The circuit in Dijon is new for the majority of the Porsche Carrera Cup France participants. It is cloudy, windy, sometimes rainy. It is also difficult, from Friday morning to Sunday evening...

The French Porsche Monocup races took place in Dijon in the time out of memory – in 2011. The Cup has never came to Burgundi since the beginning of participation of Tsunami RT in the series. It is unjust, because the circuit is very interesting and speedy.

Free practices pleased the drivers with the possibility to practice either on dry surface and under the rain. You know, it is good when there is some time to change tires and settings, to think, after all, between wet and dry track... If it were like on Saturday... However, let us start from the very beginning.



Alessio Rovera had the second result in the qualification, having yielded 0.048 second to Florian Latorre. Thomas Nicolle qualified with the seventh result among the Division B participants and was, of course, disappointed with that.

Starting grid. Wet track. Rain tires. Start!

Rovera became the first in an instant, came from behind, and put his mind to victory.

Meanwhile, the track was drying sweepingly. Having washed everything out, Enzo Samon proceeded to the pit lane to change the tires to slicks.
At that very moment Lucile Cypriano escaped from track. Yellow flags... A safety car!



An epidemic pilgrimage to mechanics to get slicks began. It's a sin not to take such a chance, isn't it? Alessio Rovera also came to the pit lane. At that very moment...

You know, rain tires are bigger than slicks. A little bit, but bigger. That means that they fit tight in the wheel arches. When a car is set for a certain track and maximum speed... In brief, that time the right sight of Alessio's Porsche was lower. And the right rear wheel got stuck in the arch.



Not even the vapor but the smoke ascended from the mechanics. The seconds were flying away, the precious seconds! The damned wheel was finally dismounted, but Rovera returned to the track only on the 10th position. Finally, the safety car left the track, and Alessio had to win the positions back!.. Nobody knew that our driver (and the other ones) would have only three minutes and a half for the overrun...

Stéphane Denoual set forward to change tires during the race because he had had no time before due to the safety car. It was the most frustrating for him because the safety car entered the track again soon after his return!



Thomas Nicolle was the 7th, and Alessio Rovera – the 8th till that moment. Thomas has not changed the tires: he has little experience with Porsche, and it is better to hold a car on the slippery (for rain tires) surface than change them and flock back in the race on cold slicks and with different behavior of the car.

We were admiring the participants accompanying the safety car as a solemn convoy for six more minutes. For a minute the camera switched to the pit lane swept by a guy with the face of Côme Ledogar... We had no time to think about it: the restart was given. 9 minutes to the finish!



Thomas Nicolle reached the 4th position in the Division B. Rovera rapidly became the fifth in the absolute classification, with Vincent Beltoise ahead. This duet would entertain us with reciprocal overruns till the end of the race. By the way, they were not the only entertainers on the track.

The Division B driver Egidio Perfetti, the second in the absolute classification, was rushing behind the leader, Julien Andlauer (6 second ahead of everybody)! It resembled Mugello-2014 or, let's say, Le Mans-2015 somehow, when a gentleman driver Oleksandr Gaidai had become the silver prize-winner (in Italy) and the winner of the race (in France) without changing the tires. The thing is that our Oleksandr had been driving on slicks in the rain, and Perfetti was sprinting on the dry track on rain tires, expressively swinging the rear axle as Sophia Loren with her hips. It might have been scary for him there. Florian Latorre, a professional driver, was coming up from behind...



A checkered flag shown at the right time played down fears and doubts as a cockcrow. Perfetti celebrates his silver podium in the absolute classification, and we congratulate him!

Tsunami RT drivers finished the race with the fifth place (Rovera) and the fourth place in the Division B (Nicolle).


Alessio Rovera: "Without the safety car I would drive on the wet tyres till the end of the race but when it appeared it was better to change the tyres. The mechanics worked hard, they were pushing much, but we lost a lot of time.

And then my target was just to go fast. But the setup of our car was for the wet conditions so I couldn't push too much. With the wet tyres the car would definitely be very good".



Thomas Nicolle: "It was very difficult to drive Porsche on the wet track for the first time. No, I'm not satisfied with my result. I didn't dream of the 4th place! I wanted to be on the podium!"


Porsche Carrera Cup France 2017, round 3, Dijon
Race 1 overall


1. ANDLAUER Julien (Martinet By Alméras) 19 laps
2. PERFETTI Egidio (Mentos Racing) +6.941
3. LATORRE Florian (Martinet By Alméras) +7.034
5. ROVERA Alessio (Tsunami RT) +11.742
11. NICOLLE Thomas (Tsunami RT) +44.674
16. CYPRIANO Lucile (Racing Technology) +3 laps


Porsche Carrera Cup France 2017, round 3, Dijon
Race 1, Division B


1. PERFETTI Egidio (Mentos Racing) 19 laps
2. LAPIERRE Christophe (Sébastien Loeb Racing)
3. DENOUAL Stephane (Martinet By Alméras)
4. NICOLLE Thomas (Tsunami RT)
7. MISSLIN Nicolas (Martinet By Alméras)



On Sunday morning we started from scratch and from the dry track. However, the difference between the Sunday and the Saturday races was the same as between the slicks and rain tires. On Sunday everything was going smoothly, steadily and even... calmly in appearance.

Alessio Rovera who had started on the fifth position gave way to Vincent Beltoise, and both drivers resumed their duel from the moment they had been interrupted by a guy with an untimely checkered flag. They were entertaining like that for about eight minutes, after that Rovera overran Beltoise, and the latter seemed to lose interest in further competition. Anyway, Alessio was driving more and more forward, approaching Valentin Hasse-Clot. The approach was not very fast, as they were initially separated with 3 seconds, and, as you understand, Valentin was not also standing still. Meanwhile, Rovera's distance behind was shortening with every sector.



The two drivers were preceded by the three leaders – Latorre, Andlauer and Joffrey De Narda. There was a sense that Julien Andlauer was the only one on the track whose enthusiasm was gushing. He attacked Latorre, his teammate, without any interruptions. Latorre was phlegmatically defending. De Narda was sticking near without any intervention in the competition – one of these two drivers ahead would definitely make a mistake sooner or later.

So, Latorre made a mistake! He blocked the wheels in the smooth turn, having given the way to the first place to his teammate. But De Narda failed to understand the situation in time and remained the third. Andlauer freely shot ahead, and De Narda was still within the attacking distance to Latorre without any attempt to attack.



Alessio Rovera also did not begin to forecheck Valentin Hasse-Clot. He would be happy to, but the car settings usually praised by Alessio were not perfect for this time. Insufficient turnability did not give Rovera a chance for a serious competition for the 4th place...

Thomas Nicolle was also driving in splendid solitude with his competitor 12 seconds behind. The gap between the latter and the other drivers was 20 more seconds. They could have turned the radio on with a left elbow out of the open window... If they had forgotten that the average speed there was 170 km/h, if you please!

On the last lap De Narda unexpectedly rushed forward. Too late, Joffrey, you should have done it earlier! The yesterday triumphant Egidio Perfetti flew off on the gravel competing for the podium of the Division B. Those were the last interesting events before a harmonious finish, flat as a slick. Alessio Rovera was the fifth again, Thomas Nicolle – the sixth among the gentleman drivers.



Alessio Rovera: "It was not the best weekend for the team, really. But everyone did his best all the time. We've never tested on this track so it was difficult to find the correct setup. We have improved it since the morning qualifying but I still had understeering problems. The teams who had 1-2 test days here had an advantage".


Porsche Carrera Cup France 2017, round 3, Dijon
Race 2 overall

1. ANDLAUER Julien (Martinet By Alméras) 23 laps
2. LATORRE Florian (Martinet By Alméras) +1.873
3. DE NARDA Joffrey (Sébastien Loeb Racing) +2.192
5. ROVERA Alessio (Tsunami RT) +11.848
14. NICOLLE Thomas (Tsunami RT) +1'19.813
16. HEUNET Antoine (IMSA Performance) +1 lap


Porsche Carrera Cup France 2017, round 3, Dijon
Race 2, Division B


1. LAPIERRE Christophe (Sébastien Loeb Racing) 23 laps
2. MISSLIN Nicolas (Martinet By Alméras)
3. LINDLAND Roar (Sébastien Loeb Racing)
6. NICOLLE Thomas (Tsunami RT)
8. HEUNET Antoine (IMSA Performance)



Two weeks of pause are waiting for Tsunami RT. It is an eternity taking into account our three-week racing marathon! We will see you in Tuscany, on Mugello circuit. It will be very fascinating. We'd rather keep intrigue. Follow our news!


Text: Irina Boyarskaya
Photo: Porsche - Alexis Goure