Ecclestone unconcerned by Bahrain GP

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Bernie Ecclestone has no reservations over the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix despite widespread protests in the run up to last year’s race.

In 2011, the race was postponed due to violence flaring up in the wake of the Arab Spring, with the safety of all personnel thought to be at risk should the GP have gone ahead. One year later, there were still violent protests to deal with, but the race went ahead regardless without any interruptions, although two members of the Force India team flew home for fear of their safety.

When asked by Reuters if he was worried about the race, Ecclestone said “No concerns, none at all.

“I haven’t had any negative reports from anybody there. Somebody who actually lives there came to see me yesterday and said everything’s very normal.”

Ecclestone also suggested that any action would hinder peace efforts in Bahrain.

“I think they are talking now anyway, so I don’t think they’ll upset the talks by making protests. It didn’t help them last year, so if they had any brains they’d just get on with their talks.”

Bahrain has hosted a grand prix since 2004, acting as the curtain raiser for the 2006 and 2010 Formula One seasons. Following the violence in 2011, many believed that the Sakhir International Circuit’s place on the calendar was under threat, and the lack of popularity among drivers and fans could see the race be dropped in the near future. For now though, Bahrain will host the race for a ninth time on April 21.

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.