Easter Cups in Nogaro: more than 200 drivers compete on the new Paul-Armagnac circuit

It’s the big start for the Easter Cups, which put on a show on the Nogaro circuit until Monday evening.

Emotional sequence yesterday when Bernard Salam was invited to commemorate his first podium at the Easter Cups,… 50 years ago! “I won for the Palois Didier Moureu. I kept the photo of the podium with André Diviès and my son Olivier, then a child, by my side.”

Bernard and Olivier Salam, here with Caroline Diviès and René Pascouau, are two of the four Gers drivers with Jean-Philippe Lamic and Eric Trémoulet, taking part in these Easter Cups.
Bernard and Olivier Salam, here with Caroline Diviès and René Pascouau, are two of the four Gers drivers with Jean-Philippe Lamic and Eric Trémoulet, taking part in these Easter Cups.

At these 2024 Easter Cups, the chairman of the Rugby Club Auch, who is crossing his fingers “that we beat Lannemezan”, will compete in the Porsche Sprint Challenge. Olivier too, by the way. For example, “the Salams” are among the 207 pilots mobilized in Nogaro until Monday evening. Among them “the swarm” of those who took part in the FFSA French Tourism Championship.

In Tourism it was necessary to select the drivers

“For the fourth year, this championship has been a huge success,” confirms Laurent Gaudin, general manager of the championship run by SRO Motorsports Group. “We have received more than 60 registration requests for the Easter Cups, even though its approval allows the Nogaro circuit to only accept 44 cars. We had to make a selection by giving priority to those registered for the entire season while ensuring a good balance between the different categories.”

In this championship “for touring cars and small GTs” no fewer than six categories, six classes, will race together, but each with a specific classification. One of the new features compared to previous seasons comes from the introduction of the GT Academy category.

We are working hard at the Alpine stand.
We are working hard at the Alpine stand.

It was set up in collaboration with importer Ginetta and will see six Ginetta G56 GTAs compete on the track. The TCR category with ten entries including the reigning champion Stéphane Ventaja (now in an Audi RS3 LMS) and his runner-up Julien Paget (Cupra Léon) and the TC category with in particular the young Raphaël Fournier, revelation of the season 2023 and which ranges from a Peugeot 208 RC to a much more powerful Peugeot 308 RC, also promise spectacular battles.

Also promising on the small GT side, the GT Light class with “the competition” between the Ligier JS2 R driven by Christophe Isaac, Jean-Jacques Galli, David Chiche and Pierre-Alexis Lacorte and the Ginetta G55 Cup shared by Guillaume Rousseau and David Heffing.

In the TCA category, one of the most affordable categories in the French car world, “it is also promising” between the three Mini R56 MCS-Rs, the Renault Clio Cup IV and the Peugeot RCZ RC. The racing was also very lively, with about ten Peugeot 208 RCs competing in the TCA Light category. This tourism championship offers four 20-minute sprint races with the possibility of two drivers sharing the same car, two races for one, two races for the other.

Eric Tremoulet, a home champion

Also shares GT 4 with its 60 minute races. This year the flagship discipline of the FFSA Championship has less ‘on offer’ than usual. The GT Europe ‘cannibalized’ it a bit. 23 GT 4 all the same, including that of the duo formed by Gersois Eric Tremoulet with Olivier Jouffret.

They are reigning champions in their Vic’Team Mercedes-AMG GT 4. At least five or six teams also seem well equipped to dethrone them in this premier discipline that mobilizes seven prestigious manufacturers: Alpine, Aston Martin, Porsche, Audi, BMW, Ginetta , Mercedes AMG.

The F4 single-seater, the Alpine Elf Cup, the Renault Clio Cup and the Mitjet International complete this edition’s impressive field of competitors, allowing drivers to enjoy “the grip” offered by the new track surface. Wet yesterday, but today it will be dry.

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