IDEC SPORT did not complete the Portimão 24-hour race because of a collision with another competitor at a point when the Mercedes #17 was fighting for a place on the podium.
Portugal was not kind to IDEC SPORT as the Mercedes AMG GT3 did not pass the chequered flag. A rival who was a long way behind, hit the rear of the car, as they were being overtaken.
Everything had been going so well until then. The French team qualified for the third row on the grid and the car was set up well for the race.
“The car was set up fairly quickly. We made a few compromises with the drivers so that everyone was happy. That’s not easy with four drivers to think about, as they have different styles, but it was fairly comfortable for a 24-hour race,” explained Frédéric Ducastel, the head of the team.
There was no blistering heat in the Algarve region and the 28 competitors set off with a temperature of 23 degrees.
#17 got a good start and everyone was coping well in the race, whether we are talking about the drivers out on the track, the engineers and the tactical choices and the mechanics carrying out the pit stops.
But after more than sixteen hours of racing, a Porsche hit the rear of the IDEC SPORT Mercedes, as it was being overtaken. A lot of parts were damaged and the car headed into the pits: “The suspension, bearings and steering rods were all damaged. The decision was taken to pull out of the race. Repairs would have taken much too long and we would have had to do a lot of checks to make sure there were no other problems. There was no point in getting back in the race just to finish it. We prefer to look after the car’s mechanics” explained Frédéric Ducastel, who shared his disappointment with the whole team: “With each fuel stop we moved up the rankings. Refuelling takes a long time in the 24 hour Series and the rankings can change a lot, but we were in contention for third place.”
“Everyone is disappointed. We didn’t retire due to a mechanical problem and the car did not let us down. The drivers did not make any mistakes and drove well. Nicolas Minassian had good pace at the end and was almost up with Dimitri (Enjalbert)’s time. Patrice and Paul dealt well with the other cars.”
The IDEC SPORT team does not yet know what their programme will be in the 24-Hour Series, as the final European race (the Barcelona 24-Hour Race) will be taking place at the same time as the ELMS event at Silverstone.