Butel wins LMP3 Cup finale, Hoy places top five

by Daniel Lloyd

Jack Butel won a red flagged final round of the LMP3 Cup Championship at Donington Park, as Sandy Mitchell and Olympic cycling legend Chris Hoy recorded a top five finish.

Butel, driving the Speedworks Motorsport Ligier JSP3-Nissan, was leading when the race was stopped after series champion Colin Noble crashed his Ecurie Ecosse Ligier into the barriers with 15-minutes of the one-hour contest remaining.

Noble lost control in extremely wet conditions whilst dueling for the lead, handing Butel his maiden LMP3 Cup victory.

Butel was joined on the podium by race one winners Tony Wells and Matt Bell, and Jamie Spence/Jason Rishover who finished third in their Nielsen Racing Ligier.

Wells and Bell won Saturday’s dry one-hour contest after Bell  moved up from third with overtakes on Noble and the pole-sitting car driven by Andrew Evans.

The United Autosports pair confirmed themselves as championship runners up as a result.

Another hard-charger in the opening race was series debutant Sandy Mitchell, who recorded a podium alongside six-time Olympic cycling gold medalist Chris Hoy.

After Hoy’s solid start, Mitchell made a series of moves to elevate the United Autosports-run Ligier up to second, ahead of Rishover and Spence who also got past the Noble/McCaig and Evans/Christian England duos.

Hoy, who was making his first race appearance since last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, said he enjoyed his return to the cockpit of an LMP3 car – the category in which he became European champion in 2015.

“On the whole it was a fantastic weekend and I’m so grateful I had this opportunity,” reflected Hoy.

“It was great to meet Sandy. I’ll be watching his career in the future and it will be nice to say I raced with him when he’s a big superstar”.

“To get on the podium was something we really didn’t expect. While I’m disappointed with race two, to get a second place in race one and to start on the front row in race two was great and I had a really good time.”

The Donington Park weekend attracted the joint-largest entry of this year’s inaugural LMP3 Cup season, with 10 cars taking part.

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