The 4 Hours of Le Castellet saw the no25 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca-Gibson take the win in the second round of the 2023 European Le Mans Series. The race was a hard-fought battle, with James Allen overtaking the no34 Racing Team Turkey Oreca of Louis Delétraz in the final 10 minutes of the race. The no30 Duqueine Team Oreca of Neel Jani finished second, with Delétraz taking third overall to win the LMP2 Pro/Am category.
The race began with the no47 COOL Racing Oreca leading the cars into Turn 1, followed by the no28 IDEC Sport Oreca and the no65 Panis Racing Oreca. The no25 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca moved up to fourth, ahead of the no43 Inter Europol Competition Oreca on the opening lap. Kyffin Simpson then moved up to third on lap 2 and second on lap 3, passing Lafargue’s IDEC Sport Oreca.
LMP2 PRO AM
In the LMP2 Pro/Am class, the no99 Proton Competition Oreca of Giorgio Roda was overtaken by the no34 Racing Team Turkey Oreca, with the LMP3 and LMGTE pole cars, the no12 WTM By Rinaldi Racing Duqueine and the no77 Proton Competition Porsche maintaining their positions.
The no37 COOL Racing and no83 AF Corse Orecas moved up to second and third in LMP2 Pro/Am respectively. Salih Yoluç closed in on Roda for the LMP2 Pro/Am lead and took over on lap 6, with the no24 Nielsen Racing Oreca of Rodrigo Sales following in third place.
Yoluç was followed closely by the no22 United Autosports Oreca of Oliver Jarvis, who moved from 41st to 10th by lap 9 and was up to 7th just behind Yoluç after 30 minutes of racing.
The LMP3 win was secured by the no31 Racing Spirit of Léman Ligier, which started 10th out of the 12 LMP3 entries. Antoine Doquin moved up from 6th to 1st in the final hour to finish 10 seconds ahead of the no12 WTM by Rinaldi Racing Duqueine.
The no10 Eurointernational Ligier was leading with Glenn Van Berlo moving up to second place from 42nd on the grid. Van Berlo had to start at the very back of the grid following the removal of all qualifying times due to a technical infringement, but his hard work was undone when he had to serve an extra 10 seconds on the next pitstop for not respecting the Race Directors instructions for re-joining at Turn 1.
Meanwhile, Mathias Luethen in the no31 Ligier moved up to the LMP3 lead and was challenged by Leo Weiss in the no12 Duqueine.
Reigning champions Proton Competition took the maximum points in Le Castellet with the no77 Porsche 911 RSR-19 winning from pole position. Julien Andlauer took the chequered flag 11.4 seconds ahead of the no60 Iron Lynx 911 of Matteo Cairoli to make it a Porsche 1-2 in France. The no93 Proton Competition Porsche of Michael Fassbender moved up to second place in the LMGTE category but came under pressure from the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari of David Perel. Perel moved in to second and then took the lead ahead of Ried at Turn 3. The no72 TF Sport Aston Martin then went ahead of Fassbender’s Porsche for third.
The no77 Porsche continued to lead the LMGTE class, with Andlauer holding a comfortable 20-second lead of the no60 Iron Lynx Porsche of Cairoli and the no16 Proton Competition Porsche of Alessio Picariello. However, Picariello’s race was ruined due to two off-road excursions, the second caused by a collision with the no57 Kessel Racing Ferrari. A post-race penalty for the no57 Ferrari for causing the collision with the no16 Porsche dropped the car down to 4th place behind the no95 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR.