Sept 20,2014(ISN) – The result of France’s round of the 2014 European Le Mans Series at Circuit Paul Ricard strengthens Signatech-Alpine’s
provisional lead at the top of the championship. Nelson Panciatici and his teammate came second to pull out a 10-point lead
ahead of the season’s final round.
After spending the summer break sitting at the top of the provisional European Le Mans Series standings, Signatech-Alpine’s
objective at Circuit Paul Ricard was to strengthen its lead ahead of the championship’s finale in October. The Alpine A450b hit
the ground running at the same circuit that saw the team clinch Alpine’s first ELMS crown in 2013, 35 years after the make’s
success at Le Mans in 1978.
Today, the team opted for a different strategy to that of its rivals and didn’t target pole position. Nelson Panciatici posted the
fifth fastest time in qualifying and the aim was to take advantage of this tactical decision in today’s four-hour race. For the
race, the drivers perfectly manage the team strategy and cross the finish line in second position, and set the team up well in its
bid to claim a second straight European Le Mans Series title!
Philippe Sinault (Team Principal, Signatech-Alpine): “We went for an aggressive strategy because we had no intention of simply
covering our rivals from behind. We therefore decided to fit fresh tyres at each stop. That meant our three drivers had to be
perfectly on the pace and it also called for some slick pit stop work. Everyone played a part in today’s success. The objective
was to gain points over our rivals in the title fight and we succeeded. All we need to do now is finish off the job at the last
round at Estoril.”
Nelson Panciatici: “I did my stint on medium-compound tyres and was able to benefit from five or six laps when I was
particularly strong to move up the order. The task got a bit more complex after that because I had to take the wear factor into
account. Oliver and Paul-Loup also played an important part in today’s podium finish. We are in a good position for the title.”
On paper, only four teams can still hope to claim the 2014 European crown. Signatech-Alpine enjoys a lead of 10 points over
its biggest threat and another second place at Estoril will suffice to clinch the European Le Mans Series. Sure, Panciatici and his
teammates are ready for the final!