The V de V Endurance Series’ competitors took to the track under a deep blue sky on Saturday, with races for the sprint championships and the European GT/Touring car/LMP/PFV Endurance Challenge, and Free Practice and Qualifying scheduled for the European Proto Endurance Challenge; such beautiful conditions bringing suspense, action and excitement to the programme.
V de V 6 Hours Endurance GT/Touring cars/LMP/PFV
GT / Touring cars: AB Sport Auto show off their Lamborghini
The purchase of a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 seems to have paid off for AB Sport Auto! After six hours of intense, fantastic racing, the no.46 Italian beast belonging to Harry Teneketzian & Joffrey de Narda was recompensed with a fine victory for their second appearance in V de V. The race was not only long, but proved troublesome for many cars at what’s been described as a rolla-coaster circuit.
The first major incident came two and a half hours after lights out. Despite being comfortably perched at the top of the time sheets, IMSA Performance’s Porsche 991 GT3-R handled this weekend by Armindo & Cornac became a victim of the Portuguese circuit after suffering a violent crash, forcing the Safety Car to make an appearance for almost an hour in order to repair the barriers damaged through the impact. The car ended up in a bad state, but Thierry Cornac was thankfully unharmed. The second unfortunate event came about 5 hours into the race, when the no.1 Ferrari 488 GT3 of team Visiom was forced to pit after being affected by a mechanical issue. The two-time champions Pagny, Perrier and Bouvet knew their car had to retire, and decided to abandon the race, after managing to work their way into a comfortable lead during the middle stages of the race. AB Sport Auto thus made the most of this misfortune, and pushed their drivers to the finish, resulting in the no.46 car taking first place and their Renault R.S. 01 handled by Van de Vyver, Thybaud & Carugati securing third. The second place on the podium was however reserved for team CMR with Sport Garage and drivers Mouez, Loger & Reymond, who drove a stunning final stint behind the wheel of their Ferrari 458 GT3.
RMS and drivers Mallegol / Blank / Mechaly were once again victorious in the GTV2 class, after the no. 56 Porsche 991 GT3 car made an excellent start to the race.
LMP / PFV: Inter Europol Competion & Pegasus Racing taste victory
Inter Europol Competition decided to remind us on Saturday night that they are reigning V de V champions and that they’ll put up a fight to defend their title.
Mechanical problems and bad luck struck the Polish team’s two Ligier JS P3 prototypes at Barcelona, but this weekend Inter Europol decided to turn the situation around by giving the fans a 1-2 finish, with the no.22 car on the highest step of the podium thanks to efforts from the team and drivers Jakub Smiechowski, Hendrik Still and Peter Elkmann.
The n°33 prototype handled by Scheuschner / Michel / Müller finishing on the second step of the podium completed their success – while team Graff placed third overall, repeating their result from Barcelona, proving the no.39 Ligier, entrusted to Trouillet / Gauvin / Deguffroy is a strong contender for this year’s title. It was meanwhile the second outing for DB Autosport’s Norma M30 which was handled expertly by drivers Foubert / Wolff / Maulini and showed true pace and reliability, as they set the second fastest lap of the race (the first belonging to Duqueine Engineering’s no.9 prototype) and finished 4th overall. The no.9 LMP3 was forced to abandon later on in the race, and sister car no.8, handled by drivers Borga & Enqvist crossed the line in a comfortable 5th. Wintec confirmed their regularity on Saturday afternoon, taking the chequered flag in 6th position, while several LMP3 encountered either mechanical issues or crashed out of the race; these included BHK Motorport’s Ligier n°735, Duqueine Engineering’s no.9, Eurointernational’s no.12 and N’Race’s no.93 prototypes, the last of which ended up in a fire incident.
Finally, in the PFV class, Pegasus Racing – a familiar face to V de V after competing for several years in the Proto Endurance Challenge – recorded their first victory in the European GT/Touring car/LMP/PFV Endurance Challenge this weekend, with drivers Simpson, Murray and Hibbert at the helm of G57 no.57.
However, the race wasn’t won from the start as only a few minutes into the race, the car was demoted to the bottom of the time sheets after an encounter with Ligier n ° 5 belonging to By Speed Factory.
V de V 6 Hours Endurance Proto: CD Sport confirm their intentions in Qualifying
After starting on the front row of the grid in Barcelona, CD Sport’s no.14 Norma M20 FC took their revenge on TFT during qualifying, by setting the fastest lap of the session – 1’41’’557 – a fine time indeed for the Bole-Besançon / Scheier / Taittinger trio. For V de V’s first race in the Algarve tomorrow, the no.8 Norma (TFT), entrusted to Capillaire / Creed / Melnikov will start alongside the CD Sport entrant, while their teammates in the no.2 machine (Vilarino / Ferté / Illiano), start from 4th. DB Autosport also performed well in qualifying, with drivers Bassora, Monclair & Schatz steering their no.21 car to 3rd on the grid, while the no.22 machine entrusted to Delafosse, Vaucher & Accary starts from 5th for Sunday’s race. Sharing the third row of the grid with them is Equipe Palmyr – their no.40 prototype handled by regulars Mondolot, Zollinger & Thuner, while the first car of the Prestige pack sits right behind them on the fourth row, the no.6 Norma M20 FC entrusted to Bazaud, Thirion & Caillon of team TFT.
Source. V De V