Le Mans (France), June 18, 2017. Dream came completely true. Cetilar Villorba Corse ended an incredibly hot edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans bringing under the chequered flag the Dallara P217 Gibson with racing drivers Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto and Andrea Belicchi. The great adventure in the third round of the World Endurance Championship that Lacorte, Sernagiotto and the all Italian team have been preparing together since 2015. In just two years they jumped from LMP3 to LMP2, always with a “deb” car, and then to Le Mans, where they made thier debut this week clinching an unexpected ten place overall, finishing also eighth in the LMP2 class. Despite several inconveniences, started on Wedneday (electrical issues in free practice and in qualyfying 1) and continued in the race. Italia crew started the 85th edition of the legendary French endurance race from 24th on the grid (18th LMP2 car)
The team was protagonist of a very competitive race thanks to their Dallara’s renowed reliability, their consistency and their perfect strategy. But drivers had to make three comebacks during the 24-hour distance. The first until Saturday’s evening, when they reached the LMP2 top-ten and then, on their 72nd lap, Lacorte, without fault, was touched by another car finishing into the gravel of the first corner, recovering just after about 4 minutes. Again in the top-ten a few hours later, at around 02:35hrs (team’s 166th lap), in the first part of the Hunaudierès Dallara’s rear left tyre blew forcing Sernagiotto to slowly return to pits where the team fixed everything (total time loss: 13 minutes). Rejoined the top-ten again, this time everything went well and after the cequered flag all the team could celebrate their stunning result, being also third between the European Le Mans Series teams and first between the team on Dallara’s entered in the race
Team Principal Amadio says: “It was an unbelievable week all together. An incredible debut all together. And then an exhausting race all together. A great Italian Spirit of Le Mans as we often have repeated for the last few months. All the guys in the team were extraordinary, the gave everything the had all time long, even when we feared the worst. And now the dream of that cequered flag, chased for years, is going even further than we expcted. Now, yes, we can celebrate. We deserve it all”.
photo by Paola Depalmas