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European Le Mans Series

Thiriet by TDS Wins Estoril, Greaves Claims LMP2 Title

Greaves Motorsport claims 2015 ELMS championship…

Photo: Nick Dungan/Adrenal Media/ELMS

Photo: Nick Dungan/Adrenal Media/ELMS

Thiriet by TDS Racing claimed its second victory of the season at Estoril, but a runner-up finish for Greaves Motorsport was enough to give Bjorn Wirdheim, Jon Lancaster and Gary Hirsch the 2015 European Le Mans Series championship.

Nicolas Lapierre took the No. 46 Oreca 05 Nissan to a 1 minute and 15-second victory over Lancaster, in a mixed-condition, season-ending Four Hours of Estoril that saw a number of ups and downs in the three-way title fight.

The Greaves entry, which started from the rear of the LMP2 field due to an infringement in qualifying, benefitted from a sudden downpour in the second hour, which saw the then-leading Jota Sport Gibson 015S of Simon Dolan spin off and get stuck in a gravel trap.

Dolan, who along with co-drivers Harry Tincknell and Filipe Albuquerque, entered the race with a two-point lead thanks to the Audi driver’s pole, dropped one lap behind and out of race contention, en route to a fourth place finish.

It wasn’t clear sailing for Greaves, however, as Lancaster was forced to serve a stop & go penalty with 20 minutes remaining for a pit infringement, although crucially able to hold second place on track.

Lapierre, meanwhile, shared Sunday’s race win with Pierre Thiriet and Ludovic Badey, resulting in the French team finishing second in the championship and demoting the unlucky Jota squad to third.

The No. 21 AF Racing BR01 Nissan, which led the middle stages, finished third overall in the hands of Mikhail Aleshin, after being forced to make an additional stop due to an incorrect tire choice in changing conditions.

BMW Team Marc VDS, in its final race in four-wheeled competition, claimed a dominant class win in GTE.

Jesse Krohn took the Belgian squad’s BMW Z4 GTE to a one-lap victory over the No. 99 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage V8 of Alex MacDowall, in the team’s ELMS debut.

BMW junior driver Krohn took over the class lead in the third hour, following an early leading run by the JMW Motorsport Ferrari F458 Italia, which stopped on track in the hands of James Calado shortly after losing the lead.

It gave clear sailing for VDS, with Krohn, Andy Priaulx and Henry Hasaad taking top class honors in an emotional final outing.

The No. 86 Gulf Racing UK Porsche 911 RSR completed the class podium in third, while a fifth place finish for the No. 60 Formula Racing Ferrari was good enough for Johnny Laursen, Mikkel Mac and Andrea Rizzoli to claim the class championship.

While the No. 2 Team LNT Ginetta-Nissan picked up LMP3 class honors, after its sister entry had already clinched the championship, it was TDS Racing that took home the GTC title with a second place class finish for its BMW Z4 GT3.

The No. 63 AF Corse Ferrari, meanwhile, claimed the class win in the race.

RESULTS: Four Hours of Estoril

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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