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European Le Mans Series

G-Drive Extends Points Lead with 4H Silverstone Win

Vergne, Rusinov and Pizzitola take third straight win as G-Drive stretches points lead…

Photo: MPS Agency

Jean-Eric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola and Roman Rusinov furthered their gap at the top of the European Le Mans Series standings with a comprehensive victory in the 4 Hours of Silverstone.

The G-Drive Racing trio clinched their third consecutive win with the TDS-run No. 26 Oreca 07 Gibson after starting second.

Rusinov took the lead by sweeping around pole-sitter Julien Canal at the Vale left-hander early in hour two before handing over to silver-rated Pizzitola.

The Frenchman then maintained his advantage before Vergne took the controls in the third hour and pushed out the gap to over a lap by the checkered flag.

In second place was the No. 21 DragonSpeed Oreca driven by Nicolas Lapierre, Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman, which started on row two.

Lapierre took the controls at the car’s final stop when it was outside the podium and made a series of overtakes to bring the car into third position.

The Le Mans LMP2 winner was then promoted to second when Paul Lafargue brought the No. 28 IDEC Sport Oreca 07 in for a splash of fuel with less than 10 minutes to go. 

Norman Nato had originally been on course to finish second in the No. 24 Racing Engineering Oreca but the ex-Formula 2 driver crashed into the gravel at Vale with half an hour remaining.

That incident handed G-Drive Racing a 34-point advantage over Racing Engineering heading into the penultimate round at Spa next month.

In LMP3, United Autosports claimed a home victory with its No. 2 Ligier JS P2 Nissan driven by Tony Wells, Garret Grist and Matt Bell.

Wells was chased by Colin Noble in the final stint, but the Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen Racing Ligier driver could only reduce the gap to nine seconds.

United had been on course for a one-two but that prospect was ended when the No. 3 car’s last pit stop took three minutes to complete.

That dropped it to seventh in class, while the No. 17 Ultimate Norma M30 Nissan was promoted to the podium.

JMW Claims Nail-Biting Home Win

Penalties created a dramatic conclusion in LMGTE as JMW Motorsport won by 0.126 seconds from Proton Competition.

A 10-second post-race penalty for the JMW Ferrari 488 GTE meant Matteo Cairoli needed to finish less than 10 seconds behind Miguel Molina to win.

However Cairoli, who shared the No. 88 Proton Porsche 911 RSR with Giorgio and Gianluca Roda, finished just outside that threshold enabling JMW held on for its second win of the year.

Matt Griffin finished third in the Spirit of Race Ferrari after being caught and passed by both Cairoli and Molina in the closing stages.

Griffin’s car was also handed a 10-second penalty for constant abuse of track limits – the same reason as the JMW Ferrari – but the Irishman was comfortably clear of the fourth-placed No. 77 Proton Porsche.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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