© Porsche

Porsche completes tire test with 919 Hybrid in Abu Dhabi

Leave a comment

Porsche has completed an extensive tire test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi using its 919 Hybrid LMP1 car in preparation for the new FIA World Endurance Championship season.

Following a test carried out earlier this month by Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb and Neel Jani, the world champion trio of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard have spent the past five days behind the wheel of the 919 Hybrid in Abu Dhabi.

In all, the Porsche drivers completed over 6,000km of running over eight days, evaluating the three slick tire options in the WEC for 2016.

“We are very pleased with this test. It is a demanding and important task to make the right choices out of the variety of tires, as we will spend the season on them,” Porsche LMP1 team boss Andreas Seidl said.

“Consistent conditions are essential to get reliable results. In Abu Dhabi we didn’t only have dry conditions, but also constant temperatures. We can’t find such conditions in Europe at this time of the year.

“During such comparisons changes to the car are very limited because they would falsify the results. You have to strictly separate tire testing from the car’s development. In the end, of course, both have to be brought together and work well as a package.”

Porsche will next hit the track in Europe, with the first collective WEC test scheduled for March 25-26 at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
Leave a comment

As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”