ALMS: Laguna Seca Entry list released.

ALMS LogoThe provisional entry listings for the third round of the 2010 American Le Mans series were released yesterday afternoon. After seeing impressive grid numbers in Longbeach, the series now heads to Laguna Seca, expecting a total of thirty-six entrants.

The full listing can be seen below:

LMP

  • 1 Patrón Highcroft Racing Patrón – HPD ARX-01c – David Brabham Simon Pagenaud/Marino Franchitti
  • 6 Muscle Milk Team Cytosport – Porsche RS Spyder – Greg Pickett/Klaus Graf/Sascha Maassen
  • 8 Drayson Racing Drayson Racing – Lola B09 60-Judd – Paul Drayson/Jonny Cocker/Emanuele Pirro
  • 12 Autocon Motorsports – Lola B06 10-AER – Bryan Willman/Tony Burgess/Pierre Ehert
  • 16 Dyson Racing Team BP – Lola B09 86-Mazda-AER – Chris Dyson/Guy Smith/Andy Meyrick
  • 37 Intersport Racing – Lola B06 10-AER – Jon Field/Clint Field/Nikolas Konstant

GT

  • 3 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – Jan Magnussen/Johnny O’Connell
  • 4 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin
  • 17 Team Falken Tire  – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Bryan Sellers/Wolf Henzler
  • 40 Robertson Racing – Doran Design Ford GT – David Robertson/Andrea Robertson/David Murry
  • 44 Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Darren Law/Seth Neiman
  • 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports  – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Joerg Bergmeister/Patrick Long
  • 61 Risi Competizione Krohn – Ferrari 430 GT – Tracy Krohn/Nic Jonsson
  • 62 Risi Competizione – Ferrari 430 GT – Jaime Melo/Gianmaria Bruni
  • 75 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR – Paul Gentilozzi/Ryan Dalziel/Marc Goossens
  • 90 BMW Rahal Letterman Racing – BMW M3 GT – Dirk Müller/Joey Hand
  • 92 BMW Rahal Letterman Racing – BMW M3 GT – Bill Auberlen/Tommy Milner
  • 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari 430 GT – Scott Sharp/Johannes van Overbeek
  • 02 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari 430 GT – Ed Brown/Guy Cosmo

LMPC

  • 11 Performance Tech – Oreca FLM09 – Kyle Marcelli/TBD
  • 36 Genoa Racing Genoa Racing – Oreca FLM09 – Tom Sutherland/TBD
  • 52 PR1/ Mathiasen Motorsports – Oreca FLM09 – Johnny Mowlem/Tom Papadopoulos
  • 55 Level 5 Motorsports – Oreca FLM09 – Scott Tucker/Christophe Bouchut
  • 89 Intersport Racing – Oreca FLM09 – Mitch Pagerey/Brian Wong
  • 95 Level 5 Motorsports – Oreca FLM09 – Scott Tucker/TBD
  • 99 Green Earth Team Gunnar – Oreca FLM09 – Gunnar Jeannette/Christian Zugel/Elton Julia

GTC

  • 23 Alex Job Racing Battery Tender – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Bill Sweedler/Romeo Kapudija/Jan-Dirk Lueders
  • 28 911 Design Porsche Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Loren Beggs/Doug Baron
  • 32 GMG Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Bret Curtis/James Sofronas
  • 48 Orbit Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Bryce Miller/John McMullen
  • 54 Black Swan Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Timothy Pappas/Jeroen Bleekemolen
  • 63 TRG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Henri Richard/Rene Villeneuve/Andy Lally
  • 69 WERKS II Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Robert Rodriquez/Galen Bieker
  • 80 Alex Job Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Ricardo Gonzalez/Luis Diaz/Rudy Junco, Jr.
  • 81 Alex Job Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Juan Gonzalez/Butch Leitzinger
  • 88 Velox Motorsports – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Shane Lewis/Jerry Vento

LMP= 6 GT = 13 LMPC = 7 GTC = 10 Total = 36

    Advertisements

    Fatal incident occurs during VLN event.

    Yesterday, the #83 GT4 Aston Martin Vantage was involved in a fatal incident at the Bergwerk section of the Nürburgring circuit. The driver of the car, 43 year old Leo Löwenstein was unable to escape the fiery wreckage, later dying as a result of smoke inhalation. The incident will no doubt be the subject of many enquiries during the weeks to come.

    This occurrence serves as a chilling reminder to all involved that motorsport remains an extremely dangerous, and potentially fatal sport.  Our thoughts are with Leo’s family and friends during this difficult time.

    Peugeot Announces LMIC Participation.

    Peugeot 908 - Sebring 2010.

    Peugeot's 908 during 12 Hours of Sebring 2010 - Image courtesy Speedtv.com/Marshall Pruett.

    In a surprise announcement today, PeugeotSport has revealed plans to compete in the inaugural running of the Le Mans Intercontinental Cup. The move comes as somewhat of a shock to both fans and organisers, given the French marque originally declared it had decided against participating in the first edition of the new series. Director of Peugeot sporting activities, Olivier Quesnel, had initially cited budgetary constraints as the reasoning behind Peugeot’s decision against participation.

    Commencing at the final round of the Le Mans Series, the 2010 LMIC will consist of a single event from each ACO sanctioned series in Europe (Silverstone), North America (Petit Le Mans), and Asia (China-TBA).

    LMS: Spa 1000km Entry list released.

    LMS_Tag_TabThe entry list for round two of the LMS 2010 season, the 1000km of Spa has been released, unveiling some noteworthy surprises.

    Notable mentions go to the appearance of additional entries from both Schnitzer BMW Motorsports (#79), and ProSpeed (#98), including the appearance of a GT1 class yielding a seven car field (as opposed to the single entry seen at Paul Ricard). It is also important to highlight that Formula Le Mans class runners have once again been lumped in with the LMP2 field.

    The total car count for the event stands at fifty-two.

    The full entry listing can be seen below:

    LMP1:

    • 008 – Signature Plus – France – Lola Aston Martin – Pierre Ragues/Franck Mailleux/Vanina Ickx
    • 1 – Team Peugeot Total – France – Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP – Marc Gené/Alexander Wurz/Anthony Davidson
    • 2 – Team Peugeot Total – France – Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP – Franck Montagny/Stéphane Sarrazin/Nicolas Minassian
    • 3 – Team Peugeot Total – France – Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP – Pedro Lamy/Sébastien Bourdais/Simon Pagenaud
    • 9 – Audi Sport North America – France – Audi R15 TDI Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Mike Rockenfeller
    • 4 – Team Oreca Matmut – France – Peugeot 908 HDi FAP – Oliver Panis/Nicolas Lapierre/Loïc Duval
    • 5 – Beechdean Mansell – United Kingdom – Ginetta-Zytek 09S – Nigel Mansell/Leo Mansell/Greg Mansell
    • 7 – Audi Sport Team Joest – Germany – Audi R15 TDI – Dindo Capello/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish
    • 8 – Audi Sport Team Joest – Germany – Audi R15 TDI – Marcel Fassler/Andre Lotterer/Benoît Treluyer
    • 12 – Rebellion Racing – Switzerland – Lola B10/60 Coupé – Rebellion Nicolas Prost/Neel Jani
    • 13 – Rebellion Racing – Switzerland – Lola B10/60 Coupé – Rebellion Andrea Belicchi/Jean-Christophe Boullion

    LMP2:

    • 24 – Oak Racing – France – Pescarolo – Judd Mathieu Lahaye/Jacques Nicolet
    • 25 – RML – United Kingdom – Lola HPD Coupé – Tommy Erdos/Mike Newton/Andy Wallace
    • 27 – Race Performance – Switzerland – Radical SR9 – Judd – Michel Frey/Ralph Meichtry/Tyler Dueck
    • 29 – Racing Box – Italy – Lola B09 Coupé – Judd – Marco Cioci/Piergiuseppe Perazzini/Luca Pirri
    • 30 – Racing Box – Italy – Lola B09 Coupé – Judd Ferdinando Geri/Andrea Piccini/Giacomo Piccini
    • 35 – Oak Racing – France – Pescarolo – Judd – Richard Hein/Guillaume Moreau
    • 36 – Pegasus Racing – France – Courage-Oreca LC75 – AER – Julien Schell/Jean-Christophe Metz/Frederic Da Rocha
    • 39 – KSM – Germany – Lola B08/47 – Judd – Jean De Pourtales/Hideki Noda/Jonathan Kennard
    • 40 – Quifel – ASM Team – Portugal – Ginetta-Zytek – 09S Miguel Amaral/Olivier Pla
    • 41 – Team Bruichladdich – United Kingdom – Ginetta-Zytek 09S – Karim Ojjeh/Tim Greaves/Thor-Christian Ebbesvik
    • 42 – Strakka Racing United – Kingdom HPD ARX – 01 Nick Leventis/Danny Watts/Jonny Kane
    • 43 – Dams – France – Formula Le Mans – Oreca 09 – Andrea Barlesi/Alessandro Cicognani/Gary Chalandon
    • 44 – Dams – France – Formula Le Mans – Oreca 09 – Dean Stirling/Luke Hines/Edoardo Piscopo
    • 45 – Boutsen Energy Racing – Belgium – Formula le Mans – Oreca 09 – Dominik Kraihamer/Nicolas De Crem/Bernard Delhez
    • 46 – JMB Racing – Monaco – Formula Le Mans – Oreca 09 – Peter Kutemann/Maurice BassoJohn/ Hartshorne
    • 47 – Hope Polevision Racing – Switzerland – Formula Le Mans – Steve Zacchia/Luca Moro/Wolfgang Kaufmann
    • 48 – Hope Polevision Racing – Switzerland – Formula Le Mans – Mathias Beche/Christophe Pillon/Vincent Capillaire
    • 49 – Applewood Seven – France – Formula Le Mans – Oreca 09 – Damien Toulemonde/David Zollinger/Ross Zampatti

    GT1:

    • 50 – Larbre Competition – France – Saleen S7-R – Gabriele Gardel/Patrice Goueslard/Fernando Rees
    • 52 – Young Driver AMR – Germany – Aston Martin – DBR9 Tomas Enge/Christoffer Nygaard/Peter Kox
    • 60 – Matech Competition – Switzerland – Ford GT – Thomas Mutsch/Yan Zimmer
    • 61 – Matech Competition – Switzerland – Ford GT – Cindy Allemann/Rahel Frey
    • 66 – Atlas FX-Team Full Speed – Austria – Saleen S7-R – Julien Schroyen/Carlo Van Dam/Stéphane Lemeret
    • 70 – Marc VDS Racing Team – Belgium – Ford GT – Bas Leinders/Markus Palttala/Eric De Donker
    • 72 – Luc Alphand Aventures – France – Corvette C6.R – Julien Jousse/Stephan Gregoire

    GT2:

    • 75 – Prospeed Competition – Belgium – Porsche 997 GT3 RSR – Marco Holzer/Richard Westbrook
    • 76 – IMSA Performance Matmut – France – Porsche 997 GT3 RSR – Raymond Narac/Patrick Pilet
    • 77 – Team Felbermayr Proton – Germany – Porsche 997 GT3 RSR – Marc Lieb/Richard Lietz
    • 78 – BMW Team Schnitzer – Germany – BMW M3 – Jörg Müller Dirk Werner
    • 79 – BMW Team Schnitzer – Germany BMW M3 – Andy Priaulx/Dirk Müller
    • 85 – Spyker Squadron – Netherlands – Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2-R – Peter Dumbreck/Tom Coronel
    • 88 – Team Felbermayr Proton – Germany – Porsche 997 GT3 RSR – Martin Ragginger/Christian Ried
    • 89  – Hankook Team Farnbacher – Germany – Ferrari F430 GT – Dominik Farnbacher /Allan Simonsen
    • 90 – CRS Racing – United Kingdom – Ferrari F430 GT – Pierre Ehret/Phil Quaife/Pierre Kaffer
    • 91 – CRS Racing – United Kingdom – Ferrari F430 GT – Andrew Kirkaldy/Tim Mullen
    • 92 – JMW Motorsport – United Kingdom – Aston Martin V8 Vantage – Robert Bell/Darren Turner
    • 93 – JWA Racing – United Kingdom – Porsche 997 GT3 RSR – Paul Daniels/Oskar Slingerland
    • 94 – AF Corse – Italy – Ferrari F430 GT – Luis Perez/CompancMatias Russo
    • 95 – AF Corse – Italy – Ferrari F430 GT – Giancarlo Fisichella/Toni Vilander/Jean Alesi
    • 96 – AF Corse – Italy – Ferrari F430 GT – Gianmaria Bruni/Jaime Melo
    • 98 – Prospeed – Competition – Belgium – Porsche 997 GT3 RSR – Paul Von Splunteren/Niek Hommerson/Louis Machiels

    ALMS: Post Longbeach Race wrap.

    ALMS LogoThe second round of the ALMS season looked promising on all fronts. The 2010 rendition of the event saw a record 36 entrants take to the streets of Longbeach, with a field consisting of seven LMP, thirteen GT, seven LMPC, and nine LMPC entries.

    Being the first race of many to be run under IMSA’s recently introduced LMP equalisation rules, and the shortest event on the calendar at just 100mins, Longbeach managed to deliver the excitement series organisers and fans had been hoping for straight out of the box. The prototype ranks saw an intensely fought battle between series favourites Highcroft and AMR throughout the course of the weekend. AMR drew first blood during qualifying, with series regular Adrian Fernandez securing pole position by a margin of .072sec over Highcroft’s Simon Pagenaud.

    The race opened in typical Longbeach fashion with an awkward scramble for position into turn one. LMP was very much an AMR/Highcroft dominated affair, with both cars being closely matched in terms of overall speed, each showing their strengths and weaknesses in different sections of the tight, beach side circuit. The two teams, very much in their own class, exchanged heated lap times in the earlier stages of the race. Primat and Brabham opting to set a consistently brutal pace that their partners would later maintain throughout the course of the event.

    Fernandez and Pagenaud battle on the streets of Longbeach - Image courtesy Speedtv.com/John Dagys.

    After an ambitious showing from both drivers, Brabham would make contact with Primat through the tighter corners of the second sector, causing the Swiss driver to lose control of the Lola-AMR, damaging the fragile left-rear bodywork. A move which resulted in a stop-go penalty for the Highcroft team. Displaying a refreshing level of maturity and professionalism, Brabham later took full responsibility for the incident, taking the time to apologise to both Primat and AMR for causing any damage.

    The final minutes of Longbeach 2010 saw a display of spirited driving the event has now become renowned for. Having replaced Primat at the wheel of the #007 AMR, Fernandez moved into first place. Pagenaud fought furiously to move the #1 Highcroft car through the congested GT traffic, struggling to keep pace with the AMR’s powerful V12 on the main straight. Showing the ARX01’s obvious speed through the tighter sections of the track, the Frenchman took advantage of a final lap error by Fernandez. Taking first place overall, beating the Lola-AMR by across the start/finish line by mere 0.353sec.

    MuscleMilk team CytoSport’s duo of Pickett/Graf placed third in the combined LMP class. The teams’ RS Spyder also winning Michelin’s ‘GreenX Challenge’  as a result of being the fastest/most efficient prototype entry for the duration of the event. A respectable showing for the recent Sebring 12H LMP2 champions.

    Risi leads field into first corner

    Melo leads during the opening laps - Image courtesy Speedtv.com/John Dagys.

    The GT category proved to be a worthy dogfight, commencing in a very similar manner to Sebring. The #14 FalkenTire entry of Henzler took off to an early lead, only to fall back into the field shortly after as a result of the not-so-developed Falken shoes on the car. Daring pit strategies by the Rahal Letterman and Flying Lizard squads led to an entertaining brawl for position in the later stages of the race.

    RLR BMW of Auberlen/Milner, FalkenTyre in pursuit.

    #92 RLR BMW of Auberlen/Milner - Image courtesy Speedtv.com/John Dagys.

    Opting against a fresh set of Dunlops during the cars’ sole pit stop had seemingly paid off for the #92 RLR-BMW, until the closing laps. The #45 of Long would pass a struggling Milner, now left defending against Magnussen and Bruni on double-stinted tyres. Long would go on to finish first for the Flying Lizard Motorsports squad in a deserving victory for the #45 team, after suffering heartbreak at Sebring. In a valuable points haul for the P&M squad, Magnussen would finish second, followed by the #92 RLR-BMW of Milner, and #62 Risi Ferrari of Bruni in fourth.

    LMPC saw a close fight between the #99 Green Earth Gunnar, #55 Level5 Motorsport, and #36 Genoa entries. Jeanette would go on to take victory in the #99, followed by the #55 of Bouchut in second, and the #36 of Sutherland finishing third. In GTC the #81 Alex Job entry backed up their Sebring victory by reigning triumphant on the Californian streets. The #81 crew of Leitzinger/Gonzalez taking the first step of the podium, followed by #32 of Sofranas/Curtis in second, and #23 of Sweedler/Kapudija in third.

    Final position listings can be seen below:

    1. 1     P             (Brabham)/Pagenaud*        67           HPD ARX-01c
    2. 007 P           (Primat)/Fernandez*           67           Lola B09 60 Aston
    3. 6     P             (Pickett)/Graf*                        67           Porsche RS Spyder
    4. 16   P             (Dyson*)/Smith                      67           Lola B09 86 Mazda
    5. 99   PC          (Julian)/Jeannette*              66           Oreca FLM09
    6. 55   PC          (Tucker)/Bouchut*               65           Oreca FLM09
    7. 36   PC          (Hildebrand*)/Sutherland 65           Oreca FLM09
    8. 45   GT          (Bergmeister)/Long*           65           Porsche 911 RSR
    9. 12   P             (Drissi*)/Davis                        65           Lola B06 10
    10. 3     GT          (Magnussen/(O’Connell*)   65           Chevrolet
    11. 92   GT          (Auberlen*)/Milner             65            BMW M3 GT
    12. 62   GT          (Melo*/(Bruni)                       65            Ferrari 430 GT
    13. 90   GT          (Mueller)/Hand*                   65            BMW M3 GT
    14. 17   GT          (Sellers/(Henzler*)               65            Porsche 911 RSR
    15. 01   GT          (Sharp*/(van Overbeek)    65            Ferrari 430 GT
    16. 02   GT          (Brown)/Cosmo*                  64            Ferrari 430 GT
    17. 89   PC           (Pagerey/(Wong*)               63            Oreca FLM09
    18. 4     GT           (Beretta*)/Gavin                  63             Chevrolet Corvette
    19. 81   GTC        (Gonzalez)/Leitzinger*      63             Porsche 911 GT3 C
    20. 32   GTC        (Curtis)/Sofronas*              63             Porsche 911 GT3 C
    21. 23   GTC        (Sweedler)/Kapudija*       63              Porsche 911 GT3 C
    22. 11   PC           (Bonilla)/Marcelli*             62              Oreca FLM09
    23. 40   GT          (D.Robertson/(Murry*)   62              Doran Ford GT-R
    24. 88   GTC        (Lewis*/(Vento)                  62              Porsche 911 GT3 C
    25. 8     P              (Drayson)/Cocker*             62              Lola B09 60
    26. 48   GTC        (Miller*/(McMullen)          61              Porsche 911 GT3 C
    27. 69   GTC        (Rodriguez)/Bieker*           61             Porsche 911 GT3 C
    28. 80   GTC        (Gonzalez/(Diaz*)                60            Porsche 911 GT3 C
    29. 54   GTC        (Pappas)/Bleekemolen*    60            Porsche 911 GT3 C
    30. 37   P             (J.Field*)/C.Field                 48            Lola B06 10
    31. 63   GTC        (Richard)/Lally*                  48            Porsche 911 GT3 C
    32. 75   GT          (Gentilozzi)/Dalziel*           45            Jaguar XKRS
    33. 44   GT          (Law*/(Neiman)                   28            Porsche 911 RSR
    34. 28   GTC       (Beggs*)/Baron                     6               Porsche 911 GT3 C
    35. 52   PC          (Mowlem*/(Papadopoulos)3           Oreca FLM09
    36. 95   PC          (Tucker*/(Hunter-Reay) 0                Oreca FLM09

    LMS: Post Paul Ricard Race wrap.

    LMS_Tag_Tab

     

     

     

    The Le Mans Series 2011 season began in superb style this weekend at Paul Ricard HTTT for the inaugural running of the 8 hours of Le Castellet.

    The first event of the season played host to a field of high calibre entrants, some seasoned veterans, others trying their hand at endurance for the first time.  All in all results were somewhat varied. LMP2 and GT2 categories played host to many intense battles and, to the surprise of many, the production of exhilarating racing at Paul Ricard ensued.

    Le Castellet_first lap battle.

    Joest, Oreca, and AMR entries engage in heated exchange on lap one. - Image Courtesy EnduranceMag / GeoffreyBarre.

    The opening minutes of the race saw a flurry of movement in prototype and GT classes. As drama struck early in LMP1, class favourites Audi and Peugeot inflicted minor contact upon one another while navigating chicanes on lap one. This allowing the #009 Lola-AMR of Stefan Mücke to assume the race lead (if only briefly), before the the diesels continued their charge.

    In the later stages of hour one, the #4 Oreca-entered Peugeot’s chances of victory suffered a diminishign blow. As Sarrazin was forced to pitlane as a result of mechanical issues with the car’s airjack mounting system – noticed by crew members during the team’s first pit stop. This failure would prove costly, costing the #4 approximately twenty minutes on repairs, ultimately leading to a seven lap loss on class rivals, Joest. Benefiting from the late race misfortunes of the team’s #6 Oreca01 sister car, the #4 would go on to secure fourth overall.

    Audi's R15+ turns competitive laps for the first time, during the 8H Le Castellet - Image Courtesy EnduranceMag.fr / GeoffreyBarre.

    Unhindered after trading paint with the Oreca Peugeot, the #7 Audi (with McNish then at the wheel) would go on to obtain first place from the AMR-Lola. The Scot continued to lap flawlessly in the R15+, maintaining a constant pace of 1:43-1:45s per lap before ceding driving duties to teammate, Capello.

    Inheriting the car mid-way through hour two of the event, the Italian continued in much the same fashion as McNish. Demonstrating the virtues of consistent lapping and tyre/fuel conservation afforded by Audi’s modified R15+ chassis. The #7 would complete the remaining six hours of the race with minimal difficulty to secure first overall, covering a distance 1540km, and taking double championship points.

    As a direct result of Oreca’s mechanical dramas, the #009 Lola-AMR inherited second place in the latter stages of the opening hour, maintaining the position for the entire race. Exempting a late race tyre-lockup, the #009 crew of Mücke, Fernandez and Primat would round out an almost faultless showing, taking a well-deserved second place overall, and first of the petrol LMP1 finishers.

    Rebellion #13

    Rebelllion's #13 Lola-Judd.- Image Courtesy EnduranceMag.fr / GeoffreyBarre.

    After experiencing early-race suspension difficulties with the team’s #12 car, Rebellion managed to turn the tables with their remaining #13 Lola-Judd. Having been gifted further position in the opening hour of the race (a result of the Oreca Peugeot’s misfortune), the #13 crew of Smith, Boullion, and Belicchi would maintain pace with AMR’s #009 Lola-AMR squad for several hours – even looking likely to challenge the AMR squad for second overall in at certain periods of the race. Rebellion’s remaining chassis would ultimately go on to maintain third position to achieve a podium for the squad.

    Strakka's #42 ARX01c LMP2 challenger - Image Courtesy EnduranceMag.fr / GeoffreyBarre.

    Having set the pace during qualifying, Strakka racing surged to an early lead in the LMP2 class, reaffirming the solidity of Acura’s ARX01c package. Reigning champions Quifel-ASM slotted into second, followed by OAK.

    Opting to maintain a steady pace in favour of single-lap speed, both cars would visibly struggle to maintain pace with Strakka. Despite this, the #42 would later suffer issues in pitlane, placing the Strakka squad five laps down on class leaders Quifel-ASM, who would inherit the lead, followed by OAK Racing’s pair of Pescarolos.

    In what was (with little doubt) one of the drives of the race, Strakka’s trio of Watts, Kane and Leventis, mounted a dramatic comeback charge. Managing to thread their way through slower GT and prototype traffic (often maintaining a pace comparable with P1 entries), Strakka would regain a five lap margin on class leaders Quifel-ASM, taking victory in spectacular fashion.

    Felbermayr 1-2.

    Felbermayr's pair of #77/88 entries running in 1-2 tandem - Image Courtesy EnduranceMag.fr / GeoffreyBarre.

    Having endured arguably one of the series tightest qualifying sessions in recent history (  positions 1-11 separated by 1.7sec) the GT2 battle looked promising from the outset. Jostling for position commenced early, and in a heated manner with heavy movement at both ends of the category.

    Pole setter, Bruni commenced the race for AF-Corse by drawing a considerable margin over nearest rivals. Felbermayr’s #77 of Lietz moved from second to seventh from the start in mere seconds. The #96 AF-Corse entry would eventually suffer race-ending engine difficulties during the fifth hour. One of the many Ferrari casualties throughout the day.

    Although slightly down the order, the #77 would continue to set the pace in GT2, snaring the lead prior to the downfall of the #96, a position the duo of Lietz/Lieb would maintain for the remainder of the event. The #88 sister car of Ragginger/Long/Ried would finish in second place, after avoiding drama to gradually work its way through the field and ensure a Felbermayr 1-2 finish.

    BMW M3_8H Le Castellet

    BMW M3 E92 of Jörg Müller/Dirk Werner - Image Courtesy EnduranceMag/GeoffreyBarre.

     

    One of the highlights of the GT2 class was the #78 M3 E92 Schnitzer/BMW Motorsports entry. The Charley Lamm led squad opted for a fuel-efficient strategy,deciding against outright pace in the hope of offsetting their rivals pitstops during the final hours.

    Drivers Werner/Müller managed to bring the car to third place in the GT2 field during the first half the race before suffering a radiator leak, forcing the team into damage control mode, and losing several laps to the class leader. Werner/Müller would go on to finish sixth in class.

    Classified as part of the LMP2 category (thus appearing at the deep end), the Formula Le Mans class spent much of the race in the shadow of faster P1/P2 counterparts. A great mistake on the ACO’s part, given that the class provided exciting racing throughout the course of the day.

    The Hope Pole Vision, DAMS, and AppleWood Seven teams battled furiously throughout the eight hour event, with victory eventually going to to the Gulf-liveried AppleWood seven entry.

    While the inaugural running of the event didn’t quite deliver the LMP1 mega battle fans may have been hoping for, the LMP2, GT2, and FLM classes provided some great racing for viewers (although the majority of the race wasn’t ‘viewed’ persay – courtesy of our good friends at EuroSport). If Paul Ricard is but a taste of what is yet to come in 2010, LMS is due for what looks to be one of the most action packed seasons in recent years.

    South African LMP2 breaks cover.

    Bailey Edwards LMP2

    Bailey Edwards 2011 spec LMP2 - Image courtesy of Bailey Edwards.

    South African design firm, Bailey Edwards Cars has recently revealed plans to design and build an LMP2 spec chassis with the goal of participating at Le Mans.

    Having been involved with the construction of replica versions of historic sportscars such as the GT40, Porsche 917, and Ferrari P4, the Boksburg based firm is no stranger to the manufacturing of purpose built, performance chassis.

    If successful, the ambitious plans would mark Bailey Edwards position as the first South African chassis constructor to field a car in the French endurance classic.

    Company co-Founder, Peter Bailey, claims the project has already been well underway for over eighteen months, and is currently in the later stages of design, with certain components of the tub prepared for FIA safety testing. Recently released images of the chassis reveal what looks to be a somewhat Lola-Esque, raised nose design, with similarly designed sidewalls.

    Bailey also stated that the overall goal of the programme was to produce an outcome which is ‘truly South-African in every sense of the word’. The design, manufacturing, testing, and development of the car will all be completed using South African technicians, drivers, and as many local components as possible.

    All wind tunnel testing will be completed at the the University of Witwatersrand. Bailey Edwards aim to have the chassis prepared for competition by 2011.