Category Archives: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Mazda Team Joest Announces Drivers For 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (29.11.17)

Photo: Mazda Motorsports

Mazda Team Joest has announced its driver line-up for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Current Mazda Motorsports drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nuñez will be joined Oliver Jarvis and Harry Tincknell. For the longer endurance races, the line-up will be joined by Spencer Pigot and René Rast.

Oliver Jarvis, who drove for Jackie Chan DC Racing alongside Ho-Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent in the 2017 FIA World, finishing runner-up in the Teams Trophy after a titanic battle with Bruno Senna in the #31 Vaillante Rebellion, is excited by the opportunity.

during the 2017 FIA WEC World Endurance Championship, 6 Hours of Bahrain from November 15 to 18 at International Circuit of Sakhir - Photo Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI

Photo: Mazda Motorsports

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Mazda at such an exciting time,” said Jarvis. “I have followed the project closely since the launch of the stunning RT24-P and I am convinced that the project will be successful. It was an easy decision when the opportunity arose to be part of it.”

“Having raced and won both the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 24 Hours, the IMSA Championship is one I know very well” continued Jarvis. “It has always been a goal of mine to race in the championship full-time and I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be part of the Championship as it continues to grow.”

Harry Tincknell has enjoyed a spectacular journey over the past four year, joining Jota Sport for its assault on the 2014 European Le Mans Series, a season which included winning the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, being part of Nissan Motorsports line-up for the 2015 running of the French classic, winning the LMP2 class with G-Drive Racing in the 2016 Europe Le Mans Series and, latterly, driving for Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2016 and 2017.

 

2017 World Endurance Championship Round 9, Bahrain 15th - 18th November 2017 Photo: Drew Gibson

 

Photo: Drew Gibson

“I’m really honoured to be able to race for Mazda Team Joest this season in the WeatherTech Championship, “said the Exeter, UK-based driver. “The whole Mazda Team has put in so much effort and made a lot of progress in every area and after my first test in the car I can’t wait to see how we get on at Daytona.”

John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports in North America explains how the team arrived it its driver line-up.

“Mazda has had a driver development program since 2007,” said Doonan. “ So, It’s a big part of our Mazda Prototype program to feature drivers that have come up through the Mazda ranks, whether that’s in sports care like Tristan Nuñez or the open-wheel side things with Bomarito and Pigot. We’re thrilled that those superb young men are back with us again in 3018.”

“Working with Joest, we were also able to secure fast, winning drivers from their recent history, which makes Jarvis and Rast a good fit, as is Tincknell, who has been successful in both GT and Prototype cars. We ask a lot of our drivers outside the car as well, so it’s great to add drivers who will fit the chemistry of what we hope to achieve as a team.”

The 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship opens with the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 25 – 28.

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!

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)

Ford Motor Company Extends IMSA And WEC Programs Until 2019

Fresh from celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of its 1966 1-2-3 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a 1-3-4 finish in GTE Pro category at the 2016 running of the French classic, Ford Motor Company has announced that the Ford GT program will run for a minimum of three more years.

Ford Motor Company, in conjunction with Chip Ganassi Racing, is currently running two cars each in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Continue reading Ford Motor Company Extends IMSA And WEC Programs Until 2019