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ByKolles Hypercar Entry with Vanwall LMH Rejected

Vanwall-badged ByKolles LMH car’s entry application rejected for 2022 WEC season…

Image: ByKolles

ByKolles Racing’s entry application for the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship season with a Le Mans Hypercar racing under the Vanwall name has been rejected for homologation reasons, Sportscar365 understands.

Senior figures from the German squad have indicated that the ByKolles-built Vanwall Vandervell LMH will not be present on the upcoming WEC full-season entry list, following notification from the series selection committee on Monday.

It is understood that the rejection is based on the fact that the new non-hybrid prototype has not yet completed its homologation process.

ByKolles filed and paid for its full-season entry application with the caveat that its car would be permitted to miss the 1000 Miles of Sebring season-opener and debut at Spa in May, as the team would need time to finalize its pre-homologation testing process.

Entrants in the top Hypercar category, which also includes the likes of Toyota, Peugeot, Alpine and Glickenhaus, are required to contest all six rounds of the 2022 season.

The rejection of the ByKolles entry has raised questions about when the Gibson V8-powered Vanwall will make its race debut.

Company owner Colin Kolles declined to make a public comment, while another senior figure described the organization’s upcoming omission from the entry as “surprising” considering its early commitment to the LMH formula back in 2018.

A WEC spokesperson told Sportscar365 that the rejection was based on a “documentation issue”.

It is unclear how the entry situation will affect Peugeot, which has still not set a race debut for its four-wheel-drive hybrid LMH car due to debut this year.

The French manufacturer performed the first rollout of its new car last month. Unlike the Peugeot 9X8, the Vanwall Vandervell LMH has yet to complete its first shakedown.

It is understood that ByKolles encountered some delays during the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the homologation schedule of its Hypercar contender.  

The presence of the Vanwall Vandervell LMH on the 2022 WEC grid would have signaled the return to motorsport of a classic name from the early days of Formula 1.

British company Vanwall, founded by Tony Vandervell, beat Ferrari to win the inaugural F1 constructors’ championship in 1958 with Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks driving.

According to Germany’s company register, the PMC GmbH company under which all ByKolles automotive projects are housed — including the LMH car and its proposed road-going variant — holds the Vanwall name as one of its trademarks.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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