The chequered flag fell on the final round of the 2017 European Le Mans Series on the Portimão circuit. United Autosports clinched a double in the LM P3 category with their nos 2 and 3 Ligier JS P3s adding a second consecutive ELMS LM P3 title to their laurels. In LM P2 the no. 32 Ligier JS P217 of the Anglo-american team came home second sealing the runner-up spot in the European Series. The no. 18 M.Racing – YMR Ligier JS P3 finished second in the final LM P3 ELMS classification.
After four hours racing on the Portimão circuit, the no. 3 Ligier JS P3 driven by Mark Patterson, Wayne Boyd and Christian England crossed the finishing line in first place in the category. Less than 12 seconds later the no. 2 Ligier JS P3 of John Falb and Sean Rayhall took the flag in second position giving the United Autosports team a double in LM P3. The Anglo-American outfit rang down the curtain on their season with a second title on the bounce in the ELMS LM P3 category and third place overall just in front of Ultimate and Inter Europol Competition.
Alexandre Cougnaud, Antoine Jung and Romano Ricci were on the third step of the LM P3 podium with the no. 18 Ligier JS P3 entered by M.Racing – YMR bagging the team's runner-up spot, and sealing the fourth triple in LM P3 by the Onroak Automotive-constructed car in the European series this season.
At the front of the field William Owen, Hugo de Sadeleer and Filipe Albuquerque at the wheel of the no. 32 Ligier JS P217 scored a superb second place behind the victorious no. 40 Oreca 07 entered by Graff, but it was not enough to clinch the European title. After scoring two victories at Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring plus second place this weekend in Portimão, United Autosports finished the season in the runner-up spot in the 2017 ELMS.
Another noteworthy performance this weekend was the very high top speed of the no. 23 Panis Barthez Compétition Ligier JS P217, which set the team's first pole position of the season on Saturday!
This weekend the Portimão circuit also hosted the final of the Michelin Le Mans Cup in which the Ligier JS P3s put on a dominant performance as they crossed the finishing line in the first nine places. While DKR Engineering had sealed the title at the previous round, second and third were still up for grabs this weekend. With the fifth place in Portimao Nielsen Racing claimed the runner-up spot with its no. 79 Ligier JS P3, and Motorsport 98's victory in the final was good enough to give the Belgian outfit third place in the overall classification in front of Graff and Spirit of Race.
Jacques Nicolet: “Overall, it's been a hectic season. Our teams did their utmost to ensure good results for our Ligiers in LM P2 and LM P3 categories. United Autosports just failed to clinch the ELMS LM P2 title despite exemplary consistency in its performance all season as its Ligier JS P217 saw the chequered flag in every race and scored two outright victories. LM P3 was the theatre of a no-holds-barred battle between our Ligier teams and the teams running Normas. For the second year on the bounce Ligier JS P3s filled the first three places in the LM P3 final classification, proof of the car's reliability and speed. Now, we're looking ahead to 2018. Ligier will be stronger next year and again we'll be aiming for the LM P2 and LM P3 titles in the ELMS with our teams.”