Tag Archives: audi

Where Are They Now

14 May

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When Peugeot Sport shut down it’s LeMans Prototype program it sent a huge shock wave through the paddock and the worldwide race scene. For the first time since 2007 the Audi Sport team would not have it’s archrivel to compete against. The Velizy based team made the announcement to shutter the team on January 18, 2012. Leaving many to wonder what would happen with thier talented roster of drivers.

The two time 24 hour of Lemans champion, Alexander Wurz had already left the team to drive for the newly formed Toyota factory prototype. Wide speculation started that something was a miss with the French squad. Wurz was a teammate in Car #7 with Anthony Davidson and Marc Gené. Davidson, since the disbanding of Peugeot Sport is once again a teammate with Wurz at Toyota. Davidson is also the simulator driver for McLaren-Mercedes-Benz in Formula 1. Due to a testing accident the Toyota did not make it to it’s projected debut race the 6 hours of Spa. The car has received several aerodynamic changes since it’s official debut. Should know more in a few weeks when it rolls out of pit lane in La Sarthe, if it’s on par with the Audi’s.

Marc Gené however doesn’t have a full season ride. After Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard had a horrible shunt in Sebring while testing the Audi R18. For the Spa round of the WEC, Gené was called in to sub for Bernard. In the #2 Audi R18 Ultra he teamed with Loic Duval, a Peugeot driver with the Oreca team and 2011 Sebring winner. They took overall honors as the debut of the technological masterpiece R18 e-Tron Quattro didn’t go as expected. Loic Duval takes over the third driver spot with Bernhard, and Romain Dumas. Mike Rockenfeller has moved on to concentrate on driving the DTM arm of Audi Sport. With the addition of BMW and American sportscar ace Joey Hand. The DTM should be fun to watch.

Peugeot #9 drivers Sebastian Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud, have ventured back into the land of yard of Bricks. Bourdais landed a ride with Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing squad shortly before the Peugeot announcement once again ramping up speculations. Bourdais will be making a return to his hometown in June with the Dome-Prescarlo team, when they run the 24 hours of Le Mans. Teaming with Bourdais at Dome is another former Peugeot teammate Nic Minassian.

Simon Pagenaud has taken the helm of the Sam Schmidt #77 car. You may recall the #77 was driven by Canadian Alex Tagliani to a pole in the 2011 Indy 500. It was also driven by the late Dan Wheldon in his last race at Las Vegas. Pagenaud has proven to be a worthy advesary to Will Power on the road courses this year in what was an out powered Honda. The Honda Rocket as I’ve nicknamed him, had a good run going at Sebring in the Muscle Milk HPD ARx-03a. As the race went into the last hours, the fuel buckeye (where the refueling hose hooks too) fell off on the bumpy 17 turn course in central Florida. The mechanical failure ended what would’ve been a podium finish, at the 60th 12 hours of Sebring, thusly showing the petrol cars had started matching the performance of the Diesels.

Bourdais and Pagenaud teammate in the #9 Peugeot, Pedro Lamy will be running in the World Endurance Championship with Larbre Competition. He will be piloting the Pratt-Miller engineering twin to the ALMS Corvette Racing C6-ZR1 in the GTE-AM class. Talk about a contrast. The quiet woosh of the Peugeot 908 to the make-you-deaf-after-a-stint C6-ZR1. But hey beats the alternative of watching the race.

Peugeot #8 teammates Stéphane Sarrazin and Franck . Montagny, will both be piloting HPD ARx-03b’s this year from American based squads. Sadly they won’t be on the same team. Sarrazin will be teamed with another fast Scot, not named McNish or Franchitti, Ryan Daziel (Dee-El) and Enzo Potolicchio of Venezuela at Starworks Motorsports in the WEC. Starworks fresh off a 2nd place finish at the 24 hours of Daytona in the Daytona Prototype class, with Daziel, Potolicchio, Allan McNish, and 2011 GT1 world Champion Lucas Luhr (Muscle Milk HPD). Finished Sebring with a 3rd overall behind the Audi’s. Not bad for a car that showed up the week of the race. Unfortunately the HPD of Daziel, Potolicchio, and Sarrazin finished a distant 14th in P2 at Spa.

Franck Montagny was a surprise late edition to the Level 5 Motorsport squad for the 3rd round of the ALMS season at Laguna Seca. Luis Diaz, team owner Scott Tucker, and Montagny, brought the P2 class Level 5 HPD home in second overall to its P1 class big brother of Muscle Milk. They finished ahead of the PC class Oreca FLM of Core Autosport with Colin Braun at the wheel.

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Thirst For Speed

26 Apr

We all dream about it. We all lust for it. When it happens, we want more of it. Some might say what’s the point or that’s just stupid. But deep down, the adrenaline rush, the satisfaction of being on the edge is what keeps us coming back. Like vampires to blood, once we get a taste we want more. More of that physical drug called speed. It maybe a driving a fast car, a bike, or even running, but once you get it you want it more and more. It’s what makes us miss the glory days of Indy, when we would hear “And he’s on it” and “that’s a new track record”.

That’s were I’m at with Nurburgring Nordschliefe. Ever since I drove it on Gran Turismo 4 I couldn’t get enough of the tricky 12.93 mile course. Up until last week I had never really thought about attacking some of the records there. Granted, yes I know although the courses on video games do look similar to the actual there are some discrepancies to make it easier to drive in a race. So with that in mind I still don’t give two poops. I just want to go fast and beat some one else’s time.

After posting on Twitter that I was going to go after the ever so fast German Stefan Bellofs time at the “green hell” of 6:11. A couple people replied to tell me thier time. One was a 6:47 in a Indycar, and that’s where I set my first goal, to beat 6:47. The weapon of choice would be the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. I knew that car was fast, and I would have a better shot at it in that car.

After running with the base setup they had to get some baseline numbers, which where 7:12. I went in and tuned to get a faster cornering speed and messed with the gear ratios for a faster acceleration, but not lose top speed. After that and some on the edge of my seat driving, I posted a lap of 7:00. Thinking holy crap that was quick, I checked some of the other lap times from the past, and yes it was a flyer of a lap!

Remembering that during a Sebring race in 2010 the Acura/HPD ARX-02a, was quicker than the Peugeots, I opted to try it. I didn’t get any baseline numbers I just went in and changed the setup to what I thought would work. Second lap out I put up a 6:50! So I tuned a bit more, I made downforce, air pressure, and gear ratio adjustments. Second lap out I got a 6:48, so I’m.getting closer to my goal. I know where I’m losing my time, and that’s just a driving line adjustment.

I did try the Audi R15, I am an Audi fanboy and it did leave me a bit upset I could not get that car dialed in to do what I need to. I’m going to keep trying though. I think that car has a ton of potential.

Speaking of addiction to speed, I went and visited with the one who got me hooked, my dad. Ya know the loss of teeth, and feeding tube don’t bother me much, as he starts his treatments. No its the amount of weight he has lost. Dad aslong as I could.remember was a big guy. Now its like looking at a skeleton with some skin draped over it. Seeing that hurts so so much, because the little kid in me who still sees dad in the same, just wants that dad back. Now I know how my sister felt when he shaved his beard back in ’88. I think she said something like “your not my daddy!” Haha. I do thank everyone for thier well wishes and prayers. They are working.