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[WEC Sportscar & GT Championship 2018-2019]

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[WEC Sportscar & GT Championship 2018-2019]

Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Ginetta Sells First Three LMP1 Cars
Un-named customer team set for two-car WEC programme

Ginetta Cars has announced that it has taken formal orders and deposits for three of its 2018 LMP1 chassis. These are the first of the 2018 chassis to be sold by the Yorkshire-based manufacturer.

The cars, purchased by an as yet un-named single customer team, are bound for a proposed two-car 2018/19 FIA WEC effort with the third car intended as a spare.

“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,” Ginetta Cars Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson said.
Read further at: http://www.dailysportscar.com/2017/10/0 ... -cars.html
Last edited by erwin greven 2 months ago, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

dailysportscar.com wrote:Peugeot Choose Rallycross

ACO admit defeat in persuading Peugeot to return to LMP1

A statement issued this evening by the ACO makes it clear that Peugeot Sport’s commitment to, and expansion of, their World Rallycross programme means that there is no short-term prospect of a parallel return to an LMP1 endurance race programme in the FIA WEC and/ or at Le Mans.

The statement reads

“The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has learned of Peugeot’s decision to intensify its programme in a series other than endurance. We can only accept it and fix an appointment with them in the years to come to prove to them the interest of our branch of motor sport, and the validity of the direction taken in endurance in the areas of cost capping and technology, which other manufacturers and other teams working alongside us will prove to them.

“We’re pursuing our strategy built around an accessible blue-riband category with budgets that are much smaller than those required in recent years: these grew exponentially as was very often the case in the past because of the involvement of several manufacturers. We’ll adapt ourselves to this natural cycle in endurance and take appropriate action. More than ever our approach is constructive, and we’re actively engaged in boosting the appeal of endurance in a changing global context.”
http://www.dailysportscar.com/2017/10/0 ... cross.html
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Post by Cheeveer » 1 year ago

erwin greven wrote:
1 year ago
Ginetta Sells First Three LMP1 Cars
Un-named customer team set for two-car WEC programme

Ginetta Cars has announced that it has taken formal orders and deposits for three of its 2018 LMP1 chassis. These are the first of the 2018 chassis to be sold by the Yorkshire-based manufacturer.

The cars, purchased by an as yet un-named single customer team, are bound for a proposed two-car 2018/19 FIA WEC effort with the third car intended as a spare.

“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,” Ginetta Cars Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson said.
Read further at: http://www.dailysportscar.com/2017/10/0 ... -cars.html
Also some good LMP1 news, the BR car has completed its first test day:

Image

https://www.autosport.com/wec/news/1322 ... hits-track
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Post by MonteCristo » 1 year ago

Great news with Ginetta :).
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Marshall Pruett wrote:Judd offers new privateer V10 for WEC

Specialist powerplant provider Engine Developments has announced a new privateer V10 solution for the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1 class in partnership with the Japanese AIM firm.

"At the current performance level of over 700 [horsepower] and with a minimum car weight of less than 850 [kilos] our new normally aspirated 5.5-liter V10 is designed to deliver extremely competitive lap times without the problems of throttle response, complexity and reliability associated with turbocharged engines or the weight and size issues associated with similar capacity normally aspirated V8 and V12 engines," the British company announced.

"The AIM-Judd V10 engine will incorporate a number of new developments aimed at maximizing performance potential under the fuel flow limiting regulations whilst retaining the excellent reliability record that our previous Judd and AIM V10 engines achieved in endurance racing."

A narrow vee angle and reduced mass are among the attributes to be expected with a lease-based engine supply: "These include a new 72-degree cylinder block, which is significantly lighter than any of our previous designs, a new combustion chamber, cooling system and piston design as well as an updated engine management system with electronic throttle and fuel flow management software."
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

John Dagys wrote:Alonso Linked to Possible United Autosports Drive for Rolex 24

While targeting a run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a bid for the “Triple Crown” of motorsport, Fernando Alonso could first be making his debut in another twice-around-the-clock endurance classic this January.

Multiple sources have revealed to Sportscar365 that the two-time Formula One World Champion is closing in on a drive with United Autosports for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, in what would see Alonso line up in one of the team’s Ligier JS P217 Gibsons for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.

While it’s understood a deal has yet to be reached, one source indicated that it’s currently “80 percent likely” the Spaniard would be part of the two-car effort.
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

John Dagys wrote:New LMP1 Regs to be Presented in Dec.; Manufacturer Talks Intensify

The FIA and ACO’s revised new-generation LMP1 regulations are due to be presented to the World Motor Sport Council in December, according to ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil.

Earmarked for the 2020/21 FIA World Endurance Championship season, the new rules will replace the ACO’s rapid-charging plug-in hybrid concept, which has been mothballed in the wake of Porsche’s exit from LMP1 competition at the end of this year.

Meetings have been ongoing between manufacturers, including Toyota and McLaren, in recent weeks, which Beaumesnil said has been productive, but is still in the early stages.

“We are conscious that we need to agree as soon as possible on a good regulations,” he told Sportscar365.

“We are in the middle of it. We’ve had some meetings with a lot of manufacturers. There is some interest and very good ideas. We are working on a good plan.

“I’m really confident. We still have the target to propose to the World Council the guidelines of the next rules in December, including the year of introduction, which is not confirmed yet.”

While not necessarily indicting the launch year of the new regs could be delayed, Beaumesnil reaffirmed the current LMP1 rules, which will see hybrid and non-hybrids equalized, have been locked in for at least the next two seasons, through 2019/20.

“Definitely there will be one year of grandfathering,” he said. “We always do that because people who have invested [in cars] need some time.”

Initial discussions have also taken place with IMSA, although Sportscar365 understands the prospects of a shared LMP1/DPi platform have hit a road block in recent weeks, and currently appears less likely.

Beaumesnil, however, remains hopeful in “trying to have” the same vision.

“We’re still at the beginning as it’s a long process,” he said. “But I think it would be nonsense not to evaluate this with them for sure.”

Toyota, McLaren Involved in Future Regs Discussion


Despite not yet committing to a return to the WEC for next year, Toyota has been actively involved in helping shape the future regulations alongside prospective LMP1 manufacturers.

“We’re trying hard to bring it in the correct direction for us,” said Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon. “It’s up to us as well to contribute to this process.

“We are actively making proposals in the direction which for us makes sense and not only for us… We are trying to contribute in the most constructive way.”

McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown said they’ve also been in the talks, having revealed to Sportscar365 in August a desire for the British manufacturer to mount a LMP1 program should a common formula be adopted in both IMSA and the WEC.

“We’re very active in those conversations,” Brown told Sportscar365 this week. “Right now, [the FIA and ACO are doing] due diligence on what everybody wants, so they’re kind of in research mode. But we’re going to stay real close to that.

“If they can come up with a formula that is technically relevant, competitive and commercially viable, then it’s something we would definitely consider.”

Vasselon said it’s too early to determine what the LMP1 grid could look like in 2020, as a number of factors are still at play, including the Japanese manufacturer’s own commitment to the class.

“It’s difficult to say because no one has committed,” he said. “At the moment there’s interest from several manufacturers but it’s true that no one has yet committed.”

Peugeot’s Decision “Doesn’t Change Our Direction”

Beaumesnil, meanwhile, has refuted claims that Peugeot’s decision not to re-enter LMP1 has changed the FIA and ACO’s direction for the future regs.

It’s understood the French manufacturer had been against the initial plan for 2020, which called for a 1km stretch of all-electric driving following each pit stop.

“We’re continuing our mission and direction,” Beaumesnil said. “The decision of Peugeot did not change anything.

“For sure we made a lot work for them to explain and to also understand what they like. We deployed a lot of efforts for that.

“But again we don’t make the rules for one manufacturer.

“In the end they don’t come, they don’t come. It’s for their own reasons, but for sure on our side it did not change our direction. We are quite confident in where we go.”
http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/new- ... -december/

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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Graham Goodwin wrote:New 2020 ‘LMP1’ Rulebook Proposals Unpicked

Who's involved, what do they agree on and when will changes come?

The public face of manufacturer involvement in LMP1 has been little short of chaotic in recent weeks with Porsche announcing its pull-out, Peugeot confirming it’s choice of WRX rather than endurance racing for a future programme, and with Toyota under near siege to announce its choice for the coming 2018/19 FIA WEC season.

In the background though, whilst there is real concern, there is also a huge amount of constructive thought and action being undertaken by both the rulemakers (ACO and FIA) and by both current and prospective future manufacturer entrants to comprehensively recast the 2020 regulations (due for roll-out for the 2020/21 FIA WEC season); the earlier iteration of that ruleset now have now been effectively withdrawn.

A meeting convened by the FIA Endurance Commission saw attendance, DSC believes, by a large group of manufacturer representatives including Toyota, Nissan, Renault, Ford, McLaren, BMW and Ferrari.

The results of that meeting echoed what DSC has learnt from multiple manufacturers on where they believe the future of the premier class in International sportscar racing should be heading.

There are several key words and phrases that keep coming back in almost every conversation on the issue: “road relevant”, “technology”, “more affordable and sustainable” and, “global” are just four of them. But, all seem to summarise the important blending that is in hand at the moment.

Let’s look at each of those in turn:

Global

The appeal to manufacturers of a global formula is clear, offering the opportunity to compete in all of the major endurance races on the planet with no regulatory bars to mixing and matching their racing efforts across the FIA WEC and IMSA products plus of course the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours.

Whilst this has been a source of not a little friction between the upper echelons of the ACO and IMSA until very recently, a rapprochement appears close with IMSA’s Scott Atherton making public statements about the desirability of taking a step forward for the next iteration of the (currently very popular) DPi formula.

Recent conversations and interviews with both mainstream bulk manufacturers and more boutique specialist car makers have seen this emerge as a very closely aligned common theme – from Ford’s Raj Nair through senior representatives of Toyota, McLaren and Aston Martin – the appeal of a global formula is clear, and it’s in the sights of the rulemakers.

Technology

This has proved to be the really tricky one. Blending the manufacturer’s wish to display their cutting edge tech with keeping control of escalating development budgets.

The reality for endurance racing is that delivering truly edgy tech to the track with real performance is a HUGELY more challenging, and expensive, proposition than for the likes of Formula E, and WRX where the events are for short races with the capabilities of the tech rather less stretched than in a 24-hour race!

Lest we forget though the advances made in the Hybrid LMP1 era have been staggering.

In an era where progress is often measured in fractions of one per cent efficiency gains in LMP1 have been enormous – similar race times delivered, year on year with 20, 30, 40 or 50% less fuel used.

Better still the pure performance of the cars has been mind blowing, making a major contribution to public perception of electrification of vehicles, performance and efficiency are now accepted norms in this marketplace. It’s a world away from the box-ticking worthiness of the days (not very long ago) when Hollywood celebrities would drive a Prius to red carpet events whilst using their supercars for everyday driving. Now their supercars are hybrids too!

The potential for accelerated development of tech via sporting programmes is clear, but the cost factors, particularly when considering the current glut of industry-related issues, has proved a barrier.

Emerging tech will continue to be a major issue, but the thought process appears to be focusing on two timescales: the all important here and now, and, equally important, the future.

For the here and now the near future reality, it looks like a single hybrid system formula. It’s a significant step back from the planned move to up to three systems being allowed and a move that both cuts costs and has potential to find favour with IMSA’s vision of a near future DPi2.

Beyond that the plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technologies look set to be the next agenda items. Expediency, commercial reality and the maturity of both technologies though seem set to see those prospects feature first in technology demonstrators, (including the Garage 56 programme) long before we see them emerging into full competition, perhaps somewhere in the middle of the next decade.

More Affordable and Sustainable

Intrinsically linked with the Tech point above, there’s little doubt that the cost of development for the increasingly capable hybrid systems of the current breed of LMP1s has contributed heavily to their untimely demise (with due deference to Toyota still being in the game at present).

A brief examination as to the factors that brought about this situations is relevant, if only to review the factors that the rulemakers must seek to avoid this time around.

For both Audi and Porsche the looming backlash from the ‘Dieselgate’ affair is a primary factor. Their parent company VAG is in the midst of ensuring that the huge financial consequences of the matter do not heavily damage their core businesses. Termination of Audi’s diesel engined LMP1 programme was a relatively simple decision in the circumstances with Porsche also embroiled in the same saga; plus, the ongoing German investigation into cartel-related behaviours by their domestic car and truck manufacturers.

Peugeot’s choice to go elsewhere also looks to have significant external influence wth parent company PSA also now dealing with its very own emissions scandal, plus the looming out-turn of the acquisition of the Vauxhall/Opel business which is currently taking a huge amount of company resource and looks set to involve the loss of thousands of jobs.





The emissions controversy has led to a rush to show leadership in ‘cleaning up’ the fleet, Audi and Porsche choosing Formula E, Peugeot the forthcoming E-WRX product. Why? The simple fact is that both are available and relatively affordable options – for now at least – to display ‘green’ credentials at a time when the economic imperative had collided with a need to re-invent company images.

Lessons meanwhile appear to have been taken on board in relation to the balance between the advantages of pushing hard, year-on-year, on efficiency, and the concurrent cost of achieving the big number milestones.

The future of LMP1 will encompass only a single hybrid system rather than the three envisaged until very recently, though the rate of progress in the field means that the performance of these future cars will be unlikely to fall too far short of the 2017 cars.


The frankly unseemly exchanges between Porsche and the ACO post withdrawal announcement saw Porsche place ‘blame’ for their c. 200 million Euro budgets at the rulemakers door. This writer has checked the regulations and can see nowhere that forces a manufacturer to spend at that level, though the constant push for efficiency gains hasn’t helped!

The issue though has been gripped by those responsible for envisaging the way forward with ACO President Pierre Fillon making it clear in a recent (and excellent) interview with Auto Hebdo that he is targeting a formula that will see opportunity for manufacturers to enter with a development budget south of 50 million Euros.

To achieve that level of reeling in of expense, the manufacturers would have to sign up to a range of measures. This would include dramatic restrictions on aero development, a single aero kit with limited adjustability would certainly be on the agenda.

The move, coincidentally, would see a future DPi formula more aligned with LMP1 (or its replacement) than the current LMP2.

Road Relevant

Here’s the new kid on the block for the LMP1 class (or for whatever emerges). There’s little doubt when talking to manufacturers that they see road relevance extending beyond the technology they deploy and onto much more visual cues.

DSC believes that the proposals discussed, and potentially now submitted for consideration by the FIA World Motorsports Council, relate to the probability that manufacturer cars would encompass visual elements, at the very least, from their more extreme road cars. This is so that, at the very least, a car would be instantly recognisable as being relevant to a particular brand.

That would see cars, referred to by one senior industry source in conversation with DSC as ‘GT Proto’, as somewhat closer in looks to a late 1990s GT1 car than a late 2010s LMP1. Pierre Fillon recently told Auto Hebdo not to focus too closely on race versions of roadgoing ‘hypercars’ as being the direction chosen – this would be more than subtly different.

Interviews with top Toyota management months ago revealed that they would favour such a move. Ford’s Raj Nair too has expressed support for such a concept and the more ‘boutique’ manufacturers including McLaren and Aston Martin would certainly be interested in the potential to showcase a version – or at the very least an interpretation – of their most extreme machinery at the very front of the grid.

Care would need to be taken over the balance between interest in GT Proto and the current increasing level of support for GTE Pro from a remarkably similar group of manufacturers though. This is particularly paramount when considering that the level of commitment to the length of programmes in GTE has traditionally been far longer than in LMP1.

‘GT Proto’ could also provide a far easier path into competition in future years for truly cutting-edge tech, a competition version of the latest concept car, or ultra limited production hypercars. It’s a far more saleable option for the manufacturers marketing teams than a pure competition prototype.

That, in turn, could lead to a major turn-around in the level of marketing activation seen in endurance racing, something that the FIA WEC has, thus far, struggled to achieve with its partners.

Whither the Privateers?

The manufacturers of the coming breed of LMP1 non-hybrid cars have been promised a stable rulebook for the next four seasons, and a formula that will see their cars matched on lap time, if not on stint length, to the hybrid-powered cars which will retain the ability to go longer on the same allocation of fuel than their non-hybridised cousins.

As always, the trick to success here is to keep the development curve for manufacturers under some semblance of control. If lessons have been learned from the past half decade then it is surely to find a formula that prevents a predictably self-destructive technology race, helping the rulemakers to maintain some semblance of control over the top-end of performance and efficiency and thereby helping to maintain an equable balance between the factory and privateer entries. 
That reads back like a complex task, because it is!

The rulemakers though, privately acknowledge that a sizeable error was made in effectively ignoring the privateer marketplace at the top end of endurance racing. One would hope and expect better and longer focus on that aspect of the sustainability of the overall product this time around.

What Next?

The results of the discussions between the Manufacturers and the FIA Endurance Commission will be submitted for approval by the FIA World Motorsport Council in early December, but are expected to be approved (in that all relevant parties agree on the proposals).

Will this mean a rush from manufacturers back to the class? Unlikely, though it is clear that several manufacturers from the group that met with the Endurance Commission are actively evaluating their motorsport options at present. Endurance racing still holds very significant appeal – for several reasons – for many of them.

It is those evaluations, rather than the decisions to come from the FIA, that will determine the future look of the FIA WEC, Le Mans 24 Hours, and in all likelihood IMSA too.

There has seldom been a more critical phase in the outlook of the part of our sport that DSC holds dear!
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Post by MonteCristo » 1 year ago

Sounds positive. But we'll see who fields cars.
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

John Dagys wrote:Manor Confirms Ginetta LMP1 Program

Manor confirms Ginetta LMP1 program for 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season…

Manor has confirmed that it will move into LMP1 competition with Ginetta, beginning with the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship ‘super season.’

The British squad, which has spent the last two years in the LMP2 ranks with Oreca machinery, had long been linked to a step up to the WEC’s premier class, dating back to Ginetta’s initial announcement that it would be building a car for privateers.

Chinese-based motor sports organization TRS, which has served as a team sponsor, has formed a joint venture business with Manor for the new LMP1 effort.

Further details on the program, including the number of cars the team will field and its engine partner, have yet to be released.

Ginetta previously announced a deal with Mecachrome for the supply of a 3.4-liter V6 turbo for its yet-to-be-named LMP1 car.

“We have been learning this championship for the last two years and we are confident that the time is now right for us to step up to the LMP1 category,” team principal John Booth said.

“We have known the people at Ginetta for many years and we believe that, working together, we will be able to develop a competitive LMP1 package.”

Manor Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon added: “I think that the LMP1 category provides a fantastic challenge for us but we can rely on a lot of experience gained over the years, in particular those spent in Formula 1, relating to the management of the design, research, testing and development processes that are so important for a successful LMP1 team.”

It marks the first confirmed customer for Ginetta and second new LMP1 team to be announced within two days, following news of of DragonSpeed also stepping up to the top prototype class next year, with a yet-to-be-determined car.

Ginetta announced last month that it sold three of its cars to a customer, which has plans to run two full-time in the WEC, although has yet to come forward.

“I am delighted with the confirmation of the selection by TRS Racing and Manor Endurance Racing of the Ginetta LMP1 for their program,” said Ginetta Cars Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson.

“The opportunities for all involved here are tremendous, for Ginetta, for the team, and for their backers.

“To take on endurance racing at this level is one of the toughest technical challenges in the world. It’s great to have a racing partner who relishes those challenges just as much as we do.”
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

John Dagys wrote:DragonSpeed to Step Up to LMP1

DragonSpeed will make the step up to LMP1 competition, confirms plans to contest FIA World Endurance Championship’s ‘Super Season’ in 2018/19…


DragonSpeed will make the step up to LMP1 competition, having confirmed Tuesday intentions to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s ‘Super Season’ in 2018/19.

The Elton Julian-owned squad, fresh off winning the European Le Mans Series LMP2 title with G-Drive Racing, has confirmed Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley as two of the drivers for its single-car program, and is currently evaluating multiple chassis and engine options.

The France-based team, however, has close links to ORECA, which has been working on a possible LMP1 car for next season.

“The whole team is thrilled and up for the challenge,” Julian said. “Having won sports car titles in GT3 and LMP2, the natural progression for our highly talented and motivated crew is to move up to LMP1.

“We’re carefully studying potential partners who can help us put together a program which will deliver the progress and success we want for DragonSpeed.

“Everyone is on the same page in terms of the package and approach we need, and we can’t wait to get started.”

The team’s move to the WEC comes after two seasons in the ELMS, initially fielding an Oreca 05 Nissan for Hedman, Hanley and Nico Lapierre in 2016, prior to a ramped up two-car Oreca 07 Gibson operation this year, where it won the LMP2 championship under the G-Drive banner with Memo Rojas and Leo Roussel.

DragonSpeed is the second privateer team to officially commit to LMP1 next year, joining SMP Racing with its planned two-car program with Dallara-built BR1 cars, with ByKolles Racing also likely to return with its CLM P1/01 NISMO.

“I look back to 2005, when I first drove at Le Mans,” Julian said “You had a single works team with
Audi plus a great supporting cast of privateers running six different chassis and four different engines.

“In fact, the pole went to one of the privateers.

“If Toyota continues, and we all hope they will, I think over the next couple of years we can bring back that variety and tradition of privateers being genuinely competitive in the top class.”

Both Hedman and Hanley, meanwhile, will continue for a third season with the team.

“The chance to progress to the premier level of endurance racing with such a successful and close-knit group made this an easy decision,” Hedman said. “Step by step, we’ve grown together and achieved a lot.

“I applaud the ACO and FIA for the new schedule and the opportunity it has created. I’m committed to preparing myself and applying everything I’ve learned over the past few seasons to racing the new generation of LMP1 cars with Elton and the team.”

Hanley added: “Moving up to the WEC and LMP1 is a great chance for us to fight for overall podium results, especially at Le Mans given the issues the hybrids have had there the last few years.”
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Cheeveer
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Post by Cheeveer » 1 year ago

So there will be more LMP1 cars around in 2018 than in 2017.

Proof that making a viable platform for privateer teams should be the top priority for all series.
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Agreed Cheeveer. The privateer teams are able to carry the LMP1 class. For as long you keep its costs low.
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 1 year ago

A bit of a random subject for this thread but Australian GT, following their hiccup with VASC over CAMS blocking VASC control of the category, have been dropped from their traditional role of main support at the Clipsal 500, to be replaced by the new Asia’s Audi R8 Cup. A pity as they were always a huge part of hte Clipsal meet and their replacement, a one make Audi series seems to fit in with the recent announcement of an Audi R8 customer (race car ) centre in Australia.
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Post by MonteCristo » 1 year ago

Great for LMP1!
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