Doubles for Ferrari and Peugeot
Taking revenge for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the French team achieved a double victory at the finish of the 6 hours of Imola with Bourdais and Davidson in first place. The two R18 taking third and fourth places, Audi are losing ground in the ILMC standings. In GTE this time another double victory but this time two Ferraris after a fierce dual with BMW.
At noon in sweltering heat (over 30 degrees in the shade) the grid took the start of the fourth round of ILMC 2011. Sebastien Bourdais (Peugeot), who started from the pole position was chased by Marcel Fässler (Audi), but despite heavy traffic, he managed to contain the onslaught of the winner of 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, Audi showed overall less pace than the Peugeot. Bourdais finally pulled a gap when after 52 minutes from the start, Montagny passed Fässler. Both Peugeots were then in control, the 908 #7 ahead of #8: an order that would not change up to the finish. Handing over from Montagny, Sarrazin said: "It was very hard with traffic as intense. It was difficult to overtake. Anthony (Davidson) was a bit faster than me so I did not want to take risks. " And finally Sebastien Bourdais who took the 908 #7 to victory. " It was a hard race to win!” said Davidson delighted. “Finishing not only with the victory but also with a double is wonderful. We were not expecting it. A superb first partnership with SEB: first in qualifying, first in the race! Awesome."
It is the first success for the French driver this season, second for Englishman and third for Peugeot after Sebring (with the private 908 HDi FAP Panis, Lapierre and Duval) and Spa (works 908 of Wurz, Davidson and Gene). Dominated, Audi had to settle for third (Fässler-Bernhard) and fourth (Kristensen-McNish) ahead of the Lola-Toyota of Boullion and Bellichi.
A great result for Peugeot as manufacturer in ILMC, with the Lions now 43 points ahead of Audi with still three races to go.
This race could have been as successful for BMW in GTE. Starting from the pole position in its class, the M3 GT of Müller and Farfus long dominated the rest of a pack. "It was very tight and very difficult with Ferrari,” Jorg Müller explained. “We were a little faster but we consume more fuel and they stopped less." But the hopes of victory faded when the German marque's lead car (the 55) was penalized with a stop and go of one minute due to a mistake made during a pit stop. This left the way open for the Ferrari 458 Italia of victorious Melo and Vilander, and second place Fisichella and Bruni. The Prancing Horse had a fitting result on the home circuit of Imola. Farfus and Müller (BMW No. 55) had to be satisfied with third place. The in manufacturer classification in GTE, Ferrari took the opportunity to share the lead with the German marque (87 points each).
In LM P2, success for the Zytek-Nissan Motorsport team Greaves, Ojjeh, Lombard and Kimber-Smyth with a second win in a row after the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This car is entered in LMS only so victory in ILMC goes to Tucker, Bouchut and Barbosa. Finally, in the category GTE Am the duo of Armindo-Narac (also competing LMS) won a second victory after Spa in May. In ILMC the first car was (Corvette C6 ZR1 Bornhauser, Canal and Gardel) ranking third in the race.
Next round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup is in Britain, at Silverstone on 11th September with the fifth round of the 2011 calendar.
By: le mans series/ACO