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Thread: 2012 WEC, ALMS&ELMS News

  1. #31
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    Level 5, Tucker Confirmed for 24 Hours of Le Mans
    BY TEAM UPDATE ⋅ FEBRUARY 4, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.planetlemans.com/2012/02/...rs-of-le-mans/
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  2. #32
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    Starworks Motorsport Launches WEC Bid
    BY TEAM UPDATE ⋅ FEBRUARY 3, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    http://www.planetlemans.com/2012/02/...nches-wec-bid/
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    After rolling out at Road Atlanta (Georgia) on February 3rd, Krohn Racing travelled to Florida for the winter testing that took place on the Sebring Raceway on 8th and 9th February.

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

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

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

    http://www.lemans.org/en/races/fia-w...medium=twitter
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  4. #34
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    American Le Mans Series and FIA World Endurance Championship teams ​​were invited to a practice session of two days at Sebring, Florida, which will host the first round of both championships on 17th March. These two days provide a preliminary test of relative performance in 2012, especially in the LM GTE Pro, where competition is especially tight.

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

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

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

    All these teams will meet in early March on the Sebring for the 60th edition of the legendary 12 Hours of Sebring season opener of the American Le Mans Series and new FIA World Endurance Championship.
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    The build-up to the 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship season has gathered momentum with confirmation that Pirelli and Ferrari have joined the series.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The venue for the 10th race on the 2012 calendar will be revealed in the coming days along with further team announcements.
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  6. #36
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    Great news Rob!! Thx.

  7. #37
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    FIA WEC: Rule Changes Introduced to Spice Up LM P1
    BY SERIES UPDATE ⋅ FEBRUARY 15, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.planetlemans.com/2012/02/...pice-up-lm-p1/
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    The new Toyota TS030 HYBRID took to the track Thursday afternoon for a marathon practice session of 30 hours on the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet. Five of the six drivers who will participate in the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans drove long stints to evaluate the car. This was the second test session after the shake-down in January. Now the team will focus on preparing for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the first race of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the Japanese manufacturer.

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

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

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

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

    The next test session is scheduled for April before departure for Belgium and the Spa-Francorchamps, situated not far from the base of the team in Cologne, Germany.
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    Strakka Racing gave its brand new P1 race car, the Honda Performance Development ARX-03a, its initial shakedown test at Snetterton today, with the early performance of the car exceeding the high expectations of all three team drivers, Nick Leventis, Danny Watts and Jonny Kane.

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

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

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

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

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

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


    http://www.lemans.org/en/races/fia-w...ions_6247.html
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  10. #40
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    really gutted .....

    Risi Competitizione announces its Ferraris will not contest Sebring 12 Hours

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97687
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  11. #41
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    ^ I just read this, Risi brings 1 of the best prepared teams to these races..I do hope they
    can continue. Im going to have to check and see which teams are entered.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    really gutted .....

    Risi Competitizione announces its Ferraris will not contest Sebring 12 Hours

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97687
    Oh no, they're already missing Le Mans, now Sebring as well?

    The future is RED

  13. #43
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    In the WEC, we have AF corse, and Luxury Racing in the GTE Pro and in the GTE AM we have AF Corse, LUxury Rcaing and Krohn Racing. Think, for Sebring, it just ESM Racing.
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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    In the WEC, we have AF corse, and Luxury Racing in the GTE Pro and in the GTE AM we have AF Corse, LUxury Rcaing and Krohn Racing. Think, for Sebring, it just ESM Racing.
    Can't see ESM putting up much of a fight with the Porsches up front.

    The future is RED

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ek583 View Post
    Can't see ESM putting up much of a fight with the Porsches up front.
    i know, hope im wrong and they can
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    There are 2 458's in the Bathurst 12, they Q'd 2nd and 3rd.
    I thought Speed was supposed to show some of this, but I cannot find it in the guide.

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

  18. #48
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    Celebrity drivers at Sebring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.lemans.org/en/news/celebr...medium=twitter
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  19. #49
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    When is Sebring, Rob?

    The future is RED

  20. #50
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    March 14th-17th mate :)
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  21. #51
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    at last the new Audi R18 e-Tron quattro....

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  22. #52
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    Audi unveils hybrid R18 e-tron quattro in Munich
    By Gary Watkins Wednesday, February 29th 2012, 19:30 GMT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97739
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  23. #53
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    Frenchman Loic Duval has joined Audi's 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours line-up.

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

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

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

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

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

    Full Audi 2012 line-up

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

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

    Remaining WEC rounds
    #1 Andre Lotterer , Audi R18 e-tron quattro*
    #2 Allan McNish , Audi R18 ultra*
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  24. #54
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  25. #55
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    glad to see Oli Jarvis in Audi LMP1 this year. Think, i know it early, but Audi may have WEC and Le-Mans and Sebring wrapped up.
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  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    March 14th-17th mate :)
    Ah thanks mate, same weekend as the F1 then! Can't wait.

    The future is RED

  27. #57
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    The Audi's r stunning. Is 1 of them a tdi? They both have different front ends.

  28. #58
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    The Lola-Lotus LM P2 took ​​its first laps yesterday at Chambley-Bussières Aerodrome in France.

    Mirco Schultis and Thomas Holzer did the shake down of the chassis that will will be sent to Florida to compete in the 12 Hours of Sebring on 17th March. Remember that this car is entered by the German team Kodewa and officially supported by Lotus. A British manufacturer Judd provide it with an engine with exclusive developments.
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  29. #59
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    Q & A: Jarvis on his 2012 programme

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97799
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  30. #60
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    think he has every chance to be podium at Le-Mans
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