on ABC Sports and ESPN2 to add to the record-breaking audience growth and appeal for the Series on TV in 2012.

8. Look for the ALMS to further expand its “ways to watch” with incremental options to watch and listen to all ALMS broadcasts at home, on your computer or on your phone. ABC, ESPN2, ESPN3, ALMS.com and others to be announced soon.

9. Look for International TV coverage of the ALMS to increase substantially in 2012 with ESPN International broadcasting all events. ESPN International proved enormously popular around the world with nearly 4 million viewers. Expect that audience to grow as we work with ESPN to enlarge the audience worldwide.

10. With the continued partnership of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International, the Series celebrates its fourth anniversary of the MICHELIN ® GREEN X ® Challenge. Watch as America’s greatest sports cars compete to be clean, fast and efficient, proving that sustainability can be achieved without sacrificing competition.

11. Look for a new, user-friendly, fan-focused alms.com to debut in March, featuring customized content for users, a richer Web experience, streaming in-car camera views, and much more.

12. Last but not least, look for a major IMSA / Series announcement of an alignment with a new global consortium for the purposes of taking the green racing platform to the next level – with IMSA and ALMS leading the way.
This is only a taste of things to come. Look for additional details on the above to be revealed in the coming days, starting today with No. 12. It’s going to be a phenomenal season of racing and we look forward to seeing you all at Sebring.

14th January 2012, 09:55
Krohn Racing Announces 2012 Plans to Enter WEC
Tracy W. Krohn, owner of the Krohn Racing team, announced his Team’s entry to the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship today. The Championship is a competition created in partnership with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the International Automobile Federation (FIA). The WEC schedule features eight races on three continents, and includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“Our plan is to run the full season of the World Endurance Championship in 2012 with the new Ferrari F458 GT and we’re looking forward to it,” said Team Owner/driver Tracy Krohn. “They have added one more venue this year so it will be a total of eight races, including Le Mans and Sebring. We’re very excited! Some of the tracks we will have seen and some will be new to us. We’re looking forward to flying the American flag around the world and believe 2012 will be a banner year for us. The idea is to make it even better than last year.”

Drivers for Krohn Racing’s 2012 WEC Team will include Team Owner/driver Krohn, along with longtime teammate and friend, Swede Nic Jönsson, and Italian Ferrari sports car standout, Michele Rugolo. The trio was teammates for the 2011 ILMC Series with enough success and driver style symbiosis to make 2012 driver selections a natural repeat.

The American-based Krohn Racing Team finished second in the GTE-Am C lass in the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Challenge Series, the predecessor to the World Endurance Championship. Successes include two victories in their home country of the United States, at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans. Additionally, they finished third in class at the 6 Hours of Zhuhai (China) to celebrate another podium. An unfortunate DNF at the 24 hours of Le Mans, which awarded double points, spoiled their chances for winning the GTE-Am Class overall.

“I think any time you come into an inaugural season and you have a podium finish for the season, then you should be happy with that. That’s a really good result. The team did a great job; the cars were extremely well prepared; Nic did a great job, as usual. He’s a friend and mentor for many years and helps keep me focused as well. Second overall is a good result. Had we not had some pretty bad luck at Le Mans with the motor and crankshaft, we would have won it! “

Krohn Racing is unique in that no other American racing team has attempted a full campaign in the World Endurance Championship for sports cars in nearly three decades.

“We are taking on the best in the world because Krohn Racing has a team of carefully selected, internationally experienced specialists; managers, engineers, technicians, and logistics staff,” said Krohn Racing Motorsports Manager Jeff Hazell. “We have a committed Team Owner and great support from Ferrari and Dunlop. The logistics and engineering operations of a World Championship team requires no less a combination. Racing at this level is a serious challenge, but we felt equipped, and if you think you are good, you need to prove it!”

Krohn Racing took delivery of a new Ferrari F458 GTE built to 2011 specifications, per GTE-Am class requirements, in December 2011.

“To win consistently you must have the best of everything,” added Hazell, who oversees Krohn’s motorsports operations. “This year it is permitted to race the F458 in the GTE-Am class, which Ferrari has developed with Michelotto all through 2011. The F430 is very well proven, still fast and reliable and is capable of winning again, but we race Ferraris and we feel that means whenever possible we should race their current model in front of the world media, contribute to the further development of the race car and put it into the winners circle.”

“We expect the Ferrari F458 certainly to be easier to drive,” added Krohn, a native of Houston, Texas. “The direct injection should aid response and fuel economy. It’s also got another little advantage in the gearing in that it will be paddle shift, as opposed to regular stick shift, and that will be more fun to drive. I’ve driven the street car and it’s a completely different feel than the 430. It’s a great car. I think Ferrari has made a really spectacular automobile here.”

“We see racing the new Ferrari F458 as a step forward in drivability and reliability,” said Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer David Brown. “So far the newly built car has only completed a hand-over shakedown test. We will do a single day test locally near the Atlanta shop to check out our systems and installations on a track we know well, and then go to the official Sebring test in early February.”

Tracy Krohn is thrilled with the team’s invitation to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year. Having competed in every race since 2005, the Texas oil man is delighted to return.

Tracy Krohn is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of W&T Offshore (NYSE: WTI), an independent oil and natural gas acquisition, exploitation and exploration company, with a focus primarily in the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, he is an investor in Cross Creek Pictures, LLC, a financier of the numerous Hollywood movies including “Black Swan”, “The Ides of March”, “A Woman in Black” and “Rush”, a movie about Formula One’s Niki Lauda and James Hunt and directed by Ron Howard.

Entries to the WEC Series are due by January 18th for the 2012 season. A formal announcement by the ACO and FIA will be made on February 2, 2012 to announce the full list of entrants for both the World Endurance Championship and the 2012 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The 2012 World Endurance Championship race schedule includes:

12 Hours of Sebring, Sebring, Florida, USA on March 17;
6 Hours of Spa; Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium on May 5;
24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans, France on June 16-17;
6 Hours of Silverstone, Silverstone, England on August 25;
6 Hours of Sao Paolo, Brazil on September 16;
6 Hours of Bahrain, Middle East on September 29;
6 Hours of Mount-Fuji, Japan on October 14;
6 Hours of China, Zhuhai or Shanghai, China on November 11 or November 18


14th January 2012, 09:56

Corvette Racing announces 2012 racing plans
Corvette Racing will seek its ninth American Le Mans Series championship and its eighth victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012. With a win in the GTE Pro class at Le Mans and runner-up finishes in the ALMS GT team and driver championships last year, America’s premier production sports car team has focused on improving all aspects of its performance as it prepares its Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars for the 2012 campaign.

Corvette Racing’s revised driver lineup delivers a powerful combination of youth and experience. Antonio Garcia joins Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, and Tommy Milner as the four full-season drivers. Richard Westbrook will reprise his role as third driver in endurance events (Sebring, Le Mans, and Petit Le Mans), and Jordan Taylor will join Corvette Racing for the three long-distance races.

“The level of competition in the 2011 American Le Mans Series GT category was intense, and we expect it to be just as fierce in 2012,” said GM Racing Director Mark Kent. “Corvette Racing has been working hard over the winter to develop a complete package of cars, drivers, team, and technology that will be able to win in this extremely competitive environment.”

Jordan Taylor, a 20-year-old resident of Apopka, Fla., will become the 23rd driver to race in Corvette Racing colors. The son of championship-winning driver Wayne Taylor, this second-generation racer literally grew up at race tracks. After progressing quickly through karting and school series, he made his debut in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in 2008. Taylor and his co-driver piloted the Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro to a runner-up finish in the 2011 Rolex GT championship, just two points short of the title. He will continue to compete in the Rolex Series in 2012 with Autohaus Motorsports in addition to driving for Corvette Racing in endurance races.

“Corvette Racing is one of the most iconic names in motorsports, and joining this team is a huge opportunity for me,” said Taylor, a student at the University of Central Florida. “There are certainly going to be challenges as I learn the capabilities of the Corvette C6.R race cars, become familiar with the team, adapt to new tracks, and race with new competitors. It’s going to be amazing to race a Corvette at Sebring, Le Mans, and Road Atlanta, and I can’t wait to get started!”

GM has a longstanding association with the Taylor family, reaching back to the Chevrolet Intrepid GTP, Oldsmobile Aurora WSC, and Cadillac LMP programs. Wayne Taylor Racing currently campaigns a Corvette Daytona Prototype in the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.

“We have watched Jordan develop as a fine young driver over the years, and when he had an opportunity to test for Corvette Racing, his performance was very impressive,” said Kent. “He is totally dedicated to racing, gives great feedback, understands how to interpret data, and knows how to make changes to the car and his driving style to suit the conditions. He has tremendous potential and we see this opportunity as an investment in the team’s future.

“I also want to acknowledge the contributions of Olivier Beretta to Corvette Racing,” Kent continued. “Olivier was a valued member of the team, and he played a key role in our success in the ALMS and at Le Mans. Although we have parted company with Olivier, we’ll look forward to seeing him at the race track, and we wish him all the best in the future.”

Corvette Racing will participate in the Sebring Winter Test on February 8-9 in preparation for the season-opening 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 17. With two automatic invitations to qualify for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team will return to the French circuit for the 80th running of the classic endurance race on June 16-17, 2012.

“Corvette Racing’s starts every season with the same objectives: to capture the ALMS GT championship and to win at Le Mans,” said Kent. “We’ve never worked harder to achieve these goals. The entire team is energized and excited, and the strength of the competition drives us to strive for continuous improvement.”


15th January 2012, 18:59
Peugeot's Anthony Davidson sure FIA can solve diesel/petrol equivalence rows in World Endurance Championship
By Mark Glendenning Sunday, January 15th 2012, 14:25 GMT

Peugeot sportscar driver Anthony Davidson is optimistic that the involvement of the FIA will help to achieve parity between petrol and diesel-powered cars in the new World Endurance Championship.

The gap in performance levels between diesels and petrol cars has been one of the main points of debate in top-level sportscar racing since the Audi R10 TDI arrived in 2006, but Davidson is confident that the category's return to world championship status this year will help to keep things on an even keel.

"We've seen in touring cars how hard it is to get things level, and different things come into play, like altitude," said Davidson at AUTOSPORT International.

"This year we're going to Brazil, 800 metres above sea level, and in a turbodiesel that's going to be a huge advantage against a normally-aspirated engine. Trying to get that level is quite difficult. But now we have the involvement of the FIA, I've got full confidence that it will be comparable."

The Briton believes that the arrival of Toyota will also help to balance the two engine types out if it opts for a petrol-powered car.

"[Toyota] is a manufacturer with a big budget that is able to produce a good petrol engine - assuming they are going to have a petrol engine - against the diesel," he said. "It's great technology, and that's what modern motorsport should be about."


17th January 2012, 18:45
Toyota's new Le Mans contender tests for first time
By Gary Watkins Monday, January 16th 2012, 13:52 GM

Toyota's all-new 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours contender hit the track for the first time last week.

The Japanese manufacturer's petrol-electric hybrid LMP1 coupe was shaken down over three days at Paul Ricard, starting on Wednesday. No comment has been forthcoming from Toyota Motorsport GmbH about the test, but it is understood that the car completed several hundred kilometres of largely trouble-free running.

All three of the drivers who will race Toyota's solo entry at Le Mans and in selected rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship this year were on hand at the test.

It is believed that Alex Wurz, whose team-mates are Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima, was at the wheel for the first laps and undertook the majority of the driving.

Further testing is scheduled at Ricard at the end of the month, when more official details of Toyota's progress should emerge.

The car, a name for which has yet to be announced, is expected to make its race debut in the Spa WEC round in May.


17th January 2012, 18:49
The list of American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón venues continues to grow with the addition of historic Virginia International Raceway for the 2012 season.

North America’s leading sports car championship will contest its first race at VIR on Saturday, Sept. 15 in a four-hour enduro.
The first ALMS race at VIR – located in Danville, Va. – also will mark the first competition on the track’s impressive 4.1-mile, 31-turn Grand Course. It’s a safe bet that track speed records will fall at the hands of the world’s most exotic prototype sports cars and premier production-based GT cars. The race will be broadcast on ESPN2.

“For years we have received numerous inquiries from fans and competitors on when we would race at VIR, I’m proud to say that time is now,” said Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO.
“Virginia International Raceway is an excellent addition to what no doubt will be a fantastic 2012 season for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. Given VIR’s history and acclaim as a world-class road racing facility, this is a natural fit. We look forward to working closely with the VIR team to introduce their fans and lots of new ones to the fastest, toughest and most entertaining competition VIR has witnessed.”

The history book at VIR is ripe with the biggest names in North American road racing. Built in 1957, the track played host to its first race in August of that year – an SCCA event that attracted the likes of Carroll Shelby, Bob Holbert, Carl Haas and more. VIR also played host to the first IMSA GT race in 1971 – Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg drove a Porsche 914-6 to a victory over Dave Heinz’s Corvette. Gregg and Haywood also won in the 1972 IMSA GT race at VIR.

Competitors over the years have heaped praise on the circuit. Paul Newman once opined that “if there’s a heaven on Earth, it’s VIR.” Car and Driver named it one of the six best road courses in the U.S. and called a lap around the Grand Course the closest thing in America to a lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

“The list of drivers and manufacturers who have achieved success at VIR is a storied one,” Atherton said. “We are thrilled at the prospect of ushering in a new era of competition at VIR as the first series to run its Grand Course. The sights and sounds of our prototype and GT cars racing at high speeds around such a demanding and picturesque layout will create a spectacle no one should miss.”

The track closed in 1974 but reopened in 2000 after New York real estate developer and vintage racer Harvey Siegel acquired the track property in 1998. In addition to a repaving and widening of the circuit, VIR added resort facilities that include three hotel and multiple dining options. The track plays host to numerous events during the course of a season including sports cars, motorcycles and karting.

"Virginia International Raceway and our partners in the surrounding communities are thrilled to witness the incomparable show that will be delivered by the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and IMSA’s top-flight development championships,” said Connie Nyholm, managing partner of VIR.” To be able to give our fans and sponsors the leaders in cutting edge racing technology and the Global Leader in Green Racing, competing at speeds never seen at our historic track is an opportunity not to be missed.”

Along with the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda, USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda and the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX5 Cup will compete on the weekend.
Tickets for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón race at VIR on Sept. 15 will be available at VIRnow.com beginning Feb. 1.

The 2012 American Le Mans Series season gets underway with the 60th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 17. It also will mark the first race of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. Visit sebringraceway.com for details on tickets and accommodations.

The annual Sebring Winter Test is scheduled for Feb. 8-9 at Sebring International Raceway. Tickets are $10 with no paddock access granted.


17th January 2012, 18:52

im sure this is where Topgear went on their American trip, with the Merc SLS, 458 and think Hammond was in the Porsche.

18th January 2012, 14:42
really shocked by this news....

Peugeot ends Le Mans programme with immediate effect
By Matt Beer Wednesday, January 18th 2012, 15:26 GMT

Peugeot has announced that it will end its endurance racing programme with immediate effect.

The French manufacturer had been Audi's main rival in sportscar racing, running the variants of its diesel 908 prototype in the Le Mans 24 Hours and associated series since 2007.

"This decision has been taken in the context of a difficult economic environment in Europe," Peugeot said in a statement on Wednesday. "Peugeot has chosen to concentrate resources on its sales performance in 2012."

Le Mans victory in 2009 was Peugeot's greatest success, while last year it won the inaugural Intercontinental Le Mans Cup title ahead of the series' transformation into the World Endurance Championship this year.

The decision to can the programme comes amid declining car sales for the Peugeot group, and will be a major blow to the formative WEC - which had been expected to see a season-long battle between Audi and Peugeot.

Toyota is embarking on a new LMP1 programme but will not contest a full campaign this year, while Porsche's new car will not hit the track until 2014.


18th January 2012, 14:47
Yeah really sad, going to miss the battle between Audi and Peugeot. :-s

18th January 2012, 14:49
Yeah really sad, going to miss the battle between Audi and Peugeot. :-s

yeah for sure ;-) At least there will be Toyota v Audi. But, now with the Pugs gone, think Audi will walk it.

18th January 2012, 14:57
Peugeot brings down the curtain on its endurance programme so as to ensure the success of its numerous launches in 2012.
18 February 2012

After 14 victories in the last 16 races, including a double at the Le Mans 24 Hours 2009 as part of the ILMC championship won by Peugeot two years running, in 2010 and 2011, the Brand has decided to close its 2012 endurance programme and will not be taking part in the next Le Mans 24 Hours.

This decision has been taken against the backdrop of the challenging economic environment in Europe coupled with a particularly busy year for the Brand in terms of new vehicle launches. In this context, Peugeot prefers to concentrate its 2012 resources on its commercial performance and, in
particular, ensuring the successful launches of the 208, 3008 HYbrid4, 508 RXH, 508 HYbrid4 and 4008 which will take forward the Brand's strategy of moving upmarket and extending its global presence.

In keeping with its social responsibility obligations and as part of the GPEC (forward management of jobs and skills) agreement signed by 5 trade unions, all of the employees concerned will be offered redeployment solutions within the Group thanks to a special system set up to oversee and lead occupational training/retraining as well as internal mobility.

Press contacts


18th January 2012, 15:49
Such a shame, and so out of the blue! Big blow for the WEC as well.

I hope Toyota can start with a good car out of the box, but given that this is their first season back, and they're not even doing a full season, I think Audi will walk it. Would've been nice to see Pugs vs Audi vs Toyota all go at it tooth and nail in LMP1, but oh well. :-s

19th January 2012, 13:27
Such a shame, and so out of the blue! Big blow for the WEC as well.

I hope Toyota can start with a good car out of the box, but given that this is their first season back, and they're not even doing a full season, I think Audi will walk it. Would've been nice to see Pugs vs Audi vs Toyota all go at it tooth and nail in LMP1, but oh well. :-s

Was looking forward to 3 big names battling it out this year. But, i hope Toyota can be competitive straight off. I cannt see it, think the WEC and Le-Mans is Audis to loose.

19th January 2012, 15:21
sebringraceway Sebring Raceway
"Peugeot's Last Stand." Abandoned Sebring paddock garage for testing this weekend. We will miss the Lion!


21st January 2012, 17:13
Ferrari wins the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi

Maranello, 21 January – The AF Corse team swept the board for Ferrari, winning both legs of the Gulf 12 Hours held today at the Yas Marina circuit. The event got underway on Friday, with cars from around the world taking part in various classes – GT3, GT4, CUP and CN2 – tackling two 6 hour races. The Italian team’s 458GT3 was crewed by Cioci-Griffin-Perazzini and their names are therefore at the top of the roll of honour with a well deserved victory in what was the first running of the Abu Dhabi endurance race.

The Kessel Racing 458 GT3 came second in the hands of Peter-Broniszewski-Ramos-Coimbra, the Swiss car crossing the line ahead of the Audi R8 driven by Potolicchio- Popow-Dalziel, setting fast times to the very last of the 300 laps.

AF Corse’s second 458 GT3 rounded off a good day which underlined the performance of the Maranello cars, with a fourth place for Arana Perez-Cirň- Cadei.

21st January 2012, 18:12
World Endurance
Gene: "I signed the contract Peugeot three days ago!"

:-sThe Spaniard accepts the decision of the Quesnel Leone, but was completely unaware
January 19, 2012 16:33

Marc Gene did not expect. The bomb's withdrawal from the World Endurance Peugeot is shaking the endurance races . The announcement yesterday is destabilizing the long-awaited birth of the FIA World Championship season. The Spaniard has signed a new contract three days ago when the idea of a program stop was not even aired: " I was surprised - Marc admits - but was taken aback that I did not even Quesnel had no warning of what was decided by the top of the Lion House . " Gene admits that he is at least strange that the contracts have been renewed for four out of six riders: "A continuation ok I had already had a voice - tells the Iberian - but just three days ago I signed the contract that is in full force and effect. And yesterday there was a halt to the program. " The grounds of the House of Leo is economic, the prefers brand-Alpine "... focus its resources on sale for 2012" . It is, therefore, a measure that has a demonstration, because the bulk of spending for the season had already been done with the construction of Hybrid4 machine and the development of the 908 HDi FAP. "Yes, indeed it is strange - Gene admits - and was doing a good job, but when it comes to such drastic decisions that may not take place. Luckily I do not stay unemployed: F1 Grand Prix will be the commentator for Spanish television and continuous collaboration with Ferrari in the work of the simulator. Of course I regret not being able to drive in the race ...".


21st January 2012, 18:15
Ferrari wins the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi

Maranello, 21 January – The AF Corse team swept the board for Ferrari, winning both legs of the Gulf 12 Hours held today at the Yas Marina circuit. The event got underway on Friday, with cars from around the world taking part in various classes – GT3, GT4, CUP and CN2 – tackling two 6 hour races. The Italian team’s 458GT3 was crewed by Cioci-Griffin-Perazzini and their names are therefore at the top of the roll of honour with a well deserved victory in what was the first running of the Abu Dhabi endurance race.

The Kessel Racing 458 GT3 came second in the hands of Peter-Broniszewski-Ramos-Coimbra, the Swiss car crossing the line ahead of the Audi R8 driven by Potolicchio- Popow-Dalziel, setting fast times to the very last of the 300 laps.

AF Corse’s second 458 GT3 rounded off a good day which underlined the performance of the Maranello cars, with a fourth place for Arana Perez-Cirň- Cadei.

brilliant news, didnt see the race :-( what a way too start the year off :-D:clap

Forza Ferrari

21st January 2012, 18:30
REBELLION Racing Confirms FIA WEC Entry

The REBELLION Racing 2012 programme will centre around running two Lola-Toyota LMP1 cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the prestigious 24 Heures du Mans.

REBELLION Racing will be looking to re-confirm its status as the best privateer sportscar team at the highest level of endurance racing.
In 2011, the Swiss team won the Le Mans Series LMP1 Team Championship and the Le Mans Series Manufacturers Championship for Lola and Toyota. In the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, REBELLION Racing ended the season in third place in the Teams classification as the best private team behind Peugeot’s and Audi’s factory teams. REBELLION Racing’s other main achievement of the 2011 season was the 6th place overall finish at Le Mans 24 Hours; recording the highest placed finish for a petrol LMP.

REBELLION Racing will remain the exclusive partner of Toyota Motorsport GmbH for the petrol V8 3.4 litre RV8KLM engine programme. In 2012, TMG will supply REBELLION Racing an upgraded version of the RV8KLM engine on an exclusive basis for the second year in a row.
REBELLION Racing has selected four drivers that will share driving duties in the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. The team have renewed the contracts of three of its regular 2011 drivers; Andrea Belicchi, Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost.

REBELLION Racing is pleased to announce that former Aston Martin Racing LMP1 works driver Harold Primat will also be joining the team. Harold Primat, was an Aston Martin Racing LMP1 official works driver from 2009 to 2011; winning the 6 Hours of Laguna Seca in 2011 and the 500 km of Okayama in 2009 on top of many other podiums finishes in both the Le Mans Series and American Le Mans Series and a 6th place overall finish at Le Mans 24 Hours in 2010.

Bart Hayden, REBELLION Racing Team manager; “We have another strong driver line-up for this year. Complementing our existing driver line-up, I am pleased to welcome Harold on- board, he will bring a great deal of experience to the team.”

More details on 2012 team’s Lola LMP1 cars and team’s full driver line-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be unveiled at a later date.

22nd January 2012, 19:57
New Driver Alignment to Optimize Performance in Sprint and Endurance Events

A new alignment of drivers will pilot Corvette Racing's new Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars when they make their competition debut at the season-opening 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. With additional testing following the announcement of the 2012 driver roster, the team has now finalized the lineups for the twin Corvettes.

Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia will be full-season drivers in the No. 3 Corvette C6.R, joined by Jordan Taylor as third driver in endurance events (Sebring, Le Mans, and Petit Le Mans). Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner will co-drive the No. 4 Corvette C6.R, with Richard Westbrook joining them as third driver in the three long-distance races.

"As part of our comprehensive review of Corvette Racing, we considered every element of the program, from the chassis and engine to the driver pairings," said GM Racing Director Mark Kent. "Preseason testing and data analysis suggested that a revised driver alignment could improve the team's overall performance. Certainly physical size is a factor in minimizing the time required for driver changes during pit stops, but we also evaluated the drivers' individual styles and their preferences on chassis setups. With these pairings, we can minimize compromises and maximize driver confidence.

"This new alignment also combines experienced and younger drivers," Kent added. "We expect the veteran drivers to mentor the younger drivers, accelerating the process of learning and development."

This new driver alignment sees Magnussen, 38, return to the No. 3 Corvette C6.R that he drove from March 2007 to August 2010. The Dane will co-drive with Garcia, 31, who moves from the third-driver role he began in 2009 to a full-season campaign in the American Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team's newest member, Jordan Taylor, a 20-year-old from Apopka, Fla., joins Magnussen and Garcia as the third driver in the No. 3 Corvette C6.R.

Tommy Milner, 25, of Lake Mary, Fla., joined Corvette Racing in 2011 as a full-season driver in the No. 3 Corvette C6.R. Milner now moves to the No. 4 Corvette C6.R alongside Oliver Gavin, 39, a Corvette Racing driver since 2002. Richard Westbrook, 36, will mark his second year as third driver in the No. 4 Corvette C6.R.

Corvette Racing will introduce its new driver lineup at the Sebring Winter Test on February 8-9 in preparation for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 17.


22nd January 2012, 23:14
brilliant news, didnt see the race :-( what a way too start the year off :-D:clap

Forza Ferrari

Yes it is..for a Ferrari forum, it doesnt appear the infamous Ferrari GT's have much of a following...
In the days of the 512's, P3/4's and 312PB, I preferred sports racing over F1..If any Ferrari is in a race..Im there :-D

23rd January 2012, 09:17
i know :-?? I have started to enjoy GT (sports car) racing abit more over the the past few years. F1 is still my fav, but with the big names in GT racing, every race is like a sprint. Alot more close racing and the strategies are brilliant. Risi springs to mind, as they called some crackers in past couple years to end up winning. If there a Ferrari there, im supporting it.

25th January 2012, 08:57
Toyota expands Le Mans 24 Hours attack to two LMP1 cars
By Gary Watkins Tuesday, January 24th 2012, 18:00 GMT

Toyota has expanded its attack on this year's Le Mans 24 Hours from one to two cars, the manufacturer announced at the launch of its 2012 LMP1 car on Tuesday.

The Japanese squad made the announcement of its revised programme as it unveiled the petrol-electric LMP1 hybrid at Paul Ricard in France. Toyota stated that it could also run two of the cars, to be known as TS030 HYBRIDs, in additional rounds of the new FIA World Endurance Championship.

No drivers have been confirmed for the second Le Mans entry, but Toyota Super GT and Formula Nippon driver Hiroaki Ishiura is a candidate after testing the new coupe at Ricard earlier this month.

Toyota said the first TS030 completed several hundred kilometres at Ricard during a three-day shakedown on January 11-13, which included running at night. Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre, who will share the lead entry with Kazuki Nakajima, undertook the driving along with Ishiura.

TMG technical director Pascal Vasselon said: "The two main performance drivers of our car are the aerodynamics and the hybrid system. The development team at TMG has worked very hard to achieve an optimum aero concept based on windtunnel testing and CFD.

"Judging by the positive feedback we received during the roll-out, we have a very good base on which to build in the coming weeks."

It was also confirmed that the TS030 will make its race debut in round two of the WEC at Spa on May 5 in the hands of the Cologne-based Toyota Motorsport GmbH squad, which has developed the new chassis. The team's participation in further WEC rounds will be confirmed soon.

The TS030's powertrain is based around an all-new 3.4-litre normally-aspirated V8, not the Super GT-based powerplant used in the Rebellion Racing Lolas last year, and uses super-capacitors instead of batteries to store energy from its regenerative braking system.

Toyota is evaluating retrieving energy from either the front and or rear axle and will make a decision on what route to take in the near future.

The TS030 HYBRID continues the nomenclature of previous Toyota Le Mans challengers. It follows the TS010 Group C car of 1991-1993 and the TS020, the internal codename for the car that raced at the 24 Hours as the GT-One in 1998-99.



27th January 2012, 17:35
The countdown begins in Daytona for the 24 Hour race

The Ferrari of AIM Autorsport Team FXDD is second in qualifying

Maranello, 27 January –Qualifying for the Daytona 24 Hours, the famous endurance race at the International Speedway has now taken place, for the opening round of the 2012 GrandAm season.

There are five Ferraris in the GT class and fastest was the AIM Autorsport FXDD car in the hands of Jack Segal. The Miami driver stopped the clocks in 1.49.357, a few tenths slower than the Brumos Racing Porsche GT3, on pole in 1.49.342.

Fifth fastest was Gimmi Bruni, lapping in 1.49.661 on his debut at Daytona Beach, driving the Risi Competizione 458 Grand AM.

The Houston team’s other car could only manage eleventh in the hands of the Finn Toni Vilander (1.50.191) one place ahead of the Estreme Speed Motorsports 458 in 1.50.197. 26th time for the AF Corse Waltrip car in 1.51.105 as the Italian team is working on the Grand AM project in conjunction with Michael Waltrip Racing, both Robert Kauffman and Michael Waltrip racing with Travis Pastrana and Rui Aguas.

Following on from qualifying, two hours of free practice at 18h30, while tomorrow, there are a further two sessions at 9 and 11 to give drivers a last chance to get to grips with the track before the race gets underway at 15h30 on Saturday 28 January.

2nd February 2012, 18:05
Audi to enter hybrid R18s at Le Mans
By: Chris Pickering
Date: Thursday 2nd February 2012

Audi has revealed that it will be running two hybrid cars in the Le Mans 24 Hour race this year. They will be entered as part of a two-pronged approach that also sees a pair of conventional diesel-only R18s taking to the grid.

Technical details on the system are virtually non-existent at this stage, but previous hints about ‘progressive electrification’ of the R18 suggest it will be a purely electrical system, rather than a mechanical or electro-mechanical one.

"To develop the hybrid technology for Le Mans is at least as ambitious and challenging as our diesel project was in its early stages," explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "The first test results are very encouraging and we are intrigued to see just how this technology performs in combination with our ultra lightweight technology on the race track at Le Mans.

“As before, we still, however, see potential with the conventional drive - just as our colleagues do in production development. This is why we are absolutely delighted that the ACO and FIA selection committee has accepted our entries and that we can join the grid with four cars at the commemorative [80th anniversary] running of the Le Mans race."


2nd February 2012, 18:06
Nick Heidfeld joins REBELLION Racing

REBELLION Racing is pleased to announce that Nick Heidfeld will drive one of the team’s Lola-Toyota LMP1 coupés during the FIA World Endurance Championship opening rounds and the 80th Le Mans 24 Hours.

The former Formula One German driver, will race for the Swiss team at Sebring 12 Hours, Spa 6 Hours and the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours.
Nick will share the seat of the #12 Lola-Toyota with Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost.

Nick Heidfeld, 34, started 183 Formula 1 Grand Prix reaching the podium on 13 occasions. He began in Formula One at Prost GP in 2000 before moving onto Sauber (2001-2003), Jordan, (2004) Williams (2005), then BMW Sauber (2006-2009). In 2010 Nick was Mercedes GP third driver and Pirelli test driver and had a part season (five races) with Sauber. In 2011 Nick was a Lotus-Renault driver.
Nick Heidfeld had one Le Mans 24 Hours start in 1999 with AMG-Mercedes factory squad with the #5 Mercedes CLR.

Nick Heidfeld : “I am really looking forward to this new challenge and I am especially excited that the first race in Sebring, being a new circuit for me, is only a few weeks away. Since I did Le Mans in 1999 I always knew that I wanted to come back to endurance racing. I am very happy to join Rebellion Racing and hope I can help building up on their already impressive achievements which include winning the Team and Manufacturer championship in the Le Mans Series and finishing just behind the Peugeot and Audi works teams in the Intercontinental Le Mans cup.”

Bart Hayden, REBELLION Racing Team Manager : “We had a number of options for high profile drivers joining our Team for the longer distance race events such as Sebring and Le Mans. Nick Heidfeld was available and was looking for a new challenge. Nick will be a valuable addition to the team, he is quick, highly-experienced, enthusiastic and very happy to be part of REBELLION Racing. We are pleased to welcome Nick to the team and are looking forward to the start of the season next month at the Sebring 12 Hours, opening round of the new FIA World Endurance Championship.”


2nd February 2012, 18:09
Heres the entry list for this years Le-Mans 24hr...


and here is the list for this years WEC....


2nd February 2012, 18:15
Risi not going to Le Mans again?

2nd February 2012, 18:19
Risi not going to Le Mans again?

im not sure mate. Im waiting for an email back ;-)

2nd February 2012, 18:20
looking forward to see the R18 Hybrid race. Finally.

4th February 2012, 13:06
Level 5, Tucker Confirmed for 24 Hours of Le Mans

With preparations in full swing for the upcoming season, Level 5 Motorsports received news Thursday of its entry confirmation for the 80th 24 Hours of Le Mans. Awarded by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organizers of the legendary 24-hour French endurance race, Scott Tucker’s championship-winning team will take on the best of the world in a deep LMP2 field this June.

Five-time national driving champion Tucker will join team regular Christophe Bouchut in the No. 33 Honda Performance Development ARX-03b, only one of two Honda-powered LMP2 entries in this year’s race. The third driver for Level 5’s Le Mans program will be announced at a later date.

Level 5 earned an automatic invitation to Le Mans thanks to its victory in last year’s Petit Le Mans, where Tucker, Bouchut and Joao Barbosa scored an impressive sixth place overall finish in the American Le Mans Series season-finale. It capped off an incredible 2011 season, which saw a sweep of five victories and back-to-back ALMS titles.

“We’re very proud of our past accomplishments and championships,” said Tucker. “Getting an invitation to Le Mans is something we have worked very hard for and we’re honored and humbled at the same time in receiving it. We’re going to plan and work very efficiently to represent USA in the best possible light on the world’s stage and are proud for being one of the few American teams that competes in the highest level of sports car racing in the world.”

Tucker, who will be returning to Le Mans for the third consecutive year, will face a record level of competition in the LMP2 category. Eighteen entries have been entered, with Level 5 being only one of two
teams to fly the stars and stripes of America. Last year, Tucker finished on the podium in the team’s debut and was also the highest-placed American driver in the race.

While their third place result last year was achieved with a Lola-Honda Coupe, Level 5 will have a new HPD ARX-03b as its weapon of choice in 2012, as it aims for victory in the world’s greatest endurance race.

“We’re happy to be returning to Le Mans this year in what we believe will be a competitive package with the new HPD ARX-03b,” team manager David Stone said. “With the time we’ve had with these cars from last year, particularly the Petit Le Mans, and what we’ll have between now and the Le Mans Test Day and race, will only add to our likelihood of being very competitive and reliable. I’m happy to hear there is a large field in LMP2 and it should be a good fight.”

With the American Le Mans Series’ annual Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway less than one week away, work continues at Level 5’s Madison, Wis. headquarters to prepare its new HPD cars for the new year. The team took delivery of the first new ARX-03b chassis late last week, with one of the new 2012-specification LMP2 cars expected to be ready for action. One of last year’s race-winning HPDs will also be present for the two-day test on Feb. 8-9.

Both of Level 5’s new cost-capped LMP2 cars will compete in the 60th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 17, which will open the ALMS season and also serve as the start of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. The 80th annual 24 Hours of Le Mans is scheduled for June 16-17, 2012.


4th February 2012, 13:11
Starworks Motorsport Launches WEC Bid

FIRSTTEXTHEREStarworks Motorsport can today reveal that it will take on the cream of the world’s endurance teams after securing a sensational spot in the new FIA World Endurance Championship 2012. The team, from Fort Lauderdale in Florida, will mix it with the best over nine of the greatest and most famous tracks in the world — from Sebring to Le Mans and from Silverstone and Spa to Sao Paulo and Fiji.

Starworks will take part in the new global sports car series by entering a car in the LMP2 class after teaming up with Honda Performance Development. Their usual Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series drivers — Scot Ryan Dalziel, who now lives in Orlando, Florida, and Venezuelan Enzo Potolicchio —will be behind the wheel. A third platinum-classed driver will be announced before the first round at Sebring next month.

The new Honda ARX-03b will arrive at the workshop later this month. Starworks has set up a base in Cardiff, Wales, to help coordinate the WEC campaign alongside their operation in the United States.

Team owner PETER BARON: “It seemed like such a far-fetched dream even to contemplate doing the WEC for 2012. I watched the international prototypes racing when I was growing up and this was too good an opportunity to miss. Pushing ourselves, we looked at our assets and our potential, and we thought we are just a few key hires away from having the right people in place. The most important thing is that we have everything in position not just to compete, but to challenge. We are not there to just participate, we are there to compete for a championship. Our team has a tremendous wealth of experience running high tech cars, and we are up to the challenge. We will be a bit tight for time for Sebring as we are still waiting for the car, but even so, we showed at this past 24 hours of Daytona, we can dominate a race with getting a car moments before a race. Our goals are victories and the championship, and, in Ryan and Enzo, we have a fantastic pairing that can achieve our goals for us and Honda. . We are going to be based at our shop for Sebring round, then we have a shop in the UK for the European rounds. The team for this is part of the crew that worked on the #8 car in Daytona. Simon Morley is the team director. We have added Brian Colangelo as WEC team manager, who competed in the Intercontinental Le Mans Challenge last year, and his wife Colangelo is now our logistics manager. Steve Challis will head up our engineering. All our key personnel has had a relationship with Honda in the past through IndyCar. Looking at what chassis and motor to get, based on the success of the HPD ARX chassis and our relationships, it was an easy decision to pick a new ARX-03b as our weapon of choice. If people look at what Starworks has done in the last six months and what are goals are, then they will know that we are driven, determined and focused. This program will be successful.”

Honda Performance Development technical director ROGER GRIFFITHS: “We would like to welcome Peter Baron and his Starworks team into the HPD family, we look forward to achieving impressive results with them running the new HPD ARX-03b LMP2 this year in the new World Endurance Championship. As everyone saw at the 24 Hours of Daytona last weekend, Starworks is a strong, well-prepared team, capable of running at the front of the field in international events. The LMP2 category will be a highly competitive championship this year, with strong entries from Nissan and Lotus, among others. We’re looking forward to the challenge, and to achieving great success in our new partnership with Starworks.”

Driver RYAN DALZIEL: “It really is a dream come true to get back on to the world stage and to be in an LMP2 car. The fact that I get to continue my relationship with Starworks in this new venture is the icing on the cake. We are all determined to make this work and we believe we have the personnel at Starworks and the partnership with Honda to make an impact in our first year. The thought of going back to Le Mans for the second time gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. It is a wonderful event that every driver dreams of being involved with. Now we are going there knowing we will be competitive. It’s going to be very difficult to start with but we have already hired some really key personnel for the WEC program and I believe we will be in the strongest package out there. HPD have helped us immensely and we hope we can represent the brand with the respect they deserve. This will be an amazing year. We can’t wait to take on the other teams at some of the most iconic tracks in the world, and we are confident of success. The change for the team has been completely nuts! On one hand, I cannot believe it. Yet, on the other, we have so much motivation and great financial backers that I can. We have all worked so hard through the bad years and that hard work started to pay off in 2011. We ended the 2011 season with a victory. We started the 2012 season with fastest lap in the Dubai 24-hour, a podium in Abu Dhabi 12-hour, pole position for Daytona which carried over to fastest race lap and a second place finish. 2012 is going to be huge, not only for me, but for my team mate Enzo Potolicchio, who has worked so hard alongside Peter Baron to find the resources to make these deals possible. I am massively grateful for Enzo and Peter’s faith in me and for this amazing new opportunity. The World Endurance Championship is the place to be and we will be there.”

Driver ENZO POTOLICCHIO: “It is incredible. We had been talking about the best way to get to Le Mans. We were so keen to take part that we looked at every option, and the World Endurance Championship was the best way forward for the team. We have worked so hard in recent months to make sure that our Venezuelan backers are in place to help us realise this dream. It is going to be a huge year for Starworks — it will be our first time at Le Mans and I think we have the package for us to do it properly. I have never been to Le Mans, and I can’t wait to get there. It will be a massive challenge but I am ready for it and I have the perfect person in Ryan to help me. He has played a major part in improving my driving and it is paying off. My drive in the 24 Hours of Daytona showed that. I don’t think there is a better combination, even in Grand-Am, than Ryan and I as a gentleman driver with a pro. The race in Daytona was a marvellous occasion and a great display by the team. We came so close to making it a winning display. Now we take that into the World Endurance Championship. I am certainly living the dream. I have the chance of podiums and victories at some of the best tracks in the world. There is no mistaking how badly we want to do well. We have all the backing from Venezuela to complete our first season in WEC and we have a great partnership with HPD. Everything is in place and we can’t wait to start.”


10th February 2012, 15:51

After rolling out at Road Atlanta (Georgia) on February 3rd, Krohn Racing travelled to Florida for the winter testing that took place on the Sebring Raceway on 8th and 9th February.

The American team joined some competitors of the FIA Worl Endurance Championship, and the protagonists of the American Le Mans Series, who will meet again on March 17th for the sixtieth anniversary of the 12 Hours of Sebring. Entered in the World Endurance Championship in LM GTE Am with a Ferrari 458 Italia, Krohn Racing ran with two of of the three drivers: Nic Jönsson and Tracy Krohn, owner of the team. They will be joined at Sebring and the other seven rounds of the WEC​​, by Michele Rugolo, their teammate who drove in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in 2011.

Tracy Krohn: “The car is getting better. One thing is getting used to it. Another thing is getting the set-up right. We’ve worked on several set-up items, both aero and mechanical. Anytime we make a change we learn something. I’m real pleased with the car.”

Nic Jönsson: “You can definitely tell the 458 is a new generation race car. Obviously one of the most significant changes in the car is the paddle shift instead of stick shift. I think the ergonomics inside the car, the way you fit in the car and how it is laid out with all the switches is well thought through. I think it’s going to be an awesome car when we get everything sorted out and more familiar with it.”


10th February 2012, 15:53
American Le Mans Series and FIA World Endurance Championship teams ​​were invited to a practice session of two days at Sebring, Florida, which will host the first round of both championships on 17th March. These two days provide a preliminary test of relative performance in 2012, especially in the LM GTE Pro, where competition is especially tight.

Unsurprisingly, the only LM P1 prototype, Honda ARX-03a of Muscle Milk Racing, set the fastest time of two days, although it remained under the cover of the service truck all day yesterday. Pagenaud, former works driver of Peugeot Sport, and former de Ferran driver in 2008 and 2009 and Highcroft in 2010, who ran two Hondas in the American Le Mans Series, came to support the two race drivers Lucas Luhr, who set the best time, and Klaus Graf.

Level 5 Motorsports took fastest time in LM P2 with 1'51'' 522, or more than two seconds faster than the pole of the class at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011. The second Honda team followed less than two tenths, while Pierre Kaffer and Pecom Racing team, running in the FIA World Endurance Championship were less than seven tenths behind with with the Oreca-Nissan .

LM GTE (in the American Le Mans Series, LM GTE Pro and Am are combined) has once again met all expectations and the 2012 season promises to be better than ever. Works Ferrari F 458 have certainly proved unbeatable in the hands of Olivier Beretta, Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander with a time of 2'00'532, but no less than six cars were grouped into less than half a second and ten cars (four different manufacturers: Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette and BMW) have beaten the pole last year's 12 Hours of Sebring. The performance of the Ferrari of Krohn Racing team entered in the FIA World Endurance Championship in LM GTE Am, took third fastest time among professional competitors.

All these teams will meet in early March on the Sebring for the 60th edition of the legendary 12 Hours of Sebring season opener of the American Le Mans Series and new FIA World Endurance Championship.

11th February 2012, 14:48
The build-up to the 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship season has gathered momentum with confirmation that Pirelli and Ferrari have joined the series.

Stephane Ratel, Founder and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group, confirmed that negotiations had been on-going on several fronts over the past few months and SRO was now in a position to begin announcing a number of major developments prior to the opening event in Nogaro on April 6-9.

The first of those announcements is the confirmation of Pirelli as the official tire supplier for the FIA GT1 World Championship and the FIA GT3 European Championship in 2012.

In confirming Pirelli’s involvement, Ratel said: “We are delighted to confirm a partnership with Pirelli as the official tyre supplier for the FIA GT1 World Championship and the FIA GT3 European Championship for the 2012 season.

“Pirelli have an unrivaled reputation in global motorsport and we are pleased that our teams in both GT1 and GT3 will benefit from the technical expertise and experience the company brings. Their recent success in helping to create competitive racing in Formula One through their innovative approach underlines that point.”

Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery said the company was looking forward to linking up with the FIA GT1 World Championship and the FIA GT3 European Championship for the coming season.

“We have a long and rich history in all categories of motorsport, particularly GT racing,” he said. “GT racing is an important segment for us as a number of our customers drive the vehicles which compete in the GT categories, particularly our premium customers so the relationship makes a lot of sense.

“Even though we are involved in Formula One, we have also had a major involvement in a number of other categories of motorsport for over 100 years.”

The line-up of supercar brands for the 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship has been bolstered by the confirmation that Ferrari will join the grid.

The identity of the team running the pair of Ferrari 458 Italias will be officially revealed later this week.

Ferrari joins Audi (Team WRT), BMW (Vita4One), McLaren (Hexis) and Mercedes (All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport) in an impressive line-up for the 2012 season. Additional teams are poised to announce their participation in the near future.

Such a diversity of prestigious brands in a single category makes the FIA GT1 World Championship unique in international motorsport.

“The addition of Ferrari to the 2012 line-up makes for a mouth-watering array of supercars racing in one world championship,” Ratel said. “The Ferrari team brings to five the number of confirmed teams and we are in advanced talks with a number of other teams. For reasons of confidentiality, we are respecting the wishes of those teams to announce their participation in their own time.”

The final deadline for entries is next month, as per the decision laid down by the FIA GT Commission in November, 2011.

The venue for the 10th race on the 2012 calendar will be revealed in the coming days along with further team announcements.

15th February 2012, 00:17
Great news Rob!! Thx.

15th February 2012, 19:53
FIA WEC: Rule Changes Introduced to Spice Up LM P1

Rule Changes Introduced to Spice Up LM P1 Manufacturer’s World Title in 2012

In a change to the original FIA World Endurance Championship regulations issued in December, only the highest finishing car in LM P1 will score championship points for the Manufacturer’s World Title at each of the eight rounds in 2012 and only the six best scores, which must include the points scored at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, will count towards the title. This means that Toyota, who are entering the Championship at Spa in May, will be able to take the challenge to Audi in 2012.

“The changes were requested following the withdrawal of Peugeot from the FIA World Endurance Championship last month and were agreed by all parties,” said FIA WEC CEO Gerard Neveu. “The changes will allow Toyota, who have brought forward their participation in the championship to round 2 in Spa, to fight with Audi for the inaugural World Endurance Championship Manufacturer’s title.

“These changes to the regulations will certainly make the 2012 season more exciting for both teams and spectators alike.”

The changes were agreed by the FIA Endurance Commission and ratified by the FIA World Council.

The regulations regarding the FIA World Endurance Driver’s Championship and the other titles are unchanged.

With 30 confirmed entries for 2012, the FIA World Endurance Championship will start in Florida on March 17 with the 60th edition of the 12 Hours of Sebring, one of the world’s leading endurance races. The FIA WEC will also visit Belgium, France, UK, Brazil, Bahrain, Japan and China.


19th February 2012, 12:32
The new Toyota TS030 HYBRID took to the track Thursday afternoon for a marathon practice session of 30 hours on the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet. Five of the six drivers who will participate in the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans drove long stints to evaluate the car. This was the second test session after the shake-down in January. Now the team will focus on preparing for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the first race of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the Japanese manufacturer.

Sébastien Buemi, in his first test as an official TOYOTA Racing driver, started the marathon session before yielding his place to his teammate Hiroaki Ishiura, the three drivers of the sister car also took part in the session of long runs that was not without a few wrinkles, according of Hisatake Murata, the project manager of the hybrid car: “This was the first time we have run the TOYOTA HYBRID System - Racing over such a long test session so we never expected a trouble-free week and we did experience a few issues, but nothing major. Thanks to a large amount of data and the detailed feedback of all the drivers, we have a lot of information about how the THS-R powertrain behaves. We have been able to use this already to refine our systems and before the next tests we will work more on some of the issues raised. We have achieved our primary goals for this test and I am happy with how it has gone."

Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director: “We have done some valuable tests and this has contributed to our ongoing development of performance, reliability and organisation. The endurance test was an interesting experience; we were expecting challenges for everyone in the team and we weren’t disappointed! It’s not easy on the car or the people but we are all passionate about this project so a strong team spirit saw us through to the end. We are content with the results and the conclusions we have been able to draw, which will accelerate our preparations for our first race."

The Swiss driver Sébastien Buemi appeared in endurance after leaving the world of Formula 1 and slipped into the cockpit of the Toyota for the first time, much to his satisfaction: “It was nice to discover more about the endurance racing environment. I have been in the driving simulator at TMG so I had an idea of what to expect but the reality is always a bit more complex. From a technical point of view the car is very impressive although we still need to make progress in some areas, which is normal at this stage of testing. I did some long stints and learned about new aspects of endurance racing, like driving at night, managing fuel consumption and adapting my driving style. I can see that every detail is important in order to be fast in this discipline."

A discipline that Nicolas Lapierre knows now after several years at Oreca. “I did some development work and also participated in the endurance test. I am quite positive about how it went for a first long-distance simulation with the TOYOTA TS030 HYBRID. We can see how the car reacts to various different conditions, such as the cold track temperatures we may encounter during the night at Le Mans. The car felt pretty good in these conditions, which is not always easy here at Paul Ricard. The package is evolving and improving; we have fixed some issues, corrected some little details and overall we are moving forward.”

The next test session is scheduled for April before departure for Belgium and the Spa-Francorchamps, situated not far from the base of the team in Cologne, Germany.

19th February 2012, 12:35
Strakka Racing gave its brand new P1 race car, the Honda Performance Development ARX-03a, its initial shakedown test at Snetterton today, with the early performance of the car exceeding the high expectations of all three team drivers, Nick Leventis, Danny Watts and Jonny Kane.

Sporting a stunning new blue and white livery, each driver did two stints in the 3.4-litre normally aspirated HPD V8 engined car, going through a detailed pre-planned systems check in preparation for the opening round of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, the Sebring 12 Hours (17 March).

Jonny was given the honour of being the first to drive the car in the cold conditions, signalling a return to LMP1, after two years in LMP2, for the Silverstone-based team.

Nick Leventis: “The car feels extremely good. It has a lot of power, the engine feels very solid and powerful and it’s good to get back in the driver’s seat after the winter break. Expectations were high, and this initial shakedown test of the car has superseded all expectations.”

Danny Watts: “It’s great to be back in a race car after a few months away – and what a car to come back to! It exceeded my expectations being back in LMP1. The conditions at Snetterton were cold and a little bit damp, so you couldn’t push too hard, plus it’s only the shakedown test, but the car did everything and more than I expected it to.”

Jonny Kane: “The car feels good and the engine sounds amazing. The car looks very British this year with its blue and white colour scheme and red decals, and everyone is very pleased how the car looks and performs. It was nice to be the first driver to do the roll-out and as a team we’re looking in really good shape ahead of Sebring.”

Piers Phillips, Team Principal and Technical Director: “It’s been eight weeks since the new tub arrived at Strakka, and the team has done an incredible amount of work to enable us to shake the car down at Snetterton. It’s good to be out of the workshop and back at a race track – and the sound of the V8 engine has put a huge smile on all our faces.”


24th February 2012, 19:15
really gutted :-(.....

Risi Competitizione announces its Ferraris will not contest Sebring 12 Hours

The Risi Competitzione Ferrari team will miss this year's American Le Mans Series and World Endurance Championship opener at Sebring next month.

Team boss Giuseppe Risi said the double ALMS GT champion squad and three-time Sebring 12 Hours class winner had not been able to put a satisfactory programme together in time.

"Unfortunately the current economic climate has not allowed us to approach the 2012 season as we would have wished," Risi said.

"None of us want to go into an event such as Sebring feeling less than 100 per cent ready and prepared, and we aren't at that point.

"Risi Competizione, racing with Ferrari, has been a stalwart of the series for the last decade and we fully recognise the extremely high level of competition it supports. To race a Ferrari is to enter into a partnership with history and legend. The standards are so high that commitment must be total and complete.

"Risi Competizione knows better than many what it takes to win the 12 Hours of Sebring, and I feel that, right now, we wouldn't be representative of our best."

A statement from the team said the door was open to Risi rejoining the ALMS later in the season.


25th February 2012, 14:20
^ I just read this, Risi brings 1 of the best prepared teams to these races..I do hope they
can continue. Im going to have to check and see which teams are entered.

25th February 2012, 17:09
really gutted :-(.....

Risi Competitizione announces its Ferraris will not contest Sebring 12 Hours

The Risi Competitzione Ferrari team will miss this year's American Le Mans Series and World Endurance Championship opener at Sebring next month.

Team boss Giuseppe Risi said the double ALMS GT champion squad and three-time Sebring 12 Hours class winner had not been able to put a satisfactory programme together in time.

"Unfortunately the current economic climate has not allowed us to approach the 2012 season as we would have wished," Risi said.

"None of us want to go into an event such as Sebring feeling less than 100 per cent ready and prepared, and we aren't at that point.

"Risi Competizione, racing with Ferrari, has been a stalwart of the series for the last decade and we fully recognise the extremely high level of competition it supports. To race a Ferrari is to enter into a partnership with history and legend. The standards are so high that commitment must be total and complete.

"Risi Competizione knows better than many what it takes to win the 12 Hours of Sebring, and I feel that, right now, we wouldn't be representative of our best."

A statement from the team said the door was open to Risi rejoining the ALMS later in the season.


Oh no, they're already missing Le Mans, now Sebring as well? :-(

25th February 2012, 18:46
In the WEC, we have AF corse, and Luxury Racing in the GTE Pro and in the GTE AM we have AF Corse, LUxury Rcaing and Krohn Racing. Think, for Sebring, it just ESM Racing.

25th February 2012, 19:32
In the WEC, we have AF corse, and Luxury Racing in the GTE Pro and in the GTE AM we have AF Corse, LUxury Rcaing and Krohn Racing. Think, for Sebring, it just ESM Racing.

Can't see ESM putting up much of a fight with the Porsches up front. :-s

25th February 2012, 19:37
Can't see ESM putting up much of a fight with the Porsches up front. :-s

i know, hope im wrong and they can :-??

25th February 2012, 22:02
There are 2 458's in the Bathurst 12, they Q'd 2nd and 3rd.
I thought Speed was supposed to show some of this, but I cannot find it in the guide.

26th February 2012, 21:07
Audi wins Bathhurst, 2nd Merc, 3rd 458..A 458 led most of the race but retired
w/gearbox/hydralics problems. I never did find this on the box.

28th February 2012, 19:23
Celebrity drivers at Sebring

The lure of Sebring is magical. The sweet scent of orange blossoms greets visitors every March for America’s greatest sports car race- an event second only to Le Mans in international prestige.
60th anniversary of Sebring, part II, written by Ken Breslauer.

Over 3,200 drivers have competed on the famous circuit that began as a World War II B-17 training base. Among those are drivers from various walks of life you might not expect. Famed journalist Walter Cronkite drove a Lancia at Sebring in the 1959 race. Astronaut Pete Conrad drove a Porsche in the 1971 12-hours. Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner drove at Sebring, winning the GTO class in 1986. Many other politicians, musicians, and other celebrities have raced on the legendary Florida circuit.

Certainly the most famous was Steve McQueen, who drove in the 1962 race with toothpaste businessman John Colgate. McQueen returned in 1970 to drive a Porsche with Peter Revson. Despite driving with a cast that protected his broken foot, McQueen nearly won the race, finishing only 23.8 seconds behind the Ferrari of Mario Andretti. Of course, Peter Revson did the majority of the driving, but McQueen will forever be remembered for the Sebring race he nearly won.

Smothers from the popular and controversial Smothers Brothers television show of the 1960s was perhaps the most successful celebrity driver. He won class twice at Sebring, finishing 8th overall in 1969 aboard a Porsche 906E co-driven by Fred Baker. He then drove a Corvette to the GT class win in 1971, co-driving with John Greenwood.

James Brolin, Bobby Carradine, Paul Newman, Lorenzo Lamas, Gene Hackman and Craig T. Nelson also competed in Sebring’s 12 hours with marginal results. Robert Redford filmed movie scenes at Sebring for “The Great Waldo Pepper.”

Several celebrities have been car owners at Sebring. James Garner owned cars in the 1960s that raced at Sebring. More recently, Tim Allen was co-owner of Sebring entries. Joining the list this year is Patrick Dempsey, who has entered a Le Mans Prototype Challenge car for the American Le Mans Series. Although he will not drive at Sebring this year, he may be behind the wheel of an LMP2 entry next year.

And let us not forget “celebrity spectators.” Former President of the United States Jimmy Carter attended Sebring regularly in the 1950s and early 1960s. Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, attended Sebring in the early 1960s while a college student in Florida. It is even rumored that Elvis once attended the Sebring 12 hours!


28th February 2012, 20:31
When is Sebring, Rob?

29th February 2012, 14:40
March 14th-17th mate :)

29th February 2012, 18:35
at last the new Audi R18 e-Tron quattro....


29th February 2012, 18:40
Audi unveils hybrid R18 e-tron quattro in Munich
By Gary Watkins Wednesday, February 29th 2012, 19:30 GMT

Audi has revived the quattro name for its new hybrid Le Mans 24 Hours challenger.

The hybrid version of the German manufacturer's turbodiesel LMP1 coupe will be known as the R18 e-tron quattro. It takes the name because its hybrid systems recover kinetic energy and return it to the track through the front axle.

The R18 e-tron quattro follows in a line of successful Audi four-wheel-drive competition cars from the original Audi Quattro World Rally Championship winner of the early 1980s to its A4 quattro Super Tourer of the late 1990s.

The car was unveiled in Munich on Wednesday evening together with the conventional 2012-spec version, which has been christened the R18 ultra.

Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich said: "To develop hybrid technology for Le Mans is at least as ambitious and challenging as our diesel project was in the early stages. The first results are very encouraging and we are intrigued to see just how this technology performs."

The R18 e-tron, which will also race in the new FIA World Endurance Championship, becomes a four-wheel-drive car within certain limits laid down in the Le Mans rulebook. The regulations allow 500kJ (approximately 70bhp) of stored energy to be transfered to the wheels between two braking 'events' at speeds above 120km/h (75mph).

The rules allow energy retrieval on only one axle. The advantages of choosing the front wheels include improved traction and greater efficiency during the recovery process.

Audi has chosen to use a flywheel or accumulator for energy storage rather than batteries or the super-capacitors favoured by rival Toyota.

Christopher Reinke, Audi Sport's technical project leader LMP, said: "A high power density is crucial during energy recuperation. The accumulator must be capable of absorbing and lot of energy within a few seconds during the braking stage."

The flywheel has been developed by Williams Hybrid Power, which also produced the unit in sister marque Porsche's 911 GT3-R Hybrid.

The 2012 Audis will not race until the second round of the WEC at Spa in May. A revised version of last year's R18 TDI will be used in the Sebring 12 Hours series opener on March 17 when the German manufacturer enters three cars.

Audi will run its full four-car Le Mans line-up of two R18 e-tron quattros and two R18 ultras at Spa. It will run one of each at each WEC round after the 24 Hours.


29th February 2012, 18:41
Frenchman Loic Duval has joined Audi's 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours line-up.

The winner of last year's Sebring 12 Hours with ORECA's semi-works Peugeot will share a conventional R18 ultra with Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas in the French classic. The 29-year-old's programme also includes the FIA World Endurance Championship opener at Sebring later this month and the Spa 6 Hours in May.

Other newcomers to Audi are Italian Marco Bonanomi, who was test and reserve driver last year, and former DTM driver Oliver Jarvis. The Briton, whose Le Mans seat was confirmed last month, will share an R18 ultra with Bonanomi and former Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller.

The rest of Audi's four-car Le Mans line-up, which will also contest the Spa WEC round, has a familiar look.

The winning partnership of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler has been kept together, while Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello will again share a car.

Only McNish and Lotterer have so far been confirmed for the WEC races after Le Mans. Audi has said that their team-mates will be drawn from Sebring line-up.

Full Audi 2012 line-up

Sebring 12 Hours
#1 Marcel Fassle/Andre Lotterer/Benoit Treluyer Audi R18 TDI
#2 Dindo Capello/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish Audi R18 TDI
#3 Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Loďc Duval Audi R18 TDI

Spa 6 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours
#1 Marcel Fassler/Andre Lotterer/Benoit Treluyer Audi R18 e-tron quattro
#2 Dindo Capello/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish Audi R18 e-tron quattro
#3 Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Loďc Duval Audi R18 ultra
#4 Marco Bonanomi/Oliver Jarvis/Mike Rockenfeller Audi R18 ultra

Remaining WEC rounds
#1 Andre Lotterer , Audi R18 e-tron quattro*
#2 Allan McNish , Audi R18 ultra*

29th February 2012, 18:47

29th February 2012, 18:49
glad to see Oli Jarvis in Audi LMP1 this year. Think, i know it early, but Audi may have WEC and Le-Mans and Sebring wrapped up.

29th February 2012, 21:04
March 14th-17th mate :)

Ah thanks mate, same weekend as the F1 then! Can't wait. :-D

1st March 2012, 23:17
The Audi's r stunning. Is 1 of them a tdi? They both have different front ends.

2nd March 2012, 08:16

The Lola-Lotus LM P2 took ​​its first laps yesterday at Chambley-Bussičres Aerodrome in France.

Mirco Schultis and Thomas Holzer did the shake down of the chassis that will will be sent to Florida to compete in the 12 Hours of Sebring on 17th March. Remember that this car is entered by the German team Kodewa and officially supported by Lotus. A British manufacturer Judd provide it with an engine with exclusive developments.

2nd March 2012, 19:01
Q & A: Jarvis on his 2012 programme

By Gary Watkins Friday, March 2nd 2012, 15:37 GMT

Former DTM driver Oliver Jarvis will undertake a mixed programme in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the FIA GT1 World Championship with Audi this year. He talks to AUTOSPORT about the coming season.

Q. What are your thoughts on the switch from the DTM to the your dual programme in 2012?

Oliver Jarvis: Straight up, I have been trying to move into sportscars since I first came to Audi. I've been on record as saying that several times. I'm looking forward to the season because I have the prototype programme and I'm doing the GT1 world championship, which will be something new to me. I watched some of the races last year, and there were quality drivers and some great racing, so it is going to be interesting.

Q. Was a full year in the WEC ever a possibility?

OJ: I'd have loved to do the full WEC but I have to be realistic. This is my first proper year driving prototypes and I know I'm not going to jump straight into a full-time drive, especially when Audi only has two cars [contesting the full season]. Don't forget that out of the 12 Audi Le Mans drivers, nine have won Le Mans. What I've got this year offers a really good balance.

Q. Do you have aspirations to return to the DTM?

OJ: I enjoyed the DTM and would be happy to go back, but I see this as a positive. The fact that I am able to dovetail joining the prototype squad with another championship is good.

Q. What are your impressions of the R18 LMP1 so far?

OJ: I tested last year at Paul Ricard and did the recent Abu Dhabi test. I still need a few more test days to acclimatise. An LMP1 is different to a DTM car, because it is such a big step up in terms of cornering speeds.

Q. What do you know about Vincent Vosse's WRT team with which you will contest the GT1 world championship?

OJ: I don't know much about the team except for what I've been told by other Audi drivers. Eki [Mattias Ekstrom] and Timo [Scheider] drove for WRT at the Spa 24 Hours last year and they were extremely complimentary. It is a relatively new team, but it is already at an extremely high level.

Q. What are your aspirations for Le Mans this year?

OJ: I have to be realistic. First I want to finish, then to be competitive and ultimately to finish on the podium. That would be fantastic.


2nd March 2012, 19:02
think he has every chance to be podium at Le-Mans :clap:thumb

3rd March 2012, 10:26
The small town of Sebring in central Florida was founded in 1911 by George Eugene Sebring, a self-made millionaire from Ohio who made his fortune in the manufacture of pottery and porcelain. A quiet town throughout most of the year comes alive on the week of the 12 Hours of Sebring, held in March each year on the oldest road course in the United States.

Sebring has the nickname City on the circle because of the circular plan devised by its founder: the historic downtown area is positioned in the centre and the immediately surrounding streets form circles, like the ancient Egyptian city of Heliopolis. A century after its founding, unlike the rest of Florida, Sebring is relatively undeveloped.

Florida brings to mind white sandy beaches fringed with palm trees; things you will not find at Sebring. Located in the heart of the Sunshine State, the sea is more than two hours away, but fortunately, many lakes, including Lake Jackson, allow people to relax by the water with beaches made from scratch. Temperatures are certainly high in March compared with Europe, but it can get very chilly in the early morning, because of the central location.

The city of Sebring, which is part of Highlands County, being distant from tourist haunts, has a local industry based around the citrus groves and cattle ranches that border the national highway US 27 as you drive down from Orlando.

A sleepy city of 10,000 people, Like the small town of Augusta Georgia that hosts one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world, Sebring comes alive one week each year, in early spring, when a boisterous and festive crowd come to town, which sees its population increase tenfold! The crowd gives the 12 Hours of Sebring an special atmosphere, but that's another story ...


4th March 2012, 16:20
Great post Rob, about Sebring..I live about 2 hours from there...

4th March 2012, 17:07
Great post Rob, about Sebring..I live about 2 hours from there...

do you? 1 of my favourite tracks, bumpy and fast great challenge. Win lotto go next year for sure. :-D It be good weekend, as Melbourne aswell whooop.

4th March 2012, 20:41

Ferrari Lemans concept.

5th March 2012, 12:58
Ullrich believes Audi, Peugeot domination not down to diesel rules advantage

By Matt Beer Monday, March 5th 2012, 10:27 GMT

Audi motorsport chief Wolfgang Ullrich believes diesel technology's recent domination of sportscar racing happened because his team and Peugeot did too good a job, not because the rules favoured diesel power.

The balance between alternative engine types has been a contentious topic in Le Mans racing ever since Audi's first diesel LMP1 emerged in 2006, and diesels have been further restricted this year, when Audi will enter both the latest version of its diesel R18 and a new hybrid.

Ullrich believes the diesel advantage was accentuated in recent seasons because no major manufacturers were running petrol engines - making it impossible to judge how much of Audi and Peugeot's superiority was down to their status as the sport's largest teams, and how much due to them running diesels.

"The ACO and FIA are faced with a very difficult task here," said Ullrich. "The more different technologies there are in the game the more difficult it becomes to correlate them all.

"The biggest problem is that the Audi and Peugeot diesel cars were in a class of their own over the last few years - and not just because the TDI is the world's most efficient engine, but also because no other competitor developed an LMP1 car with a gasoline engine to a similar level of detail and know-how.

"For this reason the diesel was trimmed again for the 2012 season, so that from our point of view the diesel is now at a real disadvantage on paper.

"We are, however, prepared to face this challenge and are convinced that the ACO and FIA will make the right decisions for the future. As far as the hybrid issue is concerned we can easily assess the pros and cons through our two-pronged approach, since the base of the R18 ultra and R18 e-tron quattro really is identical.

"The hybrid system alone makes the difference. The ACO and FIA will receive particularly meaningful data from us."

He added that Audi still believed there was more to come from the conventional diesel engine, and that the R18 ultra remained the best bet for Le Mans victory.

"Quite simply, the TDI engine invented by Audi is still the most efficient drive in the world," said Ullrich. "We've also proved this at Le Mans since 2006. It's not a coincidence that turbo diesel engines are unbeaten there for six years now, even though the diesel cars were repeatedly limited.

"We are convinced that the TDI has even more potential. This is why Audi not only supports the hybrid in motorsport and production, but in parallel also the further development of the conventional drive.

"The combination of TDI and hybrid is, however, without doubt particularly interesting and very promising. This is exactly what the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro stands for."


5th March 2012, 12:59

Ferrari Lemans concept.

be nice to have Ferrari build a LMP1, looooong over due :pray

5th March 2012, 16:56
Isnt that pic something? Why would they build such a car? For photo's?
There has to be more to this..looks great!!!

5th March 2012, 19:38

6th March 2012, 16:25

ELMS official testing at Paul Ricard – 15 cars
Next Friday and Saturday, fifteen cars will arrive at the Paul Ricard circuit for the two days’ official practice for the European Le Mans Series.

The LM P2 category will have the highest number of representatives with six prototypes beginning with the reigning champion, Greaves Motorsport, whose Nissan-powered Zytek will be driven by Martin Brundle! The former English F1 driver will be playing himself in in view of the Le Mans 24 Hours in which he will race in June. His son, Alex, will take over followed by Spaniard Lucas Ordonez and Tom Kimber-Smith who make up the team entered in no.1 for the rest of the season. Four Oreca O3s (Race Performance, Boutsen Ginion Racing, Murphy Prototypes and Thiriet by TDS Racing) as well as the Morgan-Judd in the hands of Jacques Nicolet, the boss of Oak Racing make up the rest of the LM P2 runners.

The organizers were hoping for a bigger turnout for the official practice session, but the proximity of the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship on 17th March, the Sebring 12 Hours, has forced the constructors to supply the FIA WEC LM P2 teams in priority. The result is that some of the ELMS squads are still waiting for parts or cars and will not be ready to run by the end of the week. Sebastien Loeb Racing is a notable case in point.

The two Formula Le Mans of Boutsen Ginion Racing and Curtis Racing Technologies, a newcomer to the ELMS, complete the prototype line-up.
The GT category will include two Ferrari F458s in GTE Pro entered by JMB Racing and JMW Motorsport to which can be added the AF Corse entry in GTE Am. Also in this category are the Imsa Performance Matmut Porsche 911 RSR and the Gulf Racing Aston Martin Vantage. The latter will take advantage of this test session to give its McLaren MP4-12C GT3 a shakedown even though it is competing in another series.

6th March 2012, 17:19
Aussie GT, 2 rounds, Ferrari leading last lap, taken out by lapped Audi
Race 2, Ferrari headed for the win, taken out by a Merc. What, are these guys into Nascar?
Read on Speed site.

8th March 2012, 16:31


10th March 2012, 19:19
GT Guide (4) : Aston Martin Vantage
09/03/201215h56 - Auto News - FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP

In this fourth and final part of the introduction to the GT that will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship, ​​is devoted to the Aston Martin Vantage, which hopes to join in the struggle for victory in LM GTE Pro with Ferrari and Porsche.

The road version. The name 'Vantage' was used for the first time on an Aston Martin in the early fifties, and was applied to improved versions of other models. Vantage as a distinct car was launched with the V8 Vantage in 1977. The current version was introduced in 2005, and has the silhouette of the DB9, whom it succeeded in endurance racing in 2010.

The 2011 season. The only GT representative of Aston Martin in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup 2011, the Gulf AMR Middle East team, based in the UAE, was sixth in the teams ranking in LM GTE Am. In 2012, this team moves into prototypes (LM P2), with two Lola coupes powered by Nissan.

Outlook 2012. After the failure of its AMR-One prototype, Aston Martin Racing is back this year in GT (LM GTE Pro). The rich history of the British factory team, which won two consecutive victories in the former LM GT1 category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2007 and 2008 with the DBR9, should mean it will be competitive.

10th March 2012, 19:21
GT guide (3): the Porsche 911
08/03/201214h08 - Auto News - FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP

The third force on the GT grid of the FIA World Endurance Championship is the Porsche 911, whose unique silhouette is instantly indentifiable on the race track and on the road.

The road version: Since its launch at the IAA 1963, the Porsche 911 spans almost half a century, in which has made an indelible mark on the history of the automobile. Among notable developments: the turbocharger (1974), four-wheel drive (1989) and water cooling (since 1998).

The 2011 season. Faced with fierce competition from the Ferrari 458 Italia, the BMW M3 and Corvette, the 911 won two titles in 'Le Mans' named series: Teams and Drivers titles of the LM GTE Am class in the Le Mans Series, thanks to Nicolas Armindo, Raymond Narac and the French team Imsa Performance.

Outlook for 2012. To challenge the supremacy of Ferrari 458 Italia in LM GTE Pro in the FIA World Endurance Championship, Porsche introduced a new version of its 911. It will also aim to bring a 99th victory to Stuttgart (all categories) in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

10th March 2012, 19:24
GT Guide (1): the Ferrari 458 Italia
06/03/201217h22 - Auto News - FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP
To open the four part series of cars entered in the categories LM GTE Pro and Am in the FIA World Endutance Championship, we start with one of the big winners of the 2011 Endurance season: the Ferrari 458 Italia.

The road version of this car that was launched in September 2009 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Ferrari 458 Italia replaced the F430. Its rear-mid engine V8 layout is identical, and gives it its name: 45 for 4.5 liters, 8 for eight cylinders. It develops 570 hp.

In the 2011 season, having made its competition debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Ferrari 458 Italia score was near perfect in LM GTE Pro taking the manufacturer and teams' titles (for the Italian team AF Corse), in both Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and Le Mans Series. Add to that the title for LM GTE Pro drivers in the Le Mans Series by Gianmaria Bruni and Giancarlo Fisichella. It only just missed victory in its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, beaten by the factory Corvette.

The outlook for 2012: In LM GTE Am, where cars run with cars technical specifications of the previous year, the Ferrari 458 Italia this year will replace the F430 GT seen last year. Will the Prancing Horse continue to dominate the two GT categories in 2012? We will have our first answer to that question at Sebring on the 17th March.

10th March 2012, 19:25
Since its first laps on the Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet on the 11th of January, the Toyota TS 030 has had little rest with three practice sessions of three days each, including a 30 hour endurance test. This first series of testing allowed the Japanese manufacturer to store as much information as possible and drivers to get the best from the car.

Engineers are busy already on aerodynamics that will be modified before the first race of the hybrid car at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps WEC on the 5th of May, but before that, a new series of testing is scheduled in April to test the improvements in performance and reliability.

The much anticipated hybrid system was the main subject of attention. The energy produced under braking that is returned on the exit of corners to increase the performance of the car, but also to reduce fuel consumption. The system has already evolved from the early trials and the technical team has refined it.

"Much remains to be done at the team level, the development of the car and getting it ready, and we focus in part on the preparations for Spa", said Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director Toyota Motorsport. "There will be particular changes in the aerodynamics, which should improve performance and help us defend the title of fastest hybrid on the grid."

The Japanese automaker has a top quality driver line-up with Austrian Alexander Wurz, twice winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours and to fine tune-notch, Nicolas Lapierre, who won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011 with Oreca, and Kazuki Nakajima, former Williams driver in Formula 1 and currently carrying the colours of Toyota in the very tough Japanese Super GT championship.

For the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the #7 car will be supported by the #8 car of Sebastien Buemi, former protégé of Red Bull and Toro Rosso driver in Formula 1, Hiroaki Ishiura, Super GT and Formula Nippon driver, and Anthony Davidson former driver for Peugeot Sport, with whom he had five victories in recent years. The latter is the only one who has not yet taken the wheel of the TS 030.

Alexander Wurz seems confident about the capabilities of the car: "On development, we continue to optimize the interaction between all components, including the hybrid system. Thus, the car progresses." It will probably progress even more after the tests in April to be ready for the first race for Toyota in the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa-Francorchamps in the Belgian Ardennes. The Japanese manufacturer has chosen to skip the 12 Hours of Sebring, for which they can not be ready in time.

Cécile Bonardel (Source: Toyota Motorsport press release)

22nd March 2012, 07:27
Audi keeps testing despite Timo Bernhard crash at Sebring
Wednesday, March 21st 2012, 09:16 GMT

Audi is continuing its test at the Sebring International Raceway this week, despite a serious accident late on Monday that hospitalised Timo Bernhard.

The German manufacturer, which started its traditional test the week after the Sebring 12 Hours with four cars, concluded that the technical problem that put Bernhard into the barriers at Turn 17 would not reoccur on the other cars and resumed running on Tuesday.

Bernhard climbed from the wreck of the R18 unaided but was taken to hospital where he spent the night under observation.

Audi began the four-day test with two R18 e-tron quattro hybrids, one conventional turbodiesel R18 and the #3 R18 TDI that took part in the race at Sebring on Saturday.

Eleven of the the 12 drivers who will race for the German manufacturer at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June are present.


22nd March 2012, 11:42
:-E Wow, I heard Audi had a crash at the Sebring test, but didn't realise it was that big!

Hope Timo's ok.

23rd March 2012, 07:25
After the opening race at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the FIA World Endurance Championship visits the Belgian Ardennes for the second round of the season. The Spa-Francorchamps 6 hours on the 5th of May will be an opportunity for some teams to do a dress rehearsal for the Le Mans 24 Hours 16th and 17 June, and for others to try out their new machines under race conditions for the 2012 season.

The magnificent rollercoaster circuit in the Belgian Ardennes will be the scene of great event in endurance racing: the presence of two hybrid cars officially entered by two different manufacturers. Audi has shelved its first generation R18 TDI diesel and introduces the new ultra R18, conforming to the 2012 regulations, but also the R18 e-tron quattro launched in Munich in February. The diesel hybrid prototype will face his rival petrol engined hybrid developed by Toyota TS030, to be run be the French team Oreca.

Pescarolo Team will be there with a new car replacing the venerable Pescarolo-Judd. The team is currently developing the Pescarolo 03, which unfortunately was not ready for the 12 Hours of Sebring. The new chassis will incorporate the famous shark fin, like that of Rebellion Racing who will soon take delivery of two new cars, the drivers of which we hope to know soon.

28th March 2012, 17:19

The new endurance season will kick off on the Paul Ricard circuit on 31st March-1st April under the name: the European Le Mans Series. Twenty-three cars have entered for the race, and as expected, LM P2, the new top category, has the most teams with twelve entrants ready to go head-to-head. Topping the bill is Greaves Motorsport whose aim is to clinch a second title on the trot with Alex Brundle-Lucas Ordonez-Tom Kimber-Smith in the Zytek-Nissan.

There are several other title contenders, however, starting with the eagerly-awaited team entered by 8-time world rally champion, Sébastien Loeb. The newly-created eponymous squad will debut with an Oreca-03 Nissan that was delivered late, and which will only have been bolted together a few days before the event. With drivers of the stature and experience of the ex-Peugeot Sport pair, Stéphane Sarrazin and Nicolas Minassian (22 Le Mans 24 hours between them), it will be hard to beat. The Morgan-Judd driven by Jacques Nicolet-Guillaume Moreau-Dominik Kraihamer is another potential front-runner and was quickest in the official tests on 9-10 March.

Among the other teams that have opted for the Oreca-Nissan combination is Thiriet by TDS Racing that has also impressed with its two young drivers, Mathias Beche and Pierre Thiriet, who can't wait to take the fight to their rivals. The Boutsen Ginion Racing squad has received some first-class support for the Le Castellet 6 Hours in the person of ex-F1 Toro Rosso driver (and this year's third Red Bull Racing driver), Sébastien Buemi who will back up Jack Clarke and Bastien Bričre. The Pecom Racing entry driven by the experienced Soheil Ayari-Luis Perez Companc-Pierre Kaffer trio cannot be discounted either.

Five chassis constructors (Lola, Morgan, Norma, Oreca and Zytek) will do battle in the LM P2 category as well as two engine suppliers (Judd and Nissan) and drivers of eight different nationalities.

The LM GTE Pro category will be an all-Ferrari scrap with three F458s entered by Kessel Racing, JMW Motorsport and JMB Racing. AF Corse has entered an F458 in GTE Am where it will be up against the Porsche 911 RSRs (997) of Imsa Performance Matmut and Prospeed Competition and the Gulf Racing Aston Martin Vantage.

Rendezvous this coming weekend on the Paul Ricard circuit for the first pointers to this season's hierarchy.


28th March 2012, 19:38
Looks like Ferrari may win the LM GTE Pro class this race..
Thx for the news Rob.

28th March 2012, 20:59
Looks like Ferrari may win the LM GTE Pro class this race..
Thx for the news Rob.

yeah hope so, looking good atmo.

1st April 2012, 12:44
Its the opening round of the ELMS today, 6 Hours of Castellet, Ferrari running well. Wells live stream link...


1st April 2012, 16:13
Hey Rob, that was the best link ever to see a race. Thank you so much!!!
Great race..wonderful seeing so many 458's!
Thanks again amigo.

1st April 2012, 19:03
JMW Motorsport won the opening GTE Pro class of the opening 2012 European Le Mans Series in thrilling fashion. Brave tactics and superb stints by James Walker and Jonny Cocker saw the 6 hour race come down to the wire, with JMW taking the lead in the final eight minutes! Great race, like Jonny Cocker good little racer. Shame ELMS has no LMP1 cars. But still, love enduros. Thinking about going to Donnington for the ELMS round there aswell.

2nd April 2012, 04:38
Yea, I saw the finish...LeCastellet is a beautiful track especially with the blue around the track.
I think they started doing that back when Prost was with Ferrari.

On a side note, a 458 finished 2nd at Barber Motorsport Park yesterday, I think it was the only one entered.

2nd April 2012, 15:13
AF Corse was founded by former driver Amato Ferrari (AF), who is not related to the marque of the same name. The team had a remarkable 2011 season in LMGTE Pro in the ILMC and the Mans Series with the brand new and (at that time) unproven Ferrari F458 Italia. In 2012, the team is racing on all fronts, both in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the ​​European Le Mans Series in three classes ...!

The ILMC team title in LMGTE Pro went to the very last race of the season in Zhuhai, but after Petit Le Mans, the points advantage of AF Corse was such that short of an extraordinary turnaround for BMW, the title seemed secure. Unlike the the 24 Hours of Le Mans, for the Italian team. "My worst memory of the season", said Amato Ferrari. "The last two hours of Le Mans 24 Hours were appalling. We thought that victory was at hand, but the car dropped to second place under the chequered flag because of a minor technical problem. However, Petit Le Mans will remain in my memory as a great victory that allowed us to take a big step towards the title in the ILMC. "

AF Corse have a strong driver line-up. Gianmaria Bruni, is a master in the art of pole positions (proven at the 12 Hours of Sebring) and former F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella who achieved the feat of taking pole position at Spa in 2009 with the Force India team. The two Italians are joined this year by Andrea Bertolini, four times title winner in the FIA ​​GT with the Vitaphone Maserati MC12, and Olivier Beretta who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Corvette Racing in 2011 in the LMGTE Pro class.

In addition to two cars in LMGTE Pro in the FIA World Endurance Championship, AF Corse have entered a car in LMGTE Am, as they did last year in the ILMC. A second car will be at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in LMGTE Am, with the crew Piergiuseppe Perazzini and Marco Cioci who will contest the European Le Mans Series. So four cars in the Le Mans 24 Hours? In reality, they will be five if you include the Oreca-Nissan of Pecom Racing, Luis Perez-Companc (Pecom) entrusted job of running the car to the team of Amato Ferrari.

The results obtained by AF Corse demonstrate professionalism. Third in the GT class at the Sebring 12 hours, but first competitor in the FIA World Endurance Championship. What is the recipe for success? "The goal is always the next race", said Amato Ferrari. "If I am asked the question today, I would say that the goal is victory in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, but if I'm asked the question after Spa, the answer will be to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and so on. The new challenge for 2012 will be to run the Oreca-Nissan of Pecom Racing to victory in LMP2. We learned a lot last year and we are now ready for the challenge in a higher and more professional class. "

For now, we associate AF Corse with Ferrari, but perhaps before long, that name will be in LMP2 in 2012 and why not? After seventh place overall and fourth in the LMP2 class were the reward for the Argentinian team. One thing is certain, the driver crew of Pecom Racing (Soheil Ayari, Pierre Kaffer and Luis Perez-Companc) did not made the trip to the United States for the Sebring winter test for nothing.

3rd April 2012, 14:19
2012 calendar change
During a meeting held on Saturday evening (31st March) at the Paul Ricard circuit, theatre of the first round of the European Le Mans Series, Pierre Fillon, (Automobile Club de l'Ouest Vice President), Gérard Neveu (FIA World Endurance Championship General Manager), Patrick Peter (European Le Mans Series promoter) and Vincent Beaumesnil (ACO Sports Director), decided to cancel the second ELMS round scheduled for Zolder (Belgium) on 18-19-20 May after consulting all the teams involved.

This decision, the outcome of a long discussion, was taken because the number of entrants (19) for the Belgian round was judged to be insufficient to ensure that the race unfolded in the best possible manner to ensure media fallout worthy of a 6-hour event. The various partners involved in the European Le Mans Series have given themselves the time to assemble a field of 25 cars minimum for the Donington round on 13-14-15 July.

To achieve this objective, discussions have begun between the different partners to find solutions to attract more entrants for the various categories, in particular GTE, FLM and GTC. For the latter widening the range of eligible cars is being studied, and will be confirmed as soon as possible according to the results of the technical assessment carried out by the ACO.

Pierre Fillon (Automobile Club de l'Ouest Vice President) has renewed his interest and his determination to see the European Le Mans Series develop. Its vocation is to prepare teams and drivers for the top level of endurance, the pinnacle of which is the Le Mans 24-Hours race, which accepts 55 starters. Thirty come from the FIA World Endurance Championship, the others from the American Le Mans Series and the European Le Mans Series whose aim is to have 35 entries next season.

In the meantime, and subject to a waiver on the part of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile for later entry on the calendar, a certain number of ELMS teams who want to have more track time before the Le Mans 24 Hours may be accepted for the Spa-Francorchamps round of the FIA WEC on 4-5-6 May. They will be informed next week.

After the Le Castellet 6 Hours and following the cancellation of the Zolder event, the 2012 ELMS calendar consist of 3 further rounds: Donington 13-14-15 July, Brno 7-9 September and Algarve 2-4 November.


4th April 2012, 15:02
Hollywood star Dempsey targets Le Mans LMP2 2013 entry
By Pablo Elizalde Wednesday, April 4th 2012, 12:04 GMT

Dempsey Racing has confirmed it will compete in the American Le Mans Series with a Lola B12/80 LMP2 car.

The team, owned by the star of TV show Grey's Anatomy Patrick Dempsey, is preparing for a "possible" debut at Laguna Seca in May before competing in more races during the 2012 season.

The Lola B12/80 LMP2 coupe will be powered by a Judd engine.

Dempsey Racing, established in 2003, is aiming to take part in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours.

"It is no secret that I really enjoyed my experience at Le Mans in 2009," said Dempsey. "Lola is a famous name throughout the world of racing. I kind of knew what they did at Indy and in sports cars from when I was a kid. I am relishing driving this brand new LMP2 design."

5th April 2012, 13:34
Record holder for participations as a driver in the Le Mans 24 Hours, Henri Pescarolo is now a team manager. The French driver had six entries in the Sebring 12 hours in the 70s, then in the 90s before returning to American soil for new adventures with the Pescarolo Sport team in 2001 and Pescarolo Team this year. He shares his memories ...

Henri, has the the Sebring 12 Hours changed?

"Not at all, I feel to be back forty years ago! At the time, the circuit and paddock were already anachronistic by European standards and nothing has changed. There are still no grandstands and it's completely crazy to see race cars make their way among the spectators to go from the pit lane to service truck. Only the size of trucks has changed: they are much bigger! "

What are the peculiarities of the Sebring circuit?

"Drivers have no reference point because of the flatness. At night, some drivers have become completely lost and don't know where they are going! The track is so wide that it is difficult to anticipate the manoeuvers of slower cars. Traffic management is not new at Sebring. Moreover, the alternation of concrete and asphalt makes adjustments very difficult to determine, particularly in terms of shocks. The circuit is very bumpy and if we make the car comfortable to drive, performance suffers. It's all about compromise. "

What are your memories of the race?

"I have good and less good memories. The last time I took the start of the race, I ended up KO! At the time, the bridge that is at the beginning of the pit straight was not protected. I was driving the Joest Racing Porsche 962 of which hit the bridge support. The car bounced and slid all the way to my pit where Madie Pescarolo (his wife) was waiting for me. I was unconscious and I woke up in hospital. I also had a great time, especially in the 70s because we discovered America. With Avec Andrea de Adamich and Rolf Stommelen, my team at Autodelta (Alfa Romeo), we would first go to Daytona and stay in the United States until the Sebring 12 Hours, to our delight. It was great! "

The 12 Hours of Sebring in 2012 also remains in the memory of Henri Pescarolo Pescarolo. The venerable old Pescarolo 01-Judd, at its final race, finished in sixth place overall, and third place in the LMP1 class. This bodes well for the rest of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

I have always liked Pescarolo, legend of Le-Mans, and hope he and his team have good year in the WEC and at Le-Mans.

5th April 2012, 13:47
Viper set for factory return in the American Le Mans Series in 2012
By Pablo Elizalde Wednesday, April 4th 2012, 16:32 GMT

Chrysler will return to endurance racing later this year after the manufacturer announced a new racing programme for the SRT Viper in the American Le Mans Series.

SRT Viper Racing is set to make its debut mid-season with an SRT Viper GTS-R, officials announced at the New Your Auto Show on Wednesday.

Chrysler has partnered with Riley Technologies to design and build the car over the past two years, while the car maker also confirmed that it had already signed Kuno Wittmer, Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens as its three drivers.

"Racing has been a significant part of the illustrious history of Viper not only with significant wins on the track, but also in the continued development of the street cars - and our new 2013 SRT Viper models are proof of those lessons learned," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of Chrysler's SRT group.

"Now with our new team and the launch of the GTS-R, we're excited and proud to begin writing more chapters in the racing history of the Viper later this summer."

The Viper dominated GT racing in the ALMS and at Le Mans for over a decade, winning the 24-hour race each year from 1998 to 2000 in the category.

The original Viper GTS-R made its racing debut back in 1996.

"I don't think it's possible to overstate the significance of the SRT Viper returning to the top level of professional sports car racing," said ALMS president Scott Atherton.

"The Chrysler Group has a long, storied and very successful history of competing with the American Le Mans Series. We would be hard-pressed to come up with a better scenario than having the brand return with the simultaneous introduction of both the new production car and the competition version. What a great way for SRT Viper to come back to racing."


6th April 2012, 12:26
The entry list of the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship was published in late March. It includes 37 cars, including the arrival of Toyota and the appearance of the Audi R18 hybrid, but the event may have some unusual spectators.

Spa-Francorchamps is situated in the Belgian Ardennes, in the middle of a forest which is enjoyed by campers, but also by animals. To be specific, beavers that have appeared in the river of Eau Rouge, including the famous steep descent that takes its name. Regulars Spa spectators have found that the river does not that name by accident: in heavy rain, the water turns red, the colour of the surrounding land.

While appreciating the serenity of the woods, the flat-tailed semi-aquatic rodents are well accustomed to the presence of their 4-wheeled neighbours. Being of a shy disposition, they are unlikely to disrupt the race, unlike their rabbit cousins (Olivier Panis Olivier Beretta and can attest) and their distant relatives the deer, which almost cost the life of Cristiano da Matta, a former Formula 1 driver.

The action will be on the track, but also around the track, one more reason for race fans to travel to Belgium on the weekend of the 5th of May.

6th April 2012, 18:31
FIA-GT has a race going on this weekend...Dont know where u post the FIA stuff Rob, but it looks hot between Audi, the new Mac and 2 458's.

7th April 2012, 14:30
During a thirty hour endurance test on the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet, the Toyota TS030 Hybrid ran off the track on Wednesday afternoon. Fortunately, Nicolas Lapierre, who was driving at the time, was unhurt, but the team could not continue testing.

In late January, the Toyota TS030 was presented to the press on the same Le Castellet circuit before moving on to do several days of testing, which allowed engineers to collect valuable data and drivers to familiarize themselves with their new car. A first simulation of 30 hours took place in February without incident. The recent incident is not due to driver error and the cause is being investigated.

7th April 2012, 14:31
Just watched Q2..FIA-GT Nogaro..live streaming at fiagt.com
Lambo of Enge just pipped 1 of the 458's for top spot.
Q3 starts soon. Mac is in 6th so far with their new car, 6/10's off.
Great action.

8th April 2012, 15:01
Away from main roads and waterways the relatively small (10,000 inhabitants), town of Spa did not have much of a chance of becoming famous. However, this was changed by the commercial exploitation of mineral water sources and the racetrack founded in 1921.
The area in mainly French speaking southern Belgium has had its heyday in the 18th century thanks to the 'spas' that attracted royalty from across Europe, like the Czar Peter the Great. A spectacular fire destroyed the splendour of the city centre in 1807.

However, the name of Spa has passed into the English language where the word "spa" now applies to any health and beauty resort, with hot springs or mineral water.
Known for its water source since Roman times, it was not until the early 20th century that industrial exploitation of spring water began in the region, the same year as the commencement of construction of the circuit in which a turn is named for iron-rich carbonated water sources, Pouhon.

Spa Francorchamps is internationally known because its name is attached to the first official name of the circuit. The city, originally Francorchamps, is only the name of a district of the town of Stavelot (another turn of the circuit) from the merger of several villages in the late 70s. But mother nature has endowed the Francorchamps with a valley whose mere mention sends shivers down the spine of all race drivers: Eau Rouge.

On the 5th May 2012, in the 6 Hours of Spa-Fancorchamps, second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, cars and drivers will be tested to the limit by the famous Raidillon - Eau Rouge combination, taken flat-out.

14th April 2012, 09:52
Rain Silences ALMS' Roar By The Shore
Qualifying washed out, grid set by championship points
An unusual rainy day in southern California washed away qualifying for the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach. That left Dyson Racing's Mazda-powered Lola coupe on pole position for Saturday's second round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.

As a result of the inclement weather, championship points set the grid for the Saturday's two-hour race on the 1.968-mile Long Beach street circuit. Thanks to their P1 victory in the season-opener at Sebring, Guy Smith and Chris Dyson will start on the inside of the front row. Muscle Milk Pickett Racing's Honda Performance Development ARX-03a of Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr will start second.

Smith was the overall pole-winner at Long Beach last year, but Graf and Luhr won the race. Saturday's race will be a challenge to the extreme; the only group to have any dry track time was the GT Challenge class in its 15-minute qualifying session.

"Obviously the situation is not ideal, but historically Long Beach has been good for the Dyson team and myself," said Smith, who was second with Dyson behind the Muscle Milk car. "This is a new car so we'd like to have more time to get it ready but I know with our experience we'll be able to still be successful tomorrow. So it should make for a good race. We saw in Sebring the Muscle Milk car is working really well."

Defending GT champions and Long Beach GT race winners Joey Hand and Dirk Müller will start first in class again at Long Beach. The pair are coming into Long Beach off win in the season opener at Sebring. A light drizzle began falling just as the GT session started with the rain getting progressively worse.

"(The team order) was pretty much go fast at the beginning. But to be honest it was already slippery; we were far off the GTC times," Müller said. "The main key was not to make a silly mistake and not push too hard and kiss the wall."

Corvette Racing's pair of Corvette C6.Rs will start second and third in GT. The car of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia lead the Corvette charge following their runner-up class finish at Sebring behind the BMW.

"I think you're gonna see the same thing as last year, excitement," Hand said. "This is a unique street race where you can pass here. You don't have to start from the pole to have a shot. The BMW RLR team is always good here. I love this place, this is my favorite venue in all the world. Last year we had a great setup and had great times. Being fast at the end of the race last year bodes well for tomorrow's race."

Level 5 Motorsports' HPD ARX-03b will start first among the P2 runners. Scott Tucker and Christophe Bouchut will team in the Sebring-winning Level 5 entry ahead of Black Swan Racing's Lola-Honda coupe of Tim Pappas and Jeroen Bleekemolen. Conquest Endurance's duo of Martin Plowman and David Heinemeier Hansson will start third in class with their Morgan-Nissan.

CORE autosport's Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel are on the Prototype Challenge pole. Popow, part of CORE's Sebring-winning trio, is racing at Long Beach for the first time.

"It is a strange feeling to be on pole without even racing on the track," said Popow, who turned four laps in Friday morning's wet session. "I'll have to get used to the track tomorrow and learn as I go."

"It's strange, I've been here for 10 years now and I've never seen rain," Dalziel said. "All credit to the organizers and stewards for making the decision. Having the GTCs in the front and prototypes in the back would have been dangerous. We have to do our homework and avoid some of the drivers who are fresh at the race."

Leh Keen and Cooper MacNeil will start on the GTC pole for Alex Job Racing with their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Keen had qualified second in the class behind JDX Racing's Michael Valiante but the red flag and subsequent cancellation of the entire qualifying session erased the GTC order.

"The car was pretty jerky the first we drove it in the dry," Keen said. "We had no data from this morning, but we had a lot (in the dry) from last year. I'm excited to get the car out there tomorrow and go for the win. The track will rubber in tomorrow if it stays dry. We know Alex Job always has good setups."

MacNeil - like Popow - also is racing for the first time at Long Beach.

"I'm hoping for a dry race. Leh did a great job in qualifying," MacNeil said. "I'm going to try and keep it between the walls, not on the walls. It's not my first time in a street course, so I just want to have a clean race and go for the win."

The Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach is the second round of the 10-race ALMS championship. ESPN2 will air Saturday's race live from the world famous Long Beach street circuit just outside Los Angeles starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. The race will be carried simultaneously on ESPN3.

Viewers outside the U.S. can watch races live on ALMS.com. The Series' website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world.


16th April 2012, 10:46
After two seasons racing in the USA., and two participations in the Indianapolis 500, the Belgian driver Bertrand Baguette will be back home on May 5 for the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

At 26, Bertrand Baguette began a new chapter in his career at the Sebring 12 hours, his first endurance race, and first for the French team OAK Racing. The OAK Pescarolo-Judd LMP1 prototype he shares with Dominik Kraihamer and Guillaume Moreau was forced to retire prematurely, but the Belgian was quickly comfortable in his new team and driving the car. He made his debut at the heart of a the legend of endurance racing, with the blue and orange livery of the Gulf Oil Company. With the avowed aim of one day winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he aims to be worthy heir to his compatriots Olivier Gendebien, Jacky Ickx and Paul Frčre.

What does it mean to you, carrying the Gulf colours that Jacky Ickx took to victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1969 and 1975?
Baguette: "It is great pride! Any motor sport fan, and Endurance in particular, knows what these colors. Obviously we can not fight for victory at Le Mans but we will try to shine those colors as high as possible in the rankings. "

The Le Mans 24 hours has often smiled on Belgian drivers: Jacky Ickx, Olivier Gendebien and Paul Frčre all won in La Sarthe. Do you think of this prestigious history, and is your goal join them one day on the winners roster of 24 the Hours?
"Clearly the goal is to win Le Mans and one day join that line of prestigious compatriots. I have the great chance to race in LMP1, the class where cars are fighting for first place. Of course, Audi and Toyota are going to Le Mans for the win but with our OAK Pescarolo prototype, we are among the outsiders. It is for us to demonstrate our competitiveness in La Sarthe in June. "

16th April 2012, 10:48
Long Beach Repeat for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing
Graf, Luhr win again; Corvette takes landmark GT victory
Fuel strategy won out at Long Beach on Saturday with Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr winning the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach for the second straight season. The Muscle Milk Honda Performance Development ARX-03a stopped twice during the race's sole caution period and ran the final 56 minutes without another stop to win over Dyson Racing.

The Graf-Luhr pairing became the first to repeat at Long Beach in the ALMS' six visits. Graf and Luhr now share the P1 championship lead with Chris Dyson and Guy Smith. The race marked the end of a hectic weekend in which Friday's qualifying was washed out, and the first time the field saw a dry track came in the race.

"It was a really difficult week. We didn't have any dry times," said Luhr, now a three-time winner at Long Beach. "We are driving a new car so we had no data to use from previous races. We took our best guess, and the engineers and the guys from Michelin did a perfect job. The tire choice was excellent for here. It all worked out well.

The Muscle Milk car lost the lead on its first pit stop when the team suspected the car didn't get a full fill of E10 - an issue that harkened back to the team's disastrous closing moments at Sebring when it lost the race due to fueling rig problems.

Saturday's curse turned out to be a blessing as the quick splash just before the restart ensured the car could get to the end without fueling again.

"It was not the plan for the extra fuel," Graf said. "We did a good driver change and usually by that time we are ready to go, but I'm not sure why it took so long. We weren't sure if we got a full fill, and with one yellow we knew it would be very tight. We just had to be sure we were safe on fuel until the end. I did a number of qualifying laps just to catch up to Chris. Once I was close to him we were side by side going down the front straightaway. I got just ahead of him, kept ahead, and maintained the lead."

"Klaus and I had a chat about Sebring, I think we were almost over it, then we saw a video about Sebring and it all came back to mind," Luhr admitted. "The Sebring is the Super Bowl of Sports Car racing. It still hurts, and at the end of the day you have to get over it. A good team comes back strong and that is what we did today. So hopefully we continue to win races the rest of the year."

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing proved that clean, fast and efficient can coexist by also claiming the Michelin Green X Challenge prototype victory. This was the team's second consecutive MGXC victory at Long Beach and ninth since the conception of the challenge.

"HPD and Honda have proven to be a reliable and fuel efficient combination," said winning co-driver Klaus Graf. "We feel very strongly that in long-distance races a big part of the race is to go the furthest, fastest and use the least amount of energy. Future rules will change in that direction and we are pleased to partner with HPD to have success both in the race and in the Michelin Green X Challenge."

Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin gave Corvette Racing its first victory at Long Beach since 2009 and its first in ALMS since Mosport in July with an 8-second victory over BMW Team RLL's Joey Hand and Dirk Müller

Milner won for the first time in ALMS and was part of a dynamic opening fight between Corvette and BMW.

"I've had some great podiums and big heartbreaks after chances to win," Milner said. "With an unknown car from the rain sessions, it was great to get a win that meant something. I learned a bit from last year where I had put myself in bad situations so I focused on keeping out of them this year. It's a big team win today."

Following the restart, it didn't take Gavin long to track down Müller in the leading BMW M3 GT. The Englishman felt he had the superior car and with 46 minutes left, finally got the break he needed on the late part of a lap to get around Müller and drive away.

"It certainly was a great job from Corvette Racing putting together a great car right off the truck," Gavin said. "I learned a lot from Tommy. He was a bit of a Guinea pig for me today. Seeing how the tires lasted, seeing it through the longer run. It was harder to get ahead of (Müller); I finally managed to squeeze through. Then it was about managing and saving the tires. The Michelin tire was great, I was pleased with the performance. It got a bit hairy, with extra traffic, and there were a lot of cars going off. It kept you on your toes. But I had enough gap to stay ahead of the BMW."

After Hand and Mueller, Extreme Speed Motorsports' Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek placed third in their Ferrari F458 Italia.

The ESM Ferrari earned its green stripes by claiming its second Michelin Green X Challenge GT title. Sharp and van Overbeek drove their Ferrari to green victory after starting ninth in class.

Through the Green Racing initiatives in the ALMS, including the Michelin Green X Challenge, oil consumption at the 2012 race at Long Beach was reduced by 38.8 percent compared to the all oil-based fuels used prior to 2005. For the 2012 ALMS season to date the amount of oil savings total 40.6 percent.

Level 5 Motorsports' Christophe Bouchut took the P2 lead with six minutes left as race-leader Martin Plowman had to pit late. Bouchut and Scott Tucker won in class at Long Beach for the second straight year, this time in a HPD ARX-03b. The duo recovered from an early-race spin after Tucker was hit from behind, and the HPD completed the race on a single stop.

"It could have been a lot worse," Tucker said. "I was able to get the car turned around. It didn't have any damage so I kept it running. The balance came way out, but we were able to stick with it and it eventually worked out for us."

Bouchut ran the majority of his stint in second behind Plowman's Morgan-Nissan. As was the case with the Muscle Milk entry, the earlier spin may have been a positive situation in the end. Level 5's engineers told Bouchut to change the on-board fuel mapping to conserve fuel in hopes that the Frenchman would not need to pit again.

"Sometimes you need some (luck) to win, and this was a rich result for us here," Bouchut said. "I knew the (Conquest entry) needed to pit again. After just three laps in my stint, I knew the times I was doing were not very good. I asked two or three times (for his engineers) to repeat (changing the fuel map) because I knew I needed the power. In the end it was great because I finished the race on reserve fuel. I thought I might have run out, but it was perfect."

Level 5's second entry - driven by Tucker and Luis Diaz - placed third in class.

CORE autosport won its second race of the season and consecutively at Long Beach with Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel victorious in Prototype Challenge. The CORE ORECA FLM09 was 19 seconds quicker on its lone pit stop than runner-up Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, and that proved key to the outcome.

Dalziel and Memo Gidley dueled in the early part of their stint before the CORE entry pulled away late and won by a lap.

"This was my first race when I moved to the US in 2002, and I bugged CORE to let me race here and help Alex extend his lead in the championship," Dalziel beamed. "The pit stop was a great success. It was difficult staying ahead of Memo. We tried to pace and save fuel. At the end they gave me the green light to extend it and I had a lot of fun putting it through the paces."

Popow led in a rough-and-tumble opening stint that saw some of his closest challengers fall by the wayside via spins or penalties. He had a close call himself with a slower car that allowed Michael Guasch in the Muscle Milk car to take the lead just before the caution.

"It was a little stressful for me first time driving at Long Beach," said Popow, who increased his lead in the team championship. "(Friday) I just did three laps, and I said it would be a big challenge for me starting on pole. But from the first lap I started to pull away and then started to save fuel in the second half of my stint."

CORE scored two podiums in class for the second straight race. Colin Braun and Jon Bennett placed third in the sister entry.

In GT Challenge, Green Hornet Racing's Damien Faulkner drove a strong second stint in a hard-fought battle with Alex Job Racing's Leh Keen as the Irishman and Peter LeSaffre won in class over Keen and Cooper MacNeil. Faulkner broke away and finished 3.107 seconds ahead of Keen following a tense series of laps following the race restart.

Both drivers took turns posting the fastest race lap for the class in their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entries until Faulkner gained the upper hand with less than 20 minutes to go.

Like Tucker in P2, LeSaffre had a few dramatic moments in the opening part of the race. He was part of a multi-car pileup on the opening laps that damaged the Porsche's splitter but had no other damage. The victory was his first in ALMS as well as the first for Green Hornet.

"It was an interesting start," LeSaffre said. "It was kind of tough driving without the splitter, but we just fought and I handed it over to Damien. It was definitely a street fight. I'm excited for the first victory. Hopefully there are a lot more to come."

Saturday's win was Faulkner's second in ALMS but first on a street course. The Irishman said his hands felt like they had large blisters after his fight with Keen. He had still more work to do after a relatively long stop under yellow to fix the Porsche's headlights that were damaged in LeSaffre's incident.

"[LeSaffre] was unlucky getting into the Lotus," Faulkner said. "Then when I got in, the headlights didn't work. When they came on and the officials released us, I was in fourth. I took my stint to take time picking off car after car after car."

JDX Racing's Michael Valiante and Chris Cumming finished third in class, the team's best finish in ALMS competition.

The American Le Mans Series next travels to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the third round of the 10-race championship. The six-hour American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón is set for 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 12 from the 2.238-mile circuit in Monterey, Calif. ESPN2 will air the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 13. Live coverage is available starting at 4:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Monterey round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com. The Series' website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras and timing and scoring for all users around the world.

16th April 2012, 11:00
Sébastien Loeb will take the wheel of the Oreca LM P2 prototype of his own team in the Test Day (3rd June) for the Le Mans 24 hours.

Sébastien Loeb has raced twice in the Le Mans 24 Hours (2005 and 2006) with the team of Henri Pescarolo. On his second attempt, he finished in second place. Six years later, the Alsatian driver is set to make his return to La Sarthe. This time, the eight times World Rally champion will be driving his own car: a Nissan-Oreca LM P2. Although Loeb Racing will not be at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, the team can't hide their ambition to participate in 2013.

Sébastien Loeb, driver and owner of Sébastien Loeb Racing :"I’m twice as excited to return to Le Mans. Firstly as a driver. With its history and unique characteristics, the track is magic. Then as team boss. To see the team running a prototype on the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit, only a few months after its creation, will be a special moment! Those first steps (at ELMS Le Castellet) were very interesting. The members of the team worked really hard and were up to the task. On a personal side, I discovered a new role and new emotions. To see other drivers at the wheel is new for me. That gave me the desire to get back behind the wheel of the ORECA 03 and my schedule allows me to be at the Test Day. I can’t wait to drive a prototype on that fabulous track, like I did a few years ago."

Dominique Heintz, team manager of Sébastien Loeb Racing : "In the medium term, we want to be a major player in endurance racing, and therefore at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Test Day will allow us to have our first experience with an environment that has no equal. It’s an important new step for Sébastien Loeb Racing and with Sébastien at the wheel, it’s even greater. We’re at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we set out to do in this challenge."

16th April 2012, 11:50
Spa falls exactly on my birthday this year! :-D

16th April 2012, 12:12
Spa falls exactly on my birthday this year! :-D

thats handy mate. :thumb

16th April 2012, 14:56
thats handy mate. :thumb

Hehe, another win for McNish would do nicely! :-D

17th April 2012, 10:26
ALMS – Ferrari on the Long Beach podium
Maranello, 15 April – The Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT2 took third place in the second round of the American Le Mans Series which took place this weekend round the streets of the evocative Californian setting of Long Beach. The Ferrari driven by Scott Sharp and Johannes Van Overbeek also went to the head of the Michelin Green X Challenge GT, drawing attention to the products that mark out the Maranello company’s cars.
Having started in 9th place on the grid, the team of Sharp-van Overbeek, in its first event of the season, led for much of the race before being overtaken in the GT class by the winning Corvette of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin and 40 minutes from the end by the BMW M3 of Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand that finished second.
Because of the narrow layout of the track and the traffic created by slower cars, the Extreme Speed Motorsports car was held back in fourth position after its final stop. Then, with just five minutes left before the chequered flag, Sharp managed to grab the bronze medal after overtaking Magnussen’s Corvette.
The second Ferrari run by the American team (Ed Brown-Guy Cosmo) was tenth after losing a lot of positions in an early penalty for contact with a prototype.
The next date in the prestigious series is scheduled for the weekend of May 12 at the Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca.

17th April 2012, 10:26
Hehe, another win for McNish would do nicely! :-D

yeah that would be. Think stand good chance, as long as they stay out of trouble and have clean race.

18th April 2012, 09:53
Marc Gené has been named as reserve driver by Audi for endurance racing. The Spaniard will be involved from from the 5th May in the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship ​​at Spa-Francorchamps.

Test driver for Scuderia Ferrari in Formula 1, Marc Gené has just been named as reserve driver by the Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. The 38 year old Spaniard is no stranger to endurance racing, having been one of the pillars of the Peugeot Sport team with whom he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2009.

Marc Gené will stand-in for Timo Bernhard on the 5th of May at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps where he joins Romain Dumas and Loďc Duval. Bernhard continues his recovery from the accident which he suffered in mid-March during private testing at Sebring.
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport :“At our first meetings I immediately had the impression that Marc (Gené) will blend well with our sports car squad. We very quickly reached an agreement. It’s very unfortunate that Timo Bernhard won’t be able to compete for us at the second WEC round at Spa as planned. At the same time, I’m pleased to see his recovery making significant progress. That’s why we’re sticking to our original plan of having him run at the Le Mans 24 Hours.”


18th April 2012, 09:55
What an epic driver line up Audi has assembled, eh?

18th April 2012, 09:55
Now reserved for the cars which ran between 1951 and 1973, the Tour Auto in 2012 starts in Paris (Grand Palais) and ends in Nice on the 21st of April. On the entry list are two Ferrari 250 GTO, making a link between the history of the Tour Auto and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In parc fermé,, before the start, we came across team bosses like Jack Leconte (Larbre Competition), representative of Corvette in the FIA World Endurance Championship of the, and former winners of the 24 hours as Larrousse (who officiates as starter for this 2012 Tour Auto Optic 2000) and Eric Helary who is now a car collector. Three BMW "Art Cars" seen in La Sarthe were also on show: the pioneer decorated by Alexander Calder (1975), that of Frank Stella (1976), and the latest from Jeff Koons (2010).

But, you just have to stand and look at the 250 GTO to bring back great memories. After the launch of the GTO on the 24th February 1962, the Tour Auto and Le Mans 24 Hours quickly became two events where it was completely at home. Imagine for example, six GTO in the fight on the Mulsanne Straight during a time trial of the Tour Auto in 1962 held on the 24 Hours circuit! Even though beaten by a Ferrari 250 GT, the GTO took victory in two editions of the Tour Auto, with Jean Guichet / José Behra (1963) and Lucien Bianchi / "Jojo" Berger (1964).
Also in a Ferrari, Guichet won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1964 with the Sicilian driver Nino Vaccarella. Bianchi went to Ford for his win in La Sarthe in 1968, with Mexican driver Pedro Rodriguez. The GTO would never win at Le Mans, but its ruthless efficiency allowed it to be involved in the battle of the prototypes, with two consecutive second places for Jean Guichet / Pierre Noblet (1962) and Jean Blaton / Gérard Langlois von Ophem (1963 ). The Ferrari 250 GTO completed the domination Ferrari in the Tour Auto, with two more wins in addition to seven previous victories. By a curious coincidence of history, it matches the nine successes of the Prancing Horse at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, after the victory Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt (Ferrari 250 LM ) in 1965.

18th April 2012, 09:58
Following the decision to cancel the second round of the European Le Mans Series on the Zolder circuit on 18-19-20 May, teams entered for the ELMS season were given the possibility of taking part in the Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours (2nd round of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship) on 3-4-5 May. The Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours will give them a great deal of precious track time to prepare for the coming Le Mans 24 Hours (16-17 June) for which they have all received invitations.

The following six teams have decided to avail themselves of this opportunity:

- JOTA: Zytek Z11SN-Nissan






- AF CORSE: Ferrari F458 Italia

These team can take part in the second round of the FIA WEC without any technical modifications as the European Le Mans Series and the FIA World Endurance Championship share common technical regulations.
This race is a non-ELMS event so the six teams will not score points in the ELMS Championship.

18th April 2012, 10:05
TOYOTA Racing to delay season debut

TOYOTA Racing regrets to announce that, as a result of a testing accident, it is not able to participate in the WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

During testing at Paul Ricard, on Wednesday 4 April, the TS030 HYBRID was involved in an accident which damaged the team’s only monocoque.

Regrettably this damage is too severe to repair. A replacement monocoque cannot be produced and sufficiently tested to ensure reliability within the limited time available.

Therefore TOYOTA Racing has informed the organizers of the FIA World Endurance Championship of its decision to withdraw from the WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, due to be held on 5 May. The team will make its first appearance at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita, TOYOTA Racing Team President: “We are deeply saddened to announce this decision and our sympathies are with the drivers, team members and fans who have been anticipating the Spa race so eagerly. Since the accident we have looked into all options but unfortunately there is no alternative course of action open to us.”

TOYOTA Racing will now urgently prepare a new monocoque to allow it to resume testing as soon as possible and prepare itself for the Le Mans 24 Hours

18th April 2012, 21:33
Heinemeier Hansson Set for Le Mans Debut with Oak Racing
Coming off Long Beach P2 podium in Conquest’s Morgan-Nissan
Conquest Endurance’s David Heinemeier Hansson will race at the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time this year. Following on a class runner-up finish at the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, the Danish-born driver will race a Morgan prototype for Oak Racing in the great race’s LMP2 class.

Heinemeier Hansson is in his first full season of ALMS competition. He and Martin Plowman are Conquest’s full-time drivers in their Morgan-Nissan prototype. The Dane was highly impressive in his opening stint at Long Beach with lap times that were comparable to Plowman’s time that best in class.

As part of his Oak Racing Le Mans program, Heinemeier Hansson will race with Bas Leinders in the FIA World Endurance Championship six-hour round at Spa on May 5.

“I'm thrilled to be joining OAK Racing for the 6 Hours of Spa and Le Mans 24 Hours,” Heinemeier Hansson said. “It has been my dream to race at Le Mans for many years and I could not have wished for a better team and car to do it in. The Morgan 2012 LMP2 has already shown incredible pace at the 12 Hours of Sebring and most recently at the Long Beach race. It's also fantastic that I can continue driving the same car that I'm already very familiar with from the Conquest Endurance program in the ALMS. So with a great driver lineup, great car and a great team, I think we have everything in place to be a serious contender for the podium in both races. It's certainly not going to be easy with so many good teams in LMP2 this year, but I couldn't ask for a better shot at it.”

The American Le Mans Series next travels to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the third round of the 10-race championship. The six-hour American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón is set for 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 12 from the 2.238-mile circuit in Monterey, Calif. ESPN2 will air the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 13. Live coverage is available starting at 4:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Monterey round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.

18th April 2012, 21:36
do like Long Beach, it challenging track. Nice to see ESM up on podium. Hope they can continue and get more and hopefully a coulpe of wins


18th April 2012, 21:37
ALMS Milestones for Gavin, Luhr at Long Beach
Two of the best adding to already impressive resumes
Two of the most successful drivers in the history of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón expanded their legacy with victories Saturday in the second round of the 2012 championship.

A P1 victory for Luhr and a GT win for Gavin at Saturday’s Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach advanced the two drivers to third and fourth, respectively, on the ALMS career-win list. Combined, the two drivers have amassed 71 class victories in their illustrious careers.

Luhr’s 36 victories rank him third in the ALMS record books. A four-time ALMS champion, the German driver has won races in three classes and became the first competitor to take three overall ALMS triumphs at Long Beach – 2008 for Audi and the last two years with Klaus Graf for Greg Pickett’s Muscle Milk squad. This season they won in a Honda Performance Development ARX-03a prototype and gave the new car its first worldwide triumph.

Gavin’s career achievements so far with Corvette Racing are equally impressive. The Briton is tied with Audi standout Dindo Capello for fourth in career wins with 35. Driving with Tommy Milner, Gavin won at Long Beach for the third time and posted the fastest GT race lap in his Corvette C6.R. That made 26 all-time and broke a tie with ex-Corvette teammate Olivier Beretta.

Gavin and Luhr – along with the rest of the ALMS field – will be back in action for the six-hour American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The third round of the ALMS championship is set for 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 12 from the 2.238-mile circuit in Monterey, Calif. ESPN2 will air the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 13. Live coverage is available starting at 4:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Monterey round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.

18th April 2012, 21:42
The Krohn Racing team is one of two American teams (with Starworks Motorsports) racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship. With just one race of the series on their own continent, the logistics manager performs a vital function for the smooth running of the season. Here is a quick tour behind the scenes …
Moving a team of 21 people and six tonnes of equipment has to be well planned. Visas and travel documents need to be sought for team members of various nationalities (procedures vary from country to country) before booking airline tickets. The Ferrari F458 Italia that is entered in the LMGTE Am class, also travels by air with two crates of tools and spare parts for the summer campaign in Europe. Clothing for crew members is shipped in cylindrical drum bags that sit inside the race wheels for the sea freight shipment, that also includes the remainder of the team's pit and garage equipment and spare parts.

The ship left the east coast of the United States on the 30th March 30 and docked in England on the 16th April, with Silverstone as the final destination, where the materials were reunited with the air cargo. The team, who are based in Braselton, close to the Road Atlanta circuit, will use Silverstone as a logistical base for the races at Spa, Silverstone and Le Mans, the materials returning across the Atlantic once the season is over.

Personnel meanwhile, fly home between events, including the second half of the season when the calendar is accelerating. They spend a few days with family before heading back to the airport for a flight that will last anything between ten and eighteen hours.

Despite jet lag, mechanics, engineers and press officer are busy immediately on arrival to be ready for the first practice sessions: two and a half days of work are needed to set up the pit equipment and prepare the car, and break-down is done in a day and a half. A catering service keeps the team well fed at the circuit.

During the WEC summer schedule break (mid-June to late August) between the Le Mans 24 Hours and 6 Hours of Silverstone, Krohn Racing crew members will work on the 2013 Grand-Am Daytona Prototype and possibly participate in some Grand-Am races with the DP car. Soon, the Krohn Racing team will pack their bags for the Belgian Ardennes and 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship on the 5th May.


20th April 2012, 07:09
Renger Van der Zande joins Lotus LMP2 squad for World Endurance Championship

Thursday, April 19th 2012, 10:47 GMT

Renger van der Zande is set to make his prototype sportscar racing debut this year with the Lotus LMP2 squad in the World Endurance Championship.

The Dutchman, who raced for Mercedes in the DTM last year, expects to compete in six WEC events with the team, alongside a campaign in the Formula 1-supporting Porsche Supercup which kicks off in Bahrain this weekend.

"I'm actually quite proud that two months after my sudden departure from the DTM, I already have an interesting year lined up," said van der Zande, who only found out in February that he was not being retained by Mercedes.

"International motorsport is currently facing seriously reduced budgets, so landing a seat in a professional class is far from easy.

"I'm sincerely grateful to Colin Kolles and the Lotus team for giving me this opportunity. I need to get into my 'endurance mode', and I'm looking forward to it."

The team announced last week that it was expanding to a second WEC Lotus-powered Lola for the upcoming Spa Six hours, with James Rossiter and Kevin Weeda confirmed as drivers.


20th April 2012, 07:11
After the disappointment of the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Signatech-Nissan team will be present in force at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Philip Sinault and Didier Calmels' team will have two cars on the grid for the 'dress rehearsal' of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

During the first round in Florida, a patch of oil was the downfall of the LMP2 class winners of the Le Mans 24 Hours 2011. Young French driver Olivier Lombard ended up in the tyre barrier, ending the hopes of his team-mates; the experienced Franck Mailleux, architect of the 2011 ILMC title in the LMP2 class, and rookie Jordan Tresson, winner of the Nissan GT Academy 2010.

The two driver crews will be keen to shine in the Belgian Ardennes ahead of the French round of the Championship. The Oreca-Nissan #23, (a lucky number of the Japanese manufacturer), will be supported by a second car, as in La Sarthe, with an unprecedented trio of drivers. French speaking Russian driver Roman Rusinov, who was with the Spartak Racing Lamborghini in the Le Mans Series and Team Modena at Le Mans in 2009, he returns to racing a prototype after his victory in the LMP2 class at the 1000 km of Le Mans in 2003.

Pierre Ragues raced for Signatech in 2010 but last year was with OAK Racing, while Nelson Panciatici comes directly from single seater series, including Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2.

Philippe Sinault & Didier Calmels : " I would like to welcome Pierre, Roman and Nelson, as we are effectively doubling our numbers for this event. We have programmed two sets of tests next week, which will allow us to work on fuel consumption, aerodynamics and the tyres. We have nine hours less running than the cars that went to the end of the 12 Hours of Sebring, further to our retirement. We have to catch up the lost time, and to adapt our set-up to the very fast Belgian circuit, so that we can be at the front."

i wish i could go, going to the Silverstone 6hrs yay!!!! :thumb:clap:clap

21st April 2012, 15:34
Competitors in the European Le Mans Series, Boutsen Ginion Racing will race at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours. Jens Petersen joins Bastien Bričre and Jack Clarke for the Belgian round, but also for the 80th Le Mans 24 Hours.

Sebastien Buemi, who was recruited for the 6 Hours of Le Castellet to drive the Boutsen Ginion Racing #45 Oreca 03 - Nissan, will rejoin Toyota for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He will be replaced by Jens Petersen who will join the Belgian team for their home race at Spa Francorchamps and the Le Mans 24 hours, that he will compete in for the first time.

Although a rookie at Le Mans, Jens Petersen has extensive experience of endurance racing and has a victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011 with Genoa Racing team in the LMPC category (Formula Le Mans). Several podiums were also scored in the 2011 season for Genoa Racing in the Le Mans Series, that the native of Düsseldorf knows well from his participation with Bruichladdich in 2008 and Kruse in 2006.

Fot Jens Petersen, it will not be at his first attempt to race twice around the clock, having already taken on the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. He will use the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, to get ready for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

Cannt wait for this race. Not long now.

21st April 2012, 18:39
Hunter Reay Eager to Kick Off SRT Viper Effort
Open-wheel star set for double duty by adding factory-backed GT program
One of the biggest surprises of the SRT Dodge Viper announcement earlier this month was the name of Ryan Hunter-Reay (far right) above the door on SRT Viper Racing’s SRT Viper GTS-R. SRT used the New York Auto Show to unveil the 2013 street version as well as proclaim its return to the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón as a factory-backed entry in the GT class.

Hunter-Reay will drive the Viper race car – being built by Riley Technologies – along with Kuno Wittmer, Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens. Even with a full-time commitment to Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar Series, the chance to pilot the Snake was too much to pass up.

“There are a lot of people (at Riley) that I’ve had a relationship with in the past,” Hunter-Reay said over the weekend at Long Beach. “It seems like a good program, a great opportunity and great for the ALMS. So we’ll give it a shot. There are some great people involved and I am looking forward to working with the SRT guys on the program.”

The American is a racer at the core. He has won in the ALMS before – 2011 at Sebring for Level 5 Motorsports in P2. Driving GT cars is not entirely new either. Basically if it has four wheels and there is a race track nearby, he’ll have an interest. That includes at a pretty important race in France during the middle of June…

“I’ve driven a few cars like the Viper – GT cars for Porsche and Ferrari,” Hunter Reay said. “I’ve done it before and I’m ready for the challenge. I’m definitely going to miss the prototype but my goal is to get to Le Mans in a prototype so hopefully that will happen at some point soon.

“I think it’s important to stay diversified. You need to have your skill set challenged all the time – always putting yourself in new environments,” he added. “You have to adapt all the time, but if it has four wheels then I’ll drive it. I wish I could do it more.”

The American Le Mans Series next travels to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the third round of the 10-race championship. The six-hour American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón is set for 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 12 from the 2.238-mile circuit in Monterey, Calif. ESPN2 will air the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 13. Live coverage is available starting at 4:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

21st April 2012, 18:40
Be nice to have Viper back in GT, always strong car and team.

22nd April 2012, 20:06
Got couple months too go till Le-Mans 24hr, heres nice little video of McNish narrating a lap around the famous ( i think 1 of the best) track(s) in the world. Roll on 16th-17th June...


23rd April 2012, 07:15
Ooh, cheers for that Rob, what an AWESOME video!

McNish to win Le Mans again this year please!! :pray

23rd April 2012, 16:25
2012/04/21 16:24
The GTC accepts GT3s!
In order to meet the numerous requests of GT teams and drivers from all over Europe, the organisers of the European Le Mans Series in agreement with the ACO has decided to open up the new GTC category (made up of cars from single-make cups like the Porsche Cup or the Ferrari Challenge) and accept FIA GT3 homologated vehicles to reach the number of twenty-five cars for the next round at Donington on 13-14-15 July.

Their level of performance will be adjusted by the ACO through technical solutions that are currently being studied, whose aim is to maintain a level playing field in the categories already entered, in particular the LM GTE Ams (the GTCs are slower than the GTE Ams).

The cars in the GT3 category have shown the necessary reliability to take part in endurance events and to be competitive in the ELMS 6-Hour races.

The following models are eligible for GT3:

- Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3

- Audi R8 LMS

- BMW Z4 GT3

- Ferrari 458 Italia GT3

- Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+GT3

- McLaren MP4-12C GT3

- Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3

- Porsche GT3-R

All these makes and models will beef up the GTC category in the next three rounds of the 2012 European Le Mans Series Championship.

The acceptance of GT3 cars does not concern the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours, which are reserved for LM P1s, LM P2s, GTE Pros and GTE Ams.


23rd April 2012, 16:29
Pescarolo delays debut of LMP1 car until the Le Mans 24 Hours
Monday, April 23rd 2012, 16:01 GMT

Sportscar legend Henri Pescarolo has delayed the debut of his new LMP1 contender until the Le Mans 24 Hours.

His team had planned to race its new Pescarolo-Judd 03, which is based around the monocoque and suspension from last year's Aston Martin AMR-One, at the Spa 6 Hours on May 5.

As predicted by AUTOSPORT, it will now not be ready in time for the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which means Pescarolo Team will be forced to give the car its race debut in the 24 Hours in June.

The late start date for the project was blamed by Pescarolo for the postponement. He explained there would be no chance to test properly before the Spa event.

The team ran its 2011-specification Pescarolo 01 at the Sebring 12 Hours WEC opener in March. Teams were given dispensation to run last year's cars for one race only.

Pescarolo will still be on the grid at Spa with the Dome-Judd S102.5 coupe, which it will also race at Le Mans.


do like to see Pescarolo do well, be great to see them win Le-Mans 24hr. Hope he could manage that 1 day.

24th April 2012, 17:09
The successor to the Pescarolo 01, that concluded its career with a superb third place in the WEC competitors at the Sebring 12 Hours (sixth overall), the new Pescarolo 03 was expected to race at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (May 5), the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship​​. Pescarolo Team will be present in the Belgian Ardennes, but only with the Dome S102.5.

Although the team based Le Mans hase worked hard, the new prototype requires essential testing before it contests its first race. Jean-Christophe Boullion, Emmanuel Collard and Julien Jousse will look longingly at their teammates in the Dome S102.5, which will make its comeback in Europe.

Sebastien Bourdais and Nicolas Minassian, who tested the Japanese prototype in Spain, are very confident, just like their boss Henri Pescarolo: "The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps occupies a special place in my heart. Since 1973 I have held the record outright speed 262 km/h average. And it has often been successful for my drivers. I hope that 2012 will not disappoint, and will deliver valuable information for the 24 Hours, while we are waiting impatiently for the Pescarolo 03 to finally turn its wheels on a track. "

24th April 2012, 17:11
British team Strakka Racing chose St George's day to unveil the new patriotic livery of the HPD ARX-03a that includes the Union flag on the 'shark fin'.

The team based at Silverstone England has changed from a white and blue colour scheme that was seen at the 12 Hours of Sebring, to a very distinctive and patriotic silver and blue, with the flag integrated into the design on the fin. Drivers Nick Leventis, Danny Watts and Jonny Kane are currently at the MotorLand Aragón Circuit in Spain (see article), giving the new car its first run. Following this two-day Michelin tyre test, the LMP1 car will be transported directly to Belgium for Round 2 of the FIA WEC, the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on the 5th of May.

Piers Phillips, Strakka Team Principal and Technical Director: “We wanted our race car to really stand out from the crowd, have a very distinctive and instantly recognisable colour scheme and highlight that we’re extremely proud to be a British team racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The car looked great at Sebring, but now after some innovative design work the HPD ARX-03a looks even better. We hope fans like it and come out to support us, especially at our next two races at Spa-Francorchamps and at the Le Mans 24 Hours.”


25th April 2012, 14:26
On Saturday 5th May, at 14:30, forty one competitors, prototypes and GTs, will be at the start of the 2nd round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The last race befor the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

This circuit nicknamed "Toboggan of the Ardennes" winds between the towns of Francorchamps, Malmedy and Stavelot, in the province of Liege, Belgium (official site).

Created in 1921 and revised several times since then, the circuit hosts the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Belgium (46 times). It is also the scene of the 24 Hours of Spa and many other national and international events.

Alternating long straights and fast corners, the track is very technical. Its banked turns, its very slow hairpin (La Source), and the famous Eau Rouge, this circuit offers drivers and spectators a unique experience. Capricious Belgian climate sometimes springs surprises. It may be raining on one part of the circuit while the other remains dry. But whatever the weather, Spa-Francorchamps retains its reputation as one of the most beautiful circuits in the world.

This is one of the most prestigious events of the season. The grid of 41 cars includes the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid and the Dome S102.5 enterd by Pescarolo Team. For some competitors, the race offers an opportunity to prepare for the Le Mans 24 Hours (June 16 and 17) under race conditions. For all, it is an opportunity to score valuable points in the standings of the FIA World Endurance Championship (official site).

ENTRY LIST (download Entry List in pdf)
LM P1 (10 cars)
LM P2 (16 cars)
LM GTE Pro (5 cars)
LM GTE Am (10 cars)

The Pitwalk on Saturday is on offer with the purchase of a ticket bought via the promotion on the site spafiawec.com.

PROGRAMME (download programme in pdf)
Thursday 3rd May 10h50 - 11h30 : Radical Masters / Essais Libres 1 (40')
11h45 - 13h15 : FIA WEC / FREE PRACTICE 1 (90')
14h15 - 15h15 : Speed Series / Free Practice 1 (60')
15h30 - 16h10 : Radical Masters / Free Practice 2 (40')
16h25 - 17h55 : FIA WEC / FREE PRACTICE 2 (90')
Friday 4th May 09h00 - 09h45 : Speed Series / Qualification (45')
10h00 - 11h00 : FIA WEC / FREE PRACTICE 3 (60')
12h30 - 13h05 : Radical Masters / Qualification (15'+5+15')
13h25 - 14h55 : Speed Series / Race 1 (90')
15h10 - 15h30 : FIA WEC / QUALIFICATION LM GTE (20')
15h40 - 16h00 : FIA WEC / QUALIFICATION LM P (20')
16h20 - 17h10 : Radical Masters / Race 1 (50')
Saturday 5th May 09h00 - 09h50 : Radical Masters / Race 2 (50')
10h05 - 10h25 : FIA WEC / WARM UP (20')
10h45 - 11h45 : Speed Series / Race 2 (60')
12h15 - 12h45 : FIA WEC / AUTOGRAPH SESSION (30')
14h30 - 20h30 : FIA WEC / 6 HOURS OF SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS (6h)
Including hotels and campgrounds, the region offers many places to stay, and while you are there, why not try visit the Abbey of Stavelot, or the thermal waters of Spa?


26th April 2012, 14:49
The Gulf Racing Middle East team tested, day and night for two days at Magny-Cours with two Lola-Nissan prior to the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship​​. The team who are entered in the colours of the United Arab Emirates, have moved up from LMGTE Am to the LMP2 class for the 2012 season.
Both Lola B12/80 were delivered shortly before the 12 Hours of Sebring, and Gulf Middle East Racing had just time to complete a shake-down before flying to Florida. A track exit during the night session meant that the #28 car could not take part in qualifying, while the sister car #29 started from the back of the grid, having failed to achieve a timed lap during the qualifying session.

The two-day test at Magny-Cours was very welcome to both driver crews. Fabien Giroix, driver and team manager, Maxime Jousse, Julien's younger brother and veteran Stefan Johansson, who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1997 (with Tom Kristensen and the late Michele Alboreto), will share the wheel of the #28. The crew of the sister car also remains unchanged from Florida with Frédéric Fatien, Jean-Denis Delétraz, who was with the Giroix Racing Team at Le Mans in 1995 and 1996 with a McLaren, and Keiko Ihara, the only female driver.


27th April 2012, 16:11
Oliver Jarvis says Audi factory LMP1 debut at Spa will be vital preparation for Le Mans
By Glenn Freeman Friday, April 27th 2012, 10:36 GMT

Oliver Jarvis says he is treating his debut in Audi's factory sportscar squad at Spa next weekend as a learning experience ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The Briton is racing as part of the German's squad's works LMP1 line-up for the first time this year, starting with the Spa 6 Hours. And Jarvis, who competed in the DTM from 2008-11, is looking forward to racing the Audi R18 ultra with Marco Bonanomi.

"I've been looking forward to my first run as an Audi factory driver at Spa for a long time," he said. "We've got a new car and I'm forming a new driver team with Marco.

"There's a lot to learn for us at this race that we're using as a test for Le Mans. But that doesn't mean that Spa is not important as a single race.

"We obviously want to battle for a podium place but as a relatively new member of the sportscar family I know I've still got a lot to learn."

Jarvis and former Audi reserve driver Bonanomi will be joined by Mike Rockenfeller at Le Mans, but the German cannot race at Spa because it clashes with the DTM race at Lausitz. Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich believes that the newcomers will benefit from racing as a two-man team in Belgium.

"For Marco and Oliver, Spa has the positive effect that as a team of two they have the chance of driving more race kilometres than the teams of three drivers," Ullrich said. "So Spa is an important premiere for them."

Team Joest technical director Ralf Juttner added that Audi was disappointed by Toyota having to delay the debut of its TS030 racer after a heavy crash in testing.

"Everyone is looking forward to Spa," he said. "The preparations are underway but the event will be a huge challenge for us.

"Toyota, unfortunately, will be missing Spa, which is really a shame. We'll only be meeting with our competitor at Le Mans, but there are many other good cars in the field."


29th April 2012, 06:42
Second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (5th May) will see the debut of both new Audi R18; the e-tron quattro and R18 ultra. A double first, and also a dual purpose: the best result in the Belgian Ardennes, and the best preparation for the 80th Le Mans 24 Hours (June 16th and 17th).
Two of each of these cars are expected in the Belgian Ardennes.

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Like last year, Spa will be a ‘dress rehearsal’ for us for the Le Mans 24 Hours. We’d been planning to compete there with exactly the same teams as at Le Mans, in other words with all four vehicles and the squads assigned to them. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to completely follow our plan with respect to the drivers. Mike Rockenfeller is not available because he’ll be running in the DTM at the Lausitzring. And Timo Bernhard isn’t completely fit yet after his accident at Sebring. That’s why we’re giving reserve driver Marc Gené the chance to contest a race. He’ll be driving together with Romain Dumas and Loďc Duval in order to get used to the vehicle and to gel with the squad in case we should be using him at the Le Mans 24 Hours. We’re firmly assuming that Timo Bernhard will be in perfect shape to run again at Le Mans. For Marco Bonanomi and Oliver Jarvis, Spa has the positive effect that as a team of two they have the chance of driving more race kilometers than the teams of three drivers. So, Spa is an important premiere for them - just like it is for our two car models, the R18 e-tron quattro and the R18 ultra."

Marcel Fässler (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): "Spa is one of my favorite tracks, which gives me a positive feeling. Plus, running in the R18 e-tron quattro this year is very special anyway. It’ll no doubt be a great experience."

André Lotterer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): "At Spa we’ll be driving the e-tron quattro for the first time. I’m very confident because I thought the car was really superb in the track tests. I can hardly wait to go to Spa. It’s a special track for me where I spent a lot of time even as a child and teenager."

Benoît Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): "This is a very important debut for the R18 e-tron Quattro because for the first time we’ll see where we stand with the hybrid compared to the competition. I really like my R18 e-tron quattro. Hybrid drive simply gives you an interesting sensation at the wheel."

Dindo Capello (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): "Now I’m experiencing another debut with Audi, and for the first time in a world championship. In the past, Audi was the first manufacturer to be victorious with a diesel, so the second WEC round is an important race. Audi wants to start a new chapter in motorsport history, and Spa is exactly the right track for it."

Tom Kristensen (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): "Looking back, the Audi’s premieres were always fantastic, from the R8 and R10 TDI through to the R15 TDI. Now it’s the R18 e-tron quattro’s turn. Allan, Dindo and I are travelling to the second race as the championship leaders after giving the Audi R18 TDI at Sebring a superb farewell."

Allan McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): "My adrenaline level has already begun to rise. You really start to understand the advantages of a new car only in a racing situation with respective weather and in the battle with other competitors. The technology is brand new but we’ve got a good base. Spa perfectly suits my driving style, but I’m still waiting for my first victory there."

Romain Dumas (Audi R18 ultra #3): "At Spa, I’ll be running with a new team-mate. At Sebring, we saw that Timo (Bernhard) and I quickly started to work together really well with newcomer Loďc. I’m sure that’ll work out equally well with Marc . He has a lot of experience in sports prototype racing and is intimately familiar with Spa. It’s a shame that Timo isn’t able to run but under these circumstances Marc is no doubt the best possible replacement."

Loďc Duval (Audi R18 ultra #3): "I came to highly respect Marc as a driver in the past. He’s joined the squad as a solid team player. For the first WEC race in Europe, I’m wishing for the event to go as well as the premiere at Sebring did. Obviously, it would be great to see all three Audi driver teams on the podium. But it’s primarily an important race in preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours."

Marc Gené (Audi R18 ultra #3): "For me, this is an honor and I’m delighted to be competing for one of the most successful brands in history, Audi. And Spa is one of my favorite tracks. I immediately received a warm welcome. I’m hoping to be able to return as much as I’ve been receiving."

Marco Bonanomi (Audi R18 ultra #4): "Finally, I’m experiencing my racing debut in a sports prototype. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a year and a half. This is an important point in my career and I’m making this debut on one of my favorite tracks. I was on the grid on this track in Belgium in Formula 3000 and the World Series, and finished on the podium several times. So, I know the track well."

Oliver Jarvis (Audi R18 ultra #4): "I’ve been looking forward to my first run as an Audi factory driver in the R18 ultra at Spa for a long time. We’ve got a new car and I’m forming a new driver team with Marco. At Le Mans, we’ll be joined by Mike (Rockenfeller). It’s a good opportunity for the whole driver squad to grow together. We obviously want to battle for a podium place but as a relatively new member of the sports car family I know that I’ve still got a lot to learn."

(Source: Audi Motorsport press release)

Looking forward too see the e-trons race finally. Reliability being fair to them, Audi should walk this race again. Shame Toyota did have to pull out, but that the sensible think to do after ther crash. Have too wait till the Le-Mans 24hr test days too see the Toyota. Hope that AF Corse can continue their winning start. Roll on 5th May.

29th April 2012, 14:19
Only 2 458's for the GT class at Homestead Florida Grand AM race today.
Practice rained out, on Speed starting 1:00 est.

29th April 2012, 14:43
Only 2 458's for the GT class at Homestead Florida Grand AM race today.
Practice rained out, on Speed starting 1:00 est.

be watching that later :-)

29th April 2012, 19:23
The Aston Martin Racing Vantage makes its European circuit debut at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship​​. Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke and Adrian Fernandez will drive the car that took them to third place in the FIA World Endurance Championship in LMGTE Pro in the Sebring 12 hours in March.
After the failure of the AMR One prototype programme last year, the British team will want to do well at Spa, just a few weeks ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where a second car is on the reserve list. The car remained in the United States after the Sebring 12 hours to compete in the second round of the American Le Mans Series on the streets of Long Beach, California.

John Gaw, Aston Martin Racing Team Principal: “We’ll arrive at Spa full of confidence that we can deliver another competitive performance. We made real progress with the Vantage GTE during its first two races at Sebring and Long Beach, so we’ll target another WEC podium come race weekend. The whole team is looking forward to racing in Europe again, particularly at a circuit with so much heritage. The Vantage GTE hasn’t yet raced on a track such as Spa, what with its long straights and high-speed corners, so I’m sure we’ll learn a lot about the car throughout the weekend which will be beneficial for the rest of the season.”

Darren Turner, driver : “We’ve had two good races now with the Vantage GTE, taking strong results in both of them. The car is coming along well now and we understand more about its performance and characteristics every time we go out. Racing at Spa is usually a highlight of a driver’s season and it’s no different for me so I hope we can continue our good work there. After the two American races this one will be more akin to Le Mans, with regards to strategy and the long lap time. It will be good for the guys to readjust from the ALMS to the WEC regulations before we head off to Le Mans.”

On Thursday 3rd May, the three Aston Martin factory drivers will be on track for the first free practice session of the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

Cécile Bonardel (Source: Team press release)

29th April 2012, 20:03
Ferrari WINS GT class!! In heavy rain.
The 2nd 458 finished well down, if you saw the race, it was a deluge.

edit: Here are the results!!!!
The AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 of Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato won the GT class. Second went to the No. 42 Mazda RX-8 shared by Dane Cameron and Wayne Nonnamaker. John Edwards and Robin Liddell ended up third in class in the Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R. The No. 67 Racer’s Group Porsche and the Turner Motorsport BMW M3 rounded out the top-five in GT.

A stunning victory for this team in only their 3rd race.

30th April 2012, 18:10
Toyota ready to return to testing action after Paul Ricard accident
By Pablo Elizalde Monday, April 30th 2012, 08:59 GMT

Toyota will return to the track with its TS030 HYBRID this week after a hiatus in its testing programme following a crash.

The Japanese squad was forced to delay its planned racing debut in the Six Hours of Spa this weekend because of an accident that damaged its chassis during testing at Paul Ricard.

The setback also meant the team had to cancel seven days of testing during April.

Toyota has worked hard to produce a second car that will be completed directly before transportation to the one-day functionality test at the Magny-Cours circuit on Friday.

"I would like to express my thanks to the staff members at Toyota Motorsport GmbH who have worked so hard to deliver our second monocoque ahead of schedule," said team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita.

"Now we have a very intense testing programme to prepare for Le Mans, beginning with an initial functionality test to shakedown our systems."

Toyota's new car will make its racing debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.


2nd May 2012, 04:21
Multiple winners in the Belgian Ardennes?
30/04/201223h43 - Auto News - 6 HOURS OF SPA−FRANCORCHAMPS WEC

Of all the teams at the start of the next 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, only three drivers will be eligible for a second overall victory in a race that has increased from 1000km to 6 Hours.

Appearing in the Le Mans Series schedule since its inception in 2004, this race in the Belgian Ardennes has had different winners each year. Audi R8 won its first edition in the UK with Audi Veloqx Johnny Herbert-Jamie Davies. The first has now oratorical talents on British television and the second with no endurance program since 2009, they will repeat their feat.

In 2005, the trio John Nielsen-Casper Elgaard-Hanayari Shimoda won in the swift but fragile Zytek. Emmanuel Collard and Jean-Christophe Boullion would follow suit next year with Pescarolo Sport. They thought they could defend their chances of victory on the second slide of the Ardennes, but wham, the team of Henri Pescarolo Pescarolo become Team, announced its plan for the second round of the World Championship.

In recent years Peugeot have dominated, winning five times in Belgium since 2007, and on each occasion with a different driver crew. If Toyota had been ready its new Hybrid TS030, Alexander Wurz, who won last year, could have scored a second victory in a row, a feat that (so far) only Pagenaud, who is absent this year, and Nicolas Minassian have managed to do.

Minassian, who comes from Marseilles and is based in England, could win a third time, and his team-mate Sebastien Bourdais for the second time. The French drivers of the Dome of Pescarolo Team, will have a tough time beating Marc Gene (winner in 2008 and 2011), who found refuge at Audi after the accident of Timo Bernhard during testing at Sebring.

Strangely, the count for Audi at Spa-Francorchamps is stuck on one, but he Ingolstadt based manufacturer has good chance on improving that score this year with four prototypes entered, two with hybrid engine. Marc Gene may have an advantage over his former team-mates Nicolas Minassian and Sebastien Bourdais, but in the Belgian Ardennes, there is always the threat of rain, which may upset the order. Stephane Sarrazin, a former winner, could then shine as he did at Sebring in March, where he took third place with Honda of Starworks Motorsport entered in the LMP2 category.


2nd May 2012, 04:23
We expected Michael Waltrip to be at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, but there will be another NASCAR driver in the Belgian Ardennes: Brian Vickers. The American will join Robert Kauffman, driver and team owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, and Rui Aguas in the Ferrari 458 Italia entered by AF Corse in LMGTE Am.

Brian Vickers will not be away from NASCAR for long. He will contest eight NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2012 with the #55 Aaron’s Dream Machine. The driver 29 year old native of North Carolina, is pleased to be at Spa-Francorchamps: “Running at Spa is pretty cool. It’s such a historic place, and the high speed Eau Rouge corner sure gets your attention. It will be a challenge in the race. Le Mans will be one of the highlights of my career. This is an opportunity I never thought I would have. I can’t wait to get there and soak up the atmosphere. I’ve raced a lot of places but Le Mans will be special.”

With two wins in the bank in the premier class of NASCAR, Brian Vickers will strive to meet the objectives set by Rob Kauffman: "We have more experience and data by racing at Sebring, the Rolex 24 in Daytona, Petit Le Mans and Le Mans itself. We want to run the full 24 hours and continue on our learning curve. We’re still fairly new and just want to keep developing our program. Amato (Ferrari) and the guys at AF Corse are fantastic to work with. ”

2nd May 2012, 14:58
MB Racing will go directly to Le Mans without visiting Spa-Francorchamps
01/05/201217h06 - Auto News - 6 HOURS OF SPA−FRANCORCHAMPS WEC

Third in the 6 Hours of Castellet, the first round of the 2012 season of the European Le Mans Series, the JMB Racing team, who have an invitation to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, decided not to participate at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

The team from Monaco were counting on the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship ​​in Belgium for a final rehearsal for the 80th Le Mans 24 Hours, but they have to skip Spa because they can not field the entire crew that will be at the Le Mans. A test session will be organized before the Test Day June 3 to better prepare before going to La Sarthe.


2nd May 2012, 15:02
JRM '...to achieve the unachievable'
02/05/201210h54 - Auto News - 6 HOURS OF SPA−FRANCORCHAMPS WEC

After holding third place in their endurance racing debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring, JRM Racing has conducted three days of testing before going to the Belgian Ardennes for the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship​​.
At Sebring, a suspension problem cost fifteen laps and a podium finish, JRM Racing has demonstrated the potential of their Honda HPD ARX-03a. They go to Belgium with confidence, on a circuit familiar to the trio of drivers of the British team.

David Brabham: "After Sebring, the team have been able to catch their breath and take a good look at the data, so I am sure we will be in even better shape at Spa and I'm anticipating a strong performance. I love the circuit and have raced there in F3, F1, Touring Cars and Sportscars - and won the Spa 24-hours there in 1991."

Karun Chandhok: "I love Spa, but then again, who doesn't? I won there in GP2 and have always been pretty strong around the circuit. It normally rains at some point, but I have experience there in the wet, including last year in the F1 car. We had a good test last week and I'm learning more about the car, so I'm hoping for a good result this weekend."

Peter Dumbreck: "The fact that we almost pulled off a podium at Sebring gives me great confidence going into the Spa weekend. I have raced there many times before in a variety of different cars, but nothing quite as fast as the JRM HPD LMP1, so I intend to use my circuit knowledge to get up to speed quickly."

Nigel Stepney (Team Manager and Head of Engineering): "This time we are at a circuit that all of us know, having raced there in different formulas, so we go to Spa better prepared. However, the circuit seems to have its own weather system, when it can go from bright sunshine one-minute, to pouring with rain the next."

James Rumsey (Team Principal): "Our performance at Sebring proved that we have the pace to get to the podium. All three of our drivers have raced at Spa before and say it's one of their favourite tracks. So if we can bring all of these elements together, then we should be in line for a good result. Our target is the same as always - to achieve the unachievable!"

The start of the WEC 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps will be on Saturday 5th May at 14h30 (local time).

(from JRM Racing press release)

2nd May 2012, 15:05
Porsche enters the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship with ​​optimism after a strong victory for Team Felbermayr-Proton in LM GTE Am at the 12 Hours of Sebring, coupled with second place for the team's second car in LM GTE Pro.

The German marque go to a circuit that was the scene of one of the fastest runs of the history of endurance racing, the 1971 1000 km of Spa 1971, was won by Pedro Rodriguez and Jackie Oliver in a Porsche 917 at 249 km/h average speed.

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport: “The new World Endurance Championship began very well in Sebring for our Felbermayr-Proton team. The Spa-Francorchamps race track is closely tied to historic Porsche endurance racing successes. It’s a very demanding challenge that our works drivers Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz have already mastered extremely well with class victories in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the past years.”

Marc Lieb: “Aside from the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the Spa circuit is my absolute favourite. The track is flowing and very challenging, not to mention the fantastic corners. It’s simply great fun to drive the 911 GT3 RSR there. We made a great start to the season in Sebring and now we want to continue in the same vein. I’m feeling very confident that we’ll manage it.”

Richard Lietz: “I really like the circuit and Marc is one of the Spa specialists, so for that reason alone I’m feeling very optimistic about this race. We know we can be fast with the new 911 GT3 RSR. Our second place in Sebring has put us in a good position for the rest of the season. The race in Spa runs over six hours, in Sebring we led for six hours – perhaps that’s a good omen.”

As at Sebring, Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz will drive the Felbermayr-Proton Porsche in LM GTE Pro (#77). Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti, winners in LM GTE Am in Florida, will be in the #88.


8th May 2012, 16:59

08/05/2012 - 12h06

A trouble free shakedown of the new chassis of the Toyota TS030 HYBRID was completed on the Magny-Cours circuit. Alexander Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre took turns at the wheel of the prototype that has had aerodynamic developments and improvements to the hybrid system, in preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours on the 16th and 17th June, where the Japanese car will make its racing debut.
The two drivers covered 81 problem-free laps, and that will boost the confidence of the team. Remember that Toyota is entered for the LMP Manufacturer's Title in the FIA World Endurance Championship, that counts the 6 best results at the end of the season.

Dave Davies (Source: Toyota Racing press release)

11th May 2012, 19:38

11/05/2012 - 10h56

Hiroaki Ishiura has given up his seat in the upcoming Le Mans 24 hours in the Totyota TS030 #8 for medical reasons. During the first tests of the TS030 Hybrid, Hiroaki experienced discomfort in his back due to the higher g-forces experienced in the hybrid prototype, and took the decision to withdraw from the team in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours and concentrate on regaining full fitness ahead of the 2013 season.

Hiroaki Ishiura: “This was an extremely difficult decision to take because racing at Le Mans is my dream, but my physical condition has to be the priority. I did not feel I was in the right condition to race an LM P1 car at Le Mans this year but I will focus on recovering as I really want to drive for TOYOTA Racing next year. For now I will focus my energy entirely on Super GT and the Nürburgring 24 Hours, whilst supporting TOYOTA Racing from a distance.”

The Formula Nippon driver with the team Kygnus Sunoco and in Super GT 500 with Lexus, will have to wait another year to realize his dream and Toyota must now find a replacement with only one month before Test Day for the 24 Hours Le Mans to be held on June 3. He was identified as nominated driver for Toyota, so the manufacturer will make a written request which must be substantiated and accepted by the Sports Committee, according to rule 43 of the regulations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012.

Dave Davies (Quote from Toyota Racing press release)

11th May 2012, 19:38
Anthony Davidson completes first test with Toyota's TS030 hybrid Le Mans racer
By Glenn Freeman Friday, May 11th 2012, 09:21 GMT

Anthony Davidson had his first test of Toyota's TS030 hybrid Le Mans racer at Aragon this week.

The former Peugeot driver joined team-mates Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi at the three day test, which concluded with an endurance simulation on Thursday.

"For my first time at the wheel of the TS030 HYBRID, I felt confident very quickly," said Davidson. "I really enjoyed my first experience with the Hybrid technology. The start procedure, with only the electric motor, is quite amazing.

"The car is good, with a lot of grip and it performs well in the slow corner: It's very agile. This is the first step with our new aero package and I think we have a strong potential."

The test gave Toyota a chance to further evaluate its latest specification aerodynamic package, while it also focused on tyre testing and practicing pitstops in race conditions.

Toyota Motorsport technical director Pascal Vasselon said: "Aragon is representative of Le Mans in terms of track layout, asphalt characteristics and weather conditions. Therefore, we have been able to evaluate several options on our new bodywork and develop it with the 24 Hours in mind.

"Adding to that, we continue our work on the assessment of Michelin's tyre range to ensure we can cover all kinds of temperature and track conditions."

Vasselon added that the test did not pass without problems, as Toyota makes up for track time lost when its first test car was damaged beyond repair last month.

"The endurance test has not been as smooth as expected," he said. "We had a couple of issues, but we fixed them to achieve a reasonable mileage.

"Step by step, we are close to having a car capable to do a 24-hour race. After such a long time without being on track, I am pleased to see that both team and car have made a real step forward."

Toyota added that it had been able to use this week's test to finalise the specifications of its THS-R hybrid powertrain ahead of Le Mans.


11th May 2012, 20:31
Speed is reporting that legendary car mft, driver and team owner Carroll Shelby passed today.
He and Enzo used to have the greatest battles in GT. RIP CS.

12th May 2012, 13:32
Speed is reporting that legendary car mft, driver and team owner Carroll Shelby passed today.
He and Enzo used to have the greatest battles in GT. RIP CS.

sad news. RIP Carrol Shelby

12th May 2012, 19:37
Remembering Carroll Shelby
The ALMS paddock reflects on the passing of an American icon
The loss of Carroll Shelby has the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón reminiscing about its favorite Shelby memories, cars and races. The iconic sports car designer and winner of the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans had a profound impact on many within the ALMS community. His impact on sports cars and sports car racing in America is unquestionable.

Ed Brown, Extreme Speed Motorsports Driver
"It's sad that one of the most iconic guys in American muscle car manufacturing has passed away. I own a 1963 Cobra that he built, and he signed it for me. It's a diabolical street car, but one cool machine with Patrón all over it. He'll be missed."

Rob Dyson, Dyson Racing Team Owner
"I own a 289 Shelby Cobra that was built in 1965, and at one time my younger brother and I owned a Cobra Daytona Coupe. I got to know Shelby at a car show. He said, 'You have a 289 and a Coupe? You're probably the only person I know that owns both.' The 289 Cobra Roadster that I have is completely stock. He was so impressed that I sent him pictures, and he actually replied. I still have the letters.

"There is one thing about Carroll Shelby that I think is more interesting than anything ? his will to live, which is encompassed by the fact that he had not just one heart transplant, but two. He had several other major operations and survived them. This guy survived all of that. That shows a level of spirit and internal fortitude that is, to my knowledge, unprecedented.

"He had a remarkable reputation for being a winner. The Ford GT program was failing, and as soon as they turned it over to Carroll Shelby, they were winning. He was a racer. He wasn't a bureaucrat. He wasn't a corporate guy. He was unconventional. He had a racer mentality, which was, 'We get what we've got to get to get the job done.'''

Alex Job, Alex Job Racing Team Owner
"I never met Carroll but have enormous respect for him. I've always been a fan of the Cobras. That time, the '60s and beginning of the '70s, was the golden era for endurance racing. The Cobra program at that time was an incredible program that brought success and a lot of recognition to an American manufacturer. In the American sports car world, you can't get any more of an icon than him. He was a driver himself, a very successful driver, before he started building race cars. I'm very sad to hear he's passed.

"Carroll has had his health challenges through the years, with heart transplants and what not; but, boy, he always seemed to bounce back from it."

Seth Neiman, Flying Lizard Motorsports Team Owner and Driver
"The passing of Carroll Shelby marks the end of a spectacular era. There is no American male older than 20 who didn't dream of Shelby Cobras. It's a loss, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude."

Greg Pickett, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Team Owner
"It is amazing to think that Carroll Shelby had his business for 50 years. He's one of the great stories of motorsports. I met him, maybe 20 years ago. I've thought that I want to add some of his cars to my collection. They're on my radar. He was a huge part of America entering international sports car racing in a big way, which, being one of the main guys in the U.S. in that, is a tradition that I'll try to live up to. Those will be very big shoes, or rather, big boots to fill."

12th May 2012, 19:39
Monterey Pole Position for Graf, Muscle Milk
Turner delivers GT pole for Aston Martin Racing
A home race for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will see the team start on pole position. Klaus Graf was the fastest qualifier for the American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón on Friday with a lap of 1:13.573 (109.508 mph) in his Honda Performance Development ARX-03a prototype.

He and Lucas Luhr will try to deliver Muscle Milk its first victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. Graf out-qualified Dyson Racing’s Guy Smith by 1.785 seconds. It was a welcomed sight for the team based out of Benecia, Calif., less than three hours to the north of Monterey.

“We have not been on pole here as a team, but the HPD cars have always done well here,” Graf said. “We've improved the car in each session. That is the goal no matter if there are two cars or 10 cars in the class. We have also worked with Michelin in testing to bring our street soft tire from Long Beach (a Muscle Milk victory) and make it work here. It says a lot about how well they make tires.”

The Muscle Milk and Dyson squads enter the race tied for the P1 championship lead; Dyson won at Sebring and Muscle Milk last month in Long Beach. For the Mazda Raceway round, the teams are taking different approaches when it comes to the driving lineup.

While Graf and Luhr go at it alone, Smith is set to team with Chris Dyson and Johnny Mowlem in the Dyson Lola-Mazda coupe.

“Greg (Pickett, team owner) gave us the chance to drive with two drivers. It gives us maximum track time to dial in the car. Certainly it’s physically demanding, but we've done it before. The pace will be close and we're going to be pushing the whole time. You don't want to get out of the rhythm, but you can beat yourself here with all the cars in different classes.

Level 5 Motorsports’ Christophe Bouchut won his second straight Mazda Raceway P2 pole position, this time in an HPD ARX-03b. The Frenchman posted a lap of 1:15.846 (106.226 mph) to qualify third overall on the grid. This week he is teaming with Scott Tucker and Franck Montagny.

Level 5, winner in class here in 2011, swept the class’ front row thanks to Montagny’s lap of 1:15.935 in a second Level 5 HPD.

“We are very competitive and reliable, so we're going to push and see where we go,” Bouchut said. “We have made some improvements over the previous car (an HPD ARX-01g) with grip and some power. It is not a big gap, but it has certainly gotten better.”

Bouchut and Tucker are 2-for-2 this year in P2 having won at Sebring and Long Beach to open the season. The class has grown this year in quantity and quality including the likes of Conquest Endurance, Black Swan Racing, Dempsey Racing and Project Libra.

The Dempsey squad qualified third in class in its ALMS P2 debut. Jonny Cocker set a lap of 1:17.494 (103.967 mph) in the Lola-Judd he drives with Hollywood star and team co-owner Patrick Dempsey and team co-principal Joe Foster.

“More competition than last year makes this more special to get the pole position,” Bouchut said. “It was interesting to fight between us (Bouchut and Montagny). We each had to make no mistakes for pole. At the end I was just faster.”

A year after winning overall in a prototype, Aston Martin Racing took the GT pole following a stunning run by Darren Turner. The Briton set a lap of 1:22.229 (97.980 mph) in his Aston Martin Vantage to beat out Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner by 0.432 seconds.

Turner last won an ALMS pole at Lime Rock Park in 2006 – also in an Aston Martin. The British marque was a GT-class winner at Mazda Raceway in 2006.

“We're dialing it in,” Turner said. “The Vantage is good on medium-speed corners, so there are four or five good corners for us here. The slow ones we're not so good at, but the rest we're strong. The car hooked up. I kept it off the sandy bits and kept it clean.”

BMW Team RLL’s Jörg Müller qualified third with a lap of 1:22.905 (97.181 mph). As is regularly the case, the gap in GT was extremely thin. The eight quickest cars were within 0.713 seconds; the interval from third to eighth was 0.037 seconds.

This is the second race on as many continents in as many weeks for the Aston Martin squad. The team led GT early in the FIA World Endurance Championship round at Spa last weekend only to bow out because of a gearbox issue. That made Friday’s performance that much more impressive.

“The guys put (the car) on the plane and had to change things out when we got here, but we also have the hardest working team on the pit lane,” Turner said. “We're on a steep learning curve with the car. We're just preparing for Le Mans and trying to get the car to be competitive.”

Bruno Junqueira won his second Prototype Challenge pole of the season at one of his favorite tracks. The Brazilian set a lap of 1:17.867 (103.469 mph) in RSR Racing’s ORECA FLM09 that he drives with Tomy Drissi and Roberto Gonzalez.

“Junky” has a deep level of appreciation for Mazda Raceway as evidenced by two runner-up finishes in his Champ Car career.

“The RSR team is doing a good job in our first year with the car,” Junqueira said. “We had some problems yesterday but they fixed it. Today in the last 30 minutes of the practice session, the car was really good. We didn't touch much of the car for qualifying. It was just well-prepared.”

Junqueira was 0.225 seconds clear of CORE autosport newcomer Tom Kimber-Smith, who is making his first start at Mazda Raceway; he partners with class championship leader Alex Popow. Memo Gidley was third for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing at 1:18.114 (103.142 mph).

Junqueira set the fastest race lap in the most recent ALMS round at Long Beach and gave the RSR team a much-needed lift early in its rookie PC season.

“We had the speed in the first six hours of Sebring and the fastest race lap of Long Beach. I hope by starting on the pole for this six-hour race will keep the morale up for the team,” Junqueira said. “I am enjoying this so much. Last year was my first year doing sports cars, but we didn’t have the fastest and most competitive car. Now having a car that is competitive is really fun. I didn't pay attention much to the PC cars last year and now we have eight cars that are 0.9 seconds from each other.”

Damien Faulkner took the GT Challenge pole for Green Hornet Racing – his first of the year and second of his ALMS career. The Irishman set a best lap of 1:27.495 (92.083 mph) in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup he shares this weekend with Peter LeSaffre and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen. A winner in the last round at Long Beach with LeSaffre, Faulkner was 0.175 seconds quicker than TRG’s Nick Tandy.

A pole run for Green Hornet seemed unlikely early as the Porsche experienced what Faulkner called a “fuel surge”.

“It was silly, and something just weird,” he said. “I had to abort on what would have been on the fastest lap of the run. I was upset about the problem. It put me in a different mode, and I'm glad my mom wasn't on the radio. I just had to knuckle down and do the job I’m here to do – go fast and get results.”

Jeroen Bleekemolen was only 0.003 seconds behind Tandy, putting the top three cars within 0.178 seconds.

“It was a very, very good lap. It worked out,” Faulkner said. “To get the pole for Green Hornet was fantastic. They are the hardest working team on the pit lane.”

The American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón is set for 1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 12, from the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. ESPN2 airs the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 13. Live coverage is available starting at 4:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Monterey round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.

Visit ALMS.com for current and future event information including tickets and area accommodations. Follow the Series on Twitter (@almsnotes, #MRLS), Facebook and the official YouTube channel.

American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif.
Friday’s qualifying
1. Lucas Luhr, Germany (GER); Klaus Graf, Germany (GER); HPD ARX-03a Honda (P1), 1:13.573, 109.508
2. Guy Smith, Beverley, UK (ENG); Chris Dyson, Pleasant Valley, NY (USA); Johnny Mowlem, England (ENG); Lola B12/60 Mazda (P1), 1:15.358, 106.914
3. Scott Tucker (US); Christophe Bouchut, France (FRA); Franck Montagny, Brignoles France (FRA); HPD ARX-03b Honda (P2), 1:15.846, 106.226
4. Luis Diaz, Mexico (MEX); Scott Tucker (US); Franck Montagny, Brignoles France (FRA); HPD ARX-03b Honda (P2), 1:15.935, 106.101
5. Patrick Dempsey (USA); Joe Foster, Lawrenceville, GA (USA); Jonny Cocker, UK (UK); Lola B12/87-Judd BMW V8 (P2), 1:17.494, 103.967
6. Tomy Drissi, Hollywood, CA (USA); Bruno Junqueira (BRA); Roberto Gonzalez (MEX); Oreca FLM09 (PC), 1:17.867, 103.469
7. Alex Papow (VEN); Tom Kimber-Smith, England (ENG); Oreca FLM09 (PC), 1:18.092, 103.171
8. Michael Guasch, Palo Alto, CA (USA); Memo Gidley, San Rafael, CA (USA); Archie Hamilton, Hampshire, UK (UK); Oreca FLM09 (PC), 1:18.114, 103.142
9. Ken Dobson, Carmel Valley, CA (US); Butch Leitzinger, State College, PA (USA); Oreca FLM09 (PC), 1:18.396, 102.771
10. Jon Bennett (USA); Colin Braun, Ovalo, TX (USA); Oreca FLM09 (PC), 1:18.423, 102.735
11. Duncan Ende, Los Angeles (USA); Henri Richard (FRA); Ryan Lewis, UK (ENG); Oreca FLM09 (PC), 1:18.466, 102.679
12. Lucas Downs, North Mankoto, MN (USA); Kyle Marcelli (CAN); Dean Stirling, England (ENG); Oreca FLM09 (PC), 1:18.500, 102.634
13. Anthony Nicolosi, Brooklyn, NY (US); Ricardo Vera (PR); Oreca FLM09 (PC), 1:18.725, 102.341
14. Andrew Prendeville, Chatham, NJ (USA); Rusty Mitchell, Midland, TX (US); Duarte Felix de Costa, Cascias PT (PT); Radical SR10/Rousch Yates (P2), 1:21.539, 98.809
15. Chapman Ducote, Miami, FL (USA); Tony Burgess, Canada (CAN); Antonio Downs, Minneapolis, MN (USA); Oreca FLM09 (PC), 1:21.645, 98.681
16. Darren Turner (GBR); Adrian Fernandez (MEX); Stefan Mucke, Germany (GER); Aston Martin Vantage (GT), 1:22.229, 97.980
17. Tom Milner, Leesburg, VA (USA); Oliver Gavin (GBR); Corvette C6-ZR1 (GT), 1:22.661, 97.468
18. Jorg Muller, Germany (DUE); Bill Auberlen, Hermosa Beach, CA (USA); BMW E92 M3 (GT), 1:22.905, 97.181
19. Patrick Long, Oak Park, CA (USA); Jorg Bergmeister (DEU); Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT), 1:22.919, 97.165
20. Antonio Garcia (ESP); Jan Magnussen (DEN); Corvette C6-ZR1 (GT), 1:22.919, 97.165
21. Johannes van Overbeek, San Francisco, CA (USA); Scott Sharp, Jupiter, FL (USA); Ferrari F458 Italia (GT), 1:22.923, 97.160
22. Joey Hand, Sacramento, CA (USA); Dirk Mueller (DEU); BMW E92 M3 (GT), 1:22.939, 97.141
23. Ed Brown, Las Vegas, NV (USA); Guy Cosmo, Long Island, NY; Ferrari F458 Italia (GT), 1:22.942, 97.138
24. Bryan Sellers, Centerville, OH (USA); Wolf Henzler (DEU); Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT), 1:23.356, 96.655
25. Bryce Miller, Hoboken, NJ (USA); Sascha Maassen (DEU); Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT), 1:23.448, 96.549
26. Bill Sweedler, Westport, CT (USA); Townsend Bell, Santa Monica, CA (USA); Lotus Evora/Cosworth (GT), 1:24.473, 95.377
27. Seth Neiman, Burlingame, CA (USA); Marco Holzer (AUT); Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT), 1:26.787, 92.834
28. Peter Lesaffre, Rye, NH (USA); Damien Faulkner (IRE); Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, Haarlem, NL (NL); Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (GTC), 1:27.495, 92.083
29. Tracy Krohn, Houston, TX (USA); Nick Tandy (GBR); Mike Hedlund, Woodside, CA (USA); Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (GTC), 1:27.670, 91.899
30. Emilio Di Guida (VE); Joeren Bleekemolen, Netherlands (NED); Brett Curtis, Valencia, CA (USA); Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (GTC), 1:27.673, 91.896
31. Chris Cumming, Vancouver, BC (CAN); Matthew Marsh, Welwyn, UK (UK); Martin Ragginger, Austria (AUT); Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (GTC), 1:28.155, 91.394
32. Michael Aventatti (USA); Bob Faieta, Tujunga, CA (USA); Cort Wagner, Pacific Palisades, CA (USA); Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (GTC), 1:28.618, 90.916
33. Cooper MacNeil (USA); Anthony Lazzaro, Acworth, GA (USA); Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (GTC), 1:28.641, 90.892
34. Alex Welch (USA); James Sofronas, Newport Beach, CA (USA); Rene Villeneuve, Woodland Hills, CA (USA); Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (GTC), 1:29.298, 90.224
35. David Heinemeier Hansson (USA); Martin Plowman, Indianapolis, IN (USA); Antonio Pizzonia, Manaus BR (BR); Morgan/Nissan (P2), No Time, 0

12th May 2012, 20:19
race stream link...


13th May 2012, 14:02
What a Day in Monterey: Corvette Wins as GT Steals Show
Graf, Luhr win overall for second straight ALMS race
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing cruised to its second straight victory in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón on Friday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. But another thrilling GT battle stole the show as Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner also took their second consecutive class win.

The last 90 minutes of the GT race undoubtedly was the highlight of the American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón. Seven cars in the class were within two seconds in the closing hour including the two Corvettes, BMW Team RLL’s two BMW M3s and Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs from Flying Lizard Motorsports and Team Falken Tire.

Gavin made what turned out to be the winning pass in his Corvette C6.R on Team Falken Tire’s Wolf Henzler with a little less than an hour left at the final turn. But the drama carried on for the next 60 minutes. Bill Auberlen in the No. 55 BMW M3 GT looked set to challenge Gavin for the race win before Jan Magnussen in the sister Corvette muscled his way past the BMW with less than 15 minutes to go.

“It was so tight in our class. You could never let off and think 'I'm alright now,’” Gavin said. “I had a few close calls in the pitlane, and then Wolf passed me for the lead. He was hard but fair, and he gave me just enough room to get by at the last turn. I managed to sneak by a lot of people today, and we managed to catch all the breaks. It was a great race for me today.”

Two rare less-than-stellar pit stops seemed to take the No. 4 Corvette out of contention past the halfway point. First there was a refueling issue that sent the car from first to seventh under caution, and then the team couldn’t get the left-rear tire changed on another stop. It was a sickening feeling, Milner admitted but hope always remained.

“It was frustrating, but the car really was one of the best race cars I've ever had,” Milner said. “I knew it would be tough to make it back to the front there. From first on back to sixth, the cars were so competitive. Passing is pretty difficult and I knew I had to bide my time, and be careful in many situations. I had a few close calls and a little contact, but beyond that we got up to third or fourth, gave it over to Oliver and he took it to the finish. “

Magnussen and Antonio Garcia wrapped up the Corvette 1-2 after Magnussen’s daring pass. Their No. 3 Corvette also won the GT portion of the Michelin Green X Challenge due to its superior efficiency and emissions control compared to the rest of the GT cars.

Auberlen and Jörg Müller placed third in the GT standings.

At the front of the field, Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr dominated in their Honda Performance Development ARX-03a prototype. The duo trailed for less than a quarter of the opening lap after a strong start at the green flag by Dyson Racing. Graf regained the advantage at the third turn – he claimed Chris Dyson jumped the start – and the Muscle Milk car lapped the field within the first two hours.

“We had to keep pushing to keep our rhythm,” Graf said. “We did competitive laps; that’s what we wanted to do. It is the safest way to drive. If you go away from the path it is dangerous. We have to stay predictable in traffic too, so we can't stray too much. You always have close calls, and there is no way to avoid that. Some guys don't see you and that is the way it is. You have to look ahead and pay close attention.”

The Muscle Milk HPD ran flawless over the course of the race – a trait that carried over the entire weekend. It was quickest in every practice session, Graf was the fastest qualifier, and Luhr set the fastest race lap.

Dyson’s trio of Chris Dyson, Guy Smith and Johnny Mowlem placed third. The Muscle Milk duo moved into the P1 championship lead with the victory – a luxury the Pickett squad has never enjoyed in the ALMS.

“It was a good race for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing especially now that we have two wins in California in front of our home crowd,” Luhr said. “It was very important for the whole team and our motivation. It was very nice. There were so many friends and family of the Picketts here to support us. We can show them two back-to-back victories. I'm very happy Klaus did a very good job in the beginning, and we had a very good lead early. We had to keep our focus, stay out of trouble and bring it home. That's what we did.”

The Muscle Milk car also won the prototype portion of the Michelin Green X Challenge for the second consecutive race. The HPD swept all three categories – clean, fast and efficient.

Level 5 Motorsports is three-for-three on the season in P2 following a victory for Franck Montagny, Scott Tucker and Luis Diaz. Their HPD ARX-03b overcame a couple of penalties in pitlane and a wild day for each of the three cars that led the class.

The winning Level 5 P2 car finished second overall.

“The team is very prepared to fight for overall wins,” Diaz said. “The P1s are a bit quicker in the straights to be fighting with them. Our goal is to develop race by race. The aero of this car is great, you can roll such a great speed in the corners. I think also the mechanical side of the car is great. It’s just an awesome car.”

The P2-leading No. 055 crashed out just after it lost the lead – ironically with Montagny driving that car as well – and Conquest Racing suffered a late-race mechanical issue that took it out of contention. Its Morgan-Nissan driven by Martin Plowman, David Heinemeier Hansson and Antonio Pizzonia placed second in class.

“I was not so happy,” Montagny said of his incident with the JDX Racing GT Challenge Porsche. “Especially for a team like this, you don't feel good when things like that happen. But the team worked hard and put it back together and got it back on the track. They still finished P3 so they are happy. But I am a race car driver and I had to do my job.”

“On the radio I knew Franck was behind me, and then I realized he wasn't anymore,” Tucker said. “I didn't really know what had happened. It looked really bad but the team did a great job putting it back together. Then Luis drove the winning car splendidly and we ended up overall having a good day.”

Dempsey Racing’s trio of Hollywood star and team owner Patrick Dempsey, team co-principal Joe Foster and Jonny Cocker placed fourth in the team’s ALMS P2 debut with their Lola-Judd.

CORE autosport won for the third straight Prototype Challenge race as well, but this time Colin Braun and Jon Bennett were class victors in the No. 05 ORECA FLM09 of this time around. Braun passed RSR Racing’s Bruno Junqueira on the next-to-last lap as the two cars split a GT Challenge car on the last part of the lap.

“The last few laps were exciting. I was racing Bruno, and I had to push really hard,” Braun said. “I knew I had to set him up in traffic – that was going to be the only way I could get by. He went one way, and I went the other and it turned out right for me. We were two laps down at one point, but with race strategy and a great stint by Jon we were right there in position.”

The victory was the first in the ALMS for both Braun and team owner Bennett. The CORE squad has finished on the PC podium in each of the season’s three events.

“I’m fairly speechless to be honest. It’s been a long time getting here,” Bennett said. “I'm honored and proud to be part of CORE autosport. It's been spectacular in the short time we've been together. I was impressed with Colin; we did some karting together early in the year, and I knew it would be a great season. He put on the move of the race in the last few laps for the win. It was awesome.”

Junqueira, Tomy Drissi and Roberto Gonzalez ended second. The other CORE entry of Alex Popow and Tom Kimber-Smith placed third. The top three cars were within 1.725 seconds.

Jeroen Bleekemolen drove storming stints to help give TRG its first GT Challenge victory of the season. The 2010 class co-champion (as part of Black Swan Racing) beat GMG Racing’s James Sofronas by 12 seconds at the finish. Bleekemolen drove the TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with Bret Curtis and Emilio Di Guida.

“This is getting harder and harder to win,” admitted Bleekemolen, who drove for TRG after Black Swan didn’t enter its P2 Lola-Honda for the race. “You are getting a lot more cars out there with experience and a lot of great drivers. We didn't have a lot of mistakes from the drivers and the teams, so it was just a good win.”

The TRG entry worked its way up from seventh in class near the start of the race and into podium position near the three-hour mark. A steady and consistent climb was the goal, Curtis said.

“I think we just drove a really hard race, but conservative,” he said. “The thing about (team owner) Kevin Buckler and TRG is he wants you to push, but he also wants you to pace the car. The strategy was really good. Everyone was putting in solid laps, and the crew did a super-super job. It was the strategy from the get-go. Some teams might have been struggling but we kept on and took the win.”

Sofronas, Alex Welch and Rene Villineuve were five seconds ahead of Competition Motorsports’ trio of Bob Faieta, Michael Avenatti and Cort Wagner.

The focus of sports car racing now turns to the 24 Hours of Le Mans where select ALMS teams compete on June 16-17 at the famed 8.3-mile French circuit in the world’s greatest auto race.

The American Le Mans presented by Tequila Patrón returns to action at Lime Rock Park for the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix on Saturday, July 7. The two-hour, 45-minute race is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET from the 1.5-mile, 10-turn Lime Rock Park circuit. ESPN2 airs the race the same day at 4 p.m. ET. Live coverage is available starting at 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Lime Rock round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.

Visit ALMS.com for current and future event information including tickets and area accommodations. Follow the Series on Twitter, Facebook and the official YouTube channel.

American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif.
Saturday’s results
1. (1) Klaus Graf, Germany; Lucas Luhr, Germany; HPD ARX-03a Honda (1, P1), 242.
2. (4) Luis Diaz, Mexico; Scott Tucker; Franck Montagny, Brignoles France; HPD ARX-03b Honda (2, P2), 239.
3. (10) Colin Braun, Ovalo, TX; Jon Bennett; Oreca FLM09 (3, PC), 236.
4. (6) Roberto Gonzalez; Tomy Drissi, Hollywood, CA; Bruno Junqueira; Oreca FLM09 (4, PC), 236.
5. (7) Tom Kimber-Smith, England; Alex Papow; Oreca FLM09 (5, PC), 236.
6. (8) Michael Guasch, Palo Alto, CA; Memo Gidley, San Rafael, CA; Archie Hamilton, Hampshire, UK; Oreca FLM09 (6, PC), 236.
7. (12) Lucas Downs, North Mankoto, MN; Kyle Marcelli; Dean Stirling, England; Oreca FLM09 (7, PC), 234.
8. (9) Butch Leitzinger, State College, PA; Ken Dobson, Carmel Valley, CA; Oreca FLM09 (8, PC), 232.
9. (17) Oliver Gavin; Tom Milner, Leesburg, VA; Corvette C6-ZR1 (1, GT), 232.
10. (20) Jan Magnussen; Antonio Garcia; Corvette C6-ZR1 (2, GT), 232.
11. (18) Jorg Muller, Germany; Bill Auberlen, Hermosa Beach, CA; BMW E92 M3 (3, GT), 232.
12. (22) Dirk Mueller; Joey Hand, Sacramento, CA; BMW E92 M3 (4, GT), 232.
13. (21) Scott Sharp, Jupiter, FL; Johannes van Overbeek, San Francisco, CA; Ferrari F458 Italia (5, GT), 232.
14. (19) Patrick Long, Oak Park, CA; Jorg Bergmeister; Richard Lietz, Ybbsitz; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (6, GT), 232.
15. (24) Bryan Sellers, Centerville, OH; Wolf Henzler; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (7, GT), 232.
16. (11) Ryan Lewis, UK; Duncan Ende, Los Angeles; Henri Richard; Oreca FLM09 (8, PC), 231.
17. (16) Stefan Mucke, Germany; Darren Turner; Adrian Fernandez; Aston Martin Vantage (9, GT), 230.
18. (27) Marco Holzer; Seth Neiman, Burlingame, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (10, GT), 230.
19. (25) Sascha Maassen; Bryce Miller, Hoboken, NJ; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (11, GT), 229.
20. (35) David Heinemeier Hansson; Martin Plowman, Indianapolis, IN; Antonio Pizzonia, Manaus BR; Morgan/Nissan (12, P2), 227.
21. (13) Anthony Nicolosi, Brooklyn, NY; Ricardo Vera; Oreca FLM09 (13, PC), 225.
22. (23) Guy Cosmo, Long Island, NY; Ed Brown, Las Vegas, NV; Ferrari F458 Italia (14, GT), 224.
23. (2) Chris Dyson, Pleasant Valley, NY; Johnny Mowlem, England; Guy Smith, Beverley, UK; Lola B12/60 Mazda (15, P1), 222.
24. (30) Emilio Di Guida; Joeren Bleekemolen, Netherlands; Brett Curtis, Valencia, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (1, GTC), 219.
25. (34) James Sofronas, Newport Beach, CA; Rene Villeneuve, Woodland Hills, CA; Alex Welch; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (2, GTC), 219.
26. (32) Michael Aventatti; Bob Faieta, Tujunga, CA; Cort Wagner, Pacific Palisades, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (3, GTC), 219.
27. (33) Anthony Lazzaro, Acworth, GA; Cooper MacNeil; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (4, GTC), 216.
28. (28) Damien Faulkner; Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, Haarlem, NL; Peter Lesaffre, Rye, NH; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (5, GTC), 211.
29. (3) Scott Tucker; Christophe Bouchut, France; Franck Montagny, Brignoles France; HPD ARX-03b Honda (6, P2), 207.
30. (5) Joe Foster, Lawrenceville, GA; Jonny Cocker, UK; Patrick Dempsey; Lola B12/87-Judd BMW V8 (7, P2), 202.
31. (14) Andrew Prendeville, Chatham, NJ; Rusty Mitchell, Midland, TX; Duarte Felix de Costa, Cascias PT; Radical SR10/Rousch Yates (8, P2), 185.
32. (29) Nick Tandy; Mike Hedlund, Woodside, CA; Tracy Krohn, Houston, TX; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (9, GTC), 178.
33. (31) Martin Ragginger, Austria; Chris Cumming, Vancouver, BC; Matthew Marsh, Welwyn, UK; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (10, GTC), 119.
34. (15) Tony Burgess, Canada; Antonio Downs, Minneapolis, MN; Chapman Ducote, Miami, FL; Oreca FLM09 (11, PC), 100.
35. (26) Townsend Bell, Santa Monica, CA; Bill Sweedler, Westport, CT; Lotus Evora/Cosworth (16, GT), 67.

13th May 2012, 14:03
as always, the GT battle was intense. Worth the late night to watch it.

13th May 2012, 17:36
Thx for the updates Rob, as always, great job and apptd!

13th May 2012, 20:27
Rolex New Jersey..2nd win in a row for the 458. Intense battle, #1 Ferrari 458 2# Camaro 3#Porsche.
Great battle, seconds apart. I think there are only 2 458's in the Rolex, so the field is huge and
the racing intense.
Great win for Ferrari!!!:thumb

16th May 2012, 09:00

14/05/2012 - 23h45

Each year, the administrative and technical inspection process (scrutineering) for 24 Hours of Le Mans attracts a large crowd who have the chance to get near the cars and drivers. Refurbishment of the Place des Jacobins is ongoing, so it will be the Place de la Republique that will welcome this year's competitors to the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship​​, as announced by the ACO.
Since the first race in 1923, the location of scrutineering has moved around. First in the center of Le Mans, then inside the circuit in the 60s and early 70s. In 1976 it returned to the city centre, at the "Quinconce des Jacobins", as it had been in the 50s, then in the past two years it has gone up a level to the Place des Jacobins.

The schedule of Scrutineering 2010 and 2011 was acclaimed by spectators at Le Mans, it will be renewed for the 80th edition. The first competitor will open the proceedings on Sunday, 10th June at 14:30 for a busy afternoon ending at 19:00. The process will continue on Monday, 11th June from 10:00 to 18:00.

16th May 2012, 09:02
oh no this isnt sounding good....

A Statement From The Lola Group Board

This just issued - Reaction later

Lola Cars International Ltd was formed in 1958. In recent years, significant investment has been made in technology and capability in the motorsports business as well as diversifying and creating Lola Composites Limited, serving the defence, aerospace, communications, renewable energy, automotive and motorsports markets.

The latest economic downturn and the decision of HMRC not to pay ongoing R&D tax credits has caused a serious cashflow problem for the businesses. It is with enormous regret that a decision has been taken to issue Notices of intention to appoint an Administrator to Lola Cars International Limited and Lola Composites Limited. This step allows the board to continue its discussions with possible investors and prospective purchasers with a view to securing the best outcome for the staff, creditors and customers of both businesses.

The Lola board have declined to make further comment until Monday 21st May.

18th May 2012, 03:34
This would be a shame. Lola has been around as long as I can remember. They are like a
staple name in the history of motorsport.

Sauber also gave 1/3rd of his co to someone, although I dont think its cash related.

19th May 2012, 13:46
if anyone interested, its the Nurburgring 24hr, heres links...


19th May 2012, 13:51
Internationally famous for its 24-hour race, the Le Mans has developed an economy orientated twards the motor car, it was here that the first road going steam carriage “l’Obéissante” was manufactured in 1873 by Amédée Bollée. In addition to the Renault factory, established in 1936, a cluster of sub-contractors and companies related to the motor car and motor sport has developed, including the “Technoparc”, the home of teams such as OAK Racing and Pescarolo Team

With a population of about 140,000 people, Le Mans has the 20th most highest populated of French cities. After a period of growth, the town began to decline with de-industrialization, but that trend reversed, and the arrival of the TGV (high speed train) and the autoroute, helped position Le Mans as the hub between the UK and Spain, enhancing its attractiveness to industry. The British, who are lovers of beautiful cars and sports cars in particular, travel to the city in large numbers during the week of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The automotive sector is the second largest employer (after agriculture and food), in the Le Mans region. Some companies are grouped within the Technoparc that is located within the 24 hours circuit. These include the l’Institut Automobile du Mans, an association responsible for promoting and developing automobile businesses, and a racing acadamy created with the support of National Education and the FFSA Auto Sport Academy (a the descendant of the 'la Filičre ELF', which produced local hero Sebastien Bourdais, as well as Romain Dumas, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fässler, three winners of the Le Mans 24 Hours.)

It is the headquarters of car insurers “Mutuelles du Mans” (MMA) of course, but also of Groupama and MAAF for example. The call centre for Mondial Assistance has also taken up residence in the city. Perhaps helping a few of the 200,000 visitors of the 24 Hours of Le Mans each year.

The endurance racing classic gives a boost to the local economy. Spectators from around the world spend a festive week in the city. The municipality has not ignored that fact, and is 'twinned' with places as diverse as Suzuka in Japan (home of the famous racing circuit), Paderborn in Germany and Bolton in England (coincidentally, also twinned with Paderborn).

19th May 2012, 13:52
Before each round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, an introduction will be published to the region hosting the event. After Sebring in Florida, and Spa-Francorchamps in the Belgian Ardennes, the Championship will visit the Sarthe region of France on the 16th and 17th of June. The city of Le Mans is best known worldwide for its circuit, yet even outside the realm of motor sports it is worth a detour. A city with a rich heritage awaits visitors to the region.

Built on a rocky outcrop, the city of Le Mans has been fortified since the Gallic era by a tribe called Aulerci Cenomani, from whom the city takes its name. The Romans invaded the city during the conquest of Gaul and raised a wall with geometric motifs. A portion of this enclosure, including a gate, towers and small entrances, is still standing, as well many half-timbered houses and Renaissance mansions.

The town was named Plantagenet City, after the famous dynasty. The palace of the Counts of Maine, that became the 'Hôtel de Ville' (town hall) in the French Revolution, was the birthplace of Henry II Plantagenet, future King of England. His father, Geoffrey, was nicknamed Plantagenet because he put broom flowers (genęt in French) in his hat while hunting. He married Matilda, daughter of the King of England, in the Cathedral of St. Julien that dominates the city centre, the forecourt of which was where the scene of the “tirade des nez” (tirade of the nose), by Gerard Depardieu as Cyrano de Bergerac, was filmed. The cathedral overlooks the famous Place des Jacobins which has hosted scrutineering for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in recent years.

With global notoriety thanks to its legendary race, the city of Le Mans could be also described as the cradle of the automobile: In 1873 Amédée Bollée, constructed “L'Obéissante” (the obedient), the first passenger carrying steam vehicle. It made its first trip from Le Mans to Paris in 1875 in 18 hours! His son Amédée manufactured the first petrol powered car. They invented technologies that are still used today. Their workshop was reconstructed in the Musée des 24 Heures Automobile Museum, a visit not to be missed during the week of the 24 hours.


19th May 2012, 13:54
The ADR-Delta team, who lead of the LMP2 class in the FIA World Endurance Championship team trophy, will sport a new livery at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the third round of the Championship. The British team, born out of the collaboration between Alan Docking Racing (ADR) and Delta Motorsport, an engineering company, will participate for the first time at Le Mans on the 16th and 17th June with an Oreca-03 Nissan.
The trio of John Martin, Robbie Kerr and Tor Graves finished second in the LMP2 class at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, but scored points for first place in the World Championship because Jota who were first over the finish line, are not entered in the Championship.

20th May 2012, 13:41
ProSpeed Competition presents line-up for Le Mans

Present for the third consecutive year at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, ProSpeed Competition confirms its international line-up. This Belgian team, elected “Best Technical Assistance –Escra Prize” during the 2011 edition, reveals its latest ambitions. The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR #75, in the hands of three Porsche specialists, are out to claim a top classification in the LM GTE AM category, the second most represented category in the field. Alongside the fast Saudi Adbulaziz Al Faisal, already seen in action last year at Le Mans, ProSpeed Competition welcomes the American Bret Curtis and the speedy Sean Edwards. This Brit, a true ace of the Porsche SuperCup, had previously teamed up with the ProSpeed Competition squad during some of the European FIA GT2 Championship meetings…

Rudi Penders (Team Principal):
-“ProSpeed Competition discovered the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in 2010, finishing the event as first “100% private” team. Last year the iBird impressed and awaken everyone’s spirits, a well as the quality of our technical support during the “pit stops”. Our objective in 2012 is to cross the finishing line for the third consecutive time and to continue to progress. A podium in the LM GTE AM class? Yes, we’ll be doing everything to achieve that.”

Abdulaziz Al Faisal (UAE – 4th June 1983 – 2nd participation):
Racing is an activity that Abdulaziz Al Faisal takes very seriously. In 2011, he joined the RedBull Athlete Team to test the RedBull F1 simulator at Milton Keynes. Back in the Middle East his driving skills are renowned and feared. Amongst his record of achievements; two crowns in the Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East (2010 and 2012), two podiums in the 24 Hours of Dubai … not forgetting his earlier debut in Formula BMW (3e – 2007). Present last year in the European FIA GT3 Championship (BMW), he is the ideal ambassador for his country, Saudi Arabia. He first appeared at the Le Mans event back in 2011, and on that occasion already behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Bret Curtis (USA – 13th December 1966 – 1st participation):
Born in Valencia, Pennsylvania, Bret Curtis is a businessman very much at home in the motorsport world. Founder of Spectra Resources (2002) and United Steel Supply (2007), he has been enjoying his passion since 2009 (Imsa GT3 Cup). Following a season in ALMS (2010) at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3, he decided in 2011 to compete in the 24 Hours of Daytona (Porsche), the 12 Hours of Sebring (Porsche) and the 24 Hours of Spa (Mercedes). At the beginning of this year he was to be seen at the start of the 12 Hours of Sebring (Lola B11-Honda).

Sean Edwards (GB – 6th December 1986 – 1st participation):
Karting as from the age of 11 years, followed by Formula Ford UK (5th) and Formula Renault UK (5th), Sean Edwards swiftly turned his talents to the GT world, winning the European FIA GT3 Championship (2006). This young man is presently competing in the Porsche SuperCup… held during the F1 Grand Prix. Here he has accumulated “polepositions”, podiums and victories! He is also active in GrandAm (Porsche) and recently clinched victory in the 24 Hours of Dubai (Mercedes). Cinema aficionados will undoubtedly recognise him in Ron Howard’s film, “Rush”. He will be playing the part of his father, the racing driver Guy Edwards, caught up in the battle between James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 F1 season.

22nd May 2012, 18:48

20/05/2012 - 21h43

The 24 Hours circuit has evolved since the first 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1923, with changes that have been mostly to improve safety. A total of 14 different track layouts have been used during the 79 races. However, the overall layout remains identical to the original track. This year the circuit has been modified at Arnage.

The very first Grand Prix of the Automobile Club de France in 1906 was raced on a triangular circuit of 102.85km that stretched from Le Mans, eastward to Saint-Calais and La Ferte-Bernard, but for the first 24 hours in 1923 the ACO significantly shortened and relocated the route to bring it back to 17.262 kilometers with a loop into the southern suburbs of Le Mans with a hairpin at Pontlieue. For security reasons, the circuit's northern tip was shortened in 1928, reducing the course to 16.240 km. The tip was trimmed again two years later, reducing the length to 13.492 km. Although there have been subsequent changes over time, the 24 Hours circuit settled to a length of between 13 and 14 km.

The circuit then remained unchanged for over twenty years, until 1955 and the tragic accident which has caused many fatalities among spectators. Adjustments to the pit area were necessary, and the Dunlop curve was changed, shortening the circuit by 31 metres. The new facilities had enhanced safety, but the speeds reached in the late 60s, a result of the Ford-Ferrari duel, had never been higher. The decision was made to build a chicane (Ford chicane) before the pit straight, which lengthened the track by 8 metres. It was on this track that record the distance covered in 24 hours was set by Helmut Marko and Gijs Van Lennep in 1971, a record that stood until 2010.

A renovation of infrastructure was undertaken in the early 1970s. The old road via Maison Blanche (White House) was abandoned and a new portion of 3 km, which was created between Arnage and the Ford chicane, extending the circuit to 13.640 km. In 1979, the construction of the bypass south-east of Le Mans led to the modification of Tertre Rouge (13.626 km), and the appearance of a roundabout in 1986 modified Mulsanne corner (13.528).

The following year, it was the turn of the Dunlop curve to undergo a facelift at the request of the FIM (Federation Internationale de la Moto). The Mulsanne Straight was resurfaced and two chicanes were built in 1990 (13.600 km). The Dunlop curve was again reworked in 1997 for the same reasons (13.605 km).

The portion of the permanent circuit between the Dunlop curve and Tertre Rouge is enriched with a quick left-right at the request of motorcyclists in 2002. They are also behind the latest change of the curve Dunlop in 2006, the radius of which was tightened to reduce speeds. Despite the overhaul of the turn, the length of the track was not affected. The work was undertaken at the same time as the village modernization and expansion of the paddock.

The latest development dates back to 2007 with the opening of the angle of Tertre Rouge and expansion of the run-off zone, bringing the circuit to 13.629 km. With the development of the Arnage corner for safety reasons, the circuit will change again this year. With evolving standards, always towards greater safety, 24 Hours circuit will remain in an ongoing state of revision.


25th May 2012, 17:36

22/05/2012 - 22h12

Having reviewed the records for victories and participations (see article), with a special mention for Tom Kristensen and Henri Pescarolo, we now look at distance and speed. Some records seem hard to break, while others last only one or two races.

The fastest lap in the history of 24 Hours: Hans-Joachim Stuck lapped in 3'14''843 at an average speed of 251.815 km/h in 1985 with the Porsche 962C #2 of the Rothmans Porsche team. The German driver set the record during qualifying but although he started from pole, he finished third overall, beaten by two other Porsche 956. For the record, the fastest racing lap that year was by Jacky Ickx with a time of 3'25''1, almost 11 seconds slower than the time for pole position.

The fastest lap in the race: Jackie Oliver (Porsche 917LH #18 John Wyer Automotive Engineering Ltd.) held that record for 37 years with an average speed of 244.387 km/h) before Stephane Sarrazin broke it in 2008 (246.068 km/h is 3'19''394). The French driver did not hold it for long. Loďc Duval in the 908 HDi FAP #4 of Oreca have completed a lap at an average speed of 246.463 km/h, (3'19''074). Note that the fastest lap time is not necessarily a good predictor of victory since none of the three finished on the top step of the podium.

The greatest distance covered in 24 hours: For 39 years the record of 5,335.313 km was held by Dr. Helmut Marko (known Formula 1 fans as he oversees the driver development programme for Red Bull) and Gijs Van Lennep in the #22 Porsche 917K of Martini Racing Team in 1971. The trio of Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller smashed the previous record in 2010 with the Audi R15 # 9: 5,410.713 km. The German manufacturer broke the record with the three cars entered while the R15 was far, far away from the speed of its main rival, the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP.

The first two records have stood for a long time, and the LMP1 regulations that came into force in 2011 have controlled performance, it is not impossible that the latter record could be broken again. Distance does not depend only on the speed of cars entered, but the weather, safety car periods and traffic on the track... We will know on the 17th of June at 15:00 (Ticket office HERE).

25th May 2012, 17:37
The teams entered for the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours have announced the names of the three drivers who will be at the wheel of their cars. Overall, it is a mouth-watering list for the 80th running of the most prestigious endurance race in the world.

This is the first year of the FIA World Endurance Championship at the end of which a drivers’ world title will be awarded, so for those taking part in the Le Mans 24 Hours, which counts for double points, the race is of capital importance.

For the teams, entering for the Le Mans 24-Hours race is a two-stage process: they had until 19th January 2012 to send in their entry for the event nominating one driver. By 9th May at the latest they had to send their complete driver line-ups consisting of three people to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.

After the usual checks the ACO is publishing today, 23rd May, the list of drivers per car. It includes 167 names for 56 cars, as Toyota Racing has asked for the authorisation, granted by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, to announce the name of the third driver of the no.8 TS030 hybrid by the end of this week.

It is a mouth-watering list with nine outright winners at the start, the oldest being Martin Brundle (winner in 1990, Jaguar) who is back with his son Alex and Lucas Ordenez from Spain, and the most recent Tréluyer-Fässler-Lotterer who will drive the Audi bearing the number one.

A number of 2011 winners are back to defend their crown: Tréluyer-Fässler-Lotterer outright and LM P1 winners, Olivier Lombard victorious in LM P2 entered in the no. 23 Signatech-Nissan, Antonio Garcia, Tommy Milner and Olivier Beretta, winning trio in LM GTE Pro who are split up this year (Garcia, no. 73 Corvette, Milner no. 74 Corvette and Beretta no. 71 Ferrari) as well as Patrick Bornhauser and Julian Canal, who came out on top in LM GTE, and who are still sharing the no. 50 Corvette in which Pedro Lamy has replaced Gabriel Gardel.

Lamy, who was with Peugeot in 2011, is one of the former Lion drivers who has found a seat. Bourdais and Minassian will team up in the no. 17 Dome, and Alexander Wurz is the lead driver in the Toyota squad where he has been joined by Anthony Davidson. Stéphane Sarrazin is racing in LM P2 for the Starworks Motorsports team, and Marc Gené has found a seat as reserve in the Audi squad. Gené, Lamy, Sarrazin, Bourdais, Wurz and several others are all ex-Formula 1 drivers. There will be many of them at Le Mans this year with the arrival of guys as quick as Nick Heidfeld (Rebellion Racing), Sébastien Buemi (Toyota Racing) and Karun Chandhok (JRM) who were racing in F1 in 2011.

Another driver competing in one of the most prestigious championships in the world is NASCAR star Brian Vickers who will be making his Le Mans debut in the no. 61 Ferrari.

This year there is only one women driver on the entry list, Keiko Ihara from Japan in the LM P2 Lola entered by the Gulf Racing Middle East Team.

Le Mans is also the theatre in which a number of amateur drivers like Patrick Bornhauser, Tracy Krohn and Jacques Nicolet, who do battle throughout the year in the FIA World Endurance Championship, will show off their talent.

On this list the ACO hasn’t forgotten its own licence holders like Benoît Tréluyer and the various drivers who have learned the ropes in its driving school like Bastien Bričre from the Sarthe plus ACO Volant winner, Fabien Rosier.

The vast majority of entrants will take part in the test day on 3rd June, which is a general rehearsal for the race itself. It is obligatory for new cars, for teams and drivers that have never raced in the Le Mans 24 Hours before, or drivers who are not on the list of those automatically allowed to compete in official practice since the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours.

They will then take part in scrutineering and admin checks on 10th-11th June, in official and qualifying practice on 13th-14th June before the culmination of the Le Mans week, the start of the Le Mans 24 hours on Saturday 16th June at 15h00.


25th May 2012, 17:39

25/05/2012 - 06h45

Until now, drivers have had to rely on mirrors to see when a competitor is approaching. This may change soon: Audi's drivers at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship used a 'digital mirror'. A miniature camera facing to the rear of the prototype provides real-time images to the driver on a screen that is in the place of a conventional rear view mirror.

The camera, unlike a conventional mirror, gives sharp images even in the rain and is not sensitive to vibration. Furthermore, when a competitor approaches in the night, the image remains clear and the driver is not blinded by the bright lights. This technology was successfully tested during the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in the two variations of R18, the Ultra and e-tron quattro hybrid, that will be equipped for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the third round of the Championship.

Audi was the first to develop sensors for a tyre pressure warning system, following the fatal accident of Michele Alboreto in 2001. Last year, both spectacular accidents of Allan McNish and Mike Rockenfeller at the 24 Hours of Le Mans illustrated the limited rear visibility. The German manufacturer has responded quickly with its research and development department.

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich Head of Audi Motorsport: "With respect to the screen and the programming we greatly benefited from the work of our colleagues at AUDI AG’s Technical Development (TE). They helped us move forward with components and knowledge. In the trial stage the racers even fully relied on an application that originated at the production side of the house. The system was initially installed in an Audi R8 in which we sent Marcel Fässler and Marco Bonanomi out to test it in road traffic. Today, the system functions perfectly in the Audi R18 LMP"

The four driver trios of Audi will have the opportunity to use this electronic mirror at Test Day 24 Hours of Le Mans on 3rd June before the race to be held on 16th and 17th June

Dave Davies (quotes from Audi Sport press release)

28th May 2012, 19:30
Originally named "Grand Prix of Endurance," the very first 24 Hours of Le Mans was on the 26th and 27th May 1923, at the initiative of three members of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest: its President George Durand, engineer and automotive journalist Charles Faroux and industrialist Emile Coquille.

Their idea was to create a different kind of Grand Prix race (already held at Le Mans), a flagship event of motor sports barely quarter century of existence. For this, they created time trial of 24 hours, reserved for passenger cars, to test their strength and reliability. There were 33 that started the endurance test on the 26th of May 1923.

Le Mans wrote a new page of history: seventeen years after the first Grand Prix of the Automobile Club de France on 26th and 27th June 1906, the city in La Sarthe definitively established itself as the French capital of motor sports with what will become, with the Indianapolis 500 and Monaco Grand Prix, born respectively in 1911 and 1929, one of the three most prestigious races in the world.

Since 1923, the Le Mans 24 Hours has become one of the favourite testing grounds for new automotive technologies. A mission that environmental issues of the early twenty-first century make more relevant than ever: Toyota, the world leader in hybrid technology, has chosen this path, like their main rival Audi. This is probably also the case of Porsche who have announced the 2014 return of the marque that holds the record sixteen victories at Le Mans.

The 80th edition of Le Mans 24 Hours will be held on 16th and 17th June 2012.

28th May 2012, 19:31
June 3rd will be conducted the test day for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 16 and 17 June Many cars are on the entry list for the day, some of which do not compete in the race. The sporting regulations can explain the list of participants, which may not exceed 76 cars and which is established by the selection committee of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Who must participate in the Test Day?

new cars, with at least one car model;
new competitors (minimum one car per team), that is to say the teams who have never participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans;
drivers who have never participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans or not included in the list of drivers confirmed judicial notice to participate in official practice for the Le Mans 24 Hours 2007. Each driver concerned must wrap at least ten laps during the day, CAO reserves the right not to accept a driver if his or her performance skills are deemed insufficient.
Who can participate in the Test Day?

competitors entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans;
Manufacturer cars developing after approval of application;
competitors regularly engaged in the ACO-Le Mans Series;
Other competitors on record.
What are the types of cars that can take part in the Test Day?

the LM P1, LM P2, LM and LM GTE GTE Pro Am, guests at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012 under the terms of Regulations 24 Hours of Le Mans;
the LM P1, LM P2, LM and LM GTE GTE Pro Am, uninvited to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012 and meet the technical specifications of the Endurance World Championship 2012 FIA;
the Formula Le Mans (remember they are not allowed to take the start of the race);
innovative cars, in the limit of two. If neither competitor fulfills the conditions required by the Selection Committee, the invitation initially attributed to an innovative car will not be confirmed and may be awarded to an alternate "conventional".
The competitors will start at 9 o'clock in the morning on the Circuit 24 Hours for a period of four hours before one hour lunch break. They will take the track to 14 hours to 18 hours. The list of competitors allowed to take the start of official practice will be published after the test day and the administrative and technical checks that preceded it.

28th May 2012, 19:33
27/05/2012 - 12h46

Pescarolo Team, who are competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship now has a new partner with the company Cetelem, a specialist in consumer loans. Symbolized by a little green, the company in BNP Paribas group has sealed a three-year partnership with the team led by Henri Pescarolo in Le Mans, who wore a green helmet when he was a driver.
After a failed merger with Luxury Racing, an episode that ended in court, Henri Pescarolo, who holds the record for number of entries in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a driver, was looking for a new partner to ensure the completion of the new Pescarolo 03, an LMP1 that will debut at its home circuit with Jean-Christophe Boullion, Emmanuel Collard and Julien Jousse.

Remember that the team raced in the 12 Hours of Sebring, the opening round of the Championship, with the venerable Pescarolo 01 that crossed the finish line in third place in the LMP1 category (sixth place overall) and that it was absent in 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps for the new car was not ready. The Dome that ran under the colours of Pescarolo Team in the Belgian Ardennes is not entered in the World Championship and was present in Belgium to prepare for the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The team will now be able to continue with preparation, which will take place on the track at Chateauroux, as usual, and a test session next week before moving on to Scrutineering for the Test Day of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 3rd.

31st May 2012, 18:05
Hybrid cars Braking zones on the Le Mans 24-Hours circuit
30/05/201217h45 - Auto News - 24 HEURES DU MANS 2012

Because of the entry of hybrid cars in the Le Mans 24 Hours on 16-17 June, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) have decided to create specific zones where the cars in question can transmit the energy recuperated under braking. There will be seven on the 24-Hours circuit.
The hybrid systems of Audi and Toyota recover the energy generated under braking. Previously this was lost; it is now stored and transmitted under acceleration. In order to limit the size of these systems – and the budgets required for their development – the ACO and the FIA have imposed a maximum quantity of energy that can be transmitted between two braking phases: 500 kilojoules. Each hybrid car can take advantage of additional electric power without exceeding the minima laid down in the technical regulations.

In order to establish clearly-defined zones (those allowing energy (500 kj maximum) to be transmitted between two braking phases, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) have defined the zones where braking is sufficiently heavy to be taken into account.

There were five on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship on 5th May 2012 in which this system was used for the first time. On the 13,629-km Le Mans circuit there will be seven.

Zone no. 1: Dunlop chicane (no. 8 marshal’s post)
Zone no. 2: Forza Motorsport Chicane (no. 42 marshals’ post)
Zone no. 3: Michelin Chicane (no. 60 marshals’ post)
Zone no. 4: Mulsanne corner (no. 76 marshals’ post)
Zone no. 5: Indianapolis Corner (no. 96 marshals’ post)
Zone no. 6: Porsche Corner (no. 115b marshals’ post)
Zone no. 7: Ford Corner (no. 131 marshals’ post)

The entry to each zone is 50 metres before the corner in question. The entrants for the Le Mans 24-Hours test day on 3rd June 2012 will have to respect these zones.

Four of the 56 cars entered for the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours have hybrid engines: the nos 1 & 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattros and the nos 7 & 8 Toyota TS030s.

It is worth noting that in the case of Audi where the energy is fed to the front drive train the car must be running above 120 km/h for the transmission to take place. For Toyota, on the other hand, in which the energy is fed to the rear drive train there is no minimum speed.

31st May 2012, 18:10
The long anticipated race weekend of racing is the high point of an entire week of festivities, both on the track and in the city of Le Mans.

The city is the scene of two major events during the week of 24 hours: the scrutineering of cars and drivers registration - still called 'pesage' in French (weighing) on Sunday and Monday - and the Drivers Parade on Friday evening. Two occasions where drivers are accesible to crowds of enthusuastic race fans.

On Wednesday and Thursday evenings during practice sessions, then on Saturday night during the event, three major outdoor concerts will be held including artists such as: Julian Peretta, Razorlight, BB King, UB 40, Status Quo, Raphael ...

On the Friday before the race, there is no on-track activity. So, before joining in the drivers parade in the city centre, another way to immerse yourself in the ambiance of the 24 hours is to take advantage of the pitwalk, and see the mechanics in their final preparations. On Saturday morning before the start of the 24 hours, there are various on track spectacles including a race of historic (group C) cars.

Finally, throughout the week, the shops in the Village area of the circuit await spectators and enthusiasts with books, models, T-shirts, various attractions, not forgetting the fun fair, another traditional event of the 24 hours

31st May 2012, 18:11
The best editions of Le Mans 24 Hours video

the tv advert

31st May 2012, 18:14

28/05/2012 - 16h43

On Sunday 3rd June 2012 the cars, drivers and teams taking part in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours will be at the famous circuit in the Sarthe for a day’s testing two weeks before the race on 16th-17th June. Here follows a brief explanation of everything you need to know about this very special day.

What is the test day for?

The aim of this day’s free practice is to allow entrants to come and test their cars on the Le Mans 24-Hours circuit, and also to give some teams that won’t be taking part in the race itself the opportunity to discover this exceptional and unique layout. In 2011, the test day - not organised in 2009 and 2010 – was held on 24th April. The reason was to enable entrants to test their cars early enough to make adjustments as it was the first year of the introduction of a new set of technical regulations. This is not necessary in 2012 so the organisers decided that a date nearer the Le Mans 24 Hours would be more convenient. Thus, the teams can set up inside the paddock without having to move all their equipment again. Scrutineering on 10th-11th June followed by practice on 13th-14th June and the race on 16th-17th June will follow in quick succession.

Who must take part in the test day?

• New cars (one minimum per model).
• Teams that have never raced at Le Mans.
• Drivers who have never raced in the Le Mans 24 Hours and those who are not on the list of confirmed drivers automatically allowed to take part in official practice since the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours. Each must cover at least ten laps during the day. The ACO reserves itself the right to eliminate a driver if his/her performance or his/her capacities are judged insufficient.

Who can take part in the test day?

• The entrants in the Le Mans 24 hours,
• Manufacturer’s cars that are in the process of development after the dossier has been accepted,
• Entries in the various Le Mans Series.

What kind of cars can take part in the test day?

• The two types of prototypes that race in the Le Mans 24 Hours (LM P1 and LM P2), the two GTE categories (LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am) invited to the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours in accordance with the Le Mans 24-Hours supplementary regulations,
• The LM P1, LM P2, LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am cars not invited to take part in the 2012 Le Mans 24 hours, which comply with the technical specification of the FIA World Endurance Championship,
• Formula Le Mans prototypes (not allowed to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours),
• Innovative cars (limited to two). If either of the two entrants does not meet the criteria required by the Selection Committee, the invitation given to an innovative car will not be confirmed and may be awarded to a ‘conventional’ reserve.

On which circuit

The 13, 629-km layout specially installed for the occasion. The roads of the normal network will be closed to traffic from 03h30 in the morning of 3rd June, and will be opened immediately after the end of the test session. This circuit is not only unique in the world, but above all it is difficult for the teams to simulate its very special characteristics anywhere else or on computer simulations. This is why it’s so important for them to see where they stand before mid-June.


Scrutineering and admin. checks will take place on Friday 1st June (09h00 – 18h00) and Saturday 2nd June (09h00 – 15h00) inside the Le Mans circuit near the paddock.
The free practice sessions will be held on Sunday 3rd June between 09h00 – 13h00 and 14h00 – 18h00.

Who will be the stars?

The new cars launched at the start of 2012 are the most eagerly-awaited starting with the two Toyota TS030 hybrids that will make their racing debut and will be up against their no.1 rival, Audi. The latter will also give its R18 e-tron quattro its debut in the Sarthe as well as the R18 ultra victorious in the Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours on 5th May. Another car that everybody wants to catch a glimpse of is Henri Pescarolo’s latest brainchild, the 03, that has never yet been seen on the track. In LM P1, the two Honda Performance Development ARX-O3as entered by Strakka Racing and JRM have never done battle on the Le Mans circuit before. In the very popular LM P2 category (23 cars), the Oreca 03-Nissan entered by Sébastien Loeb Racing will be the centre of attention; it will be present at the test day only with the boss himself at the wheel! In LM GTE the day will see the start of the confrontation between the works Corvettes victorious in 2011 and the hotly-contested field racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (the AF Corse and Luxury Racing Ferrari F458 Italias, the Felbermayr-Proton Porsches, the works Aston Martin Vantage etc). Another star of the test day will be the futuristic-looking DeltaWing that will be having its first outing as the beneficiary of the 56th pit. It will take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours (outside the overall classification). Former French goalkeeper, Fabien Barthez, World Football Cup winning goal keeper, will be at the wheel of one of the two Formula Le Mans running on Sunday.

1st June 2012, 16:58
Marc Gené to replace Timo Bernhard at Le Mans
After three consecutive runs for Audi at the Le Mans 24 Hours and his overall victory at the wheel of the Audi R15 TDI in the 2010 season, Timo Bernhard will not participate in the endurance classic this year. In close coordination with the physicians and with Audi Sport the Audi factory driver attaches major importance to making a complete recovery after his accident.

Following the testing accident in March in which he was not at fault Timo Bernhard started a rehabilitation program with his personal trainer and received comprehensive medical care. “I’m very pleased with the steps I’ve managed to make during this time,” says Bernhard who hails from Germany’s Saar-Palatinate district. “We’ve created a tight system of medical checks, so my progress has constantly been monitored. Unfortunately, there’s not enough time before the Le Mans 24 Hours to become 100 percent fit again. Le Mans is a world-class race that doesn’t allow any compromises. I only want to compete at this event in perfect physical condition. That’s why on the advice of my doctors and in close coordination with Audi I decided not to run at Le Mans this year.”

For the Le Mans 24 Hours, the 31-year-old Audi factory driver was planned to run in the Audi R18 ultra designated as car number “3.” His place will now be taken by Audi’s reserve driver Marc Gené. The Spaniard drove his first race for Audi in early May at the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC where together with Romain Dumas and Loďc Duval he clinched overall victory.

“All of us had very much been wishing for Timo to be fit again for the test day and the Le Mans 24 Hours,” stresses Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “Unfortunately, the time was too short for this. That’s a real shame for Timo and for us too. Despite this responsible and probably not easy decision there’s generally positive news as well, as we all know that Timo will completely recover again. Naturally, he will continue to enjoy our full support. By signing Marc Gené in April as a reserve driver we’ve got a tried and tested solution for the current situation. Marc will now be nominated as a racer driver in the number “3″ car. At Spa, he took advantage of the opportunity to get to know the team and to immediately show a very good performance.”

Marc Gené will take Timo Bernhard’s place as early as on the test day at Le Mans on June 3. On that day, the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro as the first diesel hybrid sports car in history as well as its sister model, the new Audi R18 ultra, will be driven on the 13.629-kilometer circuit for the first time. On June 16 and 17, Audi will be battling for its eleventh overall victory in the world’s most important endurance race with two cars of both models.


2nd June 2012, 20:07
Henri Pescarolo: "sport resumes his rights"
02/06/20126:45 p.m. - Auto News - TEST DAY - 24 HOURS OF LE MANS

After an eventful week (see Green light for the Pescarolo 03! and The Pescarolo released! ), Henri Pescarolo can sleep soundly: his cars will roll well tomorrow in the Test Day 24 Hours of Le Mans.

What conclusion do you draw the last 48 hours?
Henri Pescarolo: What justice is done and that sport reasserts itself. In a very friendly, and for an obvious reason, the ACO has exceptionally allowed to shift our way at Scrutineering.

Your team operates the Dome since March. However, the Pescarolo 03 made ​​only a practice session this week at Magny-Cours ... What's in it's drivers?
It is discovering self. She seems born for it has performed well in Magny-Cours. There, it was configured "Le Mans", which is not ideal for a twisty. We'll know more tomorrow night. However, it is reassuring to see that it is in a rhythm similar to that of the Dome. Debugging is promising.

Can it surprise two weeks in the 24 Hours of Le Mans?
car was completed just three weeks before the 24 Hours of Le Mans ... I think it is very rare in the history of the event. Under these conditions, would end a remarkable feat. We should expect to encounter small problems, although we know how to make reliable cars. You have to believe we have put all our experience in the "03".

Can you introduce Stuart Hall, replacing Julien Jousse?
It's a boy faster than we know very well because it gave us a hard time when he would run against us with Team Creation. This is a very welcome addition to Pescarolo Team.

2nd June 2012, 20:10
In two weeks will compete for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As an introduction to this 80th edition, the competitors of the greatest endurance race in the world will take part tomorrow, Sunday, June 3rd, the Test Day.

True dress rehearsal, this day of free practice, eight long hours of running, will see 61 cars on the track, those that participate in the race plus a few others come freely face the legendary track of Le Mans 24 hours, a non-permanent circuit and it is exceptional to be able to cope. the new cars launched in the year 2012 are expected to start with two TS030 Toyota Hybrid that will make their first rollings meet their future opponents. Audi will begin precisely at Le Mans his hybrid car, R18 e-tron quattro but its R18 Ultra victory at Spa on May 5, during the second round of the Endurance World Championship by the FIA. Other Machine eagerly awaited the Pescarolo 03 which has never yet been seen on the track. Financial worries team Pescarolo Team are behind her: she can calm the mind to run its two cars, the Pescarolo 03-Judd and therefore the Dome-Judd told him that the Japanese Dome. Also in LM P1 , both of Honda Performance Development and Strakka JRM never faced the track of Le Mans 24 Hours. In LM P2 category well stocked (23 cars) many eyes will be on the 03-Oreca Nissan Sebastian Loeb Racing, present only during the test day with Sebastien Loeb himself at the wheel. Note also the presence of former winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (Jaguar 1990), Martin Brundle back in this category with his son Alex and all the fierce World Championship in a class where the battle is always intense. In LM GTE, the beginning of the clash between the official Corvette, victorious in 2011, and the plateau of the World Endurance Championship (Ferrari 458 Italia AF Corse and Luxury Racing, Felbermayr-Proton Porsche, Aston Martin Vantage official ) etc.. Test Day will also see on the track against other cars, the highly anticipated Nissan DeltaWing-recipient of the 56th Stand and will contest the Le Mans 24 Hours outside classification. Finally, note the presence of Fabien Barthez at the wheel one of two Formula Le Mans expected tomorrow. The Formula Le Mans, the promotions machine endurance races, are not allowed to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans but may face this legendary track. Barthez wishing one day to attend the event, the opportunity to ride was perfect. With Saturday took place the final technical and administrative checks, but also a karting circuit on the bustling Alain Prost. Twenty-three machines initially driven by two teams composed of a pilot and a journalist. At this game is the Toyota driver Anthony Davidson, a former jockey F1, associated with fellow Englishman Andrew Cotton prevailed. finally took place a family picture together all types of cars that will contest the 80th edition, 16 and 17 June. Twenty-six dream machines that have transformed the pit straight into the most beautiful avenue in the world.


2nd June 2012, 20:15
Three questions to Allan McNish
02/06/201216h54 - Auto News - JOURNÉE TEST − 24 HEURES DU MANS

After a disappointing race in 2011, including a massive accident, Allan McNish is back to take revenge. with the hybrid engined Audi R18 e-tron quattro, the Scotsman hopes to have the tool for the trade.

There is a good chance that it will rain tomorrow during the test runs. Bad news for everyone... except for you?
Allan McNish :" In Spa-Francoschamps the hybrid system proved it's effectiveness even in the rain. When the track is wet, four wheel drive is a huge advantage of course. But I'm not hoping for rain, neither for test day, nor for the race. Rain is a disadvantage to everybody in the race."

But on a dry track, the non-hybrid Audis are very fast...

"In Spa-Francorchamps, the difference between the two versions (hybrid and non hybrid) was very small. I do hope, though, that we have more room to improve, as we learn a lot every time we run the car."

What about the two Toyoas - Can they challenge the four Audis?
"I've run in Le Mans with Toyota in 1999 and in Formula One in the beginning of the 2000's so I know many of the guys on their team. I'm sure their car is very competitive already. Now it has to prove that it is reliable."

Julien Hergault (translated)

3rd June 2012, 17:29
Grand Am race sat...Gt class, Ferrari was leading...jumped a restart? Given a black flag?
2nd place car won..It was a Chevy..race was sponsered by...tadaaaa...Chevy.
Dont think I'll watch this series anymore.

4th June 2012, 06:20

03/06/2012 - 19h50

At the end of the official test for the 2012 24 Heures du Mans it was the two FIA World Endurance Championship entered Audi R18 e-tron quattros at the head of the field. The nr2 Audi of Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello set the fastest lap of the day of 3m25.927 (set by McNish), which was 0.541s faster than the nr1 Audi e-tron. The nr2 Audi spent the last part of the four hour session on the sidelines after Allan McNish made a small mistake and the car hit the barriers.

It was an encouraging day for Toyota with the nr7 TS030 setting the 4th fastest time with Alex Wurz setting a 3:27.204 lap time, 0.6 seconds behind the 3rd placed Audi of World Championship leader Romain Dumas (nr3 Audi R18 Ultra), with the nr8 Toyota in 5th overall ahead of the Audi Sport North America Audi R18 Ultra.

The nr21 Strakka Racing HPD was the quickest petrol entry in 7th overall, with the fastest lap of 3:34.243 set in the morning session by Danny Watts. The all British entry was 1.1 seconds ahead of the nr13 Rebellion Racing Lola Toyota.

In LMP2 the nr35 Oak Racing Morgan-Nissan of Olivier Pla set the pace with a 3m41.291 in the afternoon session, three tenths ahead of their nearest rival, the Level 5 Motorsports HPD Honda.

The fastest LMGTE Pro contender was the nr59 Luxury Racing Ferrari of Frederic Makowiecki with a 3m58.869 lap in the morning session, just 0.102 seconds faster than the nr74 Corvette Racing Chevrolet. In LMGTE Am Allan Simonsen posted a 3m59.938 lap in the nr99 Aston Martin Racing Vantage, which was good enough for the 4th best time in the overall GTE standings and 1.2 seconds ahead of the nearest LMGTE Am competitor.

There is now a week break until the official scrutineering checks which start on Sunday 10 June in the centre of Le Mans. The first track session of the 80th edition of the 24 Heures du Mans gets underway on Wednesday 13 June at 16:00.

4th June 2012, 06:24
Going to be great couple weeks build up for this race. Cannt wait. The GTE's are going to be soo close. Good showing for Toyota, like to see how they are going to fair in the race against the Audis.

4th June 2012, 06:28
Fire exercise in the paddock
03/06/201216h01 - Auto News - JOURNÉE TEST − 24 HEURES DU MANS

On Sunday, June 3, during test day for the 24 hours of Le Mans, a fire exercise has been held in the Paddock.

Three weeks after a fire broke out in the Williams F1 team box in Barcelona, time was ripe for an exercise of this kind.

At a quarter past 1pm, fire was simulated in the pits of team Signatech Nissan (Oreca Nissan 03, n°23). The alarm bells could be heard all over the paddock area and three firetrucks were rapidly on site, taking positions at the front and at the back of the pits. The aim was to confine the supposed fire and prevent it from spreading to adjacent pit boxes. The third truck stood at a distance, with a special foam-cannon ready to cover the whole place in case of necessity. At the same time the area was cleared of spectators and people normally working in the paddock.

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s crisis team held an emergency meeting, which is customary in case of a serious incident, and made sure their response time in times of crisis is appropriate.

All in all, more than 20 people from the emergency teams were in action. It all took place under the watchful eyes of the man in charge of the exercise, Commandant Parré. He was satisfied with the development and outcome of the simulation. " Everything went fine, and I’m very satisfied. The aim of such an operation is to confine the fire and prevent it from spreading all over the place, and to make sure that everybody knows what they have to do."

During the afternoon session there was another test, this time on track : The three safety cars did a test, collected the cars behind them from different points on the track, and led them around the circuit. This also gave the drivers the opportunity to get familiar with this kind of rather inevitable situation.

4th June 2012, 06:29
Drivers with the fastest time in each class spoke at a press conference at the end of Test Day.

Allan McNish, Joest Racing Audi R18 e-tron quattro n°2 (3’25’’927) : "It was my fault, I made a mistake. On entry to the corner I touched (with the left rear) the grass as I turned in. Immediately you lose the grip and it went into the barriers sideways, so it damaged the bodywork on the left hand side, and I radioed to the team and said basically I could bring the car back but the amount of potential damage would have been quite high, so we said OK stop, and with an hour to go there was not chance to repair the car anyway so that was really it. I'm very angry with myself because I don't like making mistakes. But I have to say the car felt pretty good. I told Dindo after I came back that the balance of the car felt quite nice. I think the ultra cars will be very competitive, and I think the Toyota will be competitive as well. We saw some very very high top speeds from that car, much quicker than we had and we also saw some pink sectors with five minutes to go that could have meant someone else was sitting in this position. "

Olivier Pla, Morgan-Nissan n°35 of OAK Racing (3’41’’291) : "I drove in two different cars as Maxime Martin and Bass Leinders had another race. I made the best time with the car #35 and not with my car (the Morgan-Judd #24), but I could have done just as well with mine. Judd and Nissan engines are different in their operating range. The fight should be intense in LMP2 as the differences are small. We'll have to spend as little time as possible in the pits during the race to have a chance. "

Frédéric Makowiecki, Ferrari F458 Italia #59 of Luxury Racing (3’58’’869) : "We stopped before the end of the session because we had completed our testing programme and we were satisfied. It was unnecessary to do more km and take risks. I think we have a good option for the race. It is difficult to judge the performance of other competitors because everyone has different ways of working. After an hour of racing, we will see more clearly, but I'm confident. "

Allan Simonsen, #99 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 : "The two cars worked extremely well together, the Pro car and the Am car. I'm very pleased to get the oportunity to race with Aston Martin here and to come away with a good set up is very good. We'll evaluate the data from both cars and then we'll see how we go when we come back to Le Mans on the first day of the event. It's always extremely close in the GTE class and I'm sure this year's Le Mans will be as close as ever but it's such a long race and you've got to be there at the end."

4th June 2012, 06:42
Good to see the R18 Quattros up there in pace with the Ultras. Really want McNish to win it this year.

Also good to see Toyota showing good pace early on. Should be a great battle in LMP1 with the 4 Audis and the 2 Toyotas.

And GT will be ever closer as usual.

Two weeks, can't wait!

4th June 2012, 06:42
Guillaume Moreau undergoes spinal surgery after Le Mans test crash
Sunday, June 3rd 2012, 21:53 GMT

OAK driver Guillaume Moreau has undergone emergency surgery after sustaining spinal injuries in an accident during Sunday's Le Mans test day.

The 29-year-old Frenchman will definitely miss the 24-hour race later this month, with a recovery period of at least several months expected.

An OAK team statement said: "Following a severe accident at the exit of the karting track corner towards the end of Sunday morning's session, Guillaume Moreau has suffered a serious but partial injury to his spinal cord's 12th vertebra.

"Guillaume has since undergone an emergency operation performed by Professor Olivier Lucas at the University Hospital of Angers' Neurosurgery Department. It was crucial to quickly reduce pressure around the spinal cord following the fracture.

"Although the operation went well, it will be several months before his level of recovery can be fully assessed.

"The thoughts of the entire team are with Guillaume and his family at this difficult time."

Moreau had been due to share OAK's #15 LMP1 Pescarolo-Judd with Bertrand Baguette and Dominik Kraihamer at the 24 Hours.


4th June 2012, 06:49
Good to see the R18 Quattros up there in pace with the Ultras. Really want McNish to win it this year.

Also good to see Toyota showing good pace early on. Should be a great battle in LMP1 with the 4 Audis and the 2 Toyotas.

And GT will be ever closer as usual.

Two weeks, can't wait!

The GTE will be flat out sprint racing for the whole race. Just hope Toyota can take the fight to Audi through out the race. But still think Audi has the experiance to hold them off to win it again. Audi own Le-Mans. Fingers crossed for Ferrari to bring home the GTE win, all the cars in GTE are over the race are pretty matched. Porsche is always the car that seem to just lug away and come out near top, they dont have the overall speed as the 458 and Vettes, but this isnt about out right speed, is handy but look what happened to Pugs couple years ago. Love to see Ferrari take all 3 tops steps at end of the race.

5th June 2012, 13:43

04/06/2012 - 23h32

The new Hybrid Toyota TS030 was impressive at its first official appearance with the fourth and fifth fastest times of the Test Day. Five drivers were present, Stephane Sarrazin was being rested to recover from a fall from a bicycle. Alexander Wurz, car #7 (entered in the FIA World Endurance Championship), and Sébastien Buemi, Car #8, were fastest although Anthony Davidson had led the way early in the morning session.
The performance of the #8 was all the more remarkable because the shake-down of the car was not until until the Friday before Test Day: So far, all the private test sessions have been conducted with one car. Both TS030 immediately showed a high level of performance and were very active in track, completing (respectively) 83 laps and 73 laps during the day. The main objective, was for the two drivers Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima to do their 10 qualifying laps. A task which was completed by the end of the morning session.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “Today was a significant step for us because it was our first chance to see the car on track against our opposition at Le Mans. It’s hard to judge lap times but it certainly strengthens our racing spirit. Overall we are satisfied to complete a full day’s running with both cars without any significant issue; the only interruptions came with some minor bodywork damage. Unfortunately we only had five drivers with us following Stéphane’s accident. But he’s an experienced driver so we have no concerns; he’ll be on top form for the race I’m sure.”

Nicolas Lapierre, Driver car #7: "It was good to see TS030 Hybrid on track today and it was particularly interesting to try the hybrid system in the Mulsanne Straight. We did not encounter any major problems and we could test different tires, different settings and the aero and mechanical hybrid system. The accumulation of miles away was very important to us because it was our only opportunity to race at this track before the race week. So far, the team did a great job and we have achieved the objectives set. It is difficult to compare the lap times, however, the most important thing is that we are where we hoped to be. We can expect a very interesting race. "

Anthony Davidson, Driver car #8: “Our program went well and we achieved what we wanted to. Personally it was great to be back at Le Mans, especially with this new car and the hybrid technology. The car responded well and I felt we had pretty good speed which allowed us to set some competitive lap times. It is nice for all the team to finally get to Le Mans and see two cars in action; it’s a good reward for all the effort they have put in. The TS030 HYBRID is already pretty well balanced and gave me confidence to push early in the day so that’s a good platform for us heading into race week; first impressions are encouraging.”

(quotes from the release of Toyota Hybrid Racing)

5th June 2012, 13:48
Nissan Deltawing enjoys a successful test day

The revolutionary Nissan DeltaWing completed its first running on the famous 14km (8.5 mile) Circuit de la Sarthe at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Test Day. Invited to compete under the Automobile Club de l'Ouest’s “Garage 56” classification that showcases new and innovative technology, the Nissan DeltaWing completed 54 laps with drivers Michael Krumm, Satoshi Motoyama and Marino Franchitti at the wheel.

The team enjoyed a virtually trouble-free day and completed every lap but one on a single set of Michelin slick tires. A sole lap on wet tires during a brief rain shower was the only time the team switched tires all day.

Motoyama completed the fastest lap of the day amonst the three drivers at 3 minutes, 47.980 seconds. The Nissan DeltaWing technical, team led by concept originator Ben Bowlby, believe they are comfortably within reach of their target pace of 3 minutes, 45 seconds as requested by race officials.

With Motoyama not having raced at Le Mans since 1999 and Krumm since 2005, both drivers had to complete a mandatory 10 laps to qualify for the race. Both easily achieved that goal, Motoyama completing 19 laps and Krumm, 24. With Marino Franchitti handling most of the pre-event testing and development, the Scottish racer only handled 11 laps today – the team taking the opportunity to get his Japanese and German teammates more accustomed with the car.

The Scottish driver said at the end of the day, “We’ve certainly had a very productive day and it has been great to get so many laps under our belt. Other than the one lap I did on wets, we spent the entire day on a single set of Michelin tires which is quite amazing.

“The important thing for us today was to get Michael and Satoshi qualified for the race and we achieved that quite easily. I’m really pleased for everyone involved in putting the Nissan DeltaWing program together. There has been an enormous amount of work and it is very gratifying that today has gone well. I’ve really been looking forward to driving the car and it didn’t disappoint. We gathered a lot of data which we’ll examine over the next week and work on making the car even better.”

The unique Nissan DeltaWing features half the weight, half the horsepower and half the aerodynamic drag of a typical prototype and is expected to enjoy significantly lower tire and fuel consumption. Powered by a 300 horsepower 1.6 liter Nissan DIG-T turbocharged engine, the Nissan DeltaWing also features specially developed Michelin tires which are four inches wide at the front.

(From team press release)

5th June 2012, 13:49
Update on the condition of Guillaume Moreau
04/06/201217h55 - Auto News - JOURNÉE TEST − 24 HEURES DU MANS

Sunday's Test Day for the 24 Hours of Le Mans had a less than positive outcome for one of Oak Racing's drivers in the No. 15 Oak Pescarolo Judd. The following is a statement on his condition from the Oak Racing team.

Following a severe accident at the exit of the "Karting Track" corner towards the end of Sunday morning’s session, Guillaume Moreau suffered a serious but partial injury to his spinal cord’s twelfth vertebra.

Guillaume has since undergone an emergency operation performed by Professor Olivier Lucas at the University Hospital of Angers’ Neurosurgery Department. It was crucial to quickly reduce pressure around the spinal cord following the fracture. Although the operation went well, it will be several months before his level of recovery can be fully assessed.

The thoughts of the entire team are with Guillaume and his family at this difficult time.

(From team press release)

The ACO and all in the Le Mans paddock join Oak Racing in wishing Guillaume a speedy recovery.

5th June 2012, 13:52
Successful test for Sebastien Loeb at Le Mans
04/06/201218h11 - Auto News - JOURNÉE TEST − 24 HEURES DU MANS
In addition to being part of the preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans invitees, the Test Day also allowed selected other teams to see how they measure up against the competition on the famous race track with a view to the future. Sébastien Loeb Racing, a competitor in the European Le Mans Series, seized the opportunity to make its first appearance at the temple of endurance racing.

Alongside regular in-house driver Nicolas Marroc (ELMS) and Jean Karl Vernay (Porsche Matmut Carrera Cup), team boss/driver Sébastien Loeb especially enjoyed the exercise, recording the fifth fastest LM P2 time (18th overall) at the controls of the ORECA 03. It’s a remarkable performance, taking into account the level of competition, as well as the atypical conditions and the youth of the team.This richly informative test served to wet the Alsacian team’s appetite for a return to the starting line up for the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Making his return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans track after six years of absence, Loeb slid into the seat of the Sébastien Loeb Racing ORECA 03 with joy. The eight-time World Rally Champion quickly got back up to speed.

"Initially, it’s not easy to get back into a prototype when you don’t regularly drive in the discipline," he said. "I completed one test session at Magny Cours at the beginning of the week and those were my first laps in an LM P2. I hadn’t run at Le Mans since 2006.

"It’s a bizarre sensation at the wheel…the apexes, I see them after I pass them! I had a bit of a rough time this morning but the good feelings returned and it’s really nice. Our goal was to go slowly, progressively, without taking big risks, while trying to improve the setup and especially gain confidence with the car. The results are good, it’s a success!"

(From team press release)

5th June 2012, 13:56
Aston Martin Racing’s two-car 24 Hours of Le Mans campaign was boosted by a strong showing at the official pre-event test session. As many of the entrants descended upon the Circuit de la Sarthe for the only opportunity to test on the 8.5-mile circuit ahead of race week, Aston Martin Racing’s two V8-powered Vantage GTEs performed competitively and reliably.

Following two four-hour sessions on Sunday (3 June) the #97 Vantage GTE of factory drivers Darren Turner (GB), Stefan Mücke (D) and Adrian Fernandez (MX) finished the day fifth fastest in the GTE Pro category having topped the timesheets early in the first session. The #99 Vantage GTE, meanwhile – run in close partnership with long-standing partner team Young Driver AMR – ended the day as the fastest car in the GTE Am class having been driven by the all-Danish driver crew of Allan Simonsen, Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen.

Throughout the test sessions, which were interrupted on occasion by red flag periods and brief rain showers, the Aston Martin Racing engineers and drivers worked through their car set-up programmes to dial the Vantage GTEs into the famous circuit, which is made up of public roads for the most part. Covering a total of 115 laps between them, both the #97 and #99 cars ran without any technical faults.
The team also used the test to familiarise Mücke and Fernandez with the French circuit aboard the #97 Vantage GTE; despite their vast motor racing experience, neither had driven a production-derived GT car at Le Mans prior to the test.

Following a productive day, Turner said: “The test went really well. We haven’t had any reliability issues with the car at all and we’ve run through the programme that we had planned for the day. I’m really happy with where the car is at right now, but inevitably there’s still more work to be done. We’re still looking for a slightly stronger race balance for the car, but we know that we’ve got time before the race to find that. We made really good progress today with the set-up and we weren’t dragged down any counter-productive avenues.”

Team-mate Mücke added: “I haven’t driven a GT car at Le Mans before, so today was a good opportunity to learn. I got some clear laps early in the first session to see how a GT car performed around this track, and although it was quite different to a prototype, it was good fun. We had a very productive day. We learned a lot about the low-downforce configuration, which is different to the other circuits that we’ve been to before with the Vantage GTE. We weren’t looking much at lap times today because it was more important to get the car working well on this track. In 24 hours it can be hot and cold, wet and dry, so we focused on finding a set-up that is well-rounded for all conditions.”

Preparing for his fourth outing at Le Mans, Fernandez concluded: “We worked on making the car comfortable to drive, because that’s really important over a 24-hour race. The only problem I had is that I didn’t get enough consistent laps in a row. All of my runs were really one-lap runs because of rain, for example, so I just need more time in the car to get into a rhythm. I’m sure that come race weekend, though, I will be on the pace of Darren and Stefan.”

John Gaw, Team Principal at Aston Martin Racing, said: “The main thing is that we didn’t have any technical issues with either of our cars, despite completing 115 laps of this long circuit. We were focused on making the Vantage GTEs easy and safe to drive, but the fundamental pace of both cars has proven to be really strong.

"We weren’t chasing lap times today. We were instead working on set-up and I’m sure there is more speed to come from both cars. I think we’ll see that everyone will go faster in qualifying than they did in the test today, but I know that our engineers and drivers will continue to take steps forward in the days leading up to the race. Qualifying isn’t crucial in a 24-hour race, but there’s a lot of prestige associated with pole position so we’ll definitely be pushing hard with both cars.”

The #99 Vantage GTE is sure to be a big draw for the Danish fan contingent come race weekend. Having set the fastest time in the GTE Am class in both sessions, the all-Danish driver line-up of Simonsen, Nygaard and Poulsen – boasting a total of four Le Mans class podiums between them – is on course for a strong race performance.

Competing at Le Mans for the sixth time in his career, Simonsen was motivated by the showing throughout the test: “I’m really pleased to have been fastest in both sessions in the GTE Am class. I was able to go quicker than the pole position time for the class last year, which is promising. Our test programme went really well and the Vantage GTE is now feeling strong; there isn’t one single thing that stands out, it’s just a very good overall package. We can feel confident going into race week. I certainly think that we’ll be firmly in the battle for a class podium, if not more.”

Aston Martin Racing is making a return to the GT category at Le Mans for the first time since its back-to-back class victories in 2007 and 2008 with the V12-powered DBR9. The legendary GT1 racer will be back in action at La Sarthe as it participates in the Aston Martin Racing Festival of Le Mans in the hands of three customer teams. A total of 30 Aston Martin competition cars will compete in the exclusive support race, which runs for 45 minutes on the morning of the 24-hour endurance epic.

(From team press release)

5th June 2012, 13:58
Michelin to a 15th consecutive victory?
05/06/20122:00 p.m. - Auto News - LE MANS 24 HOURS 2012

With 32 partner teams (including 12 of 13 LM P1), Michelin has every chance of winning the next edition of Le Mans 24 Hours (June 16 and 17).

The overwhelming numerical advantage available to Michelin in LM P1 (only the # 15 Pescarolo Oak's Dunlop shod) is not an excuse for the wait: "Each year we renew our range to 80%, says Serge Grisin , Head of Competition Auto. The objective of the test day was to define the settings of cars and tune them with the different tires offered. "

This year, one of the challenges Michelin is to give equal opportunity to Audi, whose R18 e-tron quattro has a torquey "diesel" and 4 wheel drive, and other competitors who rely on cars powered "gas."

The other challenge is to adapt Clermont manufacturing its products to the constraints of Nissan DeltaWing and its unique architecture. In view of the delivery of the machine to the test day, the bet seems able to be won.

Ralf Jüttner, Technical Director at Audi: "We respected the program. We took advantage of a dry track to double and triple relays with the same set of tires. "

Romain Dumas, driver of the Audi No. 3: "We tested two types of tires. The more one connects the towers, they are more efficient! And that's not all, the tires also allow us to compensate a bit of understeer. "

Anthony Davidson, driver of the Toyota 8: "I found that the tires had a very good development plan, even in the morning with temperatures quite cool. We did some long runs to validate the durability of tires. No problem. "

Marino Franchitti, driver of the Nissan DeltaWing # 0: "We completed 53 laps (722 miles) with the same set of tires, without loss of performance. "

5th June 2012, 14:40
Q & A: Brundle on Le Mans return
By Gary Watkins Tuesday, June 5th 2012, 09:29 GMT

Martin Brundle returned to the scene of his Le Mans 24 Hours victory with Jaguar in 1990 at the official test day last weekend.

The former grand prix driver spoke to AUTOSPORT about driving the Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time since 2001 with son Alex Brundle and their chances of success in the Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan Z11SN in the LMP2 class come the race on June 16/17.

Q. What were your feelings on returning to a venue that has been so important to your career?

Martin Brundle: Sitting in the drivers' briefing was a 'pinch-myself' moment - I didn't think I'd do that ever again. I always thought this was a great track. I've always championed Le Mans as a track that should feature in people's top three or top five circuits.

Q. What did it feel like getting back out there in the Greaves Zytek?

MB: Going out on the track got the juices flowing; I really enjoyed it. Alex and I had to be very careful to get our laps in. I think we were a bit over-cautious, but we had a job to do. We did our laps, so we are now in the race.

I found myself attacking Mulsanne Corner straight away and our car was great through the Porsche Curves, absolutely awesome. I had to get used to the new bit of track after the Dunlop Bridge, which wasn't here when I raced the Bentley. It's a bit like Becketts at Silverstone.

Q. How different was it to driving the Zytek at the other circuits at which you've tested, Paul Ricard and Snetterton?

MB: The scenery rushes past your peripheral vision just like in Formula 1 when you hadn't been in the car over the winter months or you were going very fast at a place like the old Hockenheim. Suddenly it all normalises, but you've got to have the belief that the car is going to stick in the high-speed corners. There is plenty of scope to have a big crash here and trash your car.

Q. How do you assess your chances in the race?

MB: The first day confirmed how competitive LMP2 will be. We are fine on pace, but there are a lot of good drivers in a lot of a good cars. P2 has changed out of sight. It will be harder to finish in the top three in the class than I perhaps first thought. It is seriously competitive. It kind of reminds me of Group C in the late 1980s. I look down the entry list and see more direct competitors than I did when I was driving with Jaguar.

Q. Do you think this will be a one-off return to Le Mans or could there be further appearances?

MB: I have no idea. This was driven by me wanting to do it with Alex and wanting to introduce him to sportscar racing. Those two boxes have been ticked, so we will have to see.


5th June 2012, 14:42
Martin Brundle reckons 2012 Le Mans LMP2 field rivals Group C
By Gary Watkins and Matt Beer Tuesday, June 5th 2012, 11:20 GMT

Le Mans returnee Martin Brundle reckons the LMP2 class in this year's 24-hour race rivals the halcyon days of Group C for competitiveness.

Brundle won Le Mans with Jaguar in 1990, and is returning to the event for the first time since 2001 to share Greaves Motorsport's LMP2 Zytek-Nissan with son Alex and Lucas Ordonez.

After participating in the Le Mans test day last weekend, Brundle told AUTOSPORT that he had been taken aback by the quality of the entry in the class.

"The first day confirmed how competitive LMP2 will be," he said. "We are fine on pace, but there are a lot of good drivers in a lot of a good cars.

"P2 has changed out of sight. It will be harder to finish in the top three in the class than I perhaps first thought. It is seriously competitive.

"It kind of reminds me of Group C in the late 1980s. I look down the entry list and see more direct competitors than I did when I was driving with Jaguar."

Brundle's car was eighth quickest on Sunday, two seconds down on the pacesetting OAK Morgan - although Brundle said he had been "a bit over-cautious" during the test


5th June 2012, 14:44
Good to see MB back at Le-Mans, esprcially with his son Alex. Wish them all the best.

6th June 2012, 13:33
Lemans is going to be some race..again!

7th June 2012, 05:35
The GTE will be flat out sprint racing for the whole race. Just hope Toyota can take the fight to Audi through out the race. But still think Audi has the experiance to hold them off to win it again. Audi own Le-Mans. Fingers crossed for Ferrari to bring home the GTE win, all the cars in GTE are over the race are pretty matched. Porsche is always the car that seem to just lug away and come out near top, they dont have the overall speed as the 458 and Vettes, but this isnt about out right speed, is handy but look what happened to Pugs couple years ago. Love to see Ferrari take all 3 tops steps at end of the race.

Yeah the Porsches always seem to have rock solid reliability, which is where the 458s occasionally miss out on. Hopefully they can last the whole race without any issues this year.

Also, fingers crossed for a clean race for Audi, no crashes and such like last year. If all 4 cars finish the race, they're guaranteed at least a 1-2 I'd say.

But let's see, should be fun!

7th June 2012, 09:13
Honestly, i see Audi locking out the top 4 spots at end of race. Not saying Toyota will fall away, i just think that Audi has won this so many times and knows what it takes to win the great race. Toyota have got good drivers and team, i do wish them luck really do. Porsche always seem pull it out at Le-Mans, the Vettes are going to be pushing all the way. By looks of the 458 reliabilty, it 110% better than last year (touch wood).

Go be alot of fun. Loking forward to this alot.

7th June 2012, 09:14

06/06/2012 - 10h40

Signatech-Nissan entered two cars for the first time at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship​​. The French team did the same during the test day of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with two Oreca 03-Nissan: Nelson Panciatici and Jordan Tresson needed to do the mandatory 10 laps each for drivers new to La Sarthe, while the other two drivers worked on tyre wear and fuel consumption.
A tyre problem for the #26 car and a leaking radiator for car #23, (a lucky number of Nissan), but not enough to jeopardize the testing programme for the day and the team are confident, as indicated Philippe Sinault, team Principal: "We are pleased with this test day. We had a lot of work and we have fulfilled our roadmap. The testing programme was very specific in order to prepare the 24 Hours of Le Mans and especially to be there at the end of the race. The balance of the car looks good, we had no major problems and our drivers are very good. We have much work in the next few runs, this is why the team is on-site all week. The fight this year at Le Mans in LMP2 will be a big challenge and we must be ready! 20 cars are entered in this classl. We'll have to redouble our efforts and strategy to win the 80th edition this year. "

(quote from team press information)

7th June 2012, 09:17
Ferrari: an online auction for the Emilia Romagna
07/06/20129:05 - Auto News - LE MANS 24 HOURS 2012

Ferrari, eight copies of the 458 Italia are engaged in both categories LM GTE for 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012, organizes an auction online to benefit the victims of earthquakes in the region Emilia Romagna.

Customers, collectors and other Ferraristes the world can participate in this sale on www.ferrari.com, which opens with a message from Luca di Montezemolo, President of the Prancing Horse brand: "I am sure we can rely on the generosity of relatives in the Ferrari world. They always kindly supported such initiative in the past. A devastating earthquake struck our region and those that we know. Together we want to help the families of the victims at this time in need. We auction unique and exclusive for all Ferrari enthusiasts and friends, I already thank from my heart. "

The main prize of the sale, or accessible via www.ferrari.com www.ferraristore.com, Evo is a 599XX, the extreme sports berlinetta Ferrari, unlicensed (Reserve price: € 1.35 million). This car was built exclusively for this occasion and offer unique amenities, such as a plaque signed by Luca di Montezemolo, the president of Ferrari, as well as the Scuderia drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. They will deliver the car to its future proud owner next September, as part of the Italian Grand Prix Formula 1.

Other rarities from the world of Formula 1 are also available, starting with a V8 engine of the 2008 season, with which Ferrari won his sixteenth Championship World Constructors (reserve price: 50 000 euros). The avid collector can also bid on overalls, gloves and helmets autographed by Fernando Alonso, a nose of the F60 car, which allowed Ferrari to celebrate sixty years of consecutive presence in Formula 1, F1, or a combination of Giancarlo Fisichella, who will defend the colors of the Prancing Horse in the stable AF Corse in the 80th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 16 and 17 June

It is also possible to buy on www.ferraristore.com watches Scuderia, whose profits will go to auction total. This online sales will end on June 20

well if i win that euro lotto tomorrow, then i will for sure buy it.

7th June 2012, 09:20
LM P2: eight Oreca in search of victory
07/06/201211:06 - Auto News - LE MANS 24 HOURS 2012
The Oreca 03 present at the test day of Sunday, June 3 have honed their preparation for the 80th edition of Le Mans 24 Hours (June 16 and 17), with the ambition to win the victory of the LM P2 category, which had escaped last year in favor of the Nissan-Zytek Motorsport Greaves.

ADR-Delta discovered the Circuit 24 Hours in the Day test, the dynamics of a good start to the season. John Martin, Robbie Kerr and Tor Graves (No. 25), which were the best team in LM P2 World Championship Endurance of the FIA at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps WEC approach this race with confidence. Day also very studious in Signatech-Nissan, which places its two cars near the Top 10. Advantage for Jordan Tresson, Franck Mailleux and Olivier Lombard (No. 23), in their wake with the second car of Pierre Ragues, Nelson Panciatici and Roman Rusinov (No. 26), less than a tenth. "We worked mainly over the life of a relay, " said Rusinov. " We are quite happy. We tested everything we wanted and validated for the race. We are confident. "

The test day was extremely informative for Murphy Prototypes (No. 48) and Jody Firth drivers Brendon Hartley and Warren Hughes. "We used this meeting to answer a lot of questions we asked ourselves in the optical switch, " says the latter. "The coating has been redone and this changes somewhat the behavior of the car. This test day is very important because it erases what kind of surprises. Overall, the tests were positive, although we have to improve a little our speed. The key is that the car we really inspires confidence. There are still some small details but we will validate it in practice and qualifying before the race. "

Planning equally applied to Thiriet by TDS Racing. Victorious over the 6 Hours of Castellet 2012 and declared candidates under European Le Mans Series, Thiriet and Mathias Beche (No. 46) are for the 24 Hours of Le Mans the reinforcement of the experienced Christophe Tinseau. At Ginion Boutsen Racing (No. 45), Bastien Bričre, Jens Petersen and Shinji Nakano lived a day under the sign of labor. Some minor adjustments are still expected before departure. Race Performance (03 Oreca No. 40) suffered a runway excursion, which disrupted Following testing of the Swiss team. However, it can leverage its experience in Sarthe race, she finished sixth in 2010 and 2011.

European Le Mans Series competitor, Loeb Racing will not participate in the 24 Hours 2012, but came to discover the 13.629 km of the 24 Hours circuit. A first attempt turned into a master stroke with the best time of Oreca 03. Two Formula Le Mans were also in action and have continued to grow throughout the test day. The opportunity to discover a new land with a true Le Mans Prototype. Among the drivers on the track, Bruno and Denis Bazaud Caillon shared the wheel of the No. 90 with Fabien Barthez. The former goalkeeper of the France team football, World Cup winner in 1998, made ​​his weapons by signing more than respectable lap times: "It's just fantastic! Le Mans is a myth and I have the opportunity to meet today to close this myth. Level flight, it was necessary that I adapt a little. Formula Le Mans is not a GT but I really had fun! I am ready to start as soon as possible ... "The second Formula Le Mans, the young Steven Palette teamed with American Duncan Ende (LMPC class specialist in the American Le Mans Series) and Henri Richard. A first experiment resulted in a 36th place overall.

(According to press information Oreca Racing Car Manufacturer)

7th June 2012, 12:00

7th June 2012, 12:02

8th June 2012, 09:55

8th June 2012, 10:05

8th June 2012, 10:09
Toyota ready for Le Mans 24 Hours


By participating in the 80th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 16 and June 17 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Toyota Racing will write a new chapter of hybrid technology in motorsport.

Aligned in the premier class of LM P1 prototypes, two TS030 Hybrid feature a revolutionary hybrid powertrain, the Toyota Hybrid System - Racing, developed specifically for the competition by the Japanese manufacturer. This commitment represents the culmination of an intense phase of preparation for the team, during which the new hybrid technology has been tested and refined in the context of one of the greatest challenges of motorsports, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Toyota opted for integration with a hybrid engine Deoso, on the back and placed in the transmission housing. Energy is recovered during braking and stored in a supercapacitor, installed in the cockpit. This provides additional power out of corners, for an amount up to 500 kilojoules between two braking zones.

While the hybrid powertrain has been produced by the competition department of Toyota Motor Corporation Higashifuji (Japan), the chassis of the TS030 Hybrid was developed and built by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne (Germany). TMG is also the seat of the team and provides ground crews. Since its first outing on Jan. 13, the TS030 Hybrid made 18 test days, mostly on the Paul Ricard (France), but also to Motorland Aragon (Spain), Magny-Cours (France) and Le Mans. Despite the challenges of optimizing a new technology such as hybrid, and the loss of a monocoque test, progress has been rapid and Toyota Racing arrives at Le Mans with the aim to continue this development while demonstrating the potential performance of the THS-R System.

The talented crew mix together the experience of Le Mans, the natural turn of speed, consistency and an important team. The No. 7 includes two-time winner of Le Mans 24 Hours (1996-2009) Alex Wurz (Austria), the winner of 12 Hours of Sebring 2011 Nicolas Lapierre (France) and former F1 driver Kazuki Nakajima (Japan). Aboard the No. 8, triple pole winner of Le Mans 24 Hours Stephane Sarrazin (France) is associated with Anthony Davidson (England), winning repeatedly in endurance and young F1 driver Sebastien Buemi

The festivities start Wednesday, June 13 with free practice (4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) and the first qualifying (10:00 p.m. to 0:00), followed by two qualifying sessions (7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and 22:00-midnight). After the warm-up Saturday morning (9h/9h45), the start of the race will be donated to 15h. During the traditional ceremonial start, the tricolor will be deployed by Takeshi Uchiyamada, Vice President of Toyota Motor Corporation, a pioneer of hybrid technology and the origin of the Toyota Prius.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita (TMG President): "This is a learning year for Toyota Racing, but we still set high standards: we want to prove the potential of our hybrid system and our Hybrid TS030. We know it is not easy to face opponents as experienced and we are in a learning phase, but the medium-term objective of this project is to win Le Mans. Therefore, we want to take a big step in that direction in 2012. Toyota is a pioneer of hybrid technology and Toyota Racing has logically from his vast experience and know-how. This is a new technology in motorsport so there are many things to learn and develop. However, Hisatake Murata and his entire project team hybrid, and the division responsible for the development of hybrid vehicles from Toyota Motor Corporation, have worked on these systems for several years in competition. This gives us a unique expertise we hope to demonstrate. In parallel, TMG has developed the chassis of the TS030 Hybrid, led by a team led by John Litjens. Each has contributed its know-how, expertise in aerodynamics, in the simulation or systems for the construction of this car and we are proud of the result. "

Alex Wurz (pilot Toyota TS030 # 7 Hybrid, Toyota Racing LM P1): "I've always had a fascination with sports-prototypes and I'm a fan of Le Mans since my childhood. Every year when you arrive, you feel like Steve McQueen in the movie "Le Mans". This is a special race, very "heroic". The race at Le Mans in recent years has become very competitive. If you look at the results, you fight to the last hundredth of a second in each round as it happens after 24 hours, the cars are held in a few seconds. If you report this to the overall 24 hours, you understand how the level of the competition is up! We have to face stiff competition from teams who have grown up in this universe and we are modest enough to say we do not expect to win Le Mans this year. But obviously, we will attack like crazy to get the best result with our new technology, which is part of the future. "

Nicolas Lapierre (pilot Toyota TS030 # 7 Hybrid, Toyota Racing LM P1): "Le Mans is one of the most exciting events in the world, either as driver or as the French. There are so many fans here! This year promises to be really interesting and exciting with the arrival of a new technology like hybrid. I am very happy to be with teammates such as Alex and Kazuki. Our collaboration is good. I already knew a little earlier, but work closely with them is a real pleasure. Also, I am proud to be here with Toyota, a fantastic team. Since the early tests in January, I know better and better all the team members and we all develop our working method. I appreciate how Toyota Racing works. "

Kazuki Nakajima (pilot Toyota TS030 # 7 Hybrid, Toyota Racing LM P1): "Already during the test day, I could feel that the 24 Hours of Le Mans is very special. There are lots of spectators and journalists. Obviously, there will be even more people for the weekend of racing. Personally, it will be exciting to participate in such an event for the first time. I'm sure you can do a good performance when you have fun and, actually, I'm enjoying this track, both with the team with my teammates. All we will do everything for the best performance possible. The party consisted of Porsche curves is my favorite, although I always want to know how I can get quickly into the chicane and how far I can climb over the curbs. "

Stephane Sarrazin (Pilot Hybrid Toyota TS030 # 8, Toyota Racing LM P1): "It's a race that always makes me dream as much. I'm on the podium and in some years, I was en route to victory. Le Mans has decided otherwise. This is probably the only event where you feel it decides the winner. We can prepare everything as well as possible, it is necessary for success in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Everything has to sit well-Day All elements must be present: the team and the car must be perfect. Whatever the joys and disappointments that I have known here, Le Mans retains its magic. There is a special meaning for certain things. I am proud to have been on pole three times at Le Mans. Everyone says that this is not the priority to be on pole for a 24-hour ordeal, but it's a unique feeling and something that boosts the motivation of the entire team. "

Anthony Davidson (Pilot Hybrid Toyota TS030 # 8, Toyota Racing LM P1): "For a driver, as a team for that matter, Le Mans is a unique challenge. During the race, we must find the right rhythm in the night and manage the traffic. Le Mans is difficult physically but also mentally, by the pressure and the immensity of the event. To be victorious, we must be on top, simply. The test day put us in a dynamic rather positive: we must continue on this path to prepare for the race. I am a positive and realistic. I hope we have a car capable of being in front, but I also know that this is our first year and we have a lot to learn. "

Sebastien Buemi (Pilot Hybrid Toyota TS030 # 8, Toyota Racing LM P1): "I am looking forward to the start of this legendary race, impatience even stronger after the test day. I discovered this track and I find it beautiful. I love the last part, with the Porsche curves and also curves Ford. There is also an emotional side: my grandfather has already participated in this event and it is a pride to succeed him. My family is also very attached to Toyota, so this is special. My debut during the test day were positive and I now look forward to the atmosphere throughout the week, weighing in with the city center, the skills of night, the parade ... I expect one week very interesting: I am eager to succeed my first Le Mans, especially with the new hybrid technology developed by Toyota. "

(According to press information Toyota Motorsport GmbH)

8th June 2012, 10:11
Sunday, June 10 and Monday, June 11 will take place on "weighing" in the city center of Le Mans. Detailed explanations of these control operations of competitors, organized for the first time Republic Square.

Elsewhere called'' checks'' technical and administrative, the weighing has retained its traditional name in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But during these two days, the dozen commissioners at work do more than weigh cars.
Technical operations are divided into three positions.
First pass on a perfectly horizontal platform and equipped with lasers for measurement of the main dimensions of the car (width, length, overhang, wheelbase, height of the fin, drift, size cutouts above the wings ...) but also scales for weighing.

When switching to the second position, it is placed on a lift so that officials under his control (size of front and rear diffusers, size and shape of the board which ensures a minimum ground clearance and greater stability during skids, etc..).

Finally, at last, the body is partially disassembled for inspection of security elements (fire extinguishers, belts, main circuit breaker ...), fuel tank, the oil vapor recovery engine ... It is also here that are verified good provisions and stickers as timekeepers control the operation of the transponder and lights indicating the position of cars per class and the related elements. Finally, the data acquisition unit that is in each car is thoroughly tested.
In total, technical operations last fifty minutes by car.
Meanwhile, the pilots - in combination - to pass administrative checks which are controlled licenses, helmets, wetsuits and all their equipment needs to be to FIA standards. They are also weighed in order to deduct the weight of the car during checks then during qualifying. They are then caught by different communication operations (individual pictures, team photos with the cars, press interviews, ...) but also the general public as the much anticipated book signing.

Held this year on the Place de la Republique du Mans, the weighing should take place in a warmer, in the middle of a mini exhibition village, not far from the sidewalk cafes. Furthermore the tram stop at this point will facilitate the comings and goings of the spectators.

Like the previous two years, the weighing takes place on Sunday and Monday, launching the great week of Le Mans 24 Hours. It will begin Sunday, June 10, 14 h 30 to 19 hours and then will continue Monday, June 11, 10 heures to 18 hours.

Sunday, it will open by the passage of the Oreca 03-Nissan # 45 team Ginion Boutsen Racing. The headliners this Sunday afternoon will be the stables Team Pescarolo, Audi, Larbre Competition, OAK Racing ... The others are expected Monday, the day opened by Porsche 911 RSR (997) No. 55 of JWA Avila and will conclude by both TS 030 Toyota Hybrid.

Organized tours

Note that the general enclosure of engineering is open to the public through guided tours in groups of ten people. They are free to members of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and will cost 10 euros for non-members. The entitlements for these visits are available at Information Point opposite the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
It is also possible to join in weighing the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, the counter adjacent to the ACO Info Poin

8th June 2012, 10:13
7/06/2012 17:22
24 Hours of Le Mans 2012: The program
A few days before the 80th edition of Le Mans 24 Hours, here's a quick reminder about the program "24 Hours Week" that looks rich

Beginning of the festivities Sunday (June 10) with the first part of the weighing (Scrutineering) Place de la Republique, Le Mans. The Boutsen Racing Ginion open the show at 14:30, followed by Gulf Middle East, and ADR-Delta Audi Sport Team Joest at 15.30. Do not miss also the Pescarolo Team (17:30) followed by OAK Racing in the late afternoon.

The weighing will resume the next morning at 10:00 with, among others, and Luxury Racing AF Corse in the morning, then Rebellion Racing, Aston Martin Racing, Signatech-Nissan, Strakka Racing, Corvette Racing in the afternoon. The Nissan-DeltaWing will present to the public at 16:30 before the Toyota Racing team which will close the weighing 17.00.

Tuesday, June 12, towards the 24 Hours circuit briefings with team managers and drivers in the morning and various press conferences for the media. The public is expected from 17:00 for the autograph session.

Wednesday, the hard work begins with the free practice session from 16:00 to 20:00. Between 20:30 and 21:30, the Aston Martin invited as part of the Aston Martin Le Mans Festival will perform their free trials.

Back on the track of the cars entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans to 22.00 for the first qualifying session until midnight. If the weather is uncertain, the pole can be played on Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, Thom and Gerald de Palmas will be performing on the stage set up near the Dunlop Bridge (from 20:00).

Thursday, June 14, the Group C qualifiers will make their between 16:00 and 17:00, followed by qualifying for the Aston Martin Le Mans Festival. The second qualifying practice session of the Le Mans 24 Hours will take place between 19:00 and 21:00 and between 22:00 and midnight for the third and last. Following concerts with Pony Pony Run Run and The Dandies.

Friday, June 15, the pit lane will remain open all day (pit-walk) from 10:00. An interesting ride since the teams are hard at work preparing the cars for the race.

In the evening, the traditional parade will take place from 17:30 to 19:30 in the streets of Le Mans on a new journey: starting Place de la Republique. 200,000 spectators are expected for this unique parade where crews parade in cars "vintage". Do not miss the bus with the banda Michelin: atmosphere! The atmosphere is likely to extend Republic Square with the matches of Euro 2012 Ukraine / France and Sweden / England in the nearby bars ...

Saturday, June 16, the warm-up will begin at 9:00 before the race and then Group C Aston Martin Le Mans Festival. At 15:00, the start of the 80 th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours will be given by Mr. Takeshi Uchiyamada, Vice President and Director of Toyota Motor Corporation. During the race, entertainment are sure the stands with the village of 24 hours, the Big Wheel and concerts (Shaka Ponk, Kill The Young and Ekho Saturday night).

Good week of 24 hours to one and all!


8th June 2012, 10:16
Franck Montagny replaces Guillaume Moreau for Le Mans 24 Hours
By Pablo Elizalde Friday, June 8th 2012, 08:57 GMT

Franck Montagny will compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours after being announced as the replacement for the injured Guillaume Moreau.

Moreau will miss the event after being injured in the accident he suffered at the Le Mans Test Day last Sunday.

The OAK Racing driver needed surgery to relieve the pressure on his spinal cord following the crash, and he has regained feeling in his legs since. He will not be ready for the race, however.

Montagny will take his seat in the Pescarolo-Judd LMP1 car, driving alongside Bertrand Baguette and Dominik Kraihamer.

Montagny, who was left without a drive for Le Mans after Peugeot withdrew from the sport, last raced in the American Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca in May.


9th June 2012, 04:08
Romain Grosjean, a gesture of friendship for Moreau
08/06/20126:43 p.m. - Auto News - LE MANS 24 HOURS 2012

Given the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010 driving a Ford GT and now Lotus in Formula 1 driver, Romain Grosjean will support his longtime friend William Moreau, rugged driving his Oak Pescarolo on June 3 at the Test Day 24 Hours of Le Mans. In this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, the French-Swiss driver will sport the logo on his helmet by Guillaume Moreau. A nice gesture of friendship is one of many expressions of sympathy that the Oak Racing driver has already received in recent days.

9th June 2012, 18:26
Audi's hybrid history?
09/06/20123:19 p.m. - Auto News - LE MANS 24 HOURS 2012

After the best performance signed by Allan McNish at the wheel of the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro, Audi aims a historic performance for the 80th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours (June 17 & 16): the first victory of a prototype hybrid Sarthe. But expects a good fight with the Toyota Hybrid TS030.

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "At Le Mans, we will run with a completely new training compared to last year. For the first time, we committed four cars of two different designs. We will meet for Toyota as part of a race will be another first, and we expect that their cars are our main rivals. "

Marcel Fässler (Audi R18 e-tron quattro No 1, winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011): "It's nice to come to Le Mans in knowing that there is already won. And this is a very special honor as to drive the car number 1. We are very motivated and want to show that hybrid technology can be immediately shot in for the win. "

Andre Lotterer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro No 1, winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011): "Of course it is nice to have the number 1. But we must put that aside for a moment. We must first find a rhythm and tackle this race with respect. After, we'll see what position you are. "

Benoit Treluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro No 1, winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011): "I think it will be a great race and a real challenge. After winning last year, we know that we can do and how. But a race like this is an equation that has many unknowns. "

Dindo Capello (Audi R18 e-tron quattro No. 2, three wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans): "In 1999, I flew for the first time an Audi 24 Hours of Le Mans. Every year, I was able to experience the major technological advances of Audi. This is a great honor. "

Tom Kristensen (Audi R18 e-tron quattro 2, record holder of the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans with eight successes): "The 80th edition of Le Mans 24 Hours is a wonderful anniversary and on this occasion, Audi has once again a pioneering technology. To mention just some: e-tron quattro, LED headlights, V6 turbo diesel, digital mirror ... Our goal is simple: take them around the longest possible distance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. "

Allan McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro No. 2, two wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans): "The team brought two different cars that are both capable of winning. Aprsč have made ​​the pole position at Spa-Francorchamps, we would love to win the R18 e-tron quattro for the first time. It will not be easy given the competition, everyone is perfectly prepared. "

Romain Dumas (Audi R18 Ultra 3, a victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours): "I run this year with two new teammates. We have already demonstrated our ability to Spa-Francorchamps. The race is open, which means a lot of excitement for fans and for us. "

Loďc Duval (Audi R18 ultra No. 3): "I've never been on the podium at Le Mans, but I intend to catch this year. At Le Mans, it will also score big points for Audi in the Endurance World Championship by the FIA. Until now, the season went well. "

Marc Gene (Audi R18 Ultra 3, a victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours): "I am proud to have the chance to be part of a team as successful as Audi and drive a car as good as the R18 Ultra. I would love to fight for victory, even though it will not be easy. But with the help of Roman and Loic, we have good chances of that happening. "

Marco Bonanomi (Audi R18 ultra No. 4, first in the 24 Hours of Le Mans): "While I was at Le Mans as a driver Reserve Audi, I have great memories of last year. It's huge, 24 hours non-stop for everyone. I hope I can pass on the track everything I've learned the track, and we will ride as well as Spa-Francorchamps. "

Oliver Jarvis (Audi R18 ultra No. 4): "It's been six months since I'm training and I am preparing for this race. Even during the test day you feel a special atmosphere. I'm incredibly excited about this race week and the idea of sitting back behind the wheel of the car. "

Mike Rockenfeller (Audi R18 ultra No. 4, a victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours): "Of the three drivers of our car I'm the one with the most experience at Le Mans prototypes, but my teammates have raced and won over the world. We are young and already experienced. I hope we have a good race. "

(According to press information Audi Motorsport)

10th June 2012, 21:48
Clarifications from the Automobile Club de l’Ouest concerning the LM GTE and LM GTC categories
10/06/201214h03 - Auto News

Following the announcement made on 20th April 2012 by the promoter of the 2012 European Le Mans Series (ELMS) confirming the eligibility of GT3 cars in the GTC category during the ELMS events, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest would like to make the following clarifications.

LM GTE’s future

- The LM GTE category (Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance) derived from the former GT2 regulations is still the benchmark category in Le Mans-type long-distance races complying with the ACO and FIA WEC regulations.
- All the manufacturers entered in, or planning to enter, the GT category have all clearly expressed their wish to keep LM GTE as the unique technical regulations for the Le Mans 24 Hours and the FIA World Endurance Championship. The ACO shares this point of view and has supplied them with solid guarantees concerning the future of LM GTE.
- The ACO is working on a long-term development plan for LM GTE in close collaboration with the FIA. There is no other current project to open up the Le Mans 24 Hours and the FIA World Endurance Championship to any categories other than LM P1, LM P2 and LM GTE.

The arrival of GT3 cars in the GTC category

- The GTC category was created first of all in the American Le Mans Series to allow new teams with a limited budget to take their first steps in endurance racing. It was based essentially on adapting cars from single-make championships like the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Ferrari Challenge to long-distance racing, and the GTC technical regulations are of real strategic interest for continental championships like the European Le Mans Series, which is a launch pad for entrants who wish to compete in endurance events.
- As a comparison, GTC is the equivalent of the Formula Le Mans category (LM PC) in prototypes.
- The ACO and Peter Auto decided to enlarge the field of eligibility in the GTC category by opening it up to GT3 cars to cope with a provisional situation and guarantee a big enough field for the European Le Mans Series.
- Several championships exist for GT3 cars. The ACO is delighted with their success and has no intention of competing against the promoters who have chosen to invest in this category.
- The list of measures to bring this project to a successful conclusion has been drawn up as follows:

Only cars homologated by the FIA in GT3 are eligible.
Only cars whose performance can be modified to make them slower than cars in LM GTE are eligible (technical specification available in the near future).
In no case is there any question of inciting entrants already competing in other championships to withdraw and enter the ELMS. It’s quite the opposite in fact as the aim is to offer teams the possibility of writing off their investments and running costs in complementary events.

The ACO would like to point out to entrants and manufacturers that only their entry in the LM GTE category offers the perspective of a future in Le Mans-type endurance racing, with the possibility of competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours. The GTC (including GT3 category cars) gives entrants the opportunity to race in continental championships like the European Le Mans Series with their current cars and limited budgets in the same spirit as Formula Le Mans for sports prototypes.
These two categories, GTC and Formula Le Mans, are entry level competitions that do not exist outside the context of continental championships like the European Le Mans Series, the American Le Mans Series and the Asian Le Mans Series (currently being evaluated).

10th June 2012, 21:55
First GTE Ferrari next car up
10/06/201216h20 - Auto News - 24 HEURES DU MANS 2012

The GTE Pro#66 JMW Ferrari 458 Italia will be scrutineered at 16.50, driven by Britons Jonny Cocker and James Walker and Kiwi "amateur" driver Roger Wills.
JMW has proved that there is life after Rob Bell their long time team leader, who is now a McLaren GT test and development contracted driver by wining their class at the ELMS round at Le Castellet.

Team owner/manager Jim McWhirter retains Jersey boy James Walker with the team and he is joined by a very welcome returnee in Jonny Cocker, Roger Wills is the only non" Pro-driver" in GTE Pro if that makes any sense! He is a top historic racer and latterly a GTE Am and LMPC runner.

The car carries the Dunlop "Art Car" colour scheme which is very striking and has spent the last week at Michelotto installing the latest paddle-shift system.

10th June 2012, 21:57
Jonny Cocker and Ferrari, life in yellow and black
10/06/20125:06 p.m. - Auto News - LE MANS 24 HOURS 2012

Spectators scrutineering 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012 were able to discover the special decoration of the Ferrari F430 GT of the British team JMW Motorsport (No. 66, LM GTE Pro), which has again been the subject of a design competition. A livery that attracted one of its drivers, Jonny Cocker, who shares the driving with James Walker and Roger Wills.

Jonny Cocker: 'I think it's a striking design, I discovered for the first time during the test day of June 3 and when it came to life on the circuit, I find it fantastic. We met the winner of the design competition, who was with us in the booth, and he was very happy. This is a great idea, because every year this contest to discover a young designer, who is also the possibility of coming on the 24 Hours. I think this award highlights our car lot. For the memories I have, I think my favorite decoration is that of the Toyota GT-One, whether the 1998 or 1999. They really had the look, and I find it a pity

10th June 2012, 22:01
Administrative checks
10/06/20125:30 p.m. - Auto News - LE MANS 24 HOURS 2012

When weighing, together with the technical checks are held the administrative checks. Of course, these concern only the driver and take place as follows:

The first step is the most of all administrative. Indeed, inspectors examine the pilot's license and medical certificate which is either on license or on an attachment.
The second act includes checking headset, Hans, and the combination of fireproof underwear. Everything must be to FIA standards.
Then the driver is weighed. This is a very important operation because during checks on the car during qualifying, it must be weighed and then we derive the weight of dressed driver (pilot, helmet, Hans, coveralls, footwear, etc ...).
The last phase involves the official photo. It is mandatory for each driver with his helmet, each car and each team.
Administrative checks are fast enough, especially since the majority of drivers are already running in the World Endurance Championship and they are systematically monitored throughout the year.

David Bristol


11th June 2012, 11:07
The armada arrives Ferrari Republic Square
11/06/201212:00 - Auto News - LE MANS 24 HOURS 2012

The armada AF Corse has just made its appearance Republic Square with its four Ferrari 458 Italia to pass regulatory audits. The 2012 edition is an important feature because the Alpine team, responsible for the direct involvement of the plant, still chasing his first victory at Le Mans. She will face stiff competition with the Corvette, Aston Martin and Porsche.

To meet this challenge, the team will run two models with three former GTE Pro Formula 1 drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni (a victory in GT in 2008) and Olivier Beretta (6 wins in GT).

No. 51: Fisichella / Bruni / Vilander (GTE Pro)

No. 71: Bertolini / Beretta / Cioci (GTE Pro)

In GTE Am, again the team will enter two Ferrari 458 Italia (2011 model as the Regulation states) with a car (No. 61) in association with the team of NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip.

No. 61: Kauffmann / Vickers / Aguas (GTE Am)

No. 81: Perazzini / Griffin / Cadei (GTE Am)

11th June 2012, 20:12
Great vids, articles n pix Rob..Fantastico!

12th June 2012, 18:24
Great vids, articles n pix Rob..Fantastico!

:thumb grazie

As always great build up to the great race. Brilliant every year. Cannt wait to the quali session thursday too see the cars run at low fuel and flat out. Like too see Toyota get front row and do well.

12th June 2012, 18:29
Audi Camp halved
12/06/20124:15 p.m. - Auto News - LE MANS 24 HOURS 2012

Extremely rare for a manufacturer: Audi commits two different cars in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This choice implies a new organization that details the driver Romain Dumas, who won in 2010.

This is not the first time that Audi opted not to put its four eggs in one basket. In 1999, the year of its debut at Le Mans, the builder had aligned two rings R8: R for a Roadster, for a C Coupe. If, at the time, the objective of the dual commitment was to compare the interest of both types of architectures (open and closed) in 2012, it is quite another. "Audi wants to promote its hybrid technology and quattro but prefers still ensure his back with two more conventional models, " said Romain Dumas, R18 Ultra driver of a "conventional".

This new situation has somewhat changed the organization of Audi Sport Team Joest. "The stand is divided into two, says Dumas. Nevertheless, the starting settings are the same on both types of cars. Second, due to technological differences, adjustments away. After each practice session or each race, we do analysis meetings. Before, they were common, but as it was too long, we separated the group of "Ultra" and the "E-Tron Quattro". Only after the briefings that the engineers of each car meet to share their knowledge. "

Last month at Spa-Francorchamps, the first round of confrontation between the two internal camps Audi had ended in victory for the old school, that of "Ultra" in the face of revolutionary program "E- tron Quattro ".

In 1999, Audi R8C committed a ... .. and a R8R.

12th June 2012, 18:32
Nice video of the Audi engineers...


12th June 2012, 19:09
hold on...


12th June 2012, 19:14
Day three of Le Mans week and even the wet weather couldn’t stop the fans enjoying the Tuesday autograph session at the circuit. The teams and drivers wrapped up warm, put up their awnings and welcomed the crowds who worked their way down the pitlane gathering signatures and pictures with their favourite drivers.

After two days of technical and administration checks in the Place de la Republique in the city of Le Mans, today was the first day of activities at the circuit with driver and team manager meetings preceding the first public event of the week. Thousands of fans, many of whom have arrived from all over the world, got their first opportunity to see the cars and drivers up close.

Tomorrow the teams will take to the track for two sessions lasting a total of 6-hours. Free practice will start at 16:00 and will last until 20:00 and then the first qualifying practice session will take place from 22:00 until midnight.

Jeff Carter


19th June 2012, 18:47
Eight-time Le Mans winner believes the 2014 LMP1 rule changes will improve the category
By Matt Beer Tuesday, June 19th 2012, 10:27 GMT

Eight-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Tom Kristensen believes the event's 2014 LMP1 rules package will both make sportscar racing more relevant to fans and ensure parity between different technologies.

Le Mans and World Endurance Championship organisers the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and the FIA announced last Thursday that from 2014 the regulations would be opened up to allow a greater variety of energy recovery systems, with a variable fuel allocation per lap designed to ensure performance equivalency between cars with different size hybrid devices, and petrol or diesel engines.

LMP1 hybrids' energy-recovery devices are currently limited to 500KJ, but under the 2014 rules, devices of up to 8MJ will be permitted. Audi scored the first Le Mans wins for a hybrid car last weekend with its e-tron.

Kristensen hopes the new rules package will lead to a greater variety of engine types and hybrid solutions racing equally at the front of the Le Mans field, and thinks it will tie in well with the growing role of eco-technology in road car design.

"It's perfect. The same for everyone. It's the right way to go," he told AUTOSPORT.

"For sure you will see more different concepts and it sounds brilliant.

"You need 24 hour racing and Le Mans to have relevance with what's going on in, let's say, real life - what the spectators arrive and drive in. I think this makes it exactly relevant to that."

The Dane also believes that the new rules, which equalise different technology systems through fuel allocations, will give the Le Mans organisers have a better chance of achieving performance equality compared to the restrictors used to try and get diesel and petrol engines on a level playing field in recent years.

"I think so [that it will work better], because you will of course see that some are able to adapt better to different circumstances," said Kristensen.

"Now it's up to some of the brains behind the scenes to try and optimise the different ways.

"It will still count for the world championship as well, so you'll have to think, OK, there are double points for Le Mans, but you need a solution that can work at different racetracks in all areas."

19th June 2012, 18:48
Toyota has had a great time and other more delicate in Le Mans 24 Hours which ended prematurely during the eleventh hour of the race.

After an impressive start to their first race, the two TS030 Hybrid are the outposts: Nicolas Lapierre, who shares the No. 7 with Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima takes the lead of the race at the approach of the sixth hour. Unfortunately, the joy of seeing his team take the hybrid powertrain squad ended a few seconds later, with the crash of Anthony Davidson, who drives the No. 8 with Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastien Buemi. The Columbia was hit by a car in which he took a turn and suffers a violent impact on the tire wall at Mulsanne corner, which concludes the Mulsanne Straight. At this point, the cars reach their top speed to over 330 km / h. After exiting the car on his own, Anthony Davidson was transported to the circuit medical center, suffering from shock and back. Despite any apparent injury, he joined the hospital for checks revealed two broken vertebrae. These injuries should be completely healed in about three months.

After neutralization, the green flag is displayed. Kazuki is fighting for first place but touches another car in traffic, resulting in a puncture and damage to the rear bodywork. This incident marks the beginning of a series of problems that waste a lot of time at No. 7 in the pits. An engine problem forced after 10:30 # 7 finally abandoned. The TS030 Hybrid will make its return to the track on Aug. 26 for the 6 Hours of Silverstone, the fourth round of the Endurance World Championship FIA.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita (President of Toyota Racing): "At present, our predominant feeling is sadness. All our wishes are for Anthony, who is a fantastic friend and a major force of our team. We sincerely hope he will recover very quickly. Sorry for not having been able to bring a good result with the No. 7 - who met with an alternator problem and a blown engine - to encourage him. During the next few days, we will look at the first six hours of racing and we are proud to have completed the 24 Hours of Le Mans when we return. This motivates us to further whip to bring back some trophies for the rest of the season. "

Alexander Wurz (TS030 Toyota Hybrid No. 7, abandonment): "Despite the disappointment on the track, the most important is the status of Anthony and I hope it will go well. We saw some very positive points of our car, which showed a good performance. This race showed us some important lessons which we can work in the coming weeks. This is a great reward for everyone to have led the Le Mans 24 Hours at our first attempt. "

Nicolas Lapierre (TS030 Toyota Hybrid No. 7, abandonment): "The program is young and this is our first race. We made ​​a good beginning and a good qualification test. I think we can be happy with our performance level. We fought against the leaders with two cars, which is a great success. I also think Anthony: more than anything, the most important thing is that he recovers quickly. "

Kazuki Nakajima (TS030 Toyota Hybrid No. 7, abandonment): "I was saddened to learn of the injury and Anthony, as the whole team, I hope he comes back soon. This is a real disappointment to finish the race so early. We had a good start, but I have had contact with another car after neutralization. Just after we experienced a problem that was not related to this incident and accordingly, we lost time. I made ​​some runs at night in difficult conditions: I had a slow puncture and severe vibration. It was difficult to temperature in the tires and I had trouble making them work. "

Stephane Sarrazin (Hybrid Toyota TS030 # 8, abandonment): "First, I am relieved that Anthony will be out of such an accident and I hope he recovers quickly. Concerning the race, the car was competitive and after careful at the beginning, we were really on. We followed a very good pace, with both cars in the top 3. For a car that made ​​its first rounds only a few months ago, it's amazing to be at this level at Le Mans. There is disappointment, obviously, but we must keep this positive experience. "

Sebastien Buemi (Hybrid Toyota TS030 # 8, abandonment): "Being at the start of Le Mans for the first time was an incredible day for me and we performed very well until the accident. The car was really fast and we gave a hard time with the leaders. We take the clearly positive in this race: we have shown that we have a competitive car and we are able to lead the race. I am disappointed for Anthony: We are looking forward to see him back as quickly as possible. "

( information Toyota Racing)

19th June 2012, 18:51
The 80th edition of Le Mans 24 Hours offers us three beautiful "three stories" for the trio winner, Audi and the French team Larbre Competition.

Twice for a trio. Already victorious in 2011 after having slender from pole position, Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer repeat this performance in 2012, and became the fourth crew of three drivers to win two consecutive years in Sarthe. They join Derek Bell Hans-Joachim Stuck Al Holbert-(victorious in 1986 and 1987), Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro-Marco Werner (2006-2007), and also Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen, Emanuele Pirro, one trio to have won three consecutive wins (2000-2001-2002).

New Audi tripled. If the two Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid sign a historic double, do not forget the R18 ultra-Rockenfeller Mike Oliver Jarvis Marco Bonanomi, which allows the brand to win his fifth rings tripled to 24 Hours after the 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2010.

Larbre Competition, three wins in the U.S.. expert views of the different categories GT at Le Mans for nearly two decades, the team of Jack Leconge, already defending champion in LM GTE Am, offers herself as his third win of Category consecutive Sarthe, and always with an American car: after the Saleen S7-R in 2010, Larbre Competition is offered a second wins in a row with a Corvette.

19th June 2012, 19:57
Allan McNish says it will be impossible to replace Dindo Capello in the Audi line-up following the Italian's final Le Mans 24 Hours drive
By Matt Beer Tuesday, June 19th 2012, 16:21 GMT

Allan McNish reckons Dindo Capello will prove to be 'irreplaceable' in Audi's #2 driver line-up as the Italian bowed out of his long Le Mans partnership with McNish and Tom Kristensen after last weekend's race.

The trio have driven together since the start of Audi's diesel LMP1 programme in 2006, winning the 2008 Le Mans 24 Hours together plus the '06, '09 and '12 Sebring 12 Hours.

Capello had announced that this year's Le Mans would be his last, leaving Audi to consider whether to slot in a new third driver alongside McNish and Kristensen, or whether to totally reshuffle its driver groupings.

McNish reckons it will be impossible to find someone who fits as well alongside him and Kristensen as Capello has, even though he admitted that he would just have to adapt.

"When it comes, it comes, and that's it," he said of the end of the trio's time together. "It's like when you change engineers after a long relationship, you build up a new formation.

"I think it will be impossible to replace all the qualities of Dindo, especially with Tom and I because it's just such a trusting relationship and such an open one. But that will have to come to pass. It's never been thought about or discussed."

He added: "To be honest, I don't think I've ever had a team-mate that I've had such a close relationship with on and off the circuit. We know each other so well. And his speed - you saw it on Sunday morning [at Le Mans] - is still pretty blinding, without doubt. And he's developed a few Scottish words..."

McNish expects Capello to retain an important role in Audi's programme.

"I don't think there's anyone in the paddock who would anything negative to say about Dindo. Nobody at all. And that's one of the nicest things you can say about a driver who's been in a competitive arena for such a long period of time," he said.

"His talent sometimes still astounds me. For sure, he'll still be around. I don't think he'll be lost and he certainly won't be forgotten."


19th June 2012, 20:00
Nice words from McNish, will miss Dindo in this driving crew.

20th June 2012, 19:36
At the end of the 80th edition of Le Mans 24 Hours, the British team JRM has managed an ambitious bet: go all the way to her first. With more importantly, for the Honda HPD ARX-03a No. 22, the sixth place overall and second private competitors in the premier class of LM P1 prototypes involved in the Endurance World Championship by the FIA.

This is Australian David Brabham, winner in Sarthe in 2009, qu'échoit honor of starting. He immediately won a place in relation to his eleventh on the grid. Shortly after 17:00, he gave the wheel to Karun Chandhok. First Indian to contest the 24 Hours, it offers a quadruple stint as a "baptism of fire", causing the No. 22 Honda in eighth position. Then the Briton Peter Dumbreck took the track and begins a duel with the Lola-Toyota No. 13, with which it exchanges eighth place at the option of refueling. He climbs in seventh place thanks to the long stop of the Toyota 7. But he suffered a flat tire in the Dunlop curve and was forced to make an almost complete turn in slow motion. The Honda 22 was the ninth when Karun Chandhok back behind the wheel and goes in pursuit of Starworks Motorsport Honda to seventh place, but a clutch problem returns in the pits. Then he moved up from 12th to 9th place before giving way to Peter Dumbreck. It carries 47 rounds and bring the car in seventh place when he hands over to David Brabham. It consolidates the sixth position, before Karun Chandhok and Peter Dumbreck not finish the race.

David Brabham: "The team has only two races, and here he landed at Le Mans for the first time ever to finish in the top 6 without reliability problems. This is an extraordinary success. The car is very late arrival, the team worked very hard, even during this week of 24 hours to get everything ready. She really knew very short nights, and I'm really proud of everyone. "

Karun Chandhok: "Driving nine hours sleep and only four in thirty-six hours, it makes a hell of fatigue! It made ​​me understand the unique nature and special race. It was overall a very good race, and it's a special feeling of being the first Indian to finish the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And finish second private competitor is a similarly fantastic. "

Peter Dumbreck: "The last stint was nerve-wracking. I heard the slightest noise, the slightest vibration, wondering what could it be! This result meant so much for any team that I stayed focused in depth on offer, as she deserves. Finally we thought would be a miracle, then I think there's someone up there to thank ... "

James Rumsey (JRM Team Principal): "This is our third race, it is our first 24 hours, then finish, and finish on a good result, it's indescribable. David shared with us his invaluable experience, Peter has done a superb job overnight - especially when his puncture, because everything could go very wrong at that time. Karun and made ​​a show incredible regularity for his first visit to Le Mans. I'm really proud of everyone and I'm sure this is the start of something big. "

Nigel Stepney (Chief Engineer and Team Manager JRM): "I am in motor sport for much longer than I dare remember, but I have a feeling that is unlike anything I experienced before. There is a lot of luck at Le Mans. We certainly had, but the preparation done beforehand helped us to use a little force

22nd June 2012, 22:07

21/06/2012 - 18h38
After the failure of the AMR One project in 2011, Aston Martin Racing returned to its roots with the V8 Vantage, a GT which has proved a worthy successor to the DBR9 in the former LMGT1 category at Le Mans during the last decade. And it was with a podium finish that the British team celebrated its return to the highest level in GT racing.

In free practice, the Vantage in the sky blue and orange livery of Gulf Oil, set the fastest time of the session. In qualifying, Darren Turner, could not prevent Frederic Makowiecki and his Ferrari taking pole, putting the Aston second on the LMGTE Pro grid.

The Vantage driven by Stefan Mucke, Adrian Fernandez and Darren Turner, kept pace with the leaders in LMGTE Pro which, although it has fewer competitors than the Am class, it is no less competitive . The German driver put in a stunning lap in 3:54.928 after 20 hours of racing, nearly four tenths less than the pole position!

Unfortunately, the fate of the Vantage was sealed just before the four hour mark. Stefan Mücke, who had never before competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours with a GT, left the track at Indianapolis. The German brought the car back to the pits but the damage was slight and mechanics only had to change a door and bonnet. The repair only lasted ten minutes, but the price was the loss of second place for the British team.

David Richards, Chairman of Aston Martin : “Le Mans is always one of the most special events of the year and probably the world’s greatest motor race. To come here with a new GTE car and finish on the podium is a great accolade not just for the team, but also for the Aston Martin product and everybody that has supported us. Two of our drivers, Stefan Mücke and Adrian Fernandez, had never before competed in a GTE car here, although Darren Turner’s a Le Mans stalwart and has been with us since the beginning of the Aston Martin Racing programme. The team worked brilliantly together to help get Stefan and Adrian onto the pace. Adrian, in particular, acquitted himself very well given that this is his first season in a production-based racing car, so it was fitting that he should have the honour of driving the Vantage GTE over the finishing line. We only had one car competing in GTE Pro this weekend and that’s always an unnerving feeling because we know how easily the slightest mistake can trip you up – that makes for a very long 24-hour race! The Aston Martin Vantage GTE set the fastest GTE lap of the race and didn’t have any technical issues at all. We didn’t have quite the fuel economy of the winning car, but we know what we have to do to correct that for next year. Everyone in the team should be very proud of themselves"

(quote from team press release)

458 Italia
22nd June 2012, 23:31
Lolston Martin, the Eurosport crew were willing them on at Le Mans but they sucked in the end mainly due to their economy.

I dread the day McL*ren have a car that's eligible for Le Mans

23rd June 2012, 06:14
Lime Rock: Chase for ALMS Championships Resume
Thirty-two entries for Round 4

BRASELTON, Ga. – As is normally tradition – except for one season since 2004 – the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón starts its summer swing at Lime Rock Park. This year’s American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix will see 32 entries on the grid: 15 prototypes and 17 GT cars.

It’ll be close quarters for the fourth round of the ALMS championship. The 1.5-mile, seven-turn circuit at Lime Rock provides no room for error in a race featuring multiple classes with differing speeds and performance capabilities.

Dyson Racing’s Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in P1, and BMW Team RLL’s Joey Hand and Dirk Müller in GT are back to defend class wins from the 2011 season. They are part of a field that begins the run to ALMS championships with six races over the next 11 weeks.

Dyson Racing – based in nearby Poughkeepsie, N.Y. – has two Mazda-powered coupes against Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s Honda Performance Development ARX-03a. The Muscle Milk duo of Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won the last two ALMS rounds and holds the P1 championship lead.

Eleven entries from seven teams representing five manufacturers are in the GT field. Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner lead the drivers championship after winning the last two races. BMW Team RLL’s Hand and Müller are second in the title standings, and Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long were second last year at Lime Rock in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

All six are among the GT competitors at Lime Rock Park.

In P2, Level 5 Motorsports hasn’t lost this season and brings two HPD ARX-03bs to Lime Rock for team owner Scott Tucker, Christophe Bouchut and Luis Diaz. Conquest Endurance – with a Morgan-Nissan – and Dempsey Racing’s Lola-Judd – featuring Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey in his second career ALMS race – round out the field.

Just like Level 5, CORE autosport is unbeaten in three Prototype Challenge races – two for Alex Popow at Sebring and Long Beach, while Colin Braun and team owner Jon Bennett won at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Both of CORE’s ORECA FLM09s are on the Lime Rock entry as are entries from Merchant Services Racing (two cars) and RSR Racing, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, Performance Tech Motorsports and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports.

Alex Job Racing leads the GT Challenge team championship as does AJR driver Cooper MacNeil. The gap in the team title chase is only five points between Alex Job and Green Hornet Racing, with MacNeil only one point ahead of Green Hornet drivers Damien Faulkner and Peter LeSaffre. Green Hornet is set to debut a second Porsche 911 GT3 Cup at Lime Rock.

The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix is Saturday, July 7. The two-hour, 45-minute race is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET from the 1.5-mile, 10-turn Lime Rock Park circuit. ESPN2 airs the race the same day at 4 p.m. ET. Live coverage is available starting at 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Lime Rock round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.

23rd June 2012, 06:18
Lolston Martin, the Eurosport crew were willing them on at Le Mans but they sucked in the end mainly due to their economy.

I dread the day McL*ren have a car that's eligible for Le Mans

Aston done well really, just liked too see them do well after the massive flop that was the AMR-One LMP1 last year. Think, Mclaren MP12-4C, was aiming to be at Le-Mans next year. If remember right.

23rd June 2012, 06:21
ALMS Exploring Natural Gas for PC Class
Agreement with Patrick Racing for Research and Development

BRASELTON, Ga. (June 20, 2012) – The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), sanctioning body for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Jackson, Mich.-based Patrick Racing to research and develop natural gas as an alternative fuel for the Series’ Prototype Challenge cars.

Embracing natural gas as a safe and abundant fuel, IMSA/ALMS and Patrick Racing will identify development and testing opportunities for the source to power the Series’ PC cars, beginning as early as the 2013 season.

“We are the only racing series recognized to comply with the Green Racing protocols developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International,” said IMSA and ALMS Chief Operating Officer Scot Elkins. “These organizations see Green Racing as a way to foster technology developments for tomorrow’s consumer production vehicles, enhance national energy security, and reduce carbon emissions. We view the addition of natural gas to the Series as a means of continuing our mission to be on the front line of automotive technology advancement, while providing unequalled entertainment for our fans.”

ALMS’ Prototype Challenge class features the ORECA FLM09, a race car with a minimum weight of 1,985 pounds and powered by a 430-horsepower Chevrolet LS3 engine. The FLM09 features a full carbon fiber chassis, carbon brakes and an Xtrac sequential gearbox with paddle shifting.

Green Racing is a major component of ALMS’ platform. Two Green Racing competitions are in play every time ALMS cars hit the track: the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge aimed at ALMS teams and the GREEN CHALLENGE™ aimed at vehicle manufacturers. These challenges form a “race within a race” that build on the ALMS’ intense competition while measuring the factors that determine which car is winning the world’s most important race – the race to an energy-secure and economically vibrant future.

Both the Michelin Green X Challenge and the Green Challenge use a unique scoring system jointly developed by ALMS, DOE and EPA technical staff that rewards high performance on the race circuit, energy efficiency, and the smallest environmental impact.

Patrick Racing was founded by oil and natural gas exploration and racing pioneer U.E. “Pat” Patrick. He developed the concept that natural gas – an extremely abundant American energy source that is clean, safe and economical – would be an ideal fuel for racing engines. The company has also built and tested a natural gas-powered, turbo-charged, four-cylinder engine.

“We are excited to become a part of the world’s premier sports car racing series and eager to help spread this technology to a vibrant, visible and growing element of the racing world,” said Patrick, whose teams have three times visited the winner’s circle of the Indianapolis 500 and have claimed multiple IndyCar series championships.

“Natural gas is destined to become a major player in the transportation industry for everyday passenger vehicles, and not just fleet operations,” he added. “It is abundant, domestic, affordable and ecologically responsible. For more than a century, racing has been at the tip of the spear in developing new technology for the transportation industry. This is in line with and in the spirit of that history.”

Heading the natural gas technical development for ALMS’ Prototype Challenge cars will be Indianapolis 500 Hall of Fame and Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Jim McGee. With more than 90 victories in his portfolio, McGee is universally respected as the one of the most successful team managers/chief mechanics in IndyCar racing history.

23rd June 2012, 06:27

Following his significant accident at the Le Mans Test Day on June 3 in which his twelfth vertebra was fractured, Guillaume Moreau has now taken the next step in his recovery by transferring from the Angers hospital to Arche, a rehabilitation centre in Le Mans.

One of the best centres to specialise in spinal injuries, Arche will provide Guillaume with a leading multi-disciplinary medical team.

Due to the success of both operations, which aimed to stabilise the fracture and relieve spinal compression, Guillaume has already recovered significant movement within his legs – an encouraging sign for the future. He is now entering a stage of rehabilitation where an initial three-month phase will be necessary for the specialists to fully evaluate his level of final recovery.

Guillaume Moreau: “I was cared for remarkably well by the Angers hospital over the course of more than two weeks. While I had little memory of the first operation, the second proved quite tough physically. I am happy to be taking the next step, one of rehabilitation, where I can be more active even though I still need some rest. I can already move my legs, which feels good, and walk aided by some support down one side. I now need to do some physio to stimulate and strengthen my muscles. I still lack some sensitivity in my right foot but with the work I am going to be doing here at Arche it should come back. I will have to learn to be patient, which is not my best quality!"

“I would like to thank all those who have shown their support and who are continuing to do so. It means a lot to me and also helps a great deal.”

Jacques Nicolet, Team Owner: “The entire team is delighted that Guillaume is moving up a step in his recovery. It was crucial for his family to prioritise the quality of his medical environment and Arche, a specialist centre well adapted to his case, was the choice taken. The competence of the medical teams that have looked after him since the start, as well as his own fighting spirit, are both amazing and worthy of admiration. It also allows us to be confident for the rest of his recovery. Guillaume has always held a special place within the team and the fact that he is now in Le Mans for this therapy period allows us to provide him with direct support. For us, he remains integral to the team, an element that without any doubt will be positive for his morale, along with all the messages of goodwill and sympathy he has received.”

From OAK Racing press release

458 Italia
23rd June 2012, 13:44
Aston done well really, just liked too see them do well after the massive flop that was the AMR-One LMP1 last year. Think, Mclaren MP12-4C, was aiming to be at Le-Mans next year. If remember right.

They surely aren't going to be allowed to run with the twin turbo engine?

28th June 2012, 08:35
ALMS: Black Swan Pulls Plug On Lola P2 Program
Team owner Tim Pappas aims for return to GT ranks after Lola parts shortage forces team to abandon P2 plans...
John Dagys | Posted June 26, 2012 Chicago, IL

Black Swan Racing appears to be headed back to the GT ranks after parts supply issues with Lola has forced the Boston-based squad out of P2. (Photo: LAT)
The ongoing financial crisis at Lola has claimed its first victim. With the uncertainty of the British constructor’s future and the dwindling supply of spare parts, Black Swan Racing has pulled the plug on its intended full-season American Le Mans Series program with the Lola B11/80 Honda.

Speaking to SPEED.com, team owner Tim Pappas confirmed that his two-time GTC championship-winning squad will forgo next weekend’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, with only an “outside chance” of continuing in the cost-capped P2 ranks later this year.

“I really didn't have it in me to continue and beat my head against the wall looking to find parts,” Pappas said. “This thing, for me, is purely for fun. What's taken place with Lola and with Martin Birrane and the whole situation has removed any hint of fun. It's unfortunate.”

Instead of battling on the race track, it turned into a battle just to find replacement parts for Black Swan's 2011-spec Lola. While having finished on the podium in its P2 debut at Sebring, an early race incident knocked Pappas and co-driver Jeroen Bleekemolen out of the running at Long Beach.

The Boston-based team had borrowed parts from both Level 5 Motorsports and Dyson Racing to make the grid at Long Beach, only to suffer additional misfortune in the race.

While there was hope of upgrading to Lola’s 2012-spec aero kit for Lime Rock, that plan went awry when Lola entered financial administration in May, which saw massive layoffs at its Huntingdon, England workshop and a halt of manufacturer support and parts supply.

“The car was far from being perfect,” Pappas said. “We had a tremendous amount of support from Honda on that front, but we really needed the manufacturer [Lola] to step up.

“All of these changes essentially mean that if you own one of these cars, you're pretty much on your own for development. Until somebody steps up and steps into the shoes of Lola or a re-organization is completed, that's not a good place to be.”

With Pappas not wanting to race an open-top car on the grounds of safety, and Lola currently the only manufacturer that had offered a race-ready cost-capped P2 coupe, Black Swan is now evaluating a move back to the GT ranks, potentially for later this year or 2013.

After having dominated the GTC ranks for the last two years, Pappas is pushing for the adoption of a GTE-Am category in the ALMS, which would see one-year-old GT-spec machinery with a mandated Pro-Am driver lineup.

The class saw 13 teams in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including American entries from Flying Lizard Motorsports and Krohn Racing.

"Personally, GTE-Am would be the natural progression,” Pappas said. “It makes sense for me as a driver, from a safety standpoint and from a costs benefit standpoint. I think it would be awesome.

“Clearly, the GT field is the most relevant for the fans. That's where we'd like to be. I still think P2 with the Pro-Am component makes so much sense and is a really cool class. But at the moment, it's a big problem if you're not interested in driving an open car."

Once spares are found for the damage sustained at Long Beach, Pappas says his leased Lola-Honda will be returned to Level 5 Motorsports.

30th June 2012, 11:09
Frederic Lénart took this morning its Chief Executive Officer of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest. He will work closely with President Pierre Fillon.

Aged 46, was Frederic Lénart since 2007 CEO of Leroux & Lotz Technologies, equipment and services for energy and the environment.

Man of the industry, he worked in the company Ugine & Alz, belonging to Arcelor-Mittal, previously as Head of Controlling for the European business before becoming CEO Commercial and Central Europe, based in Poland.

Holds a Master Corporate finance and international capital markets, from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris, Frederic Lénart is also a great sports enthusiast, practitioner himself downhill skiing, sailing and cycling .

Frederic Lénart , CEO of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, " After many years in industry and project management, I am proud to put my professional skills to the Automobile Club de l'Ouest. "

Pierre Fillon , President of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest: " I am delighted to welcome Frederic Lénart, experienced man who, with senior staff, will implement the strategy of the steering committee of the Automobile Club of West. "

1st July 2012, 21:27
Ferrari 458, 3rd in GT in the 6 hours of Watkins Glen. Great historic track.
Thats 6 podiums for the 458 team, they r leading the championship, but I think
the powers that be adjusted restrictions on the 458, as the 1st few races, we were killen em.
Great to see the 458's racing, they look fastastico!!!

2nd July 2012, 11:26

01/07/2012 - 15h29

FIA president since 2009, Jean Todt fully intends to fulfill two missions assigned to the Federation: the regulation and legislation of motorsport, but also the safety of motorists, particularly through Automobile Clubs. The man who led Peugeot Sport and Scuderia Ferrari to success has taken road safety head-on through the 'Action For Road Safety'.

Mr. President, what is the purpose of Action For Road Safety?
"The goal is simple. There are 1.3 million deaths a year worldwide on roads, and 50 million injured. 90% of victims live in developing countries. The FIA brings together 132 countries with two main activities: legislation and regulation of motor sport and action on Automobile Safety including that which is done through the Automobile Clubs. Road safety is top priority. The United Nations has decided that the decade 2011-2020 is that of road safety, with a goal of saving 5 million lives in 10 years.

It is through education, support for world road infrastructure, but also improving the world's vehicle fleet. It is not easy to impose a helmet or seat belt regulation when 50% of the world lacks access to safe drinking water. We must inform governments and organizations like the World Bank, WHO and the Red Cross.”

What is the role of motor sport in this campaign?
"Safety in motorsport has come a long way: in terms of circuits, cars and drivers' equipment, in rally, F1, touring cars and endurance racing. We need these advances to benefit everyday drivers. Race drivers are powerful ambassadors. We must better educate people to respect the rules. We also have partnerships with other international sports federations."

This subject is particularly dear to your heart. Why?
"If you can not save even one human life, it must be done. I have had great success and pleasure in my work for many years and now I want to give back to society. "

The 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place in France, how is road safety in this country?
"France has made sensational progress in 20 years, but we are not at the end of what could be achieved. Rules are enforced on major roads and highways, but many accidents occur on the secondary network because there are fewer controls and infrastructure is in a worse state. Many accidents could be avoided. "

On the occasion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 50,000 gauges for measuring tyre wear were distributed to the public, in partnership with Michelin. A picture of officials and all the drivers was taken before the start of the race to highlight the motorsport personalities supporting the campaign; Action For Road Safety.

The 'Golden Rules' issued by the FIA ​​can be found on the FIA ​​website (link).

2nd July 2012, 11:28
At a press conference in Munich, BMW's historic headquarters, the president of the German marque, Dr. Norbert Reithofer, announced the expansion of technology collaboration with Toyota, in the presence of Akio Toyoda, his Japanese counterpart. This new alliance comes after the Peugeot and General Motors announced their cooperation earlier this year.

After an initial agreement in December 2011, both companies had already entered into a partnership last March on research in the field of fuel cells and the supply of BMW diesel engines for the European market. Now the cooperation is extended to research on electric vehicles, reducing vehicle weight and the design of future vehicles, including a sports car.

Toyota, who has lost global leadership in 2011 in favour of General Motors, was a pioneer of hybrid cars with the Prius. The Japanese manufacturer has used knowledge and experience of hybridization to develop the new TS030 Hybrid, seen for the first time at the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours, the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, in ​​which Toyota is registered as a manufacturer. Neither of the two cars crossed the finish line, the first having retired due to an accident and the second with an engine problem, but they have shown a clear potential with the highest top speed on the grid.

Dr. Norbert Reithoher: "We aim to further strengthen our competitive position in sustainable future technologies. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding to this effect today... One thing is certain: We aim to shape this iconic change as pioneers and a driving force. And we will do so in a responsible and sustainable manner. Together, we have a great opportunity to continue leading our industry through this transformation. That is why we are pooling our expertise."

( BMW press information).

2nd July 2012, 11:29
Video: Lime Rock, the recovery
02/07/201210:47 - Auto News - AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES

Three weeks near the big event of the 24 Hours, American Le Mans Series is the first series labeled "Le Mans" to get on with his 2012 season after six weeks of interruption, with his fourth race sailed on Saturday, July 7, to discover in the video above (English commentary). For more images, visit www.lemans-tv.com .

This recovery will take place in the green surroundings of the circuit at Lime Rock Park near Lakeville, in the State of Connecticut, the heart of New England. A path is very short (2.478 km) where the fastest run in less than a minute: for example, the French Pagenaud had the pole position in 46 seconds 971 in 2009. Traffic will be intense, without a moment's respite for competitors.

After two seasons chase for the title in 2010 with the Porsche RS Spyder in 2011 and then cut with the Lola-Aston Martin, Muscle Milk has the stables this year a Honda HPD ARX-03a. She has already won two consecutive wins in the previous rounds of Long Beach and Laguna Seca and intends to increase its lead over 2011 champion Dyson Racing (Lola-Mazda). Side GT, Corvette Racing has also imposed at the two California races, but remains under threat from BMW M3 Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan, who has only seven points behind the overall standings.

For those who live in the United States, ESPN will broadcast the three qualifying Friday, July 6th from 3:05 p.m. (East Coast time), then the race (lasting 2:45) 7 streaming on Saturday from 2:45 p.m. (East Coast time), with a delayed television broadcast on ESPN2 from 16:00 hours (East Coast). French viewers will benefit in turn by a summary on Motors TV on Sunday, 8 (to 12.15), on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, 10 11 (at 5:00), Wednesday 11 (at 23:45), Thursday 12 (at 17:15 ) and Friday, July 13 (at 15:15).

2nd July 2012, 11:30
Martin Brundle joins WEC for Silverstone round
Monday, July 2nd 2012, 10:32 GMT

Former Le Mans 24 Hours winner Martin Brundle will team up with son Alex for a second time in top-flight sportscar racing this year at Silverstone next month.

The Brundles will contest the British round of the FIA World Endurance Championship on August 26 with the Greaves Zytek squad, which is fielding an additional car in the fourth round of the series.

They will share the Nissan-powered Zytek Z11SN with Lucas Ordonez, with whom they finished eighth in LMP2 at Le Mans last month.

Brundle Sr said: "I thoroughly enjoyed the whole Le Mans 24 Hours adventure, so when I was asked to race the Greaves Zytek-Nissan on the spectacularly fast Silverstone GP circuit with Alex and Lucas, the answer was simply 'yes'. I'm looking forward to another race finish, hopefully on the podium."

The British Greaves Motorsport is fielding the Brundles and Ordonez alongside its regular WEC entry for Elton Julian, Ricardo Gonzalez and Christian Zugel. Brundle Jr and Ordonez are contesting the European Le Mans Series with Greaves this season.


13th July 2012, 06:39

10/07/2012 - 01h32


Greaves Motorsport are racing on two fronts in 2012; with the Zytek-Nissan No.1 (No.42 at Le Mans) in the European Le Mans Series and the No.41 car in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The first will be at Donington next weekend for the second round of the series, but will also be at the 6 Hours of Silverstone, the fourth round of the World Championship on the 26th of August. However, the driver line-up for each race will be slightly different.

For the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the British team ran two cars in the LMP2 category for the first time: the Nissan-Zytek No.41 with its usual World Championship drivers (Christian Zugel, Elton Julian and Ricardo Gonzalez) and the No.42 sister car in the hands of Brundle father and son and Lucas Ordenez, defector from Signatech-Nissan this year. The trio will also drive at Silverstone, Martin Brundle replaces on this occasion, as at Le Mans, Tom Kimber-Smith, who was victorious in La Sarthe in LMP2 with the American team Starworks Motorsport.

Tim Greaves, Team Principal: “I expect the #42 car to challenge for the the LM P2 win at Silverstone. In France I was impressed with the pace of all three drivers, perhaps some other teams treated Le Mans as an extended sprint race, we adopted a more conservative approach. We struggled at night with the throttle issues, costing us time. We could almost do 12 lap stints on the fuel but it was very marginal and rather than run out of petrol we usually came in on 11 laps. Perhaps we need a fuel usage gauge on the steering wheel to help the drivers reduce consumption over the course of a stint. It was possible to run the extra lap as both Christian and Alex managed it during their time behind the wheel. Considering the pace that Alex ran at, it was a considerable achievement to get the extra lap with a sufficient margin of comfort. In particular, Martin’s pace at Le Mans was a surprise, a very pleasant one, and his technical feedback and clarity of thought was very impressive. His de-briefs were exceptional, he demonstrated that he was a true professional throughout the period of the programme, we all learned some useful lessons from him. So working with the trio from #42 will be great, now we have two cars aiming at the top spot

(quote from Greaves Motorsport press release)

14th July 2012, 06:39
In anticipation of the next round of the Endurance World Championship by the FIA, to be held August 26 at Silverstone (Great Britain), the American team Krohn Racing will conduct testing with its Ferrari 458 Italia (LM GTE Am ) on the circuit of Snetterton on 24 and 25 July. Tracy Krohn and Nic Jönsson his two teammates Michele Rugolo and use it for the first time Michelin tires.

So far, Krohn Racing was mounted tires Dunlop Le Mans Intercontinental Cup in 2011 and in the first three rounds already played (Sebring, Spa-Francorchamps, Le Mans) World Championship Endurance of the FIA. For five races remaining, the team of Tracy Krohn will now be equipped with Michelin tires.

Tracy Krohn (driver and owner Italia Ferrari 458 No. 57 Krohn Racing, LM GTE Am): "I rode with Michelin at Le Mans and ALMS, their tires and their services are exemplary. I think we'll find a better speed and propel our Ferrari to victory in both race and in the Endurance World Championship by the FIA. "

Jeff Hazell (Krohn Racing Competition reponsable): "Changing supplier of tires during the season is something unusual. We had the victory with Dunlop in 2011, and we thank them for their contribution and for their assistance last year. "

Nic Jönsson (Ferrari 458 Italia 57, Krohn Racing, LM GTE Am): "The green Krohn Racing Ferrari has already enjoyed success with Michelin GT ALMS and Le Mans in 2007 and 2009. I can not wait to try them at Snetterton this month on the 458 Italia. "

(press information Krohn Racing)

21st July 2012, 06:04

Combined final for the ELMS and the ALMS!
The 2012 European Le Mans Series season will end in the United States! The entrants in this series have been invited to take part in the Petit Le Mans, one of the most prestigious races in America for a combined final.

Europe meets America! The entrants in the European Le Mans Series have been invited to a great final. It will take place in the Petit Le Mans (17-20 October), a race that will also mark the end of the American Le Mans Series

This decision was taken by the organizers of the European Le Mans Series together with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest in agreement with the American Le Mans Series as it will add more prestige to both championships.

Above and beyond the overall result of the Petit Le Mans, a specific classification will be drawn up for the entrants in both series, which will give the final results in the two championships and will designate the teams that will receive invitations to the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours. Please note that points scored in the ELMS Championship in the Petit Le Mans while count double.

In compensation for this final the ACO and the ELMS are cancelling the last two rounds on the European calendar Brno (Czech Republic) and Algarve (Portugal). Last weekend the second round of the European Le Mans Series held on the Donington circuit in England provided a thrilling high-quality battle in the LM P2 category (9 cars), but there was an evident lack of competitors in the LM PC (1 entrant) and LM GTE (2 entries in GTE Am and 1 in GTE Pro).

This situation is the result of the current economic climate and a very competitive GT market with numerous championships that have led to the dispersal of cars of this type in Europe.

The organizers of the European Le Mans Series are working flat out on the future of the series, which is one of the essential competitions for training teams and drivers for the top level of endurance racing, the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours. This work will result in a proposal for the coming seasons and will be announced in September.

The Petit Le Mans is the tenth and last round of the American Le Mans Series. It is a 1000-mile race (1609 km or 10 hours maximum if this distance isn’t reached), and it will take place on 17-20 October on the beautiful Road Atlanta circuit in Georgia (USA).

21st July 2012, 06:06
ELMS cancels remaining rounds of 2012 season, teams invited to Petit Le Mans
By Matt Beer Friday, July 20th 2012, 16:39 GMT

The remaining scheduled rounds of the 2012 European Le Mans Series have been cancelled, with the American Le Mans Series' Petit Le Mans finale counting for points for ELMS teams instead.

The ELMS had been scheduled to continue at Brno in the Czech Republic in September and Portugal's Algarve track at the start of November. But organisers have now announced that both races will be called off, with ELMS competitors instead invited to Road Atlanta for Petit on 17-20 October, when double points will be available.

This year the ELMS had banned LMP1 cars to focus on LMP2s, but although this division had delivered a competitive field, the LMPC and GTE classes had become increasingly weak.

In last weekend's Donington Park round, the nine LMP2 cars were joined by just one LMPC car and three GTs, while the intended Zolder event in April had already been cancelled due to a low entry.

A statement from the organisers said the move was "the result of the current economic climate and a very competitive GT market with numerous championships that have led to the dispersal of cars of this type in Europe."

The statement added that the 2012 changes did not mean the end of the ELMS: "The organisers of the European Le Mans Series are working flat out on the future of the series, which is one of the essential competitions for training teams and drivers for the top level of endurance racing, the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours. This work will result in a proposal for the coming seasons and will be announced in September."

TDS drivers Pierre Thiriet and Mathias Beche lead the ELMS standings after the two rounds that took place at Paul Ricard and Donington.


21st July 2012, 06:12
Sad news for the ELMS, hope they can get it sorted for next year. Think that not having LMP1s have hurt the grid. Also with the WEC has hurt the size of the grids in ELMS ans ALMS. Really hope things pick up next year, and we see bigger grids and LMP1s in ELMs and more P1s in ALMS.

23rd July 2012, 15:19
Le Mans legend Rinaldo Capello officially retires from prototype racing
By Simon Strang Monday, July 23rd 2012, 10:49 GMT

Audi legend Rinaldo Capello has officially called time on his top flight endurance prototype career, having hinted as much after finishing second in June's Le Mans 24 Hours.

Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen will now share the #2 hybrid diesel-powered Audi R18 e-tron between them for the rest of the FIA World Endurance Championship, starting at the British round at Silverstone in the last weekend of August.

Capello, 48, ends his LMP1 career with a tally of three Le Mans victories, five Sebring 12 Hours wins (including 2012), 23 American Le Mans Series and three ELMS triumphs. The Italian was also ALMS champion twice.

Capello told AUTOSPORT at Le Mans that he felt it was time to pass over the mantle: "At the moment these cars are so fast, and with so much traffic we have to be really precise in every manoeuvre we do, and I felt that in the night.... you know...

"Sometimes age is age - you cannot change it. When you fight for tenths of a second, everything should be perfect, and if this is my last Le Mans, one of the reasons is age. It would be nice to be perfect until you are 70 or so - unfortunately it doesn't work like that."

Speaking of his retirement in a statement from Audi on Monday, Capello said: "I would like to address a really, really big thank you to Audi on my part.

"Audi has become my brand - professionally and based on my personal conviction. Together, we have achieved so much and demonstrated pioneering achievements again and again. Naturally, there is a feeling of sadness too, as this departure from the factory team is not easy.

"I am saying goodbye with a clear conscience because I have no unfinished business with my sport. In all disciplines and categories, Audi and I together have achieved the maximum with victories and titles. As late as in March, we won at Sebring and I'm currently ranking in first place of the WEC standings. I wanted to quit at a time when I was still able to show top performances."

Audi motorsport boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich paid tribute to Capello, who has been racing Volkswagen and Audi machinery for more than two decades.

"This is an extremely unusual string of successes and a very emotional moment," said Ullrich. "On behalf of Audi I would like to express a huge thank you to Dindo.

"Dindo was at the top of the sport for 19 years and all employees at Audi Sport were pleased to make this possible for him. I am proud of both. In terms of the sport as well as in a personal and professional sense - it has always been a pleasure to work with Dindo and to know that he was part of our team.

Capello intends to keep on racing with Audi's R8 LMS in GT3 events.

1st August 2012, 12:21
On Thursday 19 July the FIA Endurance Commission met in Paris to discuss several items including the 2014 regulations announced last month at Le Mans, continued improvements in driver and track safety, the 2013 FIA WEC calendar and the further development of the World Endurance Championship, and Endurance racing in general, around the world.

The President of the FIA Endurance Commission is Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, with the other members being –











Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones said, "We had a very productive meeting in Paris with significant progress being made in several key areas, including the work to finalise the 2014 LMP1 regulations that will put endurance racing at the forefront of the development of new technologies that manufacturers will use to build the road cars of the future. The new regulations will enable manufacturers to develop and test these new technologies in endurance race conditions that are very hard to replicate elsewhere. It is why we are working hard to make sure the 2014 regulations are rigorous enough but are also flexible to allow manufacturers to come up with new solutions that will ultimately benefit every road user around the world. After this meeting we are close to finalising the regulations so the teams and manufacturers can get on with the job of designing and building the cars. In tandem with these new technologies is the need to control costs within the championship in this very difficult economic climate and in accordance with FIA President Jean Todt, this is an area that is a priority for the Endurance Commission.

"Coupled with this is the continued need to improve safety," Sir Lindsay continued. "These new technologies introduce new hazards that we need to be aware of and develop safety measures to deal with any problems. An example of this was seen in recent garage fire in Formula 1. In addition we will continue to look at ways to improve on the already high standards of driver, team and track safety that we enjoy in our sport."

ACO President Pierre Fillon said, "The decisions made at the latest Endurance Commission meeting are very encouraging and I would like to thank Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones and the other members for their hard work in several key areas that will have a direct impact on the future growth of endurance racing, including the FIA World Endurance Championship.

"In the current economic conditions it should also be noted that cost management in our championships is of vital importance," M. Fillon continued. "This is something that the ACO, as the promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship, and the FIA Endurance Commission, will continue to monitor throughout 2012 and beyond to keep costs under control. We will not be afraid to take tough decisions on any expenditure that will have a detrimental effect on the future of the championship and on our partners, sponsors, manufacturers and teams.

"We have recently unveiled the date for the 2013 24 Heures du Mans, which will take place on 15/16 June next year and this, as in 2012, will form the central part of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. The 2013 FIA WEC calendar is nearly complete and we will be announcing next year’s schedule by the end of September, which will include some exciting new venues. We are now looking forward to the next round at Silverstone at the end of August, which will provide a fantastic setting in which to begin the second half of the 2012 season."

1st August 2012, 12:23

23/07/2012 - 23h22

The entry list for the second 6-hour race of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone will feature thirty-seven cars, with 23 prototypes and 14 GTE entries for the 6 Hours of Silverstone on Sunday 26 August.

The entry list is headed by the nr1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoit Treluyer, who swept to victory at the 24 Heures du Mans in June, the second Le Mans win in a row for the trio and a historic first for a hybrid car. Audi will be fielding two cars at Silverstone, the second for Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen, who switch to the Audi R18 Ultra for the British round of the world championship. Dindo Capello will not be joining McNish and Kristensen, the Italian retiring from international racing for Audi after 19 successful years.

Facing the two Audis will be the single Toyota TS030 Hybrid of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajma. Toyota will arrive in Silverstone buoyed by the performance of the TS030 on its Le Mans debut which saw the Japanese manufacturer take the battle to Audi and lead the race in the first quarter of the 24 Hours encounter. A high speed crash for the nr8 Toyota and technical problems for the nr7 put both Toyotas into retirement but with the race at Silverstone being only a 6 hour race Toyota will be hoping that the speed shown at Le Mans can be maintained in the UK.

There are four further LMP1 entries, including the British teams Strakka Racing, with an all British line up of Danny Watts, Jonny Kane and Nick Leventis, and JRM, with David Brabham, Karun Chandhok and Scotland’s Peter Dumbreck. The two teams will be hoping that home advantage will see them take the fight to the dominant Rebellion Racing Lola Toyotas in the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP1 privateer teams contest.

The largest class, with 16 entries, is LMP2. Starworks Motorsports will be looking for another victory after their class win at Le Mans and overall 3rd place in Sebring. Stephane Sarrazin rejoins Enzo Potolichio and Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel in the HPD-Honda. Two British teams will field cars with two Zytek-Nissans run by Greaves Motorsport with former Sportscar World Champion and F1 commentator Martin Brundle racing with son Alex once again in the nr42 car. The ADR-Delta team is based at Silverstone and the Oreca-Nissan it sure to be in the running for top honours at the team’s home track.

Two famous British manufacturers also have entries in LMP2 with two cars for the Lotus team, with Britain’s James Rossiter driving the nr32 black and gold liveried car, and Oak Racing entering two Morgan-Nissans in the class. Three further British drivers will be on the LMP2 grid, with Warren Hughes and Jody Firth joining New Zealander Brendon Hartley, in the nr48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca Nissan and Alexander Sims racing in the nr30 Status GP Lola-Judd.

Leading the way in the GTE class is the three entries by Aston Martin Racing. In the LMGTE Pro class Britain’s Darren Turner, along with Stefan Mücke and Adrian Fernandez, will endeavour to improve on their 3rd place at Le Mans in June. AMR are also entering two cars in the LMGTE AM class, with the nr99 car featuring reigning British GT Champion Andrew Howard, who also was the team boss of the Beechdean Mansell Motorsport LMP1 entered car in the 2010 24 Heures du Mans for British racing legend Nigel Mansell.

In LMGTE Pro the Aston Martin will face stiff opposition from the two AF Corse entered Ferraris, the nr51 458 of Giancarlo Fissichella and Gianmaria Bruni, fresh from their class win at Le Mans, the nr71 AF Corse Ferrari of 2010 FIA GT1 World Champion Andrea Bertolini and Olivier Beretta, the Luxury Racing Ferrari 458 of Frederic Makowiecki and Jaime Melo and the Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche of Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb.

In LMGTE Am Larbre Competition won the class at Le Mans with the nr50 Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1 and will try to maintain the pace at Silverstone against 8 further entries. British team JWA-Avila will be running their Porsche 911 RSR for Britain’s Paul Daniels, Finland’s Markus Palttala and Swiss driver Joel Camathias. As well as the two Aston Martin’s the LMGTE Am grid will include three Ferrari 458s run by Krohn Racing, Luxury Racing and AF Corse-Waltrip. Larbre Competition will run a second Corvette and the Team Felbermayr-Porsche for Sebring class winners Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti concludes an impressive line up for the fourth race of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO, said: “The 6 Hours of Silverstone is an important event on the calendar for the FIA World Endurance Championship as motorsport is a very strong and vital part of the sporting tradition in Great Britain. I am very pleased to see 37 entries for this race, especially at a time when other championships are seeing grid sizes getting smaller. At Le Mans in June we announced the new 2014 regulations which will be central to endurance racing for many years to come. The emphasis is on renewal energy and linking endurance racing to the development of new technologies for road cars. You can see that new technology on the grid now with the two hybrid LMP1 contenders from Audi and Toyota and I’m sure Toyota will build on the successful debut of their cars at Le Mans and take the fight to Audi at Silverstone. ”

Gerard Neveu, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship, said: “The 6 Hours of Silverstone is the final European round of the 2012 Championship and I am pleased to see an even larger grid than we had at Sebring and at Spa. British manufacturers have also played an important role in endurance racing over the years with Aston Martin, Lotus, Morgan, Lola and Zytek will be represented on the grid at Silverstone. We have six British teams and no less than sixteen British drivers for local fans to cheer for on the 26th August, with Allan McNish looking to add the FIA World Endurance Driver’s Championship to his impressive CV at the end of the season. The 6 Hours of Silverstone will be a great family weekend, with the Spirit of Le Mans seen in every corner of the paddock and spectator areas.”

3rd August 2012, 12:53
Snakes Strike Back: SRT Vipers Hit Track at Mid-Ohio
Riley-built Vipers make highly anticipated ALMS debut

SRT Motorsports made its long-awaited debut in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón on Thursday in testing for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge. The two SRT Viper GTS-Rs hit the track for the first time after the manufacturer announced in April that it was bringing a two-car factory Viper program to ALMS for the first time since 2000.

The No. 91 Viper of Dominik Farnbacher and Kuno Wittmer was 11th in GT on Thursday at 1:22.891 (98.066 mph). Two spots down was the No. 93 entry of Marc Goossens and Tommy Kendall.

“First of all I want to thank the whole SRT team for putting this together. It’s been a hell of a few months,” said Farnbacher, who posted the team’s best lap Thursday. “We’ve been working day and night, and thanks to the team for working day and night.

“The car feels fantastic,” he added. “The first time out it already feels very good. Of course, the first time out we have a little fine-tuning to do on the setup, but other than that it’s a fantastic car. I think we’re heading the right way. It feels good so far.”

The SRT Vipers – constructed by Riley Technologies – went through a thorough testing schedule that included multiple days at Mid-Ohio in the past month. Adding to the challenge is the immensely competitive GT class that includes factory and works-supported efforts from BMW, Chevrolet, Porsche, Ferrari and Lotus.

“There are goals and expectations,” Kendall said. “A driver’s goal is to always come out and win the race. The expectation though is to learn as much as we can. We’ve done a lot of testing and have a lot of questions in our minds about where we stand. We want to get as many miles as we can. We’re under no illusions about what we’ve gotten into. We picked a pretty deep and stocked pool to jump in.”

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge is set for 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 4 from the 2.25-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. ABC’s broadcast featuring live coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET.

5th August 2012, 14:31
Five wins in a row for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing had another dominating race weekend in Round 6 of the American Le Mans Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as the team scored its fifth consecutive victory this season.

The team led all on-track sessions throughout the weekend for the second race in a row and scored its second consecutive victory at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge.

German Lucas Luhr, who was starting from pole position, was able to maintain his lead up until he handed off driving duties to Klaus Graf with a little over an hour and a half to go.

The only time the team wasn’t atop the charts throughout the weekend was following the team’s second stop. Dyson Racing had pitted earlier on with no driver change and gained an advantage in that sequence of stops.

However, Graf quickly retook the lead when Dyson finally pitted for their driver change and final fuel stop, with Graf even putting them a lap down at one point.

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing continued their dominance over the field and maintained a 53 second advantage after their final pit stop for fuel with about 27 minutes to go.

By the time the checkered flag had fell, Graf was only seconds away from putting a lap on the #16 Dyson car.

While things may have seemed easy from the outside looking in, there was a lot of work involved in this victory as in others. The team had to work through a couple of issues during the race while the drivers had to deal with a tricky racetrack.

However, once again the team’s hard work paid off and gave the Greg Pickett-led team a 16-point advantage in the P1 Championship with four races remaining.

The next round of the 2012 ALMS season takes place in two weeks, August 17 – 18, at Road America.

Muscle Milk Quotes

Lucas Luhr, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a
“The start worked out great today. As the pole-sitting car you have the right to accelerate first, that’s the pleasure of being on pole, so fortunately that went well.
“Afterwards, I was able to pull away a little bit, but the track today was a little tricky. I think with the INDYCAR guys putting a different rubber down it doesn’t match really well with ours. So it was difficult throughout the stint and then obviously if you went off line there was a huge amount of pick up. After the safety car there was a lot of gravel and dirt and even carbon fiber parts on the track so that wasn’t easy.
“After the restart, I was a little bit worried because Guy (Smith) was right behind me but I was once again able to build and maintain a gap. So for us everything was going to plan. Our Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a was running fine. We had a little issue with the car when Klaus was in the pits that caught our attention but other than that everything went well.
“Winning five races in a row for Muscle Milk is very special. From the outside it may look easy but the whole team, Klaus and myself, everybody involved, the guys from HPD and Michelin, we all have had to work very hard to achieve all these wins. It’s easy to say ‘you’re wining all the races, it’s easy’, but a race win is never easy and it is very special to win five in a row. I am very proud of our Muscle Milk Pickett Racing crew.”

Klaus Graf, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a
“There was a lot of excitement. Like Lucas said, it may look easy from the outside but there was certainly a lot of excitement for us because of a couple of issues we had. It’s these little things that remind us that we need to keep getting better and better, that it’s not because we are winning races that everything is perfect.
“It wasn’t easy today. One reason is the Indy car rubber, the other is the track that came apart in some spots. I don’t know if it was the track itself that was coming apart or because of the rubber, but you had to search for lines today quite a bit, I had to adjust my driving style in some areas.
“To do a good lap time, and we’re competitive by nature, we want to get the best performance out of it so we always try to push as hard as we can. It wasn’t an easy race and to win five in a row with the car not that easy to drive around here because of track conditions, it’s tough. I was once off line on the back straightaway and when you do that, you’re in the marbles and there is no grip whatsoever. If you have a small lack of concentration and make an error it can be costly, not just in the race but also in the championship because it’s so tight and there is still a lot of races to go.
“We may have won five races in a row, which is great for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing but we still need to remain focused all the times.”

7th August 2012, 17:19

After a disappointing start to the season in the LMP1 class, the OAK Racing team decided to focus on LMP2 by entering two Morgan-Nissans for the rest of the season's FIA World Endurance Championship before returning to LMP1 for the Asian events. 24 Hours of Le Mans, The Le Mans based team fielded two LMP2 Morgans, the No.24 car with a Judd engine and the No.35 sister car with a Nissan engine. Now, OAK Racing will will rely 100% on Japanese power.

Recurring concerns of engine reliability have disrupted the smooth running of the team since the beginning of the season, which led them not to put all their eggs in one basket in La Sarthe. Retirement due to engine failure of the OAK Pescarolo-Judd No.15 in LMP1 and the Morgan-Judd No.24 with oil pump problems, sealed the fate of the British engine, at least temporarily. The LMP2 prototype powered by a Nissan finished the race in fourteenth place overall and seventh in its class.

As for the driver crews; No. 24 remains unchanged with Jacques Nicolet, the team owner, and very swift Lahaye and Olivier Pla, but the No.35 car will be reshuffled. Belgian driver Bertrand Baguette and Austrian Dominik Kraihamer go from the LMP1 to LMP2 class. They will be supported by Danish David Heinemeier-Hansson, present since the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the French team having entered three cars in the Belgian Ardennes in early May, prior to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Dane finished just off the podium for his first race in the Morgan.

Jacques Nicolet, Team Owner and driver of No.24 Morgan 2012 LMP2: “We are going to use the time away from the World Championship in LMP1 to re-discover the engine reliability that we have lacked since the start of the year. We are planning to return better equipped and more competitive in the premier class by the end of the season in Asia and thus begin to actively prepare for 2013.”

The OAK Racing team is also present in European Le Mans Series and recently won in the ELMS race at Donington. They will be on British territory again for the fourth round of the World Endurance Championship at Silverstone on the 26th of August 26th.

( from team press release)

15th August 2012, 13:00
On the 26th of August, the FIA World Endurance Championship will visit the UK for the 6 Hours of Silverstone, the fourth round of the 2012 season. The circuit, which is familiar to all lovers of motor sport, is named after the nearby small town of about 2,000 inhabitants, that dates back to the time of William the Conqueror, having been recorded in Domesday Book.

The circuit does not date back quite that far, but it was the scene of the first ever F1 Grand Prix, held in 1948. The track was easy to learn, as it was just long straights connected by hairpins, but not surprising as the circuit used the perimeter road of a World War II RAF bomber base. Does it reminds you of somewhere else? Sebring perhaps, which hosted the first round of the championship last March, also on a former military air base.

The Silverstone circuit which straddles the border between Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, and has has become the epicentre of what has become known as "Motorsport Valley", with (for example) Red Bull Racing at Milton Keynes, Mercedes F1 at Brackley and Prodrive at Banbury, names that are not unknown to racing fans. This has somewhat replaced the traditional shoemaking industry of the Northampton area, home to the famous Church's shoe makers, while in the Middle Ages, the county was known for woodwork.

The Northants area is quite wooded and is nicknamed the 'Rose of the Shires'. Proud of its aristocratic traditions, the county is home to, among others, the Spencer family, maiden name of Lady Diana. Buckinghamshire is no less important and although the south has become a London commuter belt, the rest of the county is given over to farming, much of the land having belonged to the Rothschild family.

The circuit is owned by the BRDC (British Racing Drivers' Club), whose President, elected in 2011, is the former driver Derek Warwick. A very special club, but that's another story ...

15th August 2012, 13:01
The Silverstone circuit has some peculiarities, not least the fact that it is owned by a very exclusive club with only 850 members worldwide, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC). Not a federation or Automobile Club, but a very select club, established in 1928.

The club was founded by one of the famous 'Bentley Boys', Dudley Benjafield, an was open only to drivers and attracted 25 members. Gradually, he included the important figures in motor sports who may become Associate Members, if they don't fulfill the requirements to become full members. For this, one must be British or a citizen of the Commonwealth, take the start of 8 races per season for three seasons (not necessarily consecutive), and on the podium regularly (full conditions here).

If you want to become a member but don't meet the criteria, there is Honorary Membership, but it is by invitation only. Young British drivers in the SuperStar (international) or Rising Stars (national), programmes, can be granted the status of Junior Member.

BRDC is currently presided over by Derek Warwick, the former F1 driver who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1992 and the World Endurance Championship that year. The club presents annual awards: the Gold Stars and Silver Stars, the latter being reserved for national championship protagonists, be it GT, rally or NASCAR. Each active member scores, and the winners of the two rankings are rewarded at the end of the season. Over time, other trophies have been added (see complete list here), commending, among others, the highest ranked British driver in the 24 Hours of Le Mans or an engineer or even a deserving individual who has demonstrated outstanding team spirit.

Far from just being a group of ladies and gentlemen, the BRDC has owned the Silverstone circuit since 1971, bought from the Ministry of Defence, through the company Silverstone Circuits Limited. In this capacity, it has organized the F1 Grand Prix each year, and MotoGP since 2010. To retain the Formula 1 event, renovations have been made in recent years, with new stands and a redesigned layout, but that's another story ...