L&T Motorsport

Bentley Wins Race of Attrition in Le Castellet

The #8 Bentley of Vincent Abril, Andy Soucek and Maxime Soulet benefited from a good strategy and no issues to win the Paul Ricard 1000km.

The way the race played out was dictated in the 35th minute, when Tomas Enge ran over a kerb flying into a barrier on the mistral straight. This brought out a safety car and almost everyone pitted. However, race leader Yelmer Buurman in the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes remained on track, and for the next 6 hours, was out of sync.

Maxi Buhk in the #84 Mercedes emerged as the first of those who had pitted at first, but Albert Costa charged him down in the #14 Jaguar and took the lead, to the delight of many neutrals. However, when Lorenz Frey got in the car lost time, and Jimmy Eriksson clawed back the effective lead. Meanwhile, Luca Stolz in the #4 was trying to claw back the time his car had lost due to pitting under green. It was at this point the #8 took the lead.

Around the half way mark the race turned into one of attrition. The #7 Bentley lost two laps with a fuel pickup problem, while the #14 had a mechanical failure. Yelmer Buurman was back in the #4, defying his injured shoulder and trying to make up as much time as possible. The four-way battle for the lead turned top a three way battle in the final hour when a charging Alessandro Pier Guidi slowed on track and soon after the #4 made its final stop they slowed as well.

This left a podium of cars that have barely been mentioned. The #8 Bentley finished with a 30 second buffer to the #72 SMP Ferrari of Davide Rigon, Victor Shaytar and Miguel Molina. A late charge from Rene Rast saw him move into 3rd in the #1 Audi that he shares with Antonio Garcia and Nico Muller.

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