***Extreme Speed Motorsports will not be able to run with its usual Tequila Patron branding this weekend, due to government laws in Bahrain prohibiting the public display of alcohol advertising. The team received late word on this law this week, which will result in “ESM” graphics on the sidepods of the two Ligier JS P2 Hondas.
***Thirty two cars are set for Saturday’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Bahrain, thanks to the additional LMP2 entry from AF Racing, which fields its BR Engineering BR01 Nissan for Nic Minassian, David Markozov and Mikhail Aleshin.
***There are a number of other driver-related changes since Shanghai, the most notable being Patrick Dempsey’s absence due to filming commitments. Rumors have swirled in recent weeks of Dempsey not returning as a driver for next year, although Sportscar365 understands the actor/racer’s 2016 plans are currently being finalized.
***Matteo Cressoni has replaced Rui Aguas at the wheel of the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia this weekend, joining Emmanuel Collard and Francois Perrodo, who remain with a mathematical chance of the GTE-Am title. Aguas teamed with Collard and Perrodo for their first victory of the season last time out in Shanghai.
***Gustavo Menezes will get his first taste of LMP2 machinery in Sunday’s Rookie Test when the 21-year-old American tests the Signatech-Alpine A450b Nissan. Menezes, a rising star in the European open-wheel scene, has previous prototype experience with RSR Racing in NAEC races.
***A handful of other additional drivers are expected to take part on Sunday. ByKolles will likely field a GP2 pilot, per director of operations Boris Bermes, while other open-wheel aces could slot into other cars also entered.
***Current and prospective LMP1 Privateer entrants are expected to meet with ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil this weekend to discuss the future of the class. Teams have expressed mixed feelings on the category’s direction, due to increased costs and a larger disparity to the factory LMP1 cars.
***Romain Dumas will return to the Dakar Rally in January, at the wheel of a Peugeot 2008 + DKR15 run by the RD Rally Team. It will mark the Frenchman’s second consecutive appearance in the famed South American event.
***Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), has been signed as title sponsor for this weekend’s race, which is now officially known as the Bapco Six Hours of Bahrain.
***It’s a busy weekend in Bahrain, with both GP2 and GP3 also in action in the island kingdom. Both open-wheel championships were added earlier this year due to the cancelation of the Formula One race in Germany.