After wet Friday and Saturday sessions, it was great that come race day there wasn’t a drop of rain in sight. While some teams and even photographers might like a little rain, I prefer it dry myself.
That’s enough about the weather…
What a race, action from start to finish, from the first lap to the last.
Saying that Ram Racing won the Silverstone 500 by 36s might suggest it was a run-away victory for them, with little competition. Far from it. They only took the lead in the last couple of laps when they and the TF Sport Aston which was leading at the time, they came up to lap a GT4 Mustang, Aston one side, AMG the other. Ram’s AMG Merc made it past clear but TF’s Aston had the slightest touch and spun out, ending their race at the end of Chapel. A tough end for TF’s No47 car of Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson but TF’s sister GT3 with Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim profited and finished 2nd.
Finishing 3rd on the road was the Bentley from JRM, with Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr having a good race, battling through the traffic from 11th on the grid. Post-race didn’t go so well for them as during parc ferme, the stewards found the Bentley to be underweight without fuel. Unfortunately the JRM Bentley was subsequently disqualified but an appeal has been made. After the DQ of car No31, the Lamborghini of WPI Motorsport was promoted into 3rd place, a maiden British GT podium for the WPI pairing of Dennis Lind and Michael Igoe.
It wasn’t a great day for Barwell, after breaking one of the first rules of motorsport in the opening lap, both cars were compromised from then on. Adam Balon (champ leader) made contact with the back of the sister Huracan with Sam De Haan at the wheel. Sam had to pit for repairs while Adam got a 10sec stop and go penalty, which on top of their pit-stop penalty carried over from Snetterton, held them back only managing 7th on the day, with Jonny Cocker and Sam De Haan following behind in 8th.
The stranded TF Sport Aston of Davidson and Adam was given 9th place, with JHM’s Lamborghini finishing 10th.
After previous technical issues have denied the Team Parker duo of Nick Jones and Scott Malvern their first British GT victory, no such bad luck at the Silverstone 500. The pair took their Mercedes AMG to victory at the series’ headline round.
While TF Sport had mixed luck in GT3, it wasn’t all great news in GT4 either with the No95 Aston having to take three stop-go penalties due to pit-stop infringements. All was not lost though as the pace of Josh Price did find him worthy of the Sunoco Fastest Lap Trophy.
Troubles for Tolman and TF Sport should have played into the hands of the Mustang pairing of Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell, the Multimatic pair were up there in the top six and the best silver pairing come the chequered flag. However, due to pit-stop infringements, the Multimatic Mustang was handed a 30 second penalty dropping them to 5th.
Tom Canning and Ash Hand managed to bring the TF Sport Aston home in forth, a good effort considering their 15sec pit-stop success penalty from Snetterton. Another Aston from Optimum Motorsport with the pairing of Patrick Mattiesen and Mike Robinson finished in 6th, behind the demoted Mustang.
The top 8 was completed by the BMW from Century Motorsport with Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke and Angus Fender, followed by Will Moore and Alex Toth-Jones in yet another Aston Martin. Rounding out the top 10 was the Fox Motorsport Mercedes AMG in 9th with Mark Murfitt and Michael Broadhurst, who swapped places with the No57 McLaren from HHC who finished tenth post-race after an investigation into a flag infringement.
Next stop, Donington Park the weekend of June 22nd/23rd.
Out of the record 62 Le Mans entries, 11 will be Ferrari. Yes, you read it well. Horse power all over the place!
When it comes to LM GTE Pro category for the professional drivers, there are three entries. The two AF Corse #51 (the reigning champions James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi) and #71 cars, and the Risi Competizione #89. If those AF Corse ‘frequent flyers’ are well known at the WEC, Risi got the #89 a top super duper lineup for Le Mans: Jules Gounon, Oliver Jarvis and Pipo Derani.
I just can’t wait to see all these guys racing at le Mans!
The LM GTE Am category will have eight 488 GTEs competing on the 13,626 metres of the legendary French circuit.
Spirit of Race (Giancarlo Fisichella, Thomas Flohr and Francesco Castellacci)
Clearwater Racing (Luis Perez Companc, Matthew Griffin and Matteo Cressoni)
The Japanese MR Racing (Motoaki Ishikawa, Olivier Beretta and Eddie Cheever)
Car Guy Racing (winner of the Asian Le Mans Series, will race with Côme Ledogar, Kei Cozzolino and Takeshi Kimura)
WeatherTech Racing (fastest in the pre-race test session, driven by Cooper MacNeil, Toni Vilander, Robert Smith)
JMW Motorsport (with a very cool livery and set to be driven by Jeffrey Segal, Rodrigo ‘Bentley K-Pax’ Baptista and Wei Lu)
Kessel Racing #60 (same crew taking part to the European Le Mans Series, Claudio Schiavoni, Sergio Pianezzola and Andrea Piccini) and #83 sees an all-female crew of Manuela Gostner, Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting – The Iron Dames!
Still about Kessel’s Iron Dames, if you don’t know, the first and only previous female crew to drive the 24 Hours at the wheel of a Ferrari did so in 1951 when Betty Haig and Yvonne Simon crossed the line in 15th place in a 166 MM Berlinetta. Let’s hope for a fantastic race for these brave ones! As a woman I couldn’t be happier to see these girls behind the wheel.
The iconic race week of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is officially opened on Sunday, the 9th of June with the technical scrutineering and the usual ‘pesage’ ceremony at Place de la République, downtown Le Mans.
Which Ferrari is your favorite? My list is a wee long, no need to talk about it.
The 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours is the final Le Mans for the current factory Ford GT programme, so it really seems these beauties will leave us… at least for a while.
What could be better than worshipping this amazing and iconic GT car by coming up with celebration liveries for Le Mans? Having said this, Ford revealed a special series of “Celebration Liveries” for the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs ahead of the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Each of the four factory Ford GTs will be ‘dressed’ with a livery that celebrates the success of the manufacturer at Le Mans, both in the present day and in the past, during the 1960s. They will also be joined by a fifth Ford GT, racing in the GTE Am category with Keating Motorsports.
They all look absolutely stunning and I am sure everyone will be pretty pumped and driven to win at Le Mans. We’ll see.
For now, the Ford GT programme can still be enjoyed and continues in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship until the end of the season.
In November, (… and in case this interests you, which I’m sure it does!), Hollywood will release ‘Ford v Ferrari’ with Matt Damon and Christian Bale. According to the movie plot, the film stars American car design Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) as he tries to design a revolutionary car for Ford that will beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. To race it, he brings along British Kevin Miles (Christian Bale). Are you already looking forward to November now? Hang in there, there’s still summer ahead to be enjoyed! Here’s the trailer in any case!
Le Mans is just around the corner for another edition, this year’s the 87th one.
Every year there is always a lot of buzz about the liveries at Le Mans.
Then, just before the test weekend, team by team, they start presenting them to the public!
No exception for Porsche. Last year they achieved a double victory with traditional Le Mans liveries of the 1970s and 1980s. While the #91 car was decked out in the iconic blue-and-white finish with red and gold stripes, reminding us all of the Rothmans sponsor colours of the 80’s, the #92 car (winner of Le Mans 2018!) adopted the famous “Pink Pig” design of the 917/20 from 1971.
This year, they celebrate an early manufacturers’ world championship title and want to honour US successes. Both #91 and #92 WEC 911 RSR got their red stripes replaced by a gold finish and got the world champion logo on their roofs.
The #93 and #94, the identical models from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, will race carrying the legendary Brumos Racing Team livery. Last rounds at Daytona and Sebring already delighted everyone with these white, red and blue liveries and now it’s time to celebrate its debut in Europe, specially at Le Mans, where the Brumos Racing Team scored 3 overall victories in the past.
Neverthless, it’s not all about the Porsche GT Team. Porsche Team Project 1, in the GTE Am category, also came up with an original and really cool livery this year. Second Skin Design is a new Porsche Digital product which together with artist Richard Phillips, graphic designer Andy Blackmore and Team Project 1 developed the livery for 2019 Le Mans. It’s a stunning work and it won’t go unnoticed for sure!
Counting the days down to see those beauties live!
So, time for the third round of the Blancpain Endurance GT and we’re at the stunning Circuit Paul Ricard in southern France.
The French round hosts the fastest and most visually striking stop on the calendar. With its distinctive blue and red stripes, it certainly stands out from the rest. The super long straight, with optional chicanes, see cars topping out at max speed. The famous Mistral straight (named after the wind blowing up from the Med) stretches to 1.8km allowing the GT cars to reach speeds in excess of 290kph.
Beginning as a three hour event back in 2012, it extended to its current format in 2015. During that time, six different manufacturers have taken top honours, Bentley being the only brand to win twice. Other winners have been Audi, BMW, Nissan, McLaren and Lexus.
The forth and following round of the endurance cup is the 24hrs of Spa (25th-28th July), hence the Paul Ricard event acting like a warm up.
From the two opening rounds at Monza and Silverstone, six different crews have been on the overall podium, meaning things are tight, with no one running away at the front.
Orange FFF with their distinctive Lamborghini Huracans lead the team championship with their No563 crew of Andrea Caldarelli, Marco Mapelli and Dennis Lind topping the drivers’ standings.
There’s a few driver changes for the Paul Ricard race, including the Bentleys planned rotation of drivers ahead of its expanded four car assault at the Spa 24hrs, so this weekend Callum MacLeod will be stepping into the No108 Bentley in place of Alex Buncombe. Over at R-Motorsport, the temporary Nicki Thiim will be making way for Alex Lynn. The No43 Mercedes of Strakka Racing will have David Fumanelli behind the wheel, instead of Jack Hawksworth.
With wins at the two opening rounds, both Dynamic Motorsport and SMP will be hoping to add to the trophy cabinet this weekend.
Silver Cup, ProAm, Am Cup –
It’s not all about the Pro field, there’s lots of action going on further down the field as well.
The Silver Cup is boosted to a 15 car line up thanks to the addition of the No133 Mercedes from Scuderia Villorba, in preparation for the upcoming Spa 24hrs.
Two teams to watch out for, both taking wins in the opening rounds, are AKKA ASP and Grasser Racing, but with such a competitive field the podium could be topped by many potential winners. One notable driver change in the No22 Honda at Jenson Team Rocket sees Struan Moore makeing room for Welshman Ryan Ratcliffe.
Ferrari have had a clean sweep of wins so far at Monza and Silverstone, with Tempesta Racing and AF Corse taking the respective wins.
In the Am Cup, the team of Adrian Amstutz, Leo Machitski and Miguel Ramos in the No77 Barwell Lamborghini have an impressive lead after a brace of wins so far.
Off-track entertainment is largely in the format of the now traditional rooftop party. Starting at 18:00 on Saturday with the drop of the green flag for the main race, the party continues on past the end of the race until the early hours of Sunday. Headline entertainment for the evening is Nicolas Susini, along with a number of other top DJs.
Back to the track and as well as the main race, starting at 18:00 on Saturday, we are due to be spoilt by a host of other races including European GT4, GT Sports Club and Formula Renault Euro Cup.
So the British GT season kicks off in Oulton Park this weekend; new teams, new drivers and new cars, we’re in for a treat. It seems like a long time since the 2018 season closer at Donington Park but here it is, 2019 starts here. A super strong grid of 35 cars are due to line up for a pair of races on Easter Monday, 13 GT3, 21 GT4 and a single GTC.
There’s lot to be excited about in the GT3 field this year. As well as new drivers we’ve got a plethora of new machinery from the likes of Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini and McLaren. BMW will be represented here with the series debut of the the M6, while Mercedes will return with the tried and tested AMG GT.
After being so successful in 2018, Aston Martin will be hoping to continue that in 2019, switching from their V12 to the new V8. Also hoping that Aston’s new V8 will do the business is Jonny Adam, but now driving for TF Sport, rather than Optimum. Optimum will have their hopes on a wealth of new drivers, fielding one GT3 car and two GT4 cars.
One team to look out for is the 2018 champion Century, taking the top honours in the driver and team standings last year in GT4. Moving forward, they’ve added two GT3 cars to their line up for 2019, as well as their two GT4 cars. Last year’s top two GT4 drivers, Jack Mitchell and Ben Green are stepping up to GT3 this year, driving the BMW M6. With four cars to look after, it looks like Century will have a busy season.
Bentley will have their Gen2 Continental on home soil for the first time at Oulton Park with previous champions Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris joining forces after a year apart, racing for JRM. Team Parker return for 2019, also with a Bentley Continental alongside their Mercedes AMG GT. Hopefully these bigs rigs will have a bit more luck than they’ve had recently and they’ll bring the thunder to the podium.
Lamborghini’s new Huracan GT3 Evo will be present at Oulton Park, under the Barwell name. The powerful duo of Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker team up again for 2019, while on the other side of the garage, Phil Keen teams up with previous GT4 driver Adam Balon.
One car that has gained a lot of attention so far this season is the new offering from McLaren; the 720s GT3, replacing the previous 650s. For 2019, Balfe Motorsport will have the returning duo of Shaun Balfe and Rob Bell hoping the new car will do the business.
It’s not only GT3 we’ve got to look forward to. There’s also the GT4 boys and girls, and with last year’s winner Jack Mitchell moving up to GT3, we’ll be looking at a new champion come close of play at the end of the season.
As well as new models from some familiar marques in 2019, there’s a return for KTM since its last appearance in 2011. Track Focused’s KTM will have Mike McCollum and Sean Cooper behind the wheel, both coming up from driving together in the Britcar Championship in 2018.
Another manufacturer making a comeback to British GT is Ford, not seen in the championship since 2011. Multimatic Motorsports will be offering up a pair of Mustangs and Race Performance will be bringing a third, driven by ex-BTCC drivers Sam Smelt and Aron Taylor-Smith.
Returning team HHC have switched from Ginetta to a pair of McLaren 570s in pursuit of success in GT4 for 2019. Another 570s is driven by 2016 champ Graham Johnson with Michael O’Brien the McLaren Development Driver, racing for Balfe Motorsport.
Century have a super busy program in GT for 2019, with two GT3 cars as well as their two BMW M4s. With their top 2018 drivers moving up to GT3, it allows their new drivers Mark Kimber, Angus Fender and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke, plus returning driver Jacob Mathiassen, the opportunity to take top honours.
Aston Martin has the biggest showing in GT4, as in GT3, with seven new V8 Vantages in class. Beechdean, Optimum and Academy all return to compete for GT4 glory in the Aston, with GT3 Team TF Sport joining the GT4 ranks for the first time since 2014.
Mercedes are represented in GT4 by two returning teams, Fox Motorsport and Team Parker Racing. Both line ups remain unchanged for 2019; Fox’s Mark Murfitt and Michael Broadhurst return for their second year together, and Team Parker’s Nick Jones and Scott Malvern will be hoping for similar success at Oulton Park after taking the class win in 2018 after rain cut the race short.
Jaguar fans might feel a little short changed in 2019 with Invictus only fielding one car this season, back in the familiar hands of Steve McCulley and Matthew George.
Live Coverage –
Both one hour GT races will be shown live on the British GT’s Facebook page and website, and on the SRO’s GT Youtube channel. As well as the GT races, a selection of the support races will also be shown live via the British GT website.
Timetable for the weekend –
Saturday 20th April
09:30-10:30 – Free Practice 1
11:40-12:40 – Free Practice 2
15:15-15:25 – Qualifying GT3 AM
15:29-15:39 – Qualifying GT3 Pro
15:43-15:53 – Qualifying GT4 AM
15:58-16:08 – Qualifying GT4 Pro
Monday 22nd April
09:00-09:10 – Warm Up
11:15-12:15 – Race 1
15:35-16:35 – Race 2
Lap Records –
GT3 – 1.34.624 – Callum MacLeod – Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental – 2017
Aside racing, aviation is also a passion of mine. Alike endurance races, I can easily spend a lot of time watching a few episodes in a row of all aviation related tv series to that matter.
Concorde is by far, my favorite and the most spectacular airplane ever built. In an era when technology was conventional and digital was still very far away from being used, it’s really amazing how this beautiful ‘bird’ was developed and flew for decades.
Just the fact that the distance between London to New York (covered in just two hours and 52 minutes) remains unbeaten, is simply stunning.
I only wish I could have flown on her, but I missed it!
Anyway, yesterday I was reading the news and literally stopped when I saw this.
Wait, Porsche and the Concorde, together? Why?
Being a big fan of the Weissach brand, needless to say I got excited, this was a pretty awesome combo!
So basically Porsche meets Concorde 50 years later.
Developed in the same era of ambitious, ground-breaking engineering this two met as they celebrate a special anniversary: 50 years of the Concorde 002 and the Porsche 917-001.
Two people who took control of those two icons got together and guided each other around their respective machines.
Richard Attwood won Le Mans at the wheel of a Porsche 917 in 1970 and knows the car by heart. Captain Tim Orchard, in the other hand, piloted the fastest passenger aircraft ever created and is joint World Record holder for the shortest time for the flight between New York and London.
This video (and stunning image) is the result of that unforgettable and one of a kind meeting.