Spielberg ELMS: Beche and Thiriet take second straight win
|By Glenn Freeman||Saturday, July 20th 2013, 17:40 GMT|
The 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.
In 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 Retirements: P2 Kraihamer/Holzer Boutsen ORECA-Nissan 69 laps