Race Start - European Le Mans Series - 4 Hours of Barcelona - Circuit de Catalunya - Barcelona - Spain -

Racing Team Turkey score dramatic first ELMS overall victory in Barcelona

The start of the 4 Hours of Barcelona saw the huge 42-car grid heading into Turn 1 led by the no47 Cool Racing Oreca of Vladislav Lomko.

All cars made it through T1 and T2 but a spinning no12 WTM by Rinaldi Racing Ligier was collected at T3 by the no44 GMB Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage of Jens Moller, the Danish driver having nowhere to go. He was in turn hit by the no72 TF Sport Aston Martin and no77 Proton Competition Porsche, who were equally unable to avoid the contact.

The no81 Dragonspeed Oreca of Sebastien Montoya, which had started at the back of the grid, was also clipped by the disabled no44 Aston Martin as the Columbian driver tried to get through the chaos.

The Safety Car was deployed at the end of Lap 1 to allow the stranded cars to be cleared.

The no22 United Autosports Oreca of Marino Sato, which was lying in third place behind the Safety Car had to return to the pitlane when the car suffered a puncture on the final corner, forcing the Japanese driver to complete a whole lap on three tyres.

The LMP3 class was led by the no17 Cool Racing Ligier of Adrien Chila and the LMGTE by the no16 Proton Competition Porsche of Ryan Hardwick from third on the grid.

The race resumed after nearly 20 minutes with the second placed no25 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca of Kyffin Simpson pushing Lomko in the lead car, the American soon making his move on the Cool Racing Oreca to take the lead.

The no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Martin Berry had dropped back from pole at the start but was soon back up to third after overtaking the no57 Kessel Racing Ferrari in LMGTE. However, the Australian was given a drive through for overtaking the no35 Ultimate Ligier before start line.

Michael Fassbender in the no93 Proton Competition Porsche was also making steady progress up the LMGTE field and was challenging for 3rdplace at the end of the opening hours.

The LMP3 lead was still held by the no17 Cool Racing Ligier, with the no13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier of Miguel Cristovao and the no35 Ultimate Ligier of Eric Trouillet in close pursuit. Trouillet’s challenge came to an end when the French driver had to serve a drive through penalty for exceeding track limits.

At the front the no25 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca continued to lead, with Rene Binder in the no30 Duqueine Team Oreca in second and Manuel Maldonado in the no65 Panis Racing Oreca in third.Salih Yoluc in the no34 Racing Team Turkey was leading the LMP2 Pro/Am category in 7thoverall ahead of the no24 Nielsen Racing Oreca of Rodrigo Sales and Francois Perrodo in the no83 AF Corse Oreca.

The no43 Inter Europol Competition Oreca of Rui Andrade, which had been running third overall, had to pit with a gearbox issue, which eventually caused the car to retire.

The LMP2 driver changes started to happen and James Allen took over the duties in the leading car, with the no25 APR Oreca holding a 9 second lead over Nico Pino in the no30 Duqueine Team Oreca and Reshad de Gerus in the no47 Cool Racing Oreca.
Charlie Eastwood was now in the no34 Racing Team Turkey Oreca and making up places, passing the no65 Panis Racing Oreca and the no47 Cool Racing Oreca in short order to move up to third place overall and three places ahead of his nearest LMP2 Pro/Am rival, Nicolas Lapierre in the no37 Cool Racing.

In LMGTE Johnny Laursen had taken the lead in the no50 Formula Racing Ferrari, with the no16 Proton Competition Porsche of Ryan Hardwick close behind.

At the halfway point of the race, the no25 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca was hit by the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca of Laurents Hörr as the German tried to unlap himself on the lead car. James Allen’s Oreca spun round and put the rear wheels into the gravel and was unable to get back on track unaided. A Full Course Yellow was declared but this delay dropped Algarve Pro Racing down to 12thplace, one lap behind the leaders. Hörr was later given a drive through penalty for causing the collision.

This promoted Nico Pino into the lead of the race in the no30 Oreca, with the no34 Oreca of Charlie Eastwood 12 second behind but closing fast.
After the pitstops the LMGTE lead reverted back to the no16 Proton Competition Porsche with Zac Robichon now at the wheel, 5 seconds ahead of the no66 JMW Ferrari and 8 seconds ahead of the no50 Formula Racing Ferrari of Mikkel Mac.

Back at the front Nicolas Lapierre took fourth place overall and second in LMP2 Pro/Am when he passed the no83 AF Corse of Matthieu Vaxiviere. Charlie Eastwood also caught and passed the no30 Duqueine Team Oreca to take the lead with 90 minutes remaining on the clock.

In LMP3 the no17 Cool Racing Ligier of Alejandro Garcia was leading from the no31 Racing Spirit of Leman Ligier of Antoine Doquin, the French driver closing the gap to the leading Mexican driver, eventually taking the lead on the inside at Turn 1.
Louis Deletraz took over the no34 Racing Team Turkey Oreca and was leading the race when a second Full Course Yellow period was declared after the no93 Proton Competition Porsche of Martin Rump was hit by the no35 Ultimate Ligier, spinning the Estonian’s Porsche into the gravel at Turn 4. The no35 Ligier was given a drive through for causing the collision for causing the collision.

The no34 Oreca was pulling away from the rest of the field led by Neel Jani in the no30 Duqueine Team Oreca and look on course to take victory. The no47 Cool Racing Oreca, with Jose Maria Lopez at the wheel was third, just ahead of his teammate Malthe Jakobsen in the no37 Oreca. But the no47 Oreca clipped the no95 TF Sport Aston Martin into a spin at Turn 13. The Aston Martin recovered to the pitlane, while Lopez was given a stop and go penalty for the contact.

Just after the final pitstops the no34 Oreca was given a Black and Orange flag to come in to repair the rear of the car that had been damaged following a collision with an United Autosports Oreca earlier. Deletraz stayed out for as long as possible to build up a gap to Jani and then came into the pits for the team to replace the rear of the car. They did this in less than 10 seconds, with Deletraz emerging five second behind Jani with 25 minutes of racing left to run.

In LMP3 Antoine Doquin had taken the lead in the no31 Racing Spirit of Leman with the no17 Cool Racing Ligier giving chase.The French driver was using every trick in the book to keep Siebert behind for final laps of the race.

At the front Jani was struggling with his brakes and this allowed Deletraz to catch up. Jani tried to defend but the reigning ELMS champion went ahead of his fellow Swiss driver at Turn 8 to take the lead, which he held until the chequered flag.