Ligier European Series : Four different teams secure wins in Spain
The Ligier European Series got underway for the first time at the Aragon circuit in Spain on August 25 and 26. Much to the delight of the teams, the stifling heat that reigned during free practice and qualifying the day before did not affect the two races held on Saturday. But that didn't make the challenge any easier. Four different teams managed to top the podium: HPRacing by Monza Garage with the #4 Ligier JS P4 and ANS Motorsport with the #42 Ligier JS2 R in Race 1, followed by Team Virage with the #48 Ligier JS P4 and RLR MSport with the #10 Ligier JS2 R in Race 2.
• The #60 Team Virage Ligier JS P4 driven by George King and Bernardo Pinheiro set the fastest lap of the two free practice sessions. The former set a time of 2:03.798s and the latter, who was quicker, set a time of 2:02.677s.
• In the PRO-AM class, Steve Zacchia and Louis Rossi led the first session with the #50 Les Deux Arbres Ligier JS P4 in 2:05.953s. Yuki Tanaka and Julien Schell in the #16 Pegasus Racing car set the fastest lap of the second session in 2:05.183s.
• In the AM class, Kolovos Georgios-Periklis and Kaitatzis Panagiotis in the #4 HPRacing by Monza Garage Ligier JS P4 set the fastest time in session 1 with a time of 2:03.967s. In session 2, the Team Virage #1 driven by Kevin Madsen and Lance Fenton topped the timesheets with a lap of 2:04.147s.
• Two-time winner of the Castellet Heat in the GT category and driver of the #42 ANS Motorsport Ligier JS2 R, Julien Lemoine, continued his fine form. He set the fastest lap overall and in the AM class during session 1 in 2:11.284s, then again during session 2 in 2:10.342s.
For the results of free practice 1, CLICK HERE.
For the results of free practice 2, CLICK HERE.
• Bernardo Pinheiro in the #60 Team Virage Ligier JS P4 secured his first pole position of the season with a lap of 2:02.004s for race 1.
• Mihnea Stefan in the #48 Team Virage took his revenge in the second qualifying session. He took pole position for race 2 with a lap of 2:01.346s. It was his fourth pole since the start of the season.
• In the GT category, Julien Lemoine in the #42 ANS Motorsport Ligier JS2 R took pole position for Race 1 with a time of 2:10.261s (and the fastest time in the AM class). It was his second pole of the season.
• The second qualifying session was dominated by Maximus Mayer in the #10 Ligier JS2 R of RLR MSport. The Spanish driver set the fastest lap in the class with a time of 2:10.009s. He is the only driver to have taken pole position at every meeting.
For the results of qualifying 1, CLICK HERE.
For the results of qualifying 2, CLICK HERE.
Race 1: Success for HPRacing by Monza Garage and ANS Motorsport
JS P4 category
• The #60 Ligier JS P4 of Team Virage (Bernardo Pinheiro and George King) kept the lead at the start. Behind, its sister car, the #48 driven by Mihnea Stefan, was surprised by the #17 Pegasus Racing car, driven by Dimitri Enjalbert (and Anthony Nahra).
• A long battle for third place began between the #16 Pegasus Racing car (Julien Schell and Yuki Tanaka) and the #48. A number of battles ensued. A drive-through penalty applied to the #48 (for overstepping the limits of the track) brought the duel to an end.
• The pit stop window opened and the track became humid. The #16 Ligier JS P4 took the gamble of putting on rain tyres. It took the lead ahead of the #60 and the #4 (Panagiotis Kaitatzis and Georgios-Periklis Kolovos).
• The #60 Ligier JS P4 regained the lead. It was followed by the #4, the #7 (Simone Riccitelli and Jacopo Mazza), the #48, the #16 and the #50 of Les Deux Arbres (Steve Zacchia and Louis Rossi). A yellow flag was out after a car stopped on the track.
• At the restart, the #50 JS P4 overtook the #16 and attacked the #48. The two cars were neck and neck and the #48 spun. The #7 Ligier JS P4 was overtaken by the #50, which took third place. Having run out of fuel, the #60 slowed down in the final moments and stopped on the track.
• The #4 HPRacing by Monza Garage Ligier JS P4 crossed the finish line in first place. It was the first overall victory of the season for the team and for Greek duo Georgios-Periklis Kolovos and Kaitatzis Panagiotis, who also won the AM class. The #50 Les Deux Arbres with Steve Zacchia and Louis Rossi came second and won the PRO-AM class. The podium was rounded off by the #7 LR Motorsport with Simone Riccitelli and Jacopo Mazza, who also set the fastest lap of the race in 2:02.521s (set by Simone Riccitelli).
JS2 R category
• The #10 Ligier JS2 R of RLR MSport with Maximus Mayer immediately took the lead.
• Moments after coming out of his mandatory pit stop, the #10 driver spun following a technical incident. He returned to the pits with his team the following lap before being forced to retire. The #42 then took control of the race with the #43 and #86 behind it.
• David Rodorigo overtook Julien Lemoine with vigour to take the lead. The Italian driver crossed the finish line in the lead, but a penalty for making contact with the #42 as he overtook dropped him back to second place.
• Julien Lemoine and ANS Motorsport took their third overall victory. The #86 Les Deux Arbres with Jacques Nicolet and Bastien Ostian finished third. The fastest lap of the race was set by Maximus Mayer in 2:10.656s.
For the results of race 1, CLICK HERE.
Race 2: Team Virage and RLR MSport bring the weekend of competition in Spain to a victorious close
JS P4 category
• George King in the #60 Team Virage Ligier JS P4, fired up by his missed win in race 1, attacked his team-mate Mihnea Stefan in the #48 right from the start. The Romanian then lost second place to Panagiotis Kaitatzis in the #4 HPRacing by Monza Garage car.
• The #50 of Les Deux Arbres and the Steve Zacchia / Louis Rossi duo stopped on the track. The safety car was deployed and the crew was forced to retire. At the restart, Mihnea Stefan regained second place.
• The #48 Ligier JS P4 went on the offensive and overtook the #60. But George King was still hot on Mihnea Stefan's heels.
• After the pitstops, the #1 Ligier JS P4 with Lance Fenton (and Kevin Madsen) was in the lead. The #4 of HPRacing by Monza Garage was second ahead of the #60, itself ahead of the #48.
• Mihnea Stefan again overtook the #60. The Romanian even found himself in second place, the #4 having gone off to carry out its drive-through penalty (for off-track overtaking). Third-placed Bernardo Pinheiro found himself exposed to a new threat in the shape of Simone Riccitelli in the #7 LR Motorsport car.
• Mihnea Stefan managed to retake the lead. The #7 Ligier JS P4 swapped its fourth place for the third of the #60. A second safety car entered the track after a GT had stopped. At the restart, the #48 took off, determined to finish the weekend better than it had started.
• Mihnea Stefan took his fifth win of the season. Simone Riccitelli and Jacopo Mazza in the #7 LR Motorsport car took their second podium of the day with the second place. George King and Bernardo Pinheiro finished third to claim their fifth podium of the season. George King set the fastest lap of the race in 2:02.490s.
• The American duo of the #1 Team Virage Lance Fenton / Kevin Madsen won the AM category after a post-race penalty was given to the Greek duo of the #4 HPRacing by Monza Garage.
JS2 R category
• Maximus Mayer in the #10 RLR MSport Ligier JS2 R made an excellent start from pole position and slipped between several Ligier JS P4s. The #42 of ANS Motorsport driven by Julien Lemoine and the #29 of Pegasus Racing with Jordan Meyer made contact and immediately returned to the pits. The #29 was forced to retire. After spending around fifteen minutes in the pits for repairs, the #42 went to the track again.
• The mandatory pit stop allowed the #43 Ligier JS2 R (David Rodorigo) to emerge ahead of the #10 RLR MSport. The two GTs were followed by the #86 Les Deux Arbres (Jacques Nicolet and Bastien Ostian). The tenacious Maximus Mayer followed David Rodorigo closely until he finally took the lead back again.
• ANS Motorsport saw its Ligier JS2 R immobilised on track. The safety car was deployed to evacuate the #42, which retired.
• After several victories in the PRO-AM class with his team-mate Simon Butler (absent from the Aragon Heat), Maximus Mayer won the overall race for the first time. He also set the fastest lap of the race in 2:10.71s. Jacques Nicolet and Bastien Ostian in the #86 Les Deux Arbres took the second step of the podium to win the AM class. David Rodorigo in the #43 LR Motorsport car rounded off the podium.
For the results of race 2, CLICK HERE.
The fifth meeting of the Ligier European Series comes in a month's time at Spa-Francorchamps. The Competitors will return to the action in Belgium on 22 and 23 September.