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ByKolles Vanwall LMH “Went Up to 300 km/h” During First Test

ByKolles turns first laps on former Zweibrucken airfield circuit ahead of track test program…

Photo: ByKolles

The ByKolles-built Vanwall Vandervell LMH achieved 300 km/h (186.4 mph) during its first test on Thursday, according to the manufacturer’s director of operations.

The Austrian-flagged, Germany-based constructor shook down its new non-hybrid racer for the first time at Zweibrucken airfield, a former race track where ADAC Super Touring rounds were held in the late 1990s.

ByKolles has been building up the Vanwall at its Greding facility over the last few months and is now moving into the track testing phase of its development program.

It intends to race the car in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Hypercar class against other LMH products from the likes of Toyota, Peugeot and Glickenhaus, as well as LMDh machinery.

“It was a great challenge but the car, from the beginning, was running which was really nice to see,” Boris Bermes told Sportscar365.

“We could even go very fast; we went up to 300 km/h which was possible on this airport.

“We have checked several electronics systems on the mechanical side, to find out that everything is working well. It was rainy, so quite interesting because it is a challenge to see how everything is working in these conditions.

“It was to check the whole of the car. We could do a round circuit. It was the layout of the old airfield races.”

Former LMP1 driver Christophe Bouchut performed the first rollout, however official development drivers Tom Dillmann and Esteban Guerrieri are expected to take over testing duties shortly.

It is understood that ByKolles is due to run the car at a sanctioned race track in Europe for the first time next week, as development work and data collection ramp up.

Bermes said that the first run of the Vanwall LMH was a significant milestone for the ByKolles team. He followed Bouchut on the opening lap at Zweibrucken in a support car and described the feeling as like watching a baby take its first steps.

“It was great for everyone to see after this long period, starting from a white paper, to develop the car and seeing it now running,” Bermes reflected.

“It was really something special. Even with having three or four people with 30 years of experience in the team… even for these people it was a big moment.

“We started with a small group and white paper and we have built a car, which is a huge challenge. It was a big feeling for everyone in the team.

“The next step is now going to a proper racing circuit, where we will develop the car and check all the systems.”

ByKolles intends to conduct regular tests with its LMH car throughout the summer, with a view to being ready for a full-season WEC campaign in 2023.

The constructor attempted to get the Vanwall on the entry list for the 2022 season but its application was rejected by the championship.

ByKolles is understood to have signified interest to the FIA and ACO about being able to run its LMH car in a WEC race this year, based on recent news that LMDh machinery can be entered on a race-by-race basis ahead of their complete introduction next season.

The dispensation announcement from the FIA only referred to LMDh cars.

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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