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Le Mans Friday Notebook

Sportscar365’s Friday notebook from Le Mans test day weekend…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***Erik Maris has replaced Olivier Lombard in the No. 22 SO24! By Lombard Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd for this weekend’s test day and the race. Maris will join Vincent Capillaire and Jonathan Coleman in the LMP2 contender, marking yet another change in driver lineups.

***Andreas Wirth has been added to SMP Racing’s lineup for this weekend as a fourth driver in the team’s BR Engineering BR01 Nissans. The German driver is not confirmed for the race but is expected to get his required 10 laps in to be eligible, should the situation arise.

***Reigning European Le Mans Series champion Jon Lancaster has taken the place of Kuba Giermaziak in the No. 41 Greaves Motorsport Ligier JS P2 Nissan this weekend. It’s believed Lancaster could replace the Polish driver in the race as well, although nothing has been confirmed.

***The test day is required for all drivers who are Le Mans rookies, as well as those that have not competed in the race in the past five years. Each driver is required to complete a minimum of 10 laps.

***Platinum-rated drivers are exempt from this rule, which has enabled Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais and Joao Barbosa to skip the test. Dixon and Bourdais are taking part in Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Detroit, while Barbosa has elected not to take an overnight flight following Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race in the Motor City.

***Gunnar Jeannette has been nominated as the reserve driver of the No. 89 Proton Porsche 911 RSR. Cooper MacNeil told Sportscar365 that the Silver-rated Jeannette will complete his minimum 10 laps on Sunday to qualify for the race. MacNeil will be joined by Leh Keen and Marc Miller in the WeatherTech-backed entry.

***The idea behind the reserve driver, MacNeil said, is to prevent the team being forced to utilize a two-driver lineup, should one of its drivers be unable to race. MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen finished 5th in GTE-Pro in 2014 after their third driver, Bret Curtis, was unable to race due to a concussion sustained in an accident in qualifying. It resulted in the car being moved from GTE-Am to GTE-Pro.

***Bill Riley is on hand at Le Mans this weekend, assisting with the Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03R Nissan, and not in Detroit where his Riley Motorsports team is competing with Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen.

***Corvette Racing has brought three C7.Rs to Le Mans; two with No. 64, and one with No. 63. This third chassis can also serve as parts if necessary. The team took to last year’s race with just one chassis after a crash during the practice for the No. 63 car.

***Adam Hardy has joined KCMG as race engineer. He has previously worked with teams including WRT, Audi Sport Team Abt, Kelly Racing, Triple Eight Race Engineering, Eurotech and Barwell Motorsport.

***Larbre Competition is expected to announce shortly the replacement of Paolo Ruberti who was injured yesterday at Hockenheim. Several names have been rumored.

Laurent Mercier and Jake Kilshaw contributed to this report

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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