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Picture © Jakob Ebrey Photography

G-Drive Racing Win 4 Hours of Monza

ELMS - 14/05/2017 - Jeff CARTER

The no22 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07-Gibson crossed the line with Ryo Hirakawa at the wheel to win the 4 Hours of Monza and take the lead in the 2017 championship. The Japanese driver finished just 2 seconds ahead of his Dragonspeed teammates in the no21 Oreca after Ben Hanley overtook Anders Fjordbach in the no49 High Class Racing Dallara.

The no19 M.Racing-YMR Norma M30-Nissan took the LMP3 class honours in style with Erwin Creed crossing the line over a lap ahead of the rest of the field, led by their M.Racing Racing teammates in the no18 Ligier, to secure the first win for Norma.

There was a fairy tale end to the long career of the no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F458 Italia as the oldest car on the grid came through from the back row to win the last race before the team switch to the Ferrari F488.  Jodi Fannin took the chequered flag nearly 8 seconds ahead of the no90 TF Sport Aston Martin.

  • Nearly 20000 fans enjoyed some great racing this weekend at Monza
  • Great battle from the start of the race between the no39 Graff Oreca of Enzo Guibbert and the no21 Dragonspeed Oreca of Nico Lapierre.
  • The no3 United Autosport Ligier of Wayne Boyd led the LMP3 class from teammate Sean Rayhall in the no2 Ligier and the no19 M.Racing YMR Norma of Rick Capo
  • Christian Ried got the best start in GTE to lead from Fernando Rees in the no 50 Larbre Corvette. 
  • After starting on pole the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Aaron Scott fought back to retake the lead before handing over to Duncan Cameron but an engine issue forced the car into the garage and retirement.
  • With just eight laps on the board there was an incident between the no16 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier and the no9 AT Racing Ligier at T8 causing the first Full Course Yellow to recover the stranded cars.   Lapierre lost time in the no21 Dragonspeed as he had to take to the grass to avoid the two LMP3 cars.
  • Richard Bradley in the no40 Graff Oreca07 had made progress from 7th on the grid to set the fastest lap of the race on lap 5 and challenge Guibbert for the lead but the English driver received a drive through penalty for a jump start.  The car then stopped on track with an electrical issue that dropped Bradley down the order.
  • Great battle for third place between the no47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara of Giorgio Sernagiotto and the no49 High Class Racing Dallara of Anders Fjordbach in the first hour.
  • At 2hours and 50 minutes to go a collision between the no2 United Autosports Ligier of Sean Rayhall and the no9 AT Racing Ligier of Alexander Talkanitsa brought out the second Full Course Yellow.  The no2 United Autosports Ligier receives a stop go penalty as a reult.
  • The no39 Graff Oreca pits just before the green flag is waved putting Enzo Guibbert down to fifth.
  • Five minutes after the restart another FCY is declared when the no10 Oregon Team Ligier of Andres Menzes hits the barriers at Turn 1.  The Columbian returns to the pits to for a new nose cone and to continue the race.
  • The no22 G-Drive Racing Oreca is now leading the race with Leo Roussel holding a 22 second lead over the no47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara.
  • The no34 Tockwith Motorsport Ligier makes several trips to the garage with a battery issue.
  • Roberto Lacorte in the no47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara passes the no21 Dragonspeed Oreca of Hendrik Hedman for second.  Hedman fights back and regains the position.
  • The no19 M.Racing-YMR Norma of Ricky Capo is leading by just two seconds with the no11 Eurointernational car of Giorgio Mondini closing in but the Italian goes off track at T4 and takes to the escape road.
  • The no66 JMW Motorsport of Rob Smith inherits the lead when the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Duncan Cameron stops with an engine issue.
  • The no90 TF Sport Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim passes the no50 Larbre Competition Corvette for second in GTE but is 25 seconds behind the leading JMW Ferrari.  Jonny Cocker takes over the no66 JMW Ferrari and extends the lead before handing over to Jodi Fannin to bring the car home.
  • The no25 Algarve Pro racing Ligier of Matt McMurray passes Henrik Hedman’s no 21 Dragonspeed Oreca for third just before the Swedish driver hands the car over to Ben Hanley.
  • The no22 G-Drive Racing Oreca of Ryo Hirakawa has a big 95 second lead but is handed a drive through penalty for not respecting the Full Course Yellow speed limit.  The Japanese driver returned to the track in the lead but with it reduced to 22 seconds with 17 minutes remaining.
  • Ben Hanley in the no21 Dragonspeed Oreca was catching the second placed no49 High Class Racing Dallara of Ander Fjordbach.  The Dane had to take a late fuel stop and returned to the track just six seconds in the lead.  Hanley caught Fjordbach’s Dallara and overtook with three minutes remaining to take second place.
  • The no22 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07-Gibson took the chequered flag to record their first win of the 2017 season and with the second place in Silverstone now lead the team and driver championships.
  • The no19 M.Racing-YMR Norma recorded a 1-2 for the French team, with the no17 Ultimate Ligier in the final podium place.  Thanks to a second place in Silverstone the no17 Ultimate is now leading the championship by 5 points.
  • The no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia bows out with a win, finishing ahead of the no90 TF Sport Aston Martin, which maintains the lead in the championship for TF Sport, and the no99 Beechdean AMR Vantage after Ross Gunn passed the no51 Spirit of Race Ferrari in the final 30 minutes of the race.

4 Hours of Monza : Winners press conference

Round 3 of the 2017 European Le Mans Series will take place at The Red Bull Ring in Austria on Sunday 23 July.  Many of the ELMS competitors will be taking part in the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans on the 17/18 June.

CLICK HERE for the result from the 4 Hours of Monza

CLICK HERE for the championship positions after Round 2

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