second wind for vale
They say you can’t turn back time, but
don’t tell MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi.
Almost ready to give up on himself after
being largely eclipsed by Yamaha
teammate Jorge Lorenzo and then
Honda phenom Marc Marquez the past
few years, Rossi is poised for a
mano-e-mano title tilt with Lorenzo in 2015.
Rossi won five straight MotoGP crowns
from 2001-’05, and two more in 2008
and ’09, but had been something of an
also-ran since. Yet after a dominant win in
Porsche proved at Le Mans that its FIA
World Endurance Championship cars were
the class of the LMP1 field, and that
doesn’t look likely to change anytime soon.
At the conclusion of the lengthy
post- 24 Hours break, Porsche announced
it was extending its commitment to the
WEC by an additional two years, through
2018. Crucially, that keeps Weissach in
the fold into the next P1 rules cycle.
“Motorsport is an important part of
Porsche’s brand identity – but not an end
in itself. Racing has got to help the
technology of future road-going sports
cars,” Porsche chairman Matthias Muller
said. “The competition bears fruits and
we see further potential for future
synergy between the racing and road car
programs – this is why we have extended
the LMP1 program.”
That synergy has included both
outright speed and the ability to work
through technical issues. At the 6 Hours
of the Nurburgring in August, Porsche’s
919 Hybrids took a 1-2 finish despite its
front-running No. 18 being penalized
Silverstone had never
been a good MotoGP
track for Rossi...but
that was another
trend that came to
an end this year.
three times for excessive fuel use due to
a faulty fuel-flow sensor. That paved the
way for ex-F1 star Mark Webber to take
his first WEC victory with teammates
Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley. The
winners also had to work through a slow
start due to a broken drive plane.
“The spirit in the camp is incredible,”
said Webber. “We are still quite a new
team and we are still learning a lot every
day.” Next up on the learning curve: the
only North American appearance for the
WEC, at COTA on Sept. 19.
the wet at Silverstone that re-established
his points lead, 36-year-old Rossi looked
as tough and resilient as ever.
Although the Rossi and Lorenzo
battles of the past were famously
contentious, it’s been a friendlier rivalry
this year – at least so far.
“We each know that the other is so
good and so strong. Our power is very
similar and very equal, that’s why I think
the championship will be so interesting
this time around,” said Lorenzo.
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing is back, now in
the Pirelli World Challenge with a GTS class
Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Jeff Harrison
(pictured) debuted the car, but Red Dragon
regular Jon Fogarty will be the primary driver.
isn’t limited to the
LMP1 class. At the
Nurburgring 6 Hours,
finished 1-2 in GTE
Pro with its pair of
911 RSRs. Richard
Lietz and Michael
From boardroom to racetrack, Porsche’s P1 program is on a tear
in for the long haul
After early aero
issues were sorted,
it was plain sailing
for Porsche No. 17
at the Nurburgring.
After two years in Marquez’s shadow,
Rossi is back in the MotoGP limelight.