L&T Motorsport

G-Drive Racing Claims First LMP2 Class Victory of the Season

It was Will Stevens in the No.26 Oreca 05 Nissan that was leading at the one-hour mark in LMP2, ahead of Roberto Mehri’s No.44 Manor Oreca Nissan. The former Manor F1 teammates had good getaways in their respective cars at the beginning of the race. However, stevens managed to pull ahead by a small margin each lap. The gap was 5 seconds at the end of the first hour.

Roberto Mehri didn’t have it all his own way in second though, an intense three-way battle for the second podium spot was forming between Filipe Albuquerque, Nicolas Lapierre and WEC debutant Antonio Giovinazzi. A battle which would last for the majority of the race.

At the halfway mark it was G-Drive Racing out in front in LMP2. However, in the third round of pitstops the No.42 Strakka Racing Gibson 015S Nissan of Lewis Williamson inherited the lead momentarily due to the team pitting a lap later. The lead honours where returned to G-Drive Racing the following lap.

The No.44 Manor still held third, now in the hands of Richard Bradley, with the No.36 Signatech Alpine A460 Nissan, now in the hands of Gustavo Meneezes, close behind and battling heavily after losing touch with the front two.

Coming into the penultimate hour, LMP2 was still being led by the No.26 G-Drive Nissan, now in the hands of Alex Brundle, dominating the race and looking set to take its breakthrough first class win of the season.

Brundle, held a seven-second lead over the No.36 Signatech Nissan which was being driven by Gustavo Menezes. The No.44 Manor was running third in class. Brundle controlled the pace of the incident-limited LMP2 race.

After dominating and running a near-flawless race, G-Drive Racing took the flag at the 6 hours of Fuji, in another late-race thriller that saw the lead change hands multiple times in the last few minutes of the race with the Jota Sport-run team overcoming a penalty.

Will Stevens took the chequered flag 1.398 seconds ahead of Bruno Senna in the No.43 RGR Sport Ligier JS P2 Nissan.

Stevens lost the lead early on after having to surrender the position to Senna due to an illegal overtake move on the Brazilian earlier on. However, on the following lap, Stevens powered past Senna on the front straight and drove to the flag.

The No.36 Signatech Alpine A460 Nissan driven by Nicolas Lapierre rounded out the podium places, despite Lapierre beginning to lose pace in the latter stages.

It was a good day for Rebellion Racing, who locked up the LMP1 Privateer title with top class honours after finishing fourth. This comes after the No.4 Bykolles Racing CLM P1/01 AER suffeed and engine failure early on in the race.

(image: www.fiawec.com)

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