The European Le Mans Series will close out its season this weekend in France for the Three Hours of Paul Ricard.
Twenty six cars are entered for the final round of 2013, including ten entries combined in the prototype divisions, with all eyes on the battle for the LMP2 championship.
Following an incident-filled race in Hungary, Thiriet by TDS Racing and driver Pierre Thiriet are tied for the lead of the title race with Signatech Alpine’s Pierre Ragues and Nelson Panciatici.
Signatech is fresh off victory at the Hungaroring, which marked the first win for the Alpine brand since its return to motorsports this year.
Jota Sport’s Oliver Turvey and Simon Dolan still have a mathematical shot of the LMP2 title, although being 18 points back, they’ll need both the Oreca-Nissan and Alpine-Nissan to hit trouble.
The remainder of the LMP2 grid is a near mirror-image as to what it was in Hungary, other than Marcello Marateotto replacing Patric Niederhauser in the No. 34 Race Performance Oreca-Judd, and the second driver for Boutsen Ginion Racing’s Oreca-Nissan yet to be announced.
LMPC shrinks down to a two-car entry this weekend, with the Algarve Racing Team not electing to enter, as its gentleman driver, C.O. Jones, is unavailable due to previous business commitments.
Eight cars are set to do battle in GTE, led by Ram Racing’s Johnny Mowlem and Matt Griffin, who hold a 23-point lead over the Proton Competition Porsche of Christain Ried, who sits in second.
Ried will again be joined by Porsche factory driver Nick Tandy and Porsche junior Klaus Bachler, while Ram’s second, all-American, Ferrari of Gunnar Jeannette and Frankie Montecalvo sits fourth in the title race, behind Tandy.
The GTC class, reserved for GT3-spec machinery, also sees an eight-car field, the category’s largest field of the season.
The Three Hours of Paul Ricard gets underway Saturday at 4:37 p.m. local (10:37 a.m. ET), with live coverage on http://www.europeanlemansseries.com.
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