Iron Lynx Secures Third Place in LMGTE Standings in European Le Mans Series
The Iron Lynx #60 of Claudio Schiavoni, Matteo Cressoni and Matteo Cairoli took to the Algarve International Circuit for two races across a long, four-day weekend of European Le Mans Series action to round out the season.
4 Hours of Algarve
The championship in LMGTE was on the line throughout the weekend, with the #60 level on points with the #16 Proton Competition coming into the event. Heavy rain affected proceedings throughout Thursday and Friday for the first race, the 4 Hours of Algarve, with Claudio qualifying the Porsche 911 RSR – 19 in 12th position in tricky conditions for Friday’s four-hour race.
4 Hours of Portimão
The rain had hardly abated for the second event of the week. Qualifying was held in damp conditions, and Claudio qualified 12th for the race, with an extra 30 kilograms of success ballast onboard. The rain was at its worst at the start of the race, which delayed it by 90 minutes. There was then a further 45-minute red flag when the four hours eventually did get going because of the horrible conditions.
Racing finally began with three hours on the clock. Due to the interruption, the drive times were changed, meaning Claudio only had to do one stint. He kept it out of trouble as conditions improved before handing it over to Matteo Cairoli.
The sun had come out for Matteo’s stint, and the lap times fell significantly, but his progress in the race was halted by a Safety Car. As the Safety Car ended, he handed over to Matteo Cressoni.
Matteo kept the car on the road and put in good lap times during several FCY periods towards the end of the race. The points finish secured the team a top-three position in the final LMGTE standings to conclude a strong season.
Le Mans Cup
Also taking place at Portimão was the final round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup. Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Vincent Abril took the #63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO 2 to the Portuguese circuit for the 110-minute race to conclude the season. Like with ELMS, conditions were very tricky throughout the weekend.
In qualifying, the rain got worse as the session progressed, so Hiroshi’s best effort in the early stages secured second on the grid and in the overall classification, such was the strength of the mechanical grip of the GT3 cars in those conditions to the LMP3s.
The conditions were a little better for the start of the race on Sunday morning, and all of the teams started their Bronze driver behind a lengthy Safety Car. Battling through the conditions, the LMP3s and Full Course Yellows, Hiroshi engaged in a brilliant battle with the #64 Team Parker Racing car for the lead right to the pitstop phase.
Hiroshi stayed out for a lap longer, and with a great in-lap, a less busy pitlane and great work from the team, Vincent took the car and had a healthy five-second lead when he took the car over. Vincent’s out-lap was strong, and he opened the lead to 10 seconds as the rain intensified.
Several cars skated off the track in the harsh conditions, including the #64 car, which left Vincent with a lead of half a minute before the Safety Car was called once again and then a subsequent red flag with 20 minutes remaining, meaning Hiroshi and Vincent took their first win of the season and climbed to sixth in the championship at the last race.
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