UPDATE: This report has been updated with a statement from a Carlin spokesperson
United Autosports’ first competitive running using an ORECA chassis saw Filipe Albuquerque set the fastest lap of anyone in the first practice session of the weekend for the European Le Mans Series.
Running was curtailed with less than half of the scheduled 90-minute session completed, courtesy of an off at Stowe for Jack Manchester in the #45 Carlin Dallara P217. The young Briton walked himself to the ambulance and is currently receiving checks at the medical centre as of writing.
— Carlin (@CarlinRacing) August 30, 2019
After the session, a Carlin spokesperson confirmed to DSC that Manchester walked away from the incident, and gave an update on the car. It is not clear yet whether the Dallara is damaged beyond repair.
“Thankfully Jack walked out of the car which is the main thing for us,” they said. “In terms of the car, we’re currently looking at our options right now but it was an impact that’s certainly done quite a bit of damage to the car.”
The session did not resume after the accident.
Despite the searing pace from Albuquerque – a 1:43.134 being almost eight tenths clear of the second-placed squad – the team only managed six laps before the red flags were shown. This will mean a loss of all-important track time for the team as they get to grips with ORECA machinery.
Second place in the LMP2 times, with a 1:43.904, was the #21 DragonSpeed Oreca. Ben Hanley was at the wheel of the car when the fast lap was set, before handing over to James Allen. The team managed 13 laps before the session came to a close.
The most mileage of any outfit in the heavily-shortened session came from G-Drive Racing and its #26 Aurus 01. Jean-Eric Vergne completed the lion’s share of the outfit’s 17 laps, including its fastest 1:44.160, before briefly handing over to Job van Uitert.
The #30 Duqueine ORECA was fourth on the timing screens at the session’s effective end, while the #23 Panis Barthez ORECA rounded out the top five.
In LMP3, Norma struck the first blow of the weekend courtesy of Matthieu Lahaye and the #17 Ultimate outfit. A 1:54.040 was the fastest time set the Frenchman, nearly three tenths clear of the 1:54.330 set by Ross Kaiser in the #6 360 Racing Ligier JS P3.
In GTE, the #60 Kessel Racing Ferrari F488 GTE EVO set the benchmark; a 1:58.679 was the time set early in the session with Andrea Piccini at the wheel. The second-placed #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche had Matteo Cairoli at the wheel and building place when the red flags waved; a 1:58.985 was set by the Italian seconds before the session’s premature end.
The second free practice session for the ELMS runners is due to begin at 14:45 local time.
Image courtesy of ELMS