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European Le Mans Series

LMP3, GTE Titles to be Decided This Weekend

Class champions and Le Mans auto-invites to be confirmed at 4H Portimao…

Photo: MPS Agency

The European Le Mans Series LMP3 and GTE crowns will be decided at this weekend’s 4 Hours of Portimao season finale.

The champions in both classes, and the second-placed team in GTE, will join already confirmed LMP2 champion G-Drive Racing as guaranteed entries to the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year.

RLR Msport drivers Job van Uitert, John Farano and Rob Garofall are 14 points ahead of 360 Racing’s Ross Kaiser and Terence Woodward in LMP3, meaning they can secure the title by finishing fourth.

Even in the case of tied points, RLR Msport has the edge over its closest rival – which is also a British team running the Ligier JSP3 Nissan – because it has two wins to 360 Racing’s none.

Kaiser and Woodward can snatch the crown if they finish on the podium in the event of RLR falling outside the top 10.

Anthony Wells, Garrett Grist and Matt Bell are also mathematically capable of winning, although their No. 3 United Autosports Ligier needs to finish second in the event of an RLR low score.

In GTE, Proton Competition leads on 80.5 points, with Gianluca and Giorgio Roda holding an 11.5-point cushion over the JMW Motorsport crew of Alex MacDowall, Liam Griffin and Ferrari factory driver Miguel Molina.

The father-son Proton pair are once again joined by Matteo Cairoli in the No. 88 Porsche 911 RSR, although the Porsche factory Young Professional isn’t in championship contention because he subbed out of the Monza round for Gianmaria Bruni.

A podium would be enough for Proton to claim its first ELMS title in eight years, while JMW can defend its 2017 crown by finishing fourth in the event of a retirement for No. 88.

If Proton finishes, however, JMW needs to win with the Porsche running fourth or lower.

Two GTE entries will be handed Le Mans auto-invites, and only two points separate the JMW crew from the third-placed Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE of Matt Griffin, Aaron Scott and Duncan Cameron.

A total of 39 entries are listed for the Portimao race, with 15 cars in the LMP2 category and six in LMGTE, while LMP3 is the largest class with 18 entries.

No major changes have been made, although the IDEC Sport Ligier JS P217 Gibson will be absent for the second time this season.

Additionally, the French squad has enlisted FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 racer Gabriel Aubry to its Oreca 07 entry alongside Paul-Loup Chatin and Memo Rojas.

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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