United Autosports wins the ELMS race in Aragon
United Autosports USA won the European Four Hours of Le Mans Series race at Motorland Aragon with drivers Marino Sato, Phil Hanson and Oliver Jarvis. In a race that ended in darkness, there were no places on the podium for the Dutch: Job van Uetert and Timn van der Helm were classified fourth with Eureka from Panis Racing, substitute Bent Fiscal finished eleventh overall on behalf of Algarve Pro Racing and Fourth in Pro/Am. The LMP3 win went to Cool Racing with the trio of Chila/Siebert/Garcia, and Kessel Racing won the GTE class with Kimura/Huffaker/Rigon in a Ferrari.
Text: René de Boer (Twitter: @renedeboer)
The European Le Mans Series has never been played at Motorland Aragon before. For United Autosports, however, the visit to the circuit in northeastern Spain was a success. In qualifying, the trio of Marino Sato, Phil Hanson and Oliver Jarvis took pole position in the No. 22 Eureka car, and in the race the drivers converted this optimal starting position into a win, a first of the season for the British-American team with Richard driving. Dean and Zac Brown. From pole position, Hanson built up the lead for the first hour and a half, despite the safety car at the end of the first hour. After a driver change, United-Oreca initially dropped to third place, but Sato quickly climbed back up. The driver change to Jarvis resulted in another loss of time, but as United’s final refueling stop was shorter than the competition’s, the Briton eventually managed a home win. French team IDEC Sport, who had seemed to have good qualifications for a long time, finished second with Paul-Loup Chatin, Paul Lafarge and Laurents Hore, almost 15 seconds behind. Algarve Pro Racing completed the podium with Kyffin Simpson, James Allen and Alex Lynn after an excellent race to catch up to last on the grid due to a brake problem in qualifying.
At the start of the race, the stands were only moderately occupied
The Panis Racing team finished fourth with Dutchmen Job van Uetert, Timn van der Helm and Manuel Maldonado. Maldonado led the first period, after which Van der Helm entered. He lost a lot of time behind the Cool Racing car, which was two laps behind, but was nevertheless locked out for several laps. “The speed was good, but the traffic was unfortunate for us,” Van der Helm said afterwards. Job van Uitert took the last stint and briefly held the lead, but after the final pit stop the team eventually had to settle for fourth place, due in part to a ‘yellow’ on the final stage. “I’m disappointed,” admitted Van Uttert. “We had the chance to win, which was great, but we failed to get to the podium.”
Bent Viscaal drove as a replacement for Algarve Pro Racing
Bent Viscaal had a replacement at Algarve Pro Racing in Aragon, because regular driver Jack Hawksworth had to compete in an IMSA race at Virginia International Raceway. Viscaal shared the car with Tristan Vautier and Fred Poordad. The latter, an American amateur rider, took care of the heats. Viscala suffered a collision with the car during his turn due to him crossing the track limits, although it was later found out that it was Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya who crossed the line in front of him. “It was hard to accept that I had to enter when my opponent was constantly breaking the rules. There’s not much you can do in a race. I can make a mess, but we don’t win anything with that.” In the end, Fiscal and his teammates brought the car to eighth overall and fourth in the Pro-Am class. The gap between us and third place in the class was 30 seconds, which was exactly the time lost due to the ‘overtaking’ that turned out to be wrong…
Cool Racing drivers Adrien Chila, Marcos Siebert and Alejandro García won the LMP3 class for the second time this season despite a 20-second time penalty. The team penalty with Ligier was the result of the car not having all four wheels on the ground during the pit stops when the refueling had already begun. However, the trio won by 24 seconds over WTM-Rinaldi-Duqueine riders Torsten Kratz, Leo Weiss and Oscar Tongo. Ultimate finished third in class with Ligier in the hands of Eric Troilly and brothers Jean-Baptiste and Mathieu Hague. For Glenn van Berlo, who was driving the Eurointernational Ligier, the race ended prematurely.
The GTE win was taken by Takeshi Kimura, Scott Hofaker and David Rijon in a Kessel Racing Ferrari. They finished ahead of the three Proton Porsches, respectively, the No. 16 of Ryan Hardwicke, Zack Robichon and Alessio Picariello, the No. 93 of Michael Fassbender, Martin Rump and Richard Lietz and the No. 77 of Christian Reid, Gianmarco Levorato and Julian. Andalore.
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