Hypercar, LMP2 and hydrogen updates from ACO

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has held their traditional press conference prior to the 24 hours race, where they were revealing some of the future plans for 2025 and beyond. The FIA World Motor Sport Council has officially approved the demand for the Hypercar manufacturers to enter at least two cars each, if they want to compete in the FIA WEC. The two cars will score points for the FIA Hypercar World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship, while any additional entries will run for the FIA World Cup for Hypercar Teams. The FIA…

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Michelin extends contract with ACO

Michelin has extended their long time contract with the ACO, in a new multi-year agreement. The deal includes the Michelin Le Mans Cup, who has run under that banner for nine years, and is an important stepping stone into other ACO racing for both teams and drivers. A prime example is TF Sport, who started out with a single Aston Martin Vantage GT3, and has moved on to run both LMP2 and GT3 cars in the Asian Le Mans Series, and has run (and won) the 24 Hours of Le…

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Two sportscar teams closing their doors

The sportscar world has lost two teams within just a few days. The German outfit Project 1, and Danish team GMB Motorsport has had to stop their activities. Project 1, who previously was known as Tolomit, has chosen to close their doors, since they no longer can find the budget to run their programmes. They have been synonymous with Porsche for many years, and has participated in several Carrera Cup championships, including winning the German championship with Rene Rast, Philipp Eng and Christian Menzel. Eng would go on to win…

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Albuquerque replaced by Di Resta

United Autosports has to do another tweak to their 2024 season drivers. This time it hits the European Le Mans Series line-up, after having to change plans amongst the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship drivers in previous months. The team has come to the conclusion, that Filipe Albuquerque will be too busy in the IMSA championship, where the Portuguese driver will be racing for Wayne Taylor Racing in the GTP category. Albuquerque has been a fixed member of UA for many years, but there has always been a lot of issue with…

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Gibson continues in LMP2

The future for the LMP2 engines has been announced. It will once again be Gibson Technology, who will deliver the engines for the popular prototypes. The deal is for five more seasons, starting in 2026, and will be a 4,2 liter naturally aspirated 4,2 liter V8, just like the current GK428 engine is. This is an exclusive deal, just like the one that Gibson got in 2017, when the current generation of LMP2 cars were introduced. Prior to that, there was a free choice of engine manufacturer, as well as…

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WTM thrown out of Spa race

WTM by Rinaldi Racing #12 has lost their Pole Position, and has been thrown out of the European Le Mans Series meeting at Spa Francorchamps. The reason is down to their Bronze-rated driver Torsten Kratz not doing a single lap in the official sessions, other than the Bronze test on Friday afternoon, and that doesn’t count towards the approved sessions, since no Pro drivers are on the track. The team decided to skip FP1, to save tires for the race. They had a technical issue in FP2, so they only…

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ELMS and LMC 2024 schedules revealed

The European Le Mans Series and the Michelin Le Mans Cup have announced their racing schedules for the 2024 season. Five of the six weekends are returnees, while none of the classes have previously participated at the sixth round. The season starts out with three days of Prologue at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, just like in 2023. Paul Ricard near Le Castellet in the south of France is run three weeks later, prior to the Le Mans break. Or maybe we should put break in inverted commas. A lot…

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IE: The programmes almost ready for 2024

Inter Europol Competition are really close to having the programmes for the 2024 season ready. The Polish team has been a long time member of the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series paddocks, while they have been a bit in and out of the Asian Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup, Ligier European Series, and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. With the new rules in FIA WEC in 2024, with LMP2 no longer being a part of the series, the team has to move in other directions.…

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UA moves to full American season

United Autosports has announced their overall plans for the 2024 season. The British-American team has been a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the past many seasons in the LMP2 category, but that category will disappear after the 2023 season, so their focus moves towards a full IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign. They have only done selected races so far, including the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours, but now they want to compete at all the rounds, that LMP2 cars are present at. The team will…

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LMP2 no longer part of FIA WEC

It has been rumoured for a long time, but it was made official today. The LMP2 category will no longer be part of the FIA World Endurance Championship, following the conclusion of the 2023 season. The category has been there from the very start of the championship back in 2012, and has been a platform for many drivers, to make a step up to the LMP1 or the current Hypercar category. The reason for the category to disappear is down to physical space for it in the FIA WEC. The…

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ELMS double up in Portimao, LMC races in Aragon

The European Le Mans Series will be finishing the 2023 season off with two races at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. That is the decision, following the cancellation of Imola, announced earlier this week. The Michelin Le Mans Cup will add a race weekend at Aragon in Spain, as a support to the ELMS – a round they weren’t meant to do originally. The cancelation of Imola is down to renovation of the pit- and paddock area, which hasn’t been finished on schedule, so both ELMS and LMC teams can’t be…

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LMEM cancels Imola round – working on a solution

The European Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup have had to cancel their 2 and 4 hours respectively at Imola, which was meant to be run on the first weekend of May 2023. The cancellation is due to ongoing work in the pits and paddock area not being finished yet, so they won’t be able to host the ELMS and Michelin Le Mans Cup rounds. The Italian round has been a bit of an issue for ACO and LMEM, who is behind the ELMS and LMC series. The…

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Thiim new driver at GMB Motorsport

Nicki Thiim is a new driver at GMB Motorsport, once the team enters the European Le Mans Series 2023. The Danish team has grabbed the Aston Martin works driver for their brand new Aston Martin Vantage GTE car, which will compete in both the ELMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which they won an entry for, thanks to their Michelin Le Mans Cup Championship win in 2022. Thiim will however only be competing for the team at the ELMS races, since he already has an FIA WEC commitment…

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New, old layout in Barcelona

When the opening race of the European Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup 2023 will be held at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, it will be on a new-old layout. The Spanish track has chosen to revert to the original configuration, so the final two turns will be two very fast right-handers, instead of the ultra-slow chicane, which has been utilized for the last 15 years. The chicane was made due to safety concerns regarding the speed of the Formula 1 cars, in case of an accident. But the track…

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The 62 cars at Le Mans 2023

The centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will have 62 cars on the starting grid. It’s been a hundred years since the very first edition of the race will be celebrated in all sorts of ways, on June 10-11 2023. The entry list has just been revealed, one of the most interesting things is the total number of 16 Hypercar entries. That number will be reached with a combination of LMH and LMDh cars. Porsche will be represented with four cars, while Caddilac has three. Toyota Gazoo…

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UA got their third ELMS car sorted

United Autosports has announced the drivers for their third LMP2 entry for the 2023 European Le Mans Series. That will be Phil Hanson, Marino Sato, and Oliver Jarvis. Phil Hanson will contest his sixth ELMS season in a row for the team. The Brit has been Champion in both the FIA WEC and ELMS, and has often raced in both series in parallel programmes. Oliver Jarvis is also active in the FIA WEC. The Brit is a sportscar veteran by now, but he still hasn’t competed in a full season…

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TF Sport with two cars in ELMS

TF Sport will once again run two cars in the European Le Mans Series 2023. The British team has slowly received higher and higher status at Aston Martin, running cars in Europe and USA, plus the rest of the world in the FIA World Endurance Championship, where they are the defending champions. John Hartshorne and Jonny Adam will once again share car #95, just like they did in 2021 and 2022. They will have a new, young talent as their Silver-ranked driver. British racer Ben Tuck is brand new in…

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UA ready with second car in ELMS

United Autosports are ready with their second car for the 2023 European Le Mans Series. It will be all-familiar faces onboard the ORECA 07 Gibson #23. Paul Di Resta will share the car with Jim McGuire and Guy Smith. Di Resta has been with UA for many years, but a bit on-off depending on his tasks around Formula 1. He was part of the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 winning crew, and has since become a works driver for Peugeot TotalEnergies in FIA World Endurance Championship. He will…

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Ferrari’s GT drivers assigned

Ferrari has assigned all their GT Competizione drivers for the 2023 season. In the FIA World Endurance Championship, the AF Corse Ferrari #54 pairing of Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr will be supported by Davide Rigon. Rigon will replace Nick Cassidy in the GTE Am effort. Kessel Racing Ferrari #57 will have Daniel Serra join Takeshi Kimura and Scott Huffaker in the yellow Car Guy branded GTE Am contender. Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari #83 previously made an announcement about Lilou Wadoux joining Luis Perez Companc. They will have Alessio…

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Very few spots left for Le Mans

Despite it still being more than a month until the closing date entry submissions, it’s already clear that there are only very few spots left for the 2023 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That is of course depending on all the new Hypercar competitors being ready to compete, when we get to June. But if we look at the entry list for the FIA World Endurance Championship, which was announced last week, as the basis, we might end up with less than a dozen of available spots,…

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