Saturday, December 18, 2010

McLaren Confirms GT3 Racing Program for MP4-12C

By Team Update December 17, 2010

© McLaren Group

McLaren today confirms its plans to bring back the McLaren name to GT sports cars racing. From 2012, McLaren and CRS Racing will supply and support a limited number of GT3 racing cars based on the McLaren MP4-12C high-performance sports car for European-based privateers.

15 years since the McLaren F1 GTR famously won the world-famous 24 Heures du Mans (Le Mans) on its debut, and 12 years since six ‘Longtails’ last raced at Le Mans, McLaren and CRS Racing, a successful and experienced UK-based racing team, have begun development work aimed at turning the 12C road car into a race-winning GT3 sports car. As part of the development programme, McLaren and CRS Racing will compete at a limited number of European GT races in 2011.

With the 12C’s revolutionary lightweight one-piece moulded carbon chassis (the ‘MonoCell’), its high levels of downforce and aerodynamic performance, and its focus on form and function, the 12C should prove to be a great platform on which to develop a racing car, as well as visually setting pulses racing at European race tracks.

Martin Whitmarsh, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team Principal said: “Racing is in our blood – it was natural to develop a GT3 car alongside the 12C road car. We have a legendary history in global motorsport, including GT racing, and we aim to maintain that reputation with this GT3 programme, and any future sports car projects that may evolve.

“The 12C’s architecture and design was always aimed at high-performance and ease of maintenance – two key criteria for potential customers. Combine that with the vast amount of racing experience in our automotive team, and CRS Racing’s specialist development experience, and the 12C GT3 should be an exciting proposition for the top teams planning to race in GT3 from 2012.”

Andrew Kirkaldy, Team Principal, CRS Racing said: “It is a rare opportunity to work with a company like McLaren and we are proud to be involved. Together, we aim to produce the highest quality GT car on the grid. The level of engineering experience at McLaren is unparalleled and this will be reflected in the 12C GT3. One of the most important aspects of this programme will be customer service and for that reason we will be building a limited number of cars at a competitive price. The result will be an incredible GT car with manageable running costs and good residual value that will provide its owner with an unrivalled experience.”

Further details about the McLaren 12C GT3 racing car programme will be announced in 2011 and interest from prospective customers can be registered on

Initial plans are for a limited run of 12Cs developed for the 2012 European FIA GT3 Series, but, as with McLaren Automotive’s road car business, conservative growth and expansion will be considered.

CRS Racing will build, sell and support the 12C GT3 cars in close collaboration with McLaren. The Leicestershire-based racing team has a strong pedigree in GT racing in the Le Mans Series, the FIA GT Championship, the International GT Open and the British GT Championship. CRS also runs two successful single-seater teams: in the Formula Renault UK Championship and as Atech CRS in the GP3 Series.

DB Motorsport to join GT3 European Championship

Dutch squad DB Motorsport is set to join the FIA GT3 European Championship in 2011. The team from Waddinxveen, The Netherlands will enter a pair of brand new BMW Z4 GT3s in the championship and is also considering entering the cars in other SRO promoted series.

A few weeks ago DB Motorsport received the first of its two BMW Z4 GT3 cars and the team already tested the car on the Zandvoort circuit, venue for the final round of the 2011 FIA GT3 European Championship. Despite the weather conditions the reactions were positive. “The first impression is very good. From the first meters the BMW Z4 GT3 gave a lot of confidence. Handling and engine are great and I look forward to continue working with this racer,” said Jeroen den Boer, team owner/driver of DB Motorsport.

Den Boer will drive one of the DB Motorsport cars in 2011 and he will be joined by Hoevert Vos and Harrie Kolen. The two Dutch drivers raced in the Eurocup Mégane Trophy in recent years, but also competed in the Total 24 Hours of Spa this season. The team is still in talks with interested drivers for the fourth seat in the FIA GT3 European Championship.

As soon as the second BMW Z4 GT3 is delivered to the team – the car is currently under construction at BMW Motorsport – an intensive test program is scheduled to take place in Southern Europe.

Next to the plans to race in the FIA GT3 European Championship and the Total 24 Hours of Spa the team is also looking at options to enter its cars in the ADAC GT Masters and/or the Belcar Endurance Championship.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Porsche's 2011 GT3 RSR

Porsche launches 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR takes off into the new motorsport season with extensive modifications. The 2011 version of the world’s most successful GT race car celebrated its international premiere at the “Night of Champions” party held at the R&D Centre in Weissach to mark the end of the motorsport season. Priority in the further development of the GT3 RSR was given to the newly designed aerodynamics at the front and rear, changes to the suspension kinematics and to the engine.

The 4.0-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine now delivers 455 hp (355 kW) at 7,800 revs, five horsepower more than its predecessor. The power increase results from an engine management system which adapts even better to different fuel grades, as well as a redesigned exhaust system and a modified air intake housing. Moreover, the driveability of the famously efficient engine has undergone further improvements. Maximum revs remain unchanged at 9,400 rpm.

Clearly visible are the modifications to the front. A new front lip provides higher downforce at the front axle. The front wheels are now wider with the rims growing from 11 to 12 inches giving additional grip and less of an understeering tendency. The position of the rear wing and the shape of the wing mounting also underwent optimisation and were adapted to the new rear fairing with additional air outlet louvers. The rear lid was also redesigned for optimised air ducting. Like the 911 GT3 Cup and the GT3 R, the RSR has now been equipped with the LED rear lights taken from the latest 911 road-legal cars.

The 911 GT3 RSR joins the 911 GT3 R and the 911 GT3 Cup as the top model of Porsche Motorsport’s product range. The successful long distance racer from Weissach can be ordered now at a price of 410,000 Euro plus country-specific value added tax. All 2011 modifications are available as a kit for GT3 RSR cars from the 2010 season.

Technical description Porsche GT3 RSR (2011 model year)
Water-cooled six-cylinder boxer engine; 3,996 cc; stroke 80.4 mm; bore 102.7 mm; 455 hp (335 kW) at 7,800 rpm; max. torque 450 Nm; air restrictors 2 x 28.6 mm; max. revs 9,400 rpm; four valve technology; dry sump lubrication; individual throttle butterflies; fuel injection.

Porsche six-speed gearbox with sequential jaw-type shift; oil/water heat exchanger, single-mass flywheel; hydraulic disengagement lever; three-plate carbon-fibre clutch; rear wheel drive; limited slip differential 45/65 percent.

Monocoque body (basis GT3 RS) of hot-galvanised steel; aerodynamically optimised front end with front spoiler; aerodynamically optimised front underfloor; adjustable rear wing; 90-litre FT3 safety fuel tank with fast filling function; air jack; welded-in safety cage; race seat (driver’s side only) with flame retardant upholstery; six-point seat belt adapted for use of the HANS Head and Neck Support; electric fire extinguishing system.

Front axle: McPherson spring strut axle; Sachs four-way gas pressure dampers; double coil springs (main and auxiliary); front axle arms adjustable for camber; adjustable sword-type anti-roll bar; power steering.
Rear: Multi-arm axle with rigidly mounted axle sub-frame; Sachs four-way gas pressure dampers; double coil springs (main and auxiliary); rear axle tie-bar reinforced and infinitely adjustable; adjustable sword-type anti-roll bar. Complete suspension infinitely adjustable (height, camber, track).

Brake system
Brake system with balance bar control.
Front: Single-piece six-piston aluminium fixed callipers; inner vented, 380 mm diameter; racing brake pads.
Rear: Single-piece four-piston aluminium fixed callipers; inner vented, 355 mm diameter; racing brake pads.

Front: Three-piece BBS light-alloy wheels (12J x 18 ET 34); central bolt.
Rear: Three-piece BBS light-alloy wheels (13J x 18 ET 12.5); central bolt.

Electrical system
Motec display with integrated data recording; multi-function display with integrated gearshift indicator; adjustable traction control; battery: 12 volt, 80 Ah, 140 Ah alternator.

1,220 kg

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The New Audi R18 - Ulrich and McNish Comments

Allan McNish & Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich on the New Audi R18

Dec 10, 2010

source: Audi UK

Audi has unveiled its latest sportscar which Britain’s Allan McNish hopes will enable him to score his third and the German manufacturer’s 10th Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race victory next June.

McNish and his Audi Sport team-mates attended an unveiling of the Audi R18 at the Audi Sportpark in Ingolstadt, Germany, last night (Friday 10 December).

Audi’s latest sports-prototype features a brand new 3.7-litre V6 TDI turbocharged diesel engine and marks the first time a “closed” cockpit sportscar has been raced by the “factory” Audi Sport Team Joest outfit. Buckinghamshire-based Audi Sport UK entered an Audi R8C Coupé design at Le Mans in 1999.

“I tested the R18 for the first time at the end of last month which was essentially the Coupé’s initial roll-out combined with its maiden test,” confirmed Dumfries-born McNish.

“The car ran very well without any technical problems. We encountered wet and dry running enabling us to collect a lot of information in all types of track conditions.

“After racing an ‘open’ Audi sportscar since 2000, it was a renewed experience for me to again drive a sportscar with a roof. Audi has done a great job with the design – the front certainly looks very aggressive – I’m sure we have a contender for race honours.”

Audi took part at Le Mans for the first time in 1999. Few other car manufacturers have succeeded in racking up the same amount of success in this event; nine overall victories (2000-2, 2004-8, 2010) in 12 attempts is an impressive record while Audi drivers have stepped onto the winners’ rostrum on every occasion. Indeed, this year Audi achieved its third 1-2-3 finish in the world’s toughest twice-around-the-clock motor race.

“In the future, aerodynamic efficiency will be even more important at Le Mans than it was in the past,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “A closed car has clear advantages in this respect. Our computer simulations have been confirmed in the wind tunnel and during initial track tests.”

Significantly smaller engines than those used before will be prescribed at Le Mans in 2011 as the rule makers aim to achieve a substantial reduction of engine power. By opting for a 3.7-litre V6 TDI unit, Audi retains the diesel concept that saw its first victorious fielding in 2006.

“From our point of view, the TDI continues to be the most efficient technology,” says Ulrich Baretzky, Head of Engine Development at Audi Sport. “There are good reasons why the share of TDI units among Audi’s production models is as high as it is.”
Through the innovative V6 TDI engine for the Le Mans 24 Hours, motorsport is yet again performing pioneering work for the production arm at Audi where there is a growing trend towards smaller, more economical but yet powerful engines.

Another new development is the six-speed transmission in the R18 which has been specifically modified for use with the smaller engine. The chassis and aerodynamics package contains a lot of know-how from the R8, the R10 TDI and the R15 TDI whereas the fitting of identically sized front and rear wheels is new to an Audi Le Mans sports car. This configuration allows a more balanced weight distribution.

The Audi R18 has been designed for progressive electrification, which Audi Sport is planning to drive forward step by step. “But efficiency is always the crucial factor for us,” says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “No matter which form of energy recovery we may choose the key aspect for Audi – in motorsport as well as on the production side of the house – is that it provides a true advantage.”

FIA GT1 & 3 Calendar and Rules Update

27.03 Abu Dhabi UAE
10.04 Zolder BEL
08.05 Algarve PRT
15.05 Sachsenring GER
05.06 Silverstone GBR
03.07 Navarra ESP
17.07 Paul Ricard FRA
04.09 Ordos CHN
23.10 Curitiba BRA
06.11 San Luis ARG*
* Subject to confirmation by the ASN

The Sachsenring race is to be confirmed by 21 December.

2011 FIA GT3 European Championship

08.05 Algarve PRT
05.06 Silverstone GBR
03.07 Navarra ESP
17.07 Paul Ricard FRA
21.08 Smolensk Ring**
16.10 Zandvoort NLD

From January 2011, success ballast in the FIA GT1 World Championship will be allocated to cars and drivers for each qualifying race, as well as the Championship race. In addition to the new scale for the qualifying race, the scale applied to the Championship race has also been amended.

Amended tyre regulations come into effect for GT1 from January 2011, which include an increase in the number of dry-weather tyres to six sets (of which only four are permitted for qualifying and the races). The intention is to allow the teams to use tyres to their maximum capacity during practice, reducing the necessity for additional costs with private testing.

For safety reasons, and to balance the performance of cars, success ballast allocated to a driver finishing in the top three places in a race counting towards the FIA GT3 European Championship will be converted into compensation times. These will be imposed during a pit stop and will be applied from one race to another, and do not accumulate from event to event.

The scale of compensation time, added to the minimum pit stop duration, allocated to each car and to the drivers for each race is as follows:

1st +15 seconds
2nd +10 seconds
3rd +5 seconds
From, 10 Dec 10

Monday, December 6, 2010

Disappointment for Marc VDS Ford GT Team


Marc VDS Racing concluded its inaugural GT1 season in Argentina with disappointment, having finished the first of two races in promising fashion.

Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin suffered from a blown engine earlier in the weekend and had hoped the worst was behind them by the time race day dawned.

The Belgian pair could have been excused for thinking exactly that after they secured an impressive third place in Sunday morning’s Qualifying Race. They battled through the field in their No.40 Ford GT from 12th on the grid to take the final podium spot and four championship points.

However, any hope of the strong form continuing had dried up in the Argentinian sun come Sunday afternoon.

Martin lost multiple places at the start of the Championship Race, dropping to a lowly 19th place. He brilliantly fought back to ninth before the mandatory pit stop. Soon after Leinders took over the Ford GT’s engine blew for the second time in the weekend.

“I lost some more places at the start when I was pushed wide by some less scrupulous drivers", said Martin. “I regained the track in 19th but made up a lot of places before the stop."

Marc VDS Team Manager Jean-Michel Delporte added: "The engine issue has happened to us before at the start of the season. We thought we had solved the problem, but apparently not. The engines will now be sent back to the US to examine the cause of these incidents."

Trouble continued in the other side of the garage with Markus Palttala and Matteo Bobbi in the No.41 car.

Palttala started the main race in 15th and had clawed his way up the running order. However, his pit-to-car radio transmission had failed and the Finn missed the pit window.

"By the time I saw the pit board on the wall it already was too late,” explained Palttala. “When I eventually came back to the pit lane the team had decided to call it a day.”

The teams’ only real success over the weekend came on Saturday afternoon when the Belgian outfit won the GT1 pedalo race on the San Luis Lake.

No points were awarded in that race, but the team finished the season in eighth place with 62 points in the teams’ standings. Meanwhile, Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin scored a total of 54 points to place them 14th in the driver’s championship. Their teammates Matteo Bobbi and Markus Palttala concluded their seasons in 30th and 41st respectively.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The GT1 World Championship

The first year for this new championship was a real good racing series, with 1 hour qualifying races followed by Championship races of 1 hour, also.
The finale in San Luis, Argentina was no exception.
Although the Vitaphone Maserati MC 12 or Bartels and Bertolini finished the qualifying race with a enough points to clinch the Championship, the second race was very competitive and featured some real close driving and, maybe, a few paces that where, shall we say, questionable moves?
Pos Car Drivers Car Laps Gap
1. 9 Makowiecki, Clairay Aston Martin DB9 26 0.000
2. 5 Westbrook, Mutsch Ford GT Matech 26 13.616
3. 10 Piccione, Hirschi Aston Martin DB9 26 23.159
4. 25 Kechele, Jimenez Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S 26 23.623
5. 8 Lopez, Mucke Aston Martin DB9 26 26.883
6. 37 Risatti, Basseng Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S 26 27.827
7. 1 Bertolini, Bartels Maserati MC12 26 32.440
8. 6 Jani, Armindo Ford GT Matech 26 38.646
9. 33 Muller, Heger Maserati MC12 26 51.610
10. 24 Kox, Haase Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S 26 58.398
11. 38 Pastorelli, Schwager Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S 26 0.001
12. 13 Hennerici, Margaritis Corvette Z06 26 0.001
13. 4 Ara, Nilsson Nissan GT-R 26 0.001
14. 2 Bernoldi, Ramos Maserati MC12 26 0.001
15. 7 Turner, Enge Aston Martin DB9 26 0.001
16. 22 Campbell-Walter, Hughes Nissan GT-R 22 0.006
17. 23 Dumbreck, Krumm Nissan GT-R 18 0.012
18. 41 Palttala, Bobbi Ford GT 16 0.016
19. 40 Martin, Leinders Ford GT 16 0.015
20. 34 Pier Guidi, Verdonck Maserati MC12 13 0.021
21. 3 Wendlinger, Moser Nissan GT-R 13 0.019

IF you missed the weekend, got to and enjoy replaying both races!