Ligier dominates 2016 European Le Mans Series entry list

The French Ligier marque will make up more than half the 2016 European Le Mans Series field

Ligier dominates 2016 European Le Mans Series entry list

There are six LMP2 Ligier JSP2s built by Onroak Automotive on the entry for the Automobile Club de l'Ouest-run series and a total of 19 examples of its new JSP3 design in LMP3.

The number of cars built by Onroak Automotive in the ELMS comes to 26 with the addition of a solo P2 Morgan.

That equates to nearly 60 per cent of the field and includes all the LMP3 entries bar the single Murphy Prototypes Riley-Ave.

Onroak boss Jacques Nicolet told Autosport: "When I started out I was trying to build something, and I think I have achieved that thanks to strong regulations, the growth of endurance racing and good designs."

Ligier teams on the P3 entry include a pair of cars each from the Anglo-American United Autosports squad, the French Graff Racing team and EuroInternational from Italy.

OAK Racing, sister company to Onroak, will also run two cars, including one for Nicolet and his son Benoit.

The RLR, Villorba Corse and Speedfactory teams have switched from Ginetta LMP3s to Ligiers this year.

Ginetta could return to the ELMS, according to ACO sporting manager Vincent Beaumesnil.

He insisted that a dispute between Ginetta and ORECA, which provides the drivetrains for P3s cars, had been "fixed".

The 15 LMP2s include two cars entered by 2015 ELMS title winner Greaves Motorsport.

It will again field its Gibson-Nissan 015 and has also entered a Ligier JSP2 with which it had initially intended to return to the WEC.

Gary Hirsch, co-champion last year with Jon Lancaster and Bjorn Wirdheim, is listed against its Gibson-Nissan 015, while three-time Daytona 24 Hours winner Memo Rojas is the first driver nominated for the Ligier.

ELMS stalwart TDS Racing is back with its ORECA-Nissan for a line-up including Pierre Thiriet and Rebellion LMP1 convert Mathias Beche.

Greaves will also have a hand in running the Krohn Racing Ligier, which will now be powered by a Nissan engine rather than last year's Judd/BMW.

Panis Barthez Competition, set up by ex-Formula 1 driver Olivier Panis and former Manchester United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, will run a Ligier-Nissan.

Long-time Le Mans entrant Yves Courage returns to endurance racing with a BR Engineering-built BR01, eight years on from selling his Courage Competition organisation to ORECA.

There are nine cars entered in GTE.

British GT champion Andrew Howard will graduate to the ELMS with Aston Martin Racing, while the French TDS team, which has previously run GT3 machinery, will move into GTE for the first time with an Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

The GTC class for GT3 machinery has been replaced for 2016 by the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup support category.

Beaumesnil said that the entry for this would be announced in mid-March and was likely to be in the region of 15 to 18 cars.

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