Hulkenberg feels prepared for opening race

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Nico Hulkenberg feels well prepared for the Australian Grand Prix in seven days’ time following a good winter testing period for Sauber.

“In terms of competitiveness, the final Barcelona test showed we are quite well prepared but still have some homework to do, and that we still have room for improvement in certain areas,” he told the official F1 website.

“But I’m confident the baseline is good.”

Hulkenberg left Force India at the end of last season to join Sauber, and with Ferrari and Red Bull rumored to be interested in him for 2014, the German driver will want to impress them from the start of the season. The Albert Park circuit in Melbourne is one of Hulkenberg’s favorites, and he is looking forward to the challenge next Sunday.

“I’m really looking forward to this race, as Australia is always one of my favorite Grands Prix, and Melbourne has a very special atmosphere, so I’m keen to be there. I also like the track which is not a permanent circuit.

“The track itself is very challenging for the drivers. It has got a lot of bumps and you have to know how best to deal with them.”

The opening round will also reveal the pecking order for the season ahead, and Hulkenberg is looking forward to finding out where his rivals stand.

“I’m really looking forward to racing against the usual grid and finally get a clear picture of where everybody stands with regard to performance.”

BMW confirms IMSA, WEC GTE line-ups for 2018

BMW Motorsport
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BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.

In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.

Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.

BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.

The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.

BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.