Revamped European Le Mans Series gets 29 entries
|By Gary Watkins||Friday, February 8th 2013, 12:26 GMT|
A total of 29 entries have been received for the relaunched European Le Mans Series in 2013.
The entry, which includes 11 cars in the top LMP2 division, secures the immediate future of a championship that was hit by a series of race cancellations last year.
Three of the original five 2012 events were scratched and the series brought to a conclusion when it joined up with the American Le Mans Series for its Petit Le Mans finale at Road Atlanta.
World Endurance Championship boss Gerard Neveu, who has taken over the running of the ELMS for 2013, said: "We will start the new season with a fantastic grid of 29 cars.
"This year is going to be a hard year and we know we will face some very exciting challenges, but this is a good start.
"We have also received strong interest from other teams looking to race in the ELMS on a race-by-race basis, potentially boosting the grid numbers even further."
The P2 entry includes reigning ELMS champion TDS Racing with its ORECA-Nissan 03 and Sebastien Loeb Racing with the same chassis/engine combination.
Greaves Motorsport, Jota Sport and Murphy Prototypes, will also return to the series.
The French Signatech squad, which last year concentrated on the WEC, will run a solo ORECA-Nissan in the ELMS in addition to its one-car entry in the world championship.
The Orex Competition team run by Dave Beecroft has also firmed up its entry with an ex-RML HPD now in ARX-03b specification.
ORECA has entered three of its one-make FLM09 prototypes under the Team Endurance Challenge banner in the LMPC class. There are no other entrants in the class.
There are 10 entries in the single GTE division, which is a pro-am only class.
The new British Ram Racing squad, which announced its plans to field two Ferrari 458 Italias in December, will be joined by 2012 GTE Pro class champion JMW Motorsport with its Ferrari.
Series regulars AF Corse, ProSpeed Competition and Imsa Performance also return.
There are five GT3 cars entered in the new GTC class, which is aimed at boosting entries in the series.
The 2013 ELMS, made up of five three-hour races, starts on April 13 at Silverstone, the day before WEC season opener at the British track.