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ByKolles Nearing LMH Rollout after Supply-Related Delay

ByKolles LMH car fire-up “around the corner” according to team boss Dr. Colin Kolles…

Photo: Tom Dillmann Twitter

ByKolles is planning to fire up its new LMH car for the first time next week as it readies for a tight testing program ahead of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship.

The Austrian-flagged constructor based in Greding, Germany has yet to give its new non-hybrid prototype a first rollout, which was previously expected to come during the fall.

Team boss Dr. Colin Kolles has indicated that the rollout is “around the corner” as the final pieces of the test car’s internal components come together.

He told Sportscar365 that “Brexit-related” customs delays on the supply of a new gearbox from British company Xtrac have slightly held back the anticipated first test.

Once the new gearbox is installed, ByKolles will be able to fire up its LMH car for the first time and get to work on the pre-homologation testing program.

On Tuesday, ByKolles development driver Tom Dillmann shared a photograph of his seat fitting procedure, offering a rare image of the ‘PMC Projct’ LMH car in its workshop.

“The gearbox is ready but there is somehow an administrational problem with the customs, to take back a gearbox and to bring a [newer] one to us,” said Kolles.

“This will happen maybe this week, and then the fire-up is planned. We are planning to do the fire-up next week. This is the plan.

“[The engine] is all fine for the fire-up. Gibson is working on the race specification of the engine. The race-spec engine will be ready for February or March. The test engine is in the car already.

“We were planning to go on a [local] airport for the first rollout, but it’s now snowing like hell. We have had a total snowstorm.

“We are producing parts. This is a problem, to be prepared for the season. It’s not easy at the moment with all the supply chains.”

Kolles clarified that his company’s race team, which is likely to compete under a different name in the Hypercar class, plans to submit a WEC full-season entry application for 2022 but has not yet handed in the necessary paperwork.

The tight window between New Year and the WEC season-opener at Sebring in mid-March raises questions about whether the ByKolles will be ready to race in Florida.

Kolles is hoping that his team will be able to enter as a full-season participant – as is required in the Hypercar class – while also having the option to miss the 1000 Miles of Sebring if the vehicle is not ready to be homologated by then.

Peugeot is also facing a narrow pre-homologation testing schedule for its 9X8 hybrid LMH, which is believed to still be on time for a rollout before the end of the year.

“This is a matter to be clarified with the organizers,” said Kolles, when asked whether his LMH car would be ready for Sebring.

“Because we have now a delay which is totally out of our control. The problem is that we still have to do the homologation, and all of this has to be right. We have to clarify this.

“As it stands today, we will make an entry. As a manufacturer, you can only make a full-season entry.”

In a September interview with Sportscar365, Kolles suggested that his team was considering a two-car Hypercar entry if the right financial conditions could be achieved.

Asked for an update on the potential for a two-car operation, he replied: “This I don’t know.

“Right now, I know that in the next 10 days we will have the fire-up and we will 99 percent make the entry by January 15, subject to clarification of some things regarding Sebring.

“We have two monocoques at the moment, and we will have three monocoques by February.”

Kolles added that his organization is “talking to several drivers” about Hypercar race seats for the 2022 WEC season, which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Dillmann and Esteban Guerrieri are signed on as development drivers, while Dillmann is the only one of the pair to have undertaken a seat fitting at Greding.

“The drivers which have the chance to be in the car, know about it already,” Kolles said.

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

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