The first round of the 2019 European Le Mans Series season was packed with intense battles in every class and the finish certainly offered its share of surprises: DragonSpeed claimed the top step on the overall podium, the Ultimate team and Lahaye family along with François Heriau triumphed in LMP3 and newcomer Luzich Racing won the LMGTE class, followed by the all-female driver line-up Frey-Gostner-Gatting at the wheel of Kessel Racing's Ferrari 488.
The checkered flag has been waved at the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, opening round of the 2019 European Le Mans Series season. Overall victory went to DragonSpeed's #21 ORECA 07-Gibson shared by the trio Hedman-Hanley-Allen. The top step on the LMP3 podium was reached by the Ultimate team's #17 Norma M30-Nissan shared by Mathieu Lahaye, Jean-Baptiste Lahaye and François Heriau. First place in the LMGTE class was secured by new arrival Luzich Racing's #51 Ferrari 488 driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, Nicklas Nielsen and Fabien Lavergne.
At Le Castellet for its big European Le Mans Series debut, the championship's new mascot Rooky got a taste of the intensity awaiting him at every upcoming round of the season. At 12:30 local time, 41 competitors in three different classes took the start and gave their all to the finish line.
Their determination made this 4 Hours of Le Castellet a thrill ride from beginning to end. The race was led at various times by pole-sitter G-Drive Racing, and in function of pit stops, tyre changes, errors and penalities, was also led by Duqueine Engineering, IDEC SPORT Racing, the Graff team and DragonSpeed. A competitor's car spun out just in front of DragonSpeed's machine in the final minutes of the race before the team went on to victory unscathed, with the top three cars finishing within 30 seconds of one another.
The podium celebration was all joy for the Ultimate team's win at home in LMP3 thanks to the Lahaye family and François Heriau.
Rookie team Luzich Racing won the LMGTE class with a Ferrari 488 for its first appearance in the European Le Mans Series. The Swiss outfit finished ahead of compatriot Kessel Racing and its all-female trio, Frey-Gatting-Gostner, set to take the start in the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans (15-16 June).
The second round of the European Le Mans Series is set for Monza on 12 May.
For more info, go to the official European Le Mans Series website.