For the third race of the VdeV Championship at Paul Ricard, 14 Ligier and 7 Norma made up the field of LMP3 cars in the Endurance GT/Tourisme/ LMP3/FPV class. Adam Christodoulou (ENG) qualified the #33 car in 4th position. The best position so far for the #33 this year. Kuba Smiechowski qualified the #22 and started from 10th. After two hours, the #33 with Paul Scheuschner was leading and the #22 with Pontus Fredricsson behind the wheel, was in second position. The last two hours saw the #22 leading the whole way and a problem and a penalty for the #33, but Christodoulou still managed to finish 6th. Smiechowski in the #22 was the first over the finish line.
After the start of the race and in the first two hours, both Scheuschner and Fredricsson did very good steady lap times and moved to the top of the leader board. Fredricsson did six of the seven drivethroughs while the #33 had to wait to do their three drivethroughs till the last stint as both Scheuschner and Michel, the gentlemen drivers, are not allowed to take them. So, it was up to Christodoulou.
At the start of the second half of the race, the two LMP3 were second (#33) and third (#22). Michel in the #33 moved up to first and after a full hour stint handed the car over to Christodoulou, still in first place. However, during the second pit stop things went wrong for the #33 when the right front tyre was not coming off easy and it was even more difficult to put a new tyre on. Christodoulou fell back to 10th.
Smiechowski in the meantime was doing well in the #22 and moved up to first with one more drivethrough to go. Christodoulou really pushed. He then got a questionable stop and go with 0 second penalty for touching another car. Christodoulou finished the race in 6th place. Smiechowski crossed the line to take the first.
Kuba Smiechowski: “I am pretty happy with the result, obviously! The team did the great job doing the refuelling and during the pit stop. Pontus drove a really good race and brought the car forward. When I got into the car I knew we were fighting for the win and with most of the handicaps done, I knew I had to keep my pace. The car was pretty difficult as it was sliding a lot. Towards the end I was told the number two was faster than me, so I had to make sure he wouldn’t catch up with me. But the gap was stable, so I could concentrate more on making no mistakes. Good weekend overall.”
Adam Christodoulou: “It was fun, and it was definitely an interesting new experience. A great debut for me with the team and my teammates. I was really happy with the speed of all of us. It was a shame the second pit stop was did not go to plan, as I believe the podium was possible. I hope to get another possibility to drive again.”
Paul Scheuschner: “Todays performance of everybody was really good. I could overtake some cars in front of me. We were unfortunate with the first pit stop as we lost a bit of time there and got a questionable penalty but still finished in a decent position. I really like to race here as it is a challenging track and the conditions were good. I was very happy that Adam joined us. He was really a good push for the team and teamwork and am looking forward to Dijon.”
Race 1 FR2.0: second podium finish for Jonasson
Edward Jonasson started, after having electric gremlins in his engine and only having done three laps in qualifying, from 9th. After one lap, he was up to 5th. Then he started the fight for the podium. After some really good overtaking actions, and setting the fastest sector times in both sector 1 and 3, he finished third and took his second podium this year. Robert Siska put in some very steady lap times and finished 13th.
Race 2 FR2.0: Very strong racing by Jonasson
Because of yesterday’s gremlins, Jonasson had to start from the back of the 18-car field. After one lap, he was up to 8th, on lap 3 he was up to 7th and on lap 5 he was in fifth position. After an exciting battle with car number 6 and a little touch, Jonasson had to be content to finish in 5th place. He is still second in the championship. 75-year-old Robert Siska was, once again, racing steady as a rock. He finished 15th.
Next Race: VdeV Dijon 28 June – 1 July