European Le Mans Series entries confirmed

Friday, February 05, 2016

The official ACO/FIA announcements from Paris this afternoon saw an enhanced entry line up confirmed for the 2016 European Le Mans Series that kicks off at Silverstone in about ten weeks time.

With the Series, now in its fourth season since its 'relaunch' having confirmed the abolition of the GTC (GT3) class at the end of last season it was initially feared by some that the GTE numbers for 2016 would suffer as a result (mainly on a cost basis) but todays confirmed 44 car entry saw nine of those being in the GTE's class - a static number from the start of last year.

We were obviously fully expecting to see an entry from Andrew Howard's Beechdean Motorsport team and that fact was confirmed today with the expected blue and white liveried car featuring the now iconic AMR number #99 again, just as they did when they entered the final event of last year in Portugal.

Howard was quoted as saying "It's starts as a dream, changes to a challenge and one day it becomes a reality - today is the reality!" upon hearing the news at today event such was his determination last year of elevating himself from a national GT champion to a European champion.

Further good news for Andrew Howard and Beechdean was to follow during the FIA WEC Press Conference.

What wasn't expected (from us at The-Advantage at least) was the news that 2015 GTC Champions, the French team TDS Racing will also be entering their own Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE into the series with French driver Eric Dermont being noted as lead driver in that car.

Last year the team with Dermont, Dino Lunardi and Franck Perera raced their gorgeously liveried black and red BMW Z4 GTC to the title but the removal of GTC at the end of last year left the team looking at options for 2016. Having 'lost' Craft Bamboo Racing to another marque only just this week the news of a new team moving over to the marque can only be great news and any car sporting a similar livery to that on the BMW would certainly look a knock out on any GTE.

We don't not expect to hear any further news on driver line up on certainly the Beechdean car until after the Aston Martin Racing test weekend in Spain in a couple of weeks. News about TDS Racing however is another story.

One thing for sure is that 15x LMP2's, 20x LMP3's and 9x GTE's will certainly ale for some very eventful racing across the six race calendar.

We can't wait for the racing to begin!!!

Photo credits - ACO / ELMS / TDS

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