***The FIA and ACO signed a contract extension for the World Endurance Championship through the end of the 2020 season. FIA President Jean Todt, ACO President Pierre Fillon and WEC CEO Gerard Neveu were in attendance for the signing, along with FIA Endurance Commission President Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones. “When things go up, it’s only rationale to move forward and make things bigger,” Todt said.
***Jackie Chan DC Racing team owner David Cheng may not complete the entire season as a driver, although is confirmed through Le Mans in the No. 37 Oreca 07 Gibson. Cheng told Sportscar365 that increasing business commitments could force him out of the cockpit for a handful of races later this season but reaffirmed the car will complete the entire season.
***It’s believed both the ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01 NISMO and No. 35 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470 Gibson are not currently confirmed for the second half of the year. The second Signatech entry will debut at the next round at Spa and is confirmed for Le Mans as well, with the lone LMP1 non-hybrid believed to be set for only the European races.
***Toyota Gazoo Racing opted not to field a third TS050 Hybrid this weekend, as it not would have contributed to its preparations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, according to team director Rob Leupen. The Japanese manufacturer will run its additional entry in the next round at Spa in low-downforce configuration, as a test for Le Mans.
***ACO President Pierre Fillon has admitted that hydrogen fuel cell technology in the LMP1 class at Le Mans is years away from coming to fruition. Fillon told Sportscar365 that it’s currently impossible to build a fuel-cell-powered car to match the current performance in the class. He indicated that it will not likely be until 2025, or potentially later, where the technology could be on the same level.
***BMW had been known to have been evaluating fuel cell technology for Le Mans, for as early as 2021. Fillon, however, hasn’t ruled out fuel cell and hybrids running together in LMP1 in the future, via Equivalence of Technology.
***Fillon said the venue for this year’s ACO Press Conference will not be in its traditional location at the Le Mans Museum. It’s understood the event, which will reveal further details on the 2020 LMP1 rules, will still be held somewhere within the circuit.
***GTE-Am pole-sitter Paul Dalla Lana said it’s been a big change running Aston Martin’s upgraded 2016-spec Vantage, as well as switching back to Dunlop tires for this year. “The car is quicker and more sorted out in the rear end,” he told Sportscar365. “The big diffuser on there helps a lot. The tires are probably not as peaky as the Michelins, so it’s much about consistency this year.”
***Watch today’s race across the FOX Sports family of networks, beginning at 7 a.m. ET on FS1, before switching to FS2 from 9 a.m. through the checkered flag. Bob Varsha and Calvin Fish will be on the call. Eurosport’s live coverage, anchored by Mark Cole and Stuart Hall, begins at 4:15 p.m. BST, including highlights. Click Here for the full worldwide TV coverage.