Tuesday 30 January 2018

FIA WEC: Mecachrome takes cover off its LMP1 engine

After completing its first high speed test at Leeds East Airport, Mecachrome takes off the cover of the Ginetta G60-LT-P1 and shows its V6 LMP1 engine for the first time. 

Unveiled at the Autosport International Show on 11 January, the Ginetta LMP1 with Mecachrome’s newly developed direct-injection LMP1 engine, took to the Yorkshire runway to partake in several high-speed runs, as they prepare for the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season.

© Chris Wallbank/Ginetta

Pleased at the performance in these early stages, Mecachrome Motorsport Director, Bruno Engelric, said: “We have a great partnership with Ginetta and overall the installation went really well, especially when you consider before this project we had not worked together and are both discovering the LMP1 class.

“There’s a small adjustment to make regarding the position of multi-connection boxes. On the GP3 and F2 engines, they are under the plenums, but in this case, we have to move them up so that they’re more accessible. We expected this adaptation and this change will be made for testing later next month. We also have to make slight modifications to the alternator position, as right now its location is very tight and won’t work when the car goes over kerbs. We have a solution that is due to arrive towards the end of February, as we anticipated this issue.”

Ewan Baldry, Ginetta Cars Technical Director said: “We have really enjoyed working with Mecachrome Motorsport to date. It is clear that they are a very serious, professional and committed company. The packaging of the engine into the chassis has gone smoothly and initial testing runs have proven to be very encouraging. The Mecachrome Motorsport technical staff have been on hand at each of the test events to date, which has given a great feeling of collaboration. Clearly we have a long way to go, but we are confident and excited about what the future will bring.”

Following the initial shakedown, a thorough test plan is planned for the coming weeks ahead of the FIA WEC prologue at Paul Ricard in April and the season opening race in Spa-Francorchamps. 

FIA WEC: Toyota Gazoo Racing announces driver line-ups with Fernando Alonso

Toyota Gazoo racing announced its driver line-up for the 2018/2019 FIA WEC Super Season, confirming Fernando Alonso as one of their drivers in the #8 TS050 Hybrid.

© JellyBaby.Media

Toyota Gazoo Racing has officially submitted its entry to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and will participate in all eight rounds of the 2018-19 season with two hybrid-powered race cars as it targets victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the WEC World Championships. As last season, the team will again utilise its 1,000hp TS050 hybdrid car, which won five of nine races in 2017. Development of hybrid technology remains an integral element of Toyota's participation in endurance racing as part of the company’s commitment to making ever-better road cars.

The driver line-ups for the two TS050 hybrid's are now confirmed, with the #7 car competing with an unchanged line-up of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López.The #8 TS050 hybrid features a revised driver line-up, with Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima joined by two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso.

Fernando Alonso, 36, will make his LMP1 race debut at Spa-Francorchamps in May and will compete in all rounds of the 2018-19 season which do not conflict with his existing Formula 1 obligations. Alonso has already tested the Toyota TS050 Hybrid at Bahrain last season and made his sportscar debut last weekend in the Daytona 24 Hours with a United Autosports Ligier.

McLaren, Alonso's employer in Formula 1 has now allowed him to race in the FIA WEC after reaching agreement with Alonso and Toyota Gazoo Racing. Both McLaren and Fernando are in full agreement that Formula 1 remains their shared top priority. As such, Fernando will compete in every round of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, and will dovetail his sports car commitments around grands prix. As a result, he will not contest WEC’s Japanese round, at the Fuji Speedway on October 21, due to it clashing with the US Grand Prix, held at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas.

© JellyBaby.Media

Anthony Davidson, who won five races in 2017 alongside Sébastien and Kazuki, will remain an important member of the team, bringing his World Championship-winning experience to a new role as Reserve and Development Driver.  Two-time Le Mans winner Alex Wurz will continue as Team Advisor and Ambassador having made a significant contribution since taking the position in 2016.

Akio Toyoda, President, Toyota Motor Corporation: "To Fernando Alonso, I say thank you so much for choosing Toyota as a partner for making your Le Mans dream come true. I am extremely thrilled that Fernando, who has battled it out in numerous races and seen things that nobody on our team has ever experienced, will be driving for Toyota Gazoo Racing.I believe that having Fernando get behind the wheel for our team will only make our cars better."

"I am looking forward to seeing how much Toyota Gazoo Racing will grow when our drivers and all team members take what they have learned thus far in endurance racing and add to it what they will gain from Fernando’s experience. The entire team is excited about this opportunity for growth. Through the challenge of WEC endurance races and, among those, on the grueling roads of the Le Mans 24 Hours, Toyota Gazoo Racing will do its best, together with Fernando, to outdrive the competition."

"And, toward our ultimate aim of providing our customers with ever-better cars, I hope we will be able to race with shared aspirations at heart. We welcome Fernando and, together with Sebastien, Kazuki, Mike, Kamui and José for a total of six drivers, Toyota Gazoo Racing will go all out toward achieving all of our goals. I look forward to everyone’s support of Toyota Gazoo Racing this season as well."

Hisatake Murata, Team President: “This WEC season is unique because it features two editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours so we are all looking forward to it. I believe we have an extremely strong driver line-up with real strength in depth. Fernando is a rookie in WEC but he brings speed and experience gained from many years at the top of his sport. We are all excited to work with him but endurance racing is a team effort and we know all of our drivers are performing to a very high level. I would like to thank Anthony for his professional approach in difficult circumstances; he remains a strong part of our driving line-up and he will be busy this season.”

Fernando Alonso: “I am very excited to participate in the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time. It is a race which I have followed closely for a long time and it has always been an ambition of mine to participate. Endurance racing is a different discipline compared to single-seaters and it will be an interesting challenge. I am looking forward to working together with, and learning from, Sébastien and Kazuki, who are both very experienced endurance drivers. It will be a learning curve for me but I am ready for this challenge and I can’t wait to get started.”

“I’ve never been shy about my aim of winning motorsport’s ‘Triple Crown’ – the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We tried for Indy last year, came close, but just missed out. This year, I have the chance thanks to McLaren to race for the win at Le Mans. It is a big challenge – much can go wrong – but I am ready, prepared and looking forward to the fight. My deal to race in WEC was only made possible through the good understanding and strong relationship I have with McLaren, and I’m very happy that they listened and understood what this means to me."

Zak Brown, Executive Director, McLaren Technology Group:
“It’s no secret that Fernando has wanted to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours. And I think everybody within our organisation appreciates that a motivated, hungry and happy world-class driver such as Fernando is a formidable asset for any team in F1. Last year, we came to the joint decision to go racing with Fernando at the Indy 500 rather than at the Monaco Grand Prix. But we’ve always said that we would consider each opportunity on a case-by-case basis, and we both know that, in 2018, our core priority is success in Formula 1".

“Like Fernando, at McLaren we’re racers at heart, and our team is built on a brave heritage of competing and succeeding in different forms of the sport. Equally important is the confidence that nothing detracts from our number one goal of Formula 1. After proper evaluation, we are satisfied that this campaign does not do that, and that McLaren’s best interests prevail.”

Kristof Vermeulen

Monday 29 January 2018

FIA WEC: Jan Lammers set for his 24th Le Mans with Racing Team Nederland

Jan Lammers will return to Racing Team Nederland for his 24th Le Mans 24 Hours in June, joining Frits Van Eerd and Giedo van der Garde in the Dallara P217. 

© Racing Team Nederland

Racing Team Nederland earlier announced its entry to the 2018/2019 FIA World Endurance Championship "super season", which includes twice the Le Mans 24 Hours. Last season Lammers drove the entire European Le Mans Championship together with Frits Van Eerd and was joined by Rubens Barichello at Le Mans.  Lammers will also join Van Eerd and van der Garde at the opening round at Spa-Francorchamps in May, whether he will continue to race with Racing Team Nederland after Le Mans is still unsure. 

Jan Lammers (61) won the race in 1988 and with his 24th participation will become part of a highly select group; only 5 drivers have more starts to their name in the 95-years old Le Mans 24 Hours. Henri Pescarolo hold the all time "record" with 33 starts, ahead of Bob Wollek (30), Yojiro Terada (29), Derek Bell (26) and François Migault (25). 

Frits van Eerd, founder as well as one of the drivers of Racing Team Nederland: “Jan is a true Le Mans legend and involved with Racing Team Nederland from day one. I think it is fantastic that he will join us this year for his 24th Le Mans 24 Hours. It will be a very special milestone.”

Jan Lammers: “Frits and Racing Team Nederland are giving me the chance to do my 24th Le Mans 24 Hours this June, which is really great! To be perfectly prepared, I will also join Frits and Giedo for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in May, the opening round of the world championship. Frits owes it to his ambitions to gather the fastest drivers around him. I may still be quick “for my age”, but if after Le Mans a fast and young successor will be available, I will step back in the interest of the team and the results. I may have other opportunities to keep on racing after Le Mans, and of course I will remain closely involved with Racing Team Nederland.  I can’t express how grateful I am for being given this chance!”

Jan Lammers will also feature as guest of honour at the annual Classic British Welcome on Friday before the race. 

Kristof Vermeulen.

Saturday 27 January 2018

Phil Hanson & Bruno Senna to race for United Autosports in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup

United Autosports have confirmed they will enter the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup this year.  The Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and the Motul Petit Le Mans will complete the four North American endurance events, joining the Rolex 24 At Daytona the team are competing in this weekend. 

© United Autosports

Phil Hanson will race alongside Bruno Senna in a Ligier JS P217 in the three remaining endurance events in the US. Phil joined United Autosports at the end of 2017 and began an intensive testing programme in preparation for the 2018 European Le Mans Series, where he will race alongside Filipe Albuquerque. Phil is also racing this weekend at Daytona in the #23 Ligier JS P217 alongside Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris.

Bruno joined United Autosports for the first time this year for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. He will be racing alongside Paul Di Resta, Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer in the #32 Ligier JS P217. Bruno and Phil’s teammate for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup will be announced in the coming weeks. 

© United Autosports

Phil Hanson, driver, United Autosports:
“I’m really looking forward to racing in the North American Endurance Cup. It will be a good supplement to an already pretty lavish programme we have going on with ELMS and the Rolex 24 and my testing programme, so it will fill up my calendar quite nicely. Obviously I’m really happy to be doing it with United. We chose them at the end of last year after their success in Europe and the professional set up they have. The structure has been very good so far, so we are really happy to extend the programme with the team. It’s been a pretty good start to 2018, the guys are doing a really good job, I think I’m fitting in quite well and I’m enjoying having a structured approach to my racing.”

Bruno Senna, driver, United Autosports:
“Extending the programme with United Autosports is very cool. So far the team has been great and we have been working together very well and the environment in the team is really fun. We have a lot of work to do for sure. There’s always so much car and team development throughout a season and the first race is always a big learning curve. We can look forward to the next few races now though and try to do the best we can. Each race will give us very different challenges, Sebring is a tough bumpy track so there will be a lot of work to do to get the car nice for us to drive for 12 hours but I’m excited to see what we can do. I’m familiar with all the circuits so I will do what I can to help the team and Phil get up to speed.”

Zak Brown, Team Owner and Chairman, United Autosports:
“I’m pleased United Autosports have committed to racing in the four IMSA endurance events in the US. Phil and Bruno have settled into the team really well in a short space of time and putting them together in one car will create a great line up.”

Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:
“To enter the four endurance races as part of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup is a big step for United Autosports, but one we are really looking forward to. There has been a lot to learn about racing over in America and in IMSA, but everyone has been very helpful in assisting us so far. Racing in the IMSA series has been on our radar for a while now and to take our European championship winning team over there is definitely the next step in our racing plans.”

Thursday 25 January 2018

BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt looks back on the development of the BMW M8 GTE

BMW Motorsport presented the new BMW M8 GTE in its livery for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in Daytona (USA) on Wednesday. Speaking in an interview, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt looks back on the development of the BMW M8 GTE and underlines the importance of team spirit in the development crew. 

The running of two cars in the GT class in the 24-hour race at the “Daytona International Speedway” represents the race debut and the next milestone in “Mission8”. Speaking in an interview, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt looks back on the development of the BMW M8 GTE and underlines the importance of team spirit in the development crew.

Mr Marquardt, the race debut of the new BMW M8 GTE is just around the corner. Take us through the development of the car over the past few months. How did it all begin?
Jens Marquardt: “The first race for the new BMW M8 GTE at Daytona will be very special for every one of us at BMW Motorsport. The roots of the GTE project lie in a combination of many aspects. At the start of the programme, back in 2015, the goal was to expand our activities in traditional motor racing – BMW M Motorsport – and to position ourselves even more internationally. At the same time, the possible return to Le Mans brought its very own fascination for our team. However, the most important factor was that the production model, the BMW 8 Series Coupé, was developed at the same time. We were given a green light from the board to develop a thoroughbred GTE racing car, parallel with the colleagues in production development. That is how it all began. Now the BMW M8 GTE is ready for Daytona. For the first time in BMW Motorsport history the race car will be in action before its series counterpart.”

When you started to develop the BMW M8 GTE, there was not actually a production model...
Marquardt: “Correct. Right from the word go, we worked with our colleagues in production development to synchronise the individual steps as closely as possible. It was a challenge. When we needed the first chassis of the production car, there simply wasn’t one yet. We were, however, able to work with special prototype chassis from production development. We progressed step by step in that manner. Furthermore, at the start of our development, there were still minor changes to the production model. To a certain degree, we were dealing with a moving target.”

How was the cooperation with colleagues in production?
Marquardt: “Very close and efficient. The developers on the production side obviously had their own specific challenges to overcome. Despite that, they were always open to the GTE project, and always willing to help. That was real teamwork. We synchronised the focus of our development with the core areas of the production model. The question was: what should the racing car emanate and embody? The core values of the BMW 8 Series Coupé should also be the strength of the BMW M8 GTE.”

Can you give us any examples of these development focal points?
Marquardt: “Let’s take the design aspects. We are obliged to adopt the same external contour and roof line as the production model. However, it was also important to incorporate elements such as the headlamps, the Carbon Core and the centre console in the race car, based on the BMW 8 Series Coupé. The topic of carbon fibre played a major role.”

Does the joint development mean that the BMW M8 GTE is more similar to its production counterpart than any other BMW race car?
 Marquardt: “When you look at the regulations, the engine in the BMW M6 GT3 is extremely close to that in the production model. However, we were able to make more substantial changes to the chassis. In the case of the BMW M8 GTE, the chassis is closer to the production model, but the engine had to be modified significantly. The most important thing is that we based the BMW M6 GT3 on an existing car. That was different this time. Because the race car will be in action before the production car, we worked intensively with the design department from a very early point to ensure that were on the same page when it came to the design. That worked very well.”

The GTE class is fiercely competitive, both in the IMSA and the FIA WEC. How big was the challenge, with regard to performance?
Marquardt: “We are certainly up against some tough competition with the BMW M8 GTE, that much is clear. The BMW M6 GTLM, which itself was derived from the GT3 car, served as a reference. But this time we were able to concentrate fully on the demands of the GTE class. As such, many parts have been specifically designed for this car to explicitly align areas such as weight, centre of gravity and aerodynamics with the eventual area of application. We have actually exceeded our own requirements when it comes to the engine and aerodynamics. We have also made big strides with other components, such as the chassis and traction control. This is confirmed by the feedback from the drivers. We will see how this is reflected in the results over the course of the year. The Balance of Performance obviously also plays a big role, however the BMW M8 GTE certainly has great potential.”

Were there specific key moments in the development?
Marquardt: “The special team spirit in the development team will definitely stay with us for a long time. The engineers consistently motivated each other and put a lot of heart and soul into this project. The rollout in Dingolfing was the first highlight. The second step, in which the final chassis and aerodynamics were added to the car, was of similar importance. It was an extremely tight schedule, which led straight into a 24-hour test. We achieved all that as a team with a remarkable group dynamic. I am proud of everyone at BMW Motorsport.”

To what extent does the development work continue after the first race in Daytona?
Marquardt: “After the car has been homologated, there are some areas in which we can, and may, make changes. We can still do some work on the software, in particular. We will also continue to work on aligning the BMW M8 GTE with all its systems, and will integrate all the reference values we have acquired. First of all, however, we are looking forward to the maiden race in Daytona.”

The M8 will make its European debut at the FIA WEC Prologue at Le Castellet in April.

Source: BMW Press release

Monday 22 January 2018

FIA WEC: First roll-out for the Ginetta G60-LT-P1

Last Friday the Ginetta G60-LT-P1 had its first roll-out test after being unveiled just over a week earlier, at the Autosport International Show

© Ginetta
The LMP1 machine undertook several high speed straight line runs at Leeds East Airport, Church Fenton, North Yorkshire with Ginetta Factory Driver Mike Simpson at the wheel. The closed test saw Ginetta’s design, test and development teams in attendance together with representatives of the first customer team, TRS Manor.

Ginetta Technical Director Ewan Baldry:“It was a proud moment for all of us, seeing the G60-LT-P1 powering up and down the runway. We are delighted that the car’s first run went without any problems, the systems performed perfectly and we can now move on to the next stage, fine-tuning the package in an intensive test programme as we develop the G60-LT-P1."

“The reception for the car at its launch was phenomenal, and with testing now underway interest in the car, its performance and potential is only going to increase.  We’re very excited by what lies ahead for our customers.”

© Ginetta
TRS Manor will enter the first customer car in the 2018/2019 FIA WEC Super Season, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 and 2019.  It's understood that a second car for TRS Manor is still under evaluation, depending on development, budget and drivers. 

Friday 19 January 2018

ELMS: John Falb & Sean Rayhall to defend their LMP3 title with United Autosports

United Autosports have confirmed that John Falb and Sean Rayhall will return to the team in 2018, defending their 2017 European Le Mans Series LMP3 Championship. 

John and Sean joined the team for the 2017 season and scored three wins, including a win on their debut at Silverstone and a win at the prestigious Road to Le Mans race. They also took a total of seven trips to the podium throughout the 2017 season, finishing the year as ELMS champions by 22 points. They will also be aiming to repeat their Road to Le Mans race win in 2018, by joining the team for the special event in June.

Since they last raced for United Autosports, John won the PC class of the Motul Petit Le Mans in October, while he and Sean raced together in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Sean also raced in the IMSA Prototype Challenge at Daytona and they will join forces once again in the GTD class of the Rolex 24 At Daytona next weekend.

United Autosports will field two Ligier JS P3s in the 2018 European Le Mans Series, with the second line up still to be confirmed. They will also enter two Ligier JS P217s into the LMP2 class of the ELMS.

John Falb, driver, United Autosports:
“I’m super excited to be back with the United Autosports family. We had an unbelievable 2017 winning the championship and I’m excited to be able to keep the team together with a solid programme and be able to build on all the work we did last year. We know we have to work hard as everyone will be upping their game and I know where I need to improve to become a better driver. I can’t wait to get back to the team and contest another championship in the European Le Mans Series." 

Sean Rayhall, driver, United Autosports:
“We had a lot of success with United Autosports last year and it’s like a family over there, so it made sense to go back. We had other offers and we considered LMP2, but being back with United is definitely where we want to be long term. I’m excited to keep the group together. We have some things we can improve on, but I’m sure we can fix those with the hard work I know the team will invest in the programme.”

Zak Brown, Team Owner and Chairman, United Autosports:
“It’s great to have John and Sean back with United Autosports for a second year. They showed what they can do in 2017, so now we can aim for a third consecutive championship in a row for the team, as this pair have proved they can win it once, why not win it again?”

Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:
“I’m so pleased John and Sean are going to be returning to the team for 2018. We formed a great relationship during the 2017 season and I was thrilled to see them crowned as champions at Portimao last October. It’s good for the team to have consistency with drivers and I’m sure we can only build on what we started last year. The competition will be tough once again, but I’m confident in this line up and the team, that we can put up a good fight for the title.”

FIA WEC: van der Garde joins Racing Team Nederland

Racing Team Nederland, the first Dutch team entering the FIA World Endurance Championship, has announced Giedo van der Garde as one of their drivers for the WEC "Super Season". 

32 year old Giedo van der Garde, a former Fomula 1 driver, debuted in sportscar racing in 2016, winning the European Le Mans title in the Jota/G-Drive Oreca with Simon Dolan and Harry Tincknell.  With Racing Team Nederland, the Dutchman now returns to endurance racing for a full world championship campaign in a Gibson powered Dallara P217.

Frits van Eerd, founder of Racing Team Nederland and the designated Am driver in the team: “I am delighted that Giedo has joined us. He is fast, experienced and highly motivated. Our debut in the world championship is a fantastic challenge, so it’s great to embark on it with a driver of this calibre.”

Giedo van der Garde: “I am very happy that Racing Team Nederland and Frits have given me this great opportunity. I like the team’s ambitions and I want to be a part of it. The world championship is highly competitive and the Le Mans 24 Hours is one of the greatest races in the world. It will be special to compete in it again. The target is that as a team, we will keep improving each other, so that ultimately we can challenge for the podium. I am very much looking forward to it! In my first race in endurance racing I became champion, but in the Le Mans 24 Hours we retired on Sunday morning. Because of my love for endurance racing, as well as the history and romanticism of Le Mans, I can’t wait to start racing for Racing Team Nederland.”

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Larbre Competition moves to the Michelin Le Mans Cup and applies for Le Mans

Larbre Competition has applied to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest for the entry of two Ligier JS P3s in the Michelin Le Mans Cup and will also submit a request for one Ligier JS P217 in the Le Mans 24 Hours, for what would be the French outfit’s 25th participation.

For the past 30 years, Larbre Competition built up a strong cv in the GT ranks with various manufacturers, including Porsche, Ferrari, Chrysler, Aston Martin, Saleen and Corvette. Its first and so far only appearance in a prototype class was in 2014 when Jack Leconte's team entered a Morgan LMP2 in the European Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

The French team now switches from its Corvette C7R to a pair of Ligier JS P3s in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, the European championship offering six rounds including the two-hour Road to Le Mans race. Additionally, Larbre is hoping to partake in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. While its two JS P3s will compete in the Road to Le Mans, the team has also requested an entry for the 24 Hours with a Ligier JSP217.

Fernando Rees has already been appointed as the designated driver for the JSP217.  The Brazilian driver has raced for Larbre on many occasions in the past with Aston Martin, Saleen and Corvette. His last outing with the team was at last seasons 24 Hours of Le Mans where he shared the "Human" Corvette with Romain Brandela and Christian Philippon. 

Whether Larbre Competition will get its entry for the 24 hours remains doubtful with already an increase in auto entries through the growing FIA WEC field and lots of teams from the European and Asian Le Mans Series applying for an entry in June.

Jack Leconte, Larbre Competition Team Manager: “Larbre Competition has competed 24 times at the Le Mans 24 Hours, but only once with a prototype in 2014. Then, we ran a Morgan LMP2, establishing a partnership with Jacques Nicolet and Onroak Automotive. Today, we wish to use our 30-year experience in endurance racing for a new adventure, heading towards the LMP2 and LMP3 classes. Choosing Ligier was obvious, as it allows us to compete in two classes, and work with Onroak Automotive again. In addition to this, we are delighted to welcome Fernando back to the team. Last year at Le Mans he set pole position in the LM GTE-Am at the wheel of our Corvette, and will be a great asset to get our Ligier JS P217 to the front of the pack.”

Monday 15 January 2018

The new face of the European Le Mans Series

Ahead of the start of the 2018 season, the European Le Mans Series has unveiled its new identity with a brand-new logo that evokes the values of the series: European, Le Mans, Motorsport and Endurance.

This unique logo, and its strong identity, was created to reflect the dynamism of the series and to provide an instantly recognisable brand for the European Le Mans Series and also for the competitors, the media and the fans. The new logo was also designed to be used with ease across the various ELMS digital platforms and TV production.

The use of the three stars symbolises the three steps of the podium, the European values and also the three classes (LMP2, LMP3 and LMGTE) that take part in the series. 

Gérard Neveu, CEO of the European Le Mans Series: “A logo is a very important part of the identity of a brand.  The European Le Mans Series is the leading endurance motorsport series in Europe and we wanted a logo that will continue to build the brand for many years to come. The new ELMS logo is simple yet easily recognisable and dynamic. It is a modern design evoking the very important tradition of endurance competition. We hope that it will receive a warm welcome from our fans and those who follow us”

Thursday 11 January 2018

The Ginetta G60-LT-P1 breaks cover at Autosport International

The Ginetta G60-LT-P1 has broken cover for the very first time today at Autosport International in Birmingham. As one of the most highly anticipated launches of the Autosport International schedule, the car – which is named in tribute to the 60th anniversary of the Ginetta marque - made its public debut during the opening day of this year’s trade show.

© Ginetta

Industry professionals and associated media flocked to Ginetta’s stand to be amongst the first people to catch a glimpse of the ground-breaking new prototype. The first car appears in the livery of TRS Racing Manor and is set to take part in the full, eight race 2018/ 2019 FIA World Endurance Championship, including the Le Mans 24 Hours in both 2018 and 2019.

© Ginetta

The G60-LT-P1 was unveiled by Ginetta Chairman, Lawrence Tomlinson, Ginetta Technical Director, Ewan Baldry, Manor Endurance Racing Sporting Director, Graeme Lowdon, Chairman of TRS, Zhang Yi and Vice President of TRS, Li Qiao. 

© Ginetta

Lawrence Tomlinson, Chairman of Ginetta, said: “I’m delighted to finally be able to unveil our latest machine to the motorsport industry, and what better time than at the start of our 60th year of manufacturing. Ginetta has a long history of international success in with the G55 GT4, LMP3 and G57. The LMP1 will be a strong contender in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and at Le Mans. We have a great team of Design Engineers in Leeds, have worked with some excellent partners on the project, and can’t wait to show you what the LMP1 is made of out on track.”

© Ginetta

© Ginetta

© Ginetta

Monday 8 January 2018

FIA WEC: TF Sport confirm intentions for the 2018/2019 "Super Season"

Since its inception in 2014, TF Sport has enjoyed phenomenal success in GT Racing with championship honours in the Blancpain Endurance Cup, Michelin Le Mans Cup, British GT as well as wins and a title challenge in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). Now the British-based team, which continues to enjoy factory support from Aston Martin Racing, is delighted to confirm that it will compete in the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) ‘super-season’ in the GT-Am category subject to entry acceptance.

The successful partnership of Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey is set to continue, the pair stepping up to WEC from ELMS, alongside UK rising star Charlie Eastwood.

Yoluc and Hankey have competed together with TF Sport with great success, winning the teams’ championship in 2016 in the Michelin Le Mans Cup on the back of two wins. In 2017 they raced in ELMS, taking victory in the opening round at Silverstone and then securing multiple podium positions on the way to a fighting second position in the championship.

Eastwood joins TF Sport having wrapped up the Porsche Carrera Cup in the UK in 2017. The Belfast born driver enjoyed a successful karting background from 2004 – including the Rotax World Championship in 2012 and the European championship in 2013. He then started his single seater career in Formula 4 in 2014 before taking on the challenge of the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand. A move to Formula Renault followed but it was the move to the Porsche Carrera Cup that brought him onto the GT radar in 2016.

With everything now in place, TF Sport, Yoluc, Hankey and Eastwood are set to embark on a programme at the very pinnacle of GT racing as they prepare for the eight-round 2018/19 championship which gets underway in May 2018 at Spa Francorchamps. This is followed by no less than two races at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as rounds in Japan, China and the US in what really is a super-season at the very highest level in motorsport.

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Sporting Director
"It’s a huge honour to be competing in the World Endurance Championship next year; it’s by far our biggest ever programme and it underlines the strength of our team at every level. We have had huge success in the past two years in very tough championships such as Blancpain and ELMS so I feel we are ready to move up. "We have a really big challenge in WEC but we’re confident that we will be competitive and deliver the results that we, our supporters and partners, now expect from us."

Salih Yoluc
"As a team, it is very exciting for all of us to be on the very highest stage of sports car racing. I'm really looking forward to exciting races and of course our first WEC win! We've been quite unlucky in ELMS this year in so many ways, but I hope we were just suffering a little to make the future victories even sweeter, with a change in fortune. “Being able to fight to be a world champion and also a 24 Hours of Le Mans winner is something very special and we'll do our best and make sure we enjoy the journey.”

Euan Hankey
“Myself, Salih, Charlie and TF Sport are really on a fantastic journey and it’s great to be a part of this programme. We’re under no illusions as to how hard WEC will be as it’s the very very top category of racing in the world. But in saying that, we’ve got a great track record, a mega team, so there’s no reason why we can’t build and continue to show what we can do, even in WEC!”

Charlie Eastwood
“It’s going to be a big challenge to step up to what is the very top in GT Racing; it’s a big old step. With the line-up we have, we’re confident we’ll be quick in each of our driver categories. I won the Carrera Cup in 2017 but remain Silver, so it’s the ideal partnership with Salih and Euan.

“I met with Tom (Ferrier) and some of the guys in the team five weeks ago for the first time and it was a great meeting. It really kick-started the talks and the Friday before Christmas it was all confirmed. It’s great to know so far in advance what you’re doing for the coming season and with Tom’s amazing record with TF Sport and the driver combination we have, we’re all pretty buzzed up and raring to go.

“There’s a lot of unknowns for all of us obviously, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. I know Silverstone and Le Mans and we’re planning on a good test programme. So as a team we all have the same desire and I can’t wait to get started!”