Magic Laps from Le Fay Deliver Solvalou Victory at Indianapolis

Reigning GT Super Series champion Chris Winter and Morgan Le Fay gave Racing Team Solvalou their first win of the season at the Round of The United States at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Excellent timing in the second round of pit stops and a quick pit stop from Racing Team Solvalou gave Morgan Le Fay a clean breakaway upon exiting the pits, and allowed her to put in her best performance since joining the factory Lamborghini team at the start of last year. She turned a two second deficit to the leader of the race before the second round of the pit stops, Jacques Malenfant of Carson Speedworks, into a six second lead over Tomo Kazama when the pit stop cycle concluded. Racing Team Solvalou Team Principal Marco Gilbert heralded the performance from the Englishwoman as one of the best he has seen in the series. It was gap that would only start to decrease with 10 minutes remaining as the former Japanese ARWS driver started to use her fresher tires to her advantage after pitting later in the window.

Kazama would be able to grind the gap to Le Fay down to two seconds with the cars on the tail end of the lead lap starting to loom large in front of the Solvalou Lamborghini. However, time would run out before Kazama would be able to take advantage of the MacMillan-Ford’s new found performance; she and Rhys Davies would still give Ford their best finish thus far in their first season in the GT Super Series, doing it on home soil with the second place result with teammates Darren Older Jr. and Markus Jacobson not far behind in sixth overall. Ahead of both of them and standing tall after the two hour race was series champion Chris Winter and new co-driver for 2019 Morgan Le Fay, jumping the pairing up to second in the championship order, now five points behind the leading pair of Matteo Rossi and Roland Davidson in Winter’s title defense.

Rossi and Davidson looked set to be in the position that Winter and Le Fay found themselves in based on they, and their factory Aston Martin stablemate at Ravenwest Motorsports, were the first two to pit in the pit windows. The pair of cars weren’t able to take as much advantage as they had in previous rounds as they were stuck behind leading cars who had yet to pit after they completed their pit stops. It would help both cars move up the order, but Gulf’s progress would stagnate once they had reached the top five and the Ravenwest Aston of Nathan McKane and Andrej Kremnicky would retire with a gearbox failure past the one hour mark of the race whilst in the leading group of Factory cars.

Leading throughout the middle stint of the race was the Carson Speedworks Corvette of Joey Alliot and Jacques Malenfant, comfortably in control after clearing the lapped Jameson Brothers Saleen in short order, leaving Chris Winter, Denis van Walwijk and Tomo Kazama to squabble over a span of a few laps whilst trapped behind Ryan Jameson. Chris Winter would do what he could to close the gap, but never had a chance to mount an attack before pitting for the final time. Malenfant, on the other hand, pitted near the end of the pit window, Carson Speedworks looking to capitalize on fresher tires at the end of the race. But the damage had already been done with Le Fay, Kazama, Denis van Walwijk and Roland Davidson all jumping the Factory Chevy Corvette in the order. Alliot and Malenfant would settle for fifth overall after not being able to pass Davidson’s Gulf Aston in the closing stages of the race.

Winning the Independent’s Class for the Round of the United States was the pairing of Koyomi Setou and Marlin Hortin, giving Best In The World their first class win since the Round of China last year when Setou and then second driver Redur Jaffer gave the Independent Lamborghini team their only class victory of 2018. Setou would control the race in class after passing Carlton Cho for the class lead in the middle stint of the race under braking for turn 1. Cho’s teammate Harrison Wilkinson controlled the pace at the front of the Independent field during the opening stint but the Team LKM Lamborghini was open to attack when he handed over driving duties to the gentlemen driver Cho while Best In the World’s ace remained in her Lamborghini. Setou when then drive away from the pack in her second stint in the car, leaving all the pressure off Jaffer when it came time for him to bring their Lamborghini home in seventh overall. Cho would also surrender two more places in class, with the Czechmate pairing of McCracken and Komarek earning their second straight second place in class result, and the Globex Scorpio pairing of Paul Jenkins and Ernest Bruno rounding out the Independent Podium in eleventh overall. It is Globex Scorpio’s best finish in the series since the 2017 Round of Malaysia where the team took a shock third overall in torrential conditions.

Third place starting James James Davies got tipped into a spin after a late block on fellow former Formula 1 World Driver’s Champion Rhys Davies in the opening stint of the race. James James’s Ferrari would then stall whilst facing the wrong way at turn 9, he would get the car re-fired and facing the right way but found himself last on the road after having to wait for the field to pass before turning around. He and Andrea Constantini would only end up finishing seventeenth, more than a minute behind race winners Winter and Le Fay.

Race Results – After 76 Laps

Pos#ClassDriversTeamTime/Retired
101MWinter/Le FaySolvalou2:01:03.244
240MR.Davies/KazamaMacMillan+1.892
327MRestov/Van WalwijkScuderia Italia+4.909
46MRossi/DavidsonGulf+15.284
563MAlliot/MalenfantCarson+16.177
643MOlder Jr./JacobsonMacMillan+19.345
741ISetou/HortinBest In The World+29.734
814MRei/WongGerald Pereria+48.597
903MPescatore/FazioSolvalou+49.020
10550IMcCracken/KomarekCzechmate+51.826
1130IJenkins/BrunoGlobex Scorpio+55.405
1215MTravesen/SparksGerald Pereria+56.197
1388IWilkinson/ChoLKM+58.336
14555IA+V Reyna-SanchezTom Douglas+1:01.609
153IBourne/LuisaBoutsen Ginion+1:02.392
1632IAxelsen/PedersenRMR+1:15.672
1728MJJ.Davies/ConstantiniScuderia Italia+1:16.033
184IDiaz/ShideharaBoutsen Ginion+1:17.711
1934IMass/RamirezOran+1:19.367
2055IDouglas/MelroseTom Douglas+1:23.071
2144ICharpantier/BispingEuromotor+1:24.025
2278IRodriguez/von KoenigLynxe+1:25.708
2386IR+W JamesonJameson Brothers+2 Laps
2413IYaname/KozarWintonEngine
252MMcKane/KremnickyRavenwestGearbox
2664MQi/JonesCarsonEngine
27007IMagnus/GeiszlerFalken TireGearbox
2825MRobishaud/MariPaganiAccident
2919IOliver/SimmonsOliverContact Damage
3024MAgostini/HorvathPaganiGearbox

Fastest Lap – Car 01 (Solvalou Lamborghini – Winter/Le Fay) – 1:25.490

Infinite Improbability Drive of the Race – Koyomi Setou and Marlin Hortin: Finally Best In The World’s top pair get a good run that they deserve.

Reject of The Race –  James James Davies: From hero at home, to relative zero with a lack luster attempt to undo the damage.