European Le Mans Series Returns To Red Bull Ring For Round Three (18.07.17)

Photo: Gabi Tomescu/AdrenalMedia.com

After the dust has settled following the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the European Le Mans Series returns to Austria for Round Three.

36 cars will take to the grid for The 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring.

13 LMP2 entries are on the provisional entry list for July 23’s race, one more than at the previous round – the 4 Hours of Monza. Joining the grid for the Red Bull Ring will be the #27 SMP Racing Dallara P217, driven by Matevos Isaakyan and Egor Orudczhev.

There are some changes in the driver line-ups in the LMP2 class for the third round. Nicolas Lapierre replaces Ryo Hirakawa in the #22 G-Drive Racing ORECA 07. In the #23 Panis-Barthez Compétition Ligier JSP217 Nathanaël Berthon replaces Matthieu Vaxiviere.

In a surprise move announced last week, Gustavo Yacaman has replaced Franck Matelli in the #40 Graff ORECA 07, to drive alongside James Allen and Richard Bradley.

RBR 2

Photo: Gabi Tomescu/AdrenalMedia.com

The LMP3 category also has a number of driver changes. In the #4 Cool Racing By GPC Ligier JS P3 Gino Forgione is not included in the list of declared drivers. A replacement has yet to be announced.

In the #8 Duqueine Engineering entry, Douglas Lundberg has replaced Henry Hassid and Mikkel Jensen has replaced Maurizio Mediani in the #9 AT Racing entry. Finally the #12 Eurointernational entry sees two-thirds of its driver line-up changed for this round when James Dayson and Ricky Capo replace Maxime Pialat and Maxwell Hanratty.

The LMGTE class sees a field of six entries, one less than the previous round. Missing for the Red Bull Ring will be the #50 Larbre Competition Chevrolet Corvette C7-ZO6.

After two rounds, the drivers of the #22 G-Drive Racing ORECA 07 lead the 2017 European Le Mans Series Trophy for LMP2 drivers. Léo Rousell, Memo Rojas and, absent for Red Bull Ring, Ryo Hirakawa lead the standings on 43 points after taking victory last time out. Second in the drivers standings, and just 10 points behind, is the #32 United Autosports trio of Filipe Albuquerque, Hugo de Sadeleer and Will Owen.

Third in the LMP2 drivers standings is the #49 High Class Racing duo of Dennis Andersen and Anders Fjordbach.

In the LMP3 drivers standings François Heriau, Jean-Baptists Lahaye and Matthieu Lahaye, drivers of the #17 Ultimate Ligier JS P3 head the table on 33 points. Only five points behind is the #18 M.Racing – YMR driving trio of Alexandre Cougnaud, Antoine Jung and Romano Ricci.

The LMGTE drivers standings are led by the #90 TF Sport driver line-up of Salih Yoluc, Euan Hankey and Nicki Thiim.

Track action for the 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring starts with FP1 on Friday 21 July at 15:20 local time. The three ten-minute qualifying sessions take place on Saturday July 22, starting at 13:45 local time.

The lights go out for the start of the 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring at 13:00 local time on Sunday July 23.

Porsche LMP Team Score 1 – 2 At Nürburgring 16.07.17)

Photo: FIAWEC.com

Porsche LMP team took a 1 – 2 at the fourth round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship after the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, piloted by Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley took the chequered flag 1.606 seconds ahead of the #1 919 Hybrid with the driver line-up of Neel Jani, André Lotterer and Nick Tandy.

Taking the final podium position in the premier class was the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 – Hybrid, driven by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez.

The win for the #2 entry gives Hartley, Bamber and Bernhard a 30-point lead in the 2017 LMP FIA World Endurance Drivers Championship, ahead of the crew of the #8 Toyota TS050-Hybrid, Buemi, Davidson and Nakajima, currently on 78 points.

Following their win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and at the Nürburgring, the drivers of the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07, Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent, sit third in the overall Drivers Championship, ahead of Neel Jani, Nick Tandy and Andre Lotterer, the drivers of the #1 car.

Jackie Chan DC Racing again dominated the LMP2 field with a convincing victory for the ‘Mighty’ #38 ORECA 07, driven by Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent. Second in the LMP2 class was the #31 Vaillante Rebellion ORECA 07, piloted by Julien Canal, Bruno Senna and Filipe Albuquerque.

Third in class at the chequered flag was the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470, driven by Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Matt Rao.

The drivers of the #38 Jackie Chan DD Racing ORECA 07 now have a 46-point lead in the 2017 LMP2 FIA World Endurance Championship with Tung, Jarvis and Laurent on 116 points. Their closest rivals, Bruno Senna and Julien Canal, by contrast, are on 70 points.

The LMGTE Pro category was won by the #51 AFD Corse Ferrari F488 GTE with the piloting line-up of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi. Second in the LM GTE Pro class was the #91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR driven by Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki.

Third across the line in class was the sister Estre / Christensen #92 Porsche 911 RSR.

After the fourth round, Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell lead the GT FIA World Endurance Drivers Championship on 84 points, 10 points ahead of Pipo Derani on 74 points and 11 ahead of Makowiecki and Lietz on 73.

The #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR (991) of Christian Ried, Matteo Cairoli and Marvin Dienst won the LM GTE Am category, 4.607 seconds ahead of the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari F488 GTE driven by Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Miguel Molina.

The race for the 2017 GT AM FIA World Endurance Championship Drivers Trophy could not be closer with six drivers all on 88 points. Ried, Dienst, Cairoli, Sawa, Griffin and Mok lead Lauda, Dalla Lana and Lamy by just two points.

Round Five of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of Mexico, takes place on September 2 and 3.

“We Hoped That We’d Get A Podium” – Ebor GT’s Adrian Snook Talks British GT, Spa And The Maserati GT MC GT4 With EnduranceandGT (10.07.17)

Photo: BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey

After missing the first six rounds of the 2017 British GT Championship, York-based Ebor GT returned in style for rounds seven and eight at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps with a double GT4 class win. EnduranceandGT editor Andy Lloyd spoke to Ebor GT partner Adrian Snook about the weekend and what the future holds for the #60 Maserati GT MC GT4 in 2017.

First of all, many congratulations for the double win at the weekend. When you drove through the gates at Spa-Francorchamps last week, did you ever, in your wildest dreams, think you would leave with two class victories?

“No, not at all. We hoped that we’d get a podium because we knew that Matty (Graham) was very special and Charlie (Fagg), we’d been told, was also very quick. Charlie got better and better the more he drove the car so, between them, they worked well together.”

The Maserati has been missed for the first six rounds of the 2017 British GT championship. That must have been very hard for you, wasn’t it, knowing you had a quick car but, for six months, no drivers?

“Yes, exactly that. We’d gone out testing and taken occasional times and we knew that the car could do it. It just needed the right drivers but yes, it was frustrating.”

EGT3 a.a. 17.07.10

Photo: Ebor GT Ltd

How much development did you do with the Maserati GT MC GT4 over the winter?

“In the off-season we only changed three things; we changed the colour of the car, we changed the drivers and we changed the suspension back to Maserati’s settings. Maserati has been running this car for a number of years so they knew what they were talking about. So to go back to basic settings, and working in that way, worked for the car. We didn’t play with it – we just did what Maserati told us to do. And it worked – perfectly.”

Where did the pace of the car come from at Spa?

“It was all down to suspension settings. The guys didn’t feel it was any quicker on power – it was the same as any other GT4 car. Matty’s time was gained in the tight, twisty sections. He was able to hustle it round there better.”

You had a problem for qualifying where, after being quick in practice, you couldn’t get out for the two sessions. Could you explain what happened?

“We had a problem with a hydraulic pump on the gearbox which seized as Charlie came into the pit-lane at the end of FP2. Fortunately, as it was Friday, we were able to locate one in Antwerp but we couldn’t get it back to the circuit in time for qualifying. So we fitted it that night and prepped the car for the next day to start from the back

Matty Graham and Charlie Fagg, as a driving partnership, clearly gelled quickly and effectively. You must have been very pleased with their mature approach to the two races bearing in mind where they were starting from?

“Yes, I think they both enjoyed it! It was mature drive from both of them – Charlie at 17 and Matty at 20. It was a very sensible drive.”

The big question – where next for Ebor GT and the #60 Maserati GT MC GT4? Do you hope and expect to be back on the grid for Round Nine at Brands Hatch in August?

“Yes, we hope and expect to back on the grid but nothing has been confirmed. Following Spa we’ve had a lot of people enquiring about the next drive but obviously we’d like the same two drivers so we’ll see what happens.”

The British GT Championship returns for Round Nine at Brands Hatch on August 5 – 6.

Team Parker Racing’s Loggie and Macleod Win In Race 2 Of British GT At Spa (08.07.17)

Photo: BritishGT.com/Jakob Ebrey

Team Parker Racing’s #7 Bentley Continental GT3, piloted by Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod, took the victory in the second race of the weekend’s double-header at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for rounds seven and eight of the 2017 British GT Championships.

Second across the line in the GT3 class was the TEAM WRT #17 Audi R8 LMs driven by Alain Ferté and Stuart Leonard. Taking the final podium spot was the #24 Macmillan AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 with the driver line-up of Jack Mitchell and James Littlejohn.

The GT4 class again saw a dramatic victory for the #60 Ebor GT Maserati GT MC GT4 driven by Matthew Graham and, taking the car to the chequered flag, Charlie Fagg. The victory rounded off a highly successful for the return of the York-based team after a mechanical issue side-lined the #60 car for qualifying, resulting in two back-of-the grid starts.

EGT2 a.a. 17.07.08

Photo: BritishGT.com/Jakob Ebrey

Second in the GT4 class was the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4, with the driver line-up Stuart Middleton and William Tregurtha. The #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 took the final podium spot.

The #33 Barwell Motorsport Huracán, with Phil Keen at the wheel, lead the GT3 field from pole position and retained the lead through the driver changes. However the #7 Team Parker Racing entry, now with Ian Loggie at the wheel, pushed hard to close the gap and benefited when Minshaw in the #33 car spun avoiding a GT4 car.

Ian Loggie was delighted at the win.

“This win has been a long time coming,” said Loggie. “There were a lot of mistakes at the start of the year but we’ve really got on top of the car and Team Parker have done a phenomenal job – I feel like I can push it to the absolute limit now, which was proven by posting quicker lap times around here than I’ve ever done before. I know Jon (Minshaw) spun but I felt like it was only a matter of time before I passed him. The gap was coming down lap after lap. From there I backed off a bit too much, which allowed the Audi to close in. But everything was under control!”

In the GT4 class Matthew Graham, behind the wheel of the #60 Ebor GT Maserati GT MC GT4 carved through the field to lead the class by the end of his stint. Charlie Fagg emerged from the driver change in eighth place due to success penalties for winning the first race and the silver driver pairing but the pace of the Maserati was too much for the GT4 class and he took the class lead with seven minutes remaining.

Despite not winning the points on offer due to being a race-by race entry. Matthew Graham was very happy with the weekend’s results.

“It’s been pretty amazing, to be honest,” said Graham. “We were really gutted after the problems in qualifying prevented us from setting a time after topping both practice sessions. We didn’t expect to win the first race, and definitely not the second with the extra pitstop success time, but I got my head down and enjoyed the battle, which is exactly what it was. I feel like Charlie [Fagg], the team and I have all done a really good job this weekend. I’m also over the moon to have won the Sunoco Fastest Lap Award.”

Round Nine of the 2017 British GT Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on August 5 – 6.

Wins for Barwell Motorsport And Ebor GT In British GT At Spa (08.07.17)

Photo: BritishGT.com/Jakob Ebrey

Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen, driving the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán, took the GT3 victory in Race One of the weekend’s double-header at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Second across the line at the chequered flag was the TEAM WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 driven by Alain Ferte and Stuart Leonard.

Taking the final podium position was the #39 Kessel Racing Ferrari F488 GT3 piloted by Piti Bhirombhakdi and Carlo van Dam.

The GT4 class saw a remarkable win for the #14 Ebor GT Maserati GT MC GT4 driven by Matthew Graham, on his first competitive drive for the York-based team and Charlie Fagg, making his debut in the British GT Championship.

EGT

Photo: BritishGT.com/Jakob Ebrey

Second in the GT4 class was the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by David Pittard and Alex Reed. Taking the final podium position was the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by William Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton.

The #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 with Rick Parfitt at the wheel led from pole at the start but the flow of the race in the first 30 minutes was disrupted by two safety car periods. The first occurred when the #43 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 with Steve Fresle at the wheel had an off at Raidillon. The second occurred shortly after when there was a coming-together of the #111 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 piloted by Anna Walewska and the #66 Team Parker Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR with Nick Jones driving at La Source. By the time the safety car periods had ended, the race was entering the pit-stop window.

As the pit-stops and driver changes cycled through, it was the #33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 with Phil Keen at the wheel who led the field, a position he hald to the chequered flag.

In GT4 an almost certain victory for the #56 Tolman Motorsport Ltd McLaren 570S GT4 driven by David Pattison and Joe Osbourne was snatched away on the penultimate lap by a puncture. The #60 Ebor GT Maserati, meanwhile, had been moving up the field, having started from last due to a problem which meant the car could not be qualified.

Race Two of the British GT double-header weekend at Spa-Francorchamps will start at 13:00 local time (12:00 BST) on Saturday July 8.

British GT Championship At Spa-Francorchamps For Rounds 7 & 8 (06.07.17)

Photo: BritishGT.com/Jakob Ebrey

The 2017 British GT Championship makes its annual trip to Belgium this weekend for rounds seven and eight.

14 GT3 entries will be on the grid. Missing for Spa will be the #19 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT3, driven at the previous round by Aleksander Schjerpen and Charlie Robertson.

There are four additions to the GT3 grid. TEAM WRT has entered its #17 Audi R8 LMs to be driven by Alain Ferté and Stuart Leonard. Kessel Racing has entered its #39 Ferrari F488 GT3, to be piloted by Piti Bhirombhaki and Carlo van Dam. An additional Mercedes-AMG GT3 will be present when Kornely Motorsport brings its #70 entry with the driver line-up of Kenneth Heyer abd Patrick Assenheimer. Finally Barwell Motorsport will be placing a third Lamborghini Huracán GT3 on the grid with the #77 entry, driven by Adrian Armstultz and Patrick Kujala.

The GT4 grid has expanded by one. Missing from the entries from Silverstone will be the #46 Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4, the #86 GPRM Toyota GT86 and the #99 Stratton Motorsport Lotus Evora. The #86 and #99 entries were both invitations at Silverstone.

Joining the GT4 field at Spa-Francorchamps will be an additional In2Racing McLaren 570S GT4. The current declared driver for the #14 entry is Jacques Duyver.

Autoaid/RCIB Racing is fielding the #36 Ginetta G55 GT4, to be piloted by Adam Hatfield and Benjamin Wallace. Delahaye Racing team / Alexandre Viron is bringing its #50 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR with the driver pairing of Viron and Emmanuel Orgeval.

As was announced earlier in the week, Ebor GT returns to the British GT Championship for Spa with its popular Maserati GT MC GT4. Last seen at Donington in September 2016, the Maserati GT MC GT4 will be driven by Matthew Graham and Charlie Fagg.

The top of the Drivers standings in both GT3 and GT4 is extremely close. In GT3, after their win at Silverstone in the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3, Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt are only four points behind the leading pairing of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen. Minshaw and Keen, drivers of the ##33 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3, lead the table on 119 points with Morris and Parfitt on 115.

The GT4 Drivers standings are equally close with only five and half points separating the top six drivers. Alex Reed and David Pittard, drivers of the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta G55 GT4, lead the table on 98 points with Adam Balon and Adam Mackay, drivers of the #72 Track-Club McLaren 570S GT4, three and a half points behind on 94.5.

Two points further back, in joint third place, is the pairing of Stuart Middleton and William Tregurtha, who share the driving duties in the #55 HHC Motorsport McKaren 570S GT4.

Two one-hour rounds comprise the Spa-Francorchamps meeting, which means that the amateur driver of the pairing will take the second stint of the second race.

As The British GT Championship shares the race weekend with the Spa-Francorchamps – 25H, both one-hour races will be take place on Saturday July 8 with qualifying on Friday July 7.

Qualifying for rounds seven and eight of the 2017 British GT Championship starts at 16:15 local time on Friday July 7 with Race One at 09;20 on Saturday July 8 and Race Two at 13:00.