It was on the Red Bull Ring circuit during private trials that we met up with Aurélien PANIS driving the Ligier #27. He will be at the wheel of the LMP2 #27 for the first ELMS race at Silverstone. After his final trial session, we asked him a few questions:
How did you meet Patrice LAFARGUE? We have been in the same championship for two years, but I only really met him early this season at Le Castellet. He’s a nice chap and I’d like to thank him once again and indeed the whole of the IDEC Sport team for giving me this opportunity.
You had your first session this morning. How does it feel in the LMP2? I’m impressed by this car, as this was my first time in an LMP2. I know some fast cars, but being shut in this bubble is quite impressive to begin with. After my first few laps and getting to know the various systems, I settled in and I feel more and more at ease with the car. I enjoyed myself and am starting to understand the car.
Why an LMP2? After knowing all about one seaters and top class racing with the 3.5, I missed driving such powerful, aerodynamic cars. Thanks to Patrice LAFARGUE I had this opportunity and I had no hesitation in accepting the invitation. I have been at the side of the track in the ELMS for some time, as my Dad also had a team and I really wanted to try an LMP2.
Did your father give you any advice? He lets me experience things for myself, so I can enjoy it and pick things up. I do as I feel!
What about Silverstone? After a debriefing after this session today with the engineers, I’m leaving with some positive points and some things I need to work on. Silverstone is a circuit I know well and love, so I can’t wait. It’s been two years since I was there. I’ll be working on a simulator, which is a good way to get to know the circuit. I’m pleased to be racing in LMP2 for the first time at Silverstone.
A couple of words about the Ligier JSP217: Aggressive and impressive.