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6H Shanghai: Saturday Paddock Notes

Little ones, fond goodbyes and more

Get ‘Em Young

The CEFC Manor TRS Racing squad welcomed some special guests on Saturday afternoon after qualifying as a group of young Chinese kart racers and their parents toured the team’s Shanghai garages.

They included in their number young Olivia, at 3 and a half (seen below at the front of the Oreca’s bodywork) allegedly China’s youngest competing karter whose latest videos were viewed with stunned amazement by Messrs Booth, Lowden, Petrov, Trummer et al.

Porsche Say Thank You To ‘The Sheriff’

Porsche have started a long goodbye from their LMP1 team, with just a pair of FIA WEC races remaining in their programme followed by, we understand, some further public demonstrations of the 919 Hybrid into 2018.

One moment for the team in Shanghai was a gesture of thanks to FIA WEC Pitlane Marshall Alain “The Sheriff” Tannier who was presented by the team with a Porsche driving suit, signed by the team.

Porsche driver conditioning is famously thorough, evidence by the FIA WEC Driver Adviser (and ex Porsche factory driver) Yannick Dalmas, who, upon spotting the DSC Ed raising his camera, was insistent on ensuring that his colleague did justice to the famous colours!

Roussel on Muller

D-Drive Racing is competing with a pair of new drivers this weekend in Shanghai, newly crowned ELMS champion Leo Roussel and DTM racer Nico Muller joining Roman Rusinov here.

Roussel, who was offered the drive by Rusinov shortly after helping steer the G-Drive Racing by DragonSpeed ORECA 07 to the ELMS title at Algarve last month, has been impressed by Muller’s pace after such limited running.

While Roussel has been driving the 07 Gibson all season, Muller only managed a handful of laps in a pre-event test at Portimao, before heading to Shanghai with the team.

“He’s so fast! It’s amazing,” Roussel told DSC. “In Free Practice 1 he only did 10 or so laps, and after just three he was on the pace. He’s so quick to adapt and he’s already studying the data. He’s going to be one to watch in the race this weekend.”

Andre Lotterer on Porsche team orders

With the #2 Porsche crew still on track to win the Drivers World Championship – holding a 39-point lead in the standings – Andre Lotterer feels that team orders will not come into play at the final two races of the season, the German still gunning for his first LMP1 win in Porsche overalls.

“It is important for me to get a win – I didn’t come here to get no wins at all,” Lotterer said to DSC. “I’ve been doing the job, we’ve worked as a team – which is how it is as a factory driver though sometimes.

“We’ve lost at least two wins this year, if not more. But I don’t think there’s issues now we’re coming to the end of the championship. The margin is big for the sister car, so I don’t think we’ll have any (team orders).”

Bamber Family Values

Brother of Porsche factory driver Earl Bamber, Will, has a further strong link across the family dinner table beyond the Team NZ Asian Le Mans Cup car raced by Will (previously Earl’s Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship-winning car), and the prospective programme for the two brothers to join forces in establishing a racing development school at the Sepang circuit using ex-Porsche Carrera Cup Asia cars.

The car currently campaigned by Bamber in this season’s Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, where he finished the season today third in the standings, is owned by Earl.