After a short summer break and for the first time this season, 18 ORECA 07s gathered in Aragón for a night race.
Marino Sato, Oliver Jarvis and Phil Hanson converted their pole position into victory in a highly competitive four-hour race, giving United Autosports valuable points after the Anglo-American team had not won since the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps last September.
After leading almost the entire race, the winning trio was just 14.987 seconds ahead of the #28 IDEC Sport of Paul Lafargue, Laurents Horr and Paul-Loup Chatin. Third place went to the Algarve Pro Racing #25 shared by James Allen, Kyffin Simpson and Alex Lynn, which had started from 42nd place following a brake problem in qualifying. The Portuguese team’s superb comeback means that it is now in second place in the Championship.
Job van Uitert, Manuel Maldonado and Tijmen van Der Helm, who led for a while and were then in contention for a podium finish, ended up in fourth place with the Panis Racing ORECA #65. Cool Racing’s #47 snatched sixth place overall, while Duqueine Team’s #30, still the championship leader despite a drive through, climbed to eighth overall.
Facing Panis Racing, François Perrodo, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Alessio Rovera fought hard to secure a top 5 overall and put an end to Racing Team Turkey’s hegemony in Pro Am. They regained control of the Championship and won the highly competitive class ahead of the #24 Nielsen Racing ORECA 07 in the hands of Mathias Beche, Rodrigo Sales and Ben Hanley, and the #23 and #21 United Autosports.
Next in the Pro Am category are the #20 ORECA 07 of Algarve Pro Racing, the #99 of Proton Competition, the #19 of Team Virage, the #81 of Dragonspeed USA and the #3 of DKR Engineering.
Louis Delétraz, Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood, who had initially finished the four-hour race in ninth place in the Pro Am class despite starter problems, were unfortunate enough to incur a two-minute penalty after restarting the car using an external battery during the final pit stop, and eventually finished tenth.
Finally, an error involving Cool Racing’s two sister cars at the end of the race led to the retirement of the #37, entered in Pro Am.
The rest of the championship continues at Spa-Francorchamps from September 22 to 24, where the battle will rage on.