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Nicolas Longuet (Signatech-Alpine) : “Attention au trafic et aux limites de la piste”

He will celebrate his 18th birthday on June 8 and to celebrate his majority, Nicolas Longuet will take part in the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans on behalf of Signatech-Alpine Elf.

Philippe Sinault's team will be closely followed with Thomas Laurent, André Negrao, Pierre Ragues and Nicolas Longuet. The three Alpine riders will be supported by a young gamer who will bring his knowledge of the case. This crew has a story to tell.

Between Thomas Laurent, 22, who climbed on the podium of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2017 at 19 when he first participated, André Negrao, 27, who will play from Brazil, Pierre Ragues, 36, the most experienced in the Mans with 12 participations, and Nicolas Longuet, a young gamer who will act as crew captain, Signatech-Alpine Elf has played the game 100% of the virtual and real mix. Born in Italy, perfectly English-speaking, the Franco-Italian now resides in Aix-en-Provence. He has the distinction of having studied at an American school in South Africa and then at the International Bilingual School of Provence.

Nicolas Longuet is part of the Renault industry since he joined the ranks of Renault Vitality at the start of the year. The former Red Bull team member is the fit man of the moment.

“I started simracing in 2018,” Nicolas Longuet told Endurance-Info. “From an early age I always wanted to race but my parents always said no to karting (laughs). One day I saw an esports race and I was like, 'there you go, this is what I want to do'. From the start, the performance was there and instead of having a go-kart, I was treated to a steering wheel and pedals. " He then got noticed finishing in the top 30 in the F1 Esports Pro Draft among 110,000 youngsters.

Recruited by Red Bull for the F1 Pro Series 2019 championship, Nicolas Longuet trained a lot without competing in many races despite a superb performance at Monza where he fought against the 2018 runner-up. time, he therefore chose the Renault Vitality route at the start of the year after the departures of Simon Weigang and Cédric Thome.

With the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nicolas Longuet will discover a new world: “I am not an endurance racing specialist. The platforms are different and some are specialized in long races. As in reality, pilots can be specialists in a discipline. Still, I competed in the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring on iRacing. "

The Signatech-Alpine Elf crew can count on the support of the team's engineers. “In real competition, there is a car for three pilots and I think that the settings are a matter of compromise”, specifies the Renault Vitality pilot. “There, everyone will play from home on their own simulator. It will not only be necessary to be the fastest on the track. The first tests showed that it was very different from an F1 (laughs). The ORECA 07 is very stable and fairly easy to drive. ”

Like any self-respecting rookie, Nicolas Longuet is discovering the Le Mans circuit and this is where his three teammates will be able to help him. “My feeling on the circuit is mixed,” explains Nicolas. “It's much longer than an F1 track but much better than the Nürburgring where it's hard to overtake. You will have to be very careful in traffic and pay attention to the limits of the track. I had driven in a GTE and seeing the prototypes overtake was a challenge for GT drivers. "

Nicolas Longuet drives a minimum of three to four hours a day. In the middle of the F1 racing season, driving can take up to ten hours. As Fernando Alonso did in his time, Nicolas Longuet has to switch his brain from an F1 to a prototype: “I have to relearn the car by going from an F1 to an LMP2. If I play rFactor for a week, I'm going to need a few hours to be on top of F1. ”

Ultimately, Nicolas Longuet’s goal is real competition on the circuit. He already passed very close to a Formula 4 test a few months ago. In the meantime, the next stop is Le Mans.

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