Paul Ricard ELMS: G-Drive ends WRT and Kubica's unbeaten run
G-Drive Racing took an emphatic victory in the European Le Mans Series race at Paul Ricard, as Roman Rusinov, Nyck de Vries and Franco Colapinto ended Team WRT's unbeaten run.
The Algarve Pro Racing-run G-Drive car, an Aurus-badged ORECA 07-Gibson, beat reigning champion United Autosports and dominant series leader Team WRT in the third race of the season after four hours of racing.
At the start, Yifei Ye took the lead in the WRT ORECA that had won the previous two races at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona and Red Bull Ring, and proceeded to build up a substantial gap over pole starter Rusinov throughout the opening stint.
But a full course yellow just around the first pit window and a safety car at the halfway mark wiped out the championship-leading team’s advantage and it was further hampered by a penalty handed to Ye for beaching in breach of the rolling start procedure.
As the race settled down, the #32 United ORECA came to the fore, albeit under pressure from G-Drive.
United driver Job van Uitert, sharing with Manuel Maldonado and Nico Jamin, was hunted down by fellow Dutchman de Vries and then forced to surrender the lead with an hour left to go.
Mercedes Formula E ace De Vries then remained faultless throughout the final stint as United driver Tom Gamble in the #22 car he shared with Phil Hanson and Jonathan Aberdein passed team-mate Van Uitert just before the final round of pitstops.
De Vries crossed the line to win by 6.38s from the #22 and #32 United Autosport cars, while the Duqueine ORECA of Tristan Gommendy, Rene Binder and Memo Rojas pushed Ye, Louis Deletraz and Robert Kubica down to fifth at the flag.
#26 G-Drive Racing Aurus 01 - Gibson: Roman Rusinov, Franco Colapinto, Nyck De Vries,
Photo by: ELMS
The LMP3 class looked affected most by the on-track incidents as the field was immediately split on strategy, with some teams electing to pit early under yellow and others waiting it out. It soon became apparent however that strategy was not going to be enough to beat DKR Engineering at Paul Ricard.
The pole-sitting Duqueine machine was simply too quick in the hands of Laurents Horr and bronze-rated driver Jean-Philippe Dayraut, with the pair finishing well clear of championship leaders Nicolas Maulini, Matthew Bell and Niklas Krutten (Cool Racing) and reigning champions United Autosports’ lead entry of Wayne Boyd, Rob Wheldon and Edouard Cauhaupe.
Meanwhile in GTE, the Iron Lynx Ferrari team was able to celebrate victory as Matteo Cressoni, Rino Mastronardi and Miguel Molina took their second win and solidified their grip on the championship.
Ollie Hancock dominated the opening proceedings in his pole-sitting TF Sport Aston Martin before his lead was virtually wiped out by the safety car, diminishing the chance of a victory against the Porsches and Ferraris.
The most notable incident came when Manuela Gostner’s Iron Lynx Ferrari was spun by Hollywood actor Michael Fassbender's Proton Porsche mid-way through the second stint, taking both cars out of contention for victory.
|1|| Roman Rusinov |
Nyck de Vries
|2|| Philip Hanson |
|3|| Job Van Uitert |
|4|| Tristan Gommendy |
|5|| Robert Kubica |
|6|| Salih Yoluc |
|7|| Diego Menchaca |
|8|| Julien Canal |
|Oreca 07||125||4:00'31.710||1 Lap|
|9|| Paul Lafargue |
|Oreca 07||125||4:00'33.618||1 Lap|
|10|| John Falb |
|Aurus 01||125||4:01'09.408||1 Lap|
|11|| Francesco Dracone |
|Oreca 07||125||4:01'09.462||1 Lap|
|12|| Alexandre Coigny |
|Oreca 07||125||4:01'37.823||1 Lap|
|13|| Matthieu Lahaye |
Jean Baptiste Lahaye
|Oreca 07||124||4:01'22.126||2 Laps|
|14|| Vincent Capillaire |
|Oreca 07||124||4:01'49.891||2 Laps|
|15|| Dwight Merriman |
|Oreca 07||122||4:01'09.109||4 Laps|
|16|| Laurents Hörr |
|Duqueine M30 - D08||119||4:01'17.825||7 Laps|
|17|| Nicolas Maulini |
|Ligier JS P320||119||4:01'41.644||7 Laps|
|18|| Wayne Boyd |
|Ligier JS P320||119||4:02'09.517||7 Laps|
|19||Mike Benham |
|Ligier JS P320||118||4:00'27.491||8 Laps|
|20|| Tony Wells |
Colin Noble Jr.
|Ligier JS P320||118||4:00'29.716||8 Laps|
|21|| Gustas Grinbergas |
|Ligier JS P320||118||4:00'58.976||8 Laps|
|22|| Eric Trouillet |
|Ligier JS P320||118||4:01'07.725||8 Laps|
|23||David Hauser |
|Duqueine M30 - D08||118||4:01'32.221||8 Laps|
|24|| Matthias Kaiser |
|Ligier JS P320||118||4:02'04.247||8 Laps|
|25|| Takuma Aoki |
|Oreca 07||117||4:00'24.549||9 Laps|
|26|| Andrea Dromedari |
|Ligier JS P320||117||4:00'38.646||9 Laps|
|27|| Matteo Cressoni |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||117||4:00'47.292||9 Laps|
|28||Cresp Christophe |
|Ligier JS P320||117||4:01'01.341||9 Laps|
|29|| Duncan Cameron |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||117||4:01'01.970||9 Laps|
|30|| Nick Adcock |
|Ligier JS P320||117||4:01'07.010||9 Laps|
|31|| François Perrodo |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||117||4:01'19.913||9 Laps|
|32|| Christian Ried |
|Porsche 911 RSR - 19||117||4:01'21.333||9 Laps|
|33|| Claudio Schiavoni |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||117||4:01'32.985||9 Laps|
|34|| Jody Fannin |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||115||4:01'03.415||11 Laps|
|35|| John Hartshorne |
|Aston Martin Vantage AMR||115||4:01'11.879||11 Laps|
|36||James McGuire |
|Ligier JS P320||113||4:00'35.922||13 Laps|
|37|| Michael Fassbender |
|Porsche 911 RSR - 19||96||4:01'28.869||30 Laps|
| Rob Hodes |
|Ligier JS P320||94||3:11'53.733||32 Laps|
| Rahel Frey |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||41||1:28'11.250||85 Laps|
| Martin Hippe |
|Ligier JS P320||28||56'22.408||98 Laps|
|Alessandro Bressan |
|Ligier JS P320||20||38'01.162||106 Laps|