LMP2 teams news round up after 6 Hours of Sao Paulo
KCMG triumphs in dramatic WEC finale at Interlagos
KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) brought down the curtain on FIA World Endurance Championship’s 2014 season with another commanding LMP2 victory in Sao Paulo on Sunday. The Hong Kong-based squad, represented by Richard Bradley, Matt Howson and Alexandre Imperatori, scored their third world championship win with a significant lead after a sensational six-hour round at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.
KCMG had a momentous maiden outing on Brazil’s legendary circuit despite several hurdles, which the team conquered with confidence throughout the weekend. The two 90-minute free practice runs on Friday saw the #47 Oreca 03R – Nissan shod with Dunlop tyres complete both sessions in third place. Unfortunately, the team missed valuable running time during Saturday’s final practice due to a technical glitch. But true to form, the crew resolved the issue in time for the qualifying session that afternoon. Imperatori and Bradley posted a four-lap average of 1’24.843, securing the blue and white #47 LMP2 a front row start for WEC’s final race of the season.
For more details about the KCMG's race and the LMP2 drama at Sao Paulo, click HERE
SMP Racing clinches two titles in the FIA World Endurance Championship, KCMG wins in Sao Paulo with the ORECA 03R !
After a final round full of surprises and unexpected developments, the ORECA 03R finally won all laurels the FIA World Endurance Championship had to offer. With Richard Bradley, Matt Howson and Alex Imperatori at the wheel of the No. 47, KCMG clinched its third win of the season – 23rd success of the ORECA chassis in LMP2! With Nicolas Minassian, Maurizio Mediani and Sergey Zlobin at the wheel of the No. 27, SMP Racing came second on the day and notched up the two titles in play. Firstly the Teams Trophy, secondly the Drivers’ title, Sergey Zlobin becoming the first Russian driver to win that FIA World Championship’s title.
The last fifteen minutes of the previous round, the 6 Hours of Bahrain were terrible for SMP Racing. Just as the Russian team was confirming its virtual leadership regarding the FIA LM P2 Trophy, it unfortunately had to pull out due to a contact with another car. On the starting grid of the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo, all title hopes had practically vanished. However, following on a race marked by many unexpected events, including the retirement of the No.26 Ligier because of a mechanical breakdown, SMP Racing was about to experience a stressful race, encountering several problems on both cars, amongst which were punctures. While the No.37 had to withdraw after having completed 136 laps, Nicolas Minassian, Maurizio Mediani and Sergey Zlobin’s No.27 crossed the finish line second; that was enough to rack up both titles.
G-Drive Racing finishes 2nd in the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 teams
Going into the last round of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship at the top of the LM P2 points tables, the G-Drive Racing team were optimistic to get a good score out of this final weekend of the season, and take home the LM P2 titles. Unfortunately, although they qualified the #26 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS-P2 Nissan on pole, a mechanical failure caused Olivier Pla to lose control of the car and crash one hour into the race. The front right of the car was too badly damaged to make it back to the pits and the team were forced to retire.
Despite this disappointing end to the season for the G-Drive Racing team, the trio of Roman Rusinov, Olivier Pla and Julien Canal have had quite a strong and successful year. Racing with two different Onroak Automotive chassis, the Morgan-Nissan LM P2 and the Ligier JS P2-Nissan, both shod on Dunlop tyres, they won 7 out of the 8 possible pole positions, only missing out at Spa, and stood on the top of the podium at Silverstone, Spa, Fuji and Shanghai.
Here in Sao Paolo, the Ligier JS P2-Nissan started on pole for the final and deciding race of the season. Olivier Pla had set the LM P2 fastest time of the weekend so far with a record lap of 1:24.173, which, combined with Roman Rusinov’s quick times, was enough to put them in first place on the LM P2 grid. With the times of the rest of the LM P2 grid all within one second, it looked to be a close race.
To read all about the heartbreak of the team and drivers, and all the news from G-Drive, click HERE