This year’s European Le Mans Series (ELMS) culminated in a head-to-head between DragonSpeed (as operator of the G-Drive Racing Oreca 07) and United Autosports (Ligier).
Both teams triumphed during the six-round championship, United Autosports winning twice and G-Drive racing once.
Having dominated LMP3 in 2016, United Autosports made a promising start in LMP2 when Filipe Albuquerque, Hugo de Sadeleer and Will Owen overtook G-Drive Racing in the closing laps of the season-opener at Silverstone.
G-Drive Racing took revenge in the second round at Monza. Despite a second win for United Autosports at the Red Bull Ring, G-Drive Racing’s consistency in the remaining rounds - four podium places - tipped the balance between the two rivals. After the last race in Portimao, G-Drive was twelve points ahead. However, United Autosports retained its title in the LMP3 class.
As well as its role with G-Drive Racing, DragonSpeed also took part in the ELMS in its own right. The team was true to its name, taking three pole positions and one second place. However, its surge of speed was not enough to attain the championship podium and the firebreather settled for eighth place.
Next season, DragonSpeed will be competing in the LMP1 class of the World Endurance Championship, fielding the BR1 chassis designed by Dallara for Russian businessman Boris Rotenberg, owner of SMP Racing.
Following an excellent fifth place overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, United Autosports has recently announced it will be on the grid of the 24 Hours of Daytona in January with two world champion drivers, Fernando Alonso and Bruno Senna.
Photo: A stalwart of the ELMS in LMP2, DragonSpeed will be the first American team in LMP1 in the World Endurance Championship 2018-2019 Super Season.