LMS: Full-time Return for Pescarolo Team.

 

Pescarolo Sport's Pescarolo 01-Evo during the 2009 1000KM of Okayama.

Pescarolo Sport's Pescarolo 01-Evo during the 2009 1000KM of Okayama. - Image Courtesy John Dagys / SpeedTV.com

Following the purchase of the defunct PescaroloSport operation and its assets by Nicolet and Rivière late last year, and it’s subsequent return to the hands of Henri Pescarolo (covered here), the newly named Pescarolo Team effort is beginning to gain momentum.

Having wasted little time regaining control, Pescarolo immediately began sourcing partners for the team’s 2011 programme and, following many positive releases in regards to sponsorship, details of Pescarolo Team’s LMS effort for the coming season are beginning to emerge. The most recent of which, are details of the squad’s new (and, at the same time old) driver lineup.

As many had already speculated, former Porsche and Corvette factory driver Emmanuel Collard returns to the squad. Having experienced his last prototype outing at the reigns of the class-winning Team Essex RS Spyder during the 2009 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hour, the announcement marks a return to the LMP ranks for the Frenchman after a season of part-time driving with the US-based Pratt & Miller outfit.

In the spirit of maintaining an all French outfit, Pescarolo stalwart and endurance ace, Christophe Tinseau has been named as the team’s second driver, rejoining the Pescarolo ranks after its twelve month absence. Details of a third driver for the season’s extended endurance events are not yet known.

Certain technical details regarding the team’s package are already known. With Henri Pescarolo having already announced a desire to continue operating a grandfathered version of the outfit’s now well known Pescarolo-01 chassis. PescaroloTeam is also believed to have been provided special dispensation by the ACO to utilise Judd’s 5.5L V10 powerplant throughout the 2011 season.

PescaroloTeam have signaled their desire to compete in both the 2011 Le Mans Series, and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Although opting against participating in the ACO’s new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup series in favour of a gradual and stable rebirth, Pescarolo has stated his intent to take part in future iterations of the ILMC.

Wirth Confirms LMP1 For 2012; HPD Contract Renewed.

 

Highcroft Racing's Wirth Research-designed ARX01c during the 2010 Petit Le Mans.

Highcroft Racing's Wirth Research-designed ARX01c during the 2010 Petit Le Mans.

Having rounded out successful seasons on both sides of Atlantic with it’s HPD-branded ARX-01c chassis, Wirth Research has revealed the company’s future plans and details of the renewed partnership many endurance fans had been hoping for.

In a recent announcement Wirth Research founder, Nick Wirth revealed the firm’s desire to further build on it’s endurance successes, unveiling plans to update the highly popular ARX-o1 LMP2 design to the now ‘d’ spec phase (i.e. ARX-01d) of it’s development life.

The announcement arrives shortly after British squad, Strakka Racing confirmed their intentions for continued use of the chassis (coupled with HPD’s new 2.8L Twin-Turbo V6 powerplant) throughout the 2011 season within the LMP2 category.

Wirth also provided details of a renewed multi-year partnership with HPD, and immediately announced the firm’s intention to enter the LMP1 category under the HPD banner with a coupe design as of 2012. Further details regarding the package and programme are not yet known.

Additionally, Wirth Research will also provide a further iteration of the ARX01 chassis bearing the designation ARX-01e, updating the chassis to 2011 LMP1 specifications. The chassis is rumoured to be destined for the garage of an as yet unconfirmed US team.

Reigning ALMS LMP champions and long-time HPD stalwarts, Highcroft Racing have, as yet not confirmed the details of their 2011 programme.

ALMS: Multi-Year Media Broadcast Plans Revealed.

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NOTICE FROM THE EDITOR (24/02/11) :

Following the release of several press statements regarding a planned media package, the ALMS has since further clarified the details (and assumed issues) of its proposed media broadcast plans for 2011 onward. The article posted below was written with information made available by series organisers at the time of release.

Despite initial fears that fans without an ESPN affiliated ISP, or those located outside the US would not receive coverage, the ALMS has since responded to issues highlighted in the report below (i.e. ISP/regional access restrictions), and provided an assurance that both live (i.e. broadcast live, not ‘live-produced’), and on-demand content will be made available to fans via both ESPN3 and ALMS.com (the latter of which regardless of ISP/global location).

Although having initially produced a report critical of the original announcement, it should be clarified that SportscarGeek is very much in support of the American Le Mans Series’ plans to a) retain content rights, b) adopt and utilise IPTV services, and c) reduce dependence on a now archaic means of content distribution.

In saying this, it should also be stated that SportscarGeek strongly opposes media agreements with monopolistic motives. Motives which threaten the accessibility of content through forced adoption of ‘premium’ services, under models which restrict access on the basis of both internet provider and region.

Thankfully (providing current releases can be assumed credible) the information available regarding the series’ media package now presents a clearer image of what fans may expect come race day at Sebring. Please relinquish your pitchforks and torches at the door.

The Editor.


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Following a period of what has arguably been below-par TV coverage, the American Le Mans Series yesterday revealed the details of its much awaited broadcasting package for the 2011 season and beyond.

The new deal, utilising both online and conventional TV broadcasting services, sees ESPN and ABC take on shared broadcasting duties of the series.

With ESPN securing the exclusive live broadcasting rights (within the US) to all ALMS events, all live coverage of the series will be provided through the company’s ESPN3 online media service, also available through Microsoft’s Xbox Live gaming/media service.

The broadcasters’ ESPN3 ‘remote’ service (web streaming) is not accessible to fans outside of North America via the ESPN3.com website, nor via the Xbox Live service. Additionally, US fans wishing to access the ESPN3 service must subscribe to an ESPN-affiliate ISP. ESPN will also provide delayed coverage of selected events via the ESPN2 television service.

ABC’s coverage of the series extends to the provision of delayed ‘docudrama’ broadcasts (reduced to a maximum running time of two hours, edited to depict race defining events/features).

Arriving at a time when North American sportscar racing faces its most brutal struggle in recent history, the announcement has been received with resounding negativity by many fans.

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