Category Archives: FIA World Endurance Championship

Toyota Disqualified At Silverstone. Rebellion Take 1-2 In Round Three WEC. (20.08.18)

Photo: Paren Raval

Following post-race scrutineering, both Toyota TS050-Hybrids were disqualified from the 6 Hours of Silverstone after finishing 1 -2 on the track.

The #91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR, driven by Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni was also excluded.

Concerning the exclusion of the #7 and #8 Toyotas, Decision No 25 from the Stewards of the Meeting declared that; “The Technical Delegates measured the vertical deflection of the front part of the skid under a 2500 N load. The deflection was to be 9mm on both sides of the front part of the skid block. The measurement was witnessed by the competitors’ technical representative John Litjens and he confirmed to the stewards that the measurement was done correctly.”

The decision promoted the two Rebellion Racing Rebellion R13s to first and second place, with the #3 entry, piloted by Mathias Beche, Thomas Laurent and Gustavo Menezes taking the win and the sister #1 car, with the driver line up of Neel Jani and André Lotterer, moving into second place. The final podium position is now occupied by the #17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1.

The LMP2 results still stood, with a 1 -2 for Jackie Chan DC Racing, its #38 ORECA 07 piloted by Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Stéphane Richelmi winning the class by just 1.971 seconds from the sister #37 entry driven by Jazeman Jaafar, Weiron Tan and Nabil Jeffri. Completing the top three in the LMP2 category was the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470 with the driver line-up of Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Pierre Thiriet.

The #51 AF Corse Ferrari F488 GTE of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado took the win in the LNGTE Pro and, after the disqualification of the #91 car for ground clearance issues, the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi team UK Ford GT moved up to second place with the #91 Porsche in third.

Porsche won the LMGTE Am category with the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR taking the chequered flag 46.878 seconds ahead of the #90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage.

Round Four of the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship takes place at Fuji International Speedway on October 12.

Toyota Gazoo Racing On Pole For Silverstone WEC. (18.08.18

Photo: Paren Raval

Mike Conway andJosé María López put the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid on pole position for Sunday August 19’s Six Hours of Silverstone, Round Three of the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship ‘Super Season’.

Conway pushed hard in the opening qualifying stint in the #7 entry, resulting in some interesting moments for Sevenoaks, Kent-based driver. However he held on to put in a 1:36.769 before handing over to Lopez who consolidated the effort with a 1:36.769.

Conway was delighted at the qualifying outcome but admitted he had probably pushed too hard at the start of his stint.

“It wasn’t the best start,” said Conway. “I tried to be a bit greedy on the first lap and had a moment coming in to the last corner. I knew at that point I was going to be down a tenth or two and then in Turn Four I had another moment so I knew I had to save the tyres and go again. Luckily the tyres were still there. It was a pretty decent lap.  I let a bit on the table with so many laps being deleted with track limits – I tried to be careful there – but Jose jumped in and did a mega lap as well. It was a good start. The car was quick in practice so it’s good for tomorrow.”

Teammate López also enjoyed the session but is firmly focused on the race.

“We are very happy to be on pole but the main objective is to win the race tomorrow,” said Lopez. “It’s always hard in a six-hour race to be in front but we will see. Qualy was good. I was a bit nervous when Mike went off on the first lap but he put in a good lap and then he left it to me. I was very happy with my lap. It’s good to to start from the front but it’s a long race so we will see tomorrow.”

Pole position in the LMP2 class went to the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07 crew of Jazeman Jaafer and Nabil Jeffri, in the car they share with Ho-Pin Tung with an average qualifying time of 1.44:896.

LMGTE Pro pole went to the #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT of Stefan Mücke and Olivier Pla while the #56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Egido Perfetti, Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsey.

The lights go out for the Six Hours of Silverstone at 12:00 on Sunday August 19.

Alonso Quickest In Silverstone WEC FP3 (18.08.18)

Photo: Paren Raval

On an overcast morning with track temperatures struggling to get above 18 degrees, Fernando Alonso, at the wheel of the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 – Hybrid he shares with Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, went quickest in the final session practice session for Round Three of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone. Alonso, who only this week announced his retirement from Formula One, put in a 1:37.677 early in a session that met a slightly premature end with three minutes to go.

Second quickest in the LMP1 category was the #17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 – AER in which Stéphane Sarrazin put in a 1:39.326 late in the session.

With teams running a mix of set-ups in preparation for the race on Sunday August 19 and qualifying later on Saturday August, it was difficult to read much into the times. The #28 TDS Racing ORECA 07, however, went quickest in the LMP2 class with a 1:44.247 set early in the session by Mattieu Vaxivière.

FGT a.a. 18.08.18

Photo: Paren Raval

The two Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs topped the time-sheets in LMGTE Pro with the #67 lapping in 1:55.197 in the hands of Harry Tincknell and the #66 entry in 1:55.798.

The #98 Aston Martin Racing ston Martin Vantage of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda topped the time-sheets in LMGTE Am with a 1:58.460.

Until the session was red-flagged with three minutes to go, FP3 had run largely uninterrupted. With less than 30 minutes run, there was contact between the #81 BMW Team MTEK BMWM8 GTE of Martin Tomczyk and the #4 ByKolles Racing Team ENSO CLM P1/01 with René Binder at the wheel. Both cars appeared to have sustained little, if any, damage.

Qualifying for the 6 Hours Of Silverstone begins at 12:00 on Saturday August 18.

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Announces Driver Line-Up For 2018 24 Heures du Mans (22.02.18)

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has revealed its full driver line-up for the 2018 running of the 24 Heures du Mans.

The Detroit-based manufacturer will be taking four examples of its Ford GT to the French classic, two from its entry to the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship and two from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

From the WEC entries, the #66 car driver paring of Stefan Mücke and Olivier Pla, the two regular FIA World Endurance Championship drivers, will be joined by 2016 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge GS class champion Billy Johnson. The #67 Ford GT will be driven by regular drivers Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell and, joining them at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Brazilian IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan. Kanaan drove with Joey Hand and Dirk Müller at Le Mans in 2017, finishing 6th in the LM GTE Pro class.

From the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the #68 car will be driven by the regular season #66 car driver line-up of Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Sébastien Bourdais. Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon will pilot the #69 car, the #67 car from the North American Championship.

The lights go out for 86th running of the 24 Heures du Mans on Saturday 16.06.18 at 15:00 local time.

Rebellion Racing To Campaign ORECA-Built Rebellion R 13 LMP1 In 2018/19 FIA WEC Super Season (05.02.18)

Swiss racing team Rebellion Racing, 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 champions, has announced that its LMP1 entry for the 2018/19 ‘Super Season’ will be an ORECA-designed-and-built chassis designated the Rebellion R 13. It will be powered by a Gibson engine.

ORECA Group CEO Hughes de Chaunac is delighted at how the project has developed.

“To design this new LM P1 prototype is a wonderful challenge” said de Chaunac. “When the design bureau began developing the ORECA 07, we really wanted to move up to the next level, one step higher compared to the ORECA 05. The successes achieved last year really motivated and convinced us to now tackle this highly competitive main category. Fitted with an atmospheric engine, this LM P1 will face a hard task against the Hybrid car but the Rebellion R 13 will be a very determined challenger.”

Continue reading Rebellion Racing To Campaign ORECA-Built Rebellion R 13 LMP1 In 2018/19 FIA WEC Super Season (05.02.18)

“We Believe That We’ve Created A Chassis That Is Class-Leading.” Ginetta’s Technical Director Ewan Baldry At Autosport 2018 (22.01.18)

The highlight of the 2018 Autosport Racing Car Show for many endurance racing enthusiasts was the presentation and launch of the new Ginetta G60-LT-P1, the new-for 2018 LMP1 car of which TRS-Manor has already announced it will take delivery of two examples for entry into the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship ‘Super Season’.

Ginetta Technical Director Ewan Baldry spoke additionally at the show to give some insight into the design and build of one the most exciting prototype projects for many years.

Below are some edited and summarised highlights from Ewan Baldry’s presentation.

Engine and Major Component Suppliers:

“Obviously we had designed an LMP2 car before, we had designed an LMP3 and the G58 and G57 cars which are prototype-based but to design a car like this and attempt to sell it for £1.3m, which is what the rolling chassis cost, without an engine, it’s quite a big ask and requires a good level of credibility. So it was logical for us to get on board with a good number of technical partners who could help with the credibility of that programme. The first on that list is Mecachrome. I was at the Cologne motorsport show last November and found their new GP2 engine on a turbo supplier’s stand. I got talking and went to visit them and found that they had assembled all the Renault Formula 1 engines since the year ‘dot’ right to now so they have a huge knowledge of wealth and experience and it’s been great to have them on board.”

“Xtrac is a no-brainer choice for a gearbox for this type of application.”

“The next one is ARS, a composites company. They’re Italian and they’ve had experience of manufacturing composites for programmes like this.”

“The next one is a special one for me. I started my motorsport career because when I was at university I came home after a night out and in those days Open University programmes used to be on the telly in the middle of the night. There was a programme about Reynard Racing Cars and at that point I decided that that’s what I wanted to do. Just a year ago I got introduced to Adrian Reynard who was my hero and we basically recruited their company to do our CFD services and I now count him as a friend which is great.”

“For the wind tunnel programme we chose Williams. I’m not sure you could choose anybody better. “

“And again, I think you would agree, some top-notch names; Öhlins for dampers, Bosch for the electronics, BBS for the wheels and AP for the braking equipment. “

Project Targets:

“Clearly the car has got to be reliable, it’s got to be serviceable and there are a lot of regulations around it as well. The real places where we could make a difference are aero-dynamically and the mass distribution of the car.”

“In terms of engine performance, again, it is relative given. The ACO have a fuel-flow method for controlling engine performance so they tend to cap engine performance by looking to cap the amount of fuel you’re allowed to use per hour so our real focus tended to start on the light weight of the vehicle and we were delighted the other day to put the car on the scales. You never really know until you’ve finished the car and put it on the scales how much it is going to weigh. The minimum weight limit when we line up on the grid at Le Mans this year is 833 kgs so that’s the minimum it’s got to be but your objective is always to make it as light as possible can so then you can apply ballast to the car which will give you performance in terms of the dynamic of the car. Also with a car like this, getting mass distribution forward is always a key requirement, a key focus and a key challenge too. The reason for that is obviously we need to work the front tyres in order to get the energy in them in order for them to heat up. It’s always a tricky thing to do so in order to do that you want to move weight, move ballast forward it gives the tyres more to do and obviously therefore enables them to warm and get into their key operating range.”

“So throughout the process I had to keep going to the CEO of the company to say can we spend a little bit more to take a little bit more weight out of the vehicle and the net result of that was we put the car on the scales the other day and it was 756 kgs. There was only a radio and a drinks system to go in there so we were miles under the 833 kgs target. The down side of that is that I then had to go to my boss and say you know I’ve been asking to spend a bit more money to make the car lighter. Well I now need to spend £25,000 on ballast to get the car up to the weight limit so it didn’t go down too well!”

Aero Package:

“What we’ve done is produced quite a high nose concept. If you look at the car and look down the gap between the side-pod and the front ‘elephant’s foot’ as we call it, you’ll see a void and the reason is to get the front end working first of all. Any aero designer will always start with the front splitter as they’re called, it’s more complex than a splitter, but they’ll start with that and the whole design feeds from that. They’ll focus on that bit first and that’s what we did. That said, we didn’t go quite as extreme as the Audi that never ran. They went really high nose for that but we needed to make sure we compromised slightly to ensure we had good driver comfort. We needed to make sure it was a bit more accessible so what we did was we built a wooden mock-up very early on that had a moveable foot-box and we got a range of drivers to sit in and arrived at what we thought was a good compromise and you will see the results over there. “

Aero Development:

“As I mentioned we used ARC in Indianapolis which is Adrian Reynard’s company and just to explain – they didn’t design anything for us – we design everything in-house at Ginetta. Our objective is always looking at the lift-drag ratio. That’s the result that we’re interested in – how much downforce we can generate for the amount of drag – there is a bit of a trade-off. So we did, I can’t totally remember, it must have been three or four hundred iterations of CFD throughout the programme of the car and it’s still on-going actually.”

“Once we’d arrived at what we thought was a good starting point for developing and testing further we then moved on to the wind tunnel programme.”

“A friend of mine who was an ex-F1 analyst travelled the world looking at various wind tunnel opportunities and decided to stay at home really and use Williams in the end and I’m really glad that we did. So we used Tunnel No1 at Williams which is where they won all the world championships. Tunnel 1 runs a 50% scale model. It has a moving table so it allows the car to yaw. So every time we did an iteration or a run of the car the model makers would make the changes to the car, they come out of the tunnel, the tunnel gets locked down, they press the button and start it and we record all the numbers. So at each iteration the car runs through a cycle – a complete range of pitch, a complete range of roll, a complete range of steer and also of yaw. So after every run we’d got a lift-over- drag number for each of those.”

“So the other key thing we did here – we took the decision to go with pneumatic tyres which again was an expensive decision to take but again with a car like this the flow of the car is so significant to the overall performance and the tyres affect that significantly. If you take a slightly cheaper route you take a solid carbon fibre wheel / tyre but it doesn’t deform in the way that a rubber one obviously does and when the car steers, pitches and rolls we want to try and get deformation so what happens is that the guys at Williams take the Michelin or the Dunlop tyre that we would use in real life and they perform a test where they load the tyre and look at the contact patch and change and then we use an Italian company to look at that and make us a model tyre – 50% tyre – from rubber and it get inflated and then they try to match that contact patch deformation that occurs so we get good representation of what is going on under the car.”

Engine:

“We also wanted to design it around a specific engine although other engines are available and the tub has been designed to accept other possible engine configurations as it’s a customer race car we’re selling. That said, we strongly would advise to go down the Mecachrome route – it’s been a fantastic process so far working with them and to that end as well as I’ll tell you about shortly, the gearbox has been designed to bolt straight to the engine so there’s no integral bell-housing which again gives us benefits in terms of structural stiffness, weight etc.”

“The base of the engine is the GP2 engine and the thing that appealed to us about it was that, first of all, it’s tiny but most of all I guess is that as part of the GP2 signing-off process they’ve had to do hours of durability testing as part of their contractual obligations for Formula 2. So all of the reciprocating components in the engine have gone through that durability programme. What we’ve done is turn the engine into GDI so it’s direct injection. The F2 engine isn’t. For Le Mans, to be competitive, you have to have good fuel efficiency so we had to switch to GDI which gives us 10% – 15% improvement in efficiency. But it is not the work of a moment and Mecachrome have spent all of the nine months that we’ve been developing the new car, developing g the new casting and the new cylinder heads for GDI. We fired up the engine for the first time last Tuesday before we brought the car here and I’m pleased to say it doesn’t sound anything like a Formula 1 engine. It sounds fantastic – it really screams.”

“It’s a ‘Hot V’ so the turbo sits in the V rather than on the flanks of the engine which has been really good for the cooling package and packaging in general.”

Gearbox:

“In terms of the gearbox we did look around but we decided to go with Xtrac for fairly obvious reasons as they’ve got an incredible pedigree at Le Mans and the 24 Hours. I don’t know what the numbers are but I guess that last year they must have had 75% of the cars on the grid. We’ve taken a gear cluster that has won Le Mans many times so we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. What we have done is twisted the cluster slightly to make it go further forwards and lower in the interest of the C of G. The other interesting thing is that, with Xtrac, we have designed our own casing so whereas other cars who use an off-the-shelf gearbox use an adaptor, our case is custom so it bolts straight to the back of the Mecachrome engine. “

Chassis:

“On to the chassis. To our knowledge, we’re not totally sure, but to our knowledge this is the first car to have Zylon panels integrated into it . Zylon panels are effectively mandated by the regulations – they’re effectively an impact resistant structure. And normally they get laminated and cured separately onto the chassis and the bonded on which means that you don’t really get much performance from them other than when the impact happens – if it happens. However the reason it’s done that way is that they generally don’t bond very well in testing of the systems that have been used previously. ARS, the company that we use, and the materials supplier have come up with a new resin system that has enabled them to co-laminate the Zylon into there. So we believe that we’ve created a chassis that is class leading. It weighs just under 60 kgs and our knowledge in terms of everything in LMP2 is that they’re around 75kgs’ I’m not sure what an Audi or a Toyota would be . I’m sure we’re knocking on the door of what they’ve achieved so we’re delighted with that.