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Team LNT – Sebring 12 Hours Part ll - Bad News Comes In Twos

The #41 Team LNT TVR had risen as high as fourth in a world class GT2 class battle - before misfortune struck.

All three drivers had driven fast stints to rise steadily up through the order: the car was well into the top 20 overall. Patrick Pearce was at the wheel when he felt he’d heard the engine miss a beat when passing the pits:

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“I eased off for the rest of the lap and waited until I got to the back straight, before giving it some gas. When I did, the engine was really flat.”

Pearce pitted immediately and the news was all bad.

“It’s an engine problem, we’re not sure exactly what yet, I think a stripped piston,” said disappointed team manager Rodney “Rocket” Farrell.

Richard Dean was another hugely disappointed team member: “I’m really disappointed the car felt really rock solid – I thought it would run for 24 Hours, not just 12.”

If there’s any justice in this world, Richard, you’ll get the opportunity to prove that it can.

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Meanwhile the delayed #40 car pressed on, well down after its earlier, contact assisted, suspension breakage. Then this car too was in the pits, engine cover off and straight six sounding as if it was a straight five. It was, the spark plug on the offending cylinder had a spark plug gap which was not what it should have been. The fix was easy but the reason behind its cause was a worry. The car was sent out again and circulated quickly once again until, at the seven hour mark, it pitted with a remarkably similar problem once again.

“We think there’s something inside one of the cylinders that shouldn’t be there, but we won’t really know until we get the car back to base,” said technician Lee Penn.

It was a disappointing end to an effort that promised much, and delivered a great deal of evidence that here is a world class team with a pair of cars that aspire to take on the accepted gold standard in GT racing.

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Last word to Team Owner Lawrence Tomlinson:

“We came here to show what we can do with these cars as they are, and to be allowed to show off what they will be in a few months time on the world’s biggest sportscar racing stage. I hope we’ve done enough, by running as hard and competitively as we have, to convince the powers that be to give a works blessed TVR effort the nod.”

Lets hope so and well done all at team LNT for a fine effort.

PS: The team believes that it was fuel surging under braking that caused the engine problems. This had not been seen before in testing.

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