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[12-05-2019]
PIERRE RAGUES AND DUQUEINE ENGINEERING TAKE SIXTH AT 4H MONZA Photo News
Pierre Ragues put in another impressive performance at the 4 Hours of Monza today, but it was an unrepresentative sixth-place finish for the Duqueine Engineering squad as a safety car period and a Full Course Yellow created differing pit stop strategies across the teams.
 
The high-speed Monza circuit suited the #30 Oreca 07 LMP2 car, its Michelin tyres and the driving styles of Pierre, Nicolas Jamin and Richard Bradley. However, the team were not given the opportunity to realise its complete potential.
 
Limited laps in free practice caused by red flags and a suspension issue in FP2 (rear-right broken wishbone), which the team’s mechanics worked hard to resolve, hampered preparations. 
 
Pierre was again on starting duties from seventh on the grid. In a near repeat of his excellent start at Paul Ricard, it didn’t take long for him to carve his way through the field. A good first lap saw him up into the top-five, while by lap six he had moved into the top-three.
 
Regularly among the quickest on the track, and at times the absolute fastest car, Pierre was holding a strong second place when handing over to Nicolas on lap 42 after a superb performance.
 
The remainder of the race, though, initially saw a full course yellow that created multiple pit stop strategies throughout the field. The team dropped to seventh as a result. Nicolas lost ten additional seconds after a spin caused by contact with another car. 
 
A subsequent crash for an LMP3 car brought out the safety car. Nonetheless, the team persevered but had to settle for sixth place once the pit stops had settled down. The pace shown by Pierre in his fantastic double stint showed once again that the team had the potential to fight for victory in the right circumstances.
 
Pierre commented: “We were quite unfortunate with timings today. The end result doesn’t really reflect our performance level and potential. We had some disjointed practice sessions but I felt that we would still be able to put up a fight. Starting from seventh, I tried to channel the same approach as we had at Paul Ricard – and that seemed to work. It only took six laps to get into the top-three, and then we moved up to second as I gained confidence from the car. Monza is always a place that inspires strong performances. The FCY created split strategies, which put us down the order, but we were hopeful of responding. Unfortunately, the timing of the SC was not good for us and we had to settle for our final position of sixth, which nevertheless gives me valuable points. A frustrating race, but one in which we showed our potential as candidates this season. Thanks, as always, to my personal partners at GroupAuto, Sparco, Ellip6, and Yacco.”   
 
LMP2 Teams’ Classification
1. G-Drive Racing – 38 points
2. Idec Sport – 36 points
3. DragonSpeed – 26 points
4. Duqueine Engineering – 23 points
 
LMP2 Drivers’ Classification
1. Job van Uitert / Norman Nato / Roman Rusinov – 38 points
2. Memo Rojas / Paul Lafargue / Paul Loup Chatin – 36 points
3. Henrik Hedman / James Allen – 26 points
4. Ben Hanley – 25 points
5. Pierre Ragues / Nicolas Jamin / Richard Bradley – 23 points