#5 Ginetta G60-LT P1 AER – Luca
Ghiotto, Ben Hanley, Egor Orudzhev
F2 Championship front-runner Luca Ghiotto joined the team in Fuji after topping
the Ginetta times at the pre-season Prologue test at Paul Ricard. Ben Hanley
and Egor Orudzhev completed the trio in Japan.
After the #5 Ginetta scored fourth place overall on its WEC debut at
Silverstone, the new for Season 8 Success Handicap system, designed to promote
closer racing in the class, dealt out a 35-kilo weight addition, shaving a
theoretical 0.66 of a second from the potential lap time.
pair of Free Practice sessions saw first Ben and then Egor break a WEC record
at the track, the FP2 trap speed for the car of 325.3 KM/h (over 203 mph) the
highest ever recorded in the eight years that the Championship has raced at
Fuji and 30-40 km/h faster than the Toyotas, one of which would finish the
session behind the #5.
start of the race, Egor had a fantastic run down the outside to catch and pass
the second-placed Toyota and even briefly took the lead before the Toyotas
managed to edge back ahead.
the car had a very solid run until Ben Hanley suffered a front left brake issue
saw the car requiring attention.
Despite that delay, the car still came home a strong 11th overall posing very
competitive times despite carrying the success handicap weight.
Ginetta G60-LT P1 AER – Charlie Robertson, Mike Simpson, Guy Smith
Robertson moved over from the #5 crew for the Japanese race joining Silverstone
pairing Mike Simpson and Guy Smith.
First out for qualifying was Mike Simpson, the Ginetta Factory Driver producing
a stunning effort – 1:25.889 would prove to be the fourth-fastest time of the
session, faster than Le Mans lap record holder Kamui Kobayashi’s effort,
Simpson becoming only the second man ever to outpace a Toyota Hybrid driver in
qualifying in a non-hybrid LMP1.
looked set to be better still as Charlie Robertson took over in the #6 for his
qualifying effort, his first flying sector up on the efforts of both Simpson,
and the second-placed Toyota, but, pushing hard he would suffer a half-spin,
the car unable to restart, the #6 would start from the back of the field, and a
lap down on the rest.
though would set the scene for a stirring comeback drive, Charlie starting the
race and grabbing back the lost lap to the GT field in just 15 laps, and almost
to the front of the LMP2 field before the first fuel stops were required, with
excellent lap times that were the match for the LMP1 cars leading the field.
charge, plus a further stint later in the race would see Charlie claim better
lap time averages than two of the factory Toyota drivers and, on lap 171, the
second-fastest lap of the race overall, an astonishing achievement in light of
the strength and experience at Fuji of both the Toyota factory team and LMP1
rivals Rebellion Racing.
further fast lappery from Mike Simpson, Guy Smith climbed aboard as the rain
arrived, the 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours winner showing blinding pace in the
prevailing conditions, proving to be the fastest man on track in the wet.
though a late-race penalty saw the #6 dealt a massive 6 minutes stop and hold
in the pits from fourth position – the car would finish a fighting ninth
Tomlinson said post-race:
“There was a lot to be proud of over the weekend with the car showing massive
pace, proving again that the Ginettas are a force to be reckoned with.
drivers found pace here, and in the case of Mike in qualifying, Charlie in the
race and Guy in the wet, their ultimate lap times were fantastic – what a
credit to the Ginetta ladder that is. Charlie was racing in the Ginetta
Junior Championship just 7 years ago and here he is beating the lap times of
World Champions and Le Mans winners!
matter of when, and not if, we’ll be challenging for a podium finish.”
for the Team LNT Ginettas is round three of the 2019/20 FIA WEC at Shanghai
International Circuit on 10 November 2019.