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Le Mans Sunday Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s Sunday notebook from scrutineering at Le Mans…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Jota Sport could compete in the Six Hours of Bahrain later this year. Team principal Sam Hignett told Sportscar365 that they’re “sniffing around” at the possibility of a few end-of-season FIA WEC rounds, should it coordinate with the British squad’s off-season testing plans. The European Le Mans Series concludes at Estoril on Oct. 17-18, making the Nov. 19-21 race the most feasible.

***While Audi and Nissans went through scrutineering in downtown Le Mans today, the factory entries, as well as all hybrid-powered LMP1 cars have an additional closed-door scrutineering at a local garage, in order to verify a number of components.

***The pair of Rebellion R-One AERs are sporting revised liveries for Le Mans, with the No. 12 car in white and No. 13 in metallic red, along with letters “REB” strewn across the nose and shark fin, in a similar guise to the factory Porsches.

***Lucas di Grassi and Loic Duval only just arrived in Place de la Republique mere moments before their No. 8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro was due to go through scrutineering, as the earliest of 10 drivers arriving from the FIA Formula E Championship race in Moscow. “We took an 8 o’clock flight, landed Charles de Gaulle, took my car, parked, ran to get my overalls and arrived,” di Grassi told Sportscar365.

***In addition to the pair of Audi drivers, other drivers arriving from Moscow include Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin, Rebellion’s Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld and Daniel Abt, G-Drive Racing’s Sam Bird, Murphy Prototypes’ Karun Chandhok and Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia. ByKolles’ Tiago Monteiro also arrives from Moscow after winning the FIA World Touring Car Championship race there.

***Other drivers due to arrive from open-wheel races this weekend are Nico Hulkenberg, Toni Vilander, Ryan Briscoe and Townsend Bell. Hulkenberg (racing) and Vilander (commentating) are in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix; Briscoe (racing) and Bell (commentating) were in Fort Worth, Texas for the IndyCar race Saturday night. All drivers have scrutineering appointments on Monday.

***It’s a busy weekend for other drivers with sports car commitments as well. Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre, Rob Bell, Marco Bonanomi and Marco Seefried are at the Blancpain Sprint Series round at Zolder, Raffaele Giammaria is at the International GT Open round in Silverstone and Nicki Thiim, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Klaus Bachler are at ADAC GT Masters at the Red Bull Ring. Seefried, Bonanomi and Bachler missed their group shots today.

***Earlier this weekend, Mark Blundell’s name was photoshopped onto the driver door of the retro-liveried No. 21 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO, which was done to pay tribute to his pole-winning lap at Le Mans 25 years ago. Blundell is expected to be on site this week in his driver management role.

John Dagys and Laurent Mercier contributed to this report

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony


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