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SOLID FOURTH FOR PIERRE RAGUES AND SIGNATECH ALPINE ELF IN SHANGHAI
Pierre Ragues and the Signatech Alpine Elf team have finished the 4 Hours of Shanghai in a fighting fourth place, just missing out on a return to the LMP2 podium in the third round of the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
The team started seventh in class, 12th overall, after a disappointing qualifying session on Saturday, but quickly made up positions as Sunday’s race got underway in dry conditions.
Pierre shared driving duties around the 5.451km Shanghai International Circuit with Andre Negrão and Thomas Laurent, as the trio aimed to extract the full performance potential from the #36 Alpine A470.
Andre was on starting duties and quickly moved up to fifth in LMP2 after the opening lap. He then put the team in position to battle for the top-three early on but by the time of his first scheduled stop – after 45 minutes – he had settled into fourth position.
The team adopted a slightly different strategy to their competitors early in the race in an effort to fight for the podium. As a result, Andre handed over to Pierre after 90 minutes and 47 laps, leading the LMP2 class.
As the different strategies all settled down in the second half of the race, the team resumed its charge for the podium. Pierre fought hard on his stint to keep the team in fourth place, handing over to Thomas for the final push.
Despite battling some gremlins with the wheel gun at his scheduled stop, with just over one hour remaining, Thomas was able to retain fourth place at the chequered flag, giving the team a better race result than in Japan last month.
Peter said: “I think we can be satisfied with this result, knowing that we got as much out of the race as we could have. Qualifying didn’t go well, but we were determined to make up ground in the four-hour race, which we definitely did. Andre had a good start to put us in an early fight for the top-three. We tried to follow a different pit stop strategy in the early part of the race, and that allowed us to keep in contention. I took over after 90 minutes – and I enjoyed myself. I pushed hard and was able to set some competitive times, while also managing my stint to fit into the race strategy. The #36 Alpine A470 felt better in race trim and although we weren’t able to get back onto the podium, fourth place was a much better result than we had in Japan. We can now build on these improvements for the next round in Bahrain.”
4 Hours of Shanghai WEC Result
1. #1 Rebellion Racing
2. #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing
3. #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing – 1 Lap
4. #5 Team LNT – 1 Lap
5. #6 Team LNT – 2 Laps
6. JOTA #38 – 4 Laps
7. #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing – 4 Laps
8. #22 United Autosports – 4 Laps
9. #36 Signatech Alpine ELF – 5 Laps
FIA World Endurance Championship (after three rounds)
Trophy for LMP2 Drivers
1. F. van Eerd / G. van der Garde 51 points
2. G. Aubry / H-P. Tung / W. Stevens 49 points
3. A. Negrao / P. Ragues / T. Laurent 38 points
Trophy for LMP2 Teams
1. Racing Team Nederland 51 points
2. Jackie Chan DC Racing 49 points
3. Signatech Alpine Elf 38 points
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