Ficarelli visits the Paul Ricard paddock
Gulf 12 Hours organiser Andrea Ficarelli is in attendance this weekend at the ELMS’s weekend at Paul Ricard. He’s here looking to attract further teams to the entry for this year’s two-part endurance race at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi in December, which mixes LMP3 and GT3 cars and now has full a ACO endorsement and regulations.
Gunn gets China GT call up
Beechdean AMR driver Ross Gunn is set to travel to Shanghai in two weeks time for the next round of the budding China GT Championship, in what will be his debut in the series.
Gunn told DSC that he’s set to race with AMR customer team China Equity AMR in an Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
“It’ll be my first trip to China, and indeed Asia,” Gunn said. “I’m really looking forward to it, getting the chance to race over there is something I’m really grateful for. I have to treat it like work though, and learn as much as possible about racing in other places around the world. I have my own sim at home and I’ve been working hard in preparation of my first laps of the Shanghai circuit.
“I’m eager to see what the grid will be like. It looks like the series will be running separate GT4 races now, as the series will have over 20 cars there for the weekend.”
Trouillet tops Bronze Test
GRAFF’s Eric Trouillet ran fastest in the Bronze Collective Test at Paul Ricard ahead of Free Practice 1. The Frenchman set a 1:56.346 flyer in the #39 ORECA to put himself over half a second clear of the other Bronze-graded drivers in the LMP3 class.
Nicolas Schatz meanwhile, reeled off a 2:03.698 in Duqueine Engineering’s #7 Norma M30 to go quickest in LMP3. And a 2:08.753 from Le Mans GTE Am winner Rob Smith put JMW Motorsport’s Ferrari 488 atop the GTE ranks.
First sighting of Duqueine Engineering’s second Norma
DSC’s first tour of the paddock was a chance to take a look at Duqueine Engineering’s second Norma M30, which it will run in the LMP3 class of the ELMS from now on. This weekend the #8 will feature a line-up of Lucas Legeret, Vincent Beltoise and Nicolas Merlin.
Upon further inspection, the #7 Norma is M30 chassis #10 and the #8 is chassis #9, meaning the French outfit purchased the last two examples in the first batch of cars manufacturerd by Norma Auto Concept.
The addition of Duqueine’s second M30 brings the total number of M30s in the series to four. Five M30s are here though, as DKR Engineering’s M30 is racing in the ELMS-supporting Michelin Le Mans Cup series.
In the Le Mans Cup, Duqueine Engineering will still run with a Ligier JS P3.
Keep an eye out on the ELMS Facebook page this afternoon for a Facebook Live Paddock Walk featuring DSC’s Editor, touring the largest collection of LMP cars outside of the Le Mans 24 Hours race meeting.
Photos courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography