Magnus Racing Confirms IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Full-Season Entry (04.01.18)

Photo: Magnusracing.com

Salt Lake City, Utah-based Magnus Racing has confirmed that it has committed to a full-season entry into the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Team owner John Potter and 2012-16 team driver Andy Lally will be joined by Andrew Davis for the North American Endurance Cup. Marcus Winkelhock will join the line-up for the Rolex 24 at Daytona

John Potter is looking forward to the season ahead.

“We’re excited to return to IMSA competition and our endurance roots,” said Potter. Obviously Magnus has enjoyed a number of successes throughout the years of IMSA and formally Grand-Am and in our first season with Audi in 2016 we had one of our best seasons to date. Returning to the series for 2018 we feel stronger than ever, not only with an incredibly fast car but also the same screw that took us to victory in 2016 as well as an incredible line-up in Andy, Markus and Andrew.”

“With our team I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by such an incredible group ad we hope we can begin with immediate success!”

Continue reading Magnus Racing Confirms IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Full-Season Entry (04.01.18)

“I Think Our Guys Will Surprise People” – Performance Tech Motorsports’ Brent O’Neill Prepares for IMSA Prototype Challenge Round 1 At Daytona (03.01.18)

Photo: performancetechmotorsports.com

Deerfield Beach, Florida-based Performance Tech Motorsports will be fielding five entries in the inaugural Scouts of America Race for the IMSA Prototype Challenge series during the ‘Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona.’

Changes in the championship for 2018 include the scheduling of single one-hour 45-minute races during race weekends rather than the two 45-minute races held previously. Teams can run single or two-driver combinations with performance being equalised between the driver combinations with minimum pit-stop times.

For the opening round of the 2018 series, 14 Le Mans Prototype (LMP3) entries will take to the grid at Daytona International Speedway with 12 Ligier JS P3 s and an Ave Riley AR2 and a Norma M30 completing the field.

Continue reading “I Think Our Guys Will Surprise People” – Performance Tech Motorsports’ Brent O’Neill Prepares for IMSA Prototype Challenge Round 1 At Daytona (03.01.18)

‘I Can’t Wait To Get Out There And See How We get On” – Zak Brown Looks Forward to The Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona. (02.01.18)

Photo: Unitedautosports.com

Garforth-based United Autosports is heading out to Daytona International Speedway, Florida confident in its driver line-up and machinery ahead of the Roar Before the Rolex 24.

The team’s #23 Ligier JS P217 will be piloted by double Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso, 2018 McLaren Formula 1 test driver Lando Norris and experienced prototype driver Phil Hanson. The #32 entry will have another equally famous name in its line-up when 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 champion Bruno Senna joins ex-Formula 1 and DTM star Paul Di Resta and United Autosports regular drivers Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer behind the wheel in the traditional build-up to the opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Both entries have strength in depth in their drivers. Alonso’s experience at the highest level of single-seater racing is well-known. Lando Norris won the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship and was named as 2018 test and reserve driver for the McLaren Formula 1 team in November. Phil Hanson competed in the LMP2 class in both the 2017 European Le Mans Series and FIA World Endurance Championship with Tockwith Motorsports.

Bruno Senna drove alongside Julien Canal and Nicolas Prost in the #31 Vaillante Rebellion ORECA 07 to win the 2017 FIA WEC LMP2 title by 11 points. Senna drove a brilliant final stint at the season-finale in Bahrain to take the class victory, grappling with power-steering problems whilst being pursued by Oliver Jarvis in the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry.

Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer drove alongside Filipe Albuquerque in the #32 United Autosports Ligier JS P217 to finish second in the LMP2 Teams Trophy in the 2017 European Le Mans Series, finishing second in the final round at Portimão.

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Photo: Unitedautosports.com

Fernando Alonso is looking forward to his first taste of top-level endurance competition.

“It’s a true pleasure to go back racing in the States, in front of US fans,” said the Spaniard. “In less than a year I will have competed in two legendary races which makes me very proud. In the last couple of months, I have been spending time watching several Daytona 24 Hours, which made me even keener to go out there and try myself. It’s going to be fun.”

Paul Di Resta is also looking forward his debut in endurance racing.

“I’m really looking forward to starting the 2018 season so early on,” said Di Resta. “I have never done this before in my career and it’s something new to me – endurance racing, in the US, at Daytona. I had a small taste of the LMP2 car in early November and I really liked how it was. Now the real business will begin. I liked what I saw in the team and I hope it only works better when the pressure is on.”

Team owner and Chairman, Zak Brown, who introduced his Formula 1 driver to the Indy 500 in 2017 is equally raring to go.

“I think we have two really strong line-ups for our Rolex 24 at Daytona campaign,” said Brown. We have a great mix of talent that includes experienced drivers and quick racers. I can’t wait to get out there and see how we get on.”

The Roar Before The Rolex 24 at Daytona gets underway at 11:00 local time on Friday January 5.

Excitement Builds For 2018 ‘Roar Before The Rolex 24 At Daytona’ (01.01.18)

The North American sportscar racing calendar fires back into life on the first weekend of January 2018 with the ‘Roar Before The Rolex 24’, the traditional three-day test session for the entire field before the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona on January 5 – 7.

50 entries have been accepted for the 2018 Roar; 20 in the premier Prototype class, nine in the GT Le Mans (GTE) class and 21 in the GT Daytona (GT3) category.

In the Prototype class, the 2017 overall-winning #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DP1-V.R is back with a revised driver line-up. For 2018 Jordan Taylor is joined by Renger van der Zande and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Van der Zande drove the #90 Visit Florida Racing Ligier LMP2 in 2017, finishing third at Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona, 8th in the overall Prototype standings at the end of the season and 7th in the drivers standings.

Hunter-Reay drove for the team at the season- ending Petit Le Mans round at Road Atlanta, finishing 38th alongside Ricky and Jordan Taylor after the car completed 97 laps.

Much additional interest in the Prototype class, however, has been generated by the entry of two ORECA LMP2s by the Jackie Chan DCR JOTA team. The Chinese team, run by Kent, England-based Jota Sport, almost took the outright victory at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans after the faster LMP1 machinery fell by the wayside. Jackie Chan DC Racing finished 1st and 2nd in class at the French classic and were runners-up the LMP2 class in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship.

For Daytona, the team is fielding the #37 car with a ‘Young Guns’ driver line-up of Lance Stroll, Felix Rosenqvist, Daniel Juncadella and Robin Frijns. Stroll has just finished his first season in Formula 1, driving for Williams Martini Racing, where he finished 12th in the drivers standings. Stroll has had one previous outing at Daytona International Speedway when, in 2016, he drove for Ford-Chip Ganassi Racing, finishing 5th overall in the Riley-Ford Ecoboost he shared with Alexander Wurz, Filipe Albuquerque and Andy Priaulx.

Swedish-born Rosenqvist has had limited running in prototypes, having had one outing in FIA World Endurance Championship in 2017 and one in 2016 in the Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09 in the PC class of the IMSA Weather Tech SportsCar Championship.

The second Jackie Chan DCR JOTA entry, the #85 ORECA LMP2, will be piloted by team regulars Ho-Pin Tung and Alex Brundle. Additional drivers have yet to be an announced.

The class spotlight must, however fall on the #32 United Autosports Ligier LMP2 which will boast double-Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso behind the wheel. Alonso’s test for the Indy 500 generated huge media interest in 2017 and his run in top-level endurance racing will attract no less attention.

The GT Le Mans class will see nine entries with two each from Corvette Racing, BMW Team RLL, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing with its pair of Ford GTs and Porsche GT Team. The Italian marques will be represented by Risi Competizione and its Ferrari F488 GTE with Alessandro Pier Guidi its current declared driver.

Having withdrawn from the premier class of prototype racing at the end of the 2017 season, all eyes will be on the Porsche GT Team as it re-focuses its top-level sportscar programme on the GTE class and the Porsche 911 RSR.

The biggest class field will come from the GT Daytona grid where 21 entries have been accepted. With the global growth in GT3 racing, this will be hard-fought class. Alegra Motorsports won in 2017 with its Porsche 911 GT3 R. In 2017 the Stuttgart manufacturer will be represented by three Porsche 911 GT3 Rs. 2017 Pirelli World Challenge champions Wright Motorsports has entered the #58 car, to be piloted by 2017 PWC drivers champion Patrick Long, double-IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona class champion Christina Nielsen, Robert Renauer and Mathie Jaminet, whoi drove alongside James Sofronas in their championship-winning Pro-Am pairing.

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Manthey Racing is bringing the #59 car for Steve Smith, Harald Proczyk, Sven Muller and Matteo Cairoli while Park Place Motorsports has the #73 Porsche 911 GT3 R entered for Patrick Lindsey, Jörg Bergmeister and Tim Pappas.

In a development for 2018, qualifying for the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona will take place during the Roar Before the Rolex 24, in three separate 15-minute sessions for the classes.

The first track-action for IMSA WeatherTech field at the 2018 Roar Before the Rolex 24 will be at 11:00 local time on Friday January 5 for Practice 1. The IMSA WeatherTech field will have the opportunity for seven practice sessions in addition to qualifying.

Full details can be found at www.imsa.com with links to timing and streaming.

Thiim And Sørensen Join TF Sport For 2018 British GT Campaign (27.12.17)

Photo: TFSport.co.uk

After the recent announcement that double British GT GT3 champion Jonny Adam would be driving for Optimum Motorsport in the coming season, Salfords, Surrey-based TF Sport has announced that the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Pro champions Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen will be joining Derek Johnston and Mark Farmer for an assault on the British GT GT3 title.

Thiim is already well known to TF Sport, having driven the team’s Aston Martin Vantage in the 2017 European Le Mans Series alongside Euan Hankey and Salih Yoluc.

Thiim, who will be partnered with Mark Farmer, is excited at the opportunity to compete in the premier national GT series.

Continue reading Thiim And Sørensen Join TF Sport For 2018 British GT Campaign (27.12.17)

Optimum Motorsport Announces 2018 British GT Championship GT3 Campaign With Aston Martin, Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam (21.12.17)

Photo: optimum-motorsport.com

Wakefield-based Optimum Motorsport has announced that it will contest the 2018 British GT Championship in the GT3 category with an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to be piloted by 2015/16 GT3 drivers champion Jonny Adam and Optimum Motorsport regular driver Flick Haigh.

Haig contested the 2017 Michelin Le Mans Cup with the team in its Audi R8 LMS, with Joe Osborne completing the driver line-up. The #75 Optimum Motorsport entry finished fourth in the GT3 Teams Championship with Haigh and Osborne finishing joint fifth in the drivers standings.

“I’m really excited about this and I’m very much looking forward to getting back behind the wheel,” said Flick Haigh. “It’s like starting again. We have the right car, the right teammate and we’ll be flat out to make the best of amazing opportunity.”

“I’ve already met with Jonny and he’ll be a pleasure to work with,” continued Haigh. “He’s very down to earth and we know his track record in the Aston is sensational. It’s a while since I’ve raced in the UK but the new challenge will be very exciting and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Continue reading Optimum Motorsport Announces 2018 British GT Championship GT3 Campaign With Aston Martin, Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam (21.12.17)

"When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is…. just waiting. " Steve McQueen – "Le Mans" – 1971