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.

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LMS: Pescarolo; The Triumphant Return.

 

Pescarolo, Nicolet, and Rivière at yesterdays liquidation sale.

Pescarolo, Nicolet, and Rivière celebrate the rebirth of the Pescarolo squad. - Image Courtesy lemans.org

In an era where war, famine, financial downturns, and crippling misfortune are all part of the average person’s daily news intake, occasionally ‘something has to give’. Having never been a firm believer in karma, this writer can only label the events covered in this article as poetic justice.

After months of public misfortune at the hands of investors, and the eventual loss of the team that not only bore his name but, in many ways epitomised the very spirit of Le Mans, one would have forgiven Le Mans legend Henri Pescarolo for adopting a pessimistic mindset. Having been placed under Administration earlier during the year and, subsequently heading into receivership, the assets of PescaroloSport were due to be auctioned yesterday in the Le Mans TechnoPark.

What was expected to be the depressing final chapter of a motorsport legacy, turned out to be (to the surprise of all) the blossoming of a new and uplifting chapter in the Pescarolo story. During yesterday’s liquidation sale, OAK Motorsport team owner Jacques Nicolet and Joel Rivière, owner of Prestige Racing, secured the purchase of vital PescaroloSport assets. The joint venture saw the pair acquire both Pescarolo P01 chassis, in addition to an array of assorted technical support equipment (valued at over US $550,000) crucial to team operations.

What happened next, is nothing short of remarkable. To the surprise of all in attendance, Nicolet and Rivière revealed their intention to return the purchased assets to their prior owner. By the close of the auction, Henri had already received the keys to the workshop. As a testament to the spirit of Le Mans, Nicolet has also vowed to ensure Pescarolo is supplied with all necessary equipment upon his return to competition. This includes required aerodynamic chassis development in order to allow the P01 to comply with 2011 ACO technical regulations. The reborn Pescarolo squad will now run under the name ‘Pescarolo Team.’

Pescarolo later made the following comments to Endurance-info:

“I’m amazed and somewhat reconciled. We’ll have to get back to work to allow the restart of the team. It’s a big responsibility but we cannot disappoint the trust that has been placed upon us.”

Pescarolo Placed in Receivership.

Pescarolo LM24 2009 Qualifying

Image Courtesy Marshall Pruett/SpeedTV.com

After being engaged in a very public battle for survival for many months, the future of PescaroloSport has suffered a terminal blow.

As of 13/07/10, Pescarolo has been placed under receivership by the Tribunal de Commerce of Le Mans.

Having already had its accounts investigated while under administration, the team’s assets and finances were deemed as unable to allow any recovery.

Intellectual property pertaining to the current chassis/future development has fallen under the domain of OAK Racing.

Now removed from the team bearing his name, his legacy now in ruins, Le Mans legend Henri Pescarolo is justifiably distraught.

After eight, wonderful years, the dream is now over.

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

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.

OAK Racing shows off 2010-spec LMP2 Pescarolo.

Earlier today French team, OAK Racing unveiled their recently updated, 2010-spec Pescarolo-Judd LMP2 at a rain soaked Magny-Cours circuit.

Team driver Guillaume Moreau completed the first laps in the car. While partners Matthieu Lahaye, and team owner Jacques Nicolet are scheduled to receive their first taste of the revised car tomorrow.

Although dated, the still-competitive Pescarolo design has been revised to meet 2010 technical specifications, featuring significant adjustments to both front and rear body work.

The #35 car seen in testing is utilising what appears to be a reduced-drag setup. With front sections of the chassis (previously open) now sealed.

The chassis’ rear bodywork also experienced significant development over the winter. Now featuring a reworked diffuser with particularly distinguished, flared accents.

The extent of the changes can be seen in detail, below.