ELMS: Jota Sport LMP2 takes dramatic victory in 4hrs of Imola and a clean sweep for Ferrari in LMGTE

ELMS: Jota Sport LMP2 takes dramatic victory in 4hrs of Imola and a clean sweep for Ferrari in LMGTE

Simon Dolan scored the victory for Jota Sport in round 2 of the European Le Mans Series

Imola, May 18th 2014-The no43 Newblood by Morand Racing Morgan of Christian Klein looked like winning the 4 Hours of Imola after passing the no38 Jota Sport Zytek 14 laps from the end of the race by dramatically the Austrian’s car slowed and stopped with an engine problem five minutes from the chequered flag, allowing Simon Dolan to regain the lead and to score the victory in round 2 of the European Le Mans Series. Full Results here.

The 4 Hours of Imola began with Harry Tincknell in the no38 Jota Sport Zytek-Nissan leading the 37 car field into the first corner from pole position. The British driver held the lead for the whole of his stint despite some pressure from the no36 Signatech Alpine of Nelson Panciatici, who had got ahead of the no46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Morgan of Ludovic Badey at the start.

On lap 25 Panciatici pitted to hand over to Paul Loup Chatin and a lap later Tincknell came in to hand over to Simon Dolan. Dolan rejoined in the lead of the race but held a slim 1.1 second advantage which wasn’t enough to hold off the 2013 ELMS LMPC champion. An incident not seen on camera saw the lead change on lap 37, with Chatin opening up a 5 second gap over Dolan as the Englishman fell down the order to 5th on lap 41.

On lap 49 there was a further change as Gary Hirsch in the no43 Newblood by Morand Racing overtook the TDS Racing Morgan for 2nd place, with Pierre Thiriet soon coming under pressure from Rodolfo Gonzlez in the Murphy Prototypes Oreca, who was still at the wheel of the no48 machine. Hirsch went wide at the final corner allowing the two drivers following to catch up and the Swiss driver had to defend hard to retain his second place.

On lap 53 Chatin brought the Signatech Alpine into the pits from the lead followed by the rest of the field but the pitstop schedule shuffled the order with Thiriet rejoining at the front of the race ahead of the no43 Newblood by Morand Racing Morgan now with Romain Brandella at the wheel. Chatin was back in 3rd place, just 5.3 seconds behind the leader, with Gonzalez in the no48 machine right behind the Signatech Alpine.

Chatin moved into second ahead of Brandela, and then Gonzalez passed the 3rd placed Morgan, but there was contact as Brandela tried to move out of the way into Turn 1. The manoeuvre was judge to be the fault of Gonzalez and a stop-go penalty was awarded to the no48 Murphy Prototype Oreca as a result but a transmission problem finished the Irish team’s chances of a good points haul in Imola.

After the next round of pitstops Oliver Webb was now at the wheel of the Signatech Alpine and was leading the race ahead of the no38 Jota Zytek and the no46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Morgan. However a safety car period was called by the Race Director to enable repairs to the plastic kerbs at T13, which came loose after a spin by one of the GTC cars dislodged the kerbing designed to keep the cars from cutting the corner. After several laps behind the safety car the race resumed on Lap 95.

The Thiriet by TDS Racing Morgan also ran into problems when a puncture forced the no46 car into the pits and into the garage to replaced a damaged brake disc. The mechanics made a rapid change and soon had their driver back on track after losing just two laps, but the podium was suddenly a long way off for the winners of the open race at Silverstone.

On lap 114 the no24 Sebastien Loeb Racing Oreca-Nissan was given a stop –go penalty for an unsafe release from the pits and Vincent Capillaire served the penalty two laps later. Michel Frey in the no34 Race Performance Oreca-Judd spun off the track at T8 and after being helped out of the gravel trap made a slow exit into the pitlane.

After Filipe Albuquerque did his stint at the wheel of the Jota Sport Zytek, Simon Dolan was back in the driving seat to complete his allotted driving time. The Englishman was coming under pressure from the no43 Newblood by Morand Racing Morgan of Austrian Christian Klien. For lap after lap Klien tried to find a way around the leading car but Dolan held his nerve and his lead and it wasn’t until Lap 125 that Klien went into the lead with a well judged manoeuvre into the first chicane. The Morgan-Judd then pulled out a small gap but Dolan was able to keep in touch with the leading car keeping the gap to less than one second.

It looked like victory was within the grasp of the Swiss team when disaster struck 5 minutes from the chequered flag. Christian Klien’s car slowed and stopped at the edge of the circuit, allowing the three cars following to move ahead. The Austrian got the car fired up again and rejoined in 4th place only to stop once again before the chequered flag with engine failure.

Simon Dolan swept into the lead and took the chequered flag 28 seconds ahead of the no24 Sebastien Loeb Racing Oreca-Nissan of Vincent Capillaire and a further 14 seconds ahead of the no36 Signatech Alpine of Paul-Loup Chatin.

By finishing in 5th place Pierre Thiriet, Ludovic Badey and Tristan Gommendy retain their championship lead, currently on 35 points, 8 ahead of Filipe Albuquerque, Simon Dolan and Harry Tincknell. Likewise Thiriet by TDS Racing are 8 points ahead of Jota Sport, with Signatech Alpine 10 points behind the French team.

All of the LMP2 competitors will be taking part in the 2014 24 Heures du Mans on the 14/15 June, while Round 3 of the European Le Mans Series on the 20th July at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.


 LMGTE – Double Top for Ferrari in Imola

The LMGTE category delivered a breath-taking finish to the 4 Hours of Imola, the final result not being decided until the last few corners of the final lap.  This followed an action-packed race from start to finish, which was interrupted just once for the safety car (2 hours and 34 minutes into the race) to remove debris from the track and repair a kerb.  That intervention would prove critical to the outcome in LMGTE.

Andrea Bertolini in the No.72 SMP Racing Ferrari 458 Italia took the team’s first class victory of the 2014 season after relentlessly chasing down the No.81 Kessel Racing Ferrari in the final hour.  The very experienced Ferrari factory driver was undoubtedly helped in his cause by the safety car which effectively wiped out the substantial lead built up by Thomas Kemenater and his team mate Matteo Cressoni in the first three hours.  Bertolini and his Russian team mates Viktor Shaitar and Sergey Zlobin had always been in the mix following a strong drive by all three, but the Kessel pole-sitters will be feeling understandably disappointed to have lost out at such a late stage.

Third in class went to the No.66 JMW Ferrari 458 of Daniel McKenzie, George Richardson and Daniel Zampieri – another of the Italian cars to have been a contender throughout and the only other car to finish on the same lap as the class winners.  Fourth and fifth respectively, and gaining valuable points, were the No.56 AT Racing and No.58 Team SOFREV-ASP Ferraris.  The Prancing Horse marque filled the top six places in the category, with the No.76 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 911 GT3 RSR taking 7th in class.

As had been anticipated there was a bit of bumping and rubbing between the 37 competitors on track, and two of the three cars not running at the finish were LMGTE entries – the No.80 Kessel Racing Ferrari which lost a wheel – fortunately without causing any damage or distress to anyone else – and the No.54 AF Corse entry which went out mid-way through after running as high as second in the first hour.

The GTC class was an equally close affair, with the first three also being Ferraris and all finishing on the same lap.  The appearance of the safety car had an effect on this class too, closing up all the competitors and ensuring a tightly contested final hour.

Taking its first European Le Mans Series win in only its second race was the No.60 Formula Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Danes Johnny Laursen and Mikkel Mac and Italian Andrea Piccini who was substituting for Jan Magnussen.  The Danish-entered Ferrari, which is managed by AF Corse, started from class pole position, thanks to Mikkel Mac, and – pit stops apart – never ran lower than third.

The second and third steps of the GTC podium were filled by SMP Racing – the No.73 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Olivier Beretta-David Markozov-Anton Ladygin edging out their team mates in the No. 71 entry (Kirill Ladygin-Aleksey Basov-Luca Persiani) by 2.5 seconds at the chequered flag.    Six of the top seven cars in GTC were Ferraris, the only interloper being the fourth placed No.99 ART Grand Prix McLaren MP4 12C GT3 of Ricardo Gonzalez-Karim Ajlani-Alex Brundle.

For some of the European Le Mans Series competitors the next race will be the ‘big one’, the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 14/15th June.  The whole ELMS field will be back together again for the 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring in Austria on 20th July and another thrilling race is surely to be expected.

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6 hrs ago


In the latest episode of F1 Beyond The Grid, Jos Verstappen opens up about *that* fire in 1994, his own F1 career and guiding his son Max to the top of the podium - available now in all the usual podcast places! 🎧 ... See Less

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Jos was better compared to Michael, but he didnt had the sponsors. Bless for Michael.

Guiding his son the the top of the podium.... somewhere he has never been

Quite a family legacy. I am glad there have been so many safety improvements

Harrison Taylor I remember it well I saw the helmet at Silverstone one year it was black !!!.

Jos was a great talent. Too bad it never really came out.

Love hearing these 90s racers on the podcast Tom. More of this please! Panis or Frentzen soon hopefully!

His biggest contribution to F1 is that fire and his son.

always amazed me how he didnt sustain any injury from this...

What a spectacular accident from a spectacularly bad driver

Yeah, thank the illegal Benetton fuel-flow system for that. And be grateful Jos was "lucky" that day.

They removed the safety valve for the fuel which allowed it to refuel quicker but more dangerously I remembered at the time. There was a lot of controversy that season with Benetton though.

I'd rather have refueling in F1 than DRS. (Not because of fire) those races were so tactical and fun to watch.

But the guy at 0.29, with the small water spray bottle? wow what nerds, so fast and accurate to turn off the fire from his mate!

At least max is not likely to endure the same situation, safety has thankfully come a long way forwards.

Just glad he made it out okay. This was one of the reasons they stopped the refueling mid-race.

Stroll is my favourite driver

Maybe in 2 years again.. they want to bring back refueling, right? Jos got very lucky there, although his visor was open at the time of the fire so he's got some burns in his face. Not as bas as Lauda luckily bit that was another situation, fire-extinguishers weren't close by, etc.

I remember that day. I got scary. The drive was Verstapen... We thought he had died.

He's very lucky. After this horrific accident he's alive and without any scar! Sometimes I just can't believe how lucky are those people who survived this kind of accidents.

The whole crew bolted leaving Verstappen to burn in hell. Every man for himself, I guess.

it's amazing to hear that he was fine with the mistake that his team made it because who know what happen next and as he said racing is dangerous

he made max..so he is a good man

Loved how he waved all the pit crew away.

"Check your MFD for a new strategy option"

"Are you alright?" "Engine off, engine off"

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7 hrs ago


Two F1 world champions go head-to-head and wheel-to-wheel under the lights in 2010 🇸🇬 ... See Less

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Happy memories,back when f1 had interest,and an Alonso fighting with a much slower car for tittles till the last races and claiming amazing victories.

2010 was such a great season.

Good luck Mr.Vettel in 2019! Keep going to Singapure! Regain your peace of mind,and keep going to win!

Man I miss the days of having 3-6 cars in the title fight down to the last few races and about 6-7 teams that could win any given weekend. Those were the days.

Look how nice the shiny cars look, this is a spectacle for the fans who pay big bucks and for the ones who watch on tv and give ratings, these damn matte finishes should be banned, i dont care if it makes the car lighter.

Vettel left on track with a much faster car, but Alonso was at the base of the arm and experience. They were incredible disputes!!

Amazing. Vettel had a faster car but Alonso had pole, victory, and fastest lap in that race, hat trick

Great days Fernando in a Ferrari

Glory Days of F1 in the last decade

Case and point that Alonso was not as great as everyone pipes on about he was leading the championship at this point the bottled it

10 points... only 10 points extra... and he would have had so many more titles. That says a lot about those days. Now it is more who 🤷‍♂️

It's a coin toss could be a fast parade or we might see a race this year

What a nerves of steel by Alonso! Fighting with Vettel who just sits on your back with a less than second time lost was wonderful. Sometimes I wish I could have those nerves

Strolls my favourite driver

Ohhh i remember those days when i was 5 and my idol was Vettel. I threw TV remote control while he was crushing. 😁😂😏😜NOSTALGIA

I miss Alonso in F1 already

Well at the time it was just 1 world champion and a champion in waiting.

Why are they showing nine year old highlight reels? Is it because the current cars and drivers aren't drawing the crowds, or the audiences that they should be? Hmmm.

Classic Fernando we miss you

Who's car was that at the start-finish line blown up? 😂😂

Sad to see Alonsos only legitimate title shots w/ Ferrari (at his prime) end in tears. When Vettel himself keeps dropping the ball (2017,2018.)

Look at Alonso start. He closes on Vettel much more than Vettel did on Verstappen in 2017. Vettel was just unlucky in that situation. He couldn't know Raikkonen was also there.

Still can’t believe how Ferrari with such great drivers as Alonso and Vettel hasn’t won a championship for such a long time.

Nope September 2010 Vettel was not yet champion.

Missing Alonso 💔

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9 hrs ago


Throwing it back to the 2010 #AragonGP race 🏁

Watch the final #MotoGP laps as Jorge Lorenzo and Nicky Hayden- The Kentucky Kid fought for a place on the podium! ⚔️
... See Less

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Nicky was a great guy, ride in heaven!❤️ I miss Casey in MotoGp too, his talent was quite extraordinary, a once in a generation genius!

69 will always be a legend. 58 just coming into view at the end of the video too. Two great riders gone but not forgotten.

Truly missed Nicky Hayden one of the best

Miss you, ride from Kentucky.

The legend Nicky Hayden. We all still miss you brother

R.i.p nicky!

Always breaks my heart 💔

God I still miss Nicky, still incredibly painful. Doesn't seem real even now. .. I'll never forget him, that's for sure.

Those were the days, for sure. RIP 69!

When Ducatis were beautiful 😕

Hayden miss you...rip

I really miss him..😭😭😭💔💔6⃣9⃣

ahh 2010 when Stoner won 3 races and podiumed 9 times and some jerk told the press Stoner wasn't riding the bike to its full potential and promised to bring his crew chief to Ducati next year and fix it in 80 seconds. 😂

Only the last bit was 69 & 99

What a fantastic move !!! Grande Nicky !!!!!!

we miss u Nicky 😪😪😪 69

Ride in Heaven, Nicky Hayden

Gavin Emmett as commentator 👍 Here Lorenzo uses Tomizawa's helmet paint scheme as he was dead in the previous GP at Misano

Ánimo Jorgito buena vibra 🤙🏻

so classic

Miss you nick

Shout out to my idol ben spies

Σας γλέντησε ο γιατρός πάλι 6η θέση 😹😹

Miss Nicky Hayden but I wear his Tissot Ducati watch .


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10 hrs ago


Three supreme talents, three different manufacturers, one memorable #MotoGP race! 👏

Marc Márquez, Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone threw everything at each other one year ago! 🔥
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And the WINNER goes to VALENTINO again 😎 Congratulations 🎊👏🏆

Amazing race...riders racing but also in harmony, like music! All knowing where each other rider is !...a great battle!

Man what a race that was. Hope for another great race. 6 bikes or so would be nice...

Yamaha is the best

One of the best and most beautiful overtakes ever, that's why we watch #MotoGP

Nice forward by dovi and innione...

the most dramatic race..👍👍

The classic racers ❤️

Iannone, the myth, the perfume man, the model about to lose his seat again.

Yamaha NEED Rossi and a faster bike. It’s a poor bike and has been for a while.

The power of Honda and Ducati. Suzuki and Yamaha just couldn't match these monsters in long stretch shootout 😅😅😅

Iannone best overtake !!! 2 in a row ✌🏻

Modern day gladiators!!!!!

Marc too slow on corners, definitely won't win if honda has no top speed

The top end from that Duc 😎😎😎

Aragon soon

Ianonne should go back on a duc or suzuki again... aprilia is a bigger piece of sh#t than the ktm 👎🏻

What a race !!!! 😍🤩


MM getting beaten up 🤣🤣👍

when iannone was competetive

No yamaha?

Those guys are so bad ass!

An 1 king no93😉😉

Mm is completely out of control again!

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