GTx: GT Racing’s Imminent Unification

After multiple years of global GT racing being governed by two independent sets of regulations, the FIA and ACO have declared plans to unify the sport under a single technical-regulatory banner, potentially from 2015 onwards.

As a collaborative effort between the FIA and ACO, the new category will seek to amalgamate the ACO’s GTE class with the FIA’s GT3 class, under a single set of technical regulations, with the aim of improving accessibility between series and events previously divided by regulatory circumstance.

If successful, the unified category will form the basis for a new, global GT racing standard, with potentially more support than any other before it.

Despite wavering health under global economic pressures, GTE remains the predominant domain for factory GT competition. | Image: Aston Martin Racing.

With economic factors cited as a primary motivation behind the decision, the technical working group formed to facilitate the change now faces imminent challenges in creating a scenario of regulatory circumstance which best serves the new category, and its diverse stakeholder interests.

While GTE and GT3 share more in common than at any other time during their period of coexistence, stakeholders from each camp reasoned their involvement under one rule set over another – by however minimal a margin – due to considered benefit or advantage, on the basis of certain ideology, practices, economic realities, or outcomes enabled by one class over its alternative.

It can be reasonably stated that, via the same rationale, should a unified class not sufficiently satisfy the requirements of these stakeholders (to a similar or greater standard than its preceding counterparts), there’s lesser likelihood of said stakeholders seeking involvement in the new enterprise – in similar or greater capacity – regardless of lacking immediate alternatives.

For this reason, there’s a justifiable element of uncertainty in whether unification of the two categories can, or should be enacted.

Image: ADAC GT Masters.

GT3’s regulatory approach, in balancing relative economic conservatism and technical extravagance, has proven popular amongst privateers and manufacturers, at national and regional levels of competition. | Image: ADAC GT Masters.

The primary differences between GTE (nee GT2) and GT3 had originally concerned the nature of efforts attracted by each category; the most fundamental difference being an independence in regulatory and administrative perspective, concerning the economic, technological and sporting factors which determine the nature, technical extravagance, and costs (associated with set-term employment) of equipment required for competition.

Changes in the global automotive environment brought about by both regional growth and worsening economic conditions have influenced a blurring of lines between the two classes (with regard to the above factors) which has, at times, seen their respective rule sets vying against one another for competitors of all traditional forms, and sustained vitality.

While the current scenario sees both classes exist – to a certain extent – in a state of similarity, with regard to the nature of competitors involved, and regulatory approach (as it concerns balancing competition) employed, the solution to issues facing either class isn’t necessarily that which works for its alternative.

The ALMS GTE field continues to yield the highest volume of consistent factory participation of any GT class, globally. | Image: Extreme Speed Motorsports.

Despite this blurring of lines having occurred, distinct (albeit, at times disregarded) elements to each category remain. GT2’s existence as an avenue of greater certainty (in technical-regulatory terms) formed the explicitly-defined foundations for the environment of the current GTE class, regardless of however far detached from original form it may be.

GT3 was, is, and cemented its existence in being, in broad terms, an answer to a similar, albeit less detailed or demanding question. As an alternative route of competition, GT3 offered what GT2 didn’t (or wouldn’t) – the class was, and still is (to an extent) serving specific interests.

Whether unifying GTE and GT3 is best serving in the interests of sportscar racing as a whole, or serving in the interests of select parties is, as with certain other imminent mergers, entirely dependent on implementation.

The more important question is perhaps whether a single category – for which GTE and GT3 serve as a foundational basis – can adequately address needs served by the existing two class system. Should the unified class not sufficiently satisfy the needs of its stakeholders; alternatives will emerge to fulfill those needs – at least, if precedent’s any indicator.

ILMC, ALMS: Petit Le Mans entry list, event information.

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LMP1

  • 1 Audi Sport Team Joest – Audi R18 TDi – Bernhard/Fässler/Dumas – Michelin.
  • 2 Audi Sport Team Joest – Audi R18 TDi – McNish/Kristensen/Capello – Michelin.
  • 6 MuscleMilk AMR –  AMR/Lola Coupe B08 62 – Luhr/Graf/Pickett – Michelin.
  • 7 Peugeot Sport Total – Peugeot 908 – Davidson/Bourdais/Pagenaud – Michelin.
  • 8 Peugeot Sport Total – Peugeot 908 – Montagny/Sarrazin/Wurz – Michelin.
  • 10 Oreca Matmut – Peugeot 908 HDI-FAP – Lapierre/Minassian/Gené – Michelin.
  • 12 Rebellion Racing –  Lola B10/60 Coupé-Toyota – Prost/Jani/Belicchi – Michelin.
  • 15 OAK Racing – OAK Pescarolo-Judd – Lahaye/Moreau/Ragues – Dunlop.
  • 16 Dyson Racing –  Lola B09/86-Mazda – Dyson/Smith/Cochran – Dunlop.
  • 20 Oryx Dyson Racing –  Lola B09/86-Mazda – Al Masaood/Kane/Leitzinger – Dunlop.
  • 24 OAK Racing – OAK Pescarolo-Judd – Yvon/Pla/Premat – Dunlop.
  • 007 Aston Martin Racing –  AMR/Lola Coupe B09 60 – Fernandez/Mücke/Primat – Michelin.
  • 012 AutoCon Racing –  Lola B06/10-AER – Burgess/McMurry/Willman – Dunlop.

LMP2

  • 22 United AutoSports – OAK Pescarolo-Judd – Brown/Johansson/Patterson – Dunlop.
  • 26 SignaTech Nissan – Oreca03-Nissan – Mailleux/Ordoňez/Vernay – Michelin.
  • 33 Level5 Motorsports – HPD ARX-01G – Tucker/Bouchut/Barbosa – Michelin.
  • 35 OAK Racing – OAK Pescarolo-Judd – Da Rocha/Lafargue/Nicolet – Dunlop.
  • 35 Level5 Motorsports – HPD ARX-01G – Tucker/Diaz/Franchitti – Michelin.

GT

  • 3 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 – Beretta/Milner/Garcia – Michelin.
  • 4 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 – Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook – Michelin.
  • 17 Falken Tire – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Henzler/Sellers/Ragginger – Falken.
  • 40 Robertson Racing – Doran Ford GT – Robertson/Snow/Murry – Michelin.
  • 48 Paul Miller Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Miller/Maassen/Collard – Yokohama.
  • 51 AF Corse – Ferrari F58 Italia – Fisichella/Bruni/Kaffer – Michelin.
  • 55 BMW Motorsport – BMW E92 M3 – Auberlen/Werner/Farfus – Dunlop.
  • 56 BMW Motorsport – BMW E92 M3 – Müller/Hand/Priaulx – Dunlop.
  • 58 Luxury Racing – Ferrari 458 Italia – Firman/Jakubowski/Halliday – Michelin.
  • 59  Luxury Racing – Ferrari 458 Italia – Ortelli/Makowiecki/Beltoise – Michelin.
  • 64 JetAlliance Lotus – Lotus Evora – Slingerland/Rich/Kasper – Michelin.
  • 65 JetAlliance Lotus – Lotus Evora – Rossiter/Mowlem/Heinemier.
  • 98 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR – Jones/Moran/Lewis – Dunlop.
  • 99 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR – Junqueira/Wilden/James – Dunlop.
  • 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari 458 Italia – Sharp/van Overbeek/Farnbacher – Michelin.
  • 02 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari 458 Italia – Brown/Cosmo/Bell – Michelin.
  • 044 Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Law/Neiman/Holzer – Michelin.
  • 045 Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Bergmeister/Long/Lieb – Michelin.
  • 062 Risi Competizione – Ferrari 458 Italia – Melo/Vilander/Matos – Michelin.

GTE-AM

  • 50 Larbre Corvette – Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1 – Bornhauser/Canal/Gardel – Michelin.
  • 57 Krohn Racing – Ferrar F430 – Krohn/Jönsson/Rugolo – Michelin.
  • 60 Gulf AMR Middle East – Aston Martin Vantage – Giroix/Goethe/Wainwright – Dunlop.
  • 61 AF Corse – Ferrari F430 – Kauffman/Aguas/Bell – Michelin.
  • 62 CRS Racing – Ferrari F430 Ehret/Mullen/Wills – Michelin.
  • 63 Proton Competition – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Lietz/Ried/Bullitt – Michelin.

LMPC

  • 18 PerformanceTech Motorsports – Oreca FLM-09 – Nicolosi/Boon/Lueders.
  • 36 Genoa Racing – Oreca FLM-09 – Grogor/Mitchell/Kronfli.
  • 37 Intersport Racing – Oreca FLM-09 – Field/Field.
  • 52 Mathiasen Motorsports – Oreca FLM-09 – Dobson/Richard/Lewis.
  • 89 Intersport Racing – Oreca FLM-09 – Marcelli/Drissi/Ducote/Ducote.
  • 05 Core AutoSport – Oreca FLM-09 – Bennett/Montecalvo/Dalziel.
  • 06 Core AutoSport – Oreca FLM-09 – Jeanette/Gonzalez/Junco.
  • 063 Genoa Racing – Oreca FLM-09 – Lux/Julian/Zugel.

GTC

  • 11 JDX Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Ham/Thompson/Blackett
  • 23 Alex Job Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Rast/Keen/Wong.
  • 34 Green Hornet Black Swan Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – LeSaffre/TBA/TBA
  • 54 Black Swan Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Pappas/Bleekemolen/Bleekemolen.
  • 66 TRG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Ende/Ludwig/Pumpelly.
  • 68 TRG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Keating/Norman/von Moltke.
  • 77 Magnus Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Potter/Craig Stanton.

LMP1: 13   LMP2: 5   GT: 19   GTE-AM: 6   LMPC: 8   GTC: 7   Total: 58

Coverage information:

– Video

– Live audio (RadioLemans – commentary also available via official live stream).

– Live timing.

– Spotter’s guide (Andyblackmoredesign).

– Event schedule.

ALMS: Road America highlights, results.

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Round six of the American Le Mans series at Road America concluded late yesterday afternoon in superb style. With closely contested finishes in all categories rounding out another brutally competitive showing for the championship and its competitors.

MuscleMilk AMR squad of Graf/Luhr again reigned supreme in LMP1. Despite late-race heroics from Dyson’s Guy Smith, Graf would secure the MuscleMilk team’s third victory of the season, narrowly besting Dyson’s #16 crew to round out the series closest ever finish, with a margin of 0.112sec.

Dyson’s crew of Smith/Dyson maintain their championship lead over MuscleMilk AMR by an 18 point margin.

Risi Competizione triumphed in GT. Marking the squad’s maiden victory for the 2011 season. BMW RLL would secure the remaining podium positions to extend the outfit’s (already sizeable) margin in the drivers, teams, and manufacturers championships.

‘Move of the race’ in the GT category is received by Wolf Henzler, for the overtaking maneuver seen below.

Road America 2011 final laps – Henzler passes RLL BMW:

Klaus Graf is also deserving of mention for the late race heroism displayed below.

Road America 2011 final lap – Klaus Graf (Lola-AMR) vs Guy Smith (Lola-Mazda):

Results:

– Finalised race results.

– Overall championship standings.

ALMS: Road America entry list, event information.

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LMP1

  • 6 Muscle Milk AMR – AMR/Lola Coupe B08/62 (Michelin) – Pickett/Graf.
  • 12 Autocon – Lola B06/10 – Burgess/McMurry.
  • 16 Dyson Racing Team Inc. – Lola B09/86 (Dunlop) – Dyson/Smith.
  • 20 Oryx Racing – Lola B09/86 (Dunlop) – Al Masaood/Kane.

LMP2

  • 055 Level 5 Motorsports Lola-HPD (Michelin) – Tucker/Bouchut/Diaz

GT

  •  3 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 (Michelin) – Beretta/Milner
  • 4 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 (Michelin) – Gavin/Magnussen.
  • 17 Team Falken Tire – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Falken) – Henzler/Sellers.
  • 40 Robertson Racing – Doran Ford GT (Michelin) – (D) Robertson/(A) Robertson.
  • 44 Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Michelin) – Holzer/Neiman.
  • 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Michelin) – Bergmeister/Long.
  • 48 Paul Miller Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Michelin) – Miller/Maassen.
  • 55 BMW Team RLL – BMW M3 E92 (Dunlop) – Auberlen/Werner.
  • 56 BMW Team RLL – BMW M3 E92 (Dunlop) – Müller/Hand.
  • 62 Risi Competizione – Ferrari F458 Italia (Michelin) – Melo/Vilander.
  • 98 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR (Michelin) – PJ Jones/TBA.
  • 99 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR (Michelin) – Junqueira/Da Matta.
  • 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari F458 Italia (Michelin) – Sharp/Van Overbeek.
  • 02 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari F458 Italia (Michelin) – Brown/Cosmo.
  • 04 Robertson Racing – Doran Ford GT (Michelin) – Murry/Lazzaro.

LMPC

  •  18 Performance Tech Motorsports – Oreca FLM-09 – Nicolosi/Boon.
  • 37 Intersport Racing – Oreca FLM-09 – (C) Field/Vera.
  • 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports – Oreca FLM-09 Junco/Leitzinger.
  • 63 Genoa – Oreca FLM-09 – Lux/Zugel.
  • 89 Intersport Racing – Oreca FLM-09 – Marcelli/Ducote.
  • 05 Core AutoSport – Oreca FLM-09 – Bennett/Montecalvo.
  • 06 Core AutoSport – Oreca FLM-09 – Jeanette/Gonzalez.

GTC

  • 11 JDX Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Ham/Cumming.
  • 23 Alex Job Racing – Sweedler/Wong.
  • 30 NGT Motorsport – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Edwards/Kauffman/Cisneros.
  • 32 GMG Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Sofronas/Welch.
  • 34 Black Swan Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – LeSaffre/van Lagen.
  • 54 Black Swan Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Pappas/Faulkner.
  • 66 TRG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Ende/Pumpelly.
  • 68 TRG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – von Moltke/Bunting.
  • 97 Porsche Napleton Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Heinemeier/Farnbacher

LMP1: 4 LMP2: 1 GT: 15 LMPC: 7 GTC: 9 Total: 36

Coverage information:

– Live video (Americanlemans.com – stream not available to users within the US).

– Live audio (RadioLemans – commentary also available via official live stream).

– Live timing.

– Spotter’s guide (Andyblackmoredesign).

– Event schedule.

ALMS: Mosport entry list, event information.

ALMS Logo

Mosport circuit map.

LMP1

  • 6 Muscle Milk AMR – AMR/Lola Coupe B08/62 (Michelin) – Pickett/Graf.
  • 12 Autocon – Lola B06/10 – Burgess/McMurry.
  • 16 Dyson Racing Team Inc. – Lola B09/86 (Dunlop) – Dyson/Smith.
  • 20 Oryx Racing –  Lola B09/86 (Dunlop) – Al Masaood/Kane.

GT

  • 3 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 (Michelin) – Beretta/Milner.
  • 4 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 (Michelin) – Gavin/Magnussen.
  • 17 Team Falken Tire – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Falken) – Henzler/Sellers.
  • 40 Robertson Racing – Doran Ford GT (Michelin) – (D) Robertson/(A) Robertson.
  • 44 Flying Lizard Motorsports –  Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Michelin) – Holzer/Neiman.
  • 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports –  Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Michelin) –  Bergmeister/Long.
  • 48 Paul Miller Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Michelin) – Miller/Maassen.
  • 50 Panoz Racing – Panoz Abruzzi (Michelin) – James/Sandström.
  • 55 BMW Team RLL – BMW M3 E92 (Dunlop) – Auberlen/Werner.
  • 56 BMW Team RLL – BMW M3 E92 (Dunlop) – Müller/Hand.
  • 62 Risi Competizione – Ferrari F458 Italia (Michelin) – Melo/Vilander.
  • 98 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR (Michelin) – PJ Jones/TBA.
  • 99 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR (Michelin) – Junqueira/Da Matta.
  • 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari F458 Italia (Michelin) – Sharp/Van Overbeek.
  • 02 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari F458 Italia (Michelin) – Brown/Cosmo.
  • 04 Robertson Racing – Doran Ford GT (Michelin) – Murry/Lazzaro.

LMPC

  • 18 Performance Tech Motorsports – Oreca FLM-09 – Nicolosi/Boon.
  • 37 Intersport Racing – Oreca FLM-09 – (C) Field/Vera.
  • 63 Genoa – Oreca FLM-09 – Lux/Zugel.
  • 89 Intersport Racing – Oreca FLM-09 – Marcelli/Ducote.
  • 05 Core AutoSport – Oreca FLM-09 – Bennett/Montecalvo.
  • 06 Core AutoSport – Oreca FLM-09 – Jeanette/Gonzalez.

GTC

  • 11 JDX Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Ham/Cumming.
  • 23 Alex Job Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Sweedler/Wong.
  • 54 Black Swan Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Pappas/Faulkner.
  • 66 TRG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Ende/Pumpelly.
  • 68 TRG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – von Moltke/Bunting.

LMP1: 4   LMP2: 0   GT: 16   LMPC: 6   GTC: 5   Total: 31

Coverage information:

 – Live video (Americanlemans.com – stream not available to users within the US).

 – Live audio (RadioLemans – commentary also available via official live stream). 

 – Live timing. 

 – Spotter’s guide (Andyblackmoredesign).

 – Event schedule.

ALMS: Lotus announces factory GTE, LMP2 programmes.

The Lotus JetAlliance-entered Evora GTE at the 2011 Le Mans 24 hour. - Image courtesy Michael Schaefer / Race-Press.com

The Lotus JetAlliance-entered Evora GTE at the 2011 Le Mans 24 hour. - Image courtesy Michael Schaefer / Race-Press.com

Group Lotus Motorsport today announced intentions to further extend its motorsport activities, with the formation of a new motorsport venture, Lotus Sport USA, and the addition of two new programmes to the manufacturer’s competitive portfolio.

The marque’s new US-based venture will be led by team principals, Ian Dawson (of former ECO/Taurus Racing fame), and John Pritzlaff.

Having returned to ACO-regs GT competition this year with Austrian squad, JetAlliance, Lotus Group has announced further plans to enter the American Le Mans Series with the Lotus GTE chassis via the newly formed US operation, as of 2012.

The marque also outlined plans to enter, and develop its already announced LMP2 chassis (covered here) in the North American series. A specific date/timeline for the chassis’ debut has not yet been revealed; further technical details regarding the package have not yet been provided.

Participation in the recently announced FIA World Endurance Series is reportedly being considered.

The team will commence testing in late 2011.

ALMS: Lime Rock entry list, event information.

ALMS Logo

 

 

 

Lime Rock Park circuit map

Image courtesy Americanlemans.com

 

LMP1

  • 6 Muscle Milk AMR – AMR/Lola Coupe B08/62 (Michelin) – Pickett/Graf.
  • 16 Dyson Racing Team Inc. – Lola B09/86 (Dunlop) – Dyson/Smith.
  • 20 Oryx Racing –  Lola B09/86 (Dunlop) – Al Masaood/Kane.

GT

  • 3 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 (Michelin) – Beretta/Milner.
  • 4 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 (Michelin) – Gavin/Magnussen.
  • 17 Team Falken Tire – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Falken) – Henzler/Sellers.
  • 40 Robertson Racing – Doran Ford GT (Michelin) – (D) Robertson/(A) Robertson.
  • 44 Flying Lizard Motorsports –  Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Michelin) – Holzer/Neiman.
  • 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports –  Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Michelin) –  Bergmeister/Long.
  • 48 Paul Miller Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Michelin) – Miller/Maassen.
  • 55 BMW Team RLL – BMW M3 E92 (Dunlop) – Auberlen/Werner.
  • 56 BMW Team RLL – BMW M3 E92 (Dunlop) – Müller/Hand.
  • 62 Risi Competizione – Ferrari F458 Italia (Michelin) – Melo/Vilander.
  • 98 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR (Michelin) – PJ Jones/TBA.
  • 99 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR (Michelin) – Junqueira/Da Matta.
  • 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari F458 Italia (Michelin) – Sharp/Van Overbeek.
  • 02 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari F458 Italia (Michelin) – Brown/Cosmo.
  • 04 Robertson Racing – Doran Ford GT (Michelin) – Murry/Lazzaro.

LMPC

  • 18 Performance Tech Motorsports – Oreca FLM-09 – Nicolosi/Boon.
  • 37 Intersport Racing – Oreca FLM-09 – (C) Field/ (J) Field.
  • 63 Genoa – Oreca FLM-09 – Lux/Julian.
  • 89 Intersport Racing – Oreca FLM-09 – Marcelli/Drissi.
  • 05 Core AutoSport – Oreca FLM-09 – Bennett/Montecalvo.
  • 06 Core AutoSport – Oreca FLM-09 – Jeanette/Gonzalez.

GTC

  • 11 JDX Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Ham/Thompson.
  • 23 Alex Job Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Sweedler/Leitzinger.
  • 32 GMG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Sofronas/Welch.
  • 34 Green Hornet – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Le Saffre/TBD.
  • 54 Black Swan Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Pappas/Faulkner.
  • 66 TRG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Ende/Pumpelly.
  • 68 TRG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – von Moltke/TBD.

LMP1: 3   LMP2: 0   GT: 15   LMPC: 6   GTC: 7   Total: 31

Coverage information:

 – Live video (Americanlemans.com – stream not available to users within the US).

 – Live audio (RadioLemans – commentary also available via official live stream). 

 – Live timing. 

Spotter’s guide (Andyblackmoredesign).

 – Event schedule.

LM24: Porsche announces Le Mans return for 2014.

The 917K sports 5000 prototype of KG Salzburg; Porsche's first outright Le Mans winner. - Image courtesy Porsche Motorsport.

The 917K sports 5000 prototype of KG Salzburg; Porsche's first outright Le Mans winner. - Image courtesy Porsche Motorsport.

After years of intense speculation, Porsche AG today confirmed its long-rumoured intentions for a return to the top-tier of sports prototype racing via the release of a promotional video (see below), signaling its plans to enter the currently factory-diesel dominated LMP1 ranks as of 2014.

Porsche Motorsport revealed preliminary details of the marque’s historic return by announcing the undertaking of its LMP1 development programme, with a planned factory assault for outright honours at the the 2014 edition of the Le Mans 24 hour event.

Technical information has not yet been provided. Further details regarding the nature of the chassis, engine, or programme are yet to be confirmed.

Porsche's most recent outright Le Mans winner, the 911 GT1. - Image courtesy Porsche Motorsport.

Porsche's most recent outright Le Mans winner, the 911 GT1. - Image courtesy Porsche Motorsport.

“Porsche’s successes in Le Mans are unrivalled. We want to follow up on this with the 17th outright victory.” – Matthias Müller, President of the Executive Board at Porsche AG.

Given Porsche’s already clear desire for the development, demonstration, and motorsport application of energy recovery technologies (as evidenced by the GT3R Hybrid), the manufacturer’s new LMP is expected to be bear a petrol-hybrid powertrain. This is yet to be confirmed by official sources, and likely dependent on allowances afforded by (not-yet published) ACO technical regulations.

Porsche last raced for outright honours in 1998, when the marque’s factory lineup of McNish, Ortelli and Aiello secured the German manufacturer’s sixteenth and most recent outright victory at Le Mans.

What effect (if any) the announcement may have on the motorsport future of VAG sister company, Audi is yet to be confirmed.

Edit:

AudiSport official response:

“This is the decision of Porsche company, a decision in which Audi is not involved. Audi relishes the prospect of every strong new opponent at Le Mans and in the new FIA World Endurance Championship. Porsche’s entry into the LMP1 class is evidence of the high level of attraction of sport prototypes.”

Video:

Comments: 

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

“We’re looking forward to the task of developing new technologies and to continue on with the success of the Porsche RS Spyder. After the conclusion of our works-supported sports prototype programme in the American Le Mans Series we have kept up with the latest technological advances.

Now we will begin with detailed research in order to evaluate the various concept alternatives for our new car. These obviously depend on how the regulations for the year 2014 look in detail. In principle, these regulations are interesting for us because the integration of our hybrid technology in the vehicle concept is one possible option.”

ALMS, LM24: Highcroft severs HPD ties, withdraws Le Mans entry.

Highcroft Racing's ARX-01e during the 2011 Sebring 12 Hour. - Image courtesy Highcroft Racing.

Highcroft Racing's ARX-01e during the 2011 Sebring 12 Hour. - Image courtesy Highcroft Racing.

After a rocky start to its 2011 campaign, US team Highcroft Racing today confirmed the news many sportscar racing fans had been fearing.

Following five, highly successful years at the forefront of the North American sportscar racing scene, the squad today concluded the final chapter in its HPD-backed history.

Earlier today the team’s PR officials confirmed details of the Danbury-Connecticut-based outfit’s severing of ties with long-time technical partner, HPD.

News of the team’s Le Mans 2011 entry withdrawal were also confirmed shortly after.

Despite a Goliath-beating, highlight performance at the Sebring 12 Hour event earlier this year, along with intentions for a return to Le Mans with the revised ARX-01e, many had anticipated the possibility of Highcroft returning to the ALMS would be, following the outfit’s well-known pre-season struggles, all but a distant possibility.

Highcroft campaigning Acura's radical ARX-02e design at the 2009 Sebring 12 Hour. - Image courtesy Doug Werner/SpeedTV.com

Highcroft campaigning Wirth's radical ARX-02e design at the 2009 Sebring 12 Hour. - Image courtesy Doug Werner/SpeedTV.com

Selected as a satellite-team during the original Acura LMP program’s infancy, the Duncan Dayton-led outfit excelled. Often competing toe-to-toe with rival factory-backed teams of Penske, and Audi, in addition to its Acura-backed sister teams, during what many considered to be the glory years of modern prototype racing in North America.

As long-time HPD-stalwarts, Highcroft Racing remained the only US-based team campaigning an HPD chassis following the demise of De Ferran Motorsports at the close of the 2009 ALMS season.

During this period the team achieved a total of eleven race wins, nine pole positions, and 28 podium finishes, along with two consecutive championships (2009/2010). The squad’s HPD-backed efforts ultimately culminating through a highly-deserved second-placed finish at this year’s Sebring 12 Hour.

Although Highcroft’s future remains unclear, team members, and fans remain hopeful for a possible return.

The team is currently evaluating opportunities for potential future programs, and actively seeking new manufacturer partnerships.

Team owner, Duncan Dayton released the following statement:

“I am deeply disappointed for our team at Highcroft Racing who were really looking forward to the race and for David and Marino who are left without a ride at Le Mans at a very late stage. Our drivers have been truly incredible in recent years and I know they are as disappointed as we are that the ARX-01e will not be at Le Mans.”

“For our future, we need to take the next step in the development of our team. The team is now in a position to start with a clean slate and work towards our next championship assault with new partners.”

ALMS: Long Beach Provisional Entry List.

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Provisional entries for the second round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series at Long Beach are now available and, as the first ALMS round outside of the ILMC, grid numbers have dropped significantly.

As expected, the prototype ranks were most significantly affected. The (albeit anticipated) omission of series regulars Highcroft, Intersport, and AutoCon, leaving the LMP field in an ailing state, with only four (2x LMP1, 2x LMP2) entries between the two categories.

Long time series stalwarts, Robertson Racing will not compete at the event. As first time Le Mans competitors in 2011, the team and its pair of Doran Ford GT chassis, will be required to attend the Le Mans test day on April, 24. Logistical difficulties have prevented the squad from participating at Longbeach.

Provisional entry listings for the event can be seen below.

LMP1

  • 6 Muscle Milk AMR – Lola-AMR Coupe B08-82 – Lucas Luhr/Klaus Graf
  • 16 Dyson Racing Team – Lola B09/86-Mazda –  Chris Dyson/Guy Smith

LMP2

  • 33 Level 5 Motorsports – Lola B11/40-HPD – Scott Tucker/Christophe Bouchut
  • 055 Level 5 Motorsports – Lola B11/80-HPD – Scott Tucker/Luis Diaz

GT

  • 3 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 – Olivier Beretta/Tommy Milner
  • 4 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 – Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen
  • 17 Team Falken Tire – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Bryan Sellers/Wolf Henzler
  • 44 Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Darren Law/Seth Neiman
  • 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Jörg Bergmeister/Patrick Long
  • 48 Paul Miller Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR – Bryce Miller/TBD
  • 55 BMW Team RLL – BMW E92 M3 – Bill Auberlen/Dirk Werner
  • 56 BMW Team RLL – BMW E92 M3 – Dirk Mueller/Joey Hand
  • 62 Risi Competizione – Ferrari F458 Italia – Jaime Melo/Toni Vilander
  • 98 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR – Bruno Junqueira/Cristiano Da Matta
  • 99 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR – PJ Jones/Paul Gentilozzi
  • 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari F458 Italia – Scott Sharp/Johannes van Overbeek
  • 02 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari F458 Italia – Ed Brown/Guy Cosmo
  • 08 West Yokohama Racing – Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 – Nicky Pastorelli/Dominik Schwager

LMPC

  • 18 Performance Tech – Oreca FLM09 – Anthony Nicolosi/Jarrett Boon
  • 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports – Oreca FLM09 – TBD/TBD
  • 63 Genoa Racing – Oreca FLM09 – Eric Lux/Elton Julian
  • 05 CORE AutoSport – Oreca FLM09 – Jon Bennett/Frankie Montecalvo
  • 06 CORE AutoSport – Oreca FLM09 – Gunnar Jeannette/Ricardo Gonzalez

GTC

  • 11 JDX Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Nick Ham/Scott Blackett
  • 23 Alex Job Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Bill Sweedler/Leh Keen
  • 32 GMG Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Bret Curtis/James Safronas
  • 34 Kelly Moss Motorsports – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Peter LeSaffre/Andrew Davis
  • 54 Black Swan Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Tim Pappas/Jeroen Bleekemolen
  • 66 TRG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Duncan Ende/Spencer Pumpelly
  • 68 TRG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Dion von Moltke/TBD
  • 77 Magnus Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – John Potter/Craig Stanton

LMP1= 2 LMP2 = 2 GT = 14 LMPC = 5 GTC = 8 Total = 31