WEC: Scene set for spectacular Super Season after conclusion of the Prologue at Paul Ricard

WEC: Scene set for spectacular Super Season after conclusion of the Prologue at Paul Ricard

The first public running of the new 2018/19 FIA WEC Super Season came to a close at Circuit Paul Ricard this afternoon after 9,836 laps were completed.

The 30-hour Prologue test was conducted in perfect conditions for the teams as they make final preparations before the first round at Spa-Francorchamps on May 5, the Total 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps.

The pair of Toyota GAZOO Racing TS050 HYBRID entries headed the way as they conducted the most laps by a team, registering a remarkable 1,002 tours of the French circuit.

The team tested many aspects of its upgraded design and, although Mike Conway set an overall best of 1m32.662 in the No.8 car, it was largely unrepresentative due to Toyota running unrestricted when the time was set.

Behind the Japanese team there was a large amount of interest in the variety of all-new non-hybrid LMP1 cars.

The SMP Racing BR1 design continued its impressive introduction to LMP1 competition as Vitaly Petrov took third position. There were equally promising showings from the new Rebellion R13 as André Lotterer set the fourth quickest time in the car’s first significant test.

The ByKolles and CEFC TRSM Racing teams both ran important test programmes during the track time available with the new Ginetta running a combined 259 laps.

Dragonspeed placed eighth in the LMP1 order in its debut showing, with the American team accruing valuable data and knowledge as it gets set for the Super Season.

The 2018 LMP2 field was headed by former Williams and Lotus F1 driver Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan made his endurance racing debut at the test after two years away from motorsport.

Maldonado set a best lap of 1m40.771s on Friday evening in the DragonSpeed Oreca-Gibson he will share with Roberto Gonzalez and Nathanael Berthon at Spa and Le Mans.

Signatech Alpine Matmut placed second as they chase a second title to add to their 2016 LMP2 championship success.  Jackie Chan DC Racing ended the test third and fourth as they introduced new drivers to the WEC in both of their entries for 2018.

The LMP Headlines from the 2018 Prologue… 

•    Toyota ends 2018 Prologue top of times but new LMP1 entries impress with reliability and pace as teams prepare for Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps next month.
•    Mike Conway sets fastest lap of 1m32.662s in No.8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID as team runs a combined 1002 laps of Paul Ricard.
•    SMP Racing lead chase of Toyota in first non-hybrid LMP1 entry.
•    No.11 BR1-AER LMP1 sets a time of 1m37.034s as Vitaly Petrov sets time in evening running for Russian squad
•    Rebellion Racing debuts new R13 model and places fourth as André Lotterer laps just 0.010s off Petrov’s best
•    Second SMP Racing entry places fifth ahead of ByKolles challenger
•    Ginetta G60-LT-P1 Mechachrome ends seventh as CEFC TRSM Racing new signings Alex Brundle and Oliver Rowland get to grips with all-new British LMP1 design.
•    Dragonspeed BR1and the second CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta complete LMP1 order as new entries shakedown for first time.

LMP2 class witnesses WEC debutant Pastor Maldonado set best time on his endurance racing debut.
•    Maldonado sets 1m40.771s best in Dragonspeed Oreca-Gibson
•    Signatech Alpine Matmut places second as they chase a second LMP2 title in 2018
•    Fans enjoy open house at Circuit Paul Ricard with post-test pit walk.

#92 PORSCHE GT TEAM / DEU / Porsche 911 RSR 

The LMGTE Pro class saw the Porsche GT Team to the fore as they placed 1-2 after the Prologue test. The running saw five highly prestigious manufacturers continue preparations for one of the most anticipated LMGTE PRO title fights in recent years.

Gianmaria Bruni, in the No.91 Porsche 911 RSR set a best of 1m51.332s on Friday evening. The Italian’s lap just eclipsed Kevin Estre’s best effort in the No.92 car as the German manufacturer logged a combined 638 laps.

BMW set about endurance testing one of its all-new M8 GTE cars logging 682 laps with the No.82 car BMW Team MTEK squad making good progress as they ready for debuting at Spa next month. Ferrari put more miles on its updated 488 GTE Evo model but saw drama with its No.51 car when a fuel fire curtailed its test and limited running to just 64 laps. No.71 ran untroubled.

Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK ended the test third and fourth behind the Porsches, while Aston Martin conducted a pure endurance run with its no.95 car.

In LMGTE Am Porsche locked out the four fastest positions as the pair of Dempsey Proton 911 RSR’s placed first and third sandwiching the Gulf Racing entry.  New entrants Team Project 1 ended fourth while fellow WEC debutants TF Sport took their Aston-Martin to fifth quickest.

The Headlines from the GTE Classes at Prologue….

•    LMGTE Pro sees strongest ever field share track for first time as ten factory entries begin title campaign preparations.
•    Porsche GT Team ends 30 hours 1-2 as No.91 911 RSR heads sister No.92 car
•    Gianmaria Bruni sets best time of 1m51.332s as he makes first WEC appearance for German manufacturer
•    Ford GTs get closest to Porsche times as No.67 and No.66 Ford Chip Ganassi entered cars are separated by just 0.1s
•    BMW conduct endurance test on spectacular new M8 GTE design
•    No.82 BMW Team MTEK car driven by seven factory drivers present places sixth in LMGTE Pro class
•    Ferrari sees test compromised by fuel fire which damaged wiring loom on updated No.51 AF Corse 488 GTE car
•    New No.95 Aston Martin Vantage sets the most individual laps of the test with 852 completed
•    Dempsey Proton Porsche lead the way in LMGTE Am as Matteo Cairoli sets best class time in early morning running
•    Italian peaks on 1m52.936s best with No.86 Gulf Racing Porsche second and second Dempsey Proton Porsche rounding out top three
•    Teams now get set to head to Belgium for opening round of FIA WEC Super Season on May 5 – the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

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22 minutes ago


2019 Best clips 🎥

The #AustralianGP couldn't have got off to a more dramatic start! 💢

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That was a vicious highside I'm glad they both came out ok



Spat out off the track...

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13 hrs ago


Meet Yan Ting - an F1 volunteer in Singapore for ten years 😊

One of hundreds helping F1 run safely and smoothly every year 👊
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Heck I'd volunteer as well. So you don't get paid with money. You get paid with the excitement of being part of the greatest sport and just plain fun.

I would volunteer... What a privilege to be a part of this amazing sport and to have the chance to get so close to the action. Everyone appreciates all of the hard work they do in all weathers and if they didn't love it they wouldn't do it... Thanks to everyone who helps to keep the sport that I love going ❤️🏁🏁🏁

Considering the volume of comments complaining they don’t get paid you don’t hear volunteers complaining. They do it for the love of Motorsport and the chance in some small way to be involved. Not everything has to be about money!

I just don't get it. F1 is a multi million if not billion £ business. So why don't theses fantastic people get paid? Without them there would be no F1. Don't treat people's passion as an excuse to use and not pay them for their very important work. Am I wrong?

Singapore F1 has the greatest staff & so friendly

The very fact that F1 moves so many millions, and there are unpaid volunteers workers sickens me to be honest. Selling people the idea that by volunteering, they are doing good, they have a super opportunity, post their face on social media, making them feel special, and saving yourself the wagesnin the process sickens me.I love watching the races, the tech etc, but F1 shame on you. I'm pretty sure there is no one in the F1 scene short of a few quid, and I'm pretty sure that some of these volunteers would most definitely appreciate the money as well as the chance to work on the circuit. Everything isn't about the money unless your a capitalist company making money off the backs of others. Shame on you f1

For everyone complaining about the free labor. Its VOLUNTEER work not like it's against anyone's will. Secondly volunteer for a race sometime and you will understand the point. I volunteer for the pikes peak hill climb every year. I get to experience a badass event for a little work while others are paying $180+ for the same experience. A little free work is well worth it.

Why are people complaining about money? They are volunteers not slave. I volunteered at the Montreal tennis tournament for over 10 years. Doing office work. I got to watch all the matches for free and got to meet/talk to all kinds of players like Agassi, Graf, Hingis and Federer. It was fun. I’m guessing the people volunteering at the race gets to watch F1 for free and see/hear the cars up close. For any race fan that is just priceless.

It is impossible to not get paid, unless you do work for a non profit organization. I'm very sure the "volunteer" name is just that, a name, I refuse to believe F1 is exploiting human workforce to save some bucks.

I'd bang Yan Ting I'd have her panting #yeahman

I agree...why can’t F1 pay these people. We lost one volunteer due to an accident at the Montreal F1 a few years ago. Is it worth volunteering for nothing and risking your life?

Why does F1 even need volunteers when you are willing to spend endless piles of money on everything else? Props to the people who do it but when you charge 5k for Paddock Club tickets it seems to me you could do with paying all these wonderful people for their work...

Singapore GP is the best one I have been to. Vietnam is next on my list as I have fancied a holiday there for a while but will take me a few years to save enough money.

Why is everyone so outraged that the volunteers don’t get paid? People travel all over the world for some events and this is something they’re willing to do as a hobby/do it in their spare time. I’ve been doing it for a year now and did this years Singapore Grand Prix. I would always volunteer to do this as it is an absolute privilege to be officiating at such an awesome event. The organisers always look after us so well with meals and nice souvenirs. So for those that are outraged by it. Maybe you should come join us sometime.

She speaks pretty well. Of course her accent is really hearable, but her grammar is on a high level!

With the money the sport brings in they should be payed.

Those idiots that run F1 should pay these people, sky and channel 4 pay their team money.. loads I imagine.. probably don’t get even a Christmas box

Do they get paid for their work? because the tickets are very expensive

More on these behind the scenes people they're also very important 😎

Really enjoyed my days in timing and scoring.

That’s amazing! So jealous she gets to work on track !

I wonder why no one sponsors them.🤔. Plenty of space for logos on their overalls. Might earn themselves a few quid too.

Many people asked ...."Why do you still officiate/volunteer? .. Do they pay you? "......If you have to ask, you simply won’t understand

Nice one for a toughest race in F1

👏👏👏for japanese volunteers!!!!!

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13 hrs ago


Check out the new look of the Ducati Team for 2020! 👀 ... See Less

Check out the new look of the Ducati Team for 2020! 👀

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I cant wait to see what the new honda will look like....

Unfortunately in Brazil we will not be able to see this top bike this year, the closed TV channel that was broadcasting did not renew and we ended up staying at a loss !!! Too bad for Moto Gp lovers in Brazil, last year without a super bike and this year without a Moto Gp !!! What the hell!!!

Je ne trouve pas qu il y est de grand changement une écriture en noir a la place du blanc . Ducati fait du Honda . Les couleur de pramac était belle

Killer look! Love it! 😎 great job! It has been the most 'non traditional looking' bike and it's getting more and more different and high tech looking.

Great looking bike, a pity you don't have a rider to exploit its full potential. Jack Miller would fill that requirement perfectly.

Amazing, Ducati fan here but hope we have a good season this year. Im more on, close competition and pushing the skill and other bikes to the limits. That's more exciting keeping my *ss on my couch.

Awesome lookin bikes, Hope their up the pointy end more often but with 43 on the front 🇦🇺

Looks more WSB than Moto gp. Sponsors looking crowded and messy. Also needs more white. Just my opinion but it's a shame as it used to be the best looking bike and the best colour.

A top innovative team with mediocre riders. Always poor rider choices who can win few races but not championship. Give this bike to Bagnaia/Miller and see the magic. The biggest mistake was getting rid of Lorenzo.

Hoping for consistency for top riders and teams this season to challenge the atomic ant!🐜

Look great but I don’t think the 2 of them together can catch. 93

Ducats is under VW motors so it's Germany machine & Italian passion design qual to super straight line speed, hopefully they worked on the cornering speed so well

Looking forward to the Honda v Ducati battle again.Amazing to watch,great TV.

So looking forward to the start of the new season 😁😁

Bikes look amazing...So do the performance....Pity that Ducati doesn't have a championship winning rider...🤕🤕..

It’s the same as last year, the year before, and every other year.

Red and white has become red and black really. I don't like the tail section, it can be more sleeker.

Seems like same old powerfull duacti with heavy body no agility lyk yamaha and straight line speed lyk honda. Remembering 2007 stoners ducati.

Cazzuti quest anno su, la più bella degli ultimi anni

Essas Ducatti estão tops é só esperar o show✊

L avant de lla moto est bien plus affûté

la seule chose visible qui a changé c'est les couleurs du casque de Dovi 😉

Linda che, aunqe para mi nunca superara en el aspecto visual a la gp7 u 8

Bonsoir je voudrais savoir si le Moto GP est toujours diffusé sur Canal+ cette année

Go Dovi all MotoGP fans support you for win MotoGP titles and we so boring watch marq win the boring titles

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15 hrs ago

Dakar Rally

It took a strong showing from Ricky Brabec in a tough race as he became the first American to win the Dakar in the Bike category 🇺🇸

See the very best moments here 🎬


تألق ريكي برابيك خلال رالي داكار ٢٠٢٠ الذي كان مليئا بالتحديات، ليصبح أول سائق أميركي يفوز بفئة الدراجات 🇺🇸

شاهدوا أبرز اللحظات 🎬

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Pleased that organizers are making changes to the 2021 event. The pace was too fast this year resulting in many accidents, injuries and at least one death.

What a great rally! Really enjoyed it, especially watching Ricky finally win it! Also never knew Saudi had such a stunning scenery.

Alot of ups and downs this year but definitely a great year watching from the couch! Want to thank my sponsor lazy boy 🤣

Unbelievable impressions of one of the most fantastic and dramatic Dakars ever! They leave one speechless.

Congrats, Ricky and Team Honda! Great RIDE!!! 👍👍🎉🎊👏👏🎊🎉

Such grueling conditions day after day. The scenery is magnificent. The video production can not be beat. Just spectacle to watch.

Thanks for adding some images of Paulo Gonçalves. We will miss him 🙁

Ça roule fort!!! magnifique 😍

Nice Honda, after 31 years come back with Ricky Brabec,

Great memories of Dakar 2020 Saudi Arabia !! 👍

Love how the presence of the camera gets the front wheel off the ground - hardly ever fails

RIP Paulo.

Wonderful 😎👍😎👍😎👍


Great stuff

GOOD NIGHT. Tank you

Robert Müller

Adam Wilkening

Paulo Gonçalves! ✨👏

Irvin Materne 🤪

Pac Cullen.... amazing vision. These guys are truly tough as nails

Stephanie Costechareyre😍😘

Great year..

Nair Rejudev Dev

Vassily Cassonnet

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