Image Credit: JMW Motorsport
JMW Motorsport have shown that they are true Championship contenders in the 2015 European Le Mans Series by taking second place in the opening round held at Silverstone, Great Britain.
The British team are once again contesting the series in the Ferrari 458 with drivers George Richardson Sam Tordoff and Rob Smith. Sam has carved a successful career which now sees him competing in the British Touring Car Championship for a third consecutive year running alongside his ELMS campaign. Rob comes to the team with a plethora of sportscar, GT and endurance experience, most recently contesting the Porsche Carrera Cup.
Happy to be back running their favored Dunlop tyres the team were eager to get the first weekend on the way. Friday practice sessions provided the foundation for the rest of the event with the team confident of their race pace. For Sam it was to be a baptism of fire as he was sent out to qualify alongside the many factory and experienced ELMS GT racers. Unfazed, Tordoff put in a strong performance to take the car to its quickest time of the event so far and bag 6th on the grid.
Rob Smith was then given the mighty task of starting the race. Despite being a 4 hour race the action was thick and fast on the very first visit to corner four, where Rob was deft in avoiding cars spinning in all directions. Within just a couple of minutes of his ELMS debut Rob was to get his first taste of follow the safety car and the challenge to keep the heat in the Dunlop tyres!
Once the green flag was shown, Rob found solid pace and lifted the car as high as 3rd place enabling him to hand the car over to Sam in a strong position. With just over half the race gone, George took the wheel and continued the fast laps. A second safety car period bunched the field once more and whilst at first glance it looked like this may play to JMW’s advantage alas the safety car lottery did not go their way. However, once the course was green again this didn’t deter George giving it everything before handing back to Sam for the final stint. Sam confirmed his first stint was no fluke, taking the car to the chequered flag with more splendid lap times.
The fighting spirit of the entire team saw them finish 2nd, highlighting their ambition for the season ahead.
The second round takes places at Imola, Italy on May 16-17 and SportcarGlobal.com will be reporting on all the action