Le Mans Series : 1000Km of Hungaroring – The Battle of Categories
The Le Mans Series heads to Hungary for the very first time so the 1,000Km of Hungaroring is a leap in the dark for most of teams and drivers. The second qualifying session will go down in Le Mans Series history. For the very first time since seven years of existence, an LMP2 hits the jackpot before the LMP1s. An unpredictable feat which will introduces an interesting race today. Five LMP1 cars versus five LMP2 cars, The powerful LMP1s will be very keen to save their “King of Endurance” title. Although the P2s performances can without any doubt mess up the overall classification.
It is Brit Danny Watts who made the remarkable LMP2 pole achievement, driving Strakka Racing HPD ARX-01c. French Jean-Christophe Bouillon will side him aboard Rebellion LM P1 Lola B10/60 Coupe. In FLM, Mathias Beche leads the pack for the Applewood Seven team.
The Hungaroring lies just east of Budapest and the Castle District of Buda has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The layout has not been too much modified over the years and the latest changes see the longest lap in the circuit’s history with a total distance of 4.384 km.
In GT1, only Gabriel Gardel could cover a full lap aboard Larbre Compétition’s Saleen S7-R. Atlas eFX-Team FS will start from the bottom of the grid after having lost a wheel right after the pitlane exit.
Team ORECA Matmut took their first victory with the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP one month ago in Portugal and expects to clinch another one in the heat of the night at Budapest.
The first Le Mans Series on the Hungarian land looks to be very exciting with battles in all categories, but also between the categories
For the first qualifications this morning, LMGT1s and LMGT2 have initiated the qualifying sessions of the week-end. An odd grid also with GT2s ahead GT1s. Spanish driver Alvaro Barba Lopez, behind Team AF Corse Ferrari F430GT (n°96), ranked first, coming just ahead Giancarlo Fisichella and Andrew Kirkaldy. After the qualifications finish, the Ferraris keep the lead: three F430GTs for the three first positions.
LMP2s category has found its place on the Hungarian layout. Light, fast and more autonomous than their elders, the P2s can make the difference.
A night show
For the second time in a row, the race is scheduled late in the afternoon and the competitors will cross the finish line in the dark. The chase for titles will be up throughout all classes and some contenders would like to clinch the title as soon as Sunday night. The race looks promising.
Let’s welcome RLR MSPORT, a brand new team joining the Le Mans Series on the occasion of the 1000Km of the Hungaroring. 100% British drivers, Barry Gates, Rob Garofall and Warren Hughes behind the wheel of their LMP2 Lola EX265-AER.
Editorial : Mu’az Zakaria / Le Mans Series
Photo : Le Mans Series