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European Le Mans Series

Red Bull Ring Weekend Notebook

Jake Kilshaw’s weekend notebook from Red Bull Ring…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***For the first time, the European Le Mans Series held a separate Bronze Test, similar to in the Blancpain GT Series. This took place ahead of Free Practice 1 on Monday morning, and Michael Munemann led the way in the Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Nissan.

***Vincent Capillaire announced on Thursday that So24! by Lombard Racing has filed for bankruptcy, and will not be competing in the remainder of the European Le Mans Series season. “The plan to continue was not possible as not all the requirements were met, even though two-thirds of the season was already paid for, including the lease on the car and the engine budget,” team principal Jean Lombard explained to Endurance-Info.

***Algarve Pro Racing team principal Stewart Cox told Endurance-Info that the Portuguese team is still considering its plans for 2017, but also that it will miss the ELMS finale at Estoril. “The current Ligier JS P2 will depart for the Asian Le Mans Series, which is why we are forced to miss the ELMS final at Estoril,” he said. “We couldn’t do both given the very tight schedule and we want to have a good winter in Asia.” The team is still finalizing its Asian LMS lineup.

***Murphy Prototypes has kept the green and white color scheme from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in which the Irish squad was sponsored by Gas Monkey Energy. The Oreca 03R is without the Gas Monkey logos this weekend but the colors remain.

***Andrea Roda has left Eurointernational, and so won’t race this weekend. “I am disappointed for not lining-up at Red Bull Ring,” he said. “In the last couple of weeks, weird things started to happen among the team, and despite all my best efforts to find a solution, I did not receive any response respectful of our agreements. I am forced to interrupt my relationship with Eurointernational as the basic requirements of respect towards my person, and consequently the mutual trust between the parties are no longer present.”

***While Roda has left, Roman Rusinov has stayed on at Eurointernational. The Russian driver and businessman competed at the Four Hours of Imola in one of the team’s Ligier JS P3 Nissans, and will continue this in Austria, in preparation for next weekend’s Six Hours of Nürburgring, which he will race at with his G-Drive Racing FIA World Endurance Championship team.

***Although it isn’t racing, the Ave-Riley AR-2 is present in the Murphy Prototypes garage, after a shakedown on the Austrian circuit earlier this week. “The car will be homologated by August 24,” team owner Greg Murphy told Endurance-Info. “We completed two days’ testing at the Red Bull Ring without the slightest problem.” The plan is for a Spa-Francorchamps race debut.

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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