The ByKolles team had a near faultless WEC Prologue at Paul Ricard with the opportunity offered by a lack of fault finding and fixing allowing the team to cycle through at least six drivers over the period of the test.
Oliver Webb has done much of the heavy lifting in what has been a fairly intensive development and test programme since the team stepped back from WEC competition after the Nurburgring last season to concentrate on bringing a reliable and competitive package back for the coming season.
He ran on both days together with Dominik Kraihamer. The pair were joined on Friday by ex Blancpain GT racer Ling Kang and Rene Binder, and on Saturday by ex-Signatech Alpine WEC race winner and single seater ace Tom Dillmann and ex-Audi factory driver Marco Bonanomi, the Italian arriving after testing the Schubert-run Honda NSX GT3 at the Nordscheife ahead of VLN2.
The entry list for the opening round of the 2018/19 FIA WEC confirms that Kraihamer and Dillmann will join the team for Spa, and DSC understands, for the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours too.
“The car has taken some major steps through testing, all of the big changes you can see and a lot of others that you can’t, but that are immediately obvious from a drivers perspective in that we can run faster and harder, and we are spending more of our time on track in testing than before,” said Ollie Webb at Paul Ricard
“The team has done a fantastic job and there is plenty more to come!”
The drivers that tested alongside the Spa/ LM24 trio though could still feature at some point in the season as ByKolles also made it very clear that they were actively looking at opportunities to race their second chassis as a possible race by race entry post the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours. That though could be subject, amongst other factors, to the availability of pit garages at later season races.
The heavily updated NISMO/Cosworth turbo V6 saw, DSC believes, no problems whatsoever at Paul Ricard, major changes implemented and major performance gains found together with a comprehensive programme of upgrades to troubleshoot a number of previous reliability issues.
The new bodywork and aero package already tested is set to be joined by a new engine cover for Spa in three weeks time. That could add even further edge to a package that suddenly looks significantly closer to the current non-hybrid pace than anything presented by the team previously.