Picture © JEP/ ELMS
LM P2 - 10/01/2020
With 18 high quality entries in the LMP2 category it was always going to be a tough challenge for any team to come out on top at the end of the 2019 season. Four teams stood on the top step of the podium – DragonSpeed, G-Drive Racing, United Autosports and Idec Sport – with Cool Racing, Graff and Duqueine Engineering also finishing on the podium at least once during the season.
Five different teams started from pole position in 2019, with G-Drive Racing, Cool Racing, Idec Sport and DragonSpeed taking one apiece in the first four races, with United Autosports taking the final two poles in Spa and Portimão.
Round 1: The no21 DragonSpeed Oreca 07-Gibson took the first victory of the 2019 European Le Mans Series at Le Castellet with Ben Hanley crossing the finish line ahead of the nearest rival, the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca of Paul Loup Chatin. It was the first win for the no21 DragonSpeed, and Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley, since Spa in 2016.
Round 2: On a dry Monza track, reigning ELMS champions G-Drive Racing got back to winning ways in Italy after Norman Nato brought the Aurus 01-Gibson home just 2.1 seconds ahead of the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca of Paul Loup Chatin at the end of a dramatic 4 Hours of Monza. Job Van Uitert broke the LMP2 lap record during his stint and it was also the debut win for Aurus, in the third race for the Russian manufacturer.
Round 3: The no26 G-Drive Racing Aurus 01-Gibson took a dominant win in the 4 Hours of Barcelona, with Jean-Eric Vergne taking the chequered flag one lap ahead of the rest of the ELMS field. The no39 Graff Oreca took second place, with Tristan Gommendy passing the no30 Duqueine Engineering Oreca of Richard Bradley with less than seven minutes of the race remaining.
Round 4: The UK round of the 2019 European Le Mans Series was won by the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca with Memo Rojas taking the chequered flag after the no26 G-Drive Racing Aurus pitted for fuel four minutes before the end of the race.
Round 5: The no22 United Autosports Oreca of Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson was the quickest car in free practice and claimed pole position for the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The Anglo-Portuguese teammates went on to claim their first win of the 2019 season and maximum championship points at the end of a thrilling race in Belgium.
Round 6: The 4 Hours of Portimão provided a drama filled end to the 2019 season with the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca-Gibson crossing the line to take the Team and Driver titles after championship leaders G-Drive Racing finished sixth at the chequered flag. Paul Lafargue, Memo Rojas and Paul Loup Chatin took the top step of the podium to celebrate their championship victory that brought to an end G-Drive’s three-year dominance of the ELMS LMP2 category. G-Drive Racing finish as 2019 vice champions and with it that all important automatic invitation to the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside IDEC Sport.
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