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Spielberg ELMS: Beche and Thiriet take second straight win

TDS wins Spielberg ELMS raceThe Thiriet by TDS Racing team took its second consecutive European Le Mans Series victory at Spielberg on Saturday.

Pierre Thiriet and Mathias Beche kept their noses clean throughout the three-hour race, which enabled them to capitalise on the misfortunes of the faster cars in the LMP2 field.

While Beche struggled in the opening stint, McLaren test driver Oliver Turvey charged away at the front in the Jota Sport Zytek-Nissan.

Turvey had his lead up to 19 seconds when he was handed a 30s stop-go penalty for speeding in the pitlane with 70 minutes of the three-hour race complete, and it was when the Briton served his penalty that the #1 TDS ORECA-Nissan took the lead.

By that point the other likely victory contender was out of the picture, as the Murphy Prototypes entry was forced into a long stoppage when its starter motor failed at its first pitstop.

Beche, who had slipped to fifth early on, jumped ahead of the Race Performance ORECA-Judd and Morand Racing Morgan-Judd in the pitstops, and from then on he and Thiriet were relatively unthreatened out front.

The Jota car dropped further back when Simon Dolan had an off shortly after taking over from Turvey, and that left Nelson Panciatici in the Signatech Alpine entry chasing the leader.

The Frenchman - who set pole position but had his time taken away for a yellow flag infringement - closed to within 22s of Thiriet before the final stops, but by the time the pitstops had shuffled out the gap was more than 40s.

The podium was completed by Morand duo Franck Mailleux and Natacha Gachnang, while Dolan recovered to fourth at the expense of Michel Frey in the final stint.

Paul-Loup Chatin and Gary Hirsch took victory in the LMPC class, with Hirsch holding off a charging Nicolas Verdonck in the final laps for the win.

Ram Ferrari, Spielberg ELMS 2013In the GTE class, Matt Griffin and Johnny Mowlem were dominant for the Ram Racing Ferrari squad.

Griffin moved into the lead early on after sitting behind Joel Camathias and the second Ram car of Gunnar Jeannette early on, but once he was out front in class he was untouchable.

Ram appeared to be on for a one-two in the middle of the race, but the JMW Motorsport Ferrari split the cars again when Andrea Bertolini took over from Camathias.

Results - 122 laps/3 hours:

Pos  Cl   Drivers                           Team/Car                         Time/Gap
 1.  P2   Thiriet/Beche                     TDS Nissan                   3h00m09.351s
 2.  P2   Ragues/Panciatici                 Signatech Alpine-Nissan          +21.143s
 3.  P2   Gachnang/Mailleux                 Morand Morgan-Judd               +49.915s
 4.  P2   Dolan/Turvey                      Jota Zytek-Nissan                  +1 lap
 5.  P2   Frey/Niederhauser                 Race Performance ORECA-Judd        +1 lap
 6.  P2   Mediani/Zlobin                    SMP ORECA-Nissan                  +3 laps
 7.  PC   Chatin/Hirsch                     Endurance FLM                     +4 laps
 8.  PC   Loan/Verdonck                     Endurance FLM                     +4 laps
 9.  PC   Jones/Catsburg                    Algarve FLM                       +6 laps
10.  GTE  Mowlem/Griffin                    RAM Ferrari                       +6 laps
11.  GTE  Bertolini/Camathias               JMW Ferrari                       +6 laps
12.  GTE  Jeannette/Montecalvo              RAM Ferrari                       +7 laps
13.  GTE  Perazzini/Cioci/Leo               AF Ferrari                        +7 laps
14.  PC   Pons/Ayari                        Endurance FLM                     +7 laps
15.  GTE  Perrodo/Collard                   Prospeed Porsche                  +7 laps
16.  GTE  Felbermayr/Felbermayr/Bachler     Proton Porsche                    +8 laps
17.  GTE  Milesi/Vernay                     Imsa Porsche                      +8 laps
18.  GTC  Babini/Shaitar/Ladygin            SMP Ferrari                       +8 laps
19.  GTE  Ried/Roda/Tandy                   Proton Porsche                    +8 laps
20.  GTC  Rizzoli/Gai/Case                  AF Ferrari                        +9 laps
21.  GTC  Millroy/Smith/Mccaig              Ecurie BMW                       +10 laps
22.  GTE  Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank          AF Ferrari                       +10 laps
23.  GTC  Kox/Pronk                         Kox Lamborghini                  +10 laps
24.  GTC  Markozov/Frolov/Persiani          SMP Ferrari                      +10 laps
25.  P2   Hartley/Hirschi                   Murphy ORECA-Nissan              +20 laps


     P2   Kraihamer/Holzer                  Boutsen ORECA-Nissan              69 laps
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