G-DRIVE RACING KICK OFF 2016 WITH CONCLUSIVE SILVERSTONE VICTORY
18th April 2016
G-Drive Racing got its 2016 European Le Mans Series campaign off to the best possible start with an utterly dominant victory in the 4 Hours of Silverstone, coming close to lapping the entire field.
In a highly competitive grid of 16 LMP2 cars, the G-Drive Racing entered Gibson 015S-Nissan – piloted by Harry Tincknell, Simon Dolan and Giedo van der Garde – was rarely threatened at the head of the pack.
A mesmeric double stint from Tincknell in tricky conditions at the start of the race was the bedrock for the team’s success, as the Briton surged from fourth on the grid into an early lead before rapidly pulling clear of the chasing pack.
Tincknell was over 25 seconds clear of his nearest rival, the #23 Ligier of Panis-Barthez Competition, when he brought the Gibson 015S-Nissan in for its first pitstop, maintaining his cushion over the course of his second stint before handing the reins over to Simon Dolan.
Fabien Barthez had the good fortune of taking over from teammate Paul-Loup Chatin in the #23 during a full-course yellow, putting Dolan some seconds behind, but the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours class winner was able to catch Barthez at a rate of knots and retake the lead with a confident and decisive move up the inside at
Dolan quickly pulled away before handing over to Giedo van der Garde for the fifth and final stint with 40 minutes left on the clock.
The Dutchman, making his endurance racing debut, confidently brought the Dunlop shod Gibson 015s-Nissan home in the closing stages, beating the #32 SMP Racing BR01 by a minute and 35 seconds to cap a superb performance by the G-Drive Racing team.
It was the perfect way to start the season for the G-Drive Racing squad which is run operationally by the JOTA Sport organisation in 2016.
Harry Tincknell: “I made a good start, made up two places at the first corner, and from there it was just a case of getting my head down and pulling away. It was pretty tough out there at times, but the G-Drive Gibson-Nissan was great, and I was happy to give Simon a good lead. He did a great job and Giedo finished it off, so it’s a fantastic result”.
Simon Dolan: “The first stint was very nice, but I knew from what Harry said on the radio the second stint would be a lot harder. It was good to pull out a lead in the first stint, manage the tyres in the second stint and then pass it over to Giedo in the lead. It’s been a funny weekend but it all came back to us in the end and I am super happy for all the team because they were excellent all week.”
Giedo van der Garde: “I knew I had a single stint on fresh tyres, and the car felt really good. The whole team did a great job with the pitstops, Simon and Harry both had mega drives today, so I just had to finish. It was the first time for me to race like this, so getting used to the traffic was tough, but after a couple of laps I got the hang of it. The team was magnificent today.”
David Clark, Jota Group “The team was absolutely superb today. It was a conclusive win and we’ll enjoy this one because we have put an awful lot of work in to essentially doubling JOTA Sport to run the two cars, one in ELMS and the other in the FIA WEC. Sam (Hignett) has worked wonders and it is a great endorsement of his skill and that of all the team actually. The spirit in the team is fantastic and to start the year like this gives us a lot of momentum to get more results throughout the season.”