18 maggio 2016
Maranello, 18 May 2016 – Heavy rain was the key player at the 4 Hours of Imola, Round 2 of the 2016 European Le Mans Series as the race finished behind the safety car when a thunderstorm hit the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in the final hour. The first three hours were action packed across all three classes, but with heavy rain falling and cars skidding off the track, the Race Director decided to use a Full Course Yellow to neutralise the race and then changed this into a Safety Car with 27 minutes remaining on the clock as the rain continued to fall. With the track still too wet to continue racing, the 4 Hours of Imola finished under the Safety Car and the result declared.
Charge stopped. The no. 77 Proton Competition Porsche of Robert Renauer, Wolf Henzler and Mike Hedlund took maximum points in Italy, as expected in these extreme conditions. The no. 66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GTE was the closest competitor with drivers Robert Smith handing over to Andrea Bertolini, who caught and passed the no. 56 AT Racing Ferrari of Alexander Talkanitsa, and then Rory Butcher both working hard to close the gap towards the end of the race. The rain brought a halt to the British team’s charge to the leading Porsche and they had to settle for second place.
Championship. The no. 99 Aston Martin of Andrew Howard, Alex MacDowall and Darren Turner is still leading the championship but the father and son pairing of Alexander Talkanitsa senior and junior, strongly helped at Imola by World Endurance Championship leader Davide Rigon, is now closer. The next round of the 2016 European Le Mans Series will be held in Austria at Spielberg on July 16-17.