Spa: Yann Clairay weekend summary

Yann laps it up in Spa Luc Alphand, Patrice Goueslard and Yann Clairay obtained a hard-earned LM GT1 class win in the 1000kms in Spa-Francorchamps. In this second round of the Le Mans Series they finished ahead of both the Aston Martin DBR9 ...

Yann laps it up in Spa

Luc Alphand, Patrice Goueslard and Yann Clairay obtained a hard-earned LM GT1 class win in the 1000kms in Spa-Francorchamps. In this second round of the Le Mans Series they finished ahead of both the Aston Martin DBR9 which had led the field during qualifying and the Lamborghini Murcielago which clocked the fastest lap in the race. But the biggest surprise of all was probably the final placing the Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R achieved. Coming home 13th in an event with 51 entries, 50 of which started, was a great result considering that the field included 31 prototypes which are a lot faster that the GTs.

As in the Barcelona race, qualifying the car was Yann's job. Clocking the 28th fastest qualifying time overall put him within striking distance of the car's two main rivals for victory in the GT1 class. The opening laps of the race saw the Aston Martin, the Lamborghini and the Corvette (with Patrice Goueslard at the wheel) jostling for position but the British car soon lost ground. The struggle for supremacy between the Italian fighting bull in Russian colours and the American beauty in French livery continued right up to the finish. The Luc Alphand Aventures car was ahead at the 1- hour mark and held on to its lead until the 2-hour mark when Yann's first stint at the wheel came to an end. The order was reversed after 3 hours, with the Lambo 2 minutes ahead, but the Murcielago eventually lost out to the Corvette's superior regularity, finishing the race just one lap behind the current class champion.

This result throws the championship wide open. Yann Clairay, Patrice Goueslard and Luc Alphand hold a 1-point lead over Peter Kox, who changed partners between Barcelone and Spa, with the leader board showing 19-18 in their favour. Luc Alphand Aventures holds the same narrow advantage over IPB Spartak Racing in the team standings.

"We knew we had to lap consistently if we wanted to win here, we had to set a pace and stick to it," said Yann after the podium ceremony. "I'm quite pleased with my own performance. I feel I have made progress because I kept myself in check instead of trying to go for the fastest lap. Our team- manager Philippe Poincloux proved how good he is at race strategy. He managed to turn the outages when the safety car came out into opportunities for making up time on the Lamborghini or to stretch our lead. As for tyres, things are going better and better. As it happens, the team is off to Dijon on May 19 for a series of tests using a new type of Dunlop tyre. We are looking to step up a notch in performance and consistency, which hopefully will allow us to keep the same set of tyres on for two consecutive stints."

The day after that we will know the composition of the crews Luc Alphand Aventures will be entering for the Le Mans 24-hour race.

-credit: yannclairay.com

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Peter Kox , Luc Alphand , Patrice Goueslard , Yann Clairay