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24H du Mans


WEC 2019 - 2020




2019-09-22

FIGHTING FIFTH FOR PIERRE RAGUES AS FCY HAMPERS VICTORY PUSH AT SPA

Pierre Ragues and the Duqueine Engineering team had to settle for a fifth-place finish in the penultimate round of the 2019 European Le Mans Series, despite showing potential for victory in the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. 
 
The team had demonstrated impressive pace in the #30 Oreca 07, but their strategy was hampered by ill-timed Full Course Yellow conditions that handed an unwarranted advantage to their rivals. 
 
Pierre was on starting duties for today’s four-hour race from third on the grid and wasted no time making his presence felt. A super start saw him vault up into second, and the Caen star established himself among the quickest drivers on the 7.004km Spa track.
 
Pierre was able to maintain the team’s victory push with superb stints in the early phase, taking the lead 40 minutes into the race. He handed over to team-mate Richard Bradley in the lead with 2h38 on the clock. 
  
Refuelling gremlins lost some time during that stop and dropped the team to third, but Richard was leading once again by the halfway mark of the race. Duqueine’s strategy was paying dividends, but their rivals had experienced issues that resulted in differing pit stop sequences in the second half of the race.
 
The team was firmly in the hunt for its best result of the season until a full course yellow with one hour remaining. Duqueine had already made its scheduled stop, swapping driver to Nicolas Jamin at the 2h50 mark, but rival teams, whose strategies had been affected through earlier issues, lucked in due to the FCY timing. 
 
The #30 car, however, lost out, dropping down to sixth place. Nicolas clawed back one position but with the end of the race in sight, there was nothing more he could do to make up for the lost ground. Fifth place was an undeserved result for the team who had shown fantastic pace, a strategy that – on paper – could have secured a win, and top performances from its drivers. 
  
Pierre Ragues: “It’s a really disappointing end to what could have been a victory for our team today. I pushed really hard and was pleased to take the race lead in the first hour. The Oreca 07 and Michelin tyres were outstanding, and the strategy from the team would have been spot on without the detrimental FCY in the final hour. It undid all our hard work and put us out of contention. I was pleased with my own stints, which had moved us from third into the lead, but it seems our rivals had more fortunate timing on their side today. We can take away some positives from the competitiveness of our package, a confident performance from all three of us drivers, and a professional display from the team. We know what could have been possible but, for reasons out of our control, it didn’t happen. Thanks to my partners Yacco, Ellip6 and Sparco for their support; let’s look ahead with optimism to the season finale at the end of next month.”
 
4 Hours of Spa – Race Result
1. United Autosports – P. HANSON / F. ALBUQUERQUE – 101 laps
2. Cool Racing – N. LAPIERRE / A. BORGA +12.304s
3. Graff – T. GOMMENDY / A. COUGNAUD / J. HIRSCHI +12.504s
4. G Drive Racing - R. RUSINOV / J. VERGNE / J. VAN UITERT +39.279s
5. Duqueine Engineering – P. RAGUES / N. JAMIN / R. BRADLEY +48.356 
 
ELMS LMP2 Teams’ Classification after five rounds
1. G-Drive Racing 93 
2. Idec Sport 80
3. Graff 68 
4. United Autosports 52
5. DragonSpeed 46 
6. Duqueine Engineering 45 
 
ELMS LMP2 Drivers’ Classification after five rounds
1 Job VAN UITERT 93 
= Roman RUSINOV 93
2 Memo ROJAS 80 
= Paul LAFARGUE 80 
= Paul Loup CHATIN 80 
3 Alexandre COUGNAUD 68 
= Jonathan HIRSCHI 68
= Tristan GOMMENDY 68 
4. Jean-Eric VERGNE 55
5. Philip HANSON 45
6. Henrik HEDMAN 46
=. James ALLEN 46
7. Ben HANLEY 45
8 Nicolas JAMIN 45  
= Pierre RAGUES 45 
= Richard BRADLEY 45 
 
 
 





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