Category: FIA GT, International Motorsport

Toyota Racing gets 3rd consecutive win at 2020 Le Mans

Toyota Racing gets 3rd win in a row at 2020 Le Mans

The 24-hour  Le Mans endurance race is usually an exciting annual affair for motorsports fans in Europe and the world. This season is a little different as the post-pandemic situation has limited spectators to go to the Circuit de la Sarthe. Not only the fans, but manufacturers participating in the Le Mans have dwindled over the past 3 years. The 2020 Le Mans is also the penultimate round of the WEC (World Endurance Championship).

Toyota Racing have been carrying the Le Mans title for the past couple of years. Going into the 2020 season, they’re looking for a third and without any real factory squads to challenge them, it’s almost assuredly theirs for the taking. This Le Mans would mark the final appearance for the 1,000PS, four-wheel-drive TS050 Hybrid.

The stage was set on Sunday as the two TS050 Hybrids lined up on the grid. Cars no.7 featured  Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López, while car no.8 piloted by Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley. The Toyota drivers looked set for a perfect 1 – 2 finish, but an exhaust issue would cause car no.7 the win. But, they ended up third overall.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. Le Mans 24 Hours World Endurance Championship 16th to 20th September 2020 Le Mans, France

Led by the pole sitter car no.7, Toyota got off to a stirring start and built a one-lap lead by half distance. But shortly 3 hours after midnight, with Kobayashi at the wheel, the car suffered a drop in power which forced it into the pit. A damaged exhaust manifold was replaced in less than 30 minutes and the Japanese driver re-joined in fourth place, six laps off the lead and four laps behind the third-placed car no.3 Rebellion.

That left the second TS050 no.8 in a clear lead, having recovered from its own troubles first with a puncture, then a debris-damaged brake duct which cost time at two pit stops before a 10-minute repair in the seventh hour. But they never gave up and fought back into second place before disaster struck car no.7.

With a healthy lead, car no.8 trio controlled the rest of the race from the front, establishing a five-lap lead. For the third consecutive year, Nakajima crossed the finish line to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, cementing his status as the most successful Japanese driver at the Le Mans’ La Sarthe.

Car no.7 trio initially made up ground on third place but the car  sustained floor damage after hitting debris, which compromised aerodynamic performance. However, the podium battle came alive in the final hour when the no.3 Rebellion first crashed on track and then could not exit the pits, allowing José to earn third, taking the flag six laps behind the no.8 car and one lap adrift of the second-placed no.1 Rebellion.

For Buemi and Nakajima, this was their third consecutive Le Mans triumph and they join only seven previous drivers who have achieved that feat in the race’s 97-year history, while Hartley won for the second time following his victory in 2017.

After Le Mans, Toyota Racing have the advantage of 7 points in the drivers’  point standings. The WEC finale goes down to the wire in Bahrain on 14 November, with 39 points up for grabs.

Le Mans 24 Hours results:

1st  #8 Toyota Racing                                       387 laps         

2nd  #1 Rebellion (Senna/Menezes/Nato)                            +5 laps            
3rd  #7 Toyota Racing                                      +6 laps            

4th   #3 Rebellion (Dumas/Berthon/Deletraz)                      +6 laps    

5th   #22 United Autosports (Hanson/Albuquerque/di Resta) +17 laps    

Virtual Le Mans 24 hours with Ferrari

With the 24-hour Le Mans already cancelled, Ferrari is conducting a Virtual Le Mans of its own at its headquarters in Maranello. The virtual Le Mans 24 hours will be hosted on 30 June at the Ferrari Maranello Museum.  

Visitors at the museum would be able to watch this first-ever live virtual Le Mans. The Museum is already home to the “Ferrari at 24 Hours Le Mans exhibition dedicated to 70 years of Prancing Horse victories on the famous French track. Official drivers who are scheduled to run the three 488 GTEs are car no. 51, no.52 and no.71 driven by appointed drivers: Nicklas Nielsen, David Perel, Kasper Stoltze, Matteo Caruso, Charles Leclerc, Antonio Giovinazzi, Enzo Bonito, David Tonizza Miguel Molina, Federico Leo, Amos Laurito and Jordy Zwiers. Car no.52 features the two FDA Hublot Esport Team drivers. 

How real is a Virtual Le Mans 24-hour?

Driver s aside, Ferrari goes the distance to make this virtual Le Mans as real as possible. They have available the Competizioni GT technicians and engineers on standby to help select optimal race set-ups and strategies. That way, Ferrari makes sure fans and enthusiasts can experience it in complete safety and in full compliance with current social distancing egulations.

The first free practices will take place on 10  – 11 June from 10 am to 10 pm. On 12 June, the session will end at 5 pm, just before the official qualifying which, for GTE class cars, is from 6:10 pm to 6:25 pm. The next day, the race will be flagged off at 3 pm. Sunday, 14 June, will signal the end of the race, at 3 pm.

Given current limited access , time slots and ticket purchasing can be made through the online ticket office at the Museums’ websites (

DS Formula E Team presents next-generation Race Car

Formula E, the only all-electric racing series, is getting bigger as the FIA has recognized it and dubbed it the FIA Formula E Championship for 2021 season.

With the title, the Formula E Championship is set to utilize the next-gen Gen2 EVO restyled version of the current Formula E race car. DS Automobiles and its Formula E partner DS TeCheetah have presented the preliminary livery of the Gen2 EVO racer for the 2020/21 season or season 7 of the championship.

What’s the Gen2 EVO?

The DS squad’s DS E-Tense FE20 design of the Gen2 EVO is spearheaded by the DS Automobiles Design Studio. They work with the DS TeCheetah team to incorporate the facelift imagined for season 7 while retaining the black and gold codes of the race car.

DS Automobiles and its sporting entity DS Performance has successfully completed the transition between the two generations of Formula E cars. With a motor that increased to 250kW and a battery of 52kWh, the 100% electric discipline has benefited from a profound transformation between 2018/2019 by allowing drivers to compete in an entire E-Prix distance without car change-overs.

Aligned with DS TeCheetah, the DS E-Tense FE19 won the two championship ‘Drivers’ and ‘Teams’ titles last season. This season DS E-Tense FE20 is succeeding on urban circuits around the world (with a podium in Santiago last month), the next generation is already under study.

For an avant-garde discipline like DS Automobiles, Formula E will evolve the design of its car for the 2020/2021 championship. Modification of the front and rear appendages, addition of a ‘shark fin’ on the bonnet and opening of the front wheel arches, the Gen2 EVO symbolizes the uniqueness of the discipline and embodies the electric motor sport of tomorrow.

The next Formula E racer will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on 3 March. The team’s Formula E champion and driver Jean-Eric Vergne, the first double Formula E champion and ambassador from DS Automobiles, will be on hand to take the covers off the next Formula E race car.

Béatrice Foucher, CEO of DS Automobiles

Goodyear is New Tyre Partner of WEC and ELMS

Goodyear is the new tyre supplier of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and European Le Mans Series (ELMS), following decades of non-involvement in major International Motorsports.  As the official tyre partner, Goodyear provides all LMP2 entrants in the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans, including cars from outside of WEC and ELMS. The cars will benefit from the latest developments in Goodyear Racing tyres. In addition, Goodyear will also increase its brand visibility on and off the track to support its launch of the latest range of Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres, featuring motorsport-derived technology.

Some of you might remember in the 70s and 80s that Goodyear was a proud tyre supplier of Formula 1. Goodyear shod F1 cars won 368 GPs.

A multi-year deal was signed between Goodyear and the organizers Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). Previously, the WEC series had multiple tyre suppliers. The ACO made a move in the off season to appoint a single tyre supplier for the new season. Goodyear now officially supplies tyres to the LMP2 category. The 2020/21 WEC season, featuring 8 rounds, will kick off at Silverstone next September, before continuing across four continents around the world, and has its climax at the 24 hours of Le Mans in June 2021. Goodyear-equipped cars have won the Le Mans on 14 occasions, from 1960s till 1990s.

Apart from the WEC, Goodyear supplies to the ELMS, the continental endurance racing series. ELMS will begin in April 2021 with six races slated for six of Europe’s top circuits.

Gerard Neveu, CEO of the World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series, stated: “Since announcing its comeback this year, Goodyear’s commitment to top level performance has been very impressive. To win a World Championship’s LMP2 class at only the third attempt shows the investment, technology and dedication of the Goodyear team. We are proud to have Goodyear as a premium partner in WEC and ELMS, and our LMP2 teams will benefit from high level professional support to ensure the continuing close competition in the category.”

‘Dream Race’ showdown at Fuji between the DTM and Super GT

Following the recent DTMxSuperGT exhibition at Hockenheim, the stage is set for the Dream Raceat the Fuji Speedway, from 23 – 24 November.

This weekend, the first ever DTM x Super GT showdown features 22 cars from Audi, BMW, Honda, Lexus, Nissan and more. The two races on Saturday and Sunday have new rules such as rolling starts, control tyres and cars run without DRS and P2P. The duration of each race will be 55 minutes.

The Dream Race became a reality when DTM organizers and Super GT authorities began working on an adjustment of their technical regulations to enable joint races and a kind of “Champions League”of touring car racing. This endeavor has resulted in the spectacular Class 1 race cars with their more than 610-hp four-cylinder turbo engines that already began to be used in the DTM in the 2019 season. In the Super GT, the Class 1 regulations will come into effect next year.

The scene is Fuji Speedway, a familiar circuit for those who are Gran Turismo fans. Fuji features long-radius corners and an impressive 1.5km straight. For the races, DTM drivers will race two sessions without driver change, while the Super GT counterparts get driver changes; with the exception of Honda’s Naoki Yamamoto, who is the sole driver minus his partner Jenson Button.

Hockenheim, Germany: DTM Hockenheimring,

The DTM x Super GT Dream Race’s 22 car grid comprises seven-man DTM squad and 15 from the Japanese squads. DTM drivers consist the likes of Loïc Duval, Kamui Kobayashi, René Rast, Mike Rockenfeller, Benoît Tréluyer, Marco Wittmann and Alex Zanardi. Super GT boasts newly crowned Champion Kazuya Oshima, Kenta Yamashita, Ronnie Quintarelli, Naoki Yamamoto, Tsugio Matsuda, Ryō Hirakawa and Nick Cassidy.

DTM Champions prepare to prove a point

Audi squads are the Reigning DTM Champion and for this Dream Race showdown, Audi squads have deployed four RS 5 DTM cars. Alongside the Audi RS 5s are three BMW M4 DTMs. Audi is already familiar with from events with the Audi R18 in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and with the Audi R8 LMS. According to computer simulations, the Audi RS 5 DTM will reach a speed of up to 300 km/h at the end of the straight, depending on the rear wing setting.

The four Audi RS 5 DTM cars have new liveries for the dream race, including 2013 DTM champion Mike Rockenfeller’s Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline car with black Akrapovič, Reigning champion René Rast’s Audi Sport RS 5 DTM (Team Rosberg) with a Red dot on white bodywork, Loic Duval’s car is decked with a red BMC Airfilter and Benoît Tréluyer’s car is mainly white.

The dream race gets on the way on Thursday with two 45-minute test sessions. Two free practice sessions on Friday, followed by a qualifying session and a race on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Audi Sport ready for New Formula E Season

With the Formula E season starting 22 November, Audi Sport has arrived early at Riyadh in preparation for the season-opener. This season’s Formula E is expected to be more exciting than ever with new teams and contenders in the mix. There are 12 teams vying for the Formula E crown this season.

The team shipped ten containers to Saudi Arabia, that’s a total of some ten tons of cargo. Logistics expert DHL picked up the crates at the team’s base in Kempten and hauled them to the Stuttgart airport, from where they flew directly to Saudi Arabia’s capital city Riyadh. The cargos will be delivered to the pitlanes at the track and only on 19 November, the teams are allowed to open the cargo boxes.

Audi Sport team are in pursuit of the title with Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi, Abt and di Grassi have carefully packed their travel bags and handed them over to the team. The contents of each driver’s bags: two racing suits, two pairs of gloves, two pairs of shoes, three sets of fireproof underwear, team wear, plus the individually adjusted earphone systems for radio communications during the races are all part of the standard gear. In addition, Abt’s luggage contains a can of hairspray, while di Grassi takes along a skipping rope for pre-race concentration exercises.

Audi e-tron FE06 #11 (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler), Lucas di Grassi

With the things already set in motion, Audi Sport is looking to make their mark on the 2019/20 Formula E season. The two rounds in Riyadh  will be races number 59 and 60 in  Formula E. Audi Sport is the only team to have contested all of them with the same driver pairing, and with a track record of 12 race wins and 40 podium finishes as well as one drivers’ and one teams’ title, is the most successful team in Formula E.

Nissan preps up for 2nd Formula E season

As the forerunners in the Electric car business, Nissan preps up for its second Formula E season with the unveiling of the new -liveried Formula E racer.

Nissan’s 2019/20 liveried Formula E race car takes up red, black and white design, inspired by the Japanese kimono garment. This livery will also be featured on the Nissan LEAF NISMO RC, the dual electric-motor performance vehicle based on the Nissan LEAF electric car.

Aside from the livery, the 2019/20 e.dams racer features an updated powertrain, in line with new series regulations. The new powertrain replaces the previous dual electric-motor system.

Campaigning for the Nissan e.dams Formula E squad are drivers Sebastien Buemi and Oliver Rowland. Both drivers are back behind the wheel for the Nissan e.dams team. The team entered the championship to showcase its zero-emission vehicle technologies, communicate the company’s Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision.

Nissan’s 2018/19 season

Highlights of season five (2018/19) included achieving second in championship, six podium finishes (including the last five races), six pole positions (the most for any team), and 16 Super Pole qualifying appearances combined by Buemi and Rowland, making Nissan e.dams the best qualifying team in the championship. The team ended the season with its first ever victory during the final race weekend in New York.

The Nissan e.dams team hit the track last week at a series pre-season test in Valencia, Spain. The team posted times in the top ten of every session throughout three days of testing. The team targets winning the overall title this season.

The sixth season of Formula E kicks off next month in Saudi Arabia. Fourteen races will be held in 12 cities, with the final double-header round taking place in London. New venues this season include Seoul, Jakarta, and the London circuit, which runs inside the Excel London exhibition center.

Reigning Formula E Champions DS Techeetah shows off new livery for 2019/20 season

With the new Formula E season just around the corner, DS Techeetah Team has unveiled their 2019/20 car livery in black and gold. The black/gold liveried DS E-Tense FE20 car is out to defend the titles from last season with Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne.  The season kicks off on 22 November in Saudi Arabia.

Techeetach team, owned by SECA Shanghai, is a Chinese racing team in Formula E. They won the 2017/2018 drivers’ title with Jean-Éric and together with André Lotterer, the team secured second place in the teams’ rankings in the 2017/2018 season.

DS E-Tense FE20

Jean-Eric’s car will bear two laurel wreaths to symbolize the two titles, while his helmet has two stars (driver titles).

The DS E-Tense FE20 livery is created by the DS Design Studio of DS Automobiles, From a technical point of view, the FE20 is the fruit of the development work based on the qualities of the double championship winning DS E-Tense FE19.

DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan Pinon said, “Our engineers have optimised most of the elements by further developing our winning concept rather than completely rethinking the car. The engine, the inverter and the transfer case have evolved, but the deeper changes are in the heart of the embedded systems. All this ambitious research and development work aims to offer the drivers a car that allows them to fight to win and defend both titles.”

“In the detail of its livery design, it is possible to see that the pattern is constructed from many of our cheetah head logos, which also nods to our continued efforts in supporting The Big Cat Sanctuary’s fight in saving the cheetahs and other big cats. A topic that is more pressing than ever and a cause that is especially close to our hearts,” DS Techeetah Chief Commercial Officer Keith Smout added.

The excitement of the Formula E begins third week of November at the Riyadh Circuit.

Mercedes present New Formula E Challenger

On its debut season in the Formula E Championship, Mercedes-Benz presented their new challenger, the EQ Silver Arrow 01. The Mercedes Formula E Team will send out two EQ race cars to the 2019/20 season’s first race in November in Saudi Arabia.

Piloting the EQ race cars are former F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne and current Formula 2 championship leader Nyck de Vries. Vandoorne is about to embark on his second season in the electric racing series. At the same time, he can look back on experience gained in 41 Formula 1 races. “I’ve already gained experience of the series racing for HWA last year. I am very pleased to have now become an official member of the Mercedes family. The arrival of Mercedes on the scene is a great opportunity for all of us. The car looks fantastic. The potential is huge, and I simply can’t wait to get started.”

De Vries is about to commence his debut season in Formula E. With four races still remaining in the 2019 F2 championship, he currently leads the drivers’ standings. The final round is scheduled to take place as part of the support program to the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi one week after de Vries’ Formula E debut.
The Mercedes EQ race car has the electric powertrain, designed and developed by Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP). The EQ race car, in Generation two guise, has a unique design which differ compared to the other Formula E teams. The teams in the series develop their own components (inverter, motor, transmission, parts of the rear axle and the software for energy management) as part of the cars’ package.
With its entry into Formula E, Mercedes has become the world’s only automotive manufacturer to compete in both Formula 1 and Formula E. This strategy enables Mercedes to transfer the lessons learnt in both championships from the racetrack to the road. The two platforms together constitute an important technology driver for the entire Mercedes family and will help to shape the future of the automobile.
Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01 Specs

Overall length:   5160 mm
Overall width:   1770 mm
Height:   1050 mm
Front track:   1553 mm
Rear track:   1505 mm
Ride height:   75 mm (max)
Wheelbase:   3100 mm
Minimum weight (incl. driver)   900 kg
Battery (weight):   385 kg
Battery (Capacity):   52 kWh
Battery (charging times):   ca. 45 minutes
Power output (practice & qualifying):   250 kW (340 hp)
Power output (race):   200 kW (272 hp)
Attack Mode:   235 kW (319 hp)

New Audi e-tron all set for Formula E 2019/20 season

With the new Formula E season just around the corner, the Audi Formula E squad showcased the new e-tron FE06 race car ahead of its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

What’s new with the Audi e-tron FE06

The Audi e-tron FE06 is packed with plenty of visible carbon fiber and a bright orange livery. Appearing more aggressive than the previous Audi Formula E challengers, the new e-tron is expected to challenge for the title outright in the new season.

The 2019/20 season is set to kick off at the Ad Diriyah (Saudi Arabia) on 22 – 23 November. Orange is the new color for the e-tron FE06; the orange hue takes cues from the road-going color of the road-going Audi e-tron.

Audi e-tron FE06

The Audi Formula E continues to rely on its long-standing partners: Besides technology partner Schaeffler, who together with Audi is responsible for the development of the powertrain, HYLA, ITK Engineering, the LGT Group, KUKA, MASCOT, Riello UPS and Würth Elektronik also remain on board. Sonax joins in this season as a partner. The brand known for its car care products has been closely linked to motorsport for decades.

Last season, the drivers Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi achieved the runner-up position for Audi in the hard-fought team’s championship. Abt and di Grassi will again assume their roles as pilots in the new season.

Audi e-tron FE06

The schedule before the first race is tight: Following the intensive private testing phase in Germany and Europe and the preparation of the two race cars during the next few weeks, the team will travel to Valencia in the middle of October for the official Formula E pre-season test, where all of the teams and drivers will meet for three days.