Gerhard Berger Is New DTM Boss

(c) dtm.com

In an attempt to improve the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, series‘ governing body is under restructuration and appointed Gerhard Berger as its new boss.

Former Formula 1 driver and team co-owner Berger will replace Hans Werner Aufrecht, who led ITR for over 30 years. The Austrian will return to the managerial role for the first time since he left the FIA single-seater commission at the end of 2014.

Commenting on his new role, Berger said: “I started my motor-racing career in touring car racing and always followed DTM with a lot of interest. DTM is a top-class product with independent, powerful regulations, with strong manufacturers, top sponsors, important international partnerships and many fans.

This is a good starting point with great potential for the future. The first task I will focus on in the coming weeks is gaining a deeper insight into the details with the support of my colleagues. We will then use this strong basis for creating a joint strategy for the future. While doing so, I consider the further development of our international partnerships – also with regards to new manufacturers –, spectacular racing cars that also command the drivers’ respect as well as a format combining both sport and entertainment as particularly important”.

Although Berger himself ran in only one DTM race (8th place in Zolder 1985), he is connected to the series through his nephew Lucas Auer who will spend his third season as a Mercedes-AMG driver this year.

Tomasz Kubiak

Twitter: @tomekkubiak

DTM – Vallelunga Test

(c) DTM

DTM teams completed three-day test at Vallelunga.

All three manufacturers of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters came to Vallelunga for a three-day test. It was the first time the cars were present in the fully homologated 2017 spec.

Audi Sport brought to Italy Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green. It was Ekström who gave the new RS 5 DTM first public laps and was very pleased with the experience:

(c) DTM

“We tried out a lot of different things: short stints, long runs, qualifying simulations and many different set-up variants. The new DTM cars are definitely more demanding in terms of driving skills. Plus, finding a perfect set-up compromise for the softer tires and the changed aerodynamics is a great challenge. The season is going to be packed with excitement for sure!” Ekstrom commented.

Both Audi drivers covered 2121 kilometres between them.

Mercedes-AMG’s drivers Robert Wickens, Gary Paffett and Edoardo Mortara posted 518 laps between them, equating to 2116 km. The Stuttgart brand focused mainly on a better understanding of the new-for-2017 softer compound tyres from series’ supplier Hankook.

(c) DTM

Head of the Mercedes-AMG’s programme Ulrich Fritz commented:

“The hard work has paid off so far with plenty of kilometres posted and data collected during two successful weeks of testing. Still, our work is far from over. We must now evaluate all the info, especially with regard to the new generation of tyres, and draw the right conclusions before final testing in Hockenheim.”

(c) DTM

BMW Motorsport decided not to share much information about their participation in testing. The Bavarian brand brought to the track Maxime Martin and Tom Blomqvist, who are understood to have spent the three days understanding the behaviour of the new M4 DTM, which under the new rules was given more power and less downforce than its predecessor.

The last round of collective testing will take place in Hockenheim on 3-6 April. The same track will host the season opener on 6-7 May.

Tomasz Kubiak

Twitter: @tomekkubiak

BTCC 2017 – Rubbing Is Racing!

(c) BTCC – Media Da

It’s almost time to set the grid for the first qualifying round of the year and then wait for lights out on the Sunday. Yes, that’s right, BTCC is back! And it’s looking better than ever. But what should you be watching out for?

(c) Halfords Yuasa Racing – Gordon Shedden

This year sees a jam-packed grid of 32 drivers. 16 of which are already race winners in the series. This is by far the strongest field we have seen for a long time on the touring car scene. Between the winning drivers they share a breath-taking 329 victories! So prepare for the races to be hard fought and the action to be closer than ever. Will we see a runaway favourite for the championship or will we get a thriller that goes down to the wire?

(c) Team BMR – Media Day Donington

Something that is for certain is that we can absolutely rely on the fireworks between Jason Plato and Matt Neal. Their fights in touring cars have become stuff of legend, epic championship battles, brutal overtakes on track and even the odd bit of confrontation in the paddock area. The Subaru of Plato is now in its second year and will be keen to show that it is the right car for the job.

(c) West Surrey Racing- Colin Turkington

Honda and Team Dynamics always seem to get stronger every year, no matter whether they are running a Civic tourer or the classic hatchback. BTCC isn’t just about those two though, oh no. Ask Collin Turkington, Gordon Shedden, Tom Ingram and the returning Tom Chilton. All just as eager to provide the action on race day and walk away with the silverware.

(c) WTCC – Tom Chilton

Speaking of Chilton, he hasn’t returned alone to the BTCC, Vauxhall are back as a works team. Partnering up with Power Maxed racing in the new Astra. The car looked resplendent today at Donnington, standing out in the white, black and yellow livery. West Surrey racing also have something to smile about as they managed to bag a works deal with BMW. With the main man Turkington back in the driving seat they will be battling hard to reclaim the title after coming so close with Sam Tordoff last year. It’s the same car with new faces over at Triple eight, Árón Taylor-Smith and Daniel Lloyd will front the charge in the MG’s.

(c) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo – Mat Jackson

My dark horse for this year though has to be Mat Jackson in the Motorbase Ford Focus. If they can get the car to perform in the early rounds then they will stand much more of a chance of having a shot at the title. Something that hasn’t really happened for the last few years. But no doubt they will be there or there about.

Whatever happens this year I can guarantee we will have a cracker of a season. Expect the racing to be heated right from lights out at Brands Hatch indy all the way through to the finale when they return to face the GP circuit. So, who’s ready?

Mitch Oakley

BTCC Entry List Announced

Today was the day the drivers and teams gathered at Donington Park for the BTCC media day. Smiling faces and an air of anticipation swept across the circuit as a 32 car grid was confirmed for what is by far the most exciting and action packed touring car series on the planet.

Gordon Shedden has again confirmed that he will not be carrying the defending champion #1 and will instead stick with his #52. He is on course to equal the record of Andy Rouse this season with four titles, but with a grid so full of experience, talent and young enthusiasm it is going to be a big ask.

BTCC is coming…….Are you ready?

Here is the full grid for the 2017 BTCC season:

#2

Tom Chilton

Power Maxed Racing

Vauxhall Astra

#3

Mat Jackson

Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo

Ford Focus

#4

Colin Turkington

Team BMW

BMW 125i M-Sport

#5

Rob Collard

Team BMW

BMW 125i M-Sport

#7

Stephen Jelley

Racing with Maximum Motorsport

Ford Focus

#10

Ant Whorton-Eales

AMD Tuning

Audi S1

#11

Rob Austin

Handy Motorsport

Toyota Avensis

#12

Mike Epps

Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing

Volkswagen CC

#16

Aiden Moffat

Laser Tools Racing

Mercedes Benz A-Class

#17

Dave Newsham

BTC Norlin Racing

Chevrolet Cruze

#18

Senna Proctor

Power Maxed Racing

Vauxhall Astra

#20

James Cole

Adrian Flux BMR Racing

Subaru Levorg

#22

Chris Smiley

BTC Norin Racin

Chevrolet Cruze

#23

Daniel Lloyd

MG Racing/RCIB Insurance

MG6 GT

#24

Jake Hill

TAG Racing

Volkswagen CC

#25

Matt Neal

Halfords Yuasa Racing

Honda Civic Type R

#28

Josh Price

BMR Racing Academy

Subaru Levorg

#30

Martin Depper

Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo

Ford Focus

#31

Jack Goff

Eurotech Racing

Honda Civic Type R

#33

Adam Morgan

Ciceley Motorsport with MAC Tools

Mercedes Benz A-Class

#40

Aron Taylor-Smith

MG Racing/RCIB Insurance

MG6 GT

#48

Ollie Jackson

AMD Tuning

Audi S1

#52

Gordon Shedden

Halfords Yuasa Racing

Honda Civic Type R

#55

Jeff Smith

Eurotech Racing

Honda Civic Type R

#61

Will Burns

Autoaid/RCIB Insurance

Volkswagen CC

#66

Josh Cook

Team Parker Racing with Maximum Motorsport

Ford Focus

#77

Andrew Jordan

BMW Pirtek Racing

BMW 125i M-Sport

#80

Tom Ingram

Speedworks Motorsport

Toyota Avensis

#99

Jason Plato

Adrian Flux BMR Racing

Subaru Levorg

#116

Ashley Sutton

Adrian Flux BMR Racing

Subaru Levorg

#300

Luke Davenport

Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo

Ford Focus

#303

Matt Simpson

Simpson Racing

Honda Civic Type R

See you at the chequered flag

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

OD Racing Enter Blancpain GT Series Asia

Malaysian squad OD Racing will enter an Audi R8 LMS GT3 in this season’s inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia campaign, with Mitch Gilbert confirmed as its first driver.

Founded in 2014, the team has previously contested the Asian Le Mans Series and GT Asia categories with McLaren and Lamborghini machinery. However, that all changes this year thanks to Blancpain GT Series Asia’s partnership with the Audi R8 LMS Cup, which allows teams to run the same car in both championships at the same venue a matter of weeks apart.

Indeed, such favourable logistics and opportunities to gather additional data using the same car and Pirelli tyres played a major role in OD Racing’s decision to join the championship with Audi.

Gilbert, meanwhile, previously competed in European F3 and the Formula 1-supporting GP3 Series before successfully switching to GT racing at the start of 2016. The Malaysian-born Australian finished third in last season’s Porsche Carrera Cup Asia standings and also claimed a class podium at December’s Motul Sepang 12 Hours.

The 22-year-old will contest both the 2017 Audi R8 LMS Cup and Blancpain GT Series Asia campaigns with OD Racing, who will announce Gilbert’s co-driver for the latter championship in due course.

OD Racing director Cornelius Ee views this season as a fresh start for the team after a tough 2016.

“We hoped to finish 2016 with a better result than what we ultimately achieved, but that is racing and it was a steep learning curve for us,” he said. “For 2017, however, we have secured what we hope to be a race-winning car with the Audi R8 LMS GT3, and we have a talented line-up of drivers who I’m sure can deliver results for our team. The whole team is feeling re-energised and we are all committed to bring home great results this year for ourselves and our partners.”

OD Racing becomes the second Audi team confirmed for this season’s inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia campaign after Phoenix Racing Asia announced its two-car programme in January. They’re joined on the GT3 grid by the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG, McLaren, Aston Martin and Lamborghini.

The team will test its new Audi at Sepang International Circuit on March 13/14 ahead of Blancpain GT Series Asia’s opening round of the season there on April 8/9.

2017 Blancpain GT Series Asia Schedule

April 8/9 Sepang, Malaysia
May 20/21 Chang International Circuit, Thailand
June 24/25 Suzuka, Japan
August 19/20 Fuji Speedway, Japan
September 23/24 Shanghai, China
October 21/22 Zhejiang, China

See you at the chequered flag.

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

Images courtesy of SRO Motorsports (c)

Josh Files Crowned TCR Middle East Champion

Jost Files took no prisoners at Bahrain International Circuit: with an authoritative double win at the wheel of the Lap57 Honda Civic, he secured the first edition of the TCR Middle East Series’s title. The Brit also becomes the first driver to have two different TCR titles under this belt, adding this one to that of TCR Germany won last year.

Liqui Moly Team Enstler took the Teams’ honours, but there was some disappointment among the German team’s members, as Brandon Gdovic missed the title by only 5 points. The American collected two nice second positions, but it was not enough. Luca Engstler, who also was in contention to win the tile, was third in Race 1, but had to retire in Race 2 with a broken driveshaft.

Italy’s 16-year-old Giacomo Altoè continued his steady learning process and took good results (one fourth and one third) at the wheel of Team Engstler’s third Volkswagen Golf. The Mulsanne Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta of Davit Kajaia also proved fast, but lacked reliability and could not finish in any of the races.

The Bahrain event was a successful ending to the first edition of the TCR Middle Series, which has attracted great interest in the region.

Race 1 – Files’ win paves the way to exciting finale

The first edition of the TCR Middle East Series will live this afternoon a breath-taking Race 2, as three drivers will go into it fighting for the title and being split by only 5 points.

By clinching an authoritative win in Race 1, Josh Files, at the wheel of the Lap57 Honda Civic, has reduced to 2 points his gap from the series leader Brandon Gdovic, who took a last-lap second place from his Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s teammate Luca Engstler, now third in the standings, but only 5 points behind Gdovic.

Race 1: in an unusually cloudy morning at Bahrain International Circuit, delivered a first big surprise even before the start, as the Mulsanne Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta of Davit Kajaia, had to pull out from the first row of the grid with a broken driveshaft.

Files took the lead from the start and built progressively a sufficient gap, although his race was far from easy: “It was a very hard race on the tyres”, explained the Brit,“there is nothing left of them and in the final laps, I had no grip, no traction, no nothing.”

Luca Engstler led the charge of the Golf cars for the entire race, but his efforts took a toll on his tyres; in the last lap, Brandon Gdovic, who had adopted a more conservative approach with regard to tyre consumption, was able to pass the young German for second. Both drivers admitted there was nothing to do against the Honda in this first race of the day.

Giacomo Altoè, on the third car of Liqui Moly Team Engstler, had to stop in the penultimate lap after a sudden drop of power, which ruined an otherwise consistent race.

Race 2 – Files secures title with another win

Josh Files was crowned the first TCR Middle East Series champion. The British driver of the Lap 57 Honda Civic left no chances to his opponents by winning also an eventful Race 2.

Both Luca Engstler (Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf) and Davit Kajaia (Mulsanne Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta) tried hard to challenge Josh, but both had to retire, leaving the podium to the other pair of Liqui Moly Team Engstler drivers, Brandon Gdovic and Giacomo Altoè, who ran together the entire race, and secured the Teams’ title for the German squad.

Altoè, pole sitter on the reversed grid, almost stalled at the start, which saw some drops of rain, and Files overtook everybody before first corner to take the lead, with Kajaia keeping second only for a few corners, as he got passed by Engstler before the end of first lap. The group remained quite compact until Engstler suddenly slowed down (lap 4) and had to stop on the straight, prompting the safety car to be deployed.

The race resumed on lap 8, becoming a double battle between Files and Kajaia on one hand and Gdovic and Altoè on the other, but progressively, Files managed to pull away up to the chequered flag, while Kajaia stopped in the pits on lap 19, with severe understeer. Gdovic and Altoè finished their duel in the same order to complete the podium.

Quotes from the podium finishers in both races:

Josh Files (1st in both races): “It’s great to take the championship with a double win. Things may look easy from the outside, but they were not. The entire weekend was about tyres, and I am very happy that we took the decision to save new tyres for the races. In both, the tyres were completely dead at the end. Otherwise, the car performed very well, although we could never solve the misfiring problem we had throughout the weekend.”

Brandon Gdovic (2nd in both races): “It has been a frustrating weekend for me. We were able to improve the behaviour of the car and I am happy of the way I managed the tyres, but the Honda was absolutely unreachable.”

Lucas Engstler (3rd in Race 1): “I am quite disappointed. Not only there was nothing we could do against the Honda, but I also had twice a broken driveshaft, in Qualifying and in Race 2 and this also penalized me a lot.”

Giacomo Altoè (3rd in Race 2): “It was a positive weekend and I learnt a lot. I am relatively satisfied with my performance and of having being able to keep the pace of my team mate Gdovic in both races. It’s just a pity I made such a silly mistake at the start of Race 2, when I released to quickly the clutch and almost stalled.”

See you at the chequered flag.

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

Images courtesy of TCR Media (c)

Elinas Joins Porsche Carrera Cup GB

Porsche Carrera Cup Silverstone Taster day 2016

After rising through the single seater ranks to the heights of GP2 and most recently winning races in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Tio Ellinas (Larnaca, Cyprus) is making the switch to sports car racing for 2017 with the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and JTR.

Echoing the team’s own move for 2017, Ellinas will be competing a 911 GT3 Cup for the first time as part of a three-car line up for JTR in their debut sports car season. Along with team mates Dino Zamparelli and Lewis Plato, Ellinas is a significant addition to an already strong field of Pro category drivers who now account for a half of the total grid.

Ellinas won races with JTR in the 2010 British Formula Ford championship, before going on to win races in Formula Renault 2.0, GP3 and Formula Renault 3.5. Despite a Formula One test and points-scoring GP2 debut, Ellinas is realistic about the season ahead:

“It will be a completely new challenge for me as I begin my first season in sports cars. I had a really positive test with Porsche at Silverstone in November which is what started things moving, and now I just can’t wait to get back in a car.

 

“I know the competition will be tough, but I also know from past experience with JTR that the guys will provide me with a great car – so perhaps I can fight for wins and possibly challenge for the championship later in the year. Why not!?

Porsche Carrera Cup Silverstone Taster day 2016

“This is a big move for me that I hope will lead to a long career in the sport. I want to thank the team, and also personally Nick Tandy, for believing in my abilities and putting me in the car for this season.”

Team Principal, Nick Tandy, has every confidence in his new signing and the strength of the team going into the season:

“We’ve known Tio a long time and we’re delighted to welcome him back to the team. He’s won a lot of races and has an enviable track record in single seaters, but we’re all ‘eyes open’ to the challenge as he adapts to a completely different style of car.

“The first official test isn’t far away, but back in November Tio proved he didn’t need long to get up to a really good pace in the car. Along with Dino and Lewis, we couldn’t have hoped for a stronger line up in our first season of sports cars.”

Porsche Silverstone Taster day 2016

James MacNaughton, Motorsport Manager, Porsche Cars GB, commented:

“To have a driver of Tio’s experience and with his track record join the Porsche Carrera Cup GB is a proud moment for us. We’ve worked hard to make sure the championship appeals to all our competitors in every category, and it’s something which can be a difficult balance to achieve.

“Looking at the strength of our Pro drivers, along with the continued support of our Pro-Am1 and Pro-Am2 competitors, we must be getting it right. The field for our 15th season looks fiercely competitive and we can’t wait to get going.”

Porsche Carrera Cup Silverstone Taster day 2016

Ellinas is the 10th confirmed Pro category driver so far, and will be joining Tom Wrigley (IN2 Racing), Jamie Orton (Redline Racing) and Matt Telling (Welch Motorsport) in the Rookie championship.

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

Images courtesy of and with permission by Porsche Carrera Cup GB

Porsche Carrera Cup GB – Confirmations

(c) porsche.co.uk

Confirmations and announcements for the 15th season of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB

An unprecedented level of early registrations following the 2016 season saw the majority of the grid confirmed before the year’s end, but the 2017 pre-season still has a few surprises of its own.

Drivers and Teams

Heading to the championship from the BTCC is Welch Motorsport. In parallel to any BTCC activities, the team will be supporting Matt Telling as he takes on his first season competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. Entered in both Pro-Am2 and Rookie categories, Telling has some experience of the ‘Type 991’ 911 GT3 Cup from endurance races, but he and Welch Motorsport will be making the most of pre-season testing.

After four seasons and seven wins, front-runner Stephen Jelley recently announced a return to the British Touring Car Championship after moving from the BTCC to Porsche Carrera Cup GB in 2010. Jelley will be trading places with Alex Martin, who returns to Porsche Carrera Cup GB alongside father Rupert at Team Parker Racing. Alex had his first taste of the championship driving a ‘Type 997’ 911 GT3 Cup back in 2009, but he and father Rupert, himself a veteran of two seasons, have never raced in the championship together.

Porsche Carrera Cup Rounds 15 & 16, Brands Hatch GP, 30th Sept – 2nd October 2016
Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com (c) porsche.co.uk

 

Alex explains: “After two memorable but frustrating seasons in the BTCC, I’m genuinely happy to be returning to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. I never quite adapted to the front-wheel drive Focus and felt unable to push myself and the car to the edge required in such a competitive championship. So onwards and upwards to Porsche!“

For 2017, company director Alex will compete in the Pro-Am1 category, while Rupert stays in Pro-Am2. Alex continues: “I drove my dad’s car after the end of last season and loved it straight away. So much so that at the end of a long day in the car I got out, smiling from ear to ear, and Stuart Parker [team manager] said, “there are 10 minutes left before the circuit shuts”, so rather than calling it a day I jumped straight back in to do a few more laps – what a machine!

“2017 for me is about rediscovering my love for racing. It’s easy to get caught up in all the hype and media, but at the end of the day I race for three reasons: the love of competition, the cars and, most of all, fun! I can’t wait to get stuck in as 2017 is going to be a lot of fun.”

Indications are that there will be more to come before the first race weekend at Brands Hatch on 1 / 2 April.

2017 Photographer

(c) Dan Bathie

Porsche Carrera Cup GB is pleased to announce that Dan Bathie, the Renault MSA Young Photographer of the Year 2016, will be covering the championship at all the core rounds as well as at special events. Bathie, aged 25 from Derbyshire, scooped the award after his entry impressed the panel of judges through a combination of technical excellence with artistry that showcased a variety of motorsport disciplines at both national and international levels.

Bathie said of the appointment: “It’s a huge honour to be working with such a prestigious manufacturer and championship. When I was just getting into photography, the Porsche Carrera Cup GB was actually one of the first races I took my camera to, so to be their photographer is a huge career goal for me.

“I’m just excited to get started now, the calendar goes to some fantastic UK circuits as well as the iconic Circuit de la Sarthe, which is always a special track to photograph. I hope to show the championship, the drivers and teams at their best.”

James MacNaughton, Motorsport Manager, Porsche Cars GB, commented: “We always have a focus on supporting our teams, drivers and partners with the best photography we can. Over the years we’re fortunate to have worked with some amazing photographers, so we’re delighted to have Dan on board to carry that forward.

“His record already speaks for itself, but the fact he’s a similar age to many of our drivers this season could result in an interesting re-interpretation of what we produce. The championship has such a diverse and evolving range of requirements for imagery that sometimes it’s good to take a fresh look.”

Bathie’s first event with the championship will be at the Media Day.

Media Day

The first official event of 2017 will be Media Day, held at Silverstone’s National circuit on Monday 13 March. All full grid of teams and drivers will take part in a day of testing, interviews, filming and photography. Full details including a timetable will be sent ahead, with 2017 information packs available on the day or in advance by request. Please contact rob.durrant@porsche.co.uk if you wish to be added to the mailing list or would like further information.

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

DTM Test

Photo: (c) DTM

 

All three Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters manufacturers were present in Algarve for the last collective testing before the cars have to be submitted to homologation on March 1.

Photo Credit: (c) Audi Sport

Audi Sport brought their former champion Mattias Ekström to perform the initial shakedown, before handing the RS 5 DTM to Loïc Duval and René Rast, both new full-season drivers in the series and Jamie Green, who took the car for the final of three days.

Photo Credit: (c) Mercedes-AMG

Mercedes-AMG also had a mix of experienced drivers and new signings. The Stuttgart-based brand focused on completing as many laps as possible with Gary Paffett, Paul di Resta and Audi refugee Edoardo Mortara. The three drivers together crossed the finish line 438 times.

Photo Credit: (c) BMW Motorsport

BMW Motorsport was the only manufacturer to have only two drivers with Augusto Farfus and reigning series champion Marco Wittmann sharing the driving duties. The München-based squad focussed on getting to know the new for 2017 tyres which are much softer, as an effect of a tyre warmers ban.

The sessions were not timed and it is understood that not all cars were in their full 2017 trims.

This will change for the next collective test, which will take place in Italian Vallelunga on March 14-17.

Tomasz Kubiak

Twitter: @tomekkubiak

Audi To Utilize 3 Teams

Audi will utilize three existing teams in DTM.

Audi is the last Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters manufacturer to announce their team structure for the 2017 season.

For the first time since 2011, the DTM field will consist of only 18 cars, which comes as a result of an agreement between competing brands to run six cars each, instead of eight. While BMW and Mercedes-AMG took the opportunity to reduce the number of their teams to two and one respectively, Audi decided to keep all its existing outfits in place.

That move was possible as Hans-Jürgen Abt’s Team Abt Sportsline, which used to run four cars, will scale down its programme to two cars, in order to keep in line with Team Phoenix and Team Rosberg.

Each full-time 2016 driver will remain with their existing teams. Therefore, Mattias Ekström and Nico Müller will form the Abt squad, while Jamie Green and Mike Rockenfeller will lead Rosberg and Phoenix respectively. As for rookie goes, Loïc Duval will join Team Phoenix while René Rast will switch to Team Rosberg for his first full-season ride.

Rast and Duval also announced their race numbers – the German decided not to retain the #72 he used for a few races last year and chose to race with #33 while the French opted for #77.

Tomasz Kubiak

Twitter: @tomekkubiak