Thiim And Sørensen Join TF Sport For 2018 British GT Campaign (27.12.17)

Photo: TFSport.co.uk

After the recent announcement that double British GT GT3 champion Jonny Adam would be driving for Optimum Motorsport in the coming season, Salfords, Surrey-based TF Sport has announced that the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Pro champions Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen will be joining Derek Johnston and Mark Farmer for an assault on the British GT GT3 title.

Thiim is already well known to TF Sport, having driven the team’s Aston Martin Vantage in the 2017 European Le Mans Series alongside Euan Hankey and Salih Yoluc.

Thiim, who will be partnered with Mark Farmer, is excited at the opportunity to compete in the premier national GT series.

Continue reading Thiim And Sørensen Join TF Sport For 2018 British GT Campaign (27.12.17)

Optimum Motorsport Announces 2018 British GT Championship GT3 Campaign With Aston Martin, Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam (21.12.17)

Photo: optimum-motorsport.com

Wakefield-based Optimum Motorsport has announced that it will contest the 2018 British GT Championship in the GT3 category with an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to be piloted by 2015/16 GT3 drivers champion Jonny Adam and Optimum Motorsport regular driver Flick Haigh.

Haig contested the 2017 Michelin Le Mans Cup with the team in its Audi R8 LMS, with Joe Osborne completing the driver line-up. The #75 Optimum Motorsport entry finished fourth in the GT3 Teams Championship with Haigh and Osborne finishing joint fifth in the drivers standings.

“I’m really excited about this and I’m very much looking forward to getting back behind the wheel,” said Flick Haigh. “It’s like starting again. We have the right car, the right teammate and we’ll be flat out to make the best of amazing opportunity.”

“I’ve already met with Jonny and he’ll be a pleasure to work with,” continued Haigh. “He’s very down to earth and we know his track record in the Aston is sensational. It’s a while since I’ve raced in the UK but the new challenge will be very exciting and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Continue reading Optimum Motorsport Announces 2018 British GT Championship GT3 Campaign With Aston Martin, Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam (21.12.17)

Maxime Martin To Join Aston Martin Racing For 2018 WEC Super Season (19.12.17)

Photo: astonmartin.com

31 year-old Belgian Maxime Martin is to join Aston Martin Racing for the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship ‘Super Season’.

Martin started in GT racing in the Megane Trophy and Clio Cup France in 2008 and has been a BMW factory driver since 2013, finishing eighth in the 2017 DTM Championship with BMW Team RBM.

“We’ve had an eye on Maxime for several years now, so we are delighted to welcome him to Aston Martin Racing,” said Aston Martin Racing Team Principal Paul Howarth. “He is an exceptionally talented GT driver and now he is the perfect addition to our high-calibre driver line-up.”

Martin is delighted at the opportunity to join Aston Martin Racing.

“I’m extremely excited to join Aston Martin Racing for the WEC Super Season.” said Martin. “I have driven other Aston Martin Racing cars in the past and have been in contact with the team for the past few years, but I am quite honoured to take the next step with this great manufacturer.”

“It’s a new challenge for me and also a big change, but I feel this is the right moment to make this move, especially with the race debut of the new Vantage GTE. I have competed at Le Mans three times before, but to come back again next year as an official Aston Martin Racing driver is an amazing feeling. I very much hope we can look forward to a lot of success together.”

The 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship opens with the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 5.

The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (15.12.17)

Photo: REBELLION Racing

As the 2017 season winds down, TF Sport is preparing to contest its final race of the year with the Gulf 12 Hours. TF Sport Director Tom Ferrier spoke to EnduranceandGT’s Andy Lloyd about this year’s season which has seen the Redhill-based team contest its first 24 Hours of Le Mans and win the Blancpain GT Endurance Series.

Ferrier described the experience of competing in the World’s Greatest Motor Race.

“Incredible – that was the word to sum it up! It was absolutely mind-blowing from start to finish. It was lovely to be involved through the Aston Martin camp through our first Le Mans. That helped us a lot and it helped me more than anyone, probably. What an event – it was mind-blowing! I couldn’t sum up the size of it to be honest. We were very proud to have been there. I hope we can do many more.”

Tom Ferrier also described some of the frustrations that the team encountered with its 2017 British GT Championship season, especially after the dominance the team had shown in 2016.

“(Mid season) we discovered that Derek and Jonny had had a bit of a handling issue with the car which carried through to Silverstone as well. We eventually found it was due to some of the chassis glue had come away but it took us a long time to get to the bottom of it. That lost us the mid-part of the season with Derek and Jonny which was frustrating. But then we were all up and singing at Brands Hatch and Donington.”

You can read the full interview here.

Young Australian driver James Allen has announced that he will return to the European Le Mans Series in 2018 with Morangis-based GRAFF, a team he enjoyed great success with in 2017, including competing in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Speaking to EnduranceandGT.co.uk, Allen, currently enjoying a warm winter off-season in his native Australia, said:

“I’m very excited for 2018. My first year in LMP2 went much better than I expected and I’m pleasantly surprised. 2018 will still be a big challenge but I feel ready to push for an even better season next year.”

Two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD champion Christina Nielsen will be joining forces with Porsche factory driver, 2017 Pirelli World Championship champion Patrick Long and Wright Motorsports to contest the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Championship GTD class.

Wright Motorsports Principal John Wright is excited at the prospect of the 2018 season with Nielsen and Long.

“I am very pleased to have this great opportunity come together in such a short time,” said Wright. “It is a tremendous opportunity to be heading back into the endurance racing arena with such a strong program. In my experience, I haven’t seen too many driver combinations better to compete for a championship than what I think we will see in Patrick Long and Christina Nielsen.”

“I am really looking forward to being back in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and I am absolutely thrilled that we’ve come up with such a strong combination with Wright Motorsports and Porsche,” said Christina Nielsen. “I’ve had a great run for the last three years, but it won’t be easy to do what I’ve already done. For me the biggest thing is to go into 2018 without relying on any previous results. We’ll start from scratch beginning with Daytona and go from there.”

Swiss team REBELLION Racing, 2017 European Le Mans Series LMP2 champions, has announced a two-car assault on the LMP1 class of the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Bruno Senna and Mathias Beche will be joined by ex-Porsche LMP1 Team drivers Neel Jani and André Lotterer. Gustavo Menezes and European Le Mans Series star Thomas Laurent will also be joining the two-car driver line-up.

You can read the full story here.

And finally, the season draws to a close with the Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi. The lights go out for the start at Part One at 09:10 local time on Saturday December 16.

James Allen To Return To European Le Mans Series With GRAFF In 2018 (14.12.17).

Photo: Roger Jenkins

21-year-old Australian driver James Allen has announced that he will return to the European Le Mans Series in 2018 with Morangis, France-based GRAFF.

Allen, who enjoyed a stellar debut season in the 2017 European Le Mans Series, shared his plans via social media. The young australian intends to contest his second 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018, if the team receive an invitation.

Allen was partnered by Richard Bradley throughout the season with Franck Matelli completing the driver line-up for the first half of the season and Gustavo Yacaman for the latter part.

The #40 GRAFF ORECA 07 won the final two rounds of the series on the way to finishing third in the LMP2 Teams standings on 86 points.

Speaking to EnduranceandGT.co.uk, Allen, currently enjoying a warm winter off-season in his native Australia, said:

“I’m very excited for 2018. My first year in LMP2 went much better than I expected and I’m pleasantly surprised. 2018 will still be a big challenge but I feel ready to push for an even better season next year.”

The first round of the 2018 European Le Mans Series will be the Four Hours of Le Castellet on April 15.

Rebellion Racing Announces Two-Car Assault On FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1 Title (14.12.17)

Photo: rebellion-racing.com

Swiss-based REBELLION Racing, 2017 European Le Mans Series LMP2 champions, has announced a return to the premier class of world endurance racing with a two-car assault on the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Bruno Senna and Mathias Beche will be joined Neel Jani and André Lotterer. Ex-Porsche LMP1 Team drivers, Jani and Lotterer finished joining fourth in the 2017 LMP FIA World Endurance Drivers Championship.

Gustavo Menezes and Thomas Laurent will complete the driver line-up for REBELLION Racing for the 2018/19 Super Season with the new-season cars being unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

“I am very happy to be in LMP1 with REBELLION RACING for the 2018-2019 FIA WEC Super Season,” said Bruno Senna. “The many changes in the rules will be a huge challenge, but we have drivers and a quality team to deal with them. We will push very hard for these crucial Le Mans wins!”

For Neel Jani, joining REBELLION Racing is like coming home, the 34-year-old Swiss driver having raced for the team in the 2013 FIA WEC and American Le Mans Series.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance racing career started nine years ago,” said Jani. “REBELLION Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear to me that I wanted to race again for REBELLION. With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and, with a bit of luck maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”