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Estoril: Race Report Hour Two, G-Drive Lead, Dramas For TDS, United & JMW!

All three championship leaders in trouble!

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Hour two saw Simon Dolan pulling away gradually from Nic Jonsson, himself pulling clear of Pierre Thiriet with Andreas Wirth and Julien Canal a distant fourth and fifth, the #46 needing a fifth place finish or better to secure the title.

That all seemed relatively under control until the second routine pitstop for the #46, Ryo Hirakawa climbing aboard but the car refusing to fire up, the car on the dollies and into the garage, immediately beginning a tumble down the order.

“Electrical problem” reports a clearly depressed Mathias Beche.

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Potential trouble too for the second placed #40 Krohn Racing Ligier, the team told they must repair the rear rain light at the next stop.

LMP3

At the top of the hour, Brundle and Boyd took a long planned pit stop and eached made a driver change, #2 to Mike Guasch, #3 to Mark Patterson. During that first round of pit stops, #17 Ultimate Ligier caught fire during refuelling. Driver Jean-Baptiste Lahaye evacuating the car without injuries.

Moments later, Mike Guasch onboard #2 United Autosport Ligier spun at turn 4 after hitting Race Performance car #8 and lost at least a lap.

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Once the first round of pit stops was over, three cars on an initial short pit stop strategy took the lead including #11 Ligier of Eurointernational ahead of #15 Ligier of RLR Motorsport and #9 Ligier of Graff Racing. Trouillet on #9 lost ground progressively and gave in his third position to the #18 Ligier of Yvan Muller Racing driven by Thomas Laurent. The Frenchman eventually caught up on the #15 Ligier of RLR Motorsport and became second. The second hour ended with a second round of pit stops.

LMGTE

At the top of the hour, the #60 Formula Racing Ferrari stopped on track at turn 7 after suffering a battery failure.

Leading cars pitted but #66’s stop took much longer than planned (over 3 minutes) as a consequence of a problematic gearbox.

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After rejoining the #66 JMW Ferrari was still in trouble, the gearbox issue worsening.

The #66 was smoking from the rear, with a small fire closing significant ground before pitting on lap 50 for extensive repairs.

Aston Martin #99 meanwhile consolidated its lead ahead of the #51 Ferrari and #77 Porsche challenged by the closing #55 Ferrari of Aaron Scott. Scott will eventually take third position from #55. The second hour ended with a second round of pit stops.

There was trouble on the pit lane for the #56 AT Racing Ferrari, spilt fuel requiring intervention from a fire marshall.