Tag Archives: EGT

G-Drive Racing’s James Allen Shares His Thoughts On The 2018 European Le Mans Series With EnduranceandGT. (09.04.18)

Photo: @ParenRavel

James Allen is about to start his second season in the European Le Mans Series, having finished third in the LMP2 Teams Championship, driving alongside Richard Bradley, Franck Matelli and Gustavo Yacamán in the #40 Graff ORECA 07. James also competed in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2017, finishing sixth overall and fifth in class. As the second session of the 2018 European Le Mans Series Official Test got underway at Circuit Paul Ricard, James spoke to EnduranceanGT editor Andy Lloyd about the forthcoming season.

James, you’re about to embark on your second season in the European Le Mans Series. Armed with the experience that you’ve gained in your first season and the considerable success you had at the end of 2017, what are your thoughts on 2018?

“My team-mates have changed, the car has been updated, the tyres are different – I’m confident but I’m not going in expecting to win straight out of the gate. I’m trying to focus on doing the best I can with what I have.”

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Photo: @ParenRaval

You mentioned that fact that you’ve got a new driver combination. What work have you been doing far to build up the driving relationship up between Enzo Guibbert, Jose Gutiérrez and yourself?

“Enzo and I did the Dunlop tyre test together at Motorland Aragon. We’ve also had a couple of tests here at Circuit Paul Ricard with Jose so I’ve had a chance to meet with them both and talk with them and figure out what kind of drivers they are. Hopefully we’re going to work well together this season.”

You’re approaching your second Le Mans. The first one is always very daunting but you must be approaching the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans in a very different manner, having already been through the race-week experience.

“Yes, I’m a lot less nervous this year. I was wondering last year if I could do the whole race and I definitely learned a lot of new things. I had an accident early in the morning last year that I’ve definitely learned from. Overall I’m quite a bit more relaxed about this year.”

And how was this morning for you? The track was getting quicker as the session progressed.

“Because we have new tyres we weren’t sure if the intermediates or the wets were better this morning. We found it was the wets that ended up being better. I hadn’t been out in the wet up to now so it was a new thing to get my head around. We were just trying to work on the pace and see how far we could go and we ended up being quite fast.”

The first round of the 2018 European Le Mans Series, the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, takes place at Circuit Paul Ricard on April 15.

Graff / Gommendy Tops Timing Screens After First Practice At Circuit Paul Ricard (09.04.18)

Photo: @ParenRaval

Conditions at the Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, slowly improved throughout the morning session and lap-times fell as drivers became more confident in the tricky conditions. With a resurfaced track and the removal of a chicane, times were always going to be quicker than 2017 where the #21 DragonSpeed ORECA 07 driven by Hedman Lapierre and Hanley was on pole with a 1:52.761

Tristan Gommendy, driving the #39 Graff ORECA 07 he shares wit Alexandra Cougnaud and Jonathan Hirschi, set the fastest time of the four-hour first practice session with a 1:44.012 driven in the dying seconds of a session that saw lap-times tumbling in the final five minutes. Second quickest was the LMP2 category was the #35 SMP Racing Dallara P217 driven by Victor Shaitar.

Third quickest in the LMP2 category was the #32 United Autosports Ligier JSP217 driven by Hugo de Sadeleer, in the car he shaes with Willam Owen and Wayne Boyd

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In the LMP3 class it was the #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3 which lapped quickest in the hands of Sean Rayhall, defending LMP3 champion, in the car he shares with John Falb. Rahall set a 1:53.081. Second quickest with a 1:53.269 was the #17 Ultimate Ligier driven by Matthieu Lahaye. Completing the top three times in theLMP3 class was the #19 M.Racing-YMR Norma M30 n which David Droux set a 1:53.584.

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Proton Competition set the fastest time of the session in the LMGTE class with a 1:56.548 in the #88 Porsche 911 RSR drven by Gianluca Roda, Giorgio Roda and Matteo Cairoli. Aaron Scott in the #55 Spirit of Race Ferrari F488 GTE was second quickest with a 1:56.766 in the car he shares with Matthew Griffin and Duncan Cameron.

Third quickest in the LMGTE class was the #66 Ferrari of defending champions JMW Motorsport driven by Liam Griffin, Alex Macdowall and Miguel Molina.

The track reopens at 14:00 local for a four-hour session prior to a one-hour break after which there will be a two-hour night session. No further rain is forecast for Monday.

 

 

2018 European Le Mans Series Opens With Test Days At Circuit Paul Ricard (08.04.18)

Photo: @ParenRaval

The 2018 European Le Mans Series season opens with two days of testing at Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet on Monday and Tuesday April 9 – 10, ahead of the opening round on April 15.

Teams arrived and garages were prepared on Sunday April 8 with participants being greeted with warm and dry conditions combined with a very strong wind. This is in contrast to the  forecast for Monday which predicts heavy rain with the wet conditions potentially continuing into  Monday.

The programme for Monday and Tuesday is designed to allow maximum track-time for the 2018 European Le Mans Series grid.

The programme for the two days of testing starts on Monday April 9 at 09:00 when the circuit opens for testing until 13:00. After a one-hour lunch break the track re-opens at 14:00 until 18:00. The day finishes with a two-hour night session, finishing at 21:00.

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Photo: @ParenRaval

The track is open for a total of a seven hours on Tuesday, starting at 09:00.

With 45 cars entered for the season, 19 in LMP2, 18 in LMP3 and 8 in LMGTE this promises to be a highly-competitive season with the opening two test days just a taste of what is in store.

 

 

 

British GT Championship Stewards Award Full Points For Oulton Park’s Shortened Race Two. (05.04.18)

After much deliberation, the British GT Championship stewards have declared that full points will be awarded for the shortened Round Two of the 2018 championship at Oulton Park.

The race started behind the Safety Car as torrential rain fell on the Cheshire circuit and the field drove four laps before being asked to form up on the grid under parc ferme rules.

As conditions did not improve, the Clerk of the Course abandoned the race and the rest of the day’s activities on safety grounds.

After initial thoughts were that the race would be declared and void, it emerged on Wednesday April 4 that was not necessarily the case.

The result of Race Two is effectively the same as the qualifying positions with the GT3 class win going to the #33 Barwell Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen with the GT4 win going to the #66 Team Parker Racing Ltd Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Nick Jones and Scott Malvern.

The British GT Championship now moves to Rockingham Motor Speedway on April 28 /29.

“The Car Felt Really Strong” – Team HARD’s Benjamin Wallace Pleased With The Opening Weekend For the 2018 British GT Championship. (03.04.18)

Photo: BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey

Southport-based Benjamin Wallace enjoyed a confident start to his 2018 British GT Championship campaign despite the wet weather at the opening rounds of the series at Oulton Park. Wallace, driver of the #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4 he shared with William Phillips, left the Cheshire circuit full of optimism for the rest of the season. The weekend, and especially race-day (Bank Holiday Monday – April 2) had been hampered with rain which ultimately led to the abandonment of the meeting shortly after the delayed start for second race of the day for the British GT grid.

The #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4, piloted by Phillips and Wallace, had qualified eighth in the GT4S class for Monday’s first 60-minute race, which itself had a delayed start and ran behind the safety-car for the first three laps due to the wet circuit.

Despite the challenges of the damp track, Ben Wallace, and co-driver William Phillips, finished seventh in the GT4 Silver class in Round One of the UK’s premier national GT series.

Benjamin Wallace was pleased at the outcome of the weekend.

“It was the second time I had driven at Oulton Park in the Ginetta so I was still getting familiar with it. William and I worked on finding a good set-up for the car and we were pleased with how the car improved, and the lap-times we set, as the weekend progressed,” said the Bolton College student.

“The team had continued to work on the set-up after the first race and, going into Round Two, the car felt really strong and a great improvement on where we had been on Friday on Saturday so, yes, it was frustrating to drive behind the safety-car for thirty minutes. However the safety of drivers and marshals is paramount so Will and I completely understood why the decision was made to red-flag the race.”

The British GT Championship now moves to Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby for Round Three on April 28 – 29, a circuit that Benjamin Wallace is familiar with from his time in the VW Racing Cup and the VAG Trophy, in which he finished third in 2017.

“I’ve raced at Rockingham in the VWs and I had a good weekend there, finishing second and third,” said Benjamin. “It’s now about getting used to it again in the Ginetta G55 GT4, a rear-wheel drive car which is very different to the front-wheel drive Golfs I drove there previously. I’m looking forward to it and I’m taking a lot of confidence to Rockingham Motor Speedway.”