Javier Ibrán, Toni Castillo and Mathijs Bakker brought fifth place finish in their BE Motorsport-entered Ligier-Nissan JSP3 LMP3 during the VdeV Endurance Series´ finale at Autódromo do Estoril. The team went off track due to difficult wet conditions that cost them podium finish on Portuguese soil.
The final race of the VdeV Endurance Series brought another strong performance from BE Motorsport, the Spanish squad made its first appearance in the international motorsport arena with a LMP3 prototype, the Ligier-Nissan JSP3 shared by Javier Ibrán, Toni Castillo and Mathijs Bakker. Over the course of the season, BE Motorsport competed in six races at tracks such as the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Circuit Paul Ricard, the Motorland Aragón, the Autodromo Nazionale del Mugello, the Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours and the Autodromo do Estoril. Despite BE Motorsport was fighting against seasoned outfits in Prototype-based racing series, the team founded by Javier Ibrán even claimed a season-best second place at Mugello circuit in September.
At Estoril, BE Motorsport was looking to end 2016 season in style with a strong performance in spite of the entry list included no less than 20 prototypes cars in LMP3 and PFV classes. After weekend´s free practice sessions, Bakker took qualifying duties in his BE Motorsport-entered Ligier-Nissan JSP3 LMP3 and, in a tough wet qualifying session the Dutchman clocked a time of 1:57.652, which was 9th- fastest in class. The 6-hour race needed to begin behind the safety car. Under such conditions, the trio of BE Motorsport spun off in the wet – and suspected oil- into the gravel trap, losing more than seven minutes. As a result, BE Motorsport was ruled out of podium contention but the Spanish team still put a good recovery drive in to finish 5th in LMP3 class and 8th overall.
“It was a particularly challenging race due to heavy rainy conditions. We spun off and lost seven minutes as a result of a mix of oil and water when we were setting lap times in the top five scratch. Our podium chances were gone there”, Ibrán explained and also underlining “we still secured a five place in class and we felt confident enough to be in triumph contention without the spin. We are already looking forward to racing next year once again.”