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
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
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
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
Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Prime

Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally.

WEC
Aug 14, 2021
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
Jul 24, 2021