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European Le Mans Series

United Autosports Wins 4H Spa; G-Drive Clinches Title

United wins rain-shortened race as G-Drive clinches LMP2 title…

Photo: MPS Agency

Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson were declared winners of a rain-shortened 4 Hours of Spa as Jean-Eric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola and Roman Rusinov clinched the European Le Mans Series title.

The No. 22 United Autosports Ligier JSP217 Gibson was in front when the red flags were brought out with an hour and a half remaining.

Albuquerque took the lead near the end of the first hour during a round of pit stops and managed to hold his advantage until the persistent rain worsened.

DragonSpeed’s Oreca 07 Gibson was classified second with Ben Hanley, Henrik Hedman and Nicolas Lapierre picking up their second straight podium, while the Panis Barthez Competition Ligier of Will Stevens, Timothe Buret and Julien Canal finished third.

Further down the order, Vergne, Pizzitola and Rusinov clinched the LMP2 drivers’ championship with an 11th place finish.

The G-Drive Racing Oreca led the opening stages from pole but dropped back after a handful of trips through the gravel for Pizzitola.

The Frenchman handed over to compatriot Jean-Eric Vergne with the car running ninth, but Vergne was handed a two-minute stop and hold penalty for causing a collision between the No. 88 Proton Competition Porsche and the APR-Rebellion Oreca.

That dropped the TDS-run car out of the top 10, but with half-points being issued it was still enough to wrap up the championship because title rivals Olivier Pla, Paul Petit and Norman Nato could only manage seventh in the Racing Engineering Oreca.

United Autosports completed a sweep of the prototype classes as John Falb and last-minute stand-in Scott Andrews picked up the win with their Ligier JSP3 Nissan.

It marked Falb’s first ELMS victory in over a year, and the first-ever for series debutant Andrews, who was called up to replace the unwell Sean Rayhall.

The pair were in charge at the red flag, with RLR MSport’s Job van Uitert, Rob Garofall and John Farano in second.

LMGTE honors went to the Ebimotors Porsche 911 RSR of Riccardo Pera, Fabio Babini and Bret Curtis.

Pera took the lead in the opening stages as other teams elected to send their bronze-rated drivers out first, and consolidated it when handing over to Babini.

Second in class was the No. 55 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE, ahead of the No. 88 Proton Competition Porsche which maintained its championship lead with a podium.


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

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