Connect with us


Monza Sunday Notebook

John Dagys’ Sunday notebook from Monza…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***The two-day Prologue test came to an end on Sunday with Toyota showing the early pace. Nico Lapierre and Anthony Davidson were the only drivers to dip into the 1:30 range, with both times having been set in the fifth and final session of the weekend. 

***While the Toyota TS050 Hybrid was quickest on the track, the Porsche 919 Hybrid was quickest in the speed traps, with Earl Bamber clocked at 319.5 km/h (198 mph) in Saturday night’s session. Remarkably, it was only 5 km/h quicker than the fastest LMP2 car, the No. 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470 Gibson of Romain Dumas at 314 km/h.

***Porsche split up the test into two phases, according to LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl. “On Saturday we focussed on the car’s setup and managed to improve it,” he said. “The rain in the evening was an asset because we could practice quick turnarounds in changing conditions. On Sunday we did race simulations with both cars to investigate tyre wear and exercise race-specific routines like pit stops.”

***Both Porsche and Toyota were running low-downforce aero packages, with the Japanese manufacturer set to debut its high-downforce kit at Silverstone and Porsche yet to reveal its strategy for the season opener, according to Seidl.

***ByKolles Racing did not take to the track on Sunday after completing only six laps with its revised ENSO CLM P1/01 NISMO on Saturday evening. Issues with the lone LMP1 Privateer entry’s rear wing, which fell off in night practice, is understood to be the reason for the early end to the weekend.

***Oliver Webb was the only driver to get seat time in the car, which hadn’t turned a lap with the former Nissan GT-R LM NISMO powerplant until Saturday. Robert Kubica was also present and Dominik Kraihamer was due to also turn laps.

***Formula One race winner Pastor Maldonado was also spotted in the ByKolles garage and was understood to have been here to evaluate a possible WEC program. Neither Kraihamer or Maldonado have been confirmed with the team for Silverstone.

***After troubled runs at Daytona and Sebring, ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil expects the new car issues in LMP2 to be fixed “very soon.” He told Sportscar365: “We would prefer zero issues but we have to accept that the beginning of a car, you have to face some things like that. The technical team is pushing like hell in day-to-day contact with Cosworth and Gibson.”

***Electrical gremlins plagued the new-look LMP2 cars in the opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in January, with similar issues hitting cars here this weekend. The No. 13 Rebellion Oreca 07 Gibson battled shifting issues, while a pit speed limiter gremlin halted the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry and the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca crawled to a halt on-track Sunday morning.

***Beaumesnil has reaffirmed there is still no Balance of Performance in LMP2. “The only thing we have always kept, for our safety, is that imagine one car manufacturer is spending $200 million to develop an incredible race car, and the car is two seconds per lap faster. If this happens, we’d slow them down. But today, all of the guys on the market have a proper business case and we’re not facing that at the moment,” he said.

***Aston Martin Racing team principal Paul Howarth said the decision to upgrade the GTE-Am class No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage V8 to 2016-spec was to make the overall program more operationally effective within the three-car organization. “It was like bringing two lots of bodywork and other parts. For me it’s about keeping consistency, even though it’s a different scale of BoP,” he told Sportscar365.

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

Click to comment

More in FIA WEC