A podium at Silverstone adds a beautiful finish to the 2008 season
Motor racing is not an exact science, fortunately! Who could have predicted a podium for the no.16 Pescarolo following the Silverstone 1000km tests? Those who bet on the trifecta of Audi/Lola/Pescarolo must have won big with the English bookmakers!
Unsurprisingly, the starting grid saw Peugeot occupying pole position in front of the two Audis. Logically, the Lola Aston Martin capitalised on the power of its GT1 engine, and a squad of all the petrol engine cars resided just behind. A grand finish was pictured for Peugeot, yet total disaster followed. Upset was predicted for Audi, yet triumph ensued. Pescarolo Sport hoped to confirm its position as best manufacturer behind Audi and Peugeot, this being all the more extraordinary since the No. 16 of Jean-Christophe Boullion and Romain Dumas finished on the podium, followed a few lengths later by the no.17 of Harold Primat and Christophe Tinseau.
The Pescarolo Automobiles Group also confirmed the quality of its production, as out of the 5 cars that started, all 5 finished.
However, the race start was somewhat heavy going. Jean-Christophe Boullion found himself grappling with an unrecognisable and difficult to drive car for no explainable reason. In fact, order was restored after changing the starting set of tyres at the first pit stop. The No.16 then began an ascent that would place it upon the podium. Harold Primat's No.17, stuck in among a troop of LMP2s, also pulled off a commendable comeback, taken over by Christophe Tinseau who was to lead them to a justified 6th place. The race finish was an exhilarating one. Having overcome all the pitfalls through some truly agressive yet confident piloting, Romain and Jean-Christophe secured a handsome 4th place when Premat's Audi was brought into the pits following mechanical difficulty.
Evidently, the No.16 Pescarolo could not hold back the catching up of the Audi and keep its 3rd place. With the Audi having been obliged to respect a penalty for overtaking under yellow flag, the podium was becoming conceivable, but Jean-Christophe needed to be sent " back into battle ". In a frenzied sprint, the Audi and Pescarolo drivers were approaching their best qualification times with every lap. Boullion passed the finish line only 2,5'' ahead of his pursuer. The Pescarolo Sport team exploded with joy. This podium was a tremendous reward for a Group that has been investing considerable effort all year long to remain in the leading trio of Prototype manufacturers.
Jacques Nicolet was delighted at the finish:
" I am especially happy with the results obtained by the Pescarolo Automobiles Group, the fruit of my connection with Henri Pescarolo. Indeed, thanks to the results of Pescarolo Sport and Saulnier Racing, we finish in third place among manufacturers as much in LMP1 as in LMP2. Faced with such renowned names as Audi, Peugeot, Porsche and Lola, I think that it's a promising start, justifying the Group's ambitions! "
Henri Pescarolo agreed:
" This podium at Silverstone and in the LMS manufacturer championship in LMP1 and LMP2 is proof that skills and work are always rewarded. With the new technical ruling announced by the ACO, which should allow us to come closer to the power of the diesel engine specifications, the whole of the Pescarolo Automobiles Group is already in battle order for a 2009 year full of promise ".