Friday 10 May 2019

ELMS: 42 cars in Monza this weekend for the second race of the season

The European Le Mans Series set up camp in Monza this weekend for the second race of the season.  After an exciting opening race at Paul Ricard, with 4 hours of uninterrupted racing, 42 cars will be on the grid for Sunday’s 4 Hours of Monza. 

Dragonspeed arrives in Monza as championship leaders after winning in France last month, with Renger Van Der Zande making his debut in the series. In LMP3 Ultimate will want to build further on their success from last month while the LMGTE sees the introduction of success ballast for the first time in the championship. It will be interesting to see how this will affect laptimes and race strategy over the weekend.   


19 cars are on the entry list for the LMP2 class, one up from last month at Le Castellet.  Cetilar Racing Villorba Corse joins the LMP2 class for a one-off race in the series this season before heading to Le Mans and the FIA WEC next season. The now blue and green Dallara will be driven by the team’s regular drivers Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto and Andrea Belicchi.  

Harry Tincknell returns to the series this weekend taking up his seat in the #45 Carlin Dallara after missing out the first race last month due to a clash with the IMSA race at Long Beach. Tincknell will race the remainder of the season with the British team.  Another new face in the LMP2 paddock is Will Owen in the #32 United Autosports Ligier.  Owen also missed Le Castellet due to the IMSA race and will now join Alex Brundle and Ryan Cullen for the rest of the season. 

No Ben Hanley at Dragonspeed this weekend.  The winner of last months race will be replaced by Dutchman Renger Van Der Zande, who will make his debut in the European Le Mans Series.  Henrik Hedman and James Allen will join him in the #21 Oreca. 

Unfortunately Mark Patterson won’t be able to race in the #25 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca.  Patterson had a big accident during testing on Thursday at the first chicane in Monza. Breaking away at the rear, his Oreca spun across the track into the second Algarve Pro car of Tacksung Kim. A huge impact, writing off Patterson’s chassis and causing some heavy damage to the #31 car.  Both cars will run at the 4 hours though, the team getting an ex Graff chassis and having repaired the #31. Patterson is reported to suffer from a broken pelvis and will also miss Le Mans next month, Kim lucky got away from the incident with some bruises.  


The LMP3 grid for Monza remains unchanged, with just one driver change compared to last months race in the south of France. 

Inter Europol Competition added Belgian driver Sam Dejonghe to the crew of the #14 Ligier JSP3.  Dejonghe, who is currently development driver for Mahindra Racing in the Formula E championship and races in the Belcar championship, will share the #14 with Paul Scheuschner for the rest ion the season. Dejonghe said to be happy to be back in the paddock, and to do so with a team like Inter Europol Competition. “I love my role with the Mahindra team, where I spend most of my time doing development and in the simulator, but am aware that I need to race to keep my competitive edge, and the ELMS feels like the perfect environment for my ambition to climb up the prototype ladder. The LMP3 is a very good-looking car, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!”


According to the new regulations for the 2019 season, the LMGTE class will see the addition of succes ballast for the first time this season. The amount of ballast is based on the result of the previous race and championship standings and will be calculated in three stages: 

  • Table A is the result from the previous race, with 15kg for the winning car, 10kg for second place and 5kg for third.
  • Table B is the result from the race preceding the previous event with the same ballast of 15kg, 10kg and 5kg.
  • Table C is the current championship positions, with 15kg for the championship leaders, 10kg for the second placed car in the championship and 5kg for third.
For the Monza race, the success ballast is calculated by adding the three tables together. The no51 Luzich Racing Ferrari, which won the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, will receive 30kg of success ballast for the 4 Hours of Monza (15kg for winning the race (Table A) and 15kg for leading the championship).  As there was no event prior to Le Castellet then the ballast for Table B is 0kg. The no83 Kessel Racing Ferrari will have 20kg of ballast for the 4 Hours of Monza (10kg + 10kg) and the no77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche will have 10kg (5kg + 5kg) for this weekend.

The #88 Proton Porsche won’t be in action this weekend in Monza.  Although present at the track, only Thomas Preining has been listed as driver. Apparently the other two seats couldn’t be filled for this race. The car has also been rebadged, not longer featuring the Felbermayr livery from Paul Ricard last month. 

Kristof Vermeulen.