The 2020 Season entry list has today been released for the European Le Mans Series and brings with it a few surprises.
The season, which kicks off at the end of March with the Official Tests in Barcelona sees a bumper 40 car grid comprised of 18 LMP2 entries, 13 LMP3 cars and 9 in the GTE class.
Starting with LMP2, it’s no surprise to see Philip Hanson return for another year in the almost-new #22 Oreca 07 – Gibson along with Alex Brundle in the #32. Dragonspeed’s entry manes Memo Rojas as the main driver with Henrik Hedman concentrating on the team’s IMSA LMP2 program this year.
Inter Europol Competition are the only team campaigning Ligiers this year adding a second Ligier JSP217 – Gibson to their attack and naming Alexander Müller and regular stalwart Jakub Smiechowski as lead drivers.
Algarve Pro again enter a pair of Oreca 07 for Sweden’s Henning Enqvist and American John Falb.
Katherine Legge returns to race on European shores having been named as lead drive in the (all-women’s) Richard Mille Racing Team Oreca 07. Jean-Baptiste Lahaye’s Ultimate team also step up to the top category this season with an Oreca 07 – Gibson.
Thunderhead Carlin Racing return for their second year and continue to run the only Dallara P217 – Gibson in the series for lead driver Jack Manchester.
Moving on to LMP3, the entire field is comprised of the next generation cars; 10 Ligier JS P320 and three Duqueine M30 (the successor to the Norma M30), all of which are powered by the uprated Nissan VK56 power plant boasting 35bhp more than the previous unit. There are no Ginettas or ADESS chassis entered.
United Autosports again enter their regular #2 and #3 cars and while the #6 Ligier – Nissan returns for 360 Racing the ‘somewhat fiery’ #5 is conspicuous by its absence. RealTeam Racing (run by GRAFF) again enter a single car for Swiss driver Esteban Garcia (who will likely be partnered again with David Droux) with the only difference being the change of number from #9 to #8 for 2020.
A new entry into the class is from IDEC Sport who will field a Ligier JS P320 for Patrice Lafargue. Despite the team running a competition offering a season-long LMP3 drive there is no entry from Yvyan Muller Racing this year.
Moving onto the GTE class, or as it could almost now be called, the Ferrari 488 class, there are no fewer that seven Ferrari F488 GTE EVOs entered with the remaining two cars both being Porsche 911 RSR run by Christian Reid’s Proton and Dempsey outfits.
A new name on the list is Iron Lynx who are running two cars, one for Claudio Schiavoni and the other Manuela Gostner, both of whom raced with Kessel Racing in 2019. Canadian Wei Lu returns for a second season having switched from JMW Motorsport to Kessel Racing.
The full entry list can be downloaded here.