Sep 06

Andreas Wirth Talks after Le Casellet ELMS

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Jul 21
After a two month break, the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and its competitors were more than happy to get back to business this weekend - especially at a true driver’s favorite like the Red Bull Ring.
The atmosphere of this picturesque race track nestled in the Styrian Alps of Austria certainly sets the mood to enjoy some top-level racing, and after some bizarre weather thus far in the ELMS season it was a pleasure to enjoy some uncharacteristically dry days in the region.
Despite feeling strong and confident going into the weekend the crew of the #32 SMP Racing machine struggled with their Nissan-powered BR01 in practice on Friday and Saturday, and with the 10-minute LMP2 qualifying session. While their 8th place qualifying effort fell short of their expectations for the weekend, the trio remained confident that their car would be consistent, and insisted they were not to be counted out just yet.
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Jun 04

The last time we saw Jono Lester, it was at the end of the Australian GT Championship after a trying season with the Trass Family Motorsport Ferrari team and a return to Asia seemed like a long way off.

He had the pace, a run of pole positions that equalled the Series record suggested as such but due to the a number of issues led by the parity rules, he wasn’t able to turn that into a Championship chase.

And so we didn’t see him back in Australia and as he admits, didn’t expect to see him in a race car this year.

But a call from the Direction Racing team in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Championship changed his mind.

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May 29

It was fair to say that Andreas Wirth came out of the European Le Mans Series opener at Silverstone on a high.

A podium on debut. Driving around front tyre issues to remain on the lead lap.

Watching Stefano Colletti and Julian Leal dice their way through the field.

The SMP Racing team were pumped.

He even said as such.

But as we all know in racing, there are peaks and there are troughs.

Come practice at Round 2 of the ELMS at Imola, the peak became a trough.  It was all going well until Colletti hit one of Imola’s walls hard.  The damage to the BR01 chassis was big, if repairable.

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Apr 23

Technically this bit is off the record but it is a good story…

Andreas Wirth wore VANS to Silverstone for his debut in the European Le Mans Series.

He said it was fine on the first day he was there - a pleasant 20 degrees.  Then the following day it snowed.

And he wore canvas shoes.

This was not ideal when he had a lot of running around to do, driver meetings, sponsor appearances, the one hour autograph sessions…

He survived this and as far as we know he still has both feet and all his toes.

Even though we all know how uncomfortable this is, this would not be the reason why he would remember his first ELMS race.

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Apr 10
Andreas Wirth with his 2016 ride and teammates at the launch in Monaco
Andreas Wirth with his 2016 ride and teammates at the launch in Monaco

I have a bit of a confession to make. It is that I'm very excited to see Andreas Wirth back in a high downforce car, a LMP2, with SMP Racing.

I first met Andreas when he made his Champ Car debut Dale Coyne Racing at the Gold Coast in 2006. He had done exceptionally well in Champ car Atlantic during the year and his debut in the high-powered, high downforce Champ Cars at the time was exceptional. He took the and favoured Coyne machine to a top 10 on debut on tight twisty Gold Coast street course.

Listen to our full interview with Andreas.

 

 

As you know I have the time that we been talking to Andreas he's been racing in GT cars with Corvette, with Mercedes and with Alpina. And we have enjoyed every minute.

But there is something exciting to be back in a Prototype and to be able to race at Le Mans.

"I am feeling very excited, very motivated, very happy."

"It is going to be very different this year, in the Prototype class and I have to thank SMP Racing for the opportunity."

"I will be doing the entire European Le Mans Series plus the 24 Hours of Le Mans."

Andreas' season will consist of the European Le Mans Series with the Russian SMP Racing team along with an appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

It is a step away from the the GT Masters Championship that is been racing in for last few years with great success.

It is a challenge that Andreas is revelling and it is something that he hopes to have a great future in.

"This is the start of something that I hope to have a great future in."

"I am telling you I am really looking forward to going flat in an LMP2 car through Eau Rouge! I hope it works out for four hours in a row but this is something that is going to be a lot of fun."

 

 

And of course the step means a great change in driving style in the pace and the tactics of a race. Going from GT missionary in a single class I hour race tool for our race with duties and prototypes all with their different strengths and weaknesses.

It is something that Andres will have to get used to and this is where our excitement kicks in. It is a return to the fast high downforce car that excites us and audibly excites Andreas when I talk to him.

In the lead up to the first round at Silverstone the team has done a lot of testing at Paul Ricard with Andreas behind the wheel getting used to his new codrivers - Julian Leal of Columbia and Stefano Coletti of Monaco - and of course a team and the garage that will make sure that the cars get around the track.

"This is a very different animal to the GT cars - that is for sure. It is really close to an open wheel car - actually it is an open wheel car with bodywork.  It has a lot of downforce. The first laps - it was a change, even shock as I wasn't used to the downforce.  After a few laps...it all came back and it was so much fun to drive."

"All of them are very good drivers, the team also...They help everyone a lot and this is a very big point that is good."

"There are so many strong people in the team and this is why I think we will have a lot of success this year."

Andreas Wirth will be expecting a podium at Silverstone though knows that they will have to fight hard
Andreas Wirth will be expecting a podium at Silverstone though knows that he will have to fight hard

What is the goal for Andreas?

If you were to stay in the GT Masters this year with the new Corvette he could have had a chance of the championship after all he has come close in the past.

With the rapid pace of development in LMP2 and the new LMP2 rules coming in in 2017, what advantage does this give him what is the aiming for?

The SMP Racing team have been working hard over the winter in an attempt to increase the competitiveness of their cars and was something that we saw at Daytona. They were on Pole and the race pace, even if the result didn't necessarily reflect that.

This increased pace and this will hopefully be reflected in the European Le Mans Series.

"I would say we shouldn't ask for too much at the beginning...I'm new to the kind of car as are my teammates."

"We are good guys. We have a good driver lineup, we have a good car and a good team...We need to keep the car in one piece and the speed we have and have shown in the past - we should be a challenger to be on the podium."

"That must be the goal."

It is easy to tell that this is a place that Andreas wants to be. He is more excited coming into this year then he has been for the past few.

The stakes are high and he's stepping up in both race pace and in the peripheries of media, presentation and all that goes along with stepping back up to one of the top drives that you can get.

And come Silverstone, the big sweeping corners and the tight chicanes will be exciting to see Andreas back in a high downforce prototype racing car.

The downforce surprised Andreas Wirth in testing...for a few laps!
The downforce surprised Andreas Wirth in testing...for a few laps!

---

Sam Tickell, April 2016

RacerViews was established in 2011 and with the aim of delivering a new web experience to motorsport fans. We bring you more than just the news.  Our exclusive interview and galleries brings you the views from the track, from the racers. Our extensive race review collection allows you to keep up with the action from around the world. Our team of passionate pros have decades of experience in the motorsport field. Our social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and iTunes  bring you more, a holistic experience.  We have more than 3100 followers on Twitter and more than 2 million views on Google Plus.  Our mission is to bring exclusive content is in safe hands. Over the time we have partnered with motorsport teams likeAndreas Wirth, Stig Richards Motorsport, One of a Kind Motorsport, Dark Horse Racing and MRT Performance in order to give you the best exclusive motorsport coverage.

We are always looking for new people to join our team and we are always looking to publish stories, photos and audio in world-class publications around the world. If this interests you contact us

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Oct 25

A solid day for Reeves & Gelsomino as they built on Friday success cementing a position on the DMACK podium. Faultless driving despite unexpected issues...

By Sam Tickell, photo: @World, DMACK

It was day two at RACC Rallye Espania and saw a change from dirt to tarmac for the competitors. Switching from dirt to tarmac spec for the cars is a huge job for the crews and that is particularly true for the DMACK Fiesta Trophy drivers.

This is true for the RacerViews supported team of Brendan Reeves and Rhiannon Gelsomino's job was also complicated when Rhiannon picked up a stomach bug on Friday night. The duo marched on though, not letting these issues get the better of them, with the aim to consolidate third in class.

The day with the eight stages starting with the 7.43 km test of Porrera, with the crews winding the way through the North Western Spanish region, taking in the 26.26 km La Figuera, 10.6 km of Poboleda, 19.8 km of Capafots and a short 2.2 km sprint around Salou.

At the end of day one Reeves and Gelsomino brought the fight to Tom Cave for second and Saturday morning started well taking second place in the first stage of the day.

Through the morning loop team was learning the limits of the DMACK Tyres and perhaps were a little conservative with plenty of life left in the tyres as they entered the midday service.

It also didn't help as the car wasn't tracking properly with a rear beam problem that was taken care of in service. The team also looked to cope with some understeer the changes made in service sent the the other away. A final problem for the team would appear in SS16 with soft brakes hurting their effort.

It was a solid morning for the cruise a great learning experience as Brendan reveals exclusively for RacerViews.

 

 

Throughout the morning the team had dropped off the pace of front runners Tom Cave and Marius Aasen but were running a solid third place with several minutes in hand over the other competitors.

Finishing in third place is now a key concern for Reeves and Gelsonimo as they look to qualify for the ‘Vatanen Touch’, a Fiesta shootout where the winner has the opportunity to drive a Fiesta R5 at a World Rally Championship event in 2016.

It would be a deserving prize for the duo as they have worked so hard to make it to this rally. Their supporter base is clear with so many jumping on board to help.

Building on this, one only has to look at the skill and precision that the team have bought to this rally after such a period away. The car has been driven immaculately without any damage and setting the pace with the fall season DMACK entries.

And on day ending stage around Solou required a lot of a precision, a lot of handbrake work Reeves on it, having fun and selling a great time.

Overall, considering the challenges it was a very successful day for Reeves and Gelsomino.

At the end of the day Reeves said “I was lots of fun. [We are] happy with how the day went. We made some improvements and then went backwards but then we ended up with a good setup that we can take into tomorrow.

“We are comfortably in third now but the gap to second has drifted away.”

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The final day, on Sunday will see six the tarmac stages totalling 76.4 km. It could provide a sting in the tail for many of the crews and we will be excited to see our very own Reeves and Gelsomino get on.

Brendan Reeves and Rhiannon Gelsomino Saturday Stages
SS10    Porrera - 7.43 km
6:17.9     (2nd in class)

SS11    La Figuera 1 -    26.26 km
17:44.6     (4th in class)

SS12    Poboleda 1 -    10.63 km
6:49.0    (4th in class)

SS13    Capafonts 1 -    19.80 km
12:55.4     (3rd in class)

SS14    La Figuera 2 -    26.26 km
17:35.1     (5th in class)

SS15    Poboleda 2 -    10.63 km
6:50.7    (4th in class)

SS16    Capafonts 2 -    19.80 km
12:55.5     (4th in class)

SS17    Salou -    2.24 km
2:59.9    (3rd in class)

Classification after SS17
1. Marius Aasen / Veronica Engan 3hr 01min 16.2sec
2. Tom Cave / Craig Parry 3hr 01min 14.0sec
3. Brendan Reeves / Rhianon Gelsomino 3hr 02min 46.8sec
4. Kevin van Deijne / Hein Verschuuren 3hr 14min 16.0sec
5. Max Vatanen / Jacques-Julien Renucci 3hr 21min 08.0sec
6. Edoardo Bresolin / Rudy Pollet 3hr 32min 12.4sec
7. Gus Greensmith / Elliott Edmondson 3hr 37min 15.7sec
8. Guillaume de Mevius / Geoffrey Brion 3hr 58min 43.8sec

RacerViews was established in 2011 and with the aim of delivering a new web experience to motorsport fans. We bring you more than just the news.  Our exclusive interview and galleries brings you the views from the track, from the racers. Our extensive race review collection allows you to keep up with the action from around the world. Our team of passionate pros have decades of experience in the motorsport field. Our social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and iTunes  bring you more, a holistic experience.  We have more than 3100 followers on Twitter and more than 1.5million views on Google Plus.  Our mission is to bring exclusive content is in safe hands. Over the time we have partnered with motorsport teams likeAndreas Wirth, Stig Richards Motorsport, One of a Kind Motorsport, Dark Horse Racing and MRT Performance in order to give you the best exclusive motorsport coverage.

We are always looking for new people to join our team and we are always looking to publish stories, photos and audio in world-class publications around the world. If this interests you contact us

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Sep 19
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Sep 18
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Sep 16

WRC Rally Australia post rally press conference

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