- Katherine Legge aims for IZOD IndyCar Series
- SHIFT 2 Unleashed: Dangerous Corners
- DTM: Mike Rockenfeller moving up amongst the Audi family
- Strong Porsche contingent at Sebring twelve hour classic
Posted: 12 Mar 2011 09:17 AM PST
Talented international driver Katherine Legge is returning to America to continue her racing career, and her target is INDYCAR.
Legge, a native of England, is aiming for a seat this season in the IZOD IndyCar Series, the premier open-wheel championship in North America. She is resuming her elite-level open-wheel racing career after three seasons as an Audi factory driver in the European-based DTM, the world’s top touring car series.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Legge said. “I feel very much at home in America and want to progress my career in the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500, as it’s such an exciting time for the series and that great race. “I moved back to the States at the end of 2010 and am in talks with INDYCAR teams and officials.”
Legge drove for Futurecom TME, Abt Lady Power and Team Rosberg during her three-year DTM career from 2008-10. “I really enjoyed my time in the DTM,” Legge said. “I learned so much from Audi and from the close, aggressive racing in the championship, and I made many, many friends. I’ll always treasure my tenure with Audi and offer my full support to the team and my successor, Rahel Frey.”
Legge, 30, achieved the greatest success of her career to date in North American open-wheel racing. She was the first woman to win a major open-wheel race in North America, taking the checkered flag first in three races in the Toyota Atlantic Championship in 2005. Legge then became the first woman to compete full time in the Champ Car World Series, in 2006, and was the first woman to lead a lap in that series.
Before coming to America for the first time in 2004, Legge built an impressive portfolio of success in many ultra-competitive European open-wheel series.
She became the first woman to win a pole in a British Formula Ford Zetec event, in 2000. She also earned pole position at Oulton Park in England during the 2002 Formula Renault season with a time quicker than the lap record set by eventual Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen.
Those results helped her become the first woman to receive the prestigious British Racing Drivers’ Club “Rising Stars” honor in 2002. Her successful 2005 season in Toyota Atlantic also led to a test late that year with the Minardi team in Formula One, the world’s most prestigious series.
GRand Solutions LLC, based in Indianapolis, is representing Legge in her pursuit of an IZOD IndyCar Series opportunity.
Posted: 12 Mar 2011 09:01 AM PST
SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED is the only racing game that allows you to experience not only the terror of racing around infamous corners at breakneck speed, but also the exhilaration of mastering those epic challenges. You will never see a corner the same way again. Sunday drives are for grandmothers!
Posted: 12 Mar 2011 06:50 AM PST
The 2011 motorsport season starts under new circumstances for Mike Rockenfeller. The 27-year old Audi factory driver moves to Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline and drives the latest evolution of the A4 DTM (“R14 plus”) for the first time. He also contests a sportscar program in parallel with the R15 TDI and the R18 as well as the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Sixteen race weekends and also the Le Mans test day are on his calendar this year.
When Mike Rockenfeller moved to Audi in 2007 and stepped into the DTM the direction was clear. “Everybody works towards the goal of driving a new car and to be able to fight at the top as a result,” admits the native Rheinlander. Things took a little longer however – four years to be precise. Just as Timo Scheider in 2007 and Oliver Jarvis in 2010 were promoted to a current cockpit at Audi, Mike Rockenfeller now gets his chance with the latest machinery and equipment by changing to the team around Hans-Jürgen Abt.
Last year the budding talent finally qualified for the next step of his career: He concluded the season in seventh position as best Audi ‘used car’ driver in the DTM – and, in doing so, left three drivers from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline in his wake. A podium finish at Hockenheim rounded off the 2010 DTM season, and after winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans a lifelong ambition was fulfilled early on in his young career.
“It was an important step for me to be able to fight for the top positions in the DTM with the latest car,” stresses professional racing driver with residence in Altnau on the Swiss shores of Lake Constance. “In particular with a view to 2012 when everybody starts with new material and another manufacturer also joins the DTM, 2011 is important as a preparation season.” That the pressure to perform increases after fulfilling his dream of promotion does not trouble the self-confident driver in the slightest: “It’s a great opportunity that Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich is giving me, and I aim to prove that I have earned it and can get good results.”
The step is, however, no walk in the park. “I’ve known the DTM and Audi family now for four year, but there is also plenty to learn,” knows ‘Rocky’. “I race for the first time for Hans-Jürgen Abt’s team, work together with Dominik Quosdorf – a new engineer to me – and we all receive tires from our new partner Hankook. I won’t be setting my sights too high for exactly these reasons in 2011. But under no circumstances is it just a learning season. Results must plain to see.”
As if the demands in the DTM were not already enough, the young talent also contests a sportscar program for Audi in parallel – for the fifth year in succession. After winning the Le Mans Series title in 2008 and taking victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010, there are now three sportscar events in his calendar: the 12 Hours of Sebring in the Audi R15, the 1000 kilometers at Spa-Francorchamps as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the new Audi R18. “I think my past results have demonstrated that this double program helps me and isn’t actually a hinderance,” does not actually hinder me,” emphasizes the versatile professional race driver.
As a result, one thing is very clear for Mike Rockenfeller at the start of his fifth racing season with Audi: “For many racing drivers Formula 1 may well be the greatest dream at a certain stage of their careers, for some, however, this dream ends in back-of-the-grid teams or with their careers stagnating. Quite honestly, what could possibly be better than contesting the DTM for a brand like Audi and to defend the title at Le Mans? My decision for Audi was perfect, and you can’t experience greater prestige than with this double program. I’m very, very happy with what Audi has made possible for me.”
Posted: 12 Mar 2011 06:13 AM PST
Photo: © Corey Beaman
A true classic traditionally kicks off the American Le Mans Series season: The 12 Hours of Sebring, run for the 59th time on the Sebring International Raceway in the heart of Florida on 19 March, is the oldest and toughest sports car race in the USA. Six Porsche works drivers helm customer-run Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, including the GT class title defenders Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA).
The world's most famous 12 hour race celebrated its inauguration on 15 March, 1952, and, together with the 24 hour events in Daytona and Le Mans, is one of the most traditional long distance classics. Immortalised on the winners' list are racing legends like Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Jacky Ickx and Mario Andretti. Race mad Hollywood stars have also competed, like Paul Newman and Steve McQueen, who finished second overall in 1970 with a Porsche 908.
The 5.954 kilometre Sebring International Raceway, an airfield track in 17 corners, is infamous for its bumpy surface. Added to this is the often very high temperature. These stress factors on man and machine make this race a real test of endurance leading up to the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Porsche drivers
As reigning GT champions of the American Le Mans Series, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) take up the prestigious race with their factory driver teammate Marc Lieb (Germany). The trio with the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports spearheads Porsche's customer teams in their GT class campaign against strong opposition from BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar and Lamborghini. The other Porsche factory pilots in the GT Endurance class are Wolf Henzler (Germany) driving for Team Falken, Richard Lietz (Austria) for Proton Competition and Marco Holzer (Germany) for Flying Lizard Motorsports. René Rast (Germany) celebrates his first ever USA race in the 911 GT3 RSR of Paul Miller Racing. Audi also receives support from two Porsche works drivers: Le Mans winners Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) contest the LMP1 sports prototype class with the Audi R15+.
Comments before the race
Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport: "Sebring is a real highlight with which to kick off the new season. The race is the first important chance to see where we stand on a very demanding circuit. I think we're all quite interested to see what the work over winter has yielded."
Joerg Bergmeister: "It's the toughest race of the season. In Sebring, extra points are awarded, so that alone is enough to make a good result especially important. A retirement here would be a real handicap in your bid for the title. We've done a lot of testing and are well prepared. The improvements on our 911 GT3 RSR are very promising. But it'll be in qualifying at the earliest when we see if we've done everything right."
Patrick Long: "This is our third season with Flying Lizard Motorsports, so we all know how to work well together. This is particularly advantageous with pit stops, which can play a decisive role at such a long race."
Marc Lieb: "Sebring is often full of surprises. It has the fullest grid of the year. Good preparation is important for success, but it's no guarantee."
Wolf Henzler: "This is the race with the best drivers and the most spectators. The fans' enthusiasm is fantastic. Americans simply want to see sports cars. Lots of fans even came and watched us testing."
Marco Holzer: "This is my first time in Sebring and I can't wait. I've just contested Daytona and now here's the next classic – that's the sort of start to the season that every race driver dreams of."
Richard Lietz: "Fantastic race, fantastic fans. You're always driving at the limit and you can't afford to make one mistake. Only then do you have a chance. It's a great challenge, but one that is huge fun."
The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
The most successful GT race car of the last years takes off into the new season with a raft of improvements. The output of the four-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine has increased to 455 hp (335 kW). Priority in the further development of the car was given to the newly designed aerodynamics at the front and rear. Again in 2010, the 911 GT3 RSR won the environmental “Michelin Green X Challenge" classification, as the GT vehicle with the best overall efficiency in the American Le Mans Series.
With 18 overall and 64 class victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Sebring 12 hour race. The first overall win in 1960 went to Hans Herrmann and Olivier Gendebien with the Porsche RS 60. In an unprecedented winning streak from 1976 to 1988, Porsche celebrated 13 overall wins in a row with drivers like Hurley Haywood, Al Holbert, Brian Redman, Bob Wollek, A.J. Foyt, Bobby Rahal and Hans-Joachim Stuck. The most recent overall win for Porsche was in 2008 with Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Emmanuel Collard at the wheel of the RS Spyder fielded by Penske Racing. That same year, Joerg Bergmeister, Wolf Henzler and Marc Lieb also secured GT2 class honours with the 911 GT3 RSR run by Flying Lizard Motorsports.
The 12 Hours of Sebring starts on Saturday, 19 March, at 10.30 hours local time (16.30 hours CET). The GT qualifying on Friday will be broadcast on the internet from 21.00 hours CET on www.porsche.com/alms-live.
|You are subscribed to email updates from oneighturbo |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|