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European Le Mans Series

RSR Finalizing Partial Season European LMP2 Program

RSR Racing finalizing partial-season FIA WEC LMP2 program…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

While its full-season plans did not materialize, RSR Racing hasn’t given up on its hopes of taking part in the FIA World Endurance Championship, with the Michigan-based team now in the process of finalizing a part-time effort in the globe-trotting championship this year.

Team owner Paul Gentilozzi confirmed to Sportscar365 that he’s putting the final touches on a LMP2 program with an Oreca 03R Nissan for selected rounds in Europe. With a full-season entry request not submitted, the team would run as a “wild card” entrant in the the FIA WEC.

“Europe is certainly fun,” Gentilozzi told Sportscar365. “We have some gaps in our schedule. We’ve got an opportunity to lease a WEC program that was very competitive and is now inactive.

“So we’re going to try it for a couple of races and see what it’s like. That’s the smart thing to do.”

Gentilozzi, who said he already has a commitment from funded drivers, said he’s still working to determine which rounds the team would compete in and has also not ruled out taking part in some European Le Mans Series races as well.

The European effort would be a toe-in-the-water experience for the team as it evaluates its 2016 programs.

“We need to survey all of the options for next year and this is the time to do it,” Gentilozzi said. “We’ve made several proposals on how to advance the PC class into something that was marketable and interesting.

“It was a $15 or 16 million economy, when you looked at the teams and their costs. We lost a full third of that. If you’re a business and you’ve lost one-third of your gross sales, you have to say, ‘Should I be in this business?”

While having been reduced to a single-car PC operation in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, due to lack of customer interest, Gentilozzi said he remains committed to ORECA and could field one of the French manufacturer’s new Oreca 05 LMP2 cars in the future.

“We’re excited what ORECA is doing in the future,” he said. “The first guy to introduce a new car always creates a lot of excitement but he’s put all of his cards on the table.

“I think the last guy to run the P2 car will have all the advantages of the other guys. We’re completely loyal to ORECA. Whatever they do is where we’d want to play.”

A P2 effort for the TUDOR Championship, however, has not been decided on, particularly as the team looks towards a full-season program overseas next year.

“The competitor now is a lot more mobile,” Gentilozzi said. “So if he has to go to Europe or WEC or World Challenge, there are options.”

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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