Silverstone ELMS: Van der Garde seals dominant JOTA victory

Harry Tincknell, Simon Dolan and Giedo van der Garde took a dominant victory for G-Drive Racing in the season opening European Le Mans Series event, the 4 Hours of Silverstone.

Silverstone ELMS: Van der Garde seals dominant JOTA victory

It was such a dominant display from the drivers of the #38 Gibson 015S  that the trio came close to putting a lap on all the other LMP2 cars in the field, only the #32 BR01 finishing on the same lap.

Tincknell started the first stint in strong fashion, jumping from fourth to first before pulling out a 25-second lead in the first 18 laps of the race.

Completing a double stint, the ex-Nissan factory driver enjoyed an advantage over 30 seconds at one point but found the lead fluctuating later on in the stint.

The #23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier then jumped ahead thanks to a full course yellow that allowed Paul-Loup Chatin, who ran second early on, to pit after Tincknell and not lose as much time.

Fabien Barthez, a football World Cup winner with France in 1998, took over from Chatin at the first driver change, as G-Drive swapped Tincknell for Dolan, who also did a double stint.

Van der Garde took to the car for his first ever endurance race with around 40 minutes left on the clock, by which time Dolan had passed Barthez for the lead going down the inside at Stowe.

The #23 then ran into what appeared to be intermittent electrical problems with an hour of the race left, first pulling into the International pits before stopping out on track.

The car, with Timothe Buret in, made it back to the national pits, where the ELMS teams reside, but tumbled down the order as the team tried to solve the issue.

It meant that Stefano Coletti, Julian Leal and Andreas Wirth could bring home the #32 SMP Racing car in second place, albeit 1m35s down on the victorious #38.

Vincent Capillaire, Olivier Lombard and Johnathan Coleman completed the podium in third in the #22 SO24 by Lombard Racing Ligier, a further lap down.

Niclas Jonsson, Tracy Krohn and Bjorn Wirdheim brought home the #40 Krohn Ligier in fourth, with the second BR01 of single-seater aces Mitch Evans, Antonio Giovinazzi and Sean Gelael dropping from third to fifth with a late pitstop.

Polesitters Thiriet by TDS Racing had an early exit to the race when the car spun off a damp track and collided with the barriers at Luffield with Pierre Thiriet behind the wheel.

Another early retiree was the #33 Eurasia Motorsport car, which was brought to a stop by Tristan Gommendy.

United Autosports, JMW take class wins

In the LMP3 class, United Autosports brought home a 1-2 finish, with the #2 car of Alex Brundle, Michael Guasch and Christian England leading home the #3 of Mark Patterson, Matthew Bell and Wayne Boyd.

It was a dominant performance from the team who, despite qualifying second and fourth on the grid respectively, came home to lead the LMP3 field by some distance.

Among the GTE contingent, the #66 Ferrari 458 of JMW Motorsport lead home the field, with Robert Smith, Rory Butcher and Andrea Bertolini taking victory ahead of the #99 Aston Martin Racing of Andrew Howard, Darren Turner and Alex MacDowall.

Race results - Top 10:

 PosDriver Car/Engine Laps Time 
Simon Dolan
Harry Tincknell
G.van der Garde
Gibson/Nissan 118 4:01'45.391
Stefano Coletti
Julian Leal
Andreas Wirth
BR Engineering/Nissan 118 4:03'20.443
Olivier Lombard
Jonathan Coleman
Ligier/Judd 117 4:02'02.797
Tracy Krohn
Nic Jönsson
Björn Wirdheim
Ligier/Nissan 117 4:02'47.009
Sean Gelael
Mitch Evans
BR Engineering/Nissan 117 4:02'49.845
Niki Leutwiler
James Winslow
Franck Mailleux
ORECA/Nissan 116 4:01'53.934
Patrice Lafargue
Paul Lafargue
Ligier/Judd 116 4:03'04.225
Memo Rojas
Julien Canal
Kuba Giermaziak
Ligier/Nissan 115 4:02'43.163
Fabien Barthez
Timothe Buret
Paul-Loup Chatin
Ligier/Nissan 114 4:01'52.444
10  Michael Munemann
Chris Hoy
Parth Ghorpade
Ligier/Nissan 114 4:02'36.517
Silverstone ELMS: Beche delivers pole for Thiriet by TDS

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Tincknell records third ELMS career win after dominant victory on “home soil”

Tincknell records third ELMS career win after dominant victory on “home soil”
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