CD Sport- ready like never before!

CD Sport- ready like never before!

31.03.2023: Michelin Le Mans Cup LMP3 season presentation - Ligier JS P320 #2 et #11 CD Sport, a French team with massive experience in Prototypes, GTs and Endurance racing The Michelin Le Mans Cup will kick off on Saturday 22nd April on the Barcelona

Michelin Le Mans Cup LMP3 season presentation - Ligier JS P320 #2 et #11

CD Sport, a French team with massive experience in Prototypes, GTs and Endurance racing

The Michelin Le Mans Cup will kick off on Saturday 22nd April on the Barcelona Cataluña circuit. Twenty days before the event, CD Sport is ready to fight among the front-runners in what is an incredibly competitive field comprising 42 cars, including 30 in its LMP3 prototype category!

Thus, the quality of the performance of the drivers will count as much as that of their team. With the duos Fabien Michal-Kirill Smal and Shahan Sarkissian-Franck Chappard, the team based in the beautiful city of Perigueux can dive into the fray in a composed frame of mind!

CD Sport can boast an enormous amount of experience in the world of sports prototypes as well as an eloquent set of results: two titles in the Bioracing Series (2009 & 10), as well as two others in the V de V Proto Challenge (2015 & 18) before going on to score a double in LMP3 in last year’s Asian Le Mans Series. So the Michelin Le Mans Cup represents a realistic objective taking into account the level the French squad has reached on the European circuits in the past few seasons.

Claude Degrémont, the CD Sport general manager argues his team’s ambitions with enthusiasm.
“We know this championship pretty well and in 2022 we were particularly competitive in it. We hope that 2023 will be our year! We can count on an excellent package and our two lineups will have their say!”

Both figuratively and literally… CD Sport’s four drivers in the Michelin Le Mans Cup share their impressions with us at the dawn of a season in which a lot is at stake.

Kirill Smal, 17 years old, 2019 Karting World Championship, 4th; 2021 Italian and UAE F4 Championships, 3rd; 2022 Spanish F4 Championship, 4th.

“It’s difficult to find the budget for single-seaters so my management team and I decided to turn to prototypes. The LMP3 is logical choice to get started in this particular branch of motorsport. A friend put me in contact with CD Sport whose passion and ambitions match ours. I'm sure that Fabien and I have everything we need to achieve impressive results.”

Fabien Michal, French, 45 years old, triple FFSA GT Pro-Am French champion 2018 - 20, GT4 European Series Pro-Am champion in 2021
. “This car is very demanding from a physical point of view and has a lot of aerodynamic downforce. Getting the best out of it at the wheel represents a real challenge that I’m approaching very seriously and I’m working very hard to try and take it on.

I still have to progress in different aspects, in particular technical feedback. I believe true loyalty always pays dividends as was the case for me in GT. CD Sport put its trust in me last year and I know they want to win in Europe as they did in the Middle East. I’m very impressed by the quality of their simulator that helps us to improve and be the best prepared possible to tackle the events.”

Franck Chappard, French, 22 years old, double French champion in the OK category in 2018-19; 2022 TTE Formula Renault Cup Champion
. “I won a fair few races in 2022, but I soon realised it would be difficult to move any further up the single-seater ladder. And then came the LMP3 prototype opportunity. I was thinking about that for some time.

In the first tests I felt really at ease, but there’s still a lot of work to be done to get to grips with all the procedures, in particular pit stops. I got on well with CD Sport and my team-mate, Shahan, right from the start. I think we have what we need to achieve a really great season together. Concerning the future, you have to be spotted to climb up the rungs of the ladder.”

Shahan Sarkissian, Lebanese, 34 years old, 4th in the 2021 FFSA GT French Championship. “
The Ligier LMP3 is much closer to the single-seaters in which I made my debut in terms of its chassis and aerodynamics; it’s also quicker than the GTs that I’ve been driving over the last few years. In addition, this category is an indispensable step when your aim is to climb the endurance ladder to Le Mans.

The car may lull you into a false impression of being easy to drive, but it’s an illusion as it’s very demanding and I’m doing a lot of fitness training to be ready for the first race. I did two seasons in GT4 with CD Sport. It’s a team I like very much because of its management, its staff and the way it works. You can count on their experience to push you to achieve good results.”

Let’s leave the last word to Jean-Noël Le Gall, the programme’s technical director. “I’m satisfied with our driver lineups for this Michelin Le Mans Cup. We have two excellent Bronze-rated drivers and two young chargers from single-seaters. We’ve just come from a good season in the Asian Le Mans Series, which proved both the speed and reliability of our cars. None has retired since 2020!”

A reminder: The Michelin Le Mans Cup is reserved for Pro-Am duos and the races are run according to a 1h 50m format with the exception of the blue-ribbon event of the season, two curtain-raisers of two separate races of 55 minutes each to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

This weekend the team scored its first victory on another playing field. The lineup comprising Michael Jensen, Nick Adcock and Jonathan Thomas won the Nova Proto category in the Endurance Proto Challenge in the context of the Ultimate Cup Series on the Paul Ricard circuit. A nod from destiny, perhaps!

CD Sport record

1995: Formula Ford French championship runner-ups.
1998: Formula Ford French championship runner-ups.
2001: Formula Renault 2.0 French championship runner-ups.
2004: FFSA GT French Cup winners.
2009: Bioracing Series Champions.
2010: Bioracing Series Champions.
2012: V de V Endurance Prototype Challenge Champions
2014: V de V Endurance Prototype Challenge, 3rd.
2015: V de V Endurance Prototype Challenge Champions.
2016: V de V Endurance Prototype Challenge, 3rd.
2017: French FFSA GT Pro-Am Drivers champions.
2019: French FFSA GT Pro-Am Drivers championship, 3rd.
2020: French FFSA GT Silver Teams & Drivers championship runner-ups.
2022 : Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 Drivers & Teams Champions, first participation in the Le Mans 24 Hours in LMP2.

Romane Didier / future racing commm-  photos by Laurent Gayral except: F.Chappard and F.Michal portraits by pro-photos-sport and K.Smal portrait: rights reserved



31.03.2023 / MaP

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