Sports Car Racing News

21.5.2023Ferrari won Nürburgring 24 Hours 1st time ever(International GT)

Frikadelli Ferrari, the new GT3 Model 296 GT3, won 51st edition of the race after a fight with ROWE BMW M4 GT3, while leading most of the race driven by Earl Bamber/Nicky Catsburg/Felipe Fernandez Laser/David Pittard. After entering FIA WEC after 50 year and being closest to Toyotas it is another great achievement by Ferrari, winning the race for the first time ever. Moreover, they also beat existing race distance record. Congratulations!!!
24.2.2021Ferrari commits to FIA WEC with new Hypercar(WEC)

Ferrari has confirmed that it will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship’s new Hypercar category from 2023. The Italian marque will return to the top class of endurance racing for the first time since 1973 and will be yet another major manufacturer to confirm its participation in the WEC’s new Hypercar category, which is equally appealing to both global automotive brands as well as specialist firms building road-going supercars. Ferrari is set to go against the likes of Toyota, Glickenhaus, Peugeot, Porsche and Audi, who have all committed to the Hypercar category. The new-for-2021 Hypercar category is where teams and drivers can compete for overall championship victory in the FIA WEC and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ferrari has a long and illustrious racing history in endurance racing and at Le Mans. The manufacturer has won Le Mans outright a total of nine times, the last time in 1965 as part of the famed Ford versus Ferrari battles of the 1960s. In recent years, however, Ferrari has had plenty of success in the GT category of Le Mans, last winning the GTE Pro category in 2019 with its hugely-successful AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo. The marque has won the FIA WEC LMGTE Pro title four times, including the very first FIA World Endurance GT Manufacturers’ Championship in 2017.
23.5.2014Nissan GT-R LM Nismo(Le Mans)

Today, 23rd of May, announced and confirmed its LMP1 programme with a prototype that will be called Nissan GT-R LM Nismo. Twenty third date was not selected by random, as numbers two and three are read in Japanese as Ni-san, which also explains why Nissan used to raced with numbers 23 and 32 when they first entered the Twenty-Four Hour race in the middle of eighties. The new car will be raced by Nissan factory team since 2015 onwards. Nissan aim to do thing differently than current competitor and they are going to win Le Mans and WEC.
13.4.2014Code 80 for all WEC races(WEC)

Once of the best news regarding the new WEC championship reached us following Friday's meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council. Endurance Commission approved changes of the Full Course Yellow procedure and it will now be possible to proceed without the safety car, if the situation on the track allows it, while all cars will have to reduce their speed to maximum of 80 kph. Something that will make races safer, better for spectators and especially way more fair for the participating competitors. Simply something we have been voting and calling for a long time.
11.1.2014Nissan LMP1(Le Mans)

Nissan factory confirmed its planned LMP1 entry in Le Mans next year. They will also commit to the WEC 2015 and the car should appear already in the first year of the season. This year Nissan enter their ZEOD electric car, which is looking very similarly to a closed DeltaWing. Another factory considering return to Le Mans in the top class is Ferrari, as confirmed by Luca di Montezemolo last month. Even spy photos of supposed new Ferrari prototype do exist.
21.9.2013WEC 2014 calendar announced(WEC)

Just one day after the IMSA's USCR championship date announcement, FIA released their calendar for the next WEC season too. There are the same eight races as this year. So any hopes for either Nürburgring or Red Bull Ring came to nothing while some artificial exotic races with no tradition and relative low interest will continue to feature in the championship that should be at the top of all. But races like Daytona 24 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours, Petit Le Mans, which attract much more spectators and attention than Bahrain, China or South American venues, still stay away from the World Championship.
20.9.2013New USCR championship 2014 schedule revealed(Other)

TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, as the new series will be officially called, has its 2014 calendar published today. There are 12 events but three of them will not feature all four classes, so every class will have eleven races. The season starts at Daytona and Sebring with traditional 24 and 12 Hour races and ends by Petit Le Mans race in Road Atlanta. Among other traditional races in Watkins Glen, Road America or Laguna Seca, there are events in Long Beach, Detroit, Mosport, Indianapolis, Virginia and the new Americas. All of them were part of either Grand-Am or American Le Mans Series.
26.7.2013Single Toyota now confirmed(WEC)

After weeks of speculations it is now confirmed that Toyota will enter just a single car in the next WEC race in Sao Paulo. Really bad news for the World Championship as the top class is now, after withdrawal of Le Mans privateer winning Strakka-HPD, reduced to just four(!) cars. Toyota explains this by concentration on development of their new 2014 car. This unfortunately suggests that Toyota is nowhere near the resources of Audi, as we believe that Audi have to do the same. With only three cars counted towards the World Manufacturers Championship (out of 28 entered in the next race), this effectively means that Toyota must have actually given up the fight for the championship title, as it is mathematically almost impossible to beat the two-car Audi team, even if Audi finished the very last in all remaining races, behind entire GTE and LMP2 field. Audi now only needs that one of their cars would cover 70% of the race distance in the remaining events, which is more than easy task for the experienced team. And who will fight Rebellion against, while not counted towards the same team/make championship as Toyota and Audi, this a real mystery. At least their drivers can continue with any meaningful fight for the points in the general drivers' prototype classification. But is that what fans really expected from WEC, when it was announced?
23.6.2013Audi wins Le Mans again, Toyota second(Le Mans)

After Audi no.1 and no.3 lost time during seventh hour, both Toyotas were trying to catch the remaining Audi no.2. However the Audi was quicker and ran trouble-less and manage to lap both Toyotas. During the race there were many safety car periods, local heavy rain, several accidents. One such involved the second Toyota no.7 while it was in the battle with Audi no.3. It was generally believed to be the end for the Toyota. Then no.7 appeared on the track to the pits. They did a great job and thanks to safety car, Audi no.1 which had improved to 5th position, could not match the Toyota. Audi no.2 then won the Le Mans. It was driven by Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen, who improved his record with ninth overall victory and Loic Duval. Toyota no.8 and Audi no.3 then finished second and third one lap behind. Privateer LMP1 class was won by Strakka Racing after both Rebellions suffered major issues and accident, both leaving the garage only for their final lap to be classified. OAK Racing had a great success in LMP2 getting top two spots. The same happened in the GTE class when factory Porsche scored double victory ahead of Aston Martin, which wanted take the victory - in memory of killed Allan Simonsen. Unfortunately their leading car crashed during one of the heavy showers. Amateur portion of GTE went to Porsche as well. One records was however beaten with a huge margin - number of finishers and classified cars, 43 and 42 respectively are notable larger numbers than older 35 and 33 respectively.
22.6.2013Le Mans 24 Hours 2013 - early stages(Le Mans)

This year Le Mans started with a great battle between Audis and Toyotas in the early laps, which was however interrupted by a huge impact of Aston Martin in Tertre Rouge followed by nearly one hour safety car period. Very unfortunately, factory Aston Martin driver Allan Simonsen was seriously injured. Three hours later it was announced that Allan, a driver with great sports car racing history in many championships, deceased. We can hardly remember worse beginning of this famous race. Then for the first six hours of the race Audi took one-two-three positions and Toyotas were a bit lagging. It all changed within a few minutes at the end of the seventh hour when Audi no.3 suffered a puncture at the beginning of its lap. Before it got to the pits, Audi no.1 was pushed into the garage with a serious engine problem. So the positions are now Audi no.2 ahead of both Toyotas. While Audi no.3 returned safely fourth, Audi no.1 seems to be out of the game, even if it returned later.
8.6.2013Rebellion Racing will build own LMP1 car for 2014(WEC)

Swiss team Rebellion Racing is pleased to confirm their commitment to the future of the LMP1 category and to announce that they will have a new LMP1 car for 2014 developed and built by Oreca. The new car will be christened the Rebellion R-One. Rebellion Racing have expressed many times their desire to continue to compete in LMP1, the premier class of endurance racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The Rebellion R-One will be designed from scratch. The study started several weeks ago. Extending a highly successful partnership with Toyota Motorsport GmbH the new car will be powered by a Toyota engine.
14.4.2013Audi dominates Round 1 at Silverstone(WEC)

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.
29.3.2013Traditional Czech manufacturer Praga to LMP1?(WEC)

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.
8.2.2013European Le Mans Series 2013 entries(LMS)

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.
1.2.2013Le Mans and WEC Entries Announced Today(Le Mans)

Today in Paris the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) unveiled thirty two full season entries, from 21 teams, which are representing 11 different countries, for the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. The grid will include six LMP1, twelve LMP2, six LMGTE Pro and eight LMGTE Am entries and will be joined at some events, like at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps, by some race-by-race entries. Most surprising entry is the second factory Toyota as a whole season entrant after a news item published earlier this month claimed that the second car would race only Spa and Le Mans. Thus the World Championship title seems to be much more open. Great quality entry is also in GTE Pro, where each of the three official teams is represented by two cars: factory Porsche & Aston Martin against semi-factory AF Corse Ferraris. LMP2 adds much needed numbers while GTE Am sees another factory entries by Aston Martin. For the Le Mans race itself, there are only 8 LMP1 entries (and no spares), huge number of LMP2 cars (22 confirmed and 6 more as reserves) and two further factory teams in GTE: Corvette Racing and SRT Vipers. All together 55 entries plus one 56th spot for the Green GT prototype. Generally nothing really unexpected or exciting, however visible demise of the private LMP1 class continues, which is really bad. Even the separate privateer cup last year did not help to keep the numbers decent. A problem is also that the class is not legal in ELMS or AsLMS, and will die in ALMS next year too. And where is very little market, no manufacturer would produce the cars, as they are not going to be profitable. Despite a few years ago very similar rules were used as the original LMP2 class, today it seems that nobody is interested in it. Something must have gone wrong and unless supporting Le Mans series will ignore this class, we can hardly expect any improvement in this area - only even less privaters in 2014 - if any at all since the 2014 cars are based on completely different chassis - and thus much bigger gap between the several factory cars and the rest of the field. Otherwise we feel that the published entries invoke mostly positive feelings and unless too many teams withdraw during the season, it should be even more exciting year of WEC, even if the world economic climate is still far from favouring this expensive sport.
30.11.2012Surprising factory Porsche return 2013(Le Mans)

Today the Porsche factory announced they would field a two-car factory team in the Le Mans 24 Hour race and in the World Endurance Championship. They will run in GTE class with the latest generation of the Porsche 911. This is the first time since 1998 a factory Porsche will race in the greatest endurance race in the world.
4.11.2012GT3 accepted for LMES(LMS)

ACO finally approved GT3 cars to run in their GTC class of Le Mans European Series 2013, a step we strongly expected already this season, a step which would have probably saved this season, which could have been great in the LMP2 class. We hope for a great season next year. Several teams already expressed their interest in running LMES with GT3 cars. Entries for the 2013 European Le Mans Series will open on the 12 December and close mid-January.
20.10.2012LMS 2013 calendar unveiled(Le Mans)

The European Le Mans Series will have new style of race weekend in 2013 with five high profile meetings in the UK, Italy, Austria, Hungary and France. Each of the five race meetings will be held over two days, with practice on Friday and qualifying a 3-hour race on Saturday, and will be held alongside another high profile championship or series. The season will start at Silverstone in the UK on the 13 April, joining the season opener for the FIA World Endurance Championship. On 18 May the ELMS will race in the grand surroundings of Imola in Italy with FFSA GT Tour. After the Le Mans 24 Hours the ELMS resumes at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on the 20 July for the first of three events with the World Series by Renault. The next event is just across the border in Hungary with a 3 Hour race on the Hungaroring near Budapest on the 14 September. The 2013 ELMS will conclude in the south of France at Paul Ricard on the 28 September.
14.10.2012Second WEC win for Toyota(International)

Very interesting 6-Hour race, the penultimate round of the newly established World Endurance Championship, was won - in front of about 50.000 spectators - by the single Toyota in the race. The win was even more important for Toyota than usually. Not only because it was held on their home Japan ground but it was held on the Toyota-owned track Fuji. The race had similar progress as the last few WEC races, i.e. Toyota, this time starting from the pole position, took an early race lead and while having slightly higher fuel consumption, they tried to create a big enough lead to afford an extra pit stop. Despite the fact that both Audis had collided with slower cars and thus lost some time and an advantage of a lower fuel consumption, Audi number 1, after its last pit stop, still appeared to be relatively close behind the Toyota. And it seemed that if the Toyota did not run quicker, Audi no.1, earlier delayed even by Stop & Go penalty, could still won the race. However even in the final stages the Toyota increased its lead to almost 45 seconds before the final splash & dash. When back on the circuit, the Toyota was followed by Audi no.1 four seconds back. And that was enough for Toyota win their truly home race, and a second WEC race in its modern history.
30.9.2012Audi double & Strakka on podium in Bahrain(International)

The next World Endurance Championship event in Bahrain started similarly as the last one. The Toyota soon got to the lead and increased its lead to over 30 seconds. When the darkness set over the circuit, one of the Audis (no.2) had already been delayed after problems with the headlights, the other Audi started catching leading Toyota. But the duel was broken once the Toyota lost four laps in the garage only to fix the race number panel. The lighting making the number visible in the dark was malfunctioning. So despite both, the Audi no.2 and the Toyota, were outside TOP5 at one point, they soon managed to return behind the problem-less running Audi no.1 and had one and two laps disadvantage respectively. The LMP1 race came to a practical end once the Toyota collided with fourth running Strakka Racing HPD and retired. This accident paradoxically helped the Strakka team gain the podium finish, the first for a private LMP1 team since Sebring, where however, only two factory LMP1 took the start. Audis then finished one and two. Excellent race had the LMP2 category and after some bad luck of championship leading Starworks, the win was taken by Pecon Racing Oreca. In GTE, Aston Martin had a good race at the beginning, leading the class, but later it was AF Corse Ferrari that took not only the race but already the championship title.
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