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Thread: 2013 WEC, IMSA&ELMS News

  1. #271
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    17:56:48 : New fastest lap by Allan McNish of 1.43.381 on lap 160
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  2. #272
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    17:59:56 : New fastest lap by McNish of 1.42.926 on lap 163
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  3. #273
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    #1 #2 Audis trading fast laps atmo.
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  4. #274
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    18:03:43 : Fastest lap of 1.42.926 was by Treluyer
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  5. #275
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    FIA WEC ‏@FIAWEC 17s
    McNish goes off track at Becketts but takes lead whilst #1 Audi in pits
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  6. #276
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    McNish is flying!

  7. #277
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    think he can make 30 seconds in 30 minutes.
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  8. #278
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    #71 AF Corse with Kobi at wheel is running 2nd in class.
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  9. #279
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    McNish 15 seconds behind, it's gonna be close.

  10. #280
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    Aston Martin Racing ‏@AMR_Official 4s
    @DarrenTurner007 has made his final stop of the afternoon in car #99 and leads the GTE-Pro class with 12 minutes to go
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  11. #281
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    After 6 hours of racing they're that close, amazing stuff!!

  12. #282
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    Oh no!! not a good day for Ferrari. :(

  13. #283
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    no it hasnt been good day for us in GT. 8star was at fault was a chop to block the Vette.
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  14. #284
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    ASTON MARTIN CELEBRATES DOUBLE VICTORY AT SILVERSTONE

    Aston Martin Racing’s 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) programme got off to a near perfect start at the Six Hours of Silverstone today (14 April) with a double victory in the GT class.

    The #97 V8-powered Vantage GTE, driven by Darren Turner (GB), Stefan Mücke (D) and Bruno Senna (BR), finished in first place in the GT Pro category, while the #95 car of Danish trio Christoffer Nygaard, Kristian Poulsen and Allan Simonsen triumphed in the GT Am class.

    At Aston Martin Racing’s home round of the WEC in Northamptonshire, UK, Pedro Lamy (PT), Paul Dalla Lana (CN) and Frédéric Makowiecki (FR) also put in an impressive performance with third position in the #99 car in GT Pro, crossing the line a single lap behind the #97 machine and within 13 seconds of the second-placed car after six hours.

    The fourth Gulf-liveried Aston Martin, the #96 car of Jamie Campbell-Walter (GB), Roald Goethe (D) and Stuart Hall (GB), finished fourth in GT Am having been in contention for a podium for the entire race.

    After a successful qualifying on Saturday, which saw the team secure first and second position in both GT categories, Aston Martin Racing further proved its class-leading pace by setting the fastest lap of all the GT runners; the #99 car recorded a best lap of 2:01.426 after five hours, although competitor cars were very close behind in a super-competitive category.

    While celebrating a near perfect start to Aston Martin Racing’s world championship bid with a faultless lights-to-flag victory, Darren Turner said: “That was an amazing result! We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season. Stefan, Bruno and myself all pushed hard throughout what was, at times, a difficult race. However, the car was prepared perfectly with a lot of hard work and the result is a great reward for everything. Praise to our chief engineer, Dan Sayers, who has done a great job with the 2013 car and given us a package that should see us have a solid season.”

    Making his WEC debut, Bruno Senna added: “I’m really happy to start my GT career with a win. It’s been great joining Aston Martin Racing and to get a pole position and win and go home from our first WEC race of the year with so many points for the championship is unbelievable. It was a tough race; we had to push hard while avoiding accidents, but my team did a great job. We must now keep pushing hard; the competition here is very, very strong.”

    Allan Simonsen, speaking for the #95 GT Am-winning car, comments: “I’m very happy on behalf of the whole team. It was a big push to get us here and to start the season with points is fantastic. To do it on Aston Martin Racing’s home turf is even better; we couldn’t be happier.”

    John Gaw, Team Principal at Aston Martin Racing, concluded: “Today’s outcome was better than we anticipated. We got much more than we expected out of the first race of the season; we came here aiming to score points with all four cars. This certainly bodes well for the championship.

    “To do this at our home race in Aston Martin’s centenary year is extra special. I’d like to particularly thank the technicians and engineers and all others who have worked tirelessly since Shanghai to expand to this four-car effort. We look forward, as a team, to challenging for more race wins.”

    The race-winning 2013-specification #97 Vantage GTE – which shares its bonded aluminium structure and basic engine and suspension architecture with Aston Martin’s sportiest road-going model, the V8 Vantage – completed 171 laps of the 3.7-mile Silverstone circuit, equating to a total race distance of more than 630 miles at an average speed of 108mph.

    The FIA World Endurance Championship resumes in Belgium next month at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps with the race due to start at 1430hrs (CET) on Saturday, 4 May.

    - ENDS -
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  15. #285
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    SILVERSTONE, April 14 – Kamui Kobayashi celebrated his debut race in the N°71
    AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 with a podium finish in association with Toni Vilander
    (FIN). The pair came second in the GTE Pro category of the 6 Hours of
    Silverstone, round one of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship, and they
    immediately felt at ease with the car and their technical staff. Giancarlo Fisichella
    and Gianmaria Bruni (N°51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT2) were fifth in the GTE
    Pro class at the chequered flag. The Italians’ result did not reflect the true potential
    of their package due to a number of unlucky incidents which affected their race.
    Ferrari also finished on the podium in the GTE Am category thanks to the third place
    secured by Enzo Potolicchio, Philippe Peter and Rui Aguas in the N°81 AF Corserun
    8 Star Motorsport 458 Italia GT2. The trio was even second in the class until the
    penultimate lap when the N°50 Corvette hit the 458 Italia from behind. Thanks to
    extremely quick repairs in the pits, the team enabled the car to continue and collect
    a top-three result. Jack Gerber, Marco Cioci and Matt Griffin were eighth in GTE Am
    in the N°61 AF Corse Ferrari. Their race was troubled by a collision with an LMP1
    prototype which crashed into its front-right wing. The team’s technicians managed
    to repair the N°61 458 which re-joined the race after just 30 m inutes in its garage.
    AF Corse Press Office - Riccardo Delfanti

    Grazie Riccardo, will post up the pictures that been sent aswell. Just got work out how
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  16. #286
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    Grazie Riccardo for Pecon press releases...

    Pecom Racing celebrated the first race of the 2013 FIA WEC with a podium
    SILVERSTONE, April 15th – Pecom Racing team on podium in the “Six Hours of Silverstone” (LMP2 category),
    round one of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. The drivers of the Argentinian team – Louis
    Perez Companc, Pierre Kaffer and Nicolas Minassian – were third in the endurance race of Sunday, April
    14th. The Pecom Racing Oreca 03 powered by Nissan (with Michelin tyres ) started from the P7 on the grid;
    following, the race of the Pecom Racing drivers was troubled by a collision with another LMP2 prototype
    which crashed into its front-right wing. Thanks to extremely quick repairs in the pits, clever strategy at the wall
    and very fast stints of each of the three drivers, the team enabled to collect a top-three result.
    The drivers of Pecom Racing, however, did not celebrate the podium soon after the end of the “6 Hours of
    Silverstone”: they took the chequered flag in fourth position. Just a few hours later, the organisation of the
    world championship has decided to penalize the squad that preceded in the standing (removing 1 laps) for
    an irregularity observed during the race. This fact permitted the third place for Pecom Racing and important
    points gained.
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  17. #287
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    Grazie aswell to Fiona again for the ALME press release....

    2013 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES, ROUND 2
    TEQUILA PATRON AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES AT LONG BEACH

    Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 Italia GT no. 62: Olivier Beretta (MCO)
    Matteo Malucelli (ITA)

    RISI AIMING TO INCREASE GT POINTS HAUL AT LONG BEACH

    Houston, TX – April 15, 2013. From one historic circuit to another, Risi Competizione travels this week to Long Beach in southern California for the second round of the American Le Mans Series. The two-hour event takes place on the 1.96 mile, 11-turn temporary course around the shoreline of Long Beach on Saturday, April 21 at 4:30 pm (PT).

    Boosted by a strong haul of points secured at the 12 Hours of Sebring by finishing in second place in the GT class on the team’s return to competition after a year’s hiatus, the team and both its drivers, Olivier Beretta and Matteo Malucelli, are very aware that this weekend’s challenges will be different to Sebring’s.

    Team Principal, Giuseppe Risi: “Of course we were disappointed not to win in GT at Sebring, after leading for so long and not putting a foot wrong in terms of how we ran the race. But, after a short period of reflection, we were able to acknowledge what a good result it was for us as a team in terms of our 2013 Championship ambitions.

    “To come away with second place was very commendable,” Mr Risi continued, “especially as we lost out substantially to our competitors in terms of pit stop turnaround times because of an inequality in the Balance of Performance regulations. That could have a big effect too at Long Beach where stops are critical because of the short track, short race and tight nature of the pits.”

    Beretta, from Monaco, feels very at home at Long Beach as the event is often compared with the F1 Grand Prix held around the streets of his home. He is a two-time winner here and will be using all his experience to help race newcomer Malucelli to find his feet.
    Despite its scenic surroundings, the schedule annually presents drivers and engineers with the prospect of finding the art of compromise!

    As part of a busy weekend of racing entertainment, and sitting alongside the Indycar series, the schedule is unforgiving. Much of the two hours of Friday morning practice, starting at 7:30 am, will be given over to the team’s Italian newcomer to acclimatize himself with the track. Green and dirty track conditions plus low temperatures at that time of day are, however, unlikely to yield much in terms of set up data and, with an entry of 34 cars – some untried and untested at Long Beach – the practice session is likely to be subject to multiple yellow or red flag interruptions.

    Next time out on track will be towards the end of the day for qualifying, when temperatures are usually expected to be higher and the track will be rubbered in. However, with multiple series competing at Long Beach, the surface can be both slippery and unfriendly to the unwary. Risi Competizione’s experience here, winning in 2007 and achieving two class podium finishes since, will be vital.

    Olivier Beretta, 43, recognizes what it takes to succeed at Long Beach: “With such limited track time, and on such a circuit as this, you have to work mostly on the direction and the braking as these are important to have confidence in the car. Without that, you can’t achieve as good a lap time. Getting every corner right is vital for a good lap time here so we will be working hard to find a good set up for this.”

    Matteo Malucelli, 28, has been preparing in the same way that many of today’s top drivers do when about to tackle a new circuit: on a Forza Motorsport game or similar. He says of the coming race: “After second place in Sebring I would like to do better? For me it will be difficult because I don't know this track, but I'm playing with a simulator game just to know where the corners are before we start as we will not have so much time to run during the race weekend compared to Sebring. Normally I don't like street courses so much because they are really slow and tight, but I think in the USA street tracks are really popular and different compared to European ones, so I will be able to say more about that after a few laps!”

    The Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach is the second round of the 10-race ALMS championship. ABC’s coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 21, and live coverage is available on ESPN3 starting at 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 20.

    Risi Competizione is a Houston-based Ferrari racing team led by Managing Director Giuseppe Risi.

    Images show: Start of the GT category at the 12 Hours of Sebring, FL, March 16 and Risi Competizione driver Olivier Beretta (left) and Matteo Malucelli (right). Copyright free for PR and media use only, credit Regis Lefebure/Risi Competizione.

    For further media information contact:


    Media and Communications
    Last edited by Rob; 15th April 2013 at 18:53.
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  18. #288
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    LMP1 PRIVATEER NEWS FROM SILVERSTONE

    15/04/2013 - 18h46

    REBELLION Racing claimed first and second places in the FIA Endurance LMP1 Privateer Trophy at 6 Hours of Silverstone, 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship opener. The Lola-Toyota coupé #12 driven by Neel Jani, Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld took the chequered flag in first position of the LMP1 Privateer entrants (5th overall) in the 6 hour British endurance race after dominating since the free practice and qualifying sessions.

    The Lola-Toyota coupé #13 driven by Andrea Belicchi, CongFu Cheng and Mathias Beche secured the 2nd position of the LMP1 Privateer entrants (6th overall).
    Strakka Racing made a sensational start to the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of Silverstone, when it came from 30th on the grid to 7th position in the first six laps. However, the local team’s Honda Performance Development ARX-03c was pushed onto the grass whilst lapping a back marker on lap 58, and retired with accident damage after the car spun on the damp grass and collided with the Ferrari.

    Team press releases
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  19. #289
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    Stunning Strakka stung by back marker at Silverstone
    Posted on April 14, 2013 by Paul Evans
    Strakka Racing made a sensational start to the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of Silverstone, when it came from 30th on the grid to 7th position in the first six laps. However, the local team’s Honda Performance Development ARX-03c was pushed onto the grass whilst lapping a back marker on lap 58, and retired with accident damage after the car spun on the grass and collided with the Ferrari.

    Jonny Kane started the race from the outside of Row 15, and made astonishing progress though the field. He was up to16th after lap 1, 11th after lap 2 and 7th after lap 6. Fearing over a minutes could be lost overtaking the GT and LMP2 cars, Strakka Racing was just 22 seconds behind its LMP1 Privateer rivals and closing.

    Jonny handed over to Nick Leventis after a magnificent double stint. It was the first time Nick had driven on a dry track this weekend, and was pushing hard to continue Jonny’s good work when he came up to lap the #61 AF Corse Ferrari F458.

    Having got inside the Ferrari in Turn 1, Nick was pushed wide at Turn 2 and onto the grass. The Relentless Energy Drinks-supported LMP1 car spun backwards and at unabated speed came across the track backwards at Turn 3, collecting the front of the #61 Ferrari.

    Had it not collided with the Ferrari, the likelihood is that the car would have flat-spotted its Michelin tyres and had to come into the pits for a tyre change. Instead, the impact broke the HPD ARX-03c’s front right suspension and retired instantly.

    Jonny Kane: “The first stint reminded me of Le Mans last year, when we started dead last and got back to seventh place. I managed to clear all the GTs and LMP2s a lot quicker than we’d anticipated and in the clear air I could knuckle down and try to catch the P1s. Our pace was okay, but we started to struggle with the graining on the front tyres a little bit towards the end of the first stint, and when we filled the car with fuel it made it quite a lot worse. I had to manage the tyres a lot and my pace had to drop, but once the fuel came off and the car got lighter the tyres got better again. We’ve still got a lot of things we want to try on the car, but because of the poor weather we’ve had at Silverstone and during pre-season testing we just haven’t be able to get through the programme. It’s early days with the new car, and it’s certainly got a lot of potential.”

    Danny Watts: “Jonny did a great double stint to get us back into the fight for LMP1 Privateers’ and it looked like the car was really well balanced and running with good pace. It was just a case of trying to keep it going around and around, but there is always a danger when overtaking slower GT cars. It’s a part of endurance racing, but if you get pushed off wide and onto the grass, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. We wanted to score a good result and get some good points on the board at our home race at Silverstone – but we’re a strong team, we’ll get the car fixed and we’ll start our season at the next round in Spa.”

    Nick Leventis: “I was forced wide by a Ferrari on the exit of Turn 1, and once I got onto the grass I was just a passenger. He must have known I was there, because I was flashing my lights, but these things happen and there was nothing I could do. The marshals nearby said it wasn’t my fault. It’s really frustrating, because I think we had the pace in the car today. I’m really sorry for the whole team that we’ve had to finish the race early like this. This weekend just wasn’t to be for us. But as ever, we’ll learn from this weekend and come back faster and stronger.”

    Dan Walmsley, Strakka Racing Team Manager: “Jonny was superb at the start, coming from the back of the grid and putting us up to seventh after just six laps of the race. He was ruthless, took no prisoners, was stunning to watch and cleared the pack in a way which only put us twenty-two seconds behind Rebellion. We were struggling a bit with the front left tyre, so Jonny did a great job to bring the car in for the first driver change with the pace he did. Nick hasn’t had any dry running at all this weekend, and on his third flying lap he got run onto the grass by a GT car, skidded across the grass and hit the same GT car at the next corner. It was a bad end to a bad race weekend for us. We arrived at Silverstone with limited pre-season testing, and the weather conditions continued to interrupt our preparations in free practice. We’re all very disappointed, because we haven’t had the opportunity to show what the car and team are truly capable of. But we’ll go forward from this setback with renewed vigour and determination to make sure we score maximum points at every other race this year.”
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  20. #290
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    Rebellion Racing finishes 1-2 in LMP1 Privateer Trophy.

    - 1st and 2nd in FIA Endurance LMP1 Team Trophy
    - 5th and 6th place overall at the 2013 6 Hours of Silverstone
    - Both of the team’s Lola-Toyota cars finished the first race of the 2013 WEC opener
    - Team scores maximum points and is leading in the FIA Endurance LMP1 Team Trophy classification after the first round

    REBELLION Racing claimed first and second places in the FIA Endurance LMP1 Privateer Trophy at 6 Hours of Silverstone, 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship opener.

    The Lola-Toyota coupé #12 driven by Neel Jani, Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld took the chequered flag in first position of the LMP1 Privateer entrants (5th overall) in the 6 hour British endurance race after dominating since the free practice and qualifying sessions.
    The Lola-Toyota coupé #13 driven by Andrea Belicchi, CongFu Cheng and Mathias Beche secured the 2nd position of the LMP1 Privateer entrants (6th overall).

    The Strakka HPD challenge disappeared early in the race after the #21 car slid wide and crashed with a GT Ferrari at the end of the second hour of the race. The challenger to the Swiss team were not able to start again and were forced to retire.
    From that moment, both REBELLION Racing’s cars were in a good position to control the race. They maintained a strong pace with safe driving in traffic and no mechanical issues, race facts or weather effects could shake the plans of the Swiss team.

    For this first round of the FIA WEC, both Lola-Toyota demonstrated an extreme reliability and it was a nearly trouble free race for the #12 and # 13 REBELLION Racing cars.

    This win at the 6 Hours of Silverstone is a very positive result for REBELLION Racing who scored maximum points and is at the head of the FIA Endurance LMP1 Team Trophy.



    Neel Jani – Lola-Toyota #12 :
    “We delivered our maximum today. My start was not so bad. I had a good battle with Audi #1 during several laps. The track was very green and it surprised everybody. My tyres suffered after fifteen laps because of this and I had to stop early. I lost a lot of time until I changed my four tyres. Except this, I took a triple stint without any problem. We score today all the points we could expect for the Trophy. So it's a good race ending for us.”

    Nicolas Prost – Lola – Toyota #12 :
    “Most of the race had consisted of chasing our teammates in the #13 which is not a bad thing. I took the wheel after Neel with a comfortable gap ahead of the #13 and #21 and I increased again this gap during my stint. I started under the rain and had to deal with a drying track. I brought the car safely in for Nick after my double stint with three laps ahead of the #13. We have taken maximum points for the FIA Endurance Trophy so it's a strong result for the team. After the improvements made on the cars, we are closer than we thought to the factory cars but not enough to fight wheel to wheel with them. We have still to work hard to improve the cars to know how close we can get to them.”

    Nick Heidfeld -- Lola-Toyota #12 :
    “ If this race was trouble free for us, it's a pity that the Strakka HDP was so unlucky today. The race is more fun when you have to fight with other guys ! Concerning my own driving, racing in endurance is really enjoyable. I'm still learning to improve my driving through traffic and I feel better and better.”

    Andrea Belicchi - Lola- Toyota #13 :
    “ We made a strong race until a GT touched and damaged the rear left of the car. We lost time in the pits when we had to change it. Otherwise, we would have been wheel to wheel with our sister car #12. We are really satisfied with the improvements on the car. We gain a lot in terms of performance to compete more closely with the factory cars. It's good for the rest of the season.”

    CongFu Cheng – Lola Toyota #13 :
    “Because of the changing weather, this week-end at Silverstone was very challenging. I'm really happy with the performance of the car. I feel more and more confident in driving it. Spending time with the team allows us to know each other better and to develop team spirit. It's good and I can't wait to be in Spa for the next round of the FIA WEC.”

    Mathias Beche – Lola – Toyota #13 :
    “This race was our first race of the FIA WEC. Unfortunately, a contact with a Ferrari cost us a lot. We had a good pace. Step by step, I'm discovering the potential of improvement of the car in more “regular conditions” than at Sebring. Driving an LMP1 is still very fun for me. I think that we can be proud of our result today. I'd like to congratulate my teammates of the #12 for their first place in the FIA Endurance LMP1 Team Trophy. See you in Spa for the next round !”

    Bart Hayden REBELLION Team Manager:
    “ It’s satisfying to get a reward for hard work and the results today are a just reward for the incredible efforts of all the team over the winter months. Credit should also go to the people at Multimatic who have helped us to bring the aero update to the cars for this weekend. We are leading the Championship, but there are many races still to come, so we’ll keep pushing and looking for continued success in the next events. Congratulations to the whole team and we’re looking forward to Spa.”
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  21. #291
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    AUDI WIN WEC SEASON-OPENING THRILLER AT SILVERSTONE

    A nail biting end to the 6 Hours of Silverstone saw the nr2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Allan McNish sweep past the nr1 Audi of world champion Benoit Treluyer with just five minutes of the race remaining to win the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The win adds the names of Audi, McNish, Duval and Kristensen to the 108 year Tourist Trophy roll of honour.

    The 25 points for the win in LMP1 Privateer category went to the reigning champions Rebellion Racing with dominant win for Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost and Neel Jani in the nr12 Lola-Toyota. The LMP2 victory went to Silverstone based team Delta ADR as Antonio Pizzonia took the chequered flag with a one lap advantage over the nr24 Oak Racing Oreca Nissan.

    In the opening hour of the race Alan McNish in the nr2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro moved from third on the grid to leading the race within the first ten minutes. At the start Alex Wurz in the nr7 Toyota TS030 led the field into the first corner, followed by Anthony Davidson in the nr8 TS030. However McNish soon got past the second placed Toyota and then dispatched the lead car on lap six as Wurz went wide at Club corner.

    Benoit Treluyer in the nr1 Audi followed his teammate by moving up from 5th on the grid to end the opening hour in 2nd place, 18.8 seconds behind his Scottish teammate.

    The nr 7 Toyota then seemed to encounter a problem as Wutz was passed by Davidson and then dropped back with tyre smoke appearing from the back of the Toyota in the braking zone at the end of The Vale as the brakes locked up. However the Austrian was able to keep going and maintain the gap to the the front runners.

    The LMP1 Privateer battle between Rebellion and Strakka was unable to materialize as Jonny Kane had to start the race at the back of the grid following qualifying where the HPD-Honda failed to complete four laps. Kane forced his way through to the front of LMP2 grid by lap 7. The two Rebellion Lola Toyotas led the way, with both cars being able to keep in close formation and within a lap of the works Audis and Toyotas.

    The battle for LMP2 honours was led by the nr25 Delta-ADR Oreca Nissan of Antonio Pizzonia from pole position with the nr35 Oak Racing Morgan of Martin Plowman moving up from 4th on the grid to finish the hour in second.

    It wasn’t a happy time for the Lotus team as the nr31 T128 of Vitantonio Liuzzi had to make several pitstops for a loose door and the nr32 Lotus of Jan Charouz was hit by the nr49 Pecom Racing Oreca of Nicolas Minassian, causing damage to the steering and bodywork that looked like it may cause the cars retirement.

    In hour 2 the nr2 Audi maintained the lead built up by Allan McNish in the first 60 minutes with Loic Duval ending the second hour of the 6 Hours of Silverstone 15 seconds ahead of Marcel Fassler in the nr1 R18 e-tron. The nr8 Toyota TS030 was still on the lead lap but Stephane Sarrazin was over 80 seconds behind the lead Audis and 20 seconds head of teammate Nicolas Lapierre in the nr7 TS030 which had suffered from tyre problems in the first 60-minutes of the race.

    The LMP1 Privateer battle became a two horse race when Nick Leventis in the nr21 Strakka Racing HPD-Honda spun across the track at T3 and hit the nr61 Ferrari of Jack Gerber who was turning in for the next corner. The resulting damage forced Leventis to retire.

    The LMP2 battle was being led by the Delta ADR run G Drive sponsored Oreca Nissan of John Martin, with the nr25 sister car of Tor Graves nearly a minute behind the Australian in 8th overall.

    A sharp rain shower during the third hour shook things up with the LMP2 leader John Martin in the nr26 G Drive Racing Oreca Nissan spinning across the track on the exit of the final corner and hitting the pitwall. With most of the cars on slicks a full course yellow was declared which was withdrawn a short time later as the strong wind blew the rain clouds away from the circuit.

    There was also a lead change at the front of the field with the nr1 Audi taking the lead. At the top of the hour the nr2 came into the pits with Duval handing over to Kristensen. The Dane pushed the car on the opening lap of his stint as the nr1 car pitted with Fassler handing over to Andre Lotterer. The German emerged from the pits behind the nr2 Audi but Kristenen found himself unsighted by an Aston Martin and Lotterer took advantage to sweep into the lead.

    The nr12 Rebellion Lola Toyota extended its lead in the LMP1 Privateer class, ending the third hour two laps ahead of the nr13 Rebellion of ‘Frankie’ Cheng.

    With the demise of the nr26 G Drive Oreca, which rejoined the track after a lengthy pitstop to repair the damage caused by the accident. The lead reverted to the nr25 Delta-ADR Oreca of Tor Graves, who held a 90 second advantage over the nr24 Oak Racing Morgan Nissan of David Heinemeier Hansson.

    In the fourth hour the typical English spring weather continued as the sun came out to bathe the Silverstone track in sunlight. The nr1 Audi R18 of Andre Lotterer ended the fourth hour of the race in the same position the German began it, leading the race by 8.1 seconds ahead of the nr2 Audi R18 e-tron of Tom Kristensen.

    The two Toyotas were in third and fourth places with the nr8 TS030 of Sebastien Buemi holding the final podium position one lap behind the leader. Alex Wurz was back behind the wheel of the nr7 Toyota 42 seconds adrift of Buemi.

    The LMP1 Privateer leader was still Nicolas Prost in the nr12 Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota, two laps ahead of the nr13 sister car which still had Frankie Cheng on driving duties.

    The LMP2 lead also ended as it began an hour earlier with the nr25 Delta ADR Oreca of John Martin leading the field ahead of the nr24 Oak Racing Morgan-Nissan of Alex Brundle, who briefly led the race when the lad car pitted for fuel and tyres.

    A short fuel stop in the fifth hour for the nr1 Audi of Benoit Treluyer set up a great showdown between the two R18 e-tron quattros in the last hour of the race. The nr2 Audi of Allan McNish stopped at the top of the hour for fuel and tyres from the head of the field, which gave the lead to Treluyer who pitted a lap later. However the French driver completed a short 51 second stop to get back out on track in front of his Scottish teammate.

    The two Toyota TS030 were a lap behind with the nr8 TS030 of Anthony Davidson still holding the upper hand over the nr7 Toyota of Alex Wurz. The nr12 Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota of Nick Heidfeld is still in a dominant position in the privateer class.

    In LMP2 the nr25 Delta-ADR Oreca was still at the front of the field, 43 seconds in front of the nr24 Oak Racing Morgan of Olivier Pla. The nr35 Oak Morgan of Alex Brundle pitted from 3rd place but a faulty starter motor left the British driver stranded in the pitlane and dropped the car down the order and the mechanics worked hard to fix the fault.

    As the chequered flag approached Allan McNish, whose car was on fresh tyres following the pitstop, was reeling in the leading Audi with just a few laps remaining. Treluyer didn’t have an answer for the faster car and McNish swept into the lead at Luffield and moved ahead to win the race by nearly 3.5 seconds. The two Toyotas were 3rd and 4th with the two Rebellion Racing Lolas in 5th and 6th overall.

    The LMP2 victory went to the nr25 Delta-ADR Oreca of Antonio Pizzonia, Tor Graves and James Walker, with the nr24 Oak Racing Morgan-Nissan in second place. The third placed nr41 Greaves Motorsport Zytek Nissan was given a one lap penalty when Michael Marsal failed to respect the minimum driving time of 1h15m, moving the team down to 5th in the LMP2 result. The nr49 Pecom Racing Oreca was promoted to third place and the nr 35 Oak Racing Morgan to 4th.

    Loïc Duval - nr2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: “A fantastic weekend. Allan McNish was incredibly strong at Silverstone. He was very quick and even recovered the time loss after spinning shortly before the end. I’m delighted about immediately clinching a victory on my first start in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro on my Silverstone race debut.”

    Tom Kristensen - nr2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: “A nice race in which we clearly showed how we increased our pace in the winter. Toyota’s performance deserves respect as well. We’ve seen a thrilling battle in which Allan McNish recovered despite a spin. And Loïc Duval experienced a very nice debut in our driver squad.”

    Allan McNish -nr2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: “We knew it would be a difficult race. The competition with Toyota was tough, plus there was a thrilling duel between both Audi cars. In the end, it became a battle between Benoît Tréluyer and me. After I spun, I went for maximum attack on new tires. I managed to move to the front only on the penultimate lap. I’m happy about having scored the maximum number of points at the WEC opener for the second consecutive time.”

    Marcel Fässler- nr1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: “An extremely thrilling race. Allan McNish was running on new tires toward the end while our tires had already run for many kilometres. Congratulations to the drivers of car number 2. It was a great race for both cars and a nice one-two victory for Audi in the battle with Toyota.”

    André Lotterer - nr1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: “It was an open battle up to the end. For us, the race lasted two minutes too long...But it was a great result for Audi. For the Championship, the starting base is perfect even though we’d have liked to have been one step higher. We can be pleased nonetheless.”

    Benoît Tréluyer - nr1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: “It’s been a good race even though we were lacking a bit of fortune toward the end. But the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro is a car that feels great. A good omen for the future.”

    Anthony Davidson - nr8 Toyota Racing TS030 - Hybrid: “That was a tough race and one of the harder podiums of my career. It was a case of the tyres being out of their temperature range; we were suffering from graining and a lack of front grip. Both Alex and I had to nurse them through the first stint and we were not able to double stint with them. We changed to a different compound towards the end and the track temperatures dropped more which helped us. That’s why our speed came back, but it was not enough.”

    Stéphane Sarrazin - nr8 Toyota Racing TS030 - Hybrid: “It is always frustrating when you are not fastest, so it was a difficult race. But we achieved a podium and this is my first with TOYOTA Racing, so at least I am pleased with that. We didn’t have the pace today with the 2012 car but we kept pushing. Now we will look at all the information we gained today and find areas to improve. I am looking forward to Spa where I hope we will be able to push Audi harder.”

    Sébastien Buemi - nr8 Toyota Racing TS030 - Hybrid: “We did our best today but we were not able to fight for the win. Nevertheless it is still a podium so we should not be too disappointed; it is a solid start to the season especially considering we used the 2012 car. We knew Audi had improved its performance with the new car so we could not expect to be the fastest here but we have lots we can learn from this weekend. We will move forward and improve for the second race; I can’t wait for Spa.”
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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    ELMS: PATRICK LONG IN IMSA PERFORMANCE.

    The IMSA Performance Matmut had a meeting with a well animated British Porsche 911 GT3-RSR aligned European Le Mans Series (GTE) and World Championship Endurance (GTE-Am). In the European Championship, Patrice Milesi is associated with Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler. The duo took sixth place 3 Hours of Silverstone in the framework of the European Le Mans Series. The German will be absent for the next meeting of Imola due to American Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca in Falken Tires. The Porsche driver will be replaced by another size, namely Patrick Long. The American knows the team of Narac and Franck Rava to be rolled in the past, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The presence of Pat Long at IMSA Performance Matmut day meeting ALMS Laguna Seca indicates that CORE autosport will not start his Porsche 911 GT3-RSR California.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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    GT Open International: AF Corse at the start of the championship with
    two Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. In addition, the AT Racing 458 GT2.
    Reigning champions AF Corse will race in the 2013 International GT Open with two Ferrari
    458 Italia GT3. In addition, the Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 lined up by AT Racing and managed
    by AF Corse. The objective is to reconfirm their place at the top of the championship, one
    of the most important competitions in Europe for GT cars. In the last three seasons, Ferrari
    and AF Corse won two out of three titles (in 2010 with the F430 GT2 and in 2012 with 458
    Italia GT2).
    At the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 (GTS category), the young drivers Micheal Lyons
    together with Matteo Beretta and the close-knit crew composed of Claudio Sdanewitsch and
    Michele Rugolo. Both squads are well able to aim for the top positions.
    The AT Racing 458 Italia GT2 will be engaged in the Super GT category with Alexander
    Talkanitsa ed Alexander Talkanitsa Junior, father and son. Following the triumphs in the GT
    Open Winter Series, the Belorussian drivers want to collect more trophies.
    The first of eight rounds of the 2013 GT Open starts with the double race at Le Castellet, on
    Paul Ricard track, April 27th and 28th.
    www.afcorse.it
    AF Corse Press Office - Riccardo Delfanti
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    SPA GRID BOOSTED TO 35 CARS

    18/04/2013 - 21h57

    Spa Grid Boosted to 35 Cars After a thrilling 6 Hours of Silverstone which saw Audi, Rebellion Racing, Delta ADR and Aston Martin Racing secure the first wins the 2013 season, the teams and drivers competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship now head to Belgium for the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on the 3 and 4 May 2013. The grid has been boosted to 35 cars with several cars joining the field for the traditional last race before the 24 Heures du Mans in June. After the emphatic 1-2 win by Audi in the UK, all eyes will be on the nr7 Toyota to see if the new spec TS030 can claw back the advantage that Audi gained in the opening race of the year. Audi Sport Team Joest will be fielding a third Audi R18 e-tron quattro for Lucas di Grassi, Marc Gene and Oliver Jarvis to run alongside the two cars that took a perfect 1-2 at Silverstone, with Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval lifting the Tourist Trophy on the Silverstone podium. Toyota Racing will be unveiling their 2013 challenger at Spa, which will be in the hands of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima, while the nr8 TS030 will be a 2012 spec car for Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin, who will have to wait until the 24 Heures du Mans test on the 9 June for their 2013 car. After their class 1-2 at Silverstone, Rebellion Racing will once again field a two car entry with an unchanged line up.The drivers are also unchanged at Strakka Racing, the all British team hoping for better luck in Belgium than they were served up at their home race. The LMP2 grid is once again the largest in the WEC field with 11 cars entered for the 6 Hour encounter on the 7km Spa circuit. After missing the opening race of the season Gulf Racing Middle East will be bringing one Lola-Nissan for Frederic Fatien, Fabien Giroix and Keiko Ihara. Championship leaders Delta-ADR have confirmed their round 1 winning driver line up and Tor Graves will race with James Walker and Antonio Pizzonia in Belgium. Belgium’s Bertrand Baguette, racing with Martin Plowman and Ricardo Gonzalez in the nr35 Oak Racing Morgan-Nissan, will be hoping that home advantage will boost his chances of securing a victory for himself and the French team, which is fielding three cars in the LMP2 class. The LMGTE Pro class will see seven cars on the Spa grid with race winners Aston Martin Racing bringing a third car. Bruno Senna will switch to the nr98 Vantage V8 alongside Fred Makowiecki and Rob Bell, while his place in the victorious 97 car will be taken by Scotland’s Peter Dumbreck. The nr99 Aston Martin will be driven by Canada’s Paul Dalla Lana, Portugal’s Pedro Lamy and New Zealander Ritchie Stanaway. The driver line ups for the AF Corse Ferraris and the Porsche AG Team Manthey 911s remain unchanged from the first race and both works teams will be working hard to close the gap to the Aston Martins. AF Corse will bring a second Ferrari 458 Italia to Belgium, with Yannick Mallegol, Jean-Marc Bachelier and Howard Blank performing the driving duties, boosting the LMGTE Am entry to 9 cars for the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The driver line ups in the other 8 entries remain unchanged from Silverstone, with the all Danish crew in the nr95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Allan Simonsen, Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen hoping to capitalise on their Silverstone victory and extend their championship lead in Belgium.However they will face opposition from several quarters in a class that features four Ferrari 458s, two Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, the other Aston Martin Vantage V8s and a Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1. The truly international grid for the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps features 35 cars run by 20 teams representing 11 different countries, with 105 drivers taking part in the race representing 27 countries across six continents. In a two-day festival of sportscar racing the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps weekend also features three races for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux. The off track entertainment will also be full on, with plenty to see and do for the whole family with a funfair, the FIA WEC fan area autograph sessions and a pitwa


    After a thrilling 6 Hours of Silverstone which saw Audi, Rebellion Racing, Delta ADR and Aston Martin Racing secure the first wins the 2013 season, the teams and drivers competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship now head to Belgium for the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on the 3 and 4 May 2013.

    The grid has been boosted to 35 cars with several cars joining the field for the traditional last race before the 24 Heures du Mans in June.

    After the emphatic 1-2 win by Audi in the UK, all eyes will be on the nr7 Toyota to see if the new spec TS030 can claw back the advantage that Audi gained in the opening race of the year. Audi Sport Team Joest will be fielding a third Audi R18 e-tron quattro for Lucas di Grassi, Marc Gene and Oliver Jarvis to run alongside the two cars that took a perfect 1-2 at Silverstone, with Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval lifting the Tourist Trophy on the Silverstone podium.

    Toyota Racing will be unveiling their 2013 challenger at Spa, which will be in the hands of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima, while the nr8 TS030 will be a 2012 spec car for Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin, who will have to wait until the 24 Heures du Mans test on the 9 June for their 2013 car.

    After their class 1-2 at Silverstone, Rebellion Racing will once again field a two car entry with an unchanged line up.The drivers are also unchanged at Strakka Racing, the all British team hoping for better luck in Belgium than they were served up at their home race.

    The LMP2 grid is once again the largest in the WEC field with 11 cars entered for the 6 Hour encounter on the 7km Spa circuit. After missing the opening race of the season Gulf Racing Middle East will be bringing one Lola-Nissan for Frederic Fatien, Fabien Giroix and Keiko Ihara. Championship leaders Delta-ADR have confirmed their round 1 winning driver line up and Tor Graves will race with James Walker and Antonio Pizzonia in Belgium.

    Belgium’s Bertrand Baguette, racing with Martin Plowman and Ricardo Gonzalez in the nr35 Oak Racing Morgan-Nissan, will be hoping that home advantage will boost his chances of securing a victory for himself and the French team, which is fielding three cars in the LMP2 class.

    The LMGTE Pro class will see seven cars on the Spa grid with race winners Aston Martin Racing bringing a third car. Bruno Senna will switch to the nr98 Vantage V8 alongside Fred Makowiecki and Rob Bell, while his place in the victorious 97 car will be taken by Scotland’s Peter Dumbreck. The nr99 Aston Martin will be driven by Canada’s Paul Dalla Lana, Portugal’s Pedro Lamy and New Zealander Ritchie Stanaway. The driver line ups for the AF Corse Ferraris and the Porsche AG Team Manthey 911s remain unchanged from the first race and both works teams will be working hard to close the gap to the Aston Martins.

    AF Corse will bring a second Ferrari 458 Italia to Belgium, with Yannick Mallegol, Jean-Marc Bachelier and Howard Blank performing the driving duties, boosting the LMGTE Am entry to 9 cars for the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The driver line ups in the other 8 entries remain unchanged from Silverstone, with the all Danish crew in the nr95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Allan Simonsen, Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen hoping to capitalise on their Silverstone victory and extend their championship lead in Belgium.However they will face opposition from several quarters in a class that features four Ferrari 458s, two Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, the other Aston Martin Vantage V8s and a Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1.

    The truly international grid for the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps features 35 cars run by 20 teams representing 11 different countries, with 105 drivers taking part in the race representing 27 countries across six continents.

    In a two-day festival of sportscar racing the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps weekend also features three races for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux. The off track entertainment will also be full on, with plenty to see and do for the whole family with a funfair, the FIA WEC fan area autograph sessions and a pitwalk.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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    7TH IN SUPER-CLOSE GT QUALIFYING AT LONG BEACH

    Apr 19
    Just 0.5 seconds separated the top eight cars in GT qualifying for tomorrow’s two-hour race around the streets of Long Beach in southern California. Olivier Beretta, driving the No.62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 Italia, set a time of 1:19.184 which put him in 7th place on the super-tight GT grid – a mark of how competitive the manufacturer-led class continues to be. Pole position was taken by Dominik Farnbacher in the No.91 SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R with a time of 1:18.845.

    In a condensed day of running for round two of the American Le Mans Series, with just two hours of practice in the morning and a 15 minute qualifying session this afternoon, the Houston-based team has had a trouble-free day but lacked the top speed necessary to challenge for pole position.

    Olivier Beretta: “The car is really good and I have no complaints; the team did a really good job and I think I did my job too. When you look at the lap times it’s super close but the problem is once again the balance of performance – the Vipers are too fast on the straight line. For sure we’ll be there in the race as the team is good on pit stops and everyone’s used to these short races. Like every race we need a bit of luck, but I’m confident for tomorrow.”

    Half of this morning’s practice was given over to Long Beach debutant, Matteo Malucelli, in order for him to learn the track. The Italian proved to be a quick study as it took him just ten laps to get up to speed and the Risi Ferrari ended the session in third place after finding a good race set up. The two drivers, together with engineer Rick Mayer, have worked specifically on handling and balance through the 11 turn plus efficient braking – key elements for a successful result on this tight course between the concrete barriers.

    Tomorrow’s race begins at 4:30 pm and will last 120 minutes.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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    Long Beach Rebellion: Jani Takes Pole Position

    Farnbacher delivers first pole for SRT Viper
    LONG BEACH, Calif. – Neel Jani’s return to the Long Beach street circuit is off to a good start. In his first race at the circuit since 2007, Jani won pole position for the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach with a lap of 1:12.600 (97.587 mph) in Rebellion Racing’s No. 12 Lola-Toyota coupe.

    Saturday’s second round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

    Jani previously raced at Long Beach in the 2007 Champ Car event, but didn’t believe that earlier experience provided much benefit. He was 0.682 seconds better Friday than Dyson Racing’s Guy Smith in the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda. Lucas Luhr qualified third for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing with a 114.004 (95.735 mph) in the No. 6 Honda Performance Development ARX-03a.

    “It didn’t help having driven here before in Champ Car. Visibility is a lot better in a single-seater than our closed car,” Jani said. “With our big wheel arches we have to guess where the walls are. So there are a lot of tricky factors for us on a street course.”

    Jani and Nick Heidfeld enter the weekend with the lead in the P1 championship following the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. The team has not competed on a street circuit like Long Beach before this weekend.

    “We didn’t expect it to be such a big gap (from first to second place),” Jani said. “This is the first time we are bringing this car to a street course, and the car is developed for Le Mans. We had no idea how to do the setup.”

    P2
    Ryan Briscoe won his second straight pole position at Long Beach – he was the fastest qualifier in last year’s IndyCar race – but first in the ALMS. He turned a lap of 1:16.014 (93.204 mph) in Level 5 Motorsports’ No. 551 HPD ARX-03b that he shares with team owner Scott Tucker.

    It was the second straight pole for Briscoe in the ALMS, who was the P2 class’ fastest qualifier at Sebring. Extreme Speed Motorsports’ Scott Sharp was second at 1:17.390 (91.547 mph) in the No. 01 HPD ARX-03b with Johannes van Overbeek third with a 1:17.432 (91.497 mph) in the No. 02 ESM entry.

    “Track position is key for sure,” Briscoe said. “Speeds are so close with all the GT cars and the PC cars. We’ll be fighting all day with cars that won’t even be in our class. So tomorrow will be about who can deal with the traffic best, not get in trouble, no penalties, and not putting damage to the car. It’s a fine line, but that’s what we get paid to do.”

    Friday was the first time the current version of the HPD P2 prototype has gotten significant practice time in dry conditions at Long Beach. Briscoe said the car setup was a bit of a guessing game, and Level 5 guessed right.

    “We didn’t have any data to go by from last year because all practice and qualifying was rained out,” he said. “We’re kind of blindfolded going in. The team did a good job.”

    GT
    Dominik Farnbacher gave Viper its first ALMS pole in 13 seasons as SRT Motorsports garnered its first fast qualifier honor. The young German set a record lap of 1:18.845 (89.857 mph) in the No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R that he will drive with Marc Goossens.

    The factory SRT Vipers made their ALMS debut in July of 2012, a dozen years since the Viper’s last pole position at Adelaide to close the 2000 season as a factory Dodge effort.

    “One year ago the car didn’t exist. So it was still in the minds of the CEOs,” Farnbacher said. “Last year we tried to get the baseline set, and be reliable. In Sebring it was the first time we drove really hard. It showed the car was there.

    “The car will be really strong tomorrow. The fans can count on a strong viper. It will come down to strategy at half time with the pit stop. Then we’ll see how we can get a good run out of the pit.”

    Farnbacher was the fastest driver for most of the qualifying session. He finished 0.122 seconds ahead of Bryan Sellers in the No. 17 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR from Team Falken Tire. Jonathan Bomarito was third quickest in the No. 93 SRT Viper at 1:18.984 (89.699 mph).

    “It means a lot to get this pole for Viper and SRT,” Farnbacher said. “I’m trying to sort it in my head still. It means a lot to all of us. It’s great getting out of the car and seeing everyone in the pits smiling at you. It’s one of the things you dream about when you’re a little kid.”

    PC
    In Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire, Bruno Junqueira won his first Long Beach pole in six years for RSR Racing. His best lap was a 1:16.167 (93.017 mph) in the No. 9 ORECA FLM09 that he drives with Duncan Ende. Junqueira, the 2004 Champ Car pole-winner at the circuit, set a class record and was 0.055 seconds faster than CORE autosport’s Colin Braun.

    “When I was getting out of the car I saw Colin was one tenth behind me,” Junquiera said. “I was very worried because on Colin’s last lap at Sebring he took the pole from me. He is driving good, and their car is good. There is such good competition in our class and it will be very exciting for the fans. The race will be flat out and we will be pushing hard.”

    Junqueira was fastest in class during the morning session as well. Long Beach historically has been good to him; he has a runner-up and two third-place finishes in Champ Car to his credit. Luis Diaz qualified third at 1:16.630 (92.455 mph) for PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports.

    “It’s very nice. I love Long Beach,” Junqueira said. “The crowd is so knowledgeable with the race being here for 39 years. I’ve had fans here with my hero card from 2001 when I first drove IndyCars so the people really know about racing.”

    GTC
    GT Challenge qualifying and Jeroen Bleekemolen didn’t disappoint. Alex Job Racing’s Porsche ace won the GTC pole with a 1:22.850 (85.514 mph) on his last lap in the No. 23 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Bleekemolen, driving with Cooper MacNeil, was 0.121 seconds faster than NGT Motorsport’s Sean Edwards.

    Bleekemolen started his final lap with 15 seconds left in the session. He was 0.253 seconds behind Edwards on his last attempt.

    “I couldn’t get it together in the beginning,” Bleekemolen said. “I made a few mistakes and some big slides. I cooled things down and knew I’d have just enough time to do another cool-down lap and then go for it. That last lap was good. I didn’t make a mistake and was really close to the wall everywhere.”

    Spencer Pumpelly was third for Flying Lizard Motorsports with a 1:23.014 (85.345 mph) in the No. 45 Porsche. The three fastest cars all were under the previous class record, and the top six cars in class were within 0.895 seconds.

    The Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach is the second round of the 10-race ALMS championship. ABC’s coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 21 with live coverage is available on ESPN3 starting at 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 20.

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

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

    Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach
    Long Beach street circuit, Long Beach, Calif.
    Friday’s qualifying
    1. (12-P1) Nick Heidfeld/Neel Jani, Lola B12/60 Toyota, 1:12.600, 97.587 mph
    2. (16-P1) Chris Dyson/Guy Smith, Lola B12/60 Mazda, 1:13.282, 96.679
    3. (6-P1) Klaus Graf/Lucas Luhr, HPD ARX-03c, 1:14.004, 95.735
    4. (551-P2) Scott Tucker/Ryan Briscoe, HPD ARX-03b, 1:16.014, 93.204
    5. (9-PC) Bruno Junqueira/Duncan Ende, ORECA FLM09, 1:16.167, 93.017
    6. (05-PC) Jonathan Bennett/Colin Braun, ORECA FLM09, 1:16.222, 92.950
    7. (52-PC) Mike Guasch/Luis Diaz, ORECA FLM09, 1:16.630, 92.455
    8. (8-PC) Kyle Marcelli/Chris Cumming, ORECA FLM09, 1:16.654, 92.426
    9. (18-PC) Tristan Nunez/Charlie Shears, ORECA FLM09, 1:16.834, 92.209
    10. (7-PC) Tomy Drissi/Rusty Mitchell, ORECA FLM09, 1:17.176, 91.801
    11. (01-P2) Scott Sharp/Guy Cosmo, HPD ARX-03b, 1:17.390, 91.547
    12. (02-P2) Ed Brown/Johannes van Overbeek, HPD ARX-03b, 1:17.432, 91.497
    13. (91-GT) Marc Goossens/Dominik Farnbacher, SRT Viper GTS-R Viper V-10, 1:18.845, 89.857
    14. (17-GT) Wolf Henzler/Bryan Sellers, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:18.967, 89.718
    15. (93-GT) Jonathan Bomarito/Kuno Wittmer, SRT Viper GTS-R Viper V-10, 1:18.984, 89.699
    16. (3-GT) Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia, Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, 1:19.047, 89.628
    17. (55-GT) Bill Auberlen/Maxime Martin, BMW Z4 GTE, 1:19.063, 89.610
    18. (4-GT) Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner, Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, 1:19.083, 89.587
    19. (62-GT) Olivier Beretta/Matteo Malucelli, Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:19.184, 89.473
    20. (56-GT) Dirk Mueller/Joey Hand, BMW Z4 GTE, 1:19.258, 89.389
    21. (23-GT) Bill Sweedler/Townsend Bell, Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:19.533, 89.080
    22. (552-P2) Scott Tucker/Marino Franchitti, HPD ARX-03b, 1:19.711, 88.881
    23. (22-GTC) Cooper MacNeil/Jeroen Bleekemolen, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:22.850, 85.514
    24. (30-GTC) Henrique Cisneros/Sean Edwards, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:22.971, 85.389
    25. (45-GTC) Nelson Canache Jr./Spencer Pumpelly, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:23.014, 85.345
    26. (66-GTC) Ben Keating/Damien Faulkner, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:23.355, 84.996
    27. (11-GTC) Mike Hedlund/Jan Heylen, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:23.701, 84.644
    28. (68-GTC) Craig Stanton/Brett Curtis, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:23.745, 84.600
    29. (44-GTC) Brian Wong/Dion von Moltke/Spencer Pumpelly, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:24.239, 84.104
    30. (10-GTC) Michael Avenatti/Bob Faieta, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:24.583, 83.762
    31. (27-GTC) Patrick Dempsey/Joe Foster, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:25.091, 83.261
    32. (48-GT) Bryce Miller/Marco Holzer, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:27.491, 80.977
    33. (99-GTC) David Calvert-Jones/Ted Ballou, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:57.823, 60.131
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  28. #298
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    Stowmarket. U.K
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    2013 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES, ROUND 2
    TEQUILA PATRON AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES AT LONG BEACH

    Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 Italia GT no. 62: Olivier Beretta (MCO)
    Matteo Malucelli (ITA)

    RISI’S LONG BEACH ASSAULT KNOCKED BY HARSH PENALTY

    Long Beach, CA, 20 April 2013. Houston-based Risi Competizione finished in 9th place in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series today but the result could so easily have been very different.

    Monegasque driver, Olivier Beretta, made a great start to the two-hour race around the streets of Long Beach in California in his No.62 Ferrari 458 Italia, rising from seventh on the (GT) starting grid to third place in just nine laps.

    On the following lap the first of three full course caution periods was called, and it was at the re-start 13 minutes later – just as the first 30 minutes of the race was ticking over – that the incident occurred which changed the course of Risi’s race.

    After what was deemed to be ‘avoidable contact’, Beretta was given a stop and go plus 60 seconds penalty which put the Ferrari a lap down on its competitors, a position from which it struggled to recover.

    Olivier Beretta said afterwards: “I got to the hairpin and there was a big confusion and it happened so quick that honestly I don’t understand it, but a car hit me from behind and I was pushed into the back of the No.93 Viper.

    “On a street race it’s so easy to have contact. I didn’t do anything on purpose but on the hairpin if you walk next to the car you are sometimes quicker. With the confusion, all the cars together, sometimes I think the Race Director has to have a little tolerance as it was a racing accident. It’s a heavy penalty and we have to accept it, but in a two-hour race with a 1m20 lap you can’t recover from that.”

    The second caution period came 38 minutes into the race and it was while under this yellow that the Risi Competizione team elected to make its single pit stop. Matteo Malucelli took the wheel and, despite his best efforts and some very competitive and consistent lap times, he was unable to make up the lost ground. The remainder of the race passed without incident for the Italian who was making his debut on the Californian street track.

    The next round of the ALMS will be the American Le Mans Monterey four-hour race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, California. Scheduled for Saturday, May 11, the race begins at 3:30 pm and goes into the dusk. Coverage will be via live streaming on ESPN3, beginning at 6:15 pm, and on ESPN2 on Sunday, May 12, from 4:00pm (ET).

    Risi Competizione is a Houston-based Ferrari racing team led by Managing Director Giuseppe Risi.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  29. #299
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    ASM TEAM: BACK TO LE MANS IN GT 2015.

    Absent this season paddocks, ASM Team intends to return as soon as possible at the highest level. With a Le Mans Series (LMP2) won with a tub Olivier Pla in a Zytek, the Portuguese team then moved in LMP1 before a new challenge last season by driving a McLaren MP4- 12C in the Blancpain Endurance Series. This lack of Portuguese ASM is only temporary since the return circuit is expected in the medium term. Economic conditions put an end to the presence of the friendly team managed by Mauricio Pinheiro. ASM Team is part of discrete teams but like a job well done. Antonio Simoes, team owner, speaks of this set stand-by but also his desire to get back to business, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

    Laurent Mercier: Despite several years at the highest level, ASM Team is absent this season. What is the reason?
    Antonio Simoes: "It's very easy! We have not been able to raise the necessary budget to continue the adventure in the Blancpain Endurance Series, which was our intention. We decided to put the team on stand-by to make us available to work on something even more ambitious thing. "

    ASM LMS won the crown in 2009, but the Spanish title with Ferrari GT GT2. This is not the experience that lacks GT ...
    "We have some experience of the world of GT, both in Sprint Endurance. Although we have no immediate plans, the team is ready and prepared. "

    Last year, you started with a McLaren took his first steps in competition. The results were worse than you expected?
    "Overall, the results of McLaren were good with no less than 19 podiums unhooked throughout the year. For us and for other teams, we had reliability problems but I am confident that these problems are solved with the 2013 model. "

    What did you learn from your experiences in the Blancpain Endurance Series, but also the 12 Hours of Abu Dhabi?
    "The Blancpain championship left us good memories, especially due to the excellent organization of the series, and from the 24 Hours of Spa, Ricardo Bravo Pedro Lamy showed some wonderful things. It is a pity that I had the big release of Karim (Ojjeh) during practice Thursday. Preparation for the race could not be done as we wanted and we gave up halfway. Regarding Abu Dhabi, it was a fantastic race that gave us a lot of fun to look inside. The team was driving two of the best drivers in the world GT with Alvaro (Parente) and Rob (Bell). There was a healthy competition between the two. For us it was the perfect way to end the season and we are left with the fastest lap on the last lap. "

    The team is now well specialized in endurance races. It has become a trademark of ASM Team?
    "Indeed, we have much experience in endurance and we have become specialists in the field. All team members know what they need to do to stand out such tests. Everyone is well prepared to deal with the specificities of long distance races, but we do not close the door to sprint. "

    What are the plans for the future?
    "We are working hard to be the 24 Hours of Spa with a competitive crew. We would also like to return to take part in Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship. The team has a score to settle with the 24 Hours of Le Mans because we never really had luck there. ASM has the desire to come back with a well structured plan to meet the challenges of an international championship. We look forward to competing again and hope to be able to announce what our plans for the future. "

    This return will be in GT?
    "ASM is working on a project for GT 2014 with the aim of taking part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 and 2016. "
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  30. #300
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    Graf, Luhr Win Third Straight ALMS Long Beach Race

    ESM, BMW Team RLL take 1-2 finish in classes
    LONG BEACH, Calif. – Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won for the third straight year at Long Beach as Muscle Milk Pickett Racing cruised to its first victory of the season in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón on Saturday. Graf beat Rebellion Racing’s Nick Heidfeld by 36.329 seconds in the P1 class of the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach.

    Luhr started the race third in class and dropped to mid-pack during a caution-filled middle of the race. But it was all planned. The team made its one driver change during a stop 25 minutes in, and Graf battled back through the field to take the overall lead for good with 47 minutes remaining in the No. 6 Honda Performance Development ARX-03a.

    The two lead cars pitted for the final time with an hour to go. Heidfeld replaced Neel Jani in the Rebellion Lola-Toyota, which also took fuel. Meanwhile Graf took just fuel and left the pitlane well before Heidfeld. That proved the difference.

    “We've definitely had 100 percent the right strategy,” Graf said. “The way the race unfolded, it was perfect. The guys did an awesome job in the pits - no mistakes. The Michelin street soft tires ran excellent - we ran the entire race on just one set. It was such a great weekend, and I am so proud of everybody.”

    The victory moved Luhr into a tie for ALMS career victories (42), a mark he shares with Olivier Beretta.

    “Sometimes, endurance racing is like this,” Luhr said. “Sometimes you have the busier day, and sometimes you have the easy day. With us two, it doesn't really matter. I can trust Klaus, and I hope he can trust me. You have to do, what you have to do to win. As a team we understand that. Of course I would have loved to drive more, but at that time you put your ego or your selfishness back a bit, and look at the big picture to do what it takes to win the race. If you have a problem with that attitude, you're in the wrong business.”

    The No. 12 Rebellion car won the prototype portion of the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge for its superior environmental efficiency combined with its strong competitive performance.

    P2
    Extreme Speed Motorsports finished 1-2 in its second race as part of the P2 class with Scott Sharp and Guy Cosmo winning in the No. 01 HPD ARX-03b. The ESM squad took advantage of trouble for defending class winner Level 5 Motorsports, which suffered contact and penalties in the pits.

    “It feels great,” said Sharp, who was a P2 winner at Long Beach in 2008 with Patrón Highcroft Racing. “With the strength of Level 5, we thought it would take longer than this. We really did a great job as a team coming together. The team has been flat out for two months. We knew as a team it would take a while to figure this car out and get some testing in. It's great to be back and winning in a prototype car.”

    Cosmo took the winning car’s first lead of the race 14 minutes in, getting around Level 5’s Scott Tucker. Following the mid-race pit sequence, Sharp got around Johannes van Overbeek and the No. 02 HPD with 47 minutes remaining.

    Van Overbeek and Ed Brown were second, followed by Level 5’s No. 551 HPD of Tucker and Ryan Briscoe.

    GT
    BMW Team RLL – co-owned by IndyCar champion Bobby Rahal, late-night television star David Letterman and Chicago businessman Mike Lanigan – won in GT in just its second race with its new BMW Z4 GTE as No. 55 co-drivers Bill Auberlen and Maxime Martin led a 1-2 finish in class ahead of Joey Hand and Dirk Muller in the No. 56. Auberlen got around Dominik Farnbacher in the No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R when Farnbacher went wide into Turn 1.

    “Unbelievable. This thing was a rocket all day,” said Auberlen, who scored his first Long Beach win after a number of close calls in a variety of series. “We had some bad luck; that bad luck turned to good luck. Our pit strategy worked out perfect. Everybody here in Long Beach, I’m from Redondo Beach. I’m your neighbor and I love you guys. I’ve wanted to win this thing forever and never have. What a great day for BMW.”

    It didn’t look too promising early. Martin lost time on the track early when he went into the Turn 1 run-off after going into the corner carrying too much speed. He regained a couple of positions before handing off to Auberlen, who pitted twice to top off the BMW’s fuel tank during the race’s final caution period with 73 minutes left.

    Farnbacher and Marc Goossens placed third for SRT Motorsports and the No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R.

    Corvette Racing’s pairing of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia won the GT portion of the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge. It emitted the least amount of emissions of the class and combined that with optimum speed and fuel consumption.

    PC
    Colin Braun and team owner Jon Bennett took the Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire class victory for CORE autosport. Braun in the No. 05 ORECA FLM09 finished third overall after leading the race near the midway point. Bennett pitted from third in class at the 40-minute mark, and Braun assumed the lead for good five minutes later on the race’s final restart.

    Braun led overall for 10 minutes before Graf got around him.

    “This was my first time leading an ALMS race overall. I did it for what felt like forever,” he said. “I thought maybe we could have won it. I had a great coaching from the pits to help me conserve the fuel to get it all the way to the end. What a great win.”

    PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ Luis Diaz and David Cheng finished second in class, followed by class pole-winner Bruno Junqueira and Duncan Ende for RSR Racing.

    CORE’s victory came less than three weeks after team member and Bennett’s business partner Ralph Brown passed away following a brain aneurism in September. That made Saturday even more meaningful to Bennett and his team.

    “I took to racing because of the manufacturing company that I own. I get to go racing because I had a great partner back home keeping the business racing,” Bennett said in tribute. “We definitely had some help from above looking over us. I'm really proud to have a win today.”

    GTC
    NGT Motorsport’s Sean Edwards held of a late challenge from Spencer Pumpelly and won with Henrique Cisneros in GT Challenge by just 2.130 seconds. Both NGT teammates led during their stints, and Edwards took the lead for good shortly after the race’s last restart.

    He went nearly 80 minutes on the same Yokohama tires and fuel.

    “I was in fuel-save mode the whole way,” Edwards said. “I had an afternoon of short-shifting and trying to manage the gap (back to Pumpelly), and keeping the gaps as even as possible. I wish all races were as easy as this. We had a strong car today and the team did a great job with setup.”

    The NGT crew won the race with its only pit stop; the No. 30 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup took 15 seconds less to complete its stop than the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche.

    “Neither of [Cisneros or Edwards] had driven here before,” Cisneros said. “Straight out of the box we were fast. We had some close calls early and good passing throughout. Sean did a great job keeping it together to the end.”

    Nelson Canache Jr., drove with Pumpelly in the runner-up No. 45. The No. 44 Flying Lizard Porsche of Brian Wong and Dion von Moltke placed third.

    The next round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the American Le Mans Monterey from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday, May 11. American Le Mans Series at Long Beach is the second round of the 10-race ALMS championship. ESPN2’s coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 12 with live coverage is available on ESPN3 starting at 6:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 11.

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

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

    Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach
    Long Beach street circuit, Long Beach, Calif.
    Saturday’s results
    1. (3) Lucas Luhr/Klaus Graf, HPD ARX-03c, 80 laps
    2. (1) Neel Jani/Nick Heidfeld, Lola B12/60 Toyota, 80
    3. (6) Jonathan Bennett/Colin Braun, ORECA FLM09, 79
    4. (7) Mike Guasch/Luis Diaz, ORECA FLM09, 79
    5. (5) Duncan Ende/Bruno Junqueira, ORECA FLM09, 79
    6. (11) Guy Cosmo/Scott Sharp, HPD ARX-03b, 79
    7. (17) Maxime Martin/Bill Auberlen, BMW Z4 GTE, 78
    8. (12) Ed Brown/Johannes van Overbeek, HPD ARX-03b, 78
    9. (20) Joey Hand/Dirk Mueller, BMW Z4 GTE, 78
    10. (13) Marc Goossens/Dominik Farnbacher, SRT Viper GTS-R Viper V-10, 78
    11. (18) Tommy Milner/Oliver Gavin, Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, 78
    12. (16) Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, 78
    13. (32) Bryce Miller/Marco Holzer, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 78
    14. (21) Bill Sweedler/Townsend Bell, Ferrari F458 Italia, 77
    15. (15) Kuno Wittmer/Jonathan Bomarito, SRT Viper GTS-R Viper V-10, 77
    16. (19) Olivier Beretta/Matteo Malucelli, Ferrari F458 Italia, 77
    17. (10) Tomy Drissi/Rusty Mitchell, ORECA FLM09, 77
    18. (9) Charlie Shears/Tristan Nunez, ORECA FLM09, 76
    19. (14) Bryan Sellers/Wolf Henzler, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 76
    20. (24) Henrique Cisneros/Sean Edwards, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 75
    21. (25) Nelson Canache Jr./Spencer Pumpelly, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 75
    22. (29) Brian Wong/Dion von Moltke/Spencer Pumpelly, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 75
    23. (23) Cooper MacNeil/Jeroen Bleekemolen, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 75
    24. (28) Brett Curtis/Craig Stanton, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 75
    25. (27) Chris Cumming/Kyle Marcelli, ORECA FLM09, 75
    26. (31) Patrick Dempsey/Joe Foster, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 73
    27. (26) Ben Keating/Damien Faulkner, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 73
    28. (4) Scott Tucker/Ryan Briscoe, HPD ARX-03b, 66
    29. (27) Mike Hedlund/Jan Heylen, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 62
    30. (22) Marino Franchitti/Scott Tucker, HPD ARX-03b, 57

    Race Statistics
    Winners' average speed: 78.485 mph
    Time of Race: 2 hours, 0 minutes, 23.577 seconds
    Margin of Victory: 36.329 seconds
    Cautions: 3 for 14 laps
    Lead Changes: 4 among 4 drivers
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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