First race, first podium for DAMS
This weekend, DAMS raced in the first round of the Formula Le Mans Championship on the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France. It was a step up for this category, as for the first time the cars were integrated into the prestigious Le Mans Series Championship.
DAMS entered two cars: no.43 driven by Andrea Barlesi, Alessandro Cicognani and Gary Chalandon, and no. 44 entrusted to Edoardo Piscopo, Luke Hines and Dean Stirling.
The two cars went into qualifying after three good free practice sessions. Edoardo Piscopo immediately set a searing pace and bagged pole after less than four laps. Alessandro Cicognani was less fortunate as his car hit a kerb on the entry to the Signes curve. After setting a promising time, the Italian flat-spotted his tyres and was relegated to the back of the grid for the start.
Lady Luck smiled on him in the race, however. While no.43 respected its race strategy with clockwork-like precision no. 44 ran into trouble. Although it was very quick and was among the front-runners right away, it suffered a broken exhaust after two hours' racing, and then its gearbox failed with under an hour to go to the finish.
No. 43's consistency paid off and Barlesi, Cicognani and Chalandon took the chequered flag in third place. The three drivers' aim was to gain experience and finish, which they did in fine style to celebrate their debut in the Le Mans Series Championship.
Next round: the Spa-Francorchamps 1000kms (7-9 May)
Loic David: "Overall, DAMS has had a positive weekend as we're on the podium in the first round. Andrea, Alessandro and Gary were impeccable and very professional and their result is a fair reward for their efforts. The other car showed its speed in practice and victory looked on the cards, but mechanical failure decided otherwise. We're determined to build on this result to be even more competitive in Belgium, next month."