DUQUEINE Engineering at the 4 Hours of Portimão
Team DUQUEINE Engineering finished the 2019 season of the European Le Mans Series in sixth position of the LMP2 category. The Team was forced to abandon the 4 Hours of Portimão due to an engine break.
The sixth and final round of the ELMS season took place this weekend in Portimão. After achieving the seventh bast lap time in qualifying session on Saturday, it was Pierre Ragues who started the final race of the season on Sunday.
From the first lap, the race turned into a pileup. Pierre Ragues, victim of a contact in the traffic, was relegated in 17th position before a Red Flag appeared. The accident involved many cars, the race resumed under Safety Car after more than 45 minutes of stopping. The green flag was finally back again ten minutes later (1:05 race).
In just a few minutes, Team DUQUEINE's No. 30 car, in a good pace, began its climb back to the LMP2 class standings. Under Safety Car, Pierre Ragues passed P7 at 1:15 race, the other competitors having made their driver change. At 1:30 of race, the French driver tried to overtake the Team BHK Motorsport car N. 35. Despite a good pace on the track, the car was relegated to the tenth position after an exit.
At 1:45 of racing, the car was penalized by a Drive Through because of a non-compliance with procedures under Safety Car. A lap later, Richard Bradley entered the track P16 and began a fight to catch the leading cars. At mid-race, the car was P14 and even P9 at 2:30 of race.
A new incident, however, came to stop the momentum of the British driver. Shortly before the third hour on track, Team DUQUEINE's car N. 30 was forced to abandon after a mechanical break that put the car out of the track. Richard Bradley is unharmed.
Team DUQUEINE finished the 2019 season in sixth position of the LMP2 classification.
Thank you all for supporting DUQUEINE Engineering in the European Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans!
The whole Team DUQUEINE wishes a good recovery to Yann Belhomme, admitted to the Portimão Hospital at the beginning of the meeting.
Come back quickly Yann!
« That was not the way we wanted our 2019 ELMS season to end, and I am disappointed and frustrated that we weren’t able to show our true pace. It was an eventful first lap for everyone but for me, I experienced a sudden loss of traction control that pitched the car into a spin. One of the other cars hit the rear of my car causing damage. After the red flag, we started again - almost one hour later - down in 23rd place. It was going to be race of recovery, which was going OK, but Richard unfortunately went off at turn one which ended the race for us. Game over for our season. There were plenty of positives during the year, which some strong pace at times, but we were hampered a lot by bad luck, like today. I’m grateful to have had the chance to compete in this ELMS season with the DUQUEINE Engineering team, and I would like to extend my best wishes to Yann Belhomme for a speedy recovery. »
« We wanted to finish this season in a nice way. First to show our true potential, but also to give energy to Yann! The qualifying session was pretty good with the 7th fastest time, using only one set of tires while the others used two. It gave us a nice advantage for the race. Unfortunately we were hit by bad luck again with the mechanical break that caused Richard's crash. I think we have shown a steady progression throughout the season and we have the pace every race for the podium. We will have to succeed in the future. »
« We did not have the easiest start of the race. But we were fighting very well, the car was working well. We were doing a good job and I think we could have been able to do a good result. Unfortunately, toward the end of my stint, we had a break failure. I am very happy to have been able to get off the car. It is annoying to end the season that way but I think that each member of the Team DUQUEINE can be very proud of the season. »
« The 2020 season did not end as we would have liked. Fortunately, the accident was not serious for Richard and he's fine! The season was very tough so the level of the ELMS is high. It was necessary to fight throughout the season to optimize the set up and refine the strategy. Everyone has gone to great lengths to make the best results.
Le Mans was our biggest challenge. Almost all of the Team had never done it, compared to the 18th time of Romain (Dumas) and 11th time of Pierre (Ragues) we learned a lot from them.
We will keep on working in order to be ready for 2020. The weekend was also complicated because of our Team Principal Yann who found himself hospitalized at the beginning of the meeting. The whole Team wishes him to recover quickly! »
Results and chronos
Free practice 1 - P9 (1:33.636)
Free practice 2 - P15 (1:34.176)
Qualifying session - P7 (1:32.354)
Race - Abandon
Classification LMP2 category