6 July 2023 – The first half of the season is already drawing to a close. After Barcelona and Le Mans, some 20 Ligier JS P4s and Ligier JS2 Rs will battle at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet on 14 and 15 July in the third heat of the championship. The last meeting at Le Mans in June shook up the classifications and narrowed the gaps in both categories. Will Mihnea Stefan (#48 Team Virage Ligier JS P4) and Julien Lemoine (#42 ANS Motorsport Ligier JS2 R), still in the lead, maintain their advantage at Paul Ricard? The arrival of new drivers and the return of the Romanian team Smart Driving to the Ligier JS P4 category are also likely to spice up the races.
New stop in France for the Ligier European Series: the tension is about to ramp up in Le Castellet during the third meeting of the championship. Here’s a look at the classifications in each category.
JS P4 category:
With 58 points, Mihnea Stefan (#48 Team Virage) still leads the overall championship. But his eventful race at Le Mans, which he finished in seventh place, allowed his rivals to catch up in the provisional classification. On the strength of a runner-up finish at Le Mans, Simone Riccitelli and Jacopo Mazza (#7 LR Motorsport) are in the Romanian driver’s rear-view mirror on 40 points. But the Italian pair are caught in a vice-like grip by Team Virage, as behind them is the bronze duo of Kevin Madsen/Lance Fenton (#1 Team Virage), winners of the Le Mans Heat.
George King and Bernardo Pinheiro (#60 Team Virage), in fourth place with 36 points, and the Dimitri Enjalbert/Anthony Nahra duo (#17 Pegasus Racing), on 33 points, cannot be overlooked.
Kevin Madsen and Lance Fenton (#1 Team Virage) who were tied with Yuki Tanaka (#16 Pegasus Racing) after Barcelona, overtook their rival in the AM class at Le Mans. The Americans have 68 points to the Japanese driver’s 61. David Caussanel will rejoin his teammate with whom he shared the #16 car in Barcelona. HPRacing by Monza Garage’s #4 is third on 30 points.
JS2 R category:
Julien Lemoine (#42 ANS Motorsport), David Rodorigo (#43 LR Motorsport) and Gilles Poret (#95 CTF Performance) are within a few points of each other in the general and AM classification. They have respectively 61, 58 and 52 points. In fourth place, Jacques Nicolet (#86 Les Deux Arbres) has 32 points.
Simon Butler and Maximus Mayer (#10 RLR MSport) lead the PRO-AM class with 50 points. But their rival Christophe Weber (#29 Pegasus Racing) is close behind on 43 points.
Newcomers at Circuit Paul Ricard
Present last year, Smart Driving returns to the Ligier European Series in the sport-prototype category. The #5 Ligier JS P4 will be driven by Australian Dylan Young and young Moroccan driver Moulay El Alaoui. Another first-time entry in the championship will be the father/son duo of Nicola and Daniele Cazzaniga with the HPRacing by Monza Garage team in the #4 Ligier JS P4.
In the JS2 R category, a well-known figure in the Ligier European Series will be at the controls of the #29 Pegasus Racing entry alongside Christophe Weber: Julien Schell, the squad’s team manager. The two drivers already raced together last season at the Spa-Francorchamps Heat.
The weekend of competition kicks off on Friday, 14 July, at 9:40 am with the first forty-minute free practice session. The second session will be run at 2:10 pm, followed by two 15-minute qualifying sessions at 5:15 pm and 5:35 pm. The two one-hour races will be held the following day, Saturday 15 July, starting at 9 am and 1:20 pm and streamed on the Ligier European Series YouTube channel and Facebook page.
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