Picture © Jakob Ebrey Photography
ELMS - 16/02/2018 - Jeff CARTER
The grid revealed on Friday in Paris for the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship ‘Super Season’ includes several teams and drivers who have made their mark in the ELMS on their way up the endurance racing career ladder.
ELMS front runners Dragonspeed will be entering two cars in the WEC, one in LMP1 and one in LMP2, as well as returning to the ELMS. The US team, which ran the ELMS championship winning G-Drive Racing entry in 2017, will be entering a BR Engineering-Gibson in the new LMP1 category with ELMS regulars Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley teaming up in the WEC with Dutch ace Renger Van der Zande. Henrik and Ben will be dovetailing their WEC challenge with a full season in the ELMS, joining Nico Lapierre once again.
2016 LMP3 race winner Thomas Laurent is moving to LMP1 with Rebellion Racing and is also racing in the ELMS this year with the APR-Rebellion Racing.
2015 LMP3 Driver's Champion Charlie Robertson also steps up to the top class of the FIA WEC after being named as the lead driver in the no5 CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta G60-LT-P1-Mecachrome.
Russian team SMP Racing have been regular race winners in the ELMS and have won multiple championships in LMGTE and GTC over the past few years. This year SMP are entering two cars in the LMP1 category in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
2012 ELMS Champions TDS Racing are once again competing in the LMP2 category on the world stage, the French team entering an Oreca-Gibson for ELMS regulars Francois Perodo and Matthieu Vaxiviere, who will be joined by former World Champion Loic Duval.
The Jackie Chan DC Racing had an epic first year in the WEC, taking a 1-2 in the LMP2 category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team is run by former ELMS Champions JOTA Sport and the British team will mastermind a second season for the two car entry in the FIA WEC ‘Super Season’.
Racing Team Nederland is another ELMS LMP2 team that has progressed to the World Endurance Championship. Former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Jan Lammers and Frits Van Eerd are once again performing the driving duties and they will be joined by 2016 ELMS champion Giedo Van Der Garde to form an all Dutch entry in the 2018/19 ‘Super Season’.
The 10 car LMGTE Pro grid features five top manufacturers in this year’s FIA WEC and the grid will include several ELMS front runners including Alessandro Pier Guidi, who won the GT World Driver’s Championship in 2017 with Ferrari and James Calado. Other familiar ELMS names on the LMGTE Pro grid include Harry Tincknell (Ford), Olivier Pla (Ford), Kevin Estre (Porsche) and Nicky Thiim (Aston Martin).
2016 Michelin Le Mans Cup Team Champions and ELMS race winners TF Sport have also made the jump to the top step of the Endurance Racing ladder in 2018, joining the LMGTE Am ranks. Regular drivers Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey are joined by British driver Charles Eastwood as Nicky Thiim, who raced with TF Sport last season in the ELMS, is on duty with Aston Martin Racing in the PRO category.
The opening round of the 2018 European Le Mans Series, the 4 Hours of Le Castellet will get underway on Sunday 15th April in the Circuit Paul Ricard.
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