Ecurie Ecosse/Nielson Racing Returns to La Sarthe With Five-Car Road to Le Mans Entry
Back for a second year to compete in the Michelin Le Mans Cup’s ‘Blue Riband’ Road to Le Mans races in the LMP3 class, Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen has entered five Ligier JS P3s for the pair of 55-minute races on the full Circuit de la Sarthe.
The team’s effort is the largest in the field. Once again, it brings back to Le Mans the historic Ecurie Ecosse team name, which was hugely successful during the 1950s, winning the Le Mans 24 Hours overall in both 1956 and 1957.
The outfit’s five Ligiers will race as part of the 50-car entry, which features no less than 42 LMP3 cars this year, the team searching for silverware in what is one of the most incredible fields of LMP3 cars ever assembled.
In the #2 JS P3, Anthony Wells and James Littlejohn will pair up, the duo looking to continue their Le Mans Cup championship challenge, after finishing on the podium at both Paul Ricard and Monza, putting them second in the standings.
The #79 Edinburgh Gin-backed example meanwhile, is also in the championship hunt, after finishing second in the opening round of the season. For this week’s pair of races, it will be a Le Mans race debut for Alasdair McCaig, and a second appearance at La Sarthe for teammate Colin Noble, who competed in the Road to Le Mans last year.
The pair of full-season Le Mans Cup Ligiers will be joined by three further guest-entered cars.
One of them is from Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen Racing’s ELMS effort, the #76 Ligier, which will be piloted this week by the full-season duo of Christian Olsen, who is taking on Le Mans for the first time this weekend, and Alex Kapadia, who has multiple starts in the 24 hours proper.
The other two are one-off entrants, the #74 driven by Gerhard Watzinger and Patrick McLughan, and the #75 shared by Ivor Dunbar and Bonamy Grimes.
This week’s pair of races, on the full 13.6-km Circuit de la Sarthe, will prove to be a real challenge for Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen Racing’s drivers, both in front of huge crowds.
Later today they will hit the track for two Qualifying sessions, ahead of the first hour-long race at 17:30. The second race will be run on Saturday morning ahead of the start of the 86th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours, at 11:30am.
Alasdair McCaig: “I’m really proud of the efforts behind the scenes from our crew to get all five cars here at Le Mans and ready for the 2018 Road to Le Mans races. I feel with the driver pairings we have that we can come away with big results in both races.
“Personally, as well as being a huge moment for me to race on the iconic Circuit de la Sarthe, this week is very important for the championship. Both Colin (Noble) and I in the #79 and Tony (Wells) and James (Littlejohn) in the #2 are in the title fight in LMP3, and hope to continue climbing the standings after these races.”
Colin Noble: “It feels great to be back for a second year at the Circuit de la Sarthe in the Road to Le Mans races after such a strong run last year. It’s such a great chance to race on such hallowed ground and soak up the atmosphere without the pressure of being involved in the big race itself.
“We’re confident that the Ligier JS P3 will be the car to have in LMP3 for this week. The Ligier is incredibly well balanced and stable through the slower and medium speed corners here. Traffic though will be a real factor, with 50 cars out on track and a real mix of experience levels up and down the order. We’ll be kept on our toes behind the wheel.”