Picture © Jakob Ebrey Photography
ELMS - 15/12/2017 - Jeff CARTER
With all of the LMP2 teams in the FIA World Endurance Championship chose to run the Oreca 07 chassis, the 2017 European Le Mans Series became the only series where three of the four eligible manufacturers went head to head. The 12 cars entered in the 2017 ELMS were evenly split with four Dallara, four Ligier and four Oreca across the grid.
At the end of the season it was the Oreca 07 that came out on top with five pole positions, ten podiums, including three wins, and taking the championship with G-Drive Racing. But while the statistics make it look like the ELMS was dominated by Oreca, on track this was far from th e case.
Oreca took five pole positions, with Ligier taking the final pole in Portugal to break the Oreca deadlock on the extra championship point.
The six race wins were shared between the three manufacturers with Oreca taking three in Italy, Belgium and Portugal, Ligier two in the UK and Austria and Dallara recording one win in France.
Two podiums, Silverstone and Portimão, featured all three manufacturers in the top three. Ligier took the win at the 4 Hours of Silverstone from Oreca and Dallara, while at the 4 Hours of Portimão it was victory for Oreca ahead of Ligier and Dallara.
The top speed honours were shared between Dallara and Oreca with three each; Oreca posting the fastest speed in the first three races of the 2017 season and Dallara taking the final three in France, Belgium and Portugal.
Significantly the Dallara P217 was the overall fastest car at the official test for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 4th June 2017. While the 24 Hours of Le Mans is not a round of the ELMS, Roberto Lacorte’s top speed of 341.3 kph through the speed trap in the no47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara-Gibson demonstrated the performance of the new generation LMP2 cars. Significantly Lacorte was over 10kph faster than the fastest LMP1 hybrid, with Kazuki Nakajima setting 330.8kph in the no8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid.
With upgrades to the Ligier and Dallara chassis being authorised for the 2018 season, the performance between the three manufacturers competing in the European Le Mans Series should be even closer.
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