24H SERIES: The Ligier JS2 R wins in the 24 Hours of Dubai in TCX
First race of the year in the blazing heat of Dubai for the opening round of the 24H SERIES, the 24 Hours of Dubai. And first pole position in TCX on Thursday 13 January 2022 for the #202 Ligier JS2 R endurance car of Les Deux Arbres, which even finished ahead of the TCRs. On Saturday 15 January, it won the TCX category. A promising start to the season for the French manufacturer and its endurance GT.
The 2022 sports season started with the inaugural round of the 24H SERIES in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Among the 80 cars entered, four Ligier JS2 R endurance cars in the TCX category: the #202 of Les Deux Arbres with Antoine Lepesqueux, Steve Zacchia and Christophe Bouchut, the #207 of Orhès Racing with Micael Da Costa, Franck Dallavalle, José Fernandes, Benjamin Rivière and Rocco Spano as well as the #295 and #296 of CTF Performance, driven by Fabien Delaplace, Gilles Poret, Laurent Piguet and Nicolas Beraud.
TCX pole position and fastest lap time in TCE
After private testing, the meeting kicked off on 13 January with free practice and three qualifying sessions. The Ligier JS2 R #202 of Les Deux Arbres took pole position in the TCX category. With its best time of the three sessions in 2:09.278s it was the fastest of all the TCEs, ahead of the TCRs. CTF Performance's #295 started from third place and Orhès Racing's #207 from fifth in the TCX class.
TCX win for the #202 Les Deux Arbres Ligier JS2 R
On Saturday 14 January, the start was given at 3pm local time. During the first two hours of the race, the #202, #295 and #207 Ligier JS2 Rs occupied the first three places in the TCX class and fought for the top spot.
From the fourth hour, the #202 of Les Deux Arbres took the lead. At the halfway point, it had a seven lap lead over its closest competitor. A gap that is getting bigger and bigger and that assures its victory of the category twelve hours later. It also set the fastest lap in the TCX race in 2:11.879s.
All the Ligier JS2 Rs crossed the finishing line
After having played at the front at the beginning of the race, the CTF Performance Ligier JS2 R #295 was hit by a competitor while in second place. The right side of the car was damaged. The #295 went into the pits and stayed there for almost forty five minutes. The team's hopes of a podium finish vanished. But it did not give up. At the halfway point the car was sixth. After 14 hours of competition, it gained one place and finished the race fifth of the TCX category.
For the Ligier JS2 R #207 of Orhès Racing the race was more eventful: leading the TCX category during the second and third hour of the race, it was victim of a mechanical problem that forced it to stop in the pits for several hours. The GT finished ninth.
A promising start of the season for the Ligier JS2 R
Pole position, best TCE time in qualifying, victory in TCX and all cars at the finish. The Ligier JS2 R endurance campaign in the 24H SERIES championship is off to a strong start. For the 6 Hours of Abu Dhabi, the second round of the 24H SERIES scheduled on January 22, three Ligier JS2 Rs are entered by three different teams. Only the #202 Ligier JS2 R of Les Deux Arbres will compete again. It will be joined by the #217 team of PCR, the Spanish team that participated with its Ligier JS2 R in the CER in Spain in 2021, and by the #215 of the French team SKR Racing, a regular in the French single-type championship, the Ligier JS Cup France.
For the full results of the 24 Hours of Dubai, CLICK HERE.
Photo credit: Gregory Cavazzini