4 years ago

MOTOREX Racing Report 2014 EN

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CAR BLANCPAIN ENDURANCE SERIES BREAKTHROUGH YEAR FOR THE EMIL FREY RACING TEAM 2014 can be regarded as the breakthrough year for the Emil Frey Racing Team: Its independently prepared Jaguar XK is the only privately developed racing car in the world to have become established in the booming GT3 category. Fredy Barth‘s team achieved its greatest success to date at the closing event of the Blancpain Endurance Series, the 1000-kilometre race at the Nürburgring: In a field of 40 sports cars, the purely Swiss driver line-up of Fredy Barth, Lorenz Frey and Gabriele Gardel finished ninth in the class despite being up against seasoned factory teams. They also achieved ninth position in the team ranking at the end of the season, which consisted of three 3-hour races (Monza, Italy, Silverstone, England and Le Castellet, France), the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium and the 1000-kilometre race at Nürburgring, Germany. Fredy Barth summed up positively after the last race at Nürburgring: “We‘re the only private manufacturer to have made it to this top-class professional league. That‘s something to be proud of. We managed to keep up the pace with competitive lap times. Our Emil Frey GT3 Jaguar did an excellent job. That‘s very motivating for the future.“ ETCC SUCCESSFUL RACING SEASON AND PROCAR CUP FOR RIKLI The tradition-steeped racing team from Wangen an der Aare has become a fixed feature at the European Touring Car Championship and can look back on another successful year of international racing. The Honda Civic FD driven by both Peter Rikli and Andrina Gugger was further improved, though of course unable to match the BMWs as established World Championship cars. Nonetheless, Peter Rikli achieved four podium positions and even managed to finish an overall third out of 14 drivers in the class, making him the best non-BMW driver. One of the team‘s highlights was the DTC/Procar Series in Germany. Peter Rikli won both races as a starter at the Nürburgring while team colleague Dario Pergolini from Liechtenstein was also able to collect points. “Of course I‘m thrilled we‘ve been able to pick up another Procar cup,“ said a delighted Rikli, who has his sights set on many more cups in 2014. Andrina Gugger is increasingly displaying her touring car skills and likewise put in good lap times, though she failed to make it onto the podium due to a run of bad luck on the technical side. Nonetheless, third position overall is certainly an impressive achievement. “We can be quite happy with ourselves as we go into the winter break. In spite of the significant weight disadvantage as compared to other cars in the same class we did an excellent job with an independently developed racing car,“ says Peter Rikli. 22

CAR WEC, LMP1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE FOR BUEMI Finally a top-class car! It was not hard to imagine what the MOTOREX brand ambassador from the canton of Vaud must have been thinking at the opening of the WEC season in Silverstone. Two seventh-place finishes were the best he managed in 55 Formula 1 races for the Toro Rosso racing team between 2009 and 2011. Things steadily improved after he changed to sports cars and the Toyota LMP1 team in 2012. This year it was time to reap the rewards of all the hard work: Toyota turned out to be the dominating car in the first year of the newly introduced efficiency regulations, so the season started with two victories in a row – first in Silverstone and then at the second race in Spa-Francorchamps. Although the team were hot favourites going into the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an accident put paid to any hopes of victory early on. Nonetheless Buemi and his team colleagues Anthony Davidson and Nicolas Lapierre still managed to finish third after the repair. After another third place in the rain chaos of Austin, the third victory of the season at the Toyota home race in Fuji put Buemi and Davidson firmly back on course for the World Championship title which was then clinched in dry weather in the penultimate race of the season. ELMS SIGHTS ALREADY SET ON THE ELMS LMP2 TITLE IN 2015 Even before the season started it was beyond dispute that the team from Marly FR was among the best in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). In 2014, however, Benoît Morand‘s team‘s blue LMP2 went on to become one of the most feared opponents. The team came tantalisingly close to its first victory in the second race of the ELMS in Imola. Just a few minutes before the end of the four-hour race, however, ex-F1 driver Christian Klien dropped out with engine damage while in the lead. The wait finally came to an end in the penultimate race in Le Castellet in the south of France: Klien, Swiss driver Gary Hirsch and Pierre Ragues dominated the proceedings to give Morand its first ELMS race victory. The crowning conclusion to a great season was finishing second in the final race in Estoril and third in the overall championship: If the team had not dropped out in Imola they would even have clinched the title. So it is hardly surprising that Benoît Morand was voted “Man of the Year“ by his ELMS colleagues. The goal for 2015 is clear: The team aims to take a small step forward and set its sights on the ELMS title. And with a little luck it might be possible to put in a respectable showing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the World Endurance Championship. In 2014 the team clinched an excellent sixth place among 17 LMP2 teams, finishing an impressive tenth in the overall rankings. © Photo: P. Savet / VSA REMUS F3 POKAL TITLE CUP FOR THOMAS AMWEG Thomas Amweg left his personal stamp on this year‘s Remus Formula 3 Cup. The 29-year-old from Ammerswil in the canton of Aargau won ten out of the fourteen races on the calendar this year. He could probably have done even better. But in Brno, Czech Republic, Amweg was not in the starting line-up for races 9 and 10. He therefore only actually failed to win twice: in the second race at the Red Bull Ring and in the first race at Hockenheim. The Zeller driver still made it onto the podium on both occasions, however. All in all, Amweg achieved an impressive score of 283 points. Polish driver Jakub Smiechowski came second with 156 points - well behind Amweg. The latter‘s title win was decided at the penultimate race of the season in Imola. © Photo:Urs Gehrig 23



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