The ByKolles LMP1 team will not contest the full 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship season as it prepares its future hypercar project.
Team owner Colin Kolles confirmed to Motorsport.com that his outfit, which has been a mainstay of the WEC’s LMP1 division since 2014, has not lodged an entry for the 2019/20 campaign that begins at Silverstone in August.
Kolles however expressed a desire for the current Gibson-powered ENSO CLM P1/01 to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours next season along with other potential one-off WEC outings.
ByKolles previously sat out the latter half of the 2017 campaign in order to prepare for the start of the 2018/19 superseason.
“We are working on a new car for the hypercar regulations,” Kolles told Motorsport.com.
“We will be running at some selected races [in 2019/20] with the current car, and obviously if we get the entry for Le Mans 2020, also at Le Mans.
“The aim is to have the hypercar running and have a presentation at Le Mans in 2020.”
Kolles couldn’t confirm the number of races the existing ENSO CLM P1/01 could contest, only saying: “For sure we want to run at Le Mans.
“Maybe [we will also race at] Spa or whatever races are before Le Mans. Maybe we would run also at run at Silverstone.”
Kolles explained that the team’s new hypercar will also feature a street-legal variant and a track-day variant, taking advantage of the rules for the new top class having been expanded to encompass machinery derived from road-going supercars.
It will not feature a hybrid system, although it has been designed to be able to fit one should this become available in future from an external supplier.
“We are happier with the latest version of the rules with the optional hybrid system,” Kolles added. “We will have the option [to add a system later].
“We are not able to develop a hybrid system, we are dependent on suppliers for hybrid systems. But currently there is no real supplier. This is a big question mark.
“Therefore we are in favour of the optional regulations, and if a hybrid system is available as a package at a reasonable price, then of course we have this option.”
An entry list for the 2019/20 WEC season will be revealed on Friday during the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s annual Le Mans press conference, where the final hypercar regulations for 2020/21 are expected to be formally unveiled.
Toyota and SMP Racing have both committed to continuing in LMP1 in 2019/20 with their existing two-car squads, while Rebellion Racing is also understood to be likely to continue with its two R-13s, despite some speculation it could drop down to one car.
It means there are likely to be between six and eight LMP1s on the grid next season, depending on whether Ginetta’s efforts to get its G60-LT-P1 back in action are successful.
Ginetta boss Lawrence Tomlinson recently suggested that he would be prepared to fund at least a one-car programme in the event no customer to run the AER-powered machines, which haven’t raced since last year’s Le Mans, can be found.
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