Announced on November the 29th in Paris at the Champs Elysees, at the headquarters of the CCFA (Committee of French Manufacturers), the brand new Championship called the Ultimate Cup Series Auto launches its 2019 season this weekend, from the 21st-24th March, at the Portuguese circuit Estoril.
This new series created by promoter Vincent Vigier and supported by the Clermont based tyre manufacturer Michelin, offers for its inaugural season a European calendar of some the most attractive circuits, seven events, with four being abroad (Estoril-Mugello-Slovakia Ring-Valencia ) and three in France (Dijon-Magny Cours-Paul Ricard)
This Ultimate Cup Series is a springboard for young drivers and gentlemen drivers towards the more prestigious championships, such as the Michelin Le Mans Cup and ELMS (European Le Mans Series).
It should be remembered that the LMP3 Champion will be awarded an entry for the 2020 Michelin Le Mans Cup.
In addition to Michelin, other well-known companies are supporting this Ultimate Cup Series, such as Motul, Air France airlines who are offering preferential prices to the teams for their trips and ORECA who are ensuring the checks and the technical assistance for the engines (LMP3-Formula Renault) throughout the season.
On the grid, there will be GT cars and LMP3 Prototypes in very distinct races.
In GT, the regulation authorizes the GT3, Renault RS01, Foenix Solution F, and GT Cup makes. Not to mention the Ginetta G55 with its own challenge
Very early in the season (March 21-24), this inaugural event of the calendar is due to the late birth of this Ultimate Cup Series Autos, finding available dates on all the circuits wasn’t easy …
This championship offers a great grid with about twenty Formula Renault cars, seventeen LMP3 prototypes, and a dozen GT cars including three Renault RS01
Nevertheless as of the second round, at Dijon the numbers are expected to increase as many teams have not yet finalized their crews – as it is the case in many other Championships – and in the past, all the new Championships that started had these multi-stage launches …
JABOUILLE AND RENAULT FEATURED AT DIJON ON 27th AND 28th OF APRIL
About the second round of the 2019 Ultimate Cup Series at Dijon, note that in honor of the fortieth anniversary of the 1st victory of a Renault car in F1 at the French Grand Prix on July 1st 1979 by Jean Pierre Jabouille on this particular track, Renault Heritage will join the Ultimate Cup Series and for the first time will send out the Renault-Turbo F1 car, the famous RS10 Turbo, with the big Jean Pierre Jabouille at the wheel.
As for the opening round at Estoril, the main LMP3 teams will be on track:
CD Sport, Graff Racing, Wimmer Werk Motorsport, Newbridge Motorsport, Frédéric Sausset by SRT41, Speed Factory Racing Team, TFT, Team Virage , DEMJ, DB Sport Auto and Inter Europol.
In Single-seater, there will be the two big private tricolor teams, the LAMO Racing teams of Laurent Lamolinairie with eight cars and Formula Motorsport of Jean Claude Estre with four.
Not to mention the Italians of Scuderia TS Corse with three cars, Graff, CD Sport and AB Sport.
Finally in GT, four Renault RS 01’s, the Solution F Foenix, a Ginetta, a BMW M4, a Vortex, a Porsche and Visiom’s F488 Ferrari,by Jean-Paul Pagny. This line up will expand a lot for Dijon!
2018 PAUL RICARD – La FERRARI F488 de l’Équipe VISIOM.
A quick word on the CN category. The Ultimate Cup Series decided, at the request and with the support of several teams, to revive this championship and at Estoril there will be many Italian competitors!
As for the French, we will have to wait for the Dijon round, to see the grid to expand …
As we can see, the Ultimate Cup Series Auto, seems to be off to a great start and this new Championship seems to have visibly given the means of its ambitions!
And if for this first meeting, the grids are not yet full, note that this was the case in their early days in the past for the OPI, the Blancpain Trophy and the various championships of French GT.
Not to mention that we have experienced F1 grids up to 40 single-seaters in the late 90s and only … twenty nowadays
Photos : Hugues LAROCHE – Maurice CAMUS – Daniel et Davy DELIEN -Manfred GIET