#26,G-DRIVE RACING,RUS,Aurus 01 – Gibson,Roman Rusinov (RUS),Job Van Uitert (NLD),Norman Nato (FRA) 2019 European Le Mans Series 4h Monza 2019, Monza, Italy. Photo © John D Stevens.

Russian limousine manufacturer Aurus has taken its first class and overall win in LMP2 today in just it’s third race (and second in ELMS).

The G-Drive sponsored car of Norman Nato, Roman Rusinov and Job van Uitert scored a comprehensive victory at Monza, the second round of the ELMS season, the Aurus 01 crossing the line over 2 seconds ahead of the #28 IDEC Sport ORECA of Paul-Loup Chatin and #32 United Autosports Ligier of Alex Brundle.

While it was Nato who held it together in the latter part of the race to secure the victory, Dutch ‘wonderkid’ Job van Uitert had a stellar central stint which underscored the team’s victory. 

Rusinov commented during th epost-race interviews: “Great race not an easy one as we had a different strategy. The team were excellent. I’m glad Aurus won its first race here in Monza.

“We won here last year, it’s a strong circuit for us. We try for the big one now (Le Mans next month).” 

In fourth place was United Autosports second Ligier of Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson finishing ahead of the #39 GRAFF ORECA which had led from the start after a strong drive from Alex Cougnaud. 

2019 European Le Mans Series 4h Monza 2019, Monza, Italy. Photo © John D Stevens.

With 11 yellows, 3 FCYs and a Safety Car period through the race in LMP3 Eurointernational of Mikkel Jensen and Jens Petersen benefitted from the chaos to work their way through from the back of the grid to take the win with their #11 Ligier.

Pole sitter Lucas Legeret in the #19 M Racing Norma M30 was passed by Colin Noble in the #7 Nielsen Racing Norma M30 Nissan before the end of the first lap and, with the speed of their bronze driver Millara being some 5 seconds per lap adrift of Legeret, the pair never looked on for a podium finish eventually bringing the car home in 5th a lap adrift. 

Second place went to the #13 Inter Europol Competition JS P3 of Martin Hippe and Nigel Moore, again, benefitting from the attrition in the race to finish 23.3 seconds adrift with the #2 United Autosport Ligier JSP3 driven by Wayne Boyd, Garett Grist and Tommy Erdos completing the podium just under 24 seconds behind the #13. 

#77,DEMPSEY – PROTON RACING,DEU,Porsche 911 RSR,Christian Ried (DEU),Riccardo Pera (ITA),Matteo Cairoli (ITA) 2019 European Le Mans Series 4h Monza 2019, Monza, Italy. Photo © John D Stevens.

In the GTE class the #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche of Christian Ried, Riccardo Pera and Matteo Cairoli took the honours with a solid drive by the German team. 

Second place was claimed by JMW Motorsport’s #66 crew of Jeff Segal, Matteo Cressoni and Wei Lu with a spirited performance following an early incident with the #55 Spirit of Race Ferrari. The distinctive yellow liveried 488 battled throughout with the #77 car for the lead eventually finishing in 4:02:07.714, some 24 seconds behind the Dempsey-Proton Porsche after losing the lead in the final pitstop. 

The #51 Luzich Racing Ferrari F488 GTE Evo suffered with the addition of 30kgs of ‘success ballast’ and was on the defence immediately and before the end of the first hour the #56 Porsche 911 of Egidio Perfetti easily overtook it at the end of the Start / Finish straight. However, despite this Per Guidi, Neilsen and Lavergne managed to re-pass the #56 Mentos sponsored Porsche to claim the final step on the podium finishing in 4:02:38.837.