Hungaroring ELMS: Signatech Alpine secures first victory of 2013

Nelson Panciatici and Pierre Ragues took the first win of the season for the Signatech Alpine squad in the European Le Mans Series at the Hungaroring

Hungaroring ELMS: Signatech Alpine secures first victory of 2013

The French squad controlled the race from the early stages, when Ragues put in a dominant opening stint in slippery conditions.

He took the lead from the Murphy Prototypes car of Jonathan Hirschi on lap four, and by the time he handed the car over to Panciatici after one hour and 48 minutes their lead was a minute and a half.

With the track mostly dry, Panciatici then had to spend the rest of the race managing the gap back to Brendon Hartley. The former Red Bull junior made back a lot of time for the Murphy squad to finish the race just 38s behind the winning car.

Third place went to the Jota Spot pairing of Oliver Turvey and Simon Dolan. Turvey had been in the fight for second for much of his stint before handing over to Dolan, although he suffered a setback when his first attempt at passing Hirschi was scuppered by a left-rear puncture.

Dolan had no response to Hartley's pace in the second half of the race, but he was able to bring the car home comfortably ahead of the SMP Racing entry of Maurizio Mediani (who made a bold lunge for the lead at the start) and Serguey Zlobin to complete the podium.

The other big story in the LMP2 ranks was the race to forget for the championship-leading Thiriet by TDS Racing line-up of Pierre Thiriet and Mathias Beche, which has left Thiriet sharing the championship lead with the race-winning Signatech pair heading into the season finale at Paul Ricard.

The car spent three minutes in the pits after getting into a scrape very early on, and it then lost more time as they gambled on an early switch to slicks before the track was ready for that.

After a few more tangles Beche eventually got the car into sixth overall in the closing stages, just one place ahead of the GTE-winning #77 Porsche.

The Proton Competition car took the lead during Nick Tandy's stint in the middle of the race, and a tidy final stint from Klaus Bachler was enough to bring home the victory with Christian Ried.

Tandy assumed the lead when the #67 IMSA Matmut Performance Porsche of Jean-Karl Vernay was forced to serve a one-minute penalty for overtaking under yellow flags.

Second place in class went to Johnny Mowlem and Matt Griffin's Ram Racing entry, who recovered from a lowly starting position and an unscheduled stop when Mowlem lost a wing mirror to grab a podium finish.

Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap 1. P2 Ragues/Panciatici Signatech Alpine-Nissan 3h01m18.622s 2. P2 Hartley/Hirschi Murphy ORECA-Nissan +38.268s 3. P2 Dolan/Turvey Jota Zytek-Nissan +1 lap 4. P2 Mediani/Zlobin Oreca-Nissan +3 laps 5. P2 Gachnang/Klien Morand Morgan-Judd +4 laps 6. P2 Thiriet/Beche TDS ORECA-Nissan +5 laps 7. GTE Ried/Bachler/Tandy Proton Porsche +6 laps 8. PC Chatin/Hirsch Endurance FLM +6 laps 9. GTE Mowlem/Griffin Ram Ferrari +7 laps 10. GTE Perazzini/Cioci/Leo AF Ferrari +7 laps 11. GTE Perrodo/Collard Prospeed Porsche +8 laps 12. GTE Milesi/Vernay IMSA Porsche +8 laps 13. GTE Jeannette/Montecalvo Ram Ferrari +8 laps 14. GTC Babini/Shaitar/Ladygin SMP Ferrari +9 laps 15. GTC Markozov/Persiani/Frolov SMP Ferrari +9 laps 16. P2 Hartshorne/Kapadia/Al-Mudhaf Boutsen ORECA-Nissan +9 laps 17. GTC Rizzoli/Gai/Case AF Ferrari +9 laps 18. GTC Rocca/Romanini/Mancini Easy Ferrari +11 laps 19. PC Pons/Ayari Endurance FLM +20 laps 20. GTC Millroy/McCaig/Twyman Ecosse BMW +22 laps 21. GTE Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank AF Ferrari +26 laps 22. GTE Bertolini/Camathias JMW Ferrari +31 laps 23. PC Jones/Catsburg Endurance FLM +41 laps 24. P2 Frey/Niederhauser Race Peformance ORECA-Judd +97 laps 25. GTC Kox/Pronk/Retera Kox Lamborghini +99 laps 
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Hungaroring ELMS: Brendon Hartley earns pole for Murphy Prototypes

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Series WEC
Teams Signatech
Author Glenn Freeman
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