Tag Archives: FIA World Endurance Championship

Ginetta Cars Annnounces First Three LMP1 Orders (03.10.17)

After announcing its entry into the LMP1 privateer field at the start of the year, Garforth, Yorkshire-based constructor Ginetta Cars has announced that it has sold its first three premier-class chassis.

The un-named buyer has placed a deposit for two cars in readiness for the FIA World Endurance Championship 2018/19 ‘Super Season’ with a possible third car intended for spares.

Ginetta Cars Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson was delighted to announce the news.

“This is a big step forward for the programme and will be great news too for the FIA WEC and the ACO who have placed a lot of faith in their new LMP1 regulations,” said Tomlinson.

“For now you’ll have to wait for our customer to make their own announcement on this programme. The signs are that they will soon be joined by more Ginetta customers in the top LMP1 class and that a car conceived in our Yorkshire factory will soon be contesting overall wins in the World Endurance Championship including the world’s biggest race, the Le Mans 24 Hours.”

Ginetta Cars intends to produce 10 cars, one of which will be its development car. Testing is expected to begin in November.

Ginetta Cars was founded in 1958 by the Walklett brothers and was acquired by Lawrence Tomlinson in 2005. Ginetta G40, G55 and G57 cars are now exported globally.

FIA WEC Returns To Texas For Round 6 (14.09.17)

Photo: www.fiawec.com

Following the far-reaching announcements concerning the future of the FIA World Endurance Championship made at the fifth round of the 2017 championship from Mexico, the WEC returns to the Circuit of the America for the sixth round of the last traditional summer season for the premier global endurance racing championship.

26 cars will take to the grid for the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas – four in the LMP1 class, nine in the LMP2 category, eight in the LM GTE class and five entries in the LM GTE Am category.

There are three driver changes from the entry list for Round Five. Stéphane Sarrazin replaces Anthony Davison in the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid.

In the LMP2 class Benjamin Hanley replaces Jonathan Hirschi in the #24 CEFC Manor TRS Racing ORECA 07. In the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470, André Negrão replaces Matt Rao.

After announcing its departure from the FIA World Endurance Championship, Porsche leads the Manufacturers Championship on 198 points, 56.5 points ahead of Toyota.

In LMP2, the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07 driven by Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent leads the LMP2 FIA World Endurance Teams Trophy on 118 points, 23 points ahead of nearest rivals, the #31 Vaillante Rebellion, piloted by Julien Canal, Nicolas Prost and Bruno Senna. 19 points back, in third place, is the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut with the driver line-up of Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and André Negrão.

COTA2 a.a. 17.09.14

Photo: www.fiawec.com

Competition for the GT Pro FIA World Endurance Team Trophy is even closer than that in LMP2. Three manufacturers hold the podium spots going into the sixth round with the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT with the driver line-up of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell leading the table on 96 points, just eight points ahead of the #91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR of Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki. Five points behind, in third place, is the #71 AF Corse Ferrari F488 GTE driven by Davide Rigon and Sam Bird.

Three manufacturers are also fighting it out for domination of the LMGTE Am standings with the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR (991) of Christian Ried, Matteo Cairoli and Marvin Dienst heading the table on 120 points, eight ahead of the #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari F488 GTE of Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin. Aston Martin is in third place with the #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda on 110 points.

The two twenty-minute qualifying sessions get underway at 15:05 local time on Friday September 15 with the lights going out for the start of the six-hour race at 11:56 on Saturday September 16.

The race can be followed via the FIA WEC app with live timing available at www.fiawec.com.

As the 2017 season approaches its eastern swing and we head the 2018-19 ‘Super Season’, this will be the last visit to the Circuit of the Americas for the foreseeable future. The proposed IMSA/WEC double-header at Sebring in March 2019 will be the next occasion that World Championship cars race in the US. The 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas promises to be a race to remember for many seasons to come.

Toyota Gazoo Racing Finish 1 -2 In Round 2 Of FIA World Endurance Championship At Spa-Francorchamps (07.05.17)

Photo: FIAWEC.com

Toyota Gazoo Racing Finish 1 -2 In Round 2 Of FIA World Endurance Championship At Spa-Francorchamps (07.05.17)

Toyota Gazoo Racing finished 1 – 2 at the end of a fascinating second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship from Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

The #8 Toyota TS050-Hybrid with Sébastien Buemi at the wheel crossed the line less than two seconds ahead of the sister #7 TS050 in which Kamui Kobayashi had driven the stint of his career in an attempt to snatch the lead of the race in the closing laps.

The result was Toyota’s first 1 -2 since the 6 Hours of Shanghai in 2014.

Taking the final step of the podium was the #2 Porsche LMP Team 919 Hybrid in which Brenda Hartley took the final stint. The #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid was leading the race in the closing stages until a last-minute splash-and-dash relegated it to third place.

G-Drive Racing, with its #26 Gibson-powered ORECA 07 driven by Roman Rusinov, Pierre Thiriet and Alex Lynn took the victory in the LMP2 class with the #31 Vaillante Rebellion ORECA, with the driver line-up of Julien Canal, Nicolas Prost and Bruno Senna, finishing in second place.

Third in the LMP2 class was the ‘Mighty’ #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing OECA 07 driven by Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent.

LMP1:

Pole-sitter André Lotterer in the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid held the lead from the start but was overtaken by Mike Conway in the #7 Toyota with less than 30 minutes run. The Porsches appeared to have an issue with grip as the #8 Toyota, with Sébastien Buemi at the wheel, moved through into second place. By the end of the first hour the #7 and #8 cars were leading the LMP1 class.

Porsche LMP1 team pushed on in the second hour with Nick Tandy at the wheel of the #1 entry taking second place from the #8 Toyota after a driver change which saw Anthony Davidson swap with Buemi behind the wheel of the #8.

By the end of the third hour the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry, now with Kamui Kobayshi behind the wheel, held a 25-second lead over Anthony Davidson in the #8 entry. Tyre strategies were now becoming critical for Porsche but, as temperatures began to cool, the Porsches seemed to be getting back in to the race. Neel Jani in the #1 Porsche held third place, ahead of the #2 sister car with Timo Bernhard behind the wheel.

It was during the fourth hour that Kazuki Nakajima in the #8 Toyota was able to take the lead after the #7 fell behind during a brief Full Course Yellow. However Mike Conway in the #7 entry was not about to give up and pushed hard to reduce the gap to the leader to just 3.3 seconds at the end of the hour.

As the race drew to a close the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, for the final stint driven by Brendon Hartley, tangled with Romain Dumas in the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470 on the entry into the Bus Stop Chicane. Both cars were damaged, and indeed Hartley was summoned to see the stewards at the end of the race, but it was the #1 Porsche that needed to stop for a new nose, costing the team any chance of competing for the win.

As the race approached the end the #7 car with Kobayashi at the wheel made a final charge and it looked to have the pace to challenge for the lead but traffic gave the winning #8 a slight advantage and the eventual victory.

#26 GDR a.a. 17.05.06

Photo: FIAWEC.com

LMP2:

Roman Rusinov in the #26 G-Drive Racing ORECA 07 led the LMP2 field until a slow pit-stop allowed the #31 Vaillante Racing entry with Bruno Senna at the wheel to close the gap and eventually find an opportunity to take the class lead at the one-hour mark.

The #31 entry held the class lead but was put under pressure by Alex Brundle in the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07. Alex Lynn, however, in the #26 G-Drive Racing entry was on a charge and took second place in class just before the end of the second hour and pushed on to close up on class-leading Julien Canal in the #31 Vaillante Rebellion car.

The #26 entry regained the lead and Pierre Thiriet, now at the wheel, was put under pressure from Bruno Senna in the #31 car as the race approached the fourth hour. Prost in the #31 entry took the lead with bold move on the #26 car at La Source. However a penalty given to the #31 car for contact with a Ford GT gave the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA the chance to catch up with the leading pair.

As the race approached the 6–hour mark an issue for the #31 Vallainte Rebellion entry meant that victory went to the #26 G-Drive Racing entry, converting pole-position to the eventual top step of the podium.

DR-SB a.a. 17.05.06

Photo: FIAWEC.com

LMGTE Pro:

The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps saw a dominant performance from the AF Corse Ferrari F488 GTEs which must cause concern to the Ford Chip Ganassi Team as it approaches the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race which it won convincingly in 2016.

David Rigon, in the #71 AF Corse entry, took the lead in the first hour, despite being under significant pressure from the Ford GTs. The class battle was extremely close with James Calado in the #51 AF Corse entry seizing an opportunity to pass both the Ford GTs at Les Combes. Tincknell re-passed however and set about closing in on the leading #51 entry.

The class battle was not just between the marques though. The inter-team fight between the AF Corse entries saw the #51 Ferrari F488 GTE with Alessandro Pier Guidi at the wheel collide with Sam Bird in the #71 car at one stage. As the race went into its fourth hour it was clear that, barring issues, AF Corse had the advantage but with just 2.5 seconds between them at the fourth hour, which would be the eventual winner was more difficult to predict.

At the finish it was the #71 car with Sam Bird at the wheel that took the chequered flag for the class, followed by the #51 car.

LMGTE Am:

The LMGTE Am class was won convincingly by the #98 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage with the driver line-up of Pail Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda. This was the team third consecutive victory at the Belgian circuit, having won there in 2015 and 2016.

The eventual winning positions had been established by the end of the second hour, second place in class being taken by the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR piloted by Christian Reid, Matteo Cairoli and Marvin Dienst.

Taking the final podium step in class was the #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari F488 GTE, driven by Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Matthew Griffin.

The next round of the 2017 FI World Endurance Championship will be the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 17 / 18.

FIA World Endurance Championship – 6 Hours Of Spa-Francorchamps – Preview (04.05.17)

Photo: FIAWEC.com

After a thrilling opening to the 2017 season at Silverstone, the FIA Word Endurance Championship moves to its traditional pre-Le Mans round with the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

After victory in the opening round, Toyota Gazoo Racing has entered three cars for Spa-Francorchamps. The third entry, the #9 Toyota TS050-Hybrid, will be piloted by Stéphane Sarazin, Yuji Kunimoto and Nicolas Lapierre.

In the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry, doubt remains over the ability of Jose Maria Lopez to drive after his heavy impact at Silverstone. At the time of writing, no decision had been made as to how the team might proceed if Lopez is unfit.

In the LMP2 field, Signatech Alpine Matmut has entered a second car for Spa-Francorchamps. The #35 Alpine A470 will be driven by Pierre Ragues, André Negrão and Nelson Pantiatici. Romain Dumas is deputising for Nicolas Lapierre in the #36 Signatech entry, driving alongside Gustavo Menezes and Matt Rao.

New to the entry list for Spq-Francorchamps is the #34 Tockwith Motorsports Ligier JSP 217. Regular drivers for the York-based team, Nigel Moore and Philip Hanson, will be joined in Belgium by Karun Chandhok.

Matthieu Vaxivière, injured in a training accident, will be substituted in the #28 TDS Racing ORECA 07 for Spa by Ben Hanley, full-season driver with DragonSpeed in the European Le Mans Series.

The GTE classes see no changes to the entry list that contested the 6 Hours of Silverstone entry list.

With three different manufacturers on the podium in Round 1 at Silverstone, 2017 looks to be a highly competitive in the premier LMGTE Pro category. Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK will go to Spa full of confidence after victory in the UK. However the #66 crew will feel they have something to prove after a disappointing end to the race at Silverstone and an eventual fourth place.

With the race on Saturday May 6, qualifying for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps takes place on Friday May 5 with the 25-minutes qualifying session for the LMGTE pro and Am classes starting at 14:50 local time and the two prototype categories qualifying at 15:25.

The lights go out for the start of the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps at 14:30 local time on Saturday May 6.

Toyota Gazoo Racing Wins Thrilling FIA WEC 6 Hours Of Silverstone (16.04.17)

The #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 – Hybrid driven by Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima won the opening round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship in a race which saw changing weather conditions and drama throughout the entire race.

Winning TS050 a.a. 17.04.16

Photo: FIA World Endurance Championship

Second in the LMP1 class was the #2 Porsche LMP Team 919 Hybrid piloted by Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley. Taking the final step of the podium was the sister Porsche, the #1 919 Hybrid with the driving line-up of Neel Jani, André Lotterer and Nick Tandy.

The LMP2 class was won by the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Jota Sport ORECA 07 driven by Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent. The Vaillante Rebellion #13 ORECA 07 was second, the car driven by Mathias Beche, David Heinemeier Hansson and Nelson Piquet Jr. Third in class was the #28 TDS Racing ORECA 07 piloted by François Perodo, Matthieu Vaxivière and Emmanuel Collard.

The LMGTE Pro battle was won by the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT with Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell and Luis Felipe ‘Pipo’ Derani driving.

The LMHTE Am class was won by the #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari F488 GTE driven by Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Griffin.

In a race that tested the strategic planning of all teams with a mix of wet and dry running saw the eventual race winner take the lead with just twelve minutes to go when Buemi in the #8 Toyota TS050 , with more grip on newer tyres, passed Brendon Harley in the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid. Porsche had already announced prior to the race that it was running a low-downforce aero kit in preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The sister Toyota, the #7 TSO050, went off at Copse with José Maria Lopez at the wheel. The Argentinian, the current World Touring Car Champion, managed to get the car back to the garage but due to the severity of the impact, the driver was taken to the medical centre for a check-up and was eventually transferred to the local hospital.

LMP2, which entered 2017 with new-look, more powerful cars, estimated at being 4 seconds a lap quicker round the Northamptonshire circuit that the previous generation, saw Jackie Chan DC Racing become the first Chinese-entered team to win at World Endurance Championship level.

#38 a.a. 17.04.16

Photo: FIA World Endurance Championship

The #38 car, retaining the number from the Jota Sport’s 2014 Le Mans-winning and 2016 European Le Mans Series-winning entries, had the piloting line-up of Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent, combining youth with significant experience.

Once the field was bunched for the safety-car after the crash of the #7 Toyota, the race was effectively on again and Jarvis was able to lead the field at the line by almost 20 seconds over the #31 Vaillante Rebellion ORECA 07.

In LMGTE pro the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi team UK Ford GT piloted by Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell and Pip Derani took the win but it was not a faultless run to the flag, as events in the first hour showed. The pole-sitting #67 car had to stop early to correct a front tyre pressure issue which left it out of sequence. However the hugely-experienced driver line-up drive faultlessly from there on to take charge and the chequered flag.

Ford GTs a.a. 17.04.16

Photo: FIA World Endurance Championship

The second placed AF Corse #51 Ferrari F488 GTE drove a good raced but could nt match the pace and consistency of the Ford GT.

The LMGTE Am class enjoyed some close racing with the winning #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari F499 GTE, with Matt Griffin at the wheel, take the lead but a late stop for fuel relegated the Irish driver to third. The leading #98 Aston Martin Martin Racing Vantage with Pedro Lamy at the wheel tangled with the second placed Miguel Molina’s #54 Spirit of race Ferrari, pitching the #54 car off the track. Griffin saw his opportunity and took the class lead for the win.

Overall, the race was hugely exciting and enjoyable and bodes well for the rest of the 2017 Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps takes place on May 4 – 6.

Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK / Toyota Gazoo Racing Take Poles For FIA World Endurance Championship Season-Opener (15.04.17)

Photo Above: Roger Jenkins

Toyota Gazoo Racing drew first blood of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship by taking pole position for the 6 ours of Silverstone in a session that saw lap-times by both drivers in both cars for Porsche and Toyota beat the current record lap-times set in 2015.

Starting the 6 Hours of Silverstone at the front of the grid will be the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 – Hybrid after Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi put in lap-times of 1:37.816 and 1:36.793 respectively to average 1:37.304, less the a third of as second quicker than the #8 Toyota TS050-Hybrid, qualified by Kazuki Nakajima.

Third on the grid for the 6 Hours of Silverstone will be the #1 Porsche LM Team 919 Hybrid in which Nick Tandy and Neel Jani averaged a 1:38.615.

In the LMP2 class pole position was taken by the 2016 class champions G-Drive Racing, this year being run by Thiriet, with its ORECA 07 with Pierre Thiriet and Alex Lynn on qualifying duty. With an average a 1:44.387, it confirmed the pace of the new-look class for 2017.

Second on the grid will be the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine 470 in which Nicolas Lapierre and Matt Rao averaged a lap-time of 1:44.433.

Qualifying in third was the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07, driven by Thomas Laurent and Oliver Jarvis for the session, which averaged 1:44.591

Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK took the first LMGTE Pro pole of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season after Andy Priaulx lapped Silverstone in 1:55.858, 3 tenths of a second faster than his team-mate Harry Tincknell who put in a 1:56.546 to give the #67 Ford GT an average of 1:56.202.

Second on the grid for the 6 Hours of Silverstone will be the #71 AF Corse Ferrari F488 GTE where Davide Rigon and Sam Bird averaged 1:57.011, one tenth of a second faster than the #85 Aston Martin Racing entry where Nicki Thiim and Marco SØrensen lapped in an average of 1:57.117.

LMGTE Am pole was taken by the #98 Aston Martin Racing entry where Paul Dalla Lana put in a 2:00.333, nearly two second a lap faster than his fellow AM drivers to give an average of 1:59.562.

Second on the grid in the LMGTE Am class for the opening round of the season will be the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari F488 GTE where Thomas Flohr put in a 2:02.121 to give an average of 2:00.608.

The lights go out for the 6 Hours of Silverstone at 12:00 on Sunday April 16.