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[Sportscar & GT Champs] 2017 WEC, WSCC, Blancpain etc.

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Re: [Sportscar & GT Champs] 2017 WEC, WSCC, Blancpain etc.

Post by Cheeveer » 2 months ago

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.ph ... r-bykolles

Probably to spare himself some patience. The ByKolles team need to up their game a bit.
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Post by erwin greven » 2 months ago

Thing is: it is not only ByKolles which have problems. It is getting a big story in LMP2, reliability... Many teams have problems with that. At Daytona i saw some signs already.
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Post by erwin greven » 2 months ago

Brian Redman: "Mr. Fangio, how do you come so fast?" "More throttle, less brakes...."

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Post by erwin greven » 2 months ago

sportscar365.com wrote:WEC Planning Format Changes to GTE in 2018


The FIA World Endurance Championship is set to undergo a format change to the GTE class next year, aimed to increase the category’s visibility, championship organizers have revealed.

FIA Endurance Commission President Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones said that “creative ideas” are are in the works that would give the factory-backed production-based class, which has received World Championship status this year, more exposure on existing weekends.

“We would expect to see some evolution of the format itself by the beginning of next year,” Owen-Jones said.

“We’re working on the format with some creative ideas to give the GT cars more visibility within the weekends racing to make that very attractive for the fans.”

While Owen-Jones was not drawn on specifics, it’s understood at least one proposal involves a seperate qualifying race for GTE-Pro and potentially GTE-Am cars on Saturday, to set the grid for the six-hour races on Sunday.

“It’s just a little bit too early to say what that exactly will be but we should be able to come back with news on that fairly soon,” Owen-Jones said.

The development came Sunday morning at Silverstone, during a pre-race press conference featuring FIA President Jean Todt and ACO President Pierre Fillon, who signed a contract extension for the WEC through the end of the 2020 season.

At least five manufacturers are set to compete in the GTE-Pro class in 2018, with BMW joining Ford, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Porsche, which has returned to full-factory competition this year with its mid-engined 911 RSR.

It’s understood both Lamborghini and McLaren are also actively evaluating GTE programs, for as early as 2019.

“The GT category could have more visibility than it has now,” Todt said. “The first step in the evolution, together with Pierre, Lindsay and their teams, we will see what could be the next step to highlight the main category [in GTE-Pro].”

Owen-Jones ruled out any format change debuting this year, and would have to go to the World Motor Sport Council for approval.
http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/wec- ... e-in-2018/
Brian Redman: "Mr. Fangio, how do you come so fast?" "More throttle, less brakes...."

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Post by erwin greven » 2 months ago

I haven't seen the race. No broadcast, no quality stream anywhere and for the official WEC stream pack is a credit card needed to pay. Btw: the WEC official stream pack lacks quality too. Looking at the ELMS, IMSA or Blancpain, they do a better job.
sportscar365.com wrote:Silverstone Post-Race Notebook

***Sunday’s hard-fought Six Hours of Silverstone saw Toyota Gazoo Racing eek out victory over Porsche, in a much closer race that many had expected, including winner Sebastien Buemi. “In a way it scares us a little because we were expecting to be quite a bit quicker than them. It would have been a shame to lose it,” Buemi said post-race.

***The win, Toyota’s 11th in the FIA World Endurance Championship, came despite the TS050 Hybrids sometimes being 3-4 seconds slower in the pits to Porsche, which played the strategy game to get a leg up through portions of the mixed-condition season-opener.

***Timo Bernhard felt the call to put both Porsche 919 Hybrids on Michelin intermediate tires in the third hour was the right decision at the time. “In these races, you have to survive in a way, even though we kept inters on for ten laps, I think it was the right choice,” Bernhard said.

***Toyota’s Anthony Davidson, who claimed his second Tourist Trophy win, admitted conditions were extremely treacherous at that point. “Being from around these parts, I wasn’t quite prepared for the weather,” he said. “Driving on slicks in those conditions was pretty tough; probably some of the toughest driving I’ve ever had to do.”

***It was a strong race for two Asian teams, with Jackie Chan DC Racing becoming the first mainland China-backed organization to claim class victory in the WEC, while a last-gasp effort from Matt Griffin, who entered the final lap third in GTE-Am and emerged as the winner, saw the Malaysian-based Clearwater Racing squad pick up top honors in its series debut.

***A persistent issue with the right-side door latch on the No. 67 Ford GT nearly denied Harry Tincknell GTE-Pro class victory, as the lanky Englishman was forced to reach out and slam the door shut in the closing minutes, after it came loose again. “We were managing the door issue and had some vibrations coming from the front of the car. I can’t believe it,” Tincknell said.

***The door issue resulted in an unscheduled early stop for the pole-sitting Ford, then in the hands of Andy Priaulx, who credited the safety car period in the fourth hour, for track cleanup from Jose Maria Lopez’s accident, on putting them back in contention for the win.

***Pipo Derani, who shared driving duties with Tincknell and Priaulx, scored victory in his team debut, the same feat the rapid Brazilian achieved with Tequila Patron ESM in last year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

***Lopez’s accident triggered the medical light onboard his Toyota TS050 Hybrid, which is understood to have prompted the Argentinean to make a trip to the hospital for further evaluation, before being released. The new-for-2017 device, installed in the cockpit and visible through the windshield, is mandatory on every car.

***It was a race to forget for the No. 13 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca 07 Gibson, which had no fewer than three spins or collisions, a 15-second time penalty for avoidable contact, and a trip to the garage for repairs. However, it was the only of the new-look LMP2 cars to hit trouble, and not of the mechanical kind, which many had predicted to be a concern pre-race.

***There were only two retirements, with the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR of Kevin Estre stopping on-track in the third hour with an engine fire and a bizarre pit-in collision with the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 ending the No. 4 ByKolles Racing ENSO CLM P1/01 NISMO’s day. The LMP1 Privateer entry completed 155 laps in a respectable run after virtually no running with its new engine package prior to the start of the weekend.

***The FIA and ACO’s contract renewal for the WEC, which extends the agreement through the end of 2020, is possible even with only Porsche and Toyota committed in LMP1, according to series boss Gerard Neveu, who said the requirement for a World Championship “has always” been a minimum of two manufacturers. “Remember how we started?” Neveu said, in reference to the championship’s launch in 2012 with only Audi and Toyota following Peugeot’s last-minute withdrawal.

***FIA President Jean Todt, who addressed the media Sunday morning prior to the race, said he’s confident of a rebound in the top prototype class. “You have people coming, staying and living. It can happen in any category of motorsport. It’s up to us, as the governing body, together with our promoter, the ACO, to make sure we will make a show which will encourage manufacturers and privateers to stay and hopefully some more to come.”

***Further safety improvements will be made at Circuit de la Sarthe ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with ACO President Pierre Fillon confirming an extended runoff and wall at Karting Corner, adjusted wall at Marshal Post 29 and new pavement laid down from the Ford Chicane.

***FIA Endurance Committee President Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones said they will have to keep a “rigid eye” on LMP2 costs. “The price of the car itself, and the engine and the leasing agreements are absolutely as promised, and consistent with the old LMP2. But perhaps the teams are spending more in other areas, to be competitive. We’ll regulate if we feel we have to,” he said.

***The reported weekend attendance was 50,200 spectators, slightly down from last year’s reported 52,000.
http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/silv ... otebook-3/
Brian Redman: "Mr. Fangio, how do you come so fast?" "More throttle, less brakes...."

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Post by erwin greven » 2 months ago

Brian Redman: "Mr. Fangio, how do you come so fast?" "More throttle, less brakes...."

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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 2 months ago

erwin greven wrote:I haven't seen the race. No broadcast, no quality stream anywhere and for the official WEC stream pack is a credit card needed to pay. Btw: the WEC official stream pack lacks quality too. Looking at the ELMS, IMSA or Blancpain, they do a better job.
Short highlights package of the weekend's Silverstone (Tourist Trophy) 6 hour race

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Post by erwin greven » 2 months ago

John Dagys wrote:Interest Growing in LMP1 Privateer for 2018

Interest is growing in the LMP1 Privateer ranks, with two additional teams evaluating programs that could result in up to a half-dozen non-hybrid prototypes on the FIA World Endurance Championship grid by as early as next year.

Both KCMG and a Swiss-based group led by Benoit Morand have expressed recent interest, joining the previously announced two-car SMP Racing effort with Dallara-built BR1 prototypes, Manor’s all-but-confirmed program with Ginetta’s new LMP1 customer car and the likely return of ByKolles Racing with an all-new prototype.

While absent from the WEC paddock this year, representatives from the Hong Kong-based team were in Silverstone last weekend to attend the launch of Ginetta’s yet-to-be-named LMP1 non-hybrid.

“KCMG has not drawn a line in endurance racing,” Head of KCMG Composites Philippe Charissoux told Endurance-Info. “Several programs are under consideration for 2018, including LMP1 non-hybrid.

“We are thinking about defining the best program for the team.”

Morand, meanwhile, was also in Silverstone, as the longtime prototype team owner/manager is looking to help lead a yet-to-be-announced team that is also working on an entry for the top prototype class.

“We were working on a LMP2 program,” Morand admitted, “but investors didn’t want to take up the challenge because it’s difficult to sell.

“LMP1 non-hybrid is not simple but the category offers interesting prospects.”

Should Morand’s program get the green light, he said it would likely be announced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

“It’s an exciting project that takes a long time,” he said. “The key is the engine and we’re working on this subject. Development has already begun with a chassis around the engine.”

It’s understood Morand’s project involves a fourth different constructor in LMP1 non-hybrid, which would join the previously announced or currently operated efforts from ByKolles, Dallara/BR Engineering and Ginetta.

Ginetta Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson, meanwhile, is bullish of being able to ultimately sell up to six of his new cars, which will go on sale for $1.67 million a piece, plus a $750,000 per year engine lease and support program.

“The dream would be three two-car teams, which would be absolutely fantastic,” Tomlinson told Sportscar365.

“Is that possible over the course of the project? Absolutely. Is that possible during the 2018 season? I think it’s optimistic but not impossible.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt in Year One there will be three-plus cars, from the interest out there.”

Manor is poised to add at least one Ginetta to its already existing Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 program, while LMP1 Privateer stalwarts Rebellion Racing has not ruled out a return to the class by as early as 2019, depending on the level of competition.

Work, meanwhile, continues on the joint Dallara-BR effort, with the Russian-backed prototype set to begin testing later this year, which is likely to follow a similar timeline to the Ginetta.

An extension of the current LMP1 non-hybrid regulations through the end of 2022, although with some engine modifications expected for next year, is understood to be triggering the movement from teams.
http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/inte ... -for-2018/
Brian Redman: "Mr. Fangio, how do you come so fast?" "More throttle, less brakes...."

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Post by MonteCristo » 2 months ago

That would be fantastic.

I feel like top flight prototype racing is always this --><-- close to being great again, but then a manufacturer pulls out, and it all goes back to being a bit one-sided. The privateer class has been depressing the last couple of years.

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Post by erwin greven » 2 months ago

Watching the Pre-Qualification session: 25 cars within a second!
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Post by erwin greven » 2 months ago

Guy Smith, driver Bentley #7 wrote:SMITH: Setting Things Straight from Monza

Image

Last Sunday, Bentley Team M-Sport raced at Monza. In the opening laps, a series of events took place that resulted in our No. 7 car being disqualified from race.

As might be expected, we’ve had a lot criticism thrown our way as the facts of the situation weren’t clear on the TV broadcast.

Now the dust has settled, I’d like to let Sportscar365 readers know what really happened in that lap one incident, why Bentley Team M-Sport didn’t pit sooner and how I’m disappointed that so many fans and media were quick to jump to conclusions.

It’s easiest if I start with the incident. We had qualified well and were on the grid in fourth. The start was a bit messy, to be honest. The control car perhaps didn’t make it the smoothest of starts and, with 50+ cars piling into Monza’s turn one, this affected everyone’s rhythm.

So, we’ve come through the Parabolica at the end of the formation lap and we’re all packed really closely together. I have clear space ahead of me – I just need to push along the straight as the lights go green and see how much ground I can make up.

I have a green Lamborghini to my left and a yellow Ferrari to my right. As the race starts, I get the jump on the green Lamborghini to my left, which is then in my blindspot and very close to me.

He has room to his left that he could have moved into but that was his choice. The yellow Ferrari to my right moved towards me and I shadowed his movement.

My rear left wheel made contact with the front right wheel arch of the Lamborghini as I moved to miss the Ferrari and correct a small oversteer, so that no more cars were affected, but unfortunately the Lambo went on to the grass, braked and span. The rest, well, you know.

The race was red flagged and I radioed my team to ask if everyone involved was okay. They said they would let me know if anyone had been injured.

It was then that I was informed that our team manager Matthew Wilson had been called to race control.

Soon after the race restarted, I received a 15-second stop-and-go penalty for causing the incident. Before taking the penalty, Matthew ran back up to the stewards to say that on-board from the cars behind would show I wasn’t at fault.

At this point, it’s not so much about the penalty or race result, it’s a team manager wanting justice for his team and driver. We all feel passionate about looking after each other in these situations.

At first, the stewards didn’t want to listen to Matthew, who had asked for the penalty to be reviewed post-race (when he could have presented data from our logger and on-board footage from the cars behind).

The chief steward agreed that the incident would be reviewed once the race was over. All the time, I was told to continue circulating until they had reached an agreement.

Finally, under the guidance of the stewards, we agreed to take the penalty and Matthew returned to the garage to fill in the post-race appeal form. I was told to pit so take the penalty, and that there would be an official waiting in the right place to wave me in and time the stop-and-go penalty.

However, when I pitted, the pit lane was empty – the penalty box was empty.


I carried on moving so as not to block the pitlane or another garage and, in the confusion, continued past our garage and back on track. I was then told that before I pitted a black flag had been waved, so that’s why no one was in the penalty box. I was told to return to the pits and park the car in the garage.

Having had reassurance from the stewards that the issue was being discussed, our team hadn’t for a moment thought that we would be black flagged. We had followed the procedure and been in constant communication with them.

We were still racing under the proviso that the penalty would be discussed after the race and didn’t need to be served immediately.

I guess the stewards and race control hadn’t been communicating and the latter assumed that we were just ignoring them. This is certainly not the case.

I have been racing for more than 20 years and have nothing but respect for event organizers, race officials and the team manager that I am racing for. I followed the instructions of my team, who were under the guidance of the stewards.

I’ve seen the TV footage of the events and we looked disrespectful and disorganized – but I want to give you my word that we pride ourselves on our team management and our cooperative, constructive relationship with the race officials and the SRO.

As for the team, they have been misrepresented by the media massively (many of whom didn’t even ask for our side of the story). Luckily there are outlets like Sportscar365 that will give teams and drivers the opportunity to explain themselves.

All-in-all it was a very unfortunate mess, but it’s important to remember that we were all simply trying our hardest to secure a great result with a car that we knew was on the pace.

Miscommunications happen, especially in the heat of the moment. The team and I aren’t pointing fingers at anyone – it’s racing and we all want the same thing.

However, when the facts are not obvious, it’s always better if people find out the full story before making a rash judgement.

We’ve learnt our lessons as a team. We’ve had a long, constructive and collaborative conversation with the SRO, who have apologized for their communications issues, and I’m confident that our great relationship with them is still maintained.

We are working closely with them on how we can both improve. We race on – next up is Silverstone in just over two weeks’ time and I can’t wait to get racing again.
http://sportscar365.com/features/commen ... rom-monza/
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Post by kals » 1 month ago

I was reading about that last night. Thanks for the additional information erwin. Watching the replays alone the snap judgement is that Smith caused the shunt, case closed. That's not the case. The officiating and communication that lead to the ultimate outcome of the team being disqualified could lead to some big consequences (for the team) come the end of the season. Where is the accountability? Too many cooks by all accounts.

This is also an important quote to highlight
I’ve seen the TV footage of the events and we looked disrespectful and disorganized – but I want to give you my word that we pride ourselves on our team management and our cooperative, constructive relationship with the race officials and the SRO.
Without knowing the facts many people (including the commentators) were and are judging Smith and his team for their behaviour. And yet THEY have to explain what happened even though they were following instruction.

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Post by erwin greven » 1 month ago

There was indeed not one single official who said: This is the penalty, for that offence and this is what you have to do to fulfil the penalty.
When i read the explanation, it seems that too many officials were busy with the events around one single car.
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Post by erwin greven » 1 month ago

this weekend:
TCR International - 3rd Round
Spa Francorchamps



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Post by Cheeveer » 1 month ago

TCR is literally "Touring Car Racing", but yay, WEC at Spa is when the Le Mans hype really gets going!
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