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Nürburgring Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday notebook from Nürburgring…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***Audi debuted its high downforce aero package on Friday, marking the German manufacturer’s third, and final, different homologated aero kit used this season. The Audi R18 began the season in medium downforce trim at Silverstone, prior to a switch to low downforce at both Spa and Le Mans.

***ByKolles Racing’s CLM P1/01 AER has been rebuilt and is back on track after sustaining two fires at Le Mans, culminating with a catastrophic engine failure in the race. Team leader Boris Bermes told Sportscar365 that this weekend will mark its first significant running with new cooling, sidepods and bodywork, which debuted at Le Mans.

***Tequila Patron ESM’s switch to Michelin tires locks the team into the French rubber for the remainder of the season, as WEC rules permit teams to only change tire brands once per year.

***It’s understood at least one other team could switch to Michelins later this season. Michelin has brought a total of 1,800 tires to the Nürburgring for it 18 partner teams.

***Ford’s decision to retain Harry Tincknell for the remainder of the season was not influenced by having a three-driver lineup in the No. 67 Ford GT. “We like Harry; we want to keep him on our books,” Ford WEC team principal George Howard-Chappell told Sportscar365. “He’s a great guy and somebody that Ford wanted to retain.”

***Howard-Chappell said he wouldn’t rule out seeing Billy Johnson back in the No. 66 car later this year. Johnson is taking part in this weekend’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Lime Rock. “There’s a chance. It’s something we’ll look at as the season goes on,” he said.

***Roman Rusinov, one of the various Silver-rated businessmen competing in LMP2 this year, has been getting extra prototype mileage in the European Le Mans Series’ LMP3 class. The Russian driver is coming off a 9th place class finish in last weekend’s round at the Red Bull Ring in EuroInternational’s Ligier JS P3 Nissan.

***Representatives from the upcoming Six Hours of Mexico are on-site this weekend, preparing for the WEC’s inaugural trip to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit on Sept. 1-3.

***French publication Ouest France revealed this week an incident involving a French police officer that drove the opposite direction of the Mulsanne Straight just moments before the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It came as a major near-miss in what could have been a serious outcome.

***No fewer than eight drivers taking part in this weekend’s race will head across the Eifel/Adrennes to Belgium for the Total 24 Hours of Spa. The current list of confirmed drivers include: Rene Rast, Pierre Kaffer, Pipo Derani, Nicolas Lapierre, Bruno Senna, Filipe Albuquerque, Darren Turner and Rui Aguas.

***A large turnout of fans is again expected this weekend, after last year’s 62,000 spectators for the WEC’s inaugural trip to the Eifel region. Ticket prices remain unchanged this year, at only 35 Euros for a weekend pass, which includes access to all grandstands and the paddock, as well as the pit walk. A race day only ticket is 30 Euros.

Laurent Mercier 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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