No 3, DKR ENGINEERING, Duqueine M30 - D08 - Nissan, Jean Glorieux (BEL), Laurents Hörr (DEU) / No 50, KESSEL RACING, Ferrari 488 GT3, John Hartshorne (GBR), Oliver Hancock (GBR) 2020 Michelin Le Mans Cup Round 1, Le Castellet, France. Photo © John D Stevens.

Jean Glorieux and Laurents Hörr took a commanding win in the opening race of the 2020 Michelin Le Mans Cup at France’s Circuit Paul Ricard after the leading #69 Cool Racing Ligier of Maurice Smith and Ben Barnicoat suffered a puncture in the final half of the race dropping them to an eventual fifth place. Both Glorieux and the DKR Engineering team are former winners, DKR having won the LMP3 class in all three championships to date! The Belgian and German pairing finished the two hour race 21 seconds ahead of the second place Motorsport98 team of Eric De Doncker and Dino Lunardi. Third was the #27 MV2S Racing Ligier JS P320 of Christophe Cresp and Bruce Jouanny. 

The race was under Safety Car after 10 minutes when the #37 Cool Racing Ligier and the #66 Rinaldi Racing Duqueine collided at the final turn, wrecking both cars. The track staff managed to get the cars into a safer place allowing the race to continue for a further 18 minutes under yellow flags until the green was once again shown. The race was more or less uneventful (with the exception of the additional mandatory pit stop for fuel due to the new LMP3 Nissan engine’s poor fuel economy) for the remainder of the time with 4 short yellow periods for minor incidents including a puncture that did for the #74 Kessel Racing Ferrari. 

No 8, IRON LYNX, Ferrari 488 GT3, Giacomo Piccini (ITA), Rino Mastronardi (ITA) 2020 Michelin Le Mans Cup Official Tests, Le Castellet, France. Photo © John D Stevens. 2020 Michelin Le Mans Cup Official Tests, Le Castellet, France. Photo © John D Stevens.

In the GT3 class, Iron Lynx and Kessel Racing were the teams to beat with the Italian cats coming out on top at the end of the fight. The #8 Ferrari 488 GT3 of Giacomo Piccini and Rino Mastronardi claiming the top step 12 seconds ahead of Murod Sultanov and Paolo Ruberti in the #67 Kessel Racing car. Third spot went to Claudio Schiavoni and Andrea Piccini in the #77 Iron Lynx Ferrari. The IDEC Sport Mercedes AMG GT3 finished last, three laps down and the sole Porsche 911 and the #74 Kessel Racing Ferrari were both not classified.