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ELMS News Notebook: Good News, Potential Bad News

Good news from Graff, Arjun Maini named as reserve driver for Algarve Pro, DKR plans uncertain

Graff Racing Confirm Revised 2020 ELMS/ Le Mans Cup Programme

Graff Racing has added a second LMP3 entry to the 2020 ELMS entry with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic beginning to impact on the entry lists of Championships across the world.

Happily, the planned Graff LMP2 entry in ELMS, the #39 ORECA for James Allen, Alexandre Cougnaud and Thomas Laurent is confirmed together with the planned new #9 Ligier JS 320 LMP3 car for Arnold Robin, Maxime Robin and Vincent Capillaire.

The team though have added a Duqueine D08 LMP3 entry as the #5 for Eric Trouillet, Luis Sanjuan and Sébastien Page as a number of LMP3 cars initially confirmed for the season look unlikely to appear.

There is no change either for Graff’s #26 Ligier JS P320 in Michelin Le Mans Cup for Matthias Kaiser and Rory Penttinen.

Pascal Rauturier, Team Manager: “We can’t wait to meet again our drivers and ELMS competitors to finally start the season. We have real hopes of results from them. We are waiting for you at Le Castelet!”

Algarve Pro Racing recruits Arjun Maini for ELMS reserve driver role

Algarve Pro Racing has recruited India’s Arjun Maini as its reserve driver for the 2020 European Le Mans Series (ELMS), at the beginning of its tyre technical partnership with Goodyear and its association with B.R.M Chronographes.

After some standout endurance racing performances in 2019, Maini was initially signed for Algarve Pro’s frontline assault on the 2020 ELMS, but travel restrictions in and out of India in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have prevented him from taking up a full-time race seat.

Nevertheless, the Indian racer is happy to be taking on a reserve driver role at Algarve Pro Racing, saying: “It’s good to be associated with Algarve Pro Racing and the European Le Mans Series, as it’s a very strong programme, especially with the Goodyear tyre technical partnership. It’ll be an interesting year for everyone involved with the project and I’ll be following up on everything, even though travel from India is going to be hard for the foreseeable due to COVID-19.

“I may be out of the car for a while, but I have faith in my abilities, and pre-lockdown testing at Circuit Paul Ricard filled me with confidence. Algarve Pro and Goodyear engineers have been working towards the same goals and objectives and their joint efforts should produce results.”

Algarve Pro Racing Team Principal, Stewart Cox, said: “Arjun (Maini) impressed the entire European Le Mans Series paddock when he stepped into endurance sportscar racing in 2019 so he was the natural choice for our reserve driver role and we’re delighted to have him aboard. His talent is undeniable, and we were impressed with his professionalism when he joined the team and Goodyear in pre-season testing earlier this year, before lockdown. While the plan was to have him as part of our full-time line-up, he will still be a huge asset to Algarve Pro Racing in a reserve driver capacity.”

DKR Engineering Plans Unclear

Double Michelin Le Mans Cup Championship winners DKT Engineering’s 2020 plans are currently unclear.

Both of the team’s LMP3 cars, these the 2018 and 2019 Championship-winning Normas now fully upgraded to 2020 Duqueine D08 spec, are listed for sale.

A respected DSC source has offered information that the team are in the process of replacing a funding driver in a move that could well see a switch of chassis choice to the new Ligier.