It has still not quite reached a week after last weekend’s fantastic race at Silverstone, but the FIA have already released the entry list for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. As well as extra cars and new driver line-ups announced there is also an update on the situation at SARD-Morand.
On the weekend of May 2nd this year, 34 cars will set off into the Ardennes forest in Belgium in pursuit of victory. In a press release by the Automobile Association yesterday they have announced the official entry list for the next WEC race. In the LMP1 class Audi and Porsche will start their third cars for the first time this season. Audi’s third car, the #9, will be driven by Filipe Albuquerque, Marco Bonanomi and making his LMP1 debut, Rena Rast. The #19 Porsche however see’s all it’s drivers make their LMP1 debut, Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber and Nico Hulkenberg will drive the car. Rebellion Racing are again going to miss a round, which leaves ByKolles on their own in the privateer category.
There are major changes in the LMP2 class for Spa. Due to Porsche running their third 919, KCMG must give up their driver, Nick Tandy. The substitute for the Brit at KCMG is none other than former Toyota LMP1 driver, Nicolas Lappiere. In addition to the change of driver line up there are also some new teams on the grid all together. ELMS Team and last year’s LMP2 class winner at Le Mans, Jota, will race at Spa to again, help their preparation for Le Mans. In the #38 Jota Zytek Simon Dolan shares with experienced single seater racer, Mitch Evans and Nissan LMP1 one driver, Harry Tincknell. Furthermore, SARD-Morand have made an announcement about the cancellation of their effort at Silverstone. with the ownership of the team still in question, the team will race in the WEC next month. However in the future they will only compete with the #43 car of Pierre Ragues, Oliver Webb and Zoel Amberg, while the “Race to 24” scheme has been put on hold.
The fact that SARD-Morand will only run one car all season has opened up a space on the Le Mans entry list. The place has gone to the Dodge Viper GTS-R of Riley Motorsports.
In the GTE-PRO class, their are mainly driver changes to report. The third LMP1 car and a clash with the American TUSCC series provide Porsche team Manthey with a driver shortage. Young driver Sven Muller and McLaren Junior Kevin Estre will fill the driverless #91 Porsche 911. At Aston Martin Nicki Thiim will not be competing because of his commitments with Audi in the ADAC GT Masters championship. While the #95 car is a driver down the #97 car gains a driver. Mucke and Turner will be joined by Rob Bell, who will also share with the Aston Martin duo at Le Mans
A more stable category for the 6 Hours of Spa, is the GTE-AM class. There are no losses but their is an additional car. The Ferrari factory team AF Corse will race an extra car at Spa with drivers Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Alex Mortimer in preparation for their Le Mans effort.
Source: FIA WEC
Images: (WEC-Magazin) Walter Schruff