Two weeks after the first round, the drivers of the Ferdinand Cup met at the Dijon-Prenois circuit. Similar to the legendary duel between Gilles Villeneuve and René Arnoux during the 1979 French Grand Prix, this Burgundy stop of the 2022 classic Porsche championship witnessed an equally legendary battle for victory!
As in Magny-Cours 15 days before, upon their arrival in the paddock, everyone came to the race director with a request: "We are willing to pay more for good weather!" After the deluge in Nevers, they were welcomed in Côte d'Or on Friday, April 7, with gloomy rain for the first day of free practice sessions. This weather seemed to have exhausted all the rain tires before finally finding more favorable weather on Saturday for qualifying and the two races, each lasting 50 and 60 minutes, respectively. But before taking the stage on this Easter weekend, the drivers had the surprise of finding Swiss chocolate eggs and rabbits hidden around their cars, a thoughtful gesture from Maxim and Jérémy Torres.
During the timed session, the track remains damp, but semi-slick tires are the right choice, and these conditions prove to be advantageous for Cédric Torres (Porsche 964 RS), who, despite not having the most powerful car, secures the pole position ahead of Christophe Terriou (Porsche 911) and Gillian Garret (Porsche 964 RSR). The prospect of an exciting three-way battle quickly fades as Terriou returns to the paddock with an engine issue that forces him to withdraw from the rest of the day's events. In FC2, Christophe Decultot and Dominique Mathon (Porsche 911 3.0 RS) take the lead, just as they did in Magny-Cours, ahead of Frédéric Ramousse (Porsche 911 2.8 RSR) and Michel Carvalheiro (Porsche 968 CS). In FC3, the fastest time is set by Samuel Serres/Sébastien Puechavy in their Porsche 911 3.2, followed by Bastien Mathieu (Porsche 911 SC) and the duo Jérôme Salva/Stéphane Morisset (Porsche 924 S).
The asphalt is completely dry this time as the competitors line up on the pre-grid. Torres and Garret, challenged in the first few kilometers by a determined Gil Oks (Porsche 964 RS), quickly break away and will race in a league of their own, separated by a mere second. For 31 laps, they will engage in a fierce battle, and by a mere 1.067 seconds, Gillian's green RSR triumphantly crosses the finish line. Patrice Lacroix (Porsche 993 RSR) is one lap behind, followed by Frédéric Ramousse, the winner of FC2, and his rival Michel Carvalheiro. In the category, the top three are completed by Guillaume Sauger (Porsche 911 2.7 RS). Dominating in FC3, the duo Serres/Puechavy secures another victory ahead of Bastien Mathieu and the Swiss pair François Jeanneret/Blaise Jacot (Porsche 944 S2).
For the anecdote, between the qualifying session and this first race, which took place in the early afternoon, a race against time began to allow Lacroix and Jeanneret/Jacot to start. The former had an exhaust that was too loud, while the latter faced a faulty cut-off switch. Thanks to the solidarity of the paddock and some ingenuity (using metallic "scotch-brite" in the exhaust to reduce the noise, thanks to Stéphane Salerno!), both teams were able to take the start, and they both ended up on the podium in their respective categories!
At 5:30 pm, the second race begins, and once again, we witness a fierce battle between Garret and Torres. However, this battle comes to an abrupt end after the mandatory pit stops when Garret receives a penalty. This opens the way for the Porsche 964 RS with the number 92 of the triple reigning champion, who secures his first victory of the season, ahead of Garret and Lacroix. In FC2, Ramousse repeats his success, taking the win ahead of Carvalheiro and Decultot/Mathon, while in FC3, taking advantage of the retirement of car #75 from Parisian Cars, Bastien Mathieu emerges victorious, followed by Jeanneret/Jacot and Salva/Morisset.
The Ferdinand Cup boys and women, delighted with their weekend, have scheduled their next gathering for the Pau Classic Grand Prix, which will take place from May 19th to May 21st. A not-to-be-missed event, whether in the stands or on the track!
Rankings are HERE