Friday 21 July 2017

ELMS 2017: 36 cars on the grid for the 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring

For the fifth year since the relaunch of the European Le Mans Series, the Red Bull Ring is the home of the third round of the ELMS championship. 

Beautiful situated in the Styrian mountains, the Red Bull Ring is one of the most beautiful tracks on the ELMS calendar for teams, drivers, and media. With a lenght of 4,326 km and 9 corners, we've always seen action packed on this track. 

A packed grid again in the European Le Mans Series this weekend, with 36 cars on the grid for Sunday's race.  
13 cars will race in the LMP2 class. All 12 full season entrants are present at the Red Bull Ring, they will be joined by SMP Racing which fields its Dallara P217 for the first time this season. 2 young Russian drivers get their chance in the car: Matevos Issakyan andEgor Orudzhev.

Ryo Hirakawa isn't in Austria due to his racing commitments in the Japanese Super GT Championship this weekend. He will be replaced by Nicholas Minassian in the #22 G-Drive Oreca who returns to endurance racing, and already featured as reserve driver for the team at Le Mans. Minassian will also race at Paul Ricard next month. Olivier Pla also returns to the ELMS, the Ford factory driver joins IDEC Sport again in the #28 Ligier JSP217 'till the end of the season. In the #40 Graff, Gustavo Yacaman joins James Allen and Richard Bradley. 

 LMP3 remains the biggest class, with a field of 17 cars this weekend. Duqueine Engineering replaced one of its Ligiers with a Norma M30, which will be driven by Antonin Borga, David Droux and Nicolas Schatz. That makes three Norma's on the grid now competing with the Ligier JSP3's. Oregon Team and M. Racing-YMR are the other teams racing with the Norma.

A few driver changes to be noted on the LMP3 grid: Henri Hassid in the #8 Duqueine Engineering Ligier has been replaced by Douglas Lundberg. In the #12 Eurointernational Ricky Capo and James Dayson are making their debut in the series.  

The GTE field is down to 6 again, the Larbre Corvette not joining the field anymore as last time in Monza. Just one change to be reported on the grid, JMW Motorsport now races its new Ferrari F488 in which they won the GTE-Am class at Le Mans last month. 

The first 90 minute practice session for the 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring will be run this afternoon at 15.20h local time.

Useful links: 

Kristof Vermeulen.