***A total of 29 cars are set for Sunday’s FIA WEC season opener, following the late withdrawal of Team SARD-Morand. While absent with its LMP1 race cars, Nissan has brought its GT-R LM NISMO show car to Silverstone and will be set up in a pit box, with all of its drivers on hand for Sunday’s autograph session.
***Preliminary details on the ACO, FIA and IMSA’s proposed 2017 LMP2 regulations are expected to be presented this weekend. ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil told Sportscar365 Thursday that a more formal announcement, with finalized technical details, would likely happen in June.
***It’s out with the old and in with the new for Tequila Patron ESM, as Silverstone will mark the final outing with its HPD ARX-03b cars prior to a switch to Ligier JS P2 Hondas beginning next month at Spa (pictured above). There are three Ligier-Nissans taking part in the FIA WEC race this weekend.
***ESM’s Scott Sharp and Ed Brown got their first laps at Spa-Francorchamps yesterday as part of a track day in a Radical. Both had a similar track familiarization experience at Silverstone prior to last month’s FIA WEC Prologue test.
***Patrick Dempsey, who missed the Prologue due to filming commitments, is expected to arrive at Silverstone in time for Friday’s Free Practice 2. The Hollywood actor/racer has a 7 p.m. flight tonight from Seattle, where he is shooting his final scenes for the season of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
***Krohn Racing is fresh off a test at Rockingham Speedway, where Ozz Negri turned his first laps in the team’s Judd-powered Ligier JS P2. It also marked the first track running for the newly homologated Motec ECU for the Judd powerplant in LMP2.
***At least three of the four Ginetta-Juno LMP3 cars are on-site, with only the Lanan Racing car not present in its garage this morning. Silverstone marks the category’s debut in the ELMS. With all full-season entries not present due to late car deliveries, teams will be able to drop their lowest result in the season.
***Both of the AF Corse-entered Oreca 03R Nissans are not sporting any SMP Racing decals this weekend, despite still being in the colors of the Russian flag. A contractual issue has resulted in the LMP2 cars being run under the AF banner this weekend, which has also seen the renumbering to Nos. 32 and 34.
***AF Corse has a massive effort across three major championships and two tracks this weekend, with 19 cars entered between the FIA WEC and ELMS races at Silverstone, plus the Blancpain Endurance Series season-opener in Monza. The Italian squad has six Ferraris entered alone for Saturday’s ELMS race.