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FIA WEC: Circuit of the Americas, Race Preview, LMP2

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LMP2 (5 Cars)

26 G-Drive Racing Roman Rusinov, Olivier Pla, Julien Canal Ligier JS P2 Nissan Coupe
27 SMP Racing Sergey Zlobin, Nicolas Minassian, Maurizio Mediani Oreca 03R Nissan
30 Extreme Speed Motorsport Ed Brown, Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp HPD ARX 03b Honda
37 SMP Racing Kirill Ladygin, Viktor Shaitar, Anton Ladygin Oreca 03R Nissan
47 KCMG Matthew Howson, Richard Bradley, Tsugio Matsuda Oreca 03R Nissan

There’s still no sign of Millennium Racing on WEC parade as the team continue to wait on their promised funding. Strakka Racing meanwhile aren’t yet racing either, their current expected debut is at the last round of the season with the Dome S103 requiring a rear end redesign before final homologation.

LMP2 is though the first of three of the four WEC classes that feature a guest entry this time out.

Extreme Speed Motorsports are on a scouting mission, certainly for Le Mans, and potentially for more WEC action in the future as they await their new for 2014 Honda Coupes. They’ll run on Dunlop rubber and the comparison in pace between the WEC tyres and the Continentals spec tyres in TUSCC (where the sister car will race earlier on Saturday) will be an interesting one.

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The Le Mans 24 Hours was little short of a disaster for most of the WEC LMP2 runners with only one car coming home, and that result has left the points standings in a most unexpected state – more of that in a moment though.

The G-Drive Racing team have dominated on pace thus far this season but stumbled at Le Mans. They arrive in the second half of the season with a real fight on their hands and a new weapon to fight it with.

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The Oak Racing run team ran a second car at Le Mans and trialled the new Onroak built Ligier coupe in doing so. The car was quick and also amazingly reliable over the 24 hours, though it eventually stumbled late in the race.

The car though now replaces the faithful open topped Morgan on the team for the remainder of the WEC and likely starts at CotA as a red hot favourite as Olivier Pla, Julien Canal and Roman Rusinov battle to close the gap.

Chasing hard as usual will be KCMG in their Oreca Nossan. They have been capable of running close to the Morgan on pace at times but will the new Ligier see the bar raised? Tsugio Matsuda returns to join the Brit duo of Matt Howson and Richard Bradley.

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SMP Racing shuffled their pack for Le Mans and that move has seen them lead both the teams and drivers Championships!

Sergey Zlobin was the only season regular to stay aboard the #27 car for Le Mans and that means that he now has a 25 point advantage over the next non-SMP Racing driver after his car finished 12th in class, but as sole finisher of the WEC runners in France in June!

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That translates to a double points scoring win as non WEC season entries don’t score, the points are scored, in strict finishing order by the WEC boys only! 12th place at Le Mans then gave Sergey, and the team, 50 points each in the drivers and teams Championships – If they keep finishing they’ll be very tough to beat!

Points Totals post Le Mans 24 Hours

FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 drivers

1 ZLOBIN S. 77
2 LADYGIN A. 65
3 CANAL J./ PLA O./ RUSINOV R. 52
4 SALO M. 50
5 HOWSON M./ BRADLEY R. 37
6 MEDIANI M./ MINASSIAN N. 27
7 IMPERATORI A. 19
8 MATSUDA T. 18
9 LADYGIN K./ SHAITAR V. 15

FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams

1 SMP Racing 77
2 G-Drive Racing 52
3 KCMG 37
4 SMP Racing 15

GG