Lotus: Tire choices for next races are “conservative”

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Lotus believe the tire choices Pirelli have made for the coming races are “conservative”.

Technical director James Allison told Sky: “For Barcelona, for the first time in a long time, we’re not taking hard and soft we’re taking hard and medium.”

“We’re taking the same selection to Monaco that we normally do, soft and supersoft, but for Canada again we’re getting a medium when previously we would have expected a soft.”

“So it’s going a bit more conservative. I think they’ve had a few people in their ear about maybe taking it a step too far and they’ve gone a bit more conservative than we might have expected.”

Pirelli have faced complaints from Red Bull that their tires are too aggressive, which forces them not to use the full potential of the RB9.

But Lotus, who are second in the constructors’ championship behind Red Bull, have often been able to make one pit stop fewer than their rivals due to the E21’s kindness to its tires.

However Allison stopped short of saying the tire allocation for the coming races will disadvantage Lotus. “I don’t think it will hurt us,” he said.

Pirelli have also produced a more durable version of the hard tire for the next race. Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “This is a decision that we’ve come to having looked at the data from the first four races, with the aim of further improving the spectacle of Formula One.”

“In fact this is almost a tradition with us now, as we also introduced a revised version of the hard tire for the Spanish Grand Prix in 2011, which was our first year in the sport.”

Former 5-time ALMS and Le Mans-winning team owner Dave Maraj killed in accident

Photo courtesy Dave Maraj Facebook page
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Well-known sports car team owner and automobile dealership owner Dave Maraj was killed Saturday night in a boating accident in Florida, according to SportsCar365.com.

Maraj’s Champion Racing teams won five consecutive American Le Mans Series championships from 2004 through 2008, and also captured the overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005, the last American team to do so in the iconic sports car race.

IMSA President Scott Atherton released the following statement mourning Maraj’s passing:

Dave Maraj. Photo courtesy IMSA.

“All of us at IMSA are shocked and saddened by the news of Dave Maraj’s passing. As a team owner in the American Le Mans Series, Dave and his Champion Racing organization were the epitome of professionalism and excellence, as their five series championships and 24 Hours of Le Mans victory will attest.

“Dave was a tremendous competitor and a great friend to all in the paddock throughout his time in our sport. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dave’s family and friends and to all of his associates at Champion Motors.”

Maraj was a very successful automobile dealership owner, most notably Champion Motors and Champion Porsche in Pompano Beach, Florida, the latter considered the No. 1 Porsche dealer in the U.S.

Details of how Maraj died have not been released.

Maraj sold his racing operation after the 2008 season and devoted himself to his Porsche and Audi auto dealerships, as well as competitive sailing.