Page 1 of 29 12345678910111213141526 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 855

Thread: 2016 WEC, IWTSC, ELMS thread.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645

    Thumbs up 2016 WEC, IWTSC, ELMS thread.

    Happy new year to all.

    Think this years WEC, is going to be even better. Toyota with all new car and hybrid concept. Audi, well we seen the new R18, all new development path and philosphy. Porsche? well defending champions, can they make yet another performance leap we saw last year? In GTE, we have Ford back, Porsche scale right back on the factory effort. Astons? lets wait see if the new car can be back at challanging at front again, regularly. As for Ferrari, 488 GTE? cannt wait.

    All in all, think 2016 will be even better than last year, WEC, ELMS and in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship. Silverstone WEC going i will be going again. Le-Mans, i realy hope can do it this year. Wait hear on Tobes if not i may look at going to Nurburgring Race. Also, go to British GT round at Snetterton.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    What’s New In 2016? Part 1, LMP1

    Once again the FIA World Endurance Championship has the monopoly on LMP1.

    The bad news is out of course that the Nissan LMP1 programme is no more, and that joins the news from earlier in the month that it will be a pair of cars apiece for the remaining trio of factory LMP1 efforts rather than the three apiece that was hoped for.

    So what can we expect from the remaining pack of P1s?

    First things first we’re not expecting any surprise additions to the 2015 roster. So its a trio of two car factory teams plus the likely added delights of Rebellion and ByKolles in the Privateer ranks.

    On the regulatory front there are some changes from the 2015 norm.

    Refuelling:

    There’s a change to the refuelling regs that appears to be aimed at reeling in the advantage that Porsche held over the competition in 2015 – As we reported last week “Any device/system whose principle is not strictly linked to gravity is prohibited on board”

    Porsche’s 2015 advantage proved to be anywhere between 3 and 5 seconds per refuelling. The rulemakers though have clearly decided to act before this part of the engineering of the sport becomes another expensive battleground!

    Bodywork:

    “The definition of bodyworks, subject to limitation of their amount per season, will be specifically homologated.”

    This rule means that there will be three different bodywork iterations allowable in 2016, reducing to just two in 2017 as part of the ongoing drive to reduce costs.

    Wheel arch vents will be around 25% larger in 2016 as part of a drive to improve safety, this measure trying to help prevent a car getting airborne if it gets sideways.

    Testing and Wind Tunnel Restrictions:

    Testing days will be reduced too (from 50 to 43) and Wind tunnel time comes down too – to 1200 hours in the coming year, 800 in 2017.

    Hybrid Power Delivery:

    There was some confusion after an FIA communique seemed to imply at least that there would be a hybrid power delivery ‘cap’ for 2016.

    In fact the measure applies only to Le Mans, this being the only Class 2 circuit on the FIA WEC calendar though there are discussions about this being rolled across the full calendar for later years.

    Specifically at Le Mans the upper hybrid system power limit will be 300kw (c.400bhp), an additional restriction to the already confirmed reduction in energy allocation per lap of 10mJ for a lap of Le Mans (c.7% cut).

    The move marks another significant step to the ongoing attempt to control lap times, the ACO have gone on the record as saying that they believe that a lap time of 3:20 is the desired minimum for safety to be controlled.

    The teams though, despite the range of restrictions placed upon them, seem confident of reeling in most of the potential time lost with all three factory teams telling DSC they expect Le Mans lap times to see little change year on year (which, on the basis of what we saw in 2015 is actually a very considerable reeling in of potential!)

    Other measures in future years:

    Discussions are still underway about the timing and scope of new monocoque regulations, already delayed until 2018, but with current and aspirant LMP1 Privateers exerting pressure for grandfathering of current chassis and/ or better accommodation of the rather different priorities that they have to the megabucks factory efforts.

    A potential introduction of a 10 mJ sub-class and an increase of the number of permitted hybrid systems from two to three are also still under discussion.

    Team By Team

    Porsche

    Porsche enter 2016 as defending World and Le Mans Champions and we’re promised a thorough evolution of the all conquering 919 Hybrid for 2016.

    The 919 was the only car this season with a full 8mJ hybrid capability and with Audi promising 6mJ and Toyota shooting to join the Porsche on 8mJ the open questions is whether an evolution of their existing, stunningly effective, package be good enough to fend off an attacking Audi and Toyota onslaught? We’ll see!

    One detail change we can be 100% sure about is that the running numbers of the Porsche pair will change to #1 for World Champions Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber and #2 for Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb, no change eventually decided upon for the full season six from 2015.

    No news yet on whether the car’s livery, which it has to be said is not a fan favourite, will change for 2016. The red and black variations on the theme drew much favourable comment. A change would be welcome to many!

    Audi

    Audi are expected to retain their 2015 numbers #7 and #8 with identical crews to last season too though there are rumours of a significant change coming elsewhere chez Audi.

    The new R18 though is a very different looking beast, an all new aero solution front and rear, a new hybrid system too with lithium ion batteries replacing the previous mechanical system.

    The Audi though stays with its unique diesel powerplant, still a 4 litre V6 TDI but even further optimised from the unit used in 2015. The diesel has some real advantages built in but the inherent weight penalty over the smaller petrol turbos means that 6mJ is the maximum that Audi can currently manage on their hybrid system. Look how close though the Audis came in 2015 with ‘just’ 4 mJ.

    Toyota

    After a season where the rate of advancement from Porsche and Audi caught them on the hop the TMG boys and girls have been on lockdown in their Cologne eyrie, plotting their racing revenge.

    The biggest part of that plan is the new for 2016 Toyota TS050, the car a totally different animal from the 2015 TS040.

    The differences are legion, the normally aspirated V8 replaced by a smaller (over 2 litres) turbo engine and the supercapacitor storage medium replaced after three years of faithful service by batteries, proof if it were needed that racing has improved the technological breed.

    Toyota will stick with their two KERS systems, foregoing the opportunity to switch to an exhaust recovery system, believing that their solution will get them to 8mJ and will give them the best and most consistent power supply.

    There is one disadvantage to their competition, the Toyota has yet to hit the track!

    On the driver front there’s at least one, and most likely only one, change as Alex Wurz steps out of the driving seat and into Brand Ambassador mode.

    Kamui Kobayashi is the hot favourite to replace the Austrian with Sam Bird looking likely to fill in behind as test and reserve driver (though the rapid Englishman is believed to have been released to fill a full season seat in the FIA WEC).

    Should Audi hang on to the #7 & 8 numbers it will mean that Toyota will carry something other than either those numbers (carried from 2012 to 2014) and the #1 & 2 from this year.

    Privateer LMP1

    There’s a response due from the ACO after the Bahrain meeting with the current and short-term prospective LMP1 teams that might make a substantial difference to a number of budget-related items, and to the viability of current and potential investments in chassis. The promise from the rulemakers, we believe, was an answer to a short but important list of requests by the year end!

    Rebellion

    Two for the year is the current plan for Bart Hayden and co. A very happy Alex Pesci on the Bahrain podium was a happy sight indeed for all concerned as the team finished 1,2 in the Championship.

    There’s little detail yet to be had on the programme, or on the planned driver line-up but there’s very little doubt that much effort will be going in to improve reliability in the close season with the team’s development AER P60 twin turbo V6s at the core of the todo list but with other items also requiring attention.

    Another unanswered question is on the tyre front – both Rebellion and ByKolles tested Dunlops post season and there’s every chance that one, other, or both, could look for an advantage in that part of the available package.

    ByKolles

    The Colin Kolles owned squad saw their form improve throughout the year with the AER engined CLM, the 2015 car equipped with an earlier iteration of the twin turbo V6.

    For 2016 the team intend to deal with some of the inherent handling issues in their current car with a pair of new chassis under construction, new pick up points at the front of the car the major change.

    The team will run both cars if custom can be found though they ran only two drivers for much of the year.

    Their loyal pair, Pierre Kaffer and Simon Trummer are understood to be likely to return though its not yet clear if they will share one car or be spread across the potential two.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    What’s New In 2016? Part 2 LMP2 & DP

    There’s relatively little major change to the packages we’ll see in any of the Championships welcoming LMP2 machinery, mainly as a result of the sweeping changes due in 2017 with the dawn of new regulations mandating just four chassis suppliers and a spec engine for the FIA WEC.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t new cars and new efforts around as teams work towards the new era and work too towards their best opportunity to graduate to the Le Mans 24 Hours. There are, and in abundance too!

    More than 30 LMP2 spec cars, plus a gaggle of DPs look set to be active this coming year, several of them running double programmes with ELMS/ WEC full season duties at the core but other races added as one-offs.

    With such a spread the simplest way to review progress is on a Series by Series basis.

    2015/16 Asian Le Mans Series, 4 Cars Confirmed

    Algarve Pro Racing: Ligier JS P2 Nissan
    Eurasia: Oreca 03R Nissan
    Eurasia: Oreca 03R Nissan
    Race Performance: Oreca 03R Judd

    The pair of Orecas from Fuji were joined for the Series’ second round by the Algarve Pro Racing Ligier and the grid takes another step forward in January with the addition of a second Eurasia Oreca 03R, this the car that has, until now, been campaigning in the ELMS (the first car is the ex Boutsen Ginion car.

    Eurasia-Oreca-Nissan

    Oliver Webb replaces Shinji Nakano alongside Niki Leutwiler in the Series leading Race Performance Oreca Judd for the final two races of the season.

    The second Eurasia car sees Indonesian Sean Gelael joined by Italian Antonio Giovinazzi for the final two rounds, the Oreca liveried in Gelael’s regular KFC livery.

    European Le Mans Series, 10-15 cars

    DC Racing: Ligier JSP2
    Dragonspeed: Oreca 05 Nissan
    Eurasia Racing: Oreca 05 Nissan
    Greaves Motorsport: Ligier JS P2 Nissan
    IDEC Sport: Ligier JS P2 Nissan
    Jota Sport: Gibson 015S Nissan
    Murphy Prototypes: Oreca 03R Nissan (but other chassis possible)
    Pegasus Racing: (Morgan or Ligier)
    So24!: Ligier JS P2 Nissan
    Tech 1 (Panis/ Barthez): Ligier JS P2 Nissan
    Thiriet by TDS Racing: Oreca 05 Nissan

    Still to declare

    Algarve Pro Racing: Ligier JS P2 Nissan
    Ibanez Racing: Oreca 03R Nissan x 2
    Krohn Racing: Ligier JS P2 Judd

    Almost 50% of the grid confirmed thus far are teams new to the ELMS LMP2 class.

    Back for another shot in their 2015 machinery are both Thiriet by TDS and Jota Sport whilst 2015 Champions Greaves Motorsport return but this time with a Ligier JS P2. Simon Dolan is confirmed in the Jota ELMS effort.

    Three other 2015 teams look set to return too, Murphy Prototypes initially looked set to return with their venerable but effective Oreca 03R Nissan but are still in negotiation with parties involved in other potential chassis making their way to the team. Greg Murphy’s team tested, and were impressed with, the BR01 coupe but initially looked set to pass on the potential for campaigning the Russian flagged coupe, could that move be back on, or is another alternative closer to the line?

    Eurasia return with a new Oreca 05 Nissan as their 2015 03R is diverted to Asian LMS duty.

    Pegasus Racing look set to return but we await confirmation of whether Julian Schell et al return with their Morgan or with a newer Ligier.

    Still to publicly confirm their intentions are Krohn Racing, though a second year with the Ligier Judd looks likely.

    Algarve Pro are another team who have committed to the 2015/16 Asian LMS but could add an ELMS effort to their calendar.


    There’s no word as yet on the potential return or otherwise from Ibanez Racing who ran a part season in 2015 with a pair of Oreca Nissans. A promise from the team to return for the final round of 2015 failed to materialise.

    Newbies

    And so to the list of new teams to the ELMS, with five already having declared their intent to join in the fun.

    David Cheng’s DC Racing effort that has dominated the Asian Le Mans Series in LMP3 is set to bring a Ligier to the ELMS.

    Elton Julian’s Dragonspeed was an early announcement for the 2016 ELMS as Henrik Hedman closes in on his ambition to race at Le Mans. He’ll be joined by Julian and by ex Peugeot and Toyota man Nicolas Lapierre for the full season.

    IDEC Sport, regulars in the VdeV Series announced plans to enter the ELMS with a Ligier JS P2 Nissan some little time ago, no drivers have yet been announced.

    So24! is a new racing venture that will campaign both LMP3 and LMP2 in the ELMS this year, the LMP2 effort will be with another Ligier JS P2 Nissan with 2011 Le Mans LMP2 winner Olivier Lombard joined by ex Signatech Alpine man Vincent Capillaries.

    Finally (for now at least) Tech 1 Motorsport aka Panis-Barthez Competition will also field a Ligier JS P2 Nissan with ex Manchester United and French national team goalkeper Fabien Barthez confirmed in the car.

    FIA World Endurance Championship, c.10 entrants

    AF Racing: BR01 Nissan
    AF Racing: BR01 Nissan
    Greaves Motorsport: Gibson 015S Nissan
    Jota Sport with Arden: Oreca 05 Nissan
    KCMG: Oreca 05 Nissan
    Morand Engineering: Morgan/ Ligier
    Signatech Alpine: Oreca 05 Nissan
    Strakka Racing: Gibson 015S Nissan
    Tequila Patron ESM: Ligier JS P2 Nissan
    Tequila Patron ESM: Ligier JS P2 Nissan

    Believed to be set to announce WEC programme

    Manor Motorsport: TBA

    Possible part season

    Project Brabham: TBA

    There are changes aplenty expected to the 2016 FIA WEC LMP2 entry, astonishingly only one team looks likely to return with an unchanged effort as Strakka Racing are set to bring their Gibson 015S Nissan back for another shot with the same driving trio once again.

    KCMG’s time on the fence deciding whether to return after the unpleasantness of Fuji, seems to be moving more in the direction of a possible return with their very sparkly Oreca 05 Nissan. If it happens expect a significant change in the driving line-up.

    AF Racing have declared their intention to bring a pair of BR01 Nissans to the WEC with ex Renault and Caterham F1 driver Vitaly Petrov set to join the effort as Mikhail Aleshin leaves for a full season in IndyCar.

    Greaves Motorsport return to the WEC with their 2015 ELMS winning Gibson Nissan one of a pair of British teams with dual efforts in the WEC and ELMS.

    The other is Jota Sport who have allianced with single seater specialists Arden to field a new Oreca 05 Nissan for the 2016 WEC, Jake Dennis has been announced for Spa and Le Mans but in the ELMS full season Gibson.

    Benoit Morand intends to bring his Morand Engineering effort back for another shot though the 2015 Morgan Evo should be replaced with a Ligier Coupe if the effort comes to fruition.

    Signatech Alpine are another Oreca 05 customer (though theirs will feature an Alpine moniker) ahead of a return to the WEC after a late season run in 2015 that saw ‘Les Bleus’ emerge as real race contenders.

    Tequila Patron ESM return with a two car effort once again though it’s believed they will switch to Nissan engines alongside a switch to both a French operating base and adopting the core of the Oak Racing technical team.

    On the driving front the departing Jon Fogarty and David Heinemeier Hansson are replaced by Pipo Derani and Chris Cumming.

    Beyond those teams are a pair of other potentially significant additions.

    It’s clear that Graham Lowdon and John Booth, late of the Manor Marussia F1 effort, are closing in on an LMP2 effort in the FIA WEC. The open question is when? Most paddock sources suggest the firm intention is a 2016 effort. They would be a significant addition to the grid.

    And Project Brabham are pushing on with their plans to join the WEC at some point in 2016 – A full season is looking unlikely but race by race in the season is a possibility, David Brabham and co targeting 2017 for full season.

    IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, 7 full season, c.13 for Daytona

    Action Express: Corvette DP
    Action Express: Corvette DP
    AF Racing/ SMP Racing: BR01 Nissan, Daytona confirmed, other races possible
    Chip Ganassi Racing: Riley Ford Ecoboost DP, Daytona Only
    Chip Ganassi Racing: Riley Ford Ecoboost DP, Daytona Only
    Delta wing: Daytona Only
    Dragonspeed: Oreca 05 Nissan, Sebring only
    50 Plus: Riley BMW DP, Daytona Only
    Mazdaspeed: Mazda (Multimatic Lola) Mazda (petrol)
    Mazdaspeed: Mazda (Multimatic Lola) Mazda (petrol)
    Michael Shank Racing: Ligier JS P2 HPD
    Tequila Patron ESM: Ligier JS P2 HPD, Daytona & Sebring Only)
    Visit Florida Racing: Corvette DP
    Wayne Taylor Racing: Corvette DP

    Possible Additional Entries

    HPD x 2 ARX 04b, cars available

    The Prototype entry in North America is the very epitome of ‘transition’. There is exciting potential for the new LMP2 based ‘DPI’ grid in 2017 but that leaves this year with a rather static feel.

    The full season entry sees a familiar looking seven though one change might see the form book turned around a tad.

    Action Express’s pair of Corvette DPs returns of course with both cars retaining their full season driver pairings from last season, Barbosa/Fittipaldi returning to defend their title in the #5, Cameron/ Curran looking to mount their own title challenge in #31.

    The Champions will be joined by Audi factory driver Filipe Albuquerque for the four NAEC rounds, and by Scott Pruett for Daytona. Simon Pagenaud and Jonny Adam join the #31 effort for Daytona, Pruett switches to the Whelen sponsored car for Sebring.

    The Visit Florida Corvette DP sees an entirely new full season duo as Ryan Dalziel and Marc Goossens replace Ford bound Richard Westbrook and dropped Michael Valiante. Ryan Hunter Reay is the additional driver for the three enduros (plus Long Beach where he will sub for cup-tied Dalziel (on WEC duty)

    Wayne Taylor Racing by contrast keep it in the family with brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor back again in the family team- run car. Max Angelelli is set to play third man once again at Daytona and Sebring.

    It’s a trio of LMPs alongside the quartet of full season DPs.

    Michael Shank Racing bring a re-chassised Ligier Honda for Ozz Negri and John Pew back to the track after Petit Le Mans damage left the 2015 tub beyond repair. AJ Allmendinger once again joins the team for Daytona.

    Finally there’s the potential Joker in the pack as Mazda bring a pair of Multimatic chassised LMPs to the track again. This year though the comprehensively outgunned SkyActiv diesel powerplants are replaced by petrol fuelled engines. And the speed the cars have shown in testing has been very encouraging.

    Once again there’s no change in full season driver line-ups here, Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nunez will crew the #55 with Tom Long and Joel Miller in the sister #70 car.

    HPD’s planned return with PR1 Mathieson fell at a late fence but the ex ESM ARX04bs are still available if a team can be found with much effort having been expended on new aero to correct the original car’s shortcomings.

    For Daytona there are set to be a number of additional entries (and a couple for Sebring too):

    AF Racing/ SMP Racing. The world tour for the BR01 coupe continues, alongside the planned two car WEC effort and a search for customers in the ELMS.

    The factory team will race at Daytona with a single car and will decide based on form at the Rolex 24 Hours whether other North American outings are also to be added to the programme.

    Marshall Pruett broke the story two weeks ago that Chip Ganassi Racing is to return and defend its overall win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona with two Riley Ford EcoBoost DPs. The 2015 winning driver crew of IndyCar champions Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, plus Ganassi’s NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray look set to return in the #02 car with 17-year-old Canadian Lance Stroll, a recent signing as a Williams Formula 1 test driver, could be in the #01 with CGR IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball and his recent teammate Sage Karam possible team-mates.

    The DeltaWing coupe looks set to mount a possible one-off effort at Daytona.

    DragonSpeed won’t race at Daytona but will field their newly acquired and ELMS-bound Oreca 05 Nissan at Sebring for Nicolas Lapierre, Nic Minassian and Henrik Hedman

    The 50 Plus DP effort at Daytona will be handled this year by Starworks

    Tequila Patron ESM will race a solo Ligier Honda for both Daytona and Sebring, the car sporting the specially developed 3.5 litre version of the twin turbo V6 HPD engine.

    Le Mans 24 Hours

    Garage 56: SRT 41 Frederic Sausset, Morgan Nissan

    The effort to show how technology can assist quad amputee Sausset to race brings a Morgan LMP2 chassis to Garage 56 with assistance from Audi Sport.

    Auto Entries Le Mans

    KCMG (1st, 24H Le Mans)
    Greaves Motorsport (ELMS LMP2 Champion)
    Team LNT (ELMS LMP3 Champion)
    Michael Shank Racing (IMSA)

    Four Automatic entries are already in place but we wait for confirmation from both KCMG and Team LNT that they will commit to a full ACO rules season before the entries can be confirmed.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    Darren Turner Talks GTE Pro in 2016: “The Level Is Going To Go Up Another Notch!”

    2015 was at times a very tough year for Aston Martin Racing in the WEC’s GTE Pro class. The team once again had a very promising start to the season, and looked like it had a chance to take the class win at Le Mans. But issues with tyre compounds, and Balance of Performance set it back after the run at La Sarthe.

    Darren Turner was in the thick of the team’s struggles, and had a very uncharacteristically quiet season in the #97 car, especially during the second half of the year. However, the guys at Prodrive will be back looking to make a run for the World Championship next year, having just signed Turner up for a further three years, and shifted its focus to the 2016-spec Vantage, which is due to make its competition debut at Silverstone next April for the opening round of the 2016 World Endurance Championship.

    During his last race meeting of the year with the British marque at Yas Marina, Turner took the time to sit down with DSC’s Stephen Kilbey at length to talk about his experience in 2015, developing the Vulcan, and his thoughts ahead of the upcoming season:

    The place to start is the your new deal with Aston Martin, is it a weight off your shoulders to have that stability?

    “I’m at the end now of my third year of the current contract so the last time it was also a multi-year deal rather than a single year deal. And then, around Le Mans things in the driver market were hotting up with more manufacturers coming in, there were new opportunities for new drivers, but it also put some pressure on the teams to lock down their drivers as well.

    “Obviously I’ve been with Aston Martin Racing and Prodrive for over a decade now and I feel very much at home with that team. We’ve had so many great campaigns together over the years and lots of success as well. There were other options, so I went back to John Gaw and said: ‘these are the things that are out there, it would be good to know what your plans are with me?’ and he said he wanted me to continue with the same deal as before.

    “It was a very easy decision in the end, I’m very happy with the team and the races we do. So once that was done and dusted in July it meant that I could focus on the racing.”

    Before we discuss the future, let’s talk about this year. It’s seems to have been a difficult year for Aston Martin in many respects, do you think that’s a fair assumption?

    “It’s been a weird year really. Performance wise we’ve not really been there at all, me and Jonny snuck a podium in the last race but that was the only time we’d visited the podium, while normally we have a couple of wins in the season and a few podiums. And most years we’ve even challenging for the title until the last race or two, so this year has been very difficult for a number of reasons.

    “Personally in the #97 we never really got on top of the car, and it was difficult. Then you look at Aston Martin Racing as a whole, certainly in the second half of the season which ended up being effectively a tyre war between Porsche and Ferrari.

    “We got hit with a Balance of Performance change as well as the tyres were going away from what we were expecting would be the best for the Aston.

    “As the year went on it went back to what we had a Silverstone and Spa at Bahrian, we were back in the mix, not front runners but we were able to mix in a bit more. It was nice to finish the season with a competitive showing.”

    It was strange seeing the #97 so far down the order at times…

    “Yeah, we were never in the game really, it was very frustrating, but we finished with a bit of promise. It’s all change though next year with the new regulations. It’s going to be a difficult year for all the teams, to know where they are in the first couple of races.

    “I certainly think the ACO and FIA are getting the Balance of Performance right the majority of the time. Sometimes it’s just a little bit out.

    Does something need to be done to prevent things getting cyclical in terms of the BoP?

    “Sometimes there’s periods where there’s three or four races were everything is pretty even if you look at the averages, the fastest laps and performances. Quite often it’s race strategy that’s determined the result and that’s down to the teams. Then again, sometimes you look at the results and notice that the playing field isn’t levels and there needs to be an adjustment.

    “But we’ve had it in our favour, so we can’t cry all the time, as sometimes it does swing your way. Then it’s up to everyone else to make sure it’s balanced out. We’ve been the other side of the fence this year though, we’ve not been able to be competitive so they put it back right.

    “It’s a tricky thing but GT racing needs BoP, if you took it away it would be no longer a competitive playing field for the manufacturers, as all the cars come from road car designs and when they make the cars for the road they’re not thinking: ‘is it going to be a World Endurance Championship GT car?’ the first concept is: ‘is it what our customers want?’ and ‘Is it going to sell?’. That’s the key for the road car.

    “Without having Balance of Performance, you’d end up with certain manufacturers dominating, so other manufactures would look at it as unappealing and not come racing. The fact that it’s there is good, it’s correct, and the way that it’s done is correctly. Sometimes it just needs to be tweaked quicker.”

    Was it difficult at the end of the year not having Stefan Mücke around too? How’s it been adapting to having a new team-mate in all of this?

    “Not really no. Jonny (Adam) has been a part of Aston Martin Racing for many years now, I’ve shared cars with him before, we know how good he is behind the wheel, he’s like the quiet assassin. He’s a quiet lad that just gets in a car and does it.

    “Me and Stefan have been teammates for four years at least, and we have a very good working relationship and friendship, so when Stefan didn’t come with us to Austin and it was just me and Jonny in the car, it was different but he’s a pro, he’s easy to work with. He gets the big picture. He’s super fast and relaxed too.

    “So it hasn’t been an issue, they’re both pro guys who know what they’re doing.

    “The fact that I’ve lost out on a mate being around is just one of those things that you just need to move on from. Time moves on, people move on. It’s a different scenario, me and Jonny get on really well and the more time we spend together, the more we’ll get to know each other.”

    I can’t help but glance over at the Aston Vulcan behind you every now and again, tell me about the development process you went through with that?

    “It’s been amazing. It’s very much a programme from Aston Martin Lagonda, so the road car side of the company. But it has had involvement from Aston Martin Racing, especially on the engine side, gearbox and drive train. Initially it was just an involvement with the ergonomics of the interior, and the driver position, what’s required seating wise, the dashboard all the layouts. And then the amazing guys at the headquarters in Gaydon went on and put it all into place.

    “Then when the car was produced, we did the first shakedown before the Goodwood Festival of Speed and since then have had quite an intense testing programme with the car. Now the car is starting to go out to the customers, and we’re actually coming back here to Yas Marina for the fist customer event next year. That’s when the customers really get to try the car and experience what it’s like on a racetrack.

    “It’s an amazing programme to be involved with and an absolutely fantastic car to drive.”

    So the philosophy behind the car was to have a racing driver shape it to ensure it performs as close to a race car as possible for track days?

    “They had some very good guys designing it with a lot of racing history behind them. It’s built to FIA racing spec, it’s not built to any regulations for a championship though. But its performance is above a GT3, 820 horsepower in its maximum output. It’s a proper car!

    “The guys that bought it are going to have to go through a process of understanding how to drive a car with that sort of performance. There’s a training team put in place to help them.”

    Will we ever see it race? It strikes me as a car that wouldn’t look out of place at the Nürburgring 24 Hours?

    “Well I’d love to see it race. I know there’s a couple of customers that would like that too. But it’s all about where it can race. Never say never, but it won’t be straight forward scenario, it doesn’t fit many regulations, but there’s certainly got to be a multi-class championship where it can race. I think at the moment though, it’s all about the customers getting hold of it and doing the organised track days.”

    Let’s talk more about 2016, because the Vulcan is not the only Aston Martin going public, there’s the new GTE upgrade for the Vantage too. How’s that going?

    “I’ve been involved with some of the test days and the development of that. Jonny has been involved, Richie Stanaway, Marco (Sorensen), they’ve all been involved. Not so many days with the car so far though. I think there’s only been six or seven.

    “It’s obviously got the completely new aero package, that you can already see. It’s very interesting with the large splitter on the rear and the huge wing.”

    It’s almost a flashback to the GT1 days isn’t it?

    “Yeah, they’ve opened up the aero operating window so the guys have been working very hard with the CFD. They’re happy with the numbers, but it’s just the process, you get to the end of one car’s racing life – which is what we had with the current GTE at Bahrain, and that’s as good as you’re going to get with that.

    “Then you start with the new car, and if it’s roughly starting within the same place as the old one you know that you have a car that should be successful. I think everyone is pleased with the starting point, but it’s a work in progress until April next year.”

    How much difference has that aero package made for the driver?

    “From the running I’ve done, it gives you more lap time performance, and we’re happy with those numbers and obviously there’s a trade off as to what you want on a Grand Prix circuit and what you want at Le Mans. You need to try and find a package that’s suitable for both, it’s critical for the success for the year.”

    How do you feel about the move towards more aero, is it good or bad for GTE racing? Will it become more expensive, and is that then nullified by BoP? Is it worth it?

    “I think you have to change things about every now and again to gain some interest, and to give the guys designing cars something to aim for. If you keep the regs exactly the same, then it’s not motivating for the guys in the design and drawing process.

    “When the regulations change it’s good for a variety of reasons: new technology, new theories, designs. It keeps it fresh. With the aero, I think we can afford the gain a little bit more with aero, but I’d like more horsepower myself. The difficult thing is the balance between the classes, if you give the GT cars more power you need to do something with the LMP2s. That’s not good, because you end up tripping over each other.”

    So to round this off then, let’s look at the GTE Pro class as a whole? We’ve got Porsche stepping back but Ford are coming in. What are your thoughts on next year’s competition?

    “It’s a shame that Porsche are having a sabbatical this year to I guess wait for a new car in 2017, there will still be a works-assisted car in there which is my understanding though. It’ll have good drivers too I’m sure.

    “The more competition, the better, if you go into a race and there’s four cars, it’s a dull race. But we’ve got Ford with two and a possibility of another manufacturer coming in for a few races too, that’s brilliant, the more the merrier.

    “The level is going to go up another notch!”
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645


    GIANMARIA BRUNI: FERRARI'S KING OF GT RACING

    Gianmaria Bruni has always been determined and a fierce competitor but, over the last four years in the FIA World Endurance Championship, he has proven to become arguably the best GT driver in the world. Alongside Roman Rusinov in LMP2, Bruni has achieved 12 WEC victories – the most of any driver – and the Italian's are all for Ferrari in the LMGTE Pro class.

    He moved to England aged 19 to compete in the British F3 Championship, learning the language, gaining the nickname “Gimmi”, enduring the food and the weather in order to progress in his chosen sport. However, it was when he finally gave up his single seater ambitions and concentrated on GT cars that his career really blossomed.

    The 34-year-old Roman won the 2008 FIA GT Championship, 2011 ILMC and Le Mans Series titles and two class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2008 in GT2 with Risi Competizione and 2011 in LMGTE Pro with AF Corse) before entering the WEC and a golden era for the Ferrari 458 Italia and AF Corse.

    We asked Gimmi about his victories, which are listed below, and his time in the WEC to date:

    Le Mans (2012), Silverstone (2012), Sao Paulo (2012), Spa (2013), Sao Paulo (2013), Bahrain (2013), Spa (2014), Le Mans (2014), Fuji (2014), Bahrain (2014), Silverstone (2015), Fuji (2015)



    Q: You have competed in all but one of the WEC races since 2012 (missing Bahrain 2012). How have you seen the championship develop since it started?

    “I have seen the Championship grow up a lot and this is fantastic because, when we started, we were only a few in GT, and now we can see how it’s grown and developed. There’s lots of interest coming in for next year and in a few weeks we will see new manufacturers joining. It’s developed not just in GT but in LMP1 too and, from the outside, new people know more about the championship day by day. I think the WEC is doing something very good, and for everyone.”



    Q: You have scored 8 pole positions in the WEC. Do you like the format adopted in 2014 with two drivers and an average time?

    “I think this year it’s better than last year, with just the one best time from two drivers combined, the format is better. I like it like this because you share everything together if there is just two drivers, like we have, and you win or lose with your team mate so it’s good to bring this in too. It’s good for team spirit.”

    Q: You have finished on the podium 20 times, including 12 wins, in the 31 races you have competed in. Which race victory did you enjoy the most?

    “There’s actually two that I have enjoyed the most. The first was the 24 Hours of Le Mans for AF Corse in 2012 and the second was at Sao Paulo in 2013. Le Mans was very satisfying because we started last after Giancarlo had a big crash in practice, only doing 20 minutes of night practice and warm up. It was very hard to get into the rhythm and be at the highest level but we all did it and it meant even more because of how we started the week.

    “Brazil in 2013 was a very hard race, and a very intense battle with Darren Turner and Aston Martin Racing, especially the last hour and 10 minutes. It was very close. Coming from not a fantastic start of the season, we’d had a big fight back and there are definitely good memories of the end of that season.”



    Q: Can anything beat standing on the podium at Le Mans? Which Le Mans victory was the sweetest?

    “I think it was the 2012 victory because it was a very intense battle, but the best one is of course always the last one!! I will never forget the first one, but it was a different era, with different cars and fewer competitors. There are different emotions for each, but the first and last I will remember always.”

    Q: You have only failed to finish a race twice, both times in Shanghai (12 and 14). Were these the most disappointing WEC races you’ve had, or were results like Nürburgring and COTA (7th) this year worse?

    “Of course this year we discovered we could actually finish in China, and in 2nd place so at least we know we can do it there. In 2014 we had quite a big crash there but recovered for the championship so that made up for it. This year has been very difficult and there were a couple of races where to finish was really hard. Nürburgring was the toughest because we were on pole, in the lead and pulling away when got an electronic problem which ultimately cost us the championship. I knew after that race to win the championship would be difficult. It’s hard to accept, but it’s racing.”

    Q: Which race stands out in your memory as the hardest of all?

    “Le Mans 2013 because after two and a half hours we had lost a friend but at the same time had to race another 21+ hours. I didn’t want to race and it was hard to concentrate in the night. It was a really, really tough race, a lousy race…when you’re a driver you never want to see that happen to anyone but to a friend it is even worse. It’s been good to see safety improved, especially at Le Mans, and we all want to enjoy our racing.”



    Q: Which race brought the biggest smile to your face (not just for winning, but perhaps for the competition, the ambiance of the event or the team spirit)?

    “Bahrain 2014 was very nice – the whole week. From the time we arrived, we had fun especially doing a “head-to-head” interview with Toni – we started laughing and didn’t stop. All three days on track went nice and the race too which was a good battle with others. Winning the GT Drivers’ Championship there was the icing on the cake…family and team spirit are the words which remind me most of this time!”
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    What’s New In 2016? Part 3, LMP3 & LMPC

    The first season of LMP3 competition saw huge efforts from Ginetta’s design and engineering teams bring multiple cars to the opening race of the 2015 season though upgrades and improvements were seen throughout the year as manufacturer, teams and rulemakers learnt their way.

    Ligier and Adess soon stepped up to the plate as the formula was proven and both saw cars make their racing debuts in 2015 with Ave Riley delaying the debut of their new car into 2016.

    A surprise announcement from the ACO saw LMP3 join LMP2 in the ‘licensed chassis’ stakes, the number in P3 restricted to five. Late in the year Dome were revealed as the final license holder, though their new car is not set to race until 2017.

    A late season fall-out between Ginetta, the ACO and powertrain suppliers ORECA saw the Yorkshire-based class pioneers take a step back – existing customers will be supported, new customers will be supplied but must procure their own powertrains from ORECA. Ginetta meanwhile have mounted a parallel effort to develop their chassis as the new G57 with an alternative (Chevrolet-based) V8 powertrain to enter other markets.

    By the year end it was clear though that the market was booming, and it was Onroak Automotive that was reaping the main benefits.

    With the announcement of a new French Prototype Championship for LMP3 machines in parallel with the existing (but struggling) GT Championship plus potential in VdeV and Supercar Challenge (plus NASA events in North America) order numbers grew rapidly. Jacques Nicolet confirmed to the DSC Editor in November that 30 orders for the Ligier JS P3 had been placed with Ginetta orders in double figures and Adess approaching that total too.

    The further announcement of a GT3/ LMP3 support race on the full Le Mans circuit on race morning for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours will have provided a further impetus to the commercial cases for LMP3 teams, though entries are currently only open to teams contesting ACO sanctioned Series.

    Adess have had their hands full since their car’s debut in the Asian Le Mans Series with a number of items on an urgent todo list including a re-engineering of the rear of the car after the angle of the driveshafts caused reliability issues. There were repeated problems too with the gullwing style doors.

    For the purposes of this article we’ll focus on the ACO-sanctioned Championships in Europe and Asia but with a round-up of some of the other cars known to be delivered or on order.

    2015/ 16 Asian Le Mans Series

    Confirmed Entries

    DC Racing: Ligier JS P3. Debuted at Fuji 2015

    Team AAI: Adess 03 x 2. Both cars debuted at Fuji 2015, only one raced at Sepang.

    Other Programmes

    BC Racing Taiwan: Ginetta (no updates to initial news of potential entry)
    Eurointernational: Ligier JS P3 (Programme in Asia cancelled – ELMS only)

    2016 European Le Mans Series

    Whilst a very considerable number of teams have declared an intention to race in the European Le Mans Series it is clear that some efforts depend on sourcing paying drivers, and in some cases early plans will have had to have been changed as a result of some subtle but important changes to the driver regulations for 2016.

    This then is a list that comes with a mild ‘health’ warning that these teams have announced their intention to take part in the 2016 ELMS

    Entrants who have declared intent to enter 2016 ELMS in LMP3

    BA (Baleares Automotive) Equipe: Ligier JS P3. Have confirmed single car ELMS Programme but as yet with no drivers named.

    BE Motorsport: Ligier JS P3, The Spanish team are set to race both in ELMS and the VdeV championship with drivers Javier Ibrán, Toni Castillo and Dutchman Mathijs Bakker. They have already tested.

    CPB Sport; Adess 03. Car delivered and has tested, team intends to also contest some VdeV races – ex Le Mans racer Sylvian Boulay confirmed as driver

    Eurointernational: 2 x Ligier JS P3. Cars Delivered and have tested. In addition to the already announced Giorgio Mondini the team have tested several other drivers including ex United Autosports and Vita4One GT3 driver Jay Palmer, Matteo Bobbi and Costantino Perone.

    Extreme Limite: Ligier JS P3. Second customer announced for new Ligier, car has tested.

    Graf Racing: 2 x Ligier JS P3. First customer announced, cars delivered, first car debuted at 2015 Estoril ELMS finale. VdeV outings also likely.

    G-Private: Adess 03. First car has tested. Planned line-up is Jürgen Alzen, ex SEAT Leon Champion and A1 GP driver Sebastian Stahl and Sebastian Grunert. Team has a second car and may also contest VdeV.

    Laban Racing: Ginette. Team plan to return with some support from Ginetta. Seeking interested drivers.

    Race Performance: Ligier JS P3, have already tested with a Ligier JS P3 and look set to enter the ELMS.

    SPV Racing 2 x Ligier JS P3: Cars delivered. Drivers will include Fredrik Blomstedt, former F1 test driver Borja Garcia and Alan Sicart.

    SPV Racing travelled to Magny Cours to complete their initial test.

    SVK by Speed Factory: 2 x Ligier JS P3, team switched from Ginetta post-season and intends to double up programme.

    Team All-Sports: Adess 03. Satellite team to G-Private.

    Team RLR/ Mike Smith: Ligier JS P3. Car believed delivered.

    Team Ultimate: Ligier JS P3. Mathieu Lahaye plans to front this effort.

    Tech 1 (Panis/ Parthez): Ligier JS P3. Part of two car effort with a Ligier JSP2. Eric Debard has been named as one driver for the team’s LMP3 Ligier.

    United Autosports: 2 x Ligier JS P3. Cars delivered. Alex Brundle announced as leading one car, Mark Patterson and Matt bell will pair in the second.

    Known potential LMP3 entries

    Yvan Muller Racing: 2 x Ligier JS P3. Team were considering alternative programmes in either (or both) ELMS and/ or French Championship.

    Villorba Corse: Ginette. No news from the 2015 Ginette Customer.

    Counter Solutions/ YiL Engineering: Ligier JS P3. VdeV with possible ELMS campaign.

    2 x Ave Riley AR-2: Team unknown. Riley report two confirmed sales to a single team planning a full 2016 ELMS campaign.

    There are a gaggle of other teams who have been quoted as intending to take part in the ELMS but with no evidence at present of a car purchase. They’ll be added to the lists above as and when that emerges.

    Other Potential French Prototype Championship and VdeV Entries

    AKKA ASP: Understood to be close to a French Championship effort with at least one Ligier.

    IMSA Performance: Have tested a Ligier at least twice as they move in on a possible French Championship Programme.

    N’Race: Ligier JS P3, confirmed as a proposed entry with a Ligier purchased.

    Prime Racing: an early adopter with one of the first customer Ginettas, VdeV and Supercar Challenge were on the agenda for 2015.

    Team Duquesne: Have confirmed a pair of Ligiers for the French Championship with team owner Gille Duqueine confirmed as one driver.

    Yvan Muller Racing

    (Note the cars totalled above add up to 24 Ligiers from 30 or more built or ordered)

    LMPC

    LMPC is, once again, exclusively an IMSA formula (with more than a few of the original Oreca FLM09s now racing in HSR too!)

    The current plan is that the cars will remain as a standalone ‘entry’ Prototype class for the next two seasons but with an update package ahead of a potential replacement with ‘P2 lite’ or P3 options still under consideration though the later suffered a body blow with an ill-timed test earlier this year before the concept was properly developed.

    For 2016 though there is a staged series of upgrades planned for the existing cars via IMSA, ORECA, engine builders Katech, Continental Tire, and Motec have come up with a series of upgrades for the FLM09 that will be introduced in stages leading into January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and March’s 12 Hours of Sebring.

    Electronics upgrades (new dash, ECU, Gearbox Control Unit, Power Distribution Unit), a new rain tyre, weight reduction (c.30 pounds from the rear of the car), new wiring looms, telemetry and traction control will all be available for Sebring.

    For Daytona a number of Katech engine mods are expected with slight modification to the heads, a damper change on the front of the motor to give better reliability on dog rings failures.

    And for Sebring there will be a lightweight rod and crank assembly.

    (with thanks to Marshall Pruett and racer.com for the PC upgrades detail).

    BAR1 Motorsports: long-time LMPC contenders, Brian Alder’s team will return in 2016 possibly with both of their cars but with a single car currently confirmed.

    CORE Autosport: Reigning Champions Jon Bennett and Colin Braun will return to defend their title. Mark Wilkins joins the team for the NAEC enduros and Martin Plowman completes the quartet for Daytona.

    JDC/Miller Motorsports: Will again return with a single car effort.

    Performance Tech: Set to return with their regular single car effort.

    PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports: After calling off a planned Prototype entry with the revised HPD ARX04b Coupe the team will revert to their well established and effective LMPC effort. Tom Kimber-Smith and Robert Alon are the full season drivers with Jose Gutierrez joining for the NAEC and Nick Boulle added for Daytona.

    Starworts Motorsport: The always interesting Peter Baron owned squad will be back. Details still awaited as to whether the team will field a single car or can stretch to a second for the season, the NAEC or part thereof with Le Patron suggesting a pair for Daytona.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    What’s New In 2016? Part 4, GTE

    GTE in 2016 (including IMSA’s closely associated GTLM class) means FIA WEC, ELMS and the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship

    FIA World Endurance Championship

    LM GTE Pro

    Ford: 2 x Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT

    There’s little doubt that the big news is the arrival, or rather the return of Ford to the international Endurance racing scene with the new, and extraordinary, Ford GT.


    The frontal aspect of the car presents a very familiar aspect, more than a hat tip to its Ford GT40 ancestor.

    It’s twin turbo V6 Ford EcoBoost powerplant is a major difference from what has gone before but it’s the aerodynamics of Ford’s newest racing weapon that has really turned heads, put bluntly there has never been a GT car remotely close to this.

    The teardrop shaped cockpit/ engine bay section and some very ‘trick’ detailing’ take the game on considerably.


    The Multimatic developed racer will debut in the United States with a parallel two car programme for Chip Ganassi Racing for the full WTSCC (see below) with the WEC two car effort handled by a new team under ex Prodrive Team Principal George Howard Chappell.

    The full season WEC driver announcement is due to be made on 5 January at the team’s new operating base near Banbury, Oxfordshire, this the ex Triple Eight base.

    Industry sources and the Rolex 24 Hours provisional entry indicates that the much trailed full season WEC quartet will likely be Sebastien Bourdais, Olivier Pla, Stefan Mucke and Andy Priaulx but that is still to be confirmed, some of the above may not be full season with concurrent unanswered questions over the additional drivers for the all-important Le Mans seats

    Ferrari: 2 x AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE

    The Prancing Horse debuts the new twin turbo V8 powered 488 in 2016 and we’ll see at least a pair in the full FIA WEC as Ferrari look to reclaim the GT Manufacturers World Championship. No changes are expected to the factory-backed driver quartet with the 2015 #71 crew of James Calado and Davide Rigon now a fully-honed foil to the Bruni/ Vilander #51.

    Development mileage has been piled on the new car in the latter part of 2015 with early powertrain concerns now (relatively) ancient history we believe. The advent of the new car changes the soundtrack of the Ferrari effort fundamentally but will bring both improved fuel economy and much improved torque delivery. If Ferrari have got their sums right, and they usually do, then this effort could well be the strongest opposition that Ford will see this season.

    Aston Martin: 2 x Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE (2016)

    We’ve already seen the 2016 version of the V8 Vantage GTE testing after the 2015 WEC finale in Bahrain, the rear wing/ diffuser combo and entirely new bodywork are reported to provide the desired reduction in lap times (see interview today with Darren Turner). Whether it will be enough to get the Vantage to grips with the Ford remains to be seen. (below the 2016 spec #97 compared to the 2015 spec #99).

    Aston-Martin-V8-Vantage-2016-06

    Aston-Martin-V8-Vantage-2015-01

    For the WEC we expect a pair of factory entered cars in the Pro class, the #97 and likely the #95 Young Driver AMR entry returning with a likely reshuffled driver line-up that looks set to include Turner, Jonny Adam and Marco Sorensen.

    With expected changes to the fuelling aspects of Balance of Performance and a basically stable mechanical package Aston Martin’s hopes for the season will be based at least in good in part on the relative lack of development for their principal opposition in the class. Could 2016 be a year when reliability in GTE plays a major part?

    Porsche: 1 x Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR (2016)

    Porsche had an on, off, sort of back on run in to their 2016 GTE Pro plans with the combination of the widely expected new car for 2017, concerns over the competitiveness of the current Porsche 911 RSR with the available 2016 upgrades (the rear engined Porsche unable to draw as much profit as the rest from the opportunity to utilise the ‘mahoosive’ rear diffuser) and, let’s not forget, some Group budgetary pressures.


    So there’s no Porsche Team Manthey full season effort but instead we’ll have a singleton campaign in the Pro Class under the Dempsey Proton Racing banner with 2015 GTE Drivers Champ Richard Lietz joined by Michael Christensen.

    No strength in numbers then but be in no doubt that there will be plenty of factory assistance for the effort. Don’t count this one out just yet!

    Corvette

    Very sadly Jack Leconte’s concerted effort to bring a GTE Pro Corvette effort to the full WEC has failed with the Chevrolet powers that be unwilling or unable to provide a 2016 spec C7.R. Le Mans only it is, again!

    LM GTE Am

    Ferrari: 1-3 x Ferrari 458 Italia/ 488 GTE

    We expect a return from the #83 AF Corse effort with Francois Period and Manu Collard, likely in a 458 Italia.

    AF Corse, as is their won’t, could just as easily turn up with an additional WEC Am effort, or two, or nine!

    The 2015 Championship winning SMP Racing effort may well return, or might emerge in GTE Pro with a new 488 GTE, or just possibly, we might even see both!


    JMW Motorsport’s WEC ambitions seem not to have come to fruition for 2016.

    Aston Martin: 1 x Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE

    The ever enthusiastic Paul Dalla Lana will return in the #98 Aston that dominated the opening battles of the 2015 Championship, and is expected to field an unchanged trio with Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda for the full WEC.


    Porsche: 1-2 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR

    Already confirmed is the return of the #88 Abu Dhabi Proton effort with Khaled Al Qubaisi joined for 2016 by Patrick Long and David Heinemeier Hansson. The possibility of a second car for a part (or less likely) full season still exists with the door still being left open for a race or two for Patrick Dempsey should his schedule permit.


    Corvette: 1-2 x Larbre Competition Chevrolet Corvette C7.R

    Jack Leconte’s squad had a 2015v jam packed full with terrible bad luck. and his 2016 effort started in similar vein with hopes of a GTE Pro effort dashed by GM. 

There is though a distinct possibility that we’ll see a pair of the uber fan favourite bellowing Vettes as Larbre push hard to find customers for the one remaining available 2015 spec C7.R


    IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship

    Ford: 2 x Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, Ford GT

    IMSA ’s Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona gets the privilege of welcoming Ford’s hugely anticipated new Ford GT to racing.

Chip Ganassi racing field a two car, full season effort with ex BMW duo Joey Hand and Dirk Muller the full season names in the #66 car, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook in the sister #67 – Sebastien Bourdain joining the #66 for Daytona, Stefan Mucke the #67.

    With such a new effort there as a huge number of unknowns but there’s little doubt that a massive amount of testing and development has been undertaken. The IMSA Series though is a massively high quality GT racing environment to blood a new effort in, this is going to be good!

    Ferrari: 1 x Risi Competizione, Ferrari 488 GTE (Full Season), 1 x Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE (NAEC), 1 x SMP Racing (Daytona Only)

    Ferrari’s new turbo V8 weapon also gets its racing debut at Daytona with AF Corse (running as SMP Racing) in a one-off joining Scuderia Corsa (NAEC programme) below and full season Risi Competizione combining to outnumber the Fords in Florida, Ferrari vs Ford a repeat of the sixties stories that started the legends!

    Risi Competizione continue their Ferrari love affair into the 488 era with a full season effort though the team will miss out on the Roar Before the 24 as the team work at Michelotto to complete the build of their new car.

    Scuderia Corsa field Alessandro Pier Guidi, Alexandre Premat and Daniel Serra for the four race NAEC, an intriguing trio that should have real pace, Pier Guidi one of the fastest of the legion of Italian Ferrari specialists, Premat with his ex Audi factory heritage and Brazilian Serra coming off the back of a huge amount of tyre testing with Dunlop.

    Porsche: 2 x Porsche Motorsport North America, Porsche 911 RSR (2016)

    With the factory team stepping back from full season WEC GTE Pro this year there was much relief that the US-based operation would continue. Core Autosports still pop the cars as they did faultlessly again in 2015.

    On the driver front the loss of a third LMP1 car has very much been IMSA’s gain with the #911 car shared for the full season by 2015 Drivers Champion Patrick Pilet and 2015 overall Le Mans winner Nick Tandy. At the longer, Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup races (24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans), the pair is set to receive support from Porsche factory new boy Kévin Estre.

    The #912 car will see a full season pairing of Frédéric Makowiecki and 2015 Le Mans winner Earl Bamber. These two will be joined by Michael Christensen at the four IMSA long distance classics.

    Corvette: 2 x Corvette Racing, Chevrolet Corvette C7.R

    Back for another shot at the title are Corvette with a pair of new for 2016 C7.Rs with all the new season trimmings and an unchanged full season line-up, though the enduros will see Corvette first timer Mike Rockefeller join Messrs Garcia and Magnussen in there #3 and returning talent Marcel Fassler joining Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in #4

    With the advent of the ‘turbo-tastic efforts from Ford, Ferrari and BMW the epic B=V8 soundtrack of the Corvettes will stand out all the more!

    BMW: 2 x BMW Team RLL, BMW M6 GTLM

    The final factory pair are from BMW with yet another new machine, this a GTLM version of BMW’s new GT3 weapon the M6 with yet another turbo power plant. The longer wheelbase M6 is much more of a GT than the car it replaces and gives a less ‘hot rod’ stance than the outgoing Z4.

    With new machinery to bed in the team have taken the sensible choice of sticking with their 20-15 driver line up for the season Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner the full season duo for the #25 with Augusto Farfus for the longer races and Bruno Spengler for Daytona.


    The #100 M6 GTLM has John Edwards and Lucas Luhr for the full season with Kuno Wittmer for the NAEC races and Graham Rahal at the Rolex 24.

    European Le Mans Series

    ELMS have, in recent years, produced surprise after surprise in the GTE stakes, healthy grids being a constant theme since LMEM took over the reins.

    The Pro-Am nature of the grid though makes it rather more difficult to track and confirm what too expect when we hear the season entry list.

    ELMS features Dunlop spec rubber with the men in yellow having put in huge efforts during 2015 to the extent that at least one WEC factory team is taking a good hard look, if not for 2016 then potentially beyond. It would not be a surprise to see a Dunlop shod car or two at Le Mans.

    Ferrari: 3-5 x Ferrari 458 Italia

    Formula Racing, the Danish 2015 Championship winners are set to return to defend their title with Mikkel Mac and Johnny Laursen.

    JMW Motorsport were interested in putting together a WEC programme for 2016 but that seems, at present, to have stalled so another season in the ELMS likely beckons for the world’s most successful yellow GTE Ferrari.

    AT Racing: Talkanitsa father and son, who took a race win in 2015, look likely to return


    No confirmation as yet of how many of the total production run of Ferrari 458s will be fielded by AF Corse but fewer than a couple would be a surprise

    Aston Martin: 1-2 V8 Vantage GTE (2015)

    Beechdean Motorsport made a perfect start to their current GTE adventure with a podium finish in their Estoril toe in the water, AMR support will likely see this effort run very well through the season.

    There’s a possibility too that we’ll see a second car, TDS Racing stepping up from their GTC title winning effort with the BMW Z4 (below) and weighing up the pros and cons we believe between Ferrari and Aston Martin.

    Porsche: 1 x Gulf Racing UK Porsche 911 RSR

    We believe and expect that Mike Wainwright and co. will return in the gorgeous Gulf Racing UK Porsche 911 RSR, rumours of a WEC effort from the team being somewhat wide of the mark.

    Corvette: 0-1 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R

    Long-time Porsche specialists Prospeed Competition have obtained one of the 2015 factory Corvette C7.Rs and will field a full season ELMS effort.



    Le Mans 24 Hours

    Le Mans is set to see a titanic tussle with the expected seven WEC regulars set to be joined in France by up to six full season IMSA cars with Ford and Corvette set to field their US based cars (making a likely total of four Ford GTs in their attempt to win again on the 50th anniversary of their first win with the GT40 and a potential total of five Corvettes, the two Pro cars and up to three in Am!).

    Porsche’s proposed Le Mans entry for the US-based effort is rather more controversial with no factory-based WEC effort but the factory making it clear that they’ll look for both US-based cars to be invited.

    Scuderia Corsa will race in Am in their new 488 GTE and Formula Racing get an auto entry in GTE Am in a 458 Italia.

    The Asian Le Mans Series title looks likely to go the way of Clearwater Racing, having won both of the first two races, the GT3 spec McLaren of course won’t be eligible but Clearwater are BIG Ferrari customers.

    There still seems to be a possibility that Ben Keating will try to get another entry at Le mans for the SRT Viper GTS.R.

    Beyond that little lot, and of course the full season WEC entries it’s all down to the ACO Selection Committee as to which of the ELMS full season teams get the email with the ‘Oui’ to the ‘Non’

    http://www.dailysportscar.com/2016/0...art-4-gte.html
    Last edited by Rob; 2nd January 2016 at 20:47.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    Risi To Debut New Ferrari At Rolex 24 Hours

    The Risi Ferrari team will miss next week’s Roar Before The 24 test at Daytona while its mechanics finish building the brand-new twin-turbo 488 chassis in Italy. The Houston, Texas-based team will dispatch crew members to Ferrari affiliate Michelotto where the assembly will be finished prior to shipping.

    “I’m sending two mechanics over on Monday to push the car along at Michelotto and then we can finalize the car here with any loose ends that need tidying up before we go to the race,” Risi team manager Dave Sims told Marshall Pruett. “They’ll be gone from the fourth to the 15th, and I’m sending a data acquisition guy the week after.”

    Sims and other members of the Risi team will attend the Roar to keep tabs on IMSA’s GT Le Mans class where the 488 will race. With the Rolex 24 at Daytona set to start on Jan. 28, and an undetermined delivery date for its car after the Jan. 8-10 Roar, Risi’s new Prancing Horse could go into the big season opener for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with minimal mileage.

    “There won’t be a lot of time; we’ll try to do a shakedown here in Houston, but it will need to be pretty good out of the box and go straight to the 24,” Sims added. “And we’ll go to the Roar and start setting up some of our stuff to be ready for the race, but that’s all at this moment.”

    Risi should also learn the identity of its Ferrari-supplied drivers early in the New Year. Team veteran Pierre Kaffer recently signed with Audi, leaving a blank slate for the GTLM 488 at Daytona.

    “We’re still waiting on drivers from Ferrari, and Pierre’s now an Audi driver for the rest of the year, so we’ll know what our drivers look like after everyone comes back from holiday,” Sims said. “It should be fun. We’ll have a new car, that’s never been raced before, going right into the 24-hour race. We’re lucky because we have some really good guys who’ve done this stuff before. Otherwise, it would be a concern.”

    http://www.dailysportscar.com/2016/0...-24-hours.html
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    FLYING LIZARD MOTORSPORTS AND KROHN RACING PARTNER FOR THE ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA.

    NO. 45 AUDI R8 LMS RETURNS TO THE HIGH BANKS.

    In anticipation of an exciting 2016 season opening event, Flying Lizard Motorsports and Krohn Racing have joined forces for competition in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship's Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The Audi Sport customer racing team will run the No. 45 Audi R8 LMS, the same car that finished 2nd in the 2014 running of the event.

    Flying Lizard Motorsports has previously raced the 24 Hours of Daytona seven times, earning three podiums and two pole positions. In 2014, the team celebrated a win at the iconic event, but four hours after the podium celebrations, a penalty on a competitor's car was reversed, reinstating the competitors as the winners. In 2015, the team returned with a strong lineup, but a problem in the first hour took the car back to the garage for 30 minutes. Upon returning, the team showed a strong, error free run, again completing all 24 hours of racing.

    Krohn Racing founder Tracy Krohn created Krohn Racing in 2005, and entered the team into international competition in GRAND-AM Road Racing, the American Le Mans Series, and FIA World Endurance Championship. Krohn Racing has celebrated three podium finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2007, 2009 and 2012.

    With both Flying Lizard Motorsports and Krohn Racing having individually celebrated wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans, both are still determinedly seeking their first victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona.

    The collaboration of the two championship winning teams will feature an all-star driver line up of Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson, and Audi Sport customer racing drivers Pierre Kaffer and Christopher Haase.

    Since Tracys Krohn's first year acting as a team owner and driver, he has been a part of an endurance race winning effort. In 2005, Krohn and co-driver Nic Jonsson clinched the overall win at the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, and in 2011, Krohn celebrated class wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

    The 2016 season will mark Nic Jonsson's 26th year racing professionally, and more impressively, his 12th full season with Tracy Krohn. With such consistency being a rare find in motorsports, the two teammates will strengthen the already robust driver line up. The Swedish driver's resume is extensive, including experience in IndyCar, Touring cars and NASCAR. With a Rolex 24 best finish of 4th place, Jonsson has a clear determination to finish on the top step next month.

    With an extensive career in endurance racing, as well as histories with Krohn Racing and Audi, German racer Pierre Kaffer is a solid fit to the Rolex 24 lineup. As part of a joint effort between Krohn Racing and Risi Competizione, Kaffer was a part of the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans winning effort, and also holds multiple wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

    Also a former competitor of Flying Lizard Motorsports, Audi Sport customer racing driver Christopher Haase joins the team after coming in 3rd in the 2015 GTD championship, driving the Audi R8 LMS. The German driver is a two time winner at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, one time winner at Petit Le Mans, and most recently, came in 2nd at the 2015 12 Hours of Sepang.

    Although other competitors in the WeatherTech GTD class will be running the new Audi R8 LMS, the Flying Lizard will continue to run the same Audi R8 LMS as before, but upgraded to the homologated GT3 spec. Adding more aerodynamic grip, the car will run a larger rear wing, bigger front splitter, bigger dive planes and a different diffuser. Unlike the previous years, the car will also be allowed to run with ABS and traction control. Running the same engine and transmission that it ran last year in IMSA's GTD class, this is also the same configuration the team ran this month at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, where the team ran issue free and finished on the top step over 56 other cars.

    The official series test for the Rolex 24, the Roar Before the 24, will take place at Daytona International Speedway January 8-10. The official on track activities for the Rolex 24 at Daytona begin January 28, 2016.

    QUOTES

    Tracy Krohn
    I'm really looking forward to getting back on track for the 24 Hours of Daytona and with joining Flying Lizard Motorsports. We've competed against them for many years and know they run a great operation. Last month we conducted a test with the Audi R8 LMS at Sonoma Raceway. This was the first time Nic and I have had the chance to drive the Audi and we were both very impressed. I feel very confident in our package heading into the Roar Before the 24. This particular car should be very good at Daytona, and we have an excellent driver lineup, so it should be a great event.

    Nic Jonsson
    Having the opportunity to join a team with such pedigree is great for both myself and Tracy. And to do that as a collaboration between the two teams makes it very strong. I have been racing against and with many of the Lizard guys over the years, and makes it a very easy transition, since we already know each other, and have great respect for what each one of us do. With the experience of endurance racing between the two teams, and specifically at Daytona, I'm really looking forward to the 24 hours of Daytona in 2016. The Audi R8 LMS is a new car to both myself and Tracy, but with the Lizards having a few years of experience along with great support from Audi, we know this is a great and winning package.

    I'm also very excited to have the two Audi drivers in Christopher Haase and Pierre Kaffer. They both had a lot of success over the last couple of years here in the states. Pierre has obviously been racing for another manufacturer before, and Tracy and myself were teammates with Pierre, so he's going to be another familiar face in the mix. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to race and have such great results over the years with the same teammate, and we plan on carry that on at the 24 in 2016.

    Being a 24 hour race, at a very special and untraditional track lay out, it makes it for a lot of surprises, and will benefit the teams and drivers who will be patient, stay out of trouble, and understanding that, it's about making sure you take care of your equipment and that you in contention, when the sun comes up on Sunday morning.

    Pierre Kaffer
    I'm really looking forward to driving for Flying Lizard Motorsports for the first time. I've known the team for many years, for me it's one of the best in USA with such a strong history. The partnership together with Krohn Racing is just a great new combination. I can't wait to work together with Tracy, Nic and Christopher! I like racing at Daytona. I was close to a win two years ago, and last year we unfortunately had to retire with a technical issue in the lead. Daytona was always a good place and this year with the Audi R8 LMS, I'm sure we have the right car. I can't wait to drive.

    Christopher Haase
    I feel really excited to join Flying Lizard and Krohn Racing. These guys are great racers. We already know each other during the last two years of racing in the TUDOR championship, and we have a good relationship too. Our driver lineup is pretty good. Our car has a huge reliability and won already so many events during the last years around the world. Overall we have good package. The Rolex 24 will be like always a tough race. The biggest difference is now we all using now the GT3 Spec cars, and this is something new in 2016.

    Darren Law // Flying Lizard Motorsports Program Manager
    We are really looking forward to having Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson join us for this event. We have spent so many years as competitors, and we have a lot of respect for Tracy and Nic. It is nice to have them finally come on board and race with us. They both have a lot of experience in this type of racing and understand what it takes to win an event like this. We are also very grateful to have factory drivers Christopher Haase and Pierre Kaffer join us for this event. Both are very experienced and will complete a great driver lineup. To bring a brand new car with limited testing is risky for such a long event like this, so we are confident in our choice of last years car. Our car is proven, it is reliable, and we know its strengths and its weaknesses, which will help us to be better prepared.

    Flying Lizard Motorsports
    - See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/flying-....NNE7L46M.dpuf
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    IMSA PREVIEW: THE ROAR BEFORE THE ROLEX 24.

    A CLOSER LOOK AT THE SEASON-OPENING TEST.

    The International Motor Sports Association rings in the New Year in grand fashion with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 on January 8-10 at Daytona International Speedway.

    Like a race weekend without the trophies, the Roar features three full days of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge action on the famed 3.56-mile circuit, even including a Saturday evening session under the lights. It’s a dress rehearsal for the season-opening 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona and BMW Performance 200 that officially kicks off the action on January 29-31.

    “We have had great success with our car, but we still have room to improve and make it even better,” said Joao Barbosa, who joined Christian Fittipaldi in winning the 2014 and 2015 Prototype championship in Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP. “The Roar Before the Rolex 24 is an important test for us, because every opportunity to go out on track is good for us. Given our success, we’re sure that every team is working hard to beat us. To achieve the same results, we have to keep working hard. We’re going to return to the Rolex 24 with the same mentality – to win the race.”

    A number of WeatherTech Championship teams participated in a two-day IMSA open test at Daytona in November, including the new Ford GT and a number of new factory cars that will be racing in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes in 2016. At the Roar, many teams will have the opportunity to test their new cars, including the Ferrari 488 GT3, Lamborghini Huracán GT3, Audi R8 LMS GT3, BMW M6 GT3, Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and Porsche 911 GT3-R.

    The test also includes the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, with a first look at the new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport that will debut in Grand Sport (GS) competition.

    Roar testing begins at 9 a.m. on Friday with the first of two one-hour sessions for the Continental Tire Challenge. WeatherTech Championship teams test from 10:15 a.m. – noon and 3-5:30 p.m.

    On Saturday, WeatherTech Championship runs from 9-10:45 a.m., 1:05-2:35 p.m., 4:15-5:15 p.m. and the important night session from 6:45-8:15 p.m. The Continental Tire Challenge also has a pair of one-hour practices, beginning at 11:05 a.m. and 2:55 p.m.

    The Roar concludes on Sunday, with WeatherTech Championship sessions from 10:20 a.m.-12:05 p.m. and 2:40-3:40 p.m., and Continental Tire Challenge from 9-10 a.m. and 1:35-2:20 p.m.

    Following the Roar, competitors in both series return to Daytona for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, with opening Continental Tire Challenge and Ferrari Challenge practice on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

    - See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/imsa-pr....jn3ctUYr.dpuf
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Maributo Key
    Posts
    5,988
    Great articles on the upcoming racing/teams Rob. Cool pix too, thx mate.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Maributo Key
    Posts
    5,988
    Has the F1 forum been hacked?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Has the F1 forum been hacked?
    whys that mate?
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Maributo Key
    Posts
    5,988
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    whys that mate?
    Looks ok today..yesterday when I checked it had the same thread about 15 times..
    the thread headers had a bunch of jibberish.. Am I the only 1 who saw that?
    Better change my meds

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Looks ok today..yesterday when I checked it had the same thread about 15 times..
    the thread headers had a bunch of jibberish.. Am I the only 1 who saw that?
    Better change my meds
    must of been changed before i saw it.

    There have been some spamming recently.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    IMSA PREVIEW: THE ROAR BEFORE THE ROLEX 24
    A CLOSER LOOK AT THE SEASON-OPENING TEST

    The International Motor Sports Association rings in the New Year in grand fashion with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 on January 8-10 at Daytona International Speedway.

    Like a race weekend without the trophies, the Roar features three full days of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge action on the famed 3.56-mile circuit, even including a Saturday evening session under the lights. It’s a dress rehearsal for the season-opening 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona and BMW Performance 200 that officially kicks off the action on January 29-31.

    “We have had great success with our car, but we still have room to improve and make it even better,” said Joao Barbosa, who joined Christian Fittipaldi in winning the 2014 and 2015 Prototype championship in Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP. “The Roar Before the Rolex 24 is an important test for us, because every opportunity to go out on track is good for us. Given our success, we’re sure that every team is working hard to beat us. To achieve the same results, we have to keep working hard. We’re going to return to the Rolex 24 with the same mentality – to win the race.”

    A number of WeatherTech Championship teams participated in a two-day IMSA open test at Daytona in November, including the new Ford GT and a number of new factory cars that will be racing in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes in 2016. At the Roar, many teams will have the opportunity to test their new cars, including the Ferrari 488 GT3, Lamborghini Huracán GT3, Audi R8 LMS GT3, BMW M6 GT3, Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and Porsche 911 GT3-R.

    The test also includes the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, with a first look at the new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport that will debut in Grand Sport (GS) competition.

    Roar testing begins at 9 a.m. on Friday with the first of two one-hour sessions for the Continental Tire Challenge. WeatherTech Championship teams test from 10:15 a.m. – noon and 3-5:30 p.m.

    On Saturday, WeatherTech Championship runs from 9-10:45 a.m., 1:05-2:35 p.m., 4:15-5:15 p.m. and the important night session from 6:45-8:15 p.m. The Continental Tire Challenge also has a pair of one-hour practices, beginning at 11:05 a.m. and 2:55 p.m.

    The Roar concludes on Sunday, with WeatherTech Championship sessions from 10:20 a.m.-12:05 p.m. and 2:40-3:40 p.m., and Continental Tire Challenge from 9-10 a.m. and 1:35-2:20 p.m.

    Following the Roar, competitors in both series return to Daytona for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, with opening Continental Tire Challenge and Ferrari Challenge practice on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

    - See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/imsa-pr....SjIiRF5m.dpuf
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645

    Latest News

    Paris - 5 January 2016
    FORD GT DRIVERS REVEALED FOR WORLD ENDURANCE BATTLE


    • Marino Franchitti, Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla and Andy Priaulx to race the all-new Ford GT in FIA World Endurance Championship for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing

    • Follows on from US announcement that Richard Westbrook, Dirk Müller, Joey Hand and Ryan Briscoe will race the all-new Ford GT in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

    • Mücke to join Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team for Rolex 24 at Daytona later this month


    Ford Chip Ganassi Racing today revealed that Marino Franchitti, Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla and Andy Priaulx have been selected to race in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the wheel of the all-new Ford GT.

    Ford is running two cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and two in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The intention is for the two teams to come together in June for a four-car effort at arguably the most famous endurance race in the world, the Le Mans 24 Hours, fifty years after its historic 1-2-3 finish. The FIA WEC will visit a further three locations in Europe, Silverstone (UK), Nurburgring (Germany) and Spa (Belgium).



    “Make no mistake, we are racing to win,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director. “To compete at this level you need the best car, the best team and the best drivers, and we have selected Stefan, Olivier, Andy and Marino to drive the Ford GT to take on the best in the world.”

    “I’m excited to be at team HQ in the UK to launch the WEC team,” said Chip Ganassi, owner of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. “Just like when we announced the Ford GT drivers for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship last month, we’ve again chosen drivers with heart, speed and proven endurance racing credentials. It’s a global team running in two championships and I can’t wait for the racing to begin.”

    Briton Marino Franchitti is an endurance-specialist and has raced at Le Mans no less than five times. Stefan Mücke, from Germany, has multiple WEC victories under his belt and knows what it takes to make it onto the podium at Le Mans. Frenchman, Olivier Pla, also has first-hand experience of the fierce competition in WEC. Andy Priaulx is a three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion who has also won one of the world’s toughest endurance races - the Nürburgring 24 Hours - and stood on the podium at Le Mans.

    WEC Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team principal – Multimatic’s George Howard-Chappell – has already led a team to victory at Le Mans on three occasions.

    “It doesn’t get any more competitive than the Le Mans 24 Hours but that is what makes winning it so special,” said Howard-Chappell. “Everything has to be perfect and even then you still need luck on your side to cross the line first. The Ford GT has been built to return to Le Mans and these four drivers all know what it takes to compete against the toughest competition in the world.”

    Mücke will get behind the wheel of the Ford GT very soon as he joins the IMSA Ford Chip Ganassi Racing squad for the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Jan. 8-10. Mücke will become the third driver in the #67 Ford GT entry at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which takes place on Jan. 30-31 alongside Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook.

    The all-new Ford GT is the pinnacle of Ford innovation in aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fibre construction. It is powered by a new twin-turbo Ford EcoBoost V6 engine, the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever.

    Introducing the WEC Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Drivers

    Marino Franchitti is part of a family where performance is hard-wired into their DNA. He won the 12 Hours of Sebring with Chip Ganassi Racing-Ford in 2014 - Ford's first overall win there since 1969.

    “From my first test in the Ford GT I fell in love with it and just wanted to drive it more and more. It’s incredible to be part of Ford’s return to international GT racing and to go to Le Mans 50 years after Ford’s first win there will be extremely special.” Franchitti said. “The car feels great to drive; the new LM GTE rules certainly move the performance of a GT car to new levels and Ford and their partners have built a fantastic car.”

    Stefan Mücke is a proven race winner. The German has competed in the GTE Pro class of WEC since the series’ formation in 2012, and knows the World Endurance Championship inside and out.

    “I’m very excited to be part of such a great programme, especially with the history that the Ford GT has at Le Mans,” Mücke said. “Le Mans is a very special race for every driver. It is the one that we all want to win because it is such a difficult thing to do. I have come close in the past and now I hope that with Ford we can go all the way.”

    Olivier Pla is one of sportscar racing’s best-kept secrets. The quiet Frenchman is known for his incredible car control and knows what it takes to win at the highest level.

    “It's a huge honour for me to represent Ford - the Ford GT is a very special car and it is a privilege for me to drive it. The level of competition is going to be incredibly high in WEC and I can’t wait to race. Personally as a Frenchman, lining up at Le Mans as a Ford GT driver will be something very special.”

    Andy Priaulx is a triple World Touring Car Champion who has won the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the Sebring 12 Hours, and stood on the podium at Le Mans.

    “A new project is always exciting but for me to be driving for Ford in the WEC is just on another level,” Priaulx said. “I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the car and start the preparations for the season. Any motorsport fan will remember the iconic Ford GT40 cars of the past, and for me to be part of this programme 50 years after Ford’s historic win at Le Mans is such a privilege.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Bulvania
    Posts
    2,640
    According to local media Toni Vilander enters USCC series (IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship) for 2016 with Fisichella and if said article is accurate Vilander would not continue in WEC.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    4,386
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Harley View Post
    According to local media Toni Vilander enters USCC series (IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship) for 2016 with Fisichella and if said article is accurate Vilander would not continue in WEC.
    That's true Ed Harley!

    The new driver line up for AF Corse in WEC Gte PRO:

    #51: Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado
    #71: Davide Rigon and Sam Bird

    Can't wait for the new WEC season to begin already! Very good line up for both cars in my opinion
    Maurizio Arrivabene fanpage:www.facebook.com/maurizioarrivabene

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645


    FERRARI WEC AND IMSA USCC CREWS 2016

    Maranello, 7 January – Ferrari has decided its crews for the 2016 season of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the IMSA United SportsCar Championship (USCC) in which the Prancing Horse will deploy the new 488 GTE.

    In the WEC, two-time world champion Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni will team up with Britain’s James Calado in the historic AF Corse car no. 51. Sam Bird will replace James in the no. 71 alongside Davide Rigon. Sam has previously driven a 458 Italia for AF Corse but this is his debut as an official Maranello driver. The 28 year-old Briton won the 2015 WEC world title in the LMP2 class.

    In the IMSA USCC championship Giancarlo Fisichella will be joined in the Risi Competizione car by Toni Vilander, second in the WEC in 2015 together with Bruni.

    With the addition of Bird there are now eight Ferrari official GT drivers. The season’s programme for Andrea Bertolini and Olivier Beretta is still being decided.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645


    VILANDER TEAMS UP WITH FISICHELLA IN 488 OF RISI COMPETIZIONE

    The pair are two-time winners at Le Mans

    Maranello, 7 January – Experience is generally crucial in car racing, but is even more so in America’s IMSA United SportsCar Championship. A consistently good performance, notching up the points race by race, is more important than high notes, which is why Ferrari decided to give to Risi Competizione team a new crew to try to win the GT-Le Mans class championship.

    Winners at Le Mans. Giancarlo Fisichella and Finland’s Toni Vilander, until last year paired up with Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni in the WEC, will crew the new 488 turbo engine car that will make its debut in this competition at Daytona in late January. Fisichella and Vilander will have no problems working together as they have previously paired up six times in the Le Mans 24 Hours, winning in 2012 and 2014. Fisichella and Vilander will race the entire season at the wheel of car no. 62 of Giuseppe Risi’s team and will try to win a title that Ferrari has repeatedly just missed out on in recent seasons.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Harley View Post
    According to local media Toni Vilander enters USCC series (IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship) for 2016 with Fisichella and if said article is accurate Vilander would not continue in WEC.
    Yes, unfortuantly he has. But he may rejoin #51 for that little race in June. Risi have lost Olivier Beretta to Audi, and Ferrari have made a new crew for Risi to try to take the fight to Ford. In WEC, lets face it, James joining the bench mark driver in GTE is a super move. Kames last year, pretty much stepped up and made massive impact, just look at his battles with Gimmi at Silverstone (i was in AF Corse pits and it was getting pretty heated in there lol) and he and Davise were sometimes quicker than Toni and Gimmi. Also, look at James race at Nurburgring and Fuji, epic battles with the Porsches.

    And now, we got the Bird back, and 2 ENGLISH drivers at Ferrari!!!! si si si (sorry, should be politically correct, British drivers )
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    Quote Originally Posted by fratelliferrari View Post
    That's true Ed Harley!

    The new driver line up for AF Corse in WEC Gte PRO:

    #51: Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado
    #71: Davide Rigon and Sam Bird

    Can't wait for the new WEC season to begin already! Very good line up for both cars in my opinion
    very good line ups. Cannt wait.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    Was speaking to James over christmas period, he agreed to answering few questions for me to post up here. He said yesterday, he will do them, just been bit busy. So, as soon he get email with them, i will post up.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    SAM BIRD JOINS FERRARI'S GTE PRO LINE UP


    Ferrari has today announced that FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 Champion Sam Bird will be joining the Italian marque as a factory driver for the 2016 season, plus it is re-shuffling its driving crews in the LMGTE Pro category.

    This season sees the introduction of a new car from the Prancing Horse in Maranello, the Ferrari 488 GTE, which will make its racing debut in the USA at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on 30th January. Subject to confirmation of the full-season entry lists for the WEC, which will be revealed at the ACO/WEC press conference in Paris on 5th February, AF Corse will enter two cars in the Pro category as in previous years.

    It is planned that the No.51 will be driven by two-time World GT Champion Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni together with Britain’s James Calado who replaces a Stateside-bound Toni Vilander. In the No.71 sister car, 28-year-old Sam Bird will be alongside Davide Rigon.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645


    WEATHERTECH CHAMPIONSHIP SET TO DEBUT WITH 54 CARS ENTERED FOR ROAR

    GTD LEADS FOUR-CLASS FIELD WITH 22 ENTRIES FOR THREE-DAY TEST

    The 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship makes its debut this weekend at Daytona International Speedway with a 54-car field entered for the three-day Roar Before The Rolex 24 At Daytona test this Friday through Sunday, Jan. 8-10.

    The test sessions – which are open to the public – will feature the debut of many new WeatherTech Championship race cars, particularly in the series’ two GT classes. The GT Daytona (GTD) class features the most entries, with 22, followed by 13 Prototypes, 11 GT Le Mans (GTLM) entries and eight Prototype Challenge (PC) cars.

    “We are extremely proud of this entry list for the Roar Before The Rolex 24, which foreshadows the entries for the Rolex 24 At Daytona later this month,” said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett. “These entries represent a great balance of quality and quantity across all four of our classes and will make for fantastic racing when we kick off the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Jan. 30-31. We are pleased to welcome so many world class drivers, teams and manufacturer brands back to Daytona.”

    Included among the Prototype class entries are two-time defending WeatherTech Championship Prototype champions Action Express Racing and No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP co-drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi. Barbosa and Fittipaldi will be joined by five-time overall Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Scott Pruett – who is going for an unprecedented sixth Rolex 24 win this year – and Filipe Albuquerque, who claimed a Rolex 24 GT class victory in 2013.

    Defending Rolex 24 At Daytona champions Ford Chip Ganassi Racing also will return with a pair of entries in the Prototype class, including the No. 02 Ford EcoBoost/Riley DP to be shared by defending race winners Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson.

    However, the two Prototypes represent only half of a highly anticipated four-car entry from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, as the team also will publicly debut its two Ford GT race cars in the GTLM class. Joining the Ford GT among new race cars in the class will be a pair BMW M6 GTLM race cars from BMW Team RLL and two new Ferrari 488s – one from Scuderia Corsa and the other from SMP Racing – while a third Ferrari 488 from Risi Competizione is expected for the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31.

    The new Ford, BMW and Ferrari machines all will be turbocharged and will face stiff competition in GTLM from two venerable manufacturer-supported teams in Corvette Racing and Porsche North America. Corvette Racing returns with a pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs which combined to win three crown jewels of endurance sports car racing in 2015, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

    Porsche North America, meanwhile, took the 2015 WeatherTech Championship GTLM team and manufacturer titles, and Patrick Pilet, who is entered in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, won the 2015 GTLM driver championship. Pilet will share the No. 911 with Nick Tandy and Kevin Estre.

    In addition to featuring the most entries, the GTD class also will showcase the most new cars following a shift to full FIA GT3 technical regulations in 2016 for its seven manufacturers. Six of those manufacturers – Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Porsche and Dodge – competed in the class last year, although all will introduce new or updated models for GTD competition this year.

    Lamborghini joins the WeatherTech Championship with four entries at the Roar Before The Rolex 24, including one for defending GTD driver champions Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler, who will share the No. 11 O’Gara Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán after racing Ferraris for the past several years.

    In the PC class, eight Chevrolet V8-powered ORECA FLM09s are expected for both the Roar and the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Leading the way will be two-time defending WeatherTech Championship PC champions Jon Bennett and Colin Braun with the No. 54 CORE autosport team and the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team that won the PC class at Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans in 2015.

    Three days of testing for the WeatherTech Championship get underway Friday morning at 10:15 a.m. ET with the first of eight scheduled sessions through Sunday afternoon. In addition to the WeatherTech Championship, the Roar Before The Rolex 24 test also will include three days of testing for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, which opens its season on Friday, Jan. 29 with the BMW Performance 200. Live Timing & Scoring data from every on-track session will be available on IMSA.com.

    Source:
    IMSA
    - See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/weather....hy0Zj3t0.dpuf
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    Harry Tincknell (Nissan): Winning Le Mans is my ultimate goal
    LM P1 - 07/01/2016 - ACO / David Bristol

    ACO News

    Nissan LM P1 factory driver Harry Tincknell had a very busy 2015 season. The young British driver was also involved in Jota Sport’s European Le Mans Series programme.

    How do you feel about your 2015 ELMS season?
    Apart from our fourth place in Estoril, we were on the podium in every race and this consistency put us in a with a shout of winning the championship. Although it’s been a good year, it could have been even better but one or two things cost us points. We were leading the championship going into the final race in Estoril, so to finish the season in third place is very disappointing. But that’s the way it goes. There was the incident with Simon (Dolan) and a mechanical issue on the car that cost us a lot of time.

    You participated for the first time at Le Mans in LM P1 in 2015. What will you keep in mind from this race?
    Of course, it’s very special to compete in LM P1 at the age of just 23. I think I’m one of the youngest guys ever, which is quite a special feeling. It was a difficult first year for Nissan with not much testing beforehand and we had a lot of troubles, but I’m very proud that we got the car to the finish because it was difficult and the other two cars had to retire. For me personally, I was quickest in qualifying and quickest in the race (of the Nissan drivers) so I was happy with my performance. While this year was obviously disappointing in terms of the result, I think that next season we can be much closer (the interview was recorded before Nissan announced their withdrawal from LM P1).

    What will you be doing in 2016?
    Obviously we’ll have to see but I’d really like to continue in ELMS. It’s a fantastic championship that’s had a lot of success. I hope Jota feel the same way, I’m sure they do. I’m a racing driver and want to be out as much as possible. I’m looking at doing some stuff in America as well, possibly, and I did my first GT race in September at Nürburgring, so I’m just trying to be involved as much as I can and drive as much as possible. We’ll just have to sort everything out over the winter with regard to contracts.

    Jota Sport will be involved in the World Endurance Championship with an Oreca 05. What are your thoughts on that?
    It’s very good for Jota. They have been a fantastic team in the last couple of seasons in ELMS and it’s good for their evolution to step up into LM P1. It will be very interesting to see how the Oreca 05 compares to the Gibson 015S because, in testing, we’ll be able to look at the data and see where their true strengths and weaknesses lie.

    The Gibson 015S Nissan is still a competitive car several years after its first appearance. How do you explain its long life?
    I think that obviously the design at the outset was very strong. I can’t speak for what the car was like five years ago because I wasn’t in endurance, but ever since I’ve been driving it, it’s been good. I think Jota do a fantastic job with the car and know it inside out. The upgrade package for this season has made it much more competitive, especially in the low downforce tracks like Paul Ricard. We now maintain a downforce with less drag. The weakness of this car was always the drag. We always had good grip and good downforce, but drag has always been a problem. We really seem to have improved that and it’s an all-round good car.

    Are you fully concentrated on endurance or do you still have a look at what’s happening in single-seater?
    Well I’m a racing fan so I’m always looking at all forms – single-seaters, touring cars, anything – but my mind is fully on endurance. I made the step in 2014 and it’s been a very positive one for me. I really want to continue with that and winning Le Mans in LM P1 and overall is my ultimate goal.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  28. #28
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Maributo Key
    Posts
    5,988
    Im going to try to make it to the 24 Daytona this year..
    They should have the lineup/grid for that out soon methinks.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    sorry day or so late but some reason my anti virus had put this in my spam folder...

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


    RISI COMPETIZIONE CONFIRMS DRIVER LINEUP FOR ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA

    Houston, Texas (January 8, 2016)....Risi Competizione has confirmed their driver line up for the upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona race, January 30-31, at Daytona International Speedway. Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander, Davide Rigon and Olivier Beretta will compete at the 2016 running of the twice-around-the-clock American endurance classic in a new Ferrari 488 GTE.

    Risi Competizione plans a full season of participation in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series with Fisichella and Vilander as the 2016 season drivers.

    Fisichella, of Rome, Italy, returns to Risi Competizione for 2016 after a full season of IMSA competition for the Giuseppe Risi-owned squad last year with teammate Pierre Kaffer. The pair combined for five podium GTLM class finishes (Sebring 3rd; Long Beach 2nd; Road America 3rd; VIR 3rd, COTA 2nd) and three additional Top Five finishes (Laguna Seca 4th; Watkins Glen 5th, Petit Le Mans 5th) in the 10-race IMSA series.

    Vilander most recently drove for Risi Competizione at last year's Petit Le Mans, where he joined Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer in the Ferrari 458 Italia to a fifth-place GTLM class finish in a rain-shortened race. He competed full-time in the global FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with teammate and fellow Ferrari driver Gianmaria "Gimmi" Bruni, finishing second in the GTE Pro class championship.

    "Now that Ferrari has decided the driver lineup for their factory drivers, we are happy to welcome back Giancarlo and Toni to our stable for the full IMSA season," said Team Principal Giuseppe Risi. "Once again we will add Davide Rigon and Olivier Beretta for the Rolex 24 race, as we did in 2015."


    Giuseppe Risi, Team Principal of Risi Competizione

    "Although the new Ferrari 488 is not ready yet for delivery, we have sent a small crew and transporter to the Daytona Test to go through the required steps to participate in the Daytona 24 hour race later this month," added Risi. "We await further details from Michelotto and Ferrari on the expected 488 delivery in the coming weeks."

    The new highly anticipated Ferrari 488 twin-turbo is the car set to replace the Ferrari 458 Italia in the GT Le Mans class.

    For more information, please go to www.risicompetizione.com and follow up on Facebook/RisiCompetizione and Twitter @RisiComp.

    Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

    Race Public Relations:
    Barbara J. Burns
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stowmarket. U.K
    Posts
    16,645
    well, 99 days now....

    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •