By Irina Boyarskaya
Photo: Akis Temperidis


Although the Barcelona track is intuitively comprehensible for the racers, nobody would name the plot of the Spanish race either clear or at least predictable.

Everything started from the free practices, where, that's not usual, the engine on Oleksandr Gaidai's car got capricious. While Alex Jouannem and Daniel Diaz Varela were practicing with other Porsche Carrera Cup France participants, the engineer of Tsunami RT Centro Porsche Padova was bringing the car to reason persuading him to get back to the track. The car considered the engineer's arguments strong enough, so Gaidai was participating in the second free practice with others.

However, those 30–40 minutes not used on Friday backfired on Gaidai during the morning qualifications the next day.

O. Gaidai: "All I had needed to do yesterday I had to do today. I had to try to brake a little bit earlier or later at some points of the qualification..."


So, Alex Jouannem started from the fifth position in the first race of the season, Oleksandr Gaidai – from the 10th and Daniel Diaz Varela – from the 14th.

Dynamic start, the peloton darted into the first turn... and at the moment...

O. Gaidai: "There were two drivers in front of me in the turn, one of them hit another one just as in the rally cross, and the latter started to make a U-turn. I noticed that and began avoiding the collision on the outer trajectory. The point is that when a car is rotating, it is often dragged to the inner edge of the turn due to the engine. Even if you apply a total brake, you can just end up in a rotating car, so you need to make as wide trajectory as possible in order not to touch it. I did not manage to do that, it was not my day. I almost passed the car, but its rear part hit me in the side step and in the door. It is not enough grip in that place, because it is dirty, and I was turned around due to the strike. We both dug into the gravel. I was taken out of there in three laps..."


So, just on the first meters of distance one of our drivers left the competition. And Alex Jr. – Alex Jouannem – also did not proceed smoothly...

A. Jouannem: "It was my first start in Porsche Cup, and I banally was at loss and missed it. In the first turn I had to avoid the collision – the same one that had pushed Oleksandr Gaidai out of the track. Then I had made mistakes, and in the middle of the race I had to dodge the aggressive maneuvers of the two rivals, and I escaped from the track again, lost positions and finished 12th. I am very disappointed – we had a good pace, but everything went wrong from the very beginning of the race."

Really, the Saturday race brought no luck. Alex Jouannem was nervous and made mistakes. Oleksandr Gaidai returned on the track and understood that it was impossible to win back three laps, and made the only thing that he could in that situation: he was stubbornly driving towards the finish with his own speed, having practiced and worked for the result of tomorrow. Only Daniel Diaz Varela calmly finished on the 11th position, just one step from Division B podium.


Matteo Cairoli started from the pole position in the absolute classification. Do you remember him? He won Porsche Carrera Cup Italia two years ago. But Mathieu Jaminet quickly demonstrated to the new driver who was the fastest, having overrun the former on the very first lap and preserved his overall leadership till the finish.

It was Roar Lindland to chalk up the victory in the Division B.

Porsche Carrera Cup France 2016, round 1, Barcelona, 22-23/04/16

Race 1 (overall)
1. JAMINET Mathieu (Martinet by Alméras) 16 laps
2. CAIROLI Matteo (Ebimotors) +0.876
3. DE NARDA Joffrey (Sébastien Loeb Racing) +10.695
...11. DIAZ-VARELA Daniel (Tsunami RT) +45.014
12. JOUANNEM Alexandre (Tsunami RT) +57.331
...15. GAIDAI Oleksandr (Tsunami RT) +3 laps

Race 1 (Division B)
1. LINDLAND Roar (Sébastien Loeb Racing) 16 laps
2. LAPIERRE Christophe (Sébastien Loeb Racing) +10.823
3. MISSLIN Nicolas (Martinet by Alméras) +18.401
4. DIAZ-VARELA Daniel (Tsunami RT) +19.143
...7. GAIDAI Oleksandr (Tsunami RT) +3 laps

- Tomorrow, – promised the disappointed Jouannem, –tomorrow I hope to demonstrate everything I and my car can!


On Sunday Tsunami started from scratch. However, if you think that the Sunday race went off without a hitch, you are wrong: the only one driver of our team who had avoided problems yesterday, Daniel Diaz Varela, ended up on the gravel on the very first lap. He did not continue the race, but there were drivers to follow even without him.


Alex Jouannem started from the third position this time, and it was a successful start. He got the second position and was the leader for some, not very long, time: Matthieu Jaminet was very happy to lead the peloton, and he had no intention to stand down. Jouannem decided not to argue with him, but made a good gap from the pursuers and spent the race without mistakes and with the comfortable pace. The silver cup in the overall classification was his first award in the season!

A. Jouannem: "The race of yesterday and this of today differ drastically: yesterday my fingers were all thumbs, and today I have total control!"


The collision of yesterday had consequences for Oleksandr Gaidai. He remembered about the start in Monza in a week, saved the car and tried not to risk a lot. Nevertheless, he managed not only to get on the nerves of his aforetime competitor Christophe Lapierre, but also to press Florian Latorre from the Division A soundly. Having reached the 9th position in the overall classification, Gaidai got one more cup – bronze in the classification for the gentleman drivers! But still he was not very satisfied.

O. Gaidai: "An ideal race is the race when we have two podiums, two first places – in absolute classification and in Division B. We'll have it for sure!"




Porsche Carrera Cup France 2016, round 1, Barcelona, 22-23/04/16

Race 2 (overall)
1. JAMINET Mathieu (Martinet by Alméras) 16 laps
2. JOUANNEM Alexandre (Tsunami RT) +9.372
3. DE NARDA Joffrey (Sébastien Loeb Racing) +10.489
...9. GAIDAI Oleksandr (Tsunami RT) +40.411
...14. MEULDERS Win (Speed Lover) +1:53.453

Race 2 (Division B)
1. LINDLAND Roar (Sébastien Loeb Racing) 16 laps
2. LAPIERRE Christophe (Sébastien Loeb Racing) +2.583
3. GAIDAI Oleksandr (Tsunami RT) +6.998
...7. MEULDERS Win (Speed Lover) +1:20.040

The lazy midseason is left behind, May will be chock-full of racing weekends. We start in Monza this week, in the first Porsche Carrera Cup Italia round. Follow our news!