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MOTOREX Magazine 2013 100 EN

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  • Motorex
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eport continued Photo: Laurent Missbauer Le Mans Classics competitor Georges Gachnang (82) in his Cooper Monaco F1 with son Olivier and grandchildren Natacha (back) and F1 driver Sébastien Buemi (right). Benoît Morand (left) and Joe Genoud (right) spend the 24 hours literally wired in, informed of every detail. Anatomy, making his second appearance this year, and Italian soccer star Alessandro del Piero. Young drivers also succumb to the fascination of Le Mans, like successful Swiss racer Natacha Gachnang in the cockpit of a Morgan Judd LMP2 for the Swiss Morand Racing team and her cousin Sébastien Buemi (test driver for the Red Bull F1 team) in the Toyota LMP1 works team. A CHANCE FOR MORAND RACING Along with professional preparation, racing also always takes a little bit of luck. This year fortune smiled on the Swiss private Morand Racing team at Le Mans. When the Starworks team withdrew, Morand Racing advanced to start in the LMP2 class. This was not the first appearance for team leader and pro motor racer Benoît Natacha Gachnang is impressive with her clean but fast driving style. All vehicle data is continually transmitted by radio to the team management. Morand, who had driven at Le Mans in 2011 in the first hybrid LMP1 prototype admitted to the race. Together with the team’s part-owner Joe Genoud, who had himself raced at Le Mans on a motorcycle in 1983, the private Morand Racing team battled the mighty works teams. The field was composed of 56 vehicles in all in the LMP1, LMP2 and GT classes. Swiss driver Natacha Gachnang and the two Frenchmen Franck Mailleux and Olivier Lombard shared the 24 hours of driving in an open Morgan Judd LMP2. PERFECT TEAMWORK The European Le Mans Series (ELMS) consists of six races. Before Le Mans, competitions were held at Silverstone, UK and Imola, Italy. There is only one day of practice at Le Mans, about three weeks before the race. The race itself started on Saturday, June 22 at 3:00 p.m. in dry weather. It later rained intermittently, and choos ing the right tires was not easy. The three drivers are able to switch over after every third refueling stop, i.e. every three times 50 minutes. This means actual driving time is limited to about 7.5 hours per driver. During the race, the drivers follow a careful rhythm of driving, eating and resting. At night they have only about three hours at most to sleep or rest. A smoothly functioning team is the key to success. The team from French-speaking Switzerland consists of up to 20 people, all of whom have their hands full at Le Mans: several 12

The night stages are especially demanding, with high speeds and poor visibility. We did it! The private Morand Racing team takes an outstanding 5 th place in the LMP2 category at Le Mans. Congratulations! engineers, telemetry specialists, the pit crew to refuel and change tires and brakes, mechanics, a cook, a physiotherapist and of course the team leaders. RACING PASSION The Gachnang family is living proof that the passion for racing is hereditary. Grandfather Georges Gachnang took part at Le Mans back in 1960 with an AC Bristol he had modified himself. As recently as last year, at the age of 80, he joined his racing grandchildren, Natacha Gachnang and Sébastien Buemi, to show off his skills in his Cooper Monaco F1 at the Le Mans Classic 2012. The entire Gachnang and Buemi family stands behind their young racing talents with great commitment and dedication. Sébastien crossed the finish line, the team members and their families in Aigle had reason to celebrate: Morand Racing with Natacha on the team took a fabulous 5 th place in the LMP2 class and 11 th place overall with an average lap time of 3.44 minutes, and the Toyota works team with Sébastien Buemi even took 2 nd place on the podium with an average lap time of 3.28 minutes. The anniversary of the fabled race on the Sarthe River showed once again that heroes and their sacrifices are what legends are made of. • ANNIVERSARY OVERSHADOWED Regretfully, the anniversary race 2013 was overshadowed by a serious accident. On Saturday, Danish driver Allan Simonsen, an experienced endurance racer appearing in the 24-hour event for the seventh time, collided with the guard rail in his Aston Martin (GTE amateur category) on the third lap. In critical condition he was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his serious injuries. At the family’s request, however, the race was continued. HAPPILY ACROSS THE FINISH LINE The tragedy overshadowed the entire race and weighed on everyone involved. Still, by the time Natacha and MORGAN JUDD LMP2 Make Morgan Chassis Pescarolo 01 Carbon Weight 900 kg Brakes Brembo Carbon 15“ Tank capacity 75 l Engine Judd V8, 3.6 l (BMW) Output 475 hp at 9,000 rpm Torque 406 Nm at 7,000 rpm Max speed 320 kph Transmission X-Trac 6-speed sequential Lubricants Motorex motorex Magazine 100 I december 2013 13



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