Battle from the back results in 10th place for RGR Sport by Morand

Battle from the back results in 10th place for RGR Sport by Morand

19.06.2016: ...at 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION: 1ST

...at 24 Hours of Le Mans



 
LMP2 CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION: 1ST
CHASSIS: #43 RGR Sport by Morand / LMP2 / Ligier JS P2

 

The final six hours of the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans were in favor of the only Mexican team, RGR Sport by Morand, as they pushed forward, maintaining their #43 car and slowly moving up in positions both by speed on track and surviving attrition.


From a driver and team’s perspective, the team had a flawless race with impeccable driving from all three drives and swift pit stops from the crew.


The 10th place result was not what the team had hoped for due to mechanical complications, but coming into the race as the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 leaders, it was critical to continue the fight and show the strength they will be implementing towards the remaining six rounds.
 
 
 
After a pleasantly sunny grid walk at the Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday afternoon, heavy rain began to fall just as famous actor Brad Pitt waved the flag for the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.


It was Filipe Albuquerque who started the race in the #43 Ligier JS P2 behind the safety car, which continued to be the case for almost the entire first hour.


The weather conditions changed for the better in hours two and three, allowing the Safety Car to enter the pits and let the contenders of the 24-hour race open up their engines.
 

In the middle of hour three, Albuquerque came over the radio to report to the team that he felt something was off with the car.


The team was able to resolve the issue, allowing Ricardo Gonzalez to find race pace and begin closing the gap between him and the cars ahead.
 

With the sun fully set in the north of France, the night glow of the 24 Hours of Le Mans came to life in hours 9 and 10 of the race.


The Brazilian took on a quadruple stint while the weather and track conditions were fair. Even with several yellow flags and temporary slow zones, Senna put down faster lap times than most of the LMP2 field.
 

Gonzalez confirmed his teammates findings by continuing to better their presence on the 14km circuit.


In hour 9, the LMP2 category lost one of the leaders of the pack as the the #47 car of KCMG’s Richard Bradley was unable to recover from the gravel at the Porsche Curves.
 

Hours 13 through 18 took RGR Sport by Morand and the remaining cars in the 24-hour race from full darkness to the morning light.


Filipe Albuquerque led the team in this portion of the race with a quadruple stint before Team Owner, Ricardo Gonzalez, took the reins of the #43 Ligier JS P2 for another triple stint.


 Solid performances by Albuquerque and Gonzalez were critical for when Bruno Senna finally re-entered the race as he suffered a mechanical issue in the 16th hour.


The team was able to quickly identify the problem and send Senna back to the action.
 

With no disturbance in the weather overnight, the track was ready for “Happy Hour” to begin once the sun came up.


The well-known one to two-hour window where drivers tend to “win it or bin it” as the track conditions, sleep deprivation, and coffee begin to kick in proved quite eventful.



This was especially true in the LMP2 category when the #35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine went from the top of the field to the bottom with one swift toss to the gravel.


Moments later, the #46 Thiriet Oreca followed suit with a crash that brought on too much damage to continue.


 Ed Brown in the #30 ESM Ligier JS P2 felt the heat as well, but was able to continue racing just in front of the #43 RGR Sport by Morand machine, piloted by Bruno Senna.
 

The final six hours were in favor of the Mexican team as they pushed on, maintaining the car and slowly moving up in positions both by speed on track and surviving attrition.


From a driver and team’s perspective, the team had a flawless race with impeccable driving from all three drives and swift pit stops.


The 10th place result was not what the team had hoped for due to mechanical complications, but coming into the race as the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 leaders, it was critical to continue the fight and show the strength they will be implementing towards the remaining six rounds.
 
 
 
Team Owner/Driver – Ricardo Gonzalez



“I’m disappointed with the two mechanical issues we had, but other than that we did a good job preparing the car for the race. We had a great car for the race and I really enjoyed driving.
 

We will analyze our pace and see what we find, but we know our pace during the race was quite competitive. I believe on the human side, we did a really good job and sometimes things just happen.


Engine, suspension, anything thing can happen and that was the case for this race. But we can be proud of our work.”
 


Driver – Bruno Senna


“This is actually my first time finishing here at Le Mans. It’s my fourth attempt and my first finish, so I’m happy to have finished the race and score some important points for the championship.


Of course we are disappointed we didn’t get the result we deserved. When you look at our performance we could have finished 3rd without the big engine problem we had in the beginning.
 

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is always a tough race, but I am motivated to come here again to have a better time and do a better job. I learned so much with the team this week and I’m really happy with the effort and execution everyone showed.


 Everyone was professional and motivated despite the trouble we had and everyone just worked so hard. So I’m really thankful towards RGR Sport by Morand and I know we will be winning more races this year for sure.”
 



Driver – Filipe Albuquerque



“To win is the best, but what matters is to finish. We had our problems and our difficulties, but we pushed hard and finished the race. It’s not what we wanted, but it is what it is.


We are looking towards the championship and minimizing the loss of this race by the points we are gaining by finishing.
 

It’s a shame that the mechanical issues took away our chances to fight for a podium. I don’t think we had the power to fight for the lead, but you never know.


Again, such a shame to finish this way, but I had a good time driving this race for the first time in an LMP2.”
 



Sporting and Commercial Director – Toni Calderon



“Obviously this is a bittersweet feeling because it’s definitely not where we wanted to finish, but excluding the mechanical failures we basically had a perfect race.


What the team did, and what the drivers did was just amazing. Every pit stop was flawless and all three drivers didn’t make a single mistake and were very quick.
 

Unfortunately, we got held up with an engine problem which there was nothing we could do about but recover. We came from last place to 10th and gained some really good points.
 

I want to thank everyone involved with our team – drivers, engineers, mechanics, and staff. It was a tough two weeks, but everyone came through and we made Mexico proud. Now we will move on to Germany.
 
 
  
 
Speed Group-

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19.06.2016 / MaP

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