Van der Garde wins on sportscar debut with Jota in Silverstone ELMS

Former Caterham Formula 1 driver Giedo van der Garde won on his sportscar racing debut in the European Le Mans Series at Silverstone

Van der Garde wins on sportscar debut with Jota in Silverstone ELMS

The Dutchman, who took Sauber to court ahead of 2015 and sat out last season after reaching a settlement with the team, was part of a dominant victory for the Jota Sport-run G-Drive Gibson-Nissan squad.

Team-mate Harry Tincknell surged from fourth to lead on the opening lap, aided by polesitter Pierre Thiriet going off at Abbey in his TDS Racing ORECA 05.

After completing the first two stints in the lead, Tincknell pitted to hand over to Simon Dolan with an advantage of almost 20 seconds over the Ligier of Paul Loup Chatin.

But a full course yellow, caused by Nissan-backed Chris Hoy spinning his Algarve Pro Racing Ligier into the Chapel gravel trap, allowed Chatin to stop while Dolan was circulating slowly and for the car to emerge in the lead by 30s.

This meant 1998 World Cup winning goalkeeper Fabian Barthez, who owns the Panis Barthez Competition team with 1996 Monaco Grand Prix winner Olivier Panis, led on his step up to the LMP2 class.

When the track went green with two-and-a-quarter hours of the four-hour race remaining, Barthez was 30s clear.

But Dolan reeled him in and took the lead with a move up the inside into Stowe half-an-hour later.

The G-Drive Jota car was never again threatened, with Dolan handing the car over after his double stint to allow van der Garde to close out victory by over a minute-and-a-half.

Barthez was set to finish second, only for the Liger to slow at Stowe with just over 45 minutes remaining with Timothe Buret at the wheel and crawl back to the pits.

With the Greaves Motorsport Ligier already having had to visit the garage while running third after hitting gear-selection trouble, this allowed the SMP Racing BR Engineering BR01 to take second with Andreas Wirth, Julian Leal and Stefano Coletti at the wheel.

The Lombard Racing Ligier of Jonathan Coleman, Vincent Capillaire and Oliver Lombard took the final podium position.

The United Autosports Ligier team finished first and second in LMP3, with Alex Brundle, Mike Guasch and Christian England leading home the sister car of Mark Patterson, Matt Bell and Wayne Boyd.

GTE victory went initially to the JMW Motorsport Ferrari F458 Italia of Robert Smith, Andrea Bertolini and Rory Butcher, but it was subsequently excluded when its front splitter was found not to comply with the homologation papers.

This promoted the Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Alex MacDowall, Darren Turner and Andrew Howard to first place.

RESULTS - 118 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 S.Dolan, H.Tincknell, G.van der Garde G-Drive Racing Gibson/Nissan 4h01m45.391s
2 S.Coletti, J.Leal, A.Wirth SMP Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 1m35.052s
3 V.Capillaire, O.Lombard, J.Coleman So24 ! By Lombard Racing Ligier/Judd 1 Lap
4 T.Krohn, N.Jonsson, B.Wirdheim Krohn Racing Ligier/Nissan 1 Lap
5 S.Gelael, M.Evans, A.Giovinazzi SMP Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 1 Lap
6 N.Leutwiler, J.Winslow, F.Mailleux Race Performance ORECA/Nissan 2 Laps
7 P.Lafargue, P.Lafargue, D.Enjalbert Idec Sport Racing Ligier/Judd 2 Laps
8 M.Rojas, J.Canal, K.Giermaziak Greaves Motorsport Ligier/Nissan 3 Laps
9 F.Barthez, T.Buret, P-L.Chatin Panis Barthez Competition Ligier/Nissan 4 Laps
10 M.Munemann, C.Hoy, P.Ghorpade Algarve Pro Racing Ligier/Nissan 4 Laps
11 A.Brundle, M.Guasch, C.England United Autosports Ligier/Nissan 5 Laps
12 M.Patterson, M.Bell, W.Boyd United Autosports Ligier/Nissan 6 Laps
13 E.Trouillet, P.Petit, E.Guibbert Graff Ligier/Nissan 6 Laps
14 D.Hallyday, D.Lunardi Duqueine Engineering Ligier/Nissan 6 Laps
15 D.Faulkner, S.Balfe, S.Doyle Murphy Prototypes ORECA/Nissan 6 Laps
16 T.Woodward, R.Kaiser, J.Swift 360 Racing Ligier/Nissan 7 Laps
17 M.Marateotto, G.Maggi, B.Longin Race Performance Ligier/Nissan 8 Laps
18 E.Debard, V.Moineault, S.Gachet Panis Barthez Competition Ligier/Nissan 8 Laps
19 M.Dons, O.Yusuf RLR MSport Ligier/Nissan 9 Laps
20 A.Howard, D.Turner, A.MacDowall Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 9 Laps
21 A.Talkanitsa, A.Talkanitsa Jr., A.P.Guidi AT Racing Ferrari 9 Laps
22 R.Goethe, S.Hall, R.Stanaway Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 9 Laps
23 J.Nicolet, P.Nicolet Oak Racing Ligier/Nissan 10 Laps
24 D.Cameron, M.Griffin, A.Scott AF Corse Ferrari 10 Laps
25 R.Iannetta, M.Pialat, E.Clement Duqueine Engineering Ligier/Nissan 10 Laps
26 J.Laursen, M.Mac, C.Nielsen Formula Racing Ferrari 10 Laps
27 G.Roda, R.Lietz, C.Ried Proton Competition Porsche 10 Laps
28 P.Perazzini, M.Cioci, R.Aguas AF Corse Ferrari 10 Laps
29 J-B.Lahaye, F.Heriau, M.Lahaye Ultimate Ligier/Nissan 11 Laps
30 M.Hedlund, W.Henzler, M.Seefried Proton Competition Porsche 11 Laps
31 F.Sausset, C.Tinseau, J-B.Bouvet SRT41 By Oak Racing Morgan/Nissan 12 Laps
32 J-M.Merlin, E.Maris Oak Racing Ligier/Nissan 13 Laps
33 J.Falb, S.Rayhall, E.Potolicchio Graff Ligier/Nissan 18 Laps
- R.Smith, R.Butcher, A.Bertolini JMW Motorsport Ferrari Disqualified
- J.Smiechowski, J.Petersen Inter Europol Competition Ligier/Nissan Retirement
- G.Mondini, A.Roda, M.Jacoboni EuroInternational Ligier/Nissan Retirement
- I.Taittinger, R.Striebig, L.Roussel Pegasus Racing Morgan/Nissan Retirement
- H.Hedman, N.Lapierre, B.Hanley DragonSpeed ORECA/Nissan Retirement
- M.Cullen, T.Ave, A.Reid, D.Peterson Murphyp3-3Dimensional.Com Ginetta/Nissan Retirement
- T.Laurent, Y.Ehrlacher, A.Cougnaud M.Racing - YMR Ligier/Nissan Retirement
- T.Jackson, A.Fontes, J.Fuster By Speed Factory Ligier/Nissan Retirement
- R.Lacorte, G.Sernagiotto, N.Schiro Villorba Corse Ligier/Nissan Retirement
- P.Jun Jin, N.de Bruijn, T.Gommendy Eurasia Motorsport ORECA/Nissan Retirement
- P.Thiriet, M.Beche, R.Hirakawa Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA/Nissan Retirement
- Doug Peterson Murphyp3-3Dimensional.Com Ginetta/Nissan Withdrawn


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