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GT-Tour - French championship - 54e Grand Prix Nogaro 2014

27th - 28th September 2014

Event report by Raymond Bonnello

GT-Tour 2014 – sixth and penultimate round - Circuit Paul Armagnac – France

The track

3636 meters in length and including 14 turns, this circuit created in 1960 was the first circuit permanent of France.

the context

Here we come to the penultimate round of the French GT championship. We approach the final straight line for the awarding of the titles of champion.

In the championship four crews are separated by 13 points. Raymond Narac/Nicolas Armindo (IMSA Performance Matmut - Porsche 911 GT3 R #76) lead with 132 points, followed by Henry Hassid/Mike Parisy (Sébastien Loeb Racing - Audi R8 LMS Ultra #51) 124 points, David Halliday/Grégory Guilvert (Saintéloc Racing - Audi R8 LMS Ultra #42) 120 and Morgan Moullin-Traffort/Philippe Giauque (Team Sofrev ASP - Ferrari 458 Italia #1) 119.

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In the cup of France the battle is reduced to a duel between Gilles Duqueine/Philippe Colançon (Team Duqueine - Ferrari 458 Italia #350) 193 points and Pierre Hirshi/Thomas Nicolle (Classic and Modern Racing - BMW Z4 #21) 177 points the third Gilles Lallement (Saintéloc Racing - Audi R8 LMS Ultra - #44) is at 67 points with 126 points.

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Since the beginning of the season eight different crews won in ten races.

On the occasion of this round (and the next one) Fabien Barthez will make his return in GT-Tour with Sofrev ASP, team with which he was a champion the last season. He will be joined with Grégoire Demoustier (Team Sofrev ASP - Ferrari 458 Italia #16).

Two one-hour races with driver change between the 28th and 35th minutes, will be organised this weekend. Some teams must observe handicap of time further to the results of the last races.

Qualification #1 on September 27th 11:35

It is with a gap of 23 thousandth of second that Philippe Giauque (Team Sofrev ASP - Ferrari 458 Italia #1) outdistances Henri Hassid for pole position during the first session of qualification.The third time is also held by a title candidate, David Halliday at 97 millisecond, followed by Nicolas Metairie (Team Speed Car - Audi R8 LMS Ultra - #36) the fourth for the return of Speedcar in GT-Tour. The overall leader, Raymond Narac, got the seventh quickest time.

The four Sofrev Ferrari are in the top eight with with Fabien Barthez fifth ahead of Jean-Luc Beaubelique (Sofrev ASP - Ferrari 458 Italia - #20) and Eric Debard (Team Sofrev ASP - Ferrari 458 Italia #10) eighth. The top ten is completed by Gilles Vannelet (Sport Garage - Ferrari 458 Italia - #4) and Roland Bervillé (Sebastien Loeb Racing - Audi R8 LMS Ultra - #50)

The 13 competitors from France championship held in less than one second.

In the cup of France Philippe Colançon precede Pierre Hirschi et Jean-Paul Buffin (Sainteloc Racing - Audi R8 LMS Ultra - # 44)

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Qualification #2 on September 27th 12:05

After the qualifying session of AM they are PRO who dash in the assault of the chronometer for 30 minutes.

Mike Parisy has risen to the top of the hierarchy, at the middle-session, to leave it not more. The first line is completely by Anthony Beltoise (Sebastien Loeb Racing - Audi R8 LMS Ultra - #50). Grégory Guilvert positions his Audi at third place. Three Audi at the first three places. Team Sofrev-ASP has placed three of the Ferrari behind the trio of Ingolstadt. Nicolas Armindo again qualified the unique Porsche on the seventh place.

In the cup of France Gilles Duqueine precede Thomas Nicolle and Gilles Lallement. Drivers changed but the ranking is identical.

The session was interrupted by a red flag, to allow marshalls to evacuate Ferrari #3, when Arno Santamato’s run ended up in the gravel.

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Race 1 on September 27th

It was under a bright sun that is run the race on Saturday.

Taking advantage of his pole position Philippe Giauque takes a perfect start. He precedes Henri Hassid, Nicolas Métairie and David Hallyday. Follow three team-mates Fabien Barthez, Eric Debard and Jean-Luc Beaubelique. Raymond Narac has already given up on running, before the end of the first lap, du in a breakage of a radiator.

When the driver change window opens Philippe Giauque has 12 seconds of advance of his nearest pursuer. Passage by the pit lane and handicap-time upset the hierarchy in the lead. It is Vincent Abril, who took the head the race pursued by Grégory Guilvert, Morgan Moullin-Traffort, Enzo Guibbert (Sport Garage - Ferrari 458 Italia - #4) and Mike Parisy.

After a beautiful battle, Morgan Moullin-Traffort/Philippe Giauque ends on the top of the podium, second Grégory Guilvert/David Hallyday and third Mike Parisy/Henry Hassid .

In cup the results of qualifications are renewed for the race, in other words,Gilles Duqueine/Philippe Colançon, Pierre Hirshi/Thomas Nicolle, Jean-Paul Buffin/Gilles Lallement.

Further to a complaint filed after the race, several cars were downgraded.

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#1 and #20 of the team Sofrev ASP. The team appealed against this decision.

Downgrading of #9 and #350 of the team Duqueine and #3 and #4 of team Sport Garage.

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The car #44 received a penalty of 30 seconds.

The official result is awaiting results of the appeals.

I shall not miss to announce it to you ASAP

Race 2 on September 28th

It is under the cloudy sky that the second round of this meeting it is run, some drop of rain shall invite without disrupting the competitors.

As the day before the poleman, Mike Parisy, finds himself in the lead at the first corner. Ludovic the fourth on the starting line follows him. Appear then Grégory Guilvert, Anthony Beltoise, Olivier Panis, Nicolas Armindo and Morgan Moullin-Traffort. The rhythm of Mike Parisy is fast, he approaches ths pit-stops with 7 seconds ahead of the second.

Jean-Luc Beaubelique goes out in head followed by Henry Hassid and Roland Bervillé. Henry Hassid overtook Jean-Luc Beaubelique 10 minutes before the checkered flag. The third step of the podium falls to Anthony Beltoise. Gilles Vannelet cuts the line in the fourth position preceding Raymond Narac. Eric Debard and David Hallyday take respectively the sixth and seventh.

In Cup a collision between Gilles Lallement, who gives up, and Nicolle Thomas in Robert Dubois's curve will kill the suspense leaving Gilles Duqueine alone in the lap.

After the race, we will learn the decommissioning of #10 and #42 by decision of the race direction. The pilots stopped in front of the finishing line to avoid the handicaps of time during the next meeting (the finals)

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