Originators of UK closed road motorsport

Wheel to Wheel at Circuit Paul Ricard

2300 Club member Paul Tattersall claimed a highly creditable 11th and 15th in last weekend’s ‘double header’ Grand Prix de France Historique meeting.

“It was brilliant, we had some great battles in both races and enjoyed every minute of it,” he said.

Paul was hoping to continue the fine form that netted him eighth place at last month’s Grand Prix de Monaco Historique , although the contrast between the tight, twisty and technical street circuit and the fast, sweeping open corners at the Paul Ricard track couldn’t have been greater.

A myriad of set-up changes to Paul’s ex-Derek Daly Ensign N179, which included swapping the gear ratios, paid off in practice.

“Paul Ricard is very challenging, with some really complex bends,” explained Paul.

“Most of the other drivers have raced here before, so that put me at a disadvantage, but I started to get the hang of it. I spun off at one point so I knew I was starting to find the track limits!”

By the end of practice Paul was very happy to have put the Ensign on the seventh row of the grid, clocking 14th fastest time.

In a fiercely-competitive 13-lap opening race, Paul just missed out on another top ten finish, coming home 11th after battling with the Trojan T103-1 of Frenchman Philippe Bonny and the Matra MS120B of Swiss driver Nicolas Matile.

“It was seriously hot out there on the circuit, not just with the racing, but with a track temperature of 31 degrees, which left our slick tyres sliding around for grip,” he said,

Race two saw Paul start from row six of the grid, sandwiched between his two rivals from race one.

And the trio enjoyed a thrilling, wheel-to-wheel scrap throughout the 25-minute race, as Paul explained: “It was fantastic racing today. Although I finished lower, I felt I drove much better than in race one and I didn’t come off. I enjoyed a great battle with the Matra and that was the real fun part – so much better than driving around on your own. And I beat him too!”

 

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