Category Archives: Michelin Le Mans Cup

Michelin Le Mans Cup Reaches Season Finale At Portimão (14.10.17)

Photo: Jakob Ebrey / lemanscup.com

The 2017 Michelin Le Mans Cup reaches its final round at the Algarve International Circuit at Portimão, Portugal on Sunday October 22.

19 entries will take to the grid for the seventh round of the championship, now in its second year.

14 cars are entered in the LMp3 category. Missing from the provisional entry list from those entered for the previous round at Spa-Francorchamps is the #33 Ibran Pardo Javier Ligier JS P3 piloted by Javier Ibran and Mathijs Bakker. Also missing is #40 GRAFF Ligier which was driven to 14th place at Spa by Richard Bradley and William Lok.

Joining the grid on the Algarve will be the #39 GRAFF Ligier with the driver line-up of Eric Trouillet and Scott Andrews. Also joining the LMP3 class will be #44 SPV Motorsport Ligier, with the driving duties being shared by Alvaro Fontes and an, as yet unnamed, second driver.

Other changes in the prototype field include the replacement at Duqueine Engineering of Kenton Koch in its #9 Ligier. Jonatan Jorge will be sharing the driving duties with Joël Janco.

Andrew Bentley will be driving the #23 United Autosports Ligier alongside Richard Meins, replacing Shaun Lynn.

The GT3 grid has six entries for the final round. Kessel Racing has entered its #93 Ferrari F488 GT3 to be driven by the all-Italian driver line-up of Claudio Schiavoni and Andrea Piccini.

LMP3:

With only 25 points available at Portimão, the top three positions in the LMP3 teams standings are almost certainly decided.

DKR Engineering heads the table on 113 points with its #3 Norma M30, the only non-Ligier JS P3 chassis in the field, and its driver line-up of Jean Glorieux and Alexander Toril.

DKR Engineering, owned by Kendy Janclaes and based in Luxembourg, has enjoyed a dominating year in the prototype class. With wins at La Sarthe, the Red Bull Ring, Le Castellet and Spa-Francorchamps and a second-place finish at the season-opener at Monza, the team has only had a single poor result this season – a non-finish in the first ‘Road to Le Mans’ race.

33 points behind DKR Engineering sits Corby, UK-based Nielsen Racing on 80 points. The team has enjoyed an excellent season with a win at the opening round at Monza and second places, albeit behind its closest rival DKR Engineering, at the Red Bull Ring, Le Castellet and Spa-Francorchamps. A poor showing at the two ‘Road to Le Mans’ races at La Sarthe has spoiled an otherwise highly consistent run in the championship.

Third in the LMP3 teams standing is the #65 GRAFF, piloted by Emilien Carde abd Adrien Chila. Being 25.5 points behind second-placed Nielsen Racing means that the first three places in the prototype teams championship are almost certainly decided.

GT3:

The GT3 championship is, however, far closer. Ebimotors and its #46 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 driven by Emanuele Busnelli and Fabio Babini sits at the top of the teams standings, just seven points ahead of Lee Mowle and his #7 Mercedes AMG GT3 that he will be sharing with Phil Keen at Portimão.

#46

Photo: Jakob Ebrey / Lemanscup.com

The Italian team from Cermenate has enjoyed wins at the Red Bull Ring and Le Castellet with podium position finishes at Monza, Le Sarthe and Spa-Francorchamps. Lee Mowle has also had two victories, at Monza and Spa as well as a second-place finish at Le Castellet A disappointing 13th-place finish in the first ‘Road to Le Mans’ race at La Sarthe has cost the team dearly in the fight for the championship.

Track action for the Michelin Le Mans Cup field begins on Friday October 20 with FP1 at 15:00 local time. Qualifying takes place on Saturday October 21 at 15:40 local time with the lights going out for two-hour race on Sunday October 22 at 09:00.

A.C.O. Adds Additional ‘Road To Le Mans’ Race For 2017 (17.02.17)

Photo: Roger Jenkins

Following the success of the inaugural ‘Road To Le Mans’ race for the LMP3 and GT3 classes in 2016, the Automobile Club de L’Ouest has announced that two races will be held during race week of the 2017 24 Heures du Mans.

Entries will be increased to 46 from 42 and teams entered for the full Michelin Le Mans Cup, which has been expanded this year to include both LMP3 and GT3 machinery, will receive an automatic acceptance into the event.

The first 55-minute race will be held on Thursday June 15 at 5.30pm (local time) with the second on the 24 Hours race day itself at 11:30am (local time).

Practice and qualification will consist of two one-hour practice sessions on Wednesday June 14 with two 20-minute qualifying sessions on Thursday June 15.

Two drivers will share the duties in each car with a 20-minute minimum drive time for each driver and a one-minute pit-stop within a defined time window.

The 2016 Road to Le Mans race was won by the #85 Nissan-powered DC Racing Ligier JS P3 driven by Thomas Laurent and Alexandre Cougnaud.

Victory And 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup To TF Sport At Estoril (22.10.16)

Redhill, England-based TF Sport took the chequered flag at Circuito do Estoril to win the sixth and final round of the inaugural Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup and win the Teams Standings. Euan Hankey took the #34 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 across the line after a champions first-stint drive from Salih Yoluc.

In a race where heavy rain threatened but never materialised, TF Sport led from early in the two-hour race and rarely looked threatened. The championship adds to TF Sport’s 2016 British GT title and concludes a highly successful year for the British team.

Continue reading Victory And 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup To TF Sport At Estoril (22.10.16)

Perfetti Puts Mentos Racing On Pole For Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup Final Round (22.10.16)

Egidio Perfetti put the #88 Mentos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R on pole for Saturday October 22’s final round of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup at Estoril.

The Norwegian driver lapped the 4.182 km circuit in 1:56.788, 1.922 seconds quicker than the #55 FFF Racing team by ACM McLaren 650S with Hiroshi Hamaguchi at the wheel.

Lining up third on the grid will the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari F488 GT3 driven by Aleksey Basov.

Qualifying took place in very wet conditions. Salih Yoluc, in the series-leading #34 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, headed the time-sheets after the first qualifying session and stayed in the car for the Superpole session. However the continuing rain meant that Yoluc could only ultimately manage only fourth on the grid.

The lights go out for the start of the two-hour sixth and final round of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup at 16:45 local time (16:45 UK time).

Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup – Estoril Finale – Round Six Preview (21.10.16)

The Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup, which has provided excellent GT3 racing alongside the European Le Mans Series, visits Circuito do Estoril, Portugal for its sixth and final round on October 22.

11 cars will take to the grid for the two-hour race which starts at 16:45 local time. BMS Scuderia Italia returns with its #7 Ferrari F458 Italia GT3, to be piloted by Luigi Luchini and Matteo Cressoni. Missing, however, from those who competed at Spa will be the #66 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán, the team sampling the series at Spa as did Optimum Motorsport at an earlier round, and the #90 Autoclub Excelsior Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

The standings could not be closer with 12 points covering the top three teams. TF Sport leads the standings on 82 points with its #34 Aston Martin Vantage V12 Vantage GT3 driven by Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey. Second, and just four points behind in the standings, is the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari F488 driven by Aleksey Basov and Victor Shaitar. Third, just a further eight points behind SMP racing, is the #88 Mentos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, piloted by Egido Perfetti and Klaus Bachler.

Although the grids have been of modest size for this inaugural season, the quality of the racing has been very high and that, combined with the beauty of the circuits, has meant that the two-hour Saturday evening races have become compulsive viewing. The sixth round will be no exception.

The 35-minute qualifying session takes place on Saturday October 22 at 11:05 local time with the flag dropping for the start of the two-hour race at 16:45. Excellent on-line coverage, compete with Rad+io Le Mans commentary, can be found at www.gt3lemanscup.com.

SMP Racing Makes It Three In A Row In Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup R5 At Spa (24.09.16)

SMP Racing, with its #72 Ferrari F488 driven by Aleksey Basov and Victor Shaitar made itn three in a row after taking the chequered flag to win Round Five of the new-for-2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

In a close second place was the #88 Mentos Racing Porshe 911 RSR driven by Egidio Perfetti and, taking the stint to the finish, Klaus Bachler.

Continue reading SMP Racing Makes It Three In A Row In Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup R5 At Spa (24.09.16)