DAYTONA 24 Hours Classic - We won !
Dear friends and customers,
We are back from the Daytona 24h Classic: what an incredible event and pleasure just to drive on the banking. We had four cars entered for 5 drivers and were supported by a technical team of 14 .
The Lola 70 Mk111b driven by Gerard Lopez, Frantz Wallenborn and Richard Meaden had an uneventful race, winning three races out of the four comfortably managing its one lap lead. The drivers were exceedingly quick lapping four or five seconds quicker than the other Lolas. Only a McLaren Canam driven by a professional driver was able to keep up with this pace but a lap behind.
The Dallara-Judd LMP900 ran faultlessly; the car had been completely rebuilt prior to the race and needed only fuel, tyres and a full set up. The first two races were driven at a good pace at the end of which my lead amounted to 1min 30sec. Races 3 and 4 were ran at a slightly slower pace and finished with a lead of 1min 41sec. However Florent Moulin was able to win solo all four races.
Amongst the other great memories of the event, figures largely the amazing qualifying time of Hernandez/Gachet in 1min 44.3sec with the mighty Saleen S7R, only 9/10ths from that of Bourdais and the Ford GT at the 2017 Daytona 24h. The “old” GT1s have still a lot of potential. Imagine what the car’s time would be with Michelin development tyres and a week of testing? For certain it was one of the most popular and spectacular cars.
The Corvette C7R is an incredible machine with an exceptional chassis capable of astounding speeds in the turns. Our technical team and our race engineer under Frédéric Ducastel’s supervision optimised all the car’s systems to maximise its performance. The car was unbeatable in the GT class in Group E but a driver who had already spun on the formation lap and again lost control of his Daytona Prototype on the third turn in race two collided hard with the right rear of our car. After a slow return to the pits, the car was checked and a damaged wheel replaced. In spite of pushing hard , a win in GT was not possible so we preferred to withdraw the car for the last race so that the drivers could concentrate on the Lola’s race and keep the car in one piece.
Our drivers Gérard Lopez, Frantz Wallenborn, Bruno Hernandez, Richard Meaden and Simon Gachet enjoyed a great week with no errors at the wheel, all contributing to this superb racing venture.
It has given us a lot of pleasure to see our cars achieve these wins via Iconic Racing, and there is no better way of launching this great motorsport adventure.
The racing calendar for 2018 will be announced in January.