RAM Racing has won the inaugural 24 Hours of Paul Ricard with its Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 and drivers Thomas Jäger (DE), Tom Onslow-Cole (GB), Adam Christodoulou (GB) and Paul White (GB).
The weekend started well as RAM Racing arrived at the world-famous circuit in the South of France. With a well-prepared car, the team quickly began setting it up for the track that was very hot and very green.
In the 45-minute qualifying session, AMG works driver Jäger praised the ‘nearly perfect’ car and put in a lap more than a second faster than the nearest competitor. And, with some of the biggest names in GT3 racing taking part, it was a qualifying session to be proud of.
However, Team Principal Dan Shufflebottom was keen to remain focused and he reminded his team of the 24-hour challenge ahead.
The challenge was, as anticipated, huge and the team was locked in a 24-hour-long battle with the #7 Porsche 991 GT3. With good strategy, faultless reliability and consistently quick lap times, RAM Racing managed to cross the line in first place and claim its fourth consecutive podium of the 2015 24H Series.
“What a race!”,commented Shufflebottom. “We had times when it looked in the bag and times when it looked like it was unreachable but all along we knew that second place was not an option.
“The team did a fantastic job. They didn’t miss a beat and, even when challenged, they remained cool and adapted the strategy to give us the strongest chance of winning. We should really be proud for the work we did to get us to this point. The race is 24 hours but that is just a small part of what you need to do to win. We believe strongly that preparation is key and that is what gave us the edge this weekend.
“The Mercedes is an incredible 24-hour machine and we’ve had fantastic customer service from AMG throughout the weekend. That certainly gave us an advantage and we’re very grateful to the whole team.”
RAM Racing next competes at Barcelona 24 Hours in September, where it hopes to secure the 24H Series championship win.
International racing team RAM Racing has qualified on pole for the inaugural 24H Series 24 Hours of Paul Ricard by more than a second in its #30 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3.
AMG works driver Thomas Jäger (DE) was selected to complete the 45-minute session, which took place in temperatures exceeding 30 degrees centigrade, and he quickly set the benchmark for the GT3 pack.
As the temperature dropped, the times got faster and, with five minutes of the session remaining, Jäger recorded a 2:06.390, more than a second faster than the P2 Ferrari.
“I’m very happy that we are on pole”, commented Jäger. “I got a very clear run and the car felt almost perfect - the team did a great job in set up. It feels particularly good because we have come so close in the last two rounds but narrowly missed out.”
The 24 Hours of Paul Ricard is the fourth round of the 24H Series and RAM Racing has finished second at each so far this season. With a win firmly in its sights, Team Principal Dan Shufflebottom is keeping his team focussed ahead of tomorrow’s race.
“We’ve come here to win and this is a great start to our weekend,” he said. “But, it’s only the start of a very long weekend. There’s still a lot of work to do and, with the competition here, we can’t afford to drop the ball once.”
The 24 Hours of Paul Ricard starts at 1430 local time tomorrow (Saturday 11 July) and Jäger will be joined in the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 by Tom Onslow-Cole (GB), Adam Christodoulou (GB) and Paul White (GB).
Fans can watch the action live at www.24hseries.com
RAM Racing will race at two of the world’s most iconic race tracks this weekend as it continues its 24H Series and British GT Championship campaigns with its pair of Mercedes SLS AMG GT3s.
The blue and silver #30 will race in the inaugural 24 Hours of Paul Ricard. The team is looking to maintain its 100 per cent podium record in the 2015 24H Series but this time aims to claim the overall race win.
Tom Onslow-Cole (GB) will once again be joined in the 6.2-litre machine by AMG works driver Thomas Jaeger (DE), fellow British pro Adam Christodoulou and 24H Series ‘super-Bronze’ Paul White (GB).
“We’ve finished second in every 24H Series race this year having led each event at some point,” commented Team Principal Dan Shufflebottom. “We’ve come so close to the winning three times so we really need to get on that top step this weekend. Anything else will be disappointing.”
Meanwhile, the British GT crew will head to the Championship’s overseas race at Spa-Francorchamps with the team’s green and white #30 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 and drivers Lewis Plato (GB) and Alistair Mackinnon (GB).
Despite it being their first season in the British GT Championship, the pair has already come close to the podium but this weekend they are hoping they can taste real success at a track that is renowned for its fast corners and challenging layout.
“Spa Francorchamps is a difficult track,” explained Shufflebottom. “It has no allowance for hesitation or error, you need to be on it on every corner in order to get a good lap time. Lewis and Alistair have both proven they have great race pace and I think the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 will suit the track. With focus and some luck onside they have a good chance of taking their first British GT Championship podium.”
The 24 Hours of Paul Ricard starts at 1430 on Saturday 11 July and it can be viewed on the website www.24hseries.com
The British GT Championship from Spa Francorchamps will be shown on MotorsTV throughout next week.