The ByKolles-built Vanwall LMH car returned to the track this week for a two-day test at the Lausitzring which was described as “very positive” by the manufacturer’s chief operating officer.
According to Boris Bermes, the non-hybrid Gibson V8-powered prototype driven by Tom Dillmann completed “more than 270 laps”, or 583 miles, on Wednesday and Thursday in hot, sunny conditions.
It was the second real track test for the Vanwall-badged car after a two-day race at Most in April, which came directly after its first deployment at Zweibrucken airfield.
The Lausitzring session was undertaken on the German circuit’s short inside course, which omits banked Turn 1 and turns left of the triangular outer oval about halfway through the second long straight.
“We did over 270 laps and tested a lot of things,” Bermes told Sportscar365.
“We collected a lot of aero and reliability data, which was the main focus of this test. It was again very, very positive.
“We did long races and we did short races. The goal was to rack up miles for reliability.
“We are constantly getting new things to test. The Lausitzring was a very good test as the temperature on Wednesday was extreme, over 40 degrees [C].
“On Thursday it was 35 degrees and dropping to 30 so that was hugely positive to learn as it was the toughest temperature condition you can get.”
Bermes explained that the three-month gap between the Most and Lausitzring tests was due to ByKolles focusing on certain parts of the FIA homologation process for LMH cars.
He said the Vanwall Vandervell LMH completed its mandatory crash test in May.
“We were doing FIA homologation at the time with all these safety tests,” Bermes said.
“It was planned long in advance. We had to check for trail availability which made things a bit more difficult [to book testing].
“There was no plan to take a break during  weeks. It was more expected to have a gap of seven or eight weeks.
Former ByKolles LMP1 driver Dillmann, who clocked up his first few miles in the Vanwall LMH, was happy with the car‘s reliability at this early stage of the track testing phase.
ByKolles’ other LMH test driver, Esteban Guerrieri, was behind the wheel at Most while 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Christophe Bouchut completed the first shakedown.
“We were just doing a lot of miles and had no issues,” Dillmann told Sportscar365.
“We were trying to get in trouble by driving a lot of miles every day, but so far nothing has happened.
“So we go over the setup, downforce levels etc. to learn more about the car and get the correct correlation with the simulations. Usual stuff when you have a new car.
“But the main thing every day is to try to maximize the mileage. We ran from 9am to 5pm non-stop. I just got out of the car for an hour for a lunch break! It was a great start . »
More tests planned in the coming months
Bermes outlined ByKolles’ testing plans for the rest of the year, aiming to keep a small handful of days each month.
It is understood that the Vanwall could return to the track as early as next week at another circuit in Germany, or otherwise in just over a month.
“We have, for the rest of the year, a few options to test,” Bermes said.
“In August, it’s vacation time, which will be difficult. So I think the next one will be in early September. Then we have another September option.
“We are planning one in October, and we plan to go to Ricard in early November and to Spain in late November or early December.
“The plan is about two or three extra days every month, on average.”
Testing is part of the development process to prepare the car for homologation, which locks in the car’s design and specification for competition.
ByKolles has had her application for this year’s WEC season rejected and it remains to be seen if she will get approval to join the Hypercar grid in 2023.
Sportscar365 understands that a dialogue has taken place in recent months between ByKolles and the WEC organisers, the FIA and the ACO, regarding the rights of the manufacturer to use the name of the 1950s Formula 1 team, Vanwall.
Publicly available filings from the European Union Intellectual Property Office show that PMC, a ByKolles company, filed a trademark application for the name Vanwall, but faced opposition from a company British who owns the rights to Vanwall in the UK.
The PMC GmbH company under which ByKolles houses its LMH project was renamed “Vanwall GmbH” in February, according to the German company register.
Vanwall was founded by British motorsport privateer Tony Vandervell and beat Ferrari to win the F1 constructors’ title in 1958.