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11/2018 No.7 Toyota takes challenging Shanghai win; Jackie Chan DC Racing celebrate home victory
Toyota Gazoo Racing took a second consecutive 1-2 finish at today’s 6 Hours of Shanghai after a challenging race held in wet conditions.
Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose-Maria Lopez took the chequered flag in the No.7 Toyota TS 050 HYBRID to register back-to-back victories after their Fuji success last month.
They beat the No.8 Toyota driven by Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi by just 1.14s to close to within five points of their stablemates in the title chase.
The No.8 Toyota TS 050 HYBRID claimed second after losing time midway through the race during one of the five Safety Car periods.
This cost Fernando Alonso approximately 25-seconds and allowed Kobayashi to build what turned out to be a race defining lead.
Completing the podium and registering the first overall visit to the podium for a Russian entered team was SMP Racing.
The No.11 crew of Jenson Button, Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin fought off the No.1 Rebellion Racing crew of Andre Lotterer, Neel Jani and Bruno Senna during a race long battle.
Button celebrated his first ever WEC podium to make it two celebrations in as many weeks after he took the Super GT title in Japan last weekend.
The LMP1 privateers had their most competitive weekend of the Super Season so far after EoT modifications were completed ahead of the Shanghai event.
45,000 race fans enjoyed the Shanghai action over the weekend despite the difficult conditions ensuring that they witnessed another epic WEC encounter.
Hometown Heroes Take Famous LMP2 Win
LMP2 saw a hard-fought and popular home victory for the No.38 Jackie Chan DC Racing crew of Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Stephane Richelmi.
Claiming their second victory of the season, the trio survived several technical and on-track scares to take the maximum points and displace the Signatech Alpine Matmut crew at the top of the points table.
Contending with a gear issue and also an off-track excursion for Aubry in the final hour of the race, all three headed off the opposition to send their local fans home ecstatic at an accomplished performance.
Taking their best result of the Super Season so far, Pastor Maldonado, Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez took second position after leading in the initial green flag running early in the race.
Rounding out the podium was Signatech Alpine Matmut’s Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Pierre Thiriet. Lapierre capitalised on a late incident involving TDS Racing and a GT car to snatch third position.

11/2018 Aston Martin seals first win of season in LMGTE
Aston Martin Racing overcame extremely challenging conditions throughout today’s 6 Hours of Shanghai, round 5 of the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season, to claim a well-deserved first LMGTE victory for the new Vantage.
The No.95 of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen celebrated the first WEC win for the British manufacturer in the top GTE category since the 6 Hours of Mexico last year, and until the final 30 minutes it looked as though the team might even secure a 1-2 finish.
Following a Safety Car period – the fifth of a race which also included two red flag stoppages for heavy rain and unsafe track conditions – the No.91 Porsche 911 RSR of Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni jumped ahead of the No.97 Aston Martin (Alex Lynn/Maxime Martin) in deteriorating conditions to take second in class.
The Porsche GT Team in fact came through to scoop two podium places, the No.92 Porsche of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen passing the No.97 Aston which was on older tyres.
AF Corse Ferrari’s No.51 of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi came through after a difficult weekend to finish 5th in class ahead of the sister No.71 car.  Ford Chip Ganassi Racing had a less successful weekend in Shanghai than in the past, while BMW was on this occasion not able to repeat its Fuji podium (on its first wet tyre run ever), both teams being awarded post race penalties for differing infringements.
It was a Porsche 1-2-3 in LMGTE Am as the No.77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR of Christian Ried, Julien Andlauer and Matt Campbell claimed top honours in the 6 Hours of Shanghai today, closing out a difficult week for the German team in a positive way.
The team’s No.88 of Khaled Al Qubaisi, Matteo Cairoli and WEC rookie Riccardo Pera came through for a strong third place, sandwiching Team Project 1’s Porsche with Jörg Bergmeister, Egidio Perfetti and Patrick Lindsey which took second, 8.7 seconds behind the class winner.
Despite the climatic conditions over the weekend, 45,000 enthusiastic Chinese fans supported the WEC’s annual visit to Shanghai.  All 20 of the GTE entries finished the race, surviving extremely difficult driving conditions to put on a great show.
The WEC Super Season will now face a pause of a few months over the winter before resuming for the 1000 Miles of Sebring in Florida, USA on 15th March 2019 for round six.

11/2018 24H SERIES ​Black Falcon takes Hankook 24H COTA USA win; PROsport secures championship
Scott Heckert led the field across the finishing line to complete 603 laps of the 5.5km Circuit of The Americas, and finished ahead of the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (#911, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer), which led almost half of the re-started race distance. The PROsport Performance Mercedes was the highest finishing A6-Am entry, completed a strong run by finishing in the overall top three, and leaves Texas with the Overall Teams and the A6-class Championship of the Continents. Ralf Bohn and Robert Renauer meanwhile walk away with the Overall Drivers’ GT crown.
“This Black Falcon team did an awesome job and the Mercedes-AMG was fantastic all day long,” Mike Skeen explained to radiolemans.com’s Joe Bradley. “We knew we were in a good position last night when we finished part one and we just had to execute today. We knew we had good pace compared with the Porsche, we knew they had penalties coming, so we just had to stick to the plan and go at it!”
The SPS automotive performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#24, Alexandre Coigny / Richard Feller / Antonin Borga) finished 4th on the road and 2nd in A6-Am after a strong run, while the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003C (#49, Thomas Mutsch / Franck Mailleux / Felipe Fernández Laser / Piero Longhi) completed a successful return to the 24H SERIES by finishing 5th overall and 3rd in A6-Pro. The ‘sister’ LightSpeed racing SCG 003C (#704, Jeff Westphal / Andreas Simonsen / Jon Miller / Craig Stanton) failed to make the finish after suffering a gearbox failure shortly before quarter distance.
The final podium spot in A6-Am goes to the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff / Gustav Edelhoff / Ingo Vogler / Max Edelhoff), which finished 6th on the road.
On its 24H SERIES debut, the JDX Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#74, Alan Metni / Mark Kvamme / Trenton Estep / David Baker) finished an impressive 7th overall to collect the 991-class win. Fellow Americans Wright Motorsports (#91, Anthony Imperato / Fred Poordad / Mckay Snow / Jan Heylen) have been classified 2nd in-class, but failed to make the finish owing to an overheating engine.
Fittingly, the Classic BMW BMW M4 GT4 (#272, Mike Vess / Jason Hart / Andrew Davis / Curt Swearingin / Matt Travis), the RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#890, Chapman Ducote / David Ducote / Wayne Ducote / Paul Barnhart Jr. / Kyle Marcelli) and the RHC Jorgensen/Strom BMW M4 GT4 (#113, Daren Jorgensen / Brett Strom / Gerard McLeod / Danny van Dongen) round out the overall top 10, and also complete the GT4 class podium, Classic BMW emulating the class victory it secured at the same event last year.
After a very tough race, the VDS Racing Adventures MARC Focus V8 (#58, Raphaël van der Straten / Hary Putz / José Close / Nico Verdonck) takes its fourth class win of the season in SP2, and took the chequered flag six laps clear of the JR Motorsport BMW M3 F80 Endurance (#114, Bas Schouten / Ted van Vliet / Martin Lanting / Ward Sluys). The Speed Lover Porsche 991-I Cup (#78, Pierre-Yves Paque / Rodrigue Gillion / Lance Bergstein / Jean-Michel Gerome / Jean-Alexandre Gerome) also encountered problems throughout the weekend, but recovered to take the final SP2 class podium spot.
11/2018 24H SERIES Bas Koeten 1-2 take TCE win; Hofor Racing / Bonk secures another title
Antti Buri led the TCE field over the line to complete 550 laps of the 5.5km Circuit of the Americas and take the car’s second win of the season. The #129 CUPRA’s fight for victory seemed to be over when its suspension collapsed on-track, losing two laps in the process. The Finnish team was able to recover though and joust with the ‘sister’ NKPP Racing CUPRA throughout the closing stages.
“It’s amazing,” an overjoyed Bas Koeten explained to radiolemans.com’s Bruce Jones. “It was so close when they were fighting each other, but… it’s just so incredible. I have no words for how happy I am!”
The Lestrup Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR SEQ (#110, Mats Olsson / Peter Fahlström / Stefan Nilsson / Robin Fredriksson) completed both the TCR and overall TCE podiums.
The Hofor Racing powered by Bonk Motorsport BMW M235i Racing Cup meanwhile (#131, Martin Kroll / Michael Schrey / Michael Fischer / Bernd Küpper / Gustav Engljaehringer) secured its seventh consecutive CUP1 class win in 6th place overall in TCE, and now adds the Overall Teams and CUP1 class Championship of the Continents to the European Championship titles the Swiss team secured last time out in Belgium. Antti Buri and Kari-Pekka Laaksonen secure the Overall TCE Drivers’ Championship of the Continents.
Early class leaders Sorg Rennsport (#151, Simon Tibbett / Benito Tagle / William Hendrix / Ricardo Flores) finished as runners-up in CUP1.
Despite retiring in the closing stages, the Cor Euser Racing BMW M3 (#71, Jim Briody / Niels Bouwhuis / Einar Thorsen / Cor Euser) was classified 1st in an attrition-hit SP3 class, while a character-building run for the LAMERA-CUP Lamera Cup (#238, Fabien Delaplace / Laurent Piguet / Nicolas Béraud / Thierry Soave) secured the French coupe 2nd in-class.
The 24H SERIES powered by Hankook will return in 2019 and kicks off the New Year with the brand new Hankook 6H DUBAI on 5-6 January for GT and PROTO cars. The annual Hankook 24H DUBAI will return on 10-11-12 January and will be the first round of the 2019 Championship of the Continents. The 2019 European Championship will get underway two months later on 29-30 March. As was the case this year, the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook season will conclude at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on 15-16-17 November 2019.  Further information can be found at www.24hseries.com.

10/2018 RLR MSport: 2018 European Le Mans Series Champions
RLR MSport and its drivers Job van Uitert, Rob Garofall and John Farano are the 2018 European Le Mans Series (ELMS) LMP3 Champions, having raced to fifth place in the 4 Hours of Portimao at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve (26-28 October).
Having notched up two race wins and three podium finishes, the Darwen, Lancashire-based team went into the final round of the ELMS with a 14-point lead over its nearest title challenger and fifth place ensured it won both the LMP3 Teams’ and Drivers’ titles by 7.25 points.
In free practice, RLR MSport condensed its programme to conserve its tyres for qualifying and the race, having already adjusted its Ligier’s setup to suit the undulating and bumpy Portimao circuit during official testing earlier in the week.
In FP1, van Uitert, Farano and Garofall each completed four laps of the 4.68km Portuguese racetrack before RLR MSport called time on the session, and thundery downpours then discouraged the Lancastrian team from participating in the Bronze Collective Test later that afternoon, with warm and dry conditions forecast for Saturday and Sunday.
It was only during the LMP3 segment of qualifying on Saturday that the #15 RLR MSport-prepared Ligier emerged from the Portimao pit lane.
Van Uitert was elected to qualify and, in a last ditch attempt, the Dutch young gun recorded a 1m41.638s to pull RLR MSport up from outside of the top ten to seventh position, ahead of the team’s main title rivals 360 Racing and United Autosports in tenth and 15th respectively.
However, to be crowned 2018 ELMS LMP3 Champions, RLR MSport had to finish fifth or higher if either 360 Racing or United Autosports won the race on Sunday afternoon.
As in previous rounds, van Uitert surged forward during the first half of the four-hour curtain-closer, climbing to sixth on lap one and chasing down Scott Andrews in fifth place before following the hard-charging Alex Kapadia past the United Autosports driver.
A swift splash-and-dash aided van Uitert’s sprint, lifting him up from sixth to third and putting him within striking distance of the LMP3 leaders, who he duly cleared during the second hour.
In another inspired strategy call, RLR MSport switched van Uitert for Canadian Am Farano during a timely Full Course Yellow, which briefly neutralised proceedings as the 4 Hours of Portimao reached half-distance.
doing so, the championship leaders significantly reduced its time-loss and Farano was soon at the head of the field with a comfortable 26-second margin, which he maintained right to the end of his hour-long stint, when a Safety Car bunched up the field.
Following what was perhaps Farano’s strongest performance of the year, Garofall stepped up to the plate for the run to the flag.
The British racer emerged from the pits in seventh position and drove solidly, staving off the chasing AT Racing entry of Alexander Talkanitsa Junior in the final throes of the race to receive the chequered flag in fifth position.
With 360 Racing succumbing to a cracked exhaust manifold and United Autosports finishing third, RLR MSport sealed the 2018 ELMS LMP3 Teams’ and Drivers’ crowns with a margin of 7.25 points, to the joy and relief of all those in the garage and on the pit wall.
“It feels great to say we’re the 2018 European Le Mans Series LMP3 Champions,” said van Uitert. “If you look at the whole season, it has been fantastic from every aspect. We achieved two wins and three podiums, the pace was always there or thereabouts and I’m happy with every one of my stints. To win the title is pretty special. I wasn’t expecting it at the start of the year, looking at the strength and depth of the LMP3 field, but then the winning performance in the opening round at Circuit Paul Ricard made me realise that we had a shot. From there, the results kept coming, we pushed harder and ended the season with another strong fifth-place result in Portimao. This is the biggest achievement of my career to date.”
Farano added: “I truly believed we had something special from the first test at the Portimao circuit in February. I saw what RLR MSport was capable of and it’s incredible and so surreal to have actually won the European Le Mans Series title. It’s a very difficult championship to win. The competition is fierce, but they’re also the fairest competitors I’ve ever known. Driving standards are very high and that’s why I have decided to stay here for 2019.”
Garofall said: “To win the championship is what you always hope for when you first set off at the start of the year, so to cross the line and achieve it is huge. I looked at the line-ups and thought we would be in among the frontrunners, but it’s such a long journey from the start of the first race to the end of the last and so much can happen, nothing is certain. I can’t give RLR MSport enough praise. Everybody has done a wonderful job.”

10/2018 United Autosports Head All Ligier Podium in Portugal; LMP3 and LMGTE Champions Crowned
The no22 United Autosports Ligier-Gibson of Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson took a second consecutive ELMS victory with a hard fought win on the twist and turns of the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal. Local hero Albuquerque crossed the line just 0.5 seconds ahead of Will Stevens in the no23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier.
The no32 United Autosports Ligier of Will Owen took the final podium position after the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca, which had crossed the line in 3rd place, was given a 10 second penalty for an earlier track limits infringement.
The LMP3 category was won by the no13 Inter Europol Comptition Ligier of Martin Hippe and Jakub Smiechowski, a debut win for the Polish team.  However it was all smiles at RLR MSport when the crew of the no15 Ligier – Job Van Uitert, John Farano and Rob Garofall finished in 5th place to clinch the 2018 LMP3 Driver and Team titles.
History was made in LMGTE when Gianluca and Giorgio Roda became the first Father and Son driver pairing to win an ELMS title.  They brought home the no88 Proton Competition Porsche with their Italian teammate Matteo Cairoli in third place to secure the Team and Driver titles, with Cairoli, who had missed the race in Monza, securing the Vice Champions position in the Drivers Championship.
It was all smiles in the Proton Competition garage when the no77 911 took the chequered flag to take the first win of the 2018 season for Christian Ried, Dennis Olsen and Marvin Dienst.
The race started under sunny skies but air temperature was a low 15 degrees, especially in the strong wind blowing across the circuit.
Pierre Ragues in the no29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca led the 39 car grid across the line to begin the 4 Hours of Portimao but Timothe Buret in the no23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligiergot alongside the pole car and took the lead.  The no9 AT Racing Ligier of Mikkel Jensen also got ahead of the LMP3 pole sitter Lucas Legeret in the no19 M Racing YMR Norma at the start, while in LMGTE Nic Jönsson in the no83 Krohn Racing Ferrari was leading the class by the end of the opening lap from the back of the grid.
There was a couple of incidents on the opening few laps with the no17 Ultimate Ligier heading to the pits with a puncture after contact with an LMP2 competitor and the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca of Roman Rusinov being clipped into a spin by the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca of Memo Rojas, Rojas receiving a drive through penalty for causing the collision.
The no88 Proton Competition Porsche of Gianluca Roda was clipped into a spin with the rear diffuser of the car coming away and spreading debris across the track.  The Race Director called the first Full Course Yellow of the race.
At the restart Pierre Ragues got a better run into the first corner, passing the no23 Ligier of Buret for the lead.  The no88 Porsche was missing the rear part of the car but Roda was still able to make progress through the field, catching and passing Jönsson’s Ferrari for the lead of the LMGTE class.
Felipe Nasr was pushing his way through the field towards the leaders and after one hour of racing was closing on the top two cars in the no47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara.  The Brazilian passed Buret for second and then closed up and then passed Ragues for the lead after 1 hour and 18 minutes of racing.  Pierre Ragues headed to the pits to hand the Duqueine Engineering Oreca over to Nelson Panciatici but on the out lap the rear left suspension collapsed and Panciatici was forced to head back to the pits for a long stop for repairs.
The no6 360 Racing Ligier was also another retirement after a exhaust manifold cracked, melting a wiring loom.  The car that was lying in second place in the LMP3 championship was out of the running.
Filipe Nasr headed to the pits from the head of the LMP2 field but cut right across the front of the no77 Proton Competition Porsche and was given a stop and go penalty for causing a collision.  The woes for the no47 Dallara continued when the car was pushed back into the garage for repairs, dropping the Italian team down the order even further.
Meanwhile in LMGTE the no80 Ebimotors Porsche of Fabio Babini was leading the class from the no77 Proton Competition Porsche of Christian Ried.  Babini handed over to Gianluca Giraldi but the Italian collided with an LMP3 car and the Porsche was left stranded with broken suspension.  The Safety Car was deployed to allow the Ebimotors Porsche to be moved to safety.
At the restart the no77 Porsche was nearly a lap ahead of the chasing no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Alex MacDowall and the no88 Proton Porsche of Gianluca Roda.
In LMP3 the no13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier of Martin Hippe was out in front, with the no7 Ecurie Ecosse/ Nielsen Ligier of Colin Noble 15 seconds up the road.  The German kept his cool and maintained the gap with Noble keeping the no2 United Autosports Ligier of 2017 champion John Falb behind him.  The no3 United Autosports Ligier of Tony Wells was ahead of the championship rival Rob Garofall in the no15 RLR MSport Ligier but a drive through penalty for Wells for exceeding Full Course Yellow speeds put the destination of the 2018 titles beyond doubt.
Back at the front an the no22 United Autosports Ligier of Filipe Albuquerque, the no26 G Drive Racing Oreca of Jean-Eric Vergne, the no32 United Autosports Ligier of Will Owen and the no 23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier of Will Owen were separated by just 2.5 seconds with an hour to go. Vergne passed Albuquerque for the lead after several attempts but ran wide on the exit of the corner.  The French driver was judged to have gained an advantage by exceeding track limits and the no26 Oreca had to add 10 seconds to its race time at the chequered flag.
Vergne handed the car over to Andrea Pizzitola to finish the race.  After the final round of pitstops Albuquerque was leading by three seconds from Stevens, with Pizzitola holding a five second advantage over Owen.  The racing was edge of the seat stuff and the teams held their breath as the clock counted down to zero and teh chequered flag was waved.
Filipe Albuquerque took a home victory in the no22 United Autosports Ligier, just 0.520 seconds ahead of Will Stevens’ no23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier.  Andrea Pizzitola finished third, 4.6 seconds behind Stevens but, crucially, 9.462s in front of the no32 United Autosports Ligier of Will Owen. When the 10 second penalty was applied the no32 Ligier moved up to the final podium spot ahead of the no26 Oreca.

10/2018 Fran Rueda (Teo Martín BMW) keeps suspense at the top with pole for Race 2
The final fight for the GT Open title is at its climax, as Race 2 will start today with Fran Rueda-Andrés Saravia on pole. The Spaniard took his third pole of the season with a time 1.43.118, beating Giovanni Venturini (Imperiale Lambo) by 0.087 seconds. In second row, an impressive Guilherme Salas, on the other TMM BMW, and the Alessandro Pier Guidi, with the Luzich Racing Ferrari of championship leader Mikkel Mac.
Eight points separate the two contenders to the title, with Rueda reckoning: “It’s great to be on pole and we will defend fiercely our chances, but it is reasonable to say that we have a difficult task ahead, given also our handicap.”
Lucas Auer (Drivex Mercedes) was fastest among Pro-Am and 5th overall. Mateusz Lisowski (Olimp Audi) will race alone, as Marcin Jedlinski is ill.   
Following the session, the Stewards have modified the status of G.Salas (on the basis of art. 5.5b of the Sporting Regulations) because of driver performance. M.Basso will race alone in the Am class.

10/2018 Primera victoria Lamborghini gracias a Fioravanti-Rizzoli (Ombra Racing)
Lamborghini ha finalmente conqauistado la primera victoria de la temporada gracias a la Huracán de Ombra Racing. La novedosa pareja formada por Damiano Fioravanti-Andrea Rizzoli se ha beneficiado de la penalidad de cinco segundos impuesta al otro Lambo (Imperiale Racing) de Breukers-Agostini (por posición incorrecta en la salida) que había cruzado la meta en primer lugar. Finalmente, se clasifica cuarto. El segundo puesto ha sido para el otro Imperiale de Giovanni Venturini-Jeroen, que sin embargo salend definitivamente de la lucha por el título.
Sexto con Alessandro Pier Guidi, Mikkel Mac (Ferrari Luzich) aumenta a 8 puntos su ventaja en la general sobre Fran Rueda y Andrés Saravia (Teo Martín BMW), que han concluido 12avos, sin sumar puntos. El duelo final por el título se dirimirá mañana.
El otro gran duelo de Carrera 2 será entre Valentin Pierburg-Tom Onslow-Cole y Miguel Ramos-Fabrizio Crestani por la corona en Pro-Am. Hoy la dupla germano-británica del Mercedes SPS se ha impuesto con autoridad, terminando incluso terceros de la scratch, mientras que la pareja italo-lusa del Lambo Lazarus ha terminado tercera, por detrás de Perel-Salikhov (Ferrari Rinaldi).
Todo zanjado, en cambio, en la clase Am donde Giulio Borlenghi-Andrzej Lewandowski (Lambo VSR) rubrican definitivamente el título tras llegar terceros hoy por detrás de un solitario  Stefano Costantini (Lambo Target) y Basso-Salas (BMW Teo Martín).
LA CARRERA – Onslow-Cole y Crestani, que se habían situado en primera fila, salen bien por delante de Fioravanti, Breukers, Mac, Lisowski, Khodair, Ellis, Gonda y Perel, éstos últimos enzarzados en un animado duelo a la par de Cioci y Montermini (por la décimocuarta plaza). Por su parte, Keen es último tras haber sido empujado fuera de la pista.
No cambian mucho las posiciones, pero sí las diferencia; en la vuelta 10, Finelli acaba en la grava, mientras que el Lambo de Zaugg rompe estrenduosamente el motor y se incendia. Entra en pista el safety-car, que permanecerá hasta la vuelta 15, coincidiendo el restart con la apertura de la ventana de los pit stop. Entre los primeros en parar, Mul y Saravia, en décima y decimosexta posición respectivamente.
Tras todos los cambios, en la vuelta 22, Pierburg es primero pero por poco, siendo superado por Agostini y Rizzoli. El primero, sin embargo, tendrá que sumar los 5 segundos de penalización por haberse movido incorrectamente antes de la salida. Tras el trio de cabeza, Hahn es cuarto, seguido por Wilkinson, Salikhov, Di Amato, Ramos, Venturini y Pier Guidi, con Rueda tan sólo 22°. Abandona el Audi de Wilkinson, mientras Venturini y Pier Guidi animan las vueltas finales, escalando posiciones.  

The FIA World Motor Sport Council approves the 2019-2020 WEC calendar
The FIA World Motor Sport Council convened for a meeting in Paris on Friday 12 October, and approved the calendar for the 2019-2020 World Endurance Championship (WEC) season.

10/2018 Scuderia Praha seals victory, PROsport Performance takes the title
Matteo Malucelli took the chequered flag to complete 237 laps of the 7.004km Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, of which the Czech-based Ferrari led 206 in a commanding performance. The win was the Czech team’s third in this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook, but 6th on the road, and 3rd in the A6-Am class was still enough for PROsport Performance to claim the GT European Championship.
“Man, my heart has been beating all day!” PROsport’s overjoyed Charles Putman said to radiolemans.com’s Bruce Jones. “It was looking a little tough earlier in the day, and just bit-by-bit, like we’ve done all year, we just kept pushing. And this was close! It could have gone either way with just 20 seconds or so. It’s been a great year!”
“It was a really difficult race from the start,” Scuderia Praha’s Josef Kral also explained to Bruce Jones. “There were so many Code 60s, a really unbelievable number! But we drove a clean race, we kept out of trouble, and this result means a lot. I hope next year we’ll have even more GT3 cars to compete against.”
Behind the winning Ferrari, the GT pole-sitting SPS automotive performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#16, Valentin Pierburg / Tim Müller / Lance-David Arnold) took A6-Am class victory after a late-race dice with the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff / Max Edelhoff / Elmar Grimm / Ingo Vogler). The German team also went into the Belgian endurance event as a championship contender, but ultimately finished three points adrift.
Outgoing 24H GT SERIES champions Hofor-Racing (#1 Michael Kroll / Chantal Prinz / Alexander Prinz / Kenneth Heyer / Christiaan Frankenhout) finished a strong 2nd in-class in A6-Pro and 4th on the road, while the returning Manthey Racing (#912, Edward Lewis Brauner / Jürgen Häring / Sven Müller) finished 5th overall on its series return and continued its development of the 2019-spec Porsche 911 GT3 R. Further back in 9th place, the MP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#19, Daniel de Jong / Henk de Jong / Bert de Heus) completed the A6-Pro podium.
On its European racing debut, the MARC II Mustang V8 took a maiden class win in SPX with VDS Racing Adventures (#58, Raphaël van der Straten / José Close / Joel Vanloocke) and ahead of newly crowned SPX European Champions, Speed Lover (#78, Dominique Bastien / Jaime Carbo Fernandez / Bob Wilwert). Further back, the second MARC II Mustang V8 – that of MARC Cars Australia (#51, Jake Camilleri / Hadrian Morrall / Keith Kassulke) – completed the class podium despite making contact with the barriers with just 90 minutes of run-time left.
In the 991 class, the EBIMOTORS Porsche 991-I Cup (#73, Lino Curti / Carlo Curti / Marco Frezza) took its third class win of the season, and finished just ahead of early leaders, QSR Racingschool (#94, Rodrigue Gillion / Nico Verdonck / Raf van Belle / Tommy Gråberg). The final category podium spot was enough to secure Porsche Lorient Racing (#64, Philippe Polette / Frederic Lelievre / Pascal Gibon / Lionel Amrouche) the 991-class European Championship.
Further back in GT4, the Fox Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT4 (#47, Jamie Stanley / Ben Clucas / Andrew Perry) held off the MARC Cars Australia BMW M4 GT4 (#250, Daren Jorgensen / Brett Strom / Jon Miller) and the Gamsiz motorsport BMW M4 GT4 (#256, Hakan Sari / Recep Sari) for its second class win of the year. The QSR Racingschool Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#254, Mario Timmers / Bert Redant / Michiel Verhaeren / Jimmy de Breucker) did not make the finish, but nevertheless secured the GT4 European Championship.

10/2018 Down to the wire in TCE as CWS Engineering takes close win
“There would have been about eight seconds of fuel left, so everything had to play in the right way. There’s been 12 hours of that!” CWS team owner Colin White explained to radiolemans.com’s Bruce Jones. “James [May] drove brilliantly today, and it’s a shame his dad couldn’t be here today, but this result is for him as well, and for CWS, and for everyone here helping us today. Absolutely brilliant!”
Third outright in TCE went to the Red Camel-Jordans.nl SEAT LCR TCR V3 DSG (#303, Ivo Breukers / Rik Breukers). Despite securing its first TCR class win of the season, NKPP Racing’s victory was not enough to stop the orange SEAT from securing the TCR European Championship.
“I was sweating all over!” Red Camel-Jordans.nl’s elated Ivo Breukers explained to Bruce Jones. “I was very excited to finish, and I was praying everything would go well. Anything can happen, and the car had a hit in the beginning, and I’m just so happy!”
Crossing the finish line to secure a 1-3 for Bas Koeten Racing, the LMS Racing by Bas Koeten Racing CUPRA TCR DSG  (#129, Antti Buri / Olli Kangas / Kari-Pekka Laaksonen) rounded out the TCR top three at an event it won outright last year. The JR Motorsport BMW E46 Coupe (#118, Ward Sluys / Michael Verhagen / Ruud Olij) and the Team ABBA Racing BMW M3 V8 GTR (#234, Richard Neary / Ian Stinton / Sam Neary) endured character-building races to secure the final podium spots in SP3.
The Synchro Motorsport Honda FK2-Civic Type-R (#76, Alyn James / Daniel Wheeler / Matt Neal) claimed A3 class victory at Spa-Francorchamps, but ultimately fell just two points short of the PDM Motorsport BMW Z3 M Coupé (#999, Pierre De Landsheere / Dimitri Kluyskens / Maxence Vandekerckhove) in the A3 European Championship standings. The Dan Agro Racing Peugeot RCZ (#185, Anders Rasmussen / Sune Marcussen / Henrik Thomsen / Nicolaj Kandborg) completed the podium.
Having already secured the 24H TCE SERIES title coming into the event, the Hofor Racing powered by Bonk Motorsport BMW M235i Racing Cup (#131, Martin Kroll / Michael Schrey / Michael Fischer / Bernd Küpper / Gustav Engljaehringer) concluded a storming season with its sixth consecutive class win of the year. Sorg Rennsport (#151, Dan Rogers / Chris Wadle / Seth Thomas) and JJ Motorsport (#156, John Landrum / Paul Dubinsky / Alastair McEwan / Rob Gill) completed the CUP1 top three.

09/2018 Spa : The winners reactions
Overall winners – n°22 United Autosports JSP 217
Phil Hanson
“My first tint was tricky, but it was the same for everyone, we were all struggling, trying to read the track and the grip levels and it took me a while to get going. Luckily, we get a really good call to get Filipe in the car early, betting on the fact that the weather will get worse and that the race will stop as soon as we reached the 2 hours marks to get half of the points.”
Filipe Albuquerque
“Phil was taking in easy at the beginning and when I got in the car the conditions were really tricky, especially Eau Rouge that took me some time to get up to the limit because once you lose it there you are done. We knew that we could have a good car and thanks to the strategy call we were leading, I was able to do some good laps and the pace was there. But due to the condition I was just trying to survive out there, there were a lot of water even behind the safety car.”
Scott Andrews – United Autosports
“I did not exactly expect a win this weekend, but we knew John and I could definitely get a good result. I can’t really believe it; a huge thanks to United Autosports, they did a really great job and had a solid strategy. I think the conditions today were probably the worst I have ever seen, the visibility was close to zero; you could barely see a thing. For my last four laps, before the safety car came in and the red flag, I was really struggling the stay straight.”
John Falb – United Autosports
“I’m ecstatic, we’ve had a great car, a great pace all season but we just haven’t had everything to come together for us. We are unfortunate that Sean (Rayhall) could not make it this weekend, in fact it was his idea to get Scott in the car and Scott did a mega job, right on pace, coming up through the field. We finally got a win, which is fantastic.”
LMGTE Winners – n°80 Ebimotors Porsche 911 RSR
Riccardo Pera
“It was a really good race, with difficult conditions. The conditions at the start were quite stable but then the rain was heavier, and it was hard to maintain the car on track. We were lucky that the race stopped at that point and we could get the win. It’s the first win for the team this season and I want to thank Ebimotors and my two teammates.”
Fabio Babini
“I’m really happy for Ebimotors and my teammate with this first win. Our strategy was good, the car was really fast at the beginning of the race but when I jumped in, the conditions were really tricky, the track was dangerous, and it was hard to go flat out in 5th or 6th gear. I was really happy when the red flag came because it was really hard even behind the safety car.”
Bret Curtis
“When the safety car went out, the team told me to get ready, I had my helmet on, ready to go. I really wanted to get in the car and help the team. Honestly, I’m really happy for my teammates, they did a great job. Riccardo and Fabio drove really well in difficult conditions. Hopefully next time in Portimão I get to contribute!”

09/2018 Rain Stops Play in Belgium as United Autosports Take First Win of 2018
After just over two hours of racing in heavy rain the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps was red flagged and a result declared as the track conditions deteriorated. The no22 United Autosports Ligier-Gibson of Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque took their first win of the 2018 season finishing ahead of the no21 Dragonspeed Oreca of Nico Lapierre, Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman and the no23 Panis Barthez Competition.
The no26 G Drive Racing Oreca finished well down the order in the difficult conditions but with only half championship points awarded for the race the three time race winning team was declared 2018 champions, with Roman Rusinov and Andrea Pizzitola lifting in the ELMS drivers crown.
It was also success in the LMP3 category for the United Autosports team with the no2 Ligier-Nissan final making it to the podium with 2017 drivers champion John Falb celebrating with ‘super sub’ Scott Andrews who was filling in for Sean Rayhall who couldn’t travel due to illness.
It was also a first for the 2017 Michelin Le Mans Cup GT3 Championship winning team Ebimotors as the Italians took victory in the LMGTE category with Riccardo Pera, Fabio Babini and Bret Curtis celebrating the debut ELMS win.
Rain and More Rain
With heavy rain forecasted for the Ardennes area the decision was taken to start the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps 75 minutes earlier than planned with the 40 car grid getting underway behind the Safety Car at 10h45.  For the first 15-minutes the cars circulated behind the safety car before the Race Director showed the green flag to begin racing on the very wet track.  
The no26 G Drive Racing Oreca of Andrea Pizzitola led the race from pole position as the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca of Paul Loup Chatin came into the pits to change tyres.   The no26 Oreca then had the no29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca of Nicolas Jamin snapping at its rear wing and after several laps the no29 Oreca swept into the lead at Fagnes.
In LMP3 Jean-Baptiste Lahaye led in the no17 Ultimate Norma, while the no15 RLR MSport and no11 Eurointernational Ligiers of Job Van Uitert and Mattia Drudi fought for second place.  Van Uitert kept his second place and then caught and passed the no17 car to take the lead.
Riccardo Pera got a good start in the no80 Ebimotors Porsche to get ahead of the no88 Proton Competition 911 of Gianluca Roda to take the lead in the LMGTE class.
With the track extremely wet the drivers were being very cautious but the conditions still caught out several drivers with Jean-Baptiste’s Ultimate Norma snapping left in the wet conditions and hitting the barriers at the exit of Pouhon.  
This brought out the Safety Car for 20 minutes while the marshals removed the stricken car from the track.  The Safety Car was about to come in when the no9 AT Racing Ligier stopped on the Kemmel Straight which meant there was a couple more laps behind the Safety Car before racing went green.  Several teams took advantage of the SafetyCar period to come into the pits, including the no22 United Autosports Ligier with Phil Hanson handing over to Filipe Albuquerque.
When the race went to green again the no26 G-Drive Oreca was being challenged by the no31 APR-Rebellion Oreca of Gustavo Menezes, the American pushing Pizzitola hard.  The French driver ran wide at Turn 14, running through the gravel trap and then did the same on the following lap as he avoided the stricken no12 Eurointernational Ligier that was stopped in the middle of the track, dropping the championship leading car to 9th.  Pizzitola headed to the pitlane to hand over the car to Jean-Eric Vergne.
The no83 Krohn Racing Ferrari of Nic Jonsson was running 4th in the LMGTE category when he laws overtaken by the no5 Nefis by Speed Factory Ligier of Alexey Chuklin.  The Ukrainian driver then cut back in front of the Ferrari to take Turn 1 but Jonsson was not given enough room to brake and he ran into the back of the Ligier. The Ferrari returned to the pits to retire and Chuklin was given a drive through penalty for causing the incident.
The no80 Ebimotors Porsche had opened a big gap at the front of the field, well ahead of the no88 Proton Competition Porsche of Gianluca Roda and the no77 Proton 911 of Christian Ried.
The no15 RLR MSport Ligier of Job Van Uitert was still leading the LMP3 class but the no4 Cool Racing Ligier of Antonin Borga was closing the gap to the Dutch driver with a mighty battle ensuing for the lead of the class which lasted several laps before Borga got past when Van Uitert ran wide at T14.
Meanwhile back at the front of the field the no22 United Autosports Ligier of Filipe Albuquerque had fought its way to the front, with the Portuguese driver leading Julien Canal in the no23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier by five seconds, with the no24 Racing Engineering Oreca of Norman Nato just 1.4 seconds behind Canal.
The troubles for the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca were not over when Jean-Eric Vergne was challenging Ryan Cullen in the no31 APR Rebellion Oreca for track position.  The no77 Proton Competition Porsche of Christian Ried was trying to stay out of the way of the two protagonists but Vergne ran into the side of the Porsche on the run into the final corner, spearing the Porsche across the wet grass into the side of Cullen’s APR-Rebellion Oreca, badly damaging both cars.
Jean-Eric Vergne was judged to have caused the accident and was given a two minute stop and go penalty.  However the no31 Oreca parked at the side of the track on the Kemmel Straight due to the damage from the accident and this, plus the no7 Ecurie Ecosse/ Nielsen Ligier of Colin Noble went off at Turn 4, bringing out the Safety Car for the third time.
The rain started to come down even stronger and the Race Director decided to put out a Red Flag to stop the race due to the very treacherous track conditions.  The cars parked on the grid for 20 minutes before the race result was declared with half championship points awarded due to the fact that the race had not reach 75% of the time.
The no22 United Autosports Ligier was first, with the no21 Dragonspeed Oreca and no23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier finishing in the top three places.  The no26 G-Drive Racing was classified 12th in class when the two minute stop and go penalty was converted to two minutes thirty seconds that was added to their race time.  However the Russian flagged team have an unassailable lead ahead of the final round in Portugal and Roman Rusinov and Andrea Pizzitola were declared 2018 ELMS Driver Champions.
The no2 United Autosports Ligier was first, with the no15 RLR MSport Ligier of Job Van Uitert, John Farano and Rob Garofall extending their championship lead to 14 points over 360 Racing after the British team finished third.
The LMGTE class was won by the no80 Ebimotors Porsche, with the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari finishing second ahead of the no88 Proton Competition Porsche.  The no88 crew have extended their championship lead to 11.5 points with one race in Portugal remaining.

09/2018 Pier Guidi and Mac (Luzich Ferrari) take fourth win, the Dane again leader in the standings
Mikkel Mac and Alessandro Pier Guidi won Race 2 today at Monza, at the wheel of their Luzich Racing Ferrari 488, with a perfect race that allows the Dane to recover the lead in the overall standings, with 3 points of advantage on Fran Rueda-Andrés Saravia (Teo Martín BMW), today second. Giovanni Venturini-Jeroen Mul finished third in the Imperiale Racing Lamborghini, keeping their title bid alive, although they are now 25 points from the lead.
The title will though be decided at the very last round in Barcelona in one month with a three-way battle that promises to be as exciting as ever!
Jiatong Liang and Raffaele Giammmaria conquered their first win in Pro-Am, with the Imperiale Racing Lambo, with Márcio Basso-Guilherme Salas (Teo Martín BMW) doubling yesterday’s success in Am.  
THE RACE – The start is quiet, with poleman Fran Rueda keeping the advantage over Pier Guidi and pulling slightly away in first lap. Mul is third, followed by Breukers, Di Folco, Nielsen, Perel, Montermini, Guerrieri and Jäger. Guerrieri, Costa, Da Costa and Ramos go under investigation for cutting the first chicane at first braking.
In lap 3, the Audi of Ellis pits because of a puncture. After 5 laps, Rueda has a 1.1 gap over Pier Guidi and 4 over Mul, with Breukers leading the very compact group behind. Thre fight between Breukers and Di Folco is hot, with the Italian trying to pass with half car on the grass, without success and further slowing those behind, while Perel takes 8th from Guerrieri after grat duel. Also Montermini is in fighting mood, receiving a warning for driving standards and getting tangled in battle with Jäger and Guerrieri , who loses two positions. Salas is first in Am.
In lap 14 opens the driver change window, with Rueda diving into the pits one lap later. The pit stop is fatal for the Ombra Lambo, stuck with technical problems. After all changes, Mac leads with 15 seconds over Saravia and 17 on Venturini, followed closely by Spinelli, Agostini and Salikhov (who loses P1 in Pro-Am following a 10-seconds penalty for jump start), then Ling, Beirão and Baguette. Venturini closes up on Saravia but his first attack is unsuccessful. Ling and Baguette pass Salikhov (lap 26) for 6th and 7th shortly before the safety-car gets on track to allow rescuing the Audi of Wilkinson stopped along the track.
The yellow flag period wipes the gaps, but at the restart Mac keeps the advantage; action is short, though, as Costantini and Hrachowina get in contact at Lesmo 2, and safety-car is deployed again to recover the cars. Restart yields only a last lap of race, with no great changes in positions.
A severe accident occurs after the chequered flag, as Alan Hellmeister loses his Mercedes in the straight hitting with violence the barriers on both sides. The Brazilian driver was conscious throughout extrication and after being stabilized at the Medical Center was brought to hospital for being treated of fractures in both legs.

09/2018 Rueda-Saravia (Teo Martín BMW) take Race 1 and leadership!
The fight for the International GT Open title is completely reopened, as Andrés Saravia-Fran Rueda imposed their Teo Martín BMW today in Race 1 at Monza, and are now tied up in points and wins (3) with Mikkel Mac (Luzich Racing Ferrari), today fifth with Alessandro Pier Guidi. The ‘Hispanic’ pair is actually first because of better quality of results. Their success of today came after a great duel in the second stint between Rueda and Andrea Montermini, after poleman Daniele Di Amato led in the first stint with the RS Racing Ferrari.
Third were Riccardo Agostini-Rik Breukers, who had to charge again after being victim of a contact in turn 1. It was not a sweet day for Imperiale, as Giovanni Venturini-Jeroen Mul had to retire with fuel pressure problems and are now 20 points behind the leaders.
In their debut in the series, Eddie Cheever-Nicklas Nielsen took victory in Pro-Am with the Luzich Ferrari, ahead of Liang-Giammaria (Imperiale Lambo) and Plachutta-Jäger (Lechner Mercedes), while Marcio Basso-Guilherme Salas rounded Teo Martín’s day by winning the Am class ahead of points leaders Lewandowski-Bolenghi (VSR Lambo) and the MS/HTP Mercedes of Hrachowina-Konrad.   
THE RACE – Poleman Di Amato keeps the advantage barely at first corner, while there is some turmoil in the group, with Agostini being touched by Spinelli and sent into a spin, while Costa goes straight through the chicane. Beirão pulls out of the line on the straight at the very start, rejoining the pits at reduced speed. At the end of first lap, Di Amato leads ahead of Venturini, Fioravanti, Onslow-Cole and Baguette, who in the following laps climbs back to fourth.
In lap 5, Wilkinson is out at the Ascari and remains stuck in the sand, following a contact with Salikhov, who stops in the pits. The safety-car is out for two laps. At the restart, gaps are, of course, are very reduced, but the show is in the fight for P3 between Fioravanti, Baguette and Spinelli. In lap 8, Venturini slows down and loses four positions.  In lap 10, it’s West spinning at the Ascari, and prompting again the safety-car out. In the meantime, Crestani has taken the lead from Onslow-Cole in Pro-Am and is 5th overall, while Lewandowski does the same with Mikulasko in Am.
The restart is definitely lethal to Venturini’s  Lambo, which stops for good in the gravel, giving way to …another safety-car period. The restart coincides with thebopening of driver change window, with Costa and Jäger being the first ones to stop.
The race phase during pit stop is quite lively with a contact between Giammaria and Pier Guidi at the first chicane (warning for the latter) and other warnings for Cipriani and Salas for cutting first chicane. After all changes, Rueda leads by 2”4 over Montermini, and 11 on Breukers, Gattuso and Nielsen, first in Pro-Am; then Giammaria, PierGuidi, Guerrieri, Jäger and Ling, with Salas first in Am.
Attention in the final laps is all for the final duel between Rueda and Montermini but the Spaniard will keep the short advantage, with Breukers taking third and first in a compact group including Gattuso, Nielsen (who wins in Pro-Am) and Guerrieri.  Salas wins in Am.

09/2018 Challenge Europe – Barcellona sorride a Hurni, Nussbaumer, Nielsen e Froggatt
Montmelò – Nicklas Nielsen, Chris Froggatt, Christophe Hurni e Alexander Nussbaumer sono i vincitori delle prime gare del round di Barcellona del Ferrari Challenge Europe, il sesto del 2018. Froggatt è anche il primo campione di questa stagione, nella classe Trofeo Pirelli Am.
Coppa Shell. La gara della Coppa Shell ha aperto la giornata con Christophe Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne) che è riuscito a difendere la prima posizione guadagnata in qualifica dall’attacco di una scatenata Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing). In terza piazza si è infilato Fons Scheltema con la 488 Challenge del team Kessel Racing. Più indietro iniziava invece il calvario di Erich Prinoth (Ineco-MP Racing) che perdeva posizioni e così punti preziosi. Hurni ha conquistato la terza vittoria della carriera nel Ferrari Challenge Europe davanti a Manuela Gostner, per la terza volta sul secondo gradino del podio. Alle spalle di Scheltema si è piazzato il leader di campionato Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) che mantiene il comando della classifica anche se con meno di dieci punti di vantaggio su Hurni.
Shell Am. In Coppa Shell Am, Alexander Nussbaumer (Formula Racing) è partito dalla seconda posizione ma è stato capace di scavalcare il poleman Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing) e di andare a vincere davanti al turco. Cuhadaroglu può comunque fare festa perché, grazie al ritiro di Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa), è ora leader di campionato. Tra Murat e Nussbaumer, ora il primo degli inseguitori, ci sono 2,5 punti. Il terzo posto è andato a Dusan Palcr, con la 488 Challenge di Scuderia Praha, bravo a superare il malese David Lim (Formula Racing), che ha ottenuto comunque il miglior risultato della carriera.
Trofeo Pirelli. Nel Trofeo Pirelli il leader di campionato Nicklas Nielsen (Formula Racing) al via è riuscito a tenere la prima posizione davanti a Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126). Dietro è stato il caos con il debuttante Oliver Grotz che ha perso il controllo della 488 Challenge di Formula Racing e ha travolto sia il compagno di team Sean Hudspeth che John Sawbridge (Ferrari GB – HR Owen), entrambi costretti al ritiro. Terzo posto per Jens Liebhauser (Formula Racing) davanti ad Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing).
Pirelli Am. L’errore di Grotz in partenza oltre ad Hudspeth, come detto, ha tagliato fuori anche John Sawbridge che ha così dovuto dire addio alla sua serie di arrivi consecutivi in zona punti. Questo ha reso ancora più semplice la vita del leader della classifica Chris Froggatt che se l’è dovuta vedere solo con Jack Brown (Ferrari GB – Graypaul Nottingham). Terzo posto per il danese Claus Zibrandsen (Formula Racing), mentre il settimo successo ha dato la certezza della conquista dal titolo a Froggatt, vero dominatore della stagione, aiutato anche dall’incidente tra Martin Nelson (Scuderia Autoropa) e Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126) che ha fatto terminare la corsa dietro la Safety Car.

Challenge Europe – Nielsen campione nella giornata da sogno di Manu Gostner
Montmelò – Manuela Gostner è diventata la seconda ragazza capace di vincere una gara nel Ferrari Challenge Europe, quando oggi ha trionfato in Gara-2 della Coppa Shell. Con lei a vincere nella domenica di Barcellona sono stati Murat Cuhadaroglu, Chris Froggatt e Nicklas Nielsen che ha conquistato con un round di anticipo il titolo 2018 del Trofeo Pirelli.
Coppa Shell. La gara della Coppa Shell ha visto Manuela Gostner scattare al meglio dalla pole position e installarsi al comando tallonata da Erich Prinoth, compagno di squadra nel team Ineco-MP Racing, e dal vincitore di Gara-1, Christophe Hurni. L’italiana si è rapidamente avvantaggiata su Prinoth, impegnato nel duello con il pilota del Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne che ha poi avuto la meglio al quinto giro. Per il terzo posto la battaglia si è fatta infuocata con Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) che ha superato Rick Lovat (Octane 126) per il quarto posto e poi Prinoth per il terzo. Poco dopo anche Lovat ha superato Prinoth, poi costretto al ritiro, ma il pilota canadese si è anche trovato il podio servito su un piatto d’argento da un errore di Scheltema che gli ha spalancato le porte. Manuela Gostner è la seconda ragazza capace di vincere nel Ferrari Challenge dopo Fabienne Wohlwend, trionfatrice in Gara-2 a Imola nel 2017 e poi tre volte nel 2018. Il secondo posto permette a Christophe Hurni di passare in testa al campionato approfittando del ritiro di Eric Cheung afflitto da problemi sulla 488 Challenge di Formula Racing.
Shell Am. In Coppa Shell Am ad Alexander Nussbaumer (Formula Racing) non è riuscito il bis di Gara-1 perché il leader di campionato Murat Cuhadaroglu ha difeso con i denti la posizione. Il turco del Kessel Racing aveva perso la prima piazza al via ma se l’è subito ripresa andando a trionfare davanti a Nussbaumer e Dusan Palcr (Scudera Praha). Solo quarto Ingvar Mattsson che viene staccato dai due rivali quando al termine della stagione manca solo il round delle Finali Mondiali di Monza, in programma dal 1 al 4 novembre.
Trofeo Pirelli. Nel Trofeo Pirelli il leader di campionato Nicklas Nielsen aveva bisogno di arrivare davanti a Bjorn Grossmann per vincere il titolo con una gara di anticipo e il pilota di Formula Racing è riuscito senza troppi affanni nell’impresa precedendo il rivale di Octane 126 e chiudendo i giochi con una gara di anticipo sulla fine del campionato. In una corsa caratterizzata da due incidenti che hanno costretto la direzione gara a fare entrare in altrettante occasioni la Safety Car, il terzo posto sul podio è andato a Jens Liebhauser.
Pirelli Am. Nel Trofeo Pirelli Am la gara ha visto subito fuori dai giochi il poleman Jack Brown (Ferrari GB – Graypaul Nottingham), coinvolto in un incidente insieme a due piloti di Formula Racing, Sean Hudspeth e Jens Liebhauser. L’episodio ha lasciato strada libera al campione 2018 Chris Froggatt (Ferrari GB – HR Owen) per l’ottavo successo stagionale davanti a Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126) e a Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa).

Challenge NA – Tipple e Burrowes campioni
Braselton – Il Ferrari Challenge North America ha laureate I suoi primi campioni del 2018. Sotto un sole generoso, ma in condizioni di umidità notevoli e con la costante minaccia dell’uragano Florence, che per ora non si è materializzata, sono andate in scena le prime gare del weekend che hanno promosso Thomas Tipple campione della Coppa Shell e Martin Burrowes re della categoria riservata alle 458 Challenge EVO.
Trofeo Pirelli. Cooper MacNeil (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari Beverly Hills) si è avvicinato ulteriormente al suo primo titolo nel Ferrari Challenge North America portandosi a casa Gara-1. Nonostante il vantaggio sul primo degli inseguitori non sia mai stato epocale (1”4 sul traguardo), la posizione del leader della classifica non è mai stata in discussione. MacNeil ha avuto in Benjamin Hites un inatteso alleato dal momento che il pilota di The Collection è stato in grado di infilarsi davanti a Peter Ludwig (Wide World Ferrari) sottraendogli punti preziosi in classifica. Ludwig le ha provate tutte per superare il rivale ma alla fine si è dovuto accontentare del terzo posto sul podio.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. Ross Chouest (Ferrari of Palm Beach) ha conquistato la vittoria nel Trofeo Pirelli Am precedendo Murray Rothlander (Ferrari of Vancouver) e John Boyd (Ferrari of Denver). La gara è scivolata via senza sospensioni per incidenti e ha permesso a Chouest, che arriva da un monomarca concorrente, di mettere in luce il proprio potenziale.
Coppa Shell. Thomas Tippl (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari Beverly Hills) ha continuato a dominare la Coppa Shell nonostante sia alla sua prima stagione. L’ennesima vittoria gli ha dato la certezza del titolo con tre gare d’anticipo. Al secondo posto si è piazzato Mark Fuller (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari of Westlake) mentre a completare il podio per Scuderia Corsa è stato Chris Carel (con la vettura di Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari of Beverly Hills). In questo caso la corsa è stata neutralizzata da una bandiera gialla che ha imposto l’ingresso della Safety Car ma anche dopo la ripartenza la leadership di Tippl non è mai stata in pericolo.
Coppa Shell AM. John Megrue (Ferrari of Long Island) e Kevan Millstein (Scuderia CAVA – Ferrari of San Diego) hanno dimostrato di essere maturati notevolmente durante questa stagione. Sulla pista di Road Atlanta I due sis ono messi dietro diversi piloti della Coppa Shell arrivando fino a dar fastidio a Mark Fuller e Chris Carel. Il terzo posto è andato a Bradley Smith (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari of South Bay) che lo ha però dovuto cedere all’esordiente Keith Larson (Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo) dopo che è stato accertato che aveva effettuato un sorpasso in regime di bandiera gialla, pagato con trenta secondi di penalizzazione.
458 Challenge EVO. Martin Burrowes (Ferrari Ft Lauderdale), James Walker (Ferrari of Houston) e Trevor Baek (Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo) hanno continuato la loro lotta a tre anche a Road Atlanta ma Burrowes ha conquistato i punti che gli servivano per diventare campione della classe riservata alle 458 Challenge EVO. Tra le Ladies’ la migliore è stata Eileen Bildman (Ferrari of Long Island) che dopo un lungo duello è riuscita ad avere la meglio su Riley Ryen (Ferrari of Vanouver), che rientrava dopo aver saltato un round nella stagione di questa classe che consta di soli quattro round rispetto ai sette delle classic he impiegano le 488 Challenge.

Challenge APAC – Hutasoit, Yamaguchi e Chen conquistano Gara-1 a Singapore
Singapore — Giornata caldissima a Singapore quella che ha accolto le 27 vetture del Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific (APAC) per la prima gara delle due in supporto del Gran Premio di Formula 1. I gradi nell’aria erano 35, il tasso di umidità pari al 63%. La corsa ha preso il via alle 16.50 locali per dieci giri da ricordare e ha laureato il primo campione del 2018, Tani Hanni nella Coppa Shell.
Trofeo Pirelli. L’indonesiano Renaldi Hutasoit ha tenuto la prima posizione conquistata in qualifica e ha guardato negli specchietti la grande lotta che si è aviluppata per la seconda posizione tra Philippe Prette, Alex Au e Go Max. Au nelle prime fasi di gara ha condotto il gruppetto di 488 Challenge ma nulla ha potuto quando Prette ha sferrato un attacco temerario e coraggioso prendendosi la posizione. Au sembrava almeno poter salvare un piazzamento sul podio ma un doppiato gli ha fatto perdere tempo nel corso del penultimo giro costringendolo a subire l’attacco da parte di Go Max. In classifica Au continua a guidare con 13 punti di vantaggio su Prette e 16 su Hutasoit.
Coppa Shell. Nonostante si fosse qualificato solamente in quarta posizione, il giapponese Kazuyuki Yamaguchi è stato il dominatore assoluto della gara della Coppa Shell. Yabin Xing, partito dalla pole position, nulla ha potuto contro gli attacchi di Yamaguchi che si è preso un meritato successo. Il terzo posto è andato a Tani Hanna che ha così matematicamente conquistato con un round e mezzo d’anticipo il titolo asiatico.
Coppa Shell AM. In Coppa Shell AM la vittoria è andata a Kent Chen, di Taipei, che dopo aver conquistato la prima posizione ha scavato tra sé e i rivali un gap incommensurabile. I due restanti gradini del podio sono andati al leader di campionato David Dicker e ad Evan Mak. Dicker ha anche conquistato la Gentlemen Cup, mentre nella Ladies’ Cup ha prevalso la thailandese Kanthicha Chimsiri.

Challenge APAC – Doppietta per Hutasoit e Yamaguchi, Dicker re in Coppa Shell AM
Singapore – Una volta ancora le condizioni meteo con caldo e umidità hanno reso particolarmente difficili le condizioni sulla pista di Singapore. La seconda gara del sesto round del Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific ha preso il via alle 16.55 con temperature in pista che hanno reso indispensabile gestire l’usura delle gomme.
Trofeo Pirelli. Le posizioni di partenza di Gara-2 sono state definite sulla base di Gara-1. Renaldi Hutasoit è dunque partito in pole position davanti a Philippe Prette. La battaglia è stata per il terzo posto tra Alex Au e Go Max che al giro 9 ha perso il controllo della sua vettura lasciando il terzo posto al leader di campionato.
Coppa Shell. In una perfetta replica di Gara-1, Kazuyuki Yamaguchi ha replicato il successo precedendo Tiger Wu e Michael Choi di Hong Kong.
Coppa Shell AM. In Coppa Shell AM la vittoria è andata a David Dicker che ha anche conquistato la Gentlemen Cup. Evan Mak, di Hong Kong, ha conquistato la seconda posizione mentre la vittoria nella Ladies’ Cup è andata a Kanthicha Chimsiri.
09/2018 GT OPEN Perfect day and maiden win for Onslow-Cole – Pierburg (SPS Mercedes)
Tom Onslow-Cole and Valentin Pierburg signed an authoritative lights-to-flag win in Race 2 at Silverstone today. Taking advantage of the morning’s pole, the Brit and the German put an impeccable performance, obtaining their maiden overall win in the series (and the fifth in the Pro-Am class) and giving also their first success in the series to SPS Automotive Performance.
Again second (for the sixth time this season!), Giovanni Venturini and Jeroen Mul, with the Imperiale Racing Lamborghini, reduced the gap considerably in the overall standings, where they now lie only 14 points behind Mikkel Mac (today 4th with Pierguidi in their Luzich Racing Ferrari) and 5 behind Rueda-Saravia, the BMW Team Teo Martín pair that finished 6th today.
Ombra Racing completed the podium with its Huracan after a very solid race by Alex Frassineti-Damiano Fioravanti.
The Lambos of Ramos-Crestani (Lazarus) and Di Folco-Costantini (Target) took second and third in Pro-Am behind the winning Mercedes, while Giulio Borlenghi-Andrzej Lewandowski (Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lambo) took a last-minute win, their fifth, in the Am class.
THE RACE – Onslow-Cole has perfect start from the pole ahead of Khodair, Crestani, Mul, Macleod, Agostini, Saravia and Frassineti. At the back, there is a contact between Liang and Wilkinson (who will receive a 10-second penalty later on for causing the incident).
The SPS Mercedes pulls away easily, at a one-second per lap pace, while Perel, Cioci and Frassineti have passed Saravia, now closing the top 10. Burke leads comfortably in Am and is 11th, followed by Cruz and Mac.
In the lead, Onslow-Cole has a 10-second advantage by lap 10 and beats the fastest lap. In lap 13, opens the driver change window, with Agostini, Saravia, Cioci and Mac stopping among the first ones. After all changes, Pierburg leads with 11 seconds  over Hahn (who will receive later a 4-second penalty for not serving the entire handicap) and 23 over Venturini that leads a compact pack including Fioravanti, Pierguidi, Breukers, Ramos, Rueda, Loggie and Salikhov. Konopka keeps P1 in Am. In lap 20, there is a contact between Beirão and Keilwitz.
Situation at the top remains stable, with Pierburg keeping the advantage stable until the end, while drama strikes for Hahn as he retires in the penultimate lap with a puncture, while Lewandowski steals Am win in the last lap from Konopka, passed also by Chuklin, who has driven alone the Teo Martín BMW, as Basso fell ill during the night.
GT OPEN Tom Onslow-Cole (SPS Mercedes) storms to take home pole for Race 2
On a glorious morning at Silverstone, local hero Tom Onslow-Cole, ahead of his home crowd, took pole for Race 2 with the SPS Automotive Mercedes, stopping the clock on 1.58.327. The Brit will share first row with another Pro-Am Mercedes, the Drivex car of Allam Khodair, who conceded  0.3 seconds.
In second row will be the Lambos of Jeroen Mul (Imperiale Racing) and Fabrizio Crestani (Daiko Team Lazarus), while Callum McLeod put the Parker Racing Bentley in third row, alongside Riccardo Agostini (Imperiale Lambo) who saw one of his lap times cancelled for track limits, as did Alex Frassineti (Ombra Racing).
Home pole also for Darren Burke (ARC Bratislava Lambo) in Am, with a great 8th time overall.
GT OPEN Serra-Cioci (Luzich Racing Ferrari) resist to take second win
Daniel Serra and Marco Cioci took their second win of the season in the Luzich Racing Ferrari 488, i a Race 1 at Silverstone that got very lively in the final stages. The Brazilian clinched the pole and led during the first stint, but the Italian had to fight hard in the final laps to keep at bay the Imperiale Racing  Lambo of Jeroen Mul. The Dutchman and Giovanni Venturini took their fifth second of the season, with the Teo Martin BMW of Fran Rueda-Andrés Saravia completing a podium which saw three different brands represented.
Today fifth, together with Alessandro Pierguidi, Mikkel Mac (Luzich Racing Ferrari) sees his lead in the standings slightly reduced to 6 points over Rueda-Saravia and 18 over Venturini-Mul.
In front of their fans, Ollie Wilkinson and Brad Ellis gave the Optimum Motorsport Audi a home win in Pro-Am, with Andrzej Lewandowski-Giulio Borlenghi (VSR Lambo) reinforcing their leadership in the Am category thanks to a fourth race win.
THE RACE – Perfect start from the pole for Daniel Serra, who precedes Breukers, Rueda, Venturini, Giammaria, Pierguidi, Keilwitz, Ellis, Sowery and Fioravanti, who had a poor start, while Pierburg stops at the end of lap 1 with a punctured tire following a contact by West, who spins, at the chicane. The leading Luzich Ferrari pulls away, while the group behind him is very compact and positions stabilize.
In lap 9, the Bentley of Loggie stops in the pits with a damaged gearbox. Breukers signs the fastest lap in lap 10 and has progressively pulled off to become a lone second. Lewandowski leads in Am. Rueda, Venturini and Pierguidi are among the first to stop for driver change in lap15, with the leading pair of Serra and Breukers doing it two laps late, and Keilwitz and Ellis at the end of the window.
After all stops, Cioci keeps the lead with 4.6 seconds on Mul and 6 on Saravia, followed by Wilkinson, Liang, Mac and Frassineti with Agostini on P11. In Am, Burke on the ARC Bratislava Lambo is leading. Crestani gests a 2-second penalty for not serving the entire handicap time at pit stop. Mul closes progressively on Cioci. Therevis great fight for 5thbetween Liang, Frassineti, Di Amato and Mac, especially when they get melted with lapped cars. Di Amato will emerge as winner, although he will get a 3-second penalty for track limits.  . It’s also hot between Liang, Agostini, Cruz and Perel for eighth. Wilkinson cannot resist the attacks of Di Amato, Frassineti and Mac, but retains solid first in Pro-Am, ahead of Perel and Liang.
In the very last laps, Mul catches Cioci but the Italian will retain first under the flag. Rueda is third ahead of Frassineti, Mac and Di Amato. Borlenghi wins in Am ahead of Burke and Konrad.
GT OPEN Serra (Luzich Racing Ferrari) takes superb pole for Race 1
Race 1 this afternoon at Silverstone, under the sun, promises to be very closely-fought, as first nine cars are within the same second and the first two rows in the grid are covered by only 290 thousandths. Battle for the pole in Qualifying 1 was thrilling, with Daniel Serra eventually winning it on the Luzich Racing Ferrari.
The Brazilian beat Rik Breukers (Imperiale Racing Lambo) by less than one tenth after a great battle with the young Dutchman, who topped the time sheets in the first part of the session. “I had almost forgotten how nice it is to drive flat-out in perfect conditions on this track!”, commented an elated Serra. From Row 2 will start the Teo Martin BMW of Fran Rueda (0.220 seconds behind), who was very satisfied of the behavior of the car with fresh tires, and the other Imperiale Lambo of Venturini.
In third row will be two other Huracans, with Damaiano Fioravanti (Ombra Racing) and Raffaele Giammaria (Imperiale), who was the fastest car in Pro-Am.
Pole in Am was for the class standings leading car, the VSR Lambo of Andrzej Leandowski.

08/2018 Challenge APAC – Hutasoit, Hanna e Iritani conquistano Gara-2 a Suzuka
Suzuka, 25 agosto 2018 – Nella seconda gara del Round 5 del Ferrari Challenge APAC i piloti della serie si sono trovati a doversi confrontare con temperature elevatissime, fino a 45 gradi sull’asfalto della pista di Suzuka. La gara ha visto Tani Hanna avvicinarsi alla vittoria matematica del titolo della Coppa Shell, mentre Renaldi Hutasoit e Atsushi Iritani hanno rispettivamente portato a casa i successi nel Trofeo Pirelli e della Coppa Shll Am.
Trofeo Pirelli. Nel Trofeo Pirelli si è assistito ad una delle vittorie più facili della stagione. Renaldi Hutasoit, dopo aver conquistato la pole position in qualifica, al via è scattato alla perfezione lasciando Philippe Prette, Go Max e il leader del campionato Alex Au a lottare per il secondo posto. La battaglia dietro il leader è stata serratissima fino a quando, al giro nove, Go Max non è finito in testacoda definendo in quel momento anche le posizioni di fine gara. Hutasoit ha preceduto Prette e Au che continua a guidare la classifica di campionato con 19 punti di vantaggio.
Coppa Shell. In Coppa Shell la gara è stata decisamente spettacolare. Al via Tiger Wu si è installato in prima posizione davanti al padrone di casa Hidehiko Hagiwara. Da dietro però è risalito impetuosamente Tani Hanna. Il pilota libanese ha iniziato a recuperare posizione su posizione fino a portarsi in scia ad Hagiwara e poi anche ad andare a prendere il leader della corsa. Hanna ha superato Tiger Wu che è stato ingaggiato in una lotta serrata per il secondo posto. A pochi giri dal termine però le vetture dei due sono venute a contatto tagliando entrambi i piloti fuori dalla lotta per il podio. A beneficiare dello scontro tra i due sono stati i giapponesi Naoryu e Kazuyuki Yamaguchi.
Coppa Shell AM. Nella Coppa Shell AM il vincitore di Gara-1 Kent Chen ha preso il comandod elle operazioni davanti ad Atsushi Iritani, idolo locale, e al coreano Andrew Moon. Iritani ha iniziato a tallonare il leader della corsa fino a metà gara, quando gli è riuscito un sorpasso capolavoro che lo ha lanciato verso la prima vittoria della carriera. Moon si è piazzato terzo mentre Grant Baker, neozelandese, ha vinto la Gentlemen Cup recuperando altri punti sul leader di campionato David Dicker. La Ladies’ Cup è andata alla sorprendente debuttante cinese Ran Zhang.
Challenge APAC – Gara-1 a Suzuka: vincono Max, Hanna e Chen
Suzuka – Un cielo azzurro, dopo la tanta pioggia caduta in precedenza ad opera del tifone Cimaron, ha accolto il Ferrari Challenge APAC nella sua prima gara a Suzuka con 34 piloti in rappresentanza di tredici nazioni. Lungo il circuito a forma di otto più famoso del mondo, 5.807 metri di adrenalina pura. La corsa è stata caratterizzata dall’incidente di Rezza Kamaditya che ha costretto la direzione gara a sospendere la corsa al giro 10. Fortunatamente, dopo i controlli in ospedale, il pilota è stato dimesso senza particolari prescrizioni confermando una volta di più quanto la 488 Challenge sia una vettura sicura.
Trofeo Pirelli. Allo spegnersi delle luci rosse il giapponese Go Max si è in stallato in prima posizione davanti al leader di campionato Alex Au, di Hong Kong, che ha provato per tutta la gara a prendersi la prima piazza ma alla fine nulla ha potuto contro il padrone di casa. Il terzo posto è andato all’indonesiano Renaldi Hutasoit, bravo a risalire dal settimo posto. Au allunga in classifica su Philippe Prette, oggi quarto.
Coppa Shell. In Coppa Shell la vittoria è andata al dominatore della classifica, il libanese Tani Hanna, capace di tenere a baada il padrone di casa Hidehiko Hagiwara e l’altro giapponese Yusuke Yamasaki. Hanna incrementa ulteriormente il vantaggio in classifica su Tiger Wu, quarto.
Coppa Shell AM. Nella Coppa Shell AM è stato Kent Chen di Taipei, il grande protagonista. Il pilota della 488 Challenge numero 158 ha conquistato la sua prima vittoria nel monomarca Ferrari riuscendo a superare il poleman Andrew Moon. Il pilota coreano ha dovuto anche accettare di perdere la seconda posizione quando alle sue spalle si è presentato il neozelandese Grant Baker. Il pilota che occupa la seconda posizione in campionato doveva sfruttare al massimo le difficoltà del leader della classifica David Dicker, finito undicesimo, e lo ha fatto recuperandogli 15 punti e portandosi a casa la Gentlemen Cup. Moon sembrava almeno potersi portare a casa il terzo gradino del podio ma invece la piazza gli è stata soffiata da Atsushi Iritani che ha così centrato il suo primo podio nel ferrari Challenge. Kanthicha Chimsiri, della Thailandia, ha vinto la Ladies’ Cup.

08/2018 4 Hours of Silverstone: Post-race reactions (LMP2 & LMGTE)
“A lot of drama happened in the last hour of the race with the penalties, the traffic… But first of all I think my teammates did fantastic stints and I think we really moved forward since the last races and that’s really important. We are growing as a team that is really good with us, there a really good atmosphere and it’s really important to succeed. Concerning my last stint, I had this 10s penalty at the beginning, so my aim was first of all to catch and overtake Matt (Griffin), I knew he was 20s ahead. I could manage it; the car was great, and it was a good fight. After that I pushed my maximum as I did in Le Castellet. When you have confidence in the car, in the team and when you feel well, everything is easier. Today was an amazing race, I gave everything and I’m really happy.”
“I have to admit that this race has a bitter sweet taste. First of all, we showed that we were competitive but unfortunately without any results. We were sure to have the pace for a podium, even a win, but the incident in the first lap annihilated all our hopes. This is racing but losing time in the pits is really frustrating, especially when this is not your fault. The team did an amazing job and the car was perfect, which allowed us to be come back into the top 10 and close to the top 5. It was a complicated race but with a lot of positive points on our performance. So we want to come back stronger in Spa next month.”
“I would say that for me this weekend has been enjoyable. I’ve learnt a lot and have been involved in working on the car. On Friday I thought we were in good shape, the car was a little loose but great to drive. I’ve got lots of questions and no answers. I’ve never pushed so hard in my life, and I don’t understand where the difference is to the other cars. They were still driving round me, so I have work to do, I need to understand that. Everyone worked so hard, so I have to thank the United guys. It’s been fun, but frustrating.”

4 Hours of Silverstone: Post-race reactions (LMP3)
“That was certainly my best stint in the ELMS, the starts in these races are always very tight, I managed to steer clear of the mayhem and use the gaps that opened up, fourth to second on the first lap but could see that the leader was pushing very hard, perhaps a bit too hard. We’d talked about strategy, in particular tyre management, and this was a great example of why that proved to be important, I was immediately into tyre management, making sure I wasn’t overly aggressive but keeping up the pace. I could see the car ahead was leaving black marks everywhere and sure enough he was struggling by the end of the stint and I could hand over to Matt in sight of the lead.” "It was good, but we were surprised we didn't catch the leader as quickly. We struggled a little for pace, but the team did an amazing job to keep us in the race. It was an awesome performance, from Christian and Colin too. It was a good race, but we look ahead, we will get a win at Spa."“The aim this weekend was to consolidate our championship lead and achieve points. We’re obviously disappointed with the overall result because we were hoping for a little more coming into the event, but we’ve extended our lead and it’s positive going to Spa, where I expect we will be much stronger. Collecting points will be the approach for the remaining two rounds of the season at Spa and in Portimao. To get two wins from the first three races in the European Le Mans Series is quite good and we decided after our most recent victory at the Red Bull Ring to focus on finishing in the points, rather than taking risks. If we get a third or fourth at Spa, we will be right there for the season finale.”

In what proved to be a rollercoaster race for United Autosports’ four European Le Mans Series cars at Silverstone, the #3 LMP3 crew of Garett Grist, Tony Wells and Matt Bell scored their first win of the 2018 season in style.
United’s three other cars meanwhile, suffered poor luck, despite all of them being in contention for podium spots in their respective classes throughout the race.

LMP2 was a struggle for the United Autosports team. The #32 Ligier JS P217 of Hugo de Sadeleer, Will Owen and Wayne Boyd eventually finished the race 10th overall, despite climbing as high as fourth during the first half of the race.
The car struggled for grip throughout the final two hours, after de Sadeleer and Boyd pushed hard early in the race to keep the car on the lead lap and in with a chance of a podium. Bad luck struck the team in the final hour though, after Owen’s stint which ended with him handing over to de Sadeleer for the run to the flag in 10th.
The Swiss was hit by a slower LMP3 class car through traffic and as a result picked up a puncture with 24 minutes left in the race, costing the team further time and forcing the #32 to come in for an unscheduled stop after almost a full lap with the puncture.
Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson in the #22 meanwhile, were unable to finish. Hanson was forced to take evasive action at the start, dropping him to the back of the LMP2 pack after starting 12th. The Briton made moves during the opening hour to climb back into the top 10, before being forced to retire the car halfway through the second hour, after a clump of rubber flew into the cockpit and set off the fire extinguisher, stopping the engine.
In LMP3 the team had bad luck for the 2017 title-winning duo of Sean Rayhall and John Falb in the #2.  The reigning champions lost out on their chance of winning through no fault of their own in the final portion of the race, whilst the sister #3 Ligier JS P3 went on to win the class.
For much of the second half of the race, United’s pair of Ligier JS P3s ran in formation, 1-2 at the head of the class. The race to that point though, couldn’t have been more different for the two cars and their driving crews.
Bell, Grist and Wells controlled the race early in Bell’s stint after the halfway mark. The crew started fourth, and moved up to second after a Grist’s strong first stint. Then, Bell climbed in during hour three and made a daring pass on the leading car into the complex to take the lead. From there, Bell built a comfortable lead for Wells to defend until the end.
Over the other side of the garage, the #2 had to stage a comeback drive to make it a 1-2. Rayhall had an off in avoidance of an incident at Turn 1 at the start, dropping him to dead last. But he didn’t give up in pursuit of his first win of 2018 and slalomed through the field all the way to second before handing over to John Falb for the second half of the race.
With just the sister car to catch, Falb slowly reeled in Wells, before the final stop, which would have leap-frogged the team to the lead. But the car didn’t start, the duo losing two minutes as a result. Eventually, Falb crossed the line seventh.

08/2018 Rebellion Racing takes victory after post-race Toyota disqualification
Following post-race technical checks at the conclusion of the 6 Hours of Silverstone – a race originally won by the No.8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID of Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima - both the No.7 and No.8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID cars were disqualified from the results.
The two Toyotas were found to be in non-conformity of Article 3.5.6.d of the 2018 LMP1-H Technical Regulations which covers the deflection of the skid block. Toyota intends to appeal the Decisions and therefore the race results remain provisional.
Following the outcome of Stewards’ Decisions No.25 and No.26, the No.3 Rebellion Racing R13 Gibson of Gustavo Menezes, Thomas Laurent and Mathias Beche has been elevated to first position in the final result, with the No.1 sister Rebellion of Neel Jani and André Lotterer claiming second position and the No.17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1-AER of Stéphane Sarrazin and Egor Orudzhev in third place.
The sister Russian-entered car of home hero Jenson Button, Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov unfortunately retired in the first hour with a technical problem.
An enthusiastic crowd of 60,240 fans saw action over the weekend at Silverstone as the world’s most spectacular sportscars put on another thrilling show, and Toyota will be looking to bounce back to winning form for the fourth round of the WEC Super Season, the 6 Hours of Fuji, in Fuji Speedway on 14th October.
Jackie Chan DC Racing claims famous 1-2 in LMP2 thriller
The Jackie Chan DC Racing squad took a dominant 1-2 victory in LMP2 as the No.38 car of Ho-Pin Tung, Stéphane Richelmi and Gabriel Aubry beat the No.37 ORECA Gibson - crewed Jazeman Jaafar, Weiron Tan and Nabil Jeffri - by just 1.9 seconds in a sensational encounter.   
The No.38 car from the Anglo-Chinese stable fought back from a drive-through penalty for jumping the start and then an unscheduled stop when they ran short of fuel.
It was the second consecutive Silverstone win for the Jackie Chan DC Racing squad. Earlier the No.37 had lead impressively but their progress was halted by a puncture midway through the race. Despite the best efforts of Jazeman Jaafer the No.37 car just fell short of challenging for the win in the final laps.  
The LMP2 title leading Signatech Alpine trio of André Negrão, Pierre Thiriet and Nicolas Lapierre took third place despite receiving a lengthy timed penalty for a Safety Car infraction at the half-distance mark.  

Calado and Pier Guidi take well-judged win for AF Corse Ferrari
The LMGTE Pro category again saw a thrilling multi-manufacturer battle as reigning GT World Champions James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi took their first win of the Super Season in the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.  60,240 enthusiastic fans saw the action over the weekend at Silverstone as the world’s most spectacular sportscars put on another thrilling show.
Calado and Pier Guidi capitalised on a clever tyre and fuel saving strategy in the early phase of the race which allowed them to take control in the penultimate hour.
Taking the runners-up position on the track was the No.91 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz. The pair fought back from a difficult qualifying session yesterday to cut through the field.   However, following post-race technical checks the No.91 Porsche was disqualified due to failing the minimum ground clearance measurement test.
This moved up the No.67 Ford GT of Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx to second place and the No.92 Porsche 911 RSR of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre to the final podium position.  Priaulx drove a brilliant first few stints and took the lead from the No.92 Porsche driven by Kevin Estre. However, the car lost out during the Safety Car period and it was left to Tincknell to make a spectacular last hour pass on Michael Christensen in the No.92 Porsche.
Aston Martin Racing therefore finished the LMGTE Pro race in fourth position with the new model Vantage of Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin after a much stronger performance in this third round of the FIA WEC.  
BMW Team MTEK took more points in its first WEC season as Martin Tomczyk and Nicky Catsburg came in fifth.  Problems struck the pole sitting Ford GT of Olivier Pla and Stefan Mücke as they finished sixth after being forced to replace a door during a pit stop.
Dempsey-Proton Racing claim second Super Season victory
LMGTE Am saw a second consecutive victory for the No.77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR as Christian Ried, Julien Andlauer and Matt Campbell sealed the maximum points.
The trio celebrated another win after making the most of misfortune suffered by early leaders TF Sport Aston Martin and Team Project 1 Porsche which were both penalised for wrongly entering the pitlane before it officially opened during the Safety Car procedure.
Both entries recovered with TF Sport grabbing second place, as in Spa, and Team Project 1 taking their first WEC podium in third after Jorg Bergmeister made a stunning last lap move on Aston Martin Racing’s Pedro Lamy.

08/2018 G-Drive Racing Wins 4 Hours of Silverstone
The no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca-Gibson of Roman Rusinov, Andrea Pizzitola and Jean-Eric Vergne won the 4 Hours of Silverstone, the third win in a row for the Russian flagged team to extend their championship lead. Vergne took the chequered one lap ahead of the no21 Dragonspeed Oreca of Nico Lapierre and the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca of Paul Lafargue.
United Autosports took their first LMP3 win of the 2018 season with the no3 Ligier of Tony Wells, Matt Bell and Garret Grist taking the top spot ahead of the no7 Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen Ligier and the no17 Ultimate Norma.
There was drama in the LMGTE category when the first two cars on the road were both given 10 second penalties for exceeding track limits.  The no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Miguel Molina finished first but was subject to a 10 second penalty. However Molina finished 10.126 seconds ahead of the no88 Proton Competition Porsche of Matteo Cairoli, which when corrected means the No66 Ferrari wins the race by 0.126s.
At the start of the 4 Hours of Silverstone the 41 cars headed into the first corner. An incident saw the no22 United Autosports Ligier of Phil Hanson and the no47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara of Giorgio Sernagiotto spin off and rejoin down the field.
The race was led by the no23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier of Julien Canal, who held off a determined challenge from Roman Rusinov in the no26 G Drive Oreca. The Russian stuck doggedly to the tail of the Ligier but had to wait for an hour before an opportunity presented itself at Stowe Corner while overtaking some backmarkers. Rusinov dived to the outside to overtake Canal and take the lead, which the no26 Oreca held until the end of the race.
The no12 Eurointernational Ligier of Mattia Drudi converted the LMP3 pole into a good start and led into Turn1 from the no3 United Autosports Ligier of Garret Grist and the no15 RLR MSport Ligier of Job Van Uitert. Behind then the no2 United Autosports Ligier of Sean Rayhall spun off at Turn 1 and the American had to fight his way back up the order. Rayhall’s fight back came to nought when he handed the car over to John Falb when lying in 2nd place. The no2 United Autosports Ligier failed to start after the pitstop, to the obvious frustration of John Falb. The car eventually started but had dropped the American duo right out of the running.
The no88 Proton Competition Porsche of Gianluca Roda made a good start to lead the LMGTE class from Christian Ried in the no77 Proton Porsche, with Liam Griffin in the no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari in third and the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Duncan Cameron in fourth. A good battle developed with the two Ferraris eventually getting the upper hand over their Porsche rivals.
The no47 Dallara made several stops after slowing on track and eventually retired. The no22 Ligier also retired half way through the race after Hanson pulled off track and climbed out after the fire extinguisher activated disabling the Ligiers engine and systems. The no35 SMP Racing Dallara also retired after locking up and spinning across the gravel to hit the tyre wall. Victor Shaitar got the car back to the pits but the Dallara was too badly damaged to continue. A Full Course Yellow was declared while the marshals worked hard to put the SMP Racing Dallara back on track and recover the no32 United Autosports Ligier to a safe position.
At the front Andrea Pizzitola handed over the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca to Jean-Eric Vergne and the French driver brought the car home despite a last minute splash and dash for fuel. The no21 DragonSpeed Oreca was promoted to second after the no24 Racing Engineering Oreca of Norman Nato went off into the barriers, the no23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier of Will Stevens had contacted with the no31 APR Rebellion Oreca, the no30 AVF by Adrian Valles Dallara had to pit for a new rear wing assembly and the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca also had to make a last minute splash and dash for fuel, Paul Lafargue rejoining in third to claim the final podium position.
The no3 United Autosports Ligier of Tony Wells held on to take the chequered flag to win the LMP3 category, 9 seconds ahead of the no7 Ecurie Ecosse Ligier of Colin Noble.
The drama was all happening in the LMGTE category with Miguel Molina in the no66 JMW F488 hunting down and passing Matt Griffin in the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari. The two leading Ferraris were subject to a 10 second penalty and Matteo Cairoli in the no88 Proton Porsche was catching the leading pair and only had to finish within 10 seconds of Molina’s Ferrari to take the win.
On the final lap Cairoli caught the no55 Ferrari but an incident off camera saw the two cars go off track, with the Porsche moving ahead of the Ferrari.  However, the slight delay caused by the off track moment cost Cairoli and at the chequered flag he was 10.126s behind Molina, which translated into a win for the Spanish driver by just 0.126s. This meant that victory went to the no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari for the second time in 2018.

08/2018 G-Drive Racing Out In Front after 120 minutes of Racing at Silverstone
After two hours of racing the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca of Andrea Pizzitola was leading the 4 Hours of Silverstone. The French driver was holding a comfortable 24 second lead over the no24 Racing Engineering Oreca of Matthieu Vaxivierre, the no23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier of Timothé Buret and the no21 DragonSpeed Oreca of Nico Lapierre
The no3 United Autosports Ligier of Matt Bell is the leader in the LMP3 category, passing the pole position holder, Mattia Drudi in the no12 EuroInternational Ligier. The no2 United Autosports Ligier-Nissan of Sean Rayhall was second at the halfway point of the race after also passing Drudi. The American had to fight his way back up the field after spinning off at the first corner at the start of the race, dropping Rayhall down the order.
The no88 Proton Competition Porsche of Giorgio Roda was leading the LMGTE category.  The Italian holds a 10.8 second lead over the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Aaron Scott.
A first corner incident saw the no22 United Autosports Ligier of Phil Hanson and the no47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara of Giogio Sernagiotto spin off and rejoin down the field. The no47 Dallara made several stops after slowing on track and eventually retired. The no22 Ligier also retired from the race after Hanson pulled off track and climbed out.
The no35 SMP Racing Dallara retired after locking up and spinning across the gravel to hit the tyre wall.  Victor Shaitar got the car back to the pits but the Dallara was too badly damaged to continue.  A Full Course Yellow was declared while the marshals worked hard to put the SMP Racing Dallara back on track and recover the no32 United Autosports Ligier to a safe position.

08/2018 Panis Barthez Take Point at Silverstone
Britain’s Will Stevens claimed pole position for his home race, posting a rapid 1m43.690 on his last flying lap to take the top spot for this afternoon’s 4 Hours of Silverstone by over seven tenths of a second.
The no23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier will start at the head of the 41 car field with the championship leading no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca-Gibson alongside on the front row. Jean-Eric Vergne posted a 1m44.426, which looked good enough for pole until Stevens went quicker late in the session.
Row 2 will be headed by the no21 DragonSpeed Oreca, with the no29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca of Nicolas Jamin in fourth place.
LMP3: EuroInternational Take First Pole of 2018 Season
The no12 EuroInternational Ligier will line up at the head of the 18 strong LMP3 grid for this afternoon’s 4 Hours of Silverstone. Mattia Drudi claimed pole by just 0.046 seconds with a lap of 1m55.508 ahead of the no6 360 Racing Ligier of Ross Kaiser, the British driver posting a 1m55.554 just before the chequered flag.
Row 2 of the LMP3 grid will be filled by the two Ligiers run by United Autosports. Reigning champion Sean Rayhall finished the session with a 1m55.662 lap in the no2 Nissan powered Ligier, just 0.154s behind the lead car and 0.141 seconds ahead of teammate Matt Bell in the no3 Ligier.
Championship leaders RLR MSport finished the session in 6th place after Job Van Uitert set a 1m56.195.
LMGTE: Porsche 1-2-3
The LMGTE pole was claimed by the no77 Proton Competition Porsche of Dennis Olsen, the Norwegian driver posting a 1m58.704 in a tense session that saw the top three cars split by just 0.14 seconds.
A last minute fast lap by the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Matt Griffin saw the Irish driver post a pole sitting time, but a track limits infringement at T9 saw the lap deleted.
At the chequered flag it was a Proton Competition 1-2, with the no88 Porsche of Matteo Cairoli just six hundredths of a second behind his teammate Olsen, with Ben Barker in the no86 Gulf Racing UK Porsche third fastest.

08/2018 Toyota's Conway and Lopez claim pole for 6 Hours of Silverstone
  • Mike Conway and José Maria Lopez claim pole position for 6 Hours of Silverstone in No.7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID
  • Conway sets fastest overall lap of 1m36.769s as he and Lopez combine to average 1m36.895s
  • Toyota 1-2 on grid as No.8 Toyota sets average of 1m37.306s with Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima
  • Nakajima sees one of his laps deleted for abusing track limits
  • SMP Racing place third with No.11 BR Engineering BR1-AER
  • Jenson Button qualifies No.11 with Vitaly Petrov and will start third for his first non-F1 race at Silverstone since 1999!
  • No.17 SMP Racing car fourth after late lap from Egor Orudzhev
  • Rebellion Racing fifth and sixth as No.3 outpaces No.1 Rebellion R13-Gibson which was rebuilt from FP1 practice accident
  • LMP2 pole position won by No.37 Jackie Chan DC Racing pair of Jazeman Jaafar and Nabil Jeffri
  • Jaafar sets best overall lap of 1m44.732s and the Malaysian pair average 1m44.896s
  • Just 0.1s separates first and second in LMP2 as No.38 Jackie Chan DC Racing car is second
  • Third in class is title leading Signatech Alpine as Lapierre and Thiriet combine.
Ford takes pole in tight LMGTE qualifying
  • LMGTE  Pro pole position clinched by No.66 Ford GT driven by Stefan Mücke and  Olivier Pla, their second consecutive pole at Silverstone
  • Pla sets best outright time of 1m55.658s and combines with Mücke to set best average of 1m55.727s
  • Aston Martin enjoys best qualifying performance of season as new model Vantage AMR places second and third
  • No.97 is second with Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin just 0.078s away from pole sitting Ford
  • Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim third in No.97 Aston Martin
  • Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx start fourth in No.67 Ford GT
  • LMGTE Am sees first ever WEC pole position for Team Project 1 Porsche
  • Egidio Perfetti and Jörg Bergmeister set best average of 1m59.001s
  • Second place just 0.2s behind is No.77 Dempsey Proton Porsche with Christian Ried and Matt Campbell driving
  • Third in LMGTE Am is TF Sport Aston Martin as Salih Yoluc and Jonny Adam set time at teams home race

07/2018 Challenge NA – Il campionato entra nel vivo a Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN, NY (31 Luglio) – Un’altra giornata perfetta ha salutato i piloti del Ferrari Challenge al Watkins Glen International per la seconda giornata di gara in pista. I piloti sicuramente hanno acquisito più confidenza con il Circuito dello Stato di New York dal momento che il tempo sul giro ha continuato a diminuire durante le sessioni di qualifica del mattino e la guida si è fatta più aggressiva nelle gare del pomeriggio. Questo, nonostante abbia portato ad alcuni momenti di tensione durante le tre gare, ha portato a un solo ingresso della Safety Car in una delle due gare.
Trofeo Pirelli. Cooper MacNeil (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari Beverly Hills) ha completato un weekend cruciale per le sue ambizioni di campionato salendo per due volte sul gradino più alto del podio. Domenica, fatta eccezione per un testa a testa con Peter Ludwig (Wide World Ferrari) durante il primo giro, Cooper è stato in grado di gestire il suo margine durante tutta la gara tagliando il traguardo con 2.4 secondi di vantaggio rispetto al suo avversario più vicino. I due al comando hanno disputato una gara a sè, lasciando gli altri a lottare per il terzo posto. Naveen Rao (Scuderia Cava – Ferrari di San Diego) ha combattuto una sfida serrata e aggressiva con Joseph Rubbo (Ferrari di Long Island). I rivali del Trofeo Pirelli 458 del 2017 si sono così ritrovati in battaglia per quasi la totalità dei 30 minuti di gara, anche se alla fine è stato Naaven ad avere la meglio tagliando il traguardo davanti al rivale.
Trofeo Pirelli AM. Murray Rothlander (Ferrari of Vancouver) è salito sul gradino più alto del podio nella gara di domenica conquistando una vittoria importante che lo ha portato in parità con Ross Chouest (Ferrari of Palm Beach) nella classifica In una gara che ha visto ribaltate le gerarchie di campionato. Dave Musial (Lake Forest Sportscars) è infatti precipitato nelle classifiche dopo un incidente in Gara-1 che lo ha costretto a saltare anche Gara-2. Ma è stato Rob Hodes (Scuderia Cava – Ferrari di Washington) ad andare verso il weekend di Road Atlanta con il miglior risultato possibile, forte di 19 punti di vantaggio su Alfred Caoila (Ferrari of Long Island).
Coppa Shell. Thomas Tippl (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari Beverly Hills) ha continuato la sua serie di vittorie. La gara di domenica è stata movimentata e si è conclusa prima del previsto per un incidente nella parte del circuito caratterizzata dalle esse veloci. In testa fino a quel momento, Tippl ha semplicemente raggiunto il traguardo precedendo Mark Fuller (Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari of Westlake) e Chris Carel (Scuderia Corsa – Beverly Hills) in quello che è stato un podio monopolizzato dai colori di Scuderia Corsa.
Coppa Shell AM. Brian Simon (Cauley Ferrari of Detroit) ha conquistato la vittoria nella classe che vede il campionato più contestato. Simon ha avuto la meglio su Kevan Millstein (Scuderia CAVA – Ferrari di San diego) e Tomas Cabreizo (Ferrari Ft Lauderdale). I risultati di Kevan nel weekend lo hanno portato a soli tre punti di distacco dal suo avversario più prossimo John Megrue. Brian Simon è comunque rientrato in campionato con la vittoria di domenica che lo ha portato a 18 punti di distacco da Millstein.
Trofeo Pirelli 458. John Farano (Ferrari of Ontario) ha iniziato la gara riservata alle vecchie 458 Challenge Evo in pole position, ma La bagarre nelle prime curve ha portato la gara nel caos. L’inizio di gara è infatti stato emozionante con una brusca frenata per Martin Burrowes (Ferrari Ft Lauderdale): al via il pilota della Florida ha attaccato il leader in curva 1 riuscendo a mettersi davanti, ma non è riuscito a completare la manovra in curva 2 innescando un incidente. In qualche modo, il resto delle vetture ha cercato di evitare la sua Ferrari, mentre Burrowes ha dimostrato grande controllo della macchina portandola in salvo senza ulteriori danni. Il caos in pista ha portato Trevor Baek (Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo) nella miglior posizione per vincere. il giovanissimo pilota è stato poi arrestato da quello che è sembrato un problema al cambio. A quel punto John Farano ha ripreso la guida del gruppo distaccando i rivali. Alle sue spalle James Walker (Ferrari of Houston) e Tony Ferraro (Ferrari ft Lauderdale). I risultati del weekend hanno rimescolato le classifiche di campionato, sebbene Burrowes abbia ancora la situazione sotto controllo.

07/2018 G-Drive Racing Extends Championship Lead With Victory in Austria
The G-Drive Racing team secured their second win of the season after Jean-Eric Vergne took the chequered flag at the end of the 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring, round 3 of the 2018 European Le Mans Series.
The no26 Oreca-Gibson finished 19 seconds ahead of the no29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca, which had led for the first half of the race.  Nelson Panciatici held off a determined challenge from Olivier Pla in the no24 Racing Engineering Oreca to take second place by just 0.2 seconds.  However in post race scrutineering the no29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca was disqualified because the fuel did not conform to the one indicated by the organiser (Stewards Decision no35).  This promoted the no22 United Autosports Ligier-Gibson of Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque into the final podium position behind the Racing Engineering crew.
The LMP3 class was won by the no15 RLR MSport Ligier-Nissan for the second time in 2018, Rob Garofall taking the chequered flag just 5 seconds ahead of a hard charging Alex Kapadia in the no7 Ecurie Ecosse/ Nielsen Ligier.
Proton Competition took the first LMGTE win of the season for Porsche with a dominate win for the no88 Porsche 911 RSR of Gianluca Roda, Giorgio Roda and Matteo Cairoli finishing a lap ahead of the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari F488 GTE.
The race started with the 42 strong grid heading into the first corner with the no29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca of Pierre Ragues getting ahead of the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca of Paul Lafargue.  Ragues then started to pull away, opening up a three second lead as Lafargue came under pressure from the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca of Roman Rusinov.
Rusinov had moved from 5th to 3rd when the red lights went but was judged to have jumped the start and had to come in for a drive through penalty, dropping the Russian driver back down the order.
Job Van Uitert also got a good start in the LMP3 category, moving up from third to first in the no15 RLR MSport Ligier-Nissan, with Mikkel Jensen also moving up to second from sixth in the no9 AT Racing Ligier.  The LMGTE pole sitter was the no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari with Liam Griffin taking the start.  The British driver came under pressure from the no88 Proton Competition Porsche of Gianluca Roda, with the Italian taking the lead of the class and opening a healthy gap in the first hour of the race.
Back at the front Pierre Ragues continued to pull away from the rest of the field ahead of the first round of pitstops.  In LMP3 Mikkel Jensen moved ahead of Job Van Uitert but the roles were reversed a few laps later after the pitstops.
JMW Motorsport’s day  went from bad to worse as the no66 Ferrari ground to a halt at Turn 6 with a suspected gearbox issue, forcing Alex MacDowall to retire the car.  This brought out the first Full Course Yellow period to allow the recovery of the F488 to a safe location.
There was also a collision between the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca of Memo Rojas and the no30 AVF by Adrian Valles Dallara of Konstantin Tereschenko, which also involved the innocent no10 Oregon Team Norma.  The no28 Oreca suffered some damage and the no30 Dallara went over the gravel trap.  Both cars received drive through penalties, the Oreca for causing the collision and the Dallara for ignoring blue flags and the resulting collision.
The no2 United Autosports Ligier-Nissan of reigning LMP3 champion John Falb also retired after the car dropped fluids when exiting the pitlane and then the LIgier stopped by the side of the track with smoke coming from underneath the car, with the American exiting rapidly as the marshals came in to help.  A safety car was deployed to allow the incident to be dealt with.
At the same time the first spots of rain started to fall on the circuit and the track was declared wet for the second half of the race.
Another Full Course Yellow period was declared when the no4 Cool Racing Ligier went off into the gravel at Turn 8 and had to be lifted back onto the escape road.
Back at the front of the field the no29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca of Nicolas Jamin was holding a 30 second lead over the no24 Racing Engineering Oreca of Norman Nato with Jean-Eric Vergne closing rapidly in the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca, the French driver back in contention thanks to a change in strategy by the team after the earlier drive through penalty and a solid recovery drive by Roman Rusinov and Andrea Pizzitola.
John Farano was leading LMP3 in the no15 RLR MSport Ligier by 15 seconds ahead of the no13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier of Martin Hippe and the no7 Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen Ligier of Alex Kapadia.  With less than 90 minutes of the race remaining Kapadia overtook Hippe for second and the German lost another place with Giorgio Mondini in the no11 Eurointernational Ligier went through as well.
In the final hour the no11 Ligier had to come into the pits to repair the non functioning rear lights, dropping Mondini out of contention for the class victory and a class with the no83 Ferrari resulted in Mondini receiving a drive through penalty that was converted to 25 seconds added to the Italian’s race time after the chequered flag.
The no88 Proton Competition Porsche continued to dominate the LMGTE category, with Giorgio Roda well ahead of Duncan Cameron in the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari and the no77 Proton Competition Porsche of Christian Ried.  Dennis Olsen took over the driving duties in the no77 Porsche and pushed hard to catch the no55 Ferrari. But the Norwegian pushed too hard and was given a drive through for constantly exceeding track limits in the final part of the race.
With the race entering the final hour Jean-Eric Vergne moved up to second place behind the no29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca of former ELMS Champion Nelson Panciatici.  A final Full Course Yellow period to recover a large piece of debris from the track saw Vergne go on the offensive at the restart in the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca but Panciatici held on for a few corners.
However Vergne was not going to be denied and the newly crown FIA Formula E Champion went into the lead as Panciatici went into the pit for the final time.  The change in team strategy allowed Vergne to stay out for far longer than his rival and this meant the amount of fuel required to get to the chequered flag was far less.  After the short stop Vergne emerged 17 seconds ahead of the no29 Oreca of Panciatici, who had Olivier Pla’s no24 Racing Engineering Oreca snapping at his heels.
While the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca drove to the chequered flag, the two French rivals behind were fighting for second place at almost every corner.  With less than ten minutes remaining Olivier Pla got a better run into Turn 3 as some backmarkers provided an opportunity.  The two cars were side by side up the hill but Panciatici held his nerve and stuck to the inside line to keep the position.
This continued right to the chequered flag where the two Oreca’s crossed the line split by just 0.2 seconds at the end of the four hour race.
Victory went to the no26 G-Drive Racing with the Russian team holding a 12 point advantage over the no24 Racing Engineering Oreca at the half way stage of the 2018 season.  Victory for the no15 RLR MSport crew has given them a 4.5 point advantage at the head of the LMP3 category over the no11 Eurointernational Ligier crew.  With JMW Motorsport failing to finish, the no88 Proton Competition crew now lead the LMGTE category with an 8 point advantage over the no80 Ebimotors Porsche crew, who finished third following the drive through penalty for the no77 Porsche.
The next race will be the 4 Hours of Silverstone on Saturday 18 August, which is round 4 of the 2018 European Le Mans Series.

07/2018 Challenge Europe – Festa a Brno per Nielsen, Froggatt, Hurni e Nussbaumer
Brno, 21 luglio 2018 – Nicklas Nielsen, Chris Froggatt, Christophe Hurni e Alexander Nussbaumer, con le loro Ferrari 488 Challenge, sono i vincitori delle prime gare del round di Brno del Ferrari Challenge Europe 2018.
Trofeo Pirelli. Ad aprire la giornata è stato il Trofeo Pirelli che ha proposto la fuga al via del poleman, il danese Nicklas Nielsen, che si è avvantaggiato del duello che ha ingaggiato a lungo il debuttante Sean Hudpseth (Formula Racing) e Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126). Verso metà gara è poi arrivata una penalizzazione per pilota tedesco (partenza anticipata) che ha spalancato le porte alla tripletta di Formula Racing che, oltre a Nielsen e Hudspeth ha piazzato sul podio anche Jens Liebhauser. Grossmann si è dovuto accontentare del quarto posto davanti ad Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing).
Pirelli Am. Tra i penalizzati per partenza anticipata anche il pilota di Scuderia Praha, Jan Danis che era stato bravissimo a sfruttare la pole position per avvantaggiarsi su tutti i rivali. Sfortunatamente dopo il drive-through è precipitato nelle retrovie dando poi vita a una rimonta entusiasmante che l’ha riportato sul podio, al secondo posto, dopo avere superato sia Martin Nelson (Scuderia Autoropa) che Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126). Il successo, il quinto stagionale, è andato a Chris Froggatt che allunga ulteriormente in classifica.
Coppa Shell. La gara della Coppa Shell si è decisa in partenza, quando Christophe Hurni, con la 488 Challenge del Team Zenit Sion-Lausanne, alla prima curva è riuscito a superare Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing), autrice della pole position. In seconda fila la sorella Corinna si è invece complicata la corsa da sola anticipando la partenza e finendo per essere penalizzata con un drive-through. Erich Prinoth poco dopo ha superato Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) e si è preso la terza posizione. Per tutta la gara Manuela Gostner ha tenuto sotto pressione Hurni che però non ha sbagliato nulla passando sul traguardo con poco meno di un secondo di vantaggio. Per lo svizzero si tratta della seconda vittoria del 2018, la Gostner festeggia invece la seconda piazza d’onore dell’anno mentre Prinoth torna su un podio che mancava da Silverstone. Cheung, quarto, resta in vetta al campionato.
Shell Am. In Coppa Shell Am, Alexander Nussbaumer è stato autore della gara perfetta: partito dalla pole position, il pilota di Formula Racing si è immediatamente avvantaggiato su tutti i rivali lasciando il secondo posto a Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing). Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa), leader di campionato, è stato obbligato a una gara tutta in rimonta con brivido finale. Nel corso dell’ultimo giro, infatti, Dusan Palcr, che era appena stato superato da Mattsson, ha provato a riprendersi la posizione sul podio ma ha finto per colpire la vettura dello svedese e finire di conseguenza a sua volta fuori pista. Mattsson ha però ripreso immediatamente conquistando l’ennesimo podio del 2018.

07/2018 Challenge Europe – A Brno vincono Nielsen, Froggatt, Kirchmayr e Nussbaumer
Brno, 22 luglio 2018 – Sulla pista di Brno, in un’atmosfera segnata dalle tristi notizie sulle condizioni di salute di Sergio Marchionne, sono andate in scena le seconde gare del quinto round del Ferrari Challenge Europe. A conquistare il successo sono stati nuovamente Nicklas Nielsen e Chris Froggatt nel Trofeo Pirelli e Trofeo Pirelli Am, mentre nella Coppa Shell a primeggiare sono stati Ernst Kirchmayr e il vincitore del sabato Alex Nussbaumer.
Trofeo Pirelli. Nicklas Nielsen, sulla 488 Challenge del team Formula Racing, per il secondo giorno consecutivo ha azzeccato una partenza perfetta che lo ha messo al sicuro dagli attacchi di Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126). La gara è invece terminata subito per il debuttante Sean Hudspeth (Formula Racing) e Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing) che sono venuti a contatto nelle primissime curve. Ad approfittare della situazione è stato Jens Liebhauser che si è visto servire su un piatto d’argento il secondo piazzamento sul podio consecutivo.
Pirelli Am. Il primo giro ha mietuto anche altre due vittime: John Dhillon e uno dei beniamini di casa, Jan Danis, che sono venuti a contatto dovendo abbandonare ogni speranza di ottenere un buon risultato. Davanti Chris Froggatt (Ferrari GB – HR Owen) ha preso rapidamente il largo lasciando Robert Pergl (Scuderia Praha) e Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126) a combattere per la seconda posizione. Ad avere la meglio alla fine è stato Pergl. Per Froggatt il titolo è ormai vicinissimo. Prima della gara Olivier Beretta, su una F60, e i meccanici della Scuderia Ferrari hanno portato il fascino della F.1 agli appassionati della Repubblica Ceca, con accelerazioni brucianti, pit stop velocissimi e le celebri donuts.
Coppa Shell. Alle 15.30 è poi stato il momento della Coppa Shell, condizionata pesantemente dalla pioggia. La direzione gara è stata obbligata a far partire il gruppo dietro la Safety Car ma su alcune vetture i team hanno lavorato fin oltre i limiti di tempo consentiti e così per quei piloti è scattata una penalizzazione di 25 secondi. Il grande protagonista di giornata è stato Ernst Kirchmayr con la 488 Challenge del team Baron Motorsport. L’austriaco ha raggiunto e superato il leader del campionato Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) e le vetture di Ineco-MP Racing di Manuela Gostner ed Erich Prinoth, poi entrambi penalizzati. Alla fine Kirchmayr ha preceduto Cheung, che allunga ulteriormente in classifica, e lo specialista del bagnato Vladimir Hladik (Baron Motorsport).
Shell Am. In Coppa Shell Am, Alexander Nussbaumer è stato autore di un’altra corsa magistrale. Il pilota austriaco è riuscito a gestire la vettura del team Formula Racing nelle prime fasi di gara e si è poi lanciato all’attacco nella parte conclusiva andando a raggiungere e superare Agata Smolka (Rossocorsa). Il terzo gradino del podio è andato a Dusan Palcr (Scuderia Praha) mentre i duellanti per il titolo, Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa) e Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing), si sono piazzati al quarto e quinto posto.

07/2018 GTE racing in WEC: Battle of the brands!
Last  year’s WEC Fan Survey confirmed what those in the world championship  have long known: the GTE competition is a hugely important element in  the excitement and intensity of endurance racing across the world.
The  WEC’s fanbase own an average of 1.95 cars per household, with the  leading vehicle brands by ownership being Ford, VW, BMW and Toyota. Fans  are principally motorsport purists who enjoy the technological,  competitive, innovative, exciting and global racing offered by the WEC.
The  survey respondents confirmed that the WEC features the best cars, has  the right balance of sport and entertainment and is a proven innovation  platform for road car technology. Of the 54,000+ fans who spoke out, the  top 5 preferred manufacturers are Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, Audi and  Aston Martin – with all the LMGTE marques being mentioned.
Last  year’s 6 Hours of Silverstone saw four cars finishing within 27 seconds  of each other in the Pro category and, in the Am class, there was just  1.7s between the first two after six hard hours of racing.
What  will this year’s GTE competitors (Sunday 19 August) bring to the fans?  Come along and find out at Silverstone, the home of British motor  racing!

07/2018 Championship classifications after 24 Hours of Le Mans
With increased points on offer for not just one edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans but two, plus the 1000 Miles of Sebring, the WEC Super Season championships will be wide open for some time to come.
However, 38 points for a win gives teams and drivers a considerable boost to their title hopes and here’s a look at how things stand after the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans.  
Note that the race results remain provisional until the appeal against disqualification lodged by LMP2 class winners, G-Drive Racing, has been heard by the FIA Court of Appeal.  The classifications are therefore also provisional.
FIA World Endurance Championship – Drivers and Manufacturers
The 38 points scored by Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso in the No.8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID has given them a 20-point lead at the head of the LMP World Endurance Drivers’ Championship.  
In second place are José Maria Lopez, Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway on 45 points, the No.7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID crew having been runner up to its sister car at both Spa and Le Mans.  Just 7 points behind them are the trio of drivers from the No.3 Rebellion Racing R13 Gibson, Mathias Beche, Gustavo Menezes and Thomas Laurent following two excellent podium finishes in the opening rounds of the season.
Toyota’s victories also mean that it holds the lead in the LMP1 World Endurance Championship with 65 points.  Rebellion Racing is in second place with 38 points, with ByKolles Racing Team in third place.
LMP2 World Endurance Teams Trophy
Following the disqualification (subject to appeal) of LMP2 race winner G-Drive Racing and TDS Racing, Signatech Alpine Matmut has jumped to the top of the points table.  The No.36 Alpine A470 Gibson (André Negrão-Nicolas Lapierre-Pierre Thiriet) has 57 points, with Jackie Chan DC Racing in second.
As non-full season entries don’t score championship points, the No.38 driver line up of Ho-Pin Tung-Stéphane Richelmi-Gabriel Aubry has taken second place with 43 points (4th place finish at Le Mans combined with maximum points at Spa) – just one point ahead of the young Malaysia trio of Jazeman Jaafar-Nabil Jeffri-Weiron Tan who performed extremely well on their debut at Le Mans.
FIA World Endurance GTE Drivers Championship
Porsche and Ford’s strong start to the Super Season is reflected in the GTE Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ championships with the German marque holding a strong lead in the Manufacturers’ tables – 96 points over Ford’s 50 in second place, with Ferrari on third (45.5 points).
In the GTE Drivers World title chase, Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen from the Porsche GT Team’s No.92 911 RSR are leading the way with 56 points, 8 ahead of Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK’s Bill Johnson, Stefan Mücke and Olivier Pla (No.66 Ford GT) in second place.  In third place in the standings, thanks to two podium finishes, is Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz from the No.91 Porsche GT entry with 40 points.
GTE Am FIA World Endurance Teams and Drivers Trophies
It’s Porsche, Ferrari, Ferrari and Aston Martin in the top four spots of the Teams’ championship – with the No.77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR of Christian Ried-Matt Campbell-Julien Andlauer having taken the full 38 points at Le Mans to add to their Spa total (51 points in total).  
Singaporean team Clearwater Racing (Keita Sawa-Weng Sun Mok-Matt Griffin) are in second place with 33 points, their No.61 Ferrari 488 GTE just 2 points ahead of the Spirit of Race trio of Francesco Castellacci-Giancarlo Fisichella-Thomas Flohr in the No.54 Ferrari.
Aston Martin Racing’s 2017 championship-winning line up of Mathias Lauda, Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy failed to score at Le Mans but have 25 points (4th place in the classifications) thanks to a win at Spa.
As stated earlier, with another edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as five other rounds, there is still everything to play for!

07/2018 Jean-Eric Vergne Secures FIA Formula E Title in New York
Monza race winner Jean-Eric Vergne has become the 2018 FIA Formula E Champion in New York at the weekend. The French driver secured the title on Bastille Day with a fifth placed finish from the back of the grid on the streets of New York and then finished off the 2018 season with a win on Sunday.
“I can't believe it – what a crazy race – god it feels good!” said Vergne after Saturday’s race. “Really I have no idea what it means to me to be champion – I need more time to process it – all I know is that it’s a good feeling. I enjoyed the race, but obviously, it was very tough.”
Jean-Eric Vergne will be back in action this weekend at the 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring racing alongside Roman Rusinov and Andrea Pizzitola in the championship leading no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca-Gibson.

Challenge APAC – Au, Hanna e Dicker trionfano in Gara-1 al Fuji
Fuji, 30 giungo 2018 – La prima gara del quarto round del Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific è andato in scena al Fuji Speedway questo pomeriggio sotto uno splendido sole, creando un contrasto non poco marcato rispetto alla nebbia e al cielo scuro che aveva caratterizzato le prove del venerdì. In pista a darsi battaglia 38 piloti che hanno dato spettacolo al volante delle loro 488 Challenge.
Trofeo Pirelli. Go Max, l’eroe di casa, sembrava poter conquistare la vittoria nel Trofeo Pirelli, tanto più che era scattato alla perfezione allo spegnersi dei semafori. Al suo inseguimento si sono però lanciati Alex Au, di Hong Kong, il giapponese Takeshi Kitai e il canadese abituale protagonista del Ferrari Challenge North America, Wei Lu. Au dopo qualche giro di assestamento si è lanciato all’inseguimento di Max riuscendo a sorpassarlo e a prendere il largo. Il pilota giapponese se l’è dunque dovuta vedere con Kitai e Lu riuscendo a difendere il secondo gradino del podio dagli attacchi del pilota canadese, autore nel finale di un gran sorpasso su Kitai.
Coppa Shell. In Coppa Shell il protagonist assoluto è stat oil libanese Tani Hanna, capace in qualifica di conquistare la pole position e in gara di passare addirittura per primo sotto la bandiera a scacchi dopo avere ottenuto il giro più veloce della corsa. La sua è stata una corsa semplicemente perfetta che ha lasciato agli altri piloti solo la lotta per il secondo gradino del podio. Il cinese Eric Zang e il canadese Eric Cheung hanno battagliato lungamento ma alla fine sono arrivati sul podio in quest’ordine.
Coppa Shell AM. In Coppa Shell Am il mattatore è stat oil leader di campionato, così come della Coppa Gentlemen, David Dicker. Il pilota australiano non è partito bene, perdendo diverse posizioni. Quando però l’ingresso della Safety Car ha compattato il gruppo Dicker ha iniziato una splendida rimonta che lo ha portato a sorpassare, nei giri finali, anche F. Andrew per andare a conquistare la prima posizione. Al secondo posto si è piazzato l’indonesiano F. Andrew mentre terzo è giunto il pilota locale Hidenobu Oba. La Gentlemen Cup è andata ovviamente a Dicker mentre la Ladies’ Cup è stata appannaggio dell’indonesiana Kanthicha Chimsiri.

Challenge APAC – Vittoria al Fuji per Hutasoit, bis per Hanna e Dicker
Fuji, 1 luglio 2018 – Il quarto round del Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific disputato al Fuji ha offerto una seconda gara ricca di emozioni e spettacolo che ha impreziosito l’ultima giornata dei Ferrari Racing Days sulla pista giapponese. In una bella giornata di sole, sono stati 34 i piloti a darsi battaglia nelle tre classi con i successi che sono andati a Renaldi Hutasoit nel Trofeo Pirelli, e, nuovamente, a Tani Hanna e David Dicker in Coppa Shell e Coppa Shell Am.
Trofeo Pirelli. Il vincitore di Gara-1, Alex Au, di Hong Kong, era stato bravissimo in qualifica aggiudicandosi la pole position. Una volta partita la corsa, tuttavia, Hutasoit ha potuto sfruttare al meglio l’assetto aerodinamico della sua 488 Challenge che, più scarico, gli ha permesso di superare Au sul lungo rettilineo che caratterizza la pista giapponese. Finalmente autore di una bella gara Martin Berry, pilota australiano che si è portato a casa un meritato terzo posto. Con il successo in Gara-2 e il secondo posto in Gara-2, Au ha consolidato la propria leadership in campionato, approfittando anche di un weekend non indimenticabile da parte di Philippe Prette.
Coppa Shell. Tani Hanna è stato ancora una volta il dominatore della Coppa Shell. Il pilota del Libano, che si era addirittura messo dietro tutti in Gara-1, nella seconda corsa ha sfruttato il traino dei piloti del Trofeo Pirelli per guadagnarsi un’ampia leadership che gli ha permesso di gestire su tutti i rivali. In seconda posizione si è piazzato l’indonesiano Johannes Setiawan mentre il terzo posto è andato al giapponese Hidehiko Hagiwara. In classifica Hanna ha aumentato il proprio margine di vantaggio in campionato dove i suoi primi inseguitori sono Tiger Wu di Taipei e il cinese Xing Yanbin.
Coppa Shell Am. David Dicker ha imitato in tutto e per tutto Tani Hanna conquistando a sua volta una doppietta. Il pilota australiano ha dominato dal primo all’ultimo giro precedendo sul traguardo il giapponese Hidenobu Oba e il cinese Min Xiao. Dicker ha ovviamente conquistato anche la Gentlemen Cup, mentre la Ladies’ Cup è andata ancora una volta alla thailandese Kanthicha Chimsiri. Dicker guida in classifica sul neozelandese Grant Baker e su Min Xiao..
06/2018 Porsche celebrates 70th anniversary in style with Le Mans victories
In its 70th anniversary year, and sporting iconic liveries from its past, the No.92 ‘Pink Pig’ of Michael Christensen (DNK), Kevin Estre (FRA) and Laurens Vanthoor (BEL) took the chequered flag one lap  ahead of the No.91 in the blue and white colours from the 70s.  
The two cars, the No.91 in the hands of Richard Lietz (AUT), Gimmi Bruni (ITA) and Fred Makowiecki (FRA) led the French classic, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season, from the first hour and dominated thereafter.  It is the first win at Le Mans for Porsche in the GTE categories since 2013.
The manufacturer which came closest to challenging the Porsche 911 RSRs throughout the race was Ford and two cars from the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing stable finished in third and fourth places.  The No.68 (Joey Hand (USA, Dirk Müller (DEU), Sébastien Bourdais (FRA) from the US arm of the team took the final LMGTE Pro podium place while the No.67 of Andy Priaulx (GBR), Harry Tincknell (GBR) and Tony Kanaan (USA) will take points for third place in the FIA WEC points classifications (the American Ford entry does not score points as it is not a full season WEC competitor).
The AF Corse Ferraris and BMWs put up a strong challenge at times but ultimately were let down by technical issues and penalties which cost them time in the pits.  Aston Martin Racing got both its new cars through to the finish to give them confidence for the rest of the season.
Delighted team owner Patrick Dempsey was on hand in Le Mans to see his team take victory in the LMGTE Am class.  The No.77 of Matt Campbell (AUS), Christian Ried (DEU) and Julian Andlauer (FRA) cross the line 1m 39s ahead of the No.54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE of Thomas Flohr (CHE), Francesco Castellacci (ITA) and Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA).
As in the Pro class, Dempsey-Proton dominated the class although for many hours it was the sister No.88 Porsche 911 RSR which led. Unfortunately, just after 07h00 this morning, in the hands of Matteo Cairoli, the car went off track and into the barriers just after the Porsche Curves …into retirement.
Third in class was the No.85 Keating Motorsports Ferrari from the USA, and third in the points classification is the No.56 Team Project 1 Porsche of Jörg Bergmeister (DEU), Patrick Lindsey (USA) and Egidio Perfetti (NOR) – the team’s first season in the WEC and first participation at the world’s most famous endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

06/2018 Redemption for Toyota as it makes history at Le Mans
Toyota Gazoo Racing claimed a commanding 1-2 result, with Fernando Alonso winning on his debut at the world’s most famous endurance race. By doing so, the Spaniard - who together with Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi - drove magnificently throughout the 24 hours in this second round of the FIA WEC Super Season, also made a further claim on the legendary ‘Triple Crown’ in motorsport.
Nakajima was behind the wheel of the No. 8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID as it took the chequered flag two laps ahead of the No.7 entry driven by Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and José Maria Lopez. The two cars had been running closely together through much of the 24 hours but late-race drama and penalties saw the No.7 drop back in the final hours.
The LMP1 non-hybrids were unable to match the Toyotas, and many of the new cars experienced technical issues during the race, but Rebellion Racing’s Mathias Beche, Thomas Laurent and Gustavo Menezes took the final podium place and the No.1 crew came home in fourth.  It was Laurent’s second podium finish in a row, Le Mans treating the young Frenchman particularly well! The No.5 CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta G60-LT P1 Mecachrome was the only other classified LMP1 car.  
SMP Racing, which showed early pace with the two BR Engineering BR1-AERs, failed to get either of its two cars to the finish, with engine failure forcing Jenson Button out of the race with less than one hour to go.
The event, which was started by Rafael Nadal in front of a host of stars and celebrities, attracted a 256,900-strong crowd.
G-Drive Racing continue with its winning ways
Following wins at Spa (WEC) and Monza (ELMS), the No.26 G-Drive Racing ORECA 07 Gibson took a commanding LMP2 class victory today. Jean-Eric Vergne, Roman Rusinov and Andrea Pizzitola were all first-time winners of the French endurance classic and the TDS-run car had a flawless run to the flag after the opening hour.  
Frenchman Vergne took the car over the finish line to record victory two laps ahead of the No.36 Signatech Alpine Matmut entry of Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrão and Pierre Thiriet.  As well as being a first Le Mans class win for the drivers, it was also the first for G-Drive and the TDS team.
Fourth on track and third in the WEC points classification, due to podium finisher Graff SO24 not being a WEC entrant, was the TDS Racing entry of Francois Perrodo, Matthieu Vaxivière and Loïc Duval which made a late charge for the podium place.

The 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans by the numbers
  • 1st overall victory for Toyota      in 20 participations, and the first win for drivers Fernando Alonso,      Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi
  • 1st position on the starting grid for      the No.8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID
  • 2nd pole position at the 24 Hours for      Kazuki Nakajima (No.8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID) after 2014
  • 2nd win for a Japanese marque at Le Mans after Mazda      in 1991
  • 2nd Porsche victory in LMGTE Pro,      with the No.92 911 RSR shared by Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and      Laurens Vanthoor, the last being in 2013. To leave nothing to chance,      Porsche entered 10 911 RSRs at this edition and was the most represented      marque of the field.
  • 2: the number of drivers with more than 20 participations at the      start, namely Olivier Beretta and Jan Lammers, the latter celebrating his      24th 24 Hours of Le Mans      this last weekend
  • 3rd win for a Japanese driver after      Masanori Sekiya (McLaren in 1995) and Seiji Ara (Audi in 2004).
  • 3:17.658 was the fastest lap time,      clocked by Sébastien Buemi at the wheel of the No.8 Toyota in the fifth      lap of the race
  • 4th pole position for Toyota after 1999,      2014 and 2017
  • 5th time an F1 world champion has won      the 24 Hours of Le Mans,      with Fernando Alonso joining Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill, Phil Hill and      Jochen Rindt. The Spanish driver is the only two-time F1 world champion to      win the race at his first attempt and is still active in F1!
  • 8: the racing number of the winning car, the fifth time in history      the number 8 has come out on top after Bentley (1928), Alfa Romeo (1932)      and Audi (2006, 2009)
  • 10: there were 10 previous winners at      the start of this 86th edition: André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler, Romain      Dumas, Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber, Nick Tandy, Jan Lammers, Mike      Rockenfeller, Loïc Duval and Neel Jani
  • 11: the number of times the pole-sitter claimed the top step on the      overall podium 24 hours later
  • 14:      the number of official retirements
  • 18: the age of Phil Hanson (United      Autosports No.22 Ligier JS P217-Gibson) and Julien Andlauer      (Dempsey-Proton Racing No.77 Porsche 911 RSR), with the oldest driver      being Mark Patterson (Algarve Pro Racing No.25 Ligier JS P217-Gibson,      LMP2) at 66 years young
  • 21: the number of consecutive overall      wins for Michelin, starting with the Porsche 911 GT1 in 1998 (the French      tyre manufacturer has a total of 28 to its credit)
  • 23: number of leader changes between      the two Toyotas in LMP1
  • 60: the number of competitors at the      start of the 2018 24 Hours, for the third time since 2016
  • 77: the racing number of the winning      Porsche 911 RSR in LMGTE Am, shared by Dempsey-Proton Racing’s Christian      Ried and rookies Matt Campbell and Julien Andlauer
  • 343.4 km/h: the fastest speed recorded during the race, clocked by      Nicolas Lapierre at the wheel of Signatech Alpine Matmut's No.36 Alpine      A470-Gibson
  • 388: the total number of laps at this      year's edition (5,288.666       km)
  • 256,900: the number of spectators in attendance      to witness Toyota's      triumph

24H Le Mans 18 hour report: Incidents and accidents as the new day dawns
After 18 hours of racing the two Toyota TS050 HYBRIDS are still out in front but there has been a change for the lead.  The No.8 Toyota is now leading thanks to Kazuki Nakajima who went past Kamui Kobayashi in the 15th hour.
Porsche continues to dominate LMGTE Pro with the No.92 Porsche GT Team entry over a lap ahead of the No.91 911 RSR as the clock went past the 18-hour point. The No.68 Ford GT of Dirk Muller was lying in third position, 31 seconds behind the second placed Porsche.
G-Drive Racing’s No.26 ORECA 07 Gibson holds the lead in the LMP2 class with Roman Rusinov still in the car at the top of the 18th hour.  The Russian team is over a lap ahead of the second placed car in this class, the No.23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier JSP217, with the No.36 Signatech Alpine A470 a further lap behind in third.
The No.77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR of Christian Ried is also still out in front of the LMGTE Am class, over a lap ahead of the No.54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE of Giancarlo Fisichella.
There were plenty of incidents in the third quarter of the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans including stop and go penalties for both Toyotas for speeding under slow zone regulations.
There were several cars that went off track during the night, with some retirements.  Notable among the WEC entrants was the No.82 BMW, with Alexander Sims unexpectedly going off into the wall at Porsche Curves.  The heavy damage forced the retirement of the car.  
The No.88 Dempsey-Proton Competition Porsche from the LMGTE Am class was another retirement after Matteo Cairoli hit the barriers after exiting Porsche Curves, with the No.10 DragonSpeed BR1 of Ben Hanley also going off at Porsche Curves a few minutes later.

24 Hours of Le Mans – 12 Hour Report
The first half of the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been completed and the No.7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID of José Maria Lopez is leading the race by 77 seconds ahead of the No.8 Toyota of Fernando Alonso.
The No.8 Toyota was penalised with a 60 second stop and go penalty when Sébastien Buemi was found to have driven too fast in a slow zone.
The No.3 Rebellion Racing R13 of Matthias Beche is running in third place, four laps behind the Toyotas and ahead of the No.1 Rebellion of Bruno Senna.  The No.17 SMP Racing BR1-AER was running at the front of the field but Matevos Isaakyan spun at the Porsche Curves damaging the car.  The Russian tried to clear the damaged parts of the car to get back to the pits but the damage caused the engine to fail in spectacular style in a cloud of smoke and the race for the No.17 was over.
In the LMGTE Pro category the two Porsche GT Team 911s continue to lead the class, with the No.92 of Michael Christensen holding a 1m 53s advantage over the No.91 of pole sitter Gimmi Bruni. The No.68 Ford GT is third and the No.52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE of Toni Vilander is fourth.
The No.81 BMW M8 GTE was handed a drive through penalty when the team refuelled the car while it was on skates and the earth lead wasn’t attached to the car during the refuelling process.
The No.26 G-Drive Racing ORECA is still in charge in the LMP2 category with Roman Rusinov circulating one lap ahead of the rest of the field.  Nicolas Lapierre is currently second in the No.36 Signatech Alpine A470, 3 seconds ahead of the Panis Barthez Competition Ligier of Timothé Buret.
Porsche continues to dominate the LMGTE Am class as well as the Pro category and, at the end of the midway point in the race, the No.77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche of Julien Andlauer was over 90 seconds ahead of the Ferraris of Keating Motorsports and JMW Motorsport.
The No.98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage was another retirement in the second quarter when Paul Dalla Lana went off into the barriers at the Porsche Curves.  The Canadian was unhurt but the car had to be recovered to a safe area, its race being over.

Rueda-Saravia (Teo Martín BMW) take second win and relaunch their title bid
Fran Rueda and Andrés Saravia took their second win of the season today at Spa, after dominating Race 2. The BMW Team Teo Martín Motorsport pair rounded the day by jumping to second in the overall standings, where they now lie 12 points behind Mikkel Mac, today 6th. It was a day for the BMW M6 cars, as Joel Eriksson and Richard Gonda finished second on the Senkyr Motorsport car, after an epic final battle between Gonda and Lourenço Beirão with the other Teo Martín BMW. The prospect of an all-BMW podium vanished on the finishing line, as the RS Ferrari of Daniele Di Amato-Andrea Montermini won the sprint for third.
In Pro-Am, Ollie Wilkinson and Brad Ellis, with the Optimum Motorsport Audi R8,  took their maiden win in the series, also in the closing laps, and so did Rinat Salikhov in the Am class after driving alone the Rinaldi Racing Ferrari.
THE RACE – Perfect start for poleman Rueda, while Eriksson has a poor start from first row. Rueda leads ahead of Khodair, Álvarez, Onslow Cole, Di Amato, Pierguidi, Eriksson and Rugolo. Everything goes smoothly except for a contact between Griffin  and Mul. The fight is between Onslow-Cole and Di Amato. Rueda pulls away, while Pierguidi takes fifth from Di Amato and shortly after passes Onslow-Cole for 4th. Positions stabilize with Rueda having a 3-second gap over the pack, while Khodair sees his P2 threatened by Pierguidi, as the window for driver changes approach.
After all changes, Saravia leads, with 1”8 on Hahn and 6”5 on Beirão. Follow Montermini, Gonda, West, Pierburg, Ling and Venturini. Soon, a group is formed with Hahn, Beirão, Montermini and Gonda. It’s the Slovak attacking first and passing Montermini and Hahn (lap 18). In Am, Salikhov has taken over the lead from Basso. It’s full fight between Beirão, Gonda and Montermini for P2. Ling is the best-placed Lambo ahead of Venturini, Ellis (who is now first Pro-Am), Mac and Agostini.
The last couple of laps are breathtaking with Beirão and Gonda fighting fierce, and having a couple of door-to –door contacts at the Bus Stop. Gonda eventually passes the Portuguese, who will lose third in favor of Montermini in a last-minute sprint ahead of the finishing line.

Mac-Pier Guidi make it 3 for Luzich Racing at Spa
Mikkel Mac, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Luzich Racing had a perfect Race 1 in a warm afternoon at Spa, taking their third win of the season, reinforcing Mac’s leadership in the standings (+16) and with the Italian taking a third win in 3 races. It was a very lively and sometimes nervous race in all positions, which was led during the first stint by an impressive David Perel (Rinaldi Racing Ferrari), who had signed the pole and the new GT3 track record in 2.15.441. The Lamborghinis of Imperiale Racing trusted the rest of the podium, with Giovanni Venturini and Jeroen Mul second and Riccardo Agostini-Rik Breukers third.
It was also third win of the season in Pro-Am for Valentin Pierburg and Tom Onslow-Cole with the SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes, while Giulio Borlenghi and Andrzej Lewandowski gave Vincenzo Sospiri Racing and Lambo the win in Am.
THE RACE - 26 cars are on the grid, after the MS/HTP Mercedes had to withdraw because Alex Hrachowina felt ill during the night (food intoxication).
At the start, poleman Perel narrowly keeps the advantage over Mac, who attempts an attack at Le Combes, followed by Gonda, Agostini, Venturini, Salikhov, Sowery, Di Folco and Cioci. There are contacts in the group at first braking a La Source, with Rees and Montermini touching and the Italian spinning. The Brazilian will get a 5-second penalty.  Beirão is hit at the bus stop after Ellis spins following a contact by Salikhov, who will get a 10-second penalty.  Venturini takes fourth from team mate Agostini in lap 4. In lap 5, Perel has already a 1.5 second advantage over rivals, while shortly after West is in the pits because of a mechanical problem. The show is put for a few laps by the fight for fifth between Agostini and Salikhov, with the two passing each other.
After all pits stops, in lap 18, Mul leads with 1.2 seconds over Pierguidi and 8 on Breukers, with Eriksson further aback (-23) in  a group that comprises Kogay and Cipriani, then Griffin, Liberati and Rueda. As Pierguidi catches Mul, starts a big battle for the leadership. Breukers is a lone third, so is Eriksson in 4th, and then another battle opposes Griffin and rueda for fifth. In lap 22, Pierguidi manages to pass Mul for P1 on the outside at Les Combes. In Am, Silva leads after the retirement of Salikhov, although he will later concede the success to Borlenghi.  Kogay goes off-track at Lesc Combes, while Wilkinson, Crestani and Di Amato fight for P10 with a lot of door-to-door contact, with Crestani taking the advantage. The last thrill is the battle for 7th that the Aston of Reip will win against the Lambo of Liberati.

Challenge Europe – Doppiette per Wohlwend, Cheung e Cuhadaroglu a Misano
Misano Adriatico, 9 giugno 2018 – La seconda giornata di gare al Misano World Circuit è stata all’insegna delle doppiette. Fabienne Wohlwend nel Trofeo Pirelli Am, Eric Cheung nella Coppa Shell e Murat Cuhadaroglu nella Coppa Shell Am hanno bissato il successo di Gara-1. Solo Bjorn Grossmann è riuscito a invertire la tendenza del primo giorno, riuscendo a battere Nicklas Nielsen nel Trofeo Pirelli.
Trofeo Pirelli. La gara inaugurale di giornata è stata quella del Trofeo Pirelli che al via ha visto David Fumanelli bruciare l’intera prima fila, formata dal poleman Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126) e Nicklas Nielsen (Formula Racing). Sfortunatamente, tuttavia, la partenza del pilota italiano di Rossocorsa è stata considerata anticipata e per la vettura numero 2 è scattato il drive-through. Al via Nielsen era stato capace di prendersi la posizione su Grossmann ma il pilota tedesco è stato decisissimo nel recuperare la posizione. Dopo la penalizzazione di Fumanelli il terzo posto sul podio è passato all’altro pilota di Formula Racing, Johnny Laursen.
Pirelli Am. Nel Trofeo Pirelli Am al via c’è stato lo scontro tra John Dhillon (Formula Racing) e Martin Nelson (Scuderia Autoropa), mentre Chris Froggatt (Ferrari GB – H.R. Owen) è stato abile a sopravanzare Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126), autrice della pole position. La ragazza del Liechtenstein, tuttavia, si è ripresa poco dopo la prima posizione, relegando l’avversario al secondo posto. Per il terzo posto c’è stata una bella lotta tra Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa) e Christian Overgaard (Baron Motorsport) con il pilota danese che ha avuto la meglio e nel finale è riuscito addirittura a contendere, invano, il secondo posto a Froggatt.
Coppa Shell. La seconda gara di giornata è stata quella della Coppa Shell che al via ha visto un incidente multiplo che ha messo fuori gara metà dello schieramento. Per fortuna nessun pilota ha riportato conseguenze fisiche anche se la gara è stata sospesa per diversi minuti ed è ripresa solo dopo che la pista è stata ripulita dai detriti. In Coppa Shell la vittoria è andata così per il secondo giorno di fila a Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) che ha preceduto Christophe Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne) e Christian Kinch (Gohm Motorsport BB).
Shell Am. In Coppa Shell Am Murat Cuhadaroglu ha centrato la doppietta a propria volta. Il pilota del Kessel Racing ha preceduto il ceco Dusan Palcr e lo svedese Ingvar Mattsson. Il quinto appuntamento del Ferrari Challenge Europe è in programma a Brno, in Repubblica Ceca, dal 22 al 22 luglio.

Challenge Europe – Vincono Cheung, Cuhadaroglu, Nielsen e Wohlwend
Misano Adriatico, 8 giugno 2018 – Eric Cheung, Murat Cuhadaroglu, Nicklas Nielsen e Fabienne Wohlwend hanno vinto le gare della prima giornata del quarto round della stagione 2018 del Ferrari Challenge Europe a Misano.
Coppa Shell. La gara inaugurale di giornata è stata quella della Coppa Shell che è scattata al calar del sole e ha regalato emozioni e spettacolo. Al via Christophe Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne) è stato protagonista di una palese partenza anticipata che è stata punita con un drive-through. In testa è così passato il poleman Erich Prinoth (Ineco-MP Racing) inseguito da Eric Cheung (Formula Racing), Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing) e Vladimir Hladik (Baron Motorsport). La situazione è rimasta invariata fino a metà gara quando Prinoth è finito in testacoda lasciando via libera a Cheung, Gostner e Hladik ed essendo costretto a ripartire dalla quarta posizione. Testacoda in seguito a contatti sia per Thomas Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing), fino a quel punto quinto e colpito dal Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing), e per la figlia Corinna Gostner, urtata da Agata Smolka (Rossocorsa). Hurni è risalito fino all’ottavo posto mentre Tommy Lindroth (Baron Motorsport), alla centesima gara nel Challenge, e Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing), alla duecentesima, si sono piazzati al nono e al decimo posto. Prinoth resta in testa al campionato anche se Cheung ora è molto più vicino.
Shell Am. Giuseppe Ramelli, con la 488 Challenge di Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing, sembrava aver conquistato la prima vittoria della carriera conducendo dall’inizio alla fine in maniera impeccabile la corsa della classe Coppa Shell Am. Purtroppo il pilota italiano è stato considerato responsabile di un contatto con Thomas Gostner e di conseguenza penalizzato di 25 secondi precipitando così al sesto posto. La vittoria è andata al turco Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing) che con questo risultato si avvicina in classifica al leader di campionato, lo svedese Ingvar Mattsson, partito dalla pole position ma giunto terzo sul traguardo. Secondo posto sul podio per Alexander Nussbaumer (Formula Racing).
Trofeo Pirelli. Nella notte è andata poi in scena la gara del Trofeo Pirelli. Fin dal via il poleman Nicklas Nielsen è riuscito ad avvantaggiarsi sulla concorrenza, complice il duello serrato tra David Fumanelli (Rossocorsa) e Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126). Il pilota di Formula Racing ha vinto con oltre sei secondi di vantaggio su Fumanelli e Grossmann. Quarto e quinto posto per i compagni di squadra del leader, Johnny Laursen e Jens Liebhauser. Nielsen guida il campionato.
Pirelli Am. Non si ferma più, invece, Fabienne Wohlwend. La ventenne del Liechtenstein, già vincitrice di Gara-2 a Spa, ha dominato fin dalle qualifiche sulla 488 Challenge del team Octane 126. Come nel caso di Nielsen, anche la Wohlwend è stata avvantaggiata dalla battaglia che si è scatenata alle sue spalle e che ha coinvolto ben tre piloti: Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa), Martin Nelson (Scuderia Autoropa) e Chris Froggatt (Ferrari GB – H.R. Owen). I tre si sono dati battaglia fino all’ultimo giro, quando Froggatt, che era stato capace di superare Nelson dopo metà gara, è riuscito a passare Rocca per la piazza d’onore. Gare-2 al sabato (ore 20 e 22.15).

Copyright (C) Diego Crotti
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