For the first time ever, a championship focused solely on LMP3s and GT3s was kicked off in Europe. It was an immediate hit with nearly 20 cars on the starting grid throughout the season and more than 50 at Road to Le Mans, the curtain-raiser to 24 Hours of Le Mans. Here's a look back at the season!
The Michelin Le Mans Cup is the fruit of a collaboration between Michelin and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. After only admitting GT3s in 2016, the LMP3s joined the party this year. Five rounds (Monza, Red Bull Ring, Le Castellet, Spa and Portimão) were on the program, with the season culminating at Road to Le Mans (two races). All the events took place as a preamble to the European Le Mans Series (except Road to Le Mans which serves as a lead-in to the 24 Hours of Le Mans).
In the end, the title in the LMP3 class went to DKR Engineering's #3 Norma M30 driven by Jean Glorieux and Alexander Toril who claimed the top step on the podium at four of the seven races. The team led by Kendy Janclaes (read article) dominated the field this year and will head into the European Le Mans Series in 2018 and will participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 class.
Unlike for the LMP3s, on the GT3 side nothing was decided before the finale held at Portimão, Portugal. It all came down to a battle between Ebimotors' #46 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and Lee Mowle's #7 Mercedes AMG GT3. After the dust had settled, the Italian car driven by Emmanuelle Buesneli and Fabio Babini (six participations in the 24 Hours of Le Mans) walked away with the crown. This triumph has allowed the transalpine team to earn an automatic invitation to the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMGTE Am class.
Now that the 2017 season has come to a close, we can't wait for 2018 which will undoubtedly include even more cars on the starting grid.
VIDEO: YouTube - Michelin Le Mans Cup
PHOTO (Copyright - Jakob Ebrey Photography): The start at the 2017 Michelin Le Mans Cup round at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.