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ByKolles Planning Second LMP1 Car for Post-Le Mans Debut

ByKolles planning debut of second ENSO CLM P1/01 NISMO for Silverstone…

Photo: MPS Agency

ByKolles will expand into a two-car LMP1 operation in the FIA World Endurance Championship following the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the Austrian-flagged team planning a second ENSO CLM P1/01 NISMO for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

Team principal Manfredi Ravetto has revealed plans to field the second car for a yet-to-be-confirmed driver lineup beginning with the third round at Silverstone and stretching through the completion of the ‘Super Season’ at Le Mans in 2019.

The entry, however, would be subject to approval by the ACO Selection Committee for Le Mans.

“After Le Mans [this year] we will race the second car,” Ravetto told Sportscar365. “The more guys we have around us, the better it is and the more choices we have.”

ByKolles has tested close to a dozen drivers during an extensive development program in recent months with its LMP1 contender, which has received significant aero and engine upgrades for 2018.

It’s included Marco Bonanomi, Tom Dillmann, Rene Binder, Paolo Ruberti, Ling Kang, Edoardo Liberati, Mikael Grenier, along with team regulars Oliver Webb, Dominik Kraihamer, James Rossiter and Pierre Kaffer.

Bonanomi, Dillmann, Binder, Kang, Webb and Kraihamer are all taking part in this weekend’s Prologue pre-season test at Paul Ricard in a single CLM.

“All the guys we tested have some sort of priority,” Ravetto explained. “We’re not going to race the drivers we didn’t test.

“We still have a quite significant and intensive testing program to do.”

Ravetto said he expects to finalize the lineup for the team’s full-season entry within the next two weeks, with Webb so far the only confirmed driver.

LMP1 the “Right Place to Be”

The former Caterham F1 team boss, who has joined the Colin Kolles-owned squad this year, believes the influx of LMP1 entries has made the revived prototype class the place to be.

ByKolles has returned to full-time competition after a four-race campaign in 2017 as the only LMP1 privateer entry. 

The class has since grown to eight LMP1 non-hybrids, which alongside the two Toyota TS050 Hybrids, could now see an 11-car entry post-Le Mans.

“We personally believe it’s the right moment and right place to be, in WEC LMP1,” Ravetto said.

“It can turn into a very, very nice and popular championship. These cars are really fantastic; you have more cars, more drivers, more teams. This is what the fans love.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Tyler Sanders

    April 7, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Well this is good to see.

  2. Paul Martinek.

    April 7, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Totally agree with Mr Ravetto, it looks like we are at the start of another good era for LMP cars, lets hope the new (2020) ruleset doesn’t spoil it.

  3. The Esses

    April 7, 2018 at 11:46 am

    I still have a lot of concerns about this team’s ability to execute a single car operation. Here’s to them proving me wrong.

    • Steven

      April 7, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      Yeah, in the infamous words of Jeremy Clarkson…”Ambitious, but rubbish.”

  4. Mart

    April 7, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Who’s paying? Have all suppliers who haven’t been paid in the past been paid? And this Manfredi Ravetto, look into his past at Caterham, not to speak ot that blackmailer Colin Kolles. Bunch of shady people they are.

  5. Dave Henrie

    April 8, 2018 at 9:06 am

    If the prologue has any relation to the upcoming season, this may be By Kolles finally getting on par with the pack. Their fastest time put them mid-pack, but the real indicator is the number of laps. They turned more laps than any other LMP. WAY more laps than all but a few of the protos. So the lack of drama may indicate they are ready to race the car, rather than just get the car in the field.

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