NEWS - Pierre Ragues
PIERRE RAGUES Official Web Site
24H du Mans
Championnat de France



Signatech - Alpine

2017-07-16

GEARBOX FAILURE BRINGS EARLY END TO 6 HOURS OF NÜRBURGRING FOR PIERRE RAGUES

The 6 Hours of Nürburgring was a race to forget for Pierre Ragues and the #35 Signatech Alpine Matmut crew, as their Alpine A470 was forced to retire from the race at the two-hour mark with gearbox failure.
 
Pierre, along with team-mates Nelson Panciatici and André Negrão, had been targeting a podium finish to follow-up their third-placed result from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it was not meant to be this weekend.
 
Despite showing solid pace in the #35 Alpine A470, the trio of drivers endured a tough Sunday around the classic 5.148km Eifel-based track. 
 
Starting fourth in class after a frustrating qualifying, the crew was hoping to make up positions on the opening lap. Unfortunately, once the race was underway, at turn three, Panciatici had contact with another car, which sent him off onto the grass, re-joining in 25th overall. 
 
After just twenty minutes, he had battled his way back up to 13th place, ninth in LMP2, with solid race pace, but had to serve a 30-second stop-and-hold penalty. The penalty had been imposed on the crew after a near miss with an LMP1 car during Saturday’s qualifying session.
 
Still, Panciatici re-joined the race in 13th spot and looked to push on. Negrão took over in the cockpit after 90 minutes, holding ninth in class. Just ahead of the two-hour mark, though, and gearbox gremlins causing problems with gear shifting forced the car into the garage, where the team diagnosed the problem to be terminal. Race over, even before Pierre had the chance to drive. 
 
The team is expecting to know more about its next race participation in the coming week.

Pierre said: “We have had a really difficult weekend, and certainly not what we were expecting to achieve around the Nürburgring. We had a decent practice with some encouraging lap times and good race preparation, but we struggled in qualifying. Picking up the stop/hold penalty was always going to impede our race but we couldn’t predict what other issues would occur. Nelson was pushing hard to make up positions, and he showed decent race pace in a bid to recover positions after his off. After André took over, we then experienced some gearbox problems, which proved to be terminal, marking the premature end to our race. It’s a huge disappointment, especially as I didn’t have the chance to drive in the race. We now have to wait and see where we go from here, and we expect a final decision in the coming week. For now, though, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the whole team, to my team-mates Nelson and André and to my partners.”





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