G-Drive Racing took a dominant victory in the opening round of the European Le Mans Series at Silverstone. The Gibson-Nissan led the way for the majority of the race, initially in the hands of Harry Tincknell. After losing out during pitstops, Simon Dolan regained the lead just after the mid-point of the race, and proceeded to build a margin over the competition. After the driver change, Guido Van Der Garde extended the lead further to over one and a half minutes when the flag dropped after four hours of racing. A tough battle for the remaining podium places ensued with the #32 Coletti/Leal Covelli/Wirth BR01-Nissan in second, followed by SO24! By Lombard Racing’s Ligier-Judd in third.
In the LMGTE all-Dunlop class, the new tyres showed the cross-manufacturer performance. Four different cars led the race, two Ferraris and two Aston Martins, and it was a Porsche that set the fastest lap. Richard Lietz set a 2’01.241 in the #88 Proton Competition car, some 0.531 seconds faster than the 2015 time despite more difficult conditions following snow on the track in the morning. The JMW Motorsport Ferrari won the class after leading the final 44 laps of 110. The remaining podium places were filled by the Aston Martin Racing pair of V8 Vantages.
The teams used slick tyres throughout, with the LMP2 squads using a wide variety of strategies involving both available tyre compounds (soft and medium), some opting for all of the same specification and others choosing to mix compounds. In LMGTE teams also used both available dry weather options.
Mike McGregor, Dunlop Manager Testing & Track Support
“It was a ‘green’ track after the rain and snow which made life more difficult for the team but we had some great racing and performances on track. It was good to see some strong tyre competition which shows promise for an exciting season. The new tyre range performed well with three different manufacturers on the LMP2 podium. In GTE we bettered last year’s time by over half a second, had Ferrari and Aston Martin on the podium with Porsche setting the fastest lap.