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Thread: 2017 WEC, IMSA&ELMS thread.

  1. #121
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    BELGIUM BECKONS FOR TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
    Monday 1 May 2017

    TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will race with three TS050 HYBRID cars for the first time when the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) heads to Belgium for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.

    Having won the first race of the year, at Silverstone last month, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is ready for one of its three home WEC events; the Spa circuit is located just 120km from the team’s headquarters in Cologne, Germany.

    Spa also represents the final competitive action before the highlight of the WEC season; the Le Mans 24 Hours on 17-18 June. With that in mind, the team will utilise both of its permitted 2017 aerodynamic configurations.

    The #7 crew of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López will use the high-downforce TS050 HYBRID with which they earned pole position at Silverstone. Their race ended when José María crashed in damp conditions. After a period of rest, he is expected to confirm his race fitness in Thursday’s practice sessions.

    Silverstone race winners and World Championship leaders Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, in the #8 TS050 HYBRID, will also drive the high-downforce car, which concedes top speed in favour of more grip around corners.

    To enhance its preparations for Le Mans, the #9 TS050 HYBRID will use a low-downforce configuration which is optimised for the long straights which characterise the Circuit de la Sarthe. At the wheel, Stéphane Sarrazin joins WEC debutant Yuji Kunimoto and the returning Nicolas Lapierre.

    Opened in 1922, Spa is the oldest circuit on the WEC calendar and holds some positive memories for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. Anthony, Sébastien and Nicolas won the race together in 2014 while both TS050 HYBRIDs had the opportunity to win last year before suffering engine issues.

    This year’s targets are to again fight for victory whilst accelerating Le Mans preparations by optimising the low-downforce car in race trim and adjusting to the additional demands of competing with three cars.

    The team will be supported by a large number of employees from its Cologne headquarters, with staff members and their families invited to visit Spa to watch Saturday’s race.

    Toshio Sato, Team President: “We made a strong start to the season and we hope to continue this at Spa. The competition against Porsche is intense and we are looking forward to another close fight. Our high-downforce TS050 HYBRID performed very well at Silverstone, but Spa is a different circuit so we have been working hard to get ready. This year we have three cars for the first time, which gives us a chance to try out our low-downforce car in race conditions. We have tested it extensively over the winter, so this weekend we are taking another step in our Le Mans preparations.”

    Mike Conway (TS050 HYBRID #7): “Spa is one of my favourite circuits so I’m really looking forward to this. The track itself is just really cool, with elevation changes, fast flowing corners and a huge variety of corner types. It is really challenging but I like it a lot. I hope that the package we’ve used at Silverstone will have a similar pace at Spa. There are definitely still things to improve but we are confident. I think it will be a close race again with Porsche, so we will stay focused.”

    Kamui Kobayashi (TS050 HYBRID #7): “I’m excited to race at Spa. We showed good speed at Silverstone so we can go to the second race of the season with a very positive mentality. We are motivated and want to show our best there to win the race. That would give us as well good motivation for Le Mans. I’m particularly looking forward to the atmosphere at Spa because there are many enthusiastic fans and also the employees from TMG in Cologne will be there to support us.”

    José María López (TS050 HYBRID #7): “It’s fantastic to be racing an LMP1 car at Spa. I haven’t raced there for a few years, since my GP2 days so I am very much looking forward to it. This weekend is an opportunity to again fight for victory, and also for me to get more laps. It was a disappointing end to our race at Silverstone but I learned a lot and gained important experience. I know I have the speed and I am learning fast about other aspects of endurance racing, like traffic management.”

    Sébastien Buemi (TS050 HYBRID #8): “Obviously we had a great start to the season so we go into Spa with a lot of hope. It’s going to be a very exciting and interesting weekend for us because it will be the first time that we will have three cars. I want to get as many points as possible and of course we need to learn as much as we can for Le Mans, as Spa is the last race before the big one. We will do our best and try to replicate our good result from Silverstone.”

    Anthony Davidson (TS050 HYBRID #8): “I am looking forward to racing again at Spa because it’s one of my favourite circuits. It’s always a pleasure to drive an LMP1 car around such a great track. After the victory in Silverstone, I hope we can fight for a win again but we are expecting even tougher competition from Porsche. Weather can be a factor at Spa; we have had nice weather in the race recently but you never know. Our car is generally very good in the wet so we are ready for anything.”

    Kazuki Nakajima (TS050 HYBRID #8): “It’s difficult to predict what is going to happen at Spa because of the different aerodynamic packages. But we had a good start of the season and we want to continue that. The Spa track is really special, especially Eau Rouge; the g-forces there are like nowhere else. It’s a very challenging circuit with a lot of high-speed corners so I’m really looking forward to going there; our car will be amazing to drive on this track.”

    Stéphane Sarrazin (TS050 HYBRID #9): “I’m really looking forward to racing the TS050 HYBRID again, especially after seeing the performance at Silverstone. It was great to watch and I hope the car is strong also in low-downforce spec. As always, I hope to get a good result but the most important thing for our car this weekend is to prepare ourselves properly for Le Mans. We need to get a lot of data about the low-downforce car and fine-tune the teamwork in our first race together.”

    Yuji Kunimoto (TS050 HYBRID #9): “This will be my first race in WEC and my first time to race at Spa so it’s very exciting for me. I’ve heard so much about Spa from the other drivers and of course I know it from video games and TV; I can’t wait to experience it with the TS050 HYBRID. I am pleased to have experienced drivers like Stéphane and Nicolas as team-mates in car #9 because I am sure they will have a lot of helpful advice. I can’t wait to get started.”

    Nicolas Lapierre (TS050 HYBRID #9): “Spa is a fantastic circuit and a good one for me. Anthony, Sébastien and I won the race in 2014 and last year I won the LMP2 class there so I have some nice memories. I am excited to drive the TS050 HYBRID for the first time at a race event and Spa is the perfect place. I am also looking forward to my first race together with Stéphane and Yuji. We already have a good relationship so I know we will work well together to get a positive result for the team.”
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  2. #122
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    Lapierre already “feels at home” at Toyota

    Nicolas Lapierre says he already feels at home with Toyota-Gazoo Racing ahead of his return to the team in a third TS050 HYBRID at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps.

    Nicolas Lapierre says he already feels at home with Toyota-Gazoo Racing ahead of his return to the team in a third TS050 HYBRID at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps.

    The reigning LMP2 champion has not raced with Toyota since the 6 Hours of COTA in 2014, but his impressive performances prompted the marque to bring him back into the fold for Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as it seeks a first win at the historic event.

    Lapierre was instantly on the pace on his first public appearance with the team at the Prologue and set the fastest time of the test on the final day. It was as if he had never been away.

    “There are a lot of new guys, the team has expanded a lot in the last two years, but it’s good, I feel at home because I know most of the people,” he said.
    “Although the car has changed a lot, it has improved a lot since the last two years, so it’s nice. I feel comfortable since the first day I came and this is a good advantage for me.

    “I’m very happy to be back, and to have a great opportunity to be in Le Mans in an LMP1, it’s really cool for me. I have had two great years in LMP2, but obviously it’s nice to be back.”

    The No.8 Toyota of Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima won in high-downforce trim at Silverstone, but Spa will mark the first outing for the low-downforce package it will also use at Le Mans.

    Lapierre recognises that there is pressure to repay Toyota’s decision to run a third car for the first time, but is optimistic that he has everything at his disposal to fight for victory.

    The Frenchman will share the No. 9 car with experienced hand Stéphane Sarrazin and WEC newcomer Yuji Kunimoto.

    “The target is clear because, when Toyota decided to enter a third car for Le Mans, it was to get another chance to win the race,” said Lapierre.

    “For sure there is pressure, but I think there is a bit of pressure on all the Toyota entries and every car manufacturer wants to win Le Mans. It’s positive pressure.

    “In the end, we have Stéphane with us in the car and he is a very experienced guy. Yuji has had a lot of time in the car and he is a really fast driver, so we have the driver line-up, the engineers and everything – we have built a very strong team around this third car.

    “We will just focus on our job, go step by step, and will see what the results will be.”
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  3. #123
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    16 Seats Remaining For The Le Mans 24 Hours

    Multiple drivers confirmed this week

    5 May 2017, 7:19 AM

    Further seats have been filled for the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours, another week closer and with several more of the previously vacant or unconfirmed slots on the grid have been confirmed in the last couple of days.

    In LMP1, DSC believes that the three drivers that are entered in the opening two rounds of the FIA WEC for ByKolles, will continue at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Oliver Webb, Dominik Kraihamer and James Rossiter are believed to have been confirmed by the team, completing the six-car LMP1 lineup.

    LMP2 meanwhile, has seen United Autosports confirm its Plan A, to continue with Filipe Albuquerque, has been delivered. He’ll join Hugo de Sadeleer and Will Owen for the race in the team’s Silverstone-winning Ligier JS P217.

    “I am really happy to race again this year at Le Mans,” said Albuquerque. “As everyone knows, it’s a very special race that every racing driver wants to take part in. This year the LMP2 category will be very special because the cars are much faster so everyone is curious to see what lap time we can do. I am sure I will enjoy the faces of Hugo and Will when they complete their first laps around that huge track.

    “My teammates don’t have much experience but on the other hand we are not fighting for WEC points and we will be coming from the ELMS round at Monza, which is the best track to prepare for this race. So, all in all I think we can push for a good result.”

    With SMP, GRAFF and DragonSpeed still having yet to confirm their full lineups for the race, that leaves six seats free.

    In GTE Pro, Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan has yet to confirm which car Jordan Taylor will drive in at La Sarthe. There’s still one seat up for grabs, though it is understood that ex-Audi LMP1 driver Marcel Fassler will be put in the team once again.

    For the vacant seats in GTE Am, DSC spoke to Proton Competition boss and driver Christian Reid and AF Corse team manager Batti Pregliasco at Spa today.

    Proton’s Le Mans lineup currently features four TBAs. Reid confirmed that the full-season WEC Demposey-Proton-badged crew of himself with Marvin Dienst and Matteo Cairoli will race, though the lineups for the other two GTE-Am entered 911s are still not finalised.

    “I’ve signed one Belgian driver, and Patrick Long and Wolf Henzler are still confirmed (after appearing on the original Le Mans entry),” he said. “The other three seats though are still to be decided, I’m talking to multiple drivers, and still taking calls.”

    Pregliasco meanwhile spoke to DSC this morning, and confirmed that the final two Le Mans seats have been taken, across the two AF Corse customer teams DH Racing and Spirit of Race.

    Ferrari factory driver Andrea Bertolini will race alongside American Tracy Krohn and Swede Nic Jonsson in the DH Racing 488.

    Former Corvette works driver and nominated Ferrari factory driver Olivier Beretta will race with Thomas Flohr and Francesco Castellacci in the Spirit of Race 488. This is because Spirit of Race’s WEC regular Miguel Molina will race in AF Corse’s GTE Pro lineup at La Sarthe.

    At JMW, ELMS regular Rob Smith is believed to have been confirmed is set to drive the team’s 458 Italia, leaving two seats left in the British team’s car.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  4. #124
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    ‘SURPRISE’ POLE FOR EDWARDS, BMW AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS

    John Edwards knew he had a strong BMW this weekend at Circuit of The Americas, but admits Friday’s TOTAL USA Pole Award in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying came as a surprise.

    Still, the driver of the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 posted an impressive lap of two minutes, 2.833 seconds, good enough for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class record at Circuit of The Americas.

    I have to say it was a little bit of surprise,” said Edwards, who recorded his 11th career pole and first since 2014. “I expected people to keep getting quicker, but they didn’t so we waited it out and I stayed on top.”

    In the always-competitive GTLM class, all nine cars were within 0.9 seconds of the pole-winning time, with the top seven within just 0.252 seconds. Giancarlo Fisichella qualified second in the Houston-based No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE, just 0.032 seconds behind Edwards.

    It wasn’t just the BMW of Edwards that was fast. BMW Team RLL’s second car, the No. 25 driven in qualifying by Alexander Sims qualified third at 2:02.990.

    “The conditions will be a bit cooler than we’re used to at COTA, but starting first and third for BMW should be to our advantage,” said Edwards. “It’s going to be very tight, but we’re at the right place to start.”

    The points-leading No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Dirk Mueller qualified fifth, one spot behind teammate Ryan Briscoe in the No. 67 Ford GT.

    Jaminet Scores GTD TOTAL Pole Award For First WeatherTech Championship Race

    One week ago, Mathieu Jaminet had not met anyone on the Alegra Motorsports team, or even his co-driver Daniel Morad. But that hasn’t slowed down the young Frenchman who scored the TOTAL Pole Award Friday for the Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown at Circuit of The Americas, his first WeatherTech Championship start.

    Jaminet, filling in for Michael Christensen who had a conflicting race in Belgium, turned in the pole-winning lap of two minutes, 6.531 seconds in Alegra Motorsports’ No. 28 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

    “I didn’t know the team, my teammate, or how racing in the U.S. and IMSA would be,” said Jaminet. “I’ve raced this car in Europe, so not everything is new. I adapted myself very easily to the team. I came here last year with Porsche Supercup during the F1 weekend and won both pole positions and both wins as a rookie in the series, so I knew I would be very comfortable with this track here.”

    The Lexus of Jack Hawksworth qualified second, but was moved to the back of the GT category after a violation of the ground clearance rule was found in post-qualifying technical inspections.

    That penalty moved the No. 48 TOTAL Lubricants Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Madison Snow to the front row. Snow’s lap of 2:07.724 was 1.193 seconds behind the pole-winning time of Jaminet. Corey Lewis will now start third tomorrow in the No. 16 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Change Racing.

    The two-hour, 40-minute Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown starts at 2:35 p.m. ET. Live IMSA Radio audio coverage and in-car cameras are available for U.S. viewers on IMSA.com. The race will be televised Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on FS1.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  5. #125
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    Well Rob, I'll leave it to you to comment on the WEC Spa race.....sono felice anyway!

  6. #126
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    Me to wisepie can't wait to hear the emotions and feelings of Rob right now

  7. #127
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    FERRARI DOUBLE AT THE 6 HOURS OF SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS

    Francorchamps, 6 May 2017 – Ferrari pulled off a resounding one-two in the GTE-Pro class at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the World Endurance Championship (WEC). Davide Rigon and Sam Bird, with the 488 GTE no. 71 of AF Corse, repeated last year’s triumph in the Ardennes, finishing a few seconds ahead of teammates Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado in car no. 51. This result puts Ferrari ahead of Ford in the Constructors’ championship, while the two crews are joint second in the drivers’ rankings. Ferrari also took a podium in the GTE-Am class with the 488 GTE of Clearwater Racing driven by Mok Weng Sun, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin.

    GTE-Pro. Davide Rigon started the race on pole and then maintained his lead over the two Fords. After about 40 minutes difficulty in lapping for the first Fords compacted the cars from second to fourth, allowing James Calado, in Ferrari no. 51, to pull off one of the greatest overtaking of recent years. The British driver pulled up beside both American cars on the Kemmel straight and then completed the move entering Les Combes. After the first pit stop the Ferraris found themselves chasing the Ford of Olivier Pla who had not changed tyres. On a track where heavy tyre consumption played a big role, the two 488 GTEs easily made up the gap and were in a position to go on the attack. Alessandro Pier Guidi, in car no. 51, overtook the Ford before Eau Rouge but then was held up by a Toyota that pushed him wide at Les Combes. At that point Sam Bird in no. 71 closed the gap and attacked his teammate. The 488 GTEs came into contact but were both able to continue the race with car no. 71 ahead of no. 51. The turning point came at the beginning of the fourth hour, when for the second time the race was neutralised with a Full Course Yellow obliging everyone to cut their speed to 80 km/h. Both Ferraris entered the pitlane and gained a lot of time on all their opponents. At the restart the two Ferraris were very close together but had a lead of almost a minute over Ford no. 66, in third. Towards the end, tyre management recommended a change to the team of car no. 51, during which Calado replaced Pier Guidi. However, the team decided to take a risk with no. 71 by just refuelling. Sam Bird finished ahead of Calado and the Ford no. 66 of Pla-Mucke-Johnson. With this triumph, Ferrari’s 18th in the GTE-Pro class, the Maranello brand leads the Constructors’ Championship with 72 points against Ford’s 65. Priaulx-Tincknell-Derani (Ford no. 67) top the drivers’ standings on 38 points against 36 for the two Ferrari crews.

    GTE-Am. Ferrari secured a podium finish in the GTE-Am class. In a difficult race the 488 of Clearwater Racing crewed by Mok Weng Sun, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin finished ahead of Miguel Molina, Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr on the other Ferrari entered by Spirit Of Race team. The class victory went to the Aston Martin of Dalla Lana-Lamy-Lauda, while the Toyota of Buemi-Davidson-Nakajima was the overall winner. The next round is in mid-June with the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by fratelliferrari View Post
    Me to wisepie can't wait to hear the emotions and feelings of Rob right now
    Well, Andy and Marnix. It was a very very well deserved win. Too finally see the 488s fly. The VSC helped us abit. But what a race, Sam and Ale fighting like mad. That was heart in mouth moment. They were allowed to race till the final stops. After that, the order came to hold positions. That why they raced hard early on to get the upper hand other eachother. And the overtakes James pulled off, just utter brilliant. First one along Kemmel straight into le combes, then battling the Ford through Eau Rouge.

    Happy that again you had good time at Spa Marnix, AF Corse amd WEC family so friendly and open. Imagine getting trying to that access in F1, being able to sit and watch the race from the pits and even getting into the pitlane at the end of the race. Wouldnt happen, unless pay thousands of pounds for VIP pass..

    Good see the Toyota win again. Shame #54 had a lonely race. Cannt wait for Francessco and Thomas get on the podium.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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    ONE-TWO FOR TOYOTA GAZOO RACING AT SPA
    Saturday 6 May 2017

    TOYOTA GAZOO Racing took its second consecutive victory of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season with a one-two in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

    Silverstone winners Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, in the #8 TS050 HYBRID, again took top step of the podium to extend their lead in the drivers’ World Championship to 17 points.

    In a dramatic race, the #7 of Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi finished just 1.992secs behind in second place, for the team’s first one-two since Shanghai in 2014. That moves TOYOTA into the lead of the manufacturers’ World Championship, by 8.5 points from Porsche.

    The #9 crew of Stéphane Sarrazin, Yuji Kunimoto and Nicolas Lapierre, competing together for the first time, completed a trouble-free race to finish fifth and gather valuable experience with the low-downforce TS050 HYBRID.

    Right from the start, the TOYOTAs were challenging for the win, with first Sébastien then Mike putting the pole-position #1 Porsche under pressure. On the 10th lap, Mike took the lead, while Sébastien took second three laps later.

    At the first driver changes, Yuji took over the #9 in fifth for his first-ever racing laps at Spa. He showed consistency and maturity throughout his two stints to navigate safely through the lapped traffic; a key stage in his acclimatisation to WEC racing.

    Kamui was consistently building a lead for the #7 as the race passed the halfway point, with Anthony in the #8 in second. But the race soon took a significant turn with two full course yellow periods.

    The #7 was unlucky to be already in the pits on both occasions. Other cars pitted after the yellow flags and therefore conceded far less time due to the 80km/h limit around the lap. Mike, whose stops were made when the competitors were driving at racing speeds, lost around one minute.

    Kazuki initially took the lead during the first full course yellow then extended it significantly during the second. Mike on the other hand found himself in a fight with the #2 Porsche, dropping to third.

    A further twist saw the #2 Porsche lose time due to accident repairs meaning Sébastien held a half-minute lead going into the final hour over Kamui, now second in the #7.

    Kamui closed the gap but held position in the last laps, crossing the line just behind Sébastien, who took TOYOTA’s 13th win since its WEC debut in 2012. Nicolas completed a clean run for the #9 car, taking the flag in fifth, two laps behind.

    TOYOTA GAZOO Racing now makes the short journey back to Cologne to accelerate preparations for the Le Mans 24 Hours on 17-18 June when the team expects a challenging and close fight with Porsche. Before that, all teams participate in the official Le Mans test day on 4 June.

    Toshio Sato, Team President: “This was a dramatic race; I hope the fans enjoyed it. We are delighted with the result after another intense fight with Porsche. The #7 was unlucky with the two full course yellows. These things can happen in endurance racing but it’s really frustrating for Mike, Kamui and the car crew. They had the quickest car today in the race and didn’t make any mistakes. Well done to the #8 car; they never gave up and got their reward. It’s also been a very productive weekend from a technical point of view; having the chance to get data on the low-downforce package with the #9 is helpful for our Le Mans preparations. Le Mans is our big target and we will now make the final push to be ready.”

    TS050 HYBRID #7 (Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi)
    Race: 2nd, 173 laps, 7 pit stops. Grid: 2nd. Fastest lap: 1min 58.039secs

    Mike Conway (TS050 HYBRID #7): “I’m a bit disappointed but it’s a great team result. The car has been very good all weekend and the team did a fantastic job. In the first part of the race we were really quick and built up a nice lead but we got the two full course yellows at exactly the wrong times. That’s racing sometimes. We have to take the positives from this weekend and carry that into Le Mans.”

    Kamui Kobayashi (TS050 HYBRID #7): “Our car was really fast today; we just lost the race due to bad luck. At the end I caught up with Sébastien but in the last laps it’s not fair to attack when we are running one-two so I just followed him. It’s nice for the team to score maximum points from the race, especially in one of our home races; it was a good effort from everyone.”

    TS050 HYBRID #8 (Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima)
    Race: 1st, 173 laps, 7 pit stops. Grid: 4th. Fastest lap: 1min 57.722secs

    Sébastien Buemi (TS050 HYBRID #8): “Today we were not the fastest TOYOTA; car #7 deserved the win more. They lost so much time with the full course yellows. Our car didn’t quite have the pace so it’s nice in a way to win without actually being the quickest; maybe it’s a good sign. Last year we were leading by a lap when we had a technical problem so fortune has really turned around for our car here.”

    Anthony Davidson (TS050 HYBRID #8): “We certainly had some luck today because those two full course yellows gave us around a minute in total on the #7 car. Mike and Kamui were blindingly quick from the start of the weekend and we didn’t have an answer, so they deserved the win. But for the team it’s a fantastic result and great preparation for Le Mans.”

    Kazuki Nakajima (TS050 HYBRID #8): “It was a difficult race on our car and I have mixed feelings to be honest. I’m happy to be on the middle step of the podium but car #7 was really unlucky. In the end it was a great result for the team and it’s good to know that our car is getting a bit of luck this year after having none at all in 2016. Now we head to Le Mans with a good feeling.”

    TS050 HYBRID #9 (Stéphane Sarrazin, Yuji Kunimoto, Nicolas Lapierre)
    Race: 5th, 171 laps, 7 pit stops. Grid: 3rd. Fastest lap: 1min 58.020secs

    Stéphane Sarrazin (TS050 HYBRID #9): “It was a difficult race for us in the low-downforce car due to the tyre degradation. I enjoyed the race; I pushed and the pace was pretty good. It was important for Yuji to experience a WEC race for the first time and it was important to finish. So all in all it’s a good weekend for us and the low-downforce car is a good base; it has big potential for Le Mans.”

    Yuji Kunimoto (TS050 HYBRID #9): “I enjoyed my first race weekend in WEC, and my first race here at Spa. There is a lot to learn and it was good to do a lot of laps today to experience things like traffic and tyre management. The result was not the main target today; it was an important step for us all to prepare for Le Mans so I am pretty happy with it.”

    Nicolas Lapierre (TS050 HYBRID #9): “It’s a great day for the team and a great result. Unfortunately on our car we were lacking some downforce, which is normal for the Le Mans-spec car, but it meant we had a lot of tyre degradation so we couldn’t fight. It was a good learning for Le Mans and the most important was to finish the race and from that aspect it’s been a positive weekend.”
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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    ASTON MARTIN RACING CLAIM VICTORY AT FIA WEC 6 HOURS OF SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS

    #98 V8 Vantage GTE takes class victory in 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
    Aston Martin Racing take lead of all GTE Am championships

    Saturday 6 May, Spa-Francorchamps: Aston Martin Racing is enjoying the taste of Spa-rkling wine this evening, after taking victory at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps; the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

    After clinching pole position in yesterday’s qualifying session, the trio of Paul Dalla Lana (C), Pedro Lamy (P) and Mathias Lauda (A) drove a faultless race to convert their advantage into the race win. The result ensures a maximum haul of 26 points – including an additional point for pole position - and the lead in both GTE Am championships.

    Despite amassing a commanding advantage in the early stages of the race, a strong challenge for the lead from the #77 Porsche temporarily saw the gap reduced to within ten seconds during the third hour. With Lauda holding his nerve until the third round of pit stops, Dalla Lana soon pressed on to extend their lead once again, equipped with a full set of new tyres.

    With Lauda handing the car back to Lamy with a 40-second buffer and the potential threat of light rain, the Portuguese managed the situation to the chequered flag and crossed the line with an advantage of 31.110 seconds over their closest rival to claim their third consecutive win at the circuit.

    Lamy said of his opening and closing stints, “At the beginning we ran different strategies with the drivers compared to our rivals and I was able to pull a big gap despite my 10-second penalty and hand over to Paul and Mat with a good advantage. In my final stint, I had to be careful with track limits and traffic and there was a lot of pickup on the track surface. It’s really tough to make no mistakes when you’re managing a lead like that, as you don’t know whether to push or hold back but we took the result today and that’s what matters”.

    Dalla Lana said, “On my second stint the track just came alive and rubbered in. It was beautiful. You dream about being at Spa and racing through the forest and I really felt that I could push. The car did exactly what I wanted it to do and I was able to extend our lead at that point”.

    He added, “That was a fantastic result for the team as everyone’s been working crazy hours to make this happen, so it was a real team victory. That was the perfect car, the perfect strategy and we executed flawlessly. We do have other teams nipping at our heels, but it’s good to be heading to Le Mans with the championship lead and a victory under our belt”.

    Lauda added, “In my first stint I was on used tires and it was tough, but I was still able to bring the car back with a lead of just over twenty seconds and keep ourselves ahead. It was a stressful race for us as we never had the outright fastest car and we didn’t set the fastest lap, but that doesn’t matter. We did the best job with the strategy, the pit stops and there were no mistakes by any of the drivers”.

    In GTE Pro, the team’s #97 V8 Vantage GTE and #95 V8 Vantage GTE finish 7th and 8th respectively, adding vital points to the team’s overall championship points tally.

    Paul Howarth, Aston Martin Racing Team Principal added, “Spa threw many challenges at the team but the team’s performance was flawless with world-class execution. That is probably one of the most important things in endurance racing. We now head to Le Mans for one of the biggest motorsport challenges in the world and the whole of Aston Martin Racing looks forward to and we come away from Spa leading the GTE Am championship”.

    - Ends -
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    An interesting second meeting before the 24H of Le Mans

    On this first weekend of May, the 6H of SPA-Francorchamps were the opportunity for Vaillante REBELLION to get ready for the much anticipated 24H of Le Mans that will take place on June 17 and 18. The team was able to test the two Oreca 07 and achieve an encouraging performance for the rest of the season.

    On the Belgian circuit, often considered as the most beautiful in the world, Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost and Julien Canal (# 31) took the second place on the podium. They were closely followed by Nelson Piquet Junior, David Heinemeier Hansson and Mathias Beche (#13), who finished in fourth position.

    At 2:30 pm, under a sunny yet cloudy sky, the two Oreca 07 #13 and #31 respectively kicked off in fifth and ninth positions for a six-hour battle.

    After 45 minutes of racing, a fierce fight for the first spot was already taking place between Nelson Panciatici at the wheel of the #35 Alpine Signatech, and Bruno Senna on the #31. Ten minutes later, the same #35 collided with Oliver Jarvis (DC Racing) and allowed Oreca 07 #31 to take the lead of the race.

    After a promising start, Bruno Senna then left his place to Julien Canal, who also fought to keep the first place against Alex Lynn (G-Drive Racing). After a pit-stop, the #31 restart in third position with a better lap at 02: 07.046.

    At the wheel of #13, Nelson Piquet Junior was in seventh place during the first two hours before making a pit-stop and leaving David Heinemeier Hansson in ninth position and a better lap at 02: 06.963.

    During the race, a first yellow flag was rased to slow down the pace because of the loss of a piece of carbon from the Porsche 911 #86, prohibiting drivers from overtaking each others until the total evacuation of the car. Then, Nicolas Prost, following Julien Canal at the wheel of the #31, received a 10-second penalty for causing a collision with a Porsche GT, making him falling from first to second place

    A second yellow flag was raised an hour later, after four hours, because of the exit of François Perrodo (TDS Racing), but without any impact for the two Vaillante REBELLION, who were able to keep their fourth and second places all the way until the end of the race, despite a rain shower just a few minutes before the finish.


    On the one hand, Bruno Senna, at the wheel of the #31, finished the race in the same way he started it and eventually grabbed the second spot behind Alex Lynn from G-Drive Racing.

    On the other hand, Nelson Piquet Junior, at the wheel of the #13, finished fourth behind Ho-Pin Tung (DC Racing).

    A very encouraging and promising race before the 24H of Le Mans for the two Oreca 07 and the six drivers, who were able to resist against the problems of this race.

    Reaction – Julien Canal (driver #31)
    "We really worked in synergy between the two cars during the tests. We had a gearbox problem during the qualifying session, so we took the 8th position. Bruno made two first exceptional relays and left me the car in P1, the tires were a little degraded. I managed to keep the first position during my first relay. My goal was fulfilled by remaining in the dynamic of the leaders. We had twice 10 seconds penalties and more than a minute of pit-stop because of the antenna. All these problems brought us to the second place of the podium in spite of a very powerful race. It's very encouraging for the rest of the season!"

    Reaction - Nicolas Prost (driver #31)
    "A very good result, a second place is satisfying but à bit deceptive in spite of the incidents that occured. It is encouraging for Le Mans."

    Reaction - Mathias Beche (driver #13)
    "The team gave us a very good car, we had the ability to make a big result. We would have dreamed of making a podium unfortunately we finished just off it. Some small gearbox problems cost us a bit of performance throughout the race, otherwise we had a good balance and it is very encouraging before Le Mans. We have the ability to make a good performance at Le Mans, the competition is extremely tight and we will have to be better. Keep pushing!"

    Reaction - Bart Hayden (team manager)
    "All the Vaillante Rebellion team are really happy to get a second Podium of the season. It's fantastic to get P2 and P4, with the two cars, it is well deserved after all the hard work of the team. Spa has been a good circuit for us in the past and it kept that relationship with us today. We had fast cars, we ran at the front and had a great battle. Great job by the drivers and all the team."

    Reaction - David Heinemeier Hansson (driver #13)
    "Rebellion once again showed that we have the pace to fight for wins with both cars. Our run was marred by some technical difficulties, but the pace was there. Hopefully at Le Mans we will have all the elements aligned at the same time and be there at the end."

    Results
    Oreca07 #13 : Nelson Piquet Junior, Mathias Beche, David Heinemeier Hansson
    Oreca07 #31 : Nicolas Prost, Bruno Senna, Julien Canal

    Race

    P1: G-Drive Racing #26
    P2: Vaillante REBELLION #31
    P3: Jackie Chan DC Racing #38
    P4: Vaillante REBELLION #13
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    Lotterer still adjusting driving style for Porsche switch

    Andre Lotterer admits he is still getting to grips with the Porsche 919 Hybrid heading into this weekend's FIA World Endurance Championship event at Spa.

    The three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner, who has joined Porsche for 2017 after Audi's withdrawal from the WEC, revealed that he is continuing to adapt to the 919 from the R18 e-tron quattro he raced last year.

    "It is quite a different beast and car to drive," said the German, who is teamed with Neel Jani and Nick Tandy in the #1 Porsche.

    "It requires a different driving style, and I am still in that [learning] process at the moment."

    Lotterer said that the move from a turbodiesel LMP1 running in the 6MJ hybrid class to an 8MJ petrol-powered car explained why he had to change his technique behind the wheel.

    "With the Audi we had a bit more power and torque [from the conventional engine] because we were in the 6MJ class, so I'm used to rotating the car," he told Motorsport.com.

    "We drove the car on the throttle more, which in the Porsche we don't do because there is more emphasis on the boost from the front axle.

    "There are other differences too, but that is the main one."

    Lotterer added he is hoping to improve on the #1 Porsche's third-place finish from the opening round of the WEC at Silverstone last month this weekend.

    The German believes Porsche's low-drag configuration should work better around Spa than the British track, where Toyota held a clear edge in one-lap pace.

    "It was a good start because we were on the podium, but you cannot be happy with third place because you always want to win," he said.

    "Now we’re here at Spa, hopefully everything will match a bit better. [At Silverstone] we were a bit on the low side with the downforce.

    "That set-up matches Spa a bit better, and in practice it didn't feel too bad."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Well, Andy and Marnix. It was a very very well deserved win. Too finally see the 488s fly. The VSC helped us abit. But what a race, Sam and Ale fighting like mad. That was heart in mouth moment. They were allowed to race till the final stops. After that, the order came to hold positions. That why they raced hard early on to get the upper hand other eachother. And the overtakes James pulled off, just utter brilliant. First one along Kemmel straight into le combes, then battling the Ford through Eau Rouge.

    Happy that again you had good time at Spa Marnix, AF Corse amd WEC family so friendly and open. Imagine getting trying to that access in F1, being able to sit and watch the race from the pits and even getting into the pitlane at the end of the race. Wouldnt happen, unless pay thousands of pounds for VIP pass..

    Good see the Toyota win again. Shame #54 had a lonely race. Cannt wait for Francessco and Thomas get on the podium.
    Agree with all you've said, Rob, and to be in the pits on a day like that must have been special. I had friends in high places back in late 60s/early 70s, and even got a lift from Bourne to Monza with Raymond Mays in his Rover 3500S....and a free pit pass, memories which will never be erased! I did have to support BRM on that occasion as Mays was involved, but I was a closet tifoso at the same time!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    Agree with all you've said, Rob, and to be in the pits on a day like that must have been special. I had friends in high places back in late 60s/early 70s, and even got a lift from Bourne to Monza with Raymond Mays in his Rover 3500S....and a free pit pass, memories which will never be erased! I did have to support BRM on that occasion as Mays was involved, but I was a closet tifoso at the same time!!
    Great memories my friend. Rover 3500S wow, my grandad had one of those. Cracking cars.

    When we were at Silverstone on the Friday, my mother inlaw said to me, made her laugh, as i walked upto the AF pits, Antonio, or few other i know see me coming and just put their thumbs up and waved us into the pits. And how they came upto me and stated chatting straight away. To be as close to these guys as iam, i feel so so honoured. Plus, now, after her little experiences with sitting in #51 #71 cars, Keira got crushes on Sam and Ale, bless her. She said to me at the weekend, daddy, can tyou send text to Luca and Ale to say good luck form me for the race.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Great memories my friend. Rover 3500S wow, my grandad had one of those. Cracking cars.

    When we were at Silverstone on the Friday, my mother inlaw said to me, made her laugh, as i walked upto the AF pits, Antonio, or few other i know see me coming and just put their thumbs up and waved us into the pits. And how they came upto me and stated chatting straight away. To be as close to these guys as iam, i feel so so honoured. Plus, now, after her little experiences with sitting in #51 #71 cars, Keira got crushes on Sam and Ale, bless her. She said to me at the weekend, daddy, can tyou send text to Luca and Ale to say good luck form me for the race.
    Quite understand how it makes you feel part of a family, Rob, and the fact that they made you so welcome. F1 was more like that in the old days, now there are too many celebrity hangers-on who want a freebie to publicise something else. They are not fans, just there for the glamour. Jealous, me??!! The 3500S of Raymond Mays wasn't quite standard and it was a pretty hairy drive over the mountains into Italy from Lausanne, I can tell you!! Great images from Spa, too, grazie.

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    HEARTBREAK FOR RISI COMPETIZIONE FERRARI AT COTA

    Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM No. 62: Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA), Toni Vilander (FIN)


    (Austin, Texas, May 6, 2017)...
    The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM team faced another heartbreak today when a hit from another GTLM car on the first turn of the first lap of the two hour and 40 minute Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown race sent the Houston, Texas-based team packing up early to head home.

    After a similar setback on the first lap at last month's Long Beach Grand Prix, which took the fan favorite out of the race, the always professional Risi Competizione team put the Ferrari 488 GTLM back together with high expectations for Saturday's race on the 3.40-mile, 20-turn Circuit of the Americas (COTA) Texas road course.

    Italian Ferrari driver Giancarlo Fisichella had a stellar qualifying session and was starting from the front row and second position on the GTLM grid in the 39-car field.

    Giancarlo Fisichella, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
    "I don't know exactly what happened. I think it was the 67 Ford (Ryan Briscoe) that touched me in Turn 1 and spun me. Then I was hit again at the front and our race was over. So another race is finished after one lap, one corner!"

    Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
    "Unfortunately, Giancarlo got hit from behind at the start in braking into Turn 1 and then he got hit again. It damaged the left front corner, the radiator and the front floor. Unfortunately, that's not repairable in the time of the race with this car, where others could repair their damage. I thought we had a good car and hopefully we can regroup and do better at our next race at Le Mans for the 24 Hours."

    Toni Vilander, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
    "There's not many words to describe the disappointment. The team had great preparation coming to this event after what happened at Long Beach. The car was handling well and we were happy with set up since the moment we put the car on the track. We made a few slight changes for the race. After this morning we were confident we had the right strategy and right things on this car. But unfortunately, our race was over in the first corner. I'm not convinced it was a racing incident; I've not seen the video. It's difficult to say, but these things should not happen. I think we are playing with million dollar toys here and to start hitting other cars and pushing them out is not something that should happen. Nearly half of the GTLM cars were out or in a condition to have to repair their cars after the Turn 1 incident. This is not the way we want to race and not the way to have a good show and to do a championship. I have an empty feeling overall because it's been two races and I've done zero racing laps. I'm really disappointed for the whole team, starting with Giuseppe [Risi], and all the guys who worked so hard between the races. I definitely felt that we deserved a reward here, meaning a good result. I'm not only talking about winning, but a podium, and we definitely had a good chance to win today."


    The next race for the Risi Competizione team will be the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France, June 14-18.

    Tune-In Information:
    Saturday's Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown race will be televised on FS1 (FOX SPORTS 1) in the U.S. on a same-day delay beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
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    4 Hours of Monza – Facts and Figures

    The European Le Mans Series visited Monza at the end of March for the official test but May 14th 2017 will mark the first race at the Autodromo Internazionale Monza since 2008. The circuit was opened on the 15 May 1922 and celebrates its 95th anniversary the day after the 4 Hours of Monza.
    Here are a few facts and figures to get to know this famous track:

    Track Length: 5.793km /3.6 miles
    Corners: 10
    Circuit Opened: 15 May 1922
    Entries: 36 (12 LMP2 / 17 LMP3 / 7 LMGTE)
    28 Teams and 103 drivers will take part in the 4 Hours of Monza representing 21 different nations
    2008 LMP1 Winners – Pedro Lamy / Stephane Sarrazin – Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP
    2008 LMP2 Winners – John Nielsen / Casper Elgaard – Porsche RS Spyder

    2008 LMGT1 Winners – Tomas Enge / Antonio Garcia – Aston Martin DBR9

    2008 LMGT2 Winners – Richard Lietz / Raymond Narac – Porsche 997 GT3 RSR

    Monza is the world’s third purpose built race track after Brooklands (UK) and Indianapolis (USA).
    The fastest lap record by an LMP2 car at the recent preseason test was 1m36.461 (no28 IDEC Sport Racing Ligier JPS217-Gibson). This compares to the fastest race lap of 1m37.625 set by the Porsche RS Spyder on the 27 April 2008
    Top Speed during the official test in March: 314.9 km/h by the n°40 of Graff.
    The start of the 4 Hours of Monza will be given on the 14th May at 13:30.
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    Forza Italia

    Italian drivers and teams will be a big feature on the 36 car European Le Mans Series grid for the 4 Hours of Monza on Sunday 14 May. Added into this mix is the three Ferraris in the LMGTE lineup and the three Italian built Dallaras P217 in LMP2 and there will be plenty of local interest for the first race by the ELMS at Monza since 2008.

    In LMP2 the all Italian team of Cetilar Villorba Corsa will be hoping to build on the firm foundations the team built during the first race at Silverstone. Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto and Andrea Belicchi will be looking for a podium finish on their home track, bettering the 6th place finish they made on their LMP2 debut last month with the Dallara P217.

    Andrea Roda is the fourth Italian driver on the LMP2 grid and will be racing for Portuguese team Algarve Pro Racing.

    The LMP2 grid will also feature three Dallara P217 to take on the French manufacturers Ligier and Oreca. In addition to the car run by Cetilar Villorba Corse, Dutch team Racing Team Nederland also use the Dallara chassis. The Italian manufacturer scored a podium finish in England when Danish team High Class Racing finished third.

    The highly competitive LMP3 grid will feature one Italian team and six drivers amongst the 17 strong entry. Oregon Team are based just 50km from Monza in Cremosano and will run one of the two Nissan powered Norma M30 chassis for Italian drivers Davide Roda and Dario Capitanio.

    American team Eurointernational will feature three Italian drivers in their two Ligier JS P3s with Giorgio Mondini and Davide Uboldi in the no11 car and Andrea Dromedari making up one third of the no12 crew.

    Maurizio Mediani is the sixth and final Italian on the LMP3 grid, racing for Austrian team AT Racing who have moved up from the LMGTE class where they were regular podium finishers.

    While there are no Italian teams on the LMGTE grid there are four drivers and, of course, Ferrari is well represented.

    Swiss team Spirit of Race are running two F488s with the no51 featuring an all Italian crew. Former FIA GT1 World Champion and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Andrea Bertolini will race with father and son duo Gianluca and Giorgio Roda. The third Ferrari is the all British JMW Motorsport F458 Italia.

    The no77 Proton Competition Porsche 911 will feature talented Porsche Young Driver Matteo Cairoli and the team will be looking to better their second place at Silverstone last month.

    The 4 Hours of Monza will take place on the 12-14 May with the race taking place on Sunday 14 May. The weekend will also feature the opening round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup and races for the World Series Formula V8 3.5 and the TCR International Series, giving fans a great mix of single seaters, touring cars and endurance.
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    Meeting up with Andrea Bertolini (Spirit of Race Ferrari n°51)
    ELMS -

    Former 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner and Ferrari works driver Andrea Bertolini gave us his feeelings about racing at home at the wheel of the iconic Italian car, the Ferrari F 488.

    Q: You will race a Ferrari at the home of Italian motorsport, how much does it mean to you?

    “I’m very proud and honoured when I have the chance to race in my country. Monza is one of the temples of the whole motorsport and obviously racing there is always very special. I also love the other tracks in Italy: Imola is very special for me and the same is for Mugello, which is owned by Ferrari. Monza for sure it’s something special because it is a superfast track with almost no equal in the world, but everybody knows Monza and loves it. I have to say that I would have a proper advantage over my competitors only if we organize a race at Fiorano track…”

    Q: Will home support give you and the other Italian drivers an advantage?

    “Racing in Italy is always special for me. When we are in Italy we can feel the support from our fellow compatriots. Having said that, I have to be honest and say that racing for Ferrari gives you the advantage of feeling at home anywhere in the world because everywhere there are some Ferrari tifosi. And this is great.”

    Q: While the ELMS has raced in Italy for the past few seasons this will be the first visit to Monza by the series for nearly 10 years. Do you think it is a good move to bring the ELMS to race at Monza?

    “I don’t care in a special way where you race when you come to Italy. The most important thing is to have an ELMS race here. As drivers we want to feel the support from our home people and we feel it in every Italian circuit. I think having an ELMS race in Italy is the key because we are still building an Endurance culture on the motorsport fans in this country and we cannot interrupt this process now…”

    Q: What is your favourite part of the Monza track?

    “Monza track is very special because there are not many corners but since it is a superfast track you need to be perfect in each one. With a GT car, you cannot put a foot wrong in order to carry as much speed as you can out of the corners. I like very much the Lesmo corners, the Serraglio and the Ascari chicane. Exiting that corner, you must be perfect in order to carry speed in the straight opposite to the main one. Parabolica too is fantastic, even if in last years has become easier because of the asphalt run-off area.”
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    Enjoyed the Toyota and Ferrari win, but doesn't the domination at Spa mean Ferrari are going to get arbitrarily shafted by BOP yet again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Architect View Post
    Enjoyed the Toyota and Ferrari win, but doesn't the domination at Spa mean Ferrari are going to get arbitrarily shafted by BOP yet again?
    no we shouldnt be, as its all different way..http://www.dailysportscar.com/wp-con...WEC2017_EN.pdf
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    PERFECT SWAN SONG FOR 458 ITALIA OF JMW MOTORSPORT
    ELMS

    Monza, 14 May 2017 – The 458 Italia GTE no. 66 of JMW Motorsport couldn’t have had a happier ending to its racing career when it competed in its last race on Sunday. The car, which made its debut six years ago with a victory, won the 4 Hours of Monza, the second round of the European Le Mans Series, held at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.

    The start. The race got off to a good start with the 488 GTE no. 55 of Spirit Of Race in first with Matt Griffin, Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott. Unfortunately the white and green car was soon forced to retire due to a technical problem. The Ferrari’s withdrawal left room for its rivals and it was from here that the 458 Italia no. 66 began its ride to glory. Jody Fannin, Jonathan Cocker and Robert Smith didn’t put a foot wrong in driving to victory in the car’s final race. From the 24 Hours of Le Mans, for which JMW Motorsport qualified by finishing second in last season’s ELMS championship, the British team will be using a 488 GTE.

    The other Ferrari. The other Ferrari, Spirit of Race’s no. 51, crewed by Gianluca Roda, Giorgio Roda and Andrea Bertolini, also enjoyed a positive race. They finished in fourth but, with a bit of luck, in the end they could have been in condition to grab a podium ahead of the Aston Martin of Beechdean AMR driven by Ross Gunn, Andrew Howard and Darren Turner. The overall win went to the Oreca of G-Drive Racing with Memo Rojas, Eyo Hirakawa and Leo Roussel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    no we shouldnt be, as its all different way..http://www.dailysportscar.com/wp-con...WEC2017_EN.pdf
    I think the key point is this:

    Quote Originally Posted by FIA
    The 24 Hours of Le Mans race is treated separately and do not form part of the WEC BOP procedure.
    The ACO is still free to decide who wins.

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    2017 Le Mans 24 Hours - The official list of entries revealed! Today, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, creator and organiser of the Le Mans 24 Hours, has revealed the official list of the 60 cars and full driver line-ups who will take part in the pinnacle of the FIA World Endurance Championship on 17 - 18 June.
    2017 Le Mans 24 Hours - The official list of entries revealed!

    While many teams had already communicated their drivers for the different Le Mans-type championships, they had until 11th May at midnight to send in the final line-ups for the Le Mans 24 Hours. After carrying out the usual checks, this list has been officially revealed today by the ACO.

    The last announcement came from Toyota as Argentinean José-Maria Lopez, who was initially down to drive no. 7, has moved across to no. 9 and exchanged his seat with Stéphane Sarazzin. The only team which has not yet finalised its third driver is Proton Competition entered in LM GTE Am.

    All the drivers and cars must now undergo scrutineering and administrative checks to take part in the event.

    The 179 drivers announced have licences issued by 31 different countries, and the 60 cars represent 41 teams and 16 nationalities.

    Cars running under American licences are the most numerous, while France and Britain supply the most drivers with 34 each.

    This year there will be only one woman driver at the start, 25-year-old Christina Nielsen from Denmark, back for her second outing in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 in GTE Am.

    The list of entrants breaks down as follows: 6 cars in LM P1, 25 in LM P2, 13 in LM GTE Pro and 16 in LM GTE Am. Mentos Proton Racing is still on the reserve list should one of the official entries withdraw.

    Entry list...
    http://assets.lemans.org/explorer/pd...-mans-2017.pdf
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    DRIVER LINE-UP ADJUSTMENT TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
    Tuesday 16 May 2017

    TOYOTA GAZOO Racing can confirm a modified driver line-up to optimise its competitive level in next month’s Le Mans 24 Hours, the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

    Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi will now share the #7 TS050 HYBRID with Stéphane Sarrazin for Le Mans, recreating the line-up which finished second last year at La Sarthe on its way to third in the drivers’ World Championship.

    José María López has been able to complete only a handful of racing laps in WEC following his accident at Silverstone and resulting injury, which prevented him driving at Spa. He will now team up with Nicolas Lapierre and Yuji Kunimoto in the #9 car.

    The line-up of the #8 TS050 HYBRID remains unchanged, with Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima competing together at Le Mans for the third successive year.

    After Le Mans, the team reverts to a two-car entry and José María will return to the cockpit of the #7 car, alongside Mike and Kamui, for the remainder of the season.

    Toshio Sato, Team President: “Our circumstances have changed over the last few weeks as a result of the injury to José María. He is in the unfortunate position of having completed very few racing laps this year in WEC, so we all felt it was appropriate to adjust the driver line-up. I am very confident that Stéphane will fit well into a #7 line-up which can fight for the win. José María, like Yuji, will learn a lot at Le Mans this year, familiarising himself with the track and the event in general, and this is an important step for the future as well.”
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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