After many successes in European Le Mans Series and Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the ORECA 03 has taken its first victory in FIA World Endurance Championship. Podium finishers at the 6 Hours of Spa, this time ADR-Delta took the top spot in a brilliant performance as John Martin, Tor Graves and Jan Charouz led 118 of 183 laps in LMP2.
Another ORECA 03 took a podium spot, Signatech-Nissan’s No. 26 finished third with Nelson Panciatici, Pierre Ragues and Roman Rusinov at the controls. Pecom Racing also figured among the top competitors with drivers Luis Perez Companc, Soheil Ayari and Pierre Kaffer ending the day in fourth. Among the quickest cars on track, Murphy Prototypes finishes in ninth after encountering several incidents.
"ORECA has won many times at Silverstone and I’m happy to see the teams running an ORECA chassis be on the podium" explains Hugues de Chaunac, President of Groupe ORECA. "Three ORECA 03 in the top four, two of which on the podium, that’s a great result. Congratulations to the teams.
ADR-Delta had a great race to take the win, as did Signatech-Nissan for their podium finish, just ahead of Pecom Racing. Murphy Prototypes didn’t have much luck, but I don’t doubt that the team will be running up front in a short time. The ORECA 03 was both competitive and reliable : this confirms the good results we’ve had since the start of the season. "
Third on the grid, ADR-Delta quickly took second place, at the beginning of the fifth lap. John Martin then consistently reduced the gap to first to finally make the pass for the lead 90 minutes into the race.
Then with drivers Tor Graves and Jan Charouz at the controls, the British team would never reliquish the lead, except during pit stops. In a highly competitive class, ADR- Delta took the win with a six second cushion after six hours of racing after committing no errors."It’s great to win here» said John Martin after the win.
" I live across the road, so it’s like a second home for me. We have been competitive since the start of the season and it’s nice to finally get this victory. We knew we had to work on some things after Le Mans and that’s what we did. It paid off. The fight with Starworks was fun and the car was good during the entire day."
Sixth and twelfth at the start, Signatech-Nissan moved its way up the running order during pit stops. Driven by Franck Mailleux, Olivier Lombard and Jordan Tresson, the No. 23 spent a long time in the top five. The trio was however forced to retire after a racing incident during the fifth hour.
The sister car, the No. 26 of Nelson Panciatici, Pierre Ragues and Roman Rusinov, took over in its place. Running in the top four at halfway distance, the team provisionally had a podium finish in the last third of the race before finally taking that hard-fought third place finished.
Proof of the competitiveness of the Bourges-based team, the No. 26 finished less than 30 seconds behind the winner. This third place is a reward for the Signatech-Nissan team, who have been unluckily so far this season.
After a podium finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Pecom Racing came close to another top three finish. With an excellent start from Pierre Kaffer, from seventh to fouth place, the Argentine team lost a few seconds during a spin at the end of the second hour.
The team fought its way back to rejoin the top four : after Luis Perez Companc’s stint, Soheil Ayari took the controls and took the fight to Martin Brundle. The three drivers finish just outside the podium and take home precious championship points.
European Le Mans Series regulars, Murphy Prototypes had a frustrating day. After losing several positions in contact with another car in the first corner, the Irish team returned to business. It was then a lost wheel and two racing incidents that cost drivers Brendon Hartley, Warren Hughes and Jody Firth precious time. The trio nevertheless finished the race in the top 10, in ninth place.
The ORECA 03 chassis will be back in action during the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of Sao Paolo. Rendezvous on September 15.