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Old 11-24-2011, 07:45 AM
v de v v de v is offline
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Press report V de V Endurance Estoril

V de V Proto Endurance Challenge
V de V Estoril 6 hours
“Hat-trick!”


Starting from pole position in n°19, Lionel Robert did a fantastic job, complemented by Jean-Claude Poirier and finished off by Fabien “la balle” Rosier, who was first past the chequered flag, much to the delight of Extrême Limite. Nonetheless, the win – which was a ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy season for this car – could not eclipse the third title in succession for the Palmyr team thanks to Norma n°1 and the Mondolot-Zollinger duo.

2011 finished in style. We were treated to a 4-way battle for the title between Grégory Fargier, in car n°3, Bruno Bazaud in n°69, the Rihon-Padmore pairing - joint-leaders since their Magny-Cours win – and the Zollinger-Mondolot double act, with two Championships already to their name. This would prove a tough race, made all the more difficult – like qualifying – by the rain.

Robert started from pole in car n°19 from Extrême Limite, but Zollinger quickly took the lead. He would lose it later thanks to a “splash-and-dash” refuelling stop later under a Safety Car, caused by a coming-together between Marc Faggionato in n°3, who was caught out by Ayrton Senna Curve towards the end of the first hour. Nick Padmore it was, in car 34 for TFT, who took over the lead, remaining there until the end of his first stint. This was the moment the rain chose to wet the tarmac just to the point where intermediate tyres were required, but only briefly. Then the rain came back.

Cut to the mid-point of the race and n°1 led with Mondolot at the wheel. He was pursued admirably by Philippe Thirion driving n°69. Thirion may have been out of the title race, but was keen to do everything to help his friend Bruno Bazaud, who was hopping up and down with impatience before his stint. A stint that wasn’t until the end. Car 19, now being driven by Poirier was third with a lap in hand, but then Robert went back out for another hour – to brilliant effect! He climbed the leader board, handing over to Fabien Rosier a car in first place, ideally set for the end of the race. But Fabien had to fight to get past the hard-but-fair Zollinger, who only had one thing on his mind: FINISHING.

Meanwhile, Manuel De Mello Breyner and his brother Pedro, natives of Cascais - the other seaside resort on this coast apart from Estoril - suddenly got a taste of fame when they pitted to change over. A hoard of about thirty photographers crowded around the car. Julien Schell and the Pegasus team once more took the two brothers to the top step of the Open podium, with their Ligier JS51 n°27. Nonetheless, it was Massimo Vignali who took the crown in this class, following a difficult - yet successful - season in the Ligier JS49 n°49 from If Motorsport, plus a second place in Estoril with Pierre Renom. Philippe Papin, Maxence De Leenheer and Léo Roussel came third in n°20, for Extrême Limite.

And they all went on to finish – in the rain, in the dark, with Extrême Limite as winners, ahead of n°1 and n°2, of Swiss drivers, Bernard and Fabien Thuner, father and son. It was a joyful podium, heralding with David Zollinger, Philippe Mondolot and the whole Palmyr team’s third title in succession. Bruno Bazaud was runner-up, whilst Jean-Lou Rihon and Nick Padmore finished third. A great party – in true Palmyr style – rounded off another successful Proto Endurance season.

Here’s to next year!

V de V GT/Touring Endurance Challenge
V de V Estoril 6 hours
“Passing the Baton”


Starting from third, Gibon, Bourret and Belloc drove their own sweet race and won the final instalment of their wonderful partnership with Imsa. The team won its second successive title through the good work of Anthony Pons, who never let the n°2 Ferrari past in the final hour, providing his team with a magnificent one-two to cap a dream of a season.

Conditions were tricky at the start, despite the sunshine, meaning the race got underway behind the Safety Car. The green flag came out after three laps and Xavier Pompidou, starting from pole position in Mosler n°5, had his thunder stolen by Anthony Beltoise, who wasted no time in setting the fastest lap and opening up a gap. This gap was quickly closed during the first Safety Car deployment, then the second and then a third. The incident-packed race proved how difficult this circuit really is.

At the halfway stage n°1 was comfortably in front with Gibon, Bourret and Belloc ahead of 76, driven at this stage by Raymond Narac, who was closing in like a missile. The n°2 Ferrari was a lap down, but holding a solid third place. This trio remained the same right to the end, because despite Jean-Bernard Bouvet’s efforts to catch Anthony Pons, the latter was not caught out and showed that he had a bit of pace to spare. He held out, providing Imsa Performance with a one-two, in addition to another Championship. A title that crowned a dream season, against tough opponents. A highly promising first season.

The GTV2 class was dominated for a long time by Beltoise, Martinet and Tremblay in°65 thanks to sterling work by the pro driver. But n°35 from Porsche Lorient, driven at the start by Tony Samon, who handed over to team-principal Frédéric Ancel, barely had time to show its face before an overheated engine caused retirement. The way looked clear, especially as Porsche n°3 of Eric Mouez and David Loger found themselves in a difficult position at the start of the race when they went off the track to avoid the SFV8 n°95 doing the same thing. But Loger was fired up, which meant a trademark comeback. Following a race littered with plot-twists and the fickle hand of fate – including a puncture – he went on to win with teammate Eric Mouez, an eighth win in eight races in GTV2, pocketing the title at the same time. Behind him in the standings were Martinet, Tremblay and Beltoise who wrung his car’s neck in the last half hour to snatch second in class from the n°23 Audi R8, which nevertheless scored a first podium in its first GT/Touring race this season for Metaxa and Santal.

GTV3 was on a knife-edge right to the end, with Stepec and Prignaud in car 56 having a very tough race. They finished with no front or rear bumper, but still came through to second place, proudly earning them and their RMS team the title of class champions. It was a title also coveted by Jérémy Alloin, in Porsche n°67 from the Almeras team, ably assisted by son Philippe – a pro driver in his own right, and who won on Sunday to the delight of Jean-Louis Alloin, who watched his son finish runner-up in his first season of endurance racing. Third place in this thrill-packed race went to Porsche Lorient Racing, thanks to n°34 driven by Giauque and Armengol.

Both the race and the title in GTV4 were won by Bob Arezina and Philippe Burel, at the wheel of their Polybaie 996 Cup n°41, ahead of Vincenot and Bachelier in car 64.

The two Ginetta G50s from the Escuela Espanola de Pilotos, finished ninth and tenth overall. Oliver Campos and Kostas Kanaroglou won the race, whilst Portuguese drivers Lorena and Bastos, alongside British teammate Clucas, won the class championship.

Here’s to next year!
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:47 PM
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faksta faksta is offline
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v_de_v, great you've come here with some highlights of the series. Are there any videos of full races online? That would have been interesting, especially for Proto Endurance division.

Also, how are BioRacing cars compared to CN and C3 protos? 4.0L against 2.0L and 1.6L... And judging by the pictures, they're still not quite in front.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:26 AM
v de v v de v is offline
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Hello, Thank you for all your nice post. Sorry for late reply. Concerning the video, of course you can visit our website http://www.vdev.tv with all videos of the season.

Secondly, The Bioracing compared to CN & C3 have much less power...

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Old 12-12-2011, 12:57 AM
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faksta faksta is offline
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Oh, thank you! Seen this reply too late. At least I know what I'll be looking for some days during a winter break in all major series Hope to see the series in person someday.
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