GTWC PAUL RICARD : TEAM  TOO  WEAK  TO HOPE

The weekend of the 14th and 15th November marked the end of the championship. Despite a very late date in the season, the weather remained very pleasant throughout the meeting. The 1000 kilometers of Castellet gathered about forty cars for a 6 hours race. The weekend was quite intense as it was held for only 2 days.

 

Saturday was dedicated to free practice and qualifying. During the two free sessions, Florian did very good times that situated him close to the teams Pro car. On the other hand, while qualifying, bad traffic management did not allow him to repeat this level of performance, as well as a lack of competitiveness from the rest of the crew, he could not quite raise the average time enough. The car therefore only started in 33rd place on the starting grid.

 

The start was made by Taylor Proto with a first stint of 2 hours. This bad performance made the car demote more than one lap from the leaders with errors in the pit and on the track. The rest of the race was organized as follows: 1 hour by Baptiste Moulin and 1 hour by Florian and this repeated twice. When Florian took the wheel for the first stint, after 3 hours of racing the car was already behind the other cars, 2 laps behind the leaders. There was nothing to hope for. Nevertheless, during Florian’s two appearances, he had a solid race, with no mistakes and very good times that were regularly in rhythm of the top 15, at some moments even better.

 

The car, despite everything, managed to climb back up at the end of the race to finish 26th overall and 8th in the SILVER classification.

 

This first season with Lamborghini allowed Florian to discover the world of endurance racing in GT3. The results were not up to Florian's expectations, but it remains a very good experience for the future and a very nice discovery with the LAMBORGHINI SQUADRA CORSE.

 

This year, with certain commitments, we have voluntarily not communicated on the second part of the season that Florian did. He actually competed in the Porsche Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup France. The COVID crisis has upset many forecasts in the championships and teams, this therefore allowed Côme Ledogar and Tugdual Rabreau with their new CLRT team to give Florian the opportunity to participate in this double program. Without any winter preparation, they have jointly developed this new team created 15th January 2020 and have gradually shone on both boards. They finished the Supercup season with 2 podiums and a 5th place overall. Leader of the French Championship at the start of the last race, but not expecting a competitor in the middle of the grid to cause a big crash at the first turn, bringing Florian as well as other title contenders to the mat and finally finish this French season in 3rd position.

Time to work on the inter-season to prepare for 2021 and come back full of ambitions with a new program...


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GTWC SPA : 2nd ENDURANCE RACE AND ALREADY ON THE PODIUM

The 24th and 25th October weekend, hosted one of the biggest GT races in the world, the SPA 24 hours. This was Florian's first ever 24h race. The crew was made up of the car's regular trio, Baptiste Moulin, Taylor Proto and Florian. During this event the team had the possibility to welcome and choose a 4th driver. Thus Hugo Chevalier completed the 555 cars formation.

 

The car still competes in the SILVER category (FIA classification is reserved mainly for young beginners of endurance). Thursday was devoted to free practice for about 1 hour for each driver as well as for the qualifying. The team also took the opportunity to fine-tune the driver changes in order to optimize the stints during the race.

 

During the qualifications the rain appeared at the very beginning just to add a little more difficulty to the exercise. The 4 pilots had 20 minutes each to complete the best possible lap and to do an average of the 4 times to determine the place on the grid. Florian achieved the 25th time overall and the 2nd in SILVER. Under these conditions it was hard for the Lamborghini to do a very powerful lap compared to the other brands. Following the average of the best laps done by all the drivers, the car took the start in 36th place.

 

The start of the race was done by Baptiste Moulin, the stints were about 1 hour each to optimize the tyre performance and the fuel on board. Each driver made double stints to have a good compromise between the non-excess of fatigue and the recovery time.


Florian started his first stint at the 4th hour of the race, at that moment it was dark with a dry track. The performance during this double first stint was excellent with a pace equivalent to the leading PRO cars. When Florian took over the car for his second and third double stint the car had been damaged during the night with no big loss of time but with a reduced performance, also it kept raining making the conditions extremely complicated.

 

After 2 punctures and a damaged car, the SILVER team still managed to reach the finish line in 3rd place and 24th place overall out of 53 cars.

 

The next race will take place on the Castellet circuit on October 14th and 15th for a duration of 6 hours.


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GTWC IMOLA : Beginning of the season with something new

The events at the start of 2020 have greatly changed the start of the season. The new calendar offered the first race of the GT WORLD CHALLENGE EUROPE ENDURANCE championship on the 25th and 26th of July on the Imola circuit. It was Florian’s very first high-level endurance race in the FFF Orange 1 Racing Team supported by Lamborghini. He teamed up with Batiste Moulin, Belgian driver, and the Italian Andréa Amici, who replaced Taylor Proto currently stranded in the United States.


The GT3 World Challenge Endurance Europe calendar is a championship that will take place over 4 race weekends. This first round is a 3-hour event made up of a crew of 3 drivers. The car competes for the SILVER classification (FIA classification reserved largely for young beginners in endurance races).


The goal for this year is to learn all the specifics of this new environment and to get as much experience as possible in this new racing format.


The pre-season testing, having been cut short, left Friday as an important day and at the same time allowed André Amici to be welcomed. It consisted of 3 hours of testing to be shared between the 3 pilots. This day highlighted the weakness in the performance of Lamborghinis and those for all the teams present, including the PRO cars. This championship is multi-brand, so the organizing bodies at certain times of the season balance the performance between the brands. Currently, Lamborghinis are quite at a disadvantage and suffer severely from the performance aspect to compete at the forefront.


Saturday was very busy with two more free practice sessions followed at the end of the day by 3 qualifying sessions of 20 minutes (one per driver). The average of the 3 times determines the place on the starting grid. Florian achieves the 6th lap in the SILVER classification and the 23rd overall. With the cumulative performance of his teammates, he took the start of the race in 10th place in SILVER and 31st overall.


This circuit, quite restrictive for the mechanics and also complicated for overtaking resulted in a very eventful race with the presence of several Safety Car and penalties for a large number of cars. For a first endurance race, Florian’s car saw the finish in 5th position in the SILVER classification and 21st overall out of 45 cars.


Even though the performances were not at the expected level, the experience gained was very important and prolific. Florian who took the start (rolling start) in the middle of 46 very compact cars, put together a good and very eventful stint allowing the car to start its ascent well.


The next race will be held at the Nurburing F1 circuit in Germany for a 6-hour race on September 5th and 6th.


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