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FIA WEC Prologue: Paul Ricard, Thursday PM Notes

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GTE Paddock Notes

Aston Martin Racing are running the #99 GTE Pro car and the #95 GTE Am car at the test with just the regular season drivers for those cars on hand (Nicki Thiim and Kristian Poulsen only in #95).

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All of Aston Martin’s FIA WEC car will run in 2013 spec (last season’s GTE Pro spec) and there is no difference in Balance of Performance between the Pro and Am classes – That will likely mean that we’ll see a battle royal at the head of GTE when the Pros are in the cars the AM cars able to mix it on pace with the Pro cars.

Ram Racing meanwhile have their cars in mixed 2012 (Am car) and 2013 (Pro car) spec, both sporting the team’s really very fetching new livery.

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“We think the 2012 car will be a better and more stable platform for an Am driver,” explained Team Principal Dan Shufflebottom. “The ’12 spec had more drag and more downforce. We already have the bits from both cars from last year so it actually helps us in terms of part costs too.”

James Rossiter is due to test the #52 Pro car tomorrow alongside already confirmed Alvaro Parente and Matt Griffin.

AF Corse meanwhile have at least four Ferrari 458s here, the #71 car a new chassis with a new livery, The #61 car here is the Championship winning #51 car from last year whilst last year’s #61 AM car appears to have been updated to 2013 spec and is sitting in the garage un-numbered at present.

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Also of interest is that both James Calado and Sam Bird are here in AF Corse uniforms – That confirms the point that Amato Ferrari made to DSC at Sebring, we still believe that Calado has got the nod for the full WEC, but Bird too figures in AF Corse’s season plans.

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LMP2 Notes

As we have already confirmed Strakka will not be here this weekend and we also gather that Millennium Racing are likely only to run tomorrow (no sign of them yet in the paddock today)

That means that we only have a quartet of LMP2s to talk about today.

Both new SMP Racing Oreca Nissans are here and being prepped by AF Corse.

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At the other end of the pit lane the Oak Racing run G-Drive Morgan Nissan is here, as is the new KCMG Oreca 03 Nissan.

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Paul-Ricard-Prologue-017LMP1 Notes

Still no sign of the Porsches, and Toyota’s TS040s are now back behind closed doors top – We did though get an opportunity to see the #2 Audi briefly.

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