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Thread: 2012 WEC, ALMS&ELMS News

  1. #91
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    The entry list of the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship was published in late March. It includes 37 cars, including the arrival of Toyota and the appearance of the Audi R18 hybrid, but the event may have some unusual spectators.

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

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

    The action will be on the track, but also around the track, one more reason for race fans to travel to Belgium on the weekend of the 5th of May.
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  2. #92
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    FIA-GT has a race going on this weekend...Dont know where u post the FIA stuff Rob, but it looks hot between Audi, the new Mac and 2 458's.

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

    In late January, the Toyota TS030 was presented to the press on the same Le Castellet circuit before moving on to do several days of testing, which allowed engineers to collect valuable data and drivers to familiarize themselves with their new car. A first simulation of 30 hours took place in February without incident. The recent incident is not due to driver error and the cause is being investigated.
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  4. #94
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    Just watched Q2..FIA-GT Nogaro..live streaming at fiagt.com
    Lambo of Enge just pipped 1 of the 458's for top spot.
    Q3 starts soon. Mac is in 6th so far with their new car, 6/10's off.
    Great action.

  5. #95
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    Away from main roads and waterways the relatively small (10,000 inhabitants), town of Spa did not have much of a chance of becoming famous. However, this was changed by the commercial exploitation of mineral water sources and the racetrack founded in 1921.

    The area in mainly French speaking southern Belgium has had its heyday in the 18th century thanks to the 'spas' that attracted royalty from across Europe, like the Czar Peter the Great. A spectacular fire destroyed the splendour of the city centre in 1807.

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

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

    On the 5th May 2012, in the 6 Hours of Spa-Fancorchamps, second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, cars and drivers will be tested to the limit by the famous Raidillon - Eau Rouge combination, taken flat-out.
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  6. #96
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    Rain Silences ALMS' Roar By The Shore
    Qualifying washed out, grid set by championship points
    An unusual rainy day in southern California washed away qualifying for the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach. That left Dyson Racing's Mazda-powered Lola coupe on pole position for Saturday's second round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.alms.com/articles/rain-si...lms-roar-shore
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    After two seasons racing in the USA., and two participations in the Indianapolis 500, the Belgian driver Bertrand Baguette will be back home on May 5 for the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

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

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

    The Le Mans 24 hours has often smiled on Belgian drivers: Jacky Ickx, Olivier Gendebien and Paul Frčre all won in La Sarthe. Do you think of this prestigious history, and is your goal join them one day on the winners roster of 24 the Hours?
    "Clearly the goal is to win Le Mans and one day join that line of prestigious compatriots. I have the great chance to race in LMP1, the class where cars are fighting for first place. Of course, Audi and Toyota are going to Le Mans for the win but with our OAK Pescarolo prototype, we are among the outsiders. It is for us to demonstrate our competitiveness in La Sarthe in June. "
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    Long Beach Repeat for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing
    Graf, Luhr win again; Corvette takes landmark GT victory
    Fuel strategy won out at Long Beach on Saturday with Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr winning the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach for the second straight season. The Muscle Milk Honda Performance Development ARX-03a stopped twice during the race's sole caution period and ran the final 56 minutes without another stop to win over Dyson Racing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Monterey round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com. The Series' website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras and timing and scoring for all users around the world.
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    Sébastien Loeb will take the wheel of the Oreca LM P2 prototype of his own team in the Test Day (3rd June) for the Le Mans 24 hours.

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

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

    Dominique Heintz, team manager of Sébastien Loeb Racing : "In the medium term, we want to be a major player in endurance racing, and therefore at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Test Day will allow us to have our first experience with an environment that has no equal. It’s an important new step for Sébastien Loeb Racing and with Sébastien at the wheel, it’s even greater. We’re at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we set out to do in this challenge."
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  10. #100
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    Spa falls exactly on my birthday this year!

    The future is RED

  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by epiclyaddicted View Post
    Spa falls exactly on my birthday this year!
    thats handy mate.
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  12. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    thats handy mate.
    Hehe, another win for McNish would do nicely!

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    ALMS – Ferrari on the Long Beach podium
    Maranello, 15 April – The Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT2 took third place in the second round of the American Le Mans Series which took place this weekend round the streets of the evocative Californian setting of Long Beach. The Ferrari driven by Scott Sharp and Johannes Van Overbeek also went to the head of the Michelin Green X Challenge GT, drawing attention to the products that mark out the Maranello company’s cars.
    Having started in 9th place on the grid, the team of Sharp-van Overbeek, in its first event of the season, led for much of the race before being overtaken in the GT class by the winning Corvette of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin and 40 minutes from the end by the BMW M3 of Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand that finished second.
    Because of the narrow layout of the track and the traffic created by slower cars, the Extreme Speed Motorsports car was held back in fourth position after its final stop. Then, with just five minutes left before the chequered flag, Sharp managed to grab the bronze medal after overtaking Magnussen’s Corvette.
    The second Ferrari run by the American team (Ed Brown-Guy Cosmo) was tenth after losing a lot of positions in an early penalty for contact with a prototype.
    The next date in the prestigious series is scheduled for the weekend of May 12 at the Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca.
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  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by epiclyaddicted View Post
    Hehe, another win for McNish would do nicely!
    yeah that would be. Think stand good chance, as long as they stay out of trouble and have clean race.
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    Marc Gené has been named as reserve driver by Audi for endurance racing. The Spaniard will be involved from from the 5th May in the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship ​​at Spa-Francorchamps.

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

    Marc Gené will stand-in for Timo Bernhard on the 5th of May at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps where he joins Romain Dumas and Loďc Duval. Bernhard continues his recovery from the accident which he suffered in mid-March during private testing at Sebring.

    Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport :“At our first meetings I immediately had the impression that Marc (Gené) will blend well with our sports car squad. We very quickly reached an agreement. It’s very unfortunate that Timo Bernhard won’t be able to compete for us at the second WEC round at Spa as planned. At the same time, I’m pleased to see his recovery making significant progress. That’s why we’re sticking to our original plan of having him run at the Le Mans 24 Hours.”

    http://www.lemans.org/en/news/gene-r...-spa_6812.html
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  16. #106
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    What an epic driver line up Audi has assembled, eh?

    The future is RED

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

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

    But, you just have to stand and look at the 250 GTO to bring back great memories. After the launch of the GTO on the 24th February 1962, the Tour Auto and Le Mans 24 Hours quickly became two events where it was completely at home. Imagine for example, six GTO in the fight on the Mulsanne Straight during a time trial of the Tour Auto in 1962 held on the 24 Hours circuit! Even though beaten by a Ferrari 250 GT, the GTO took victory in two editions of the Tour Auto, with Jean Guichet / José Behra (1963) and Lucien Bianchi / "Jojo" Berger (1964).

    Also in a Ferrari, Guichet won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1964 with the Sicilian driver Nino Vaccarella. Bianchi went to Ford for his win in La Sarthe in 1968, with Mexican driver Pedro Rodriguez. The GTO would never win at Le Mans, but its ruthless efficiency allowed it to be involved in the battle of the prototypes, with two consecutive second places for Jean Guichet / Pierre Noblet (1962) and Jean Blaton / Gérard Langlois von Ophem (1963 ). The Ferrari 250 GTO completed the domination Ferrari in the Tour Auto, with two more wins in addition to seven previous victories. By a curious coincidence of history, it matches the nine successes of the Prancing Horse at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, after the victory Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt (Ferrari 250 LM ) in 1965.
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    SIX ELMS TEAMS AT SPA
    Following the decision to cancel the second round of the European Le Mans Series on the Zolder circuit on 18-19-20 May, teams entered for the ELMS season were given the possibility of taking part in the Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours (2nd round of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship) on 3-4-5 May. The Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours will give them a great deal of precious track time to prepare for the coming Le Mans 24 Hours (16-17 June) for which they have all received invitations.



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

    LMP2
    - JOTA: Zytek Z11SN-Nissan

    - RACE PERFORMANCE: Oreca O3-Judd

    - EXTREME LIMIT ARIC: Norma M200P-Judd

    - BOUTSEN GINION RACING: Oreca 03-Nissan



    LMGTE Am

    - IMSA PERFORMANCE MATMUT: Porsche 911 RSR

    - AF CORSE: Ferrari F458 Italia


    These team can take part in the second round of the FIA WEC without any technical modifications as the European Le Mans Series and the FIA World Endurance Championship share common technical regulations.
    This race is a non-ELMS event so the six teams will not score points in the ELMS Championship.
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  19. #109
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    TOYOTA Racing to delay season debut
    BY TEAM UPDATE ⋅ APRIL 11, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

    TOYOTA Racing will now urgently prepare a new monocoque to allow it to resume testing as soon as possible and prepare itself for the Le Mans 24 Hours
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  20. #110
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    Heinemeier Hansson Set for Le Mans Debut with Oak Racing
    Coming off Long Beach P2 podium in Conquest’s Morgan-Nissan
    Conquest Endurance’s David Heinemeier Hansson will race at the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time this year. Following on a class runner-up finish at the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, the Danish-born driver will race a Morgan prototype for Oak Racing in the great race’s LMP2 class.

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

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

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

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

    The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Monterey round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.
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  21. #111
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    do like Long Beach, it challenging track. Nice to see ESM up on podium. Hope they can continue and get more and hopefully a coulpe of wins

    http://www.alms.com/alms-tv/episode/...ng-beach-recap
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  22. #112
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    ALMS Milestones for Gavin, Luhr at Long Beach
    Two of the best adding to already impressive resumes
    Two of the most successful drivers in the history of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón expanded their legacy with victories Saturday in the second round of the 2012 championship.

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

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

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

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

    The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Monterey round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.
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  23. #113
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    The Krohn Racing team is one of two American teams (with Starworks Motorsports) racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship. With just one race of the series on their own continent, the logistics manager performs a vital function for the smooth running of the season. Here is a quick tour behind the scenes …

    Moving a team of 21 people and six tonnes of equipment has to be well planned. Visas and travel documents need to be sought for team members of various nationalities (procedures vary from country to country) before booking airline tickets. The Ferrari F458 Italia that is entered in the LMGTE Am class, also travels by air with two crates of tools and spare parts for the summer campaign in Europe. Clothing for crew members is shipped in cylindrical drum bags that sit inside the race wheels for the sea freight shipment, that also includes the remainder of the team's pit and garage equipment and spare parts.

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

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

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

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

    http://www.lemans.org/en/news/the-lo...cing_6815.html
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  24. #114
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    Renger Van der Zande joins Lotus LMP2 squad for World Endurance Championship

    Thursday, April 19th 2012, 10:47 GMT


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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/98962
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  25. #115
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    After the disappointment of the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Signatech-Nissan team will be present in force at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Philip Sinault and Didier Calmels' team will have two cars on the grid for the 'dress rehearsal' of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

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

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

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

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


    i wish i could go, going to the Silverstone 6hrs yay!!!!
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  26. #116
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    Competitors in the European Le Mans Series, Boutsen Ginion Racing will race at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours. Jens Petersen joins Bastien Bričre and Jack Clarke for the Belgian round, but also for the 80th Le Mans 24 Hours.

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

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

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

    Cannt wait for this race. Not long now.
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  27. #117
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    Hunter Reay Eager to Kick Off SRT Viper Effort

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The American Le Mans Series next travels to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the third round of the 10-race championship. The six-hour American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón is set for 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 12 from the 2.238-mile circuit in Monterey, Calif. ESPN2 will air the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 13. Live coverage is available starting at 4:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.
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  28. #118
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    Be nice to have Viper back in GT, always strong car and team.
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  29. #119
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    Got couple months too go till Le-Mans 24hr, heres nice little video of McNish narrating a lap around the famous ( i think 1 of the best) track(s) in the world. Roll on 16th-17th June...

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  30. #120
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    Ooh, cheers for that Rob, what an AWESOME video!

    McNish to win Le Mans again this year please!!

    The future is RED

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