Sports Carazing dominate RockBull Ring 6h

The second round of the DiSCA WEC European Championship was won by the LMP2 Pescarolo of Sports Carazing, with team drivers Martin Thorpe and Nick Wade in second place with an LMP1 specification Lola B12/10.

Qualifying was a tight-knit affair with the Carazing entry battling for the front row with Rockingham’s Toyota TS-030 and the box fresh Oreca 07 fielded by Lowlands Racing in LMP2. Carazing driver Gary Skipp had set times of 12.9 on both Saturday practice and early in Sunday’s qualifying session. However, towards the end of the session both Fishenden for Rockingham and Van Leekwyck for Lowlands had locked out the front row by hundredths of seconds. It would be the Toyota on pole and the Oreca alongside, and what better way to announce it’s arrival to the series.

The field of 12 prior to Concours judging

At the green flag, the leading cars pulled away and Skipp, starting for Carazing, dropped back to run with the 4th place car of Demon Slot Racing. Phil Field was running an experimental Audi R18 (NSR) in both LMP1 and LMP2 specs, and it was the P1 cars that was ahead. However, by the time the leaders were amongst traffic it was the Pescarolo (Avant / Olifer) that had made it’s way to the front of the field. It would remain there for the rest of the hour.

The first driver change saw Richard Hill assume the controls for Sports Carazing. Absent on Saturday, the East Midlands driver was still establishing pace and this allowed the pack to close in. However, it was now the Lola of Carazing team mates Wade and Thorpe that had made it’s way to the front of the field. The gap closed lap by lap, and after roughly 90 minutes of racing, the LMP1 car edged it’s nose ahead.

TWR wouldn’t spend much time at the top of the classification, however. Hill had settled into a rhythm behind the new leaders and waited for the right moment to overtake, shortly ahead of the second hour. As Skipp took over for the third hour, it was Carazing one, TWR two. Rockingham had dropped back with a technical issue, leaving Lowlands in third place.

The Pescarolo / Lola combo enjoyed a largely drama free race from this point. The Lola was heavy on it’s tyres and needed an extra stop, while the Pescarolo needed a single rear wing repair following some heavy handed marshalling. Neither of these hurdles were enough to stop the Carazing crews, who slowly but surely extended their lead over a hard pressing Van Leekwyck.

In GT the Monkeytown NL Ford GT of Tamar Nelwan, with team mates Wayne Lander and Johnny Andersen, had a clear advantage over North Staff’s Viper and the new Keating Motorsport liveried Ford GT of Garage 27. All the Dutch led team had to do was stay out of trouble, which they duly achieved to secure a category win. Doing so would also lock out the GT Driver’s title for Nelwan.

In the end, it was Carazing from TWR by 16 laps. Skipp’s race pace was challenged only by Van Leekwyck in the Oreca, both drivers sharing the honour of fastest lap. Hill simply got better throughout the day and brought the car across the line to secure the first every WEC victory for an LMP2 car.

Final Result

  1. Sports Carazing 1499
  2. TWR 1483
  3. Lowlands Racing 1475
  4. Red Dragon 1449
  5. Demon Sot Racing 1442
  6. Monkeytown NL 1406
  7. Gas Monkeys 1363
  8. North Staffs 1357
  9. Exiles 1314
  10. Rockingham 1306
  11. Eastcote 1271
  12. Garage 27 1112
Race winners; Gary Skipp (L), Maurizio Ferrari (C), Richard Hill (R)
LMP1 winners; Nic Wade (L) and Martin Thorpe (R)
GT winners; Wayne Lander (L) Johnny Andersen (C), Tamar Nelwan (R)
SV Workz stunning Oreca 07, entered by Lowlands Racing, won the Concours de Elegance
Victorious in LMP1 and LMP2