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European Le Mans Series

Villorba Corse Eyeing Expansion; Future WEC Races on Radar

Italian LMP2 outfit looking to continue expansion of ELMS program…

Photo: MPS Agency

Cetilar Villorba Corse is planning to increase its program in the future with a view to contesting selected FIA World Endurance Championship races next season, according to team principal Raimondo Amadio.

The Italian squad, which currently competes in the European Le Mans Series, is aiming to continue the recent expansion that has seen it progress from LMP3 to LMP2 in the last three years.

Villorba Corse is readying for its second 24 Hours of Le Mans start this weekend with a Dallara P217 Gibson driven by Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto and IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship race-winner Felipe Nasr.

“We are always increasing and working to increase,” Amadio told Sportscar365.

“This is for sure our statement. I don’t know if we will go in WEC with LMP2 or if we jump into LMP1. We have only started.

“Maybe to be honest next season, we can be in ELMS and the 24-hour, plus some of the WEC races.

“The fact is that we would like to be a sustainable presence in such a world. The key point for this is doing our best year after year, and this is what we are doing. This is the beginning, and we are pushing.”

The team joined the ACO prototype ladder in 2015 when it purchased a Ginetta LMP3 chassis for that year’s ELMS campaign with Lacorte and Sernagiotto.

In 2016, it switched to a Ligier JS P3 Nissan, before making the jump to LMP2 – and Le Mans –  the following season with Italian constructor Dallara, which also develops BR Engineering LMP1 cars.

It finished ninth overall on its 24-hour debut and signed ex-Formula 1 driver Nasr for its return, in place of the injured Andrea Belicchi.

Amadio has conveyed an interest in looking at the viability of LMP1, but has also stressed the need for his team to maintain a sensible plan going forward.

“From LMP3 to LMP2 was a big step, not only from a technical point of view but also from a management point of view,” he said.

“The next step from LMP2 to LMP1 is three times a bigger step. What is important for Villorba is that it could be started and calculated in a proper way.

“The most important thing for us is being stable. In the future, in the long term, this is very difficult, but this is also what we are working for and pushing towards.

“You cannot rush. At this level, in ELMS, there is a risk of rushing too much which can lead to making not very good choices and everything stops.

“I think next year we will have a logical step doing what we did last year and are doing this year, plus some new experiences. The entrance will help us to prepare for the next year.”

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

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