Category Archives: IMSA Series

The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (17.03.17)

Photo Above: United Autosports

With the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and the 24H SERIES 12H Mugello this weekend, The Prologue to the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship just over a week away and the European Le Mans Series test at Monza the following week, the 2017 endurance and GT-racing season is bursting into life.

As a result, this week saw announcements concerning, amongst others, the Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup, the European Le Mans Series and the British GT Championship.

United Autosports started the week with the announcement that race team owner, driver, businessman and former professional baseball player CJ Wilson and compatriot Andrew Evans will be joining the team for an assault on the 2017 Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup. Wilson retired from professional baseball at the age of 36 and now owns a substantial automotive dealership business, amongst other businesses.

“My goal is to develop as a driver and climb the ranks,” said Wilson. “United Autosports has proven they can win at develop drivers. Andrew and I decided that this is a huge opportunity to get across the Atlantic and challenge ourselves with an incredible platform in LMP3.”

Read the full story on EnduranceandGT.co.uk here.

Century Motorsport confirmed its entries in the GT4 class of the 2017 British GT Championship. Anna Walewska will be returning the team to partner highly-experienced Ginetta driver Mike Simpson. The sister car will feature two names new to the British GT Championship but both are experienced endurance racers. Stephen Fresle and Dane Jacob Mathiassen, who competed in the Britcar Endurance series in 2016, will pilot Century Motorsport’s second entry in the GT4 class.

“It’s great to be back in British GT with Century Motorsport after our success last year,” said Anna Walewska. “I am excited to race with Mike Simpson who has so much experience to bring to the team. Together we will be a fierce driver pairing and I can’t wait to see how the season unfolds.”

Read the full story on EnduranceandGT.co.uk here.

In the European Le Mans Series, which opens at Silverstone on April 15, Panis-Barthez Compétition has announced its driver line-ups for its LMP2 and LMP3 entries. Nathanaël Berthon, Fabien Barthez and Timothé Buret will pilot the Ligier JS P217 in the LMP2 class while Eric Debard, Simon Gacher and young American driver Theo Bean will form the driving line-up for the team’s Ligier JS P3.

Team Principal Olivier Panis said: “I am very happy to start our program. The arrival of the new Ligier JS P217 in LMP2 is going to make us reach a turning point in terms of technical and physical performance. It will also require a higher level of driving. That is why we wished to have a driver with solid experience in Endurance by Fabien and Timothé’s sides and Nathanaël Berthon meets this requirement.”

Read the full story here.

At G-Drive by DragonSpeed, Léo Roussel has been confirmed as the third full-season driver for its ORECA 07, joining Memo Rojas and Ryo Hirakawa. The young Frenchman completes the two–car European Le Mans Series effort for the team who will also be racing under the 10Star DragonSpeed banner for its second car, to be driven by Henrik Hedman, Nicolas Lapierre and Ben Hanley.

You can read the full story here.

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship enters its second round this weekend with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fuelled By Fresh From Florida. The flag drops for the start of the US classic at 10:40 local time (06:40 GMT for UK fans). Click here for the provisional entry list.

Also racing this weekend is the 24H SERIES 12H Mugello. The first six-hour session starts at 14:00 local time. The excellent live-timing screen can be accessed here.

Wherever you are and whatever you’re racing and watching, have a great sportscar weekend!

The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (03.03.17)

Photo: Roger Jenkins

With less than four weeks to the Media Day and season launch of the 2017 British GT Championship, there was plenty of news from across the world of sportscar racing to whet our appetites for the year ahead.

Looking at the British GT Championship, In2Racing has confirmed that it will campaign two McLaren 570S GT4s this season. The Stratford-upon-Avon-based team had planned a to race a Porsche Cayman GT4 in last year’s championship but was unable to take delivery of a car in time to enter the season fully prepared.

However, In2Racing is back in 2017 with the McLaren 570S GT4, a car which made its debut at the 2016 British GT Media Day. The team has also announced its first driver line-up.

Gareth Howell and Richard Marsh will pilot the first of its entries. A full-time McLaren development driver, Howell is returning to racing for the first time since 2010. Although he has plenty of development miles under his belt in the road-going car, he has only tested the GT4 version of the 570S.

Richard Marsh has previous experience in the British GT Championship, having had four outings in 2008 in the Chad Peninsula Racing Ferrari 430 GT3. 2017 will be his first year in GT4 machinery. You can read the full story on EnduranceAndGT.co.uk here.

JYPoster a.a. 17.03.03

Poster for Oulton Park: Jake Yorath and Britishgt.com

AmDTuning.com, having announced last year that it would be campaigning the new Mercedes AMG GT3 in 2017, confirmed that Lee Mowle and Ryan Ratcliffe will be sharing driving duties. Ratcliffe, by his own admission, had a difficult year in 2016 when his full-season entry in the Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 was brought to a premature conclusion. Ratcliffe is excited by the opportunities presented this season.

“I think me and Lee will be a good pairing who can run towards the front end of the grid,” said Ratcliffe. “I think we’ll have good pace when it comes to the races where strategy will also play a role, and I’d like to think we can challenge for podium positions.”

AmDTuning.com was out testing the car this week and both drivers, via their comments on social media, seem confident that the car will deliver on its promises. Read the full story on EnduranceAndGT.co.uk  here.

Team Parker Racing, after an exciting debut season last year for its Bentley Continental GT3, announced that it will place two full-season examples of the iconic marque on the grid in 2017. 2016 driver pairing Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr enjoyed three pole positions and a win at Oulton Park to finish third in the GT3 Drivers Championship. This week the team announced that Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod will be piloting the first of its entries this year.

Loggie and Macleod have experience in the Bentley Continental GT3, having raced in the 2016 Blancpain GT Series. They also made British GT Championship appearances at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps. Read the full story on EnduranceAndGT.co.uk here.

There was exciting news this week from Ginetta. After announcing its project to build an LMP1 car for 2018 in January, the team confirmed that Mecachrome has been appointed as engine supplier for the car.

Ginetta Technical Director Ewan Baldry said of the appointment: “We are delighted to be working with Bruno (Engelric – Mecachrome Motorsport Manager) and Mecachrome on the Ginetta LMP1 engine. Both parties see the current landscape in LMP1 as the perfect opportunity to become involved in the project and we look forward to a very exciting 2017.”

Ginetta has also confirmed the appointment of Paolo Catone as a full-time consultant on its LMP1 project. Catone was part of the Peugeot LMP1 project and, more recently, the BR01 LMP2 project.

Read about the Ginetta – Mechachrome partnership here.

Elsewhere the driver line up for the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR has been finalised. Christian Ried, Marvin Dienst and Matteo Cairoli will share the driving duties in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship. You can read the full story from FIAWEC.com here.

In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has announced that it will enter three Ford GTs at the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 18.

Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance said: “We wish we could send all four cars like we did at the Rolex 24 At Daytona but the WEC cars will already be prepped for The Prologue test at Monza and the first race of the season at Silverstone. Even though it’s impossible to bring all of our Ford GTs, we didn’t want to see this important opportunity to continue our cross-development pass us by”

You can read the full story from IMSA.com here.

Looking east, the Automobile Club de L’Ouest has announced the dates for the 2017 Asian Le Mans Series Sprint Cup. The series will be held over four rounds at the Sepang International Circuit. The dates are listed here.

Sports Car Season – 2017 (26.02.17)

In planning for the season ahead, I compiled, for my own use, a spreadsheet showing dates and rounds of the championships and series that I will be reviewing.

With such a packed schedule on both sides of the Atlantic, if my spreadsheet is of help to you in planning your viewing or listening, please feel free to use it.

I’ll be adding further details and series over the next few days.

Have a great 2017 season!

EnduranceAndGT Sportscar Racing Calendar 2017

 

 

Bruni Confirmed As Porsche Works Driver (21.02.17)

Photo Above Credit: gianmariabruni.it

Porsche has confirmed that Gianmaria Bruni, one of the finest GT drivers of his generation, will join its works squad later in 2017.

Bruni will start testing from June and contest races in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the US from July onwards.

The 35-year old Italian has a long history in GTs, most notably driving Ferraris. He was part of the driving line-up of two teams who have won the GT class of 24 Hours of Le Mans three times in the iconic marque. In 2008, as part of the Risi Competizione squad alongside Mika Salo and Jaime Melo, he won the GT2 class in the team’s Ferrari F430. Four years later he returned to the top step of the LMGTE Pro podium in the AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia alongside Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander. The trio repeated the victory in the 2014 running of the French classic.

Bruni won the GTE Pro championship in the 2013 and 2014 seasons of the FIA World Endurance Championship, again driving for AF Corse.

Porsche Motorsport is excited with its signing.

“We’re delighted to welcome Gianmaria Bruni, one of the world’s top GT pilots, into our squad,” said head of Porsche Motorsport, Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser. “He fits perfectly into our strong circle of works drivers and will join us for the second half of the season.”

Bruni commented on social media that he “needed a new challenge” but that he will “never forget my past”.

Bruni will potentially be available to join his new team for the Sahlen’s Six Hours Of The Glen on June 29 to July 02, the sixth round of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing To Enter Four Ford GTs at the Rolex 24 At Daytona (14.12.16)

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has announced that all four of its Ford GTs, two from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and two from the FIA World Endurance Championship, will contest January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

This will be the first time that all four cars have been together on the same circuit since the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 2016.

Continue reading Ford Chip Ganassi Racing To Enter Four Ford GTs at the Rolex 24 At Daytona (14.12.16)