Bicester, UK, Monday 9th April 2001: With entries from the United States, Germany, France and the UK, the European Le Mans Series race at Donington Park brings together the hottest cars and stars from the sportscar world. As the equivalent of two...
Bicester, UK, Monday 9th April 2001: With entries from the United States, Germany, France and the UK, the European Le Mans Series race at Donington Park brings together the hottest cars and stars from the sportscar world. As the equivalent of two Boeing 747 freight planes full of equipment arrives at the Derbyshire circuit, Donington Park is revving up to provide a packed Easter weekend (Friday 13th/Saturday 14th April) of thrilling motorsport action. This is the UK's first international motorsport event of 2001 and with a full grid of cars ready to hit the track it promises to be an action packed weekend.
The ELMS motto, 'For the Fans', means unlike Formula 1 there will be an open paddock for the fans to mingle with the stars and see the cars up close. An autograph session with all of the ELMS drivers will be held between 1.00pm and 1.45pm on Good Friday, so meeting the likes of JJ Lehto, Stefan Johansson, Olivier Beretta and David Brabham is a real possibility.
The action on the track starts on Good Friday with a practice and race qualifying session for the support races including Aston Martins, Marcos', TVRs and MGs in the Moss Europe Thorobred Sportscar Championship from 10.15am. Combined qualifying practice for all European Le Mans Series entries powers off at 11.30am as the cars take to the track to battle for supremacy. Official timed qualifying for the GT cars starts at 3.30pm with the Le Man Prototypes taking to the track at 4.20pm to race for pole position for Saturday's race.
On Saturday the fully packed day of motorsport kicks off at 9.00am with the ELMS warm-up. The first race of the day takes you back to how sportscar racing used to be with Porsche, Jaguar, Spice and Eccosse competing in Group C, commencing at 9.45am, followed by two further support races.
At midday the world's best sportscars and their drivers line-up for a formation lap and an exciting rolling start to the first round of the European Le Mans Series 2001. Two hours forty-five minutes of nail biting action follows as teams from Panoz, Audi, Chrysler and Ascari battle at the front of the field in the LMP 900 class. Can British challenger Guy Smith pilot the Johansson Racing Audi R8 to victory over the dominant works team? Or can the Audi R8 of Capello and Kristensen continue it's recent dominance of podium wins? The GT class will provide plenty of excitement with the might of the works BMW M3 GTR's, driven by Fredrik Ekblom / Dirk Muller and JJ Lehto / Jorg Muller taking on the class-winning Porsche's of Alex Job Racing.
Donington Park is situated close to Castle Donington, just minutes by car from Junction 23A of the M1. Ticketing is available on the day at £25 for a weekend pass and £20 for a race-day ticket. Children under 14 are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.