Thiriet by TDS Racing Makes It Three In A Row At Round Four ELMS At Le Castellet (28.08.16)

Saint-Aunés-based Thiriet by TDS Racing with its #46 Nissan-powered ORECA 05 ran a faultless race to make it three-in-a -row in the 2016 European Le Mans Series with victory in the fourth round at Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet.

The win gives Thiriet by TDS Racing an eight point lead in the LMP2 Teams Classification over the previously- leading G-Drive Racing.

Pierre Thiriet, Mathias Beche and, new for this round, Mike Conway took a lights-to-flag victory in their ORECA 05. Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1 driver Conway was especially delighted in the win in only his first race with the team.

“Being the home race, this was really special for the team,” said Conway. “We’ve got a great team who have done a mega job with the car. Pierre and Mathias did an amazing job out there. I’m really happy for the win. It’s my first one of the year but they’re adding to the tally. It’s a good weekend.”

Continue reading Thiriet by TDS Racing Makes It Three In A Row At Round Four ELMS At Le Castellet (28.08.16)

SMP Racing Wins Exciting Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup Round Four At Le Castellet (27.08.16)

The #72 SMP Racing Ferrari F488 GT3 driven by Aleksey Basov and Victor Shaitar took a convincing win in the fourth round of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup. Second was the #88 Mentos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R which chased the #72 car hard to the line but ultimately Ban Barker, who shared the drive with Egido Perfetti, did not quite have the pace to challenge for the win.

Continue reading SMP Racing Wins Exciting Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup Round Four At Le Castellet (27.08.16)

SMP Racing Takes Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup Pole At Paul Ricard (27.08.16)

The #72 SMP Racing Ferrari F488 GT3 driven by Aleksey Basov took pole for the Round 4 of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup with a 1:58.942 at Circuit Paul Ricard, le Castellet.

Second on the grid for the August 27 two-hour race was the Cup-leading #34 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 with a 1:59.534 set by Salih Yoluc. Taking third on the grid was the #55 FFF Racing team by ACM McLaren 650S, in which Hiroshi Hamaguchi set a 2:00.693 on his final lap.

Of the two Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup debutants for this round, Barwell Motorsport came out on top when Mark Poole put the #66 Lamborghini Huracán fifth on the grid with a 2:01.586.

Flick Haigh, on her introduction to the Cup, put the #75 Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS tenth on the grid with a 2:02.664.

Qualifying for Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup rounds is only open to the bronze driver of the pairing.

The flag drops for the start of the two-hour race at 17:00 local time on August 27 and the race will be streamed live on www.gt3lemanscup.com with commentary from the Radio Le Mans team.

European Le Mans Series Action Returns For Round Four At Le Castellet (24.08.16)

Action resumes in the 2016 European Le Mans Series when a packed grid of 40 cars takes to the track at Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet for the fourth round of what is turning into a highly competitive season.

In LMP2 Kent-based G-Drive Racing, with its #38 Nissan-powered Gibson 015S driven by Simon Dolan, Harry Tincknell and Giedo van der Garde, holds a narrow seven-point lead over the #46 Thiriet by TDS ORECA 05. After enjoying the top step of the podium at Red Bull Ring, the Thiriet by TDS driver line-up of Pierre Thiriet, Mathis Beche and, for Circuit Paul Ricard, Mike Conway replacing Ryo Hirakawa, will be pushing hard. The G-Drive Racing squad, however, know the venerable Gibson 015S chassis and Nissan-engine combination very well and will be looking to again show the pace which brought the team victory in the opening round at Silverstone.

Continue reading European Le Mans Series Action Returns For Round Four At Le Castellet (24.08.16)

Optimum Motorsport Targets Full Season In 2017 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup (23.08.16)

Wakefield-based Optimum Motorsport has targeted a full 2017 season entry in the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup.

Optimum Motorsport withdrew its Audi R8 LMS GT3 from the 2016 British GT Championship from the Snetterton round citing frustration at the weight penalties incurred in running two Silver-graded drivers.

The team has entered Round Four of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup with a driver line-up consisting of Optimum Motorsport 24H Series regular Flick Haigh and current British GT Championship AMDtuning.com BMW Z4 GT3 driver Joe Osborne.

“The GT3 Le Mans Cup supports the ELMS package and is a level up from what we have competed in this year,” Team Principal Shaun Goff told EnduranceAndGT.co.uk. “The numbers look to be on the up.”

“We are looking at a full season next year so we’re hoping to have a competitive first outing.”

Round Four of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup takes place at Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet on August 27.

Excitement Builds For Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup Round Four Action At Le Castellet (22.08.16)

The new-for-2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup visits Circuit Paul Ricard at Le Castellet, France for Round 4 on August 27.

With a prize of an entry to the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans being offered to the overall Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup winners, the #34 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage, driven by Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey, leads the Teams Classification, just 16 points ahead of the #55 FFF Racing by ACM McLaren 650S with the driver pairing of Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Arian Quaife-Hobbs.

Missing from the entry list for the two-hour race is the #5 FFF Racing by ACM Lamborghini Huracán GT3 driven by Andrea Caldarelli accompanied by, for Imola, Fu Songyang and, for the Red Bull Ring, Taiyou Iida. The car was driven by Marco Attard and Matt Bell for ‘Road To Le Mans’ in June.

Also missing is the #19 Tockwith Motorsports Audi R8 LMS which has been driven thus far by Phillip Hanson and Nigel Moore.

Additions to the 13-car grid include the #75 Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS which, for this round, will be driven by 24HR Series Optimum regular Flick Haigh and, from the British GT Championship AMDTuning.com BMW Z4 GT3, Joe Osborne. Team Principal Shaun Goff withdrew the Audi R8 LMS from the previous British GT round at Snetterton, citing frustration at being unable to get a competitive performance from the car while carrying the weight penalty for two Silver drivers. It is hoped that Optimum Motorsport’s appearance at Le Castellet is a precursor to a full season entry in 2017.

Barwell Motorsport has entered the #66 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 with Mark Poole and Richard Abra sharing the driving duties. The Lamborghini Huracán GT3, two examples of which are campaigned by Barwell Motorsport in the British GT Championship, has proved very competitive this season and will, no doubt, be at the sharp end of the grid in its Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup debut.

The #7 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari F458 Italia GT3, driven by Luigi Luchinni and Matteo Cressoni, makes a welcome return to the Cup, having previously placed sixth in the first round at Imola in May.

Also missed at the Red Bull Ring but returning for Le Castellet is the #8 Scuderia Villorba Corsa Ferrari F458 Italia, driven by Cédric Mezard and Steeve Hiesse.

The Drivers Classification could not be closer with the #34 TF Sport driver pairing of Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey leading the standings by just one point ahead of the #72 SMP Racing pairing of Aleksey Basov and Victor Shaitar.

With two rounds still to run after Le Castellet, the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup is still wide open in both the Teams and Drivers Classifications.

Round Four of the 2016 Michelin GT3 e Mans Cup takes place at Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet on August 26 – 27. The first qualifying session starts at 11:15 local time on August 27 with the lights going out for the start of the two-hour race at 17:00. With a prize of a GTE AM entry to the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans as an incentive, the second half of this inaugural season will be fiercely contested.