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6H Spa: Thursday Paddock Notes

Tough week so far for CEFC TRSM

There has been a great deal of speculation about goings on at CEFC TRSM Racing throughout the day, both the #5 and #6 Ginetta G60-LT-P1s completing just an installation lap apiece in the two practice sessions.

Team principal Graeme Lowdon declared himself unable to comment today, amidst media speculation that financial woes were at the heart of the issue for the team.

It was certainly noticable that no work was seemingly required, or on indeed undertaken on, either car after any of their short runs.

DSC’s investigations have indicated that significantly more clarity on the situation is likely to emerge within the next 24 hours. Senior sources though, have confirmed, that stories implying that decisions have been taken on the future of this programme, its potential participation in the Le Mans 24 Hours, or any knock-on effects of today’s events, are somewhat premature.

Watch this space.

Double-Duty for Andlauer

Porsche junior driver Julien Andlauer, is the only driver at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend doing double-duty, driving for Dempsey Proton Racing in the WEC, and Team Martinet by Alméras was quickest in the Porsche Carrera Cup France & Benelux support series.

So far, he’s shown pace too, setting the best time of the day in the Porsche Cup, a 2:21.684.

Kanaan’s Spa return

It’s been 25 years since Tony Kanaan last raced at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the longtime Indycar-star back this weekend with the #67 Ford GT crew in preparation for their Le Mans run later in June.

Kannan ran with teammates Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx earlier in the year at the Daytona 24 and is confident that the team can find success in Belgium ahead of the French endurance classic next month.

“I’m excited, we’ve got a good group of guys.

“(the last time I was at Spa) the chicane was the other way, so I was a bit confused this morning!”

Larbre hit with Fine

Larbre Competition has been handed a fine of 1,000 euros by the race organisers after the team failed to announce that Fernando Rees is being replaced by Julien Canal for this weekend in time, according to Article 10.9.2a of the rulebook.

Canal was also late to the drivers briefing but was only given a reprimand for that violation.

Alonso’s FP1 lap on film

The FIA WEC has released an onboard video of Fernando Alonso’s FP1-topping lap of the Spa circuit, which you can watch below:

Free Practice highlights

Another video posted by the WEC today features highlights of the two Free Practice sessions at Spa:

Griffin on the current performance levels in GTE Am at Spa

Clearwater Racing driver Matt Griffin spoke to DSC earlier today, about the current performance levels in GTE Am, which after the Prologue and opening practice sessions, indicate that the Porsche 911 RSR teams in the nine-car class have a upper hand in pace.

“It was clear at the Prologue, and in the ELMS opener,” he said, “that the Ferraris and Aston Martins are not close to the brand new Porsches. They are consistently 1.5 seconds quicker, every time, no matter what we do.

“Put it this way, I’m flat through Eau Rouge, and by the time I’m at the end of Sector 1, I’m eight tenths down. Later in the lap I’m flat through Blanchimont too, and still losing time.

“We’ll be making big changes between sessions to see if we can sacrifice our pace in the middle sector, and run better through the high-speed sections.

“Ultimately though, there’s not a lot we can do to bridge the gap. We’ll have to see what the race brings.”

Michelin in trouble?

Pair of stewards decisions released this evening, seem to suggest that tyre supplier Michelin have been tardy with supply of essential information regarding the identification and specification of some or all of their tyres.

Michelin have been granted more time to provide the required information, which must be presented at a further stewards meeting at 9:30am on Friday morning.

The WEC sporting regulations dictate that all required identification and specification data must be supplied at least 24 hours before the start of any event. 9:30 tomorrow morning, will see that information overdue, by a full 48 hours.