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Isotta Fraschini Hypercar set for track debut as WEC preparations continue

The new Isotta Fraschini Le Mans Hypercar set to race in the World Endurance Championship from the summer will hit the track for the first time next week.

Isotta Fraschini Tipo 6 LMH Competizione

Isotta’s Tipo 6 LMH Competizione will be given a shakedown at the Vallelunga circuit close to Rome over two days on 11-12 April.

Driving duties will be handled by Maurizio Mediani, who is a test driver for the Michelotto Engineering organisation that has led the design and development of the Tipo 6.

The 54-year-old Italian, who drove SMP Racing’s BR01 Nissan-engined LMP2 car in the 2016 WEC, has already been involved in the simulator programme on the Isotta LMH.

Isotta motorsport boss Claudio Berro told Autosport: “Everything is going according to plan and after two weeks on the [four-wheel-drive] dyno and time in the wind tunnel we are ready to go to the track.

“Maurizio will drive because it is important to have someone in the car who has been working already with the engineers and technicians.

“We will calibrate everything on track and then probably go back to the dyno and the wind tunnel for final checks, and then we can begin our test programme.”

That is likely to begin in May, Berro explained, following further validation of the Isotta’s aerodynamics with straightline speed testing later this month.

“Then in May we can expect to have two or three tests,” he said.

Isotta Fraschini Tipo 6 Competizione LMH

Isotta Fraschini Tipo 6 Competizione LMH

Photo by: Isotta Fraschini

Berro insisted that decisions on who will undertake subsequent testing and then race the car in the WEC have yet to be made.

He ruled out Formula 1 race winner Pastor Maldonado being part of the programme in the short term after a visit to Isotta’s Milan headquarters last month by the former Williams and Lotus driver.

Berro explained that the Venezuelan, who raced in LMP2 for the DragonSpeed team in the 2018/19 WEC, had visited Isotta “out of curiosity”.

“It is not in his plans or our plans for him to race the car, but maybe a test in the future, why not?” he said.

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Isotta remains on course to give its LMH a race debut, in partnership with the British Vector Sport team, at the Monza 6 Hours on 9 July, according to Berro.

The Tipo 6 has now passed its crash test and the homologation process with rule makers the FIA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest is continuing.

Isotta will race on a non-points basis if it joins the WEC this year after being turned down for a full-season entry.

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