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Barcelona Prologue: Sunday Paddock Notes

New cars and new colours and welcome back to Goodyear

With the DSC team already in Barcelona for yesterday’s ELMS race, it would have been rude not to pop by on Sunday evening to the paddock as the 30 car entry for Tuesday and Wednesday’s Prologue test was assembling.

The majority of the field had already unloaded with garages being set up when DSC’s team arrived.

The new-look Toyota will be revealed publicly tomorrow but elsewhere in LMP1 the Rebellion trucks were just arriving, six drivers set to drive its two R13 Gibson pair, though just one car is set to contest the vast majority of the coming season.

‘Super-Season’ trio Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Nathaniel Berthon are set to be joined by a selection of drivers including Norman Nato and Felipe Nasr.

DSC believes the current plan if for car #1 to principally feature Senna and Menezes, the pair understood to be close to confirming full season drives, with the other three drivers intended to circulate through the #3 car to determine the third full-season pilot.

Both Ginetta G60 AERs are here too. Algarve Pro Racing is assisting Team LNT at the Prologue with logistical and technical support as the full-season plan crystalises.

There will be some very familiar faces to drive the #5 and #6 Ginettas alongside Ginetta’s factory pairing of Mike Simpson and Charlie Robertson.

Another familiar face, Paolo Cantone, is set to race engineer the effort at the Test, as he did at the recent Paul Ricard test.

In LMP2, United Autosports will debut the first of its new three-car ORECA 07 fleet, the team now a British-flagged affair.

Jota Sport’s pair of ORECAs, the #37 car for Jackie Chan DC Racing, are both on-site. The #38 features prominent Goodyear branding, a sign that they may become the second team to confirm that they are running with the returning brand.

The first was High Class Racing, the Danish-flagged but very locally based team another stepping up to the WEC.

It is still awaiting the delivery of their second ORECA chassis, set to be the primary WEC car. In the meantime, the team burned the midnight oil to prep its existing car from the ELMS that suffered a niggling throttle issue throughout yesterday’s four-hour ELMS race. The car is now back in rude health and in the process of receiving its WEC livery as DSC called in.

Cool Racing is the other team that will run an LMP2 ORECA that raced yesterday, the Swiss-flagged team another new addition to the WEC entry.

There are new colours for all three GTE Pro squads:

Aston Martin Racing has already shown its revised livery, applied not only to the #97 Vantage from GTE Pro, but also the #98 from GTE AM.

Aston Martin meanwhile is confirmed as not running the 2019/20 Michelin tyres at the test, DSC awaiting confirmation as to whether the latest rubber is available to the Porsche and AF Corse teams.

Porsche’s new 911 RSR-19 pair are already garaged, the #92 in it new livery clearly visible, the #91 set to feature a livery with the red and black elements reversed.

And AF Corse’s pair of brand spanking new GTE Pro Ferraris feature a revised livery too, the base colour now a flat red, not the pearlescent ‘Rosso’ of last season, with revisions too elsewhere around the car producing a significantly different look.

And in GTE Am there will be plenty to see too:

TF Sport’s Vantage GTE features a stunning red and black livery, completely different from the colours seen before on the team’s cars.

There are only detail changes to the Porsches from Proton Competiton, whose #88 car was forced into ELMS service after the regular car was damaged in Practice on Friday, and from Gulf racing.

Team Project 1 step-ups to two cars in the FIA WEC with the ELMS car staying on for the Prologue, and the Le Mans art car here too.

The team is understood to be awaiting delivery of a third 911 RSR to ease the logistical challenges of its joint ELMS/WEC programme.

A trio of the GTE Am Ferraris also features new or revised colours, the #83 for Francois Perrodo not yet seen by DSC, though the car in base black with a white roof tested at Paul Ricard.

The #70 MR Racing car features a revised livery from the 2018/19 near all-white scheme too.

Final touches were being put onto the Red River Sport 488 GTE this evening for Bon Grimes Johnny Mowlem and Charlie Hollings, and there are detail differences too for the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari.

Elsewhere in the paddock, the other significant new addition is the Goodyear set-up, fully liveried for the WEC Prologue and a yet to be confirmed customer base in LMP2 (aside from High Class racing and, apparently, Jota Sport!).

The Goodyear team will stay on in Barcelona where a number of teams are set to test with their all-new product range in a private setting.