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Bahrain Wednesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Wednesday notebook from Bahrain International Circuit…

Photo: Porsche

***Both Porsche 919 Hybrids are sporting special graphics in this weekend’s Six Hours of Bahrain, in the final race for the German manufacturer’s LMP1 program. The names of more than 500 supporters, from team mechanics to sponsors and catering staff, are adorned on the red stripes, with the shark fin displaying “919 Tribute” instead of the traditional Porsche.

***Porsche is using the hashtag #919Tribute to help share the story of the program’s success, which delivered three consecutive World Championships and victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “At the moment, we’re trying to put all these emotions aside, because we know we still have a race to do and we want to win it,” team principal Andreas Seidl told Sportscar365. ”

***The Porsche LMP1 team, along with its factory GT counterparts, took part in a traditional end-of-season photoshoot Wednesday afternoon (pictured above).

***Seidl confirmed they have no plans to test any additional drivers besides the World Series Formula V8 3.5 series champion in Sunday’s Rookie Test. Pietro Fittipaldi currently holds a 10-point lead over SMP Racing-backed driver Matevos Isaakyan heading into this weekend’s double-header season finale. 

***The runner-up in the the Formula V8 series will test the LMP2 championship-winning car, with the third place finisher set to be placed with the GTE-Pro champions. A final entry list for the Rookie Test is expected to be published on Saturday.

***Fernando Alonso, who is tipped to test with Toyota, is expected to arrive at the circuit on Friday, as a guest of the Bahraini royal family. Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, wholly owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain, has a 30 percent stake of McLaren.

***In addition to planned adoption of a Teams’ World Championship and revised points structure for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the FIA and ACO have adopted changes to pit stop regulations for 2018/19, which will permit tire changes during refueling. 

***All planned changes for the WEC ‘Super Season’ is subject to approval by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, which meets next on Dec. 6.

***Kamui Kobayashi will make his FIA Formula E Championship debut in next month’s season-opener in Hong Kong, having been confirmed at Andretti Formula E on Wednesday for the double-header round. It’s understood the Toyota Gazoo Racing driver is currently signed for Hong Kong-only.

***The first version of the 2018 FIA driver ratings is due to be released this week. As in years’ past, drivers are expected to be able to submit an appeal for a reversal of changes, with a final list to be confirmed by the end of the year.

***Jackie Chan DC Racing’s lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona will feature an all-new set of drivers for one of its Oreca 07 Gibsons, according to team co-owner David Cheng, who indicated a star-studded lineup. Sportscar365 understands it includes a current Formula One driver.

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

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Marc

    November 15, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Tire changes during refueling? That seems like a pretty big change. Would like to heard about the reasons behind the desired change.

    • TF110

      November 15, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      This would be a good thing in the fact that there’s a lot of correlation between the WEC’s pit stops and IMSA’s. Moving the two closer together is a win win and the future could be even more aligned with the prototype class.

    • FLB

      November 15, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      It’s a major culture change. These pit stop régulations are a major part of what separated IMSA from the Le Mans series.

      • NaBUru38

        November 15, 2017 at 2:52 pm

        I thought that double stinting was meant to promote tyre performance. Changing tyres every hour seems a waste.

        • Max

          November 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm

          Perhaps one way to balance the LMP1-L and LMP1-H cars will be to give stickier tires to the LMP1-Ls to compensate for their exit speed discrepancy. At LeMans the Rebellion R-One was faster at the end of the straights but much slower out of each turn.

  2. Kyle

    November 15, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    IMSA should be the one moving towards FIA/ACO pit regs…in my opinion.

    Guesses as to the Formula 1 driver? At least it sounds like JCDC are taking over Rebellion’s role as the all-star team of sorts.

    • Chris

      November 15, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Sergio Perez has said he’d like to try it after the Alonso entry became known, but I’d go with Felipe Massa looking at cool stuff to do after F1 or Brendon Hartley as most likely candidates.
      However, Jota cooperates with Arden, and about one third of the grid has raced with them at some point in their career. Arden is also owned by the Horner family, but I don’t think that we’ll get a current Red Bull driver other than Hartley.

    • Thomas

      November 15, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      That wont work because outside of cota no American circuit has a pit lane set up that would allow fia rules

  3. Limerockian

    November 15, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Massa

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