R-Motorsport To Contest The 2018 Blancpain GT Endurance Series (30.11.17)

R-Motorsport, the motorsport division of AF Racing which is itself the motor racing arm of Aston Martin St. Gallen in Switzerland, has announced that it will partner with Arden Motorsport to compete in the 2018 Blancpain GT Endurance Series.

The team has been testing the Aston Martin V12 GT3 with Aston Martin Racing works driver Darren Turner, FIA World Endurance Championship driver Alex Brundle and FIA Formula 3 European Championship pilot Jake Dennis.

Co-owner and Team Principal of R-Motorsport Dr Florian Kamelger said:

“We are extremely excited to be competing in the Blancpain GT Endurance Series in 2018. We have the ambition to fight for the win of the championship and to step onto the highest step of the podium at the 24 lours of Spa in 2018.”

“The Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 is such a great race car, the team is amazingly professional and our driver line-up will be fantastic. Being able to work with Arden Motorsport has been and is a great experience for us and we think we have found the perfect match.”


Lance Stroll Joins Rosenqvist, Frijns and Juncadella For Jackie Chan DCR JOTA Rolex 24 At Daytona Assault (30.11.17).

Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Kent-based Jota Sport has announced that Williams Martini F1 driver Lance Stroll will join Felix Rosenqvist, Robin Frijns and Daniel Juncadella to drive one of its pair of Jackie Chan DCR JOTA Oreca 07s in the 2018 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona will be the first time that Jackie Chan DCR JOTA has raced in the early season classic.

Stroll has enjoyed an impressive season on his debut in the FIA Formula One World Championship, finishing 12th in the Drivers Championship on 40 points, three behind his vastly more experienced team-mate Filipe Massa.

Stroll is delighted at the opportunity to race at a circuit on which he has some experience.

“We are going to Daytona to enjoy, compete and of course try and win,” said the young Canadian.

“I always want to be the best and most competitive I can be. I’ll be out there with some of my buddies in the same car and it is going to be a pleasure to do this race again as I just love to race. We are four young guns so it will be great fun I’m sure because we go way back together. A big part of Daytona is who you share the care with so I’m really looking forward it.”

There won’t be any fuel or tyre management to worry about and it will be racing hard and racing in traffic which I will enjoy,” continued Stroll. “I’ve heard a lot of great things about the Jackie Chan DCR JOTA team so I cannot wait to be a part of it.”

“I’m really grateful to Williams Martini Racing for realising I want to keep my racing sharpness through the winter and letting me race at Daytona.”

Jota Sport is pleased at the line-up it now has for the American sportscar classic.

“The collection of talent that we have been able to secure for the Rolex 24 at Daytona is very exciting,” said David Clark, Director of JOTA Group. “As a team this shows the trust in quality that the Jackie Chan DCR JOTA team can bring to the best endurance races in the world.”

“Lance, Felix, Daniel and Robin are a collection of some of the finest young talents to emerge in recent years,” continued David Clark. “To have them all in the same car for such an important race like the Rolex 24 at Daytona is an important milestone in Jota’s history.”

The 2018 running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona will be held on January 27 – 28.

Mazda Team Joest Announces Drivers For 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (29.11.17)

Photo: Mazda Motorsports

Mazda Team Joest has announced its driver line-up for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Current Mazda Motorsports drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nuñez will be joined Oliver Jarvis and Harry Tincknell. For the longer endurance races, the line-up will be joined by Spencer Pigot and René Rast.

Oliver Jarvis, who drove for Jackie Chan DC Racing alongside Ho-Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent in the 2017 FIA World, finishing runner-up in the Teams Trophy after a titanic battle with Bruno Senna in the #31 Vaillante Rebellion, is excited by the opportunity.

during the 2017 FIA WEC World Endurance Championship, 6 Hours of Bahrain from November 15 to 18 at International Circuit of Sakhir - Photo Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI

Photo: Mazda Motorsports

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Mazda at such an exciting time,” said Jarvis. “I have followed the project closely since the launch of the stunning RT24-P and I am convinced that the project will be successful. It was an easy decision when the opportunity arose to be part of it.”

“Having raced and won both the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 24 Hours, the IMSA Championship is one I know very well” continued Jarvis. “It has always been a goal of mine to race in the championship full-time and I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be part of the Championship as it continues to grow.”

Harry Tincknell has enjoyed a spectacular journey over the past four year, joining Jota Sport for its assault on the 2014 European Le Mans Series, a season which included winning the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, being part of Nissan Motorsports line-up for the 2015 running of the French classic, winning the LMP2 class with G-Drive Racing in the 2016 Europe Le Mans Series and, latterly, driving for Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2016 and 2017.


2017 World Endurance Championship Round 9, Bahrain 15th - 18th November 2017 Photo: Drew Gibson


Photo: Drew Gibson

“I’m really honoured to be able to race for Mazda Team Joest this season in the WeatherTech Championship, “said the Exeter, UK-based driver. “The whole Mazda Team has put in so much effort and made a lot of progress in every area and after my first test in the car I can’t wait to see how we get on at Daytona.”

John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports in North America explains how the team arrived it its driver line-up.

“Mazda has had a driver development program since 2007,” said Doonan. “ So, It’s a big part of our Mazda Prototype program to feature drivers that have come up through the Mazda ranks, whether that’s in sports care like Tristan Nuñez or the open-wheel side things with Bomarito and Pigot. We’re thrilled that those superb young men are back with us again in 3018.”

“Working with Joest, we were also able to secure fast, winning drivers from their recent history, which makes Jarvis and Rast a good fit, as is Tincknell, who has been successful in both GT and Prototype cars. We ask a lot of our drivers outside the car as well, so it’s great to add drivers who will fit the chemistry of what we hope to achieve as a team.”

The 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship opens with the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 25 – 28.

SRO Motorsports Group Announces Developments For 2018 And Beyond (26.11.17)

SRO Motorsports Group, the organiser of a significant proportion of GT racing around the world, celebrated 25 years of operation when 2017 championship winners gathered at the Palais Brongniart in Paris for its annual awards celebration on November 24.

Founder and CEO Stéphane Ratel took the opportunity to outline his vision and plans for the development of GT racing in 2018 and beyond.

Focusing on the growing GT4 class, SRO Motorsports Group will launch several new series to bring the total to seven GT4 championships over the next two seasons. Three additional series will be launched in conjunction with the European Series; Central, Nordic and Eastern.

The French GT4 Cup (FFSA GT) will continue in 2018. SRO is planning to introduce a Belgian GT4 Cup but the series will not have its own events but rather competitors will score points while participating in events in different series. SRO announced that Asia will have a stand-alone GT4 series on the Blancpain GT Series Asia package.

To bring together all the different GT4 championships, SRO is planning to create a GT4 World Cup in the near future.

In order to focus the Blancpain GT Series on the Pro-Am and Am categories, the maximum number of cars with a full pro line-up will be restricted to 26 in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. An exception will be made for the Total 24 Hours of Spa however.

SRO will continue to grow the Blancpain GT Series Asia championship with a similar calendar in 2018 and, as mentioned earlier, there will be a stand-alone GT4 series. The GT4 class will race together with the GT3 cars at Fuji and Suzuka and China will be a focus for development with dedicated communications being provided in Mandarin.

In Pirelli World Challenge the FIA driver grading system will be adopted and shortened race weekend progammes are being considered.

SRO Motorsports Group is also tendering for the FIA GT3 Cup of Nations which will be the equivalent of the FIA GT World Cup in Macau but for Silver and Bronze-graded drivers. Current plans are to hold the event at the Sochi Autodrome, Russia on October 20 – 21 2018, subject to FIA approval.

The Suzuka 10 Hours has been added to the Intercontinental GT Challenge as the Asian round of the series.

The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (24.11.17)

Photo: fiawec.com

It’s been a busy week in the world of endurance, GT and sportscar racing with one season drawing to a close and, no sooner had the champagne been washed out of the race-suits of the winners of the final round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship, announcements arrived thick and fast in preparation for 2018.

The 6 Hours of Bahrain, the season finale to this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship was an enthralling and emotional affair with the Porsche LMP Team campaigning its Porsche 919 Hybrid for the last time before leaving the championship in the prototype classes.

It was the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050, driven by Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima that took the chequered flag in Bahrain, one lap ahead of the #2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid piloted by 2017 Drivers Champions Timo Berhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley.

The LMP2 class saw a titanic battle between Jackie Chan DC Racing and Vaillainte Rebellion. After taking the lead in the LMP2 Teams Trophy at the previous round, the #31 Vaillante Rebellion crossed the line 10.696 seconds ahead of the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07 and, with the victory, took the title. Ollie Jarvis, who drove the final stint in the #38 car, reported after the race that the team had encountered ‘fuel tank issues’.

There was drama, too, for the #31 car with Bruno Senna reporting power-steering problems in the final 45-minutes of the race with comments that the car being ‘undriveable’. Senna hung on and the pace of the #31 ORECA 07 hardly faltered, allowing the Brazilian driver to secure the class victory and title. You can read the race report here.

FAL a.a. 17.11.20

Photo: fiawec.com

The Rookie Tests, the traditional end to the season, attracted more interest than usual when 2005-06 FIA Formula One world champion and current McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso put in 113 laps in the race-winning #8 Toyota TS050.

“It was a great day,” said Alonso. “Testing an LMP1 car is always a nice thing for any racing driver because these cars are amazing to drive. They are very consistent throughout a stint which is a positive thing. I have wanted to test a car like this for long time now and today I could achieve that so I am happy.”

Read about the Rookie Test here.

Two manufacturers announced new models for next season and beyond over the past week.

Firstly, McLaren Automotive announced that it was intending to develop a GT3 variant of its 720S model, launched at the Geneva Motorshow in March of this year. Few details were given of the new car other than development will continue throughout 2018 with the intention that the McLaren 720S GT3 will be available for customer teams in time for the 2019 season.

The rendering of the new car shows it to have purposeful styling and it will be fascinating to see how the story of the 720S GT3 develops throughout next year.

You can read about the new McLaren 720S GT3 here.

The big FIA World Endurance Championship news of the week came from Aston Martin Racing with the launch, for Aston Martin, of the new Vantage and, later in the day, the first public viewing of the new Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

Alongside the launch of the new Vantage GTE was the news that Darren Turner, Jonny Adam, Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen have been retained by Aston Martin Racing for the FIA WEC 2018/19 ‘Super Season. Added to the driver roster is Alex Lynn, current Formula E driver and ex-GP2 race winner. Further driver announcements are expected shortly.

“It’s terrific to be involved in this exciting new chapter for Aston Martin Racing,” said Managing Director John Gaw. “The increasingly tough competition in the GTE class and the prospect of two visits to Le Mans and a return to Sebring within the 2018/19 super-season is thoroughly tantalising.”

In preparation for 2018 ByKOLLES Racing completed an intensive three-day testing programme at Motorland, Aragon, of the EnsoCLM P1.01.

Drivers at the test were Oliver Webb, James Rossiter, Tom Dillman, Edoardo Liberati and Mikael Grenier.

“We are pleased with the progress made on both reliability and performance,” said ByKOLLES Director of Racing Operations Boris Bermes. “All drivers did a solid job and our team is happy to attract such young and competitive drivers.”


And finally…. the poster for the 2018 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Using an evocative image, reminiscent of 1930s-style racing posters, the graphic certainly excited some interest on social media. Roll on 2018!



Aston Martin Racing Launches New Vantage GTE (22.11.17)

Photo: Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Racing has launched the new Vantage GTE, the successor to the team’s most successful competition car of all-time, the V8 Vantage GTE.

The design project was led by Technical Director Dan Sayers, who had led the design and development of the previous V8 Vantage GTE.

The new-for-2018 Aston Martin Vantage GTE has undergone a rigorous test programme which included more than 13,000 kms of track running in addition to a successful 30 hour endurance run at Navarra in Spain.

Aston Martin Racing has worked with its new technical partners on the Vantage GTE project. Alcon has worked with the Gaydon-based manufacturer on braking systems, Öhlins for suspension and Michelin on the tyre programme.

Announced alongside the launch of the new Vantage GTE car was the driver line-up for the new season. Darren Turner and Jonny Adam, winners of the LMGTE Pro class at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen have been retained for the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship ‘Super Season’. Also included in the driver line-up for 2018 is Alex Lynn, current Formula E driver and ex-GP2 race winner. Further driver announcements will be made shortly.

Aston Martin Racing Technical Director Dan Sayers was excited at the launch of the new Vantage GTE.

“Designing and developing this new car has been an extremely satisfying process,” said Dan Sayers. “We’ve collaborated closely with Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters to develop the road and race cars in parallel. Attention to detail has been a priority at every step of the design process and we’ve made big improvements in each area of the car.”

We’ve spent every second optimising the design right until the build of our test car, which has paid dividends during out current testing schedule. This project has been one of the most intensive but also rewarding of my career so far.”

“It’s terrific to be involved in this exciting new chapter for Aston Martin Racing,” said Managing Director John Gaw. “The increasingly tough competition in the GTE class and the prospect of two visits to Le Mans and a return to Sebring within the 2018/19 super-season is thoroughly tantalising. To conduct the development process of this car so closely with Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams was essential for both road and race car to retain the same underlying DNA. We believe the Vantage GTE will bring further success world-wide to Aston Martin Racing in the coming years.”

The opening round of the 2018-109 FIA World Endurance Championship takes place at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on May 5 2018.