With SK Racing securing Ligier’s JS2 R its third class win of the 2022 season at the Hankook 12H MUGELLO, Ligier Automotive now looks to PCR Sport and Xwift Racing to continue the marque’s streak at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Ligier has proclaimed the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook “a happy hunting ground for the JS2 R” after a third successive TCX class win for the French sports car was secured by SK Racing at the recent Hankook 12H MUGELLO.
Les Deux Arbres got the ball rolling at the season-opener in Dubai, securing overall TCE pole position for the event and, despite early delays that knocked the French team out of outright contention, went on to win the TCX class eight laps clear of COGEMO/TLRT. One week later at the non-championship Hankook 6H ABU DHABI, Les Deux Arbres continued its momentum by taking TG victory ahead of a troubled CWS Engineering, despite the French team missing first qualifying due to a drivetrain issue.
At the European season opener in Mugello, SK Racing got its weekend off to a solid start with 8th on the TCE grid (2nd in-class), Franck Lavergne, Franco Lemma and Jérôme Dacosta having posted the sixth, sixth and eighth fastest overall times in their respective qualifying sessions. At the start of the event, Franck Eburderie worked his way up to 6th in the TCE pack during his opening stint, a position the French team held going into the overnight intervention, despite an on-track moment between Herberth motorsport’s Ralf Bohn and SK Racing’s Jérôme Dacosta that left both the Porsche 991 GT3 R and the Ligier in the gravel at Savelli.
Shortly after the following day’s restart, further time was lost when Dacosta, just a few laps into his first stint on Sunday, once again ended up in the gravel trap, this time at Bucine. Though recovered, suspected ABS issues meant the Ligier lost more than 30 minutes in the pits.
This would be the last major issue of the event however, and with the team’s main category rival – Valluga – suffering gearbox failure with just one hour left to run, SK Racing was able to recover and secure its first TCX class win of the 24H SERIES season, and the third in succession for the JS2 R.
“We're delighted with this result,” SK Racing team manager Sébastien Giltaire explains. “We took advantage of the practice sessions to find the best setup on the car with our engineer, Frédéric Galizzi. Apart from a collision with a Porsche on Saturday and an off on Sunday, we didn't have any problems. The car was perfect.”
Including Nordschleife Racing’s win at last year’s Hankook 24H SEBRING, the Ligier JS2 R has now taken four TCX class wins in the last four 24H SERIES events. A streak that could yet extend to five, with Spain’s PCR Sport and Belgium’s Xwift Racing – both of which will compete with Ligiers – among the eight TCX entrants already confirmed for the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS. Though SK Racing is unable to attend the event, the French team has stated its intentions to return to the 24H SERIES for both the 2022 season finale and the 2023 season opener.
“Our aim is to continue running in the 24H SERIES,” Sébastien Giltaire continues. “We'll be present at Sebring this year and in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 2023, probably with two cars. And we'll have a look and see if we can still add other events to our 2022 programme.”