For the first time this season Sean Doyle made a return to the Murphy Prototypes run LMP2 Le Mans car. Sean made the jump to sports car racing last year in an Oreca-Nissan LMP2 with Murphy Prototypes in the European Le Mans series. He drove all the races the team entered at some of the world’s greatest race tracks – including Formula One venues such as Silverstone, Imola and Paul Ricard.
Last weekend Doyle entered the first FIA Master Endurance championship, at the wheel of the Murphy Prototype Oreca LMP2. Greg Murphy, team principle, decided to enter the 45-minute race in Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, running the car in its original Le Mans 2016 specification with its Gas Monkey Garage livery.
Doyle, who tested the car in Mondello Park on the earlier in the month (07.09.17) was delighted with the car, admitting “everything went to plan”.
Sean Doyle Testing In Mondello Park
Doyle made the journey to the famous Belgium circuit last week, to test and qualify. Qualifying was wet and Doyle had a tough job, as the Irishman was up against some stronger LMP1 machinery. It was 5th overall and a very decent 2nd in class
Race day was looking dry, however a freak burst of rain that the rear of the circuit levelled the field and caught some of the LMP1 teams out. Pole-sitting Peugeot 908X of Kriton Lendoudis and Nicolas Minassian. Lendoudis along with Christophe d’Ansembourg’s Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2 and six other cars decided to pit for wet tyres. Murphy, along with the rest of the field gambled and stayed out on slicks. It was a good choice as the track dried out within a couple of laps.
Initially, Martin Short led the way but he was soon overtaken by Doyle, with Kennard following suit on the second lap. Kennard briefly took charge on lap 4 before pitting on lap 5. With a longer pit-stop than Doyle two laps later, Kennard found himself trailing the young Irishman again when he re-joined the track. On lap 13, Kennard closed to within three tenths and tried a lunge into La Source before thinking the better of it. Doyle then ran out to a 2.3-second lead at the chequered flag.
Sean Doyle with father Vincent
A delighted Doyle said, “It was very tricky out there in the wet, but really good fun”.
Obligatory Team Photo
“I’d like to thank Murphy Prototypes for the asking me to drive the car once again, thanks to SKC Providers who have always been by my side in sports car racing’, said Sean