In the last corner, Nigel Moore in the #13 Ligier JS P3 was passed by the #11 of Eurointernational to finish in second place in the European Le Mans Series race at Spa. A mere 0.307 seconds seperated first and second place.
The last nine minutes of the race was nailbiting for the Inter Europol Competition team. While in first place, Moore had to come in with a front right puncture (his second), luckily during a full course yellow period. He then could move back to first place. In the final couple of 100 meters, he was held up by a slower LMP3 and had to leave first place to the #11 Eurointernational, with a 0,307s gap. However, the #13 with Nigel Moore and Martin Hippe scored the 10th podium finish in a row.
The ELMS LMP3 championship will be decided in the last race at Portimao (25-27 October) as both the #13 and the #11 have 94 points.
Nigel Moore: “It’s hard to finish second under these circumstances, but to be fair they deserved it, they had the quicker car. We will see what happens at Portimao.”
Martin Hippe: “Leading the race and then having two punctures was not what we hoped for. In the end we still finished second, for sure a sweet and bitter feeling. We hoped to be leading going into Portimao, but now we are on equal points.”
The #14 LMP3 driven by Paul Scheuschner and Constantin Schöll had their best result so far this season; 6th. It was well deserved, after a good and solid race.
Constantin Schöll: “Sixth was a really good result. We could have been a bit higher but for the first time for me racing here, I am happy with this. Next time with a bit more work I hope to be able to finish even better. The car was perfect all race long and I thank Paul my teammate for working together so well. I had a great weekend with the team and I learned a lot from my engineer.”
Paul Scheuschner: “The best result so far, so yes I am happy with this. It shows we have a good race pace and a good strategy. Looking forward to Portimao to see if we can have an even better finish.”
Kuba Smiechowski, Sam Dejonghe and Mathias Beche had a good race in the #34 Ligier JS P217 with a possible top 10 finish. However a wheel nut problem caused them extra time in the pit and they had to be content with 12th place.
Kuba Smiechowski: “It was quite a good race for me. At the start somebody hit me from behind but it did not destabilize me that much. I pushed as much as I could and I think our pace was not too bad. I could overtake some people in the second stint. Shame what happened to the wheel, as for sure we could have ended higher than we did.”
Mathias Beche: “The race was pretty good. Kuba did a good job and put the car in a good position. In my stint I was able to put the car up to 7th position and we were fighting with a good group with the same pace. A solid top 10 should have been possible. But we had problem with the wheel nut and the wheel came loose and we lost a lot of time with this. It would have been a solid result for the team. Next time it should be possible.”
Sam Dejonghe: “It is a very intense car. I had to get used to driving in the group of quick LMP2 cars. The second part of my stint was good, my laptimes getting faster. Driving with a full tank took a little more effort. After the problem with the wheelnut I got in a group of slightly slower cars. It is difficult to pass them even if you are quicker. It’s a shame as in the quicker group of LMP2 cars I could have shown my potential. But I did my best and look forward to the next race.”
Michael Keese (team director): “It is going to be very exciting as we go to Portimao in first place with the same points as Eurointernational. For over 20 years I am in the same paddock as Antonio Ferrari (Team Principle) and he is a worthy opponent. We battled our way in Formula Renault and in F3 and will battle again at Portimao. May the best car win.”