Category Archives: European Le Mans Series

Scuderia Villorba Corse Takes Postives And Great Experiences Away From ‘Road To Le Mans’

Treviso-based Scuderia Villorba Corse took many positives and some great experiences away from its two-car entry into the inaugural ‘Road to Le Mans’ race, which was run on the Circuit de la Sarthe on the morning of the 2016 24 Heures du Mans.

The #8 Ferrari F458 Italia GT3, piloted by Cedric Mezard and Steeve Hiesse finished 24th overall and 11th in the GT3 class while the #7 Nissan-powered Ligier JS P3 with Roberto Lacorte and Giorgio Sernagiotto at the wheel finished 34th overall and 17th in class.

“The weekend of this official ‘Road to Le Mans’ served as a Road to Le Mans for the team,” said Team Principal Raimondo Amadio. ”All the work the team did has been a preparation for the future. The team and the drivers used all the miles, as far as possible, that were available to them. Sernagiotto, despite only one lap in free practice, was able to set the fifth fastest time in qualifying and was then fast in the race. The progression in terms of the stop-watch is undoubtedly positive but the important thing is the experience lived by the whole team and the information and data we have been able to gather, even in the wet.”

Photo: Scuderia Villorba Corse
Photo: Scuderia Villorba Corse

Although the participation of the LM P3 cars did not count for the overall standings in the 2016 European Le Mans Series, the race for GT3 cars counted as the second round of the inaugural Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup.

The third round of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup will be held at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on July 16.

Packed Grid For 2016 Road To Le Mans

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest, in cooperation with Le Mans Endurance Management, has announced the entry list for the 2016 ‘Road to Le Mans’.

Intended to allow drivers an opportunity to enjoy and experience the full 24 Heures du Mans circuit and to introduce top-level prototype and GT3 racing to teams and drivers possibly not familiar with Circuit de la Sarthe, 39 cars will take to the grid for a race start at 11:10 on Saturday June 18.

For the LMP3 class, entries were invited from teams who have competed, or are currently competing, in an ACO series. Although results from the one hour race will not count towards the European Le Mans Series LMP3 championship, it will constitute the second round of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup. The first round of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup was held at Imola on May 15. Continue reading Packed Grid For 2016 Road To Le Mans

Thiriet by TDS Racing Wins Rain-Soaked ELMS At Imola

The #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Nissan—powered ORECA 05, driven by Pierre Thiriet, Ryō Hirakawa and Mathias Beche, took the top step of the podium at the second round of the European Le Mans Series at Imola.

Second was the #38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S in which Simon Dolan took the start, followed by Harry Tincknell and Giedo Van der Garde. Taking the last podium position was the #21 DragonSpeed ORECA 05-Nissan, driven by Nicolas Lapierre, Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley.

The race finished in a frustrating manner for competitors and spectators alike as torrential rain forced the organisers to call a full course yellow with an hour to go. The race was then further neutralised by a safety car, under which it finished.

In LMP2 the pole-sitting #21 DragonSpeed with Lapierre at the wheel led from from the start. The #23 Panis-Barthez Compétition Ligier JS P2, with Paul-Loup Chatin driving, took the lead after an hour during the driver changes. As the raced approached the half-way mark Ryō Hirakawa, at the wheel of the #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA 05, overtook Fabien Barthez in the #23 car for the lead and thereafter the #46 car controlled the race from the front.

The #38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S had a promising beginning to the four hour race when Simon Dolan took the start for the Kent-based team from fifth on the grid and handed the car over to Harry Tincknell in the same position. Tincknell pushed hard to get the car into the podium positions and Giedo Van der Garde had got the car into second place with the promise of more to come when the rain struck. It was clear the venerable Gibson 015S had the pace but the lengthy full course yellow and safety car did not allow the team the opportunity to push for the lead.

In LMP3 the #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3, driven by Alex Brundle, Michael Guasch and Christian England took the victory, the car’s second of the season, to gain a commanding lead in the series. The #2 car passed the sister #3 car in the opening stages of the race, the #3 car, driven by Mark Patterson, Matthew Bell and Wayne Boyd, eventually finishing seventh in class due to having to serve a drive-through penalty.

Second in the LMP3 class was the #11 Eurointernational Ligier JS P3 driven by Giorgio Mondini, Andrea Roda and Marco Jacobini, a car that ran strongly throughout the race. Taking the final podium spot was the #16 Panis-Barthez Compétition Ligier JS P3 driven by Éric Debard, Valentin Moineault and Simon Gachet, concluding a satisfying day for the French team.

LMGTE was dominated by the #77 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR 991 driven by Michael Hedlund, Wolf Henzler and Robert Renauer. The #77 car led the class from the start with Renauer putting in a faultless opening double stint. Although the team knew the car was competitive, the pace and consistency of the car was undoubtedly a very pleasant surprise for the Ummendorf-based team. Second in class was the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F458 Italia with its driver line-up of Robert Smith, Rory Butcher and Andrea Bertolini. Third was the #56 AT Racing Ferrari F458 Italia driven by Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Aaron Scott.

In the Teams Classification the #38 G-Drive Racing leads LMP2 with 43 points. LMP3 is led by the #2 United Autosports entry with 50 points while the #99 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage leads the LMGTE category with 35 points.

The third round of the 2016 European Le Mans Series will be held at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on July 17.

Pole for DragonSpeed at Imola ELMS

Florida-based DragonSpeed, in its debut season in the European Le Mans Series, took pole in qualifying for the second round of the championship at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola.

The #21 DragonSpeed ORECA 05-Nissan with Nicolas Lapierre at the wheel lapped in 1:33.780 to take pole by just under 1/10 of a second from the #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA 05-Nissan driven by Mathis Beche who lapped in 1:33.815.

In third place on the grid for Sunday May 15’s four hour race is the #23 Panis-Barthez Compétition Ligier JS P2. Paul-Loup Chatin, who was quickest in both of the previous free practice sessions, lapped in an identical time to the second place car. As the #46 car had established the time a lap earlier, the #23 car will line up on the grid in third place.

In LPM3, in a grid that consists entirely of Nissan-powered Ligier JS P3 chassis, United Autosports enjoyed another solid performance, placing its cars first and third in class on the grid.

The #3 United Autosports car took the class pole with a 1:39.256 with Wayne Boyd at the wheel. The #11 Eurointernational car with Giorgio Mondini driving was second in class with a 1:39.401. Alex Brundle will line up third in class for United Autosports in the #2 car after he lapped in 1:39.623.

Proton Competition will also line up first and third in the LMGTE class for Sunday’s race after Wolf Henzler lapped in 1:41.269 in the #77 Porsche 911 RSR 991 to take class pole. Klaus Bachler in the sister #66 car qualified third in after he put in a 1:41.397. Splitting the two Porsche 911 RSR 991s is the JMW Motorsport #66 Ferrari F458 Italia which lapped in 1:41.310 with Andrea Bertolini at the wheel.

The LMGTE field will be missing one entrant after Formula Racing had to withdraw its #60 Ferrari F458 Italia after damage sustained in FP2 proved impossible to repair in time for the race on Sunday.

The 4 Hours of Imola, the second round of the 2016 European Le Mans Series, starts at 14:00 local time on Sunday May 15.

Panis-Barthez Compétition Quickest Again in Imola ELMS FP2

The #23 Panis-Barthez Compétition Ligier JS P2 was quickest again in the second free practice sessions for the second round of the European Le Mans Series at Imola.

Paul-Loup Chatin, who was first in the car in an interrupted session, put in a 1:33.881. ahead of the #40 Krohn Racing JS P2 driven by Olivier Pla who put in a 1:34.121. Completing the top three in LMP2 was the ##21 DragonSpeed ORECA 05-Nissan with Nicolas Lapierre at the wheel with a 1:34.485.

In LMP3 the #7 Villorba Corse Ligier JS P3 topped the time sheets with a 1:40.349 driven by Nicollo Schiro. Second quickest was the #19 Duqueine Engineering JS P3 where Dino Lunardi put in a 1:40.769. Panis-Barthez Compétition must be delighted with its pace this weekend with the #16 Ligier JS P3 third in the session with a 1:40.823 driven by Simon Gachet.

JMW Motorsport again led the field in LMGTE when Andrea Bertolini put in a 1:41.870 in the #66 Ferrari F458 Italia. Klaus Bachler in the #88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR was again quick with a 1:42.044. AF Corse completed the top three in class with a 1:42.521 driven by Duncan Cameron in the #55 Ferrari F458 Italia.

Qualifying for the second round of the 2016 European Le Mans Series starts at 13:50 local time.

Panis-Barthez Compétition Tops Time Sheets In Imola ELMS FP1

Paul-Loup Chatin put Panis-Barthez Compétition at the top of the time sheets in the first practice session for the second round of the European Le Mans Series at Imola. His 1:34.435 put the #23 Ligier JS P2 ahead of the #33 Eurasia Motorsport ORECA 05-Nissan driven by Tristan Gommendy, who put in a 1:35.240.

Mathias Beche completed the top three in LMP2 with a 1:35.586 in the Thiriet by TDS Racing #46 Nissan-powered ORECA 05-Nissan.

The #38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S, winner last time out Silverstone in round one of the series, finished sixth fastest with a 1:36.032. Giedo Van der Garde was the driver.

Eurointernational was the quickest of the LMP3 class when Giorgio Mondini put in 1:40.099 on his seventh lap. The winners of the 4 Hours of Silverstone in the LMP3 class, the United Autosports #2 Ligier JS P2 driven by Alex Brundle, was second quickest with a 1:40.168. Completing the top three in class was Dino Lunardi in the #19 Duqueine Engineering #19 Ligier JS P3 with a 1:40.271.

In LMGTE the #66 Ferrari F458 Italia of JMW Motorsport with Andrea Bertolini at the wheel put in a 1:42.262 to finish top of the time sheets in class. Mikkal Mac in the #60 Formula Racing Ferrari F458 Italia was second quickest with a 1:42.578. The Proton Competition #88 Porsche 911 RSR rounded out the top three LMGTE runners with a 1:42.772, the car being driven by Klaus Bachler.

The European Le Mans Series grid will be out on track again at 09:35 on May 14 for FP2. Qualifying starts at 13:50 with the LMGTE entrants, followed by LMP3 and finishing with LMP2.

The second round of the European Le mans Series starts at 14:00 on Sunday May 15