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SA's David Perel victorious in France, takes Championship Lead

2017-06-27 09:56

Image: Supplied

France - Having just come off of two wins in a row in the Blancpain Sprint Series, David Perel was hoping to carry some of that momentum in the Endurance Series at the Paul Ricard 6 Hour in France.

Perel’s performance out the gate far exceed expectations as he lead the first free practice session and was second in the next practice session, against 60 cars and 180 drivers.

He said: "We had a good feeling about the weekend but didn’t expect to be at the sharp end of the entire Blancpain field. Our aim was to lead our class but we went beyond that."

Qualifying mishap

Qualifying did not go according to plan though as David made a small mistake on his best lap which cost him Pole Position in Class.

Perel said: "After our performance in practice I was hoping to do better but we will make up for it in the race."

In a six hour endurance race each of the three co-drivers are required to race for two hours. Given David’s form, the team chose to put him in during the final two hours in order to catch the class leaders.

After four hours the #888 Ferrari 488 GT3 run by Kessel Racing was lying second in class and one lap behind the leaders. However once Perel got into the car he quickly started eating into the lead at over three seconds per lap, eventually unlapping the #888.

He said: "I didn’t leave a stone unturned during my two hour stint. I left it all on the line, even catching and passing some of the factory drivers in the field, it was a huge effort."

BMW's blunder

With ten minutes to go Perel was only 15 seconds behind the leading BMW but a technical infringement meant he had to serve a drive through penalty which would potentially cost the race win.

As Perel crossed the line in second place it became apparent that the leading BMW had in fact been guilty of a more severe infringement, having skipped one of the 5 required pit stops, therefore handing an unlikely win to Perel and his co-drivers Marco Zanuttini and Jacques Duyver.

This win is the first for Perel in the Endurance Series and now puts him in the lead of all three Blancpain GT Championships.

He said: "Our car was perfect and  my pace in the race was a dream. I am so happy to have finally won a race in the Blancpain Endurance Series, this is a massive massive achievement for me. A huge thanks to my team and my co-drivers!"

The next race for David is the biggest of the season, the famous Spa 24 Hour in Belgium, which will take place on the 29th of July.

Read more on:    france  |  motorsport  |  racing

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