We met up with Florent JIMENEZ on his first day with the IDEC SPORT team at the Portimao 24-Hour Race meeting. This is a first for the 32-year old driver, who will be taking part in his first GT race in a car that is unknown to him on a circuit he has yet to discover.
Florent, how did the day of trials go?
“I’m used to driving on trial days in a Lamborghini GALLARDO GT3 and knew it would be different in a Porsche. I gave it my all preparing for the 24-Hour Race working on a simulator to begin with to find out about this circuit which is so special. I was told this was no easy car and I have to drive differently. I was very worried after my first few laps this morning, but I really had to get to know the car on this is a up and down course with bends, but thanks to the work done with my fellow drivers and engineers concerning the data and the mechanics, by the end of the day I had got some things straight, which boosted my confidence for tomorrow on this fantastic circuit.
Thanks to the IDEC SPORT team for their welcome and to David, Romain and Stéphane. I get on well with people and they really welcomed me into the family, as the IDEC SPORT team is really a family motivated by their passion for the sport and while the atmosphere is professional, it is friendly too.”
We then moved on to Lionel AMROUCHE, who is used to endurance racing and he gave us his first impressions:
“This is a very pleasant environment and my initial contacts with the tedam were very friendly and professional. The team really communicates well and everyone enjoys themselves. As for discovering the circuit, I drove last year in the Portimao 24-Hour Race, but as the car broke down, I only did a 20-minute stint, so this is something new for me really. This is a highly technical circuit with its ups and downs. It’s nice, but you need to drive on it a lot to get to grips with it and that confirmed we had plenty of work to do. From the start of the session Romain VOZNIAK set a reference time and after that we really managed to work on settling in with the help of what we picked up and videos. It was in the second part that we were able to be more coherent and find our feet.
As for the car, I drove at the IMOLA 12-Hour Race last May in a Porsche and a dafew years ago in a 2004 Porsche CUP 996, but I don’t have that much experience of Porsches, so I needd to get used to it or she needs to get used to me. But I’m enjoying it and it’s great to be here.”
The second session of open trials starts at 130 p.m. local time tomorrow. Don’t miss the live qualifier at 4.20, which you can watch live via the 24H SERIES GT website.