Gustavo Menezes has moved another step closer to clinching the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) crown at the first time of asking, after he and Signatech-Alpine stablemates Nicolas Lapierre and Stéphane Richelmi claimed a sixth podium finish of the season in Japan this weekend (14-16 October).
The standout rookie of 2016 in sportscar racing’s premier global series, Menezes arrived at the legendary Fuji Speedway – dramatically situated beneath the gaze of Mount Fuji and scene of many a seminal moment in motorsport history – with a 41-point championship lead in the fiercely-disputed LMP2 class following an impressive four triumphs from his first six starts.
Behind the wheel of the N°36 entry, the talented young American and his two team-mates initially struggled for speed, placing no better than fifth-fastest amongst the 11 high-calibre protagonists in free practice as their quest for a satisfactory set-up proved frustratingly elusive.
Gustavo Menezes was the toast of the town in Austin last weekend, as the highly-rated young American tamed stifling temperatures during the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas to clinch a hugely popular fourth victory of the season with Signatech-Alpine in the fiercely-disputed FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Menezes returned to his homeland having reached the top step of the rostrum on three occasions already over the course of an outstanding rookie campaign in endurance racing’s premier global series – not to mention nurturing a healthy advantage in the chase for the coveted crown alongside team-mates Nicolas Lapierre and Stéphane Richelmi.
Situated in the heart of Texas, the spectacular and recently-built Circuit of the Americas plays host to the pinnacle of both four and two-wheeled motorsport competition, and its challenging layout has made it an instant and unanimous hit.
Gustavo Menezes came within a whisker of clinching a fourth consecutive triumph in the fiercely-disputed FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Mexico last weekend,
with a strong runner-up finish ensuring the talented young American will travel next to his home round sitting proudly atop the title standings.
Menezes arrived in Mexico City for the 6 Hours of Mexico – the first event of its calibre in the country for a quarter-of-a-century – riding the crest of a wave off the back of a hat-trick of LMP2 class victories with leading French outfit Signatech-Alpine. The first long-haul contest of 2016 in endurance racing’s premier global series took place in front of a packed-out crowd of enthusiastic spectators around the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez – a circuit named in honour of the famous Formula 1 brothers and located within the grounds of the venue that hosted the 1968 Summer Olympics.
Gustavo Menezes pulled further clear of his pursuers in the chase for the coveted FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) LMP2 class crown at the Nürburgring last weekend, as he and Signatech-Alpine team-mates Nicolas Lapierre and Stéphane Richelmi conquered changeable conditions to complete a stunning victory hat-trick.
Fresh off the back of dazzling the sportscar racing fraternity by winning the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours at his first attempt, the talented young American headed to Germany’s Nürburgring for the final European round of the 2016 WEC campaign. An uncharacteristic ‘off’ for Lapierre at the beginning of free practice left Signatech-Alpine playing catch-up early on, but the French outfit responded in style as its N°36 crew lapped fourth-fastest out of the 11 high-calibre LMP2 protagonists in the remaining two sessions.
Gustavo Menezes has described winning last weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours as the ‘best day of his life’, as together with team-mates Nicolas Lapierre and Stéphane Richelmi, he delivered Signatech-Alpine its maiden LMP2 class victory in what is widely regarded as the toughest race in the world.
Having graduated from a formative career in single-seaters to sportscars this year, Menezes has made an immediate impact and alongside Lapierre and Richelmi, he arrived at Le Mans at the top of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 class standings. Buoyed by a promising pre-event Test Day, the talented young American was instantly on front-running form again during practice and qualifying, although much of the track time was severely disrupted by torrential downpours.
Gustavo Menezes has admitted that his first experience of the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours circuit gave him ‘goosebumps’, as Signatech-Alpine enjoyed a productive Test Day ahead of the biggest race on the international sportscar calendar next weekend (18/19 June).
Having graduated from the FIA Formula 3 European Championship to the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) this year, Menezes has already made his mark as he, Nicolas Lapierre and Stéphane Richelmi sped to victory in the fiercely-disputed LMP2 class in last month’s 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – vaulting the talented trio to the top of the drivers’ title standings.
Gustavo Menezes belied his lack of sportscar racing experience and rookie status to claim his maiden LMP2 class victory with Signatech-Alpine in last weekend’s 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – with the talented young American’s sparkling success vaulting him into the lead of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Menezes has made the jump in 2016 from single-seaters to the fiercely-disputed pinnacle of international endurance racing, teaming up with established WEC front-runner Nicolas Lapierre and GT3 graduate Stéphane Richelmi behind the wheel of Signatech-Alpine’s 550bhp Alpine A460 prototype. A late puncture denied the trio a rostrum finish in the Silverstone curtain-raiser, but they travelled to Spa – widely regarded as the ultimate drivers’ track – with their eyes firmly on the prize.
Gustavo Menezes produced a scintillating turn-of-speed over the course of an eye-catching FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) debut in the 6 Hours of Silverstone last weekend, as Signatech-Alpine was cruelly denied a hard-fought podium finish in a flat-out thriller.
Menezes has steered his burgeoning career from single-seaters to sportscars this year, and has teamed up with established WEC race-winner Nicolas Lapierre and GT3 graduate Stéphane Richelmi in one of Signatech-Alpine’s two A460 prototypes. Entered in the fiercely competitive LMP2 class, the trio featured up towards the sharp end throughout free practice around the celebrated ‘Home of British Motorsport’, but a greasy, low-grip track surface the next day – the legacy of overnight rain and snow – threw an early curveball.
Gustavo Menezes has taken a significant step forward in his burgeoning motorsport career, after being recruited by factory-backed sportscar outfit Signatech-Alpine to contest the prestigious FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and legendary Le Mans 24 Hours in 2016.
Menezes has spent the past three seasons competing in Formula 3, placing fourth in the German Championship and going on to claim a brace of podiums and no fewer than 28 top ten finishes in the fiercely-disputed FIA Formula 3 European Championship – by common consent, the toughest junior single-seater series on the planet.
Gustavo Menezes has staked his claim to a sportscar racing future following an impressive test for Signatech-Al
pine in Bahrain, receiving praise for an ‘excellent’ performance as he lapped at a similar pace to the FIA World Endurance Championship’s leading lights.
Menezes flew straight to the desert kingdom from his Formula 3 swansong in the end-of-season Macau Grand Prix, where a weekend that had begun in promising fashion ended in a hefty disagreement with the tight-and-twisty Guia Street Circuit’s unforgiving concrete barriers after he was clipped from behind, destroying his Jagonya Ayam with Carlin single-seater in the process.