Tag Archives: 2014

F1: Massa out, Raikkönnen in for Ferrari

Kimi Raikkönnen will leave Lotus for Ferrari in 2014/15. It’s the second time that the finn will drive for Ferrari. He drove for them from 2007-2009. In these years he got 9 GP wins and 1 world championhsip in 2007. He then was replaced by Feranando Alonso in 2010, who’s also he’s new teammte for the next season. Yesterday evening Felipe Massa announced that he will leave Ferrari at the end of 2013, no news on his future plans yet.

Now it’s of course interesting to see who’s going to drive for Lotus, i hope it’s going to be Nico Hülkenberg, who showed great performances in the last couple of years in F1. But who will replace him at Sauber? Well most likley it’s going to be Sergey Sirotkin, who’s only 17 years old and for me not ready for an F1 full time cockpit.

I really can’t wait to see how the F1 2014 season is going to unfold, with Raikkönnen now in a team that has the money to produce a winning car.

F1: Ricciardo will replace Webber at Red Bull for 2014

On 21:19, evening time, Daniel Ricciardo was announced as 2nd driver for the Infiniti Red Bull F1 team for 2014 on the austrian TV channel Servus TV.

He will replace Mark Webber, who drove for Red Bull from 2007-2013.

Webber will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2014, including the 24h of Le Mans, in a Porsche LMP1 car.

Red Bull said that they’re aiming a at least three year partnership with Ricciardo.

Ricciardo is in the Red Bull Junior programme since 2010.

He was test and reserve driver and also drove in the WSBR, finishing 2nd in the standings.

Then he was replacing Narain Kartikehyan at the 2nd hafl of the F1 2011 season in a HRT F111.

He then joined Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2012.

His teammate Jean Eric Vergne was always more consistend on points, but Ricciardo was the faster driver, especially on one Qualifying lap.

The decison from Red Bull to take Ricciardo was quite obvious.

I never took the Raikkönnen/Alonso romours seriously.

It would be stupid if they won’t have taken Ricciardo, because then the philosophy of the Toro Rosso team would be in question.

MotoGP: CONFIRMED, Crutchlow to Ducati for 2014/15

Tech 3 Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow will join the Ducati factory for the MotoGP seasons 2014 and 2015. He will replace the 2006 MotoGP champion Nicki Hayden.

Now MotoGP fans will know that Ducati isn’t very succesfull- actually since Stoner left the team back in 2010.

So at the moment the Tech 3 Yamaha would be the better choice. So why did Crutchlow left Tech 3?

Well because first of all, it’s a factory ride, he wanted that deadly.

He asked Yamaha for a factory ride, but well that’s impossible at the moment, were current champion Lorenzo and MotoGP legend Rossi are in the team until 2014/15.

And Crutchlow is confident that recent changes at Ducati (Audi bought Ducati last year) will improve the team.

But the actual point why he left is, obviously, he gets more MONEY.

It’s obvious that you get more money when you drive for a factory team than a Sattelite team like Tech 3.

But hey, maybe Crutchlow can make a Stoner and turn this team to a competitive championship winning team, who knows?

 

Official statement coming on Friday.

WEC: Toyota with reduced programm for the rest of the season

Toyota announced today, that they will only run one TS030 Hybrid LMP1 (the #7 with Sarrazin, Davidson and Buemi) for the rest of the 2013 WEC season.

Expect of the 6h of Fuji were they, obviously, bring a two car entry there, because it’s their home race (and with Nakajima a local hero).

That means we’re only going to see four LMP1 cars, two Audi’s, one Toyota and one Rebellion-Lola (see last sports car racing post), what is quite poor for a World Endurance Championship.

To this time last year, we had 7 LMP1 cars, one of them included the JRM HPD entry who are now in the Blaincpain Endurance Series with the Nissan GT-R GT3 car and another HPD from Strakka who retired from this season, despite their LMP1 privatiers win at Le Mans.

And all these withdrawals happen because of the preperation for next year with the new cars.

But why didn’t ACO/FIA said that the teams could run this years cars also next year?

I mean it worked out in 2011, were some of the teams were racing the 2010 machines, back then we had nearly 13-15 LMP1 cars through the ILMC season.

So Wurz and Lapierre will do the simulator  and test work with the 2014 car and Nakajima will drive in Super GT and the Super Formula.

Porsche LMP1: No Penske programm (yet)

Porsche just started their LMP1 test programm for the WEC in 2014, were they’re making a two car entry for the whole WEC season, including the 24h of Le Mans.

But when it comes to private teams and Porsche LMP’s, than Penske Racing is coming to our mind.

Penske Racing was using the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 car for the American Le Mans Series from 2005-2008, winning many races including the 12h of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

However Penske chief Roger Penske said that they would like to comeback to endurance racing, but they just don’t have time to build up a LMP programm for next year, USCR or WEC. Penske could comeback with Porsche in 2015.

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But if the WEC is too expensive for them, than the USCR (United Sports Car Racing) is another option.

The problem is that LMP1 cars aren’t allowed in the USCR, the Prototype class there will be with Daytona Prototypes, LMP2’s and the Delta Wing. But Porsche has no interest in building a LMP2 or a DP.

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As Penske doesn’t want to do a GT programm, they will have to look for another manufactuer. Audi maybe? As Penske has 32 station were they’re selling Audi’s roadcars and Audi has an interes to build an engine for the DP’s or even a brand new DP.

But for now we’re only going to see Penske Racing in Indycar and NASCAR.

Andretti Autosport coming to the Formula E

Andretti Autosport yesterday announced that they’re going to drive in the new Formula E championship, beginning in September 2014 at Los Angeles.

After Drayson Racing and China Racing, Andretti Autosport is the third team to come into the Formula E.

Andretti will continue their Indycar programm though.

Formula E promoter Alejandro Agag already said in June that one of the big Indycar teams will come to the series.

Andretti Autosport (formally known as Andretti Green Racing) won four Indycar driver titles (Tony Kanaan 2004, Dan Wheldon 2005, Dario Franchitti 2007 and Ryan Hunter Reay 2012) and two Indy 500 wins (Wheldon 2005, Franchitti 2007).

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They also competed in the American Le Mans Series in 2007 till 2009 with Acura and they’re also driving in the Indycar fedder series Firestone Indy Lights, Star Mazda Championship and the U.S. F2000 National Championship (all part of the Road to Indy programm).

The Formula E championship will have ten races in his first season including, Miami, Berlin and Los Angeles.

The Formula E is a stock series, like Indycar or GP2 and the Electric engine will be supplied by Renault.

USCR- United Sports Car Racing 2014

The name of the mergerd series between the ALMS and the Grand-Am will be the United Sports Car Racing.

The class names will be:

P-Prototype: Daytona Prototype, LMP2 and the Delta Wing

PC-Prototype challenge: LMPC

GT Le Mans: GTE

GT Daytona: GT (from Grand Am)

GTC: Porsche 911 GTC

The calender of the new series will inclued the 24h of Daytona, Sebring 12 Hour, Circuit of the Americas, Watkins Glen, Petit Le Mans  and street races like Long Beach, Detroit and Baltimore.

The IMSA has also a new logo.

But entries, fuel, Prototype regualtions will be confirmed through the year.

ALMS/Grand Am 2014 merger live

The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron and the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series series are coming together in 2014.

Today in 1 hour the ALMS and the Grand Am will reveal the unified series name, logo, branding and the class names.

You can see the reveal live on Grand-Am.com

Also follow ALMS on Twitter for updates during the reveal.

Nissan and Alpine-Renault to Le Mans+ news for Le Mans 2014/15

We have good days in Le Mans right now. A manufactur after the other is confirming a Le Mans entry for 2013/2014.

Nissan confirmed a return at the Sarthe last week.

They will begin their LMP1 programm in 2014 to start from the 56th box, before they make a full entry 2015 to the WEC and Le Mans.

Nissans last time at Le Mans was from 1997-2000 when they used the R390 GT1 car to compete against the Porsche 911 GT1 and the McLaren F1 GTR.

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But we don’t know how the Nissan LMP1 will gonna look like. Hopefully like this, it looks similar to the Aston Lola though..

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Now Porsche is also coming back in 2014 with a LMP1 car to compete against Audi and Toyota, but we know that already since last year. The first testing sessions could come in mid-summer. We don’t know how the Porsche LMP1 is gonna look like either.

Renault confirmed that they bring the name Alpine back to the Sarthe after 35 years. Alpine-Renault will already comeback this year with Signatech from the LMP2 class. Signatech will now switch from Nissan to the Renault engine. It’s just the beginning of a longtime project for Renault, so we can see them also in the LMP1 class in the near future.  Alpine-Renault won the 1978 24h Le Mans.

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Lotus also planning a LMP1 car with the T128, this car will be first used as a LMP2 prototype this year in Le Mans and then for the rest of the WEC season.

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But what is with the experimental looking Delta Wing? Well the Delta Wing is optimized for the LMP1 class and now has a different color. From “Batman” to the “Silver Arrow” (the name rings a bell)

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Which other Manufactures could also come to Le Mans?

Mazda:

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Mazda has been always romourd to come to Le Mans one day.

They build the Mazda Furai Concept few years ago and are building engines for Dyson Racing in the ALMS.

Mazda planned to bring a LMP2 engine with a Lola car this year.

But no they were finding it more important to build the Mazda 6 GX car for the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series instead of

concetrating on the come back for the biggest endurance race in the world.

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Of course they wanted to show the perfomance of the Mazda 6 on a racetrack, but who cares?

I mean there are only four cars in the GX class, two of them are Mazda 6s.

The action is in the DP and GT class, so i don’t see a future for this class, especially when Grand Am an ALMS are coming together in one series in 2014 and nobody knows if this class is going to survive.

The last time Mazda was at Le Mans was in 1991 when their won the 24h Le Mans with the legendary 787B.

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Aston Martin:

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Aston Martin had their problems with their comeback to Le Mans back in 2009.

The Aston Lola was a quite good car, for 3 hour races, but not for 24h hour races.

This car nearly won the ALMS title in 2011.

Aston Martin then produced the all new AMR-One for Le Mans 2011 and guess what happend.

This car only lasted seven laps and it was so embarrissing that Aston Martin retired from their LMP programm.

I hope they comeback one day, but hopefully with more success.

Bentley:

2003BentleySpeed8

Who remembers the Bentley Speed 8 at Le Mans 2003?

Yes they won the race but after then Bentley retired due financial issues, because of the build of an new road car, named the Continental GT.

Bentley now coming back into motorsport with the Continental Supersports GT3 for the FIA GT Series and the Blaincpain Endurance Series.

Bentley said that they have interes to build an LMP, but ave to concetrate on their GT3 programm.

But Bentley could easily comeback, they just have to build the GTE version of the Continental and that’s it!!!

 

 

Of course they are also other Manufactures like Peugeot, BMW, Mercedes, MG, Cadillac (yes in 2002), and we don’t have to forget the privatiers like Rebillion, Strakka, OAK, Pikket, Dyson, Drayson and many more.

Of course looking forward to the comeback of Dome maybe next year with their own LMP1 car

Exciting times for the WEC and Le Mans ahead in the next 2-3 years and of course with awesome racing.