IDEC SPORT took advantage of the Silverstone 4-Hour race to settle in and get up there with the rivals. A good pace was achieved in the first event with a very high standard of performance.
Silverstone hosted the first event in the 2017 ELMS. While the 5.89 km F1 circuit was not new, the Ligier JSP217 #28 was still to discover as this was her first major competition. The new LMP2s are more powerful than the previous cars. Paul Lafargue, at ease with the new car, was in charge of the qualifier.
While it was the first time the 28-year old driver had done this, he did well finishing ninth 3.908 seconds behind Ben Hanley in pole position, but just behind Nathanaël Berthon, an experienced driver. “This was my first qualifier in the ELMS. It went well, but was very short,” explained Paul once out of his car. “The session was split in two with the red flag, so I only had five minutes to set a good time. That piles the pressure on.”
Even if being in front is an advantage, the position on the grid is not a deciding factor in a four-hour race. Paul Lafargue took the start at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday 15th April. The younger Lafargue managed to keep his ninth place and keep up the pace before handing over the wheel to his father, Patrice Lafargue.
David Zollinger then took over, but he had to hand over to Paul Lafargue because the driving position didn’t suit him. “In the middle of my second relay, my right leg felt paralysed and I had to stop early. I did a good handover taking care of the tyres. I really enjoyed it. I now need to get to know the car better,” said David, who will be back with IDEC SPORT for the Le Mans 24-Hour race.
After covering 123 laps in four hours, or more than 724 km, Paul Lafargue passed the chequered flag in eighth place. While the Ligier #28 did not make it to the podium, it was one of her sisters that won the race ahead of an Oreca and a Dallara.
IDEC Sport came away from Silverstone with four points and is preparing now for the second event of the 2017 ELMS in Monza, where Olivier Pla will be alongside the Lafargue duo.
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