Mission accomplished for the IDEC SPORT drivers, who had a fantastic return to racing with the Porsche #75 finishing in third place in the 991 Cup category at the Portimao 24-Hour Race.
The fourth leg of the 2018 24-Hour Series did not start well for IDEC SPORT as David Abramzcyk, Stephane Adler, Romain Vozniak, Florent Jimenez and Lionel Amrouche’s Porsche #75 set off at the rear of the pack due to exhaust problems in the qualifiers. It was going to be a huge challenge: they would have to overtake the competitors one by one if they wanted to make it to the podium. The race format meant however that the IDEC SPORT team still had a chance of a good performance, although this meant they would need to be on the attack and take risks in the pack.
The heat was stifling in the Algarve (Portugal) when Stéphane Adler got behind the wheel of the Porsche 991 Cup #75 to take the start. There was not a cloud in sight and the temperature in the car was close to 60°C.
The whole of the IDEC SPORT team had a good start to the race, whether we are looking at the drivers or in the pits during fuel stops. As the hours slipped by, the Porsche #75 climbed back up the rankings to get to a place matching its usual performance: third in the Cup rankings.
“There were a lot of cars bunched up and we needed to be careful, particularly as there is a big difference in speed with the TCE, both in terms of v-max and braking. We brake later and re-accelerate earlier,” explained David Abramczyk who could not find a miracle cure to deal with the extreme heat: “We just had to keep drinking. In the end, you get used to doing that and think about something else.”
With the sun going down on the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, the race paused due to a big fuel spillage in the pits. They needed to mop up more than 300l of petrol. The race directors decided to suspend the rankings and have a three hour break to put things straight. The Porsche was then in 12th place in the overall rankings.
The restart went well and #75 kept out of trouble. As often happens in endurance racing, it wasn’t over until the finishing line was crossed. Romain Vozniak agreed: “Two hours before the finish, during my stint, there was damage to the front offside wheel. I could not get around the left hand bends. I made it back to the pits at slow speed. The team quickly identified the problem and repair it incredibly quickly, which meant we kept our third place.”
The IDEC SPORT Porsche did not have any other problems before the chequered flag. David Abramzcyk, Stephane Adler, Romain Vozniak, Florent Jimenez and Lionel Amrouche had made it to the podium in the 991 Cup category thanks to their eleventh overall finish. This result puts the team back on top of the championship rankings.
“The car was in great shape from the start of the weekend in terms of the set-up. We did well in terms of strategy and no one made any mistakes during the race. That paid off in the end,” said a pleased Romain Vozniak.
IDEC SPORT will be back in the 24-Hour Series in two months with the Barcelona 24-Hour Race (8th and 9th September) but before that the IDEC SPORT team will be racing in the ELMS at the Red Bull Ring 4-Hour Race on 22nd July.