SIGNATECH-NISSAN’s G-DRIVE team arrived on the SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS circuit with legitimate podium ambitions but the loss of a rear wheel, as yet unexplained, wrecked all their hopes. Pierre Ragues, behind the wheel when it happened, was positioning the car so that his co-drivers could finish the job and fight for the final victory.
Roman Rusinov took the wheel next after a thirty minute stop in the stands and after two very good relays passed his seat on to Nelson Panciatici.
The young G-DRIVE by SIGNATECH-NISSAN driver then launched into the battle while keeping in mind that his objective was to learn to manage the traffic and bring the car back intact. This would not stop him from making the third best time in LMP2, two small tenths of a second behind first before running into a gear change problem.
Nelson: “I spent more energy watching the television screens to follow my co-drivers than I did in the car! It’s incredible how we share the emotions. This weekend was really valuable for me, I learnt a lot and I’m starting to get into the competition. Our ORECA is well balanced which means we are fast throughout a relay. I feel I’ve found my place in the team, in difficult moments they don’t miss a trick and I know that with Pierre and Roman we have the means to do something great together. Looking back doesn’t help much, I prefer to focus on the future. We could say that I passed my entrance exam this weekend!”
For Philippe Sinault, although frustrated, he knows that there is light at the end of the tunnel:
“Difficult weekend… With the times we made in the race and in free practice 2 by Nelson, we should have been able to achieve something here at Spa. But the gods of Belgium didn’t grant our wish. The Panciatici-Ragues-Rusinov team is balanced. Spa was their first outing and we have to rehearse before Le Mans… For a first, the whole team behaved well and without the loss of that wheel, still unexplained, we could have had a very good result for our first race.”
The whole G-DRIVE by SIGNATECH-NISSAN team will be on the Magny-Cours circuit next week for night trials in their continuing preparation for the coming Le Mans 24 Hours, culmination of the season which looks to be tightly fought in the LMP2 category.
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