ELMS Live The 4 Hours Of Barcelona
Forty-two cars will be taking part in the opening round of the 2023 European Le Mans Series at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with 7 LMP2, 11 LMP2 Pro/Am, 12 LMP3 and 12 LMGTE entries.
The grid for the 4 Hours of Barcelona will feature 123 drivers and 26 teams from 31 nations from all corners of the world.
The cars will be on track on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 April for the official preseason test days, with the 4 Hours of Barcelona weekend getting underway with Free Practice on Friday 21, Qualifying on Saturday 22 and concluding with the four-hour race on Sunday 23 April.
LMP2: Who will Triumph in Spain?
Seven cars are entered for the LMP2 category for crews with silver, gold and platinum rated drivers, with two former world champions, Jose Maria Lopez (#47 Cool Racing) and Neel Jani (#30 Duqueine Team) included in the 21 drivers in this category. With 2022 ELMS champions Prema Racing concentrating on the FIA WEC this season, there will be a different name on the champions trophy at the end of the 2023 season.
2022 Team Vice Champions Panis Racing return, with Job Van Uitert being joined by Manuel Maldonado and Tijmen Van Der Helm in the #65 Oreca. 2020 champions United Autosports USA have one car in LMP2, with Phil Hanson lining up with fellow Brit Oliver Jarvis and Japan’s Marino Sato.
2019 champions IDEC Sport are back with team regulars Paul Lafargue and Paul Loup Chatin being joined by multiple LMP3 Champion Laurents Hörr.
ELMS front runners Algarve Pro Racing, Duqueine Team, Inter Europol Competition and Cool Racing have all entered a single Oreca 07-Gibson to challenge for overall honours in the 2023 European Le Mans Series.
LMP2 Pro/Am: Start of a New Era
Eleven cars are entered in the category for driver crews that feature at least one bronze driver. For 2023 the LMP2 Pro/Am category will have a new identity, a light blue number panel, to set it apart from the LMP2 class and bronze drivers will have to qualify the car on Saturday.
Reigning Pro/Am champions Racing Team Turkey return to defend their title, with Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood being joined this season by double LMP2 champion Louis Deletraz in the no34 Oreca-Gibson.
United Autosports USA have a two-car entry, with 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Guy Smith joining Paul Di Resta and Jim McGuire in the #23 Oreca. Algarve Pro Racing and Cool Racing are running a single Pro/Am entry alongside their LMP2 car, with 2022 LMP3 champion Malthe Jakobsen joining Nico Lapierre and Alexandre Coigny in the #37 Cool Racing Oreca.
DragonSpeed USA return to the ELMS, with former race winner Henrik Hedman being joined by father and son duo Juan Pablo and Sebastian Montoya.
DKR Engineering, Team Virage, Nielsen Racing and AF Corse all have a single car entry in the LMP2 Pro/Am category, while reigning LMGTE champions Proton Competition will make their ELMS LMP2 debut with LMGTE driver champions Gianmaria Bruni and Giorgio Roda being joined by Jonas Ried in the #99 Oreca.
LMP3: 12 Cars for LMP Junior Category
Once again, the baby Le Mans Prototype class has attracted a lot of interest, with 12 cars being selected to compete in the 2023 ELMS season. Reigning champions Cool Racing are running a single entry this season alongside their two LMP2 entries, with Adrien Chila being joined by Argentina’s Marcos Siebert and Mexican Alejandro Garcia.
Former champions DKR Engineering are also running a single car, one of the two Duqueine M30-D08 on the grid, for Alexander Bukhantsov, James Winslow and Pedro Perlino, while 2019 LMP3 Champions Eurointernational are entering two Ligier JS P320-Nissans this season, with Matt Bell and Adam Ali in the #11 car and Glenn Van Berlo and Nick Moss in the #10 Ligier.
French team Ultimate return to the ELMS with Eric Trouillet joining brother Matthieu and Jean-Baptiste Lehaye in the #35 Ligier. WTM by Rinaldi Racing are running the second Duqueine M30-D08 on the grid, while reigning Michelin Le Mans Cup LMP3 champions Racing Spirit of Leman are entering a single Ligier.
British team RLR MSport have a two-car entry, while Nielsen Racing, Team Virage and Inter Europol Competition are each running a single Ligier JS P320-Nissan this season.
LMGTE: Let Battle Commence for Final Season of GTE
2023 is the final season of the LMGTE category before the change to GT3 machinery next year. For this last hurrah of the class, three Aston Martins, four Porsche 911s and five Ferrari 488s will battle it out once again.
Reigning ELMS champions Proton Competition are back with three Porsche 911 RSR-19s, with drivers’ champion Christian Ried being joined by Julien Andlauer and Giammarco Levorato in the #77 Porsche, while Michael Fassbender returns in the #93 911 alongside Richard Lietz and Martin Rump.
2021 champions Iron Lynx have switched from Ferrari to Porsche this season, with a single car effort for Claudio Schiavoni, Matteo Cressoni and Matteo Cairoli.
2015 champions Formula Racing make a welcome return to the ELMS, with driver champions Mikkel Mac and Johnny Laursen being joined in the #50 Ferrari 488 GTE EVO by Johnny’s son Conrad in the first of two all Danish crews.
Another notable returnee to the ELMS paddock is 2015 LMP2 Champion Jon Lancaster who is racing in LMGTE this season for 2017 champions JMW Motorsport. The British driver will join Lorcan Hanafin and Martin Berry in the #66 Ferrari. AF Corse, Spirit of Race and Kessel Racing will each run a single Ferrari 488 GTE EVO this season.
Reigning Michelin Le Mans Cup GT3 Champions GMB Motorsport will run a single Aston Martin Vantage in the ELMS this season, with Jens Moller and Gustav Birch being joined by former FIA World Champion Nicki Thiim.
TF Sport will enter a pair of Aston Martins, the #72 Vantage featuring an all-French line up of Arnold Robin, Maxime Robin and Valentin Hasse-Clot, while the #95 car will have an all-British crew of John Hartshorne, Ben Tuck and Jonny Adam.