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Home / Focus on the season of Idec Sport Racing: Interview with Patrice Lafargue

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Focus on the season of Idec Sport Racing: Interview with Patrice Lafargue

ELMS - 07/12/2016

Idec Sport Racing made their ELMS debut in 2016. For its first season, the team ran the n°28 Ligier JS P2 driven by Patrice Lafargue, Paul Lafargue and Dimitri Enjalbert. The team ended the season in 10th position in the Teams Classification with a total of 19 points. The best result was in Estoril for the final of the season where the team took the chequered flag in 6th place. We have met with Patrice Lafargue for a review of its 2016 season.

2016 review: “From the team and driver’s side, the season was positive. It was our first year in the LMP class. I competed in the ELMS back in 2011 with Oak Racing but that was five years ago and I had to discover the class again. It was a season full of learnings at all levels. I’m glad because all the team (engineers, mechanics, drivers) have improved to finish the last race with the best result of the season in Estoril. I’m glad to have organised the team around this project and that we can now look towards the future.”

The 2017 season: “We can say that we will not be there to discover again. We will start from what we have learnt in 2016 to build for 2017. We know what we have to improve and the testing time in particular. We had a lack of testing in 2016. We will compete in European Le Mans Series and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans if we are selected. Le Mans is our top priority. I have a timing issue as I’m turning 56 and I can’t wait too long if I want to do this race with my son in good condition. I don’t want to be 10s behind. I feel in good shape for 2017 so it’s the right time to do it. 2017 will be a landmark year for us. Then my son will fly solo with more competitive drivers.”

The car(s): “We will run a Ligier JS P217. Idec Sport was the first team to order this car. We are waiting for its delivery in February. The best would be to have two cars in order to learn faster, it will be a nice challenge. The other car could be an LMP3; it looks like a great product. We think we have the drivers to do an LMP3 team. Nevertheless, for now, nothing has been decided but we are 80% sure to have this second car. Then, three cars would be too much if we want to be competitive, so two should be the best solution.”

The 2017 drivers: “The father and son duo will stay. There will be a third driver and we will announce it soon. We have contacts with good drivers. Dimitri Enjalbert helped us a lot this year, he brought a lot to the team, and he is a good driver. I would like to have a project with him; he will be part of the team from one way or another. He is not far from the good drivers to be in the LMP2 next year but might not be the chosen one at the end.”

The goals for 2017: “We want to be competitive and ready to fight, we will be more ambitious in 2017.”

What have to be improved: “First of all, my son and I have to improve physically. We have a gentleman-driver approach. It went well before because we won races and championships but we are far from the ELMS level, and we know about it. We have to improve to have a better endurance, and we also have to drive more. Concerning the data, it’s the same, we have to work on it. In order to feel at ease in the LMP2 we have to drive more. We still have some concerns and we have to get rid of this, we have to be more relax. We also need to work on the feedback we give to the team concerning the car and the settings. There is still a lot to do between the engineers and us.

Concerning the team, we have improved a lot since the beginning of the year. We did 90% of the job but we still have 10% to do to be the best and it’s the hardest. We also have to get better concerning the organisation of the team and its management.”

The ELMS: “It’s a really good championship. As a driver, this is one of the best. The cars are nice, the tracks as well and the organisation is perfect. The level is really high and there is very good drivers. I’m really happy to compete in this championship.”

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