Tire struggle for Winward Racing and Mikaël Grenier during the 1000km at Paul Ricard
GRENIER HAD A STELLAR FIRST STINT UNTIL THE LEFT FRONT TIRE LET GO AND RELEGATED THE #57 DOWN THE ORDER.
An exciting end to the six hours race as the top five crossed the line separated by just over seven seconds. The win went to a charging Matt Campbell in the GPX Porsche who overtook Marco Mapelli with less than 40 minutes to go in the race. Mapelli and the Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini had dominated the race up to that point and had to settle for fourth at the checkered but were then given a third place finish following a late penalty of the second place finisher at the flag the #71 Iron Lynx Ferrari of Antonio Fuoco. The #71 team was given a 5 second penalty for pit stop infringement that occurred during their last stop and were shown in fifth place. Second place went to Team WRT Audi as Dried Vanthoor drove the wheels off the #32 Audi in the last hour.
As for Winward Racing, having started in 21st place, Russell Ward was shown having dropped to 34th place early in the race. Although unfortunately at this time the reason is unknown, it set-up the race to come for the #57 team. Mikaël Grenier took over teammate Ward for the second hour and shown well down the order, Grenier’s drive was pretty impressive setting personal best sector times regularly. Having gained several positions and being show in 23rd place towards the end of his first stint, an unfortunate tire failure on the left front pretty much neutralized his effort as he had to slowly make his way back to the pits. The #57 Mercedes AMG GT3 was not the only car from the German manufacturer to be hit with tire issues.
Russell Ward took over from Grenier for the third hour and made the best of it as Mikaël Grenier was back at the wheel in hour 4. Small consolation for Grenier as he clocked the quickest time for the team on lap 99. By this time, Winward Racing had lost quite a bit of time.
Only one full course yellow during the six hour race which made it for an exciting end of the race. Philip Ellis brought the #57 car to the checkered while managing to gain several positions in the last hour. It is finally two laps down in 20th place and sixth in Silver Cup class that the #57 Mercedes AMG GT3 was classified.
Image: Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS
Excellent summary. We watched the entire 6 hours.
What a bummer! That first stint was awesome to watch on the timing screen!