Peugeot dominates the Imola Six Hours
|By Gary Watkins||Sunday, July 3rd 2011, 19:05 GMT|
Sebastien Bourdais and Anthony Davidson claimed victory in the Imola Six Hours on a day when Peugeot had the upper hand over arch-rival Audi.
The Peugeot 908 turbodiesels finished one-two and a lap clear of the pair of Audi R18 TDIs in the fourth round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup at the former home of the San Marino Grand Prix. Bourdais led for the first two stints before a botched pitstop allowed Stephane Sarrazin to move ahead in the car he shared with Franck Montagny.
Davidson closed down a 10-second deficit to Sarrazin and emerged ahead after the next round of pitstops. With the Audis beginning to fade at this stage, Peugeot decided to freeze the order.
The winning Peugeot looked to have lost the race in the penultimate hour when Bourdais had contact with a slower car and suffered a puncture. Eight laps later, Montagny had a similar problem after going off line, switching the Bourdais car back to the head of the leaderboard.
Davidson said: "This was such a fantastic race to win. First and second [for Peugeot] is unbelievable; we didn't expect such domination."
The Audi R18 appeared to be in the mix early on, but a combination of braking issues caused by debris blocking the front cooling ducts and the Peugeot's superior straight-line speed, which allowed it to cut through the traffic much easier, meant the cars drifted out of contention in the second and third hours.
LMP2 honours went to the Le Mans-winning Greaves Motorsport Zytek driven by Tom Kimber-Smith, Olivier Lombard and Karim Ojjeh. The Nissan-engined contender was not the fastest car in class, but its major rivals all suffered technical glitches.
BMW looked on course for GTE honours until the car driven by Jorg Muller and Augusto Farfus Jr was hit with a one-minute stop-go penalty in the final hour. The AF Corse Ferrari team eventually finished one-two, Toni Vilander and Jaime Melo coming out on top over Gianmaria Bruni and Giancarlo Fisichella, who suffered a repeat of the misfire that deprived them of victory at Le Mans last month.
Results - 220 laps: Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap 1. P1 Bourdais/Davidson Peugeot 6h01m01.623s 2. P1 Montagny/Sarrazin Peugeot + 1m08.688s 3. P1 Bernhard/Fassler Audi + 1 laps 4. P1 Kristensen/McNish Audi + 1 laps 5. P1 Belicchi/Boullion Rebellion Lola-Toyota + 7 laps 6. P1 Jani/Prost Rebellion Lola-Toyota + 7 laps 7. P1 Collard/Tinseau/Jousse Pescarolo-Judd + 13 laps 8. P2 Ojjeh/Lombard/Kimber-Smith Greaves Zytek-Nissan + 15 laps 9. P2 Mailleux/Ordonez/Ayari Signatech ORECA-Nissan + 17 laps 10. P2 Tucker/Bouchut/Barbosa Level 5 Lola-HPD + 19 laps 11. P2 Perez Companc/Russo/Kaffer Pecom Lola-Judd + 19 laps 12. P2 Premat/Nicolet Oak Pescarolo-Judd + 20 laps 13. GTE P Melo/Vilander AF Corse Ferrari + 22 laps 14. P2 Leventis/Watts/Kane Strakka HPD + 23 laps 15. GTE P Fisichella/Bruni AF Corse Ferrari + 23 laps 16. GTE P Farfus/Muller BMW + 23 laps 17. GTE P Lieb/Lietz Felbermayr Porsche + 24 laps 18. GTE P Pilet/Henzler IMSA Porsche + 24 laps 19. FLM Ducote/Marcelli/Marroc JMB FLM + 25 laps 20. FLM Schultis/Simon/Schell Pegasus FLM + 25 laps 21. P2 Beche/Thiriet/Firth TDS ORECA-Nissan + 26 laps 22. GTE A Armindo/Narac IMSA Porsche + 26 laps 23. FLM Moro/Zhang/Graves Hope FLM + 26 laps 24. GTE A Long/Roda Proton Porsche + 26 laps 25. P2 Rosier/Basso Extreme Limite Norma-Judd + 27 laps 26. GTE A Bornhauser/Canal/Gardel Larbre Corvette + 27 laps 27. FLM Julian/Zugel/Petersen Genoa FLM + 28 laps 28. GTE A Perazzini/Cioci/Lemeret AF Corse Ferrari + 28 laps 29. GTE P Goossens/Holzer Prospeed Porsche + 29 laps 30. P2 Barlesi/Da Rocha/Lafargue Oak Pescarolo-Judd + 29 laps 31. GTE P Dolan/Hancock Jota Aston Martin + 29 laps 32. P2 Kraihamer/de Crem Boutsen ORECA-Nissan + 29 laps 33. P1 Moreau/Ragues Oak Pescarolo-Judd + 32 laps 34. GTE A Ehret/Lynn/Wills CRS Ferrari + 33 laps 35. P2 Erdos/Newton/Collins RML HPD + 34 laps 36. GTE A Hummel/Christodoulou/Quaife CRS Ferrari + 35 laps 37. GTE P Werner/Lamy BMW + 38 laps 38. GTE A Rugolo/Krohn/Jonsson Krohn Ferrari + 50 laps Retirements: GTE P Beltoise/Jakubowski/Firman Luxury Ferrari 189 laps P1 Cortes/Geri/Piccini MIK Zytek 157 laps GTE A Felbermayr Jr/Ried Felbermayr Porsche 147 laps GTE P Bell/Walker JMW Ferrari 143 laps P2 Gates/Garofall/Phillips RLR MG Lola-Judd 140 laps GTE P Farnbacher/Simonsen Farnbacher Ferrari 101 laps P2 Frey/Meichtry/Rostan Race Performance ORECA-Judd 69 laps GTE P Lichtner-Hoyer/Rich/Slingerland Jetalliance Lotus Evora 26 laps GTE P Hirschi/Rossiter/Mowlem Jetalliance Lotus Evora 8 laps GTE P Ortelli/Makowiecki Luxury Ferrari 1 lap