Friday News Round-Up
Get up to speed with the weekly news in the world of WEC....
Chatin to Replace Ogier at Richard Mille
One of the WEC’s bright young talents, Paul-Loup Chatin will race with Charles Milesi and Lilou Wadoux for the remainder of the 2022 world championship.
Rally legend Ogier had always intended to complete a part campaign in the WEC and commented on how much he enjoyed being in the WEC paddock this year, saying: “Participating in Sebring, Spa & Le Mans was a great chance to discover the FIA WEC and I really enjoyed it.
“However, I have always been very clear that my main target was spending more time with my family this year after a very intense career.
Loup-Chatin is no stranger to the Signatech organisation that runs the Richard Mille entry. He won an LMP2 race with the team in 2015 at Shanghai and has 19 WEC starts to his name, also racing for Baxi DC Racing, Racing Team Nederland and IDEC since 2016.
“I’m ecstatic to be joining the Richard Mille Racing Team,” said the 30-year-old.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m extremely flattered that they thought of me.
“My target is quite simple. First and foremost, I want to serve the team and my teammates to reach the highest possible level. I also hope to help them with my LMP2 experience on three circuits that I know well.
“It would be awesome to be on the podium by the end of the season with Charles and Lilou, and we will give it our all to achieve this.”
The Toyota Gazoo Racing team received a rapturous reception upon its official transport returning to its base in Cologne, Germany last week.
The entire staff of the team congregated outside the factory for a family photo with the drivers and trophies.
No doubt the team will also be extended its trophy cabinet to accommodate the latest prizes after securing an historic fifth straight overall victory, thus becoming the first factory entry since Ferrari from 1960 to 1964 to win five consecutive Le Mans!
Nakajima for Le Mans Classic
Kazuki Nakajima will enter the Le Mans Classic in the TOYOTA 85C car that his father took to a 12th place finish at Le Mans in 1985.
He will drive the 500hp 85C car, which is privately owned and has participated in the 2018 and 2020 editions of the Le Mans Classic, in the Group C Racing event alongside Japanese racing legend Masanori Sekiya, who raced the car originally in 1985 with Satoru Nakajima and Kaoru Hoshino.
They will compete in a 60-minute race on Saturday 2 July against iconic cars from one of endurance racing’s most evocative periods, including Le Mans-winning Porsche 962, Jaguar XJR-9 and Peugeot 905 cars.
Kazuki will get behind the wheel of the 85C for the first time directly before the Le Mans 24 Hours, when he drives the car during the ceremonial return of the winner’s trophy on the starting grid.
Porsche teased the world with a glimpse of its new liveried LMDh this week ahead of a full launch of the project this evening, Friday 24th June.
The full designation of the car and it roster of drivers will be confirmed at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK.
The new model could make its debut at the season ending BAPCO 8 Hours of Bahrain in November. It will race with the Penske organisation and is also expected to have customer teams competing with the car in 2023 as well.
ACO President Showcases Hydrogen Tech
Pierre Fillon is helping to provide insight into the sustainability and environmental benefits of Hydrogen power at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week.
The ACO President will be completing several runs up the famous hillclimb with the H24 Racing LMPH2G.
The project showcases the future of motorsport competition in a zero-carbon environment and will be an integral part of future sporting programmes at Le Mans.
Change at ARC Bratislava
Swiss ace Mathias Beche will return to the ARC Bratislava squad at the upcoming WEC 6 Hours of Monza after racing for the TDS x Vaillante team at Le Mans earlier this month.
Beche replaces Tristan Vautier in the team but knows the Bratislavan squad well after racing with it at the 1000 Miles of Sebring in March when he, Miro Konopka and Tijmen van der Helm took 13th position.
Peugeot 30 years
Last Tuesday marked the 30th anniversary of Peugeot’s first Le Mans win when Derek Warwick, Yannick Dalmas and Mark Blundell tasted a memorable success at La Sarthe.
The phenomenal Peugeot 905B is remembered as one of the greatest atmospheric Group C cars ever with a 3.5-litre V10 engine that produced close to 800bhp.
Warwick, Dalmas and Blundell won a difficult race in 1992 which was held amid mostly wet conditions. All three drivers are still involved in racing today, with Warwick a mainstay of the British Racing Drivers Club, Blundell with his driver management company and British Touring Car team, and of course Dalmas with his work on safety and driver consultant with the WEC.