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Paul Ricard – Round 1 : Knights and Day

Do you remember? That wristband we couldn't wait to take off at the end of the weekend. Trying to recall where our paddock was located. Pulling out all the gear we had promised ourselves not to leave in the trailer throughout the winter break to prepare for the next season... We get back into the routine, finding the still-living bugs that had invaded us during the last race in Alsace. With a nervous laugh, we realize it's starting again! The first competitors finally arrive. What a joy! We take out three items from the trailer to ease our conscience, but all we really want is to catch up on the last five months with friends around a table. It's also the perfect time to see what upgrades our buddies have made to their beloved cars or to check out the new toys some have brought along. We finally relax in our so-comfortable deck chairs, taking a deep breath to savor the atmosphere filled with the scent of high-octane fuel, tire rubber, and the sweet aroma of grilled sausages wafting from a corner of the paddocks. What's missing? Ah yes, the first engines roaring to life in a deafening clamor... Flat-6, V8, or a bit of everything? And finally, a flat, unsettling silence reminding us how much we missed this! Are you there? As for us, we wouldn't have missed it for anything in the world!

160 days! 160 days of unbearable waiting for our grandma. (the cars, of course) who spent the harsh winter being pampered by the expert hands of mechanics and drivers. Everything is in place, the cars are ready, and the drivers are trembling with anticipation... Watch out for the marshals who might not move fast enough from the pit exit when the lights go out, risking the heat of the exhausts brushing their legs. And off we go for the practice session! It's time to get the machines running again. But you can tell everyone has been ready for a long time!

 

A lengthy, refreshing break before the qualifications allows our gentlemen drivers to gather their thoughts, as the next part won't be a simple cruise through the Var countryside. This year, both the qualifications and the second race will take place at night! We weren't about to let our eager young drivers find their footing so easily! So, in the cool early evening air, 30 cars take off for the half-hour qualifying session. The local favorite, Gillian Garret, quickly falls back into his old habits, always accompanied by his 3.8L 'frog,' securing first place with a six-tenths lead over Christophe Feret and his impressive but very capable 928. Gillian Garret,quickly falls back into his old habits, always accompanied by his 3.8L 'frog,' securing first place with a six-tenths lead over Christophe Feret and his impressive but very capable 928. Benjamin Moussion / Cédric Torres in their incredible 964 RS Yellow, very yellow, they fully intend to score a lot of points right from the start of the season. In FC2, Stephan Ehrhardt takes first position, just 38 thousandths ahead of Michel Carvalheiro who is giving it his all in his 968. Not far behind, the #93 911 of the Decultot/Mathon team waits for the right moment to slip into the leading positions. Starting in 4th position will be the duo of Benjamin Moussion and Maeva Moussion.nd no, there aren’t two Benjamin Moussion, but rather one who found it insufficient to race for "just" two hours over the weekend. Inspired by Freddie Spencer's two-wheel exploits in the 1980s, he found a solution by racing both a 964 in FC1 and a 968 in FC2! In the FC3/FC4 category, Samuel Serres akes off in his 3.0, which gained some curves over the winter in its new Group 4 configuration! The Salva / Morisset secures the second position. Ben Gayer, lurking just behind, lines up on the starting grid. The night proves exhausting for our drivers, and they quickly head to bed to recharge for Saturday's events, following the traditional Ferdinand Cup pizza night at Castellet.

On Saturday, everyone has time to wake up gently and savor their coffee before the first race at 10:20 AM. Finally, the first start of the year! The race begins with 50 minutes of action during which our top three drivers pull away. Behind them, however, there's a close battle, with a thrilling duel between Michel Carvalheiro and Fred Ramoussehat lasts until the final lap. Carvalheiro secures second place with a bold braking maneuver. Stéphane Ehrhardtremains at the front. In the FC3/FC4 category, Samuel Serreswithout his partner (to whom we wish a speedy recovery after surgery due to a nasty fall), is untouchable. Ben Gayer takes second place, closely followed by the JS Speed Shop 924 of Salva/Morissetwho are never far from the podium.

Now we await the evening race, with everyone eager to settle the score once and for all! At 8:10 PM, in the pitch black, the final race of the weekend begins. Once again, local hero Gillian Garret sets the pace and pulls far ahead. We expect a similar result to the morning, but a collision between Feret and Terriou Feret and Terriou reshuffles the deck, allowing Sébastien Serra to secure his first FC1 podium behind a legend, the famous driver and tuner Raymond Boutinaud. Stephan Ehrhardt takes the lead in FC2 and achieves the remarkable feat of finishing 2nd overall.th He is followed by Michel Carvalheirowho repeats his morning performance by maintaining his second position, while the duo of Benjamin and Maeva Moussion consistent, clinching 3rd place. remain consistant, clinching 3rd place.th In the FC3 category, Samuel Serres ends his perfect weekend by scoring the maximum points. The positions are reversed for the JS Speed Shop team and Ben Gayer who finish the weekend with the same number of points.

What an emotion! The weekend is already coming to an end, and so many things have happened that we hardly had time to take it all in. We settle down to enjoy a good steak and reflect on everything we've just experienced. It's the moment to realize just how passionate we are and how this passion brings only extraordinary events. Joys, sorrows, and the unexpected, but undoubtedly,
remain powerful moments. 

Complete results are HERE

News written by Nico Ferdier

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