Double for L’Espace Bienvenue at Ricard, Piguet-Varutti Pro-Am champions

Although they no longer had the opportunity to claim the Silver Cup title, Benjamin Lessennes and Ricardo van der Ende still had a perfect weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard. By winning both races, the 2020 champions secured an exit with honors for their BMW M4 GT4 from L’Espace Bienvenue, a car which in 2023 will be replaced by the new version of the Bavarian.

The Belgian and Dutchman started in pole position and were never threatened, securing the honor of runners-up. They won over the duos Hugo Chevalier-Enzo Joulié (Mercedes-AMG GT4 #87 – Akkodis ASP) and Romain Carton-Victor Weyrich (Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 #74 – Racing Spirit of Léman), again on the podium.

Fourth, however, Erwan Bastard and Roee Meyuhas (Audi R8 LMS GT4 #14 – Saintéloc) are the undisputed Silver Cup champions of this 2022 season ahead of the Lessennes-van der Ende pair and the Stéphane Lémeret-Stéphane Tribaudini duo (Toyota GR Supra GT4 # 30 – CMR), eventual bronze medalists in the championship after taking 5th place in the Silver Cup this Sunday.

Julien Piguet and Alban Varutti celebrate their Pro-Am title with their team © SRO / Patrick Hecq Photography

Incredible turnaround in the Pro-Am

Who would have dared to believe such a turn of events? Probably not them! Arriving at Circuit Paul Ricard 36 points behind Rudy Servol and Nicolas Prost, Alban Varutti and Julien Piguet knew their fate was not in their hands for this final of the French FFSA GT Championship. But it was written that success would be on the side of the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport #10 this weekend… Victorious in the Pro-Am on Saturday, the duo from the AVR-Avvatar team came back to 11 points behind Prost-Servol. And when Alpine #36 pulled over on the first lap of Race 2, after contact with Rudy Servol, the situation was completely reversed. From that moment on, fourth place was enough for Varutti and Piguet, who did even better by going for third place in this final race.

We didn’t really believe it when we arrived hereconfided the two men. Then we won on Saturday, while Alpine finished outside the points. Today, their retirement in the first instance obviously changed everything. We feel sorry for Nico and Rudy and at the same time we are so happy. This unexpected title rewards all the team’s work. »

The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, new to French circuits this season, ended 2022 with a hat-trick in the Pro-Am category. Christopher Campbell and Timothé Buret claimed their third win of the season ahead of their K-Worx teammates, Pascal Huteau and Hugo Mogica, and champions Varutti and Piguet.

Fifth in Pro-Am, behind Grégory Guilvert and Grégory Curson Faessel (Audi R8 LMS GT4 #42 – Saintéloc Racing), Jim Pla and Fabien Barthez (Mercedes-AMG GT4 #16 – Akkodis ASP) grabbed the third step of the podium in the championship Olivier Jouffret and Éric Trémoulet (Mercedes-AMG GT4 #64 – Team Joufffruit by Vic’Team), seventh in this crucial race.

Christophe Hamon and Michaël Blanchemain are the 2022 Am champions in FFSA GT / © SRO / Patrick Hecq Photography

Am Cup: Hamon does it again, a first for Blanchemain

Already champion last year with Team Fullmotorsports Audi, Christophe Hamon renewed his title as French FFSA GT Champion in the Am Cup. This time Francilien was crowned with his friend Michaël Blanchemain.

After our win on Saturday, we had all the cards in our handsexplains Hamon. Everything went well until 10 minutes from the finish line. I was in the lead but the car started to lose power. I was about twenty km/h short of a straight line and I was really worried that the situation was going to get worse. In the end it held, but I still need some time to realize and enjoy this second title. »

Capitalizing on the problems of the #69 Audi, it was Aleksander Vaintrub and Stanislav Safronov who took the final win of the year in the Am Cup, but second place was more than enough for the title to go to Hamon and Blanchemain. Driving solo, Jean-Laurent Navarro (Mercedes-AMG GT4 #238) finished third ahead of Florent Grizaud and Kévin Jimenez. In the #72 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4, the GPA Racing drivers took fourth place in this final race, but they finished third in the championship. Only 8th in this last confrontation after letting them down, Jean-Charles Rédélé and Laurent Coubard (Alpine A110 GT4 #76 – Bodemer Auto) finished as 2021, runners-up in the Am Cup.

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