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
“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
“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.”
“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.”
“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
“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)
“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.