For their third weekend competing in a row, the IDEC Sport Racing team did well on the Mugello circuit. The Ligier n°15 driven by Frédéric Da Rocha, Nicolas Da Rocha and Gwenaël Delomier came out on top on Sunday in the 6-Hour Proto race in the VdeV Endurance Series in the Prestige category. Patrice and Paul Lafargue’s number 17 was not ranked because of a starting motor problem.
After the European Le Mans Series and the 24-Hour Series, it was in the VdV Endurance Series that the IDEC Sport Racing team did battle in the 6 Hour Prototype Race from Friday to Sunday for their third consecutive weekend of racing. Both Ligier JS53s took part with n°17 driven by Patrice and Paul Lafargue, and n°15 driven by Frédéric Da Rocha-Nicolas Da Rocha-Gwenaël Delomier. The cars lined up alongside each other at the start in the fifth row after N°17 got the ninth best qualifying time and n°15 the tenth.
The race got off to a perfect start with Patrice Lafargue managing to make his way up through the cars ahead to get to third place after an hour. Frédéric Da Rocha also began well and was in 7th place. Unfortunately for the Lafargue family, things became much more complicate with a starting motor problem in the middle of the race seeing them drop back before retiring from the race.
It was a weekend of ups and downs with good qualifiers and a great start, where we really enjoyed ourselves, but then it all changed with one car having a mechanical problem with the starter, which meant it wasn’t worth continuing,” explained Patrice Lafargue, while his son, Paul added, “The glass was half full. We began with a car, which wasn’t simple at the start of the weekend, but got things moving in the right direction and were doing well in the race. My Dad got off to a fantastic start and I loved seeing that.”
In spite of retiring, this was a positive weekend for the IDEC Sport Racing team, as the Ligier n°15 finished sixth overall, but came out on top in the Prestige category, which had been the goal in Tuscany. Frédéric Da Rocha explained, “As we’re fighting hard in the Prestige category, this was a great result. The youngsters (his son Nicolas and Gwenaël Delomier) did a good job in the qualifiers, which meant we were well positioned. I was fairly regular in the first part and didn’t make any mistakes, while managing to save fuel. The car worked well. We had to work hard, as the others aren’t far behind.”
This win means n°15, second in early July at the Motorland Aragon, has got closer in the rankings after five of the seven meetings to the Norma n°6 (Team TFT), third in the Prestige on the Mugello circuit. We can look forward to a duel in the final two events of the season, Magny-Cours (7-8-9 Oct) and Estoril (4-5-6 Nov). “We’ll take each race as it comes without adding any stress or pressure. Our method has paid off so far. We are now much closer this year to the leading cars in the circuit,” added Frédéric Da Rocha. The next event on the calendar for the IDEC Sport Racing team will be in Spa-Francorchamps for the fifth and penultimate leg in the European Le Mans Series, from 23rd to 25th September.