NEWS - Pierre Ragues
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4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
20th-22nd September 2019

24H du Mans

WEC 2019 - 2020

6 Heurs of Fuji - Japan
06th October 2019



Pierre Ragues has enjoyed a stellar start to the 2019 European Le Mans Series, taking a hard-fought and well-deserved podium finish at the 4 Hours of Le Castellet. 
The French ace put in a sensational series of stints in the opening phase of the race to position the #30 Michelin-equipped LMP2 Oreca 07 at the front of the field. It was only a slow puncture at the 1h45 mark that robbed the Duqueine Engineering crew – consisting also of Nicolas Jamin and Richard Bradley – of a chance to fight for the outright win. 
The opening round of the new season got off to a fantastic start for the team with encouraging race pace right from the free practice sessions. Despite cooler than usual temperatures and some overcast skies, the team got to work diligently to prepare for today’s race. 
With Pierre on starting duties from eighth on the grid, the Caen star took a cautious approach on the opening lap but soon pulled maximum performance from himself and the car. Moving into the top-five after ten laps and then up to fourth on lap 14, Pierre put in some sublime overtaking manoeuvres. 
Just a few laps later he had moved into second place and was absolutely flying. A quick pit stop for fuel on lap 22 didn’t affect his motivation as, by lap 27, within less than one hour of the race he had marched into the lead with another impressive overtake. He maintained his lead until handing over to Nicolas with 2h40 remaining. 
Nicolas was also on strong form, keeping the lead until the rear-left slow puncture unpicked all their hard work. Dropping to fourth, they persevered knowing that a podium was still within reach.  
Richard took over with just over one hour left on the clock. Making use of the competitive pace of the car, he kept pushing right to the end – and secured third place in the closing stage of the race. Pierre, Nicolas and Richard rightly took their place on the Paul Ricard podium to celebrate the team’s first silverware of the new ELMS season – hopefully the first of many to come.  
Pierre commented: “It is always a joy and pleasure to stand on the podium. We were in real contention for the victory today but in the circumstances I think we can be satisfied with third place. The performance of our LMP2 Oreca 07 was outstanding, and allowed Nico, Richard and myself to do our job. Starting from eighth, I felt confident to push hard and we could enjoy some wonderful overtakes to move up into the lead. Unfortunately, the slow puncture undid our efforts but we were able to mount a comeback to the podium, which represents a strong result for the first race of the new season. I was pleased with our approach to this race, our pace was very encouraging and I am looking forward to more of the same as the season progresses. Thanks, as always, to the Duqueine Engineering squad and to my personal partners Ellip6, GroupAuto and Yacco.”   
LMP2 Teams’ Classification
1. DragonSpeed – 25 points
2. Idec Sport – 18 points
3. Duqueine Engineering – 15 points
LMP2 Drivers’ Classification
1. Ben Hanley / Henrik Hedman / James Allen – 25 points
2. Memo Rojas / Paul Lafargue / Paul Loup Chatin – 18 points
3. Pierre Ragues / Nicolas Jamin / Richard Bradley – 15 points

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