As the 24 Hours of Le Mans heads into its overnight phase, Pierre Ragues has finished two further stints behind the wheel of the Alpine A470.
A safety car period shortly after the six-hour mark of the race resulted in a skilful change of strategy for the Signatech Alpine Elf team, as Pierre took over from Andre as night-time fell across Circuit de la Sarthe.
It was an extended period under caution with numerous issues on track during a frenetic start to night racing. Pierre continued on track in the #36 Alpine A470 as the safety car came in with 16:56 left on the clock, and slow zones still in place around the circuit.
Pierre pitted for fuel and returned to the track with 16.38 h to go, aiming to continue the team’s efforts to make up ground following its opening lap issues. He handed over to Thomas as the race reached its one-third distance mark holding 17th overall and 13th of the LMP2 cars.
Pierre said: “The night-time is a special moment at Le Mans but it often brings with it some drama, and this evening was no exception. We changed the strategy when the safety car came out, so I took over from Andre for a double stint. The safety car was out for some time but I was able to keep focused and ready to resume our fight back once we were back under green. The car felt good but we know it’s an uphill battle over the next 16 hours to catch back some of the positions we lost on the opening lap. The team is doing a superb job; all we can do is keep pushing and see what the overnight stints bring. I am expecting to be back in the car in the early hours, but we will see how the race continues to evolve.”