Panasonic Jaguar Racing drivers Nelson Piquet Jr. and Mitch Evans today completed three days of crucial pre-season testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. The British team focused on performance and reliability ahead of their second season in the series.
During the off–season Panasonic Jaguar Racing have spent time focusing on developing a new powertrain, improving the efficiency of the Jaguar I-TYPE 2, and utilizing high strength lightweight materials to optimize the design and packaging of key components. These improvements were put to test over the three-days, enabling the team to gather as much information as they could ahead of the season kick off in December.
Aston Martin Racing has taken victory at the 85th 24 Hours of Le Mans in dramatic style, after Jonny Adam (GB) snatched the GTE Pro lead on the final lap of the iconic endurance race.
Partnered by Darren Turner (GB) and Daniel Serra (BR), the trio and their Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE performed faultlessly to ensure they remained in the hunt for victory right until the death.
With just over 45 minutes left on the clock, Jonny Adam found himself pitting at the same time as the #63 Corvette for a final fuel stop. With both cars exiting the pit lane together – with Adam in second – it was inevitable that he would have to make the pass while on track.
After trading places with his rival for much of the final stint, Adam prevailed and overtook the #63 Corvette as he crossed the start/finish line on the penultimate lap. With his rival running wide at the second Mulsanne corner under pressure from the Scot, a slow puncture halted their progress and ensured the victory.
Jonny Adam said, “For Daniel and Darren to put me in that mix to battle for the front was testament to how good the car has been all weekend. To see how well the guys had driven, we had zero mistakes and we did our best to keep the car out of the pits as often as we could and just try to run a consistent pace throughout. It was an extremely tough last stint, we nearly pipped the Corvette on the pit exit in the last hour and when he did get the jump there he was fast. He managed to pull at one point a six to eight car length gap, but our goal was not to give up. He looked weak in a few corners and I knew I had to capitalize on them and when I got on to his bumper I knew it was now or never if I wanted to win Le Mans. We got it and it was really cool to get him just before the finish line and to see fans in the grandstands and the team on the pit wall celebrating, and it was then just time to bring it home.”
Having dominated the first two rounds of the 2017 AUTOBACS SUPER GT500 series in Okayama and Fuji Speedway, the new Lexus LC 500 displayed its prowess once again at the Autopolis racing circuit to make it three wins in a row. This time, it was the turn of the #36 au TOM’S LC 500 driven by Kazuki Nakajima and James Rossiter to keep the Lexus flag flying as they raced to victory in the third round of the championship.
In a race held under clear bright skies and fought over a challenging 300-km distance, the au TOM’S LC 500 battled its way from seventh on the grid to the top step of the podium to continue Lexus’ scintillating start to the season and consolidate the team’s position on top of the manufacturer’s standings.
“This has been another excellent performance from the team, and I congratulate au TOM’S LC 500 for maintaining Lexus’ dominance in the 2017 season,” said Takayuki Yoshitsugu, Chief Representative, Middle East and North Africa Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation. “Participating in motorsports events allows us to gather a variety of data which in turn help us while developing production vehicles. The level of support we received from our fans has been one of the highlights of our 2017 activities so far, and I express my gratitude to them for their constant encouragement of our motorsports initiatives.”
The SUPER GT qualifying employs a unique two-stage knockout format, meaning both drivers of each team must be quick enough to get into higher position. Everyone makes a desperate attempt to clock the fastest lap in qualifying within the given time limit to get a better position at the actual race, making it a breathtaking battle well worth watching.
With the climax of the UEFA Champions League season on the horizon, Nissan – the official global automotive sponsor of the competition – has put football to the ultimate test, assessing whether the thrill of the game is more exciting than being a passenger in the iconic GT-R supercar.
In partnership with sports science experts at Loughborough University, Nissan fitted participants with wearable technology to monitor and gather a combined index of data. This included heart rate, breathing rate and electro-dermal activity, in order to examine the physiological effect excitement has, and ultimately determine which activity is more exciting.
Live match experiments took place during crunch UEFA Champions League fixtures and were compared to the reactions of passengers raced around by professional drivers in Nissan GT-Rs at the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
When comparing the findings from the two sets of experiments, Dr. Dale Esliger from Loughborough University commented: “Previously we would have subjectively judged how exciting a crunch football fixture or being a passenger in a thrilling super car, like the Nissan GT-R, would be. The research conducted as part of the Nissan Excitement Index has allowed us to use innovative sensor data to understand the participants’ physical reaction to these exciting moments and thus make suggestions on what elements might be the most exciting.
The PEUGEOT 3008DKR scorched the best time on the fifth and final stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, with UAE’s celebrated racing driver on the wheel, Sheikh Khalid bin Faisal Al Qassimi, who claimed an historic overall victory on the third round of 2017 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup.
PEUGEOT SPORT’s official driver Sheikh Khalid proved to be very strong in racing the dunes ofthe Abu Dhabi Desert Challengeaboard his PEUGEOT 3008DKR – run by PH Sport. Scoring an epic last stage win with a steady pace, he went over the 5 days of intense action and 1 324km of timed sections with the overall best chrono (19h16min24,8).
The victory is history-making as no Emirati has won the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge ever since it was made an official round of the FIA Cross Country Rallies World Cup in March 2009 – not since Mohammed Mattar won it from 1991-92 when the event was known as the UAE Desert Challenge.
Hyundai Motorsport has claimed its first victory of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), taking first and third places in the Tour de Corse, lifting the team to second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship rankings.
Thierry Neuville secured first place, driving the #5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, while team mate Dani Sordo picked up his first podium of 2017 with an assured drive to third, missing out on second position by just 1.3-seconds. Hayden Paddon finished sixth to ensure all three Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team crews finished a gruelling rally on Corsica.
The result represents the fourth WRC victory in total for Hyundai Motorsport, and the team’s fifth double podium result. It also puts the team firmly back in contention for the 2017 Championship, after accidents cost Neuville an early lead in both the Monte Carlo and Sweden rallies.
Back in Sepang for race two of the first round of the 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Series, another thrilling day of racing action was enjoyed by drivers and spectators alike at Malaysia’s revered International Circuit. Teams once again took to the track to do battle for the podium, while enthusiasts and fans gathered to watch the races and catch a glimpse of other events taking place at the track over the weekend, such as the Blancpain GT Series Asia, which saw a number of Lamborghini Huracán GT3 competing.
One of the highlights of the afternoon pre-race was a stunning Lamborghini customer car parade, where local car owners were invited to bring their prize bulls to the track to showcase the beauty and instantly recognizable Italian style which is Lamborghini. With a mixture of both modern and retro classics on show, such as the Aventador and Diablo models, enthusiasts took time to admire the visionary road cars produced by the legendary Sant’Agata carmaker.
The second of two qualifying sessions on Saturday, held just 10 minutes after the first, was again favorable for Clazzio Racing, who once more took pole position for race two, both drivers showing confidence in their abilities on the Malaysian circuit; local Squadra Corse Young Driver’s Program graduate Afiq Yazid and teammate Cozzolino Kei of Japan clearly on form at the start of the Super Trofeo racing season. Sharing with them row one this time was X-One Racing Team drivers Antonio D’Amico of Italy and his teammate Nicolas Costa of Brazil, up from fourth on the grid in race one. Again, third on the grid was Polish driver Artur Janosz of Lazarus Racing Team and Meindert Van Buuren from the Netherlands, while in fourth was Carrie Schreiner of Germany with Australian teammate Richard Goddard with FFF racing Team, up from ninth in race one.
Nissan Middle East is once again shifting into high gear as Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, powered by Nissan, fast approaches. This is the 14th consecutive year in which Nissan will be the principal sponsor of this iconic event, formerly known as the UAE Desert Challenge, which this year runs from April 1 to 6 and will form the third round of this year’s FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.
Taking place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dafrah Region, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is also the opening round of the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship for bikes and quads.
Samir Cherfan, Nissan Middle East managing director said: “Over the years Nissan has become synonymous with the Desert Challenge and our relationship with the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) the event organizer, has allowed a deep and mutual level of trust, respect and understanding to develop between us. This in turn has helped grow the reputation of the event to the extent that it’s now recognized around the world as one of the toughest and yet most enjoyable challenges on the Cross Country Rallying calendar.”
“Nissan has become an invaluable partner in our work to promote and develop the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, and I’m pleased to extend this relationship so that we can increase the event’s exposure in the future,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE, the rally organizers, and President of Emirates Motor Sports Federation.
Yas Marina Circuit’s custom build drag strip will once again be filled with the roar of street machines this weekend as the region’s best urban racers go head to head in rawest, grittiest, ultra-competitive environment and battle it out for more than AED 25,000 in cash prizes.
Yas Super Street Challenge, which takes place on 23rd and 24th February, will see over 100 drivers battle out in order to get their hands-on cash prizes and take one step closer to becoming crowned ‘King of the Streets’.
With the biggest and best field to date, spectators can watch drivers and their souped-up machines compete across five separate categories that include; 4×4 Super Street SUV’; ‘Index 11.5’; ‘Index 10.5’; ‘Index 9.0’ and ‘Super Street – Open Category’.
It was a difficult first qualifying session of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) for BMW Team RLL in Daytona (USA). In the 15-minute session at the classic ‘Daytona International Speedway’, Bill Auberlen (USA) qualified tenth for the 24-hour race at the wheel of the number 19 BMW M6 GTLM Art Car, designed by John Baldessari. The experienced BMW driver set a personal best time of 1:44.759.
In the number 24 BMW M6 GTLM, John Edwards (USA) posted a time of 1:44.974. This put him in eleventh position on the Rolex 24 grid, while Ford’s Joey Hand (USA) secured pole position at the wheel of the number 66 car, clocking a time of 1:43.473.
Over the course of the IMSA season opener, Auberlen will share driving duties in the 19th BMW Art Car with Alexander Sims (GBR), Bruno Spengler (CAN) and Augusto Farfus (BRA). Edwards will join forces with Martin Tomczyk (GER), Nick Catsburg (NDL) and Kuno Wittmer (CAN) over the 24-hour marathon in Florida.