Dramatic Spa event sees Sarrazin/Lamy win again

Dramatic Spa event sees Sarrazin/Lamy win again

20.08.2007: Dramatic Spa event sees Sarrazin/Lamy win again

There was high drama throughout the incident-packed fourth Le Mans Series race, which was won by Peugeot’s Stephane Sarrazin and Pedro Lamy for the third time this season, Peugeot’s fourth win in the series.

Behind, Henri Pescarolo’s team took second place with Jean-Christophe Boullion and Emmanuel Collard, a well deserved result for the French team which consistently performs well against factory teams, and a fantastic third place overall went to the "LM" P2 class winners, the RML team of Mike Newton and Tommy Erdos.

The ORECA team led the GT1 class from the lights to the chequered flag, a wonderful display which lifts drivers Soheil Ayari and Stephane Ortelli to the head of the drivers’ standings, and in GT2, a gamble in a shower of rain, and some slick pit work, meant that Marc Lieb and Xavier Pompidou recorded a stunning victory over the Virgo Motorsport Ferrari team.

Two high-speed accidents affected the race with safety car periods, but both Raymond Narac who crashed the IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche after suspected contact with a prototype, and Jarek Janis who crashed at the Raidillon, are expected to recover fully having been taken to the circuit medical centre.

Throughout the weekend there was some superb racing and legendary racing cars with the CER trophy, World Series by Renault, Porsche Carrera Cup and the Radical World Cup which entertained the thousands of spectators who turned out for the festival of racing.

 

"LM" P1

Stephane Sarrazin and Pedro Lamy may have missed out on pole position to their team-mates for the fourth time in succession, but during the race once again they proved to be the dominant car, taking their third win of the year to move ten points clear at the head of the drivers’ table.

As early as the first hour Sarrazin moved ahead of the pole-sitting Marc Gene as the Spaniard began to suffer handling problems. Gene pitted, and the team changed the right rear upright twice, trying to cure what was suspected to be a wheel bearing problem before the car was retired.

The Pescarolo team took second and third places in the class, once again the best of the non-diesel teams after a typically faultless display. Jean-Christophe Boullion and

Emmanuel Collard contended with a gearbox problem which meant that they had to change gear manually and use a clutch throughout the 1000kms race and their team-mates Harald Primat and Christophe Tinseau, who also overcame gearbox difficulties.

There was drama from the start as Jonathan Cochet hit the Charouz Racing Lola of Stefan Mucke at La Source on the first lap. Mucke returned to the pits without rear tyres and the team went on to finish seventh in class. The Creation team ran strongly in the opening stages before three punctures and a spin for Felipe Ortiz dropped them down the order.

"LM" P2

Another faultless display by the RML team meant that Tommy Erdos and Mike Newton took their second successive victory to extend their lead in the drivers’ standings. Newton had a collision with the Team Modena Aston Martin which damaged the left side of the MG Lola but otherwise the car had a perfect, fast run to take the third spot on the overall podium.

The Quifel ASM team took second place with Miguel Amaral, Miguel de Castro and Angel Burgueno having suffered a puncture. The battle for second came down to a collision in the final hour between Burgueno and Michael Vergers’ Zytek which broke the front suspension of the powder blue car leading to its retirement.

"LM" GT1

Team ORECA made some perfect strategy decisions and had a reliable event to win the class ahead of the Larbre Competition Aston Martin DBR9.

The sister Saleen S7R run by the Italian Racing Box team retired in the second hour with an engine failure and the only other retirement in the class was the Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette of Vincent Vosse, Jean-Luc Blanchemain and Sebastien Dumez which had a collision at the start and suffered a problem with the rear suspension.

The sister Corvette took third place in class, ahead of the Team Modena Aston Martin of Antonio Garcia and Christian Fittipaldi. Garcia lost time early in the race with a spin, after which he became stuck in soft grass, and Fittipaldi suffered slight damage following his collision with Newton.

 

"LM" GT2

The safety car made a big difference to the outcome of this battle, Marc Lieb and Xavier Pompidou taking another win for the Felbermayr Proton Porsche team ahead of the Virgo Motorsport Ferrari pair of Rob Bell and Allan Simonsen.

Both teams gained and lost behind the safety car and the final result came down to a call on tyres in a shower of rain. The Ferrari stopped, the Porsche did not and that contributed to the difference of a lap.

GPC Sport took third, Fabrizio de Simone, Sergio Hernandez and Alessandro Bonetti taking the position. The team overcame handling problems from the start of the weekend to get a competitive set-up which delivered them onto the podium.

  

The cream of historic motorsport was in Spa Francorchamps this week end.

The Classic Endurance Racing grid was made up of 48 of Europe’s finest historic endurance racing cars which provided the perfect mix up between competitiveness and userfriendliness. With a Lola T286 on the first step of the podium (Mahe/Merlin), in front of the Luco’s Porsche 908/4 and the Atlantic Racing’s Chevron B21, the battle raged on a dry track. The last race is in Silverstone on 14/15 September.

The Radical World Cup races this weekend have shaken up the series with a win and a third putting the father/son pairing of Tim and Jacob Greaves at the top of the SR8 table. The Balfe team had a torrid weekend and have lost their lead after scoring no points and now are in a group with Andjez Dzikevic, Ross Kaiser and John Stanley/ James Swift chasing for the title. Kaiser won Saturday’s race but retired from Sunday’s race with an electrical problem.

In the SR3 class Italian guest driver Francesco Sini won both races with Ernst Kirchmayer finishing second and third to put him in a challenging position in the championship. Goncarlo Araujo helds his lead.

The first 207 Spider Cup Race at Spa came down to a three-lap sprint after a variety of incidents brought out the safety car for four laps. It was Dino Lunardi who eventually won, ahead of Grégory Guilvert and Frédéric Gabillon.

The second race saw a superb race with five drivers scrapping all the way to the finish line, with Maxime Dubrulle eventually emerging as the winner, in front of Briche, Lunardi, Gabillon and Guilvert. The first five cars finished within 2.5 seconds of each other to provide a fantastic photo finish!

  

- Marine Allainguillaume - also photos

more photos on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS - LE MANS SERIES to come

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20.08.2007 / MaP

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