Portimao ELMS: United Autosports ends season with win

The United Autosports Ligier of Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson won for the second time in a row during the European Le Mans Series season finale at Portimao.

Portimao ELMS: United Autosports ends season with win

Front-row starter Timothe Buret, driving the #23 Panis-Barthez Competition Ligier, took a brief lead but it was pole-sitter Pierre Ragues in the #29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca who was in control early in the race.

Felipe Nasr in the #47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara made significant progress. Having started ninth, the ex-Formula 1 driver was leading before being penalised for an unsafe, last-second dive into the pits.

The #29 Duqueine car retired with a broken suspension shortly after Ragues handed over the car to Nelson Panciatici.

In the meantime, two of the United Autosports Ligiers rose into contention, both cars finding their way past the Panis-Barthez Ligier (now in the hands of Julien Canal) to lead one-two.

The #26 G-Drive Racing title-winning Oreca spun early on in the hands of Roman Rusinov. Ever since, the car kept clawing its way up the order to have a sniff of a victory late in the race.

With little over an hour remaining, full course yellow bunched up the leaders, producing a four-way battle for the lead, involving both United Autosports cars, the #26 G-Drive Racing machine and the #23 Panis-Barthez car.

But the final round of pit stops turned out to be yet another game-changer.

Local ace Albuquerque took second win in row for the #22 machine to finish ahead of the Panis-Barthez car shared by Will Stevens, Canal and Buret, while the #32 United Autosports crew of Will Owen, Wayne Boyd and Hugo de Sadeleer completed an all-Ligier podium.

The #13 Inter Europol Competiton Ligier of Martin Hippe and Jakub Smiechowski took LMP3 honours, while the #77 Proton Competition Porsche shared by Christian Ried, Marvin Dienst and Dennis Olsen came out on top in GTE.

Report by Piotr Magdziarz

Results (top 10):

Pos. # Driver Car Gap
1 22 Portugal Filipe Albuquerque 
United Kingdom Philip Hanson 
Ligier JSP217  
2 23 United Kingdom Will Stevens 
France Julien Canal 
France Timothé Buret 
Ligier JSP217 0.520
3 32 United Kingdom Wayne Boyd 
United States Will Owen 
Switzerland Hugo De Sadeleer 
Ligier JSP217 14.647
4 26 France Jean-Eric Vergne 
Russian Federation Roman Rusinov 
France Andrea Pizzitola 
Oreca 07 15.185
5 24 France Olivier Pla 
France Paul Petit 
France Norman Nato 
Oreca 07 1'23.913
6 28 France Paul-Loup Chatin 
Mexico Memo Rojas 
France Gabriel Aubry 
Oreca 07 1 lap
7 40 Australia James Allen 
France Julien Falchero 
Sweden Henning Enqvist 
Oreca 07 0.665
8 39 France Tristan Gommendy 
Switzerland Jonathan Hirschi 
France Alexandre Cougnaud 
Oreca 07 40.734
9 49 Denmark Anders Fjordbach 
Denmark Dennis Andersen 
Dallara P217 2 laps
10 13 Poland Jakub Smiechowski 
Germany Martin Hippe 
Ligier JS P3 8 laps
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