Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has experienced today one of the busiest days so far this year. After nine hours of activity on the track, four qualifying sessions and seven races, the definitive starting grid for the fourth round of the European Le Mans Series, the 4H of Barcelona, has been announced.
The starting grid will be headed by the French team Panis Racing. Although they are having a great season, the truth is that in Barcelona they were not expected to be at the front of the field, as other teams had been in the lead until now. Julien Canal, Nicolas Jamin and Job Van Uitert still fought for the pole position of the 4H of Barcelona, and they did it. They stopped the clock at 1:34.802 and were in a time battle with the championship and LMP2 class leader, Cool Racing (Nicolas Lapierre, Niklas Kruetten, Yifei Ye). Only 97 thousandths of a second were needed to decide the first two positions. Nevertheless, it is an explosive combination for the Circuit, as Yifei Ye, one of the Cool Racing team members, was the one who won the last edition of the event, while Panis Racing took third place on the podium in Barcelona. Third place went to Racing Team Turkey with Salih Yoluc, Charlie Eastwood and Jack Aitken.
In LMP3, the leader’s victory was a coup. Maurice Smith, Michael Benham and Malthe Jakobsen put the Cool Racing team at the top of the category. Moreover, they have done it with a lap time that no rival has been able to match, a 1:40.112. Two heavyweights will challenge them in the Barcelona 4H, Inter Europol Competiton (Nicolas Pino, Charles Crews, Guilherme Oliveira) and United Autosports (Bailey Voisin, Joshua Caygill, Finn Gehrsitz). Despite the close race, Inter Europol Competition was the only one, apart from Cool Racing, to run within one minute and forty seconds. The category includes a local entry, Xavier Lloveras, who will start from eleventh place in LMP3 tomorrow. Lloveras shares the challenge with Glenn Van Berlo and Freddie Hunt, all of whom are part of the Eurointernational team.
The LMGTE entries have also been pushing their impressive cars to the limit. Oman Racing with TF Sport was the fastest with Ahmad Al Harty, Marco Sorensen and Samuel de Haan in an Aston Martin Vantage AMR. The result does not come as a surprise to his rivals, as it is the reward for several test sessions in which he monopolised first place. The reference time was a 1:45.692. The Iron Lynx took second place, almost four tenths of a second off pole position. It did so thanks to the great pace of the Iron Dames (Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gattin, Doriane Pin). Proton Competition will head the second row of the grid with actor Michael Fassbender and his teammates Zacharie Robichon and Richard Lietz. Home driver Miguel Molina (JMW Motorsport) will start eighth.
Busy Saturday for Mitjet France
Mitjet France was the most active event today, completing a total of three 20-minute races. The sprint races had a lot to offer and the results were very varied.
Early in the morning, it was Xavier Dayraut (DS Event) who took the top step of the podium. He was joined by Florian Rouseau-Ricci and Marius Fossard in second and third place respectively. At midday, the first winner of the Barcelona event had to settle for third place. It was then Marius Fossard (VPS Racing) with whom he exchanged positions, who went on to win the second race. In between them, a consistent Benoit Castagne (K-Worx) was not giving them any respite.
In the third race, held in the afternoon, there was a different winner, Jankavicius Povilas. The Lithuanian was a surprise winner entering the main straight on the last lap, when he and Benoit Castagne – the runner-up – and Xavier Dayraut – the third-placed rider – overtook Romain Favre. These results are particularly interesting for the championship, as leader Romain Favre (VPS Racing) was unable to get into the leading groups at any time. His best result of the day was a fourth place. Castagne and Dayraut, his main rivals in the points standings, closed the gap.
Cordeel and Van Parijs share victories in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux
The tight one-make cup run by Porsche never disappoints, whatever the edition. On this occasion, the Benelux variant has been tested twice on Catalan territory and becomes the only present competition that has already completed the sporting event. The result was victories for Ghislain Cordeel and Glenn Van Parijs.
In Race 1, the two winners were the main contenders for the gold medal. Cordeel managed to win, albeit by only three tenths of a second, over Van Parijs, who also had a great performance. Jan Lauryssen rounded off the podium. Catalan Jaume Font finished fifth overall and won his category.
The second race was characterised by a number of touches between the drivers. Glenn Van Parijs was able to make up for it with the long-awaited victory, with Xavier Maassen second. Cordeel was going to be the third in contention, but a touch by Rik Koen left him out of the running. Koen received a penalty for the collision. Sam Dejonghe inherited third place on the podium.
Two races of the Sprint Cup by Funyo
The two races of the Sprint Cup by Funyo, the competition that brought the curtain down on Saturday, proved to be just as exciting as the rest. The first of the four scheduled races was won by Xavier Fouineau (HMC). The Frenchman managed to maintain his position of honour on the starting grid after taking pole position this morning. Jesse Bouhet and Romain Boeckler were the two riders who were fighting for silver and bronze respectively, with Bouhet being luckier.
The second race, however, was the only race of the day held in wet conditions. With some riders starting from the pit lane to change their tyre choice and others from the main straight, the grid was completely dismantled. Nicolas Sturm eventually won the race despite starting 14th. Oliver Gauclere took second place from the last position. Bruno Fretin completed the podium.
Activities and proposals
During the weekend, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will have an area dedicated to fans that will host different activities and experiences, called Rookyland. There are simulators, augmented reality experiences, a shop with official merchandising, games with prizes and rewards, a bouncy castle and a giant screen to keep an eye on the sporting activity, among others. There are also constant entertainment to the rhythm of batucadas and even an urban trial exhibition. In addition, with general admission, fans can take part in the Pit Walk and Grid Walk (limited capacity) and access the paddock.
Tickets and discounts
The general admission ticket costs €15. As usual, children up to five years old will have free access to the Circuit. The Junior rate (from 6 to 15 years old) has a 50% discount, as well as the Senior rate (for over 65 years old).
Access to the Circuit
Access will be through gate 3 from 8:30 a.m. onwards. The car park will be IN6. The grandstands open to follow the activity will be the Main Grandstand and Grandstands C, B, G and F.