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6H Bahrain: Friday Paddock Notes

Michelin extends Partnership, Dallara BR1 'Teased'

Michelin signs WEC partnership extension

The DSC Ed bumped into ACO President Pierre Fillon and WEC MD Gerard Neveu in the paddock this morning, both men clearly delighted to have received the news that Michelin has signed a three-year extension to its current agreement as championship partners.

After some difficult weeks in the summer the tide is turning for the WEC, and the signs are currently good that the potential support for the 2020 LMP1 regulations is looking solid from significant numbers of manufacturers.

LMP1 in 2018

Expect several pieces of good news today around the 2018 LMP1 field, after Ginetta told DSC this morning that its first car will be in build from next week, and should run before Christmas.

Later today (c.7pm local time) we will have the first sight of the new Dallara/ BR Engineering BR1, bound for the 2018/19 FIA WEC with a two-car effort run by ART Grand Prix.

Substantial numbers of BR Engineering, Dallara and ART GP personnel are already in the paddock ahead of the launch, set to take place in the paddock with a stage already installed.

The first car is understood to have tested as recently as Tuesday at Barcelona with Vitaly Petrov involved in that test, Mikhail Aleshin also a key part of the development team and at least one car set to feature n all-Pro, All Russian squad.

SMP Racing meanwhile has ‘teased’ the car ahead of the announcement with a video (below).

LMP1 in 2020

The latest draft regulations for a new look LMP1 class are set to be submitted for approval by the FIA World Motorsport Council in March, this a slight delay from the initially intended December submission.

That delay though masks real positivity around the discussions with potential factory entries for 2020/21, the working groups seeing attendance from at least five OEMs including Toyota, Ford and McLaren, with others understood by DSC to be showing increasing interest levels.