Sunday 17 April 2016

ELMS in perspective - Jox Jottings

Kristof Vermeulen, our rather special Club Arnage ‘blogger’ has not only produced any number of impressive blogs for the site but has taken all the stunning photos as well. For the nuts and bolts of ELMS , the cars, teams and serious details go and browse his Club Arnage blogs. He also travels all over the place so he is serious asset! Clearly his input is vastly more erudite than those found historically in ‘Jox Jottings’. Even so whenever possible we will maybe fill in a few bits and bobs. 

This time let’s point the spotlight at LMP3. When it was announced there was a fear that the world of GTs was already pretty well served and Prototypes were doing OK. But there were no stepping stones upto the less cost effective ( OK expensive !!) LMP2 cars. The ACO saw an opportunity to rapidly build a new class and at the same time boost the ‘slimmish’ ELMS grids. The ACO love their prototypes and they got this dead right. The costs are manageable, the cars look serious and to date the racing has been excellent.  

We do wonder if ELMS will gradually become exclusively  aimed at Prototypes to the exclusion of GTs. This may not be such a bad thing since GT cars have any number of opportunities to race all over the world.. prototypes don’t. There were nineteen LMP3 cars here at Silverstone with a further fifteen LMP2 machines and ‘modest’ nine LMGTE examples not forgetting the CDNT SR41. (Just in case you missed it CDNT stands for ‘Cars Displaying New Technology’.
In this case the new technology surrounds the set up to enable Eric Sausset who is disabled to drive the car. This might be short-lived New Technology because the regulations state that next year all the cars will have roofs). All this lot added up to a grid of forty four cars which must be close to the maximum allowed on the GP circuit for GT and Prototype cars!

The future looks very rosy as not only Ligier are building cars.. so are Ginetta, Norma, Adess, Dome and Riley. Already various National Championships are planning on running events for these cars in the future.

The cars weigh in at 930 kgs with an 85 litre fuel tank. The engines are all Nissan V8 and all the cars have to have a six speed gearbox. So the chassis suppliers are limited as is the engine supplier and the sale price of the new car, complete, must not exceed €206,000.  Good value when you reckon a road going Ferrari 488 could cost you around €215,387.35. So they look good, they are ‘sensibly’ priced, there are plenty of places to race one and on Saturday here at Silverstone out of the 44 cars that started 34 finished after four hours and 432 miles.