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Silverstone Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday Notebook from the FIA WEC and ELMS paddocks…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***FIA WEC boss Gerard Neveu said he’s remained upbeat about the entry turnout, despite late withdrawals from Millennium Racing and Strakka Racing. A total of 27 cars are entered for Sunday’s season-opener, down from 31 last year.

***Neveu expects more LMP2 cars for the next round at Spa and said he’s confident of Millennium returning with its two Oreca 03 Nissans, as well as the potential for ELMS squads, such as Team Jota, entering in preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

***Fresh off last weekend’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race, Gustavo Yacaman will join Jacques Nicolet and Keiko Ihara in Larbre Competition’s Morgan-Nissan for Saturday’s European Le Mans Series round.

***For the second consecutive year, the FIA WEC LMP2 championship-winning drivers will not return to defend their title. Bertrand Baguette and Martin Plowman have moved to programs in Super GT and IndyCar, respectively, while Ricardo Gonzalez is mounting a full-season effort in the ELMS with ART Grand Prix. The OAK Racing team name has also not returned, although the French squad is now operating under the G-Drive Racing banner.

***More than 450 journalists are accredited for the FIA WEC/ELMS doubleheader, with weekend ticket sales having already surpassed last year’s total number, according to Neveu.

***FOX Sports 1 will televise highlights of each FIA WEC round this year, with FOX Sports 2 picking up live coverage of the Circuit of The Americas round. Details of the championship’s online and mobile platform packages, including the new official FIA WEC app, will be released tomorrow.

***Despite not having a confirmed entry in this year’s race, Pegasus Racing will take part in the Le Mans Test Day with its Morgan-Nissan. The French squad is currently fourth on the reserve list and is holding out hope of a series of late prototype withdrawals.

***A number of drivers will be pulling double duty between the FIA WEC and ELMS paddocks this weekend, including Matt Griffin, Marco Cioci, Michele Rugolo, Sergey Zlobin, Viktor Shaitar Kirill Ladygin, Anton Ladygin François Perrodo Emmanuel Collard and Maurizio Mediani. Additionally, AF Corse, SMP Racing and ProSpeed Competition will have cars entered in both series.

***Following a brief shakedown yesterday, Rebellion Racing will return to Paul Ricard next week for the first proper test of its Rebellion R-One on Tuesday. The second chassis is scheduled to begin testing on Thursday, with both cars scheduled to debut at Spa early next month. A third car will be built, with the tub having already been completed.

***Allan McNish was awarded the Segrave Trophy on Tuesday for the second consecutive year. The Audi driver, who announced his retirement from top-level racing in December, became the first Briton to win the Tourist Trophy, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship all in the same year.

***At least one current TUDOR United SportsCar Championship team is evaluating the possibility of a switch to the FIA WEC for next year.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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