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Villeneuve to Make WEC Debut in Vanwall LMH

F1 champion and Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve to drive ByKolles-built LMH car in WEC…

Photo: Paragraph 5/ByKolles

The 1997 Formula 1 world champion and 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve will make his FIA World Endurance Championship debut this year driving the ByKolles-built Vanwall LMH car.

Villeneuve, 51, has been confirmed alongside ByKolles test drivers Tom Dillmann and Esteban Guerrieri in the No. 4 Vanwall Vandervell 680, which will race under the Floyd Vanwall Racing Team banner.

The Canadian sampled the Gibson V8-powered prototype during a test at Barcelona near the end of last year.

At the time, ByKolles owner Colin Kolles told Sportscar365 that the drive was about seeing if Villeneuve enjoyed the experience and also acknowledged that the team would be open to considering him for a race seat.

Villeneuve is now set for his first 24 Hours of Le Mans appearance since he finished second in 2008 sharing a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP with Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gene.

ByKolles, which holds trademarks for 1958 F1 constructors’ champion Vanwall, attempted to enter the WEC last season but its entry request was rejected.

It nonetheless pressed on with its LMH testing plans, rolling the car out for the first time at Zweibrucken airfield in April and conducting more tests throughout the year.

The constructor’s in-house WEC entry will bear title sponsorship from travel luggage brand Floyd, which also supports ByKolles in esports.

“We are very happy that the cooperation with Floyd is going into the next round,” said Kolles.

“The title sponsorship is a statement of the bond between our two brands and proof of the ambition of our joint project. What unites us is the desire to fight for victory at the very top.”

Floyd CEO Bernd Georgi added:  “The foundation of the Floyd Vanwall Racing Team is an important step for us.

“With Vanwall Racing Team we have found a partner who shares our goal of creating unique products of the highest quality without losing the mojo.

“We look forward to the next exciting chapter of this partnership.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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