Saulnier Racing targeting Nurburgring podium The fourth round of the Le Mans Series on 17 August gives Saulnier Racing its first opportunity to try and repeat the excellent results achieved last time out at the Le Mans 24 Hours. After...
Saulnier Racing targeting Nurburgring podium
The fourth round of the Le Mans Series on 17 August gives Saulnier Racing its first opportunity to try and repeat the excellent results achieved last time out at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
After finishing on the LMP2 podium at La Sarthe, the French team is now ready to face the 1000 kms of the Nurburgring and the rest of the Le Mans Series season. Since the beginning of the championship, the team's Pescarolo-Judd and its LMP2 drivers Matthieu Lahaye and Pierre Ragues have shown their consistency, reliability and competitiveness and have twice come close to the podium. The third place achieved at the mythical Le Mans race has served to boost confidence within the team and was just reward for their work, cohesion and progression. Car #35 is now targeting the podium and looking for points to secure third place in the championship. Having already scored 13 points, good enough for fifth in the standings, Saulnier Racing are hot on the heels of defending LMP2 champions RML, who have scored the same number of points and currently lie in fourth. Even though the level of competition has increased at every race and the two Porsche Spyders seem difficult to beat, the objective of third in the championship is not unreachable. After a hectic start to the season, which required a lot of energy, the team deserved their mid-season break to recharge their batteries. Saulnier Racing now takes up the challenge of focusing, through testing and fine tuning their cars, on the specifications of the Nurburgring circuit.
Matthieu Lahaye, LMP2 driver:
"I like the Nurburgring very much and I raced on this circuit in 2007 and 2006. It is a winding track which requires a lot of work on the driving side as well as setting the car up. Early in the lap there is an important hairpin just after the pits which is quite difficult to handle, then a series of slow bends which provide changes of directions which are quite technical. In my mind, it will be a race different from the ones we have experienced up to now because on this kind of circuit performance gaps between the LMP1 and LMP2 classes will close. This means we should expect an exciting race in which we should be in the thick of the action!"
Pierre Ragues, LMP2 driver:
"Our Team Manager, Francois Sicard, has relaxed his instructions to be cautious which have been in place since the beginning of the season. At the Nurburgring, we will be authorised to "let ourselves go" more and to look for lap times from the qualifying period onwards. The car has evolved, we have lost some weight and that should improve our performance. I am really looking forward be racing again and we can't wait to be back on the track!"
Meanwhile, the #4 LMP1 car has the ambition to finish in the top ten of the LMS championship. Having finished 12th in class at the 76th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, which in terms of competition level and track conditions was one of the most difficult races in recent years, this target is very much achievable.
Jacques Nicolet, LMP1 driver and co-founder of Pescarolo Automobiles:
"I have been very satisfied with the first half of the season from both a personal perspective and for the Pescarolo Automobiles Group. At Saulnier Racing, our young drivers Matthieu Lahaye and Pierre Ragues, and not forgetting Cheng Cong Fu, have matched our expectations. The LMP2 car has been reliable and competitive from the moment it left the workshop in March, and has been constantly improving, culminating in a podium at Le Mans in the first year of its existence. The #17 Pescarolo Sport car has also confirmed that the Pescarolo-Judd is the top petrol- powered LMP1 car. We hope that the Group can take third place in both the prototype categories' manufacturer championships and that is our aim until the end of the season."