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Harold PrimatHarold Primat is set to contest some of the world’s greatest GT events in 2014, beginning with the Bathurst 12 Hour on February 7-9, after joining ultra-successful Mercedes-Benz AMG squad HTP Motorsport.

The Swiss ace, who switched to the GT ranks full-time last season following a near-decade spent racing sports-prototypes, is looking forward to a packed schedule that comprises all five Blancpain Endurance Series rounds and selected VLN events, as well as February’s trip to Australia.

Each championship also features its own 24-hour classic, with the races at Spa and Nurburgring, as well as the early-season trip to Bathurst, earmarked as top priorities.

Achieving strong results in each of these blue riband events will require an exceptional team and strong co-drivers, and fortunately Harold can count on both ahead of his second appearance at Bathurst after finishing fourth in 2013. While this will be HTP Motorsport’s Mount Panorama debut, their recent endurance record – which includes winning last season’s 24 Hours of Spa and Blancpain Endurance Series drivers’ title – marks them out as one to watch.

Likewise defending Bathurst 12 Hour winner Thomas Jäger and 24 Hours of Spa victor Maximilian Buhk who, when combined with Primat’s experience of long-distance races, together form one of the most potent driver line-ups on this year’s grid.

While his team-mates for both the regular Blancpain Endurance Series and VLN rounds are still to be decided, HTP has confirmed that Primat will be joined by racing legend Bernd Schneider at the 24 Hours of Spa on July 23-27.

Harold first sampled the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 he will campaign in 2014 at Portimao last November and will have another opportunity to do so, this time with both team-mates present, at a pre-season test on January 24/25 before flying to Australia.

Harold Primat: “I spent 2013 competing against HTP and knew exactly how fast their Mercedes package could be, so was delighted when they contacted me at the end of last season. From our first meeting it was clear just how professional the team is, something that was further emphasised during our successful two-day test at Portimao. Plus, the opportunity to link up with quality, proven drivers made signing with them an obvious choice.

“The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 proved very successful last season and it’s good to see that the Balance of Performance regulations won’t be tweaked as a result. That gives me a lot of confidence ahead of Bathurst, which was won by a different Merc last season. Mount Panorama provides a real challenge and I’m excited to be heading back there. It’s the first of my grandee events this year and one that I’m particularly looking forward to. I have experience of the circuit, Thomas won there in 2013 and Max is no stranger to success in endurance events, so together all of the ingredients are in place to do well.”

Norbert Brueckner, HTP Motorsport Team Principal: “Harold was one of our top targets for 2014 so I’m delighted to have secured his services for the year ahead. He has vast experience of endurance racing and a year in GTs behind him too, which we saw as key to continuing HTP’s success. Part of that is his ability to remain fast and consistent without making mistakes over long stints, and in that regard he ticked all of the boxes.”

Adam ChristodoulouBritish racer Adam Christodoulou started the season by charging into the first race of the 2014 with an incredible performance at the wheel of the Team Black Falcon Mercedes SLS GT3.

The season started early for the former British Formula Renault Champion; only ten days into the new year and he was already on the grid of the first twenty four hour marathon drive of the season. The race would be in amongst the hot, arid deserts of the United Arab Emirates, on the 5.4 kilometre circuit of the Dubai Autodrome.

Expectations were high. Team Black Falcon had outstanding form at this event in the past two years – outright winners twice – and were seeking to achieve the hat trick in 2014.

Christo would be sharing the drive with four co-drivers; Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi), Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), Abdulaziz Turki Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia) and Hubert Haupt (Germany).

With five drivers to rotate through, it was always going to be tough to get everyone out for a good stint during testing, but each driver got their opportunity during the night practice session and as part of qualification for the race.

Good pace during both day and night practices were promising signs.

Qualifying followed, starting on Thursday afternoon, and it was pretty tough in the heat. Even so, the team chalked up a respectable 4th place overall on Friday afternoon’s starting grid.

At 1.53pm, all seventy nine cars lined up on the tarmac. There was a two minute silence before the get-go, and in the standing heat the temperature was now approaching 30 degrees and the pressure was starting to really mount.

The track was dusty. Slight winds blew a constant thin film of desert sand across black stuff, but finally at 1.55pm the cars we’re given to signal to get out on track for a few minutes ahead of the race. At 2.00pm, the official race start time, the lights finally switched to green and the race roared into life.

Christodoulou was the first driver out in the number 2 badge SLS, and into the first four corners, found himself jostling side-by-side with the number 3 badge Porsche before eventually dipping back into fourth place.

The car was performing well, and the first stint passed off smoothly. By lap four the team were already carving through lapped traffic. This set the tone for the rest of the race the drivers remained super-vigilant about avoiding contact with other vehicles as much as was humanly possible.

In the first pit stop Abdulaziz stepped in to replace Christodoulou. He too had a great run, and in turn he handed over to Hubert, then he to Khaled, then the wheel came back to Christodoulou once more.

Things had been progressing smoothly until what appeared to be some minor contact from an earlier stint wasn’t quite as insignificant as had first seemed, and it came back to haunt the team when the rear suspension had to be changed, and cost precious laps that dropped Team Black Falcon number 2 outside the top ten, and put the car over ten laps behind.

To compound problems, the passenger side Gullwing door opened mid-race, which caused a delay whilst the track marshals stepped in to get it closed again. And later that night the car encountered two high speed tyre blow-outs caused by debris on the track, and which also caused damage to the car. Yet the chase remained strong.

By sunrise the SLS was back into fifth, and not too longer after, had climbed back into third position. The mayhem had calmed somewhat, and the team were now sailing through the final stint of the race.

Khaled was back in the car, and with fifteen minutes to go with over two laps behind him and two laps in front of him to his nearest competitors, everything was looking positive. But fortunes can change so quickly out on track, and it was only through his skill and reactions that he managed to avoid the consequences of slower car during an overtaking manoeuvre that nearly put him in the pitwall. The end plate of the rear wing had clipped the barrier, but thankfully the car escaped what could have been a far worse outcome.

Khaled was able to get the car going once more, and nursed it around the final laps of the race.

The chequered flag fell, and Team Black Falcon finished the Dubai 24 hours in third place. The car had taken a battering, yet despite the setbacks, it was an incredible result that in such a condition the vehicle had taken the team to a podium result.

After the race, Christodoulou congratulated the team, “I want to say a huge thank you and congratulations to Team Black Falcon, all of our crew today, and all of my team mates for making it such a memorable race and getting us through all 597 laps! I hope we’re all able to be back again next year to compete in this great race together in 2015.”

Rebel RockHeadquartered in Coconut Creek, Florida, the Rebel Rock Racing team founded by Grammy Award winner and music producer Jim Jonsin, is looking to use the 2014 season as a steppingstone to enter the club of the top CTSCC racing teams evolving in one of the most competitive endurance racing series in North America.

When he is not writing songs and producing music albums, working for his Rebel Rock record label, Jonsin is an active player in the motorsports industry where he manages his own Rebel Rock Racing team and drives his own race car since 2011. Over the years, Jonsin has become one of the most in-demand writers and producers working in pop and urban music today, having written global hits for artists including Lil Wayne, Beyonce?, T.I., Souljaboy Tell Em, Usher and Jamie Foxx. Two tracks co- written by Jonsin – Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” and T.I.’s “Whatever You Like” – collectively spent 13 weeks at the top of the 2009 Billboard Hot 100 chart, with “Lollipop” earning Jonsin the Grammy Award for Best Rap Song.

2014 marks the arrival of Al Carter as a new Rebel Rock Racing partner. Carter, who shares a common passion for everything automotive and a true love for motorsports, is definitely going to help Jim Jonsin’s effort to take the team to the next level. Rebel Rock Racing recently hired new key personnel and signed new drivers and sponsors for the 2014 program.

Starting this weekend at the Roar Before The Rolex 24 test days at Daytona International Speedway, Rebel Rock Racing will enter three Porsche race cars in the 2014 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series including two Porsche 997s in the GS class and one Porsche Cayman in the ST class. Jim Jonsin will be behind the wheel of his own racing No. 88 Porsche Cayman ST and will co-drive with Jarett Freeman.

Jonsin is really motivated and excited to show his new racing stable. “I’m proud to be a part of Rebel Rock Racing. I’m a race fan at heart and to actually be a partner and driver on a new team is so amazing and inspiring,” announced team co-owner Jim Jonsin. “Our 2014 driver lineup is at the top level, and our management, engineers and crew are masterminds! Rebel Rock Racing is a Championship Team…. LET’S GO RACING!!!” continued Jonsin.

Jonsin’s new teammate Jarett Freeman has been racing since 2009 and got the taste of his first CTSCC race in 2011 at Homestead Miami Speedway.

“Driving a Rebel Rock prepared car is truly a great opportunity for anyone,” announced Jarett Freeman. “I am proud to be part of Jim Jonsin and his many accomplishments. Rebel Rock Racing has shown that they can compete with the best, and hopefully as a team we can showcase what we have for 2014!” said Freeman.

The No. 7 Rebel Rock Racing B+ Foundation / Eagle Technology Systems Porsche 997 entered in the GS class for 2014 will be co-driven by experienced racer Al Carter and young gun Brett Sandberg.

Al Carter has been racing with success in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge since 2010. Following three full seasons with Fall-Line Motorsports where the Greenville, Delaware driver scored one pole position, three podium finishes and led a total of 40 laps, Carter is really looking forward to the challenge to drive a new car with a new teammate.

“Our Rebel Rock man Jim Jonsin has had a busy off season,” says Al Carter. “He’s put together a pretty cool cast of characters for the 2014 Continental Tire series season. I’m pumped and excited to be driving with Brett Sandberg and partnered with this entire Rebel Rock Racing bunch. I am proud to announce our No. 7 Rebel Rock Racing B+ Foundation/ Eagle Technology Systems Porsche” announced Carter.

Carter’s teammate, Brett Sandberg, started his young racing career at age 18. He has been competing in prominent racing series including the Porsche GT3 Cup USA and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. 2014 is Sandberg’s second full year racing CTSCC. He finished 4th in Porsche GT3 Cup last year and second in World Challenge.

Sandberg is eager to start testing this weekend at Daytona. The racer from Allendale, New Jersey has great ambitions for his 2014 season with new co-driver Al Carter. “I am extremely excited to join Rebel Rock Racing and their new direction for what is to be a promising 2014 season,” says Sandberg. “Joining this young program is going to present obstacles and adversity but I’m confident that we have put together a “badass” program that can compete at the top of its class. My teammate, Al Carter has evolved into a very fast and consistent driver and I am more than excited to be driving with him this year!” added Brett Sandberg.

The second of the two Rebel Rock Racing Porsche 997s, No. 8 Rebel Rock Racing/ MBRP Performance Exhaust Porsche will be an all-Canadian racer effort with Martin Barkey from Huntsville, Ontario and co-driver Kyle Marcelli also from Ontario. Martin Barkey is the founder of MBRP Inc. Performance Exhaust that will be supporting this racing effort. He has been competing in the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada for the past seasons and is impatient to start his first full season of CTSCC with Rebel Rock Racing.

“Joining the Rebel Rock/ MBRP Racing team is a real thrill for me,” said Martin Barkey. “Coming from the Porsche Cup Challenge in 2013 it was my first choice to drive a Porsche in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series. Jim Jonsin has clearly assembled a team that will contend for the Championship in 2014 with some of the best engineers, managers and crew members I have ever seen. I look forward to being a part of this team in 2014” announced Barkey.

Canada’s Kyle Marcelli has established himself as a professional racing driver and one of North America’s rising stars in professional sportscar racing across the globe. After a successful career in karts and single- seaters, Kyle made his rookie debut at the pinnacle of sportscar racing, the American Le Mans Series in 2010. Since then, Marcelli has built a reputation of being a consistent front-runner earning – six pole positions, six wins, eighteen podiums and seven fastest race laps in the prototype category. Marcelli is really pleased to join Rebel Rock Racing for 2014.

“I’m really excited to join Rebel Rock Racing/ MBRP team for the 2014 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season,” says the young Canadian. “After a recent successful test, the team has proven that they have the desire and ability to be a winning team. I don’t expect it will be easy, I know we’re going to have to work hard to get the results. The CTSCC series has established itself as one of the most competitive championships and for that reason I’m eager to do well” continued Marcelli.

On the technical side, Rebel Rock Racing will be engineered by racing veteran Ron Mathis. Mathis brings decades of racing experience to Rebel Rock Racing. Over his 30 year professional career, Mathis won many major race and championship wins and led major factory competition programs with Audi, Dodge, Jaguar and Lotus as well as high-profile independent teams. Ron is particularly proud of his X-Prize winning Very Light Car which set multiple world’s best efficiency standards.

In addition Rebel Rock Racing hired a group of professionals including Mary Allison who will manage the PR and marketing program.

In parallel to his exciting three car racing effort, Jonsin has the plan to develop an interesting concept with a vision to unite the entertainment and motorsports industries. Rebel Rock Racing strives to bring a young and refreshing energy to the sport through exciting new programs, like Rock The Grid. Rock The Grid plans to bring a unique and creative festival experience celebrating the fusion between music and car racing.

Rebel Rock Racing will continue working with key charity organizations including Pros For Vets in conjunction with Darwin Holdsworth’s Brass Balls Cycles (brassballsbobbers.com) and The Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation (BePositive.org).

Follow Rebel Rock Racing Facebook www.facebook.com/rebelrockracing and visit the team’s website www.rebelrockracing.com

Isaac TutumluThe Spanish driver of Kurdish heritage completed his first outing at the wheel of Starworks Motorsport Oreca-Chevrolet taking part in the Roar before The Rolex 24 and showing a clear positive evolution over the test. Now he is already focused on the 24 hours of Dubai.

Isaac Tutumlu met his first target this season, participating in the Roar before The Rolex 24 at Daytona, the official test valid for the famous 24 hours of Daytona taking place later this month. Barzani Racing Team driver carried out his first outing driving the Oreca-Chevrolet fielded by Starworks Motorsport, his new weapon for this season´s challenge: the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. Despite how difficult this new racing program is, Tutumlu improved his performance and race pace constantly while discovering the car and the track. After eight practice sessions, Tutumlu set a best lap of 1:44.285, quite close to top-times, teaming up with Alex Popow, Martín Fuentes and Rob Huff.

“We were working on the car settings, as the car struggled at the beginning when breaking, because we suffered from wheel locking. But the test was very good, as I didn´t know either the car or the track, and my feedback could not have been better. I put more than thirty laps under my belt here, and they will help me to approach the 24 hours of Daytona”, Tutumlu explains. “Our last day was the best one, because our car was very competitive and we clocked quick lap times. In the same vein, we need to keep working like that for our future commitments here!”, the driver of Kurdish ancestry stresses out, who is going to race in the 24 hours of Dubai this week for rhino´s Leipert Motorsport. “It will be a good preparation for Daytona, and another 24-hour experience will be most valuable to me. The Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 GT3 is quite apart from the Oreca-Chevrolet, but it doesn´t really matter. I want to achieve a good result in Dubai”, Tutumlu added about this race where his teammates will be Oliver Webb, Jeroen Mul, Jan Stovicek and Yoshinaru Mori. The 24 hours of Dubai is set to start at 14.00 on Friday.

Charlie RobertsonAspiring professional racing driver Charlie Robertson will be showcasing his skills at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham over the next four days, as part of the ‘Live Action Arena’ spectacle at the annual Autosport International Show.

Invited to take part in the largest dedicated motorsport exhibition in Europe alongside his five fellow finalists from the 2013 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award evaluations, the Whyteleafe 17-year-old will be putting his driving prowess to the test in Hall 5 of the prestigious show.

With a number of appearances in the Live Action Arena scheduled during the trade-only days on Thursday, 9th January, and Friday, 10th January, Charlie will then feature in no fewer than 11 shows across the public days on Saturday, 11th January, and Sunday, 12th January.

Additionally the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star will be interviewed on the main KX Autosport Stage, the central hub of the show which will also feature such star names as Formula One and World Motorcycling Champion John Surtees OBE, current FIA Formula One World Championship racer Adrian Sutil and Le Mans 24 Hour Race legends Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish.

“I’m really looking forward to being so involved in the Autosport Show this year, there’s going to be a lot to do over the four days – it’s going to be pretty busy”, said Charlie, “As well as the Live Action Arena, which should be really good fun, I’ve got quite a few interviews lined-up and I’ll be doing the charity kart race on Friday night too.

“I’ll be on the Autosport Stage all four days too for interviews with the other McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalists, so that should be good. I wasn’t expecting to be put forward for the McLaren award in my first year in single-seaters, we looked at it as a learning year but as the season went on we knew we had the pace. Being named as a finalist was a massive achievement.”

Autosport International has a clear global reach and is the true start to the new motorsport year for racing enthusiasts from across the world. Attracting approximately 80,000 visitors each year, from as many as 62 countries, the event also generates north of £1 billion in business deals.

The Live Action Arena is the country’s largest indoor racetrack, with the capacity to seat around 5,000 spectators, and always proves to be one of the biggest highlights at Autosport International each and every year.

Opening to trade visitors tomorrow, Thursday, 9th January, at 09.00, and on Friday, 10th January, the doors to Autosport International at Birmingham’s NEC will be thrown open to the public on Saturday, 11th January, and Sunday, 12th January. The event is open until 18.00 across all four days.

For more information and details regarding tickets, visit www.autosportinternational.com

Craft RacingIt was a magical day for Hong Kong racing team Craft Racing AMR as their #007 entry crossed the finish line at the Sepang International Circuit to grab the final podium position at the Asian Le Mans Series season finale. The points haul was enough for Craft Racing to secure 2nd place in the GTC class and claim the coveted invitation to the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.

Craft Racing entered two Aston Martin Vantage GT3’s in the Asian Le Mans Series this past weekend, the first time to line-up on the grid with two cars this season. The #009 entry of Darryl O’Young, Frank Yu, and Tomonobu Fujii started P2, followed closely by the #007 of Stefan Mücke and Keita Sawa starting P3 on the grid for the 3 hour endurance race.

When the green flag dropped, both cars made strong starts and after two turns, the starting drivers of Mucke and O’Young emerged in 1st and 2nd in the class. The pair extended their lead pulling over 20 seconds away from the field before the first round of pit stops.

With re-fueling taking longer than expected, the team lost their lead heading into the 2nd hour when Sawa and Yu took over the wheel. The pair fought hard through the intense heat of Malaysia, which saw the pair sitting in P3 and P5 respectively by the end of their stints. Shortly before the final hour, the #007 was passed back to Mucke, as Yu finished his stint and handed the car to Fujii for the run to the checkered flag.

#007 emerged P3 after the final pit stops and being in a good position to score enough points to secure the Le Mans entry, the team decided to stop chase of the leaders and maintain the position. Doing the opposite, #009 was making a charge in the final 30 minutes of the race reducing a 25 second deficit to the fourth placed Lamborghini ahead. The chase came a bit short at the end as #009 crossed the finish line just two seconds behind, having to settle for P5 after a sensational drive by Fujii.

Although Craft Racing missed out on the victory, it was celebrations all around as the #007 crossed the finish line in P3 claiming 2nd place in the GTC championship and claiming the coveted 24 hours of Le Mans entry.

Craft Racing AMR had their first major endurance race success earlier this year in January, where they became the first Hong Kong race team to take an international endurance race podium at the 24 hours of Dubai. The team will return to Dubai this January to try and improve on their success at the event.

Said team founder Frank Yu, “This is a dream come true as our Hong Kong team will be heading to Le Mans. This is a big step for Craft Racing, as we made Le Mans our target from the outset and to achieve this result is a great reward to everyone on the team for all the hard work. We will all enjoy this special moment right now, but work will start again immediately as we prepare for a big race in January at the 24 hours of Dubai and preparations for Le Mans.”

Hong Kong driver, Darryl O’Young commented, “Endurance racing is a team sport and everyone at Craft Racing worked so hard for this result. We struggled today with tire degradation, so it wasn’t an easy race for the drivers. Everyone pulled together and gave it a strong team effort and I am so happy for the team as this is a major accomplishment.”

Team Principle, Mark Goddard added, “It is a tremendous day for our us as getting a Le Mans invitation is one of the biggest challenges for a race team. Scoring an early invitation allows us time to prepare properly for the race in June and we can begin organizing the logistics, sponsors and the driver line-ups for the race. It will be a big challenge ahead but we have worked hard for many years to achieve this and we are ready for the task. Many thanks to all our sponsors and supporters for believing in us, and a special thank you to Aston Martin Racing for all the continued support.”

Kyle MarcelliIn what turned out to be a street fight, the BAR1 Motorsports No.8 Evident Capital, MBRP Performance Exhaust race car leaves with mixed emotions after finishing 6th in the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, a two-hour sprint race through the downtown streets of Long Beach, California.

With a lap time of 1:16.654, Marcelli qualified the No.8 BAR1 Motorsports entry P4 just 0.487 off the pole position time of Bruno Junqueira. The teams strategy was quite simple, Chris Cumming would start the race and run until the first pit-stop window for fuel, then Marcelli would get in to finish. Chris did a nice job maintaining the pace of the leaders and looked to hand the car off in good position, until about the 20-minute mark when Chris suffered a rear tire lock-up in the brake zone for turn one. This caused the car to pivot and kiss the concrete wall barrier. This was a very unusual mistake, the surface is quite bumpy and sometimes a downshift over the wrong bump can cause a lock up. Minutes later the No.8 was in the pits for a nose / splitter change. The crew did an outstanding job to get the car back into the race. Although, now three laps down, it was crucial to complete a minimum 70% of the race distance to score points. Just past the 40-minute mark, Chris was into the pits for a full service stop; fuel, tires, driver change. Marcelli was now behind the wheel and pushing hard to recover laps. Setting the fast lap of the race a 1:17.239, Marcelli passed the class leader of Colin Braun to recover one lap, unfortunately with a race distance of only two-hours, the team was unable to get back on the lead lap and thus took the checkered flag in P6.

Brian Alder, owner of BAR1 Motorsports:

“Although we had some bad luck in the race, overall, we made big improvements overall as a team. The nose / splitter change on the No. 8 car was very quick, it shows the pit stop practice our crew has been working on is paying off.”

“Kyle Marcelli did a fantastic job setting the fastest lap of the race and Chris Cumming was outstanding in the first part of the opening stint. We’ll get ‘em in Monterey!”

Kyle Marcelli remains optimistic.

“It was a disappointing result for us in Long Beach, but it just goes to show that in racing, anything can happen. Long Beach is the shortest race on the calendar, and thus counts for less championship points. We need to refocus for Monterey and keep the championship title in mind. I’m extremely confident in our ability as a team.”

“I was very happy with the crews performance. They were really on top of it with preparation and speed. When things went wrong for us early in the race their preparation was crucial to the bigger picture. Hats off to them.”

The next round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the American Le Mans Monterey from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday, May 11. American Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca is the third round of the 10-race ALMS championship. ESPN2’s coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 12 with live coverage is available on ESPN3 starting at 6:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 11.

About the ALMS:
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the world`s leading sports car championship and is recognized as the Global Leader in Green Racing. In the tradition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, multiple classes of cars – purpose-built prototypes and production-based Grand Touring automobiles – race on the track at the same time to create compelling race action and constant passing. All cars in the Series compete using one of five approved alternative fuels or energy sources: clean sulfur-free diesel, cellulosic E85 or E10, Isobutanol and electric hybrid technologies. The Series has more automobile marques involved than any other major race series in the world as manufacturers develop relevant technologies on track that transfer directly to the customer showroom. The ALMS competes at North America`s premier road racing tracks and selected temporary street circuits in major urban markets.

For more information on BAR1 Motorsports visit: www.bar1motorsports.com
For more information on Kyle Marcelli visit: www.kylemarcelli.com

Photo by John Thawley.

Arthur PicVirage Racing Academy and Motor Talent Show are pleased to announce the launch of a reality TV series focussing on Virage’s highly successful driver development programme.

Beginning at the end of April 2013, 24 young hopefuls currently competing in karting will have the chance to participate in a pre-selection process for entry to the series. Taking place in Spain, these trials will see participants compete in kart races, as well as undertaking physical, mental and technical tests.

The 12 standout performers will be chosen to take part in the TV series which will include a full development programme with Virage, daily physical training and a diverse range of simulator and on-track driving aboard single-seaters and prototypes.

Broadcast across Europe, South America and the Middle East on national and international television channels, the series will offer each participant unrivalled exposure while the winner – who will represent the most complete technical, physical and racing package – also receives a fully funded seat in a single-seater championship.

Launched in 2010 by renowned GP2 race engineer Philippe Gautheron, Virage Racing Academy will provide a full compliment of technical and coaching staff for the series. Past members of the Virage training programme include Sergio Perez, Vitaly Petrov, Charles Pic, Giedo van der Garde and Johnny Cecotto Jr, all of whom have gone on to achieve great success at the top levels of world motorsport.

“We are delighted to be organising this new television show,” commented Gautheron. “We have already helped several drivers make their way to Formula 1, teaching them the attitude required both inside and outside the car. Indeed, the success of our programme has been demonstrated by four of our drivers stepping up to F1 in the past four seasons.

“All of the TV series’ participants will receive the same training that brought success to our previous drivers, allowing us to decide who most deserves the chance to become a professional racer.”

The series will be produced by Angel Tapia, who boasts over 20 years’ of post-production experience and has been responsible for more than 500 advertising spots with major brands like Nike, Adidas, Mercedes and Audi, as well as some 40 feature films and television shows. Tapia sees the programme as a fantastic opportunity for young drivers, commenting: “In addition to the strong career development offered by the Virage programme, all participants will gain worldwide coverage thanks to broadcasts in over 75 countries and a strong online campaign. As well as great training, they will also receive coverage which is fundamental for them in order to obtain sponsors for the future and establish a stable professional racing career.”

Any driver aged between 14 and 18 and willing to take part in the pre-selection should contact Julien Gerbi on +34 689 402 895 or julien@virage.ws

For more information regarding Virage Racing Academy please visit www.virage.ws.

Guess Racing EuropeMAXI ENDURANCE 48, the hardest challenge in motorsport faced ever, keeps improving its entry-list day by day. One of the most recent additions is coming from Belgium: Guess Racing Europe. This team, a long-term name in endurance racing, will field two Wolf GB08 CN cars in the MAXI ENDURANCE 48 held at Circuito de Navarra.

The team led by Taymans Patrick has already confirmed some drivers for this event, such as Germany´s Wolfgang Kaufmann and Norway´s Thor-Christian Ebbesvik. Kaufmann is a rather experienced driver in
endurance racing and Ebbesvik, after a winning career in single-seater championships, had a quick adaptation to Prototype cars recently.

Guess Racing Europe have scheduled a two-day test in Spain before long and looking for new drivers to complete its driver line-ups. You can contact them on guess.racing.europe@skynet.be.

The preliminary entry list has almost forty cars at the moment, and Prototypes are becoming a favorite category for drivers and teams. CN cars are an excellent choice for young single seater drivers looking to gain mileage and experience during winter months at the wheel of a very demanding car, and for gentlemen drivers and amateurs as well. In addition CN cars have a very affordable cost and with options for winning MAXI ENDURANCE 48.

For more information on the MAXI ENDURANCE 48, please visit www.maxiendurance48.com or contact press@maxiendurance48.com.

Isaac TutumluAfter his positive first outing with Madrid-based team in the Endurance Trophy IberGT in Valencia, the Spanish driver of Kurdish ancestry is back with them to participate in in the last event of the International GT Open in Barcelona. Tutumlu will share the new Porsche with de Castro.

Isaac Tutumlu will take part in the last meeting of International GT Open and Spanish GT / IBER GT championship at Circuit de Catalunya next weekend. The Spanish driver of Kurdish heritage, after an awesome performance in Valencia participating in the Endurance Trophy IberGT and setting the fastest lap ever for a Porsche-built car there, is back with Drivex once again. Drivex, a successful team from Madrid and backed by Porsche, will field a new Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 2012 for Tutumlu. As happened in Valencia, Tutumlu will be teaming with Miguel Ángel de Castro for both races in Barcelona.

“I feel really happy racing here. Surely it´s one of the most competitive GT races around the world, with factory drivers and teams from Porsche and Ferrari such as Manthey, IMSA, AF Corse or Villorba Corse. It means to face the highest level professionals in GT Racing, and we will have to try our best for a good result”, Tutumlu explained adding that “we have no handicap, so a good result in both races isn´t out of reach. In the Spanish GT / Iber GT, our goal is to improve our results from Valencia, where our car was severely handicapped by the rules, and in the Int´l GT Open a
podium finish would be an incredible way to finish this season. It´s my home round as well, with my people attending there, and it´s a morale booster for sure. I´d like to get a good result for them, and of course for my sponsors too. I perfectly know this circuit, and with Drivex and my teammate and I think we were able to put together a good package. This meeting will be pretty demanding, but I feel confident”.

Last but not at least, on November 10th Barzani Racing Team will launch its 2013 project in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan. Important people and main Kurdish mass media will attend an event that “is very special and long-awaited for me, because my background comes from there. I´m glad to be there with them”, Tutumlu pointed out.