Following a challenging start to the FIA World Endurance Championship season, Team ByKolles is targeting a turnaround in fortunes, with the Austrian squad rolling out with a new aero package on its CLM P1/01 AER for this weekend’s Six Hours of Nürburgring.
The LMP1 non-hybrid entry will run with a new diffuser, rear wing, floor and tunnels for the German event, building on the initial high-downforce package that debuted in the second round of the season at Spa.
According to driver Pierre Kaffer, a significant amount of progress has been made with the car since its debut under the Lotus banner in 2014.
“When you considered how we started and how other manufacturers need more time to develop a car, I think ByKolles is doing a good job,” Kaffer told Sportscar365. ”
“We had a hard time last year. If someone takes a deeper look inside the series, then I have to say we’re now doing a good job.
“We’ve always developed and have made it better. For some reason we could not score the result because something different happened. But I’m now confident that everything should be there.
“We don’t have any more problems with the gearbox or differential or brakes and the car is now faster.”
Kaffer and co-driver Simon Trummer are coming off a productive test at the Nürburgring last month, which saw some of the mechanical updates debut on the car.
It came after a troubling run in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, marred by fuel pump failures, although the car took the checkered flag, completing more laps than the highest-placed Nissan GT-R LM NISMO.
“We learned a lot,” Kaffer said of the car’s debut at Le Mans. “We did a lot of changes and obviously the new parts were working. As more rubber got on the track, it suited our car better.
“Now I think that it’s not a problem to stay in front of the LMP2 cars anymore. With the resources Kolles has, they’ve done a pretty good job.”
The German sports car ace is expected to complete the remainder of the season in the car, despite his TUDOR United SportsCar Championship commitments with Risi Competizione taking priority.
While having yet to have points on the table this year, Kaffer is hoping to change that weekend as they take the fight to fellow LMP1 non-hybrid squad Rebellion Racing, which scored maximum points at Le Mans.
“The biggest aim is to fight for the [class] victory against Rebellion and make the car reliable,” he said. “I think from next year on, there will be more competition in this category and it will be much more fun to drive.
“It’s tough to drive and to be in a development program. We’ve been trying to develop and make it reliable. I hope it’s now time to get the fruits of the program out of it.”