Dallas, TX —The de Boulle Motorsports team claimed 8th place in the ultra competitive LMP2 category of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. For his debut at the endurance racing classic and what is known as the greatest race in the world, Nick Boulle joined the Prototype entry of Jackie Chan DC Racing in their #33 Ligier JS P217.
This year de Boulle Motorsports partnered with Meridian Veterinary Capital, Concepta Labs, Hydro Carbon Exchange, Dallas Auto Exchange and SpecChem to reach a worldwide audience at the number one sporting event. Each of these logos were featured prominently on the red and black Ligier LMP2 car that rolled off in Jackie Chan DC Racing livery.
The demanding 24-hour endurance race saw drivers from around the world take the start with Rafael Nadal waving the flag to start the race for its 95th running. This endurance race tests each three-driver team, pit crew and equipment around the historic 8.6-mile Circuit de La Sarthe, which only sees use two times per year because it includes many lengths of French public highway. Cars will reach speeds of up to 215 miles per hour.
The race was heavily attended with celebrities and many of the world’s most respected drivers competing in the field. Fernando Alonso’s attendance brought huge fanfare alongside Jenson Button, Juan Pablo Montoya, Bruno Senna, Paul DiResta and more.
Nick Boulle took the green flag in the car for the team in 17th position, after a less than ideal qualifying for the three-driver crew of Nick Boulle, David Cheng and Pierre Nicolet. During his stint, Boulle was able to move the car up to the 13th position by the end of hour 2.
After a long night which saw few incidents, the early morning hours brought drama for many of the teams. Through the night with low light and pitch darkness at parts of the circuit many drivers chose to be more cautious, but with light coming up and the track being at its best the times began to tumble around 6am. Along with this, several cars in all classes of the race made hard contact with the barriers at some of the treacherous parts of the track. The #33 entry stayed largely out of trouble though.
Nick climbed into the car for the final stint of driving in the race and was tasked with taking the car into the top 10 of the LMP2 class. When the race finished, his goal was accomplished as the #33 car finished in 8th place in the LMP2 class and 12th overall in the competitive 65 car field.
“These moments will be with me forever, and I will never forget the fact that I was able to live out a childhood dream,” said Boulle. “It didn’t really set in until around my second time in the car as I drove up until just before night fall. I had this surreal moment as the sun has just set and I saw that I really was driving through the Porsche curves of the Circuit de La Sarthe at 155mph in darkness.”
About deBoulle Motorsports / deBoulle Diamond & Jewelry
de Boulle Motorsports is a living & moving illustration of the passion for excellence that de Boulle Diamond & Jewelry has for both jewelry & watches. de Boulle was established in 1983 by Denis and Karen Boulle, de Boulle has assembled an unrivaled collection of diamonds, fine jewelry and timepieces unsurpassed for its elegance and depth in selection. de Boulle has served thousands of discriminating customers and built a reputation as one of the pre-eminent independently-owned jewelers in the United States. Their sophisticated salon has a historical flair in the style of a two-story French villa. The Boulle’s have taken a continued interest in the community and currently supports a list of charitable causes. de Boulle also showcases Holland & Holland, the world’s most prestigious gunmaker, bespoke shotguns and rifles as well as clothing and accessories. de Boulle is located in Dallas at 6821 Preston Rd. and in Houston at 4444 Westheimer Rd. For more information, visit deBoulle.com
About Concepta Labs
Concepta Labs is a clinical laboratory housed in a state-of-the-art testing facility in Dallas, Texas. We are focused on delivering best-in-class blood testing services to a national audience of healthcare professionals through a collaborative blend of applied science and innovative technologies in the fields of blood chemistry, immunology, hematology and pathology.
About Meridian Veterinary Capital
MedVet Medical and Cancer Centers for Pets is a 24-hour emergency, critical care and specialty animal hospital. MedVet is employee owned & veterinary led and is leading specialty healthcare provider for pets. MedVet provides specialty referral services, as well as emergency services, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. More than 100,000 dogs and cats are treated annually at MedVet’s expanding network of medical centers across the country. Meridian is a real estate investment, management and development company based in Dallas, Texas. Working with an established network of financial partners, architects and construction management professionals, Meridian’s mission is to create value for its investors by acquiring, developing and investing in real estate and real estate related assets. Meridian is primarily focused on senior housing and healthcare related investments. Meridian has acquired or developed projects in many areas of the United States including Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Arizona, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Washington, California, Alabama, Virginia, Oklahoma, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.
About Dallas Auto Exchange
Crockett Gambrel founded Dallas Auto Exchange after spending over a decade being immersed in the cultures of two of the area’s most prestigious luxury auto groups. The lessons learned from the strong leadership teams at these outstanding organizations helped him form a solid foundation, a servant attitude, and a strong moral compass. He excelled at sales and building relationships with clients, and he was consistently recognized for his over-the-top customer service scores. The idea for Dallas Auto Exchange started when he realized the need for a company that could fill the void that is left between the two most common types of automotive dealerships. On one end of the spectrum you have the questionable cars, hidden problems, and sub-par ethics that are often found at bargain basement stores. On the other end are the luxury dealerships that typically offer great customer service, fancy perks and quality vehicles, but typically at substantially higher prices. His vision for Dallas Auto Exchange was to provide customers with unmatched overall value by offering solid cars, outstanding customer service, honest advice, and a transparent buying experience that was actually fun. Our expansive indoor showroom is modern and impeccably clean, but it isn’t furnished with priceless works of art, or rich mahogany furniture. We prefer to pass the savings on to you.
About Hydro Carbon Exchange
Hydrocarbon Exchange is an individually owned corporation. The company originated in 2004 by Stan Archibald, Dennis Moser, and Scott Hopkins. The company was developed to build a marketing company to facilitate and leverage ongoing supplies from Texas Energy Management in the Barnett shale. Since inception, the company has obtained rapid growth by adding third party supplies in both the North Texas region and the Permian Basin. The company is actively involved in procuring producer and third party gas supplies and performs several different derivative and future strategies to allow for arbitrage opportunities. As a result of yearly campaigns, the company’s retained earnings have remained at a steady increase. There are over 100 companies and major producers that have ongoing relationships and contracts.
SpecChem is a Kansas City-based manufacturer supplying the concrete distributor network with high quality, industry-leading concrete construction materials. SpecChem offers a full line of liquid chemical technologies, including form release agents, paving and curing compounds, finishing aids, cures & hardeners, bond breakers, sealers, bonding agents and surface retarders, as well as an array of cleaning and stripping products. Additionally, SpecChem has a line of epoxy products that include adhesive bonding agents, epoxy sealers and coatings, and high-strength epoxy mortars and grouts. Finally, SpecChem’s comprehensive line of cementitious grouts, repair mortars, underlayments and overlayments, and specialty concrete accessories round out an exhaustive line-up designed to provide quality, innovation, and value to distributors, specifiers, and contractors.
Please visit http://www.specchemllc.com for more on SpecChem, LLC.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE 2018 24 HOURS OF LE MANS
TV SCHEDULE (CST)
Saturday, June 16th 2018
VELOCITY – 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
The Le Mans Test Day takes place each year several weeks before the Le Mans race weekend. It acts as a way for drivers to settle in to the circuit, and also to make adjustments to find a fast and comfortable car to race for the race itself. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest, Automobile Club of the West, or ACO closes the French public roads required to complete the 8.6mile Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe course we run on for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Because of this, the course itself is only available for one day of testing, which allows for a practice with two separate 4-hour sessions of on track action.
Once you split this time between 3 drivers and factor in competitors crashing which delays valuable clear track time, and remember the fact that the course is almost 9 miles long and takes ~ 3 minutes 30 seconds to complete each lap you know that you are almost certainly going to leave wanting more.
Luckily our Le Mans test day goal was simple. Our focus was on prioritizing track time for myself to get acclimated and to learn the daunting circuit, doing set up work later in the day, and finally, making sure that everything felt good in the car and we were as comfortable as we can be in these ultra-fast cars.
The day started well with shorter runs for each of us to make sure we are comfortable, and that the car is safe. After that we moved through our mandatory 10-lap runs. To be approved to drive at Le Mans for the race itself, each driver must do 10 full laps around the circuit.
For me the circuit itself is literally a dream come true… I’ve dreamt of running this historic track since I was young, and it lived up my expectations. In addition to flying past road signs used for normal traffic at 210mph, the track has these corners that really are what separate the good from the great.
For example, you turn in to the corner named “Indy 1” with a light touch of the brakes and clip the apex (tightest, centerpoint of the corner) in the top of 5th gear at close to 180mph before braking again for the 2nd gear corner “Indy 2” – there are walls on the inside and the outside.
Only two corners later you drag the brakes to downshift into 5th gear before turning right into the “Porsche Curves” complex at 155mph where you stare towards another wall and then flick the car into the another set of flat out double left-hand corners that have barriers touching the curbing at the exit. This completes the Porsche curve.
This is a place where it pushes you to dig deeper & deeper, but much like human endurance there’s a limit somewhere. And at 160 mph pulling 4G through a corner, the limit can appear very suddenly; however, the marks on the walls stand as a constant reminder.
Leaving the test, we have a huge amount of data for the engineers to pour over and look for opportunities to improve the car and also for us as drivers to see where our teammates do a better job and how we can more closely mimic them.
We get back on track now the week before the race on Wednesday, June 12th, with a 2-hour Free Practice session. After this open practice session, every session that follows including the 10PM – Midnight session later that night serves as a qualifying session where our best times are recorded to determine our starting position. The only other requirement is that drivers run 5 timed laps during the night practice sessions to be able to drive in the race during the night portion of the race itself.
We’ll be posting content all over social media, so you can follow along here:
Today was scrutineering day at Le Mans, where the officials make sure we are completely in compliance with the regulations. What started as a cool and rainy morning eventually turned into cloudy day, and finally by the end of the day, it felt like the middle of the french summer.
I started the day with a long run to get the nerves out and stay loose this week and even got to enjoy a really neat Sunday market going on in the center of the town below the Le Mans Cathedral. We were at the track by noon, and we headed to the Place de République for scrutineering of the cars of the cars and our safety equipment at around 1:45pm where we were ushered through the huge crowds waiting to watch all of the cars and drivers rolled past. We stopped to sign autographs and “Selfie Selfie” as much as we could, but were in a rush to check our equipment with the officials.
Meet the Press
After that was complete there was a quick press run, more selfies with fans and small (recorded) conversations with local and international press, driver videos for the tv and social media of the 24 Heures du Mans. The last piece was the most unexpected part was being ushered onto a stage in front of a huge crowd for a sit down conversation that I had no idea was going to happen. I recovered as quickly as I could, but there was certainly a shot in being sat down in front of a crowd of screaming race fans for a translated english-french-english chat for the TV and live audience.
Behind the Scenes
What I thought was the final stage of the day was taking pictures in the center of the square with the entire team of drivers in our Jackie Chan DC Racing team as well as the men and women that work tirelessly behind the scenes to put all of this together. This image will be ingrained in my mind for a long time to come…
All of it was a little overwhelming, but one of the coolest parts was the time we had to wander around the gated circle and chat to fans. I was asked to sign pictures of cars I drove as far back as 2016 at Daytona and Circuit of the Americas and Canada and on and on… It blew my mind. The little kids got so into all of it that it really made it all very real. I remember being those little kids just loving motorsport and trying to get as close to the action as I could.
If this is just the scrutineering day I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings. I’m certainly leaning on my teammates to help me keep my nerves and cool through this crazy week of press events and marketing.