Algarve Pro Racing emerged as a keen threat for European Le Mans Series (ELMS) podiums in the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, but had its charge for a top three result thwarted by a series of unfortunate events at Circuit Paul Ricard (17-19 July).
Jon Lancaster, Henning Enqvist and Loic Duval brought the #24 Algarve Pro ORECA 07 LMP2 home in sixth overall, with John Falb, Simon Trummer and Gabriel Aubry rounding out the top ten in the sister #25 entry. Two days of official testing (14-15 July) were primarily used by Algarve Pro to understand the new-for-2020 Goodyear tyres, and consecutive race runs suggested both the #24 and #25 crews would be able to push harder than their Michelin-shod rivals across a double stint. All six drivers blew away the cobwebs after a protracted off-season, extended by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they were very evenly matched with high averages during their long free practice runs, which inspired confidence for the race proper. Clouds rolled in during the build-up to LMP2 Qualifying on Saturday (17 July), but temperatures held up and Duval in #24 and Aubry in #25 matched each other for pace, ending the quickfire session in eighth and ninth respectively, both recording 1m39.4s. Lancaster and Falb were selected to start the ELMS 4 Hours of Le Castellet at midday on Sunday (19 July), and while it appeared to be a clean getaway for both Algarve Pro Racing cars, Falb was an early pit visitor having run over a nail on the formation lap. British racer Lancaster kept his nose clean and ascended from eighth to fourth during the first hour, stretching his advantage over an intense five-way fight for fifth. In fact, a swift turnaround in the first pit stop put him on the tail of the third-placed #26 G-Drive Racing car of Roman Rusinov, and while a couple of passing attempts were thwarted by lapped traffic, the Algarve Pro driver quickly found an opening. Frustratingly, a front-left puncture forced Lancaster back to the pits for an unscheduled stop, although Algarve Pro took the opportunity to install Enqvist in the #24, having already switched Falb for Trummer in the sister #25 ORECA 07.
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