While G-Drive Racing claimed back-to-back LMP2 victories in Sunday’s Six Hours of Shanghai, a fourth place class finish was enough for Signatech Alpine to clinch the class title, one race early.
The No. 36 Alpine A460 Nissan of Nico Lapierre, Stephane Richelmi and Gustavo Menenzes had a mixed race, battling setup issues and a spin by Menezes in the third hour after contact by the No. 43 RGR Sport Ligier JS P2 Nissan of Bruno Senna, who received a penalty.
Lapierre was then locked into a heated late-race battle with RGR Sport’s Filipe Albuquerque, who managed to finish third in class, despite contact on the final lap with a GTE-Am car.
It marked only the second non-podium finish of the season for the Philippe Sinault-led Signatech crew, which has claimed four class victories in eight races so far.
Twenty-two year-old Californian Menezes, meanwhile, becomes the first American driver to win a FIA world title in 35 years.
Up front in the race, G-Drive’s Stevens, Alex Brundle and Roman Rusinov took another class win, after a relatively flawless race for the Jota Sport-run operation.
Stevens finished one-lap ahead of the No. 30 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier Nissan of Antonio Giovanazzi, Sean Gelael and LMP2 debutant Tom Blomqvist, who claimed their first podium finish in only the second race for the Jagonya Ayam-backed program.
The sister No. 31 Tequila Patron ESM entry completed the top-five in class.
RESULTS: 6H Shanghai