Despite a layer of cloud covering the circuit, the 30°C heat got our drivers up to temperature on this fine afternoon at Mugello. What a spectacle it was for the fifth round of the V de V Endurance Series!
6 Hours V de V Endurance GT / Touring cars / LM P3
GT / Touring cars : Visiom has the final word
Four wins in five races. That’s the score Jean-Paul Pagny, Thierry Perrier and Jean-Bernard Bouvet will take home from Mugello thanks to a stunning performance in their Ferrari F488 GT3 prepared by team Visiom. The result was not set in stone however as the long 6 hour race was rich in action and suspense on all levels.
After five hours of racing, victory seemed to belong to one of AB Sport Auto’s Renault R.S. 01. The n°45 machine driven by Thybaud, Proust and Jousse and sister car n°11 with Van de Vyver, Carugati and Wegelin at the wheel continued to trade first place until a problem caused the n°45 contender to be pushed back to fourth, while the n°11 GT finished second after pit stops during a safety car period. Once in the lead, the n°1 machine pulled ahead of the AB Sport Auto/V de V car – leaving them in second overall and winners in the Prestige class. Thanks to their strong efforts, the n°70 Dodge Viper GT3-R of ANTeam, entrusted to Stucky / Yerly managed to repeat their result at Le Mans and were recompensed with a well-earned third place finish. Technical issues unfortunately came around for Ferrari n°51 – prepared by AF Corse (Montermini / Cordoni / Zanuttini) and Porsche n°76, managed by IMSA Performance (Narac / Cornac), who were both strong contenders for this weekend’s race. Finally, GTV2 saw the Porsche 991 GT3 Cup n°56 of team RMS sail to victory.
LM P3 / PFV : Inter Europol Competition win at last
The circuit of Mugello proved to be the perfect playground for the Ligier JSP3 chassis. Inter Europol Competition showed off their consistent pace throughout the race and drivers Jakub Smiechowski and Martin Hippe brought the car home in first to take their first well-deserved win in the LMP3 category.
In the end, the final fight for victory was even tighter than in the GT race, between the n°13 machine and drivers Tomlinson, Lancaster and Sanders – at the wheel of Ginetta G57 n°57 prepared by Simpson Motorsport. However, due to unfortunate circumstances, notably during a safety car intervention, the then leaders – overall and in the PFV class – were forced to abandon the race. This left the road wide open for Smiechowski and Hippe, who finished ahead of Be Motorsport’s n°14 Ligier, entrusted to Ibran-Pardo, Bakker and Castillo. First to cross the line among the PFV runners – Race Performance’s n°59 Ginetta – who made their maiden appearance in V de V this weekend with drivers MacKinnon and Jackson. The PFV podium was completed by Simpson Motorsport’s n°50 prototype (Smith / Deguffroy / Rupp) and Italian team Nova Race’s n°75 Ginetta G57 (Malavasi / Speakerwas / Lequeux).
Another unfortunate occurrence forced Ligier n°888 off the top spot, but the car prepared by team Graff and driven by Trouillet, Rosselo and Dagoneau managed to make it to third place after the six-hour trial. Their luck was not however present with sister car n°10 (Pasian / Gauvin / Chila) and even less so within team N’Race. The n°93 JSP3 car handled by Fontaine, Decultot and Perroy had lead the race for 3 hours before mechanical problems betrayed the French team.
6 Hours V de V Endurance Proto: DB Autosport: strike three
Encouraged by two consecutive pole positions (Paul Ricard and Motorland), then by the team’s first victory in Spain, DB Autosport gave their best performance in qualifying – taking pole for a third time this year. The dominating #22 Norma M20 FC of previous race winners Delafosse, Dannielou and Petersen will start alongside TFT’s #2 machine, currently ahead in the championship standings, entrusted to Vilarino, Ferté and Illiano. The second row is shared by Equipe Palmyr – the #40 prototype handled by Mondolot, Zollinger and Thuner who managed to improve on Friday’s practice times – and DB Autosport’s sister car, #21, driven by Bassora, Monclair and Perroy. Having missed out on pole position, TFT made sure at least three members of their fleet were inside the top 10: the #8 car with Capillaire, Lacoste and Dromedari at the wheel starts in 5th, ahead of drivers Bazaud, Thirion and Caillon in car #6. The following rows are made up of cars #30 (CD Sport – with drivers Accary, Dhouailly and Haezebrouck), TFT’s #5 Norma (Morales, Rihon and Cimadomo), then IDEC Sport Racing’s two Ligier JS 53 Evo 2: #17 (Patrice and Paul Lafargue) in front of F. and N. Da Rocha, accompanied by Delomier in car #15.
V de V Monoplace Challenge – Race 1 : Peroni won’t share first place!
Pole-sitter Peroni, currently at the head of the championship standings, didn’t miss the chance to take victory for his team TS Corse – at their home race this weekend. The Australian candidate lead from start to finish, managing to keep his position from Dutch driver Rinus Van Kalmthout, racing with MP Motorsport for the first time in V de V. Reigning champion David Droux (RC Formula) crossed the line to take third after an excellent start to the race and several intense battles with Alexey Chuklin (MP Motorsport) who just missed out on a spot on the podium. GSK Grand Prix – also at their home circuit – with driver Grégoire Saucy finished in a comfortable fifth place, while Peroni’s rival for the championship title Gilles Hériau (Formula Motorsport) took sixth, closely followed by Antoine Robert (RC Formula). Competitor “Lebreton” (Formula Motorsport) beat local hero Pietro Peccenini (TS Corse) in the face-off for the Gentleman driver’s class, ahead of Christophe Hurni (Sports Promotion), third. Finally, Class B was won by Gabriele Rugin.