ByKOLLES RACING claims third place in the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
ByKOLLES Racing finished the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (B) of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) third in the LMP1 Private Teams category and sixth in the overall ranking. Drivers Simon Trummer (CH), Oliver Webb (GB) and James Rossiter (GB) took to the podium after completing a total of 151 race laps. In addition, the team from Greding, Germany took advantage of the sunny weather in the Ardennes during the weekend to continue testing in preparation for the highlight of the season, Le Mans (18th/19th June).
“Unfortunately we were struggling a little at the start of the event,” says Boris Bermes, ByKOLLES Director of Racing Operations. “We only completed five laps in the first practice session on Thursday due to issues with the engine. It would have been helpful to do some longs runs in that session to learn more about the behaviour of the Dunlop tyres. We made up for some of this in the following two practice sessions. Even though more time to practice would have been beneficial, we were able to improve the set-up of our car in time for the race. We focused on studying the behaviour of the tyres at high temperatures during the first stints of the 6-hour race. That is why we couldn’t do any double stint in the beginning. Unfortunately, we lost contact to the competition in the second half of the race due to technical issues with the engine. Despite all this we closed the gap considerably and were quite happy with our pace at the end. All in all we learned a lot about both the car and the tyres at the Belgium round, which will help us in the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans. We cannot wait for the highlight of the year!”
James Rossiter: “We became stronger and stronger during the course of the race. The car and the tyres didn’t work perfectly together during the first stints but we got a better handle on things over the six hours of the race. Being on the WEC podium for the trophy ceremony was fantastic – it’s just an amazing feeling in front of nearly 60,000 spectators at Spa-Francorchamps. I will now continue to contest several races in Japanese series. I wish the ByKOLLES Racing team and my colleagues Oliver Webb, Simon Trummer and Pierre Kaffer the best of luck and hope they will be successful at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
Oliver Webb: “I took over the car after nearly two hours into the race after our team had finished some repairs on the engine in a phenomenally short time. Unfortunately, we had grown a considerable gap and had lost contact to our direct competition due to this 9-minute stop. It’s a pity that we had some other minor engine damage later on because my pace got better and better during the course of my stints. I am excited about the racing event of the year now, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I have never contested this prestigious race in the LMP1 category before and cannot wait to experience Le Mans from this new perspective.”
Simon Trummer: “The race was not as fantastic as the weather. However, we have said before that we will be patient and calm to ensure a perfect preparation for Le Mans. The round at Spa-Francorchamps taught us which areas still require work ahead of the prestigious race in France. We haven’t used the tyres to their full potential yet and there are some issues to be solved regarding the reliability of the power unit. Driving the car you notice that we have already made some aerodynamic and mechanical improvements. The great balance gave me a lot of confidence despite the challenging Spa-Francorchamps track. I felt really good during my 42 race laps. Le Mans will be a lot of fun if I feel just as good there!”