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.

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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.

ILMC: Series poised to assume role of FIA World Endurance Championship

World sportscar racing is set to undergo dramatic change following the ACO's recently forged alliance with the FIA. - Image Courtesy EnduranceMag.fr / Geoffroy Barre

World sportscar racing is set to undergo dramatic change following the ACO's recently forged alliance with the FIA. - Image Courtesy EnduranceMag.fr / Geoffroy Barre

Having finalised 2012 plans for the various championships under its administration, the FIA today revealed details of a new partnership with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organisers of the Le Mans 24 Hour, and Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, during a council meeting in Barcelona.

Under the recently revealed plans, the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup will commence operation under the FIA banner, assuming the name and role of ‘FIA World Endurance Series’ as of 2012. The ACO will continue to operate as the administrative and regulatory body for the championship.

Unlike the current ILMC, the new series will award World Endurance Championship titles to both constructors and drivers, within each category.

Despite regulatory changes in other sportscar categories under the FIA’s jurisdiction, the new World Endurance Championship is expected to maintain its current class structure (i.e. LMP, GTE etc), and remain a standalone series.

The WEC will consist of at least six events, including the Le Mans 24 Hour. It remains unclear as to how the involvement of both Le Mans Series, and American Le Mans Series events will be affected.

The official release (found here) also details plans for revisions to the current FIA GT1 World championship. With plans indicating the current series will continue operation under the title ‘World GT Championship’, and allow entry to a greater array of GT machinery.

As of 2012, the revised ‘World GT Championship’ will accept 2011 GT3, and 2009 GT2 chassis, in addition to current GT1 vehicles. The series will continue to operate under the sprint format.

It should be noted that, despite both operating under the FIA banner (and allowing entry to LM-GTE eligible vehicles), the ‘World Endurance Championship’ and ‘World GT Championship’ will continue to operate as separate entities, and standalone series.

FIA President, Jean Todt:

“I am delighted to welcome the return of the FIA Endurance World Championship, especially with a promoter like ACO. I am also very pleased to have a legendary race like the 24 Hours of Le Mans as part of it.”

ACO President, Jean-Claude Plassart:

“I am very happy we have reached this agreement with the FIA, a partnership which underlines the rightful place that endurance racing has in motorsport, something we have been promoting since we first established the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1923.

Jean Todt has accepted my invitation to start this year’s 24 Hours race on Saturday June 11, a symbolic and visible way to celebrate our partnership.”

ALMS: Long Beach Provisional Entry List.

ALMS Logo

 

 

 

 

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

ILMC: Zhuhai Entry List.

 

Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Logo.

 

Provisional entry listings for the third and final round of the 2010 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup have are now available. What began as a field of 27 runners has now been reduced to a mere 24, after the withdrawal of the Atlas E-FX Saleen, and MIK Racing’s two Lola-Judd coupes. Although now sporting a slightly diminished field, the event is by no means short of quality contenders.

The Audi vs Peugeot battle continues in LMP1, although the French marque need only finish the race with both entries in order to seal the maiden ILMC LMP1 teams and manufacturers title. Both factories approach the race bearing slightly altered driver lineups as a result of differing driver commitments. Privateer flavour will be provided by fan favourites, Drayson Racing and Tokai University.

Having been the only P2 team to confirm participation in all three rounds of the ILMC, OAK Racing is only required to complete the race to confirm its P2 title. After the surprise forfeit of MIK’s two Lola-Judd entries, the French outfit will be left to run it’s own race alongside the sole Formula Le Mans entry of Hope Polevision.

The battle of the factories continues in GT2, the now dominant GT category yielding works entries from Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, and Jaguar teams. Porsche’s reputation will be defended by two-time Le Mans series champions, Felbermayr-Proton, with assistance from ProSpeed Competition. Regular LMS rivals AF-Corse and CRS will provide Ferrari presence and, flying the sole BMW flag, Schnitzer will field a single entry. After a surprise appearance at the 1000KM of Silverstone,  the Lamborghini Gallardo of Gulf Team First will also be in attendance.

Although Ferrari possess a points advantage in the race for the GT2 manufacturers title, the battle for honours is still very much alive. With a slim possibility remaining for Porsche or BMW teams to seize the first ILMC accolades for their respective marques.

Having successfully completed over nine hours under race conditions during the Petit Le Mans event, Porsche’s GT3R Hybrid will make the trip to Zhuhai for its second ILMC appearance. Capable of competing with GT2 runners, the GT3R Hybrid will compete in a class of its own once more (GT-Exp.), setting out demonstrate the advantages of Hybrid technology alongside regular GT counterparts. Porsche has committed the services of factory drivers (and recently crowned ALMS GT2 series champions) Jörg Bergmeister and Pat Long to provide the Hybrid its Chinese debut.

In addition to the inclusion of Porsche’s GT3R Hybrid, the ACO has also allowed the inclusion of GT3 homologated chassis on a strictly one-off basis, in order to increase grid numbers. The presence of both United AutoSports and KK Performance squads will mark the Audi R8 LMS’ debut appearance in an ACO sanctioned event. Team Hong Kong Racing has also committed an Aston Martin DBRS9 entry.

Entry listings can be seen in full below:

LMP1

  • 1 Team Peugeot Total – Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP – Sébastien Bourdais / Simon Pagenaud
  • 2 Team Peugeot Total – Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP – Stéphane Sarrazin / Franck Montagny
  • 7 Audi Sport Team Joest – Audi R15+ – Tom Kristensen / Allan McNish
  • 8 Audi Sport Team Joest – Audi R15+ – Rinaldo Capello / Romain Dumas
  • 11 Drayson Racing – Lola-Judd Coupe – Paul Drayson / Jonny Cocker
  • 23 Tokai University – Courage Oreca-YGK – Shigekazu Wakisaka / Shogo Mitsuyama

LMP2

  • 24 OAK Racing – Pescarolo Judd – Jacques Nicolet / Frédéric Da Rocha / Patrice Lafargue

Formula Le Mans

  • 47 Hope Polevision Racing – Oreca-FLM – Luca MORO / TBA

GT1

  • 50 Larbre Competition – Saleen S7R – Roland Berville / Julien Canal
  • 69 JLOC – Lamborghini Murcielago – Iiri HIROYUKI / TBA

GT2

  • 75 ProSpeed Competition – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997) – Richard Westbrook / Darryl O’Young
  • 77 Team Felbermayr-Proton – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997) Marc Lieb / Richard Lietz
  • 78 BMW Team Schnitzer – BMW E92 M3 – Jörg Müller / Dirk Werner
  • 81 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKRS – Marc Goossens / Tommi Drissi / Paul Gentilozzi
  • 82 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKRS – TBA / TBA
  • 88 Team Felbermayr-Proton – PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR (997) – Gianluca Roda / Christian Ried / Martin Ragginger
  • 90 CRS Racing – Ferrari F430 GT – Pierre Ehret / Phil Quaife / Andrew Kirkaldy
  • 95 AF Corse – Ferrari F430 GT – Giancarlo Fisichella / Gianmaria Bruni
  • 99 Gulf Team First – Lamborghini Gallardo – Fabien Giroix / Roald Goethe / Frédéric Fatien

GT-Experimental

  • 92 Porsche AG – Porsche GT3R Hybrid – Jörg Bergmeister / Patrick Long

GTC

  • 91 Team Hong Kong Racing – Aston Martin DBRS9 – Philippe Ma / Marchy Lee
  • 96 United AutoSports – Audi R8 LMS – Danny Watts / Richard Meins
  • 97 United AutoSports – Audi R8 LMS –  Alain Li / Henri Richard
  • 98 KK Performance – Audi R8 LMS – Marchy Li / Alexander Yoong / Matthew Marsh

ILMC AsLMS Zhuhai Poster - Features R15+/908 in foreground. Background featres GT3R Hybrid and CRS F430.

Lotus Announces LMP2, GT2, and GT3 Chassis Development.

A concept rendering of Lotus' new LMP2 chassis.

A very Peugeot-esque concept rendering of Lotus' new LMP2 chassis.

After recent press regarding a very public dispute over naming rights with the F1 team bearing its name, Lotus has announced the next chapter in its extensive motorsport history. Earlier this year the famous marque made headlines by announcing a return to the the IndyCar series, along with the development of its GT4 Evora.

Today’s announcements have confirmed what many in sportscar racing circles had long suspected. Lotus has signaled its intention to join the ever-growing list of LMP and GT chassis manufacturers, announcing plans to build LMP2, GT2, and GT3 chassis.

As Lotus’ first foray into LMP competition, chassis design will be spearheaded by Paolo Catone, chief designer of Peugeot’s Le Mans winning 908 LMP1.

Lotus has already revealed the nature of the vehicle to be a closed-cockpit coupe, built to 2011 ACO LMP2 specification. Initial plans indicate the car will make its competitive debut next year, with an all-out attack on the 24 Hour planned for 2012.

This however, was not the only announcement of the day. In what can now be seen as a complete rebirth of motorsport activities for the legendary brand, Lotus has also confirmed the development of both GT2 and GT3 variations of its mid-engined GT4 Evora.

In addition to this, a new GT2 chassis will be constructed from a yet to be unveiled car, rumoured to be making its first appearance at the Paris Autoshow in within the week.

Claudio Berro (Director, Lotus Motorsport) made the following statement:

“Lotus is motorsport and racing is in our DNA. We have a special place in motorsport history and now as we unveil the beginning of our future plans it’s important for people to realize just how committed we are to doing our heritage justice.

There is no better platform to demonstrate the transfer of technology from track to road car than a full range of pure motorsport activity, we have to tick all the boxes.”

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.