The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (31.03.17)

Photo Above: BritishGT.com

The past seven days have been busy for the sportscar community across Europe as the British GT Championship hosted its pre-season Media Day at Snetterton, the European Le Mans Series contenders met for the Official Test Session at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the FIA World Endurance Championship prepared for the Prologue, also at Monza, and the 24H SERIES started arriving at Silverstone for the HANKOOK 24H SILVERSTONE.

In the British GT Championship, Nick Jones and Scott Parker announced that they will contest the 2017 Championship in their Team Parker Racing-run Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

 

Photo: BritishGT.com
Photo: BritishGT.com

The duo had intended to run the full 2016 season with the Porsche but delivery issues meant that they were unable to get the car out until the Silverstone round and even then without the full ‘MR’ kit necessary for their entry to be fully competitive.

“We’re coming at it from a totally different standpoint from 2016 which was a very tough season for a variety of reasons,” said Jones. “But after working closely with Team Parker and doing a lot of testing, I feel like we’ve taken some big steps forward.”

Read the full story on EnduranceandGT.co.uk here.

Staying with the British GT Championship, the Media Day at Snetterton, after a foggy start, enjoyed some glorious spring weather, enabling the cars to stretch their legs. The championship has undergone some evolutions during the winter, something that Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici was keen to point out.

“We want keep the platform stable so we don’t need to change the format too much,” said Franassovici. “What is important is that we have live TV this year. Front Runner TV will be hosting our programme and we look forward to producing a great programme for this new channel.”

“We’ve increased track-time during free practice, targeted at the gentleman driver and the two-hour race format driving time has been increased from 60 to 70 minutes.”

The Championship Manager is also delighted at the entry list for the 2017 season.

“We’re again at capacity,” said Franassovici. “We’re very excited to see that GT3 is doing so well. It’s great to have new models joining British GT.”

Click here to read the full story on EnduranceandGT.co.uk.

Double British GT champion Jonny Adam spoke to the media about his thoughts on the new season.

“It’s going to be difficult” said Adam. “Last year wen had a great season with TF Sport and a new teammate last year with Derek (Johnston). It was a great season with great success but this year it will be really difficult. We won the championship last year, yes, but we didn’t have consistency in the middle part of the year so our focus is to have that throughout.”

Photo: Andy Lloyd
Photo: Andy Lloyd

 

Read more of Jonny Adam’s comments here.

The European Le Mans Series gathered at Autodromo Nazionale Monza for the Official Test. In LMP2 Graff was strong, topping the timesheets in three out of the five sessions. It was, however, the #28 IDEC SPORT RACING Ligier JSP2-17, driven by Patrice and Paul Lafargue, Olivier Pla and David Zollinger which put in the quickest time for the class over the five sessions.

Photo: Europeanlemansseries.com
Photo: Europeanlemansseries.com

2016 ELMS LMGTE Champions Beechdean AMR were highly competitive throughout the five sessions, heading the time-sheets in two. It was, however, the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup victors TF Sport who were fastest in class over the two days with Salih Yoluc setting a 1:48.720 in the first session.

You can read more from the European Le Mans Series Official test here.

This coming weekend will be busy with the FIA World Endurance Championship field taking over at Monza for the Prologue.

Also this weekend the 24H TCE SERIES HANKOOK 24H SILVERSTONE takes place at the Northamptonshire circuit. You can find the entry-list here.  The flag drops at 4.00pm on April 1. Live timing can be found here.

Whatever and wherever you are watching, competing or marshalling at this weekend, have a great one!

European Le Mans Series Concludes Pre-Season Official Test Session At Monza (30.03.17)

Photo Above: Europeanlemansseries.com

The European Le Mans Series field gathered at Autodromo Nazionale Monza over March 28 – 29 for the Official Test Session ahead of the opening round of the 2017 season at Silverstone on April 15.

41 cars gathered at the iconic Italian circuit, comprising 13 LMP2 entrants, 21 LMP3 cars and seven from the LMGTE class.

The two-day test was divided into five separate sessions. Tuesday March 28 saw three sessions – two three-hour sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, followed by a two-hour night session at 19:00 local time.

Wednesday saw the cars out on the track for two further three-hour sessions, again one a.m. and one p.m. session.

In LMP2, Graff topped the timesheets in three out of the five sessions with the #40 Graff ORECA 07 quickest in the second and third session. It was, however, the #28 IDEC SPORT RACING Ligier JSP2-17, driven by Patrice and Paul Lafargue, Olivier Pla and David Zollinger which put in the fastest time for the LMP2 class over the two-day test with a 1:36.461 set on the morning of the second day with Patrice Lafarge at wheel.

In LMP3 four teams shared the top spots over the five sessions. The #9 AT Racing Ligier JS P3, with the driver line-up of Alexander Talkanitsa Sr and Jr and Mikkel Jensen was quickest in sessions one and three but it was the #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3 which set the quickest time in the class over the course of the two days with a 1:45.219 on the morning of the second day. John Falb and Sean Rayhall were sharing the driving duties of the #2 entry and it was Rayhall who set the time on his 30th lap our of 32.

The LMGTE field made up in quality what it may have lacked in numbers with seven entries declared for the full season.

2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup victors TF Sport, with the driver line-up of Salih Yoluc, Euan Hankey, Nicki Thiim and Robert Bell, topped the time sheets in two out of five of the sessions, setting the quickest time of the LMGTE class with a 1:48.720 during the first session with Yoluc at the wheel.

2016 European Le Mans Series LMGTE champions Beechdean AMR laid down a marker, however, and were quickest in two sessions, being the only class runners in the evening session at the end of the first day. Aston Martin works-driver Darren Turner in the #99 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin V8 Vantage, sharing the driving duties with Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn, put in a 1:49.885 in the cool, night air.

The focus will now turn to the 4 Hours of Silverstone on April 15 for the first round of the 2017 season. 2016 was a classic year for the Series. 2017 promises to be even better.

Jonny Adam Looking Forward To New Season With Derek Johnston And TF Sport in British GT Championship (28.03.17)

Photo: BritishGT.com

Two-time British GT Champion in the GT3 class, Jonny Adam was speaking at the Media Day for the launch of the 2017 season for the premier national GT championship.

Adam, partnered for the second year with Derek Johnston in the #1 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3, is not going into the new season thinking it will be an easy ride.

“It’s going to be difficult,” said Adam. “Last year we had a great season with TF Sport and a new teammate last year with Derek. It was a great season with great success but this year it will be really difficult. I think everyone’s upped their game over the winter. There’s a new tyre with Pirelli. We’ve done a lot of testing with this tyre and it seems to suit the Aston quite well. What we want is consistency. We won the championship last year, yes, but we didn’t have the consistency in the middle part of the year so our focus is to have that throughout.

Continue reading Jonny Adam Looking Forward To New Season With Derek Johnston And TF Sport in British GT Championship (28.03.17)

British GT Championship ‘Very Happy’ With Grid For 2017 (28.03.17)

Photo Above: Andy Lloyd

The 2017 British GT Championship was launched at Snetterton on Tuesday March 28 to a foggy start. That didn’t reduce the enthusiasm, however, for the teams, media and spectators who assembled at the Norfolk circuit for the traditional season launch of the premier national GT series.

Benjamin Franassovici, British GT Championship Manager, explained the evolutions that the championship had undergone during the winter break.

“We want to keep the platform stable so we don’t need to change the format too much. What is important is that we have live TV this year,” explained Franassovici. “SRO is investing in live TV and we will be live for six rounds out of seven. Spa will be streamed live. Front Runner TV will be hosting our programme and they’re very proactive. We look forward to producing a great programme for this new channel. We will be on Channel 4 as usual as we have been the last ten years.”

Franassovici explained some of the sporting changes that have taken place.

“We’ve increased track-time during free practice targeted at the gentleman driver and the (Am) two-hour race format driving time has been increased from 50 minutes to 60.”

The Championship Manager is also delighted at the entry list for the 2017 season.

“We’re again at capacity,” said Franassovici. “We’re very excited to see that GT3 is doing very well. Some people during the winter were saying that it was dead. That is not the case. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes ensuring that the platform is there and you can see that we have twelve cars there full-season which is very healthy. We will have some cars joining us on a race-by–race basis so we are very pleased.”

AmDtuning.com #30 Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Photo: Andy Lloyd)
AmDtuning.com #30 Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Photo: Andy Lloyd)

“It’s great to have new models joining British GT,” said Franassovici. “We have the new Mercedes joining us with AmDtuning.com and Team ABBA. We also have the new Ferrari F488 which will be run as Spirit of Race. There are two Bentleys for Team Parker Racing and Barwell Motorsport with their two very popular Lamborghinis. We’re very happy to have Derek Johnston back fighting for his title.”

“So GT3 is doing very well and will continue to do so.”

“In GT4 we have McLaren coming with six cars which is a great achievement from their side. It’s a popular car. Then we also have the return of Nissan in GT4. I’m very happy to have the variety and numbers across two classes which are both very healthy.”

The season-opening round of the 2017 British GT Championship takes place at Oulton Park on April 15 – 17

Nick Jones And Scott Malvern To Campaign Team Parker Racing-Run Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport In British GT Championship (27.03.17)

Photo: BritishGT.com

Nick Jones and Scott Malvern have announced that they will contest the 2017 British GT Championship in in their Team Parker Racing-run Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

Jones and Parker intended to run the full 2016 season in the Porsche but, due to delivery problems, were unable to get the car out until the Silverstone round. Even at that round the care was lacking the full ‘MR’ kit necessary for it to be fully competitive.

However for the new season the duo will have the car ready with the full MR kit from the first round at Oulton Park on April 15 – 17.

Continue reading Nick Jones And Scott Malvern To Campaign Team Parker Racing-Run Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport In British GT Championship (27.03.17)

The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (24.03.17)

Photo: 24HSERIES.com

With the FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue being held on weekend of April 1 – 2 at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the Media Day launch for the British GT Championship at Snetterton on Tuesday March 28 (which also coincides with Day One of the Official Test for the European Le Mans Series) and the first round of the VLN series being held on the Nordschleife  this weekend, the 2017 launch of three more major global and European series is almost upon us.

Some series and championships have already got underway, however, and last weekend saw the second rounds of both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the 24H SERIES.

The 24H SERIES arrived in Italy for the Hankook 12H Mugello and it was the #11 Scuderia Praha Ferrari F488 GT3 piloted by Jiri Pisarik, Josef Král and Matteo Malucelli that took the chequered flag and the top step of the podium. The Czech Republic-based team won with a four-lap advantage over second place finishers IDEC SPORT RACING with its #17 Mercedes AMG GT3 driven by Patrice Lafargue, Paul Lafargue and Dimitri Engelbert.

Continue reading The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (24.03.17)