Picture © JEP/ ELMS
ELMS - 15/10/2019 - Jeff CARTER
A huge 39 car field across the three classes will provide some great entertainment with 18 LMP2, 13 LMP3 and 8 LMGTE entries.
LMP2: Three Way Fight for the Title
Three teams have a mathematical chance of taking the LMP2 crown, but the battle will be between reigning champions G-Drive Racing, the no26 Aurus01-Gibson on 93 points, 13 points ahead of the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca-Gibson. The no39 Graff Oreca is on 68 points, 25 points behind G-Drive Racing, but with 26 points still available from the 4 Hours of Portimão the French team still has an outside chance. In addition to becoming the 2019 ELMS champions, the top two LMP2 teams will both receive an automatic entry to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 2020.
4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps winner Filipe Albuquerque will be the centre of attention for local fans travelling to Portimão. The Portuguese driver, along with his British teammate Phil Hanson, won the 4 Hours of Portimão last year with United Autosports team and the team will be hoping to repeat the performance in 2019.
Portuguese team Algarve Pro Racing will also be on the grid with two cars, Olivier Pla, reigning ELMS LMP2 champion Andrea Pizzitola and 2017 LMP3 champion John Falb in the no25 Oreca-Gibson, while the no31 Oreca-Gibson will be driven by Sweden’s Henning Enqvist, South Korean Tacksung Kim and American James French.
LMP3: Eurointernational and Inter Europol Competition Go Head-To-Head
The LMP3 field will feature 13 cars with a strong driver line up across the whole field.
While several cars are capable of securing the final victory of the 2019 season, the battle for LMP3 title is a straight race between the no11 Eurointernational Ligier-Nissan of Jens Petersen and Mikkel Jensen, with the no13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier of Martin Hippe and Nigel Moore classified as second.
However, both teams are tied on 94 points, which means whoever finishes ahead of their rival in Portimão wins the 2019 LMP3 Driver and Team titles and the coveted invitation to the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans.
LMGTE: Who Will Join Luzich Racing at Le Mans?
The LMGTE titles have been secured by the no51 Luzich Racing Ferrari and Alessandro Pier Guidi, Fabien Lavergne and Nicklas Nielsen in Belgium last month. Victory in the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps gave the team their third win of 2019 and an unassailable 27-point lead over their nearest rivals.
The battle for the second-place position will be intense because whoever secures the vice champions position will receive an automatic invitation to the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside Luzich Racing. The no77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche of Christian Ried, Matteo Cairoli and Riccardo Pera is on 75 points, with 68 points for the all-female crew of Manuela Gostner, Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting in the no83 Kessel Racing Ferrari. The no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari is on 64 points with Jeff Segal, Matteo Cressoni and Wei Lu going for broke in Portugal.
CLICK HERE for the entry list for the 4 Hours of Portimão.
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