Jota Sport gets stuck in to ELMS ti­tle fight with vic­tory on home turf

Motor Sport News - - Fia Wec: Silverstone -

Harry Tinck­nell, Si­mon Dolan and Giedo van der Garde got Jota Sport’s quest to win the Euro­pean Le Mans Se­ries at last off to the per­fect start with a dom­i­nant vic­tory at Sil­ver­stone. The win was dou­bly sweet given most of the team’s likely ti­tle ri­vals hit trou­ble in what was a typ­i­cally dra­matic race.

Tinck­nell started fourth, but it took him less than a minute of the four-hour race to take the lead. Two of those places were handed to him in the open­ing sec­onds by third-place starter Leo Rous­sel spear­ing the Pe­ga­sus Rac­ing Mor­gan into the pit­wall af­ter get­ting caught out on cold tyres, and pole­sit­ter Pierre Thiriet run­ning wide at the first cor­ner in the TDS Rac­ing ORECA.

Now sec­ond, Tinck­nell chased the BR01 of An­dreas Wirth down the Welling­ton Straight and took the lead into the Brook­lands left-han­der. With Tinck­nell reel­ing off his dou­ble stint and pit­ting with a lead that had only dipped back un­der 20 sec­onds thanks to strug­gles with tyre grain­ing, the G-drive-backed Jota Gib­son-nis­san should never have lost con­trol of the race. But shortly af­ter hand­ing over to Dolan, a full-course yel­low trig­gered by Olympic leg­end Chris Hoy spin­ning into the gravel at Chapel, al­lowed the sec­ond-placed Ligier, dou­ble-st­inted by Paul-Loup Chatin, to pit while Dolan was crawl­ing and give 1998 World Cup-win­ning goal­keeper Fabian Barthez the lead.

Dolan caught and passed Barthez for the lead at Stowe with rel­a­tive ease, although the French­man would have held on to sec­ond had the car not slowed in the fi­nal hour with Ti­mothe Buret at the wheel and dropped to ninth.

Van der Garde closed out the race, win­ning by 95 sec­onds over the BR01 of Wirth, Ju­lian Leal and Ste­fano Co­letti. Bri­ton Jonathan Cole­man was part of the Lom­bard Rac­ing Ligier-judd crew that took third on de­but.

United Au­tosports fin­ished first and sec­ond in the 19-car LMP3 field, with Alex Brun­dle, Michael Guasch and Chris­tian Eng­land’s Ligier lead­ing home the sis­ter car of Mark Pat­ter­son, Matt Bell and Wayne Boyd.

In GTE, the As­ton Martin Rac­ing Van­tage of Alex Macdowall, Dar­ren Turner and An­drew Howard tri­umphed af­ter the JMW Mo­tor­sport Fer­rari was ex­cluded for run­ning a non-ho­molo­gated front split­ter.

Bill Sol­lis: a win­ner again

Jota’s Tinck­nell, Dolan and van der Garde con­trolled the ELMS opener

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