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European Le Mans Series

37-Car Entry for ELMS Opener at Paul Ricard

ELMS posts 37 entries for 4H Le Castellet as three cars drop out from LMP2 field…

Photo: MPS Agency

A total of 37 cars have been confirmed on the entry list for the 4 Hours of Le Castellet which will open the new European Le Mans Series season on July 19.

The field is headlined by a 15-car grid of LMP2 cars, all but one of which are Oreca 07 Gibsons, while 12 cars are set to line up in LMP3 and 10 are entered in GTE.

LMP2 has lost three cars from the original full-season entry list that was published back in February with Carlin’s Dallara, Inter Europol Competition’s second Ligier and Ultimate’s Oreca no longer present.

Inter Europol confirmed the halving of its ELMS involvement in 2020 last week, while it’s understood that Carlin’s absence is for the opening round only.

IDEC Sport will ignite its LMP2 title defense with Paul-Loup Chatin, Ricard Bradley and Paul Lafargue lining up to drive the French team’s Oreca, as previously confirmed.

There will be an ELMS debut for Mercedes Formula E driver Nyck de Vries, who is due to share the Aurus-badged G-Drive Racing Oreca with Roman Rusinov and Mikkel Jensen.

Four teams are set to run with two-driver lineups, including the newly-formed Richard Mille Racing squad which has Katherine Legge and Tatiana Calderon named.

Elsewhere, Simon Trummer will contest the ELMS race for Algarve Pro Racing after originally prioritizing the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at Sebring.

The Paul Ricard weekend heralds the arrival of the new fleet of upgraded LMP3 cars in both the ELMS and Michelin Le Mans Cup.

A total of eight Ligier JS P320 Nissans are entered for the four-hour race and will compete alongside four examples of the Duqueine (ex-Norma) D08 Nissan.

Graff has added a second car and will run a Ligier and a Duqueine, canceling out the withdrawal of Inter Europol’s No. 14 Ligier.

The Ligier due to be operated by British outfit 360 Racing is not listed, bringing the number of cars in the secondary prototype class down from 13 – as stated on the full-season entry – to 12.

The GTE category has received a boost following Tuesday morning’s announcement that the Aston Martin Racing FIA World Endurance Championship team will be contesting the first two rounds of the new ELMS season.

Paul Dalla Lana will be joined by Mathias Lauda and Ross Gunn for the maiden appearance of the second-generation Aston Martin Vantage GTE in the championship.

ELMS teams will take part in an official pre-season test at Paul Ricard on July 14-15 before heading straight into the race weekend.

Both events will be held without spectators following the ban on French sporting events with more than 5,000 people.

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

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