IDEC SPORT will once again be present on the European scene this season, but several changes should be noted regarding the French team, notably two cars are being entered in the European Le Mans Series in the LMP2 category. Nicolas Minassian, recently appointed Team Principal, reviews the situation before the start of the season.
2019 European Endurance Champion, IDEC SPORT is getting ready to kick off a new motorsport season after having made some changes between seasons.
Paul Lafargue and Paul-Loup Chatin are back in the seats of #28 for the fourth consecutive year. They’ll be joined by the professional Porsche driver Patrick Pilet, who impressed the team at the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“We recruited Patrick who did so well at Le Mans. He settled in quickly and soon became part of the IDEC SPORT family, it was as if he’d already been with us for ages. His personality and simplicity, combined with his professionalism and top speed make him a wonderful addition to our team. Thanks to his experience with a manufacturer, he’ll know how to bring us a bit more technicity, and that should help us in terms of performance”, explains Nicolas Minassian. “Paul-Loup is still with us and he doesn’t have much to prove at the level of his performance, apart from continuing to deliver race after race, and demonstrate that he can inspire everyone and help them improve. And Paul, he is the IDEC SPORT team. He has proven his potential as Silver and continues to stand out in the ELMS peloton. It’s not for nothing that we were the champions in 2019.”
“We’ve got a really high-performance trio who should allow us to achieve the level we’re striving for this year. Last year was a bit complicated, after winning a title in 2019. So, we must now get back on course and return to our place on the podium and aim for victory whenever we can. We’ll have to take the races one by one as they come”, adds the new Team Principal. “We have a team that’s mostly unchanged and that will be our strength. Nicolas Brisseau becomes our Chief Engineer for #28. He has worked hard for three years. The timing was perfect because Dave has retired, and we wish him all the best off the racetrack. Julien Briot will still be there on the tech side, he’s a key person for the team. We’re keeping Damien Feller, who’s now going to be performance data engineer. He’s learned quickly and is highly motivated for taking up this new challenge.”
Nicolas Minassian is also going to be faced with some wonderful challenges in 2021 because he’s moving up from Sports Director to become Team Principal. “I’ve been with IDEC SPORT since 2018, where I’ve all the same played an all-encompassing role. I’ve had my nose to the grindstone all this time, and now I’ll have even more tasks to handle. There are more responsibilities, but that’s fine with me, as it gives me even more opportunities in the team. I’m delighted to know I have Patrice’s trust. It’s up to me to prove that I deserve it and that I can run the team.”
A second LMP2 car
Although IDEC SPORT now has a one-hundred-percent French team for #28, Patrice Lafargue’s stable has made another leap forwards by entering two cars for the whole championship. For #27, we’ve got two drivers who have already raced with IDEC SPORT (at the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans): Kyle Tilley and Dwight Merriman. They’ll be backed up by the highly experienced Ryan Dalziel.
“It’s a continuation from Le Mans. We really appreciated having them with us. The showed they have the same values, the same ambitions. That facilitates the partnership we have this year. We’re going to do the ELMS together and try to enter both cars in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The three drivers know each other, and have just had a win in Daytona (Era Motorsport won the 2021 24 Hours of Daytona). Kyle is getting pretty experienced with the LMP2 and is counting on making further progress by coming to Europe. Dwight will have an important role to play. He’s Bronze and can only continue to grow with this championship. As for the addition of Ryan, he’s a real asset. He won the LMP2 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012.”
New year, new design
As it does every season, IDEC SPORT is presenting its cars with a new livery. The colour scheme will be the same as for the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans with one red LMP2 and the other one blue.
“We’ve been working closely with GaazMaster for the last few weeks, and we’re really happy with the result. They’ve done a great job. We’ve got more detail on the car, but keeping the IDEC SPORT colours. For #27 we’ve got the same blue as we had for the partnership with Era Motorsport.”
An LMP3 for the MLMC
Patrice Lafargue and Dimitri Enjalbert will be sharing the wheel of the IDEC SPORT Ligier LMP3 for the Michelin Le Mans Cup.
“We did a good job last season on this car and we already know much more about it. We understand the championship and it was logical to continue with the same team. Patrice is a Bronze driver who manages to drive hard, and associated with Dimitri, they’ll be able to fight for podium positions.”
“I’m delighted to see that the team is continuing to ramp up. Even if we’ve got a busy schedule, I know everyone in the team will give it all they’ve got. I have complete confidence in them. What’s more I have the pleasure of continuing with the LMP3, it’s a brilliant car. It’s a very high-performance car that that suits me down to the ground and I’m really glad to be back with Dimitri to share a great season together with him. Whether it’s with an LMP2 or an LMP3, we’re going to do what we know how to do best, while keeping our eye on our hallmark: working seriously without taking ourselves seriously”, confides Patrice Lafargue.
“We’re going to get ready as best we can, keeping our fingers crossed the pandemic won’t disrupt the schedule. The team is growing, with three cars running full time. Patrice will focus on keeping a family spirit. It’s great to see that Patrice is giving us the chance to do good things”, rejoices the former professional driver and Team Principal, Nicolas Minassian.