17 aprile 2016
Silverstone, 17 April 2016 - The 4 Hours of Silverstone has set the scene for a season of dramatic racing in the 2016 European Le Mans Series. The typically English weather also played its part after snow in the morning and a wet qualifying session, the race started dry but rain showers threatened to cause an upset.
Close fight. In LMGTE class Stuart Hall pushed his way to the front of the grid in the no.96 Aston Martin and this began a thrilling two hour battle with his teammate Alex MacDowall for the class lead. At the two hour point it was MacDowall who held the upperhand but it was still a hard fought battle between the two Aston Martins and the two Ferraris from JMW Motorsport (with Andrea Bertolini, Rory Butcher and Robert Smith) and AT Racing (with Alexander Talkanits junior and senior and Alessandro Pier Guidi).
Perfect move. As the race drew to a close it was the JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Rory Butcher who held the advantage over Andrew Howard’s Aston Martin with a great battle for the final podium spot happening between Alessandro Pier Guidi in the AT Racing Ferrari and Richie Stanaway in the no96 Aston Martin.
Last lap fight. On the final lap there was contact between the two cars at the end of the Vale with Pier Guidi sliding off the track and Stanaway taking the chequered flag in third place but then pulling to the side of the track after the finish line with damage to the front right of the car. The Aston Martin finished in third place behind the winning JMW Motorsport Ferrari and the no. 99 Aston Martin but Stanaway was handed a 4-minute time penalty by the stewards for unsporting conduct which put his car behind the no. 56 Ferrari and promoting AT Racing into the final podium position.
Bitter end. Unfortunately in post race scrutineering the no. 66 Ferrari was found to be in breach of article 2.2.1a of the ELMS LMGTE Technical Regulations, which means it didn’t conform to the homologation papers. The front splitter was found to be incorrect and the JMW Motorsport Ferrari was excluded from the results. The no. 99 Aston Martin was promoted to the race win, with AT Racing Ferrari in second and the no. 96 Aston Martin in third. Round 2 of the European Le Mans Series will be in Italy when the large grid of cars will take part in the 4 Hours of Imola on the 13-15 May.