LMP2 teams testing in Estoril, Tincknell leaves Jota

Formula One teams aren't the only ones partaking in pre-season testing this weekend.

LMP2 teams testing in Estoril, Tincknell leaves Jota
#28 Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN Nissan: Luciano Bacheta, Mark Shulzhitskiy
#48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03 Nissan: Pipo Derani, James Littlejohn, Tony Wells
#38 Jota Sport Zytek Z11SN - Nissan
#36 Signatech Alpine: Nelson Panciatici, Oliver Webb, Paul Loup Chatin
LMP2 podium: class winners Simon Dolan, Harry Tincknell, Oliver Turvey
#36 Signatech Alpine
#48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03R: Pipo Derani, James Littlejohn, Anthony Wells

Several LMP2 teams were in action over the weekend at the Autódromo do Estoril in Portugal, where Dunlop held their annual collective tire test.

Greaves Motorsport, Jota Sport, Signatech-Alpine and Oak Racing (G-Drive) were all in action at the 2.599 mile Portuguese circuit over the two days, both of which were mainly cold and damp. Dunlop was known to be focusing on durability and consistency runs during the test.

All of the teams stayed tight lipped about specific details of the test but Motorsport.com has discovered key aspects of the running and those present.

Gibson Technology, formerly known as Zytek, brought a new aerodynamic package to the test which gives the car a very different look. Jota ran at the test with the newly named Gibson 015S (previously known as a Zytek Z11SN). Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 champion Simon Dolan undertook the bulk of running, along with the teams’ 2014 ELMS driver and current Audi works pilot, Filipe Albuquerque.

Tincknell gone

Jota is expected to announce a 2015 driver line up very shortly. Motorsport.com has exclusively learned that Tincknell, who impressed mightily in 2014, will not race for the team in 2015. It is anticipated that he will make his LMP1 debut this season. The 23-year old got his first taste of LMP1 power after a handful of laps in an Audi R18 e-tron quattro at Misano in Italy last August. However, despite links to Audi legend – Allan McNish, Tincknell is thought to be in line for a deal with a rival manufacturer.

A deal is thought to be close for another young British single-seater racer to take Tincknell’s place at the team this season and an announcement is planned for mid-February. Additionally, Motorsport.com believes that Albuquerque’s Jota replacement at Spa and Le Mans (he is set to race there for Audi) will not be announced until March at the very earliest.

Double ELMS champions, Signatech Alpine, ran with regular drivers Paul-Loup Chatin and Nelson Panciatici over the two days. Vincent Capillaire joined the pair in the familiar blue Alpine A450, as the team gets set to embark on a 2015 FIA WEC campaign, as well as potentially going for a hat-trick of ELMS crowns.

G-Drive Racing had regular driver Roman Rusinov on hand in the Ligier-Nissan, which won four FIA WEC LMP2 class races in 2014.

One of his usual teammates, Olivier Pla, was not at the Estoril test and the team was evaluating several driver options with regard to 2015 FIA WEC deals. Pla has been heavily rumoured to be part of the Nissan LMP1 squad this season.

Nissan academy drivers make laps

Greaves Motorsport completed the test in one of its Gibson Technology built chassis with which it competed in the 2014 ELMS and at Le Mans. The team was tight lipped on their programme or who indeed was at the wheel of the car (No.41) in Portugal, but Motorsport.com has discovered that at least two Nissan academy drivers undertook laps, as did 2013 ELMS LMPC champion - Gary Hirsch who drove for Morand last season.

All of the teams that were present at Estoril are expected to feature in the entry lists for the Le Mans 24 Hours which will be announced this coming Thursday in Paris.

Motorsport.com will be sending news live from the announcement.

shares
comments
SARD and Morand join forces for 2015 WEC attack

Previous article

SARD and Morand join forces for 2015 WEC attack

Next article

Explaining the technology behind Nissan's radical LMP1 challenger

Explaining the technology behind Nissan's radical LMP1 challenger
Load comments
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
14 h
How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak Prime

How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak

The FIA World Endurance Championship's long-awaited return to Monza posed the sternest test yet for Toyota's new hypercar. Although the Japanese marque's GR010 Hybrid remains unbeaten, the victory for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi was far from plain sailing.

WEC
Jul 19, 2021
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

Le Mans
Jun 23, 2021
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear Prime

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance.

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota Prime

Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota

This weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the FIA World Endurance Championship marks the 100th world champion prototype start for Toyota. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago.

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021