ByKolles missing Le Mans entry "very surprising"

ByKolles not being granted an entry for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours has been branded "disappointing" and "very surprising" by the team's nominated driver Tom Dillmann.

ByKolles missing Le Mans entry "very surprising"

The Austrian squad, a mainstay of the LMP1 division in the FIA World Endurance Championship and Le Mans since 2014 with its ENSO CLM/P1 01, was only granted a spot on the reserve list for this year's running of the French classic when the entry was revealed last week.

It's a decision that has left Le Mans with its joint-lowest ever LMP1 grid, with just six cars set to take part in the top class, and could have ramifications for the ByKolles hypercar project that was announced during last year's running of the 24 Hours.

Dillmann was part of the ByKolles set-up throughout the 2018/19 WEC superseason before the team elected to give up its full-time entry to focus on its hypercar, although it had plans to enter its current car in the final two races of the current season at Spa and Le Mans.

"It’s disappointing and quite surprising when you see the state of LMP1, to refuse an entry to an LMP1 car, plus to a manufacturer that committed to hypercar is very surprising," the French driver told Motorsport.com.

"Disappointed for everyone at Kolles to be put on the reserve list. Maybe they get lucky, but for me for Le Mans I have options in different categories, so we’ll see what happens."

Dillmann added he was looking towards the start of the hypercar era in the WEC to provide an opportunity to return to the front line of endurance racing.

"I hope it works out, because it would be good for the sport, for endurance and Le Mans and it opens opportunities for drivers," he said. "I'm also looking at that."

FE return scuppered by Sanya postponement

ByKolles missing the Le Mans entry list comes as another blow to Dillmann, who lost his Formula E seat to Ma Qing Hua for the 2019/20 campaign after the NIO 333 team underwent a change of ownership during the off-season.

The Frenchman revealed he had lined up an opportunity to make a one-off return to the electric series in Sanya, where several drivers were set to be absent due to the clash with the Sebring WEC round until the coronavirus epidemic forced the event's postponement.

"It’s a shame about Sanya, I was going to race there, but with the postponement of the race it removed a chance to go back," revealed Dillmann. "But still fighting for [a return].

"It was a really tough year last year and the new owners decided to put in a Chinese driver [Ma], that’s why I didn’t do the second season I had planned with them. But it was a tough season to be fighting for not much, already at the back, not much hope for results.

"So I hope to get back to a competitive situation in FE, and continue where I ended when I was with Venturi [at the end of 2017/18], with strong results."

Dillmann also made an appearance in Formula 2's pre-season test in Bahrain, taking over the cockpit from Marino Sato for the evening session on Sunday to assist the team in its understanding of the car with the transition to the new-for-2020 18-inch tyres.

Marino Sato, Trident

Marino Sato, Trident

Photo by: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Le Mans releases 62-car 2020 entry list

Previous article

Le Mans releases 62-car 2020 entry list

Next article

Toyota drivers praise "cool" new Le Mans qualifying format

Toyota drivers praise "cool" new Le Mans qualifying format
Load comments
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans Prime

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload Prime

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

The 23-car GTE Am field promises to be one of the most open in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with the added jeopardy of managing the enthusiasm of amateur drivers to boot, as Absolute Racing Porsche driver Marco Seefried explains

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and was considered the heavy favourite to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen.

Le Mans
Aug 15, 2021