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VdeV GT/Tourisme: Dijon Race Report, Victory For LNT

The VdeV teams and drivers headed to historic Dijon for a three hour race to mark the halfway point in the VdeV 2014 season. In the GT subdivision the wait finally came to an end for Team LNT, who after showing great pace but poor reliability in earlier rounds, took the win on the rain soaked French circuit.

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Visiom’s #2 Ferrari took pole in qualifying, but couldn’t hold the lead for long at the start of the race. Rain came down heavily the night before, causing a delay to the race start time and creating very tricky conditions for the drivers.

Thierry Perrier in the #2 slipped out of the top 10 in the opening laps after a clash with the #267 ANT Performance Porsche which gave the Ferrari a rear axel issue. But the team remained relisiant, and managed to pull off a recovery drive to second place by the end of the race.

This issue gave the lead to the LNT Ginetta G55 of Lawrence Tomlinson and Tom Sharp on lap six. The British pair then took off and lead almost the entire race, only losing it briefly during the pit stop cycle. By the time the chequered flag fell they had a lap lead over the Visiom Ferrari.

The track was drying initially, but the rain came down during the series of stops for the teams and brought out the safety car, because of the adverse conditions. Thankfully the downpour was brief, and gave the teams 40 minutes of racing at the end.

Ruffier Racing had their #17 and #18 Porsches sitting pretty in second and third overall, the #18 leading the GTV3 class.

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The #17 couldn’t keep up with the G55’s superior pace out front though, and would spend the remaining minutes of the race trying to fend off the Visiom Ferrari who at that point had made it’s way into the top five, battling with the G Private Racing Mercedes SLS.

By the end of the race, and with the teams back on slick tyres, the order on the podium was shaken up, and the #17 Ruffier Porsche of Patrice and Paul Lafarge had to settle for third behind the hard charging Visiom 458.

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“We have had many tests of endurance this season and we knew that we would encounter problems here,” acknowledged Tomlinson. “They are now resolved though, and the car was perfect, and I’m happy to get the win with Tom, the G55 Coupe is a pure product of the Ginetta sector. “

The #65 Almeras Porsche took the GTV2 win, finishing a lap clear of the second placed #45 AB Sport Auto Audi R8. And in GTV3, the afore mentioned #18 Ruffier Racing Porsche 997 Cup car dominated and came home with a well deserved victory.

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Next up for the VdeV series is a trip to Motorland Aragon on the 30th and 31st of August.

Stephen Kilbey