|POLE POSITION AND A DOUBLE FINISH FOR 12C GT3 AT THE GRUELLING TOTAL 24 HOURS OF SPA|
|•12C GT3 claims pole position for McLaren GT customer team, Von Ryan Racing •Five 12C GT3s qualify in the top 20 of a competitive group of more than 65 cars •Von Ryan Racing bring home both cars entered, claiming 4th place in Pro-Am class The 2012 Total 24 Hours of Spa was another challenging test of endurance and reliability for the McLaren GT customer teams competing at the headline event of the Blancpain Endurance Series over the weekend, 27-29 July. All nine examples of the 12C GT3 performed well around the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit despite harsh conditions throughout, but the incident-filled race took its toll. The punishing circuit and challenging weather saw an extremely high attrition rate throughout the field, but two 12C GT3s successfully crossed the line to claim P9 and P30. The #88 12C GT3, run by Von Ryan Racing and driven by Alvaro Parente, Rob Barff, Roger Wills and McLaren Automotive Chief Test Driver, Chris Goodwin, battled hard into an impressive 4th place in the Pro-Am class, and P9 overall. The team's #60 blue-and-black car piloted by Julian Draper, Matt Draper, Stephen Jelley and Stef Dusseldorp crossed the line P30 after a tough 24 hours. Each of the nine cars showed strong pace throughout the weekend's qualifying sessions, with five 12C GT3s in the top 20 for the start of the race. The striking dragon-liveried #88 car was the top-qualifying McLaren, claiming pole position in the highly-competitive Pro-Am class, and 3rd overall. The opening stint was headlined by the #9 Gulf Racing UK car driven by McLaren 'works' driver, Rob Bell. After showing good pace during the weekend's free practice sessions, a difficult qualifying saw the car line up in P51. However, by the end of his double stint, Bell's strong pace in the 12C GT3 had moved him up to 7th position. The Belgian Boutsen-Ginion Racing team also put in an impressive performance in front of a home crowd with two cars, and the #5 orange-and-black 12C GT3 was the front-running McLaren as the light faded, leading the Pro-Am class, and in P5 overall. The 4.352-mile (7.004 km) Spa-Francorchamps circuit, notorious for its own micro-climate, saw extreme changes in weather throughout the 24 hours. The opening laps took place in the dry, but conditions quickly changed, and a heavy downpour over part of the circuit during the first scheduled pit window resulted in some teams requiring an additional stop for wet tyres. Further rain showers throughout the remainder of the race ensured the teams and drivers were challenged until the end of the race. During the 24 hours, the harsh conditions saw more than half the grid forced to retire. As darkness fell, a bold call to change to slick tyres by the Gulf Racing and Von Ryan Racing teams proved successful as the track dried, and gained both teams an advantage over the rest of the field. However, the track's slippery conditions off the dry line were unforgiving and caused both Gulf Racing cars to retire after leaving the track. The Lapidus Racing team showed good race pace after qualifying P12 on the grid, but an early collision saw the team lose time. The team worked hard to get the 12C GT3 back on track, and were making progress before coming together with the fast-charging #5 Boutsen-Ginion Racing car, bringing a premature end to the race for both teams. The ART Grand Prix and ASM teams also ran well in the opening 12 hours of the race posting competitive lap times, but the demanding circuit and treacherous conditions saw both teams forced to retire. Chris Goodwin, McLaren Automotive Chief Test Driver, and driver of the #88 Von Ryan Racing 12C GT3, explained: 'The Spa 24 hour race is unlike any other race on the GT calendar; it is a real event from the minute the teams arrive here, and it was fantastic to see the nine 12C GT3s in the parade through the town's streets before the race. Then, to see them on track, and having five qualify in the top 20, is a real testament to the performance of the teams, and the developments that have been made throughout this season. This is the ultimate test of endurance and reliability for the cars, the drivers and the teams.' Goodwin continued: 'Doing anything non-stop for 24 hours is difficult, but putting in consistently competitive laps, around one of the most demanding circuits in such changeable conditions, is extremely tough. The fact that more than 30 cars were forced to retire from this event shows just how demanding a race it is. To have two cars finish, one in the top 10, in this, the debut competitive year for the 12C GT3, is a big result.' Exclusive short films were produced during the Total 24 Hours of Spa, and these can be viewed or embedded at the official McLaren Automotive YouTube channel: www.YouTube.com/McLarenAutomotiveTV.|
|EAU ROUGE MEETS EAU ROUGEFRANCORCHAMPS, Stavelot, Belgium – The Infiniti high-performance prototype super-sedan – the Q50 Eau Rouge – has finally come face to face with Eau Rouge, the signature high-speed corner of the famed Spa-Francorchamps race circuit in Belgium, from which the car takes its name.|
Sebastian Vettel, Infiniti's Director of Performance and four-time Formula One World Drivers' Champion for Infiniti Red Bull Racing, had the honor of putting the car through its paces as part of a social media po....
|DYSON RACING TEAM BENTLEY TO RACE SECOND CONTINENTAL GT3 IN PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE• Car number 88 will enter the line-up at Sonoma Raceway|
• Bentley Boy Guy Smith to pilot second Bentley; joins Butch Leitzinger
(Poughkeepsie, NY / Herndon, VA 21st August 2014) Dyson Racing Team Bentley announces a second Continental GT3 will enter the Pirelli World Challenge beginning with this weekend's Round 13 and 14 races. Bentley Boy Guy Smith will pilot the number 88 car in a double header race weekend at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24.
|OAK TREE GRAND PRIX AT VIR. PORSCHE MOTORSPORTS PRE-EVENT NOTESWhile the Porsche 919 Hybrid competes for overall victories at Le Mans and in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the likelihood of a GT Le Mans (GTLM) class entry of winning against the Prototype (P) class in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is slim. However, for the first time this year, and in recent memory, the Porsche 911 RSR will have a chance at the overall race win when the Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR takes place on Sunday, August 24. The two-hour and 45-minute event marks the fi....|
|INFINITI RED BULL RACING AFTER THE SUMMER BREAK: GAME ONFRANCORCHAMPS, Stavelot, Belgium – Yep, here we are, back from the summer break and raring to go. Formula One kicks off again this week, and rather than a gentle warm up to get back into the rhythm of things, we're straight off to the Belgian Grand Prix at the fearsome Spa-Francorchamps – where anything can happen.|
The summer shutdown has been an F1 fixture for the last couple of years. Everything stops: The factories are locked, email servers shutdown, work computers turned off. Work ....
|CONTINENTAL GT3-R MAKES NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT 2014 PEBBLE BEACH◾Limited edition Bentley Performance Model to be shown during Monterey Auto Week|
◾Complete Bentley product range on display at the Home of Bentley
(Pebble Beach, 11th August 2014) Making its North American debut at this year's Pebble Beach is the new Continental GT3-R – the most dynamic and fastest-accelerating Bentley ever produced.
Inspired by Bentley's race-winning Continental GT3 race car, the GT3-R is powered by Bentley's race and road proven 4.0 litre V8 engine. Bentley engin....
|POLE POSITION FOR AUDI DRIVER LAURENS VANTHOOR IN HOME ROUND AT SPA◾Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in position one|
◾Three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars in the top five spots on the grid
◾Sixth row for the Le Mans winners
Ingolstadt/Spa, July 25, 2014 – The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has achieved a perfect starting base for the Spa 24 Hours. The #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra will be starting the race from position one on the grid on the 90th anniversary of the endurance event. In the super pole qualifying session for the top 20 participants, the Belgian team, with the B....
|THIRD AUDI VICTORY IN SPA 24 HOURS◾Belgian Audi Club Team WRT wins with Rast/Vanthoor/Winkelhock|
◾Third 24-hour race success by Audi within six weeks
◾Laurens Vanthoor new leader of the Blancpain Endurance Series standings
Ingolstadt/Spa, July 27, 2014 – Audi has won the world's toughest GT3 race at Spa. In the battle of eleven marques and 60 participants, the R8 LMS ultra prevailed for the third time in four years in the classic race in the Ardennes that celebrated its 90th anniversary this year. The Belgian Audi Cl....
|CONTINENTAL GT3 PROVES ITSELF AS 24-HOUR RACER• Both Continental GT3 cars finish the Total 24 Hours of Spa in top 20|
• Reliability and pace both confirmed on 24-hour debut
• Both cars suffer bad luck in the opening hours
• 24-hour race disrupted by safety cars and red flag
• Both Bentleys battle back to commendable finishes in P13 and P17, equating to P9 and P11 in the PRO class
(Spa, 27th July 2014) Bentley's Continental GT3 racer proves itself as the next generation of Bentley endurance machine with a strong finish for both ....