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Progress at Imola

First round abroad this season. Imola is a circuit steeped in history. He gave me real pleasure behind the wheel of the #72.


I had never driven on the Italian circuit. Thursday was, for me, dedicated to discovering the 19 turns of the circuit. After breaking in the brake pads for the weekend, I was then able to fully use the car's performance. I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to this new route. At the end of the first day, my best lap placed us in 10th place, just 0.8 seconds from the lead.

Attack on the Alta variant – Photo credit: Jules BEAUMONT


FRIDAY – OFFICIAL FREE PRACTICE

As at Castellet, we had 2 Free Practices (FP) sessions of one hour each and a session reserved for “Bronze”, so it was Alexandre who benefited from this additional session. Thanks to the work done the day before, we were off to a good start for the day. We did, however, continue to work on slight adjustments to the car. The vibrators and numerous bumps on the circuit made work difficult for the mechanics!

I haven't talked about it until now but the heat didn't make it easy for us (over 30° degrees in the shade). The importance of physical preparation takes on its full meaning in these moments. I didn't suffer from it at all.

The end of the day is ultra positive with my 5th time in FP2! We are ready for the next day.


At the entrance to Tamburello – Photo credit: Jules BEAUMONT


SATURDAY – RACE DAY

Saturday begins with the qualifying session with my teammate at the wheel. The traffic of the 32 LMP3s is dense over the 4.9km of the circuit. Despite Alexandre's constant progress, we had set the 24th time. The times were very tight. An attack race awaited us.

In the race, we were forced to start from the pits one lap behind. Alexandre provided, as at Castellet, the first racing relay. The race was seriously disrupted by constant incidents. The satefy-cars and period of Full Course Yellow (FCW, period of limitations at 80km/h for all competitors) followed one another. When Alexandre handed over to me, we were in 30th position. After a difficult stop, I gave my all to get back up. I signed up for fast laps straight away. Unfortunately, the car left us 20 minutes from the finish. We were forced to abandon.

Mechanical problems are part of sport. No one is to blame for this incident. Definitely, a complicated Saturday for us. Despite everything, I remember our very good pace throughout the meeting.


Warming up just before the race – Photo credit: Jules BEAUMONT


Plus, I know that we learn more in difficult times than happy times!

THANKS

I would like to thank the entire Virage team for providing us with a high-performance car from the first laps. The race unfortunately did not allow us to reveal our great progress, it has only been postponed.


Thank you also to my partners for supporting me and allowing me, every day, to get closer to my goals:

Sarthe Objectif 24, EA Immobilier, NGC Assurances, SOMTP Ouest, Department of Sarthe, Crédit Agricole Anjou Maine, City of Spay


I also thank the Endurance Sector, Team MAM for the top physical and mental preparation. Despite the heat and the events of Saturday, I remain highly motivated and even better armed!


As for me, I'll see you for THE EVENT of the year. See you at Le Mans during the 24 hours of Le Mans for the two opening races of the most beautiful race in the world!!!


Can’t wait to get back behind the wheel on the 13,626 m of “GRAND” Le Mans!

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