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Rally and Endurance

Monday 25th March 2013


Drivers will battle for the coveted Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy – the oldest award in the history of motor sport – in the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship to be held at Silverstone on the 12-14 April. First awarded in 1905, Tourist Trophy winners represent a roll call of motor sport greats including Rudolf Caracciola, Carroll Shelby, Stirling Moss and Graham Hill.

Originally presented to the winner of a six-hour endurance race, 100 years later the Tourist Trophy will also go to the victors after six hours of racing. After a 20-year hiatus, the 2012 season saw the first series for sports-prototype cars with official world championship status – the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The FIA WEC revives the historic thread of the World Championships which were, at their peak from the 1950s to the 1980s, every bit as popular, powerful and entertaining as Formula One. Today, the FIA WEC offers a multitude of opportunities to engineers, teams, manufacturers and drivers to compete in a high profile and prestigious calendar of events, based around the showcase of the sport worldwide – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It will be the first time that the Club's famous Tourist Trophy will go to the winners of the world championship endurance sportscar race for nearly 50 years.

As a curtain raiser to the race at Silverstone, a launch and presentation of the teams and drivers took place in London today. With the iconic Tower Bridge as a backdrop the Strakka Racing HPD-Honda LMP1, the Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 LMGTE and RAM Racing’s European Le Mans Series entered Ferrari 458 provided a focal point for Londoners to sample the spirit of Le Mans.

Stéphane Sarrazin (Toyota), Darren Turner (Aston Martin Racing), Alex Brundle (Oak Racing), Nick Leventis, Jonny Kane and Danny Watts (Strakka Racing) and Tor Grave and John Martin (Delta-ADR) all posed for pictures with their cars and the world famous Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy.

Then, at Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall, where the race- winning Toyota TS030 hybrid was on display, there was a short presentation where Gérard Neveu, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship, said: “This is a great honour to be here at the Royal Automobile Club here in London and to have to opportunity to present the opening round of the 2013 championship to the UK media and the fans in Potters Field. I would also like to thank the Royal Automobile Club for the opportunity of presenting the Tourist Trophy to the winning drivers of the 6 Hours of Silverstone. The trophy has a long and rich history stretching back to 1905 and we are extremely pleased to be able to continue this legacy in 2013 and beyond. We look forward to seeing you all at Silverstone in just three weeks’ time.”

Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club Motoring Committee, said: “Today has been a great day for motor sport here in the UK with a great display of sports cars and drivers, both here at the Royal Automobile Club and at Potters Field on the south bank of the Thames. The excitement is tangible and there is a real sense of anticipation for the opening round of the World Endurance Championship at Silverstone.The first race in 1905 lasted over six hours and it is truly fitting that over 100 years later we have gone full circle back to a six-hour endurance race in 2013."

The 6 Hours of Silverstone will take place on the 12-14 April 2013 at the home of UK motor sport. The race weekend will feature Round 1 of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which will be for the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy, and also the opening round of the European Le Mans Series, which are both promoted by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). The weekend at Silverstone also features the second event on the 2013 FIA European Formula 3 Series calendar.
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