5TH FOR WEBB IN SEASON OPENER ELMS
Posted on in Latest News
Webb shows strong pace with Signatech-Alpine at European Endurance Championship season opener
Oliver Webb made a strong start to his first European Endurance Championship race this weekend, showing good pace throughout the weekend with the Signatech-Alipne team, and claimed a hard-fought fifth place finish at the season-opening four-hour endurance event at Silverstone, UK.
As the season’s sole visit to the UK, Webb worked hard to make the most of the home circuit advantage throughout the weekend. The team worked hard through some initial challenges to optimise running on the 2014-spec tyres, and were the front-running team running Michelin tyres throughout qualifying. As the session ended, Webb’s teammate Nelson Panciatici claimed seventh place on the grid, more than a second ahead of the rest of the Michelin-shod competitors.
From this strong grid slot Panciatici started the race, making good progress off the line and moved up to fourth before becoming caught up in traffic. This delay dropped the #36 Nissan-powered Alpine A450 LM P2 prototype back to sixth, but still showing strong pace as the team pitted and Webb took over. The young British driver was immediately up to speed, and showed strong race craft throughout his stint, posting competitive laptimes against a very strong field on his debut. The BRDC driver, at his home round of the season, was the second fastest car on track throughout his stint, and posted the team’s fastest lap of the race, setting the scene for a strong race end. Paul-Loup Chatin took over for the final sprint to the flag, and capitalised on Webb’s efforts, moving up to fifth place.
Commenting on the race, Webb explained: ‘Racing at Silverstone for the first time in three years was a great experience for my first outing in the European Endurance Championship. The car felt really strong around the circuit, and it is a great feeling having the support of the home crowd cheering you on. The whole team did a fantastic job to have such a competitive car for the first round, against a very competitive grid, and we are confident we can build on this strong result for the next round.’
Webb’s next track activity will see him competing in the World Series by Renault championship in Barcelona, Spain, next weekend, returning to the cockpit with PONS Racing. Round 2 of the European Endurance Championship will see Webb and the Signatech-Alpine team travelling to Imola, Italy, over the weekend 9-11 May.
For information on Oliver Webb, visit www.oliwebbracing.com or follow him on twitter, www.twitter.com/oliverjameswebb.