Podium Edging Closer For Michael Lyons In ELMS

Ferrari 458 Italia driver Michael Lyons raced to a season-best fourth place finish in the GTE Class of the European Le Mans Series at Paul Ricard HTTT in France on Sunday, 14th September, with a debut category podium tantalisingly close for the Bishop’s Stortford racer.Partnered by Italian duo Marco Cioci and Piergiuseppe Perazzini in the No.54 AF Corse Ferrari, the British 23-year-old produced expectedly strong pace throughout the entire weekend and delivered a star performance during his two stints over the course of the challenging four-hour contest.Building on the top five result achieved during the previous round at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, the trio climbed into eighth position in the GTE driver standings to close to within just 9.5 points of the class top six. In the team title race, the No.54 AF Corse entry has broken into sixth place.“It was a very good day, the podium is definitely edging ever closer for us”, said Michael, “There were some good battles throughout the race, and we had pretty good pace from the start of the weekend. The whole team did a great job and fourth is definitely a good result, we’re hungry to make it onto the podium though in the final round next month.”Qualifying fifth fastest in GTE, just 0.5 seconds shy of the class pole position, Michael took the opening stint of the race and produced a fantastic drive to hoist the Ferrari into second in class before handing the car over to Perazzini at the first driver-change.After the Briton’s great start, the Italian produced a good run and following Perazzini’s stint the trio placed eighth in GTE. Michael took over the car again at the second driver-change and set about climbing back up the order to push towards the podium placings.Carving his way through into the GTE top five, the final stint of the four hour endurance test rested with Cioci who produced a strong and consistent performance to work his way into the top four to claim the best result of the ELMS season for the crew. During the final hour of the race, Michael headed to the Motors TV broadcast booth where he provided colour commentary for the live television feed.“I’m really pleased with the weekend overall”, reflected British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) member Michael, “Our single lap pace was strong, we were just unfortunate with traffic in qualifying otherwise a top three start would have been possible. The race went well, Marco and Piergiuseppe worked hard and were consistent and reliable as always.“Obviously we’d have liked to have made it onto the podium, but it wasn’t too far away and we can take a lot of positives from this weekend. We’ve moved up in the championship too so, all in all, it was a good race meeting. It was a lot of fun commentating on the final hour as well, big thanks to Motors TV and Simon Hill for the opportunity.”Estoril in Portugal will host the fifth and final round of the 2014 European Le Mans Series over the weekend 18th/19th October. Before then, Michael will return to action in the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship next weekend, 20th/21st September, when the category runs as support to the contemporary FIA Formula One World Championship at the Singapore Grand Prix.Provisional 2014 European Le Mans Series LMGTE Driver Standings (after Rd4):8th Michael Lyons/Marco Cioci/Piergiuseppe Perazzini, 30ptsProvisional 2014 European Le Mans Series LMGTE Team Standings (after Rd4):6th No.54 AF Corse, 30pts

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