Despite dropping as low as fourth after an early spin, Jean Glorieux and Alex Toril in the No. 3 DKR Engineering Norma M30 recovered to win the second Road to Le Mans race on the morning of the 24 Hours.
Starting from pole, Glorieux pulled out a an immediate 5.8 second lead over Race 1 winner John Falb in the No. 2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3, but spun at the Esses on lap four and dropped to fourth, as Falb led to the pitstops from Lucas Legeret’s No. 11 Duqueine Engineering Ligier.
A quick in-lap from Legeret put co-driver Nicolas Melin to the lead, but it was ultimately short-lived.
Toril, having already passed Falb’s co-driver Sean Rayhall, made easy work of the pass at the Dunlop Curve and escaped into the distance to win by 17.7 seconds over Rayhall.
Melin fell to 13th at the finish after a disastrous stint, which saw the Frenchman lose over 25 seconds with a spin on his out-lap at Mulsanne Corner.
Despite starting from the back of the grid, Erwin Creed and Yann Ehrlacher recovered to third with the fastest lap in the M.Racing – YMR Norma.
Ehrlacher climbed aboard in ninth, but quickly made progress and took the position from Emilien Carde’s Graff Ligier on the final lap after Colin Noble crashed the Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen Racing Ligier at Tetre Rouge in avoidance of a slow-moving Porsche.
Carde was subsequently penalised 37 seconds for not changing the transponder, promoting Graff team-mates James Winslow and Scott Taylor to fourth with Edgar Lau and Jacques Wolff completing the top five in a second DKR Norma.
Ahmad al Harthy and Tom Jackson completed a clean sweep of victories in the GT3 rankings for TF Sport after the No. 76 Imsa Performance Porsche 911 GT3 R was penalised for a too-short pitstop.
Al Harthy qualified the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 a remarkable fifth overall and led until the pitstops, despite pressure from Maurizio Mediani’s Spirit of Race Ferrari 458 Italia.
A spin from Mediani’s co-driver Christoph Ulrich meant Jackson’s only challenger was Raymond Narac in the Porsche, who was given a three-second stop and go penalty shortly after taking the lead at the Esses.
The car was subsequently excluded, as Narac’s co-driver Thierry Cornac did not drive in the race.
Duncan Tappy and Michael Benham’s McLaren 650S GT3 took second on the first outing for Garage 59 in the Le Mans Cup, with Steve Hiesse and Cedric Mezard third in the SVC Sport Management Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
RESULTS: Race 2