mardi 6 décembre 2016

In 2017, BMW Team MTEK is supposed to start intensive preparations for BMW’s entry into the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in the following year.

Ernest Knoors (NL) and his team provided plenty of highlights when they competed in the DTM between 2013 and 2016, including the first DTM win for Timo Glock (DE) in the last race of the 2013 season.

Last season, the crew from Garching (DE) won the “Best Pit Stop Award” for the fastest pit stops of any team. Plans for next year foresee that BMW Team MTEK will complete a comprehensive test and development programme in preparation for the WEC entry of BMW.

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport director:

BMW Team MTEK proved to be an excellent BMW representative in the DTM in recent years. It’s planned that it will now devote itself completely to preparations for our entry into the FIA WEC. I would like to thank Charly Lamm, Ernest Knoors and their crews for their dedication throughout the past DTM seasons – and we can now look forward to competing together in many more races in the future

Ernest Knoors, MTEK team principal:

We competed in the DTM for the first time in 2013 with our new BMW Team MTEK – and we have learned a lot since then. This series has taught us a lot about professionalism and quality in all areas. Of course we are really looking forward to the new challenge that awaits us in the FIA WEC. The standard is extremely high there as well. 2017 will be a year of intensive preparation and then we will be able to compete with the other teams in the following year

BMW Press Release

BMW Team MTEK to run BMW's effort in FIA WEC

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Laurens Vanthoor has recently made a sensational move to Porsche Motorsport. The Belgian ace is without a doubt one of the stronget and fastest GT drivers worldwide.

The new Porsche works driver has spent the last five season successfully competing with Audi in GT3 racing. He has now a very impressive Curriculum Vitae full with major championship titles and wins in big endurance events.

He has been crowned as FIA GT Series champion and Blancpain GT Series champion. He has also won the Spa 24 Hours, the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the Dubai 24 Hours and the Zolder 24 Hours and the Sepang 12 Hours overall.

More recently, he has won the FIA GT World Cup at Macau ahead of a Porsche 911 GT3-R driven by of Kevin Estre. The French driver will be Laurens Vanthoor's team-mate for next year's competition.

For the 2017 season, Laurens Vanthoor will be chasing the American dream by competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. He will be driving of the brand new Porsche 911 RSR from the factory Porsche North America squad.

Interestingly enough, Laurens Vanthoor never raced in North American sportscar racing before and never been at the wheel of the GTE/GTLM racer too.

He will have to discover all the racing circuits of the calendar one by one. He will also have to adapt to one of the most competitive fields (if not the most competitive) in international sportscar racing, GT Le Mans (GTLM). Porsche will be competing against full factory backed teams from BMW, Corvette, Ferrari and Ford.

Race debut for Laurens Vanthoor with Porsche is set for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the opening round of the 2017 IMSA season. There are no doubts that the talented driver from Belgium will be one of the stars to watch in the premier North American sportscar series.

Photos: Porsche

Laurens Vanthoor chases the American dream with Porsche

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dimanche 4 décembre 2016

The DH Racing team has taken the GT class victory in the 4 Hours of Fuji, round two of the 2016 / 2017 Asian Le Mans Series. A second straight victory for the Ferrari brand in the ACO-run Asian series.

The winning #5 Ferrari 488 GT3 was driven by Stephane Lemeret, Michele Rugolo and Matthieu Vaxiviere. They started the race from position two on the grid and covered a total of 133 laps.

Second place went to the BBT Racing-run #37 Ferrari 488 GT3 in the hands of Anthony Liu, Davide Rizzo and Alessandro Pier Guidi, a lap-down on the winning car.

Jun San Chen, Ollie Millroy and Philipp Eng completed the top-three in GT driving the #91 BMW M6 GT3 from Team AAI.

4 Hours of Fuji Results

The third round of the Asian Le Mans Series will be held in Thailand, at the Buriram circuit on January 8th 2017.

Photos: Asian Le Mans Series

DH Racing Ferrari wins GT in the 4 Hours of Fuji

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samedi 3 décembre 2016

Porsche will be back to the North American based IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year with two brand new factory Porsche 911 RSR cars.

The effort will be once again entered under Porsche North America banner and will feature some strong drivers.

The #911 Porsche 911 RSR will feature the new comer Dirk Werner along with the 2015 GTLM champion Patrick Pilet. They will be joined for the endurance races by Richard Lietz

The second entry, the #912 Porsche 911 RSR will be in the hands of Kevin Estre and the Laurens Vanthoor. Fred Makowiecki will join them in the long distance events.

More to follow.

Photo: Porsche

Porsche North America 2017 IMSA drivers announced

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Porsche has confirmed that GT aces Laurens Vanthoor and Dirk Werner will be joining the brand for the 2017 season.

Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium is one of the most talented drivers in GT racing. He enjoyed five great season as an Audi factory driver and clinched some prestigious title like the Blancpain GT Series and the overall victories in both Spa 24 Hours and the Nurburgring 24 Hours.

Dirk Werner from Germany is a long-time BMW factory driver. He recently competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with BMW Team RLL.

New comer to the Porsche factory squad is Seven Mueller. The German has won both Porsche Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland this year.

Photo: Porsche

Laurens Vanthoor and Dirk Werner join Porsche Motorsport

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The Ferrari brand has dominated the GT class qualifying session at the Fuji Speedway. The Japense circuit plays host to the second round of the 2016 / 2017 Asian Le Mans Series.

At the wheel of the #37 Ferrari 488 GT3 from Team BBT, Alessandro Pier Guidi set the fastest time in the session, 1 :37.083.

The Italian Ferrari GT ace will be sharing the car with team-mates  Anthony Liu and Davide Rizzo in the four-hour event.

Matthieu Vaxivière was second fastest with the DH Racing-run #5 Ferrari 488 GT3. Marco Cioci completed the top-three in GT class driving the #38 Ferrari 488 GT3 from Spirit of Race.

BMW was the best of the rest as two M6 GT3s from Team AAI were fourth and fifth fastest in qualifying.

Asian Le Mans Series Fuji Qualifying Results

The 4 Hours of Fuji will start at 12:15 local time on Sunday

Photos: Asian Le Mans Series

Alessandro Pier Guidi takes GT pole, Ferrari domination in Fuji qualifying

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jeudi 1 décembre 2016

On November 30, the VIP Preview day of this year’s edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach, the BMW Art Car by John Baldessari celebrated its world premiere. The 19th vehicle of the BMW Art Car Collection was designed by the American master of conceptual art and revealed in the presence of the artist himself, Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America, and Jens Marquardt, Director BMW Motorsport, at an exclusive reception at the Botanical Garden of Miami Beach. John Baldessari’s BMW M6 GTLM, a race car featuring 585 hp, will be on public display until the closing of Art Basel. Following the 40-year tradition of BMW Art Cars, John Baldessari’s “rolling sculpture” will then prove itself on the race track of Rolex 24 at DAYTONA on January 28 and 29, 2017.

Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America: “It is an honor to add this new masterpiece by John Baldessari to the BMW Art Car Collection today. As one of the most important contemporary artists working today, John joins an incredible group from Calder and Hockney to Warhol and Koons that has contributed to this collection over the past 40 years. He has used his signature aesthetic combining color, shapes and text to create a visually stunning work which will stand out at both the museum and on the racetrack in Daytona early next year.”

BMW Art Car #19 by John Baldessari

“I have done only one work in my life involving a car before, and that was an image of a car. So for the BMW Art Car project, I entered uncharted territory, not just in terms of the subject, but also moving from two- to three-dimensional art. A challenge I did enjoy! The ideas all came at once: for instance, the red dot on the roof, so you can see it from above, FAST on one side and a picture of the car on the other side. I like the ambiguity, having two-dimension and three-dimension at the same time. Considering the car as an icon of contemporary life, my concept turned out playfully satirical, but it also highlights some of the trademark ideas that I use. So you can say, the BMW Art Car is definitely a typical Baldessari and the fastest artwork I ever created!” – John Baldessari

For the 19th BMW Art Car, John Baldessari as the legend of an entire LA art scene drew on his famous artistic trademarks. Designing the car, this American artist turned to well-known stylistic devices and created an iconic work which unites his creative practices of the past 50 years in a unique manner. As a committed minimalist, he worked with the colours red, yellow, blue and green and with his monochrome dots, he left his familiar colourful marks on the M6 GTLM as well. Baldessari’s ironic play on the multi-dimensionality of the race car as an art object is most obvious in the graphic reflection of the car in profile. And with “FAST” as a central typographic element the artist boldly transports the power of the BMW Art Car to its outside and makes it visually accessible for the viewers both at the race track and the museum.

John Baldessari spearheaded and oversaw the design of the 19th BMW Art Car, which was executed with the help of a team of BMW engineers in early November at the BMW Body & Paint Training Center West in Oxnard, California.

The BMW M6 GTLM on the race track

In January 2016, the BMW M6 GTLM made its debut on the Daytona International Speedway. It passed its first test with flying colours and was ranked fifth. The 19th BMW Art Car will be put to the test at this very same site and compete at the legendary 24 Hours of Daytona from January 28 to 29, 2017. Run by BMW Team RLL, the car will be entered in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC). Since 2009, the BMW Team RLL together with BMW Motorsport North America has won five titles and twelve victories. And the first season of the BMW M6 GTLM also was successful with a total of three podium finishes in Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road America. This track record is to be continued in 2017. Bill Auberlen (US), Alexander Sims (GB), Augusto Farfus (BR) and Bruno Spengler (CA) will take turns in driving the BMW Art Car.

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director:

It will be a great honour for us to present the 19th BMW Art Car on the race track – and especially to bring it to an event steeped in tradition such as the 24 Hours of Daytona. The design of this BMW M6 GTLM is absolutely unique. We will give our very best to ensure that this rolling work of art will not only provide a visual highlight but also be successful on the track.

BMW Press Release

2016 World premiere of BMW Art Car by John Baldessari

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mercredi 30 novembre 2016

A meeting of the FIA World Motorsport Council was held today in Vienna, Austria.  At this occasion the creation of the FIA World Endurance Championship for GTE Drivers and Manufacturers title was announced for 2017.

As a reminder, four manufacturers - Ferrari, Aston Martin, Ford and Porsche - are already entered in the WEC.

Pierre Fillon (President of the ACO):

I would like to warmly thank Jean Todt, President of the FIA and Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, President of the FIA Endurance Commission, for their total involvement in obtaining this title. I would like also to acknowledge the efforts made by the manufacturers and their sporting performances that fully justify this world title label.

Gerard Neveu (CEO of the FIAWEC):  

The announcement of this world title is excellent news for the WEC and rewards a grid of excellent quality.  This decision should speed up the arrival of other manufacturers in this category.

FIA WEC Press Release

FIA World Championship status for GTE in WEC

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dimanche 27 novembre 2016

2016 was an amazing year for Denmark in international sportscar racing. Danish drivers and teams won multiple titles in the major championships worldwide.

Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen won the GTE-Pro drivers' title in FIA World Endurance Championship with Aston Martin Racing. They won two events, at the Circuit of the Americas and the finale in Bahrain.

Their winning #95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE was run by Danish team Young Driver AMR wichin claimed the teams' title ahead of AF Corse.

In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Christina Nielsen from Denmark became the first female driver to win a major North American Sportscar title.

She clinched the GT Daytona title along with team-mate Alessandro Balzan at the wheel of a Ferrari 488 GTE from Scuderia Corsa. They won two events this year, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen.

Christina Nielsen also competed in the European Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours with Danish team Formula Racing driving a Ferrari 458 Italia with Johnny Laursen and Mikkel Mac also from Denmark .

Another Danish driver who performed well in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was Jan Magnussen. The Corvette Racing ace was third in the drivers' standing along with team-mate Antonio Garcia.

The two drivers won overall the all-GT event of Virginia International Raceway driving the factory #3 Corvette C7.R and helped Chevrolet in clinching the prestigious manufacturers' title.

With two victories in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year, David Heinemeier Hansson enjoyed a very successful season with Porsche.

He shared the Abu-Dhabi Proton Racing #88 Porsche 911 RSR with Khalid Al Qubaisi and Patrick Long and was one of the fastest in class.

The three Proton Competition drivers won the GTE-Am class at the 6 Hours of Mexico and the 6 Hours of Bahrain.

At the end of the season they were second overall in the GTE-Am drivers' standing behind the series' champions from AF Corse.

Micheal Christensen competed this year in the GTE-Pro class of the FIA World Endurance Championship. He shared the factory backed Dempsey Proton Racing #77 Porsche 911 RSR with 2015 champion Richard Lietz.

The two drivers have shown a great pace but were really unlucky as the 2016 spec Porsche faced a very harsh Balance of Performance all-season long.

Micheal Christensen also competed with the factory Porsche North America squad in three endurance events this year in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

He shared the #912 Porsche 911 RSR with Earl Bamber and Frédéric Makowiecki in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the finale at Petit Le Mans.

Photos: Aston Martin / Ferrari / Chevrolet / Porsche

A great 2016 for Denmark in Sportscar Racing

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samedi 26 novembre 2016

Two 2016 GTE-Am champions will change the class in FIA World Endurance Championship next year. Emmanuel Collard and François Perrodo will move up to the LMP2 division in 2017.

The two French drivers were crowned as GTE-Am in the season finale at Bahrain last weekend. They shared the AF Corse-run #83 Ferrari 458 Italia with brand's specialist Rui Aguas.

Emmanuel Collard and François Perrodo, along with single-seater ace Matthieu Vaxiviere, will drive for TDS Racing with the brand new Oreca 07.

The French squad is a regular team in the European Le Mans Series and narrowly missed the LMP2 title in the last round at Estoril.

Photo: Ferrari

GTE-Am champions Emmanuel Collard and François Perrodo move to LMP2

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The Ford GT is on display at the Essen Motor Show in Germany.

Photos from Stefan Mucke and Emma Bergg on Twitter.

Ford GT displayed at Essen Motor Show

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mercredi 23 novembre 2016

Marcel Fässler has competed for the last time with Audi Sport Team Joest in the FIA World Endurance Championship finale, the 6 Hours of Bahrain.

Without a full-season factory LMP1 drive for next year's competition, the Swiss told Racing.GT that he may return to Corvette Racing in 2017 for selected endurance events.

There were already discussions before Audi committed to exit. Audi allowed me to drive with Corvette in these three races and I was always in touch with them for next year.

It’s about these long races where they need a third driver. Nothing is decided yet, but we are in discussion.

Marcel Fässler competed successfully with Corvette Racing this year in three IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship rounds, at Daytona, Sebring and the finale at Road Atlanta.

He won the GT Le Mans class in both Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring sharing the works #4 Corvette C7.R with 2016 series champions Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner.

It is also expected to see Marcel Fässler racing for Audi Sport customer racing in GT3 with the Audi R8 LMS.

Photos: Chevrolet

Marcel Fässler may return to Corvette Racing in 2017

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mardi 22 novembre 2016

Quotes from Porsche drivers after the 6 Hours of Bahrain, the season finale of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Customer team Abu-Dhabi Proton Racing took the GTE-Am class victory with their #88 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Patrick Long, Khaled Al Qubaisi and David Heinemeier Hansson.

Patrick Long (Porsche 911 RSR #88): 

It was a perfect race from start to finish for us. Everything ran really well, including the pit stop in the safety car phase, which definitely decided the race in our favour. My teammates again put in a strong drive and in the end it was my job to bring victory home safely.

Khaled Al Qubaisi (Porsche 911 RSR #88): 

It’s wonderful to end the season with a win. I would like to thank the whole team for their untiring efforts, not just in the race but throughout the entire year. We are now second in the championship and we’ll be back in 2017 to fight for the title.

David Heinemeier Hansson (Porsche 911 RSR #88): 

What a great way to finish the season. Not only because we won but also because Porsche occupied the first two places in the GTE-Am class. A strong performance.

Wolf Henzler (Porsche 911 RSR #78): 

We are delighted to be back on the podium, but we could have won today. The only safety car phase of the race cost us the victory. It happened one-and-a-half laps after we’d been in the pits. Our teammates used it for their pit stop and surely made up 50 seconds because of it. We simply weren’t able to make up the difference, although we pulled out all stops and tried everything.

Christian Ried (Porsche 911 RSR #78):

After four podiums from the last four races we actually wanted to score our first victory here. Unfortunately we’ll have to postpone it until 2017. Thank you to the entire team for the great pit stops and for the excellently prepared 911 RSR.

Joel Camathias (Porsche 911 RSR #78): 

Unfortunately we experienced a little bad luck again at the season finale. We’ve never been as close to victory as we were today. It’s a shame it didn’t work out. Still, five podiums in a row are not too bad.

Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #77): 

We were actually feeling quite confident that we’d finish further up the field but unfortunately that didn’t happen. It was a tough year in the WEC. Still, we never gave up and, despite everything, we gained important experience.

Michael Christensen (Porsche 911 RSR #77): 

That was a difficult season for us. Now it’s over and we can look forward to 2017 and the new 911 RSR.

Photos: Porsche

Porsche drivers quotes after Bahrain finale

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2016 was a great year for the GTE-Pro class within the FIA World Endurance Championship. The premier production based division was very close and all three titles were awarded at the end of the season finale in Bahrain.

Aston Martin Racing won the drivers' and teams' titles, Ferrari clinched the manufacturers' crown while Ford was victorious at Le Mans 24 Hours.

Here is a look back at the 2016 season with all the class winners in the nine-round championship.

Round 1 - 6 Hours of Silverstone

Round 2 - WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

Round 3 - Le Mans 24 Hours

Round 4 - 6 Hours of the Nürburgring

Round 5 - 6 Hours of Mexico

Round 6 - 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas

Round 7 - 6 Hours of Fuji

Round 8 - 6 Hours of Shanghai

Round 9 - 6 Hours of Bahrain

Photos : Aston Martin / Ferrari / Ford

PHOTOS: GTE-Pro race winners in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship

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