The closed season didn’t last long, but the V de V Endurance Series’ competitors were raring to go on Friday morning when they took to the track at Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya. The conditions were perfect for the first event of the season: blue skies, warm temperatures, and the practice sessions were filled with action from start to finish. Tomorrow’s qualifying practice and races promise to be as exciting as ever, when the V de V Endurance Series 2017 season kicks off for its 25th year!
4 Hours Endurance GT/Touring cars/LMP/PFV V de V
GT / Touring cars
The GTV1 category is thriving – and when this weekend’s entry list was published, it was easy to see why! With such a variety and quantity of cars on track on Friday, it was hard to predict who would top the time sheets. Sure enough, Team Visiom, reigning 2016 champions, placed their no.1 Ferrari 488 GT3 in the highest slot, just ahead of the glorious no.46 Lamborghini Huracan GT3, prepared by AB Sport Auto and driven by drivers Teneketzian and De Narda. Third fastest was the no.11 Renault R.S. 01 entrusted to Van de Vyver, Thybaud and Jousse, also prepared by AB Sport Auto and V de V, who thereafter set the fastest times during the remaining sessions. In FP2, behind the Renault, Visiom set the second fastest lap time, followed by AB Sport Auto’s second entrant, and IMSA Performance’s Porsche 991 GT3. CMR with Sport Garage were next in line, with their n°44 Ferrari 458 GT3, entrusted to drivers Mouez, Loger and Andlauer, who set a fantastic lap time during Night Practice, placing them second overall. AB Sport Auto’s Lamborghini completed the top 3. Within the GTV2 class, Porsche Alméras’ Porsche 997 GT3 Cup S and drivers Martinet, Tremblay and Palette dominated each session.
LMP / PFV
On the PFV front, the Ginetta G57s seem to be performing tremendously, however among the LMP3 crowd, several questions remain unanswered… The Ligier JSP3s are plentiful this weekend at Barcelona, but DB Autosport’s Norma M30, entrusted to drivers Foubert, Wolff and Maulini – on the prototype’s European debut – showed throughout the day what sort of lap times the car is capable of producing. For now though the Ligiers seem to be dominating and in FP1 it was N’Race with drivers Fontaine / Decultot / Perroy who topped the time sheets. The two following sessions belonged to Duqueine Engineering however, after the no. 8 car, entrusted to Borga and Enqvist set the quickest time during the day, and sister car n°9, driven by Duqueine, Droux and Panciatici took its place in Night Practice. The PFV class revealed a battle between Simpson Motorsport and Pegasus Racing – who recently acquired one of the British prototypes, with car no.52 arriving on top in FP1 and FP3 after Robertson and Fielding produced several fantastic times. In between the two sessions, it was however G57 no.57, entrusted to Simpson, Muston and Sanders who gave the best performance of the field. Finally, the third fastest time in FP2 was set by newcomers R-ace GP and drivers Perrodo & Vaxivière, at the helm of the no.28 Renault R.S. 01 Trophy.
6 Hours V de V Proto Endurance
After winning the overall 2016 championship with their no.2 Norma M20 FC, entrusted to Vilarino / Ferté / Illiano, team TFT set off on the right foot on Friday. Despite the trio dominating FP3, the sister prototype no.8, handled by Capillaire, Creed & Melnikov were in the lead for the fastest lap time after the first session. CD Sport couldn’t let their rivals run away with all the glory however, and retaliated in FP2 by topping the time sheets, with car no.31, handled by Cochet / Kirchdoerffer / Faure, also the fastest of the Prestige runners, (which was the case throughout the day, confirming Claude Dégremont & Laurent Cazenave’s strong line-ups for this season. Behind the wheel of CD Sport’s Norma n°30, drivers Bole Besançon, Scheier and Taittinger put on a great performance in the final two sessions, setting the second then third quickest lap times. Equipe Palmyr also proved they have pace here in Spain, after placing Norma n°40 in 3rd place at the end of FP1. Completing the top 5, RC Formula proved they’re also serious contenders for the win here this weekend; as are DB Autosport, who now compete in two of V de V’s championships, and team Graff, loyal V de V competitors.
Source. V de V