Tough Win for McNish & Ortelli

Allan McNish and Stephane Ortelli took a hard-fought win for ORECA Audi at the Silverstone 1000, after an incident-filled round of the Le Mans Endurance Series

With heavy rain falling for most of the race, much of the running in the first half of the six-hour event was done behind the safety car, and the conditions caught out many of the competitors.

However, as it began to dry in the second half of the race, the battle for the win was between the ORECA Audi and the Creation DBA Judd of Nicolas Minassian and Jamie Campbell-Walter.

Polesitter Minassian was the leader in the first three hours, while Campbell-Walter found himself battling nose to tail with first McNish - who passed to take the lead in the final hour - and then Ortelli, who maintained the lead to the chequered flag.

The gap between the two cars at the finish was just 6.569 seconds.

"The driving conditions were diabolical, some of the worst I've ever encountered in my career," McNish said.

"It was one of the most closely contested and hardest races of my career - it was nose to tail in the closing laps - a perfect final race for the Audi R8 in Britain."

Third place finish went to the Rollcentre Dallara of Martin Short, Joao Barbosa and Vanina Ickx - the third time this year that the latter earned a podium in the LMES.

Fourth overall and first in the LMP2 class were Claude-Yves Gosselin, Karim Ojjeh and Vincent Vosse, in their Paul Belmondo Racing Courage. And fifth overall as well as the GT1 class winner was the MenX Ferrari 550 Maranello, driven by Peter Kox, Robert Pergi and Jarek Janis.

The losers of the day were the Pescarolo of Jean-Christophe Boullion and Emmanuel Collard in the LMP1 category, and the Aston Martin of Darren Turner, Marc Goossens and Nikolay Fomenko in the GT1 category.

The Pescarolo fell victim to the weather conditions, with Boullion spinning in the first hour and damanging the car extensively. While the team was able to repair the damage, it again lost time later due to a fuel pick-up problem.

The Aston Martin drivers struggled to find a working set-up for the new car throughout the weekend.


Pos Cl. Drivers                      Make                    Time
 1. P1  Ortelli/Mcnish               Audi R8                 5:51:09.527
 2. P1  Minassian/Campbell Walter    DBA 03S                 +     6.569
 3. P1  Barbosa/Short/Ickx           Dallara Judd - LMP900   +    7 Laps
 4. P2  Gosselin/Ojjeh/Vose          Courage C65             +    8 Laps
 5. GT1 Pergi/Kox/Janis              Ferrari 550 Maranello   +    8 Laps
 6. P1  Hignett/Stack/Kurosawa       Zytek 04S               +    9 Laps
 7. GT1 Bouchut/Vasiliev             Ferrari 550 Maranello   +    9 Laps
 8. P2  Bennett/Vergers/Barazi       Courage C65             +   10 Laps
 9. GT2 Pompidou/Lieb                Porsche 996 GT3 RSR     +   10 Laps
10. P2  Newton/Erdos                 MG Lola Ex 264          +   10 Laps
11. P1  Shimoda/Chilton              Zytec -4S               +   10 Laps
12. GT1 Kaufmann/Tiemann             Porsche 996 Bi-Turbo    +   10 Laps
13. P2  Lienhard/Theys               Lola B05/40             +   10 Laps
14. P1  Frei/Vann/Cochet             Courage-C60 H           +   11 Laps
15. GT1 Turner/Fomenko/Goosens       Aston Martin DBR9       +   13 Laps
16. GT2 Groppi/Moccia/Rockenfeller   Porsche 996 GT3 RSR     +   13 Laps
17. GT1 Cressoni/Malucelli/Ramos     Ferrari 550 Maranello   +   13 Laps
18. P1  Keen/Moller                  Lister Hybrid           +   13 Laps
19. P2  Berridge/Evans               Lola                    +   13 Laps
20. GT2 Erik Nielsen/Thyrring/Ehret  Porsche 996 GT3 RSR     +   14 Laps
21. GT2 Kirkaldy/Kinch               Ferrari 360 Modena GTC  +   14 Laps
22. GT2 Lambert/Lefort/Palttala      Porsche 996 GT3 RSR     +   15 Laps
23. GT2 Rosa/Drudi/Babini            Ferrari Modena          +   16 Laps
24. GT2 Stanton/Johnson/Eagling      TVR Tuscan T400R        +   16 Laps
25. GT1 Bartyan/Pescatori/Seller     Ferrari 550 Maranello   +   16 Laps
26. P2  Rostan/Peugeot/Bruneau       Pilbeam MP93            +   18 Laps
27. GT2 Collin/Felbermayr            Porsche 996 GT3 RSR     +   19 Laps
28. P2  Belmondo/Andre/Sharpe        Courage C65             +   19 Laps
29. GT2 Petersen/Leutwiller/Lueders  Porsche 996 GT3 RSR     +   20 Laps
30. P2  Leroch/Greaves/Hahn          Courage C65             +   23 Laps
31. GT1 Papolia/Sommereau/Clairy     Chrysler Viper GTS/R    +   24 Laps
32. GT2 Daniels/Simonsen             Porsche 996 GT3 RSR     +   30 Laps
33. GT2 Pearce/Hynes/Tomlinson       TVR Tuscan T400R        +   37 Laps
34. P1  Collard/Boullion             Pescarolo-C60           +   38 Laps
35. GT1 Cole/Hooker/Lockie           Saleen S7R              +   43 Laps


    Cl. Drivers                      Make                  On Lap
    GT2 Cook/Youles/Hindley          Porsche GT3 RS          126
    GT2 Cocker/Sugden                Porsche 996 GT3 RSR     121
    P2  Binnie/Timpany/Hancock       Lola B05/40             112
    GT2 Kane/Hughes                  TVR Tuscan T400R         75
    P1  Sretton/Camino               Lola B98/10              74
    GT2 Marsh/O'young                Porsche 911 GT3 RSR      33
    P2  Delaronde/Morris/Jones       Tampolli                 31
    P1  Primat/Jouanny               Dallara Nissan           16
    P2  Tinseau/Briere/Amorin        Courage                  15
    GT1 Kutemann/Gosse/Hugenholtz    Ferrari 575 GTC           2
    P1  Lammers/Ortiz/Gabbiani       Dome S101                 1
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