Following the cancellation of the Barcelona round due to health concerns, the Ligier European Series returns to Circuit Paul Ricard in France for Heat 3 on August 28-29 with 12 Ligier JS2 Rs and Ligier JS P4s present after several teams chose to skip this meeting as a result of the rescheduling and the tightening of health measures taken by some countries.
Ligier JS2 R: Will championship leaders Cool Racing and Sébastien Baud be able to resist the attack of the M Racing cars?
In Heat 1 at Le Castellet on July 17-18, Cool Racing and Sébastien Baud in the # 74 Ligier JS2 R took a brace of victories. An impressive showing that they were not able to repeat in Heat 2 on the ultra-fast Spa-Francorchamps circuit, in Belgium on August 7-8. In his maiden race on the toboggan of the Ardennes, Sébastien Baud came up a bit short against tough competition but still claimed his third and fourth podium finishes of the season. This allowed both the team and driver to maintain their leads in the class provisional standings with 83 points.
But attention must be paid to M Racing, which is lying in wait, with its three Ligier JS2 Rs, led by three distinctly different driver line-ups: the father and son duo of Erwan and Natan Bihel, in the #66, just 23 points adrift of the championship leader, the young guns from the Institut de Pilotage Automobile in the #86 and gentleman driver Laurent Millara behind the wheel of the #69, at 38 points to the leader.
Nothing is decided yet, however. Some other teams could triumph as well. Arctic Energy won race 1 at the last Heat with Nerses Isaakyan in a solo drive, but he will have his team-mate Sergey Egorov back at Le Castellet. HRC with Fabien Michal and Clément Seyler at the controls, and MV2S Racing with Victor Shaytar and Mikhaïl Makarovskii in the #45 could too create a surprise.
With three Heats still remaining, the #11 TM Evolution Ligier JS2 R with Alain Grand, the #25 with Bruno Chaudet as well as the #46 MV2S Racing with Antoine Chapus and the #30 CD Sport with the duo of Claude Dégremont and Baptiste Berthelot are all still in contention.
Ligier JS P4: several teams will not return to Circuit Paul Ricard, leaving a free rein to HP Racing Team.
Due to the change in the schedule of the series, the evolution of the crisis and the tightening of certain health measures, several teams cannot make the trip. Only one Ligier JS P4 is entered in this round: the #50 HP Racing Team in the capable hands of Andrea Dromedari.
Milo Racing, the team leading the JS P4 provisional standings following its victorious weekend in Heat 2 at its home circuit, will not take part in Heat 3 as some members of the team were tested positive for Covid-19.
The #16 Ligier JS P4 of M Racing and the Institut de Pilotage Automobile, which finished runner-up in both races in Heat 2 will not be competing this weekend.
The British Raw Motorsport team will also not be able to make it. While it made the trip to Spa-Francorchamps, the team was forced to withdraw and pack its bags prior to the start of free-practice following the quarantine imposed by the United Kingdom on persons having travelled to Belgium. For the third round, the Andrew Ferguson led team have decided to play it safe, but hope to be able to participate in the last two rounds.
The Le Castellet Heat kicks off on Friday 28 August at 11:55 am with a 1-hour free practice session. The two 20-minute qualifying sessions which will determine the starting grid of each race are set in the afternoon at 3:55 pm and 6:25 pm. weekend culminates with two one-hour races on Saturday morning at 10:25 am and Saturday afternoon at 4:50 pm.