On the eve of the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone this weekend, Graham Goodwin, editor of Dailysportscar.com, reaches letters G through to I, on our Alphabet of what’s new in Sportscar racing in 2013.
G is for G-Drive
The branding that sat on a Signatech Oreca Nissan last year moves to Delta-ADR for 2013 with the Silverstone based team expanding to a 2 car effort as a result.
The team gains Nissan technical partner backing status too for the WEC and will be looking to translate the form that saw them take the title fight to the final round in 2012 into a Championship win this year.
G is for Green GT
G could just as easily here have been for Garage 56, the ACO initiative that encourages new technology in racing by offering a start slot at Le Mans for a car outside the current regulations.
In 2012 that slot was awarded to the Nissan DeltaWing but in 2013 it has gone to the GreenGT. In mocked up form at least the car looked like a primary school pupils Hot Wheels fantasy, huge, wings and slots everywhere and anything but subtle.
The news though, asides from the challenging looks, is in the propulsion source, because GreenGT is fuelled by hydrogen. Will it work? Will it be quick – questions like that are the whole point of the initiative, but news since the cars launch has been scarce. The car has yet to make it’s debut on track and the clock is ticking on the run down to Le Mans.
H is for Honda
And astonishingly there’s only one Honda powered car in the FIA WEC this year, despite the domination of the LMP2 class by the Starworks car there are no takers in the junior class.
In LMP1, JRM are giving the Championship a miss this year which leaves the only all-British team in the Championship, Strakka Racing as the only representatives of the marque.
Strakka Racing will field a fully updated ARX 03c with a radically different front end from the 2012 version of the car.
H is for Hungaroring
The European Le Mans Series has an interesting collection of circuits on their calendar including the Hungaroring, famous for being the first circuit behind the Iron Curtain to host a Formula One Grand Prix. The place is 1980s concrete-tastic but nearby Budapest is a stunning place to enjoy a long weekend.
I is for Imola
The European Le Mans Series is also visiting the Imola circuit, infamous as the place that Ayrton Senna met his maker, but a circuit with a long history and much more positive atmosphere than the statue and shrines at the point of Senna’s accident.
It’s a circuit much changed since that dark weekend when Roland Ratzenburger also perished but it produces great racing and has some truly wonderful spectator viewing areas as well as some great hotels and restaurants nearby.
I is for Irish
Murphy Prototypes made their debut in 2012 but will be running their own team in 2013’s ELMS rather than the Team RLR effort of last year.
They are a team that understand how to have fun, but are deadly serious about winning!
Look out too for Mercedes F1 tester Brendan Hartley, one of the quickest men in LMP2.
Our look at 2013’s sportscar news will continue next week.
If you are at Silverstone this weekend, be sure to come and visit the Travel Destinations stand in the FIA WEC Fanzone. We are running an exclusive competition as well as handing out some unique giveaways. Be sure to come by and say hello.