Welcome to the first ever ColdTrackDays endurance round up. The major event this week was, of course, the Sebring Wheels Down Winter Test. Catchy name for a fairly run of the mill event, with only one of the main LMP1 and only three LMP2 entries in attendance.

Aston Martin’s P1, reliveried in Adrian Fernandez’s Lowe’s sponsorship (gaudily over the Gulf paint), was the fastest car of the weekend, edging out the fastest LMP2, Acura’s David Brabham. The Australian driver, fresh from a season winning the Le Mans 24 Hours and the ALMS, was mighty impressive in the Highcroft ARX-01B and spent most of the weekend in second overall- only dropping behind Intersport’s LMP1 Lola on the final day. Also on the last day, Aston Martin suffered a fair sized accident, with Harold Primat taken to hospital but given the all clear... [read more]

With both LMP1 and LMP2 set to be handled in one class in the IMSA run series in 2010, we wait to see what points and penalties will be handed out to balance the cars to create a level playing field for the season.

LMPC had it’s worldwide first appearance, and the fastest car was the Genoa Racing car, with ex Le Mans winner Andy Wallace amongst its driving squad.

In GT2, the ‘new’ widebody 430 Ferrari of Risi was fastest all weekend, on the final day eclipsing Wolf Henzler’s Falken Porsche. GT Challenge was headed by Kelly Moss Racing’s 92 car, with Darrell Carlisle onboard.

Of course, come raceday Peugeot’s rampant lions will be tearing up the bumpy ribbon of grey, so expect the picture to be rather different come March 20th.

In other news, RML put their new HPD (Acura if you’re stateside, Honda Performance Development to Europeans) powered Lola on track for its first shakedown this week, in preparation for their Le Mans Series campaign. Battling snow and ice on the first day, Thomas Erdos managed a handful of installation laps before both he and team owner (and second driver) Mike Newton managed to get some proper running done on the second day (Wednesday). The reaction was positive from all involved, despite it being the first ever run of the engine in a coupe, and, of course, the adverse weather.

“My first impressions are extremely favourable,” raved Brazilian Erdos. “Both the engine and the gearbox work so smoothly, and the gear changes are virtually seamless. The overall driveability is impressive as a result. I’m really very encouraged, and I just love that V8 sound!”

Newton also had positive vibes to share. ““The power delivery is so smooth, and the gearbox allows you to shift up or down at almost any time. It’s very accommodating. We also appear to have picked up much better chassis rigidity, which comes as an unexpected but very welcome bonus!”

With Andy Wallace set to drive at Paul Ricard and Le Mans, it’s set to be a good season for the British favourites.
Other Le Mans Series news comes courtesy of ASM, who this week announced the arrival of quick Brit Warren Hughes to partner regular drivers Miguel Amaral and 2009’s hottest star Olivier Pla at Le Mans and the season opening Paul Ricard enduro.

Finally, and a little belatedly, we bring the news that FIA GT2 champion Richard Westbrook has signed to drive JMW Motorsport’s Aston Martin Vantage for the season, partnering Rob Bell. This entry is a huge British favourite, and will only be more so with a British car, two British drivers and tyres from Dunlop- the British rubber specialists.

The Le Mans Series Paul Ricard test begins this week- March 7th and 8th.

In GT land, testing has begun for the FIA GT1 World Championship. More news will follow on from this in the near future, so stay tuned, but the championship has a new website, which is the place to go for the latest news and photos.

Images: Jake Yorath and RML
Editorial: Jake Yorath

No comments:

Post a Comment