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COTA FIA WEC Wednesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Wednesday notebook from Circuit of The Americas…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Five of Porsche’s seven-car factory armada assembled on the front straight for a photo shoot Wednesday afternoon at Circuit of The Americas. All 12 of the drivers, spread between the German manufacturers’ FIA WEC LMP1 and GTE-Pro outfits, plus Porsche North America’s expanded three-car TUDOR Championship GTLM program, were present.

***Those hoping to get a glimpse of the 2015 FIA FIA WEC schedule will have to wait a bit longer as series boss Gerard Neveu confirmed to Sportscar365 that next year’s calendar will not be released this weekend. Neveu said he anticipates it being confirmed by the next round at Fuji, if not sooner.

***There appears to be renewed interest in the LMP1-L class for next year, with no fewer than three prospective customers in AER’s new V6 twin-turbo engine. The powerplant makes its debut this weekend in the Lotus CLM P01/01. The Lotus is joined by the pair of Rebellion R-Ones, which have been the only cars competing in the non-hybrid class to date.

***OAK Racing is another candidate to field a LMP1-L car, with a final decision on whether to green-light the program likely to coming in the next few weeks. “The project has not stopped, it’s just hanging on the arrival of partners. We are almost ready to press the button,” Jacques Nicolet told Endurance-Info.

***Nissan has scheduled an announcement for Thursday at COTA. Further details on the Japanese manufacturer’s LMP1 program are expected to be revealed, although driver signings and/or photos/renders of the car appear to be unlikely at this stage.

***Krohn Racing is expected to formally announce its move into the LMP2 ranks tomorrow. It’s understood the team has struck a deal with Onroak Automotive for the purchase of a Ligier JS P2, which could contest the European Le Mans Series, 24 Hours of Le Mans  and Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds of the TUDOR Championship.

***Ricky Taylor had the opportunity to drive the Corvette C7.R for the first time earlier this month at the grand-opening of the new National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Ky. This weekend’s FIA WEC race marks the elder Taylor brother’s first outing with Corvette Racing, with his Le Mans debut in Larbre Competition’s Corvette C6.R last year being his only other previous GT racing experience.

***Less than two and a half years after sustaining serious back injuries in an accident at the Le Mans Test Day, Guillaume Moreau returned to the wheel of a race car this week at Val de Vienne. The Frenchman, who had been a factory OAK Racing LMP1 driver, turned laps in a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. Moreau hasn’t yet outlined a return to competition and says he next step will be continued test days.

***On Thursday, COTA will host a green racing panel to discuss the technology’s advancement in motorsports. Incoming Porsche Motorsport boss Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Mazda’s John Doonan, ACO Sporting Director Beaumesnil and P.T. Jones of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory are the guest speakers. The forum, which will run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Velocity Lounge, is open to fans.

***For the second consecutive year, the FIA WEC will be holding a showing of the classic film, “Le Mans” in Austin. The pre-race movie night gets underway tonight at 8 p.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar (120 S Lamar Bvld).

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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