2018/19 de Boulle Magazine

24 HEURES DU MANS According to National Geograph- ic and Forbes, the 24 Hours of Le Mans — or, the 24 Heures du Mans in French — is one of the greatest and most awe-inspiring sporting events in the world. Drivers and manufactur- ers come to show their might at what is without question the world’s most historic endurance race. With the race in its 95th running, much of the rules remain unchanged, as cars race side by side at more than 215 miles per hour up and down the French motorways that make up a large portion of the 8.6-mile circuit, the Circuit de la Sarthe. Each car has a driver lineup consisting of a team of three, who share driving duties in stints of roughly two to three hours. The demanding 24-hour endurance race saw drivers from around the world take the start, with tennis star Rafael Nadal waving the flag. The race tested each team, pit crew and car around the historic circuit. The de Boulle Motorsports team claimed eighth place in the ul- tra-competitive LMP2 category of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. For his debut at the endurance-racing classic, Nick Boulle joined the Prototype en- try of Jackie Chan DC Racing in their No. 33 Ligier JS P217. de Boulle Motorsports partnered with Meridian Veterinary Capital, Concepta Labs, Hydrocarbon Ex- change, Dallas Auto Exchange and SpecChem to reach a worldwide audience at the world’s No. 1 sport- ing event. Each of the partners’ logos

had pulled it up to 13th position by the third pit stop and driver change. As the sun goes down, lower tem- peratures and pitch-black darkness come to parts of the circuit, and these conditions oftentimes begin to trip up many teams. The Le Mans circuit is unique because it leaves so little room for error at every corner, and this characteristic is heightened even more in the darkness of night. Watching cars fly past at speeds of more than 210 miles per hour, in the dark, with only a few lights to guide the way, leaves goosebumps on every person within earshot of the circuit. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the smallest mistakes can leave massive consequences. The No. 33 Jackie Chan car ran smoothly and quickly through the night, but many of the teams racing in the LMP2 class found drama in small mistakes, as they tried to increase their pace during what is called the happy hour, when the sun rises and the track conditions reach their peak. With only a handful of hours left in the race, Boulle climbed back into the car to complete the final two stops for the team. It would be his job to catch the cars still in front. Despite running in the top 10 for most of the night, an issue with fueling equipment caused the car to drop back into 13th posi- tion. When time is running out, driv- ers tend to take the most risks, and Boulle put the proverbial pedal to the metal. When the race finished, Boulle had accomplished his goal: The No. 33 car crossed the finish line in eighth position in the LMP2 class and 12th place overall, in the 70-car field. For Boulle, racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans is unforgettable. “It didn’t really set in until around my second time in the car,” he says, “as I drove down the Mulsanne Straight and saw the speed reach 210 miles per hour, in the darkness. I had this very brief, surreal moment, coming down the main straight. I realized that I really had just raced through the famous Porsche Curves of the circuit — at 160 miles per hour. I am living out a childhood dream. These moments will be with me forever.”

was featured prominently on the red- and-black Ligier that rolled out from the official Jackie Chan DC Racing garage, with representative guests lining our pit wall until the finish. As always, the race was attended by many celebrities and many of the world’s most respected drivers competing in the field. Fernando Alonso’s attendance brought huge fanfare as he raced alongside Jenson Button, Juan Pablo Montoya, Bru- no Senna, Paul di Resta, Jean-Éric Vergne, Sébastien Buemi and Pastor Maldonado, to name just a few of the Formula One drivers competing. Ater four practice and qualifying sessions, which saw mixed and quickly changing track conditions, the team determined that Boulle would start the race and take the green flag, starting from the 17th position. The three-driver crew of Boulle, David Cheng and Pierre Nicolet would share duties through the 24-hour race. Boulle settled in and made up places as opportunities arose. This would be the only time the race-running saw rain, as there were about 30 minutes’ worth of slick conditions, which called for a quick change to wet-weather tires. After about two hours in the car, Boulle

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