Category Archives: FIA World Endurance Championship

Toyota 1 – 2 At Rain-Soaked Shanghai (18.11.18)

Photo: Joao Filipe / Adrenalmedia.com

Toyota Gazoo Racing made it a 1-2 at the 6 Hours of Shanghai, Round Five of the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship “Super Season”, with the #7 Toyota TS050 – Hybrid, piloted by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López crossing the line 1.419 seconds ahead of the sister #8 car driven by Sébastian Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso.

Completing the podium positions in the LMP1 category was the #11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1-AER with the driver line-up of Mikhail Aleshin, Vitaly Petrov and Jenson Button.

Taking the victory in the LMP2 category was the “Mighty” #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Gibson-powered ORECA 07 with the driver line-up of Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Stéphane Richelmi. Second in the LMP2 class was the #31 DragonSpeed ORECA 07 piloted by Roberto Gonzalez, Pastor Maldonado and Anthony Davidson. The #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470 completed the top three in the LMP2 category with the driver line-up of Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Pierre Thiriet bring the #36 car home 53.375 seconds behind the #31 DragonSpeed entry.

The LMGTE Pro category was won by the #96 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR driven by the Danish duo of Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim followed by the #91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR piloted by Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni just 9.529 seconds behind.

Porsche took a clean sweep of the podium positions in the LMGTE Am category with the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR with the driver line-up of Christian Ried, Julien Andlauer and Matt Campbell taking the class victory ahead of the #56 Team Project 1 entry piloted by Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey and Egidio Perfetti. Completing the top three positions in class was the sister #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing entry driven by Khaled Al Qubaisi, Riccardo Pera and Matteo Cairoli.

Kamui Kobayashi, driver of the winning #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 – Hybrid, was prepared for the bad weather that affected much of the race and was careful to manage the risk that the torrential rain provided.

“We expected this was going to be a hard one and the rain was really a lot and I had no visibility at all,” said Kobayashi. “We just try to nit take any risk and overtake properly but we knew that at points the safety car would come out to make it a help for us.”

“We tried not to push too hard and we had a safety car on not good timing and we made a gap to the #8 car which for them was a big shame. When we restarted we tried to pull a gap. It was quite good and the car felt good too and I handed it over to Mike (Conway).”

“The team did a great job and I have to congratulate everyone.”

Stephane Richelmi felt unwell as race day approached but, as starting driver for the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07, knew he had a big responsibility.

“I have been a a bit sick today so when I opened up the curtains this morning and saw the rain I said, ‘Okay, I want to stay in bed and have a chilled day’ but I had a job to do and start the race.”

“It was not easy obviously because of the conditions and we lost some positions at the start. We made a tricky choice with the tyre pressures and it was hard to stay on track but I knew the race was long and even if we dropped to P5, the win was still possible and then we made a good choice to out before the others.”

“When the safety car went in, the pace of the car was good and we could open a gap and then my teammates continued the good job, especially Gabby on the inters.”

Marco Sorensen was delighted to take the first win for the new Aston Martin Racing Vantage AMR with teammate Nicki Thiim in the #96 entry.

“It was definitely a long race in difficult conditions as you saw,” said the Danish driver. “I think e are both super happy that we got the first win with the new car. It seemed so quick that we were almost fighting for the overall victory today.”

“The team has been doing so much work. It was a hard start to the season, so to finish off before the winter break with a win we can go home and try to improve even more. I’m just super happy and we are looking forward to Sebring.”

The win for Toyota Gazoo Racing means that it leads the FIA World Endurance Championship by on 118 points, 28 ahead of Rebellion Racing. The crew of the #8 Toyota TS050 – Hybrid lead the Drivers Championship, however, on 102 points with Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi five points ahead of teammates José Mariá López, Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway.

In the LMP2 class, victory in China means that the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry now holds a ten-point lead over the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut car. The sister #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry is a further four points back on 98 points.

Porsche now had a commanding lead the GTE Manufacturers standings on 181 points, 76 ahead of Ford on 105 points.

The LMGTE Am Teams Endurance Trophy standings are led by Team Project 1 on 84 points, twenty points ahead of the #98 Aston Martin Racing entry, after the Dempsey-Proton Racing was stripped of all championship points earned thus far in the season due to a fueling irregularity, the penalty for which was announced prior to the 6 Hours of Shanghai.

The FIA World Endurance Championship grid assembles next for the 1000 Miles of Sebring on March 13 – 15 2019.

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)