This week's episode of Sportscar365's Double Stint Podcast recaps the WEC and ELMS action in Silverstone, as well as IMSA and PWC at Long Beach; RGR Sport by Morand's Bruno Senna calls in to discuss his WEC LMP2 win at Silverstone and we answer a viewer's question. Click Here: http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/double-stint-silverstone-recap-bruno-senna-interview-4-19-16/
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Less than 90 days ago, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing announced their intention to compete for the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge Sprint Championship with new equipment, the Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Since that announcement, the Dallas-based team has completed four successful tests, totaling over 1500 miles with the new Red Dragon.
Upon the announcement of the switch from the McLaren 650S GT3 to the Porsche 911 GT3 R, the GAINSCO team, led by veteran team manager Terry Wilbert, relocated to the beautiful new Porsche Motorsports North America headquarters where they prepared the new car.
Nineteen days later, the team traveled to Willow Springs International Raceway where they completed a successful shakedown.
“We’re really appreciative of the professionalism and warm welcome Porsche has extended to us,” said Wilbert. “Nick Lester and Porsche Motorsports team opened their doors for us literally, as we relocated to their headquarters to build the new car in December.
“The transition has been quite seamless and we are looking forward to a competitive effort starting at St. Petersburg.”
Veteran Porsche driver Wolf Henzler joined the GAINSCO team at the two-day test in New Orleans earlier this month. His experience gave valuable direction as GAINSCO Engineer John Ward and driver Jon Fogarty familiarized themselves with the car.
“It was great to work with Wolf and study his approach and driving lines with this car,” said Fogarty. “He’s got as much experience as anyone driving these cars. His tips and pointers were very helpful, so it was a great opportunity for us.”
Engineer John Ward echoed Fogarty’s comments. “The Porsche is new for all of us, there are always a lot of unknowns in terms of set-up and what works and what doesn’t,” said Ward. It can take a lot of track time to establish a baseline, so it was a good idea to have Wolf join us for the first big test.
“He gave me great feedback to work with and gave us a benchmark for a time out on the track. This new car really suits Jon’s driving style and by the end of the day, he matched Wolf’s time, so I think we are headed in the right direction.”
The team’s most recent and final test before next month’s season opener at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg came last week at Sebring. The combination of testing locations allowed the GAINSCO team to log miles on a variety of track configurations and surface characteristics.
“I’m really pleased with our winter test program,” said Fogarty. “The information we learned at Sebring is typically applicable to Long Beach and other circuits we race. It’s bumpy, relatively warm and there are transitions from asphalt to concrete.
“John [Ward] came with a huge test plan and we worked our way through all of it. The new Red Dragon responded very well to his changes and I am feeling very optimistic with our equipment heading into the season.”
The 2017 Pirelli World Challenge Sprint Championship opens with a double-header on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, March 9-12th.
The photo head on of the JDC Oreca… is that tape holding the windshield wiper in place? Perhaps bumps moving it around too much! ha…
If the global P2 teams with WAY less testing and experience got within a second of the Caddies, I think DPi balance has been achieved.
Mazda needs to be really concerned that they can’t reach the performance baseline AND keep the engine together for a race distance.
Montoya wasn’t there to interview for a job he was as a invite from his friends and just allowing him to drive the number one Ferrari says it all don’t for get he is a three time Sport car winner in what is arguably one of the hardest races to win!!!!
No. Not really. A sportcars fan with a long career in professional golf business.
How can Lexus put its name next to Gentilozzi….
The current Porsche GTLM car is a mid-engine 911. Definitely not available for purchase, but I’ve yet to see one post saying they need to be in the prototype class.
Wow, how wrong can you be. I would like to cite Paul Truswell in this case: “What was particularly galling was that the ACO admitted that Ford had been hiding the true potential of their car from the scrutineers; an offence that went unpunished (…).”
You might argue that the FIA/ACO was caught napping, but the OEM needs to cooperate to a have a good BoP that will result in proper close competition (and a nice event). I can’t help but think that Ford is not interested in that.
Yes, the more cars the better, but I wish they would save this money and make a really long term commitment. BMW is coming with a proper GTE car next year, I believe McLaren is also working on a GTE project, but sometimes I am a little worried that Ford is pushing away others because they do not want to invest a similar budget, so let’s see how things stand after three years from now
3 seconds. That’s more than an eternity in any circuit racing, let alone GTLM.
I can’t think of any AM who is not within 3 seconds.
Montoya obviously needs more seat time and only then we’ll know what he can do in a GT car but any decent driver should get within 1 second, quite quickly I might add, before it’s worth discussing performance.
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