Donington Park, United Kingdom held the third round of the European LeMans series 14/15th July 2012. The initial line-up saw 18 Lemans cars to take to the track but the number of cars reduced to 13.
Even though there were only 13 cars racing over the weekend, there was still a great show of endurance racing to be seen.
The majority of the cars which took to the track were Nissan’s however there was an exquisite Ferrari 458 Italia which was part of the LMGTE Pro class. There was another Ferrari 458 in the LMGTE AM class which competed with the Porsche 911 RSR.
All eyes were on the No 1. Greaves Motorsport Nissan driven by Alex Brundle, Lucas Ordoñez and Tom Kimber-Smith who were hoping to build on their success of the 24 hour Lemans. However their dreams were soon dashed when the Nissan spun off on the first lap at the old hairpin. This put them on the back foot from the start and finished in seventh position out of the eleven finishing cars, this was not the result they were looking for.
Oak racing saw its Morgan-Nissan LMP2 take its first victory driven by Dimitri Enjalbert, Bertrand Baguette and Oliver Pla. The racing duo finished the six hour race competing 251 laps with only 21 seconds seperating themselves from the second place finisher TDS Racing Oreca-Nissan. Third place was taken by the Morgan Prototypes Oerca 03- Nissan.
I was fortunate enough to see the teams completing their pit stops and its an amazing sight to see. The mechanics refuelling, changing the tyres and ensuring the drivers change places in a quick and efficient manner.
There were two retirements within the race which was the stunning Status Grand Prix Lola- Judd which had alternator problems, and the Jota Zytek-Nissan.
After the race the winning drivers made the following statements.
Bertrand Baguette (no. 35 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan)
We’ve been expecting this victory for some time now. My team-mates and I did a good job. After the problems we had before the race I reckon we fully deserved this win. I think that our strategy of starting on used tyres and then doing a couple of stints on new rubber played a major part in our success.
Olivier Pla (no. 35 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan)
Since the start of the year we’ve shown the car’s potential without turning it into results. We’ve done so at Donington despite a difficult start to the weekend. This victory is also down to the whole team which has done a great job to enable us to be so quick and reliable throughout the race. I’m very happy with my first outing at Donington. We’re dedicating this victory to Guillaume Moreau who’s contributed so much to the team.
Dimitri Enjalbert (no. 35 OAK Racing Mogran-Nissan)
It’s my first race in LM P2 and I did only ten laps before the event to get to grips with the car. I’m over the moon that it’s ended in victory!