PHIL RECORDS SECOND CONSECUTIVE THIRD-PLACE WEC FINISH IN DRAMATIC CHINESE RACE

Phil records second consecutive third-place WEC finish in dramatic Chinese race

Phil Hanson is placed seventh in the LMP2 Driver’s rankings after the British driver claimed his second consecutive third-place FIA World Endurance Championship race finish today (10 Nov).

The #22 Oreca of Phil, Filipe Albuquerque and Paul Di Resta missed out on second place by less than five seconds in the 4 Hours of Shanghai – a repeat of last month’s Fuji result – and eighth overall after a dramatic recovery from an issue that almost certainly cost the British team its maiden WEC triumph.

Albuquerque and Hanson combined to qualify third fastest in LMP2 the previous day around the abrasive 3.39-mile Shanghai International Circuit. The Portuguese started the race but almost immediately dropped to eighth, his Oreca losing power – and precious time each lap until pitting with 16mins gone – after debris on lap one entered the engine’s roof air intake. Filipe was immediately back up to speed, setting impressively fast lap times, following a 45secs stop but crucially now over 80secs off the class lead.

Hanson took over from Albuquerque at one-quarter-distance, #22 now on a different pit-stop strategy compared to all of its class rivals due to its early issue, resuming seventh. The young British driver’s fast pace earned him sixth position almost immediately, running as high as second due to pit-stops being out of sequence, and lay a “true” fourth at mid-distance – one minute off the LMP2 podium.

Di Resta was behind the wheel of the fourth-placed Oreca with 86mins remaining, incredibly setting a faster lap time than the leading LMP1 class top-three overall, the “Flying Scotsman” slicing up to third, then second place due to a rival’s scheduled pit-stop, prior to the race’s only Full Course Yellow. With one-hour to run and back to green light racing, Di Resta lay 11secs behind the LMP2 leader, pitting with 37mins left, for fuel and two new left side tyres, re-joining fourth. He re-took third with 23mins remaining and narrowly missed out on second place after a fantastic recovery by the United Oreca which was the best-placed Michelin-shod LMP2 finisher.

The fourth round of the 2019-20 FIA WEC is the 8 Hours of Bahrain staged on 14 December, a weekend that also sees United competing in the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi (13-14 Dec).

Phil commented:
“It was fantastic to get another podium but I also felt disappointed as we could have won the race in China. I got in the car and we were nowhere because of the issue that Filipe suffered at the beginning. My first stint was good and we opted to change just one tyre for my second, the tyre degradation was massive and I really struggled. In the end, it was a great recovery. We’ll come back stronger again for next month’s Bahrain race.”

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Shanghai International Circuit

10 November 2019

Phil records second consecutive third-place WEC finish in dramatic Chinese race
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