PIERRE RAGUES TAKES SENSATIONAL PODIUM IN LE MANS 24 HOURS
It was another thrilling chapter in the history of the mythical race track; Le Mans vintage 2008 did not sour its exceptional reputation. Played out on a field of dreams, it was a contest that certainly lived up to its expectations, in front of an attending throng of some 260,000 spectators -- Simply magical!
Frenchman Pierre Ragues scored a superb podium in the LMP2 category, at the helm of his number 35 Pescarolo-Judd, which he drove alongside compatriot Matthieu Lahaye and the Chineseman Chen Con Fu.
This year's 24-Hours action got underway in the best possible way: On Wednesday evening, an excellent time of 3m42s put the team among the front-running positions of the LMP2 class in the first qualifying session.
Thursday's second qualification session to determine the starting grid went, however, less than satisfactorily for the three drivers and their team after an engine failure stopped them on the first lap!
Ragues was therefore robbed of his chance to push the car to its limits by using his available stock of qualifying tyres. The end result was just seventh place in the LMP2 category, and a 14th row grid start for the daunting Le Mans challenge, which everyone universally describes as the 'trial of the year'.
At the chequered flag, the LMP2 team, led with plenty of determination by team boss Francois Sicard, achieved a resounding success. Sicard shared the joy of his third trip to the podium with his three drivers, with Pierre unable to hide his emotions.
The 24-year-old driver commented: "This podium in LMP2 is a real victory that we developed together step by step, working well on the development and reliability of the car. I am really satisfied with the performance and the rhythm set during the race, even in the difficult conditions through the rain. The car was very well balanced and we exploited it to its maximum. I'd like particularly to thank the team for its fantastic work, and for the very competitive and reliable equipment that we had at our disposal. Thanks also to my two team-mates; I was able to appreciate real teamwork. This result satisfies me, and I cannot wait to take up the wheel again very soon in testing to prepare as well as possible for the next Le Mans Series meeting, at the Nurburgring in mid-August."
-credit: pierre ragues