This weekend, 14 ORECA 07s met at the Circuit Paul Ricard to compete in the third round of the ELMS, “Le Castellet 240”. Between the night driving, the rain and the safety cars, the race was rich in twists and turns. However, it ended like the previous two rounds, with a United Autosports victory pocketed by the duo Albuquerque & Hanson in the final minutes.
After free practice dominated by the ORECA 07 #22 of United Autosports then by the Aurus 01 #26 of G-Drive Racing, it is the first named who wins the pole position during a disturbed qualifying session by the rain. In a fight with Jean-Eric Vergne, Jonathan Hirschi and Loïc Duval, Filipe Albuquerque took the best time for one hundredth and thus secured his third pole in three meetings. He is followed by G-Drive Racing and ORECA #30 of the Duqueine Team.
Leading in the first hour of the race, #22 ORECA 07 finally saw Panis Racing ORECA 07 #31 take the reins thanks to a strategic intermediate tire choice on a dry track. The Stevens – Canal – Jamin trio then beat ORECA #25 from Algarve Pro Racing and Aurus 01 # 26 G-Drive Racing.
While the third hour of racing still sees the ORECA 07 of Panis Racing leading the race ahead of Graff Racing, Algarve Pro Racing, G-Drive Racing and IDEC Sport Racing, Loïc Duval is hit by an LMP3 and ends his race on the roof. He came out of the cockpit alone and unscathed from the # 24 Algarve Pro Racing ORECA 07.
If this period under the safety car allows the Oreca #22 of United Autosports to catch up with the leading group, it is above all a perfectly mastered refueling thirty-five minutes from the finish and a subtle overtaking of the Aurus 01 of G-Drive Racing at 3 minutes 30 from the end which reshuffles the cards of the race. Despite his best efforts, G-Drive’s Aurus 01 saw its hopes of victory soar. Already championship leaders, United Autosports won the third ELMS race with the Albuquerque / Hanson tandem ahead of G-Drive Racing and Graff Racing. Authors of great actions on the track, the Panis Racing and Algarve Pro Teams are unfortunately not rewarded with a podium.
After the 24 Hours of Le Mans, meet on October 11 on the legendary Monza circuit for the fourth meeting of the season.