One round away from the end of the European Le Mans Series, G-Drive Racing by TDS Racing have manages to secure the title with their No. 26 ORECA 07. After a race marked by unusually tough weather conditions on Spa-Francorchamps circuit, the Russian team claimed the title, for the second season back to back.
In quest for a new title
Right from the start of the season, Roman Rusinov, G-Drive Racing’s star, shared publically his ambition of returning to the European Le Mans Series to win. Looking to reach that aim, the Russian driver invited two charismatic drivers to join him: Jean-Eric Vergne and André Pizzitola.
Only one goal in mind: to clinch a new ELMS title with G-Drive Racing (following on first title claimed in 2017 with No. 22 car operated by DragonSpeed).
Race after race, the No. 26 car operated by TDS Racing garnered championship points, delivering increasingly convincing performances.
The final race in Portimao is yet to come but G-Drive Racing has already clinched three wins and one pole position.
4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps: when torrential rain comes in the way
Trio Rusinov/Vergne/Pizzitola arrived in the Belgian Ardennes, more motivated than ever. They had done the math, a flawless race would lead to the title.
As the weekend started, the forecast was clear: no sunshine to be expected on Spa-Francorchamps Circuit!
Thanks to Jean-Eric Vergne’s great work, the No. 26 car clinched the pole position during the qualifying session on Saturday.
The race kickstarted on Sunday, at 10:45am. (The forecasted heavy rain forced the organisers to start the race earlier).
At the start, all positions shuffled due to the dense traffic, with a pack having to be very careful.
Safety cars kept coming on to the track before a red flag eventually signaled an early end. The 2018 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps only lasted about two hours.
Just off the Top 10, the No. 26 ORECA 07 triumphed then and won the 2018 ELMS title.
French team Duqueine Engineering got off to a flawless start before leading the race, with fastest time in lap posted by Nelson Panciatici (2:29:009). They finished in fifth place. American team DragonSpeed and their No. 21 car climbed on to the second step of the podium, for the second time this season, while IDEC Sport finished just off the podium.
Next round will be the 4 Hours of Portimao in a month’s time. Though the title is now out of reach, ORECA’s delegation is still determined to race its best and fight for the remaining two steps on the podium!