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Thread: 2016 WEC, IWTSC, ELMS thread.

  1. #271
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    The FIA World Endurance Championship had a successful Prologue at the Paul Ricard circuit. Six GTE-Pro cars entered the event representing Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche.

    The two AF Corse run Ferrari 488 GTEs were the quickest all weekend long. Factory drivers Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado were the fastest behind the wheel of the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE. They set the best time of the weekend, 1:57.808 in the opening test session on Friday.

    The sister car from AF Corse was second fastest in class with Davide Rigon and Sam Bird. The best time of the #71 Ferrari 488 GTE was 1:58.083.

    The two factory Ford GTs from Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK performed at the French track. Olivier Pla, Stefan Mücke and Billy Johnson were third with a best time of 1:58.525 with their #66 Ford GT.

    Their team-mates Harry Tincknell, Marino Franchitti and Andy Priaulx were fourth sharing the #67 Ford GT with a time of 1:58.697.

    The lone Aston Martin Vantage GTE from Aston Martin Racing was fifth fastest with a best time of 2:00.298. The #98 AMR used Dunlop tires and was driven by Jonny Adam, Fernando Rees and Marco Sørensen.

    The semi-works #77 Porsche 911 RSR from Dempsey Proton Racing was sixth with a best time of 2:04.305. The car was driven at the Paul Ricard tests by Christian Ried.
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    what a beauty.
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    Toyota closer but "not close enough" to Porsche - Davidson

    Toyota LMP1 driver Anthony Davidson feels the Japanese manufacturer is still not on the same level as reigning WEC champion Porsche, despite having made huge progress in the off-season.

    In the WEC Prologue test at Paul Ricard, the new Toyota TS050 recorded a best lap of 1m38.273s courtesy of Stephane Sarrazin.

    That lap placed Toyota ahead of Audi and just eight tenths off Porsche after a 2015 campaign where it was well adrift of the two German manufacturers.

    Speaking to Motorsport.com, Davidson said: "We’re already closer [to Porsche] than where we were this time last year, but it’s not quite close enough, it feels.

    "We can only really go by the laptimes that we see and the odd glimpse that you have of their car on the track, but most of the time, when you see them on the circuit, you are running tyres that are on different life. And it’s easy to jump to conclusions.

    "We had consistently the fastest middle sector and that proves that our straightline speed is good and that the way that we get there is good. That’s one area we massively struggled last year. We were losing a second in the straight line last year here and now we’re the ones setting the pace in that sector.

    "And it just feels like a much more efficient car than last year’s as well, aerodynamically. So who knows? Maybe we’ll be right there."

    Meanwhile, Davidson's #5 TS050 teammate Sebastien Buemi said: "It's the first time we've been able to kind of see where we are.

    "Clearly, we know we won't know here whether we're competitive, but we're definitely more competitive than last year."

    Porsche in prime position

    When talking about Toyota's LMP1 rivals, Davidson concurred that Porsche is likely to be the team to beat.

    "Porsche is strong again," he said. "They are the ones with the target on their back. Everybody is trying to hunt them down and be on par with them.

    "Porsche's got the experience of their package, of their powertrain. All they’ve done is honed it this year - and there’s a lot to be said for that.

    "They were already at the 8MJ category, they’re gonna hone that. They already had the recovery system working properly, that’s going to be refined. It allows them to work on things that are still a problem for, say, us and Audi. It allows them to work on things that they’ve ironed out and we’re still working on.

    "So yeah, they’ve made another step going into this year, like you would’ve imagined they would have. It’s up to everyone else to try and catch them and bridge that gap."

    http://www.motorsport.com/wec/news/t...vidson-682467/
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    Lotterer: "The new Audi is one of the biggest steps we've made"

    Audi sportscar ace Andre Lotterer speaks to Motorsport.com about the advances the German manufacturer has made with its latest LMP1 contender for this year's World Endurance Championship.


    Once the dominant force of sportscar racing, Audi was left to lick its wounds last year as sister marque Porsche swept the board in the WEC, taking victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours and both titles at the end of the season.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9sHogu1rDE
    The Ingolstadt marque has therefore gone back to the drawing board for 2016, with the latest iteration of its R18 e-tron quattro making its public debut last weekend at Paul Ricard for the WEC Prologue.

    Andre Lotterer took time out of his busy testing schedule to speak to Motorsport.com about his first impressions of the new machine and what the new season could hold.

    What has Audi learned at the Prologue?

    "It's a continuous process with a new car. We tested it a bit last year already, did some roll-outs to learn a little bit about it. Everything is new so we're starting from… not zero, but from an initial level.

    "Every test has been an improvement, including here. Now we're at a decent level, but [as we run] we keep on learning about the systems and improve."

    Will you be using three different aero kits?

    "Yeah, it makes sense. You need one for Le Mans with less drag, then you need a high and a medium downforce version. You can no longer do the whole season with just two packages or one like we used to do."

    How has intensity of development race increased?

    "I started at Audi back in 2010 with the Audi R15, which already was a step forward from the R10 as we went from a V12 to a V10 TDI [diesel], still open-cockpit. There was a lot of development on the aero side.

    "But the bigger step was the first R18 [in 2012] with a closed cockpit and a V6. In a short space of time you could see more development in the past three or four years, especially in aerodynamics and efficiency, than maybe the last 10 years before 2010.

    "When the hybrid technology came in, that was a big step. Racing those cars was already very exciting, but then you add four-wheel drive, which brings up a whole new world of complications… how you approach the corner, how you brake, how it changes your driving style.

    "This has had an impact on the development, and it's still ongoing. We're at around 1,000bhp when both systems are working together, and how fast you can accelerate is pretty impressive, especially from speeds of around 120kph to your maximum speed, which takes almost no time."

    Where does this year-on-year step rate?

    "It's a major step, under the skin there have been a lot of changes. We've shifted towards a more hydraulic-based system instead of the electronic components we used before, which is a whole new world for the engineers.

    "Then there's the lithium-ion batteries and the power with the MGU… for sure it's one of the biggest steps we've done in terms of year-on-year development.

    "When the first hybrid came out in 2012, it was a flywheel, which we used until last year. We upgraded it, and it became more powerful, but it was a more familiar technology compared to what we have now."

    What are your laptime expectations, bearing in mind the restrictions on energy usage?

    "People want to make us slower, we don't like it so much but it's the way it goes and they want to keep things safe... it will be pretty similar, because it's quite a big step backwards - but then the step we made from '14 to '15 with basically the same rules and no adjustments was around five seconds.

    "So there we could understand how much potential there is in the rules, and still it was not the top end of it, because if you see Porsche and the 8MJ [sub-class], there was more power available. So if you put both worlds together, I think it was possible to even go faster.

    "We should be able to manage to have similar laptimes [this year]. It will depend on the tracks - maybe some we could even be slightly faster. It's hard to say now, it's still new so it can't be judged but we should be around the same speed, which is quite an impressive achievement due to the restrictions."

    Are you looking forward to racing in Mexico City?

    "I drove there back in 2002, the last round of CART. I was a test driver for Jaguar in F1, and I had the opportunity to do that race and hopefully move to race in the States.

    "But that was the year the manufacturers stop supporting CART and moved over to IRL, and I didn't feel like doing ovals and I went to Japan.

    "I have great memories of racing there, lots of enthusiastic fans, like 150,000 people on race day going nuts. So I'm really looking forward to going back to Mexico, and I'm sure the event will be successful."

    If you could add another race to the WEC calendar, what would you choose?

    "Sebring would be nice… especially as I haven't won it and I would like to! It's a classic race with a lot of enthusiastic people supporting it, and a great atmosphere, so it's not only the track – which I love to drive, it's very challenging and demanding.

    "It's important to go to places that can build sportscar racing's popularity, and reward the faithful fans."
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    "Hard to balance" Le Mans and WEC title ambitions - Davidson

    Toyota driver Anthony Davidson says the teams of the World Endurance Championship are faced with a difficult choice between focussing on their title chances or their shot at winning the Le Mans 24 Hours.

    Le Mans is the marquee event of the WEC calendar, the prestigious race awarding double points towards the championship standings.

    And Davidson notes that the race's special status, combined with the special, straight-heavy layout of the track, present teams with a difficult choice of focus.

    "The thing with Le Mans is, it is that standalone event," Davidson told Motorsport.com.

    "But unfortunately in some ways, it’s the biggest race of the season and that means that standalone event takes up most of your time throughout the whole year, even though the championship is a bigger affair.

    "It’s hard to balance the two, really, because you could spend all of your time purely dedicated to Le Mans in the windtunnel and have a bad package for the sprint races for the whole rest of the season, and completely throw away your chances of being competitive in the championship."

    "If Monza was quadruple points"

    Davidson compared the specific demands of Circuit de la Sarthe to Formula 1's Italian Grand Prix venue Monza, saying: "Trying to balance all of that with limited windtunnel time is tough in the same way that F1 teams have to consider Monza on the calendar. You can’t just ignore it.

    "But if Monza was suddenly double points for the season, or even quadruple points because they got a much longer spread in the calendar, you would find teams having to spend more time in the windtunnel for that one race. And that’s the kind of situation we’re in with sportscars.

    "Even though it’s one of nine events, with the double points in percentage terms for the championship, it’s a huge percentage. And then you got the accolade on top that goes with it, of winning such a prestigious race, which if you do win it, you can just pin your year on that one race.

    "You could, if you wanted to, sacrifice all of it for that one race."

    Le Mans the big focus for Toyota

    Since its works return to the highest level of endurance racing, Toyota has conquered both the drivers' and the teams' title in WEC in 2014, the former with Davidson and Sebastien Buemi.

    However, the Japanese marque has never won the Le Mans 24 Hours - and it's dedicated most of its running in the recent WEC Prologue at Paul Ricard to the Le Mans aero package.

    Says Davidson: "Just because we ran the package a lot, doesn’t mean that we’re purely focusing on Le Mans.

    "But in terms of what race would we like to win, if there is one race or one thing that we want to come away with this year it has to be Le Mans, because we’ve already won the championship in the past."
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    Merhi completes Manor's WEC line-up

    Roberto Merhi has completed the Manor team's line-up for the upcoming World Endurance Championship.

    The Spaniard, who competed with Manor Racing in Formula 1 last year, will now drive for the team set up by the former chiefs of the F1 squad John Booth and Graeme Lowdon.

    Merhi was left without a drive in F1 for this year after Manor hired Indonesian Rio Haryanto to join Pascal Wehrlein, but will now join his former F1 teammate Will Stevens at Manor in the WEC.

    The 25-year-old will drive one of the two ORECA 05 LMP2 cars the team will field this year.

    "I'm really excited to be part of this new exciting chapter with Manor," Merhi said. "It is a great opportunity to work with Graeme, John and the team again.

    "This is my first time at endurance racing, LMP2 is a very strong championship and I am looking forward to getting into the ORECA 05 LMP2 and seeing what we can all achieve together."

    "It is great to welcome Roberto back to Manor," Booth added. "Roberto is a talented driver with plenty of speed and experience.

    "I know that he will fit in straight away having worked with many of the team before and also been a team mate to Will Stevens last year."
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    Senna gunning for Le Mans victory against "tough" LMP2 class

    RGR Sport by Morand driver Bruno Senna is still confident of the team's chances for Le Mans and WEC top honours - although he admits the goal is appearing "harder and harder" to achieve as the season approaches.

    Senna will drive the #43 Ligier JS P2 with team owner Ricardo Gonzalez and Filipe Albuquerque, battling against 10 other full-time WEC entries in the LMP2 class.

    “We started with the goal of winning races, Le Mans and the championship - and that job became harder and harder as time went on,” said Senna to Motorsport.com during the WEC Prologue at Paul Ricard.

    “And now it’s really, really hard with so many cars with a good chance to win, really amazing drivers throughout the field - so yeah, it’s going to be tough.

    “But we believe in the team we put together and so I think we should always be fighting for the top three, and hopefully we can get some race wins, especially Le Mans."

    Open fight

    Talking about RGR Sport's rivals, Senna said he expects the Ligier JS P2 car of Extreme Speed Motorsports to run at a similar pace - and noted he is wary of the Orecas and the SMP'S BR01 machines.

    “Ours is just the car that #31 run [ESM’s Ligier JS P2], they have some very fast drivers, they have the same car, so they have the same potential as us,” he said.

    “Obviously, we saw the Orecas going very well in many different situations, so I think it is going to be pretty tough.

    “We don’t know where the Russians [SMP] are yet, because it’s a new car, everything with the Dunlops, so there’s a lot of doubt about where the limit of that one is - but again they have a good driver line-up, so should be a big challenge for everybody.”

    Great grip in corners

    With less than a month left until the season-opening 6 Hours of Silverstone, Senna was happy with the pace the #43 showed in the WEC Prologue test at Paul Ricard.

    The team's Ligier placed fifth among the LMP2 challengers in the combined testing classification, its best lap coming from Senna in the final session.

    “It’s fantastic, we have good grip in the technical corners and it just gave me a great feeling, the car is really nice to drive,” Senna said.

    Ending the streak of misfortune at Le Mans

    Looking ahead at the big-ticket event – the 24 Hours of Le Mans - Senna is hoping that he can finally finish at the front this year after coming up short thrice in his career.

    The Brazilian made his Le Mans debut back in 2009 in the LMP1 category with Team Oreca-Matmut AIM, the car managing only 219 laps.

    He came back in 2013 and 2014 with Aston Martin Racing in the GTE Pro category, retiring in the former year and finishing sixth in class in the latter year, albeit a full 29 laps down on the class leader.

    “I had a two very close calls of being on the podium or winning Le Mans for two years in a row, unfortunately they got cut short,” he said.

    “At the moment Le Mans is my enemy but I want to make it my friend. If we get on the podium, I’ll be very happy.

    “Le Mans is the race so far I haven’t managed to finish [at the front], for one reason or another, and I hope that we break this duck this year with a great podium and a win."
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    Fantastic images and a lot of reading, Rob, pure dedication on your part! Grazie mille for your efforts.

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    I had a pretty intense test session here at Paul Richard.

    Everything was perfect, even if we know all the competitors are careful to stay in the shadow in this occasion, before the big start at Silverstone.

    Anyway I had the chance to try our 488, which is important for the Championship. I have pretty good feeling with my new teammate Sam Bird, we have much work to do together, but that’s was a good start.

    I’m happy to work again with the team AF CORSE to get back our good feeling, thanks to this test.

    So guys, see you at Silverstone!

    http://www.daviderigon.it/en/fia-wec-prologo/
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    ANTHONY DAVIDSON ON SILVERSTONE AND THE NEW TOYOTA TS050 HYBRID

    Following what can only be described as a ‘difficult’ season for Toyota in 2015, the Oxfordshire-based 2014 World Endurance Champion heads to Silverstone with an all-new LMP1 car, with almost every component changed from the previous TS040.

    The Toyota TS050 HYBRID features a new V6 turbo engine and an updated transmission to deal with the increased torque generated by the new engine unit. As his Toyota Gazoo Racing bosses noted at the car’s launch at The Prologue on 24th March, theprogress rate in the WEC recently has been rapid and Toyota could not afford to have any area of the package which was not fully optimised. The TS050 HYBRID has been developed on that basis – to be competitive and to get the Japanese marque back to its 2014 winning ways.

    Sharing the car with Swiss Sébastien Buemi and Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson can’t wait to get out on track and see how his new challenger measures up against the opposition.

    “It’s always a challenge to start with your home race first, there’s big pressure,” he reflects. “There’s been a lot of work done over the winter but you never know where you’re going to be when you arrive at Silverstone. It’s exciting to see how you fare against the competition and it’s exciting times, not just for us drivers but for the teams and all the fans as well.

    “There is zero compromise in the way you drive these cars, it’s flat out racing from start to finish. It is six hours but it feels like 24! You’re dead at the end of the race with how much you’re pushing, you’re sweating, you’re relieved when your double stint is over, and then the next guy gets in, does exactly the same again followed by the third guy. If you’ve got the winning recipe at the end of it the elation is massive.

    “You’re so physically drained, mentally drained from the challenge, and you are overtaking at least on average five cars per lap and that goes on and on; this type of racing is relentless. You only have to take a look at one of the on-board shots from the cars to realise what goes on in these cars. I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it!”
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    A driver’s work is never done, it seems. Aside from demonstrating their talents on track in the FIA WEC this year, de-briefs and strategy meetings with team bosses and engineers, there is always plenty of PR and marketing work to be done.

    At the recent Prologue, the drivers all had to present themselves to a studio for ‘head shots’ to be used by the WEC marketing and TV people this year.

    WEC Next Top Model anyone?


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    week and a half left till Silverstone.
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    Calado: I no longer think or care about single-seaters

    Former GP2 star James Calado says he no longer "thinks or cares" about formula racing now that he has a Ferrari GT factory drive in the World Endurance Championship.

    Former Force India reserve Calado, who was runner-up to teammate Valtteri Bottas in GP3 in 2011 and then took fifth and third in GP2 in the two subsequent seasons, joined Ferrari's WEC stable in 2014.

    In two seasons, he has stood on the WEC GTE Pro class podium on 10 occasions, albeit is yet to ascent the top step.

    "My full focus is on GT racing now," Calado told Motorsport.com. "I don’t even think about or care about single-seaters any more.

    "I love being at Ferrari, and I hope we can continue together in the future. When you’re put with someone like Gimmi [Bruni, teammate in the #51], the priority has to be Ferrari, and that’s it.

    "A lot of [WEC] drivers do Formula E, from what I hear it pays well, but it’s not really something that interests me right now. All I’m thinking about is winning the WEC, and hopefully more than once."

    Chuffed to race alongside Bruni

    Calado partnered Davide Rigon over the past two seasons in WEC, but will race the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE alongside Gianmaria Bruni, widely regarded as the benchmark driver in the class.

    "He’s a superb driver and I’m lucky to get the chance to drive alongside him," Calado said of three-time WEC champion Bruni.

    "He’s been training me to be the same belt size as him – over Christmas I lost four kilograms!

    "We like a similar set-up and we’re a similar size, which is important because the seats don’t move forward and back, so that makes driver changes much easier. I don’t see why we can’t do well this year if reliability goes our way."

    Calado added: “I think I did a really good job last year, especially compared to my first year. I was fast and consistent and I showed I was capable of driving alongside someone like Gimmi.

    "We’ve now got Sam [Bird, in the sister #71 car], so I hope he can push us as well – a bit of competition is nice, it makes you go quicker."
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    PETROV FITS STRAIGHT IN TO WEC FAMILY

    One of the high profile additions to the WEC paddock this season is former F1 racer Vitaly Petrov. The 31 year-old has joined his countrymen at the SMP Racing squad to form an all-Russian line-up with Victor Shaytar and Kiril Ladygin.

    “So far it is quite good for us and the team has done a good job with the new BR01 car and we have made quite a lot of testing,” said Petrov. “Still though we have not opened the full potential (of the BR01) at the moment, but we are positive within the team. It will be a tough and interesting year in LMP2 with some very hard competition, but this is good to race against a level like this.”

    The operational aspect of endurance racing will not be new for Petrov and he has become completely re-engaged with having to share a car with team mates during pre-season testing.

    “Splitting the time in the car with all three drivers is not a new thing for me because I did Le Mans in 2007 (in a Noel Del Bello Courage), so working together as one team is okay, and actually I really enjoy this.”

    Petrov, who competed in 57 Grands Prix for Renault and Caterham, has fitted in instantly to the WEC paddock and is delighted to be part of the championship in 2016.

    “The WEC is getting bigger and more popular all the time and I am very happy to be in this championship,” said the Russian. “We can see a high quality of drivers in the championship now and it is good to come here and see some familiar faces from my F1 days.

    “For sure it is important for everyone to have a big Russian flag behind the project, so I hope we can do a good job this year and fly that flag proudly all season with some good results.”

    For Petrov, a year on the sidelines in 2015 was worth the temporary frustration as he decided his future.

    “For me it was important last year when I wasn’t racing, to look around and see what was happening in racing, this is why I didn’t compete in 2015, because I wanted to stand back and see what the future might bring,” continued Petrov. “In the SMP Racing team I can see a good future with big plans. It is a great team and they have big ambition. Today we concentrate on the LMP2 championship and we see what plans there are in the future.”
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    Well, 1 week to go

    hope all this rain clears away by then. I did check long range forecast during week, and yes, it said rain. Hope not.
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    Great write up on Calado, got a good chuckle on the "he's been training me" line, very smart though!
    Forza Ferrari !
    "You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well." - Juan Manuel Fangio

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    Quote Originally Posted by abbottcostello View Post
    Great write up on Calado, got a good chuckle on the "he's been training me" line, very smart though!


    James been out with Gimmi in Monaco doing, alot, and i mean alot of cycling. The other day, James done over 100kms on in one day. And i know they been pushing hard in gym aswell. Low weight, high reps stuff, resistance training, circuits etc etc. Get the core and muscles up to good strength for endurance. As said to Gimmi, train hard, race hard.
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    Manor WEC, Paul Ricard test 2016

    The new Manor sportscar squad shook down its second ORECA chassis at Rockingham on Thursday ahead of its debut in next weekend's World Endurance Championship round at Silverstone.

    The team's first ORECA-Nissan 05 LMP2 machine ran during the pre-season WEC test at Paul Ricard last month (ABOVE), but the second was not ready to hit the track until this week. The crew of the #45 car - Richard Bradley, Matt Rao and Roberto Merhi - all drove during the private session; the first time the Spaniard has had the chance to sample an ORECA.

    "It was wet pretty much the whole day, but at least it has given the guys some experience and they got a fair bit of running in," sporting director Graeme Lowdon told Autosport.

    "We ran mainly on wets and intermediates because of the weather, but the long-range weather forecast is unclear so from a team point of view it was useful. We got dry running at the prologue test and now we got experience in the wet with the other car. So in a very short space of time, we are at least going into the first race with a bit of experience of all the different conditions."

    Lowdon is confident the new team, which is entirely independent of the Manor Formula 1 operation that neither he nor team principal John Booth have any involvement with, will be ready for the Silverstone race. But he accepts the team is still learning about how to get the best out of the ORECA with just three full days of pre-season running under its belt.

    "We have to view Silverstone purely as a learning experience," he said. "Of course, it's a race and we will treat it with the respect it deserves and will be pushing hard but we'll be learning an awful lot at the same time.

    "It's a different sort of challenge to when you are building your own car, so we would hope to be able to get to grips with the racing as quickly as we possibly can, but it's a question of how quickly we can do that."
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  26. #296
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    Q&A: THE 2017 DAYTONA PROTOTYPE INTERNATIONAL (DPI) CONCEPT

    The Daytona Prototype international (DPi) will make its competition debut in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona next January. All DPi cars will use the same chassis, suspension and many other components as LM P2 cars competing in championships governed by Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) technical regulations, such as the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) World Endurance Championship.

    Below are answers to a number of frequently asked questions regarding the differences and common elements of the DPi and LM P2 specifications, car eligibility and technical details:

    Q. What is exactly an IMSA DPi car?

    A. A 2017 IMSA DPi car is a standard ACO/FIA homologated 2017 LM P2 Prototype chassis from one of the four approved constructors (Dallara, Onroak Automotive, ORECA or Riley/Multimatic) fitted with IMSA-homologated, manufacturer-designed and branded bodywork and engines. Each participating DPi manufacturer must partner with one of the four approved constructors and commit to a bodywork and engine package.

    Q. How is this different from the standard 2017 LM P2 car?

    A. The standard ACO/FIA homologated 2017 LM P2 car must use each constructor’s specific bodywork (and at Le Mans, the “low downforce” bodywork kit version is required) with no modifications and a Gibson V8 engine with a standard-specification Cosworth electronics package controlling car systems and engine management.

    For DPi cars, IMSA has defined specific areas of the bodywork regulations to allow manufacturers design and stylistic freedom to create recognition of their specific brands. These areas include the nose and sidepod areas, rear-wheel arch and rear valance. Manufacturers will use this stylized package in conjunction with their eligible specific engine and electronic systems. However, the expanded bodywork freedom will not create a situation of confusion in identification between DPi cars and GT cars.

    Q. What cars are eligible in the 2017 WeatherTech Championship Prototype class?

    A. DPi cars, 2017 LM P2 cars and closed-cockpit 2016 LM P2 cars with IMSA-homologated engines will be eligible. After the 2017 season, 2016 LM P2 cars no longer will be eligible.

    Q. Will customer versions of the DPi car be permitted?

    A. Manufacturers have the freedom to run factory teams or make their car available to customers as they desire.

    Q. What fuel and tires will be used?

    A. In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, all cars competing in the Prototype class will use Continental tires and E20 fuel provided by VP Racing Fuels.

    Q. How will IMSA balance the differences in the two versions of the 2017 car?

    A. All DPi and LM P2 cars will undergo comprehensive wind-tunnel testing programs to ensure competitive balance from an aerodynamic perspective. Teams fielding DPi cars and LM P2 cars will have the ability to use some approved aerodynamic add-ons, enabling them to tune their cars to each track. This will promote diversity in car setup and stimulate competition.

    Each engine also will undergo IMSA’s standard engine testing and verification. The target power level is 600 bhp and a comparable level of power and torque will be determined for each option.

    Q. Have there been changes made to the DPi or LM P2 platform since the four chassis constructors were selected and announced by IMSA, the ACO and the FIA last year?

    A. Shortly after the selection of the four approved chassis constructors last summer, IMSA received feedback from interested manufacturers that resulted in a need to make a slight alteration to the car dimensions in order to accommodate engines of a certain length. IMSA has worked closely with the ACO and the FIA to confirm the required dimensions. In addition, prospective DPi manufacturers have revealed a desire to use their own electronics providers rather than using the “spec” Cosworth ECU and related electronics that will be used in the Gibson-powered LM P2 cars.

    Q. When will the DPi regulations be finalized?

    A. IMSA expects the technical regulations for both DPi and LM P2 to be finalized this month to enable constructors and manufacturers the ability to move forward with the project and meet established deadlines. These cars will make their competition debut next January in the 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona.

    Q. The ACO has voiced concerns in the media that, in their opinion, the IMSA DPi platform has moved too far away from the global LM P2 platform. Do you agree with that perspective?

    A. IMSA, the ACO and the FIA have worked very closely together throughout this process and we will continue to do so as the last details of the technical regulations and related elements are finalized. All three organizations have raised concerns over different aspects of the project at different times. It’s all in the spirit of collaboration.

    From the start, it has been understood and acknowledged that IMSA’s business goals and objectives for its top Prototype class differ from the goals of the FIA and ACO for a class that is not the top Prototype category for them. The IMSA DPi is intended to attract and involve top-level manufacturer involvement with professional teams and drivers – as is the case with the ACO’s top category - LM P1. The ACO LM P2 category prohibits manufacturer involvement and is a tightly restricted pro/am class.

    Throughout this very complex process, multiple interested manufacturers have provided feedback and guidance that has resulted in an evolution of the technical details. As a result, some technical details are different from the original plan. However, the primary objective of using the same chassis – the same core car - and have cars (DPi and LM P2) that could truly compete with each other in ACO and IMSA competition has absolutely been retained. IMSA and its partners at the FIA and ACO remain closely aligned on the overall objectives of delivering a competitive, cost-effective prototype that can be used for different applications across multiple championships.

    Source:
    IMSA
    - See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/qa-2017....RnKehMI5.dpuf
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  27. #297
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    (Houston, Texas, April 8, 2016)...Rick Mayer, race engineer of the Risi Competizione No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM team, takes a look ahead at this year's Long Beach sprint race, April 16, 2016, at the Long Beach street circuit.

    Rick Mayer, race engineer
    Pilots of the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 for the BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach 100-minute race are Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) and Toni Vilander (Finland).

    General: The Long Beach entry list has 25 cars, including 10 very competitive GTLM entries from five manufacturers. This is a three class race; GTLM, PC (LMPC) and P. This will be the largest field we've had here since American Le Mans Series (ALMS), with the addition of the LMPCs this year. The addition of the Pro-Am LMPC class will make this short 100-minute race much more difficult for all the GTLM cars than recent years when it was just P cars and GTLMs.

    GTLM Competition: The BMWs won here last year; they are always quick at Long Beach. This year the entire GTLM field has the 2016 upgraded aero, including three completely new cars (Ferrari, BMW and Ford), which coincidentally are all turbo charged, as the rule excluding turbo charged engines was changed for 2016. The Balance of Performance (BoP) keeps evolving, trying to sort out what's an unfair BoP advantage, what's a good setup and who is not showing true pace (sandbagging). It is not an easy puzzle for IMSA to unscramble. The first three tracks of the season are all anomalies and difficult from which to adjust BoP. Daytona is all about banking speed, Sebring is super bumpy and hard to have a good setup for all the conditions and Long Beach is a true street track with unique setup requirements that relate to no other tracks. Sebring was a difficult race to gauge BoP, as the conditions were ever changing. For sure the F488 GTLM doesn't have the straight-line performance of the others. That will handicap the F488 GTLMs at Long Beach. The BMWs 'showed' superior straight-line performance at Sebring and showed quick general pace. The BMWs got a small boost reduction for Long Beach but they should still be the quickest. The Corvettes showed they still have some performance in hand with dominant final stints and the Fords were quick when needed. The Porsches were super-fast in the wet and held their own in the dry. You have to give the BMWs the edge at Long Beach closely followed closely by the Corvettes. Currently the Ferrari, Ford and Porsches are all in a similar window of performance.

    The track: The entire Long Beach 1.97 mile, 11-turn, street circuit is passenger- car-filled most of the year. Cars, trucks and busses idle at the traffic lights and occasionally drop fluid (oil, fuel and engine coolant) creating a low grip surface. The crowning of the road leads to some off-camber corners upsetting the balance typically mid-corner out. The track is bumpy, in a washboard fashion, quite different than Sebring. The track will be really dirty, and cold, for our 'track cleaning' 7:40 a.m. two-hour first session. Like most temporary street circuits, grip changes with each session and you really only start seeing a partial picture of what the car is doing at the end of the two hour session, after the track has cleaned up and some rubber has gone down on the surface. This track's tendency is to move toward under-steer for the race. How much is the question? The front straight is slightly curved but is full throttle with a very high top speed. A good exit off the 40 mph hairpin is essential for overtaking into Turn 1. There are very few passing opportunities here. Qualifying position is super important as is great pit work.


    2015 Long Beach Grand Prix

    The setup: All the GTLM competitors, except Ford, have been here before, but not all with their current spec or model of car. So some starting setups may suffer. The car needs good power down, particularly off the hairpin, to either pass in braking into Turn 1 or to keep from getting passed. All the corners are slow (mainly first or second gear) so it's brake, turn-in and back to full throttle quickly. While some apex curbs are usable, some you have to stay off of, as they are large (huge) bolted down temporary curbs. The car needs some change of direction stability in the last section leading up to the hairpin, and around the fountain, so you can't run too soft of a setup. You need good brakes but you don't trail brake into the corners here as much as other race tracks so rear stability under braking is not 'as big' a concern. Braking zones are bumpy (washboard) further complicating the setup. Reducing the low speed under-steer coming off the brake to the apex and having good traction and corner exit (without a lot of understeer) are keys to quick laps as all the corners are essentially short duration. You always run maximum downforce here even though it's tempting to try and achieve a higher front straight top speed by trimming aero.

    The race: Is only 100 minutes. There is no minimum driver time in the Pro classes; if there's any caution periods everyone will likely change drivers. One driver could essentially do the entire race. The fuel will be tight as the fuel tanks are small, we cannot run much more than half a race on a full tank of VP E20 fuel. The first stint will be shorter due to fuel used for the reconnaissance lap and the 2 pace laps. A timed fuel fill and a driver's change will be done on the one and only stop. That's if it's green all the way, and if that's the strategy you choose. The biggest change from recent Long Beach races is the addition of the Pro-Am content LMPCs; first time since 2013. This will make the early stages of the race extremely difficult. All the Am LMPC drivers will likely qualify and start the race, as you want your Pro's in at the end. The start will put slower Am driven PCs ahead of faster all Pro GTLMs, due to the IMSA split starts. Once the GTLMs get up to the back end of the LMPCs the problems will start. It will be very difficult for GTLMs to pass an Am driven LMPC car. If IMSA staggers the starts with a long enough interval, the GTLMs might not encounter the LMPCs until late in the first stint. Any early cautions would aggravate this situation significantly. If managed correctly, the two car GTLM teams could have an advantage by being able to split their strategies, in yellow situations or even under a full green flag race. They can hedge their bets, when the strategy call isn't obvious.

    The Ferrari should be quick here; Risi Competizione has won this race in class in years past and fared well last year, finishing second. We need a good, solid and clean run, and a little luck, to hopefully start a podium streak this year.

    Tune-In Information:
    The BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix race is available live in the U.S. on April 16, on Fox Sports 2 and on the FOX Sports GO! mobile app at 7:00 p.m. EST/4:00 p.m. PDT and on Fox Sports 1 at 11:00 p.m. EDT/8:00 p.m. EDT. The International fans can watch the race stream live with IMSA Radio commentary at IMSA.com.
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  28. #298
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    Questions for Christina Nielsen, Formula Racing
    ELMS - 05/04/2016 - Jeff Carter

    Christina Nielsen is one of the two women who are competing in the 2016 ELMS championship. After winning the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, she will now fight in the ELMS which first race will be held in Silverstone on the 16th of April.
    Q: How was your 2015 season?

    The season in the Tudor United Sports Car Championship in the US was good. We finished second in the championship, we put in a lot of effort and it would’ve been good to win it.

    Q: What did you do during the winter?

    Well we won the 12 Hours of Sebring in march. We spent a lot of time preparing. As soon as 2015 ended we started preparing for the next season. There is a lot to do and I am also studying.

    Q: What are your expectations from the 2016 ELMS season?

    They are high. The team won the championship in 2015, they did a great job. We’ve got Le Mans on the schedule, which I am super excited about. There is a lot to learn, I’m aware there is a learning curve for me, I’m looking forward to being behind the wheel racing.

    Q: On the 2016 ELMS schedule, which circuit is your favourite?

    I did three races in ELMS two years ago, Estoril, Red Bull Ring and Paul Ricard. Of those Estoril is my favourite, it is an old school race track, like we have in America.

    Q: You are racing with an all Danish team that won the 2015 ELMS LMGTE title. Coming into the 2016 season does this put more pressure on you as a driver?

    No not really. I think I am a good silver driver out there. Team chemistry and having a good relationship with your co-drivers is also a key element to do well and we all know each other.

    Q: What has been your best result in motorsport to date? (which discipline, when, what circuit)

    12 Hours of Sebring 2016. Not only did we get the win, we took pole position and fastest lap. We also won the Tequila Patron Endurance Cup. It was the perfect weekend.

    Q: Your father, Lars-Erik, has competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Is it your ambition to follow in his footsteps?

    Of course. My Dad always has tips for me. I hear more than he thinks - it’s a Father-Daughter thing.

    Q: Motorsport is one of the few sports where men and women can compete on equal terms. How do you feel about being a role model for other women wanting to start a career in motorsport?

    I drive because I love to drive. I think it takes a certain calibre of person to become a driver as a female, it’s not that easy. There are a lot of challenges but I do hope there are others out there that see me and what I have achieved and think ‘I can do that to’.

    Q: What is your life motto?

    I have two. ‘I am proud to be a race driver, not just a female race driver’. My previous co-driver Allan Simonsen was very inspirational in the sense he was always critical and worked hard. But in the end if he couldn’t change things he would get the best he could out of it. It isn’t easy to look that way but it is very inspirational.
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  29. #299
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    Rob, this thread is keeping my brain active, there's a lot of stuff to digest with the different classes and constructors, but I'm doing my best to keep up! Hope it doesn't rain on you next weekend at Silverstone! Your passion for WEC does you credit so thanks for your efforts!

  30. #300
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    Rob, this thread is keeping my brain active, there's a lot of stuff to digest with the different classes and constructors, but I'm doing my best to keep up! Hope it doesn't rain on you next weekend at Silverstone! Your passion for WEC does you credit so thanks for your efforts!


    grazie mille Andy. Lets hope no rain, if its like today had been, happy days. Lovely and sunny. Endurance racing looks hard to follow for all the classes and constructors, but once get know them, its pretty east to follow. I really enjoy it, alot more than F1 now.

    1 week today
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