Virage De Mulsanne Annnounces Theme for 2017 (20.10.16)

The Virage Mulsanne Association, which organises the extremely popular pre-race Friday event based at Mulsanne Corner, has announced its theme for 2017.

In 2016 Virage de Mulsanne honoured Ford, and the fiftieth anniversary of its famous 1-2-3, with a gathering of over 500 vehicles which included many examples from the ‘Blue Oval’.

For 2017 the theme will be ‘Jaguar’. Jaguar is a name synonymous with Le Sarthe, having recorded five victories in seven years between 1951 and 1957 and enjoying further success in 1990 with a 1-2 from Tom Walkinshaw’s Silk Cut-sponsored XJR-12s.

Virage de Mulsanne will be hoping to attract even more cars to its display which runs from Mulsanne Corner and extends down the circuit towards Indianapolis.

In 2016 the weather, which those of us who attended will remember, was wet and miserable for much of the week but it cleared on Friday, allowing an opportunity to spend a very pleasant lunchtime at Mulsanne, viewing the assembled cars and grabbing the chance to walk along the empty circuit on which, twenty fours later, battle would commence.

Artist Ray Toombs, the official illustrator of Virage de Mulsanne, will be present at the event in 2017

If you are planning to travel to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2017, don’t miss out on Virage de Mulsanne on Friday June 16, possibly before travelling to the town for the Parade des Pilotes.

Finale At Estoril! – European Le Mans Series Round Six – Preview (18.10.16)

The 2016 European Le Mans Series reaches a conclusion on October 23 with the sixth and final round at Circuito do Estoril in Portugal.

10 LMP2 cars will take to the grid this weekend, three less than at Round Five at Spa-Francorchamps. Missing for the 4 Hours of Estoril will be the #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2, piloted by Michael Munemann, Jonathan Hirschi and Andrea Pizzitola in Belgium. Also absent will be the #47 Team WRT Ligier JS P2 and the #48 Murphy Prototypes ORECA 03R.

Continue reading Finale At Estoril! – European Le Mans Series Round Six – Preview (18.10.16)

FIA World Endurance Championship – 6 Hours Of Fuji – LMP1 And LMP2 – Race Report (17.10.16)

Victory in October 16’s 6 Hours Of Fuji, Round Seven in the FIA World Endurance Championship, went to the #6 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 driven by Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi. Second, and only 1.439 seconds behind at the chequered flag after 6 hours of intense racing, was the #6 Audi Sport Team Joest R18 piloted by Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis.

Taking the final podium spot was the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, driven by Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Harley.

The #8 Audi Sport Team Joest R18 led away from the line, having qualified on pole and led for much of the race. However, slightly longer pit-stops than either the #6 Toyota or the #1 Porsche meant that di Grassi, Duval and Jarvis were never able to establish a comfortable lead. They were, however, not involved in the scrap for second place between the Toyota and the Porsche and could their own race.

Continue reading FIA World Endurance Championship – 6 Hours Of Fuji – LMP1 And LMP2 – Race Report (17.10.16)

Toyota Gazoo Racing Wins R7 Of FIA WEC At Fuji (16.10.16)

The #6 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 with Kamui Kobayashi at the wheel took victory at Fuji Speedway by the narrowest of margins from the Audi Sport team Joest R18 driven by Loïc Duval.

Third across the line in the LMP1 class was #1 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid with Mark Webber taking the final stint.

In LMP2 an enthralling battle between the #26 G-Drive Racing ORECA 05 with Will Stevens at the wheel and the #42 RGR Sport by Morand Ligier JS P2 driven by Bruno Senna finished with the #26 taking the lead and the class victory on the final lap.

In LMGTE Pro Ford Chip Ganassi Racing took the first two positions in class with its Ford GT. The #67 car with Andy Priaulx driving took the win with the #66 driven by Stefan Mücke second , just 15.506 seconds behind.

In LMGTE Am the #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 with Pedro Lamy at the wheel took the class victory, one lap ahead of the #83 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia, Rui Aguas taking the final stint.

Full race report to follow.

Audi Sport Team Joest Takes Pole for Round Seven Of FIA WEC At Fuji (15.10.16)

The Audi Sport Team Joest R18 with the driver line-up of Lucas Di Grassi, Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis took pole position for Round Seven of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship at Fuji Speedway. Di Grassi took the first qualifying stint and put in a 1:23.854, improved by over half a second by his team-mate Duval who lapped in 1:23,286.

The average lap-time of 1:23.570 was enough to put them on pole for Sunday’s six-hour race by .025 seconds ahead of the #1 Porsche team 919 Hybrid. Mark Webber, who recently announced his retirement from professional driving, lapped in 1:23.525 while his team-mate Timo Bernhard put in a 1:23.665 on his second lap out of three.

To make it three different manufactures occupying the first three slots on the grid, Toyota Gazoo Racing’s #5 TS050-Hybrid will occupy third place after Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastian Buemi lapped in an average of 1:23.79.

Continue reading Audi Sport Team Joest Takes Pole for Round Seven Of FIA WEC At Fuji (15.10.16)

FIA WEC Returns To Fuji For Round Seven (12.10.16)

The 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship pays it annual visit to the 4.549 kms Fuji International Speedway at Oyama in the Shizuoka Prefecture for Round Seven on October 16..

In the FIA World Endurance Manufacturers Championship Porsche Team now holds a 53-point advantage over Audi Sport team Joest after victory at the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for the #1 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid driven by Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley. Having qualified in pole and second on the grid for the 2015 race followed by a win for Bernard, Hartley and Webber, Porsche Team are confident going into the latest round.

Continue reading FIA WEC Returns To Fuji For Round Seven (12.10.16)

"When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is…. just waiting. " Steve McQueen – "Le Mans" – 1971