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Jul 16

WEC: Porsche take 1-2 after close race-long fight at Nürburgring

Porsche scores a one-two on its home turf at the 6 Hours of Nürburgring

2017-07-16-0037Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber took their second win of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season in the No.2 Porsche after a thrilling battle with the sister No.1 919 Hybrid at Nurburgring this afternoon.

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The two Porsches were rarely more than four or five seconds apart during the entire race but it was the reigning title-winning car which triumphed to give both Bernhard and Hartley their 10th WEC wins and Bamber his 3rd.

It was a thrilling race between the two Porsche 919 Hybrid racers which saw the lead swapped numerous times. At one stage, in the fourth hour, Bamber lost the lead to his fellow 2015 Le Mans winner Nick Tandy, after having to take avoiding action when Tor Graves spun his CEFC Manor TRS Racing LMP2 car in front of the Kiwi at the chicane.

The complete article here on fiawec.com

source:  fiawec.com

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Porsche scores a one-two on its home turf at the 6 Hours of Nürburgring

Following the 24 Hours of Le Mans, today’s victory at the 6 Hours of Nürburgring was the second in a row for Porsche in the LMP1 class, and for Jackie Chan DC Racing (Oreca) in LMP2, while Ferrari and Porsche won the LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am classes, respectively.

Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber took their second win of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season in the No.2 Porsche after a thrilling battle with the sister No.1 919 Hybrid at Nurburgring this afternoon.

The two Porsches were rarely more than four or five seconds apart during the entire race but it was the reigning title-winning car which triumphed to give both Bernhard and Hartley their 10th WEC wins and Bamber his 3rd.

It was a thrilling race between the two Porsche 919 Hybrid racers which saw the lead swapped numerous times. At one stage, in the fourth hour, Bamber lost the lead to his fellow 2015 Le Mans winner Nick Tandy, after having to take avoiding action when Tor Graves spun his CEFC Manor TRS Racing LMP2 car in front of the Kiwi at the chicane.

The complete article here on lemans.org

source: lemans.org

 

 

Gearbox failure bring early end to 6 Hours of Nürburgring for Pierre Ragues

The 6 Hours of Nürburgring was a race to forget for Pierre Ragues and the #35 Signatech Alpine Matmut crew, as their Alpine A470 was forced to retire from the race at the two-hour mark with gearbox failure.

Pierre, along with team-mates Nelson Panciatici and André Negrão, had been targeting a podium finish to follow-up their third-placed result from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it was not meant to be this weekend.

Despite showing solid pace in the #35 Alpine A470, the trio of drivers endured a tough Sunday around the classic 5.148km Eifel-based track.

Starting fourth in class after a frustrating qualifying, the crew was hoping to make up positions on the opening lap. Unfortunately, once the race was underway, at turn three, Panciatici had contact with another car, which sent him off onto the grass, re-joining in 25th overall.

After just twenty minutes, he had battled his way back up to 13th place, ninth in LMP2, with solid race pace, but had to serve a 30-second stop-and-hold penalty. The penalty had been imposed on the crew after a near miss with an LMP1 car during Saturday’s qualifying session.

Still, Panciatici re-joined the race in 13th spot and looked to push on. Negrão took over in the cockpit after 90 minutes, holding ninth in class. Just ahead of the two-hour mark, though, and gearbox gremlins causing problems with gear shifting forced the car into the garage, where the team diagnosed the problem to be terminal. Race over, even before Pierre had the chance to drive.

The team is expecting to know more about its next race participation in the coming week.

Pierre said: “We have had a really difficult weekend, and certainly not what we were expecting to achieve around the Nürburgring. We had a decent practice with some encouraging lap times and good race preparation, but we struggled in qualifying. Picking up the stop/hold penalty was always going to impede our race but we couldn’t predict what other issues would occur. Nelson was pushing hard to make up positions, and he showed decent race pace in a bid to recover positions after his off. After André took over, we then experienced some gearbox problems, which proved to be terminal, marking the premature end to our race. It’s a huge disappointment, especially as I didn’t have the chance to drive in the race. We now have to wait and see where we go from here, and we expect a final decision in the coming week. For now, though, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the whole team, to my team-mates Nelson and André and to my partners.”

source: pierreragues.com, quadrasports.com

 

Signatech Alpine Matmut sweat blood and tears to claim a second podium

The Signatech Alpine Matmut rounded off the European leg of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with a podium at the Nürburgring.

The no.36 Alpine A470 (Lapierre / Menezes / Rao) overcame a difficult qualifying session to grab third place and set the fastest race lap in the LMP2 category.

Unfortunately, gearbox problems meant that the no.35 car (Panciatici / Negrão / Ragues) had to retire two hours into the race.

The next round takes Signatech Alpine Matmut to the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City (1-3 September).

After valuable information was gathered during free practice, qualifying saw the no.35 Alpine A470 driven by Nelson Panciatici and André Negrão set the fourth fastest time, two places ahead of the no.36 car driven by Matt Rao and Gustavo Menezes.

On Sunday, the 6 Hours of Nürburgring got underway at 1pm. Despite the dark clouds overhead and damp patches remaining on the track, 52,000 spectators flocked to the famous circuit for the final European round of this year’s FIA WEC.

The Alpine A470s enjoyed an eventful start to the race. After spinning on the third corner, Nelson Panciatici (no.35) gave it his all to make up the lost ground before coming into the pits to serve the 30-second stop-and-go penalty collected in qualifying. Meanwhile, Nicolas Lapierre (no.36) lost a position before matching the pace of the leading group, featuring Senna, Beche, Jarvis and Petrov.

During the first round of refuelling pit stops, Nicolas Lapierre returned to the track in the middle of the LMP1s. The Frenchman lost a few tenths that ending up temporarily costing him fifth place, before he then hit back.

Nelson Panciatici was the first to hand over driving duties to André Negrão. After rejoining in ninth, the Brazilian made every effort to move back up the field until his progress was halted when the gearbox jammed. Despite the best efforts of the Signatech Alpine Matmut team to solve the problem, the no.35 crew had to retire.

At the same time, Gustavo Menezes took over behind the wheel of the no.36 car from Nicolas Lapierre. Fourth at the start of his stint, the American put his rivals under pressure and managed to move up into third place by the half-way stage of the race, before handing over to Matt Rao.

The young British driver then did his bit, completing a double stint with a tyre change sandwiched in between. Keeping in touch with the heavyweight competitors up the road, Matt Rao refused to give up and handed over to Nicolas Lapierre with a podium place within the crew’s sights.

With no more than two seconds between the cars challenging for the podium places throughout most of the race, everything was settled in the final hour. With forty minutes of the race left, the Frenchman produced a stunning lap, enabling him to overcut Beche and come out of the pits ahead of the Swiss.

Carefully managing this advantage, the no.36 car crossed the finishing line in front. The crew could therefore celebrate their first podium and Signatech Alpine Matmut’s second this season.

Bernard Ollivier, Alpine Deputy Managing Director
“That was a hell of a race, quite literally! I’d like to thank everyone in the team for this result. They all kept going, stuck together, pushed to the very limit, and most importantly, never stopped believing that we could secure this third place. This performance is what Alpine is all about and the result, on such a tough circuit as the Nürburgring, shows the qualities of the A470. We are going to savour this second podium of the year, whilst also learning the lessons of the weekend. We’re already looking forward to Mexico!”

Philippe Sinault, Signatech Alpine Matmut Team Principal
“Sometimes, a podium can be morale-boosting and worth as much as a win, and today’s result is one of those times. We really had to sweat blood and tears to get back into contention. After a fairly average qualifying session, we initially suffered in the traffic before realising that tyre degradation wasn’t as much of an issue as it had been earlier in the year. We were therefore able to push, even though it’s always difficult to overtake on this track. Matt was fantastic today and laid the groundwork for Nico. It was in part down to his performance that we can celebrate and enjoy this proper podium together with the whole team.”

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Signatech Alpine Matmut​ no.36

Nicolas Lapierre
“It was a tough race. Our performance in qualifying meant we lost time in the traffic, but we managed to find a way through and make it onto the podium. Our pace was good today and the performance level has improved since Le Mans. We now have to work on a few details to try and do even better in Mexico.”

Gustavo Menezes
“We overcame our difficulties to make it onto the podium. Nico began with two incredible stints before handing over to me. I had to manage the traffic, but I then closed the gap before seeing the fine performance of Matt, who was able to match the pace of the best drivers today! After a disappointing start to the season, the team has managed to get back into contention and we’re really pleased to finally get a swig of the champagne!”

Matt Rao
“I’m delighted to have been able to keep in touch with the Platinum and Gold drivers! My only regret is that I lost time behind the LMP2 backmarkers before my in-lap. That held me up in the traffic for longer. We might have been able to get second place without that, but by keeping the gap to third to around a second, Nico was able to finish the job and secure the podium for us.”
 
Signatech Alpine Matmut no.35​

Nelson Panciatici
“We were looking to have a decent race, despite the penalty, but that became tricky after the spin on the first lap. After less than two hours, the gearbox failure put an end to our hopes.”

André Negrão
“It just wasn’t our weekend. We had made progress in free practice thanks to a new differential, but the stop-go penalty and the chaotic start seriously compromised our chances. Nelson had a good stint before handing over to me, but the gearbox jammed. All our attempts to repair it proved futile.”

Pierre Ragues
“This result isn’t what we were expecting. We were really determined to fight for a podium spot, but after encouraging free practice and good preparations, we suffered in qualifying. Nelson and André had set a decent pace before mechanical problems spelled the end of our race. It’s all the more disappointing because I didn’t get the chance to drive the car.”

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6 Hours of Nürburgring – LMP2

  1. Jackie Chan DC Racing no.38 – 191 laps
    2. Vaillante Rebellion no.31 +1 lap
    3. Signatech Alpine Matmut no.36 +1 lap
    4. Vaillante Rebellion no.13 +1 lap
    5. Jackie Chan DC Racing no.37 +2 laps
    6. G-Drive Racing no.26 +3 laps
    7. CEFC Manor TRS Racing no.25 +3 laps
    8. TDS Racing no.28 +3 laps
    9. CEFC Manor TRS Racing no.24 +8 laps
    Retired Tockwith Motorsports no.34
    Retired Signatech Alpine Matmut no.35

FIA Endurance LMP2 “Teams” Trophy

1. Jackie Chan DC Racing no.38 – 116 points
2. Vaillante Rebellion no.31 – 70 points
3. Signatech Alpine Matmut no.36 – 57 points
4. Jackie Chan DC Racing no.37 – 51 points
5. G-Drive Racing no.26 – 46 points
6. CEFC Manor TRS Racing no.24 – 40 points
7. Signatech Alpine Matmut no.35 – 38 points
8. Vaillante Rebellion no.13 – 26 points
9. TDS Racing no.28 – 21 points
10. CEFC Manor TRS Racing no.25 – 16 points

source: alpinecars.com

 

Ferrari 488 GTE wins at Nürburgring

In GTE-Pro class Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado win after a perfect race. Difficult day and 8th place for Rigon and Vilander in car no. 71

In GTE-Am class second place for the 488 GTE of Spirit of Race with Flohr-Castellacci-Molina. Fourth place for the car of Clearwater Racing

Ferrari returned to winning ways in the GTE-Pro class at the Nürburgring after the disappointment at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Thanks to the 488 GTE no. 51 of AF Corse the Prancing Horse notched up its 19th class victory in the WEC, the 24th if we include the five in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. The win, which puts James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi right back in the title fight and gives Ferrari first place among the Constructors, was the result of a perfect pit strategy and equally impeccable driving. Davide Rigon and Toni Vilander were unlucky, finishing eighth after losing four laps due to gearbox problems. No. 54 Spirit of Race 488 GTE crewed by Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Miguel Molina took second place in the GTE-Am and a first WEC podium.

GTE-Pro
It was an uphill start in the GTE-Pro class for the 488 GTE no. 71 of AF Corse. Half an hour into the race, Davide Rigon had just overtaken the Ford no. 67 when the gearbox seized up. Returning to the pits, the car was fixed and the Italian set off again two laps down. Instead, James Calado in car no. 51, jumped from seventh to fifth and joined up with the group of two Porsches, the Aston Martin no. 95 and Ford no. 66, but was unable to attempt an attack due to a lack of top speed. Car no. 51’s race was thus all based on strategy, thanks to the extraordinary ability of Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi to save tyres and fuel. The Ferrari was always the last to stop and gained time in the second part of the stints when tyres started to struggle. The crew gained seconds until the halfway mark, so the drivers just had to manage their lead in the second half of the race. Pier Guidi put in a fantastic double stint, which Calado replicated over the following 90 minutes. The Porsches, on the other hand, seemed to found the going tougher, and so the 488 GTE no. 51 was firmly in command with 80 minutes to go. The twin car, just as it was mounting a strong recovery with great times from Rigon and his occasional companion Toni Vilander, was again pulled up short by the gearbox whose repair cost another two laps. The car finished eighth and last in its class.

GTE-Am
In the GTE-Am class, the two Ferraris struggled with the pace but were very competitive with worn tyres in the closing stages. The 488 GTE of Spirit of Race driven by Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Miguel Molina, an official Prancing Horse driver, finished second, while Clearwater Racing’s no. 61 driven by Griffin-Mok-Sawa came fourth. The class victory went to the Porsche of Dienst-Ried-Cairoli, while the Porsche of Bernhard- Bamber-Hartley was the overall winner. The next round is in Mexico at the start of September.

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source: ferrari.com

 

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