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Motorsport 98 eyeing a podium in the Michelin Le Mans Cup 2019

LMC - 10/01/2019 - Press release - Motorsport98

Heading off for the Michelin Le Mans Cup held during the meetings of the European Le Mans Series with a Prototype Ligier JSP3, Eric De Doncker’s Motorsport 98 structure was aware that it would turn into a raging battle.

And the owner-driver was right, as from the moment that the level of this competition held as curtain raiser for the 24 Hours of Le Mans had risen no end during this third campaign. “I kicked off the season together with the British driver Andy Meyrick, after which I was joined by the Frenchman Dino Lunardi, Eric De Doncker explained. And apart from the first of the two races at the Sarthe, we never finished outside of the top 10! We could even say that matters improved during the second part of the calendar, with a 7th place at the Red Bull Ring, then two 4th places at Spa and Portimao! During the final Portuguese race, we even finished within a hair’s breadth…of victory! When it came down to the final reckoning, the points scored spoke, with a 5th place overall in the Teams’ rankings, a 5th place for me in the Drivers’ classification, and 6th place overall for Dino. We can definitely state that the season kept its promises … »

With 2018 already filed away amongst the good souvenirs, Motorsport 98 has been analysing different avenues with a view to next season. “The wish was to the move over to LMP2 in the European Le Mans Series, but the required budgets are quite simply too high for us, Eric De Doncker continued. We also thought of competing in LMP3 in ELMS, but the differences of speed with the LMP2 Prototypes are pretty high, with the risk of spending the major part of the races with eyes glued to the mirrors. Seeing the experience in GT4 European Series did not spur me on to continue, the decision was taken to have another go with the Ligier JSP3, always in the company of Dino Lunardi, in the Michelin Le Mans Cup. The level of performances is always high, the atmosphere in the paddock is truly enjoyable, and one must recognise the excellent organisational work put in by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. Will we be able to impose ourselves? Perhaps … One thing for sure is that having finished in the top 5 overall in 2018, we are quite clearly eyeing a podium place …”

A new campaign that Eric De Doncker and his team will be meticulously preparing, by taking part in tests held In Barcelona as from the beginning of February, followed by further testing at Monza. This will then be followed by official Collective Tests at the Circuit Paul Ricard, three days prior to the first round in the Var. The championship will then head off for Monza, before the double confrontation ‘Road To Le Mans’ as curtain raiser of the 24 Hours. The second part of the season will call on Barcelona, Francorchamps and Portimao, in other words six different meetings for seven races, of which five held over 120 minutes and the two Le Mans races of 55 minutes each.

“As was already the case in 2018, we will be able to count on the reinforcement of Fabio Lazzerini, the man in charge of the R.TEC company, but also a fervent enthusiast of this type of competition, De Doncker clarified. Depending on his professional availability he will join us so that we can take advantage of his expertise when it comes to fine tuning a racing machine. In a nutshell all the ingredients are on hand to allow us to have a maximum number of trump cards up our sleeve. 

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