Image credit: Nick Dungan – Photo Copyright 2015 Nick Dungan / AdrenalMedia.com
Taking a fine, first LMP2 win in the WEC at Shanghai was the Signatech Alpine squad of Nelson Panciatici, Paul-Loup Chatin and championship newcomer Tom Dillmann.
Driving the Alpine A450b-Nissan, the French trio came good in the second half of the race after Chatin drove an excellent middle portion to set up a useful gap to the chasing G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissan entries.
Signatech had a lap advantage over the No.26 G-Drive Racing trio of Sam Bird, Julien Canal and Roman Rusinov which led the race in the opening hour. The second place for the No.26 G-Drive crew in Shanghai further extends their points lead over KCMG to 16 points, with 26 to play for in Bahrain.
The sister G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissan seemed to be heading for another podium position after fine early work from Pipo Derani and Gustavo Yacaman. However, a late race trip into the gravel by Ricardo Gonzalez saw the car unclassified for the first time this season.
KCMG’s race in Shanghai was compromised early on in the very wet conditions when Nick Tandy suffered a spin causing the Safety Car to be deployed on the first green flag lap of the race. A subsequent gamble onto full wet tyres initially worked for the Hong Kong team in the first hour, but when the rain abated they had to switch to intermediates. Strong stints from Matt Howson, Richard Bradley and again from Nick Tandy saw them come through to finish third.
Team SARD Morand continued their strong run of results with fourth place in class. Oliver Webb, Pierre Ragues and Chris Cumming had a trouble-free race to collect more points in the Morgan Evo-SARD.
The LMP2 class saw an entertaining cameo performance from the Pegasus Racing Morgan-Nissan in the first four hours of the race. A sensational triple stint from LMP returnee Alex Brundle saw the Michelin-shod Morgan make the most of the conditions to lead the chasing pack. However, in the last two hours of the race, with the circuit drying, the turquoise Morgan fell back and would eventually earn Brundle and his Chinese teammates Ho-Pin Tung and David Cheng a creditable fifth place finish.