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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jules Gounon (born 31 December 1994 in Aubenas) is a professional French racing driver. He is best known for his victories in the 24 Hours of Spa in 2017 and Bathurst 12 Hour in 2020.[1]

Career

1994-2015: Youth in karting, single-seaters and Porsche Carrera Cup

Jules Gounon is the son of the former racing driver Jean-Marc Gounon, who finished second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1997.[2] He started karting in 2010 at the age of 15. He was crowned Rotax National French Champion in 2011.[3] In the year after, he clinched the X30 world title.[4] He was promoted to single-seaters, joining the French F4 Championship for the 2013 season and finished second with six wins.[5] He competed one year in Formula Renault 2.0, but failed to impress as he "could not get on well with the team". As his career seemed to be in a deadlock after a difficult 2014 season, he was selected "Espoir Porsche Carrera Cup France 2015" to take part in Porsche Carrera Cup France for the next season with a grant of €30,000.[6] He scored his maiden win in the championship in Val de Vienne[7] and finished sixth in the final standings.

2016-2017: Success in German GT and win in the 24 Hours of Spa

In 2016, he joined Callaway Competition in ADAC GT Masters, the German championship of GT.[8] He drove a brand new Corvette C7 GT3-R with his teammate Daniel Keilwitz.[8] Callaway ran three Corvette for this season. He won three times and put himself in title contention for the last event. However, Jules Gounon suffered a big crash at Hockenheim, staying conscious and alert, but with an injured (although not broken) left leg.[9] Finally he stood third in the final standings while developing his new car during the year. Callaway Competition decided to run only the car of Gounon and Keilwitz for the 2017 season.[10] He scored his first win of the season in Red Bull Ring.[11] After this round, his teammate Keilwitz got injured and was replaced by Renger van der Zande who won with Gounon in Zandvoort, letting the Frenchman take alone the championship's lead.[12] He then had two difficult weekends without podium with Albert Costa and van der Zende. However, he won his third race of the season in Hockenheim after the return of Keilwitz to competition.[13] This last win let him seal the title in the last event.[13] He also clinched the Junior title for drivers under 25.[14]

Also engaged with Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Nico Bastian in Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup (Pro-Am Cup), he took two podiums. He was recruited by Audi Sport Team Saintéloc for the 2017 24 Hours of Spa, the greatest race of GT, teaming up with Christopher Haase and Markus Winkelhock.[15] Despite running one lap down in the first half of the race because of a mis-threaded wheel, Gounon and his teammates came back in front. He battled with a Bentley in the last hours and created an 11-second gap with it to win the biggest victory in his career.[16][17] This 2017 edition was very tight as six cars arrived in the same lap as the leader.

Since 2018: Official factory driver for Bentley

In 2018, Jules Gounon at the age of 22, was signed by Bentley M-Sport as an official factory driver for Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and Intercontinental GT Challenge, replacing Oliver Jarvis.[18] With Steven Kane and Guy Smith, the Frenchman had to develop the new Bentley Continental GT3 which replaced the former generation.[18] In Paul Ricard, he scored his maiden podium with Bentley finishing second.[19] He missed the win because of a bonnet problem.[20] For the 2018 24 Hours of Spa, he had to leave the race after some braking problems. He also did a one-off in Super GT for the Fuji 500-mile race.[21] He finished thirteenth which represented the best result of the team that season in the Japanese championship. Jules Gounon said about that 2018 season: "I have progressed and learnt a lot. [...] I had to get used with a new car. The target was to have a good car at the end of the season. Unfortunately, we had a lack of speed in straight lines. With this new Continental GT3, Bentley started again from the beginning. 2018 was a season of development. After more than two years of work with German people, I discovered another vision of motorsport with a different way of working. The Bentley Continental GT3 will have a say in 2019".[22]

For the centenary of Bentley in 2019, Jules Gounon was engaged in Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and Intercontinental GT Challenge with Steven Kane and Jordan Pepper. After two complicated races, the Frenchman set the fastest time of the qualifying session in Paul Ricard, faster than his teammates and than his rivals.[23] Battling with the Ferrari 488 GT3 of Miguel Molina, Jules Gounon and Bentley won their first race of the year and also their first win since the introduction of their new car back in 2018.[24] Two weeks later, Jules Gounon participated in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans with Risi Competizione, teaming up with Oliver Jarvis and Pipo Derani on a Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.[25] Qualified 17th in the category LMGTE Pro, they finished 11th in this category and 40th overall, despite a mechanical problem in the last hours of the race.[26]

Racing record

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles FLaps Podiums Points Position
2013 French F4 Championship France Autosport Academy 20 6 0 1 9 236.5 2nd
2014 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Belgium KTR
Spain AV Formula
4 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 10 0 0 0 0 54 23rd
2015 Porsche Carrera Cup France France Martinet by Alméras 11 1 1 1 4 125 6th
2016 ADAC GT Masters United States Callaway Competition 14 3 1 0 4 152 3rd
2017 ADAC GT Masters United States Callaway Competition 14 3 3 2 6 174 1st
Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup (Pro Cup) France Audi Sport Team Saintéloc 1/5 1 0 0 1 28 11th
Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup (Pro-Am Cup) France AKKA ASP 4/5 0 2 1 2 46 9th
Intercontinental GT Challenge France Audi Sport Team Saintéloc
United States RealTime Racing
2/3 1 0 1 1 25 6th
24 Hours of Spa France Audi Sport Team Saintéloc Winner
2018 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup (Pro) United Kingdom Bentley M-Sport 5/5 0 0 0 1 29 14th
Intercontinental GT Challenge 4/4 0 0 0 0 4 23rd
2019 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup (Pro) United Kingdom Bentley M-Sport 3 1 1 0 1 34 3rd
Intercontinental GT Challenge 5 0 0 0 0 10 20th
24 Hours of Le Mans United States Risi Competizione 40th overall / 11th in LMGTE Pro
2020 Intercontinental GT Challenge (Pro) United Kingdom Bentley M-Sport 1 1 0 0 1 25 1st*
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship-GTD United States Meyer Shank Racing 1 0 0 0 0 21 10th*

* Season still in progress.

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2019 United States Risi Competizione United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
Brazil Pipo Derani
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo GTE
Pro
329 40th 11th
2020 United States Risi Competizione France Sébastien Bourdais
France Olivier Pla
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo GTE
Pro
339 23rd 4th

References

  1. ^ "Bentley takes comprehensive win in Bathurst 12 Hour". Speedcafe. 2 February 2020.
  2. ^ Businaro, Martin (9 July 2014). "Course de leur vie #36 Jean-Marc Gounon, France 1994". f1i.com (in French). Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  3. ^ "08/11/11 CNRF: La réussite de l'année !". kartcom.com (in French). 8 November 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  4. ^ Gauthier, Stéphane (28 October 2012). "Jules Gounon remporte la finale Internationale IAME". racingforever.org (in French). Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  5. ^ "French F4 Championship 2013 standings". driverdb.com. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  6. ^ "JULES GOUNON: ESPOIR PORSCHE CARRERA CUP 2015". autonewsinfo.com (in French). 24 November 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  7. ^ "PORSCHE CARRERA CUP. AU VAL DE VIENNE, 1ers SUCCES POUR GOUNON ET JAMINET". autonewsinfo.com (in French). 6 July 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  8. ^ a b "ADAC GT Masters - Gounon avec Callaway". autohebdo.fr (in French). 6 April 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Schwerer Unfall von Jules Gounon im ADAC GT Masters-Finale in Hockenheim". motorsport-magazin.com (in German). 2 October 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  10. ^ Jensen, Jens (23 March 2017). "Callaway Competition with one car in ADAC GT Masters". racing24-7.net. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Callaway & Grasser Star At Red Bull Ring". dailysportscar.com. 11 June 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  12. ^ Runschke, Oliver (22 July 2017). "Win for Corvette duo of Gounon and van der Zande at Zandvoort". automobilsport.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  13. ^ a b Runschke, Oliver (23 September 2017). "Jules Gounon is the 2017 ADAC GT Masters champion". automobilsport.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Hockenheim, Course 1 : Jules Gounon (Corvette) vainqueur et Champion 2017". endurance-info.com (in French). 24 September 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  15. ^ "24h de Spa - Jules Gounon pilote officiel Audi". autohebdo.fr (in French). 15 June 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  16. ^ Watkins, Gary (30 July 2017). "Sainteloc Racing Audi comes from a lap down to win Spa 24 Hours". autosport.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Spa 24 Hours: Winkelhock, Hasse & Gounon Win In Sainteloc Audi". dailysportscar.com. 30 July 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  18. ^ a b Newbold, James (15 December 2017). "Bentley signs Jules Gounon to replace Oliver Jarvis in 2018". autosport.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  19. ^ Lickorish, Stephen (2 June 2018). "Blancpain GT Paul Ricard: Costa grabs Lexus's first win on last lap". autosport.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  20. ^ Castaldi, Gauthier (28 July 2017). "24 Heures de Spa : Gounon défend son bien". ledauphine.com (in French). Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  21. ^ O'Connell, R.J. (5 April 2018). "Jules Gounon joins EIcars Bentley for Fuji 500 Miles". supergtworld.wordpress.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  22. ^ Mercier, Laurent (9 November 2018). "Jules Gounon (Bentley Team M-Sport) : "L'intensité des courses GT3 est incroyable"". endurance-info.com (in French). Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  23. ^ Giordmaina, Jack (1 June 2019). "Bentley takes pole for Paul Ricard Blancpain GT Endurance Cup race". autosport.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  24. ^ Giordmaina, Jack (1 June 2019). "Ricard Blancpain GT: Bentley makes up for 2018 heartbreak with win". autosport.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  25. ^ Euwema, Davey (8 April 2019). "Oliver Jarvis and Jules Gounon complete Risi Competizione Le Mans line-up". motorsportweek.com. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  26. ^ "Post Race Report from Risi Competizione – 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans". motegiracing.com. 16 June 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2019.

External links

Jules Gounon career summary at DriverDB.com

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Connor De Phillippi
Christopher Mies
ADAC GT Masters Champion
2017
Succeeded by
Mathieu Jaminet
Robert Renauer [de]
Preceded by
Matthew Campbell
Dennis Olsen
Dirk Werner
Winner of the Bathurst 12 Hour
2020
With: Jordan Pepper & Maxime Soulet
Succeeded by
Incumbent

This page was last edited on 21 September 2020, at 17:18
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