Ready for the Le Mans 24 Hours! A week after Spa-Francorchamps hosted the World Series by Renault the Belgian circuit resounded to the sounds of the third round of the Le Mans Series. It was the last event before the Le Mans 24 Hours and Luc ...
Ready for the Le Mans 24 Hours!
A week after Spa-Francorchamps hosted the World Series by Renault the Belgian circuit resounded to the sounds of the third round of the Le Mans Series. It was the last event before the Le Mans 24 Hours and Luc Alphand Adventures team confirmed its superiority in LM GT1. Guillaume Moreau together with Luc himself and Patrice Goueslard scored their second victory in three races.
On Thursday, Guillaume was on the pace immediately in the first free practice session. After only 8 laps he set the best time of the day 7/10s quicker than the Team Modena Aston Martin. He then handed over to Luc Alphand and Patrice Goueslard. "We realised that our basic set-up was good in terms of performance. The team then decided to give my team-mates as much running time as possible to ensure that we were all on the same rhythm in the race."
On Saturday, several red flags upset the team's programme in the third free practice session. "I wasn't able to drive the car even though we'd decided to validate the qualifying set-up." So the lead driver in no.72 went out without being able to test the car in qualifying trim. "The car's set-up could have been improved and I wasn't able to match the pace of the Aston Martin. I was a bit disappointed so we got down to work to prepare for the race."
On Sunday morning the team took advantage of the warm up to fine-tune the Corvette's set-up even further. "We didn't have much time to react but we were on the right track. Then Luc got into the car and he too found it easier to drive."
At the start it took Guillaume only a few metres to take the lead in LM GT1. "Antonio Garcia missed his braking at La Source hairpin and I got past. A few laps later he tried to attack me after Le Raidillon but I was able to stay in front." As they reeled off the laps the gap between the two opened up to five seconds shortly before the lead changed hands. "Just before the end of my first stint I came upon a car going slowly in Le Raidillon. I went through a corner in fourth that we normally go through flat out in sixth, and the Aston took the lead."
After a quick pit stop to fill up and put on four new tyres Guillaume began another stint. The Aston Martin ran into a technical problem and Guillaume got back in front before handing over to Patrice Goueslard.
At that moment a third car joined in the battle for the lead. The Kox/Rusinov Lamborghini took advantage of an excellent strategy under the safety car and went to the front. Luc Alphand used his stint to stabilise the gap and then handed the car back to Guillaume.
The "Masked Avenger" went out with the bit between his teeth for another double stint. And he soon let his rivals know he meant business! In 10 laps he reduced the gap from 50 to 26 seconds. Under pressure the Lamborghini collided with a prototype making it easier for the white Corvette to retake the lead. Guillaume couldn't have asked for more, and all he had to do was to bring the car home to the chequered flag to score the team's second victory in three races.
"Like the first two races we showed exemplary steadiness," was how Guillaume analysed the race. "Since the start of the season we haven't put a foot wrong nor have we run into the slightest technical problem in the race, and that's paid off. There was a lot of responsibility on my shoulders as I drove for almost 3h 30m, and I'm delighted to have transformed the team's excellent work into another victory."
Guillaume and Luc Alphand's team lead the overall classification and now they've set their sights on the Le Mans 24 Hours. "The LMS events are good preparation, but the 24 Hours race has its own specific demands that we have to integrate, so we're heading off to Dijon for a test session."
Next rendezvous for Guillaume: the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in Monaco (22nd-25th May).
-credit: guillaume moreau