Connect with us


COTA WEC Pre-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ pre-race notebook for WEC 6H COTA…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Fans took to the front-stretch for a unique autograph session Saturday afternoon prior to the start of today’s Six Hours of Circuit of The Americas. While official numbers have yet to be published, overall attendance appears to be down from last year.

***Nissan’s GT-R LM NISMO will return to the track on Tuesday and Wednesday at COTA, as part of the Japanese manufacturer’s ongoing testing program. No decision has been made on when the front-engined, front-wheel drive LMP1 car will return to competition, but it won’t come any earlier than Shanghai.

***The LMP1 program has reportedly gone through management changes since Le Mans, including a reassigned role for Darren Cox, although not confirmed by the manufacturer. “We’re strengthening the P1 team on all fronts and we’ll update everyone as soon as that process has been completed,” a Nissan spokeperson told Sportscar365.

***While track limits have not been enforced in IMSA competition this weekend, it’s been one of the major storylines for the WEC competitors, with a number of drivers having been penalized in Free Practice already.

***The AER-powered Rebellion R-Ones have been the quickest cars in the speed traps this weekend, with Nick Heidfeld topping the entire field in qualifying with a 300.8 km/h (187 mph) speed recorded in qualifying. Teammate Daniel Abt was ranked third in top speed, behind the No. 7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

***Head of Porsche Motorsport (GT) Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser told Sportscar365 that a decision on its factory GTE-Pro involvement in the WEC for next year has not yet been made. Porsche’s 2016 program will likely be announced during its “Night of Champions” dinner in December.

***Walliser ruled out seeing the new Porsche 911 GT3-R make its competition debut in the 24 Hours of Dubai, with all efforts around the GT3 car’s worldwide launch at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. “I don’t want to over-stress the team with another long-distance race,” he told Sportscar365.

***Three drivers — Earl Bamber, Patrick Pilet and Pierre Kaffer — are pulling double-duty between today’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and WEC races. “It’s been tight with the time schedule but both teams have been accommodating,” said Bamber, who will make his second start of the season with Abu Dhabi Proton Racing in GTE-Am.

***Porsche has been able to pool its resources together this weekend, even in unexpected circumstances. One of the CORE autosport-run Porsche North America crew members has been drafted into Porsche Team Manthey’s WEC squad after one of the German team’s mechanics suffered an injury.

***Be sure to download Andy Blackmore’s NISMO Spotter Guide, featuring all 31 starters for today’s race. Andy’s guides are a must-have, whether you’re at the track or following from home.

***The Six Hours of Circuit of The Americas will be broadcast live and in its entirety on FOX Sports 2, beginning at 6 p.m. ET. FS2 will feature the international broadcast team of John Hindhaugh and Graham Goodwin, with FOX Sports’ Calvin Fish as host.

***Eurosport will also provide lights-to-flag coverage, starting at 11 p.m. British time, with hosts Mark Cole, Johnny Mowlem and Jack Nicholls. Motors TV will show the race live and in its entirety as well. Click Here for the full broadcast schedule.

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


More in FIA WEC