It was a very satisfying result at the 12-hour Imola race with the Mercedes #17, IDEC Sport making it to second place. The Porsche #75 finished in eighth place in the 991 Cup rankings, and 28th overall due to mechanical problems.
“Everything was pleasing! It’s been a year since we started racing to get such results and this year we’re managing to smile,” declared Patrice Lafargue, at the finish of the Imola 12-Hour Race, before talking about IDEC Sport’s secret weapon this season. “We changed the car’s chassis, as that was probably our downfall last year. This result rewards the team for its hard work and is really pleasing.”
The weekend in Italy didn’t start with such a fine performance, as the Mercedes AMG GT3 only qualified in seventh place in the searing heat in Bologna, more than a second off pole position. That was only normal, with all the cars out there racing, which stopped the Mercedes #17 from doing any better. According to Dimitri Enjalbert, the car had much more potential by almost half a second. “We wore our tyres in covering the laps. Whenever we got going again, a competitor hindered us.” The Porsche #75 made it to the eighth line on the grid.
The temperature was close to 40°C in the cockpits when Dimitri Enjalbert and Stéphane Adler took over the wheel in the Mercedes and the Porsche for the start of the Imola 12-Hour Race. For Dimitri, there was no pressure at the start. “There was no question of going on the attack as this is a long race. I am going to wait for the pack to stretch out and for the tyres to be hot, before attempting anything.” The strategy was similar for the other IDEC Sport car.
The drivers took the handovers without any problems and both cars made their way up the rankings. After four hours of racing the red flag came down and the competitors headed for the paddock. The Mercedes was in fifth place overall and the Porsche fourth in the Cup rankings.
On Saturday morning, Paul Lafargue put on his helmet ready for the second start. Romain Vozniak slid into the seat in the Porsche, determined to make it to the podium. Neither committed the slightest mistake at the restart. They were off again for eight hours of racing.
The mechanics were perfect and the pit stops well managed. On the track, the IDEC Sport drivers kept up the pace. Unfortunately the Porsche 991 Cup #75 fell down through the rankings after over-heating and a long stop in the pit stop to solve the problem. The Mercedes AMG also went into the pits, but only for the usual work you expect in an endurance race. “In a twelve hour race, we know the brake pads need to be changed. We decide to do it early on with #17 and not wait until the pedal went soft, so we could remain relaxed,” added Max, in charge of the AMG.
The final hours were not enough for #75 to catch her rivals. Stéphane Adler, David Abramczyk and Romain Vozniak finished 28th overall and eighth in the Cup category. “It was a huge disappointment, but that’s racing,” commented Romain Vozniak.
Patrice, Paul and Dimitri managed to take advantage of events and got solid times to finish in second place. This place on the podium rewards the efforts of everyone in the IDEC Sport team.
“we had some solid handovers. I really enjoyed my final go saving our second place. The car behind attacked fifty times, but didn’t get by, although our tyres were worn,” explained Dimitri Enjalbert.
Paul Lafargue was also smiling: “We drove well taking advantage of various incidents in the race. We must be the only car without any scratches on the bodywork. We should be pleased.”
This second place closes an exciting endurance event, which was the final preparation for Paul Lafargue before the Le Mans 24-Hour Race. IDEC Sport will be competing in the legendary event on 16th-17th June. The Oreca LMP2 will take part in the test day next week.
Don’t miss all the news about this exceptional event on the IDEC Sport social networks: Facebook: IDEC SPORT Racing, Twitter: @IDECSportRacing and Instagram: idecsport_racing_officiel17