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Posted 31 May 2017 - 15:58
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has announced IndyCar star Tony Kanaan will replace the injured Sebastien Bourdais for next month's Le Mans 24 Hours.
The 2013 Indy 500 winner, who raced one of the Ganassi Ford GTs in this year's Daytona 24 Hours, will line up with team regulars Dirk Muller and Joey Hand in the #68 entry in which they took class honours at Le Mans last year with Bourdais.
Kanaan has been brought back into the US arm of the Ganassi sportscar squad for Le Mans after Bourdais sustained hip and pelvic fractures in a crash during qualifying for the Indy 500 earlier this month.
Ford Performance global director Dave Pericak said: "It's certainly no the ideal situation and we're heartbroken that Sebastien won't be back to defend his victory, because we know how much that race means to him."
Kanaan, a former overall winner at Daytona with Ganassi, will be making his Le Mans debut this year and has previously spoken about his desire to take part in the French enduro.
"It's an honour to be named as part of the GT line-up for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing," said the 42-year-old. "This race has been on my bucket list for a long time.
"It’s obviously an unfortunate situation that brought us to this point with Sebastien’s injuries, but I’m going to do my best to take his place and try to help win this amazing race for the team again."
Kanaan is scheduled to race at the Detroit IndyCar round this weekend and is set to miss the official test at Le Mans, but he is permitted to contest the race without previous experience of the track because he is a platinum-rated driver.
He drove the Ford GT he shared with Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe for more than seven hours at Daytona.
Posted 01 June 2017 - 21:09
WEC - 24 Hours of Le Mans - Entry List
The full entry list for next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans on 17/18th June has today been revealed by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO).
Among the 60 entrants will be 28 from the FIA World Endurance Championship, the French classic being the third round of the 2017 season and the jewel in the crown of endurance racing for teams and competitors worldwide.
There will be 6 LMP1 entrants, including 5 hybrid-powered 1000 bhp+ prototypes from Porsche and Toyota seeking overall victory, an impressive 25 in the LMP2 category which features all four different chassis manufacturers, and an amazing 29 Aston Martins, Corvettes, Ferraris, Fords and Porsches in the two LMGTE classes representing the world’s leading luxury GT car manufacturers.
The 179 drivers on the list (just one name is yet to be confirmed in the LMGTE Am class) carry racing licences from 31 different countries and the teams will carry the colours of 16 different nationalities.
Diversity, strong competition, prestige names on and off track, the best endurance drivers in the world: the countdown to the most famous sportscar race in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, is well and truly on!
Number of different entrant nationalities:
Hong Kong 1
Posted 04 June 2017 - 20:42
Perrinn Sells Pair Of 2018 LMP1 Chassis
British engineering company Perrinn has announced that it has sold a pair of its 2018 LMP1 chassis to a European team which will take part in the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship. The customer team’s identity and details of its engine will be released shortly.
The company has already completed the design phase and crash test simulations of its 2018 racer. The car – which as of yet doesn’t have an official name – is expected to be formally revealed in November ahead of the start of its testing programme in December. As well as its pair already sold, Perrinn is confident that it can supply further cars for next season too.
Priced at £1.2m for the rolling chassis, the car will rely on torsion bar front suspension with coil springs over dampers at the rear and is expected to weigh ‘significantly under’ the mandated limit of 830kg.
“Increased support and stability from the FIA and ACO, coupled with programmes from other manufacturers has meant we’ve had a lot of discussions with teams seeking more freedom than the new LMP2 category,” said designer Nicolas Perrin.
“LMP1 offers a route to progress from an engineering and pace point of view. In just a few short months, the programme has progressed very quickly to the point where we’ll have two cars plus enough spares to build another car within six months. We have ensured we have capacity to do more should some of our other discussions develop.”
With over 15 years’ experience across sports car and F1 projects as well as automotive technology programmes including most recently an electric supercar, Perrin will oversee the build at a facility in Northamptonshire using a range of trusted subcontractors.
“Motorsport leads the way in advanced manufacturing techniques and we are now capable of producing the car in an innovative fashion,” added Perrin. “We will nominate the best suppliers to produce parts and deliver to our subcontractors to undertake the assembly on our behalf.”
“I am using open source as a way to focus resources and talents around our project,” says Perrin. “I want Perinn to achieve success at Le Mans by becoming a much bigger organisation than it can be if we limit ourselves to a centralised closed company. Our workforce is decentralised and global. Our team is open and accessible.”
This news means that Perrinn joins BR Engineering, Ginetta and ByKolles as announced provisional chassis suppliers for the 2018 season. DSC understands that Benoit Morand is also putting together an LMP1 effort, but with no known customers.
Further updates on the project will become available in due course.
Posted 14 June 2017 - 17:01
Ligier JS P4 Unveiled
For VdeV, 24H Proto, and other national series
On-site at Le Mans, Onroak Automotive’s pre-event Press Conference took the opportunity to announce a new addition its product line, the JS P4. The new prototype continues the design philosophy of the JS P2 and JS P3, offering an entry-level prototype that targets affordable closed-cockpit racing, to be homologated in the FIA Free Formula Racing Cars (Group E) category, for cars between CN and LMP3.
The Le Mans based firm’s acquisition of Radical Sportscars’ Phil and Amanda Abbott in 2016 has resulted in a new ‘turn-key’ package that builds on their experience. Elevating the choices available to national level competitors and the serious track day enthusiast, the 420 bhp package is also well targeted for the Creventic 24H Proto and V de V Endurance Series.
Built to LMP3 safety regulations, a carbon monocoque and tub combines with aggressive and purposeful looking carbon bodywork reminiscent of its proven stablemates, loaded with a 3.7 litre mid-engined Ford V6 powerplant and Onroak’s own transverse 6-speed ‘box.
With endurance racing proving a viable model for developing teams and younger upcoming drivers, and if it delivers on its looks, the JS P4’s price tag is believed to be circa €160,000.
Posted 15 June 2017 - 13:34
Ja sam ostao bez reči, koja lepotica
Panoz unveils Green4U electric GT car with Le Mans 2018 in mind
Motorsport innovator Don Panoz has unveiled plans for an all-electric GT car that he hopes will be on the grid for next year's Le Mans 24 Hours.
The American Le Mans Series founder's new Green4U organisation has revealed a mock-up of a car with which he is bidding to take the 'Garage 56' grid slot for cars incorporating innovative technologies at the 24 Hours in 2018.
The Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV have been conceived to achieve a similar level of performance to a GTE contender by swapping batteries at pitstops in the same way that a conventional car would refuel.
Panoz, who was a partner in the DeltaWing programme that took the innovative entry in 2012, said: "We want to be considered for Garage 56 and we have always lived up to what we said we are going to do.
"We have had several technical meetings and are pushing forward as though we are going to be here racing next year, but ultimately it is the decision of [race organiser] the Automobile Club de l'Ouest - we would be their guest."
Green4U technical boss Brian Willis revealed that the project had only begun "roughly three months ago", but stated that the car should run for the first time in the next six to eight months.
Willis revealed that the unusual design of the two-seater, in which the passenger sits behind the driver, had been driven by the twin needs to change the battery and reduce frontal area.
He explained that the four-wheel-drive car would be built around a carbon monocoque and could incorporate active aerodynamics such as a drag-reduction system.
Key decisions about the battery technology have yet to be made, but Willis said he believed it would be possible for the car to run for 48 minutes between battery changes.
Panoz added that Green4U, which has plans for a range of vehicles, would be his "last hurrah".
"I'm 82 and I want this to be my final accomplishment," he said.
Panoz entered motorsport in 1997 with a front-engined GT1 car, which was turned into an open-top prototype that won six ALMS races in 1999-2000.
Panoz also built the Q9 petrol-electric hybrid based on the GTR-1 that failed to pre-qualify for Le Mans in 1998 and then raced in the Petit Le Mans enduro at Road Atlanta at the end of that season.
His Esperante GT2 took class honours at Le Mans in 2006 and he subsequently invested in Ben Bowlby's innovative DeltaWing design and took over the project at the end of 2012.
Posted 16 June 2017 - 13:48
Objavljene izmene pravila LMP1 klase za 2020 godinu
Edited by /13/Ален Шмит/, 16 June 2017 - 13:48.
Posted 05 July 2017 - 12:46
IMSA courting LMP2 entries with '36 Hours of Florida' promotion
Monday, 03 July 2017
By Marshall Pruett / Image by Rainier Ehrhardt/LAT
IMSA is hoping to draw entries from the massive 25-car LMP2 field seen in June's 24 Hours of Le Mans when the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season kicks off at Daytona and Sebring in 2018.
Through a new "36 Hours of Florida" promotion it presented to World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series P2 teams last month in France, IMSA is courting WEC-spec P2 entrants (pictured) to partake in January's Rolex 24 at Daytona and March's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring before their WEC and ELMS seasons get under way.
In an expanded Trueman Pro-Am Endurance Team Award program designed for all interested WEC P2 competitors, a new and separate podium for the top three WEC P2 finishers at Daytona and Sebring will be held. At the season-opening round in Daytona, the WEC P2 podium finishers will receive Rolex Cosmograph Daytonas, and at Sebring, special trophies will be presented to the WEC P2 podium.
Within the 36 Hours plan, the International Team Incentive Program also offers discounted entry fees at 50 percent of the normal rate, a $1000 fuel credit per entry, and two free sets of Continental tires for Daytona and one free set for Sebring are on offer, along with travel and hospitality discounts for visiting P2 and GT Daytona (GT3) entries.
"We have taken a proactive attempt by instilling an opportunity for the top LMP2 Trueman team to earn a full podium at Daytona and to have the same opportunity six weeks at Sebring that acknowledges a [WEC] LMP2 podium there," IMSA president Scott Atherton told RACER.
"We're curious to see what kind of response we'll get. If it has a material response with an increase in entries, that will speak to what the paddock wants. As a sanctioning body, we'd be receptive to a greater field of [WEC] LMP2s."
With the incentives for international WEC P2 entrants and GT3 teams, plus the recent parity found between WEC P2s and IMSA's P2-based Daytona Prototype internationals, Atherton is confident Florida's warmth will help seal IMSA's recruitment efforts.
"Seeing the grid of 25 LMP2 cars at Le Mans, most coming from Europe, with an opportunity to race in Florida at a time in the year when [Europeans are] scraping snow off their windshields, is something we hope will be met with great interest," he said.
Posted 06 July 2017 - 16:23
Rahal exploring WEC LMP2 program
Thursday, 06 July 2017
By Marshall Pruett / Images by Geoffrey Miller/LAT, Lumen Digital
Bobby Rahal is pursuing the addition of an FIA WEC LMP2 program to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's future activities.
Along with RLL's title-contending Verizon IndyCar Series effort, its championship-winning ALMS/IMSA GT program run on behalf of BMW in North America, and a new Global Rallycross project, Rahal says expanding into the WEC, possibly in the LMP2 category, is an ongoing priority.
"We love endurance racing; I see us involved in it for a long time, and going to Le Mans and other circuits that are held in similar regard is important for us," he told RACER. "It takes sponsorship, and I don't see us going to Le Mans with BMW because they'd use one of their European teams, which makes total sense. But I also see us looking at the WEC, and there's opportunities there on an international scale that's of interest. We're going to see what we can put together."
Rahal has targeted Le Mans as the introduction point for RLL.
"Racing at Le Mans is our first priority, and whether we'd do that on our own or in partnership with another team is another question," said the 1986 Indy 500 winner. "There's advantages and disadvantages to both. I was fortunate to drive at Le Mans, and think it's an event that's on par with the Indy 500 in its grandeur and international following. We're working hard to realize that race in the years to come."
Coming off a win for BMW last weekend in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Watkins Glen, Rahal hopes to retain the German manufacturer as a client in 2018 and beyond in North America. Looking at the non-manufacturer classes to consider in the WEC, the LMP2 class has clearly gotten RLL's attention.
"I think the P2 class is pretty attractive," he said. "The costs to do a season there are, frankly, pretty inexpensive. The [WEC's] cost controls make that possible. You're hard-pressed to say you're going to win overall at Le Mans in P2, although that almost happened this year.
"And you hear the rumors about Porsche pulling out, and if they do, would Toyota still want to be involved, so I think the P2 class is looking pretty smart right about now. I think the P2 class is going to have a strong voice in the future."
Posted 07 July 2017 - 16:11
Penske-Honda DPi program nears unveiling
Thursday, 06 July 2017
Words & images by Marshall Pruett
Team Penske president Tim Cindric is looking forward to confirming one of the worst-kept secrets in the IMSA paddock. As RACER first revealed in August 2016, an alliance between Roger Penske and Honda to field a Daytona Prototype international has now been brewing for almost a year, and the wraps should come off the relationship next month around the Monterey Classic Car Week and its famed Pebble Beach Concourse d'Elegance.
"It's been our ambition since we exited sports cars in 2009 to get back and we're closer than ever to doing that, and hopefully in the next month we can clarify our intentions there," Cindric told RACER. "I think the DPi formula will continue to be more and more attractive to manufacturers."
Although chassis manufacturer ORECA declined to confirm its role as the supplier for the Penske-Honda program in February, it's believed the French firm met with Cindric and IMSA last weekend at Watkins Glen where further discussions on its upcoming entry were held.
Despite his heavy focus on Penske's Verizon IndyCar Series program, Cindric has been keeping an eye on the DPi class where Cadillac's DPi-V.R has swept all six races so far this year, and offered his thoughts on how the Balance of Performance structure would work best in Prototype.
"The Prototype class had been a bit different; when you look at GTD and GTLM, the success has been spread across a lot of manufacturers and teams, and in Prototype, Cadillac has won every race so far," he said. "I think it's like any year of a new regulation where the most prepared team is the one that does the most winning. I think the Wayne Taylor team has done that and they've had the best results. I don't think that's surprising in any way.
"I think as long as the series continues to focus on balancing the various manufacturers, and balancing the performance and not the results, I think you have something more and more people will be attracted to. If the cars are all the same, the best executed should be the winner. That's the kind of series we want to be involved in."
According to Cindric, Team Penske has started prepping its former ALMS/Grand-Am pit equipment while waiting for cars to arrive.
"We have nothing in our possession," he said. "We're digging out some of our old sports car equipment to prepare things as time allows. There's no cars here, there's no engines here, there's no testing we've been a part of. And I'm not aware of any car testing that isn't already racing."
With rumors circulating in June that Team Penske and Honda could debut its DPi at the season-ending 10-hour Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta, Cindric spoke to the viability of trying to get a head start on its 2018 Prototype campaign.
"From our standpoint, it's a pretty big unknown," he said. "If we were to put something together for next year, it depends on what the workload is. The sooner, the better, from where I sit."
Provided the program makes it to Petit Le Mans, it would follow the same plan Penske and former ALMS LMP2 partner Porsche unveiled at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2005 (pictured).
With its new RS Spyders entered at the 2005 season finale, the team and manufacturer were able to make considerable headway on developing and improving the cars that went on to score three consecutive LMP2 championships.
"It's well documented that's how we approached the Porsche program at Laguna Seca in 2005," he continued. "It proved invaluable when we did that in a lot of way, so should we get back into sports car racing, and I'm optimistic that will come together once we get a couple of loose ends tied up, the sooner we can get on the race track, the more we'll understand what we don't know. We have very good people, and experience on that front, but the game has changed a lot since we were a part of it."
Considering how Cadillac has trounced the DPi field by getting its program on track and testing well before Mazda and Nissan, the Penske-Honda DPi project should benefit from a similarly advanced timeline. Cindric, however, has a different view.
"I look at it differently," he said. "I look at it as being a year behind. You want to get in as early as possible to compete. I'd have rather been in it this year and compete early on. The competition is continuing to grow."
Posted 11 July 2017 - 20:00
Penske, Acura confirm DPi program
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Marshall Pruett / Images by Dole/LAT, Pruett
IMSA's WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will boast the addition of a major new program next season following today's long-expected confirmation that Honda Performance Development and Roger Penske's title-winning team have joined forces to field a pair of Acura Daytona Prototype internationals.
In an interesting twist that would have been hard to imagine during the American Le Mans Series' late-2000s golden era, the former LMP2 rivals have become allies with the creation of the Acura ARX-05 DPi project that will debut in January of 2018 at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
The expertise of HPD and Team Penske will be aided by the French ORECA outfit, which will serve as the program's chassis supplier utilizing its ORECA 07 model as the basis of the car set to carry custom Acura bodywork and the venerable 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 "AR35TT" powerplant.
The nomination of the program's full- and part-time driver roster, which should include Indy 500 winners Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves, will follow later in the year.
"Roger Penske is already an important part of the Acura family as one of our great Acura dealers, and now it is a thrill to have him as part of the Acura Motorsports family as well," said Acura vice president and general manager Jon Ikeda. "We look forward to building on the success of the race-winning NSX GT3 program, and couldn't be more thrilled to return to the prototype category of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a partner like Team Penske."
The unveiling of the ARX-05 DPi is scheduled for Monterey Car Week, which spans Aug. 11-20 in the coastal Californian region.
"We are excited to join forces with the Honda Performance Development family and represent the Acura brand with two prototypes starting in 2018," said Roger Penske, whose team will commence testing with the ARX-05 in the coming weeks. "Sports car racing has been an integral part of Team Penske's heritage, from our first race at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1966 to running the American Le Mans Series in the late 2000s.
"Reviving a Team Penske sports car program has always been a goal for us, but to do so required strong and successful partners like Honda and Acura. It's great to extend our relationship from the dealership to the race track and we are excited to come back to IMSA and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship."
The powerhouse organizations bring immense experience and pedigree to the ARX-05 project. As Porsche's chosen factory team in the ALMS, Team Penske earned three consecutive LMP2 championships fielding the Porsche RS Spyder from 2006-2008 (pictured above). Upon its LMP2 arrival in 2007, the Acura ARX-01a and ARX-01b models presented stiff opposition to Porsche the in the hands of HPD's factory teams. Both sides will attest to the uncompromising approach that made the Acura and Porsche efforts so unforgettable, and after Porsche withdrew its factory LMP2 support ahead of 2009, HPD continued its prototype program by venturing into LMP1 with the ARX-02a, which earned its first ALMS championship.
Evolutions of the ARX-01 series continued, starting in 2010, and of particular interest for the new ARX-05, the ARX-01d featured Acura's first move from naturally-aspirated V8 engines to the family of twin-turbo V6s that won championships in America and Europe, and have grown into today's AR35TT.
Looking ahead, HPD can expect to receive renewed interest from every professional driver looking for a new or different home. And with the shortage of DPis available for purchase, HPD's longstanding practice of making its cars available for sale would be welcome within IMSA's marquee class.
Posted 12 July 2017 - 15:24
IMSA trka sad proslog vikenda na Mosportu, kompletan snimak: