Michelin Le Mans Cup
Rd.2, Le Castellet, Race Report
Rd.2 of the Michelin Le Mans cup took place at the Circuit of Le Castellet in France. We started with testing on Thursday where we would have two sessions. Between myself and my team mate Antoine Doquin, we covered very good mileage and were both very quick from the get go. We ended the day P2 in session one, and P1 in session 2, so the weekend was off to a brilliant start. Friday we had FP1 and FP2, with my team mate participating in the Bronze collective test session. FP1 went very well, we were P1 until the closing minutes to be just pipped at the very end, finishing up P2. The Cool Racing car was absolutely mega to drive and the confidence was very high for both of us. Following the Bronze test, we topped of the time sheets, and in FP2 our plan was to do race runs on old tyres. We ended that session in P4. After the two days of testing, we had been super quick and our race pace was looking very strong once again, so I was very excited to see how we would perform on the Raceday.
Saturday would see the qualifying session – in which the Bronze drivers must take place – so my team mate hopped into the car for this topping of the timing sheets on lap 4. But then a loss of power following that lap left us stranded out on track and unable to take place in the rest of the session, however, we amazingly held onto pole position. Unfortunately we had to have an engine change and the team had very little time before the race to do so, but due to there stirling efforts they got the engine in the car and built back up in time for us to make the race. Antoine would start the race before handing over to myself at around the halfway mark. He retained the lead at the start, and from then on it was all about just managing the gap to the car behind. A safety car around 30 minutes into the race, meant a great strategy call by the team via an a early pitstop, before working his way back up to the race lead before handing the car over to myself. I jumped in the car and would come out of the pits in the lead with a 5 second gap back to P2. I focussed on hitting the same lap time every lap, and trying to be as consistent as possible whilst managing the tyres. I extended the lead out to 18 seconds but then we ran into some difficulties… we had a power steering failure, and fluid leaking out onto the exhaust resulting in the car to catching fire, and us retiring from the race with just over 20 minutes remaining.
This was very disappointing after all the effort by the team to get us back out on track before the race, and after leading by so much. Overall we had a great weekend, our pace was incredible and that’s something to build on for the coming rounds. I would like to say a massive thank you to Cool Racing for all their hard work, Greenlight Sports Management and my team mate. Impressive weekend all round guys with more to come for sure!
Next Round will be at Monza in Italy.