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European Le Mans Series

Greaves Wins ELMS Thriller at Silverstone after Late Collision

Greaves wins thrilling ELMS opening round at Silverstone…

Photo: Brecht Decancq

Photo: Brecht Decancq

Greaves Motorsport claimed the first overall victory of the season in Saturday’s action-packed and incident-filled European Le Mans Series season-opening Four Hours of Silverstone.

Jon Lancaster took the No. 41 Gibson 015S-Nissan, which he shared with Bjorn Wirdheim and Gary Hirsch, across the line in first place, finishing just 0.370s ahead of the No. 38 Jota Sport Gibson 015S-Nissan of Harry Tincknell, Simon Dolan and Filipe Albuquerque.

Lancaster took the lead just five minutes from the end, after a highly controversial move on the No. 46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca 05-Nissan of Tristan Gommendy. The two cars collided, sending Gommendy into a spin and out of the top spot.

The incident between Gommendy and Lancaster was investigated and shortly after the podium ceremony it was announced that no further action was taken, confirming the win for Greaves.

Tincknell, who had been not been able to take advantage of the scrap ahead, was classified in second place, while the No. 46 Oreca of Tristan Gommendy, Ludovic Badey and Pierre Thiriet eventually finished in third place, 20.063s behind race winner Lancaster.

Krohn Racing’s Ligier JS P2 Judd of Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Ozz Negri came home in fourth in the American team’s series debut.

Gulf Racing UK claimed victory in GTE class, with the No. 86 Porsche 911 RSR of Michael Wainwright, Adam Carroll and Phil Keen putting the entire field a lap down after four hours.

JMW Motorport’s No. 66 Ferrari 458 Italia finished the race in second place, 23.439s ahead of the No. 55 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia.

AF Corse lost two cars in the first half of the race, as both the No. 51 and the No. 81 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3s retired after incidents involving LMP2 cars.

TDS Racing dominated GTC with its No. 59 BMW Z4 GT3. Franck Perera, Dino Lunardi and Eric Dermont finished the race with a two-lap lead over the No. 64 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia. Gulf Racing UK’s Lamborghini finished in third, albeit 16 laps down.

Team LNT finished first and second in LMP3, with British Olympian Chris Hoy and Charlie Robertson beating teammates Michael Simpson and Gaetan Paletou. The University of Bolton car took third place.

The four-hour race saw two safety cars, one after an incident on the opening lap and one following a crash involving the No. 68 Massive Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and the No. 63 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.

A late-race incident for the No. 44 Ibanez Racing Oreca 03-Nissan of Michele La Rosa resulted in a local yellow flag but no safety car, which allowed the battle for the lead to continue all the way to the end.

The next round of the European Le Mans Series will take place at Imola, on May 17-18.

RESULT: Race

Marcel ten Caat (@marceltencaat) is a contributor to Sportscar365 and other publications including Autosport.nl.

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