Jean Alesi will make his debut in an endurance event reserved for historic racing cars on the circuit on which he began his Formula 1 career, and of which he was recently elected president. This coming 7-8 April during the Easter weekend, the driver from Avignon, who has taken part in 201 Formula 1 Grands Prix, will share a Lotus Elan 26R from 1965 with his friend and ex-stable mate, Philippe Gache, himself a former racing driver with several successes to his name in numerous categories ranging from F3000 to the Dakar as well as the 500 Miles of Indianapolis, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the French SuperTouring Championship.
He is the boss of the SMG team that is preparing and entering the English GT and he has called on two other well-known drivers to form a tip-top prestigious lineup: Jean-Pierre and Stéphane Richelmi, a father-and-son duo from Monaco, who have both shone in motor sport. The former in the World Rally Championship and the French Gravel Rally Championship winning three titles, the latter in circuit racing that included the GP2 Series, the final step on the ladder before F1, and the world endurance championship with victory in the LMP2 category in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016 plus the title at the end of the year with the Signatech Alpine team.
There’s no doubt that this foursome will be one of the most eagerly-awaited teams in the race organised by V de V Sports called The Endurance 6 Heures V de V du GPFH, which will be run in the context of the KENNOL Historic French Grand Prix meeting.
The Lotus Elan 26R entered by SMG will find itself up against very competitive, battle-hardened crews in this type of racing at the wheel of extremely well-prepared cars. Among its rivals from the same historic period is the Ford GT40 run by the Hyracing team entrusted to the Franco-Belgian crew Olivier Muytjens-Brice Pineau-Kurt Dujardyn-Jacques Castelein plus the E-Type Jaguar entered by Jean-Paul Petit, the WKMR team’s Porsche 911 2.0 driven by father and son trio Stéphane, Mathieu and Baptiste Guyot-Sionnest as well as the Team V de V’s TVR Grifith 200 with Eric Van de Vyver, the man behind the endurance events reserved for historic racing cars, at the wheel. He should be teaming up with former no. 5 world-ranked tennis player, Henri Leconte, a participant in events organised by V de V Sports from the very outset.
GTs AND PROTOTYPES
BMW and Porsche, two brands famous for their matchless reliability and results in endurance, will be well represented in this six-hour race starting with the BMW 635 CSI run by the Chateaux Sport Auto team shared by Matthieu and Jean-Baptiste Chateaux and the Help Events 530 ius entered for Patrick Bourguignon-Jorge Vargas-Clement-Pierre Laversanne. Another car flying the Bavarian brand’s flag, the 2002 TI, is in the hands of Jérémy and Alexandre Ferrer associated with Quentin Jouanny. And then there’s the 323i run by Wassermann Racing and crewed by Eric Wassermann-Eric Baumard-Thierry Mathez.
Porsches will make up a large part of the field with ten cars already entered. The Flatsix Le Mans Circuit team will provide a 911 3.0 SC for Christophe Gaultier-Stéphane Deshayes-Mickael Bossuet and a 964 for Pierre Le Flem-Bruno Vieren. Other 911 3.0 SCs down to race are those entered for the driver lineups consisting of Damien Alfano-Maxime Tandel-Alexandre Boutin-Renaldo Da Cunha and Philippe Achard-Philippe Martin. The Cudini Racing Team managed by Alain Cudini, former French Touring Car champion with 13 outings in the 24 Hours of Le Mans under his belt, will be present with a Porsche 944 S2 for Arnold Noret-Philippe Vigneron-Eric Truffet. Duigou Racing has also entered a 911 3.0 RS for Philippe Burel-Bob Arezina-Fabrice Chapon. Two 964 Cups will be at the start: one prepared by Legendary Racing/Carafin for Pierre Vivier-Frédéric Comtet-Louis Antonini-Jean-Pierre Raffali and the other entered by Simon Racing for German driver, Jurgen Pentz. They will be joined by a 944 Turbo in the hands of Hugo Mezard-Emilien Chayia-Nicolas Doquin-Antoine Doquin.
And of course, the field wouldn’t be complete without the prototype category which includes the Ecurie Chateaux Sport Auto Grac MT-14B crewed by Axel de Ferran-Bernard Zimmer, the Tiga SC 83 of the aptly-named British team Rosbif for the trio comprising Ross, Nick and Charlie Hyett, the Tiga SC 79 run by the Palmyr squad for Swiss-Monegasque crew Marc Faggionato-Christian Vaglio-Giors-Gislain Genecand, and the Chevron B16 tuned by the RPL Didier squad for Julien Gruau-Maurice Bouvet-José Beltramelli.
Please note that the start and the opening hours of the race until nightfall will be broadcast live on the social networks.