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[IMSA Weathertech Sportscar & GT Championship 2018]

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[IMSA Weathertech Sportscar & GT Championship 2018]

Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Chris Medland wrote:Button considering IMSA for 2018

Jenson Button is contemplating a full-time return to racing in 2018 after feeling he stayed a year too long in Formula 1, and has named the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as a possible destination.

The 2009 Formula 1 world champion retired from F1 at the end of last season and this year only made a one-off appearance for McLaren at the Monaco Grand Prix to replace Fernando Alonso. However, a recent drive in the Suzuka 1000km (below) has led Button to focus on securing a full-time racing program next year, and he sees the U.S. as a potential destination.

"Do I miss F1? No. I don't, I miss racing," Button said. "I had fallen out of love a little bit with motorsport – I think I left it maybe a year too long racing in Formula 1. I spoke to Honda at the end of last year and I said would you mind if I had a bit of fun in your SuperGT car, and I did at the Honda Thanks Day at the end of last year. I loved it, and that was just me on my own.

"So after that I asked them if I could do the Suzuka 1000km, and they said they thought that they could work something out. So I came here completely green in the formula – it is completely different to anything I have ever done, racing around with another category. We didn't get a very good result – I think we had every issue you could possibly have – but I came away and felt that I had the love back for racing. I absolutely loved it – as soon as we were finished I wanted to get back in the car and do it all again. It has been a while since I had that feeling, I've been itching to drive anything, to be fair.

"Next year I will be racing something; I don't know what yet, whether it will be in America, Europe or Japan. There are few options and I want to take it properly seriously."

Asked by RACER what the categories in the U.S. and Europe are that he is interested in, Button replied: "I think IMSA – where the DPi cars race.

"I love the fact that they all get the same... well, there's a selection of tubs that they can race with and they can make it their own with their aerodynamic package and power unit, and there's a few manufacturers racing there and that's great and it's definitely a growing motorsport in America.

"The GT category is great but I'm not sure I could be in a car being overtaken by the DPi cars. That's something I can't get my head around.

"I'd love to do Le Mans at some point but I'm not sure it's the right time to jump in and do it. Again, I think the LMP2 category is awesome, I think it's great there's so many teams, there's a lot of talented drivers – but you have P1. So I don't know, I just can't get my head around racing a car that is 20 seconds slower than something else."
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

INSIGHT: Why Alonso is doing Daytona

Something tells me Fernando Alonso is quite enjoying this...

Admittedly, the Spaniard's Indy 500 attempt came completely out of the blue, but a crack at the Rolex 24 is still going to generate plenty of excitement in its own right.

Alonso will drive for McLaren executive director Zak Brown's United Autosports team (below) at Daytona in January, in what will be his first foray into sportscar racing. The timing is ideal for a Formula 1 driver, and Brown and Alonso clearly share a similar outlook on racing, but this isn't just a case of a bit of fun in Florida during F1's off-season.

In fact, it's an appearance that can trace its roots back to Indianapolis.

When Alonso took on the challenge of competing in the 500, he only had one objective in mind, and that was to win. It was always going to be a massive task and would require total dedication, but that is exactly what he applied. As soon as the drive was confirmed, Alonso was watching previous races in full. On the flight to Indianapolis from the Spanish Grand Prix, he was going over endless race restarts to understand the nuances of each situation he may face.

That's because Alonso's eyes had been opened to the possibility of winning the Triple Crown. With the Monaco Grand Prix under his belt, he was heading to another part of the triumvirate with a car capable of winning, and he was determined to give himself every chance of taking that opportunity.

Of course, the race Alonso has yet to taste is Le Mans. He has been close on occasion – most notably in 2015, when Nico Hulkenberg won for Porsche – but it's a deal that has yet to come together. But that isn't stopping Alonso from starting his preparations.

Indy was a steep learning curve and one that Alonso navigated exceptionally, but that doesn't mean he should be doing the same with Le Mans. In a 24 hour race, even more challenges can be faced, and on that basis, Alonso has been thinking about a dry run: Daytona.

To be able to do an endurance race that has little to no impact on his Formula 1 schedule is ideal for Alonso, who is enjoying a growing affinity with the United States. He will get to experience one of the biggest 24 hour races in the world, but without the distractions of a grand prix for months either side.

Racing with United Autosports is a no-brainer given the crossover with Brown, and although it will be the team's first full-on attempt at the Rolex 24 since 2011 – and with two cars to boot – the fact that it finished second in this year's ELMS LMP2 championship means Alonso will expect to be fighting for wins again, something he admits he wanted to give himself a chance of in 2018.

"Even after Indianapolis (below) in July and June I was thinking what was the best option for me for next year," Alonso said after announcing a new McLaren contract last week. "I don't like being out of qualifying before Q3. I don't like being off the podium. So I said if that will be the case next year, maybe it's better to look outside Formula 1 and maybe to experience again the podium celebrations and those victory tastes."

Daytona will give him a chance at that, but the timeframe will also ensure Alonso is again ready to make an impact when he races Stateside. Testing next month will help prepare him for the Rolex 24, and then the race itself will be perfect practice for Le Mans, a race that he could still end up competing in next year for Toyota if called upon.

"There is not a Le Mans clause [in Alonso's contract] per se, but there is an understanding that if Fernando would like to do some additional racing that doesn't compromise our Formula 1 efforts, because that is McLaren's number one objective, as it is Fernando's, then that conversation can be flexible," Brown said in Austin. "I think as you saw with Indianapolis last year, we are an organization that likes to race and Fernando, is the biggest racer in this pit lane. So some other activities are possible."

Alonso has already confirmed those other activities will not include the Indy 500 next year, but they could even extend beyond Daytona, Le Mans and Indy one day, with Alonso admitting he would race almost every weekend if he could. It's a refreshing stance to see a driver nearing the end of his F1 career arguably having even more enthusiasm for racing than he had at the start of it.

"I think on my personal side there are no other priorities than Formula 1 at the moment, but with a door open for different series and different goals... I always believed that you need to win in other series if you want to be a more complete driver, a better driver, because motorsport is not only Formula 1," Alonso said last week. "Even if it's still the priority, we will see what the future brings."

We now know it will bring a tilt at Daytona that will be a test in a category Alonso has never competed in before. The Spaniard will become a more rounded driver and better prepared for Le Mans; Brown gets one of the best in the world in his United Autosports car as well as a direct comparison with his team-mate Lando Norris; the McLaren protege will be able to learn by racing in the same car as a double world champion; and Daytona gets a whole new boost in interest.

How many wins is that?
http://www.racer.com/more/viewpoints/it ... ng-daytona
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Alonso racing at the Daytona 24 hours is now confirmed.
http://www.dailysportscar.com/2017/10/2 ... nited.html
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Montoya 'having a blast' with new Acura DPi ride

Juan Pablo Montoya loves his Acura ARX-05 DPi. It's as serious and simple as that.

In his three decades of professional racing, Montoya has driven just about everything one could dream of. Formula 1 cars with phenomenal power and sound. Indy cars that flirted with 240 mph on big ovals. Stock cars that, well, do whatever they do, and Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes, with their GT-cars-on-steroids charm.

JPM even tested Porsche's 1000-plus horsepower 919 Hybrid LMP1 car, which he also loved, but we've never heard the two-time Indy 500 winner rave about a car like he has with the ORECA 07 LMP2-based Acura ARX-05. Known for his no-nonsense ways, the Colombian isn't one to heap praise on something where it doesn't belong.

It makes the 42-year-old's unabashed appreciation for the new mount he'll share with Dane Cameron rather refreshing thing to hear.

"I'll be honest, 100 percent, I've driven some different ones; some have been a lot of fun, some hasn't been so much fun. You can ask anybody that was at the first test that the smile on my face when I was getting out of the car was unreal. I loved it," JPM told RACER.

"You can hustle the hell out of it. The car really rewards driving hard and pushing it. For me, that's unbelievable. Nowadays, most of the racecars you've got to sissy them around and be nice and just drive them on 80 or 90 percent because if you drive them too hard, the tires go. And this Acura, honestly, the more you ask for it, the more will give you. It's unbelievable."

Adding to the purity of Montoya's love for his new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship career is the motivation that led to his full-time presence in the No. 6 ARX-05. Known for his miserly ways, all those years of earning in F1, NASCAR and IndyCar made it possible for Montoya to retire after the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season when he was replaced at Team Penske by Josef Newgarden.

Without a genuine need to keep going – especially in a sports car series with a smaller profile – the 1999 CART champion could have walked away from the sport. Instead, he chose to continue and, as he reveals, his raw enthusiasm for IMSA's DPi formula helped Penske IndyCar teammate to find peace in hos own transition from open-wheel to the new Acura program.

"For me, that's why I do it," JPM continued. "If I didn't like the car, I'd go do something different with my life. But to have the opportunity to be in this project and commit to it and to have the pleasure of driving the car is so good, the performance side of the car is incredible.

"I was talking to Helio [Castroneves] and he said, 'The fast corners, how fast can I go through?' I said, 'As fast as you feel like.' He said, 'What do you mean?' I said, 'Honestly, the car will take it and you go through these fast corners and it's like, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. It didn't move. It didn't move. It didn't move.'

"And you push more. It still doesn't move. When you have a feeling like that, oh. And then you put new tires on and you go for it more. And you've still got room. It's like, how the hell could you not want to drive this car? Helio, his mind was blown, and then he drove it and felt what I was talking about. And he loves it too."

Shifting from years of racing spec models in IndyCar and NASCAR to helping Acura Team Penske develop the ARX-05 DPi has also rekindled something warm within Montoya.

"It's so user friendly and it's so much fun. The other thing I loved is that it's back to a real car, where if you need to develop something, you can," he said. "We can develop the traction control and the braking and this and that and you can make it downshift the way you want to. You can change everything the way you want it and that's just a pleasure. That's pretty exciting, to be honest. I'm having a blast right now, for real."
http://www.racer.com/imsa/item/146107-m ... a-dpi-ride
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

New BMW M8 GTE testing at Sebring

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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

J.J. O'Malley wrote:Alonso gets first look at Daytona
Thursday, 04 January 2018

Image
Above: United Autosports teammates Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso and Phil Hanson at Daytona on Thursday.

Fernando Alonso drove through the tunnel at Daytona International Speedway for the first time on Thursday morning, beginning preparations for this weekend's Roar Before The Rolex 24 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test.

"It was quite impressive – a similar feeling to Indianapolis – coming to a huge speedway for the first time and seeing all the grandstands, the facilities, the size of everything," said the Spanish two-time World Champion and driver for McLaren in Formula 1 competition. "This is obviously very, very big, and gives the feeling that you are in a race that is very unique, an iconic motorsports event.

"I'm really looking forward to jumping in the car," added Alonso, who will join McLaren reserve driver Lando Norris and Phil Hanson (above) in the No. 23 United Autosports Ligier JSP217 LMP2 Gibson.

The Roar test and subsequent Rolex 24 on Jan. 27-28 will produce many firsts for Alonso, who has been active in F1 since 2001, with 32 victories, 22 pole positions and 97 podiums. It will mark his first time in an endurance sports car race, let alone a 24-hour event. It will also be his first time competing with co-drivers, and first time racing on a high-banked circuit.

"Many new things for me. I saw the corners, and the banking is quite steep here compared to Indianapolis," said Alonso, who raced in the American open-wheel classic last May. "I'm really looking forward to experiencing how it feels in the car. Also, you have to share the car, the setup, the seat position, there's many things you need to compromise. It's a good challenge, with many new things – traffic management, tires, driving at night. I'm looking forward to it. I'm with the right team and the right teammates, it's a nice experience. I'm sure when we close the visor we will try to win the race."

Alonso is also looking forward to the competition.

"I'm happy to be here," Alonso said. "Not only Juan Pablo [Montoya], but there are many other very strong drivers racing this year. I think the Prototype class is the best this year for Daytona, and we see all the teams participating this year. It will be a big challenge for us, but we will be on the track racing against the best. That's all so good."

The Roar test will bring together 20 Prototype and 30 GT cars (nine GT Le Mans, 21 GT Daytona). A 75-minute pening combined practice for the WeatherTech Championship competitors is set for 11 a.m. ET on Friday, with a second two-hour session from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

The Rolex 24 will be Alonso's second iconic American event in less than a year. Does he have any ambitions to compete in Daytona's other major race, NASCAR's Daytona 500?

"Not yet, I think that's a very different driving technique," he said. "The NASCAR cars are unique in the way they drive, so no thoughts at the moment. But Indianapolis in May, the U.S. Grand Prix in October [at Austin's Circuit of The Americas] and now the Daytona 24, it means in the last six or seven months I've been in America three times for three big events. That puts a smile on my face."
http://www.racer.com/imsa/item/146562-a ... at-daytona
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda Kicks Off 2018 Season This Weekend At Daytona
Thursday, January 4, 2018

Racing is back and it’s the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda that kicks off the 2018 North American motorsports calendar with its season-opening event this Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

A total of 25 prototypes are set to embark in the historic event that features several firsts for the series. Not only is the race a part of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 weekend for the first time, it is the inaugural event for the IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda at Daytona and the first with its new 1-hour, 45 minutes endurance race format. The race can be seen live on IMSA.com at 1:25 p.m. ET.

Entered are a total of 13 LM P3s from a trio of constructors, with the Norma M30 of Forty 7 Motorsports and the Ave-Riley AR2 of Ave Motorsports joining 11 Ligier JS P3s. Among those are a trio of entries apiece from P1 Motorsports and Extreme Speed Motorsports, as well as entries from ANSA Motorsports, Charles Wicht Racing, Gilbert LMP3 Racing, K2R Motorsports and Performance Tech Motorsports.

The longstanding MPC class that uses the Élan DP02 chassis powered by Mazda engines also returns with 12 entries, including four from Performance Tech Motorsports, three from Eurosport Racing, two apiece from ODU Motorsports and ONE Motorsports, and a solo entry from Wolf Motorsports.

The new endurance format will allow teams to run a single or two-driver combination with a required pit stop.

“I think that’s what the series needs as it is kind of the feeder into WeatherTech [SportsCar Championship],” said Corey Lewis, who will co-drive alongside Matt Dicken in the No. 17 P1 Motorsports Ligier JS P3. “You get the feel for what the WeatherTech show is like and having experienced that series and now bringing up the drivers and teams, I think it is a real good thing for the series overall that IMSA put together.”

“Yeah, I think it’s awesome,” added Robby Foley, who will co-drive P1 Motorsports’ No. 42 entry with Jim Garrett. “Especially for myself, looking to move up, the endurance format is nice because going to WeatherTech or something like that, you’ll be in an endurance format. … It’s good practice for the future for me hopefully.”

The race rounds out a jam-packed weekend for IMSA at Daytona. Joining the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda are the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, each with several test sessions which serve as a prelude to the Rolex 24 At Daytona later this month.

Race day events for fans of the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda include a fan walk on the grid prior to the event at 12:45 p.m. and an autograph session in the UNOH Fanzone at 10:30 a.m.

For more information about the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #IMSAPC and @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.
https://www.imsa.com/news/012018/imsa-p ... nd-daytona
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago


“The one between your legs” Scroll ahead to the 4:55 mark. Thanks @marshallpruett for asking the tough questions and getting ALO talking about the REAL issues.
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Fernando Alonso testing at Daytona

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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

First race in the Prototype Challenge is on its way!!!

www.imsa.com
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Brian Redman: "Mr. Fangio, how do you come so fast?" "More throttle, less brakes...."
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

John Dagys wrote:Rolex 24 Entry List Released
January 17, 2018

Fifty cars on entry list for next weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona…


IMSA has released the entry list for next weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, featuring only minor changes since the Roar Before the 24 earlier this month, which was mandatory for all teams.

A total of 50 cars are due to take part in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener, headlined by a 20-car Prototype field.

ENTRY LIST: Rolex 24

It includes European entries from both United Autosports and Jackie Chan DCR JOTA, featuring superstars such as Fernando Alonso, who joins an already star-studded field of drivers.

Acura Team Penske and Mazda Team Joest will debut its new and updated DPi machinery, joined by the returning Cadillac and Nissan efforts from Wayne Taylor Racing, Action Express Racing, Spirit of Daytona and Tequila Patron ESM.

There’s also a strong contingent of LMP2 machinery for the race and WeatherTech Championship season, including entries from CORE autosport, Performance Tech Motorsports and the newly named AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports effort.

Marc Drumwright and Eric Lux are so far the only confirmed drivers for BAR1 Motorsports’ Riley Mk. 30 Gibson, with Joel Miller having moved to Performance Tech as its fourth driver, having tested with BAR1 at the Roar.

Nine cars are set to do battle in GT Le Mans, including the competition debut of the BMW M8 GTE, while GT Daytona features a 21-car field field, represented by eight different GT3 manufacturers.

Of note, Davide Rigon has been added to the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE as a fourth driver and Matt Griffin as a fifth driver in the team’s GTD entry.

In addition to the remainder of the BAR1 lineup, a few TBA slots remain, including a fifth driver in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.

The Rolex 24 is set for Jan. 27-28.
http://sportscar365.com/imsa/iwsc/rolex ... -released/
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 1 year ago

For those looking for info and FREE (and legal) live streams throughout the Daytona 24hrs look here

http://theracingline.net/2018/imsa/wtsc ... -24-hours/

Links to the feed and Live timing will be posted on their home page prior to the event.

The same website will be offering many live feeds of Sports car events throughout the season. Definitely a website to bookmark.
Plenty of links and details there.

Oh the guy who set up and runs the website may be known to some of you. Was/is (Dave)Ellis @ another forum.

*My woman cant wrestle. But you should see her box!*


*I married Miss Right. Just didn't know her first name was Always

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