After the 4 Hours of Algarve, 17 ORECA 07s were due to contest the 4 Hours of Portimão, the final round of the European Le Mans Series, on Sunday. While the #22 United Autosports ORECA 07 doubled up with victory, the #25 Algarve Pro Racing took the LMP2 title and the #83 AF Corse the LMP2 Pro/Am crown. All three teams leave Portugal with the ultimate prize: an invitation to the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours!
Despite a start that was delayed by an hour and a half and dreadful weather conditions, Oliver Jarvis, Marino Sato and Phil Hanson were intractable with their rivals and ended the season in style! They finished just 5.785 seconds ahead of their closest pursuers and took their third win of the season in style.
Alex Lynn, James Allen and Kyffin Simpson finished second and, after gaining three positions in the final hour, gave the Portuguese Algarve Pro Racing team its first ELMS title on home soil!
Job van Uitert, Manuel Maldonado and Tijmen van der Helm duelled it out with the 2023 ELMS champions to place the Panis Racing ORECA 07 #65 on the third step of the podium after a fierce battle right up to the final moments.
Fourth overall, Ben Barnicoat, Matthieu Vaxiviere and François Perrodo take the LMP2 Pro/Am title with AF Corse! Although Cool Racing could have snatched the title, Ben Barnicoat’s tenacity over Malthe Jakobsen in the final stint and a lead of just 631 thousandths paid off to take the title.
The winners beat the #37 of Cool Racing, the #24 of Nielsen Racing, which lost all hope of the title and victory after a trip through the gravel trap, and the #34 of Racing Team Turkey.
The #43 of Inter Europol Competition finished eighth overall, ahead of the #81 of DragonSpeed and the #30 of Duqueine Team which, with the podium in its sights, hit the rear of the 65 and was forced to drive through with 30 minutes to go.
The top 15 is completed by the #3 of DKR Engineering, the #99 of Proton Competition, the #20 of Algarve Pro Racing, the #28 of Idec Sport which was in second position until the last moments but went to the fault in the gravel trap of turn 8 and the #47 of Cool Racing, also trapped a few minutes from the end and victim of an exit.
Congratulations to the champions and to all the teams who have put on a breathtaking show throughout this 2023 season, and see you next April for the launch of what promises to be an exciting season!
8-9 April: Barcelona Prologue
14 April: 4 Hours of Barcelona
5 May: 4 Hours of Le Castellet
7 July: 4 Hours of Imola
25 August: 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
September 29: 4 Hours of Mugello
October 19: 4 Hours of Portimão