New-look FIA GT1 World Championship set for gripping season-opener in France
04.04.2012: • Circuit Paul Armagnac, Nogaro to host Round One of the 2012 season as part of the traditional Coupes de Paques weekend
• Circuit Paul Armagnac, Nogaro to host Round One of the 2012 season as part of the traditional Coupes de Paques weekend
The FIA GT1 World Championship brings together nine luxury sportscar brands, represented exclusively by two-car teams featuring Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes and Porsche at the season-opening 2012 round in Nogaro this weekend.
Stephane Ratel, Founder and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group, says the aim of the new-look championship was to create an exciting racing environment for teams and brands which would be easy for fans to follow.
"Each team exclusively running two cars of the same brand in a competitive world championship was the vision for 2012," Ratel said. "This is a clear format that the fans can relate to - as they do with Formula One.
“To have Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes, Porsche together in the FIA GT1 World Championship is an appetising combination. I am pleased to say that at Nogaro this weekend, the vision will become a stunning reality.”
Round One runs over four days – Friday to Sunday - at the traditional Coupes de Paques (Easter Cup) event at Circuit Paul Armagnac, Nogaro.
The series brings together reputable sportscar teams and an international mix of illustrious drivers comprising factory specialists, doyens of GT and ex-single seater pilots. The exciting one-hour sprint format, successfully introduced in 2010, remains a unique feature for 2012.
The FIA GT Championship visited the circuit in 2008 for the Nogaro 2 Hours event – a round of the FIA GT Championship. For 2012, SRO Motorsports Group brings world class sportscar racing to an Armagnac region synonymous with the finer things in life.
Hexis Racing begin their defence of the teams’ championship they captured in thrilling fashion in 2011. This year the French squad will field a pair of McLaren GT MP4-12Cs having campaigned Aston Martins for the past two seasons.
Frenchman Frederic Makowiecki returns to the team after a spell with Marc VDS Racing in 2011, to spearhead a driver line-up that includes his partner in the No.1 car Stef Dusseldorp (NLD).
In the sister car, France’s Gregoire Demoustier is joined by Portugal’s Alvaro Parente.
Mike Parisy, a resident of nearby Pau, will catch the attention of the locals in the Exim Bank Team China Porsche 911 GT3 R alongside versatile New Zealander Matt Halliday. China’s Ren Wei, who has built a solid reputation in Porsche Cup Asia, will be joined by France’s Benjamin Lariche in a squad run by Porsche specialists Mühlner Motorsport.
Parisy was the pacesetter on day one of a two-day test that precedes the race weekend. The Frenchman set a time of 1:25.538 around the 3.6-mile circuit to suggest that the Porsches will be on the pace come race time.
Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has assembled a formidable quartet for their two Audi R8 LMS ultras in the shape of former DTM star Frank Stippler (DEU), factory driver Oliver Jarvis (GBR) and former Le Mans winner Stephane Ortelli (MON). Twenty-year-old Laurens Vanthoor (BEL), the German Formula 3 champion of 2009 and fresh from the Formula Three Euro Series completes the line-up.
The Belgian outfit have been in the top three on the time sheets throughout the test with both Audis running in the mid 1:26.000s. The Audis loom as strong title contenders.
The Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 will be in the capable hands of the German All-Inkl.com Münnich Motorsport team, who were strong contenders for the teams’ title in 2011.
The line-up features the German trio of Marc Basseng, Markus Winkelhock and Thomas Jager along with Dutchman Nicky Pastorelli.
Reiter Engineering carry the baton for Lamborghini with a fusion of exuberance and experience. Tomas Enge (CZE), fourth in the drivers’ standings in 2010 and 2011, shares with GT3 series graduate Albert von Thurn und Taxis (DEU).
Dutch master Peter Kox links with China’s Darryl O’Young whose CV includes wins in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, Macau GT Cup and stints in WTCC and DTM.
Celebrated Ferrari squad AF Corse have paired Finn Toni Vilander with Italian young gun Filip Salaquarda and Francesco Castellacci, the 2011 FIA GT3 European Championship drivers’ title-holder and Belgian Enzo Ide, a GT3 race winner in 2011 and third in the drivers’ standings.
Multiple FIA GT and GT1 champion Michael Bartels will orchestrate the BMW challenge at BMW Team Vita4One. The team boss will be joined in the cockpit of the BMW Z4 by rapid Dutchman Yelmer Buurman while on the opposite side of the garage are Mathias Lauda (DEU), son of F1 world champion Nikki Lauda, and Reiter Lamborghini convert Nikolaus Mayr-Meinhof of Austria.
Valmon Racing Team Russia bring two Aston Martin DBRS9s to the series with a driver combination led by the accomplished Austrian Andreas Züber. He is joined by the Russian duo of Formula Two ace Sergey Afanasyev and the experienced Alexey Vasilyev with the third driver yet to be named.
Flying the Ford flag is Spain’s Sunred Engineering who feature former FIA Formula Two champion Andy Soucek (SPA) and Serbia’s Milos Pavlovic in the No.10 Ford GT with the Italians Matteo Cressoni and Emmanuel Moncini in the other car.
Located in south-west France, Nogaro, the Circuit Paul Armagnac has hosted multiple top-tier motorsport events and some of the most famous names in motor sport have graced its tarmac. Built in 1960, the venue welcomed its first Grand Prix motorcycle world championship event in 1975 and has hosted rounds of the FIA GT, Formula 3000 and Formula Three Euro Series in recent years.
The technical track has also played an important role in developing the careers of motorsport legends including Rene Arnoux, Gerhard Berger, Ricardo Patrese and Alain Prost. In 1974, as a relative unknown, Prost was the Easter Cup winner at the wheel of a Formula Renault Europe.
The Circuit Paul Armagnac also hosts the start of the FIA GT3 European Championship – a double helping of GT cars for passionate French fans.
Nogaro is themed “the rendezvous of great emotions”. That will certainly be the case this weekend.
FIA GT1 World NOGARO Season OpeningThe German Team ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport with Marc Basseng, Markus Winkelhock, Thomas Jäger and Nicky Pastorelli with two Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 at the FIA GT1 World Championship – O weiter >>
- FIA GT1 World Championship While McLaren Racing got its Formula 1 season off to a great start with victory in Australia, the Hexis team is preparing to defend its FIA GT1 World title. The French tea weiter >>
FIA GT1 World ChampionshipTeam principal Hans Reiter is excited to announce the finalisation of the line-up of his team‘s pilots.Peter Kox (NDL) will share a Lamborghini Gallardo with Darryl O´Young (CHN). Albert weiter >>
Das Team von Hans Reiter wird an der FIA GT1-Weltmeisterschaft mit zwei Lamborghini Gallardo LP 600+ teilnehmen. Die intensiven Bemühungen des Serienorganisators Stéphane Ratel (SRO) haben optimale Bedingungen geschaffen, um die WM stattfinden zu lassen. weiter >>
Once again Dylan Derdaele (19) proved to have a great talent and ambitions to be a car race pilot. This has been stated by the team owner of Vita4One Michael Bartels after a very exhausting training & test week with the BMW Z4 a weiter >>
• Pirelli confirmed as official tyre supplier • Ferrari team joins the 2012 entry list • Venue for 10th round to be revealed soonThe build-up to the 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship season gathered momentum today with two significant announcements. weiter >>
FIA GT1 HEXIS RACING 2012Fred Makowiecki (France) “I can’t wait to test the McLaren. It was in its development phase last year, but it was obvious that it improved each time out and that’s very positive for us. I like the a weiter >>
FIA GT1 World Championship: driver line-ups and McLaren MP4-12C GT3s’ liveryAt the end of November 2011, after winning the FIA GT1 World Championship title, Hexis was the first team to announce its entry for the 2012 contest with two of weiter >>
The German Team ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport builds up on the success at the FIA GT1 World Championship – Team from Saxony changes cars in 2012 to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3The die is cast: The German Tea weiter >>
- GT1-Weltmeisterschaft wird 2012 mit GT3-Fahrzeugen ausgetragen- Team WRT aus Belgien will um die Meisterschaft kämpfen- Zwei neue Audi R8 LMS ultra am StartDer neue Audi R8 LMS ultra tritt im komm weiter >>
The FIA GT Commission proposes to harmonize the FIA GT1 World and FIA GT3 European Championship’s regulations as well as their calendars in Europe to guarantee the growth of the FIA GT sprint platform. weiter >>
Besser kann eine Premierensaison kaum laufen wie das erste Jahr von Christian Hohenadel in der GT1-Weltmeisterschaft. In der Meisterschaft der weltweit besten Sportwagenfahrer etablierte sich der 35-jährige Quierschieder in diesem Jahr auf Anhieb an der Spitze. weiter >>
FIA GT1 World ChampionshipSan Luis, Argentina November 4th-6th, 2011After a year-long break from GT1 24-year old Christopher Haase competed in the final race of the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship season in San Luis, A weiter >>
The FIA GT1 World Championship has launched a series of e-Bay auction over the next three weeks in aid of the Santa Maria School from the San Luis region.As accident last week between a bus carrying a group from the school and a train claimed the lives of six of the children and two teachers from the school. The participants in the final roun weiter >>
Lamborghini race car drivers Manuel Lauck and Christopher Haase ended the FIA GT1 World Championship season on a high with a podium finish in San Luis, Argentina, on 6 November 2011. The DKR www-discount.de pairing took advantage of an early incident to elevate their Lambor weiter >>
FIA GT1 World Championship, round 10 San Luis, Argentina, 5th/6th November 2011This evening a French team is FIA GT1 world champion! A young squad full of talent and enthusiastic squad which has given its all right till the very end. In 2 weiter >>
Pech in Argentinien vereitelt Gewinn der Teamwertung FIA GT1 World ChampionshipYoung Driver AMR beendet die zweite Saison in der FIA GT1 Weltmeisterschaft in Argentinien mit dem Vizeweltmeistertitel in der Fahrerwertung. weiter >>
– Drei Lamborghini am Sonntag nach Startcrash draußen – Haase/Lauck mit #47 des Teams DKR www-discount.de sensationell als Zweite auf dem Podest
Was mit großen Hoffnungen und einigen Chancen auf Titel und Podestpl&aum weiter >>
FIA GT1 2011 Round 10 - San LuisA six-car pile-up on the main straight soon after the lights went green claimed the JRM Nissan GT-R No.23 of the drivers' championship winners Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm. weiter >>
... of the FIA GT1 World Championship in San Luis.Exim Bank Team China finished off the FIA GT1 World Championship 2011 in a phenomenal manner. In Argentina the team clinched its first qualifying and championship race of the season and on weiter >>
The Marc VDS Racing Team ended the 2011 GT1 World Championship season with a top ten finish in Argentina, in an action packed race that saw the team championship title decided only on the final lap.The two Marc VDS cars started the final race weiter >>
Francesco Pastorellinr11 Exim Bank Team Corvette Z06 (1st)"I made a good start and then I saw a lot smoke in my mirrors from the accident. There was a long period of the Safety Car before I brought the car in for the stop. We had a weiter >>
Francesco Pastorelli and Yelmer Buurman in the Exim Bank Team China Corvette No.11 completed the double by winning the Championship Race in an incident-filled finale to the 2011 season in San Luis. The victory for the GT1 debutants was the second of the weekend a weiter >>
The final qualifying race of the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship season ended in disappointment for the Marc VDS Racing Team, with both cars failing to finish following a collision at turn one for the #40 Ford GT and a technical problem for the #41 Ford GT late in the race.From the start of practice it was obvious that the Marc VDS Racing Team were facing a tough weekend in Ar weiter >>
Bitter-sweet start in Argentina for Young Driver AMR FIA GT1 World ChampionshipYoung Driver AMR is still in fierce competition for the team’s world championship-title after one of two round at this weekends final round of weiter >>
Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm have become the 2011 FIA GT1 World Champions after finishing second in the Qualifying Race at San Luis, Argentina. The Geman duo, in the nr23 JRM Nissan GT-R, finished three tenths of a second behind the nr11 Exim Bank Team China Corve weiter >>
Lucas Luhrnr23 JR Motorsports Nissan GT-R"I really like this track. It is a very beautiful part of the world and a really unique circuit, a lot of ups and downs while surrounded by walls, which makes it a little bit special. I struggled weiter >>
Michael Krumm and Lucas Luhr in the JRM Nissan No.23 moved a step closer to the drivers' championship title by claiming their first pole position of the 2011 season for this afternoon's Qualifying Race in San Luis. Second was the No.11 Te weiter >>
FIA GT1 2011 Round 10 - San Luis ARGENTINAThe contenders for the 2011 World Title gathered on the grid for a photo shoot ahead of the final weekend of this season’s championship.The ten drivers s weiter >>
FIA GT1 2011 Round 10 - San Luis ARGENTINAThe first day at the Potrero de los Funes circuit finished with the nr4 Hexis AMR Aston Martin DB9 of Christian Hohenadel and Andrea Piccini setting the only sub 2m15s lap during Free Practice and Pre-Qualify weiter >>
The nr47 DKR www-discount.de Lamborghini of Manuel Lauck and Christopher Haase became the early pace setters in the final weekend of the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship. Christopher Haase lapped the 6.2km Potrero de los Funes circuit in a time of weiter >>
Final race of the GT1 World Championship in Argentina FIA GT1 World ChampionshipIt’s all or nothing at this weekends final round of the GT1 World Championship in San Luis in Argentina for Young Driver AMR. The Ge weiter >>
The Marc VDS Racing Team head this week to Argentina, where the impressive Potrero de los Funes international circuit near San Luis is once again the final stop of the season for the FIA GT1 World Championship.The Marc VDS Racing Team's M weiter >>
– Titelchancen im argentinischen San Luis – „Eine sehr interessante Strecke“
Sportwagen-Pilot Stefan Mücke rechnet mit einem spannenden Saisonfinale in der FIA GT1 World Championship, deren Ren weiter >>
Während sich die ersten europäischen Rennserien bereits in der Winterpause befinden, macht die FIA GT1 Weltmeisterschaft noch einmal Station in Argentinien. Nach dem guten Debüt von Christopher Brück bei den beide weiter >>