Audi dominates Round 1 at Silverstone
Despite both Toyotas started from the first row, while one of the Audis was gridded even behind better of the Rebellion Lolas and was running fifth for several laps, the race soon developed into a pattern of 2 Audis followed by 2 Toyota and backed up 2 Rebellion Lolas ahead of large LMP2 field. The only other LMP1 entrant was the Strakka Racing HPD. But it retired soon after an accident. Audis had better early stage of the race when Toyota tyres did not work well and by the middle of the race they were securely leading the race by one lap. Toyota also did not manage to go through a middle race shower so well as Audi did. Despite that the race was still very interesting until the end, when McNish was behind Tréluyer by more than 20 seconds with some 15 laps to go. But McNish was motivated to win the Tourist Trophy award for the race and very quickly ate the gap and finally manage to overtake Tréluyer some two laps before the finish. Other positions on top six were generally unchanged - from the team/manufacturer point of view at least. LMP2 was won by Delta-ADR Oreca, OAK Morgan and Greaves Motorsport Zytek. Both GTE portions of the race were won by Aston Martin and some already suggested, it was thanks to balance of performance, and some changes are possible.
Traditional Czech manufacturer Praga to LMP1?
From today's press release, it is becoming clear that the new Kodewa-based Lotus LMP2 effort is a joint project of the three parties: Lotus-Kodewa, Charouz Racing and Praga owner. The cars will be entered as Lotus T128 Praga in 2013 but it is planned to have the same chassis homologated both as Lotus and as Praga next year. This means two new true small volume car manufacturers back in sport car racing, along with Morgan and Alpine. And great news is the fact that the chassis will be homologated also as an LMP1 car, so we can well see next year racing several manufacturers for the top honours!!! (Audi, Toyota, Porsche, Lotus & Praga, plus Nissan and Alpine in a longer term perspective). The future of sports car racing starts to look great, at least when we look at the number of manufacturers interested and involved in the series. We cannot forget several others solely in the GT class, like Ferrari, Chevrolet or Aston Martin, with several others, among them McLaren planning a GTE project.
European Le Mans Series 2013 entries
Today, a week after a release of WEC and Le Mans accepted entries, European Championship numbers are revealed too. A potentially good number of 29, with additional race-by-race entries, is headed by eleven LMP2 cars, which represent the premium class in the the series. They are supported by no less than ten GTE entries consisting of 6 Ferraris, 3 Porsche and a lone Corvette. The two ACO Le Mans classes are supported by three factory Orecas in the LMPC class and interesting mix of GT3 cars in newly established GTC class: five cars represent four different manufacturers: Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche and Audi. Overall the entry is dominated by Oreca cars with 9 cars altogher, ahead of Ferraris with 8 cars. Variety is increased by LMP2 marques like Lola, Morgan, HPD and couple of Zyteks.