DS Virgin Racing unveils Formula E season four challenger

Press release – Versailles, 22nd november 2017

  • Team’s most iconic moments celebrated in new launch film
  • Unveil coincides with anniversary of team’s maiden victory
  • First E-Prix of 2017/2018 season to take place in Hong Kong on December 2 & 3

DS Virgin Racing has today launched its season four Formula E car – the DSV-03 – ahead of the opening rounds in Hong Kong, and coinciding with the anniversary of the team’s maiden victory.

The fully-electric single-seater features an enhanced livery in the team’s now familiar purple, red and silver colour scheme, with subtle tweaks throughout. Under the cover, the experts at DS Performance have worked on further optimising the performance and efficiency of the car, including a new upgraded software system.

In the cockpit sees the first ever all-British driver pairing of Sam Bird and Alex Lynn. Bird, 30, has competed in all 33 of the team’s race starts, securing five wins and nine podiums along the way to make him the third highest Formula E points scorer to date. Meanwhile, Lynn, 24, will embark on his first full-time campaign following his impressive debut last season in which he secured pole position at his first attempt; becoming one of only two drivers to have ever done so.

Today’s unveil also marks three years to the day since the team’s first ever win during the Putrajaya E-Prix in 2014 with Sam Bird at the wheel. This provided the inspiration behind the team’s new launch film, which celebrates the outfit’s heritage, successes and most iconic moments – both on and off the track – including the incredible double victory during last season’s inaugural New York E-Prix.

The 2017/2018 FIA Formula E Championship begins in Hong Kong on December 2 and 3 with a double-header set around the Central Harbourfront and overlooking the city’s skyscraper backdrop. The 10-turn route extends 1.86km along Lung Wo Road, Man Yiu Street and Yiu Sing Street, and marks the second consecutive year for the city to host the event. The circuit remains largely unchanged from last season aside from a revised chicane at Turns 3 & 4, with the drivers reaching speeds of up to 200kph at the quickest point. New for this year will be two races of varying distances (43 and 45 laps) to add an extra element to the racing strategy.

DS Virgin Racing also continues with its strong partner line-up into season four with DS Automobiles, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Kaspersky and Total.

DS Virgin Racing Team Principal Alex Tai said: “As one of only three teams to have won in every season, for sure, our aim is to continue our winning ways into season four. We have two very strong drivers in Sam and Alex, a quick car and a fantastic, experienced team, so we have all the elements needed to make a real impact in Hong Kong and beyond.”

Driver Sam Bird said: “It’s always difficult to predict what will happen ahead of a new season but for sure we’ve got a good package and we’re ready to come out fighting. We had a series of very strong results towards the end of last season, which gave us a solid platform to develop on over the summer so hopefully this can translate into strong results.”

Team-mate Alex Lynn said: “I’m very excited heading into my first full Formula E season. It’s an amazing opportunity and one I can’t wait to grasp and showcase what I can do. Preparations have gone really well, from testing and simulator work through to fitness. With DS Virgin Racing, I know I have a great team behind me and a very experienced team-mate alongside me, so I can’t wait to go racing.”

DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan Pinon added: “It’s great to start the season in such an iconic city as Hong Kong, and we’re looking forward to seeing the DSV-03 back on track. We achieved very positive pre-season testing results and this year, we will be able to start the season on the front foot, which is crucial when aiming for the win.”

Signatech Alpine Matmut sign off in style!

  • After starting from pole position in Bahrain for the third year running, the no.36 Signatech Alpine Matmut crew ended the six-hour race in fourth place.

  • Having suffered substantial degradation of their tyres at the start of the race, Lapierre, Negrão and Menezes then gambled on their tyre choice.

  • Alpine finishes third in the FIA WEC’s Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams.

Still in contention for the world title, Signatech Alpine Matmut arrived in Bahrain solely focused on winning the race. Fourth in the free practice sessions held on Thursday, the team upped their pace the next day in qualifying.

André Negrão and Gustavo Menezes produced a superb performance to set an average time of 1:47.227 and secure pole position in the LMP2 category, almost 4/10ths clear of the two crews ahead of them in the overall standings.

In spite of the point scored for pole position, the situation remained the same for the no.36 Alpine A470 drivers, who simply had to win in order to have a chance of retaining their title! Nicolas Lapierre led at the start, ahead of Oliver Jarvis (no.38) and Bruno Senna (no.31), whose battle allowed Vitaly Petrov (no.25) to get past at the restart following the SC period.

Held up by the traffic and with premature wear of his hard tyres, Nico decided not to put up a fight when he came under pressure from the Russian. The team decided to alter its strategy as a result, fitting two medium tyres on the left during its first pit stop. After rejoining the track in seventh place, the Frenchman adopted a pace intended to manage his tyres, in order to complete a triple stint as night fell on the Bahrain International Circuit.

At the end of the second hour, André Negrão took over from Nicolas Lapierre. The Brazilian went on the attack, moving up through the field during two stints before handing over driving duties to Gustavo Menezes, who also pushed during his double stint.

With 1 hr 20 mins left to go, Nicolas Lapierre got back behind the wheel to drive the car to the finish. The various strategies of the crews played out and the no.36 Alpine A470 remained in fourth position despite the efforts of the Frenchman.

Thanks to the points scored, Signatech Alpine Matmut sealed third place in the LMP2 championship standings. Although the French squad had to relinquish the title it brilliantly won in 2016, the entire Signatech Alpine Matmut team is proud of what they have accomplished this season.

Quote, unquote

Bernard Ollivier, Alpine Deputy Managing Director
“We can’t be anything other than disappointed, not so much for the title, which needed a lot of different things to happen that were out of our control, but more with this fourth place, which was the logical outcome in the end. We had wanted to maximise our chances of winning with a tyre compound that had proven to be incredibly efficient in Austin. We made a mistake, and it proved to be a very costly one. I would nevertheless like to highlight the excellent stints of our drivers, and especially the fightback of André. Despite this frustrating result, everyone gave their absolute maximum and the team stayed completely united throughout. That is what has helped us to put together a fine series of podiums, even if we always aimed for more. Our two rivals have been very consistent. They deserved to beat us in this race and this season. This year, the level of the teams, engineers and drivers has gone up a notch in LMP2.”

Philippe Sinault, Signatech Alpine Matmut Team Principal
“Despite the impressive style with which we secured our third consecutive pole position on this track, our task was always going to be very tough. The aim was to win the race and we take full responsibility for the risk taken at the start. The weather conditions seemed to suggest that hard tyres were the right choice. Unfortunately, we noted an unusually high level of degradation on the second stint. We had wanted to compensate for this by putting mediums on the left side, whilst also bringing forward the shortest of the nine stints planned. But it wasn’t enough, because we lost thirty-three seconds in eleven laps. We weren’t able to fight as we would have liked, even though we cut the deficit to twenty-three seconds in the second part of the race. But we shouldn’t let today’s result cast a shadow over what has been a fine year. We have been consistent and we managed to pick up our form after a difficult start to finish third. We have been challenging for wins since September, but we were too aggressive today. Congratulations to the champions!”

Signatech Alpine Matmut n°36

Nicolas Lapierre
“It was a difficult race, with a disappointing outcome. We made the wrong call at the start and we paid the price for it. We managed to hold off our rivals for forty minutes, but the damage was already done by the time we tried to put things right. Our gamble to offset the degradation on the hard tyres with two mediums didn’t work the way we had hoped. Our third stint cost us a minute, which we were unable to make up afterwards. Congratulations to Rebellion on their richly deserved title.”

 
 
 

Gustavo Menezes
“We gave our all, although we knew that our chances were slim. Nico did a good job in his first stint to stay among the leaders, but it was difficult to know exactly where we were in relation to the other cars, given that we were on a different strategy. André was fast on his stints and I only had to try and reduce the gap. As I have done all year, I gave it absolutely everything out there. I’m pleased to have made progress this season by accumulating more experience. We can be proud of the work we put in this year, which got us five podiums, including a race win.”

 
 
 

André Negrão
“We did a fantastic job to claim pole yesterday. Today, we opted to fit the wrong tyres at the wrong moment. It undoubtedly cost us the race win, but I’m fairly pleased with my stint. I did everything I could to minimise the degradation. Although it wasn’t enough in the end, we nonetheless managed five consecutive podiums, several pole positions and a race win. Finishing third in the championship is no disgrace. The season is now over and I hope to continue racing with Alpine next year!”

Standings

6 Hours of Bahrain – LMP2

1. Vaillante Rebellion no.31 – 186 laps
2. Jackie Chan DC Racing no.38 +10.696
3. Vaillante Rebellion no.13 +1 lap
4. Signatech Alpine Matmut no.36 +1 lap
5. CEFC Manor TRS Racing no.25 +1 lap
6. CEFC Manor TRS Racing no.24 +1 lap
7. G-Drive Racing no.26 +2 laps
8. Jackie Chan DC Racing no.37 +3 laps
9. TDS Racing no.28 +4 laps

FIA Endurance LMP2 “Teams” Trophy

1. Vaillante Rebellion no.31 – 186 points
2. Jackie Chan DC Racing no.38 – 175 points
3. Signatech Alpine Matmut no.36 – 151 points
4. Vaillante Rebellion no.13 – 85 points
5. CEFC Manor TRS Racing no.24 – 83 points
6. G-Drive Racing no.26 – 82 points
7. Jackie Chan DC Racing no.37 – 78 points
8. TDS Racing no.28 – 55 points
9. CEFC Manor TRS Racing no.25 – 46 points

It’s all or nothing for Signatech Alpine Matmut in Bahrain!

  • Round nine of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is due to be held this Saturday at the Bahrain International Circuit.
  • Having finished on the podium at the last five races, the no.36 Signatech Alpine Matmut crew remains in contention for the world title.
  • Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and André Negrão will be going all out for victory in the season-ending finale!

    After beginning back in April at Silverstone, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) draws to a close this Saturday at the Bahrain International Circuit. This, the ninth round in the land of a thousand and one nights will bring down the curtain on a season that has seen some 72 hours of racing!

    As most of the WEC titles were decided two weeks ago in Shanghai, there will be increased interest at this final round in the LMP2 category, which has yet to find its champions.

    In the overall standings, the no.31 Vaillante-Rebellion now leads the way with 161 points, compared with 157 for the no.38 Jackie Chan DC Racing and 138 for the no.36 Signatech Alpine Matmut. Only these three crews still have a chance of winning the title claimed by Alpine in 2016.

    The 23-point deficit of the French team means no elaborate calculations are required for them this weekend. Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and André Negrão simply must win in the no.36 Alpine A470. They also need the no.31 and no.38 cars to fail to score more than two and six points respectively.

    The situation does therefore not favour Signatech Alpine Matmut, but recent history has shown that nothing can be taken for granted. It’s never over until it’s over and that’s also what makes this sport so exciting! Philippe Sinault’s troops will be giving their absolute maximum to set the pace and push the other crews all the way.

    The FIA WEC competitors will head out on track for the first time on Thursday for two free practice sessions, one of which will be held after dark. Qualifying will be held on Friday after dusk, following a third practice session. The 6 Hours of Bahrain will get underway on Saturday at 4pm local time (GMT+3), i.e. 2pm French (CET) time. The sun will set shortly afterwards, plunging the track into darkness and the magic of the night.

    Quote, unquote

    Bernard Ollivier, Alpine Deputy Managing Director
    “For this final race of the season, the target is very straightforward: we have to win! It’s not only essential in order to have a chance of retaining our title, but it’s also very important to finish 2017 on a positive note. This season, we have seen that the standard has gone up several notches with the arrival of new cars, new teams and several new leading drivers, some from F1. We have held our own by combining performance and consistency, but we come to Bahrain in the role of challengers. For these final six hours of racing, we are going to ask our three drivers, the mechanics and engineers to give their all to finish the season in style.”

    Philippe Sinault, Signatech Alpine Matmut Team Principal
    “Following the 24 Hours of Le Mans, I had set the target of staying in the title race until the end of the season. I was convinced we could do it and we have managed to get to Bahrain still in with a chance, even if it’s only a slim one. To win the title, we have to win and hope that both our rivals suffer setbacks. We can’t control what happens with the others, but we have to give our absolute maximum so that we have no regrets when the chequered flag is waved. The team and the drivers are extremely motivated to do just that. We know the difficulties of the Bahrain circuit very well. The desert sand makes the track very dry at the start of the weekend and we’ll also have to pay careful attention to the engine’s air filter system. In addition to the track surface and the heat, the sand also means the circuit is very hard on the tyres.”

     

WorldRX runner-up honours for Team Peugeot Hansen*!

Team Peugeot Hansen collected its tenth podium finish of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship at the last round in South Africa to become the year’s Teams’ vice-champions*.

  • The last round of the 2017 World Rallycross Championship, which took teams to Africa for the very first time, saw the PEUGEOT 208 WRX deliver a competitive performance from start to finish, including a memorable lightning start in Q4. Timmy Hansen hit the ground running to win Q1, Q4 and his semi-final, but he missed out on the weekend’s victory by just tenths of a second despite losing time in the bustle through Turn 1. The young Swede recovered to collect a tenth podium finish for the PEUGEOT 208 WRX from 12 starts this year, while Team Peugeot Hansen put the seal on second place in the year’s Teams’ standings. Timmy himself placed fifth in the 2017 Drivers’ championship.
  • It turned out to be a frustrating weekend for Sébastien Loeb, however. After being pushed out of contention in Q1, he picked up a puncture on the opening lap of Q2 and was consequently unable to show his true potential in qualifying. That said, his hopes of recovering ground in his semi-final got off to a promising start when he emerged from Turn 2 in second spot. Unfortunately, another puncture prevented him from reaching the final, but he can still look back at a season which saw him bag seven top-three finishes and fourth place in the 2017 Drivers’ points table.
  • Kevin Hansen produced another strong run in his PEUGEOT 208 WRX 2016, including third-place finishes in Q2 and Q4. His start from the outside lane in his last qualifying session is likely to be remembered for some time to come. A penalty for Ken Block earned him a place in the final for the second round in a row and his excellent weekend enabled him to gain a place in the Drivers’ standings to conclude the year in eighth spot, just ahead of Block!

Quote, unquote…

Kenneth Hansen (Team Principal):
“We were competitive from the outset and Timmy won both Q1 and Q4. We had our sights firmly set on victory at this stage and all three of our cars reached the semi-finals which turned out to be something of a battlefield. Neither Sébastien nor Kevin managed to show their true speed in the opening lap, but Timmy went on to win the race and Kevin’s result earned him a slot in the final, too. Our hopes of winning were still very much intact but Timmy was pushed during the opening corners and missed out on being first past the flag by less than a second! That’s so frustrating. All the same, we are very pleased to have come second in the 2017 Teams’ standings. All year long, we gave it the best shot our resources allowed.”

Timmy Hansen (PEUGEOT 208 WRX #21), 2nd:
“I think South Africa was one of our best performances this season. We were really competitive and I came first in Q1 and Q4. It’s the first time this season that I won two qualifying heats. My semi-final was very close and I was pushed quite hard through the first turn. I found myself facing the wrong direction going into Turn 2, nose to nose with Sébastien. Even so, I managed to win my semi-final. The first lap of the final itself was pretty virile, too. I fell back a few places so I did my joker lap very quickly. After that, I did everything I could to claw back ground and I missed out on the win by just a few tenths of a second. It would have been so nice to have won today. The PEUGEOT 208 WRX is the best car I have ever driven and to have finished the season without winning a final is so frustrating. Nevertheless, I am pleased with my season and I think I have become a more consistent driver.”

Sébastien Loeb (PEUGEOT 208 WRX #9):
“From my point of view, the last round of the season was a big disappointment, especially as my car was really competitive! Things didn’t go my way in qualifying: I got baulked in Q1 and I punctured on Lap 1 in Q2. I fared better in Q3 and Q4, and then my semi-final got off to a good start because I was sitting in second place behind Timmy before I picked up another puncture during a bit of jostling. After that, I was no longer able to fight for a top result. It was a frustrating way to end what was something of a frustrating year. Roll on next season!”

Kevin Hansen (PEUGEOT 208 WRX #71), 6th:
“I was quite pleased with my results in qualifying, even though I could perhaps have done even better in Q1 and Q3. I got away to a tremendous start in Q4 which enabled me to win my race and end up third in that heat’s standings. Unfortunately, I don’t really understand what happened in my semi-final. The first few turns were absolute mayhem. All I know is that I was up to third at one point and that I was back down in sixth place just a few turns later. After that, I had a transmission problem but I managed to reach the final when Block took a penalty. My mechanics did a good job to get my car ready in time and it was great to be able to take part in the final for the second time in a row. Even though my transmission failed, I was very pleased with the potential I showed at the season’s last round.”

* Subject to confirmation of the official results by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile).

MotoGP World Championship – Valencia Grand Prix

A last podium for Morbidelli

For a long time leader of the pack, Franco Morbidelli concluded his last race in Moto2 by making it to the second step of the podium for the Valencia Grand Prix. The Italian will have left his mark on the 2017 season.

The Races

Assured of the title of world champion since the Malaysian Grand Prix, Franco Morbidelli was determined to conclude his career in Moto2 with a last stroke of brilliance. Leader of the pack up to six laps from the finish, the Italian unfortunately had to give up the first place to Miguel Oliveira: “I did everything I could to resist him, but today he was the fastest. I am still very happy to have finished my last season in Moto2 on the podium.” Fighting it out with his teammate lap after lap after starting from pole position, Alex Marquez lost ground at the end of the race because of a lack of grip. He finally ranked fifth. In MotoGP, Jack Miller and Tito Rabat both managed to make the top ten. The Australian finished seventh after a long fight with Valentino Rossi, the Spaniard taking the checkered flag in tenth position after a great comeback. No miracle occurred in the Moto3 standings, Kornfeil finishing the season in eighteenth place while Pulkkinen ranked twenty-ninth.

The Championship

World champion since the race at Sepang, Morbidelli ended the Moto2 season after chalking up 308 points. Marquez finished in fourth place, 107 lengths behind his teammate. In MotoGP, Miller was eleventh with 82 points while Rabat finished nineteenth with 35 points. In Moto3, this year only Kornfeil managed to score points with his Peugeot. The Czech rider finished the championship in twenty-second position with 26 points.

The Background

The last race of the year, the Valencia Grand Prix was the culmination of a magnificent and prolific season for the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS. In Moto2, Franco Morbidelli offered the Belgian team its second world champion title after Tito Rabat won it in 2014. Leader from the first event in Qatar, winner of eight Grand Prix, the Italian made it twelve times to the podium. Alex Marquez scored three wins and took three pole positions. No doubt the Spaniard will be next year one of the main candidates for the Moto2 World Championship title. In MotoGP, Jack Miller and Tito Rabat were respectively eleventh and nineteenth in their last world championship for the Marc VDS brand. Their places will be filled next year by Franco Morbidelli and Thomas Lüthi.

Superbike World Championship

Qatar – A final and a new record for Rea

A final and a new record for Rea

Jonathan Rea was well worth the triple crown he won after the last event of the season organized in Qatar. The Kawasaki rider chalked up two new victories, setting a new record for points scored in the same season.

The Races

If an appetite comes with eating, that of Jonathan Rea seems insatiable. Once again, the reigning world champion left no hope to his opponents on the Losail circuit. The Kawasaki rider simply won both of the weekend’s races, clearly outpacing the official Ducati bikes. Tom Sykes was less on form. Sixth on the first night, the former world champion fell the next day in the third lap at bend number 14. “My bike was too damaged for me to get back on the track,” regretted the Brit afterwards. Once again replacing Randy Krummenacher, Sylvain Guintoli scored two good eighth places for the Pucetti Racing team. In Supersport, Kenan Sofuoglu made a noteworthy comeback just over a month after fracturing his pelvis in Portugal. The Turkish rider courageously won a new place on the podium, finishing third behind Mahias and Cluzel. For his second race for the Pucetti Racing brand, Anthony West was fifth while Michael Canducci was forced to retire.

The Championship

If Jonathan Rea had nothing more to win in Qatar, Tom Sykes hoped he could finish the season as vice-world champion. His fall in the second race deprived him of any hope of doing so. The Kawasaki rider has therefore finished third with 373 points. Randy Krummenacher finished in sixteenth place with 50 points while Sylvain Guintoli managed to score 34 points in two events to take eighteenth place in the Superbike World Championship. In Supersport, Kenan Sofuoglu finished second 29 points behind Lucas Mahias. Anthony West is eighth and Michael Canducci fourteenth, just behind Kyle Ryde.

The Background

For Jonathan Rea, the 2017 season will be a record one. World champion for the third time in a row well before the last event in Qatar, the Kawasaki rider made it a point of honour to conclude the year on the Losail circuit with a new feat, in this case a new twin-win. This season, Rea won more than half of the races in which he participated. With sixteen wins and twenty-four podiums, the Brit finished the championship with 556 points, better than the record held by American Colin Edwards since the 2002 season. Relegated to 153 points behind the Kawasaki driver, Chaz Davies never gave him any trouble. “It’s amazing, I can’t describe the feeling,” Rea said the evening after the last race in Doha. “I just want to thank all those who allowed me to achieve such a season, as well as my opponents who forced me to surpass myself. I had a lot of fun this season, and that’s largely thanks to them. I’m looking forward to defending my title next year, but for the time being we’re going to enjoy what we’ve accomplished this season.”

Enregistrer

Enregistrer

Another second place for Signatech Alpine Matmut, who remain in contention for the world title!

  • Runner-up at the 6 Hours of Shanghai, the no.36 Signatech Alpine Matmut crew recorded a fifth consecutive LMP2 podium in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
  • The result of the Lapierre/Negrão/Menezes crew was obtained thanks to a strategy focused on efficiency, paired with fuel and tyre management.
  • Alpine therefore heads for the season-ending finale in Bahrain on 18 November with its hopes still alive of retaining the LMP2 world title.

The cars lined up on the starting grid in grey, overcast conditions at the Shanghai International Circuit. The no.36 Alpine A470 began in fifth place in the LMP2 class following a frustrating time in qualifying, during which André Negrão had been held up on his fastest lap.

The opening corners of the race were eventful, with Nico Müller (no.26 car) spinning in the middle of the field. Nicolas Lapierre took advantage of the incident to race clear and end the opening lap in second position in the LMP2 category, just behind Bruno Senna (no.31 car).

Quickly adopting a pace aimed at preserving the car’s fuel and tyres, Nico remained second throughout his first two stints. He then handed over to André Negrão, who managed to withstand the pressure he was put under by his rivals whilst also keeping clear of the many clashes throughout the field.

Shortly before the race’s halfway point, the Brazilian handed over driving duties to Gustavo Menezes, who also completed two stints. Like his team-mates, the Californian adopted the strategy defined by the team: he stayed as close as possible to the leader, whilst managing fuel consumption and looking after the tyres.

With an hour and a half of the race left to go, Nicolas Lapierre got back in the car for the final two stints. At that point, the competitors showed their hands and the various race strategies became fully apparent.

Like the no.31 car, which went on to win the race, the no.36 Alpine A470 only made seven pit stops in six hours, compared with eight for the no.13 and 38 cars, the other leading contenders who were ultimately relegated to third and fourth positions.

Thanks to its haul of 18 points, Signatech Alpine Matmut consolidates its third place in the LMP2 Teams championship standings. Trailing the top two by 23 and 19 points respectively, the French squad remains in the title race. The ninth and final round of the season will be held on 18 November at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Quote, unquote

Bernard Ollivier, Alpine Deputy Managing Director
“It’s a very good second place, one we had to work very hard to get. The team showed great skill and dedication. The drivers did a great job in looking after the tyres and managing fuel consumption for six hours, enabling us to make one fewer pit stop over the course of the race. I imagine it may have been frustrating to drive like this, but ultimately the strategy paid off. Each member of the Signatech Alpine Matmut team played their role to perfection, and they can all be proud this evening. We’ll head to Bahrain believing in our chances. As always, we’ll give absolutely everything to finish the season in style.”

Philippe Sinault, Signatech Alpine Matmut Team Principal
“We achieved our target for the weekend, which was to take the title race to Bahrain. After a tricky time in free practice, we had made good progress and our fifth place in qualifying didn’t reflect our true performance level. In the race, we knew that we would struggle to match the pace of the no.31 car, which was a class above the rest of the field. However, our perfect race allowed us to claim second place in normal racing conditions. We couldn’t have done any more as regards optimising our strategy. The low fuel alert was lighting up on every lap before the pit stops! In order to achieve this result, we also needed the drivers and the mechanics to produce a flawless performance and that’s exactly what we all managed to do. We are therefore still in the title race. It will be difficult, because we now have to rely upon factors outside of our control in the final round. But we’ll do all we can to bring about a successful outcome!”

Signatech Alpine Matmut no.36

Nicolas Lapierre
“We produced a solid race to hold onto second place. Apart from the no.31 car, which was quicker, I think we had the best performance in the race after progressing throughout the weekend. As it’s always difficult to overtake on this track, I took a few risks at the start and that’s what enabled me to move up into second place. From then on, we had a perfect race: the mechanics and both my team-mates did a very good job. Finishing as runners-up is the best result we could have hoped for and it leaves us with a small chance of winning the championship. “

MENEZES Gustavo

Gustavo Menezes
“I’d say that the result is better than we might have hoped for at the start of the weekend. Nico made very good start, then André managed to keep up a very good rhythm until he handed over to me. I managed to close a little bit on the leaders during my first stint, before then easing off again due to our strategy. As we had only changed the rear tyres, I had to deal with some understeer. In the end, second place is the result that we deserved. In Bahrain, our sights will be set purely on winning.”

 
 

NEGRAO Andre

André Negrão
“When I was driving, I was above all very focused on managing the tyres and preserving fuel. The car tended to oversteer a little and so I had to avoid overheating the rear tyres, in particular, in order to save a lap per stint. It was only towards the end of my second stint that I was able to push to try and reduce the gap. I made up close to thirty seconds on the no.31 and I think I did a good job at this point in the race. It was nice to be able to fight like that, we really had a good strategy.”