De Phillippi, Winkelhock, Mies, van der Linde. Photo: Audi Sport

Land Audi, with American De Phillippi in lineup, win Nürburgring 24

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American Connor De Phillippi has claimed arguably his biggest win yet on an international stage, as part of Audi Sport Team Land’s triumph Sunday in a chaotic and intense Nürburgring 24 Hours, as only the second American in the event’s history to do so (Boris Said in 2005 with BMW).

De Phillippi joined with Christopher Mies, his fellow co-champion in last year’s ADAC GT Masters, Audi veteran and ace Markus Winkelhock and Kelvin van der Linde to spring a surprise victory on the field after recovering from what appeared to be a victory-killing unscheduled pit stop in the 22nd hour thanks to a sensor problem on top of that also halted their progress, despite leading 125 laps.

But a late call to switch to rain tires with two laps to go on the full Nordschleife, so with more than 25-plus miles to go, proved an inspired one.

Photo: Audi Sport

As van der Linde regained the lead on the wet track, it brought the No. 29 Audi R8 LMS back to the front of the field. This is De Phillippi and van der Linde’s first Nürburgring win, the second for Mies and third for Winkelhock.

“As soon as I started checking my trusty little weather app, it started looking like there may be rain at the very end. So we put the rain tires in the tire warmers and I don’t want to say prayed for rain,  but we were prepared for it,” De Phillippi told Sportscar365’s James Newbold; a further Double Stint Podcast featuring a longer interview with him is linked here.

De Phillippi added to DailySportscar’s Stephen Kilbey, via RACER.com, “When you come to Europe, you’re off the map for most of the U.S. media and motorsport press. They don’t realize that there’s a lot of big races over here. To pull this off is by far the biggest accomplishment of my career.”

It’s a major accomplishment for the 24-year-old out of San Clemente, Calif., who was one of open-wheel racing’s more promising young drivers through 2012, and has since become one of the most successful Americans racing abroad in the five years since.

Nürburgring’s 24 Hours, for comparative purposes, is the GT3 equivalent of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A grueling test of endurance, strength and determination at the incredibly difficult track, mastering it is one of the hardest things you can do and winning makes it extra special.

Extreme E reveals competition format for its global races next season

Extreme E
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Extreme E, a new series that will raise awareness about climate change by racing electric SUVs around the world, unveiled its competition format Friday.

The five-race environmentally conscious series will begin next season with races held in Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Greenland and Brazil.

Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport are among the eight teams that will race in the series. Each team will have a male and female driver who alternate in each event.

ELECTRIC APPEAL: Why Ganassi is going to the Extreme E

In the details provided Friday, the two-day events will feature two qualifying races Saturday and two semifinals and a final round Sunday. Each race is two laps: One driven by the male driver and the other by the female. Results are based on finishes, not times.

The first semifinal is slotted with Saturday’s top four qualifiers, and the top three finishers advance to the final. The second semifinal (also known as the “Crazy Race”) will feature the last four qualifiers with the winner advancing to the final.

Click here to see the details of Extreme E’s sporting format.

Here’s the release from Extreme E:

29 May, London: Extreme E, the revolutionary electric off-road racing series, has outlined the race format for its five-event adventure to some of the most formidable, remote and spectacular locations across the globe, starting early 2021.

The series has devised an innovative format unlike any other, likened to a Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally, which is designed to break the mould in motorsport with all-action, short, sharp wheel-to-wheel racing, world-class drivers and teams, the cutting-edge ODYSSEY 21 electric SUV and its stunning, formidable environments, all firmly in focus.

Each race, which will be known as an X Prix, will incorporate two laps over a distance of approximately 16 kilometres. Four teams, with two drivers – one male, one female – completing a lap apiece in-car, will race head-to-head in each race over the two-day event.

Qualifying takes place on day one to determine the top four runners who will progress through into Semi-Final 1 and the bottom four competitors who will go on to take part in Semi-Final 2: the unique ‘Crazy Race’.

The Crazy Race will be a tooth-and-nail, all-or-nothing fight, with only the quickest team progressing into the Final, while the top three will make it through from Semi-Final 1. The winner of the Final – the fastest combination of team, drivers, car and engineers over the epic two-day battle – will then be crowned the X Prix Winner.

Another innovative feature is the Hyperdrive. This will award an additional boost of speed to the team who performs the longest jump on the first jump of each race. Hyperdrive power can be used by that team at any point in the race.

This initial format is designed to incorporate eight teams, and can be adapted to accommodate additional entries.

Teams will field one male and one female driver, promoting gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors. Each driver will complete one lap behind the wheel, with a changeover incorporated into the race format.

The teams will determine which driver goes first to best suit their strategy and driver order selections are made confidentially, with competitors kept in the dark as to other teams’ choices until the cars reach the start-line. Contests between males and females will therefore be ensured.

X Prix circuits will also incorportate natural challenges that will leave viewers at the edge of their seats, and drivers and teams will be pushed right to the limits of their abilities; with hazards to navigate and defeat such as extreme gradients, jumps, banks, berms, pits, dunes and water splashes.

Alejandro Agag, Extreme E Founder and CEO, said: “Extreme E is a championship like nothing else that has come before in sport. Its goal and objective is to accelerate innovation and tackle climate change head on using transportation.

“Creating this innovative sporting format, which we’re likening to Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally, is vital in order to engage the next generation of motorsport fans. We hope our fans will enjoy the short, sharp, wheel-to-wheel racing this format has been built around, and with our high performance electric vehicle, driver changeover, the Hyperdrive feature, and the Crazy Race qualification format, there is plenty to watch out for, and many chances for positions to change hands, Our races really will go right to the wire.”

Extreme E’s cutting-edge 550-horsepower, ODYSSEY 21, incorporates a number of innovations to enable it to cope with all the rigours of racing over the toughest terrain, where no car has raced before. The battery-electric, 400kw (550hp), 1650-kilogram, 2.3-metre wide E-SUV is bespoke from the ground up. Capable of firing from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent.

It is made up of a common package of standardised parts, manufactured by Spark Racing Technology with a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering. This encompasses a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, as well as crash structure and roll cage, whilst tyres, for both extreme winter and summer requirements, supplied by founding partner Continental Tyres.

As well as being used as platform for equality and illutstrating the capabilities of electric vehicle technology, Extreme E will highlight the impact that climate change is having on its remote race locations, using a committee of leading scientists to help bring global attention to issues such as deforestation in Brazil, rising sea levels along the West African coastline, melting Arctic icecaps in Greenland, and more.

The championship will announce further drivers, teams and partners over the coming weeks as it builds towards its early 2021 start-date apace.