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Thread: 2012 WEC, ALMS&ELMS News

  1. #241
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    ELMS cancels remaining rounds of 2012 season, teams invited to Petit Le Mans
    By Matt Beer Friday, July 20th 2012, 16:39 GMT

    The remaining scheduled rounds of the 2012 European Le Mans Series have been cancelled, with the American Le Mans Series' Petit Le Mans finale counting for points for ELMS teams instead.

    The ELMS had been scheduled to continue at Brno in the Czech Republic in September and Portugal's Algarve track at the start of November. But organisers have now announced that both races will be called off, with ELMS competitors instead invited to Road Atlanta for Petit on 17-20 October, when double points will be available.

    This year the ELMS had banned LMP1 cars to focus on LMP2s, but although this division had delivered a competitive field, the LMPC and GTE classes had become increasingly weak.

    In last weekend's Donington Park round, the nine LMP2 cars were joined by just one LMPC car and three GTs, while the intended Zolder event in April had already been cancelled due to a low entry.

    A statement from the organisers said the move was "the result of the current economic climate and a very competitive GT market with numerous championships that have led to the dispersal of cars of this type in Europe."

    The statement added that the 2012 changes did not mean the end of the ELMS: "The organisers of the European Le Mans Series are working flat out on the future of the series, which is one of the essential competitions for training teams and drivers for the top level of endurance racing, the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours. This work will result in a proposal for the coming seasons and will be announced in September."

    TDS drivers Pierre Thiriet and Mathias Beche lead the ELMS standings after the two rounds that took place at Paul Ricard and Donington.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/101329
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  2. #242
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    Sad news for the ELMS, hope they can get it sorted for next year. Think that not having LMP1s have hurt the grid. Also with the WEC has hurt the size of the grids in ELMS ans ALMS. Really hope things pick up next year, and we see bigger grids and LMP1s in ELMs and more P1s in ALMS.
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  3. #243
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    Le Mans legend Rinaldo Capello officially retires from prototype racing
    By Simon Strang Monday, July 23rd 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Audi legend Rinaldo Capello has officially called time on his top flight endurance prototype career, having hinted as much after finishing second in June's Le Mans 24 Hours.

    Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen will now share the #2 hybrid diesel-powered Audi R18 e-tron between them for the rest of the FIA World Endurance Championship, starting at the British round at Silverstone in the last weekend of August.

    Capello, 48, ends his LMP1 career with a tally of three Le Mans victories, five Sebring 12 Hours wins (including 2012), 23 American Le Mans Series and three ELMS triumphs. The Italian was also ALMS champion twice.

    Capello told AUTOSPORT at Le Mans that he felt it was time to pass over the mantle: "At the moment these cars are so fast, and with so much traffic we have to be really precise in every manoeuvre we do, and I felt that in the night.... you know...

    "Sometimes age is age - you cannot change it. When you fight for tenths of a second, everything should be perfect, and if this is my last Le Mans, one of the reasons is age. It would be nice to be perfect until you are 70 or so - unfortunately it doesn't work like that."

    Speaking of his retirement in a statement from Audi on Monday, Capello said: "I would like to address a really, really big thank you to Audi on my part.

    "Audi has become my brand - professionally and based on my personal conviction. Together, we have achieved so much and demonstrated pioneering achievements again and again. Naturally, there is a feeling of sadness too, as this departure from the factory team is not easy.

    "I am saying goodbye with a clear conscience because I have no unfinished business with my sport. In all disciplines and categories, Audi and I together have achieved the maximum with victories and titles. As late as in March, we won at Sebring and I'm currently ranking in first place of the WEC standings. I wanted to quit at a time when I was still able to show top performances."

    Audi motorsport boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich paid tribute to Capello, who has been racing Volkswagen and Audi machinery for more than two decades.

    "This is an extremely unusual string of successes and a very emotional moment," said Ullrich. "On behalf of Audi I would like to express a huge thank you to Dindo.

    "Dindo was at the top of the sport for 19 years and all employees at Audi Sport were pleased to make this possible for him. I am proud of both. In terms of the sport as well as in a personal and professional sense - it has always been a pleasure to work with Dindo and to know that he was part of our team.

    Capello intends to keep on racing with Audi's R8 LMS in GT3 events.
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    On Thursday 19 July the FIA Endurance Commission met in Paris to discuss several items including the 2014 regulations announced last month at Le Mans, continued improvements in driver and track safety, the 2013 FIA WEC calendar and the further development of the World Endurance Championship, and Endurance racing in general, around the world.

    The President of the FIA Endurance Commission is Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, with the other members being –

    4 FIA REPRESENTATIVES

    A. CRAIG (USA)
    P. HEAD (GBR)
    Y. HIYAMA (JPN)
    D. WARWICK (GBR)

    4 ACO REPRESENTATIVES

    V. BEAUMESNIL (FRA)
    P. FILLON (FRA)
    G. NEVEU (FRA)
    J-F. VEROUX (FRA)

    1 MANUFACTURERS’ REPRESENTATIVE

    DR W. ULLRICH (AUDI)


    1 TEAMS’ REPRESENTATIVE

    C. RIED (TEAM FELBERMAYR-PROTON)

    1 SPONSORS’ REPRESENTATIVE

    O. VIALLE (MICHELIN)

    Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones said, "We had a very productive meeting in Paris with significant progress being made in several key areas, including the work to finalise the 2014 LMP1 regulations that will put endurance racing at the forefront of the development of new technologies that manufacturers will use to build the road cars of the future. The new regulations will enable manufacturers to develop and test these new technologies in endurance race conditions that are very hard to replicate elsewhere. It is why we are working hard to make sure the 2014 regulations are rigorous enough but are also flexible to allow manufacturers to come up with new solutions that will ultimately benefit every road user around the world. After this meeting we are close to finalising the regulations so the teams and manufacturers can get on with the job of designing and building the cars. In tandem with these new technologies is the need to control costs within the championship in this very difficult economic climate and in accordance with FIA President Jean Todt, this is an area that is a priority for the Endurance Commission.

    "Coupled with this is the continued need to improve safety," Sir Lindsay continued. "These new technologies introduce new hazards that we need to be aware of and develop safety measures to deal with any problems. An example of this was seen in recent garage fire in Formula 1. In addition we will continue to look at ways to improve on the already high standards of driver, team and track safety that we enjoy in our sport."

    ACO President Pierre Fillon said, "The decisions made at the latest Endurance Commission meeting are very encouraging and I would like to thank Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones and the other members for their hard work in several key areas that will have a direct impact on the future growth of endurance racing, including the FIA World Endurance Championship.

    "In the current economic conditions it should also be noted that cost management in our championships is of vital importance," M. Fillon continued. "This is something that the ACO, as the promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship, and the FIA Endurance Commission, will continue to monitor throughout 2012 and beyond to keep costs under control. We will not be afraid to take tough decisions on any expenditure that will have a detrimental effect on the future of the championship and on our partners, sponsors, manufacturers and teams.

    "We have recently unveiled the date for the 2013 24 Heures du Mans, which will take place on 15/16 June next year and this, as in 2012, will form the central part of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. The 2013 FIA WEC calendar is nearly complete and we will be announcing next year’s schedule by the end of September, which will include some exciting new venues. We are now looking forward to the next round at Silverstone at the end of August, which will provide a fantastic setting in which to begin the second half of the 2012 season."
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    FIA WEC GRID CONTINUES TO GROW WITH 37 CARS FOR SILVERSTONE IN AUGUST

    23/07/2012 - 23h22

    The entry list for the second 6-hour race of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone will feature thirty-seven cars, with 23 prototypes and 14 GTE entries for the 6 Hours of Silverstone on Sunday 26 August.

    The entry list is headed by the nr1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoit Treluyer, who swept to victory at the 24 Heures du Mans in June, the second Le Mans win in a row for the trio and a historic first for a hybrid car. Audi will be fielding two cars at Silverstone, the second for Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen, who switch to the Audi R18 Ultra for the British round of the world championship. Dindo Capello will not be joining McNish and Kristensen, the Italian retiring from international racing for Audi after 19 successful years.

    Facing the two Audis will be the single Toyota TS030 Hybrid of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajma. Toyota will arrive in Silverstone buoyed by the performance of the TS030 on its Le Mans debut which saw the Japanese manufacturer take the battle to Audi and lead the race in the first quarter of the 24 Hours encounter. A high speed crash for the nr8 Toyota and technical problems for the nr7 put both Toyotas into retirement but with the race at Silverstone being only a 6 hour race Toyota will be hoping that the speed shown at Le Mans can be maintained in the UK.

    There are four further LMP1 entries, including the British teams Strakka Racing, with an all British line up of Danny Watts, Jonny Kane and Nick Leventis, and JRM, with David Brabham, Karun Chandhok and Scotland’s Peter Dumbreck. The two teams will be hoping that home advantage will see them take the fight to the dominant Rebellion Racing Lola Toyotas in the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP1 privateer teams contest.

    The largest class, with 16 entries, is LMP2. Starworks Motorsports will be looking for another victory after their class win at Le Mans and overall 3rd place in Sebring. Stephane Sarrazin rejoins Enzo Potolichio and Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel in the HPD-Honda. Two British teams will field cars with two Zytek-Nissans run by Greaves Motorsport with former Sportscar World Champion and F1 commentator Martin Brundle racing with son Alex once again in the nr42 car. The ADR-Delta team is based at Silverstone and the Oreca-Nissan it sure to be in the running for top honours at the team’s home track.

    Two famous British manufacturers also have entries in LMP2 with two cars for the Lotus team, with Britain’s James Rossiter driving the nr32 black and gold liveried car, and Oak Racing entering two Morgan-Nissans in the class. Three further British drivers will be on the LMP2 grid, with Warren Hughes and Jody Firth joining New Zealander Brendon Hartley, in the nr48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca Nissan and Alexander Sims racing in the nr30 Status GP Lola-Judd.

    Leading the way in the GTE class is the three entries by Aston Martin Racing. In the LMGTE Pro class Britain’s Darren Turner, along with Stefan Mücke and Adrian Fernandez, will endeavour to improve on their 3rd place at Le Mans in June. AMR are also entering two cars in the LMGTE AM class, with the nr99 car featuring reigning British GT Champion Andrew Howard, who also was the team boss of the Beechdean Mansell Motorsport LMP1 entered car in the 2010 24 Heures du Mans for British racing legend Nigel Mansell.

    In LMGTE Pro the Aston Martin will face stiff opposition from the two AF Corse entered Ferraris, the nr51 458 of Giancarlo Fissichella and Gianmaria Bruni, fresh from their class win at Le Mans, the nr71 AF Corse Ferrari of 2010 FIA GT1 World Champion Andrea Bertolini and Olivier Beretta, the Luxury Racing Ferrari 458 of Frederic Makowiecki and Jaime Melo and the Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche of Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb.

    In LMGTE Am Larbre Competition won the class at Le Mans with the nr50 Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1 and will try to maintain the pace at Silverstone against 8 further entries. British team JWA-Avila will be running their Porsche 911 RSR for Britain’s Paul Daniels, Finland’s Markus Palttala and Swiss driver Joel Camathias. As well as the two Aston Martin’s the LMGTE Am grid will include three Ferrari 458s run by Krohn Racing, Luxury Racing and AF Corse-Waltrip. Larbre Competition will run a second Corvette and the Team Felbermayr-Porsche for Sebring class winners Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti concludes an impressive line up for the fourth race of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship.

    Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO, said: “The 6 Hours of Silverstone is an important event on the calendar for the FIA World Endurance Championship as motorsport is a very strong and vital part of the sporting tradition in Great Britain. I am very pleased to see 37 entries for this race, especially at a time when other championships are seeing grid sizes getting smaller. At Le Mans in June we announced the new 2014 regulations which will be central to endurance racing for many years to come. The emphasis is on renewal energy and linking endurance racing to the development of new technologies for road cars. You can see that new technology on the grid now with the two hybrid LMP1 contenders from Audi and Toyota and I’m sure Toyota will build on the successful debut of their cars at Le Mans and take the fight to Audi at Silverstone. ”

    Gerard Neveu, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship, said: “The 6 Hours of Silverstone is the final European round of the 2012 Championship and I am pleased to see an even larger grid than we had at Sebring and at Spa. British manufacturers have also played an important role in endurance racing over the years with Aston Martin, Lotus, Morgan, Lola and Zytek will be represented on the grid at Silverstone. We have six British teams and no less than sixteen British drivers for local fans to cheer for on the 26th August, with Allan McNish looking to add the FIA World Endurance Driver’s Championship to his impressive CV at the end of the season. The 6 Hours of Silverstone will be a great family weekend, with the Spirit of Le Mans seen in every corner of the paddock and spectator areas.”
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    Snakes Strike Back: SRT Vipers Hit Track at Mid-Ohio
    Riley-built Vipers make highly anticipated ALMS debut


    SRT Motorsports made its long-awaited debut in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón on Thursday in testing for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge. The two SRT Viper GTS-Rs hit the track for the first time after the manufacturer announced in April that it was bringing a two-car factory Viper program to ALMS for the first time since 2000.

    The No. 91 Viper of Dominik Farnbacher and Kuno Wittmer was 11th in GT on Thursday at 1:22.891 (98.066 mph). Two spots down was the No. 93 entry of Marc Goossens and Tommy Kendall.

    “First of all I want to thank the whole SRT team for putting this together. It’s been a hell of a few months,” said Farnbacher, who posted the team’s best lap Thursday. “We’ve been working day and night, and thanks to the team for working day and night.

    “The car feels fantastic,” he added. “The first time out it already feels very good. Of course, the first time out we have a little fine-tuning to do on the setup, but other than that it’s a fantastic car. I think we’re heading the right way. It feels good so far.”

    The SRT Vipers – constructed by Riley Technologies – went through a thorough testing schedule that included multiple days at Mid-Ohio in the past month. Adding to the challenge is the immensely competitive GT class that includes factory and works-supported efforts from BMW, Chevrolet, Porsche, Ferrari and Lotus.

    “There are goals and expectations,” Kendall said. “A driver’s goal is to always come out and win the race. The expectation though is to learn as much as we can. We’ve done a lot of testing and have a lot of questions in our minds about where we stand. We want to get as many miles as we can. We’re under no illusions about what we’ve gotten into. We picked a pretty deep and stocked pool to jump in.”

    The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge is set for 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 4 from the 2.25-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. ABC’s broadcast featuring live coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET.
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    Five wins in a row for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing
    BY TEAM UPDATE ⋅ AUGUST 5, 2012

    Muscle Milk Pickett Racing had another dominating race weekend in Round 6 of the American Le Mans Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as the team scored its fifth consecutive victory this season.

    The team led all on-track sessions throughout the weekend for the second race in a row and scored its second consecutive victory at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge.

    German Lucas Luhr, who was starting from pole position, was able to maintain his lead up until he handed off driving duties to Klaus Graf with a little over an hour and a half to go.

    The only time the team wasn’t atop the charts throughout the weekend was following the team’s second stop. Dyson Racing had pitted earlier on with no driver change and gained an advantage in that sequence of stops.

    However, Graf quickly retook the lead when Dyson finally pitted for their driver change and final fuel stop, with Graf even putting them a lap down at one point.

    Muscle Milk Pickett Racing continued their dominance over the field and maintained a 53 second advantage after their final pit stop for fuel with about 27 minutes to go.

    By the time the checkered flag had fell, Graf was only seconds away from putting a lap on the #16 Dyson car.

    While things may have seemed easy from the outside looking in, there was a lot of work involved in this victory as in others. The team had to work through a couple of issues during the race while the drivers had to deal with a tricky racetrack.

    However, once again the team’s hard work paid off and gave the Greg Pickett-led team a 16-point advantage in the P1 Championship with four races remaining.

    The next round of the 2012 ALMS season takes place in two weeks, August 17 – 18, at Road America.

    Muscle Milk Quotes

    Lucas Luhr, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a
    “The start worked out great today. As the pole-sitting car you have the right to accelerate first, that’s the pleasure of being on pole, so fortunately that went well.
    “Afterwards, I was able to pull away a little bit, but the track today was a little tricky. I think with the INDYCAR guys putting a different rubber down it doesn’t match really well with ours. So it was difficult throughout the stint and then obviously if you went off line there was a huge amount of pick up. After the safety car there was a lot of gravel and dirt and even carbon fiber parts on the track so that wasn’t easy.
    “After the restart, I was a little bit worried because Guy (Smith) was right behind me but I was once again able to build and maintain a gap. So for us everything was going to plan. Our Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a was running fine. We had a little issue with the car when Klaus was in the pits that caught our attention but other than that everything went well.
    “Winning five races in a row for Muscle Milk is very special. From the outside it may look easy but the whole team, Klaus and myself, everybody involved, the guys from HPD and Michelin, we all have had to work very hard to achieve all these wins. It’s easy to say ‘you’re wining all the races, it’s easy’, but a race win is never easy and it is very special to win five in a row. I am very proud of our Muscle Milk Pickett Racing crew.”

    Klaus Graf, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a
    “There was a lot of excitement. Like Lucas said, it may look easy from the outside but there was certainly a lot of excitement for us because of a couple of issues we had. It’s these little things that remind us that we need to keep getting better and better, that it’s not because we are winning races that everything is perfect.
    “It wasn’t easy today. One reason is the Indy car rubber, the other is the track that came apart in some spots. I don’t know if it was the track itself that was coming apart or because of the rubber, but you had to search for lines today quite a bit, I had to adjust my driving style in some areas.
    “To do a good lap time, and we’re competitive by nature, we want to get the best performance out of it so we always try to push as hard as we can. It wasn’t an easy race and to win five in a row with the car not that easy to drive around here because of track conditions, it’s tough. I was once off line on the back straightaway and when you do that, you’re in the marbles and there is no grip whatsoever. If you have a small lack of concentration and make an error it can be costly, not just in the race but also in the championship because it’s so tight and there is still a lot of races to go.
    “We may have won five races in a row, which is great for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing but we still need to remain focused all the times.”
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    OAK RACING FOCUS TEMPORARILY ON LMP2

    After a disappointing start to the season in the LMP1 class, the OAK Racing team decided to focus on LMP2 by entering two Morgan-Nissans for the rest of the season's FIA World Endurance Championship before returning to LMP1 for the Asian events. 24 Hours of Le Mans, The Le Mans based team fielded two LMP2 Morgans, the No.24 car with a Judd engine and the No.35 sister car with a Nissan engine. Now, OAK Racing will will rely 100% on Japanese power.

    Recurring concerns of engine reliability have disrupted the smooth running of the team since the beginning of the season, which led them not to put all their eggs in one basket in La Sarthe. Retirement due to engine failure of the OAK Pescarolo-Judd No.15 in LMP1 and the Morgan-Judd No.24 with oil pump problems, sealed the fate of the British engine, at least temporarily. The LMP2 prototype powered by a Nissan finished the race in fourteenth place overall and seventh in its class.

    As for the driver crews; No. 24 remains unchanged with Jacques Nicolet, the team owner, and very swift Lahaye and Olivier Pla, but the No.35 car will be reshuffled. Belgian driver Bertrand Baguette and Austrian Dominik Kraihamer go from the LMP1 to LMP2 class. They will be supported by Danish David Heinemeier-Hansson, present since the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the French team having entered three cars in the Belgian Ardennes in early May, prior to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Dane finished just off the podium for his first race in the Morgan.

    Jacques Nicolet, Team Owner and driver of No.24 Morgan 2012 LMP2: “We are going to use the time away from the World Championship in LMP1 to re-discover the engine reliability that we have lacked since the start of the year. We are planning to return better equipped and more competitive in the premier class by the end of the season in Asia and thus begin to actively prepare for 2013.”

    The OAK Racing team is also present in European Le Mans Series and recently won in the ELMS race at Donington. They will be on British territory again for the fourth round of the World Endurance Championship at Silverstone on the 26th of August 26th.

    ( from team press release)
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    On the 26th of August, the FIA World Endurance Championship will visit the UK for the 6 Hours of Silverstone, the fourth round of the 2012 season. The circuit, which is familiar to all lovers of motor sport, is named after the nearby small town of about 2,000 inhabitants, that dates back to the time of William the Conqueror, having been recorded in Domesday Book.

    The circuit does not date back quite that far, but it was the scene of the first ever F1 Grand Prix, held in 1948. The track was easy to learn, as it was just long straights connected by hairpins, but not surprising as the circuit used the perimeter road of a World War II RAF bomber base. Does it reminds you of somewhere else? Sebring perhaps, which hosted the first round of the championship last March, also on a former military air base.

    The Silverstone circuit which straddles the border between Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, and has has become the epicentre of what has become known as "Motorsport Valley", with (for example) Red Bull Racing at Milton Keynes, Mercedes F1 at Brackley and Prodrive at Banbury, names that are not unknown to racing fans. This has somewhat replaced the traditional shoemaking industry of the Northampton area, home to the famous Church's shoe makers, while in the Middle Ages, the county was known for woodwork.

    The Northants area is quite wooded and is nicknamed the 'Rose of the Shires'. Proud of its aristocratic traditions, the county is home to, among others, the Spencer family, maiden name of Lady Diana. Buckinghamshire is no less important and although the south has become a London commuter belt, the rest of the county is given over to farming, much of the land having belonged to the Rothschild family.

    The circuit is owned by the BRDC (British Racing Drivers' Club), whose President, elected in 2011, is the former driver Derek Warwick. A very special club, but that's another story ...
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    The Silverstone circuit has some peculiarities, not least the fact that it is owned by a very exclusive club with only 850 members worldwide, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC). Not a federation or Automobile Club, but a very select club, established in 1928.

    The club was founded by one of the famous 'Bentley Boys', Dudley Benjafield, an was open only to drivers and attracted 25 members. Gradually, he included the important figures in motor sports who may become Associate Members, if they don't fulfill the requirements to become full members. For this, one must be British or a citizen of the Commonwealth, take the start of 8 races per season for three seasons (not necessarily consecutive), and on the podium regularly (full conditions here).

    If you want to become a member but don't meet the criteria, there is Honorary Membership, but it is by invitation only. Young British drivers in the SuperStar (international) or Rising Stars (national), programmes, can be granted the status of Junior Member.

    BRDC is currently presided over by Derek Warwick, the former F1 driver who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1992 and the World Endurance Championship that year. The club presents annual awards: the Gold Stars and Silver Stars, the latter being reserved for national championship protagonists, be it GT, rally or NASCAR. Each active member scores, and the winners of the two rankings are rewarded at the end of the season. Over time, other trophies have been added (see complete list here), commending, among others, the highest ranked British driver in the 24 Hours of Le Mans or an engineer or even a deserving individual who has demonstrated outstanding team spirit.

    Far from just being a group of ladies and gentlemen, the BRDC has owned the Silverstone circuit since 1971, bought from the Ministry of Defence, through the company Silverstone Circuits Limited. In this capacity, it has organized the F1 Grand Prix each year, and MotoGP since 2010. To retain the Formula 1 event, renovations have been made in recent years, with new stands and a redesigned layout, but that's another story ...
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    Despite poor conditions due to rain and hail at the finish, Romain Dumas set the fastest time in the Open class and failed ... by only 17 thousandths of a second to beat the overall winner, Rhys Millen, a specialist in the discipline who set a new record for the legendary hillclimb in Colorado.

    Dumas, winner of the 2010 '24 Heures du Mans', and currently third in the drivers' standing in the FIA World Endurance Series, had primarily come to learn: "For a first participation, we couldn’t hope for more. This win in Pikes Peak Open, in a legendary race, is the fruits of efforts begun at the end of 2007 when I entered rallying. I came here with my own team who perfectly prepared the car at Pôle Mécanique d’Alès, and we really enjoyed ourselves during the week. It was a very good sporting and human adventure « The overall assessment is obviously positive » he said after this big discovery. We confirmed our good form in testing by dominating the Pikes Peak Open class. That was our original goal in terms of a result. I said it several times before, our goal along with the team was also to familiarise ourselves with this very unique environment, to learn the course, and to gather as much information as possible for the future. That’s the case, there’s no doubt about it. Pikes Peak is a legendary race that you have to tame and it takes time. We arrived here on Monday, we had never run here…The team was excellent and there are several positive points."

    Having passed through single seaters, and then SuperGT (called JGTC at that time) in Japan, Romain Dumas also has a remarkable track record in endurance racing with a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, two at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, four wins to 24 hours of Nürburgring and a magnificent victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring with the Porsche RS Spyder. He has also returned to his first love, rallying for several years with a Porsche prepared by his own team. He can now add one more line to his business card ...

    (quote from driver press release)
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    Minassian to Jota Sport for Silverstone 6 Hours
    BY TEAM UPDATE ⋅ AUGUST 15, 2012 ⋅ E-MAIL THIS POST ⋅ PRINT THIS POST ⋅ POST A COMMENT
    French sports car star Nicolas Minassian is to join British team, Jota Sport, at Silverstone next weekend for Round 4 of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

    Former Peugeot factory driver, Minassian, will join the Kent-based squad’s established line up of Sam Hancock and Simon Dolan for the six hour enduro, sharing their already victorious LMP2 Zytek machine in which the duo won Round 2 of the championship in Spa.

    Following the pre-season withdrawal of Peugeot from world sports car racing, 39-year old Minassian has spent the year thus far contesting the World Endurance Championship (which includes the Le Mans 24 Hours) in a Pescarolo-run Dome LMP1, alongside an additional programme for Sebastien Loeb Racing in the European Le Mans Series, in which he took an opening round podium at Paul Ricard.

    Nicolas Minassian: “I’m really happy to be joining Jota. We’ve seen from their win at Spa how competitive the team is, and Sam and Simon were battling hard for the lead in the most recent race at Donington. This is just a one-off deal for now, but they’re a very ambitious organisation with a great facility and a bright future, so it’s nice to be forming a relationship.”

    Sam Hignett, Managing Director, Jota Sport: “Nic’s a great addition to the squad. Running just Sam and Simon we were finding our choices for race strategy restricted by the rules regarding maximum driving time, so we decided to take a serious look at available third drivers. We’re really lucky to have someone of Nic’s calibre joining us.”

    The Silverstone 6 Hours starts at midday on Sunday, August 26th 2012. To keep up to date with the team’s progress follow them on Twitter @JotaSport or sign up to receive news updates here http://bit.ly/s9quu8
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  13. #253
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    More Muscle: Luhr Quickest in Opening Road America Practice
    Lizard-Corvette battle shaping up in GT

    Lucas Luhr continued Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s strong showing in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. The P1 championship co-leader set a lap of 1:51.604 (130.604 mph) during the opening practice for this weekend's Road America Road Race Showcase in the No. 6 Honda Performance Development ARX-03a prototype that he shares with Klaus Graf.

    Luhr and Graf have won the last five ALMS races, and the Muscle Milk car also was quickest in Thursday’s test session. Friday, Luhr went 2.604 seconds faster than Guy Smith in the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda coupe. Eric Lux was third in P1 in another Dyson prototype at 1:57.560 (123.961 mph).

    Flying Lizard Motorsports was the fastest GT team for the second straight day. Jörg Bergmeister posted a time of 2:05.726 (115.090 mph) in the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR he drives with Patrick Long. Like Muscle Milk, the Lizards led GT testing Thursday. As was the case a day earlier, Corvette Racing’s No. 4 Corvette C6 ZR1 was second in class. Tommy Milner set a lap of 2:05.876 (115.771 mph) Friday.

    Jan Magnussen was third-quickest in a second factory Corvette at 2:05.898 (115.751 mph).

    Christophe Bouchut’s lap of 1:56.426 (125.168 mph) was good enough for Level 5 Motorsports to take the top spot in P2. The No. 055 HPD ARX-03b was 0.215 seconds quicker than Martin Plowman’s Conquest Endurance No. 37 Morgan-Nissan. Luis Diaz was another 0.423 seconds back in the No. 95 Level 5 HPD.

    CORE autosport’s Colin Braun set the pace in Prototype Challenge with a lap of 1:58.185 (123.305 mph) in the team’s No. 05 ORECA FLM09. He was 0.923 seconds clear of Merchant Services Racing’s Kyle Marcelli in the No. 8 entry.

    In GT Challenge, Spencer Pumpelly was the quickest driver thanks to a lap of 2:13.546 (109.122 mph) in TRG’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. He was 0.134 seconds clear of Jeroen Bleekemolen – last year’s class winner at Road America – for Alex Job Racing. The top four cars were within 0.328 seconds.

    The second practice session is set for 2:25 p.m. CT with qualifying scheduled for 3:35 p.m.
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  14. #254
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    ELKHART LAKE, WI – August 17, 2012 – The Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) team heads into Saturday’s four-hour endurance event with well-prepared Tequila Patrón-sponsored Ferraris. The green and black racing machines will start from the sixth and 13th positions at the Road America Road Race Showcase – the seventh round of American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón competition.

    Johannes van Overbeek took charge and wheeled the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari Italia 458 around the 4.048-mile track to the sixth position. In the fierce and highly competitive GT class, van Overbeek’s time of 2:04.994 was a mere half-second off the pace of the GT pole sitter.

    For Saturday’s race, van Overbeek is scheduled to race in the first and last stints while co-driver Scott Sharp will be tasked with the middle section of the race. Sharp has a winning history at Road America – he won with the Tequila Patrón-sponsored Acura LMP2 race car in 2008 and 2009.

    Racing the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Ferrari Italia 458 to the 13th position on the GT grid was Ed Brown. During the 15-minute qualifying session, Brown lapped the 14-turn circuit with a fast lap of 2:10.588.

    Throughout today’s practice sessions, Brown continuously improved his lap times and is confident heading into the Saturday race.

    With a similar strategy to the sister No. 01 machine, Brown’s co-driver, Guy Cosmo, is scheduled to start and finish the race, while Brown is scheduled to drive during the middle section.

    In previous endurance-style races this season, the Ferraris have shown strength in long runs and the team and drivers expect a similar performance over the four-hour event.

    Green flag for the Road America Road Race Showcase is on Saturday, August 18, at 3:30 p.m. (ET).

    ESPN2 will air race coverage beginning at 2 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Aug. 19. Live race coverage is available from 3:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. (ET) on ESPN3 (domestic) and ALMS.com (international).

    can the follow the team on twitter @ESMracing and @GuyCosmo
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  15. #255
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    Lazzaro on standby
    Published August 18, 2012 | By Paul Ryan

    Extreme Speed Motorsports has put out an SOS call to team endurance regular Anthony Lazzaro at Road America today.

    Lazzaro drove with ESM at Sebring this year and now may get some additional miles in the No.02 Ferrari 458 Italia.

    Guy Cosmo is troubled with a back injury and regular teammate Ed Brown also a little “under the weather” – Lazzaro has been brought in as a “pinch hitter” just in case the team’s regular combination need backup.

    As a result, the No.02 car will move to the back of the grid as Lazzaro wasn’t nominated prior to the race weekend.

    Cosmo will start the race for ESM today. While actually driving the car doesn’t cause him any concern – getting into (or out of) the car is a challenge.

    The ESM squad are hoping for a strong day with Ferrari looking to repeat its victory from last year.

    The No.01 Ferrari of Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek won recently at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
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  16. #256
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    Scott Sharp ‏@ESMRacing
    15 minutes into the race JvO is running 5th & @guycosmo is 9th. #4hourRace
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  17. #257
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    Scott Sharp ‏@ESMRacing
    #gocosmogo @GuyCosmo now running 7th in class after starting from back of the field.
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  18. #258
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    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  19. #259
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    Scott Sharp ‏@ESMRacing
    Smooth pass on the Corvette, @GuyCosmo. 02 now running in 6th, just one spot behind sister car of JvO in 5th
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  20. #260
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    Scott Sharp ‏@ESMRacing
    Based on timing/scoring - @GuyCosmo is running faster laps than the Porsches in front of him.
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  21. #261
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    PODIUM FINISH FOR ESM PATRÓN
    AT ROAD AMERICA
    ELKHART LAKE, WI – August 18, 2012 – The Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) team earned its third podium finish of the 2012 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón on Saturday afternoon. With a final lap pass, Johannes van Overbeek battled with the fearsome group of GT competitors en route to the third place finish during the four-hour Road America Road Race Showcase.

    Today’s podium result continues ESM’s best season to date, which includes a third-place podium finish at Long Beach and win at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, for the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari Italia 458 piloted by van Overbeek and ESM driver/owner Scott Sharp.

    During the opening hour of the race, both of the Tequila Patrón Ferraris charged through the field and reached as high as fourth and fifth positions. After starting the race in the sixth spot, van Overbeek took the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari Italia 458 to the fourth position before turning the car over to co-driver Sharp an hour into the race.

    Sharp was scored in sixth position when the green flag was dropped after a caution period. He maintained a steady pace and his position throughout his driving stint.

    With approximately one hour to go in the race, Sharp pitted the No. 01 for new tires, fuel and a driver change to van Overbeek. As soon as van Overbeek’s final stint began, a full course caution period was caused by another race car off track. As the team had just pitted prior to the caution, van Overbeek was able to stay out on course to gain track position.

    In the final hour of the race, van Overbeek maneuvered the No. 01 through the field and ultimately finished in the third position.

    The No. 02 Tequila Patrón Ferrari finished in 11th position. Unfortunately, the result did not show the impressive performance of the drivers and machinery.

    Guy Cosmo, in the No. 02 car, worked his way up to fifth position, just one spot behind the sister car in the opening hour of the race. Cosmo’s charge through the field was highly impressive considering the No. 02 machine qualified 13th but started from the rear of the ALMS field at the drop of the green flag. The No. 02 machine had been moved to the back of the ALMS griddue to the addition of Anthony Lazzaro to the driver line-up on Saturday morning. Lazzaro served as a stand-by driver following a back injury sustained by Cosmo during the weekend.

    During Cosmo’s double-stint in the Ferrari, he continued to charge through the field and passed two GT-class cars and other competitors. At the end of his stint, Cosmo had the No. 02 running a race-high of fourth position in GT. Cosmo radioed to the team and mentioned he was experiencing difficulties with the Ferrari’s paddle-shift system. The team diagnosed and identified the problem as an electrical failure.

    At the start of the third hour, Ed Brown then climbed into the No. 02 for his first stint. Brown returned to the field under caution, and was ranked seventh when the green flag was shown. Throughout his stint, Brown battled both the competition and the paddle shifting issue originally identified by Cosmo. Brown completed his stint and turned the No. 02 machine back over to Cosmo to finish the four-hour event.

    As a result of the electrical failure within the paddle shifting system, the No. 02 machine’s closing laps of the race were not as fast as its opening laps. Cosmo maintained a quick pace but was unable to challenge the other GT competitors for position. When the checkered flag flew, the No. 02 crossed the finish line in the 11th position.

    Next up for the Extreme Speed Motorsports team is the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT on the streets of Baltimore, MD, on August 31-September 1.
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  22. #262
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    Scott Sharp

    “It was a strong day for the team. The guys just kept making some small changes to the car. Our Michelins took a little while to come up to temperature, but once they did the Ferrari was really quick. I had a great stint and I could run with the leaders. I passed the Corvette, Porsche and BMWs, but then I had a really tough time in traffic with a lot of people blocking.

    “Johannes did a great job. He had to wait for his tires to come up and then just really took advantage in the last few laps. To end up third is another strong effort for the team.

    “This is our third podium this season – that’s big. In the past, we’ve gotten one each year, so now to have three already and hopefully we’re going to have a couple more before the year is out, and a win. We are finally getting to where we want to be.

    “Guy really toughed it out today and I felt really bad for him. He had a major pull in his back and he was in a lot of pain all day. He battled through the pain and drove a lot and very fast. I think they had some small electrical issues with the gearbox, which is a shame because they were destined for a good finish.”

    Johannes van Overbeek
    “I feel bad because there was contact on the last turn with another GT car. I got a run coming out of 13 and I was totally committed going down the inside. He crept over and we made contact. That was definitely not what I was intending or hoping for.

    “Our Ferrari is great longer in the run and we’re not good at getting going. I was really slipping and sliding around but once the Michelins came in, I was reeling people in pretty easily. So, we just needed a bit more time.

    “Considering the struggles we had this weekend, third place is good. I’m looking forward to getting to Baltimore.”

    Guy Cosmo
    “It was a very painful day, physically. I felt good in the car, good enough that it really wasn’t a distraction, so I did a double stint at the beginning. The Tequila Patrón Ferrari was great, we were very quick and moving up through the field. We had a great run at the start. Anytime we went under yellow was when I really started to notice how much pain I was actually in. At speed, I was pretty comfortable. I wasn’t sure if I should get back in, but after doing the double in the beginning I felt confident enough that if Ed did his stint, I could get back in and finish the last hour. All in all, it was a great day.

    “We were hauling it during the first two hours. The car was great. I just like getting through traffic as quick as I can. It was a great run. A lot of those guys are really tough to get around. There was a lot of defensive driving out there and we just had a better car.

    “Driving was a bit tough during the end of my stint and into Ed’s because we had an electrical issue with the gearbox. We can run the system in two different modes – the normal race mode, which does everything for you when you pull the lever on the upshift, we leave our foot full throttle. It cuts the ignition and does everything so we can absolutely maximize being at full throttle. It will automatically match the revs and lift the throttle on the downshift when you pull the lever to downshift.

    “We had run it in manual mode, so the electronics do nothing at point. The only way you can get it to shift into the next gear on upshifts is by lifting off the throttles, like the traditional way to shift the transmission. The main difference is that it takes more time. Now the shift goes from being a few milliseconds to being a tenth of a second per shift. We upshift probably 20-30 times throughout the course of one lap. With one-tenth of second per shift, you’re running lap times two seconds slower than what you should be, which showed in my pace at the end. I just could not match my pace from earlier because you just go slower in a straight line when you have to lift to shift.

    “I’m happy for the No. 01 guys. They ran up front and got a good finish. We keep showing we have speed and can run with the leaders. Our time on the podium will happen soon.”

    Ed Brown
    “It was not the day we were hoping for in the No. 02 car. We had transmission problems and lost our paddle shifter towards the end of Guy’s first stint. Then we just fought that for the rest of the race. The car was just frustrating. We showed that we had the speed again.

    “Guy did an unbelievable job at the start to really move our Ferrari up. We’ll just keep fighting. It is a little frustrating but we’re happy about the No. 01 and another nice finish for them in third.

    “The ESM/Patrón Ferraris are unbelievable. We just need to get some luck on our side but the No. 01 is starting to roll, so that’s a good thing.”
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  23. #263
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    ROAD AMERICA WIN | In Record Fashion


    ELKHART LAKE, WI August 18, 2012 – It was another classic Road America race. Four hours of racing produced the closest ever finish in American Le Mans Series history: Guy Smith won over Lucas Luhr by 0.083 of a second. The #20 Dyson Racing entry of Michael Marsal, Eric Lux and Tony Burgess bookended the second place Muscle Milk car with a third place finish, less than a minute behind at the end.
    At a track known for close finishes, this was one for the books. The #16 Mazda-powered Thetford/ModSpace entry led 54 laps of the 101 lap race. The last caution period ended on lap 90 with Luhr fourteen seconds back from Smith. On lap 100 the margin was half a second. Smith recounted that “at the final corner of the last lap, Lucas was all over me. He made a good move and he just came off the brakes and rolled past me. But I knew if I over slowed the car and got back inside, I would be able to sling shot past him and race him up the hill to the start finish line.” Last year was also a record close finish: the same two cars, but it was Smith ending up second from Klaus Graf in the Muscle Milk car by 0.112.

    Chris Dyson drove the first two and half hours in the #16 car. He started from the back of the grid after mechanical problems prevented the car from qualifying. He moved from 35th to second in the first nine laps and then assumed the lead when the Muscle Milk car encountered a water leak. “The car had the best balance we had all weekend and the Dunlop tires and Mazda engine were great,” Dyson said. “We built an advantage when their car had its problems, but we never counted Greg Pickett’s guys out. We had a three-lap lead at Lime Rock and then Guy got a puncture and we lost it. It was like having a big first inning in baseball, and we had to see it through to the end even as they were catching breaks and clawing back the deficit. Guy was able to keep his pace and composure under heavy pressure and bring it home. It was an absolutely brilliant piece of driving.”

    The #20 Dyson Racing entry spent a good part of the race in the top-three including a period as the overall P1 leader. “There was one caution too many, otherwise it would have been a one-two Dyson finish,” said Michael Marsal. “Tony drove a great first stint and Eric did his usual skillful job.” Eric Lux replied that, “Mike had the best race he has had all season. We were trying to give Dyson Racing a one- two finish but the last caution allowed Muscle Milk the wave-by and they were able to get by in the last few minutes.” Tony Burgess commented that the more he drives the car, the more he likes it. “This is the first time I drove it with full tanks in race conditions and it is a wonderful car. I had a good time in the car. It was a little hairy at the start with cars being overly aggressive, but as soon as I got some clean track, I could easily reel them in and pass them.” Today’s run adds to the #20 car’s record of finishing on the podium in every race it has run this year.

    Chris Dyson went on to comment, “I have always wanted to win this race since I first came here as a little boy. It was 25 years ago when we won here in 1987 with Price Cobb and Johnny Dumfries and it was one of the highlights of my childhood standing on the podium with my dad and celebrating with the team. I have my nephew Kilian here this weekend and it was very special to show him what it’s like to experience a win here this weekend. It was one for the ages.”

    Labor Day weekend will see the American Le Mans Series sharing the streets of Baltimore with IndyCar. The ALMS race will run on Saturday, September 1st at 4:30 PM ET.
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  24. #264
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    Grand AM results from Sat Circuit Gilles V..

    Team FXDD Ferrari starting pretty far back made it to 2nd in the race, were held up badly from 4 to 8 seconds to the lead, and in a few laps made up 4 secs on the leader..time ran out b4 they could get back to overtake 4 the lead. The Ferrari team lead the standings in GT. 2 races to go.

    9. (10) Robin Liddell, England; John Edwards, Cincinnati; GT; Stevenson Motorsports; Camaro GT.R; 64.

    10. (14) Emil Assentato, Locust Valley, N.Y.; Jeff Segal, Miami; GT; AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari; Ferrari 458; 64.

    11. (13) Dane Cameron, Suwannee, Ga.; Wayne Nonnamaker, Massillon, Ohio; GT; Team Sahlen; Mazda RX-8; 64.

    12. (11) Leh Keen, Charleston, S.C.; Andrew Davis, Bogart, Ga.; GT; Brumos Racing; Porsche GT3 Cup; 64.

    13. (15) Sylvain Tremblay, Parkland, Fla.; Jonathan Bomarito, Monterey, Calif.; GT; SpeedSource; Mazda RX-8; 63.

    14. (41) Charles Putman, Mills, Wyo.; Charles Espenlaub, Lutz, Fla.; GT; Dempsey Racing; Mazda RX-8; 63.

    15. (31) Boris Said, Escondido, Calif.; Eric Curran, Holyoke, Mass.; GT; Marsh Racing; Corvette; 63.

    16. (40) Scott Maxwell, Toronto; Tom Long, Raleigh, N.C.; GT; Dempsey Racing; Mazda RX-8; 63.

    17. (51) Dion von Moltke, Coral Gables, Fla.; Jim Norman, Tampa, Fla.; GT; APR Motorsport; Audi R8 GRAND-AM; 63.

    18. (42) Joe Nonnamaker, Massillon, Ohio; Will Nonnamaker, North Canton, Ohio; GT; Team Sahlen; Mazda RX-8; 62.

    19. (44) John Potter, Salt Lake City; Andy Lally, Newport, N.Y.; GT; Magnus Racing; Porsche GT3 Cup; 58, radiator.

    20. (94) Paul Dalla Lana, Toronto; Billy Johnson, Mooresville, N.C.; GT; Turner Motorsport; BMW M3; 17; crash.

    21. (90) Richard Westbrook, England; Michael Valiante, Canada; DP; Spirit of Daytona Racing; Corvette DP; 1; suspension.

    Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/2012...#ixzz2405X1kYQ

  25. #265
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    Am trying to figure out why the 458's in the FIA GT races lately are so slow.
    Start of the season we were running at or near the front, now we can do no better than 7 or 8th.

  26. #266
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    Heres the last few minutes from yesterdays race, the closest ALMS finish, ever. Last couple corners are, well edge of the seat stuff.
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  27. #267
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    CREWS REVISED FOR THE 6 HOURS OF SILVERSTONE
    18/08/2012 - 08h00

    The 24 Hours of Le Mans, the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship 2012, was a special event due to its length, all driver crews included three drivers. The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the Championship, served as a dress rehearsal for Le Mans for many teams. There is aother change of scenery for the 6 Hours of Silverstone, which will be held on the 26th of August with appearances, disappearances, returns and reshuffles.

    Aston Martin Racing have entered three Vantages, two racing in the LMGTE Am class. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the British team finished on the third step of the LMGTE Pro podium. The other car entered this year, (No.99) LMGTE Am had to retire. We find the latter on home turf (Prodrive is based in Banbury) with a crew that goes from 100% Danish to 100% British, with Andrew Howard, Jonathan Adam and Paul White. A third Vantage (No.98) will be driven by Roald Goethe, who also owns the Pescarolo 03 of Pescarolo Team unfortunately absent in Britain, with Stuart Hall his protégé.

    Both Irish teams Murphy Prototypes and Status Grand Prix, who are not participating in the entire Championship, continue their momentum from Le Mans, and Spa-Francorchamps for the former, where they scored a magnificent podium finish in LMP2 in the Belgian Ardennes. The trio of Jody Firth, Warren Hughes and Brendon Hartley stay in the Oreca-Nissan No.48 while only Alexander Sims remains in the Lola-Judd No. 30, with the Jousse brothers, Julien and Maxime, making their appearance.

    Championship competitors ADR-Delta, who are currently ranked second in LMP2, have Jan Charouz again after the successful experience at Le Mans with a sixth place finish and the fourth in the FIA WEC. Lotus, another competitor racing the whole season, have two Lola-Lotus entered for the occasion. The car No.32 will be in the hands of American Kevin Weeda, British James Rossiter and Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi, former Formula 1 driver who has taken a liking to endurance.

    In addition, the Jota team has the services of former Peugeot Sport driver Nicolas Minassian, who also be at his home race, as he lives in England. His former colleague of Peugeot Sport, Stéphane Sarrazin will be driving for Starworks Motorsports after racing at Le Mans with Toyota.

    Finally, a difficult series continues for the Gulf Racing Middle East team, forced to enter only one car. Stefan Johansson is joined by Frédéric Fatien, who has been unavailable since the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
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  28. #268
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    In the country of the recent Olympic Games, Toyota wants to extend the summer of sport. At the WEC 6 Hours of Silverstone (16th of August), the Cologne-based team will race one revised TS030 Hybrid.

    Toyota's innovative TS030 Hybrid made ​​its racing debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, creating a sensation by leading the race before an accident and a technical problem successively eliminated both cars. At Silverstone, the team will be present with a single car, the No.7, which will be entrusted to Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima. Anthony Davidson, who is still recovering from his accident at Le Mans, will provide moral support.

    The team prepared for Silverstone with test two days (14-15 August) at Motorland Aragon (Spain), where a change in aerodynamics was tested. According to the latest press release of the Japanese manufacturer, this modification, which provides more downforce than than the "Le Mans" configuration will be more appropriate to the Silverstone circuit and the remaining races in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

    Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “We are looking forward to returning to racing following a long break after Le Mans. As well as recovering our energies after a very tough build-up to Le Mans, we have used this time to prepare an update to the TS030 HYBRID and this ran well in last week’s test. We learnt a lot from our Le Mans experience which showed we have the potential to fight at the front of the WEC field. So we travel to Silverstone highly motivated to deliver a strong result; we’re ready to race again and can’t wait to see how our hybrid technology performs on this track.”

    Alex Wurz, Car No.7: “This is a learning season for TOYOTA Racing and we hope to take more steps in the right direction at Silverstone. We had an encouraging test in Spain last week which gave us plenty of data about the revised aerodynamic package. We have used this data, plus the experiences we had on the TMG driving simulator, to prepare for Silverstone. But there is no substitute for practice time so we must make the most of the sessions on Friday and Saturday. We know we face some very tough opposition so it will not be easy but we will continue pushing and hopefully we can stand on the podium on Sunday.”

    Nicolas Lapierre, Car No.7: “It seems a long time since Le Mans but my memories of taking the lead are still very vivid. That was a great experience and this can inspire us to give everything we have at Silverstone as well. From the work I have done in the TMG driving simulator, plus our test at Aragon, I think we can be really competitive. It’s impossible to judge exactly where we are compared to our main rivals but we are constantly learning and improving. We aim to continue our progress this weekend and hopefully again give the fans some exciting moments.”

    Kazuki Nakajima, Car No.7: “Silverstone used to be my home track and it’s one of my favourite circuits, although I haven’t raced there since the big development was completed in 2010. It will be interesting to experience the new lay-out but I’m most excited about driving the TS030 HYBRID through Maggotts and Becketts on the old part of the track. These fast, sweeping corners should suit our car and I’m expecting it to be really good fun. Of course it was disappointing not to finish the race at Le Mans after we looked so strong but Silverstone is another race and we go there in an optimistic mood.”
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  29. #269
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    Three questions to Martin Brundle
    20/08/201216h15

    Two and a half months after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Martin Brundle and his son Alex will be reunited at Silverstone behind the wheel of one of the two Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissans they will share with the Spaniard Lucas Ordonez.

    His television commentating on the Sky Channel (with Allan McNish and Johnny Herbert, two other former winners of the Le Mans 24 Hours), will resume on Sept. 2 at the Belgian Grand Prix. The English driver gives his view on the 24 Hours and Formula 1, and on the career of his son Alex.

    How was the traffic with the LMP1s at the Le Mans 24 Hours?
    Martin Brundle: "Before the race I had heard many things about how difficult it is to let the LMP1 cars past, especially at night. In reality it was not a problem in an LMP2 car because we are as fast as them in the braking zones and corners, and so it was a question of judgement of whether to ease gently off the throttle as they approached into a corner, or wait for them to pass on the exit under acceleration. This will be more complex at Silverstone however due to the layout of the circuit compared with Le Mans."

    Do you think that the development of the WEC could encourage young drivers to develop a long-term career in endurance racing considering the lack of opportunities in single-seater racing and Formula 1?
    "It’s clear to me that many young drivers are understanding for themselves that Sports Car racing offers very professional and rewarding opportunities including manufacturer supported programmes. They have to come to terms with accepting the difficult of the congested and impossibly expensive nature of single seater racing, and park their dreams of becoming F1 World Champion."

    Do you talk about all this with Alex? Do you think he has already made up his mind about a racing career in endurance racing and single seater racing?
    "I always talk with Alex when he is ready to do so. He is smart enough to realise that in this financial climate he needs to explore all opportunities and keep as many options as possible on the table. Every time he races any car he becomes a better and faster driver, be it sports car or single seater. He will find a way and I will advise when appropriate."

    http://www.lemans.org/en/news/-three...ndle_8352.html
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  30. #270
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    17,982
    OAK RACING EN ROUTE FOR SILVERSTONE

    21/08/2012 - 08h15


    Earlier this month, the OAK Racing team announced that they would race two cars in the LMP2 class, but temporarily withdrew the OAK-Pescarolo from the LMP1 Class. Following this decision, the crews have been somewhat revised , with Bertrand Baguette, Dominik Kraihamer and David Heinemeier-Hansson sharing the wheel of the Morgan-Nissan No.35, while Jacques Nicolet, Oliver Pla Matthieu Lahaye and continue in sister car No.24.

    After scoring points for second place in the LMP2 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring, opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, with a magnificent fifth place overall, the OAK Racing team merely those of third place at Spa-Francorchamps.

    Recurring worries about the reliability of the Judd engine led the team to spread their risk for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and to entered a prototype powered by Nissan. Unfortunately, this change was not enough and the team returned empty-handed from the third round of the championship. Only the No.35 car crossed the finish line, but it is not registered in the entire Championship and did not score points.

    Currently ranked third in the LMP2 class, OAK Racing has to score maximum points to stay in the race for the trophy and expects to build on the momentum of the victory at Donington in European Le Mans Series, as explained Matthieu Lahaye, driver of the No.24 Morgan-Nissan: “After scoring victory at Donington in the ELMS, our goal is to record our first WEC win. The 6 Hours of Silverstone will be the last race of the season held on a track that we know, which has its benefits. In addition, this circuit is ideal for fully exploiting the qualities of our car, as we showed with the LMP1 in 2011. I am particularly pleased to be joining up with the usual WEC crew and slipping back into the same habits.”

    ( from team press release)
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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