Recovery drive in the first round of Michelin Le Mans Cup

This past weekend saw the start of the brand new 2022 Michelin Le Mans Cup season in Paul Ricard. Behind the wheel of the LMP3 #72 are Alexandre Yvon and Mathis Poulet while Rob Hodes and Ian Rodriguez compete on the #33.

Both cars showed great pace from the beginning of the week-end. In Free Practice 1, car #33 ended up P6 while the #72 scored the 15th fastest time. In FP2, the #33 was the fastest overall, cortesy of Ian Rodriguez, while Mathis Poulet placed the #72 in 8th position. Now it was onto qualifying, where car #33 qualified in P26 and car #72 P27. While this wasn’t the result the team and drivers wanted, there was all to play for in the race. 

At the end of the first hour of the race, the #72 was placed P23 and the #33 P26 after having to complete a drive-through for track limits. Mandatory pitstop done, both Silver drivers jumped in and fought their way through the pack, finishing respectively P19 and P22.

Full focus is now on the next event in Imola next month.

Philippe Gautheron, Technical Director: The season didn’t start with the results we hoped for, especially after the speed Ian and Mathis have shown in the free practices showing we have a great potential to develop. Both our bronze drivers Rob and Alexandre took a lot of experience in a traffic-packed first stint, whilst Ian and Mathis did their part of the job in the second hour. We are looking into Imola now, where we will fight for a better result.”

Alexandre Yvon, Driver #72: “The car, the team and my teammate were very good. It was very hard to find a space in qualifying and we didn’t find a way to get a gap to make a real good lap. The race was strong we obtain 8 places starting 27 and finishing 19. My teammate, Virage and I made this result possible. Challenging but on the way to make it better in the next round.”

Mathis Poulet, Driver #72: “Happy about my first race with Alexandre. We manage to improve our performance each session. We started P27 to finish P19 without any mistakes. Happy about the pace I have shown. Very enriching weekend in terms of experience, feelings with the car and in traffic. I’m really looking forward to the next round in Imola, next month.”

Rob Hodes, Driver #33: “Unfortunately, this was the very poorest showing of my entire racing career.  I lost my chance for a clear qualifying lap, so I started very far back and just couldn’t find the pace.  It didn’t help that we had contact which damaged the aerodynamics on the car.  Thank you to the team who worked so hard and thank you to my very talented co-driver Ian Rodriguez.  We will have to regroup and put this one behind us as we continue “Racing to End Human Trafficking”.”

Ian Rodriguez, Driver #33: “I am happy with the work we did at Paul Ricard, I am sure that we will continue to improve to be among the first. I thank God for this great opportunity, the team for their work, my family for always supporting me and all those who make this possible.”