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LMES - Nurburgring 1000 Kms - Post-Race Quotes

Dindo Capello – Audi Team Goh: “It was really a shame, just bad luck. If I had taken a risk and had an accident then it would be easier to accept but I got caught in someone else’s misfortune. The race was still entirely open. We only had one stop to do and the other cars needed two. This one is tough to take.”

John Ingram – Tracsport Lola B2K/40: “It is great, really great to bring it home on our debut

(A JWR team member added)..... “It was a pleasure to share a pit garage with them. They all want to do well, they all tried really hard the whole weekend. They’re a great addition to the grid.”

Sam Hignett – Team Jota Zytek: "It’s frustrating. The car has massive pace (it lapped throughout the last hour on the pace of the leading Audis and DBA). We had ignition troubles mid race but then John got hit by a Ferrari and we lost part of the rear wing. One of the guys had to go out and get it because our replacement was a high downforce item. We fixed that and then the car got hit from behind and broke the rear diffuser. “

Sam Hancock – Courage Competition C65: “I’m really gutted – I was desperate to win this one for the team. The car is exceptional. I was told to stay out (on slicks) and the rain just came pouring down. I spun it at the end of the start/ finish straight and it just wouldn’t restart, the battery was finished, completely dead. The car was towed behind the wall and it was all I could do to stop the recovery crew from taking it away. I was in the cockpit trying every combination of buttons to get it to fire but no joy. Eventually I had to push it myself to a downhill bit of ground and do a karting style bump start. I got it back and they sent me out on wets. I was ahead of the WR and pulling away when the track just dried out almost immediately. The wets were destroyed within a lap and I could do nothing to defend the lead. Really, really difficult to take.” – It would be less difficult to take later in the evening when the WR was disqualified after an airbox infringement, so Courage take the LMP2 win after all. Well done all of you.

Marino Franchitti – Sebah Porsche: “The whole team have done really, really well. When I got into the car the box felt funny, it turned out that one of the bolts that holds the shift mechanism in place had come astray. The team were going to replace it but the race was too tight. Even when the car was in gear there was a lot of movement in the gearshift, particularly on the way down through the box where you had to be quite brutal with it. It was a combination of taking care not to do more damage with brute force and ignorance to make the shifts.

“It was a tough race but the rain really helped us. This is a five year old car and wet weather is a fantastic mechanical leveller.

“As for the podium it was fabulous to be up there with Allan (McNish). I’ve known him since I was three years old and he’s been a fantastic help throughout my racing career, he's more like a big brother.”

Lister Dramas: A broken tripod joint – the same component failure for the LMP as happened at the Le Mans 1000km last November. While fixing the tripod joint, the team inadvertently found the misfire: an HT lead was found to be loose. However, the next problem was the diff. As a direct result of the tripod joint failure, the diff failed.

Martin Short: "It was a brilliant call. I was on slicks and caught and passed the Pescarolo and one of the Audis. That brought a smile to my face - especially passing the Pescarolo."

Mike Jordan: "I saw the Audi coming so I moved wide, off the drier line, on slicks, to give him room. Then it snapped round on me and I slid slowly across the track. I'm gutted - and really sorry to have ruined their race as well. We were heading for third place too." And that would hae been second as things turned out.

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Pierre Kaffer: "It was an unbelievable race. Our team did a great job. I had a little luck when I went off the circuit, it was impossible to hold the car with slicks, I was going round so slowly already but I still went off. To have won my home race is amazing, all my friends are here, I am so happy to win."

Allan McNish: "That moment (when Kaffer spun off the track) was difficult, the other 3hrs 40min of Pierre's drive were pure poetry. I believe there is one superstar here today and his name is Pierre Kaffer. The spin was not really his fault, it was just the weather. When he came in I knew we had the race under control.".

Johnny Herbert: "It was typical Nürburgring weather really. You don't know when the rain is going to come, once it is here you don't know how much it is going to rain, and then you don't know if and when it is gonna go. We made the right tyre choices, and the rain made for a great race, there was a lot going on which is good."

Jamie Davies: "There were no team orders, we were free to race. Our sister car was a little quicker today, and we were pushing as hard as we could. The 1-2 is a great achievement, we have to say thanks to Michelin as well, for all the tyres we used today."

JC-W: "It is fantastic for us to finish on the podium in our 2nd race in the car. Dunlop has done us proud, and it's a great little car. Nicolas did a great job to stay with the Audis and sometimes challenge them. Roll on Silverstone!"

Nic Minassian: Is the DBA's pace a surprise? "Not for us! The excursion to the gravel put us out of the fight for victory but two hours of fighting with Johnny was good fun".

LMP2: Jean Rene de Fournoux: "This was our first race in the Le Mans Endurance Series, but we raced in three Le Mans 24 Hours before so we have a lot of experience with the car. We are very happy to win because we were in the gravel at the beginning of the race, and the weather changed very quickly. We are very very 'appy."

Jean-Marc Gounon: "We've got to be very 'appy as well! We showed the pace of the 2005 regulation cars, and the car was brilliant. We had to start from the pits because we broke the battery, and after 2 hours we were in second place already. The performance of the car was brilliant on this track; in the end we lost the win but that's racing. We will put more pressure (on the competition) in Silverstone."

MarcRostan: "We had our little problems, and were in the pits for a few laps, but what is most important is that we finished the race. This is our second podium, and we are still leading the LMP2 Championship. There are three French teams here (on the LMP2 podium), so congratulations to all of us!"

Christophe Bouchut: "It was a wonderul race, the weather was very hard for all teams. All did good jobs and bad jobs deciding for tyres, our car ran well, and we made good tyre decisions. And we have to thank Michelin for the good tyres."

Michael Bartels: "The weather was nearly like this at the 24 Hours. In the end, we were unlucky, some vibrations on the car had us make extra stops at the end. But we are confident for our next races, especially the Spa 24 Hours. We're on the podium again, and the team did a good job, so we'll keep pushing."

Phil Bennett: "The weather was very mixed, we were not quite on the pace in the dry, but thanks to Gian Maria we made up time in the rain."

Sascha Maassen: "I was clever, I chose the easy part, I drove on slicks in the beginning! We had a good car all the time, our lap times did not go down from the start of my stint to the end, so it was always good. Adam had to do the difficult part when it was raining."

Stephane Ortelli: "The 1000k distance is great. At monza we won with 40sec, here we finished 7sec ahead of third, this series makes for close racing. Congratulations to winners, we tried our best, and missed by few secs - that's what I like about this kind of racing."

Franz Konrad: "The car was developing a vibration as of lap 2 which got progressively worse, in fact my arms are hurting pretty badly. This vibration was not related with the crash (with Audi #88), we don't know what it is yet. When the rain came during my last stint, I was on intermediates because our rain tyres don't work so well when there is not a whole lot of water on the track. We decided to stay out and drive it home.“

We think that contact was just before the last hour began....

 

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