A Daily Round up of Formula One news, inside whispers, opinion and comment. Today,
WRT wins record breaking Nürburgring 24h
The Belgian WRT team won the 2015 edition of the Zürich Versicherung 24 Stunden vom Nürburgring using the all new Audi R8 LMS, piloted by Christopher Mies, Edward Sandström, Nico Müller and Laurens Vanthoor. After 24 hours of hard racing the Audi crossed the line a record breaking forty seconds before the BMW Z4 GT3 of Marc-VDS with Maxime Martin, Lucas Luhr, Markus Palttala and Richard Westbrook. The Falken-Tyres Porsche 911 GT3 R piloted by Peter Dumbreck, Wolf Henzler, Martin Ragginger and Alexandre Imperatori clinched third place. The margin of victory surpassed the old record of 53 seconds from 1993.
The first half of the race was dominated by changing weather conditions and three teams crashed out while leading the race. The first to suffer this fate was the Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 (Dominik Baumann, Claudia Hürtgen, Jens Klingmann, Martin Tomczyk). Forty-three year old Claudia Hürtgen was once considered a potential female entrant into F1, but she was wrecked by an opponent during the 1993 F3 race at Monaco while running third. The resulting injuries sidelined her for almost a year until she came back in 1995 to win the Austrian Touring Car championship. At the Nürburgring she became a victim of the jump at Pflanzgarten. Two hours into the race, while leading, her airborne BMW landed on a wet patch and spiralled out of control and straight into the Armco.
The second victim was the Frikadelli Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R of Sabine Schmitz, Patrick Huisman, Patrick Pilet and Jörg Bergmeister, which also crashed out of the lead. Frenchman Pilet exited the Karusell in a fashion that’s not necessarily considered common workplace practice and totalled the #30 car on the run-up to Hohe Acht when he collided with a Mercedes SLS 7 hours into the race.
The next leader was claimed by the “Green Hell” at 01:30 in the night when last year’s winning entry of Phoenix Racing (Christopher Haase, Christian Mamerow, Rene Rast and Markus Winkelhock) also became a victim of the jump at Pflanzgarten. Mamerow was admitted to the ICU of Adenau Hospital, but by the end of the race it was clear that except for “a hell of a lot of bruises”, according to team mate Rast, the German was out of danger.
From then on the WRT Audi and the Marc-VDS BMW traded the lead several times to bring the total of lead changes to 35 – another record.
Scott Dixon wins Indy 500 qualifying
New Zealander Scott Dixon has won a tumultuous qualifying for the 99th Indy 500 race. With Monaco next weekend, the Indy 500 and the Le Mans 24h on June 13/14, the three crown jewel races of motorsports will be held in the upcoming weeks. The Indycar authorities had to reduce turbo boost after three incidents of cars getting airborne at over 200 miles per hour.
The provisional grid features four former F1 drivers: Justin Wilson in 6th, who provided the best placing for a Honda-powered car, Sebastian Bourdaix in 7th, Juan Pablo Montoya in 15th and Takuma Sato in 27th position. The two female entrants qualified 19th (Simona de Silvestro) and 28th (Pippa Mann).
Williams puts a number to it
Everybody knows that the so called “Green F1” has driven up the costs for the teams, but so far the teams and manufacturers were reluctant to tell exact numbers, something that Williams have now changed. WilliamsF1 financial director Alan Kinch told the Independent that the new engines are the biggest part of raising the costs by about 28 Million Euro (that’s twenty million funny-L thingies for those on her Majesty’s Island).
The change from V8 engines to the new, and widely unloved hybrid power units has doubled the costs of putting a loud bit in the car, according to Kinch.