This coming Sunday, August 27th, 35 competitors will hit the track at the Paul Ricard circuit in France for the fourth round of the 2017 European Le Mans Series season, and as many as seven French teams will be participating on their home playing field.
The only change from the entry list of the preceding round at the Red Bull Ring concerns Tockwith Motorsports, now that it has ended its participation on the heels of a disagreement between the team running the car and the owner of the #34 Ligier JS P217 which finished in ninth place in the LMP2 class at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
As for the drivers, only two LMP3 class line-ups have been modified. Canadian driver James Dayson will be replaced by the American Maxwell Hanratty at the wheel of the Eurointernational team's #12 Ligier JS P3, and Swedish driver Douglas Lundberg will be replaced by Frenchman Nicolas Melin in Duqueine Engineering's #8 Norma. After entering two Ligiers through the Austrian round, in which one Ligier and Norma were entered, the French outfit fully abandoned Onroak Automotive's prototype for two Normas.
Per usual, drivers categorized Bronze by the FIA will be first to take the track for a 30-minute session tomorrow, Friday, starting at 11:20 a.m. (10:20 a.m. in the U.K.) before all their colleagues join them for the first 90-minute free practice session beginning at 3:05 p.m.
The second 90-minute session will take place Saturday, August 26th at 9:25 a.m. (8:25 a.m. in the U.K.), then the appropriate drivers will head into 10-minute qualifying sessions for each of the three classes. LMGTE competitors will kick things off at 1:45 p.m. followed by the LMP3 class at 2:05 p.m. and LMP2 will bring up the rear at 2:25 p.m. Beforehand, spectators will have acces to pit lane for the pitwalk between 12:50 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 27th will start off with a second pitwalk from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. in the U.K.) while the drivers take part in a 30-minute autograph session from 9:10 a.m. to 9:40 a.m. Once pit lane is clear, starting procedures for the 4 Hours of Le Castellet will begin, with the start to be given at noon local time.
PHOTO (Copyright - Jakob Ebrey/ELMS)