NEWS - Pierre Ragues
PIERRE RAGUES Official Web Site

4 Hours of Red Bull Ring
21st-22nd July 2018
Championnat de France



A dramatic final hour of the 24 Hours of Le Mans saw the #35 Signatech Alpine Matmut crew of Pierre Ragues, Nelson Panciatici and André Negrão drop from an outright podium position to fifth place and fourth in LMP2 due to an unexpected brake-related issue.
The #35 crew had been in strong contention not only for an LMP2 podium but also an outright Le Mans podium after impressive performances from all three drivers, as well as a cohesive team performance throughout the 24-hour event.
With technical gremlins causing upsets in the LMP1 class, it was a day on which LMP2 teams had the chance to shine, and the Signatech Alpine Matmut crew truly stepped up. Holding a comfortable third place overall heading into the final hour of the race, the team were on course for a deserved result defying expectations. 
Unfortunately, the team were to endure late heartbreak as Negrão experienced a sudden long brake pedal due to excessive brake wear, sending him off track at Mulsanne. The team had been meticulously checking brake performance at each pit stop knowing the demands of the 13.629km Circuit de la Sarthe, and the hot temperatures endured this weekend. 
There was nothing that the driver could do, but he reacted professionally to get the #35 Alpine A470 back to the garage. The team’s mechanics performed an extraordinary job to change the front nose and get the car back out to complete the race, ending a positive weekend in fifth place overall and fourth in class. Despite the cruel final blow, there are plenty of positives for Pierre and the team to take away from this Le Mans weekend.
Pierre said: “What a cruel way for our race to finish. In any other event, we would have been satisfied with a fourth place finish in class, but we were so close to something so special. The entire team has worked hard all week to prepare the Alpine A470 for battle. We had a competitive car underneath us, and we managed to get ourselves in the fight for the overall podium. It would have been beyond our expectations, but at the same time truly deserved after our faultless teamwork. I would like to extend my thanks to the whole Signatech Alpine Matmut team for their peerless work ethic this weekend; from the great race strategy of the engineers to the tireless work of the mechanics, as well as the close co-operation between myself, Nelson and André. We deserved that podium today so it’s a hard knock that we just missed out right at the end. That’s Le Mans, it’s why love racing here each year, and why it gives us the motivation to come back better, stronger and more determined than ever. Thanks also to my personal partners for their support.” 

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