GP2 Pirelli deal points to F1 contract extension

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GP2 and GP3, the junior categories which appear on the support bill at many F1 races, have extended their deals to use Pirelli tires.

The official F1 tire supplier is yet to formally extend its contract with the FIA beyond the end of this season. Rival tire manufacturer Michelin was tipped to be considering a return to the sport.

Bruno Michel, the CEO of the two series, said: “It was then natural to choose [Pirelli] for GP2 Series since they also had become F1 sole supplier and it has always been our philosophy to use the same tyre supplier as F1’s.”

Pirelli have been F1’s official tire supplier since 2011 and are expected to have their deal extension officially confirmed in the near future. Some sources have already reported they have signed a new five-year contract which would take them up to 2018.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said GP3 and GP2 are “the perfect training ground” for F1. “We’ve already witnessed several drivers progress up the ranks to compete in Formula One, which just goes to show how important these championships are.”

“GP2 and GP3 also allow drivers to learn how to deal with important issues such as tire management on some of the world’s most challenging and famous race circuits.

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.