Catalunya: Guillaume Moreau weekend summary
Guillaume kicks off his season with a victory! Guillaume Moreau's season kicked off this weekend with the Barcelona 1000kms, the opening round of the 2008 Le Mans Series. He teamed up with Luc Alphand and Patrice Goueslard at the wheel of the ...
Guillaume kicks off his season with a victory!
Guillaume Moreau's season kicked off this weekend with the Barcelona 1000kms, the opening round of the 2008 Le Mans Series. He teamed up with Luc Alphand and Patrice Goueslard at the wheel of the no.72 Corvette C6.R entered by Luc Alphand Adventures, and scored a win in the LM GT1 category. This performance points to a very exciting season's battle with Aston Martin and Saleen.
A few days after presenting his 2008 sporting programme and cars in Limoges, Guillaume Moreau was delighted to be back in the paddock in Barcelona. Luc Alphand Adventures has entered two Corvette C6.Rs in the Le Mans Series and was ready for the endurance season's kick off.
On Friday, Moreau only did a few laps to allow Alphand to get to grips with the Catalonian circuit. On Saturday, the pressure went up a notch as qualifying approached. Guillaume refined the car's set-up and set the quickest time in the final free practice session. He then went out to fight for pole, which fell to Antonio Garcia in the no.59 Aston Martin who pipped Guillaume by just 4/100s. "I knew that I had only one lap to set my best time. After that the tyres' performance did not allow me to have another shot. I wasn't really on the limit and I reckon I still had another 2/10s in reserve. Even though the Aston Martin just beat us, pole position is a very relative thing in a six-hour event," he summed up.
On Sunday, Moreau had the heavy responsibility of starting the race. The Corvette C6.R was still shod with the medium tyres used in qualifying and proved difficult to handle. "That first stint was really on the limit. Besides the very pointy behaviour of the car, it was difficult to communicate with the team as my radio went on the blink. I soon discovered that I couldn't drink because of a problem with the bottle. In short, I just did my best to hang on to the Aston Martin before handing over to Patrice Goueslard."
The man from Normandy put on hard tyres and set off in hot pursuit of Tomas Enge, who soon afterwards cracked under pressure and went into a gravel trap. This allowed Goueslard into the lead in LM GT1 before handing the car back to Moreau. Guillaume exited the pits just in front of the Aston and tried to open up a gap over his no.1 rival. "I had a good stint: the car was pleasant to drive and I was able to drive pretty quickly while maintaining a safety margin." In just one stint, the gap between the two leaders stretched to 38s. The Sarthe team's confidence received another boost when no.59 retired. Patrice Goueslard and Luc Alphand now had two laps' lead and all they had to do was to nurse the car to the chequered flag.
"I'm obviously very chuffed to have started the championship with a victory. The battle is really intense as we're up against three top-level teams," said Guillaume. "I'm very happy with my collaboration with the team. The ambience is both friendly and professional and I feel really at home. I've a very good relationship with Pierre-Yves Genon, our car engineer. It's exactly what I've been looking for for the 2008 season."
After this successful weekend Guillaume did not leave sunny Catalonia. Tomorrow, he will be back behind the wheel of the KTR Team's Renault 3.5 for a 3-day practice session on the Spanish circuit. It's the last test before the season starts at Monza on 26th/27th April. Like last year it'll be a busy weekend for Guillaume who'll be combining endurance and single-seaters!
-credit: guillaume moreau
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