CD Sport teammates David Hallyday and Morgan Moullin Traffort enjoyed a winning start to their 2017 GT4 European Series Southern Cup campaign as the No. 31 Porsche Cayman Clubsport MR GT4 claimed victory in Race 2 of the season-opener at Nogaro.
Polesitter Anthony Beltoise in the No. 22 Porsche from Martinet by Almeras led into the first corner with Gregory Guilvert hot on his heels in the No. 69 Sainteloc Racing-entered Porsche.
Both drivers would soon engage in a thrilling scrap and duke it out over the entire length of the opening stint. Despite Guilvert hounding Beltoise for a way past, the two-time FFSA GT Champion managed to defend his position.
Behind the battling duo, Moullin Traffort grabbed third from Team Racing Technology’s Jimmy Antunes in the No. 11 Porsche, while Race 1 winner Gael Castelli featured in the lower half of the points-paying positions.
Partnering Rodolphe Wallgren in the No. 444 Ginetta G55 GT4, the Speed Car ace often found himself sharing the same piece of tarmac as Jim Pla in the No. 1 Porsche.
While some teams elected to make their mandatory driver change as soon as the pit window opened at the 25th minute, the strategy did not apply to Beltoise, nor Guilvert.
Both stayed out until the very end of the ten-minute window before handing the wheel over to their respective team-mates, Olivier Esteves and Manuel Rodrigues.
Sainteloc’s hopes of a win were soon dashed when the Portuguese had an off, which prompted his retirement.
This promoted Hallyday, who had replaced teammate Moullin Traffort, to second place. The famous singer set about chasing race leader Esteves and it did not take long before Hallyday started chipping away at the gap.
The CD Sport driver eventually made a move for the lead with 15 minutes left on the clock. Hallyday would not relinquish the top spot thereafter, speeding to a prestigious victory on Easter Monday.
“I enjoyed a clean start and could get into a good rhythm to manage the gap in the leading pack,” commented Moulin Traffort.
“I was also able to look after my tires so I could hand over a competitive car to David for his stint.
“On this podium, I can see many friends and I’d like to extend special congratulations to Eric for what he has done this weekend. After his accident in Dubai, it’s quite amazing indeed!”
After leading the way for most of the race, the No. 22 Porsche yielded to the No. 64 Porsche of Eric Tremoulet and Olivier Jouffret.
The battle for third would be only decided in the final lap when Robert Consani edged past the No. 30 Porsche of Gilles Vannelet to deny CD Sport a double podium finish.
RESULTS: Race 2