***Bamboo Engineering’s co-founder and co-owner Nigel Vaulkhard passed away today after a mountain biking accident earlier this week, the team announced Friday afternoon. Craft-Bamboo Racing will continue this weekend at Spa, albeit with heavy hearts. Sportscar365 sends its condolences to Vaulkhard’s family and the team.
***SMP Racing will have a long night ahead, as the team has been forced to rebuild the No. 37 Oreca 03 Nissan around a spare tub following Viktor Shaitar’s accident in afternoon practice. The Russian squad’s sister No. 27 car, meanwhile, qualified second in class in the hands of Nic Minassian and Maurizio Mediani.
***ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil revealed they no longer have defined time points to make Balance of Performance adjustments in GTE and will make changes at their discretion. “There is no reason to define too many parameters because otherwise you get stuck in something you cannot move in, because you’ve written too many rules,” he told Sportscar365. ”We’re doing complete analysis and have many guys working [on it] after each race. When we consider it’s time to make some decisions, we make the decisions.”
***The new Strakka-Dome S103 Nissan is absent from the weekend, with the Japanese-built LMP2 car not scheduled to complete any on-track testing until May 27, just five days before the Le Mans Test Day, which is mandatory for all new cars. Strakka’s single-day private test is set to be held at Snetterton, according to the FIA WEC. All teams must declare private tests to the series.
***Dunlop launched the ‘Dunlop Future Race Car Challenge’ at Spa today. The new project sees motorsport fans and industry experts discuss the race car of the future. A renowned designer, whose name will be announced in June, will incorporate the best ideas into one design.
***After rebranding its North American customer program to “Spirit of Race,” AF Corse’s prototype efforts are being operated under the “High Performance Racing” banner. HPR runs the pair of SMP Racing Oreca 03 Nissans in the FIA WEC.
***While flying the flag of Hong Kong, the KCMG squad features a multi-national crew, including American Brian Colangelo, who serves as operations manager/chief mechanic of the No. 47 Oreca 03 Nissan. Colangelo helped lead Starworks Motorosport to the FIA WEC LMP2 title in 2012 and spent last year with 8Star Motorsports in the U.S.
***John Gaw will be a busy man this weekend, as the Aston Martin Racing team principal will be headed to Rockingham Sunday morning for the Avon Tyres British GT Championship race. Gaw will co-drive the PGF-Kinfaun AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 with Phil Dryburgh in Monday’s two-hour race.
Marcel ten Caat contributed to this report