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Thread: 2016 WEC, IWTSC, ELMS thread.

  1. #301
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    Neveu: “We must give LMP1 privateers a reason to compete”

    World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu says it’s imperative series organisers give private entries a reason to compete in the LMP1 class alongside their manufacturer equivalents.

    The number of private entries contesting the WEC’s top division remains stuck at three for the 2016 season, as the proliferation of hybrid technology among the works teams has progressively widened the gap between the manufacturers and the more conventional LMP1-L cars.

    It’s a state of affairs that led Rebellion Racing driver Nicolas Prost to describe the team as “in the middle of nowhere”, and called on the ACO and FIA to do more to help privateers compete at the front.

    Neveu said he understood such frustrations, highlighting the fact a working group is in place to find ways of levelling the playing field in time for 2017.

    Read Also:

    Kane cautious about possible Strakka LMP1 return
    “We want to guarantee rules which allow through the technical rules a business model and [level of] performance that would give these cars a reason for being on the grid and having an exciting programme, while respecting the budget restrictions,” said Neveu.

    “There is already is a working group in place, led by [ACO Sporting Director] Vincent Beaumesnil, who gathers around the table all the people who could be involved and are looking at this programme.

    “The idea is that this working group reports as early as possible about the various options and suggests to the Endurance Commission the decisions to make and implement as early as 2017, when possible.”

    P1 privateers key for young drivers

    Neveu added that attracting more privateers to contest the LMP1 class was a critical rung on the ladder for young drivers aspiring to race for the manufacturer outfits, bridging the gap between the top prototypes and the LMP2 cars.

    “Step by step, [WEC] is becoming a dream for kids who wanted to race in motorsport,” the Frenchman said. “The dream doesn't have to be Formula 1 anymore.

    “Now, if you were to ask a 19-year-old or 20-year-old driver if they want to drive a Porsche LMP1 car, they wouldn't think it's degrading. It's going in the right direction and it's going to help.

    “That's partly why we must strengthen private LMP1, because it will be the final step before hybrid LMP1 and it will be part of the natural evolution.”

    http://www.motorsport.com/wec/news/n...ompete-685660/
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  2. #302
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    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  3. #303
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    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  4. #304
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    Silverstone, Race Preview Part 1, LMGTE Am

    LM GTE Am: 6 cars

    50 M Larbre Competition Yutaka Yamagishi,Paulo Ruberti, Pierre Ragues Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
    78 M KCMG Christian Ried, Wolf Henzler, Joel Camathias Porsche 911 RSR
    83 M AF Corse François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard, Rui Aguas Ferrari 458 Italia
    86 M Gulf Racing Michael Wainwright, Adam Carroll, Ben Barker Porsche 911 RSR
    88 M Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Khaled Al Qubaisi, David Heinemeier Hanssen,Klaus Bachler Porsche 911 RSR
    98 D Aston Martin Racing Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda Aston Martin V8 Vantage

    Perhaps low in numbers but the sextet of full season entries in the GTE Am class is long on quality. GTE AM this year is for year old cars or older with the new for 2016 GTEs for GTE Pro only.

    The 2015 Champions SMP have parked their GT programme for now but Ferrari is still represented by the returning #83 AF Corse effort with Gentleman Driver of the Year 2015 Francois Perrodo back again with the evergreen Manu Collard and the ever rapid Rui Aguas. This likely marks the final showing in the WEC for the wailing V8 of the 458 GTE, the #83 car here one of last season’s GTE Pro cars, could it add to the winning tally of one of the most successful cars of the WEC era? There’s every chance!


    Larbre Competition return with their sonorous Corvette C7.R, Jack Laconte having fallen short in his efforts to mount a GTE Pro effort this season.


    The #50 car has a different look to the driver squad this year. Paulo Ruberti returns for the first three rounds and will be amongst the very fastest in the class. He’s joined by Pierre Ragues, who drove at Le Mans for Larbre in 2014, and in the WEC for Morand Engineering last season, and by WEC debutant Yutaka Yamagishi, the ex Super GT driver though has driven previously in GTE, and in LMP.

    Aston Martin fields a singleton effort in GTE Am this year for the returning #98 squad of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda, this the dominant package of the early part of the 2015 season, now with new racing colours, and a new and important Technical Partner in Dunlop, the V8 Vantage the only car in the class fielded with Dunlop rather than Michelin rubber.


    Completing the class are a trio of Porsche 911 RSRs.

    Abu Dhabi Proton Racing are the only returning Porsche squad for the class with Khaled Al Qubaisi back for a third season in the FIA WEC, joined by rapid Silver and previous WEC race winner in both LMP2 and GTE machinery David Heinemeier Hanssen, and by Klaus Bachler is a familiar face here too but is on the strength for just a one-off as regular driver, Porsche Factory man Pat Long, has Pirelli World Challenge duties – an intriguing combination.


    KCMG return for a third WEC season, but the reigning Le Mans LMP2 Champions and WEC class runners up have their full season colours in the GTE AM class this season, at least in part to ensure that their auto entry for Le Mans in LMP2 is secured.


    The car is in KCMG livery, and is handled by the KCMG team manager, but is run out of the Proton Competition garage.

    Proton team owner Christian Ried is joined in the car by Joel Camathias, the Swiss driver back in the WEC for the first time since the 2012 season (with JWA Avila). Wolf Henzler completes the trio for the year as Porsche Factory muscle.

    Last but not by any means least is the #86 Gulf Racing Porsche, with the changes to the backers for Aston Martin Racing this is the only effort in 2016 with the iconic powder blue and orange livery, and with an all British driver squad. The car is a stunner!


    Mike Wainwright is the Bronze driver here, the team stepping up with the Porsche after ELMS competition, and some real success, last season. Wainwright is joined by a pair of rap hotshots, ex GP2 racer Adam Carroll amongst the fastest men on the entire WEC bill, and Ben Barker, a Porsche specialist with a career path very much on the up.


    Silverstone, Race Preview Part 2, LMGTE Pro

    LM GTE Pro: 7 Cars

    51 M AF Corse Gianmaria Bruni, James Calado Ferrari 488 GTE
    66 M Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Olivier Pla, Stefan Mucke Billy Johnson Ford GT
    67 M Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Marino Franchitti, Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell Ford GT
    71 M AF Corse Davide Rigon, Sam Bird Ferrari 488 GTE
    77 M Dempsey Proton Racing Richard Lietz, Michael Christensen Porsche 911 RSR (2016)
    95 D Aston Martin Racing Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner, Marco Sorensen Aston Martin Vantage
    97 D Aston Martin Racing Richie Stanaway, Fernando Rees, Jonny Adam Aston Martin Vantage

    It’s a new look all round for the 2016 GTE Pro class.

    New and revised cars all round with more extreme aero, new colour schemes for many and new drivers too.

    The biggest news is the arrival of the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing effort with a pair of the spectacular new Ford GTs which will join the US entered pair at Le Mans this year.

    The UK flagged pair field their full Le Mans trios for the Silverstone and Spa rounds with George Howard Chappell and co. keen to hit the ground running in the WEC after a stuttering start for the IMSA effort at Daytona and Sebring.

    The Ford is a unique beast, a race car upon which the road car, due to enter limited production in the Autumn, is based rather than the other way around. It’s a GTE car that has raised interest far beyond the usual specialist media, and for that we should be very grateful.

    The major push is, of course, Le Mans, on the 50th anniversary of the iconic GT40s first win, but competitive runs, and most of all race mileage, is the next milestone for the Ford effort.

    The driver squad is an interesting one, the #66 car sees the mercurial Olivier Pla teamed for the season with ex AMR man Stefan Muecke with Billy Johnson, long-time Multimatic favoured wheel man, the third man.

    In the #67 car Andy Priaulx has been tempted from his long-time BMW berth, he’s joined by Marino Franchitti, the Scot a Ganassi favourite after his overall Sebring win in 2014 in the similarly Ford engined DP. Harry Tincknell completes an all British trio and joins for Silverstone and Spa before the Le Mans odyssey.

    Ferrari arrive with a new car, the turbo engined 488 GTE replacing the wailing 458, and a new look driver squad in a package which the drivers say is easier to take to the edge, and keep it there!

    The #51 sees multiple champion Gianmaria Bruni back again, he’s been an ever present in the WEC, but joined this time by James Calado, moving over from the #71 car last year after a 2015 season that saw the ex GP2 man stake a claim as one of the very quickest in the class.


    His seat in the sister #71 alongside Davide Rigon is filled by another Briton, Sam Bird getting the nod after a standout year in LMP2 where his results defined his pay check. That gamble paid off for Sam, the class Championship and a Ferrari factory seat his ultimate reward. There will be friendly rivalry of the most positive kind here, and if the 488’s reliability is there early enough, this could be a real season long contender.

    Aston Martin Racing field a pair of very green V8 Vantage GTE’s and feature Dunlop rubber too as the team look for the slice of pace they lost to a Michelin tyre that was designed principally around rear/ mid engined cars after mid-season development last season, funded in the main by Porsche.


    The Aston features a completely revised external skin for enhanced aero, and a prominent rear diffuser to take advantage of the new regulations too.

    On the driving from there are no new names for 2016 but a reshuffled squad.

    Darren Turner becomes an apparent honorary Dane as he joins Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen in the #95 ‘Dane Train’ Aston.

    The #97 meanwhile sees Fernando Rees and Jonny Adam combined with Richie Stanaway.

    With an entirely proven engine and drivetrain there is potential for profit from any early development difficulties from others, if the Dunlop factor can play a part there might be head turning performances to come.

    Finally Porsche, but no return of Manthey Racing this season, instead the defending Champion driver Richard Lietz, again paired with near full season 2015 partner Michael Christensen, returns with a solo 911 RSR in the Pro class under the Dempsey Proton Racing banner though Patrick Dempsey will play no part in proceedings this season.

    The rear engined configuration of the 911 RSR means that it is unable to utilise the allowed increase in rear diffuser size to the max. That hasn’t been too much of an issue in the US classics that the 2016 spec car has contested this far. We’ll soon see how it stacks up in the WEC!


    The WEC Prologue saw a lot of running, but little evidence of a real display of 2016 potential. Unless that is that all the manufacturer investment in development, 12 months of tyre development and thousands of kilometres of testing were meant to produce slower times year on year?


    Balance of Performance it seems is the defining factor at the moment, with all the major players unprepared to show their hand. No changes to report at Silverstone on that front, and for that this writer is very grateful. Will the shadow dancing continue until June, It very well might!
    Last edited by Rob; 12th April 2016 at 09:56.
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  5. #305
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    Silverstone, Race Preview Part 3, LMP2

    LMP2: 11 Cars

    26 D G-Drive Racing Roman Rusinov, Nathanaël Berthon, Rene Rast Oreca 05 Nissan
    27 D SMP Racing Nicolas Minassian, David Markozov, Maurizio Mediani BR01 Nissan
    30 D Extreme Speed Motorsports Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Ed Brown Ligier JS P2 Nissan
    31 D Extreme Speed Motorsports Ryan Dalziel, Pipo Derani, Chris Cumming Ligier JS P2 Nissan
    35 D Baxi DC Racing Alpine David Cheng, Ho-Pin Tung, Nelson Panciatici Alpine A460 Nissan
    36 D Signatech Alpine Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre, Stephane Richelmi Alpine A460 Nissan
    37 D SMP Racing Vitaly Petrov, Viktor Shaytar, Kirill Ladygin BR01 Nissan
    42 D Strakka Racing Nick Leventis, Jonny Kane, Danny Watts Gibson 015S Nissan
    43 D RGR Sport by Morand Ricardo Gonzalez, Bruno Senna, Filipe Albuquerque Ligier JS P2 Nissan
    44 D Manor WEC Tor Graves, Will Stevens, James Jakes Oreca 05 Nissan
    45 D Manor WEC Matt Rao, Richard Bradley, Roberto Merhi Oreca 05 Nissan

    Another high quality LMP2 entry for the FIA WEC busts into double figures, with 11 cars slated for the full season (though one car will miss Le Mans).

    Whilst chassis variety still remains, on the cusp of the new for 2017 revamp of the class there is total unanimity over both engine choice (the Nissan V8 prevails) and again on tyre choice (with Dunlop bringing an all new selection to the party in 2016).

    Only one effort returns relatively unchanged for the season, the #42 Gibson Nissan of Strakka Racing is now the only open top prototype on the WEC entry. 2016 brings new and important sponsorship from Dell and Xero, but retains the same chassis, engine, tyre choice and driving squad from mid 2015.

    The mid season swap last year from the Dome to Gibson chassis presented the team with a learning curve which was always going to be toughest on their non-Pro driver. Nick Leventis is one of the most driven men in the entry and he was in no doubt that in LMP2 it is the contribution of the non-Pro ranked driver that is the most decisive factor.

    Post and pre-season testing, and mileage in the team’s Renault RS01 too have formed the basis for a renewed attack in 2016 – and attack mode has been engaged.

    Returning to the WEC’s LMP2 class in 2016 are 2014 class champions SMP Racing with brace of their pretty, pretty quick, and not required on new vision for LMP2 BR01 Nissan coupes.

    The mission in 2016 is simple. Win Races and the declared driver crew are a statement of intent in that endeavour.

    Nic Minassian needs no introduction here, the fire still burns for the ex Peugeot factory man and his role both as Pro driver and driving coach for the squad has been a key factor. Maurizio Mediani has provided great support but took time last year to dial himself in to the new code whilst David Markozov is yet another man that the team have discovered from the massive Russian feeding pool.

    In the sister 37 car the big news is the arrival in the team of ex Renault and Caterham F1 driver Vitaly Petrov, effectively the replacement for Indycar-bound Mikhail Aleshin. He joins a pair of proven talents from the SMP driver pool, 2015 WEC GTE AM Champ Viktor Shaytar returning to full season LMP2 competition and Kirill Ladygin stepping up with the team to the WEC again after a season with the BR01 in the ELMS last year.

    There are a trio of Ligier chassis listed for the full WEC season in 2016.

    First up the Tequila Patron ESM duo – after a somewhat disjointed start to the 2015 season following the disappointment of the HPD ARX-04b coupe this season sees a couple of further important changes.

    After a simply historic opening to the team’s season with wins in both of the US endurance classics at Daytona and Sebring the team swap to Nissan power for the WEC – they’ll revert to the (non-WEC compliant) Honda for the remainder of the NAEC – The team have also switched to support from OAK Racing rather than an in-house effort, and have transferred from the UK to France as a result.

    On the driving front there’s a full switch around, the #31 squad from last year becomes the #30 this year with Scott Sharp staying in the #30 to be joined by Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek.

    The #31 meanwhile sees Ryan Dalziel move over, joined by experienced Canadian gentleman driver Cumming. The trio is completed by Pipo Derani, a standout talent in 2015 and certainly the hammer man for the team’s early season successes.

    Silverstone will see Dalziel and Derani combine for the first time (Ryan having driven for the Visit Florida DP outfit thus far in 2016) and if that all clicks and Cumming is on form then this could be one of the real contenders for the season.

    The third Ligier is a new team name for the WEC with an array of returning faces. RGR Sport by Morand sees ex Greaves and G-Drive man Ricardo Gonzales put together a squad to savour. Bruno Senna returns to the WEC after his Aston Martin GTE adventure of a couple of seasons ago, the popular Brazilian a welcome face back in the mix. He’s joined by Audi factory man Filipe Albuquerque, impressive in an Audi LMP1, and in Jota’s LMP2 Gibson. He’ll surely fly in the Ligier.


    The effort will be a big part of the push to promote the new for 2016 6 Hours of Mexico City for which Gonzales is the promoter with the oily bits being handled by Benoit Morand and co. This could be one to watch!

    There are no fewer than five Oreca 05 Coupes on the entry – We’ll deal with the pair of Alpine A460 badged cars first, Signatech Alpine expanding once again to a two car effort after ELMS title winning success, and then WEC race winning success for their now retired Oreca 03-Rs.

    The effort sees a number of changes beyond the switch of chassis, named as Alpines by dint of a second chassis number, one for Oreca, the other Alpine!.

    The #36 car brings young American Gustavo Menezes in as the non-Pro ranked driver though he has clear ambitions to climb the ladder. Nicolas Lapierre is the ‘name’ driver here, the ex Toyota and Peugeot LMP1 man is making his name as something of an LMP2 star after outings with both KCMG and Thiriet by TDS in 2015. Stephane Richelmi completes the trio, with a year in GTs behind him and race winning form in GP2 on his cv. With the team’s reputation for good strategy and great preparation they could be a force.


    The #35 car races under the Baxi DC Racing Alpine banner, the DC denoting David Cheng, stepping up to a full WEC season after taking the Asian LMS LMP3 crown in 2015/ 16 and bringing his co-driver, Ho-Pin Tung with him. Nelson Panciatici moves over from last year’s #36 effort to complete the full season trio, a very worthy addition to the WEC roster.


    The Championship winning team name of 2015 returns but there’s plenty that’s different for the season to come.

    Whilst Drivers Champ Roman Rusinov is a familiar face in the team, precious little else remains of the Oak Racing supported 2015 effort. Instead it’s Jota Sport that provide the technical and logistical support in 2016, though the team will operate under the G-Drive (GazProm) banner. Rusinov is Silver ranked and is joined by the mercurial and LMP2 proven Nathanael Berthon for the season with Audi factory man Rene Rast confirmed for the early part of the season at least.



    The final pair of Oreca 05 Nissans belong to the team bringing one of the biggest stories to the WEC in 2016.

    Manor WEC announced a single car full season effort some time ago with a second car announced much more recently, the team having surprised themselves over the commercial potential of the class and the Championship.

    Sadly for them that surprise came just too late to secure a second Le Mans 24 Hours berth so the #45 car, this the spare (and unrated) chassis previously owned by KCMG, will contest ‘just’ the eight 6 hour races this season.


    The Manor pair bring an eye-catching array of talent to the fray.

    The full season #44 car sees the return of Tor Graves, the Thai guy having found his racing mojo again after the bitter disappointment of the fall out of the ADR Delta/ Millennium Racing furago. James Jakes is a highly rated ex single seater driver, most recently with Indycar outings on his cv and Will Stevens is bouncing back after his F1 adventure with a full season in the WEC added to a similar commitment in GT racing with WRT.

    The #45 Oreca sees ex F3 race Matt Rao joined by 2015 Le Mans LMP2 winner (with KCMG) and WEC class runner up Richard Bradley joined by another ex F1 man Roberto Merhi.

    There are questions to be answered, form books to be written and rewritten and it all starts this weekend!
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  6. #306
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    5 reasons to come to Silverstone this weekend
    ELMS - 11/04/2016

    The first race of the 2016 European Le Mans Series will be held on the 16th of April at Silverstone and on the same weekend as the start of the FIA World Endurance Championship season. It will be a weekend full of sports car racing, entertainment and fun for all the family!
    1- Enjoy two international races on the same weekend

    Coming to Silverstone this weekend will give you the unique opportunity to enjoy two international endurance races. Firstly, the opening round of the European Le Mans Series Championship, with a large 45 car entry from all over the world. The battle will be intense! On Sunday, the first round of the FIA WEC will take place, with the most prestigious teams and drivers in the world.

    2- Meet the drivers

    The autograph session will be the opportunity for you to meet your favourite drivers, take a selfie and have a little chat with them before the race on Saturday 16 of April at 12:50 during the pitwalk. This is open to all, so don’t be late if you want to be the first to meet British drivers such as Sir Chris Hoy, Harry Tincknell, Alex Brundle, Matt Bell or Jonny Adam.

    3- Meet up with jabberwocky, a famous French band

    The young electro-pop group will be around all weekend in the Fan area, meeting with the public, signing autographs and of course playing music: one of the must-sees of the weekend! Formed in 2013, Jabberwocky is a French group of 3 young people, their first song “Photomaton” met with great success in France and in Europe and they are now a major player on the electro-pop scene.

    4- Great entertainment all around the track for all the family

    A lot of entertainment will keep you busy all weekend, for the little one as well as for adults! Follow the steps of Nissan GT Academy winner Jan Mardenborough and try our racing simulator. You never know, a brand new career might be open to you!

    Always wanted to see how a paddock looks like from the air? No problem, try our zipline and fly at 8.3m of high. The children will also entertain a lot of activities such as quad biking in a very safe environment. We are sure the sun will shine but just in case, an indoor chill out zone will keep you dry with cinemas, giant screens to follow the race, remote control car track, face painting and much more inside and outside!

    5- Having a great weekend with your family

    Coming to the 4 Hours of Silverstone will be a great opportunity for you to spend a wonderful weekend with your family in the home of British Motorsport. It’s also the time for you to discover two of the best motorsport races in the world, and all just a few hours from anywhere in the UK.
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  7. #307
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    Got my WEC subscription and looking forward to the new season. Are you going to Silverstone this year, Rob? Maybe next year for me...

  8. #308
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    this is an office i wouldnt mind....

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  9. #309
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Architect View Post
    Got my WEC subscription and looking forward to the new season. Are you going to Silverstone this year, Rob? Maybe next year for me...
    new update for WEC app is really good. I will get my subscribtion after Silverstone, if dont go too Spa. You got go next year (if Silverstone still open) its great day/weekend of racing and good for all the family.

    Yeah, im going again this year. Couldnt get day off for Friday practice. But god friend will keep me updated.

    So looking forward this year, this race. Ferrari vs Ford, the old rivalry starts again.
    Last edited by Rob; 13th April 2016 at 09:42.
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    Silverstone, Race Preview Part 4, LMP1

    LMP1 – 9 Cars

    1 M Porsche Team Timo Bernhard Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley Porsche 919 Hybrid
    2 M Porsche Team Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, Neel Jani Porsche 919 Hybrid
    4 D ByKolles Racing Team Simon Trummer, James Rossiter, Oliver Webb CLM P1/01 AER
    5 M Toyota Gazoo Racing Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima Toyota TS050 Hybrid
    6 Toyota Gazoo Racing Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
    Toyota TS050 Hybrid
    7 M Audi Sport Team Joest Marcel Fässler, Benoit Treluyer, Andre Lotterer Audi R18
    8 M Audi Sport Team Joest Lucas Di Grassi, Oliver Jarvis, Loic Duval Audi R18
    12 D Rebellion Racing Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld, Nelson Piquet Jr Rebellion R-One AER
    13 D Rebellion Racing Matheo Tuscher, Dominik Kraihamer, Alexandre Imperatori Rebellion R-One AER

    Nine LMP1 cars are listed for the season but we can pretty conclusively split those into two sub-classes based on the performance gulf we are still set to see between the trio of Privateer non-Hybrid powered cars and the full season sextet of factory hybrids.

    There have been some significant changes to the regulations, principally designed to reduce lap times at Le Mans and to again increase efficiency, an area often overlooked while we stand astonished at the performance being shown by the LMP1Hs. That they have been able to take such enormous steps forward in performance whilst still producing massive strides in efficiency is astounding.

    The major impact outside of Le Mans will be felt by a reduction in fuel flow and total fuel energy of c.7.5% but in the close season most suggestions from factory team sources are that there will be precious little to see on track as a result as the teams work to improve their performance and efficiency, and outpace not only their competition, but also the rule makers.

    First up numerically of the contenders are, of course, the defending WEC (and Le Mans) Champions Porsche.

    A pair of heavily evolved Porsche 919 Hybrids have sen just about every nut, bolt and the things they connect refined for this season, whilst the cars look similar there are significant changes to assist performance, reliability and yes efficiency.


    The jewel like 2 litre V4 remains, with over 500 bhp delivered to the rear axle, and the hybrid systems too are evolutionary versions of the successful 2015 package, a KERS system with a Motor generator Unit mounted on the front axle, together with a Exhaust Recovery system providing a further boost of power. the energy collected is stored in the groundbreaking battery pack developed for last year’s package, and again revised, again for the 8 mJ bracket. In total, as is the case with all three factory efforts, the combined power output when the hybrid boost is being deployed is believed too be WELL in excess of 1000 bhp.

    After some potential chopping and changing from last year’s crews the decision by all three factory teams to stick with their two full season cars only at Le Mans seems to have been a deciding factor in keeping the 2015 Band together, no change to either crew with the 2015 World Champion Drivers, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard in their hard earned #1 car, Messrs Dumas, Jani and Lieb in the #2.


    One further change for the class is that just three iterations of bodywork are permitted this season, Porsche field a transitional kit for Silverstone which may yet not be seen thereafter. The decision on direction at Spa (Le Mans low drag kit or not?) will be taken after the opening round’s data has been crunched!

    2014 World Champs Toyota emerged from a very tough 2015 season bruised, their efforts to find a winning margin through evolution blown into the weeds by Porsche and Audi.

    In one way, and only in one way! that was a good thing for the team, the gap was such that the year, in Championship terms, was clearly a wash as early as June, so whilst the race team did what they could to hang on in there, the boffins in Cologne were doing the hard sums and produced the new, entirely new, for 2016 Toyota TS050.


    Gone is the wailing V8 and the sexily monikered Supercapacitor energy storage medium.

    Instead the new car features a 2.4 litre, twin-turbo, direct injection V6 petrol fuelled engine providing drive to the rear wheels with front and rear motor-generators recovering energy under braking for later deployment. The 2015 hybrid system replaced in its entirety by an 8MJ battery storage medium.

    There is only one change to the 2015 #1 car, it now numbered #5, in the 2916 #6 Toyota though there’s a returning face to the WEC as ex AF Corse man Kamui Kobayashi slots in to the seat vacated by Alex Wurz. The Austrian will be in attendance at WEC races both as a Brand Ambassador, and as the team’s nominated reserve driver.

    Behind the scenes there are a myriad of changes at Toyota Gazoo Racing.

    Both TS050s have new Race Engineers for the season:

    The #5 sees ex JRM and Marc VDS man Rafal Pokora promoted from within the ranks to race engineer .

    The #6 will see Jean-Philippe Peleprat in an extended handover from Silverstone to Le Mans whereafter ex Porsche man Mathieu Galoche will be in the chair.

    Peleprat (known as JP) engineered the title winning car in 2104 and has been with the team since the beginning of the programme but is believed to wish to reduce his travel commitments in the wake of the arrival of his first child.

    Last year’s team race engineers Mathieu LeNail and Juan Pablo Ramirez have both left the team, Le Nail joining Audi and Ramirez going to a role in F1 with Manor.

    Despite a whole lot of ‘new’ the team are pumped up for a continuation of a record that has seen them score at least a podium on every visit to Silverstone, the first in the WEC for Toyota came in the UK in 2012 and they scored a famous 1,2 in their championship year of 2014.

    If Toyota are pumped up then Audi are locked and loaded.

    The new 2016 Audi R18 is simply an extraordinary looking beast.

    Keeping it simple for starters there are no changes to a now very familiar driver line-up in both cars. (We have an in-depth interview with Oliver Jarvis from the #8 Audi on DSC tomorrow)

    The car though is almost all-new simply an extraordinary looking thing – a radical looker it seems to have more in common with a Lego Technik Star Wars Tie Fighter than the 2015 R18 e-tron quattro.


    In terms of the motive power, the V6 TDI continues into a 6th racing season, again with a thorough work over to squeeze even more efficiency out of the package. The current engine needs an astounding 32.4% less fuel than the original 2011 V6 TDI.

    The Audi steps up to a 6 MJ system from the 4MJ of 2015, switching to a battery storage system for the first time in the Audi LMP1 programme. it continues to use a Motor Generator Unit on the front axle

    At the core of the new car is a new Ycom produced monocoque which has meant entirely new aero and suspension set-ups.

    That’s at the heart of the visual changes to the car with a truly aggressive look, and an equally aggressive aero strategy in play, this is likely to be the most edgy Audi of the lot, Audi Sport have to push the envelope to keep pace with Porsche, and that, might, just might, see reliability play a part. In terms of pace, from what little we’ve seen, the Audi seems to be right there!

    Onto the Privateers and there are plenty of issues in play in the background.

    For now though we’ll focus on the here and now.

    The trio feature two common factors, switching to Dunlop rubber in search of more pace and consistency with the 2015 Michelins designed around the rather different performance requirements of the factory hybrids.

    The other common factor is the engine, all three cars utilising the AER P60 twin turbo V6.

    Rebellion Racing are welcome returnees with their pair of Oreca designed Rebellion R-Ones , the Swiss flagged, UK based squad opting to step back from the development AER they used last year to the earlier, less powerful but more reliable iteration of the engine, the same evolution as the ByKolles team are set to field this season again.



    On the driving front Nick Heidfeld returns alongside Nico Prost in the #12 with Nelson Piquet Junior making his LMP1 debut for the two opening rounds and for Le Mans.

    In the #13 Alexander Imperatori joins Dom Kraihamer and young Swiss driver Matheo Tuscher.

    The team have been working hard to ensure that the 2016 effort is about pace and not survival. To take the next step forward though they need help from the rulemakers.

    Last but certainly not least come ByKolles Racing, the AER engined CLM features a new chassis for 2016 which allows a more tuneable front suspension set-up.


    The car was finding reliability through the 2015 season if not outright pace but the plans in the close season seem to have been aimed principally in addressing some basic handling and balance issue – if they succeeded the progress should be clearly obvious.

    On the driver front Simon Trummer returns to the team, and for Silverstone there’s a pair of Britons to add to the mix with new full season man Oliver Webb moving up from LMP2 and, for the first two rounds James Rossiter replacing the seemingly ever-present Pierre Kaffer, Rossiter returning to the Kolles owned outfit for the first time since their Lotus badged LMP2 efforts.
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    RACING TO NEW HEIGHTS: ASTON MARTIN RACING AND MOUNT ANVIL ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP


    Wednesday 13 April, London: World-famous Aston Martin Racing and Mount Anvil, Central London’s specialist residential-led property developer, have today announced a new partnership, which sees Mount Anvil become the Official Luxury London Homes Partner to the Aston Martin Racing team.

    Celebrating the unique partnership – a first between Aston Martin Racing and a specialist property developer - the 2016 Aston Martin race car (V8 Vantage GTE Challenger) was lifted by crane on to the top of Dollar Bay; Mount Anvil’s dockside 31 storey, Ian Simpson designed crystalline glass tower which overlooks the international finance hub of Canary Wharf (developed in partnership with leading housing association, One Housing Group).

    Jon Hall, Sales & Marketing Director, Mount Anvil, said: “This partnership brings together two multi-award-winning, globally sought-after, British brands – each renowned for iconic design, exceptional quality and world-class health and safety. With our aligned customer bases, individual expertise and global reach, we’re hugely excited to be working collaboratively to take our partnership to new heights.”

    John Gaw, Managing Director, Aston Martin Racing, said: “Aston Martin Racing looks to partner with those who are raising the bar in their respective fields. Mount Anvil have been doing so for 25 years. Their iconic, design-led London developments, world-class approach to health and safety, and focus on people demonstrate that in abundance. When you think of London homes, you think of Mount Anvil. That’s why we’re delighted to welcome them into the Aston Martin Racing family.”

    As well as Mount Anvil branding appearing prominently on the Aston Martin Racing cars and team apparel, Mount Anvil will also offer unique experiences for customers throughout the season, and be present at every race around the world including: Silverstone (UK), Le Mans (France), Austin (USA), Mexico City (Mexico), Fuji (Japan), Shanghai (China) and Bahrain.

    Building on their aligned customer bases, and individual reputations for design excellence and world-class health and safety, the two organisations will also engage in knowledge-sharing exercises throughout the season.

    Aston Martin Racing kicks off the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship on Sunday 17th April at Silverstone. The premiere GT-racing outfit, which enters its twelfth year of competition, will field a three-car campaign in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and 24 Hours of Le Mans; two contesting the GTE Pro class and a single entry in GTE Am. The three entries will look to extend the brand’s 23 overall wins in FIA WEC; more than any other manufacturer.

    - Ends -
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    Aston Martin Racing. Round One. Silverstone.


    First round of the FIA World Endurance Championship to take place at Silverstone on 15-17 April

    Aston Martin Racing to campaign two GTE Pro and one GTE Am entries

    Team focussed on maximising points to aid title challenge

    12 April 2016, Banbury: Aston Martin Racing is set to kick off its 2016 campaign this weekend (17 April), as the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) takes place at Silverstone.

    With the team looking to claim a strong finish in this weekend’s race, Aston Martin Racing Team Principal Paul Howarth knows the importance of claiming points consistently across what is tipped to be the FIA WEC’s most competitive season to date.

    “We’re in a great place ahead of Silverstone,” he commented. “We’ve had a positive off-season and after working closely with our new partners including TOTAL and Dunlop in each of our test sessions, we’re confident that we have a great package. It’s important that we hit the ground running and score points at every round, to be in with a chance of winning titles in Bahrain”.

    Aston Martin Racing will enter three cars in this year’s championship. Two GTE Pro and one GTE Am. With the #95 GTE Pro occupied by Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Darren Turner, the second GTE Pro entry of #97 will be piloted by Richie Stanaway and Fernando Rees.

    In GTE Am, the trio of Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy will launch their 2016 campaign, after finishing 2015 on a high with victory at the 6 Hours of Bahrain.

    The Six Hours of Silverstone starts at midday on Sunday 17 April 2016. Fans in the UK can watch the race live on Motors TV from 11:30 and can join the team on social media using the hashtag #teamAMR.

    - Ends -

    Driver line-ups:
    6 Hours of Silverstone

    GTE Pro
    95: Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner, Marco Sørensen
    97: Richie Stanaway, Fernando Rees

    GTE Am
    98: Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda

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    Dunlop Open Fire In ELMS/ FIA WEC Tyre Wars

    In an unprecedented move, for 2016, Dunlop has launched a complete new range of LMP1, LMP2 and GT tyres, all of which are making their competition debut at the opening rounds of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Silverstone this weekend.

    In the ELMS 4 Hours of Silverstone, 19 teams will be competing on Dunlop tyres. 10 of 14 LMP2 teams have chosen to compete on Dunlop tyres while in the LMGTE class, uses a control tyre with Dunlop supplying tyres and engineering support to the eight teams racing Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin.

    The WEC 6 Hours of Silverstone will see Dunlop represented in all four classes with all 11 LMP2 entries choosing Dunlop tyres. Three LMP1 cars are using Dunlop tyres and three Aston Martin Racing entries will compete on Dunlop tyres in the GT classes for the first time.

    From the end of the 2015 season, right up until the end of March, teams have been working with Dunlop on testing the new products. The final test in the extensive programme was with the LMP2 wet and intermediate tyres which Dunlop was able to validate at an Oak Racing test at the Paul Ricard circuit.

    Mike McGregor, Dunlop Manager Testing & Track Support, Race Design & Development:

    “This is our biggest year for a very long time in terms of new tyre introductions. We have the return to LMP1 and a full new range of LMP2 tyres. In addition we have the varied GT requirements with the confidential ranges for WEC, developed specifically for Aston Martin, and a completely different design for ELMS where we need to make sure that we have parity across the three different manufacturers.


    “We have had very positive feedback from teams and drivers at our tests and it will be very interesting to see how quickly the teams can maximise the performance from the new specifications.”

    FIA World Endurance Championship: Dunlop 2016 Tyres

    LMP1: Confidential tyre range, full range for all conditions
    • Dunlop’s return to LMP1 competition for the first time since 2012
    • Two Rebellion Racing cars and one Bykolles Racing Team CLM
    • Tyres permitted per 6 hour event: 10 sets plus two single tyres
    Dunlop has developed new tyres for these teams and is allowed to continue development throughout the year. While the number of tyres for each event are restricted there can be changes to specifications for following events.

    LMP2: Set specification (soft, medium, medium-plus, intermediate, wet)
    • Open tyre competition
    • All 11 Silverstone entries have chosen Dunlop tyres
    • Two out of three dry specifications nominated per event
    • Soft and medium dry weather options nominated for Silverstone
    • Tyres permitted per 6 hour event: 7 sets plus two single tyres
    The LMP2 range is completely new, developing from the strong 2015 performance but providing a wider operating window and greater consistency. Greater operating windows have allowed nomination of soft and medium tyres for Silverstone compared to medium and medium-plus in 2015.

    LMGTE Pro: Confidential tyre range, full range for all conditions
    • Bespoke product for Aston Martin Racing
    • Two car entry
    • Tyres permitted per 6 hour event: 10 sets plus two single tyres
    The LMGTE Pro range will continue to be developed throughout the season.

    LMGTE Am: Set specification (soft, medium, medium-plus, intermediate, wet)
    • Single car entry
    • Specification for full season will be current LMGTE Pro specification
    • Tyres permitted per 6 hour event: 10 sets plus two single tyres
    The LMGTE Am range is fixed from the Silverstone event for the full season.

    European Le Mans Series: Dunlop 2016 Tyres

    LMP2: Set specification (soft, medium, medium-plus, intermediate, wet)
    • Open tyre competition, 14 cars competing
    • 10 Silverstone entries have chosen Dunlop tyres
    • Two out of three dry specifications nominated per event
    • Soft and medium dry weather options nominated for Silverstone
    • Tyres permitted per 4 hour event: 5 sets plus two single tyres
    The LMP2 range is the same new range that features in WEC. The different conditions of Europe, generally cooler, combined with the improved operating windows, will tend to favour the soft and medium options in ELMS.

    LMGTE: All-Dunlop class (medium, medium-plus, intermediate, wet)
    • Controlled/single brand tyres for all three manufacturers represented
    • Tyres permitted per 4 hour event: unlimited
    • Intermediate tyre introduced for 2016
    • 2016 confidential tyre range, supervised use with greater performance

    The ELMS LMGTE Pro range is all-new for 2016, designed specifically for ELMS with improvement emphasis on performance and consistency. The introduction of Dunlop’s intermediate tyre will reduce team costs and add strategy options during races with mixed weather conditions.
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    tyre wars
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    Audi Testing Le Mans-spec R18 in Monza

    While FIA World Endurance Championship teams are at Silverstone unloading for this weekend’s season-opener, Audi has continued its testing program in preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

    The German manufacturer is testing an updated version of its R18 today at Monza, in what appears to be low-downforce Le Mans aero.

    Details of the test have not yet been revealed but judging by the photos, the nose of the diesel-powered LMP1 hybrid is noticeably different than the high-downforce trim the R18 ran in last month’s official Prologue pre-season test at Paul Ricard.

    Audi is expected to outfit its two R18s in high-downforce aero for Sunday’s Six Hours of Silverstone, which marks the kick-off of the nine-round global championship.
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    Oliver Jarvis On The 2016 R18: “We’ve Got A Completely New Car”

    As the countdown to the first round of the 2016 World Endurance Championship reaches its final stages, DSC caught up with Audi Sport’s Oliver Jarvis to get a sense of just how important this season is going to be for not only himself and his team, but for the championship as a whole:

    For this year, Audi has moved up to the six-megajule hybrid category, and brought with them a brand new R18, which looks radically different from the 2015-spec car. That’s going to be a huge test for Audis engineers as they attempt to ensure the car is competitive and reliable from the beginning, taking on the might of Porsche who are contesting the year with an evolved version of the 919, which was dominant last season.

    At the Prologue, Porsche was fastest throughout, and Audi had mechanical troubles. Nevertheless, Jarvis stresses that it’s important not to read into anything just yet.

    “There’s so many question marks when you’re testing on your own. And to actually go to the Prologue and be on the track with our competition and see what they’re up to really makes it feel like the start of the season now.

    “But what we have to be aware of here is the different aero configurations. We had a high downforce setup on the car but it could be that Toyota were be running a Le Mans downforce. That could influence straight-line speed and top speed. Certainly in the second sector. There’s always a trade off.

    “While these tests are fantastic, you still go away with uncertainties. You have to do a lot of analysis to get an understanding on where you are.”

    It’s certainly too early to tell if the new R18 is going to be a championship winner or not. The model name may well be the same as years past, but just about everything else, has changed.

    “It is a completely new car,” said Jarvis. “There’s the other side of that though. With everything being new, there’s a lot of challenges that we’ve faced over the winter. Battery technology is very complex, I think it shows what a good job Porsche and Toyota have done over the past few years.

    “We’ve faced a lot of challenges, but I’ve got to say. Look at the car, it’s fantastic. I think over the years where we feel in a lower mega-juke class we’ve been at a disadvantage. We’ve had to try and make up for that with the aero. We also have to remember that we are early in the season. Porsche and Toyota are going to bring update packages for Le Mans. We definitely look the most aggressive from the aero concept side.

    “I think our designers have gone all out to optimise every single element they could. We have six mega-jule battery package which is a big step forward from the flywheel system.

    But we still need to get more track time.”

    The move up in hybrid megajule class, to six, from four is a big change for the car, but Jarvis notes that as a driver driving the car hasn’t taken too long to get used to.

    “The driving style hasn’t changed in a sense that the suspension is very similar. Even though it’s a completely new car, with that extra boost power, you might have to spend a bit more time to understand it and get it working in the right way. There’s no use having all this power out of the corner if it creates an imbalance in the car like understeer or excess front tyre wear. It’s all about just working and getting used to that extra boost.”

    With the ACO’s new regulations on fuel-flow, the P1 cars’ in theory are set to have a reduction in performance. But whether there will actually translate to a difference in actual lap times is something we will have to wait until this weekend to see.

    “It’s a question I keep asking the engineers actually because we go to tracks and look at lap times from last year. That’s all we really have to compare against. It’s really hard to put a number on it, but I think it’s had quite a significant difference.

    “What’s incredible though is that we’re almost back to the pace that we were doing here last year at the Prologue. It looks like over the winter the engineers have found ways to get that performance back.

    “I’d love to know the amount that we’ve lost in terms of time due to the restriction on fuel. It’s somewhere between one to three seconds. It’s a significant amount.

    “It may not make too much of a difference at Le Mans interestingly, because that’s all about being efficient with the aero. The tracks with short bursts of acceleration tend to use the most fuel. I’d like to think we’re still going to be putting the same lap times down this year. It’s a shame they reduced it, without that the cars would be savage, phenomenal.”

    “They do have to keep an eye on the speed, with the GT cars and LMP2s on track. But wouldn’t it be great to go out there and break more lap records at every track we go to?”

    In terms of testing, Jarvis visited both Bahrain and Sebring with the new R18 prior to the Prologue, and both outings he says, were overall positive.

    “Sebring was our first test with the car. There were quite a few little issues,” he revealed. “We didn’t get as much running as we’d like. Overall the car was handling pretty well, which is always nice, and we did very little setup work. The focus was on getting the hybrid system to work and getting everything reliable. It was good straight out the box.”

    “I think we’ll find more and more time as the season progresses with setup, as we’re so limited with testing. It sounds crazy I know but the emphasis of course has to be to make the car reliable.

    “There were numerous things. Quite often it was little things, it can often have a lot of effects on running. It’s not like the old days where you have maybe something breaking on the car, and now it’s more programming issues that takes an hour to solve. Everything has a knock-on effect on everything else. It certainly changes the way you go about testing. It’s quite fascinating where we’ve started to where we are now.”

    Despite having issues with the car at private tests and at the Prologue too, Jarvis feels it’s not something to worry about for Audi ahead of his home race at Silverstone.

    “I have complete faith in the Audi designers, mechanics and engineers. It’s not unusual to have problems during the pre-season, that’s what it’s for. I would imagine that by the time we arrive at Silverstone, the car is fully reliable, and we’ll be out there fighting for the win. Saying that, you can never count anything out, there can always be things that happen that didn’t happen during testing that catch you out.

    “We are capable of having a quick and reliable car that’s capable of taking the fight to Porsche. They’re probably in a stronger position because they’ve got an evolution. They’ve proved their reliability over the last season, stuck with the same tech, and improved over the winter.

    “We’re slightly on the back foot with new technology, trying to develop and improve performance. I can understand they’re quietly confident, but at the same time look at what we achieved with four mega-jules…

    “You’d be silly to write us off this early in the season.”

    http://www.dailysportscar.com/2016/0...y-new-car.html
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    Leena Gade To Leave Audi Sport

    One of the key members of the near all-conquering Audi Sport team is set to move on after the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours.

    Leena Gade has engineered Audi to three Le Mans 24 wins and an FIA World Endurance Championship in a career with the marque that is now in its tenth year.


    After two seasons working on Audi’s North American campaigns (where she assisted Howden ‘H’ Haynes in engineering Allan McNish to the title in her debut year, Leena moved to the factory programme, at the time working as a contractor from Progressive Engineering though in more recent years she moved to Audi Sport as a full employee.

    Whilst a very familiar figure in the paddock her public profile grew immeasurably after her key role in the full team effort that is the Le Mans 24 Hours received wider exposure through her appearances in the Truth in 24 II film following the epic 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours.

    In 2012, she won the FIA World Endurance Championship’s ‘Man of the Year’ and she is also an Ambassador of the FIA Commission for Women in Motorsport.

    Leena is known to be bound for a motorsport role with Bentley on their customer programmes, not with MSport, and specifically NOT linked with any future programmes, but rather in a managerial role.

    Audi Sport responded to a request for confirmation by saying:

    “Leena Gade, the race engineer for the number “7” Audi R18, will be leaving Audi Sport after the Le Mans 24 Hours. However, she is breaking in her successor, (ex Sauber F1 race engineer) Erik Schuivens, in testing and racing operations. His involvement will begin with the season opener at Silverstone.”
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    good news for Leena, but she will be massive loss for Audi.

    Means, i better track her down and get picture with her on Sunday.
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    New role for Patrick Dempsey

    When this season’s World Endurance Championship gets underway in Silverstone this weekend, the Hollywood star will no longer be involved as a race driver but as co-owner of the Dempsey Proton Racing team. An interview.

    Patrick, how would you describe your new role as co-owner of Dempsey Proton Racing and the 911 RSR with the number 77?

    It's great to be involved in motorsports from a new perspective. Last year I made the decision to mainly focus on motorsports as a driver. I raced in the FIA World Endurance Championship – one of the biggest and most rewarding challenges in my life. This year I am excited to support the team in my new role as a co-owner. Currently we are preparing for Silverstone and the team is doing a world class job. I will be present there for the first round of the season, as well as in Le Mans.

    How often will we see you at the racetrack?

    I’ll try to be at the races as much as my schedule allows me to. I have always been a huge fan of motor sports and I love taking on new challenges. My new role as a co-owner of Dempsey Proton Racing gives me the opportunity to combine both. So far it’s been quite a rewarding experience to learn about the managerial aspects of co-owning a race team and I can’t wait to kick off the season in Silverstone this weekend.

    With Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen, the FIA WEC title defenders are the lineup for the No 77 911 RSR. Are you proud of having such great drivers?

    Oh yes, extremely proud. Richard and Michael are amongst the fastest and most experienced drivers in the field. They have a lot of responsibility to defend the championship and they are the right drivers for this kind of pressure. I am incredibly lucky to have them in our team. But it will not be easy, as they are the only Porsche in GTE-Pro class. And some other manufacturers are racing new cars in a full 2016 specification. Our car is an updated 2015 car. But reliability should be one of our advantages. And whenever the track is wet, the 911 is by far the best car on the grid. We have proven this multiple times in the past season.

    What makes it special to drive a 911 RSR?

    Driving a 911 RSR is as exhilarating as it is demanding. It's a very powerful car and there is a lot of force acting on your body, so you need to be in good shape to put in consistent lap times. At the same time it's very well balanced. Feedback is great and it's easy to feel what the car is doing. Exactly what you want from a good GT race car. It still feels like a 911 road car, but it is even more precise and much faster on the race track. Above all it's a fun and thrilling experience. There is really nothing else like it.

    In 2015 you mainly focused on improving your skills as a driver – with fantastic success. P2 in GTE-Am in Le Mans and the win in Fuji. How was it for you?

    Yes, it is completely a dream realized and come true. I worked very hard that season and it was great to achieve this many goals. It was a very fulfilling experience. As a sportsman success is what you are aiming for. All the preparation, all the workouts you do – you always have this success in mind. That’s your motivation.

    Can you describe the feeling standing on the podium – especially in Le Mans – in front of thousands of fans?

    This was my biggest dream come true. When you are standing up there in front of this massive crowd – it is hard to put it into words. It was so overwhelming and emotional in the best way. Especially when you think about the meaning and history of Le Mans and all the legendary race drivers who have raced there. I will certainly remember those moments for the rest of my life.


    Are there other highlights of the 2015 season you want to mention?

    I have tremendous, great memories from the 2015 season. I took my skills as a race driver to a new level which felt great. And working so closely with Porsche was really enjoyable. It was an extraordinary year. I look back at the season with great fondness and satifsfaction.

    What is your focus for 2016?

    My focus is on building results as great as last year as a team leader. But as I already said: In GTE-Pro class it will be even more difficult. I am looking foward to the first race in Silverstone very much.

    Your family will have more contact with the racing scene in 2016. Are you excited about that?

    Yes, Porsche and family are all in one. Being involved in endurance racing means a lot of traveling. So being able share the experience and passion for racing with my family more often will be great.

    Last year you came to Silverstone last minute without knowing the track, which must have been extremely difficult. Do you enjoy coming to Silverstone now without a rush, in a different role and more time to watch and enjoy the race?

    Last year at Silverstone was not easy. Silverstone is a very fast and challenging track with a significant amount of history. Being there in a different role will be a great way to kick off the season from a different perspective. And definitively a more relaxed one.

    In the past years you became an important member of the Porsche Family. How would you describe your relationship with the other drivers and all the other Porsche people?

    I have always been a great Porsche fan. And working so closely with them is a truly inspiring experience. They're great guys. I have a tremendous relationship with everyone in the Porsche family including all the drivers. I love being a part of the team. I got so much helpful advice from some of the best drivers in the world. This was very helpful to improve my skills and achieve these great results.

    Where does your fascination for motor racing come from?

    My fascination began very early in my childhood. I always loved racing and cars since I was very young. My father would bring me home little Matchbox cars, we would watch or listen to the Indianapolis 500. I just always had an interest in all things racing.
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    Headlines from Free Practice 2 at Silverstone……

    · Brendon Hartley sets fastest time of weekend so far with a 1m39.655s in No.1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

    · No.2 Porsche 919 Hybrid second despite spin for Marc Lieb during session

    · Toyota place third with No.6 TS0505; Audi fourth with No.8 R18

    · Rebellion Racing 1-2 in LMP1 privateer class as No.12 leads No.13 R-One-AER

    · Strakka Racing ahead in LMP2 on home soil

    · Manor show well on WEC debut as James Jakes sets second fastest time for No.44 car

    · AF Corse Ferrari on top again in LMGTE Pro as James Calado and Davide Rigon set times

    · Gulf Racing ahead in LMGTE Am as they lead No.98 Aston Martin with time set by Adam Carroll

    Free Practice 3 is scheduled to begin at 09.00 local time
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    Free Practice 2, Porsche On Top To End The Day

    After a 1-2 in FP1 to kick off the 2016 WEC season, Porsche was once again fastest, and held station at the top in FP2. A lap by Brendon Hartley in the #1 919 four minutes into the session of 1:39.655 would remain at the top of the screens until the end. Incredibly, the New Zealander’s lap was a tenth quicker than last year’s pole time.

    Also mirroring FP1, the #2 Porsche was second fastest, but 1.6 seconds off the sister car. It wasn’t plain sailing for the #2 however, as a full-course yellow period had to be called after the car stopped at Turn 7. It managed to get going again though and return to the pits with no visible damage.

    Rounding out the top three this time round though was Audi rather than Toyota, with the #8 R18 of Lucas Di Grassi just over a tenth off the slower of the two Porsches. The Brazilian’s best, a 1:41.414.

    The fastest Toyota, the #6 of Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Samui Kobayashi, ended up fourth, after a 1:41.523.

    After ByKolles led the way in LMP1 L during the first practice session, Rebellion Racing managed to finish up with both its R-Ones ahead of the CLM this time round. The #13 led the #12, the best lap from the pair a 1:46.428.

    In LMP2, Strakka Racing managed to sit atop the standings after the 90-minute session came to a close. The all-British team’s 1:49.632 was set by Jonny Kane in the closing minutes, after the #36 Signatech Alpine was quickest for much of the running with Gustavo Menezes set a good flyer early.

    The Alpine didn’t end the day second however, as it was then pushed to third after James Jakes set a 1:49.696 in the #44 Manor Oreca.

    AF Corse was once again the fastest of the GTE field, with the #51 leading the #71 once again in what was a very promising first day of running for the new Ferrari 488. The fastest tour in the session was a 2:00.107. The Dempsey Porsche finished the day third, but over a second off the pair of Ferraris.


    In Am, Gulf Racing’s Adam Caroll topped the times. The Irishman managed a 2:02.081, which was quicker than the rest of the slower Pro class runners behind the top three. The #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage ended up second, with the Larbre Corvette third.

    The track was dry for the majority of the session, before rain made another appearance and prevented any late improvements before the chequered flag fell
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  28. #328
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    Silverstone, Qualifying, Surprise Audi 1-2 On Drying Track

    The #7 Audi R18 will start tomorrow’s 6 Hours of Silverstone from pole position, heading a surprise Audi 1-2 after Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler’s average time of 1:53.204 on the drying circuit. It’s the first time Audi has been on pole in the WEC since the 2013 round at Fuji.

    It’s also snapped an 11-race Porsche pole streak.

    “It was difficult to know what was to expect in the wet,” said Lotterer after the session. “We weren’t confident. We went out there and drove as fast as we could. It was the right choice to stay on wet tyres.”

    The German’s third flying lap before handing over to Marcel Fassler was what sealed it, a 1:53.201 to give the #7 a good buffer heading into the second half of the session.

    Porsche ran quickest throughout the practice sessions, but in the greasy conditions couldn’t manage higher than third.

    The #8 Audi – which was on course to set a pole time until Lucas Di Grassi went off at Vale on his final flying lap – set an average time of 1:58.538 with Loic Duval setting the first time. The pair were just 0.104 off the #7.

    A further eight tenths back was the first of the Porsche 919s, the #1 with Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber in to qualify the car, the pair’s average was 1:54.266, a tenth quicker than the sister #2 919 which will line up fourth tomorrow.

    Toyota ended up with its TS050s fifth and sixth, five and 7 seconds off the faster Audi. A very tough start to the season for them.

    By Kolles will start on pole in LMP1-L after neither Rebellion R-One set an average time.

    LMP2 will start with the #26 G-Drive Oreca on pole. Rene Rast and Romain Rusinov’s average time – a 2:07.460 was over a second clear of the other runners in the class. After an LMP2 championship-winning run in 2015 for Rusinov, it’s a perfect start to his title defence.

    Second was the #31 ESM Ligier of Pipo Derani and Chris Cumming, with the RGR Sport By Morand Ligier of Filipe Albuquerque and Ricardo Gonzalez third.

    A top three spot was very impressive by the new Mexican squad.

    In GTE Pro, Sam Bird and Davide Rigon steered the #71 AF Corse 488 to pole position on the new car’s debut.

    “It was really difficult for me,” said Bird. It was my first time in the wet in the car. It was hard but we did it.

    “The track went from wet to greasy at the end, it was more difficult at the end.”

    Initially, it looked like the sister AF Corse Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado would sit atop the screens, but drama during the session means the car will have to start from the back.

    After Bruni climbed aboard the 488, following Calado’s 2:11.589 – which was good enough for provisional pole – Bruni had to pull into the pits before he could set a flying lap, meaning the pair didn’t have an average.

    The mechanics were frantically working on the engine bay on what Sam Bird described as an ‘electrical burning smell’.

    Nevertheless, AF Corse still managed pole, and with an average over a second clear of the second placed Dempsey Proton Porsche which with Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen at the wheel finished with an average of 2:13.822.

    Third fastest was the #66 Ford GT of Stefan Mucke and Olivier Pla, in what was a very promising run for the car which has had very limited wet running. The car was 2 seconds off pole in the end.

    Fourth overall in GTE, but pole in GTE Am was the Abu Dhabi Racing Porsche – scoring its first ever pole. Klaus Bachler and Khaled Al Qubaisi were delighted to be able start at the front.

    “The car was so good, we have pole by two seconds!” exclaimed Bachler. “We are really happy, perfect start to the season. The setup worked perfectly.”

    Behind them, the KCMG Porsche and Larbre Competition Corvettes.

    The opening round of the World Endurance Championship is due to get underway at Silverstone tomorrow at 12:00pm local time in the UK.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  29. #329
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  30. #330
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Stowmarket. U.K
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    Yes, #71 on pole. Shame for Gimmi and James, but be great to watch them race through the field tomorrow. Snow?!! wow Meant be cloudy, sunny 12 degrees tomorrow. Im packing warm gear incase. Cannt wait now. Will post pictures up tomorrow when get home.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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