Ferrari shifting focus, will test 2015 components on current car

0 Comments

Ferrari engineering director Pat Fry has confirmed that new developments for the team’s 2015 machine will be tested on its current F14 T challenger during the final stretch of the 2014 season.

The Scuderia has once again been mired in mediocrity this season as former World Champions Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen have struggled to overcome the deficiencies of the F14 T.

Between the pair, they’ve gone winless and have only been able to collect two podiums – both of them coming from the Spaniard.

“At this stage of the season, the focus in the factory is shifting more towards next year’s car,” Fry told Ferrari’s website. “However, there is still quite a lot we can learn from track testing, therefore we will be bringing some specific test components for next year and other developments for the F14 T, which will help our understanding for next year.”

Ferrari endured a disastrous weekend on its home ground of Monza two weekends ago, with Raikkonen finishing ninth and Alonso forced to bow out early due to an ERS failure.

But with the high-speed Monza out of the way, Fry believes the team will be up for better performances on Singapore’s winding Marina Bay Street Circuit.

“It’s a street circuit requiring very high downforce, where we will be running the soft and super-soft tires on a track with similar characteristics to Monaco,” he said.

“There are hardly any high speed corners and only two turns that have combined lateral and longitudinal acceleration and therefore, the challenge is more about straight line acceleration and good traction.”

However, Singapore’s hot climate and track layout could thwart Fry and Ferrari’s hopes by way of mechanical problems.

“Even though it’s a night race, the temperatures are still very high, in the [80s and 90s], which puts heavy demands on the cooling systems for the engine and the ERS,” Fry said.

“In addition, the start-stop nature of the layout puts a high loading on the brake systems, with the front brakes in particular taking a real pounding.”

See if Ferrari puts up a more competitive showing under the lights in Singapore this Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
0 Comments

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III