From May 29-31, Motorland Aragon racetrack features intense and eventful heats in all the categories of the V de V Endurance Series.
6 Hours Endurance Proto V de V : TFT, back on the right track
Since the first race of the year, the TFT Norma has been running the unluckiest races of its whole existence. Those dark times have come to an end, with a very disputed win at Motorland. Alain Ferté and Philippe Illiano, partnered in Spain by local hero Ander Vilarino, mastered the 6 hours enduro in a class of their own.
The pole sitting Norma M20 FC n°8 started despite lead driver Vincent Capillaire’s absence with an early best lap which would stand for the rest of the day.
All through the pit-stops sequences, they handed back the lead from time to time to the Graff Ligier JS53 Evo n°29 (Eric Trouillet / Yann Clairay / Jordan Perroy), the IDEC Sport Racing Evo 2 n°17 (Patrice and Paul Lafargue / Matthieu Lahaye), the Equipe Palmyr Norma n°41 (Fabien Thuner / Jens Petersen / François Belle) and the second Graff Racing Ligier n°91 (Franck Gauvin / Sergio Pasian / Garry Findlay) and all through the race they fought back their way to the lead.
The least you could say about the on-track battles, is that nobody was really willing to give up positions for free! If you ad to this the heavy rain shower that occurred two hours from the chequered flag, you can imagine how Alain Ferté’s leadership was complicated to retain and how his huge background was important in such circumstances. Nevertheless, one hour later, another pit-stop round for wets followed by another one for slicks and everything was back in the original order with Vilarino leading a brilliantPaul Lafargue. Behind him, the n°29 and 91 Ligier from Clairay and Findlay strive to join the battle for the lead. And 30 minutes from the flag, four cars are running in a 40 seconds gap. The final sprint? There would not be any as, minutes from the end, the safety car comes in for a slippery track, making a it a victory following two DNF for the TFT Norma.
« When it started raining, I had no idea what to expect and decided to rely on what they would tell me on the radio. This is to say more than ever, it is a team victory. A team and a car victory as our Norma was perfect in every way. A well deserved win, if you consider our last twoDNF, with technical issues while battling for the lead. A big relief for Philippe and a great result for our super-sub, Ander Vilarino. I know him well and knew what he was capable of.”
Behind them, the DB Autosport’s n°21 Norma of Daniel Bassora / David Monclair / Damien Delafosse coming home fifth, due to a 23” penalty for infringement to the compulsory « Drive Though » rules. Same effects for the n°7 TFT, n°32 CD Sport, n°35 Ultimate, n°40 Palmyr andn°84 SRT 41. The Palmyr n°41 Norma beats the CD Sport n°30 (Thomas Accary /Kevin Bole Besançon / Jean-Ludovic Foubert) n°31 (Sébastien Dhouailly / Gérard Faure / Rémi Kirchdoerffer) sister cars for sixth.
Mugello winners – their team mates at CD Sport – driving the n°33 Norma (Marc-Antoine Dannielou / Nicolas Maulini / Jacques Wolff) run out of luck this time with engine issues that sidelined them. Same story and same consequence for the Ligier n°15 IDEC Sport Racing (Frédéric and Nicolas Da Rocha / William Cavailhes).
Last but not least, in the Gentlemen Drivers trophy, the Scuderia Bi & Bi leading Tatuus PY012 had to give up the lead after the Safety car came in, giving way to the Team One Norma n°67 (Rémy and GrégoryStriebig / Ludovic André).
The rain washed the podium, but as usual in V de V it was a big fiesta! All of them had only one thing in mind: the next V de V Endurance Series meeting in Dijon, from June 26 till June 28. See you all there!
4 Hours Endurance GT / Tourisme : the Lafargue signature
Patrice and Paul Lafargue (IDEC Sport Racing) grabs their second Spanish success of the year at the Motorland Aragon venue. A commanding second win out of three attempts, almost from flag to flag.
“Racing with your father is obviously a lot of emotions, said a very emotional Paul Lafargue. The last half hour was a very close fight and a very physical time in the race as the cockpit was overheating. On top of this, we had the AF Corse Ferrari on our heels and they were not taking it easy!” “Thumbs up to the team. It is a real blessing to be able to rely on a crew like the one brought together by Jean-Claude Ruffier, confirms Patrice. “Paul did some amazing stints, even if we took advantage of our competitors misfortunes a little bit. But what a fantastic week-end we had”. You need to know they stepped on the Saturday podium for the Challenge Endurance Proto.
The Visiom pole sitting Ferrari 458 GT3 n°2 led the field from the start for 20 minutes in the hands of Thierry Perrier, before handing the lead to Paul Lafargue. Then, while the Porsche extended its lead, the Ferrari was track sided because of a fuel shortage, two and a half hours into the race. Thierry Perrier / Jean-Paul Pagny / Jean-Bernard Bouvet finally rejoigned to finish a distant ninth. The AF Corse Ferrari 458 GT3 n°51 (Mario Cordoni / Marco Zanuttini / Andréa Montermini) ended the race second, in front of the Escuela Espanola de Pilotos’ Mosler MT 900 n°8 (Kostas Kanaroglou / Oliver Campos Hull) which started from the pits. They also grab the GTV2 class win ahead of sister car, n°9 Mosler driven byAlberto de Martin and Pedro Salvadore. The V de V / AB Sport Auto Audi R8 LMS n°11 (Eric Van de Vyver / Tiziano Carugati / Michel Wegelin) followed them, in front of the promising GC10-V8 n°20, S1 class winner thanks to a superb first stint by Alexander David, sharing driving duties with Alan Calari and Alexandre Coigny.
Challenge Single Seater – Race 1 : Droux, again…
Poleman David Droux (RC Formula) started from pole, raced in front and won the race. What else ? Behind him, the two remaining podium spots were fought like hell. Fourth on the grid, Julien Falchero (GSK Grand Prix) jumps to second from the start when his teammate Riccardo Cazzaniga gives up when attacked by Alexandre Jouannem (CPB Sport). Cazzaniga ended up fourth, in front of Charly Bizalion (CPB Sport), Gilles Heriau (Formula Motorsport). Oscar Arcila (SG Racing) wins the B class in front of Abdessalam Mzaiti (Zig Zag).
Challenge Single Seater – Race 2 : Droux, again and again…
Pole position, brilliant start and a commanding lead from flag to flag. There is very little to ad to this as David Droux drove in a class of his own. Behind the RC Formula driver, Julien Falchero (GSK Grand Prix) beats Alexandre Jouannem (CPB Sport) who knows he is under a penalty for « Drive Through Rules » infringement which sends him back in 6th position. Riccardo Cazzaniga (GSK) therefore inherits the third podium spot, in front of Gilles Heriau (Formula Motorsport), Pietro Peccenini (TS Corse), Gentlemen Drivers class winner. Ninth, Oscar Arcila (SG Racing) grows its string of successes in the B class, beating Grégory Choukroun (Lamo Racing Car) along the way.
Challenge Single Seater – Race 3 : Droux sets his sight
Another perfect start for David Droux (RC Formula) before the race is yellow flagged due to Jouannem’s CPB Sport accident. Almost the same story for Riccardo Cazzaniga (GSK Grand Prix), spinning about three minutes from the flag and loosing all hope of an almost certain podium on the way, which fell into Falchero’s hands. Behind him Gilles Heriau (Formula Motorsport) achieves the race of his life and gets the third final place. As usual, Oscar Arcila (SG Racing) gets the B top honour, beating Choukroun (Lamo Racing Car) and Thierry Aimard (Atom Formula). Fourth overall, Pietro Peccenini wins the Prestige class. Thanks to Julien Falchero, Riccardo and Nicolas Cazzaniga, GSK gets the teams trophy for this Motorland Aragon weekend.
Challenge Sprint CN – Race 1: Happy Birthday Gwenaël !
What a birthday present for Gwenaël Delomier, winner of the first heat ! At the start, poleman and car manufacturer Yves Orhant vanished and let the race occured without interfering. From then on and for ten laps, Romain Houllier and Gwenaël Delomier fought a fierce battle until the very last laps, when Delomier decided to raise his game. Houllier strived to keep in touch and committed a mistake that kept him at bay for the remaining few yards of the race, giving CédricGardin (SBD) a well-deserved second place finish. Behind them, Cyril Denis (Wintec) gets the better on teammate Julien Goupy, Sylvain Mercier (Prom-Auto Sport) climbs to 6th in front of Orhant and an amazing Jennifer Michel, whostarted 19th to finish 8th, with a B class victory on her bag !
Challenge Sprint CN – Race 2 : Houllier fights back
Third on the grid, Romain Houllier lost another position at the start before he really got to another level. From then onward, he battled his way to the lead and never gave it back to Delomier. The race ? Pretty much the same scenario as for the first heat, but the other way around, this time. The only difference – an intersting one for the rest of the championship – is that Cyril Denis also briefly took the lead at the third lap before a slump to fourth behind Houllier / Delomier / Cédric Gardin. Denis satisfaction camesfrom the fact a beat another time in a row team mate Julien Goupy. Behind them, the B class turns out to be a duel between Jennifer Michel and Christian Camboulive, Christian coming out on top of the class this time around.
Challenge Sprint CN – Race 3 : Delomier, on his own
Poleman Gwenaël Delomier beats the field to the first corner and from then on, consistentlyextended his lead. The only surprise came from behind, when Cyril Denis got to second in the first lap before Romain Houllier passes him a few laps later to … stop due to a mechanical failure, handing Cyril his second place back. Cédric Gardin is third, Marcel Sciabbarasi is fourth and the up and coming Jennifer Michel gets a brilliant fifth overall with a B class win, beating ChristianCamboulive on the way.
Challenge Sprint CN – Race 4 : Delomier comes back to the front
Kramer Racing’s Gwenaël Delomier makes a great start when Romain Houllier’s HMC Lohéac car slips down to 5th at the start. Cyril Denis Wintec, pictured) immediately seizes the opportunity andclimbs to second. Houllier ends up the race second which makes it two wins for each of Delomier and Houllier at the end of the meeting. Same story in the B class, with Christian Camboulive (HMC Lohéac) and Jennifer Michel (AGR/BleuMercure) both won twice the class. Jennifer could have made it 3 to 1, had she not committed a mistake in the last lap. First podium of the year for Jean-Marie Huet.