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24H Le Mans

Le Mans Wednesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Wednesday notebook from 24H Le Mans…

Photo: DPPI

Photo: DPPI

***The ACO will unveil the Garage 56 entrant for 2017 at Thursday’s annual press conference. Unconfirmed reports have pointed towards the possibility of a BMW entry with fuel cell technology. Quad amputee Frederic Sausset will occupy Garage 56 next year with a specially adapted Audi-powered Morgan LMP2 car.

***The prospects of shifting the FIA WEC into a winter calendar, with the season concluding at the 24 Hours of Le Mans has still not been ruled out, according to series boss Gerard Neveu. No timeframe has been given on the possible shift.

***It’s believed Hankook will not be pursing an entry into the LMP2 market, despite the Korean tire manufacturer having recently tested multiple constructions and compounds with an ELMS team. The reason for the pullback is unclear at this point.

***While LMP1 speeds have remained a major discussion point at Circuit de la Sarthe, ACO President Pierre Fillon said there are no plans for a specific Le Mans-only reduction in performance. The Equivalence of Technology (EoT) is based around Le Mans and adapted to the other circuits on the FIA WEC calendar.

***Any possible EoT changes will be issued prior to the next FIA WEC round at the Nurburgring and will be locked in through the Le Mans race in 2016, as was the case this year.

***Onroak Automotive took a group shot of all nine of its chassis on Tuesday, featuring the seven Ligier JS P2 coupes from G-Drive Racing, OAK Racing, Tequila Patron ESM and Krohn Racing, the Morgan EVO SARD for Team SARD-Morand and the Morgan Nissan for Pegasus Racing. Onroak’s nine cars match Porsche (three LMP1, two GTE-Pro, four GTE-Am) for the biggest entry among constructors at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

***Vanessa Weikart of Vanessa’s Hospitality Services will be honored with a plaque located around a drivers’ handprint brick in downtown Le Mans. Weikart, who serves a number of American teams including Tequila Patron ESM, Scuderia Corsa and Krohn Racing, is celebrating her 25th year at Le Mans.

***TRG-AMR has an eight-car presence in this week’s Aston Martin Racing Le Mans Festival, split between two Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3s and six Aston Martin Vantage GT4s. Included among the drivers are team principal Kevin Buckler and Christina Nielsen in two separate GT3 cars, with Ben Keating, Derek DeBoer and Alex Welch in the GT4s.

***Buckler confirmed to Sportscar365 that the second GT3 car here is a separate chassis from the one damaged at Detroit at the conclusion of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race there, then driven by James Davison.

***DeBoer’s car, the No. 83 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 he’ll share with Bob Bramlage, will feature the debut of Racing for Cancer as DeBoer and the organization have formed a new partnership. Racing for Cancer was founded by IndyCar star Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2010, after Hunter-Reay’s mother passed away from cancer a year earlier.

Tony DiZinno 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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