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.