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Tappy, Benham Win Road to Le Mans Race 2

Lanan Racing takes Road to Le Mans win after dramatic final-stint battle with United Autosports…

Photo: Olivier Beroud Images

A late overtake by Duncan Tappy on Sean Rayhall gave Lanan Racing the victory in Saturday’s second Road to Le Mans race at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Tappy, who shared the No. 25 Norma M30 Nissan with Michael Benham, took the lead around the outside of Rayhall’s United Autosports Ligier JSP3 Nissan on the run down to Mulsanne corner with eight minutes of the 55-minute contest to run.

Tappy crossed the line 0.699 seconds ahead of Rayhall who tried in vain to offer a response to the Norma in the final two laps.

The opening half of the race was led by the CD Sport Norma of Laurents Hoerr and Anthony Pons, which profited from a frantic start that saw some of the leaders fall by the wayside.

Race one winner Mikkel Jensen spun the Eurointernational Ligier at the Dunlop chicane after contact with pole-sitter Eric Trouillet in one of the Graff Normas, eliminating both from contention.

That gifted the lead to Hoerr, who started second, but the CD Sport car hemorrhaged time in the pits with a suspected engine issue, leaving Gabriel Chila out front in the No. 40 Graff Norma.

Chila was then caught and passed by Rayhall, who had taken over from John Falb, before Tappy homed in with the Norma exhibiting greater straight-line speed than the Ligier package.

Tappy timed his run to perfection, drafting alongside Rayhall out of the second Mulsanne chicane and sweeping around the United car at the following right-hander.

Rayhall’s second-place finish marked a repeat of his and Falb’s result from Friday’s opener, while the No. 21 DB Motorsport Norma pair of Nicolas Schatz and Jacques Wolff completed the podium.

Le Mans Cup points leaders Leonard Hoogenboom and Jens Petersen consolidated their advantage with fourth, ahead of Chila whose Graff car faded in the second stint.

GT3-class honors went to Maurizio Mediani and Christoph Ulrich in the No. 51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3.

Two of the class contenders were taken out of contention early when Kessel Racing Ferrari driver Sergio Pianezzola took out the 488 of Marco Cioci on the opening lap, triggering a 15-minute safety car.

RESULTS: Road to Le Mans Race 2

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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