LM GTE - 05/03/2020 - Sophie LIGER
In total, 6 teams have been crowned European LMGTE champions: SMP Racing (2014), Formula Racing (2015), Aston Martin Racing (2016), JMW Motorsport (2017), Proton Competition (2018) and Luzich Racing (2019), with Ferrari taking four championships, and Aston Martin and Porsche one each. This underlines the high level of the competition of the class through the years.
A look back at the LMGTE class history
In 2014, the five rounds of the season were won by Ferraris, but the race for the title went down to the final race in Estoril before the names of the European Champions were revealed. Before the last round, SMP Racing had scored 2 wins against three for AF Corse. In the end, it’s the n°72 SMP Racing Ferrari F458 and Sergey Zlobin, Viktor Shaitar and Andrea Bertolini that were crowned 2014 ELMS LMGTE champions.
In 2015, 10 cars and 38 drivers took part to the championship and it was Ferrari once again that topped the manufacturers’ battle in LMGTE with the n°60 Formula Racing Ferrari of Andrea Rizzoli, Johnny Laursen and Mikkel Mac, the only team with two wins (Red Bull Ring and Le Castellet) this season.
Aston Martin Racing, with the n°99 Beechdean liveried Aston Martin V8 Vantage were crowned champions in 2016 putting an end to the Ferrari domination of the previous years. The only rival of Andrew Howard, Darren Turner and Alex MacDowall this season was the distinctively coloured n°66 Ferrari of JMW Motorsport driven by Rory Butcher, Rob Smith and Andrea Bertolini. During the last race in Estoril, the no99 Aston Martin Racing Vantage duly won the race from the back of the grid and technical issues forced the Ferrari into retirement, so the title was claimed by the Beechdean Icecream sponsored car.
In 2017 JMW Motorsport claimed the top spot and a well-deserved European crown after a season long battle that saw the British team switch from the Ferrari 458 to the 488 mid-season. 2017 was a year of success for the British team as they lifted the ELMS Team’s trophy, while Rob Smith and Jody Fannin secured the ELMS Driver’s crown. To top off a great season, Smith, along with Will Stevens and Dries Vanthoor, won the LMGTE AM class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans a few months before.
In 2018, Ferrari and Porsche went head to head all season long and Porsche scored its first ever title in the ELMS modern history, with Gianluca and Giorgio Roda becoming the first father and son duo to win the European crown onboard of the n°88 Porsche 911 RSR.
Finally, in 2019, the trophy went back to Ferrari after three years and it was the Swiss team Luzich Racing, in their debut ELMS season, with drivers Fabien Lavergne, Mikkel Mac and Alessandro Pier Guidi, that won the European title.
Who will be the next LMGTE European Champion? Follow us on our website and social media to know it!
The 2020 ELMS season will kick off in Barcelona in a few weeks with the official tests followed by the first round of the season, the 4 Hours of Barcelona on the 5th of April.
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