RLR Msport/Mike Smith Announces LMP3 Driver Line-Up For 2017 European Le Mans Series (31.12.16)

Darwen-based RLR Msport/Mike Smith has announced that John Farano, Alex Kapadia and Morten Dons will comprise its driver line-up for its LMP3 entry in the 2017 European Le Mans Series.

RLR Msport/Mike Smith completed its debut season in the 2016 European Le Mans Series in 13th place on 17.5 points in the LMP3 Teams Classification. In addition to the LMP3 entry, 2017 will see the team enter a car in LMP2 class as well as compete in the Michelin Le Mans Cup.

Toronto, Canada resident Farano, 57, has previously competed in the 2012 Contintental Tire Sports Car Challenge and won the drivers title in his first year, alongside co-driver David Empringham. He then concentrated on Ferrari racing where he finished second in the 2013 Ferrari Challenge North America and third in 2015. In 2016 he competed in the Ferrari Challenge Europe where he finished third.

Alex Kapadia has an extensive racing pedigree, stretching back to 1998. In 2016 he raced in selected rounds of the Asian Le Mans Series, the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hours, the 24H Series and the European Le Mans Series where he drove the MurphyP3-3Dimensional.com entry. He finished second in the 2016 Radical European Masters Championship in the Raw Motorsport SR8 RX.

Morten Dons drove for RLR Msport in the 2016 European Le Mans Series and also competed in the 2016 MASCOT Danish Thundersport Championship.

“It wasn’t a difficult decision really,” said Dons. “Racing and working with the guys at RLR has been a pleasure. so it made perfectly good sense to just continue the good work and aim high. With this team and driver line-up, I think we will be fighting for the championship.”

Team Principal Nick Reynolds is confident the team has struck the right balance with its 2017 drivers.

“This is the strongest, most balanced driver line up we have been able to bring to ELMS,” said Reynolds. “We look forward with quiet expectation to the 2017 season.”

The 2017 European Le Mans Series opens at Silverstone on April 14-15.

Norma Auto Concept M30 LMP3 On Schedule For 2017 European Le Mans Series Debut (30.12.16)

In a recent interview published on www.norma-auto-concept.com Norbert Santos, founder of the Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre-based company, has said that new M30 LMP3 chassis will be ready in January, in preparation for the 2017 European Le Mans Series season.

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest announced in April 2016 that Norma Auto Concept, founded in 1986 and specialising in the manufacture of prototypes, had been selected as one of the Official Manufacturers of LMP3 chassis.

In the interview, Santos explained the challenges of preparing the new M30 chassis for the forthcoming season:

“That was the initial plan, yes (to be ready for the end of 2016). But it will now be ready in January. We had to incorporate regulatory upgrades related to the driver’s safety. That was not planned and we had to perform a series of calculations over several weeks. Today, we are very happy with the results that we got in simulation. The lights are all green now.”

The success of the LMP3 class in the 2016 European Le Mans Series and interest beyond Europe in North America and Asia means that demand for LMP3 chassis is substantial. Santos is clear about the volume of M30 chassis that Norma Auto Concept will be able to supply.

“Today I can tell you that we will not be able to supply more the fifteen M30s before the start of the European Season, while the demand is much higher.”

“It’s also a choice that we have imposed on ourselves,” continued Santos. “We don’t want in any way to sacrifice the quality of the finished product for the quantity. I can only add that, beyond what has already been announced, we have sold M30s in the U.S. and to other teams in Europe. In the last ten days, three other established European teams have placed orders. And advanced discussions are underway with some others, including in Asia.”

The 2017 European Le Mans Series opens at Silverstone on April 14 – 15.

James Littlejohn To Join Macmillan Racing For 2017 British GT Championship (19.12.16)

Warwick-based Macmillan Racing has announced that James Littlejohn will partner Jack Mitchell as the team prepare for its debut season in the GT3 class in the 2017 British GT Championship. Macmillan Racing will campaign an Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

Littlejohn, also Warwick-based, won the 2016 Radical European Masters title with nine wins over the course of 21 starts and also won the 2012 Radical UK Cup. He has experience in the LMP2 class in the European Le Mans Series, having driven for Greaves Motorsport and Murphy Prototypes in the 2014 European Le Mans Series, as well as extensive experience in historic racing.

“I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Team Principal David Macmillan. “James has a wealth of experience to bring to Macmillan Racing and being able to add him to our GT3 line-up is certain to bring massive benefits, as we make our debut in the class.”

Continue reading James Littlejohn To Join Macmillan Racing For 2017 British GT Championship (19.12.16)

Front Runner To Screen 2016 BRDC British F3 Highlights (16.12.16)

New UK free-to-air sports-dedicated TV channel Front Runner has announced that it will be adding to its motorsports coverage with highlights from the 2016 BRDC Formula 3 season.

Beginning on Sunday December 17, Front Runner will add BRDC British Formula 3 highlights to compliment its 24H Series highlights, also being aired on Sunday evenings.

“Front Runner already showcases a wide variety of sports and motorsport has always been an exciting area we’ve been looking to develop further,” said Front Runner’s Ryan Scarratt. “We’ve started by airing highlights from this year’s 24H Series on Sunday evenings at 6.00pm with repeats throughout the week. As that series continues, we’re delighted to be adding Formula 3 to our programming schedule too.”

Richard Hay, producer of British F3 – Season review said: “The British F3 Championship has a long and proud history stretching back over 50 years. Race winners and champions include names like Senna, Hakkinen, Button and Ricciardo.”

“Thanks to Jonathan Palmer it has been rejuvenated for 2016 and as the premier UK single-seater series it is the best place to see the Formula One stars of the future honing their skills”

Front Runner is available on Freeview ch91, FreeSat ch260, Talk Talk/GT ch91 and Sky ch468.

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing To Enter Four Ford GTs at the Rolex 24 At Daytona (14.12.16)

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has announced that all four of its Ford GTs, two from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and two from the FIA World Endurance Championship, will contest January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

This will be the first time that all four cars have been together on the same circuit since the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 2016.

Continue reading Ford Chip Ganassi Racing To Enter Four Ford GTs at the Rolex 24 At Daytona (14.12.16)

Rick Parfit Jnr. Discusses His 2016 British GT Season With Team Parker Racing (10.12.16)

EnduranceAndGT.co.uk editor Andy Lloyd recently spoke with Rick Parfitt Jnr. to discuss his season with Team Parker Racing in the 2016 British GT Championship driving the Bentley Continental GT3 where he and Seb Morris finished joint third in the GT3 Drivers Championship.

Now that the dust has settled on this season, did the decision to join Team Parker Racing, partner with Seb Morris and drive the Bentley Continental GT3 live up to your expectations?

“It exceeded my expectations. I had come off a really tough first year in GT3 with Ginetta where it was very difficult year with many reliability issues. I’d known Seb since he was in Ginetta Juniors but obviously no one knew what he was going to be like in a GT car. I liked Seb and I’ve always said that if it’s a happy pit, the results usually follow because obviously the partnership is very, very important in GT racing. From my point of view, I’m doing this to take it as far as I can and realise a dream so therefore there has to be an element of fun to it. If there’s not fun to it, what’s the point of doing it?

Seb and I get on very well and it became very evident as soon as we went testing that he was going to be absolutely ballistic and I was going pretty well as well so the season definitely exceeded expectations because if someone had said at the start of the season we’d finish in the top six I’d have taken that. At the first round we turned up and put it on pole but had the victory robbed from us by the Code 80. If that had gone our way I think the rest of the season might have fallen into place. The fact is at the end of the season we were still challenging for the title. So it was a pretty good first year.”

I had heard Seb interviewed on Midweek Motorsport back in the summer and I thought then what a very sensible, focused driver he was with a very clear plan as to how he wanted his career to develop. It was clearly a very good partnership for you both.

Continue reading Rick Parfit Jnr. Discusses His 2016 British GT Season With Team Parker Racing (10.12.16)