This Saturday, April 16th at 2 :30pm, will be the real start of the 2016 European Le Mans Series season, in Silverstone – Great Britain. French, Mulsanne-based So24! by Lombard Racing is setting up and getting ready to take on the 14 other LMP2 cars at Round 1 : The 4 Hours of Silverstone.
Last month the team had its first test at Le Castellet. Their first objectives were to give the car its first laps and give every driver enough driving time to get used to the car and to each other. The main goal was to get the team together and learn how to work with one another. Jean Lombard Team Principal was very happy with the test days : “We really started from a blank page and understood most of what we need to in the car. We did not look for a special fast time in France, we just wanted to get the team together and bring them around and proud to be part of this special project which is So24! by Lombard Racing.”
The team has three drivers Vincent Capillaire and Olivier Lombard and Jonathan Coleman but the first round of the 2016 ELMS will be “Jono’s” race, as taking place in Silverstone, it is his home race. We met him before the race :
Silverstone is the first ELMS meeting and your home race. In what state of mind are you?
“Yes, Silverstone will be my home race. So it will be quite a responsibility to do well. I love this race, and it will be very special, there is always a great crowd there as we race with the World Endurance Championship. I love driving this track, it’s high speed, it’s demanding. It’s one of my favourite tracks.”
So, is your family going to be there?
Most probably, for sure we will have special guests, and friends around. I will not say I will try harder, because you always try hard when you get into the car, but it would be nice to have a good result in front of my home crowd.
What is your plan with So24! by Lombard Racing in Silverstone?
“We have to be realistic. It’s the first race for the team and for the car… and I know we will learn from Silverstone. I know everyone will do his best, and it will be one of the stones we put down building up the story of So24! by Lombard Racing. We want to have a good race, a good drive of each three of us, and make the better out what we have. Our objective is to finish the race before all and tick the box before we take the next step.
Also, we have to respect the fact that there are a lot of very good teams on track and with a lot of experience which we don’t have yet. We have to work hard to get to their level, and that’s what we will do over the year. We are at the bottom of the ladder and still have many steps to climb up.”
Can you tell us about your last races in Silverstone?
“Well, yes, I raced at the last two ELMS events with another French team, Pegasus Racing, driving a Morgan Sport Prototype. In 2014, I qualified the car, and we were doing well until we run out of fuel… It was bad luck. Last year in 2015, I started the race, but was involved in an accident which badly damaged the car. We lost a lot of time for repairs, but we made it to the chequered flag. Obviously, it was not a good result for the car nor the championship, but it was definitely a great performance from the team and the guys.
This time will be my first time driving a closed Prototype with the Ligier JS P2 n°22. I can’t wait!
So24! by Lombard Racing: Facebook page.