ELMS 2019, the retrospective
Another drama filled season took place at six of Europe’s leading circuits with Barcelona being included on the schedule for the first time in 10 years. A total of 41 cars were entered across the three classes, with LMP2 attracting more entries than anywhere else outside of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The season began in Le Castellet with the pre-season test and opening 4-hour race. Monza was held in May and was followed by a two-month break while some of the teams competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. The ELMS resumed in July at Barcelona, followed by Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and concluding at Portimão in October.
LMP2: Idec Sport Claim Championship Titles
After three seasons of G-Drive Racing at the top of the championship classifications, it was French team Idec Sport who won the titles with Memo Rojas, Paul Loup Chatin and Paul Lafargue beating their G-Drive Racing rivals Roman Rusinov and Job Van Uitert by just 4 points.
With 18 high quality entries in the LMP2 category it was always going to be a tough challenge for any team to come out on top at the end of the 2019 season. Four teams stood on the top step of the podium – DragonSpeed, G-Drive Racing, United Autosports and Idec Sport – with Cool Racing, Graff and Duqueine Engineering also finishing on the podium at least once during the season.
Five different teams started from pole position in 2019, with G-Drive Racing, Cool Racing, Idec Sport and DragonSpeed taking one apiece in the first four races, with United Autosports taking the final two poles in Spa and Portimão.
LMP3: Drama all the way
Once again, the LMP3 category featured large grids and plenty of action and drama. The grid was capped at 14 cars and the quality of the entrants was proven on track by the High-Class Racing action enjoyed by the fans at each of the six circuits on the 2019 calendar and those watching at home.
The Team and Drivers titles went to the Eurointernational team of Mikkel Jensen and Jens Petersen after a season long battle with the Inter Europol Competition Ligier of Nigel Moore and Martin Hippe.
Four teams took wins in 2019 – Ultimate, Eurointernational, Inter Europol Competition and 360 Racing – with United Autosports and Nielsen Racing also taking podium finishes.
The pole positions were dominated by the Norma M30, with Realteam Racing, Oregon Team and M Racing taking the extra championship point. The sole pole position for Ligier was secured by Mikkel Jensen for Eurointernational at Barcelona.
LMGTE: ELMS Debut Title for Luzich Racing
With four victories from the six races, Luzich Racing certainly took the ELMS by storm in 2019. The Swiss team made their ELMS debut this year with a strong driver line up of Nicklas Nielsen, Fabien Lavergne and 2017 FIA World Endurance GT Drivers Champion Alessandro Pier Guidi.
While the LMGTE grid was just eight cars, each of the entrants were capable of winning. There were five Ferrari 488 GTEs and three Porsche 911 RSRs.
The Luzich Racing Ferrari took four wins, while the no77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche and the no88 Proton Competition 911 secured one win each. JMW Motorsport, Kessel Racing, Spirit of Race and Ebimotors all took podium finishes during 2019, with the six pole position being shared by Kessel Racing, Dempsey-Proton Racing and Proton Competition.
The LMGTE category also featured the first all-female driver line up, with Rahel Frey, Manuela Gostner and Michelle Gatting racing in the no83 Kessel Racing Ferrari. They took two second place finishes in the six rounds and finished fourth overall in the championship.