The Circuit de Nevers - Magny-Cours hosted the first round of the 2023 Ferdinand Cup season on the 25th and 26th of March. It was an emotional start to the season with reunions, 28 cars on the grid, the eagerness to hit the track, and everyone checking weather apps to determine the best choice of tires to use!
At Magny-Cours, there is an airsock that perhaps no one had noticed before. Not even on Saturday, as the sky was clear, albeit with a few clouds. However, on Sunday morning, while the Ferdinand Cup drivers woke up to a clear blue sky, the clouds started gathering. Five minutes before the qualifying session, the question was whether to use wet or dry tires? Except for three drivers, everyone chose dry tires. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the wrong decision. Just as they were about to hit the track, the rain poured down. As a result, at the end of the session, and for the first time in the history of the Cup, an FC2 Porsche 911 3.0 RS driven by Christophe Decultot and Dominique Mathon secured the pole position.
The first race of the year takes place a few hours later. Despite the forecast predicting rain and gusty winds during both Sunday races, the meteorologists were completely wrong. As the lights go out, the track is perfectly dry, and the traditional hierarchy is reshaped.e Thus, Christophe Terriou, starting 10th on the grid, emerges after a few kilometers to take back the lead from Cédric Torres, who defends fiercely against Gillian Garret and his beautiful "Verte" (referring to the color of the car). In these conditions, after a 50-minute race where the battles were fantastic in all categories, Christophe takes the victory ahead of Gillian and Cédric. Patrice Lacroix finishes fourth, continuing the development of his 993 and showing potential for future podiums and wins. Fabien Labrousse and Guillaume Sauger (who will soon challenge the FC2 hierarchy with his 2.7 RS with a 3.2 engine) achieve a Top-5 finish, starting the podium tally for the beautiful 964 RS.
Just outside the Top-5, Frédéric Ramousse secures his first victory in FC2 after a hard-fought battle against Mathieu Simone from Belgium, who pushes Laurent Haushalter's 911 to new heights, and Philippe Les, the double reigning champion, reminds everyone that he is a force to be reckoned with. In FC3/4, the laurels go to Samuel Serres and Sébastien Puechavny ahead of Bastien Mathieu and the JS Speed Shop duo, Jérôme Salva and Stéphane Morisset, who also manage five cars from the grid in parallel!
After the euphoria, the awards ceremony and the presentation of the watches MAT Watches offered by the loyal partner of the Ferdinand Cup, it's time for the second race. One hour before the start, it feels like being in a "dog urinal" with cars lifting their legs while waiting to decide which tires to use. At 30 minutes before the race, the scene is hilarious. The drivers are glued to their smartphones. Weather apps predict rain, so they opt for wet tires. But at 15 minutes before the race, the windsock goes down, the sky is rather white, and the majority chooses dry tires. Except for a few diehards... who don't really have a choice. Terriou and Torres take the gamble of a distant shower to gain an advantage and stay ahead.
The start of the race proves them right. They take a considerable lead until a heavy downpour strikes after about fifteen minutes. Garret then takes the lead and will cross the finish line ahead of the incredible Philippe Les, second overall and first in FC2 (a new record beaten), and Fred Ramousse (who also made an impressive comeback) and secured the second place in FC2.e And the pole-sitters Christophe Decultot and Dominique Mathon, who started on dry tires but switched to wet ones during the mandatory mid-race pit stop. Gil Oks then finishes second,e FC1 devant les époux Moussion dont la 968 CS envoie du bois, et Olivier Bosio qui, possesseur de la splendide 917 Replica, avait fait la danse de la pluie… pour qu’il pleuve. En FC3/4, enfin, le duo Salva/Morisset s’impose grâce à un changement de pneus salvateur à mi-parcours, devant Serres/Puechavny et la – toute – petite 924 de Laurent Rung et Luc Deslaurier. « Toute petite » c’est pour l’histoire, car faute de concurrents ils ont été surclassés dans la catégorie supérieure, et ils ont démontré que malgré une puissance moindre, rien ne sert de courir… comme dirait l’autre.
At the time of the podium, and before everyone leaves to return home, Christophe Terriou, who had stopped midway in the race due to incorrect tire choice and to avoid damaging his car, made this remark: "Pfff, anyway, just like at Spa, it's Garret who has the best frog." No connection to the nickname given to the 911, I swear!
Rankings are HERE