Team Signatech-Nissan, with its trio Mailleux/Ordoñez/Vernay, concluded its great season with a win at the 6 Hours of Zhuhai, final round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. After starting from the pole position, the team completed a flawless race to give the ORECA 03 another victory. For its debut in Formula Le Mans, with an ORECA-FLM 09, the Chinese team PTRS Racing had a good race with Zhang Shanqi and Wei Liang Chen at the wheel.
A win without contest for team Signatech-Nissan…
Arriving in China, the objective of Philippe Sinault and Didier Calmels’ men was clear : take the win ! Crowned « Teams » champions since Petit Le Mans, team Signatech-Nissan realised its mission and in the process finish the season on a high note. At the top of the timesheets since the first practice session, the No. 26 ORECA 03 was fastest in each session, before Franck Mailleux signed pole in LMP2.
During the race, Franck Mailleux, Lucas Ordoñez and Jean-Karl Vernay once again showed good speed, avoiding incident on the Zhuhai circuit. In a competitive ORECA 03-Nissan, Jean-Karl Vernay takes the start. Franck Mailleux takes over for him for a solid double stint, but when he comes in to hand the car to Lucas Ordoñez, the team must remove a plastic sack that was sucked into a sidepod intake which was raising the water temperature. The Spaniard keeps the ORECA 03 in the class lead, before Jean-Karl Vernay finishes the race. During the last stop, a new front cover is installed as a precaution, but this doesn’t keep the Signatech-Nissan team from reaching the top step of the podium.
Franck Mailleux is satisfied with this first place finish : « I’m really happy. This victory is a good way to finish the season. We were determined to win at least one race this year. » The Brittany native underlines the work of the whole team : « I’d like to thank the entire Signatech-Nissan team, as well as my teammates – Lucas, Jean-Karl, without forgetting Soheil (Ayari)- for all of the work done and these accomplished performances.The weekend was good. We had to learn the track and I gave it my all to take pole. This victory is a well-deserved result for everyone. »
For its first year in competition, the ORECA 03 LMP2 shined both in the Le Mans Series – with two wins and the Constructors title for ORECA-Nissan – as well as in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup – with the Teams title for Signatech-Nissan, including a second place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in class. The prototype designed in the Signes workshops concludes its world tour with a convincing win in Asia.
Mission accomplished for PTRS Racing…
An ORECA-FLM 09 was also present on track at Zhuhai, entered by PTRS Racing. The Formula Le Mans was driven by Wei Liang Chen, the Team Manager, and Zhang Shanqui. The latter already knew the track and the car, which he drove during the Test Day for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, then at the 6 Hours of Imola, with a third place finish driving for Hope Racing. The Chinese team PTRS Racing did well on home soil : after getting used to their new ride, the team and duo of Shanqi/Chen rallied the finish after an uneventful race. After this convincing performance, the young Zhang Shanqi will be hoping to continue his climb up the endurance racing ladder to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year.