Strategy and experience nets strong Le Mans finish for Eurasia Motorsport
Date posted on June 20, 2017 · Published by eurasiapr
While many around them fell by the wayside, Eurasia Motorsport secured a strong finish Sunday (18 June, 2017) in what is one of the toughest challenges in motorsport, the Le Mans 24 Hour race.
Fielding the #33 Ligier JS P217 with Erik Maris, Jacques and Pierre Nicolet, the Asian-based team enjoyed a smooth build-up to the big event with trouble-free running in practice and were able to put in plenty of laps to acclimatise to the hot conditions and to enable all three French drivers to adapt to the demands of the event.
Qualifying saw the only major incident of the week for the team after Maris suffered a heavy crash at the first chicane. The Ligier sustained extensive damage and was unable to further part in qualifying.
The crew worked long hours and rebuilt the car to ensure that at 3pm on Saturday, they were able to take to the start of the race and significantly, enable all three drivers to compete and run competitively in the biggest race of the year.
“It was quite an off and there was a lot of damage,” stated team principal Mark Goddard with reference to the Friday incident. “The crew did a remarkable job to ensure that not only the car was fully repaired, but it was to the same exacting high standards as before.”
Race day saw Pierre Nicolet take the first stint, avoiding the incident in what was a double stint before handing over to his father Jacques. By the three-hour mark, the team had firmly established itself in 20th position, a place it retained until sundown at early 11pm.
Running through the similar driver cycle, the team chased the balance a little for Pierre, but as the sun set and race entered the night phase, the team ran consistently in 17th position overall, 15th in class.
Sunday saw some of the highly-touted favourites running into mechanical issues and this allowed the trio of driver to move up the leader board and come the chequered flag after 24 gruelling hours, the Eurasia Motorsport Ligier hadn’t missed a beat as they finished a highly credible 16th overall, 14th in the LMP2 class.
“It’s been a fantastic weekend for us both here at Le Mans and at Zhuhai where we compete in Formula Masters Asia Series,” said Goddard. “It shows the depth and professionalism of our team in that we can compete flawlessly in a 24-Hour race whilst also running our Asian campaign for our up-and-coming drivers of the future.
“Here we knew we would not be competing for the victory, but the aim was to service our three drivers as well as possible to ensure they got the very best out of the Le Mans week. Erik, Pierre and Jacques all drove sensibly and barely put a wheel wrong, so credit to them for allowing us to achieve our goals here this weekend.”