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G-Drive, Kessel First to Secure 24H Le Mans Auto Invites

G-Drive Racing, Kessel Racing secure auto invites to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans…

Photo: MPS Agency

G-Drive Racing and Kessel Racing are the first teams to secure automatic invites to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, after clinching titles last weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Russian-backed squad with drivers Roman Rusinov and Andrea Pizzitola locked up the European Le Mans Series LMP2 championship in Sunday’s rain-shortened race, despite a challenging outing in their TDS Racing-run Oreca 07 Gibson.

Rusinov, Pizzitola and Jean-Eric Vergne recorded a 12th place finish in class after being handed a two-minute stop and hold penalty for causing a collision earlier in the running.

While only scoring 0.25 points in the race, which was awarded half-points, it gives the team an insurmountable 32.25-point lead heading into next month’s season finale at Portimao.

Kessel, meanwhile, clinched the Michelin Le Mans Cup GT3 title on Saturday, also at Spa, with the team’s fourth class win in six races.

Its invite will be eligible for use in the GTE-Am class.

Three additional invites remain up for grabs in ELMS, with the champion and runner-up finishing team in the GTE class, as well as the LMP3 class champion, receiving auto entries as well.

The No. 88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR of Giorgio and Gianluca Roda currently hold a 11.5-point lead over the JMW Motorsport trio of Alex MacDowall, Liam Griffin and Miguel Molina in GTE, while RLR Msport heads the title race in LMP3.

RLR Msport recently announced plans to step up to LMP2 competition next year, which is a criteria for the auto-invite awarded to the LMP3 champion.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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