Local teams and drivers in France ahead of 2016 World Endurance Championship

Anthony Davidson
Anthony Davidson

Teams contesting the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and European Le Mans Series (ELMS) are in France this week to participate in the Pre-Season Prologue at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

The season kicks-off for both championships at Silverstone next month, and all this week both series have been undertaking tests at the track in south France.

Major manufacturer teams Audi, Porsche and Toyota have shown their new cars and colours for a campaign that will see their prototypes race around the world including June’s famous Le Mans 24-Hour Race.

Anthony Davidson will drive for the Toyota team, and the Brackley-based racer is hoping for better fortunes this year following a disappointing 2015 when his Toyota-Hybrid was outclassed by the German Porsche and Audi cars.

Thornborough’s Danny Watts will be a regular in the WEC again this year, representing the Whittlebury-based Strakka Racing team.

Watts will drive for the team alongside Jonny Kane and Stowe’s Nick Leventis.

He said: “It will be good to get on-track again and start work towards the new season.” The racer found himself stuck in Belgium earlier this week following Tuesday’s terrorist attacks, but safely made his way to Paul Ricard as planned.

Brackley’s Murphy Prototypes squad discovered that their Riley Ave-AR3 LMP3 car was not ready to travel to France for the ELMS test, and therefore took a Ginetta LMP3 instead to allow their drivers to warm-up.

The American built Riley looks set to miss the opening race at Silverstone next month, and Murphy could be seen in that race using one of the British-built Ginetta cars. Their Riley is currently the only non-Ligier car entered in the LMP3 section of the 2016 European Le Mans Series.