Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup action accompanies the European Le Mans Series when Round 3 of the new-for-2016 GT3 series visits the Red Bull Ring in Austria on July 17.
12 cars will take to the grid, representing eight teams from six countries.
FFF Racing team By ACM will bring its #5 Lamborghini Huracán and #55 McLaren 650S. The #5 car sees the return of Andrea Calderelli who, for this round, is joined by Taiyou Lida from Japan. The #55 McLaren 650S will be driven by the regular driver pairing of Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs.
AF Corse return with its pair of Ferrari F458 Italia GT3s. In the #14 car Pierre-Marie De Leener will be joined by Adrien De Leener, the driver pairing from ‘Road To le Mans’. The #71 car has the driver pairing from the first two rounds; that of Mads Rasmussen and Felipe Barreiros.
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.”
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.
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→
Redhill, Surrey-based TF Sport won the inaugural round of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup, a six-round championship which runs alongside the European Le mans Series.
The #34 Aston Martin V12 Vantage, with Salih Yoluc from Turkey taking the lead-off driving stint, lead from the first corner after an incident between the #88 Mentos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Egido Perfetti and the pole-sitting #7 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari F458 Italia of Luigi Lucchini. The incident resulted in a drive-through penalty for the #88 car and it pitted after four laps, after which it did not rejoin.
Yoluc in the #34 car was then able to pull away from the pack before he passed the car to Euan Hankey. Hankey finished over 16 seconds clear of the #55 FFF Racing Team by ACM Mclaren 650S driven by Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Hiroshi Hamaguchi. The second FFF Racing Team by ACM car, the #5 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 did not start due to damage sustained in the first practice session.
The final podium slot was taken by the #26 Classic & Modern Racing Ferrari F458 Italia GT3 driven by Matthieu Vaxiviere and Nicolas Misslin. The #26 car finished just over 3 seconds ahead of the #51 AF Corse Ferrari F488 driven by Francesco Castellaci who was handed the car by Thomas Flohr. Castellaci was rapidly closing the gap to the #25 car but ran out of laps to claim a podium position.
Although the first round of the new-for-2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup yielded a modest field, it is clear how this series has been positioned to be attractive to the European-based amateur driver. After a race set in the picturesque landscape of the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, this championship is bound to attract a lot of attention.
As an additional, and huge, incentive, the winners of the championship earn an entry into the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans
The cars will next see track action in the ‘Road to Le Mans’ race as part of the build-up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 18.
The inaugural round of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup, and the opening round of the 2016 season takes place at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola on Saturday May 14.
The grid assembled for Saturday’s race represents a foundation on which the ACO will undoubtedly build over the coming months. 11 cars will contest the opening the opening round, representing eight teams from five different countries.
FFF Racing Team by ACM is a young team formed from the joining of FFF Automobile, managed by Fu Songyang and ACM, owned by Andrea Caldarelli. The team has entered a Lamborghini Huracán and a McLaren 650S. The #5 Lamborghini Huracán will be driven by Songyang and Caldarelli. The #55 McLaren 650S will be driven by Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs. Quaife-Hobbs moved into endurance racing with Von Ryan Racing in 2015 and already has experience in the McLaren 650S.
Four Ferrari F458 Italia GT3s are entered for Imola. BMS Scuderia Italia has entered the #7 car to be driven by all-Italian line-up of Luigi Lucchini and Mateo Cressoni. Scuderia Villorba Corse has entered the #8 car with French pairing of Cedric Mezard and Steeve Hiesse sharing the driving duties. AF Corse has entered two F458s; the #14 car with Pierre Marie de Leener and Rui Águas at the wheel and the #71 with Felipe Barreiros and Mads Rasmussen sharing the driving duties.
AF Corse will have a busy weekend as it has also entered a Ferrari F488, the #51, which will be driven by Thomas Flohr and Franceso Castellacci. A further F488 is entered by Silverstone-based FF Corse with Johnny Mowlem and Ivor Dunbar, whom Mowlem has coached, at the wheel.
A single Audi R8 LMS is entered by York-based Tockwith Motorsports with its #19 car being driven by Phillip Hanson and Nigel Moore.
TF Sport enters the sole Aston Martin in the augural race with its #34 V12 Vantage GT3, to be driven by Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey.
Mentos Racing rounds off the entrants with its #88 Porsche 911 GT3 R, in which Egido Perfetti is currently the sole declared driver.
Qualifying starts at 11:20 on Saturday May 14 with the lights going out for the start of the two hour race at 17:00 later in the day.
Villorba Corse, from its base north of Treviso, Italy, has announced that it will enter the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup in conjunction with its “Racing With Ferrari” programme.
The Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup is a new international series created by the Automobile Club L’Ouest (ACO) and is designed primarily for amateur drivers in exclusively GT3 machinery. Six rounds will held in 2016, supporting the European Le Mans Series, with the first round to be held at Imola on May 14.
Villorba Corse’s driver line-up will be the French pairing of Cedric Mezard and Steeve Hiesse. They will be campaigning the team’s Ferrari 458 GT3.
“Our partnership with Ferrari has been playing a crucial role in the Villorba Corse activities for many years,” said Team Principal Raimondo Amadio. “In 2016 it will be focused on the Michelin GT3 Le Mans, a very interesting championship with a well-organised calendar, including Le Mans.”
The team is very happy with its current driver selection and is already looking at bringing a second car to the championship.
“We already know Mezard and Hiesse,” continued Amadia. “We can get significant results with them and we want a second car in the Championship as soon as possible.”
The first round of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup will take place at Imola on May 14.
"When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is…. just waiting. " Steve McQueen – "Le Mans" – 1971