ELMS - 10/07/2017 - Jeff CARTER
Picture © Jakob Ebrey Photography
The grid will feature 28 teams and 99 drivers representing 21 different nations from around the globe. It will also feature the 24 Hours of Le Mans class winners JMW Motorsport, the British team bringing its new Ferrari 488 to the ELMS for the first time after winning at La Sarthe.
LMP2: 2017 ELMS debut for SMP Racing
Thirteen LMP2 cars will line up to take on the challenge of the 4.3km circuit with championship leaders G-Drive Racing looking to extend their 10-point advantage over their rivals. Léo Roussel and Memos Rojas will be joined by the highly experienced Nicolas Minassian, the French driver replacing Ryo Hirakawa in Austria as the Japanese driver has other commitments that weekend.
Silverstone race winners United Autosports are currently second behind the Russian team on 33 points, with the all Danish team at High Class Racing just three points behind them and keen to make it three podium finishes in a row in their ELMS debut season.
The grid has been boosted by one car as former ELMS championship winning team SMP Racing will make its 2017 ELMS debut in Austria after the team competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month with the brand new Dallara P217.
LMP3: AT Racing looking for a win at home
The LMP3 class will once again feature the largest grid with 17 cars due to race in Austria. With just 7 points separating the top five cars, the championship race couldn’t be closer.
The no17 Ultimate Ligier-Nissan is the current championship leaders with two podium finishes in Silverstone and Monza for Jean-Baptiste Lahaye, Matthieu Lahaye and François Heriau. The all French team, currently on 33 points, have a five point advantage over the no18 M.Racing-YMR Ligier and the no3 United Autosports Ligier.
Silverstone race winners Sean Rayhall and John Falb are in fourth place on 27 points, while the no19 M.Racing-YMR Norma M30, which won spectacularly in Monza in May, is on 26 points with Yann Ehrlacher returning to join Monza race winner Erwin Creed in Austria.
The LMP3 grid will also feature the sole Austrian entry with the no9 AT Racing Ligier of father and son duo Alexander Talkanitsa senior and junior and Italian Maurizio Mediani hoping to bring home a win for the local team.
LMGTE: JMW Motorsport, Le Mans winner returns to ELMS
All eyes will be on the no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari as the British team travel to the Red Bull Ring as race winners in Monza last time out and, more importantly, as the 2017 LMGTE 24 Hours of Le Mans winners. Regular driver and Le Mans winner Rob Smith is rejoined Jody Fannin and Jonny Cocker in Austria.
The LMGTE grid will feature another 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans champion with Darren Turner rejoining Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn in the Beechdean AMR Aston Marttin after winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans for the Aston Martin Racing works team.
Silverstone race winner TF Sport holds a 9-point advantage over the JMW Motorsport crew with Salih Yoluc, Euan Hankey and Nicki Thiim currently on 44 points in the no90 Aston Martin Vantage. The no99 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin has scored two podium finishes in the first two races and is currently lying in third on 30 points, just 2 points ahead of the no77 Proton Competition Porsche 911.
CLICK HERE to see the provisional entry list for the 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring.
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