The fantastic string of victories for G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR and the ORECA 03 LM P2 continues! By taking the win at the 6 Hours of Bahrain, the Russian team gave the ORECA 03 LM P2 its fourth success in the last five race weekends, and sixth on the FIA World Endurance Championship season.
Following another hard fought battle, Roman Rusinov, Mike Conway and John Martin finished on the third step of the overall podium, joining TOYOTA Racing and Audi Sport! Longtime leaders, Nicolas Minassian, Pierre Kaffer and Luis Perez Companc were unable to capitalise after a race incident in the fifth hour of the race. The trio ended the day in seventh place, behind the No.25 Delta-ADR entry, which was also a front runner during the first third of the race.
Hugues de Chaunac : « A unique achievement! »
« What an excellent finale for ORECA with the overall victory for TOYOTA Racing and the ORECA 03 success in LM P2 » admitted Hugues de Chaunac. « To see one of our customer teams, G-Drive by Delta-ADR, alongside two big constructors such as TOYOTA and AUDI, is absolutely fantastic. By winning four of the last five races, G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR show all of their talent. Roman Rusinov, Mike Conway and John Martin once again had a perfect race. Bravo to them and to all of Simon Dowson’s team. We are disappointed for Pecom Racing who deserved a better result today.
« Added to TOYOTA Racing’s win, to which we are proud to provide operational support, this sixth victory in eight rounds is the best way to prove the qualities of our ORECA 03 LM P2 and I think it’s a unique achievement in such a competitive class ! It has been a very good season for ORECA Technology and for our engine department which prepares the Nissan V8. The results are positive and we’ll be back with even higher ambitions in 2014, notably in the new North American series, the United SportsCar Championship. These 6 Hours of Bahrain showed just what we are capable of. »
The start of the 6 Hours of Bahrain is busy, and the polesitting No.49 ORECA 03 of Pecom Racing, falls to fifth place. G-Drive Racing takes the lead with the No.26 and passe Delta-ADR runs third with the No.25. Nicolas Minassian wastes no time to make a comeback : driving the No.49, he rejoins the top three by the end of the first quarter hour, then second place in the first 20 minutes. The three ORECA 03 run in the top four when the first pit stops commence.
Nicolas Minassian rejoins the action in the lead, ahead of John Martin and widens the gap to around 10 seconds. The Marseille native continues on his third stint while other teams make driver changes. After just over two hours of racing, Minassian hands the controls over to Luis Perez Companc, who runs just ahead of the No.26 despite a bit of rubber getting lodged in a caliper during the pit stop. After 2 hours 37 minutes, Mike Conway is finally able to take the lead of the LM P2 class as he passes the No.49, while the No.25 is forced into the pits at the halfway point to change an alternator.
Driving the G-Drive Racing ORECA 03, now third in the overall running order, Mike Conway pads his lead to the Pecom Racing entry in LM P2, with close to a 30 second lead, when he hands over to teammate Roman Rusinov. The Russian continues to lead and the battle between the two teams continues to rage on. The No.41 Zytek gets into the fray thanks to strategy and the No.24 Morgan is also in the fight.
With less than 90 minutes to the end, 20 seconds separate Mike Conway and his G-Drive ORECA and Pierre Kaffer in his Pecom Racing machine. But the German driver has a spin and hits the wall. After repairs to the brakes and rear cover, lasting 10 minutes, he rejoins the action in seventh place, behind Delta-ADR. John Martin assures the last few minutes of the race and crosses the finish line as winner with Roman Rusinov, Mike Conway and G-Drive Racing.