Tag Archives: The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up

The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (09.11.18)

Photo: Go Motorsport via Facebook

With the 2018 British GT Championship having concluded less than seven weeks ago, teams are already laying the foundations for 2019 with driver announcements and testing.

University of Bolton-backed ProTechnika Motorsport was out testing at Snetterton this week, as preparations continue for the team’s debut at the HANKOOK 24H DUBAI on January 10 – 12. The team was launched at the Spa-Francorchamps round of the 2018 British GT Championship with team owner Anna Walewska sharing the driving duties with Tom Canning. The pair enjoyed great success at its debut race weekend, finishing second in the GT4 Pro-Am class and travelled to the final round of the season at Donington Park with a recently acquired, brand-new Mercedes-AMG GT4

Looking ahead to 2019, Anna Walewska has ambitious plans for ProTechnika Motorsport, now based at the National Centre For Motorsport Engineering at the University of Bolton.

Speaking to EnduranceandGT editor Andy Lloyd, Anna Walewska explained that she was pleased at how the Snetterton test had gone.

“We were testing at Snetterton, doing back-to-back semi-exclusive days testing new talent,” said Walewska, who finished third in the 2016 British GT GT4 Pro-Am Standings and who won the SP3 class at the 2016 24H DUBAI. “I am very pleased at how both drivers performed, especially in the mixed weather conditions on the second day. It’s good preparation for next season and our winter programme.”

Continue reading The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (09.11.18)

The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (08.12.17)

As preparations continue across all series for 2018, the Asian Le Mans Series entered its second round for the 4 Hours of Fuji on Sunday December 3.

Jackie Chan DC Racing X JOTA dominated the event by taking first and third in the LMP2 class with the #8 Nissan-powered ORECA 05, piloted by Thomas Laurent, Stéphane Richelmi and Harrison Newey crossing the line over a minute ahead of the #37 BBT Ligier JS P2 driven by Anthony Xu Liu, Pipo Derani and Davide Rizzo.

The sister Jackie Chan DC Racing X JOTA entry, the #7 ORECA driven by David Cheng and Jazeman Jaafar took the final podium position in the LMP2 class.

The Chinese team, managed by Kent-based JOTA Sport also won the LMP3 class after its #6 Ligier JS P3 piloted by Patrick Byrne and Guy Cosmo crossed the line some four laps ahead of the #65 Viper Niza Racing entry.

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You can read about the race here.

The British GT Championship was well-represented at the annual British Racing Drivers Club awards. Team Parker Racing duo Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris, 2017 Champions in the team’s #31 Bentley Continental GT3, won the John Cobb Memorial Trophy, an award given to drivers racing a British car ‘who achieved success of outstanding character’.

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GT4 Teams and Drivers Championship-winning HHC Motorsport drivers Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton were the first joint winners of the Henry Surtees Trophy, acknowledging the most outstanding performances by BRDC Rising Stars.

A report on the BRDC awards can be found here.

HHC Motorsport was in the news again after it announced its driver line-ups for the 2018 British GT Championship. The 2017 Teams and Drivers championship-winning team will be campaigning two Ginetta G55 GT4s in 2018, one with a Silver-graded pairing and the sister car with a Pro/Am line-up.

Ginetta GT4 Supercup champion Callum Pointer will be joined by Ginetta Junior Rookie of the year Patrick Mathiesen in a Silver Cup-entered GInetta G55 GT4.

In the sister Pro/Am entry, 2017 BTCC driver and 2016 Ginetta GT4 Supercup vice-champion Will Burns will partner Mike Newbould.

Talking to Motorsport News, team manager Charlie Kemp described how he felt with the new driver line-ups announced for 2018.

“We’re really excited about British GT for next season and we’ve definitely got two driver line-ups that can impress,” said Kemp. “In Callum we have a very proven young driver, who’s coming into British GT knowing the G55 inside-out but from a sprint race format. Patrick we ran to the Ginetta Junior Rookie title in 2015 and we know his pace. He’s bringing endurance racing experience so together they should be right at the front.”

You can read the full story here.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council approved evolutions to its World Endurance Championship. In summary, the LMP1 title will move to a team recognition rather than a manufacturers title. Only the points of a team’s highest placed finishing car will count towards the teams title.

Points awarded will depend on the duration of the race with the 24 Hours of Le Mans awarding 50% more points than a six-hour race and the Sebring twelve-hour race awarding an additional 25% points haul.

Tyre changes will be allowed while cars are being re-fuelled.

You can read a further summary of the changes here.

Finally, all eyes are now focused on the 2018 running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. United Autosports has announced that Bruno Senna will be joining Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer in one of its entries while Fernando Alonso, Lando Norris and and Phil Hanson will pilot the sister car.

The Roar Before The 24 takes place on January 5 – 7

Enjoy your weekend!

The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (01.12.17)

It has been another busy week in the world of sportscar and endurance racing with driver announcements being made, focusing on the first big race of 2018, the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Firstly though, SRO Motorsports Group held its annual prize giving ceremony, this time in Paris at the Palais Brongniart.  Founder and CEO Stéphane Ratel used the opportunity to outline his vision for the future and specific changes being made for 2018.

There will a continued focus on the growing GT4 class with SRO Motorsports Group launching several series to bring the total to seven GT4 championships over the next two seasons.

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Asia will also have its own stand-alone GT4 series included on the Blancpain GT Asia package,

In the Pirelli World Challenge the FIA driver grading system will be adopted. You can  read more about SRO Motorsports Group’s plans here.

Continue reading The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (01.12.17)

The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (24.11.17)

Photo: fiawec.com

It’s been a busy week in the world of endurance, GT and sportscar racing with one season drawing to a close and, no sooner had the champagne been washed out of the race-suits of the winners of the final round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship, announcements arrived thick and fast in preparation for 2018.

The 6 Hours of Bahrain, the season finale to this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship was an enthralling and emotional affair with the Porsche LMP Team campaigning its Porsche 919 Hybrid for the last time before leaving the championship in the prototype classes.

It was the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050, driven by Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima that took the chequered flag in Bahrain, one lap ahead of the #2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid piloted by 2017 Drivers Champions Timo Berhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley.

The LMP2 class saw a titanic battle between Jackie Chan DC Racing and Vaillainte Rebellion. After taking the lead in the LMP2 Teams Trophy at the previous round, the #31 Vaillante Rebellion crossed the line 10.696 seconds ahead of the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07 and, with the victory, took the title. Ollie Jarvis, who drove the final stint in the #38 car, reported after the race that the team had encountered ‘fuel tank issues’.

There was drama, too, for the #31 car with Bruno Senna reporting power-steering problems in the final 45-minutes of the race with comments that the car being ‘undriveable’. Senna hung on and the pace of the #31 ORECA 07 hardly faltered, allowing the Brazilian driver to secure the class victory and title. You can read the race report here.

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Photo: fiawec.com

The Rookie Tests, the traditional end to the season, attracted more interest than usual when 2005-06 FIA Formula One world champion and current McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso put in 113 laps in the race-winning #8 Toyota TS050.

“It was a great day,” said Alonso. “Testing an LMP1 car is always a nice thing for any racing driver because these cars are amazing to drive. They are very consistent throughout a stint which is a positive thing. I have wanted to test a car like this for long time now and today I could achieve that so I am happy.”

Read about the Rookie Test here.

Two manufacturers announced new models for next season and beyond over the past week.

Firstly, McLaren Automotive announced that it was intending to develop a GT3 variant of its 720S model, launched at the Geneva Motorshow in March of this year. Few details were given of the new car other than development will continue throughout 2018 with the intention that the McLaren 720S GT3 will be available for customer teams in time for the 2019 season.

The rendering of the new car shows it to have purposeful styling and it will be fascinating to see how the story of the 720S GT3 develops throughout next year.

You can read about the new McLaren 720S GT3 here.

The big FIA World Endurance Championship news of the week came from Aston Martin Racing with the launch, for Aston Martin, of the new Vantage and, later in the day, the first public viewing of the new Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

Alongside the launch of the new Vantage GTE was the news that Darren Turner, Jonny Adam, Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen have been retained by Aston Martin Racing for the FIA WEC 2018/19 ‘Super Season. Added to the driver roster is Alex Lynn, current Formula E driver and ex-GP2 race winner. Further driver announcements are expected shortly.

“It’s terrific to be involved in this exciting new chapter for Aston Martin Racing,” said Managing Director John Gaw. “The increasingly tough competition in the GTE class and the prospect of two visits to Le Mans and a return to Sebring within the 2018/19 super-season is thoroughly tantalising.”

In preparation for 2018 ByKOLLES Racing completed an intensive three-day testing programme at Motorland, Aragon, of the EnsoCLM P1.01.

Drivers at the test were Oliver Webb, James Rossiter, Tom Dillman, Edoardo Liberati and Mikael Grenier.

“We are pleased with the progress made on both reliability and performance,” said ByKOLLES Director of Racing Operations Boris Bermes. “All drivers did a solid job and our team is happy to attract such young and competitive drivers.”

LM

And finally…. the poster for the 2018 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Using an evocative image, reminiscent of 1930s-style racing posters, the graphic certainly excited some interest on social media. Roll on 2018!

 

 

The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (17.11.17)

This weekend sees the final round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance with the 6 Hours of Bahrain.

The annual visit to Bahrain will be tinged with sadness as the Championship says farewell to Porsche LMP Team after it announced its departure from the prototype stage at the end of the 2017 season. This will also be the last round of what many would regard as a standard (i.e. summer) season for the World Endurance Championship before it moves to the interim ‘Super Season’ ahead of a full Winter championship.

The Super Season will include two visits to the Circuit de la Sarthe and two to the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and will conclude with the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans. Although a fascinating prospect, the season will be a huge commitment for teams spanning, as it does, two annual budget periods for many of their sponsors and partners.

There is much to contest in the final round and you can read a preview of the 6 Hours of Bahrain here.

Continue reading The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (17.11.17)

The EGT Friday Sportscar Round-Up (10.11.17)

As seasons draw to a close, winter seasons are beginning and there has been a lot of activity in the world of sportscar and endurance racing over the past few days.

Looking back to the end of October, the 2017/1 Asian Le Mans Series launched with first round being held in Zhuhai. The Jackie Chan DC Racing X JOTA team won the opening round in dominant fashion with the #8 JCDC X JOTA ORECA 05, with the driver line-up of Thomas Laurent, Harrison Newey (son of Adrian and contesting his first race in prototypes) and Stéphane Richelmi, crossing the line ahead of the #37 BBT Ligier JS P2 crewed by Davide Rizzo, Anthony Xu and Pipo Derani.

You can read a report of the race here. The coverage of the race was equal to that of any global endurance series with an excellent commentary team, multiple camera positions and clear on-screen graphics. Combined with live-timing, the series looks to have come of age this season and, with prizes of 24 Hours of Le Mans entries available to the championship winners, can only increase in its significance and grid size in future seasons.

The FIA World Endurance Championship visited Shanghai for the penultimate round of the 2017 season. Victory went to the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid driven by Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, followed the #2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley.

You can read a report of the race here.

Second and third in Shanghai meant that Porsche was able to wrap up the World Manufacturers Championship, with Bernhard, Bamber and Hartley securing the FIA World Endurance Drivers Title, a first for Bamber and the second for Bernhard and Hartley.

The final round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship takes place in Bahrain on November 16 – 18.

Looking ahead to the 2018/19 ‘Super Season’ for the FIA WEC, Ginetta has announced the names of the first two customers for its new privateer LMP1 car. Manor Endurance Racing and TRS Racing will both campaign the new Ginetta LMP1 with an engine partner to be announced ‘in due course’.

You can read about the announcement here.

Ginetta also announced that it will be presenting its new LMP1 car to the wider motorsport industry and the world’s media at Autosport International 2018 at the NEDC in Birmingham, England on January 11-14.

“I am delighted to be launching the Ginetta LMP1 car at Autosport International,” said Ginetta Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson. “The show represents the ideal environment to introduce our latest model to the media, industry and fans who are the lifeblood of British motorsport. Not only that, but we’ll be using the show to demonstrate the Ginetta motorsport ladder in action, with our Ginetta Racing Drivers Club putting on a show in the Live Action arena.”

Autosport International Show Director Kate Woodley said:

“We’re thrilled that Ginetta has chosen Autosport International to unveil its LMP1 car. With such a longstanding relationship between us, we can’t wait to see the company’s latest project in the metal and to help them share this great addition to their range with the wider industry.”

You can buy tickets for Autosport International 2018 here.

Student Motorsport, the on-line community that connects students, graduates and educators to professionals and organisations in the motorsport industry continues to grow as founder and owner JP Latham looks ahead to 2018.

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Student Motorsport recently announced that Jessica Shanahan, coach, journalist and owner of www.racingmentor.com has joined as a Contributor.

“I used to be a race team boss and I’ve worked with students and drivers from all walks of life,” explained Jessica Shanahan. “I realised that a lot of people don’t know what path to take to get into motorsports, so from there Racing Mentor was born.”

“I’m still a driver manager but focus a lot of my efforts on teaching drivers to find sponsorship, and coaching people into engineering, media and management careers within motorsport.”

Founder JP Latham is delighted that Jessica Shanahan and Racing Mentor have joined the Student Motorsport community.

“I am thrilled to be personally supported by such a professional individual with a wealth of knowledge in areas such as motorsport sponsorship, journalism and coaching,” said JP Latham. “It was fantastic to meet Jess through a mutual contact in motorsport which shows how crucial it is to make good connections in this industry. I’m looking forward to supporting our members through her professional services and advice.”

Finally, Bentley Motorsport has revealed its new 2018 Continental GT3. The manufacturer is looking to build on its 2017 successes of winning the British GT Championship with Team Parker Racing and taking the Teams Championship in the Blancpain GT Endurance Series Cup.

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Brian Gush, Director of Motorsport at Bentley, is excited at the opportunities that the new car offers.

“After four years of success with our Continental GT3, we’re very excited to reveal our second-generation car,” said Gush. “It leaves no area or system untouched in search of even better performance, and early test results are promising.”

“The new Continental GT3 road car has proved to be a great starting point for the development of a new racer and the engineering development work is true to Bentley’s impeccable standards.”