(Photo by Dean Treml/Red Bull via Getty Images)

First draft of FIA WEC Bahrain rookie test entry list revealed

Leave a comment

A week from Sunday, on Nov. 19, the FIA World Endurance Championship will hold its annual postseason rookie test at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain, a day after the series’ season finale.

Confirmed rookies to test so far include Thomas Laurent in LMP1 (Toyota), Maheveer Raghunathan (G-Drive Racing), Konstantin Tereshchenko (TDS Racing), and Gabriel Aubry (Signatech Alpine Matmut) in LMP2 and Ishikawa Motoaki (AF Corse) in GTE-Pro.

Plenty more TBA slots are listed among the 12 cars, with the following slots still to be determined depending on the outcome of the 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 season finale, which takes place as a support to FIA WEC at Bahrain:

  • Champion driver in LMP1 Porsche 919 Hybrid (Pietro Fittipaldi leads that series now by 10 points)
  • 2nd place driver in LMP2 second-place finishing team (Vaillante Rebellion, G-Drive or Jackie Chan DC Racing, and current second place driver is Matevos Isaakyan)
  • 3rd place driver in GTE-Pro championship team (AF Corse, Porsche or Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK, and current third place driver is Egor Orudzhev by six points over Alfonso Celis Jr.)

Two other drivers are linked to this test as well, at different ends of the open-wheel experience spectrum.

Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has been linked to a Toyota seat for this test, with DailySportscar posting on Tuesday that Alonso had been to the team’s Cologne, Germany base for a seat fitting. Other reports have surfaced that Alonso is close to the test, as well.

Quite by contrast, Mazda Road to Indy race-winning veteran Garett Grist will test for Jackie Chan DC Racing. The young Canadian was the lead pro in BAR1 Motorsports’ PC class victory in that class’ finale at Motul Petit Le Mans and is exploring a full-time switch to sports car racing after dabbling in it this year.

FIA WEC has the full entry list thus far linked here.

Eriksson snatches Macau Formula 3 pole from Norris

FIA F3 Europe
Leave a comment

Joel Eriksson snatched pole position for Saturday’s qualifying race ahead of the Macau Grand Prix after a thrilling fight with McLaren youngster Lando Norris and Ferrari junior Callum Ilott.

Norris headed into the second stage of qualifying on provisional pole after lapping almost a second faster than any other driver in Thursday’s first opening session, and remained in contention early in Q2.

Norris was the first driver to dip into the 2:10s with a time of 2:10.744, only for Eriksson to go 0.024 seconds faster minutes later and snatch pole away.

Despite a later effort to try and reclaim pole, Norris was unable to improve his time, and opted to remain in the pits for the final five minutes of the session after using up his allocated tires.

Ilott was the final driver to put in a serious bid for pole position, falling 0.09 seconds short with his final qualifying lap to sit third on the grid for the qualifying race.

Maximilian Gunther claimed fourth place for Prema Powerteam ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Dan Ticktum, with Mick Schumacher taking P7.

Yuhi Sekiguchi wound up eighth despite a late crash that brought out a red flag, while Sergio Sette Camara and Guanyu Zhou completed the top 10 positions in qualifying.

Saturday’s qualifying race will help form the grid for Sunday’s main event, the 64th Macau Grand Prix.