Category Archives: FIA World Endurance Championship

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


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.”

FIA WMSC Approves Evolution To World Endurance Championship (07.12.17)


Ahead of the transitional 2018/18 FIA World Endurance Championship, the FIA World Motor Sport Council has approved changes to the regulations.

The primary change is that the LMP1 title will now be awarded to a team and not a manufacturer. This is in response to the launch of the privateer LMP1 class in 2018. Additionally, only the highest-placed car within a team will score points towards the teams’ classification. Commentators have pointed out that this is a move designed to encourage multi-car teams.

The three priorities that the ACO has set for the World Endurance Championship are to encourage more manufacturers and private teams, control budgets and maintain a cutting-edge approach to technology. Manufacturers are encouraged to supply non-hybrid engines to private teams and there is a possibility that a manufacturer could enter a non-non-hybrid car under a branding deal with a partner.

Continue reading FIA WMSC Approves Evolution To World Endurance Championship (07.12.17)

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.

Alonso Steals The Show At FIA World Endurance Championship Rookie Test (20.11.17)


2005-6 FIA Formula One World Champion Fernando Alsonso took centre stage at the FIA WEC Rookie Test in Bahrain following the season-ending championship round at the International Circuit.

McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team driver Alonso put in 113 laps in the race-winning #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050, circulating in 1:43.013 on his fifty-third lap of 76 in the afternoon session.

Alonso was delighted at the results of the test.

“It was a great day,” said the Spaniard. “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 a long time now and today I could achieve that so I am happy.”

Quickest of the true rookies in the LMP1 category was Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time Formula 1 champion, Emerson, who put in a 1:42.275 on his seventh lap of ten in the afternoon session. Fittipaldi was driving the #1 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid that enjoyed its final competitive outing the previous day in the 6 Hours of Bahrain.

TL a.a. 17.11.20


Thomas Laurent, driver of the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07 which finished second in both the previous day’s race and also the LMP2 Teams Trophy, drove the #7 Toyota TS050, his best lap being a 1:43.273 in the afternoon session.

In the LMP2 class Jackie Chan DC Racing tested two new drivers. 17-year old Dutchman Rinus Van Kalmthout, who finished second in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, drove the ‘Fortunecat’ #37 ORECA 07 and put in a 1:50.140 on his penultimate lap of the afternoon session.

Also testing with Jackie Chan DC Racing was the 22-year old Canadian Garett Grist. Grist has had some previous prototype experience after contesting two rounds of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship in the Starworks Motorsports ORECA FLM09 in the PC class. Grist was fifth quickest of the test with a 1:50.456.

2017 LMP2 champions Vaillante Rebellion tested Matevoz Isaakyan, the young Russian driver who drove for SMP Racing in the 2017 European Le Mans Series.

With an eye to the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship, Singapore-based Clearwater Racing tested Olivier Beretta and Ishikawa Motoaki in its LMGTE Am #61 Ferrari F48 GTE. Beretta needs no introduction as the Monégasque driver competed in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1996 and, twenty-one years later, contested the 2017 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and the 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series. Beretta lapped in a best time of 2:01.805 in the afternoon session.

Ishikawa has experience in the GT3 version of the Ferrari F488, having competed in the 2017 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with AF Corse.

Toyota Wins In Bahrain. Vaillante Rebellion Secures LMP2 Teams Championship (19.11.17)


Toyota Gazoo Racing took the final victory of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship after Sébastien Buemi brought the #8 Toyota TS050 he shared with Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima home one lap ahead of the #2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid driven by Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley, Bernhard at the wheel for the final stint.

Taking the final overall podium position was the sister #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, André Lotterer and Nick Tandy.

Porsche LMP Team had previously secured both the Manufacturers and Drivers titles with Bernhard, Bamber and Hartley being crowned 2017 Drivers Champions at the previous round in Shanghai.

#31 VAILLANTE REBELLION / CHE / Oreca 07 - Gibson -



The LMP2 class saw a titanic battle between the Jackie Chan DC Racing and Vaillante Rebellion. The #31 Vaillante Rebellion ORECA 07, with Bruno Senna at the wheel, crossed the line to take the class victory, and with it the LMP2 Teams Trophy, 10.696 seconds ahead of Oliver Jarvis driving the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07.

Third on the LPM2 class podium was the sister Vaillante Rebellion entry, the #13 ORECA 07, with Mathis Beche taking the final stint in the car he shared with David Heinemeier Hansson and Nelson Piquet Jr.

Ferrari finished 1 -2 in the LMGTE Pro class after AF Corse brought its #71 Ferrari 488 GTE home to take the class victory. Sam Bird was at the wheel for the run to the flag in the car he shared with Davide Rigon.

Second in class was the sister #51 AF Corse entry driven by James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, Calado bringing the car home at the finish, just .174 seconds behind the #71 entry.

The final podium spot in the LMGTE Am class was taken by the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell.

Ferrari again dominated the podium in the LMGTE Am class although Aston Martin Racing took the class victory with its #98 Aston Martin V8 Vantage completing 170 laps in the hands of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda.

Singapore-based Clearwater Racing, who has already declared its intention to compete in the 2018/19 Super Season, finished second with its Ferrari F488 GTE piloted by Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin. Spirit of Race also put its F488 GTE on the podium when the #54 entry with the river line-up of Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Miguel Molina finished third in class.

With four cars on the grid in the premier class, it was the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 with Sébastien Buemi at the wheel who took the early lead, ahead of pole-sitting Neel Jani in the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

There was drama in the first ten minutes after a bollard became dislodged and found its way under the #2 Porsche for which Timo Bernhard had to pit for removal.

Nick Tandy, driving the #1 Porsche also had an incident shortly before the half-way point when he made contact with the #86 Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR (991) driven by Nicholas Foster. The #1 car received a Stop-Go penalty after being considered to have been at fault.

Toyota could have finished the season with a 1 – 2 but the #7 car, with Kamui Kobayashi at the wheel, was involved in a collision with the #92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR driven by Michael Christensen. The #7 car lost two laps due to the resulting repair and finished fourth in class.

The 6 Hours of Bahrain was the final appearance for the Porsche 919 Hybrid after first appearing in 2014.

All eyes were on the #31 Vallainte Rebellion entry and the ‘Mighty’ #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry in the LMP2 class as only four points separated them at the top of the class teams standings.

The battle lasted throughout the race with the #38 car, with Thomas Laurent driving, holding the lead in class at the half-way point. Bruno Senna in the #31 car, however, was in the lead as the race entered its final hour but drama occurred when he reported a power-steering failure.

Although early reports suggested that the #31 car was ‘undriveable’ Senna hung on and his lap-times barely dropped. Ollie Jarvis in the #38 car, meanwhile, put in a valiant final stint to close the gap to the lead car by less than 11 seconds but the expected drop-off in performance of the #31 car did not occur and Senna held on to take the victory.

In the Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Pro Teams, AF Corse took the title with its #51 Ferrari F488 GTE driven by James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi, who won three times during the season, at the Nürburgring, the Circuit of the Americas and at Fuji. The Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK #67 Ford GT finished second on 146 points.

Aston Martin Racing took the Endurance Trophy For LMGTE Am Teams with its #98 Aston Martin Vantage piloted by Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda. The #98 crew won at Spa-Francorchamps, CoTA, Shanghai and at Bahrain in a season of consistency and excellence.

The FIA World Endurance Championship grid next assembles competitively at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on May 4 – 5 for the first round of the 2018/19 ‘Super Season’.

Porsche On Pole For Final Round Of 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (17.11.17)


Nick Tandy and Neel Jani put the #1 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid on pole position for the 6 Hours of Bahrain, the final round of the 2017 FIA Endurance Championship.

Tandy lapped the Bahrain International Circuit in 1:39.683 on his fifth lap of six while Jani put in a 1:39.084 on his second lap to average 1:39.383.

The #1 Porsche took pole by .263 seconds from the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 in which Mike Conway lapped in 1:39.517 and Jose Maria Lopez put in a 1:39.776 to average 1:39.646.

Taking the third grid slot will be the sister #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid in which 2017 Drivers Champions Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber averaged 1:40.011.

Continue reading Porsche On Pole For Final Round Of 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (17.11.17)