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Chamrousse in pain

[I don't need to tell you that I am deeply touched by these events, because I had a lot of admiration and affinity with Lionel. He had the same sporting and human values as me, we were in agreement on many things. He was always my reference, I was proud and happy to be with him and to compete against him", Nicolas Schatz announced shortly after the death of the defending champion, Lionel Régal. This sums up the feeling that car sport and mountain enthusiasts share at the end of this difficult season. The Millmat team sends its sincere condolences to his family and friends. Farewell Champion.

Nicolas Schatz' comments on the Chamrousse race:

This weekend we were near Grenoble to compete in the Chamrousse race. This race is characterized by a wide track, both technical and fast, over 5 kms long, all in the magnificent setting of the ski resort.

I approached this race with a low morale. Indeed, after Lionel REGAL's funeral, we had to get back into the race: not easy. With the REGAL team we decided to continue the championship as if our champion was still here.

Testing: Testing went well as I set the two fastest times in both heats. My car behaved well with the basic set up. I finished these tests in the lead with a lead of 2.8 seconds over Alban THOMAS and 6 seconds over Billy RITCHEN.

Race: I knew that, like last year, the morning run in the fresh air would be good. So I try to start at a good pace without doing too much, because the Chamrousse climb is long and demanding in terms of riding. My reference is always the same: Lionel REGAL who has the record in 2'05''690. At the end of a beautiful climb I do a time of about 6 tenths of this record, which is satisfactory. During the second run, it's hot and from the first turns I feel that the track is not so good. I try to stay on the track and I set the best time of the heat in 2'08''716. During the last heat I go on the attack and make a nice climb, but I don't manage to improve in 2'06''734. So I finish this race in first place, with a lead of about 3 seconds over Sébastien PETIT who was showing off his new and shiny LOLA B02/50. Alban THOMAS finished in third place, 3 tenths behind Sébastien. The second and third places are unofficial because the new car of Sébastien PETIT has to be checked by the FFSA to validate its conformity.

Conclusion : After our week of mechanics to repair the water pump, our LOLA has given us complete satisfaction. Even if we miss Lionel a lot, I'm happy to have won this race by winning all the heats, as a tribute to Lionel. So I'm now 1st in the championship, a place I'm not 100% happy about given the circumstances. But again, it was after consultation with the REGAL team that we decided to continue as if Lionel was still here. We all know that our Lionel would surely have put a serious option on the title this weekend in Chamrousse.

Results : 1. Nicolas SCHATZ (on Lola T94/50) in 2'16''506 2. Sébastien PETIT (on Lola B2/50) at 2''934 3. Alban THOMAS (on Lola B 99/50) at 3''256 4. Stéphane BAUDIN (on Reynard 1 KL) at 4''614 5. Fabien. FRANTZ (on Reynard 92D) at 5''643 6. Billy RITCHEN (on Lola B 99/50) at 5''703

In the championship: 1. Nicolas SCHATZ 360 pts 2. Lionel REGAL 352 3. Sébastien PETIT 310 4. Cyril. FRANTZ 305 (1st sport proto) 5. Alain CASTELLANA 272 6. Térence REYNAUD 271

#lionel #sybastien