In 2008, CD Sport won the inaugural season of the French Bioracing Series. Four years later, the team from Perigord completed their first full season in the V de V Endurance Proto Challenge with a first title. They also managed to achieve the same last year by taking the FFSA GT French Championship driver’s title with their beginnings in GT4. To continue this tradition, they want to do just as much in 2018 as they get ready to discover the LMP3 category. CD Sport is presenting the livery of their Norma M30 today along with the crew, made up of Frenchman Anthony Pons and German Laurents Hörr, who will be aiming for the top positions in the Michelin Le Mans Cup.
The organisation, co-managed by Claude Degrémont and Laurent Cazenave, has been waiting impatiently for this moment. “We have been thinking about this since the invention of LMP3 by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.” Says Cazenave. “This year, thanks to our partner HPEC Motorsport, we managed to to set up this programme. Afterwards, we had to put a crew together who would be strong from the get-go so as to put us amongst the strongest teams. I’m very proud that Anthony Pons has accepted the challenge. He is a gentleman more pro than the pros in the way he approaches racing. We would like to especially thank Jerôme Policand for arranging Anthony’s schedule so that he can try the LMP3 experience with us. Laurents has joined us from single-seaters with very good results, an indisputable top speed and a great knowledge of racing; we see a good future for him in endurance racing. Going back to the LMP3, it allows, just like the GT4 category, to take part in several series. It is an interesting formula for a team on both sporting and economic fronts. And on the technical level, with Claude, we really wanted to have this kind of car in our workshops!”
Claude Degrémont has stars in his eyes, especially since the Norma arrived in Périgueux. “We chose the M30 because of the competitiveness it has shown since it was launched and for our ties with Norbert Santos. It is a great racing car, well designed, which makes you inevitably think of Le Mans… with its Nissan V8 engine, its enormous torque, the aerodynamics and oversized brakes, it’s a real endurance prototype.”
The first crew that was unveiled will be taking part in the Michelin Le Mans Cup. This series defines itself as the first step of the ACO labelled endurance pyramid. The calendar is made up of six meetings in five European countries with two hour races, apart from the Road to Le Mans, the major event of the season: two 55 minute rounds will take place before the 24 Hours of Le Mans! For this challenge, CD Sport will put together the Blancpain GT Sports Club overall title champion Anthony Pons and the vice-champion of the V de V Monoplace Challenge Laurents Hörr.
Laurents Hörr, 20 years old, is from Stuttgart and his father raced in GT. After three seasons in single seaters, he’s now turning his career towards sports prototypes. “For me, the logical continuation was F3, but I didn’t have the necessary budget. So much for F1, I now want to climb the rungs of endurance racing up to LMP1. I thought I would try for ELMS, but Laurent convinced me of the interest of taking part in the Road to Le Mans race. It’s a great opportunity marketing-wise, which interests my sponsors. We’re hoping to get some good press coverage with the presence of a lot of public and German media.”
After the V de V series, a France-based organisation, Laurents will now progress at the heart of a French team. “I first contacted Duqueine Engineering. As Duqueine Mobility bought up the Norma manufacturer, they climbed up into LMP2 and told me about CD Sport’s project to enter an LMP3. This year, I want to have the car and team to win, as in the past, I mainly ran in a small, family team and we didn’t always have all the assets.”
Anthony Pons and CD Sport have a long history together. “About 10 years ago, I completed several coaching sessions with a Formula Renault 2.0 single seater in the CD Sport driving school, to prepare for my GT debut!” recalls the 45-year old from Beauvais. “So I met Laurent Cazenave just as I was making my first runs on a circuit in Lédenon. We get on great and I also have an immense respect for Claude Degrémont. I’ve always kept in touch with CD Sport and I completed their Proto V de V crews occasionally.”
With three GT titles, Anthony would like to now win in sports prototype. “This LMP3 project is stimulating in terms of driving. What’s more, I think that Laurents and I are complementary. I have the experience of an endurance driver and he has the pure speed of a single seater specialist. I’ve also taken part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to return to that great circuit.”
As well as the Michelin Le Mans Cup, which starts on the 13th of April at Paul Ricard, a V de V programme is being put together at CD Sport. It will be announced in the coming days.