"We had a great day of testing yesterday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with the Norma Automotive P3 car, I absolutely love this thing." ~ John Walko
Norma Auto Concept Engineering (or Norma) is a French manufacturer of racing cars based in Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre (in the Hautes Pyrenees - France) and founded by Norbert Santos in 1986.
The European Le Mans Series is a European series of endurance races reserved for cars such as "Le Mans Prototypes" and "Le Mans Grand Touring". In 2017, the ELMS presents three different categories : LMP2, LMP3, LMGTE.
In order to strengthen the pyramid of endurance racing which was introduced in 1999 by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, the ACO has launched in 2015 a new category of junior sports-prototype for endurance racing, LMP3.
In the pyramid of "Le Mans Prototypes," LMP3 becomes the first step on the ladder before moving up to the LMP2 and LMP1 classes (the latter in the FIA WEC and 24 Hours of Le Mans).
The thinking behind this car is that there should be fewest number of constraints possible, whether those are budgetary, technical, driving or operation. The sale price of the new car, complete, must not exceed €206,000.
The LMP3 is a closed car. The chassis and bodywork of LMP3 can be built by six manufacturers which have been designed by the ACO : Ginetta, Ligier, Adess, Dome, Riley and Norma. They are very close to those of the current LMP2 (closed cockpit, carbon chassis with tubular steel roll cage). The powertrain consist of a Nissan 420 bhp normally aspirated V8 engine, and an X-Trac gearbox. It is identical for all chassis, and marketed by the ORECA company which also provides specific assistance to teams.
To emphasise the driver development of the category, crews must include at least one bronze driver, gold drivers are only allowed in crews of three drivers and platinum drivers are not permitted to compete in LMP3. Driving times are also controlled with gold drivers only allowed to drive for 60-minutes during a 4-hour ELMS race giving more time at the wheel for the silver and bronze members of the crew.
JWR, wants to extend a Big thank you to Jeremiah Grenier, Russ Gaglio and Brian McGoldrick for looking after the car, Scott Andrews for wheeling the thing like he does, and Gerry Kraut and JDC MotorSports for making it happen.
Ohio-native Graham Rahal scored his second career race victory in the Verizon IndyCar series this past weekend at the MAVTV 500, at Auto Cub Speedway in Fontana California. Graham is the son of Bobby Rahal, an SCCA National Champion and Indy 500 winner, and currently drives for the team that bears his name.
Graham tasted Runoffs Gold in 2005 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, after a dominating performance behind the wheel of his Anderson Walko Racing Formula Atlantic. The then 16-year-old driver still holds the record as the youngest Runoffs National Champion in SCCA history.
In 2008, Graham scored his first win in the newly-merged Verizon IndyCar series at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Since that time Rahal has been a front-runner in the series, but was unable to finish in the top spot of the premier professional open-wheel series in the United States. The win pushes Graham to the fourth in the Championship.
On behalf of each of us at SCCA, membership and staff alike, we congratulate Graham Rahal on his win out in California. Keep up the good work!
TRAFFORD, PA (May 4, 2006) – It has been a long two months since the opening round of the STAR Mazda Championship Series. However, the John Walko Racing crew has not been letting any of that down time go to waste. With three new drivers for the 2006 season, two of which are rookies, preparation, testing and coaching has been in full swing.
Team owner John Walko indicated the testing sessions serve a much greater purpose than just the track time alone.
“Our drivers completed over 3000 trouble free miles of testing in total over the last few sessions. The momentum just builds and builds the more you run.” Walko also noted that the benefits aren’t just relegated to the drivers, “When the guys on the crew see the cars run mile after trouble free mile and watch their drivers improve with each session, it inspires confidence. It is an intangible value that should help the whole team climb to the next level.”
Most recently, the JWR hauler rolled out of the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course following two more days of intensive testing. All three drivers participated in the test on the newly repaved 2.25 mile track alongside drivers from AIM Autosport and Phenom Racing. Newcomer to the team Kevin Lacroix set the pace for the JWR trio with Ross Smith close behind.
Smith’s confidence and speed is as high as it has ever been thanks in part to the rapport he is building with his crew, “I love working with my engineer Eric, we are really meshing well and the communication between he and I and Scott is getting better and better.”
Charles Anti has also shown tremendous strides in the last two tests, particularly at Mid Ohio where the Series races in just two weeks. Success at Mid Ohio is not new to Anti however, “I've run this course in the Skip Barber cars and have won three races there previously.”
Adding to the momentum the team is building on their own, JWR has been fortunate to acquire the services of much sought after driver coach Mike Zimicki. Zimicki has a long history as a coach with everyone from the Skip Barber Series to his current role as a driver coach to Rahal-Letterman Racing and Graham Rahal.
Walko is ecstatic about the addition and feels the impact will be realized immediately, “It is a real feather in our cap that Mike chose to work with us. He will be invaluable in helping to sharpen the learning curve, particularly with our rookie drivers.”
This slate of testing culminates with a stretch of three races in four weeks starting with the Grand Prix of Houston May 13-14 followed by a return trip to Mid Ohio the following weekend. A much needed weekend off is then followed by the lone oval on the schedule at the fabled Milwaukee Mile.
The street race at Houston is new to all three drivers but each has had a degree of experience in similar situations. Anti likened his experiences at Watkins Glen, where he is a two time race winner, with the tight quarters racing that is expected at Houston, “The closest thing I've done to a street race is running Watkins Glen where the walls are just a few feet from the track. The competition level is elevated in this series though and the track time is limited so we have to be up to speed right away. That is one thing I have been working on in testing.”
Smith ran Montreal last year and anticipates the same feel to the event, “This should be very similar, concrete barriers and not much run-off. I expect a lot of traffic and probably a lot of yellows so getting up to speed quickly and qualifying well are going to be very important.”
While he has just one street race under his belt, last season’s Formula BMW race in Denver, Lacroix is looking forward to his first race with JWR, “I think we learned a lot last year in what to expect at these events and I know what I need to work on. I’m excited about my first race with the team in Houston.”
All of the hard work recently hopefully will pay dividends soon according to Walko, “The miles and miles of testing our drivers have turned, the solid cars are crews continue to turn out and the addition of Mike Zimicki as driver coach should help us move up the charts in the coming events.”
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding testing programs available for the 2006 season.
LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 23, 2005) - The weather at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course had been nearly perfect since Monday, so, of course, the skies on Friday - the first day of racing at the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs(r) Presented by Kohler - were overcast and damp with fog and the 2.258-mile course wet with early morning rains.
A little water didn't stop the Runoffs, however, and the first eight champions were crowned, led by veterans Kent Prather, of Wakarusa, Kan., who won a record sixth Production class title when he won G Production, and John Heinricy, of Holly, Mich., who won his fifth-consecutive Touring 1 Runoffs championship - a streak not seen since Warren Stilwell won seven Spec Racer Ford titles from 1994-2000. It was Heinricy's eight title overall, which moves him to third all-time in SCCA Runoffs history.
Not to be outdone, Runoffs rookie Graham Rahal, set a new race lap record and took top honors in Formula Atlantic - exactly 30 years after his father, Bobby, won the Formula B Championship in 1975.
Eight more races are on tap for Saturday, with Formula 500 set to wave the green flag at 10:05 a.m. (EDT) following warm-up sessions that begin at 8 a.m. To watch all race action via live timing and scoring, visit www.scca.com, where complete schedule information and results are located.
LEXINGTON, OHIO (June 27, 2004) - Adam Pecorari, of Aston, Pa., won Round Ten of the Formula Ford Zetec Championship, part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Completing the top-three is Andrew Prendeville, of Monroeville, Pa. and Steve Welk of Franklin, Wisc. Winning the American Continental Championship is Ron Thomas, of Galena Ohio.
Commencing early in the morning, the Zetec Championship car rolled onto the 2.258-mile road course under sunny, but cool conditions. At the drop of the green flag, the field went three-wide into the esses, with race one winner Prendeville maintaining the lead. Getting a great start Ian Lacy and Pecorari moved into second and third respectively.
Running-nose-to-tail on the opening lap, Pecorari applied heavy pressure to Lacy. On lap two, Pecorari got to the inside under braking and made the pass for position. Once past, Pecorari immediately began to close on Prendeville, in the No. 25 Racelink/Roos Racing School Andersen Walko Racing Van Diemen Ford. Within three laps, Pecorari was right behind Prendeville, while Lacy came under attack from Wade Cunningham.
Racing side-by-side into the esses, Pecorari passed his Andersen Walko Racing teammate to take the lead. As Pecorari began to pull away, Lacy and Cunningham made contact with one another while battling for third place. Able to continue, both drivers rejoined back in the field. Having gotten a great start and repeatedly held off challenges from Bobby Wilson, Welk, in the No. 57 Sportscar Revolution/Briggs & Stratton Aiken Racing Van Diemen Ford, moved into third place.
While several drivers enjoyed some good battles for position, the top-five stayed constant the remainder of the race. At the checkered flag, Pecorari, in the No. 28 SAI Hydraulics Andersen Walko Racing Van Diemen Ford, had scored his first career Zetec Championship win by 4.416 seconds.
"It's fantastic to be here," said Pecorari, who set fastest lap of the race. "I haven't won any race for two years, so it's great to be back on top of the podium. The team gave me a great car. Hopefully I can keep the momentum going and win more races this year and get back into the championship fight."
"It was tough race," said Prendeville, who now leads the Zetec Championship standings by four points (231-227) over Wilson. "My tires went away real early and once Adam [Pecorari] got past he was to fast for me to catch. The important thing is we leave with the points lead."
"I'm so happy right now," said Welk, who captured his first career podium finish. "The whole team has been working real hard and we've been getting quicker every time we are on the track."
Completing the top-five is Wilson, of Dousman, Wisc., in the No. 3 Citrus Systems Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, who has finished in the top-five at every race and Ian Baas, of Indianapolis, Ind., in the No. 4 Blossom Chevrolet Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, who tied his career best finish.
American Le Mans at Mid Ohio
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Lexington, Ohio June 24 - 26, 2004
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