ByKolles drivers say Le Mans podium a "realistic" goal

ByKolles drivers Tom Dillmann and Oliver Webb believe a podium finish in the Le Mans 24 Hours is a "realistic" target after an encouraging showing in the Spa FIA World Endurance Championship round.

ByKolles drivers say Le Mans podium a "realistic" goal

Dillmann, Webb and Bruno Spengler were running in third for the opening part of last month's Spa race, the first outing for the Austrian team since Le Mans last year.

Boosted by wet conditions in which its only non-hybrid LMP1 rival, Rebellion Racing, struggled for pace, ByKolles' updated ENSO CLM P1/01 dropped to an eventual 27th place overall at the finish after suffering a sensor issue and then an exhaust problem late on.

Its pace prompted the team to declare Spa as its 'best-ever performance' in the car's penultimate outing before being replaced by a new ByKolles hypercar for 2021.

Dillmann said that he will be hoping for more wet weather at La Sarthe for the ENSO CLM P1/01's send-off race next weekend, with ByKolles still searching for its first classified finish at Le Mans since it first ran with its own chassis in the 2015 edition.

"I really wish that we see the chequered flag, and I think this year is our best chance," Dillmann told Motorsport.com. "We will also hope for some weather, because to finish far away is not too appealing. We want to finish in a decent position.

"For that we hope to not spend time in the garage, have a clean race, and if the weather can help us as well with some tricky conditions, we’ve shown we can do well. We will be hoping for some rain, because in the wet the car performs in a good way."

ByKolles Racing livery

ByKolles Racing livery

Photo by: ByKOLLES Racing

Asked if challenging Rebellion could be possible in such circumstances, Dillmann replied: "It’s realistic. But I think it will be really tough and a lot of things need to fall into place.

"When you look at Spa, we had some problems with the electronics and the exhaust, and these kind of problems cannot happen. We have to be spot on. The car has to run and never be in the garage, and then I think we have a chance to perform against Rebellion. 

"If the conditions allow, we could be able to even fight for a podium. If we can have the perfect race, I think there could be a slight chance, for sure."

Webb echoed Dillmann's opinion, although he admitted that reliability remains a concern.

"Finishing would be our first victory and then after that we’ll see where we end up," Webb told Motorsport.com. "If we have anything close to the pace we had at Spa, I’ve no doubt that a podium is possible, if she finishes. And I don't know if she will.

"At Spa, there wasn’t even one percent of any issue until the final hour, when we had the issue with the sensor in the exhaust – and even then, if we hadn’t been called into change it, we would have just tried to carry on to the end.

"Spa was meant to be just a test day but it turned into a bit more than that. Hopefully we can transfer that to Le Mans and give her a good goodbye."

#4 Bykolles Racing Team: Tom Dillmann , Bruno Spengler, Oliver Webb

#4 Bykolles Racing Team: Tom Dillmann , Bruno Spengler, Oliver Webb

Photo by: Erik Junius

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