The ‘Le Castellet 120’, or put another way the second visit this season for the Michelin Le Mans Cup to Paul Ricard (after the planned Barcelona round was cancelled) will see a 24 car grid assemble for Saturday’s 2 hour race in the South of France.
Six cars again make up the GT3 field but with a change from Spa as the #9 Iron Lynx Ferrari is missing, replaced by the returning #2 Porsche 911 GT3 R from Swiss team Pzozberer Zürichsee by TFT, driven by Switzerland’s Niki Leutwiler and French co-driver Julien Andlauer, Leutwiler missed Spa due to a clashing GT Open commitment.
Reigning champion Giacomo Piccini and Italian teammate Rino Mastronardi have got the 2020 season off to a perfect start with two wins from pole position to claim a maximum 52 points in the #8 Iron Lynx Ferrari. They currently enjoy a 19-point advantage over the #67 Kessel Racing Ferrari crew of Russia’s Murod Sultanov who will be joined in Le Castellet by Andrea Belicchi who steps into the seat instead of Paolo Ruberti.
There’s a strong 18 car LMP3 entry with the return of both the #55 Rinaldi Racing Duqueine and the #24 United Autosports Ligier, both of which missed Spa, and a new addition as the #12 Team Virage Ligier joins the fray.
The #3 DKR Engineering Duqueine of 2019 champion Laurents Hörr and 2017 champion Jean Glorieux lead the Championship on 44 points after winning the opening round at Le Castellet last month followed by a second-place finish in Belgium.
The championship leaders hold an 18-point advantage over the second-placed car, the #37 Cool Racing Ligier, with Round 2 winners Nicolas Maulini and Edouard Cauhaupe turning around a terrible start to the season first time out at Paul Ricard where the car started late and was involved in a race-ending accident as it tried to recover from the back of the field.
Motorsport98 are tied on 26 points with the #37 Cool Racing Ligier. Belgian driver Eric De Doncker is joined once again by his French teammate Dino Lunardi, hoping to go one better than their second-place finish on their last visit to Le Castellet.
The #27 MV2S Racing Ligier sees Christophe Cresp being joined by 2019 European Le Mans Series LMGTE Champion Fabien Lavergne for the second race in a row.
Jacques Wolff and Joffrey de Narda will compete in the #6 CD Sport Ligier, while IDEC Sport will also enter a Ligier for Patrice Lafarge and Stephane Adler, the pair opting to race in LMP3 rather than the GT3 car they started the season aboard.
The Le Castellet 120 will take place at the Circuit Paul Ricard on Saturday 29 August.