The Idec Sport Racing team took part this weekend in the fifth and penultimate leg of the European Le Mans Series and has continued to learn from the experience. After a difficult qualifying session because of engine problems, Dimitri Enjalbert, Patrice and Paul Lafargue achieved a decent 8th place in the LMP2.
For their first season in the LMP2 in the prestigious European Le Mans Series, the IDEC Sport Racing team went through a lot of emotions during the Spa-Francorchamps 4 Hour Race. 10th in late August at the Castellet circuit, this time they made it to eighth place after a weekend of ups and downs. The qualifying session on Saturday was spoilt by engine problems, which forced the mechanics to change the engine in a very short space of time, reducing the driving time for the drivers.
The result was that only one time was recorded and Dimitri Enjalbert started off at the back of the grid on Sunday. “It was a tricky start with a lot going on. At the first bend I was forced to protect the car and moved away from the others to avoid touching anyone.” They made it through this early phase unscathed in spite of touching at one point and gradually moved back up through the pack to get into 7th place (out of 13), before it was Patrice Lafargue’s turn at the wheel. The handover was disturbed by a yellow flag, but this enabled the Ligier JS Judd n°28 to get into third place for a time. Paul Lafargue and then Dimitri Enjalbert took over with the race ending with another yellow flag after a collision.
A decent eighth place at the finish for IDEC Sport Racing confirms the team’s progress. “We made a remarkable comeback with a fantastic strategy, as we even mede it to third place for a while,” said a pleased Dimitri Enjalbert. We’re no longer in the learning phase and are beginning to do well. With the handovers improving all the time. We are now as fast as the mechanics, which means we save a few precious seconds.” Patrice Lafargue was similarly pleased. “We set off in last place, which is obviously no easy matter in such a race, especially in Spa. But overall we had a good race and I’m fairly happy. We have made progress and acquired more experience. Even when the mechanics had to change the engine, it was a good lesson for us. The engineers managed the race well.”
The only negative point was for the drivers, who suffered in the seats, leading Patrice Lafargue to say “The P2 is a very different universe in comparison to the other cars we line up in on. It’s more violent and you have to be well seated. It was a bit of a DIY job here. It’s no excuse, but that does stop us from performing so well. We’re going to have to get that sorted to have everything going for us.”
Paul Lafargue was particularly pleased with his debut at Spa. “I discovered one of the finest circuits with one of the fastest cars in the world, which was quite extraordinary. Obviously we’re going to have to step up our game, but we have the basics, and this weekend was positive for us, as we finished with a car that was intact. Dimitri and my Dad did a good job.” The next date, the final leg of the season in the ELMS will be from 21st to 23rd October for the Estoril 4-Hours Race.