2018 Calendars: IMSA Supports

2018 IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge
And
2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented By Mazda

IMSA Continental Tire

IMSA Prototype Challenge

I have already covered the dates for the main IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, the headline series among IMSA’s roster. This blog posts covers two of the main support series.

IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge:

A series of two-hour races for GT4, TCR and ST cars, with a couple of key venues hosting double-length four-hour enduros. GT4 cars within the Grand Sport (GS) class are the headliners, the ST class long providing fantastic racing and TCR promising more.

IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda:

A series of 1 hour 45 minute races for LMP3 and MPC cars. This series last year ran several 45 minute sprint races and introduced LMP3 as its top class. This year the cars can stretch their endurance legs.

Other Supports:

IMSA also sanctions many high profile one-make series including the Ferrari Challenge North America, Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, Porsche Challenge USA and Porsche Challenge Canada. I do not offer calendars for these series but the dates are available to view at www.imsa.com.

Google/iCal Calendar links:

Conti Tire:   ICAL  -or-  HTML

Prototype:   ICAL  -or-  HTML

For more championships click here.

Continue reading “2018 Calendars: IMSA Supports”

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2018 Calendars: IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship

2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship

IMSA Weathertech.png

The highest level of endurance sports car racing in North America is the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.

The Championship has three classes of car competing within the same race:

  • Prototype:  For DPi and LMP2 cars, all Pro drivers;
  • GTLM:  GT cars identical to those in WEC’s GTE Pro class, all Pro drivers;
  • GTD:  GT3-class machinery, Pro-Am class, entries must have at least one non-Pro driver;

Races include the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, Petit Le Mans and a host of shorter races at such iconic tracks as Long Beach, Road America and Laguna Seca.

It also includes the North American Endurance Cup (NAEC), which is scored as a separate competition made up of the four longest races: Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans.

Google/iCal Calendar links:   ICAL  -or-  HTML

For more championships click here.

Continue reading “2018 Calendars: IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship”

Formula E Recap – Hong Kong 2017/18

The first race of the 2018 Formula E season took place at the end of 2017 with a double-header

2017/2018 HKT Hong Kong ePrix Double-Header

Formula-E-Logo

Central Harbourfront Circuit, Hong Kong, HK

2nd and 3rd December 2017
Rounds 1 and 2 of 14

A tale of two very different races!

Saturday

Saturday’s season opener was a lot of fun. Turvey gaining 4 spots around the outside at the first corner, various dive-bomb overtakes (which worked), lots of side by side contact, a blocked track and red flag. This race had it all!

It was embarrassing to have a blocked track, but that’s just a danger of racing on city streets. The acid test is to ensure the track is cleared and barriers repaired quickly. The cars did return to the pits quickly, we didn’t see barrier repair on TV, but those reporting trackside said the 30 minute delay was down to the FIA sorting out the order. This was complicated by the fact the 4 delayed cars went straight to the pits while everyone else did another slow lap around and parked behind them – very nearly a lap ahead. And they had to check everyone else was in the right order. I am sure this would’ve happened faster at other events, so perhaps the FIA processes in Formula E need tightening.

Otherwise this was a tremendously fun race, loads of overtaking, among the FE veterans nobody was playing themselves in carefully. Even some rookies threw themselves into it. Others like Lotterer and Jani took it very gingerly.

The weirdest part was the pitlane penalty for Sam Bird, he had a 9 second lead, did a drive-through and still emerged in the lead! A short double-sided pitlane which shortcut the last corners meant it was barely any penalty. JEV (2nd) and Heidfeld (3rd) also fought amongst themselves and dropped a long way back, but that should’ve been a battle for the lead.

  1. Sam Bird – DS Virgin Racing (DS DSV03);
  2. Jean-Eric Vergne – Techeetah (Renault Z.E.17);
  3. Nick Heidfeld – Mahindra Racing (Mahindra M4Electro);
  4. Nelson Piquet Jr – Panasonic Jaguar Racing (Jaguar I-Type);
  5. Daniel Abt – Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler (Audi e-tron FE04);

[Powertrains in brackets. All chassis are identical Spark SRT_01E on Michelin tyres.]

Sunday

Sunday’s race felt quieter, but looking at it again, a lot did happen! The start gantry failed, a peril of temporary street track wiring. Nobody seemed to have a backup starter flag, so the Safety Car did a lap before releasing them.

At the rolling start, poleman Rosenqvist spun at the first corner, dropped several places, then got mad and overtook cars like it was going out of fashion. It was enough to get back to 3rd on the road.

That was until long-time leader Edo Mortara spun out in the closing laps. He was classy enough to admit it was his fault for pushing for the extra point for Fastest Lap, it wasn’t a problem with the car.

This promoted Daniel Abt, on fire all weekend in Hong Kong, he took the flag and champagne on his birthday – until after the race when he was disqualified for a technical breach with FIA barcoded seals.

All this meant Rosenqvist was awarded the win. The results sheets show a straightforward pole and win, it really was a lot more interesting than that!

Two laps longer made all the difference to this race, as it did last year, to the energy saving protocol which meant drivers were a lot less willing to use energy to go for the passes compared with Saturday. I appreciate this is part of FE, to extend the range as much as possible, but it really isn’t as much fun. That said, in the shorter race the strategy variance is only a lap, in the longer race they can extend a bit more. I would perhaps prefer to have the longer race first and the more fun shorter race on day two.

  1. Felix Rosenqvist – Mahindra Racing (Mahindra M4Electro);
  2. Eduardo Mortara – Venturi FE Team (Venturi VM200);
  3. Mitch Evans – Panasonic Jaguar Racing (Jaguar I-Type);
  4. Jean-Eric Vergne – Techeetah (Renault Z.E.17);
  5. Sam Bird – DS Virgin Racing (DS DSV-03);

Points From Hong Kong

After penalties were applied nobody had strung together two strong results. The potential points haul was 29 per race:  25 for a win, 3 for pole (*) and 1 for fastest lap among top ten finishers (#). That Sam Bird walked away with 35 for the weekend shows how mixed up the grid was!

If things are this competitive all year we are in for a great season.

HK1 HK2 HK
Sam Bird 25 10 35
Jean Eric Vergne 21* 12 33
Felix Rosenqvist 0 29*# 29
Eduardo Mortara 6 18 24
Nick Heidfeld 15 0 15
Mitch Evans 0 15 15
Nelson Piquet Jr 12 0 12
Daniel Abt 11# 0 11
Antonio Felix da Costa 8 0 8
Oliver Turvey 0 8 8
Alex Lynn 4 2 6
Nico Prost 2 4 6
Maro Engel 0 6 6
Luca Filippi 1 0 1
Sebastien Buemi 0 1 1

A similar story among the teams, most having one good race and one poor or middling race. Dragon the only team not to score.

HK1 HK2 HK
Mahindra Racing 15 29 44
DS Virgin Racing 29 12 41
Techeetah 21 12 33
Venturi Formula E Team 6 24 30
Panasonic Jaguar Racing 12 15 27
Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 11 0 11
Nio Formula E Team 1 8 9
MS&AD Andretti 8 0 8
Renault e.DAMS 2 5 7
Dragon Racing 0 0 0

TOTAL

First weekend means no difference to the above.

Pos Pre +/- Name Pre HK Total Wins
1 1 0 Sam Bird 0 35 35 1
2 1 -1 Jean Eric Vergne 0 33 33  
3 1 -2 Felix Rosenqvist 0 29 29 1
4 1 -3 Eduardo Mortara 0 24 24  
5 1 -4 Nick Heidfeld 0 15 15  
= 1 -5 Mitch Evans 0 15 15  
7 1 -6 Nelson Piquet Jr 0 12 12  
8 1 -7 Daniel Abt 0 11 11  
9 1 -8 Oliver Turvey 0 8 8  
= 1 -9 Antonio Felix da Costa 0 8 8  
11 1 -10 Nico Prost 0 6 6  
= 1 -11 Alex Lynn 0 6 6  
= 1 -12 Maro Engel 0 6 6  
14 1 -13 Sebastien Buemi 0 1 1  
= 1 -14 Luca Filippi 0 1 1

Teams:

Pos Pre +/- Name Pre HK Total Wins
1 1 0 Mahindra Racing 0 44 44 1
2 1 -1 DS Virgin Racing 0 41 41 1
3 1 -2 Techeetah 0 33 33  
4 1 -3 Venturi Formula E Team 0 30 30  
5 1 -4 Panasonic Jaguar Racing 0 27 27  
6 1 -5 Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 0 11 11  
7 1 -6 Nio Formula E Team 0 9 9  
8 1 -7 MS&AD Andretti 0 8 8  
9 1 -8 Renault e.DAMS 0 7 7  
10 1 -9 Dragon Racing 0 0

Driver by Driver – 2018 Formula E Edition

Formula E is growing. As we are about to launch into the 4th season, now with Renault/Nissan, DS/Citroen, Jaguar, Audi, BMW, Porsche and electric car makers such as NIO and Venturi, you can’t ignore it.

Many of these bring their own drivers, employed directly by manufacturers who place them with their partner teams. Some fell off the F1 conveyor belt and seemingly vanished, some made a name in sports cars which can be hard to keep up with, especially if your main focus is elsewhere. A lot of people won’t know their achievements, so who are they?

This is a shameful format theft of Christine’s post on Sidepodcast, where she looked at the line-up exclusively from a Formula 1 perspective, a useful resource, I had no idea so many of them used to test F1 cars for a living! Go read that then come back here. To complement this I’m looking from the other angle: What have these drivers achieved outside F1?

But really, blame Mr C.

Continue reading “Driver by Driver – 2018 Formula E Edition”