Dallara’s P217 2018 LMP2 ‘Joker’ package – or at least elements of the final kit – were tested on track at Portimão last week, during the pre-event ELMS test at the Portuguese circuit, DSC has learned.
Paddock sources close to the Dallara effort have revealed to DSC that ELMS Dallara customer team Cetilar Villorba Corse ran the new aero kit on Wednesday, and were “pleased with the progress in the package they used” at the Algarve circuit. However, it was noted that the 4.6km circuit is not an ideal testing ground for the aero kit, and that the weather was poor throughout the day, interrupting the running.
The area of focus for Dallara’s LMP2 ‘Joker’ kit is the front-splitter, to combat the ‘porpoise-ing’ issues it has suffered through low-drag portions of circuits in its first season, most notably at Le Mans, and at the Spa ELMS round. Due to the nature of the update, cosmetically, there’s little difference to the overall look of the car with the new parts.
Due to the aforementioned design flaws in the car, Dallara has reportedly stopped selling customer chassis since it was originally pinpointed.
When asked for further details, Cetilar Villorba Corse didn’t deny to DSC that it had been running the ‘Joker’ package, but was unable to comment on it directly.
DSC also understands that the package will be out testing this week too, ahead of the wind tunnel test at Wind Shear in November. The deadline given to Dallara to have its full ‘Joker’ packages ready is reportedly the 13th of next month, ahead of the ACO’s wind tunnel test for the three chassis.
Meanwhile, in the Ligier camp, DSC has learned that customer teams have been out testing recently, including United Autosports, some with new parts for the French manufacturer’s 2018 package.
Ligier has been developing an update kit for the car throughout the year, the basis for the Le Mans package in particular, stemming from the ‘V2’ kit which United ran at the Le Mans Test Day, but didn’t use in the race.
Riley/Multimatic, which can alter its Mk.30 chassis as well as both aero kits for 2018, has also been hard at work.
The Riley/Multimatic LMP2 Mk.30 is being re-designed in the UK, with Julian Sole, and Larry Holt – who missed the WEC’s trip to Fuji – involved to aid the development. Multimatic is using the Lola wind tunnel in Huntingdon owned by Martin Berrain during the process.
A big part of the effort however, is the Mazda DPi chassis, which is set to be run by Team Joest in 2018. The RT24P in its current for is doing baseline testing for its upgrades; the LMP2 Gibson version of the car will follow on.
Riley/Multimatic has said publically that would like to retain customers for the car. Larry Holt himself told DSC’s editor that the principal issue for the basic package for the 2017-spec LMP2 car was cooling.
The ‘Joker’ upgrades to the three chassis are set to be free of charge for customer teams.