News from the 2017 Season
PAUL RICARD: 9th consecutive pole position and victory
From October 13th to 15th, the final round of the Porsche Carrera Cup France was held at the Paul Ricard track in Castelet. Thanks to warm summer-like weather, the 18 drivers could then compete for the 2017 honourable mention. Florian ended his 2017 season with two new pole positions and a victory.
On a track that Florian particularly enjoys, he demonstrates during the free practice sessions, his superior skills on this course. He had the best time of the day in 2.11.138. The car Martinet by Alméras is once again perfectly prepared so that Florian can do his best.
It's now become a habit, Florian had two very good qualifiers on Saturday and Sunday morning to recover his 8th and 9th consecutive pole positions while having the best time of the weekend - 2.09.056. He shows his superiority in this exercise with 9 out of 11 possible successes while being deprived of being able to participate in the last two on the track due to a red flag fault.
Race 1 starts perfectly, Florian gets the best start when the lights go out. Unfortunately, on the 3rd lap, he is under attack and spins to avoid contact. He restarts, then in very last position, and thanks to a series of 10 overtaking positions, he passes the finish line in 8th position. His 3rd place in the general classification is now in jeopardy and will be tested during the last race.
For the final run, Florian again has a very good start to the race and quickly widens the gap over his pursuers. After a few laps, he relaxes a but not enough to risk an error. Dominant until the finish and without having been worried, he finished the season as winner of the last race almost 10 seconds ahead of his first pursuer.
In the final general ranking, Florian takes the third place overall position and the honorific title of best poleman which allows his team Martinet by Alméras to remain on a series in course of 24 successive poles.
"After nine pole positions, it was important to me to clinch my first victory. We had all the assets on our side to clinch the best lap in the race and I'm glad I did. This result is a reward for the entire team and the work they have done and the people who support me. Without this silly Saturday race I could have had a perfect weekend because I had the car to get me there. I thank all those who have supported and motivated me for this season and thanks to whom I will now be able to participate in the last round of the Supercup in Mexico City from October 27th to 29th at the opening of the Formula 1 Grand Prix. "
On the Barcelona track, the Porsche Carrera Cup hosted the Benelux Challenge, which saw two races take place on Saturday 30th September and Sunday 1st October; made up of 35 cars in total.
As usual, the two practice sessions allowed us a glimpse of how the final standing could take shape. Despite knowing the track well, Florian and his team worked effortlessly to perfect their standing and ensure they were ready to battle the unusually precarious weather conditions in Catalonia. Always looking for perfection, there were a few details that still bothered Florian but he nevertheless finished in the top 4 of both sessions, putting him in good stead for the race.
Friday’s programme was very busy and saw not only the Blancpain GT series meeting, but also the two qualifying sessions followed directly by the practice laps, all in under six hours. Not an easy feat for the engineers and mechanics but above all the drivers, as none of them had room for error under these conditions. Congratulations to Team Martinet by Alméras, who handled the situation perfectly. Having already claimed pole position in Mans, Dijon and Magny-Cours, Florian remained untouchable in the qualification exercises. He finished fastest in the qualifying rounds, giving him a total of 7 consecutive pole position starts.
Out of the starting blocks of the first race, Florian was surprised by his two biggest competitors who outpaced him by taking the first two corners wide and going off track in doing so, a procedure that goes against what was instructed in the initial briefing, but was strangely not penalised. A little too incisive to overtake Joffrey of Nardo, Florian committed a mistake which put him back in 6th place. Nevertheless, he restarted, gained two positions, and managed to pass Güven in the last lap to take third position. He was unfortunately then overtaken at the last moment and missed a spot on the podium.
The second race took place this time on a wet and particularly tricky track. This time Florian took the lead from the get go and nobody was able to catch him. He seemed to be heading towards victory while halfway through he incurred a penalty (drive-through). The race management body deliberated for 15 minutes before penalising him very severely for an early departure. His pit stop penalised him once more by a good 30 seconds and saw him fall back to 23rd place. He then gave his all and managed to overtake 10 cars in 4 laps to see him finish 9th in the French ranking.
« I had a very good car despite the rain at the end of the race. I finished only 25 seconds behind the winner despite a 30 second penalty and also the time I caught up overtaking 10 cars at the end. It's a shame because I was in a very comfortable position at the start. ».
Everything is still to play for in the championship, the final judgement will be cast at Castelet on October 14th and 15th. Florian, who is still in third position in the general standings, remains in the running for the title.
MAGNY-COURS : Uncompromising during qualifications, Florian gains two spots
After a two months break over the summer, the Porsche Carrera Cup France made its return, this time on the Magny-Cours circuit on 9th and 10th September. Florian finished this fourth meeting as the best performer from the lineup, finishing twice in pole position and twice in second place. He missed out on victory again but nevertheless achieved a score of 38 points out of a maximum of 44 possible.
During Friday’s test runs, the development work with the entire PRO-GT team went well for Florian and his second-place position during the last session suggested good prospects for the weekend.
Saturday started with a stressful qualifying session. After having carefully prepared his car and his tires, Florian attacked his fast lap, gaining the best times of both sectors one and two but he was faced with a yellow flag during sector three. Forced to slow down, he gained 5 tenths of a second but still managed to hold on to the top spot. The start of the race was even more tense due to the start lights setting off slower than usual. Because of this, Florian’s clutch stuck and his start ended up somewhat catastrophic. He was able to minimise the damage, taking the first turn in 4th position and started a climb that led him to the second position of the podium.
As the track was still wet from the night before, Sunday morning’s qualifying session was taken delicately. Philippe ALMERAS and the engineer Benjamin developed a one-turn strategy which was more aggressive for Florian than his teammates, requiring him to execute the perfect turn at the end of the session with no margin for error and no second chance. This resulted in the fifth consecutive pole position by almost 4 tenths of a second, much to the delight of the whole team. A small error in the start of race 2 caused him to lose the lead but Florian was able to hold on to the second-place position after a great fight with Joffrey De Narda.
"The way I set off for the first race made the course more complicated than expected. I managed to go up second and then get back up behind Julien but I my tires had taken too much of a hit to overtake him. In the second race, I made a small mistake at the start which made me lose first place. I then concentrated on managing my tires to attack Joffrey at the end of the course but unfortunately that wasn’t quite enough. I didn’t have that little extra I needed."
Florian confirms third place in the overall standings and closes the gaps between him and the two drivers in front. There are now three drivers on 20 points in anticipation of the next meeting in Barcelona from 29 September to 1 October.
DIJON : Two pole positions and two podiums
On the 1st and 2nd of July, the 3rd round of the Porsche Carrera Cup France Championship took place at the Dijon-Prenois track. After the incidents at Le Mans, which had cost him big time, Florian had to have two great races to get back into the overall standings. And he did it!
The weather was unpredictable all weekend but even such, Friday’s practice rounds would not be cut. Florian was relaxed in the first session on a dry track and in 3rd position. As for the second session, the rain would begin, leaving Florian in 2nd position.
Saturday began with the first qualifying session on a dry track. Florian picks up the pole position right from the start of his first lap in new tires. For the race 1, the weather doesn’t hold and pushes the team to use different strategies. Florian and his engineer chose caution when deciding to go with rain tires but crazy scenarios sent him back to the pit to finish the race in slicks. This decision forces him to challenge the competitors who have opted for the slicks from the start of the race and those who kept the rain tires until the finish. He will finally cross the line in 3rd place.
For the second race of the weekend, Florian starts in his 3rd consecutive pole position and on a dry track. Another first-place start for the second race. After a good start, he kept the lead up until the last five minutes of the race when he could not fend off the future winner. In spite of better passes in the technical sections, Florian was unable to create sufficient gap and was caught on the long straight by his opponent.
"In this very difficult situation, we have demonstrated that since the start of the season we have been very successful, with two podiums this weekend and two new pole position starts. I am quite satisfied and this summer we are going to continue to word so that in September we will be even stronger. "
Despite the withdrawal in Le Mans, Florian is back in 3rd position of the championship standings and the season is only half-way finished. Next race will be at Magny-Cours on the 9th and 10th of September.
The Le Mans event, the highlight of the 2017 championship season, was held from June 15th to 17th at the prestigious 24 Hours circuit. This exceptional event brought together 61 drivers from all continents, including drivers registered in the Supercup, and was the beginning of the most prestigious car race in the world.
During the free practice, Florian took the lead with the fastest time of the 1st session and the 4th time of the 2nd session. The only Frenchman among all English drivers, the battle was on.
During the qualification, Florian took the lead position after a single lap right from the beginning of the race. This perfectly controlled lap couldn’t have been done better by anyone else. The Philippe ALMÉRAS team did not restart Florian on the track until the end of the race, but his second recorded time was stopped by a red flag in the last part of the race. However, his reference time showed an improvement of 8 tenths of a second.
On Saturday, a few hours before the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans event, Florian took his place ahead of all his opponents. He was surrounded by the English drivers and was positioned far ahead of his French championship opponents who were starting in positions 15 and greater.
Despite a very good start, Florian could not beat CAMMISH and ZAMPARELLI who took full advantage of the slipstream to surpass him before the first corner. Unfortunately, Florian’s race would come to an end during the first lap in the Dunlop corner. EASTWOOD struck Florian’s car at the rear right wheel after coming to an unexplained gap in the track. Once back in the pit, the whole team analyzed the damage and decided to pull him from the race.
This terrible news heavily penalized Florian in the French championship standings. Especially when he was predicted to win! He remains nevertheless, in the top 5.
"The experience I gained alongside the Supercup and Germany Cup drivers during my last two races as well as the level of performance we have achieved as a team, allow me to increase my motivation for DIJON on the 1st and 2nd of July and for the rest of the championship season."
RED BULL RING : A particularly successful German round
This event, added in addition to the French Championship of the Porsche Carrera Cup, allowed Florian to race in the German championship. This opportunity gave him the chance to stand out with the world's top drivers in the category. Indeed, the main candidates for the Supercup championship had joined the German drivers to prepare the next round of their own championship series. It was also the opportunity to discover the new Porsche 911 Cup.
The weather being particularly calm this weekend in June alongside the magnificent track, Red Bull Ring in Austria (a partner within the German organization), provided the public with the perfect conditions for a race weekend.
In the only open practice session, Florian had to discover the track and get used to his new car in the midst of his opponents who had prepared this race with two training days the week before. Only 12 laps were completed before a driver in distress hit him and seriously damaged his chassis. The outcome was, at first sight worrying and Florian was unsure to continue. Fortunately, the team Martinet By Alméras is mobilized combined with the technical support of Porsche Motorsport giving Florian the chance to be in the starting times.
A single qualifying event on which the two best laps are selected for start grids 1 and 2. The lack of driving was compensated by a very effective strategy put in place by Benjamin, the engineer, Philippe Alméras and Florian, who had to quickly adapt to these conditions. He finally got to the 3rd and 4th position on the starting grids. This remarkable result puts him in front of some drivers for the PORSCHE MOTORSPORT JUNIOR.
In race 1, Florian will maintain his 3rd place at the start by continuing to defend his position at the beginning of the race. The team strategy was to make the car very efficient from the second half of the race, allowing Florian to move towards attack. Despite a certain laxity of the race management on respecting the track limits of certain drivers, Florian seemed able to recover 2nd place until Engelhar made a big mistake. From 7th place, he lost control of his car, crossed the lawn and ran into Florian just 3 laps before the finish. Result: The transmission is broken and Florian has to leave the race.
Race 2 will be an especially difficult race in fierce competition with the most difficult drivers of the Supercup. Florian will not be counted on but the lack of experience at this level is highlighted. Overall, he finished in 8th place.
Noticed by PORSCHE MOTORSPORT, Florian's appearances have enabled him to prove that in terms of performance, he is at the same level as the best drivers in his category. He will continue to gain experience in this level of competition.
Next event will be on June 17th, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans track, opening the most famous race of the world. Watch it live on Equipe 21 at 10:15am.
SPA : Despite a lack of success, Florian is still on the podium for the opening of the 2017 season