19 January 2018
Inaugural LMP3 Cup Champion Colin Noble will return to the series with the Nielsen Racing / Ecurie Ecosse team he raced to victory with in 2017. Now carrying the prestigious #1 on the team's Ligier JS P3, the Scot plans to race not only in the UK, but also in the Michelin Le Mans Cup and European Le Mans Series (ELMS).
The team will enjoy entry into the Le Mans Cup thanks to its 2017 LMP3 Cup title success, securing the prize on offer worth an estimated €45,000, which includes a race before the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
"I've never done a championship two times in a row. It'll be a little bit of pressure but I have more experience," said Noble. "We had no reason to move from Nielsen, they did a good job and we get on well with them. It's been very helpful with the switch to Michelin tyres, it'll be even better this year. Whatever experience you gain in Britain you'll take to the next weekend in Europe.
Nielsen plans entries across all three European LMP3 series, and Noble thinks sharing some of the circuits will be an advantage. "There's a couple of rounds: Silverstone and Spa, that we're at with LMP3 Cup and Michelin Le Mans Cup, which will be a big help," he said. "I really enjoy the British tracks, there's less room for error. I enjoy the calendar the LMP3 Cup has."
Noble's comments were echoed by Team Principal David Thompson. "Michelin tyres make it easier to set the cars up across Championships," he said. "Little things, down to the stickers on the cars, event to event, set up changes, vinyl changes, makes a big difference to us in time and driver feedback is positive.
"Colin is quick. There's not many at his age at his level and he's proved it in Europe as well as the UK. Hopefully we'll have him in all three championships next year in a car that's capable of winning all of them."
The team is aiming to have extra entries in the LMP3 Cup in addition, with more announcements coming soon. "We're going to run an extra car or two on the grid," said Thompson. "This will be followed up with a car in Michelin Le Mans Cup and hopefully ELMS."