11 June 2022 – Race two of the Ligier European Series on the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit and a masterstroke for Team Virage and Zosh Di – Environnement. The #16 Ligier JS P4 and the #10 Ligier JS2 R both leave the iconic French circuit with a brace of victories. A fantastic end to this all-important round of the championship.
Ligier JS P4: Third double victory for the Team Virage #16
Race two of the Ligier European Series on the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit started with not one, but two formation laps after the #4 COOL Racing Ligier JS2 R stopped along the side of the track. In the Ligier JS P4 category, the pole-sitting #16 Team Virage with Gillian Henrion at the wheel was passed at the start by the #23 Monza Garage car (George King and Ronnie Valori) before retaking the lead moments later. The yellow flags waved for the first time after a GT car went off track and into a gravel trap. From third on the grid, the #53 M Racing entry dropped several places in the order. As Gillian Henrion extended his lead, the #17 Pegasus Racing Ligier JS P4 (Dimitri Enjalbert and Anthony Nahra) tried to catch up to the rest of the field. After a daring attack, the #17 stopped at the side of the track.
A determined Natan Bihel in the #53 M Racing Ligier JS P4 chased down his rivals. The #53 battled with the #23 Monza Garage for fourth place and then gained another position. It then menaced the #50 Les Deux Arbres (Kevin Madsen and Lance Fenton). A fierce battle for second place between Natan Bihel and Kevin Madsen began, with several position swaps, before Natan Bihel’s efforts paid off. Another yellow flag period came before the opening of the pitstop window.
The #16 Ligier JS P4 was still in the lead, ahead of the #53 and the #23. But the #44 Smart Driving car (Alexandru Mirea and Philip Andriescu) was ready to pounce to take third place. The opportunity came when the #23 spun in front of its Romanian rival. Although fourth, the #23 did not give up. With constant overtaking and contact, the race finished in style with a terrific final battle between the two teams. In the end, George King and Monza Garage secured third place in the final moments.
While Gillian Henrion, in the #16 Ligier JS P4, took his third straight double win and set the fastest time in the race (4:06.333s), Natan Bihel (#53 M Racing) once again finished runner-up. The #23 Monza Garage (George King and Ronnie Valori) completed the podium, a tenth of a second ahead of the #44 Smart Driving (Alexandru Mirea and Philip Andriescu).
Ligier JS2 R: Zosh Di – Environnement and ANS Motorsport back on the podium
It was a hectic start for the JS2 R class. The #27 M3 (Vincent Congnet and Jean-Christophe David) was hit by another GT resulting in front end damage and the call for a yellow flag. The #24 Orhès Racing (Mathieu Martins and Tanguy Ide) and the #40 RLR MSport (Horst Felix Felbermayr) stopped for repairs. The #10 Zosh Di – Environnement (Jean-René de Fournoux and Hugo Rosati), #2 M3 (Stéphane Adler and Mickaël Mota) and #48 Massé Motorsport by LADC (Antoine and Martin Massé) battled at the sharp end of the order.
From 18th place in the Ligier JS2 R category, the #6 ANS Motorsport Ligier JS2 R (Mathys Jaubert and Gregory Segers) made an impressive run through the field. It was in fourth place after the pit stops ahead of the #63 M3 (Sylvain Caroff and Vincent Roches). Further back, the #95 CTF Performance (Nicolas Beraud and Alban Varutti) and the #46 Zosh – Formula Concept (Pascal Roux and Frédéric Fauchère) fought for sixth place.
With 13 minutes remaining in the race, the #6 Ligier JS2 R was in second place, while the #72 LADC Motorsport (Paul Cocaign and Xavier Follenfant), #2 and #63 M3 were vying for third place.
The #10 Zosh – Di Environnement Ligier JS2 R made it a clean sweep at Le Mans and clocked the best race lap in the GT category in 4:18.827s. The young crew of the #6 ANS Motorsport (Mathys Jaubert and Gregory Segers) claimed its second runner-up result of the weekend, ahead of the #72 LADC Motorsport entry.
Gillian Henrion, Team Virage, Ligier JS P4 #16, Winner Race 2:
“It was just perfect. We made a good start, and after that I just improved my laps to create a gap. I’m very happy to be leading the championship and I’m motivated to continue this momentum going. I hope I can do the same in the upcoming meetings.”
Hugo Rosati, Zosh – Di Environnement, Ligier JS2 R #10, Winner Race 2 in the Ligier JS2 R category:
“The race went really well, we even battled at times with the Ligier JS P4s in the opening stint. We were really fast, and we led the race from start to finish. We were able to maintain the pace in the two stints on the big circuit, so it was great. It makes you want to come back!”
A massively entertaining round on the Le Mans 24 Hours circuit is now in the record books. The Ligier European Series field will be back in action for round four of the season before the summer hiatus on 1-2 July at the Temple of Speed, Monza.
For the complete results, CLICK HERE.