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European Le Mans Series Silverstone


# 66, JMW MOTORSPORT, Ferrari F488 GTE s/n 3812, Liam Griffin _ Alex MacDowall _ Miguel Molina

# 66, JMW MOTORSPORT, Ferrari F488 GTE s/n 3812, Liam Griffin _ Alex MacDowall _ Miguel Molina

 

Silverstone, 18 August, 2018

The fourth round of the European Le Mans Series was held at the Silverstone circuit on Saturday 18 August, attracting an entry of 41 cars across the three classes, with 16 in the LMP2 division, 18 in the LMP3 division and 7 in the LMGTE group. The 4 hour race formed part of an endurance double header, preceding the FIA WEC 6 hour race which was held on the Sunday afternoon, providing enthusiasts with 10 hours of endurance racing over the course of the weekend, plus practice and qualifying sessions, together with a trio of FIA F3 European Championship races. It would be a real test of endurance for some drivers, as no less than fourteen of them were participating in both the ELMS and FIA WEC races.

At the end of the Saturday morning qualifying sessions it was the # 23 Panis Barthez Competition entered Ligier JSP217 of Buret / Canal / Stevens that claimed the overall pole position, ahead of the # 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07-Gibson of Rusinov / Pizzitola / Vergne. They were fractionally quicker than the similar # 21 DragonSpeed entry driven by Hedman / Hanley / Lapierre. The LMP3 class pole position battle was won by the # 12 EuroInternational entered Ligier JS P3-Nissan of Dromedari / Hanratty / Drudi, which was fractionally faster than the similar # 6 360 Racing example of Woodward/Kaiser/Swift, whilst the top eight times in the class spanned less than 0.5sec. The LMGTE class pole honours went to the # 77 Proton Competition entered Porsche 911 RSR of Ried / Dienst / Olsen, which was just 0.06sec quicker than the sister # 88 car of Roda Gia. / Roda Gio. / Cairoli.

From the start the race developed into an intense battle between the pole sitting # 23 Ligier and the # 26 Oreca, both proving very evenly matched in performance, with the latter unable to find a way past in the early stages. However, just before the race was an hour old an opportunity presented itself whilst lapping back markers, and the # 26 G-Drive car moved to the head of the field, from where it controlled the race through to the chequered flag, finishing a lap ahead of its nearest rival. This was despite having to make a late race “splash and dash” for fuel, which seemed to the case for a number of other runners, and was its third consecutive win in the series this season. After its initial strong showing the # 23 Ligier slipped down to 6th position at the flag, after contact with another car necessitated a stop for the fitment of a new tail section. Fighting through to take 2nd place was the # 21 DragonSpeed Oreca 07-Gibson, of Hedman / Hanley / Lapierre that had qualified 3rd quickest, with the similar # 28 IDEC Sport entry of Lafargue / Chatin / Rojas taking the final podium spot.

In the LMP3 class the win went to the # 3 United Autosports entered Ligier JS P3-Nissan of Wells/Grist/Bell, only 9.113secs ahead of the similar # 7 Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen entry driven by Noble/Kapadia/Olsen, after 4 hours of racing. The # # 17 Ultimate entered Norma M 30-Nissan of Lahaye M. / Lahaye J. / Heriau took the final podium spot. In the LMGTE class the # 66 JMW Motorsport and # 55 Spirit of Race Ferraris that had been disappointing in qualifying came good in the race, battling strongly with the Porsches. The # 55 example of Cameron/Scott/Griffin led the class during the final hour with Matt Griffin at the wheel. However, the # 66 JMW car of Griffin/MacDowell/Molina, being driven by Miguel Molina, was closing in lap by lap, and eventually put a clean move on Griffin to take the class lead. A little further back the # 88 Porsche of Roda Gia. / Roda Gio. / Cairoli with Matteo Cairoli at the wheel, was homing in on the back of the deposed # 55 Ferrari, whilst the # 66 example made good its escape. As the closing minutes ticked down it came up on the screen that the pair of Ferraris had a 10secs time penalty for exceeding track limits, giving the Porsche a sniff of a class win. On the final lap Cairoli found a way past Griffin, who went off track in the process but managed to gather it all together, to still finish 3rd on the road, and as it turned out still 3rd in the final standings after the penalty time had been added. Molina in the JMW Ferrari just managed to get far enough ahead to take the class win by 0.126sec after the 10secs penalty had been added to his race time. 

 

Race Podiums

Overall & LMP2

1st # 26, G-Drive Racing, Oreca 07-Gibson, R. Rusinov/A. Pizzitola/J. Vergne
2nd # 21, DragonSpeed, Oreca 07-Gibson, H. Hedman/B. Hanley/N. Lapierre
3rd # 28, IDEC Sport, Oreca 07-Gibson, P. Lafargue/P. Chatin/M. Rojas

LMP3

1st # 3, United Autosports, Ligier JS P3-Nissan, A. Wells/G. Grist/M. Bell
2nd # 7, Ecurie Ecosse Nielsen, Ligier JS P3-Nissan, C. Noble/A. Kapadia/G. Olsen
3rd # 17, Ultimate, Norma M 30-Nissan, M. Lahaye/J. Lahaye/F. Heriau

LM GTE

1st # 66, JMW Motorsport, Ferrari 488 GTE, L. Griffin/A. MacDowell/M. Molina
2nd # 88, Proton Competition, Porsche 911 RSR, G. Roda/G. Roda Jr./M. Cairoli
3rd # 55, Spirit of Race, Ferrari 488 GTE, D. Cameron/M. Griffin/A. Scott

 

Ferrari Entry

Race #

Model

Chassis #

Team

Colour

Drivers

Position

 

O/A

Cl.

Class LM GTE

 

 

66

Ferrari 488 GTE*

4404

JMW Motorsport

Yellow-Black Red-Chrome

L. Griffin /
A. MacDowell /
M. Molina

25th

1st

55

Ferrari 488 GTE

3812

Spirit ofRace

Green Met’-White

D. Cameron /
M. Griffin /
A. Scott

27th

3rd

83

Ferrari 488 GTE

3822

Krohn Racing

Lime-Blue

T. Krohn /
A. Bertolini /
N. Jonsson

32nd

6th

*488 GT3 Converted to GTE Specification

 

Keith Bluemel          08/2018.