Monza ELMS: G-Drive wins despite late penalty

The #22 G-Drive crew of Ryo Hirakawa, Memo Rojas and Leo Roussel claimed victory in the ELMS 4 Hours of Monza, despite being hit by a drive-through penalty for a Full Course Yellow infringement.

Monza ELMS: G-Drive wins despite late penalty
#39 GRAFF, Oreca 07 - Gibson: Eric Trouillet, Paul Petit, Enzo Guibbert
#50 Larbre Competition Chevrolet Corvette C7-Z06: Christian Philippon, Romain Brandela, #55 Spirit of Race, Ferrari F488 GTE: Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin, Aaron Scott
#28 IDEC Sport Racing, Ligier JSP217 - Gibson: Patrice Lafargue, Paul Lafargue, David Zollinger
#47 Cetilar Villorba Corse, Dallara P217 - Gibson: Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto, Andrea Belicchi
#39 GRAFF, Oreca 07 - Gibson: Eric Trouillet, Paul Petit, Enzo Guibbert
#34 Tockwith Motorsports, Ligier JSP217 - Gibson: Nigel Moore, Phil Hanson
#21 Dragonspeed, Oreca 07 - Gibson: Henrik Hedman, Nicolas Lapierre, Ben Hanley
#55 Spirit of Race, Ferrari F488 GTE: Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin, Aaron Scott
#19 M.Racing - YMR, Norma M 30 - Nissan: Yann Ehrlacher, Ricky Capo, Erwin Creed
#47 Cetilar Villorba Corse, Dallara P217 - Gibson: Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto, Andrea Belicchi

The defending champions got off to a poor start in the second ELMS race of the season, with Rojas dropping from third to fifth in the first 10 minutes of the race.

However, the Russian squad brought itself back into contention by pitting under two separate Full Course Yellows in the first two hours.

At the second stop, Roussel took over the driving duties from Rojas and began hammering down the gap to the leaders.

The Frenchman first dispatched the #47 Villobra Corse before taking advantage of traffic to pass the #21 DragonSpeed entry to take the lead of the race.

A late drive-through penalty, assessed in the final hour for not obeying the speed limit in the second of the three Full Course Yellows, ultimately had no impact on the results as the G-Drive had built a comfortable 45-second cushion at the front of the field.

But the #21 DragonSpeed trio of Nicolas Lapierre, Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman ultimately crossed the line just 2.245s behind in second after a roller coaster of a race.

Lapierre had taken over the lead from the #39 Graff Racing after undercutting the French outfit in the first hour.

However, a slow middle stint for gentleman driver Hedman dropped the #21 Oreca 07 well outside the top five, leaving Hanley with a mountain to climb in the final quarter of the race.

The Englishman was one of the quickest drivers in the final hour and managed to pass #49 High Class Racing’s Andres Fjordbach to secure the runner-up spot. Fjordbach and teammate Dennis Andersen completed the top three.

Over half a minute behind the podium finishers, the #39 Graff Racing crew of Eric Trouillet, Paul Petit and Enzo Guibbert finished fourth after leading the race from pole position in the first hour.

The #47 Villobra Corse completed the top five positions with its all-Italian line-up of Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto, Andrea Belicchi.

One-two finish for M.Racing-YMR in LMP3

Over in the LMP3 class, M.Racing YMR took a dominant one-two finish with its #19 Norma M30 beating the sister #18 Ligier JS P3 by over a lap.

The race marked Norma’s first victory in ELMS, the manufacturer having only unveiled its LMP3 car last year in the run-up to Le Mans.

Meanwhile, the #17 Ultimate Ligier claimed the final spot on the podium, as reigning class champions United Autosports had to settle for fourth place.

GTE: Ferrari wins on home turf

The #66 JMW Motorsport took the GTE honours for Ferrari, bidding a perfect adieu to their generation-old 458 Italia.

The British outfit, which will field a brand new 488 GTE at Le Mans, ran second for the first half of the race, before technical troubles for the pole-sitting #55 Spirit of Race Ferrari gifted it a farewell victory.

The #90 TF Sport entry finished seven seconds adrift, while the #99 Beechdean AMR made it two Aston Martins on the GTE podium. 

Race Results:

1 22 france Leo Roussel 
mexico Memo Rojas 
japan Ryo Hirakawa 
Oreca 07  132 laps
2 21 france Nicolas Lapierre 
sweden Henrik Hedman 
united_kingdom Ben Hanley 
Oreca 07 2.245
3 49 denmark Anders Fjordbach 
denmark Dennis Andersen 
Dallara P217 7.215
4 39 france Eric Trouillet 
france Paul Petit 
france Enzo Guibbert 
Oreca 07 33.980
5 47 italy Roberto Lacorte 
italy Giorgio Sernagiotto 
italy Andrea Belicchi 
Dallara P217 54.798
6 32 portugal Filipe Albuquerque 
united_states Will Owen 
switzerland Hugo De Sadeleer 
Ligier JSP217 1'06.385
7 23 france Fabien Barthez 
france Timothé Buret 
france Matthieu Vaxivière 
Ligier JSP217 1'38.640
  25 united_states Matt McMurry 
italy Andrea Roda 
france Andrea Pizzitola 
Ligier JSP217 1 lap
8 40 united_kingdom Richard Bradley 
australia James Allen 
france Franck Matelli 
Oreca 07 1 lap
9 28 france Olivier Pla 
france Patrice Lafargue 
france Paul Lafargue 
Ligier JSP217 3 laps
10 29 netherlands Jan Lammers 
netherlands Frits van Eerd 
Dallara P217 5 laps
11 19 australia Ricky Capo 
france Erwin Creed 
Norma M 30 8 laps
12 18 france Alexandre Cougnaud 
france Antoine Jung 
france Romano Ricci 
Ligier JS P3 9 laps
13 17 france Jean Baptiste Lahaye 
france Matthieu Lahaye 
france Franqois Heriau 
Ligier JS P3 9 laps
14 3 united_states Mark Patterson 
united_kingdom Christian England 
united_kingdom Wayne Boyd 
Ligier JS P3 9 laps
15 11 italy Giorgio Mondini 
italy Davide Uboldi 
Ligier JS P3 9 laps
16 13 poland Jakub Smiechowski 
germany Martin Hippe 
Ligier JS P3 9 laps
17 6 united_kingdom Terrence Woodward 
united_kingdom Ross Kaiser 
united_kingdom Tony Wells 
Ligier JS P3 10 laps
18 7 switzerland David Droux 
france Antonin Borga 
france Nicolas Schatz 
Ligier JS P3 10 laps
19 2 united_states Sean Rayhall 
united_states John Falb 
Ligier JS P3 10 laps
20 15 united_kingdom Alex Kapadia 
norway Morten Dons 
canada John Farano 
Ligier JS P3 10 laps
21 66 united_kingdom Robert Smith 
united_kingdom Jody Fannin 
united_kingdom Jonathan Cocker 
Ferrari F458 Italia 11 laps
22 90 denmark Nicki Thiim 
turkey Salih Yoluc 
united_kingdom Euan Hankey 
Aston Martin V8 Vantage 11 laps
23 99 united_kingdom Darren Turner 
united_kingdom Andrew Howard 
united_kingdom Ross Gunn 
Aston Martin V8 Vantage 11 laps
24 16 france Eric Debard 
france Simon Gachet 
united_states Theo Bean 
Ligier JS P3 11 laps
25 51 italy Gianluca Roda 
italy Andrea Bertolini 
italy Giorgio Roda 
Ferrari F488 GTE 11 laps
26 77 germany Christian Ried 
switzerland Joel Camathias 
italy Matteo Cairoli 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) 12 laps
27 12 italy Andrea Dromedari 
france Maxime Pialat 
united_states Max Hanratty 
Ligier JS P3 12 laps
28 50 france Romain Brandela 
france Christian Philippon 
Chevrolet Corvette C7-Z06 12 laps
29 8 france Henry Hassid 
france Vincent Beltoise 
switzerland Lucas Légeret 
Ligier JS P3 13 laps
30 34 united_kingdom Nigel Moore 
united_kingdom Philip Hanson 
Ligier JSP217 17 laps
31 4 switzerland Alexandre Coigny 
switzerland Gino Forgione 
switzerland Alexander Iradj 
Ligier JS P3 21 laps
32 10 italy Davide Roda 
colombia Andres Mendez 
italy Dario Capitanio 
Norma M 30 27 laps
33 5 germany Jürgen Krebs 
switzerland Tim Muller 
estonia Tristan Viidas 
Ligier JS P3 30 laps
  55 united_kingdom Duncan Cameron 
ireland Matt Griffin 
united_kingdom Aaron Scott 
Ferrari F488 GTE 77 laps
  9 italy Maurizio Mediani 
belarus Alexander Talkanitsa Sr.
belarus Alexander Talkanitsa Jr. 
Ligier JS P3 115 laps
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