This week-end, endurance enthusiasts will meet the legendary Silverstone circuit for not one, but two, four-hour races: the fourth round of the ELMS and the opening round of the WEC 2019-2020 .
The first race of the weekend and the fourth round of the ELMS was won by the ORECA #28 of IDEC Sport. This victory is the first of the Team in a Championship that has so far seen three different Teams with an ORECA 07 win the first four rounds of ELMS (DragonSpeed - G-Drive – G-Drive – IDEC Sport).
In the ELMS and on its territory, the ORECA 07 #22 of United Autosports driven by Filipe Albuquerque & Phil Hanson finish at the top of the timesheet of the first free practice session, shortened following a run out of the Dallara # 45 of Carlin. With the best lap in 1m43.134, the new boarder from Team United Autosports was 0.770s ahead of #21 DragonSpeed and Aurus 01 from G-Drive Racing (1m44.160).
Extended 20 minutes, the second session sees again the ORECA 07 #22 United Autosports hit hard. She is ahead of DragonSpeed ORECA 07 #21, G-Drive Racing Aurus 01 #26, IDEC Sport #28 ORECA 07 and Algarve Pro Racing #25.
Saturday morning, it is finally the ORECA #21 of DragonSpeed who pulls pole position during the qualifying session. Led almost end to end by the United Autosports ORECA #22, the session finally sees DragonSpeed grab the fastest time under the checkered flag. They are followed by Paul-Loup Chatin (ORECA # 28, IDEC Sport) in 1’42”460, followed by a tenth by # 37 Nicolas Lapierre (Cool Racing).
Between a chaotic start, rains, crashes and shifted strategies, the 4 Hours of Silverstone reserved their share of surprises Saturday afternoon! If the game of musical chairs began in the first minutes of the race, Matthieu Vaxiviere at the wheel of the #43 RLR MSport that pulls the pin of the game and takes advantage of the pit stop DragonSpeed #21 to pass first.
Halfway through the race, it’s finally the ORECA #23 of Panis-Barthez Competition that takes the lead before giving them to #39 Graff one hour from the end. Punctuated by several incidents including the abandonment of the #22 United Autosports, this race unfortunately sees the ORECA 07 #30 of Duqueine Engineering and Cool Racing # 37 hit (Nicolas Jamin and Alexandre Coigny, while driving, are well).
Finally, it is the trio Chatin – Rojas – Lafargue which, in addition to an excellent pace, manages to thwart all the pitfalls thanks to an impeccable race strategy and offers to IDEC Sport its first victory in ELMS! A long-time leader, G-Drive Racing placed his Aurus 01 on the second step of the podium with a puncture in the final minutes, while Graff climbed onto the third step of the podium and secured his third place in the Championship. If G-drive still maintains the controls of the Championship ahead of Idec Sport, the next race at Spa-Francorchamps promises to be rich in suspense!