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.

Paul Ricard ELMS: G-Drive ends WRT and Kubica'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,

#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.

Results

Cla Driver Car Laps Time Gap
1 Russian Federation Roman Rusinov
Argentina Franco Colapinto
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Aurus 01 126 4:00'17.286  
2 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
United Kingdom Tom Gamble
Oreca 07 126 4:00'23.671 6.385
3 Netherlands Job Van Uitert
France Nico Jamin
Venezuela Manuel Maldonado
Oreca 07 126 4:00'41.558 24.272
4 France Tristan Gommendy
Austria Rene Binder
Mexico Memo Rojas
Oreca 07 126 4:01'00.457 43.171
5 Poland Robert Kubica
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
China Ye Yifei
Oreca 07 126 4:01'08.286 51.000
6 Turkey Salih Yoluc
Ireland Charles Eastwood
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Oreca 07 126 4:01'12.053 54.767
7 Mexico Diego Menchaca
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
United Kingdom Richard Bradley
Oreca 07 126 4:01'42.127 1'24.841
8 France Julien Canal
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Australia James Allen
Oreca 07 125 4:00'31.710 1 Lap
9 France Paul Lafargue
France Paul-Loup Chatin
France Jean-Eric Vergne
Oreca 07 125 4:00'33.618 1 Lap
10 United States John Falb
Portugal Rui Andrade
Spain Roberto Merhi
Aurus 01 125 4:01'09.408 1 Lap
11 Italy Francesco Dracone
Italy Sergio Campana
Germany Markus Pommer
Oreca 07 125 4:01'09.462 1 Lap
12 Switzerland Alexandre Coigny
France Nicolas Lapierre
Switzerland Antonin Borga
Oreca 07 125 4:01'37.823 1 Lap
13 France Matthieu Lahaye
France Jean Baptiste Lahaye
France François Heriau
Oreca 07 124 4:01'22.126 2 Laps
14 France Vincent Capillaire
France Maxime Robin
Arnold Robin
Oreca 07 124 4:01'49.891 2 Laps
15 United States Dwight Merriman
United Kingdom Kyle Tilley
France Gabriel Aubry
Oreca 07 122 4:01'09.109 4 Laps
16 Germany Laurents Hörr
Jean-Philippe Dayraut
Duqueine M30 - D08 119 4:01'17.825 7 Laps
17 Nicolas Maulini
United Kingdom Matthew Bell
Niklas Kruetten
Ligier JS P320 119 4:01'41.644 7 Laps
18 United Kingdom Wayne Boyd
Robert Wheldon
Edouard Cauhaupe
Ligier JS P320 119 4:02'09.517 7 Laps
19 Mike Benham
United Kingdom Alex Kapadia
Malthe Jakobsen
Ligier JS P320 118 4:00'27.491 8 Laps
20 United Kingdom Tony Wells
United Kingdom Colin Noble Jr.
Ligier JS P320 118 4:00'29.716 8 Laps
21 Lithuania Gustas Grinbergas
Mateusz Kaprzyk
Italy Mattia Pasini
Ligier JS P320 118 4:00'58.976 8 Laps
22 France Eric Trouillet
Sebastien Page
Switzerland David Droux
Ligier JS P320 118 4:01'07.725 8 Laps
23 David Hauser
Gary Hauser
Tom Cloet
Duqueine M30 - D08 118 4:01'32.221 8 Laps
24 Switzerland Matthias Kaiser
Finland Rory Penttinen
Ligier JS P320 118 4:02'04.247 8 Laps
25 Takuma Aoki
Belgium Nigel Bailly
Pierre Sancinena
Oreca 07 117 4:00'24.549 9 Laps
26 Italy Andrea Dromedari
Joey Alders
Ligier JS P320 117 4:00'38.646 9 Laps
27 Italy Matteo Cressoni
Italy Rino Mastronardi
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 117 4:00'47.292 9 Laps
28 Cresp Christophe
France Fabien Lavergne
Adrien Chila
Ligier JS P320 117 4:01'01.341 9 Laps
29 United Kingdom Duncan Cameron
Ireland Matthew Griffin
South Africa David Perel
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 117 4:01'01.970 9 Laps
30 United Kingdom Nick Adcock
United States Austin McCusker
Netherlands Max Koebolt
Ligier JS P320 117 4:01'07.010 9 Laps
31 France François Perrodo
France Emmanuel Collard
Italy Alessio Rovera
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 117 4:01'19.913 9 Laps
32 Germany Christian Ried
United States Cooper MacNeil
Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 117 4:01'21.333 9 Laps
33 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Paolo Ruberti
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 117 4:01'32.985 9 Laps
34 United Kingdom Jody Fannin
Italy Andrea Fontana
United States Rodrigo Sales
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 115 4:01'03.415 11 Laps
35 United Kingdom John Hartshorne
United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Ollie Hancock
Aston Martin Vantage AMR 115 4:01'11.879 11 Laps
36 James McGuire
Duncan Tappy
Andrew Bentley
Ligier JS P320 113 4:00'35.922 13 Laps
37 Germany Michael Fassbender
Australia Jaxon Evans
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 96 4:01'28.869 30 Laps
  United States Rob Hodes
Canada Garett Grist
Charles Crews
Ligier JS P320 94 3:11'53.733 32 Laps
  Switzerland Rahel Frey
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Italy Manuela Gostner
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 41 1:28'11.250 85 Laps
  Germany Martin Hippe
Ugo De
Ulysse De
Ligier JS P320 28 56'22.408 98 Laps
  Alessandro Bressan
Greece Andreas Laskaratos
Italy Damiano Fioravanti
Ligier JS P320 20 38'01.162 106 Laps
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