The third and final day of the V de V Endurance Series’ opening round at Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya was thrilling to say the least. Spectators were glued to their seats as they eagerly sat and watched the curtain fall on each of the 3 races, after V de V’s competitors provided us with fantastic track action throughout the day.
V de V Proto Endurance Challenge - 6 hours: TFT’s no.2 machine just can’t stop winning
The GTV1 result yesterday reflected this evening’s classification after triumphant team TFT – who won the 2016 finale at Estoril – stood proudly on the highest step of the podium. Reigning champions Ander Vilarino, Alain Ferté & Philipe Illiano, associated behind the wheel of the no.2 Norma M20 FC, performed their stints as ordered by the fantastic strategists at team TFT, after climbing their way to the top of the leader board. In light of the new qualifying rules, authorising only Gentleman or Open classed drivers to take the start, Illiano was tasked with taking the first stint, before Ferté, then Vilarino took the wheel. Thanks to a well calculated strategy, with just one hour to go, the Spanish driver arrived on the heels of sister car no.6, entrusted to drivers Bazaud, Thirion & Caillon – who for several hours were the likely overall winners, but instead were rewarded with the Prestige class victory.
The team managed by Tony Pereira looked as if they would end up with three different sets of drivers on the podium, but Capillaire, teamed up with drivers Creed & Melnikov this weekend at Barcelona happened to slide off course with only a few minutes to go, after another car left oil on the track, demoting the no.8 prototype to 9th position. This mishap opened the floodgates for RC Formula, who seized the moment and earned themselves a well-deserved 3rd place, their first in the Endurance Proto Challenge after just two races. The no.66 machine, handled by drivers Jordan Perroy and father and son, Lionel and Antoine Robert, finished just ahead of team Graff, who had a fantastic 6 hour race and showed true pace with their new Norma M20 FC. The team managed by Pascal Rauturier also finished 2nd in the Prestige class, but the result wasn’t fixed until the final stages of the race: with only a few corners to go, the no.42 Equipe Palmyr prototype entrusted to Kubryk, Beck & Chevalier battled with the no.9 machine for 4th place overall. DB Autosport’s first entrant, car no.22 with Delafosse, Vaucher & Accary at the wheel managed to secure 6th place, followed closely by TFT’s fourth car, no.5 entrusted to Cimadomo, Rihon & Phillips. CD Sport’s no.14 Norma had a disappointing end to the weekend, after mechanical problems prevented Bole Besançon, Scheier & Taittinger from reaching the finish line.