“When a new season commences, we all remark the same thing: the closed season seems to have flown by. But to be honest, here at V de V Sports, we’re all excited to see our drivers, teams and actors present in our paddock once again, at the traditional opening round of the season at Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya, from the 17th to 19th March…
This trip over to Spain kicks off the V de V Endurance Series’ 2017 season, long awaited by competitors and fans, and we’re convinced that in the current climate, the V de V Endurance Series is one of the most attractive championships in Europe. The European GT/Touring car/LMP/PFV and Proto CN Endurance Challenges, joined by our two sprint championships – the Monoplace and Funyo Challenges, all have several things in common: competition, controlled running costs, a high level of safety and thorough technical inspections, but moreover, a fantastic ambiance seen in no other series. These ingredients seduce old and new competitors, and while the grids aren’t as full as we’d expected, due to the late arrival of several cars, we know there’ll be action on track and the meeting promises to be the most thrilling yet. The entry to this historic and prestigious circuit will be free all weekend, to welcome families and friends from all over, to the grand family of V de V!”
Eric Van de Vyver
4 Hour V de V European GT/Touring car/LMP/PFV Challenge
GT / Touring cars: Visiom aims for a hat-trick of titles
The most loyal of loyal competitors in the V de V Endurance Series, team Visiom return to the grid in 2017 to defend their title and make it three victories in a row. Jean-Paul Pagny, Thierry Perrier & Jean-Bernard Bouvet, after becoming champions at the end of 2015 and 2016, thus retain the number 1 for their superb Ferrari 488 GT3. Rivalling the Italian GT will be team AB Sport Auto and their magnificent new Lamborghini Huracan GT3, wearing the n°46, entrusted to Harry Teneketzian and Joffrey de Narda. The team run by Bruno Abric will also be fielding this season a well-known Renault R.S. 01 – the n°11 machine – for trio Thybaud / Van de Vyver / Jousse. Alongside these GTV1 contenders, team IMSA Performance enter their Porsche 911 GT3 R with drivers Narac / Cornac, who had a fantastic race at Estoril last November.
More entrants include CMR with Sport Garage, who line up a Ferrari 458 GT3 for drivers Loger / Mouez; AGS Events, who field another Lamborghini Huracan, in Super Trofeo spec, entrusted to drivers Gomar / Collado. The GTV2 class is also gaining momentum – in Barcelona two cars will be present : the Porsche 991 GT3 Cup belonging to team RMS (Mallegol / Blank), and the 997 GT3 Cup S of team Porsche Alméras (Martinet / Tremblay / Palette).
LMP / PFV: Success, confirmed.
The famous LMP3 category – a concept that Eric Van de Vyver helped the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) to develop – is on track to becoming a major category in Europe, and V de V’s event at Barcelona promises to be a historic moment in time as two new constructors will go head to head for the first time. One Norma M30, fielded by team DB Autosport (Foubert / Wolff / Maulini) and one Adess 03 entered by Araujo FB Team (Araujo / Boulay / Calado Luis) will take to the stage which up until now has been dominated by several Ligier JSP3. Duqueine Engineering line up two Ligier, car n°8 entrusted to Borga / Enqvist and the n°9 car managed by Duqueine / Legeret / Panciatici, while another Ligier run by Wintec will also be present. Their prototype (n°7) will be handed over to Neveu / Héry / Denis while Graff return to the championship to take revenge and fight once again for the title with car n°39, and drivers Trouillet / Gauvin / Deguffroy. N’Race, well-known to the V de V paddock, will also be aiming for a podium finish, as drivers Fontaine / Decultot / Perroy return to the seat of car no.93. All of these contenders will be up against reigning champions Inter Europol Competition, who this year place two cars on the GT/Touring car/LMP/PFV grid the n°22 Ligier belonging to Jakub Smiechowski, 2016 champion, and Hendrik Still, while prototype n°33 is entrusted to Scheuschner / Forne.
Meanwhile, several Ginetta G57 feature in the PFV class of this first round. Newcomers to the championship, but fellow faces in the V de V paddock, Pegasus Racing welcome two new G57 to their fleet, the first entrusted to drivers Schell / Raffin and the latter to drivers Simpson / Sanders / Muston. The third prototype, which won the 2016 PFV championship, is fielded by Simpson Motorsport, handled by Robertson and Fielding at this initial round. One Renault R.S.01 will also be present in this category at Barcelona, in Trophy spec, but with steel brake discs, entered by R-ace GP and driven by Perrodo / Vaxivière.
6 Hours V de V Proto Endurance: TFT are armed and ready!
Reigning title holders Ander Vilarino, Alain Ferté and Philippe Illiano with their fantastic support team TFT drove their n°2 Norma M20 FC to victory last season, however TFT also struck gold in the Prestige class after Bruno Bazaud, Philippe Thirion and Denis Caillon (Norma n°6) raced their way to the top of V de V’s championship dedicated to gentleman drivers. The team based in the South of France are ready to bring the fight to their opponents once again this year, as they add two more M20s to their fleet. Car no.8’s line-up includes Capillaire / Michel / Melnikov for this round who have a strong potential of winning the race, while trio Cimadomo / Rihon / Philipps will attempt to battle for the Prestige title. Equipe Palmyr also have a full house, bringing 4 Norma to the grid at Barcelona, including car n°40 for Mondolot / Zollinger, sister car n°41 for Croullet / Rosati and a further Norma M20 (n°42) for Kubryk / Beck / Chevalier (the latter two are eligible in the Prestige class). Team CD Sport, who failed to retain their crown in 2016 will rely on a solid trio to do the important work this season : Bole Besançon / Scheier / Taittinger complete the line-up of Norma n°14, while Cochet / Kirchdoerffer / Faure will also be taking part in the Prestige class behind the wheel of their n°31 prototype. Another serious contender this year will be DB Autosport who entrust car n°22 to Delafosse / Accary / Vaucher, while the boss Daniel Bassora, will be accompanied on another Norma by the duo Monclair / Schatz. Finally, Graff return to the challenge this season but this time with a Norma M20 FC. Around 20 cars will be present on the grid at Barcelona, including familiar faces to the V de V paddock – RC Formula and Lamo Racing Team, who progress from the Monoplace championship to the fierce Proto field.
Source. VE de V/Photo. Ginetta