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24H Le Mans

Three More Teams Receive 24H Le Mans Auto Invites

RLR MSport, Proton Competition and JMW Motorsport gain automatic Le Mans entries…

Photo: RLR MSport

RLR MSport, Proton Competition and JMW Motorsport have been granted automatic entries to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans for their results in the European Le Mans Series.

British squad RLR MSport clinched the LMP3 title with a fifth-place class finish in last weekend’s Portimao season finale, while Proton Competition and JMW Motorsport qualified by finishing first and second in the GTE standings.

The three teams join the No. 26 G-Drive Racing crew, which secured the LMP2 title in the penultimate round at Spa last month, and Michelin Le Mans Cup winner Kessel Racing as the invited entries from Europe.

RLR MSport’s Ligier JSP3 Nissan driven by Job van Uitert, John Farano and Rob Garofall needed to finish fifth or higher at Portimao to seal the LMP3 crown.

Farano inherited the lead under full course yellow conditions halfway through the four-hour contest, but RLR lost several positions under a safety car period.

Garofall then picked up the chase and moved the car into the top five, while RLR’s main title rival 360 Racing retired with a cracked exhaust manifold on its Ligier.

The RLR team, which last ran at Le Mans in 2013 in support of Delta-ADR, purchased an Oreca 07 chassis earlier this year and now has an invitation to the LMP2 class.

“If you look at the whole season, it has been fantastic from every aspect,” said Van Uitert, who made his sports car debut this year.

“We achieved two wins and three podiums, the pace was always there or thereabouts and I’m happy with every one of my stints. To win the title is pretty special.”

In GTE, Proton’s Giorgio and Gianluca Roda confirmed themselves as champions by finishing third in class in Portugal along with Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli.

The all-Italian driven Porsche 911 RSR finished one place behind the JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE of Miguel Molina, Alex MacDowall and Liam Griffin, but it arrived with a large enough advantage that the result had no impact on the final order.

JMW, which won the Le Mans GTE-Am class in 2017, beat the No. 55 Spirit of Race Ferrari to secure a GTE invitation for 2019.

Seven automatic entries have now been decided, with Misha Goikhberg and Ben Keating also holding invites after winning the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Trueman/Akin awards.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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