A Lap of Paul Ricard HTTT with Frederic Makowiecki

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Paul Ricard HTTT is the home circuit for the Hexis Racing AMR team, who will be hoping for better luck in the South of France than they had at the Autódromo Internacional Algarve. Round 4 winner Frederic Makowiecki describes a lap of the 5.8km circuit in his nr4 Hexis Racing AMR Aston Martin DBRS9

"I like Paul Ricard now with a new track, which is incredible. The circuit is very interesting because we have different parts with slow corners and a long fast straight followed by two quick corners. This is the reason I like this track and it is very important to have a good set up.

"Coming across the line you arrive at the first chicane in 6th gear, dropping down to 3rd for the corner, braking at around 100 metres. We brake very late to keep the speed for the next part of the circuit. After the next chicane we have a very long corner at Saint-Beaurne which is very difficult because the car understeers here. Staying in 3rd gear the corner opens up on the exit. It is important to get the set up for the entry of the corner as it will try to go to the outside of the track and you must stay in the middle to get a good exit.

"The next corner at L'ecole is very short which is normally flat but if you make an error here you can end up in the wall here, so it is difficult but not really a big problem, you just need to be clean in this corner. We arrive at the next corner, which is the Chicane in the middle of the Mistral Straight, at aroudn 230kph. The Chicane is taken in 2nd gear, moving up to 3rd at the exit and it is important to get a good exit to carry the speed for the rest of the Straight.

"After the Mistral we arrive at Signes in 6th gear, maybe in 5th, at around 190kph. This is a difficult part of the circuit because after we take the corner we lose some of the braking before the next turn at Beausset. Beausset is a little bit like the second chicane, taken in 3rd gear we arrive at around 200kph, dropping to around 150kph in the corner. The next corner at Bendor is long but slow and is important to prepare for the exit.

"The next corner at Village is flat and is no problem, which leads to the very long left corner at Tour. Arriving at 170 or 180kph, braking and dropping to 3rd gear and then down to 2nd gear for the last corner at Virage du Pont, which is a short right hand turn which takes you back onto the start-finish straight.

"The Paul Ricard circuit is very smooth and you can use the kerbs but they are very aggressive, so you have to be careful. There are four maybe five places to overtake on this track. At the first Chicane is a good place if you have very good traction out of the corner. The second chicane is also a place to overtake as it is easy for a driver to make a mistake and present an opportunity. The chicane in the middle of the Mistral Straight is also a good place. The track is very wide and smooth and there are opportunities to overtake at most places. It is a great circuit and I'm looking forward to the two races."
AMR Teams

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