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COTA FIA WEC Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday FIA WEC notebook from COTA…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Krohn Racing has yet to formally define its 2015 schedule with its new Ligier JS P2 Judd, which was announced this afternoon. Tracy Krohn, however, confirmed the LMP2 car will contest the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Twelve Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans, pending entry approval.

***The team will test OAK Racing’s Ligier JS P2 HPD at NOLA Motorsports Park on Sept. 25 before expecting to take delivery of its brand-new chassis in late November. Jacques Nicolet, Onroak Automotive President, said he expects to have between three to four customer Ligiers running worldwide next year. Krohn is the first U.S.-based customer of the car.

***The ACO announced Thursday that Nissan will be the exclusive engine supplier for the LMP3 platform, with XTrac to provide gearboxes. The engine is a 5-liter, normally aspirated V8 Nismo VK50, with the engine/gearbox/control unit to be supplied and maintained by ORECA. LMP3 will launch in the European and Asian Le Mans Series next year, with the ACO in talks with other championships to run the class in the future.

***The Rebellion R-One debuts its high-downforce aero package this weekend. The ORECA-built car features noteworthy updates to the nose and rear section of the LMP1-L car, which debuted at Spa in Le Mans-downforce trim. The Bart Hayden-led team did not have the opportunity to test since Le Mans, which means today’s Free Practice sessions will mark the first on-track laps in the new configuration.

***Rebellion has brought a fully built third R-One chassis with them to COTA. While technically not designated as a “spare car,” Hayden said the engineless car will be used as spares for this weekend and will travel to the remainder of the rounds this season. The team, meanwhile, recently moved into a new workshop in the U.K.

***Five drivers from the inaugural Formula E race in Beijing are here at COTA, including Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost, who tangled while battling for the win on the last lap. Ironically, the two drivers are teammates in the No. 12 Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One Toyota with Mathias Beche.

***Work has continued on SMP Racing’s new LMP2 car, designed by Peugeot 908 architect Paolo Catone. The Russian squad, which currently leads the LMP2 championship as a result of its double-points finish at Le Mans, is expected to formally announce the project by as early as next month’s European Le Mans Series season-finale at Estoril.

***This weekend’s Lone Star Le Mans will mark the final race for Porsche’s Hartmut Kristen, who completes his ten years of leadership of the company’s motorsports programs. Kristen, who will remain with the German manufacturer in an advisory role, will be replaced by Dr. Frank Walliser, who headed Porsche’s 918 Spyder program.

***After running the opening three rounds of the season with a 997-based model, ProSpeed Competition makes its debut with a Porsche 911 RSR this weekend. The car, which is being leased from a collector, was run by Dempsey Racing/Proton at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

***Jeff Segal, who is making his FIA WEC debut in 8Star Motorsports’ Ferrari F458 Italia, is fresh off competing in last weekend’s Italian GT race at Vallelunga with BMS Scuderia Italia. Segal, who was a last-minute fill-in for Level 5 co-driver Alessandro Pier Guidi, finished second in the first race of the weekend.

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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