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[18-06-2017]
PIERRE COMPLETES COMPETITIVE NIGHT STINTS AT LE MANS 24H Photo News
Pierre Ragues has completed trouble-free and competitive night stints inside the Alpine A470, with the Signatech Alpine Matmut team at the sharp end of the LMP2 field.
 
The team is fighting inside the top-five overall, and holds fourth in LMP2 class at the conclusion of Pierre’s latest quadruple stints – his second of the race. 
 
The 24 Hours of Le Mans took a significant turn after midnight as several leading contenders ran into trouble following a safety car period, to the benefit of the LMP2 challengers. 
 
Having established themselves inside the top-five in class in the first six hours of the race, Nelson Panciatici and André Negrão continued the team’s momentum into late Saturday evening. Both drivers did a good job, moving up as high as third place as the pit stop strategies varied. 
 
Negrão completed his final stint approaching 2.20am before handing over to Pierre at the race’s halfway distance. Putting in more competitive lap times, Pierre completed four stints, a clever change of race strategy, which keeps the #35 crew in the hunt for a top-three result in class and top-five finish overall.
 
With less than ten hours still to run, there are no doubt plenty more twists and turns to come in this race, which is fast becoming one of the most unpredictable and dramatic in recent memory.
 
Pierre said: “I always enjoy driving at night at Le Mans. It’s an experience and a thrill like no other. Of course, it’s not easy but we have completed another successful phase of our race. With the LMP1 incidents we’ve seen, there is a great chance for LMP2s to challenge for the outright podium later today. We are in a strong position, fifth overall and fourth in class, after good runs for Nelson, André and myself. We adopted the strategy, running another quadruple stint to maintain our fourth place in class. The car continues to be competitive; we have seen from our lap times that we can fight with the best in LMP2. We now have to use the final ten hours to keep up this approach, and see what we can do about moving into the class podium. We know there are likely to be more developments to come in this race so who knows what opportunities might come our way.”