Nakajima: “In a way, we have less pressure”

Kazuki Nakajima comes to the 2019 Le Mans week with a good mix of excitement, but also calmness compared to last year, after Toyota Gazoo Racing finally managed to capture the win with his number 8 car. Racing24-7.net had a chat with him about this year’s race. Do you feel more or less pressure this year, compared to last year, now that you have the Le Mans win – but have a World Championship to win? “In a way, including me as a whole team, we have less pressure. It’s…

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Goodyear returns to sportscar racing

Goodyear has chosen to rejoin the sportscar racing scene at it’s uppermost category, which is the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The American tire brand has won Le Mans 14 times, plus winning 368 Formula 1 races throughout the years, with 1998 being the latest. The brand, however, is a sister company to Dunlop, who already is active in the European Le Mans Series plus the LMP2 category in FIA WEC. The two brands are unlikely to start battling each other in the same…

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Crazy colours on the Rebellion cars

The two Rebellion Racing cars will have some crazy colours, when the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019 will be run next weekend. The alternative design on the cars has been made by Tomyboy, and highlights a new collaboration with ROCKETBYZ. There is a big tradition for special liveries on the cars for the 24 hours race in Le Mans. The two Rebellion cars are not the only ones this year. We saw Team Project 1 present an abstract Porsche last weekend, which was wild at that point – but…

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Le Mans test day 2019 – afternoon

The second half of the test day prior to the 24 hours race at Le Mans was run on a scorching hot Circuit de la Sarthe, where the practice started with an official air temperature of 29.9 degrees. There was excitement already from the start of the session, when Alex Brundle in United Autosports #32 set the fastest LMP2 time, but it got beaten by Loic Duval in TDS Racing #28 only a few minutes later. It then changed back and forth be tween the two. Olivier Pla in Ford…

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Le Mans test day 2019 – morning

The traditional test day prior to the 24 hours race at Le Mans was started at nine o’clock in beautiful sunshine and 20 degrees temperature. Toyota Gazoo Racing was quick to start both cars on the track, and immediately went for a long-run, where their new test and reserve driver, and new driver in the upcoming season, Brendon Hartley behind the wheel of #8. High Class Racing #20 was out to get the car tested by Mathias Beche, who was new in the team but he got a lot of…

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Colourful Porsche cars at Le Mans

It will be some very colourful Porsche cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019. The four factory cars and Team Project 1 #56 will be running different designs compared to the rest of the season. Porsche #91 and #92 are celebrating that they have already clinched the World Championship titles in both Manufactures and Drivers (although it isn’t decided if #91 og #92 wins), by adding gold stripes to the cars. Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen in #92 are just two points away from being able to call…

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JOTA Sport is back

The JOTA Sport outfit will return under their own name, when the FIA World Endurance Championship 2019/20 season starts. The team has at least sent in an application, subject to approval, of running a ORECA 07 Gibson LMP2 car, which they have a lot of experience with already. They have raced under different names during the last three seasons. In 2016 it was G-Drive Racing in the ELMS, while it has been Jackie Chan DC Racing since 2017. The plan is to start the upcoming season with Anthony Davidson, Pastor…

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Thomas Laurent headhunted by Toyota

Toyota Gazoo Racing has headhunted Thomas Laurent for the upcoming FIA World Endurance Championship season. It won’t however be as part of the race team – at least not from the outset – that the 21 year-old Frenchman will add to the team. Instead he is hired as test- and reserve driver. Laurent has already gotten his first taste of the team, when he tested a TS050 Hybrid in Bahrain, following the season finale in 2017. Back then, he had just finished his debut season in the FIA WEC at…

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Ford presents Le Mans design and ends programme

Ford Chip Ganassi has presented the design for their four cars, that will run in the 24 Hours race at Le Mans in 2019. Furthermore, they have confirmed that the FIA WEC factory programme will end after the race in France, while they finish off the season in IMSA. Car #66 with Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla and Billy Johnson will remain in the colours from 1966, where Ford won the race with Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon. Car #67 with Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito gets the winning…

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Almost unrestricted LMP1 action on test day

The FIA Endurance Commision has chosen to give the privateer LMP1 teams almost unrestricted possibilities the test day ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019. None of the non-hybrid cars were within 2,3 seconds of Toyota Gazoo Racing in the race, and a massive 4 seconds in the qualifying. That was such a huge difference, that there was never any excitement about the race result, since both Toyota Gazoo Racing cars has lapped everybody else with a lap, in less than 3 hours of racing. The mandatory test…

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BMW pulls the plug – Ginetta, TF Sport and Signatech returns

22 May 2019 has been a day with both positive and not so positive news for the FIA World Endurance Championship 2019/20 season. BMW Motorsport sent out a press release around midday, where they confirmed the rumours, that has been present for a long time. When the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019 has finished, they will no longer be in the championship as a works team. It’s still unclear if they cars will be made available for private teams to run it them in GTE Pro or more likely,…

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Dutchmen with different colours and future plans

Racing Team Nederland #29 will go to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a slightly altered colour scheme, and with new plans for the upcoming season. The team has always run yellow and black in the basic colours of the car, but team owner Frits van Eerd has chosen to mix it up a bit. He is a huge Formula 1 fan, and has several old Formula 1 cars in his private collection, which he occasionally races too. The passion has led to some sponsoring of teams, where the…

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Algarve Pro Racing hit by injury

Algarve Pro Racing has been hit by an injury ahead of this weekend’s European Le Mans Series race at Monza in Italy. There was a test day held at the circuit yesterday, with Mark Patterson having a high speed crash, where he even ended up hitting teammate Tacksung Kim in the other car, who was at the wrong spot at the wrong time. Kim was luckily able to be released from the hospital after a quick check-up, with a lot of blue marks and painful muscles. He will be back…

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Inter Europol Competition ready with their Le Mans drivers

Inter Europol Competition has their three drivers ready for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019. It will be three drivers already within the team, who will guide the team through their first participating in the 24 hours race. Jakub Smiechowski and Leo Roussel already race the Ligier JS P217 #34 in the European Le Mans Series, while Nigel Moore will be moved over their LMP3 car, to their LMP2 car for the Le Mans race. That leaves Dani Clos without a drive for the classic race this time around.…

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BMW with the full roster for Le Mans

BMW Team MTEK has announced all six drivers for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019. Martin Tomczyk and Nick Catsburg in #81 will be joined by Philipp Eng, while Antonio Felix da Costa and Augusto Farfus will have Jesse Krohn alongside them in #82. So that makes a return for 5 of the 6 drivers from last year’s Le Mans, while Krohn gets his Le Mans debut, as a replacement for Alexander Sims, who is now focusing on his Formula E duties. Krohn does know the BMW M8 GTE…

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Beche to help High Class at Le Mans

High Class Racing has named their third and final driver for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019. The two regular drivers, Anders Fjordbach and Dennis Andersen, will be joined by Swiss driver Mathias Beche in their ORECA 07 Gibson #20 on Dunlop tires. Beche won the LMP2 championship in European Le Mans Series in 2012 for Thiriet by TDS Racing, but has then gone on to primarily race for Rebellion Racing in their LMP1 and LMP2 cars. He stood on the overall Le Mans podium in both 2017 and…

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Incredible race at Spa

It was an incredible 6 hours FIA World Endurance Championship race at Spa Francorchamps. The seventh round of the season offered an extremely changeable weather. When the teams showed up Saturday morning, there was snow around the track. Luckily it melted away and the asphalt was dry at the start of the race. Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 and #8 started the race 1-2 in LMP1, followed by SMP Racing #17. In the LMP2 class, it was G-Drive Racing #26 on Pole ahead of Jackie Chan DC Racing #38 and #37…

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Super exciting qualifying at Spa

The qualifying for the six hours FIA World Endurance Championship race at Spa Francorchamps was run under looming rainclouds, but starting off with dry asphalt. The GTE cars were the first to get 25 minutes on the track. The cars got five extra minutes, since Spa Francorchamps is the longest track on the calendar, apart from Le Mans, or else there could be problems for both drivers to complete their laps. Motoaki Ishikawa was the first driver of the weekend to run off in Eau Rouge. The Japanese in MR…

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Trouble-free FP3

It was an non dramatic FP3 in FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. The 60-minute long practice went without a single yellow flag and all the teams drove between 18 to 27 laps. Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 was the fastest car, ahead of the sister car #8, but SMP Racing continued the good speed from yesterday with #17 in P3 and #11 right behind. It was Kamui Kobayashi who set the quickest time for #7, which was even half a second faster than the laptime that Toyota set…

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Mixed weather day at Spa

This season’s seventh round of FIA World Endurance Championship was run at Spa Francorchamps, in a typical Spa weather. The first free practice went without problems, on a dry track. SMP Racing #17 and #11 1-2 in LMP1, in front of Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 and #7, while Rebellion Racing #3 and #1 were P5 and P6 – with ByKolles Racing Team #4 as the last car in the class. Signatech Alpine Matmut #36 was the quickest car in LMP2, ahead of G-Drive Racing #26 and Racing Team Nederland #29.…

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