For the Ligier LMP3 #13 of the Inter Europol Competition team it will be all or nothing for the last race of the European Le Mans Series at Portimao this weekend (26-27 October). Sharing the lead in the championship with Eurointernational, it will all come down who is the better one of the two, wherever they finish in the race. Drivers Martin Hippe and Nigel Moore will either win the championship and an entry to the 24H of Le Mans or will finish second in the 2019 edition of the ELMS.
Martin Hippe: “I am really looking forward to the final showdown at Portimao. Last year Kuba and I won this race here and I am pretty sure Nigel and I will again have a very good performance. And our target is clear, after finishing 2nd in the ELMS 2018 we want the win this year and everyone will push as hard as possible to achieve this target!”
Nigel Moore: “It would be great for us to get an entry to the 24H of Le Mans again. So, we will push and fight fair and square to get this. And the Portimao track suits the Ligier LMP3.”
The Portimao circuit also suits the Ligier P217, probably a bit more than other tracks. For LMP2 #34 with drivers Kuba Smiechowski, Sam Dejonghe and Mathias Beche the target this weekend is a top 10 finish.
Kuba Smiechowski: “So the ELMS season comes to a close. We had our up and downs, we struggled with technical issues in some races, but I think the team learned a lot and I hope we will be able to show a strong pace in the last race. I like working with Sam and Mathias, it is a lot of fun, and we get along pretty well, which always help for the team dynamics. Portimao is a pretty low speed track and I believe that the Ligier chassis will be more competitive here.
Sam Dejonghe: “Portimao is a beautiful track which I know from my time in the F3. I’m enjoying every second I have our LMP2 and look forward to discover more of it, and fine tune my performance behind the wheel. With Kuba, Mathias and myself I think we have a strong package to do well here!
Mathias Beche: “I’m pleased to carry on the good work we started in Spa. The team is still on a steep learning curve and we concentrate to develop as quickly as possible to perform as good in the LMP2 as the team does in LMP3. I have two great teammates, they are fast and we get on well. I am sure Portimao will be good for us.”
For the #14 LMP3 with drivers Paul Scheuschner and Constantin Schöll, the target is at least top five. They want to better their best finish this season, which was sixth at Spa.
Friday 25 October
12.30 – 14.00 First free practice
17.00 – 17.30 Bronze driver collective test
Saturday 26 October
11.35 – 13.05 Second free practice
16.00 – 16.10 Qualfying LMP3
16.20 – 16.30 Qualifying LMP2
Sunday 27 October
12.30 – 16.30 Race