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Rob
1st January 2016, 11:08
Happy new year to all.

Think this years WEC, is going to be even better. Toyota with all new car and hybrid concept. Audi, well we seen the new R18, all new development path and philosphy. Porsche? well defending champions, can they make yet another performance leap we saw last year? In GTE, we have Ford back, Porsche scale right back on the factory effort. Astons? lets wait see if the new car can be back at challanging at front again, regularly. As for Ferrari, 488 GTE? cannt wait.

All in all, think 2016 will be even better than last year, WEC, ELMS and in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship. Silverstone WEC going i will be going again. Le-Mans, i realy hope can do it this year. Wait hear on Tobes :-D if not i may look at going to Nurburgring Race. Also, go to British GT round at Snetterton.

Rob
1st January 2016, 11:24
What’s New In 2016? Part 1, LMP1

Once again the FIA World Endurance Championship has the monopoly on LMP1.

The bad news is out of course that the Nissan LMP1 programme is no more, and that joins the news from earlier in the month that it will be a pair of cars apiece for the remaining trio of factory LMP1 efforts rather than the three apiece that was hoped for.

So what can we expect from the remaining pack of P1s?

First things first we’re not expecting any surprise additions to the 2015 roster. So its a trio of two car factory teams plus the likely added delights of Rebellion and ByKolles in the Privateer ranks.

On the regulatory front there are some changes from the 2015 norm.

Refuelling:

There’s a change to the refuelling regs that appears to be aimed at reeling in the advantage that Porsche held over the competition in 2015 – As we reported last week “Any device/system whose principle is not strictly linked to gravity is prohibited on board”

Porsche’s 2015 advantage proved to be anywhere between 3 and 5 seconds per refuelling. The rulemakers though have clearly decided to act before this part of the engineering of the sport becomes another expensive battleground!

Bodywork:

“The definition of bodyworks, subject to limitation of their amount per season, will be specifically homologated.”

This rule means that there will be three different bodywork iterations allowable in 2016, reducing to just two in 2017 as part of the ongoing drive to reduce costs.

Wheel arch vents will be around 25% larger in 2016 as part of a drive to improve safety, this measure trying to help prevent a car getting airborne if it gets sideways.

Testing and Wind Tunnel Restrictions:

Testing days will be reduced too (from 50 to 43) and Wind tunnel time comes down too – to 1200 hours in the coming year, 800 in 2017.

Hybrid Power Delivery:

There was some confusion after an FIA communique seemed to imply at least that there would be a hybrid power delivery ‘cap’ for 2016.

In fact the measure applies only to Le Mans, this being the only Class 2 circuit on the FIA WEC calendar though there are discussions about this being rolled across the full calendar for later years.

Specifically at Le Mans the upper hybrid system power limit will be 300kw (c.400bhp), an additional restriction to the already confirmed reduction in energy allocation per lap of 10mJ for a lap of Le Mans (c.7% cut).

The move marks another significant step to the ongoing attempt to control lap times, the ACO have gone on the record as saying that they believe that a lap time of 3:20 is the desired minimum for safety to be controlled.

The teams though, despite the range of restrictions placed upon them, seem confident of reeling in most of the potential time lost with all three factory teams telling DSC they expect Le Mans lap times to see little change year on year (which, on the basis of what we saw in 2015 is actually a very considerable reeling in of potential!)

Other measures in future years:

Discussions are still underway about the timing and scope of new monocoque regulations, already delayed until 2018, but with current and aspirant LMP1 Privateers exerting pressure for grandfathering of current chassis and/ or better accommodation of the rather different priorities that they have to the megabucks factory efforts.

A potential introduction of a 10 mJ sub-class and an increase of the number of permitted hybrid systems from two to three are also still under discussion.

Team By Team

Porsche

Porsche enter 2016 as defending World and Le Mans Champions and we’re promised a thorough evolution of the all conquering 919 Hybrid for 2016.

The 919 was the only car this season with a full 8mJ hybrid capability and with Audi promising 6mJ and Toyota shooting to join the Porsche on 8mJ the open questions is whether an evolution of their existing, stunningly effective, package be good enough to fend off an attacking Audi and Toyota onslaught? We’ll see!

One detail change we can be 100% sure about is that the running numbers of the Porsche pair will change to #1 for World Champions Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber and #2 for Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb, no change eventually decided upon for the full season six from 2015.

No news yet on whether the car’s livery, which it has to be said is not a fan favourite, will change for 2016. The red and black variations on the theme drew much favourable comment. A change would be welcome to many!

Audi

Audi are expected to retain their 2015 numbers #7 and #8 with identical crews to last season too though there are rumours of a significant change coming elsewhere chez Audi.

The new R18 though is a very different looking beast, an all new aero solution front and rear, a new hybrid system too with lithium ion batteries replacing the previous mechanical system.

The Audi though stays with its unique diesel powerplant, still a 4 litre V6 TDI but even further optimised from the unit used in 2015. The diesel has some real advantages built in but the inherent weight penalty over the smaller petrol turbos means that 6mJ is the maximum that Audi can currently manage on their hybrid system. Look how close though the Audis came in 2015 with ‘just’ 4 mJ.

Toyota

After a season where the rate of advancement from Porsche and Audi caught them on the hop the TMG boys and girls have been on lockdown in their Cologne eyrie, plotting their racing revenge.

The biggest part of that plan is the new for 2016 Toyota TS050, the car a totally different animal from the 2015 TS040.

The differences are legion, the normally aspirated V8 replaced by a smaller (over 2 litres) turbo engine and the supercapacitor storage medium replaced after three years of faithful service by batteries, proof if it were needed that racing has improved the technological breed.

Toyota will stick with their two KERS systems, foregoing the opportunity to switch to an exhaust recovery system, believing that their solution will get them to 8mJ and will give them the best and most consistent power supply.

There is one disadvantage to their competition, the Toyota has yet to hit the track!

On the driver front there’s at least one, and most likely only one, change as Alex Wurz steps out of the driving seat and into Brand Ambassador mode.

Kamui Kobayashi is the hot favourite to replace the Austrian with Sam Bird looking likely to fill in behind as test and reserve driver (though the rapid Englishman is believed to have been released to fill a full season seat in the FIA WEC).

Should Audi hang on to the #7 & 8 numbers it will mean that Toyota will carry something other than either those numbers (carried from 2012 to 2014) and the #1 & 2 from this year.

Privateer LMP1

There’s a response due from the ACO after the Bahrain meeting with the current and short-term prospective LMP1 teams that might make a substantial difference to a number of budget-related items, and to the viability of current and potential investments in chassis. The promise from the rulemakers, we believe, was an answer to a short but important list of requests by the year end!

Rebellion

Two for the year is the current plan for Bart Hayden and co. A very happy Alex Pesci on the Bahrain podium was a happy sight indeed for all concerned as the team finished 1,2 in the Championship.

There’s little detail yet to be had on the programme, or on the planned driver line-up but there’s very little doubt that much effort will be going in to improve reliability in the close season with the team’s development AER P60 twin turbo V6s at the core of the todo list but with other items also requiring attention.

Another unanswered question is on the tyre front – both Rebellion and ByKolles tested Dunlops post season and there’s every chance that one, other, or both, could look for an advantage in that part of the available package.

ByKolles

The Colin Kolles owned squad saw their form improve throughout the year with the AER engined CLM, the 2015 car equipped with an earlier iteration of the twin turbo V6.

For 2016 the team intend to deal with some of the inherent handling issues in their current car with a pair of new chassis under construction, new pick up points at the front of the car the major change.

The team will run both cars if custom can be found though they ran only two drivers for much of the year.

Their loyal pair, Pierre Kaffer and Simon Trummer are understood to be likely to return though its not yet clear if they will share one car or be spread across the potential two.

Rob
1st January 2016, 11:36
What’s New In 2016? Part 2 LMP2 & DP

There’s relatively little major change to the packages we’ll see in any of the Championships welcoming LMP2 machinery, mainly as a result of the sweeping changes due in 2017 with the dawn of new regulations mandating just four chassis suppliers and a spec engine for the FIA WEC.

That’s not to say that there aren’t new cars and new efforts around as teams work towards the new era and work too towards their best opportunity to graduate to the Le Mans 24 Hours. There are, and in abundance too!

More than 30 LMP2 spec cars, plus a gaggle of DPs look set to be active this coming year, several of them running double programmes with ELMS/ WEC full season duties at the core but other races added as one-offs.

With such a spread the simplest way to review progress is on a Series by Series basis.

2015/16 Asian Le Mans Series, 4 Cars Confirmed

Algarve Pro Racing: Ligier JS P2 Nissan
Eurasia: Oreca 03R Nissan
Eurasia: Oreca 03R Nissan
Race Performance: Oreca 03R Judd

The pair of Orecas from Fuji were joined for the Series’ second round by the Algarve Pro Racing Ligier and the grid takes another step forward in January with the addition of a second Eurasia Oreca 03R, this the car that has, until now, been campaigning in the ELMS (the first car is the ex Boutsen Ginion car.

Eurasia-Oreca-Nissan

Oliver Webb replaces Shinji Nakano alongside Niki Leutwiler in the Series leading Race Performance Oreca Judd for the final two races of the season.

The second Eurasia car sees Indonesian Sean Gelael joined by Italian Antonio Giovinazzi for the final two rounds, the Oreca liveried in Gelael’s regular KFC livery.

European Le Mans Series, 10-15 cars

DC Racing: Ligier JSP2
Dragonspeed: Oreca 05 Nissan
Eurasia Racing: Oreca 05 Nissan
Greaves Motorsport: Ligier JS P2 Nissan
IDEC Sport: Ligier JS P2 Nissan
Jota Sport: Gibson 015S Nissan
Murphy Prototypes: Oreca 03R Nissan (but other chassis possible)
Pegasus Racing: (Morgan or Ligier)
So24!: Ligier JS P2 Nissan
Tech 1 (Panis/ Barthez): Ligier JS P2 Nissan
Thiriet by TDS Racing: Oreca 05 Nissan

Still to declare

Algarve Pro Racing: Ligier JS P2 Nissan
Ibanez Racing: Oreca 03R Nissan x 2
Krohn Racing: Ligier JS P2 Judd

Almost 50% of the grid confirmed thus far are teams new to the ELMS LMP2 class.

Back for another shot in their 2015 machinery are both Thiriet by TDS and Jota Sport whilst 2015 Champions Greaves Motorsport return but this time with a Ligier JS P2. Simon Dolan is confirmed in the Jota ELMS effort.

Three other 2015 teams look set to return too, Murphy Prototypes initially looked set to return with their venerable but effective Oreca 03R Nissan but are still in negotiation with parties involved in other potential chassis making their way to the team. Greg Murphy’s team tested, and were impressed with, the BR01 coupe but initially looked set to pass on the potential for campaigning the Russian flagged coupe, could that move be back on, or is another alternative closer to the line?

Eurasia return with a new Oreca 05 Nissan as their 2015 03R is diverted to Asian LMS duty.

Pegasus Racing look set to return but we await confirmation of whether Julian Schell et al return with their Morgan or with a newer Ligier.

Still to publicly confirm their intentions are Krohn Racing, though a second year with the Ligier Judd looks likely.

Algarve Pro are another team who have committed to the 2015/16 Asian LMS but could add an ELMS effort to their calendar.


There’s no word as yet on the potential return or otherwise from Ibanez Racing who ran a part season in 2015 with a pair of Oreca Nissans. A promise from the team to return for the final round of 2015 failed to materialise.

Newbies

And so to the list of new teams to the ELMS, with five already having declared their intent to join in the fun.

David Cheng’s DC Racing effort that has dominated the Asian Le Mans Series in LMP3 is set to bring a Ligier to the ELMS.

Elton Julian’s Dragonspeed was an early announcement for the 2016 ELMS as Henrik Hedman closes in on his ambition to race at Le Mans. He’ll be joined by Julian and by ex Peugeot and Toyota man Nicolas Lapierre for the full season.

IDEC Sport, regulars in the VdeV Series announced plans to enter the ELMS with a Ligier JS P2 Nissan some little time ago, no drivers have yet been announced.

So24! is a new racing venture that will campaign both LMP3 and LMP2 in the ELMS this year, the LMP2 effort will be with another Ligier JS P2 Nissan with 2011 Le Mans LMP2 winner Olivier Lombard joined by ex Signatech Alpine man Vincent Capillaries.

Finally (for now at least) Tech 1 Motorsport aka Panis-Barthez Competition will also field a Ligier JS P2 Nissan with ex Manchester United and French national team goalkeper Fabien Barthez confirmed in the car.

FIA World Endurance Championship, c.10 entrants

AF Racing: BR01 Nissan
AF Racing: BR01 Nissan
Greaves Motorsport: Gibson 015S Nissan
Jota Sport with Arden: Oreca 05 Nissan
KCMG: Oreca 05 Nissan
Morand Engineering: Morgan/ Ligier
Signatech Alpine: Oreca 05 Nissan
Strakka Racing: Gibson 015S Nissan
Tequila Patron ESM: Ligier JS P2 Nissan
Tequila Patron ESM: Ligier JS P2 Nissan

Believed to be set to announce WEC programme

Manor Motorsport: TBA

Possible part season

Project Brabham: TBA

There are changes aplenty expected to the 2016 FIA WEC LMP2 entry, astonishingly only one team looks likely to return with an unchanged effort as Strakka Racing are set to bring their Gibson 015S Nissan back for another shot with the same driving trio once again.

KCMG’s time on the fence deciding whether to return after the unpleasantness of Fuji, seems to be moving more in the direction of a possible return with their very sparkly Oreca 05 Nissan. If it happens expect a significant change in the driving line-up.

AF Racing have declared their intention to bring a pair of BR01 Nissans to the WEC with ex Renault and Caterham F1 driver Vitaly Petrov set to join the effort as Mikhail Aleshin leaves for a full season in IndyCar.

Greaves Motorsport return to the WEC with their 2015 ELMS winning Gibson Nissan one of a pair of British teams with dual efforts in the WEC and ELMS.

The other is Jota Sport who have allianced with single seater specialists Arden to field a new Oreca 05 Nissan for the 2016 WEC, Jake Dennis has been announced for Spa and Le Mans but in the ELMS full season Gibson.

Benoit Morand intends to bring his Morand Engineering effort back for another shot though the 2015 Morgan Evo should be replaced with a Ligier Coupe if the effort comes to fruition.

Signatech Alpine are another Oreca 05 customer (though theirs will feature an Alpine moniker) ahead of a return to the WEC after a late season run in 2015 that saw ‘Les Bleus’ emerge as real race contenders.

Tequila Patron ESM return with a two car effort once again though it’s believed they will switch to Nissan engines alongside a switch to both a French operating base and adopting the core of the Oak Racing technical team.

On the driving front the departing Jon Fogarty and David Heinemeier Hansson are replaced by Pipo Derani and Chris Cumming.

Beyond those teams are a pair of other potentially significant additions.

It’s clear that Graham Lowdon and John Booth, late of the Manor Marussia F1 effort, are closing in on an LMP2 effort in the FIA WEC. The open question is when? Most paddock sources suggest the firm intention is a 2016 effort. They would be a significant addition to the grid.

And Project Brabham are pushing on with their plans to join the WEC at some point in 2016 – A full season is looking unlikely but race by race in the season is a possibility, David Brabham and co targeting 2017 for full season.

IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, 7 full season, c.13 for Daytona

Action Express: Corvette DP
Action Express: Corvette DP
AF Racing/ SMP Racing: BR01 Nissan, Daytona confirmed, other races possible
Chip Ganassi Racing: Riley Ford Ecoboost DP, Daytona Only
Chip Ganassi Racing: Riley Ford Ecoboost DP, Daytona Only
Delta wing: Daytona Only
Dragonspeed: Oreca 05 Nissan, Sebring only
50 Plus: Riley BMW DP, Daytona Only
Mazdaspeed: Mazda (Multimatic Lola) Mazda (petrol)
Mazdaspeed: Mazda (Multimatic Lola) Mazda (petrol)
Michael Shank Racing: Ligier JS P2 HPD
Tequila Patron ESM: Ligier JS P2 HPD, Daytona & Sebring Only)
Visit Florida Racing: Corvette DP
Wayne Taylor Racing: Corvette DP

Possible Additional Entries

HPD x 2 ARX 04b, cars available

The Prototype entry in North America is the very epitome of ‘transition’. There is exciting potential for the new LMP2 based ‘DPI’ grid in 2017 but that leaves this year with a rather static feel.

The full season entry sees a familiar looking seven though one change might see the form book turned around a tad.

Action Express’s pair of Corvette DPs returns of course with both cars retaining their full season driver pairings from last season, Barbosa/Fittipaldi returning to defend their title in the #5, Cameron/ Curran looking to mount their own title challenge in #31.

The Champions will be joined by Audi factory driver Filipe Albuquerque for the four NAEC rounds, and by Scott Pruett for Daytona. Simon Pagenaud and Jonny Adam join the #31 effort for Daytona, Pruett switches to the Whelen sponsored car for Sebring.

The Visit Florida Corvette DP sees an entirely new full season duo as Ryan Dalziel and Marc Goossens replace Ford bound Richard Westbrook and dropped Michael Valiante. Ryan Hunter Reay is the additional driver for the three enduros (plus Long Beach where he will sub for cup-tied Dalziel (on WEC duty)

Wayne Taylor Racing by contrast keep it in the family with brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor back again in the family team- run car. Max Angelelli is set to play third man once again at Daytona and Sebring.

It’s a trio of LMPs alongside the quartet of full season DPs.

Michael Shank Racing bring a re-chassised Ligier Honda for Ozz Negri and John Pew back to the track after Petit Le Mans damage left the 2015 tub beyond repair. AJ Allmendinger once again joins the team for Daytona.

Finally there’s the potential Joker in the pack as Mazda bring a pair of Multimatic chassised LMPs to the track again. This year though the comprehensively outgunned SkyActiv diesel powerplants are replaced by petrol fuelled engines. And the speed the cars have shown in testing has been very encouraging.

Once again there’s no change in full season driver line-ups here, Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nunez will crew the #55 with Tom Long and Joel Miller in the sister #70 car.

HPD’s planned return with PR1 Mathieson fell at a late fence but the ex ESM ARX04bs are still available if a team can be found with much effort having been expended on new aero to correct the original car’s shortcomings.

For Daytona there are set to be a number of additional entries (and a couple for Sebring too):

AF Racing/ SMP Racing. The world tour for the BR01 coupe continues, alongside the planned two car WEC effort and a search for customers in the ELMS.

The factory team will race at Daytona with a single car and will decide based on form at the Rolex 24 Hours whether other North American outings are also to be added to the programme.

Marshall Pruett broke the story two weeks ago that Chip Ganassi Racing is to return and defend its overall win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona with two Riley Ford EcoBoost DPs. The 2015 winning driver crew of IndyCar champions Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, plus Ganassi’s NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray look set to return in the #02 car with 17-year-old Canadian Lance Stroll, a recent signing as a Williams Formula 1 test driver, could be in the #01 with CGR IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball and his recent teammate Sage Karam possible team-mates.

The DeltaWing coupe looks set to mount a possible one-off effort at Daytona.

DragonSpeed won’t race at Daytona but will field their newly acquired and ELMS-bound Oreca 05 Nissan at Sebring for Nicolas Lapierre, Nic Minassian and Henrik Hedman

The 50 Plus DP effort at Daytona will be handled this year by Starworks

Tequila Patron ESM will race a solo Ligier Honda for both Daytona and Sebring, the car sporting the specially developed 3.5 litre version of the twin turbo V6 HPD engine.

Le Mans 24 Hours

Garage 56: SRT 41 Frederic Sausset, Morgan Nissan

The effort to show how technology can assist quad amputee Sausset to race brings a Morgan LMP2 chassis to Garage 56 with assistance from Audi Sport.

Auto Entries Le Mans

KCMG (1st, 24H Le Mans)
Greaves Motorsport (ELMS LMP2 Champion)
Team LNT (ELMS LMP3 Champion)
Michael Shank Racing (IMSA)

Four Automatic entries are already in place but we wait for confirmation from both KCMG and Team LNT that they will commit to a full ACO rules season before the entries can be confirmed.

Rob
1st January 2016, 18:27
Darren Turner Talks GTE Pro in 2016: “The Level Is Going To Go Up Another Notch!”

2015 was at times a very tough year for Aston Martin Racing in the WEC’s GTE Pro class. The team once again had a very promising start to the season, and looked like it had a chance to take the class win at Le Mans. But issues with tyre compounds, and Balance of Performance set it back after the run at La Sarthe.

Darren Turner was in the thick of the team’s struggles, and had a very uncharacteristically quiet season in the #97 car, especially during the second half of the year. However, the guys at Prodrive will be back looking to make a run for the World Championship next year, having just signed Turner up for a further three years, and shifted its focus to the 2016-spec Vantage, which is due to make its competition debut at Silverstone next April for the opening round of the 2016 World Endurance Championship.

During his last race meeting of the year with the British marque at Yas Marina, Turner took the time to sit down with DSC’s Stephen Kilbey at length to talk about his experience in 2015, developing the Vulcan, and his thoughts ahead of the upcoming season:

The place to start is the your new deal with Aston Martin, is it a weight off your shoulders to have that stability?

“I’m at the end now of my third year of the current contract so the last time it was also a multi-year deal rather than a single year deal. And then, around Le Mans things in the driver market were hotting up with more manufacturers coming in, there were new opportunities for new drivers, but it also put some pressure on the teams to lock down their drivers as well.

“Obviously I’ve been with Aston Martin Racing and Prodrive for over a decade now and I feel very much at home with that team. We’ve had so many great campaigns together over the years and lots of success as well. There were other options, so I went back to John Gaw and said: ‘these are the things that are out there, it would be good to know what your plans are with me?’ and he said he wanted me to continue with the same deal as before.

“It was a very easy decision in the end, I’m very happy with the team and the races we do. So once that was done and dusted in July it meant that I could focus on the racing.”

Before we discuss the future, let’s talk about this year. It’s seems to have been a difficult year for Aston Martin in many respects, do you think that’s a fair assumption?

“It’s been a weird year really. Performance wise we’ve not really been there at all, me and Jonny snuck a podium in the last race but that was the only time we’d visited the podium, while normally we have a couple of wins in the season and a few podiums. And most years we’ve even challenging for the title until the last race or two, so this year has been very difficult for a number of reasons.

“Personally in the #97 we never really got on top of the car, and it was difficult. Then you look at Aston Martin Racing as a whole, certainly in the second half of the season which ended up being effectively a tyre war between Porsche and Ferrari.

“We got hit with a Balance of Performance change as well as the tyres were going away from what we were expecting would be the best for the Aston.

“As the year went on it went back to what we had a Silverstone and Spa at Bahrian, we were back in the mix, not front runners but we were able to mix in a bit more. It was nice to finish the season with a competitive showing.”

It was strange seeing the #97 so far down the order at times…

“Yeah, we were never in the game really, it was very frustrating, but we finished with a bit of promise. It’s all change though next year with the new regulations. It’s going to be a difficult year for all the teams, to know where they are in the first couple of races.

“I certainly think the ACO and FIA are getting the Balance of Performance right the majority of the time. Sometimes it’s just a little bit out.

Does something need to be done to prevent things getting cyclical in terms of the BoP?

“Sometimes there’s periods where there’s three or four races were everything is pretty even if you look at the averages, the fastest laps and performances. Quite often it’s race strategy that’s determined the result and that’s down to the teams. Then again, sometimes you look at the results and notice that the playing field isn’t levels and there needs to be an adjustment.

“But we’ve had it in our favour, so we can’t cry all the time, as sometimes it does swing your way. Then it’s up to everyone else to make sure it’s balanced out. We’ve been the other side of the fence this year though, we’ve not been able to be competitive so they put it back right.

“It’s a tricky thing but GT racing needs BoP, if you took it away it would be no longer a competitive playing field for the manufacturers, as all the cars come from road car designs and when they make the cars for the road they’re not thinking: ‘is it going to be a World Endurance Championship GT car?’ the first concept is: ‘is it what our customers want?’ and ‘Is it going to sell?’. That’s the key for the road car.

“Without having Balance of Performance, you’d end up with certain manufacturers dominating, so other manufactures would look at it as unappealing and not come racing. The fact that it’s there is good, it’s correct, and the way that it’s done is correctly. Sometimes it just needs to be tweaked quicker.”

Was it difficult at the end of the year not having Stefan Mücke around too? How’s it been adapting to having a new team-mate in all of this?

“Not really no. Jonny (Adam) has been a part of Aston Martin Racing for many years now, I’ve shared cars with him before, we know how good he is behind the wheel, he’s like the quiet assassin. He’s a quiet lad that just gets in a car and does it.

“Me and Stefan have been teammates for four years at least, and we have a very good working relationship and friendship, so when Stefan didn’t come with us to Austin and it was just me and Jonny in the car, it was different but he’s a pro, he’s easy to work with. He gets the big picture. He’s super fast and relaxed too.

“So it hasn’t been an issue, they’re both pro guys who know what they’re doing.

“The fact that I’ve lost out on a mate being around is just one of those things that you just need to move on from. Time moves on, people move on. It’s a different scenario, me and Jonny get on really well and the more time we spend together, the more we’ll get to know each other.”

I can’t help but glance over at the Aston Vulcan behind you every now and again, tell me about the development process you went through with that?

“It’s been amazing. It’s very much a programme from Aston Martin Lagonda, so the road car side of the company. But it has had involvement from Aston Martin Racing, especially on the engine side, gearbox and drive train. Initially it was just an involvement with the ergonomics of the interior, and the driver position, what’s required seating wise, the dashboard all the layouts. And then the amazing guys at the headquarters in Gaydon went on and put it all into place.

“Then when the car was produced, we did the first shakedown before the Goodwood Festival of Speed and since then have had quite an intense testing programme with the car. Now the car is starting to go out to the customers, and we’re actually coming back here to Yas Marina for the fist customer event next year. That’s when the customers really get to try the car and experience what it’s like on a racetrack.

“It’s an amazing programme to be involved with and an absolutely fantastic car to drive.”

So the philosophy behind the car was to have a racing driver shape it to ensure it performs as close to a race car as possible for track days?

“They had some very good guys designing it with a lot of racing history behind them. It’s built to FIA racing spec, it’s not built to any regulations for a championship though. But its performance is above a GT3, 820 horsepower in its maximum output. It’s a proper car!

“The guys that bought it are going to have to go through a process of understanding how to drive a car with that sort of performance. There’s a training team put in place to help them.”

Will we ever see it race? It strikes me as a car that wouldn’t look out of place at the Nürburgring 24 Hours?

“Well I’d love to see it race. I know there’s a couple of customers that would like that too. But it’s all about where it can race. Never say never, but it won’t be straight forward scenario, it doesn’t fit many regulations, but there’s certainly got to be a multi-class championship where it can race. I think at the moment though, it’s all about the customers getting hold of it and doing the organised track days.”

Let’s talk more about 2016, because the Vulcan is not the only Aston Martin going public, there’s the new GTE upgrade for the Vantage too. How’s that going?

“I’ve been involved with some of the test days and the development of that. Jonny has been involved, Richie Stanaway, Marco (Sorensen), they’ve all been involved. Not so many days with the car so far though. I think there’s only been six or seven.

“It’s obviously got the completely new aero package, that you can already see. It’s very interesting with the large splitter on the rear and the huge wing.”

It’s almost a flashback to the GT1 days isn’t it?

“Yeah, they’ve opened up the aero operating window so the guys have been working very hard with the CFD. They’re happy with the numbers, but it’s just the process, you get to the end of one car’s racing life – which is what we had with the current GTE at Bahrain, and that’s as good as you’re going to get with that.

“Then you start with the new car, and if it’s roughly starting within the same place as the old one you know that you have a car that should be successful. I think everyone is pleased with the starting point, but it’s a work in progress until April next year.”

How much difference has that aero package made for the driver?

“From the running I’ve done, it gives you more lap time performance, and we’re happy with those numbers and obviously there’s a trade off as to what you want on a Grand Prix circuit and what you want at Le Mans. You need to try and find a package that’s suitable for both, it’s critical for the success for the year.”

How do you feel about the move towards more aero, is it good or bad for GTE racing? Will it become more expensive, and is that then nullified by BoP? Is it worth it?

“I think you have to change things about every now and again to gain some interest, and to give the guys designing cars something to aim for. If you keep the regs exactly the same, then it’s not motivating for the guys in the design and drawing process.

“When the regulations change it’s good for a variety of reasons: new technology, new theories, designs. It keeps it fresh. With the aero, I think we can afford the gain a little bit more with aero, but I’d like more horsepower myself. The difficult thing is the balance between the classes, if you give the GT cars more power you need to do something with the LMP2s. That’s not good, because you end up tripping over each other.”

So to round this off then, let’s look at the GTE Pro class as a whole? We’ve got Porsche stepping back but Ford are coming in. What are your thoughts on next year’s competition?

“It’s a shame that Porsche are having a sabbatical this year to I guess wait for a new car in 2017, there will still be a works-assisted car in there which is my understanding though. It’ll have good drivers too I’m sure.

“The more competition, the better, if you go into a race and there’s four cars, it’s a dull race. But we’ve got Ford with two and a possibility of another manufacturer coming in for a few races too, that’s brilliant, the more the merrier.

“The level is going to go up another notch!”

Rob
2nd January 2016, 11:51
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GIANMARIA BRUNI: FERRARI'S KING OF GT RACING
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Gianmaria Bruni has always been determined and a fierce competitor but, over the last four years in the FIA World Endurance Championship, he has proven to become arguably the best GT driver in the world. Alongside Roman Rusinov in LMP2, Bruni has achieved 12 WEC victories – the most of any driver – and the Italian's are all for Ferrari in the LMGTE Pro class.

He moved to England aged 19 to compete in the British F3 Championship, learning the language, gaining the nickname “Gimmi”, enduring the food and the weather in order to progress in his chosen sport. However, it was when he finally gave up his single seater ambitions and concentrated on GT cars that his career really blossomed.
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The 34-year-old Roman won the 2008 FIA GT Championship, 2011 ILMC and Le Mans Series titles and two class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2008 in GT2 with Risi Competizione and 2011 in LMGTE Pro with AF Corse) before entering the WEC and a golden era for the Ferrari 458 Italia and AF Corse.

We asked Gimmi about his victories, which are listed below, and his time in the WEC to date:

Le Mans (2012), Silverstone (2012), Sao Paulo (2012), Spa (2013), Sao Paulo (2013), Bahrain (2013), Spa (2014), Le Mans (2014), Fuji (2014), Bahrain (2014), Silverstone (2015), Fuji (2015)



Q: You have competed in all but one of the WEC races since 2012 (missing Bahrain 2012). How have you seen the championship develop since it started?

“I have seen the Championship grow up a lot and this is fantastic because, when we started, we were only a few in GT, and now we can see how it’s grown and developed. There’s lots of interest coming in for next year and in a few weeks we will see new manufacturers joining. It’s developed not just in GT but in LMP1 too and, from the outside, new people know more about the championship day by day. I think the WEC is doing something very good, and for everyone.”



Q: You have scored 8 pole positions in the WEC. Do you like the format adopted in 2014 with two drivers and an average time?

“I think this year it’s better than last year, with just the one best time from two drivers combined, the format is better. I like it like this because you share everything together if there is just two drivers, like we have, and you win or lose with your team mate so it’s good to bring this in too. It’s good for team spirit.”

Q: You have finished on the podium 20 times, including 12 wins, in the 31 races you have competed in. Which race victory did you enjoy the most?

“There’s actually two that I have enjoyed the most. The first was the 24 Hours of Le Mans for AF Corse in 2012 and the second was at Sao Paulo in 2013. Le Mans was very satisfying because we started last after Giancarlo had a big crash in practice, only doing 20 minutes of night practice and warm up. It was very hard to get into the rhythm and be at the highest level but we all did it and it meant even more because of how we started the week.

“Brazil in 2013 was a very hard race, and a very intense battle with Darren Turner and Aston Martin Racing, especially the last hour and 10 minutes. It was very close. Coming from not a fantastic start of the season, we’d had a big fight back and there are definitely good memories of the end of that season.”



Q: Can anything beat standing on the podium at Le Mans? Which Le Mans victory was the sweetest?

“I think it was the 2012 victory because it was a very intense battle, but the best one is of course always the last one!! I will never forget the first one, but it was a different era, with different cars and fewer competitors. There are different emotions for each, but the first and last I will remember always.”

Q: You have only failed to finish a race twice, both times in Shanghai (12 and 14). Were these the most disappointing WEC races you’ve had, or were results like Nürburgring and COTA (7th) this year worse?

“Of course this year we discovered we could actually finish in China, and in 2nd place so at least we know we can do it there. In 2014 we had quite a big crash there but recovered for the championship so that made up for it. This year has been very difficult and there were a couple of races where to finish was really hard. Nürburgring was the toughest because we were on pole, in the lead and pulling away when got an electronic problem which ultimately cost us the championship. I knew after that race to win the championship would be difficult. It’s hard to accept, but it’s racing.”

Q: Which race stands out in your memory as the hardest of all?

“Le Mans 2013 because after two and a half hours we had lost a friend but at the same time had to race another 21+ hours. I didn’t want to race and it was hard to concentrate in the night. It was a really, really tough race, a lousy race…when you’re a driver you never want to see that happen to anyone but to a friend it is even worse. It’s been good to see safety improved, especially at Le Mans, and we all want to enjoy our racing.”



Q: Which race brought the biggest smile to your face (not just for winning, but perhaps for the competition, the ambiance of the event or the team spirit)?

“Bahrain 2014 was very nice – the whole week. From the time we arrived, we had fun especially doing a “head-to-head” interview with Toni – we started laughing and didn’t stop. All three days on track went nice and the race too which was a good battle with others. Winning the GT Drivers’ Championship there was the icing on the cake…family and team spirit are the words which remind me most of this time!”

Rob
2nd January 2016, 12:46
What’s New In 2016? Part 3, LMP3 & LMPC

The first season of LMP3 competition saw huge efforts from Ginetta’s design and engineering teams bring multiple cars to the opening race of the 2015 season though upgrades and improvements were seen throughout the year as manufacturer, teams and rulemakers learnt their way.

Ligier and Adess soon stepped up to the plate as the formula was proven and both saw cars make their racing debuts in 2015 with Ave Riley delaying the debut of their new car into 2016.

A surprise announcement from the ACO saw LMP3 join LMP2 in the ‘licensed chassis’ stakes, the number in P3 restricted to five. Late in the year Dome were revealed as the final license holder, though their new car is not set to race until 2017.

A late season fall-out between Ginetta, the ACO and powertrain suppliers ORECA saw the Yorkshire-based class pioneers take a step back – existing customers will be supported, new customers will be supplied but must procure their own powertrains from ORECA. Ginetta meanwhile have mounted a parallel effort to develop their chassis as the new G57 with an alternative (Chevrolet-based) V8 powertrain to enter other markets.

By the year end it was clear though that the market was booming, and it was Onroak Automotive that was reaping the main benefits.

With the announcement of a new French Prototype Championship for LMP3 machines in parallel with the existing (but struggling) GT Championship plus potential in VdeV and Supercar Challenge (plus NASA events in North America) order numbers grew rapidly. Jacques Nicolet confirmed to the DSC Editor in November that 30 orders for the Ligier JS P3 had been placed with Ginetta orders in double figures and Adess approaching that total too.

The further announcement of a GT3/ LMP3 support race on the full Le Mans circuit on race morning for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours will have provided a further impetus to the commercial cases for LMP3 teams, though entries are currently only open to teams contesting ACO sanctioned Series.

Adess have had their hands full since their car’s debut in the Asian Le Mans Series with a number of items on an urgent todo list including a re-engineering of the rear of the car after the angle of the driveshafts caused reliability issues. There were repeated problems too with the gullwing style doors.

For the purposes of this article we’ll focus on the ACO-sanctioned Championships in Europe and Asia but with a round-up of some of the other cars known to be delivered or on order.

2015/ 16 Asian Le Mans Series

Confirmed Entries

DC Racing: Ligier JS P3. Debuted at Fuji 2015

Team AAI: Adess 03 x 2. Both cars debuted at Fuji 2015, only one raced at Sepang.

Other Programmes

BC Racing Taiwan: Ginetta (no updates to initial news of potential entry)
Eurointernational: Ligier JS P3 (Programme in Asia cancelled – ELMS only)

2016 European Le Mans Series

Whilst a very considerable number of teams have declared an intention to race in the European Le Mans Series it is clear that some efforts depend on sourcing paying drivers, and in some cases early plans will have had to have been changed as a result of some subtle but important changes to the driver regulations for 2016.

This then is a list that comes with a mild ‘health’ warning that these teams have announced their intention to take part in the 2016 ELMS

Entrants who have declared intent to enter 2016 ELMS in LMP3

BA (Baleares Automotive) Equipe: Ligier JS P3. Have confirmed single car ELMS Programme but as yet with no drivers named.

BE Motorsport: Ligier JS P3, The Spanish team are set to race both in ELMS and the VdeV championship with drivers Javier Ibrán, Toni Castillo and Dutchman Mathijs Bakker. They have already tested.

CPB Sport; Adess 03. Car delivered and has tested, team intends to also contest some VdeV races – ex Le Mans racer Sylvian Boulay confirmed as driver

Eurointernational: 2 x Ligier JS P3. Cars Delivered and have tested. In addition to the already announced Giorgio Mondini the team have tested several other drivers including ex United Autosports and Vita4One GT3 driver Jay Palmer, Matteo Bobbi and Costantino Perone.

Extreme Limite: Ligier JS P3. Second customer announced for new Ligier, car has tested.

Graf Racing: 2 x Ligier JS P3. First customer announced, cars delivered, first car debuted at 2015 Estoril ELMS finale. VdeV outings also likely.

G-Private: Adess 03. First car has tested. Planned line-up is Jürgen Alzen, ex SEAT Leon Champion and A1 GP driver Sebastian Stahl and Sebastian Grunert. Team has a second car and may also contest VdeV.

Laban Racing: Ginette. Team plan to return with some support from Ginetta. Seeking interested drivers.

Race Performance: Ligier JS P3, have already tested with a Ligier JS P3 and look set to enter the ELMS.

SPV Racing 2 x Ligier JS P3: Cars delivered. Drivers will include Fredrik Blomstedt, former F1 test driver Borja Garcia and Alan Sicart.

SPV Racing travelled to Magny Cours to complete their initial test.

SVK by Speed Factory: 2 x Ligier JS P3, team switched from Ginetta post-season and intends to double up programme.

Team All-Sports: Adess 03. Satellite team to G-Private.

Team RLR/ Mike Smith: Ligier JS P3. Car believed delivered.

Team Ultimate: Ligier JS P3. Mathieu Lahaye plans to front this effort.

Tech 1 (Panis/ Parthez): Ligier JS P3. Part of two car effort with a Ligier JSP2. Eric Debard has been named as one driver for the team’s LMP3 Ligier.

United Autosports: 2 x Ligier JS P3. Cars delivered. Alex Brundle announced as leading one car, Mark Patterson and Matt bell will pair in the second.

Known potential LMP3 entries

Yvan Muller Racing: 2 x Ligier JS P3. Team were considering alternative programmes in either (or both) ELMS and/ or French Championship.

Villorba Corse: Ginette. No news from the 2015 Ginette Customer.

Counter Solutions/ YiL Engineering: Ligier JS P3. VdeV with possible ELMS campaign.

2 x Ave Riley AR-2: Team unknown. Riley report two confirmed sales to a single team planning a full 2016 ELMS campaign.

There are a gaggle of other teams who have been quoted as intending to take part in the ELMS but with no evidence at present of a car purchase. They’ll be added to the lists above as and when that emerges.

Other Potential French Prototype Championship and VdeV Entries

AKKA ASP: Understood to be close to a French Championship effort with at least one Ligier.

IMSA Performance: Have tested a Ligier at least twice as they move in on a possible French Championship Programme.

N’Race: Ligier JS P3, confirmed as a proposed entry with a Ligier purchased.

Prime Racing: an early adopter with one of the first customer Ginettas, VdeV and Supercar Challenge were on the agenda for 2015.

Team Duquesne: Have confirmed a pair of Ligiers for the French Championship with team owner Gille Duqueine confirmed as one driver.

Yvan Muller Racing

(Note the cars totalled above add up to 24 Ligiers from 30 or more built or ordered)

LMPC

LMPC is, once again, exclusively an IMSA formula (with more than a few of the original Oreca FLM09s now racing in HSR too!)

The current plan is that the cars will remain as a standalone ‘entry’ Prototype class for the next two seasons but with an update package ahead of a potential replacement with ‘P2 lite’ or P3 options still under consideration though the later suffered a body blow with an ill-timed test earlier this year before the concept was properly developed.

For 2016 though there is a staged series of upgrades planned for the existing cars via IMSA, ORECA, engine builders Katech, Continental Tire, and Motec have come up with a series of upgrades for the FLM09 that will be introduced in stages leading into January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and March’s 12 Hours of Sebring.

Electronics upgrades (new dash, ECU, Gearbox Control Unit, Power Distribution Unit), a new rain tyre, weight reduction (c.30 pounds from the rear of the car), new wiring looms, telemetry and traction control will all be available for Sebring.

For Daytona a number of Katech engine mods are expected with slight modification to the heads, a damper change on the front of the motor to give better reliability on dog rings failures.

And for Sebring there will be a lightweight rod and crank assembly.

(with thanks to Marshall Pruett and racer.com for the PC upgrades detail).

BAR1 Motorsports: long-time LMPC contenders, Brian Alder’s team will return in 2016 possibly with both of their cars but with a single car currently confirmed.

CORE Autosport: Reigning Champions Jon Bennett and Colin Braun will return to defend their title. Mark Wilkins joins the team for the NAEC enduros and Martin Plowman completes the quartet for Daytona.

JDC/Miller Motorsports: Will again return with a single car effort.

Performance Tech: Set to return with their regular single car effort.

PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports: After calling off a planned Prototype entry with the revised HPD ARX04b Coupe the team will revert to their well established and effective LMPC effort. Tom Kimber-Smith and Robert Alon are the full season drivers with Jose Gutierrez joining for the NAEC and Nick Boulle added for Daytona.

Starworts Motorsport: The always interesting Peter Baron owned squad will be back. Details still awaited as to whether the team will field a single car or can stretch to a second for the season, the NAEC or part thereof with Le Patron suggesting a pair for Daytona.

Rob
2nd January 2016, 20:36
What’s New In 2016? Part 4, GTE

GTE in 2016 (including IMSA’s closely associated GTLM class) means FIA WEC, ELMS and the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship

FIA World Endurance Championship

LM GTE Pro

Ford: 2 x Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT

There’s little doubt that the big news is the arrival, or rather the return of Ford to the international Endurance racing scene with the new, and extraordinary, Ford GT.
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The frontal aspect of the car presents a very familiar aspect, more than a hat tip to its Ford GT40 ancestor.

It’s twin turbo V6 Ford EcoBoost powerplant is a major difference from what has gone before but it’s the aerodynamics of Ford’s newest racing weapon that has really turned heads, put bluntly there has never been a GT car remotely close to this.
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The teardrop shaped cockpit/ engine bay section and some very ‘trick’ detailing’ take the game on considerably.


The Multimatic developed racer will debut in the United States with a parallel two car programme for Chip Ganassi Racing for the full WTSCC (see below) with the WEC two car effort handled by a new team under ex Prodrive Team Principal George Howard Chappell.

The full season WEC driver announcement is due to be made on 5 January at the team’s new operating base near Banbury, Oxfordshire, this the ex Triple Eight base.

Industry sources and the Rolex 24 Hours provisional entry indicates that the much trailed full season WEC quartet will likely be Sebastien Bourdais, Olivier Pla, Stefan Mucke and Andy Priaulx but that is still to be confirmed, some of the above may not be full season with concurrent unanswered questions over the additional drivers for the all-important Le Mans seats

Ferrari: 2 x AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE

The Prancing Horse debuts the new twin turbo V8 powered 488 in 2016 and we’ll see at least a pair in the full FIA WEC as Ferrari look to reclaim the GT Manufacturers World Championship. No changes are expected to the factory-backed driver quartet with the 2015 #71 crew of James Calado and Davide Rigon now a fully-honed foil to the Bruni/ Vilander #51.
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Development mileage has been piled on the new car in the latter part of 2015 with early powertrain concerns now (relatively) ancient history we believe. The advent of the new car changes the soundtrack of the Ferrari effort fundamentally but will bring both improved fuel economy and much improved torque delivery. If Ferrari have got their sums right, and they usually do, then this effort could well be the strongest opposition that Ford will see this season.

Aston Martin: 2 x Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE (2016)

We’ve already seen the 2016 version of the V8 Vantage GTE testing after the 2015 WEC finale in Bahrain, the rear wing/ diffuser combo and entirely new bodywork are reported to provide the desired reduction in lap times (see interview today with Darren Turner). Whether it will be enough to get the Vantage to grips with the Ford remains to be seen. (below the 2016 spec #97 compared to the 2015 spec #99).
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For the WEC we expect a pair of factory entered cars in the Pro class, the #97 and likely the #95 Young Driver AMR entry returning with a likely reshuffled driver line-up that looks set to include Turner, Jonny Adam and Marco Sorensen.

With expected changes to the fuelling aspects of Balance of Performance and a basically stable mechanical package Aston Martin’s hopes for the season will be based at least in good in part on the relative lack of development for their principal opposition in the class. Could 2016 be a year when reliability in GTE plays a major part?

Porsche: 1 x Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR (2016)

Porsche had an on, off, sort of back on run in to their 2016 GTE Pro plans with the combination of the widely expected new car for 2017, concerns over the competitiveness of the current Porsche 911 RSR with the available 2016 upgrades (the rear engined Porsche unable to draw as much profit as the rest from the opportunity to utilise the ‘mahoosive’ rear diffuser) and, let’s not forget, some Group budgetary pressures.
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So there’s no Porsche Team Manthey full season effort but instead we’ll have a singleton campaign in the Pro Class under the Dempsey Proton Racing banner with 2015 GTE Drivers Champ Richard Lietz joined by Michael Christensen.

No strength in numbers then but be in no doubt that there will be plenty of factory assistance for the effort. Don’t count this one out just yet!

Corvette

Very sadly Jack Leconte’s concerted effort to bring a GTE Pro Corvette effort to the full WEC has failed with the Chevrolet powers that be unwilling or unable to provide a 2016 spec C7.R. Le Mans only it is, again!

LM GTE Am

Ferrari: 1-3 x Ferrari 458 Italia/ 488 GTE

We expect a return from the #83 AF Corse effort with Francois Period and Manu Collard, likely in a 458 Italia.
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AF Corse, as is their won’t, could just as easily turn up with an additional WEC Am effort, or two, or nine!

The 2015 Championship winning SMP Racing effort may well return, or might emerge in GTE Pro with a new 488 GTE, or just possibly, we might even see both!
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JMW Motorsport’s WEC ambitions seem not to have come to fruition for 2016.

Aston Martin: 1 x Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE

The ever enthusiastic Paul Dalla Lana will return in the #98 Aston that dominated the opening battles of the 2015 Championship, and is expected to field an unchanged trio with Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda for the full WEC.
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Porsche: 1-2 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR

Already confirmed is the return of the #88 Abu Dhabi Proton effort with Khaled Al Qubaisi joined for 2016 by Patrick Long and David Heinemeier Hansson. The possibility of a second car for a part (or less likely) full season still exists with the door still being left open for a race or two for Patrick Dempsey should his schedule permit.
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Corvette: 1-2 x Larbre Competition Chevrolet Corvette C7.R

Jack Leconte’s squad had a 2015v jam packed full with terrible bad luck. and his 2016 effort started in similar vein with hopes of a GTE Pro effort dashed by GM. 

There is though a distinct possibility that we’ll see a pair of the uber fan favourite bellowing Vettes as Larbre push hard to find customers for the one remaining available 2015 spec C7.R
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IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship

Ford: 2 x Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, Ford GT

IMSA ’s Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona gets the privilege of welcoming Ford’s hugely anticipated new Ford GT to racing.

Chip Ganassi racing field a two car, full season effort with ex BMW duo Joey Hand and Dirk Muller the full season names in the #66 car, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook in the sister #67 – Sebastien Bourdain joining the #66 for Daytona, Stefan Mucke the #67.
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With such a new effort there as a huge number of unknowns but there’s little doubt that a massive amount of testing and development has been undertaken. The IMSA Series though is a massively high quality GT racing environment to blood a new effort in, this is going to be good!

Ferrari: 1 x Risi Competizione, Ferrari 488 GTE (Full Season), 1 x Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE (NAEC), 1 x SMP Racing (Daytona Only)

Ferrari’s new turbo V8 weapon also gets its racing debut at Daytona with AF Corse (running as SMP Racing) in a one-off joining Scuderia Corsa (NAEC programme) below and full season Risi Competizione combining to outnumber the Fords in Florida, Ferrari vs Ford a repeat of the sixties stories that started the legends!
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Risi Competizione continue their Ferrari love affair into the 488 era with a full season effort though the team will miss out on the Roar Before the 24 as the team work at Michelotto to complete the build of their new car.

Scuderia Corsa field Alessandro Pier Guidi, Alexandre Premat and Daniel Serra for the four race NAEC, an intriguing trio that should have real pace, Pier Guidi one of the fastest of the legion of Italian Ferrari specialists, Premat with his ex Audi factory heritage and Brazilian Serra coming off the back of a huge amount of tyre testing with Dunlop.

Porsche: 2 x Porsche Motorsport North America, Porsche 911 RSR (2016)

With the factory team stepping back from full season WEC GTE Pro this year there was much relief that the US-based operation would continue. Core Autosports still pop the cars as they did faultlessly again in 2015.
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On the driver front the loss of a third LMP1 car has very much been IMSA’s gain with the #911 car shared for the full season by 2015 Drivers Champion Patrick Pilet and 2015 overall Le Mans winner Nick Tandy. At the longer, Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup races (24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans), the pair is set to receive support from Porsche factory new boy Kévin Estre.

The #912 car will see a full season pairing of Frédéric Makowiecki and 2015 Le Mans winner Earl Bamber. These two will be joined by Michael Christensen at the four IMSA long distance classics.

Corvette: 2 x Corvette Racing, Chevrolet Corvette C7.R

Back for another shot at the title are Corvette with a pair of new for 2016 C7.Rs with all the new season trimmings and an unchanged full season line-up, though the enduros will see Corvette first timer Mike Rockefeller join Messrs Garcia and Magnussen in there #3 and returning talent Marcel Fassler joining Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in #4
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With the advent of the ‘turbo-tastic efforts from Ford, Ferrari and BMW the epic B=V8 soundtrack of the Corvettes will stand out all the more!

BMW: 2 x BMW Team RLL, BMW M6 GTLM

The final factory pair are from BMW with yet another new machine, this a GTLM version of BMW’s new GT3 weapon the M6 with yet another turbo power plant. The longer wheelbase M6 is much more of a GT than the car it replaces and gives a less ‘hot rod’ stance than the outgoing Z4.
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With new machinery to bed in the team have taken the sensible choice of sticking with their 20-15 driver line up for the season Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner the full season duo for the #25 with Augusto Farfus for the longer races and Bruno Spengler for Daytona.
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The #100 M6 GTLM has John Edwards and Lucas Luhr for the full season with Kuno Wittmer for the NAEC races and Graham Rahal at the Rolex 24.

European Le Mans Series

ELMS have, in recent years, produced surprise after surprise in the GTE stakes, healthy grids being a constant theme since LMEM took over the reins.

The Pro-Am nature of the grid though makes it rather more difficult to track and confirm what too expect when we hear the season entry list.

ELMS features Dunlop spec rubber with the men in yellow having put in huge efforts during 2015 to the extent that at least one WEC factory team is taking a good hard look, if not for 2016 then potentially beyond. It would not be a surprise to see a Dunlop shod car or two at Le Mans.

Ferrari: 3-5 x Ferrari 458 Italia
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Formula Racing, the Danish 2015 Championship winners are set to return to defend their title with Mikkel Mac and Johnny Laursen.

JMW Motorsport were interested in putting together a WEC programme for 2016 but that seems, at present, to have stalled so another season in the ELMS likely beckons for the world’s most successful yellow GTE Ferrari.
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AT Racing: Talkanitsa father and son, who took a race win in 2015, look likely to return
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No confirmation as yet of how many of the total production run of Ferrari 458s will be fielded by AF Corse but fewer than a couple would be a surprise

Aston Martin: 1-2 V8 Vantage GTE (2015)

Beechdean Motorsport made a perfect start to their current GTE adventure with a podium finish in their Estoril toe in the water, AMR support will likely see this effort run very well through the season.
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There’s a possibility too that we’ll see a second car, TDS Racing stepping up from their GTC title winning effort with the BMW Z4 (below) and weighing up the pros and cons we believe between Ferrari and Aston Martin.
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Porsche: 1 x Gulf Racing UK Porsche 911 RSR

We believe and expect that Mike Wainwright and co. will return in the gorgeous Gulf Racing UK Porsche 911 RSR, rumours of a WEC effort from the team being somewhat wide of the mark.
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Corvette: 0-1 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R

Long-time Porsche specialists Prospeed Competition have obtained one of the 2015 factory Corvette C7.Rs and will field a full season ELMS effort.
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Le Mans 24 Hours

Le Mans is set to see a titanic tussle with the expected seven WEC regulars set to be joined in France by up to six full season IMSA cars with Ford and Corvette set to field their US based cars (making a likely total of four Ford GTs in their attempt to win again on the 50th anniversary of their first win with the GT40 and a potential total of five Corvettes, the two Pro cars and up to three in Am!).

Porsche’s proposed Le Mans entry for the US-based effort is rather more controversial with no factory-based WEC effort but the factory making it clear that they’ll look for both US-based cars to be invited.

Scuderia Corsa will race in Am in their new 488 GTE and Formula Racing get an auto entry in GTE Am in a 458 Italia.

The Asian Le Mans Series title looks likely to go the way of Clearwater Racing, having won both of the first two races, the GT3 spec McLaren of course won’t be eligible but Clearwater are BIG Ferrari customers.
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There still seems to be a possibility that Ben Keating will try to get another entry at Le mans for the SRT Viper GTS.R.
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Beyond that little lot, and of course the full season WEC entries it’s all down to the ACO Selection Committee as to which of the ELMS full season teams get the email with the ‘Oui’ to the ‘Non’

http://www.dailysportscar.com/2016/01/01/whats-new-in-2016-part-4-gte.html

Rob
3rd January 2016, 00:14
Risi To Debut New Ferrari At Rolex 24 Hours

The Risi Ferrari team will miss next week’s Roar Before The 24 test at Daytona while its mechanics finish building the brand-new twin-turbo 488 chassis in Italy. The Houston, Texas-based team will dispatch crew members to Ferrari affiliate Michelotto where the assembly will be finished prior to shipping.

“I’m sending two mechanics over on Monday to push the car along at Michelotto and then we can finalize the car here with any loose ends that need tidying up before we go to the race,” Risi team manager Dave Sims told Marshall Pruett. “They’ll be gone from the fourth to the 15th, and I’m sending a data acquisition guy the week after.”

Sims and other members of the Risi team will attend the Roar to keep tabs on IMSA’s GT Le Mans class where the 488 will race. With the Rolex 24 at Daytona set to start on Jan. 28, and an undetermined delivery date for its car after the Jan. 8-10 Roar, Risi’s new Prancing Horse could go into the big season opener for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with minimal mileage.

“There won’t be a lot of time; we’ll try to do a shakedown here in Houston, but it will need to be pretty good out of the box and go straight to the 24,” Sims added. “And we’ll go to the Roar and start setting up some of our stuff to be ready for the race, but that’s all at this moment.”

Risi should also learn the identity of its Ferrari-supplied drivers early in the New Year. Team veteran Pierre Kaffer recently signed with Audi, leaving a blank slate for the GTLM 488 at Daytona.

“We’re still waiting on drivers from Ferrari, and Pierre’s now an Audi driver for the rest of the year, so we’ll know what our drivers look like after everyone comes back from holiday,” Sims said. “It should be fun. We’ll have a new car, that’s never been raced before, going right into the 24-hour race. We’re lucky because we have some really good guys who’ve done this stuff before. Otherwise, it would be a concern.”

http://www.dailysportscar.com/2016/01/01/rise-to-debut-new-ferrari-at-rolex-24-hours.html

Rob
3rd January 2016, 13:28
FLYING LIZARD MOTORSPORTS AND KROHN RACING PARTNER FOR THE ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA.

NO. 45 AUDI R8 LMS RETURNS TO THE HIGH BANKS.

In anticipation of an exciting 2016 season opening event, Flying Lizard Motorsports and Krohn Racing have joined forces for competition in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship's Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The Audi Sport customer racing team will run the No. 45 Audi R8 LMS, the same car that finished 2nd in the 2014 running of the event.

Flying Lizard Motorsports has previously raced the 24 Hours of Daytona seven times, earning three podiums and two pole positions. In 2014, the team celebrated a win at the iconic event, but four hours after the podium celebrations, a penalty on a competitor's car was reversed, reinstating the competitors as the winners. In 2015, the team returned with a strong lineup, but a problem in the first hour took the car back to the garage for 30 minutes. Upon returning, the team showed a strong, error free run, again completing all 24 hours of racing.

Krohn Racing founder Tracy Krohn created Krohn Racing in 2005, and entered the team into international competition in GRAND-AM Road Racing, the American Le Mans Series, and FIA World Endurance Championship. Krohn Racing has celebrated three podium finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2007, 2009 and 2012.

With both Flying Lizard Motorsports and Krohn Racing having individually celebrated wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans, both are still determinedly seeking their first victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona.

The collaboration of the two championship winning teams will feature an all-star driver line up of Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson, and Audi Sport customer racing drivers Pierre Kaffer and Christopher Haase.

Since Tracys Krohn's first year acting as a team owner and driver, he has been a part of an endurance race winning effort. In 2005, Krohn and co-driver Nic Jonsson clinched the overall win at the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, and in 2011, Krohn celebrated class wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

The 2016 season will mark Nic Jonsson's 26th year racing professionally, and more impressively, his 12th full season with Tracy Krohn. With such consistency being a rare find in motorsports, the two teammates will strengthen the already robust driver line up. The Swedish driver's resume is extensive, including experience in IndyCar, Touring cars and NASCAR. With a Rolex 24 best finish of 4th place, Jonsson has a clear determination to finish on the top step next month.

With an extensive career in endurance racing, as well as histories with Krohn Racing and Audi, German racer Pierre Kaffer is a solid fit to the Rolex 24 lineup. As part of a joint effort between Krohn Racing and Risi Competizione, Kaffer was a part of the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans winning effort, and also holds multiple wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

Also a former competitor of Flying Lizard Motorsports, Audi Sport customer racing driver Christopher Haase joins the team after coming in 3rd in the 2015 GTD championship, driving the Audi R8 LMS. The German driver is a two time winner at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, one time winner at Petit Le Mans, and most recently, came in 2nd at the 2015 12 Hours of Sepang.

Although other competitors in the WeatherTech GTD class will be running the new Audi R8 LMS, the Flying Lizard will continue to run the same Audi R8 LMS as before, but upgraded to the homologated GT3 spec. Adding more aerodynamic grip, the car will run a larger rear wing, bigger front splitter, bigger dive planes and a different diffuser. Unlike the previous years, the car will also be allowed to run with ABS and traction control. Running the same engine and transmission that it ran last year in IMSA's GTD class, this is also the same configuration the team ran this month at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, where the team ran issue free and finished on the top step over 56 other cars.

The official series test for the Rolex 24, the Roar Before the 24, will take place at Daytona International Speedway January 8-10. The official on track activities for the Rolex 24 at Daytona begin January 28, 2016.

QUOTES

Tracy Krohn
I'm really looking forward to getting back on track for the 24 Hours of Daytona and with joining Flying Lizard Motorsports. We've competed against them for many years and know they run a great operation. Last month we conducted a test with the Audi R8 LMS at Sonoma Raceway. This was the first time Nic and I have had the chance to drive the Audi and we were both very impressed. I feel very confident in our package heading into the Roar Before the 24. This particular car should be very good at Daytona, and we have an excellent driver lineup, so it should be a great event.

Nic Jonsson
Having the opportunity to join a team with such pedigree is great for both myself and Tracy. And to do that as a collaboration between the two teams makes it very strong. I have been racing against and with many of the Lizard guys over the years, and makes it a very easy transition, since we already know each other, and have great respect for what each one of us do. With the experience of endurance racing between the two teams, and specifically at Daytona, I'm really looking forward to the 24 hours of Daytona in 2016. The Audi R8 LMS is a new car to both myself and Tracy, but with the Lizards having a few years of experience along with great support from Audi, we know this is a great and winning package.

I'm also very excited to have the two Audi drivers in Christopher Haase and Pierre Kaffer. They both had a lot of success over the last couple of years here in the states. Pierre has obviously been racing for another manufacturer before, and Tracy and myself were teammates with Pierre, so he's going to be another familiar face in the mix. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to race and have such great results over the years with the same teammate, and we plan on carry that on at the 24 in 2016.

Being a 24 hour race, at a very special and untraditional track lay out, it makes it for a lot of surprises, and will benefit the teams and drivers who will be patient, stay out of trouble, and understanding that, it's about making sure you take care of your equipment and that you in contention, when the sun comes up on Sunday morning.

Pierre Kaffer
I'm really looking forward to driving for Flying Lizard Motorsports for the first time. I've known the team for many years, for me it's one of the best in USA with such a strong history. The partnership together with Krohn Racing is just a great new combination. I can't wait to work together with Tracy, Nic and Christopher! I like racing at Daytona. I was close to a win two years ago, and last year we unfortunately had to retire with a technical issue in the lead. Daytona was always a good place and this year with the Audi R8 LMS, I'm sure we have the right car. I can't wait to drive.

Christopher Haase
I feel really excited to join Flying Lizard and Krohn Racing. These guys are great racers. We already know each other during the last two years of racing in the TUDOR championship, and we have a good relationship too. Our driver lineup is pretty good. Our car has a huge reliability and won already so many events during the last years around the world. Overall we have good package. The Rolex 24 will be like always a tough race. The biggest difference is now we all using now the GT3 Spec cars, and this is something new in 2016.

Darren Law // Flying Lizard Motorsports Program Manager
We are really looking forward to having Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson join us for this event. We have spent so many years as competitors, and we have a lot of respect for Tracy and Nic. It is nice to have them finally come on board and race with us. They both have a lot of experience in this type of racing and understand what it takes to win an event like this. We are also very grateful to have factory drivers Christopher Haase and Pierre Kaffer join us for this event. Both are very experienced and will complete a great driver lineup. To bring a brand new car with limited testing is risky for such a long event like this, so we are confident in our choice of last years car. Our car is proven, it is reliable, and we know its strengths and its weaknesses, which will help us to be better prepared.

Flying Lizard Motorsports
- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/flying-lizard-motorsports-and-krohn-racing-partner-rolex-24-daytona#sthash.NNE7L46M.dpuf

Rob
3rd January 2016, 13:29
IMSA PREVIEW: THE ROAR BEFORE THE ROLEX 24.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE SEASON-OPENING TEST.

The International Motor Sports Association rings in the New Year in grand fashion with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 on January 8-10 at Daytona International Speedway.

Like a race weekend without the trophies, the Roar features three full days of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge action on the famed 3.56-mile circuit, even including a Saturday evening session under the lights. It’s a dress rehearsal for the season-opening 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona and BMW Performance 200 that officially kicks off the action on January 29-31.

“We have had great success with our car, but we still have room to improve and make it even better,” said Joao Barbosa, who joined Christian Fittipaldi in winning the 2014 and 2015 Prototype championship in Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP. “The Roar Before the Rolex 24 is an important test for us, because every opportunity to go out on track is good for us. Given our success, we’re sure that every team is working hard to beat us. To achieve the same results, we have to keep working hard. We’re going to return to the Rolex 24 with the same mentality – to win the race.”

A number of WeatherTech Championship teams participated in a two-day IMSA open test at Daytona in November, including the new Ford GT and a number of new factory cars that will be racing in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes in 2016. At the Roar, many teams will have the opportunity to test their new cars, including the Ferrari 488 GT3, Lamborghini Huracán GT3, Audi R8 LMS GT3, BMW M6 GT3, Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and Porsche 911 GT3-R.

The test also includes the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, with a first look at the new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport that will debut in Grand Sport (GS) competition.

Roar testing begins at 9 a.m. on Friday with the first of two one-hour sessions for the Continental Tire Challenge. WeatherTech Championship teams test from 10:15 a.m. – noon and 3-5:30 p.m.

On Saturday, WeatherTech Championship runs from 9-10:45 a.m., 1:05-2:35 p.m., 4:15-5:15 p.m. and the important night session from 6:45-8:15 p.m. The Continental Tire Challenge also has a pair of one-hour practices, beginning at 11:05 a.m. and 2:55 p.m.

The Roar concludes on Sunday, with WeatherTech Championship sessions from 10:20 a.m.-12:05 p.m. and 2:40-3:40 p.m., and Continental Tire Challenge from 9-10 a.m. and 1:35-2:20 p.m.

Following the Roar, competitors in both series return to Daytona for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, with opening Continental Tire Challenge and Ferrari Challenge practice on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/imsa-preview-the-roar-rolex-24#sthash.jn3ctUYr.dpuf

Nova
4th January 2016, 01:58
Great articles on the upcoming racing/teams Rob. Cool pix too, thx mate.

Nova
4th January 2016, 18:19
Has the F1 forum been hacked?

Rob
5th January 2016, 09:29
Has the F1 forum been hacked?

whys that mate?

Nova
5th January 2016, 19:13
whys that mate?

Looks ok today..yesterday when I checked it had the same thread about 15 times..
the thread headers had a bunch of jibberish.. Am I the only 1 who saw that?
Better change my meds :-D

Rob
6th January 2016, 11:08
Looks ok today..yesterday when I checked it had the same thread about 15 times..
the thread headers had a bunch of jibberish.. Am I the only 1 who saw that?
Better change my meds :-D

must of been changed before i saw it.

There have been some spamming recently.

Rob
6th January 2016, 11:09
IMSA PREVIEW: THE ROAR BEFORE THE ROLEX 24
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE SEASON-OPENING TEST

The International Motor Sports Association rings in the New Year in grand fashion with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 on January 8-10 at Daytona International Speedway.

Like a race weekend without the trophies, the Roar features three full days of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge action on the famed 3.56-mile circuit, even including a Saturday evening session under the lights. It’s a dress rehearsal for the season-opening 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona and BMW Performance 200 that officially kicks off the action on January 29-31.

“We have had great success with our car, but we still have room to improve and make it even better,” said Joao Barbosa, who joined Christian Fittipaldi in winning the 2014 and 2015 Prototype championship in Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP. “The Roar Before the Rolex 24 is an important test for us, because every opportunity to go out on track is good for us. Given our success, we’re sure that every team is working hard to beat us. To achieve the same results, we have to keep working hard. We’re going to return to the Rolex 24 with the same mentality – to win the race.”

A number of WeatherTech Championship teams participated in a two-day IMSA open test at Daytona in November, including the new Ford GT and a number of new factory cars that will be racing in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes in 2016. At the Roar, many teams will have the opportunity to test their new cars, including the Ferrari 488 GT3, Lamborghini Huracán GT3, Audi R8 LMS GT3, BMW M6 GT3, Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and Porsche 911 GT3-R.

The test also includes the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, with a first look at the new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport that will debut in Grand Sport (GS) competition.

Roar testing begins at 9 a.m. on Friday with the first of two one-hour sessions for the Continental Tire Challenge. WeatherTech Championship teams test from 10:15 a.m. – noon and 3-5:30 p.m.

On Saturday, WeatherTech Championship runs from 9-10:45 a.m., 1:05-2:35 p.m., 4:15-5:15 p.m. and the important night session from 6:45-8:15 p.m. The Continental Tire Challenge also has a pair of one-hour practices, beginning at 11:05 a.m. and 2:55 p.m.

The Roar concludes on Sunday, with WeatherTech Championship sessions from 10:20 a.m.-12:05 p.m. and 2:40-3:40 p.m., and Continental Tire Challenge from 9-10 a.m. and 1:35-2:20 p.m.

Following the Roar, competitors in both series return to Daytona for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, with opening Continental Tire Challenge and Ferrari Challenge practice on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/imsa-preview-the-roar-rolex-24#sthash.SjIiRF5m.dpuf

Rob
6th January 2016, 11:21
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Latest News

Paris - 5 January 2016
FORD GT DRIVERS REVEALED FOR WORLD ENDURANCE BATTLE
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• Marino Franchitti, Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla and Andy Priaulx to race the all-new Ford GT in FIA World Endurance Championship for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing

• Follows on from US announcement that Richard Westbrook, Dirk Müller, Joey Hand and Ryan Briscoe will race the all-new Ford GT in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

• Mücke to join Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team for Rolex 24 at Daytona later this month


Ford Chip Ganassi Racing today revealed that Marino Franchitti, Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla and Andy Priaulx have been selected to race in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the wheel of the all-new Ford GT.

Ford is running two cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and two in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The intention is for the two teams to come together in June for a four-car effort at arguably the most famous endurance race in the world, the Le Mans 24 Hours, fifty years after its historic 1-2-3 finish. The FIA WEC will visit a further three locations in Europe, Silverstone (UK), Nurburgring (Germany) and Spa (Belgium).

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“Make no mistake, we are racing to win,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director. “To compete at this level you need the best car, the best team and the best drivers, and we have selected Stefan, Olivier, Andy and Marino to drive the Ford GT to take on the best in the world.”

“I’m excited to be at team HQ in the UK to launch the WEC team,” said Chip Ganassi, owner of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. “Just like when we announced the Ford GT drivers for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship last month, we’ve again chosen drivers with heart, speed and proven endurance racing credentials. It’s a global team running in two championships and I can’t wait for the racing to begin.”

Briton Marino Franchitti is an endurance-specialist and has raced at Le Mans no less than five times. Stefan Mücke, from Germany, has multiple WEC victories under his belt and knows what it takes to make it onto the podium at Le Mans. Frenchman, Olivier Pla, also has first-hand experience of the fierce competition in WEC. Andy Priaulx is a three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion who has also won one of the world’s toughest endurance races - the Nürburgring 24 Hours - and stood on the podium at Le Mans.

WEC Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team principal – Multimatic’s George Howard-Chappell – has already led a team to victory at Le Mans on three occasions.

“It doesn’t get any more competitive than the Le Mans 24 Hours but that is what makes winning it so special,” said Howard-Chappell. “Everything has to be perfect and even then you still need luck on your side to cross the line first. The Ford GT has been built to return to Le Mans and these four drivers all know what it takes to compete against the toughest competition in the world.”

Mücke will get behind the wheel of the Ford GT very soon as he joins the IMSA Ford Chip Ganassi Racing squad for the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Jan. 8-10. Mücke will become the third driver in the #67 Ford GT entry at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which takes place on Jan. 30-31 alongside Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook.

The all-new Ford GT is the pinnacle of Ford innovation in aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fibre construction. It is powered by a new twin-turbo Ford EcoBoost V6 engine, the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever.
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Introducing the WEC Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Drivers

Marino Franchitti is part of a family where performance is hard-wired into their DNA. He won the 12 Hours of Sebring with Chip Ganassi Racing-Ford in 2014 - Ford's first overall win there since 1969.

“From my first test in the Ford GT I fell in love with it and just wanted to drive it more and more. It’s incredible to be part of Ford’s return to international GT racing and to go to Le Mans 50 years after Ford’s first win there will be extremely special.” Franchitti said. “The car feels great to drive; the new LM GTE rules certainly move the performance of a GT car to new levels and Ford and their partners have built a fantastic car.”

Stefan Mücke is a proven race winner. The German has competed in the GTE Pro class of WEC since the series’ formation in 2012, and knows the World Endurance Championship inside and out.

“I’m very excited to be part of such a great programme, especially with the history that the Ford GT has at Le Mans,” Mücke said. “Le Mans is a very special race for every driver. It is the one that we all want to win because it is such a difficult thing to do. I have come close in the past and now I hope that with Ford we can go all the way.”

Olivier Pla is one of sportscar racing’s best-kept secrets. The quiet Frenchman is known for his incredible car control and knows what it takes to win at the highest level.

“It's a huge honour for me to represent Ford - the Ford GT is a very special car and it is a privilege for me to drive it. The level of competition is going to be incredibly high in WEC and I can’t wait to race. Personally as a Frenchman, lining up at Le Mans as a Ford GT driver will be something very special.”

Andy Priaulx is a triple World Touring Car Champion who has won the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the Sebring 12 Hours, and stood on the podium at Le Mans.

“A new project is always exciting but for me to be driving for Ford in the WEC is just on another level,” Priaulx said. “I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the car and start the preparations for the season. Any motorsport fan will remember the iconic Ford GT40 cars of the past, and for me to be part of this programme 50 years after Ford’s historic win at Le Mans is such a privilege.

Ed Harley
7th January 2016, 19:44
According to local media Toni Vilander enters USCC series (IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship) for 2016 with Fisichella and if said article is accurate Vilander would not continue in WEC.

fratelliferrari
7th January 2016, 19:52
According to local media Toni Vilander enters USCC series (IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship) for 2016 with Fisichella and if said article is accurate Vilander would not continue in WEC.

That's true Ed Harley!

The new driver line up for AF Corse in WEC Gte PRO:

#51: Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado
#71: Davide Rigon and Sam Bird

Can't wait for the new WEC season to begin already! Very good line up for both cars in my opinion :ferrarifl

Rob
8th January 2016, 09:29
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FERRARI WEC AND IMSA USCC CREWS 2016
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Maranello, 7 January – Ferrari has decided its crews for the 2016 season of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the IMSA United SportsCar Championship (USCC) in which the Prancing Horse will deploy the new 488 GTE.

In the WEC, two-time world champion Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni will team up with Britain’s James Calado in the historic AF Corse car no. 51. Sam Bird will replace James in the no. 71 alongside Davide Rigon. Sam has previously driven a 458 Italia for AF Corse but this is his debut as an official Maranello driver. The 28 year-old Briton won the 2015 WEC world title in the LMP2 class.

In the IMSA USCC championship Giancarlo Fisichella will be joined in the Risi Competizione car by Toni Vilander, second in the WEC in 2015 together with Bruni.

With the addition of Bird there are now eight Ferrari official GT drivers. The season’s programme for Andrea Bertolini and Olivier Beretta is still being decided.

Rob
8th January 2016, 09:35
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VILANDER TEAMS UP WITH FISICHELLA IN 488 OF RISI COMPETIZIONE

The pair are two-time winners at Le Mans
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Maranello, 7 January – Experience is generally crucial in car racing, but is even more so in America’s IMSA United SportsCar Championship. A consistently good performance, notching up the points race by race, is more important than high notes, which is why Ferrari decided to give to Risi Competizione team a new crew to try to win the GT-Le Mans class championship.

Winners at Le Mans. Giancarlo Fisichella and Finland’s Toni Vilander, until last year paired up with Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni in the WEC, will crew the new 488 turbo engine car that will make its debut in this competition at Daytona in late January. Fisichella and Vilander will have no problems working together as they have previously paired up six times in the Le Mans 24 Hours, winning in 2012 and 2014. Fisichella and Vilander will race the entire season at the wheel of car no. 62 of Giuseppe Risi’s team and will try to win a title that Ferrari has repeatedly just missed out on in recent seasons.

Rob
8th January 2016, 09:45
According to local media Toni Vilander enters USCC series (IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship) for 2016 with Fisichella and if said article is accurate Vilander would not continue in WEC.

Yes, unfortuantly he has. But he may rejoin #51 for that little race in June. ;-) Risi have lost Olivier Beretta to Audi, and Ferrari have made a new crew for Risi to try to take the fight to Ford. In WEC, lets face it, James joining the bench mark driver in GTE is a super move. Kames last year, pretty much stepped up and made massive impact, just look at his battles with Gimmi at Silverstone (i was in AF Corse pits and it was getting pretty heated in there lol) and he and Davise were sometimes quicker than Toni and Gimmi. Also, look at James race at Nurburgring and Fuji, epic battles with the Porsches.

And now, we got the Bird back, and 2 ENGLISH drivers at Ferrari!!!! si si si (sorry, should be politically correct, British drivers :-G)

Rob
8th January 2016, 10:46
That's true Ed Harley!

The new driver line up for AF Corse in WEC Gte PRO:

#51: Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado
#71: Davide Rigon and Sam Bird

Can't wait for the new WEC season to begin already! Very good line up for both cars in my opinion :ferrarifl

very good line ups. Cannt wait. :clap

Rob
8th January 2016, 10:47
Was speaking to James over christmas period, he agreed to answering few questions for me to post up here. He said yesterday, he will do them, just been bit busy. So, as soon he get email with them, i will post up.

Rob
8th January 2016, 11:08
SAM BIRD JOINS FERRARI'S GTE PRO LINE UP

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Ferrari has today announced that FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 Champion Sam Bird will be joining the Italian marque as a factory driver for the 2016 season, plus it is re-shuffling its driving crews in the LMGTE Pro category.

This season sees the introduction of a new car from the Prancing Horse in Maranello, the Ferrari 488 GTE, which will make its racing debut in the USA at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on 30th January. Subject to confirmation of the full-season entry lists for the WEC, which will be revealed at the ACO/WEC press conference in Paris on 5th February, AF Corse will enter two cars in the Pro category as in previous years.

It is planned that the No.51 will be driven by two-time World GT Champion Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni together with Britain’s James Calado who replaces a Stateside-bound Toni Vilander. In the No.71 sister car, 28-year-old Sam Bird will be alongside Davide Rigon.

Rob
8th January 2016, 11:46
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WEATHERTECH CHAMPIONSHIP SET TO DEBUT WITH 54 CARS ENTERED FOR ROAR

GTD LEADS FOUR-CLASS FIELD WITH 22 ENTRIES FOR THREE-DAY TEST

The 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship makes its debut this weekend at Daytona International Speedway with a 54-car field entered for the three-day Roar Before The Rolex 24 At Daytona test this Friday through Sunday, Jan. 8-10.

The test sessions – which are open to the public – will feature the debut of many new WeatherTech Championship race cars, particularly in the series’ two GT classes. The GT Daytona (GTD) class features the most entries, with 22, followed by 13 Prototypes, 11 GT Le Mans (GTLM) entries and eight Prototype Challenge (PC) cars.

“We are extremely proud of this entry list for the Roar Before The Rolex 24, which foreshadows the entries for the Rolex 24 At Daytona later this month,” said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett. “These entries represent a great balance of quality and quantity across all four of our classes and will make for fantastic racing when we kick off the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Jan. 30-31. We are pleased to welcome so many world class drivers, teams and manufacturer brands back to Daytona.”

Included among the Prototype class entries are two-time defending WeatherTech Championship Prototype champions Action Express Racing and No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP co-drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi. Barbosa and Fittipaldi will be joined by five-time overall Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Scott Pruett – who is going for an unprecedented sixth Rolex 24 win this year – and Filipe Albuquerque, who claimed a Rolex 24 GT class victory in 2013.

Defending Rolex 24 At Daytona champions Ford Chip Ganassi Racing also will return with a pair of entries in the Prototype class, including the No. 02 Ford EcoBoost/Riley DP to be shared by defending race winners Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson.

However, the two Prototypes represent only half of a highly anticipated four-car entry from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, as the team also will publicly debut its two Ford GT race cars in the GTLM class. Joining the Ford GT among new race cars in the class will be a pair BMW M6 GTLM race cars from BMW Team RLL and two new Ferrari 488s – one from Scuderia Corsa and the other from SMP Racing – while a third Ferrari 488 from Risi Competizione is expected for the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31.

The new Ford, BMW and Ferrari machines all will be turbocharged and will face stiff competition in GTLM from two venerable manufacturer-supported teams in Corvette Racing and Porsche North America. Corvette Racing returns with a pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs which combined to win three crown jewels of endurance sports car racing in 2015, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Porsche North America, meanwhile, took the 2015 WeatherTech Championship GTLM team and manufacturer titles, and Patrick Pilet, who is entered in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, won the 2015 GTLM driver championship. Pilet will share the No. 911 with Nick Tandy and Kevin Estre.

In addition to featuring the most entries, the GTD class also will showcase the most new cars following a shift to full FIA GT3 technical regulations in 2016 for its seven manufacturers. Six of those manufacturers – Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Porsche and Dodge – competed in the class last year, although all will introduce new or updated models for GTD competition this year.

Lamborghini joins the WeatherTech Championship with four entries at the Roar Before The Rolex 24, including one for defending GTD driver champions Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler, who will share the No. 11 O’Gara Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán after racing Ferraris for the past several years.

In the PC class, eight Chevrolet V8-powered ORECA FLM09s are expected for both the Roar and the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Leading the way will be two-time defending WeatherTech Championship PC champions Jon Bennett and Colin Braun with the No. 54 CORE autosport team and the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team that won the PC class at Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans in 2015.

Three days of testing for the WeatherTech Championship get underway Friday morning at 10:15 a.m. ET with the first of eight scheduled sessions through Sunday afternoon. In addition to the WeatherTech Championship, the Roar Before The Rolex 24 test also will include three days of testing for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, which opens its season on Friday, Jan. 29 with the BMW Performance 200. Live Timing & Scoring data from every on-track session will be available on IMSA.com.

Source:
IMSA
- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/weathertech-championship-set-debut-54-cars-entered-roar#sthash.hy0Zj3t0.dpuf

Rob
8th January 2016, 12:28
Harry Tincknell (Nissan): Winning Le Mans is my ultimate goal
LM P1 - 07/01/2016 - ACO / David Bristol

ACO News

Nissan LM P1 factory driver Harry Tincknell had a very busy 2015 season. The young British driver was also involved in Jota Sport’s European Le Mans Series programme.

How do you feel about your 2015 ELMS season?
Apart from our fourth place in Estoril, we were on the podium in every race and this consistency put us in a with a shout of winning the championship. Although it’s been a good year, it could have been even better but one or two things cost us points. We were leading the championship going into the final race in Estoril, so to finish the season in third place is very disappointing. But that’s the way it goes. There was the incident with Simon (Dolan) and a mechanical issue on the car that cost us a lot of time.

You participated for the first time at Le Mans in LM P1 in 2015. What will you keep in mind from this race?
Of course, it’s very special to compete in LM P1 at the age of just 23. I think I’m one of the youngest guys ever, which is quite a special feeling. It was a difficult first year for Nissan with not much testing beforehand and we had a lot of troubles, but I’m very proud that we got the car to the finish because it was difficult and the other two cars had to retire. For me personally, I was quickest in qualifying and quickest in the race (of the Nissan drivers) so I was happy with my performance. While this year was obviously disappointing in terms of the result, I think that next season we can be much closer (the interview was recorded before Nissan announced their withdrawal from LM P1).

What will you be doing in 2016?
Obviously we’ll have to see but I’d really like to continue in ELMS. It’s a fantastic championship that’s had a lot of success. I hope Jota feel the same way, I’m sure they do. I’m a racing driver and want to be out as much as possible. I’m looking at doing some stuff in America as well, possibly, and I did my first GT race in September at Nürburgring, so I’m just trying to be involved as much as I can and drive as much as possible. We’ll just have to sort everything out over the winter with regard to contracts.

Jota Sport will be involved in the World Endurance Championship with an Oreca 05. What are your thoughts on that?
It’s very good for Jota. They have been a fantastic team in the last couple of seasons in ELMS and it’s good for their evolution to step up into LM P1. It will be very interesting to see how the Oreca 05 compares to the Gibson 015S because, in testing, we’ll be able to look at the data and see where their true strengths and weaknesses lie.

The Gibson 015S Nissan is still a competitive car several years after its first appearance. How do you explain its long life?
I think that obviously the design at the outset was very strong. I can’t speak for what the car was like five years ago because I wasn’t in endurance, but ever since I’ve been driving it, it’s been good. I think Jota do a fantastic job with the car and know it inside out. The upgrade package for this season has made it much more competitive, especially in the low downforce tracks like Paul Ricard. We now maintain a downforce with less drag. The weakness of this car was always the drag. We always had good grip and good downforce, but drag has always been a problem. We really seem to have improved that and it’s an all-round good car.

Are you fully concentrated on endurance or do you still have a look at what’s happening in single-seater?
Well I’m a racing fan so I’m always looking at all forms – single-seaters, touring cars, anything – but my mind is fully on endurance. I made the step in 2014 and it’s been a very positive one for me. I really want to continue with that and winning Le Mans in LM P1 and overall is my ultimate goal.

Nova
8th January 2016, 16:14
Im going to try to make it to the 24 Daytona this year..
They should have the lineup/grid for that out soon methinks.

Rob
9th January 2016, 13:21
sorry day or so late but some reason my anti virus had put this in my spam folder...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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RISI COMPETIZIONE CONFIRMS DRIVER LINEUP FOR ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA
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Houston, Texas (January 8, 2016)....Risi Competizione has confirmed their driver line up for the upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona race, January 30-31, at Daytona International Speedway. Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander, Davide Rigon and Olivier Beretta will compete at the 2016 running of the twice-around-the-clock American endurance classic in a new Ferrari 488 GTE.

Risi Competizione plans a full season of participation in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series with Fisichella and Vilander as the 2016 season drivers.

Fisichella, of Rome, Italy, returns to Risi Competizione for 2016 after a full season of IMSA competition for the Giuseppe Risi-owned squad last year with teammate Pierre Kaffer. The pair combined for five podium GTLM class finishes (Sebring 3rd; Long Beach 2nd; Road America 3rd; VIR 3rd, COTA 2nd) and three additional Top Five finishes (Laguna Seca 4th; Watkins Glen 5th, Petit Le Mans 5th) in the 10-race IMSA series.

Vilander most recently drove for Risi Competizione at last year's Petit Le Mans, where he joined Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer in the Ferrari 458 Italia to a fifth-place GTLM class finish in a rain-shortened race. He competed full-time in the global FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with teammate and fellow Ferrari driver Gianmaria "Gimmi" Bruni, finishing second in the GTE Pro class championship.

"Now that Ferrari has decided the driver lineup for their factory drivers, we are happy to welcome back Giancarlo and Toni to our stable for the full IMSA season," said Team Principal Giuseppe Risi. "Once again we will add Davide Rigon and Olivier Beretta for the Rolex 24 race, as we did in 2015."


Giuseppe Risi, Team Principal of Risi Competizione
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"Although the new Ferrari 488 is not ready yet for delivery, we have sent a small crew and transporter to the Daytona Test to go through the required steps to participate in the Daytona 24 hour race later this month," added Risi. "We await further details from Michelotto and Ferrari on the expected 488 delivery in the coming weeks."

The new highly anticipated Ferrari 488 twin-turbo is the car set to replace the Ferrari 458 Italia in the GT Le Mans class.

For more information, please go to www.risicompetizione.com and follow up on Facebook/RisiCompetizione and Twitter @RisiComp.

Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

Race Public Relations:
Barbara J. Burns

Rob
9th January 2016, 13:29
well, 99 days now....

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Rob
9th January 2016, 13:43
Im going to try to make it to the 24 Daytona this year..
They should have the lineup/grid for that out soon methinks.

be good to go. There will be Risi. Think SMP will be there. Id love to go. Think may speak tp Mrs Rob about going next year or 2017, her grand parents live in Arizona, im sure could make a holiday within a holiday :-D

Rob
9th January 2016, 14:09
he Roar Before The Rolex 24: GTLM News Notebook.

Porsche’s pair of GTLM 911 RSR’s for the 2016 season are sporting a new look livery for the Roar
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Corvette are here with their pair of new 2016 spec C7.Rs too but there was early trouble in the first free practice session as Tommy Milner suffered a fire aboard the #4 car, the Corvette returning to pitman on a flatbed with torch damage to the rear. This was the second fire for the team of the day, Marshall Pruett reporting that their pit garage was evacuated after the area around a work bench suffer a fire too!
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Both Scuderia Corsa and SMP Racing have their new and very shiny Ferrari 488 GTE’s here for the Roar.
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With thanks to the ever lovely Shea Adam for pics

http://www.dailysportscar.com/2016/01/08/roar-before-the-24-gtlm-news-notebook.html

Rob
9th January 2016, 14:14
488 GTE :love:love

Rob
9th January 2016, 21:24
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Rob
9th January 2016, 21:25
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Rob
9th January 2016, 21:28
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Rob
9th January 2016, 22:04
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT AGAIN FOR MICHAEL SHANK RACING AT ROAR BEFORE THE ROLEX 24.

MULTIMATIC MOTORSPORTS SHELBY PACES CONTINENTAL TIRE CHALLENGE

Picking up where it left off in 2015, Michael Shank Racing posted the fastest times in Friday’s opening day of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

Ozz Negri ran a lap of 1:39.655 (128.604 mph) in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Honda Ligier JS P2 to lead the first of eight scheduled sessions for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Ligier factory driver Olivier Pla – who will join Negri, John Pew and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular AJ Allmendinger in the car at the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31 – was fastest in the day’s second and final practice, with a time of 1:39.445 (128.875 mph).

“This is what happens when you have a year of experience with a car,” Negri said. “We were quickest in 50 percent of the official practices last year. The car is good, and it shows.”

Prior to Negri’s fast lap, co-driver Pew led the morning session. Pew, Negri and Allmendinger teamed with the late Justin Wilson to win the 2012 Rolex 24 for Shank in a Daytona Prototype.

“We’ve worked on the car a lot over the year, and obviously it’s pretty good right now,” Pew said. “I’m pretty comfortable in the car. Today, I had to start out with a pretty slick, crazy track, and by the end of the session I was pretty quick. This is huge difference from last year, when we came here with a new car and I was a nervous wreck.”

Three high-profile contenders were involved in single-car incidents on Friday. Tommy Milner’s No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R caught fire late in the opening session. Shortly after testing resumed, Lance Stroll spun on cold tires between turns five and six, damaging the No. 01 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost/Riley. Later in the afternoon, defending two-time Prototype champion Joao Barbosa impacted the barrier in Turn 7 in the Action Express Racing No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP. All three drivers escaped injury, with their cars expected to be repaired to return to the Roar.

Colin Braun led both sessions in Prototype Challenge (PC), with a best lap of 1:42.423 (125.128 mph) in the No. 54 CORE autosport Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09. The team won its class in the 2014 Rolex 24 and finished second last year, winning the PC championship both years.

“It doesn’t really matter who’s the quickest in practice, but it’s always a nice day when you’re at the top of the board,” Braun said. “We’ve had good success here, but we need to keep working hard to get better and improve. We know everyone else is doing the same thing, and there are a lot of other very good teams and lineups here.”

Lucas Luhr led opening practice for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, turning a 1:45.088 (121.955 mph) in the No. 100 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM. The time would remain quickest, but it was Augusto Farfus in the sister No. 25 BMW that would lead GTLM in the second practice with a 145.120 (121.918 mph), with the No. 100 car slotting in right behind.

GTLM newcomers Ford Chip Ganassi Racing posted mid-pack times in both practice sessions. Full-season driver Ryan Briscoe brings exceptional experience from last year, having won the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2015 with Corvette Racing.

“Coming from having done Daytona the last couple of years with Corvette Racing, it’s been awesome to get that experience under my belt,” Briscoe said. “Winning the race last year, it was phenomenal. I learned a lot with those guys, it’s a great team. I had great teammates with Corvette Racing, so I’m definitely bringing that experience with me here to Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. But [the Ford GT is] a whole new experience.”

Corvette Racing returns with two entries as well, and Briscoe is preparing for anything.

“It’s hard to compare the cars, there have been rule changes this year, such as more downforce,” Briscoe explained. “Everything feels different in the Ford GT. You’re sitting quite a bit lower. It’s all different, but at the end of the day, we’re all going to be very close and competitive, just making the best of what we have.”

The GT Daytona (GTD) field features a number of new cars, with manufacturers bringing in all new GT3-spec entries. Quickest of the day was Raffaele Giammaria in the No. 51 Hublot/Globaljet Ferrari 458 with a 1:48.358 (118.275 mph).

Defending GTD champions, Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler, have transitioned to O’Gara Motorsport and the No. 11 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 for a full-season effort. This afternoon, the team introduced its additional drivers for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Richard Antinucci and Edoardo Piscopo.

Team owner Tom O’Gara previously competed in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series, and is looking forward to what 2016 has in store. “It’s an enormous step for us and our program, we’ve never been in GT3, having run the Super Trofeo series,” O’Gara said. “But Lamborghini itself has never been in North America either. It’s a great partnership that we have.”

The No. 11 Huracán GT3 isn’t alone, as Audi, BMW and Porsche are brand new cars as well. O’Gara isn’t worried about the competition though, and feels very good about the team’s chances due to the significant experience of his drivers.

“We’re thrilled to have Townsend and Bill bring their expertise and all the time they’ve spent,” O’Gara said. “At the same time, Edoardo and Richard bring a wealth of experience in the development of the Super Trofeo car, and the GT3.”

The Roar testing also includes the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, with Multimatic Motorsports leading both Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge sessions. Billy Johnson was fastest in the morning practice – held on a drying track – with a lap of 2:12.069 (97.040 mph) in the No. 15 Ford Shelby GT350R-C. Co-driver Scott Maxwell was fastest in the afternoon, running 1:57.765 (108.827 mph) to pace the Grand Sport (GS) class.

Long-time Street Tuner (ST) contenders Compass360 Racing debuted its No. 76 Ford Shelby GT350R-C at the session. Pierre Kleinubing was fourth-fastest on the day in the new car he co-drives with Paul Holton, running a best lap of 1:58.839 (107.843 mph).

“I like it a lot,” Kleinubing said. “We’re learning much from the other Mustang guys, and that’s the biggest reason we’re here – what we learn in this test will make our season that much better. The car is very well sorted, and I’m happy where we’re sitting right now. We’ve got room for improvement – this car has a lot of potential.”

Ethan Low was fastest in ST, posting a best time of 2:05.850 (101.836 mph) in the Bodymotion Racing No. 31 Delaware Investments/Veristor Porsche Cayman.

Roar testing continues with a full day of activities on Saturday, beginning with WeatherTech Championship practice at 9 a.m. and concluding with a 90-minute WeatherTech Championship session that ends at 8:15 p.m. The Roar concludes with a pair of practices for each series on Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m. Spectators are admitted to the infield at $15 per day, with Rolex 24 ticket holders admitted for free.

Source:
IMSA
- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/practice-makes-perfect-again-michael-shank-racing-roar-rolex-24#sthash.T1OnfpBh.dpuf

Nova
10th January 2016, 00:20
Sweet pix..The 488..need I say more?
Cool Rob, I know a guy I go karting w/who has relatives that work in the motorsports field, so we may be able to score some good seats.

Rob
10th January 2016, 14:54
KCMG to withdraw from LMP2 in 2016 WEC

KCMG will not participate in the LMP2 class of this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship, Motorsport.com has learned.
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The Hong Kong-registered outfit ran an Oreca 05 for British duo Matthew Howson and Richard Bradley last season, with the pair taking P2 class honours at the Le Mans 24 Hours along with Nicolas Lapierre.

Howson and Bradley followed that up with another class win in the 6 Hours of Nurburgring, joined by Porsche factory driver Nick Tandy, and finished second in the final standings with a total of five podiums to their name.

The team however was embroiled in controversy at Fuji, where Bradley and G-Drive Racing's Gustavo Yacaman came to blows on track, with KCMG being awarded a suspended drive-through penalty.

Motorsport.com understands that KCMG will only aim to race at Le Mans in 2016, ahead of a potential full-time comeback the following season, when new class regulations will be introduced. One of its ORECA LMP2 chassis has already been sold.

Team boss Paul Ip has expressed a desire to focus more on his core business, but revealed that there is still a chance of his team contesting the GTE-Am class of this year’s WEC.

This would be as part of a collaboration with Christian Reid’s Proton Competition squad, which ran two Porsche 911 RSRs in the class in 2015.

http://www.motorsport.com/wec/news/exclusive-kcmg-to-withdraw-from-lmp2-in-2016-wec-666817/

Rob
10th January 2016, 14:56
Gutted, do like KCMG, and that livery, stunning.

Rob
10th January 2016, 18:30
IMSA, FOX SPORTS ANNOUNCE ENHANCEMENTS FOR 2016 TELEVISION COVERAGE

BROADCAST TEAM, AERIAL CAMERA AND SPECIAL FEATURES INTRODUCED

FOX Sports telecasts of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge events will take on an exciting new look in 2016 through a number of enhancements.

The IMSA broadcast team in 2016 will include Greg Creamer handling play-by-play alongside analyst Calvin Fish, with Brian Till and Justin Bell calling the action from pit road. Additions for 2016 include the use of aerial cameras for a majority of events and special feature segments led by Bell that will highlight the personalities, technology, event experience and lifestyle of IMSA racing.

“We are focused on delivering the most compelling television content we can provide to our viewers,” said IMSA Vice President, Marketing David Pettit. “To achieve this goal, we have reallocated our resources to add enhancements to the production of our telecasts and amplify the drama. IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge racing is inherently thrilling, and together with our partners at FOX Sports and the broadcast team, we will improve how we showcase that excitement.”

Creamer becomes the television play-by-play voice after spending the 2015 season as part of the IMSA Radio team. One of the most respected voices in road racing, Creamer previously has hosted and provided play-by-play coverage of the American Le Mans Series across four different television networks, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Fish joins Creamer in the booth, providing his unique brand of expert analysis as he has done for the past 20 years. Fish’s broadcasting career followed a successful driving career in which he won a Formula Atlantic championship in addition to class victories in both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

Like Fish, Till also transitioned from a successful driving career to become one of the foremost voices for road racing in North America. Till won the Formula Atlantic title in 1990 before moving into IndyCar racing. He made more than 20 IndyCar starts from 1992-94, highlighted by a 12th place result in the 1994 Indianapolis 500.

Bell takes his exuberant style from the broadcast booth last season to the action on pit lane in 2016. The 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans GT2 winner and 1997 FIA GT2 world champion also will play a leading role in numerous features during WeatherTech Championship telecasts in 2016, similar to his popular features in past 24 Hours of Le Mans telecasts.

The production quality of the telecasts will remain at the high level longtime fans have come to expect, but will become more operationally efficient by leveraging technology. The core production will be done at-track and will be supplemented by a studio production in Charlotte, N.C., from which Creamer and Fish will call the action beginning with the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March. The at-track production will continue to include both an international “world feed,” as well as a specific FOX Sports production.

The efficiency provided by shifting some production resources to Charlotte allows for the addition of aerial cameras for eight of 12 WeatherTech Championship races and a creative producer who will work with Bell on the in-depth feature segments.

Full television schedules for the WeatherTech Championship and Continental Tire Challenge will be announced shortly.

The 2016 WeatherTech Championship opens with the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31, one day after the Continental Tire Challenge opens at Daytona International Speedway with the BMW Performance 200.

- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/imsa-fox-sports-announce-enhancements-2016-television-coverage#sthash.iX50NLiZ.dpuf

Rob
11th January 2016, 21:49
van der Garde Signs For ELMS With Jota Sport

JOTA Sport announces today the signing of ex-F1 driver Giedo van der Garde to race for the team in the 2016 European Le Mans Series (ELMS).

The Dutch driver, who competed in 19 Grand Prix with the Caterham F1 Team in 2013, will make his endurance racing debut at the first round of the ELMS, at Silverstone on April 16.

Van der Garde, 30, will partner JOTA Sport regular drivers Simon Dolan and another soon to be named driver in the JOTA Sport Gibson 015S-Nissan which finished a close runner-up in the 2015 ELMS.

As well as a full campaign in the ELMS, Van der Garde will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut in June.

In addition to the ELMS season and Le Mans, Van der Garde will also compete at the second FIA WEC round at Spa in May, sharing the Gibson 015S with Simon Dolan and Jake Dennis at the circuit where the team has won two previous LMP2 classes – in 2012 and 2015.

Bringing a wealth of racing experience to his new role in endurance racing, Van der Garde has an impressive racing record, including becoming World Karting Champion in 2002 and clinching the Formula Renault 3.5 title in 2008.

The signing of Van der Garde to its ELMS team will strengthen JOTA Sport’s quest to capture the European Le Mans Series in 2016. Jota is one of the most successful LMP2 teams in the ELMS, with three race victories and twelve pole positions.

As well as a full ELMS campaign in 2016, JOTA Sport will also compete in a full season of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the first time. A new ORECA 05 LMP2 chassis has been acquired and is being readied for its first runs ahead of the official FIA WEC Prologue test in March. Drivers for this team will be announced in due course.

Van der Garde will shortly get his first seat time in the Jota Sport Gibson 015S, ahead of the official ELMS test at Paul Ricard 22-23 March.

Giedo van der Garde, JOTA Sport driver: “In F1 I was competing in the highest level of motorsport, but with Caterham there wasn’t a real possibility to win races. Now with JOTA there is, and again at a high level of racing. That’s what I’m aiming for: winning. To win the 24 hours of Le Mans isn’t even a dream; it’s my goal. Therefore I am very pleased to sign with such an established and proven team as JOTA Sport. This is a new chapter for me going in to endurance racing and I am sure it will be an enjoyable one. I have always enjoyed the teamwork side of racing, particularly from an engineering perspective, so I think this will be an asset to start with.

“Endurance racing has so much momentum at the present time and after some time away from the cockpit last season I could appreciate the levels to which it has grown. To make my debut with JOTA Sport this season is a very good start to the year. I’ll do my utmost to be successful for JOTA during ELMS, but also in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, one of the biggest events in racing. It is a huge challenge, but a dream comes true. I can’t wait to go flat out.”

Simon Dolan, Partner/Driver JOTA Sport driver: “I am very much looking forward to sharing a car with Giedo this season. He has a very strong pedigree in racing and I am sure he will be a great asset to the team. From what I have heard he has already made a good impression at the workshop and it is evident he is hungry to forge a good career in endurance racing.

“2016 is a big year for JOTA Sport with an expanded program, so there is a lot of hard work to come, but also a lot to look forward to. We cannot wait to get started.”

Sam Hignett, Partner, JOTA Sport: “It is a pleasure to welcome a driver of Giedo’s calibre to JOTA Sport as he has a proven track record in whatever he has competed in. He will mirror the dedication and professionalism of the team perfectly.
“We have been talking together for a while on introducing Giedo to endurance racing and I am delighted that we can now work together, on what I am sure will be a fruitful and long-term partnership. He has all the attributes to continue his success from single-seaters to sportscars and we are looking forward to working with him.”

Factfile on Giedo van der Garde
Nationality: Dutch
DOB: 25/04/1985
1998 – Dutch Karting champion
2002 – World Karting champion
2003 – Formula Renault 2-litre; selected for Renault Young Driver Programme
2004-2006 – FIA Formula Three (Van Amersfort, Team Rosberg,ASM)
2008 – Formula Renault 3.5 Champion with P1 Motorsport; 5 wins
2009-12 – GP2 (I-Sport, Barwa Addax, Caterham) – 5 wins
2013 – Formula One with Caterham – 19 Grand Prix starts
2014 – Formula One test driver with Sauber
2016 – ELMS with Arden-Jota

Rob
12th January 2016, 14:19
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Early each week, Porsche Cars North America will provide a weekend summary or pre-race event notes package, covering the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Pirelli World Challenge (PWC), the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) or other areas of interest from the world of Porsche Motorsport. Feel free to use them as needed, and do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
- Porsche Cars North America Motorsports Public Relations Team

Porsche Motorsports Event Notes. Monday, January 11 2016
Dateline. Daytona Beach, Fla.
Circuit. Daytona International Speedway
Track Length/Turns. 3.56-miles/12-turns
Round. “Roar Before the Rolex 24” Pre-Season Testing, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Next Round. 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway, January 30-31
Porsche Profile. Event Highlight Notes

North America the Focus of Porsche Factory GT Racing In 2016
In 2016, Porsche’s sole full factory GT factory program worldwide will be campaigned here in the North America. For the third consecutive season, Porsche North America will operate the two-car “works” Porsche 911 RSR in the newly renamed WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. However, this will be the first time since 2014 there will not be a matching international program racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), giving the Rock Hill, South Carolina-based team the full focus of the German company’s much prized sports car racing experience.

Following an extraordinarily successful 2015 season, where the North American program swept the GTLM driver championship with Patrick Pilet (France), the team title and the manufacturer’s crown with four wins (Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Road America, Virginia International Raceway and a staggering overall win at the season-ending Petit Le Mans), Porsche returns to defend against an increased field of manufacturer-backed competition from Ferrari, Chevrolet, Ford and BMW. The 2016 driver lineup will see Pilet back in the No. 911 Porsche North America 911 RSR with Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and, for the endurance races, Porsche factory newcomer Kevin Estre (France). Frenchman Frederic Makowiecki will share the No. 912 with New Zealand’s Earl Bamber all season with Michael Christensen (Denmark) in for the races of 10 hours or more.

Roar Before The Rolex 24
Seven Porsche teams, representing both the two car factory Porsche North America effort in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, with the Porsche 911 RSR and five customer programs debuting the brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 R in the GT Daytona (GTD) class, used the weekend to setup the updated 911 RSR and the new 911 GT3 R for the Rolex 24 At Daytona in Florida. The 54th Running of the classic American endurance race on the Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for January 30-31. The two 911 RSRs fielded by the works team covered a total of 1,660 miles on the legendary racetrack, which consists of the fast banked turns on the world-famous oval and a tight and twisty infield.

In total, nine Porsche factory pilots and one Porsche Junior tested at Daytona. The two factory 911 RSRs were joined by five of the newly developed Porsche 911 GT3 R, a racecar designed and homologated for customer racing programs world-wide.

Quote:
Marco Ujhasi, Overall Project Leader GT Works Motorsport: “These three days of testing ran successfully. The program that we’d set for ourselves ranged from qualifying preparations to long runs. We were able to work through our schedule without the slightest technical problem. Everything ran as expected and we feel well prepared for the race. As far as we’re concerned, we could race tomorrow.”

Porsche 911 RSR Updated, Porsche 911 GT3 R Makes North American Debut
The Porsche 911 RSR in its new factory finish underwent updates for the 2016 season, particularly to the aerodynamics. The position of the rear wing was moved further to the back, and the rear diffuser is now considerably larger. Moreover, the 470 hp 911 RSR, which has been developed on the basis of the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car, received a modified front spoiler lip as well as wider side sills.

The latest 911 GT3 R, also based on the latest 911 chassis, will be campaigned by traditional Porsche customer teams. The new racecar was run at Daytona for the first time with the new ultra-modern four-liter flat-six engine with direct fuel injection. Porsche built the 500 hp racing car, based on the production 911 GT3 RS sports car, for FIA homologated GT3 race series worldwide. In developing the vehicle, the engineers at Weissach paid special attention to lightweight design, better aerodynamic efficiency, reducing fuel consumption as well as improved handling. In addition, safety features underwent further optimization and the costs of servicing and spare parts are now lower for competing teams.

The customer 911 GT3 R program is the cornerstone of Porsche’s 2016 international gentleman driver platform. With the IMSA WeatherTech Championship mandating all cars in the GT Daytona (GTD) class fit the international GT3 rules, the new GT3 R was quickly chosen by 27-year Porsche veteran team Alex Job Racing for use by its customer teams of WeatherTech Racing and Team Seattle. Following suit was the Park Place Motorsports entry and, returning to the Porsche fold, Black Swan Racing. In addition, German specialist Frikadelli Racing has also entered a GT3 R in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) will drive for Black Swan, Wolf Henzler (Germany) with Team Seattle and Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) with Park Place for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Porsche Junior driver Sven Müller (Germany) and recent Porsche Junior, Connor De Phillippi (San Clemente, California) will share the No. 30 Frikadelli car.

Quote:
Sascha Pilz, Head of GT Customer Motorsport: “Our customer teams made perfect use of the test days with the new 911 GT3 R. Their fast lap times and the positive feedback that we’ve received are proof of this. The squads and the drivers familiarized themselves with the new vehicle quickly and made great progress in setting up the car. We leave Daytona feeling very confident and we’re looking forward to the race and the new season, which promises some great racing and a lot of gripping action.”

Cayman GT4 Clubsport Brings Porsche Intelligent Performance to Entry Level Racing
Most recently, Porsche has focused its official motorsports efforts on variants of the iconic rear-engine Porsche 911 like the 911 RSR and GT3 R as well as on mid-engine prototypes such as the 2006 – 2008 RS Spyder and the current Porsche 919 Hybrid. These cars were developed for professional level racing as well as for the 20 different Porsche one-make series around the globe. That all changed with the late 2015 announcement of the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Based on the mid-engined, closed-cockpit Cayman GT4 road car, the “Clubsport” variant provides a track-only entry to amateur drivers looking to take the next career step, and enter the world of professional racing with a Porsche.

Like its street counterpart, the new racecar is powered by a 3.8-liter flat-six engine. The 385 hp (283 kW) mid-engine racer features a Porsche double clutch (PDK) transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel and a mechanical rear-axle locking differential. The lightweight suspension strut front axle system is taken directly from its big 911 GT3 Cup brother, which is campaigned in Supercup and the various Carrera Cup championships around the world. The impressive racing brake system is fitted with steel brake discs all round measuring 15-inch (380-millimeters) in diameter. Tipping the scales at just 2866 lbs. (1,300 kilograms), the Cayman GT4 Clubsport, delivered from the factory with a welded-in safety cage, a racing bucket seat as well as a six-point harness, is truly lightweight. Designed for simple, reliable and safe racing, the Cayman GT4 Clubsport is eligible for multiple one-make race series worldwide, including the Porsche Club of America’s PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy-East series, the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA West series, as well as the GS class of IMSA’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge support series.

The car made its on-track debut this weekend with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in the hands of four race teams: Bodymotion Racing, CJ Wilson Racing, DeMan Motorsport and longtime Porsche entrant Muehlner Motorsport America. The No. 33 CJ Wilson Racing entry turned quickest lap of the weekend in the GS class, with a best time of 1:57.430 on the last day of testing.

Quote:
Jens Walther, President and CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America: “The Cayman GT4 street car was developed, like all other road-going Porsche GT versions, at the motorsports department at Weissach. It was during that development, when we actually went through the car, that we saw the potential for competition. We have understood the need for an entry-level racecar for some time, and we are pleased with the early success our customer teams achieved this weekend here at the ROAR.”

Rob
12th January 2016, 14:30
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q1aEUHX5QU

the GT40 does sound, odd.

Rob
12th January 2016, 14:33
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySue3MnOsK0

Rob
12th January 2016, 14:39
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uowUJiI5W4

Rob
12th January 2016, 14:42
Sweet pix..The 488..need I say more?
Cool Rob, I know a guy I go karting w/who has relatives that work in the motorsports field, so we may be able to score some good seats.

top top, that be great. I know couple people who, may/could get us to the Ferrari pit walls. :thumb

Nova
13th January 2016, 16:59
top top, that be great. I know couple people who, may/could get us to the Ferrari pit walls. :thumb
I think I would lose my mind to be at Ferrari pits..
I may have to find it again, to thus, lose it again...:-D

Rob
14th January 2016, 23:00
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“After the winter break due to the end-of-year festivities, we’re delighted to see that it’s all go again on the circuits. In Thailand and in the United States, our LM P2 and LM P3 cars put on stunning performances last weekend in the third round of the Asian Le Mans Series and during the three-day official test session for the Daytona 24 Hours.

“These excellent performances at the start of the year bode well for what will certainly be a very busy 2016 season. We have many projects on the go, our new LM P2 will see the light of day, and more and more teams are putting their trust in us and run our cars in the different endurance series. We’re determined to give them the best backup service possible and to share with them a great year’s racing which, I hope, will be crowned with success.

“I’d like to send you all my best wishes for a New Year full of happiness and success.”

Jacques Nicolet, Onroak Automotive President
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The fifth issue of the Onroak Automotive Newsletter deals with the following subjects:



NEWS
Michael Shank Racing at the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours with a Ligier JS P2

The Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup for the LM P3s and CNs with carbon monocoques

Modifications to the ELMS regulations

Adapting Morgan LM P2 for SRT 41 at the Le Mans 24 Hours

Winter testing


RACING
Asian LMS, Buriram: top-3 finish in LM P2 and victory and title in LM P3!

The Ligier JS P2s top the time sheets in the ROAR before the 24!

2016 calendars


NEWS

Michael Shank Racing at the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours with a Ligier JS P2
On 8th January, during the ROAR before the 24, Michael Shank Racing announced that it would enter a Ligier JS P2-Honda for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours for what will be the team’s maiden outing in the Sarthe classic. MSR’s regular duo, Ozz Negri and John Pew, will be joined by Belgian driver Laurens Vanthoor who made a brilliant debut in the 24 Hours in 2015 at the wheel of a Ligier JS P2-Honda entered by OAK Racing.
Michael Shank Racing has received an invitation partly thanks to the 2015 IMSA Trueman Award given to John Pew.

The Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup for the LM P3s and CNs with carbon monocoques

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has announced the creation of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup, a new series open to LM P3s, CNs with carbon monocoques as well as GT Cup cars for which Michelin will be the official tyre supplier.
Its aim is to complete the Asian Le Mans Series offer, and the Sprint Cup will open up a wider range of opportunities for manufacturers/constructors, teams and drivers as well as providing another series for the Ligier JS P3s and Ligier JS 53 EVO 2s.

The first year’s calendar will consist of three events. Each meeting will have two 60-minute races, and in order to limit costs for the teams, all three meetings will take place on the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

Round 1: 27/29 May 2016
Round 2: 05/07 August 2016
Round 3: 02/04 September 2016
Modifications to the ELMS regulations
In 2016, six European Le Mans Series Trophies will be awarded at the end of the year to the winning team and the best driver (s) in each of the three categories: LM P2, LM P3 and LM GTE.

The teams winning the LM P2 and LM P3 categories will each receive an invitation to the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours in the LM P2 category. The first two teams in LM GTE will also receive an invitation to the event.

Adapting Morgan LM P2 for SRT 41 at the Le Mans 24 Hours
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After a learning season at the wheel of a Ligier JS 53 EVO 2 specially adapted to his handicap, Frédéric Sausset is tackling the second stage of his incredible challenge still backed by Onroak Automotive. Today, the teams are working on the preparation of the Morgan LM P2 that Frédéric will drive in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
All the tweaks designed for the CN are now being redesigned for the Morgan LM P2: the automatic gear changes, power braking, a pneumatic system to help driver extrication, a steering wheel equipped with a and also a modified pedal box.
Winter testing

As in December Onroak Automotive will be setting off for Barcelona on 11-12 February to take part in testing with a few prospects and accompanied by different client teams. The following week, on Friday 19th, Onroak Automotive will organise a day’s running on the Magny-Cours circuit to help teams that wish to do so to continue this collaboration and inter-season preparation before racing starts again.


RACING
Asian LMS, Buriram: top-3 finish in LM P2 and victory and title in LM P3!

Last weekend, the Ligier JS P2s and the Ligier JS P3 shone in the third of the four rounds of the 2015-2016 Asian Le Mans Series, the Thailand 3 Hours on the Buriram circuit.
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Algarve Pro Racing repeated its performance in November at Sepang by finishing second in the event in Thailand. The no. 25 Ligier JS P2 entered by the Portuguese team started from the front row, and despite a stop & go penalty for speeding in the pit lane, it crossed the finishing line splitting two Oreca O3Rs entered by Eurasia and Race Performance after a thrilling scrap.

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In the LM P3 category, fledgling team DC Racing, confirmed its superb debut by setting its third consecutive pole and scoring its third win on the trot. The driver line-up of Ho-Pin Tung-David Cheng, joined last weekend by young Frenchman Laurent Thomas, crossed the finishing line in fifth place overall in the no.1 Ligier JS P3 behind four LM P2s (16 cars at the start) despite a gearbox problem during the race. This additional victory gave the Chinese outfit the title in the LM P3 category, the first in its history and the first in the Asian Le Mans Series.
David Cheng’s team’s reward is an invitation to take part in the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours in the LM P2 category.
Race classification - top 5: 1- Jagonya Ayam with Eurasia, Oreca 03R-Nissan; 2- Algarve Pro Racing, Ligier JS P2-Nissan; 3- Race Performance, Oreca 03R-Judd; 4- Eurasia Motorsport, Oreca 03R-Nissan; 5- DC Racing, Ligier JS P3-Nissan

Next rendezvous: Sepang (MAL) 22-24 January: final round of the Asian LMS.


The Ligier JS P2s top the time sheets in the ROAR before the 24!
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The entrants in the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship arrived at the Daytona International Speedway for a three-day test session on 8-9-10 January in the ROAR Before the 24 Hours, which is held to enable them to prepare for the 24-Hour race on the same circuit at the end of the month.
The Extreme Speed Motorsports and Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2s, both powered by the new 3.5-litre Honda engine reserved for the American Series, set the pace during the weekend and the two fastest times thanks respectively to Pipo Derani in 1m 39.249sec and Ozz Negri in 1m 39.438sec (pole setter in 2015 in 1m 39.194sec). A Ligier JS P2 topped the time sheets in five out of the seven sessions with Michael Shank Racing quickest in sessions 1, 2, 5 and 6 and Extreme Speed Motorsports fastest in the seventh and final session.


2016 calendars

Here are the calendars of the main series in which Onroak Automotive cars will be racing in 2016.


WeatherTech Championship

The IMSA series, renamed WeatherTech Championship, began on 8-9-10 January with the traditional ROAR before the Rolex 24, the official test session in which all the teams take part before the season kicks off at the end of the month.

28-31 January: Daytona – 24 Hours*
16-19 March: Sebring – 12 Hours*
15-16 April: Long Beach – 1 hour 40 min
29 April-1 May: Laguna Seca – 2 hours 40 min
3-4 June: Detroit - 1 hour 40 min
30 June-3 July: Watkins Glen – 6 Hours*
8-10 July: Mosport – 2 Hours 40 min
4-7 August: Road America – 2 Hours 40 min
15-17 September: Circuit of the Americas – 2 hours 40 min
28 September-1 October: Petit Le Mans / Road Atlanta – 10 hours*
* count for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.

www.imsa.com


FIA World Endurance Championship

The 2016 WEC will comprise 9 events compared to 8 previously. It will start with the Prologue, an official test session on the Paul Ricard circuit, on 25-26 March.

17th April: Silverstone 6 Hours (Great Britain)
7th May: Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours (Belgium)
18-19 June: Le Mans 24 Hours (France)
24th July: Nürburgring 6 Hours (Germany)
3rd September: Mexico City 6 Hours (Mexico)
17th September: Circuit of the Americas 6 Hours (United States)
16th October: Fuji 6 Hours (Japan)
6th November: Shanghai 6 Hours (China)
19th November: Bahrain 6 Hours
www.fiawec.com


European Le Mans Series

The 2016 ELMS will comprise 6 events (5 last year) and will kick off with the official test on the Paul Ricard circuit on 22-23 March.

16th April: Silverstone 4 Hours (Great Britain)
15th May: Imola 4 Hours (Italy)
17th July: Red Bull Ring 4 Hours (Austria)
28th August: Le Castellet 4 Hours (France)
25th September: Spa-Francorchamps 4 Hours (Belgium)
23 October: Estoril 4 Hours (Portugal)
www.europeanlemansseries.com


V de V Endurance Series

Onroak Automotive will be present on two fronts in the 2016 V de V Endurance Series with its Ligier JS 53 EVO 2s still racing in the Endurance Proto Challenge and the Ligier JS P3s, newcomers to the GT/LM P3 Endurance Challenge. The season will begin on 4-5 March with the tests on the Magny-Cours circuit.

18-20 March: Barcelona (Spain)
22-24 April: Le Mans (France)
20-22 May: Paul Ricard (France)
1-3 July: Motorland (Spain)
9-11 September: Mugello (Italy)
7-9 October: Magny-Cours (France)
4-6 November: Estoril (Portugal)
www.vdev.fr


GT Tour

Another series has been added to Onroak Automotive’s activities in 2016 with the creation of the FFSA French Prototype Championship, announced at the end of August 2015, in the context of the GT Tour.

27-28 March: Nogaro (France)
7-8 May: Marrakech (Morocco)
4-5 June: Lédenon (France)
9-10 July: Magny-Cours (France)
10-11 September: Le Mans (France)
1-2 October: Imola (Italy)
29-30 October: Paul Ricard (France)
www.gt-tour.fr


Various national series which accept CNs and LM P3s can be added to the above. Here follows a partial list:

- Italian Sport Prototypes Championship: acisportitalia.it
- Supercar Challenge: www.supercarchallenge.nl
- Excool OSS Championship: www.brscc.co.uk
- Sports Car Challenge: www.sportscarchallenge.at
- French Hill Climbing Championship: www.cfm-challenge.com
- National Auto Sport Association: www.nasaproracing.com

PRESS & COMMUNICATION CONTACT:

Anne Bernard

Rob
15th January 2016, 23:22
:clapRisi Competizione Ferrari 488 Completed:clap

The brand new #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM was completed today at Michelotto Automobili.
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The car will be get a brief shakedown at a small track in Italy next Monday, January 18 before being airfreighted to Miami later next week where it will be picked up by the Risi Competizione Transporter for onward transportation to Daytona for the Rolex 24 Hours.
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Ferrari factory drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander will form the car’s full season IMSA crew with Davide Rigon and Olivier Beretta joining the team for the Rolex 24 Hours.
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The team missed last weekend’s Roar before the Rolex 24 Hours test with the car not completed in time at Michelotto but now look set to make the race week with no further problems.

Rob
17th January 2016, 21:00
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Latest News

Paris - 16 January 2016

THE WEC IN THE UK SPOTLIGHT
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In just three weeks’ time the list of competitors for the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season will be revealed at a Press Conference in Paris, but work has already been underway for some time to prepare for the start of the new season.

CEO of the WEC, Gérard Neveu, has been in the UK this week to talk about the WEC and help promote the first race of the new season, the 6 Hours of Silverstone.

On the invitation of the Motorsport Industry Association’s Chief Executive, Chris Aylett, Neveu was a speaker at the MIA’s Energy Efficient Motorsport Conference on Wednesday (13 January), talking about entertainment in motorsport and the possible new technologies that might appear in the coming decade to attract and interest new fans.

The following day he spoke on the Central Stage at the Autosport International Show alongside Patrick Allen, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Ltd, about the festival of endurance racing and spirit of Le Mans that will be held at the home of British motorsport between 15-17th April 2016.

Just below the stage, on display for the duration of the huge, four-day exhibition, were the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours-winning Porsche 919 Hybrid of Nico Hulkenberg, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber and the new Ford GT car which will be competing in the WEC this year in the LMGTE Pro category. Other sportscars could also be seen on different stands at the show including an Audi LMP1, and LMP2 and LMP3 prototypes.

Gérard Neveu commented: “It has been an extremely interesting, invigorating and productive two days. The MIA conference brought together a great group of people including some very bright engineers who will be developing technologies of the future, and it was an honour to be asked to speak about the WEC in front of them all. The size and scope of the Autosport International Show was very impressive, and it was the perfect venue for us to be able to publicise the first event of our new season, the 6 Hours of Silverstone. The British motorsport fans are some of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic in the world, and what better place to start our racing year?”

All ticketing information for the 6 Hours of Silverstone can be found HERE, and stay tuned to the WEC social media channels, web and App for more information on the season to come.

Rob
17th January 2016, 21:08
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WINTER HAS ARRIVED!
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The start of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season is just a few months away, but there won't be much action on some of Europe's most famous tracks at the moment as winter has truly arrived.

Enjoy the pictures of a snowy Circuit des 24 Heures, also partly showing the construction of the new pit garages for this year's Le Mans (WEC Round 3, June 18-19), Circuit Spa-Francorchamps (WEC Round 2, May 7) and Nürburgring (WEC Round 4, July 24).
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Rob
17th January 2016, 21:11
MAZDA PROTOTYPES TO RACE IN WEATHERTECH CHAMPIONSHIP WITH NEW MZ-2.0T ENGINE

ENGINE WILL MAKE ITS RACE DEBUT AT THE ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA
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The two-car Mazda Prototype race team will be powered by the new gasoline-fueled MZ-2.0T engine this season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The engine has been in development for much of the past year and has completed nearly 4,000 test miles prior to this weekend’s “ROAR before the 24” test session at the Daytona International Speedway.

The MZ-2.0T earned its name from its configuration: “MZ” refers to Mazda, “2.0” references its two-liter capacity, while “T” is a nod to the turbocharger. The inline, four-cylinder engine is built upon a similar foundation of the MZR-R engine that was developed by Mazda and Advanced Engine Research Ltd. (AER) for sports car racing beginning in 2006. In addition to the new Prototype engine, Mazda works with AER on the current version of the MZR-R engine that powers the entire field in the Indy Lights series, the top rung of the Mazda Road to Indy.

John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports North America

“We gained immense knowledge from three years of racing a stock-block diesel engine. That knowledge will improve the next generation of Mazda diesel engines. But, with the impending rules changes in 2017 [which will not allow a diesel-fueled option], a purpose-built racing engine was our best choice to reach our long-term goals and contend for race wins and championships. After extensive testing, the MZ-2.0T is not only very fast, but reliable as well. There was no off-season for this team, as they’ve worked incredibly hard to prepare for the season. Mazda loves to race, and we couldn’t be more optimistic about the prospect of this engine and our team.”

Jonathan Bomarito, Driver, Mazda Prototype team

“The drivability of the engine is incredible. The first thing you notice is how smooth the power is delivered in every gear through the RPM range. There is great low-end torque with zero turbo-lag, which is very impressive. All race tracks are different and the gearing is never perfect for every corner, so having an engine where you can short-shift or stretch a gear longer is very important. The MZ-2.0T does this easily.”

Marcus Shen, Chief Engineer, Mazda Prototype team

“This engine has transformed everything for us. Obviously, it’s more powerful so we’re going faster. Once you go faster, the aerodynamics work very differently - we have much more downforce - and the chassis works better. It’s not just straightaway speed, the engine has improved every aspect of our overall performance.

“A gasoline, direct-injected engine - like many of the Mazda passenger cars - helps with the horsepower and throttle response and yet still produces great fuel economy. When the driver puts the pedal down, it goes. It’s creating roughly 285 horsepower per liter, which is much higher than the estimated 110 horsepower per liter of the 5.5-liter V8 Daytona Prototype engines.”

The Mazda Prototype team features two entries: the No. 55 car (numbered in honor of the 25th anniversary of Mazda’s Le Mans victory) with drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nunez, and the No. 70 car with Joel Miller and Tom Long driving. For the Rolex 24, current Indy Lights champion Spencer Pigot will join the No. 55 team, while Ben Devlin will return to the team to drive the No. 70.

Specifications: MZ-2.0T Engine

Capacity: 2 liters
Cylinders: 4 inline cylinders
Horsepower: approximately 570 horsepower (285 HP per liter)
Maximum RPM: 9,000
Injection: Direct injection, multi-hole, spray guided injectors
Fuel Rail Pressure: More than 1,500 PSI
Compression Ratio: 13.5:1
Peak Manifold Pressure: 2.6 bar (37.7 PSI)
Turbocharger: single Garrett Motorsports unit, 46mm restrictor
Exhaust Manifold: tubular 4-2-1 manifold
Intake Manifold: bespoke carbon fiber
Oiling System: bespoke dry sump system
ECU: LIFE engine management ECU

Mazda Motorsports
- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/mazda-prototypes-race-weathertech-championship-new-mz-20t-engine#sthash.xrK5CgPG.dpuf

Rob
19th January 2016, 10:52
Bird says Ferrari WEC drive a "dream come true"

New Ferrari GT factory driver Sam Bird says landing a drive with the Italian marque is a dream come true.

Bird will share the #71 Ferrari 488 GTE with Davide Rigon in the World Enduance Championship this season.

"To become a fully-fledged Ferrari factory driver is not only an honour but also a dream come true," Bird told Motorsport.com.

"You know, when I was a little boy I had a big Prancing Horse flag in my bedroom and I used to gaze at it endlessly. Now I will have that iconic emblem on my race suit and I will wear it with pride.

"To be associated with it and with the whole is very special."

Bird is believed to be getting his first taste of the new 488 GTE this month and will embark on more tests throughout the pre-season.

"I haven't driven the 488 yet so my knowledge is limited, but I can't wait to test it," he said.

The Briton, who along with teammates Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal sealed the LMP2 WEC title in Bahrain last November, completed the deal with Ferrari despite interest from the Toyota LMP1 squad.

Motorsport.com understands that the Japanese manufacturer was impressed with Bird during his test, which took place immediately after the Bahrain WEC finale, but will only make a decision on its official reserve driver following a shoot-out test next month.

Bird is believed to have had an offer from Ferrari as early as last autumn.

"There were many reasons for me taking this opportunity and one of them is that I already worked with and knew the team," said Bird. "I really loved working with them in 2014.

"It is a great family atmosphere and the spirit is unrivalled. I think the people are what make any team and at Ferrari and AF Corse there is a really good and talented group.

"The leadership of Antonello [Coletta] and Amato [Ferrari] and the merits of the other three drivers in the WEC squad mean that we have a great team to mount an attack."

Bird, who had raced for AF Corse in 2014, will switch to the LMGTE Pro class in 2016, but told Motorsport.com that his season in LMP2 will stand him in good stead for the coming year.

"I think I have learned my lessons last year with regards to how to race well in endurance racing and I really took everything in. I think I can use the experience well from last season.

"It will be another race car I will have to get to know and it will be different race craft [to LMP2] but I am more than up for the challenge.

"I think the LMGTE Pro category is at an all-time high this season and it will be a very exciting year."

Rob
21st January 2016, 10:51
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RISI COMPETIZIONE HAS SUCCESSFUL SHAKEDOWN THIS WEEK WITH NEW FERRARI 488 AT FIORANO CIRCUIT IN ITALY
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Giuseppe Risi stands next to his new Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM

Houston, Texas (January 21, 2016)...Risi Competizione has reported a successful shakedown of their new Ferrari F488 GTLM at the Fiorano Circuit in Italy this past Monday, January 18, 2016.

Team Principal Giuseppe Risi and several Risi Competizione crew members were at the private Ferrari race circuit to oversee the shakedown.
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"The new Ferrari 488 GTLM is a stunning and beautiful car," said Giuseppe Risi after returning home to the Team's Houston, Texas race shop. "The shakedown went well and as planned, no surprises. The car is now in transit to Miami, where a representative will pick it up and take it to Daytona. Our guys will then work to get it prepped for the Rolex 24 race. All four of our drivers have driven the 488 so the car will not be new to them. However, we will have some work to do to get the required components set for Daytona and 24-hour race mode. It will be a busy week next week since we only have limited track time before the race start."
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Risi Competizione drivers for the 2016 running of the Rolex 24 are Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander, Davide Rigon and Olivier Beretta, all Ferrari factory drivers. Full season drivers in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series for the popular U.S. team are Fisichella and Vilander, who have been teammates on numerous occasions, including the 2015 IMSA Petit Le Mans for Risi and last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans with the AF Corse Ferrari team.

This will be the fourth time that Risi Competizione has debuted a new Ferrari race car model in North America. In March of 2006 Risi Competizione debuted the hugely successful Ferrari 430 GT at the 12 Hours of Sebring to a podium finish (third place) with Jamie Melo, Ralf Kelleners and Anthony Lazzaro behind the wheel. Then in March of 2011, Risi Competizione debuted the Ferrari 458 GT2, again at Sebring, with Vilander and Melo as drivers. Although they suffered an alternator issue and went on to finish 11th in class, the duo collected three podiums, including one victory that season. In September of 2002 Risi Competizione debuted the Ferrari 360 GT to a third place class finish.
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The Ferrari 488 GTLM inside the Michelotto factory

"We worked together with Michelotto, to get this car built to the specs needed for IMSA competition," said Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer. "Two of our crew were onsite for several weeks working with them and then our data engineer joined them after the Roar Test, in expectation that the car will be as race ready for Daytona as possible once it arrives. Of course there is plenty of work to do since we were not able to use the Roar Test to our benefit, but we'll make it work as we always do. This is a spectacular car and we hope for some great things this season."

Nova
22nd January 2016, 17:07
The Risi 488 is so beautiful, its a shame to get it dirty racing it lol...

Rob
23rd January 2016, 13:35
Gas Monkey Garage Joins Riley Motorsports at Rolex 24
By News Release

Viper Exchange and Gas Monkey Garage announced today a partnership that will see the No. 33 ViperExchange.com Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R carry an eye-catching Gas Monkey Garage logo and livery at next weekend’s season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The highly-popular Gas Monkey Garage, featuring performance car builds in the global television show ‘Fast N’ Loud’ on Discovery, is a successful car restoring business in Dallas with a unique style.

Led by principal Richard Rawlings, the Gas Monkey Garage staff travels around Texas and surrounding states to find forgotten classic cars to buy and restore. They found a perfect Lone Star State partner in Viper Exchange for Gas Monkey Garage’s first appearance in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Viper Exchange, the world’s largest Viper retailer, is based in Tomball, Texas, and principal and team driver, Ben Keating, is a lifelong Lone Star State resident.

A winning IMSA GT Daytona (GTD) class co-driver in last year’s Rolex 24, Keating will co-drive the No. 33 ViperExchange.com/Gas Monkey Garage Viper with Jeroen Bleekemolen, Marc Miller and Dominik Farnbacher next weekend at Daytona. Farnbacher was also part of last year’s Rolex 24 winning GTD driver lineup.

“We have been working very hard through the years to build the Viper Exchange brand as the No. 1 volume Viper dealer in the world and the home of Viper performance parts,” Keating said.

“The guys at Gas Monkey Garage have done an incredible job of creating a great brand and a culture that people want to be part of. We are both extremely connected with Dodge, we are both located in Texas and we are both heavily involved car people. I almost can’t believe it didn’t happen sooner.”

The Gas Monkey Garage brand is one of the world’s most visible logos in the automobile industry and also announced today it will launch its Energy drink products this year.

“We are extremely pleased to announce our new Gas Monkey Garage Energy products and the association with the Viper Exchange for the popular Rolex 24 At Daytona,” Rawlings said.

“Ben Keating and his teammates in the Viper Exchange/Gas Monkey Garage Viper should be big crowd favorites next weekend at Daytona.”

The Gas Monkey Garage ‘Fast N’ Loud’ show is viewed by over 2.2 million viewers weekly in the United States and is aired in 200 countries and translated into 38 languages.

“I am very excited about working together on this,” Keating said. “I am excited to take the Gas Monkey Garage fans along for the ride as we compete in the biggest and longest sports car race in North America.

“I love the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and I think the Gas Monkey faithful are going to understand why after following this event. There is always plenty of crazy drama during any 24 hour race. It is an environment full of car people and high emotions. They are going to dig it!”

Miller is making his Rolex 24 debut in the No. 33 that should be an even bigger crowd favorite than the Viper usually is with the addition of the Gas Monkey Garage livery.

“I have been a fan of the Gas Monkey Garage guys as well as ‘Fast N’ Loud’ for years, and you don’t have to live in Texas to just love that Lone Star lifestyle,” said Miller, who is from Holland, Michigan.

“Everyone involved in both Viper Exchange and Gas Monkey Garage are car people and what better choice of a team to represent them than a monstrous American V10 Dodge Viper among a sea of European competition.”

While the Gas Monkey Garage Energy drink will not be available in time for the Rolex 24, Keating and ViperExchange.com could put the new product to good use in March’s 12 Hours of Sebring.

The Gas Monkey Garage partnership will likely continue for that race, the second longest on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule.

“No doubt that an energy drink is extremely appropriate for an endurance race but especially a Gas Monkey Garage energy drink,” Keating said.

“The people working down on pit lane have gasoline running through their veins. They actually get less sleep during 24 and 12 hour races than the drivers. They don’t get a break and they love it.

“This is what I think the Gas Monkey Energy drink is all about. There will also be plenty of fans trying to make it for the entire race with no sleep. There will be no shortage of a market for extra energy at endurance races!”

In addition to the Viper Exchange/Gas Monkey Garage Viper in the Rolex 24, the Garage announced today two more racing projects in 2016.

Also competing under Gas Monkey Garage Energy products colors this year will be Dreyer & Reinbold Racing IndyCar at the 100th Indianapolis 500, with driver Sage Karam, and a NHRA Mello Yello drag racing series Pro Stock entry with Laughlin Motorsports and driver Alex Laughlin.

Rob
23rd January 2016, 13:40
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get you some of that wahoooooo!!!!!!!!

Rob
23rd January 2016, 13:42
I love watching Fast n Loud, got Gas Monkey t shirt. Now, i do have small soft spot for Vipers, now this!!!???? As long as they are behind SMP and Risi :thumb

Rob
23rd January 2016, 13:56
The Risi 488 is so beautiful, its a shame to get it dirty racing it lol...

looks good new and clean, but after 24 hrs, or 6 hrs of racing and dirt, looks great.

Rob
23rd January 2016, 14:01
Home / IMSA / IWSC / IMSA Makes Significant BoP Changes for Rolex 24
IMSA Makes Significant BoP Changes for Rolex 24

IMSA has released the expected final Balance of Performance prior to next weekend’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, with significant changes having been made in all four categories.

Here’s a rundown of the changes since the initial 2016 BoP, which was utilized at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 earlier this month.

Prototype:

*BR Engineering BR01 Nissan: 10kg weight reduction (890 to 880kg), confirmed fuel (76 liters) and refueling restrictor (33.0mm)

*DeltaWing DWC13 Coupe: 5kg weight increase (515 to 520kg), 0.19 reduction in boost ratio

*Ligier JS P2 Honda: 10kg weight increase (940 to 950kg), slight reduction in boost ratio at selected RPM levels

*Ford Riley DP: Slight reduction in top-end RPM boost ratio

*Lola B11/80 Mazda: Reduction (0.026-0.126) in boost ratio, 8-liter increase in fuel capacity and defined 33.0 mm refueling restrictor

*Dinan Riley DP: 2mm larger restrictor (74 to 76mm x 2)and 2-liter increase in fuel capacity (79 to 81 liters)

*Corvette DP: No changes

Prototype Challenge:

*Revised rear wing position (P6 to P4), new minimum angle of -9.8 degrees and -19.8 degrees for the flap. IMSA will issue a specific bulletin describing the rear wing measurement

GT Le Mans:

*BMW M6 GTLM: Reduction in boost ratios, larger Gurney (5 to 15mm), 9-liter increaase in fuel capacity (95 to 104 liters), 33.5mm refueling restrictor

*Corvette C7.R: 0.2 mm smaller air restrictor (30.1 to 29.9mm x2), 6-liter increase in fuel capacity (86 to 92 liters), 32mm refueling restrictor

*Ferrari 488 GTE: Slight reduction in boost ratios, confirmed 78 liters fuel capacity and 29.5mm refueling restrictor

*Ford GT: Reduction in boost ratios, 3-liter increase in fuel capacity (95 to 98 liters), 35mm refueling restrictor

*Porsche 911 RSR: 6 liter increase in fuel capacity (85 to 91 liters), 32mm refueling restrictor

GT Daytona:

*Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3: 10kg weight reduction (1260 to 1250kg), 1.3mm larger air restrictor (40.7 to 42mm x2 ), 13-liter increase in fuel capacity (90 to 103 liters)

*Audi R8 LMS ultra: 10kg weight reduction (1300 to 1290kg), 1.7mm larger air restrictor (52.3 to 54mm x2), 3-liter increase in fuel capacity increase (104 to 107 liters)

*Audi R8 LMS (new): 20kg weight increase (1280 to 1300kg), 2mm reduction in air restrictor (40 to 38mm x2), 4-liter increase in fuel capacity (86 to 90 liters)

*BMW M6 GT3: 10kg weight increase (1300 to 1310kg), reduction in boost ratios, 9-liter increase in fuel capacity (95 to 104 liters)

*Dodge Viper GT3-R: 20kg weight reduction (1340 to 1320kg), 1mm reduction in air restrictor (39 to 38mm x2), 4-liter increase in fuel capacity (103 to 107 liters)

*Ferrari 458 Italia GT3: 20kg weight reduction (1300 to 1280kg), 200 rpm reduction (8400 to 8200 rpm)

*Lamborghini Huracan GT3: 20kg weight increase (1260 to 1280kg), 2mm smaller air restrictor (39 to 37mm x2), 1 liter increase in fuel capacity (89 to 90 liters)

*Porsche 911 GT3 R: 1 liter reduction in fuel capacity (85 to 84 liters)

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Rob
23rd January 2016, 14:49
Was speaking Gimmi, just after the Roar, and he said needed bit more speed, and hope the BoP would help us. Now, not sure it has. Unless we can run longer on a tank of fuel than all the others, we have just had one hand tied behind our backs. And with boost ratios reduced aswell :-!

Nova
24th January 2016, 01:36
Mabey Im readin ghtis wrong, but doesnt the corvette have a lot more fuel capacity than us?
Thats America for ya. You wanna race here, sure, but understand that chevrolet owns just about everything.
Ive always found the Euro series more interesting.

Rob
25th January 2016, 09:45
1966 - THE FIRST 24-HOUR RACE AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY.
HISTORY HAS A WAY OF REPEATING ITSELF

Next weekend, Daytona International Speedway unveils its $400 million motorsports stadium with the Rolex 24 At Daytona, an event featuring the awaited debut of the new Ford GT, taking on the new Ferrari 488, among others.

History repeats itself.

Fifty years ago, the battle between Ford and Ferrari for international sports car supremacy was at its zenith. Daytona promoter Bill France Sr. felt the time was right to extend the Daytona Continental to the now famous 24-hour distance on the unique circuit, which featured an infield road course tucked inside a high-banked 2.5-mile superspeedway.

The move not only virtually doubled the 2,000-kilometer distance, it also elevated Daytona to one of the world’s top three endurance races, along with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring. The race also took its place towards the FIA World Manufacturer’s Championship.

Not taking any chances, Ford brought two factory teams to the race. Shelby American brought three new GT40s, designated Mark IIs, for the driver pairings of Ken Miles/Lloyd Ruby, Dan Gurner/Jerry Grant and Chris Amon/Bruce McLaren. Ford’s main NASCAR team, Holman and Moody, entered a pair of Ford Mark IIs, for Walt Hansgen/Mark Donohue and Richie Ginther/Ronnie Peterson.

Ferrari was represented by Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team, led by Mexican star Pedro Rodriguez and young American sensation Mario Andretti in an upgraded Ferrari 365P3, one of 10 Ferraris in the 59-car field.

Chevrolet also attracted plenty of attention with Jim Hall’s Chaparral, driven by American F1 World Champion Phil Hill and Jo Bonnier. That car qualified second, featuring a unique automatic transmission and an air spoiler controlled from inside the cockpit.

Bonnier led the first lap in the Chaparral, although the Swede pitted after only 16 minutes to repair a loose fan belt. One hour later, a steering malfunction dropped the team out of contention.

Miles took the lead on the second lap, with Ford leading the remainder of the event. Hansgen managed to lead when Miles pitted, but the No. 98 GT regained the point eight laps later and led the remainder of the race.

Gurney and Grant finished second, eight laps down, followed by Hansgen and Donohue.

Some of the best racing came at dawn on Sunday, when Rodriguez challenged Gurney for third in a battle between former Daytona winners. Gurney held on, breaking Phil Hill’s race lap record in the process.

It was the second consecutive Daytona victory for Miles and Ruby, who gave the Ford GT40 its first victory in the 1995 event. The team selected an aggressive 2:04 target pace and stuck to it throughout the race on the 3.810-mile circuit. They kept to a schedule of running double shifts (three hours), with no sleep for either driver.

“The first 12 hours was just like last year,” Ruby said. “But the last 12 hours was sheer, grinding perseverance.”

Rodriguez and Andretti finished fourth, with the Pennsylvanian competing in his first 24-hour race.

Making his debut as a car owner in the event was Roger Penske, who gave up driving in order to purchase a Chevrolet dealership in Philadelphia. He fielded a Corvette in the race which finished 12th and won its class with Guldstrand, Ben Moore and George Wintersteen at the wheel.

Other competitors included future NASCAR star Bobby Allison, who parked his Corvair after 63 laps; Jacky Ickx, whose endurance racing debut also ended early, and future Indy 500 groundbreaker Janet Guthrie, part of two three-woman teams in the race.

The race featured extreme swings in temperature, starting at 47 degrees and dropping to a frigid 17 during the night. For the first time, a General Electric computer was used to time the race – although it ceased functioning due to the freezing conditions. Officially, a 120-person team scored the race.

Also in the event was Scranton, Pa.’s Oscar Koveleski, who went on to race in Can-Am while launching the popular Auto World catalog store for slot cars and model cars. After he and Hal Keck dominated the 1965 Watkins Glen 500 by four laps, Carol Shelby persuaded Keck and Koveleski to try their luck at Daytona.

“We felt if we could just stay on track, we could whip everybody,” said Koveleski, who continues to attend the event as a member of the Road Racing Drivers Club. “We had a crew of only five or six people, which included our wives. We were going good until our right-rear axle blew apart.”

France was happy with the move to 24 hours, announcing that the attendance was a Daytona sports car record and tripled the 1965 figure.

“We didn’t make a bundle on the 24-hour race, but we did start building towards a race that will become one of the great automotive events in the world,” France told the Daytona Beach Morning Journal – a statement proven accurate by 50 years of racing history.

Source:
IMSA
- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/1966-first-24-hour-race-daytona-international-speedway#sthash.gxF5vKXY.dpuf

abbottcostello
25th January 2016, 10:02
Was speaking Gimmi, just after the Roar, and he said needed bit more speed, and hope the BoP would help us. Now, not sure it has. Unless we can run longer on a tank of fuel than all the others, we have just had one hand tied behind our backs. And withboost ratios reduced aswell :-!

Lowest fuel capacity AND smallest refuelling restrictor! Yeowch!

Nova
25th January 2016, 16:40
Thats what IO call making the field even...
And if I told you that wolverines make good house pets?

Rob
26th January 2016, 09:39
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2016 Le Mans 24 Hours ,15 teams invited
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With just 12 days to go to the unveiling of the complete list of teams entered for the 84th Le Mans 24 Hours on 18-19 June, 15 teams have already won an invitation to take part in qualifying practice for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours. These have been awarded taking into account the results of the Le Mans 24 Hours, the European Le Mans Series and the Tudor United Sportscar Championship in 2015 plus the 2015-2016 Asian Le Mans Series, which finished this weekend, as well as the allocation of the 56th garage by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.

One invitation for:

Porsche Team: victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the LM P1 category. One invitation in LM P1.

KCMG: victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the LM P2 category. One invitation in LM P2.

Corvette Racing - GM: victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the LM GTE Pro category. One invitation in LM GTE Pro.

SMP Racing: victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the LM GTE Am category. One invitation in LM GTE Am.

Greaves Motorsport: victory in the European Le Mans Series in the LM P2 category. One invitation in LM P2.

Formula Racing: victory in the European Le Mans Series in the LM GTE category. One invitation in LM GTE Pro or Am.

BMW Team MarcVDS: 2nd in the European Le Mans Series in the LM GTE category. One invitation in LM GTE Pro or Am.

TDS Racing: victory in the European Le Mans Series in the GTC category. One invitation in LM GTE Am.

Team LNT: victory in the European Le Mans Series in the LM P3 category. One invitation in LM P2.

Michael Shank Racing: selected by the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. One invitation in LM P2.

Scuderia Corsa: selected by the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. One invitation in LM GTE Am.

Race Performance: victory in the Asian Le Mans Series in the LM P2 category. One invitation in LM P2.

Clearwater Racing: victory in the Asian Le Mans Series in the GT category. One invitation in LM GTE Pro or Am.

DC racing: victory in the Asian Le Mans Series in the LM P3 category. One invitation in LM P2 or LM GTE Am.

Each invitation will only be confirmed if the car in question is entered in one of the following three championships in 2016: Asian Le Mans Series, European Le Mans Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The invitation for the 56th garage allocated by the ACO has been awarded to Frédéric Sausset’s project and the Sausset Racing Team 41 (SRT41). Technologies devoted to helping people with reduced mobility will be highlighted by this extremely innovative sporting project.

This list represents a possible entry of 15 cars out of the 58 places on the grid on Saturday 18th June at 15h00.

The complete list of entries for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours will be announced in 12 days on 5th February in Paris.



PRATICAL INFORMATION
2016 LE MANS 24 HOURS
84th event
3rd round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship

Dates: 18 - 19 June 2016

General enclosure tickets: 58.50 euros (ACO members) instead of 78 euros (non ACO members).

Free for young people born after 19th June 2000 accompanied by an adult.

Test Day: Sunday 5th June.

Scrutineering and administrative checks: Sunday 12th and Monday 13th June.

Free and qualifying practice. Wednesday and Thursday 15-16 June.

Start of the 84th Le Mans 24 Hours: Saturday 18th June at 15h00.

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Rob
26th January 2016, 10:51
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2016 ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA - GTLM PREVIEW
A RACE ENGINEER'S PERSPECTIVE
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Risi Competizione Race Engineer Rick Mayer (left) with Ferrari driver Davide Rigon (right)
(Houston, Texas, January 23, 2016)...Rick Mayer, race engineer of the Risi Competizione No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM team, takes a look ahead at this year's Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 30-31, 2016, at the newly renovated Daytona International Speedway.

Pilots of the new Risi Competizione Ferrari for the 54th annual Rolex 24 include Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy), Toni Vilander (Finland), Davide Rigon (Italy) and Olivier Beretta (Monaco).

General: The total car count of 54 cars is down one from 55 in 2015 on this 3.56 mile track. The four longer endurance series races always have a larger Pro-Am content than the shorter races, this makes getting through traffic and staying clear of trouble more difficult and risky. A driver's mental fatigue and any lapse of concentration could easily affect the outcome. Your concentration has to be high as traffic will be constant. The safety car and wave by rules will ensure a large lead lap car count for each class, as the rules make it easy to make up a small lap deficit. The IMSA WeatherTech specific balance of performance (BoP) GTLM rules evolved from the ROAR test earlier this month. All the GTLMs are new for this year, as there was a large rules change giving increased downforce across the class. This is a large reset in BoP from last year and the hope is all GTLM cars will be much closer in downforce and straight speed within the class. Clearing GTD traffic will be particularly difficult for GTLM as the GTDs have the equal or better banking speeds.
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The new Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM

Setup: Daytona is a track that requires some reserve in setup to increase safety. Daytona setups only relate to Daytona. The mechanical setup and tire pressures we need to run (Daytona only pressure and Daytona only cambers) here are all in the direction of safety at the detriment to lap time and performance. We bias the setup to improve braking stability and traction and maximize banking speed. You don't setup for the infield as it's difficult to pass there. The required high tire pressures (+10%) reduce front and rear grip. The increased pressures tend to bias the deficit to the rear both at corner entrance and power down at the exit. The reduced camber safety requirements (more than one degree less negative camber) also decrease grip; all of these change the general setup and what you expect. We'll try and trim drag, to improve banking speed as much as you can, as IMSA rules stipulate a minimum wing angle. With 54 cars you'll be in traffic throughout the infield nearly every lap. The only legitimate passing areas are on the banking to clear slower cars, into braking at Turn 1, braking into the Bus Stop and occasionally into Turn 5. The better car to race is the low drag version (increased top speed) if the lap times are similar. Being fast in the infield section is of little advantage.

The race: The Daytona 24 is the quintessential 'crap shoot' of endurance races. The field is packed and the pit lane boxes are the smallest of the season. You have to take as much care in the pits as on the track. Luck and patience pay large dividends here more than at other tracks. The wave by rules for cautions are likely to ensure a large number of lead lap cars in each class in the last stints of the race. After the opening hour, you need to stay in touch with the class leader, ideally BE the class leader, and be positioned for the 23rd-hour sprint to the finish. Any of the 11 GTLM cars could win this race. The 488 Ferrari, the M6 BMW and the Ford GT are all new cars and all turbo charged. This is the race debut for all three. The Porsche and Corvette are more an evolution of type; they have some proven durability. We have had great success with the long races at Risi Competizione. We have just been unlucky recently. Let's hope our luck changes this year starting at Daytona.


Tune-In Information:
In the U.S., watch the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m EST. on FOX Sports 1 and 4:00-10:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 2. Overnight viewing (Jan. 30-31) from 10:00 p.m.-7:00 a.m. EST watch on IMSA.tv (live video streaming and commentary). On Sunday, Jan. 31, 7:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m. EST the broadcast will be on FOX Sports 1, the 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 2, with the final two hours from 10:00-3:00 p.m. EST broadcast on FOX Sports 1. The Rolex 24 At Daytona is also available on the FOX Sports GO mobile app.

Rob
26th January 2016, 10:55
Interview with Ferrari GT star Gianmaria Bruni


Gianmaria Bruni is one of the and fastest GT drivers worldwide. The Ferrari ace has won everything possible with the Maranello brand in GT racing. FIA World Endurance Championship, Le Mans Series, FIA GT Championship, GT Open, ALMS and of course Le Mans 24 Hours.

For the 2016 season "Gimmi" will compete again in the FIA WEC with AF Corse and the brand new Ferrari 488 GTE. The target will be a new GTE-Pro crown along with his new team-mate James Calado.


You had a mixed year in FIA WEC with great performances and bad luck too, tell us more about your 2015 season.

Yes it has been a very tough for us last season, we faced a lot of bad luck. If I look at all the races, I can definitely say that we could have won the championship if I could mention all the problems we had. In the end the result is a second place.

I feel having done my work properly and my performances were always consistent. I can not blame myself with “ I could have done better”, sometimes things are not as you expect to be. That said, I am really proud of all my team [AF Corse] as we worked really hard. It's a team sport, we win and we lose together.


How different is the new Ferrari 488 GTE compared to the all-conquering Ferrari 458 GT2?

This is a new era with different regulations. We [Ferrari] have the turbo engine and the car is really different [compared to the 458 Italia].

You will share the #51 AF Corse Ferrari with James Calado, what are your targets for 2016?

James Calado has been outstanding in the last couple of years [with Ferrari]. I think he is fast and much more mature given his young age. We want to win as many races as possible for us and for Ferrari, we clearly want to fight for the title.


How competitive is the GTE-Pro field in FIA WEC?

The GTE-Pro level of competition is very high, it was very close in the last two, three years. As a driver I can tell you there is a high pressure every race. All of the 6-hour events are fought, you can win or a lose a race for just a couple of seconds.

What do you think about IMSA GTLM level of competition?

It is also very competitive, the level is high with pure racing.


Who have won everything with Ferrari, what was your favourite title/race victory with Maranello?

My best race victory is Le Mans 2014. The victory in Sao Paulo in 2013 was great too with very close battles with our rivals in GTE-Pro class.

What is your favourite racing circuit?

Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans, two unique racing circuits in the world.

Rob
27th January 2016, 09:42
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Scuderia Corsa Targets Daytona Success With Five Ferraris.

Scuderia Corsa leads world's racing debut of Ferrari 488 GTE.

Team looks for 24 Hours of Daytona victory in GT-Daytona.

Three Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Challenge Evos to compete in weekend's Ferrari Challenge races.

January 26, 2016 (Los Angeles, Calif.) -At one of the world's biggest sports car races, Scuderia Corsa will target victory lane and begin a new chapter in the team's history at this weekend's 24 Hours of Daytona.

This year's edition of the world famous endurance classic at Daytona International Speedway will mark the worldwide racing debut of the new Ferrari 488 GTE. The no. 68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE will lead the charge for Ferrari in the GT-LeMans class, with the team and former Daytona 24 hour winner Alessandro Pier Guidi, LeMans and V8 Supercar veteran Alexandre Premat, Daniel Serra and three-time 24 Hours of Daytona winner Memo Rojas taking on several of the world's leading GT factory programs.

In the GT-Daytona class, the drivers of the defending champion no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia make up one the strongest lineups in the GT-Daytona field. Sports car standout Christina Nielsen will make her first start with Scuderia Corsa, and will be joined by Robert Renauer and former GRAND-AM champions Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Segal.

And before the green flag drops on Saturday afternoon for the twenty-four hour classic, three Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Challenge Evos will compete in the Ferrari Challenge races. Drivers Darren Enenstein and Neil Lanberg, who are graduates of Scuderia Corsa's Driver Development Program, will be making their race debuts in Ferrari Challenge. Driving the third Scuderia Corsa Ferrari will be Martin Fuentes.

"From top to bottom, the entire range of Scuderia Corsa's motorsports programs will be represented at Daytona" said Giacomo Mattioli, team owner of Scuderia Corsa. "With the worldwide racing debut of the Ferrari 488 GTE, this year's 24 Hours of Daytona is a historic event for Ferrari and we are honored to be a part of it. When I look at the lineup of drivers of our GT-LeMans and GT-Daytona Ferraris, I am very excited and confident. We anticipate a large amount of Ferrari fans to be attending this historic IMSA race, and we will give them many reasons to celebrate!"

The 24 Hours of Daytona broadcast will begin on Saturday, January 30 at 2:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1 before switching to FOX Sports 2 at 4:00 PM ET. At 10:00 PM ET, streaming of the race will begin on IMSA.com. Television coverage will resume on Sunday, January 31 at 7:00 AM ET on FOX Sports 1 before switching back to FOX Sports 2 at 10:30 AM ET. The conclusion of the race will be shown on FOX Sports 1 starting at 1:00 PM ET.

Rob
27th January 2016, 14:35
:loveLEENA:love:love

Leena Gade Q&A: Life as a top-level female race engineer

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Audi Sport's Leena Gade is one of the few female engineers who work at the highest level of motorsport. She spoke to Darshan Chokhani about the challenges involved in her role.

Since 2003, UK-born Gade, who is of Indian descent, has worked in various forms of motor racing, progressing up the ranks from data engineer to assistant race engineer before becoming Audi Sport's No.1 race engineer in 2011.

Under her guidance, Audi won the 2011, 2012 and 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours, along with the 2012 and 2013 World Endurance Championship titles.

In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com, Gade talks about her career, the adjustment into a male-dominated sport, and the highs and lows she's experienced.

How did you first get into engineering?

From a young age along with my sisters, I was encouraged to learn how things worked. We used to fix our toys whenever we broke them, pull apart most electronic items in the house to see how they worked, played with chemistry kits and just generally took an interest in how stuff functioned.

There was never a question about another career once I decided to pursue engineering and wanted to work in motorsport.

It’s not true that motorsport PR and hospitality are easy to get into for women, because you have to love motorsport to want to do it and understand the business and what is needed.

It also doesn’t make a difference if you are male or female, it’s about your attitude and you either want to do it or not.

How was it adjusting to a male-dominated sport?

It wasn’t difficult, because this is the field I wanted to work in and if you aren’t any good at it, you won’t make it. If there were any doubts about being a female in this business they came from me, not from anyone here.

Again, it’s about attitude – you will find it hard if you don’t enjoy it or want to be doing it and that goes from being male or female.

What have been the highs and lows of your career?

The high points have included the building up of a successful car crew with engineers, mechanics and drivers that has led to some great racing, a die-hard attitude and some race wins.

There are always low points every year and they weren’t just at the start of my career – life isn’t always perfect! A low point is always when we as a team do not perform to our best, because in such a competitive field it leads to race losses.

However, you have to turn low points into learning and improvement, and that is something I always strive to do.

What are the differences between working in single-seaters and sportscars?

The basic difference is that with sportscars, it’s about a whole team and every individual contributing and succeeding, whereas with single seaters a lot of focus is put on just the driver. There are complexities in both, different approaches to racing, different goals even.

My preference is sportscars at the moment, because I have a huge amount of experience in this field and for me there is something very satisfying about a team working at its optimum.

But as I haven’t experienced single-seaters, I can’t say whether I wouldn’t enjoy it – it’s different and maybe in there is a challenge that could be enjoyed.

Is there any chance you could work in F1 in future?

I don’t know where my career will end but F1 is a very different field to the WEC. The LMP1 cars we race are much more complex than an F1 car due to the open regulations and that presents a different challenge.

F1 is in everyone’s sight because of the TV coverage that makes it seem like it is the place to be, but just take a look at some of the races in the WEC [in 2015] and you will see that the open regulations, the people and the cars have made it much more interesting that F1.

So, if I wanted to I could look into F1, but that is not where my challenge lies. I’m sure F1 fans will disagree with me and although I do watch F1 races sometimes, I have to say I usually take a nap when they are on!

What more is there left for you to achieve?

If I’d achieved everything I wanted to, I wouldn’t still be doing this. There are many more motor racing challenges ahead as a race engineer, in technical roles and in other fields. I want to be able to encourage kids into science and engineering as well as encouraging their peers to see what opportunities that brings in every field.

Motor racing is seen as the cool part of engineering, but that is not the only engineering field that exists – if anything, regulations in motorsport can sometimes curtail creativity. Society needs enthusiastic scientists and engineers to help fix the problems we have either created for future generations or that we find along the way in our evolution.

If I can help people to see the importance of that, I think I will have put a little something back into a field that has given me a lot of pleasure over the last 17 years.

What's your message to budding motorsport engineers, especially female ones?

If you want to do it, you have to make it happen on your own. I have so many people asking me if they can come and work for Audi Sport but my question to them is, what can you offer us? If you can’t answer that question, that means you need to go out and get experience at club level racing and find out what types of racing you like.

A 24-hour race is not easy from a mental and physical point of view for everyone involved. That means some people won’t like it, and perhaps they would be happier at, for example, a single-seater or touring car race.

Unless you know what is involved, you won’t know if you can do it or will like it. You need to be confident you can make it in this game and that means jumping in and helping at every level when it’s needed – I’ve cleaned cars and tyres, built up dampers, helped replace gearboxes and made the tea!

I never treated any task as beneath me or as a chore, it was something I had to do and each time I made sure I came away learning something. If you believe you know it all, I can guarantee you will fall flat on your face.

Experience as much as you can, because the motorsport business is a wide-ranging and competitive one with places for people of all backgrounds and interests.

Nova
27th January 2016, 17:11
Bruni mentions that the 488 is quite different than the 458..I wonder in what ways.
Also, great posts Rob, thx.

Rob
27th January 2016, 17:21
Bruni mentions that the 488 is quite different than the 458..I wonder in what ways.
Also, great posts Rob, thx.

No worries. :thumb

The 488, is of course turbo, and the whole car is more based on aero than the 458, especially at the rear (thats all i can say ;-))

Rob
27th January 2016, 22:36
BMW art car for this weekend...

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Rob
28th January 2016, 12:21
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RISI COMPETIZIONE READY TO INTRODUCE FERRARI 488 GTLM AT 54TH ANNUAL ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA

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Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM No. 62:
Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA), Toni Vilander (FIN), Davide Rigon (ITA), Olivier Beretta (MCO)

Daytona Beach, Florida (January 27, 2016)...Risi Competizione will kick off the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series inaugural race, the historic Rolex 24 At Daytona, with a brand new Ferrari 488 GTLM. The car just arrived a few days ago from Italy, where it was built by Ferrari supplier Michelotto Automobili for the team's specs for the U.S. sports car series regulations.

Risi Competizione's driver line for the 54th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 30-31, 2016, will feature all Ferrari factory drivers. Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) and Toni Vilander (FIN) will be the full season drivers for the year. Joining them for the twice-around-the-clock endurance race are Davide Rigon (ITA) and Olivier Beretta (MCO), both team drivers for last year's Rolex 24.

This year will be the fourth time that Risi Competizione has debuted a new Ferrari race car model for the Ferrari factory for North American sports car racing. Other models were the Ferrari 360 GT in 2002, the Ferrari 430 GT in 2006 and the Ferrari 458 in 2011.

In last year's Rolex 24 the Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 Italia stayed atop the GTLM class until just before the 11-hour mark when an electrical engine misfire problem caused an early retirement. The team's best finish was a class victory in 2002 in the early SRPII Grand-Am class and they captured another podium in 2003 with a second place GT class finish in a Ferrari 360 GT. In 17 years of racing, Risi Competizione has only competed at the Rolex 24 At Daytona seven times. For the team who has won every major race in the U.S. and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, a Daytona 24 hour victory is a must!

Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
Talk about how building the new car went with Michelotto and how it all came together:
"It starts off with picking the options you want on the car -- 24 hours lights, data system components, etc. The car would normally get delivered with a standard set of ratios, which would be one of the homologated sets and not the Daytona ratios. A gear change on this new car is very time consuming, so we sent over the ratios for Daytona and we also sent over all the various IMSA specific loggers, caution light system etc. We also installed the IMSA window nets, which are different than the FIA/ACO nets. The crew was able to decal the car at Michelotto and install items like the drivers drink system, car radio, and our telemetry car side system. We had three drivers do a seat fit check, as the seat is no longer on rails and you need to use inserts and this would be time consuming to do at the event. We sent two mechanics and our electrical/data engineer to ensure we had the best chance to get all the primary and secondary systems, mechanical and electrical, installed and operational. They set the fuel capacity to the IMSA BoP, another time consuming process you don't want to do at the track. We hand-carried over the pit side telemetry electronics to verify the system worked at the Fiorano shake down. We put the starting Daytona setup (in total) on the car at Michelotto. We basically tried to do everything possible to have the car roll off the plane, get to Daytona in a truck, unload the car and put it on track ready to race."

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Toni Vilander, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
You are joining Risi Competizione for the entire IMSA season. How do you feel about being back and what are the things you are looking forward to the most this year?

"I obviously know the team. I did the Petit Le Mans last year with the team and in 2011 I raced the full season. It is an honor to be back. It will be a difficult season during the year; we have many different types of race tracks. The team knows the championship really well, which is needed to get the 488 in a good group straight away and then build the season on it."

You will be introducing the new Ferrari 488 GTLM to the world this weekend. Talk about your thoughts and expectation of the new Ferrari model.
"First of all, we start from Daytona, it will be a tight one. We all know the schedule when we came into this race. It's a pretty unique way to approach one of the most difficult races of the season. Saying that, it does not mean that we are not giving it everything we've got. We need to have a good, solid run during the practice and then we will be as well prepared as we can for the race.

"The 488 came well prepared by Michelotto straight away out of the box. Then it is really up to the reliability. We've seen the story of the (Ferrari) 360, 430, 458 and now the 488. It takes a little time once you get it racing and running on your own with some of the fine tuning and last details to go through, and especially during the first part of the season. We are really relying on a good support from Ferrari and Michelotto, and together with our very professional crew, so I'm really confident on that. Then again it's up to IMSA to have a good BoP (balance of performance). I'm normally not a BoP crier, but now is one of those times they need to work to get it spot on. We have new competitors in the championship. We have guys updating their race cars and one of the first times we have a big variety between the race cars, different technology. It's pretty important to get that BoP stuff together as well. I'm not asking to have more than the others but we need to have the same stop speed and same acceleration as the others and let's hope that IMSA does a good job and professional job during the year. I don't want it to be like a circus going back and forward. That makes it also a little painful for us drivers, so hopefully they get that sorted as well."

You have competed in many endurance races around the world. How many times have you raced at Daytona and what makes Daytona special?
"I don't remember the exact number but I've been here probably four to five times, with always really good speed at the Roar and good speed through the qualifying, and then somehow really lacking at the end of the race. I think I have never yet finished the race. It's a demanding race by the number of cars on the track and the different categories. The track itself is not the most difficult. I still remember the first day I hit the banking for the first time. That is something really unique for the European drivers but once you get a few laps under your belt, that's really smooth as well. The infield itself is not that difficult.. You need a consistent race car to stay out of trouble, especially at the night time and in case of rain, because that makes the life really difficult. You need to have a fast car on that banking and the end of the straight, but you can maybe sacrifice a little bit of the balance on the infield to have a better run on the long straight line.


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Giancarlo Fisichella, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:

You are returning to Risi Competizione this season and with a new Ferrari. How do you feel to be back with Risi and introducing the new Ferrari 488 GTLM to the world?
"I'm really happy. It was my dream, my aim, to do another season with Risi Competizione, and with the new car, the new 488. It is a very good looking car and a step up from last year. I'm also happy to share the car with Toni Vilander for the season. I think he is one of best drivers in this category (GTLM). I have a very good feeling with him. We did Le Mans together four or five times. I'm sure it's going to be a great season for us. I'm also happy to race with Davide and Olivier for this race. We have a fantastic group, so we can do well."

You have said that you love the history and atmosphere of the Rolex 24? Tell us about your favorite memory at Daytona.
"I don't really have great memories because I never scored a good result here. We always seem to have some problem with the car. Last year we were leading the race after 11 hours and had an electrical issue. I really want to do well. I want to push for one target and you know what the target is."

This year you have a new model Ferrari, the 488, to compete in all season but there are many other new cars in the GTLM class. How does the competition look this year?

"It is going to be very tough competition. BMW has a new car. Corvette has upgraded again from last year's car, and especially there is a new car from Ford, which is good for the championship. It's going to be very tough for everybody. It makes a nice championship though for all of us and for the spectators. I think it's going to be an exciting championship season."

This will be your eighth year as a Ferrari factory driver, undoubtedly a special honor for any driver. What makes the Ferrari brand so special and revered around the world?

"It's very special around the world and especially for an Italian driver. That was my dream when I was young -- to become a Formula One driver and to become a Ferrari factory racing driver. I have been with them since 2009, so my dream became true and I'm very pleased about it. I'm happy and proud to be a Ferrari factory driver and to be with Risi Competizione again."

Davide Rigon, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:

You have rejoined Risi Competizione for the Rolex 24 this year and will be introducing the new Ferrari 488 GTLM to the world this weekend. What do you think about returning to the 24 hours of Daytona race with Risi again this year?

"For sure it is a pleasure to drive again for Risi. I'm very happy. Last year I had a really good feeling with them. We were leading when we had a problem, so we were very close to be on top at the end. It was very good to work with them so I'm happy to be back and with the new car. Unfortunately we didn't do the test (Roar Before the 24), so there was not a lot of time to work with the guys and the team. It would have been very nice to do a test but there was no time. I'm feeling really good about the new car. I've been testing quite a lot in Italy. I think it is born as a good car but we'll have to see when we compare against the others. I think the BoP (Balance of Performance) is not fantastic for us but we'll try to do our best. We'll push together with my teammates. It's a pleasure to drive with Toni, Giancarlo and Olivier. I think we are a good crew and I'm happy."

You have done some of the testing and recently participated in the Risi Ferrari 488 shakedown. Talk about your thoughts and expectation of the new Ferrari model.

"We did a shake down just to check the car. It was a really cold day in Italy so it was not possible to really push the car because it was new, but we checked everything and it was good and we prepared properly for here (Daytona). I think it was good but it was a different track; it was Fiorano. We didn't do many laps and it was Fiorano. At Daytona it is different. We'll see with the weather, although they say the first days will not be so good, as there may be rain. I think we just need the confidence of driving on the track. I think the car is well prepared."

How would you feel if you were able to add a victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona to your resume?

"Every time I come here it is fantastic...to see the banking is a good sensation. I love to drive here. It's a different track for me because I'm used to driving in Europe and those tracks are a completely different shape. Driving here with the high speed corner and also in the evening when there is not so much grip, it is completely different but I like the sensation. To win here for me would be like a dream. I really work a lot physically to be ready here to be good with the team and everything because it would be really a good sensation. To win here would be fantastic!"


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Olivier Beretta, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:

You have rejoined Risi Competizione for the Rolex 24 this year and will be introducing the new Ferrari 488 GTLM to the world this weekend. What do you think about returning to the 24 hours of Daytona race with Risi again this year?

"First of all, I am always very happy when I have the opportunity to race for Giuseppe. It's a team I have know for a long time. Last year we had a good race, we were fast, the pit crew did a fantastic job in every pit stop and we were leading the race at one point. This year is a new year with a new car and most of the crew guys are the same. We have four drivers and we know each other very well. We are friends and we have the same target, every one of us. We are here to have a great race. We want to finish what we started last year. We'll see during practice and then we'll think about the race."

You have done some of the testing and recently participated in the Risi Ferrari 488 shakedown. Talk about your thoughts and expectation of the new Ferrari model.
"It's a beautiful car but it's also a fantastic car to drive. It's a fast car and we have been testing a lot so the reliability has been great so far. What can I say?

It's a totally different car than the 458. It's difficult to say where we are because we have to see what the others have done during the winter. In talking about ourselves everyone has have done everything they can do. I'm sure we have a great car."

You're back at Daytona driving the new 488 against some tough competitors in the GTLM class. How does the competition look this year?

"Daytona is always very hard in the GT category because there are many manufacturers. Of course the 24 Hours is a long race, anything can happen. The key is to never give up, to be focused on what you do and to do your job when it is your time to do. The crew are fantastic at Risi. They always do a great pit stop every time. I think we have everything, including a great car, to do well. We just have to see about the weather conditions. It should be sunny. . And we have to see how many yellows we have during the race but the strategy is always perfect. I'm very confident and really happy to race with Risi and my three friends and to finish the job we started to do last year."

Practice session one begins Thursday morning, January 28 at 9:25 a.m. EST with GTLM class qualifying scheduled for 4:25-4:40 p.m. EST. The race starts Saturday, January 24 at 2:40 p.m. EDT. Live timing and scoring is available for all on-track sessions at IMSA.com and the IMSA Smartphone app.

Tune-In Information:
In the U.S., watch the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m EST. on FOX Sports 1 and 4:00-10:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 2. Overnight viewing (Jan. 30-31) from 10:00 p.m.-7:00 a.m. EST watch on IMSA.tv (live video streaming and commentary). On Sunday, Jan. 31, 7:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m. EST the broadcast will be on FOX Sports 1, the 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 2, with the final two hours from 10:00-3:00 p.m. EST broadcast on FOX Sports 1. The Rolex 24 At Daytona is also available on the FOX Sports GO mobile app.

Nova
29th January 2016, 01:13
No worries. :thumb

The 488, is of course turbo, and the whole car is more based on aero than the 458, especially at the rear (thats all i can say ;-))

Aha, I sense something else going on here...:-D

Rob
29th January 2016, 11:50
TANDY SETS QUICKEST OVERALL TIME IN ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA QUALIFYING
PORSCHE SWEEPS FRONT ROW IN GTLM QUALIFYING AT DAYTONA

Nick Tandy captured the GT Le Mans pole for the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

Driving the No. 911 Porsche North America with teammate and last year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM champion, Patrick Pilet, Tandy – a two-time GTLM pole winner in 2015 and the reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans overall champion – posted a best time of 2:01.408 (105.561 mph).

Frédéric Makowiecki qualified second in GTLM with a time of 2:02.364 (104.737 mph) in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, making an all-Porsche front row for Saturday’s starting lineup. The qualifying session was interrupted by a red flag for an incident involving Gianmaria Bruni in the No. 72 SMP Ferrari 488 GTE and was extended by a few minutes to satisfy the minimum guaranteed green-flag time requirement of 10 minutes.

“In the end it was a really interesting qualifying session,” said Tandy, who also won the GTLM class in the 2014 Rolex 24. “When we went out after the red, there was only time for one flying lap. The risk of going off and getting higher on the grid was really high. We got the cars one-two on the front row, and that’s what we wanted.”

John Edwards qualified third in the No. 100 BMW Team RLL IHG Rewards Club BMW M6 GTLM with a time of 2:02.497 (104.623 mph).

NOTEBOOK

- The Ford GT made its qualifying debut at Daytona, with Joey Hand clocking in ninth fastest in the class. “The conditions were treacherous,” Hand said. “The Bus Stop is usually third or fourth gear, and this was first gear. A lot of guys took it easy. Our main goal with this car is not really to throw down the ultimate lap in this first race, it’s to finish 24 hours.”
- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/tandy-sets-quickest-overall-time-rolex-24-daytona-qualifying#sthash.BVzufcSF.dpuf

Rob
29th January 2016, 11:56
Quali from yesterday..


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Rob
29th January 2016, 16:28
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REBELLION RACING CONFIRMS 2016 FIA WEC AND LE MANS 24 HOURS EFFORT


The Swiss team REBELLION Racing is pleased to confirm that their 2016 racing programme will centre around running a pair of upgraded Rebellion R-One AER LMP1 cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the prestigious 24 Heures du Mans.
REBELLION Racing have submitted their application forms for two cars to the FIA WEC and ACO.

REBELLION Racing will be looking to re-confirm its status as the best privateer sportscar team at the highest level of endurance racing. In 2015, the Swiss team extended their domination in the category by winning their fourth straight FIA WEC Endurance Trophy for LMP1 Privateer Teams.

The REBELLION Racing cars will continue to be powered by AER engines in 2016, for the second year in a row. Both AER and the team have gained experience and knowledge to improve reliability and efficiency of the P60 V6 twin turbo engines.

The REBELLION Racing driver squad will remain the same as Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost, Mathias Beche, Dominik Kraihamer, Alexandre Imperatori and Mathéo Tuscher will share driving duties in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship.

REBELLION Timepieces will remain as primary sponsor for the Swiss team in the FIA WEC and Le Mans 24 Hours as the watch brand and the team pride themselves on competing against the best sports car manufacturers and teams in the world.

Bart Hayden – REBELLION Racing Team Manager : "We have submitted entries for two cars for the full FIA WEC and 24 Hours of Le Mans. We will continue to use the AER P60 engine; last season it was a new installation in the Rebellion R-One chassis and whilst we achieved our target of taking the titles, there was still a lot of room for improvement on the reliability of the package. Together with AER we have been working hard on addressing the issues that came up in 2015 and we will make the necessary steps forward. We have a testing programme scheduled already and, unlike last year where we missed the opening rounds of the season, this year we will be ready from the beginning and we will be at the WEC Prologue at Paul Ricard HTTT in March."

Rob
29th January 2016, 19:06
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RISI COMPETIZIONE QUALIFIES FIFTH IN RAIN FOR ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA

Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM No. 62:
Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA), Toni Vilander (FIN), Davide Rigon (ITA), Olivier Beretta (MCO)
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Daytona Beach, Florida (January 28, 2016)...Toni Vilander qualified the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE to the fifth position on the GTLM class grid for this weekend's 54th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 30-31, 2016.

His best time of 2:03.386, at an average speed of 103.869, was performed on the fourth and final lap of a rainy afternoon qualifying session. The GTLM pole was set by Nick Tandy in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR with a time of 2:01.408 and a speed of 105.561 mph. The 15-minute qualifying window was shortened by a red flag when the No. 72 Ferrari 488 GTE hydroplaned off the circuit.
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Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
"All of our running so far has been in the wet. Toni and Fisichella, the only two guys who have driven the car yet today, say that it was good in the wet for them. We'll wait until tomorrow until we get in the dry. Qualifying was pretty treacherous because it started raining pretty hard once we went out. Then one of our sister cars had an accident, which caused a red flag, so we really only got two timed laps. Then at the end we got slowed by the Ford that spun in the 'busstop' on the lap that would have been Toni's quickest lap. It doesn't really matter in this condition. We're lucky to have a car in one piece. We'll go into night practice and tomorrow's morning practice hoping to get some dry running, do a couple of little tweaks and start the race."

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Risi Competizione qualifying driver Toni Vilander debriefs with teammates

Toni Vilander, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"First of all we had a good two sessions on wet conditions. The amount of water for qualifying increased quite a bit. At the beginning of the session it was really difficult. I could go up to third and fourth gear on the straight lines and really be on the edge and I didn't know when I was going to lose the car. Then they stopped the qualifying with a red-flag, so I thought there was probably a little less water. (Race Engineer) Rick (Mayer) informed me really well about how much time was left so I could pace myself and on the last lap I could improve the performance. But we would have needed another five to ten minutes to really cover it. The car felt goodon the infield, but high speed still had some aquaplaning issues. We have had similar things in the past so there is some margin for improvement. I'm really happy the car is in one piece and we are going for the race start on Saturday. Tonight and tomorrow we will start rotating all four drivers and get into the real team effort and then start looking forward to the race."

Joining Vilander in the cockpit of the Risi Competizione Ferrari for the inaugural 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be fellow Ferrari factory drivers Giancarlo Fisichella, who also drove briefly on Thursday Davide Rigon and Olivier Beretta.

Practice session on Friday, January 29 runs from 10:25 a.m. EST for one hour. The race starts Saturday, January 24 at 2:40 p.m. EDT. Live timing and scoring is available for all on-track sessions at IMSA.com and the IMSA Smartphone app.

Tune-In Information:
In the U.S., watch the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m EST. on FOX Sports 1 and 4:00-10:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 2. Overnight viewing (Jan. 30-31) from 10:00 p.m.-7:00 a.m. EST watch on IMSA.tv (live video streaming and commentary). On Sunday, Jan. 31, 7:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m. EST the broadcast will be on FOX Sports 1, the 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 2, with the final two hours from 10:00-3:00 p.m. EST broadcast on FOX Sports 1. The Rolex 24 At Daytona is also available on the FOX Sports GO mobile app.

Rob
30th January 2016, 11:08
IMSA: Bentley evaluating return to Prototypes
Friday, 29 January 2016
Marshall Pruett

Bentley is once again considering a return to prototype racing. Advanced plans were in place to join IMSA's 2017 P2-based Prototype field, but with the breaking VW diesel scandal in North America in 2015, the program was effectively axed before it began.
A renewed interest has emerged from the British marque--an apparent reversal to the VW-related decision, which could lead to it joining the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

"We are interested, it is something we're investigating, we're doing our due diligence, we enjoy racing in America, but we haven't honestly made a decision," Bentley's Mike Sayer told RACER. "We are fully committed to GT3 racing with the Continental, and we hope to have a decision [on P2] soon."

RACER has tracked the British firm's behind-the-scenes P2 plans since last summer. Despite the quiet scuttling of the IMSA P2 effort, Bentley is known to have continued an engine development program aimed for use in a prototype. Custom bodywork, which is required in the new-for-2017 IMSA P2 regulations, is also known to have been partially completed before the initial project cancellation.

Ongoing searches for a project leader with prototype development experience from within Bentley's parent company, the Volkswagen Audi Group, have continued, and with both Audi and Porsche fully engaged in large FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1 programs, more than one name from within its WEC teams has been suggested as a possibility for the role.

Despite another report suggesting Bentley has committed to a P2 program, Sayer insists the company has yet to make that determination.

"It's not there yet, but again, we can confirm our interest," he said. "We are still at the talking stage."

http://www.racer.com/imsa/item/125677-imsa-bentley-evaluating-return-to-prototypes

Rob
30th January 2016, 11:10
Ok lets wait and see. I hope so :pray

Westbrook: Ford “on the back foot” going into Rolex 24

Richard Westbrook says Ford’s target for this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona is to finish with as few problems as possible, rather than setting ambitious goals for GTLM honors.

Ford is returning as a factory team to international sportscar racing in the twice-around-the-clock American sportscar classic. It won the race 50 years ago with its iconic GT40 racer.

The new GT model echoes that glorious past but instant success is unlikely, according to Westbrook, who was 10th fastest in GTLM after Friday’s dry final practice session, driving the car he shares with Ryan Briscoe and Stefan Mucke.

“It’s a new chassis, new crew, new everything – something pops up and puts you on the back foot,” said Westbrook, who has previously been a contender for overall honors in the Daytona Prototype division.

“As a standalone event, you can’t treat this as a test. As soon as that green flag drops we’re racing to get to the front as soon as possible. Honestly, if we get to the finish without that many issues, that will be a dream.

“It’s too big a race to ignore, that’s our problem. I’d like to be able to say ‘we can treat this like a test’ – but it’s the Daytona 24, and with Ford having won before here, before they won Le Mans, it would be great to do that. But, honestly, we want to get to the finish with as few issues as possible – that has to be the goal.

“With our calendar, it’s not ideal for your first race to be 24 hours. It would’ve been a lot easier to go into a regular 2hr45m event. There are things like the internal lights at night and LEDs on the inside of the arches to do the brake changes… Little things like that, we’re having to prepare at the track because we haven’t had time before.”

GT is “really well balanced”

Westbrook’s #67 chassis will start 31st overall, one place behind its sister car driven by Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastien Bourdais, after qualifying ninth and 10th in class.

“Qualifying was definitely not a reflection of where we are,” said Westbrook. “We’re probably not good enough to be at the very sharp end of the grid, but pace-wise we’re pretty comfortable actually.

“The car is really well balanced; it’s a very neutral car to drive. It doesn’t behave like other GTs I’ve driven – you’re very aware that the weight is in the middle of the car, where it should be. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it feels like a prototype, but it does feel very good.

“We haven’t had the chance to unlock the Ford's full potential, but it seems to have a big operating window for setup, which is really encouraging.”

Sebring testing suggests reliability

Westbrook is buoyed by recent pre-event testing at Sebring, which is a renowned car-breaker of a track.

“We had a good test at Sebring," he remarked. "There were a few issues, so we didn’t get the full 12 hours in, but the issues that occurred were very small problems.

“The car does run very well, like a road car – you turn it on, and it just goes. But it’s getting everything ready, that’s the issue, that’s why I'd say we’re on the back foot. But it’s not like the car is breaking down, that’s not the problem.

"After this, there's two months to reset between now and Sebring. That gives us time to get back on the front foot.”

Rob
30th January 2016, 11:43
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http://i64.tinypic.com/263g7c6.jpg
http://i67.tinypic.com/34rb0on.jpg
http://i66.tinypic.com/2nvckzl.jpg
http://i67.tinypic.com/10xg01x.jpg

Rob
30th January 2016, 11:47
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http://i66.tinypic.com/339hwnc.jpg
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ForzaJay
30th January 2016, 20:02
Hey Rob, our Ferrari's are looking great, lets hope we get the class win. Can't wait to see the 488's in full flow. Our Ferrari season starts now on all fronts. :thumb

Rob
31st January 2016, 10:19
Hey Rob, our Ferrari's are looking great, lets hope we get the class win. Can't wait to see the 488's in full flow. Our Ferrari season starts now on all fronts. :thumb

:thumb hasnt been to bad a start really. Cars look great.

Rob
31st January 2016, 15:03
http://i67.tinypic.com/e0oa3a.jpg
http://i68.tinypic.com/1585y7l.jpg

ForzaJay
31st January 2016, 21:27
:thumb hasnt been to bad a start really. Cars look great.

The IMSA handicap system sure did handicap our Ferrari teams, they favored the Corvettes. Can't say I'm a big fan of US racing, our European circuits are way better. Can't wait for the European racing to start.

Rob
1st February 2016, 10:02
Imsa SportsCar Championship - Encouraging début for the 488 GTE in Daytona

Daytona Beach, 31 January 2016 – The racing journey of the 488 GTE started with a fourth place earned by the Scuderia Corsa team. The 24 Hours of Daytona was a true baptism of fire and the new Ferrari intended for GT competitions displayed great speed, finishing at the top among the first-time participants, as two other models of competing manufacturers had their début in the same race.

The race. As is often the case in Daytona, the first hours of the race were not especially meaningful, although they were enough to demonstrate the potential of the 488 GTE: in fact, all three Ferraris competing in the GTLM class led for at least one lap during the first 12 hours of the race, and this although car number 68 of Scuderia Corsa did not have an easy start, due to a fuel pressure problem that forced Alessandro Pier Guidi to start from the back of the field. On the other hand, the 488 number 72 of SMP Racing team had a great start: after disappointing qualifications, Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni was able to gain one position after another, even taking the lead a number of times while being driven by Bruni himself, but also by James Calado, Viktor Shaytar, and Andrea Bertolini. Car number 62 of Risi Competizione team was also constantly among the leaders, being able to keep first place for several laps with Toni Vilander, but also being competitive with Giancarlo Fisichella, Davide Rigon, and Olivier Beretta. The race of this car was affected by a rear-end collision caused by one of the Fords early in the morning. The accident wrecked the Ferrari’s diffuser and caused a long stop at the box that irreparably compromised the final outcome. In the end, it finished sixth, a useful result in terms of the championship. On the other hand, the car of SMP Racing did not finish the race, which seemed to lead to a certain podium position until it was interrupted by the breakdown of a turbine. The Chevrolet of Gavin-Milner-Fassler won the race.

GTD. Two Ferrari 458 Italia raced in the other GT class and turned out to be very competitive. However, both crews were unlucky in their strategies, as they ended up paying too heavily for some pit stops made under the green flag. Both car number 63 of Scuderia Corsa and number 51 of the Spirit of Race team led the race for at least one lap, but slipped to the back of the field towards the end of the race. At the finish, the car driven by Christina Nielsen, Jeff Segal, Alessandro Balzan and Robert Renauer was in seventh place, while car number 51 of Peter Mann, Raffaele Giammaria, Marco Cioci and Matteo Cressoni was just out of the top ten. The Ligier of Sharp-Brown-Van Overbeek-Derani won the overall race. The second event of the championship is scheduled for mid-March, when another great classic of American motorsport will take place: the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Rob
1st February 2016, 10:24
#72 was running well. Berto crashed into another car. And after that incident it was loosing speed. The #68 crew ran good aswell, so did Risi. Not bad debut of 488. Just the IMSA BoP didnt give us much of a break. Could see that on fast banking, we could make ground up under braking and acceleration, but then lost out on top end. I was really surprised at how Ford GT40s were not living upto all the hype they built up. Few electrical gremlins got be sorted. Well hope not to soon :-G:-G

The DeltaWing, what a surprise, great to see that running and leading on pure pace. And for Katherine to come from the back of the P class to lead, great stuff. Wouldnt be surprised to see at Spa for WEC and Le-Mans this year.

Nova
1st February 2016, 16:17
Truthfully, the imsa bop sux.
Question, do the cars that run the European series and Lemans
have these silly bop restrictions?

Rob
1st February 2016, 23:47
Truthfully, the imsa bop sux.
Question, do the cars that run the European series and Lemans
have these silly bop restrictions?

The IMSA and FIA/ACO BoP is different. Thank heavens.

Nova
2nd February 2016, 17:59
Thats great news..thx Rob..
At least there we have a chance.
In Imsa its stacked, but I think with time both Ferrari and
porsche will be fighting the front.

Rob
3rd February 2016, 09:28
:-(

No SMP Racing Ferrari in 2016

SMP Racing will not defend its world title in GTE-Am, with the Russian squad set to focus on the LMP2 class with its BR Engineering BR01 prototypes in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year.

Sporting director Sergey Zlobin confirmed to Sportscar365 they will not enter a Ferrari in either the GTE-Pro or GTE-Am ranks, despite initially evaluating a step up to the Pro class with the new Ferrari 488 GTE.

The team debuted the new twin-turbo Ferrari in last weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, which Zlobin said is likely to be SMP’s only outing in the GT ranks this year. The Daytona effort was largely run by AF Corse.

SMP’s decision to forgo the GT ranks this year leaves both 2015 GTE-Am champions Andrea Bertolini and Aleksey Basov without rides in the WEC, with Victor Shaytar moving up to its two-car LMP2 effort.

Zlobin confirmed that Kirill Ladygin will complete the lineup in the No. 27 BR01 alongside Nic Minassian and Maurizio Mediani.

Both David Markosov and Russian GP2 driver Sergey Sirotkin, meanwhile, could fill the third seat in the No. 37 car with Shaytar and Vitaly Petrov for the regular season races.

Mikhail Aleshin, who scored the Prototype class pole at Daytona last weekend, will take Ladygin’s seat in the No. 27 car for Le Mans, and Ladygin instead being placed in the No. 37 entry for the French endurance classic.

Rob
3rd February 2016, 09:33
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Scuderia Corsa Leads for Ferrari at Daytona

Team enjoys strong start to GT-LeMans North American Endurance Cup and GT-Daytona championship campaigns

February 2, 2016 (Daytona Beach, Fla.)-It took twenty-four hours of teamwork, but the drivers and crew of Scuderia Corsa prevailed to finish in fourth position in the GT-LeMans class at this weekend's 24 Hours of Daytona.

The result was especially gratifying for the team as the race not only marked the first competition for Scuderia Corsa in the GT-LeMans class, but was also the debut race for the new Ferrari 488 GTE. Drivers Alessandro Pier Guidi, Alexandre Premat, Memo Rojas and Daniel Serra gave the new car a fitting result - a result earned after the team overcame losing the lead lap in the early stages of the race due to a penalty.

With the focus of Scuderia Corsa's GT-LeMans program being the North American Endurance Cup, the team's strategy focused on running near the front of the field at the end of each six-hour championship segment. Throughout the second half of the race, the No. 68 488 GTE emerged as a threat to the factory teams for the victory before the car settled into fourth position after the final pit stops. As a result of that effort, Scuderia Corsa is fifth in points in the North American Endurance Cup, two points behind a four-way championship lead.

"For the first time with Scuderia Corsa, and in my first time in Daytona, fourth place is pretty amazing," said Premat. "The crew and my teammates Memo, Daniel and Alessandro did an amazing job and we pushed as hard as we could to be on the podium. The new Ferrari 488 GTE was excellent. To finish the 24 hours of Daytona, especially in its first time, is a great achievement and we should all be happy. The staff did an amazing job and I am very grateful to the team."

"We did everything to deliver a great finish for the team," said Pier Guidi. "Because the team did everything that they could to bring a great result for Scuderia Corsa and for Ferrari, and we tried as hard as possible to repay them for their effort. The 488 GTE is brand new but Ferrari did a great job with this turbocharged car - it is very quick. I have to say thanks to Scuderia Corsa to give me the possibility to drive this fantastic car, and we are already looking forward to Sebring."

In the GT-Daytona class, Scuderia Corsa's team of Christina Nielsen, Alessandro Balzan, Robert Renauer and Jeff Segal drove a consistent, measured race to finish in seventh position in the GT-Daytona class. Starting from eleventh position, the No. 63 458 Italia remained a fixture within the top ten throughout the race and contended for the lead throughout the night time hours. The team rebounded from mid-race repairs after contact, enabling the Ferrari to score solid championship points.

With an eye on the long season, Nielsen and Balzan were upbeat with their result and the start of their championship campaign.

"This was my best result at Daytona so far, so I am pretty happy with our result," said Nielsen. "Of course as a driver you are never really happy, but stepping back and looking at everything we did, I can't wait to get back with the team for Sebring. Our engineer, Joe LaJoie, said something that was right - as a group we are going to meet challenges, but the question is when and how do we handle that? I think as a team we handled our race really well, and we had a good, steady race."

"Finishing a 24-hour race is never easy, so we have already hit a very good target," said Balzan. We got some very good points for the championship which was important, so this was a good start. A top-five was really possible for the 458, but now it is time to think about Sebring. We now have a weekend with Christina and the team all working together, and we are excited to race the new 488."

Scuderia Corsa Ferraris also competed in the pair of Ferrari Challenge races held at Daytona. Martin Fuentes engaged in a green flag to checkered flag battle for the overall victory in Sunday's race, before finishing in third position. His teammates Darren Enenstein and Neil Langberg successfully completed their first Ferrari Challenge races with Enenstein recording a best result of 12th and Langberg a best result of 14th in the Coppa Shell class.

"This weekend at Daytona represented a complete team effort by Scuderia Corsa," said Giacomo Mattioli, team owner of Scuderia Corsa. "In a 24-hour race you can expect to face many challenges, and we definitely had our share with both our no. 68 and no. 63 cars. The crew was faultless, and our drivers were disciplined and intelligent in their approach to the race. I can say great things about each one of them. In GT-Daytona, we aimed to defend our championship, but I think we were limited by the Balance of Performances adjustments. In GT-LeMans, we were contenders and you can't ask much more than that for a new program with a brand new car."

"It was a very positive week for us in Daytona with the debut of the 488 GTE, as well as beginning our season with Christina and Alessandro in GT-Daytona and the podium of Martin while graduating Darren and Neil from our Driver Development Program to their first Ferrari Challenge races."

The next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 16-19 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.

Rob
3rd February 2016, 09:34
CORVETTE C7.RS FINISH 1-2 FOR CLOSEST CLASS FINISH IN ROLEX 24 HISTORY
GAVIN EDGES GARCIA TO WIN GTLM BY ONLY 0.034 SECONDS

For Corvette Racing, the question entering the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona was simple: How do you top 2015?

Last year, the team’s pair of Corvette C7.Rs won the Rolex 24, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class and then the team won the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The answer was delivered Sunday in an epic 1-2 finish, with the 2015 Le Mans-winning No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin edging the 2015 Daytona and Sebring-winning No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia to the line by 0.034 seconds, the closest class finish in the history of the Rolex 24.

“What you saw today was simply the two best road racers in the world with the two best cars in the world,” said Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing program manager. “You’d be hard pressed to find a better race than this. You don’t spend 23.5 hours working this hard and not let those guys continue to race.”

Fehan assured Garcia once he moved into second that there would be no team orders. After that, the battle for the win was on in the season-opening IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race. Once he shed the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Earl Bamber to take second, Garcia set his sights on Gavin and the two ran nose-to-tail over the final 20 minutes. With three minutes remaining, Garcia briefly passed Gavin entering Turn 1, but ran wide, allowing Gavin to retake the position.

Garcia got a run coming out of the bus stop on the final lap, but came up just short in a drag race to the stripe giving the win to Gavin and co-drivers Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler. Garcia and co-drivers Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller finished second, while Bamber rounded out the podium in the No. 912 Porsche North America entry along with Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki.

“All I could think about was my boss, Doug Fehan and what he would say if we did touch,” said Gavin. “Then on the last lap I was thinking I had just enough on him, but then he towed up behind me. It was like the line was just going away from me. I couldn't get to the line fast enough. I've just seen a picture of it, actually, and it was pretty close.”

NOTEBOOK

· The race winners were also the round winners in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. The No. 4 Corvette Racing C7.R entry won the round with 13 points as the result of a tiebreaker over the No. 3 Corvette C7.R and the two Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSRs.

· In its competition, the two Ford GTs showed promise in the early going, but gearbox issues spoiled the two-car Ford Ganassi Racing’s chance at a debut victory. The No. 66 Ford GT finished the race seventh, while the No. 67 Ford GT finished ninth.

· The race was slowed 21 times by caution. The race record was 25 cautions back in 2009.

Source:
IMSA
- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/corvette-c7rs-finish-1-2-closest-class-finish-rolex-24-history#sthash.gS1Wc5X9.dpuf

Rob
3rd February 2016, 09:38
this was how close it was after 24hrs of hard racing. Didnt really like the finish, but hats off to the team for calling for them to let them race.

http://i67.tinypic.com/14y6f0h.jpg

Ed Harley
3rd February 2016, 20:33
They are great race cars. But where are the usual Jake skull logos???

Rob
4th February 2016, 09:43
REVISED DRIVER LINE-UP FOR A NEW ERA

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Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Toyota Hybrid Racing World Endurance Championship. 6 Hours of Fuji. 8th-11th October 2015. Fuji Speedway, Japan.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing today revealed the driver line-up which will lead it into a new era of World Endurance Championship competition.

A completely new TS050 HYBRID car has been developed for this season, with significant changes to all areas, including monocoque, engine and hybrid system to meet the team’s ambitious performance targets.

On the driver front, 2014 World Champions Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi are again joined by Kazuki Nakajima for a second consecutive season together.
In the other car, former TOYOTA Formula 1 racer Kamui Kobayashi steps up from test and reserve driver to a race seat for 2016, replacing the retired Alex Wurz. He will race alongside Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway.

Race numbers for the 2016 season will be revealed on 5 February by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organisers of the WEC and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Kamui’s elevation to a race seat leaves a vacancy as test and reserve driver, which will be announced, along with full technical details of the TS050 HYBRID, at a launch event on 24 March at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.

The new driver line-up was announced earlier today at a TOYOTA GAZOO Racing press conference in Tokyo, Japan, at which the team’s new TOYOTA GAZOO Racing identity was also revealed.

As well as an updated logo, a 2015 show car displayed the new black, white and red livery which will be modified for the TS050 HYBRID. This revised colour scheme follows the team’s adoption of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing name in May last year, signifying the increasing importance of motorsport to TOYOTA.

Toshio Sato, Team President: “Once again, for the 2016 season we will have a very strong driver line-up. Kamui showed his speed and commitment in testing, so it was a relatively easy decision to select him to replace Alex. We know he is capable of doing a good job alongside Stéphane and Mike. I believe we have two strong driver line-ups who will be able to get the best out of the TS050 HYBRID. With this all-new car, 2016 is a big season for us; I believe we have the drivers and the car to succeed.”

Anthony Davidson: “I can’t wait for the new season, especially with a completely new car which we hope will bring us back to the top in WEC. It’s positive to have a stable driver line-up in our car. I have a great working relationship with Sébastien and Kazuki so I expect to be fighting for wins together this year.”

Sébastien Buemi: “I’m happy and proud to be a TOYOTA GAZOO Racing driver in WEC for a fifth season and I’m looking forward to the challenge. Endurance racing is all about team work and I think myself, Anthony and Kazuki make a really strong combination. I like working with them and I’m ready to go racing again.”

Kazuki Nakajima: “It’s great to be part of this team again, alongside Anthony and Sébastien. We learnt a lot together during a difficult 2015 so I believe we will come back stronger this season. We are all motivated to have success with the TS050 HYBRID and everyone is working flat-out to achieve this.”

Stéphane Sarrazin: “I am really proud to be part of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in WEC; we have a great spirit and we never stop pushing. I’m happy to be driving with Mike and Kamui. I worked very well with Mike last year and I am sure it will be the same with Kamui. He’s a quick driver and we all share the same determination to win.”
Mike Conway: “Last season was my first time in an LMP1 at many of the tracks so I was getting stronger at each race. Now I can’t wait for the new season when I have the benefit of that experience. I’d like to welcome Kamui to our car; I’m happy to have him on board and looking forward to working with him.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “I’m really excited to be an LMP1 race driver and I would like to thank TOYOTA for this opportunity. I tested the TS040 HYBRID a few times and it was a seriously impressive car; the power of the hybrid system in particular was amazing. Now I can’t wait to see what the new car feels like; I am sure it will be a big step forward and put us back in the fight at the front. Racing in LMP1 will be a new experience for me and I am looking forward to it a lot. There will be plenty to learn but I know my team-mates will support me and I am sure I can be competitive right from the start. Now my focus is on preparing properly for the new season and being absolutely ready for Silverstone.”

Rob
4th February 2016, 09:59
Senna rejoins WEC in new Morand LMP2 venture

Bruno Senna will race in the World Endurance Championship this season, sharing a Morand Racing-run Ligier with Ricardo Gonzalez and Filipe Albuquerque.

The trio will campaign an LMP2 class Nissan-engined Ligier JS P2 entered under the 'RGR Sport by Morand' banner, with Gonzalez taking up an owner/driver role.

Senna, who will be embarking on his first full WEC season since 2013, and his first in a prototype, will dovetail is new commitments with his existing Mahindra Formula E programme.

"I’m really excited about it," the Brazilian told Motorsport.com. "It’s fun to be part of a new championship and have a new challenge.

"Those guys are really competitive, Ricardo is a young driver who has done well in the past, he won Le Mans already [LMP2 in 2013]."

Gonzalez raced a Ligier last year with the G-Drive squad, placing third in the LMP2 standings along with teammates Pipo Derani and Gustavo Yacaman.

“I’m very excited to finally be able to announce this project, which has been in the works for quite a while," said the Mexican.

"After the WEC announced that we would have the 6 Hours of Mexico in 2016, starting our own Mexican team was the obvious next choice.

"With the experience that Bruno and Filipe have, and proven speed of the Ligier JS P2, I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll be able to fight for the championship and victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans."

Albuquerque, meanwhile, has spent the last two years racing for both the Audi LMP1 squad and Jota Sport in the European Le Mans Series.

"After doing two consecutive years in the ELMS, definitely the WEC was my main goal for 2016," said the Portuguese driver.

"With Ricardo’s WEC experience, Bruno’s Formula 1 and my experience as an Audi Factory driver I think we make a good and balanced team.

"With all this there is no reason why we shouldn’t aim at Le Mans and the World Championship title."

Rob
4th February 2016, 11:17
Toyota 2016..

http://i64.tinypic.com/2096kwl.jpg

Rob
5th February 2016, 10:05
http://i65.tinypic.com/zulbhv.png
http://i66.tinypic.com/2d7xx11.jpg
Today's The Day!

In just a few hours the curtain will be raised on the list of entrants for the 2016 World Endurance Championship, together with the announcement of competitors admitted to the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours and the 2016 European Le Mans Series.

Who will be on the grid? There will be some familiar faces, certainly, from our LMP1 manufacturers Audi, Porsche and Toyota, but who will be joining them for one of the most eagerly anticipated seasons in the WEC’s history?

Don’t miss a minute of the press conference: watch it live and direct on Motorsport.com or via our own fiawec.com site. You can also follow it on 24h-lemans.com and on europeanlemansseries.com.

Rob
5th February 2016, 10:06
Stripping Down The Strakka Gibson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-WWej0ZJmY

Rob
6th February 2016, 11:02
FEB 5, 2016 | FORD CHIP GANASSI RACING PRESS RELEASE

FOUR-CAR LE MANS ENTRY ACCEPTED FOR FORD 50 YEARS ON FROM HISTORIC VICTORY
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All four Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs will compete at Le Mans in June, 50 years on from 1-2-3 finish in 1966
The Ford GTs will run Nos. 66, 67, 68 and 69
PARIS -- The organisers of the Le Mans 24 Hours, the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest), today confirmed that all four Ford GTs have received a place on the prestigious entry list for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Fifty years on from Ford’s famous 1-2-3 outright victory at Le Mans, all four Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs will compete for GTE Pro class glory at the world’s greatest motor race, which takes place on June 18-19.

“It was great to see all four Ford GTs up there on the Le Mans entry list today,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director, who attended this afternoon’s press conference in Paris. “Newcomers are by no means guaranteed an entry, whatever their history or ambitions, so we thank the ACO for giving Ford the opportunity for a four car assault in June.”

The Ford GT racing car is based on the all-new Ford GT supercar, which is the pinnacle product of the Ford Performance division. With state-of-the-art aerodynamics, lightweight carbon fibre construction and a powerful and efficient Ford EcoBoost engine, the Ford GT has been built to go head-to-head with the GT establishment -- Ferrari, Corvette, Porsche and Aston Martin -- as they fight for victory in the ultimate endurance battle.

“I’m very happy that we can run all four Ford GTs at Le Mans,” said Chip Ganassi, owner of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. “It will be a big challenge for us but one we are thrilled to undertake. We have prepared well and can't wait to get the Ford GTs onto the track there and show everyone what they can do.”

The No. 66 and No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing cars that run in the FIA World Endurance Championship will keep their race numbers for Le Mans. The two Ford GTs that run in the IMSA WeatherTechSportsCar Championship will receive new race numbers just for Le Mans: No. 66 becomes No. 68 and No. 67 becomes No. 69.

The configuration of the driver line-ups in the WEC cars will be announced at a later date, along with the identities of the third drivers for all four Ford GTs at Le Mans.

Rob
6th February 2016, 11:03
Porsche 919 Test in Abu Dhabi
http://i66.tinypic.com/2gvir29.jpg

Rob
6th February 2016, 11:04
2016 Labre Vette
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Ed Harley
6th February 2016, 11:32
It has taken me a while to get used to the C7/C7.R looks but it's OK now.

Rob
6th February 2016, 12:59
It has taken me a while to get used to the C7/C7.R looks but it's OK now.

it ok, not as good as the 488 GTE ;-)

You know when that bad boy Vette has or is coming as its rumbles and shakes your insides. Has to be my second fav engine tone.

Rob
6th February 2016, 13:10
They are great race cars. But where are the usual Jake skull logos???

oh yeah, i hadnt noticed wasnt on there :oops im not sure but were they apart of a sponsor or some marketing thingy.

Ed Harley
6th February 2016, 18:11
oh yeah, i hadnt noticed wasnt on there :oops im not sure but were they apart of a sponsor or some marketing thingy.
Some background on the matter:

http://jalopnik.com/5249746/the-history-of-jake-corvette-racings-mascot

http://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/c6-corvette-general-discussion/2262821-comprehensive-history-of-jake-skull-w-pics.html




(http://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/c6-corvette-general-discussion/2262821-comprehensive-history-of-jake-skull-w-pics.html)

Rob
6th February 2016, 19:35
sorry day late, been bit busy...
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KEY FACTS AND FIGURES ON THE 2016 WEC GRID

Key Facts and Figures on 2016 FIA WEC Grid

· 32 entries representing 12 nations : Germany (6), Austria (1), Japan (2), Switzerland (2), Russia (3), USA (4), China (1), France (2), Mexico (1), Great Britain (6), Italy (3), Hong Kong (1)

· 9 entries in LMP1, 10 in LMP2, 7 in LMGTE Pro and 6 in LMGTE Am

· 3 manufacturer entries in LMP1, 4 manufacturer entries in LMGTE Pro

· Consistency and stability in LMP1 factory line-ups with regulations and working groups focussed on safety, energy efficiency and cost controls

· Dunlop tyres being used by Rebellion Racing thus creating open tyre competition in LMP1

· 5 different chassis manufacturers in LMP2, all powered by Nissan engines

· New teams bringing experience from other championships including F1

· 2015 LMP2 Champion G-Drive Racing moves from Ligier JS P2 to ORECA 05

· First full season for BR01 chassis, in the hands of SMP Racing which makes a return to LMP2

· Two Alpine A460 entries including an entry from China, and inclusion of 21-year-old Gustavo Menezes from the USA as first listed driver

· Former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov of Russia joins WEC with SMP Racing

· RGR Sport by Morand entry highlights Mexico’s importance in the 2016 WEC calendar, led by Ricardo Gonzalez

· All new regulations for LMGTE Pro in 2016 means all-new cars from Ferrari (F488 GTE) and Ford (Ford GT) with updated cars from Aston Martin and Porsche

· KCMG remains with WEC but in 2016 with a Porsche 911 RSR in LMGTE Am

· Gulf Racing moves up from ELMS to WEC

Rob
6th February 2016, 19:36
2016 WEC entry list...

http://www.fiawec.com/wpphpFichiers/1/1/ressources/Pdf/2016/FIAWEC2016_provisional_entry_list_one_driver_28011 6.pdf

Rob
6th February 2016, 19:43
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Le Mans, 05 February 2016

2016 Le Mans 24 Hours
Mythic, Magic, Unique

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Today in Paris the Automobile Club de l’Ouest announced the list of entrants invited to take part in the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours. 60 cars will be at the start the legendary race on 18th June! The top-class field competing in the 84th event will provide no-holds-barred battles and a hotly-disputed scrap in each of the four categories.

The big surprise at this press conference concerned the announcement of the number of cars taking part in the Le Mans 24 Hours provided they pass the technical and administrative checks. At first, as announced last June 58 cars were supposed to be on the grid, but faced with the growing number of high-quality entry requests, the Selection Committee decided to allow 60 cars to start the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours on 18th June. So exceptional measures will be taken and the necessary resources and a specific organisation implemented to meet this need to ensure that the additional pits are operational in 2016.

Thus, the third round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship, the pinnacle of the calendar, will see 60 cars on the grid divided up into four categories: 9 LM P1s (Le Mans prototype 1), 22 LM P2s (Le Mans Prototype 2), 14 LM GTE Pros and 14 LM GTE Ams. The 56th garage has been allocated to SRT 41 by OAK Racing, whose technologies devoted to helping disabled people will be highlighted on a Morgan-Nissan LM P2 racing outside the classification.

Among the LM P1s, Porsche is determined to retain the 24-Hours Trophy won in 2015 and to emerge victorious in the race for the 18th time in its history. The three major manufacturers, Porsche, Audi and Toyota, have each entered two cars so they will do battle on a level playing field numerically speaking. Thus the technologies and the race strategy employed will be crucial in deciding which one will see the chequered flag in first place after 24-hours racing. Rounding off the LM P1 field are three privately entered cars from Rebellion Racing (2) and ByKolles Racing team (1). A total of five manufacturers/constructors will be represented in the blue-riband category.

In 2016, the LM P2 category again has the highest number of cars. In 2015, there were 19 on the grid and this year 22 have been chosen by the selection committee. Hong Kong team KCMG will be back to defend its title against a horde of highly-motivated challengers determined to oust it from the top spot and claim the trophy it won last year. Six different makes of chassis will do battle in LM P2 with Ligier, victorious in the Daytona 24 Hours at the end of January, holding a numerical advantage. A newcomer to the LM P2 category is the Panis Barthez Competition team with Fabien Barthez as designated driver. In 1998 he was a member of the French team that won the World Football Cup, and he has since changed careers becoming a successful racing driver. It will be his second outing in the Le Mans 24 Hours after his debut in 2014 in GTE Am.

This year new LM GTE Pro regulations came into force on 1st January 2016 while the LM GTE Am rules remain unchanged. These two categories, each with 14 entries, will again provide on-track fireworks.

In LM GTE Pro the main attraction is the return of Ford with four cars 50 years after its superb triple in 1966. Corvette, the title holder and winner in January of the Rolex Daytona 24 Hours scoring a double with its C7.Rs, will not be overawed by this newcomer or by Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin, which are all gunning for victory.

In LM GTE Am Ferrari enjoys numerical superiority with five 458 Italias followed by Porsche (4), Aston Martin (3) and Corvette (2). The battle for victory in this category looks very open especially as the first two teams in 2015 won’t be present. Maybe this will give Scuderia Corsa, third in 2015, the opportunity to finish on the topmost step of the podium.

Thus the field for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours consists of 32 prototypes and 28 GTS, proving once again the extraordinary pulling power of the event with 41 teams entered representing 17 nationalities from the four corners of the globe.

The reserve list comprises 10 cars, six LM P2s and 4 LM GTE Ams. They will be allowed into the race in the order of the list in the case of withdrawals.

During the press conference Alexander Wurz was named Grand Marshal for the 84th Le Mans 24 Hours following in the footsteps of Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Henri Pescarolo.

Another eagerly-awaited moment was the unveiling of the poster for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours and the advertisement by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. 2016 represents a complete break with the previous years expressing a desire to use the force of simplicity to enhance the impact and the emotion.

This unveiling launched the communications and promotional campaign for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours and triggered the countdown to the 84th event on 18-19 June.

Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “Given the ever-increasing number of high-quality entry requests we received, the selection committee decided to allow sixty cars to start the Le Mans 24 Hours on 18th June. This decision means we have to deploy exceptional measures and put in place a specific organisation, but the ACO teams won’t have problems meeting this need. The top-quality field in the 84th Le Mans 24 Hours proves yet again the pulling power of our event and the confidence the major car manufacturers have in us. In addition, entries from teams of seventeen different nationalities from the four corners of the globe show the interest in endurance and the indisputable international dimension of this legendary race. The 2016 Le Mans 24-Hours promise us a magnificent spectacle on the track and a festive week to be enjoyed to the full!”

Vincent Beaumesnil, Automobile Club de l’Ouest Sport Manager: “Each year the selection committee is finding it increasingly difficult to establish the list of entries for the Le Mans 24 Hours. Thirty-two prototypes and twenty-eight GTs will be on the grid on 18th June for what already looks like being a first-class race. There will be a closely-fought battle in LM P1 and there is even more diversity in LM P2. The appeal of the LM GTE Pro category is greater than ever and more sporting with the introduction of the new regulations and Ford’s return. As always, LM GTE Am will be the theatre of fantastic battles. From both a technical and sporting point of view all the ingredients are in place for a unique 84th Le Mans 24 Hours.”

entry list

http://www.24h-lemans.com/wpphpFichiers/1/1/ressources/Pdf/2016/24-heures-du-mans/entry-list-24-heures-du-mans-2016.pdf

Rob
6th February 2016, 19:49
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RISI COMPETIZIONE RECEIVES INVITATION TO 24 HOURS OF LE MANS

Houston, Texas (February 5, 2016)...Risi Competizione is proud to announce they have received an invitation from the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) for the 84th annual 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
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The Houston, Texas-based American team received delivery of its brand new Ferrari 488 GTE just days prior to the 54th annual running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona race the last weekend of January. The Risi Competizione team of drivers Toni Vilander, Giancarlo Fisichella, Davide Rigon and Olivier Beretta finished sixth in the highly competitive GTLM class.

Vilander, Fisichella and a yet-to-be-named third co-driver will drive the popular No. 82 Risi Competizione-entered Rosso Corsa (racing red) Prancing Horse in the GTE-Pro class on June 18-19, 2016 for Team Principal Giuseppe Risi.

"We are honored to be returning to Le Mans for what will be sure to be a great GT battle and exciting race overall," said Giuseppe Risi. "Le Mans is a very special race and one that has even more meaning when you win. We've had the privilege to stand on the podium before and seek nothing but the same in this year's race. We expect good results with this new Ferrari 488 this season and will make every effort for success again this year at Le Mans. We thank the ACO for the invitation and look forward to returning to Le Mans in June."

Risi Competizione has won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on three of seven occasions. The first appearance of the Risi team at Le Mans was in 1998 when Wayne Taylor, Eric van de Poele and Fermin Velez won the LMP-1 class in the Ferrari 333 SP. Risi Competizione collected back-to-back victories in the Ferrari 430 GT in 2008 with Jamies Melo, Mika Salo and Gianmaria Bruni and again in 2009 with Melo, Salo and Pierre Kaffer. The team made appearance in 2003, 2007 and their last entry was in 2010. On numerous occasions Risi Competizione entered two cars at La Circuit de la Sarthe.
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Rob
6th February 2016, 19:50
yes Risi back at Le-Mans :clap

Rob
6th February 2016, 19:51
Some background on the matter:

http://jalopnik.com/5249746/the-history-of-jake-corvette-racings-mascot

http://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/c6-corvette-general-discussion/2262821-comprehensive-history-of-jake-skull-w-pics.html




(http://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/c6-corvette-general-discussion/2262821-comprehensive-history-of-jake-skull-w-pics.html)

cheers Ed good read and learnt something new :thumb

Ed Harley
6th February 2016, 20:47
Cheers, Rob. :thumb

Nova
8th February 2016, 00:04
Cool post about Risi Rob. Looking at the Lemans entry list, not a lot of Ferrari's this year..actually, both GT
fields look rather small.

Rob
8th February 2016, 11:01
Cool post about Risi Rob. Looking at the Lemans entry list, not a lot of Ferrari's this year..actually, both GT
fields look rather small.

for me its quality not quantity. Good addition, which im so happy about is Clearwater Racing will be there :clap
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Rob
8th February 2016, 11:49
Le Mans roads to stay closed between 24 Hours practice/qualifying

The public road sections of the 8.47-mile Le Mans circuit will remain closed between the Wednesday and Thursday qualifying sessions ahead of this year's 24 Hours.

The Mulsanne Straight and the run from Mulsanne Corner to the Porsche Curves will not reopen to traffic on Thursday as usual, which will allow more track time for cars taking part in the two support races for the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 18/19.

Vincent Beaumesnil, sporting manager of race organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, told Autosport: "This will allow us to have more free practice for the GT3 Le Mans Cup and also to give a little bit more track time to the Ferrari Challenge."

The ACO has established the GT3 Cup on the European Le Mans Series bill as a rung on what it calls its "endurance pyramid" for 2016 and will also allow LMP3 prototypes to take part in the additional one-hour race on the Saturday morning of the Le Mans week.

Beaumesnil also promised "some other interesting on-track activities" on Thursday before the second session of qualifying for the 24 Hours starts as normal at 7pm.

Track activity will begin at 4pm on Wednesday with a four-hour session of practice prior to first qualifying at 10pm.

The public roads that make up approximately two thirds of the Circuit de la Sarthe, which include the route nationale between the city of Le Mans and Tours to the south, will be open to traffic on the Friday of Le Mans week when there is no on-track activity.

Free practice was introduced at Le Mans in 2009 after the decision, for economic reasons, to temporarily do away with the test day reintroduced in 1992.

The current format of one four-hour practice and three two-hour qualifying sessions was introduced in 2010.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/122729

Rob
9th February 2016, 09:50
Greaves Motorsport confirms Memo Rojas Jr. for 2016 ELMS and Le Mans

Greaves Motorsport, the reigning European Le Mans Series Champions, are pleased to confirm Memo Rojas Jr. as their first driver for the second entry in the 2016 ELMS and the Le Mans 24 Hours. The team will run a Nissan-powered Ligier JS P2 chassis in the LM P2 class and will continue their long standing association with Dunlop Tyres. Rojas has no less than four Rolex Sports Car Series titles to his name and is a three-time winner of the Rolex Daytona 24 Hours and also lists a victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring in his extensive motorsport CV.

Memo Rojas explained his decision to race in Europe in 2016. “I am very happy to announce my arrival in the European Le Mans Series for this year and also the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I am really motivated and excited to be racing with such a successful and respected team as Greaves Motorsport. I want to thank everyone in the IMSA Series for those nine years I raced there, I am looking for new challenges, so I am moving to the European endurance scene. One of the biggest incentives for me is my long standing dream to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. My father raced there and now I hope to add a win in the most famous endurance race of them all to my record.”“Greaves Motorsport are the current European Le Mans Series Champions and alsothey won their class previously at Le Mans. They are always competitive and have been one of the leading teams for many seasons, their record proves that. We will shake down our new Ligier chassis in March with at the Official Test in Le Castellet and then in Spain. Of course I have to thank my sponsors for making all of this happen, Telmex, Telcel, Claro, Interproteccion, Passtime, Peugeot, Red Bull, Dockers, Alpine Stars and Oakley.

”Jacob Greaves, Team Principal of Greaves Motorsport. “This is a fantastic opportunity for the team to compete for successive European Le Mans Series titles. Memo is a top level professional driver, as his record demonstrates. We are thrilled that a driver of his achievement and profile has chosen Greaves Motorsport to be his partner in his first attempt to win a major international competition in Europe. Addin a Ligier chassis, Nissan power, Dunlop Tyres and we have all the ingredients to achieve the top step once more. A new partnership with America Movil (Telemex, Telcel and Claro) is an exciting development that will add a new dimension to our efforts. It will not be easy as the quality of the opposition in our class for 2016 is veryhigh but we know how to win and have a hunger to continue as ELMS champions.

Rob
9th February 2016, 09:55
Manor’s John Booth Talks WEC: “The Romance Of Le Mans Won Us Over”
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The rumours and speculation were true, Manor is going to be in the WEC this season with an LMP2 programme.

Now, this isn’t exactly a move from F1 from the WEC, as the F1 team and this new WEC venture are separate. Nevertheless, this is an extremely exciting new programme for sportscar racing, one that DSC is glad to have aboard.

In speaking with DSC, the head of Manor Motorsport John Booth explained just how the programme came together, and just how recently it got the green light:

“It’s been a work in progress for a number of months,” explained Booth. “It must have been four to six weeks ago that we finally decided to do it.

“This team is completely separate with F1 now, I’ve had no contact with them since the last race in Abu Dhabi. Manor Motorsport has been in existence for 26 years, so Manor seemed the natural name for us to continue with. The Rose is in the emblem, we’re Manor, and we have a striking car.”

Along with the announcement of the programme, the team also announced its chassis, one of its drivers and the livery. The Yorkshire-based team decided to run with an ORECA 05 chassis, with Tor Graves at the wheel.

“We are very new to sportscar racing,” Booth admitted. “So we had an ask around to get people’s opinions. I managed to get in contact wth ORECA and they were very responsive, very helpful people. I don’t think there’s anything in it performance wise.

“Tor meanwhile is a good starting point for us. We have history with Tor. Tor was with us when we moved from Formula Renault to Formula 3, we won our first race with him. We hope to carry that sort of mentally on from there.”

For the other two drivers, Manor will look in its current stable, but also elsewhere. Booth chuckled at some of the potential prospects.

“Lewis and Kimi, wouldn’t that be something!? Well, they gave us Lewis’ number, so it would be an easy transition for him… In all seriousness, it’s not a requirement for us when it comes to driver selection to choose more of our own.

“We’re not sure when, but we’ll know by the Prologue who else will be in the car.”

Traditionally, Manor Motorsport has been based up in Yorkshire, but with the inception of this venture, the team has also decided to move its HQ. It’s clear that this WEC campaign has brought with it a fresh start for the team.

“We may start up in Yorkshire, but we plan to move to Silverstone quite soon.

“We’re lucky that a few of the guys from F1 last year have come over with us and will move to our new location. Recruiting from scratch would have been hard, it would have been quite difficult to hand out contracts because we don’t have a car and we didn’t know if he had an entry until it came up on the screen at the conference.

“It would have been quite cruel to invite us and not give us an entry though.”

It’s quite possible that this Manor project will turn into something quite big, and successful. LMP2 is a good starting point, but that’s not necessarily where Booth plans to keep the team. With fresh LMP1 privateer regulations on the horizion, surely that will be an option?

Whatever happens though, Manor chose sportscars, and its chosen to invest its future in it.

“We absolutely understand that this will be a learning year, we have a lot to learn in a very short time. Running a car and making a car go fast is not a challenge, but the strategy required is going to be the biggest thing for us.

“We want to be involved in endurance racing for a long time. We want to carve a name for ourselves and win races.”

“LMP1 teams spend somewhere in the region of the money we spent in Formula One,” he added. “We know how difficult it is to raise that in Formula One. Outside of manufacturers, we don’t expect to be able to play in LMP1. LMP2 then is the obvious choice, we want to go racing at the highest level.”

“If you want to be competitive, then yeah LMP2 right now is the highest level for an independent team. We considered things like IndyCar, but the romance of Le Mans won us over.

“I don’t think the platform and the regulations are published for P1 privateer yet. So until we see it we can’t really think about it. We’re really happy with LMP2 for now, they’re great cars, with great downforce and grip.

“There’s no point in doing anything else in single-seaters other than Formula One anymore, that avenue’s closed, so this is an obvious choice.

“We can’t wait to go racing in the WEC.”

Rob
9th February 2016, 09:59
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Onroak Automotive Release – 8th February 2016


Onroak Automotive backing its teams on all fronts in 2016!

On 5th February the Automobile Club de l’Ouest unveiled the official lists of entries for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours, the FIA World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series. This announcement, eagerly-awaited every year by all those involved in international motor sport, confirmed that Onroak Automotive will have an important presence in all the ACO Series.

The Ligier JS P2 pursues its prestigious career marked in particular by the 2015 WEC LM P2 title and the recent victory in the Daytona 24 Hours. It is the only chassis in which the three engines homologated by the LM P2 regulations, Honda, Judd and Nissan, are installed: this year the Ligier JS P2 has again found favour with new teams. Eight cars, three of which will compete in all the other rounds of the FIA WEC, are entered for the Le Mans 24 Hours with two more on the reserve list. Six Ligier JS P2s, four of which will race in the Sarthe Classic, are entered for the ELMS, so no fewer than ten Ligier JS P2s will race in ACO-labelled events.
In these three competitions the Ligier JS P2s will be up against tough, varied opposition. They will take on the Oreca 05 and 03R, the BR01, the Alpine A460, the Gibson 015S, and their stable-mate, the Morgan LM P2, also built by Onroak Automotive.

The Ligier JS P3 is the star of the new season’s kick-off. After a promising debut sealed with the LM P3 title in the Asian Le Mans Series, the latest car from the Onroak Automotive workshops has achieved a quasi-monopoly on the 2016 ELMS grid with 19 cars out of the 20 entered in the category (19/20 as if a mark had been unconsciously awarded to the success of the Ligier JS P3!).

The Morgan LM P2, whose results include the 2013 FIA WEC LM P2 title and those in the 2013 and 2014 Asian Le Mans Series, is still a force to be reckoned with. In the ELMS and the Le Mans 24 Hours fans of the famous British make will still be rooting for the Onroak Automotive open sport-prototype. Eyes will be focused on the 56th garage reserved every year for an innovation. In 2016 it has been allocated to the SRT 41 Morgan LM P2, which the French constructor has adapted to meet the needs of its driver, quadri-amputee, Frédéric Sausset.

The number of cars entered is incontestable proof of the interest and the confidence of the teams, and the renown and professionalism of the latter reinforce the pertinence of Onroak Automotive’s presence in endurance.

While the composition of the grids has been announced and the cars delivered to the teams, another of the French constructor’s departments is soon going to be very busy. Although the spectators may not be aware of it, providing a backup service for the clients is crucial and essential for their race teams. Technical directors, engineers and mechanics from Onroak Automotive present at the events are determined to supply the best-quality to satisfy the needs of the teams, and a lorry loaded with spare parts will travel to all the European events.

Jacques Nicolet, President of Onroak Automotive : “I have to admit that the number of our cars on these lists is very impressive, in particular in LM P3! It gives us a double satisfaction that comes from the confidence that numerous teams have renewed in us, as well as the arrival of new clients who have decided to join us. Today our priority above all is to satisfy our clients by providing them with a top-quality after-sales and backup service. We have close and precious links with each of the teams and we must now give them all irreproachable support.

“As a constructor the passion that drives us today to be able to help our clients achieve great victories, and experience moments as magic as those shared with Extreme Speed Motorsports which, last weekend, gave the Ligier JS P2 victory in the Daytona 24 Hours!”

Rob
9th February 2016, 10:07
Tickets booked for Silverstone WEC opener. Booked couple weeks ago. Cannt wait now. I know, what, about 10 weeks still, and the WEC Prologue is March 26th.

Rob
9th February 2016, 10:10
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WHAT’S NEW IN LMP1 REGULATIONS FOR 2016
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The ACO and FIA, through the Endurance Commission, constantly strive to produce a clear, fair and consistent set of Sporting and Technical regulations which allow competitors and fans to understand and enjoy the thrills of endurance racing while upholding and promoting the highest levels of safety.

The World Endurance Championship works hard, in tandem with its partners, to present a platform on which manufacturers can display technology and product development, to offer family-centred entertainment both on and off track, and to maintain a stable, cost-controlled championship which is open to competitors on a worldwide basis.

KEY TECHNICAL CHANGES – LMP1

Energy per lap reduced by 10MJ (representing a reduction of 7.5% for the faster cars)

Instantaneous fuel flow reduced by the same proportions

Hybrid power/energy delivery restriction of 300kw for Le Mans only

Additional head protection padding for the driver

Three different homologated bodywork iterations will be allowed during the season, reducing to two in 2017 to further control costs

Wheel arch vents will be around 25% larger as part of a drive to improve safety

Further testing and wind tunnel restrictions

Rob
11th February 2016, 09:20
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OAK Racing Press Release – 9th February 2016
2016 season - European Le Mans Series


OAK Racing in the 2016 ELMS with two Ligier JS P3s

Following the announcement of the official list of entries for the European Le Mans Series by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, OAK Racing confirms its return to the European arena in 2016. The French team will enter a pair of Ligier JS P3s built in the Onroak Automotive workshops at Magny-Cours and entrusted to gentlemen drivers.


Two OAK Racing Ligier JS P3s bearing the numbers 4 and 24 will contest the six rounds of the European Le Mans Series in the hands of two experienced gentlemen driver line-ups. The choice of the series, cars and drivers has been made to combine professionalism and fun.

The team and the men behind the wheel are tackling this season with a low-key approach but with iron-clad ambitions.
Erik Maris and Jean-Marc Merlin, long-time friends, are team-mates for the third season running and share the wheel of the no. 4 Ligier JS P3. The no. 24 Ligier JS P3 will be driven by father/son duo Jacques and Pierre Nicolet both passionate motor sport and endurance enthusiasts. The four drivers share the same vision and philosophy for this new adventure, namely: mix performance with pleasure.

OAK Racing would also like to enter its two Ligier JS P3s for the race reserved for LM P3 sports prototypes and GT3s, which is a curtain-raiser to the Le Mans 24 Hours on 18th June, as it provides a unique opportunity to drive the legendary 13.629-km circuit and experience the magic ambience of this mythic race.

For this new season, OAK Racing will be able to count on the support of different partners who will back it in this great adventure. The cars’ livery will be unveiled shortly.


Erik Maris - no. 4 Ligier JS P3: “I’m tackling the new season to enjoy myself and to improve at the wheel of the fantastic Ligier JS P3. The principle of endurance races is to share the wheel so my aim will be to always hand back an intact car to my friend, Jean-Marc! After several shared experiences over the last two years, I’m delighted to be back with the OAK Racing team and to take advantage of the great ambience and the professional approach that reigns therein.”

Jean-Marc Merlin – no. 4 Ligier JS P3: “After the Ligier JS P2 last year, I get just as much pleasure at the wheel of the Ligier JS P3. The car’s perfect for gentlemen drivers like us, and the ELMS calendar includes fantastic circuits, in particular Spa-Francorchamps which I absolutely adore. My aim’s simple: to take the season seriously, but not myself!”

Jacques Nicolet – no. 24 Ligier JS P3: “I’m very happy to share this season with my son and my friends, Erik and Jean-Marc. So many drivers have enjoyed driving and been completely convinced by the Ligier JS P3, that I too wanted to get a kick out of racing this car built in our Onroak Automotive workshops. We’re very proud of this LM P3 that’s helped a lot of people to experience what it’s like to drive a sports prototype, and I’m going to try and be up to scratch to clinch podium finishes with Pierre!”

Pierre Nicolet – no. 24 Ligier JS P3: “I’ve already had the pleasure of doing a few races with my dad. I know it’s an exceptional stroke of luck for me to be able to share this passion with him and I’m going to savour each session and each race. My aim is to enjoy myself as part of a family while still being quick and not making any mistakes.”

Rob
11th February 2016, 12:47
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AF Corse will line up two Ferrari 488s and a 458 Italia in the 2016 World Championship

Piacenza, February 10th – Three AF Corse Ferraris will race in the FIA World Endurance Championship (Wec) 2016 with one target: to reconquer the GT world titles. The most successful team in the GT category of the WEC (AF Corse won three consecutive titles in the GTE-Pro, from 2012 to 2014, and took the second place in 2015) will line up two all-new Ferrari 488 GTEs and a Ferrari 458 Italia.

GTE-Pro. Two-time world champion Gianmaria Bruni will still be at the wheel of the #51 together with James Calado, who had many successful outings last year in the 458 Italia #71.

Davide Rigon will be in the other 488 GTE lined up for AF Corse in the GTE-Pro, still carrying the number 71, with the new teammate Sam Bird. The English driver, 28-year-old - who gained six wins in the GP2 Series and was a tester for Mercedes in Formula 1 - raced twice for Ferrari and AF Corse in the 2014 WEC; in 2015, he won the WEC drivers title in the LMP2 class.

GTE-Am. Titles are also possible in the GTE-Am category. François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas will race again in the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia #83. Following the second places in the 2015 WEC, the high potential trio will try again to win the category.

The first green light in the FIA Wec 2016 will be at Silverstone, on April 17, with its six-hours race.

AF Corse Press Office - Riccardo Delfanti

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Rob
12th February 2016, 11:55
Movie star Jackie Chan becomes Le Mans team owner

The Hong Kong actor and stuntman has joined the list of film and TV heroes to get involved in the 24-hour classic.

Chan is a founding partner in the BAXI DC Racing team that dominated the LMP3 class of the Asian Le Mans Series in the 2015/16 season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=sYv9Lo0lg8g
Drivers Ho-Pin Tung, team co-owner David Cheng and France’s Thomas Laurent drove a Ligier JS P3 to four wins out of four to easily claim the class title.

On Friday, Sparkle Roll Group-Jackie Chan DC Racing, which has entered the FIA World Endurance Championship, was also announced in the 60-car entrylist for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The team will campaign an Alpine A460-Nissan in LMP2, again with Cheng and Tung as two of the drivers in the lineup.


Thus Chan joins the likes of Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and more recently, Patrick Dempsey, as a film and TV star to become a participant in the French around-the-clock classic.

Said Chan: “Following a great performance by our team in the Asian Le Mans Series, I am happy that we will have the privilege to race in the WEC, and of course the 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

The 61-year-old Chan, who starred in the Rush Hour franchise alongside Chris Tucker and the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid with Jaden Smith, is a known motorhead and racing fanatic.

But his film roles stretch as far back as being a martial arts expert and stuntman in early ’70s Bruce Lee classics such as Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon. Chan has even starred in a racing movie – 1995’s Thunderbolt.

“I will support Chinese motorsport and driver development,” said Chan, “so I created the team together with David Cheng.

“[Now] I look forward to personally attending this year’s Le Mans 24 hour race to support my team and my compatriot drivers David Cheng and Ho-Pin Tung.

“See you there!”

Rob
12th February 2016, 21:19
Latest News

Paris - 12 February 2016
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Key points for 2016



1. LMP1
In 2015 LMP1 cars will be known as 'hybrid' and non'hybrid' instead of LMP1-H and LMP1-L. There will still be an FIA Endurance Trophy for Privateer LMP1 Drivers and Teams.

2. ENGINES
For LMP1 Hybrid competitors only: engine use is limited to 5 engines for the complete season (all race events) per car entered.

For new manufacturers entering the Manufacturer’s FIA World Endurance Championship : engine use is limited to 7 engines for the complete season (all race events) per car entered.

For the non-permanent LMP1 competitors in the FIA World Endurance Championship (race-by-race entry): A maximum of 2 engines can be used for free practice, qualifying practice and the race.

3. TYRES

Summary table of maximum number of tyres available per event (does not apply to the 24 Hours of Le Mans)

Sets of Tyres Single Tyres
WEC 6 Hours Events Free Practice Qualifying + Race Any Additional time during the event
LMP1 4 6* 2
LMP2 3 4 2
LMGTE Pro 4 6 2
LMGTE Am 4 6 2

* 8 sets for Shanghai and Bahrain

4. LIMITATION OF PERSONNEL
For Competitors entered in the Manufacturers’ World Endurance Championship only:

For all events scheduled after the 2016 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans:

No competitor may have more than 65 operational people at a 6-hour WEC race for 2 cars and 90 operational people for 3 cars (except where additional personnel are required by special regulation for an event; this must be confirmed by the decision of the Endurance Committee) with access to the Team pit garages and technical trucks/offices from the start of initial scrutineering until the end of the race.

5. LMP1 AVERAGE DRIVER WEIGHT
LMP1 entrants must declare the minimum weight of each driver entered. If the average weight of the drivers is 80kg or more no action is necessary. If the average weight is less than 80kg, driver ballast must be added to the car which will equal 80kg minus the actual average weight of the drivers.

6. STARTING GRID
There will be one qualifying session to determine the starting grid and organised as follows:

20 minutes for LMP1 and LMP2 cars only
20 minutes for LMGTE Pro and Am cars only
Two nominated drivers from each crew must set at least 1 timed lapduring qualifying. The average of the 2best lap times (the best of each driver) will serve as the reference time for establishing the grid.

NOTE: In 2014 the average of 4 best laps (the best 2 for each driver) was used as the reference time, with each half session in qualifying being 25 minutes.

7. KEY TECHNICAL CHANGES
LMP1:
Energy per lap reduced by 10MJ (representing a reduction of 7.5% for the faster cars)
Instantaneous fuel flow reduced by the same proportions
Additional head protection padding for the driver
Hybrid power/energy delivery restriction of 300kw for Le Mans only
Three different homologated bodywork iterations will be allowed during the season, reducing to two in 2017 to further control costs
Wheel arch vents will be around 25% larger as part of a drive to improve safety
Further testing and wind tunnel restrictions
LMGTE:

Complete new set of regulations for LMGTE
LMGTE Pro car to target a precise performance window (improve performance)
Safety nets
Evacuation hatches
8. TESTING
The number and type of private tests that can be undertaken by competitors in LMP1 and LMP2 have been updated for 2016. The allocation is such that one car per test day equals one unit (car/days) and two cars per test day equals two units (car/days). The numbers of car/days now allowed are as follows:

For LMP1 competitors only

A maximum of 10 closed private testing car/days are allowed.
A maximum of 20 closed private testing car/days are allowed for any new car manufacturer entering the Manufacturers’ World Endurance Championship.
A maximum of 10 open private testing car/days respecting the pre-announcement period of 30 days are allowed.
A maximum of 23 open private testing car/days respecting the pre-announcement period of 90 days are allowed.
For LMP2, LMGTE Pro and Am Competitors

A maximum of 10 closed private testing car/days are allowed per competitor per category.
9. PIT STOP PROCEDURES
The pit lane is divided into three areas:

The “fast lane” is the closest to the wall in the signalling area. A car can access the fast lane only under its own power.
The “acceleration and deceleration lane” is the central lane.
The “working area” is the closest to the garage, where work is carried out on the cars. It has a wall or a painted line in front of the pit shutter on one side and a line separating it from the central lane on the other.

Speed limit in the pit lane: 60 km/h.

Cars in the fast lane have priority over those leaving the working area. The team is responsible for the safe release of a car from its pit area.

10. PIT STOPS
Number of personnel involved during refuelling remains the same, with a clarification that each person must have one of the operations outlined in article 10.8.4 and cannot perform the functions of 2 persons unless permitted with the current regulations.

Clarification for LMP1 only of the Fuel Flow Meter person:

Allowed to clean the windscreen or change/repair the fuel flow meter, no other operation allowed
Allowed to take place in the working area before the car arrives and stops in front of his garage IF a fuel flow meter change is required and until the car leaves the area. In that case the fuel flow meter change must be done prior to any other operation
If no fuel flow meter change/repair is required, allowed in the working area only after the car has stopped in front of his garage for windscreen cleaning only
Same number of mechanics as 2015 – four – will be allowed to intervene during a pit stop, wearing mandatory green armbands. For full description see article 10.8.4.

Two tyre / brake technicians will be allowed and marked by blue armbands.

Penalty for infringement of pit stop personnel operations is a drive through penalty at the stewards’ discretion.

11. PITS - SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Mandatory safety clothing and equipment for competitors’ personnel in the pit lane during all practice sessions and the race must be homologated by the FIA, clarified in article 4.7.1.2 to ensure that all persons understand what requirements team personnel must be wearing in pit lane (over the line in front of the pit shutter – not over the 2.5m line).

12. PENALTIES
Speeding in the Pit Lane – revised penalties during the race:

Previously first infringement was 5 sec per kph over 60 kph stop & go penalty, second infringement 10 sec per kph over 60kph stop & go penalty, third infringement penalty at the stewards’ discretion. NEW: first infringement drive through penalty, in the case of exceeding 70kph a 5 sec per kph over 70kph (rounded up) stop & go penalty. Second infringement drive through penalty, in the case of exceeding 70kph a 10 sec per kph over 70kph (rounded up) stop & go penalty. Third infringement penalty at the stewards’ discretion.
Spinning wheels when leaving pit stop – revised penalty during the race:

Previously 3 min stop & go penalty. NEW: stop & go penalty.
Penalties

In order to have clearer sporting regulations, which also reflect the FIA International Sporting Code, penalties have been placed into their own article within the WEC regulations. These clearly outline what penalties are available to the stewards. These include penalties such as Pit Lane Time Penalty (i.e. a 10 sec stop & go penalty), or Added Pit Lane Time (time added to the next pit stop).

Technical Penalties

Maximum released ERS Power > 300kW penalties: free practice – no penalty, qualifying – lap time cancelled, race – 2nd infringement 10 sec stop & go penalty, 3rd infringement 40 sec stop & go penalty, 4th or further infringement 60 sec stop & go penalty
END OF SEASON ROOKIE TEST

Provision of at least one car by competitors entered in the World Endurance Manufacturers Championship for a Rookie Test, which will take place on a date and at a location that will be confirmed later this year, is mandatory.

2016 SPORTING REGULATIONS


CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES

At the end of the WEC season, the following World Championshio titles, Cups and Trophies will be awarded:

The Championship has two World Champion titles:

The title of FIA World Endurance Champion Driver
The title of FIA World Endurance Champion Manufacturer LMP1
The following Cup and Trophies will also be awarded:

World Cup for LMGTE manufacturers, reserved for manufacturers entered in LMGTE (whether Pro or Am)
An FIA World Endurance Cup for GT drivers.
An FIA Endurance Trophy awarded to the best private LMP1 team, (using only non-hybrid cars or as defined in Article 13.A.a.III), officially entered in the Championship but not competing for the title of FIA World Endurance Manufacturers' Champion.
An FIA Endurance Trophy for private LMP1 team drivers (provided that at least three cars are entered for the full season)
FIA Endurance Trophy awarded to the best LMP2 team
FIA Endurance Trophy awarded to the best LMGTE Pro team
FIA Endurance Trophy awarded to the best LMGTE Am team
FIA Endurance Trophy awarded to the best LMP2 driver(s)
FIA Endurance Trophy awarded to the best GTE Am driver(s)
POINTS

Points for the titles of World Champion Driver(s) and World Champion Manufacturers, as well as those for the Cup and Trophies, are awarded at each race (other than the Le Mans 24 Hours) according to the following scale:

6 Hour Races 24H Le Mans
1st: 25 points 50 points
2nd: 18 points 36 points
3rd: 15 points 30 points
4th: 12 points 24 points
5th: 10 points 20 points
6th: 8 points 16 points
7th: 6 points 12 points
8th: 4 points 8 points
9th: 2 points 4 points
10th: 1 point 2 points
And beyond: 0.5 point * 1 point *

*Half a point (1 point at Le Mans) will be awarded to any car finishing in the overall classification in a round of the World Endurance Championship.
The title of FIA World Endurance Drivers' Champion is reserved for LMP1 and LMP2 drivers (combined classification of LMP categories) and will be awarded to the driver(s) having scored the greatest number of points in the general classification for each event.
The title of FIA World Endurance Manufacturers' Champion, will be awarded subject to the following conditions:
- Upon the manufacturer which, specially entered in the LMP1 Manufacturers’ Championship (see. Article 39 D), has scored the greatest number of points after consideration of all the results obtained by the best car entered by a manufacturer in the Manufacturers’ World Championship (make/model mentioned on the car’s homologation form) in the general classification of the events that have actually taken place.
- The title will be awarded taking into consideration the results obtained in all the events counting towards the Championship, including Le Mans.

POLE POSITION

For all the above classifications, an additional point will be awarded, at each event, to the "pole position" team, as well as to all the drivers making up the crew of the cars concerned, in each category (best time achieved by the car in each category during qualifying).

Two drivers from each crew must set at least one timed lap during qualifying. The average of the two best lap times (the best lap of each driver) will serve as the reference time for establishing the grid.

NOTES
Only those competitors appearing on the official list of entries in the Championship are entitled to score points for the Championship titles.

"Additional cars" and "complementary cars” will not be allowed to score points for the Championship titles, but will retain their place in the classification at the end of each Championship event, while being "invisible" for the various classifications. The drivers of additional cars entered by a manufacturer registered for the World Championship will be entitled to score points for the Drivers’ World Championship, regardless of the number of cars entered by that competitor in each event, their group and their category.

DRIVING TIMES

For the LMP1 and LMGTE Pro categories:
To be able to score points, a driver must categorically drive for a minimum of 40 minutes during the race. A driver may not drive for more than 4 hours and 30 minutes in total.

For the LMP2 category:
A driver must categorically have driven for a minimum of 1 hour and 15 minutes during the race. A driver may not drive for more than 3 hours and 30 minutes in total.

For the LMGTE Am category:
A driver must categorically have driven for a minimum of 1 hour and 45 minutes during the race. A driver may not drive for more than 3 hours and 30 minutes in total.

SAFETY CAR

There will be only one safety car in operation at a time, except for circuits of over 7 km in length, where other safety cars, positioned at intermediate points around the circuit, may be authorised by the FIA Race Director. There will be 3 safety cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

During the first three laps of the safety car, the pit entry will be closed. Any car entering the pits during these first three laps shall be allowed to refuel for only 5 seconds and/or replace a damaged tyre(s), on the condition that after the third lap, or as soon as the pit entry opens, the car comes back in again for a normal pit stop.

CONDITIONS FOR CLASSIFICATION

The car placed first is the one that covered the greatest distance up to the showing of the chequered flag (the position of the cars on the starting grid is not taken into account).

To be classified, a car must:
Cross the finish line on the race track when the chequered flag is shown, except in a case of force majeure at the stewards' discretion. It is prohibited to stop on the race track pending the showing of the chequered flag.
Have covered at least 70% of the distance covered by the car classified in first place in the overall classification.
The official number of laps will be rounded down to the nearest whole number.
EQUIVALENCE SYSTEMS (PERFORMANCE AND TECHNOLOGIES)

In order to limit the gap in performance between the hybrid and non-hybrid cars, the Endurance Committee may adapt the performance of the non-hybrid cars.

Equivalence systems between the different LMP1 propulsion technologies

A. The reference will be the calculation of the average lap time of the fastest car in each technology. The average lap time will be calculated over the number of laps corresponding to 20% of the distance of the races (average of the best laps).

The models of the cars with the slowest technologies must have participated in at least two races and must have been properly classified in order to be able to benefit from the application of the rule. The first adjustment of performance may be applied at any time by the Endurance Committee.

The Committee will have the right to request any necessary information from the manufacturers and/or the competitors, in order to shed light on the issue at hand. Any such information will be treated in a strictly confidential manner.

Any competitor having deliberately provided false information or having attempted to influence an adjustment by hiding its true level of performance will be penalised by the FIA.

B. The Endurance Committee may adjust the allocation of energy by + or – 10 MJ (reference for a lap of the Le Mans 24 Hours circuit) for all LMP1 cars in order to adjust the global level of performance.

Equivalence of Technology of the LMP1 cars

The principles of the EoT, will be applied up to the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours event. Upon examination of the data collected during the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours event, the criteria of the EoT will be defined for application up to the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours event.

The calculation formulae, the list of data communicated by the manufacturers and the list of sensors. If, during the Le Mans 24 Hours event, any discrepancy is noted in relation to the declared values, a dissuasive penalty system will be applied.

It will be up to the Endurance Committee to settle any questions that might arise concerning the application and/or interpretation of these elements in the last resort.

BALANCE OF PERFORMANCE

LMP2 cars

The main objectives for these cars must be reliability, safety and a low maintenance cost. Thus, should a particular model of car perform too well, under the terms applicable to the adjustment of performance the Endurance Committee may take immediate measures to reduce its performance.

The Endurance Committee will favour reducing the performance of the fastest models rather than increasing the performance of the slower models.

The Endurance Committee may proceed to adjust the balance of performance of the different LMP2 cars and engines. The parameters liable to be modified are as follows:
• Engine power up to -5%
• Weight up to +30 kg
• Fuel tank capacity up to -10 litres

Adjustments to performance are the responsibility of the Endurance Committee alone.

LMGTE cars

According to its missions, the Committee is allowed to balance the performance of the GTE cars as defined by the applicable technical regulations, and the following modifications may be applied:

• Minimum weight of the car
• Engine air restrictor and boost pressure ratio
• Fuel tank capacity
• Height of the rear wing
• Any other technical modifications

DRIVER CATEGORIES

Composition of the crews

LMP1: Bronze drivers are not permitted

LMP2: A crew of 2 or 3 drivers must include at least one Silver or Bronze driver.

LMGTE Pro: The composition of the crews is free

LMGTE Am: A crew of 2 or 3 drivers must include at least 1 Bronze and 1 Bronze or Silver

Platinum

Professional driver generally recognized as a well-known driver on the international scene, under the age of 50 and satisfying at least one of the following criteria:

has held a Super Licence (for Formula One);
has won the Le Mans 24 Hours outright;
has been a Works Driver, paid by a car manufacturer;
has finished in the top 10 in the general classification in F3000, CART/Champcar, IRL or GP2;
has finished in the top 6 in the general classification of an F3 international series (British/Euro F3) or a major international single-seater Championship (e.g. World Series by Renault);
is a driver whose performances and achievements, despite note being covered by one of the definitions above, may be considered as Platinum by the Endurance Committee.
Gold

Semi-professional driver in international series or who has distinguished himself in national Championships and satisfying at least one of the following criteria:

driver satisfying the criteria of the category A (Platinum) but aged 50 to 59;
has competed competitively in the World Karting Championship or single-seater series and is under 35 years of age;
has finished in the top 10 in the general classification of a secondary international single-seater series (A1 GP, Renault V6, FR2000 international…);
has finished in the top 6 in the general classification of a national single-seater series (F3, FR2000…);
has finished in the top 5 in the general classification of an entry level single-seater series (F-Ford, F-BMW, F-Zip, Autosport Academy…);
has finished in the top 6 in the general classification of the Porsche Supercup;
has finished in the top 3 of the general classification of a national or international series organised by a manufacturer (Porsche, Seat, Peugeot, Renault…);
is a driver whose performances and achievements, despite note being covered by one of the definitions above, may be considered as Gold by the Committee.
Silver

Amateur driver satisfying at least one of the following criteria:

driver aged under 30 and not satisfying the criteria of categories A (Platinum) and B (Gold) ;
driver satisfying the criteria of the Platinum category but aged 60 or over;
driver who has finished in 1st place in the general classification of national Championships or international series in association with a professional driver;
driver who has won a non-professional drivers’ series (Ferrari Challenge, Maserati Trofeo, Lamborghini Supertrophy…);
is a driver whose performances and achievements, despite note being covered by one of the definitions above, may be considered as Silver by the Endurance Committee.
Bronze

Amateur driver. Any driver holding an International B licence without a significant record of achievements in motor sport but whose level of performance can be considered as Bronze by the Endurance Committee.

Nova
14th February 2016, 03:06
Hey Rob, I attended Ferrari on Fifth event today, downtown Naples Fl..They had a
Ferrari Challenge 458 there. Ferrari of Tampa was there, a lot of very cool cars. !st Mclaren Ive ever seen also, a 650, Alfa 4C and an 8C, A Fiat Dino and the list goes on. Cool event, a lot of great Ferrari's, Masers, Alfa's, n
I still love the 308 GTS and the 512 BBi.

Rob
14th February 2016, 14:43
Hey Rob, I attended Ferrari on Fifth event today, downtown Naples Fl..They had a
Ferrari Challenge 458 there. Ferrari of Tampa was there, a lot of very cool cars. !st Mclaren Ive ever seen also, a 650, Alfa 4C and an 8C, A Fiat Dino and the list goes on. Cool event, a lot of great Ferrari's, Masers, Alfa's, n
I still love the 308 GTS and the 512 BBi.

very nice mate. 308 GTS :love:love

Rob
14th February 2016, 16:58
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c95ieuzPKA

Rob
15th February 2016, 10:41
New numbers for LMP1 champions Porsche

Porsche's pair of 919 Hybrids will wear new numbers when the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off on April 17 in Silverstone.
The German brand will switch from the Nos. 17 and 18 its full-time entries wore for Nos. 1 and 2 in honor of the Drivers' and Manufacturers' championships the V4 turbo-powered entries claimed last year.

"Competing with the starting numbers 1 and 2 is an honor and a challenge at the same time," Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl said. "We expect even stronger competition in 2016, but still want to be able to fight for race victories and try to defend our titles."

The latest iteration of Porsche's 919 Hybrid chassis and engine package, which debuted in 2014, will make its public debut in March at the official pre-season 'Prologue' WEC test held at Circuit Paul Ricard in France where the new car numbers will be on display. A testing crash last week by Porsche driver Marc Lieb created a temporary setback, but the program has continued.

"In February our intensive test and training program kicked off in Abu Dhabi," Seidl added.

Defending LMP1 champions Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, and Mark Webber will pilot the No. 1 while the No. 2 will continue with Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, and Lieb.

http://www.racer.com/wec-le-mans/item/125953-wec-new-numbers-for-lmp1-champions-porsche

Rob
16th February 2016, 09:03
well 39 now,


http://i68.tinypic.com/2up8fmt.png
40 DAYS TO GO UNTIL THE PROLOGUE!
http://i63.tinypic.com/orpl61.jpg

The first official occasion that all 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship competitors will be on track together will be Friday 25/Saturday 26 March at Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet in the south of France. The Prologue takes place just 40 days from now!

As well as four on-track test sessions over the two days, this will be the first opportunity for many teams to reveal their 2016 challengers, including the new Toyota TS050 HYBRID and 2016 evolutions of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro and Porsche 919 Hybrid, not forgetting the new Ferrari 488 GTE and Ford GT cars.

Entry to the circuit is FREE for fans on Saturday 26 March. As well as watching cars on track, fans can see them up close and meet the drivers during a Pitwalk/autograph session between the morning and afternoon sessions.

Sessions take place as follows:

Friday 25 March - 09h00 to 13h00 /14h00 to 21h00 (closed to the public)

Saturday 26 March - 09h00 to 13h00 / 14h00 to 17h00

Rob
16th February 2016, 09:05
little video to get the blood pumping..


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9kBxD-NbSM


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72t9LeWR2gw


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSbN7h18UeE

Rob
16th February 2016, 09:12
tickets came yesterday :clap got little missions i wil try to do, first get picture with Leena and second get picture with Louise Beckett.

Rob
18th February 2016, 10:01
Duval admits reliability a concern with new Audi

Audi WEC driver Loic Duval admits reliability is a concern for the German marque ahead of its return to testing.

While Audi and Toyota will continue their preparations in Europe, Porsche will be at Yas Marina to continue running in its updated Porsche 919 Hybrid.

For Audi, this week's testing programme ends a two-month break in testing after its week at Sebring in December.

Duval, who will share the No.8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro with Oliver Jarvis and Lucas di Grassi, said that having a trouble-free test will be the main worry.

"The car is really different and some great work has been done by the team. It looks really promising," Duval told Motorsport.com.

"The real question mark when you change everything like we have done is the reliability because it is all so new.

"The main thing is the hybrid which is brand new technology for us so even if we have worked with it for a while, it is still really complex," continued Duval.

"I think that in terms of performance we will be there, but of course it is still too early to say too much at this stage."

"There is still much to do"

Audi Motorsport boss Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich meanwhile admitted that the German manufacturer still has "much to do" with its testing programme before the new R18 is fully ready to race.

"We have a completely new car," Ullrich told Motorsport.com. "The goal of each new part is that it is better than the previous car.

"We're on schedule, we are in the process of understanding of systems, how to use them for performance and reliability. There is still much to do."

Asked to predict where Audi might be in this year's competitive pecking order, Ullrich added: "You never know until the first race. We are focused on our work, we know that we must make progress with the new car.

"It is certain that the competition will be at a very high level this year. Toyota year has a new car, we have a new car, both will be faster than last year, so the competition will be intense."

Rob
18th February 2016, 11:12
Im sure by time the prologue and even Silverstone Audi will be on top of the new car. Like see how Toyota are doing, see if they have made the gains needed to make it a 3 way fight this year.

Rob
18th February 2016, 11:17
http://i67.tinypic.com/vglw6u.jpg

Rob
18th February 2016, 11:18
Best shot could find of new Toyota, the Porsche, i think is running 2015 body but nearly all 2016 under the skin. And Audi, well all new.

Rob
18th February 2016, 22:54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nCSt9Vcz8o

Rob
19th February 2016, 21:23
http://i63.tinypic.com/1sgwac.jpg
ASTON MARTIN RACING LAUNCHES NEW GTE CHALLENGER AND 2016 TITLE HOPES
http://i63.tinypic.com/6pthub.jpg

Aston Martin Racing unveil 2016 GTE challenger and new collaborations with Dunlop Motorsport, TOTAL and IQ Option
V8 Vantage GTE trio to battle for honours in FIA World Endurance Championship
Two V12 Vantage GT3s to contest the Nürburgring 24 Hours

19 February 2015, Gaydon: Aston Martin Racing has today unveiled its ambitious plans for the 2016 season, its latest V8 Vantage GTE challenger and an exciting new collaboration with global energy supplier TOTAL and tyre supplier Dunlop.

The premiere GT-racing outfit, which enters its twelfth year of competition, will field a three-car campaign in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and 24 Hours of Le Mans; two contesting the GTE Pro class and a single entry in GTE Am. The three entries will look to extend the brand’s 23 overall wins in FIA WEC; more than any other manufacturer.

With a raft of new regulation changes including a greater freedom on aero development, the team has unveiled its latest 2016 V8 Vantage GTE; the car which shall support the outfit’s GTE Pro entries. Boasting a fully re-designed aerodynamic package including a distinctly pronounced new rear diffuser, the team remains confident that it will be able to challenge at the sharp end of what will prove to be an extremely competitive WEC field.

New for the 2016 season, Aston Martin Racing will run exclusively on Dunlop rubber throughout the FIA WEC. Working closely together on testing and development throughout the winter months, the V8 Vantage GTE will be equipped with the latest Sport Maxx GT racing tyres.

To extract the ultimate performance from a world-class GT racer, a high-calibre squad of drivers is essential. Aston Martin Racing doesn’t disappoint for the new season and while retaining familiar faces, the team is proud to announce a rebalanced line-up in its GTE Pro entries, with all drivers held on long-term contracts.

The #95 GTE Pro entry will see the Danish pair of Nicki Thiim (DN) and Marco Sørensen join Aston Martin Racing stalwart Darren Turner (GB) for the 2016 season. The second Pro entry of #97 will be occupied by the equally exciting trio of Richie Stanaway (NZ), Jonny Adam (GB) and Fernando Rees (BR).

In GTE Am, the #98 will return with an unchanged line-up, as Paul Dalla Lana (CA) hunts championship success alongside Pedro Lamy (P) and Mathias Lauda (A).

While the action promises to be exhilarating on the track, Aston Martin Racing is also pleased to announce an exciting new collaboration with French energy specialist TOTAL. Joining the team for the 2016 season, TOTAL will provide technical support both at the factory and each round of the WEC season. Boasting over 60 years of knowledge and research in automotive fluids, TOTAL’s branding will also feature as part of the V8 Vantage GTE’s distinct new ‘Stirling Green’ livery; a shade shared with the brand’s most select sports cars.

Meanwhile, in its fourth year of competition at the infamous Green Hell, Aston Martin will again field two V12 Vantage GT3s in the Nürburgring 24hrs’ top-tier SP9 class, demonstrating the firm’s commitment to top-level international GT racing. The new 2016 V12 Vantage GT3, now also equipped with Dunlop rubber, will be cloaked by new sponsor IQ Option; a leading global binary option broker. The brand will provide full-livery backing to this year’s #007 N24 challenger, while also holding a prominent space on all FIA WEC entries.

All cars to be campaigned in the WEC, 24hrs of Le Mans and at the Nürburgring are derived from Aston Martin’s road-going Vantage range. Today’s Vantage line-up – comprising four distinct models using one of two advanced engines; V8 Vantage, V8 Vantage S, V12 Vantage S and the exclusive Vantage GT12 – represents a clear and strong link between road car and race car.

Aston Martin Racing is also pleased to announce that men’s designer clothing brand Hackett, will continue its relationship with the team in 2016; supplying all team and replica wear.

David King, Head of Global Motorsports, Aston Martin commented, “It’s fantastic to launch our 2016 race programme here at Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters. It’s an important point in time for the brand with the upcoming launch of DB11 and the 2016 motorsport season is an equally exciting prospect. Motorsport is a key part of Aston Martin’s DNA and it’s vital that we’re represented by such a strong line-up. We’re very much looking forward to our home race at Silverstone and the first opportunity to see the 2016 V8 Vantage GTE in competitive action”.

John Gaw, Managing Director of Aston Martin Racing said, “We’re pleased to welcome our new sponsors and technical collaborators to the Aston Martin fold. With an extremely competitive World Endurance Championship ahead of us, I’m confident we have our strongest driver line-up to date and we can expect plenty of success throughout the season”.

Aston Martin Racing’s 2016 season kicks off with The Prologue, the official WEC test session at Circuit Paul Ricard in France on 25 and 26 March. The opening round of the championship, the Six Hours of Silverstone, takes place on 17 April and Nürburgring 24 Hours begins on 28 May.
Join in with the team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #teamAMR.

-ENDS-

Driver line-ups:
World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans

GTE Pro
95: Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner, Marco Sørensen
97: Jonny Adam, Richie Stanaway, Fernando Rees

GTE Am
98: Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda


Nürburgring 24 Hours
006: Richie Stanaway, Jonny Adam, Fernando Rees, Mathias Lauda
007: Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen, Darren Turner, Pedro Lamy

Driver quotes:
Darren Turner: “This will undoubtedly be a different year to the past three WEC seasons that I’ve been involved in, but I’m very much looking forward to partnering with Nicki and Marco in the #95”. Testing has gone very well during the winter months and I think we’ll be in with a strong chance by the time Le Mans comes around in June”.

Richie Stanaway: “After a strong start to 2016 placing fourth at the Daytona 24hrs, we’re all feeling confident going into 2016. It’s great to partner Fernando again and to also have Jonny permanently in the car. I’m sure he’ll make a great addition”

Nicki Thiim: “Stepping up to GTE Pro was a great experience last year and I can’t wait to do the same again. I’m really happy to be partnering with Darren and Marco and I think we have a really good chance to compete at the top of the championship”.

Pedro Lamy: “I’m really excited for both the FIA WEC and Nürburgring 24hrs this year. We have unfinished business in both but I think we have everything right to get the results we want this season”.

2016 racing calendar

WEC Six Hours of Silverstone: 17 April


WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps: 7 May

Nürburgring 24 Hours: 28/29 May

24 Hours of Le Mans: 18/19 June

WEC Six Hours of Nürburgring: 24 July

WEC Six Hours of Mexico City: 3 September

WEC Six Hours of Circuit of the Americas: 17 September

WEC Six Hours of Fuji: 16 October

WEC Six Hours of Shanghai: 6 November

WEC Six Hours of Bahrain: 19 November

Rob
19th February 2016, 21:34
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Rob
19th February 2016, 21:42
forgot to post up AMRs press release the other week about them teaming up with Dunlop :oops

Not sure what to think of 2016 Vantage :-?? unfortunately if you have not got a mid engined car, you cannt, or will not be able to expoilt the full aero freedom at the rear.

Rob
23rd February 2016, 22:19
IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP HEADLINES FOUR-DAY SEBRING FEBRUARY TEST.

CONTINENTAL TIRE CHALLENGE, MAZDA PROTOTYPE LITES, PORSCHE GT3 KICK WEEK OFF.

Less than one month after winning the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, Tequila Patrón ESM will be among the 33 confirmed IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams visiting Sebring International Raceway on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 25-26, as part of an official four-day test.

Ed Brown, Scott Sharp, Pipo Derani and Johannes van Overbeek will share the Daytona-winning No. 2 Tequila Patrón Honda Ligier JS P2, preparing for the 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on Saturday, March 19. The race is Round 2 of both the WeatherTech Championship and Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

"The entire Tequila Patron ESM team is still riding high after our Rolex Daytona 24 win,” said Sharp. “What a great way to kick off our year and I'm so proud of everyone's effort! The schedule moves on and next on the list is the Sebring 12 Hour. The second leg of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup and our home track. Certainly another very important race for us. The test next week is the only chance we will get to tune our Honda/Ligier and we are excited to see how the car performs.”

Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian is also bringing its No. 60 Tire Kingdom Honda Ligier JS P2 to Sebring. Team veteran Ozz Negri knows well the importance of securing additional seat time at the Central Florida circuit.

“The rough bumps, the change of the track surface and the high-speed Turns 1 and 17 make the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring all the more challenging,” said Negri. “Also, the Florida heat puts a brutal beating on crew, car and driver.”

On top of competing in the full 2016 WeatherTech Championship season, Michael Shank Racing is preparing for its 24 Hours of Le Mans debut in June, where the team will join eight others that compete full time in the 2016 WeatherTech Championship. Negri is excited for the opportunity, but is focused on the task at hand.

“I’ve always heard that Le Mans is tough but that Sebring is tougher,” Negri said. “So, if you can get through Sebring, it’s definitely good prep for Le Mans.”

The eight-car Prototype entry list includes the top four finishers from the Rolex 24. The pair of Honda/Ligiers will be joined by four Corvette DPs, the Highway to Help Riley DP and the Panoz DeltaWing Racing DeltaWing coupe round out the current entry in the class.

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has entered both of its Ford GTs in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, joining single entries from BMW Team RLL, Porsche North America and Risi Competizione Ferrari.

Six manufacturers each will be represented by multiple entries in GT Daytona (GTD), including four Lamborghinis, three each from Audi and Porsche, and two cars from BMW, Dodge and Ferrari.

Prototype Challenge (PC) includes the Daytona-winning JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA FLM09, plus the 2015 Sebring-winning PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry, the two-time defending champion CORE autosport as well as a single entry from BAR1 Motorsports.

The WeatherTech Championship sessions conclude a four-day event that also features four of IMSA’s additional series. The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Mazda Prototype Lites Presented by Cooper Tire, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, and Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama will have alternating sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 23-24.

Sessions on each of the four days run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The test will be open to the public at $10 per day, or free to ticket holders for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. There will be no overnight camping.

http://www.imsa.com/articles/imsa-weathertech-sportscar-championship-headlines-four-day-sebring-february-test

Rob
26th February 2016, 09:42
CORVETTE DPS PLACE 1-2 IN DAY 1 OF WEATHERTECH CHAMPIONSHIP TEST AT SEBRING

BMW FASTEST IN GTLM, AUDI UNOFFICIALLY FASTER THAN GTD TRACK RECORD

Felipe Albuquerque and Dane Cameron drove Corvette DPs from Action Express Racing to the top-two positions on the speed chart Thursday during the first day of a two-day IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test at Sebring International Raceway.

The test allows teams to prepare for the 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, Round 2 of the WeatherTech Championship and Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup, set for Saturday, March 19.

Albuquerque set the fastest lap of the day in the afternoon session in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP, 1:51.965, while Dane Cameron led the morning action, running 1:52.306 (119.887 mph) in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP.



BMW and Audi were quickest in the respective GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes.

BMW Team RLL paced both sessions in GTLM, with Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, John Edwards, Lucas Luhr and Kuno Wittmer sharing the No. 25 IHG Rewards Club BMW M6 GTLM. The car’s best lap was 1:58.780 (113.352 mph).

Second with a lap of 1:59.073 (113.073 mph) was the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE of Toni Vilander and Davide Rigon. Porsche North America brought one of its two cars to the test, with the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR of Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki with a lap of 1:59.170 (112.981 mph).

Ford Performance brought both of its Ford GTs to the test, which was split into a pair of four-hour sessions on Thursday.

GTD unofficially saw 11 of the 17 unofficially eclipse Jeroen Bleekemolen’s track record, set last year in a Dodge Viper GT3-R. Lawson Aschenbach led the day, running 2:01.822 (110.522 mph) in the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS GT3.

Leading the four Prototype Challenge (PC) entries was the No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09 of Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and Mark Wilkins, with an unofficial track record lap of 1: (11 mph).

NOTES AND QUOTES

· Ford Performance announced on Thursday that four-time Champ Car titlist Sebastien Bourdais would join Dirk Muller and Joey Hand in the No. 66 Ford GT for Sebring, while Scott Dixon would join Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook in driving the 67 Ford GT for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. Both Bourdais and Dixon participated in the team’s testing.

“I was involved in a bit of the early stuff with this program in a few tests at the end of last year, but I didn’t get to drive it at Daytona,” Dixon said. “Obviously, it’s a big change from the Prototype to the GT, but it’s a fun program to be part of. It’s nice to come here, run a few laps and make the car as durable as possible.

“It’s definitely different from anything I’ve driven here at Sebring. The car is still early on in its life cycle, so there’s a lot of room to develop things. It’s a new book; there are a lot of directions you can go, and it’s nice to be driving something you can have some influence.”

· The test marked the debut of the Ferrari 488 GT3 in IMSA, as Christina Nielsen, Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Segal co-drove the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa entry. It was the car’s first time out in the U.S. after an initial shakedown in Italy.

“I did my first laps in the car this morning, and it was amazing,” Nielsen said. “We still have a few things to work on – one of them is seat position, because we have a bit of a size difference – but the car is very responsive and it’s nice to drive on the track. The other teams have had their new cars for Daytona, and it’s nice to finally be part of the game.”

· Ben Keating, No. 33 and No. 93 Riley Motorsports ViperExchange.com Dodge Viper GT3-R: “I’ve always felt like the Viper liked Sebring compared to the other cars in our class; this year, it seems every GTD car likes Sebring. So I guess Sebring likes GT3 cars and the advantage we’ve had is gone all of a sudden. … There are a lot of fast cars out there. I’m doing about the same lap time that I did last year. Last year, it was a really good lap time. Today, it’s slow as molasses.”

· In its competition debut, Dream Racing tested in the WeatherTech Championship for the first time with the No. 27 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 for regular drivers Larry DeGeorge and Cedric Sbirrazzuoli, joined at the test by Paolo Ruberti and Fabio Babini.

“I’ve been to Sebring once before, for last year’s World Final,” said Sbirrazzuoli. “After the race, I got to do three or four laps with a Huracán GT3 which had a Daytona setup. That’s completely different from the setup we’re running at this test. This is a new experience for me, starting now. I used to do endurance racing in Europe, now I’m doing endurance racing in the U.S.”

The team had an off-course excursion late in the morning session that resulted in left-front damage.

“Just a dumb mistake,” DeGeorge said. “I was carrying too much speed into the corner. The back end got loose, and I tried to save it. The damage looks mostly cosmetic. We’ve got our other car; we’ll work on it and we’ll be ready for tomorrow.”

· Testing continues on Friday for all WeatherTech Championship competitors, running from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break.

Source:
IMSA
- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/corvette-dps-place-1-2-day-1-weathertech-championship-test-sebring#sthash.QZEOYGdx.dpuf

Rob
26th February 2016, 09:43
Gimmi and James are testing aswell at Ricard.

Rob
26th February 2016, 09:54
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Rob
26th February 2016, 09:58
1 month today :clap

i now only a big test, but really pumped for it. See 488 in her new livery. See what Audi, Porsche and Toyota have got and done to the new cars. And also if Ford have fixed the problems.

Rob
26th February 2016, 23:50
fantastic come back...:clap


1993 Le Mans Driver Tweets, Multiple Le Mans Winner & WEC World Champion Responds

Sometimes, just sometimes, social media throws up a real moment of comedy. Here’s one to savour.

After 1993 Le Mans driver and later F1 race winner David Coulthard offered his informed opinion of the relative levels of commitment required in 24 Hour racing and Formula One it attracted much predictable response

None more so though than the offering this morning from three times Le Mans winner and 2012 FIA WEC Drivers Champion (and, lest we forget, an F1 Grand Prix driver with a single start for Caterham in 2014).
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The offerings on this debate from, amongst others, Nico Hulkenberg, Allan McNish and Mark Webber are keenly awaited here!

http://www.dailysportscar.com/2016/02/26/1993-le-mans-driver-tweets-multiple-le-mans-winner-and-wec-world-champion-responds.html

Rob
26th February 2016, 23:55
Some pics from Paul Ricard..

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Rob
27th February 2016, 00:03
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Rob
27th February 2016, 13:36
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RISI COMPETIZIONE TEAM PLEASED WITH SEBRING TEST
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Sebring, Florida (February 26, 2016)...The Risi Competizione Team completed their first test of the season with the new Ferrari 488 GTLM race car today, with pleasing results. The No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM completed nearly 200 laps and over 1,100 kilometers the past two days at Sebring International Raceway.

Their participation in the official IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test was the first opportunity the popular Houston, Texas-based team has been able to test, as they received delivery of the brand new Prancing Horse just days before the start of the Rolex 24 at Daytona race, where they finished sixth in class.
Full season driver Toni Vilander and Davide Rigon, who will return as a co-driver for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida, handled the driving chores during the Sebring Test. Vilander's 2016 season teammate, Giancarlo Fisichella, was away for a special Ferrari event in the Italian Alps, where he conducted a demonstration run on the snow in his former 2009 Formula 1 Ferrari F60 in front of delighted Ferrari fans and enthusiasts.
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Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
"We had a good two days of testing. It's the first time we've actually had the opportunity to run the car, other than Daytona. We only had one dry session at Daytona before we went into the race. We tried several things here (at Sebring) and I think we found some positive setup direction. Hopefully, the BoP (Balance of Performance) before the race will give us some straight speed so we can be competitive. Davide got up to speed, as this test was essential for him, Toni's been here before and he's great to work with, both drivers are quite happy with the car, a good solid test."

Toni Vilander, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"It was good to get a proper test. It's been really good weather for these two days. Unfortunately, Giancarlo was not here. For me, we improved the seat position. Rick (Mayer) made a really good plan for these two days, so we went through that plan and we learned a lot. Sebring is a completely different track than this 488 has ever driven with the bumps, the concrete and everything. The handling was good. No big issues. Now we just need to collect all the data and information we got from the past two days and decide which type of race car we want to prepare for the race. I'm really happy for the team and the way things are working. The guys had to change a few things the first day so they had a pretty late night, but everyone keeps smiling, so the spirit is good in the team. They've been really effective on the pit wall and pit lane when we've been doing the pit changes so it's been a pleasure to be part of these two days. We'll get Giancarlo in for the race and then we'll try to go for a good result."

Davide Rigon, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"It's very bumpy. I expected it a bit, because everybody was telling me about this, especially in the first corner and the last corner. Also I didn't expect so much grip on the corners because of the tarmac changes. It looks very different from what I am used to. I had a lot of time in the car. My engineer gave me the chance to learn the track with no pressure that was very valuable. I drove a lot the first day so I was ready to work on the car setup the second day. We didn't get to work on the car at Daytona so it was good to get to do this type of test and also to be able to do it with Toni. We really enjoyed the test and I think we're in good shape for the race. Our current BoP with power (boost) has us at a deficit, we hope that gets evaluated and adjusted for the race. I was not expecting the car to be as good as it was at the start of testing, it helped me to learn the track quickly. We can always improve and we've been working with our engineer (Rick Mayer) on ways we can improve for the race. Let's see if we can improve a bit, but as far as balance, we are happy but missing a bit of straight line speed."
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The next event for the Risi Competizione Team is the 64th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, Round Two of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, on March 16-19, 2016 in Sebring, Florida.

Rob
27th February 2016, 13:36
Motors TV And Sky – The Facts
on 27/02/2016 12:03

There’s a lot of supposition and not much fact flying around regarding Motors TV having disappeared in the past 48 hours from the Sky Electronic Programme Guide in the UK.

Motors TV have not made any comment or statement on this apparent rowing back of their distribution. The channel had expanded onto a UK terrestrial digital platform (Freeview Ch71) along with listings on cable providers, notably Virgin. The Ch71 broadcasts ceased, late last year, without explanation.

However a source close to the channel says that the management are confident the Sky 447 listing will be reinstated next week. There is clearly some frustration there that the current situation has occurred.

Cause for optimism that the channel will indeed reappear is that Motors TV UK are still broadcasting, exactly as normal, on the Astra satellite platform despite no longer being on the Sky EPG.

You can still view the channel on your satellite box by going to the “add channel” menu and entering the following settings;

Freq 11.082
Polarity H,
Baud Rate 22000 or 22.0
FEC 5/6,
DVB-S,
QPSK

Press scan and then highlight and store MotorsTV UK. Note, you will only be able to access it from the “Other Channels” menu of your receiver.

The broadcast of Motors TV on Freeview Ch240 is not affected and the channel is still listed on Virgin Media.

GG/ John Hindhaugh

Rob
28th February 2016, 21:11
spoke to Gimmi yesterday. He is really happy how test went last week. And he and James working well together. And super happy with the car. Says it waaaaay faster than 458 GTE.

Rob
29th February 2016, 11:10
Varsha (FOX): “There’s A Lot of Growing American Interest in WEC”

U.S. television coverage of the FIA World Endurance Championship takes another significant step forward this year, with the addition of a dedicated in-house commentary team, led by Bob Varsha and Calvin Fish, for FOX Sports’ live coverage of the globe-trotting series.

For Varsha, a veteran sports broadcaster who has called Formula One, IndyCar and IMSA racing action, not to mention the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other world-class motorsports events over the last 30 years, it marks his return to top-level sports car racing after not being renewed by IMSA for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship broadcasts this year.

Sportscar365 caught up with Varsha for his thoughts on his new venture covering the WEC and a preview of what’s to come on the FS1 and FS2 broadcasts this year.

Given the challenging situation that unfolded with the IMSA broadcasts, how pleased are you to be back on the mic in a top-level sports car racing championship this year?

“I’d be lying if I said the IMSA situation wasn’t a huge disappointment. My roots in television goes back to those guys in the ’80s, with their predecessor as IMSA. There were a lot of ties there.

“Things change and you move on. My favorite race in the world is Le Mans and I have that and the rest of the World Endurance Championship, which is a really exciting series.

“It seems to be constantly on the up, with a complete field of 32 cars for the full championship and 60 cars at Le Mans. We know how much the stars of IMSA want to go to Le Mans, Mike Shank and all of those guys.

“It’s an exciting place to be and I’m grateful to have it. I look forward to doing it with Calvin [Fish] and [international feed commentators] John [Hindhaugh] and Graham [Goodwin].”

Last year’s broadcasts had yourself and Calvin as presenters of the show, with the international feed being used for commentary. How will that change this year?

“In the past we did it much in the same way we did MotoGP and Formula E to this day. As a FOX personality, I’d welcome people on the air, do a little bit of preparation and then throw to the series announcers on-site for the actual race call. That’s how we did the WEC last year.

“This year we decided to up the ante. Calvin and I will call the race, with an occasional visit — I’m not sure yet how we will work it out — from John and Graham.

“For the six-hour races, we’ll need a little break along the way. That’s the idea of bringing them in and letting them carry the ball for a while while Calvin and I take a breather.”

Is it exciting to see the WEC’s growth, particularly from an American standpoint?

“Absolutely. We all know Corvette’s success at Le Mans. Now Ford is back and they’re going to run the full season. There’s a lot of growing American interest in the WEC and I Know there’s a huge interest from the WEC in having a larger footprint here in the U.S.

“I had a meeting with Pierre Fillon from the ACO and Gerard Neveu from the WEC and Andrew Craig, who represents the interests of the WEC organization in the U.S.

“They want the best possible coverage and exposure they can possibly get. It’s great to be a part of an organization with that kind of enthusiasm and that kind of ambitious goals.”

What does it mean for WEC to have this kind of commitment from FOX Sports to help grow its championship in the U.S. market?

“FOX is a worldwide company so its sporting portfolio should include worldwide championships like this. You don’t get too many opportunities, short of the Olympics and Formula One.

“Motorsports generally are the true world championships going forward because other sports tend to have quad-annual and bi-annual world championships, where motorsports — in all of its diversity — is out there every year racing in countries around the world, in front of diverse audiences and at great racing facilities.

“I think it’s only appropriate, and I hope the FOX executives agree with me, that they’d be involved with something like the WEC and giving it the kind of exposure a world championship deserves.”

Does the WEC rekindle some your memories of international sports car racing from the ’80s?

“There’s nothing better than a true World Championship. I cover Formula E, for example, and as exciting, fun and groundbreaking as it is, there’s not yet enough global participation for the FIA to call it a World Championship.

“But the WEC has that. And I think the crowds we see every year at the races and the manufacturer involvement across the board, it’s spectacular. The entire field looks great. There appears to be plentiful sponsorship, cutting-edge technology…

“Everything you’d want from a race, especially my favorite is the diversity you’d find, not only the mechanical diversity in the cars and classes but the driver lineup is extraordinary. It represents so many corners of the world.”

Are there any particular stories you’re looking forward to sharing this season?

“We’ll certainly be telling the Ford story. Obviously that’s a red-white-and-blue topic for us. The extraordinary LMP1 hybrid technology as it grows and the guys go faster and faster using less and less fuel… There’s just an abundance of stories in this series.

“There’s huge growth in the LMP2 category and [it will be interesting to see] what impact that’s going to have going forward, not only on the World Championship and Le Mans but on racing on this side of the pond and IMSA’s dealings with the ACO in trying to come together with a workable LMP2 formula that concerns the marquee class over here as well as the second-step class in WEC.”

http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/varsha-fox-theres-a-lot-of-growing-american-interest-in-the-wec/

Rob
29th February 2016, 11:43
Will Stevens Joins Expanded Two Car Manor WEC Campaign
on 29/02/2016 10:35

Will Stevens is confirmed this morning as a full season Manor driver for the 2016 FIA WEC as the team also confirmed that they will enter a second Oreca 05 Nissan for the full season with the exception of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The team’s entry, revealed by DSC back in Autumn 2015 was confirmed at the ACO press conference in Paris earlier this month with Tor Graves named as the nominated driver.

He’ll now be joined in an expanded two car squad by ex Caterham and Manor F1 driver Stevens who joins the WEC after 20 Grand prix starts.

Stevens’ career to this point has solely seen the 24 year old Briton in single seaters though his 2014 Renault 3.5 starts with Strakka Racing will have given him at least an opportunity to observe something of the technology involved in LMP2.

John Booth, Team Principal

“Everything has moved very quickly since we first announced that we would be entering the 2016 World Endurance Championship. It is great news to be running an additional ORECA 05 LM P2, we can’t wait to get started with the season at The Prologue at the end of March.

“It’s great that Will is joining the team, we know his talent and speed from working with him over the last few years in Formula 1 and we are all really looking forward to going racing with him.”

Will Stevens:

“The opportunity to continue my relationship with Graeme and John was one that I was very pleased to accept. It gives me a great chance to explore endurance racing, be competitive and go racing with people I enjoyed working with last year so I’m
looking forward to it.

“My objective is to have a number of top level career choices going forward, and to be able to gain experience in endurance racing will hopefully open up my career prospects. I want to keep very busy, enjoy my racing and do some winning and I’m confident that by working again with Manor in WEC I’ll achieve all of those things.”
http://www.dailysportscar.com/2016/02/29/will-stevens-joins-expanded-two-car-manor-wec-campaign.html

Nova
29th February 2016, 17:22
Great articles..
the 488 is beautiful..
Great to see an article about Varsha. Great car guy.

Rob
1st March 2016, 09:32
ELMS Circuits 2016 (1): Le Castellet
ELMS - 29/02/2016

In just over three weeks the drivers and teams will gather at the Circuit Paul Ricard on the 22/23 March for the 2016 Official Test. The French circuit will also host Round 4 of the 2016 season, with the 4 Hours of Le Castellet taking place on Sunday 28 August.

Many of the 44 full season entries will attend the Official Test and it will be the first opportunity to gauge who are going to be the front runners in this year’s series in each of the three classes. With its technical corners, long straights and location on the sunny Côte d’Azure, the 5.791km Le Castellet circuit is the perfect place to carry out the final preparations for the gruelling six round ELMS season.

In March 2015 the fastest lap over the two day test was the Murphy Prototypes Oreca with a 1m48.155 lap by Nathanael Berthon. This compared to the fastest lap of the race weekend in 2015, which was a 1m46.917 set by the JOTA Sport Gibson of Harry Tincknell in qualifying for the race last September. The fastest race lap was set by Ludovic Badey in the Thiriet by TDS Race Oreca05 with a 1m50.139.

The fastest LMGTE competitor at the 2015 test was the no56 AT Racing Ferrari 458 Italia with Alessandro Pier Guidi setting a 1m56.980 on the first day. Pier Guidi also set the fastest lap of the race weekend with a 1m55.782 lap in qualifying, with fellow Italian Marco Mapelli setting the fastest race lap with a 1m58.194 in the no88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR.

In 2015 Le Castellet saw the public debut of the brand new LMP3 car from Ginetta and the test at Paul Ricard was a chance to put some more track miles on the brand new car that was the forerunner for an entire new class of Le Mans Prototype. A 1m57.932 lap was recorded by Michael Simpson. This time was improved by 2.5 seconds on the ELMS return in September with Charlie Robertson setting a 1m55.421 lap in qualifying.

The Circuit Paul Ricard is the only track visited twice during the ELMS season and has been a regular race fixture since 2008 and test venue since the creation of the series back in 2004.

Since the relaunch of the ELMS in 2013 the French circuit has been host to either the finale (in 2013) or set the scene for the final showdown in Portugal (2014 and 2015). Honours in LMP2 have been shared by three different teams and chassis, with Murphy Prototypes winning in 2013 with the Oreca03-Nissan, Newblood by Morand Racing in 2014 with the Morgan-Judd and 2015 champions Greaves Motorsport taking their second win of the season with the Gibson015S-Nissan.

In LMGTE the Ferrari 458 has been unbeaten since 2013 at Le Castellet, with three different teams standing on the top step of the podium. In fact the Italian manufacturer has claimed seven of the nine podium places in the last three years.

In 2013 RAM Racing won to secure the championship in style, finishing over a lap ahead of the JMW Motorsport Ferrari. In 2014 AF Corse won by just 9.2 seconds ahead of the AT Racing Ferrari and last season eventual champions Formula Racing made it two wins on the bounce with a one lap advantage over the Marc VDS BMW. The JMW Ferrari has been most consistent finisher in the LMGTE class with three podium finishes in the past three races (2nd, 3rd, 3rd).

The LMP3 class debuted in 2015 and the race was won by Sir Chris Hoy and Charlie Robertson in the Team LNT Ginetta Nissan and claimed the inaugural LMP3 driver and team titles in France as a result.

With 44 full season entries across the three classes, the 2016 European Le Mans Series promises to be the closest and one of the most exciting race series in the world. After the Official Test at Le Castellet the competitors will gather in England on the 15 /16 April for Round 1 of the six race series, the 4 Hours of Silverstone.

Rob
1st March 2016, 09:36
Great articles..
the 488 is beautiful..
Great to see an article about Varsha. Great car guy.

:thumb
the 488 GTE looks stunning in that little black dress :clap;-) but when she has her evening dress on be even better. Will see the new livery at Prologue (WEC test) Vaesha really top block, he nows his stuff, and he and Fish work well together.

Rob
1st March 2016, 10:05
couldnt help but post these videos. Give me goose bumps. The 458 harmony, especially on the downshift.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8JR7Wi2MEU


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsFvx5F5bEE


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nezxKwrrNA

Rob
2nd March 2016, 10:31
KEATING WORKING TO MAKE VIPER LAST TWO LAPS LONGER AT SEBRING
JUST FOUR MORE MINUTES...

Last year, the Riley Motorsports ViperExchange.com Dodge Viper GT3-R led down the stretch in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, only to experience heartbreak with two laps remaining.

The team participated in last week’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test at Sebring International Raceway, with owner/driver Ben Keating joined by Jeroen Bleekemolen and Marc Miller in a pair of Vipers. The No. 93 Viper was sixth fastest in GT Daytona (GTD) during the test, nearly two seconds under Bleekemolen’s track record. To demonstrate how close competition is in GTD, the top 14 cars were within one second, while all 17 GTD cars unofficially eclipsed Bleekemolen’s 2015 mark.

Keating took time to discuss what happened last year, and his thoughts looking to this year’s race on March 19.

What exactly happened at the end of last year’s race?

“We won the 11 hours and 56 minutes of Sebring last year. As best as we can tell, with about 30 minutes to go we hit a chunk of black carbon off of a PC car somewhere in the night. Sebring is a dark place at night, and a chunk of black carbon is not easy to see. Whatever it was, it was heavy enough to blow through all the steel screens and protection that we have and made a really, really small pinhole in the radiator. We saw that it was leaking and we were losing water pressure. At that point, you gamble. You can come in, fill it with water and know you’re going to finish, but in eighth place. Or you can go out and try and make it and win. That’s a no-brainer decision. We tried to make it, and fell two laps short.”

What did you do with that engine after the race?

“I still have it at home. It’s a cool-looking engine because of how it melted down. That engine got hotter than any Viper engine that I’ve ever seen. It’s going to make a great table when it’s all said and done.”



There are a lot of changes to GT Daytona with the addition of GT3-specification cars. How are your Vipers different from last year’s car?

“I would say for the most part we have the same car coming back to Sebring. The Viper has been extremely reliable through the years. I would expect that this will be a great race for us. The main difference in our GT Daytona field is that all the other cars are now GT3 cars as well. I feel the GT3-spec car fits Sebring very well. I’ve always felt like the Viper liked Sebring compared to the other cars in our class; this year, it seems every GTD car likes Sebring. So I guess Sebring likes GT3 cars, so the advantage we’ve had is gone all of a sudden. We’ve got a great team and a great car. History would say that the 12 hours of Sebring is harder on machinery than 24 hours of Daytona. I hope that’s true; I hope that some of those newer cars find problems they didn’t know they had racing 12 hours of bumpy concrete.”

Last year, Jeroen set the Sebring GTD track record in your Viper. In the opening session of the test, 10 cars bettered that mark, and all 17 cars eventually beat it. Why do you think that happened?

“Not only does Sebring like the GT3 cars, but the conditions Thursday morning were as good as it gets. Nice cool weather, sunny day, and the cars are really liking the track. So many of the GT3 cars are really good here. The fact that cars are doing 2:01s is just outrageous. There are a lot of fast cars out there. I’m doing about the same lap time that I did last year. Last year, it was a really good lap time. Today, it’s slow as molasses.”

Source:
IMSA
- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/keating-working-make-viper-last-two-laps-longer-sebring#sthash.tPQYgeu4.dpuf

Rob
2nd March 2016, 10:37
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSgAG-AAq9A

i know this video is slightly long, but watch bits and skip through. Its form 2014, where #51 battled back to win the GTE Pro class after that big crash in practice. The video starts with Fisico and then at 2:55 in pits for driver change to Gimmi and he takes it to the flag.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqmARFWDIvo

wisepie
2nd March 2016, 18:57
Great Le Mans videos Rob, grazie mille, I admire your dedication and despite finding the different classes and series Europe/US a bit confusing, I'm getting hooked! I only ever made it to Le Mans once back in the early 70s, when the awesome 512s were battling the 917s.......happy days!

fratelliferrari
3rd March 2016, 10:03
Great Le Mans videos Rob, grazie mille, I admire your dedication and despite finding the different classes and series Europe/US a bit confusing, I'm getting hooked! I only ever made it to Le Mans once back in the early 70s, when the awesome 512s were battling the 917s.......happy days!

That's awesome wisepie! Would be really nice if you are going to follow the WEC this season too! Rob and I like it a lot more than current F1 and it's a lot more accessible than F1 too! You should go to Silverstone this year and meet the AF Corse team!

Rob
4th March 2016, 11:58
Greaves Motorsport signs Julien Canal for 2016 Season

Greaves Motorsport are pleased to announce that they have signed multiple endurance racing champion, Julien Canal, to drive for the team in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the European Le Mans Series. Canal is a current holder of the FIA Endurance Trophy for LM P2 Drivers and a three-time class winner at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Canal will partner Memo Rojas in the team’s #41 Nissan-powered Ligier JS P2, the identity of the third driver will be revealed in the near future.Julien Canal had theses thoughts on the season. “I am very happy to run this year with Greaves Motorsport. This team has already proven its high level of performance. I have two years’ experience in LM P2 with Ligier and I will bring all myknowledge of that car to the team. Our common goal is to win the European Le Mans Series and I trust 100% in Greaves Motorsport to realize this goal!”

Jacob Greaves, Team Principal Greaves Motorsport. “We are very pleased and excited here at Greaves Motorsport to have signed such a talented driver as Julien. His record of successes in endurance racing across several classes confirms his speed and versatility. Julien will bring his experience of winning to the team and will enhance an already strong driver line up joining Memo Rojas, another multiple champion and endurance classic victor. Julien also has valuable experience of the Ligier JS P2 in achieving his title last season and will play a vital role in helping us to optimise the set up of our new car.

Rob
5th March 2016, 20:07
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GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES FOR 2016! 29 CARS FOR THE WEC PROLOGUE
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The time for talking is over! The sights and sounds of 29 of the world’s best endurance racers will soon be the focus of attention at the FIA World Endurance Championship’s official pre-season test, The Prologue.

Taking place at Circuit Paul Ricard at Le Castellet in the south of France on Friday and Saturday 25/26th March, this will be the first opportunity for competitors, media and fans throughout the world to see 2016’s WEC teams on track all together.

Of the 32 full season entries for the 2016 WEC, 29 will be present at Circuit Paul Ricard for the five sessions of testing planned over two days, including a night session on Friday, 25th.

On Saturday 26th there is not only free entry for the whole day for fans, including access to the Paddock, but also the chance to see the cars up close and meet the drivers at an autograph session.

Fitting alongside their own comprehensive testing programmes, Audi, Porsche and Toyota will all be in attendance at The Prologue – Audi and Toyota with just one car each which is the minimum requirement within the regulations. All three manufacturers, including World Champions Porsche, will be launching their new-for-2016 LMP1 hybrid challengers in the days leading up to The Prologue.

Rebellion Racing and ByKolles Racing Team will also be testing their LMP1 Privateer entries, and the Swiss and Austrian teams have been working solidly towards improved performance over the winter period.

A full complement of 10 LMP2 entries will grace the fast Paul Ricard track, with five different chassis being tested against each other: the ORECA 05 (G-Drive Racing and Manor), BR01 (SMP Racing), 2015 championship-winning Ligier JS P2 (Extreme Speed Motorsports and RGR Sport by Morand), Alpine A460 – which will be revealed for the first time just ahead of The Prologue (Signatech Alpine and Baxi DC Racing Alpine) – and Gibson 015S (Strakka Racing). All LMP2 cars will be on Dunlop rubber and powered by Nissan engines.

In LMGTE Pro, Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK will be making its public WEC debut with the new Ford GT. On track with them will be Aston Martin Racing’s revised Vantage V8, AF Corse’s all-new Ferrari 488 GTE, and Dempsey-Proton Racing who will be defending Porsche’s GT championship titles in 2016.

Joining the factory-led teams will be another six GTE entries from the always-competitive LMGTE Am class which includes the Chevrolet Corvette of Larbre Competition, Porsche 911 RSRs from KCMG, Gulf Racing and Abu-Dhabi Proton Racing, and Ferrari and Aston Martin entries from AF Corse and Aston Martin Racing respectively.

Gérard Neveu, CEO of the World Endurance Championship, said: “The Prologue has now become an established part of the WEC calendar and is greatly anticipated by both media and fans alike. Our manufacturer partners and teams take this opportunity to reveal their 2016 cars to a growing number of international media each year, and of course it is the first chance for all the competitors to test themselves against their rivals. For fans in France and beyond it is a fantastic event, with an open paddock, autograph session and pit walk on Saturday. The friendly and open spirit of the WEC begins here at The Prologue and we welcome everyone.”



The Prologue – FREE ENTRY FOR THE PUBLIC ON SATURDAY 26 MARCH

The Prologue will take place at the Circuit Paul Ricard on 25/26 March 2016, with the second day (Saturday 26th) being open and free entry to members of the public. Fans who attend will have the opportunity to see the cars on track during two open test sessions, plus they will be invited to take part in the lunchtime pit walk and autograph session – all as part of the free event.


Provisional Timetable

Friday 25 March

09:00 – 13:00 Session 1

14:00 - 18:00 Session 2

19:00 – 21:00 Session 3 (night testing)

Saturday 26 March

09:00 – 13:00 Session 4

13:15 – 13:45 Driver Autograph Session and Pitwalk

14:00 – 17:00 Session 5

entry list

http://www.fiawec.com/wpphpFichiers/1/1/ressources/Pdf/2016/FIAWEC2016_Prologue_provisional_entry_list_010316. pdf

Rob
6th March 2016, 17:04
MARSHALS WELL-TRAINED BEFORE TEST DAY FOR THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS

The day of training called "Objective Le Mans 2016" for marshals came to an end Saturday afternoon after the establishment of practice workshops. Scenarios covering, among other things, how to conduct Slow Zone procedures under the watchful eye of Eduardo Freitas, FIA WEC Race Director (all rounds) and his right-hand-man at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Patrick Morisseau, Race Director since 2015.

05/03/201619h01


Better communication

Radio communications were also affected by improvements. A new Intercom for radio transmissions will quiet some of the "noise" on the network. Computer software will also help circulate information from race direction to the media. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is once again involved in major innovations. The Slow Zones - in which cars must respect an 80 km/h speed limit to allow marshals to intervene on the track in function of instances during the race - have been implemented in other championships. The 24 Hours of Le Mans often sets the bar. For Le Mans to remain the example, Patrick Morisseau hoped this day would serve to best prepare all the marshals for Test Day, a veritable rehearsal leading up to the race itself.

Eduardo Freitas heavily involved

Eduardo Freitas is quite familiar with the role of track marshal. He spent three editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans between 1993 and 1995 with his Portuguese friends at Post 50 at the time by invitation from Marcel Martin who was the race director. He went back over the improvements since the introduction of the Slow Zones in 2014: "The first year we set the speed limit at 60 km/h in the Slow Zones like in pit lane to keep things simple. It turned out that slowing the cars to that speed set in motion on certain models a refuelling protocol which cut fuel supply pumps. In 2015 we adjusted the speed to 80 km/h, and even though there have been a few hiccups in the measure, the procedure is now a reference in motorsports. The hardest part isn't getting a Slow Zone down to 80 km/h. It's going back into race mode which is delicate. It takes perfect simultaneity, right as the green flags are waved.

An LM P1 and a GT do not reaccelerate the same at all, and in function of the traffic in the zone in question we pay attention to the cars coming in and going out. Signaler marshals must be precisely synchronized, given that at 340 km/h an LM P1 travels 94 meters per second."

Pit marshals

As for pit marshals, of which there will be less by the request of competitors who have considered pit lane too crowded, the day was packed with information especially relative to the new 2016 regulations. Other new rules include that four mechanics (two before) will now be authorized to change tyres simultaneously, even though only one pneumatic gun will be allowed beyond the famous white line that separates the garage from pit lane. Teams can no longer put tyres down on the ground in pit lane, on the track side, before removing the tyres in place, for safety reasons. Pit marshals must confirm that every stop in pit lane is compliant with regulations and communicate with race direction as necessary.

New development of passive safety measures in the works at the circuit

Though one can consider the procedures gone over on Saturday, March 5th as active safety measures, passive safety will still be in force for the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans. Rows of protective tyres will be added at various spots on the circuit. For example among others: Tertre Rouge, Corvette turn, but also at an alsphalt area at Indianapolis as replacement for the gravel trap that was prone to trapping cars in an exposed area.

The day ended as it began, at the Welcome during which all topics were open to the marshals present, the diligence, focus and participation of whom the Sports direction commended. Eduardo Freitas offered unifying words in his closing remarks: "We are all here for the well-being of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, safety and the lives of the drivers." The marshals will now form their teams for Test Day and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, not to mention the 8th edition of the Le Mans Classic which will be exciting.

Rob
6th March 2016, 17:07
WEC - TWO DAYS OF TESTING IN SPAIN ON THE AGENDA FOR THE FORD GT.

A few days after tweaking the Ford GT in the U.K., the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team and its four drivers in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) hit the road for Spain for two days of testing.
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Last Monday, Marino Franchitti took care of tweaking the two Ford GTs that will compete in the full World Endurance Championship (WEC), and therefore the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LM GTE Pro, in Turweston, U.K. while his teammates presented the season at the Geneva Motor Show.

Since this morning, the four drivers - Franchitti, Olivier Pla, Andy Priaulx and Stefan Mücke - have been hard at work at the Motorland Aragón circuit in Spain, the site of the new Toyota TS050 Hybrids first laps last week. It will be a first testing session in a packed program between now and the first race at Silverstone on April 17th.

Before then, the two Fords entered in the American WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will have competed in the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 19th. Then they will reunite with their sister WEC cars for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the American marque will enter no less than four cars on June 18th and 19th.

Rob
6th March 2016, 17:11
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Rob
7th March 2016, 10:39
REBELLION Racing Media Team
Lausanne - March 7, 2016
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NELSON PIQUET JR WILL JOIN REBELLION RACING
FOR LE MANS 24 HOURS AND FIRST ROUNDS OF THE 2016 FIA WEC.
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One of the most famous names in motorsport will return to the Le Mans 24 Hours this season as Rebellion Racing is pleased to confirm today that Nelson Piquet Jr will join forces with Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld at the wheel of the #12 Rebellion R-One LMP1 AER powered car in the French classic in June.

To ensure Nelson Piquet Jr gets the most racing experience and mileage aboard the #12 Rebellion R-One LMP1 ahead of the 24 hour endurance event, the Brazilian ace will race at the opening rounds of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and the 6 Hours of Spa.

Nelson Piquet Jr will drive the #12 Rebellion R-One LMP1 for the first time at the FIA WEC Prologue at the Paul Ricard circuit on March 25-26.

Nelson Piquet Jr (born July 25 1985 in Heidelberg, West Germany) is the son of three-times Formula One world champion Nelson Piquet and has a successful background and experience in a variety of top motorsport categories.

The Brazilian is the reigning FIA Formula E world champion. Nelson Piquet Jr proved his abilities across many motorsport disciplines successfully competing most recently in NASCAR, during which time he became the first Brazilian to win a top tier NASCAR race, and Rallycross, where he was again a race winner and title contender. He raced in Formula One for the Renault F1 Team in 2008 and 2009 after strong years in British Formula 3 (where he was Champion in 2004), A1GP and the GP2 Series, where he finished championship runner-up in 2006.

Nelson Piquet Jr has raced twice in endurance categories earlier in his career driving a GT Aston Martin DBR9. The Brazilian won the GT1 class at Mil Milhas Brasil in 2006, the same year he raced Le Mans 24 Hours securing fourth place in the GT1 class.



Nelson Piquet Jr : “I am thrilled to be joining Rebellion Racing for several races this season including, of course, the Le Mans 24 Hours. That race is one of the most special motorsport events in the world and I loved it so much when I raced there in 2006 that it has been very high on my list ever since to do it again.
I couldn’t be happier than to be doing it with such a great team and together with Nico [Prost] and Nick [Heidfeld] as my teammates.
I can’t wait to get in the car at Paul Ricard later this month to begin our preparations.”

Bart Hayden, REBELLION Racing Team Manager : “We are very pleased to welcome Nelson Piquet Jr to the Rebellion Racing team. As the reigning Formula E champion, Nelson has been racing against Nico and Nick, but now the three of them will be partnering together in one car for Rebellion Racing and we are confident that they will be strong teammates.

Le Mans requires the best level of preparation, so we are also pleased that Nelson will be able to drive for Rebellion Racing at the Prologue and the first two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone and Spa.

We are only a few weeks away from the Prologue and are all looking forward to the start of the new season.”

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Rob
7th March 2016, 11:41
Matt Rao Joins Manor For 2016 FIA WEC
on 07/03/2016
As suggested by the entry list released for the WEC Prologue test Manor has confirmed that the new to FIA WEC team has extended its driver line up for the 2016 WEC with the addition of young British driver Matt Rao, a member of the All Road Academy.

21-year-old Matt started his racing career at karting level in 2009, and then rose through the ranks to race in Formula 3. Matt finished as runner-up in the 2014 British Formula 3 Championship and went on to impress during his first taste of LM P2 during the 2015 end-of-season WEC Rookie Test held in Bahrain. Rao also tested an LMP2 car at the Nurburgring WEC test in August 2015.

John Booth, Team Principal: “Manor has a history of working with some great young drivers and we are delighted to welcome another talented youngster to the team.

“Matt is a very exciting prospect, last year’s WEC Rookie test provided him with an opportunity to get to grips with LM P2 machinery for the first time and we are now looking forward to going racing with him in 2016 and seeing what results we can achieve together.”

Matt Rao, Driver: “I’m really pleased to be a part of this exciting new challenge with Manor, they have a fantastic reputation, and I know that their experience and professionalism will deliver great results. LM P2 has become an ultra-competitive series which is full of top quality drivers and teams. I am looking forward to The Prologue and driving the ORECA 05 for the first time.”

Rob
8th March 2016, 09:32
No Racing Return For Patrick Dempsey In 2016

A statement released by Patrick Dempsey via his team website makes it clear that any plans that he may have had for a limited racing return this season are now cancelled.

The team that runs in his name, Dempsey Proton, will though still contest the full FIA WEC in 2016, including the Le Mans 24 Hours in LM GTE Pro with Richard Dietz and Michael Christensen (joined by Wolf Henzler at Le Mans) but Dempsey will be making no guest appearances in the cockpit.

His statement reads:

“My motorsports journey has been a rewarding one and allowed me to meet so many interesting people.

“While the focus so often is the performance of the car, in reality it is all the various personalities, from team mates to competitors to officials to fans that I remember the most.

“I have loved being part of part of different teams and sharing the experience with so many great friends. I want to thank everyone who made this possible and helped me along the way. I also wanted to especially thank the fans for their support and friendship.

“None of this would happen without you buying the tickets and attending the races, so I am grateful for that investment in my passion. It makes me especially happy to see how many people have become race fans during my racing career.

“At this point in my life, after an amazing season thanks to my friends at Porsche and TAG Huer, I need to take a step back and focus on both my family and my acting career.

“Dempsey-Proton Racing will continue on racing a Porsche 911 RSR in the World Endurance Championship season. I hope my schedule permits me to enjoy some race weekends at least as a team owner.

“I need to especially thank Porsche for their unbelievable support for me and my family as I made the tough decision to take a step back. I will never forget it. Life has taught me that it is impossible to predict the future.

“I am excited to see what kind of journey I can make and enjoy.”

Rob
8th March 2016, 09:36
real shame for Patrick. He has big big passion for racing, and it shows. I know he got bit of stick sometimes for not "giving" to fans. But he done enough, plus he is big big draw. Everyone wants pics and autographs of him. So sometimes he had to turn a blind eye to it. I hope he does get back racing.

Rob
9th March 2016, 09:29
Webber: “Porsche Has Shown F1 Teams How To Go Testing”

Works Porsche LMP1 driver Mark Webber was unveiled as part of UK broadcaster Channel 4’s 12-strong Formula One presenting team on Tuesday. The Aussie will of course be continuing his WEC adventures, aiming to take in about six Grands Prix alongside his sportscar racing. He’s not a complete stranger to TV work, either, having got in front of the camera for both the BBC and Australia’s Channel Ten in the past.

Webber joins the line-up at the invitation of former Red Bull F1 team-mate and good friend David Coulthard – a shareholder in Whisper Films, which will be producing Channel 4’s coverage. At a launch event at the station’s London HQ on Tuesday morning, Webber confirmed he’s still on good terms with the Scot after his somewhat controversial recent comments about 24-hour racing!

“We sorted that out behind the bike racks, as we say in Australia,” he laughed. “In DC’s defence, it’s hard when you’re writing on ‘Twatter’ to get it all right, but I think it’s true that the first corner of a sportscar race isn’t as punchy as F1, but after that, it is. Nico Hulkenberg is the classic example, he’s the latest guy to have driven both types of car. When he went to an Aragon test for the first time, he was like “I had to drive flat-out for three hours!”


“For us, there’s no briefing on kerbing – there’s no briefing at all, in fact. It’s extremely rare to hear someone in the WEC say ‘look after’ or ‘back off’ or something in that regard. It’s just flat out, so it has changed. DC’s point was that it’s less fast and furious, but it has changed. Our battles with Audi are pretty intense, I’ve had Porsche engineers on the radio saying to me “we lost half a second in that pitstop”, so that’s definitely fast and furious.

“Porsche has been responsible for a lot of that and Porsche has also been responsible for showing F1 teams how to go testing, mileage-wise. We’ve seen what Mercedes did at the Barcelona tests [1,294 laps in eight days]. Operationally, that was a demonstration, they saw what’s possible from our side in terms of ‘there’s the track availability, this is how you execute the mileage’.

“Of course, Paddy [Lowe] and the guys would have had an idea that’s what they wanted to do, but the first thing that goes when you’re that strong operationally is the drivers and that’s what happened, so they had to rotate Lewis and Nico. All of sudden in that fortnight, you saw everyone go ‘oh Mercedes are on a new level’, Toro Rosso and all the others.”

Webber’s fellow F1-turned-sportscar aces Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok will also be on the Channel 4 presenting team (above), along with Coulthard, Murray Walker, Ben Edwards, Lee McKenzie, Nicholas Hamilton, Susie Wolff, Alain Prost and Eddie Jordan. BMW GT racer and Paralympic handcycling champion Alex Zanardi will also make guest appearances during the season, while the coverage will be fronted by established Channel 4 entertainment presenter Steve Jones.

Rob
9th March 2016, 11:15
Latest News

Paris - 08 March 2016
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London Press Conference moves...to Circuit Paul Ricard

With just weeks to go to The Prologue, the WEC’s official pre-season test, the pressure is on teams to finalise preparations for, and to, their new-for-2016 cars. Teams will be travelling down to Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France in the days leading up to the test sessions which take place on 25/26th March.

In order to include at the pre-Silverstone event conference more of the British and British-based talent which is notable up and down the grid, the event has been moved from a London venue to Circuit Paul Ricard.

The planned event on Wednesday 23rd March in central London is now cancelled, and the conference will take place as follows:

Date: Thursday 24th March

Time: 16h00 (CET)

Venue: Panoramic Club

Guests: Will include Mark Webber (Porsche Team), Anthony Davidson (Toyota Gazoo Racing), Will Stevens and Graeme Lowdon (Manor) and Sam Bird (AF Corse Ferrari)

There will be a photocall after the conference with all the British drivers and British-based World Endurance Champion Mark Webber and their 2016 cars. A Video News Release of the conference will be available immediately after the event together with photographs.

Rob
9th March 2016, 11:22
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Rob
9th March 2016, 21:13
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YOUNG DRIVERS FLOCKING TO WEC

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In the last few days there has been a flood of team announcements about new driver signings and it’s interesting to note that not one of the seven drivers is over 30 years of age.

In fact, the average age of the new WEC recruits is under 26, and this reinforces the increased interest in the endurance World Championship from drivers all over the world.
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G-Drive Racing

Audi Sport driver René Rast will enter the WEC on a full-time basis in 2016, teaming up with reigning LMP2 Champion Roman Rusinov and G-Drive Racing.

The 29-year-old German will partner the Russian and GP2 race winner Nathanaël Berthon in the No.26 ORECA 05 Nissan which is to be managed in 2016 by JOTA Sport.

Rast is a three-time Porsche Supercup champion and 2014 ADAC GT champion, and most recently was in the WEC with Audi Sport’s third LMP1 entry at Spa and Le Mans last year, finishing fourth and seventh respectively.

Signatech Alpine and Baxi DC Racing Alpine

Following the recent confirmation of the entry of two A460s for the 2016 FIA WEC, Alpine is pleased to be able to announce the complete driver line-ups for the No.35 and No.36 entries.
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Nelson Panciatici, a cornerstone of the team since Alpine’s return to motor racing in 2013, will compete in the N°35 LMP2 prototype. The Frenchman’s experience and speed will benefit the DC Racing-led, Signatech-Alpine-run programme, and the 27-year old will share the car with David Cheng and Ho Pin-Tung.

The crew of the N°36 car will be the experienced Nicolas Lapierre, together with young American Gustavo Menezes and the recently recruited Monegasque Stéphane Richelmi. After showcasing his skill in GP2 and GT racing, 25-year old Richelmi is a newcomer to prototype racing.

Signatech-Alpine will be able to count on the complementary skills and talent of these two crews in its bid to play a front-running role in the FIA WEC’s LMP2 class.

Manor

Manor has extended its driver line up for the 2016 WEC with the addition of young British drivers Matt Rao and Richard Bradley.

Bradley is a well-known WEC name, and his inclusion in Manor’s driver line up will bring much needed endurance experience to the team. The 24-year-old Briton was the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 winner and also climbed to the top step of the podium at the inaugural 6 Hours of Nürburgring last year.

The 21-year-old Rao started his racing career at karting level in 2009 and rose through the single-seater ranks to race in Formula 3, finishing as runner up in the 2014 British F3 Championship. He has his first taste of LMP2 machinery during the 2015 end of season WEC Rookie Test in Bahrain last November, and Rao has also tested an LMP2 car at the Nürburgring WEC test at the end of July 2015.



ByKolles Racing Team
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ByKOLLES Racing has completed its driver line-up for the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season with the addition of Oliver Webb (GB). The British driver will share the No.4 CLM P1/01 in the LMP1 Privateer category with Simon Trummer (CH) and Pierre Kaffer (D).

“With the signing of Oliver Webb our desired driver line-up for the 2016 WEC season is now complete,” says Boris Bermes, ByKOLLES Director of Racing Operations. “Oliver is a young and fast sports car driver, who was able to gain a lot of experience in the past few years. His achievements in endurance racing speak for themselves.”

Rob
10th March 2016, 12:50
Showdown: Porsche’s WEC racer vs Merc’s W06 F1 car..
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Who has the advantage in motorsport right now? We brought 2015’s world champions together

Please understand that this is more of a dare than an instruction. Go to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile website, and, assuming you’re feeling lightly masochistic, download the Formula One technical regulations document. It’s 90 pages long and full of such gems as “3.12 Bodywork facing the ground: fully enclosed holes are only permitted in the surfaces lying on the reference and step planes forward of a line 450mm forward of the rear face of the cockpit entry template…”

Riveting stuff. You can do the same for LMP1, too. 79 pages of equally impenetrable motorsportese. It would be half that number, actually, if it were all in one language, but since Le Mans, the ACO and the FIA are all French, the LMP regulations run in two columns, French on the left, English on the right. So let’s call that 40 pages.

What this surely boils down to is that your average F1 car is twice as technical as your bog-standard Le Mans Prototype. Not so. Just more tightly bordered and organised. Both start with fuel regulation at the core of their policy – the pressure to be more fuel-efficient (and therefore relevant) governs much of the thinking process about the future of motorsport. As for how each formula is set up, think of it this way: Le Mans gives you an energy allowance and tells you to go off and do what you want. F1 gives you an allowance and tells you how to spend it as well.

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This feature came about from an idle comment Mark Webber made when I was chatting to him late last year, “You know, at Shanghai, our fastest lap in qualifying was only half a second slower than Lewis’s fastest race lap.” Jeepers. I hadn’t given it much thought, but I’d always assumed there were eons between how long it took, say, a Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid and Porsche 919 Hybrid to get themselves around a circuit. Turns out that’s the case. Mark wasn’t wrong, but Shanghai was the closest it had ever been. Nevertheless, it got me thinking…

Back in the office some digging occurred, and then some arm-twisting, and finally both Porsche and Mercedes granted us access to their world championship-winning cars for this photoshoot and, perhaps more startlingly, agreed to provide us with comparative telemetry data from one circuit: Spa. You can see more about that and have a go at playing the race engineer by analysing and interpreting the data (at the end of the gallery). But first the technology.

Regulations govern all sport. They are the framework within which each sport operates. The motivation in adopting hybrid technology for both F1 and LMP is fuel efficiency: they want to be seen as relevant, advanced, cutting-edge. But where endurance racing regs leave engineers to decide what tech works best for them, in F1 those decisions have already been made by the regulators. They decide the toys you get to play, meaning less scope for imagination and creativity.

Let’s deal with F1 – and yes, I’m going to have to keep this simple and skip lots of stuff, else we’ll end up with something Tolstoy-esque in length, meaning and complexity. So F1 cars are limited to 100kg of fuel (about 133 litres) per race, and have to use power units comprised of six components, only one of which is the 1.6-litre V6 engine. The others are the turbocharger, the kinetic energy recovery system (MGU-K), the heat energy recovery system (MGU-H), the energy store (battery, supercapacitors or flywheel – it’s the one area teams have some options, although they all use batteries currently) and the control electronics. Power figures are never discussed, but it’s widely accepted the V6 turbo develops about 600–650bhp, while electrical power is restricted to 161bhp. The car, including driver, has to weigh at least 701kg.

Meanwhile, under LMP1 regulations, it’s the rate of fuel flow that’s restricted, but this varies depending on how much electrical energy you want to release per lap: two, four, six or eight megajoules. Just to follow that for a second, a joule is a measure of energy, roughly equivalent to a tennis ball travelling at 13mph, or the power needed to produce one watt for one second. A megajoule is a million joules. Anyway, the more electricity you choose to use, the less fuel you get. The equations are almost constantly being tweaked to keep things competitive, with fuel-tank size and flow rates adjusted, but in essence electrical power is worth fractionally more than petrol/diesel power.

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No one in LMP1 uses the same method. Famously, Nissan rocked up at Le Mans last year with a front-wheel-drive machine with a flywheel system in the 2MJ class. Audi opted for the 4MJ class for its 4.0-litre V6 diesel, Toyota 6MJ for its naturally aspirated V8/supercapacitor-equipped TS040, and Porsche? Well, somewhat unusually, Porsche copied F1 technology.

In adopting a small-capacity petrol engine (here a 2.0-litre V4 turbo rather than a 1.6-litre V6), and two hybrid systems, it followed the template laid out by Mercedes. Again, power figures aren’t openly acknowledged, but it’s believed the V4 puts out over 500bhp, while the two recovery systems – kinetic from brakes and heat from the exhaust gases – help deliver a massive hit of e-power. How much? Well, Porsche states over 400bhp, but rival teams believe it could be much, much higher than that, perhaps as much as 750bhp. The 919 weighs 950kg including the driver.
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This means F1 and LMP1 cars have similar power-to-weight ratios. Around 1,140 bhp per tonne for the W06, plays a potential 1,310bhp per tonne for the 919. Of course that’s by no means the end of the story – both are designed for very different disciplines: a two-hour sprint versus a 24-hour, well, sprint. Don’t go thinking that these days endurance racing is about measured consistency, staying out of trouble and metronomic reliability. As Mark Webber says (see slide 11), Le Mans is now an all-out, no quarter given, dash for the flag.

Strip away the bodywork and underneath, the 919’s carbon tub looks much like an open-wheeler, and, by all accounts the two have similar downforce levels (about 700kg at 80mph, it’s believed). However, due to its faired-in wheels and closed cockpit the LMP1 car has much lower drag.

So why, with all that power, isn’t it faster on the straights? Because it uses its electricity differently. An F1 car is allowed to deploy 4MJ per lap, but only through a nozzle 161bhp wide, if you see what I mean. The Porsche has twice the electric reserves, but squirts it out through a 700bhp hose. Its reservoir is depleted sooner. So rather than use it at high speed, where electrical consumption is massive, Porsche uses it for the first phase of acceleration. Yep, the 919 accelerates faster than the W06.

But weighing 250kg more, it doesn’t have the braking and speed through fast corners of the Mercedes. Overall, in qualifying at Spa, the W06 was 7.57 seconds faster. The margin was smaller in the race, but that’s still a big gap: the LMP1 car would have been last on the F1 grid. The same story plays out across other circuits the two have visited: Silverstone, Shanghai, Bahrain and Austin.

Will LMP1 cars ever be faster than F1 cars? Doubtful. F1 cars now are slower than they were 10 years ago, and if LMP1 lap times start to genuinely rival them, doubtless F1 regulations will be altered to maintain the advantage. The question is whether this will improve the racing, which, at the end of the day, is what it’s all about. Despite the restrictions, racing isn’t close in F1 at the moment. But in LMP1, where the teams make their own technology and hardware choices, the margins are small and the cars more distinctive. If nothing else, there are lessons to be learned there.

Mark Webber
“Compared to an F1 car, the first things you notice about an LMP1 car are the extra weight and the higher centre of gravity. It tests the driver and is perhaps a wee bit more challenging to drive. Certainly at Spa, Eau Rouge in an F1 car is easy flat, but you have to hold on to the 919 a bit more and our speeds are about 20-30kph down through the quick stuff.

“Where we have advantage is in the slow corners. An F1 car stops better, and the line and trajectory aren’t much different, but we maybe want to get the car turned in sooner, so we can get back on the power. And then what we have in our favour is 4WD and fantastic Michelin tyres - we can really lean them, they’re so much better than the tissue paper we had in F1. So out of La Source, we can really give an F1 car a run.

“It would be really interesting to take the 919 somewhere like Barcelona, which is mostly slow-speed corners, because I reckon we’d be pretty competitive against an F1 car there.

“The biggest thing to get used to when I moved from F1, besides the weight of the car, was the traffic and range of conditions in a WEC race. You know, low sun, the rain, the dark and, most of all, the other cars, which maybe don’t have such experienced drivers and might be travelling much slower. So you need the car to give you confidence, be really consistent and predictable.

“And where you see F1 cars backing off and having to manage fuel reserves, we never have to do that - we’re flat out, all the way. And the 919 is just awesome, the most advanced car I’ve driven, without a shadow of a doubt.”

Spa-Francorchamps
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Broadly speaking, the lighter, nimbler F1 car is quicker through the speed traps and into corners, but the 4WD Porsche can get on the power earlier, so exits the medium- and slow-speed corners faster. Through fast curves the W06’s downforce and lighter weight give it the advantage.

KEY

Merc speed/gear: green
Porsche speed/gear: black

http://www.topgear.com/car-news/formula-one/showdown-porsches-wec-racer-vs-mercs-w06-f1-car#1

Rob
10th March 2016, 21:39
IMSA NEWS ROUNDUP: STORIES IN AMERICAN SPORTS CAR RACING THIS WEEK

PRUETT SWAPS TEAM CARS, CHANGE RACING ADDS SECOND CAR & MORE

Driving both of Action Express Racing’s Corvette DPs in the recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test at Sebring International Raceway was an eye opener for Scott Pruett. The 60-time race winner in major North American sports car competition recently tested to prepare for the 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on Saturday, March 19.

“Now I understand why we were beaten so badly by them,” said Pruett, who finished fourth last year at Sebring for Chip Ganassi Racing. “I drove both of the team’s cars, and was incredibly impressed.”

Action Express Racing is the defending winner of the event, with Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa returning in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP, to be joined by Filipe Albuquerque.
After finishing fourth in the No. 5 Corvette DP in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Pruett switches to the team’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP for Sebring, joining Eric Curran and Dane Cameron.

“It’s a pleasure to drive either of their cars,” Pruett continued. “Sebring is difficult to drive – being as rough as it is – and the guys at Action Express definitely know what they’re doing. I think we’ve got a good shot at winning. They were incredibly fast last year, and do exceptionally well at Sebring. They may not have the fastest overall blistering speed, but their pace throughout a full fuel run will be the one to beat.”

After Sebring, Pruett is looking forward his first test in the new No. 14 F Performance Racing Lexus RC F GT3 and hoping for a mid-season competition debut. Sage Karam will co-drive.

“I saw the car last Friday in Lansing, (Michigan), where we had two wonderful days of meetings,” Pruett said. “We’re just waiting on suppliers to deliver the goods so we can get the car and the engines together. We’ll hope to have our first test by the beginning of May. I plan to be at both Long Beach and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but it’s certainly not going to be the same watching it.”

Benton Adds Second Lamborghini For GTD Champs To Change Racing Lineup

Defending GT Daytona (GTD) champions Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell suddenly found themselves without a ride when O’Gara Motorsport withdrew from competition following the Rolex 24.

Fortunately for them, team owner Robby Benton quickly stepped up, expanding his operation to two cars. His team, Change Racing, now will field the No. 11 Robert Graham Lamborghini Huracán GT3 for Bell and Sweedler, in addition to the No. 16 Pertamina/Monster Energy Huracán GT3 for Corey Lewis and Spencer Pumpelly.

“Tom O’Gara is a close friend and I’m happy he turned to us to continue what he started,” Benton said. “It took a tremendous amount of effort and planning for us to prepare and be ready for the move up to IMSA WeatherTech with our own team, but a lot of that work actually put us in a good position to be able to grow to a two-car team like this.

“To have the defending champions join us reflects well on our organization, and having guys of that caliber to build on a great driver roster that we have with Spencer and Corey puts us in a very advantageous position. Lamborghini has done an outstanding job to help us with this transition as we ramp up and we are very focused on executing and delivering all year long.”

Posey To Join Sebring Hall Of Fame

Sam Posey, overall winner of the 1975 Sebring race, will be inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame at a special luncheon at the Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Center on Friday, March 18.

Posey competed in Formula One, IndyCar, Can-Am, Trans-Am and several other series during a 26-year driving career. He won the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring 12-hours driving a BMW CSL. As a network commentator, he covered a variety of sports, winning an Emmy in 1989. Posey is also a noted author, artist and designer.

Joining Posey in the class of 2016 are Alex Job Racing, 10-time Sebring-winning team; six-time overall Sebring winner Tom Kristensen; Smothers, two-time class winner; Tres Stephenson, president of Sebring Raceway for more than three decades; and former Tampa Tribune Sports Editor Tom McEwen.

The Sebring Hall of Fame luncheon is open to the public, but tickets are very limited. Admission is a $200 contribution to the Sebring Hall of Fame (a 501 3(C) Florida not for profit corporation). Teams and sponsors may purchase individual tables. For more information and reservations please call Ariel Starling at 863-655-1442 or 655-7721.

Five Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsports Entered For Sebring 150

The new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport will be well represented in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Sebring 150 on Friday, March 18. While two of Porsche’s new turn-key race cars competed in the Grand Sport (GS) class at the season opener in Daytona, five are entered in Round 2 at Sebring.

CJ Wilson Racing and Team TGM have each entered a pair of Cayman GT4s, with Bodymotion Racing entering one car. CJ Wilson Racing doubles its effort after capturing the TOTAL Pole Award and finishing third at Daytona with Daniel Burkett and Marc Miller in the No. 33 ONE Capital Management/MotorOilMatters.org entry.

No drivers have been named for the team’s No. 35 entry. Team TGM has car owner Ted Giovanis and David Murry listed on both its No. 46 and No. 64 JKTG Foundation/Camp Boggy Creek entries, with the team expected to race one car in the event.

“We tested the new Clubsport at both Sebring and Road Atlanta, and once you make some adjustments to it, it will be a decent-running car,” Giovanis said. “We won’t know until we get more hours on the track whether it will be on the top step of the podium, but it’s in the right direction.”

Giovanis is making the move to the GS class after competing in Street Tuner (ST) since 2006. He scored his best professional finish at Sebring last year, joining Murry in placing second co-driving a BMW 328i.

End Quote:

Jan Magnussen, Driver of the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R: “I always like going to Sebring. It’s a classic, old-school track and one you can’t find anywhere else in the world. In a lot of ways you really like Sebring and you really dislike it, too. It’s great because the event is fantastic and we always have good support from the fans and Corvette owners. But it beats you physically like no other track. Your neck, arms, hands, knees… they’re incredibly sore after the race week. But winning there is worth it. I’m hoping we can repeat and give Corvette Racing our 10th Sebring win.”

Source:
IMSA
- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/imsa-news-roundup-march-10-2016#sthash.Lrqf01xx.dpuf

abbottcostello
11th March 2016, 09:41
Showdown: Porsche’s WEC racer vs Merc’s W06 F1 car.. <SNIP>


Wow, great stuff there, Rob! Very enlightening. Need to re-read this when I'm more awake, haha

Rob
11th March 2016, 17:09
Wow, great stuff there, Rob! Very enlightening. Need to re-read this when I'm more awake, haha

:thumb

Really is a good and enlightening read. Clears up afew things. Looking forward seeing what Porsche has found this year. Roll on the WEC Prologue.

Rob
11th March 2016, 17:38
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2016 12 HOURS OF SEBRING - GTLM PREVIEW
A Race Engineer's Perspective
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(Houston, Texas, March 10, 2016)...Rick Mayer, race engineer of the Risi Competizione No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM team, takes a look ahead at this year's 12 Hours of Sebring, March 19, 2016, at the historic Sebring International Raceway.

Pilots of the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 for the 64th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida include Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy), Toni Vilander (Finland) and Sebring rookie Davide Rigon (Italy).

General: We have a field of 49 cars for this year's 12 Hours of Sebring, down slightly from 2015. It's a large number of cars for the bumpy 3.74 mile 17-turn track. Pit boxes will again be small and traffic nearly constant. The high amateur content and car count in the GTD and PC fields will again make patience pay in the race. The GT3 cars will be very fast on the straights and very difficult to pass cleanly, a big concern.
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GTLM Competition: There are NO weak cars, manufacturers, drivers or teams in GTLM this year. The No. 4 Corvette won Daytona, in a convincing fashion, as both Corvettes were super quick, while stretching their fuel windows in the final stints, but they showed their BoP (Balance of Performance) advantage and they shouldn't be as dominate at Sebring. All the GTLM manufacturers: Ferrari, BMW, Porsche, Corvette and Ford, will have super-competitive cars and second to none driver lineups. You can do this race with two drivers but all will have at least three on their entry list. We won't know the comparative inter-class pace until the race, that is if anyone shows true pace. No one is showing true all-out pace from fear that IMSA will BoP any advantage away. The difference between proper setup work and an inherent performance advantage is difficult to separate. Unfortunately IMSA's first three race tracks are anomalies; Daytona, Sebring, and Long Beach. From IMSA's Sebring Test you would have to give the BMWs, followed by Porsches, a slight advantage at Sebring. But Corvette didn't attend the recent Sebring test. We don't know their relative pace, nor does IMSA. You can't compare performance from different test days at Sebring, the track changes too much. The Fords were very consistent with good pace; they received a boost increase in the latest BoP to further increase their top speed, which they dominated in GTLM at the test. The Risi Ferrari would appear good at the test, based on a small number of quick lap times, but is compromised on top speed and straight-line performance with the BoP, relative to all other GTLMs. This straight-line speed and HP disadvantage will carry through Sebring, as no increase was given to the F488 GTLM. The Ferrari has typically been fast here with a good finishing record, but is a long shot this year with the current BoP having it down on power.
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The track: Sebring is a historic track hosting the longest running endurance race in North America; it's also one of the toughest tracks to get the setup right. You're always chasing the setup, as the track changes throughout the week. It's super bumpy in sections, which means you want to go in a softer setup direction. There are numerous near-threshold braking zones that require good platform support and two sections where change of direction is important, which doesn't suit a soft setup. So it's a conundrum. You need very good braking here and that's a main area for gains, and the brakes need to be consistent and last 12 hours. The drivers need confidence in Turn 1 and Turn 17 on the bumps and a good platform in Turns 3-4 and Turns 15-16 for the change of direction. Good power down out of Turns 5, 7, 10, 13 and 16 aids in a quick lap, as they all lead on to relatively long straights. You reach over 140 Mph five times a lap here so power is very important in lap time.


The setup: Sebring is a compromise. You need dampers that support the car but are compliant, with enough high speed damping to settle and control the car through the bumps. Too much low speed damping upsets the car on the bumps but not enough and you lose platform support/control. Ride heights are always higher than the legal minimum to keep the car from bottoming, mainly in Turn 17 (left side) and the exit of Turn 1 (right side). The typical GTLM Ferrari setup direction is moderate springs with anti-roll bars on the soft side. GT cars, in general, struggle with rear stability under braking at turn-in, and this is historically the worst track for this tendency. A soft setup tends to aggravate this tendency. The Ferrari 488 is no exception. Good power down is important with the many long straights; most are not actually 'straight' but are long full throttle sections. If you get the rear stable, the tendency for off-brake mid-corner understeer becomes the next problem, which delays the ability to go to power. Sebring is bumpy. Sebring is low frequency large amplitude bumps (inputs), just the opposite of a track like Long Beach which is more high frequency low amplitude.

The race: The last several years have seen the end to the classic endurance race strategy, where you'd save the car to make it to the end. The cars are all so reliable now that long races are just long full-on sprint races. The safety car wave-by rules are intact from Daytona, which should again keep the class fights competitive to the end, as this race will likely be caution filled. Pit boxes will again be small and crowded. This track doesn't have the best runoff area and with the large car count and patience on the track will be very important. You have to finish strong to win and penalties for avoidable contact are steep; you'll go down a lap easy in the penalty box. The new GTDs (GT3 based cars) have ABS (allowed by the rules) and have so much power they will be very difficult to pass here. The GTLM drivers will have to take some risk to get by a lot of the GTDs.

This is my personal favorite track and it's been a good track for Risi Competizione with numerous podiums and three GT class wins. Let's just hope our series of bad luck in recent long races comes to an end.

Tune-In Information:
The 12 Hours of Sebring race is available live in the U.S. on March 19, on Fox Sports 1 and on the FOX Sports GO! mobile app beginning at 10:30 a.m. EST and on Fox Sports 2 beginning at 12:00 p.m. and again on Fox Sports 2 at 10:00 p.m. EST. The International fans can watch the race stream live with IMSA Radio commentary at IMSA.com. A highlight broadcast of the 12 Hours of Sebring is available tape delayed on FOX Sports 1 on March 27 at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Rob
11th March 2016, 19:06
:-E

Porsche’s Alex Hitzinger Leaves Motorsport
on 11/03/2016

Porsche’s LMP1 programme Technical Director Alex Hitzinger has announced that he is to depart from the team and the company before the start of the 2016 racing season to take on a new challenge outside motorsport.

Hitzinger departs officials on 31 March after more than four years with the programmes part of an ever-present management trio with Fritz Enzinger (Vice President LMP1) and Andreas Seidl (Team Principal) that took both the Le Mans 24 Hours win, and the WEC Manufacturers, Teams and Drivers Championships in 2015 with the 919 Hybrid.

Fritz Enzinger: “On behalf of Porsche I want to thank Alexander Hitzinger very much for his huge contribution to the outstanding successes of the Porsche 919 Hybrid. He was one of the first people to come on board at the end of 2011. I appreciate his desire for a new challenge.

“We are well prepared for the 2016 season. Within our team, which has a total of 260 employees, we also have a remarkably strong group of engineers working for the management team. The 2016 Porsche 919 Hybrid is ready to go.”

Hitzinger’s successor will be decided at a later date.

Rob
11th March 2016, 19:51
:love
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Rob
11th March 2016, 23:03
Sir Chris Hoy resumes LMP2 testing ahead of possible Le Mans bid

Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy has resumed his LMP2 test programme with the Greaves squad ahead of a potential Le Mans 24 Hours campaign in June.

Nissan-backed Hoy, who won the European Le Mans Series LMP3 title last year in his third season of racing, undertook his second test in a P2 this week aboard Greaves Motorsport's Gibson-Nissan 15S at the Aragon circuit in Spain.

The test follows a first run in the same car at Estoril last November (pictured).

Hoy said via Twitter that he had an "awesome couple of days at Aragon testing in LMP2" and that he was "pleased with progress".

Nissan is refusing to confirm its intention to place Hoy in the Greaves Gibson should the car move up from its position as first reserve on the entry list for Le Mans.

"Sir Chris is continuing his preparations for the coming season in and out of the car," Nissan motorsport boss Mike Carcamo told Autosport.

"We have not announced his programme yet because it is not completed."

Tim Greaves, owner of the British team that will also field a new ORECA 05 at Le Mans, said Hoy had been impressive at Aragon.

"Chris did a really good job and was doing 1m50s and high 49s when pro drivers were lapping in the 48s," he said.

"He really wants to do this and knows what it is going to take."

Hoy would share the car at Le Mans with Alex Brundle, but it is understood that Greaves has yet to find a third driver for the seat.

The only nominated driver for its ELMS campaign with the same car is reigning champion Gary Hirsch.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/123216

Rob
16th March 2016, 11:43
Penske eyes Le Mans return, almost contested Rolex 24
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Roger Penske says he would love to take his American team back to the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time in over 40 years, if a manufacturer could supply him a car capable of overall victory.

Penske, who raced himself at Le Mans in the ‘60s and ran a Ferrari 512M in 1971, says he is open to a return to the sportscar arena – and came close to running an ORECA LMP2 in this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“One area we’d love to go back to is long-distance racing,” said Penske. “We keep knocking on doors about that right now.

“Once these rules with the LMP2 [and US-centric DPi] cars get finalised – quite honestly, we talked to ORECA about running at the Daytona 24 Hours this year. But when we looked at how they were going to handicap the car [compared to the Daytona Prototypes], you were dead before you started.

“There’s always going to be some balances between the cars, but it’s something we decided not to do.”

Daytona history

Penske’s team won the Daytona 24 Hours in 1969, when Mark Donohue and Chuck Parsons co-drove a Lola T70 Mk3b-Chevrolet to victory. He ended a long hiatus at the US sportcar classic event in 2008, when Penske drivers Helio Castroneves, Kurt Busch and Ryan Briscoe drove a Wayne Taylor Racing-run Pontiac-powered Riley Daytona Prototype.

Penske then entered a fulltime entry in the 2009 Grand-Am Series, and is also no stranger to LMP2 having run the Porsche RS Spyder to multiple titles in the American Le Mans Series.

“The programme we did with Porsche was one of the great ones of the last 10 years or so,” said Penske. “We have the drivers, we can go to Le Mans and these places, we got the guys, the mechanics to work on them, and OK we’d need to hone ourselves in on the strategy, but it’s a matter of having the car.

“The current sportscar racing we have in this country, you can run at Daytona, Sebring, Road Atlanta and maybe Laguna Seca – I’d love to have a car that we could run for that. I’m really not interested in running in a class.”

Penske forsook its Le Mans invitations with the RS Spyder programme for the reason it didn’t want to contend only for class wins.

Le Mans interest still burns

Penske confirmed that he’d like to see his team return to Le Mans, but that the current rules make it impossible to compete at the front without manufacturer backing.

“You’ve gotta have an Audi or a Porsche right now,” he admitted. “It’s great to see Ford go with their GT car, but with the IndyCar Series and NASCAR, we’ve got such a commitment that… if you go to Le Mans, that has to be a programme all by itself.

“We’d have to go with a manufacturer at this particular time.

“It’s the one race we really haven’t won, we’ve raced in it but it’s ironic that when we were racing in Le Mans in the ‘70s, Ferdinand Piech’s wife called me, saying her husband wanted to meet with me.

“We met in Stuttgart and we put the 917/10 [Can-Am car] together and then the 917/30, and we were there when there we no buildings in Weissach. [Famous Penske driver Mark] Donohue and myself were there when it was just a test track.”

Rob
16th March 2016, 11:47
CORVETTE RACING CHASES SECOND STRAIGHT FLORIDA ENDURANCE SWEEP
FIERCE GTLM AND GTD COMPETITION EXPECTED IN SEBRING

Corvette Racing will be looking to make it two in-a-row in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and at Sebring International Raceway when it returns to Central Florida for the 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

The team opened the 2016 season with Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fassler winning the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the No. 4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R – the same car that won the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans. One year ago, Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen captured GTLM top honors at Sebring in the team’s No. 3 Corvette C7.R after also winning the Rolex 24.

“Sebring is a race that I think everyone at Corvette Racing looks forward to,” said Garcia, who will co-drive with Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller. “A big reason is our success there with nine wins including last year. It was a good example of what can happen at Sebring. We did not have the fastest car but we had the best strategy and didn’t make any mistakes as drivers or in the pits. At the end of the day, that was the difference.”

Garcia and Magnussen used their victories at Daytona and Sebring as a foundation to capture the 2015 Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup, a four-race test of endurance that continues with Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda. Due to the unique scoring of the Patrón Endurance Cup – with points scored at different intervals of each race – both sets of Corvette drivers are among a 12-driver tie atop the GTLM standings after the opening race of 2016.

Corvette faces stiff challenges from two-car challenges presented by BMW, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche in its bid to repeat.

BMW Team RLL was fastest in the recent February test at Sebring, led by Dirk Werner, who will be joined by Bill Auberlen and Bruno Spengler in the No. 25 IHG Rewards Club BMW M6 GTLM. The team also has the No. 100 for John Edwards, Lucas Luhr and Kuno Wittmer.

Ferrari will have a pair of new 488 GTEs – the No. 62 Risi Competizione entry for international stars Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Davide Rigon, as well as the the No. 68 Scuderia Corsa entry for Alessandro Pier Guidi, Andrea Bertolini and Daniel Serra.



Ford has its new attention-grabbing GT. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing fields the No. 66 for Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and 2015 Sebring overall winner Sebastien Bourdais, in addition to the No. 67 for Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and defending IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.

Porsche brings a two-car lineup that includes defending GTLM champion Patrick Pilet and 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans overall winners Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber. Pilet and Tandy are joined by Kevin Estre in the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR, with Bamber co-driving the No. 912 entry with Frederic Makowiecki and Michael Christensen.

The competition debut of the new Ferrari 488 GT3 and a revised six-car Lamborghini lineup highlight the GT Daytona (GTD) class, with the 20-car lineup including seven manufacturers.

Ferrari had the fastest time in the class at the recent test, turned by Alessandro Balzan in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3. He will be joined by Christina Nielsen and Jeff Segal. Spirit of Race will race the proven Ferrari 458 GT3 for drivers Matteo Cressoni, Raffaele Giammaria and Peter Mann.

There are changes in the Lamborghini entry for Sebring. Change Racing adds a second car, the No. 11 Robert Graham Lamborghini Huracán GT3 for defending GTD champions Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell, who will be joined by Richard Antinucci. The team also fields the No. 16 for Pertamina/Monster Energy entry for Spencer Pumpelly and Corey Lewis. Dream Racing joins the WeatherTech Championship with the No. 27 Huracán GT3 for Larry DeGeorge and Cedric Sbirrazzuoli. Konrad Racing will have a pair of cars, with drivers including Franz Konrad, Terry Borcheller, Christopher Bruck, Norbert Siedler and Pierre Ehret. Paul Miller Racing has the No. 48 Castrol/Universal Industrial Sales entry for Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and Bryce Miller.

Porsche is the defending GTD class winner at Sebring, with Ian James, Mario Farnbacher and Alex Riberas giving Alex Job Racing its 10th triumph in the 2015 classic driving the No. 23 Team Seattle/Heart of Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R. The team also fields the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche for Cooper MacNeil, Leh Keen and Gunnar Jeannette. Black Swan Racing took second in the class in the recent Rolex 24, with Andy Pilgrim, Timothy Pappas and Nicky Catsburg in the No. 540 Papent.com/Fine Arts Enterprises/Boston Athletic Club/Champion Porsche entry. Also racing for Porsche is Park Place Motorsports, with Patrick Lindsey, Matt McMurry and Jorg Bergmeister in the No. 73 Park Place Porsche/Jet Edge International/Justice Brothers entry.

Three teams will field a quartet of the new Audi R8 LMS GT3. Stevenson Motorsports has the No. 6 for Robin Liddell, Andrew Davis and Connor De Phillippi, along with the No. 9 for Lawson Aschenbach, Matt Bell and Dion von Moltke. Magnus Racing has Andy Lally, John Potter and Marco Seefried from its 2016 Rolex 24 class-winning lineup, while Flying Lizard Motorsports has the No. 45 Krohn Aviation Audi R8 for Nic Jonsson, Tracy Krohn and Pierre Kaffer.

Turner Motorsport has a pair of new BMW M6 GT3s, the No. 96 Spectra Resources/United Steel/Valspar Paint/IHG Rewards Club entry for Ashley Freiberg, Jens Klingmann and Bret Curtis, plus the No. 97 Alvarez & Marsal/IHG Rewards Club car for Michael Marsal, Markus Palttala and Jesse Krohn.



Dodge Viper and Aston Martin will be represented by single entries. Riley Motorsports returns with the Viper that came within mere minutes of winning last year’s race, the No. 33 ViperExchange.com Dodge Viper GT3-R for Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Marc Miller. Aston Martin Racing fields the No. 98 Vantage GT3 for Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda, Petro Lamy and Richie Stanaway.

Live television coverage of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring begins on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET on FS1, with the entire race streamed on the FOX Sports GO app. The weekend also includes the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, on Friday at 12:20 p.m., along with two races each for the IMSA Mazda Prototype Lites Presented by Cooper Tires and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.

Practice for the 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring begins at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 17, with qualifying on Friday at 3:30 p.m. The race takes the green flag at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday.

Source:
IMSA
- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/corvette-racing-chases-second-straight-florida-endurance-sweep#sthash.gaX138rU.dpuf

Rob
16th March 2016, 12:06
:clap

FERRARI RECAPTURE THE PAST WITH STRONG BRITISH PRESENCE
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There’s an undeniable element of nostalgia surrounding Ferrari at the moment. Almost 60 years after Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins raced the Prancing Horse’s cars in Formula One, with Hawthorn becoming Britain’s first World Champion in 1958, Ferrari have chosen two British drivers, James Calado and Sam Bird, to represent Maranello alongside Italians Gianmaria Bruni and Davide Rigon in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Now entering his third season at Ferrari, Calado will join Bruni in the no.51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE, while new signing Bird will partner Rigon in the no.71.

For 29-year-old Bird, who was entered in a GTE Am class Ferrari by AF Corse at Silverstone and the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2014, this represents a rich reward for helping G-Drive to the LMP2 team and driver championships last season.

“To be associated with this brand is simply amazing,” Bird said. “It’s a brand you grow up wanting to drive for, so it’s of course an honour and a privilege to be recognised as one of their factory drivers.

“Last season was a very important year because it put me in a great position in the shop window for this year and, when Ferrari comes knocking on your door, it’s something that I would never turn down.”
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With a successful full season in LMP2 now under his belt, Bird feels well prepared for the challenge and has his sights firmly set on helping Ferrari to recapture the World Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers, after missing out to Porsche by just four points in 2015.

“The relationship had always remained, regardless of how it ended at Le Mans in 2014,” he said. “Last year I would go down to AF Corse regularly to have a coffee with the boys. They were happy with the speed that I had shown, but I think there were some other areas that I needed to go away and work on, which I felt like I did, and more, with G-Drive. Because of that, I was able to secure one of the factory drives with Ferrari for this season.

“The aim is obviously to claim the top spot in the GT manufacturers’ championship, that’s got to be the name of the game. It will be extremely tough; there are some other top teams and cars out there, we’ll have to see what happens with the BoP at the beginning of the year, do the best job we can and then, come Bahrain, we’ll see where we stand.”

Rob
16th March 2016, 12:22
Just found out about IMSA BoP....fuel capacities for GTLM

CORVETTE - 102 liters
BMW - 104 liters
Ferrari. - 79 liters

:-!

Rob
16th March 2016, 12:25
Daytona we were 78 litres, and now gone down to 77 litres for Sebring.

Nova
16th March 2016, 17:56
I cant believe we are still at such a disadvantage with the BoP???
What gives? Even the Fords are getting a better deal...
Another reason I prefer the Euro series more than the imsa.

Hey Rob, what is that grey 488? Would that be a lemans prototipo?
Amazing.
And a drag that rules are going to prevent us from winning any imsa events this year..

Rob
16th March 2016, 20:18
I will pm you the reason we get a poor deal in imsa.

Rob
17th March 2016, 11:27
Aston Martin Partner With Red Bull – F1 Branding & a Newey/ Reichmann Designed Hypercar

Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin have this morning announced a partnership which sees Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey and Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman collaborate to produce a ground-breaking Aston Martin hypercard.
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Codenamed Project ‘AM-RB 001’, the new hypercar aims to combine F1 tech with Aston Martin’s signature sports car design.

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner:

“This is a very exciting project for everyone at Red Bull Racing. Through this Innovation Partnership the iconic Aston Martin logo will return to grand prix racing for the first time since 1960, and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, led by Adrian, will be using Formula One DNA to produce the ultimate of all road cars. It’s an incredible project and also realises a dream and vision long held by Adrian to design a road car. We are very much looking forward to what I’m certain will be a successful partnership.”

Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer:

“Formula One offers the ultimate global stage to build wider awareness of the Aston Martin brand. However, this partnership will deliver even more than that when the hypercar that Aston Martin and Adrian Newey are in the process of developing hits the road. Between Q by Aston Martin Advanced, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and project partner AF Racing AG, we are going to create a car that will excite and stir the imaginations of the car designers of the future and a global audience of sports car enthusiasts.

“These are exciting times for Aston Martin and arriving hot on the heels of our DB11 launch earlier this month, this new partnership underlines that our brand really is racing again.”
Adrian Newey:

“From the age of six I have had two goals in life – to be involved in the design of racing cars, and to be involved in the design of a super car.” Newey commented. “Whilst the former ambition went on to form my career to date, the latter has always bubbled away, resulting in countless sketches and doodles over the years.
“The opportunity to now develop and realise those ideas whilst working with Marek and his colleagues from Aston Martin is tremendously exciting. It allows us to translate the technology we have developed in F1 into a new arena.”

Marek Reichman:

“We are in the process of developing a hypercar that combines the latest in aerodynamics from F1 and the stunning design language of an Aston Martin sports car,” said Reichman. “The opportunity to collaborate with Adrian (Newey) and Red Bull Advanced Technologies will be a fascinating experience for everyone involved. Unconstrained by F1TM regulations, we have a unique chance to create a car in its most efficient form that will represent the ultimate fusion of art and technology.”

To celebrate the partnership between Aston Martin, Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, the RB12s will carry the iconic Aston Martin wings logo throughout the 2016 season, making their debut at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne.

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Much of the media comment will inevitably focus on that branding – but it opens up another very interesting question – Is this about Aston Martin looking at Formula One, or will it emerge that it is just as much about Red Bull taking a look at endurance racing?

Rob
17th March 2016, 13:05
Ford Confirm Le Mans Line-Ups: Tincknell, Johnson, Bourdais & Dixon Join GTE Effort

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has announced its full Le Mans 24 Hours line-up, including first confirmation of the finalised driver pairings for the pair of full season WEC cars.

Each of the four Ford GTs will have a team of three drivers to take on the demands of the Le Mans 24 Hours, which takes place on June 18-19.

“We are pleased to have a very strong driver line-up for our return to the Le Mans 24 Hours,” commented Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer, Global Product Development. “We’ve assembled a talented and experienced team on all fronts and we are all focused on creating a new chapter in Ford’s history at Le Mans.”

The #66 Ford GT will be raced by a formidable line-up featuring German Stefan Mücke, Frenchman Olivier Pla and American Billy Johnson, while Scot Marino Franchitti, Guernsey-based Andy Priaulx and Englishman Harry Tincknell form a very strong squad in the #67 Ford GT.

Tincknell is already a Le Mans winner as he took the LMP2 victory in 2014 in his fourth-ever sports car race. He will join the team for the first two FIA WEC races at Silverstone and Spa before going to Le Mans.

“At 24, to be driving a Ford GT car at Le Mans exactly 50 years after the famous 1-2-3 finish for the team is incredibly special for me personally,” said Tincknell. “Ford has such an incredible history at Le Mans and I think with this car and team we can emulate some of that success. We’ll be resuming that fierce battle with Ferrari but it will be very competitive with all of the manufacturers in the class so we are in for a great fight. There is an incredible drive within the team at the moment and everyone is excited to be back. I’m very proud to be a part of it all.”

Johnson is one of the most successful drivers in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Currently racing the Ford Shelby GT350R-C Mustang, Johnson makes his Le Mans debut this year.

“Ford’s history at Le Mans is one of the greatest motorsport stories of all time and this return after 50 years is arguably as meaningful and ambitious,” said Johnson. “Having won many races behind the wheel of Fords and having been a part of the development of the Ford GT, it’s truly an honor to be competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours on Ford’s historic return to the race. Like the original, the new Ford GT was built to win Le Mans and it’s such a fantastic car to drive.”

Sebastien-BourdaisThe #68 Ford GT line-up of American Joey Hand and German Dirk Müller will be strengthened by the addition of Frenchman Sébastien Bourdais at Le Mans, with New Zealander Scott Dixon joining Englishman Richard Westbrook and Australian Ryan Briscoe in the #69 car.

Bourdais tested the Ford GT during its development phase and competed in the No. 66 IMSA Ford GT at the Rolex 24 with Hand and Müller.

“Le Mans is incredibly close to my heart,” said Bourdais. “I was born there so it is very special to go back as the local boy, as I have done 10 times now. People have not forgotten Ford’s history and heritage at Le Mans, even though it was a long time ago. The excitement around Ford’s return will make Le Mans even more special for us. We have new challenges and new rivalries and we hope the story comes full circle so that we can repeat history.”

Bourdais and Dixon were recently announced as the third and fourth drivers who will complete the line-up for the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring this week.

“For once I’m the rookie as this will be my first Le Mans,” said Dixon. “I’m excited to make my Le Mans debut in the Ford GT. I’ve been in the car a few times in testing so I know we have a great race car here. Like any driver it is a dream come true for me to race at Le Mans and I can’t wait to get started. The history of Ford at Le Mans is very well documented and I’m proud to be part of this very special program.”

“Personally, and as an organization, we are thrilled to be racing at Le Mans this year,” added Chip Ganassi. “As a driver I raced there once back in 1987 and I have been looking to get back there ever since. To be going with Ford and the new GT makes it all the more special and the talent assembled in this driver line-up just adds to the anticipation.”

Rob
17th March 2016, 13:08
Tincknell Confirms Additional Ganassi Ford Outings

Harry-TincknellAppearing on Radio Le Mans’ weekly Midweek Motorsport programme newly announced Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Le Mans driver Harry Tincknell confirmed that he will additionally race the GTE Pro class Ford GT at the opening two FIA WEC races of the season at Silverstone and Spa Francorchamps.

Assuming that fellow Le Mans addition Billy Johnson is confirmed with a similar programme that means that all of the 2016 Le Mans drivers should arrive with race experience in the Ford already under their belts with Sebastien Bourdais having raced at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and both the Frenchman and Scott Dixon slated to race this coming weekend at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Rob
17th March 2016, 13:12
thats really good news for Harry.

Rob
18th March 2016, 11:05
got these earlier in my onbox from good friend....

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been testing in Vallelunga.

Rob
18th March 2016, 11:21
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Rob
18th March 2016, 11:27
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Rob
18th March 2016, 11:36
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Rob
18th March 2016, 12:24
BUBBA BURGER JOINS WEATHERTECH CHAMPIONSHIP AS OFFICIAL BURGER
PROUD PARTNER ALSO BECOMES ENTITLEMENT SPONSOR OF LONG BEACH

Ladies and gentlemen, start your grills!

Officials from the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today announced a multi-year partnership making BUBBA burger® the “Official Burger” of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and a Proud Partner of IMSA. The partnership also will feature a variety of events with promotions and product coupons throughout the WeatherTech Championship season.

“BUBBA burger® is known for their high quality and convenience and clearly has many fans, which we believe can be – or already are – fans of sports car racing,” said IMSA Vice President, Marketing David Pettit. “This is an enthusiastic new partner for IMSA and the WeatherTech Championship in a unique, but fitting, category. It also brings another non-endemic, category-leading, premium brand into the ranks of Official Partners of IMSA.

“Many of our race fans take advantage of the opportunity to camp and grill their own food at our racetracks. We fully expect BUBBA burgers will find a home on many of those grills this season and well into the future.”

BUBBA burger® products are sold throughout the United States. They are available in over 11 different burger varieties, including an expanded line of BUBBA Turkey and Veggie burgers.

In addition to its official partnership status with IMSA, BUBBA burger® also was named the entitlement partner of next month’s WeatherTech Championship race at Long Beach. The race will be called the “BUBBA burger® SportsCar Grand Prix at Long Beach.”

“BUBBA burger and racing go hand in hand,” said Vice President of Marketing Andy Stenson. “The sports car race fans are an important part of our rapid growth as a brand! This new sponsorship with IMSA will allow us to reach an expanding fan base and to share the excitement of the BUBBA burger brand.”

Next up for the WeatherTech Championship is the 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 19. Live television coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. ET on FS1 and the race will be streamed in its entirety in the U.S. on the FOX Sports GO app and internationally on IMSA.tv.

About BUBBA burger®

BUBBA burger® is sold in grocery stores nationwide throughout the United States as well as world-wide through the U.S. Military Commissary system. BUBBA burger® is a natural choice for quality and convenience, we are proud to produce our uniquely shaped, gluten free BUBBA burgers. You can take them right from your freezer to your grill or skillet. BUBBA burgers come in many varieties to fit any taste, including the newly expanded BUBBA turkey line and our BUBBA Veggie burger. Race to your favorite local grocer’s freezer today and pick up a few BUBBA burgers so that you are sure to have a winning weekend! Visit www.bubbafoods.com for more information.

- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/bubba-burger-joins-weathertech-championship-official-burger#sthash.icL0RwPm.dpuf

Rob
18th March 2016, 12:30
A Lap Around Sebring International Raceway


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Rob
18th March 2016, 12:32
MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA TO FEATURE PAIR OF WEATHERTECH CHAMPIONSHIP RACES

SPLIT RACE FORMAT INCLUDES P/GTLM & GTD/PC RACES


The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will return to dual races in the Continental Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda on Sunday, May 1 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

With an anticipated entry in excess of 40 cars across the four WeatherTech Championship classes, the series again will contest a pair of two-hour races. The first race, beginning at 11:15 a.m. PT, will feature the Prototype (P) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes and will be televised live on FS1.

The Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes will be in the spotlight for the second race, beginning at 3:45 p.m. PT with live television coverage on FS2. Both races also will be rebroadcast on FS1.

“The Continental Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda lends itself to the unique format of dual events for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “This format is attractive for a number of reasons. It provides an opportunity for competitors in each of our classes to earn more time in the spotlight, offers the outstanding fans at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca considerably more racing action, and enables us to take advantage of two terrific, live television windows.”

The WeatherTech Championship previously conducted dual races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2014. The expected field for the Continental Monterey Grand Prix is nearly 20 percent larger than it was in 2015.

“The Continental Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda will be packed with the best in sports car racing, an action-filled weekend for everyone,” said Gill Campbell, CEO/General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

In addition to the dual races, the classes also will be divided in the same manner for all practice sessions leading up to the race. The P/GTLM and PC/GTD classes each will have three practice sessions prior to qualifying, and each class pairing also will have its own pre-race warm-up on Sunday, May 1.

Tickets for the Continental Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda are available now at www.mazdaraceway.com.

Source:
IMSA
- See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/mazda-raceway-laguna-seca-feature-pair-weathertech-championship-races#sthash.up04ym2V.dpuf

Rob
19th March 2016, 15:43
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RISI COMPETIZIONE QUALIFIES EIGHTH FOR 12 HOURS OF SEBRING CLASSIC

Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM No. 62: Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Toni Vilander (FIN) Davide Rigon (ITA)
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Daytona Beach, Florida (March 18, 2016)...Toni Vilander qualified the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE in the eighth position on the GTLM class grid for this Saturday's 64th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida endurance race, March 19, 2016.

His best time of 1:59.020, with an average speed of 113.124 mph, was clocked on the fifth lap during 87 degree F ambient and 105 degree F track temperatures in Friday's qualifying session. The very competitive GTLM pole was set by Bill Auberlen in the No. 25 BMW with a time of 1:58.402 and a speed of 113.714 mph.
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Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
"Qualifying certainly didn't go as planned. We had a better car than that. We run a softer setup, which races well, but it struggles with the Continental Tire Challenge rubber when they have a long race before we qualify. The soft setup seems to not clean their rubber off our Michelins. Once the track is cleaned up and softer race rubber put down we'll be much better and the handling we had in the final practice should be back.

"We like Sebring and I like Sebring as well. We've done well here in the past and Ferrari has been good. Obviously the rules are not in our favor currently. We will do what we can. We came back with basically the same set up we had at the Test, which was good. It's been good up to now. We should be better in the race."

Toni Vilander qualified the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM
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Toni Vilander, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"I found the track relatively much different to practice, especially compared to this morning. I just never got a hold of the race car and especially the tires. There was just no grip from the rear. We need to think about this for the race. The balance was similar to this morning but everything just got that much worse that I couldn't control that race car anymore. We will work with Rick (Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer) a bit and see which direction to go for the warm up and the race. It's a bit disappointing because we saw good pace but in qualifying we had a chance but were just a bit outside the window and it was too much."

Vilander's co-drivers to share the cockpit of the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM for the once-around-the-clock Florida enduro and round two of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be fellow Ferrari factory drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Davide Rigon. The Risi team is hoping to add to their three victories at the Sebring, Florida circuit.

L to R: Toni Vilander, Davide Rigon and Giancarlo Fisichella
A 20-minute warm up session at 8:00 a.m. EDT will commence prior to the 12-hour race, which starts at 10:40 a.m. EDT on Saturday, March 19. Live timing and scoring is available for all on-track sessions at IMSA.com and the IMSA Smartphone app.
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Tune-In Information:
The 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida live broadcast coverage gets underway at 10:30 a.m. EDT on FS1 (FOX Sports 1) and the FOX Sports GO app. Television coverage shifts to FS2 (FOX Sports 2) from Noon to 7:00 p.m.; continues on IMSA.com and the IMSA mobile app from 7:00-10 p.m., and concludes on FS2 from 10:00-11:00 p.m., including the checkered flag and winners interviews. A live international broadcast stream is available on IMSA.tv and IMSA mobile app.

Rob
20th March 2016, 14:53
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Scuderia Corsa Scores Thrilling Victory at 12 Hours of Sebring

Christina Nielsen, Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Segal drive new Ferrari 488 GT3 to victory in its first race sixty years after first Ferrari victory at Sebring

Perfect GT-Daytona race - class victory, NAEC victory, pole position and fastest lap - for Scuderia Corsa

No. 68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE shows speed before finishing in seventh position

March 20, 2016 (Sebring, FL) - It came down to the closing stages of the race, but after a late race restart, Alessandro Balzan unleashed the speed of the new no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 to take the GT-Daytona class lead and win the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Starting from pole position, the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari was slowed by incidents and rain in the early stages of the race. Drivers Balzan, Christina Nielsen and Jeff Segal orchestrated a drive through the field in the after a challenging middle portion of the race which featured a two-hour red flag period for rain and lightning. Nielsen and Segal's efforts set up a final stint for Balzan, who decisively took the lead of the GT-Daytona class and took the victory by 2.28 seconds.

Taking the checkered flag, Balzan repeated the feat of his countryman, Italian Eugenio Castellotti, who along with Juan Fangio drove a Ferrari 860 Monza to Ferrari's first victory at Sebring in 1956.

"I am really happy to be back with Scuderia Corsa and to win this race," said Balzan. "I was missing these guys that I won the GRAND-AM championship with. And I am very happy because this is my first endurance race win. To be a part of the first race for the 488 GT3, and its first victory, is incredible - and it is more incredible to win here at Sebring. It is such a big target just to finish, so to win is amazing, especially sixty years after Ferrari and Castellotti won the 12 Hours."

For Nielsen, who guided the Ferrari through a rainy stint of the race while on slick tires, the Sebring victory was her first in the IMSA SportsCar Championship - becoming the first female winner at Sebring history in the GT-Daytona class

"I don't like to think about the results that we have achieved before," said Nielsen. "You start from scratch, and that's what we did here. We had our problems - I was actually worried at one point that we might not make it! But everyone kept fighting and kept pushing, and that is what led to our victory. It was a team effort. I can't thank everyone at Scuderia Corsa enough for this. And, I am really glad that I was able to share my first victory in IMSA with my Dad - he is a big part of my racing so I am really glad he was here."

The team's GT-LeMans class no. 68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE rebounded from adversity suffered in the third hour of the race. Losing five laps, drivers Andrea Bertolini, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra were among the fastest GT-LeMans cars for the rest of the race, gaining back three of their lost laps to finish in seventh position.

The victory capped a perfect day for Scuderia Corsa in GT-Daytona. Not only did the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 set a new track record to score pole position before winning the race, but the team also scored the North American Endurance Cup victory and set the fastest GT-Daytona lap of the race with 2:02.810. The drivers and team are unofficially in second position in the GT-Daytona driver's championship and third in the GT-Daytona North American Endurance Cup championship.

"What a fantastic feeling to win Sebring," said Mattioli. "Our drivers did a great job in very difficult conditions. Christina did a fantastic job in the rain. We had some mechanical issues, but our guys were able to keep us going and pull it off. It's all about coming back - how you overcome adversity, because you are always going to have issues. That's exactly what the team did, they overcame everything that we had in front of us. Being the team that brings the first win to the 488 GT3 is very special."
Scuderia Corsa will compete next at the Grand Prix of Long Beach in the GT-LeMans class on April 18-19, before competing in both GT-LeMans and GT-Daytona at the Monterey Grand Prix on April 29-May 1.

Nova
21st March 2016, 19:18
1st 488 WIN.....BRAVO BRAVO...

Rob
22nd March 2016, 11:02
Audi to present new R18 on the internet

World premiere on Audi MediaTV on March 22
New LMP sports car featuring numerous innovative details

At the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) prologue at Le Castellet (F) on March 25/26, the new Audi R18 will be meeting with its competitors for the first time. Prior to this meeting, the LMP1 sports car will celebrate its premiere on Audi MediaTV.
World premiere of the Audi R18 (Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 14:00, CET)

Rob
22nd March 2016, 11:50
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TDS Racing and Greaves Motorsport withdraw,

Algarve Pro Racing will take part in the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours

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Two teams have withdrawn from the 2016 Le Mans 24 hours on 18-19 June. The no. 59 Aston Martin Vantage V8 entered by TDS Racing in LM GTE Am will not start the 84th event and the first reserve Greaves Motorsport (no. 45 Gibson 015S-Nissan in LM P2) has cried off. Thus, Portuguese squad Algarve Pro Racing’s no. 25 Ligier JS P2-Nissan has been invited to start the race.

The Portuguese team managed by Samantha Cox, which was second on the reserve list in February when the entries for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours were announced, has taken advantage of the withdrawal of TDS Racing and first reserve, Greaves Motorsport, and has been invited to take part in the Sarthe classic on 18th June.

The no. 25 Ligier JS P2-Nissan, second in the 2015/2016 Asian Le Mans Series and 12th in the 2015 European Le Mans Series, will compete in both these series in 2016. For the Le Mans 24 Hours the first nominated driver is Michael Munemann.

Thus, the field for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours breaks down as follows: 9 LM P1s, 23 LM P2s, 14 LM GTE Pros, 13 LM GTE Ams and 1 CDNT (the car in the 56th garage) – 33 prototypes and 27 GTs, a total of 60 cars at the start.

There are two more withdrawals from the reserve list. The no. 53 Riley Motorsports’ SRT Viper GTS-R and the no. 87 Proton Competition’s Porsche 911 RSR have both turned down the invitation.

The reserve list now consists of 6 teams, four LM P2s and two LM GTEs. They will be allowed to race in keeping with the order of the list depending on further withdrawals.

The test day will be held on 5th June before the Le Mans 24 Hours. This day of free practice is reserved, and obligatory, for the 60 entrants (teams and cars) entered for the Le Mans 24 Hours, and for drivers who have never raced in the event, or who have not been on the list of confirmed drivers since 2011.

Scrutineering will begin on Sunday 12th June at 14h30 until 19h30 and will continue the next day (13th June) between 10h00 and 18h00.
Free practice will be held on Wednesday 15th June between 16h00 and 20h00.
Qualifying is on Wednesday between 22h00-midnight and Thursday 16th June, 19h00-21h00 and 22h00-midnight.
The start of the 84th Le Mans 24 Hours will be given on Saturday 18th June at 15h00.

Download the entry list



PRATICAL INFORMATION
2016 LE MANS 24 HOURS
84th event
3rd round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship

Dates: 18 - 19 June 2016

General enclosure tickets: 58.50 euros (ACO members) instead of 78 euros (non ACO members).

Free for young people born after 19th June 2000 accompanied by an adult.

Test Day: Sunday 5th June.

Scrutineering and administrative checks: Sunday 12th and Monday 13th June.

Free and qualifying practice. Wednesday and Thursday 15-16 June.

Start of the 84th Le Mans 24 Hours: Saturday 18th June at 15h00.

Rob
22nd March 2016, 12:36
The Porsche Team completed its ‪919 Hybrid‬ endurance test - 5939 km covered in 3 days last week. According to Brendon Hartley, this distance is 1/3rd of the way to NZ from Circuit Paul Ricard OFFICIEL, France. And if they didn't drive around in circles, he might get to visit home more often!

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Rob
23rd March 2016, 11:38
The new Audi R18
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For the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi is emphasizing focal areas in the 2016 season: The Audi R18 that has been redesigned from scratch has almost nothing in common anymore with its predecessor. It features a more radical aerodynamics concept, including a new safety cell, its hybrid drive system is battery-operated for the first time, the V6 TDI engine has been revised, and new system solutions have been added. As a result, Audi’s LMP1 sports car is a vehicle that is more powerful and – once more – clearly more efficient than its predecessor. While the new R18 is Audi’s strongest race car to date, it consumes less fuel than any of the generations before it.
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The new Audi has been redesigned from scratch with almost nothing in common with its predecessor.

The car features a more radical aerodynamic concept, including a new safety cell, its hybrid drive system is battery-operated for the first time, the V6 TDI engine has been revised too with multiple new systems added into the mix.

As a result the new Audi is more powerful and more efficient than its predecessor, consuming less fuel than any of the generations before it.

The combined power output of the TDI engine and hybrid system is more than 1,000 hp but with a 10% percent reduction in fuel consumption.

With the 2016 regulations demanding a reduction of the upper limit for fuel consumption by 10 megajoules per lap at Le Mans the focus has been on efficiency:

“The result is a race car that manages energy even more effectively than before. This is an objective we’re pursuing for our road-going automobiles as well,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “This type of motorsport continues to set an example for automotive engineering. For Audi, production relevance has been a core topic of all racing programs for 35 years.”

All development engineers at Audi Sport were challenged to enhance the efficiency of the Audi R18.

As a result of switching to the 6-megajoule class, the hybrid system now recovers 50 percent more energy.

The car’s aerodynamics concept is fundamentally new. Nearly all vehicle systems have been refined or redesigned. Consequently, energy consumption decreases, the race car has become lighter, and allows for more favourable packaging of the component assemblies. This has resulted in an R18 which even visually clearly differs from its predecessor.

New Aero

The new Audi R18 is visually very different from its predecessors.

The proportions of the front end and the cabin within the overall vehicle length have changed and the conspicuous nose of the race car is clearly slimmer than before.

“The new proportions influence weight distribution and aerodynamics,” explains Jörg Zander, Head of Engineering at Audi Sport. “Our most important objective was to improve airflow.” At the front end, airflow has to be directed across the top of the race car and between the wheel wells, enter the cooling ducts through the body shell, and optimally approach the underfloor. “In this process, vortices must be avoided, as this costs energy,” says Zander.

Undesirable vortices and turbulent flow reduce the energy in the airflow and increase resistance. The smaller the space which the monocoque occupies in this area the larger are the clearances for low-loss airflow.

Thanks to the new proportions, the new Audi R18 directs airflow even more effectively to optimally approach the underfloor.

At the rear, the air exits again through the diffuser. As a result, it produces a major portion of the downforce under the race car, which is beneficial in cornering. Audi developed a new monocoque, modified the proportions within the prescribed maximum length of 4,650 millimetres, and designed all the component assemblies accordingly.

New as well are the dimensions and positions of the prescribed openings in the front wheel arches. They are intended to reduce undesirable aerodynamic lift effects in the case of lateral airflow. Their areas have been enlarged by 45 percent compared with the 2015 season.

Chassis Changes

Due to the new monocoque, the mounting points for the front suspension have significantly changed.

To make them more compatible with the position of the drive shaft for the hybrid system, the new mounting points have been rearranged. Suspension kinematics have been significantly revised.

Wishbones featuring a new design are now used for wheel guidance. The lift and roll spring-damper elements are actuated via pushrods at the front.

The rear suspension kinematics has been optimised as well. As in the case of the previous-generation vehicle, the spring-damper elements are controlled using pullrods.

Optimum balance of the race car in all speed ranges is guaranteed by balancers of the Linked Suspension System (LSS) in the chassis

The transmission is a new design as well. Audi’s simulations revealed that the optimised engine allows a very good gear ratio spread with minimal rpm jumps even in combination with a six-speed instead of the previous seven-speed unit. As a result, the engineers managed to further reduce the weight of the transmission. In the other areas of the vehicle’s structure, Audi rigorously pursued its lightweight design approach as well, while retaining the high torsional stiffness of the chassis.

In addition, new solutions for the actuators of individual systems of the Audi R18 help reduce weight. While in the previous-generation vehicle electrical actuators were still operating in the braking, transmission and engine systems, the new Audi R18 uses an all-new development of a high-pressure central hydraulic system. The regulations prescribe a minimum weight of 875 kilograms for the LMP1 hybrid sports cars. In spite of a more powerful and therefore necessarily heavier hybrid system, Audi does not exceed this limit.

New Hybrid System

Audi was the first manufacturer to win the Le Mans 24 Hours with an energy recuperation system, using a flywheel energy storage system from 2012 to 2015.

For 2016 a battery will be accumulating the energy.

Electrokinetic technology is being replaced by an electrochemical storage system.

“The flywheel accumulator definitely proved viable for the lower energy classes,” explains Thomas Laudenbach, Head of Electrics, Electronics and Energy Systems at Audi Sport. “But due to the fact that we now have to process even more energy than before, a technology change suggested itself.”

The previous flywheel accumulator guaranteed high power density. Now, favourable energy density has to be achieved as well, as Audi is switching to a higher hybrid energy class.

Starting in the 2016 season, the amount of energy will increase by 50 percent to 6 megajoules. When comparing this level with the one from the 2014 season, the engineers have even tripled the amount of recuperated energy within this period of time.

For the first time, Audi will be relying on a lithium-ion accumulator as the hybrid energy storage system. Since 2009, the batteries for the electrical system of Audi LMP1s have been based on this technology.

The production-based cells of the new hybrid storage system use advanced and powerful cell chemistry and are serially connected.

The system is located within the high-strength safety structure in the monocoque in their own cell.

Electrical and electronic safety systems monitor various parameters – from individual cells through to the overall high-voltage system – and will intervene if necessary. The shutoff logic naturally includes crash detection.

The energy stored by the system is generated by an MGU (Motor Generator Unit) at the front axle. The Audi R18 converts the rotary motion of the front wheels into electrical energy when the driver brakes before entering a turn and feeds it into the storage system. This way, the hybrid sports car utilizes energy that would otherwise be lost. If the race driver accelerates again on exiting the turn, the current flows in the opposite direction to power the MGU. As a result, the front axle of the R18 helps accelerate the race car again. A low-temperature cooling circuit, which is separate from the engine cooling system, cools the battery cells, MGU, and power electronics.

From the 2016 season on, there will be a track-specific limitation imposed on power output in addition to the previous energy classes. Although the MGU may recuperate any desired amount of energy, it may now only supply 300 kW (408 hp) in the race at Le Mans.

Audi has designed its MGU for an output of more than 350 kW (476 hp) in order to recover as much energy as possible. The reason is that even when braking at high speed, the braking phases of an LMP1 race car last only three to five seconds. The high system output helps efficiently recover the required energy. At Le Mans, the system may only supply 300 kW during subsequent acceleration. Accordingly, the energy from the hybrid system will be available for a longer period of time. This limit does not apply to the other FIA WEC rounds.

By opting for the 6-megajoule class, Audi has presented its most powerful MGU so far. In 2012, Audi started with about 150 kW (204 hp) of electrical power output. To date, this level has far more than doubled. Conceptually, the previous and the new MGU are akin to each other. However, the power electronics, stator, and rotor are new developments. This generation of the hybrid drive system delivers high output and develops strong torque, as a result of which the loads acting on the components that transmit power to the front axle increase accordingly. Audi uses a limited slip differential at the front axle to transfer torque with minimal loss.

Efficiency

Whilst the developers of the hybrid drive system were allowed to increase output, the engine development team headed by Ulrich Baretzky was confronted with the opposite challenge for the 2016 season.

The 4-litre V6 power-plant now receives less fuel, which initially reduces its output.

Cionsider also that Audi switched to a higher hybrid energy class – and the regulations allocate less fuel to race cars which recuperate large amounts of energy.

This aspect results in a minus figure in the power equation of about three percent.

At the same time, another change is taking effect. With development pushing forward the pace of LMP1 technology and with faster and faster lap times the FIA, the WEC and the ACO have now allocated less fuel energy to the hybrid race cars.

“This is a development which, as a manufacturer, we principally support in order to control the lap times,” says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

The basic concept of the V6 TDI engine dates to 2011. With its double-flow VTG mono turbocharger, 120-degree cylinder bank angle, the exhaust gas side within the V angle, and innovative detailed solutions the unit tends to be regarded as unusual. The initial displacement volume of 3.7 litres increased to four litres in 2014.

“We’re now using the basic engine concept for the sixth consecutive year. This shows how sound the basic idea still is,” says Ulrich Baretzky. “Due to efficiency increases, we partially compensate for the lower amount of fuel.”
Among other things, the turbocharger is now lighter and more efficient.

Externally, the V6 TDI has changed as well. Individual components are now arranged differently in order to make room for the new aerodynamics concept. The prescribed limitation of the charge pressure to a factor of 4 does not change the engine’s torque of more than 850 Newton metres. The higher efficiency pays off, as the fuel cell capacity of the race car has been reduced further as well – by eight percent to 49.9 litres.

The current V6 TDI consumes 32.4 percent less fuel than the first generation did in 2011.

This progress is even more substantial in a comparison with the original year of 2006. Back then, Audi used TDI technology for the first time.

Since the diesel-fuelled TDI technology was adopted Audi have claimed eight Le Mans victories, a distance record, plus two world championship titles.

The 2016 car uses 46.4 percent less fuel at Le Mans. Still, it achieves lap times that are ten to 15 seconds better than a decade ago with aerodynamics, lightweight design and the powertrain all making major contributions.

Safety

Audi complements the exacting requirements of the regulations by in-house research that far exceeds these rules. In the field of active safety – in other words the detection of hazards and accident prevention – the Audi drivers can draw on a wealth of tools. Whilst the driver information monitor in the cockpit to display race control flag signals is prescribed, Audi has a number of other systems in play.

Matrix LED headlights combined with Audi laser light optimize the light beam of the race cars that can reach speeds of up to 340 km/h. Since 2015, Audi customers have been able to order laser light in the second generation of the Audi R8 road car as well. Matrix LED technology has been making its way into a growing number of model ranges.

Particularly good rearward vision is provided by a lightweight and energy-efficient camera system in combination with an ultramodern AMOLED screen that serves as a digital rear view mirror.

Since the 2001 season, the drivers and pit crews have been keeping their eye on tire inflation pressure using a tire pressure monitoring system. And, last but not least, the Audi R18 automatically controls brake force distribution with respect to the hybrid system in the respective operating condition.

In the event that an accident cannot be avoided, the passive safety systems take effect. The monocoque consists of a high-strength CFRP structure with an aluminum honeycomb core and has a front crash nose for energy absorption.

In 2011, Audi was the first manufacturer to use a single-piece monocoque. The cell has been provided with additional side impact protection, as Zylon layers integrated into the cockpit walls prevent the intrusion of objects.

In rear-end collisions a CFRP structure at the transmission absorbs the impact energy.

Double wheel tethers have been successfully used since the 2014 season and reduce the risk of wheels separating from the race cars in accidents. Due to their rotary motion, wheels have high levels of kinetic energy.

The high-voltage protection systems ensure that the electrical currents in the hybrid system can be safely controlled.

There is no other motorsport discipline that uses an equal amount of high technology to protect the driver before or during an accident.

Rob
23rd March 2016, 11:46
Porsche Reveal New 919 Hybrid and 2016 Livery

Porsche have this morning released the first official shots of the new 2016 version of the 919 Hybrid in its 2016 FIA WEC livery.

The factory team tested at Paul Ricard last week and has been on site, but behind closed doors, ever since.
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Senna4Ever
23rd March 2016, 14:22
Very exited who had done the better work
I must admit that when I saw the first pictures of the new Audio I thought that was some kind of future study ... very interesting concept on the chassis ... wow ... I mean looking at it from the front it looks like a "fighter" from star wars
whereas Porsche looks very traditional LMP1 style

Nova
24th March 2016, 01:58
What a difference in the new Porsche and Audi long distance runners..both r awesome, but so different.
The blue Equity One car looks awesome also.
Great pix.
The Porsche looking the more traditional WEC car..the Audi looks like an F1 car with semi enclosed front wheels and a canopy...

abbottcostello
24th March 2016, 10:04
Two very fast cars! I like the "old F1" nose on the Audi & the front view is killer, just can't get over the canopy being so squared off. The Porsche is more to my personal liking overall, mostly due to the more rounded, fastback look to the roofline.

Really interesting details on the R18, I was surprised to read they still used flywheel last year, for some reason I thought they had switched already!

Rob
24th March 2016, 11:12
bit late with ELMS news...

Successful end to Two Days of Testing at Le Castellet
ELMS - 23/03/2016

After the Official Test at the Circuit Paul Ricard, the European Le Mans Series it is on a countdown to the 4 Hours of Silverstone on Saturday 16 April, which is just 24 days away. The final three hour session ended on a wet note as rain fell on the 5.7km circuit for the final 60 minutes of the day.
The fastest car on Day 2 was the no46 Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA in both the morning and afternoon sessions. Mathias Beche set a lap of 1m48.569, but this was 0.469 seconds adrift of the best time of the two day test set by Olivier Pla in the no40 Krohn Racing Ligier in first session on Tuesday morning. The Krohn Ligier was third quickest on Day 2, with the no41 Greaves Motorsport Ligier of Memo Rojas second quickest and just 0.027s behind the Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA.


In LMP3 the United Autosports Ligiers continued to lead the way. With the no2 car setting the quickest times on Day One and the best of the two day test, it was the no3 Ligier that led the P3 class on Wednesday morning with Matt Bell setting the fastest lap before the time was bettered by the no16 Panis Barthez Competition JS 03 of Simon Gachet with a 1m53.908. The final session of the day was led by the no19 Duquiene Engineering Ligier, with Dino Lunardi setting a 1m55.368.


In LMGTE it was the no51 AF Corse Ferrari that was quickest once again after setting the fastest time on Day One. Marco Cioci set a 1m 57.252 lap which was 0.052s faster than his best time on Tuesday. The no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Rory Butcher was the quickest in the final session with a 1m57.897.

Next stop is Silverstone in three weeks time with a two day event on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 April.

Rob
24th March 2016, 11:13
What The Drivers Said......
ELMS - 22/03/2016 - Jeff Carter

Five drivers give their thoughts during the first day of the 2016 ELMS Official Test
Aaron Scott, no55 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia

“This year having the same drivers as last year is going to be an advantage. We all know each other and we have the same crew, it is always nice to have the continuity. This is my second year with the GTE car and being with AF Corse is a huge plus.

“Having a lot of P3 cars will definitely change the racing as you have quite a mix of drivers. It’s good to see that they are a little bit quicker overall than last year but at places like Imola it is going to make the job a bit harder, we will see.

“I think the three day events could be good as we will have a bit more time but we’ll see when we start the season.”

Johnny Laursen, no60 Formula Racing Ferrari 458 Italia

“It feels great to start the season as the champion and also to know we will be going to Le Mans in June, which is our big goal. We are eager to get started. The grid is bigger this year and the problem with the LMP3 is they are not fast enough, the speed difference between them and the GTEs is not big enough and we might have some problems between some of the slower LMP3s and us at the starts, but we will see.”



Chris Hoy, no25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2-Nissan

“It’s gone really well today actually, I enjoyed it. I feel that I have settled into the team relatively quickly. The Ligier is a different type of car to the Greaves Motorsport Gibson I tested, it handles differently, it’s a lot more twitchy, which you get used to. But I really enjoyed it. I didn’t particularly enjoy this circuit last year, it wasn’t my favourite but I feel I am getting to grips with it better. With regards to the times, myself, Mike [Munemann] and Parth [Ghorpade] were virtually the same times but there is more to come, I’m losing time at Signes and I’m losing time at the double right after that but I’m improving in the slower technical corners. It’s been a good day.”

Bert Longin, No8 Race Performance Ligier JS P3-Nissan

“At the moment we are still too slow but we are learning a lot. The LMP3 car is new for me, so I did a 56.8 lap so I need to find at least one second for sure. But that is why we are here. I feel really good in the car and I am very happy to be here. I see so many friends from the GT1 days in the ELMS paddock so it is really very nice, a big family! Apart from Spa, I am looking forward to Imola as I won my first GT1 race there, so I have some good memories there.”

Memo Rojas, no41 Greaves Motorsport Ligier JS P2-Nissan

“It’s been very good. Obviously it is the first official test, I am very happy to be here. I’m getting acquainted with the new team, the new car, a new circuit; everything is new with many differences between America and here. The way of racing, the way the team works but it is very professional and interesting to me. I’m really looking forward to racing in the ELMS.”

Rob
24th March 2016, 11:23
Toyota have become the third and final LMP1 manufacture to show off their 2016 challenger. The brand new Toyota TS050 will be the car that Toyota hope will get them back to the top of LMP1 after a disappointing title defence 2015

The TS050 will use a turbocharged V6 rather than the V8 of its predecessor (The TS040). Toyota will also step away from their supercapacitor hybrid system and instead take a step in the direction of Porsche’s system, harvesting energy from the breaking as well as from the exhaust. This new system see’s Toyota’s LMP1 effort jump from the 6mj class to the 8mj class within LMP1.

According to Rob Leupen, Toyota’s vice president, the team have carried over some parts from the TS040. The main area of interest in the new car is saving weight. Leupen added, “we need to leave no stone un turned to be at the same level as our competitors next season.”

As has been the case with the already released 2016 spec Audi R18 e-tron quattro and Porsche 919 Hybrid, the Toyota TS050 has a brand new livery. The Japanese manufacture have stepped away from their blue theme which has been their LMP1 colours since their LMP1 debut back in 2012 and instead will use a red white and black livery.

Also changing are the numbers that Toyota will be racing with in 2016. After failing to retain their #1 and #2 numbers from last season due to loosing out in the championship to Porsche, and Audi already claiming the #7 and #8 that Toyota had run up to 2014, Toyota will run all new numbers in 2016. Anthony Davidson, Sebastian Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima will race in the #5 machine. Mike Conway, Stephane Sarrazin and Kamui Kobayashi will drive the second TS050 with the #6 aboard.

The car will be officially revealed over the weekend at Paul Ricard for the FIA World Endurance Championship’s offical pre-season test session.
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Rob
24th March 2016, 11:42
couple paddock shots from WEC Prologue..

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Rob
24th March 2016, 11:49
aaaaand...

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Rob
24th March 2016, 12:32
Two very fast cars! I like the "old F1" nose on the Audi & the front view is killer, just can't get over the canopy being so squared off. The Porsche is more to my personal liking overall, mostly due to the more rounded, fastback look to the roofline.

Really interesting details on the R18, I was surprised to read they still used flywheel last year, for some reason I thought they had switched already!

Audi, wow, what a different design route they gone down. Im with you on the cockpit, looks, odd. But im sure there is very good reason for it. Both, Porsche and Toyota, look, smooth lines. Its going be, yet another great year.

The Architect
24th March 2016, 12:51
The new Toyota looks very similar to the old one, aside from the livery which is a bit of a mess (but not as bad as say the SF16-H). If its competitiveness does not make up for the loss of that glorious naturally aspirated V8, I will be very disappointed.

The Audi is very striking, almost a formula car with a closed cockpit.

Rob
24th March 2016, 13:02
The new Toyota looks very similar to the old one, aside from the livery which is a bit of a mess (but not as bad as say the SF16-H). If its competitiveness does not make up for the loss of that glorious naturally aspirated V8, I will be very disappointed.

The Audi is very striking, almost a formula car with a closed cockpit.

All the LMP1 cars, got pretty much same colour schemes. Will try get some good close ups of the Audi. Be good chance i be getting grid passes, so be on grid before the start. But it all depends on few things.

Rob
24th March 2016, 13:13
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TS050 HYBRID: NEW CAR, NEW CHALLENGE FOR TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
Thursday 24 March 2016

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing today revealed the all-new TS050 HYBRID, the car which will carry its hopes into a new season of World Endurance Championship (WEC) competition.

Following a difficult defence of its World Championship titles in 2015, TOYOTA has set itself tough performance targets in order to compete once again at the front of a fiercely-competitive WEC field, featuring fellow LMP1-Hybrid manufacturers Porsche and Audi.

The TS050 HYBRID, TOYOTA’s third new car since joining WEC in 2012, was unveiled publicly for the first time at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France this morning.

It features a significant change in powertrain concept. A 2.4litre, twin-turbo, direct injection V6 petrol engine is combined with an 8MJ hybrid system, both of which are developed by Motor Sport Unit Development Division at Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre.

A new generation turbo engine with direct injection is better suited to the current regulations which limit fuel flow to the engine, and provides opportunity to continue technology and knowledge transfer from the track to road cars.

Like TOYOTA road cars, the front and rear motor-generators recover energy under braking, storing it in a high-powered lithium-ion battery and releasing it as boost for maximum efficiency. The change from super capacitor to battery storage allows the TS050 HYBRID to move up to the more-powerful 8MJ hybrid class.

The TS040 HYBRID was already used as a rolling test bench and contributed to current road cars. With turbo engines increasingly in use on the road, TOYOTA expects to use the technology and know-how from WEC to make ever-better road cars.

A new powertrain concept brings different cooling and packaging demands, including an updated transmission to handle the significant increase in torque delivered by the turbo engine. Combined with a new aerodynamic concept, that means virtually every part on the TS050 HYBRID chassis has been redesigned by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany.

Powertrain components have played their part too in the improved aerodynamic performance of the TS050 HYBRID; by relocating the front motor-generator unit, better under-floor air flow has been achieved which will contribute to overall performance. Suspension kinematics have also been revised to optimise tyre wear.

The team, which includes several new faces, has already been busy testing the TS050 HYBRID, striving for performance and reliability, covering over 22,000km with positive results. The next test comes at Paul Ricard on 25-26 March, while the nine-race WEC season kicks off at Silverstone on 17 April.

Toshio Sato, Team President: “This is a very exciting season for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, particularly because we have a completely new car with a new powertrain concept. This reflects the current trend in road cars and gives us more opportunities to transfer know-how and technology into TOYOTA’s road car developments. Our WEC activities are motivated by the development of technology and people; we are already seeing the results of our activities in current road cars. But as well as helping TOYOTA to make ever-better cars, we also want to win. Our clear target this year is to compete again at the front, after a very disappointing 2015 season. In Higashi-Fuji and Cologne, there has been a huge effort to prepare for this season; everyone is highly motivated and pushing together to get back onto the centre of the podium.”

Hisatake Murata, General Manager Motor Sport Unit Development Division: “The regulations for this season include a reduction in fuel flow and total fuel energy of approximately 7.5%. As motorsport engineers, we want to always increase the performance of the powertrain so it was important to compensate for this reduction with a more efficient, powerful powertrain. We believe a V6, direct injection, twin turbo engine achieves the best balance of power and efficiency considering the current regulations. Combined with our move into the 8MJ class, this will give us significantly improved torque compared to the previous powertrain; this was a key target for the new car. The new powertrain presents some challenges, particularly in terms of weight and cooling, but the team at Higashi-Fuji and Cologne has worked very hard to address these and I am confident we have met the challenge. We face tough opposition, as last year showed, but we are ready and I cannot wait for Silverstone.”

Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director: “Aside from some principles which have been retained to capitalise on previous years’ development, we have changed every single part. In many areas, like the powertrain and the aerodynamics, the concepts themselves have changed. The aerodynamic concept, and particularly the front face of the car, has changed drastically. We have spent thousands of hours refining this new concept and this time we have done more than incremental changes; we have significantly changed the way we handle the flow structure after the front downforce-generating devices. There has been a significant progress rate in WEC recently so we cannot afford to have any area of the package which is not fully optimised. The TS050 HYBRID has been developed on that basis. We want to be competitive. That is the minimum target we set ourselves - to be back in the game and competitive.”

Rob Leupen, Team Director: “The team has worked extremely hard on the TS050 HYBRID, which is the result of a close, productive cooperation. Our innovative motorsport technology, as well as the R&D opportunities in Cologne, is contributing to making ever-better cars and the development of road car engineers. At TMG we are delighted to welcome increasing numbers of colleagues from Japan to learn and utilise motorsport as a test bed for new technologies. We are continuously improving team work and this process is very positive; expertise is transferred between Cologne and Higashi-Fuji, and vice-versa, to help reach our targets in WEC. We have responded to a difficult 2015 by reinforcing our team with additional, younger faces throughout, including the driver line-up. The whole team has worked hard during the tests; we still have a long way to go but we expect to be competitive this year.”

In the #5 TS050 HYBRID, 2014 World Champions Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi are again joined by former Le Mans pole position winner Kazuki Nakajima to form a potent partnership.

Multiple Le Mans pole position winner Stéphane Sarrazin once again links up with fellow WEC race winner Mike Conway in the #6. They are joined by Formula 1 podium finisher Kamui Kobayashi, promoted from test and reserve driver.

While TOYOTA has no official test and reserve driver this year, young Japanese driver Ryo Hirakawa will be a part of the team, as a member of the TOYOTA Young Drivers Programme (TDP). Ryo, who is a race winner in Japanese Super GT and a former Japanese Formula Three champion, will also race an LMP2 car in the European Le Mans Series with the TDS Racing team.

He will join further tests this season as he acclimatises to the specific demands of an LMP1 car and, like his team-mates, will benefit from the experience of Alex Wurz, who has begun a new chapter in his career as an advisor and team ambassador for TOYOTA.

Anthony Davidson (#5 TS050 HYBRID): “I’m looking forward to getting started this season with the new TS050 HYBRID; it’s always an exciting time of the year. Last year it was obviously a disappointment but this season we will be stronger and hopefully more like 2014 when we were really competitive. It’s not going to be easy because the competition is strong but we are pushing hard, working on reliability and performance. We are all focused on playing our part and making progress as quickly as possible, as you can see with this completely new car. I’m really impressed with the TS050 HYBRID; I like the different sound of the turbo engine and the 8MJ system is a huge step forward. All the drivers feel that and it makes us realise what we were missing last year. I can’t wait to experience it in race conditions.”

Sébastien Buemi (#5 TS050 HYBRID): “I’m fully motivated to start the season. We’ve worked very hard and I’m sure that’s going to translate into lap times. The new car is definitely a big step forward. Our chassis has always been quite competitive and we’ve tried to make it even better and we have developed a lot in all areas. Obviously we have put a huge amount of effort into the engine as well as the hybrid system and we can already see the positive results. Thanks to everyone in Higashi-Fuji and Cologne for their hard work; it continues to be a big effort and we are still optimising everything. I cannot predict anything until we get out on track against the others in a competitive environment at Silverstone but my target for this season is clear; I want to be back at the top of the podium.”

Kazuki Nakajima (#5 TS050 HYBRID): “I have been looking forward to the start of this season and our new car since early last season, so it’s great that it is finally getting started. Last season was tough but it just gave us all added motivation to come back stronger. Introducing this new car, including completely new powertrain shows how serious we are about competing again. The TS050 HYBRID definitely feels like a major improvement, particularly thanks to the new engine and hybrid system. It’s impressive how powerful 8MJ is and the duration of the boost is really cool; this is something really positive for us this season. Our motivation and team spirit is really high. Everyone has been working so hard to be ready for the first race. Now I am ready to win some races this year and to be competitive again; that is the target.”

Stéphane Sarrazin (#6 TS050 HYBRID): “I’m really excited that the season is coming. We are testing a lot and the whole team is pushing really hard to make sure we have reliability and to fine-tune our car for the season. The Prologue will be the first time where we can see what Audi and Porsche did during the winter, so it will be interesting. Generally, of course I hope that we will be back in the game and that we can show good performance already in Silverstone. My first impressions of the TS050 HYBRID are very positive. It is definitely a big step forward and we improved every single part, particularly the powertrain. The battery itself is really incredible with 8MJ of boost; this is a very good point for us. We are in a busy period to prepare for the season but have a good starting point and we expect to be fighting at the front.”

Mike Conway (#6 TS050 HYBRID): “I obviously have high expectations for the upcoming season; the target is to get back to winning races. It is nice to have Kamui in the car crew; we’ve tested together already and he is definitely quick so we’re ready to fight. As a team we have made good progress over the winter and the new TS050 HYBRID is cool. We have taken a big step by moving into the 8MJ class and the new battery is impressive. The whole team has made a massive effort to change every aspect of the car, which is not a simple task, and we are all hugely motivated to get back to the front. At the moment it’s hard to tell where we are compared to the other manufacturers but we definitely made a big step forward.”

Kamui Kobayashi (#6 TS050 HYBRID): “I like the new car; it is definitely a big improvement which gives me a lot of hope for the season. I particularly like the new powertrain with turbo engine and 8MJ hybrid system; it’s great to drive this car! Of course, it is always challenging with such a new package and we have to work hard to maximise performance and reliability. This season is a new experience for me. I have raced in WEC before but that was only in the GT class; LMP1 cars are a totally different story and there are new things to learn. I’m happy to be part of the #6 car with Stéphane and Mike, who are really good drivers with a lot of experience. My target this season is to show strong performance and of course to win races. I can’t wait to get started in Silverstone.”


2016 World Endurance Championship Calendar

17 April 6 Hours of Silverstone (Gbr)
7 May 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (Bel)
18 June 24 Hours of Le Mans (Fra)
24 July 6 Hours of Nürburgring (Deu)
3 September 6 Hours of Mexico (Mex)
17 September 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas (USA)
16 October 6 Hours of Fuji (Jpn)
6 November 6 Hours of Shanghai (Chn)
19 November 6 Hours of Bahrain (Bhr)

TS050 HYBRID Technical Specifications

Type LMP1-H (Le Mans Prototype - Hybrid)
Bodywork Carbon fibre composite
Windscreen Polycarbonate
Gearbox Transversal with 7 gears sequential
Gearbox casing Aluminium
Driveshafts Constant velocity tripod plunge-joint driveshafts
Clutch ZF-supplied multidisc
Differential Mechanical locking differential
Suspension Independent front and rear double wishbone, pushrod-system
Springs Torsion bars
Anti roll bars Front and rear
Steering Hydraulically assisted
Brake calipers Akebono mono-block light-alloy
Brake discs Carbon ventilated
Rims RAYS magnesium alloy, 13 x 18 inch
Tyres Michelin radial
Front tyres 31/71-18
Rear tyres 31/71-18
Length 4650mm
Width 1900mm
Height 1050mm
Fuel capacity 62.5litres
Powertrain TOYOTA HYBRID System - Racing (THS-R)
Engine V6 direct injection twin-turbo
Engine capacity 2.4litre
Fuel Petrol
Valves 4
Engine power 368kw / 500PS
Hybrid power 368kw / 500PS (front and rear combined)
Combined power 736kw / 1000PS
Battery High-powered lithium-ion battery developed by TOYOTA 
Front hybrid motor AISIN AW
Rear hybrid motor DENSO
Inverter DENSO

Rob
25th March 2016, 10:33
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Rob
25th March 2016, 10:36
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Rob
25th March 2016, 10:42
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Rob
25th March 2016, 10:45
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Rob
25th March 2016, 10:48
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Rob
25th March 2016, 17:38
FIA WEC: Paul Ricard Prologue, GTE Paddock Notes

Proton Competition appear to only have three drivers here across their trio of Porsches (including the KCMG car), Khaled Al Qubaisi, Christian Ried and Joel Camathias.
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Ford Chip Ganassi Racing are, in common with several other teams, simply working their way through a lengthy programme of testing here:

“This is only the second time we have had the full team together (after a test at Motorland Aragon) and the first time we have run the cars with all the required WEC kit (including the Magneti Marelli in-car marshal system) so there’s a lot of bedding in to do said Team Principal George Howard-Chappell.
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“Job one is to cycle the drivers through the cars and pick off any niggles that come along. There have been the inevitable minor gremlins but no major issues this morning.”

James Calado on the new Ferrari 488 GTE: “It’s a really lovely car to drive, the 458 was a wonderful car but we had really maxed out on what could be done in terms of development. One immediate difference is that it is much, much quieter, and that will be a welcome thing at Le Mans.
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The Gulf Racing UK Porsche looks stunning out on track here, a few minor livery tweaks only adding to the visual appeal of a car that already really suits the iconic Gulf colours.
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Mike Wainwright meanwhile is looking forward to the season ahead as the team steps up to the WEC for 2016.

“There are a number of reasons why it makes sense for us to be here, the shift over to three day weekends for ELMS gives us, and others a real issue, I should be at all of the races with Adam and Ben, there’s only one that presents a potential issue and we’ll know way before time if that is the case.

“Of course we want to be at Le Mans too and, after missing out via the ELMS last year this was the only way to guarantee that. And, it’s a World Championship and that’s cool too.

“I’m very happy with the Porsche, the car is just great, very predictable, very stable and very fast.

Rob
25th March 2016, 17:44
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Rob
25th March 2016, 18:00
FIA WEC: Paul Ricard Prologue, Morning Session Day 1, Porsche Two Seconds Clear

The best time of the 2016 WEC Prologue’s first session came from the Porsche camp, with Neel Jani in the #2 Porsche setting a 1:38.284 halfway the four-hour session.

The Swiss driver’s time was good enough to stand for the remainder of morning; the entire session was led by the #2 Porsche crew. The #1 car is as announced, here at Ricard, but will only run tomorrow.

2.253 second behind Jani’s 919 was the brand new #5 Toyota Racing TS050, which set a 1:40.517 with Sebastien Buemi at the wheel during the final hour. The #7 Audi was just under a further tenth back, coming in third fastest of the three factory prototypes present at Ricard.

Both Porsche and Audi managed to clock over 70 laps each. Toyota meanwhile, only managed 50 tours of Le Castellet.

Notably, with Davidson at the wheel the new TS050 was consistently running quickest of all the runners through sector two towards the end of the session, while coming in slower than some P2 cars through sector three.

The #13 Rebellion Racing R-One of Dominik Kraihamer, Mathéo Tuscher and Alexandre Imperatori headed the P1 privateer runners with a time of 1:42.329.

In the LMP2 ranks it was an Alpine 1-2, with the BAXI DC Racing A460 heading the pair. The best time of the class was a 1:37.340 set by Nelson Panciatici early in the session. Third in the class was the Strakka Racing Gibson, which managed 75 banker laps and a time of 1:47.921.

GTE Pro was headed by Ford early in the session, as the #66 completed some longer runs. Eventually the class would be headlined by both new AF Corse 488s though. Gianmaria Bruni set the best GTE time of the session, a 1:57.808. His time was four tenths quicker than the sister #71 Ferrai and three tenths faster than the third placed #66 Ford.

The Am class saw the #50 Larbre Competition Corvette finish the morning almost a second clear of the rest of the field after a 1:58.268. It wasn’t a completely clean run for the French team though, as Yutaka Yamagishi brought out the only red flag period of the session after an off. The car was undamaged however.

DSC’s Mat Fernandez went down to Larbre’s garage and spoke to Pierre Ragues about the season ahead:

“We stroke a deal very late with Larbre Competition,” Ragues told DSC. “I barely covered 35 laps with the car before this Prologue. My objective now is to get acquainted with a GT car again.

“The last time I drove such a car was in 2003, in the early days of my career – it has been a long while. But things are coming together: I am starting to understand how the Corvette works in the curves and at breaking points. I am heavily relying on Paolo (Ruberti) ‘s set up for now.

“Good news is, the car is well balanced at Ricard. My lap times are improving and I am getting closer to his”

The Gulf Racing UK Porsche set a 1:59.188 to go second. And the top three of the Am runners was rounded out by the #83 AF Corse Ferrari, another team DSC spoke to during the session:

“The car is new to totally new to us,” said Emmanuel Collard. “It is last year’s F458 from the GTE Pro category. This aero package is slightly different from the one we were used to having in 2015. Our drivers have not changed since last season. It’s great, in particular for Francois (Perrodo). He can fully be totally focussed on his driving. He has again improved a lot over the winter. He will surprise all of us this season – keep an eye on him.”

Rob
25th March 2016, 18:03
Porsche that is impressive.

Not bad start for our boys either.

Rob
25th March 2016, 20:03
PROLOGUE 2016: SESSION REPORTS FROM DAY ONE

25/03/2016 - 17h50

Porsche, Signatech, AF Corse and Larbre ahead in morning session

The anticipation and waiting is over. The FIA WEC cars and drivers blew the dust off the long winter and made sure it was a very Good Friday indeed at Circuit Paul Ricard today.

Fine spring conditions in the South of France welcomed the 29 cars as they took to the track and welcomed in the fifth edition of the WEC, as preparations continued for the first round at Silverstone in three weeks’ time.

The opening day was broken down in to three sessions – morning, afternoon and night, with a total of ten hours track running.

The morning session saw reigning champions Porsche Team head the times with Neel Jani stopping the clocks at 1.38.264s in the heavily revised 2016-spec Porsche 919 Hybrid. The new Toyota TS050 HYBRID placed second with Sebastien Buemi setting the time of 1m40.517s, while the Audi R18 completed the most laps of the three LMP1 frontrunners (75 laps in total) to place third, as Benoit Tréluyer set a 1m40.612s best lap.

The Rebellion Racing squad completed 131 laps with its pair of LMP1 Privateer Rebellion R-One AER cars to place 1-2 in the class ahead of the ByKolles CLM P1/01-AER, which was driven by new recruit Oliver Webb.



In LMP2, Alpine had a fine start to the 2016 season as they placed 1-2 in the first session of the day. Nelson Panciatici just dipped below last year’s fastest Prologue test time by setting a 1m47.340s lap early in the session with the Signatech-run Baxi DC Racing Alpine A460-Nissan. Panciatici’s time eclipsed stablemate Gustavo Menezes’ best run of 1m45.544s.

In the LMGTE classes it was Ferrari and Chevrolet that led the way. Gianmaria Bruni set a fastest tour of 1m57.808s in the striking new Ferrari 488 GTE, despite completing far fewer laps (18) than the opposition.

LMGTE Am was dominated by the Larbre Competition Chevrolet Corvette C7-Z06 during the four hours. Paolo Ruberti peaked on a 1m58268s in the rumbling American muscle GTE car which, despite a quick spin by Yutaka Yamagishi, enjoyed a strong initial showing.


Porsche top again in afternoon running

With the clouds getting darker after the lunch break and spots of rain beginning to fall, the track conditions were not as favourable for some of the four hours of afternoon running.

But, with a small window of dry running in the early afternoon, Romain Dumas scorched to a 1m37.960s lap in the No.2 Porsche 919 Hybrid to put down a clear benchmark. Set on only his second tour of the session, the lap was just shy of last year's best time of 1m37.220s, which indicates that the teams have found a variety of improvements over the winter to negate the 8% cut in fuel allowance this season.

Audi was again frugal with its laps this afternoon. Only 28 were completed over the four hours, and just like this morning Benoit Tréluyer set the best lap of 1m39.393s in the new Audi R18.

Toyota Gazoo Racing seemed to be keeping plenty in their back pockets at Paul Ricard as they concentrated on developing the spectacular TS050 HYBRID. Anthony Davidson set the third fastest time, just a tenth of a second away from the Audi R18.

The LMP1 battle is set to be fierce in 2016, and although Audi and Toyota were over a second in arrears after the afternoon running, there is a feeling in the paddock that both have the package to offer the reigning champions a mighty challenge this year. More private testing will be undertaken before Silverstone in three weeks’ time.

Rebellion Racing again headed the ByKolles team in the LMP1 Privateer class with Nicolas Prost getting seat time in the No.12 car and heading the No.13 Anglo/Swiss car driven by Dominik Kraihamer.

The ferociously competitive LMP2 class saw five different constructors in the top five positions, and separated by just over a second. The session ended Gibson, Ligier, Alpine, ORECA and BR01, underlining the diversity in the popular class which always delivers excellent close racing.

An excellent time set by Jonny Kane in the Strakka Racing Gibson 015S-Nissan resulted in the British team being top of the timing screens. The Northern Irish racer set a time of 1m46.976s to get a clear 0.6s gap on his rivals. The chasing pack was led by the Mexican-entered RGR Sports by Morand squad, as Bruno Senna continued to acquit himself well in the LMP2 class to place second.

Ferrari again ran out top in the LMGTE Pro category with the new No.71 Ferrari 488 GTE car ahead of the No.67 Ford GT by just two tenths of a second. Davide Rigon’s 1m58.479s lap outpaced Andy Priaulx’s 1m58.697s, and the closeness of the battling manufacturers added more spice to the already highly anticipated Ford versus Ferrari battle.

Larbre Competition consolidated its position at the top of the LMGTE Am times with GT returnee Pierre Ragues posting a quick time with a best of 1m58.957s. This was just under two tenths of a second faster than Emmanuel Collard’s second best time of 1m59.113s in the No.83 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia.

The evening session will begin at 19.00 local time..

Rob
25th March 2016, 22:16
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This Rebellion livery im really liking.

Rob
25th March 2016, 22:21
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Rob
25th March 2016, 22:23
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Rob
25th March 2016, 22:28
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Rob
25th March 2016, 22:31
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Rob
25th March 2016, 22:34
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Rob
25th March 2016, 22:37
488 GTE is stunning.

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Rob
25th March 2016, 22:38
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Rob
25th March 2016, 22:39
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Rob
25th March 2016, 22:39
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Rob
25th March 2016, 22:44
Porsche has topped the time charts in the opening day of testing at the Prologue, with the German manufacturer showing the upper hand in all three sessions at Paul Ricard.

Neel Jani ended as quickest of the day, thanks to the Swiss driver’s 1:37.487 lap set in Friday’s two-hour night session.

Jani’s time was 0.860 seconds quicker than the No. 5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, which was second quickest overall on the time sheets, and also second in the twilight.

Audi continued its struggles with its new R18, as Andre Lotterer stopped on track midway through the session before returning to the pits under his own power. The car did not turn any additional laps.

It came after the No. 7 car missed the majority of the afternoon session due to a “small mechanical issue.” Audi has not disclosed the exact problems of its diesel-powered contender.

American Gustavo Menezes led the way in LMP2 in the night session, thanks to a 1:47.782 lap set in the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A460 Nissan.

However, it was the No. 42 Strakka Racing Gibson 015S Nissan of Jonny Kane that was the fastest in LMP2 on the day, in a time set in the second. daytime session.

Gianmaria Bruni (AF Corse) and Pedro Lamy (Aston Martin Racing) led the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am categories, respectively, in the night.

Only 19 of the 29 cars completed laps in the session, with no other major issues reported beyond the Audi.

Two additional test sessions are on tap for tomorrow to wrap up the Prologue test.

Rob
25th March 2016, 22:45
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Rob
25th March 2016, 23:55
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Rob
26th March 2016, 00:14
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Rob
26th March 2016, 00:48
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Rob
26th March 2016, 00:56
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