ELMS: The #17 of COOL Racing wins the LMP3 championship with one race to spare at Portimão

Round five of the European Le Mans Series took place on 20 October 2023 in Portimão, Portugal, in unseasonably inclement weather. Between sun and rain, the conditions were a headache for the teams and their drivers. After taking pole position with the #8 Team Virage, the Ligier JS P320 finished second in the 4 Hours of Algarve with the #35 of Ultimate. The icing on the cake was LMP3 ELMS title for the #17 of COOL Racing!

• Following the cancellation of the 4 Hours of Imola, which was scheduled for May, the teams entered in the European Le Mans Series competed in two races over the weekend at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão.

• On Thursday, 19 October, the #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P320 (Miguel Cristóvão, Kai Askey and Wyatt Brichacek) topped free practice with a lap of 1:38.649s.

• The following day, Manuel Espirito Santo, in the #8 from Team Virage, took pole position with the fastest lap of the category in 1:56.029s. It was the second consecutive pole of the season for the promising young Portuguese driver.

• The 4 Hours of Algarve got underway in the early afternoon. The start of the race was marked by changeable weather, alternating between showers and bright sunshine.

• Qualifying fourth, the #11 from Eurointernational (Matthew Richard Bell and Adam Ali) put in an excellent start to jump into the lead. Ultimate's #35 (Eric Trouillet, Matthieu and Jean-Baptiste Lahaye) briefly led, before being overtaken by the #13 of Inter Europol Competition.

• The #13 and the #35 played a game of cat and mouse, swapping the lead on several occasions. Finally, the #35 took the upper hand in hour two.

• Some ten laps later, it dropped back to third place behind the #7 of Nielsen Racing (Anthony Wells and Ryan Harper-Ellam). But a few minutes later, the British team's LMP3 spun out.

• The #35 from Ultimate scored a podium and finished second in the race for the second time this season. Marcos Siebert, in the #17 of COOL Racing, posted the fastest lap of the race in 1:39.929s.

• The #17 of COOL Racing (Adrien Chila, Marcos Siebert and Alejandro Garcia) finished fourth to clinch the LMP3 title, with one race remaining in the season to give the team its second consecutive LMP3 crown.

Race two of the weekend and the season finale of the European Le Mans Series took place on Sunday, 22 October.

For the complete results, CLICK HERE.

For more information about the Ligier JS P320, CLICK HERE.