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European Le Mans Series

Paul Ricard Wednesday Notebook

Sportscar365’s Wednesday notebook from the ELMS Paul Ricard test…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***European Le Mans Series testing at Paul Ricard wrapped up on Wednesday, with no major improvements at the top of the time sheets. A 1:48.596 from Memo Rojas put the Greaves Motorsport Ligier JS P2 Nissan into third overall.

***The fastest time of the test was still Olivier Pla’s 1:48.100, recorded on Tuesday morning in the Krohn Racing Ligier JS P2 Nissan. Second quickest was Pierre Thiriet, piloting the Thiriet by TDS Racing Ligier, while Rojas slots in third ahead of Stefano Coletti in the SMP Racing BR Engneering BR01 Nissan.

***In LMP3, United Autosports’ Ligier JS P3 Nissan remained out front, after Alex Brundle’s 1:53.364 in the first session on Tuesday morning. Panis-Barthez Competition took second position overall after Simon Gachet recorded a time 0.544 seconds slower than Brundle on Wednesday morning.

***Marco Cioci led GTE after Tuesday’s running but still bettered his time on Wednesday in the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia. A time of 1:57.252 set on the morning session of day two leads Matt Griffin by 0.340 seconds, in the other AF Corse car.

***Christophe Tinseau managed to turn a best lap of 1:51.417 in the SRT by OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan, which will feature at the Garage 56 entrant in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

***It was announced on Wednesday at Andrea Pizzitola will work to reinforce the Renault-Nissan alliance. The Frenchman will contest the ELMS with Algarve Pro Racing Team as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He will also be development driver for the new Renault Sport RS01.

***Race Performance will use an Oreca 03R for competition in the first two ELMS rounds of the season. Shinji Nakano, James Winslow and reigning Asian Le Mans Series champion Niki Leutwiler are confirmed as the team’s drivers.

***Tristan Vautier tested with Panis-Barthez Competition on Wednesday in the team’s Ligier JS P2, alongside Fabien Barthez and Timothy Buret. Vautier was filling in for the absent Paul-Loup Chatin, and will not be racing for the team.

***Kox Racing left the circuit, and did not use the second day of testing. Peter Kox and Nico Pronk had tested on Tuesday in the Dutch team’s Ligier JS P3 Nissan.

***Current LMP2 champion Gary Hirsch returned to Greaves Motorsport to test the team’s new Ligier JS P2, with the team switching over from the Gibson 015S for 2016.

***Eurasia Motorsport took to the track having missed day one of the test. Pu Jun Jin, Tristan Gommendy and Nick de Bruijn all tested the team’s brand-new Oreca 05 Nissan.

***Speed Factory announced its LMP3 driver line-up at the test along with the livery of its Ligier JS P3. Tom Jackson and Álvaro Fontes tested the car, and will be joined by Toni Forné for the season. “We have an extremely strong driver line-up for this season,” commented team manager Dalius Steponavicius.

Laurent Mercier contributed to this report.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.


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