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European Le Mans Series

Estoril Weekend Notebook

Sportscar365’s weekend notebook from Estoril…

Photo: Nick Dungan/Adrenal Media/ELMS

Photo: Nick Dungan/Adrenal Media/ELMS

***The ACO is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow, detailing plans for a new GT3 championship that’s rumored to be run on ELMS weekends, as well as a support race for the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year.

***The Marc VDS Racing Team is taking part in its final race in four-wheeled competition this weekend, following the team’s shock withdrawal from sports car racing. The Belgian team holds an outside chance of claiming the GTE title with drivers Andy Priaulx, Jesse Krohn and Henry Hasaad and its BMW Z4 GTE.

***Beechdean AMR makes its ELMS debut this weekend, with an AMR-run Aston Martin V8 Vantage for British GT champions Jonny Adam and Andrew Howard, plus Alex MacDowall. The British team is evaluating a potential full-season ELMS effort next year, which would include an entry request to the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well.

***The cost-cap for LMP2 cars will increase next year, with the maximum price for open-top cars (without engine) increasing from 370,000 Euros to 388,500 Euros ($441,000 USD). Closed-top cars, meanwhile, will increase from 450,000 Euros to 463,500 Euros ($526,000 USD).

***Onroak Automotive has begun the initial design work for its new-generation LMP2 car. Per 2017 regulations, the final design of the monocoque must be submitted to the FIA, ACO and IMSA for approval by December. It serves as the first of a five-stage schedule, culminating with the delivery of cars in Q4 of next year in time for the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

***ACO President Pierre Fillon took the wheel of a Ligier JS P3 during a test scheduled this afternoon. It marked the Frenchman’s second time in a LMP3 car, after previously sampling a Ginetta earlier this year.

***ELMS title contenders Greaves Motorsport could re-enter the FIA World Endurance Championship next year, with Autosport reporting that the British team is evaluating a dual-season program that could mirror that of Jota Sport, by utilizing an Oreca 05 in WEC and its existing Gibson 015S in ELMS.

***Eurasia Motorsport is targeting a return to the ELMS next year, potentially with an Oreca 05 Nissan. The Mark Goddard-led team will expand into a two-car LMP2 operation in the Asian Le Mans Series for the remainder of the 2015/2016 season, with its ELMS Oreca 03R chassis set to be shipped to Malaysia following this weekend.

***Murphy Prototypes has yet to finalize its 2016 program, although the team intends to return to the ELMS, most likely with its existing Oreca 03R Nissan, but could also take up a LMP3 entry.

***Following its competition debut last weekend at Fuji, the new ADESS-03 was formally presented at its base in Mallorca. G-Private Racing is expected to campaign two cars in the ELMS next year.

***Several teams tested at Estoril earlier this week, including Algarve Pro Racing with its Ligier JS P2 Nissan, which saw Nick Catsburg at the wheel.

Laurent Mercier contributed to this report

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