Motor On Line

On the podium of the ELMS opener
Reportagem: Panis Racing

On April 11th, the French team was back on track on the Paul Ricard circuit for the official European Le Mans Series test ahead of this weekend's season opener. For its seventh year in the LMP2 class, the team led by Olivier Panis, in partnership with Sarah and Simon Abadie with Tech1 Racing, climbed onto the podium at the end of the 4 Hours of Le Castellet.

the two-day Prologue at the beginning of the week, Jamin / Van Uitert / Canal line-up set the fastest lap on Friday for the first free practice, with a P7 in the Saturday morning session.

Then came the qualifying session, where Nico Jamin put the #65 Oreca 07 in P5 at the end of a session aborted by a late red flag.

Julien Canal started the 4 hours of Le Castellet on Sunday and maintained his ranking during all his stints, thanks to a very good pace, despite three safety-car periods. And after 1h20 on track, battle with several gold drivers and hands over the steering wheel to Nico Jamin who emerges under Full Course Yellow in 6th position. When the green flag came out, the Frenchman quickly overtook the TDS Racing x Vaillante car and a few laps later the Algarve Pro Racing and the United Autosports. He did a remarkable job, proved a good top speed, and then took the second place, ready set to challenge the leader, who was on new tires. He managed to close the gap before handing the car back to Job Van Uitert for the remaining 75 minutes. The 23-year-old Dutchman was behind Louis Deletraz and just ahead of the experienced Nicolas Lapierre. He strongly defended his position. 15 minutes from the end of the race, he conceded a place to Algarve Pro Racing with an offbeat strategy and finally passed 3rd under the checkered flag. Panis Racing climbed onto the podium at the end of the race and scored its first points (15) of the championship.

Olivier Panis - Team Principal:

" It's a very positive first race with our new driver Job Van Uitert, Nico Jamin – with whom we are pleased to work again - and our loyal Julien Canal. They created a great atmosphere and relationship throughout the week with the team. We have made some internal changes, but the level of performance and seriousness as demonstrated for several years still remains the same under the direction of our technical director, Florent Gouin. Julien drove two very strong stints in difficult conditions with safety cars, and as usual he managed the situation very well. Then, Nico was impressive on track, super-fast from scratch, and Job, for his debut with us, was solid until the end. The championship is even more competitive this season, but we will fight to get the 1st place on every race."

Julien Canal :

"This first podium at the Paul Ricard track is something to remember. The three of us are very close, and we are working in the same direction on a very competitive car, thanks to the engineers and mechanics. This race gives us the confidence we have the potential to get on the podium every race and to fight for the overall victory."

Nico Jamin :

"I'm really happy after this race. Everyone did a great job the whole week. The car behaved well, and we were satisfied in terms of tires degradation. Julien did a solid stint; I'm satisfied to have been able to move up to second place close to the leader; and Job finished the race well. The atmosphere at Panis Racing is friendly, and we have as much fun together off the track as we have a serious and professional approach on track. We will keep focusing and working, to be on the podium in the next round."

Job Van Uitert :

"We had a great race. The target was to win it for sure, but we lacked a bit of something to fight the Prema Racing car. I am sure next time we will deliver what we are hoping for. Our team is so competitive, and we are not making any kind of mistakes. I am already looking forward to Imola. I am very well surrounded by Julien and Nico, as our approach and racing spirit are perfectly matching. I feel really good within Panis Racing, and the future looks very good for us this year."


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