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ELMS: Paul Ricard, Quick Race Report

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Wheels off the TDS championship push as Signatech Alpine win the title, Murphy win the race

The major moment of the race was the left rear wheel parting company from the #1 Oreca in the final bend during the opening half hour, necessitating repairs that dropped them entirely out of contention.  This left an open goal for Signatech Alpine to take the title, which they did with a solid fourth placed finish.  Ahead, Turvey drove a great first half of the race for Jota and built a good lead whilst Hartley then drove a great second half of the race for Murphy.

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Morand too were strong throughout and all three cars strategies and pace happened to converged on exactly the same spot.

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Hartley was unstoppable (and the car remained perfectly startable which hasn’t always been the case) and they went on to win from Morand, Jota coming home third.

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In LMPC there was a scare for Hirsch and Chatin in #49 when the car wouldn’t start but after ten minutes of fiddling it fired up again and they were able to come home second (and last) in class which was all they needed to do to secure the title.

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GTE never looked like it was going anywhere else other than #52 and the drivers, car and team were all perfect.

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#77 managed to secure second spot in the championship and a Le Mans entry for Proton with a very good third placed finish behind JMW’s #66.  A late stop and go penalty for a pitlane infringement dropped AF Corse’s #55 out of the podium.

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GTC looked like it could go down to the wire if #69 tripped up but they never did, taking their fourth class win in a row and unbeaten in any ELMS race they have entered.  #62 was close throughout but a valve sensor problem put them out of contention.  SMP Racing’s #72 followed the sister car home second in class and Scuderia Villorba Corse came home third, passing Ecurie Ecosse in the closing moments of the race and demoting them to fourth.

Only one car retired, the Kox Racing Lamborghini after 61 laps.  A very entertaining and fitting end to a fine season.

PS