Besides his World Series 3.5 debuts, Guillaume Moreau also discovered endurance racing at the famous Italian GP venue. Since he left Karting, he had only been racing single seaters. But in Monza, he really enjoyed driving the works Courage LMP1, and sharing the wheel with one of the best co-driver he could possibly find: Jean-Marc Gounon.
Lots of media were attracted by the new Peugeot 908 HDI FAP, and the press room was crowded. Monza was also an opportunity to evaluate the protagonists' performance and reliability, two months before the Le Mans 24 Hours. 46 cars, prototypes and GT, took part in this opening race of the series on the 5.793 kilometre-long circuit.
Guillaume already tested the LC70 AER-powered Courage at Le Mans-Bugatti and during the HTTT Paul Ricard tests in March. "The car behaved well since the very beginning of the free practice sessions. Jean-Marc qualified it in 6th position, and completed the first double stint. He remained in the Top five despite the engine temperature which was too high and caused a loss of power at low revs." After 1 hour 50, Jean-Marc came back into the pits for driver change, refuelling and fresh Michelin tyres. Unfortunately the technical staff had to fix a brake problem before Rookie Moreau could rejoin the race in 10th place. He ran a good pace during his double stint and could recover 6th. "Overtaking slower cars in heavy traffic is a difficulty. We often have to run off the line, and the tyres pick up rubber, which causes huge vibrations, especially at the end of a double stint on used tyres. It was worth working really hard on my physical training..."
At the end of the race, the number 13 Courage gained a position thanks to the Rollcentre Pescarolo's problems. Jean-Marc Gounon crossed the line 5th behind the Peugeot and Pescarolo Sport factory entries. Guillaume Moreau's 300 kph-week-end ended on a good note and a promising result. "Without the loss of power and brake problem, we could have fought for a podium finish. I had to learn and prove my skills in driving this car fast and consistently and also in understanding the specific aspects of endurance racing. I feel much more at home in the car now. I have a fabulous team- mate, his experience regarding how to save tyres and fuel brings a lot to me."
Jean-Marc Gounon said : " I have been watching Guillaume throughout the week-end and he did a perfect job. He is a young driver, but he has always been listening carefully to my advice." It's a shame calendar clashing will split the pair. The 1000 km of Valencia will take place on June 6th, while Guillaume will take part in the next World Series rounds at the Nurburgring. Guillaume and Jean-Marc will gather again for the Le Mans Test Day, on June 3rd.