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Thread: 2016 WEC, IWTSC, ELMS thread.

  1. #841
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    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  2. #842
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  3. #843
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    Great pics, thanks Rob.....and this BoP nonsense has got to stop, it's becoming almost as confusing and unfair as F1 has become!!

  4. #844
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    REBELLION Racing Media Team

    REBELLION RACING TO RUN ORECA 07

    Following the recent news from REBELLION Racing that they will be competing in the LMP2 category of world endurance racing in 2017, the team is pleased to announce a continuation of their relationship with chassis constructor ORECA.

    In 2014, after six seasons of successfully running Lola chassis in world endurance racing events, new technical regulations led REBELLION Racing to build their own LMP1 cars, the Rebellion R-Ones in association with ORECA. Just six weeks after the first R-One tested on track in 2014, REBELLION Racing took a historic result with their R-One LMP1 car at Le Mans when they finished in fourth place overall in the famous Le Mans 24 Hour race.

    The R-One cars have claimed 18 LMP1 Privateer victories (out of 21 races) since then and have been crowned three times as winners of the FIA World Endurance Trophy for LMP1 Privateers from 2014 to 2016 (to add to the two titles that REBELLION Racing had won previously with their Lola cars in 2012 and 2013).

    The success of the Rebellion R-One LMP1 cars seeded the development of ORECA’s first closed top LMP2 car a year later (the ORECA “05” coupe) and the next evolution of that car, the ORECA “07” is poised to continue the winning pedigree.

    Designed and optimised for the new LMP2 technical regulations which come into force from 2017, the ORECA “07” LMP2 car had its first on track tests a few days ago and right from the first moment on the circuit, the ORECA design team were pleased to see the car achieve its predicted performance.

    For 2017, REBELLION Racing have ordered two ORECA “07” cars and in the ultra competitive LMP2 category, the team will be aiming to build upon the success that it has enjoyed over the years.

    Alexandre Pesci – REBELLION Racing Team Principal : « After our decision to quit the LMP1 privateer class after many years of success, we have carefully weighted all the available chassis options. Very soon it appeared that ORECA was the best choice for us to make, we are very happy with the Rebellion R-One they built for us and our working relationship was second to none, an ORECA chassis has won the LMP2 WEC class this year and I am confident that the new ORECA 07 will continue to dominate the LMP2 category in the near future.»

    Hugues de Chaunac – ORECA : « We are pleased to continue our collaboration with Rebellion Racing. After the success and the great challenge with the R-One, it was logical and natural to continue the excellent relationship of work built up over the past years. The arrival of the team in LM P2 is very good news for the category. Rebellion Racing is a team of great quality, with a lot of experience, and it strengthens significantly the LM P2. I thank Alexandre Pesci and Bart Hayden for their trust and their choice to run the ORECA 07. »

    Bart Hayden – REBELLION Racing Team Manager : « The 2017 LMP2 races are going to be ultra competitive and that makes choosing the right chassis partner very important. With the R-Ones, we have appreciated the skill of the ORECA designers and we have witnessed the success of their “05” LMP2 chassis, so it was almost a logical choice for us to continue our association together. We are excited by this new challenge and are looking forward to getting our hands on the first of our new cars. »
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  5. #845
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    Lotterer to make Porsche switch for 2017 WEC season

    Andre Lotterer has reached an agreement to race for the Porsche LMP1 team in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2017, Motorsport.com has learned.

    The German moves across from Porsche’s sister marque Audi, which will withdraw from endurance racing at the end of 2016, ending a six-year association with the Ingolstadt manufacturer that has yielded three Le Mans 24 Hours victories and the 2012 WEC title.

    Motorsport.com understands that Lotterer had been in talks with both Toyota and Porsche about a 2017 LMP1 drive before ultimately deciding to take up an offer from the latter.

    Nonetheless, Lotterer is set to stay connected to Toyota in 2017 after agreeing to remain at the TOM’S Super Formula squad alongside Toyota WEC driver Kazuki Nakajima.

    It remains to be seen exactly where Lotterer will slot into the existing Porsche line-up, but with Nick Tandy also being added to the team’s 2017 roster, it signifies that at least one other driver will be forced to make way along with the retiring Mark Webber.

    Marc Lieb in particular is thought to be highly unlikely to retain his place, while Romain Dumas may also be vulnerable, with Earl Bamber still believed to be in contention to make the step up from Porsche’s GT ranks like his Le Mans-winning teammate Tandy.

    Other Audi drivers still face uncertain futures

    While Lotterer has found a home for 2017 with a rival LMP1 manufacturer, the situation looks less certain for Audi’s other five existing drivers.

    Their chances of staying on the WEC grid full-time are lessened by the fact that Toyota is believed to have already signed off on its primary 2017 driver line-up, with Jose Maria Lopez set to replace Stephane Sarrazin.

    However, there remains a strong possibility that the Japanese manufacturer will field three cars at Le Mans next year, a move which could prompt Porsche to respond by entering a third car of its own at La Sarthe – and therefore open up more opportunities for Audi’s current drivers to return.

    “There are a lot of possibilities, but there are so many ‘ifs’ also,” Loic Duval told Motorsport.com on his prospects of staying involved in WEC next season.

    “For a constructor in LMP1 there are lots of positives in having an experienced driver. I have to look at the opportunities, but at the moment there is too much fog.


    Lucas di Grassi meanwhile says his main focus will be on his Formula E commitments with Audi going forward, but isn’t ruling out a Le Mans return if the right opportunity arises.

    He said: “Formula E is coming up as a replacement for WEC, and I will take on this challenge full-time, as a works driver, and try to represent the four rings in the same way I did in WEC.

    “I’m only 32, and I feel I can still come back. If another company in the [VW] Group or another company decides to do LMP1, I will happily come back to do Le Mans.

    "It would be a great race to do in parallel with my Formula E programme next year.”

    Oliver Jarvis and Benoit Treluyer are also candidates to drive third cars at either Porsche or Toyota, while Marcel Fassler could take on a larger role in the Corvette GT squad, with which he contested the Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans enduros this season.

    “First we will have a meeting with Audi, then decide what possibilities there are for me within the group,” said Fassler in Shanghai. “I’m pretty open to everything at the moment.

    “For sure the contact [with Corvette] is there, I was there in 2009 [at Le Mans] before I went to Audi, and involved this year also in some races. But nothing is decided yet.”
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  6. #846
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    Barrichello and Lammers team up for 2017 LMP2 entry

    Rubens Barrichello and Jan Lammers will share a Dallara LMP2 car in next year's European Le Mans Series and Le Mans 24 Hours, it has been announced.

    The pair of former F1 drivers will race for the newly-formed 'Racing Team Nederland' squad, in what will be the Brazilian's first appearance at La Sarthe, together with team owner Fritz van Eerd.

    Barrichello, however, is no stranger to endurance racing, having contested the Daytona 24 Hours three times and finishing runner-up in this year's race in a Wayne Taylor Racing-run Corvette DP.

    For 1988 Le Mans winner Lammers, it will be his first appearance in the race since 2011, when he shared a LMP1 class Hope Racing Oreca-Zytek with Steve Zacchia and Caspar Elgaard.

    "It’s a tremendous opportunity to do this with Rubens, really special," Lammers told Motorsport.com.

    "We were looking at who would be available and who would be interested. I've known Rubens since I was 16, when he came to Europe. I contacted him and this is the result."

    Testing for the new project has already begun at the Magny-Cours circuit in France ahead of an expected race debut at the ELMS curtain-raiser at Silverstone in April.

    "We are regularly testing at Magny-Cours, and we have driven a lot with the LMP3 [Ligier raced in the Road to Le Mans race]," added Lammers.

    "But that was more informal and we took part in pro-am races. Now we will be competing in the ELMS and the competition is from a higher level."

    Jos Verstappen, father of Red Bull F1 driver Max, had planned to race alongside Lammers and van Eerd at Le Mans this year, but was unable to do so as the race clashed with the European Grand Prix at Baku.

    http://www.motorsport.com/elms/news/...-entry-850936/
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  7. #847
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    Alonso All But Confirms Future Deal With Porsche (updated with video)

    In retirement tribute message to Mark Webber

    Fernando Alonso has given his clearest indication yet that he will race in a Porsche LMP1 in the foreseeable future (Alonso is seen above in a visit to the Bahrain WEC paddock in 2015).

    Speaking in a pre-recorded video message to Mark Webber at the end of season FIA WEC Gala in Bahrain, as the ex-F1 and now retired Porsche driver was honoured by colleagues past and present, the two time F1 World Champion said:

    “You’ve had a fantastic career and now all your success with Porsche. You didn’t wait for me there, it would have been nice but you’ll still be around and I will ask you many things when I join your adventure.”

    You can see Alonso’s recorded contribution to the FIA WEC’ tribute video below with Alonso’s words at 2:06



    A 2018 Porsche deal is understood to be on the cards for the popular Spaniard.
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  8. #848
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    FRUSTRATING FINALE FOR TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
    Saturday 19 November 2016

    TOYOTA GAZOO Racing experienced a disappointing end to the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season in the 6 Hours of Bahrain.

    The #5 TS050 HYBRID of Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima was the lead TOYOTA in fourth, just the third time this year that the team has missed out on the podium.

    Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi in the #6 car began the race with an outside chance of the drivers’ World Championship, but fifth place was not enough to overhaul the Porsche #2 crew of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb.

    The #6 crew finished the season a creditable third in the drivers’ standings, 15 points behind the champions, with their #5 counterparts 8th following a series of misfortunes this year.

    TOYOTA’s finally tally from the nine-race season stands at one win, seven podium finishes and 229 points with the TS050 HYBRID, earning third position in the manufacturers’ World Championship.

    Today’s race represented Audi’s final appearance in the championship. The team marked the occasion by displaying messages on both TS050 HYBRIDs and presenting a commemorative banner to the Head of Audi Motorsport, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich.

    When the race got under way, Kamui in the #6 fought hard with #7 Audi but could not stay ahead, instead he put pressure on from fifth with Sébastien just behind in the sister car.

    The Porsche #2 suffered a puncture after almost one hour, elevating the #5 to fourth place, with the #6 now in fifth as the sun set and darkness took hold at the Bahrain International Circuit.

    The order stayed that way through the first half of the race, as track temperatures dropped slightly in the darkness. But after the halfway point, the two TS050 HYBRIDs swapped position several times, both in the pits and on track.

    The #1 Porsche remained out of reach in third place despite consistent efforts from all TOYOTA drivers as the end of the race approached.

    When the chequered flag fell, Sébastien crossed the line in fourth place, a lap behind the winning Audi #8. Mike followed 38.685secs later to complete a frustrating weekend.

    The team’s focus will now switch to 2017 preparations, with an intense pre-season testing schedule to fine-tune an updated TS050 HYBRID in time for the opening race, at Silverstone on 16 April.

    Those preparations begin already on Sunday with a two-car test session in Bahrain, which also sees promising LMP2 driver Pipo Derani test the TS050 HYBRID as part of the WEC’s rookie driver initiative.

    Toshio Sato, Team President: “We were hoping for more from this race. We gave everything to stand on the podium again but our speed was not enough compared to Audi’s exceptional performance. Not only was this the final race of a tough season but today we also said goodbye to a great competitor. We will miss competing as three manufacturers in LMP1. Congratulations to Audi for bringing their WEC era to an end with a deserved victory, and congratulations also to the Porsche #2 drivers on becoming World Champions. We will now focus on 2017, when we will come back stronger and ready to fight at the front.”

    TS050 HYBRID #5 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima)
    Race: 4th, 200 laps, 6 pit stops. Grid: 6th. Fastest lap: 1min 42.867secs

    Anthony Davidson: “It was a frustrating race for us. We gave it everything but we didn’t quite have the speed to challenge for the podium. It’s a sad way to end the season but it’s not been a great year for car #5 so I am pleased to see the back of it. I want to say congratulations not only to the Porsche #2 drivers but also to Audi. It was a very impressive display which sets the standard for next season.”

    Sébastien Buemi: “In the last race of the season I am pleased for Audi that they win with a one-two. We would have loved to have been on the podium but we didn’t have the pace today. We were hoping to give a better opportunity for car #6 to fight for the drivers’ championship but it wasn’t to be this weekend.”

    Kazuki Nakajima: “Firstly well done to the Porsche #2 drivers and big congratulations to Audi for the one-two. For us it was a difficult race because we didn’t have the pace to fight at the front; Audi were basically untouchable. The car felt okay to drive and I was happy enough with it; I think we did a decent job.”

    TS050 HYBRID #6 (Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi)
    Race: 5th, 200 laps, 6 pit stops. Grid: 5th. Fastest lap: 1min 43.096secs

    Stéphane Sarrazin: “I’m a bit sad to finish the season off the podium. It was a difficult race for us; we didn’t feel good with the car. Audi did an incredible job so well done to them. Well done also to Porsche #2. We were really fast since Mexico, with some very good results and a big highlight with the win at Fuji. All the team did a great job; we enjoyed this year together and for me it was still a positive season.”

    Mike Conway: “It was a tough day really. We thought it would be very close and we would be able to fight but Audi were so strong, it was impressive. Congratulations also to the Porsche #2 guys. Towards the end of the race it got really difficult with so much rubber stuck in the front of the car; I lost a lot of front grip. The team has plenty to be proud of this season so we will look back on the positives.”

    Kamui Kobayashi: “Congratulations to Audi for winning their last race in WEC and of course Porsche #2 won the title so well done to them. We had a good fight with them all season right until the last race but unfortunately we couldn’t do it today. It’s a pity to end with fifth place but we didn’t have the performance here that we hoped for. We are frustrated with this race but we will come back stronger.”

    6 Hours of Bahrain results:
    1st #8 Audi (di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis) 201 laps
    2nd #7 Audi (Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer) +16.419secs
    3rd #1 Porsche (Bernhard/Webber/Hartley) +1min 17.001secs
    4th #5 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing +1 lap
    5th #6 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing +1 lap
    6th #2 Porsche (Dumas/Jani/Lieb) +3 laps
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  9. #849
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    REBELLION Racing Media Team


    2016 FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP - 6 HOURS OF BAHRAIN

    REBELLION RACING ENDS 2016 FIA WEC ON A HIGH IN BAHRAIN

    REBELLION Racing finished on a high in Bahrain cementing five years of total domination of the LMP1 Privateer category of the FIA World Endurance. The #13 Rebellion R-One AER won the last race of the season, the 6 Hours of Bahrain.

    The 6 Hours of Bahrain was a flawless race and no incident on track or technical issue interrupted the progress of the Rebellion R-One #13 AER car on its way to the chequered flag. Alexandre Imperatori, Dominik Kraihamer and Mathéo Tuscher won the LMP1 Privateer with a comfortable lead of four laps over the ByKolles #4 car and secured seventh place overall.

    From the start until the sixth hour of the race, the Rebellion R-One #13 drivers built and extended their advantage over the ByKolles #4 car with a strong and safe pace. The right strategy from the pit wall and faultless pit stops from the crew helped to make the last race of the Rebellion R-One LMP1 car a perfect farewell and an illustration of the dominance of the Swiss team in the LMP1 Privateer category since 2012.

    During the 2016 FIA WEC season, REBELLION Racing won eight of the nine races, including two overall podiums, a win at the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours and secured eight pole positions along the way. Rebellion Racing won their fifth straight FIA WEC Endurance Trophy for Private LMP1 Teams, winning in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. It’s an achievement that the whole team is proud of.

    After starting 22 races since 2014, the Rebellion R-One cars will now head to the museum. Developed and built in association with ORECA, the Rebellion R-One cars have claimed 19 LMP1 Privateer victories and have been crowned three times as winners of the FIA World Endurance Trophy for LMP1 Privateers from 2014 to 2016 (to add to the two titles that Rebellion Racing had won previously with their Lola cars in 2012 and 2013).

    As the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship is now over, the REBELLION Racing team will focus on 2017 and their new racing challenge in the updated LMP2 category as previously confirmed. The Swiss team also announced last week their choice of the ORECA 07 LMP2 car, two of which have been ordered.



    Alexandre Imperatori - Rebellion R-One AER #13 : « It was a good send off for the R-One, we are really pleased to finish with a victory. We had a good and strong race today with no issues, my team mates did a great job. I joined the R-One programme last year and since then it’s been two very successful seasons amongst a very talented and committed group. I’m proud to be a part of it. We are now looking for the future and new challenge.»

    Dominik Kraihamer - Rebellion R-One AER #13 : « Really nice and sweet to end the season that way. No problem on track or in the pits and a very solid job from both team mates. We started the season as a dream with two overall podiums and after the team decided to focus on one car we were the lucky ones and we proved that the team’s choice was right. All the team deserves the results we achieved this year, it’s been a fantastic season. It’s now time to focus on 2017.»

    Mathéo Tuscher - Rebellion R-One AER #13 : « We had the race we were expecting, even stronger than we thought compared to the ByKolles car. I want to thank my two team mates and our entire team for this incredible season. We had a very well prepared and reliable car and we avoided mistakes on track, aside from our Le Mans DNF it’s only positive memories and the results are now written on the paper. I am now looking forward to next season.»

    Bart Hayden – Rebellion Racing Team Manager : « It’s fantastic that the last race for the R-One played out so well. No problems at all, great driving and smooth pit stops made it almost feel easy. The three seasons with the R-One cars have been very rewarding for Rebellion Racing, we’ve won many races and all the Championships. There are many people that have contributed to the success, the drivers, the engineers, the mechanics and also our technical partners, it has been a true team effort. We are very proud to have delivered these great results for our partners, especially Rebellion Timepieces. We’ve worked with different technical partners over the years, but this season’s success is shared by Dunlop tyres and Advanced Engine Research. There’s an end of season party tomorrow, so we will celebrate then and afterwards turn our attention to the new challenge in LMP2. »
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    LMP1 Hybrid technical regulations to be maintained to end of 2019 While at the last round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship in Bahrain, a Strategy Committee meeting took place between representatives of the two LMP1 Hybrid manufacturers, Porsche and Toyota, the President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, Pierre Fillon, and President of the FIA Endurance Commission, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones.
    LMP1 Hybrid technical regulations to be maintained to end of 2019


    Following very constructive discussions, it has been agreed between all parties that the current LMP1 hybrid technical regulations will be maintained until the end of 2019.

    This proposal will complement the other decisions already taken on the same subject - such as limiting the number of team members, the number of aero packages permitted, and the amount of wind tunnel sessions and testing days allowed - thus promoting strong technological competition and innovation in the coming years without an unlimited escalation of expenditure.

    The commitments made by the LMP1 Hybrid manufacturers will be put before the FIA World Council meeting in two weeks for approval.

    The very constructive attitude shown by the different participants in this Strategy Committee has been extremely rewarding and is appreciated, and very much in line with the spirit of the FIA World Endurance Championship. It promises for a very strong future, and everyone is now looking forward to the epic battles which will take place between the manufacturers in 2017 and beyond.
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    Sakhir, 19 November 2016 – Ferrari won the GT Manufacturer title in the World Endurance Championship (WEC). The victory came at the end of the 6 Hours of Bahrain where Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni and James Calado, with the 488 GTE no. 51 came second in front of teammates Sam Bird and Davide Rigon in no. 71 car. This is Ferrari’s fourth win in five editions of the WEC, the sixth if we include the two Intercontinental Le Mans Cup of 2010 and 2011. Emmanuel Collard, François Perrodo, Rui Aguas and the AF Corse team of Amato Ferrari rounded off a memorable day with the drivers’ and teams’ title in the GTE-Am class, with the 458 Italia GTE, which showed it is still a very competitive car.

    GTE-Pro. In the GTE-Pro class “Gimmi” Bruni started the race in no. 51 and Davide Rigon in no. 71. Bruni got off to a flying start that saw him leap ahead of the two Aston Martins that had monopolised the first row in qualifying. However during the race the British cars managed to move back into the top two positions. The key incident occurred on the stroke of the third hour of the race, when the leading car, the no. 97 crewed by Johnny Adam and Darren Turner, had a problem with a wheel that forced it to return to the pits losing precious time. At that point, James Calado, in Ferrari no. 51, moved into second place while Sam Bird in no. 71 took fourth. However, the British driver pushed on to overtake Ford no. 67 driven by Andy Priaulx to earn a spot on the podium. Two hours from the end, with the Aston Martin no. 95 in command (Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen won the Drivers’ title), the two Ferraris just had to maintain their positions to clinch the Constructors’ World Championship. After just a year off the top the Prancing Horse had regained its customary dominance of the WEC. This is Maranello’s fourth victory in five editions, the sixth considering the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup that actually was the same series before the FIA agreed to sanction it as a world championship.

    GTE-Am. In GTE-Am class the 458 Italia no. 83 driven by Emmanuel Collard, François Perrodo and Rui Aguas secured the Drivers’ title two hours from the end, when the Aston Martin no. 98 of Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana, the only rivals of Franco-Portuguese crew, were forced to withdraw due to a fault. AF Corse won the team title while the overall winner on their last race in the World Endurance Championship, was the Audi of Lucas Di Grassi, Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis.
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    Audi signs off with victory, Porsche takes title

    Audi secured a one-two finish in its final FIA World Endurance Championship race in Bahrain, as the #2 Porsche crew of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb did enough to seal the drivers' title with a sixth-place finish.

    On an emotional day for the Audi Sport Team Joest squad, its pair of R18 e-tron quattros were clearly the class of the field, with the #8 car of Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis bringing home the Ingolstadt marque its 17th and final WEC win.

    The polesitting car was passed in the second hour by the sister #7 car of Andre Lotterer, but a slow changeover to Benoit Treluyer at the third stops handed back the advantage to the #8 trio.

    At the halfway point of the race, a Full Course Yellow period caused the two Audis to go on diverging strategies, as the #8 car pitted while the #7 car stayed out - but Duval retook the advantage when he passed Treluyer early in the fifth hour, and was able to keep ahead despite losing pace on worn tyres towards the end of his stint.

    In the end, di Grassi brought home the #8 car with an advantage of 16 seconds over Marcel Fassler in the #7 machine, the pair completing a historic one-two for Audi.

    Third place went to the #1 Porsche of Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley, 1m17s down on the winning Audi.

    The best of the 919 Hybrids settled into third place during the second hour, warding off a challenge from the #5 Toyota, but never had the pace to threaten the Audis - although Webber did get to end his illustrious career by bringing the #1 car home at the end of the race.

    Toyota ended the year in disappointing fashion, with both of its cars a lap down. The #5 car of Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima came home ahead of the #6 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Stephane Sarrazin, who realistically needed a win to take home the title.

    Instead, it was the #2 Porsche of Jani, Lieb and Dumas that scooped the championship with a sixth-place finish, three laps down.

    Contact with the #78 Porsche after 50 minutes led to a left-rear puncture for Jani that immediately took the #2 car out of contention for the win, with a change of rear bodywork also necessitated. But after that the points leaders were able to complete the rest of the distance untroubled, needing only to finish with the #6 Toyota not in a winning position.

    Rebellion Racing finished seventh overall in its final outing in the privateer LMP1 division, four laps ahead of the ByKolles CLM.

    G-Drive goes from last to first

    In LMP2, the #26 G-Drive Oreca team of Rene Rast, Alex Brundle and Roman Rusinov scored an against-the-odds victory after a superb charge from the back of the field, the result of the car failing scrutineering after qualifying.

    The decisive move came courtesy of Rast with 20 minutes to go, as the German passed Filipe Albuquerque in the #43 RGR Sport by Morand Ligier also driven by Bruno Senna and Ricardo Gonzalez, going on to win the class by 6.8 seconds.

    Trying an unorthodox strategy was the #31 ESM Ligier team, which had built a big advantage over the rest of the field by virtue of leaving silver-rated Chris Cumming's mandatory drive-time until the very end of the race.

    However, Cumming was passed by both Rast and Albuquerque at his final pitstop, and was subsequently overtaken by Nicolas Lapierre in the #36 Signatech-Alpine, the Frenchman taking the bottom step of the podium along with teammates Stephane Richelmi and Gustavo Menezes - 26 seconds ahead of the #31 Ligier of Cumming, Pipo Derani and Ryan Dalziel.

    The sister #30 ESM car, the KFC Indonesia-liveried machine of Giedo van der Garde, Tom Dillmann and Sean Gelael, completed the top five, assisted by a late problem for the #44 Manor car that consigned it to the garage with just over 30 minutes to go.

    Aston Martin takes GTE title

    Aston Martin secured the drivers' title in the GTE-Pro division with its #95 car of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen, who took their second win of the season.

    It had been the sister #97 car of Darren Turner and Jonathan Adam that made the early running, the British duo leading the first half of the race before losing a front-right wheel at the start of hour four.

    That left the #95 car with a clear advantage over the two AF Corse Ferraris, which completed the podium with its two 458 Italias.

    Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado briefly led the way at the start in the #51 car, but couldn't hold back the Astons, while Sam Bird and Davide Rigon took third after clearing the best of the Fords, the #67 car of Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx, at mid-distance.

    After limping back to the pits on three wheels, the #97 car was able to claw its way back up to finish fifth in class, although this wasn't enough to prevent Ferrari from sealing the GT manufacturers' title.

    In GTE-Am, the #83 AF Corse trio of Emmanuel Collard, Francois Perrodo and Rui Aguas took title honours with a third-place finish.

    The #83 crew came into the race needing only a single point, with the #98 Aston Martin of Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla Lana and Mathias Lauda having to win to have any chance of taking the title.

    But any hopes of them beating AF Corse to the title were extinguished at the start of the fourth hour, when Dalla Lana suffered an engine failure and parked the ailing #98 car off the side of the track.

    The class win went to the #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Porsche of Pat Long, Khaled Al-Qubaisi and David Heinemeier Hansson for the second time this season.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  13. #853
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    405
    This article summarises well many of my feelings about BoP and GTE-Pro. No matter how much I try, I can't take GTE-Pro seriously and just don't care to follow the class. The fact Aston Martin won the drivers championship and would have won the constructors perhaps if not for some problems in the final race is a farce. The Ford Le Mans debacle and continued participation is a farce. It's unfortunate that stories elsewhere have obscured how comical GTE Pro is at the moment - the ACO/FIA have allowed this to be the case but show no sign of doing anything about it.

  14. #854
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645





    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  15. #855
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645


    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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