British Bomb joins GCK for Loheac RX

GC KOMPETITION are happy to announce that the “British Bomb”, Liam Doran, will join the team at the forthcoming round 8 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Lohéac, France, driving the second GCK Mégane R.S. RX alongside Guerlain Chicherit.

Four-times X Games medalist Liam Doran is a Rallycross native, with his family having been involved in the sport since its inception, and competed in both the European and World Rallycross Championships, where he became known as the British Bomb having gained a reputation for his fearless driving style.

Liam will now return to World Rallycross for what is arguably one of the biggest events of the season, and with fond memories of the last time he drove a Prodrive-operated Rallycross car, he will be hoping for more of the same in Lohéac this weekend!

A large amount of British WRX fans have been demanding a return of the British Bomb for the last 2 years and GCK are stoked to have Liam onboard to show the team’s British and French fans that we are here to fight!

Liam Doran commented: “I am excited to be back racing WRX and with GCK. This is a great opportunity and I really cannot express how happy I am to get back behind the wheel. I am confident in the car and Lohéac is one of my favourite tracks, so hopefully we can put together a good result!”

GC Kompetition team manager, Karl O’Sullivan, added: “To be able to secure a driver of such experience and tenacity as Liam to join Guerlain in Lohéac will be hugely beneficial for the entire team. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming Liam to the team and excited to have both drivers test together over the next couple of days ahead of Lohéac. Lohéac RX as the team’s home race is hugely important to us and we want to ensure we are able to offer our fans the best experience and some incredible racing for their entertainment.”

MotoGP World Championship British Grand Prix

Three races cancelled

There was no Grand Prix at Silverstone. Due to the rain and safety issues associated with the new lining of the British circuit, the race management decided to cancel the three races on the programme. Something unheard of since 1980.

At the beginning of July, Lewis Hamilton sounded the alarm, claiming that the new Silverstone blacktop made the British track the worst circuit he had ever driven on. “There are so many bumps that you can’t even see where you’re going,” complained the Mercedes driver. Valtteri Bottas, his teammate, made no mistake in adding: “You’re so shaken that after two laps you have a headache.” But it was precisely to reduce those famous bumps the MotoGP drivers had complained about last year that Stuart Pringle, the boss of Silverstone, had to recoat the circuit last winter. The work was apparently very poorly done, with water stagnating in pools, especially at the entries to turns seven and eight. Tito Rabat, victim of a serious accident on Saturday afternoon, was the first to pay the price. And the attempts to drain the track overnight from Saturday to Sunday didn’t change anything. Nor did advancing the race to 11:30. The huge depression that swept through England on August 26th took care of the British Grand Prix. Three races cancelled something unheard of since Salzburg in 1980. That year, it was the snow that caused the cancellation of the Austrian Grand Prix. “It’s sad that the race was cancelled,” regretted Franco Morbidelli. “Obviously we’re sorry for the fans who spent the day waiting in the rain, but safety must remain a priority. The conditions were not right for the start to be given.”

MotoGP World Championship – Austrian motorcycle Grand Prix

Another top ten for Mir

For the seventh time since the start of the season, Joan Mir finished the race in the top ten. Eighth in Austria, the Moto3 world champion is now only three points behind Lorenzo Baldassari.

The Races

In difficulty during the practice test sessions and only twentieth on the Moto2 grid, Joan Mir had a great start and overtook a dozen other contenders in the first lap of the race. “We improved the behaviour of the bike in the warm-up but I still missed one or two tenths each lap,” said the young “rookie” who won the Moto3 race on the Spielberg circuit last year. Despite the lack of grip on the rear wheel, Mir managed to climb back to eighth place. In the fight for the podium with Luca Marini, Alex Marquez fell in the last corner of the last lap … “I was ready to accept a fourth place when I lost control of the front wheel”, regretted the Spaniard at the end of the Austrian motorcycle Grand Prix. In MotoGP, Franco Morbidelli finished 19th while Tom Lüthi took the chequered flag in twenty-second place, almost one minute behind winner Jorge Lorenzo.

The Championship

Still third overall in the Moto2 category, Álex Márquez is now seventy-three points behind Miguel Oliveira and seventy-six points behind the leader, Francesco Bagnaia. After finishing sixth, Joan Mir is now only three points behind Lorenzo Baldassari. In MotoGP, no change for Franco Morbidelli, still seventeenth overall and second in the ranking of “rookies” two points behind Syahrin. Nothing new for Lüthi who still has not managed to open his points counter.

The Background

Whether in MotoGP or Moto2, the riders of Team Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS suffered more than the others from the poor weather conditions in which the free practice sessions of the Austrian Grand Prix took place. With a lot of rain and few dry laps, Morbidelli and Lüthi in MotoGP, and Mir in Moto2, had a hard time adjusting their bikes before the race. “We made progress during the warm-up but it was not enough,” regretted the current Moto3 world champion at the finish. For Morbidelli, in addition to a tune-up that could have been better, the wrong tyres were chosen, once again due to the lack of riding on a dry track. “We did not have enough time to evaluate all the possible choices and our lack of experience cost us dearly,” said the Moto2 world champion. “I set out with a soft tyre on the rear wheel, and from the start I had less grip than the riders who were in the same group as me. The grip continued to deteriorate right to the finish, and I quickly realized that I had made the wrong choice.”

MotoGP World Championship – Grand Prix of the Czech Republic

A good comeback for Morbidelli

Absent from the last two Grands Prix after being injured, Franco Morbidelli returned to racing successfully. The Italian even scored points on the Brno circuit.

The Races

He gritted his teeth and did not regret it. A month after fracturing his left hand on the Assen circuit during the Grand Prix of the Netherlands, Franco Morbidelli finished the tenth lap of the MotoGP World Championship in thirteenth position. After a bad start, the reigning Moto2 world champion showed the forbearance and resolve needed to finish the race like a whirlwind. “I wasn’t too comfortable during the first few laps as some riders were really aggressive,” admitted Morbidelli. “But they calmed down and I was able to concentrate during the second part of the race to keep up with Jack Miller.” Further behind, Tom Lüthi fought it out with Aleix Espargaro to finish 16th, his best result since Le Mans. “Apart from some mistakes during the first few laps, I had a good race,” said the Team Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS rider. “I lost a little too much time behind Sylvain Guintoli, but my pace was steady and I finished closer to the leaders than in the last races.” In Moto2, neither Alex Marquez nor Joan Mir made it to the finish. The first fell just before halfway when it looked like he’d have a place on the podium. The second was unable to complete the first lap, when his bike was hit shortly after the start by a contender who was over-aggressive.

The Championship

Despite a new Did Not Finish, Alex Marquez stays in third place overall Moto2 with a total of one hundred and thirteen points. Joan Mir however has dropped back to sixth position. In MotoGP, Franco Morbidelli is two points behind Hafizh Syahrin in the Rookie of the Year trophy standings. No change on the other hand for Tom Lüthi who is still racing after his first points.

The Background

After three weeks of summer break, the MotoGP World Championship resumed cruising speed at the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic. As the tenth event of the year, the Brno event kicked off the second half of the season, providing an opportunity for some to set new goals. For Tom Lüthi, it will be to score his first points in MotoGP. Close to achieving this in Brno, the Swiss rider took advantage of the test day organized in the Czech Republic to position himself to compete for a spot in the top fifteen at the next race in Austria. “I was able to work on my riding with a different position,” explained Lüthi. “I made progress, especially on the braking phases, and understood a lot of things. I’m looking forward to seeing what the result will be in Speilberg.”

Aston Martin Racing adjusts driver line-up for remainder of 2018

  • Aston Martin Racing revises driver crews for Super Season six-hour races

  • Darren Turner re-signs for Aston Martin Racing in expanded role

  • Jonny Adam to support TF Sport in GTE Am for the rest of 2018

Thursday, 2 August, Gaydon: Aston Martin Racing has adjusted its driver line-up for the remainder of 2018, beginning with the 6 Hours of Silverstone (19 August) and including the 6 Hours of Fuji (14 October) and 6 Hours of Shanghai (18 November).

With the team focussed on its FIA WEC Super Season world championship aspirations, Nicki Thiim (DEN) and Marco Sørensen (DEN) will share driving duties in their regular #95 ‘DaneTrain’ Aston Martin Vantage GTE, while Maxime Martin (BEL) and Alex Lynn (GB) will pair up in the #97. Each entry will benefit from increased track time and fewer compromises in their driving positions in a move that has become standard practice in the GTE Pro category.

Aston Martin Racing factory driver Jonny Adam (GB), will switch temporarily to partner team TF Sport to support its GTE AM championship programme, driving an Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE alongside Salih Yoluc (TUR) and Charlie Eastwood (GB).

Meanwhile Darren Turner, Aston Martin Racing’s longest-serving and most decorated driver, has extended his 14-year association by signing a new long-term contract. He takes on a more senior role that includes additional development responsibilities with road and racing programmes and brand ambassador duties. Turner will also return to the #95 car for the 2019 phase of the Super Season, including Sebring 1000-mile race, Spa-Francorchamps and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Darren Turner said: “I’m delighted to extend my association with Aston Martin. After three Le Mans victories and 14 amazing years, driving for this brand has been the highlight of my career. As I look into the future I’m excited to be able play a significant role in shaping new road and racing cars. It goes without saying I’m looking forward to getting back in the #95 when we head to Sebring next year. It’s exciting times at Aston Martin and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”

Aston Martin Racing Team Principal Paul Howarth said: “As we move into the second phase of the Super Season, it is critical we maximise our opportunities through the three shortest races on the calendar. By switching to two-driver crews we achieve this. Nicki and Marco have a longstanding partnership, while Maxime and Alex have settled into the team well. Jonny remains a vital part of our line-up and we are pleased he will race in the TF Sport entry, which keeps him race-sharp at world level. I am also delighted that Darren continues to play a major role. He proved he’s lost none of his speed with an exceptional performance at Le Mans, and his experience and wisdom is invaluable as we continue to develop our still young Vantage GTE programme.”

Aston Martin Racing Managing Director John Gaw said: “We expect to see additional performance from the Aston Martin Vantage GTE at Silverstone, after a period of analysis and development post-Le Mans. These adjustments to the line-up compliment this process and give us the best chance to achieve maximum points in the shorter races. There are no weak links in our driver line-up and I am proud of all of them. Keeping Jonny in the fold and race sharp is essential, while I’m delighted that Darren continues his exceptional career with Aston Martin, where he belongs.”

The line-up for the #98 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE Am entry driven by reigning champions Paul Dalla Lana (CDN), Mathias Lauda (A) and Pedro Lamy (POR) remains unchanged for the rest of the Super Season.