Ferrari’s Lyons roars back into points
- Credit: Archant
Michael Lyons made a welcome return to the LMGTE points at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on Sunday with a top five finish in round three of the European Le Mans Series, partnering AF Corse team-mates Marco Cioci and Piergiuseppe Perazzini.
Delivering superb pace during his two stints in the challenging four hour contest, the Felsted driver eyed a realistic bid for his first silverware of 2014.
Although ultimately missing out on a first ever ELMS podium, the No.54 Ferrari 458 Italia trio climbed into ninth place in the LMGTE championship.
“We were fighting for the podium this weekend, we definitely had the pace”, said Lyons.
“The whole team did a fantastic job, although we didn’t quite get the result we wanted everyone was happy – the engineers and mechanics were really pleased with such a competitive showing.”
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Aiming for a return to the points after a highly unfortunate non-finish last time out at Imola in Italy, 23-year-old Lyons took the first stint of the Austrian encounter and scythed his way through the order in the opening hour.
From ninth in LMGTE, 17th overall, at the start, he produced a sensational opening to the race and – as the fastest Ferrari driver on track – he climbed into second in class and the outright top eight prior to the first driver change pit-stop.
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Perazzini piloted the car during the second hour of competition and after handing the AF Corse machine back over to Lyons, the Briton held ninth in class and 15th position overall.
Once again serving up an excellent drive during his second stint at the wheel, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) member repeated his earlier heroics to slice his way through the order into the class top three before Cioci capped off the race with a strong final hour – finishing fifth in LMGTE, 11th overall.
“In my second stint... we were definitely in contention for the podium but the cards didn’t fall our way and we didn’t get the result we felt we should have.”
Round four of the European Le Mans Series will take place on Sunday, September, 14 at Paul Ricard in the south of France.
Provisional 2014 European Le Mans Series LMGTE Driver Standings (after Round 3): 9th Michael Lyons/Marco Cioci/Piergiuseppe Perazzini, 18pts.