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Thread: 2019 WEC,IMSA and ELMS&MLC thread.

  1. #271
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    #8 Toyota Dominates At Fuji (Updated)
    Racing Team Nederland wins LMP2 thriller

    UPDATE: After the race JOTA’s ORECA was disqualified from the results, and lost its podium, meaning the Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA inherited second place in LMP2 and United Autosports took the final podium spot.

    The reason for the disqualification was because in post-race scrutineering the car’s “outside neutral switch was unable to disconnect the transmission”, a breach of the technical regulations.

    STEWARDS DECISION >>>
    RESULTS (FINAL) >>>

    Toyota Gazoo Racing’s #8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID took a dominant lights-to-flag victory at the Fuji Speedway today, leading a 1-2 finish for the brand on home soil. Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Brendon Hartley were untouchable in scoring Toyota its seventh win in eight WEC races at Fuji.

    The sister #7 TS050 HYBRID finished second, but hindered by the ‘Success Handicap’ applied for its Silverstone win, Jose Maria Lopez, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi were never in the fight for the win, unable to extract the pace required to battle for the lead.

    “It was a good race for us. There was a bit of a mistake for us in the middle of the race with a drive-through but we all had the pace and kept it clean,” said Nakajima, who now has four wins at Fuji in WEC competition.

    As for the privateer cars from Rebellion Racing and Team LNT, they had the one lap pace here, but not the legs over a stint. The #1 Rebellion R-13 completed the podium, and Gustavo Menezes, Bruno Senna and Norman Nato were strong throughout, but once the race settled down gradually faded away.


    Senna was able to create an entertaining opening hour though, the Brazillian getting past Kobayashi for second in at the start before spending much of the first stint battling for the second spot on the podium through traffic.

    During that, Toyota’s superiority exiting corners was apparent, as was the R-13’s top-end speed. The fight between the two resulted in multiple sequences where Kobayashi had to fight past Senna who on the pit straight was able to get a tow and retake the place.

    “It was fun, in the beginning, we had enough grip to keep them behind,” Senna said. “It’s a shame about the safety car as I think we could have taken the lead. I had to give them a fight, I knew once they got ahead they’d pull away.”

    For Team LNT it was another outing that showed promise, but also inconsistency.

    The #6 G60-LT-P1 took fourth in LMP1, after starting a lap down following its issues in Qualifying, while the #5 dropped to last in the top class.

    Brake failure and puncture caused by brake cooling issues forced Ben Hanley into the garage for repairs during Hour 5. This dropped the #5 behind the delayed sister car before a six-minute stop and hold were handed to the #5 for using too many tyres, costing it further time.

    Racing Team Nederland storm to LMP2 victory

    LMP2 was full of intrigue, with multiple contending teams all spending time in the lead. The mixed conditions caused by light rain saw some drivers struggle and others prosper.


    By race end it was Racing Team Nederland’s day, the outfit scoring its first-ever LMP2 win. It was a phenomenal result for the Dutch team in only its second race with an ORECA chassis.

    When the conditions were at their worst, Giedo van der Garde and Nyck de Vries were rapid, de Vries, in particular, played a huge part in the team building enough of a lead for Frits van Eerd to defend during his time in the car.

    This made it two wins out of two races for Michelin against its new competitor Goodyear, which at times looked like the stronger of the constructors.

    In the final hour, after a mercurial performance by de Vries earlier in the race, the Dutchman took fuel only at the team’s final stop and had to fend off Anthony Davidson in the JOTA ORECA behind. Davidson, couldn’t catch him, instead, the Jumbo-backed car pulled away and finished 25 seconds clear at the front.

    A win here followed up the team’s maiden WEC podium at Silverstone perfectly.

    “Last year we were in the shadow because we were in a Dallara and the team to me wasn’t at the level it should have been racing in FIA WEC,” said de Vries, who was in the car for over three hours of the race, to DSC.

    “I always put effort into my work and I expect that from those around me. Last year we weren’t on the same page, so it was the correct decision to move to TDS and the ORECA chassis. They are amazing, the car was amazing.

    “I just did my job today, I was just hoping for a podium because I missed on the Silverstone occasion. To score a win with Frits is surreal really. He is so passionate about motorsport and cars, he deserves this more than any of us. I was surprised that at the last pit stop we were fighting for the win.”

    JOTA finished second, ahead of the Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA (also run by JOTA), which started from pole and was a contender during Gabriel Aubry and Will Stevens’ time in the car.

    Fourth place went to United Autosports, its ORECA unable to fight for a podium in the closing hours after multiple electrical issues for the team’s ORECA which caused the car to lose power and stop.

    High Class Racing completed the top five and starred in this one, the one-two-punch of Toyota junior Kenta Yamashita and Anders Fjordbach was good enough to see the Danish team lead at multiple points during the race. Yamashita made moves at the start to climb to second and in the second half of the race took the lead on more than one occasion to keep High Class in the fight for a win.

    Fjordbach also had a notable outing, he fought his way to the lead during a mid-race double stint and held off a hard-charging Will Stevens for a lengthy sequence.

    Mark Patterson’s stint at the end, while pro drivers around him were making a late push, saw the team drop to fifth. No podium finish here but make no mistake, this was the team’s greatest race since its move into prototype racing.

    After a rollercoaster season in the ELMS and a disappointing WEC debut, this strong run will feel like a victory of sorts for all involved.

    Thiim and Sorensen win Pro

    In GTE Pro, strategy and performance levels in tricky conditions handed this one to Aston Martin Racing’s #95 crew.


    Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen didn’t put a foot wrong and opened up a big lead when the team opted not to pit for inters or wets when the rain arrived in the first half of the race like their rivals. This opened them up a lead, which the duo defended in the second half of the race.

    The sister car also had a chance, after double-stinting tyres early vaulted Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin to the lead. But, a move at Turn 10 by Thiim on Lynn for the lead, and later a trip through the gravel for Martin dropped the #97 back. From there it was the Danish duo’s race to lose and they kept it clean, taking their second win with the new Vantage since the beginning of last season.

    “It was really tricky in the middle when there was drizzle consistently for an hour. The grip was changing in different areas. We had to believe staying out was the right decision. I’m really happy for the team,” Sorensen said.

    For the #97 duo, a third place finish was still a strong result. They crossed the line behind the best of the Porsche 911 RSR 19s, the #92 of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen which failed to reel in the leading Aston Martin late in the race.

    Both AF Corse Ferraris were in the fight here, but couldn’t find a way to finish on the podium. The #51 came home fourth ahead of the #71 in fifth. The team believes a caution period cost them valuable time.

    Porsche’s sister car looked strong early, led, but lost time due to a drive through for track limits which ended the challenge of pole-sitters Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz.

    TF Sport triumphant in Am

    GTE Am too saw a controlling performance from an Aston Martin prove too much for the competition. After coming achingly close to taking wins last season, today was TF Sport’s day.

    Tom Ferrier’s team were dominant in Japan, Charlie Eastwood, Jonny Adam and Salih Yoluc (now the FIA WEC’s first-ever Turkish winner) by far the most consistent trio in the class. That was indeed the first win for the current Vantage AMR in GTE Am competition.

    “We were fast in Silverstone and just didn’t get the result,” said Eastwood. “Last year we had four second places, so many times we could have got the win. It was a long time coming and a perfect race for us from start to finish.”

    Behind, the Silverstone winners in the #83 AF Corse Ferrari had a strong run to second. Manu Collard, Francois Perrodo and Nicklass Nielsen were all mistakes free here and look increasingly like a title contender this season.

    The #57 Project 1 Porsche, which took pole but had its laps deleted after qualifying and started at the back, took third. A set of trophies will do much to lift the spirits of Jeroen Bleekemolen, Felipe Fraga and Ben Keating after a tough start to the season.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  2. #272
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    FERRARI TEAMS PREPARED TO BRING NEW SUCCESS AT PETIT LE MANS
    ferrari--media

    Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 8 October 2019 - Ferrari will be represented in both IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT classes in the season-ending Petit Le Mans on Saturday at Road Atlanta.

    Defending Petit class winner Scuderia Corsa is coming off its best finish of the season in the GT Daytona class and is in solid contention for the Endurance Cup, while Risi Competizione returns to the series in the GT Le Mans category with its trio of Le Mans-winning drivers.

    GTLM. Risi Competizione will be looking for its fourth triumph in the 10-hour endurance test, fielding the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE for 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans winners James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra. This will be the team’s second appearance of the IMSA season, with Calado and Pier Guidi finishing second for Giuseppe Risi’s Houston-based team in the 24 Hours At Daytona.

    Calado, Pier Guidi and Serra won the French endurance classic in June for AF Corse, driving a Ferrari 488 GTE. Serra also won three of four recent races in Blancpain GT World Challenge America competition for R. Ferri Motorsport, helping co-driver Toni Vilander to an early clinch of the championship. This will be the fourth Petit Le Mans appearance for Serra, who competes in the Brazilian Stock Car Series in his native country.

    Risi Competizione won the inaugural Petit Le Mans in 1998, with Wayne Taylor, Eric van der Poele and Emmanuel Collard sharing a Ferrari F333 SP. Risi scored back-to-back GT2 triumphs in 2008-2009, with Jamie Melo, Mika Salo and Pierre Kaffer in a Ferrari 430 GT3. The team’s most recent IMSA victory was in the 2016 Petit Le Mans, with Vilander, Calado and Giancarlo Fisichella taking GTLM honors.

    “Petit Le Mans has been a special race to me and the team since it first started at Road Atlanta 22 years ago,” said Team Principal Giuseppe Risi. “Having won that inaugural race in 1998 and three additional victories, I’m quite fond of this race and this venue.”

    GTD. Cooper MacNeil and Vilander posted a season-best second-place finish in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3 in the recent IMSA event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, scoring their second-straight podium after finishing third at Virginia International Raceway. They will be joined in the finale by Jeff Westphal, who finished third with MacNeil and Vilander earlier this season in the endurance classics at Sebring and Watkins Glen.

    MacNeil is the defending GTD winner of the event in the WeatherTech Ferrari. Serra joined Scuderia Corsa for the 2018 race, going to the front with an on-track pass with 50 minutes remaining and leading the rest of the way.

    “We won Petit last year and I know we can do it again,” said MacNeil. “Toni and I were on the podium at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Jeff was with us on the podium at The Glen. We tested at [Road Atlanta] after the VIR race, so we should unload the WeatherTech Racing Ferrari one-step ahead in regard to set-up and what to expect. I am looking forward to a lot of driving this week and hopefully some winning!”

    Vilander, MacNeil and Westphal are currently second in the Endurance Cup, trailing the leaders by only three points. The competition embraces the events at Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen, with points at the finale to be awarded after four, eight and 10 hours. Vilander and MacNeil are fifth in the GTD season championship.

    “I am looking forward to the last race of the IMSA season,” Vilander said. “We have been having good results lately with our podium finish at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Cooper put in a great opening stint, got us great track position and I was able to bring it home to the podium. Jeff joins us again, in his last race with us we were on the podium. The team won Petit last year, so we will try and repeat that effort on Saturday.”

    RACE SCHEDULE. There will be three practice sessions on Thursday, at 11:15 a.m., 3:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (all times ET), with final practice at 11:15 a.m. on Friday. Qualifying for Petit Le Mans begins at 3:55 p.m. on Friday. The race takes the green flag at 12:05 p.m. on Saturday. Television coverage begins at noon ET with a three-hour program on the NBC Network, with coverage continuing on the NBC Sports App at 3 p.m. and NBCSN at 5:30 p.m. IMSA Radio and SiriusXM will also provide live coverage.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  3. #273
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    Alessandro Pier Guidi, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
    Glad to have you back with the Risi team since Daytona earlier this year. You've had a good year in other championships. Talk about your year, being back with Risi and back to IMSA competition.
    "It is always a pleasure to come back to the U.S. with Risi. Last race here was Daytona where we finished second doing a good race from us and the team. The season was really good so far in Europe, winning Le Mans and the ELMS already. Now here in Atlanta we will try to repeat the performance of Daytona stepping up one place on the podium."

    You and your teammates James Calado and Daniel Serra teamed together for the GTE-Pro victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year with great success. Tell us about your teammates and your relationship.
    "I have known James and Daniel for a long time, and I have a really good relationship with them. James is my usual teammate in WEC, and we are used to working together, but also with Daniel we worked very well every time we were together. I think this is a good line-up as we have shown with our Le Mans 24-hour result. I really hope to achieve the same result here in U.S."

    With Petit Le Mans being a 10-hour race, how do you manage when to push hard and when to go a bit easy to make the car components last at maximum capability?
    "In the last few years 'managing the car' during this race is quite difficult. The endurance races now have become a long sprint race where we need to push hard from the start to the checkered flag. And especially with the sporting rules in the U.S., we need to be quick but taking care of car for the last two hours of the race and this makes the race a bit more difficult for us as drivers."

    You have raced at Petit Le Mans two other times, including once with Risi Competizione in 2017 and finished on the podium in third. How do you like this race and the Road Atlanta circuit?
    "Road Atlanta, even if is a quite small track, it's really nice to drive and it's one of my favorite in U.S. The race is always super competitive like all the GTE races around the world but starting with the daylight and finishing in the night make this race more interesting. This is especially true with needing to set the car to be the best for the end of the race where normally the temperature goes down."

    What are your thoughts on the differences in the competition internationally, at Le Mans and in WEC in GTE-Pro versus the GTLM competition in the U.S.
    "I think the main differences are the use of yellow flags, where in the U.S. they are always with the safety car. In this way there are normally many cars on the same lap fighting for the victory in the last hour, and even if a car had a small problem during the race it is able to recover the time lost in the pit lane. The level of competition is equally very high and it is really nice to race in both of the championships."


    James Calado is back with Risi Competizione again after competing at the Rolex 24 earlier this season

    James Calado, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
    Glad to have you back at Risi Competizione. You drove with the team for the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this year and nearly got on the top step. How do you enjoy working with Giuseppe Risi and the Risi Team?
    "It's a fantastic team and I really enjoy working with everyone involved. Giuseppe Risi is very passionate about winning races and this is always the goal when joining forces."

    You and your teammates Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra teamed together for the GTE-Pro victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year. Seems you three make a good driver line-up. Tell us about your teammates and what works for you three.
    "We are all quick, experienced and know the 488 very well. We have won and lost together but we are positive about repeating what we did in Le Mans again this weekend."

    You have raced at Petit Le Mans with Risi Competizione only one other time (2016) and won the race in class. Undoubtedly you have a good feeling and memory about this race and are now coming back to drive again with Risi. Share your thoughts.
    "I'm looking forward to it. Things have changed since 2016 but we are confident for this weekend and I think we stand a good chance in another victory."

    The Ferrari 488 GTE will face off this week against factory efforts by Ford, BMW, Porsche and Corvette again in the GTLM class. Competition will be tough. Share your thoughts on how to beat the competition at this tough race.
    "It's strong competition as always, but this doesn't worry me. We need to do our job and get the car well balanced for the race and hope we can cross the line first."

    You have been a Ferrari Competizioni GT driver for about six years. What makes the Ferrari brand so special and being a Ferrari driver so prestigious?
    "The passion within the team is extremely high, not to say that the car isn't extremely quick as well. It's always a pleasure jumping in the Prancing Horse."


    Daniel Serra make his debut with Risi Competizione at Petit Le Mans

    Daniel Serra, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
    This will be your first time driving for Mr. Risi and with the Risi Competizione team. What have you heard about them and what are your expectations going into this race?
    "I'm super happy to join Risi Competizione for Petit Le Mans, I always heard good things from everyone that drove for them and it's great to join a team with so much tradition in Motorsport and with Ferrari."

    You and your teammates James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi teamed together for the GTE-Pro victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year. Tell us what makes this pairing work so well and your thoughts about your teammates.
    "It's great to join them again. Last time we drove together was in Le Mans where in won! They are super fast and I'm looking forward to drive with them again."

    You have competed at Petit Le Mans three times and got the pole and won last year in the GTD class with Scuderia Corse. This year you'll be stepping up to GTLM class. Share your thoughts about the difference in the two classes and your thought about now racing in the very competitive GTLM class.
    "Both classes are super competitive, but GTLM as GTE Pro In WEC is the best of GT racing, so I'm happy to compete again in GTLM against the best GT competitors out there."

    Of the three drivers on the team this year you have the most experience at Road Atlanta. Share your thoughts on this iconic North American race track, including the parts you like best and the most challenging.
    "I love this track! It's one of my favorites and the first sector it's super nice with some fast corners."

    GTLM class championships battles will be won or lost at Petit this weekend. Share your thoughts about the Ferrari 488 GTE and the GTLM competition in this ultra-competitive class.
    "The 488 it's a great car and super competitive in all kinds of circuits. I think we have the package to be competitive and fight for a good result."
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  4. #274
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    Grazie Rob, I had been following the Fuji event but the GTEPro result was a big disappointment, GTEAm P2 at least made up for it. Onward and upward to a win, let's hope!

  5. #275
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    Grazie Rob, I had been following the Fuji event but the GTEPro result was a big disappointment, GTEAm P2 at least made up for it. Onward and upward to a win, let's hope!
    Spoke to Manuel about what happened to our pace during the race. He one of the tyre guys. Basically, had terrible issues with the pressures all race. Couldn't get right, so then made that car alot more unbalanced, and James and Ale struggled to push. #71 just got caught out by the vsc just as we pitted. If didn't put, we would of taken the lead.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  6. #276
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Spoke to Manuel about what happened to our pace during the race. He one of the tyre guys. Basically, had terrible issues with the pressures all race. Couldn't get right, so then made that car alot more unbalanced, and James and Ale struggled to push. #71 just got caught out by the vsc just as we pitted. If didn't put, we would of taken the lead.
    Thanks for that, always good to get info from the horse's mouth! Still a shame for the team, though.

  7. #277
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    Thanks Rob, fratello

    -Lou(is)
    Forza
    Ferrari 16/15

    Totus Tuus


  8. #278
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    4H Shanghai Preview: Will The Privateers Take The Fight To Toyota?
    Can Aston Martin win again?


    It’s race week for the third time this season in the FIA WEC, and this time the ACO and FIA’s globe-trotting championship is headed to China for its annual visit to the Shanghai International Circuit, which has been a mainstay on the schedule since the WEC’s inaugural season in 2012. This time though, there is a key difference. Gone is the six-hour format, replaced, like the race at Silverstone, with a four-hour encounter as part of the championship organisers’ attempts to mix things up.

    Will it make for a memorable race? We need to wait until Sunday to find out. At the very least it will shake up the strategy calls in the pits. The race in Silverstone was entertaining, with the majority of the team personnel that DSC polled after the event giving positive feedback. After season after season of six-hour races outside of Le Mans, a four-hour race was somewhat of a breath of fresh air, and the hope is that the extended eight-hour contest in Bahrain next month will have a similar effect.

    Can Rebellion or Team LNT truly challenge Toyota?

    The big question in LMP1, as it has been since the start of the ‘Super Season’, is whether or not the privateers can muster up any kind of challenge to Toyota. With the new ‘Success Handicap’ system slowing the Toyotas down more and more after each victory, there is a sense that Shanghai, with a shorter run time and circuit that benefits cars with the best top-end speeds, could we finally see a new team win (on track rather than after the post-race technical checks).


    In Fuji last time out, we did see Rebellion’s #1 R-13 battle hard and split the Toyotas in the opening hour of the race after a mega stint from Bruno Senna, but unfortunately, the Rebellion and two LNT Ginettas faded away as the race wore on. In qualifying too, the privateers were able to go toe-to-toe with Toyota, and the thought is that in Shanghai, we could see Rebellion or Team LNT on pole.

    So, how does the ‘Success Handicap’ look heading into round three? Both Toyotas, in theory, should be 2.74 seconds slower a lap than last season. Both Toyotas, each with a single victory, are equal on the table. Performance cuts for the race for the team include the amount of fuel the TS050s can use each stint and the size of the restrictor.

    But the privateer cars are not untouched. The #1 Rebellion, which finished third, will be made 0.89 seconds slower as a result of a 37kg increase in the car’s minimum weight. The #5 Ginetta and #1 Rebellion will run at almost the same eight, with the #6 the lightest car in the field due to it being at the bottom of the standings.


    The #6 sees the only notable driver change in the class, with Jordan King, already an FIA WEC race winner in LMP2 at Sebring earlier this year (with Jackie Chan DC Racing), joining Egor Orudzhev and Ben Hanley in the teams’ #5 Ginetta G60-LT-P1. The sister #6 Ginetta will race with an unchanged line-up from Fuji last time out: Ginetta factory drivers Charlie Robertson and Mike Simpson again set to be joined by 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Guy Smith. (Chris Dyson is still due to form part of the driving crew, but his debut has been delayed due to clashes with Trans Am and later an injury).

    Can Racing Team Nederland win again?

    The race in LMP2 last time out in Fuji was nothing short of superb. It produced door-to-door action throughout the six hours and finished with a surprise maiden win for Racing Team Nederland at the end.


    Frits van Eerd, in tough conditions, enjoyed the best performance of his LMP2 career, allowing the combination of a fast-starting Giedo van der Garde and the mercurial Nyck de Vries to steer the team to victory. It was a big reward after so much hard work in recent years from the RTN crew, its new combination of TDS Racing behind the scenes, ORECA and Michelin proving to make a huge difference.

    Will RTN be as strong in China? A lot of that will depend on van Eerd’s personal performance. He wasn’t originally slated to race in China, but as DSC reported after the race at Fuji, he was so encouraged by the start to the season that he has found a way to navigate his original business commitments to make the trip. That means that Job van Uitert, who drove with the team at Silverstone, will have to wait until December to rejoin the WEC grid. There he is down to race with G-Drive Racing.

    The performance of Goodyear in the battle against Michelin will also play a key part in this race. Thus far Michelin has taken two wins out of two, but in Fuji, Goodyear teams did come close to scoring the American tyre brand its first WEC win.

    The surprise package in Japan was High Class Racing’s (Goodyear-shod) ORECA. Newly-crowned Super GT Champion Kenta Yamashita, in only his second LMP2 start, was rapid and Anders Fjordbach too enjoyed one of his most memorable outings. The team led for a time and looked on for a podium until Mark Patterson faded fast in the final hour.


    JOTA and Jackie Chan DC Racing (run by JOTA) also came close to delivering a big win for Goodyear, initially completing the LMP2 podium behind the RTN, before JOTA’s ORECA was disqualified because in post-race scrutineering the car’s “outside neutral switch was unable to disconnect the transmission,” a breach of the technical regulations.

    That handed United Autosports the final podium spot, a consolation prize after electrical gremlins cost them a shot at victory. After such strong performances in the ELMS since switching to ORECA, it feels somewhat inevitable that Richard Dean’s team will find a way to win in the WEC soon. Various mechanical issues aside, the transition from Ligier to ORECA has been an impressive one in the performance department. If Phil Hanson continues to show race-winning pace, and Filipe Albuquerque and Paul Di Resta are also in the zone then there’s every chance United will take its first WEC victory in Shanghai.

    Elsewhere in the class, Cool Racing will be looking to rediscover its Silverstone form after a disappointing run with Alexandre Coigny part of the line-up in Fuji. For Signatech Alpine it’s much the same story, its A470 finished second in Silverstone, then sixth in Japan. Cetilar Racing on the other hand, is forced to hope that a clean race brings with it a strong finish, the Dallara package still tough to extract results from.

    Another win for Aston?

    For Aston Martin Racing, a win in China would mean two wins on the bounce and two wins in two years at the Jiading-based circuit. In the six-hour WEC race at Shanghai last year, AMR scored its first win with the Vantage in the treacherous conditions.

    This year, the Vantage AMR GTE looks like a more refined package, a year of data collecting and tyre development helping the car mature. Aston Martin has been hard at work preparing for this weekend, DSC reported that it conducted a tyre test at Portimao using a converted GT3 Vantage after the ELMS finale.


    Can the British marque turn its form into another win? That will depend on the strength of the attack from AF Corse and Porsche. BoP wise little has changed between these two rounds, though Aston Martin has been handed a 1-litre reduction in the fuel tank capacity of its cars.

    AF Corse has the most to prove here in terms of its title race credentials at this early stage. Its 488 GTEs have failed to find the podium in either race to start the season. And while that isn’t an issue yet, it would be a boost for either of the team’s crews – James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 and Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon in the #71 – if they left with silverware.


    Despite not having a win to their name, Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre have the lead in the points race after finishing second in both races so far in the #92 Porsche. A first victory of the season here could give them a healthy lead into the 2020 portion of the season if they manage another strong finish in Bahrain.

    But the sister (#91) car of Gainmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz could be strong too, looking to score a second victory for the 911 RSR 19 this season and put the sixth-place finish last time out behind them.

    What role will ballast play in Am?

    We’re into round three of the season which means success ballast in GTE Am should begin to make a tangible difference in the performance of the front runners.

    The title race leaders, Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Nicklas Nielsen, in the #83 AF Corse Ferrari, will run the heaviest, the car with a total minimum weight of 1310kg, 30kg heavier than the second heaviest car in the class. A win at Silverstone and second-place finish in Fuji has put them 10 points clear at the top.

    Thus far Collard and Perrodo have returned to their title-winning form from 2016, and along with Nielsen have been the only crew to have remained consistent through the opening races.

    And second in the ballast table is TF Sport’s crew, still fresh from scoring the team its maiden WEC victory in Fuji. Salih Yoluc, Charlie Eastwood and Jonny Adam can consider themselves early contenders for the title if they can manage another strong finish this week.

    Behind them in the points standings has been the MR Racing trio of Olivier Beretta, Kei Cozzolino and Motoaki Ishikawa, who look poised for a second podium finish if they keep it clean here. Cozzolino, who was a stand out in Fuji, should fare well in Shanghai after he was part of Car Guy Racing’s Asian Le Mans campaign last winter which won every race, including the round in Shanghai.

    The #57 Project 1 Porsche should also be considered a favourite here. Last time out Jeroen Bleekemolen, Felipe Fraga and Ben Keating took pole but had their laps deleted after qualifying, started at the back and fought their way to third.

    A big result here will do much to lift the spirits of Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating after a challenging start to the season, which included a race-destroying penalty before the start of the season opener at Silverstone. There they had to start from pit lane, a lap down after their 911 RSR wasn’t able to take part in qualifying due to mechanical issues.

    Team regular Fraga has a clash with Brazillian Stock Car so won’t be able to race alongside Keating and Bleekemolen. Instead, Larry ten Voorde will drive in his place, the Dutchman a Porsche Carrera Cup regular who sits third in the Germany standings and second in Super Cup.

    Matt Campbell, Ricccardo Pera and Christian Reid in the #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche and Ross Gunn, Darren Turner and Paul Dalla Lana in the #98 Aston Martin are sleeping giants in the class of sorts. The former has two fifth place finishes, but is certainly capable of winning big in this company, while the #98 had a strong second place finish at Silverstone before an incident at the start of the Fuji race cost them a strong finish.

    In the #88 Proton Porsche, there are two TBAs alongside Thomas Preining after Satoshi Hoshino and Adrien de Leener were present in Japan. It remains to be seen whether or not drivers have been signed up for this weekend.

    The #78 Proton Porsche meanwhile, is an addition to the GTE Am class. Philippe Prette, Louis Prette and Vincent Abril, as they did with Proton at Le Mans this year, are teaming up for an additional GTE Am outing, making the entry list total to 31 cars.

    The 4 Hours of Shanghai will run on Sunday, from 12:00 local time.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  9. #279
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    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  10. #280
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    Congratulations to BoP on winning the race. What a load of nonsense. I’m going to set my alarm for Le Mans and cancel all other WEC events from my calendar. How anyone can celebrate what happened today is beyond me.

  11. #281
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    Just seen the crap news that the #51 AF Corse car has been disqualified after the Shanghai GTE Pro win, the FIA must have a grudge against anything Ferrari.

  12. #282
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    Change to result of 4 Hours of Shanghai, AF Corse launches appeal

    Shanghai, 10 November 2019 - Five hours after the end of the 4 Hours of Shanghai, a stewards’ decision annulled Pier Guidi and Calado’s victory in the LMGTE Pro class. Post-race scrutineering led to the disqualification of the race winner, car no. 51. One detail of a part damaged in a collision was found to be lower than the minimum ground clearance of 50mm allowed under Art. 205 of the technical regulations. No other non-conformities were discovered on the vehicle.
    AF Corse has already submitted its intention to appeal.

    LMGTE Pro. In the early stages, Calado took third position after a tight duel with the Porsches. He managed his tyres well, only changing the left ones during his first stop. The pit stop was very fast with the British driver alongside the Porsche no. 92 in the pit lane. However, soon after the German car suffered a 10-second penalty at the next stop for an unsafe release. Davide Rigon, in fifth position, adopted a similar strategy and, like his teammate, only replaced the left-hand side tyres but performed the change of driver and full service a couple of laps earlier than Calado. In the second half of the race, Pier Guidi and Molina took the wheel of AF Corse’s two 488 GTEs. The turning point came near the 90th lap when the Aston Martin in first place suffered a puncture that scattered debris along the track, triggering a Full Course Yellow. Pier Guidi took advantage of this to seize the lead. He made his pit stop at this point, as did Molina in sixth position. Once the race resumed, the Italian driver enjoyed a margin of more than 15 seconds over his nearest pursuer. The winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans managed his lead well down to the chequered flag, controlling the tyre degradation and holding off the attempted fightback by the two Porsches on his tail. Although Miguel Molina recovered some of the ground lost in the previous stages, he ended up having to settle for sixth place, that became fifth some hours after the end of the race.

    LMGTE Am. The Ferraris started from the centre of the group in the competitive LMGTE Am class, alternating in the podium positions in what turned out to be a very combative race. In the first hour, Thomas Flohr performed some excellent passes to slip into third before finally leaving the car to Castellacci in fifth, ahead of Perrodo. The 488 GTE no. 83 of AF Corse also climbed positions on the back of some good pit stops and Collard’s fast race pace. After a cautious start with Ishikawa, the MR Racing entry with Beretta at the wheel went on the attack. However, the Monegasque driver suffered a drive-through penalty in fifth due to a collision with a rival. At mid-race, Beretta led the Ferrari contingent in fifth position ahead of Collard and Flohr, followed by Hollings slightly further back in tenth. The final driver changes took place during the Full Course Yellow, with Nielsen, Fisichella, Cozzolino and Mowlem going out on track. The Danish driver lapped very quickly and took third place before his last pit stop, which relegated him back to fourth. Car no. 43 of AF Corse was the first of the Ferraris under the chequered flag despite its 40kg ballast. Seventh place went to the MR Racing crew of Cozzolino, Ishikawa, and Beretta, who preceded the second AF Corse 488 GTE, the no. 54, driven by Fisichella, Castellacci, and Flohr. British drivers Mowlem, Grimes, and Hollings, closed in eleventh for Red River Sport.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  13. #283
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    FIA WEC Race At Interlagos In Doubt

    Undisclosed issues see WEC looking for potential alternative venue for Feb 1 2020 race
    10 November 2019, 4:08 PM

    The FIA WEC is in the process of putting together a ‘Plan B’ for their Season 8 Calendar with as-yet undisclosed issues at Interlagos putting the Brazilian round at significant risk.

    The FIA WEC teams were informed of the potential for a change, though with no specifics for the underlying reasons, in Shanghai on Thursday.

    The race, set to take place on 1 February, would be replaced if the fixture falls with Championship organisers currently working on other alternatives, very likely on the same date.

    Paddock sources have suggested that a number of potential alternative venues are being considered with the available freighting routes and schedules being a primary factor informing the options.

    Mexico City, Kyalami and CoTA are all understood to have been considered with varying degrees of seriousness.

    

The final decision is due to be taken within the next two weeks.

    No response was given after a request from DSC for comment on Thursday, or since.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  14. #284
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    Peugeot Confirms Hybrid ‘Hypercar’ For FIA WEC In 2022

    First WEC entry for 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours winners
    13 November 2019, 2:02 PM

    Peugeot Sport has surprised the racing world today by confirming, with a single, tweet, that it will be joining the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2022 with a hybrid-powered ‘Hypercar’.

    There are no other details yet available, but this is a clear statement of intent that the marque, which pulled out of the inaugural 2012 WEC season just weeks before the first race, is set to make their first appearance in the FIA WEC.

    It will also see Peugeot’s first race entry in endurance racing with a hybrid sportscar, it’s planned (and tested) diesel-powered 908 Hybrid4 stillborn as a result of the factory-programmes cancellation in the wake of the major financial woes for the parent company.

    Since then the PSA Group (Peugeot Citroen) has effected a significant financial recovery, has acquired the Opel/Vauxhall brands, ex-GM Europe, and is currently negotiating with Fiat Chrysler Auto to create one of the word’s largest automotive groups.

    It has been signalling a potential move to a global motorsports programme for some time but the announcement today comes as a considerable surprise with FIA WEC boss Gerard Neveu amongst the first to welcome the news of the entry.

    Peugeot has stated that the “cost savings permitted by the WEC’s new Hypercar regulations and the confirmation that the series will feature hybrid power units led the Groupe PSA Executive Committee to approve the Peugeot brand’s proposal to participate in the world’s premier endurance racing championship from 2022.”

    “I am very excited at the prospect of channelling the skills and passion of my team into this project,” said PSA Motorsport Director Jean-Marc Finot. “It is a new challenge and I know our experts will rise to it with another demonstration of their will to win with teams financed by the Group’s brands, fuelled by their long experience of topflight FIA championships and hunger for success.”

    Peugeot Brand Director Jean-Philippe Imparato added: “The Peugeot brand’s passion for motorsport has always played a core role in achieving the many victories we have scored in our history.

    “The changes that the FIA WEC is introducing fit now with the transition we are undergoing ourselves with the electrification of our range and the launch of high-performance products, developed in close association with PSA Motorsport and foreshadowed by the Concept 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered. These initiatives are completely in tune with Peugeot’s ‘Motion and E-motion’ brand signature.”

    Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), commented: “Today’s announcement is exciting for two reasons. It symbolises both the arrival of a new competitor in the Hypercar category which will come into being from the start of next season, as well as the return of a leading brand in Endurance racing. Peugeot has made history in terms of endurance racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning the event certainly, but also always producing spectacular machines, particularly appreciated by spectators. I can’t wait to see the French racing car that will take over from the winning 905 and 908.”

    Gérard Neveu, CEO of the WEC, added: “What great news this is for everyone involved in endurance racing. Peugeot’s arrival in the new Hypercar category, alongside Aston Martin and Toyota, can only encourage more manufacturers to commit to the top level of endurance racing. We are so happy and honoured to welcome back a competitor and marque with such a great history of success as Peugeot has.”

    With this announcement, Peugeot joins Toyota, Aston Martin, Glickenhaus and ByKolles in formally committing to Hypercar. It now seems clear that the announcement relates to a full-season effort in 2022/23 the third season of the Hypercar regulations.
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

  15. #285
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    What chance Ferrari returning to WEC if FIA and Liberty manage to destroy F1? Unlikely while they still participate in F1 and it's all very well banging on about carbon emissions, quite rightly, but motorsport is worth millions in revenue and jobs, so it's a double-edged sword. However, Ferrari in the hypercar series would be an interesting prospect and AF Corse could run it.

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