Dramatic Wins for Racing Spirit of Leman and Ebimotors in Road To Le Mans race 1 - results,video

Dramatic Wins for Racing Spirit of Leman and Ebimotors in Road To Le Mans race 1 - results,video

09.06.2022: The first 55-minute Road To Le Mans encounter had everyone on the edge of their seats with both the LMP3 and GT3 front runners battling all the way to the chequered flag.

The first 55-minute Road To Le Mans encounter had everyone on the edge of their seats with both the LMP3 and GT3 front runners battling all the way to the chequered flag.  



The LMP3 victory went to the no10 Racing Spirit of Leman Ligier of Tom Dillmann and Alexander Mattschull, with Dillmann crossing the finish line after 12 laps just 0.9 seconds ahead of his teammate Josh Skelton to take a 1-2 for the Swiss team.

The GT3 battle was even closer with the no46 Ebimotors Porsche of Fabio Babini and the no34 Team WRT Audi of Arnold Robin going door handle to door handle on the run into Indianapolis on the final lap, with Babini getting ahead of Robin as they braked for the corner. The Porsche was then pushed by the Audi all the way to the finish, taking the chequered flag with just 0.6 seconds splitting the two cars.

In fact, the battle for third place was just as fierce with the no55 GMB Motorsport Honda NSX of Kasper Jensen and the no61 AF Corse Ferrari of Andrea Montermini split by just three tenths and right behind the two protagonists at the front.

The top four GT3 cars were split by just 1.5 seconds in one of the closest race finishes in the Michelin Le Mans Cup since 2016.

The race began as it ended with drama at the first corner, with the no69 Cool Racing Ligier of Maurice Smith ending up in the gravel, while the no27 24-7 Motorsport Ligier of Andrew Ferguson spun and was collected by the no52 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Hugo Delacour. This brought out Slow Zone 1 and 2 to collect the stranded cars while racing resumed on the unaffected parts of the circuit.

Nicolas Schatz in the no6 ANS Motorsport Ligier took the lead as the no3 DKR Engineering Duqueine of Jon Brownson slipped down the order after starting on pole.

In GT3 the no99 Bullitt Racing Aston Martin of Stephen Pattrick also dropped back from pole as the no34 Team WRT Audi of Maxime Robin took the lead ahead of the no88 GMB Motorsport Honda NSX of Mikkel Pedersen and Kristen Poulsen in the no55 Honda.

At the front the no6 ANS Motorsport Ligier was pulling away from the second placed no10 Racing Spirit of Leman Ligier of Alexander Mattschull as Nicolas Schatz got the hammer down to open up an 8 second gap. The no76 Reiter Engineering Ligier of Freddie Hunt was also on a charge and closing up behind the no10 Ligier.

The leading Audi was given a drive through penalty for causing a collision earlier in the race, which promoted the no88 Honda into the lead.

The no83 Racetivity Mercedes AMG GT3 of Charles-Henri Samani put two wheels on the dirt on the exit of the Esses and the Mercedes speared across the track and into the barriers, spreading debris across the track. Samani emerged from the wrecked car on his own but another Slow Zone was declared to remove the cars and repair the barrier, which remained in place for the rest of the race.

After the pitstops the no76 Reiter Engineering Ligier of Mads Siljehaug was leading with Tom Dillmann chasing the Norwegian driver in the no10 Racing Spirit of Leman Ligier. Dillmann caught the leader at the second chicane and swept past into the lead.

The no88 GMB Motorsport Honda emerged from the pitstops with a huge lead but Lars Pedersen’s race ended in the gravel at Dunlop.This left the no44 GMB Motorsport Honda of Jens Moller, the no76 Ebimotors Porsche of Fabio Babini and the no34 Team WRT Audi of Arnold Robin fighting it out for the lead. Babini passed Robin for second and then both went past Moller for the top two podium places on the GT3 podium. But it wasn’t over yet!

There was another change of lead as Robin went ahead, leaving Babini to play catch up as they began the last lap of the race. Robin made a mistake going into Mulsanne Corner, allowing the Porsche to get alongside as they both headed down into Indianapolis.Babini held his nerve and went into the lead, which he held until the chequered flag, with Robin challenging all the way to the end of the race.

At the front of the field Tom Dillmann had been caught by his teammate Josh Skelton but the French driver used his skills to keep the British driver at bay.They both scored a well-deserved, and hard earned, 1-2 for the Racing Spirit of Leman team and were just 2.1 seconds ahead of the no7 Nielsen Racing Ligier of Colin Noble and Tony Wells, the reigning Michelin Le Mans Cup champions claiming the final LMP3 podium position.

The second Road To Le Mans race will take place on Saturday 11 June at 11h20.

CLICK HERE for the results from the Road To Le Mans Race 1.

Fabio Babini and Emanuele Busnelli Winners of 2022 Road To Le Mans Race 1

Tom Dillmann - #10 Racing Spirit of Leman Ligier JS P320-Nissan:
“My teammate made a great start, and he gave me the car in third position. Then I could take the lead quickly and manage our second win of the season. It was a mega job by the team as well. It was a one, two, so thank you to them.”

Alexander Mattschull - #10 Racing Spirit of Leman Ligier JS P320-Nissan:
“The start was quite tough, because there's a lot of traffic and a lot of cars around, but I think I managed to get out quite quickly and get into the lead. Then I had some fights with some other cars. But I must say, I gave the car in P3 to Tom and then he did an amazing job to get back into the lead. I think it's a big team effort, to double win here and everybody's happy.”

Fabio Babini – no46 Ebimotors Porsche 911 GT3 R:
“I’m veryhappy because it was not easy to stay in the Full Course Yellow and to push in the rest of the circuit but I'm very happy to drive in this magnificent circuit.It was, for me, the good result, it was also for Ebimotors. I've waited to return here in Le Mans after 2018 and it's very happy to finish the race in first position.

“The last lap was not easy because many cars were faster, but I'm stayed very relaxed during the rest of the course. Our car was very good in braking, not more in the straight, but my feeling was okay to push to arrive on the podium. We arrived on the top and this is a good result for our team.”



Emanuele Busnelli – no46 Ebimotors Porsche 911 GT3 R
: “The start was crazy, because there were so many accidents and many cars going out. So, it was pretty intense. But the car was good, the team did a great job.I did my job; I overtake a lot of cars and then I made a mistake. But we did a great job, I'm impressed. Actually, I cried because Fabio did an amazing race. I mean it was incredible, he overtook the cars in front twice and it was really unbelievable.”

LeMansCup photos DPPI

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09.06.2022 / MaP

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