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European Le Mans Series

Estoril Friday Notebook

Laurent Mercier’s Friday notebook from Estoril…

Photo: ELMS

Photo: ELMS

***Estoril last hosted the European Le Mans Series in 2011, which also served as the season finale. Emmanuel Collard and Julien Jousse won the drivers’ title while Rebellion Racing claimed the teams’ championship in LMP1.

***Kessel Racing has arrived with only one Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 this weekend, with the No. 80 car of Andrea Piccini and Michael Broniszweski. The No. 81 car is missing, therefore resulting in a 35-car entry.

***The 2015 ELMS schedule will be released tomorrow morning, one week after the FIA WEC calendar was announced. The only confirmed round is Silverstone, which will open the season in conjunction with the FIA WEC on April 12.

***ART Grand Prix is aiming to end the 2014 season on a high note with its two McLaren MP4-12cs. However, plans for 2015 have yet to be put into place, with the Frederic Vasseur-owned team expressing interest to continue in the GT ranks but with no budget secured.

***While both Oreca 03Rs were running in Fuji last weekend, SMP Racing was at Estoril, testing its Ferrari F458 Italia GTE and GT3 cars. More should be known soon about the Russian squad’s 2015 plans, both in LMP2 and GT.

***While nothing has been finalized, Gulf Racing is planning to continue in the ELMS with two cars. The possibility also exists for the UK-based team to run at least one car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year, prior to entries in the Gulf 12 Hours and Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai with a Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 for Stuart Hall and Roald Goethe.

***In addition to his ELMS commitment this weekend in IMSA Peformance Matmut’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Raymond Narac will also be in action in nearby Portimao in the Classic Endurance Racing series with a Porsche 911 RSR 3.0.

***The No. 41 Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN Nissan has changed from a green to red livery this weekend. Matt McMurry is joined by James Fletcher and GT Academy winner Miguel Faisca, with the car carrying larger Nissan logos as a result.

***While having entered a BMW Z4 GT3 this year, GT Russia by Barwell Motorsport is expected to enter the Blancpain Endurance Series in 2015.

***Extreme Speed Motorsports has placed its two HPD ARX-03bs up for sale, chassis No. 6 (ex-Enzo Potolicchio FIA WEC 2012 championship-winning car) and No. 8 (ALMS 2013). The Florida-based team will upgrade to a pair of new HPD ARX-04b cars in 2015.

Laurent Mercier (@LaurentMercier2) is the Editor-in-Chief of, the leading French-language source for the latest sports car racing news from around the world.

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