Picture © Jakob Ebrey Photography
LM GTE - 25/11/2018 - Jeff CARTER
The 4 Hours of Le Castellet went down to the wire with the race being decided on the last lap between Spain’s Miguel Molina in the no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari and Matteo Cairoli in the no88 Proton Competition Porsche. The two drivers had been battling for lap of lap with Cairoli leading, but on the last lap a lunge by Molina saw the Ferrari get ahead and take the chequered flag.
At the 4 Hours of Monza in May the LMGTE class was won in convincing style by the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari after Duncan Cameron took the F488 from 3rd on the grid to 1st by the time he stopped to hand over to Aaron Scott. Scott and Griffin brought the car home over a minute ahead of the no77 Proton Competition Porsche in second place.
In Austria Proton Competition took the first LMGTE win of the season for Porsche with a dominate win for the no88 Porsche 911 RSR of Gianluca Roda, Giorgio Roda and Matteo Cairoli finishing a lap ahead of the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari F488 GTE.
In the 4 Hours of Silverstone there was drama in the LMGTE category when the first two cars on the road were both given 10 second penalties for exceeding track limits. The no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Miguel Molina finished first but was subject to a 10 second penalty. However Molina finished 10.126 seconds ahead of the no88 Proton Competition Porsche of Matteo Cairoli, which, when corrected, meant the No66 Ferrari won the race by 0.126s.
In the heavy rain in Belgium the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps finished with the 2017 Michelin Le Mans Cup GT3 Championship winning team Ebimotors claiming victory in the LMGTE category with Riccardo Pera, Fabio Babini and Bret Curtis celebrating their debut ELMS win.
In Portugal ELMS history was made in LMGTE when Gianluca and Giorgio Roda became the first Father and Son driver pairing to win an ELMS title. They brought home the no88 Proton Competition Porsche with their Italian teammate Matteo Cairoli in third place to secure the Team and Driver titles, with Cairoli, who had missed the race in Monza, finishing third in the driver’s championship. It was all smiles in the Proton Competition garage when the no77 911 took the chequered flag to secure the first win of 2018 for Christian Ried, Dennis Olsen and Marvin Dienst.
The European Le Mans Series will return in 2019 with six 4-hours races, starting with Le Castellet in April, Monza in May, Barcelona, a new addition to the calendar, in July, Silverstone in August, Spa-Francorchamps in September and finishing once again in Portimão in October.