Strakka wins as LMP1s crumble

The Strakka HPD of Danny Watts, Jonny Kane and Nick Leventis took a shock outright victory in the Le Mans Series' Hungaroring 1000kms as LMP2 cars filled the top six places - the first time a machine from the secondary class has won overall in the LMS

Strakka wins as LMP1s crumble

Watts had thrust the HPD onto a heroic overall pole this morning, but was swallowed up by the more powerful LMP1 pack off the line, as the #13 Rebellion Lola of Andrea Bellichi took an early lead ahead of the ORECA Peugeot and the second Rebellion entry.

Bellichi managed to hold off the Peugeot - which had utterly dominated the last round at Portimao - until the first stops, during which the diesel machine got in front. However Bellichi's team-mate Jean-Christophe Boullion managed to tag along behind the 908 until a string of problems dropped it out of contention. The sister car sustained damage when Nicolas Prost crashed in the second hour.

Rebellion's gremlins left ORECA leading from the Signature Lola Aston Martin, in which Vanina Ickx had charged from the back, where the team had started due to changing tyres after Pierre Ragues' qualifying incident.

But then an alternator failure delayed Signature, shortly before the ORECA Peugeot ran into trouble as well, pitting for mechanical repairs and eventually calling it quits after lapping way off the pace for a while in an attempt to make the finish.

With the Beechdean Mansell Ginetta-Zytek also having various dramas, the LMP2s were left to dominate, and it was the Strakka HPD that eventually pulled clear of main rival Quifel-ASM to take victory with a one-lap cushion at the end of a race of incredible attrition.

Behind the Quifel-ASM Lola, the #24 OAK Pescarolo completed the overall podium, with the Beechdean Mansell car the best of the LMP1 survivors in seventh behind the RML Lola, Bruichladdich Ginetta-Zytek and the #29 Racing Box Lola.

Despite being thoroughly beaten in qualifying, Porsche emerged with GT2 victory in the race, as the Felbermayr Proton 997 of Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb got ahead of the #91 CRS Ferrari at the final stops and then won a close late dice in the darkness.

The Jean Alesi/Giancarlo Fisichella/Toni Vilander AF Corse Ferrari had led for a long time until CRS driver Tim Mullen pounced in traffic and then a seat issue caused a slow pitstop, dropping the AF car back to fourth behind the #76 IMSA Performance Porsche.

Pos Cl Drivers Car Time/Gap 1. P2 Leventis/Watts/Kane HPD 6h01m02.752s 2. P2 Amaral/Pla Ginetta-Zytek + 1 lap 3. P2 Lahaye/Nicolet Pescarolo-Judd + 2 laps 4. P2 Erdos/Newton/Collins Lola-HPD + 4 laps 5. P2 Ojjeh/Greaves/Ebbesvik Ginetta-Zytek + 5 laps 6. P2 Pirri/Cioci/Perazzinii Lola-Judd + 6 laps 7. P1 Mansell/Mansell Ginetta-Zytek + 7 laps 8. P1 Prost/Jani Lola-Rebellion + 13 laps 9. P2 Moreau/Hein Pescarolo-Judd + 14 laps 10. GT2 Lieb/Lietz Porsche + 14 laps 11. GT2 Kirkaldy/Mullen Ferrari + 14 laps 12. GT2 Pilet/Narac Porsche + 14 laps 13. GT2 Alesi/Fisichella/Vilander Ferrari + 14 laps 14. GT2 Barba/Parente Ferrari + 15 laps 15. GT2 Bell/Turner Aston Martin + 15 laps 16. GT2 Ragginger/Ried/Dumas Porsche + 16 laps 17. GT2 Companc/Russo Ferrari + 17 laps 18. P2 Gates/Garofall/Hughes MG Lola AER + 17 laps 19. GT2 Dumbreck/Coronelaps Spyker + 18 laps 20. GT2 Farnbacher/Simonsen Ferrari + 18 laps 21. GT1 Gardel/Goueslard/Rees Saleen + 19 laps 22. FLM Barlesi/Cicognani/Chalandon FLM ORECA + 19 laps 23. P1 Ragues/Mailleux/Ickx Lola Aston Martin + 22 laps 24. P2 Frey/Buncombe Radical-Judd + 24 laps 25. P2 Geri/Babini/Leo Lola-Judd + 27 laps 26. FLM Kutemann/Basso/Hartshorne FLM-ORECA + 28 laps 27. GT2 Felbermayr/Felbermayr/Seefried Porsche + 32 laps 28. GT2 Ehret/Quaife Ferrari + 39 laps 29. FLM Zacchia/Lombard/Moro FLM ORECA + 50 laps 30. FLM Kraihamer/De Crem/Delhez FLM ORECA + 60 laps 31. P1 Panis/Lapierre/Sarrazin Peugeot + 60 laps Retirements: GT2 Westbrook/Holzer Porsche 133 laps P1 Belicchi/Boullion Lola-Rebellion 124 laps P2 Schell/Da Rocha Courage-ORECA 77 laps GT1 Van Dam/Lemeret Saleen 68 laps FLM Toulemonde/Beche FLM ORECA 35 laps FLM Firth/Manning FLM ORECA 20 laps 
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