This weekend, the 4 Hours of Portimao marked the end of a breathtaking European Le Mans Series 2019 season! At the end of the last Portuguese race, the ORECA delegation wins all the crowns with a 100% ORECA podium and the first ELMS title for Idec Sport Racing with an ORECA 07.
After a first pole position signed at Spa-Francorchamps, Filipe Albuquerque has again made the talk at home by offering the #7 ORECA 07 of United Autosports the pole of the 4 Hours of Portimão. It is followed by the ORECA 07 # 21 of the DragonSpeed Team and the ORECA 07 #23 of the Panis-Barthez Competition Team. The three contenders for the title have meanwhile signed the 5th time for IDEC Sport Racing, the 8th for G-Drive – leader before the start – and the 11th for Graff Racing.
As soon as the start was given, two crashes involving several cars redistributed the cards. If no ORECA is handicapped by these impressive clashes, the red flag interrupts the race more than 45 minutes. Halfway through, a top 5 led by Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque on the ORECA 07 #22 of United Autosports is formed.
There follow several leaders and a title sometimes allocated temporarily to G-Drive Racing and Idec Sport Racing and vice versa. Finally, it is the ORECA 07 #28 of Idec Sport Racing, Memo Rojas, Paul-Loup Chatin and Paul Lafargue who takes the ascendancy and wins the ELMS 2019 Champion title! The duel was intense throughout the race but a foul earlier during the race is expensive for the G-Drive Racing team: Job Van Uitert had indeed harpooned Memo Rojas and the victory was then away following a penalty (drive-through)!
After a first win at the 4 Hours of Silverstone and an impressive crash at Spa-Francorchamps, the entire Idec Sport Racing Team is rewarded with the most beautiful manners in Portugal with only four points ahead of its closest rival, G-Drive Racing, neither more nor less than the title holder (105 and 101 points).
On the podium, the winners are joined by ORECA 07 #22 of United Autosports, leader of 76 of 106 laps, and ORECA 07 #39 of Graff Racing. At the foot of the podium, the ORECA 07 #32 of United Autosports ORECA 07 #25 of Algarve Pro Racing – first crew with a bronze driver – and the Aurus 01 #26 of G-Drive Racing. The top 6 ORECA final is completed the ORECA 07 #23 of Panis-Barthez Competition.
In the LMP2 category, two Teams are awarded an entry ticket for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2020: for the first time, IDEC Sport Racing will not go through the box “Selection Committee” and G-Drive Racing will aim for victory at Le Mans in June 2020!
At the end of this season, ORECA is proud of this 92nd victory in the LMP2 category, the 42nd for the ORECA 07 three years to the day after the first race! This is also the third consecutive ELMS title for the Var manufacturer!
“The outcome of this race is the image of this European Le Mans Series 2019 season, which was exceptional with 6 wins and 6 poles position in 6 meetings for the ORECA chassis, but also 4 different victorious Teams. It is a great satisfaction in an impressive Championship. Three years to the day after his first run, the ORECA 07 won his 42nd success and his 13th title. We are both happy and proud of the work done with all Teams. Congratulations to IDEC Sport Racing, who has come a long way since his first steps with the ORECA 07 in the spring of 2018. The battle with G-Drive Racing has been a constant one. With Graff Racing, the final podium of the Championship is of a rare level“. Anthony Megevand, ORECA Customer Competition Manager