Thumbs-up for Russia’s grand prix track

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FIA race director and safety delegate Charlie Whiting has praised the plans for the circuit which will hold Russia’s first Formula One race next year.

Whiting was quoted by AutoWeek as telling local media: “I’m really impressed by the configuration of this track,” after conducting an inspection of the facility.

“The scale of the whole project is truly impressive,” he added.

The track in Sochi, on the Black Sea, will be completed after the region hosts next year’s Winter Olympics in February. The race on roads around the Olympic facility is expected to take place near the end of next year’s F1 season.

Sebastian Vettel visited the proposed 3.7-mile course in April as part of a publicity event for sponsor Infiniti. He said it looked “very interesting and challenging” with “some fast corners and hopefully plenty of places to overtake”.

The chances of Russia having a home driver on the grid for its first race have risen recently as Sauber is considering promoting Sergey Sirotkin to its race team.

The calendar for 2014 is looking increasingly congested following yesterday’s news the Austrian Grand Prix is set to return and with a second race in the USA planned in New Jersey.

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.