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Barcelona Tuesday Notebook

Sportscar365’s Tuesday notebook from FIA WEC pre-season test at Circuit de Catalunya

Photo: Adrenal Media/WEC

***A number of additional driver nominations have been made since the initial release of the entry list last week. It includes confirmation of the Rebellion Racing and Team LNT lineups, as reported by Sportscar365 on Monday.

***European Le Mans Series points leader Job van Uitert, who will make two starts in Racing Team Nederland’s Oreca 07 Gibson this season, has been added for the two-day test and told Sportscar365 that he will get his laps in the TDS-run car on Wednesday.

***Click Here for an updated entry list.

***Rebellion CEO Calim Bouhadra confirmed that Matthieu Vaxiviere was considered for the test in one of its Rebellion R13 Gibsons but ultimately didn’t materialize. The Frenchman is instead testing in the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

***The Swiss Rebellion squad is evaluating five drivers for what appears to be three season-long race seats in its so-far confirmed solo LMP1 entry.

***Team Project 1 drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Egidio Perfetti received their GTE-Am class-winning 24 Hours of Le Mans trophies on Tuesday from the ACO, following the disqualification of Keating Motorsports’ Ford GT, which had initially taken top class honors.

***Patrick Lindsey, who teamed with Bergmeister and Perfetti for the Le Mans class win WEC title, is not on-site this weekend and is unclear whether the American will return in a full-season capacity due to his business commitments in North America.

***Project 1 team manager Axel Funke confirmed to Sportscar365 that it will not contest the Silverstone round of the European Le Mans Series in order to focus its resources on the WEC season-opener. The No. 57 car’s driver lineup, which has not yet been revealed, is expected to be communicated later this week.

***In addition to its change of chassis, United Autosports has changed from being an American to British entrant in the WEC. The team’s No. 32 LMP2 entry was initially entered under the American flag, as has been the case with the majority of the team’s entries.

***The Ginetta G60 LT-P1 AER has still not been fully homologated, in the wake of the constructor’s switch from Mecachrome to AER power. ACO sporting director Vincent Beaumesnil told Sportscar365: “It’s just a question of finalizing details.”

***The No. 6 Ginetta only completed 15 laps in the morning session, while the No. 5 car didn’t appear on track until the afternoon. It’s believed the homologation issues centered on the systems associated with AER’s P60C engine configuration that LNT is running for the first time.

***Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon believes the manufacturer’s 14 kg weight increase will equate to a loss of four-tenths of a second on the track. However, he also said “not all teams will benefit” because of Toyota’s four-wheel-drive advantage over the rear-wheel-drive non-hybrids.

***Vasselon added that the low-downforce configuration of the updated Toyota TS050 Hybrid will carry a similar high-nose design to the high-downforce spec, which is running this week.

***Beaumesnil said the Hypercar regulations, presented to the FIA World Motor Sport Council in draft form last month in two different versions (road-based and prototype-based), has already been merged into a single document that was recently distributed to manufacturers. 

***A final set of 2020-21 Hypercar regulations will be presented to the WMSC for approval at the next meeting in Cologne on Oct. 4.

***Information on the timescale for the tender process for the Hypercar single-tire supplier has not been disclosed, although Sportscar365 understands that a decision from the FIA and ACO would be made before the end of this year.

***Goodyear, which has taken over from Dunlop in WEC competition, has introduced five new specifications of tires for LMP2 this season, which have been under development for more than a year at its innovation centers in Hanau (Germany) and Colmar-Berg (Luxembourg).

“Our priority has been to offer driveability and consistency that provides the teams with a significant step forward,” said Goodyear Racing EMEA director Ben Crawley. “These test sessions will allow us to evaluate the all-new range options against the competition before we define our range at Silverstone.”

***Four of the eight LMP2 entries are Goodyear-shod at the Prologue, with High Class Racing and both Jota Sport-run Oreca 07 Gibsons understood to be confirmed for the season and the TDS Racing-run Racing Team Nederland entry evaluating Goodyears.

***Per WEC regulations, teams are only able to switch tire manufacturers once over the course of the season, which begins with the initial decelerations for the pre-season test. 

***Michelin has rolled out with an updates range of tires for the season, carrying over the same basic range structure of soft, medium and hard slicks that will remain eligible in all four classes, according to Michelin’s new endurance racing program manager Pierre Alves.

***The biggest change comes in LMP1 with a dedicated range of tires for non-hybrids, which was developed for the start of the 2019 calendar year but was not used in the second half of the ‘Super Season’ due to not reaching a unanimous vote from teams for the change.

“[The] cars naturally evolved in the course of the exceptionally long 2018/2019 championship, so we have taken a fresh look at our tires’ constructions and tread compounds,” Alves said. “For example, with Sao Paulo returning to the series, we have revised our ranges to cover an even broader overall spread of track temperatures, from 5°C to 45°C last season to from 5°C to 65°C in 2019/2020, with no detriment to performance.”

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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