LMC - 13/12/2017 - Jeff CARTER
Picture © Jakob Ebrey Photography
Lamborghini Dazzles in Qualifying
Qualifying was hard fought and, under the Le Mans Cup rules, had to be between the bronze drivers in each of the crews. The no46 Ebimotors Lamborghini Huracan of Emanuele Busnelli stole the qualifying show, with the Italian notching up five pole positions from the seven races. The two Road to Le Mans races were the only exception with Porsche taking the pole for the opening race at Le Mans and Aston Martin securing pole position for the feature race on Saturday morning ahead of the 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Honours Even in Race Wins
The 2017 Michelin Le Mans Cup saw the race wins split evenly with two each for Lamborghini, Mercedes and Aston Martin, with Porsche securing the final victory of the season in Portimão.
2017 got underway with a two hour race at Monza in May and the no7 Lee Mowle Mercedes AMG took the first win ahead of the no75 Optimum Racing Audi R8 and the no46 Ebimotors Lamborghini Huracan.
Rounds 2 and 3 were the two 55-minute Road to Le Mans races on the full 13,629km circuit at La Sarthe. The GT3 grid expanded to 15 cars for this showcase event, with 2016 GT3 Team Champions TF Sport returning to the Michelin Le Mans Cup and taking one pole and both race wins.
Round 4 was held at the Red Bull Ring with the race length returning to the normal 120-minute encounter. The no46 Ebimotors Lamborghini stormed to victory from pole position and this performance was repeated in France at the Circuit Paul Ricard the following month.
Round 6 was won by the no7 Lee Mowle Mercedes, the British team securing their second win of 2017 ahead of the no20 Gulf Racing UK Porsche to keep their championship hopes alive going into the final race of the season in Portugal. A nail biting season finale ensued with the championship leading no46 Ebimotors Lamborghini only able to finish in fourth but the no7 Lee Mowle Mercedes needed to win but they hadn’t counted on the no20 Gulf Racing Porsche 911 coming through to take the final win of 2017, with the no46 Lamborghini taking the 2017 title by just two points.
Fastest Cars on Track
The fastest cars through the speed trap varied from event to event. On the two fastest tracks of 2017, Monza and Le Mans, it was the Lamborghini Huracan that led the way. In Red Bull Ring it was the Ferrari F458 Italia GT3 and at the Circuit Paul Ricard it was the Audi R8 LMS GT3. The Porsche 911 GT3 R set the top speed in the final two events at Spa and Portimão.
The 2018 Michelin Le Mans Cup will get underway with the official test at the Circuit Paul Ricard on Wednesday 11 April, which will be immediately followed by the opening race of the season at the same venue.
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