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Thread: 2017 WEC, IMSA&ELMS thread.

  1. #31
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    24 Hours of Le Mans - A fabulous field ! Today, Thursday 2nd February, live from Le Mans the Automobile Club de l’Ouest unveiled in exclusivity in an innovative interactive format on the internet the list of the 60 cars invited to take part in the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours. The 85th race promises a thrilling duel between Porsche and Toyota in LM P1. A unique record field is entered in LM P2 and no-holds-barred battles are expected in the LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am categories. All these ingredients that are part of endurance racing’s DNA will be combined to make the Le Mans 24 Hours the pinnacle of the motor racing season.
    24 Hours of Le Mans - A fabulous field !

    The ACO launched the 2017 endurance season in a totally new conference format. More than 75 000 web spectators followed the unveiling of the lists of entries for the European Le Mans Series (ELMS), the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours. Above all, surfers were able to interact live in the studio through their comments and questions posted via the social networks.

    On 17th June 60 cars will be at the start of the 85th Le Mans 24 Hours, the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, and the high point of the world motor racing calendar. They will be split up into four categories: 6 LM P1s (Le Mans Prototype 1), 25 LM P2s (Le Mans Prototype 2), 13 LM GTE Pros and 16 LM GTE Am.

    In the blue-riband LM P1 category, Japanese giant Toyota has stacked all the odds in its favour by entering three TS050-Hybrids to counter the attacks of its German rival, Porsche, take its revenge on 2016, emerge victorious from this duel and score that long-awaited victory in the Sarthe. But Porsche is gunning for a hat trick with its 919s to bring the mythical Le Mans 24-Hours trophy back to Stuttgart for good, and rack up the 19th win in the race in its history. Completing the LM P1 field is the non-hybrid Enso CLM P1/01 entered by ByKolles Racing team with former F1 ace Robert Kubica as the lead driver.

    2017 looks like being the year of the LM P2 due to a record field of 25 new cars! A new set of technical regulations came into force on 1st January 2017 and these prototypes all have improved performances, capped costs and a quality service linked to the fact that they all have the same engine. The aim is to ensure long-term success for this category destined for private teams, young chargers and gentlemen drivers thanks to a reduction in costs and stability in the regulations. The work is already paying off in the first year! The on-track spectacle will be guaranteed thanks to these very quick machines in the baby prototype category. Oreca has a numerical advantage with no fewer than 15 cars: 13 Oreca 07s and two Alpine A470s developed by the Signes-based constructor. Then comes Ligier with six JS P217s, Dallara with 3 P217s and Riley with a single MK30. In compliance with the new regulations all the cars will be powered by the Gibson engine. Quality and quantity are the two watchwords in a category that is rapidly expanding on the international scene. Signatech Alpine Matmut will have its work cut out to retain its title in the 24 Hours. There is a nod to the new Michel Vaillant comic book, which is being published in the near future, as the two Oreca 07-Gibsons entered by Rebellion Racing bear the name Vaillante Rebellion in homage to the famous cartoon hero, Michel Vaillant.

    In LM GTE Pro the new Porsche 911 RSR, two of which have been entered by the eponymous Stuttgart firm, looks like it will pose a serious threat. Corvette Racing-GM, AF Corse and Aston Martin will also bring along two cars each so they will be fighting on a level playing field. Ford is again doing everything in its power to repeat its victory in the Sarthe with an impressive armada of four cars! In addition, 2017 has got off to a great confidence-boosting start for the American make with a win in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. American team Risi Competizione will complete this high-quality field. Remember that this year the teams entered in the FIA WEC will be battling for the World Endurance Championship GT Manufacturers title.

    As laid down in the regulations, only cars over one year old are eligible to compete in the LM GTE Am category, thus the Ferrari 488, which appeared in 2016, will race in the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time in this class. JMW Motorsport has entered an older Ferrari 458 so the Italian firm provides 50% of the field with a total of eight cars. For the moment the only woman driver in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours is to be found in LM GTE Am with Christina Nielsen from Denmark who, in 2016, became the first woman to win a title in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship!

    Thus the field for the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours breaks down as follows: 31 prototypes and 29 GTs proving once again the incredible attraction exercised by this event with 39 teams representing 16 different nationalities from the four corners of the world expected in the Sarthe in June.

    On the reserve list are two teams, one in the LM P2 category and the other in LM GTE Am. They will be allowed into the race in case of withdrawal of another entrant in keeping with the order on the list. During this press conference Mark Webber was named Grand Marshall of the 85th Le Mans 24 Hours following in the footsteps of Henri Pescarolo, Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Alexander Wurz.

    The ACO used the web conference to announce some innovations for this year’s event, in particular the Race Pavilion, which helps people to follow the race in a real race control ambience, gain a greater understanding of what’s going on and miss nothing of the spectacle unfolding on the track. Other surprises are being prepared and will be announced in the near future.

    This innovative web conference launched the 2017 endurance season, which looks like being a real cracker. The first step on the road to the 85th Le Mans 24 Hours on 17-18 June has already been taken!



    2017 Entry list

    Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “Endurance is in very good health and the 2017 season looks full of promise. Today, we discovered the three great entry lists for the ELMS, the FIA WEC and of course the Le Mans 24 Hours. The on-track spectacle will be absolutely fantastic with duels among top-class drivers and all-out rivalry between the competitors. All the ingredients that make up the ADN of endurance have been combined for 2017. The field for the Le Mans 24 Hours is particularly rich with 16 nationalities from the four corners of the world and a host of teams, most of which race in our continental series in Europe, the United States and Asia thanks to the Asian Le Mans Series, which has really taken off! It is all proof of the success of the endurance pyramid so dear to the ACO. The 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours promise us a great spectacle on the track as well as a week’s festivities to be enjoyed to the full!”

    “Endurance is in very good health and the 2017 season looks full of promise.

    Pierre FILLON
    Vincent Beaumesnil, Sport Manager of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “Once again this year the field entered for the Le Mans 24 Hours is an exceptional one. Thirty-one prototypes and 29 GTs will be at the start on 17th June. In the blue-riband category there will be a duel which, I’m sure, will mark the history of the race as so many others did in the past. This year the Le Mans 24-Hours entry is an exceptional one. There are 31 prototypes and the field in LM P2 is a really impressive one with 25 cars, a record in terms of numbers. We’re very happy with this success that’s been made possible by an innovative set of regulations and very quick cars. Porsche with its new GT will get involved in the battle with the other four manufacturers in LM GTE Pro. And LM GTE Am devoted to gentlemen drivers has attracted 16 cars. From a sportsmanlike point of view the 85th Le Mans 24 Hours look like providing a race packed with excitement.”

    Once again this year the field entered for the Le Mans 24 Hours is an exceptional one.

    Vincent BEAUMESNIL

    entry list...
    http://www.lemans.org/explorer/pdf/c...-mans-2017.pdf
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  2. #32
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    Autosprint Report Bruni In Ferrari ‘Divorce’

    But Porsche move not confirmed

    The long-running saga of Gianmaria Bruni’s potential move from Ferrari to Porsche has been exploded by Italian magazine Autosprint who have revealed with much background detail that Bruni is no longer a Ferrari driver.

    That comes despite a long-term (believed to be 5 years) contract issued only at the end of 2015 to Bruni, that coming after an approach from Porsche to bring the Italian star to a full Porsche GT driver contract, sweetened by the offer of an LMP1 test.

    Bruni though is reported by Autosprint as having been unhappy with developments at Ferrari, in particular feeling as if his number 1 status was threatened by the arrival in the team of Sam Bird for the 2016 season.

    Currently unconfirmed though is whether Bruni would be free to join Porsche, Ferrari sources having made it clear that a clean contractual break was not on their immediate agenda, and clearly having a known quantity aboard one of their strongest potential rivals is not in their competitive interests, particularly when there is a possible contractual obligation that might prevent the move from occurring immediately.

    A not dissimilar situation occurred just a few years ago with Fred Makowiecki when he opted to move from Aston Martin to Porsche despite an existing contract being in place, the subsequent legal and contractual ripples taking some time to settle before Mako could drive for his new employer.
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  3. #33
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    well the news has, sort of been confirmed now. I have known about this since, December. It not great, but Gimmi has got to do what he feels is best for him. I know more about the goings on in the backrooms, but i will not say. Not my place to. Its a sad situation. But we got James, super quick, now on Gimmis level, Sam and Davide are super quick aswell. Just want to hear who will be alongside James this year.
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  4. #34
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    Meanwhile.... in AUSTRALIA.
    Ferrari have just won the Bathurst 12hr race in the Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 488GT3.
    The perfect way to start Ferrari's 70th anniversary celebrations. I will be posting photos from this event in a couple of days.
    http://www.bathurst12hour.com.au/new...-ferrari-wins/
    CUT ME. CUT YOU. BOTH OUR BLOOD IS FERRARI RED!

  5. #35
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    Last edited by Rob; 5th February 2017 at 20:16.
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    Bruni set to miss full WEC season for Porsche switch

    Gianmaria Bruni is set to have to sit out the entire FIA World Endurance Championship season in 2017, after officially terminating his Ferrari contract in order to move to rival GT squad Porsche.

    The Italian driver has been part of Ferrari's works AF Corse operation in the global sportscar series since its inception in 2012, winning the GTE Pro class title in both 2012 and 2014.

    But Bruni has been working to find a way out of his long-term agreement with the Prancing Horse in order to join Porsche, which returns to WEC this year with a pair of mid-engined factory 911 RSRs.

    After weeks of wrangling, Bruni and Ferrari have now finally gone their separate ways, with official confirmation expected to arrive on Sunday evening - along with a statement from Porsche to indicate the Italian's arrival.

    However, Motorsport.com understands Ferrari has imposed a term of gardening leave on Bruni that prevents the 35-year-old from racing for Porsche in WEC for the entire 2017 season.

    Bruni will however be free to test and develop the 911 RSR, as well as compete for the Stuttgart marque in championships other than WEC - with the US-based IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship among his possible destinations before a 2018 WEC seat.

    With Bruni on the sidelines, it is expected either Romain Dumas or Sven Muller will join the already-announced trio of Richard Lietz, Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki as Porsche's fourth works driver in WEC's GTE Pro division.

    Calado's teammate still uncertain

    Ferrari held a shootout at Vallelunga with four drivers earlier this month in order to try and decide on a replacement for Bruni alongside James Calado in its #51 Ferrari 488 GTE.

    McLaren protege Nyck de Vries and former Audi DTM driver Miguel Molina emerged as the favourites for the seat after the test, which also involved Alessandro Pier Guidi and Alex RIberas.

    However, it's understood a decision on who will partner Calado is still yet to be taken, and that it's possible a driver who was not part of the shootout may yet be handed the seat.
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  8. #38
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    Too bad, he was a awesome GT driver
    #GillesPerSempre #KeepFightingMichael #JB17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scuderia1967 View Post
    Too bad, he was a awesome GT driver
    yeah he was, is. And a good friend. It hurts that this situation has happened. Just which him the rest of the year. I have been given name of a driver that may get a call for the seat that wasnt at the test. Me, i would love to see Alessandro get the call.
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    PRESS RELEASE – GIANMARIA BRUNI
    Maranello, 19 February 2017 – Ferrari and Gianmaria Bruni announce that, by mutual consent, they have early terminated their relationship.

    After a collaboration started in 2007, Bruni will leave Ferrari at the end of June of this year.

    Ferrari thanks Gianmaria Bruni for his professional contribution and wishes him the best of luck for his new challenges.
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  11. #41
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    Pier Guidi joins Ferrari as official driver

    Maranello, 19 February 2017 – Ferrari has reached a technical and racing agreement with Alessandro Pier Guidi. The Italian driver will compete in the 2017 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) pairing up with James Calado in the 488 GTE no. 51 managed on the track by the AF Corse team.

    Pier Guidi will thus join the other official Ferrari GT race drivers.

    Alessandro Pier Guidi was born in Tortona on 18 December 1983 and for over 10 years has been one of the top drivers on the GT racing scene. He has over 200 races under his belt with more than 30 victories, the most prominent being the 2014 24 Hours of Daytona in the GTD class at the wheel of a Ferrari 458 Italia.
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  12. #42
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    bag of mixed emotions, Gimmi gone, but what a replacement. Ale so happy for him, very well deserved. Spoke to Ale bit earlier, they got alot of testing planned before Monza Prologue.
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  13. #43
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    Porsche confirms Bruni as works GT driver

    Porsche has announced that Gianmaria Bruni will join its line-up of factory GT drivers later this year, following on from the Italian parting ways with Ferrari.

    Official confirmation of Bruni's Ferrari exit arrived on Sunday morning, with the Prancing Horse also announcing Alessandro Pier Guidi as James Calado's new teammate in its WEC GTE Pro roster.

    Bruni's switch to the Porsche camp will come at the end of June, although Ferrari successfully blocked the 36-year-old from racing for its rival in WEC at all this season.

    Porsche clarified that Bruni will be able to test for his new employer from June, and race in the US-based IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship starting from July.


    “We’re delighted to welcome Gianmaria Bruni, one of the world’s top GT pilots, into our squad,” said Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, head of the Porsche GT programme.

    “He fits perfectly into our strong circle of works drivers and will join us for the second half of the season.”

    Porsche has yet to name its fourth driver for its WEC GTE Pro line-up, having already confirmed Richard Lietz, Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki.

    Sven Muller and Romain Dumas are believed to be the most likely candidates for the final vacancy.
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    Welcome to the family, Guidi!
    #GillesPerSempre #KeepFightingMichael #JB17

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    A very good friend of mine sent me these,




    excuse the pictures. Couldnt paste them/rotate them upright.
    Last edited by Rob; 23rd February 2017 at 20:53.
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  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    A very good friend of mine sent me these,
    http://i63.tinypic.com/2ll2c1h.jpg
    http://i67.tinypic.com/1rst2b.jpg
    http://i63.tinypic.com/e7gzl5.jpg

    excuse the pictures. Couldnt paste them/rotate them upright.
    Looking great mate! Iam really jealous
    Maurizio Arrivabene fanpage:www.facebook.com/maurizioarrivabene

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by fratelliferrari View Post
    Looking great mate! Iam really jealous
    thankyou brother. Im sure something will make its way to Holland
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  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    well the news has, sort of been confirmed now. I have known about this since, December. It not great, but Gimmi has got to do what he feels is best for him. I know more about the goings on in the backrooms, but i will not say. Not my place to. Its a sad situation. But we got James, super quick, now on Gimmis level, Sam and Davide are super quick aswell. Just want to hear who will be alongside James this year.
    Wow, well best of luck to Gimmi at Porsche & welcome to Ale!
    As they say, change is the one constant in life, but looks like at least you got your favourite, Rob!
    Forza Ferrari !
    "You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well." - Juan Manuel Fangio

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by abbottcostello View Post
    Wow, well best of luck to Gimmi at Porsche & welcome to Ale!
    As they say, change is the one constant in life, but looks like at least you got your favourite, Rob!
    Do wish Gimmi all the best. Just a shame that it ended the way it did, Ferrari blocking him from racing in Europe. Which is fully understandable. Ale, he has been part of AF Corse for few years now, just not as an official Ferrari driver. He too, is super quick. He doesnt need laps to get upto speed, he is straight on it from pit exit. Him and James will be a force to watch. #51 #71 cars are very strong.
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    Disappointing to see Bruni leave under such acrimonious circumstances. I hope Guidi does well, but GTE isn't always about driver or even car performance.

    As for LMP Pro, happy to see that Toyota are finally going to bring a third car for not only Le Mans but Spa. It's shaping up to be a monumental year.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    A very good friend of mine sent me these,
    http://i63.tinypic.com/2ll2c1h.jpg
    http://i67.tinypic.com/1rst2b.jpg
    http://i63.tinypic.com/e7gzl5.jpg

    excuse the pictures. Couldnt paste them/rotate them upright.
    Nice!!!
    #GillesPerSempre #KeepFightingMichael #JB17

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Architect View Post
    Disappointing to see Bruni leave under such acrimonious circumstances. I hope Guidi does well, but GTE isn't always about driver or even car performance.

    As for LMP Pro, happy to see that Toyota are finally going to bring a third car for not only Le Mans but Spa. It's shaping up to be a monumental year.
    After last year's debacle, Toyota deserves to finally win at Le Mans. Fingers crossed
    #GillesPerSempre #KeepFightingMichael #JB17

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scuderia1967 View Post
    Nice!!!
    thankyou. Was a nice surprise.
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    New LMP1 cars nearly as fast as predecessors in testing

    Porsche and Toyota's 2017 WEC contenders are already lapping close to the times of their predecessors, despite moves to slow factory LMP1 machinery.

    The two manufacturers that will battle it out at the front of the WEC this year have already gone a long way to overcoming aerodynamic restrictions aimed at reducing downforce by 30 percent, according to Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl.

    He made the claim after Porsche and Toyota tested their respective 2017 LMP1 challengers together at the Aragon circuit in Spain this week.

    "We ran together for two days and we can say that we were not far from 2016 laptimes," he told Motorsport.com.


    Asked if the two manufacturers had clawed back the lost downforce, Seidl added: "It looks that way - it is our job to make up for it."

    The height of the front splitter has been raised and the depth of the rear diffuser reduced on the factory cars for 2017 in a bid to keep a cap on rising corner speeds.

    The simulations of the two manufacturers suggest the changes would have resulted in an increase in laptimes at Le Mans of approximately four seconds if applied to last year's cars.


    Seidl refused to divulge any laptimes from the test and explained that it was not possible to make judgements on the relative pace of the latest P1 machinery from Porsche and Toyota.

    "It is difficult to say where we are [in comparison to Toyota], because we were running different programmes," he explained.

    Neither Porsche nor Toyota, which ran for three days this week, have revealed whether they were testing in high or low-downforce configuration in Aragon.

    Porsche ended up running together with Toyota at Aragon after fog limited its mileage during an endurance test at the same track last week.

    Seidl revealed that the 2017-spec Porsche 919 completed 7200km during its first endurance test, and is confident of the latest car's reliability over a regular six-hour WEC race.

    Porsche had previously tested an interim car without the definitive 2017 aerodynamics at Aragon before Christmas and at Valencia earlier this year.

    Toyota was undertaking its third test with this year's version of the TS050 Hybrid.
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    MONTOYA SAMPLES RISI FERRARI IN IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP SEBRING TEST


    One day after IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship star Ricky Taylor sampled a Team Penske IndyCar at Homestead-Miami Speedway, a Team Penske IndyCar driver took advantage of the opportunity to drive a WeatherTech Championship car 180 miles up the road at Sebring International Raceway.

    Juan Pablo Montoya, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and 1999 CART champion, joined the Risi Competizione team for the second day of a two-day, IMSA-sanctioned test at Sebring. The Risi team was focused on preparations for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on March 18, as well as the remainder of the 2017 WeatherTech Championship season, with regular drivers Toni Vilander and James Calado in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.

    However, the 41-year-old Colombian got his first turn behind the wheel of the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE shortly after the lunch break Friday afternoon. And while Montoya has turned plenty of laps on the portion of the Sebring circuit that runs from Turns 3 to 13 around the area known as Green Park, he hadn’t previously run on the full, 3.74-mile, 17-turn circuit that utilizes former concrete runways from what was Hendricks Field – an Army Air Force training base – in the 1940s.

    “It’s fun,” Montoya said. “It’s different. I only ran, probably, eight laps just to get the hang of it a little and I’m going to try to get in a little bit later. It’s fun. I’ve never really run the big track. It’s pretty bumpy.”

    Montoya has driven and won races in a number of different race cars over his storied career, including IndyCars, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars and Formula 1 machinery, as well as Prototype sports cars. However, the Ferrari was a different experience.

    “Prototypes drive more like an open-wheel car,” he explained. “This is very different. There’s a lot of pitch movement in the cars, it’s kind of tricky. It’s very easy to get it wrong. It’s like, you go in one time and it’s like, ‘Oh, it turns.’ The next time you go in, it doesn’t and the next time you go in, it goes smooth. It’s very hard to be consistent.”

    Montoya’s only racing commitment thus far in 2017 is the quest for a third Indianapolis 500 victory in May as part of a five-car assault from Team Penske after winning the 2015 race for the team. So, would he be interested in racing the Risi Ferrari?

    “If they would let me, yeah,” he said. “But I don’t know if they’d let me.”

    The Risi team already has confirmed plans to field the No. 62 entry for Vilander, Calado and Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella at Sebring, with Vilander and Fisichella expected to be the team’s full-time drivers in the WeatherTech Championship.

    As for potential other sports car racing prospects for Montoya, he says, “Time will tell.”

    FRANCHITTI MAKES SEBRING RETURN IN MAZDA DPi: Marino Franchitti couldn’t walk very far down the pit lane at Sebring International Raceway on Thursday morning on the first day of the two-day IMSA-sanctioned test without somebody stopping him to shake hands or give him a hug to welcome him back to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship paddock.

    The 38-year-old younger brother of multi-time Indy 500 and IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti hasn’t raced in the WeatherTech Championship since a GT Daytona (GTD) class start in a Fall-Line Motorsports Audi at VIRginia International Raceway in 2014. He will return to competition next month in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida as part of a three-driver lineup in the No. 70 Mazda Motorsports RT-24P Daytona Prototype international (DPi) car alongside co-drivers Tom Long and Joel Miller. He tested the car extensively Friday with Long and Miller.

    “It feels like coming home,” Marino Franchitti said. “Although I’m a European driver, I’m an American racer. I spent so many years racing over here, that to be away from it felt very strange and to be back feels really, really nice. It’s great to see so many old friends and it’s just nice to be back on track here at Sebring.

    “Obviously, since the last time I competed in the series, the classes have evolved, GTD has evolved and we now have one top combined class with the DPis and it’s really cool to get out there and drive one of these new cars. They’re just as good as they look. They’re nice.”

    The last time Franchitti competed in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2014, he brought home a victory for Chip Ganassi Racing in a Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype with co-drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas. That was Franchitti’s second consecutive Sebring victory, as he won the American Le Mans Series LM P2 class in 2013 alongside Ryan Briscoe and Scott Tucker in a Level 5 Motorsports Honda prototype.

    “It’s always been a special place for me,” Franchitti says. “I’ve always loved being here and loved driving here. We’ve had some good results over the years, so it’s nice to come back. It’s such a challenging track.

    “When you’re working with a new car as we are here at Mazda, it’s really cool to get out there and to explore the car. The car has not done a massive amount of testing, although it raced at Daytona. It’s really cool to get out here and put more miles on it and explore the car. Testing and development is something I love doing. It’s just been a lot of fun.”

    Franchitti is hopeful of even more fun when he and the team return for the race next month. It’s his only scheduled WeatherTech Championship start so far in 2017, but it’s clear he’s hungry for more.

    “We’ll see where it goes, but I’m definitely keen to be back here racing in America full time,” he said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen this year, but definitely something I’m looking to do.”

    ALEGRA MOTORSPORTS BRINGS MOMENTUM FROM ROLEX VICTORY TO SEBRING: It’s been a whirlwind month for the Alegra Motorsports team.

    Nearly four weeks ago, the No. 28 Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Michael Christensen, Jesse Lazare, Daniel Morad and the father-son duo of Carlos and Michael de Quesada pulled out a stunning victory at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

    The win was a surprise to many as the GT Daytona (GTD) class was stacked with experienced racers and new manufacturers, but for Alegra Motorsports, it wasn’t quite so unexpected.

    Christensen enters his third year as a Porsche factory driver. Lazare dominated and won the 2016 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Platinum Cup championship. Morad was the 2016 Porsche North American Cup and Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama champion. Carlos de Quesada won the 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona in GT, and his son, Michael, took the 2016 driver title in the Porsche GT3 Gold Cup Championship.

    Stellar resume for a team who slipped under the radar.

    “You can say it’s a Cinderella story,” Carlos de Quesada said. “I just don’t want people thinking that it’s going to continue to be a Cinderella story. This could be the story of a great team coming out with great crew members and great drivers and running the best manufacturer out there in Porsche and being competitive.”

    While the excitement from their Rolex win may never fade, the team is also ready to get back to work. The No. 28 returned to the track this week for the two-day IMSA test at Sebring International Raceway. The elder de Quesada logged laps with Morad and 2015 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Street Tuner (ST) champion Spencer Pumpelly, who played a pivotal coaching role for the team at Daytona.

    “Yes, we won Daytona but now we’re focused on Sebring,” de Quesada said. “Just like we went into Daytona, we’re coming here to be competitive. We’re not out there to run circles. We’re not out there to be a back runner. Our goal, like any race we go into, is to win the race. We’re not going to let up on that.”

    Adding Pumpelly has also been a huge benefit for the team. The veteran IMSA driver reconnected with former colleague Larry Hahn, now Alegra engineer, at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 looking for a ride. Hahn reintroduced Pumpelly and de Quesada, who raced against each other in ALMS and GRAND-AM in the early 2000s. Even though Alegra already had finalized its driver lineup for the Rolex, the team was eager to use Pumpelly as a strategist.

    “They gave me pretty free rein to do what I wanted to strategy-wise, more so than I thought they would,” Pumpelly said with a laugh. “I finally got to run the race the way I thought it should be run, my philosophy on how to run the 24. We had a really good car that Larry put together, our drivers were fantastic, all the pit work by every guy that went over the wall was amazing. It was cool to see my theory on how it should be run put us in position to win and watch these guys go take it.”

    Pumpelly already fit in quickly to Alegra’s way of doing things- he clocked the quickest lap in GTD during Thursday’s afternoon test session with a time of 2:03.172. It also helps that he’s driving a car he’s very familiar with.

    “The majority of my career has been in 911s, so to get back in the car and get back to what I feel is most comfortable for me is good,” Pumpelly said. “”Anytime you run with anyone as good as these guys, you want to perform to their level and this is the first time that I’ve really gotten to push the GT3 hard. There’s pressure, for sure, but these guys are doing everything they can to make it as easy as possible.”

    Alegra Motorsports is expected to announce its driver lineup for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida soon, with the race being held on March 18.

    FRIDAY NOTES: Jordan Taylor turned the fastest lap of the two-day test in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, clocking a time of 1 minute, 49.600 seconds (122.8 mph). The 2017 Rolex 24 winner posted the time Friday morning. … Chuck Quinton owned the quickest lap of the test in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class, turning a 1:56.120 (115.9 mph) in the afternoon session on Thursday. On Friday morning, Quinton was involved in an on-track incident, sending him to the Sebring International Raceway infield care center. He was evaluated and released. … Jan Magnussen posted the quickest lap in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class with a best lap of 1:58.525 (113.5 mph) in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R he shares with Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller. Magnussen’s quick lap came in the Friday morning session. … After posting the quickest time in class Thursday, Colin Braun continued to lead the way in the GT Daytona (GTD) class in the No. 54 CORE autosport Porsche 911 GT3 R. Braun clicked off a Friday morning lap of 2:02.476 (109.9 mph) to top the GTD chart.
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  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    thankyou brother. Im sure something will make its way to Holland
    Amazing Rob to send me this awesome polo! I will wear it with pride you are the best
    Maurizio Arrivabene fanpage:www.facebook.com/maurizioarrivabene

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    Quote Originally Posted by fratelliferrari View Post
    Amazing Rob to send me this awesome polo! I will wear it with pride you are the best
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  28. #58
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    Jarvis & Brundle Anchor Jackie Chan DC Racing Effort

    The Brits join Cheng, Tung, Gommendy and Laurent in 2017 FIA WEC lineup

    The driver lineup for the two-car Jackie Chan DC Racing effort for the 2017 FIA WEC, which features a pair of Oreca 07s in the LMP2 class, fielded together with Jota Sport, has been finalised.

    The #37 ORECA will see David Cheng joined by 2016 Eurasia man Tristan Gommendy and Alex Brundle, the Englishman in for his second full-season of FIA WEC racing, and first since 2013, after race winning form in the Jota-run G-Drive ORECA 05 late last season.


    And the #38 ORECA sees DC Racing regular Ho Pin Tung joined by rapid young French Silver driver Thomas Laurent and ex-Audi LMP1 man, and current Bentley Boy, Oliver Jarvis.

    “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me, I’ve backed a horse if you like, that has a real chance of winning races, the title and of course Le Mans.” Brundle told DSC. “This year with everyone racing the same chassis for us drivers really focuses us, there’s no advantages in machinery anywhere, so it’s all down to us. I think that’s incredibly exciting, there’s not one team I look at on the entry who I would say are favourites, and there’s nobody you can count out either.

    “The DC Racing outfit expanding to two cars I think really shows everyone what they intend to do, and that’s win. As well as good team personnel, we’ve got a great selection of drivers who are all capable too. Because of that I have to thank the Jota guys and the DC Racing guys for this chance, it’s going to be a great season of racing and I can’t wait to get in the car.

    “I haven’t driven one of the new LMP2 cars yet, that will come next week in Aragon. Needless to say I’m eager to get in and drive!”

    The DC Racing organisation move over for the 2017 season from Signatech Alpine (under the Baxi DC Racing banner) to Jota Sport, adopting the Jackie Chan DC Racing brand for 2017 across all programmes.
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    Brundle: “I’ve Missed Le Mans Terribly The Past Two Years”

    Second full season in WEC beckons for Alex

    DSC’s Stephen Kilbey caught up with Alex Brundle this morning as news leaked out that he is to join the Jackie Chan DC Racing effort for a full season in the 2017 FIA WEC aboard one of their Jota SPort operated Oreca 07 Gibsons.

    How and when did you get the drive?

    “We ended up with a hat trick of wins last year with Jota. When you have a relationship with a team like that you keep in touch over the winter. I also have a great relationship with David (Cheng). Everybody knows each other in the WEC paddock and when I heard that the two would be joining forces things went from there and they offered me the drive early this year and that was it, I was delighted to accept.

    “This is a full season deal, it’s my first full season WEC deal since 2013 and it’s been a while in the making. I prioritised getting back into the WEC for the full season this year, it was top of my priority list in terms of where I needed to be this year for my career development. When Jota and DC Racing offered me the chance to do that, I focused on that.”

    Your new full season drive has come at the start of the new era for LMP2, not much chassis diversity but great teams.

    “I think the competition is very very strong. There’s not a gigantic number of cars in the WEC, but you look at the lineup and every single car and there’s so much strength in depth. I couldn’t pick a winner for you right now, when normally I could point out one or two are and say that two or three cars will win be in the running. Rebellion look strong, G-Drive look strong, Alpine too, so there’s a lot of competition at the front with a spec chassis essentially too.”

    That’s going to be different for the drivers because nobody will have a distinct advantage, surely as a driver you’ve got to be even more on your game?

    “I think it’s good, it focuses our mind on maximising the chassis we have and we’re going to really find out who can drive a sportscar this year. As with LMp3 last year where we all had spec cars, it’s going to be very difficult to steal a march on anyone. So we’re going to have to turn up completely on the top of our game and deliver every single race without reliability issues or non-finishes.

    “I think it’s going to be a great test of all of us this year.”

    Tell me more about the team, DC Racing have plenty of experience, and last year with Alpine, there’s also a great set of drivers with you too?

    “Absolutely, the first thing I have to do is thank them for the opportunity to come back and do a full season. To land a drive like this for me is massive for my career considering the trajectory I’ve taken over a relatively short period of time. The Jota Sport guys are famous for being one of the most effective and high level sportscar teams in the pit lane and Jackie Chan DC Racing are an ever growing presence. It’s a two car presence after one car last year and I think I’ve backed a horse, if you want to put it that way, that’s moving from strength to strength in terms of race team supplier.”

    Tell me about Tristan, you must be pleased to be driving with him? The past two years you must have been impressed with him in LMP2?

    “At Le Mans and also in the European Le Mans Series and occasionally the WEC, I’ve come across him, he’s really experienced, absolutely rapid and I really look forward to benefitting from learning from him. He’s come from some incredible years in single seaters and has done very well in series like GP2 and Champ Car. I really look forward to benefiting from his experience and sharing the car with him. For sure we’ll have some ideas to share to make the car the best it can be.”

    Have you had any running in the new Oreca yet?

    “I’ve had absolutely no running in any kind of new-spec LMP2 car year. We’ll be heading to the Dunlop test in Aragon next week to do our first shakedown tests, mostly focused on reliability and getting the car to feel like it needs to feel from the driver seat. That will be our first experience. I’m very excited about getting back in a car after the winter break.”

    Finally, this drive includes Le Mans, a return for you. What does it mean to score a Le Mans drive with a team that has real potential to win it?

    “It’s fantastic to get back to Le Mans. In terms of the type of sportscar racing that I do, it’s the crown jewel and I’ve missed it, I’ve missed being away from it for a couple of years horribly. It’s a magic event. It’s an event where I excel. It’s my best track of the year in terms of personal performance as well. I love the event. I can’t wait to get back to the full process of going and delivering a result.”

    It’s going to be a new experience racing at that sort of speed, as the new LMP2s could go round Le Mans close to the pace of LMP1 cars from 10 years ago?

    “I think it’s incredibly exciting, there’s a lot for fans to look forward to. The new cars are going to be loud, they’re going to be rude, they’re going to be as fast as the top class cars were only a few years ago and to be part of that, I can only thank DC Racing and Jota for offering the chance to be part of it.”

    It’s a massive field at Le Mans too, with all four chassis represented. You must relish that challenge?

    “Oh yeah, we joke, but it’s basically the Formula Ford Festival now. All the big teams from Asia, the WEC and Europe come together and duke it out. I can’t wait, it’s just a crazy grid of cars, and it’s going to be a race that all the drivers want to win more than the others. If you win it this year, no matter who you are, you’ll want to put it at the top of your CV.”
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    Toyota says three-car Le Mans assault a big financial risk

    Toyota has described its decision to run three cars at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours as a major financial risk.

    The expansion of the Japanese manufacturer's assault on Le Mans and the Spa round of the World Endurance Championship in May has been undertaken with a budget that Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon described as "very optimistic".

    "If we have a couple of accidents, for example, we will be in financial trouble and we would have to make a drastic saving at some point," Vasselon told Motorsport.com.

    Vasselon revealed that there had been no increase in budget for 2017 and that the extra Le Mans entry had been facilitated by savings elsewhere in the programme.

    "We have had to manage within our budget frame – we did not get more budget," he explained.

    "We have reduced some development items without hurting our performance target achievement and, at the same time, taking some financial risks."

    Vasselon said that Toyota's experiences at Le Mans in 2014 and '16 had pushed it towards running a third car for the first time since its return to frontline sportscar racing on the rebirth of the WEC in '12.

    "If you look at the past three years, two times we were in a position to win Le Mans and two times we have had exactly the same scenario with one car having an accident and the second one having a one-off reliability issue," he explained.

    "The same scenario twice in three years pushes you strongly towards having the third car."

    The decision on the extra Le Mans car also follows a period of stability in Toyota's programme after it introduced an all-new V6 turbo engine and replaced its supercapacitor energy-storage system with a battery in 2016.
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