ELMS official testing at Paul Ricard – 15 cars

Next Friday and Saturday, fifteen cars will arrive at the Paul Ricard circuit for the two days’ official practice for the European Le Mans Series.

The LM P2 category will have the highest number of representatives with six prototypes beginning with the reigning champion, Greaves Motorsport, whose Nissan-powered Zytek will be driven by Martin Brundle! The former English F1 driver will be playing himself in in view of the Le Mans 24 Hours in which he will race in June. His son, Alex, will take over followed by Spaniard Lucas Ordonez and Tom Kimber-Smith who make up the team entered in no.1 for the rest of the season. Four Oreca O3s (Race Performance, Boutsen Ginion Racing, Murphy Prototypes and Thiriet by TDS Racing) as well as the Morgan-Judd in the hands of Jacques Nicolet, the boss of Oak Racing make up the rest of the LM P2 runners.

The organizers were hoping for a bigger turnout for the official practice session, but the proximity of the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship on 17th March, the Sebring 12 Hours, has forced the constructors to supply the FIA WEC LM P2 teams in priority. The result is that some of the ELMS squads are still waiting for parts or cars and will not be ready to run by the end of the week. Sebastien Loeb Racing is a notable case in point.

The two Formula Le Mans of Boutsen Ginion Racing and Curtis Racing Technologies, a newcomer to the ELMS, complete the prototype line-up.
The GT category will include two Ferrari F458s in GTE Pro entered by JMB Racing and JMW Motorsport to which can be added the AF Corse entry in GTE Am. Also in this category are the Imsa Performance Matmut Porsche 911 RSR and the Gulf Racing Aston Martin Vantage. The latter will take advantage of this test session to give its McLaren MP4-12C GT3 a shakedown even though it is competing in another series.

4 Comments on ELMS official testing at Paul Ricard – 15 cars

  1. Should be interesting to see what the times look like with that GT3 Mclaren vs. those GTE cars on the grid.

  2. For me the ELMS is looking on firmer ground this season than last, it’s regained it’s own identity and has two unique seliing points, P2’s going for the overall win and the GTC entry level class (admittedly they’ll need a few entries to kick things off). With P1 there was always the potential of a bigger team coming in and dominating, P2 puts everyone on a level playing field, and with stability until at least 2015, has potential for growth and a decent secondhand market.

  3. GTE Pro should me merged with GTE AM as in the ALMS. And since P2 can go for the win it’s not surprising that there are not that many GT cars nor formula lemans.

    With the cost capping of P2 cars, a well prepped GT racer will cost as much as a P2 machine. And with the a few used P2 machines a around for sale, it’s just a sexier proposition.

    But the WEC is living at the expense of the ELMS.

  4. I’d say the ELMS was on a gradual decline since 2008’s high point but is now structured to be relevant again. Teams can use it as preparation for the WEC (it’s important to have a tier between national series and the WEC), but it will provide interesting racing in itself with lots of new equipment, strength in depth and a different look and feel to the various GT3 series.

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