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Thread: 2016 WEC, IWTSC, ELMS thread.

  1. #151
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    Some pics from Paul Ricard..





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  2. #152
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    RISI COMPETIZIONE TEAM PLEASED WITH SEBRING TEST

    Sebring, Florida (February 26, 2016)...The Risi Competizione Team completed their first test of the season with the new Ferrari 488 GTLM race car today, with pleasing results. The No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM completed nearly 200 laps and over 1,100 kilometers the past two days at Sebring International Raceway.

    Their participation in the official IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test was the first opportunity the popular Houston, Texas-based team has been able to test, as they received delivery of the brand new Prancing Horse just days before the start of the Rolex 24 at Daytona race, where they finished sixth in class.
    Full season driver Toni Vilander and Davide Rigon, who will return as a co-driver for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida, handled the driving chores during the Sebring Test. Vilander's 2016 season teammate, Giancarlo Fisichella, was away for a special Ferrari event in the Italian Alps, where he conducted a demonstration run on the snow in his former 2009 Formula 1 Ferrari F60 in front of delighted Ferrari fans and enthusiasts.

    Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
    "We had a good two days of testing. It's the first time we've actually had the opportunity to run the car, other than Daytona. We only had one dry session at Daytona before we went into the race. We tried several things here (at Sebring) and I think we found some positive setup direction. Hopefully, the BoP (Balance of Performance) before the race will give us some straight speed so we can be competitive. Davide got up to speed, as this test was essential for him, Toni's been here before and he's great to work with, both drivers are quite happy with the car, a good solid test."

    Toni Vilander, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
    "It was good to get a proper test. It's been really good weather for these two days. Unfortunately, Giancarlo was not here. For me, we improved the seat position. Rick (Mayer) made a really good plan for these two days, so we went through that plan and we learned a lot. Sebring is a completely different track than this 488 has ever driven with the bumps, the concrete and everything. The handling was good. No big issues. Now we just need to collect all the data and information we got from the past two days and decide which type of race car we want to prepare for the race. I'm really happy for the team and the way things are working. The guys had to change a few things the first day so they had a pretty late night, but everyone keeps smiling, so the spirit is good in the team. They've been really effective on the pit wall and pit lane when we've been doing the pit changes so it's been a pleasure to be part of these two days. We'll get Giancarlo in for the race and then we'll try to go for a good result."

    Davide Rigon, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
    "It's very bumpy. I expected it a bit, because everybody was telling me about this, especially in the first corner and the last corner. Also I didn't expect so much grip on the corners because of the tarmac changes. It looks very different from what I am used to. I had a lot of time in the car. My engineer gave me the chance to learn the track with no pressure that was very valuable. I drove a lot the first day so I was ready to work on the car setup the second day. We didn't get to work on the car at Daytona so it was good to get to do this type of test and also to be able to do it with Toni. We really enjoyed the test and I think we're in good shape for the race. Our current BoP with power (boost) has us at a deficit, we hope that gets evaluated and adjusted for the race. I was not expecting the car to be as good as it was at the start of testing, it helped me to learn the track quickly. We can always improve and we've been working with our engineer (Rick Mayer) on ways we can improve for the race. Let's see if we can improve a bit, but as far as balance, we are happy but missing a bit of straight line speed."

    The next event for the Risi Competizione Team is the 64th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, Round Two of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, on March 16-19, 2016 in Sebring, Florida.
    Last edited by Rob; 27th February 2016 at 12:41.
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  4. #154
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    Motors TV And Sky – The Facts
    on 27/02/2016 12:03

    There’s a lot of supposition and not much fact flying around regarding Motors TV having disappeared in the past 48 hours from the Sky Electronic Programme Guide in the UK.

    Motors TV have not made any comment or statement on this apparent rowing back of their distribution. The channel had expanded onto a UK terrestrial digital platform (Freeview Ch71) along with listings on cable providers, notably Virgin. The Ch71 broadcasts ceased, late last year, without explanation.

    However a source close to the channel says that the management are confident the Sky 447 listing will be reinstated next week. There is clearly some frustration there that the current situation has occurred.

    Cause for optimism that the channel will indeed reappear is that Motors TV UK are still broadcasting, exactly as normal, on the Astra satellite platform despite no longer being on the Sky EPG.

    You can still view the channel on your satellite box by going to the “add channel” menu and entering the following settings;

    Freq 11.082
    Polarity H,
    Baud Rate 22000 or 22.0
    FEC 5/6,
    DVB-S,
    QPSK

    Press scan and then highlight and store MotorsTV UK. Note, you will only be able to access it from the “Other Channels” menu of your receiver.

    The broadcast of Motors TV on Freeview Ch240 is not affected and the channel is still listed on Virgin Media.

    GG/ John Hindhaugh
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  5. #155
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    spoke to Gimmi yesterday. He is really happy how test went last week. And he and James working well together. And super happy with the car. Says it waaaaay faster than 458 GTE.
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  6. #156
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    Varsha (FOX): “There’s A Lot of Growing American Interest in WEC”

    U.S. television coverage of the FIA World Endurance Championship takes another significant step forward this year, with the addition of a dedicated in-house commentary team, led by Bob Varsha and Calvin Fish, for FOX Sports’ live coverage of the globe-trotting series.

    For Varsha, a veteran sports broadcaster who has called Formula One, IndyCar and IMSA racing action, not to mention the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other world-class motorsports events over the last 30 years, it marks his return to top-level sports car racing after not being renewed by IMSA for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship broadcasts this year.

    Sportscar365 caught up with Varsha for his thoughts on his new venture covering the WEC and a preview of what’s to come on the FS1 and FS2 broadcasts this year.

    Given the challenging situation that unfolded with the IMSA broadcasts, how pleased are you to be back on the mic in a top-level sports car racing championship this year?

    “I’d be lying if I said the IMSA situation wasn’t a huge disappointment. My roots in television goes back to those guys in the ’80s, with their predecessor as IMSA. There were a lot of ties there.

    “Things change and you move on. My favorite race in the world is Le Mans and I have that and the rest of the World Endurance Championship, which is a really exciting series.

    “It seems to be constantly on the up, with a complete field of 32 cars for the full championship and 60 cars at Le Mans. We know how much the stars of IMSA want to go to Le Mans, Mike Shank and all of those guys.

    “It’s an exciting place to be and I’m grateful to have it. I look forward to doing it with Calvin [Fish] and [international feed commentators] John [Hindhaugh] and Graham [Goodwin].”

    Last year’s broadcasts had yourself and Calvin as presenters of the show, with the international feed being used for commentary. How will that change this year?

    “In the past we did it much in the same way we did MotoGP and Formula E to this day. As a FOX personality, I’d welcome people on the air, do a little bit of preparation and then throw to the series announcers on-site for the actual race call. That’s how we did the WEC last year.

    “This year we decided to up the ante. Calvin and I will call the race, with an occasional visit — I’m not sure yet how we will work it out — from John and Graham.

    “For the six-hour races, we’ll need a little break along the way. That’s the idea of bringing them in and letting them carry the ball for a while while Calvin and I take a breather.”

    Is it exciting to see the WEC’s growth, particularly from an American standpoint?

    “Absolutely. We all know Corvette’s success at Le Mans. Now Ford is back and they’re going to run the full season. There’s a lot of growing American interest in the WEC and I Know there’s a huge interest from the WEC in having a larger footprint here in the U.S.

    “I had a meeting with Pierre Fillon from the ACO and Gerard Neveu from the WEC and Andrew Craig, who represents the interests of the WEC organization in the U.S.

    “They want the best possible coverage and exposure they can possibly get. It’s great to be a part of an organization with that kind of enthusiasm and that kind of ambitious goals.”

    What does it mean for WEC to have this kind of commitment from FOX Sports to help grow its championship in the U.S. market?

    “FOX is a worldwide company so its sporting portfolio should include worldwide championships like this. You don’t get too many opportunities, short of the Olympics and Formula One.

    “Motorsports generally are the true world championships going forward because other sports tend to have quad-annual and bi-annual world championships, where motorsports — in all of its diversity — is out there every year racing in countries around the world, in front of diverse audiences and at great racing facilities.

    “I think it’s only appropriate, and I hope the FOX executives agree with me, that they’d be involved with something like the WEC and giving it the kind of exposure a world championship deserves.”

    Does the WEC rekindle some your memories of international sports car racing from the ’80s?

    “There’s nothing better than a true World Championship. I cover Formula E, for example, and as exciting, fun and groundbreaking as it is, there’s not yet enough global participation for the FIA to call it a World Championship.

    “But the WEC has that. And I think the crowds we see every year at the races and the manufacturer involvement across the board, it’s spectacular. The entire field looks great. There appears to be plentiful sponsorship, cutting-edge technology…

    “Everything you’d want from a race, especially my favorite is the diversity you’d find, not only the mechanical diversity in the cars and classes but the driver lineup is extraordinary. It represents so many corners of the world.”

    Are there any particular stories you’re looking forward to sharing this season?

    “We’ll certainly be telling the Ford story. Obviously that’s a red-white-and-blue topic for us. The extraordinary LMP1 hybrid technology as it grows and the guys go faster and faster using less and less fuel… There’s just an abundance of stories in this series.

    “There’s huge growth in the LMP2 category and [it will be interesting to see] what impact that’s going to have going forward, not only on the World Championship and Le Mans but on racing on this side of the pond and IMSA’s dealings with the ACO in trying to come together with a workable LMP2 formula that concerns the marquee class over here as well as the second-step class in WEC.”

    http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/v...st-in-the-wec/
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    Will Stevens Joins Expanded Two Car Manor WEC Campaign
    on 29/02/2016 10:35

    Will Stevens is confirmed this morning as a full season Manor driver for the 2016 FIA WEC as the team also confirmed that they will enter a second Oreca 05 Nissan for the full season with the exception of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

    The team’s entry, revealed by DSC back in Autumn 2015 was confirmed at the ACO press conference in Paris earlier this month with Tor Graves named as the nominated driver.

    He’ll now be joined in an expanded two car squad by ex Caterham and Manor F1 driver Stevens who joins the WEC after 20 Grand prix starts.

    Stevens’ career to this point has solely seen the 24 year old Briton in single seaters though his 2014 Renault 3.5 starts with Strakka Racing will have given him at least an opportunity to observe something of the technology involved in LMP2.

    John Booth, Team Principal

    “Everything has moved very quickly since we first announced that we would be entering the 2016 World Endurance Championship. It is great news to be running an additional ORECA 05 LM P2, we can’t wait to get started with the season at The Prologue at the end of March.

    “It’s great that Will is joining the team, we know his talent and speed from working with him over the last few years in Formula 1 and we are all really looking forward to going racing with him.”

    Will Stevens:

    “The opportunity to continue my relationship with Graeme and John was one that I was very pleased to accept. It gives me a great chance to explore endurance racing, be competitive and go racing with people I enjoyed working with last year so I’m
    looking forward to it.

    “My objective is to have a number of top level career choices going forward, and to be able to gain experience in endurance racing will hopefully open up my career prospects. I want to keep very busy, enjoy my racing and do some winning and I’m confident that by working again with Manor in WEC I’ll achieve all of those things.”
    http://www.dailysportscar.com/2016/0...-campaign.html
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  8. #158
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    Great articles..
    the 488 is beautiful..
    Great to see an article about Varsha. Great car guy.

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    ELMS Circuits 2016 (1): Le Castellet
    ELMS - 29/02/2016

    In just over three weeks the drivers and teams will gather at the Circuit Paul Ricard on the 22/23 March for the 2016 Official Test. The French circuit will also host Round 4 of the 2016 season, with the 4 Hours of Le Castellet taking place on Sunday 28 August.

    Many of the 44 full season entries will attend the Official Test and it will be the first opportunity to gauge who are going to be the front runners in this year’s series in each of the three classes. With its technical corners, long straights and location on the sunny Côte d’Azure, the 5.791km Le Castellet circuit is the perfect place to carry out the final preparations for the gruelling six round ELMS season.

    In March 2015 the fastest lap over the two day test was the Murphy Prototypes Oreca with a 1m48.155 lap by Nathanael Berthon. This compared to the fastest lap of the race weekend in 2015, which was a 1m46.917 set by the JOTA Sport Gibson of Harry Tincknell in qualifying for the race last September. The fastest race lap was set by Ludovic Badey in the Thiriet by TDS Race Oreca05 with a 1m50.139.

    The fastest LMGTE competitor at the 2015 test was the no56 AT Racing Ferrari 458 Italia with Alessandro Pier Guidi setting a 1m56.980 on the first day. Pier Guidi also set the fastest lap of the race weekend with a 1m55.782 lap in qualifying, with fellow Italian Marco Mapelli setting the fastest race lap with a 1m58.194 in the no88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR.

    In 2015 Le Castellet saw the public debut of the brand new LMP3 car from Ginetta and the test at Paul Ricard was a chance to put some more track miles on the brand new car that was the forerunner for an entire new class of Le Mans Prototype. A 1m57.932 lap was recorded by Michael Simpson. This time was improved by 2.5 seconds on the ELMS return in September with Charlie Robertson setting a 1m55.421 lap in qualifying.

    The Circuit Paul Ricard is the only track visited twice during the ELMS season and has been a regular race fixture since 2008 and test venue since the creation of the series back in 2004.

    Since the relaunch of the ELMS in 2013 the French circuit has been host to either the finale (in 2013) or set the scene for the final showdown in Portugal (2014 and 2015). Honours in LMP2 have been shared by three different teams and chassis, with Murphy Prototypes winning in 2013 with the Oreca03-Nissan, Newblood by Morand Racing in 2014 with the Morgan-Judd and 2015 champions Greaves Motorsport taking their second win of the season with the Gibson015S-Nissan.

    In LMGTE the Ferrari 458 has been unbeaten since 2013 at Le Castellet, with three different teams standing on the top step of the podium. In fact the Italian manufacturer has claimed seven of the nine podium places in the last three years.

    In 2013 RAM Racing won to secure the championship in style, finishing over a lap ahead of the JMW Motorsport Ferrari. In 2014 AF Corse won by just 9.2 seconds ahead of the AT Racing Ferrari and last season eventual champions Formula Racing made it two wins on the bounce with a one lap advantage over the Marc VDS BMW. The JMW Ferrari has been most consistent finisher in the LMGTE class with three podium finishes in the past three races (2nd, 3rd, 3rd).

    The LMP3 class debuted in 2015 and the race was won by Sir Chris Hoy and Charlie Robertson in the Team LNT Ginetta Nissan and claimed the inaugural LMP3 driver and team titles in France as a result.

    With 44 full season entries across the three classes, the 2016 European Le Mans Series promises to be the closest and one of the most exciting race series in the world. After the Official Test at Le Castellet the competitors will gather in England on the 15 /16 April for Round 1 of the six race series, the 4 Hours of Silverstone.
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  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Great articles..
    the 488 is beautiful..
    Great to see an article about Varsha. Great car guy.

    the 488 GTE looks stunning in that little black dress but when she has her evening dress on be even better. Will see the new livery at Prologue (WEC test) Vaesha really top block, he nows his stuff, and he and Fish work well together.
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  11. #161
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    couldnt help but post these videos. Give me goose bumps. The 458 harmony, especially on the downshift.





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    KEATING WORKING TO MAKE VIPER LAST TWO LAPS LONGER AT SEBRING
    JUST FOUR MORE MINUTES...

    Last year, the Riley Motorsports ViperExchange.com Dodge Viper GT3-R led down the stretch in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, only to experience heartbreak with two laps remaining.

    The team participated in last week’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test at Sebring International Raceway, with owner/driver Ben Keating joined by Jeroen Bleekemolen and Marc Miller in a pair of Vipers. The No. 93 Viper was sixth fastest in GT Daytona (GTD) during the test, nearly two seconds under Bleekemolen’s track record. To demonstrate how close competition is in GTD, the top 14 cars were within one second, while all 17 GTD cars unofficially eclipsed Bleekemolen’s 2015 mark.

    Keating took time to discuss what happened last year, and his thoughts looking to this year’s race on March 19.

    What exactly happened at the end of last year’s race?

    “We won the 11 hours and 56 minutes of Sebring last year. As best as we can tell, with about 30 minutes to go we hit a chunk of black carbon off of a PC car somewhere in the night. Sebring is a dark place at night, and a chunk of black carbon is not easy to see. Whatever it was, it was heavy enough to blow through all the steel screens and protection that we have and made a really, really small pinhole in the radiator. We saw that it was leaking and we were losing water pressure. At that point, you gamble. You can come in, fill it with water and know you’re going to finish, but in eighth place. Or you can go out and try and make it and win. That’s a no-brainer decision. We tried to make it, and fell two laps short.”

    What did you do with that engine after the race?

    “I still have it at home. It’s a cool-looking engine because of how it melted down. That engine got hotter than any Viper engine that I’ve ever seen. It’s going to make a great table when it’s all said and done.”



    There are a lot of changes to GT Daytona with the addition of GT3-specification cars. How are your Vipers different from last year’s car?

    “I would say for the most part we have the same car coming back to Sebring. The Viper has been extremely reliable through the years. I would expect that this will be a great race for us. The main difference in our GT Daytona field is that all the other cars are now GT3 cars as well. I feel the GT3-spec car fits Sebring very well. I’ve always felt like the Viper liked Sebring compared to the other cars in our class; this year, it seems every GTD car likes Sebring. So I guess Sebring likes GT3 cars, so the advantage we’ve had is gone all of a sudden. We’ve got a great team and a great car. History would say that the 12 hours of Sebring is harder on machinery than 24 hours of Daytona. I hope that’s true; I hope that some of those newer cars find problems they didn’t know they had racing 12 hours of bumpy concrete.”

    Last year, Jeroen set the Sebring GTD track record in your Viper. In the opening session of the test, 10 cars bettered that mark, and all 17 cars eventually beat it. Why do you think that happened?

    “Not only does Sebring like the GT3 cars, but the conditions Thursday morning were as good as it gets. Nice cool weather, sunny day, and the cars are really liking the track. So many of the GT3 cars are really good here. The fact that cars are doing 2:01s is just outrageous. There are a lot of fast cars out there. I’m doing about the same lap time that I did last year. Last year, it was a really good lap time. Today, it’s slow as molasses.”

    Source:
    IMSA
    - See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/keating....tPQYgeu4.dpuf
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    i know this video is slightly long, but watch bits and skip through. Its form 2014, where #51 battled back to win the GTE Pro class after that big crash in practice. The video starts with Fisico and then at 2:55 in pits for driver change to Gimmi and he takes it to the flag.

    Last edited by Rob; 2nd March 2016 at 09:52.
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  14. #164
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    Great Le Mans videos Rob, grazie mille, I admire your dedication and despite finding the different classes and series Europe/US a bit confusing, I'm getting hooked! I only ever made it to Le Mans once back in the early 70s, when the awesome 512s were battling the 917s.......happy days!

  15. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    Great Le Mans videos Rob, grazie mille, I admire your dedication and despite finding the different classes and series Europe/US a bit confusing, I'm getting hooked! I only ever made it to Le Mans once back in the early 70s, when the awesome 512s were battling the 917s.......happy days!
    That's awesome wisepie! Would be really nice if you are going to follow the WEC this season too! Rob and I like it a lot more than current F1 and it's a lot more accessible than F1 too! You should go to Silverstone this year and meet the AF Corse team!
    Maurizio Arrivabene fanpage:www.facebook.com/maurizioarrivabene

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    Greaves Motorsport signs Julien Canal for 2016 Season

    Greaves Motorsport are pleased to announce that they have signed multiple endurance racing champion, Julien Canal, to drive for the team in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the European Le Mans Series. Canal is a current holder of the FIA Endurance Trophy for LM P2 Drivers and a three-time class winner at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Canal will partner Memo Rojas in the team’s #41 Nissan-powered Ligier JS P2, the identity of the third driver will be revealed in the near future.Julien Canal had theses thoughts on the season. “I am very happy to run this year with Greaves Motorsport. This team has already proven its high level of performance. I have two years’ experience in LM P2 with Ligier and I will bring all myknowledge of that car to the team. Our common goal is to win the European Le Mans Series and I trust 100% in Greaves Motorsport to realize this goal!”

    Jacob Greaves, Team Principal Greaves Motorsport. “We are very pleased and excited here at Greaves Motorsport to have signed such a talented driver as Julien. His record of successes in endurance racing across several classes confirms his speed and versatility. Julien will bring his experience of winning to the team and will enhance an already strong driver line up joining Memo Rojas, another multiple champion and endurance classic victor. Julien also has valuable experience of the Ligier JS P2 in achieving his title last season and will play a vital role in helping us to optimise the set up of our new car.
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    GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES FOR 2016! 29 CARS FOR THE WEC PROLOGUE

    The time for talking is over! The sights and sounds of 29 of the world’s best endurance racers will soon be the focus of attention at the FIA World Endurance Championship’s official pre-season test, The Prologue.

    Taking place at Circuit Paul Ricard at Le Castellet in the south of France on Friday and Saturday 25/26th March, this will be the first opportunity for competitors, media and fans throughout the world to see 2016’s WEC teams on track all together.

    Of the 32 full season entries for the 2016 WEC, 29 will be present at Circuit Paul Ricard for the five sessions of testing planned over two days, including a night session on Friday, 25th.

    On Saturday 26th there is not only free entry for the whole day for fans, including access to the Paddock, but also the chance to see the cars up close and meet the drivers at an autograph session.

    Fitting alongside their own comprehensive testing programmes, Audi, Porsche and Toyota will all be in attendance at The Prologue – Audi and Toyota with just one car each which is the minimum requirement within the regulations. All three manufacturers, including World Champions Porsche, will be launching their new-for-2016 LMP1 hybrid challengers in the days leading up to The Prologue.

    Rebellion Racing and ByKolles Racing Team will also be testing their LMP1 Privateer entries, and the Swiss and Austrian teams have been working solidly towards improved performance over the winter period.

    A full complement of 10 LMP2 entries will grace the fast Paul Ricard track, with five different chassis being tested against each other: the ORECA 05 (G-Drive Racing and Manor), BR01 (SMP Racing), 2015 championship-winning Ligier JS P2 (Extreme Speed Motorsports and RGR Sport by Morand), Alpine A460 – which will be revealed for the first time just ahead of The Prologue (Signatech Alpine and Baxi DC Racing Alpine) – and Gibson 015S (Strakka Racing). All LMP2 cars will be on Dunlop rubber and powered by Nissan engines.

    In LMGTE Pro, Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK will be making its public WEC debut with the new Ford GT. On track with them will be Aston Martin Racing’s revised Vantage V8, AF Corse’s all-new Ferrari 488 GTE, and Dempsey-Proton Racing who will be defending Porsche’s GT championship titles in 2016.

    Joining the factory-led teams will be another six GTE entries from the always-competitive LMGTE Am class which includes the Chevrolet Corvette of Larbre Competition, Porsche 911 RSRs from KCMG, Gulf Racing and Abu-Dhabi Proton Racing, and Ferrari and Aston Martin entries from AF Corse and Aston Martin Racing respectively.

    Gérard Neveu, CEO of the World Endurance Championship, said: “The Prologue has now become an established part of the WEC calendar and is greatly anticipated by both media and fans alike. Our manufacturer partners and teams take this opportunity to reveal their 2016 cars to a growing number of international media each year, and of course it is the first chance for all the competitors to test themselves against their rivals. For fans in France and beyond it is a fantastic event, with an open paddock, autograph session and pit walk on Saturday. The friendly and open spirit of the WEC begins here at The Prologue and we welcome everyone.”



    The Prologue – FREE ENTRY FOR THE PUBLIC ON SATURDAY 26 MARCH

    The Prologue will take place at the Circuit Paul Ricard on 25/26 March 2016, with the second day (Saturday 26th) being open and free entry to members of the public. Fans who attend will have the opportunity to see the cars on track during two open test sessions, plus they will be invited to take part in the lunchtime pit walk and autograph session – all as part of the free event.


    Provisional Timetable

    Friday 25 March

    09:00 – 13:00 Session 1

    14:00 - 18:00 Session 2

    19:00 – 21:00 Session 3 (night testing)

    Saturday 26 March

    09:00 – 13:00 Session 4

    13:15 – 13:45 Driver Autograph Session and Pitwalk

    14:00 – 17:00 Session 5

    entry list

    http://www.fiawec.com/wpphpFichiers/...ist_010316.pdf
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    MARSHALS WELL-TRAINED BEFORE TEST DAY FOR THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS

    The day of training called "Objective Le Mans 2016" for marshals came to an end Saturday afternoon after the establishment of practice workshops. Scenarios covering, among other things, how to conduct Slow Zone procedures under the watchful eye of Eduardo Freitas, FIA WEC Race Director (all rounds) and his right-hand-man at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Patrick Morisseau, Race Director since 2015.

    05/03/201619h01


    Better communication

    Radio communications were also affected by improvements. A new Intercom for radio transmissions will quiet some of the "noise" on the network. Computer software will also help circulate information from race direction to the media. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is once again involved in major innovations. The Slow Zones - in which cars must respect an 80 km/h speed limit to allow marshals to intervene on the track in function of instances during the race - have been implemented in other championships. The 24 Hours of Le Mans often sets the bar. For Le Mans to remain the example, Patrick Morisseau hoped this day would serve to best prepare all the marshals for Test Day, a veritable rehearsal leading up to the race itself.

    Eduardo Freitas heavily involved

    Eduardo Freitas is quite familiar with the role of track marshal. He spent three editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans between 1993 and 1995 with his Portuguese friends at Post 50 at the time by invitation from Marcel Martin who was the race director. He went back over the improvements since the introduction of the Slow Zones in 2014: "The first year we set the speed limit at 60 km/h in the Slow Zones like in pit lane to keep things simple. It turned out that slowing the cars to that speed set in motion on certain models a refuelling protocol which cut fuel supply pumps. In 2015 we adjusted the speed to 80 km/h, and even though there have been a few hiccups in the measure, the procedure is now a reference in motorsports. The hardest part isn't getting a Slow Zone down to 80 km/h. It's going back into race mode which is delicate. It takes perfect simultaneity, right as the green flags are waved.

    An LM P1 and a GT do not reaccelerate the same at all, and in function of the traffic in the zone in question we pay attention to the cars coming in and going out. Signaler marshals must be precisely synchronized, given that at 340 km/h an LM P1 travels 94 meters per second."

    Pit marshals

    As for pit marshals, of which there will be less by the request of competitors who have considered pit lane too crowded, the day was packed with information especially relative to the new 2016 regulations. Other new rules include that four mechanics (two before) will now be authorized to change tyres simultaneously, even though only one pneumatic gun will be allowed beyond the famous white line that separates the garage from pit lane. Teams can no longer put tyres down on the ground in pit lane, on the track side, before removing the tyres in place, for safety reasons. Pit marshals must confirm that every stop in pit lane is compliant with regulations and communicate with race direction as necessary.

    New development of passive safety measures in the works at the circuit

    Though one can consider the procedures gone over on Saturday, March 5th as active safety measures, passive safety will still be in force for the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans. Rows of protective tyres will be added at various spots on the circuit. For example among others: Tertre Rouge, Corvette turn, but also at an alsphalt area at Indianapolis as replacement for the gravel trap that was prone to trapping cars in an exposed area.

    The day ended as it began, at the Welcome during which all topics were open to the marshals present, the diligence, focus and participation of whom the Sports direction commended. Eduardo Freitas offered unifying words in his closing remarks: "We are all here for the well-being of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, safety and the lives of the drivers." The marshals will now form their teams for Test Day and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, not to mention the 8th edition of the Le Mans Classic which will be exciting.
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    WEC - TWO DAYS OF TESTING IN SPAIN ON THE AGENDA FOR THE FORD GT.

    A few days after tweaking the Ford GT in the U.K., the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team and its four drivers in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) hit the road for Spain for two days of testing.

    Last Monday, Marino Franchitti took care of tweaking the two Ford GTs that will compete in the full World Endurance Championship (WEC), and therefore the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LM GTE Pro, in Turweston, U.K. while his teammates presented the season at the Geneva Motor Show.

    Since this morning, the four drivers - Franchitti, Olivier Pla, Andy Priaulx and Stefan Mücke - have been hard at work at the Motorland Aragón circuit in Spain, the site of the new Toyota TS050 Hybrids first laps last week. It will be a first testing session in a packed program between now and the first race at Silverstone on April 17th.

    Before then, the two Fords entered in the American WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will have competed in the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 19th. Then they will reunite with their sister WEC cars for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the American marque will enter no less than four cars on June 18th and 19th.
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    REBELLION Racing Media Team
    Lausanne - March 7, 2016

    NELSON PIQUET JR WILL JOIN REBELLION RACING
    FOR LE MANS 24 HOURS AND FIRST ROUNDS OF THE 2016 FIA WEC.


    One of the most famous names in motorsport will return to the Le Mans 24 Hours this season as Rebellion Racing is pleased to confirm today that Nelson Piquet Jr will join forces with Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld at the wheel of the #12 Rebellion R-One LMP1 AER powered car in the French classic in June.

    To ensure Nelson Piquet Jr gets the most racing experience and mileage aboard the #12 Rebellion R-One LMP1 ahead of the 24 hour endurance event, the Brazilian ace will race at the opening rounds of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and the 6 Hours of Spa.

    Nelson Piquet Jr will drive the #12 Rebellion R-One LMP1 for the first time at the FIA WEC Prologue at the Paul Ricard circuit on March 25-26.

    Nelson Piquet Jr (born July 25 1985 in Heidelberg, West Germany) is the son of three-times Formula One world champion Nelson Piquet and has a successful background and experience in a variety of top motorsport categories.

    The Brazilian is the reigning FIA Formula E world champion. Nelson Piquet Jr proved his abilities across many motorsport disciplines successfully competing most recently in NASCAR, during which time he became the first Brazilian to win a top tier NASCAR race, and Rallycross, where he was again a race winner and title contender. He raced in Formula One for the Renault F1 Team in 2008 and 2009 after strong years in British Formula 3 (where he was Champion in 2004), A1GP and the GP2 Series, where he finished championship runner-up in 2006.

    Nelson Piquet Jr has raced twice in endurance categories earlier in his career driving a GT Aston Martin DBR9. The Brazilian won the GT1 class at Mil Milhas Brasil in 2006, the same year he raced Le Mans 24 Hours securing fourth place in the GT1 class.



    Nelson Piquet Jr : “I am thrilled to be joining Rebellion Racing for several races this season including, of course, the Le Mans 24 Hours. That race is one of the most special motorsport events in the world and I loved it so much when I raced there in 2006 that it has been very high on my list ever since to do it again.
    I couldn’t be happier than to be doing it with such a great team and together with Nico [Prost] and Nick [Heidfeld] as my teammates.
    I can’t wait to get in the car at Paul Ricard later this month to begin our preparations.”

    Bart Hayden, REBELLION Racing Team Manager : “We are very pleased to welcome Nelson Piquet Jr to the Rebellion Racing team. As the reigning Formula E champion, Nelson has been racing against Nico and Nick, but now the three of them will be partnering together in one car for Rebellion Racing and we are confident that they will be strong teammates.

    Le Mans requires the best level of preparation, so we are also pleased that Nelson will be able to drive for Rebellion Racing at the Prologue and the first two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone and Spa.

    We are only a few weeks away from the Prologue and are all looking forward to the start of the new season.”

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    Matt Rao Joins Manor For 2016 FIA WEC
    on 07/03/2016
    As suggested by the entry list released for the WEC Prologue test Manor has confirmed that the new to FIA WEC team has extended its driver line up for the 2016 WEC with the addition of young British driver Matt Rao, a member of the All Road Academy.

    21-year-old Matt started his racing career at karting level in 2009, and then rose through the ranks to race in Formula 3. Matt finished as runner-up in the 2014 British Formula 3 Championship and went on to impress during his first taste of LM P2 during the 2015 end-of-season WEC Rookie Test held in Bahrain. Rao also tested an LMP2 car at the Nurburgring WEC test in August 2015.

    John Booth, Team Principal: “Manor has a history of working with some great young drivers and we are delighted to welcome another talented youngster to the team.

    “Matt is a very exciting prospect, last year’s WEC Rookie test provided him with an opportunity to get to grips with LM P2 machinery for the first time and we are now looking forward to going racing with him in 2016 and seeing what results we can achieve together.”

    Matt Rao, Driver: “I’m really pleased to be a part of this exciting new challenge with Manor, they have a fantastic reputation, and I know that their experience and professionalism will deliver great results. LM P2 has become an ultra-competitive series which is full of top quality drivers and teams. I am looking forward to The Prologue and driving the ORECA 05 for the first time.”
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    No Racing Return For Patrick Dempsey In 2016

    A statement released by Patrick Dempsey via his team website makes it clear that any plans that he may have had for a limited racing return this season are now cancelled.

    The team that runs in his name, Dempsey Proton, will though still contest the full FIA WEC in 2016, including the Le Mans 24 Hours in LM GTE Pro with Richard Dietz and Michael Christensen (joined by Wolf Henzler at Le Mans) but Dempsey will be making no guest appearances in the cockpit.

    His statement reads:

    “My motorsports journey has been a rewarding one and allowed me to meet so many interesting people.

    “While the focus so often is the performance of the car, in reality it is all the various personalities, from team mates to competitors to officials to fans that I remember the most.

    “I have loved being part of part of different teams and sharing the experience with so many great friends. I want to thank everyone who made this possible and helped me along the way. I also wanted to especially thank the fans for their support and friendship.

    “None of this would happen without you buying the tickets and attending the races, so I am grateful for that investment in my passion. It makes me especially happy to see how many people have become race fans during my racing career.

    “At this point in my life, after an amazing season thanks to my friends at Porsche and TAG Huer, I need to take a step back and focus on both my family and my acting career.

    “Dempsey-Proton Racing will continue on racing a Porsche 911 RSR in the World Endurance Championship season. I hope my schedule permits me to enjoy some race weekends at least as a team owner.

    “I need to especially thank Porsche for their unbelievable support for me and my family as I made the tough decision to take a step back. I will never forget it. Life has taught me that it is impossible to predict the future.

    “I am excited to see what kind of journey I can make and enjoy.”
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    real shame for Patrick. He has big big passion for racing, and it shows. I know he got bit of stick sometimes for not "giving" to fans. But he done enough, plus he is big big draw. Everyone wants pics and autographs of him. So sometimes he had to turn a blind eye to it. I hope he does get back racing.
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    Webber: “Porsche Has Shown F1 Teams How To Go Testing”

    Works Porsche LMP1 driver Mark Webber was unveiled as part of UK broadcaster Channel 4’s 12-strong Formula One presenting team on Tuesday. The Aussie will of course be continuing his WEC adventures, aiming to take in about six Grands Prix alongside his sportscar racing. He’s not a complete stranger to TV work, either, having got in front of the camera for both the BBC and Australia’s Channel Ten in the past.

    Webber joins the line-up at the invitation of former Red Bull F1 team-mate and good friend David Coulthard – a shareholder in Whisper Films, which will be producing Channel 4’s coverage. At a launch event at the station’s London HQ on Tuesday morning, Webber confirmed he’s still on good terms with the Scot after his somewhat controversial recent comments about 24-hour racing!

    “We sorted that out behind the bike racks, as we say in Australia,” he laughed. “In DC’s defence, it’s hard when you’re writing on ‘Twatter’ to get it all right, but I think it’s true that the first corner of a sportscar race isn’t as punchy as F1, but after that, it is. Nico Hulkenberg is the classic example, he’s the latest guy to have driven both types of car. When he went to an Aragon test for the first time, he was like “I had to drive flat-out for three hours!”


    “For us, there’s no briefing on kerbing – there’s no briefing at all, in fact. It’s extremely rare to hear someone in the WEC say ‘look after’ or ‘back off’ or something in that regard. It’s just flat out, so it has changed. DC’s point was that it’s less fast and furious, but it has changed. Our battles with Audi are pretty intense, I’ve had Porsche engineers on the radio saying to me “we lost half a second in that pitstop”, so that’s definitely fast and furious.

    “Porsche has been responsible for a lot of that and Porsche has also been responsible for showing F1 teams how to go testing, mileage-wise. We’ve seen what Mercedes did at the Barcelona tests [1,294 laps in eight days]. Operationally, that was a demonstration, they saw what’s possible from our side in terms of ‘there’s the track availability, this is how you execute the mileage’.

    “Of course, Paddy [Lowe] and the guys would have had an idea that’s what they wanted to do, but the first thing that goes when you’re that strong operationally is the drivers and that’s what happened, so they had to rotate Lewis and Nico. All of sudden in that fortnight, you saw everyone go ‘oh Mercedes are on a new level’, Toro Rosso and all the others.”

    Webber’s fellow F1-turned-sportscar aces Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok will also be on the Channel 4 presenting team (above), along with Coulthard, Murray Walker, Ben Edwards, Lee McKenzie, Nicholas Hamilton, Susie Wolff, Alain Prost and Eddie Jordan. BMW GT racer and Paralympic handcycling champion Alex Zanardi will also make guest appearances during the season, while the coverage will be fronted by established Channel 4 entertainment presenter Steve Jones.
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    Latest News

    Paris - 08 March 2016

    London Press Conference moves...to Circuit Paul Ricard

    With just weeks to go to The Prologue, the WEC’s official pre-season test, the pressure is on teams to finalise preparations for, and to, their new-for-2016 cars. Teams will be travelling down to Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France in the days leading up to the test sessions which take place on 25/26th March.

    In order to include at the pre-Silverstone event conference more of the British and British-based talent which is notable up and down the grid, the event has been moved from a London venue to Circuit Paul Ricard.

    The planned event on Wednesday 23rd March in central London is now cancelled, and the conference will take place as follows:

    Date: Thursday 24th March

    Time: 16h00 (CET)

    Venue: Panoramic Club

    Guests: Will include Mark Webber (Porsche Team), Anthony Davidson (Toyota Gazoo Racing), Will Stevens and Graeme Lowdon (Manor) and Sam Bird (AF Corse Ferrari)

    There will be a photocall after the conference with all the British drivers and British-based World Endurance Champion Mark Webber and their 2016 cars. A Video News Release of the conference will be available immediately after the event together with photographs.
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    YOUNG DRIVERS FLOCKING TO WEC


    In the last few days there has been a flood of team announcements about new driver signings and it’s interesting to note that not one of the seven drivers is over 30 years of age.

    In fact, the average age of the new WEC recruits is under 26, and this reinforces the increased interest in the endurance World Championship from drivers all over the world.



    G-Drive Racing

    Audi Sport driver René Rast will enter the WEC on a full-time basis in 2016, teaming up with reigning LMP2 Champion Roman Rusinov and G-Drive Racing.

    The 29-year-old German will partner the Russian and GP2 race winner Nathanaël Berthon in the No.26 ORECA 05 Nissan which is to be managed in 2016 by JOTA Sport.

    Rast is a three-time Porsche Supercup champion and 2014 ADAC GT champion, and most recently was in the WEC with Audi Sport’s third LMP1 entry at Spa and Le Mans last year, finishing fourth and seventh respectively.

    Signatech Alpine and Baxi DC Racing Alpine

    Following the recent confirmation of the entry of two A460s for the 2016 FIA WEC, Alpine is pleased to be able to announce the complete driver line-ups for the No.35 and No.36 entries.



    Nelson Panciatici, a cornerstone of the team since Alpine’s return to motor racing in 2013, will compete in the N°35 LMP2 prototype. The Frenchman’s experience and speed will benefit the DC Racing-led, Signatech-Alpine-run programme, and the 27-year old will share the car with David Cheng and Ho Pin-Tung.

    The crew of the N°36 car will be the experienced Nicolas Lapierre, together with young American Gustavo Menezes and the recently recruited Monegasque Stéphane Richelmi. After showcasing his skill in GP2 and GT racing, 25-year old Richelmi is a newcomer to prototype racing.

    Signatech-Alpine will be able to count on the complementary skills and talent of these two crews in its bid to play a front-running role in the FIA WEC’s LMP2 class.

    Manor

    Manor has extended its driver line up for the 2016 WEC with the addition of young British drivers Matt Rao and Richard Bradley.

    Bradley is a well-known WEC name, and his inclusion in Manor’s driver line up will bring much needed endurance experience to the team. The 24-year-old Briton was the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 winner and also climbed to the top step of the podium at the inaugural 6 Hours of Nürburgring last year.

    The 21-year-old Rao started his racing career at karting level in 2009 and rose through the single-seater ranks to race in Formula 3, finishing as runner up in the 2014 British F3 Championship. He has his first taste of LMP2 machinery during the 2015 end of season WEC Rookie Test in Bahrain last November, and Rao has also tested an LMP2 car at the Nürburgring WEC test at the end of July 2015.



    ByKolles Racing Team

    ByKOLLES Racing has completed its driver line-up for the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season with the addition of Oliver Webb (GB). The British driver will share the No.4 CLM P1/01 in the LMP1 Privateer category with Simon Trummer (CH) and Pierre Kaffer (D).

    “With the signing of Oliver Webb our desired driver line-up for the 2016 WEC season is now complete,” says Boris Bermes, ByKOLLES Director of Racing Operations. “Oliver is a young and fast sports car driver, who was able to gain a lot of experience in the past few years. His achievements in endurance racing speak for themselves.”
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    Showdown: Porsche’s WEC racer vs Merc’s W06 F1 car..



    Who has the advantage in motorsport right now? We brought 2015’s world champions together

    Please understand that this is more of a dare than an instruction. Go to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile website, and, assuming you’re feeling lightly masochistic, download the Formula One technical regulations document. It’s 90 pages long and full of such gems as “3.12 Bodywork facing the ground: fully enclosed holes are only permitted in the surfaces lying on the reference and step planes forward of a line 450mm forward of the rear face of the cockpit entry template…”

    Riveting stuff. You can do the same for LMP1, too. 79 pages of equally impenetrable motorsportese. It would be half that number, actually, if it were all in one language, but since Le Mans, the ACO and the FIA are all French, the LMP regulations run in two columns, French on the left, English on the right. So let’s call that 40 pages.

    What this surely boils down to is that your average F1 car is twice as technical as your bog-standard Le Mans Prototype. Not so. Just more tightly bordered and organised. Both start with fuel regulation at the core of their policy – the pressure to be more fuel-efficient (and therefore relevant) governs much of the thinking process about the future of motorsport. As for how each formula is set up, think of it this way: Le Mans gives you an energy allowance and tells you to go off and do what you want. F1 gives you an allowance and tells you how to spend it as well.


    This feature came about from an idle comment Mark Webber made when I was chatting to him late last year, “You know, at Shanghai, our fastest lap in qualifying was only half a second slower than Lewis’s fastest race lap.” Jeepers. I hadn’t given it much thought, but I’d always assumed there were eons between how long it took, say, a Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid and Porsche 919 Hybrid to get themselves around a circuit. Turns out that’s the case. Mark wasn’t wrong, but Shanghai was the closest it had ever been. Nevertheless, it got me thinking…

    Back in the office some digging occurred, and then some arm-twisting, and finally both Porsche and Mercedes granted us access to their world championship-winning cars for this photoshoot and, perhaps more startlingly, agreed to provide us with comparative telemetry data from one circuit: Spa. You can see more about that and have a go at playing the race engineer by analysing and interpreting the data (at the end of the gallery). But first the technology.

    Regulations govern all sport. They are the framework within which each sport operates. The motivation in adopting hybrid technology for both F1 and LMP is fuel efficiency: they want to be seen as relevant, advanced, cutting-edge. But where endurance racing regs leave engineers to decide what tech works best for them, in F1 those decisions have already been made by the regulators. They decide the toys you get to play, meaning less scope for imagination and creativity.

    Let’s deal with F1 – and yes, I’m going to have to keep this simple and skip lots of stuff, else we’ll end up with something Tolstoy-esque in length, meaning and complexity. So F1 cars are limited to 100kg of fuel (about 133 litres) per race, and have to use power units comprised of six components, only one of which is the 1.6-litre V6 engine. The others are the turbocharger, the kinetic energy recovery system (MGU-K), the heat energy recovery system (MGU-H), the energy store (battery, supercapacitors or flywheel – it’s the one area teams have some options, although they all use batteries currently) and the control electronics. Power figures are never discussed, but it’s widely accepted the V6 turbo develops about 600–650bhp, while electrical power is restricted to 161bhp. The car, including driver, has to weigh at least 701kg.

    Meanwhile, under LMP1 regulations, it’s the rate of fuel flow that’s restricted, but this varies depending on how much electrical energy you want to release per lap: two, four, six or eight megajoules. Just to follow that for a second, a joule is a measure of energy, roughly equivalent to a tennis ball travelling at 13mph, or the power needed to produce one watt for one second. A megajoule is a million joules. Anyway, the more electricity you choose to use, the less fuel you get. The equations are almost constantly being tweaked to keep things competitive, with fuel-tank size and flow rates adjusted, but in essence electrical power is worth fractionally more than petrol/diesel power.


    No one in LMP1 uses the same method. Famously, Nissan rocked up at Le Mans last year with a front-wheel-drive machine with a flywheel system in the 2MJ class. Audi opted for the 4MJ class for its 4.0-litre V6 diesel, Toyota 6MJ for its naturally aspirated V8/supercapacitor-equipped TS040, and Porsche? Well, somewhat unusually, Porsche copied F1 technology.

    In adopting a small-capacity petrol engine (here a 2.0-litre V4 turbo rather than a 1.6-litre V6), and two hybrid systems, it followed the template laid out by Mercedes. Again, power figures aren’t openly acknowledged, but it’s believed the V4 puts out over 500bhp, while the two recovery systems – kinetic from brakes and heat from the exhaust gases – help deliver a massive hit of e-power. How much? Well, Porsche states over 400bhp, but rival teams believe it could be much, much higher than that, perhaps as much as 750bhp. The 919 weighs 950kg including the driver.


    This means F1 and LMP1 cars have similar power-to-weight ratios. Around 1,140 bhp per tonne for the W06, plays a potential 1,310bhp per tonne for the 919. Of course that’s by no means the end of the story – both are designed for very different disciplines: a two-hour sprint versus a 24-hour, well, sprint. Don’t go thinking that these days endurance racing is about measured consistency, staying out of trouble and metronomic reliability. As Mark Webber says (see slide 11), Le Mans is now an all-out, no quarter given, dash for the flag.

    Strip away the bodywork and underneath, the 919’s carbon tub looks much like an open-wheeler, and, by all accounts the two have similar downforce levels (about 700kg at 80mph, it’s believed). However, due to its faired-in wheels and closed cockpit the LMP1 car has much lower drag.

    So why, with all that power, isn’t it faster on the straights? Because it uses its electricity differently. An F1 car is allowed to deploy 4MJ per lap, but only through a nozzle 161bhp wide, if you see what I mean. The Porsche has twice the electric reserves, but squirts it out through a 700bhp hose. Its reservoir is depleted sooner. So rather than use it at high speed, where electrical consumption is massive, Porsche uses it for the first phase of acceleration. Yep, the 919 accelerates faster than the W06.

    But weighing 250kg more, it doesn’t have the braking and speed through fast corners of the Mercedes. Overall, in qualifying at Spa, the W06 was 7.57 seconds faster. The margin was smaller in the race, but that’s still a big gap: the LMP1 car would have been last on the F1 grid. The same story plays out across other circuits the two have visited: Silverstone, Shanghai, Bahrain and Austin.

    Will LMP1 cars ever be faster than F1 cars? Doubtful. F1 cars now are slower than they were 10 years ago, and if LMP1 lap times start to genuinely rival them, doubtless F1 regulations will be altered to maintain the advantage. The question is whether this will improve the racing, which, at the end of the day, is what it’s all about. Despite the restrictions, racing isn’t close in F1 at the moment. But in LMP1, where the teams make their own technology and hardware choices, the margins are small and the cars more distinctive. If nothing else, there are lessons to be learned there.

    Mark Webber
    “Compared to an F1 car, the first things you notice about an LMP1 car are the extra weight and the higher centre of gravity. It tests the driver and is perhaps a wee bit more challenging to drive. Certainly at Spa, Eau Rouge in an F1 car is easy flat, but you have to hold on to the 919 a bit more and our speeds are about 20-30kph down through the quick stuff.

    “Where we have advantage is in the slow corners. An F1 car stops better, and the line and trajectory aren’t much different, but we maybe want to get the car turned in sooner, so we can get back on the power. And then what we have in our favour is 4WD and fantastic Michelin tyres - we can really lean them, they’re so much better than the tissue paper we had in F1. So out of La Source, we can really give an F1 car a run.

    “It would be really interesting to take the 919 somewhere like Barcelona, which is mostly slow-speed corners, because I reckon we’d be pretty competitive against an F1 car there.

    “The biggest thing to get used to when I moved from F1, besides the weight of the car, was the traffic and range of conditions in a WEC race. You know, low sun, the rain, the dark and, most of all, the other cars, which maybe don’t have such experienced drivers and might be travelling much slower. So you need the car to give you confidence, be really consistent and predictable.

    “And where you see F1 cars backing off and having to manage fuel reserves, we never have to do that - we’re flat out, all the way. And the 919 is just awesome, the most advanced car I’ve driven, without a shadow of a doubt.”

    Spa-Francorchamps

    Broadly speaking, the lighter, nimbler F1 car is quicker through the speed traps and into corners, but the 4WD Porsche can get on the power earlier, so exits the medium- and slow-speed corners faster. Through fast curves the W06’s downforce and lighter weight give it the advantage.

    KEY

    Merc speed/gear: green
    Porsche speed/gear: black

    http://www.topgear.com/car-news/form...s-w06-f1-car#1
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    IMSA NEWS ROUNDUP: STORIES IN AMERICAN SPORTS CAR RACING THIS WEEK

    PRUETT SWAPS TEAM CARS, CHANGE RACING ADDS SECOND CAR & MORE

    Driving both of Action Express Racing’s Corvette DPs in the recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test at Sebring International Raceway was an eye opener for Scott Pruett. The 60-time race winner in major North American sports car competition recently tested to prepare for the 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on Saturday, March 19.

    “Now I understand why we were beaten so badly by them,” said Pruett, who finished fourth last year at Sebring for Chip Ganassi Racing. “I drove both of the team’s cars, and was incredibly impressed.”

    Action Express Racing is the defending winner of the event, with Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa returning in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP, to be joined by Filipe Albuquerque.
    After finishing fourth in the No. 5 Corvette DP in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Pruett switches to the team’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP for Sebring, joining Eric Curran and Dane Cameron.

    “It’s a pleasure to drive either of their cars,” Pruett continued. “Sebring is difficult to drive – being as rough as it is – and the guys at Action Express definitely know what they’re doing. I think we’ve got a good shot at winning. They were incredibly fast last year, and do exceptionally well at Sebring. They may not have the fastest overall blistering speed, but their pace throughout a full fuel run will be the one to beat.”

    After Sebring, Pruett is looking forward his first test in the new No. 14 F Performance Racing Lexus RC F GT3 and hoping for a mid-season competition debut. Sage Karam will co-drive.

    “I saw the car last Friday in Lansing, (Michigan), where we had two wonderful days of meetings,” Pruett said. “We’re just waiting on suppliers to deliver the goods so we can get the car and the engines together. We’ll hope to have our first test by the beginning of May. I plan to be at both Long Beach and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but it’s certainly not going to be the same watching it.”

    Benton Adds Second Lamborghini For GTD Champs To Change Racing Lineup

    Defending GT Daytona (GTD) champions Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell suddenly found themselves without a ride when O’Gara Motorsport withdrew from competition following the Rolex 24.

    Fortunately for them, team owner Robby Benton quickly stepped up, expanding his operation to two cars. His team, Change Racing, now will field the No. 11 Robert Graham Lamborghini Huracán GT3 for Bell and Sweedler, in addition to the No. 16 Pertamina/Monster Energy Huracán GT3 for Corey Lewis and Spencer Pumpelly.

    “Tom O’Gara is a close friend and I’m happy he turned to us to continue what he started,” Benton said. “It took a tremendous amount of effort and planning for us to prepare and be ready for the move up to IMSA WeatherTech with our own team, but a lot of that work actually put us in a good position to be able to grow to a two-car team like this.

    “To have the defending champions join us reflects well on our organization, and having guys of that caliber to build on a great driver roster that we have with Spencer and Corey puts us in a very advantageous position. Lamborghini has done an outstanding job to help us with this transition as we ramp up and we are very focused on executing and delivering all year long.”

    Posey To Join Sebring Hall Of Fame

    Sam Posey, overall winner of the 1975 Sebring race, will be inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame at a special luncheon at the Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Center on Friday, March 18.

    Posey competed in Formula One, IndyCar, Can-Am, Trans-Am and several other series during a 26-year driving career. He won the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring 12-hours driving a BMW CSL. As a network commentator, he covered a variety of sports, winning an Emmy in 1989. Posey is also a noted author, artist and designer.

    Joining Posey in the class of 2016 are Alex Job Racing, 10-time Sebring-winning team; six-time overall Sebring winner Tom Kristensen; Smothers, two-time class winner; Tres Stephenson, president of Sebring Raceway for more than three decades; and former Tampa Tribune Sports Editor Tom McEwen.

    The Sebring Hall of Fame luncheon is open to the public, but tickets are very limited. Admission is a $200 contribution to the Sebring Hall of Fame (a 501 3(C) Florida not for profit corporation). Teams and sponsors may purchase individual tables. For more information and reservations please call Ariel Starling at 863-655-1442 or 655-7721.

    Five Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsports Entered For Sebring 150

    The new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport will be well represented in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Sebring 150 on Friday, March 18. While two of Porsche’s new turn-key race cars competed in the Grand Sport (GS) class at the season opener in Daytona, five are entered in Round 2 at Sebring.

    CJ Wilson Racing and Team TGM have each entered a pair of Cayman GT4s, with Bodymotion Racing entering one car. CJ Wilson Racing doubles its effort after capturing the TOTAL Pole Award and finishing third at Daytona with Daniel Burkett and Marc Miller in the No. 33 ONE Capital Management/MotorOilMatters.org entry.

    No drivers have been named for the team’s No. 35 entry. Team TGM has car owner Ted Giovanis and David Murry listed on both its No. 46 and No. 64 JKTG Foundation/Camp Boggy Creek entries, with the team expected to race one car in the event.

    “We tested the new Clubsport at both Sebring and Road Atlanta, and once you make some adjustments to it, it will be a decent-running car,” Giovanis said. “We won’t know until we get more hours on the track whether it will be on the top step of the podium, but it’s in the right direction.”

    Giovanis is making the move to the GS class after competing in Street Tuner (ST) since 2006. He scored his best professional finish at Sebring last year, joining Murry in placing second co-driving a BMW 328i.

    End Quote:

    Jan Magnussen, Driver of the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R: “I always like going to Sebring. It’s a classic, old-school track and one you can’t find anywhere else in the world. In a lot of ways you really like Sebring and you really dislike it, too. It’s great because the event is fantastic and we always have good support from the fans and Corvette owners. But it beats you physically like no other track. Your neck, arms, hands, knees… they’re incredibly sore after the race week. But winning there is worth it. I’m hoping we can repeat and give Corvette Racing our 10th Sebring win.”

    Source:
    IMSA
    - See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/imsa-ne....Lrqf01xx.dpuf
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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