Podium for Pegasus Racing plus victory in the Michelin Green X Challenge! A months after its tough Le Mans 24-Hours week, the Pegasus Racing team bounced back scoring its first podium finish in LM P2 in the Algarve 1000 Kms. Julien Schell and ...
Podium for Pegasus Racing plus victory in the Michelin Green X Challenge!
A months after its tough Le Mans 24-Hours week, the Pegasus Racing team bounced back scoring its first podium finish in LM P2 in the Algarve 1000 Kms. Julien Schell and Frederic da Rocha achieved another exploit in the third round of the Le Mans Series with outright victory in the Michelin Green X Challenge, which rewards the best compromise between performance and fuel consumption.
Pegasus Racing's first outing in the Le Mans 24 Hours created a very positive buzz, but also led to the premature end of the partnership with the French constructor, Norma. In agreement with Frederic da Rocha, the little team from Strasbourg run by Claude and Julien Schell, decided to soldier on despite this setback and continue the Le Mans Series campaign with the 2-litre AER turbo-powered Courage. This car does not allow its drivers to compete in terms of sheer performance with the front-runners in the LM P2 category, because the regulations give little advantage to turbocharged engines, and also because the engine builder is a little conservative in his technical options. But Pegasus Racing has other weapons at its disposal to make up for these handicaps, and the results follow as the Portuguese event eloquently showed!
The Portimao circuit was a new challenge for Pegasus Racing, but unlike Schell, Da Rocha had already raced on it. On Thursday evening, the two drivers reconnoitered the circuit on their E tricks, the electric two- wheelers that are becoming the talk of the paddock. The team used the three practice sessions to set up the car and find the right gear ratios. In the timed session, Schell qualified the Courage in front of the GTs on the grid to avoid risky overtaking manoeuves in the opening laps. For the reasons stated above, the grand touring cars have a higher top speed than the Courage, but are slower in the corners.
The race started at 17h00 in the hot Portuguese sunshine. Julien did a double stint and the only problems he encountered were caused by the rubber marbles, some of which were as big as a little ball, and played havoc with the louvers on the front wings. Only when night settled in and the track temperature fell did the phenomenon cease. Franco-Portuguese Da Rocha, who was competing in his third major endurance race on home turf this season, did a couple of good stints. Then Schell took over and brought the car home in third place in LM P2.
"We did a good job in this difficult race, which ended in retirement for several of our rivals," said Schell. "It's sweet revenge for us. You just had to get stuck in out there and avoid track incidents. Thanks to our low fuel consumption we won the Michelin Green X Challenge, and we stepped up onto the podium twice, which is a double source of satisfaction for us." This fantastic result has put Pegasus Racing in a good position in the various Le Mans Series Championships: fifth in the LM P2 teams' classification, just one point behind the Le Mans winners, sixth in the drivers' ratings three points away from the top three and third in the Michelin Green X Challenge, all categories combined. The valiant team from Alsace will continue to do battle at the Hungaroring beside Budapest on 21- 22 August.