ELMS 4H Le Castellet

D.Tolson and Sons supported athlete, Jonny Edgar secured his career first European Le Mans Series (ELMS) podium at the weekend with the AO Racing by TF Sport team, during the 4 Hours of Le Castellet.

After a challenging first round of the 2024 ELMS season in Barcelona, Jonny and his teammates, Louis Deletraz and Robert Kubica came into the weekend determined to get to the front of the LMP2 category. After a wet test day on the Thursday, which limited on-track running, Friday’s practice session ran in perfect conditions and all three drivers started the weekend in strong form, finishing the session in third place whilst dialing in their Oreca LMP2’s setup.

Moving onto Saturday, the Motorsport Academy Team UK driver and his team once again finished Free Practice 2 in third place and looked odds on to be in the fight for pole position. A solid effort from Louis who, just like in Barcelona, was assigned the driving duties for qualifying, put the #14 LMP2 on the front row of the grid for the start of Sunday’s race.

For the first time in a prototype machine, Jonny was given the honour of taking the start of the race. He made a clean start from the outside of the front row and was able to keep the #9 Iron Lynx LMP2 behind him, and apply pressure to the leading car. After only 5 laps, Cumbria’s finest made his move on the Mistral Straight and took the lead of the race. Jonny would hang onto the lead all the way through to his first pit stop (taking only fuel onboard), before the Inter Europol #34 with former Formula 2 driver Luca Ghiotto at the wheel, retook first position. Jonny would hand the car over to Robert Kubica after having completed a positive double stint, fending off the #37 Cool Racing car. However, a penalty for a track limits offence meant that the team lost time and track position.

Kubica and Deletraz kept the #14 out of trouble and as the race began to draw to a close, attrition came into play with two race leaders retiring due to mechanical issues, which brought the team back within striking distance of the podium. Louis was in the car for the final segment of the race and the Swiss driver was able to keep out of trouble and pick off a number of cars in the dying stages of the race to cross the line in third place.

Jonny: “It’s fantastic to get a podium finish after the difficult first round we had in Spain, Louis did a great job in qualifying to get us on the front row and it was good to take the lead in the early stages of the race and have a good first stint. After the first pit stop, the Inter Europol car was a bit faster and came by but even though they pulled away a bit I was able to keep the gap at about five seconds and make sure it stabilized. All in all it was a good double stint, it was a shame we coped a drive through but I think that Robert and Louis did an amazing job to bring us back to the front and to take our first podium as a driver crew.”

The result means the AO Racing by TF Sport team move up to sixth in the overall standings, just 12 points off the leaders. Round 3 of the season will take place at the legendary Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari for the 4 hours of Imola on 6th July. Before then, Jonny will compete in his third IMSA Endurance Cup race with Sean Creech Motorsport at the 2024 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen. Both races will be broadcast live on their respective championship’s YouTube channels.