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ByKolles Set for Le Mans after Promotion from Reserve List

ByKolles confirms 24H Le Mans plans after initial reserve status, plus LMP1 testing intentions…

Photo: MPS Agency

ByKolles Racing is planning to act on its chance to graduate from the 24 Hours of Le Mans reserve list, bringing the LMP1 field up to seven entries for the French enduro.

Team owner Dr. Colin Kolles confirmed to Sportscar365 that the Austrian-flagged outfit is also preparing to contest the rescheduled Total 6 Hours of Spa in August, to fulfill its original plan of action for the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship.

The team’s ENSO CLM P1/01 Gibson was initially not granted a confirmed place on the Le Mans entry list that was published in February, and was instead shown as the second reserve in the event of a car withdrawing.

It became the first reserve when SRT41 canceled its Garage 56 entry, before being promoted to the main field on Friday when the Porsche North America factory GTE-Pro team withdrew.

A driver lineup has yet to be set according to Kolles, although ex-Formula E racer Tom Dillmann was shown on the provisional teams list published by the ACO.

“For sure we want to go to Spa and Le Mans. This was our initial plan and this is what we want to do,” said Kolles.

“Regarding the drivers, obviously there are a few more options now with the current situation in motorsport.

“I think that the lineup will be quite good at the end of the day. It’s not decided yet, but the drivers which are available are all very high quality.

ByKolles is planning to prepare for Spa and Le Mans by testing its LMP1 car as early as next week at the Nürburgring but is currently awaiting confirmation to do so.

Some GT teams have already conducted tests at Hockenheim in the early stages of Germany’s deconfinement from the coronavirus pandemic.

ByKolles, which has its main facility in southern Germany, is also aiming to send the ENSO CLM out on track at the Slovakia Ring and Paul Ricard in the coming weeks.

Kolles explained that the car, which has not raced since last year’s Le Mans, has received a series of updates ahead of its return to the WEC grid.

“[There are] visible changes because we have a new Le Mans aero kit,” he said. “This includes a completely new front end and rear end.

“When we raced last year at Spa, we were collecting testing time because we had to change the engine [from Nissan] to Gibson. It was a very tight schedule and I hope that all these reliability issues are solved.”

Kolles admitted that it’s too early for the team to decide whether it will file an entry for the WEC season-ending 8 Hours of Bahrain, which comes after Le Mans.

“We have to see what happens, if the dates stay the same,” he said.

“Maybe something can still change. I don’t think anyone knows how the situation will be, but we are prepared for Spa and Le Mans, whenever they take place.”

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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