PODIUM FINISH FOR RAGUES AT NURBURGRING Frenchman Pierre Ragues finished second in the LMP2 class at the famous Nurburgring 1000 kilometres last weekend -- a race that has been won by all the greatest names in sportscar racing. Along with his...
PODIUM FINISH FOR RAGUES AT NURBURGRING
Frenchman Pierre Ragues finished second in the LMP2 class at the famous Nurburgring 1000 kilometres last weekend -- a race that has been won by all the greatest names in sportscar racing.
Along with his team mate Matthieu Lahaye; Pierre managed to split two factory-assisted Porsche Spyders on the podium with his Pescarolo-Judd -- claiming an excellent ninth overall.
The legendary Nurburgring is regular fixture on the Grand Prix calendar, and while the classic Nordschleife is not used in the Le Mans Series, the modern circuit still provides a huge technical challenge. The region is well known for its fickle weather, but the rain held off throughout the race weekend, with temperatures in the region of 20 degrees centigrade.
Free practice went well for the French Saulnier Racing pairing, apart from a small gearbox problem at the end of the third session.
From the start, it was clear that the Pescarolo-Judd of Ragues and Lahaye was going to be quick.
Having qualified well, Pierre started the race with his usual aggressive pace, keeping in touch with the two Embassy cars, the RML-Lola and the Horag Racing Porsche. After completing a double stint, he handed the car over to Matthieu, who maintained the duo's solid rhythm.
Pierre finished the race, but while they had a comfortable margin over their pursuers, there was drama at the finish. The team calculated that Pierre would have to make a final quick fuel stop before the finish, so he had to push at 100 percent in order to be sure of maintaining a sufficient margin. The Frenchman had no choice but to drive every lap like a qualifying lap -- and when he emerged from the final fuel stop, he only had 30 seconds in hand over the Porsche in third.
"That certainly made it an exciting finish to the race!" said Pierre at the end. "But it was just a pleasure to be able to drive this great car quickly on a legendary circuit. We are all absolutely delighted by our performance this weekend, which really underlines the progress we have made since the start of the season. From the beginning of free practice it was clear that we were quick, and we steadily consolidated our pace throughout the weekend. To end up splitting two Porsches on the podium is a fantastic achievement, and we look forward to finishing the season on a high now with a similar result at the next round."
The final round of this year's Le Mans Series takes place at Silverstone in England from September 12-14.