41 cars on the entry list for 2019 European Le Mans Series
The provisional entry list for the 2019 European Le Mans Series season has been revealed with a full grid of 41 cars across the three classes – LMP2, LMP3 and GTE. There will be 32 prototypes (18 LMP2 and 14 LMP3) plus nine LMGTE entries.
For the first time in ELMS history, the organisers received more entries than available places and a selection process was made to fill the slots on the grid. Following the decision made at the end of last season, the grid size has been limited to 41 cars for the 2019 season due to the amount of space that is available in some of the pitlanes at the circuits visited by the ELMS.
Fourteen teams, eighteen cars in the LMP2 class
Eighteen cars in the LMP2 class (11 Orecas, 6 Ligiers, 1 Dallara) are coming from fourteen teams, including the 2018 ELMS champions G-Drive Racing. The leading driver would be Roman Rusinov again. Eight other teams are returning to the competition in the LMP2 class: High Class Racing, DragonSpeed, United Autosports, Panis Barthez Competition, Algarve Pro Racing, IDEC Sport, Duqueine Engineering, Graff.
They are joined by four teams moving up from LMP3 class, including 2018 class champions RLR MSport and reigning champion John Farano. The other three teams are Inter Europol Competition, Cool Racing and BHK Motorsport. The 14th team on the grid would be Carlin, which joins ELMS for the first time.
Ten teams, fourteen cars in the LMP3 class
In the LMP3 class, ten teams are entering the entry-level Le Mans Prototypes competition with 14 cars, ten Ligier JS P3 and four Norma M30. The 2018 LMP3 champions RLR MSport will be defending their title, running their Ligier P3 car alongside their new LMP2 Oreca.
Eight other teams will also be returning to the LMP3 grid in 2019 – United Autosports, 360 Racing, Nielsen Racing, Oregon Team, Eurointernational, Inter Europol Competition, Ultimate and M Racing. Graff will be back in LMP3 class, this year racing under the banner of Realteam Racing.
Five Ferraris against four Porsches in the GTE class
The nine-car full season entry list is the biggest in the LMGTE category since 2014. Same as in 2108, just two brands will be represented – Ferrari and Porsche. The Italian manufacturer will have five F488 GTEs on the grid while the German sports car manufacturer will have four 911 RSRs.
Reigning 2018 champions Proton Competition will run two Porsche cars. One of two cars will run under the Dempsey-Proton Racing banner. Team Project 1, which runs Porsche in the FIA WEC, will also have one car in the ELMS. The fourth Porsche will have Ebimotors colors.
JMW Motorsport and Spirit of Race are returning to the ELMS with Ferrari and will be joined by two cars from Kessel Racing, including the all-female crew in the #83 Ferrari. The final entry will be Luzich Racing, in cooperation with Spirit of Race.
The quality of the grid reflects the importance of championship
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest said: “It is with great satisfaction that the ACO continues to see how attractive the European Le Mans Series has become, fulfilling perfectly its role in the endurance ladder to which we are committed. The quality of the grid reflects perfectly the importance of this championship.”
Gerard Neveu, CEO European Le Mans Series added: “Once again the European Le Mans Series continues to attract the leading European race teams, underlining its position as the world’s leading continental endurance racing series. With a large, high quality, entry in the LMP2 category this season, we will invite not only the LMP2 ELMS Championship winning team to the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans but also the vice-champions from this year’s series. So combined with the invitation to the LMP3 champions and the top two teams in the LMGTE class, the European Le Mans Series will have five guaranteed entries in next year’s race on the full La Sarthe circuit in June 2020.”
The 2019 ELMS season will kick-off with the 4 Hours of Le Castellet on April 14. The six-event championship will then visit Monza, Barcelona, Silverstone and Spa, with a great finale scheduled for October 27 at Portimao.
2019 European Le Mans Series entry list
|LMP2||20||High Class Racing||Oreca 07-Gibson||Anders Fjordbach|
|21||Dragonspeed||Oreca 07-Gibson||Henrik Hedman|
|22||United Autosports||Ligier JS P217-Gibson||Phil Hanson|
|23||Panis Barthez Competition||Ligier JS P217-Gibson||Rene Binder|
|24||Panis Barthez Competition||Ligier JS P217-Gibson||Timothe Buret|
|25||Algarve Pro Racing||Oreca 07-Gibson||Mark Patterson|
|26||G-Drive Racing||Oreca 07-Gibson||Roman Rusinov|
|27||IDEC Sport||Ligier JS P217-Gibson||Patrice Lafargue|
|28||IDEC Sport||Oreca 07-Gibson||Paul Lafargue|
|29||Duqueine Engineering||Oreca 07-Gibson||Nicolas Jamin|
|31||Algarve Pro Racing||Oreca 07-Gibson||Henning Enqvist|
|32||United Autosports||Ligier JS P217-Gibson||Ryan Cullen|
|34||Inter Europol Competition||Ligier JS P217-Gibson||Jakub Smiechowski|
|35||BHK Motorsport||Oreca 07-Gibson||Francesco Dracone|
|37||Cool Racing||Oreca 07-Gibson||Alexandre Coigny|
|39||Graff||Oreca 07-Gibson||Tristan Gommendy|
|43||RLR Msport||Oreca 07-Gibson||John Farano|
|45||Carlin||Dallara P217-Gibson||Jack Manchester|
|LMP3||2||United Autosports||Ligier JS P3-Nissan||Mike Guasch|
|3||United Autosports||Ligier JS P3-Nissan||Garett Grist|
|5||360 Racing||Ligier JS P3-Nissan||James Dayson|
|6||360 Racing||Ligier JS P3-Nissan||Terrence Woodward|
|7||Nielsen Racing||Ligier JS P3-Nissan||Anthony Wells|
|8||Nielsen Racing||Ligier JS P3-Nissan||Nobuya Yamanaka|
|9||Realteam Racing||Norma M30-Nissan||Esteban Garcia|
|10||Oregon Team||Norma M30-Nissan||Damiano Fioravanti|
|11||Eurointernational||Ligier JS P3-Nissan||Andrea Dromedari|
|13||Inter Europol Competition||Ligier JS P3-Nissan||Martin Hippe|
|14||Inter Europol Competition||Ligier JS P3-Nissan||Paul Scheuschner|
|15||RLR Msport||Ligier JS P3-Nissan||Martin Vedel Mortensen|
|17||Ultimate||Norma M30-Nissan||Mathieu Lahaye|
|19||M Racing||Norma M30-Nissan||Laurent Millara|
|GTE||51||Luzich Racing||Ferrari F488 GTE||TBA|
|55||Spirit of Race||Ferrari F488 GTE||Duncan Cameron|
|56||Project 1||Porsche 911 RSR||Egidio Perfetti|
|60||Kessel Racing||Ferrari F488 GTE||Claudio Schiavoni|
|66||JMW Motorsport||Ferrari F488 GTE||Jeff Segal|
|77||Dempsey-Proton Racing||Porsche 911 RSR||Richard Lietz|
|80||Ebimotors||Porsche 911 RSR||Fabio Babini|
|83||Kessel Racing||Ferrari F488 GTE||Manuela Gostner|
|88||Proton Competition||Porsche 911 RSR||Matteo Cairoli|