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European Le Mans Series

U.S. Team Eyes ELMS LMP2 Program

Unidentified U.S.-based GT team considering ELMS LMP2 program…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

A new team could make its debut in the European Le Mans Series this year, as well as lodging an entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. (en Français)

Complete details are not yet known about the program, although it’s understood that it’s an American team that currently competes in the GT class.

The program would see one of the former Gulf Racing Middle East Lola B12/80 chassis, but with a BMW-based Judd engine instead of the Nissan powerplant currently installed.

If the project comes to fruition, Romain Brandela would be one of the drivers.

“There’s been a lot of discussion to run one of the old chassis from Gulf Racing Middle East,” Brandela told Endurance Info. “The team will take delivery of the two Lolas, the second which would serve as spares. I’ve been in advanced contract with the U.S. team for about a month and a half.

“The idea is to run the entire European Le Mans Series and 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team wants to run with two European and one American driver.”

Brandella made his Le Mans debut last June, in the DKR Engineering-run, Jose Ibanez-managed Lola B11/40 Judd. In his second season in LMP2, the Frenchman will be supported by his local partners, including a prominent BMW car dealership in Paris.

“All of my partners want to continue the adventure in 2014,” he said. “BMW George V was satisfied with the response from last year. The store is expected to display Jeff Koons’ BMW M3 Art Car shortly.

“The goal is to come better prepared and do everything in the right order, with several tests to prepare for the season. The final decision is expected to be made by late January.”

Despite ongoing discussions to race the Lola B12/80, Brandela has not ruled out returning with Stéphane Raffin, who hopes to run a new-generation LMP2 with the support of DKR Engineering or a new team.

Laurent Mercier (@LaurentMercier2) is the Editor-in-Chief of, the leading French-language source for the latest sports car racing news from around the world.


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