After its re-launched new look in 2013, the ELMS saw more changes in 2014 with 4-hour races offering more track time, and Sunday races at five circuits: Silverstone in Great Britain, Imola in Italy Red Bull Ring in Austria, Paul Ricard in France and, new for 2014, Estoril in Portugal.
45 cars and 150 drivers (compared to 34 cars and 102 drivers in 2013) took part in the 2014 European Le Mans Series across three categories: 11 LMP2s, 16 LMGTEs and 18 GTCs. In each category the title chase went right down to the wire – the championships weren’t settled until the final laps of the last round.
The power of five
Thiriet by TDS Racing, JOTA Sport, Signatech Alpine, NewBlood by Morand Racing and Sébastien Loeb Racing all won one race each. Not without some difficulty, Signatech Alpine clinched its second consecutive LMP2 title, and Nelson Panciatici, Oliver Webb and Paul-Loup Chatin became the 2014 champions. Up until the final round, four teams could have claimed the European crown, and it goes without saying that battles raged throughout the season.
While LMGTE victories were shared out by the Ferraris, no one knew until the end of the final round which of the SMP Racing (2 wins) or AF Corse entries (3 wins) would claim the trophy. In the end it was SMP Racing and Sergey Zlobin, Viktor Shaitar and Andrea Bertolini who would prevail after their first season in the class,
The five GTC rounds were won by five different teams: Team Ukraine, Formula Racing, SMP Racing (No.71), SMP Racing (No.73) and BMW Sports Trophy Marc VDS. SMP Racing managed to retain its hold on the 2013 trophy with the No.71 F458 Italia of Olivier Beretta, David Markosov and Anton Ladygin winning the GTC class and its drivers taking the 2014 ELMS Championship title.