FFSA GT Dijon – Race 2 Report – May 21
Saleen Wins Again - But Again It Is Close

While most of drivers started on worn tyres, to check the grip of the track, Soheil Ayari (Oreca Saleen) sat waiting at the end of the pitlane….

Eric Cayrolle (SRT Corvette C5-R) was quickest initially, ahead of Palttala (PSI C6R), Besson (First Racing Viper) and Policand (Larbre Ferrari Maranello). However, with the track drying, all drivers pitted for new tyres. Ayari then ventured out, and was straight away second quickest. Positions were changing though. Alliot was first man under 1'15''., but Ayari improved and set the pole, ahead of Alliot, Palttala, Beltoise (Mirabeau Viper), Thévenin (VBM Viper) and Policand.

In the GT2 Trophy, the fight was between Narac (IMSA Porsche 996 RSR), Michel Monteiro (Estoril Porsche 996 RSR) and Prunet ( Protek Porsche 911 GT3 RS). Narac set the pole, ahead of Prunet who improved on Monteiro's laptime in the late session. In the French Cup, Rousseau (Pouchelon Racing Dodge Viper GT3) was quickest, close to the GT2 lap times. Colas, Gimond and Rodrigues came behind, all with Porsche 996s.

Race 2 Report
From the second row, Paltala surprised everyone and took the lead, ahead of Ayari's Saleen. Then came Alliot, Beltoise, Policand, Dumez ( #11 Euroflash Autovitesse Viper) and Thévenin. Palttala set a strong pace, followed closely by Ayari.

Alliot was third while three drivers were fighting hard behind him: Beltoise, Policand and Dumez. Policand tried to pass Beltoise but couldn't succeeed, the three cars running neck and neck.

Thanks to some daring moves among the backmarkers, Palttala increased his lead. Just before the pits opened, Dumez made contact with the Red Racing Viper. The safety car appeared, to allow the marshals to clear the damaged cars off the track.

In the pits, many teams were wondering whether they should call in their car or not, for the compulsory driver change. Oreca was first to call Ayari in, then First Racing called in Bruno Besson (First Racing Viper), who was in ninth place. All the drivers pitted one lap later but Hernandez ( #9 Oreca Saleen) and Peyroles (#5 First Racing Viper) were now just behind the safety car – enjoying the advantage of having pitted before the rest.

When the race went green again, Peyroles passed Hernandez and took the lead. Hernandez was ahead of Debard (#14 Tarrès Team Viper), Dubreuil ( #23 CD Sport Viper), Brandela ( #31 Creation Autosportif Lister Storm), Kuismanen (#25 PSI C6.R) and Hallyday (#24 PSI C5-R) who set some quick lap times and moved up to third position.

Hernandez reacted to Hallyday's threat and overtook Peyroles for the lead. Hallyday also passed Peyroles and was five seconds behind Hernandez - but made a mistake when lapping a Ferrari. He dropped down to third place, just ahead of his teammate Kuismanen.

Hernandez was now a secure leader and claimed the fourth win in the season for the Oreca Saleen, but only by three seconds, while Hallyday passed Peyroles for second place.

Kuismanen passed Peyrroles too, but on the last lap he made a mistake, made contact with Peyroles - who resumed racing and claimed the first podium for First Racing.

In the GT2 Trophy, Narac/Lecourt (IMSA Porsche 996 RSR) were easy winners, even though they had a stop and go, ahead of the Monteiro brothers (Estoril Porsche 996 RSR) and Prunet/Mouez (Protek Porsche 911 GT3 RS).

In the FFSA GT French Cup, Vincent Rousseau (Pouchelon Racing Dodge Viper GT3) was the best starter and could keep the lead, though his partner Vannelet had a stop and go penalty. The Rodrigues brothers (Porsche 996 Cup) were second and Jérôme Laurin/Guy Clairay (GCR Dodge Viper GT3) third.

Bruno Hernandez (Saleen S7-R, Team Oreca): "This win belongs to Team Oreca. The strategy was perfect, we must pay a tribute to Pierre Dieudonné and to our Engineer Jean-Philippe Pelaprat. All through the weekend we haven't made any mistakes, we were not quickest on the track, but we were the most reliable and the most consistent."

Suddenly, with the rules changes, the FFSA GT series has really come alive.
Claude Foubert

Race 2 Result
1 AYARI S / HERNANDEZ B Oreca Saleen S7-R GT1 1h00:37.079

2 ALLIOT P / HALLYDAY D PSI Expérience Chevrolet Corvette C5-R GT1 1h00:40.216
3 BESSON B / PEYROLES A First Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h00:52.640
4 PALTTALA M / KUISMANEN P PSI Expérience Chevrolet Corvette C6-R GT1 1h00:55.542
5 DEBARD E / LASSERRE L Tarrès Team Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h01:02.235
6 BRANDELA R / STEPEC T Création Autosportif Lister Storm GT1 1h01:03.352
7 SOAVE T / CAYROLLE E S R T Chevrolet Corvette C5-R GT1 1h01:04.895
8 BORNHAUSER P / THEVENIN O V B M Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h01:05.439
9 LESOUDIER G / BELTOISE A MTO Mirabeau Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h01:05.679
10 CAZENAVE L / POLICE J C CD Sport Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h01:13.073
11 POLICAND J / BALTHAZARD G Larbre - SOFREV Ferrari 550 Maranello GT1 1h01:24.742
12 CORMERECHE D / MERMET P Tarrès Team Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h01:40.233
13 NARAC R / LECOURT M IMSA Performance - MATMUT Porsche 996 RSR GT2 1h01:24.683
14 LAGNIEZ J C / ZANGARELLI M Ciné Cascade Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h01:27.046
15 ROUSSEAU V / VANNELET G Pouchelon Racing Dodge Viper GT3 C2 1h00:46.262
16 MONTEIRO C / MONTEIRO M Estoril Racing Porsche 996 RSR GT2 1h00:53.447
17 RODRIGUES M / RODRIGUES J Hexis Racing Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h01:16.228
18 CLAIRAY G / LAURIN J G C R Dodge Viper C2 1h01:16.403
19 CHOLLEY André André Cholley Ferrari 430 Challenge C2 1h01:33.699
20 COLAS F / GUIOD T Pilotage Passion Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h00:57.753
21 LELIEVRE F / POLETTE P IMSA Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h01:00.728
22 MOUEZ E / PRUNET C Protek Porsche 911 GT3 RS GT2 1h01:07.831
23 BACHELIER J M / HERVE C G C R Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h01:40.910
24 GIMOND B / LEVY J C First Racing Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h01:01.293
25 RUFFIER J C / CABANNE G Ruffier Racing Porsche 996 Cup GT2 1h01:11.086
26 CHAMARAUD P / CHAMARAUD A Centre Porsche Lorient Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h01:43.871
27 BAUDOIN M / FILHOL A Ruffier Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS GT2 1h01:46.075
28 DUPUY D / FIAT F Protek Saleen S7-R GT1 56:58.090
29 CHANEY M / BUREAU T Team Corvette Sport Xerox Chevrolet Corvette C5-R GT2 1h01:47.961
30 DUBREUIL B / RABINEAU T CD Sport Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 48:38.880
31 WOZNIAK D / LEPREUX C First Racing Porsche 996 Cup C1 53:35.299
32 BROUARD R / NOZIERE P Pilotage Passion Dodge Viper GT3 C2 39:53.472
33 LACOSTE J P / ZOLLINGER D JPL Sport Moteur Mercedes CLK Silhouette C3 38:40.613
34 BLANCHEMAIN J L / DUMEZ S Euroflash Autovitesse Chrysler Viper GTS--R GT1 18:21.212
35 MILOE J / MILOE J L Red Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 18:17.131
36 JAKUBOSWSKI François Modena Motors Racing Ferrari 430 Challenge C2 14:37.289

With thanks to Frédéric Espinos and Olivier Loisy


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