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Paul Ricard Thursday Notebook (Updated)

Laurent Mercier’s first notebook from The Prologue FIA WEC test…

Photo: John Rourke/

Photo: John Rourke/

***James Calado has been confirmed to drive for AF Corse this season in the FIA WEC. The GP2 star will likely join Davide Rigon in the No. 71 Ferrari F458 Italia in GTE-Pro, with the No. 51 car to be shared by Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander. Fellow GP2 driver Sam Bird is also here and is set to test an AF Corse Ferrari as well.

***The Toyota TS040 Hybrid presented during the lunch break is in the Le Mans (low-downforce) aero configuration. It’s expected the team will test two different versions this weekend.

***ProSpeed Competition has entered a 2012-spec Porche 911 GT3 RSR for Manu Collard, Francois Perrodo and Matthew Vaxiviere. The Belgian team, led by Rudi Penders, will also contest the ELMS, utilizing a 2011-spec Porsche, with a to-be-determined lineup. However, Maxime Soulet, Sergio Campana and Dimitris Deverikos will test the ELMS entry next week.

***As for ProSpeed’s reserve entry for Le Mans, Penders told us that Xavier Maassen is the only announced driver at the moment. It currently sits as the second and final alternate in GTE. The team, meanwhile, confirmed it will not return to the Blancpain Endurance Series this year, although they will likely still run the 24 Hours of Spa in Pro-Cup.

***Jose Gallego Segura, the head of aero design for Porsche’s 919 Hybrid, is no longer with the German automaker. Segura was previously at Lotus F1 before prior stints at McLaren F1, BMW Sauber F1, Holzer Group and Toyota Motorsport.

***Nick Tandy, who is set for a full season in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with Porsche North America, is sporting a new helmet design. The Briton will contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans in one of Porsche Team Manthey’s Porsche 911 RSRs.

***While the U.S. has imposed sanctions against several Russian banks, and some media reports have indicated that it could affect SMP Racing, the team carrying the colors of SMP Bank. However, a team source said they are in no way affected by those sanctions and does not put any questions into its programs in various championships.

***Audi, Toyota and Porsche have been playing a game of hide and seek today, with privacy banners blocking views of all three LMP1-H contenders in the garage. The cars were only visible for the group photo, along with the launch of the TS040 Hybrid earlier today.

***The last two teams to arrive in the paddock at Circuit Paul Ricard were Aston Martin Racing and Millennium Racing, each with two cars.

Laurent Mercier (@LaurentMercier2) is the Editor-in-Chief of, the leading French-language source for the latest sports car racing news from around the world.

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