The IDEC Sport Racing team was present this weekend at the Le Mans 24-Hour circuit taking part with the Mercedes AMG-GT3 in the Road to Le Mans, a one-hour race counting towards the Michelin GT3 Cup. 10th in the GT3, they can now look forward to the 2017 edition of the 24-Hour Race.
The aim for the IDEC Sport Racing team this weekend was to compete on the Bugatti circuit in Le Mans. The goal being to take part in the 2017 24-Hour Race, so it was important for the whole team, drivers and technicians to get used to the atmosphere in Le Mans. “We came here to get a taste of the atmosphere in Le Mans. Everyone knows the 24-Hour Race as a spectator, but as a competitor, it’s not really the same thing. It’s important to see how it all works, to see what we need to think about and prepare for, as we fully intend to be here in 2017 in another category,” explained Jean Noël Le Gall, Team Manager for the team.
In fact, it is in LMP2 that IDEC SPORT RACING plans to race in the 24-Hour Race in a year from now. Meanwhile, it was in GT3 with their Mercedes AMG-GT3 that Patrice and Paul Lafargue lined up for the 2016 edition in the framework of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup, as they were competing in the Road To Le Mans, a race aimed at those wanting to get a little taste of the legendary event. Ninth in the qualifications in GT3, they ended up in tenth place at the end of the hour on Saturday morning. A result matching the car’s potential. “We had a few problems getting maximum speed,” commented Jean-Noël Le Gall. “Full speed is something you need to get a lot of on this 24-Hour circuit, with three long straight runs, so we were at a disadvantage in comparison to the Ferraris, McLarens and Aston Martins, which can reach higher speeds. But we finished the race in good condition, and with a smile on our face with the car and drivers getting out there a year before the 24-Hour Race.”
One of the aims of this event was to allow drivers to discover what the Bugatti circuit requires. “Paul had never driven on this circuit, except on a simulator,” continued the Team Manager. “It was important for him to be able to get in this first drive as we look forward to 2017. On top of that, to discover this circuit, it’s easier to drive here with a GT3 than with an LMP2. He was able to find his feet. Once you have driven around this circuit, you have also fulfilled the requirements of the ACO (the organiser of the 24-Hour Race) to take part the following year.” As for Patrice, he already knew this circuit, so was there to enjoy himself. “It is fantastic to be there in the support race for the world’s biggest race with all the spectators and the atmosphere. And it’s always good to get out there and display the colours of IDEC SPORT.” Colours that the team intends to show even more in a year from now. The date has been noted.