28 august 2017
A good performance for
After a successful round at Red Bull Ring, the French team Panis-Barthez Compétition shone again for its home race at the 4 Hours of Le Castellet in European Le Mans Series on the Circuit Paul Ricard, 5.861 km long and its 13 corners. In LMP2, the line-up Berthon/Barthez/Buret, onboard the #23 Ligier JS P217, crossed fourth the finishing line and was the best Ligier of the pack.
Sarah Abadie - Team-Manager : “It went well this weekend at Paul Ricard for both cars which set their best result from the beginning of the season. Regarding the LMP2, we feared about the deterioration of the tyres but it was fine eventually. The whole team did not make any mistake and the drivers were great. They had a good pace all throughout the race which allowed us to catch up the other competitors as well as secure a good result. This is very positive for the rest of the championship.
With very hot conditions at Le Castellet, it was not easy, but we worked well to improve the comfort of the driver. The cars improved well all throughout the weekend and we were cautious due to the deterioration of the tyres like in Timothé Buret’s first stint. Anyway, a positive weekend that gives us hopes for the rest of the season.”
Fabien Barthez – LMP2 driver – Ligier JS P217 #23 : “Beyond the sporting satisfaction, this fourth place delights me because it is the result of the work of the whole team and we are happy to dedicate it to our team-principal, Olivier Panis, absent at Le Castellet for personal reasons. The engineers and their staff did an amazing job for this race especially because we were not able to run a lot during free sessions. They knew how to gather the best parameters with only little information from us. They deserve this result. Nathanaël, Timothé and I had a very competitive car that allowed us to go for it and we enjoyed ourselves a lot on this track."
Nathanaël Berthon- Pilote LMP2 – Ligier JS P217 #23 : "I had my stints at the end of the race, after a great job from my two teammates. We can be proud of this result, the best of the year because it was a bit tough at the beginning of the meeting. Indeed, we did not run much during the free sessions but the engineers found the right set-up. Timothé did awesome laptimes and fought well during his double stint. As usual, Fabien did not make any mistake. We are always confident when he is on track. Without the last Full Course Yellow, the podium was within reach but we only want to remember the best: this good result, our improvement throughout the different rounds and the growing understanding with the technical staff. We are even more motivated for Spa; it is one of my favourite tracks. It is the place where I have always been successful in different categories; I really look forward to being there!”
Timothé Buret – LMP2 driver - Ligier JS P217 #23 : "My start was good; I did not lose any position which was the most important thing. We knew the key element would be the deterioration of the tyres so I took care of them for five or six laps. Moreover, I had to save a fair amount of fuel because we have a tendency to overconsume. I had quite a few parameters to take into account but, laps after laps, I had the right pace, the deterioration was not so serious. I also managed the traffic well and the team did a good job. All these elements allowed me to have fun at the wheel of the car, I would even say it is the first time I have enjoyed so much at Paul Ricard. This fourth place is a good reward for our technical staff which prepared us a top car.”