Friday 10 July 2015

ELMS ready for third race of the season at Red Bull Ring in Austria

With Le Mans 4 weeks behind us, the European Le Mans Series gets ready for its third round of the 2015 season at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.

No less than 12 LMP2's will race on Sunday, the biggest LMP2 grid so far this season.  Thiriet by TDS will be eager to score a second win after their class perfomance at Imola and build up their 2-point lead in the championship over Greaves racing.  SMP Racing lines up both of its BR-01 prototypes, as does Ibanez Racing with their Oreca 03-Nissans.  The Algarve Pro Ligier-Nissan makes its debut in the championship.  Murphy Prototypes will be on a high after their 5th place in Le Mans and their great race at Imola in May.  Completing the grid will be Jota Sport, currently third, 9 points behind Thiriet, Krohn Racing (with Julien Canal replacing Ozz Negri), Pegasus Racing and Eurasia Motorsport.

In LMP3 only four cars (all Ginetta's) will be on the grid in Austria.  Team LNT will race 2 cars (one of them borrowed from the University of Bolton Team), Villorba Corse and SVK by Speed Factory will complete the grid.  The season's two final races at Le Castellet and Estoril should have an increased grid for LMP3 with the debut of several new teams and hopefully the highly anticipated and blimingly quick Ligier JS P3 from Onroak Automotive.  The paddock is buzzing with new and existing teams showing interest in LMP3, this might be a class to watch in the near future. 

In LMGTE and GTC there are no changes to both starting grids.  The battle in GTE will be tight again with AT Racing defending their victory in Imola over Proton Competition's Porsche RSR.  Gulf Racing UK with the blue/orange 911 RSR will be ready to get on the podium again, defending their second place in the championship !  The BMW Z4 GTE by Marc VDS scored two 4th places in Silverstone and Imola, will they be able to squeeze themselves between the Ferrari and Porsches of the championship's leading teams ?  GTC has a 5 car entry with the Thiriet BMW Z4 and the Massive Motorsports Aston Vantage getting a BOP with a 20 kg weight reduction.  The 3 AF Corse Ferrari's will race in the same spec as the precious races. 

With the Formula Renault 3.5 series, 2 races in the TCR touring car championship and a Red Bull Nascar show on Sunday, this weekend will be a true festival of motorsport.  Endurance racing, formula racing and touringcars in a wonderfull setting under the sun, all set for a great weekend. And above all, entrance is free for all spectators, including the grandstands, autograph session and lots of animation in the paddock.

ELMS track action starts Saturday at 10.30 for the first practice session and the second one at 14h40.  Qualifying is Sundaymorning, the 4 hours of the Red Bull Ring will be run Sunday afternoon at 13.30h.  The race will be shown live on MotorsTV and

Kristof Vermeulen