Paul Ricard European Le Mans: Jota Sport extends lead with win

Jota Sport extended its European Le Mans Series lead before the season finale taking a second victory of 2015 with Filipe Albuquerque, Harry Tincknell and Simon Dolan at Paul Ricard

Paul Ricard European Le Mans: Jota Sport extends lead with win

NEWS UPDATE: Jota penalty gives Greaves win

The Jota Gibson-Nissan 015S LMP2 crossed the line with Tincknell at the wheel half a minute ahead of the similar second-placed Greaves Motorsport car shared by Bjorn Wirdheim, Jon Lancaster and Gary Hirsch after four hours of racing

The Jota car lost time when Dolan had a quick spin at the end of his opening double stint, but Albuquerque was able to make up ground during a safety car before overhauling Hirsch before the third round of pitstops.

Lancaster looked set to come out of the fourth and final sequence of stops ahead of the Jota car because he was not due to take new tyres, but a delay because the Greaves Gibson was hemmed in by the car in the adjacent pit meant that the Briton joined the race five seconds in arrears and was unable to mount a challenge to Tincknell on new tyres.

"With all the safety cars it is difficult to know where you really are until the final 40 or 45 minutes," said Tincknell.

"We came out in the lead and I managed to pull away and cruise really."

The Ricard result means that the Jota trio now lead the championship by 18 points from the Greaves drivers, with 26 up for grabs on the final ELMS weekend of the season at Estoril in October.

Jota's nearest challenger going into Ricard, the TDS ORECA squad, could only finish sixth after requiring late-race repairs, meaning that Tristan Gommendy, Pierre Thiriet and Ludovic Badey have now slipped to third, 20 points behind.

They might have won despite an early puncture for Badey that put their pitstops out of sequence.

Thiriet was set to emerge from the final stops in the lead with 45 minutes to go as TDS only require short-fuelling, but instead it was taken into its garage for hasty repairs related to the earlier puncture.

The Franco-Russian AF Racing squad had its best weekend of the championship so far with its Nissan-powered BR Engineering BR01 coupes after a pre-race switch from Michelin to Dunlop tyres.

Mikhail Aleshin, Viktor Shaitar and Kirill Ladygin ended up third, only 5s down on the Greaves Gibson, while the sister entry of Nicolas Minassian, David Markozov and Maurizio Mediani was a further minute behind in fourth.

The Krohn Racing Ligier-Judd/BMW JSP2 ended up fifth in the hands of Oliver Pla, Nic Jonsson and Tracy Krohn.

ROBERTSON AND HOY SEAL LMP3 TITLE

Charlie Robertson and record-breaking Olympian Chris Hoy tied up the LMP3 title with a round to spare courtesy of their third class victory of the season aboard their works Team LNT Ginetta-Nissan.

They had an easy run to victory after Gaetan Paletou spun out of the lead in the second of the LNT cars just after the one-hour mark as a result of a gearbox issue.

The AF Corse-run Formula Racing squad took GTE honours with Andrea Rizzoli, Mikkel Mac and Johnny Laursen by a lap from the Marc VDS BMW Z4 shared by Andy Priaulx, Jesse Krohn and Henry Hassid.

Rizzoli found himself with a lead of the better part of a lap after the first round of pitstops when the safety car was deployed between the two cars.

GTC honours for GT3 machinery went to the TDS Racing BMW Z4 shared by Franck Perera, Dino Lunarid and Eric Dermont.

NEWS UPDATE: Jota penalty gives Greaves win

RESULTS - 123 LAPS:

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 LMP2 G.Hirsch, B.Wirdheim, J.Lancaster Greaves Motorsport Gibson/Nissan 4h01m29.450s
2 LMP2 M.Aleshin, K.Ladygin, V.Shaytar AF Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 5.169s
3 LMP2 S.Dolan, F.Albuquerque, H.Tincknell JOTA Sport Gibson/Nissan 14.710s
4 LMP2 M.Mediani, D.Markozov, N.Minassian AF Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 1m00.880s
5 LMP2 T.Krohn, N.Jonsson, O.Pla Krohn Racing Ligier/Judd 1 Lap
6 LMP2 P.Thiriet, L.Badey, T.Gommendy Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA/Nissan 1 Lap
7 LMP2 L.Roussel, D.Cheng Pegasus Racing Morgan/Nissan 2 Laps
8 LMP2 M.Munemann, J.Winslow, A.Roda Algarve Pro Racing Ligier/Nissan 2 Laps
9 LMGTE J.Laursen, M.Mac, A.Rizzoli Formula Racing Ferrari 6 Laps
10 LMGTE A.Priaulx, H.Hassid, J.Krohn BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW 7 Laps
11 LMGTE R.Smith, R.Butcher, J.Cocker JMW Motorsport Ferrari 8 Laps
12 LMGTE R.Lietz, M.Mapelli, C.Ried Proton Competition Porsche 8 Laps
13 LMGTE A.Talkanitsa, A.Talkanitsa Jr., A.P.Guidi AT Racing Ferrari 8 Laps
14 LMGTE D.Cameron, M.Griffin, A.Scott AF Corse Ferrari 8 Laps
15 LMGTE M.Wainwright, A.Carroll, P.Keen Gulf Racing UK Porsche 8 Laps
16 GTC F.Perera, D.Lunardi, E.Dermont TDS Racing BMW 10 Laps
17 LMP3 C.Hoy, C.Robertson Team LNT Ginetta/Nissan 10 Laps
18 GTC T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, S.Hall AF Corse Ferrari 10 Laps
19 LMP3 R.Lacorte, G.Sernagiotto Cetilar Villorba Corse Ginetta/Nissan 10 Laps
20 GTC C.Elgaard, K.Poulsen, S.Moller Massive Motorsport Aston Martin 11 Laps
21 GTC M.Rasmussen, A.De Leener, F.Guedes AF Corse Ferrari 11 Laps
22 LMP3 K.Calko, M.Van Oostrum, D.Matijosaitis SVK by Speed Factory Ginetta/Nissan 11 Laps
- LMP2 N.de Bruijn, R.Bradley Eurasia Motorsport ORECA/Nissan Retirement
- LMGTE P.Mann, A.Bertolini, M.Cressoni AF Corse Ferrari Retirement
- LMP2 N.Berthon, M.Lyons, M.Patterson Murphy Prototypes ORECA/Nissan Retirement
- GTC G.Roda, I.Melnikov, M.Cioci AF Corse Ferrari Retirement
- LMP3 M.Simpson, G.Paletou Team LNT Ginetta/Nissan Retirement


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