Despite the dissolution of the GTC class bringing the overall number of GT entrants down, the European Le Mans Series GTE field will increase from eight full-season entrants to nine in 2016.
At the ACO’s official launch held in Paris yesterday, it was announced that five Ferraris, two Porsches and two Aston Martins will contest the opening round at Silverstone on April 16th, after Marc VDS opted to close their highly successful GT team and Gulf Racing graduated to the World Endurance Championship.
The Danish Formula Racing team will return to defend their crown, with Christina Nielsen joining Mikkel Mac and Johnny Laursen after an impressive campaign in TRG’s Aston Martin in the United SportsCar Championship last year. Blancpain Pro-Am champions Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin will return again as part of a two-car entry from AF Corse, with Piergiuseppe Perazzini returning to GTE after a year away in a second car, while further Ferrari entries come from the AT Racing team and British outfit JMW Motorsport, who will once again field a 458 Italia for Robert Smith.
After a toe in the water outing in Estoril, British GT champions Beechdean are back for a full season as Andrew Howard steps up his preparations for Le Mans, while the number of Porsches will remain undiminished as Proton Competition expand to run an additional car for Daytona 24 Hour winner Marco Seefried. Gianluca Roda moves across from the Labre Competition Corvette in WEC to drive the no. 88 911 RSR.
The other new entry is TDS Racing, the French team switching from the disbanded GTC class to run another Aston Martin Vantage GTE. Eric Dermont, who raced for the team last year alongside regular partner Franck Perera, is the only confirmed driver so far.