Silverstone, 19 April – The European Le Mans Series started in grand style with a spectacular edition of the Four Hours of Silverstone. On the British track Ferrari took a one-two in the LMGTE class and even managed a one-two-three in the GTC, the category aimed more at gentlemen drivers.
In LMGTE the win went to the Ferrari 458 number 55 of the AF Corse team in the hands of Britain's Duncan Cameron, Irish reigning champion Matt Griffin and Italy's Michele Rugolo. The trio, who had already shone in free practice, pipped another Ferrari to the flag after a splendid duel on the track. This was the number 72 of the SMP Racing team driven by the Italian Andrea Bertolini, who had earlier taken pole position, and Russia's Viktor Shaitar and Sergey Zlobin. The final gap between the two teams was less than two seconds, even if there was a Safety Car period in the middle of the race which had involved the number 55 car. Rugolo, who was driving, was attacked by the Zytek of the race's overall leader Simon Dolan who, having failed to pass the Ferrari on the exit of a quick chicane, finished on the grass, lost control of his car and crashed into another competitor. The number 55 car was therefore put under investigation but in the end it made it to the top step of the podium.
There was a Ferrari party in the GTC class in which there was even a one-two-three. Coming home in front, after a race without any errors, was the car of Team Ukraine which had entrusted its own 458 to Italy's Alessandro Pier Guidi and Ukraine nationals Andriy Kruglyk and Sergii Chukanov. In second place there was another Ferrari from the Russian SMP Racing team, driven by the Monaco racer Olivier Beretta and Russia's David Markozov and Anton Ladygin. Third place went to the 458 of another team that included a former Formula 1 driver: the Danish Formula Racing outfit made up of Jan Magnussen, Johnny Laursen and Mikkel Mac.
The overall victory - which also came at the end of an outstanding duel, went to the Morgan of the Thiriet by TDS Racing team made up of French drivers Pierre Thiriet, Ludovic Badey and, especially, Tristan Gommendy. The European Le Mans Series will return to the track at Imola on Saturday 18 May.
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