Murphy Prototypes finish 2014 fastest in LMP2 at Estoril

Murphy Prototypes have finished the final round of the 2014 European Le Mans Series season at Estoril, sixth overall with the fastest lap of the race, despite the fact the team was dealt another cruel hand from lady luck last weekend. A spin in the opening stint lost the #48 team over one lap, but their speed over the race allowed them to race back up to finish comfortably inside the top ten.The weekend got off to a good start for the Irish Team. Fastest in free practice one followed up by third fastest in free practice two thanks to a blistering display from Pipo Derani setting the scene for a strong end to the season. Derani was chosen to qualify the car on Sunday morning and his best time placed the car in fourth position for the afternoon’s final four hour showdown of the season.Newcomer to the team for the weekend, Tony Wells, started the race and despite loosing a couple of places off the start, set into a very consistent pace throughout his stint. A minor off towards the end of his run required some assistance from the track marshals to get the car back on circuit, but despite loosing over a lap, Wells got his head down to make a solid contribution to the team's recovery drive.Just before the end of the first hour, James Littlejohn climbed on board for his stint. Instantly making a heavy impression on the leaderboard, Littlejohn’s speed was clearly evident and despite a radio communication problem, he quickly raced his way up through the traffic and inside the top ten approaching the end of his stint. With just over one hour remaining, James brought the car into the pits for Pipo Derani to take the #48 to the end of the race.Now in seventh, Derani left the pits and by the end of his second lap had set the fastest lap of the race. From that point onwards he would remain the fastest car on circuit for the majority of his stint and as the chequered flag fell he crossed the line in sixth position while retaining his fastest lap time.

Pipo Derani - #48:“Overall it was a pity that Tony went into the gravel in his stint. But at the end of the day I am here to do my job and I was on a mission to do the best job I can and set the fastest lap of the race and I did that. I am happy to have shown that the Murphy car is really quick and I’m satisfied that I did the best job I could and now I’m looking forward to the future.”

Tony Wells - #48:“The guys today were great, the car was really good. Unfortunately just one small error next to a GT car. But apart from that the car ran reliably and everyone in the team was friendly and I’ve had a nice weekend.”

James Littlejohn - #48:“It’s been a lot of fun this weekend. It’s a little bit of a shame as I think we could have had a good result, the car was really strong in the race. During my stint when I got in the car my radio plug got damaged so I had no radio. However I enjoyed coming back through the field and up through the traffic so hopefully I’ll be back with Murphy Prototypes again!”

Greg Murphy – Owner, Murphy Prototypes:“Unfortunately it’s not the end to the season we had hoped for. But again as a team we have cemented the fact that we have the fastest car in the field. Pipo was a class act again this weekend right from free practice one to finishing the race with the fastest lap. Tony and James were both very welcome additions to the team this weekend, both setting a good pace but unfortunately Tony had a bit of bad luck during his stint. James’ speed when he got in the car after Tony was fantastic and he played a key part in our recovery drive back up through the traffic into the top ten. Arguably the toughest stint of our race. Hopefully that’s the end of our bad luck and we can come back in 2015 with the same speed we’ve have had this year!”

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