Saleen S7#S7R

The Saleen S7R is a Gran Turismo racing cars in the GT1 group based on the Saleen S7. The vehicle produced from 2000 to 2007 came into international sports car racing series such as the FIA ​​GT Championship, the Le Mans Series and the American Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans for use. Ray Mallock Ltd.. built the first S7R led by Saleen in its production plants in the UK. As of 2006, Saleen was the last S7R at ORECA finished in France.

Racing history

2000 - 2002: First success in the Le Mans Series

The first Saleen S7R was completed at the end of 2000. He was then shipped to the United States to give its race debut at the American Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca Raceway. The vehicle used Saleen -Allen Speedlab finished the race in 26 to season 2001, the first customer chassis were produced, which were used by their teams in various international championships. Fordahl Motorsports ran in the Grand-Am Sports Car Series, Ray Mallock in the European Le Mans Series, and Konrad Motorsport in both the European Le Mans Series and the American Le Mans Series.

Reach an early age with the Saleen S7R initial success, as Konrad Motorsport ended the 12 - hour race at Sebring in sixth place and won a class victory. It was followed by two more class wins in the American Le Mans Series, but had to give Konrad in the championship the superior Corvette factory team with his Corvette C5 -R defeated. Nevertheless succeeded in the very first season with the new vehicle, the vice-championship. Fordahl Motorsports scored in the Grand-Am Sports Car Series seven class victories and finished the championship from second place, while Ray Mallock won four races of the European Le Mans Series and decided the championship with one point ahead of Konrad Motorsport in itself. Saleen Allen Speedlab brought his car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 18th place in the overall standings and third place in its class to the finish.

Since the European Le Mans Series was disbanded after the 2001 season, Konrad Motorsport concentrated in 2002 now mainly on the American Le Mans Series. Against the strong Corvette factory team but Konrad could still not hold their own and remained winless in the season. However, the second championship course could be defended. Fordahl Motorsport withdrew after one year from the Grand-Am Sports Car Series back, but moved to Park Place Racing team after another with a Saleen S7R. Park Place won four races and scored the championship victory. The newly formed team Graham Nash Motorsport Saleen S7R won with nine wins in the British GT Championship and four wins in the Spanish GT Championship, securing the title in both series.

2003 - 2005: Focus on the FIA GT Championship

For the 2003 season, Konrad Motorsport chose to bring his Saleen S7R in Europe in the FIA ​​GT Championship at the start. Since Park Place Racing Grand -Am Sports Car Series left, now no Saleen team played a full season in North America. Graham Nash Motorsport followed Konrad Motorsport also in the FIA GT Championship. The two teams ended the year in positions six and eight.

2004 about to sit down again increasingly teams on the Saleen S7R. Ray Mallock rose after a year's absence from motor sports, as a third Saleen team in the FIA GT Championship in. Konrad Motorsport supervised beside his own Saleen S7R now another one for the new Vitaphone Racing Team. Michael Bartels and Uwe Alzen drove it a three race wins and scored in the championship in fourth place. The team of Dominique Dupuy brought a Saleen S7R in the French GT Championship at the start and was able to win two victories. ACEMCO Motorsports purchased two new S7R with which the team's American Le Mans Series denied. However ACEMCO underperformed the still dominant in the series Corvette factory team, finishing in the final second.

The 2005 season was less successful, however, for the Saleen S7R. Konrad Motorsport and Graham Nash Motorsport were affected by economic difficulties. Among them were also suffering the racing success and both teams were able to in the FIA ​​GT Championship achieve only a few points. Vitaphone Racing, meanwhile, had separated from Konrad Motorsport and also changed the vehicle. Instead of the Maserati MC12 Saleen two now were used. ACEMCO Motorsports ended the American Le Mans Series again in second place, but could not intervene in the fight for race wins against Corvette Racing. The three victories by Dominique Dupuy in the French GT Championship in 2005 remained the only victories of the Saleen S7R.

2006 - 2009: realignment

After the setback in 2005 Saleen attempted to focus on a few specific races and race series. ACEMCO Motorsports left the American Le Mans Series and took only part of the 24 - hour race at Le Mans. Eleventh place in the overall standings was the best result of a Saleen S7R at the long distance classic. The French ORECA team was commissioned to produce new improved chassis of the Saleen S7R in order, according to company owner Steve Saleen to increase the competitiveness and support for customer teams. Soon again the successes one, as ORECA could celebrate with his drivers Stéphane Ortelli and Soheil Ayari two class wins in the Le Mans Series and became the third championship course. The team also denied the French GT Championship, in which the title was won. In the FIA ​​GT Championship factory team Zakspeed and the private team with Balfe Racing Saleen S7R competed. Jaroslav Janiš, Sascha Bert and Andrea Montermini drove Zakspeed for a two race wins and so the team was able to finish the season in fourth championship course.

2007 had Zakspeed his involvement in the FIA ​​GT Championship abort, as the team became insolvent before the season starts. ACEMCO Motorsports also had to withdraw from motorsport and his Saleen S7R sell. ORECA chassis made ​​two more, one of which was delivered to the Italian team Racing Box, the Le Mans Series played along with ORECA. There succeeded after a long dry spell in international motorsport after all the final breakthrough for the Saleen S7R, Stéphane Ortelli and Soheil Ayari as imports four class victories for ORECA and secured the drivers' and team titles of the GT1. ORECA was also in the 24- hour race at Le Mans success at the Saleen S7R ten and 16 were in the squares at the end of the race in the overall standings. The title in the French GT Championship was successfully defended.

In the 2008 season Larbre Compétition took a S7R first at the opening round of the Le Mans Series in part, was reached at the second place in its class. However, since the racing calendar with the collided the French GT Championship, Larbre could not get to the start and then the team eventually withdrew from the series his vehicle in the following runs. Now Larbre focused on the FIA GT Championship and the French GT Championship, which finished the team with the championship victory. Larbre also took part in the 24 - hour race at Le Mans, in which the S7R number 28 crossed the finish line. The Belgian team PK Carsport rose for the 2008 season of his Corvette C5 -R also to a Saleen S7R. The greatest success with the vehicle succeeded PK Carsport at the season finale in San Luis, Anthony Kumpen Bert Longin and emerged from the victorious. Individual guest starts in the FIA ​​GT Championship were also completed by the Auto Racing Club Bratislava and from RBImmo Racing Team.

After the 2008 season Larbre Compétition left again the FIA GT Championship in 2009 and focused now completely on the Le Mans Series. Although the 1000- kilometer race at the Nürburgring managed a class win, but the team lost the title to Luc Alphand Aventures. However, the FIA GT Championship have been retained, the Saleen S7R, as the Czech team K plus K motorsport and the Austrian Full Speed ​​Racing Team boarded each with two vehicles of this type in the series despite the exit of Larbre. The pilots Wendlinger and Ryan Sharp won the K plus K Saleen the season opener at Silverstone. The Auto Racing Club Bratislava appeared as a guest starter with his Saleen S7R at each one of the Le Mans Series and the FIA GT Championship, was the goal, however, at two race participations not reach.

2010: Wins out of competition

Originally Larbre Compétition was adapted to the new rules in the newly formed FIA GT1 World Championship, the successor series of the FIA ​​GT Championship in 2010 bringing his Saleen S7R, at the start. However, since only six manufacturers were provided and thus the Saleen would have been seventh, the vehicle was not given a starting place.

In the American Le Mans Series GT1 cars no longer were from the 2010 season allowed in the Le Mans Series 2010 Saleen other hand, were still eligible. A Saleen S7R Larbre Compétition and the Austrian Atlas FX- Team FS were ever reported for this series. After the vehicle of the Austrians did not appear at the opening race at the Circuit Paul Ricard, Gabriele Gardel, Patrice Goueslard and Julien Canal finished the first run unrivaled as class winners of the GT1. In the next 1000 km race at Spa- Francorchamps, however, were both the second Saleen, as well as several other GT1 cars from the FIA GT1 World Championship on site. There, the Saleen could not prevail against the Ford GT1 and finished the race outside of the podium. In the following two rounds of the Le Mans Series reappeared only the two Saleen in their class, the Saleen Larbre wore each of them the class win. In the last race in Silverstone, only the Saleen Larbre was launched and safely secured the class win in this race and also the overall victory for the GT1 class of the Le Mans Series. Throughout the season, the Saleen however, had been struck by vehicles from the lower GT2 class.

At the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 2010 Saleen S7R for the first time was the overall winner in the GT1 category. Larbre here was able to prevail against the employed by private teams Aston Martin DBR9, Corvette C6.R and the Ford GT1. Achieved Similar to the races of the Le Mans Series GT2 cars but two more rounds than the Saleen.

From 2011, the Saleen were like all other GT1 cars no longer allowed to start at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the Le Mans Series, due to the new regulations and the new classification.