INTERVIEW. Lionel Amrouche on… 50 races in the 24H SERIES

News | February 15, 2023

In 2013, Lionel Amrouche made his first start with CREVENTIC at the Dubai Autodrome. 49 races and just under 10 years later, this affable French driver has taken class wins and podiums with one of the most characterful teams on the grid – Vortex V8 – and sampled an electic range of racing machinery, from the independent GC 10-V8 ‘sports prototype’ to the 991-generation Porsche Cup car. All done with his wife Lydia by his side. 


At the 2022 Hankook 12H KUWAIT, CREVENTIC caught up with Lionel – and Lydia! – to discuss their 50 races in the 24H SERIES. 


Words – James Gent

Images – Petr Frýba / Eric Teeken

Lionel, your first race with CREVENTIC was at the 24H DUBAI in 2013. What memories do you have of that first event, and how do you think the race has changed since then?

“That first race remains a moment of great emotion for me. It was the first time I’d experienced the excess of the city of Dubai as well as the Dubai Autodrome with its huge paddock atmosphere. Plus, it was a race with nearly 100 cars. It was crazy!


“Since then, the race has gained fame and professionalism, like all CREVENTIC races, even if, unfortunately, the world economic situation means the field has shrunk a little recently. But the [Hankook] 24H DUBAI remains a race apart, and I hope to continue competing there for many years to come.”



Notable results (2013)

First 24H SERIES win (in SP2, with DEFO AUTO SPORT)

         - 12H HUNGARY

First 24H SERIES class podium (in SP2, with GC Automobiles)

         - 24H BARCELONA – 2nd

Since 2013, you’ve competed at 14 different circuits with CREVENTIC. Are there any in particular that stand out for you?

“All the circuits we visit with the 24H SERIES are brilliant. I know that sounds a bit clichéd, but it’s true!


“However, two circuit do stand out for me. Spa-Francorchamps, particularly because Raidillon and Blachimont are corners I specifically enjoy. And the other is Barcelona. I like it a lot for its very complete layout, and it’s a circuit we go to very often. I also like travelling to Spain in particular, so it’s always an enjoyable event.”

Most of your time in the 24H SERIES has been spent competing with Arnaud and Olivier Gomez, first with the GC Automobile and most recently as ‘Vortex V8.’ Does competing in a specially-built racing car make these events more difficult?

“Arnaud and Olivier Gomez’ team is very professional, and very specific in its work. With this team, each race is part of ‘a life project,’ from the design to the manufacture, through to the preparation and then to the race itself. It's a very different experience to buying a race car from a major manufacturer, putting the tyres on, filling the tank with gas, and ‘just’ putting it on the track.


“So, everything about this makes the race with this ‘family’ very special because you are driven by this family project where everyone has a very strong and complete commitment. Of course, it’s sometimes more difficult because the budget can never be as big as a major manufacturer, but that, in a way, gives the results with the Gomez family more merit.”

In 2015, you had a one-off run at Paul Ricard in a Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Gallardo. And in 2018, you raced with Team Altran in Dubai in a Peugeot 308 Racing Cup. How do these races compare to your time with Vortex, and do you see yourself competing in a Lamborghini or a TCR car again in the 24H SERIES?

“Motor racing is a real passion, so I loved all of my on-track experiences, whether it’s on a human level or when I’m discovering new cars. 


“Regarding the Peugeot, I had a little trouble adapting to front-wheel drive. But racing in a Lamborghini was a particularly great experience. It's a really nice car, efficient and I love the sound it makes! I also had a great time with Leipert Motorsport, which is very professional run, and Ingo [Leipert, team principal] is a very endearing person. If I had an opportunity to experience the new a Huracan, I wouldn't say no!”



Notable results (2015 and 2018)

2015 – 4th – SP2 Drivers’ standings (with GC Automobiles)

          - 12H ZANDVOORT – 3rd

          - 24H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD – 4th (with Leipert Motorsport)

          - 24H BARCELONA – 2nd


2018 – 2nd – 991 Drivers’ standings ‘Europe’ (with IDEC SPORT and Porsche Lorient Racing)

          - 24H DUBAI – 6th (with Team Altran Peugeot)

          - 24H PORTIMAO – 3rd 

          - 24H BARCELONA – 1st

          - 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS – 3rd

In 2019, you did the full season with Porsche Lorient Racing, and came close to winning the 991 Drivers’ title. Did the possibility of a championship win add more pressure on you that year, or were you just concentrating on each race?

“I actually drove for two years with the Porsche Lorient team. The team is very professional under Jérémy Mazurais – their technical manager – and he did a great job preparing the Porsche, which is an extraordinary car to drive. We still took each race one after the other without thinking particularly about the title. Finishing second felt incredibly satisfying, even if, I will admit, I would have liked to end that year on the top step of the podium!”



Notable results (2018 to 2021)

2019 – 991 Drivers’ standings ‘Europe’ – 2nd (with Porsche Lorient Racing)

           - 24H DUBAI – 3rd

           - 12H MUGELLO– 3rd 

           - 12H BRNO – 3rd

           - 24H PORTIMAO – 2nd 


2021 – Second category win

          - 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD (in 992, with Porsche Lorient Racing)

Next year will be your 11th 24H SERIES season, and you’re starting off back where it all began at the Hankook 24H DUBAI. How much would it mean to take a class win in 2023?

“Winning a class championship is always great for both the driver and the team, and 2023 will be no exception. We’ll be putting everything we have into it, even if Vortex can only get its new car [the updated V2.0] on-track in the middle or end of the season. If that’s the case, maybe in 2024, when this new car will be present from the start of the championship, it would be great to take a win and write a new page in history with the Vortex team.”



Notable results (2022)

GTX Drivers’ standings ‘Europe’ – 3rd (with Vortex V8)

GTX Drivers’ standings ‘Continents’ – 2nd (with Vortex V8)

         - 24H DUBAI – 3rd

         - 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS – 2nd

         - 24H BARCELONA – 3rd

         - 12H KUWAIT – 2nd 

You can also check out this article in our magazine for the 2023 Hankook 24H DUBAI, available for digital download below.

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