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European Le Mans Series

36 Cars Including WEC Guests Set for Portimao Finale

36 cars on entry list for ELMS season finale where LMP3, GTE titles will be decided…

Photo: MPS Agency

Two guest entries from the FIA World Endurance Championship are among the 36 cars signed up for this weekend’s European Le Mans Series season finale at Portimao.

AF Corse’s No. 83 entry from WEC and fellow GTE-Am squad Gulf Racing are shown on the provisional entry list for the four-hour race with cars competing in the GTE class.

Francois Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard will be joined by Italian GT Sprint champion Alessio Rovera in the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo running as car No. 88 on this occasion.

Perrodo and Collard, who also contested the 4 Hours of Spa with Harrison Newey, are usually joined in the WEC by Nicklas Nielsen who is set for his second ELMS appearance of the season aboard the No. 60 Iron Lynx Ferrari.

Gulf Racing has its full-season WEC crew of Ben Barker, Andrew Watson and Mike Wainwright listed next to the No. 86 Porsche 911 RSR.

The British squad last joined the ELMS grid in 2018 when it ran a Porsche at Paul Ricard and Silverstone.

The 36-car entry for Portimao includes 14 LMP2 competitors, down one from the previous race at Monza.

DragonSpeed’s No. 27 Oreca 07 Gibson that finished third on the road in Italy before losing its podium result to a technical infringement is not shown on the entry list.

Loic Duval returns to Algarve Pro Racing’s driver lineup after being replaced by Arjun Maini at Monza due to the Frenchman’s clashing DTM commitments with Audi.

Maini is back with Algarve Pro this weekend but will join the team’s sister car as a stand-in for Simon Trummer, who is in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship action.

Additionally, Paul-Loup Chatin is listed in the IDEC Sport Oreca after the 2019 LMP2 drivers’ champion missed the previous round due to a positive COVID-19 test.

There are 12 cars in LMP3 and ten in GTE, which in addition to the WEC guests has been boosted further by the return of the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari which skipped Monza.

Daniel Serra was shown in that car on an earlier version of the entry list, but the latest issue has Steffen Goerig alongside Alexander West and Christoph Ulrich.

Titles, Le Mans Invites Up for Grabs

While United Autosports drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson have already clinched the LMP2 drivers’ title, the LMP3 and GTE championships are still to be decided.

In LMP3 Rob Wheldon, Tom Gamble and Wayne Boyd lead Inter Europol Competition’s Martin Hippe, who is racing with Dino Lunardi at Portimao, by 10 points.

A further eight points back are Realteam Racing’s David Droux and Esteban Garcia, while Eurointernational’s Niko Kari is in outside contention 21 points off the lead.

The GTE drivers’ championship is a two-way battle between Kessel Racing Ferrari drivers David Perel and Michael Broniszewki, and Proton Competition Porsche drivers Alessio Picariello, Michele Beretta and Christian Ried.

Victory at Monza put the Kessel pairing into the class lead heading to Portimao with seven points separating the two sets of contenders.

Perel and Broniszewski are joined by Nicola Cadei in the No. 74 Ferrari this weekend.

Automatic invitations for next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans are set to be awarded to the top two cars in the LMP2 standings, the top two in GTE and the champion in LMP3.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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