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2019 Le Mans Support Races


 

Michelin Le Mans Cup ... Road to Le Mans 

The Michelin Le Mans Cup series had two races during the build up to the Le Mans 24 Hour Race, one on the Thursday evening before the main race qualifying sessions, and the second on the Saturday morning as a prelude to the main race starting in the afternoon. As with the main race, there was a healthy entry list with a total of 49 cars, comprising of 31 LMP3 cars, plus 1 innovative car for disabled drivers entered by Frederic Sausset, and 17 GT3 cars. 

Both of the races, each of 55mins duration, were hard fought in both classes, with the # 39 Graff entered Norma M30-Nissan of Chila / Schatz taking the win in the first race, and claiming a 2nd podium finish with 3rd place in race 2. The #3 DKR Engineering entered Norma M30-Nissan of Kirmann / Horr took victory in the second race, where the 3rd place finisher in race 1, the #25 Lanan Racing Norma M30-Nissan of Benham / Tappy took the runner-up spot. In the GT3 category it was two wins for the #71 Luzich Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Mac / Lavergne, from the # 40 SPS Automotive Performance entered Mercedes-AMG of Pierburg / Onslow-Cole in race 1, and from the #99 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 entered by Beechdean AMR driven by Howard / Gunn in the second race.

 

Race 1 Overall & LMP3 Class Podium

1st – #39, Grazz, Norma M30-Nissan, A. Chila / N. Schatz
2nd – #5, DKR Engineering, Norma M30-Nissan, M. Marateotto / M. Cencetti
3rd – 25, Lanan Racing, Norma M30-Nissan, M. Benham / D. Tappy


Race 1 GT3 Class Podium

1st – #71, Luzich Racing, Ferrari 488 GT3, M. Mac / F. Lavergne
2nd – #40, SPS Automotive Performance, Mercedes-AMG GT3, V. Pierburg / T. Onslow-Cole
3rd – #51, Spirit of Race, Ferrari 488 GT3, C.Ulrich / M. Mediani


Race 2 Overall & LMP3 Class Podium

1st – #3, DKR Engineering, Norma M30-Nissan, F. Kirmann / L. Horr
2nd – 25, Lanan Racing, Norma M30-Nissan, M. Benham / D. Tappy
3rd – #39, Grazz, Norma M30-Nissan, A. Chila / N. Schatz


Race 2 GT3 Class Podium

1st – #71, Luzich Racing, Ferrari 488 GT3, M. Mac / F. Lavergne
2nd – #99, Beechdean AMR, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, A. Howard / R. Gunn
3rd – #40, SPS Automotive Performance, Mercedes-AMG GT3, V. Pierburg / T. Onslow-Cole

 

Ferrari Entry

 

Race #

Model

Chassis #

Team

Drivers

Position

 

Class GT

R1

R2

 

 

 

 

 

OA / Cl

OA / Cl.

71

488 GT3

4230

Luzich Racing

M. Mac /
F. Lavergne

9th / 1st

14th / 1st

51

488 GT3

4274

Spirit of Race

C. Ulrich /
M. Mediani

11th / 3rd

19th / 5th

82

488 GT3

4406

Kessel Racing

Pierre Mulacek /
P. Kaffer

13th / 4th

36th / 13th

53

488 GT3

4222

Spirit of Race

K. Lentoudis /
R. Aguas

19th / 6th

26th / 10th

62

488 GT3

4256

Kessel Racing

Philippe Mulacek /
A. Lazzaro

22nd / 9th

 DNF

8

488 GT3

4444

Kessel Racing

S. Pianezzola /
G. Piccini

26th / 10th

17th / 4th

50

488 GT3

4212

Kessel Racing

J. Hartshorne /
O. Hancock

37th / 13th

38th / 14th

52

488 GT3

4260

Spirit of Race

F. Piovanetti /
O. Negri Jr.

DNF

30th / 12th

 

Ferrari Challenge

The Ferrari Challenge races are split into four categories, Trofeo Pirelli, Trofeo Pirelli-AM, Coppa Shell and Coppa Shell-AM, the AM signifying amateur driver status. With a total of 51 near identical performance cars taking to the track at the same time, some having fell by the wayside through practice and qualifying indiscretions, there was a recipe for some very close action, as is known to be the case with these races. From memory, the last time a Challenge race was held as a prelude to the Le Mans 24 Hour Race, virtually the whole race was run behind safety cars. Fortunately this wasn’t the case this year, as slow zones were implemented, which kept the race flowing well, despite a few cars getting grabbed by the gravel traps or playing kiss and tell with the barriers. 

Pole position had been claimed by Louis Prette from Italy, and two of his main adversaries, Frenchman Thomas Neubauer and Italian Nicolo Schiro were eliminated in a first lap incident which caused their immediate retirement. However, he still had his hands full for the remainder of the race, as British driver Adam Carroll homed in on him and they then had an enthralling dice through the closing stages, swapping places, but both driving impeccably and respecting each other. At the chequered flag it was the #47 example of Carroll that crossed the line first by just 0.505sec from the #17 car of Prette, with the #92 car of another Brit, Sam Smeeth taking the final podium spot.

 

Overall & Class P Podium

1st – #47, Adam Carroll, Ferrari Budapest
2nd – #17, Louis Prette, Formula Racing
3rd – #92, Sam Smeeth, Baron Motorsport


Class P-AM Podium

1st – #33, Emanuele Maria Tabacchi, Rossocorsa
2nd – #37, Jan Danis, Scuderia Praha
3rd – #90, Jack Brown, Graypaul Nottingham


Class S Podium

1st – #118, James Weiland, Rossocorsa
2nd – #177, Fons Scheltema,Kessel Racing
3rd – #109, Ernst Kirchmayr, Baron Motorsport


Class S-AM Podium

1st – #145, Laurent De Meeus, H.R. Owen
2nd – #189, Mark Fuller, Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing
3rd – #136, Alexander Nussbaumer, Scuderia Gohm

 

Keith Bluemel         
06 / 2019