Ligier European Series: Team Virage and ANS Motorsport see double at Le Castellet.
The third round of the Ligier European Series ended on a high note for Team Virage and ANS Motorsport at Le Castellet. On Saturday July 15, the two teams each claimed a double victory with Mihnea Stefan (Ligier JS P4 #48, Team Virage) and Julien Lemoine (Ligier JS2 R #42, ANS Motorsport). This further strengthened their lead in the provisional overall standings in their respective categories.
Free practice 1
• Mihnea Stefan (overall championship leader) in the #48 Team Virage Ligier JS P4 set the fastest lap of 2:00.043s.
• In the PRO-AM class, the #50 Les Deux Arbres Ligier JS P4 with Steve Zacchia and Louis Rossi was fastest in 2:01.065s
• In the AM class, the #1 Team Virage Ligier JS P4 with Lance Fenton and Kevin Madsen set the quickest time of 2:01.402s.
• In the JS2 R class, the #10 RLR MSport Ligier JS2 R (Maximus Mayer and Simon Butler) topped the first session overall and in the PRO-AM class with a time of 2:08.099s.
• In the AM class, the ANS Motorsport #42 driven by Julien Lemoine was fastest in 2:08.229s.
For the results of free practice 1, CLICK HERE.
Free practice 2
• The new PRO-AM crew in the #4 HPRacing by Monza Garage Ligier JS P4, made up of father/son duo Nicola and Daniele Cazzaniga, set the fastest lap of 2:00.006s overall and in class.
• In AM, Team Virage's Ligier JS P4 #1 was once again the quickest with a time of 2:02.299s.
• On the JS2 R side, the #10 Ligier JS2 R is once again the fastest overall and in PRO-AM class with a time of 2:07.636s.
• The same goes for the #42 which, in the AM class, leads its rivals with a time of 2:08.429s.
For the results of free practice 2, CLICK HERE.
• The #4 HPRacing by Monza Garage Ligier JS P4 (PRO-AM class) took pole position overall for Race 1 with a lap of 1:59.155s.
• Pole for Race 2 went to Mihnea Stefan in the #48 Team Virage car. With a lap of 1:59.218s, it was the Romanian driver's third pole of the season.
• Once again, Maximus Mayer in the #10 RLR MSport Ligier JS2 R won qualifying with a lap of 2:06.619s. He is poleman for race 1. Since the season kicked off in Barcelona in April, the driver has topped every qualifying session in which he has taken part.
• In session 2, Julien Lemoine in the AM-ranked #42 ANS Motorsport car claimed his first pole of the season in the overall standings with a best time of 2:08.426s.
For the results of qualifying 1, CLICK HERE.
For the results of qualifying 2, CLICK HERE.
Race 1: Mihnea Stefan (Team Virage) and Julien Lemoine (ANS Motorsport) triumph after a thrilling race
JS P4 category
• An incident at the start of the race between the pole-sitting #4 Ligier JS P4 of HPRacing by Monza Garage and the #60 of Team Virage (George King and Bernardo Pinheiro) resulted in the retirement of the #4 car. The collision benefited the #7 Ligier JS P4 (Simone Riccitelli and Jacopo Mazza) and the #48, both of which escaped at the front. A relentless series of overtaking manoeuvres between the two sport-prototypes then got underway, with both cars running wheel-to-wheel.
• Mid race (after the mandatory pit stops) the #48 Ligier JS P4 was in the lead. Less than three minutes before the end, the #7 stopped on the pit straight, causing the safety car to come out.
• The #48 Ligier JS P4 still took its third win of the season, while the #60 gave the team another one-two finish in second place (with George King setting the fastest lap of the race in 2:00.083s). The #50 of Les Deux Arbres (Louis Rossi and Steve Zacchia) finished third overall and first in PRO-AM.
• Team Virage's #1 finished top of the AM class.
JS2 R category
• The #10 Ligier JS2 R of RLR MSport (Maximus Mayer and Simon Butler) put in an excellent first stint. But then, the #10 saw its lead shrink after a 10-second penalty (for failing to follow the route indicated by the race stewards in the event of running off the track).
• Halfway through the race, the #10 Ligier JS2 R remained in front after the mandatory pit stop. But it was overtaken by the #42, which took the lead.
• After finishing second in the first three races of the season, Julien Lemoine in the #42 ANS Motorsport Ligier JS2 R finally claimed his first ever overall victory. The #43 LR Motorsport car (David Rodorigo) was second, while the #10 RLR MSport car was third, with Maximus Mayer setting the fastest lap of 2:06.742s.
• The #10 Ligier JS2 R finished top of the PRO-AM class and the #42 of the AM class.
For the results of race 1, CLICK HERE.
Race 2: Mihnea Stefan (Team Virage) and Julien Lemoine (ANS Motorsport) each make it two victories on the day
JS P4 category
• Mihnea Stefan's Ligier JS P4 (#48 Team Virage) very quickly created a gap over the other sport-prototypes.
• A game of cat and mouse began between the #50 of Les Deux Arbres (Steve Zacchia) and the #60 of Team Virage (Bernardo Pinheiro). Bernardo Pinheiro finally got the upper hand.
• After the pitstops, the #1 Ligier JS P4 of Team Virage with Lance Fenton took the lead. Mihnea Stefan was second and quickly regained the front of the race.
• Mihnea Stefan took his second double victory of the season after Barcelona. Team Virage's #48 Ligier JS P4 was joined on the podium by its sister car the #60 (George King and Bernardo Pinheiro), which finished second for the second time of the day. The #7 of LR Motorsport crossed the line in third place, but dropped back to fourth after a late-race penalty. The #75 rounded off the podium.
• Nicola and Daniele Cazzaniga in the #4 HPRacing by Monza Garage Ligier JS P4 won the PRO-AM class and set the fastest lap of the race in 2:00.991s (with Daniele Cazzaniga).
• Lance Fenton and Kevin Madsen in the Team Virage #1 Ligier JS P4 added another AM class win to their tally.
JS2 R category
• The #42 Ligier JS2 R of ANS Motorsport with Julien Lemoine maintained its lead at the start.
• Behind them, the #43 of LR Motorsport (David Rodorigo), the #86 of Les Deux Arbres (Jacques Nicolet) and the #95 of CTF Performance (Gilles Poret) battled for second place.
• After the pitstops, the #42 Ligier JS2 maintained its position, followed by the #43 and the #95.
• David Rodorigo stepped up the pressure on Julien Lemoine. The Italian driver managed to steal the lead from him. But a driving error cost him his place, to the benefit of the #42, which returned to the lead.
• The #42 ANS Motorsport Ligier JS2 R continued its winning ways, taking its second overall victory of the weekend by a margin of 9 seconds over the #43 LR Motorsport car. The latter scored its fifth podium of the season.
• The #10 of RLR MSport finished third with the fastest lap of the race set by Maximus Mayer in 2:06.742s, and first in PRO-AM.
• In AM, it was the ANS Motorsport #42 which took the win.
For the results of race 2, CLICK HERE.
The weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard draws to a close. The summer break will be brief this year, as the Ligier European Series resumes on 25 and 26 August. The championship will visit the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain for the first time.
For more information about the Ligier JS P4, CLICK HERE.
For more information about the Ligier JS2 R, CLICK HERE.