The winter break is over for IDEC SPORT. The 2019 season of the European Le Mans Series starts next week with a busy schedule: the prologue and the first race on the calendar. IDEC SPORT will be heading for the Paul-Ricard circuit with its two LMP2s.
Next week, the sound of the cicadas will be replaced in the South of France by the roaring of the engines of the 41 cars competing in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) for the prologue (8-9 April) and the first race of the season (14 April) at Le Castellet.
IDEC SPORT is competing in the European endurance championship for the fourth season in a row and the second with two prototypes. Paul Lafargue, Paul-Loup Chatin and Memo Rojas will be back in the Oreca 07. Patrice Lafargue, Erik Maris and Stephane Adler will be in charge of the Ligier JS P217.
Nicolas Minassian, the IDEC SPORT race director tells us about the state of play. “The private trials we recently carried out allowed us to see how we measured up and gave us a chance to warm up, so that everything comes naturally. We got some useful info about how to set up the cars, so at the prologue, we’ll be working on the pit-stops, and handovers. When racing, the amount of space in the pit-lane is reduced. We can’t get spread ourselves out in front of or behind the car,” explained Nicolas Minassian. “We’ll also be working on our fuel consumption and the tyres. Wear is one of the key factors when racing.”
“I would say there are three phases: development with the drivers and engineers, the balance between performance and tyre wear and work in a pressurised environment for the mechanics,” added the former Peugeot WEC driver. “We have good foundations, and the team is well practised. We continue to be meticulous. We are better prepared than last season at the same time.”
The more driving we do, the better: the constant quest for performance
“Even if we drove on the Paul-Ricard during the private trials and we’ll be racing the prologue on the same track, we must not forget the official trials before the race. Track conditions will be improving, as the track was relaid during the winter. You can never do too much driving.”
The prologue will allow IDEC SPORT to see if the hard work between the seasons has paid off and to see how they do against the 16 other LMP2s taking part in the championship.
“While the Oreca is more competitive, I’m not forgetting the Ligier, which did well in the winter trials. The car suits the drivers. They are aiming for clean races, which you expect in endurance racing. All three get on well together. The prologue will get them into the rhythm of having to deal with the traffic.”
Last year, IDEC SPORT opened the season with a pole position at the Paul Ricard circuit. Two more followed, as well as two podium places. The French team finished third in the championship. The goal for the 2019 season is to do even beter: “The championship is won or lost with each race including the first. Everyone will want to win, just like us. We’re going to have to try to earn as many points as we can, even if we don’t win,” explained Nicolas Minassian.
There will be 17 hours of driving in the prologue spread out over Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th April. That will be followed by the trials for the first event of the championship on 12th April. The second round of trials will take place on 13th just before the qualifiers in the middle of the day, when the drivers will have 10 minutes toçn get the best time possible. The start of the 2019 Le Castellet 4-Hour Race wil take place on Sunday 14th at 12.30 local time.
Get all the info about the IDEC SPORT team on social networks with our Facebook page: IDEC SPORT Racing, the Android app: IDEC SPORT, and on Twitter: @IDECSportRacing and Instagram: idecsport_racing_officiel17