Monza ELMS: Vergne leads G-Drive to victory

Jean-Eric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola and Roman Rusinov took their second victory in a week for G-Drive Racing at the second round of the European Le Mans Series at Monza.

Following their 6 Hours of Spa victory in the World Endurance Championship last weekend, the TDS-run Oreca finished 29.8 seconds ahead of the sister #33 car of Loic Duval, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Francois Perrodo after a race interrupted by four safety car periods.

Rusinov ran second in the early laps behind Dragonspeed’s Nicolas Lapierre, until the Frenchman pitted under the first Safety Car, caused when Alexandre Cougnaud crashed his Graff Racing Oreca at the second Lesmo.

Rusinov continued to lead while the Dragonspeed Oreca was delayed by a drive-through penalty for Henrik Hedman punting one of the YMR LMP3s into a spin at Ascari, and held onto the lead after the second intervention of the safety car, when Enzo Guibbert crashed the second Graff car at Ascari.

Pizzitola then took over at the front from Nelson Panciatici’s Duqueine Engineering Oreca, but had a scare after the fourth safety car when the two United Autosport Ligiers of Phil Hanson and Will Owen – which had both stayed out – were mistakenly waved past the safety car.

The error was spotted by race control and Pizzitola made swift work of getting back to the lead, handing over to Vergne for a comfortable victory.

Vaxiviere had set the fastest lap in qualifying, but was ordered to start from the back of the grid after TDS Racing failed the technical inspection. He just held off the #29 IDEC Sport Oreca of Paul-Loup Chatin, who had charged through from ninth after taking over from Memo Rojas and Paul Lafargue.

The succession of mid-race cautions helped Dragonspeed to negate its early time loss and recover to fourth, with Ben Hanley taking advantage of a late fuel stops for Felipe Nasr (Villorba Corse Dallara) and Filipe Albuquerque’s United Autosport entry, which ended up ninth and tenth.

The round-one winning Racing Engineering Oreca of Olivier Pla, Norman Nato and Paul Petit followed Dragonspeed’s early-stopping strategy and finished fifth.

EuroInternational inherits LMP3 win from United

United Autosports pair Sean Rayhall and Jon Falb had been set for victory in LMP3 until a right-rear puncture struck with 10 minutes to go, allowing Giorgio Mondini and Kay van Berlow to capitalise for EuroInternational.

Falb had jumped ahead of Van Berlow at the final round of pitstops and left Van Berlow to defend from Inter Europol Competition’s Martin Hippe when the puncture stuck. Victory for EuroInternational was confirmed when Hippe had to stop for fuel with one lap to go.

Ferrari takes GTE honours

The #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE of Matt Griffin, Aaron Scott and Duncan Cameron bounced back from a DNF at Paul Ricard to win on the team’s home turf.

Cameron profited from the flurry of cautions to lead by over a minute from the cluster of chasing Porsches, headed by the #77 Proton Competition example of Marc Lieb, Marvin Dienst and Christian Ried.

The sister #88 featuring Gianmaria Bruni had occupied second position until a drive-through penalty for Gianluca Roda tipping the #20 Racing for Poland LMP3 car into the gravel at Ascari demoted it to fourth, behind the pole-sitting Ebimotors Porsche of Ricardo Pera, Fabio Babini and Raymond Narac.

European Le Mans 2018 Monza

Cla#DriverCarGap
1 26 france Jean-Eric Vergne 
russia Roman Rusinov 
france Andrea Pizzitola 
Oreca 07  
2 33 france Loic Duval 
france François Perrodo 
france Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 29.828
3 28 france Paul-Loup Chatin 
mexico Memo Rojas 
france Paul Lafargue 
Oreca 07 31.936
4 21 france Nicolas Lapierre 
sweden Henrik Hedman 
united_kingdom Ben Hanley 
Oreca 07 48.707
5 24 france Olivier Pla 
france Paul Petit 
france Norman Nato 
Oreca 07 1'23.545
6 29 france Nelson Panciatici 
france Pierre Ragues 
france Nico Jamin 
Oreca 07 1'25.795
7 31 united_states Gustavo Menezes 
united_kingdom Harrison Newey 
ireland Ryan Cullen 
Oreca 07 1'27.050
8 23 united_kingdom Will Stevens 
france Julien Canal 
france Timothé Buret 
Ligier JSP217 1'39.007
9 47 italy Roberto Lacorte 
italy Giorgio Sernagiotto 
brazil Felipe Nasr 
Dallara P217 1 lap
10 22 portugal Filipe Albuquerque 
united_kingdom Philip Hanson 
Ligier JSP217 1 lap
11 32 united_kingdom Wayne Boyd 
united_states William Owen 
switzerland Hugo De Sadeleer 
Ligier JSP217 1 lap
12 27 france Erik Maris 
france Patrice Lafargue 
france William Cavailhes 
Ligier JSP217 4 laps
13 25 united_states Mark Patterson 
korea_republic_of Tacksung Kim 
netherlands Ate de Jong 
Ligier JSP217 4 laps
14 11 italy Giorgio Mondini 
netherlands Kay van Berlo 
Ligier JS P3 6 laps
15 6 united_kingdom Terrence Woodward 
united_kingdom Ross Kaiser 
united_kingdom James Swift 
Ligier JS P3 7 laps
16 3 united_kingdom Matthew Bell 
united_kingdom Tony Wells 
canada Garret Grist 
Ligier JS P3 7 laps
17 13 poland Jakub Smiechowski 
germany Martin Hippe 
Ligier JS P3 7 laps
18 2 united_states Sean Rayhall 
united_states John Falb 
Ligier JS P3 7 laps
19 5 russia Timur Boguslavskiy 
ukraine Alexey Chuklin 
russia Daniil Pronenko 
Ligier JS P3 7 laps
20 17 france Jean Baptiste Lahaye 
france Matthieu Lahaye 
france François Heriau 
Norma M 30 8 laps
21 55 united_kingdom Duncan Cameron 
ireland Matt Griffin 
united_kingdom Aaron Scott 
Ferrari F488 GTE 8 laps
22 10 france Clément Mateu 
colombia Andres Mendez 
italy Riccardo Ponzio 
Norma M 30 8 laps
23 7 united_kingdom Alex Kapadia 
united_kingdom Colin Noble 
denmark Christian Stubbe Olsen 
Ligier JS P3 8 laps
24 4 france Antonin Borga 
france Alexandre Coigny 
switzerland Iradj Alexander-David 
Ligier JS P3 8 laps
25 77 germany Marc Lieb 
germany Christian Ried 
germany Marvin Dienst 
Porsche 911 RSR 8 laps
26 80 italy Fabio Babini 
france Raymond Narac 
italy Riccardo Pera 
Porsche 911 RSR 8 laps
27 15 canada John Farano 
united_kingdom Robert Garofall 
netherlands Job Van Uitert 
Ligier JS P3 9 laps
28 16 italy Francesco Dracone 
italy Jacopo Baratto 
Ligier JS P3 9 laps
29 66 united_kingdom Alex MacDowall 
united_kingdom Liam Griffin 
spain Miguel Molina 
Ferrari F488 GTE 9 laps
30 88 italy Gianmaria Bruni 
italy Gianluca Roda 
italy Giorgio Roda 
Porsche 911 RSR 9 laps
31 83 italy Andrea Bertolini 
united_states Tracy Krohn 
sweden Nic Jönsson 
Ferrari F488 GTE 10 laps
32 19 switzerland David Droux 
switzerland Lucas Legeret 
france Nicolas Ferrer 
Norma M 30 11 laps
33 20 switzerland Alex Fontana 
sweden Henning Enqvist 
poland Tomasz Blicharski 
Ligier JS P3 13 laps
34 49 denmark Anders Fjordbach 
denmark Dennis Andersen 
Dallara P217 20 laps
35 14 germany Paul Scheuschner 
germany Hendrik Still 
italy Luca Demarchi 
Ligier JS P3 20 laps
  35 russia Viktor Shaytar 
russia Matevos Isaakyan 
russia Egor Orudzhev 
Dallara P217 62 laps
  30 russia Konstantin Tereshchenko 
portugal Henrique Chaves 
Dallara P217 63 laps
  18 france Laurent Millara 
france Natan Bihel 
Ligier JS P3 67 laps
  9 belarus Alexander Talkanitsa Sr. 
belarus Alexander Talkanitsa Jr. 
denmark Mikkel Jensen 
Ligier JS P3 68 laps
  8 spain Miguel Toril 
spain Alexander Toril 
belgium Jean Glorieux 
Norma M 30 78 laps
  40 mexico Jose Gutierrez 
france Enzo Guibbert 
australia James Allen 
Oreca 07 105 laps
  39 france Tristan Gommendy 
switzerland Jonathan Hirschi 
france Alexandre Cougnaud 
Oreca 07 117 laps
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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Event Monza
Track Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Drivers Roman Rusinov , Jean-Eric Vergne , Andrea Pizzitola
Teams G-Drive Racing
Article type Race report