GP2 Series

Lynn: ‘Heartbreaking’ to give up Petit Le Mans chance with WTR

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Alex Lynn says it was “heartbreaking” to give up the opportunity to race for Wayne Taylor Racing in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R at Petit Le Mans next month due to clashing commitments in Formula E.

Lynn made a winning start to life in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship at Sebring alongside Ricky and Jordan Taylor back in March, and was due to join them again for the season finale at Road Atlanta on October 7.

Wayne Taylor Racing confirmed last month that IndyCar racer Ryan Hunter-Reay would be replacing Lynn in its line-up for Petit Le Mans, with the Briton being confirmed full-time in Formula E with DS Virgin Racing for this season earlier this week.

“Unfortunately the race now clashes with the recently announced official Formula E test at Valencia, and that has to take priority for me,” Lynn said.

“It was heartbreaking to call up my team-mates Ricky and Jordan Taylor to explain I unfortunately can’t make it. Whilst I personally feel I’ve let them down, in reality it’s just unfortunate timing and nobody’s fault.

“It would have been so nice to help them secure the IMSA SportsCar Championship title which they have every chance of wrapping up at that race. The good news is they’ve managed to sign up a former Indy 500 winner in the form of Ryan Hunter-Reay to replace me: that shows what a top team they are!”

Calendar clashes have been a problem for many in Formula E this year, but Lynn is hopeful of retaining a foothold in the FIA World Endurance Championship moving forward, where he currently races with G-Drive in the LMP2 class.

“Clashes are something I shouldn’t encounter between Formula E and the FIA World Endurance Championship,” Lynn said.

“That’s been my biggest programme of 2017 so far, with G-Drive Racing, and the good thing is that WEC and Formula E try their utmost not to have any calendar clashes.

“So it’s my plan to continue in both championships.”

Pirelli reveals new super-hard, hyper-soft F1 tires in Abu Dhabi

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Pirelli has confirmed it will add two new tires to its range for the 2018 Formula 1 season, launching the ‘super-hard’ and ‘hyper-soft’ compounds in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Pirelli currently makes three of its five dry compounds available to teams for each race weekend, and despite varying selections across the course of the season has struggled to offer much in terms of strategy options, with one-stop races being the norm.

The hope is that the addition of two new tire compounds and a re-alignment of their durability will offer teams more choices in races.

Pirelli confirmed plans to introduce a new softest tire below the current ultra-soft earlier this month, inviting fans to pick a name.

The pink-colored compound will be known as the ‘hyper-soft’ from next year, with the arrival of a new ‘super-hard’ (colored ‘ice blue’) also being confirmed at a launch event in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“Compared to this year, when the tires grew by 25% to fit a brand-new generation of cars, the changes for next year are less far-reaching,” Pirelli head of car racing Mario Isola said.

“However, we’re pleased to present some important innovations with softer and faster compounds across the range: including the new hypersoft.

“We realized that, under the unique circumstances of this year, some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative: the tires we have created for 2018 addresses this, in line with the objective of having around two pit stops at most races.

“However, the fundamental design concept of the tires hasn’t changed next year, preserving the attributes that all drivers have appreciated this year and allowing them to push hard from the start to the finish of each stint.

“The new range consists of faster tires that should lead to even harder and more spectacular racing in 2018.”

Besides the seven dry compounds made available, there will be the two rain tires – wet and intermediate – taking it to a total of nine for the 2018 season.