Jules Gounon: “Winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans is my ultimate dream”

Triple winner of the Bathurst 12 Hours, double winner of the Spa 24 Hours, titles in GT World Challenge, victories at Daytona, Petit Le Mans… At 29, Jules already has one of the finest records in French motorsport . Meeting with the little-known reserve pilot Alpine in WEC.

Published on 21/03/2024 à 18:00

Jean-Michel Desnoues

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Jules Gounon: “Winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans is my ultimate dream”

©Bernard Asset

Jules Gounon, what is your first memory of motorsport?

It is not the first, but the most significant: 2005 with the Oreca team, Hugues de Chaunac, my father (Jean-Marc Gounon, 9 GP F1 played in 1993/94. Editor’s note), Stéphane Ortelli, Franck Montagny and the R8 Playstation. It was to 24 Hours of Le Mans, I was in my father's Algeco. I could hear the sound of the Pescarolo's Judd V10. It was that night that I told myself that I would do anything to one day be lying in his place waiting for the next relay. I was ten years old.

Did you go karting?

My father didn't want it. He told me that it was impossible, that the budgets were too high, that we came from a family that didn't have the means. He had known F1, but it had never brought him to life. My grandfather had a garage in Aubenas (Ardèche. Editor's note) which he had taken over and we were just normal people. He refused all my requests until I was fifteen. I wasn't doing anything at school, so he ended up telling me that if I really wanted to attack karts, I had to bring back a 16 average in the 1st quarter.

What happened?

I got to work, and he kept his word. We both started like that. We left with the kart in the Fiat Scudo which also served as our hotel. We were real Romanos. We arrived on the slopes on Friday afternoon while the others had been riding since Thursday morning! Besides, my father was a very bad mechanic. Once, he failed to get it started and ended up taking advice from Dominique Chech, manager of

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