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.
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 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 For the 2019 season, the race on the Red Bull Ring in Austria has been replaced by a race at the Circuit Circuit de Barcelona in Spain.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.
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 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.
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.
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?
Edited by Nonesuch, 14 April 2019 - 13:55.