As the main racing championships are about to begin the 2018 season, the Porsche Carrera Cup France has seen its first collective Testing Day on the circuit of Nevers Magny Cours, on the 20 March. Despite poor weather all over France, the Porsche Carrera Cup France 2018 test day was held under dry, but cold, conditions.
The 2018 season will see a big step forward for the French Carrera Cup, with the new generation of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, powered by a 6-cylinder 4.0-litre engine developing 485bhp, to replace the previous model.
Although everyone is starting with the same new car, the 2017 team champion Martinet by Alméras know this model very well, as the team has already been using it in the Porsche Supercup for the first time in 2017.
The 2017 champion Julien Andlauer (Martinet by Alméras) is now a Porsche Junior Programme member, and will race the entire Porsche Supercup season as well as some rounds of the French Carrera Cup, in order to keep up his training and practice in the Porsches. He was the pace setter in the morning session with a best time of 1:40.827, followed by Porsche Carrera Cup Italia 2017 winner Alessio Rovera (Tsunami RT) and the 2017 rookie champ and Barcelona race winner, Valentin Hasse-Clot (Sébastien Loeb Racing).
The session continued in the afternoon, although both Rovera and Hasse-Clot improved their times, they could not improve on Andlauer’s morning time.
Hugo Chevalier (Sébastien Loeb Racing) arrived at the track as the Espoir (big hope) Porsche Carrera Cup France for 2018. The 17-year old comes from Formula 4 single seaters and will succeed Valentin Hasse-Clot as Espoir Porsche Carrera Cup which brings financial and technical support from Porsche and its partners, as well as a special follow-up from the official Porsche driver Patrick Pilet.
Jérémy Sarhy (Sébastien Loeb Racing) is another youngster to join the series. Originally from Bordeaux, he has raced in the past in the Renault Clio Cup France. Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer, 17 years old (Team 85/Bourgoin Racing), is another contender for the rookie title, having raced single seaters in the last two seasons (Toyota Racing Series and Formula Renault 2.0). He set the sixth fastest time of the day (1:42.370).
In the Gentlemen class (cat B) Nicolas Misslin (Martinet by Alméras) was the quickest (1:42.807) followed by Sébastien Dumez – a former Carrera Cup frontrunner in the past (Team 85/Bourgoin Racing), Stéphane Denoual (Pierre Martinet by Alméras), Christian Jaquillard (Jonquille Racing), Yannick Mallegol (RMS) and Mark Nichol (Tsunami RT).
The first round will be held at the same meeting with the WEC Spa 6 hours Race the first week-end of May.
Detailed results for the test day are below:
|1||Julien Andlauer||FRA||Team Martinet by Alméras||1:40.827|
|2||Valentin Hasse-Clot||FRA||Sébastien Loeb Racing||1:41.293|
|3||Alessio Rovera||ITA||Tsunami RT||1:41.473|
|4||Hugo Chevalier||FRA||Team Martinet by Alméras||1:41.903|
|5||Jérémy Sarhy||FRA||Sébastien Loeb Racing||1:42.273|
|6||Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer||FRA||Team 85/Bourgoin||1:42.370|
|7||Nicolas Misslin||FRA||Team Martinet by Alméras – (1st Gentleman)||1:42.807|
|8||Sébastien Dumez||FRA||Team 85/Bourgoin||1:43.130|
|9||Victor Blugeon||FRA||Team Martinet by Alméras||1:43.361|
|10||Stéphane Denoual||FRA||Team Martinet by Alméras||1:43.701|
|11||Jérémie Lesoudier||FRA||Team 85/Bourgoin||1:44.282|
|12||Alex Marchois||FRA||FAL Racing||1:44.465|
|16||Mark Nichol||SCO||Tsunami RT||1:45.605|
2018 French Carrera Cup Calendar:
|1||3-5 May||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (FIA WEC)|
|2||19-21 May||Circuit de Zandvoort (Max Verstappen Days)|
|3||13-15 July||Circuit de Dijon-Prenois (French GT)|
|4||7-9 Sept||Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours (French GT)|
|5||28-30 Sept||Circuit of Catalunya, Barcelona (French GT)|
|6||12-14 Oct||Circuit Paul Ricard (French GT)|
Written by: Lucian Sonea
Images by: Porsche/Alexis Goure