Sunday’s Four Hours of Estoril will be the stage for a dramatic encounter to decide who will be the 2014 European Le Mans Series champion, with no less than 10 drivers and 4 teams battling for the honors.
With a maximum of 26 points on offer (25 for the win and 1 point for pole position) and 23 points separating the protagonists, the teams will have their calculators at the ready on Sunday afternoon.
2013 Champions Signatech Alpine are the current championship leaders on 68 points, with a 10-point advantage over their nearest rival, JOTA Sport.
To be guaranteed of lifting the ELMS title, Nelson Panciatici, Oliver Webb and Paul-Loup Chatin need to finish first or second on Sunday afternoon.
If JOTA Sport drivers Filipe Albuquerque, Harry Tincknell and Simon Dolan take the win and Signatech Alpine finish third, the pole position point could be the deciding factor.
If neither team takes the point for pole position then the two teams would be equal on 83 points, with JOTA being declared champions because they will have won twice in 2014 compared to one win for their rivals.
Newblood by Morand Racing, and drivers Christian Klien and Gary Hirsch, are currently on 50 points, 18 behind Signatech Alpine and 8 behind JOTA Sport.
Pole position and victory would put Morand Racing on 76 points and to win the title Signatech Alpine would need to finish 6th overall or below. Even if JOTA finished 2nd, Morand Racing would take the title as they would have two wins to one.
Race Performance, and drivers Franck Mailleux and Michel Frey, are currently on 45 points, 23 behind Signatech Alpine, and have an outside chance at the title.
A win and pole would give the Swiss team 71 points, meaning that Signatech Alpine need to finish 9th or below and JOTA need to finish 4th or below to give Race Performance the ELMS title. In this Scenario Newblood by Morand Racing wouldn’t be able to score enough points, even by finishing second.
In essence, all of the contenders need to be first to the checkered flag and then see where their rivals finish on the track.
The fact that the permutations are so complicated proves what a great season 2014 has been for the LMP2 category in the series.
Track action begins on Saturday with two 90 minute Free Practice sessions. Qualifying will take place at 09:30 (local)/ 10:30 CET on Sunday morning, with the 4 hour race starting at 13:30 (local) / 14:30 CET.