Isotta Fraschini aiming for Monza WEC debut after entry rejected

The revived Isotta Fraschini marque is targeting a race debut for its new Le Mans Hypercar at Monza in July after its full-season FIA World Endurance Championship entry was rejected.

Isotta Fraschini aiming for Monza WEC debut after entry rejected

An intention to take part in some WEC rounds this year on a race-by-race basis was outlined by Isotta general manager Claudio Berro and partner team Vector Sport following their omission from the 2023 entry list published on Wednesday. 

Berro suggested that a first race for a car to be known as the Tipo 6 Competizione at Monza on 9 July made sense for Isotta if the FIA and WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l’Ouest grant them an entry.

“We would like to be at Monza first because it is an Italian race and we are an Italian company,” he told Autosport.

“But it will also give us time to fully test and develop the car before we homologate the car and begin racing.

“The plan now is definitely to do some WEC rounds race by race.”

Vector Sport team principal Gary Holland added: “We will be aiming to enter the car on a race-by-race basis later in the season, if accepted by the FIA and WEC.”

Race-by-race entries may be accepted by the WEC, according to the 2023 sporting regulations “depending on the interest that they might represent for the championship” and “subject to their conformity with the applicable technical and homologation regulations”.

Berro conceded that the failure to land a full-season WEC entry for a marque not planning to join the series until round three at Spa at the end of April “was not unexpected”.

“We are disappointed, but maybe not surprised,” said Berro. “The big problem is the homologation of the car, which is a long process, and when you homologated the car you freeze the specification.

“The FIA and the ACO told us that it would be better to do more testing on track before we homologate the car. 

“We fully understand the reasons why we don’t have an entry, but the decision of the FIA and the ACO doesn’t change anything: we are still developing the car and our we retain our partnership with Vector Sport.”

 

The Tipo 6 hybrid is due to begin testing at the end of February, which would have left only two months for development and homologation prior to the Spa WEC round on 29 April.

A race debut in July will give Isotta an extra three months for that process, while Berro said further outings over the Asian leg of the series in Japan and Bahrain could also be possible.

The test races on a non-points basis this year would be a lead-in to a full two-car WEC assault with Vector in 2024. 

Berro revealed that the first monocoque has already been delivered to Michelotto, which is masterminding development of the Tipo 6. 

A fully-assembled car minus the bodywork is scheduled to begin testing on a four-wheel-drive dyno at the end of January. 

No drivers have been signed by Isotta or Vector for the LMH programme, Berro suggesting that “drivers are not a priority at the moment”. 

He explained that Isotta is initially looking for a development driver, but didn’t rule out bringing in members of Vector’s existing LMP2 line-up to test the Tipo 6.

Silverstone-based Vector, which was set up for an LMP2 WEC assault last year, will continue in the secondary prototype class in ’23. Ryan Cullen is the only driver nominated so far for the coming season.

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