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Nürburgring Pre-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ pre-race notebook for FIA WEC Six Hours Nürburgring…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

***Following a rain-affected Saturday, fans have turned out en force in hopes of a dry race day. However, a chance of rain is in the forecast for this afternoon, which could affect the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season.

***Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler’s pole on Saturday was the first with its new race engineer Erik Schuivens, who replaces Leena Gade. Fassler said during the post-qualifying press conference that the pole for the No. 7 Audi R18 was a good “welcome present” for Schuivens.

***Both Simon Trummer and Ed Brown, who didn’t complete the minimum qualifying times on Saturday, have been permitted to take part in the race but neither being the start driver for the No. 4 ByKolles Racing CLM P1/01 AER and No. 30 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier JS P2 Nissan, respectively.

***The No. 5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid is already on its 5th and final allowed engine this season, after failures at Silverstone (damaged cooling system), Spa and Le Mans. Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon told Sportscar365 they will rotate between its two remaining engines for the rest of the season. “It should still be manageable,” he said. “These engines normally do 6,000 km without issue. It’s still not super critical but not comfortable.”

***Teams that are forced to run an additional engine are subject to a three-minute stop-and-hold penalty in the race. LMP1 teams are permitted five engines for the season, with LMP2 limited to only three.

***Audi’s Head of LMP Stefan Dreyer believes the revised LMP1 Equivalence of Technology, which takes effect this weekend and is locked in through next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, will not offer any change to the current diesel-gasoline mileage. Diesel-powered cars have been given a 0.2-liter increase in fuel capacity. “I’m sure we’ll still do 1-2 laps less than our petrol competitors,” Dreyer said.

***Beginning next year, LMP1 teams will only be permitted to homologate two aero kits, instead of the three allowed this year. “We have agreed with this,” Toyota’s Vasselon told Sportscar365. “It’s costs savings because it costs a lot to have several bodywork because every time you have to prepare spare parts.”

***Porsche’s former R&D Chief Wolfgang Hatz has made his return to the WEC paddock. Hatz, along with his wife, are guests of Porsche this weekend. The German left Porsche in May following investigations initially linked to the VW emissions scandal.

***Two people have been killed and three injured following an accident on the Nürburgring Nordschleife on Saturday. The accident, which occurred on what’s considered German public roads, was unrelated to this weekend’s WEC event, and did not involve anyone from the paddock, per a WEC spokesperson.

***FOX Sports 1 will provide live, lights-to-flag coverage of the Six Hours of Nürburgring beginning Sunday at 7 a.m. ET, with Bob Varsha and Calvin Fish on the call. North American and international viewers can also follow the action via the WEC App (subscription required).

***In Europe, fans can catch live coverage on Eurosport 2, which will show the final hour live, including highlights, featuring commentators Mark Cole and Martin Haven. BTSport and Motors TV, meanwhile, will provide full coverage, with global radio coverage on radiolemans.com.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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