WEC Prologue about to begin

Thursday, March 24, 2016

With all pre season formalities now completed, car launch photographs, videos and interviews taken together with colossal amounts of testing completed, emphasis now turns to the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship proper starting tomorrow morning with day one of the series Prologue at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France.

With Aston Martin Racing delivering both a single 2016 specification GTE Pro and a single 2015 GTE Am V8 Vantage to the test (as required by the series regulations) this shall give everybody their first chance (on European soil at least) to see just how the 2016 GTE regulations of the Pro class will compare in performance against those the 2015 regulations that will be used in the Amateur class cars. With the AMR cars it will also be interesting to see of any obvious difference in performance between their new Dunlop tyres and those the Michelins as used by their class competitors.

Within the two AMR cars testing (out of the teams three car full season entry) will be Jonny Adam, Marco Sorenson and Fernando Rees in the #97 Pro car alongside Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda in the #98 Am car.

Most of the factory's drivers will have already completed a large amount of car mileage in 2016 either at a Dunlop tyre test either in France or Spain or at the factory's official winter test in Valencia. Others will have been competitively racing in other classes of GT cars in other series, so for the crew of the #98 Am car the last week has been a particular busy one.

That leaves drivers Darren Turner, Richie Stanaway and Nicki Thiim are not officially listed as participating within the test although Turner and Thiim may well be there at some point.

The Prologue starts with two test sessions behind closed doors tomorrow (Friday) with a total of eleven hours of track time possible followed by a further two sessions (7 hours of track time) but with public access to both the circuit and paddock on Saturday.

All teams at the test will be careful not to show their full hand in performance just yet as any significant increase in performance there shall result in them receiving a Balance of Performance adjustment in time for Silverstone with that remaining in effect until after the Le Mans 24H.

No true competitive performance will be seen until we get to Silverstone in just over three weeks for round one of the 2016 season.

Photo credits - Aston Martin Racing / WEC
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