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European Le Mans Series

Second Paul Ricard Round Named ‘Le Castellet 240’

35-car entry confirmed for second ELMS meeting at Circuit Paul Ricard this season…

Photo: MPS Agency

A total of 35 cars are on the provisional entry list for the Le Castellet 240 race that will mark the European Le Mans Series’ second visit to Paul Ricard this season.

The ELMS added another four-hour race at Paul Ricard on Aug. 29 to replace the canceled 4 Hours of Barcelona.

To differentiate it from the 4H Le Castellet season-opener, the series has introduced the Le Castellet 240 title for the new event, referencing the number of racing minutes.

The entry list features almost all of the expected names, while the total car count has gone down by four from the 39 that competed in the 4 Hours of Spa two weeks ago.

This is because the Spa round included a handful of guest entries from FIA World Endurance Championship teams looking to gain extra mileage one week before they raced at the Belgian circuit in their own series.

In terms of driver updates, G-Drive Racing’s Oreca-based Aurus 01 Gibson will include two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne in the place of Nyck de Vries.

Vergne is representing G-Drive in the 24 Hours of Le Mans next month while de Vries will be driving for WEC squad Racing Team Nederland, which is also supported by TDS Racing.

Both Vergne and de Vries missed the Spa round because of their involvement in Formula E, which led to Mikkel Jensen and Roman Rusinov contesting that race as a duo.

Additionally, Sophia Floersch is named in Richard Mille Racing’s Oreca for what will be her ELMS race debut.

Floersch was unable to compete in the previous two ELMS rounds because of clashes with her FIA Formula 3 commitments, and while F3 is also running on the Aug. 29-30 weekend, the German driver is on the list for the Le Castellet 240.

Gabriel Aubry is set to return to action with Algarve Pro Racing after both parties were forced to miss the WEC Total 6 Hours of Spa because of positive COVID-19 test results.

LMP2 points leaders Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson will be looking to build on their recent ELMS and WEC victories at Spa in the No. 22 United Autosports Oreca.

The pair hold a seven-point advantage over their teammates Job van Uitert, Will Owen and Alex Brundle who won last time out at Paul Ricard, while Graff’s James Allen, Alexandre Cougnaud and Thomas Laurent are a further 15 points back in third.

LMP3 has the expected 12-car showing while the GTE category has a total of eight entries, split between six Ferrari 488 GTE Evos and two Porsche 911 RSRs.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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