After a faultless race, Team DUQUEINE crossed the finish line of the European Le Mans Series third round of the season in fourth position overall.
Nicolas Jamin started the LMP2 qualifying session on Saturday morning at 11:20 am. The rear tires not hot enough led to a run out on the first corner. Despite the red flag and the return of the car to the pit, Jamin was able to quickly resume the session to achieve the sixth best lap time of the LMP2 category (1:33.956).
Saturday 6:30 pm, Pierre Ragues started the 4 Hours of Barcelona. In fifth position after a few minutes, the French driver gave everything to go up the rankings while consolidating his position against the repeated assaults of James Allen at the wheel of the Dragonspeed car N. 21. After the end of a Full Course Yellow, Pierre Ragues resumed his attack on the Cool Racing car N. 37. For long minutes, he tried to overtake his opponent. After the 45th minute, DUQUEINE Engineering passed P4. Shortly before the first hour on track, the car N. 30 passed P3 after overtaking the GRAFF car N. 39. Five minutes later, Ragues took advantage of a penalty from a competitor to pass P2 only 4 seconds from the leader G-Drive Racing.
Nicolas Jamin entered the track after 1:30. He left the pit lane P3. After reaching the second position, the Oreca 07 N. 30 was back P3 after being overtaken by the Cool Racing car N. 37. Author of a great pace on the track, Jamin took the second position and let the wheel before the last hour of racing to Richard Bradley. The British driver came out of the pit lane P2. He made a final pit stop 15 minutes before the end of the race. This last quarter hour will have been decisive for the final result of the 4 Hours of Barcelona. A set of tires have been damaged during the qualifying session and thus missed during the race. The Team had to finish this race with damaged tires. Despite Bradley's excellent stint, the car finally gave up its second place six minutes from the checkered flag and the third step of the podium in the last lap.
This new race has deprived the team of a well-deserved podium. This third race of the European Le Mans Series will have once again demonstrated the level imposed by Team DUQUEINE Engineering, both by its trio of drivers and technicians.
DUQUEINE Engineering consolidates its fourth position in the overall standings just three points behind the third Team. Next race on Saturday, August 31st at Silverstone!
«In many respects, I am pleased with the pace we have shown this weekend around one of motorsport’s most established race tracks. It was a pleasure to get reacquainted with the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit, and I was really happy with my performance today. My double stint at the beginning of the race went very well and we were really able to show our ability to fight for victory. Unfortunately, our troubles in qualifying left us with two fresh tyres less than our rivals so we lost out a lot in the final hour. There was nothing we could do, and in the circumstances, we gave a good account of ourselves. We have lots to be proud of this weekend and we will take that into Silverstone.»
«I am very proud of our team. We learned a lot this weekend and we made the perfect race taking into account our difficult tire situation due to the problem in qualifying session. We had the pace of the best Teams on track but Richard was in survival mode at the end of the race because of the tires. We did a good job in the championship and I am confident for the rest of the season.»
«To finish P4 with one nine tires is an unreal result. To be honest we they told me I was P2 with 15 minutes to go, I thought it was a miracle. It’s a shame to lose the position so close to the end, but the other cars got more tires. I am really proud of the team this weekend because we absolutely maximised everything we could do, we had a perfect strategy, great pit stops. It is a very productive weekend.»
«Amazing work of the Team and drivers this weekend. The race promised to be very complicated for us because fo ur tires were damaged in qualifying session in the artistic figure of the first corner and a puncture occurred at the end of the session. We were starting the race with a lack of five tires. So we ended the race with tires of 4 stints. Pierre (Ragues) and Nico (Jamin) once again made a great performance and hat trick to Richard (Bradley) who had the toughest job by finishing the race with damaged tires... Respect for him to have perfectly well done the job! In our situation and considering the level in ELMS it was rather P5-P7 which was possible. The Team did perfect pit stops and Max (Favard) has prepared a very complex strategy... This is probably the best Team race of my career.»
Yann Belhomme, Team manager of DUQUEINE Engineering
Results and chronos
Free practice 1 - P7 (1:35.089)
Free practice 2 - P5 (1:35.775)
Qualifying session - P6 (1:33.956)
Race - P4 (1:35.220)
Classification - LMP2 category