Catalunya: Pescarolo Sport race report

14 seconds from heaven! When Christophe Tinseau crossed the finish line of the 1000 km of Barcelona, 14 seconds behind Stephan Mucke in the Lola-Aston Martin, the whole team Pescarolo Sport should have jumped for joy. The team had just achieved...

14 seconds from heaven!

When Christophe Tinseau crossed the finish line of the 1000 km of Barcelona, 14 seconds behind Stephan Mucke in the Lola-Aston Martin, the whole team Pescarolo Sport should have jumped for joy. The team had just achieved a not so common performance in motor racing: bringing a brand new car from the workshop directly to the podium without prior testing on the track! On the contrary, this superb second position was really disappointing for Pescarolo Sport. Due to a very unfortunate Safety Car sent on the track 10 minutes before the finish line, the Pescarolo-Judd lost the time gained with patience during the whole race. Leading for almost 6 hours and loosing first position in the last 5 minutes left a bitter taste. Above all when you consider that the Safety Car was sent out on the track because of the other Aston Martin!!

Following the winter developments in the wind tunnel, everyone was eager to discover the new Pescarolo-Judd on the track opposed to the Audis, Lolas- Aston Martin, Courage-Oreca and Zytec. The final assembly of the car was made during the night preceding departure to the first round of the Le Mans Series 2009 and even though it was not runned before, it created a sensation from the outset. Admired by the connoisseurs, surprisingly enough, the car played in the front rows immediately. Facing well-armed competitors, the car finished the first free practice session in 2nd position, led the whole second session, and missed the front row on the grid when a Safety Car (already) stopped Jean-Christophe Boullion in his fast lap! Car # 16 led again the Warm Up. Pescarolo Sport could be proud of its newborn "baby".

The race was similar to the practice session: when the green flag was waived, the Zytec in pole position had a difficult start and created confusion. Jean-Christophe was hit by the Audi and it took him a few laps to catch up the Lola running in first position from the start. Bruce Jouanny in the Pescarolo-Judd # 17 took a perfect start and was even running in front of Boullion for a few laps. For more than 5 hours, the gap between the 3 Lolas-Aston Martin and the Pescarolo-Judd never exceeded a few seconds, until Stephan Mucke spun giving Jean-Christophe Boullion an advantage of 25 seconds, normally enough to offer the victory to Pescarolo Sport, without this damned Safety Car... Nevertheless, once disappointment was over, the smiles on Boullion's and Tinseau's faces on the podium made us understand that the team had just achieved a superb race!

Meanwhile, Bruce Jouanny and Joao Barbosa were offering a splendid finish to the Pescarolo-Judd 2008 for its last entry. Not stopping at the red lights at the end of the pitlane cost a 3 minute Stop & Go to # 17, thus preventing it from finishing even closer to the new and brilliant sister car. Car # 17 will be fitted with the 2009 modifications for next race in Spa-Francorchamps.

This 6th position for its last race gave a superb 2nd position to Pescarolo Sport in the Manufacturers classification, one point only behind the two Lolas-Aston Martin with more cars entered into the race. Still, with the two LMP2 Pescarolo-Mazda from Oak Racing, it is a no-fault, 4 cars out of 4 crossing the finish line for the manufacturer from Sarthe.

-credit: pescarolo

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Series European Le Mans
Drivers Bruce Jouanny , Christophe Tinseau , Jean-Christophe Boullion , Joao Barbosa , Stefan Mücke