Max Mayer Ligier European Series Race Recap, Le Castellet, France

“Approaching the weekend I was so excited to be back racing for real but I prepared well on the SIM and learnt the general layout of the track.

My team mate and my co-driver Simon Butler aka The Racing Reverend and myself reviewed the data and onboards from previous testing and worked on our driving techniques to improve our lap times and race craft.

On arrival at the fabulous Paul Ricard Circuit we had a chance to walk the circuit which is situated in the hills of the Sainte-Baume region north of the seaside town of Bandol. I was surprised to see a lot of the curbs and sausage curbs were still there and there and there was a lot of grip laid down by the rubber from the European Le Mans Series cars in free practise. This gave Simon and myself a lot more confidence to push the car to the limit and with our preparation done we were looking forward to the weekend ahead.

Free Practice FP1 and FP2

After a slight technical issue, we started to make good progress and set just one proper fast lap. But the feeling in the car was not great. I handed the car over to Simon and he climbed through the field pretty quickly and in the end we both improved our times a lot and felt pretty confident going into qualifying with high expectations.


My qualifying was a dream, I drove well and managed to take pole position by 1 second over P2.
Simon unfortunately had a red flag on what was going to be his fasted lap, which meant that joint aggregate times put us at the back of the grid, but afterwards we reviewed all of the data and onboards and set our goals and strategy going into the races the next day with a podium as an objective.

Race 1 Saturday.

On the formation lap the temperature in the car was really hot, I knew it was going to be a tricky race towards the end as the tyres were likely to deteriorate, so out of the last corner the lights went out and we were racing. I was focussing on making a bigger gap and being consistent with times but I made an error for which I was given a time penalty which meant we had to stay longer in our pit stop.

I never have pushed so hard in a race to try and extend the gap which I did, I cut 18 seconds out in 13 laps which was very satisfying but difficult at the sane time.

We had a solid pit stop but unfortunately the time penalty was not served properly and an extra time penalty was given to us. Simon went out and pushed really hard and gave it everything he had. He was improving and we knew it would a really tight finish. But everything changed when the safety car came out in front of our rivals which gave us an opportunity to catch up and close the gap a lot. The safety car pulled in with 3 minutes to go and Simon pushed as hard as he could to take our first podium of the season and a solid P3.

We were so happy of the result with so much hard work done, but the work never stops and our main goal is the win.

Race 2 Saturday

Simon started the race, we knew we had to keep the pace up from the beginning, but as Simon gained more confidence in the car and grip levels we improving but all of this was a little late for our race strategy. I knew in my stint it would be really difficult to catch the leaders. At the hand over we gained another penalty for not stopping in the box properly. I rejoined the race and pushed really hard with consistent but improving lap times. My engineer on the radio telling me the gap to the next car and push as hard as I could., I made up 30 seconds in the race and brought the car home into another P3 and a podium spot.

My thanks go to the team for all of their hard work and I look forward to the next round in Motorland Aragon in Spain on 25-26 August.” – Max Mayer

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