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Thread: 2015 WEC/ELMS&TUSC news.

  1. #301
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Architect View Post
    Qualifying was a bit rubbish for Toyota. Bought my season ticket for online video, looking forward to the race tomorrow.
    yeah, but i like to see Audi win again. Hope they hold the pace tomorrow. I will be standing at the becketts complex and stowe corner, as a friend will be there as part of Porsche experience.
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  2. #302
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    WORLD CHAMPIONS TOYOTA RACING READY FOR RACE ONE
    Saturday 11 April 2015

    TOYOTA Racing will begin the new World Endurance Championship season from the second and third rows of the grid after a close qualifying session for the Six Hours of Silverstone.

    The #1 TS040 HYBRID of last year’s Silverstone winners Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi, alongside Kazuki Nakajima, will start from fourth place after missing out on a front row start by just 0.042secs. The #2 car of Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway took sixth.

    WEC features a slightly revised qualifying format for this season. Two drivers from each car must set a minimum of one flying lap each, with the grid decided by the average of each driver’s fastest lap.

    In the #1, Anthony started the session and set one flying lap before handing over to Kazuki, who clocked his best time on the first of his two laps.

    Stéphane was at the wheel of the #2 when the green flags waved and he consistently improved his time over three flying laps before handing over to Mike who also set his fastest time on the final effort of a three-lap stint.

    The 20-minute session saw all three LMP1 manufacturers battling for grid position and hinting at an exciting race to come tomorrow. Both Porsche cars will start from the front row and TOYOTA Racing congratulates them on their achievement.

    Nevertheless, TOYOTA Racing heads into tomorrow’s six-hour race in confident mood after showing encouraging pace over race stints. The race begins at midday local time.

    TS040 HYBRID #1 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima)
    Free practice 3: 2nd (1min 52.768secs), 25 laps
    Qualifying: 4th (1min 40.382secs average)

    Anthony Davidson: “Qualifying was slightly better than expected which is positive. Congratulations to Porsche, who we always expected to be on pole but I’m quite pleased with our performance. The car felt good. I’m happy with the balance and I’m looking forward to the race when it could be a different story. It should be interesting.”

    Kazuki Nakajima: “I’m a little bit surprised to have such a strong qualifying pace; it’s better than we anticipated. I’m happy with the car and with the session. It’s a pity I lost a little time through the traffic in the final sector of my lap. Without that we could have got second place but it’s a long race and our performance level seems strong which is a good sign. I’m looking forward to an exciting race.”

    TS040 HYBRID #2 (Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway)
    Free practice 3: 5th (1min 56.781secs), 24 laps
    Qualifying: 6th (1min 41.694secs average)

    Stéphane Sarrazin: “It was not a perfect qualifying session for me. I had a lot of understeer and didn’t carry enough speed through the corners. We are anyway concentrating on the race so it’s no big issue. We’ll see how the car is in race conditions. It will be a good battle and it’s a long race; anything can happen over six hours we’ll be in the fight, I’m sure.”

    Mike Conway: “I took the car from Stéphane on the used tyres as we wanted to save a set for the race. The car felt okay but there are still some areas to work on. It’s always interesting to see the lap times at the first event of the season. Porsche looks to be very quick over one lap but I think the race will be closer. We’ll see what happens.”

    High-resolution copyright-free photos are available for editorial use at www.toyotahybridracing.com/media.
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    Tequila Patrón ESM
    Qualifies for 6 Hours of Silverstone


    Silverstone, England – April 11, 2015 – In its first 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) qualifying session of the season, Tequila Patrón ESM will start fifth and eighth for the 6 Hours of Silverstone race on Sunday, April 12.

    In what was described as a “typical Silverstone day”, early rain showers greeted the team on Saturday morning. The Tequila Patrón ESM team opted to not participate in the wet practice. The weather cleared for a sunny, yet Silverstone-cool qualifying session.

    Per the FIA WEC rules, the quickest lap time from each team’s qualifying drivers are averaged in order to determine the starting position.

    Ryan Dalziel and David Heinemeier Hansson qualified the No. 30 Tequila Patrón ESM Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b. The average lap time of the No. 30 team was 151.551, resulting in a fifth-place start in the LMP2 class. Dalziel and Heinemeier Hansson are co-driving with Tequila Patrón ESM driver/owner Scott Sharp during the six-hour endurance challenge on Sunday.

    The No. 30 car made some changes after Friday’s two practice sessions. Opting to sit out the final practice because of the rain, the team did not test the car following post-practice adjustments and struggled with mechanical issues during qualifying. The team will inspect the prototype and revert to the settings from Friday.

    Ed Brown and Jon Fogarty qualified the No. 31 Tequila Patrón ESM Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b. Fogarty opened the session with clean laps, yet Brown experienced a braking issue during his qualifying segment. The average lap time of the No. 31 team was 155.491, resulting in a ninth-place start in the LMP2 class. Brown and Fogarty are co-driving with David Brabham this weekend. Season-long co-driver Johannes van Overbeek was unable to race to do a recent non-racing rib injury.

    Green flag for the 6 Hours of Silverstone takes place at noon BST/7 a.m. ET on Sunday.

    Where to Watch
    The 6 Hours of Silverstone will be televised globally and on FOX Sports 1, at 7 a.m. ET. The race can also be viewed via the FIA WEC second screen app or online at www.fiawec.com.

    The race can be heard live on Radio Le Mans at www.radiolemans.com.


    About Tequila Patrón ESM
    Founded in 2010, Tequila Patrón ESM is one of the premier sportscar teams in the world. Tequila Patrón ESM’s record includes two GT wins with the Ferrari Italia F458 (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road Atlanta, 2012), two LMP2 wins (Long Beach, 2013 and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, 2014) two GT pole positions, four LMP2 pole positions and a combined 22 podium finishes.

    For 2015, Tequila Patrón ESM competes in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with two Tequila Patrón-sponsored LMP2 prototypes and drivers Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, Ryan Dalziel, Jon Fogarty and David Heinemeier Hansson.

    ##

    ED BROWN
    “Jon did a great job during the first part. Something happened inside the car and it caused an issue with the brakes. We weren’t sure what it was, but the team is looking at it and making sure that it doesn’t happen again. This is a six-hour race and we’re focused on that now.

    “I’m getting more comfortable with the track on each lap. I still need to run more laps, but every session has been better. I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow.”

    RYAN DALZIEL
    “We made some big changes on the car that were positive, but we I think we went in the wrong direction for qualifying. It is unfortunate. If we had been a little bit closer to what we ran in practice, we definitely would have been a fair amount quicker. We didn’t want to abuse the tires. We’ll go back to what we know worked in practice. I’m sure the car will be much better in the race.”

    JON FOGARTY
    “I’m pleased with my time in the car during qualifying. It was tough relative to the competition. They have incredible pace, but we knew we’d be a little off when we opted to run the 03b here. I made huge strides as far as my pace around the circuit and that’s giving me more confidence going into the race. This is still a six-hour event. We need to keep plugging away and improving. Ed and I are learning with every lap. As long as we can keep improving, that’s the right direction.

    “The track is different today following the rain. Qualifying was my first no traffic, good tire run. The track felt good and the balance of the car was consistent.”

    DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON
    “Qualifying was tough today. We showed better speed in practice, so we’ll revert back to what he had on Friday. We weren’t able to show what this car can do here. We were much closer to where we wanted to be in practice. The race will be much better.”
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  4. #304
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    Audi Press Release

    Loďc Duval/Lucas di Grassi/Oliver Jarvis in position three.

    Both Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars of Audi Sport Team Joest in the top five.

    Head of Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: “Good base for the race”

    Ingolstadt/Silverstone, April 11, 2015 – Motorsport fans can look forward to a thrilling FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season opener. In the qualifying session at Silverstone (Great Britain) the gaps between the top cars amounted to only a few tenths of a second. Loďc Duval, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis, who will be starting the 6-hour race on Sunday from position three in their Audi R18 e-tron quattro, were the best Audi team.

    Following heavy intermittent rain in the morning, the drivers started qualifying on a dry track at noon. The fastest man under the banner of the four rings was Lucas di Grassi, who in the number ‘8’ Audi R18 e-tron quattro set the first best time of 1m 40.180s. His team-mate Oliver Jarvis, who posted 1m 40.525s, managed a strong lap as well. In the WEC, the average of the two fastest laps determines the grid position.



    “I’m happy with our grid position even though in the end only twelve hundredths of a second were lacking for the first row,” says Lucas di Grassi. “We know that our competitors are in a better position in qualifying, but I’m confident that we’ll be able to attack across the race distance and are going to deliver a thrilling race to the fans.”

    The sister car, number ‘7’ qualified in fifth position on the grid. André Lotterer, who was the second-fastest Audi driver, and Marcel Fässler set the times for the car. “A fair to middling qualifying session in which we didn’t achieve an optimal lap,” says Lotterer. “But anything is possible in the race.”

    Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich’s assessment of the first qualifying session in the 2015 season was positive. “We saw a close qualifying session today in which the gaps between the top cars amounted to only a few tenths of a second.” The first two rows on the 5.891-kilometer track at Silverstone are separated by only six tenths of a second. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: “We didn’t achieve the pole position today. But we knew that our strength is not manifested by a fast lap but by consistency in the race. Therefore, the grid positions are a good base for Sunday.”



    The 6-hour race at Silverstone starts on Sunday at 12.00, local time (13.00 CEST). Benoît Tréluyer (F) in car number ‘7’ and Lucas di Grassi (BR) in car number ‘8’ will be the starting drivers. Eurosport will broadcast the final stage of the race live from 18.00 to 19.30.

    Qualifying results

    1 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche) 1m 39.721s
    2 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) 1m 40.340s
    3 Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 1m 40.352s
    4 Davidson/Buemi/Nakajima (Toyota) 1m 40.382s
    5 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 1m 41.153s
    6 Conway/Sarrazin/Wurz (Toyota) 1m 41.694s
    7 Yacaman/Derani/Gonzalez (Ligier-Nissan) 1m 48.021s
    8 Rusinov/Canal/Bird (Ligier-Nissan) 1m 48.083s
    9 Howson/Bradley/Tandy (Oreca-Nissan) 1m 49.389s
    10 Panciatici/Chatin/Capillaire (Alpine-Nissan) 1m 49.498s
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  5. #305
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    Onroak Automotive Press Release – 11th April 2015
    FIA WEC –Silverstone 6 Hours – Qualifying

    First race, first row for the Ligier JS P2!

    The first row of the LM P2 class of the 6 Hours of Silverstone, first round of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship, will be 100% Ligier JS P2!


    After having dominated the three free practice sessions and following a very intense 20-minute qualifying session, G-Drive Racing strongly imposed its Ligier JS P2-Nissan-Dunlop #28 and #26.

    Following the regulations, the resulting time held for each car is the average of the best lap time of both designated drivers taking part in qualifying, which, for the LM P2 category, must include one Silver or Bronze driver. Pipo Derani and Ricardo Gonzalez set an average time of 1:48.021, just ahead of Sam Bird and Julien Canal with 1:48.083, relegating their closest rival, the KCMG Oreca 05-Nissan, to more than a second away with a best average lap of 1:49.389!
    The Ligier JS P2 is continuing to add to its incredible collection of pole positions! Since its launch at the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans where it started in the first place of the LM P2 class, only one pole position has eluded it during all its races in Tudor USCC or in the FIA WEC LMP2: although the Ligier JS P2 didn’t manage to start from first place in Petit Le Mans, it still managed to set the fastest lap during the race.

    At the wheel of the #35 OAK Racing Ligier JS P2-Nissan-Dunlop, gentlemen drivers Jacques Nicolet and Jean-Marc Merlin set a very respectable time of 1:53.457, ahead of the #31 Extreme Speed Motorsport HPD ARX 03B, carrying on their apprenticeship in their new car.

    ELMS – 4 Hours of Silverstone - Qualifying

    The qualifying session of the 4 Hours of Silverstone took place one hour before, the opening round of the European Le Mans Series. This first official confrontation of the protagonists of the 2015 season has displayed the strong level of the field. Having been in the top three during the first part of the session, the #29 Pegasus Racing Morgan LM P2-Nissan, qualified by Léo Roussel, will ultimately start from the fourth row, whilst the #40 Krohn Racing Ligier JS P2-Judd, driven by Tracy Krohn, will bring up the rear of the LM P2 class.
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  6. #306
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    yeah, but i like to see Audi win again. Hope they hold the pace tomorrow. I will be standing at the becketts complex and stowe corner, as a friend will be there as part of Porsche experience.
    Still can't say I care much for Audi. Diesels are heresy and they've been benefiting for years from favourable diesel regs. They've been providing good entertainment today though. There's more sprinting in a 6 hr WEC race than a 90 min F1 race.

  7. #307
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    That was good fun. Rob, you must have seen a lot of action from that spot.

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    AF Corse Ferrari wins GT PRO at Silverstone..
    Thought we had both GT classes but trouble w/the right front at a pitstop
    w/1:20 to go cost Ferrari the lead and the win.
    Great race.
    WEC is now shown in the US, Fox1. Yay.

  9. #309
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Architect View Post
    That was good fun. Rob, you must have seen a lot of action from that spot.
    yes we did. Was fantastic. But, best part, met Amato Ferrari, Gimmi and Toni. We got into paddock, and Gimmi said to us to come down during the race and he will get us into the garage. So, the last hour and half we sat in the AF Corse pits, watched Gimmi and Tonis last driver change and watched the win from there. Was amazing experience to be around the team to celebrate the win and got hug and hand shake from Amato!!!
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    Amato, this was just as we got into the paddock at 08.40am


    (not the great picture of me)
    Last edited by Rob; 21st May 2016 at 20:57.
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    final pitstop and driver change..

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    WOW thanks for posting Rob You must have special tickets for this I guess? Really great to be in the pits watching the race! Nice sunglasses by the way
    Maurizio Arrivabene fanpage:www.facebook.com/maurizioarrivabene

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    Great experience n the pix are fantastic...Lucky!!

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    Run for Tequila Patrón ESM at 6 Hours of Silverstone

    Third-place finish voided after post-race technical inspection

    Silverstone, England – April 12, 2015 – Tequila Patrón ESM ran like a championship team today and completed the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) race, the 6 Hours of Silverstone, in third place. The No. 30 Tequila Patrón ESM prototype of Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and David Heinemeier Hansson, unfortunately failed post-race inspection after it was deemed the floor had too much wear, as a result of chassis modifications to comply with the rules.

    During the race, Dalziel started from the fifth position on the grid, leapt into fourth in the first 12 laps, and eventually reached a race-high of third position. He drove the first 90 minutes and then turned the car over to Heinemeier Hansson, who maintained the third-place spot.

    Near the end of his stint, another car made contact with Heinemeier Hansson, causing damage to the left rear of the No. 30 Tequila Patrón ESM prototype. Heinemeier Hansson pitted so the team could replace the bodywork, change tires, refuel and complete a driver change to Sharp. Even with the extended pit stop, the No. 30 had a large enough gap on the fourth-place car that it did not lose track position. Sharp ran in third place for his stint before the final driver change to Dalziel. The Scotsman completed the race for the No. 30 team and finished third.

    The second Tequila Patrón ESM team entry, No. 31, started in eighth position, with Jon Fogarty behind the wheel. By the 12th lap (approximately 30 minutes into the race), Fogarty had reached sixth. He began experiencing brake issues and pitted. The team inspected the car and found an oil leak. Half the crew repaired the oil leak while the other half inspected and changed the front brake calipers. The 30-minute pit stop ended the podium aspirations of the No. 31 team.

    Fogarty returned to the track in seventh place before completing his stint and driver change to Brown. As the race progressed, fierce England winds were in full effect, affecting the No. 31 machine. Brown battled through his stint before the driver change to David Brabham. Filling in for the injured Johannes van Overbeek, Brabham maintained the seventh place run to the end of the race. The No. 31 was awarded a sixth-place finish following the disqualification of the No. 30 prototype.

    Next on the schedule for Tequila Patrón ESM is the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on May 2. Before the Spa race, the Tequila Patrón ESM team will change racing machines, taking delivery of two Ligier J2 P2 closed LMP2 sport-prototypes designed by Onroak Automotive.


    About Tequila Patrón ESM
    Founded in 2010, Tequila Patrón ESM is one of the premier sportscar teams in the world. Tequila Patrón ESM’s record includes two GT wins with the Ferrari Italia F458 (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road Atlanta, 2012), two LMP2 wins (Long Beach, 2013 and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, 2014) two GT pole positions, four LMP2 pole positions and a combined 22 podium finishes.

    For 2015, Tequila Patrón ESM competes in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with two Tequila Patrón-sponsored LMP2 prototypes and drivers Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, Ryan Dalziel, Jon Fogarty and David Heinemeier Hansson.

    ####


    SCOTT SHARP
    “We were optimistic about this weekend, even though we hadn’t competed at Silverstone before. We knew coming here with the 03b that we’d be off the pace of the newer P2s. But we saw first-hand what the Ligiers can do - be lightning fast in qualifying and leading the entire race. So, we were able to see our future a bit today. We’re looking forward to getting the Ligiers.

    “We’re disappointed in the post-race technical inspection failure. Definitely not the way we want to start our season.”

    ED BROWN
    “The first part of my stint, I was still getting used to the track. It started to come to me though. It felt like I had something on the front of the car at the beginning. We taped it up and I was able to advance and get through those high-speed corners a lot better. It was busy out there. The wind was really tough.

    “We all logged plenty of seat time. I’m leaving Silverstone knowing the track better than I left it. Had we not had early issues, I think we would have been on the podium with the No. 30 guys. The ARX-03b fought a good fight, but we still needed a bit more to keep pace with the competition.”

    RYAN DALZIEL
    “We had great pace today and a fairly trouble-free six-hour race. We’re very disappointed with the post-race technical inspection. The Tequila Patrón ESM crew put a ton of effort into getting us to Silverstone and this was not how we wanted the season to start.

    “The WEC rules decision was made and we’ll move on to Spa with more determination to win.”

    JON FOGARTY
    “It was a challenging double-stint. The crew spotted an oil leak in the first pit stop and made that repair. The biggest issue was with the front brake caliper, so the guys changed that part and got me back out.

    “I had a lot of laps today and was getting more comfortable throughout the stint. I felt a little bit of understeer in the stint prevented our progression. We learned a lot this weekend and next time we’re at Silverstone, it will be a different race. Had we not had the early issue, I think we would have been on the podium with the No. 30 guys.”

    DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON
    “It was an up-and-down stint. The car was really solid once it hits the sweet spot with about half a tank of fuel. We cured the problems we had in qualifying. Ryan ran some impressive laps in his stint and making the car look really good. I’m not sure how he did it, because I could not keep up with the Ligiers.

    “My stint was tough because of the wind. That is probably the most difficult stints I’ve had in while. This was three-times harder than a Sebring stint.

    “The incident with the GT car was odd. I was behind him and faster than him coming into Turn 9. He had the blue flag and then I passed him. Then I felt something on the rim. I thought it was the wind, then I look in my mirror and I see that the GT was off-track. We had damage to the left rear, but the guys replaced that entire piece, Scott got in and we didn’t lose track position.”

    DAVID BRABHAM
    “We had a few issues at the beginning, so we were out of contention. Our plan then transitioned to run our race, stay out of trouble and get some points. Thank you to Tequila Patrón ESM for inviting me. Sorry that Johannes couldn’t be here, hopefully he’ll be back for Spa.

    “It was cool to be back with Tequila Patrón ESM at my home track of Silverstone. I have a great relationship with this team and Tequila Patrón. Being at my home track with Tequila Patrón EMS and this sponsor, I had a smile on my face.

    “We had tricky conditions. The wind was very gusty and unpredictable out there. You had to drive in certain limits because when you went push a bit more, you got a gust of wind that took you offline, and then you had to gather it up. It could be risky out there and where we were in the race, there was no need to take that risk. I drove according to what we needed to do.”
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    the ESM cars, looked stunning in the sunshine. The sounds of all the different engines, especially the rumble of the Vette, was ear cracking. But, then, had the music to the ears Ferrari V8, then the rumble, more like bark of the Astons, my brother in-law loved the Astons. That was his first real ever motorsport race, he had been banger racing. By end of the day, when we were sat in AF Corse garage, we had the race data and times in front of us and tv screens, he was loving it (i was too)

    The weather yesterday was great, bit cloudy, very windy and warm. Got sun burnt
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    PODIUM START FOR TOYOTA RACING
    Sunday 12 April 2015

    TOYOTA Racing started the World Endurance Championship season with a podium finish in a hotly-contested Six Hours of Silverstone today.

    The 2014 World Champions faced tougher competition at Silverstone than last year, when it claimed a one-two victory, but brought both cars home in the top four.

    The #1 TS040 HYBRID of Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima duelled for the win throughout and eventually finished third, 14.816secs behind the winning Audi after six hours of hard racing.

    There was a similarly battling performance from the #2 car of Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway, who finished fourth to complete a satisfying points haul for the team.

    Sébastien and Alex started the race and played their part in an action-packed opening stint as both fought with their Audi counterparts. After a breathless half hour, the #1 held a narrow advantage in third while the #2 was a little further down the road in sixth, having lost out in heavy traffic.

    A full course yellow, when all cars must drive at a maximum of 80km/h, followed as a result of an accident and both TS040 HYBRIDs pitted for tyres and fuel. Another yellow followed 30 minutes later and the #2 crew took on extra fuel, putting them on a different strategy to their rivals.

    When the green flags waved, Sébastien was struggling for grip on his tyres and dropped to fifth. But misfortune for rivals saw the #17 Porsche and #8 Audi pit for repairs, elevating Sébastien and Alex to third and fourth respectively.

    Shortly after one-quarter distance, Anthony took the wheel of the #1, while Mike made it a British driver in each car when he replaced Alex in the #2 a little later.

    Anthony began closing the gap to the leading pair and soon joined the battle. At the next round of pit stops he took the lead, electing to save time and remain on the same set of Michelin rubber whilst his rivals changed tyres.

    At that point, the TS040 HYBRIDs were running one-two but the three-way fight with Audi and Porsche continued. Anthony conceded the lead to the #7 Audi after some exciting wheel-to-wheel racing while Mike was fourth at half distance having been hampered when a bollard got trapped in the front of his car.

    Different tyre strategies were playing out and both TS040 HYBRIDs were firmly in the fight when Kazuki jumped in for Anthony in the #1 and Stéphane did likewise in the #2 as the final two hours beckoned.

    By then the pattern of the race was established and the #1 was in a fight for second place with the #18 Porsche, as the #7 Audi established a clear lead, while the #2 TS040 HYBRID was fourth.

    Sébastien took over the #1 for the final hour while Alex replaced Stéphane in the #2. The race for victory lasted all the way to the chequered flag as Sébastien pushed hard in his chase of the second-placed Porsche #18, which was in turn catching the leader.

    Ultimately, the #1 fell just short and Sébastien took the flag in third, earning Anthony the Richard Lloyd Trophy for the best-performing member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club for the second straight year. Alex followed soon after in fourth.

    TOYOTA Racing is in action again in three weeks’ time, at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, on Saturday 2 May.

    Toshio Sato, Team President: “I was very impressed to see the exciting battle between the three LMP1 manufacturers. The lead three cars, one from each manufacturer, were running very close all the way to the end. It was really a six-hour sprint race which is great for the fans. Congratulations to Audi who performed very well today. We pushed as hard as we could and it was close. It would have been nice to win the race, of course, but our competition has improved a lot over the winter and now we have a real fight. We are ready for this challenge and we will come back strong in Spa, I am sure.”

    TS040 HYBRID #1 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima)
    Race: 3rd, 201 laps, 7 pit stops. Grid: 4th. Fastest lap: 1min 42.209secs

    Anthony Davidson: “It is great to win the Richard Lloyd Trophy and particularly nice to have won something today! This is never a circuit which plays to the strengths of our car and we usually struggle a bit here; last year’s one-two was helped a bit by the weather. I’m looking forward to the next races when I think we will be stronger. Hopefully as we get to circuits where tyre wear is a bigger factor that will play to our strengths.”

    Sébastien Buemi: “It was a difficult race for us but we pushed really hard from the start. We tried a few things, like double stinting the tyres which shows we were pushing to the maximum. At the end I tried to catch the Porsche but couldn’t quite manage with the older tyres. Congratulations to Audi and Porsche who did a great job. Now we are doing our best to be prepared for Spa where we expect to get a better result.”

    Kazuki Nakajima: “It was a very close and tough race in LMP1. The gaps were very close and we had to push to the maximum throughout the six hours. We thought we had a good chance to pass the Porsche for second place but in the end we just couldn’t manage. Still a podium finish is a decent result. We expected it to be a hard race but we did our job well and didn’t make any mistakes. It is a solid start.”

    TS040 HYBRID #2 (Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway)
    Race: 4th, 200 laps, 7 pit stops. Grid: 6th. Fastest lap: 1min 42.597secs

    Alex Wurz: “As a team we didn’t have the pace of Audi today. We knew this track is the worst for us in terms of our car’s characteristics but still we don’t want to be slower than any of our rivals. We have to stay calm and work hard. I think it’s going to be an epic battle until the last race; that is the good news. The bad news is that we didn’t come out on top today.”

    Stéphane Sarrazin: “It’s not the best result, certainly compared to last year’s one-two. But we did a good job and we scored a lot of points. We know it’s not our track and Audi has been very quick here during the last years. It’s not the perfect start but it’s a good one; we are second in the championship. We are looking for Spa now with a big motivation and I am sure we will be better there.”

    Mike Conway: “It was a tough race. I picked up a bollard on the front of the car and it wrecked my first stint. I lost a lot of downforce and it was really unpredictable for the rest of my stint. When it was taken off at the pit stop everything came back to normal and I tried to push to regain some time. At that point fourth was the best we could do so we brought it home and got some good points. I am looking forward to a better weekend at Spa.”
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  24. #324
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    Press Release – 12th of April 2015

    One-Two Victory for G-Drive Racing at Silverstone!

    It’s a one-two victory for G-Drive Racing at the 6 Hours of Silverstone, the first one for the russian team in the FIA WEC. The two G-Drive Racing cars were dominant for nearly the entire race, with the #26 taking the chequered flag and finishing 1 lap ahead of the #28 who came second. The two G-Drive Racing trios of Roman Rusinov, Julien Canal and Sam Bird in the #26 Ligier JS P2 and Gustavo Yacaman, Luis Felipe Derani, Ricardo Gonzalez in the #28 Ligier JS P2 performed majestically at the first round of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season.


    Starting on the front row of the LM P2 grid, with the #28 qualified on pole and the #26 in 2nd, both running on Dunlop tyres, the odds were in their favour for a good result to start the season. They lost out the lead on the opening lap, but in less than twenty minutes, both cars had regained the head of the LM P2 pack, with Sam Bird in first place with the #26 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 and Luis Felipe Derani in the #28 sister car not far behind in 2nd.

    With each driver double stinting, the race carried on smoothly for G-Drive Racing, with both sets of drivers performing well. Roman Rusinov took the second stint in the #26, widening his lead, and handed over to Julien Canal, who held onto first place. In the #28, Ricardo Gonzalez took the wheel for the second double-stint, followed by Gustavo Yacaman, who managed to close the gap up to the sister car down to 20 seconds. Sam Bird and Luis Felipe Derani took over the cars for the last stints where they kept up the rhythm and brought the cars over the finish line for a great result to the start of the season. The only issue for the #28 appeared in the last hour when the steering started to have issues and made it hard to keep on track, but Derani pushed through and brought it home.
    Both G-Drive Racing cars have proven to be very efficient and powerful cars this weekend, with the cars not only topping the practice and qualifying sessions, but also setting the two fastest laps of the race. Sam Bird set the best time of 1:50:045, and Gustavo Yacaman set his best of 1:50.049.


    Sam Bird, #26: “Today was race day at Silverstone, my first race with G-Drive Racing in LM P2, and it couldn’t have gone any better. We’ve had a one-two finish, with car 26 coming home with the win and car 28 coming home second. I couldn’t have dreamt of a better start to the season, so congratulations to everybody involved with G-Drive Racing.”

    Roman Rusinov, #26: “It's a great start of the season. We did a spectacular race and it was not an easy one as our sister car was really fast. It was an important challenge to manage traffic with no risk in Silverstone but we all did a great job. It's been an honour to see Russian flags on the first two steps of the podium! The team did a fantastic job thanks to all our crew as this victory it's a great recompense for a strong involvement of each person in the team. “


    Pipo Derani, #28 : “I think it wasn’t bad to start in pole position at my first ever race in WEC. It’s a new team, me, Gustavo and Ricardo, and it’s the first time that we’re together in the same car. It takes time to adapt and to make everything perfect. Obviously we lost some time, and that maybe cost us the race today, but to end up with a point from the pole and the 18 points from P2, it’s a good way to start the season. I’m happy to have finished the race after some issues during the last stint, but we managed to finish second.”

    Philippe Dumas, Team Principal : “It’s a good demonstration of teamwork between the team and the drivers and of our car, the Ligier JS P2. I’m very pleased with the way we’ve worked during the winter tests and how we approached this race. We’ve really progressed in all areas – organisation, people, strategy, confidence, and that’s what I’m going to retain from this weekend. There are still some small details to improve on, but it’s part of our work and of races to be able to improve something. It’s a nice reward for the amount of work we’ve done on this car and we’re going to continue.”

    2015 FIA World Endurance Championship:
    - 6 Hours of Silverstone – 12/04/15
    - 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – 02/05/15
    - 24 Hours of Le Mans – 13-14/06/15
    - 6 Hours of Nürburgring – 30/08/15
    - 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas – 19/09/15
    - 6 Hours of Fuji – 11/10/15
    - 6 Hours of Shanghai – 01/11/15
    - 6 Hours of Bahrain – 21/11/15
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  25. #325
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    Great pics Robster, looks like it was a pretty special day, fair play sir...
    "Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting."
    - Steve McQueen



  26. #326
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    ASTON MARTIN TAKES CLASS VICTORY AT SILVERSTONE

    Silverstone, 12 April 2015 - Aston Martin Racing (AMR) has won the GTE Am class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Six Hours of Silverstone today (12 April) but narrowly missed out on a podium position in GTE Pro.

    The #98 Vantage GTE of Pedro Lamy (PT), Paul Dalla Lana (CA) and Mathias Lauda (AT) stormed to class victory after qualifying on pole for the Championship’s season-opener.

    The trio of GTE Pro cars, which started from first, second and third on the grid, all had a great opening stint but a full course yellow gifted competitors a pit-stop advantage that couldn’t be made up by AMR throughout the six-hour endurance race.

    The #95 finished in fourth, the #97 in fifth and the #99 in sixth in GTE Pro and the #96 finished in fourth in GTE Am.

    AMR Team Principal John Gaw commented: “Congratulations to the #98 team, it’s the perfect start to their Championship campaign. We have some work to do to achieve our objectives in the Pro class - our focus will remain undiminished and we’ll be ready for Spa in three weeks time.”

    The WEC Six Hours of Spa takes place on 2 May at the world-famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

    Driver quotes:

    Paul Dalla Lana: “Pedro and Mathias did a great job to get us a strong lead and this meant that when we had to do a quick ‘splash and dash’ we were still able to take the win. They both did a fantastic job!"

    Pedro Lamy: "Paul did a great job in qualifying - he was the best bronze, and this gave us a great start. It was a tough race but we all pushed hard and I’m very happy to take the win.”

    Mathias Lauda: “It was my first race with LMP1s on the saem track and it was a bit of a shock managing the traffic. But I soon got used to it and learned a lot from Pedro. It went well for me but I know I have more to give.”

    Stefan Mücke: “It was a tough race for us; it was not as we expected. The team did a great job on the pit-stops but there is a little bit of work to do in the next few weeks. I’m sure we’ll be back on top at Spa.”

    Marco Sřrensen: "I'm happy with our performance today. Nicki was really quick and got a great start. It's a real shame we didn't get a podium, as we really did deserve one, but I'm sure we'll be quick at Spa in a few weeks."

    Stuart Hall: “It was a reasonably positive race but we know have some areas to work on. Roald drove really well and Francesco has fitted in perfectly so we can look forward to the rest of the year, where we will strive to go better.”

    Driver line-up:

    95: Marco Sřrensen, Christoffer Nygaard and Nicki Thiim
    96: Francesco Castellacci, Roald Goethe and Stuart Hall
    97: Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke
    98: Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda
    99: Alex MacDowall, Fernando Rees and Richie Stanaway

    - ENDS -
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  27. #327
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    One of the best races to date. Considering how great was Spa last year the 3 weeks wait to it seem like an eternity. Oh and btw the cornering performance of the Audis was F1-like, simply stunning from a car that weighs ~250kg more.

  28. #328
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    Cool pics, Rob. Maybe the missus will let me go to next year's race...

  29. #329
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    Onroak Automotive press release – 13th April 2015

    FIA WEC – Silverstone 6 Hours – Race

    The Ligier JS P2s score a superb double in the FIA WEC!

    The Ligier JS P2 fulfilled all its promise in the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The Ligier JS P2-Nissan-Dunlops entered by G-Drive Racing locked out the front row and took the chequered flag in the first two places line in the Silverstone 6 Hours as well as setting the two fastest laps in the category!

    This weekend, the Onroak Automotive closed LM P2 sports prototype made a big impact and confirmed its status as the benchmark in a rich and varied field that attracted no fewer than five different models.
    The OAK Racing trio of Erik Maris-Jean-Marc Merlin-Jacques Nicolet also confirmed that the characteristics of the Ligier JS P2 suit gentlemen drivers down to the ground in terms of pleasure and performance. They finished the race in an excellent sixth place in LM P2, and then inherited the points that went with fifth after the no. 30 HPD ARX 03B was excluded (excessive wear of the flat bottom), which had seen the flag in third place.

    At the next round, the Spa 6 Hours on 2nd May, the American team will take possession of two Ligier JS P2s to replace the HPD ARX 03Bs entered for the Silverstone event. Thus another two chassis will beef up the Le Mans-based constructor’s forces.

    Unfortunately, the late withdrawal of the Team Sard Morand deprived the crowd of two Morgan LM P2 Evos, which bear the name of the famous English make.



    The opening round of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS), the Silverstone 4 Hours, also took place this weekend. Krohn Racing crossed the Atlantic with its Ligier JS P2-Judd-Michelin and finished fourth overall. The American team qualified in 11th place and made a great comeback to come home just outside the top 3.
    The Pegasus Racing Morgan LM P2-Nissan-Michelin, the only Morgan representative this week-end, started from the fourth row but was caught up in an incident during a fairly tumultuous start. The car was damaged and despite the team’s sterling efforts it had to retire after 64 laps.
    Jacques Nicolet, Onroak Automotive President:
    “I’m coming home feeling very satisfied after this weekend at Silverstone. I not only really enjoyed myself at the wheel of the Ligier JS P2, but I was also able to witness this superb double. This early-season result promises great things in the future and it’s further proof of the inherent qualities of this car. This weekend we proved that the Ligier JS P2 is a sports prototype that’s perfectly adapted to young talents who are looking for performance and reliability, and gentlemen drivers who are out for pleasure and efficiency!
    We’re also very proud that American teams are coming to race in the ELMS and the WEC with the Ligier JS P2. I’m sure that Krohn Racing is going to score a top-3 finish in the very near future with their Ligier JS P2-Judd, and we’re delighted that within a couple of days we’ll be delivering two new chassis powered by the Honda engine to Extreme Speed Motorsports for the rest of the WEC.
    We really hope that Team Sard Morand will be at Spa with the Morgan LM P2 EVO as they will help add even more richness and depth to this fantastic LM P2 field.”
    FIA WEC – Silverstone 6 Hours – LM P2 Classification :
    1 - #26 – G-Drive Racing – Ligier JS P2-Nissan-Dunlop – Rusinov/Canal/Bird
    2 - #28 – G-Drive Racing – Ligier JS P2-Nissan-Dunlop – Yacaman/Derani/Gonzalez
    3 - #42 – Strakka Racing - Dome S103-Nissan-Michelin – Leventis/Watts/Kane
    4 - #47 – KCMG – Oreca 05-Nissan-Dunlop – Howson/Bradley/Tandy
    5 - #35 – OAK Racing - Ligier JS P2-Nissan-Dunlop – Nicolet/Merlin/Maris
    6 - #31 - Extreme Speed Motorsport - HPD ARX 03B - HPD – Dunlop – Brown/Fogarty/Brabham
    #30 – Extreme Speed Motorsport - HPD ARX 03B - HPD – Dunlop – Sharp/Dalziel/H.Hansson
    #36 – Signatech Alpine – Alpine A450B-Nissan-Dunlop – Panciatici/Chatin/Capillaire (DNF)


    ELMS – 4 Hours of Silverstone – Classification Top-5:
    1 - #41 – Greaves Motorsport - Gibson 015S-Nissan-Dunlop –Hirsch/Wirdheim/Lancaster
    2 - #38 – Jota Sport – Gibson 015S-Nissan-Dunlop –Dolan/Albuquerque/Tincknell
    3 - #46 – Thiriet by TDS Racing – Oreca 05-Nissan-Dunlop – Thiriet/Badey/Gommendy
    4 - #40 – Krohn Racing – Ligier JS P2-Judd-Michelin – Krohn/Jonsson/Negri Jr
    5 - #33 – Eurasia Motorsport - Oreca 03R-Nissan-Dunlop – Jun Jin/Pieter De Bruijn
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  30. #330
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    News Release April 14, 2015

    World Endurance Championship, Round 2 in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – Preview GT
    Tudor United SportsCar Championship, Round 4 of 10, Monterey, California

    New Driver Pairings in the Porsche 911 RSR at Spa and Monterey

    Stuttgart, April 14, 2015. The Porsche Manthey squad tackles the six-hour race on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on May 2 with different driver combinations. Porsche works drivers Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) join forces at the wheel of the 470 hp Porsche 911 RSR (No. 92) to contest round two of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) for sports cars. Porsche junior Sven Müller (Germany) and Kévin Estre (France) share driving duties in the second 911 RSR, car No. 91. They celebrate their race debut on the demanding circuit in the Ardennes with the fastest ever nine-eleven.

    The reshuffling of the driver lineup for Spa-Francorchamps was necessary because the Laguna Seca race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is run on the same weekend. Porsche works drivers Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Patrick Pilet (France) contest the round in USA for the Porsche North America team with the 911 RSR. Normally, the duo represents the Porsche Manthey squad in the WEC as teammates of Lietz and Makowiecki. In Laguna Seca they step in for their GT factory driver colleagues Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain), who share the cockpit of the third Porsche 919 Hybrid with Formula 1 pilot Nico Hülkenberg for the Porsche team in Spa and at the Le Mans 24-hour race.

    “Two important races on two continents within one week is an exceptional situation to which we’ve had to find a flexible solution to the cockpit combinations. Fortunately, we have some well-trained race drivers in our brand trophy series on hand and we’re convinced we can rely on them in such cases,” says Head of Porsche Motorsport, Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser. “Thanks to his solid performances, Sven Müller has earned the chance to pit himself in the 911 RSR against the world’s best sports car pilots. His progress is not just another example of the success of our Porsche youth development concept. It also underlines the importance of the Porsche one-make cup series as a launching platform for young drivers. His example shows yet again: Porsche opens all doors to those who are really fast.”

    “It’s a dream come true for me,” says Sven Müller, last year’s best rookie in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and winner of the Monza round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. “When I was given the chance to drive the 911 RSR for the first time in the pre-season tests in Le Castellet, I was already nervous. But that subsided pretty quickly. The Porsche Manthey team made me feel very welcome. My first laps at the wheel of the 911 RSR were a fantastic and important experience. Now I can’t wait to race in Spa.”

    Kévin Estre also gained his most important motorsport experiences in Porsche’s brand trophy series. In 2011, he won the French Carrera Cup and was crowned rookie of the year in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. In 2013, he added the Carrera Cup Deutschland title to his list of achievements. “The Porsche one-make cups paved my way to a professional racing career,” says the Frenchman who now lives in Germany. “For this reason I’m extremely pleased that the Porsche Manthey team have put their trust in me to drive a 911 RSR at the WEC round in Spa. My aim is to do a perfect job as a substitute for the regular drivers and to earn as many points as possible towards the championship for Porsche on this fantastic race track.”

    The Porsche drivers
    In addition to Sven Müller and Kévin Estre in the 911 RSR number 91, the works drivers Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) contest the GTE-Pro class in Spa for the Porsche Manthey squad. They share driving duties in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR. In the GTE-Am class, the American actor and race driver Patrick Dempsey (Malibu, California) joins forces with Porsche factory pilot Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) and Marco Seefried (Austria) in the 911 RSR campaigned by the Dempsey Proton Racing customer team. The Abu Dhabi Proton Racing customer team fields a 911 RSR with drivers Christian Ried (Germany), Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi) as well as the former Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria). Only vehicles that are homologated to the previous year’s GTE-Pro class are eligible to compete in this class.

    The Porsche 911 RSR
    The Porsche 911 RSR is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. The insights gained during the vehicle’s development and at race outings are directly incorporated into the design of future 911 generations. In its maiden 2013 season, the winning racer from Weissach, mounted with a 3995 cc flat-six engine in the rear and producing 345 kW (470 hp), clinched a phenomenal one-two finish at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Last year it won three of America’s most prestigious long distance classics: the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans. Victories at the WEC races in Silverstone and Shanghai also went to the 911 RSR. For the 2015 season, the 911 RSR underwent modifications over the winter months and is characterized by a lightweight design and sophisticated aerodynamics. The revamped aerodynamics at the front and the adapted suspension kinematics ensure enhanced balance and improved control at its handling limits.

    The schedule
    The six-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps starts on Saturday, May 2, at 8:30 a.m. EST. FOX Sports 1 will air the race in the United States. Check local listings for times. FOX Sports 1 is also the host of the Monterey Grand Prix TUDOR Championship race, which will be broadcast live from 4:00 - 07:00 p.m. EST on May 3.

    Further comments before the race
    Marco Ujhasi, Overall project manager GT works motorsport: “The car setup is of very special importance on this demanding circuit. The one who finds the best compromise and manages to keep tire wear to a minimum has an advantage that could prove decisive. Sven Müller is a young yet excellently trained race driver. Already at the prologue in Le Castellet he quickly became acquainted with the team. Our seasoned drivers will support him in working on the setup and they’ll help him get accustomed to this difficult circuit as quickly as possible. Moreover, he has an experienced teammate with Kévin Estre at his side.”

    Frédéric Makowiecki (Porsche 911 RSR No. 92): “Spa is always a highlight on the racing calendar. It’s a fabulous race track and not just because of Eau Rouge. In Spa you always have to expect rain at some point over the weekend. But that just makes it more interesting and even more exciting.”

    Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR No. 92): “I didn’t race in Spa last year, so I’ll need a couple of laps to get myself back up to speed on this great circuit. Spa is without doubt one of my favorite race tracks, it’s very long and extremely challenging – it’s a real drivers’ track. I’m looking forward to it.”


    The Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC)
    Sports prototypes and GT vehicles contest the WEC (World Endurance Championship) in four classes: LMP1 (e.g. Porsche 919 Hybrid), LMP2, LMGTE-Pro (e.g. 911 RSR) and LMGTE-Am (e.g. 911 RSR, 2014 homologation). They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.

    TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
    Sports prototypes and GT vehicles compete in four classes of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship throughout North America. The Porsche 911 RSR contends in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category while the Porsche 911 GT America races for pro-am honors in the GT Daytona (GTD) class. Other classes include Prototype (P) and Prototype Challenge (PC). Most races compete with all classes on course at once but some sprint races limit the competition to two classes.

    ###
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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