Dominant First Win For Audi at Total 24 Hours of Spa
For thirteen hours the nr33 Audi Sport Team WRT (Belgian Audi Club) Audi R8 LMS of Timo Scheider, Greg Franchi and Matthias Ekstrom led the largest field of cars to take part in the Total 24 Hours of Spa for many years and after completing 545 laps Scheider took the chequered flag to record his second win, and Audi’s first, in the world’s second oldest 24 hour race. The Audi finished two laps ahead of the nr76 Need for Speed Team Schubert BMW Z4 of Dirk Werner, Edward Sandstroem and Claudia Huertgen, after Huertgen started from 49th on the 62 car grid.
The third placed car was 10 laps behind the leading Audi at the end of the 24 Hours, with the nr35 Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG making it to the podium despite some mechanical and physical woes during the race. However Kenneth Heyer, Stephane Lemeret and Thomas Jager battled on and were rewarded with a podium finish for their and the team's efforts.
The Pro-Am Cup was a closer fought affair with the nr2 Vita4One Ferrari looking good for victory until it was excluded for not coming in for to serve a pitlane violation penalty. This left the nr20 SOFREV ASP Ferrari of Ludovic Badey, Franck Morel, Guillaume Moreau and Jean-Luc Beaubelique and the nr90 Team Preci Spark Mercedes SLS AMG fighting it out for the victory, with the Ferrari winning through. The nr50 AF Corse Ferrari of Matt Griffin, Jack Gerber, Marco Cioci and Niki Cadei was third.
Victory in the Gentlemen Trophy was secured by the nr 19 Level Racing Porsche 997 of Christoff Corten, Brody, Matijs Harkems and Kurt Dujardin after the leading Muhlner Motorsport Porsche of Martin Rich, Tim Bergmeister, Sebastien Asch and Jochen Krumbach had to pit for a new gearbox, dropping it back to second in class.
The Cup Class was won by the nr56 RMS Porsche 997 of Marc Faggionato, Thierry Stepnec, Thierry Prignaud and Franck Racinet, finishing 28 laps ahead of their nearest rival.
The GT4 Class win went to the nr63 RJN Motorsport Nissan 370Z of Alex Buncombe, Chris Ward and Jordan Tresson after the class leading Lotus Evora of Greg Mansell, Eduardo Piscopo, Leo Mansell and Gianni Giudici went out in spectacular fashion when the engine let go. Despite electrical problems the Nissan reached the chequered flag , finishing 11 laps ahead of the nr100 DVB Racing BMW of Christophe Legrand, Raffaele Sangiuolo, Giuseppe de Pasquale and Wolfgang Haugg
CLICK HERE for the provisional result of the Total 24 Hours of Spa and Round 3 of the Blancpain Endurance Series and also the results at 6, 12 and 18 hours.
CLICK HERE for the full hourly timesheets (PDF Format - under R3: Spa)
CLCK HERE for the provisional Championship Positions after Round 3 (PDF Format)
The Hour by Hour updates in the news section of the official website will provide all the background information to the race. The Spa 24 Blog HERE also gives information, driver quotes and images from the entire 24 Hours of Spa from start to finish.
The next round of the Blancpain Endurance Series is at Magny Cour on Saturday 20th August for a 3-hour evening race.
Timo Scheider, Audi Sport Team WRT (Belgian Audi Club) Audi R8 LMS nr33 (1st)
“I have to thank all the guys who supported us this weekend, especially the WRT team. We came here with some expectations but we didn’t know what we could achieve. These guys did an awesome job. Starting from the kitchen, to the tyre guys to the mechanics and the engineers. We made no mistakes and the Audi R8 LMS lasted till the end which is the key to why we are sitting here today. We just changed once or twice the brakes but everything else ran smoothly. Mattias (Ekstrom) had one of the worst stints you could choose. He was out there this morning on slicks in the hard rain and he did a great job. We had some pressure and we had to survive and we did that. To win a race like this – the Spa 24 Hours of Spa – is always something special.”
Claudia Huertgen , Need For Speed Team Schubert BMW Z4 nr76 (2nd)
“It was a hard race for us because we started from 48th position. It was also the first time for us to drive here in dry conditions. We found a good set-up for the race which gave us confidence in the car. To finish second is brilliant for the team because at the last 24-hour race at Nurburgring we lost two cars which was tough. It was the first time here for the team and the car. I hope we will come back next year and be stronger and fight for the victory.”
Thomas Jager, Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG nr35 (3rd)
“We had lots of difficulties starting with the test day when we lost the car so our preparation was not good at all. We didn’t really know which direction to go with the set-up. We took the car from the factory last week did a roll out and came here. We had a great car and good reliability which is very important of course in a 24-hour race. We are really happy with the result. To compete against the factory teams as a private racing team is difficult, but I think the concept works. We would like to think that we can be more competitive next year. We’ll be back and hopefully challenge for the win.”
Guillaume Moreau, SOFREV ASP Ferrari 458 nr20 (1st Pro Am Cup)
" I was a little surprised at the start, there was a lot of agressive driving so I just aimed to stay on the track between the two white lines. I am very happy , a very good victory for my teammates and it is something very special to win the 24 Hours of Spa."
Thierry Stepec, RMS Porsche nr56 – CUP
“The race was really great. We had an excellent start and were leading the Cup race from about 10 o clock last night. We were able to produce a big gap from there on in to the second placed car and maintain the pace. Our lap times were pretty consistent and the car felt good for the majority of the race. We had a slight problem 20 minutes before the end but we had an advantage over the others so we were able to win the Cup class. Marco (Fagglonato) and Thierry (Prignaud) did a wonderful job in the car this weekend so we will enjoy this together.”
Christopher Ward, RJN Motorsport Nissan nr63 – GT4
“Our race went really well right from the word go so it was a relief to get the car home home after such a long event, especially at such a challenging circuit like Spa. We had problems with the car yesterday but nothing that we couldn’t overcome. From that point on the car ran reliably and we made sure we didn’t make any silly mistakes throughout the night. The whole team did a fantastic job – especially Alex (Buncombe) and Jordan (Tresson) who drove some fantastic stints to ensure we sustained the distance to the others. We look forward to a good celebration tonight.”
Alex Buncombe, RJN Motorsport Nissan nr63 – GT4
“The race was unbelievable and left me pretty speechless. We have done a lot with RJN but never really had any success with the 24 hour races so to win here at Spa is incredible and unforgettable. It has been a fantastic day and an awesome week for us.
“We had a lot of problems early on with a few small issues with the car and this let the Lotus pass. We have consistently been the fastest car all weekend and had a few little niggles at the start of the race, which unfortunately put us down to second in the class. Lotus Sport Italia didn’t finish the race in front us to so we took it all from there. We had to be careful and just make sure we got to the end, which is what we did.”
Brody, Level Racing Porsche nr19 – Gentleman Trophy
“The race was a dream for me. It was very hard for everybody but we finished with 30 seconds between us and the Muehlner Motorsport Porsche so I think it is a great result for us. We were seventeenth overall in the first Porsche so it was a very important win for us and the best podium of my life."
“I am very emotional at the moment and I even cried. I just wanted to get onto the podium with the team and also celebrate with Christoff (Corten), Mathijs (Harkema) and Kurt (Dujardin).”
Blancpain, a tradition of innovation for over 275 years
In 1735, Jehan-Jacques Blancpain began his watchmaking activity and installed his first workshop on the upper floor of his family home in Villeret, a village in the Swiss Jura mountains. By inscribing his name in the official communal property register, this pioneer created an establishment that is now the world’s oldest watch brand.
Throughout its history, Blancpain has succeeded in maintaining solid continuity in its capacity for innovation and its respect for traditional horological values. Whether by perfecting complications, designs and production methods, or by exploring new horizons, the Manufacture has been devoted for more than 275 years to taking the art of watchmaking to places it has never yet ventured. From the first models created in the 18th century to the prestigious timepieces currently emerging from its workshops, Blancpain has forged an authentic tradition of innovation. The key to its success lies in the mastery of all fields involved in making an exceptional mechanical timepiece – from the creation of the movement and its components through to the functional design of the watch, along with the choice of materials and the extremely refined and entirely hand-crafted finishing.
Blandpain Endurance Series.
Sunday, 31 July 2011
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, round 7 at the Formula 1 race in Budapest/Hungary Kuba Giermaziak 50th Supercup winner
Kuba Giermaziak 50th Supercup winner
Stuttgart. In a turbulent rain race, Kuba Giermaziak celebrated his maiden victory in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup on the Hungaroring near Budapest. With his win, the Pole goes down in the successful history of the world’s fastest international one-make race series as the 50th winner out of 201 races contested so far. At the wheel of his 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which is based on the lightweight 911 GT3 RS street sports car, the VERVA Racing pilot put in a brilliant drive to outpace Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen (Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit) by 18.783 seconds. Third place was enough for Bleekemolen’s British teammate Sean Edwards to snatch the championship lead.
Kuba Giermaziak claimed the maiden win for a Polish and East European driver by a huge margin, very rarely seen in this fiercely-contested championship. Many young pilots have used the one-make series run as support to the Formula 1 as a launching platform for extremely successful careers in international GT racing and attracted attention with performances similar to that of the youngest driver in the field at 21 years. Taking up the sprint from fifth on the grid, Giermaziak immediately shot past the first rivals and already after one lap had moved into third place. In lap four he had snatched the lead.
During the first laps on the wet Grand Prix circuit, positions changed almost by the second. Kévin Estre, the French Supercup newcomer driving for Hermes Attempto Racing, made the most of his pole position and initially defended his lead. When he visited the gravel in the lap one, René Rast (Germany) took his place at the front. But under such difficult conditions the points’ leader from VELTINS Lechner Racing made several mistakes and fell back in the field. Over the course of the race, the title defender had to let more opponents past. With four laps to the flag, technical problems forced the German into retirement, which robbed him of his overall points’ lead. Nick Tandy also came away from the seventh round with a disappointing result. Driving for Konrad Motorsport, the Briton spun in the second lap and lost touch with the front-runners. Crossing the finish line in ninth, last year’s vice-champion very likely has to bury his title aspirations completely.
Meanwhile at the front, Kuba Giermaziak continued to pull away from his pursuers. With his VERVA Racing team, he had previously tested in the rain on the Hungaroring. Team boss Timo Rumpfkeil could implement the insight gained from this almost 1:1 in the race. Behind the leader, Sean Edwards and Kévin Estre managed to fend off any attacks for quite some time before the Frenchman made some errors and lost contact to the front-runners to finish in fifth. For the Briton, this didn’t bring much relief. His teammate Jeroen Bleekemolen put him under immense pressure from behind to finally pass him shortly before the finish in the final lap to snatch second. For the two-time Supercup winner, this marked his first podium result so far this season.
Behind the Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit duo, Norbert Siedler’s stunning chase through the field was rewarded with fourth place. Taking up the race from tenth place after a poor qualifying, VELTINS Lechner Racing sent the Austrian as well as René Rast into the race on brand new rain tyres. With sixth, Robert Lukas yielded his best result this season behind his teammate Kévin Estre.
Kuba Giermaziak (winner): “I’m absolutely delighted with my first victory in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, and my biggest thanks go to my team. It’s incredible how hard the boys work to put a perfect car on the track for us at every race. We tested here in Budapest, luckily in rain, and that paid off. We knew we’d do very well on the wet circuit, but we hadn’t anticipated that we’d do it with such a huge advantage. Despite the awful weather conditions I didn’t make any mistakes. I’m particularly pleased for the many Polish fans who came so far this weekend to support us. Thank you all very much.”
Jeroen Bleekemolen (second): “What a great race. I started from seventh, struggled with grip at the start and lost two places. But I crawled my way up lap by lap with a couple of good overtaking manoeuvres – huge fun! I tried to be cautious with my tyres over the whole distance, even during the formation lap, and it proved very helpful at the end when the track dried up, particularly for overtaking Sean.”
Sean Edwards (third): “Now that was one crazy race. I had a lot of fun. The grip wasn’t really great over the distance and I had to fight hard to defend my position. But there was nothing I could do about Jeroen. Still, I’m totally happy. Both cars from Abu Dhabi by tolimit on the podium, the first time this season - that’s a great result. I’m hoping we can continue like this at the next race in Spa. The championship is really exciting now.”
1. Kuba Giermaziak (PL) VERVA Racing Team, 30:12.507 minutes
2. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, + 18.783 seconds
3. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit, + 19.449
4. Norbert Siedler (A), VELTINS Lechner Racing, + 21.931
5. Kévin Estre (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 23.112
6. Robert Lukas (PL), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 24.539
Drivers’ classification after 7 of 11 races
1. Sean Edwards (GB), 106 points
2. René Rast (D), 105
3. Norbert Siedler (A), 97
4. Kuba Giermaziak (PL), 90
5. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), 86
6. Nick Tandy (GB), 79
Round 8 of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup takes place on 28 August as support to the Formula 1 race in Spa-Francorchamps/Belgium.
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Friday, 29 July 2011
Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, round 7 on the Nürburgring Sean Edwards aims to defend points’ lead
Sean Edwards aims to defend points’ lead
Stuttgart. The Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland turns onto the finish straight of the season with an unrivalled balance: Six different winners from six races underline how highly competitive Germany’s fastest one-make series is. At round seven on 7th August on the 3.629 kilometre sprint version of the Nuerburgring’s Grand Prix circuit, front-runner Sean Edwards is determined to defend his lead in the points. After his maiden Carrera Cup win on the Norisring, the Deutsche Post by tolimit pilot from Britain holds a 14-point advantage over his teammate from the Netherlands, Jeroen Bleekemolen. Sitting a close third is Britain’s Nick Tandy (Konrad Motorsport), who had held the lead for the first four races of the season.
“I’m looking forward to this interesting circuit,” says 24-year-old Sean Edwards. “I came second last year and the track suits me. It would be great if I could win this time, but it’s not crucial. More important is that I hold onto the championship lead.” The London-born Monaco-resident put in the groundwork for his excellent position for the title fight with regular top results. “The competition is incredibly tough this year. There are ten drivers who are good for a win. It would be something very special if I could take home my first makes championship title at the end of such a season.”
Jeroen Bleekemolen knows this feeling well. The winner of the Zandvoort race claimed the championship at the international Porsche Mobil1 Supercup in 2008 and 2009. With consistent top results, the Briton and the Dutchman are not only sitting in positions one and two in the drivers’ classification. With three races to go, their Deutsche Post by tolimit team also ranks a clear first in the team standings.
Currently sitting third overall, Nick Tandy will be focussing on closing the gap to Edwards and getting past Bleekemolen. For the winner of the season-opening round and last year’s vice-champion his retirement at the Porsche Carrera Cup World Cup cost him his lead. Tandy doesn’t have the fondest memories of the Nuerburgring: Last year he went home empty-handed after a scuffle at the start. At least the rivals chasing him don’t have much of a chance to catch him. Denmark’s Nicki Thiim in fourth and Martin Ragginger in fifth are simply too far behind to pose any threat. The Dane racing for Hermes Attempto Racing is one of the season’s six winners after his triumph on the Lausitzring. As his best result so far, the Schnabl Engineering pilot from Austria has just one podium placing to his credit.
Keen to make a move forward is the winner from Spielberg, Jaap van Lagen from the Netherlands (Land Motorsport), and World Cup winner René Rast from Germany (Förch Racing). Heading into the final phase, they rank sixth and seventh. Trailing them are Jan Seyffarth (Germany, SMS Seyffarth Motorsport) sitting eighth overall, Norbert Siedler (Austria, Aust Motorsport) in ninth and Uwe Alzen (Germany, PZ Aschaffenburg Uwe Alzen Automotive) rounding off the top ten.
The race will be broadcast live on the official Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland website www.porsche.de/carreracup on 7 August from 10.15 hours. On 10 August, TV station Sport1 televises a race review, interviews and reports from 22.15 to 22.45 hours in the Carrera Cup Magazin.
Drivers’ standings after 6 of 9 races
1. Sean Edwards (GB), 98 points
2. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), 84
3. Nick Tandy (GB), 82
4. Nicki Thiim (DK), 59
5. Martin Ragginger (A), 59
6. Jaap van Lagen (NL), 56
7. René Rast (D), 54
Team standings after 6 of 9 races
1. Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, 154 points
2. Konrad Motorsport, 104
3. Hermes Attempto Racing, 64
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American Le Mans Series, round 5 in Lexington/USA Porsche teams hope for a good start to the second half of season
American Le Mans Series, round 5 in Lexington/USA
Porsche teams hope for a good start to the second half of season
Stuttgart. With the race on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on 6 August, the American Le Mans Series heads into the second half of the season. On the storied circuit in the Midwest of America, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) are eager to continue the success story with the Flying Lizard Motorsports-run 911 GT3 RSR that Porsche wrote over the last years.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge has been contested since 2001 – with a break in 2003 – as part of the American Le Mans Series. On this weekend, fans get two for the price of one: Aside from the world’s fastest sports cars, they are also treated to another very popular US championship – the Indycar Series.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is 3.621 kilometres long and features 13 corners. It is situated north of Cincinnati not far from Lexington in the US state of Ohio. The circuit opened in 1962 and was adapted to the latest safety standards in 1990.
The Porsche drivers
As reigning GT champions of the American Le Mans Series, Porsche factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) compete with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR entered by Flying Lizard Motorsports. In the second car of this successful squad from California, American Seth Neiman teams up with his compatriot Darren Law. Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) shares the cockpit of Falken Tire’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with Bryan Sellers from the USA. Sascha Maassen (Germany) and Bryce Miller (USA) again start for Paul Miller Racing in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Quotes before the race
Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “The changes to the Balance of Performance measures that were originally to be introduced at the last race in Mosport will now finally be enforced in Mid-Ohio. That’s why I expect some exciting race action.”
Joerg Bergmeister: “A classic race track with long straights and tight corners. It’s demanding and great fun. It’s important to get a good grid position in Mid-Ohio and above all to find the right set-up. We’ll have to work particularly hard with our engineers, because the Indycars leave a lot of rubber on the track and that constantly changes the grip level. You have to have the right touch.”
Patrick Long: “Our team has managed to find the right set-up for our car on every track to now. Hopefully, the boys will do it again in Mid-Ohio, even if it’s especially tricky there. We’ve already shown that this circuit suits us very well.”
Wolf Henzler: “Mid-Ohio is one of the venues where we tested during the Le Mans break. Thanks to this we’ve made great strides forward, and we reaped the rewards in Lime Rock. I just hope that will also be the case in Mid-Ohio. The circuit isn’t extremely demanding but it has several great corners.”
The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
The most successful GT race car of the last years takes off into the season with a raft of improvements. The output of the four-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine has increased to 455 hp (335 kW). Priority in the further development of the car was given to the newly designed aerodynamics at the front and rear. In 2010, the 911 GT3 RSR again won the environmental "Michelin Green X Challenge” classification as the GT vehicle with the best overall efficiency in the American Le Mans Series.
In the past, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has always proven to be excellent turf for Porsche. With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Joerg Bergmeister celebrated two victories in the GT2 class – in 2009 with Patrick Long, and in 2007 with Johannes van Overbeek. Wolf Henzler won here in 2006, also with Johannes van Overbeek, who triumphed in 2004 with Darren Law. In 2005, class victory went to Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, in 2002 to Kevin Buckler and B. J. Zacharias. Mid-Ohio is an important milestone in Porsche motorsport history primarily because Timo Bernhard und Romain Dumas brought home the first overall victory in 2006 with the Weissach-developed and built Porsche RS Spyder sports prototype.
Live in internet
The race in Mid-Ohio takes off on Saturday, 6 August, at 15.30 hours local time (21.30 hours CEST) and is broadcast live in the internet on www.americanlemans.com. The GT qualifying on Saturday will be shown from 20.40 hours CEST on www.porsche.com/alms-live.
The American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. The regulations correspond to those of the Le Mans 24 hour race. All classes start together but are classified separately:
GT class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers is traditionally extremely well supported: Slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,125 – 1,325 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
GTC class: This class is reserved for vehicles from one-make race series (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 Cup).
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp and an 825 kg minimum weight.
LMPC class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.
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ENGSTLER LOOKS FORWARD TO HOME RACE
PEPE ORIOLA SHINES IN FIA THE EUROPEAN CUP
CERQUI TESTS FOR ROAL MOTORSPORT
HUFF AND MENU TO RACE IN ARGENTINA
Fabio Ravaioli/Press Delegate.