Busy pre-season for LMP3 Cup teams as Donington Park opener approaches
4th April 2018
Returning teams’ champion Ecurie Ecosse Nielsen Racing has been on track at Snetterton with drivers’ champion Colin Noble Jnr and new teammate Tony Wells putting in the miles before a busy year which will include running in three different series.
“It’s great to be back out on track again,” said David Thompson, Team Manager at Nielsen Racing. “It has been a long winter developing not only the cars but also the team behind closed doors, in preparation for racing. So far testing has gone really well, and we can’t wait to get racing. Initial signs are already indicating that 2018 will be another strong season.”
Also turning initial laps at Snetterton was 360 Racing and IAG Racing with Jason Rishover and Jamie Spence, who are preparing to undertake a full season in the Championship. The team will shortly head across the Channel for some running on European circuits as it also evaluates possible entries into the Michelin Le Mans Cup and European Le Mans Series. Joining the trio in Norfolk was Red River Sport with Bonamy Grimes and Johnny Mowlem who will contest the entire season.
LMP3 newcomer Mectech Motorsport began its 2018 program at Silverstone, having taken receipt of its Norma M30 late in March. While this means the outfit won’t be able to complete as many pre-season miles as its rivals, initial indications are that the machine is in a good place.
“The car feels really good,” said driver Bradley Smith. “Norma and the team have worked really hard to get the car ready as soon as possible, so a big thanks to them. We’ve got a long list of tasks to work through before the season begins, but the basics all seem in place. The car handles well and hasn’t thrown up anything unexpected. Both Duncan and I feel very comfortable in the car and everything is coming together nicely. Finally getting racing at Donington Park will be a great feeling.”
While the UK – and indeed much of Europe – was caught in the big chill at the start of Spring, Speedworks Motorsport decamped to Portimão in Portugal for some running under milder conditions. “For me, it was a brilliant test,” said Jack Butel, Speedworks driver. “Two days in the car with a mixture of both dry and wet running has given me a real confidence as we build up to Donington Park. The car is now much stronger than last season and I think we will hit the ground running.”
“Jack impressed yet again,” said Christian Dick, Team Manager at Speedworks. “The wins in Dubai and at Donington last season have given him a huge confidence boost. Thankfully the weather in Portugal was much warmer than back here in the UK so he got plenty of mileage running on the Michelin tires. The test was a success and I am excited to get the season underway.”
Provisional 2018 LMP3 Cup schedule:
Rounds 1 & 2: 21/22 April – Donington Park National
Rounds 3 & 4: 19/20 May – Brands Hatch GP
Rounds 5 & 6: 1/2/3 June – Spa Francorchamps
Rounds 7 & 8: 30 June/1 July – Snetterton 300
Rounds 9 & 10: 8/9 September – Donington Park GP
Rounds 11 & 12: 13/14 October – Silverstone GP