Le Mans » 05 April 2009
Aston Martin wins LMS opener
Aston Martin Racing enjoyed a winning start to life in prototype competition after Stefan Mucke, Jan Charouz and Tomas Enge took the #007 Lola Aston Martin to victory in the opening round of the new Le Mans Series season in Spain.
The trio looked set to have to settle for second until a Safety Car period in the final hour cut the lead held by the Pescarolo of Jean-Christophe Boullion and Christophe Tinseau. When the race went green again, Mucke was able to quickly make his way past Tinseau and opened up a lead of almost 14 seconds by the finish to give Aston Martin a winning start to the new season. However, the sister car failed to finish after Miguel Ramos stopped on track.
Tinseau took the flag in second place and had a clear advantage over the third placed Oreca-Matmut entry shared by Stephane Ortelli and Bruno Senna, with former GP2 racer Senna faring better than a number of other single-seater converts making their sportscar debuts in the race.
Signature Plus took a solid fourth place with its Judd-powered Courage, while pole-sitters Strakka Racing had to settle for fifth place. The second Pescarolo, in the hands of Bruce Jouanny and Joao Barbosa took sixth. For the Kolles team, it proved to be a difficult debut with the Audi R10 TDi, with the car of Christian Bakkerud and Christijan Albers failing to finish and the sister car, with Andy Meyrick, Michael Krumm and Charles Zwolsmann at the wheel, trailing in well off the pace down in 27th.
Racing Box enjoyed a strong start to the season as Matteo Bobbi, Andrea Piccini and Thomas Biagi claimed class honours in LMP2 in seventh overall, with the sister Lola Coupe taking third in the hands of Filippio Francioni, Andrea Ceccato and Giacomo Piccini. The two Coupes were split in the results by the Quifel-ASM Ginetta-Zytek, shared by Miguel Amaral and Olivier Pla.
IPB Spartak Racing took a clear win in GT1, as Roman Rusinov and Peter Kox brought the Lamborghini Murcielago home comfortably clear of the lone Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette, with Larbre Competition's Saleen in third. The similar car entered by the ARC Bratislava Kaneko team failed to be classified.
In GT2, Team Felbermayr-Proton took victory thanks to Porsche factory pairing Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb, with defending GT2 champion Rob Bell settling for second in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari he shares with Gianmaria Bruni. The similar Ferrari of Hankook Team Farnbacher completed the class podium.
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