Thrilling Red Bull Ring race sees tight finish

It was an unbelievable spectacle at the Spielberg Red Bull Ring in front of the Steiermark grandstand as 36 Le Mans cars headed into the first corner making a flying start. As the fans took it all in, the fight for “Red Bull Ring 4 hours” title was on.

To the gallery

169 laps later the United Autosports Team from the USA celebrated its third victory in the third race of the 2017 European Le Mans Series season – just fractions ahead of the pole setting G-Drive Racing Team from Russia. After 4 hours the two squads were separated by just 4.5s.

Qualifying winners dominate first phase

Léo Roussel, who had topped qualification on Saturday, took the honour of driving from the start for the Russian G-Drive Racing Team from Pole Position in LMP2. The young Frenchman’s sixth lap in the race was also the fastest at 1’20.177. The American United Autosports Team put in a long first stint and took over at the front. Plenty of overtaking was to follow, plus some contact between cars, driver changes and re-fuelling in the pits. It was a hard fight between G-Drive Racing and United Autosports for the lead.

4.5s margin after 4 hours

After more than 100 laps and almost two-and-a-half hours on track Nicolas Minassian (FRA) had the lead for G-Drive Racing and handed over to Léo Roussel again. But the Frenchman had extremely bad luck, after a technical problem on his Oreca 07 – Gibson. United Autosports, with Filipe Albuquerque (PRT) at the wheel, were able to regain the lead – and after 169 laps they took the win by just 4.5s.

The winner has his say

Filipe Albuquerque took the chequered flag in first position after his team changed driver just twice and then stated: “When I jumped in the car, there was just over an hour left. I did everything I could and 15 minutes from the end my front tyres were gone. Leo got stronger and closer so I was worried, as I had nothing left and he was chasing me. At the end it was just enough. I also want to congratulate my teammates, they did a brilliant job!”

Fans enjoy racing on front row

Prior to the “Red Bull Ring 4 hours” event, the young drivers of the Formula Renault Eurocup had a thrilling battle, with the victory going to Frenchman Sasha Fenestraz. The whole weekend was highly enjoyable for those hunting autographs, with two pit walks and an open paddock which was full of fans. The highlight was the autograph session in the pit lane on Sunday, where stars such as Fabien Barthez were on site to sign autographs and pose for photos. The BMX and stunt shows in the ELMS Village at trackside were great fun too and Projekt Spielberg was also open for the fans to enjoy!

All the information you need on the European Le Mans Series can be found at www.europeanlemansseries.com and at www.projekt-spielberg.com, as well as in the Projekt Spielberg App.

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