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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

F1 world champion Villeneuve in body for Vanwall WEC seat

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A drive for the 1997 title winner aboard a Vanwall Vandervell LMH was described as “a chance” by crew boss Colin Kolles after Villeneuve’s take a look at along with his squad at Barcelona final week.

Kolles wouldn’t elaborate on the prospects of 51-year-old Villeneuve returning to top-flight sportscar racing for the primary time since his two-year stint with the Peugeot LMP1 squad within the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

He pressured that the take a look at at Barcelona final Wednesday was organised to see if Villeneuve bought on with the Gibson-engined non-hybrid LMH developed by the German ByKolles squad underneath the Vanwall Racing banner.

“The aim of the take a look at was to see if he loved driving the automotive, not about how fast he was,” Kolles advised Autosport.

“And I feel he did get pleasure from it: he drove within the morning, had an opportunity to digest it after which bought again within the automotive within the afternoon.”

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Villeneuve shared the automotive on the primary day of the three-day take a look at with Tom Dillmann and Esteban Guerrieri, who’re the nominated take a look at drivers for the Vanwall and will likely be on the driving squad if Vanwall is accepted into the WEC for subsequent season.

Vanwall Vandervell LMH, ByKolles Racing

Photograph by: Vanwall Group

Joao Paulo de Oliveira, who additionally drove in Barcelona, is one other sturdy candidate for a seat with the crew and has hyperlinks with Kolles courting again almost 20 years.

Kolles, whose crew was turned down for the 2022 WEC, mentioned that he deliberate to file no less than one entry and “probably two” for subsequent season.

It seems that Villeneuve becoming a member of the crew might hinge on it pushing forward with a second entry.

The homologation technique of the Vandervell LMH is underway and it’s understood that the automotive will go to the full-size Sauber windtunnel for official FIA aerodynamic testing early subsequent month.

The Vanwall has undertaken a number of checks since April and has accomplished in extra of a Le Mans 24 Hours distance in that point.

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