For its first race in ELMS and only one month after the discovery of the ORECA 07, the Team WRT is the author of a crushing victory with more than 25 seconds of advance on its closest pursuer. By combining talent, youth and experience within its crew, the Team had put all the chances on its side to shine in ELMS. With Louis Delétraz shining in his first LMP2 race, Asian Le Mans Series winner Yifei Ye and former F1 driver Robert Kubica, the team was bound to be a promising one.
Sunday kicked off the 2021 European Le Mans Series season at 11:00 a.m. and for this first round, the show was on! Although the battles were fierce and the start agitated, the WRT team was able to pull out all the stops from the start with a perfect management of its race. From start to finish, the team made up of Louis Delétraz, Yifei Ye and Robert Kubica led the race and was able to increase the gap to their closest rivals. With this first victory, the message to their rivals is clear: the WRT team will be watched very closely this year. A good start to the season and a debut in the ELMS that bodes well for the rest of the championship!
Another superb performance to note is that of Panis Racing. The French team took second place with the #65 ORECA 07 driven by Will Stevens, Julien Canal and Gabriel Aubry (who arrived at the start of the weekend to replace James Allen). The crew was the only one to really compete with WRT.
On the third step of the podium, we find the 2020 ELMS Champions: the #22 ORECA 07 of United Autosports. The British trio put in a solid race, but still had to fight hard to secure third place.
The G-Drive Racing Aurus 01 #26 started out in the lead and had an eventful race with two drive troughs and a spin. It finished at the foot of the podium.
For its first race in the discipline, the ORECA 07 #29 of Ultimate crossed the finish line fifth in the overall classification: the trio Heriau / Lahaye / Lahaye won the Pro Am category! A promising performance for the rest of the season. Second in Pro Am, the G-Drive 25 is ahead of the #37 of Cool Racing, the #17 of IDEC Sport Racing and the #39 of Graff Racing.
The Duqueine Team also performed well. Finishing in sixth position, the team ran a regular race and thus secured precious points in the Championship.
Finally, the Innovative Car of the ASSOCIATON SRT41 Team went to the end of the 4-hour race. At the wheel of this specifically developed ORECA 07, Takuma Aoki, Nigel Bailly and Pierre Sancinena completed 127 laps for their first appearance in the ELMS.
“This is a great start to the European Le Mans Series season with several satisfying results. 16 of the 17 ORECA LMP2s reached the finish and there were no retirements due to mechanical problems. Congratulations to the WRT team, which made its debut with a convincing victory. The championship is still wide open, as shown by the performances of Panis Racing, United Autosports and G-Drive Racing. The performance of Ultimate is worth mentioning: first race in the category, Top 5 overall and victory in the Pro-Am Trophy. The level of the championship is impressive and will give rise to some great battles. We are also happy to see Fred Sausset’s SRT41 team take the chequered flag for the first race in this ORECA 07-MRC developed specifically for drivers with reduced mobility. It is an exciting project and a successful first step. “Anthony Megevand, ORECA Customer Competition Manager
See you on May 16 at the Red Bull Ring for the second round of what promises to be an intense season!