Ecurie Ecosse wins LMP3 Cup opener at Donington


Colin Noble and Alsidair McCaig continued the Ecurie Ecosse tradition of victory by taking the first win in LMP3 Cup. Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com

Ecurie Ecosse drivers Alasdair McCaig and Colin Noble charged from the second row of the grid to win round one of the 2017 LMP3 Cup Championship at Donington Park.

Driving the Nielsen Racing-prepared Ligier JSP3-Nissan sporting the colours of the Scottish endurance outfit, McCaig and Noble completed 54 laps in 60 minutes at the 1.9 mile national circuit.

Noble climbed up to second after the round of mandatory pit stops, and cycled into the lead on lap 34 when the Andreus Demitriou/Bob Berridge Ligier came in for its service having stayed out longer than the bulk of the field.

Noble originally exited the pits behind the Christian England/Andrew Evans Ligier run by United Autosports, but a spin for Evans whilst leading dropped that car down to sixth after it commanded the opening portion.

From there, it was a straight run to the flag with Noble crossing the finish line 8.007 seconds ahead of Jamie Spence in the sister Nielsen Racing car shared with Jason Rishover.

Result: LMP3 Cup Championship round one

Spence and Rishover started the day near the back of the 10-car grid, but quick pit work brought the car out in third once all the stops had been completed.

Spence then overtook the Matt Bell/Tony Wells United Autosports Ligier for second with eight laps remaining.

Ten cars took the start of the Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup Championship first round. Credit: Nick Smith/TheImageTeam.com

Completing the podium was ex-Formula One driver Karun Chandhok on his LMP3 debut with the T-Sport team.

Piloting the Ligier with former British GT man Steve Tandy, Chandhok made two places in his second stint after Tandy started the car from the back row of the grid.

The 33-year-old Indian picked up second position when Bell’s Ligier caught a puncture. Chandhok went on to cross the line 27.623 seconds behind race winner Noble.

Rounding out the top five were the Mike Newbould/Tom Randle (Douglas Motorsport) and Richard Dean/Sarah Moore (Tockwith Motorsports) Ligiers.

Pole-sitters Andy Schulz and Paul Bailey finished three laps down in their G-Cat Racing car with a mechanical issue.

A brief safety car period was initiated on lap 15 to clear up loose gravel on the racing line at Coppice corner.

Round two of the LMP3 Cup Championship – another 60-minute two-driver contest – is scheduled to take place tomorrow (April 23) at 15:40 UK time.

Live timing for the LMP3 Cup can be accessed by clicking here.