United Autosports looked set for a one-two finish at the opening round of the 2020 European Le Mans Series at Paul Ricard.
A late-race left front puncture for Phil Hanson though dropped the #22 off the podium, the sister #32 United Oreca 07 Gibson brought home by Job van Uitert after both Alex Brundle and Will Owen had also starred, Owen with a standout run at the start of the race.
Behind came the hard-charging #39 Graff Racing Oreca, Thomas Laurent taking the flag, supported by Alexandre Cougnaud and James Allen.
Completing the podium was the #26 G-Drive Racing Aurus 01, Mikkel Jensen belying his Silver status by taking the fight to the field, the TDS-run squad likely losing the opportunity for a win with a call that saw them decide to stay on strategy rather than respond and pit under an earlier Full Course Caution.
(Update – the #39 Graff Racing Oreca has had 3 laps added to its finishing time to adjust for driver Alexandre Cougnaud having completed only 63 minutes 54 seconds of his minimum 70 minute driving time – that drops the #39 to 9th and elevated the #26 to second with the #22 completing the podium).
Wayne Boyd took the lead in the final 20 minutes to secure the LMP3 lead, and a double LMP class win for United Autosports together with new team-mates Tom Gamble and Rob Wheldon in the #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P320, the first ELMS winners of the new generation of LMP3.
To do so he had to chase down and pass Nigel Moore in the #13 Inter Europol Ligier with the #15 RLR MSport car completing an all-Ligier podium, Malthe Jacobsen proving to be a star and taking the team to the lead, supported by James Dayson and late addition Ryan Harper Ellam.
GTE saw a Porsche win, the #77 Dempsey Proton 911 RSR for Christian Ried, Michele Beretta and the mercurial Alessio Picariello coming home clear of the chasing #74 Kessel Ferrari of Michael Broniszewski, pole setter Niki Cadei and David Perel.
Completing the podium and making their second Paul Ricard podium in two ELMS seasons was the #83 Ferrari trio of Manuela Gostner, Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey.
Much more to come later from hat has been a dramatic 4 Hour encounter.