21-22 September 2018 at Spa-Francorchamps, 5th round of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and the Michelin Le Mans Cup (MLMC).
Rainy weekend. Victorious weekend. In ELMS, United Autosports won the LM P2 category with the Ligier JS P217 #22 of Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque and the LM P3 category with the Ligier JS P3 #2 of John Falb and Scott Andrews. In MLMC, Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen scored a double with the JS P3 #79 and #2.
The Ligier JS P217 first and third on the ELMS podium
The Ligier JS P217 had clinched the pole position at Silverstone on 18-19 August 2018 with Will Stevens behind the wheel of the #23 run by Panis Barthez Compétition. At Spa-Francorchamps, the #22 Ligier JS P217 entered by United Autosports scored the second-best time in qualifying with Filipe Albuquerque, only 0.177s behind Jean-Eric Vergne at the wheel of the Oreca #26 run by G-Drive Racing.
Pouring rain. Start of the race brought forward and behind safety car for 15 minutes.
30 minutes later the #17 Norma crashed, and a new safety car came in. The #22 of United Autosports pitted. Refuelling and change of drivers. Filipe Albuquerque was 12th when the race restarted. After 1h10 racing, he took the lead and stayed there until the race was stopped by Race Control after 2h06 racing due to the difficult weather conditions. After Red Bull Ring, this was the second podium finish of the season for United Autosports.
On the #23 Ligier JS P217 of Panis Barthez Compétition, Julien Canal, who started in 10th place, did a flawless double stint. After 1h20 racing, he was 2nd. Change of drivers. After a pit stop, Will Stevens was 4th. He was stopped in his way to the top by a new safety car and finished 3rd overall.
The #32 of United Autosports came home 6th overall, the #25 of Algarve Pro Racing and the #27 of Idec Sport 13th and 14th of the LM P2 category.
In LM P3, a Ligier 100% top 6
Start from the front row for the #11 Ligier JS P3 of Mattia Drudi (Eurointernational), only 65/1000th behind the pole of the #17 Norma of Ultimate. On the second row, two Ligier JS P3s: the #6 of 360 Racing and the #7 of Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen.
Starting 8th, for his debuts ELMS, at Spa and with United Autosports, Scott Andrews did a great stint on the #2 Ligier JS P3. 90 minutes later: change of drivers and refuelling. John Falb came out 1st and kept the lead until the race ended.
LM P3 classification: Top 6 100% Ligier, relegating the first Norma to more than a lap:
1 – #2 of United Autosports
2 – #15 of RLR Msport
3 – #6 of 360 Racing
4 – #3 of United Autosports
5 – #18 of M Racing – YMR
6 – #4 of Cool Racing
Only one round left in the 2018 ELMS season. Focus on the provisional overall general classification. The Ligier JS P3s monopolised the top 7:
1 – #15 of RLR Msport
2 – #6 of 360 Racing
3 – #3 of United Autosports
4 – #11 of Eurointernational
5 – #13 of Inter Europol Competition
6 – #7 of Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen
7 – #2 of United Autosports
In MLMC, Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen scores a double with the Ligier JS P3
Pouring rain and slippery track for the 5th round of the MLMC also. Hotly-contested race. It was the #79 Ligier JS P3 of Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen, that started in 2nd place, which finished 1st with Colin Noble and Alasdair McCaig behind the wheel. 2nd on the podium, a Ligier JS P3 of Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen again: the #2 of Tony Wells et James Littlejohn, who started in 4th place.
The #98 Ligier JS P3 of Motorsport finished 4th in front of the #23 Ligier JS P3 #23 run by United Autosports.
Rendezvous on 27 and 28 October 2018 at Portimao, in Portugal, for the 6th and last round of the ELMS et the MLMC.