News – October 24, 2021
The final chequered flag of the 2021 Ligier European Series flew late on Saturday at Portimao. A thrilling end to the race in the Ligier JS P4 category with the victory and the fastest lap of the race going to the #34 of Les Deux Arbres. In the GT category, the #53 MRacing car concluded its season with a trouble-free race.
The start of the final race of the 2021 season came at 16:55. After winning the pole the day before, the #23 HP Racing by Monza Garage Ligier JS P4 of Jacopo Faccioni quickly opened up a gap on the field. The #33 Les Deux Arbres entry driven by Jacques Nicolet was second, followed by the #22 (HP Racing by Monza Garage) with Nicola Neri, and the #34 (Les Deux Arbres) with Tom Cloet. The #34 was running in fourth place when it caught up to, then passed the #22 and #33. However, the latter wasn’t about to give up without a fight and re-took second place.
While still in the lead of the race and seemingly ready to revenge its retirement in race 1, bad luck struck the #23 Ligier JS P4 once again. Shortly before the opening of the mandatory pit stop window, the #23 suffered a mechanical problem. Jacopo Faccioni managed to bring the car back to the pits, but the team retired shortly after. A cruel way to end the season for the championship leaders.
After the pit stop cycle, the #33 Ligier JS P4 of Les Deux Arbres took the lead, followed by the #34 with Steve Zacchia and the #22 driven by Simone Riccitelli. The gaps narrowed in the waning minutes of the race. With six minutes remaining, the #34 reeled in then overtook the sister car. The #22 HP Racing by Monza Garage car soon did the same. Steve Zacchia and Tom Cloet took their first win as a duo and fourth for the #34 Les Deux Arbres. Steve Zacchia clocked the fastest lap of the race in 1:48.967s.
In the Ligier JS2 R category, the #53 of MRacing and driver Natan Bihel got an excellent start and quickly opened up a comfortable gap to the #24 of Orhès Racing driven by Olivier Pernaut. The #4 of COOL Racing with Cédric Oltramare, on the other hand, lost third place to the #69 of MRacing with Laurent Millara behind the wheel. Twelve seconds separated the #53 and the #24 as the pit window opening neared.
The second half of the race was no better for the #24 Ligier JS2 R, now driven by Mathieu Martins. Despite his best efforts, he could not reduce the deficit to the #53. Natan Bihel went on to win the last race of the season to take his 2021 victory total to seven. He also set the fastest lap of the race in 1:51.933s. The #24 Orhès Racing car finished second ahead of the second MRacing car, the #69.
Season two of the Ligier European Series has come to an end. After having won at every round of the season (except for Portimao), the #23 HP Racing By Monza Garage car and its drivers Jacopo Faccioni and Alessandro Cicognani are the 2021 Ligier JS P4 Champions. After finishing runner-up last year, Natan Bihel and MRacing are the 2021 Ligier JS2 R Champions.
For race 2 results, CLICK HERE.