2016 Gets Underway with Massive 45 Car Grid at Silverstone

Via ELMS Media/Photo Adrena­l­Me­dia

On Sat­ur­day 16 April 2016, Sil­ver­stone, the home of British motor­sport, will rever­ber­ate to the sound of 45 rac­ing engines as the Euro­pean Le Mans Series gets under­way. The 128 dri­vers and 34 teams will rep­re­sent 26 dif­fer­ent nations from Europe, Asia, North and South Amer­i­ca and will be com­pet­ing across the three class­es to get the best start to the sea­son as they fight for the title of 2016 Euro­pean Le Mans Series Cham­pi­on.

The 4 Hours of Sil­ver­stone will take place on the full 5.901km Grand Prix cir­cuit on the same sched­ule as the open­ing round of the FIA World Endurance Cham­pi­onship.

The LMP2 grid will con­sist of 15 entries plus one for the SRT41 by Oak Rac­ing Mor­gan-Nis­san in the Inno­v­a­tive Car cat­e­go­ry.

In 2015 Greaves Motor­sport got their cham­pi­onship win­ning sea­son off to a good start with a win on home turf at Sil­ver­stone. In 2016 the will be hop­ing for a repeat per­for­mance with their new Ligi­er JS P2-Nis­san they are run­ning for mul­ti­ple Day­tona 24 and 12 Hours of Sebring win­ner Memo Rojas, reign­ing FIA WEC LMP2 Dri­vers’ Cham­pi­on Julien Canal and Jakub Gier­mazi­ak.

In total there are six Ligi­er JS P2 in the LMP2 cat­e­go­ry, four, includ­ing the Greaves Motor­sport car plus Panis Barthez Com­pe­ti­tion, Algarve Pro Rac­ing and Krohn Rac­ing, pow­ered by Nis­san and two for SO24! By Lom­bard Rac­ing and IDEC Sport Rac­ing with Judd engines.

The Panis Barthez Com­pe­ti­tion Ligi­er will fea­ture for­mer French Soc­cer star Fabi­en Barthez, who is mak­ing his Le Mans Pro­to­type debut at Sil­ver­stone, Tim­o­the Buret and for­mer mul­ti­ple ELMS Cham­pi­on Paul Loup Chatin.

The Algarve Pro Rac­ing Ligi­er will also fea­ture anoth­er sport­ing leg­end as the UK’s most dec­o­rat­ed Olympian Sir Chris Hoy begins the sea­son his ambi­tion of com­pet­ing at Le Mans comes to fruition. The for­mer cycling star won the inau­gur­al ELMS LMP3 title in 2015 and has now stepped up to LMP2 along­side fel­low Briton Michael Mune­mann and India’s Parth Ghor­pade.

There are five ORECA chas­sis on the 2016 grid, three of which are ORECA 05-Nis­sans run by Drag­on­speed, Eura­sia Motor­sport and 2015 Vice Cham­pi­ons Thiri­et by TDS Rac­ing, with Pierre Thiri­et shar­ing the dri­ving duties in 2016 with FIA WEC LMP1 Pri­va­teer Cham­pi­on Math­ias Beche and Japan’s Ryo Hiraka­ma. The two open cock­pit ORECA 03Rs are run by Race Per­for­mance, who are run­ning a Judd engine, and Mur­phy Pro­to­types with a Nis­san pow­ered car.

The Russ­ian built BR01 returns to the ELMS in 2016 with the SMP Rac­ing team run­ning two Nis­san pow­ered cars. The grid is com­plet­ed by the Gib­son 015S-Nis­san for G-Dri­ve Rac­ing, with race win­ners Simon Dolan and Har­ry Tinck­nell being joined by for­mer Cater­ham F1 dri­ver Giedo Van Der Garde, and the Mor­gan-Nis­san run by Pega­sus Rac­ing which will fea­ture one of the two female dri­vers on the grid, French dri­ver Inès Tait­tinger.

The LMP3 field will fea­ture a mas­sive 20 car entry, with all but one of the entries run­ning the Ligi­er JS P3 –Nis­san. The excep­tion is the MurphyP3-3Dimensional.com Ginet­ta-Nis­san that the Irish team is run­ning for Amer­i­can Tony Ave and Venezula’s Doug Peter­son.

Amer­i­can team Unit­ed Autosports fin­ished the offi­cial test in Le Castel­let at the top of the tim­ing sheets and the two Ligiers will be hop­ing for big things at Sil­ver­stone as four of the six dri­vers, Alex Brun­dle, Chris­t­ian Eng­land, Wayne Boyd and Matt Bell, are British. Two teams on the MP3 entry are British, with 360 Rac­ing and RLR MSPORT field­ing a Ligi­er-Nis­san each.

Oak Rac­ing are also enter­ing two Ligiers, with the no24 car fea­tur­ing Team Own­er and Onroak Pres­i­dent Jacques Nico­let and son Pierre. Oak Rac­ing are just two of nine cars rac­ing under the French Tri­col­or with Graff and Duqueine Engi­neer­ing run­ning a pair of Ligiers each and sin­gle car entries for M Rac­ing-YMR, Uli­mate and Panis Barthez Com­pe­ti­tion.

Poland is rep­re­sent­ed as a team entry on the ELMS grid for the first time with Inter Europol Com­pe­ti­tion for Jakub Smiechows­ki and French­man Thomas Dagoneau

 The Vil­lor­ba Corse team returns in 2016, swap­ping the Ginet­ta the Ital­ians ran last sea­son for a Ligi­er in 2016. Like Euroin­t­er­na­tion­al they have also elect­ed to field an all Ital­ian three dri­ver line up.

The final entry is the Span­ish team By Speed Fac­to­ry who also return in 2016 after com­pet­ing in the LMP3 cat­e­go­ry last sea­son. Spaniards Jesus Fuster and Alvaro Fontes will be joined by British dri­ver Tom Jack­son.

The LMGTE cat­e­go­ry fea­tures nine entries and it is cer­tain­ly a qual­i­ty grid for the 2016 sea­son, with five Fer­rari 458s, two Porsche 911 RSR 991 and two Aston Mar­tin V8 Van­tage.

Denmark’s reign­ing ELMS LMGTE cham­pi­ons For­mu­la Rac­ing return with an all Dan­ish dri­ver line­up. 2015 cham­pi­ons John­ny Laursen and Mikkel Mac will be joined by Christi­na Nielsen in the Fer­rari 458 Italia. Nielsen is no stranger to endurance rac­ing hav­ing com­pet­ed in the Unit­ed States and made appear­ances in the ELMS and start­ed the 2016 sea­son with a class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring ear­li­er in March.

AF Corse will run two F458s with the Ital­ian team fea­tur­ing two dri­ver line ups large­ly unchanged from the 2015 sea­son. Rui Aguas, Mar­co Cio­ci and Pier­guiseppe Per­azz­i­ni will run in the no51 car, while British dri­vers Aaron Scott and Dun­can Cameron with join Irish­man Matt Grif­fin in the no55 Fer­rari at Sil­ver­stone.

Aus­tri­an team AT Rac­ing also return with an unchanged line­up after tast­ing vic­to­ry in 2015. Father and son duo Alexan­der Talk­a­n­it­sa junior and senior will be with Alessan­dro Pier Gui­di once again in the no56 Fer­rari.

The final Fer­rari on the LMGTE grid will by the British JMW Motor­sport entry, with Britain’s Rory Butch­er and Rob Smith being joined by for­mer FIA GT1 World Cham­pi­on Andrea Bertoli­ni.

After com­pet­ing in the final race in Esto­ril last year, 2015 British GT Cham­pi­ons Andrew Howard and Jon­ny Adam will com­pete for a full sea­son in ELMS along­side Alex Mac­Dowall in the Aston Mar­tin Van­tage. Roald Goethe, Stu­art Hall and Richie Stan­away make a wel­come return to the ELMS in the no96 Aston Mar­tin.

Porsche will be rep­re­sent­ed by a two car entry by Pro­ton Com­pe­ti­tion with reign­ing LMGTE World Endurance Cham­pi­on Richard Lietz join­ing team prin­ci­pal Chris­t­ian Ried and Gian­lu­ca Roda in the no88 car.

The 4 Hours of Sil­ver­stone is the open round of the six race 2016 Euro­pean Le Mans Series. On Fri­day 15 April there will be two 90-minute Free Prac­tice ses­sions, fol­lowed by Qual­i­fy­ing the fol­low­ing morn­ing and the 4 Hours of Sil­ver­stone at 14h30 on Sat­ur­day 16 April.

Down­load the entry list HERE

For more infor­ma­tion on the 4 Hours of Sil­ver­stone vis­it www.europeanlemansseries.com

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Joao Lamares

Editor in Chief at JLpress News
Fotógrafo profissional desde 1999, colaborou com diversas empresas, agencias de publicidade e gabinetes de imprensa.
Colaborou com o Blog Fashion Heroines como fashion phortographer.
É o fotógrafo oficial da Colorida Art Gallery.
Fundou a JLpress Sport News and Photo em abril de 2016 onde acumula os cargos de Diretor de conteúdos e fotógrafo.
Joao Lamares
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