Nicolas Lapierre and Olivier Panis had a great day as they dominated the Autosport 1000km today ahead of the three cars of Aston Martin Racing.
Despite leading for a lot of the race it wasn’t an easy day for the ORECA team as they were forced to pit to replace the cars nose because of a broken front louvre, this handed the Lola-Aston Martin of Belicchi, Prost and Fassler the lead of the race with a huge time advantage over second place.
Unfortunately for the Aston Martin team they were also forced to repair a broken louvre, reversing the positions and gifting the lead and the eventual race win to ORECA, who recorded their first LMS victory since the Silverstone 2005 race.
“We had a big gap; the situation was under control,” said Lapierre. “Then we had to change the louvre, but it was only right that Sebah had to do the same thing.”
The lead AMR Lola-Aston Martin had a steady run today to finish in third place, securing the title along the way.
“Our pace wasn’t perfect today, but that wasn’t the key to our success,” said Mucke. “We again had a consistent and reliable car, and that’s what wins you championships.”
The AMR Lola-Aston Martin of Darren Turner and Harold Primat had held second place but was forced into the pits for a splash-and-dash pitstop in the closing stages.
The Pescarolo-Judd 01 had great pace in the hands of Jean-Christophe Boullion, who came from the back of the grid to lead the race in the opening stages, unfortunately for the Frenchman a transmission problem put paid to their hopes of a decent result (and any championship aspirations) as they were forced to change a gear cluster.
Meanwhile in LMP2, the Speedy/Sebah team claimed an easy victory with it’s Judd powered Lola B08/80 driven by Jonny Kane, Benjamin Leuenberger and Xavier Pompidou.
Gigawave Aston Martin claimed the GT1 win with Ryan Sharp and Peter Nox after trailing the Larbre Saleen in the hands of Laurent Groppi.
GT2 honours went to JMW Motorsport Ferrari, but this was unfortunately not enough to prevent championship rivals Felbermayr-Proton taking the class title.
Drayson racing faced a frustrating time after running in second place with their Aston Martin Vantage GT2, but unfortunately developed mechanical issues.
Driver/Owner Paul Drayson said “I am disappointed we had another technical failure on the car but, on the other hand, we have shown today the true pace of the Vantage and the team. So, to end the Le Mans Series having run as high as P2 is a good feeling.”