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Thread: 2015 WEC/ELMS&TUSC news.

  1. #211
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    KROHN RACING TO TOP OF CHARTS IN PRACTICE 2 AT SEBRING

    Krohn Racing went to the top of the charts in Thursday afternoon’s second TUDOR United SportsCar Championship practice for the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

    Olivier Pla led the one-hour session with a lap of 1:52.731 in the No. 57 Krohn Racing Ligier JS PE/Judd. Second in the Prototype class was Ozz Negri, running 1:53.554 in the No. 60 Tire Kingdom Service Centers Ligier JS P2/Honda.

    BMW Team RLL led GTLM for the second straight practice. This time, it was the No. 24 IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTLM driven by John Edwards with a lap of 1:59.859.

    Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Tom Kimber-Smith was fastest in Prototype Challenge, running 1:57.130. Leading GTD was Andrew Davis in the No. 22 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 GT America, running 2:04.840.

    Thursday’s activities will conclude with a one-hour, 30-minute night session beginning at 7:15 p.m.

    Friday’s schedule is highlighted by qualifying beginning at 4:20 p.m. The 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida takes the green flag at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday.
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    CHEVROLET NAMED OFFICIAL SAFETY TRUCK OF IMSA

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 19, 2015) – Officials from Chevrolet and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today announced an agreement naming Chevrolet the “Official Safety Truck of IMSA.

    Chevrolet will provide Silverado 2500 HD trucks to be used at every IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event on a multi-year basis. IMSA’s Track Services personnel will utilize the trucks to respond to on-track incidents.

    “Chevrolet is proud to be named the ‘Official Safety Truck of IMSA’,” said Michael Stouffer, Chevrolet Marketing Manager, SportsCar Racing. “Motorsports provides an opportunity to connect with current and prospective customers and gives us the ability to showcase the Chevrolet Silverado in a highly visible and fan-friendly environment. The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship has established itself as a premier race series and this designation enhances Chevy’s overall partnership with IMSA.”

    The Chevrolet Silverado HD delivers a best-in-class towing capacity of 19,600 pounds and payload capacity of 7,374 pounds. The HD features a strong safety cage made with high-strength steel, and is the first and only HD truck on the market to make 4G LTE WiFi powered by OnStar available to customers.

    Other features of the Silverado HD include a class-exclusive box with integrated CornerSteps in the rear bumper; stake pockets including a hand grip; available LED under-rail cargo lamps and available spray-in bed liner. Additional options include segment-exclusive accident avoidance safety technologies that includes Forward Collision Alert; Lane Departure Warning and the Safety Alert Seat.

    “The Silverado HD’s proven performance is the perfect choice to be the ‘Official Safety Truck of IMSA,’” said David Pettit, IMSA Vice President, Marketing. “These trucks are clearly up to the unique demands that will be placed on them as they respond to incidents at our events. We are pleased to have such a strong partner like Chevrolet continuing to broaden an already robust partnership with IMSA.”

    The Chevrolet Silverado HD makes its debut as “Official Safety Truck of IMSA” March 21 at the 63rd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
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  3. #213
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    ASTON MARTIN UNVEILS AMBITIOUS 2015 RACE PROGRAMME

    • Aston Martin’s largest works race programme to date
    • Five-car team will battle for honours in World Endurance Championship
    • Two Vantages will challenge for victory at Nürburgring 24 Hours

    19 March 2015, Gaydon: Aston Martin is today announcing its largest and most ambitious works race programme to date, comprising a five-car campaign in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and 24 Hours of Le Mans, and two GT3 entries in the Nürburgring 24 Hours.

    In its eleventh year of competition, Aston Martin Racing returns to the WEC with three Vantage GTEs in the GTE Pro class and two cars in the GTE Am class. Looking to add to its impressive tally of 19 race wins and three championship titles, the team aims to claim the coveted GT manufacturer’s title, as well as both GT titles at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

    Meanwhile, in its third year competing at the Nürburgring in the world-famous endurance race’s top SP9 class for GT3 cars, Aston Martin Racing is doubling its entry, underlining the British sport car brand’s commitment to top-level GT racing.

    All the cars being campaigned in the WEC, at Le Mans and at the Nürburgring are derived from the sports car maker’s road-going Vantage range. Today’s Vantage line-up – comprising three distinct models using one of two advanced engines; V8 Vantage, V8 Vantage S and V12 Vantage S – represents a clear and strong link between road car and race car.

    CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, said: “Announcing our largest racing programme to date ten years to the day after Aston Martin Racing’s debut win at Sebring 12 Hours clearly shows how the team has progressed, building year-on-year on its success.

    “Our multiple wins last year underlines our ability to perform at the highest level and, as we look forward to the 2015 season, we’re anticipating another exciting and highly competitive year of exhilarating GT racing in the WEC, as well as at Le Mans and the Nürburgring.”

    Aston Martin Racing’ s WEC campaign will continue to benefit from the support of long time partners Gulf whose famous livery will feature on three of the works cars, while more recent partners Hanergy and Valero will be represented with their own new liveries on the other two GTE challengers. Meanwhile for the Nürburgring, the cars will once again carry the iconic colours of Bilstein and Castrol.

    Aston Martin Racing’s 2015 season starts with The Prologue, the official WEC test session at Circuit Paul Ricard in France on 28 and 29 March. The opening round of the championship, the Six Hours of Silverstone, takes place on 12 April and Nürburgring 24 Hours begins on 16 May.

    Join in with the team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #teamAMR.

    -ENDS-

    Driver line-ups:

    World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans
    95: Marco Sørensen, Christoffer Nygaard, Nicki Thiim
    96: Francesco Castellacci, Roald Goethe, Stuart Hall
    97: Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke, Rob Bell (Six Hours of Spa and Le Mans)
    98: Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda
    99: Alex MacDowall, Fernando Rees, Richie Stanaway

    Nürburgring 24 Hours
    007: Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke, Pedro Lamy
    008: Richie Stanaway, Jonny Adam, Mathias Lauda

    Driver quotes:

    Darren Turner: “The WEC continues to go from strength to strength and, for any driver, to be involved in an FIA World Championship is always exciting. I’m back with my team-mate Stefan for another year and really looking forward to getting stuck in and taking the fight to our competitors! I think we have a strong chance this year; everyone has worked very hard over the winter and we are all focused on winning the championship.”

    Rob Bell: “It’s fantastic to be returning to Aston Martin Racing, especially at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I think that Darren, Stefan and I make a very strong line-up and together we have a great chance of success.”

    Alex MacDowall: “It’s great to have Richie in the team. He’s performed really well in the WEC in the past and he’s a great team-mate. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do together.”

    Stuart Hall: “We had a great season in the ELMS but it’s definitely good to be back in the WEC. This really is the pinnacle of sports car racing and I love being a part of it.”

    Mathias Lauda: “I’m over the moon to be part of Aston Martin Racing. Especially to be racing in the WEC, which I believe is the best championship in the world. This is because it has the most manufacturers, it is very professional and it travels to some of the best circuits in the world and I’m proud to be doing it with the best GT team.”

    2015 racing calendar:

    WEC Six Hours of Silverstone: 12 April 2015
    WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps: 2 May 2015
    Nürburgring 24 Hours: 16 May 2015
    24 Hours of Le Mans: 13 June 2015
    WEC Six Hours of Nürburgring: 30 August 2015
    WEC Six Hours of Austin: 19 September 2015
    WEC Six Hours of Fuji: 11 October 2015
    WEC Six Hours of Shanghai: 1 November 2015
    WEC Six Hours of Bahrain: 21 November 2015

    - ENDS -
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  4. #214
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    couple pictures from Risi from quali...


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    MAKOWIECKI BECOMES 13TH DIFFERENT GTLM POLE WINNER IN 13 RACES

    PORSCHE NORTH AMERICA SWEEPS FRONT ROW WITH PAIR OF 911 RSRS

    Considered by many to be the most competitive GT class in the world, the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship witnessed its 13th different pole winner in 13 TUDOR Championship races Friday during qualifying for the 63rd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

    Frederic Makowiecki extended a streak dating back to qualifying for the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona – the inaugural TUDOR Championship event – driving the No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR to the pole with a lap of one minute, 58.587 seconds (113.537 mph) on his final circuit of the 15-minute session. He will start alongside teammate Patrick Pilet in the 12-hour race that also is the second round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup (FOX Sports 1, 10:30 a.m. ET).

    “The grip was really low, and we took a long time to get grip, so that is why we did a lot of laps,” said Makowiecki. “We are trying to get the same result as the (No.) 912 last year with the pole and winning the race. It’s great so far for the team. We started the weekend with a little issue with the car, but the team is working hard and working really well.”

    Also saving his best lap for last was Pilet, who followed his teammate to the front row in the final minute in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. His time of 1:58.806 (113.328 mph), while 0.219 seconds behind Makowiecki, bested the Rolex 24-winning No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia, 1:58.828 (113.307 mph).

    The No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTLM of Dirk Werner, 1:58.842 (113.293 mph), and the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia of Pierre Kaffer, 1:58.927 (113.212 mph), made it four different manufacturers in the top five positions. The top-seven cars were separated by less than 0.9 seconds.

    Flag-to-flag coverage of the Twelve Hours of Sebring begins at 10:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1; FOX Sports 2, 12:30 -7 p.m.; IMSA.com, 7-10 p.m.; and FOX Sports 2, 10-11 p.m. A two-hour special highlights show will be aired on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, March 22, from 8-10 a.m.
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    BLEEKEMOLEN DRIVES TO GTD TOTAL POLE AWARD AT SEBRING

    DODGE VIPER SRT GT3-R BEATS TRIO OF PORSCHES FOR TOP SPOT


    For the first time in six TUDOR United SportsCar Championship races dating back to July of 2014, someone other than James Davison will start from the pole in the GT Daytona (GTD) class. Jeroen Bleekemolen drove the No. 33 TI Automotive/Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R to the top spot in TOTAL Pole Award qualifying Friday for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, beating a trio of Porsches with a lap of 2:03.485 (109.033 mph).

    After a string of five consecutive pole positions, Davison will roll off the grid fifth in TRG-AMR’s No. 007 Aston Martin V12 Vantage.

    Bleekemolen and the No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America of Mario Farnbacher swapped the top spot five times throughout the 15-minute session before Bleekemolen posted the time to beat with three minutes remaining. Farnbacher settled for second, just 0.053 seconds off the pole, at 2:03.538 (108.987 mph).

    “We knew Alex Job was going to be strong because they tested here,” said Bleekemolen, who earned his second TOTAL Pole Award in the TUDOR Championship. “They had some lap times that were incredibly fast. It turned out to be a fight between me and them. I heard Mario did a great lap and I had to find three-tenths and I didn’t think that was going to work. We got a great lap together and beat him by half a tenth.”

    Spencer Pumpelly will lead an all-Porsche second row after posting a lap of 2:04.106 (108.488 mph) in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America, joined by Leh Keen’s Weather Tech Racing Porsche 911 GT America, 2:04.339 (108.285 mph).

    Flag-to-flag coverage of the Twelve Hours of Sebring begins at 10:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1; FOX Sports 2, 12:30 -7 p.m.; IMSA.com, 7-10 p.m.; and FOX Sports 2, 10-11 p.m. A two-hour special highlights show will be aired on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, March 22, from 8-10 a.m.
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    DeltaWing GT Project Unveiled

    DeltaWing Technology Group, Inc. a new restructuring of affiliated Panoz technology and automotive companies, has announced that it will begin development of a DeltaWing GT racecar concept. It will be designed to demonstrate that with far less horsepower than many of today’s best sports cars, a two-seat performance car based on the DeltaWing architecture would deliver the same performance, yet with previously unimagined fuel economy and efficiency. Expected to appear in 2015, this new DeltaWing Racing Cars project is a major step toward a street-legal two-seat DeltaWing sports car.

    “This is an important point in the DeltaWing project’s next phase,” said Don Panoz, DeltaWing Technology Group chairman and CEO. “We’ve been very busy leading up to this launch announcement, and we’ll remain quite busy coordinating the race car project’s many details.”

    Brian Willis, DeltaWing Technologies’ newly appointed vice president, Engineering and Design, will lead this project. He also will lead a simultaneous and related project, development of two and four-seat DeltaWing road car prototypes for further development and real-world testing.

    Willis is no stranger to Panoz and racing. His 27-year career includes stints as senior designer for Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd., director of engineering for Élan Technologies’ motorsports division, chief engineer for Panoz Motorsports, and technical director for Audi Sport Japan, winners of the 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Team Goh Audi R8. Most recently, he was director of technical services for Multimatic Inc. in Canada.

    This announcement does not impact the Claro/TracFone DeltaWing Racing Cars team or its racing efforts with the DWC13 Coupe, which competes in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
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    Single Engine Supplier For LMP2 From 2017 Confirmed

    Today’s bulletin from the FIA World Motorsports Council confirms a number of detail changes to the sorting and technical regulations for the FIA WEC but perhaps rather more significantly for now it confirms, ahead of the planned LMP2 Manufacturers meeting at Paul Ricard that LMP2 will see a single engine supplier from 2017.

    That has to count as a surprise bearing in mind the perceived stage of discussion with the ACO. No mention was made at Daytona we believe of this measure being up for discussion and/or approval by the WMSC.

    Amongst the changes confirmed for 2015 listed in the bulletin “designed to limit costs”:

    New limitations will be enforced with regards to engines. LMP1 Hybrid competitors may homologate only one type of power train for the season. In this category, the number of engines will be limited to five per season and to seven for a manufacturer entering its first season in the Championship.

    The number of team personnel authorized for entrants competing in the Manufacturer’s World Endurance Championship has been limited.

    The number of testing days allowed for competitors entered in all categories has also been limited.

    To improve safety, new regulations will be enforced with regards to the weight of drivers. If the average weight of drivers entered in a car is below 80 kilogrammes, ballasts will be imposed.

    The FIA Driver Categorisation Regulations have been amended. New criteria and procedures for the attribution of Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze driver status have been set and approved.

    Unfortunately none of the links referred to in the FIA release to the revised documentation are yet live on FIA.com.

    http://www.dailysportscar.com/2015/0...confirmed.html
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  9. #219
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    IMSA: Sebring 12 Hours notebook
    Friday, 20 March 2015
    By Marshall Pruett
    THE THREE DREADED LETTERS

    BoP – Balance of Performance – has been a steady conversation point among teams in three of IMSA's four TUDOR United SportsCar Championship classes during two days of running at Sebring. The most glaring disparity can be found at the top where the two Ligier JS P2 coupes have established and maintained a healthy advantage over the fastest Daytona Prototypes.

    Although the new Ligiers present their owners with advancements in every area of prototype design, one key area – high downforce – is where the JS P2s have distinguished themselves among the other P2s competing in IMSA as well as the DPs.

    The Action Express Racing Corvette DP led the first practice session, but Ligier owners Krohn Racing and Michael Shank Racing have blitzed the field in the second and third practices on Thursday, and again Friday morning and once more in qualifying. The gaps across those four sessions from the fastest Ligier to the fastest DP were 0.823, 0.273. 0.492 and 0.976 seconds. For those who know the differences between Daytona, where powerful DPs dominate, and a twisty track like Sebring where downforce is king, there should be no surprise to see P2 coupes running away from the competition.

    Unless, of course, you expect BoP to provide an equal playing field at every race. The other view on BoP involves a season-long outlook where advantages and disadvantages are expected between P2s and DPs at various tracks, but at the end of the year, the win tally and points accrued should be nearly identical.
    Based on what we've seen so far at Sebring 2015, the latter BoP model is in place.

    DP owners and drivers would struggle to find sympathetic P2 runners at Sebring after DPs locked out the top-4 finishing positions at January's Rolex 24, and based on those I've spoken with in the DP ranks, it's also hard to find anyone who wants to concede the 12 Hours to the P2s.

    "With all of the downforce the Ligiers have, they should be ashamed of themselves if they don't win this race and most of the others," one DP team figurehead said privately.

    Mike Hull, who runs the Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Ford Ecoboost DP team that won the Rolex 24, has nothing against the P2 cars, and pointing to frustrations with the BoP specification that has DPs looking uncharacteristically uncompetitive.

    "The P2 is a proper car," he said. "It's technologically advanced, it's comes with the engine and electronics – traction control, for example – fully integrated from the first day, and here's what I think about the Balance of Performance: Last year [IMSA] made a mistake with the P2s. Second, there aren't a lot of them in the series to gather data from. I think [IMSA] should set the performance based on the first two races of the season instead of after the first race. Daytona is too different of a track to base any changes on for Sebring.

    "If you take all the data and digest it from the two events, at two unique tracks that ask the cars to perform differently, they'd have plenty of time to analyze it and make changes for the rest of the season. All of the DP owners said we would have an advantage at Daytona and the P2s would have an advantage here, so it shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. We told IMSA and thought the message got through, but maybe there was an internal communications error."

    Hull's two-race BoP evaluation period concept is an interesting one, and with Daytona serving as a genuinely unique arena for BoP calculations, its use as the basis to adjust the performance levels at a dissimilar circuit like Sebring comes with a high probability of angering some entrants.

    "Daytona is a big event; it's the big event," Hull continued. "If you don't win the event, you as a team can either take the high road or you can take the vengeful road. A lot of the people that don't do well at Daytona go the vengeful route, and they might not get everything they want by complaining about the successful cars at Daytona, but it plants that seed that changes must be made to turn the tide. And the series allows that seed to be planted."

    The notoriously tough and robust DPs still have a strong chance of winning Sebring due to the limited number of fast but fragile P2s in the field. Motor problems sidelined most P2 cars at Daytona, and engine or driveline-related issues have already paid a visit to the track this week. If the Krohn and Shank Ligiers can get through the race unscathed, they should dominate, and as Hull finished our conversation, he asked why either style of IMSA Prototype should be forced into a position of being advantaged or disadvantaged at the series' two biggest events.

    "You have 24 hours and another 12 hours to gather data, so use it," he stated. "Then come out with your changes. If they do a proper job on an annual basis, they will start off the year where they left off – with the cars evenly matched. When they aren't, you start to ask yourself what's wrong with the process to lead us to where we are today. There's no reason I can come up with where we should start the season each year with the BoP being unequal."

    Performance balancing concerns aren't limited to Prototype at Sebring. GTD saw the fleet of Porsche 911 GT Americas that were quite often an afterthought last year move to the front of sharp end of the class in practice and qualifying, while the Audis and Ferraris that closed the season strongly at Petit Le Mans were slowed for Daytona and are off the pace once again this weekend. It will be interesting to see if and how the various performance disparities are addressed in the time between Sebring and Long Beach for Prototype and for GTD when they return at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

    BONJOUR GERARD

    I caught up with FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu in the Sebring paddock Friday afternoon where we discussed the 2017 P2 regulations. The move to a spec engine has been formalized by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council, leaving the reduced P2 constructor pool as the last major item to confirm. The suggested number of four total P2 manufacturers for 2017 and beyond sounds like it will move from an internal topic of debate to something more formal.

    "It's for safety," Neveu said. "It's to make sure we can protect these categories and to control the costs. The problem is if you leave the door open, after two seasons, the cost can go up very quickly. And once it happens it's too late and you crash the series. And it takes a long time to be back in the right position."

    On the topic of multiple P2 manufacturers working together to submit a single bid for one of the four coveted manufacturing contracts, Neveu wasn't immediately receptive to the idea.

    "This is one thing we have to evaluate," he said. "I look to all of our engineers and technicians for their answers of this is the right direction and if it is possible or not. We are waiting for their reporting for that. We are evaluating this option."

    Neveu has been in the U.S. for more than a week handling a variety of business interests on behalf of the WEC. The final deal with Circuit of The Americas was signed, which was followed by a press release noting that tickets were now available, and he also inked a new and improved TV deal with FOX that will be announced next week. IMSA also announced a six-year extension to their contract with the ACO/FIA has been signed during Neveu's visit.

    BEST TRAPS

    The fastest top speeds achieved entering Turn 17 during qualifying went to the No. 0 DeltaWing DWC13 in Prototype (165.249mph), the No. 54 CORE autosport PC (159.347mph), the No. 23 Alex Job Racing/Team Seattle Porsche 911 GT America in GTD (159.048mph), and the No. 3 Corvette Racing C7.R in GTLM (158.454mph).
    Compare those to the top trap speeds achieved in 2014 as the No. 0 DeltaWing DWC13 in Prototype (172.653mph), the No. 555 Aim Autosport Ferrari F458 in GTD (164.288mph), the No. 9 RSR Racing PC (162.712mph), and the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR in GTLM (161.472mph). ​
    http://www.racer.com/imsa/item/11462...hours-notebook
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    PLA CAPTURES TOTAL POLE AWARD FOR 63RD MOBIL 1 TWELVE HOURS OF SEBRING.

    NEW KROHN RACING LIGIER JS P2 TO START FIRST AT SEBRING


    Olivier Pla translated his domination of pre-event practice to his first TOTAL Pole Award, leading qualifying for Saturday’s 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

    The French driver ran a lap of one minute, 51.152 seconds (121.131 mph) on the challenging 3.74-mile Sebring International Raceway circuit in the No. 57 Krohn Racing Ligier JS P2/Judd, earning the first TUDOR United SportsCar Challenge pole. The race is the second round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup, which opened with January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona and will continue with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in June and Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta in October.

    “I knew we have a very good package and a strong car,” said Pla, who led three of the four practice sessions for the event. “It’s always nice to start on pole, especially the pole at Sebring. Of course, 12 hours is a different story. I have done this race three times, and it was never easy. This is a very demanding track and we need to be very clever with our strategy.”

    Team owner Tracy W. Krohn has been with the Ligier project “since it was just on a piece of paper,” and is very happy with his new car.

    “[Ligier builder] Onroak Automotive did a great job delivering the car on time and on budget,” Krohn said. “I felt good early in the week when Olivier said, ‘The car is good.’ Our thought process this year is to race this car over in Europe in the ELMS. But if we win here and get points for the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup, that could change the thought process. This is a very competitive series, with great drivers and fantastic tracks. I don’t remember when we won our last pole – it’s been a long time.”

    Ryan Dalziel will start from the outside of the front row after running 1:51.455 (120.802 mph) in the No. 1 Tequila Patrón ESM Honda HPD co-driven by Scott Sharp and David Heinemeier Hansson.

    Defending TUDOR Championship Prototype titlist Joao Barbosa was third fastest in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Mustang Sampling Corvette DP, running 1:52.128 (120.077 mph). He will co-drive with Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais. Ozz Negri – TOTAL Pole Award winner at the Rolex 24 – timed in fourth fastest, 1:52.170 (120.032 mph) in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Tire Kingdom Service Centers Ligier JS P2/Honda co-driven by John Pew and Justin Wilson.

    Fans can follow the action in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida flag to flag. Coverage begins on FOX Sports 1 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., before moving to FOX Sports 2 from 12:30 -7 p.m., IMSA.com from 7-10 p.m., and finishing on FOX Sports 2 from 10-11 p.m. A two-hour special highlights show will be aired on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, March 22, from 8-10 a.m.
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    News Release March 20, 2015

    Tudor United SportsCar Championship, Round 2 of 10, Sebring, Florida

    Porsche Qualifies 1-2 for Sebring 12 Hour

    Sebring, Florida, March 20, 2015. Porsche has swept the front row of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class for Saturday’s 63rd Running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida and sits on the outside of the front row in the GT Daytona (GTD) class. Frédéric Makowiecki’s (France) quick lap of Sebring International Raceway resulted in taking the GTLM class pole position in the No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR. Chasing his fellow Frenchman and fellow works driver across the finish line was Patrick Pilet in the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR. German Mario Farnbacher set the quickest Porsche lap in GTD with the No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America to take second on the class grid. The clock will start on the second-round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at 10:40 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) tomorrow, March 21. Porsche, the 2014 GTLM and GTD Manufacturer Champion, will be seeking its 70th and 71st class victories in the classic American endurance race.

    Porsche 911 RSR
    The Porsche North America factory team brought a pair of Porsche 911 RSR to the 3.74-mile, 17-turn central Florida track for the second-consecutive year. Just as in 2014, the racecar based on the seventh-generation of the iconic Porsche 911 road car, will sit on the pole position in the ultra-competitive GTLM class. Makowiecki, who is making his Sebring debut this weekend, bettered the GT class track record in the 15-minute qualifying session with a time of one-minute, 58.587-seconds. Driving the defending race winning No. 912 with Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Makowiecki was only 0.219-seconds ahead of the team car. Pilet, not willing to let his countryman have the pole without a challenge, put a hard push late with the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR turning a time 1:58.806 in the car he will share with Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Richard Lietz (Austria).

    Driven by Porsche factory drivers Wolf Henzler (Germany), who qualified the car today and Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) with Falken Tire factory driver Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Georgia), the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR was eighth in class with a time of 1:59.787.

    Porsche 911 GT America
    The Porsche 911 GT America comprises nearly half the GT Daytona class. Based on the Porsche 911 GT3 road car, the six “made for the TUDOR Championship” entries qualified second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth for tomorrow’s race. It was Farnbacher in the No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America lapping in 2:03.617 who was quickest of the Porsche lot. Farnbacher trailed a narrow 0.053-seconds off the pole-winning Dodge Viper SRT piloted by Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) to a lap of 2:03.485. The No. 23 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing sister car with Leh Keen (Atlanta) driving, was third quickest with a lap of 2:04.339. The defending race winner, the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America, was fourth in class with Andy Lally (Dacula, Georgia) turning a 2:04.995. Just off of Lally was fellow Atlantan Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 73 Park Place Racing Porsche with a time of 2:05.043. In seventh was the No. 81 Tully’s Coffee GB Autosport Porsche 911 GT America with Damien Faulkner (Ireland) and Jan Heylen (Tampa) drove the No. 58 Dempsey Racing with Wright Motorsports Porsche to eighth with a lap of 2:05.059.

    The 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring can be seen in its entirety on the FOX and IMSA family of networks. The start will be broadcast at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the FOX Sports 1. At 12:30 p.m. ET it will transition to FOX Sports 2 and will move to IMSA.com for the hours of 7 - 10 p.m. before taking the checkered flag on FOX Sports 2 at 10 p.m. A two-hour highlight show will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 8 a.m., Sunday, March 22. IMSA.com will provide audio coverage of every on-track lap, including practice and qualifying while video streaming of qualifying will be available on the IMSA web site beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, March 20.

    Owen Hayes, Director of Operations, Porsche Motorsport North America: “We just concentrated on getting ourselves and our cars prepared and comfortable for the race. It just seemed in this case the race set-up really suited the conditions in qualifying well. But that wasn’t our main goal in qualifying. We do push like hell, but our main goal for qualifying was just finding the right set-up for the 12-hour race. But I’m absolutely delighted and thrilled, so proud of the team, for coming back after Daytona. Everyone is sure that tomorrow is still the most important day, but it’s a fantastic way to start it off.”

    Frédéric Makowiecki, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: “I am especially happy because it is my first pole in Sebring driving for Porsche and it means a lot to me. I am really happy for the team because the crew worked on the car and it got quicker and quicker each lap. The car was really good for qualifying. It was a bit different from what we expected, we expected to do one or two flying laps and we actually did four. But in the end, the most important thing is the result, and we have a really good car for the race tomorrow.”

    Patrick Pilet, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: “In practice two, it was nearly the same temperature and we were struggling with the car, but we fixed it because already this morning the car was pretty good. We expected less grip in qualifying actually, like in practice two, but it was not the case. There was less grip, but the balance was not oversteer like we expected, so that’s why I was getting quicker and quicker, because my balance was too much understeer at the beginning, but it got better and better. We have a good car for the race! For sure, I would have liked to be on pole, but Fred had a great lap. I am pretty confident for the race tomorrow. The team worked very hard on the set-up for the race, so we should have a good chance.”

    Mario Farnbacher, No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America: “I tried my best during qualifying. It was a good run – P2. But, it’s a long race. Our qualifying is not the race result. Twelve hours of Sebring is a hard race and we’ll know more about how good we are at 10 [p.m.] tomorrow. It would mean a lot for me [to win this race]. I’ve not been in America very long and I am a young driver so it would be awesome to win it. It would also be great for the team. The team worked really hard last year and we had a few chances to win. But, we had some bad luck. This [a win] would be for the crew.”

    GT Le Mans Qualifying Results
    1. No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, Frédéric Makowiecki (France), 1:58.587
    2. No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, Patrick Pilet (France), 1:58.806
    3. No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, Antonio Garcia (Spain), 1:58.828
    8. No. 17 Porsche 911 RSR, Wolf Henzler (Germany), 1:59.787

    GT Daytona Qualifying Results
    1. No. 33 Dodge Viper SRT, Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), 2:03.485
    2. No. 23 Porsche 911 GT America, Mario Farnbacher (Germany), 2:03.538
    3. No. 73 Porsche 911 GT America, Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia), 2:04.106
    4. No. 22 Porsche 911 GT America, Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia), 2:04.339
    6. No. 81 Porsche 911 GT America, Damien Faulkner (Ireland), 2:04.930
    7. No. 44 Porsche 911 GT America, Andy Lally (Atlanta, Georgia) 2:04.944
    8. No. 58 Porsche 911 GT America, Jan Heylen (Tampa, Florida), 2:05.059

    ###
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  12. #222
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    SEBRING, Fla., – March 20, 2015 – Ryan Dalziel roared around Sebring International Raceway on Friday afternoon en route to a front-row starting position for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race – the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida. Three-tenths of a second (.303) separated Dalziel from the pole-winning team as he earned Tequila Patrón ESM’s first front-row start of the season.

    In its first U.S. appearance this year with Tequila Patrón ESM, the Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) showed it has plenty of fight left in it. Dalziel, in the No. 1 Tequila Patrón ESM HPD ARX-03b, sprinted around the 3.7-mile, 17-turn circuit in 1:51.455 (120.802 mph). The last time this prototype saw sportscar competition was a runner-up finish at the November FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) race in China. Before that, the last time the No. 1 machine competed in the TUDOR Championship was at Road America in August, where Dalziel and co-driver Scott Sharp started from the pole and finished third.

    Dalziel will start the race for the No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD team, Sharp will drive second, and David Heinemeier Hansson will drive third. Each driver is slated to drive at least two stints during the 12-hour endurance race.

    Johannes van Overbeek, co-driver of the No. 2 Tequila Patrón ESM HPD ARX-03b, logged the eighth-quickest lap of qualifying with a 1:53.047 (119.101 mph). The last time the No. 2 machine competed in the TUDOR Championship was during Circuit of The Americas race in September. The team wrestled with setup in search of the right combination to maneuver about the rough-and-tumble Sebring circuit. Before tomorrow’s race, the No. 2 team will replicate the setup of the No. 1 machine.

    The No. 2 team will have van Overbeek start the race, followed by Ed Brown and then Jon Fogarty.

    Earlier this month, Tequila Patrón ESM and Honda Performance Development mutually agreed that it would be competitively advantageous to run the ARX-03b at Sebring. Last year, Tequila Patrón ESM earned a runner-up finishing at Sebring and won the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last May with the ARX-03b.

    The second race of 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup is the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. Green flag for the 12 Hours of Sebring is 10:40 a.m. (ET) on Saturday, March 21.

    The Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup (NAEC) includes the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and the season finale Petit Le Mans. Watch the Tequila Patrón ESM drivers explain the significance of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance.

    TV Coverage – Saturday, March 21
    FOX Sports 1 live coverage runs from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (ET).
    FOX Sports 2 live coverage runs from 12:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. (ET)
    IMSA.com coverage runs from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. (ET)
    FOX Sports 2 live coverage runs from 10 p.m. – 11 p.m. (ET)

    TV Coverage – Sunday, March 22
    FOX Sports 1 will broadcast a two-hour recap show from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. (ET)

    ####
    RYAN DALZIEL

    “I’ve got to thank everybody on the team for busting their tails for these last few weeks. It has been a difficult winter and Daytona. Then another tough couple of weeks leading up to Sebring and reverting back to the old cars. We really wanted to have a good showing in qualifying. After final practice we felt confident we had a second row car, we thought we could be third or fourth, but we found some time. The car is as good as it has ever been here. It is a 12-hour race, but nice to see that we have some pace. We haven’t run these cars since China last year. Now with the different rule package of an extra 40 kilos and different restrictor, we had a lot of work to do. Everyone worked so hard, the Tequila Patrón ESM engineers got the car dialed-in. We’re only three-tenths off the Krohn (pole-winning team) car and that is more than we expected today, but it is exactly what is deserved for the amount of work that has gone into this car.

    “This car and I go a way back here. This ARX-03b was the first LMP2 car I drove at Sebring in 2012. We’ve had some success in this car both with Tequila Patrón ESM and Starworks. When we tested the 03b three weeks ago, we all jumped in and said that it felt like home. Thanks again to everyone at HPD and Tequila Patrón ESM for being able to make this happen and get this old girl back. She’s still got some life in her. Clearly she’s getting better with age.

    “Sebring is a strange race because the temperature changes so much. It is more like three sprint races, the first four hours are rough, and the track is pretty dirty overnight. The middle four hours is treacherous because it gets so hot. Then the last four when the sun goes down, it really does become a sprint race.

    “We have a great lineup with Scott and David. One of our main goals was to get a comfortable car for 12 hours and that’s what we have.”

    JOHANNES VAN OVERBEEK

    “We used a different setup than the No. 1 car and we just didn’t have enough laps under our belts to know if we needed to change setups. Qualifying was a real bear, a lot of understeer and difficult to turn. Congratulations to Ryan and the No. 1 car; they did an awesome job. They posted times faster than anybody thought this old car could go, including them. We’ll take their setup and have a good starting point tomorrow. It was a frustrating session for us. But they seem to have found something that works and we’ll follow their lead. Our car will have the same setup for tomorrow. We know what we need to do and we’ll follow that plan. Ultimately we want to see the podium and get these cars packed and ready to head to France for the FIA WEC test.”
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  13. #223
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    Ginetta Nissan LMP3 Shakedown Video


    Just a brief snatch of video showing the first brand new Ginetta Nissan LMP3 on its shakedown test today with Lawrence Tomlinson taking first turn at the wheel, this the very first LMP3 car to turn a wheel.


    The car will be at Paul Ricard on Monday and Tuesday for the ELMS Test Days while the Ginetta factory gets to work on the customer cars on their order books.
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  14. #224
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    Audi increases hybrid power for 2015

    Audi's heavily revised R18 e-tron quattro, which appeared today in its 2015 team colors, will run in the four megajoule hybrid sub-class in this year's World Endurance Championship.

    The German manufacturer has hit its target of moving up one step from the 2MJ class in which it ran last year with development of its existing hybrid concept. That means the latest R18, which is built around the same monocoque as last year's car, has a single front-axle kinetic energy-recovery system and a flywheel mechanical battery to store the retrieved energy.

    Audi Sport LMP1 technical project leader Christopher Reinke said the latest LMP1 car's hybrid system "follows a similar philosophy and is based on the same technology" as that of its predecessor.

    "The correct approach was to take it step by step to have a well-sorted 2MJ system for last year and a clear road map very early to upgrade this system in an evolutionary way to this year's 4MJ system," he said. "It was the more efficient way to upgrade the existing system to 4MJ rather than introducing a second system."

    Reinke added that running in the 4MJ class with a single hybrid system offered the "best compromise for the resources available, lap time gain, and complexity and reliability."

    The single electric motor-generator unit at the front is rated at in excess of 200kW (the equivalent of nearly 270bhp), whereas last year's had a potential power output of 170kW.

    Audi driver Andre Lotterer, part of last year's Le Mans 24 Hours-winning line-up, said: "The extra boost is quite noticeable; we have a bigger boost and boost for longer as well. "You can really feel the benefit of the four-wheel-drive now, especially at somewhere like Sebring [where Audi tested the 2015-spec R18 at the start of March].

    "Out of Turn 17, the rear of the car used to step out over the bumps: now you floor it, the car jumps and off you go."

    Toyota and Porsche, which both ran at 6MJ last season, will announce the hybrid class of their respective 2015 LMP1 contenders next week ahead of the official WEC test at Paul Ricard on March 27/28.

    Nissan, which is missing the first two WEC rounds at Silverstone and Spa in April and May respectively, is also expected to announce in which category its front-wheel-drive GT-R LM NISMO will run next week.
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  15. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    love to go to Sebring, one day
    Me too..thing is I live about 2 hours or less from there. It sort of snuck up on me this year.

    Going to add, the new Porsche 911 is loaded for bear and has Ferrari and Aston in its sites.
    Me thinks a Ferrari class win is going to be harder than ever this year.

  16. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Me too..thing is I live about 2 hours or less from there. It sort of snuck up on me this year.

    Going to add, the new Porsche 911 is loaded for bear and has Ferrari and Aston in its sites.
    Me thinks a Ferrari class win is going to be harder than ever this year.
    wow 2 or less hours, jealous. Sebring hard bumpy track, long hard race, hope Risi can get podium or even win with Vettes and the rest runs into problems. Be long hard season.
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  17. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    So Prodrives Richards is at Aston aey? No wonder they r running so well. Everything theyve done has been fast and to the highest degree of quality. They will be hard to beat.
    N Im in no rush to see the 488 in competition..it'll have its time.
    Dave Richards is Prodrive, and I think Prodrive bought a controlling interest in Aston Martin in '07 or '08...
    "Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting."
    - Steve McQueen



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    2nd in GTLM..3rd or is that 4th in GTD Only the Vette got us in GTLM..Rats.. Good run though...

    1. Barbosa/Fittipaldi/Bourdais USA Action Express Chevrolet DP 340 laps P
    2. Taylor/Taylor/Angelelli USA Wayne Taylor Corvette DP 339 laps P
    3. Westbrook/Valiante/Rockenfeller USA VisitFlorida Racing Riley Ford DP 339 laps P
    4. Dixon/Hand/Pruett USA Chip Ganassi Riley Ford DP 339 laps P
    5. Curran/Cameron/Papis USA Action Express Racing DP 338 laps P
    6. Guasch/Kimber-S/Palmer USA PR1 Mathiasen Oreca 334 laps PC
    7. Bennett/Braun/Wilkins/Gue USA CORE Autosport Oreca 334 laps PC
    8. Krohn/Pla/Jonsson USA Krohn Ligier Judd 334 laps P
    9. French/Mee/Daly USA Performance Tech Oreca 333 laps PC
    10. Magnussen/Garcia/Briscoe USA Corvette Racing C7.R 330 laps GTLM
    11. Kaffer/Fisichella/Bertolini ITA Risi Ferrari 458 Italia 330 laps GTLM
    12. Henzler/Sellers/Long GER Falken Tire Porsche 991 RSR 329 laps GTLM
    13. Edwards/Luhr/Klingmann GER BMW Team RLL 329 laps GTLM
    14. Tandy/Pilet/Lietz GER Porsche NA 911 RSR 328 laps GTLM
    15. James/Farnbacher/Riberas USA Alex Job Porsche 911 GT 318 laps GTD
    16. Neilsen/Davison/Davis GBR TRG Aston Martin V12 Vantage 318 laps GTD
    17. Turner/Lamy/Lauda/Dalla Lana GBR Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 318 laps GTLM
    18. Sweedler/Bell/Lazzarol ITA Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia 318 laps GTD
    19. Carter/Keating/Goossens/Lawrence USA Riley Dodge Viper SRT 317 laps GTD
    20. Haase/Miller/v Moltke USA Paul Miller Audi R8 317 laps GTD
    21. Bergmeister/Bamber/Makowiecki GER Porsche NA 911 RSR 317laps GTLM
    22. Auberlen/Werner/Farfus/Spengler GER BMW Team RLL 317 laps GTLM
    23. Snow/Heylen/Valverde USA Wright Porsche 911 GT 316 laps GTD
    24. MacNeil/Keen/Davis USA Alex Job Porsche 911 GT 316 laps GTD
    25. Priaulx/Paltalla/Marsal/Said USA Turner BMW Z4 315 laps GTD
    26. Keating/Bleekemolen/Bleekemolen USA Riley Dodge Viper SRT 314 laps GTD
    27. Pace/DeFoor/Hinton/Schroeder USA Highway to Help Riley BMW DP 309 laps P
    28. Perazzini/Cioci/Aguas/Potolicchio ITA AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia 308 laps GTD
    29. Miller/Golkhberg/Kraut/Mitchell USA JDC Miller Oreca 290 laps PC
    30. Schultis/vd Zande/Hedlund USA Starworks Oreca 280 laps PC
    31. Cumming/Junqueira/Menezes USA RSR Oreca 267 laps PC
    32. Gavin/Milner/Pagenaud USA Corvette Racing C7.R 264 laps GTLM
    33. Brown/Van Overbeek/Fogarty USA ESM HPD ARX-04b 211 laps P
    34. Drunmwright/Drissi/Cheng/Plowman USA BAR1 Motorsport Oreca 194 laps PC
    35. Potter/Lally/Seefried USA Magnus Porsche 911 GT 179 laps GTD
    36. Sharp/Dalziel/Heinemeier-Hansson USA ESM HPD ARX-04b 162 laps P
    37. Lindsey/Pumpelly/Norman USA Park Place Porsche 911 GT 155 laps GTD
    38. Bomarito/Nunez/Tremblay/Hinchcliffe USA SpeedSource Mazda 111 laps P
    39. Miller/Long/Devlin/Tremblay USA SpeedSource Mazda 104 laps P
    40. Faulkner/Giermaziak/Skeen/Butcher USA GB Autosport Porsche 911 GT 97 laps GTD
    41. Rojas/Meyrick/Legge USA DeltaWing Racing 60 laps P
    42. Pew/Negri/Wilson USA Michael Shank Ligier Honda 46 laps P
    43. Holzer/Thome/Thompson USA Flying Lizard Audi R8 23 laps GTD
    44. Hartley/Mayer USA Starworks Riley DP 0 laps P
    45. De Phillippi/Trebing USA Muehlner Porsche 911 GT 0 laps GTD

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    podium at Sebring. Im watching race now, caught first 3-4 hours but family came round last night, drink and chinese food, fell asleep after they went and Gemma went bed. So got to catch up now.

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    btw: the 2015 LMP1 from Audi looks like a hell of a machine ... wow ...
    "If I was driving for Red Bull [from 2008] probably I would have more championships, but because they were dominating between 2010 and 2014 probably I would never have driven for Ferrari. I am very happy and very proud to drive for Ferrari, all my time there.

  21. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post


    podium at Sebring. Im watching race now, caught first 3-4 hours but family came round last night, drink and chinese food, fell asleep after they went and Gemma went bed. So got to catch up now.

    http://i61.tinypic.com/34oodgz.jpg
    Maurizio Arrivabene fanpage:www.facebook.com/maurizioarrivabene

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    INFO PRESSE / PRESS INFORMATION
    Le Castellet, 24 mars 2015 - March 24th 2015
    Live TV Coverage on Motors TV, BT Sport and TV2 for ELMS in 2015

    The European Le Mans Series will receive more live coverage in 2015 as viewers in the UK, Denmark and across Europe will be able to watch the races live.

    Pan European satellite and online broadcaster Motors TV will once again broadcast the European Le Mans Series across the continent in 42 countries with live and highlights packages of all five races in 2015.

    In the UK top sports broadcaster BT Sport , which currently has 6 million subscribers via its BT TV channel and online platforms as well as being available on Sky and Virgin, has plans to air each of the four-hour races live.

    In Denmark, TV2 plan to also broadcast the ELMS races live and in full on their new TV2 Sport subscription channel which is available to over half of TV2's 2.6 million households that receive the broadcasts across Denmark.

    Gérard Neveu, CEO of the European Le Mans Series, said: “We are pleased to announce the continuation of the live broadcasts of the European Le Mans Series on Motors TV across Europe in 2015. In addition viewers in the UK and Denmark will also be able to watch all the ELMS races live on their TV on BT Sport and TV2 Sport starting with the 4 Hours of Silverstone. These agreements will provide European endurance racing fans some of the best high level coverage but we are always looking to improve and enhance the coverage of Europe's premier sportscar series. We will be making further announcements on other TV deals in the coming days.”

    In addition to the live coverage on these three important channels, there will also be the opportunity to catch the 52-minute highlight package on many TV channels in 2015; a full list of these will be available in the coming weeks ahead of the first race at Silverstone on 11 April 2015.

    You can also catch the race live on the official series website at www.europeanlemansseries.com where all five races will be streamed live in HD and uninterrupted this year.
    Last edited by Rob; 24th March 2015 at 15:46.
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    INFO PRESSE / PRESS INFORMATION
    Le Castellet, 23 mars 2015 - March 23rd 2015

    Greaves Motorsport take Top Spot in Second Test Session

    In the fading evening sunlight at the Circuit Paul Ricard the chequered flag was displayed to end the second 4-hour test session of the day with the no41 Greaves Motorsport Gibson-Nissan ...
    ...ending the session at the top of the time sheets with Jon Lancaster posting a 1m48.955 lap and 0.2s ahead of the no45 Ibanez Racing Oreca 03R-Nissan driven by Ivan Bellarosa.

    The fastest driver in the LMGTE class was Alessandro Pierguidi in the no56 AT Racing Ferrari 458 Italia with a 1m56.980 lap and 11th overall on the time sheets. The Austrian team was 0.95s ahead of the no86 Gulf Racing UK Porsche 911 RSR of Adam Carroll.

    In 13th overall was the top GTC car, the no62 AF Corse Ferrari of Francesco Castellacci set a 1m58.148, just 0.06s ahead of the no63 AF Corse Ferrari of Giorgio Roda.

    In 22nd overall the sole LMP3 Ginetta-Nissan finished the session on a 1m59.768 as the LNT Team continued to work on the set up of the brand new car.

    Session results soon available HERE
    The third and final practice session will begin at 19h00 for a two hour test into the night at the Circuit Paul Ricard.
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    Rebellion LMP1 WEC squad signs Daniel Abt and Alexandre Imperatori
    Wednesday, March 25th 2015, 10:15 GMT

    Daniel Abt and Alexandre Imperatori have joined the Rebellion Racing LMP1 squad for the 2015 World Endurance Championship.

    Abt and Imperatori, a former GP2 driver and WEC LMP2 race winner respectively, will race together in the Anglo-Swiss squad's second Rebellion-AER R-One together with team regular Dominik Kraihamer.

    They take the seats filled last year by long-time Rebellion driver Andrea Belicchi and Fabio Leimer.

    Rebellion team manager Bart Hayden said: "We welcome Alexandre and Daniel to our team.

    "We are confident that they will be positive additions and that they will help us to take the challenge to our competitors in the LMP1 field."

    Abt, who is racing in Formula E with his family's Abt Sportsline team, described the deal with Rebellion as "an enormous boost".

    Swiss Imperatori, who took two LMP2 class wins last year with the KCMG ORECA squad, said graduating to P1 had been made significant because he was doing it with a "team that does a lot to promote motorsport in our country".

    Rebellion's lead car will again be driven by Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost and Mathias Beche.

    The team is missing the opening round of the WEC at Silverstone on April 12 after a late decision to swap engines from the Toyota V8 to AER's twin-turbo V6.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/118183
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    KCMG CONFIRMS NICOLAS LAPIERRE FOR 6 HOURS OF SPA AND LE MANS

    KC Motorgroup Ltd (KCMG) has reached an agreement with Nicolas Lapierre to drive its ORECA 05 LMP2 in three of FIA World Endurance Championship’s (WEC) events this season. The French driver will join KCMG at The Prologue in Le Castellet and will be back with the team for the 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

    The 30-year-old ace is contracted as a test and reserve driver for TOYOTA Racing in WEC and contributed to the Japanese company’s manufacturers World Championship win in 2014. With TOYOTA Racing’s consent, Lapierre’s comeback in the world championship this season will witness the French driver represent KCMG alongside Richard Bradley and Matt Howson at Paul Ricard, Spa Francorchamps and La Sarthe.

    TOYOTA Racing has enjoyed a strong partnership with KCMG’s technical partner, ORECA since the beginning of its WEC project in late 2011 and today’s announcement delivers mutual benefit for all parties. Nicolas has won six WEC races for TOYOTA Racing since joining the team in the 2012 season, contributing to 10 podium finishes and a best result of third in the drivers’ World Championship in 2012.

    Recognised for his skill and tenacity as a driver, the addition of Lapierre to the Hong Kong-based squad’s line up has further reinforced the team’s campaign to challenge for WEC’s LMP2 title this season.

    Nicolas Lapierre: “I’m excited to be competing for KCMG in Spa and Le Mans. Thanks to KCMG, TOYOTA and ORECA of course. I am really keen to get back to racing again and the Prologue will be a good opportunity to become familiar with ORECA 05, which is a very promising car. I’m motivated and ready to contribute to KCMG’s Le Mans challenge this year.”

    Erich Kolb, KCMG WEC Team Manager: “After weeks of talks, we are happy to confirm that Nicolas will join us at Spa and Le Mans. Without a doubt, Nicolas is one of the most talented drivers in WEC, and KCMG would like to extend its gratitude to TOYOTA Racing for allowing him to represent us in three of WEC’s events this season. The team is looking forward to the official pre-season test at Paul Ricard next week, where Nicolas will get his first impression of the ORECA 05.”

    Paul Ip, KCMG Founder: “We are happy to finalize our line up with the announcement of Nicolas as our fourth driver. The team is pleased to have him on board this season and I’m confident that he is a great addition to the team’s assault at Spa and Le Mans. Many thanks to TOYOTA Racing for permitting Nicolas to take part in our LMP2 program this year, and to Oreca for helping facilitate this agreement.”
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  26. #236
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    ASTON MARTIN RACING EXPECTING STRONGEST YEAR YET

    Gaydon, 25 March 2015 - A record number of Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3s and V8 Vantage GT4s will contest the world’s top GT championships and events this year and - with podiums in Dubai 24 Hours, Bathurst 12 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours already recorded - the season has started strongly for the brand’s customer teams around the world.

    At the British GT Championship media day today (25 March), Aston Martin Racing’s Team Principal John Gaw stood in a paddock boasting seven Vantage GT3s and six Vantage GT4s and explained why he believes this year is set to be the most successful yet: “We have grown our customer base over the last few years and we have a record number racing in 2015, but our main aim was to attract a high caliber of teams. We believe that we have done this and this reflects in the results we are achieving already this year.”

    In order to support its customer teams, Aston Martin Racing has launched the new-for-2015 Evolution Academy, a training programme for drivers aged 16-25 who all race Aston Martins.

    In addition, Aston Martin Racing is once again supporting its customers by offering its works drivers, including the likes of Darren Turner (GB), Stefan Mücke (DE), Pedro Lamy (PT), Richie Stanaway (NZ) and Jonny Adam (GB), to strengthen driver line-ups and offer car set-up advice.

    “We believe that by developing our customers’ young drivers we are strengthening their teams,” Customer Programmes Manager Andrew Williamson explained. “Our customer teams have some of the top talent in GT racing and we are pleased to be able to offer our pool of works drivers to enhance their line-ups even further.

    “Our Vantage race cars have had great success already this year in some of the toughest endurance challenges, proving the reliability and durability of the product, and we are looking forward to supporting them throughout 2015.”

    All the cars being campaigned by Aston Martin Racing’s customer teams are derived from the sports car maker’s road-going Vantage range. Today’s Vantage line-up – comprising four distinct models using one of two advanced engines; V8 Vantage, V8 Vantage S and V12 Vantage S – represents a clear and strong link between road car and race car.

    “The Vantage GT3 is well-suited to most tracks and is designed to be easy to drive and the Vantage GT4 is unrivalled as an entry-level GT car,” concluded Williamson. “This is testament to our team of engineers, who understand what is required from each machine.”

    On home soil

    In Britain, the home of Aston Martin Racing, seven V12 Vantage GT3s and six V8 Vantage GT4s will contest the British GT Championship looking to repeat the 2013 championship and 2014 GT4 class wins recorded by partner team Beechdean AMR.

    Also in the UK, at least one Vantage GT3 and one Vantage GT4 will run in the GT Cup and Silverstone 24 Hours.

    Competing in Europe

    Wider afield, two Vantage GT3s will battle it out in the highly-competitive Blancpain Endurance Series with three already committed to take part in the centre-piece of the European-based championship, Spa 24 Hours.

    Also in Europe, new Aston Martin Racing customer team Massive Motorsport has entered a Vantage GT3 into the European Le Mans Series GTC class with ex-works driver Kristian Poulsen (DN) and there will be Vantage GT4s in 24H Series and European GT4 Series.

    Vantage GT4s will also continue to feature prominently in the Nürburgring VLN series, where customer team Mathol Racing has dominated the SP10 class for GT4 cars for several years, and as many as seven Aston Martins are regularly seen tackling the mighty Nordschleife.

    Racing in the States

    Across the Atlantic, Aston Martin Racing’s North American partner team TRG-AMR, along with supporting other teams, are once again contesting the Tudor United Sportscar Championship and Pirelli World Challenge.

    Asia and Australia

    Aston Martin Racing’s Asian partner team Craft-Bamboo Racing will once again enter GT Asia with its pair of Vantage GT3s. The team has its sights set on the championship win and is feeling confident following a third place in Bathurst 12 Hours in Australia earlier this year.

    - ENDS -
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  27. #237
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    Thanks to Stephan at Rebellion Racing for team press releases...



    REBELLION RACING UNVEIL 2015 DRIVERS LINE-UP



    REBELLION Racing have placed entries in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of REBELLION Racing has entered two Rebellion R-One AER powered LMP1 cars in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship and the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours. Today, the Swiss team is pleased to confirm its six drivers for the coming season.

    The successful driving trio of the Rebellion R-One car #12 will remain unchanged as Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld and Mathias Beche will be reunited again in 2015. Together, they won the 2014 LMP1-L Drivers Championship, being the winners at Silverstone, Spa, Le Mans (achieving fourth overall), Austin, and Shanghai.

    Nicolas Prost has been a REBELLION Racing driver since the team’s debut in LMP1 in 2009. In the FIA WEC, he has collected 14 LMP1-L class wins from 2012 to 2014 and two 4th place overall finishes at Le Mans 24 Hours. He was back-to-back winner of the Petit Le Mans in 2012 and 2013 and added an overall podium finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2013.
    Nick Heidfeld joined REBELLION Racing at the start of the 2012 season. He has secured 11 LMP1-L class wins in the FIA WEC from 2012 to 2014 and two 4th place overall finishes at Le Mans 24 Hours. He won overall at Petit Le Mans in 2013 and secured podium finishes at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Long Beach and Laguna Seca the same year in the American Le Mans Series.
    Mathias Beche was selected by REBELLION Racing in 2013 after he won the 2012 Le Mans Series LMP2 Drivers Championship. Since then, he has become a nine times LMP1-L class winner with the Swiss team and finished fourth overall at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours.

    REBELLION Racing will introduce a new driver combination for the Rebellion R-One car #13 as Dominik Kraihamer will be joined for 2015 by Alexandre Imperatori and Daniel Abt.

    Austrian driver Dominik Kraihamer joined REBELLION Racing in 2014, he had a very positive first season with the Swiss team, he secured three LMP1-L class wins at the 6 Hours of Fuji, 6 Hours of Bahrain and 6 Hours of Sao Paulo with teammates Andrea Belicchi and Fabio Leimer.

    Alexandre Imperatori and Daniel Abt are new to REBELLION Racing this year.
    Swiss driver Alexandre Imperatori’s speed is undeniable, he started his career in Asia (from Formula Renault in 2004 to Formula Nippon in 2011). In 2012, he won the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Championship. Recently he enjoyed success in LMP2 finishing third in the 2014 WEC, winner at Bahrain and Sao Paulo along with another four podiums. Alexandre already has two participations at Le Mans 24 Hours.
    German driver Daniel Abt is a talented single-seater driver aged 22 years. Daniel won the ADAC Formel Masters championship in 2009 and was runner up in German Formula 3 in 2010 and in GP3 in 2012. After two seasons in GP2, he moved last year to the new Formula E championship. 2015 will see his first start at Le Mans 24 Hours. Daniel was raised in a racing family, his father heads up ABT Sportsline and his uncle, Christian, finished 3rd at Le Mans 24 Hours just 15 years ago.

    For their eighth consecutive year in Le Mans Prototypes and fourth consecutive year in the FIA World Endurance Championship, REBELLION Racing confirmed earlier this year that the team’s Rebellion R-One LMP-1 cars will now be powered by twin-turbo engines from Advanced Engine Research (AER).
    As the decision to change to the AER P60 V6 GDI twin-turbocharged power units was made deep into the off-season, the team have informed the FIA WEC that their cars will not be ready in time for the start of the 2015 championship. The team will miss the FIA WEC Prologue at Circuit Paul Ricard and the first two rounds of the championship at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and the 6 Hours of Spa.


    Mathias Beche : “I am delighted to continue this successful collaboration with the REBELLION Racing team and am really pleased to share the car again with Nico and Nick. We are a very good trio, but I'm sure the sister car will also be very competitive. Unfortunately, the season will start later than expected, but our package should be very strong. I can’t wait to start our 2015 campaign !”

    Nick Heidfeld : “I am very happy to continue the successful relationship with REBELLION Racing. I can't wait to see how developments made over the winter will turn out and look forward to racing at some world class venues. Last year produced some lasting memories; this is why I’m looking forward to partnering up with Nico and Mathias again.”

    Nicolas Prost : “I am obviously very happy to continue with Rebellion Racing for this year which will be my seventh with the team. We have a great relationship in car 12 my team-mates Nick and Mat and our engineer James, which makes work a lot of fun. I hope our new partnership with AER can help us make a step forward and challenge the factory cars. Rebellion has proved to be the best privateer team in LMP1 in recent years, but now we want to battle with the big boys.”

    Daniel Abt : “I’m proud to be contesting the WEC with REBELLION Racing. The team is relaxed, completely professional and has an excellent reputation within the scene. This additional programme alongside Formula E is an enormous boost for me: I’ll drive a closed cockpit sportscar for the first time, share driving duties with two other team-mates and also make my debut at Le Mans in the 24 Hour race. Le Mans is an enduring motorsport legend – it’s a fabulous feeling to know that I’ll be there this year. Even though the majority of this will be new to me, as far as power and downforce is concerned my experience from GP2 will certainly help in sportscars. On top of this, I have a strong team and experienced team-mates at my side. Formula E and now WEC – this a fantastic combination which I’m really looking forward to.”

    Alexandre Imperatori : “First of all, I want to thank the REBELLION Racing team for the trust they place in me this season and I look forward to joining the team. The pleasure is all the more important that this is a Swiss team that does a lot to promote motorsport in our country at the highest level. I am very eager to start working with my new team-mates and contribute to the development of the car to get good results this season. The challenge looks interesting with the new engine and I am confident that this will help us reach a new step.”

    Dominik Kraihamer : “I'm super happy to make my second season with REBELLION Racing. Since I came to the team, I saw that everyone here does everything with 100% motivation, which is very important to move forward in the development of this, still, new car. I want to thank Rebellion Racing very much for the trust they place in me as a driver this season. It helps me mentally as well, because it is not easy to change team every year and like this we will have the opportunity to continue our development of this super challenging and important project!
    I am looking forward to getting in the car for a first test when the installation of the new engine will be completed !”

    Bart Hayden, REBELLION Racing Team Manager : “We are very pleased to confirm our driver line-up for the 2015 season and it’s nice to have a good level of continuity in our team. We have a good base of experience and speed with Nico, Nick, Mathias and Dominik who are all with us again. We welcome Alexandre and Daniel to our team, we are confident that they will be positive additions and that they will help us to take the challenge to our competitors in the LMP1 field.
    We are a little late out of the starting blocks this year, but we firmly believe that our 2015 LMP1 cars will be even more competitive, so we are looking forward to getting the cars onto the tracks soon.”



    end

    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  28. #238
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    Apr 2008
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    sorry bit late



    DOLAN & ALBUQUERQUE HEAD FOR OFFICIAL ELMS TEST AT PAUL RICARD

    Yelloly no longer part of JOTA Sport’s 2015 plans

    Simon Dolan and Filipe Albuquerque head to Southern France next week (23-24 March) hoping to clock up valuable mileage in the season opening “official test”.

    Dolan and Albuquerque will be on hand to drive the JOTA Sport Gibson 015S-Nissan having already tested at Estoril (twice) and Aragón this year.

    JOTA Sport, narrowly missed out on winning the ELMS title last year despite scoring three podiums – including one win – and four pole-positions. The British-team won the LM P2 division in last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours finishing an incredible fifth overall.

    The two-day event at Paul Ricard is likely to feature almost all of the 34 full season entries. Indeed all of the 2015 LM P2 entries are expected to be present as drivers and teams prepare for the five-race series that begins at Silverstone next month (11 April).

    However Nick Yelloly will not be joining Dolan and Albuquerque at Paul Ricard, or indeed, at anytime this season in the Gibson. The British driver who was announced earlier this month as part of JOTA’s ELMS plus Spa and Le Mans squad will not now be a part of the team’s 2015 plans unfortunately due to other commitments.

    An announcement concerning the third driver who will partner Dolan and Audi Sport “loanee” Albuquerque in the 4 Hours of Silverstone is likely next week.


    Sam Hignett. Partner, JOTA Group:

    “Paul Ricard will enable us to amass further mileage on the revised Gibson and with every lap we are learning about the car. It’s also the first time that all of this year’s LM P2 competitors will be on the same track at the same time. So at the end of the two days, we’ll have a good idea on where we are in terms of competitiveness.

    “Unfortunately Nick [Yelloly] is not now part of JOTA Sport’s 2015 plans. Since our announcement earlier this month it transpires conflicting elements and commitments mean its best we go our separate ways with immediate effect.”
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  29. #239
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    Nov 2010
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    Just saw Porsche LMP1- team will drive 3 different colors in WEC this season! Black, white and red!
    Maurizio Arrivabene fanpage:www.facebook.com/maurizioarrivabene

  30. #240
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    A NEW ERA FOR THE WORLD CHAMPIONS
    Thursday 26 March 2015

    TOYOTA Racing enters the 2015 World Endurance Championship ready to start a new era with the defence of its two titles.

    TOYOTA became the first Japanese company to win the World Championship during a very successful 2014 season, which saw Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi also win the drivers’ title.

    In a period where energy efficiency is a key performance factor, the TS040 HYBRID proved to be the class of the field, taking five wins from eight races.

    The championship-winning car has been updated for 2015, with updated aerodynamics, revised front end including crash structure and new suspension kinematics to optimize tyre usage, plus additional weight saving.

    The TS040 HYBRID will again benefit from the proven TOYOTA HYBRID System - Racing powertrain, which boasts excellent thermal efficiency and delivers a total maximum power of over 1,000PS.

    As with last season, the TS040 HYBRID will compete within the 6MJ hybrid category with enhancements, such as modifications to the super capacitor construction to increase performance.

    The team has prepared two different aerodynamic packages for this season, both of which will be tested at Paul Ricard this week. The Le Mans option is better suited to the high-speed La Sarthe track while the sprint package generates higher levels of downforce due to revisions on the rear wing, engine cover and front bodywork.

    Development began directly after last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours and the updated car was tested for the first time on 13 January at Paul Ricard. Further three-day tests at Motorland Aragon (twice) and Portimao mean the 2015 TS040 HYBRID has completed over 25,000km prior to today’s official launch.

    Inside the cockpit, the #1 TS040 HYBRID will feature World Champions Anthony and Sébastien alongside Kazuki Nakajima, who is planned to compete in a full WEC season for the first time.

    In the #2 car, Alex Wurz and Stéphane Sarrazin are joined by Mike Conway, who raced three times in 2014 in his role as test and reserve driver, winning the Six Hours of Bahrain.

    Kamui Kobayashi, who previously drove for TOYOTA in Formula 1 and finished sixth in its final Grand Prix, becomes test and reserve driver. Kamui will combine his role with a Super Formula campaign in Japan, while Nicolas steps back following three seasons in the race crew. He will be available for testing and development duties throughout the season.

    The Cologne-based team is also preparing for another change, with TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) President Yoshiaki Kinoshita returning to Japan in April as is normal practice for TOYOTA executives.

    After securing the long-term future of the WEC project, winning the World Championship and sealing a World Rally Championship return, his mission at TMG is complete and he will depart after the Six Hours of Silverstone.

    Everyone at TMG thanks Kinoshita san sincerely for his immense contribution to the company and its motorsport history.

    Toshio Sato will take over as TMG and Team President from 1 April. He returns to TMG after several years as a senior engine engineer during the F1 project and brings vast experience of hybrid technology, having previously been responsible for TOYOTA and LEXUS hybrid system development.

    As well as changes in personnel and technology, TOYOTA Racing has also adapted to revised regulations for 2015.

    Teams are now limited to a maximum of five engines per car for the entire season, although none of the team’s cars exceeded this limit in any of the previous three seasons. Additional limits apply to tyre usage, with four sets of slicks allowed during practice and six for qualifying and the race, except in Bahrain and Shanghai where eight sets are permitted, with 11 sets permitted during the Le Mans race.

    Flexibility limits have been introduced for bodywork items such as the splitter, the rear wing, diffuser and plank, while the car is now subject to added ballast when, as is the case with the #1 and #2 crews, the average driver weight is less than 80kg.

    Those new regulations will apply when the season kicks off at Silverstone on 12 April, followed by Spa-Francorchamps on 2 May. The Le Mans 24 Hours is the annual highlight on 14 June while Nürburgring (30 August) is a new addition. The eight-race campaign concludes with races in Austin (19 September), Fuji Speedway (11 October), Shanghai (1 November) and Bahrain (21 November).

    Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “Personally, I am sad to be leaving TMG and our motorsport projects, but I will watch the races very closely and support the team whenever I can. I would like to thank the whole WEC community for the support and encouragement they have given since we joined in 2012; we are proud to be part of the endurance family. It is great to see the #1 on our car this year; our target is to retain it and win the Le Mans 24 Hours. This year the challenge will be greater than ever with four LMP1 manufacturers all presenting different technical solutions. We have worked very hard to improve our TS040 HYBRID and so far the testing results are encouraging. But there is a long way to go and we are eager to see the performance of our rivals at the Prologue, but more importantly at Silverstone for the first race.”

    Hisatake Murata, General Manager, Motor Sports Unit Development Division: “We have put huge effort into upgrading the whole car, including the powertrain, where we have made improvements in most areas. This means that total maximum power is over 1,000PS and the performance of the powertrain has been considerably enhanced. Our development means we will achieve the maximum hybrid energy more consistently than last season. Therefore we fully expect to see a performance improvement from the hybrid system, especially over race distances, and at every circuit. Our 2015 upgrades are another step towards producing ever-better hybrid cars and, once again, components and techniques from the TS040 HYBRID will be utilised to improve TOYOTA road cars.”

    Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director: “The regulations have been essentially stable so there was no reason to review completely our concept, considering our performance throughout 2014. So the updated car is no revolution but it’s an evolution almost everywhere. It looks like it is from the same family; nevertheless we have redesigned roughly 80% of the parts. Again this season we will have high and low downforce packages, for the usual reason that Le Mans has very different requirements compared to most other tracks. The current regulations favour more subtle changes between these packages to keep the drag reasonably low, such as modifications to the rear wing, engine cover and front end. So far we are satisfied with our progress during the ‘one-car race’ that is testing. Now we have a few weeks remaining to get ready for the serious business of racing.”

    Anthony Davidson (#1 TS040 HYBRID): “Having the #1 on the car is really great and we want to defend that. It was a great feeling to win the championship last year but there was one big race missing and that was Le Mans. From the team’s point of view as well as from me personally, the goal is to win the big one in June. We know the competition is going to be strong so I hope we will have a little more luck than we had last year; you always need some luck at Le Mans. The regulations are in their second year so the updated car has been a natural progression in most areas. The initial feeling is positive and now the important thing to do is keep improving and leave nothing to chance.”

    Sébastien Buemi (#1 TS040 HYBRID): “It’s always nice to start the season with the #1 on the car; that shows that we have achieved something good last year. We want to win as many races as possible but my main focus for this year is definitely to win Le Mans, which also helps a lot to win the World Championship because of the double points. We obviously already had a great car last year so the idea was not to completely change it; it’s more an evolution. It feels like it’s just a bit better everywhere, which helps you to improve the lap times. Let’s hope what we’ve done will be enough to stay in front.”

    Kazuki Nakajima (#1 TS040 HYBRID): “It’s great to be racing in WEC for the complete season for the first time; I missed the team spirit and the competition when I’ve been watching some races on TV these last few years. So I can’t wait to get started at Silverstone. It will be fun to drive with Anthony and Sébastien this year, although it doesn’t feel like we have separate car crews as such; we are one big team with the same targets. This year, like last, we are all aiming for the top and I hope to keep hold of the #1 plate; it looks nice on the car. So far the updated car feels good so I am feeling confident, but there is still plenty of work to do so we are prepared in the best possible way.”

    Alex Wurz (#2 TS040 HYBRID): “I start this new season full of hope. We won the World Championship as a team last year and the target is to top it up with the Le Mans victory this year. I really need to win it for a third time to be happy. We already had our first tests with the updated car and we are setting faster lap times than in 2014, with improved reliability. From that point of view all is positive. Of course we are very aware of the competitors working extremely hard as well but in general it’s a cool time to be in endurance racing. There’s a lot of development going on with amazing technologies so let’s hope that we’ve done a better homework than the others.”

    Stéphane Sarrazin (#2 TS040 HYBRID): “We had an amazing season in 2014 and of course we want to have an even better season this year. We’ve already improved the car; the tests we did were really good. I feel very comfortable with the revised car and I think we can push a lot. The team did an incredible job with the updates so I think we’ll be strong again. We know to expect a tough challenge from the other manufacturers so we have to work hard and concentrate lot on our job. We need to give our best; the drivers, the engineers, the mechanics, all of us and then I’m sure we can have a good season. With our great team spirit, we can be strong again.”

    Mike Conway (#2 TS040 HYBRID): “To be racing for the World Champions is very exciting for me and I’m sure we have a good shot at retaining the title this year so I’m looking forward to it. It’s good to continue with Alex and Stéphane as I think we learn a lot from each other; we push each other and get the best out of our package. My target this year is certainly to win more races, as I did for the first time last year in Bahrain, and of course everyone is looking towards the big one; Le Mans. It’s hard to tell where the competition is but I think we’re looking good with the 2015-spec TS040 HYBRID and I’m excited to go to the first race.”

    Kamui Kobayashi (Test and Reserve Driver): “It’s great to be back with TOYOTA and I am grateful to the team for giving me this chance. I know many of the team members from my time with TOYOTA in Formula 1 so this feels like I am coming home. I have already tested the TS040 HYBRID and it is impressive; the hybrid technology is really advanced. It’s another important year for the team so I am looking forward to building a strong working relationship with everyone and contributing to the development of the car.”

    TS040 HYBRID Technical Specifications

    Type Le Mans Prototype (LMP1)
    Bodywork Carbon fibre composite
    Windscreen Polycarbonate
    Gearbox Transversal with 7 gears sequential
    Gearbox casing Aluminium
    Driveshafts Constant velocity tripod plunge-joint driveshafts
    Clutch ZF-supplied multidisc
    Differential Viscous mechanical locking differential
    Suspension Independent front and rear double wishbone, pushrod-system
    Springs Torsion bars
    Anti roll bars Front and rear
    Steering Hydraulically assisted
    Brakes Dual circuit hydraulic braking system, mono-block light-alloy brake calipers front and rear
    Discs Ventilated front and rear in carbon
    Rims RAYS magnesium forged wheels
    Front rims 13 x 18 inch
    Rear rims 13 x 18 inch
    Tyres Michelin radial
    Front tyres 31/71-18
    Rear tyres 31/71-18
    Length 4650mm
    Width 1900mm
    Height 1050mm
    Fuel capacity 68.5 litres
    Powertrain TOYOTA HYBRID System - Racing (THS-R)
    Engine 90° V8 normally aspirated engine
    Engine capacity 3.7litre
    Fuel Petrol
    Valves 4
    Overall max. power Over 1,000PS (engine and hybrid)
    Capacitor NISSHINBO
    Front hybrid motor AISIN AW
    Rear hybrid motor DENSO
    Inverter DENSO


    About TOYOTA Racing in the World Endurance Championship:
    TOYOTA first competed in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing. Since 1985, TOYOTA cars have raced in 16 Le Mans 24 Hours races, achieving a best result of second place on four occasions (1992, 1994, 1999 and 2013). TOYOTA entered the revived WEC in 2012, as TOYOTA Racing, with its first hybrid LMP1 car, the TS030 HYBRID, which won five of the 14 races it entered over two seasons. It was succeeded in 2014 by the 1,000PS, four-wheel-drive TS040 HYBRID, which won its debut race and subsequently the 2014 drivers' and manufacturers' World Championships. They were designed and built by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG), where the race team is based. TMG is the former home of TOYOTA's World Rally and Formula 1 works teams, and was responsible for design and operation of TOYOTA's TS020 Le Mans car in 1998-99. TMG now combines motorsport participation with work as a high-performance engineering services provider to third party companies, as well as the TOYOTA family.
    www.toyotahybridracing.com / www.toyota-motorsport.com / www.facebook.com/toyotamotorsport / @Toyota_Hybrid
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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