The five round 2015 European Le Mans Series will get underway at Silverstone, the undisputed Home of British Motorsport, with a 4-hour race on the full Grand Prix circuit. Thirty five cars across four classes are due to line up on the grid for the season opener on Saturday 11 April, with British teams and drivers well represented for their home race.
LMP2 will be the largest class at Silverstone. There are 12 cars run by 10 teams representing 9 different nations and 5 different manufacturers. At the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, ELMS teams took all three podium places in LMP2, adequately demonstrating the quality of the European Le Mans Series grid last season, with 2015 promising to be even better.
Although victorious at Le Mans last year, Britain’s JOTA Sport suffered a bad crash at last year’s Silverstone event and the ELMS Vice Champion team are hungry for a home success. Britain’s Simon Dolan and Portugal’s Filipe Albuquerque will once again team up in the Nissan powered Gibson 015S to challenge for the European title in this highly competitive class. A second Gibson-Nissan will be run by Greaves Motorsport with 2013 ELMS LMGTE Driver Champion Johnny Mowlem returning to the prototype class this season.
Two Ligier JS P2s will be on the grid in 2015, with Algarve Pro Racing running a Nissan powered car while American team Krohn Racing have chosen to use Judd power in 2015.
2014 LMGTE and GTC champions SMP Racing will field two of their newly developed BR01 cars in LMP2, with the Russian team running the no27 and no37 car, the latter with an all-Russian driver line up. German team Pegasus Racing will run the sole Morgan-Nissan on the grid with a French-Chinese driver line up.
The rest of the grid will be made up of teams running the Oreca chassis with 2012 champions Thiriet by TDS Racing choosing the new closed cockpit Oreca 05. Murphy Prototypes, Ibanez Racing and Eurasia Motorsport will all run the open cockpit 03R with Nissan power.
LMP3 is the new class for 2015, with 7 of the Ginetta-Nissans on the grid at Silverstone. Team LNT will run two cars and the no3 Ginetta will feature multiple Olympic cycling gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy alongside fellow Brit Charlie Robertson. Three other British teams – University of Bolton, Lanan Racing and Rollcentre Racing – will also be on the LMP3 grid alongside Italian team Cetilar Villorba Corse and SVK by Speed Factory from Spain.
LMGTE features 9 cars with Ferrari, BMW and Porsche as the featured manufacturers in the class. Double FIA World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx will race for the Belgian BMW Team MARC VDS in the BMW Z4, the sole BMW on the LMGTE grid. The all-British Gulf Racing UK Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Michael Wainwright, Adam Carroll and James Winslow will be one of two Porsches on the Silverstone grid, the other run by WEC regulars Proton Competition from Germany.
Britain’s Duncan Cameron and Ireland’s Matt Griffin narrowly missed out on winning the 2014 LMGTE title and return as Vice Champions in 2015 to try and take the title in the AF Corse run Ferrari 458 Italia. They are joined on the grid by five further F458s with Austrian team AT Racing, Denmark’s Formula Racing and British team JMW Motorsport all running the Ferrari.
In GTC, which is run for cars conforming to the FIA GT3 homologation, there are 7 cars entered for Silverstone, including a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 GT3 run by British team Gulf Racing UK. LMP2 stalwarts TDS Racing are running a BMW Z4 GT3 in an all French effort.
2014 GTC Champions SMP Racing will defend their title with a single GT3 spec Ferrari 458 Italia, while AF Corse will run a trio of Italy’s finest sportscar in the 2015 European Le Mans Series.
Danish team Massive Motorsport will run the only Aston Martin Vantage on the grid with an all Danish crew featuring 2014 LMGTE Am World Champion Kristian Poulsen.
Gerard Neveu, CEO of the European Le Mans Series, said: “2014 was an exciting season for the European le Mans Series, with a different winner at each race and all the titles being decided in the last round in Portugal. The strong 35 car grid for the opening round of the 2015 season at Silverstone represents some of the best teams and drivers in endurance racing and has the potential to provide even more entertainment and excitement than last year. We’re sure all of the British fans that travel to Silverstone, and everyone who watches the race on TV or online, will enjoy the first of five races to decide who will be crowned the ELMS champions.”
The full (provisional) entry list can be downloaded here.