The twists and turns of the Hungaroring test cars and drivers to the absolute limit. With a high level of down force, exceptionally low grip and high track temperatures, the 1,000Km of Hungaroring have been very demanding on drivers, teams and cars.
Nobody could hold a candle to Strakka Racing’s Danny Watts on Sunday morning’s qualifying in Hungary, and the British team’s overall victory made history with the very first overall victory for a LMP2 car in the Le Mans Series.
Jonny Kane, Nick Leventis and Danny Watts have been pretty invincible as the Strakka Racing HPD ran without the slightest technical problems over the entire distance and scored its second victory in LMP2 and first overall in the 2010 season today.
With its slow corners and its narrow straights, overtaking at the Hungaroring is far from easy and the fast prototypes sometimes had hard time to work their way through traffic. Of course, while overtaking is difficult at the Hungaroring, it is not impossible.
The example usually cited to prove this is the 1989 Formula One race when Nigel Mansell came from 12th on the grid to take victory for Ferrari. Twenty-one years later, Nigel’s sons – Leo and Greg – were able to repeat their father’s tremendous feat as they snatched the first victory in the Le Mans Series in the LMP1 class despite seven overall. This class victory probably delighted Nigel and perhaps made him wish he’d raced here on what he used to say was his favorite track!
Efficiency and reliability were the decisive factors yet again. Refueling, new tires, driver changes – the mechanics of the winning British Team Beechdean Mansell had nothing more to do from start to finish. With consistent lap times, Leo and Greg Mansell held a six-lap advantage over the second-placed Rebellion Racing.
Although Rebellion Racing crossed the finish line as the runner-up, the team got some difficulties during the race but thanks to the efficient drive of Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost with the #12 Lola-Rebellion, they got a deserved rewarding with the second place on the podium.
Vanina Ickx, Pierre Ragues and Franck Mailleux were able to repeat their Portuguese result as they once more finished third, their second podium in a row. Now in their second season in the Series, Team Signature Plus has gained experience and are now able to seize any opportunity of a good outcome.
Six LMP2 cars in Top 6! Strakka Racing impressive performance came after three sessions of free practice during which the Strakka entry dominated the LMP2 class and this was reflected in a pole time of 1:32.431.
That was more than three seconds clear of the field and four tenths ahead of the first LMP1 car.
This was a crucial win for Strakka Racing in their chase for titles after two retirements, and Jonny Kane, Nick Leventis and Danny Watts’s driving were absolutely perfect. It was a clear and incisive win.
For a long time it seemed that Quifel-ASM Team might yet snatch victory from under Strakka Racing’s nose, but the Portuguese team lost 1 minute with a safety car procedure and had to go back to the Pit garage to change a part of the front bonnet. They finally finished at the second place of the overall classification.
In a thrilling race with many changes at the front, the success story of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR continues.
After winning the 24 hours of Le Mans and holding the championship lead of the Le Mans Series, the German GT has once again won the LMGT2 class thanks to Team Felbermayr-Proton and Porsche works drivers Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb. The title defenders, who have already notched up three victories this season, increased their points’ lead with this result. “That was our toughest race this season.
The Ferraris made our lives difficult right to the finish,” said Richard Lietz. “I only managed to pull away slightly in the last lap. This victory is all the more valuable because our starting position down the grid wasn’t that great.”
CRS Racing was up to the challenge in Hungary as Andrew Kirkaldy and Tim Mullen drove the #91 Ferrari to a runner-up finish in the fiercely contested class.
Started from third, the result was the best of the season so far for the British team, which is the only Ferrari team to climb on the podium.
Patience, that age-old virtue, finally brought its own reward for the Team IMSA Performance Matmut in Hungary. Patrick Pilet and Raymond Narac did their best race of the season as they crossed the finish line in third position!
Next up – FIA GT from the Ring…Stand by!