Portimao: Guillaume Moreau race report

Algarve sees the end of a good run of podiums for Guillaume Moreau! After two podiums in the last two Le Mans Series races and a solid second place in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, Guillaume Moreau was hoping for another good result during...

Algarve sees the end of a good run of podiums for Guillaume Moreau!

After two podiums in the last two Le Mans Series races and a solid second place in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, Guillaume Moreau was hoping for another good result during the third round of the series held on the Algarve circuit in Portimao, Portugal. Unfortunately, mechanical woes would put an end to these hopes halfway through the race while the No. 35 OAK Racing Team Mazda Pescarolo-Judd of Moreau/Hein was in second place in class. A break in the differential would dash any hopes of a victory as retirement was inevitable.

Things had already started off on the wrong foot before leaving for Portugal as a thunderstorm caused a cancelled flight forcing Guillaume to drive a marathon 2000 kilometers from Paris to Portimao at night for an early morning arrival. The endurance test had already started for the Limousin driver. But right from the start of the first practice session, Guillaume raised eyebrows with the fastest time in class and fourth overall. "As is often the case, I quickly got into a good rhythm," indicates Guillaume. "It was the first time that we were in front of the Acura in practice, which led us to believe we had a good chance in qualifying." The last practice session was hampered by an injector problem, causing the duo to miss a lot of track time. As for the qualifying session itself, the result was not what was hoped for: "The ride height was not good with the underside wooden plank being used up. The car had too much understeer, which means I was unable to get all of the potential out of it. I sincerely think the third fastest time was within reach but instead we qualifying fifth."

The OAK Racing driver is known for his quick starts and the Portuguese round was no different. "From the first corner, I gained two positions. As usual, we didn't have enough speed to keep up with the leading Acura so I spent the majority of my stint with Matthieu (Lahaye) who was in our sister car. We ran well together." It was then time for Guillaume to hand the controls of the Pescarolo-Judd over to Richard while in second place behind the Lola/RML. "Richard had a great stint, and was certainly the fastest gentlemen drivers on the track."

The problems started when Guillaume regained the wheel. "I immediately felt that something was not right with a noise during reacceleration. I kept going, but the differential gave up. It would have taken too long to fix, which would have kept us from being classed. Portimao is a very difficult track for the cars with a lot of gearbox problems for competitors. It's actually what happened to Jacques (Nicolet) and Matthieu (Lahaye) a little later in the race, but they were able to rejoin to finish the last lap and therefore be classified in fourth place. We didn't score a point and this race marks the end of a good run of podiums. It's too bad because victory could have within reach."

Sights are now set on Hungary where the 1000km of Budapest will be held next month. "With this victory, RML took an advantage in the championship and our destiny is not really in our hands. Mathematically, anything is still possible for us and we will give it our all on a track that I particularly like."

-source: guillaumemoreau.com

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Guillaume Moreau
Teams OAK Racing