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[15-02-2020]
PIERRE RAGUES STRIVING FOR STATESIDE SUCCESS AT COTA Photo News
Pierre Ragues heads stateside for the fifth round of the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship, the six-hour Lone Star Le Mans race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
 
The first WEC round of the new decade will see Pierre join forces once again with Thomas Laurent and Andre Negrão in the #36 Alpine A470, as Signatech Alpine Elf looks to return to the podium.
 
With four rounds already completed, Pierre and the team hold fifth in the championship with second place at the opening round, the 4 Hours of Silverstone, their best result of the season to date. COTA has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Pierre in the past; the Frenchman secured a GTE-Am podium result in 2016.
 
The six-hour race around the undulating and flowing 20-turn, 5.513km Austin track will offer an opportunity to climb back up the rankings with four rounds left to contest this season. The action-packed schedule will cover two days of action with two free practice sessions and qualifying on the Saturday ahead of the race itself on Sunday afternoon. 
 
30 cars are entered into the race with nine of those in LMP2; it will once again be a challenging and competitive battle for the front-running positions, but one which Signatech Alpine Elf, Pierre and his team-mates will be ready to tackle head on. 
 
Pierre said: “Finally, we can get back to racing after the winter break and we can look forward to an exciting second half of the FIA WEC season, starting at COTA. It is a track I really enjoy, it’s fast and flowing with some very unique features. I have had a podium there before, in GTE-Am, while Alpine scored two victories there in 2016 and 2017, so I hope it might prove a favourable venue for us after a few disappointing results. We will once again face a very competitive LMP2 field, and we will be running a tight schedule over two days, so it is important we find our feet quickly in free practice and prepare ourselves diligently for Sunday’s race. Alongside Thomas and Andre, and with the continued support of everyone at Signatech Alpine Elf, I hope we can deliver a podium result.”    
 
Lone Star Le Mans Schedule
 
22 February
08:00-10:00 Free Practice 1
12:45-14:45 Free Practice 2
18:10-18:30 Qualifying 
 
23 February
12:00-18:00 Lone Star Le Mans
 
FIA World Endurance Championship (after four rounds)
 
Trophy for LMP2 Drivers
1. G. Aubry / H-P. Tung / W. Stevens 72 points
2. F. Albuquerque / P. Hanson 69 points
3. F. van Eerd / G. van der Garde 66 points
4. A-F Da Costa / R. Gonzalez 62 points
5. A. Negrao / P. Ragues / T. Laurent 56 points
 
Trophy for LMP2 Teams
1. Jackie Chan DC Racing 72 points
2. United Autosports 69 points
3. Racing Team Nederland 66 points
4. JOTA 62 points
5. Signatech Alpine Elf 56 points