ByKOLLES Racing

ByKOLLES Racing

About

The outfit adopted the Team Bykolles name for 2015, flying the flag for Austria though still based in Germany. Its CLM P1/01-AER was actually the same car as the one entered in 2014, i.e. an ADESS P2 chassis adapted for P1 regulations and fitted with a AER V6 bi-turbo, 600 hp power plant. At Silverstone and Spa, it was raced by two former F1 drivers, Klein and Liuzzi, together with the young Trimmer . The car struggled to keep up with the LMP2s and ended up retiring early at the first two races of the season. There was a new driver line-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Simon Trummer shared driving duties with Pierre Kaffer and Tiago Monteiro. Although the Austrian squad made it past the finish line, it was disqualified for failing to cover the required distance. Nonetheless, the team kept the momentum going and the rest of the season went pretty well with two straight wins at Nürburgring and Texas, followed by three runner-up spots. Those results all added up to third place in the the FIA Endurance Trophy for Private LMP1 Teams, just four points off second place.

ByKolles Racing Team returned in 2016 with the same car but a slightly different squad. Simon Trummer and Pierre Kaffer (unavailable for the first two rounds and replaced by James Rossiter) were joined by Oliver Webb. Like its rival Rebellion Racing, the Austrian outfit ran its first race on Dunlop tyres at Silverstone where the variable weather conditions meant they were able to test the full range. They put in an unremarkable performance in the British race, but made up for it in Belgium where they finished sixth overall. Having served the team well in the first two races of the season, the CLM P1/01-AER let them down at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, plagued by engine issues and later catching fire. Pierre Kaffer was able to get out of the car in time but the team had to retire.

Bykolles then failed to bank any points at Nürburgring, but the rest of the season was more encouraging overall. They finished second in the LMP1 privateer class three times, then earned 25 points on the top step of the podium in Shanghai, ending the season in the runner-up spot. It was a good result, no doubt aided by the second Rebellion Racing R-One being withdrawn after the 6 Hours of Mexico, as the Swiss team chose to focus all its efforts on preparing the 2017 season.

This year looked set to signal a relaunch for ByKolles Racing Team with the arrival of former F1 and rally driver Robert Kubica, who first tried out the car at the WEC Rookie Test in Bahrain at the end of last season. The AER engine was deemed too fragile so the Austrian team's technicians worked flat out all winter to integrate a new Nissan power plant, the same engine that previously equipped the short-lived Nissan GT-R LM Nismo. Things got off to a difficult start, however, and Oliver Webb was only able to complete a few laps at the Prologue in Monza.

Kubica didn’t even get the chance to drive the car and, just a few days before the season-opener at Silverstone, he called off his partnership with Bykolles. The day after his announcement, the team named its driver line-up for Silverstone, with Dominik Kraihamer, ex-Rébellion Racing, and returnee James Rossiter joining Oliver Webb. The car had not clocked up many practice laps and its times were on a par with the middling LM P2 cars, but it put in a steady performance during the race. Unfortunately, in the last hour, the ENSO CLM P1/01-Nismo collided with the #97 Aston Martin Vantage entering the pit lane and its race ended there. The team fared much better at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps where they finished sixth overall. An encouraging result in the run-up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the challenge will be to stay the course for four times as long!

Company profile type: 
Employer
Company size: 
51-250 employees
Industry: 
Motorsport, Endurance Racing

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