Webb completes ByKolles line-up for 2020 Le Mans and Spa rounds – WEC

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Oliver Webb will rejoin the ByKolles LMP1 team for the Le Mans 24 Hours and the preceding Spa-Francorchamps round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The British driver has been part of the ByKolles set-up since the 2016 WEC season, and has anchored the squad’s Le Mans line-up for the last four runnings of the race.

Now it has been confirmed the 29-year-old will partner the previously-announced Tom Dillmann and Bruno Spengler at the wheel of the Gibson-powered ENSO CLM P1/01 for what are set to be the car’s final two starts.

Webb said: “It’s great to be back in an LMP1 car with ByKolles for the remainder of the 2020 FIA WEC season post-lockdown.

“Spa and Le Mans are my two best tracks on the schedule, so it’s going to be great to get back on them alongside great teammates Tom Dillmann and Bruno Spengler, who I know are

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The 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans Will Be Run Behind Closed Doors

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Welcome to The Grid, R&T’s quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.

a person riding a motorcycle in front of a crowd: Plus, Ferrari might give Vettel a new chassis, and a new EV sub-brand from Hyundai.

© David Vincent – AP
Plus, Ferrari might give Vettel a new chassis, and a new EV sub-brand from Hyundai.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans Will Run Behind Closed Doors

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most major race series to run behind closed doors, with some iconic races closed off to spectators. Last week, it was announced that the Indy 500 would run fan-less this year, and today, the FIA and ACO announced that the 24 Hours of Le Mans would also be held behind closed doors. Like Indy, Le Mans was already delayed by the pandemic, and up until recently, organizers hoped that they could host limited crowds.

“Over the last few weeks, we have looked at many ways in which we could hold our event in September with

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Le Mans 24 Hours 2020 to be held without spectators amid COVID-19 spike – WEC

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The rescheduled Le Mans 24 Hours in September will take place behind closed doors in a reverse of the decision announced in June to allow a limited crowd.

Race organiser the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has decided that it is is untenable to allow even a limited number of spectators to attend the double-points round of the World Endurance Championship on 19/20 September after discussions with the local authority, the Sarthe Prefecture.

The move comes in the wake a spike in COVID-19 cases in France this month.

ACO president Pierre Fillon said: “Over the past few weeks, we have looked at many ways in which we could hold our event in September with fans present, albeit in limited numbers.

“However, given the constraints involved in organising a festival-scale event over several days in the current situation, we have opted with the local government authorities to hold the race behind closed

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IMSA team WeatherTech Racing bolsters Le Mans GTE Pro field with Ferrari – WEC

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The GTE Pro entry for the rescheduled Le Mans 24 Hours next month has been bolstered by the addition of a Ferrari fielded by the Scuderia Corsa-run WeatherTech Racing team.

WeatherTech Racing has moved its entry from GTE Am to Pro after announcing that Ferrari factory driver Toni Vilander and Jeff Segal will join Cooper MacNeil for the World Endurance Championship blue riband round on 19/20 September.

The switch of class by the US team with its Ferrari 488 GTE Evo brings the Pro class entry up to eight cars.

It joins fellow Ferrari privateer Risi Competizione alongside the six regular GTE Pro Am entries from Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari.

The move still leaves the GTE Pro field well down on the 17 cars that started last year’s race after the end of the Ford and BMW programmes in the WEC and the withdrawal of Corvette Racing and the

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Farfus returns to WEC and Le Mans 24 Hours with Aston Martin Racing – WEC

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BMW factory driver Augusto Farfus will make a return to the World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours with Aston Martin.

The Brazilian, who contested both editions of Le Mans encompassed by the 2018/19 WEC superseason with BMW, has been recruited to drive the British manufacturer’s factory-run GTE Am entry for the final three events of the 2019/20 series by car owner Paul Dalla Lana.

Farfus will share the #98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE with Dalla Lana and Ross Gunn at Spa in August, Le Mans on September 19/20 and then the Bahrain finale in November.

He is replacing long-time Aston Martin Racing driver Darren Turner, who will focus on development of the marque’s Valkyrie road car over the remainder of this year.

Farfus will also contest the second round of the European Le Mans Series at Spa on 9 August, a week before the WEC event at

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Ex-BMW driver Blomqvist set for Le Mans debut with Taiwanese Ferrari squad – WEC

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Former factory BMW driver Tom Blomqvist will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut next month with the HubAuto Corsa team in the GTE Am class.

Blomqvist will be joined by HubAuto Corsa regular Marcos Gomes and team owner Morris Chen at the wheel of a Ferrari 488 GTE, effectively replacing Supercars enduro driver Tim Slade in the team’s line-up.

The 26-year-old has been competing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship for the last two years, but announced his split with BMW at the end of the 2019 season.

He had been due to take part in SRO’s GT World Challenge Europe series this year with the R-Motorsport Aston Martin team, but the Swiss outfit has put all its racing activities on hold until 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Blomqvist was recently named as Jaguar’s reserve driver in Formula E and is expected to replace James Calado in the team’s line-up

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DTM champion Spengler to make Le Mans 24 Hours debut with ByKolles in 2020 – WEC

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DTM champion Bruno Spengler will make his debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours this September with the ByKolles LMP1 team.

The Canadian driver becomes the second confirmed driver at the wheel of ByKolles’ ENSO CLM P1/01-Gibson, which originally was not granted an entry for the postponed French classic before moving up from the reserve list, after Tom Dillmann.

Spengler, who now races for BMW in the IMSA SportsCar Championship after losing his DTM seat at the end of last year, got his first taste of the car during the team’s roll-out at the Nurburgring back in May.

He’ll get further mileage under his belt during an upcoming test at Paul Ricard before contesting the World Endurance Championship round at Spa in August prior to Le Mans.

ByKolles head of operations Boris Bermes said: “Bruno is experienced and is familiar with all the tricks of the trade in motorsport.


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Autosport Podcast: Hugh Chamberlain on the magic of Le Mans – WEC

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The latest episode of the Autosport podcast covers the long and varied career of sportscar folk hero Hugh Chamberlain.

As an entrant and team manager, he was ever-present at the Le Mans 24 Hours between 1987 and 2008.

His Chamberlain Engineering outfit claimed class honours at the French enduro in 1992 with a Cosworth-powered Spice Group C car and also ran Lotus, Jaguar, Porsche, Chrysler, MG and Lola machinery at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Chamberlain welcomed the opportunity to talk to Autosport about life on the road running a sportscar team and recount the highs and lows of his career to Grand Prix Editor Alex Kalinauckas and sportscar correspondent Gary Watkins.

He reveals how he became a team owner by accident after a drunken conversation at his rugby club with future British Touring Car Championship winner Will Hoy and how his team might have won Group C2 at Le

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