The ByKolles-built Vanwall LMH car returned to the track this week for a two-day test at Lausitzring that was described as “very positive” by the constructor’s head of operations.
According to Boris Bermes, the non-hybrid Gibson V8-powered prototype driven by Tom Dillmann completed “more than 270 laps”, equating to 583 miles, across Wednesday and Thursday in hot and sunny conditions.
It marked the second proper track test for the Vanwall-badged car following a two-day run at Most in April, which came directly after its maiden rollout at Zweibrucken airfield.
The Lausitzring session was undertaken on the German circuit’s short infield course, which omits the banked Turn 1 and turns left away from the triangular outer oval approximately halfway down the second long straight.
“We did more than 270 laps and tested a lot of things,” Bermes told Sportscar365.
“We collected many data on the aero and reliability, which was the main goal of this test. It was very, very positive again.
“We did long runs and we did short runs. The goal was to put on miles for reliability.
“We are consistently getting new bits to test. The Lausitzring was a really good test because the temperature on Wednesday was extreme, more than 40 degrees [C].
“On Thursday it was 35 degrees dropping to 30, so this was extremely positive to learn because it was the hardest temperature condition you could get.”
Bermes explained that the three-month gap between the Most and Lausitzring tests was due to ByKolles concentrating on parts of the FIA’s homologation process for LMH cars.
He declared that the Vanwall Vandervell LMH completed its mandatory crash test in May.
“We were doing the FIA homologation in the period with all these safety tests,” Bermes said.
“This was scheduled a long time ahead. We had to check on the availability of tracks, which made it a bit more difficult [to book testing].
“It was not planned to have a break for  weeks. It was more planned to have a seven or eight-week gap.”
Former ByKolles LMP1 driver Dillmann, who completed his first miles in the Vanwall LMH, was pleased with the car’s reliability at this early point in the track testing phase.
ByKolles’ other LMH test driver, Esteban Guerrieri, was on driving duty at Most while 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Christophe Bouchut did the first shakedown.
“We were just doing a lot of mileage and not having any issues,” Dillmann told Sportscar365.
“We were trying to get issues by doing a lot of mileage every day, but so far nothing happened.
“So we are going through the setup, downforce levels, etc. to learn about the car and get the correlation to the simulations correct. Usual stuff when you have a new car.
“But the main thing, every day, is trying to maximize the mileage. We ran from 9 to 5 non-stop. I just went out of the car for one hour for a lunch break! It was a good start.”
More Testing Planned in Coming Months
Bermes outlined ByKolles’ testing plans for the rest of the year, with the goal of banking a small handful of days each month.
It is understood that the Vanwall could return to the track as soon as next week at a different circuit in Germany, or otherwise in just over one months’ time.
“We have, for the rest of the year, a couple of options to test,” Bermes said.
“In August it’s the holiday time, which will be difficult. So I think the next one will be at the beginning of September. Then we have another September option.
“We plan one in October, and we plan to go to Ricard in early November and Spain at the end of November or the beginning of December.
“The plan is another two or three days roughly every month, on average.”
Testing forms part of the development process to prepare the car for homologation, which locks in the car design and specifications for competition.
ByKolles had its entry application for this year’s WEC season rejected and it remains to be seen whether it will gain approval to join the Hypercar grid in 2023.
Sportscar365 understands that dialogue has taken place between ByKolles and WEC organizers the FIA and ACO in recent months, related to the constructor’s rights to use the name of 1950s Formula 1 team Vanwall.
Publicly accessible filings of the European Union Intellectual Property Office show that PMC, a ByKolles company, applied to trademark the Vanwall name but faced opposition from a British company that holds the rights to Vanwall in the U.K.
The PMC GmbH company under which ByKolles houses its LMH project was renamed ‘Vanwall GmbH’ in February, according to the German companies register.
Vanwall was founded by British motorsport privateer Tony Vandervell and beat Ferrari to win the 1958 F1 constructors’ title.