European Le Mans Series: United Autosports wins at Red Bull Ring
United Autosports claimed second win of the season today in the third round of the 2017 European Le Mans Series at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, repeating a triumph from the season-opening race at Silverstone.
Filipe Albuquergue, Hugo de Sadeleer and William Owen won the race in the #32 Ligier JS P217 after four hours and 169 laps of racing at the Austrian Grand Prix circuit. Albuquerque crossed the finish line 4.554 seconds ahead of fastest qualifier Leo Roussel in the #22 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07. Roussel’s co-drivers were Memo Rojas and Nicolas Minassian. The #39 Graff Oreca crew completed a podium at Red Bull Ring. The drivers were Enzo Guibbert, Paul Petit and Eric Trouillet.
In the LMP3 class, an intense battle between #11 Eurointernational and #2 United Autosports crews resulted with the first win of the season for Davide Uboldi and Giorgio Mondini in the #11 Ligier JS P3.
United Autosports’ John Falb crossed the finish line first but post-race penalty changed the results. After taking the #2 car from Sean Rayhall, John Falb built a gap of 26 seconds but he ruined that advantage with a drive-through penalty only five minutes before the end of the race. He was penalized because of not respecting track limits. He crossed the finish line with 1.784sec advantage but one more penalty was added after the race because Falb did not reduce speed to 80kph under Full Course Yellow procedure within the required time.
In the GTE class, Ferraris dominated. Jody Fannin was leading in the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE until lap 132 and a contact with one of the LMPs. Matt Griffin was near in the #55 Spirit of Race Ferrari and he jumped into the lead. Until the end of the race, Griffin built up an advantage of 17 seconds ahead of Fannin. Griffin’s co-drivers were Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott while Fannin was sharing a car with Robert Smith and Johnny Cocker.
The #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari was in the third place until 19-minute mark on a clock, when Nicki Thiim attacked in the #90 TF Sport Aston Martin and took over the last podium spot. Thiim’s co-drivers were Euan Hankey and Salih Yoluc.