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VdeV Endurance Proto: Paul Ricard, Report

CD Sport continued their form up front of the Proto series, finishing the six hour race at Paul Ricard on the top two spots on the podium with their #30 and #33 Normas, almost two minutes ahead of the competition in the CN1 class.

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The race started under safety car conditions, after a morning downpour deemed the circuit too dangerous for the standard rolling start procedure. The #32 CD Sport Norma of Kévin Bole Besancon, Inès Taittinger and Garry Findlay led the way from the start, but the chaotic conditions shook up the order throughout – the #32 trio ending up a lowly 15th by race end.

The #32 held the lead of the race for the first four hours, aside from the shakeups during pit stops and safety car periods for the poor conditions. The sister #30 CD Norma held second and the #1 Equipe Palmyr Norma of Philippe Mondolot, David Zollinger and Thomas Dagoneau sat third.

But it all changed during the fifth hour, when the #8 TFT Norma M20FC of Vincent Capillaire, William Cavailhes and Frédéric Gelin made a break for the lead. It created an almighty scrap for the podium spots in the final 30 minutes of the race as the #32 tumbled down the order. The eventual winners – Thomas Accary, Jean-Ludovic Foubert and Nicolas Beraud – in the #30 CD Norma, managed to squeeze by the #8 at the first chicane to take the lead with under 20 minutes left.

The #8 continued to fall down the order also from then on, allowing the #32 Norma and #2 Equipe Palmyr entry through also, ending the team’s chances of a podium in the final few laps.

This meant the top five spots were all held by Norma teams; with the first of the other chassis being the Graff Racing Ligier JS5 53 Evo in 6th.

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Scuderia Bi & Bi took their first win in the Gentlemen class of the 2014 season in their Tatuus PY012, after a close fought battle with #26 TFL Racing Juno. The winning margin was just four seconds in the end, as Vito Rinaldi and Marco Biffis crossed the line in first.

Ex-Pescarolo driver Christophe Tinseau and Bruno Poilpre took the PFV class win by four laps in the end. Their Speedreams Racing Pescarolo 02 – in only its second appearance in the series – proving to be more than a match for the others in the class.

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A three hour race at Dijon on June 29th is next up on the calendar for the Prototype series in the VdeV championship.

SK