Italian team Prema Racing continued their impressive debut season in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) with a victory at the 4 Hours of Imola. Louis Deletraz, driving the no9 Oreca, crossed the finish line 4.6 seconds ahead of Tom Gamble from United Autosports. This win marks Prema Racing’s second consecutive victory in the series.
Despite facing penalties early in the race, including a jump start and crossing the pit exit line, the Prema Racing team managed to overcome the setbacks. A quick pitstop under Full Course Yellow (FCY) helped them regain the lead. Another FCY in the final minutes of the race further solidified their position at the front of the pack.
The LMP2 podium was completed by the no37 Cool Racing Oreca, driven by Yifei Ye, and the no65 Panis Racing Oreca, driven by Job Van Uitert. The no34 Racing Team Turkey Oreca emerged as the top LMP2 Pro-Am car for the second time in a row, with Jack Aitken finishing in 7th place overall.
Ferdinand Habsburg #9 Prema Racing Oreca 07-Gibson:“While we were racing in the lovely country of Italy, with a lot of obstacles in the way a lot of chicanes literally and metaphorically. Our car was extremely fast, our pace was incredible, and the team did a fantastic job; that’s one of the reasons why we won.
“But on the other hand, we had some mistakes on the way we had a couple of drive throughs, things that we need to look at to improve. Then at the end, God came to save us, my prayers came true and he gave us a full course yellow, just when we needed to allow us to come back to where we felt we should be with our pace. In the end, we get to have champagne, we get to have trophies, we get to thank God and go to church today, for sure for the three of us, because a lot of luck was definitely involved today. But sometimes you need to take it and sometimes you need to earn it.”
United Autosports Claims LMP3 Victory, Historic Win for Oman Racing with TF Sport in LMGTE
In the LMP3 category, the no3 United Autosports Ligier, driven by Kay Van Berlo, secured a commanding victory. They finished well ahead of the two Cool Racing Ligiers, with the no27 Ligier driven by Antoine Doquin taking second place and the no17 Ligier driven by Malthe Jakobsen coming in third.
History was made in the LMGTE category, as the no69 Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage, driven by Marco Sorensen, claimed the first-ever win for an Omani-flagged team in ELMS history. The team dominated the race, with Ahmad Al Harthy starting the race and leading for almost the entire distance. The no95 Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR, driven by Henrique Chaves, finished in second place, completing a 1-2 finish for the team.
The next round of the 2022 European Le Mans Series will be the 4 Hours of Monza on Sunday, July 3.