Prototypes lacking in Portugal for ELMS

The number of Prototype entries will be a bit thin on the ground for this weekend's Estoril round of the European Le Mans Series, with only three cars from the LMP 900 and 675 classes taking to the grid for the 1000 km race

Prototypes lacking in Portugal for ELMS

With points from the Portuguese ELMS race not counting towards its sister ALMS championship, neither the Joest-run works Audis or the Panoz team will be present this weekend.

That leaves the Johansson Racing privateer Audi R8 as favourite to take the victor's spoils with Le Mans team mates Tom Coronel and Patrick Lemarie back sharing the driving duties with Stefan Johansson.

French sportscar legend Henri Pescarolo is fielding a C60 Courage-Judd for Jean-Cristaphe Boullion, Laurent Redon and Boris Derichebourg while the Lanesra Racing squad, which planned to run a 2000-spec Panoz LMP-1, decided not to attend the race at the last minute due to parts problems.

"Things were just too tight," said team boss Dave Sims. "We wouldn't have had enough parts and we aren't prepared to compete unless we do so properly. The car will definitely be ready for the next race at Most [on August 5]."

The prototype line-up is completed by the Didier Bonnet team and the Rowan Racing Pilbeam, both from the LMP 675 category. Rowan drivers Martin O'Connell and Warren Carway will be keen to get a result this weekend, after falling foul of the torrential conditions at Le Mans and crashing out in the first hour.

Two Saleen S7Rs will be present from the Franz Konrad team and Ray Mallock Ltd. The services of former British Touring Car driver Chris Goodwin have been secured for this weekend to drive the RML car and the Brit will share driving duties with Ian McKellar and Bruno Lambert.

"Chris has helped in the development of every competition car we have built since 1993," said team boss Ray Mallock. "So it will be good to have him racing for us again."

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