Category Archives: Michelin Le Mans Cup

Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup Visits Spa For Round Five (22.09.16)

The Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup visits Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the first time in its inaugural season.

The new-for-2016 Cup has provided excellent racing on some of the most iconic circuits in the world and the Belgian round will surely be no exception.

12 cars will take to the grid for Saturday September 24’s two-hour race.

Belgium-based Autoclub Excelsior joins the Cup for this round, bringing its Aston Martin Vantage GT3 with the driver line-up of Michael Schmetz and Tim Verbergt.

Missing from the grid will be the #75 Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS which was piloted by Flick Haigh and Joe Osbourne at Le Castellet. However, the team has made clear that its presence at Circuit Paul Ricard was a precursor to a possible full-season entry next year.

Also missing at Spa will be the #7 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari F458 GT3.

Surrey, UK-based TF Sport currently lead the Teams Classification, 15 points ahead of SMP Racing who are currently on 52 points. After clinching the British GT Championship at Donington Park two weeks ago, TF Sport’s confidence will be sky-high that the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup is now within its grasp.

The SMP racing driver pairing of Aleksey Basov and Victor Shaitar will, however, be champing at the bit to bring the fight to TF Sport after their victory at Le Castellet last time out. Basov and Shaitar currently lead the Drivers Classification on 77 points, 10 points ahead of the TF Sport driver pairing of Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey.

First Practice begins at 11:50 local time on September 23 with qualifying beginning at 11:55 on Saturday September 24.

The lights go out for the two-hour race at 17:30 local time later the same day. It should be a superb race.

SMP Racing Wins Exciting Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup Round Four At Le Castellet (27.08.16)

The #72 SMP Racing Ferrari F488 GT3 driven by Aleksey Basov and Victor Shaitar took a convincing win in the fourth round of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup. Second was the #88 Mentos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R which chased the #72 car hard to the line but ultimately Ban Barker, who shared the drive with Egido Perfetti, did not quite have the pace to challenge for the win.

Continue reading SMP Racing Wins Exciting Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup Round Four At Le Castellet (27.08.16)

SMP Racing Takes Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup Pole At Paul Ricard (27.08.16)

The #72 SMP Racing Ferrari F488 GT3 driven by Aleksey Basov took pole for the Round 4 of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup with a 1:58.942 at Circuit Paul Ricard, le Castellet.

Second on the grid for the August 27 two-hour race was the Cup-leading #34 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 with a 1:59.534 set by Salih Yoluc. Taking third on the grid was the #55 FFF Racing team by ACM McLaren 650S, in which Hiroshi Hamaguchi set a 2:00.693 on his final lap.

Of the two Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup debutants for this round, Barwell Motorsport came out on top when Mark Poole put the #66 Lamborghini Huracán fifth on the grid with a 2:01.586.

Flick Haigh, on her introduction to the Cup, put the #75 Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS tenth on the grid with a 2:02.664.

Qualifying for Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup rounds is only open to the bronze driver of the pairing.

The flag drops for the start of the two-hour race at 17:00 local time on August 27 and the race will be streamed live on www.gt3lemanscup.com with commentary from the Radio Le Mans team.

Optimum Motorsport Targets Full Season In 2017 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup (23.08.16)

Wakefield-based Optimum Motorsport has targeted a full 2017 season entry in the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup.

Optimum Motorsport withdrew its Audi R8 LMS GT3 from the 2016 British GT Championship from the Snetterton round citing frustration at the weight penalties incurred in running two Silver-graded drivers.

The team has entered Round Four of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup with a driver line-up consisting of Optimum Motorsport 24H Series regular Flick Haigh and current British GT Championship AMDtuning.com BMW Z4 GT3 driver Joe Osborne.

“The GT3 Le Mans Cup supports the ELMS package and is a level up from what we have competed in this year,” Team Principal Shaun Goff told EnduranceAndGT.co.uk. “The numbers look to be on the up.”

“We are looking at a full season next year so we’re hoping to have a competitive first outing.”

Round Four of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup takes place at Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet on August 27.

Excitement Builds For Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup Round Four Action At Le Castellet (22.08.16)

The new-for-2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup visits Circuit Paul Ricard at Le Castellet, France for Round 4 on August 27.

With a prize of an entry to the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans being offered to the overall Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup winners, the #34 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage, driven by Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey, leads the Teams Classification, just 16 points ahead of the #55 FFF Racing by ACM McLaren 650S with the driver pairing of Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Arian Quaife-Hobbs.

Missing from the entry list for the two-hour race is the #5 FFF Racing by ACM Lamborghini Huracán GT3 driven by Andrea Caldarelli accompanied by, for Imola, Fu Songyang and, for the Red Bull Ring, Taiyou Iida. The car was driven by Marco Attard and Matt Bell for ‘Road To Le Mans’ in June.

Also missing is the #19 Tockwith Motorsports Audi R8 LMS which has been driven thus far by Phillip Hanson and Nigel Moore.

Additions to the 13-car grid include the #75 Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS which, for this round, will be driven by 24HR Series Optimum regular Flick Haigh and, from the British GT Championship AMDTuning.com BMW Z4 GT3, Joe Osborne. Team Principal Shaun Goff withdrew the Audi R8 LMS from the previous British GT round at Snetterton, citing frustration at being unable to get a competitive performance from the car while carrying the weight penalty for two Silver drivers. It is hoped that Optimum Motorsport’s appearance at Le Castellet is a precursor to a full season entry in 2017.

Barwell Motorsport has entered the #66 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 with Mark Poole and Richard Abra sharing the driving duties. The Lamborghini Huracán GT3, two examples of which are campaigned by Barwell Motorsport in the British GT Championship, has proved very competitive this season and will, no doubt, be at the sharp end of the grid in its Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup debut.

The #7 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari F458 Italia GT3, driven by Luigi Luchinni and Matteo Cressoni, makes a welcome return to the Cup, having previously placed sixth in the first round at Imola in May.

Also missed at the Red Bull Ring but returning for Le Castellet is the #8 Scuderia Villorba Corsa Ferrari F458 Italia, driven by Cédric Mezard and Steeve Hiesse.

The Drivers Classification could not be closer with the #34 TF Sport driver pairing of Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey leading the standings by just one point ahead of the #72 SMP Racing pairing of Aleksey Basov and Victor Shaitar.

With two rounds still to run after Le Castellet, the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup is still wide open in both the Teams and Drivers Classifications.

Round Four of the 2016 Michelin GT3 e Mans Cup takes place at Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet on August 26 – 27. The first qualifying session starts at 11:15 local time on August 27 with the lights going out for the start of the two-hour race at 17:00. With a prize of a GTE AM entry to the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans as an incentive, the second half of this inaugural season will be fiercely contested.

Shaitar, Basov With SMP Racing Take Second Win In 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup (17.07.16)

Aleksey Basov and Victor Shaitar, driving the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari F488, took their second victory of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on July 16.

Second across the line was the #88 Mentos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R with Egido Perfetti and Klaus Bachler driving. Completing the podium positions was the #34 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 with the driver pairing of Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey.

The race had a dramatic start when collisions at the first corner led to the #55 FFF Racing team by ACM McLaren 650S, with Hiroshi Hamaguchi driving, being left stranded on the track with a wheel missing. The race was neutralised under the Safety Car but both the #26 Classic & Modern Racing Ferrari F458 Italia GT3 and the #55 Mclaren 650S were out of the race as a result.

When racing resumed, the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari F488 had a comfortable lead with the #88 Mentos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R challenging the #34 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage for second place. The #88 car held second place until an error by Egido Perfetti allowed Yoluc in the #34 car back through.

After a second safety car period following an off-track excursion by the #5 FFF Racing team by ACM Lamborghini Huracán GT3, the #72 car held the lead with the #88 car regaining second place.

During pitstops and driver changes, the #34 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage, now driven by Euan Hankey, took second place back but was again caught and passed by the Mentos Porsche, now driven by Klaus Bachler.

The battle between the #34 and #88 cars continued for the remainder of the race. The #72 car looked on course for a straightforward victory until shortly before the end when Shaitar, now driving, left the track at T2. Shaitar got the car back on track but now only had a gap of less than four seconds to the chasing cars.

At the flag, Shaitar brought the #72 car home for its second victory of the season 8.103 seconds ahead of Bachler in the #88 Porsche with Hankey less than two seconds behind Bachler in the #34 car.

TF Sport’s third place sees them lead the Teams Championship on 52 points with FFF Racing by ACM second in the championship on 36 points despite two NCs at the Red Bull Ring. Mentos racing are two points behind in third place in the Teams Championship.

The Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup grid next sees track action on August 27 for the fourth round of the 2016 season at Le Castellet, France.