A few months after celebrating and awarding titles to last year's champions in Portimão, the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) resumes this weekend at Le Castellet for the first round of the 2019 season. Here's how the classes break down:
- LMP2: 18 cars (a record for the European championship)
- LMP3: 14 cars
- LMGTE: 9 cars
The caliber of teams and their potential are just as impressive as the number of entrants, as evidenced by the time record established by Anders Fjordbach during the first session of official tests at the Paul Ricard circuit, with a lap completed in 1:40.404. The time clocked (0.6 seconds faster than the previous record) at the wheel of High Class Racing's #20 ORECA proves the team is a new top LMP2 contender at the 5.791 km-circuit.
Also, this year the European Le Mans Series is welcoming an all-female driver line-up (LMGTE class) for the first time ever. Swiss team Kessel Racing is entrusting its #83 Ferrari 488 to Danish driver Michelle Gatting, Swiss driver Rachel Frey and Italian driver Manuela Gostner. The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Women In Motorsports is supporting the Kessel Racing team for its participation in the 87th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (15-16 June).
Fun Fact: this opening round of the 2019 ELMS season will be marked by the first appearance of Rooky, the championship's new mascot!
4 Hours of Le Castellet Schedule:
- Free Practice 1 - Friday 12 April at 11:05 (90 mins.)
- Bronze Drive Collective Test - Friday 12 April at 15:05 (30 mins.)
- Free Practice 2 - Saturday 13 April at 09:00 (90 mins.)
- LMGTE Qualifying - Saturday 13 April at 12:55 (10 mins.)
- LMP3 Qualifying - Saturday 13 April at 13:15 (10 mins.)
- LMP2 Qualifying - Saturday 13 April at 13:35 (10 mins.)
- Race - Sunday 14 April at 12:30 (240 mins.)
For more information, go to the official European Le Mans Series website.