ByKolles WEC squad could expand to run two LMP1 cars after Le Mans
|By Gary Watkins||Thursday, April 12th 2018, 13:02 GMT|
The ByKolles LMP1 squad is evaluating plans to expand its World Endurance Championship assault to two cars after the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
ByKolles could field a second ENSO CLM-Nissan P1/01 in the 2018/19 WEC superseason on a race-by-race entry from the Silverstone round in August, Autosport has learnt.
The team is not commenting on the plans, but it is understood that a decision will be made following Le Mans in consultation with engine supplier Nissan.
An extra car from longtime WEC entrant would bring the LMP1 entry up to 11 cars.
The expansion of the WEC entry to 36 cars for the superseason would likely mean that the two ByKolles CLMs would have to run out of the same pit garage.
The Fuji and Shanghai tracks have only 34 garages, which means two GTE Am teams are already having to double up.
The German-based ByKolles squad has yet to confirm who will race alongside team regular Oliver Webb in its full-season entry.
It ran a total of six drivers at last week's official WEC test at Paul Ricard. Webb was joined by Tom Dillmann, Marco Bonanomi, Dominik Kraihamer, Rene Binder and Kang Ling.
New ByKolles team principal Manfredi Ravetto said that the team was looking for a "group of drivers who would mould together well", while conceding that there were commercial considerations as well.
He said a final decision on the line-up for the Spa series opener would be made next week.
The solo ENSO CLM completed more laps than any other privateer LMP1 over the two days of the Ricard test and was within eight tenths of the fastest non-hybrid car in the hands of Dillmann.
Ravetto said he was content with the performance of the latest version of the P1/01, which incorporates an upgrade of the NISMO-badged Nissan V6 powerplant and aerodynamic revisions.
"When we stopped running on Friday night we had completed 1100km and were third in the times, so you can definitely say we have seen some improvement," he said.