A total of 31 cars will contest the opening round of the European Le Mans Series at Silverstone this month.
LMP2 holds one third of the entries, with JOTA Sport and Greaves Motorsport representing the British contingent. Nissan factory driver Harry Tincknell will return to JOTA after a late driver switch, while Greaves brings along a fully revised line-up, featuring Jon Lancaster, Bjorn Wirdheim and Gary Hirsch.
One major alteration to the LMP2 entry list is the arrival of AF Corse. The Italian squad, which is best known for its extensive Ferrari GT programme has taken up the reins of SMP Racing’s two car ORECA 03 effort for the 4 Hours of Silverstone.
The sudden switch is likely a direct response to the tyre supply issues that plagued SMP Racing during the pre-season test. It also confirms that the Russian squad’s new BR01 LMP2 coupes are not ready to race, despite their appearance at Paul Ricard last month.
The identities of Ibanez Racing’s remaining drivers are now known, as Auto GP regular Michele La Rosa and experienced Japanese racer Yutaka Yamagishi join the team. Krohn Racing, Eurasia Motorsport, Thiriet by TDS Racing, Murphy Prototypes and Pegasus Racing take up the remainder of the LMP2 entries.
Five cars are confirmed for the international debut of the LMP3 class, with Rollcentre Racing, Greaves Motorsport and Cetilar Villorba Corse the three notable omissions. Nissan GT Academy graduate Gaetan Paletou will partner Mike Simpson in the #2 Team LNT Ginetta-Nissan LMP3, while sportscar racing veteran Jens Petersen is added to the University of Bolton’s line-up.
Sir Chris Hoy will make his prototype racing debut as expected, starring alongside Ginetta ace and fellow Scot Charlie Robertson in the #3 Team LNT Ginetta.
A healthy grid of nine entries will battle for LMGTE class honours, with most of the line-ups remaining unchanged from the pre-season test. Former Britcar Champion Aaron Scott has been added to the #66 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia, which he will share with Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin.
Despite missing the Paul Ricard test, Proton Competition will have a presence at the ELMS’ opening round as the #88 Porsche 911 RSR of Khaled al Qubaisi, Klaus Bachler and Christian Ried features on the entry list.
One notable addition to the GTC ranks is the Gulf Racing UK Lamborghini Gallardo that finished fourth in class at this year’s Dubai 24 Hours, which will be driven by Roald Goethe, Archie Hamilton and Daniel Brown. Both Goethe and Stuart Hall (#62 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia) will be performing double duty at the weekend, combining their ELMS commitments with the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Silverstone, driving for Aston Martin Racing.
Other drivers that will be attempting the same feat include Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin, Rui Aguas, Klaus Bachler, Khaled al Qubaisi and Christian Ried.
The ELMS 4 Hours of Silverstone will take place on April 11.