The European Le Mans Series (ELMS) got underway at Silverstone & it was a thrilling race at the front and a historic race for a former Olympic gold medalist
After some frenetic racing throughout the four hour race, the Gibson Technologies designed and built LMP2 car crossed the finishing line just 0.370s ahead of the similar Jota Sport Gibson-Nissan.
The pulsating climax of the 4 Hours of Silverstone came after a second safety car period with 90-minutes remaining, when the Massive Motorsport Aston Martin crashed on the pit straight. This incident bunched the field up and ensured that a three-way battle for the win played out in a sensational final thirty minutes of racing.
With both the Greaves entries catching the leading Thiriet by TDS ORECA 05 driven by Tristan Gommendy, Harry Tincknell in the Jota Sport Gibson caught and passed the pole sitter, Jon Lancaster. The Greaves driver immediately fought back and regained the position despite contact between the two British racers at the Becketts complex.
Lancaster then charged after Tristan Gommendy in the lead and with just a few laps remaining made a move at the Aintree lefthander. Again there was contact and Gommendy spun down to third place and Lancaster continued to what appeared to be, at that stage, a clear victory.
But there was a final twist in the epic contest, as a fired-up Tincknell fought all the way to the chequered flag, to finish right on Lancaster’s tail. It was the closest margin of victory in the history of the ELMS.
The all-new LMP3 class, which gives another step on the ladder for aspiring Le Mans racers of the future, was a great success at Silverstone today. Some incredible racing in the early stages saw the two Team LNT Ginetta-Nissan entries fight wheel to wheel with the Lanan Racing and SVK By Speed Factory cars.
The final result though will make headlines around the world as multiple Olympic gold winning cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and his talented young team mate Charlie Robertson ensured they will go down in history as the first ever winners of the LMP3 class.
Hoy scored a debut win in his first ever International event and despite two quick spins showed impressive pace in the LNT Ginetta-Nissan. With Robertson starting and finishing the four hour race the team celebrated wildly as he crossed the line to score maximum points.
The LMGTE class saw a popular home victory by the Gulf Racing UK squad who are based just a few miles from Silverstone at Milton Keynes.
The iconic colours of Gulf claimed the spoils with Phil Keen setting up the victory with a very impressive double stint. Mike Wainwright enjoyed perhaps his best race to date and Adam Carroll completed the victory after making an incisive move on the JMW Ferrari of George Richardson in to the Becketts complex. JMW finished second to make it a British 1-2 in the ultra-competitive LMGTE class.
The GTC category as won by the TDS Racing crew of Dino Lunardi/Eric Dermont and Franck Perera. They clinched a clear victory in their BMW Z4 GT3 two laps ahead of the AF Corse Ferrari driven by Mads Rasmussen/Felipe Barreiros and Francisco Guedes.
TDS Racing had earlier fought with the #63 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia but when they were involved in the safety car triggering incident with the Massive Motorsport Aston Martin, the BMW Z4 took a comparatively straightforward victory.