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European Le Mans Series 2019


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#1 Nonesuch

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 09:33

It's almost time for everyone's favourite European racing series! Or maybe not, since last year's topic attracted fewer posts than a middling F1 driver sneezing during a press conference.

Their loss - because the ELMS has put up some excellent racing in the past few years. In no small part thanks to the great little racing machines in the LMP2 and LMP3 categories. :up:

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Anyway, the European Le Mans Series is about to get underway, providing six 4 hour long races at circuits in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal - and even making the trip north to Belgium and England!

Be sure to check out the official season trailer:



The calender

The ELMS season gets underway on 9 April with tests at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France. For the 2019 season, the race on the Red Bull Ring in Austria has been replaced by a race at the Circuit Circuit de Barcelona in Spain.
 
While not an official round of the series, various ELMS teams will take part in the WEC Le Mans 24 hours in June.
 
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The races are as follows:

14 April - Race #1 - Circuit Paul Ricard (France)
12 May - Race #2 - Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Italy)
15 June - Le Mans 24h [part of the WEC championship]
21 July - Race #3 - Circuit de Barcelona (Spain)
31 August - Race #4 - Silverstone Circuit (United Kingdom) [concurrent with the WEC weekend]
22 September - Race #5 - Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)
27 October - Race #6 - Algarve International Circuit (Portugal)

The cars

The ELMS field is made up of three categories: LMP2, LMP3 and GTE.

The LMP2 field uses Oreca 07 and Ligier JS P217 cars, with one team entering a Dallara P217. The LMP2 cars are all powered by the Gibson GK428 V8 engine. Dunlop and Michelin provide the tyres.
The LMP3 field uses Norma M30 and Ligier JS P3 cars, all powered by a standard Nissan VK50VE V8 engine. Michelin tyres for all cars further standardize this category.
The GTE cars uses Ferrari 488 GTE and Porsche 911 RSR cars, of course powered by their own engines. These cars all line up on Dunlop tyres.

The provisional season entry list shows 18 LMP2 cars, 14 LMP3 cars, and 9 GTE cars - making this a nicely filled field of 40+ great racing cars.

Last year's champions

The LMP2 category was comfortably won by the #26 G-Drive Oreca 07, driven by Andrea Pizzitola, Roman Rusinov and Alexandre Imperatori/Jean-Éric Vergne sharing the third seat. For 2019, Roman Rusinov looks to be joined by Job van Uitert and Jean-Éric Vergne as the #26 defends its title.

The LMP3 category was won by the #15 RLR Msport Ligier JS P3, driven by John Farano, Rob Garofall and Job van Uitert. This year's line-up will see the two Danes Christian Olsen and Martin Vedel, joined by gentleman driver Martin Rich from the United Kingdom.

The GTE category was won by the #88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR, driven by the all-Italian squad of Gianluca Roda and Giorgio Roda, joined by Matteo Cairoli and Gianmaria Bruni. Matteo Cairoli will spearhead the title defense.

Be sure to check out the ELMS on YouTube, where all of last year's 4 hour races can be found in full - and where races have, in the past, been streamed live. They probably will be this year, as well.

An hour long 2018 season review is also available.



Featuring

Manuela Gostner, Michelle Gatting and Le Mans-alumnus Rahel Frey will take the wheel of the #83 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488GTE in an FIA-backed all female line-up.

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Despite it being the European Le Mans series, the grid will once again features drivers from around the world. From Japan and Korea to Brazil, and India to Canada.

Also lots of Italians. Lots of them. And what's not to like about that? :cool:


Edited by Nonesuch, 14 April 2019 - 13:55.


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#2 Nonesuch

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 14:48

The fourteen ELMS cars that will race in the Le Mans 24h in June are as follows:

  1. G-Drive Racing (LMP2, ELMS LMP2 champion 2018)
  2. RLR MSport (LMP2, ELMS LMP3 champion 2018)
  3. United Autosports (LMP2, invited by ACO)
  4. Panis-Barthez Competition (LMP2, invited by ACO)
  5. Algarve Pro Racing (LMP2, invited by ACO)
  6. Idec Sport (LMP2, invited by ACO)
  7. Graff (LMP2, invited by ACO)
  8. Inter Europol Competition (LMP2, invited by ACO)
  9. Proton Competition (GTE, ELMS GTE champion 2018)
  10. JMW Motorsport. (GTE, ELMS GTE runner-up 2018)
  11. Kessel Racing (GTE, GT3 Le Mans Cup champion 2018)
  12. Kessel Racing (GTE, invited by ACO)
  13. Dempsey-Proton Competition (GTE, invited by ACO)
  14. Spirit of Race (GTE, invited by ACO)


#3 ezequiel

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 15:00

Love this championship :clap:



#4 ezequiel

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 14:58

Entry list for Paul Ricard

 

I'm still waiting for the entry list for the Le Mans Cup



#5 Nonesuch

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 15:11

Seems like they're still working that one out, as it doesn't seem to be available even at their own website.

 

All in due time! :up:



#6 ezequiel

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 18:58

Entry list for the Michelin Le Mans Cup at Paul Ricard



#7 ezequiel

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 15:10

Test results here

 

Oreca and Norma looking strong



#8 MGF1

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 23:14

Love this championship :clap:

I'll second that!

I've been to Silverstone twice to watch the ELMS (2015 for practice, 2018 for the race) and I've been super impressed both times - watching 41 cars on a rolling start all hurtling into Abbey on the first lap last year was amazing to witness, not to mention the utterly glorious sound of the Porsche 911 RSR! Can't wait to visit again in August.

Some interesting news announced on Thursday: The Barcelona round will now be an evening race ending in darkness - https://www.european...-barcelona/5580

Hopefully the Ligier JS P217 can pick up from where it ended last season and give the Oreca 07 a real challenge this year, and it would be nice to see the Carlin Dallara maybe challenge for a podium or two. I'm also looking forward to seeing how Job van Uitert gets on in an LMP2, he was a real standout last season in LMP3 - he's definitely got a promising sportscar career ahead of him.

And thank you Nonesuch for such a great preview 👍

#9 ANF

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 13:38

An hour long 2018 season review is also available.

Looks like a proper season review with Martin Haven as commentator. I'm planning to watch it to learn a thing or two before the race on Sunday.

#10 Nonesuch

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 07:48

Some interesting news announced on Thursday: The Barcelona round will now be an evening race ending in darkness - https://www.european...-barcelona/5580

 

That's really great. Why waste such long races on just the sunny afternoon! :up:

 

Some comments about the season from, and expectations and goals for, the all-ladies team:

 



#11 ANF

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 10:53


Qualifying about to start.

#12 OvDrone

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:04

How did I miss this thread lol? Awesome OP Nonesuch.

 

Let's start racing.

 



#13 ANF

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:18

Live timing: https://www.european...ies.com/en/live

#14 ANF

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:29

The leader stops on the Mistral Straight on the formation lap... but gets going again!

#15 DanardiF1

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:47

That 'Aurus' looks just like the Oreca and the Alpine... I smell a rat!  :p



#16 OvDrone

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:49

Cracking racing so far. Love it.



#17 ANF

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:53

That 'Aurus' looks just like the Oreca and the Alpine... I smell a rat!  :p

I think it looks very much like a Russian limousine!

#18 Nonesuch

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 12:49

Missed the first hour on account of other events. Always great to see the LMP cars in action.

 

Just now the Dragonspeed pulled a nice more on G-Drive, though Rusinov didn't really put up much of a fight. :up:


Edited by Nonesuch, 14 April 2019 - 12:50.


#19 Nonesuch

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 12:54

The Kessel ladies are 2nd in class with Frey behind the wheel? Nice! :cool:



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#20 OvDrone

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 13:40

The Kessel ladies are 2nd in class with Frey behind the wheel? Nice! :cool:

 

Was keeping on eye on that car from time to time. They're going great.



#21 Nonesuch

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 13:54

With just over half an hour to go there's still lots to play for as the leaders are coming in for stops.

 

Would be nice if G-Racing didn't start off winning. Nothing against them, but it'd make for a nice start to the championship battle. :up:



#22 Nonesuch

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 14:04

Proper high class racing from the High Class Racing folks with Anders Fjordbach as they snatch a place from Stevens in the #23. :cool:

 

These LMP2 cars are just great.



#23 OvDrone

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 14:04

Ugh, and my favorite in LMP3 loses the lead in a vague and a worrying manner. Typical.



#24 Nonesuch

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 14:06

The commentator on the ELMS stream noted the #11 EuroInternational team was also summoned to the race director? That seemed a bit of a drama lap for the team.

 

I didn't quite catch what might have been the reason for said summons, though. It didn't look like there was any contact between the two cars.



#25 OvDrone

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 14:12

C'mon Grinbergas, get a podium!



#26 Nonesuch

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 14:16

The #83 have 24 seconds on the #77 for 2nd in the GTE.

 

Michelle Gatting is quite a bit slower at the moment, but the Dempsey guys have their own problems right behind.

 

They'll probably want to pick up the pace a bit to be sure. 24 seconds is a good gap, but .... and as I note this they just have, as the #77 is now just 4 tenths and 1 tenth faster over the previous two laps.



#27 Nonesuch

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 14:35

Not the best of stints for Gatting, but enough to hold on to 2nd in GTE. Good job by the ladies! :cool:

 

The #77, finishing with Cairoli, did well to rob Ferrari of a 1-2-3 podium in GTE. The Ferrari seemed to have the upper hand over the Porsche here in Paul Ricard. Always the same shenanigans with these BoP classes, I guess. :p

 

Very entertaining first race. :up:



#28 OvDrone

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 14:39

Congrats to the winners - Dragonspeed: Hedman, Allen and Ten Hartley. Great job.

 

Also very happy for the 2nd place #28 IDEC car. Other big highlights for me is the #11 and #10 on the podium in LMP3 and the Ferrari top 2 with a big congrats to Kessel Racing.

 

Been a wonderful race. 4 hours passed so smooth.

 

Cheers to the other class winners to naturally, to you all.



#29 AlexPrime

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 14:58

Good race. The engines sound so sweet  :love:



#30 GenJackRipper

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 14:50

Nice to see another long-run in France besides Le Mans.
Could they ever hold a 6/12 hour or even 24 hour at Castellet or would that diminish the importance of Le Mans?



#31 ANF

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 11:26


Qualifying at Monza should start in 15 minutes.

Edited by ANF, 11 May 2019 - 11:31.


#32 Nonesuch

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 18:30

Quite an interesting series of sportscar races. Snow at Spa last weekend, downpour with thunder and heavy wind in Monza for today's Le Mans Cup. Nice. :p

 

The Le Mans Cup race this afternoon was good fun. It was a bit of a shame the battle for the lead fizzled out as the two leading cars came in for their wet weather tyres and lost touch with one another.

 

Still, if tomorrow's ELMS race is as fun there'll be plenty of good times to be had. :up:



#33 Nonesuch

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:08

The race is on! :cool:

 

 

Looks like the sun is out, and there's no rain on the horizon for the next four hours at least. :up:



#34 AlexPrime

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:09

Good racing :)



#35 jjcale

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:20

yes it is ...



#36 Nonesuch

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:21

I'm always surprised a field of 40+ cars, not infrequently driven by amateurs, can make it through Monza's chicanes just fine while F1 drivers never seem to miss an opportunity to make contact. :p



#37 jjcale

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:34

Less at stake - the top boys in F1 make 10s of $m ... and the bottom makes 100s of $1000s ..... if I was at the bottom, I would drive like a maniac too. 

 

Different dynamics here .... its more traditional. Less commercial, less of an economic contest, more respect for each other. 


Edited by jjcale, 12 May 2019 - 10:34.


#38 AlexPrime

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:35

Wooow, great racing for the lead! :eek:



#39 Nonesuch

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:37

Wooow, great racing for the lead! :eek:

 

I get the commercial appeal of FE, but LMP2 may be the best thing the FIA has done this decade. It's never dull. :up:



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#40 Nonesuch

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 12:38

It's unfortunate that the ladies ran into trouble with that loose bonnet. Messed up their strategy in what was looking like another strong race.



#41 AlexPrime

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 14:03

Great ending to the race  :clap: Enjoyed it very much  :smoking:



#42 Nonesuch

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 14:07

Tough start to the race for the #26 G-Drive, but it's never wise to discount them. Good race! :clap:

 

And who'll say no to a +2 second gap after four hours of racing? LMP2 delivers once again. :cool:

 

Really quite the string of rotten luck for the #83 ladies. Pretty much everything that could go wrong, did.

 

Not sure who was driving the #17 with the clumsy move into Ascari, but that was quite a harsh outcome for a misunderstanding like that.


Edited by Nonesuch, 12 May 2019 - 14:14.


#43 AlexPrime

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 14:19

Now we wait for the big event  :) I may check the le mans cup races on the youtube channel before that though. 



#44 Nonesuch

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 16:04

Now we wait for the big event  :)

 

Less than five weeks to go. :cool:

 

It'll be good to see the ELMS GTE cars mix it up with their WEC counterparts. Having just Porsche and Ferrari is one of the few downsides of the series' line-up.



#45 AlexPrime

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 16:23

Less than five weeks to go. :cool:

 

It'll be good to see the ELMS GTE cars mix it up with their WEC counterparts. Having just Porsche and Ferrari is one of the few downsides of the series' line-up.

ELMS have really made me excited for Le Mans and appreciating LMP2s more. And I discovered the series by accident - YouTube recommended it to me!



#46 Dan333SP

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 17:54

You guys who watch ELMS and follow LMP2 a bit more closely...what are the odds that the FIA allows another round of upgrades for the slower cars (Ligier/Dallara)? I think there were some "joker" upgrades allowed to try to level the gap to Oreca, but it seems like there's still a bit of ways to go. Still makes me sad that the Riley was such a failure, I miss the plethora of chassis/engine combos from 7-8 years ago. 



#47 Nonesuch

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 18:09

It is a bit unfortunate that the performances weren't a bit more equal right out of the gate.

 

But I don't think another round of joker upgrades is all that likely given that most attention seems to be on the new regulation period, and that's going to keep the folks at the ACO, FIA and IMSA quite busy.

 

Add to that the uncertainty about how fast LMP2 must be to fit with the ACO's wished-for new top category, and I'm not sure it makes much business sense to invest in making the current LMP2 cars faster.

 

There's also the concern that the whole idea behind LMP2 was to offer private teams a good platform, and having them buy new cars every other year isn't really something the series are too keen on.