Four years after entering the European Le Mans Series, IDEC SPORT has obtained their first success. Paul Lafargue, Paul-Loup Chatin and Memo Rojas took the Oreca #28 to the top step of the podium in the Mecca of car racing at Silverstone. The Ligier #27 driven by Patrice Lafargue, Stephane Adler and William Cavailhes finished in thirteenth place.
After the summer break, IDEC SPORT is in the best of shape. The French team just obtained their first win in the European Le Mans Series at the Silverstone 4-Hour Race. For a while now, IDEC SPORT has been up there with the best in the European endurance championship with several pole positions, and several places on the podium. For the fourth race of the season, the Oreca #28 driven by Paul Lafargue, Paul-Loup Chatin and Memo Rojas was faultless crossing the finishing line before the 38 other competitors. The three drivers covered 118 laps at the legendary British track (driving more than 690 kilometres).
The Oreca #28 was fast at the first trial sessions: “The car was well prepared for the first trials. Stéphane, Paul and Memo only drove in the first session. All of the drivers had one two hour session to ease in. We worked on our consumption, and tyre wear in one session. It was fast and constructive,” explained Nicolas Minassian, sporting director.
Paul-Loup Chatingot the third best time with the Oreca, while William Cavailhes took eighteenth place on the grid with the Ligier.
With a dry track, Paul Lafargue set off in the Silverstone 4-Hour Race with car #28. Stéphane Adler was in charge of starting with #27. Conditions were variable and after just five minutes of racing, the pack went into the pits to fit rain tyres.
“Paul (Lafargue) got a great start and kept up his pace in the rain. He was among the fastest. He handed the car over to Paul-Loup (Chatin), who had an absolutely incredible stint, climbing back up to the front. Unfortunately an incident in the race forced us to change a rear tyre, but Memo had two great stints and before the end we wee back in front. Our strategy was aggressive with a change in tyre at each stop and that paid off,” summed up Nicolas Minassian. “The engineers have ensured that the car is fast and the drivers did really well. The Ligier also had a good race. Patrice slipped back in well, seeing he hadn’t raced since Monza. We dealt with the rain as we needed to. The pit stops went well and our race strategy saw us up with the best.” The Ligier #27 moved up five places during the race and crossed the finish line in thirteenth place.
Never giving up
“We worked hard like for other weekends, but this time we did well with the little details that make all the difference. We all wanted this win. It shows we can do it. No one eased off and we were in the right place at the right time.”
The end of the race was tense yet exciting both in the pits and even in the second car driven by Patrice Lafargue: “Patrice asked us over the radio how the other car was doing. He kept asking as #28 moved up and was delighted. This win is down to him too. He knew how to set up a winning team, which has made progress. He has shown that he does as well in his work as in managing the team.”
“I’m proud to be part of this team. Winning a race at this level proves that we have been working well. We are among the best. We have finally got out win and we’ll be building on that. We’ll be putting the pressure on G-Drive in the championship. We’ll always be right behind them and they won’t get away with any mistakes. I have always said that we needed a win before thinking about the championship. Now, we’ll be able to focus on the championship. There are not many races in this championship and we need to finish them all before thinking of anything else,” concluded the former professional driver.
IDEC SPORT leaves Silverstone just nine points behind G-Drive and intends to keep going at Spa-Francorchamps on 22nd September.
The whole of the IDEC SPORT team dedicates this win to the French driver, Anthoine Hubert, who lost his life on Saturday 31st August as he was enjoying his passion. The thoughts of the whole team go out to his family and friends.