Thursday 31 March 2011

Q&A: Belgian Racing's Antoine Leclerc and Milos Pavlovic

Ford's Belgian Racing squad experienced a frustrating weekend in Abu Dhabi, as reliability issues hampered both their preparations and their outright pace.

The team also suffered late drama when it announced Vanina Ickx - daughter of Belgian's F1 race winner Jacky Ickx - would be unable to partner Antoine Leclerc due to safety concerns relating to her driving position. Vanina will return for Zolder, but the team called up Fabien Giroix to replace her for Abu Dhabi.

Despite such frustrations, the team worked with unstinting commitment throughout the weekend, and were rewarded when Milos Pavlovic - making his GT1 debut - and Martin Matzke guided their No. 12 Ford GT to 12th place in both the Qualifying and Championship Races.

Serbia's Milos Pavlovic, and his stable-mate Antoine Leclerc in the No. 9 Ford GT, spoke to about their reactions to Abu Dhabi, and their hopes for Zolder - Belgian Racing's home round.

Q: What are your thoughts on the race in Abu Dhabi and in what areas can you further improve performance?

    Antoine Leclerc: This is consistent with what I expected! As the team, I had many things to discover and understand. The week-end was so complicated. By the time everything is set up, we really started to work during the warm up and qualifying race. I think we’ll be a little better than Abu Dhabi but we haven’t had much time to work. We will be in the match in Portimao after a good practice session.

    Milos Pavlovic: The race in Abu Dhabi was my first experience in a GT car. The weekend didn't go as expected as we had too many technical issues that compromised our final result. Still, the positive note comes from the fact that I can feel that the potential is there. We just need a trouble free weekend and that is what I'm hoping for.

    Q: What experience have you had on Zolder Circuit and do you think your car will suit this type of track?

      AL: I’m not familiar with the track, I have only ever done ten laps a few years ago in a legend car. But the team will be at home and they know the circuit perfectly so the car should have a good balance.

      MP: I have already raced a few times at Zolder, in 2005 and 2006 in World Series by Renault and 2004 in World Series Light. Considering that this is going to be our team's home race, I really hope that our Ford GT40 characteristics will suit the circuit. I believe it will.

      Q: What are your objectives for the race weekend?

      A: To continue to work and store information for Portimao. And we will do our best with Vanina on the Zolder circuit in Belgium - for the team and for our sponsors!

      MP: I just hope to have a trouble free weekend. The rest will come by itself!

      Peugeot and the Tour de Corse (May, 11-14)

      Peugeot and the Tour de Corse (May, 11-14)

      image Peugeot has decided to join forces with the Tour de Corse to mark the event's return to a major international championship. In addition to official backing from Peugeot France and the presence of French rallying's most popular single-make series (Volant 207), a high number of 207 Super 2000 runners will be looking to provide Peugeot with a fifth outright win on the Mediterranean island.

      Objective: a fifth win for Peugeot in Corsica

      The Tour de Corse will be the third round of the IRC's 2011 calendar after January's visit to Monte Carlo and the forthcoming Rally Islas Canarias (April 15-16). Bryan Bouffier/Xavier Panseri will start the Spanish event as the provisional championship leaders and will endeavour to repeat their success earlier in the year in Monaco. The Frenchmen enjoy support from Peugeot France and its dealership network and are scheduled to contest the entire series (NB: the organisation of the two Portuguese rounds has yet to be confirmed) in their bid to secure the 2011 title. image

      The Tour de Corse rookies will then try to win on home soil against 10 or so other 207 Super 2000 runners, including those entered by Peugeot Belgium (for Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul), Peugeot UK (Guy Wilks/Phil Pugh) and Peugeot Portugal (Bruno Magalhaes/Paulo Grave). Peugeot itself will be hunting a fifth win on the Mediterranean island after its previous victories notched up by Bruno Saby (1986/205 Turbo 16 Evo2), Gilles Panizzi (2000 and 2002/206 WRC) and, more recently, within the framework of the 2009 Coupe de France des Rallyes, Pascal Trojani (307 WRC). image

      Volant Peugeot 207

      In the course of its 30-year existence, Peugeot's celebrated single-make formula has produced a long list of top French drivers, including Gilles Panizzi, Sébastien Ogier and Bryan Bouffier. The series provides youngsters with a valuable chance to make their debut, learn the ropes or simply indulge in their passion in a competition which sets significant store on ensuring a level sporting and technical playing field. The Tour de Corse with be the second of this year's eight Volant 207 clashes, and the first on asphalt. More than 20 crews are expected to enter a 200hp 207 RC Rallye which is equipped with a six-speed gearbox. image

      Frédéric BERTRAND (Customer Competition Programme Manager, Peugeot Sport): "The Volant 207 is the only single-make series in rallying that can truly boost a driver's career. When putting together the calendar, I wanted to broaden the opportunities it offered to provide the best grooming possible. This included incorporating more asphalt events, while also giving competitors a real chance to develop their gravel skills. We are the only brand to propose this sort of mixed-surface format which seeks to serve as a springboard for new talent. The Volant 207 is also one of the sport's more affordable competitions, including event-by-event finish-money, plus an exciting endof-year top prize in the form of a factory programme. It is a highly attractive package which guarantees a level sporting and technical playing field, and we expect almost 35 competitors will register this season." image

      An official partnership with Peugeot France and the attendance of Miss France
      France's round of the IRC calendar will benefit from an association with Peugeot France and its dealership network. Running ahead of the field will be several RCZs, one of which will carry the 2011 Miss France, Laury Thilleman, as passenger.

      Peugeout Sport/Acreditated and Autorized Press Media.

      JRM Racing delighted with inaugural podiums

      Nissan's JR Motorsport squad celebrated a fantastic start to life in GT1 by claiming two second places and one third from the two hour-long races on Abu Dhabi's spectacular Yas Marina circuit.

      The weekend marked JRM's GT1 debut, with the team replacing Swiss Racing as the second Nissan outfit alongside Sumo Power, but they showed no signs of inexperience as they challenged for the lead in both races before emerging from Abu Dhabi second in both the Drivers' and Teams' Championships.

      The lion's share of the points were collected by the British pairing of Peter Dumbreck and Richard Westbrook in the No. 22 Nissan GT-R, who enjoyed the most consistent results of any car in the field as they stormed to second place in both Qualifying and Championship Races.

      The weekend started in fine fashion for JRM, with the No. 22 GT-R challenging for the lead for much of the second half of the race, eventually finishing little more than one second behind in the runner-up spot. Germany's Michael Krumm and Lucas Luhr in the No. 23 GT-R meanwhile came through from fifth at the start to finish third, meaning both cars would start from the first two rows for the main Championship Race.

      Dumbreck almost made a perfect start in the No. 22 Nissan, eventually emerging in second behind Enrique Bernoldi in the sister Sumo Power No. 20 Nissan. Dumbreck hounded Bernoldi until the pit stop window, from which the team emerged in second - albeit six seconds down on new race leaders Hexis Aston Martin. Westbrook was able to close the gap steadily and by lap 27 was less than half a second behind, but was unable to find a way past and came home second.

      Luhr and Krumm meanwhile had dropped slightly down the order at the start, before suffering misfortune when an on-track collision punctured the left-front tyre and caused suspension damage. Impressively the duo were able to carry on, taking the chequered flag in 14th.

      "If someone had said to me before this weekend I would have two second places in my debut with JRM, I would have been delighted," Richard Westbrook enthused. "I'm pleased to say that everything is working well with Peter and the whole team, so I'm looking forward to Zolder."

      Peter Dumbreck was bullish about his squad's prospects, saying: "You have to take the points that are on offer and that's what Richard and I did today - and we intend to do the same for the rest of the year. It was great to finish second in race one, and then my start (in race two) was so good I lifted as I thought I might have gone too soon! The car felt good so I could stay with Enrique (Bernoldi), but I couldn't make the move to get by."

      Over in the No. 23 JRM Nissan GT-R, Lucas Luhr insisted he too was enthusiastic about the team's potential, saying: "I was very happy to finish in my first ever race in the Nissan. I was hoping the second race would be just as good, but when I got hit that was it for my race. However, because of the performance, I am optimistic about the rest of the season."

      Luhr's team-mate Michael Krumm echoed his sentiments, explaining: "I was pleased with the strong performance of the Nissan GT-R, and to finish third in the first race. The second race was not as it should have been but even with the car not driving in a straight line I was still able to lap at a good pace, which shows the potential is there when everything is right.

      Info and Fotos FIA GT1/For Acreditated and Autorized Media Press.

      Wednesday 30 March 2011

      List of Participants Le Mans Series/Le castellet

      The participants

      Info: Le Mans

      Number of entrants: 36


      Team Country Car Drivers
      12 Rebellion Racing Switzerland Lola B10/60 Coupé - Toyota
      13 Rebellion Racing Switzerland Lola B10/60 Coupé - Toyota
      16 Pescarolo Sport France Pescarolo - Judd
      18 Guess Racing Europ Belgium Lola B09/80 Coupé - Judd
      20 Quifel - ASM Team Portugal Zytek 09SC


      Team Country Car Drivers
      36 RML United Kingdom HPD ARX -01d
      39 Pecom Racing Argentine Lola B11/40 - Judd
      40 Race Performance Switzerland Oreca 03 - Judd
      41 Greaves Motorsport United Kingdom Zytek Z11SN - Nissan
      42 Strakka Racing United Kingdom HPD ARX - 01
      43 RLR msport United Kingdom MG Lola EX265 - AER
      44 Extreme Limite AM Paris France Norma M200P - Judd
      45 Boutsen Energy Racing Belgium Oreca 03 - Nissan
      46 TDS Racing France Oreca 03 - Nissan


      Team Country Car Drivers
      91 Hope Polevision Racing Switzerland Formula Le Mans - Oreca - 09
      92 Neil Garner Motorsport United Kingdom Formula Le Mans - Oreca - 09
      93 Genoa Racing the United States Formula Le Mans - Oreca - 09
      95 Pegasus Racing France Formula Le Mans - Oreca - 09
      99 JMB Racing Monaco Formula Le Mans - Oreca - 09

      ''LM''GTE PRO

      Team Country Car Drivers
      51 AF Corse Italy Ferrari F458 Italia
      66 JMW Motorsport United Kingdom Ferrari F458 Italia
      71 AF Corse Italy Ferrari F458 Italia
      75 Prospeed Competition Belgium Porsche 911 RSR (997)
      76 IMSA Performance Matmut France Porsche 911 RSR (997)
      77 Team Felbermayr Proton Germany Porsche 911 RSR (997)
      78 Gruppem-Eterniti Racing United Kingdom Porsche 911 RSR (997)
      79 JOTA United Kingdom Aston Martin Vantage
      86 Young Driver AMR Germany Aston Martin Vantage
      89 Hankook Team Farnbacher Germany Ferrari F430 GT

      ''LM''GTE AM

      Team Country Car Drivers
      61 AF Corse Italy Ferrari F430
      67 IMSA Performance Matmut France Porsche 911 RSR (997)
      70 Kessel Racing Italy Ferrari F430
      72 AF Corse Italy Ferrari F430
      82 CRS Racing United Kingdom Ferrari F430
      88 Team Felbermayr Proton Germany Porsche 911 RSR (997)

      Several teams invited to the next 24 Hours of Le Mans will be seen this weekend at the Paul Ricard circuit in the opening round of the Le Mans Series.

      HPD Honda Performance Development will attempt to retain their crown Le Mans next June. To achieve this, the research department of Virgin F1 Racing has worked on various developments described as "a great step forward" by engineer Nick Wirth. After eight seasons with Lola, RML changed track and joined Strakka Racing in the HPD camp.

      Oreca The first LM P2 chassis designed by Oreca embodies the technical knowledge accumulated by the men who led the Peugeot 908 to its first title in LMS last year. Race Performance, Boutsen Energy Racing and TDS Racing will make their first steps in LM P2 this weekend. At Le Mans, they will be joined by Signatech and the official Oreca team.

      Lola The new Lola B11/40 entered by Pecom Racing is prepared by a major name in endurance: AF Corse. The Italian team, have been at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in GT since 2007, but this time with V8 Judd BMW instead of Ferrari power.

      Zytek Formula Le Mans title holder Gary Chalandon rejoins Greaves Motorsport (ex Team Bruichladdich) with whom he finished 10th in 24 Hours of Le Mans 2010 (5th in LM P2). This winter, the integration of the Nissan V8 in the Zytek chassis was particularly careful ... And for good reason: the Japanese manufacturer's engines are built at Zytek!

      Norma In pole position in the list of prototype 'reserves' for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nantes team Extrême Limite still has a chance to take part. In any case, the dream of young Fabien Rosier (ACO 2006), will make his debut in LM P2 this weekend!

      Text: Julien Hergault, Photo: Paul Ricard HTTT, OFFICIAL TESTING FOR LE MANS SERIES, March 12, 2011. The RML team seemed in difficulty with the HPD during the first official practice. / Acreditated and Autorized Media Press.

      An opening round with many attractions


      An opening round with many attractions

      The VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring will have a start at its best. The opening round on 2nd April will be full of unique attractions. With Kremer-Racing from Cologne, one of the most traditional German racing teams will come back to racing at the 58th ADAC Westfalenfahrt. Furthermore, the four times DTM race winner at the Nürburgring Nicola Larini will celebrate a comeback at the Eifel circuit and compete in the P 4/5 Competizione of the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. The Italian race driver will be supported by celebrities such as former formula 1 start Mika Salo, Luca Cappellari and Fabrizio Giovanardi. The fantastic field will be completed by a comprehensive armada of new and spectacular Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 with four customer teams which are well prepared and looking forward to chase for top positions in the VLN. Not to forget last year’s winning team of the ADAC Zurich 24h Race. Schnitzer Motorsport will compete with two completely updated BMW M4 GT. Finally and to the great pleasure of the true VLN fans, the new ‘Eifelblitz’ BMW of Johannes Scheid who is really experienced in racing at the Nürburgring will have its first race participation. The organising ADAC Westfalen expects more than 190 cars to take the start over the four hours race distance at 12 o’clock exactly. The prizegiving ceremony will take place at 18:00hrs in the ring°boulevard. A 30 minutes summary of the opening round will be broadcasted in channel Sport1 on 13th April at 17:30hrs.

      The number of top teams has clearly increased compared to last year. Whilst Porsche will remain to be the strongest make and, with Manthey-Racing, has a top team in the fight about the race win, their competitors have not taken a rest during winter and did certainly catch up. The very competitive spearhead with Timo Bernhard (Dittweiler/ Germany), Lucas Luhr (Switzerland) and Arno Klasen (Karlshausen/ Germany) in a Porsche 911 GT3 R will be much challenged by not less than seven brand-new SLS AMG GT3. The compositions of the crews sound extremely attractive. Chris Mamerow (Castrop-Rauxel/ German) will race together with Armin Hahne (Wimbach/ Germany). The team mates of Kenneth Heyer (Wegberg/ Germany) in the Black-Falcon gullwing race car will alternatively be Thomas Jäger (Munich), Jan Seyffarth (Querfurt-Leimbach/ Germany) and Jeroen Bleekemolen from the Netherlands. Amongst others, former DTM driver Hubert Haupt as well as Roland Rehfeld (Blankenfelde/ Germany), the person of many talents in motor sports, have been entered in the two ROWE-SLS. Finally, driver and team manager David Horn (Steinbach/ Germany) will race in a team with Sascha Bert (Ober-Ramstadt/ Germany).

      Whilst the SLS AMG GT3 will still have to prove their ability to win, BMW Motorsport will arrive at the Nürburgring with a great portion of self-confidence. With Uwe Alzen (Betzdorf/ Germany), Augusto Farfus (Brazil), Jörg Müller (Monaco), Andy Priaulx (Great Britain), Dirk Müller (Switzerland) and Dirk Werner (Würzburg/ Germany), top drivers from all over the world will be at the start of the opening round and in preparation to defend their title at the long distance classical race. The local heroes entered by the Team Phoenix-Racing from Meuspath near the Nürburgring will also take part with two cars. These two Audi R8 LMS will be driven by Jan Brunstedt (Sweden) and Marc Hennerici (Bonn/ Germany) as well as by Christopher Haase (Kulmbach/ Germany), Andrea Simonsen (Sweden) and Marc Bronzel (Großensee/ Germany).

      An absolute eye-catcher is coming fro Italy: The N.Technology P4/5 Competizione of the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. This great super sports car will be driven by Mika Salo (Finland), Luca Cappellari, Nicola Larini and Fabrizio Giovanardi (all from Italy) at its world premiere. The project around the American financer and car collector Jim Glickenhaus has already attracted a lot of attention in advance. The team is highly motivated and it will be exciting to see how the four true race drivers will perform with the P4/5.

      Two comeback: Kremer Racing and the ‘Eifelblitz’
      With Kremer Racing, one of the most successful German racing teams will have a comeback in motorsport after a break of 15 years. To the great pleasure of many fans, the team from Cologne will be represented on the grid with a Porsche 911 GT3 in class SP7 (VLN Special up to 4000 cc cubic capacity), driven by endurance racing expert Wolfgang Kaufmann (Molsberg/ Germany). And another comeback will make the hearts of the spectators around the Nordschleife beat faster. The ‘Eifelblitz’ of Johannes Scheid (Kottenborn) who is so experienced in racing at the Nürburgring is back again. The BMW M3 entered in the class of GT4 cars will be driven by Duncan Huismann from the Netherlands.

      Strong classes will cause quite a stir in the mid-field
      Two classes will be extremely interesting due to their number of entries: the class SP3T (VLN Special up to 2000 cc capacity with turbocharger) and the class of the Renault Clio Cup. Both together they come up to almost 50 cars and thus represent about a quarter of the grid. Whilst the Clios in the Renault class will be almost identical regarding technology and material, there is a really great variety in class SP3T which figures cars such as Audi TT, Opel Astra OPC, Seat Leon as well as Volkswagen Golf and Scirocco. The Champion of the 2011 season may well come from one of these two classes due to the successful classification criteria in the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring which is based on the motto ‘The more competitors, the more honour’.

      The Diesel class D1T (Diesel cars up to 2000 cc capacity) will also figure some newcomers. VLN partner Peugeot has entered two new RCZ HDi in this class. These Diesel cars from France have scored a great success at the ADAC Zurich 24h Race Nürburgring and now wish to prove their reliability over the complete season.

      Prizegiving in the ring°boulevard
      After the successful public event during the test and set-up session, the VLN has decided to also organise the future prizegiving ceremonies at the ring°boulevard. Just in front of the impressive video wall ring°wall, the successful drivers in the various classes will be awarded their prizes at 18:00hrs after each race. Refreshments will be available and all the fans of the series are of course welcome to join the event and celebrate the successes together with the winners.

      The opening round of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring will start with the timed practice between 08:30hrs and 10:00hrs. The start of the 58th ADAC Westfalenfahrt over the distance of four hours on the 24.369 kilometres long combination of the Nürburgring short connection and the Nordschleife will then be given exactly at 12 o’clock. Entry all around the Nordschleife is free. A fee of 12 euros per person shall be payable for the open grandstands at the Grand Prix Circuit and for admission to the paddocks.

      Info and Foto:

      The Porsche classic cars get their race season underway

      The highlights of the “Museum on Wheels” in the first half of 2011

      The Porsche classic cars get their race season underway

      Stuttgart. The legends are under starter’s orders: In 2011 the Porsche Museum’s classic cars will again be on their globetrotting travels. At the pit stops before every race, the Porsche Museum workshop specialists ensure that the ambassadors on wheels of Porsche’s history are in tip-top shape for every event. Every bit as dynamic as the Zuffenhausen sports cars is their race schedule, which is updated constantly throughout the season. Numerous races are already scheduled for calendar year 2011. But the most important dates for the first half of the year are already confirmed.

      The opening event for the Porsche classic cars is the 20th Targa Tasmania, being contested in Australia. A very special encounter awaits us there: For the first time in 30 years after their legendary pursuit as outsiders at the San Remo Rally, Walter Röhrl and Christian Geistdörfer are once again lining up on the starting grid in the Porsche 911 SC. The white 911 with its trademark “duck tail” hadn’t raced for 25 years before it was comprehensively restored by the Porsche museum. The SC will be accompanied by the 718 RS 60 Spyder, which won the 1960 Targa Florio, and the 908/02 Spyder, the winning car at the 1969 Targa Florio. Starting on 5th April, the rally winds its way through the north of Tasmania for five days and has been open to contemporary and classic vehicles since the mid 1980s. For the first time, fans can follow the rally on the Internet at

      The 550 Spyder, along with other Porsche classic cars, is a traditional fixture of the Mille Miglia, which gets under way on the evening of 12th May 2011. The flat Spyder first contested the thousand miles from Brescia to Rome and back in 1954 and wrote itself into the history books mainly on the strength of a daring manoeuvre by its driver: Hans Hermann drove the 500 with its aluminium body under a descending railway barrier. Driver and car emerged unscathed. A 356 coupé with so-called “Knickscheibe” (bent windscreen) with its V-shaped front windscreen arrangement – will accompany the Spyder. The front windscreen of this Porsche 356 version came by its name because, although it was indeed made in one piece without a central stay, it was bent in the middle.

      A 356 B 2000 GS Carrera GT has been booked for the Kitzbühel Alpine rally, for the past 24 years one of the classic car events. Because of its striking silhouette with rear window steeply raked for aerodynamic reasons, this vehicle is known throughout the world as the “Dreikantschaber“ roughly translated as “Wedge Blade”. The “Dreikantschaber“, only two of which were ever made, can be seen from 25 to 28 May 2011 on mountain roads in the Tirol, Salzburg and Bavaria.

      The Goodwood Festival of Speed is almost unthinkable without a Porsche. This year, the motorsport event, which has been staged every year since 1993 on Lord March’s estate in West Sussex, has been scheduled between 30 June and 3 July. This year, spectators can look forward to an eight-cylinder duet performed by the 804 and 908 racing cars. The 804, weighing a mere 461 kilograms, is the only Formula 1 racing car entirely developed and built by Porsche, winning the 1962 French Grand Prix. With its twelve kilogram body made of foam-reinforced plastic, the 908/3 Spyder is an extreme example of lightweight construction and won three of its four races in 1970 and 1971.

      Two further highlights of the first half of the classic car year are the two Austrian events, the Silvretta Classic and Ennstal Classic. From 7 to 10 July, the 356 B Carrera Abarth will be demonstrating its reliability in the High Alps. The first specimen of this particularly streamlined and lightweight 356 won its category in the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 19th Ennstal Classic starts almost immediately afterwards, on 13 July at which the forebear of the Boxster, the 718 RS 60 Spyder will be taking part. In 1960 it gifted Porsche its first outright victory in the USA with first place in the Twelve Hours of Sebring. Also promised is the 904, the first Porsche with a plastic body. Only six months after first being unveiled, it won the Targa Florio and also proved its worth at the Monte Carlo Rally and at Le Mans. To this very day it is considered to be one of the most beautiful racing cars.

      With this concept of the “Museum on Wheels” Porsche is going its own distinctive way. Almost all the museum’s exhibits are still roadworthy and as such are fulfilling the purpose for which they were originally built: They move. The Porsche Museum is all about variety and vitality, making it almost unique among automotive museums. Instead of a conventional, static exhibition, it presents a kaleidoscope image of constantly rearranged exhibits.

      The Porsche Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For further information please visit

      Public Relations and Media Porsche-Museum Astrid Böttinger

      Swiss Racing satisfied with Abu Dhabi opener

      Lamborghini's Swiss Racing Team was satisfied to score points in the GT1 season opener in Abu Dhabi - especially given the team's extremely short preparation for the start of the season.

      Swiss Racing opted to switch from Ford to the Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670 for the start of the 2011 season, and while the decision impacted upon its pre-season preparations, it was also vindicated by a points scoring finish for Peter Kox and Karl Wendlinger in the main Championship Race.

      The duo, racing in the No. 5 Murcielago, had started the race from 10th position - their finishing berth in the Qualifying Race - but made up several places during the hour-long Championship Race, with Kox eventually collecting the chequered flag in seventh position.

      Peter Kox, who joined Swiss Racing this year and has a long history with Lamborghini, was positive about his team's performance on the Yas Marina circuit, saying: "The first weekend included a lot of ups and downs. The team has to learn a lot about the new cars, but the basis and engineering are very good. I am also very happy with my partner (Wendlinger); he has a lot of experience and you could not wish for a better colleague."

      Kox's team-mate Karl Wendlinger was also pleased with his team's performance on the Yas Marina circuit: "It was a good start for the team - P7 is not sensational but I am pleased because the car was very fast. If we manage to start from the first three rows we have a very good chance this season."

      The weekend proved less fruitful for the No. 6 Lamborghini, which was shared by Sweden's Max Nilsson and the Czech Republic's Jiri Janak, making his GT1 debut. The pair finished just outside the top ten in both races, but both found reasons to be positive from the weekend.

      "Everything was new for me: the car, the team, even the track," Jiri Janak explained. "The FIA GT1 World Championship is very hard and you have to be perfect to be among the top pilots. I feel very comfortable with the team though, they did great work and it is fun to work with Max (Nilsson).

      Max Nilsson said: "The weekend was very hard because we had no real opportunity to test the cars in advance. I had good speed (during the race) which I am very happy about, but I would want more testing time in order to get to know the cars better."

      Info and Foto FIA GT1 Championship/Acreditated and Autorized Media Press.

      Nicolas Prost : 'The objective is the title'

      After an encouraging seventh place finish at Sebring for the opening of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup for Rebellion Racing and new partner Toyota, he is aiming high for the 2011 Le Mans Series season, which begins on 3rd April at Le Castellet.

      This collaboration with Toyota is it for the long term?
      Nicolas Prost: "For the moment the contract is two years. We have a record worthy of a factory team and the people of Toyota have worked hard to develop the engine. It is light, rigid and improves the balance of the car. "

      What was the contribution of Jean-Christophe Boullion, who joined the Rebellion Racing last year?
      "First of all, Jean-Christophe has been a benchmark for the team. In 2009 he became the best driver in the Le Mans Series, he sets the standard because we had a lot of young drivers in the team. Everyone is very close in performance but the presence of Jean-Christophe confirms this. He brought all his experience of this type of racing, which is beneficial for the team. "

      What of Le Mans and the presence of Guy Smith, winner of 24 Hours in 2003?
      "Guy is a fast driver and very friendly. In addition, he is familiar with the Lola in the the United States. He was able to compare our car with that of Dyson Racing and tell us what was right and it was not good. "

      Do you think endurance racing is real alternative for young drivers who have more opportunities in the car?
      "I think it has always been the case a little, because the prototypes were always cars most similar to single-seaters. With the arrival of new manufacturers, endurance is clearly a starting point to grow from and becomes more and more interesting. Le Mans Series, the goal of Rebellion Racing is the title, and in ILMC, aim to win in mid-season. "

      What special memories or stories come to mind of Hugh Hayden, a founder of the team who died last year?
      "When I first went to England to mould my seat. That's when I met Hugh for the first time. That evening, I had to fly back to Johannesburg for an A1 GP race and Hugh took me to Heathrow. We really got know each other in the car and I quickly realized he was a true gentleman and someone you could count on. "

      Jean-Philippe Doret

      Photo: Le Castellet, TEST LE MANS SERIES, March 11, 2011. Nicolas Prost Rebellion and the team will be back racing at the Circuit Paul Ricard this weekend for the opening of the Le Mans Series 2011.

      Debut race for Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin Vantage

      Le Mans-preparations at Le Mans Series season opener in France

      Paderborn / Le Castellet, 30.03.2011. [Le Mans Series]

      Young Driver AMR debuts its new Aston Martin Vantage in the GTE-class of the Le Mans Series season-opener at the HTTT Paul Ricard in Le Castellet/France. In the maiden race of the Young Driver AMR-GTE-class entry, Tomas Enge (CZE), Alex Müller (GER) and Christoffer Nygaard (DAN) will drive the V8-powered car. The debut race of Young Driver AMR with the Vantage is part of the preparation for a possible entry in the 24h hours of Le Mans in June.

      For Young Driver AMR, this week is probably one of the busiest of the season. Without rest, the team travels from the first race of the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship to the south of France for the first race of the Le Mans Series. At the HTTT Paul Ricard, Young Driver AMR enters for the first time a car in the GTE-class (former GT2-class). The 460 HP strong Aston Martin Vantage is based on the V8-powered „V8 Vantage“, the little brother of the V12-powered and 600 HP strong Aston Martin DBR9, that Young Driver AMR campaigns in the GT1 World Championship. Young Driver AMR entered the GTE-Pro class for professional drivers with the Vantage and will compete against works-supported Ferrari and Porsche Teams.

      The Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin Vantage had it’s first public outing during the Le Mans Series official test day earlier this month, the 6 hour race on Sunday will be the maiden race for the car. The race will be part of the Le Mans-preparation of Young Driver AMR. Although Young Driver AMR hasn’t a confirmed place on the grid for the world’s most famous endurance classic yet, the team will also enter the official Le Mans test day on the Easter weekend for the best possible preparation.

      „We still hope that we get a Le Mans entry for this year’s race after our Le Mans debut is year was quite successful, when we finished on the podium“, Young Driver AMR team principal Hardy Fischer says. „In case we can secure a Le Mans-Entry, we will be prepared in the best possible way. The Le Mans Series season opener is a crucial part of our preparation, as we have to learn fundamental things about the car and also the Le Mans-style racing rulebook.“

      Young Driver AMR is proud that ski manufacturer Zai (, sportswear company Kjus (, Edmiston Luxury Yacht Charter (, Malts of Scotland (, Union Engineering ( and Zegg Watches & Jewellery ( support the Le Mans Series effort.

      Driver Quotes before the race:

      Tomas Enge: „During the Le Mans Series test day, our new Aston Martin Vantage was quick right out of the box. Aston Martin Racing put a lot of development into the car during the off-season. Unfortunately, Young Driver AMR has not yet a place in the grid of the 24 hours of Le Mans. But if we will receive one, we will be prepared in the best possible way.“

      Alex Müller: „The Le Mans Series race at Le Castellet is a very good preparation for Le Mans. Mainly it is a learning weekend for us, but we are also there for racing and would also like to show a good performance. At the official test day, the car quite impressed me, I’m very anxious about the first race.“

      Christoffer Nygaard: „I can’t wait to get in the car at Le Castellet. Beside our brief test with the car earlier this month, it will be the first time after the winter break, that I will be in the car. At the test day, I had the chance to get a little familiar with the car, during this weekend our focus is to learn and get experience with the car.“


      One picture for editorial use only in the attachment, copyright Le Mans Series/DPPI

      Schedule Le Mans Series 6h Le Castellet:

      Friday, 01. April
      11.55 – 12.55 Free practise 1
      16.30 – 17.30 Free practise 2

      Saturday, 02. April
      09.00 – 10.00 Free practise 3
      13.34 – 14.05 Qualifying GTE

      Sunday, 03. April
      09.00 – 09.20 Warm-Up
      12.00 – 18.00 RACE (6 hours)

      About Young Driver AMR
      Young Driver AMR was founded by Hardy Fischer and his friend and long-time associate Jan Struve in late 2009 and is representing Aston Martin as one of only two teams in the FIA GT1 World Championship with two Aston Martin DBR9. The abbreviation AMR in the team name stands for Aston Martin Racing, Young Driver AMR is the only official German partner team of Aston Martin Racing. Young Driver AMR is a sister-team of Fischer Racing and based in Paderborn. In it’s first racing season 2010, Young Driver AMR took three victories in the FIA GT1 World Championship and finished on the class podium in it’s first ever outing in the legendary 24 hours of Le Mans in France.

      Further information’s
      Young Driver AMR
      Le Mans Series
      Aston Martin Racing
      Alex Müller
      Christoffer Nygaard
      Tomas Enge

      With best regards from Paderborn

      Young Driver AMR GmbH
      Max-Planck-Str. 3a
      D-33104 Paderborn / Germany

      phone: +49 5254 93 06 295
      Phone media: +49 176 222 18 308

      Director: Erhard Fischer

      Info: Young Driver AMR GmbH
      Foto: copyright Le Mans Series/DPPI
      Acreditated and Autorized Media Press.

      Reigning GT3 Champion's Dream Start on the World Stage

      The maiden race of Christian Hohenadel in the GT1 World Championship at Abu Dhabi (VAE) ended with a dream result. Reigning FIA GT3-European Champion Hohenadel only briefly missed the podium in the Championship Race on the epic Yas Marina Circuit with his teammate Andrea Piccini (ITA) in the Hexis AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 and finished fourth. 34-year old Hohenadel had to cope on his debut weekend in the highly competitive GT1 World Championship with big challenges. During the early minutes of free practise, the oil cooler of the Aston Martin V12-engine broke and caused a preliminary end to the session for Hohenadel/Piccini. Due to the lengthy repair, the two Hexis AMR-drivers had to sit out free practise and also the pre-qualifying session. Valuable practise time was gone. So Hohenadel decided to be on the safe side for qualifying: „I didn’t wanted to take any unnecessary risk in qualifying und certainly didn’t get the most out of the car. Starting position 15 is not what we expected and what we are capable of, but the races are long and anything can happen.“ During the 60-minute Qualifying Race, Hohenadel and Piccini consequently made their way forward. In the second part of the race, Hohenadel was eight and delivered a good show for the TV-cameras, when he defended his position against Le Mans-Winner and ALMS-Champion David Brabham (Nissan) and former Formula 1-driver Karl Wendlinger (Lamborghini). Eventually, Hohenadel had to let Brabham go and finished ninth. In the main race, the Championship Race, held under floodlight in the evening hours due to the cooler ambient temperatures, Hohenadel therefore had to start from ninth spot in the middle of pack. The start went well for the Aston Martin-driver, Hohenadel gained three positions and could easily defend sixth place until the mandatory driver change halfway through the race. In the second part of the race, Piccini could gain another two positions and brought the Hexis-Aston Martin to the finish line in 4th position. "Fourth place in my debut race in the GT1 World Championship is almost a dream start. I’m absolutely pleased with the result. considering the troubles we had during practise”, Hohenadel was happy after the race. „My start into the Championship Race was good, I was able to defend my position and then, step by step, I moved forward. I’m pleased with my laptimes in the Championship Race, fourth place a dream start into the GT1 World Season. My goal was to collect some points on my debut weekend in the GT1-Aston Martin, I never would have expected that I would only briefly miss a place on the podium in my first GT1 outing. Certainly I’m still not there with my performance where I want to be, but I learned a lot on my first weekend. With this result, I’m travelling very optimistic to the next race in Zolder. We scored good points at Abu Dhabi, but have no success ballast in the car, that gives us a great foundation for the next round.” The Championship Race was won by Clivio Piccione and Stef Dusseldorp in the second Aston Martin DBR9 of Hexis AMR. The next race will take place from 8. to 10. April in Zolder/Belgium.
      Info and Foto FIA GT3 European Championship/Acreditated and Autorized Media Press.