Racing right down to the wire, this year’s e-Trophée Andros was settled with just seconds to go, with title leaders Jean-Baptiste (JB) Dubourg and Yann Ehrlacher equal on points at the end of the session at the final race of the season in Super Besse. With Dubourg pulling into the lead because he had the greatest number of victories over the year, we caught up with the newly crowned champion when he returned to the pits.
JB DUBOURG: “I KNEW I HAD TO FINISH JUST BEHIND YANN EHRLACHER TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP”
JB, this is your sixth championship win out of 33 e-Trophée Andros starts. That’s a good percentage. How are you feeling?
I feel so good. It’s unbelievable. What a season and what a final race. Earlier in the season, I thought we had lost the trophy. We weren’t on top, and we had to find the performance. We decided to have a test session and it was a very good idea. After that we won the last two races and were back in the game for the final victory.
How did you feel after the Superpole – it looked like a tough battle?
The Superpole was hard. And I felt so bad. Because of one tenth of a second or something like that, I thought I had lost the trophy and I was very disappointed. But the race is never over until you cross the flag.
How did the race go?
The key for the final was the start. I wasn’t in a good position. But my start was good. After that my spotter told me that Pierre-Louis Loubet had the fastest lap and after that I knew I had to finish just behind Yann Ehrlacher to win the championship.
How was Yann as an opponent? He’s also with Motul and is an incredible racer, but he’s very new to this championship. How was it to race him?
He might be new to Trophée Andros, but he’s a two-time world champion and he has a very strong head. With his team and their experience in Trophée Andros, one day he could be a winner.
Does it help to beat a double world champion in touring cars? Does it add to the value of the victory?
It’s always a very nice feeling to beat a two-time world champion [laughs].
The test seems to have changed everything around. You said before that there wasn’t much more to be done with the Zoe. What did the team do to get those last few seconds out of it?
I can’t tell you what we’re doing, but we applied some more balance to the car and small details that made a big difference in the end. The car was easier to drive and had more performance.
You were so close to Yann at the Superfinal but had 60kgs of extra ballast in the car. That’s like carrying a passenger with you. How did that feel?
It was not advantageous to have that much extra weight in the car. At that track, the ballast is on the left side and the track’s turns are 90% on the right. But I don’t think about that. I just want to drive fast.
What’s next for you? Are you heading into Rally Cross again?
I’m not sure yet. I will enjoy this sixth title. It’s a very special moment and we will see later what we can do. We are talking with Renault about doing more.