Panciatici takes second consecutive Endurance Winter Series win Single seater ace Nelson Panciatici again showed his versatility at the weekend with a second win in as many rounds in the sportscar-based Endurance Winter Series at Paul Ricard, ...
Panciatici takes second consecutive Endurance Winter Series win
Single seater ace Nelson Panciatici again showed his versatility at the weekend with a second win in as many rounds in the sportscar-based Endurance Winter Series at Paul Ricard, taking pole position and breaking the lap record in the process.
Sharing a DAMS-prepared LMP2 Formula Le Mans prototype with countryman Guillaume Bermond, the French driver, who last year raced in GP2 and Superleague Formula, bounced back from illness and a frustrating retirement in the weekend's sprint race, to take a dominating win in the feature endurance event.
Panciatici wasn't able to take part in free practice due to sickness having been hospitalised late on Saturday night with severe food poisoning, while Bermond had spent the previous week bed-ridden due to a virus. Nevertheless, Nelson climbed from his sickbed to take pole position in qualifying for the endurance race with a lap that was six tenths faster than his nearest rival.
Starting the race from the front row, he led right from the flag and dominated the opening stint, pulling away at a rate of three seconds per lap, before handing over to Bermond, who continued to extend the DAMS pairing's lead, taking the chequered flag for a comfortable victory by more than one minute.
The result was some consolation for Panciatici who missed out on a chance to fight for victory in the weekend's first sprint race, when a problem with a rear wheel meant he didn't even make it to the grid. Bermond had better fortune in his sprint race, with a fine drive to second place, matching the pace of the series' top drivers throughout.
Both drivers were full of praise for the other at the finish.
Nelson Panciatici: "The win made me forget the disappointment of my retirement in the sprint race. In just the second race of his career Guillaume really impressed me, especially in the sprint race where he was able to resist the pressure of his rivals without making even the slightest error. He gave everything in both races and his hard work paid off, especially considering he was up against the likes of Sebastien Dumez, who is a champion in the Porsche Carrera Cup!"
Guillaume Bermond: "While my second place in the sprint race is more significant for me on a personal level, the win with Nelson in the endurance event shows what a great team we make. Nelson surprised me with the raw pace he showed in getting pole position on just his third qualifying lap, without any practice and on a track he didn't know that well. I think our performance and results speak for themselves and it has been a great weekend. It's just a shame that Nelson could not compete in his sprint race!"