Le Mans Series – The 1000Km of Algarve : The Return of the Peugeot

The Algarve circuit is fantastic because it is different from most new tracks. It has a good mixture of high speed and slow corners with a few blind turns and it winds up and down all the way. The track is interesting and very demanding.

You accelerate hard from the start line which goes slightly downhill. You brake hard and change down quickly from sixth to third gear for the first right-handed corner. This corner is tricky first because it is bumpy, but also because you have to carry the speed through the very short straight.

The 1000Km of Algarve saw Nicolas Lapierre, Olivier Panis and Stéphane Sarrazin emerge victorious to take their and Team ORECA Matmut’s first victory of the 2010 season as they have driven an absolutely faultless race.

With only two rounds of the 2010 season remaining the Le Mans Series holds the race-fans spellbound. Many men and teams are mathematically in with a shot at the title. It all bodes well for a gripping climax to the 2010 title chase and a victory in Hungary next month could seriously change the face of the title fight.

The big two teams are not present to give challenge to Team Oreca Matmut. Audi is absent after the fresh victory from LeMans, and Peugeot might be doing some soul searching after the manner of defeat at LeMans.

“Braking is very difficult because the track turns sharply downhill and you brake very late, although the entrance is blind”. Olivier Panis described some of the sections. The nature of Algarve is very unforgiving on lack of concentration. There were many blind corners, You just have to trust your instincts.

If a Saleen had to win the LMGT1 class, the question was: which one? Larbre Compétition were clearly favorites as they were leading strongly the class thanks to the victory at Le Castellet. Patrice Goueslard, Gabriele Gardel and Fernando Rees didn’t fail and increased the team’s lead as they snatched the victory.

Has Ferrari really made a big leap back into contention? Did the nature of Portimao simply favor the aspects of its package? These were just some of the questions ricocheting around the paddock after AF Corse Ferrari’s dramatic comeback victory in the Portuguese race, which set the scene for further battle in the championship struggle in both Hungaroring and Silverstone.

Sometimes lady charm is what you need in the paddock.

The many faces of racing.

The next race will be round four of the Le Mans Series on the Hungaroring (Hungary) on Saturday, August 22. And the prospect for the next race are tantalizing based on many facts!

Editorial : Mu’az Zakaria / LeMans Series
Image Source : LeMans Series Press

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