Having gone to Paul Ricard to familiarise themselves with the new Mercedes AMG GT3 Patrice and Paul Lafargue ended up earning themselves a debut victory.
4 Hours of GT / Touring cars / LM P3 Endurance: A victorious maiden voyage for IDEC Sport Racing's Mercedes
The opening stages were dominated by #1 Ferrari 488 GT3 of team Visiom, entrusted to regulars Pagny, Perrier and Bouvet and the #76 Porsche 991 GT3-R of IMSA Performance and drivers Narac and Cornac.
All the while the #51 Ferrari 458 GT3 of AF Corse, handled by Cordoni and Montermini and the #45 Renault R.S. 01 of team AB Auto Sport, with drivers Thybaud, Proust and Jousse on board both battled among the frontrunners, influencing many position changes.
Following driver changes, pit stops and handicap drive-through, the final countdown began, with, in order, the #17 leading the class, ahead of #51, #76, #45 and #1. The Italian machine unfortunately picked up a puncture out on track, damaging the rear right corner of the car, pushing it down the standings, while the top trio were separated by a mere 15 seconds with only 10 minutes left to go.
IDEC Sport Racing believed they were out of the race though, when they pitted for fuel in the final stages and discovered all the pumps were occupied. However, thanks to a drive-through dished out to AF Corse right at the last minute, due to non-respect of the track limits, the Mercedes crossed the line to take first in front of the Porsche and Ferrari 458.
AB Sport Auto just missed out on a podium finish, in front of the second Renault, sister car #11 driven by Van de Vyver, Carugati and Wegelin, who also earned themselves the crown of the Prestige category. Second in this race was the Porsche 991 Cup car of Mallegol, Bachelier and Blank, and third the SF V8 of team Dog Racing (drivers Boueix, Pourquié and Gasperini). The two beforementioned GTs finished second in their respective classes: GTV2 and S1 - which were dominated throughout the weekend by the #16 Porsche 991 Cup car of Racing Technology (Leherpeur/Mechaly) and the SF V8 of Solution F (Charriol/Rayneri/Silva)
LMP3/PFV: Ligier and Inter Europol Competition win comfortably
The Ginettas once again demonstrated their pace - first in qualifying, with the display of G57 prototypes on the front row: Simpson Motorsport's #57 machine, driven by Tomlinson and Simpson and Nova Race's #59 car entrusted to Magnoni and Lequeux, before once again showing the car's capabilities in the race. A few mechanical faults however opened up an opportunity for the Ligier prototypes - in particular that of Inter Europol Competition (#13) and its drivers Jakub Smiechowski and Martin Hippe.
Finally over the threat posed by the G57s, the duo managed to put a comfortable distance between themselves and the next Ligier in line - the #888 prototype of team Graff - crossing the finish line to take the victory. Second place finishers Trouillet, Rosselo and Dagoneau had to remain cautious however of rivals Fontaine, Decultot and Perroy in the #93 N'Race car, third in LMP3. Fifth overall, Kox Racing's Ligier (#48) climbed back up the standings after a difficult start to the race, to finish in a satisfying position in what was their first outing in V de V. The team finished behind the winning G57 (fourth overall): #55 of CWS Racing and Colin White, assisted by Charlie Robertson - who together take home a victory for the PFV category.
Behind the wheel of Simpson Motorsport's #50 G57: Watt, Ratenbury and Perrin finish on the second step of the PFV podium, in front of polesitters Tomlinson and Simpson who unfortunately experienced a few issues with their #57 car in the early stages.
Monoplace Challenge - Race 2: Droux fights back
After starting on pole for the second round, reigning champion David Droux (RC Formula), making an exceptional appearance in V de V this weekend, lead the race from start to end, without fault. At the beginning, Alex Peroni (TS Corse) made repeated attempts to attack the leader, yet after making a small error on the 4th lap, let him slip away into the distance. Gilles Hériau (Formula Motorsport) took matters into his own hands and instead tried to overtake the front runner - passing the chequered flag with a mere 0'5 second gap separating him from the winner.
Belgian driver Gilles Magnus (Zig Zag) also took part in the attack and completed the podium, while Grégoire Saucy (GSK Grand Prix) and Peroni, rounded off the Top-5, after the young Australian started in 8th place. Erwin Creed and Nicolas Melin, teammates at Formula Motorsport followed closely behind. Oscar Arcila (RC Formula), a strong contender for the podium, had to unfortunately abandon the race on the third lap due to a mechanical problem.
In the Gentleman class, it seemed as if Pietro Peccenini (TS Corse) would take the chequered flag for a second consecutive race, however another mechanical failure enabled Christophe Hurni to replace him on the top step of the podium. He was joined by Michel Piroird and « Lebreton », both sporting the colours of Formula Motorsport.