Last post from previous page:For as long it is a rumour i don't think it warrants an own topic.
Let's wait another two weeks.
Last post from previous page:For as long it is a rumour i don't think it warrants an own topic.
http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/deci ... his-month/John Dagys wrote:Decision on Porsche’s LMP1 Future Due This Month
A decision on Porsche’s future in the LMP1 class is expected to be made by the end of this month, according to team principal Andreas Seidl.
Speculation has intensified in recent weeks that the German manufacturer could exit the FIA World Endurance Championship at the end of this year, despite its current contract being through the 2018 season.
Multiple reports in German media, including leading publication Sport Auto, indicate that a return to the WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year is unlikely, with Porsche instead looking to allocate its motorsports budget to Formula E and potentially a Formula One engine program.
While Seidl declined comment on the matter, he confirmed that the fate of the LMP1 program will be made clear soon.
“I think there’s not more to say than what is around in the press and we have to simply wait now for the next decision,” Seidl said. “I have nothing to comment on this at the moment. We expect a decision at the end of July.”
Should Porsche pull the plug, it would leave Toyota Gazoo Racing as the only LMP1 manufacturer, casting serious doubts over the future of the WEC and its world championship status.
TMG Vice President Pascal Vasselon admitted “it would be a problem” if Porsche withdraws, although indicated that, as of now, they plan to be on the grid next year.
“We cannot talk for Porsche,” Vasselon said. “At the moment, with the situation we know, our management is committed to next year. The rest I cannot say what I don’t know.
“What would be our position? I just don’t know. It’s something very new, which is still not a fact, so it’s a bit premature for us to elaborate on it.
“In case the rumor is true, it’s not a good news for sure.”
Vasselon said continuing its LMP1 hybrid program, despite no competition, could be justifiable due to the large amount of R&D budget associated with it.
He remains optimistic of the long-term future of the class, in the wake of the ACO’s announcement of the 2020 regulations, which are aimed to attract new manufacturers.
“For us it would make sense to continue for this reason and for the reasons Peugeot will arrive,” Vasselon said. “We expect Peugeot or others will arrive reasonably soon.
“We will re-think our strategy when we will know if the boundary conditions change.”
http://sportscar365.com/imsa/iwsc/multi ... -rock-bop/John Dagys wrote:Multiple BoP Changes for Lime Rock
IMSA has confirmed multiple Balance of Performance adjustments for GT Le Mans and GT Daytona class cars ahead of next weekend’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, including power cuts for both the BMW M6 GTLM and Ferrari 488 GT3.
The BMW, which claimed its second consecutive GTLM class win last weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, has received a significant reduction in turbo boost across all RPM levels, as well as a 1-liter fuel capacity cut and refueling rig height adjustment.
After struggling in the last two rounds, the Corvette C7.R has been given a 0.2 mm larger air restrictor and 1-liter fuel capacity increase for Lime Rock, along with a 1.5mm larger refueling restrictor.
Refueling restrictor adjustments have also been made to the Ford GT (+0.5 mm) and Porsche 911 RSR (-1.0 mm)
In GTD, the Ferrari has also received a reduction in turbo boost, along with corresponding adjustments to fuel capacity (-1 liter) and refueling restrictor (-3 mm).
Other changes in the class include a 20kg weight break for the Lamborghini Huracan GT3, 10kg reduction for the Porsche 911 GT3 R, a further 20kg added to the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and a 1 mm smaller air restrictor for the Lexus RC F GT3.
The Northeast Grand Prix is scheduled for July 21-22.
http://www.racer.com/wec-le-mans/item/1 ... beyond-wecGraham Goodwin and Stephen Kilbey wrote:Porsche exploring options beyond WEC
Porsche is set to make important decisions about its future motorsport programs at a board meeting on July 28. Part of that will be evaluating whether the LMP1 Hybrid program should continue after the end of the current season.
Porsche's recent first-time appearance at a Formula 1 technical group, coupled with increased media speculation in Germany suggesting that the company is actively considering an entry into Formula E, has poured doubt over the company's commitment to its current plan to continue in the LMP1 Hybrid class of the FIA World Endurance Championship until the end of the 2018 season.
Porsche confirmed that level of commitment back in 2015. But since then its three wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours (2015-2017) and a double win in the FIA World Endurance Championship to this point, plus the withdrawal of Audi Sport from the WEC in the wake of the VAG "Dieselgate" scandal, have led to questions about the relative value of the program in the short term against other available motorsports options.
The announcement of the 2020 regulations are also a factor in the decision. Whether Porsche feels it would benefit on an R&D level from the introduction of incoming plug-in hybrid technology and the development of the current breed of hybrid technology being curbed, and if the budget can be curtailed in the process, remain to be seen.
Porsche stresses that the upcoming 2020 regulations, and the potential for other manufacturers to join in (mainly Peugeot), could be enough to justify continuing the program in future years.
During Le Mans week, Porsche LMP1 head Andreas Siedl told RACER: "I think with what the ACO have announced today (the 2020 regulations for LMP1) is going in the right direction for the future.
"There's some good elements like the fast-charging electric motors, active aerodynamics. We keep the high-voltage technology, the two systems which still helps all of us to develop hybrid technology – which is relevant for our Mission E concept car that gets launched in 2019. We have great examples from direct tech transfer from the 919 Hybrid into that project.
"The leadership is clear from the ACO and FIA. They have the vision in which way it will go, and I think it's good."
If this is the case though, then the options are as follows: continue to the end of the current commitment, until the next regulation cycle in 2020, or change direction at the end of this current season.
While even the closest sources to the story confirm that no decision has been made on the future at this point, the very fact that the discussion is being had at a senior level is pointing to a negative outcome for many seasoned industry observers.
For Porsche's competition, the presumption in some areas that any decision from Porsche to terminate its program would necessarily see Toyota following suit, seems far less firmly based.
Toyota's LMP1 Hybrid program is far more closely linked with the development of future road car R&D than Porsche's technology and marketing-based model. The team has already made heavy investments in the race technology required to compete both this season and into 2018 and, not least, the sporting imperative for the program is clear – to win at Le Mans.
http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/hayd ... -for-2018/John Dagys wrote:Hayden “Skeptical” Over Strength of LMP1 Privateer Grid for 2018
Rebellion Racing team manager Bart Hayden says he’s “skeptical” over the strength of the LMP1 Privateer grid next year, admitting another season of LMP2 would be the “pragmatic” move for the Anglo-Swiss squad.
Questions have not only surrounded the future of manufacturer involvement from Porsche and potentially Toyota, but also the shape of the privateer subclass, which has yet to see significant commitments beyond SMP Racing’s announced Dallara-BR Engineering effort.
While progress continues on Ginetta’s LMP1 non-hybrid car, the British constructor has yet to receive a firm order, while details on Perrinn’s confirmed customer has not been revealed.
It’s forced Hayden to take a wait-and-see approach before committing to a return to the top prototype class.
“Another year of P2 would be a very pragmatic move,” he told Sportscar365. “I think the shape of P1 needs to form a little bit for next year. It’s very unclear.
“If you’re going to be doing P1, you sort of need to be making those decisions now.
“It’s very easy to say you’re going to go and do it. Making it happen takes a lot more. I’m somewhat skeptical of what that grid will look like.
“If it does strengthen up and if it does materialize, I’m sure Rebellion would want to be part of that. But I don’t think we’ll see that strength until 2019.”
Fellow LMP2 entrant Jota Sport is in a similar situation, with the Sam Hignett-led squad, which operates the Jackie Chan DC Racing team, also evaluating options but not yet ready to pull the trigger.
A LMP1 program for DC/Jota, however, could depend on the commitment of a Chinese manufacturer, which the team has been actively pursing in recent months.
“We’re looking at that together and what can and cannot be done,” Hignett told Sportscar365. “But we’re at this transition period with LMP1 and we need to better understand the LMP1 [non-hybrid] regulations and how they’re going to control the customer cars.
“For me reading the regs, they’ll be done on fuel flow. I want to see other people do it first and understand how BoP is going to work.
“And then what happens with the factories? We need them so we hope they’ll stay.
“Then you need to come up with a damn good LMP1 car to beat the ORECA P2 car. It’s got to be a serious bit of kit.
“That’s the other problem; you convince someone to spend a fortune developing an LMP1 car and what if it’s just [barely] quicker than [LMP2]?
“It needs to be a chunk quicker than these to justify [the investment].”
While the Ginetta is the furthest along in its development, Hayden said an upgraded LMP2 car could even be an option.
“[Maybe] you could even do something in a pseudo-DPi fashion, where you put a slightly different engine in the Oreca [LMP2] chassis, for example,” he said.
“Maybe you wouldn’t need to change that much to get another 50 horsepower or something that could put you just a little ahead of the P2 class.”
Despite questions over the number of potential LMP1 non-hybrid entrants next year, ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil said he feels “very optimistic” in the sub-class’ future.
“I think what happened at Le Mans gives some ideas to some people,” Beaumesnil told Sportscar365.
“We have decided the rules and they are ongoing. There are new projects that will be on the track next year. It’s a new starting point and I’m very optimistic.
“We know about the Dallara and Ginetta projects, but how many cars will be on the grid, we have different projections.”
One factor on next year’s LMP1 non-hybrid car count, however, could depend on the fate of the two remaining LMP1 manufacturers, with Porsche set to decide later this month whether it will end its factory hybrid program one year early.
Should Porsche’s program come to an end, it could prompt Toyota to exit as well, resulting in the collapse of the LMP1 hybrid class and encouraging privateer teams to step up in order to fight for overall wins.
Hayden admitted it could open up a “huge opportunity” and change their short-term outlook on the class.
“If Porsche and Toyota decides to leave, I guess we’ll probably know that soon, at the end of August maybe, which wouldn’t be overly late for pushing the button,” he said.
“You’ve got cars like the Ginetta which are currently well into development, so it’s not like they would be starting from square-one.
“I guess it would be possible to pick the phone up and speak to the guys at Ginetta and say, ‘Actually, we are interested.'”
However, Hayden said Rebellion wouldn’t want to make the move unless he’s assured others will also come.
“If Porsche and Toyota left and we came in and no one else did, it would be a hollow, hollow victory,” he said. “That’s why it almost needs to develop a bit.”
http://sportscar365.com/imsa/iwsc/joest ... i-program/John Dagys wrote:Joest to Take Over Factory Mazda DPi Program
Joest Racing has found a new home, with the legendary sports car racing outfit set to take over Mazda’s DPi program beginning next year.
The Japanese manufacturer announced Tuesday the formation of Mazda Team Joest, which will compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a pair of Multimatic-developed Mazda RT24-Ps.
Its current program, run by SpeedSource, has been discontinued immediately and will not take part in the three remaining Prototype races this season.
“The creation of Mazda Team Joest provides us a unique opportunity to partner with a team with proven success in the prototype ranks, and gives us the best chance to return Mazda to the top step of the podium,” said Masahiro Moro, President and CEO of Mazda North American Operations and Managing Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation.
“I welcome the Joest family to the Mazda family, and I’m convinced that, together, we will write many more pages in the book of Mazda racing successes.”
The German squad, led by managing director Ralf Juttner, had been the mastermind behind Audi’s LMP1 program, having scored 11 overall victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Audi and multiple titles in the FIA World Endurance Championship, American Le Mans Series and European Le Mans Series.
With Audi pulling the plug on its factory LMP1 program after a 17-year partnership with Joest late last year, it sent the team searching for a new manufacturer partner, with Juttner having attended this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring, with the goal of putting together a DPi program.
“We are excited and proud about this new opportunity with Mazda,” Juttner said. “Mazda has such a long tradition in motorsport and, especially in America, has created a huge platform for racing enthusiasts.
“For us, this is not only a return to American racing, which we have always enjoyed, but also great news to the big group of our Japanese fans, who have always warmly embraced us.”
The team, which will establish a North American base in the Atlanta area, will soon begin testing in preparation for next year with Mazda’s four current factory drivers.
Its driver lineup for 2018, however, has not yet been determined.
In conjunction with Joest, further developments will be made to the car by Multimatic, with the Canadian-based firm taking the lead in chassis improvements after struggling, largely with reliability issues, in the first half of its debut season.
The car will continue to be powered by the AER-tuned Mazda MZ-2.0T engine.
“This is an important moment in Mazda Motorsports history as we align our brand’s top-level sports car racing program with one of the best sports car teams of all time,” said Mazda Motorsports director John Doonan.
“What Mr. Joest, Ralf Jüttner and the entire Joest Racing organization have accomplished is not likely to ever be matched.
“We are very excited to work with them to put Mazda in victory lane and to strive for more championship trophies, adding to the substantial Mazda and Joest Racing legacies in the years ahead.”
Mazda’s new partnership with Joest brings to an end a long-running relationship with Sylvain Tremblay’s SpeedSource operation, which helped deliver the manufacturer multiple championships in Grand-Am competition.
“We accomplished a great deal with their organization at all levels of the sport for more than two decades,” Doonan said.
“They are a perfect example of a team that has grown through our Mazda system: from grassroots club racing, to Rolex 24 race-winning efforts in GT and then on to the Prototype program.
“Friendships in our sport run deep and we certainly don’t see that changing.”
http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/beau ... -not-true/John Dagys wrote:Beaumesnil: LMP1 Hybrid Reliability Concerns “Clearly Not True”
ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil has hit out at claims that the current LMP1 hybrids are too complex, in the wake of last month’s attrition-filled 24 Hours of Le Mans.
All five LMP1 hybrids ran into trouble over the course of the French endurance classic, handing the overall race lead to a LMP2 car for several hours, until a recovery drive by the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid delivered the German manufacturer overall victory by one lap.
Beaumesnil noted that only two of the cars had hybrid-related issues, with both the winning Porsche and No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid suffering front motor generator unit failures.
“I’m not very happy to hear that these cars had some issues because they are too complex. I think this is clearly not true,” Beaumesnil told Sportscar365.
“There were five cars, and all the cars had an issue. Only two were about the hybrid system and it was really not due to the complexity of the system.
“It was typical Le Mans. Whenever you run in any class, you can have an issue that has a big consequence.
“This happened to [these cars] but not due to the complexity of the cars, to be clear.”
Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon, who saw only one of his three cars take the checkered flag at Le Mans, said there were a series of “exceptional circumstances” that attributed to the unusually high rate of attrition.
Contact with a GT car, which damaged the gearbox and caused a puncture, knocked the No. 9 Toyota of Nico Lapierre out of the race, while a bizarre pit lane incident, triggered by driver Vincent Capillaire, who was mistaken for a marshal, resulted in clutch failure for Kamui Kobayashi’s pole-sitting No. 7 car.
Vasselon said they’ve had only two hybrid-related failures since the Japanese manufacturer’s WEC debut in 2012, and both were quality control-related issues.
“It’s more about quality issues than fundamental problems,” he said. “Porsche have had the nearly same issue with the front motor with a part that never caused any problem [in the past].
“It is important to analyze a bit because otherwise you can conclude that hybrid cars are not reliable. No, absolutely not.
“In six years, we have shown a level of reliability which is comparable or even better than conventional cars before. We cannot judge hybrid cars from this Le Mans.”
Vasselon revealed that Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda’s comments, provided in a post-race statement by the team, which indicated that hybrid cars are “not yet ready” for Le Mans, was incorrectly translated.
It’s believed Toyoda’s statement had fueled others to share similar views on the situation.
“We found out the translation was wrong,” Vasselon said. “We were amazed. We had a look at the Japanese text and it was different.”
Despite the unusual race, Beaumesnil believes there are still positives to take away, with his hope that it will attract new LMP1 non-hybrid cars to the class, which currently faces uncertainty for the future.
“I am not happy with what happened but it wrote history at Le Mans, and so many people realized that they can do something with an LMP1 Privateer car,” he said.
“Everything can happen at Le Mans. You can be more predictable in six hours but even here, we have surprises everywhere.
“But if you multiply it by four times, the possibility to have something unexpected. This is what makes this race very special.”
All four LMP1 hybrids completed last weekend’s Six Hours of Nürburgring without any hybrid-related issues, with the No. 8 Toyota the only car to spend time in the garage altogether, due to a broken fuel pump.
Very big news!! This will open the eyes of the FIA/ACO even more.
http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/bmw-m8-gte-revealed/John Dagys wrote:BMW M8 GTE Revealed; Completes Initial Three-Day Test
BMW’s new-for-2018 GT challenger has been revealed, with the German manufacturer releasing the first photos of the BMW M8 GTE.
The car, which will debut in January’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, continued its development program last week, completing a three-day test at the Lausitzring with drivers Martin Tomczyk and Maxime Martin at the wheel.
It came following its initial rollout at BMW’s plant in Dingolfing, Germany on July 1.
“To see the BMW M8 GTE on the racetrack makes me very proud,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.
“Everyone involved has done a magnificent job in recent months to allow us to reach this milestone in the development of our new flagship for the GT racing scene.
“In the first instance, the purpose of a test like this is obviously to get to know the car.
“In this regard, greater emphasis is placed on the safety aspect than performance. However, the first impression of the BMW M8 GTE out on the track is a very positive one.”
Former DTM champion Tomczyk said he had “great fun” in the car. BMW did not release any further details on the initial test.
“The BMW M8 GTE is good to drive from the outset, and it is easy for us drivers to work out the way it handles, which is important,” he said.
“We got a lot of kilometers under our belt, and gathered a lot of data. We also took our first steps with regard to performance, which is by no means a given at a first test.
“We will obviously work more intensively on that at the coming tests, and will build on the strong basis we established here at the Lausitzring.”
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