Allen leads the way in Spa

Monday 20 September, 2021
A number of Aussies featured at Spa over the weekend.
European Le Mans Series 
The 2021 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps featured two Australians over the weekend with James Allen helping Panis Racing’s secure its third podium of the 2021 European Le Mans Series, while Matt Campbell had a tough outing. 
With Allen alongside Briton Will Stevens and Frenchman Julien Canal once again, the trio put on a masterclass performance in the four-hour race to make up seven positions. 
Allen took the wheel for qualifying but was unable to get the most out of the car as he qualified in P10 - almost one and half seconds from the leader. 
However, when it came to the race, all three drivers played a part in guiding the French outfit’s Oreca 07 to the podium. 

Canal started the charge to help the team move up the order, before Allen took over and was fighting hard for third, which involved clashing with another car. Stevens then took command for the final stint and confirmed that podium position late in the final hour. 
With the trio having won the series previous round at Monza, they gained a position on the standings to move up to third outright and just one and half points of the second placed team. 
Like Allen, Campbell, who was in the LM GTE class in the WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR alongside Cooper MacNeil and Christian Ried, had it hard during qualifying.  
Having gone fastest in class during practice, the team were unable to post a competitive time during qualifying which set them back in the race. 
Although they were able to get back on track for the race, they made little impact and finished seventh in class and 26th outright.  

The final round of the 2021 season is the 4 Hours of Portimão at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal on 24 October. 
Michelin Le Mans Cup 
After their impressive showing at the ‘Road to Le Mans’ last month which ended up with a P6 in the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans’ support category, Andres Latorre and Garnett Patterson were unable to repeat their efforts. 
Taking part in the 2021 Michelin Le Mans Cup’s fifth round at Spa, the duo had a strong start to the weekend before a heartbreaking end where they retired during the race.  
Surviving a wet practice day on Thursday, Latorre and Patterson then found plenty of pace during Friday’s dry practice sessions before steering the Muhlner Motorsport prepared Duqueine M3 D08 Nissan to 16th in qualifying. 
With Latorre given the honour of getting the race underway, he started strong and made up four positions early in the race to put the car in P12.  
However on the 19th lap, he got a bit too keen trying for more passes and ended up spinning. Unfortunately the car wouldn’t restart, forcing the Revere Lifestyle backed team to retire from the race before Patterson was able to take to the wheel. 

NTT Indycar Series 
The penultimate round of the NTT Indycar Series proved quite difficult for Will Power who was coming off an impressive second placed finish last week. 
Having starred during the Grand Prix of Portland, Power looked to be in contention for another win or podium after posting times in the top five for every qualifying session. 
Eventually qualifying on the second row in third, Power went into the race as one of the favourites to fight it out for the win and got off to a strong start, challenging polesitter Colin Herta. 

However the Team Penske driver’s charge didn’t last long as his car soon suffered power issues and his chances were all but ruined. 
The Queenslander was able to see out the race, however he finished 26th, which resulted in him dropping to ninth on the standings.  
Just one round remains in the 2021 season with the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in California to wrap up the season this weekend.  

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