Well done IDEC SPORT! The hard work done by the French team was rewarded with a place on the podium during the weekend in Italy. The trio formed by Paul Lafargue, Memo Rojas and Paul-Loup Chatin offered IDEC SPORT their first podium place in their history of the ELMS. The Ligier #27 finished twelfth.
As Memo Rojas told us, the disappointing results from Le Castellet were difficult to deal with because of the potential of the Oreca #28 and the drivers. However, the team was certainly not going to give up. Quite the reverse. Their determination to win led the mechanics, engineers and drivers to give it their all at the second meeting in the 2018 European Le Mans Series at the Autodromo nazionale di Monza (Italy).
Unlike at the Castellet 4-Hour race, IDEC SPORT was not in pole position, nor even up with the frontrunners, as the Oreca #28 came in seventh in the hands of Memo Rojas, who was unable to do as well as he had hoped because of congestion on the track in the 10-minute qualifier. Even if he was almost a second away from the best time, the Mexican driver was confident in the potential of IDEC SPORT’s LMP2 and knew that anything could happen in the four hours of racing. The Ligier had the fifteenth best time.
The Lafargues, father and son, had the tricky task of setting off. The start of the race is always special in Monza because of the long straight stretch ending in sudden braking and a chicane almost at a right angle. Very fast, Paul Lafargue at the wheel of the Oreca #28 pushed past his rivals to move up the rankings. Between two safety cars the IDEC SPORT strategy worked well. #28 got up with the leaders and was just behind the three frontrunners after just 25 minutes of racing. Memo Rojas and Paul-Loup Chatin had an almost perfect handover and were rewarded by getting into third place as they passed the chequered flag. This third place rewards all the hard work done by the team. We should add that the IDEC SPORT Oreca obtained the best time for a car fitted with Michelin tyres.
The Ligier #27 also had a hassle-free race. After a very good start, Patrice had a double stint and was followed by Erik and William. It was a clean race that was well managed by the drivers and the team comprising Patrice Lafargue, William Cavailhes and Erik Maris crossed the finishing line in a very promising twelfth place overall and second in the Bronze category.
We’re going to fight for the Championship
A very pleased Memo Rojas does not intend to stay with just this podium place and will be doing his utmost to defend his title. “I’m very pleased to be back on the podium. We managed to do what we set out to do. The car drove well and we didn’t make any mistakes. It was an exciting race with a lot going on including with the safety cars. I think we found the pace and our strategy worked well. You can count on us in the next races.”
“I’d like to thank my fellow drivers who did some excellent work as well as the team, who worked hard throughout the weekend. This is an extremely encouraging result. We were fighting for second place by the end of the race. We did what is necessary to make it to the podium. It is very promising for le Mans,” added Paul-Loup Chatin.
IDEC SPORT is now in fifth place in the overall rankings just one point behind fourth place. The next ELMS race will take place on 22nd July in Austria at the Red Bull ring.
Before that, IDEC SPORT will be competing in the season’s big event – the Le Mans 24-Hour Race. Paul Lafargue, Paul-Loup Chatin and Memo Rojas will be defending the colours of the French team against the top names in the world. Last year, the Ligier completed the twenty-four hours of racing in twelfth place.
Don’t miss anything in this event. Log on to the IDEC SPORT social networks: Facebook: IDEC SPORT Racing, Twitter: @IDECSportRacing and Instagram: idecsport_racing_officiel17