MILAN, Italy (May 10, 2018) –The road to Le Mans starts at Monza. This weekend, the cherished Italian circuit will play host to both the Michelin Le Mans Cup as well as the European Le Mans Series.
The event is round two of the 2018 season for both championships and is the precursor to the Le Mans race in June as the drivers have the opportunity to race on two of the globe’s most iconic tracks consecutively.
The high-speed track favors both bravery and commitment, with every tenth adding up over each lap of the 3.6-mile circuit. Drivers have their own tricks to unlocking speed at the track which will be key for this weekend’s competition. Teams do too, and for some squads, the ability to cut through the air is even more important than at other tracks and several have turned to AERO Sustainable Paint Technology to aid in that pursuit.
27 entries are set for the Michelin Cup with LMP3 and GT3 runners, with three contenders carrying the AERO advantage for the two-hour race.
Christian England and Richard Meins will share the No. 23 Gulf Marine liveried Ligier JS P3, while Matt Bell and Jim McGuire are set to co-drive No. 22 AERO Ligier JS P3, with the team also hosting first year pairing of Naj Husain and Colin Braun in the No. 32 Ligier.
Sunday will also feature United Autosports entries looking for the AERO advantage during the second race of the 2018 European Le Mans Series at Monza. 2017 ELMS LMP3 Champions John Falb and Sean Rayhall will look for an uptick in their racing luck from the second race of the year at Paul Ricard. Tony Wells, Matt Bell and Garett Grist will co-drive the No. 3 Ligier LMP3 in Saturday’s race.
The team will have two LMP2 entries looking for top honors, as Phil Hanson will be joined by his full season teammate Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 22 Ligier, which will carry AERO on board. United Autosports will also campaign the trio of Will Owen, Hugo de Sadeleer and Wayne Boyd (who was the Monza pole sitter in LMP3 last year) in the No. 32 Ligier JS P217.
“We had a difficult start to the 2018 ELMS season, and the level of competition has gone up dramatically,” offered team co-owner Richard Dean. “We are more focused than ever on the championship battles in both LMP2 and LMP3. Our Michelin Le Mans Cup team performed really well at Paul Ricard. I have high hopes for all three driver lineups in 2018.”
Monza won’t be the only legendary track hosting a race this weekend, as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway stages the Indianapolis Grand Prix with the Verizon IndyCar Series launching the Month of May with a road course warm-up for the Indianapolis 500.
Carrying the weight of a strong Brickyard legacy is the lineup of Matheus Leist and 2013 Indianapolis 500 race winner Tony Kanaan for AJ Foyt Racing. Besides the decades of experience that the organization has at the 2.5-mile circuit, the duo also has the AERO advantage.
Two teams will carry the AERO colors this weekend, with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal entering the weekend fourth in the championship as he looks to add to the Rahal legacy of success at the Brickyard with a triumph on Saturday. It is a huge month for his RLL teammate Takuma Sato, who won the 2017 edition of the Indianapolis 500 and will look to make more history this month.
“The IndyCar GP is quite fun,” said Sato. “The long straight and the heavy braking areas provide a lot of opportunities for drivers to overtake so it is usually a very exciting race. Obviously, it is an important race for the 500 so we want to have a good, strong event to have good momentum for the month of May!”