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4 Hours of Silverstone
30th-31st August 2019



24H du Mans


WEC 2019 - 2020
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4 Heurs of Silverstone
01st September 2019




2019-06-13

TRAFFIC HAMPERS QUALIFYING EFFORTS FOR DUQUEINE ENGINEERING

Pierre Ragues and the Duqueine Engineering team will begin the 2019 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 22nd on the grid, and 14th in the closely-fought LMP2 class, after a qualifying session hampered by traffic and stoppages. 
 
Thursday’s itinerary saw two separate qualifying sessions, each of two hours in duration, with all 20 LMP2 runners looking to improve on the times set in Wednesday’s opening qualifying. The team had set the fifth best time on the opening day with promising pace from the Michelin-equipped Oreca 07. 
 
Thursday began under sunny skies with Pierre carrying out important long runs in preparation for Saturday’s 24-hour race. Alongside team-mates Nicolas Jamin and Romain Dumas, the squad totalled 38 laps, with a disrupted session pushing the qualifying focus back to the evening opportunities.
 
Nicolas was quick to show the potential of the car early in the session, setting impressive sector times before being hindered by a car going off at Arnage which ruined his lap. From that point on, the qualifying strategy was all about finding the optimum window for a clean lap – which never arrived despite valiant efforts from Romain and Pierre. 
 
A twenty-minute red flag midway through the session, couple with slow zones and full course yellows meant that when the track was green, virtually all of the 61 cars were seeking fast laps at the same time. Traffic became an issue for almost every car, further reducing the chances of improving lap time. 
 
Ultimately, the team tried to secure a faster time towards the end of the session, but track conditions were only optimal after the tyre performance window had closed. The team will face an eventful opening to the 24-hour race as they look to improve upon their grid position, knowing that in race trim they have the potential to challenge higher up the order.
 
Pierre said: “Today was all about traffic. The sessions were hampered for most drivers with only a few windows of opportunity to set a clean lap during the sessions. It would have been nicer to have the chance to show what we’re capable of over one lap, even if grid position here at Le Mans is not so important. We are confident in our race pace. The team is well prepared for its first-ever participation at Le Mans – and we hope to set a good first impression for Duqueine Engineering around La Sarthe. It’s a rewarding track when you can string together the perfect lap; it’s unfortunate that circumstances in qualifying didn’t allow for that today. We will now look at our race strategy, hope for a clean start and take things hour by hour from there. We have the drivers’ parade to look forward to on Friday, which always sets the right atmosphere for the race itself on Saturday. It might be my 12th time, but it’s always special.”   
 
Pierre Ragues is supported by his personal partners Yacco, Ellip6 and Sparco. 





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