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Ginetta Fastest In Shanghai

11th November 2019 • Simon Paice

Big steps forward for British LMP1 Team The FIA World Endurance Championship race programme for the Ginetta LMP1 programme, operated by Team LNT, took major steps forward at Shanghai International Circuit in China over the weekend during the 4 Hours of Shanghai meeting.

The pair of Ginetta - AER LMP1s were on the pace all weekend. Prior to the race they beat the two factory Toyotas to second and third on the grid, making for the first-ever front-row start in a World Championship race for Ginetta with the #6, piloted by factory drivers Charlie Robertson and Mike Simpson. At the start of the race, the Ginettas drove away from the Toyotas and Rebellion the #6 driven by Charlie Robertson gapping the non-Ginettas by almost 20 secs before the first pit stop. Ben Hanley meanwhile, driving the sister #5 car, sat in a solid second place behind.

During the first hour the Ginettas set the fastest & second fastest lap times of the race. Robertson, with a 1:48.428 on lap 2, went almost 1.3 seconds faster than the best lap from the Rebellion and over 1.7 seconds faster than the fastest lap achieved by any of the Toyotas. 

Ben Hanley in the sister #5 Ginetta, his 1:49.235 lap on lap 4, was also well clear of anything achieved elsewhere in the field. Both Ginettas showing they had the race pace to win.

The Ginettas continued to fight at the front after the first pit stops but drive-through penalties into the second hour for both cars saw them become part of the chasing pack thereafter. At the end of the 4 Hours of Shanghai the #5 Ginetta of Ben Hanley, Egor Orudzhev and team debutant Jordan King would come home fourth overall, just ahead of the sister #6 car of Charlie Robertson, Mike Simpson and Guy Smith that completed the top five.

Ginetta Cars Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson said:
“Ginetta have proven our on-track race speed and reliability again in China with both cars. 

“Team LNT have been working hard playing catching up, this is race 3, season 1 for us, and there is still lots to learn as a team ... for others, they’ve finished the whole box set including season 8!

"We’ve been concentrating on the cars’ performance and reliability, we have that now and can work on the in-race performance of the team itself. I’m incredibly proud to have both Ginettas lead 1 & 2 in the highest level of sportscar racing and both set the races fastest laps.

“Congratulations to the Rebellion-Gibson & Hugues (de Chaunac), they ran a faultless race. Norman Nato’s start now looks like a stroke of genius.  Hopefully we can start from pole next time and return the favour!

“We’ll take the time before the next race in Bahrain to look carefully at what we can do to translate our pace and reliability into even better race results.”

The next race for the Team LNT Ginettas is the 8 Hours of Bahrain on 14 December, round four of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship.