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European Le Mans Series

ELMS Reveals 42-Car Full Season Entry List

Double-figure car counts in all categories for this year’s European Le Mans Series…

Photo: MPS Agency

The European Le Mans Series has revealed a provisional 42-car entry list for the 2022 season involving double-figure car counts in each of the three categories.

A total of 17 cars are set to compete in LMP2, while a dozen and 13 entrants are registered in LMP3 and GTE, respectively.

There have been some changes to the all-ORECA LMP2 grid since last season with a handful of new organizations including Prema, AF Corse, Team Virage, TDS Racing x Vaillante and Muehlner Motorsports joining the top category.

Both Muehlner and Virage come from the LMP3 ranks, with the former team signing Thomas Laurent to lead its driver lineup alongside Matthias Kaiser and the latter recruiting Bronze-rated Rob Hodes.

TDS Racing will continue to operate in Europe this year after its two 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship customers moved to IMSA and switched to a different operating team for the coming season.

As reported by Endurance-Info, TDS has forged an association with the Vaillante comic book brand which previously announced plans to enter the LMP2 division with Mirage Racing.

Mathias Beche, Tijmen van der Helm and Philippe Cimadomo will drive for TDS x Vaillante in the LMP2 Pro-Am category.

Seven entries are signed up for the Pro-Am classification, including reigning WEC GTE-Am champions Francois Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen and Alessio Rovera who are driving for AF Corse. Pro-Am crews must include a Bronze-rated driver.

The LMP2 grid also includes several familiar returning teams including Duqueine, Panis Racing, IDEC Sport, United Autosports and Cool Racing.

G-Drive Racing is also on the grid with a pair of Orecas, including one competing for overall honors with Roman Rusinov and Sophia Floersch sharing the wheel.

Of note, Team WRT has opted against defending its ELMS title based on its expanded two-car effort in the WEC.

In the LMP3 category, all teams except defending champion DKR Engineering are running Ligier JS P320 Nissans.

DKR is back with its Duqueine D08 Nissan that will be driven by Tom Van Rompuy and two co-drivers who are yet to be announced.

Several teams are running two-car operations in the second-tier prototype class including United Autosports, Cool Racing, RLR MSport and Inter Europol Competition.

The GTE grid mainly features teams running Ferrari 488 GTE Evos, although Porsche and Aston Martin machinery will also be represented.

Rinaldi Racing will make its ELMS GTE debut with a pair of 488s while Kessel Racing, JMW Motorsport, Spirit of Race and reigning champion Iron Lynx form the rest of the Ferrari customer cohort.

As announced on Monday morning, Porsche squad Absolute Racing will compete in ELMS for the first time with support from Proton Competition, which is also running two Porsche 911 RSR-19s under its own name including one for actor Michael Fassbender.

TF Sport is fielding a pair of Aston Martin Vantage GTEs in addition to its LMP2 entry with Racing Team Turkey.

The 2022 ELMS season will carry six automatic invitations to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, split between two for the top two finishers in LMP2, one for the LMP3 champion and three for the top three finishers in the GTE standings.

“We are extremely pleased to announce a 42-car grid for the 2022 European Le Mans Series,” said Le Mans Endurance Management CEO Frederic Lequien.

“This season, there will be the largest LMP2 grid anywhere outside of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, along with a fantastic LMP3 entry that will see a new crop of young professional drivers competing alongside some of the very best amateurs and Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin going head-to-head once again in LMGTE.

“The 2022 European Le Mans Series promises to be one the best seasons ever and I hope you will join us in Le Castellet in April.”

ACO President Pierre Fillon added: “Since it was revived in 2012, the championship has gone from strength to strength, attracting an ever more competitive field and gaining popularity each year. The stakes are high this season.

“There are 42 teams on the grid fighting for one of six invitations to the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours, the centenary race – a tantalizing prize. We can’t wait for the action to begin in earnest in April.”

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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