ALMS: Sebring 2011 entry list announced.

Sebring 12 Hour 2011 Poster.

Provisional entry listings for the 59th running of Florida’s legendary Sebring 12 Hour event are now available. Due to the attendance of ILMC competitors, the 2011 rendition of the race will boast a field of 59 competitors.

Several entries on the list revealed are, for reasons divulged by team members, of questionable legitimacy, and are expected to be removed in the lead up to the event.

Provisional entry listings can be seen in full below.

LMP1

  • 1 Audi Sport Team Joest – Audi R15+ TDi – Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller
  • 2 Audi Sport Team Joest – Audi R15+ TDi – Kristensen/McNish/Capello
  • 5 Hope Racing – Oreca 03-Swiss HyTech Hybrid – Zacchia/Lombard/TBA
  • 7 Peugeot Sport Total – Peugeot 908 – Davidson/Gene/Würz
  • 8 Peugeot Sport Total – Peugeot 908 – Sarrazin/Montagny/Lamy
  • 10 Oreca Matmut – Peugeot 908 HDI-FAP – Lapierre/Duval/Panis
  • 12 Rebellion Racing – Lola B10/60-Toyota – Prost/Jani/Bleekemolen
  • 15 OAK Racing – OAK Pescarolo – Lahaye/Ragues/Moreau
  • 24 OAK Racing – OAK Pescarolo – Nicolet/Hein/Yvon
  • 01 Highcroft Racing – HPD ARX-01e – Brabham/Franchitti/TBA
  • 06 Muscle Milk AMR – Lola-AMR B08/62 – Pickett/Graf/Luhr
  • 016 Dyson Racing – Lola B09/86 Mazda-AER – Dyson/Smith/Cochran
  • 037 Intersport Racing – Lola B06/10-AER – Field/Field/TBA
  • 007 Aston Martin Racing – Aston Martin AMR-One – Mücke/Turner/Fernandez

LMP2

  • 26 SignaTech Nissan – Oreca 03-Nissan – Mailleux/TBA
  • 33 Level5 Motorsports – Lola B11/40-HPD – Tucker/Bouchut/Diaz
  • 35 OAK Racing – OAK Pescarolo – Barlesi/Da Rocha/Larfargue
  • 05 LNT – Radical SR9-Ginetta – Prendeville/Mitchell/Hines
  • 095 Level5 Motorsports – Lola B11/40-HPD – Scott Tucker/TBA/TBA

GT

  • 50 Larbre Competition – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 – Bornhauser/Canal/Gardel
  • 51 AF-Corse – Ferrari F458 Italia – Fisichella/Bruni/Kaffer
  • 55 BMW Motorsport – BMW M3 E92 – Auberlen/Farfus/Werner
  • 56 BMW Motorsport – BMW M3 E92 – Priaulx/Müller/Hand
  • 57 Krohn Racing – Ferrari F430 – Krohn/Jonsson/TBA
  • 58 Luxury Racing – Ferrari F458 Italia – Jakubowski/Beltoise/TBA
  • 59 Luxury Racing – Ferrari F458 Italia – Ortelli/Makowiecki/Deletraz
  • 60 Gulf AMR Middle East – Aston Martin Vantage – Giroix/Goethe/Wainwright
  • 61 AF-Corse – Ferrari F430 – Perazzini/Cioci/TBA
  • 62 CRS Racing – Ferrari F430 – Ehret/Lynn/Willis
  • 63 Proton Competition – Porsche 997 GT3-RSR – Lietz/Ried/Roda
  • 03 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 – Beretta/Garcia/Milner
  • 04 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 – Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook
  • 017 FalkenTire Racing – Porsche 997 GT3-RSR – Sellers/Henzler/Ragginger
  • 040 Robertson Racing – Doran Ford GT – Robertson/Robertson/TBA
  • 044 Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche 997 GT3-RSR – Neiman/Law/Holzer
  • 045 Flying Lizard Motorsports – Porsche 997 GT3-RSR – Bergmeister/Long/Lieb
  • 048 Paul Miller Racing – Porsche 997 GT3-RSR – Miller/TBA/TBA
  • 050 Panoz Racing – Panoz Abruzzi – James/Leuenberger/TBA
  • 062 Risi Competizione – Ferrari F485 Italia – Melo/Vilander/TBA
  • 098 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR – PJ Jones/TBA/TBA
  • 099 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKR – Bruno Junqueira/Cristiano Da Matta/Servia
  • 001 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari F458 Italia – Scott Sharp/Johannes Van Overbeek/TBA
  • 002 Extreme Speed Motorsports – Ferrari F458 Italia – Guy Cosmo/Ed Brown/TBA
  • 004 Robertson Racing – Doran Ford GT – David Murry/Anthony Lazarro/TBA
  • 008 West Racing – Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 – Nicky Pastorelli/Dominik Schwager/TBA

LMPC

  • 005 Core AutoSport – Oreca FLM 09 – Bennett/TBA/TBA
  • 006 Core AutoSport – Oreca FLM 09 – Jeanette/Gonzalez/TBA
  • 018 PerformanceTech Motorsports – Oreca FLM 09 – Nicolosi/TBA/TBA
  • 036 Genoa Racing – Oreca FLM 09 – TBA/TBA/TBA
  • 038 Woodard Racing – Oreca FLM 09 – Moro/TBA/TBA
  • 052 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports – Oreca FLM 09 – TBA/TBA/TBA
  • 063 Genoa Racing – Oreca FLM 09 – Lux/Julian/Zugel
  • 089 Intersport Racing – Oreca FLM 09 – Marcelli/Drissi/TBA

GTC

  • 011 JDX Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Ham/Thompson/Blackett
  • 023 Alex Job Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Sweedler/Keen/Wong
  • 030 NGT Motorsports – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Cisneros/Eduardo/TBA
  • 032 GMG Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Curtis/Sofronas/Seyffarth
  • 033 Kelly Moss Motorsports – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – LeSaffre/TBA/TBA
  • 054 Black Swan Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Pappas/Bleekemolen/Bleekemolen
  • 066 TRG – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Ende/Pumpelly/TBA
  • 077 Magnus Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Potter/Stanto/TBA

LMP1: 10   LMP2: 5   GT: 24   LMPC: 8   GTC: 8   Total: 58

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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.


________________________

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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LM24: Audi Unveils R18 TDi LMP1 Challenger.

Audi's R18 TDi.

Audi's new R18 TDi LMP1 Coupe. - Images Courtesy AudiUSA.

Following months of rumours and intense speculation within the sportscar racing community, AudiSport today revealed its next generation LMP1 chassis, the R18 TDi.

After achieving nine victories utilising the advantages afforded by open-top roadsters, Audi’s launch of the R18 TDi marks the manufacturer’s second foray into the use of closed-cockpit prototypes, following the use (and subsequent shelving) of the R8C Coupe in 1999.

Manufactured by Dallara, Audi’s latest LMP chassis is quite clearly a product of evolution, utilising a similarly radical (albeit simplified), raised-nose flow design pioneered by its predecessor.

With 2011 LMP1 regulations stipulating the use of both smaller chassis and engines, the R18 arrives sporting a variety of improvements from shortened wheelbase to new engine package. As had been suggested by numerous sources, Audi has confirmed the use of a 3.7L V6 TDi powerplant and, although the nature of the cooling system would suggest the use of a twin-turbo system, this has not been officially confirmed.

Although finer design details were at first overshadowed by the mere revelation of an Audi coupe, a closer observation reveals the effort invested thus far, with updates having taken place on virtually all of the chassis’ viewable surface.

Sidewall height has been reduced, with rear wheel-archs now extended forward, protruding over what was previously occupied air-intake real estate. Due to the demand for increased mechanical grip, front tyre width has increased and, as a result wheel archs are now heightened and much more pronounced.

The expected addition of the now mandatory ‘sharkfin’ concept can be seen adorning the cars’ rear bodywork. Some form of additional practicality appears to have been achieved, with the fin attached to a now roof-mounted air intake system. The purpose of this modification is not yet known.

Adding to the growing list of overhauled components, halogen headlights have been removed in favour of LED lighting. Despite this, the LED-strip lighting that once adorned the surrounding area of any Audi’s headlights (a feature which became synonymous with the marque’s racing machinery) is no longer evident.

Despite the likely presence of an R18 in Florida during March, Audi has ruled out any possibility of a Sebring debut for its latest LMP. Electing to participate regardless, the team will utilise a modified version of its current R15+ chassis for the 12 hour event.

The R18 will instead make its first public track appearance at the reinstated Le Mans test day on April 24, its maiden competitive debut following shortly after at the 6H Spa on May 8, 2011.

ILMC: Revised 2011 Calendar Unveiled.

Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Logo.

After weeks of intense speculation and animosity following the release of a provisional 2011 ILMC schedule (namely over the omission of Petit Le Mans), the ACO yesterday released an updated calendar for the 2011 running of the Intercontinental Cup.

Despite prior speculation suggesting otherwise, the updated calendar sees the approval of both Sebring and Petit Le Mans as part of the North American arm of the cup.

The move comes as a relief to many North American fans, after recent rumours suggested the famed Petit Le Mans event would be replaced by a South American round. The event, which is now displayed on the updated calendar, has been reinstated at it’s usual date on the first weekend of October.

In addition to the already confirmed European events at Spa, Le Mans, and Silverstone, the second rendition of the cup will feature an Italian round (LMS Round 3) hosted at the Imola GP circuit and, despite the unfortunate omission of a Japanese round for a second time, China will continue to host the final and, so far only Asian Le Mans series event of the ILMC at a yet to be determined venue.

ILMC General Manager, Frédéric Henry-Biabaud issued the following statement in relation to the announcement:

“We’re convinced that this calendar is going to enhance the values of endurance through a technological, responsible and sporting approach towards racing that will give endurance the place it deserves.

For its first full season, this programme meets the expectations of spectators, manufacturers, teams and partners with seven events on some of the most legendary motor racing circuits in strategic economic markets.”

The second running of the cup will feature an altered race format for otherwise distance based events. With priority now placed on timing, ILMC races will now run for a minimum of six hours. As opposed to the combination of distance/timed (i.e. 1000km/six hours) used in the past.

The updated 2011 ILMC schedule can be seen in current form below:

  • Sebring 12 Hours (Florida USA) March 19, 2011.
  • Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours (BEL) May 8, 2011.
  • Le Mans 24 Hours (FRA), June 11/12, 2011.
  • Imola 6 Hours (ITA) July 3, 2011.
  • Silverstone 6 Hours (GBR) September 11, 2011.
  • Petit Le Mans (Road Atlanta, Georgia, USA) October 1, 2011.
  • TBA 6-Hours race (China) November 12, 2011.

ILMC: Provisional 2011 Calendar Unveiled.

Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Logo.

Having finalised what many would consider to be a highly successful and entertaining season on both sides of the Atlantic, the ACO has unveiled the 2011 schedule for the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. As mentioned during previous releases, the 2011 calendar will see the series move to a new and extended format, featuring seven rounds of competition.

The second running of the cup will feature a slightly altered race format for certain events. With the adoption timed events, the minimum running time for any ILMC race will be six hours (as opposed to distance/timed – i.e. 1000km/six hours). Despite the listing of several TBA notices on the calendar, one can safely assume the inclusion of both Chinese, and Japanese rounds (at yet to be determined venues) will be forthcoming at a later date.

As expected, both Sebring and Spa have been confirmed as pre-Le Mans rounds, with the Le Mans 24 Hour event itself now featuring as a round of the cup. Silverstone is currently the only round confirmed as a post-LM24 event. The notable omission of Petit Le Mans from the schedule came as a surprise to many, with only a ‘TBA/Overseas’ notice listed adjacent to the month of October.

When interviewed, ACO sports manager Vincent Beaumesnil responded with the following statement:

“For sure, we’re speaking with everybody. Sebring is an ILMC event, so this is proof. We will confirm the overseas event when we’re in the position to say something. I cannot say more.”

The provisional 2011 schedule can be seen below:

March 19 – Sebring Twelve Hour (ALMS)
May 8 – Spa (LMS)
June 11-12 – Le Mans 24 Hours (Double Points)
July – TBA (Europe -LMS)
Sept. 9 – Silverstone (LMS)
October – TBA (Overseas Event)
November TBA (China)

ALMS: Leitzinger/Drissi Join JaguarRSR for Petit Le Mans.

JaguarRSR's XKR GT2 during the 2010 6H Laguna Seca. - Image Courtesy Speedtv.com/Doug Werner.

JaguarRSR's XKR GT2 during the 2010 6H Laguna Seca. - Image Courtesy Speedtv.com/Doug Werner.

In a recent press release, JaguarRSR has unveiled driver lineups for the team’s Petit Le Mans debut. Some time ago the team confirmed it would field an additional XKR GT2 entry for the event, only now have specific details been released regarding the entry.

Endurance Aces, Butch Leitzinger and Tommi Drissi will join the squad for the 10 hour/1000 mile event, piloting the #33 chassis with JaguarRSR team owner and driver, Paul Gentilozzi.

Having driven a wide array of both prototype and GT machinery over the years, Leitzinger brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team. Known more recently for his exploits with Alex Job Racing in the GTC category, Leitzinger has a total of 91 ALMS starts to his name.

With victories at Le Mans, Daytona, in addition to various championships (i.e.  WSC, CanAm, and IMSA GTU), the talented North American provides vital substance to the growing team.

With recent outings in both LMP and TransAm machinery (the latter of which with Gentilozzi’s TransAm team), Tommi Drissi is a familiar face within US sportscar racing circles. Experience in ALMS, TransAm, GrandAm, and World Challenge series make Drissi a prime candidate for driving duties in JaguarRSR’s expanding programme.

The services of team regulars Marc Goossens and Ryan Dalziel will continue to be utilised within the #75 entry.