Competing on several fronts last weekend, the IDEC Sport Racing team did particularly well: at Mugello, Patrice, Paul Lafargue and Gabriel Abergel won in their A6-AM category in the 24 Hour Series, while at the season’s opener for the VdeV in Barcelona, the two Ligier JS53s finished third and fourth, with the Da Silva family winning in the Prestige category. Now it’s time to look ahead to the official trials for the European Le Mans Series.
24 Hour Series: the first win of the season
The second race and the first win in the A6-AM category for the IDEC Sport Racing team in Mugello. Accompanied by Gabriel Abergel, Patrice and Paul Lafargue, 21st on the grid on Friday for a 4-hour race, followed on Saturday by 8 hours to complete the 12-hour race that they dealt with perfectly on the Italian circuit on the SLS AMG GT3 hired from the Swiss team AnTeam. “Paul got off to a great start. He was fast and it was clean without putting himself in danger, which meant we were able to climb back up to be with the frontrunners, where we would stay throughout,” explained Patrice Lafargue. What spiced up this event was that we had a big fight with Team Verschuur’s RS01 n°23, which has a similar level of performance to us, so this was a race within the race. They made it tough for us, but we managed to keep them in check.” At the finish, the Mercedes won the second leg of the season in the 24 Hour Series, finishing fourth overall, proof that the IDEC Sport Racing team is learning fast and well. “It’s hugely satisfying to win this second race, particularly seeing we have changed category. We didn’t have any technical problems and the car was better prepared than in Dubai. We were a bit scared, because the Mugello circuit is very winding and on paper not the one that suits our Mercedes best, but she performed well and proved to be easy to drive,” added Patrice Lafargue. The next date in the 24-Hour Series, 5th to 8th May in Zandvoort will be the first meeting on the new Mercedes AMG that the team is waiting for.
VdeV: The Ligiers up with the frontrunners
The VdeV season started this weekend with the Barcelona meeting, and it went well for the two Ligier JS53 Evo2 in the IDEC Sport Racing team, which took part in the Endurance Prototype category: setting off from the eighth line after mechanical problems during the trials, n°17, usually driven by the Lafargue family was driven in Catalonia by Dimitri Enjalbert and Bernard Dehlez. They made a great comeback to finish the 6 Hours in third place, while n°15, with the father and son Da Rocha aboard with alongside them for the first time Gwenaël Delomier, finished just off the podium in fourth place overall, but on top of the Prestige category. “Starting the season with such results is fantastic. I’m proud of my team and the fine performance achieved by the Da Rocha family, as I was very pleased to see them finish fourth overall,” said a delighted Patrice Lafargue. “This was sheer pleasure for us, as on paper, we didn’t appear to have the advantage,” commented Frédéric Da Rocha. “We did well with our strategy and the youngsters were very solid in the handover after I got off to a start in rather tricky conditions. Thanks to the whole team for giving us a car that performed so well and was reliable.” The season has got off to a perfect start with the next event scheduled for 22nd, 23rd and 24th April in Le Mans.
European Le Mans Series: IDEC Sport Racing in the learning stage
They hardly have the time to get over all the excitement after these great results, but IDEC SPORT Racing is now looking forward to le Castellet where on Tuesday and Wednesday the official trials for the European Le Mans Series, the category in which the team is making its debut this season. An opportunity to put the Ligier-Judd P2s through their paces. It was aboard these cars that the drivers drove briefly in early March in Magny-Cours. “With Paul, we only managed three laps in the rain. It was more about fitting out the cockpit rather than the experience. At Le Castellet, we will really discover the car and the atmosphere. The P2 is a different level and we are remaining humble,” explained Patrice Lafargue. What is the goal during these two days on the Paul-Ricard circuit? “It won’t be to set incredible times, but to gain experience of driving. We need to feel what the car is like and find out footing. It will be a full scale training session for us, but also for the team, which has to get used to a more complicated universe than we have experienced so far. It will be a time of learning for everyone.”
A busy month of April
The first race of the season in the European Le Mans Series takes place in early April at Silverstone, and then the new SLS AMG will have to prepare for the third leg in the 24H Series in early May before finishing with the Le Mans meeting for the VdeV on 22nd, 23rd and 24th. It looks like being a busy spring for IDEC Sport Racing, which has grown in size to be involved in all these projects. “We have strengthened the team, with some keen, top class people, who have settled in well in the team. While highly skilled, they share our philosophy, which is to enjoy ourselves and not get too worked up,” concluded Patrice Lafargue.